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NEW DAY SATURDAY
First Video Of EgyptAir Plane Debris; Water Can Damage Crucial Evidence; Travelers Worry As Summer Travel Heats Up; France Confirms Smoke Alerts Minutes Before Crash; Trump: We're Getting Rid of Gun- Free Zones; Will "Red" Southern States Turn "Blue" in November?; Crashes Send Egyptian Tourism Industry Reeling; Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Bill Criminalizing Abortion Procedure. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired May 21, 2016 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- instead of what we've been told.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I want to make sure of is that we do everything humanly possible to make airline travel safe. I wish we didn't have to face this madness, but we do.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Gun free zones. We are getting rid of gun-free zones, OK.
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You may not end up with the strongest candidate to defeat somebody like a Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're a pro-life and you want to try and get rid of abortion, you go to Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It's 8:00 on the dot. Thank you so much for keeping with us company today. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell. And we're starting this morning with the first look at debris from that EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
We've got new video just came in and it shows mangled pieces of metal, some personal effects here. You see what looks to be foam from a seat. There's even an unwrapped lifejacket there as well.
PAUL: Meanwhile, French officials have confirmed that smoke alerts did indeed go off just moments before the plane plunged into the water with 66 people on board. That confirmation coming from French officials just a short while ago.
U.S. and Egyptian officials meanwhile suspected that it was the result of a terrorist attack, but so far there's no claim of responsibility.
Now we know today U.S. Navy planes continue to help comb an area that's about 180 miles off the coast of Alexandria for more of that debris. Our Nic Robertson has the latest on the search efforts and the clues that we can find from what's been discovered thus far.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Greek Air Force have their two C130 military cargo transport aircraft here on standby. The conditions though, much harder in the search and recovery. It is much windier today. The sea is much choppier.
It will be very hard to see the debris on the surface. We know from the images and the pictures of the debris that we've received so far that the pieces that have been recovered are relatively small.
In the type of seas that there are out in the Mediterranean today that's going to be much harder. But when you look at these pieces of debris there are possibly things that you can infer.
These will be early indicators and it's not clear that this can be conclusive, but it does would give an indication potentially if the life vest is open, out as we see it there.
The most important thing to find the voice and flight data recorders, that means pinpointing where the aircraft went down and as you try to gather all the pieces in that debris field in these windy conditions today, rough seas, that is going to be a tough job. Nic Robertson, Costily (ph) Military Airbase, Greece.
PAUL: All righty. We do have some new pictures, we understand.
BLACKWELL: We have some new pictures coming in just a moment, but what we see here we showed you just a bit at the top here of the video that's come in from Egyptian Armed Forces of the pieces of debris. Just a few pieces here from that EgyptAir Flight 804.
PAUL: And take note on some of these pieces of debris that do seemed to be parts of the plane, we do clearly see the words EgyptAir.
BLACKWELL: Yes, printed own that life vest you see here. It is unpacked, and we'll our experts analyze it. That means anything substantive as this investigation continues.
PAUL: All righty. Investigators meanwhile hope that finding the plane debris is going to lead them more quickly to the wreckage in its entirety and ultimately the plane's black boxes.
Let's talk about this. Get a sense of what is to come with oceanographer, David Gallo, from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is an expert on underwater search and ocean exploration, and also co-led the search for the doomed 2009 Air France Flight 447.
So David, thank you for being back with us here. I know that it took nearly two years to find those black boxes buried on the ocean floor. Do you believe that there is a very good sense of where this plane is and because of the weather they're dealing with today, they're talking about wind and very choppy water, isn't it true that with weather like that it actually sadly expands the search territory day by day?
DAVID GALLO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it does a couple of things, Christi. One, it changes the current and the way things are going to be drifting on the surface. So any models that you want to backtrack to try to find out the impact point are going to have to include that in the model so it makes that a bit more tough.
But the goal is, in fact, to one, you know, the humanitarian task, the horrific task of human remains recovering those and then evidence to try to point to where the plane impacted the water and that turns it over to the underwater search, which is a whole other effort.
[08:05:10]PAUL: Yes, so let's talk about. There are these small pieces of debris that we've been getting our first look at today as you see here. Seeing those small pieces, how likely is it, do you think, that this plane is intact in terms of the nose, the wings, the tail, the body of the plane?
