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North Korea Sends Message with Missiles on parade; Feud Between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner; Syria's Pro-Regime State Media Says Reports on Deadly Blast That Hit a Convoy Of Buses; Nikki Haley Emerges as Leading Voice in Administration's Foreign Policy; New Incentives from Delta Airlines. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired April 15, 2017 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile President Trump is at the southern White House, in Florida, and CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live in nearby West Palm Beach.
Suzanne, nice to see you. Do you know what president is working on there?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nice to see you. Well Martin, it's a very slow weekend. It's really quite surprising because the White House was certainly on high alert, all of us were, whether or not the North Koreans were going to initiate some sort of military demonstration or provocation. That did not happen. So what we have seen here is that the president has been golfing this afternoon, as he was yesterday. This is very intentionally at kind of a light footprint.
White House officials say when it comes to the staff of the president, they wanted to make sure this was the kind of weekend he could enjoy with his family, his wife and his children. And well, let's give that break, that opportunity to the top White House staff.
But he does have his deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland here at Mar-a-Lago to go ahead and give him any briefings. They were watching overnight to see if there was any kind of activity, and that did not happen. And so, you know, they are certainly kind of -- they're not standing down but not as much tension. We haven't seen the president tweet either. Some people expected maybe he might do that over the weekend. We still see.
But the one thing that we are keeping our eye on is the vice president, vice president Mike Pence, rather. What he is doing on his trip to the Asia-Pacific region. He is going to be visiting several nations, including Japan, Indonesia and Australia, but his first trip is going to be critical, his first stop being South Korea, and that is where he has a full schedule on his plate. He is going to be meeting with the acting president first. He will be having some discussions. But also it will give him a chance to meet with the U.S. soldiers, American service men and women, as well as Koreans, to talk with them and to make sure, to give them the kind of assurance over a meal, over the Easter weekend, that the United States is behind them, that they back them, and it's one of the main missions, the main message that he is going to be taking to many U.S. allies is that the U.S. policy is one of commitment to the region when it comes to national security, for the United States and for those allies as well as economics as well. So that is something that we are going to be following, the White House following very carefully.
But Martin, as you know, the president enjoying and liking to spend time at his own private resort. This will be the seventh visit to his resort since he became president. And the -- by our account by CNN's account the 19th time that he has visited a golf course since he has become the commander in-chief - Martin.
SAVIDGE: Very careful eye on the details there. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you very much for joining us.
Let's get perspective now from East Asia, and for that we turn to CNN's Paula Hancocks. She live in Seoul, South Korea.
And Paula, North Korea clearly wanting to send a message with these missiles they put on parade, kind of put that message in context for us and I'm also interested in how it's going over in South Korea?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, this was a massive military parade. And there will be experts around the world right now pouring over those images trying to see what kind of information they can glean from what the North Korean leader has shown us.
Now in particular, one thing that's been picked up is two new ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially hit mainland United States. Experts saying that there were two new models in canisters, not certain what was actually inside those canisters, if anything. They could be design concepts, they could be just showing the world what the North Koreans are aiming for at this point.
Certainly, Kim Jong-Un himself has been clear about what he wants to do. He wants to be able to hit mainland U.S. with a nuclear tipped ICBM. And at the beginning of the year he said he was close to test launching an ICBM. So certainly, that's what experts are focusing on at this point. But, of course, you do have vice president pence coming here at a very tense time, at a time when North Korea has said that they will meet an all-out war with all-out war, blaming the United States saying that they are carrying out reckless acts of aggression.
SAVIDGE: Paula Hancocks, sorry, slow on the pick-up. Very god to see you. Thanks very much for that out of South Korea.
So the real question now is what's next for the United States and, of course, for the president?
Joining me to discuss both is CNN political commentator Ryan Lizza and with also me analyst lieutenant Rick Francona. Good to see you both.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to see you.
