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Is Trump Worth More than $10B?; EgyptAir Flight from Paris to Cairo Goes Missing. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired May 18, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:25] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Like everything else in the world of Donald Trump, the candidate's financial disclosure form is huge.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Trump says his net worth is now more than $10 billion. But does that add up? And if he's worth as much as he says, why not just pay the bills for the campaign himself?
And meanwhile, the GOP's presumptive nominee meets with Henry Kissinger. I'm going to talk to the man who says, when it comes to foreign policy, George Washington would have agreed with Donald Trump.
Plus, the Democrats' divided party. Can Hillary Clinton bring the Bernie bros onboard?
We're going to begin, though, with Donald Trump's finances.
Here to discuss that is William Cohan, contributing editor at "Vanity Fair" and the author of "The Price of Silence." Also, "The Wall Street Journal's" Peter Grant is here, and Stephen Miller, senior -- I almost said Stephen Cohen. Stephen Miller, senior adviser to Donald Trump.
Welcome back to the program. All of you have been on before.
William, I'm going to start with you, because there is 104-page disclosure that he made with the FEC today. I'm talking about Donald Trump. He says his net worth is over $10 billion. He says his income in 2015 was nearly $560 million and he has increased his revenue by almost $200 million. That's a lot of money.
Do you buy it?
WILLIAM COHAN, AUTHOR, "THE PRICE OF SILENCE": If Donald says it, who am I to dispute it. But it's not on that form. There are 104 pages. There's a lot of numbers on that page and there's a lot of LLCs, limited liability corporations, that he lists on that form.
But I don't know where he gets the $550 million of net income. There are some numbers that look like revenue numbers. There are some numbers that look like net income numbers, like royalty numbers and fees, but I don't know where he gets the $550 million.
As far as the $10 billion, which I think is more than $10 billion, which he estimated that $11 billion. But I don't know where that number comes from and it's certainly not on that disclosure form.
LEMON: As we know, we have been reporting for months at "Forbes" magazine that he disagrees with "Forbes" magazine because it lists his value at $4.5 billion in worth.
Steve Forbes was asked about that on "NEW DAY" this morning, the difference, we said, what's the difference between $4.5 billion and $10 billion, and here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE FORBES, FORBES: The big difference is how you value his brand. We take the position with him and anyone else that, your name may have value, but the key thing is, how do you monetize it? When you monetize it, we count it. Oprah, same thing. Her name has a real brand value, but until you monetize it, we don't count it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Interesting. So, is that what Trump is doing? Is he over- valuing?
PETER GRANT, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, to me, the whole question of what Donald Trump is worth is sort of a convoluted question, which isn't as important as --
LEMON: You said that before, why?
GRANT: Exactly, what's important -- how much is a building worth? What is a brand worth? You could discuss that until the end of time and it wouldn't have as much meaning, which I think is much manufacture important, which is how much cash does he have --
LEMON: On hand.
GRANT: -- on hand?
And if you look at his disclosure today, one of the things I find very interesting was the cash on hand has declined. That's one of the things he has disclosed. Back in July, he filled out a form, he said he had about $78 million to $232 million in cash. Now that number has declined, according to his own disclosure, to between $60 million and $170 million.
LEMON: Steven, we have the financial disclosure form that's required for all presidential candidates. But what we don't have are tax returns. Everyone's saying, where are the tax returns? Where are the tax returns? Is he going to release those tax returns before November?
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: He says he's going to release the tax returns when the audit is concluded and the attorneys have advised him not to release it while there's an ongoing audit.
LEMON: Do you know why -- why have the attorneys advised him not to?
MILLER: I'm not a tax lawyer, but it seems pretty common sense --
LEMON: No, no, it's not. Because the IRS says there's nothing to stop you from releasing your tax returns if you're under audit.
MILLER: Right, well, I'm not a tax attorney, but I'm assuming because if there are issues in the tax return that have to be discussed with your lawyers or with the IRS, that it would be unhelpful then to have a separate public process happening at the same time.
LEMON: Perfect story line for Donald Trump. The tax code is complicated.
Lots of people, lots of Americans make mistakes on their tax returns and they get audited and they ending up having to pay more. I actually overpaid taxes one year. So that happens.
So that could -- that's a perfect story for him and why he needs to change the tax code. So, you're giving me an example or answers that don't necessarily makes sense when it comes to this issue.
MILLER: I will say that as much as I deeply admire and respect you, we're going to have to agree to disagree.
LEMON: Here it comes.
MILLER: We're going to have to agree to disagree on this, which is totally okay.
But I do think it's important to note that the financial disclosure is required, that has been released.
[23:05:03] If at some point in the future wisdom of Congress they decide to require something else, then that will become required.
But you've heard this before, I'm going to say it anyways. What the American people care about right now is the fact that the minority of Americans are middle class. It used to be a majority of this country. Now, it's the minority in this country. We're going to turn that around and make the middle class the biggest, best, fastest growing middle class we've ever had.
LEMON: That is an issue for Americans, yes. But also, the two can exit at the same time, right? That people want to know about his tax returns, because he is a presidential candidate and all other presidential candidates, since the 1970s, have released their tax returned, even some of them under audit.
COHAN: Correct. And he should release them. And I suspect that he will release them. By the way, this idea, I think you even said it tonight, on a rival network, he said, you're not going to find anything interesting in that those tax returns.
I completely disagree with that. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of interesting things in those tax returns.
LEMON: Thank you very much, gentleman. Our time is short because we have some breaking news. Appreciate it. Let's get to it.
So here is the breaking news tonight: a plane that reportedly has some 58 passengers onboard has gone missing. A plane with some 58 passengers onboard has gone missing. It is EgyptAir flight 804. It was en route from Paris to Cairo. Again, from Paris to Cairo.
