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What We Know Right Now; Trump Talks Terror At NRA; Officials: Luggage, Remains, Plane Seats Found; Some Passengers And Crew Identified; EgyptAir 804 On The Ground For One And A Half Hours In Paris; Paris Ground Staff Interviewed By Authorities; Officials: Nothing So Far To Implicate Flight Crew, Security; Is It Safe To Fly?; Flight Data: Smoke Alerts On Airliner Before Crash; Politics Of Terror; Trump Blasts Clinton On Guns; Trump Vs. Clinton On Guns. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired May 20, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:23] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for watching. Time now for "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT ANCHOR: Did a terrorist bomb take down EgyptAir flight 804, and if so, why hasn't anyone claimed responsibility?
This is CNN Tonight, I am Don Lemon.
Here's what we know right now. The plane is on the ground at Charles de Gaulle Airport between 9:50 p.m. and 11:20 p.m. local time Wednesday, that's according to French officials.
Ground staff in the vicinity of the plane being interviewed by authorities and we've learned that there are smoke alerts aboard the plane minutes before it crashes into the Mediterranean Sea, with 66 people on board.
Searchers find seats, aircraft parts, suitcases and human remains. That's according to EgyptAir and Greek officials. The plane disappeared from radar early Thursday as it flew from Paris to Cairo.
U.S. officials tell CNN their initial theory is that the plane was taken down by a bomb, though they caution there is no smoking gun, which doesn't stop guess who from telling the NRA, this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been looking at airplanes is getting blown up in the air and lots of bad things happening. It's just not the same and we're going to bring it back, and we're going to bring it back to a real place where we don't have to be so frightened or we don't have to be so afraid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We're going to discuss that in moments, but let's get right to CNN's Ian Lee, live for us in Cairo. So Ian, we know some of the plane debris has been found on the Eastern Mediterranean. What can you tell us about that?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Don. We have luggage, we have airplane seats, we've had parts of the plane itself, and gruesome discovery of body parts as well, and this is helping investigators put a picture together of what exactly happened. We are also hearing that there is an oil slick in that area as well.
Although, it is not certain if that oil slick is from the plane. But right now the focus is on trying to find those black boxes and trying to figure out and what exactly happens -- and happened also.
It's getting more pieces of the fuselage, is if this was a terrorist attack, then there would most likely the signs on the body of the aircraft. So these are all pieces of the puzzle that they are trying to gather, at this hour, trying to get a better idea of what brought down that plane. Was it terrorism or was it mechanical.
LEMON: Ian, we are starting to learn the identities of some of the victims of the crash, you spoke to some of their relatives today. What are they telling you?
LEE: I went out to a mosque where they were performing the Friday prayers here in Cairo and met up with a lot of the family members of the crew.
Talking to the uncle of the co-pilot, he described someone who was the life of the party. A funny man who was looking forward to getting married and, so a lot to look forward to, talking to other people who worked with the flight crew and they had nothing but good things to say and right now, the family want exactly the same thing we want, Don.
They want to know exactly what happened. They were a bit frustrated at the pace of this investigation, although this isn't an easy investigation.
But when you talk to them as well and one of the things that is starting to slip is hope. Some of them still are holding on to the fact that maybe their loved ones would be found but for the majority of them, what they also want is that those bodies -- if they are able to be recovered to be brought back here to Cairo so that they can bury them. Remember, 66 people lost their lives on this crash.
LEMON: Give them a proper burial. Thank you Ian Lee in Cairo, appreciate that.
Now, I want to bring in CNN's Richard Quest: Richard is the author of "The Vanishing of Flight MH370" and of course he is our expert here on aviation at CNN. So Richard, there's new information from 804 flight data that the smoke detectors on the plane went off in the lavatory and the avionics bay then the other warnings. What is that all mean?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: What it means is that there was a series of cascading faults and they were taking place at the fronts of the aircraft. The avionics bay which is immediately under the front galley, the lavatories and the cockpit, and think of that stone as the brains of the plane and what was happening there was clearly extremely serious.
[21:05:06] There were also some other sensors that went off relating to the windows, the heating system for the windows, and as this situation, remember, I want you to think of it as a cascading series of events, one thing happens then another thing fails and before long, the flight computers are starting to fail as well, and it is all happening in probably the most sensitive and most significant part of the aircraft. The so-called E&E Bay, the avionics part.
And Don, you know, what does it -- we do not know why the smoke happened and we can say mechanical, we can say bomb, we can say incendiary, that we don't know and won't know, but from the investigator's point of view at this early stage, they have received crucial information. They can start to build up a picture. They can start to say OK, Don, this failed.
