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Author Talks about Bannon; United Airlines Passenger Dragged off Flight; Russia Claims U.S. Plans to Strike Damascus; Putin Talks WMD Claims. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 11, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] NEIL HOWE, AUTHOR, "THE FOURTH TURNING": It strains you and it presents you with a certain set of options you wouldn't have in another time. I think --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But tell us -- but tell us about your impression of him. I mean you did work with him. So what was his world view and what was your impression of how he operates?

HOWE: Yes. He is a -- he's an interesting guy. I have not been, you know, just to make clear, I don't really know what he's doing now. I don't really know what decision making he's kind of considering or what -- how he sees the future at the moment. I do know that he's very much focused on entertainment and culture. He has a -- he has more of an aesthetic or artistic way of looking at the world. He really spent a lot of time in sort of the entertainment industry, really looking at changing cultural trends. I don't think he's primarily motivated as so many in Washington are by political philosophy or even by religion.

CAMEROTA: Uh-huh. And --

HOWE: I think he --

CAMEROTA: What do you think his influence has been on President Trump?

HOWE: I have -- I have no idea. I think it's very clear that he has his -- his outlook has been expressed I think in the inaugural address, to some extent in the joint session to Congress. I think that clearly had elements -- in other words, when Trump tries to put forth his world view in his broadest and kind of deepest way, I think that's when you see Steve Bannon most clearly. I think when Trump is trying to repeal and replace or cutting back on, you know, Dodd/Frank I think is when you probably see the least of Steve Bannon.

CAMEROTA: Well, Neil Howe, the book again is "The Fourth Turning." A fascinating premise and read. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

HOWE: Thank you, Alisyn.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Have you seen the United Airline passenger nightmare? It is killing social media this morning. That man screaming is a doctor. This started as an overbooked flight situation. How did this happen? Next.


[08:36:07] CUOMO: If you are just waking up, you're going to be hearing about this today. This is a man being forcibly removed from a flight, not a terror situation, this was about the airline needing seats for their own staff. This is a United flight. An investigation is underway. One of the officers who wound up coming on the plane and dragging that guy off is on desk duty pending the investigation.

Let's take you through it. CNN chief business correspondent, "Early Start" anchor Christine Romans, and we have CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general of the Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo.

Mary, let me just jump to you for one second and say, ever seen anything like this? Not a terror situation. This was about wanting the seats for their own staff or crew that needed to get to another flight.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Unfortunately, I have. Not as bad. I haven't seen it where the passenger was actually assaulted and battered, but this happens all the time and I'll bet I get a call at least once a week for someone that has been ejected from a plane for crew for bad planning on the party of the airline.

CUOMO: But the assault matters as a basis of comparison.


CUOMO: I'm sure that they get sticky situations. But to drag this guy out, bloodied, off a plane, and all the drama that ensued, who do you blame?

SCHIAVO: Oh, United. And, by the way, this wasn't a true overbooking. This is not a denied booking situation. And they complied with none of the federal aviation regulations. For example, this guy was entitled to be presented with a piece of paper that explains his rights and the criteria that the airline used to select him. None of that occurred here. He was entitled to -- and anyone booted from planes is entitled to demand a check or cash on the spot.


SCHIAVO: And these are just the minimums.

CAMEROTA: But, Mary, just to be clear, if he's presented with that piece of paper that spells out his rights and he says, I'm not going to give up my seat, if he's presented with a -- the money or a voucher and he says, no, I have to get home for whatever reason, it's vitally important, then can they drag you from your seat?

CUOMO: Yes, it says it on the piece of paper. Then they roll it up and start to beat you with it.

CAMEROTA: I mean, honestly, what are the rules? SCHIAVO: Right. Well, the rules are, if they complied with all the federal regulations, yes, they can remove you from the plane. But -- and, again, in this case, this was not a true denied boarding. This was not an overbooking or denied boarding situation. They were already on the plane. The federal regulations don't say you can deny -- you know, you can drag them from the plane. And so, yes, if they order you from the plane, they can remove you, but they can't beat you up and batter you.

CUOMO: All right.

SCHIAVO: This was a mistake. Also, the security officers (INAUDIBLE) --

CUOMO: There you go. So you have -- and this was a mistake by any definition. But what I'm saying is --


CUOMO: There is -- you have the right to --


CUOMO: And then it is, is it right to?

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: And that takes you to corporate policy. And I know that these weren't United staffers that did this, but it was under their direction. What does the company have to say about it?