Colonel, let me start with you. North Korea, you know, they tend to flaunt their military might and we know especially on occasions like this that this time they showcase two intercontinental ballistic missile sized canisters that should be (INAUDIBLE). And that's kind of put the world on notice. How plausible is it that the North Koreans really have working versions of missiles that could possibly reach the U.S. mainland?
[13:05:06] LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, of course, that would be a big surprise if they had. We have not seen them test that yet. We have seen them test various components in different stages of an ICBM but they are not there yet. But this sure looks like what they are going for, this might be the canister that holds the actual missile itself. Very reminiscent of an old Russian design. Very effective and notice it's on a mobile launch platform. That really complicates your targeting options if you decide you want to go against one of these. You got to go find it first. So, you know, it's a good design and we will see how this develops.
And I think the other thing that was significant was the submarine launched ballistic missile which, you know, partners very nicely with an ICBM because once on a submarine you can move that submarine very close to someone else's coast. So big increase in capability if what we are seeing is actually real. And that's the question. So we will be watching for that as these tests keep going.
SAVIDGE: Right. It is important to note that was just not a missile carrier, it was the launch vehicle as well. And as you point out, makes it harder to track down a hit.
Ryan, North Korea has vowed an all-out war with the U.S. if attacked. Vice president Pence is headed to Asia today and he will first meet with South Korea to discuss the situation. What do you think the administration is hoping to accomplish with this diplomatic trip?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's a great question. Remember this is the issue that when Barack Obama first met with Donald Trump at the White House, he made it clear to him that maybe this wasn't the issue you talked about the most in the campaign, and maybe it's not the one that American officials always talk about the most, because the Middle East and terrorism tends to dominate, but it may be the issue that you will be dealing with the most in your first term. And Trump has sort of alluded to that conversation and said he was surprised. And, of course, here we are now.
You know, he has changed quite a bit, Donald Trump, on this issue. Remember, during the campaign he had this sort of very simplistic view that the Chinese could unlock this problem and solve it for the United States very simply. He met with the Chinese president recently and he came away from that meeting saying -- being a little bit surprised and saying that the Chinese president explained to him that it wasn't so simple, that they don't have as much influence over the North Koreans as Donald Trump had believed, and that, you know, unlocking that problem would take diplomacy.
So I think one thing that's come out of that conversation is perhaps the administration is a little bit more intertwined with the Chinese view on this and maybe a little more interested in pursuing a diplomatic course because the military options are so horrific.
SAVIDGE: They are, indeed.
LIZZA: So it's a big, important trip for Pence to see if he can come up with some sort of regional strategy.
SAVIDGE: Yes. And if only to also assure South Korea and other allies in the region.
Colonel, the U.S., as we know, sent this naval strike group and I'm wondering if North Korea conducts another nuclear test, what options do we have to respond? And I imagine we would never respond as long as the vice president sort of in the region?
FRANCONA: Well, I would hope -- I hope we wouldn't respond unless there was a real reason to. I think Ryan is exactly right. The military options are really bad here. You know, the presence of all the U.S. force in the area is meant to be just that, a show of force. We are trying to make the North Koreans realize that their actions are going to have consequences. The problem is if they push it too far are we really ready to conduct the preemptive strike in to North Korea. I don't think so. We are not there yet. We are way far from that. And I hope that continues.
But we got to keep the pressure up. I think that's the only option we have left. We have tried everything else. Nothing seems to deter these people. So you just keep the military ready there and let them know that it is there. And hopefully we can get a diplomatic solution. And I still believe the Chinese may have a little more influence than they would like us to believe.
SAVIDGE: Ryan, while all of this is playing out, we, of course, know that the president is spending the Easter weekend at his golf resort in Florida. What are the optic problems with this?