Joining me now via Skype is Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation. She's now an attorney for victims of transportation accidents.
Mary, thank you for joining us. The information is EgyptAir Flight 805, coming from Paris, 58 passengers onboard, off the radar screen about 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
What can you tell us, Mary Schiavo?
MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL U.S. DOT (via telephone): Well, not a whole lot, because there isn't much known at this point. On these particular routes, though, the heavily, heavily traveled routes, if there was some kind of a -- you know, a mid-air explosion, something like that, I would think that there would be other, you know, other reports, including maybe perhaps pilot reports.
But this is a -- this is not a remote route, in which the plane would go, hopefully would not go missing for very long. It is, of course, possible, there was some communications errors, and trouble with the communications. But it's starting to be a pretty long time for it not to reappear or for them not to have made some communication attempt.
It's just very difficult to guess where it might be or why it has not communicated. Of course, there have been other incidents in the past where, after pilots have been out of communication for some time, usually not this long, but out of communication for some time, they have been located and have been found.
So, this is highly unusual, not to be able to track them or find them, or they've gone missing for this long. But, it's still possible that there has been some kind of a communications malfunction or an error in reporting.
LEMON: All right, I want you to stand by, Mary Schiavo.
I want to bring in David Soucie as well. And just so you know, Davie Soucie is a safety expert. He joins on the phone. Airline safety expert. Of course, he's been joining us anytime there is an issue that concerns air safety or an aircraft.
Just so you know, it's 5:07 in the early morning hours in Cairo and in Paris. And this happened about an hour ago, David Soucie.
Is there anything that you can add to this conversation of this missing Flight 805 EgyptAir?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION SAFETY ANALYST (via telephone): Well, as Mary said, it's very peculiar that it would be out of touch this long. There's a period of time in that route where you are out of communications, but to have it go on this long is very rare, because there's several different kinds of communications. You have low- frequency communications, high-frequency communications. You have digital communication, as well.
So there's have many different ways in which you can communicate with that airplane, none of which we have reports of them using. So, again, it's very rare to have this happen and we just hope for the best at this point, until we get more information.
LEMON: Can you talk to us about the route, especially, David, the geography there? Because as we have been reporting on other air incidents, many of them or a number of them happened over water. This particular route from Cairo to Paris, how do they fly it? What's it like geographically?
SOUCIE: Well, at this point, I don't know exactly which route they were flying. It's -- you can go direct or they could be avoiding weather, so I'm not sure exactly which route they were flying. We still don't have that information yet.
So it's difficult to say where it was, whether it was mountainous or not. So until we get that information, I hate to speculate at this point exactly where they were or anything like that.
LEMON: OK, and I just want to make sure that we get this correct, because I have two different sets of information. One says 804 and 805. The correct flight number, and pardon me for that again is 804. And at the beginning, when we get information in like this, sometimes in the rush and the haste for breaking news, some of the things we do are not as accurate as they are once we get more information, as this continues on.
[23:10:06] So, Mary Schiavo joins us again.
So, Mary, again, flight number 804, EgyptAir, flying from Paris to Cairo. I guess it was about 4:07 in the morning there, as this happen. A long time, again, for this plane to be without communication with air traffic control.
SCHIAVO: It is a very long time. And, of course, I'm sure, and the lines are lighting up already, because of the problems in both airports. If you'll recall, in Paris, there were a number of persons who were very suspicious persons and they had, I think the number is, and I'm doing this off the top of my head, so forgive me if the number isn't right, but I believe there was something like 78 persons they had let go from the Paris airports for ties to terrorist groups, including ISIS and al Qaeda. And that happened about two months ago, and then, of course, there were the problems in Egypt.
So a lot of people are immediately suspicious of both Paris airports and the Egypt Airports, because of the past, and I'm not saying present, but because of the past incidents and ties to terrorism. So already there's an awful lot out there on the twitter and social media feeds about this particular possibility. And I believe it was 78 persons who were let go from the Paris airport. I don't have any numbers from the Egypt Airport. LEMON: So here's what we have. And in case you're just joining us
here on CNN, an airplane has disappeared. It's flight number 804. It's EgyptAir. It was coming from Paris -- Paris to Cairo.
It disappeared about 4:07 in the morning, just a little bit over an hour ago. And again, the route was from Paris to Cairo. And I just asked Mary, David, a short time ago what route were they taking, and this is coming again from CNN producers, and it appears they took off from Paris, over Croatia, sort of went to the side of Italy or Rome. The Mediterranean Sea, I'm getting this, if you'll check your e-mails, you'll see this route they have for 804.
OK, this is a presumed route. It may not be the specific route, over Greece, over the Mediterranean Sea, and again, landing in Cairo, Egypt. What is that like in that area, Mary Schiavo?
SCHIAVO: Well, it's very, very busy traffic area, except not usually this early in the morning. When you look at Flight Aware and other tracking services, you just see an awful lot of flights on this particular route. The -- it's hard to, you know, guess what the weather is. There's a fair amount of weather, kind of a little to the east of there, you get a little bit more -- a bit more of the weather.
I don't have, I'm not finding right now any severe weather reports from area, and there's no indication, there's just literally no information that this flight had called in and it was having encountered severe weather. So, we really don't have any information whatsoever on that. But at this particular time in the morning, it wouldn't be the heaviest traffic time for the routes over there, but, you know, it's a pretty heavy traffic area and it did not go over any areas of conflict.
I'm remembering, of course, the shoot down of the Malaysia flight years ago or almost two years ago, but this flight would not have gone over conflict areas, so most likely, that's not it. So I suspect the two things that people will be looking at is the mechanical, some kind of a mechanical issue, or like I said, already the lines are blowing up about possible nefarious activity.