GALLO: Well, more likely than not, there are bigger pieces of the aircraft. These are very similar to the pieces that were recovered from Air France 447 in the South Atlantic Ocean 2009 that was.
And there were some larger pieces of fuselage that were sitting on the bottom and I'm thinking that probably one of those on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea will contain the black boxes.
So you know, I don't think the entire plane is in such small pieces, but finding the big pieces is going to require quite an underwater effort.
PAUL: All right, David Gallo, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate your expertise on this.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's get to CNN's Ian Lee. He is live in Cairo for us. As this investigation continues and the search on one side continues for the fuselage and the black boxes of course, is this intelligence investigation, get us up to date on that element.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. The search going on right now for those black boxes, for the fuselage, really trying to determine what exactly happened to the plane and really that's where the clues are going to be coming from. Was this a terrorist attack or was this mechanical?
And we've heard a lot of theories over the last couple of days about what it possibly could have been. Yesterday we did get this report about the smoke in the cabin. When we talk to Egyptian officials what they're talking is that it is still too soon to tell.
They have lean more towards terrorism, but they said they're still collecting the evidence out there and they have recovered some of the pieces of the plane and when you do look at them you notice that they are fairly small pieces. So going forward again, the search is for the fuselage, those black boxes and then they'll have a better idea of what actually brought down the plane.
BLACKWELL: All right, Ian Lee there for us in Cairo. Ian, thank you so much.
And as Ian mentioned and we've discussed this morning the search continues for the plane's black boxes, the digital voice recorder, the flight data recorder, what we'll learn once they're found. Our aviation experts join us in a moment.
PAUL: Also, an aviation safety and security advisor giving us some interesting perspective on this new video. Some of the debris that has been collected. This new video and pictures just in to us in the last few hours. Also she wants to talk about the clues regarding the smoke alerts near the cockpit.
PAUL: It's 11 minutes past the hour. I want to share with you some of the new images. Our first clues as to what may have happened on board EgyptAir 804. Take a look at these. It looks like there is a blanket there.
There grim images of mangled plane parts. That looks like a seat and look at that blue section there on it, very clearly it says EgyptAir.
We've also seen some video of a purse, of some shoes, of some fabric. There's the purse and maybe we'll show some fabric that looks like it could have been shredded parts of carpet from that plane.
A life vest removed as well from its holder which may be significant possibly as investigators now -- here's the life vest. It says EgyptAir.
Nic Robertson pointing out it was unwrapped which may indicate, may not, we do not know, but may indicate that there was enough time that those passengers to be told to put those life jackets on. But obviously the investigation continues as investigators try to piece together what all of these means.
Mary Schiavo is with us now. She is a CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general for the Department of Transportation. Mary, thank you so much for being with us.
As you look at this new video that is coming in today to us just in the last hour or so. What is your first impression?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, my first impression is that it obviously impacted the water not as a controlled landing but as literally a plane falling from the sky. I don't see any burned areas yet, but of course this is just such a tiny part of the plane. It doesn't necessarily mean that the plane wasn't on fire or there wasn't a very hot burning explosion and on that life vest if it was the demonstration model, the ones that the flight attendants use to demonstrate at the beginning of each flight.
It should say demo on it because the CO2 cartridge that would automatically inflate when you hit the water would be deactivated and I don't see that it says for demo only.
So maybe we can read something into that, but from the messages that came yesterday, the ACAR's messages, the emergency messages from the plane itself, it does look like they did have a 3 to 4 minutes where certainly the pilots would have known and mostly like the passengers too that something was going on.
PAUL: Right. I want to talk about ACAR's reports indicated. One that there was an anti-ice issue with the pilot windows that are heated. Two, that there was smoke in the lavatory and three, that there was smoke in the avionics bay. That's beneath the cockpit we know and it's inaccessible during the flight. What is your first inclination when you hear those reports?
SCHIAVO: Well, my first inclination because all of these areas are in very close proximity to each other would be to guess that something went off in that area. Some kind of either a small incendiary device or an explosive device that didn't take the plane out of the sky, but it damage in that area.
Of course, the flip side looking at it from a mechanical standpoint, if something was going wrong in that electronic space, an overheating or some overheating in those windows or even the warning elements then that could have caused a cascading electrical failure.