LIZZA: Well, he's been -- the number that I saw today 30 percent of his office either traveling down to Mar-a-Lago or being there, or maybe that number includes his other properties as well. But yes, you know, I think -- I don't necessarily think it's bad that he plays golf or spends time at his -- at his resort. It is true that the president really can work from anywhere as long as he has got his team there and all -- obviously all the communications equipment we have now.
But he is someone that criticized Barack Obama quite a bit for this. I went to a lot of Trump rallies last year and it was a core talking point of Donald Trump that he was going to be in the White House working. And that one of the problems with Barack Obama, one of his critiques was that he spent too much time on the golf course and on vacation. So, you know, there is just a clear hypocrisy there.
You remember George W. Bush had some moments, you know, a lot of -- during moments in his presidency when he was on the golf course during war time that didn't look so good. So I think it's something that Trump has not stayed attuned to so far.
[13:10:32] SAVIDGE: We will see as all of this progresses.
Good to see you both. Colonel Rick Francona and also Ryan Lizza, you are going to be staying with us so you will be back in just a bit. Thanks.
Meanwhile, coming up the man widely credited with helping get President Trump to the White House, now seemingly fighting to keep his own place in the west wing. Why power is slowly slipping away from Steve Bannon. And the question, who could be stepping into fill that void. That's next.
[13:15:05] SAVIDGE: President Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon seems to be watching the power he once held in the White House slip through his fingers. Bannon's job is essentially hanging in the balance after Trump made some pretty shocking comments in a "New York Post" interview.
When asked about the feud between Bannon and his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner, Trump said quote "I like Steve, but you have to remember, he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors and I didn't know Steve in my own -- I'm my own strategist," unquote, adding, Steve is a good guy but I told them to straighten it out or I will.
I want to bring in now, "Times" editor at-large David Von Drehle. And David wrote the article "is Steve Bannon the second most powerful man in the world?" and then Ryan Lizza is back also with us.
What does Trump's undercutting of Bannon signal for his role in the White House here?
DAVID VON DREHLE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, TIME: I think one of the things it signals is that Donald Trump is very conscious of his own image and his own position as the head of the administration and he was very upset to see one of his staff members on the cover of "Time" magazine which is a piece of real estate that he likes to brag about, occupying frequently. He also I think has come to see that some of the approaches to policy making that Bannon pushed forward in the early days of the administration, were not yielding results.
SAVIDGE: Didn't go too well.
VON DREHLE: Yes. Didn't go too well. Steve Bannon tried to order the freedom caucus to vote for the health care bill. Obviously they didn't do that. He was behind the immigration ban that's been struck down twice by the courts. So he is not delivering the results that Trump would like to see.
SAVIDGE: Ryan, I want you to listen to what President Trump had to say about Bannon in his victory speech. Here, just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know they kept saying we have a small staff. Not so small. Look at all the people that we have. Look at all these people. And Kellyanne and Chris and Rudy, and Steve and David. We have got -- we have got tremendously talented people up here and I want to tell you, it's been -- it's been very, very special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: So the messaging seems to be, you know, when you're in, you are in. But if you're out, boy, you are going to be gone very quickly. Trump and his White House have distanced themselves from a lot of unwanted solutions, Paul Manafort is one, Michael Flynn is another, and now we got Bannon. And Trump says that he didn't know him well and that Bannon came on at the end. What does that say? Is the writing on the wall here?
LIZZA: It is a great point. Manafort won him the nomination and Steve Bannon won him the presidency. I mean Steve Bannon - you know, Kellyanne Conway was the campaign manager. She had the title, but Bannon was just as important, if not more so, in making the day-to-day decisions in that campaign. It was credibly important in figuring out how to win the upper Midwest which they accomplished. He made Donald Trump president.
And as soon as that victory was over, there began an ideological battle for the soul of what Trumpism would be. And you had a much smaller group in the Bannon wing fighting a much larger group of, you know, sometimes it is called it is known as the nationalists versus the globalists, or the nationalists versus the New York crowd. And once that victory was over, the sort of New York people swept in and tried to explain to Donald Trump that a lot of the stuff he said on the campaign trail wouldn't wash as president. And Bannon's job from day one, was to push back against those people and to say no, the stuff we ran on is how we are going to govern.
