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Trump: U.S. Sending "Armada" Towards North Korea; United CEO Apologizes for "Horrific" Removal of Passenger; Wash Post: Carter Page Investigated As Possible Agent for Russia. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 12, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:33:35] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So, President Trump saying he is sending an armada to the region as a show of strength. The region around North Korea. Now, the North is warning of a nuclear strike if it provoked. All this leading to an urgent phone call between President Trump and the Chinese president.

CNN's Will Ripley live in Pyongyang, North Korea, with more.

Will, the state of play.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The state of play is that state media here in North Korea has yet to respond to President Trump's tweet or this new interview that has come out where he is talking about the flotilla of U.S. warships that are getting closer to the Korean Peninsula.

This is the first time now that China seems to be indicating a willingness to take stronger economic action against North Korea if they do something provocative like a sixth nuclear test, which analysts believe could happen at any time.

There was a new phone call between President Trump and Chinese president. It's the first time the Chinese government has officially acknowledged that the two presidents spoke about North Korea, and a state-run newspaper in China is saying that the Chinese public are getting fed up with the tension on the Korean Peninsula.

President Trump speaking about the armada heading towards the Korean peninsula. This is the Carl Vinson strike group with 60 planes and 97,000 ton aircraft carrier and nuclear weapons.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are sending an armada, very powerful.

[06:35:00] We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you. And we have the best military people on Earth.

And I will say this: he is doing the wrong thing.


RIPLEY: President Trump alluding to the fact that submarines are capable of launching nuclear missiles, a direct threat to North Korea. How they will respond yet to be determined. We also know that Japan is making preparations to possibly evacuate its citizens from the Korean Peninsula if things get out of hand.

Also, Japan sending warships to join the Carl Vinson strike group. This could really agitate the North Koreans because Japan before World War II occupied the Korean Peninsula.

But, Alisyn, right now, we just don't know how Kim Jong-un will respond as North Korea prepares for one of its biggest holidays of the year on Saturday.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Will, thank you for being in Pyongyang for us and all of that new reporting.

Meanwhile, back here at home, United Airlines facing a viral fiasco and financial backlash after this passenger was dragged screaming off a plane. We'll tell you what United is saying now.


[06:40:06] CAMEROTA: OK. A passenger who was violently dragged off this United Airlines flight, who you hear screaming, is still in the hospital this morning recovering from his injuries. He told our producer that he is suffering from a broken jaw.

Meanwhile, United Airlines CEO is releasing yet another statement.

Here to discuss is CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans, and aviation lawyer Thatcher Stone. Thatcher himself was once bumped from a flight and successfully sued over it.

And, Thatcher, we're going to have you explain to all of us how we can do that at the end of this segment.

But, first, Christine, what --


CAMEROTA: Good morning. Thanks for being here.

What's been the fallout, the financial fallout to United as a result of this?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, your term, a $250 million mistake is what this was. I mean, this was really remarkable here. That's how much market value was lost.

CAMEROTA: And their stock -- their stock plummeted as a result of this.

ROMAN: Their stock plummeted 4 percent. Now, it had been worse, it had been a billion earlier in the day, and then it came back as cooler heads prevailed. But you could have used cooler heads to keep this from happening in the first place.

The company now has issued a third statement that hits the tone much better.


ROMANS: They should have done this from the very beginning. Now, the PR part of it, they're on track here.

CAMEROTA: I have it. Let me read it. The CEO says now in the third statement, "The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight, and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way."

Thatcher, had he started with that instead of the first statement where he appeared to be calling are the passenger belligerent and sort of blame it on the passenger, would we be -- would united be in this situation today?

STONE: Well, I'm not a stock analyst. I mean, that was the segue into this bit right now. I don't know what would happen to the stock price.

CAMEROTA: But in terms of their PR?

STONE: Well, in terms of PR, sure. Let's talk about that.

Oscar made a mistake if he thought his e-mail that "I'm behind you" and sort of suggesting a belligerent passenger would have been leaked and go viral, particularly with this video. So, I think, whoever is running P.R. at the new United-Continental holdings, they need to focus on what the passenger and the public are looking for.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And --

STONE: Now, we don't know all the facts about what happened in this instance, and I can get into that.