LEMON: OK, again, I wanted to -- very little information coming into CNN, you're watching breaking news. EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo has gone missing. Missing from the radar, again, it happened just about 45 minutes ago, as the latest information that we have. We have Mary Schiavo, former inspector general from the department of aviation joining us, David Soucie is a safety expert as well.
And then, Ian Lee is a CNN correspondent. He's on the phone a joins us now from Cairo.
Ian, do you have any reaction? What can you report from Cairo?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Don, right now, it's still very, very early with this breaking news. We're waiting to hear more from Egyptian officials. We reached out to the airport. They told us right now that the emergency operations that are there at Cairo international airport. And they told us right now they're not able to disclose any
information to the media. We're waiting more from EgyptAir.
[23:15:00] They said that they will have more information available later, but they're saying right now that the airplane is missing. It went off radar. This plane was supposed to land about an hour and a half ago. So, we're just waiting to see what more information EgyptAir can give us.
LEMON: OK, thank you, Ian Lee.
Ian Lee reporting from Cairo, awaiting word from officials in Cairo on this missing airplane. He saying the plane was supposed to land about an hour and a half ago and it did not land.
I want to get back to Ian. Ian, there was an ISIS plane attack there on a Russian MetroJet in Sharm el-Sheikh. People there must have that in their minds.
LEE: Well, this is something that definitely Egyptian officials will be looking at right away. What are the possible causes of this plane to crash? You're right. Last October, ISIS took down a Russian MetroJet, killing over 200 people onboard. That was in the Sinai Peninsula.
This one originating from Paris. If there's something and something did happen along those lines, that is something that they'll be looking at from the Paris and Egyptian officials right now, trying to find out, really, where that plane is. It went off radar. Obviously, it was supposed to land about an hour and a half ago. It's presumed that something actually did happen to the plane.
Right now, though, the officials are saying, you know, we're looking into this. We'll get back to you, as soon as possible. But really reading from what we're seeing from EgyptAir, they're saying, it's just too soon to tell what exactly happened to this plane, what is the cause of this delay, and, you know, possibly, if there is an accident, what was the cause of that?
But right now, really early in this search to figure out what exactly happened.
LEMON: OK. Ian, I want you to stand by.
And again, if you're just joining us at 11:17 Eastern Time here in the evening in New York City, an EgyptAir plane, flight number 804 has gone missing from radar.
We've been discussing several possibilities. No one knows right now, but we're talking about what happened over a MetroJet in Sharm el- Sheikh, that there was an attack there and several hundred people died.
But we don't know what happened here. We don't know if it's terrorism, if there's just missing, if there's mechanical failure or what's going on. We're awaiting word. As Ian Lee just reported, it was supposed to land about hour and a half ago. But still, no communications. But the latest information is that EgyptAir say that their flight number MS804, which departed Paris at 2309 heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar.
EgyptAir, we're trying to get in touch with folks from EgyptAir to get more information. Ian Lee is awaiting word in Cairo. You're looking at the official tweet from EgyptAir there.
So, again, if you're just joining us, this is what's happening.
Mary Schiavo is former inspector general for the Department of Transportation. She has been helping us to report this story. David Soucie is a safety expert, joins us here many times on CNN as well.
We'll go back to you, Mary, first. We talked about the time and there would not be lots of air traffic at this time. We just spoke with Ian about what happened jet, as well. Possibilities here, but we just don't know at this point what's going on?
SCHIAVO: Well, that's right. And many years ago, I worked on the EgyptAir, which came out of the United States and eventually ruled to be an intentional downing or an intentional suicide by that flight.
And that was -- oh, boy, that's at least 17 years ago, when that happened. And it was the same kind of thing. The plane was off the east coast, it went missing, and eventually, it was that. But that took many, many months. And you know, Egypt never agreed with the findings of the United States National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. said it was an intentional downing by a pilot. Egypt, as a country, officially, would never agree with that.
So they're -- you know, there are so many prior crashes or terrorist attacks or accidents, et cetera, you can draw on. But at this point, it's really, you know, just huge unknown. And I just keep coming back to the two most recent news reports. And that is the shakedown at the Paris airports, where there were person who were associated with terrorist groups and, of course, the Sharm el-Sheikh.
But we have seen many crashes in the past where planes have gone down in bodies of water, completely, you know, due to mechanical failure.
[23:20:03] Or in some cases, whether combined with mechanical failure. So, it's just impossible to guess at this point. But this much time overdue, one can logically assume at this point that there's trouble. That it isn't -- that it hasn't landed somewhere safely, someplace else. The other airports would have reported by now.
LEMON: Which leads me to my next question. I'm going to ask David Soucie a very similar question, considering the amount of time, David Soucie, what can one surmise from that, if anything?
SOUCIE: Well, as Mary said, unless it's landed somewhere else, but that's highly unlikely, given the fact there haven't been communications from other airports. What's concerning to me, on this route, they are flying across the
Swiss Alps. They're flying over the ocean and right north of Italy. So, there's a lot of different terrain that they're flying over and hazardous train if they did have to make an emergency landing of some kind, it would be a very difficult time want night, going into the dark in some of these regions is not a favorable place to be if you have any problems.
Now, if they do have communications problems where they can't communicate, you could have also lost your navigations, as well, in that scenario, in which you would probably try to circle an area, trying to figure out an area where somebody would be able the to recognize you.
So, it's still too early to tell on that, because they could still be circling. They're only about an hour late at this point. So, just concerning as to where they might be in this particular flight, because there are some very hazardous regions.
LEMON: Yes. The interesting thing is that I don't -- that I can't really answer, but I'm getting word from our aviation correspondent, Richard Quest, who's e-mailing me -- thank you, Richard, for that, and we'll try to get Richard on the air as soon as possible.