In Bannon's office in the White House, which is just a few steps from the oval office there is a giant white board. And on it is every single promise that Donald Trump made on the campaign trail, scrawled in Steve Bannon's handwriting. And he sees it as his job to make those campaign promises to transfer them into legislation.
Now as David pointed out, it's not going so well. And so maybe Trump is suddenly looking for not just someone -- a new person to implement them but a new ideological direction.
SAVIDGE: Well, let me ask you this, David, Gary Cohn may be or seems to have Trump's ear for the moment. Maybe this new direction or what do you think is emerging for his role in the White House?
VON DREHLE: Well, a couple of things about Gary Cohn. Number one, unlike Steve Bannon and unlike the president, he has run a large organization before. You know, the Trump organization is a very successful business, but it's not a large business. It doesn't take a lot of people to sell a brands to other people to run. To put the Trump name on the side of a condo building that somebody else builds and operates. So neither President Trump nor Steve Bannon has the experience of running a large organization which Gary Cohn former head of Goldman Sachs has done and that's an advantage. The other thing that's important to understand is that for Trump,
family comes first. And Jared Kushner his son-in-law, Ivanka Trump, his daughter, they live in New York. They are creatures of New York and they know that they are going back to New York at the end of four years or eight years or whenever this is over and they want to be able to go back to the friends that they had there, with their heads held high. And both of these factors I think are lending power to that wing of the government if you will, over Bannon's sort of one-man gorilla operation.
[13:21:17] SAVIDGE: Yes. Very interesting point.
LIZZA: And all three --
SAVIDGE: Go ahead real quick.
LIZZA: Worth pointing out all three are Democrats, Cohn, Ivanka and Jared. And so, it's an astonishing reversal here if that's really the direction Trump goes.
SAVIDGE: All right. Got to leave it there.
VON DREHLE: And Donald Trump, until recently.
LIZZA: Great point.
SAVIDGE: All right. Thank you both. David Von Drehle and Ryan Lizza. Good to talk to you. We will be right back.
[13:25:51] SAVIDGE: Whether it is the crisis in Syria, U.S./China relations or NATO's place in the world on stage, this week the president is making a series of foreign policy shifts. A move that is riling some of his supporters. But U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, once a bold Trump critic has been defending the president amid all the uncertainty. She is now emerging as a strong voice on foreign policy for this administration.
CNN's Jamie Gangel had a fascinating one-on-one with the ambassador.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From condemning the chemical attacks in Syria --
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: Look at those pictures.
GANGEL: To her aggressive stance on regime change.
HALEY: Strengthening Assad will lead to more murders.
GANGEL: U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley has taken center stage as the leading voice of foreign policy in the Trump administration. Not afraid to speak her mind -- HALEY: For those that don't have our back, we are taking names.
GANGEL: Or contradict her boss.
HALEY: Russia is trying to show their muscle. I don't think that we can trust them.
GANGEL: Has he ever said to you, you shouldn't have said something?
HALEY: No, he has not.
GANGEL: Are you surprised that he has never?
HALEY: I'm not surprised because he knew that when he hired me that I have made it clear, I didn't want to be a wall flower or talking head. I'm very passionate by nature and he is fine with it.
GANGEL: How much of it is coordinated with the White House and the state department?
HALEY: Well, it's always coordinated with the White House.
GANGEL: You're not going broke? Rogue?
HALEY: No. I would never go rogue because I'm very aware of who I work for. And what I tell you is it's a sign of how this president works. It's not uncommon for him to pick up the phone and tell me what he feels on an issue. It's not uncommon for him to say, make sure you say this, don't be afraid to say this.
