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Putin's New Year's Resolution; New Details in the Russia Investigations. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired December 30, 2017 - 13:00   ET


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Russian President Vladimir Putin sharing a New Year's resolution with President Trump. This morning, Putin is calling for "pragmatic cooperation for the sake of the world," he says. We'll get to that in just a moment. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Fredricka Whitfield.

We do want to get to some breaking news though. New details today about how the FBI began investigating Russian links to the Trump campaign during the election. The New York Times reporting that it all started not with a salacious dossier, as has been claimed by some of the President's closest associates, but rather a drunken conversation between Trump aide George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomatic.

CNN's Dan Merica is in West Palm Beach, Florida traveling with the President. He's not far from the Mar-a-Lago estate. Dan, break down what all this new reporting means.

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Hey, Boris. It's really hard to believe frankly that George Papadopoulos, according to The New York Times, is really what set off this investigation. According to The New York Times in their story that was out today, George Papadopoulos was boasting in a bar in London to an Australian top diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Two months later when emails began to be appearing online that damaged Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, those Australian authorities passed along information that, according to The New York Times, set off the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Now, why is this groundbreaking? It's groundbreaking because George Papadopoulos was somewhat of a bit player in the campaign, but the dismissals by Republicans when George Papadopoulos name popped up, this report throws some cold water on those dismissals.

A number of Trump officials talked about George Papadopoulos as the coffee boy. The President himself said he was nothing more than a low level volunteer. This New York Times report elevates him in a way not only to somebody who was always obviously involved with the campaign but somebody who could have set off the investigation that has really dominated the Trump White House for the first year in office. Additionally, the report also throws a bit of cold water on the

Republican talking point that the dossier, the Steele dossier, controversial dossier of information that was compiled by a former MI6 British operative is actually what started the Russian investigation.

This report, there's still more that needs to be churned to and coming out. The White House is yet to respond to what is alleged in this report, but it does get to how this investigation started. And it's worth noting that this investigation really has dominated the first year of President Trump's time in office. He is down here on vacation in Mar-a-Lago.

But for the last 11 months and the foreseeable future, one has to assume that, you know, Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in addition to what the FBI has already done will continue to dominate news in Washington, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, especially as more and more details trickle out. Dan Merica, thank you so much for that reporting. Joining us now to talk about this and a lot more, CNN contributor Salena Zito, CNN political analyst Brian Karem, and CNN national security analyst Steve Hall.

Steve, I want to get to you right away. Apparently, weeks prior to this May meeting in the U.K. between George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat, he had learned that Russia hacked the Clinton campaign. How does a low-level coffee boy have that kind of information when it wasn't until June 2016 that the DNC came out and said that they were hacked?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, that's an excellent question, and it gets to the idea of, you know, what role did Papadopoulos really play and how close was he to the Russians. But I think what is important also take a step back and say look, you know, "Whether you're talking about the Steele dossier, whether you're talking about a guy like Flynn or Paul Manafort playing much larger roles in the campaign, in the Trump campaign, you could take away any one of those legs, and this is from a counter intelligence perspective now.

You could take away any one of those legs of this investigation and you would still have a whole lot of stuff that the Trump administration needs to explain. You know, the whole idea of dirt on Hillary Clinton is, you know, first and foremost, you know, sort of gets you to collusion pretty quickly, but again, that's coming from a lot of different places and there's just a lot of -- you can see how broad the Russian operation was, you're trying to get into the Trump campaign.


SANCHEZ: Brian, if you want to interject, go ahead.

KAREM: Yes. You don't have to go any further than President Trump on the stomp as his campaigning encouraging the Russians to turn over information about Hillary. I mean that -- let's start there. Besides all of that, as far as all the legs go, this is a centipede. I mean there isn't anybody around in the Trump administration who apparently doesn't have some tie to Russia in some way. And it's going to be up to them, we are to decide if any of it is actually, you know, damaging to the United States and illegal and go forward from that.

So, The New York Times, while it throws cold water on some of the allegations made by the Trump administration, you also have to remember that we're still looking at blue smoke and mirrors and the final word is going to come out of the Mueller investigation and not anything that we say or The Times says or the The Post or anyone else. So, you have to keep your eye on that prize.

SANCHEZ: Salena, another nugget in the story stands out to me because it again draws in the question the likelihood of whether or not George Papadopoulos was just a coffee boy or a low-level volunteer, The Times is reporting that Papadopoulos actually helped broker a meeting for then candidate Trump with the Egyptian President Fattah el-Sisi. So, how is it possible that this low-level volunteer is setting up these major foreign policy meetings?

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, to you point and what stands out to you and sort of stands out to me in sort of the same way and that it shows how sort of loose the campaign was, how unprofessional it was and how unpolished it was. It wasn't like sort of any other normal campaign that any political reporter that has done this for years and years and years has ever seen.