CAMEROTA: Well, I want to ask you one thing before that. You're right, we don't know all of the facts that precipitated that ugly scene they were seeing play up.

But you are an aviation lawyer, and can you just clear up one thing for us?

STONE: Sure. CAMEROTA: We have learned that the airlines do have the right to ask you to give up your seat, but if you refuse, do they have the right to forcibly remove you?

STONE: So that's an interesting question. They certainly have the right to have you removed, and in my opinion, the way this man was removed was rather torrid and unfortunate, but they have the right to remove you.

I mean, look, there's a famous clothes manufacturer here in the United States whose niece was so belligerent and nasty on an airplane that they stopped halfway back to the United States, I believe in Ireland, and threw her off the plane. It was covered in all the news media, and she faced issues in two jurisdictions.

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Thatcher.

STONE: They have the right. So they have the right.

CAMEROTA: Go ahead.

ROMANS: What they should have done is prevented this from happening in the first place. Originally --

STONE: Agreed.

ROMANS: -- the company said, look, we followed all of the proper procedures.

Well, you need diplomacy on the front end. What did the captain say about all of this? Who is the gate manager? Was there another way they could have resolved this by perhaps offering more money?

And, again, this wasn't an overbooked flight. There's a lot being said about how this was an overbooked flight. This was a flight that was totally full, and they suddenly needed to accommodate four crew members to get to Louisville to prevent another flight from being -- so there was a reaction. It should have been prevented before it got --

CAMEROTA: OK, very quickly, Thatcher. We only have 15 seconds left. How do people sue as you did successfully, if you are thrown off a flight for overbooking?

STONE: Well, they get a good lawyer and make sure that the airline has not complied with the rules in 14 CFR 250 that describe what they're supposed to do.


STONE: It's not clear that United gave this person a written document.

CAMEROTA: Yes. OK, I'm going to bone up on 14 3FR 360, and be prepared for next time.

Thatcher Stone, Christine Romans, thank you very much.

Coming up on NEW DAY, in our next hour, we will talk with JetBlue founder and former CEO David Neeleman about how this PR crisis unfolded.

Also, at 8:00, we'll be joined by, New York -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is calling for the federal government to halt airline overbooking as a result.

[06:45:09] Chris?

CUOMO: All right. A really scary moment in professional soccer, a possible bus attack. The "Bleacher Report" has the story, next.


CUOMO: Did you hear about this? German police say a bus carrying a professional soccer team Dortmund in Germany was attacked with explosives as the team was traveling to their stadium.

Coy Wire has details in the "Bleacher Report".

What do we know, my friend?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Here's what we know, Chris, we'll zip you through it.

Four explosive devices, three went off, one was not detonated. There were no arrests. But investigators found a handwritten letter claiming responsibility on this blast. Shattered windows rattled the buses. There were no fatalities.

But one player, 26-year-old Marc Bartra, had to have surgery treating a broken forearm. Debris was lodged in his hand. He is expected to be okay.

[06:50:01] And while attacks like this are brought about by the worst in those responsible, they can bring out the very best in others. Listen to this, members of the Dortmund community reached out to Monaco fans who had traveled. They tweeted -#bedsforawayfans. They opened their homes and shared spare beds for the out-of-town fans who had an unexpected stay in Dortmund. That's good stuff.

Little levity for your morning. Only Tuesday, but it felt more like "Caturday" at Marlins home opener. The game put on paws, if you will. This little cat trying to take a cat nap in the warning track, and of all days, yesterday was national pet day. Players, security guards trying to hunt this one down.

You've heard of fast balls, how about hair balls? You heard of outfielders, how about Garfielders? This cat went climbing all over the stadium. Everyone had a little fun with that. Marlins did beat the Braves 8-4, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: That pun salad you just threw at us was fantastic. It was catastic. Thank you very much for that, Coy.

OK. There are some new developments to tell you about this morning about the former Trump advisor Carter Page. A new report says the FBI convinced a judge to issue a warrant based on info that Page was an agent of the Russians. We have that new reporting next.


CUOMO: All right. We have an update on reporting of hype versus fact in the Russian interference investigation. President Trump claims he or his team were wrongly surveilled by the Obama administration.