He has given me a lot of leeway to just say what I think and interpret what he thinks. I'm a strong voice by nature. I'm sometimes a bull in a China shop. And you know, he allows me to do that.
GANGEL: Friends say that same strength and independence served Haley well growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina. The daughter of Sikh immigrants from India, her father was a professor, her mother a lawyer. But the family suffered constant discrimination.
HALEY: They had never seen anybody in a turban. They have never seen anybody in a sari (ph). So they didn't know who we were, what we were or what we were about. And so, growing up was -- you always knew you were different. You felt it.
GANGEL: One such memorable moment, when she and her sister were disqualified from the little Miss Bamberg beauty pageant which crowned one white winner and one black winner. The judges said they were neither.
HALEY: My mom said, well, Nikki has been practicing this song. Will you at least just let her do her song? And it was this land is your land, this land is mine.
GANGEL: There's the irony of the story.
HALEY: Buy my mom would never let us complain. And she would always say your job is not to show them how you are different. Your job is to show them how you are similar.
GANGEL: Haley went on to get her accounting degree at Clemson, married her husband, Michael, who is a captain in the South Carolina army National Guard and raised two children. Her daughter, Rena, now a freshman in college and her so, Nalin, who is 15. Along the way she credits two women with her interest in politics.
GANGEL: Your role model, you frequently say is Margaret Thatcher.
HALEY: Yes. Do you want something said, is ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Love that.
GANGEL: But the woman who inspired you to go into politics, to run was a Democrat named --
HALEY: Hillary Clinton.
GANGEL: One day she went to hear her speak.
HALEY: And she said for every reason people tell you not to do it, that's every reason you should and that was it. I was done. I didn't know you weren't supposed to run against, you know, a 30-year incumbent in a primary. But ignorance is bliss.
GANGEL: She won that race, served in the statehouse. Then went on to break two barriers becoming the first Indian American and first woman governor of South Carolina.
[13:30:01] HALEY: So help me God.
GANGEL: Overnight, she was a rising star in the Republican Party. Thrust on the national stage after the horrific mass shooting at Charleston's mother Emanuel AME church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone just wanted to hug her. There was an image of Nikki crying.
GANGEL: And then she won praise for her successful campaign to remove the confederate flag from the statehouse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nikki Haley did something that man people though was impossible. Female running for governor and she beat all the boys. And she always persevere.
GANGEL: Her star power and clout were never more apparent than during the presidential campaign when she endorsed Florida senator Marco Rubio. And many thought this could be the GOP ticket.
Donald Trump did not take it well and he went on twitter. The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley, exclamation point, and not 20 minutes later, you responded quote "@realDonaldTrump, bless your heart." What is bless your heart mean when you are from South Carolina?
HALEY: It's a southern polite way of saying read between the lines.
GANGEL: Trump didn't hold it against her, naming Haley his U.N. ambassador and it appears he is pleased with her high public profile.
GANGEL: Is there any tension with secretary of state Tillerson. He has been so quiet. He has kept such a low profile. And you have been out there. Any awkwardness?
HALEY: I think it's just the personalities, you know. He is very much an executive. He is thoughtful in his approach and how he moves forward. I'm one that's not afraid to say anything. You know, I'm not easily intimidated. And so, I can go out and say things. I think we complement each other very well.
GANGEL: It has, however, led to speculation that someday Haley might like his job or higher office.
Everybody I talk to says, does she want to be secretary of state?
GANGEL: Do you want to be senator?
GANGEL: Are you going to run for the White House?
GANGEL: You're not going to run for the White House? Everyone thinks you are.
HALEY: You know what's amazing. And this has happened my entire work career is everyone thinks that I'm ambitious and everybody think I'm trying to run for something and everybody thinks I want more. And the truth of it is, I'm just passionate.
GANGEL: But you wouldn't rule out that someday you might run for the White House?
HALEY: I can't imagine running for the White House.
GANGEL: You really can't?