And then these warnings would be indications that the electrical system is having problems and it is failing so those messages can go either way. They can mean that some kind of a device exploded or burned or there was fire on board that someone set in that area or that you were having a massive problem with the electrical system or overheating in the electrical system and then the problem cascaded very quickly in about three minutes.
[08:15:04]PAUL: There are more than 100 computers on this Airbus 320 and they work contemporaneously in unison, so if one element is off, so to speak, does that just create a domino effect and it could cripple the whole network. Pilots are trained to manage something like that?
SCHIAVO: Yes, they are and the plane itself, I mean, both Boeing and the Airbus fly by wire, the planes are designed to try to save themselves so what happens is when you have systems start failing the plane will take other systems offline to try to keep that plane flying.
What we've seen in other crashes and other air disasters in the past though, if it is a mechanical failure and the pilots realize what's going on which they should have, here you're having a cascading electrical failure.
Then ordinarily they do have time to get out a mayday call, but that's not their first priority. Their first priority is to keep flying and we don't know that they didn't. If the electrical systems are failing, one of the things that could have happen also is the communication systems go, which are in the electronics bay as well.
PAUL: We have just a couple of seconds, but is there explosive residue possibly on that debris that we're seeing today?
SCHIAVO: Yes, this debris is very, very important that they get back and start analyzing it right away. There could be explosive residue and as much as they can pick up now before it's in the water for a long time. You know, literally at this juncture every second matters.
PAUL: All right, Mary Schiavo, so appreciate your expertise. Thank you.
SCHIAVO: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. As we get the first pictures of EgyptAir debris, what investigators will be looking for to determine exactly what took down this plane and of course, the search continues right now for the fuselage and those black boxes.
BLACKWELL: Well, it is still too early to determine if a bomb brought down EgyptAir Flight 804, but we know the wreckage that's being searched for and the debris that's been discovered thus far will be key in finding the cause.
PAUL: And some of that debris you're looking at right now. These are new pictures and video that have just come in to CNN this morning. As this investigation unfolds, there are very specific signs investigators are looking for. CNN's Kyung Lah takes us inside a bomb research lab.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's in the wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804 that investigators will inspect for evidence of a possible explosive device.
THOMAS ANTHONY, USC AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY DIRECTOR: If we compare the sides there's a difference. There is a very distinct difference.
LAH: Walking us through this bomb research lab, former FAA Civil Aviation Security manager, Thomas Anthony, says investigators look for telltale marks of each type of bomb.
ANTHONY: The C4 is very adaptable for the purpose of the terrorists because it can be formed into shapes. It does not burn and it releases its high temperature and high pressure gases through shock.
Look at the edges here. The edges on the black powder are very different. They have this almost like coral like look to them. Look at all the residue that was left behind. That's something that is indicative and characteristic of the napalm.
LAH (on camera): Are there countless numbers of explosives?
ANTHONY: There are dozens of types of explosives. In the view of the terrorist, a terrorist is likely to follow up a success with a similar form of attack.
LAH (voice-over): Last October, Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed over the Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 aboard. ISIS claimed in a propaganda magazine they brought it down using explosive material hidden in a soda can.
The picture shows wires and a detonator with an on and off switch. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the photo. As relatives of the passengers wait through the agonizing search and recovery, the victims' bodies will also hold forensic clues.
If it was an explosive, the direction of the blast and what type. But this recovery will be underwater like the Air Asia Flight 8501 disaster in December 2014 potentially eroding some of the evidence but not all of it.
A lab can still detect evidence underwater even on melted steel. Anthony says it's critical to have forensic proof in an aviation investigation, but just as important, the investigation beyond the wreckage.
ANTHONY: Not what happened only, but how it happened so that that vulnerability can be identified and fixed.
LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
PAUL: And do stay with us. The conversation continues and m more pictures for you as we get this new video in of the debris that has been found and what it could tell investigators about the wreckage that is still out there.
PAUL: It's 27 minutes past the hour right now. This morning Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport now a big point of focus obviously in the investigation into the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804. That's the plane's last point of departure before it crashed off the coast of Egypt.
BLACKWELL: Let's check in now with CNN senior international correspondent, Jim Bitterman. He's at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport. What is the airport doing now in this investigation? I'm sure going over their security procedures, but also involved in the larger investigation of 804.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, exactly almost immediately after the plane went down the French began looking over what happened here at the airport in the last minutes before it took off and they're been going through the video records, the surveillance cameras.