[06:55:02] There is zero proof of that. He says proof will come out that Susan Rice committed a crime. Instead, GOP lawmakers say they reviewed the relevant confidential documents with Rice and the unmasking and that they show no proof that Rice did anything wrong.

And now, "The Washington Post" is reporting the FBI got a warrant to monitor former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. That means a judge found probable cause to believe Page was knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence work on behalf of Russia.

Let's discuss.

CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA counterterrorism official, Phil Mudd, and CNN national security analyst and retired CIA chief of Russia operations, Steve Hall.

So, Phil, not only is there no proof that Trump and/or his team were wrongly caught up in surveillance, but there is real proof that there was a warrant that a judge gave because one of his advisors was up to no good according to the FBI suspicion.

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: That's right. Watch this because what you are going to see Carter Page say, I believe, and he has already started to say this, is this is a political witch hunt.

But let me tell you how this game works, Chris. You've got two basic pieces. First, the FBI and the Department of Justice are not going to go to the FISA court. That's the special court that allows the FBI to eavesdrop on American citizens without a high degree of confidence that something ugly is going on here.

Second, I have talked to that court. These are federal judges. A federal judge is not going to issue a warrant against a political individual involved in a campaign without not necessarily proof, but some, as you say, probable cause. That individual is breaking a federal law.

So, there's going to be a lot of shucking and jiving where, having been at the bureau and been in front of that FISA court, let me tell you, they got some proof here that is going to be ugly, and around Carter Page, it's going from a simmer to a boil. That dude has got to be nervous. CUOMO: Steve Hall, let's talk about one of the reasons that Carter

Page might get some effectiveness out of a ploy like that. The intel community has been getting trashed for months, and to be honest, Donald Trump as a candidate and as a president has motivated a lot of that.

How is that coming home to roost now in terms of what we're seeing in Syria, what's going on with the investigations at home, and the need for people to believe that the integrity of the IC?

STEVE L. HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think that President Trump, obviously, got off to a very difficult start right at the beginning of the administration and prior to the inauguration, actually, by, you know, referring to the intelligence community and the CIA as Nazis and that sort of thing.

But that said, this is a group of professionals that lives through the ups and downs of different administrations. Granted, this one is a little different, but these folks are professionals and understand it the key piece of this is making sure that policymakers have the information and the intelligence that they need.

But, you know, with regard to Carter Page, this has all the hallmarks of classic Russian human intelligence operation where the Russian intelligence services simply look for somebody, cast a wide net as to somebody who might end up being in a position of power or more importantly close to power in the United States and then tries to make contact and recruit that person.

That's what this is beginning to look like. We're not there yet. We have to see more information, which is why there's an investigation going on. But this is the kind of thing that it looks like what's happening with Carter Page.

CUOMO: Steve, quick take on Russia's move to completely delegitimize what happened in Syria, says that they have different -- Putin himself says that they have different explanations for what happened other than what the United States and the allies have found that this was an obvious chemical attack by Assad on his own people.

HALL: Well, this is all classic Russian, you know, misdirection and trying to change the topic. I mean, the particular part of this was Sergey Lavrov saying this morning or recently that this was all -- this was an -- the cruise missile attack was somehow illegal on the part of the United States. This from a country that just annexed an entire region of a neighboring country, we're talking about Crimea.

So, this is, you know, the Russians were simply coming at this from a completely different perspective than we are, and to think as of this administration apparently does, they can sort of tell Russia, hey, you're on the wrong side of history here. You need to come over to our side, to the European side. That's just not how the Russians think.

And the Russians think that the West and the United States are quaint when we try to make arguments like that. CUOMO: Phil, I respect Steve Hall, and you have done the same thing

kind of offering this code that no matter what the intel people are professionals. They'll do their job.

But isn't there a risk of erosion when the president of the United States says Jim Comey, he saved Hillary Clinton's life? Everyone knew she was guilty of all those charges, and he let her go.

Susan Rice, oh, there's proof of a crime. It's going to come out.

Surveillance? They're all over me. It's terrible.

He says things like this. People believe him. And time after time it's just bogus. Doesn't that create a tension that erodes confidence?

MUDD: I think overtime there's a potential for that. What I'd be watching in the coming weeks and months, Chris, is whether there's an air gap between what the White House says about intelligence --