HALEY: I really can't.
SAVIDGE: Very interesting look. Jamie Gangel, thank you very much for that.
Happening now, big crowds taking to the streets to demand that President Trump release his tax returns. So you are looking at live pictures out of Washington, D.C., and also out of Chicago, where people have gathered. And these are likely -- there's Chicago right there as you take a look at that Congresswoman Maxine Waters, among those featured speakers. We will keep an eye on these developing protests and bring you more information as it becomes available. Meanwhile, coming up, as the world watched in horror as Syrian
children were gassed, the president of Syria says it may not have happened at all. Constant state of denial by Bashar al-Assad, that is next.
[13:37:32] SAVIDGE: Syria's pro-regime state media says that a deadly blast that hit a convoy of buses earlier today was actually disguised as a food truck. Tens of people were killed, most of them were being evacuated from the pro-regime towns. Witnesses tell CNN those evacuations now have resumed.
Meanwhile, tensions have been very high since a chemical weapons attack in Syria and missile strikes by the U.S. The Assad regime continues to deny any involvement in the gas attack.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh joins me from Irbil, Iraq.
And Nick, what is the Assad regime saying?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That the attacks were a complete fabrication. Now obviously, the U.S., western nations, saying they have proof Sarin was used and tracked the jet that dropped the weapon. But there's different ways of calculating Assad's move here. Was this potentially a test of the Trump administration to see if they would enforce the red line that Barack Obama set, but refused to take military after? Or were they simply hoping perhaps for a Trump administration response that would force that part in Moscow to be much more on their side.
We don't know the answer to that. But we do know it lies inside the at times twisted but in ways calculated mind of Bashar al-Assad.
WALSH (voice-over): This is the world of most Syrians -- rubble, bombs, indiscriminate slaughter, even chemical weapons. But welcome to the world according to Bashar al-Assad where things than can make look bad, simply didn't happen.
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT: We don't know whether those dead children, were they killed at Khan Sheikhoun? Were they dead at all? Who committed the attack if there was an attack?
WALSH: Denial is nothing new for a man who was an eye doctor trained in London yet has found himself a hated dictator.
In the 17-year reign, that's swung from reformist to murderist, but despite U.S. missile strikes and talk in the Trump administration like this.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our view the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.
WALSH: It's unclear that's on the verge of happening. He denied bombings like this have ever happened. He has denied being
behind this Sarin massacre in 2013, before later agreeing to give his chemical weapons up under Russian president.
Denial, pretty easy, if your world is in a palace that you haven't really left for five years. In fact, this may be the only time Assad left war time Damascus on a military plane en route to meet Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. A public sign of the Russian support that has turned the war in his favor.
Central Damascus is a lot quieter than the rest of Syria, and is now with the regime on the military front (INAUDIBLE). And when a place is damaged, it's often repaired. The Syrian first lady, British born, Asma al-Assad, once a brief darling of "Glamour" magazine even dubbed quote "a rose in the desert by vogue" can enjoy the calm and charm she flaunts on Instagram often sharing photos of her with her family.
Assad never knew this lonely and twisted role was coming his way. Rushing into the presidency after his older brother's fatal car crash, yet he adapted to it with terrifying speed and strategic patience. The last man standing in his warped reality whose personal fate influences how much longer his people suffer.
WALSH: Now it is extraordinary how much it is down to whether Assad stays in power in the minds of western powers or when this war finally gets to end through a political settlement. But that may be at some degree be a misjudgment to know if Bashar al-Assad did suddenly leave power, yet tomorrow, or drop dead from natural causes, it would not suddenly bring the similar war to an end. It is far too existential for both sides at this point. And there, frankly, are extremists on both sides of the battlefield who want to see this through for what they consider to be its end. But still a seminal figure, one reviled globally but surviving year after year -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Nick Paton Walsh reporting from Irbil, thank you very much.