They've got according to some reports 900 different cameras here at the airport. Of course, not all would be involved with the EgyptAir flight.
And also the people that were involved, you know, who's involved with the baggage handling, with the food service handling, and that sort of thing.
So going through all those records trying to find anyone that might be suspicious or any act that might seem suspicious. What's happened here, however, it took place not here at the airport, but over at the French Foreign Ministry.
Where the foreign minister welcomed about 70 family members. Families that were related to the victims that crashed, 50 French and 20 other nationalities.
They were brought in to hear the latest about the investigation that's going into the crash and the foreign minister afterwards warned against any kind of speculation about what the cause of the crash might be.
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JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): At this time I'm speaking to you, all hypotheses are being considered and noun is favored. Our objective is doubled. Solidarity with the families, but also transparency to them about the circumstances of the disappearance of this flight.
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BITTERMANN: The -- what we are told and we weren't allowed in to this meeting, we're told they had the opportunity to meet with the accident investigators, the DEA here, which was the chief accident investigation agency called onto the NTSB and the United States.
And also to talk to the Paris prosecutors who were involved immediately after the crash, any time a French citizen loses his life overseas, the prosecutor's office automatically opens up an investigation into the death.
So they were there too and the families could ask so many question they wanted, but we don't know exactly what happened because the press weren't allowed in -- Christi.
BLACKWELL: It's take it. Multi-facetted, multi-levelled investigation happening around the world. Jim Bittermann covering the Paris angle there for us. Jim, thanks so much.
PAUL: Not the only airport obviously people are paying attention to. Victor and I were talking about it. We have summer plans to get on planes. We sure you do because we are heading into that summer high season where millions of travelers are getting ready to take vacations and they usually start at airports.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Rachel Crane is live at New York's La Guardia airport tracking concerns over potential threats in the U.S.
And Rachel, you and I and Christi, we've discussed over the last couple of weeks the long lines there at TSA. And now there are the concerns of just how safe these flights are. What are you hearing from travelers?
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. Now, passengers, they are acutely aware of the need for these security check points, but they're still incredibly frustrated by these insanely long lines.
CRANE: The crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 is raising questions not just for investigators overseas but also among security officials here in the United States.
PETER NEFFENGER, ADMINISTRATOR, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: We still don't know what happened there. We're following the investigation closely. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who were lost. But most importantly, it's a stark reminder that what we do is important, and we need to do it well and we need to do it efficiently.
CRANE: In recent weeks, the TSA has been plagued by consumer complaints of long lines, hour-long waits and in some cases, missed flights. Sixty to 90 minutes is the average wait time across the country, according to an industry group. But some passengers in Chicago say they waited nearly three hours and ended up missing their flights.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just in security for almost two hours and ran to our gate, and it was three minutes shy of the door closing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got here about three -- two and a half hours early, and it still wasn't enough time.
CRANE: In a press conference Friday, the agency's administrator apologized to passengers and reiterated the focus on security.
NEFFENGER: That is the most important job of TSA. And events over the past eight months have reinforced and reminded us that individuals and groups do remain intent on attacking the aviation system.
Our officers understand that, and they work very hard to protect you. Please thank them for the work that they do. The long lines are not their fault. The long lines are caused by lots of other things. CRANE: Tougher security protocols, an increase in passengers ahead of
summer travel season and baggage fees driving people to carry on more luggage are all factors leading to security line congestion. And the solution might not be more agents, according to one former official.
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: The whole focus seems to have been from avoiding terrorist attacks on TSA and let's add more TSA people standing around as we walk through the magnetic detectors. That strikes me as perhaps not front and center of the things one needs to do.
CRANE: Despite that, the TSA is adding more than 750 officials this June, hoping that it will bring down wait times and increase security.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), IL: Each country is different. What I want to make sure of is that we do everything humanly possible to make airline travel safe for passengers and their families that get on the airlines. I wish we didn't have to face this madness, but we do.
CRANE: Now, the TSA is encouraging Americans to sign up for TSA pre- check. They currently have about 2.5 million people signed up for the service. Hoping to get that number to 25 million to help speed up these lines. Victor? Christi?
BLACKWELL: All right, Rachel Crane there at La Guardia airport. Rachel, thanks.
