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Jet Returns to L.A.; Bipartisan Support on 2018 Agenda; Top Seven Moments Sports in 2017; Pennsylvania City Gets Five Feet of Snow. Aired 9:30-10:00a

Aired December 27, 2017 - 09:30   ET



[09:30:53] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: An investigation this morning into an eight-hour flight that went nowhere. Somehow an unauthorized person got on this flight from L.A. to Tokyo. The crew realized what happened four hours into the flight, turned the whole plain around. Model Chrissy Teigen, her husband, musician John Legend, among the passengers on that flight. They had some questions for the airline and they are not the only ones. Our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh joins us with more details.

What happened?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: I mean, you know, it's one of those things where it just sounds so unbelievable that you've gotten so far into this flight and then you are hearing those dreaded words, we have to turn the flight around. And that's exactly what the 226 people heard on board this flight. Again, this was an 11 flight, four hours in, and the pilot made the determination they had to return to L.A.X.

Now, the airline is telling us this morning that during the flight the cabin crew became aware that one of the passengers boarded the incorrect flight and notified the pilot. And as part of the airline security procedure, the pilot in command decided to return to the originating airport where the passenger was disembarked. So an aviation source is telling me this is being characterized as an administrative mix-up, which still doesn't answer very much. We still don't know what sort of mix-up led to the wrong person being on the wrong plane despite the fact that we all know when you travel your boarding pass is scanned at the gate.

I do want to point out that Al Nippon, the airline that's involved here, and United Airlines, they do have a code share agreement. So, on this particular flight, it was ANA 175. It was also coded as United Flight 7925.

There was also another code share with these two airline that left the L.A.X. at the very same time. Could it possibly be that perhaps that's where the mix-up occurred? We don't really know yet. I have been in communication with the airline and really trying to get answers to two things. What was this administrative makeup? As well as, why did the pilot make the judgment call to return to L.A.X. instead of continuing on to Tokyo and then dealing with that passengers then? Those two questions remain unclear.

We are -- we are sincerely trying to get to the bottom of it because the bottom line is, this flight has gone viral, in part because of John Legend's wife Chrissy Teigen, the supermodel, and John Legend as well, who was on board. And they tweeted about the entire ordeal.

HARLOW: Yes, they did, drawing even more attention to it.


HARLOW: Rene Marsh, thank you very much.

MARSH: You're welcome.

HARLOW: So, President Trump has a prediction for 2018. He says Republicans and Democrats will come together. Well, a Democrat lawmakers who has called for the president to be impeached is with me next. Does he think he can work with the president, ahead.


[09:37:44] HARLOW: President Trump has big plans for bipartisanship in 2018, hoping to strike deals with Democrats on infrastructure and health care to start. But with a critical election year about to kick off, is that a pipe dream?

Let's bring in Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth. He joins me now from the great state of Kentucky.

It's nice to have you here. Thank you.

REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D), KENTUCKY: Thanks, Poppy. Good to be with you.

HARLOW: So what do you think. Let's play a game, OK. It's the holidays.

YARMUTH: All right.

HARLOW: Name that bipartisan bill you can get behind in 2018. That's the game. You go first.

YARMUTH: All right. Well, we can certainly get behind fixing the dreamer problem. And, you know, I think there's a lot of bipartisan work that's been going on over the past few weeks and apparently a lot of progress has been made. So that's a -- that would be a good start.

And we have to do that quickly because the -- the -- all the dreamers will lose their status as of the beginning of March. So we need to act quickly.

HARLOW: But to be fair, you guys -- and by you guys I mean Democrats -- didn't get it done.


HARLOW: I mean there were threats from Democratic leadership that we're not going to get on board with the budget, we're not going to let, you know, things move forward, you know, before the end of the year if we do not get the president and Republicans on board to, you know, to help the so-called dreamers or to reinstate DACA.


HARLOW: You didn't get it done. You're home now. Have you been hearing from your constituents on that one?

YARMUTH: Not too much because I think they know that we're working in good faith.

Now, what happened, Poppy, was that we had -- this is the first time that the Republicans have been able to get enough votes to pass a spending bill without Democrats. We always thought that over the past five or six years every spending bill has required Democrats for passing. So we always said to them, if you can get 218 votes to pass a spending bill, whatever you want to do, then you don't have to negotiate with us. And they were able to do it this time. I doubt if they'll be able to get a longer term spending bill done without Democratic votes. So we'll see how much leverage we have going into January 19th, which is the next deadline.

HARLOW: Let's talk about infrastructure. Look, I was -- I was just recently in Kentucky reporting there, driving over a bridge that connects, you know, Kentucky with it's neighboring state, that is -- has warning signs all over it, right? You know what I'm talking about.


HARLOW: It's right -- right near Louisville.


HARLOW: You guys need this money. The president is saying we can get an infrastructure bill through. Are you on board with the plan? The details we have, just a few of right now, looks like $200 billion in federal spending matched by $800 billion in state and local spending. Could you get on board with the president on this?