Still to come, while the United Airlines tries to fly far from its latest public relations nightmare its competition appears to be making the most of it. Find out how that could put money in your pocket, next.
[13:46:26] KATE FOSTER, GYMNAST: I started gymnastics and that really clicked with me. I loved it. When I was 12 years old, we discovered that I had acute myeloid leukemia. I had rounds of chemo. One of the reasons that my hospital stays were so long is it was because of my complications. My first hospital stay I got a gangrene infection.
BARB FOSTER, KATE'S MOM: All of the sudden, we went from cancer patient to she was on life support for three days. K. FOSTER: The day before my bone marrow transplant they found
another infection in my knee joint and that is when they finally said, you know, we have to amputate. I knew and my family knew that it was my leg or my life. And then my coach said something that really changed what I thought. She said, I have never taught a one-legged gymnast before but I'm willing to try if you are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on.
K. FOSTER: I started working on my events again and getting my skills back. I wasn't going to let cancer change what I did and what I was going to do. I compete against able-bodied gymnasts.
LYNN FOSTER, KATE'S DAD: They did not change the rules for her which is fine for her. She doesn't want the rules to be changed. She is the epitome of it doesn't matter what bump in the road you hit you can make things work.
K. FOSTER: I'm just doing what I love. I hope that everyone can look at my story and be like if she can do it so can I.
SAVIDGE: New incentives from Delta Airlines may have you wanting to give up your seat. The Atlanta-based carrier says its supervisors can now offer passengers nearly $10,000 to get off an overbooked flight. It was a little more than $1300 before. If you haven't boarded yet and the gate agents cap gin give you up to $2,000 to take another flight. This move follows, of course, the United Airlines incident where a passenger was violently dragged from a full flight, we should say, because he refused to give up his seat to an employee. That passenger Dr. David Dao is planning to file a lawsuit against United and Dao's attorney gave one piece of advice to the airlines in general expect the unexpected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS DEMETRIO, ATTORNEY FOR UNITED PASSENGER DRAGGED OFF FLIGHT: Maybe airlines need to start expecting the unexpected. But not at the expense, certainly not at the physical expense, of its paying passengers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: What a far cry from flying the friendly skies.
And a new policy change today, the airline announced that any crew member needing a seat, must now be booked at least an hour before the flight.
We want to bring in Justine Green. He is a CNN aviation analyst and an aviation attorney and, of course, attorney Mo Ivory.
Justin, let me start with you. What can we expect to unfold in the coming weeks when it comes to this lawsuit? JUSTIN GREEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's going to be
interesting to see whether there ever is a lawsuit. I think United would be well served to sit down with Dr. Dao's attorneys and try to work out an agreement. But in the lawsuit, they have really given up their main defense. Their main defense would be that Dr. Dao was in some manner obviously not seen in the video, but at some manner, causing a problem and that they had the right to take him off the airplane. But they have already said Dr. Dao did not do anything wrong. So in the lawsuit what is really going to be about isn't whether United is liable for how much. And ultimately whether jury will be asked to that punitive damages to punish United for what happened.
[13:50:00] SAVIDGE: Yes. I mean, I think I'm in agreement with you that it would seem that United was smart. They would settle this before it got to the courtroom. But we will have to wait and see.
Mo, I want you to listen what the United CEO, that's Oscar Munoz said about blame being cast on the passenger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is at fault in any way.
OSCAR MUNOZ, CEO, UNITED AIRLINES: No. He cannot be. He was a pane passenger sitting on our seat in our aircraft. And no one should be treated that way. Period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Yes, it was a little bit of a pause there before it began with the obvious answer. But Mo, how do you think that can impact the case?
MO IVORY, ATTORNEY: You know, obviously, he was trying to carefully think about what he was saying considering he has somewhat of a different reaction in the beginning. He said many, many different things. And so, this was sort of the final like OK, we realized what this is. We realized what is going to happen and that a lawsuit is coming and a settlement will happen more than 95 percent of all airline cases go to settlements. So that is absolutely in the future.