Joining us now, Eddie Machelli, aviation safety and security advisor. Eddie, good morning to you.
EDDIE MICELI, AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY ADVISOR: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So the developments that we've been discussing this morning relate to the ACAR system and the alerts that were sent out over a three-minute period relating to the windshield, smoke as well. First, just give our viewers an idea briefly of what the ACAR system is.
MICELI: OK, the ACAR is called aircraft communication, a device that is on the aircraft on the nose of the aircraft, which sends signals to the ground to the company. Pretty much like on the automobile system where we go to the shop and the mechanic takes a scan to find out what is wrong with the car.
The same thing with the airplane. It emits a series of codes, numbers to the ground and tells them exactly how the aircraft is functioning in the case of the technical aspect.
Now here, what we found out yesterday, Victor, is that the airplane was flying at 39,000 feet at cruising altitude.
BLACKWELL: Yes. MICELI: Within three minutes, the ACAR systems send four key signals,
codes. The first one, the co-pilot's window recorded a higher than usual heat. Number two, within one-second difference, the electronic bay or the avionics bay, which is located right below the pilot, the smoke detector went off. Also at the same time, the forward lavatory smoke detector went off.
MICELI: And then, here is the key. The flight director system, the FMF, went completely dead, and the aircraft ceased transmitting signals on the transponder.
BLACKWELL: OK --
MICELI: In other words --
BLACKWELL: -- let me jump in here.
MICELI: Yes, go ahead.
BLACKWELL: I wonder, Eddie, once you get this information -- and guys, I know we have a graphic here that shows where all these parts of the plane are, so let's put that up so people can understand what we're talking about. Let's find that. Does this revelation, to you, reinforce or undermine -- there it is -- reinforce or undermine the theory that a bomb took down this plane?
MICELI: Quite frankly, Victor, I don't think so. Us who are in the investigation process finding out what happened with airplane crashes and so forth, we take our time. We cannot jump into early conclusions.
But a bomb is an explosive device which creates an explosion within the aircraft. This is an incendiary device. This is something that started a series of events. This reminds me very much of Swissair 111, which crashed north of Nova Scotia, ValuJet 596, which crashed in the Everglades, and there were a few accidents leading to the systems of the aircraft falling in sequence.
This is exactly the same. It was one after the other one. And when you lose all the flight control systems, remember, the electronic bay of an aircraft is the brains of the plane.
MICELI: If you disable the electronic bay, this plane, especially the Airbus, which is a fly by wire, heavily computerized airplane --
MICELI: -- it will not be under control anymore.
BLACKWELL: And that's --
MICELI: So this makes sense. BLACKWELL: It's one of the questions that I think a lot of people are
having. If this is something that happened instantaneously, then how are these alerts coming over the series of two to three minutes? Of course, the answer will be found in that black box, the flight data recorder, but until we get that, Eddie Miceli, thank you so much for helping us analyze the information we do have.
MICELI: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right.
PAUL: All right. In the political arena, Donald Trump goes after Hillary Clinton, specifically on guns, and a lot of people are saying this is a questionable claim about your Second Amendment right.
PAUL: Forty-one minutes past the hour.
Donald Trump picks up what he says was an unexpected endorsement from the NRA. Last night in Kentucky, he promised the crowd that he'd lead the fight to defend the Second Amendment, he went on to say that Hillary Clinton would do the very opposite.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The Second Amendment is under a threat like never before. Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate ever to run for office. And as I said before, she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She wants to take your guns away. She wants to abolish. Just remember that.
PAUL: Now, we should point out, Hillary Clinton has never said she wants to abolish guns or the Second Amendment. She has said that she wants to leave gun control to the states.
Donald Trump also pledged to take down gun-free zones. Listen to the crowd's reaction.
TRUMP: -- free zones. We're getting rid of gun-free zones. OK? I can tell you. We're getting rid of them.
PAUL: Now, NPR reports several of Trump's properties are gun-free zones, including Mar-a-Lago in Florida and Trump International Hotel in Chicago.
BLACKWELL: Listen, a few things about this political season are normal or traditional. With Donald Trump now solidifying his hold on the Republican Party, more surprises could keep on coming right on through November, especially the deep red southern states.