QUEST: We would expect this to happen next. Yep, and yet that happened go no this didn't happened and from that they build up a much closer, clearer picture of what might have taken place.
LEMON: Let's talk about some of the other things from the investigation that have to do with the investigation. Investigators have found some debris. What are the next steps for search and recovery cruise, Richard?
QUEST: OK, so this is the sad part, isn't it because you're basically doing two things, you're looking for debris and from debris you reverse drift the tide back to where you think the plane, you know, how far -- it's two days since the plane went missing, give all sake.
How far has that debris traveled in two those days? Because clearly where you found it is unlikely to be where it fell into the water and then you have to go down deep underwater and with the depth is several thousand feet.
You're going to need to be putting in place a full scale remote operated vehicle, ROV's, submersibles to try and find the fuselage or the important parts of the fuselage on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, and at the same time try to recover as much of the remains of those loved ones and those passengers on board.
You know, it's not going to be that difficult, but it is not going to be easy either. It's not a long way from shore with certainly not in an MH360 situation where it takes four days just to get the ships to the search zone, it's only a 118 miles, but it is going to be time consuming. And let nobody be under any doubt about this.
And we're now in a situation where we are days, possibly a few weeks before you are going to have resolution.
LEMON: And not to correct my colleague 370, I am sure Richard meant to say instead of 360 but Richard the working theory for the U.S. ...
QUEST: Oh I beg your pardon.
LEMON: Yes, yeah and listen. We deal with a lot of numbers here when it comes to aircraft. So listen, the working theory Richard is U.S. and Egypt if that's its clear from the U.S. and Egypt. But no one has claimed responsibility yet. Are they wrong about terror?
QUEST: No, they are not wrong and no they are not right and if that sounds like I am dancing on the head of a pin, that's exactly what I am doing because, you know, you start with the fundamental circumstance of the plane falling out of the sky.
And, there's going to be a couple of reasons why that happens and one of them is terrorism. You look at the airports involved, you look at the nature of the whole scenario and you start to move in a general direction, all be it without evidence or be it without on the circumstantial facts.
And now, we've got this crucial fact about -- and about fire or smoke. So what causes it? Well, I'm -- you know -- my area is aviation, not geopolitical and terrorist analysis. I can tell you there are -- now, we know there's smoke and fire, but there was no warning and the plane falls out of the sky fairly quickly -- very quickly in fact but there is a three or four minute gap.
I can now say, quite, you know, confidently, I want to put everything back on the table. You can't say terrorism, you can't say mechanical. Everything in my view is back on the table.
LEMON: Richard Quest, thank you very much sir. I appreciate that.
Here to discuss now, is all of these is, CNN Aviation Analyst Miles O'Brien and also Michael Weiss, the co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror." CNN aviation analyst Les Abend and David Soucie author of "Malaysian Airline Flight 370".
There's a lot to absorb and I'm going to start with my colleague, Miles O'Brien here. What do you make of information about the smoke detector activation? What is that tell you?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think you have to put that along with all the other things that were happening. Seemingly desperate events but indicative, I think of something really bad going on in that avionics bay. You have -- the smoke detector in the lavatory, smoke detector in the avionics area, some computer failures, some sensors in the windshield and the cockpit.
[21:10:02] All of that seemingly unrelated ...
LEMON: Yeah, and as we look that ...
O'BRIEN: ... and yet -- if I bet if we were going to look at the avionics bay, they probably might be on similar circuits or buses or near to each other, so something bad was happening a cascade of failures all at once and the crew was -- by all accounts, what we can tell by looking at this Greek radar of data responded as they should. They turned off the airway; they took a left turn when you do a rapid descent you don't want to go in to this imaginary highway in the sky and maybe hit a plane below you so you pick the turn and you go down fast.
O'BRIEN: Maybe, that's what they were doing.
LEMON: So if you put that picture back up and let me ask you this Miles -- I mean to have all of this as Richard says a cascading effect, as you said, you know, a number of different event all happening in this one place. Does that happen because this plane has lot of redundancy, right? Is that -- yeah, does that happen?
O'BRIEN: It can. It can. That -- I mean if you wanted to find the most vulnerable spot, if you had to pick one place, this is right near the top of the list. It could not add to the top of the list.
O'BRIEN: Was it a bomb? Was it in send a device or was it some other thing that made it catch fire and put this crew in great parallel ...
LEMON: It's just interesting to me that is all in this one cluster that is right here that we were talking about now. And that doesn't lead you to anything, it doesn't lead to terror or mechanical or what have you?
O'BRIEN: And it's just hard to say, and to me it doesn't rule out either in path.
LEMON: Yeah. Les, you're a pilot so what happens when a smoke detector goes off? What is the protocol to deal with this?
LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It's a good question and it's -- and I look at it from a big picture standpoint and, you know, a lot of what Miles says is very true, in regard to the fact that this is a brains of the airplane and a lot of airplanes are designed that way to fly-by-wire plane. All that stuff was in there that allows that airplane to operate the flight controls.
That's the intelligence part in that lower electronics bay. Anyhow, what we would do is we smell smoke, we go -- we have memory items that we have to do. We literally have to -- we do this in training all the time. You put on your oxygen mask, you communicate with the other guy?
LEMON: You're doing this out loud right?
ABEND: You're doing this out loud, if you have to you're putting out smoke goggles and the chances are you are, you're putting your mask on a firm situation that's taking almost pure oxygen and blowing it out so the smoke doesn't get into your mask while you're attempting to breathe it and then you go to a check list.
LEMON: And -- but are you talking to each other or you had ...
ABEND: You're talking to each other over the intercom.
LEMON: If you're saying ...
LEMON: OK, as you're saying this or you're not saying putting on my mask now or anything like that.
ABEND: No, I mean you're physically doing that. Now, some guys will go through, and say so they know the ...
ABEND: ... you have flying mask on check list.
LEMON: How long does that take?
ABEND: Well that part -- the memory items it we will take virtually seconds, you know, and just a few seconds and now you're looking to assess the problem.
Once you assess the problem, you're going to go through a small fire checklist potentially in the cockpit, how to remove that, to establish where the source is and that's probably what they were doing. Trying to establish where the source of that fire or smoke was coming from.
ABEND: And that's difficult to do. Those alarms are going off data does that help you come to a conclusion or about terror or anything?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Absolutely it does. And what's most important to me is the order in which they happen and then, if you just take a very simplistic view, very tactical view of it, what happened first? Well, the first warning that we got was from the window. The next warning we got was also from the window. The next warning we've got was now as propagating down into another area so you get smoke in the lavatory.
Now, the next thing you get is the back window. The other window starts to fail. To me, it makes very much -- it make sense. You can see the propagation and see how it goes.
The circuit breakers that Miles referred to earlier, they're right behind the seat, they're right behind the pilot seat and those circuit breakers all controlled the other components like the flight the services, the spoilers are, they were in the back of the aircraft. All of those things happened to me. Whatever happened, and you can't conclude what happened, but it started with that window in my mind.
LEMON: And still no claiming Michael?
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No claiming.
LEMON: Why is that?
WEISS: Either nobody did it. Or, you know, look. I mean the other possibility, if this was act of terror, and I think actually this narrows it down this makes a little more scary right? Because if this was a bomb, that was a planted in the nerve center, the intelligence center of the plane, that can only have happened through an infiltration at Charles de Gaulle or one of the other airports, meaning a technician on the ground on the tormek was physically inserting this or somebody in flight crew is doing it.
Look, it will be the case al-Qaeda, ISIS have nothing to do with it. If it does turn out to be a terror and I think we can agree that likelihood of that seems to be decreasing a little bit now. Possibly, it was an autonomous cell that was just tasked with carrying out operations, don't tell us too much the details of what you're doing because we don't want signals intelligence to be intercepted by the west and have this operation aborted but again this is a huge question mark on this one.
LEMON: All right. Stick around everyone. We're going to continue our conversation. When we come back, if this is the airplane was brought down by terror? Was it an inside job? We'll discuss.
[21:18:32] LEMON: We're learning now that Egypt airplane, Egypt airplane was on the ground at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for an hour and a half before its fatal flight. Now, ground staff and has -- who had access to the plane are being interviewed.
Back with me now to discuss, Miles O'Brien, Michael Wise, Les Abend and David Soucie.
I can get my mouth to work tonight. It's been a long week. So, listen, Miles, I want to talk to you about the debris that's being found out. What clues will these give investigators to determine the cause?
O'BRIEN: First and foremost, it will help them track down the point of impact, because, you know, where the debris is, obviously, you know, drift patterns and the flow of the current of the sea. And, you know how long it's been in the water.
And so, it just takes a little bit of mathematics to get you back to the general vicinity where the impact would be. And then you've get a vessel on station there and drop a sonar reception device in. And you listen for the noise of those black boxes, the pinging noise.
So, that's the first and foremost saying. And then, additionally, there might be some evidence, which you can glean from it on as to how it failed, if there was a piece of luggage or a piece of equipment or a piece of the control surfaces that was somehow, involved in the failure, you can learn something from that. LEMON: As you said, the mathematics, David, are going to be difficult because of the currents. It's going to shifted where that pointing shift, where the plane went down and where it could possibly be found. How difficult?