[09:40:13] YARMUTH: Probably not on that concept. First of all, it's $200 billion ever ten years. That's $20 billion a year. That's peanuts in terms of the needs of this country. It won't get very much done. We've got a bridge in northern Kentucky, it's going to take $2.5 billion to replace. So you can -- $20 million's not going to -- $20 billion's not going to go very far, even if it's matched by another 80 in private funds.

But the problem -- and I listened to the program in your prior half hour --


YARMUTH: And that problem was elucidated very clearly, that when you turn it over to private investors, which is essentially what the president's plan would do, you're letting them make the call as -- HARLOW: Maybe. We haven't seen the details. We haven't seen the details.

YARMUTH: Right, but that's -- that's basically what the concept is. Then you allow the financiers to determine what projects get built because they have to have revenue streams that support them. So that's not something we would have liked to see.

There's a plan that's been approached -- or been introduced in the Congress the last couple years by John Delaney, my colleague, to use repatriated earnings from overseas to fund an infrastructure bank and finance infrastructure that way. It's a great idea. I'm a co-sponsor of that proposal. So if they're willing to negotiate with us, we'd be very interested in that.

HARLOW: Let me ask you this -- so let me ask you this. You've recently used phrases to describe the president like this. And these are your words -- cancer on the country, poison for the presidency. Is this rhetoric that is helpful at all to the American people heading into the new year? Is this rhetoric that you think should be used by or elected leaders on either side?

YARMUTH: Well, I don't think that we've ever seen a president who has so damaged the foundations of democracy as this president has done. And, you know, it happens on a daily basis. And the risk in not speaking out, in spelling out in the harshest terms, is that we normalize his behavior. And I don't think many Democrats are willing to do that.

So, you know, yes, they're harsh terms, but this president has done some pretty harsh things and extreme things. And, again, he's damaging democracy, he's damaging our basic institutions like our justice system. And so I'm going to continue to speak out.

HARLOW: OK. So it sounds like you will continue to use rhetoric like that into the new year. I just spent a good amount of time once again this year in Beattyville, Kentucky. You know well, sir, where that is.


HARLOW: It's very close to bordering --

YARMUTH: Lee County.

HARLOW: Bordering your district in Lee County, exactly. It's where 81 perce3nt of the residents voted for President Trump. We went back a year later to find out how they feel and overwhelmingly, despite the lack of many major legislative accomplishments, with the exception of tax reform, they are still fully standing behind the president. Is there a chance that you have a read on your constituents that's off?

YARMUTH: Well, first of all, in my -- in my district, Donald Trump is incredibly unpopular.

HARLOW: I understand that. I understand that.

YARMUTH: And we know -- we --

HARLOW: But, I'm saying is the -- but the state, as a whole, and looking at folks --


HARLOW: And this bet by Democrats that they're going to be able to flip both chambers say in 2018, do you feel like you have an accurate reed on how people are judging the president, even though, yes, his polling is very low, but that is not what was displayed with all the folks that I spoke to.

YARMUTH: No. Well, I agree with you. I saw a statewide poll just recently. He was in the mid 50s in Kentucky statewide. Fifties -- mid 50s support wise, which is obviously way above what he is nationally. So, yes, he is popular in a lot of areas of Kentucky and we probably won't do as well there as we will in suburban district and urban districts.

But, you know, we're going to continue to make the case that the agenda of the president, particularly the tax bill that was just passed, is something that, in the long term, will damage basically lower and middle income people because it would burden them with an enormous amount of dead and it will call for reductions in spending on things like Medicaid, and SNAP and some other things that many of the areas of Kentucky depend on. So we're going to continue to make that case. You know, it's hard to make any case these days because their -- he sucks up all the oxygen, the president does. So -- but we're going to keep talking.

HARLOW: Anyone can tweet as much as they want. That is one thing that we know.

YARMUTH: Right. Exactly.

HARLOW: Congressman, thank you for your time. We appreciate it.

YARMUTH: My pleasure.

HARLOW: We're going to take a quick break.


HARLOW: We'll be right back.


[09:48:32] HARLOW: It was a big year for sports. And it wasn't all about the action on the field. Here are the top seven moments in sports this year.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: 2017 will go down as one of the most memorable in sports history. We had controversies on and off the field. Dynasties rule and one of the greatest comebacks ever. Starting with number seven on our list, not winning a grand slam since

2012, Roger Federer beat his arch rival, Rafael Nadal, to win his fifth Australian Open. The 35-year-old Federer then dominated Wimbledon, winning the tournament without dropping a set, extending his record to 19 grand slam titles.

On the women's side, Serena Williams having quite the year on and off the court. She won the Australian Open after learning she was pregnant two days before the start of the tournament. Serena had her first child in September and married her fiance, Alexis Ohanian, in November. She plans to be back on the court in 2018.

To number six, three UCLA basketball players found themselves in trouble after being arrested for shoplifting while the team was in China to open their season. One of those players, LiAngelo Ball, is the brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. After being confined to their hotel in China for more than a week, the players were finally allowed to leave the country and return to the \United States after President Trump spoke on their behalf with the Chinese president

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they provided.