But do we know, Mary, do you know what stage of the flight was in? Had it started its decent and was there weather? Do you know anything about that? Too early to tell at this point?
SCHIAVO: No, we have had no indication at this point that it had started its decent. And of course, EgyptAir would know that, as would the landing airport, because you obviously have to call into air traffic control and get your routing, get your clearances, and get, which, you know, even which runway and which particular approach plates you're going to be using, approach routes you're going to be using.
So, the airline would know that, and of course, the airport. But we haven't seen any news reports out of those areas and air traffic control, en route, would have information of the last time that they had contact with them. But then, of course, it depends when you're switching over.
Of course, the E.U., the European Union air traffic control is all joined together. They don't, they don't have air traffic control, where you hand off from one country to the next now, because their control systems are all coordinated. Euro control hands them off seamlessly from one country to another, so there wouldn't be a situation like we encountered when we did so much discussion about Malaysia 370, where they were supposed to hand off from Malaysian air space to Vietnam, to Ho Chi Minh control.
We wouldn't have that situation over Europe. So we don't have that kind of a thing, where we would say, well, they were supposed to report into one and sign off from the other. Euro control is pretty seamless. LEMON: Yes. And what you're looking at right now, you're looking at
the flight or the flight path of this plane, leaving Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport, and headed to Cairo, Egypt.
And as David Soucie said, David, you said, as you were looking at it, it flew over the Alps, you said, and then north of Italy and then over the Mediterranean Sea. And what was your summation of that?
SOUCIE: Well, just that those are not favorable places if you do have problems where you have to find an alternate airport or at night if you're trying to find some other place that might be safe to put the aircraft down if you find yourself in that situation, these are not favorable places to do that. Water ditching on the Mediterranean Sea would be a possibility if you need to put it down there.
But again, at night -- and I'm not speculating that has happened yet. It's still possible there's still plenty of fuel on the airplane that it is up there with no communications. It could still be circling around, you know, waiting to be recognized or working the problem. A lot of times on the flight, if there are problems that occur on flight, they'll stabilize the aircraft one of the pilots will maintain the aircraft and continue to fly the aircraft while the other pilot will be working on or trying to figure out what the problems might be.
So, they're still trying for that, there's still hope about that. They're trying to continually find out what's wrong with the airplane at this point and continue to try to fix whatever problems they might be having, in which case they would just continue to circle in a safe area to do that until they made communications.
[23:25:01] So, while this is difficult terrain to be flying in at night if you have problems, looking for a place to land, there's still plenty of fuel. They have reserve fuel on the airplane.
So they could continue to fly, I would speculate, at least for another hour past what we're waiting on now, before they would have to -- before they would have to be concerned about running out of fuel.
LEMON: OK, if you're just joining us here on CNN, EgyptAir flight 804 disappearing from radar, 2309, which is about 4:09 in the morning, en route from Paris, Charles de Gaulle to the airport in Cairo. And the official tweet, if we can put that up from the airline, saying that the plane is indeed, missing. That there it is, an informed source, EgyptAir stated that flight number ms804 which departed Paris at 23:09 heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar. That's the latest information we have on this flight.
We don't know what happened, whether it's terror related. Of course, there's always a concern, but that is not confirmed, whether it's mechanical, no one knows at this point.
We have our Ian Lee, who is in Cairo, awaiting word from officials there early in the morning.
We also have aviation analyst Justin Green with us as well.
What can you add to the conversation, Justin?
JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ANALYST (via telephone): Well, the one thing I can say, I hope David is right, that there's still fuel onboard. In my career, we've had a number of reports of airplanes going off radar, and unfortunately, in my experience, I'm sure it's happened, but in my experience, it's not been favorable outcomes.
But by tomorrow morning, we should know a lot more, because unlike Malaysia Airlines 370, this airplane was probably tracked throughout the course and I think it's too early to say whether it's terror- related. It flew for a very long time. Usually when a pilot wants to take an airplane down, he or she does it. And this looks like it basically flew maybe almost 80 percent of its flight.
LEMON: David Soucie, can you talk to us about the type of plane this was? Do we know, possibly a 737?
SOUCIE: Yes, a 737-800. And the 737-800 is a newer aircraft. It's not something that was -- that has been around for 20 years or anything like that. It's a newer aircraft, very capable aircraft, all-glass cockpits. It's very comfortable.
The 737 is the backbone to the aviation. It's always been served well, it's always been a great airplane, and the 800 is no exception to that. The 800 is one of the best airplanes flying right now.
So, as far as the kind of problems from the age of the aircraft, the maintenance of the aircraft, I would rule that out. Egypt has good maintenance report as well. They have a few problems in their history, which most airlines do, but I think they rectify those problems. I tink they're a good, safe airplane, their operator at this point. And they would be maintaining their aircraft well.
LEMON: A few problems meaning, what?
SOUCIE: EgyptAir, you know, I don't have the specifics at the moment. I'm just now getting into this moment, but I just noticed they have had accidents they have had some issues, and I'll get that information as we go on further here, Don.
LEMON: OK. Here's the latest information that we have as we work to get as much information on this breaking news story as possible. You can bring in, please, as much information as possible.
What we have here is, again, this is new -- I'm getting this in just as you are getting it in. And this is from EgyptAir tweet that I just got from my producers. EgyptAir says to fly, to inform all competent authorities and searching by search and rescue teams now, Egypt has to fly to inform all competent authorities and search by search and rescue teams, land these are being translated to English here. So, I'm just getting this in.
Also, there was a tweet that says she was on the rise and the ability of 37,000 feet, and disappeared before entering Egyptian air space by 80 miles. Again, that was about ten minutes. An official source, EgyptAir flight 804, flight number MS804 lost contact with radar. At 2:45 Cairo Time.