SOUCIE: Well, the thing that works for that in this area is the fact that there existed pretty singular gyre right now that's going to on to that part of emotion this season. So, it's really, rotating most of that debris around in the circle. So, if you miss it first time, it going to comes back around.
[21:20:06] So, it's keeping things there, which also helps pinpoint that point of impact that Miles was instructing about to and where to start the search for the underwater locator beacons.
LEMON: As I introduced this particular segment last, I said that the plane was on the ground for an hour and a half at Charles de Gaulle Airport. How many people had access to this plane?
ABEND: Well, it's hard to say, I mean, however, many people are required to service airplane, you know, it could be as many as 20, 25, I mean. And they all cycle through, so the airplane comes in.
You get, you know, the flight attendants are cleaning up sort of the cabin, depending upon their policy. You might get a ground service crew to come in and remove all the discarded items in the airplane. From there, you've got catering, you might have routine maintenance to go and do sort of a cursory or walk around the inspection. You get the pilots are going to walk around the aircraft and do inspection of sorts.
So, you know, everything, it works in conjunction. Anything that seems amiss, at least to me as a pilot, I'm going to notice. The premier (ph) of the airplane, some cargo beam loaded kind of funded.
So, there's -- but I only see doing a walk around on inspection or my co-pilot only sees one aspect in a very short period of time. So, you're not going to be able to see everything that happens, you know, and we've been alluding to the fact that electronics compartment is accessible from underneath, you know. It's possible somebody could miss something like that.
LEMON: Yeah. Yeah. Nothing is foolproof.
ABEND: Nothing is foolproof.
LEMON: Nothing is foolproof. So, Michael, French officials beefing up security at Charles de Gaulle, I think the 30 more officers have been added. What are they going to do?
WEISS: Well, I mean, they're going to interrogate everybody who had run on that plane, I could imagine and try to do in more extensive background checks on all of these sort of technicians and flight crew.
I mean, you had a case after the Paris attacks, and like 85 people who are working in the Charles de Gaulle where found who have been either sympathetic to Islamic extremism or on some kind of watch list. Usually, in cases like this, the number of people you find is much less than the number of people that are actually, probably, complicit or suspect. So, they're probably going to extend the drag.
But again, Don, this is an airport that has gone through enormous, you know, beefing up of security in the last several months, first Paris, then Belgium. The fact that this, as I keep saying to Frank, the phone network devices is the most expensive operating abroad or at least within Europe has got the French, you know, chewing the carpet in anxiety and fear that something like this could happen if this wasn't be the terrorist attack.
So, but again, you know, it's always just the one that has to get away, right. The old diary saying you have to be right all the time you want to be at once. If you had somebody who was not even necessarily radicalized before ISIS came on the scene, or re-emerge in 2014, but over the course of the last several years, somehow, entered into the fold, became a sympathizer, fellow traveler. You never know. I mean, there's a vast apparatus of people looking to recruit inside of Europe. And again, this is the new phenomenon. It's the Europeanization of this organization.
LEMON: Would it be putting their cart before the horse to say that airport officials around the world are trying to figure out the level of threat at their own airports because of this?
WEISS: I don't this is ...
LEMON: Because we don't it's like this or?
WEISS: No, I think as I say, I mean, there's a great deal of anxiety, you know. We've talked on the show before. A U.S. counter terrorism and intelligence officials really look down under European counterparts, they think that these guys that completely missed the boat.
And that this is a decades long problem, decades long phenomenon, it's occurring and cultivated on their own soil and they kind of just pretended like it wasn't an issue.
WEISS: So now, I think people are quite right to be, you know, a state of hyper and vigilation about this stuff.
LEMON: Miles, I asked some about Les about the number of people who, you know, who had contacted the airplane. But, when you look at that, what is that, 86,000 people have red badges who can, you know, go to those restricted areas in that airport. Is that concerning? Is that?
O'BRIEN: Since, it's staggering number, it really takes you back when you consider how many people have access.
Now, European airports are known for tighter security for these people to have access to the realm. They do screen individuals get closer to the plane, we're told. In the United States, we don't do that, we rely on background checks. And we've had gun runners using airplanes out of Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and drugs have got on these planes. The truth to the matter is, if someone is determined, they can put things on these planes and the back door of the airport is wide open.
Meanwhile, you know, we are, you know, taking off our shoes and pouring out water. And the question I have, is that a misplaced -- we have limited resources here. Is that the appropriate way to spend the resource?
LEMON: Les, as a pilot, what secu -- because you have to go through these. What's the security level? Like, how many people really have access to -- and what are the standards for that?
ABEND: Well, I mean, me personally as a pilot, I have to go through an entire background check, you know. We have a portal at specific airports that we can go through, but we have to go through that background check in order to utilize that.