TRUMP: I think we'll win New York. I really do. I think we're going to win Michigan. We're going to win Pennsylvania. We're going to win Florida.
BLACKWELL: Presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, says he can scramble the electoral map.
TRUMP: We're going to win places that a lot of people say you're not going to win, that you can't win. As a Republican, you can't win.
BLACKWELL: And in this unprecedented, unpredictable election, the Democrats are increasingly optimistic they can win in some unexpected places, too, a few purple, even some ruby red southern states.
Raul Alvarilla is political director for the Democratic National Committee.
RAUL ALVARILLA, DNC POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And with Trump at the top of the Republican ticket, you know, we're going to make sure that we can play in as many states as we possibly can.
BLACKWELL: Starting with North Carolina, where part of the Democrat strategy --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We stand again, (inaudible) number two.
BLACKWELL: -- will be to capitalize on the fight over the so-called bathroom bill that requires people to use the public restroom that corresponds with the sex dated on their birth certificate, a law many say is discriminatory against transgender men and women.
ALVARILLA: So I think that will be a good opportunity for us to look at what the state legislatures are doing and how do we get more Democrats activated and needing to go out and vote.
BLACKWELL: Then Senator Barack Obama narrowly won North Carolina in 2008.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), IL: Thank you, North Carolina.
BLACKWELL: The last Democrat to win before Obama, Jimmy Carter in 1976. Now, two leaders of the team that helped to deliver North Carolina for Democrats in '08 have moved on to Georgia.
Amanda Ford is the Georgia Dems new field director. Kendra Cotton is their new political director.
KENDRA COTTON, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Let me just tell you, we're not just drinking the Kool-Aid around here. There is a greater influx of African Americans and Latinos who are not currently on the rolls who we are going to be actively trying to persuade to vote Democrat.
BLACKWELL: One recent independent poll commissioned by the Atlantic Journal Constitution finds Clinton and Trump in a statistical tie in Georgia. But another poll commissioned by the state Democratic Party shows Clinton with a 13-point advantage over Trump.
BLACKWELL: How do you transfer what happened in North Carolina specifically to Georgia?
AMANDA FORD, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY FIELD DIRECTOR: I think what happened in North Carolina is people saw that we had the ability to win. So they brought the talent there. They brought the resources. We brought the volunteer capacity. We reached out to voters.
And it was a field win, because it was a very close margin. And that's how that translates here. The numbers show that we can win Georgia now. And it's going to take the field to get out there and do it.
BLACKWELL: In 2008, Obama came within five points of winning Georgia. He would have been the first Democrat to take the state since Bill Clinton in 1992, a surrogate, who Ford expects, will be key in Georgia heading into November.
But despite changing demographics and a robust ground operation, a Democratic win in Georgia is far from certain. President Obama lost to Mitt Romney in 2012 by a larger margin than he did to John McCain in 2008. And the Democratic candidates for governor and Senate in the state both lost in 2014. However, state party leaders say they have what the others did not, Donald Trump.
COTTON: Who's at the top of the Republican ticket is basically like a noose around their neck right now in our eyes. Donald Trump represents everything that is anathema to the Democratic Party. Regardless of who prevails in our primary, we are excited about the prospect of being successful in November against Trump.
BLACKWELL: One more state, a potential wild card here, Louisiana. Voters there elected John Bell Edwards in 2015. He's the only Democratic governor in the deep South. The DNC says a strong state operation could put Louisiana's electoral votes in play and maybe help some down ballot Democratic candidates.
PAUL: Well, Egypt's tourism industry is taking another hit in the middle of its worst crisis in years. Political turmoil coupled with aviation disasters really taking a toll on an industry that Egypt depends on.
BLACKWELL: Plus, a bill making abortion a felony doesn't make it past the governor's desk, but lawmakers are not going down without a fight.
PAUL: About 10 minutes to 9:00 now. I want to share with you these new images, the first images that we are getting of debris recovered from the ocean where EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed.
We see what appears to be a seat. You see that part of the plane there with the words "EgyptAir" very distinctly on them. We have seen some personal items, a purse, some shoes. There's the purse there. And even some ripped up or torn pieces of carpet it seems.
But this, again, just some of the debris that has been recovered as that search continues in the Mediterranean Sea this morning. And here's the thing about this as well.
There's the carpet. I was just talking about that just piece of carpet.