So, I'm just getting those in. So, Mary, talk to me about this. So, this was a translation from Twitter that says, Egypt has to fly to inform all competent authorities by search and rescue teams.
SCHIAVO: They're very important, some very important clues there. First of all, that it was 37,000 feet on the rise.
[23:30:02] That is pretty much, that is at the top of the operational -- well, it's not the top of the operational ceiling for the plane. But that's pretty much that cruising altitude. They wouldn't really be rising at that point in the flight welcome 80 miles from Egyptian air space and 10 minutes before Egyptian airspace is the translation I'm getting. So, that point, they would be setting up and getting ready to come in and setting up for entering the air space and making a landing.
So, at 37,000 feet, this is a time where things don't usually go wrong. We've got air France 447 was at that altitude, other than that, we've had situations where there have been, there were a couple of flights, there was a loss of situational awareness, the pilots encountered really bad weather and did not respond properly to have inputs on the controls, because beyond that. But other than, there has usually been some sort of very catastrophic event. Some of them have been bombings and terrorisms, but there are situation where there's been loss of control because of pilot errors.
So, at 37,000 feet, to lose radar contact, usually, the outcome is not good. There's still hope, of course, because as David Soucie said, they still have fuel on board. They would be carrying about an hour of fuel past their destination. But at 37,000 feet, that's pretty important clue.
LEMON: OK. Mary, stand by. I want to read this because now this been made plainer. It was the information handed to me about the tweets from Twitter. So, here's what the latest information that I have here.
EgyptAir Flight 804, 59 passengers onboard, 10 crew members. Again, the MSR number is 804. EgyptAir has tweeted that Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo had 59 passengers onboard and 10 crew members, totaling 69 people. The flight was at 37,000 feet altitude and disappeared before entering Egyptian air space 80 miles, which is 10 minutes, the tweet read. Egyptian Air has informed all relevant authorities and search and rescue teams are being deployed. That's according to that tweet.
Please respond to that. I want to bring in Peter Goelz, an aviation analyst, CNN aviation analyst. Having read that, tell us what you come up here, Peter.
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST (via telephone): Well, I think I'm in general agreement with Mary, when something happens at 37,000 feet and you disappear from radar, generally, something's gone wrong. And obviously, there are cases in the past where planes have reached catastrophic, have faced catastrophic events.
But, again, this can be, could be weather, it could be pilot error, it could be terrorism. And I think you start with terrorism after looking at the weather. But I think this was, I think we're looking at a pretty grave situation tonight.
LEMON: So, we're going to check weather. We'll talk about weather in just a moment. But why do you say terrorism is number two, up that high?
GOELZ: Well, I mean, we live in a world in which the terrorists continue to focus on aviation, as a tool to try and get their message out. We saw it at Sharm el-Sheikh. There is continuing political unrest in Egypt. And it would not surprise me if this traces back to something like terrorism.
LEMON: And when you talk about Sharm el-Sheikh, you talk about the MetroJet plane that went down, back in November. And it was categorically saying that it was not an incident. Again, that it was terrorism.
GOELZ: That it was terrorism, a bomb was placed onboard.
LEMON: Right, right.
So, terrorism would be number two. You said weather, terrorism --
GOELZ: It could be weather. It could be -- it could be pilot error.
LEMON: Right. And then you would look at it in that --
GOELZ: It's more difficult than most people imagine to fly a plane at 37,000 feet. You can get into trouble awfully quickly. But if there's been no indications of radio calls of distress, simply that the plane disappeared from radar. And that's pretty ominous.
LEMON: Do we still have correspondent Ian Lee with us?
OK. Ian Lee is in Cairo and is getting information. We're awaiting word from there. So, as soon as we can get Ian and he has some information, we'll bring him back.
I want to get to CNN's David Soucie now.
David, I want to get your assessment on the information they just read. That the flight was at 37,000 feet altitude and disappeared before entering Egyptian air space 80 miles, which is minutes.
[23:35:07] This tweet read, "Egypt Air has informed all relevant authorities and search and rescue teams are being deployed."
SOUCIE: Well, I'm looking right now at the fact that it's climbing at 37,000 feet, and that's an important distinction, Don. Because if it's climbing at 37,000 feet, it's already been altitude, as the previous guest had already said, is that if there was weather, that would fit that profile, because you're flying up, you're gaining in altitude to try to get over some weather.
Now, this aircraft, its maximum service ceiling is about 41,000 feet. You're approaching that ceiling in which the aircraft can start to become a little bit unstable, because they're starting to climb into the area where it's giving all it's got just to be there.
So, for some reason, it was going up there. If it was for weather, that would be explainable. I'm not sure I make the connection with any kind of nefarious activity at this point. But, it certainly is a possibility, I suppose.
LEMON: Why so? Why don't you make a connection with nefarious activity at this point? Too early? Just too early?
SOUCIE: Well, it's too early for one. Just because many evidence that say, you know, the profile of what you'd expect to see, and that type of activity is so variant, there's no real, to say yes, this particular guy would do this or that particular guy would do that. There's so many different variances as to how they try to, how nefarious activity would occur.
Whether they would go to altitude, and then depressurize the aircraft, to disable all the passengers. That's one of the things that's happened in the past. So, that is one profile in which it would fit here. But it's just too early, not enough evidence or information to draw that conclusion.
LEMON: EgyptAir flight 804 disappearing from radar, en route to -- from Paris to Cairo. Again, disappearing from radar. Nothing has been heard from it. Officials in Egypt had deployed search and rescue teams to go out and look for this plane. Again, no one has heard from it in over an hour, hour and a half.
And again, our aviation experts are on the phone with us. We have Mary Schiavo, David Soucie and also Peter Goelz.