[21:25:07] You know, the flight attendants on a same scenario.
LEMON: Let me ask you, you know, so, the flight attendants or anybody that got ground crews, the pilots. Is it easy to smuggle something on board?
ABEND: You know, at the end of the day we do have to reassure people that we had a pretty safe system. It's not a perfect system ...
ABEND: ... but, yeah, there are ground crew people that also go through screening process for that particular airport.
ABEND: And they are allowed to, you know, load baggage and so on and so forth. Is it possible, like Miles said, for some of this nefarious stuff to occur, of course it's possible.
LEMON: Thank you, Les. Thank you, David. Thank you, Miles. And thank you, Michael. I appreciate it. You guys have a great weekend.
When we come right back, as the search and recovery mission moves into a third day, Americans are asking should we fly over the Memorial Day weekend. We'll talk about that.
LEMON: While Egyptian officials say that they suspect it was terrorism that brought down EgyptAir flight 804, but nobody has claimed responsibility, not yet anyway.
[21:30:02] Here to discuss that is Anthony May, retired ATF explosives expert, enforcement officer, I should say, Juliette Kayyem, CNN National security analyst and author of "Security Mom," and CNN's safety analyst, David Soucie.
Juliette, I'm going to start with you, you are one of the first ones to indicate that this was probably terror. You e-mailed me shortly after it happened saying that you believed it was an attack. Why were you convinced so soon?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, well, because the data was pointing that way and the data is still pointing that way. But as I wrote today and said yesterday there are multiple theories of the case and no one should be worried that all of them are being followed. There's nothing wrong with accepting that there are limited number of reasons why an airplane falls out of the air. Mechanical failure, weather, pilot error, and then a catastrophe like terrorism.
A lot of the data points are points toward terrorism, but as I said, I am not there yet because of what you just lead in with which no claim of responsibility. We are getting later, since the moment that this happened. And, you know, ISIS takes credit for a lot of things. It just it seems like it is getting too long and that's the data point that makes me think, well, maybe one of these other explanations might be sufficient.
And look, we should be happy. I mean, we should be praising this if there are multiple theories of the case. We want investigators to look at them all. We owe it to the families and we owe it before we fix something that doesn't need to be fixed and don't fix something that should be fixed.
LEMON: All right, Anthony May, to you now, according to a flight data a CNN has obtained there were smoke alerts aboard flight 804 minutes before it crashed into the sea. What is the significance of this, and does that change anything?
ANTHONY MAY, RETIRED ATF EXPLOSIVES ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Well, Don, I think it adds a lot to this whole scenario. Now, I realize that a lot of people have already come up and said terrorism, bombing so forth and so on. But from a forensic investigator standpoint I utilize the scientific method of deductive and inductive reasoning.
Let's take a look at the facts, the things that we do know. We have an aircraft that was at 37,000 feet that there was no indication from the flight crew there was any problems. Radar indicates that for whatever reason an abrupt 90 degree left turn was made, followed by a correction of a right turn, followed by spiral ruling, airbus pilots that I've heard all day long on this station, this channel had said that's physically impossible. A pilot can't to that.
So, we've got to come up with another explanation. Now, the ACARS, the aircraft communication addressing reporting system indicated that smoke started in several different areas minutes prior to this erratic maneuver, this behavior. So, using the scientific method I have a theory. The theory is the hypothesis that an explosion caused by on board fire caused the aircraft to make those erratic movements.
Now, you had up on the screen earlier a diagram of the airplane that showed the electronics bay and the laboratory and all that kind of stuff.
MAY: What I want to point out and that if you could that back up.
LEMON: It is up now.
MAY: OK, is it -- just below all of that there's a cargo hold. Now, if a fire started in that cargo hold from say a lithium battery, oxygen generators, we've seen all that before, as that smoke is rising the different sensors are picking them up. The pilot, we are in a closed tube with air circulating. It's going to travel fast. The pilots are indicating that we've got this problem. They are doing their checks as 777 captain indicated earlier. But, what happens is somewhere along the line we have to explain why this airbus that can't physically do this 90 degree left did that. Well, if we have an explosion caused by a fire it's going to -- using the kinetic energy, the physics, it's going to push the only solid object that it has in the opposite direction, in this case the aircraft. If the explosion occurs on the right side it's going it push it left. The auto pilot still engaged, so it makes a correction back to the right.
MAY: We saw that in Philippines Airline 434 I believe it was back in 1996.
LEMON: I want to get to David Soucie.
MAY: Go ahead.
LEMON: David, what do you think? Does the smoke indicate anything other than terror or that is terror anything to you?