[09:50:00] SCHOLES: While the players thanked President Trump, LiAngelo's outspoken father, LaVar Ball, refused to thank him, sparking a war of words between the two.

LAVAR BALL: If I help somebody, I don't walk around saying, you know, I helped you now, come on now, you give me some love, I helped you. Man, come on, for real?

SCHOLES: President Trump responding to Ball calling him an ungrateful fool on Twitter. And before LiAngelo ever got on the court for UCLA, LaVar pulling him off the team saying he was going to train him himself for the NBA.

Speaking of the NBA, number five on our list is the continued dominance of super teams in the league. For the first time ever, the same two teams playing in the NBA finals for a third consecutive year. The Warriors now with superstar Kevin Durant avenging the previous year's loss, beating LeBron and the Cavs for their second title in three seasons. Durant was named the finals MVP.

Fourth on our list, after years of speculation and trash talk, Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor finally getting in the ring for one of the most anticipated boxing fights ever. The promotional tour leading up to the fight was at times deemed inappropriate and vulgar.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) if it's the ring. I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) if it's an octagon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dance for me, boy.

SCHOLES: First-ever UFC boxing cross promotion fight turned out to be better than expected. McGregor holding his own until the tenth round. Mayweather winning by TKO to finish his career a perfect 50-0. Third on our list, the Falcons looked like they were on their way to

their first Super Bowl title, leading the Patriots 38-3 in the third quarter. But the ageless one, Tom Brady, led the Patriots on the greatest comeback in football history. Patriots win 34-28 in the first ever overtime Super Bowl. Brady and the Patriots getting their ultimate revenge for what they deemed unfair punishment after deflate- gate.

Number two --

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Harvey moves closer, intensifying along the way.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is very much a potentially catastrophic situation here.

SCHOLES: As a hurricane raged, a heartfelt appeal by Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watt.

J.J. WATT, HOUSTON TEXAN: It's very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help. Not be there to help with the recovery. Not be there to help with the process. It's very tough. So what I do want to do is I want to start a fundraiser.

SCHOLES: And the sports world listened, as Watt raised more than $37 million.

As the city of Houston was reeling from Hurricane Harvey, the Astros said they were playing for the city and they came through big-time. One of the most exciting World Series ever, the Astros outlasted the Dodgers in seven games to win their first-ever World Series title.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be able to lift their spirits in some way or some form, and then winning a World Series, I mean what a special bond that creates between a city and this team.

SCHOLES: And topping our list --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, get that son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off the field right now? Out. He's fired! He's fired!

SCHOLES: The national anthem controversy reaching new heights. Teams across the league responding to the president's words with demonstrations before their next game. But President Trump not backing down, tweeting multiple times that players should not be allowed to play if they refuse to stand for the anthem. All of this happening while Colin Kaepernick, who started it all to protest racial inequality, continues to be without a job in the NFL. Despite not being in the spotlight, Kaepernick receiving multiple humanitarian honors this year. And in December, for the first time since becoming a free agent, he broke his silence while receiving an award in L.A.

COLIN KAEPERNICK: We all have an obligation, no matter the risk, and regardless of reward, to stand up for our fellow men and women who are being oppressed, with the understanding that human rights cannot be compromised.

SCHOLES: In 2017, we saw sports and politics collide. A theme that will certainly carry into 2018 with two global sporting events on tap. The winter Olympic games happening near North Korea, but with no Russian team, and a World Cup in Russia with no Team USA.


HARLOW: Thank you so much for that. We appreciate it.

All right, so ahead, an arctic blast gripping much of the nation with bitter cold temperatures. Some places getting, count them, five feet of snow. We'll take you there, next.


[09:58:50] HARLOW: Bitter cold, snow breaking records. We're talking about Erie, Pennsylvania, getting more than five feet of snow in three days. Our intrepid executive producer Michelle Moore (ph) calls it home. And look at her cute little nephews there out enjoying five plus feet of snow, helping you visualize how high it is, as it stacks up day after day. They are adorable.

Let's got to meteorologist Chad Myers in the Weather Center, who is adorable in his own right, but not -- not like them.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, yes, and the five feet of snow is right about right there, you know.

So far this December, Erie, Pennsylvania, now has had 99.5 inches of snow. And then they had this 62. The 62 in three days. I can't imagine even trying to shovel that. Even as a kid growing up in Cheektowaga, New York, we never really had that much snow all at one time. Yes, it came 10, 12 inches, you shoveled it and you got out of the way and you let it snow again. But it's the cold air across the unfrozen Great Lakes, and that's the cold air we're seeing here. The wind chill right now in Chicago, 16 degrees below zero. It isn't warming up anytime soon. And lake-effect may pick up again on Saturday and Sunday.


HARLOW: OK. We'll be watching, Chad. Thank you very, very much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

[10:00:05] HARLOW: Have a good one.

MYERS: You too.

HARLOW: The next hour of NEWSROOM starts right now.

Top of the hour. 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. John