Mary, again, getting this precise information, in the concise form that I was able to read it, after they translated those tweets again. David Soucie said climbing, climbing at 37,000 feet. That was very important to him, and to you?
SCHIAVO: Yes, it is. It's very important to me. And again, when we look at these situations, and David and I both do this, I mean, we look at past crashes, past accidents, past incidents. And of course, there are two situations in which the radar showed climbing when there was something on the plane.
One as I go back to TW 800, which radar showed the plane was climbing, and, of course, that was because the plane had already experienced the catastrophic event and part of the plane was actually climbing up. It, of course, was beyond the pilot's control at that point. It was not terrorism. It was an explosion on the plane that caused part of the plane to climb.
And then we saw the same thing in Air France 447. The plane was in bad weather, the pilots responded incorrectly. They did not put the nose down. Instead, for a while, they climbed and we have seen that situation in other crashes.
And then, of course, I go back to Pan Am 103, which in that case, that was a bomb onboard and they were -- they had planned to have that go off over the ocean, but there had been a delay on the flight, and so it did not go off over the ocean. There were important clues, of course, that they were able to find on the ground at Lockerbie.
But here, the plane was over the ocean. So, we have three completely different scenarios. You know, not necessarily, you know, only one of them is a terrorist scenario. But the 37,000 feet over water could be explained in any one of those three situations.
LEMON: OK, Mary, having worked for the government and knowing how this goes, all of these investigations, what happens now? Egyptian officials have now sent out search and rescue teams, but what happens? Do the United States, other countries around the area, do they coordinate?
SCHIAVO: Yes. They coordinate. And in terms of jurisdiction, there's actually treaties that govern that, and it's going to depend upon where the plane can be deemed, if it has crashed, where the plane is deemed to have crashed, who will be the cognizant agency. Of course, cognizant country, rather, that will lead the investigation. But, of course, as we saw in MH-370, the countries can agree to get together and do the search in a coordinated fashion.
As the United States learned in its own investigation of the EgyptAir crash, it was EgyptAir 990, I think, about 17 years ago.
[23:40:02] In that case, of course, the NTSB was the lead agency, and Egypt disagreed with the NTSB and didn't follow it. But all nations will cooperate in the search. All of the nations that surround the particular area, where the plane was last heard from in that area of the world, they're all signatories to the treaty and they all will cooperate in the search.
And it's going to be very, very important as we've learned, you know, over the past two years in terrible air tragedies, it's going to be very, very important to get to that plane as soon as possible. So, for Egypt to put out the word and ask for all nations to help search and to ask for help was very smart, and they will need the help, because it's going to be very difficult to search for that in the Mediterranean Sea.
And so, that was exactly what they should do. Depending upon the plane, there is conflicting reports, a 737, there's also a report of an Airbus. Certainly, if it's a 737, a Boeing, the United States will participate, Boeing will participate.
But the important thing is to get all the assets out there they can to see what's going on, to find the plane, hopefully to find the people, the passengers. But that's what they do. They call for help and nation always respond.
LEMON: Peter Goelz, let's continue discussing this, what happens now. Again, search and rescue underway. How quickly does this happen and does it depend on which part of the world this happens in?
GOELZ: Well, sure, response rates vary, but I think, you know, you'll see people being launched within hours of the emergency. And as Mary said, when it comes to something like this, you know, national boundaries are put aside and everyone wants to cooperate. Everyone wants to help, because you're praying that you're going to find survivors.
And time is of the essence. And the Egyptians were quite correct in asking everyone to try to chip in. And I'm sure, you know, in that part of the world, there is a great deal of radar activity. There's a lot of folks that are monitoring that area 24/7. And I think we'll start to get more information very quickly.
You know, this is -- you know, it's a highly, highly watched area. And we will find out what happened to that plane, I think, you know, fairly quickly, we'll know whether it's down. We'll know where it went down.
LEMON: I want to ask my aviation analyst and experts to stand by.
I want to bring in now our weather expert, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
Pedram, Peter Goelz was just on. He said one of the first things he would look at is the weather in that area. What can you tell us about that?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, absolutely. There was plenty of weather. Just looking into this, as soon as we heard this event, the news break on this event, I looked back into the satellite imagery. There was a storm system in the direct path of this.
So, we'll break down exactly what happened here as far as the weather elements are concerned. You'll notice the flight path. We notice, of course, it generally takes a little over five hours for the flight from Paris out towards Cairo.
Here's the last line, last point that we have, the connection with the aircraft. But I want to show you the satellite imagery as it relates to the flight path. And there it goes right in this region, and notice in the past several hours, see this purple coloration right there over the satellite imagery. At those elevations, that's heavy snowfall. We've picked up over a foot of snowfall in the past six to eight hours across portions of the Alps, of course.
When you think about the Alps in particular in this region, there are about 500 mountains that are sitting at roughly 10,000 feet in elevation, tremendous elevation. The western fringes of this elevation go up to 15,000 feet high. So, of course, wintery weather is still in place here in the middle of May. But notice, the flight path as far as we have it, goes down the Adriatic, eventually over portions of Croatia, of course, and then to the Greek isle, and this is the final point we're seeing.
Weather there has been clear and it will remain clear. Temperatures down on the ground in Cairo are in the mid-90s across this region, Fahrenheit. So, we're talking the lower 30s Celsius. The weather path for halfway, 50 percent into this flight, the weather really became a non-problem, it's just in the initial first couple of hours, there was a front, you can pick up the circulation right there.
There's the front going right over that region. Again, in the first couple of hours of the flight, the last couple of hours, weather was not playing a role as far as we can tell from the satellite imagery and notice, the snow showers are still expected over this region for the next couple of days.