SOUCIE: When there's fire, there's smoke that is simple as that. Something caused the fire, something caused this heat signature to happen. And it caused a smoke. But before that, before the smoke was indicated in this scenario we had a failure of the anti-ice system in the window. I spent two months going over in London at Pittsburgh paint in glass who makes these windows, looking at their process for how they re-laminate a window. And the window because delaminated. You have metal inside there. You have a lot of current going through it and that can create a capacitance inside.
[21:35:05] When that capacitance discharges for what ever reason, whether it's static electricity, temperature change whatever might be it can and has caused fires and crack windows. So to me in my experience and understand I don't have experience in explosives, but my experience as and airplane mechanic and as an airplane engineer, so what I go to is that. And to me that seem simplest.
LEMON: Juliette, I have to ask you big travel weekend and, you know, of course, we're wondering people are wondering is it safe, are we safe to fly here in the U.S. especially with this Memorial Weekend coming up? KAYYEM: Now that question is impossible to answer, because we've never been perfectly safe especially with airline travel. The risk of airline travel is significantly less than any other form of travel essentially. And I like to tell people there are a lot of benefits to getting on to airplanes and what we can do is enjoy ourselves and understand that there are tragedies like this.
And one of the reasons why we need to find out the cause of this tragedy is if it's an error, if it's mechanics, or if it's terrorism, we need to solve it. But I recognize people's fears but also people should also recognize the benefits of the kind of mobility that we have, not just in the United States but around the globe. You just look at these numbers, millions of people on flights every single moment of every single day. That's actually a good thing.
LEMON: Juliette, David, thank you. That has to be the last word. Appreciate it.
Coming up, investigators say they don't know yet what brought down the EgyptAir plane but, Donald Trump says he can practically guarantee he has the answer. Is he going too far or will it win him votes?
[21:40:38] LEMON: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton going head to head on terror. Are they saying what voters want to hear?
Joining me now Maria Cardona, CNN political contributor and a superdelegate committed to Hillary Clinton. Republican consultant, Margaret Hoover, Steven Miller, senior adviser to Donald Trump, and Sally Kohn, a Daily Beast columnist who has endorsed Bernie Sanders.
Good to have all of you. I'm going to start with you, Steven Miller. Donald Trump was on another network this morning he's on "Morning Joe" program, and was asked about whether he was being a little bit trigger happy when saying it was terror as it involved this EgyptAir tragedy, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can practically guarantee who blew it up.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC CO-HOST: But, listen -- listen -- Donald listen to yourself right now.
TRUMP: Let me tell you the mindset of a weak Hillary Clinton, which is four more years of Obama is not going to do it for our country, Mika. We are being taken advantage of by radical Islamic terrorists and we are -- this world is changing. And another couple of planes go down, Mika, and going to have a depression worldwide the likes of which you've never seen, because nobody is going to travel.
There will be no anything. There will be no communication between countries. And you will have a problem the likes of which you've never seen. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So the question is, he capitalizing on this for political purpose on fear with this particular event?
STEVEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: If you look at the whole western world and it's not just an incident like this, but incident like San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, the Chattanooga shooting, the Boston bombing, we're facing profound civilizational questions about the integration of Islamic migrants and radical Islamic terrorism but also broader questions about extremism you've seen in Paris and France.
LEMON: What does that have to do with this particular tragedy?
MILLER: This is one of the great challenges facing our society today is, how can you have a tolerant western society and a safe western society?
LEMON: My question Steven, is how does he know, how can he guarantee as if someone ...
MILLER: Well, he's saying the same thing that the ...
LEMON: The investigators who have worked on it for years, who invented the research and how you investigate have not come to the conclusion that it is a bombing.
MILLER: He saying the same thing that the intelligence agents they're saying, which is that it does appear to be terrorism. What I'm saying is that you cannot deny that all of the west is struggling now with the threat of radical Islam brought on by migration, not just in the form of terrorism, but in terms of how it changes ...
LEMON: But why, hang on, hang on, hang on. But why is it he is saying that. I hear you saying that. That's not what he said.
MILLER: That's exactly what he said.
LEMON: No, it's not. Would you like us to play it over again? That's not what he said at all, that is what you're saying.
MILLER: I'm saying two separate things. One is, is that everybody agrees. This is all the hallmarks of a terror attack.
LEMON: OK, hold on.
MILLER: But I'm thinking ...
LEMON: Hold on, hang on, that stop.
LEMON: Let's play that sound bite again and listen to what he said and what Steven is saying. Play it again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I can practically guarantee who blew it up.
BRZEZINSKI: But listen, listen -- Donald, listen to yourself right now.