But, this was a crisis management debacle for United Airlines. They did not respond the correct way from the very beginning. I think in the future we will probably see new CEO of United.
IVORY: I really do think so. I really think that this will probably call it as a shake up on the inside once everything is sort of dealt with. And they are going to have to come up with a better way to deal with their policies, deal with their passengers and obviously, their customer service and also their relationship with the officers that they need the call in when they have a problem or security, let me say.
SAVIDGE: That's a key issue there.
Justin, a passenger on that (INAUDIBLE) flight provided an email to CNN that was sent to United Airlines with instructions on redeeming traveler certificates. It said release of liability by acceptance of this travel certificate. You know, this seems rather I won't say odd but there was some sort of contract you have to sign apparently in order to get this.
GREEN: Well, you know, it wasn't given out of the kindness of United's heart. They obviously thought or saw some potential exposure to the other passengers and figured they would sent this - it is essentially an offer of settlement in order to get this voucher, you have to give up your legal rights. I think was kind of a bad decision on their parts and probably just puts some more fuel on the fire.
SAVIDGE: Let me ask you real quick. Do you sign -- by being a passenger, is there something that you automatically had to agree to?
IVORY: Yes. So I mean, there is a 37,000 word sort of document and agreement that you signed when you book your ticket. Now, how many of us ever have read that or will read that or does the airline even expect us to read that? But in those words, you are certainly giving up some of your liability. But, you know, you have to look at the common purposes of that which is to have move people alone quickly. So there is going to have to be a review of exactly what are in those words now, when a lawyer like we are, we look at those words, it does clearly say that once a passenger has boarded, you cannot then take the passenger off. So there is going to be a whole look into those 37,000 words. I am sure some changes and it is going to affect the way this lawsuit end.
SAVIDGE: Justin, with only a few seconds, do you expect big changes out of this, too?
GREEN: I think so. And I think that, you know, even though this court -- the court that this case is going to be heard is the Cook County court in Chicago which is a very plaintiff friendly court. The legal case is much smaller than the public perception of what went on. So I think the media attention and the public reaction to what happened to Doctor Dao is going to make some major changes.
SAVIDGE: Right. And we all fly so we all know. We all sort of been there in some way.
SAVIDGE: Justin Green, Mo Ivory, thank you both.
GREEN: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: We will be right back.
[13:57:57] SAVIDGE: Ebola, Zika and bird flu. Recent outbreaks who claims thousands of lives. And the worst might yet be to come.
In CNN's new original film "UNSEEN ENEMY," Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper take a look at the spread of this infectious diseases and why some people don't take the vaccines to prevent them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the question, does she have anything now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vaccine hasn't been see as something that moves her to be on the rise which is quite alarming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Influenza is actually possibly preventable with the vaccine. That's great. But nobody uses it. That's not great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the most common misperceptions about the flu vaccine is that people say, you know what, I am in my best years, I'm healthy and I have not been sick. But there is another aspect to this since obviously that's not just me, it is also the people around me.
Because of the potential of me giving something to somebody that maybe serious to them even if it may not be serious to me at this moment. And I may very well sit in the subway next to somebody who has a very weak immune system. And they may not even know it and I may not know that but I may very well give somebody the flu. So there is a question of the common good verses the individual good. If we want any effectiveness over vaccines, we need to get vaccinated.
SAVIDGE: "UNSEEN ENEMY" airs tonight at 9:00 right here on CNN.
The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
SAVIDGE: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I am Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield who is off. Nice to be with you.
Happening now. You are looking at live pictures from across the country. Well, protesters are calling for President Trump to release his tax return. Of course, the deadline looms for Americans to file their own tax returns. People are expecting to gather from (INAUDIBLE) in roughly 180 protest sites today.
But first, ready for all-out war.