Not unusual to see storms, of course, tremendously mountainous in this region. Rainfall also going to persist a little farther to the south. But as you approach Cairo, weather definitely not going to be found in that region.
LEMON: Hey, Pedram. Don't go anywhere. I want to bring in David Soucie.
David, if you're there, listening to Pedram's weather report about what happened in the area, talk to me.
SOUCIE: Yes, every time I hear something else about this thing, it looks more and more bleak, Don, because of the fact that the aircraft was at 37,000 feet.
[23:45:08] We, historically, what we see is an aircraft that would give us some information before it goes off radar. It would tell us whether or not they're going up into the weather event or not, or whether they're trying to avoid it or if it doesn't seem to be any of that type of movement that would indicate that.
So, at this point, it's just, to me, it appears as though something occurred at 37,000 feet, as the airplane was flying.
SOUCIE: What it is, it's too early to know.
LEMON: OK. I want Pedram and I want David to stand by.
Mary Schiavo, if you're there, and you mentioned this possibility just moments ago on our air, we are getting word -- put these tweets up. This is how we know.
This is from EgyptAir, the official tweet, it says, A320, it's an A320, was at the height of 37,000 feet and disappeared after entering the Egyptian air space with 10 miles.
The second tweet says, an informed source says that EgyptAir Flight 804 has lost communication with radar tracking system at 2:45.
So, there you go. It's an A320, tell me about that plane.
SCHIAVO: Well, again, depending on the age of the plane, that plane, it's a workhorse of the industry. I mean, there's just lots and lots of those planes in the world's airline aviation fleets. But there have been some air worthy directives, at least some in the United States, where certain things had to be corrected or repaired or fixed on the planes.
There were some directives concerning communications equipment. There were some directives concerning some fixes and how lots were trained to fly particularly in weather and with air speed situations. So the, you know, the fact that it's an Airbus 320, we don't quite know. We need a little more information to be able to tell the age of the plane and whether it has the most modern and up-to-date equipment or whether it's a plane that's been retrofitted and they needed additional training.
But in terms of world's airline fleets, it's like the 737, it's a workhorse. I mean, we've all been on them hundreds of times. And it's, you know, it's a modern aircraft, if it's a more modern one, glass cockpit. It would have been on auto pilot at that point in the flight, particularly at 37,000 feet.
If something went wrong at that altitude and they were on auto pilot, the auto pilot would have shut off and they would have to hand-fly the plane. So it's very difficult to tell. But, 37,000 feet is concerning.
LEMON: And, Mary, they corrected it. They sent out a corrected tweet saying it was 10 miles into Egyptian air space. Originally, they said, if you look at the tweet, it said 80 miles, but it was 10 miles into Egyptian air space. I don't know if that makes a difference.
SCHIAVO: Yes, that's significant. Because at 10 miles into the air space, it would have already reported into the air space, or it should have already reported into the air space.
So, Egypt and EgyptAir would have to know a lot more information than we certainly have at this point. Because if it had entered Egyptian air space and had not reported in, that's highly significant, because a plane would still be flying and they had missed their reporting point.
Now, we have had situations like that in the United States, there was one in particular where off of Hawaii, both pilots had nodded off and fallen asleep and they missed their reporting point. They were, of course, awakened and corrected the flight. So I don't think that's the situation here.
But since they were 10 miles into Egyptian air space, that's significant, because they should have reported in. If they had reported in at that time, they would have had a contact with the plane and with the pilots. And had anything been going wrong, they would have certainly reported at this time.
So, this is very soon on the heels when they should have reported into the air space.
LEMON: Is that the average number of crew for an A320. There would be, what, a pilot, a co-pilot, and a flight attendant?
SCHIAVO: That's average. Right.
LEMON: OK, that's about average. I want you to stand by.
Juliette Kayyem is our national security analyst here on CNN and she joins us by phone.
Juliette, we just got the new information. It disappeared from radar and no one has heard from it yet. We're finding out now it's an A320 and it was 10 miles into Egyptian air space.
What can you tell us about this?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST (via telephone): So I view this on the perspective of what is the data telling us right now, because you're going to have to have an investigation. So picking up on what Mary said, clearly the airplane is missing. It is gone. It has been too long.
And the fact that there was no reporting in from the pilot, the fact that there appears to be no severe weather that would have some explanation for this, the fact that we have a history with EgyptAir, and now going with my national security hat on and obviously, a previous security problems at the Paris airport, from a national security perspective, I would definitely start from the assumption that something bad has occurred, something nefarious, and break it down from there.
[23:50:20] Because the data does not -- there's nothing out there right now that's suggesting anything else.
LEMON: Not even the weather, Juliette?
KAYYEM: You know, the weather -- we're hearing different things. Plane goes missing at neither ascending or descending, it does not appear that there's any weather to suggest that this is a plane that was under stress. There's no evidence that the plane was under stress.
And so, just based on previous attacks on airplanes, I'm not saying we know right now. I'm saying, simply, the data points are not ruling out something bad having happened. Something, you know, on the airplane, some explosion. The height of the airplane with no record of any distress by the pilot or the airplane, is just -- is reflective of previous terror attacks.
And so, that is the data points people like me take from these cases. We don't want to rule anything in, but we don't want to rule anything out at this stage.
So, consistent with your aviation experts, but this is what, from my knowledge of national security, this is what the data is suggesting to me.
LEMON: Five-fifty-one in the morning in Paris and also in Cairo, Egypt, where this plane has gone missing, EgyptAir Flight 804, 69 people onboard 10 crew members, 59 passengers. Gone missing. No one has heard a word from it in over an hour, about two hours now.
I want to bring in now CNNI correspondent Ian Lee. He's on the phone from Cairo.