TRUMP: The mindset of a weak Hillary Clinton, which is four more years of Obama is not going to do it for our country, Mika. We are being taken advantage of by radical Islamic terrorists and we are -- this world is changing. And another couple of planes go down, Mika, and you're going to have a depression worldwide the likes of which you've never seen. Because nobody is going to travel, there will be no anything. There will be no communication between countries and you will have a problem the likes of which you've never seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, he said radical Islamic terrorism, nowhere that he said anything about migration or any of the other things that you mentioned.
MILLER: Well, but -- but, I have the privilege of being able to work for the campaign, and so I can represent the campaign in telling you that the choice that we are bringing to voter is whether or not we followed the same path as Europe and have uncontrolled migration ...
MILLER: ... which brings not just as this is important, not just the threat of terrorism but it brings with it anti-semitism, hostility to people of different sexual orientation, hostility to people who have different religious faith. And you've seen as play out of across Europe.
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because 1.4 billion Muslims all feel the way that a few radical extremists do? Is that what you're saying? Would you like to clarify that?
MILLER: Do you believe that it enhances that (inaudible) and values of the west to have uncontrolled migration from the Middle East.
KOHN: I believe it enhances the tolerant and values of the west to encourage and support tolerant Muslims which are the majority of Muslims in this country and to fight against extremism, whether it's an Islam or in Judaism or in Christianity. You asked the question and answer it.
[20:45:16] MILLER: Did you answer this question then I'll know where we agree and disagree. Is there any capital -- any capital you would place on annual migration from the Middle East?
KOHN: Well, that's a separate question. Would you place any annual cap on migration from ...
MILLER: What's your number?
KOHN: ... from Latin America, from Mexico, from China.
KOHN: The issue is I'm not going to place those caps based on people's faith or beliefs just like I would ...
LEMON: Margaret, there are a lot of people who believe what he is saying. So I wasn't -- Margaret, go ahead.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, actually I think Steven is making a really -- I think he started off making a reasonable point that we do have to live in a pluralistic society, that we do have and face western civilization. Actually, the world is facing this sort of scourge of radical Islamist terrorism. We don't know that. The issue isn't what you guys are actually debating. The issue is, is Donald Trump using fear as a mechanism in this debate ...
LEMON: That was my question. I totally understand why how you got off into the other thing.
HOOVER: And look, he polls very well when terrors comes.
LEMON: Right, exactly.
HOOVERL: ... excluding his polling better on Hillary Clinton are how you going to handle the economy and how you (inaudible) and had to have the balls right now.
And so, Steven doesn't have to answer that question. He answer it thoughtfully, he's a policy guy. He's, you know, used to thinking complexly about the issues. Donald Trump, it appears for all of us who've been watching him for nine months is not used to be thinking about these issues and the incredibly nuancing complex ways that Steven is defending him.
And we do see different skill sets that are necessary to be a candidate and to be a successful president. If you're a candidate, you can throw the theory bombs and you can rabble-rouse, and you can, you know, be a demagogue, or you can be responsible and be prudent and pretend like it's a try out for the presidency.
And what you, actually, and what see in Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump is one of them trying out for the presidency and the other one trying to win an election. In a best way he knows how which is bomb throwing verbally like running regulatory (ph) bomb throwing.
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, because I have to get to a break. And I want to Steven respond to me to beat up on you. But, you answer the question, that question that I was actually asking him and then explain why he answered in a more nuanced way than the candidate is. So thank you very much.
I let you get in on the other side of the break. We'll be right back.
[21:51:19] LEMON: All right, and we're back, we're going to talk about what we did in the last segment plus Donald Trump's NRA statements about Hillary Clinton.
Back with me now, Margaret Hoover, Stephen Miller, Sally Kohn and Maria Cardona. You took offense to what Steven said, you said it's not actually what Donald Trump said.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's not just not what Donald Trump said, but it seems to be also defending the Muslim ban. And we know just categorically that from a foreign policy standpoint that is a dangerous position to have if your goal is to actually want to fight terror and want to keep America safe. We need our Muslim allies. We need Muslim communities to actually be vigilant of these kinds of things happening. And if you're going to alienate all of them, then we're not going to be successful in this fight.
It's actually very simple. And Donald Trump uses fear, should not surprise all of us, that what he is using is fear to get people on his side. He has done that from the moment he was running for president, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. That's -- That is his thing. That is what he uses, and he's going to be in trouble now because a general election electorate is not going to go for it.
LEMON: Go ahead, Steven
MILLER: First of all, blindness to real threats is not a strategy and political cliches is not a defense to anything. We have admitted 1.5 million Muslim migrants since 9/11. The idea we have some kind of obligation to admit months after months, year after year, an unlimited number of persons with no regard for security, assimilation, screening or the effects on the domestic jobs market is extremism and the polls reflect this. Only 5 percent of voters ...