And, you know, that's part because we -- he was a populist and he wasn't someone that sort of ever had political experience in terms of running. So, you know, it seems like he kept sort of piecing people together and I shouldn't even say Trump because we don't know who started to pull all the people together to be part of the campaign.


ZITO: But there seems to be a loose association with a number of people and it's unclear to me after reading the reports, you know, how -- I'm not going to be able to pronounce his name, but how-- I'm not even going to try, but sort of was he part of it or wasn't he part of it. It still remains unclear to me ...

SANCHEZ: Well ...

ZITO: ... how -- it's like, what was his role?

KAREM: Well, I'm sorry...

SANCHEZ: I think the difficult thing here though, Salena, is that so many people on Trump's campaign and even in the transition team had denied there were any contact at all ...

KAREM: There you go.

SANCHEZ: ... with the Russians but yet we're seeing kind of the systematic ...

ZITO: Right. SANCHEZ: ... approach. What will make of that?

KAREM: Well ...

ZITO: Well ...

SANCHEZ: Do you think these folks are just forgetful or perhaps they didn't really give these meetings or contacts as much weight as perhaps they should have in retrospect?

ZITO: Well, what I think is...

KAREM: Go ahead.

ZITO: Oh, was that me?

KAREM: No, no, go ahead, I'm sorry.

ZITO: OK, sorry. So, what I think is it again shows the sort of immature nature of this campaign, is I don't think a lot of people talked to each other. There seems to be the sort of inner circles that spread out and I don't think among all these layers, there is a lot of conversations going on. They're making some here and some there, but I don't get the sense of connectivity.

So, people might not be lying when they say, "Why, I never had contact with this guy?" That might be true. We don't seem to understand what the infrastructure was.

KAREM: Well, that's true up to a point and at the point where they become a transition team and we still have President Trump denying that there's any type of connection with Russia. And by then, they had assembled some people, by then it was organized, and by then as the facts show so far, there was a connection. What it was or whether or not it goes to Trump, we still don't know. Again, that remains to be seen.

But yes, the early part of this campaign was a populist movement that wasn't popular. The GOP didn't even back him all that much and backed away from him. But once he became a team that was in transition and once he won the election, those connections are by then, I'm sorry, you're organized, you're the president-elect and you have a responsibility to the American people.

And I think at that point in time, you can clearly see that that there was some -- someone was talking to someone somewhere and they were a lot better organized. You might say, they still aren't that well- organized, they got rid of a lot of people over the last year, I think, what, 34 percent of the bill (ph) that came in that this administration already flipped, which is huge. But nonetheless, there was some communication at some point in time and someone is responsible for it.

SANCHEZ: I do want to let Steve in here, but I want to clarify, Salena, Brian said, because the President not only has denied that there was any collusion with Russia, he apparently has trouble admitting that Russia interfered in the election at all.

KAREM: Absolutely, yes.

SANCHEZ: Steve, to you though, what do make of these denials from the Trump team? Do you agree with Salena that it just seems to be caused by chaos and a disorganized operation?

HALL: I spent most of my career, Boris, looking at foreign governments and foreign intelligence services advised our own. So, I think I can speak to a point here which is sort of interesting, and that is that the Russian intelligence services have this amazing stable in the Trump campaign of possible spies that they could go after, that they can try to recruit to work inside the Trump campaign for any number of different reasons, you know, again, guys, from Manafort to Flynn, all the way down to Mr. Papadopoulos.

But it would not at all be uncommon for those individuals not to know necessarily how far they had gone along with the Russians or if at all because the Russians are going to want to compartment that. They're not going to want to tell Papadopoulos, "Hey, we were just talking to Flynn or Paul Manafort. Hey, we were just talking because they want to keep those channels of communication point to point."

So, that contributes, of course, to the chaos part of it. You know, if Manafort doesn't know, you know, what Flynn has told the Russians and who knows what Papadopoulos, you know, the Maltese professor, you know, there's all sorts of so many fascinating alliance that all do have a tendency, however, to end up back in the Kremlin and back in Russia and that in kind of a Republican's perspective is the real important thing.

KAREM: And the big point here is, let's not forget these are Americans running for office. Why didn't anyone when they were approached by the Russians go straight to the FBI?

HALL: That's a good point.

KAREM: Why are we hearing about -- that's the point that has to be made that if the Russians had approach Papadopoulos, Flynn or Manafort, the first up should have been the FBI. They should have said, "These guys are trying to interfere in our election and it's wrong," and we didn't do that.

SANCHEZ: Brian, we're short on time. I just want to give the last words to Salena very quickly.