We know it's early morning hours. Are you getting any information, Ian?
LEE: Don, right now, basically everything that we've been hearing is so far, from what you've been reporting on-air is what we're hearing from Egyptian officials, that this plane was 10 miles inside of Egyptian air space. So, it's most likely, if this plane did go down, that it would be going down somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Egyptian officials have search and rescue operations, they say, are underway. The relevant authorities are looking for this plane. So, knowing Egypt, it's likely, if this plane did go down in the Mediterranean, that the Egyptian navy is already out there, patrolling, looking for this plane. We don't know much about what happened to it, in terms of what could possibly have caused it to come down.
There have been a lot of theories, but we're not hearing anything from Egyptian authorities. Right now, their main concern, from what they're saying, is that it's to find this plane, to locate it, and take it from there. Figure out what happened. There were 69 people onboard, 59 passengers, 10 crew members.
So, their main priority is trying to find what happened to those people. But, again, this plane just coming in to Egyptian air space. This is what we're hearing from EgyptAir. Flying that route, a number of times, coming to Egypt. The plane is about to start its descent, if it hadn't already started its descent. So what elevation it could be at, we don't really know right now.
LEE: We're waiting for that. We're waiting for Egyptian authorities to update us with more information.
LEMON: Ian Lee, stand by. I want to bring in now David Soucie, our aviation expert, security expert as well.
But, David, so the new information we got, it's an A320. We don't have David? OK.
It was 10 miles into Egyptian air space already. There were 59 passengers onboard, 10 crew members. Again, it was traveling I believe at 37,000 feet.
Is Peter on? Peter's not with us? Peter Goelz?
OK. Juliette Kayyem, back to you before I get to Mary, because you said you were putting on your security analyst hat here. And when you're a security analyst, of course, you have to look for
the very worst here. But you said, as it points now, when you look at the way things usually happen, and we don't know, we're not saying this is the case. But I hate to say, the likely scenario for you is to look at the possibility of terrorism, and therefore, what?
KAYYEM: I would just beginning from that premise, because of the points that we have so far. It's not to exclude other explanations, but look, we have an airplane that has gone missing.
[23:55:06] That doesn't happen very often. There was no evidence that there's any signs of stress. There's no evidence of severe reports. There's no debris that we've heard of so far. No eyewitnesses that they saw anything from the sky.
So, you have a familiar situation. Unfortunately, you also have a history with EgyptAir and terrorism. Previous investigations at the Paris airport have also shown it to be insecure at moments.
All of those data points, and that's what your viewers should know, these are just data points that people like me take into consideration. The sky is not falling. We're not saying we know what it is. But just like the aviation analysts and the weather analysts and like everyone who has been on air today who are putting together the pieces, this is what someone like me are looking at as well.
I am not saying I know what it is. I'm saying those are just data points that are relevant that go into the weather, the aviation, the history of the airline. And we certainly have a lot to suggest that this will be a national security investigation, until we can prove otherwise.
LEMON: OK. Peter Goelz, let's get you back and discuss what we know, again. Does it change anything for you that it was 10 miles into Egyptian air space? That it's an A320 rather than a 737?
GOELZ: Well, the two things that are important is that if it was inside Egyptian air space, that would have already been in contact, as has already been mentioned with the air traffic controllers in Egypt.
Again, as I say, that's heavily monitored air space for a variety of reasons. The Egyptians monitor their borders very carefully. And to the plane will have had contact with them. Ten miles inside on an A320, as has already been mentioned, it's a ubiquitous aircraft, they're flown everywhere, they're solid, they have a very strong safety record. Thirty-seven thousand feet that it disappeared is just ominous.
LEMON: Let me ask you this, because our correspondent said they would be searching in water. If you look at it, that would be right in the Mediterranean Sea, if they had just gotten into Egyptian air space. What about the -- can you follow up on the water search? This would be a water search most likely, correct?
If it ends up being a water search, again, it will raise the issues that have been raised so often in the past three years, starting with Malaysia Flight 370, which is how do you track aircraft over open ocean?
Now, there's probably enough radar to be -- in that neck of the woods to see the aircraft going down. Now, if it crashed, they will have emergency beacons attached to the flight data recorder and voice recorder that will emit the sound from anywhere from 30 to 90 days. And that will help people track it down. If it crashes on land, there will be an emergency beacon already that will be admitting a signal.
So, hopefully, there's enough radar, there's enough people watching that they'll be able to find a fairly contained area, where this plane is located.
LEMON: All right. Our experts thank you. We want all of you to stand by, as it happens, many times, in the middle of the night, or we'll be in the middle of a broadcast and, all of a sudden, someone comes in your ear, my producer, and they'll say, there's a missing airplane, as has happened this evening.
A missing Airbus 320, en route from Paris to Cairo, Egypt, has gone missing, missing from radar. And it has been missing now for more than an hour.
According to our experts, missing that long, obviously spells trouble at this point. Anytime an aircraft goes missing. The latest from Egyptian Air is that it was traveling at 37,000 feet. As it disappeared, as it was entering Egyptian air space, about 10 miles into Egyptian air space. At 10 miles into Egyptian air space, Egyptian officials should have taken over it will air traffic control there, but no one has heard anything from this plane.
Sixty-nine people onboard. That includes 10 crew members. So there were 59 passengers onboard this plane. Again, an Airbus 320 has gone missing. And again, no one has heard from it.
So, we'll continue to follow this developing story here on CNN. It is missing over the Mediterranean Sea. They believed and as one of our experts said, most likely, this will be a water search. And as our Mary Schiavo said, officials in that area are coordinating now and Egyptian officials are calling in search and rescue teams.
That is it for me. Thank you so much for watching.
Our live coverage continues now with John Vause and Isha Sesay in Los Angeles.