ROMANS: The company says, our employees followed established procedure. And I say, then you should have some other procedures in case you have a diplomatic situation like this that needs to be handled a little more diplomatically.

CUOMO: Yes, I missed that on the flight card that they give you about what happens if (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: Yes. Exactly. No, look, it is an important distinction that Mary makes, and we've been trying to make this morning. This wasn't a true overbooked flight. This was a flight that was full. They were in their seats. They had paid for their seats. And they needed four crew members, four crews members that had to get to Louisville. And the company decided that the most important way to -- the best way to fix this with the least impact to everyone was to take four people off that flight and put their crew members on so the next flight could go off. It's a logistics problem of the company. The company had a logistics problem and they took these four paying passengers off to resolve it.

Now, one things we've heard from a lot of the passengers, I know you talked to the passengers last hour, if they had just offered more money, or they had just been a little more -- they came in one time, maybe two times and said, we need four passengers, we're not leaving here until four passengers come off this plane. CUOMO: Open their pockets. How about that?


CUOMO: Yes, you know, $800, as we all know, doesn't go far if you're going to fly and you can only use them with United.

ROMANS: Right.


CUOMO: So why didn't they open their pockets?

ROMANS: Yes. I don't know why. And the problem for a lot of these passengers, this was the last flight out on Sunday night. The next flight was going to be where there were seats were -- were -- was later in the afternoon on Monday. These people did not want to go -- leave that flight.

[08:40:11] CAMEROTA: Of course.

ROMANS: Now, United should have handled it more diplomatically in my view and that's the view --

CUOMO: More diplomatically?

ROMANS: And, look, the -- their -- the stock is going to get hit today by 6 percent. I mean shareholders are worried that this is going to be a problem for the bottom line of this company because this is such a PR blow.


Mary, here's how a lot of people are feeling today about United. Jimmy Kimmel decided to put together what he thinks should be their new ad. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're United Airlines. You do what we say, when we say, and there won't be a problem. Capiche. If we say you fly, you fly. If not, tough (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Give us a problem and we'll drag your ass off the plane. And if you resist, we'll beat you so badly you'll be using your own face as a flotation device. United Airlines. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you.


CAMEROTA: OK, Mary, I mean, obviously, that's funny and they're making light of it, but that's how people feel today.

SCHIAVO: Well, that is how people feel. And United and also American, we need to give them a black eye. They usually end up on the most disliked carriers in America on almost every list all the time. But the important thing for people to remember is that they do have rights. And the reason that United didn't open its pocketbook is ridiculous because if you're denied boarding legitimately, they can owe you up to $5,000, because now they have to pay for delayed bags if they don't take the bags off, your flight coupon up to $1,350. So they were just being cheap. And they should pay for it. And I don't know, people have short memories, but it should affect the company.

CUOMO: Well, that man's dignity mattered more than anything else that United was weighing against it and they're paying the price for that now.

Mary, thank you. Christine, appreciate it.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

CUOMO: Big news this morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just minutes away from landing in Moscow after calling out Russia for its support of Assad's regime.

CAMEROTA: Vladimir Putin is speaking right now. Fareed Zakaria with "The Bottom Line," straight ahead.


[08:45:58] CAMEROTA: OK, time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemning Russia over its support for the Assad regime in Syria ahead of his big meeting in Moscow today.

CUOMO: The White House sending mixed messages on President Trump's evolving policy on Syria. What would prompt the president to take additional military action?

CAMEROTA: United Airlines has some explaining to do after video emerges of this passenger being dragged from his seat on a flight from Chicago to Louisville. One aviation security officer is on leave pending an investigation of how they handled this incident.

CUOMO: Hundreds of people turning out for a vigil in San Bernardino last night after a man walked into an elementary school and killed himself after shooting his estranged wife to death. Two students also shot, one fatally.

CAMEROTA: An (INAUDIBLE) bid for the 2026 soccer World Cup. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada joining together in a first of its kind effort to co-host the event, hoping the partnership will give them a leg up on the competition.

CUOMO: Those are the "five Things to Know for Your New Day." If you want to know some more, here's a look at some extra headlines.


ON SCREEN TEXT: Seven-year-old with alopecia wins crazy hair day at school.

Turkish airlines crew delivers baby mid-air.

Royal tots to take part in Pippa Middleton's wedding.