Tourism is a vital part of the Egyptian economy, and a lot of people are wondering if it's going to survive the crash of another airliner. If investigators find terrorism took down Flight 804, it would be the third attack on Egyptian aviation in six months. Back in November, a bomb killed more than 200 people on a plane that had just taken off from an Egyptian resort.
We're joined by CNN Money correspondent, Christina Alesci.
So Christina, I'm curious. What are the early indications you're seeing about the economy there?
CHRISTINA ALESCI: Well, this is certainly not good. You mentioned one of the other terrorist attacks. I mean, if this actually turns out to be a terrorist attack, it would be the second in six months. A third attack on Egyptian aviation actually was a hijacking back in March.
All of this raises concerns about security and flying in and out of Egypt. And as you said, tourism is a vital part of the economy, and the country has been struggling to get visitors back into the country since 2010.
If you look at the numbers, tourism reached a peak as far as the number of visitors go back in 2010, and it has declined every year since. So has the amount of money that tourists spent in the country. That's cut by a half.
And if you go back in time, this is all linked to -- this really all started back in 2011 with the Arab spring and the subsequent protests against the coup there. That really made visitors scared to visit the country, and it really hasn't recovered.
Now, ironically, about a year ago, there were discussions that visitors were trickling back into the country. The "Washington Post" actually ran a headline on that. So the country was in a position to start actually attracting tourism, and then these aviation disasters completely knocked it off course.
And it is, just to put some context around this, a tremendous part of the economy. Ten percent of all economic activity is really tied to tourism, and it's got some amazing resorts. Right there, you see 11.4 percent of all economic activity. Jobs, it's a huge job creator in the country. So this is an important part of the economy. And also, if you talk to terrorism experts around the world, they really see the link between struggling economic circumstance and terrorism and radicalization. If people feel like they don't have the opportunity, it increases the chance for radicalization, and that's why this discussion of economy is so important and so critical in this kind of an attack.
PAUL: All right, Christina Alesci, very enlightening. So good to have you here. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, a loss for some Republicans trying to pass a state law that would have made abortion a felony. Well, the governor shot it down even as she considers possibly running on Donald Trump's ticket as VP.
BLACKWELL: A bill that would have criminalized abortion in Oklahoma has been vetoed.
PAUL: According to the bill, anyone who performs an abortion except in instances to save the life of the mother would be found guilty of a felony and could receive up to three years in prison.
BLACKWELL: Governor Mary Fallin shot it down late yesterday, calling it ambiguous. Her decision to veto comes at a time when she is being considered possibly as a running mate for Donald Trump.
CNN's Diane Gallagher joins me now.
Dianne, a lot of reaction on both sides to this decision.
DIANNE GALLAGHER: Yes, Victor. And, you know, sources in Oklahoma tell us that this was a really difficult decision for Governor Mary Fallin, because she is such a staunch opponent to abortion.
So vetoing a bill that essentially would have made most abortions illegal, it's something that she really wrestled with internally, but she eventually did it because, as she said in a statement, quote, "The bill is ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered necessary to preserve the life of the mother."
It's a little bit vague, and Oklahoma's legislature passed this bill Thursday. The language, of course, made it so that anyone found performing an abortion, unless it was to save a mother's life, could be charged with a felony, getting up to three years in prison.
Of course, abortion rights activists immediately called foul, but so did physicians organizations. The president of the state medical association calling it disappointing and an obvious move to intimidate doctors.
So Fallin also pointed out it would also likely result in some expensive legal action challenging the constitutionality of a law like this. Oklahoma is facing a pretty severe budget crisis, so the idea of her state forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees is eventually what led to the veto, according to some sources in Fallin's office.
Just before the veto, the bill's author, state Senator Nathan Dahm, explained exactly why he wrote the bill, which did quickly pass and overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate.
SEN. NATHAN DAHM (R), OK: Our people, their focus is on protecting life, with more people believing that life begins at conception.
GALLAGHER: -- is rumored to be a vice presidential candidate for Donald Trump. She suggested the way to stop abortion is not at the state-level, Victor, but to elect a Republican who could appoint a conservative Supreme Court justice.
BLACKWELL: All right, Dianne Gallagher, thanks so much.
And that's it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00.
PAUL: Yes, SMERCONISH starts for you now.