MILLER: ... support the scale of refugee importation that Hillary Clinton is calling for at the highest level according to all public polling. And finally, on Donald Trump, let's be clear on this one point. Donald Trump is the only candidate, who, on the question of terrorism and immigration, is standing with the majority of the American people and he is right to say that all of us, all of us should be concerned about the implications for our security and our country if we follow the terrible mistakes that have been made in Europe, here in the United States.
KOHN: No. Sorry. We don't have a responsibility to lead with facts and information ...
CARDONA: That's right.
KOHN: ... and I'm sorry, but counterterrorism experts say that policy will make us less safe.
CARDONA: That's right.
KOHN: And let's try to be clear, of course we have a responsibility in part because the -- our decimation of Iraq is what created ISIS ...
KOHN: ... and caused -- what caused the Iraq ...
MILLER: You're describing ...
LEMON: I need to move on now because I think this is very important. I want to talk about the Second Amendment because Donald Trump continues to say that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. That is false. That is false by every fact check, by her, by the campaign, by everyone who's listening but Donald Trump. Why does he continue to say that?
MILLER: Because it's true.
KOHN: That was awesome.
LEMON: She has never said that.
CARDONIA: Oh, come on.
LEMON: She's never even intimated that.
MILLER: I think that was -- I think there's a lot of people at this table have a different view about what the Second Amendment means. The D.C versus Heller decision appalled an individual right to keeping their arms. The Second Amendment no longer exists but we consider an individual privilege but a government right. So when Hillary Clinton is saying she wants to overturn D.C. versus Heller, she is by definition saying she wants to abolish the Second Amendment ...
CARDONIA: No, she is not.
KOHN: I'm sorry, but wait a second, that ignores all constitutional -- all constitution decisions up until the point of D.C. versus Heller by the way was the majority of constitutionalism up until that point, at even Justice Scalia, justice -- before he passed said that the Second Amendment has its limitations. And, again, before Heller, before Heller, we did not hope that the Second Amendment equals the right of individuals to bear unlimited arms with no regulation.
MILLER: I'm glad that you made this point because it shows the disagreement.
KOHN: But I'm saying, you want to uphold the tradition of the Second Amendment in this country. MILLER: The Second Amendment is not the Second Amendment the rest of us know.
[21:55:01] HOOVER: What you have in this race right now is something really extraordinary. You have the representative of Republican nominee attacking to the far right to shore up the conservative part of the base of this party instead of running to the right in the primary and attacking towards the general.
It's extraordinary that for an issue that actually Americans have a pretty -- there's a consensus about gun rights for the most part. You know, 90 percent of Americans have upwards of certainly over 85 percent want some sort of gun restriction, increase gun restrictions. But they also value the Second Amendment. There's a lot of commonality, there's a lot of common ground on what we can do in terms of Second Amendment.
Nobody's arguing to take it away, we all know that. I mean, it takes Steven getting on to explain that when he says abolish the Second Amendment, what he really means is overturning Heller by -- Supreme Court ...
MILLER: That was -- his remarks today. But I want to ...
HOOVER: ... by means of the Supreme Court. But the point is he's running ...
LEMON: Let her finish. Let her finish. Let her finish.
HOOVER: He's running in the general election now. So, by putting up the justices a couple of days ago, the kind of people he would appoint to Supreme Court, by picking out a Second Amendment fight with Hillary Clinton, all of these things, what -- they don't go towards getting all the votes that Mitt Romney won plus. You got to win these independent voters and these 35 counties and these seven swing states across the country if they're going to win the general election, we all know that.
And so, you have to attach to the center and be a unifier on these issues ...
HOOVER: ... that independents agree on, while also being consistent with the party and the ideas that got you nominated in the first place and that's not what Donald Trump's doing at all.
LEMON: I going to talk to the (inaudible) has already been. Is there any way to steal any more time even if we don't get to the point at the top of the hour?
Can we continue this conversation? (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: This is the best conversation we had this evening. So what do you want me to do? Go to break now or you want me to ...
KOHN: Let's do it.
LEMON: ... I want to continue this at the top of the hour.
HOOVER: Tweet now. Tweet now. Tweet now. Let's go.
LEMON: No, keep talking. Keep talking. Go ahead.
CARDONA: But I think -- but, can I just say, we just then witnessed, we talked about one of Donald Trump's strategies earlier, which was focusing on fear.
CARDONA: And just now we are looking at another of Donald Trump's strategies which is ignore the truth or lie, because that is also ...
CARDONA: ... exactly what he's been doing from the moment that he has ...
LEMON: Hold that thought. We'll be right back.