CAMEROTA: OK, coming up, Russian President Vladimir Putin just talking. He says the United States military strikes in Syria, he's talking about those and what he believes are behind them. All of this before the meeting with Rex Tillerson. So we'll have "The Bottom Line," coming up for you, next.


[08:51:31] CAMEROTA: We do have some breaking news.

The Russian president, President Putin, making a very bold and unsubstantiated claim moments ago that the U.S. is preparing to strike Damascus and then blame Assad's regime. He said some other things, too, that we'll talk about. All of this comes minutes before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to land in Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with the host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Fareed Zakaria.

So, Fareed, let's start there. I mean this coming from the fake news factory, known as the Kremlin, that the U.S. would ever bomb the suburbs of Damascus and blame the Assad regime. That's how Russia is trying to spin this.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Well, what it shows is that the strikes that the United States did have permanently put to bed the idea that there could be some kind of great (INAUDIBLE). It has driven both sides into their corners, as it were, and Russia is now treating the Trump administration pretty much the way it treated the Obama administration. And so there are a lot of people, as you know, on the left who thought that this strike was all phony, that Putin was warned.

I think everything we're seeing suggests that the Russians and the Americans are now, you know, diametrically opposed. There's no love lost. And this is going to be a very confrontational meeting. And after the meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, the foreign minister of Russia, Syria, and Iran are going to get together. So they are now -- those three countries, Syria, Iran, and Russia are now fully in -- you know, they are locked into a very tight alliance.

CUOMO: We're seeing in real time the answer to the question of why don't you placate Russia? We just had one of Trump's advisers on saying, hey, what's wrong with trying to start from a positive place? This is what's wrong with it. What you ignore, you power. He said that the claims about the chemical strike in Syria by the United States reminds him of the WMD claims that were made in Iraq.

Now, not only are we being told that we have good intel this time, we can do a whole show about what went wrong with the yellow cake analysis. It wasn't about bad intel, it was about manipulation of intel for political purposes. But what are the messages?

ZAKARIA: Well, there are two points I'd make there. The first is, it reminds us -- and I hope it reminds the Trump administration -- why U.S. officials and the president of the United States in particular should not trash talk American intelligence. You lend credence to claims by people like Putin we -- you know, the United States government has to rely on its intelligence, it has to sell it to the rest of the world when --

CUOMO: This was exactly the concern that people had --

ZAKARIA: Right. Right.

CUOMO: When Trump came out trashing the intel community --

ZAKARIA: Right. Yes.

CUOMO: Because he didn't like their conclusions about Russia.


CUOMO: Now look where we are.

ZAKARIA: But the broader point, Chris, is probably, we have -- I think Americans often think of foreign policy as a branch of psychotherapy. That if only the two sides got together, the two guys would get to know each other. Russia and the United States have permanent interests, particularly in the Middle East, that are diametrically opposed. This has been true for decades. It was true when the old Soviet Union was backing the old Assad regime. It is true today.

Of course, we should try to work things out. Of course, you don't want to have a very hostile or conflictual relationship. But the idea that we're all going to be able to join hands and sing Kumbaya because Trump admired Putin as a tough guy, it missed the reality of this, you know, this geopolitical reality which is on Ukraine, in the Middle East, on Syria, the United States and the Soviet Union see things differently. And it's not just geopolitics, of course, it is also ideals. I mean the United States cannot support a regime like the Assad regime. It cannot support this -- these kind of massacre. The Russians have been very comfortable, whether it's in Chechnya or the Middle East, with a lot of brutality.

[08:55:22] CAMEROTA: But I hear something additional in what President Putin just said. When he says, oh, this strike about supposedly over chemical weapons attack reminds me of the U.S. getting it wrong on weapons of mass destruction. That is directly to President Trump, because President Trump has often taken issues it with the intelligence about the weapons of mass destruction. He just spoke President Trump's language to get president -- to poke, I think, directly at President Trump.

ZAKARIA: Putin is very clever. If you look at the way he looks at the world, it is not unintelligent. It is very, very smart. It is just a very Russian point of view. And we just have to keep -- you know, you keep that in mind, when the United States is confronting Putin, it's not that he's evil, it's just, he has different interests, we have different interests.

CUOMO: We are seeing that the White House right now is reaping what it has sewn with Russia. Where do we go from here? It's going to be answer today. A huge meeting.

Fareed, thank you very much.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Fareed. Great to talk to you.

ZAKARIA: A pleasure.

CUOMO: All right, there's breaking news to pick up on right now. CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman after the this break.

CAMEROTA: We'll see you tomorrow.