ZITO: Well, the reason I speak to chaos is I sort of have a firsthand experience. The second week of December of last year, I went into Trump Tower in New York to do an interview and I never saw anything like it. It was an incredibly chaotic situation. And so, I think that that stays with me in terms of wondering who -- I mean it just seemed like nobody knew who was what was where was how. And that impression stayed with me, so I think that is why I sometimes wonder if there was a lot of communications with a lot of different actors and characters.

KAREM: But they know the FBI.

SANCHEZ: Salena Zito, Brian Karem, Steve Hall, it is unfortunate that we are out of time because this breaking news is worthy of closer inspection. Thank you so much for joining us this afternoon.

KAREM: Thanks, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Moving on to Iran where a top official says the government will work harder to resolve the country's economic woes. But he also warns that anyone who uses these issues as an excuse to hurt the government must be identified. Crowds of Iranians have taken to the streets over the past two days to protest the country's rising gas and food prices.

State media there is reporting that three students at Tehran University were arrested and adding to the chaos and confusion. Today pro-government supporters also staged their own rallies. Just moments ago, Senator John McCain voiced his support for the antigovernment demonstrators, sending out this tweet, quote, "The U.S. stands with the brave protesters who yearn for freedom, peace, and an end to corruption in Iran."

Nic Robertson has been following the latest developments for us from London. Nic, this is very different than the counter-government protests that we saw just a few years ago in 2009. What stands out to you?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, we know that there are these issues that are driving some antigovernment protesters to the streets. The inflation is running at about 8 percent unemployment up to about 12 percent food prices because of shortages going up to there. Their conditions, at least, some of these antigovernment rallies started out with people with economic chants.

But now, they've morphed some of those -- some of the chants now become of a more political nature. So, there's an element here, whoever got these people out on the streets with one message and another message is coming out, they all spread out across Iran. These are the biggest protests since 2009.

The Deputy Governor of Tehran said, many of these protesters that realized they're being manipulated by antirevolutionary forces, and there's an indication here that they're trying -- the governor is trying to push blame outside of the country as well, which is something you can tell the government is trying -- is doing from a position of pressure on the government.

But what we've heard from the deputy -- from the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry is a pushback directly on what President Trump and the White House Press Secretary said that the world is watching Tehran at this time. We've heard in the statement the government spokesman say, the people of Iran gave no value or credibility to such opportunistic expressions. The government and the person of Donald Trump, America -- American officials through their conduct have no -- have not earned respect from which they can express their expressions, sentiments such as sympathy for the analysis and engagement of the people of Iraq.

This is the government here absolutely pushing back on what President Trump has said or what the White House has said, that the Iranian government says that they have no credibility and that they are just being opportunistic for us.

SANCHEZ: Nic, very, very quickly to you, how much of the protesters angers over economic conditions, and how much of it is over clerical rule because we've heard something here that we've never really heard before, people chanting in the streets death to the Ayatollah?

ROBERTSON: And that is something, you know, we've also heard, you know, damn with (ph) Rouhani, and there has been -- the President of Iran, and there has been a view that some of these rallies were originally organized by hardliners trying to bring down the Iranian President, trying to put him in a difficult position because of what he promised, what happened after Iran signing a nuclear deal with United States and the other nations. There's just been an effort to undermine him.

But when it morphed into cause for the supreme -- an end to the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, this is new territory, this is new ground, but, of course, those protests in 2009 went on for months and months and months. This is just three days of protest. It's impossible to know at the moment with the lack of information and clarity that we just lack at the moment, it's impossible to know how much longer they'll run or what they may come to.

SANCHEZ: Yes. We will certainly keep our eyes on the situation in Iran. Nic Robertson, thank you for the expertise.

Ahead, from rooftop snipers to hostage rescue teams, major cities are pulling out all the staffs to ensure that Americans stay safe tomorrow night. We'll talk New Year's Eve security right after a quick break.


SANCHEZ: Cities across the country are ramping up security measures, not taking any chances for New Year's Eve. Las Vegas is adding police snipers to rooftops and officials are bringing in the National Guard to help protect crowds after a deadly shooting at a country music festival there in October.

In New York, police are setting up barricades and patrol in tourist attractions and hotels for the iconic ball drop in Times Square. To be clear, the police have said that they haven't received any credible threats though they are doing this out of an abundance of precaution.

CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey joins me now. He's also a former Washington D.C. Police Chief and a Philadelphia Police Commissioner. Sir, with Las Vegas bringing in the National Guard and putting snipers on rooftops, would that be disconcerting for people there or is this really an important sign to show that crowds are safe?

CHARLES RAMSEY, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think people should be concerned if they don't see law enforcement taking extraordinary steps. I mean we have to face the reality of the world we're in now, police, citizens, media, everybody.

I mean you look at 2017, the events that unfolded in Las Vegas, New York, other parts of the world, we have serious issues going on and our job as the police is to protect the public anyway we can and, of course, New Year's Eve is a time when you have large gatherings of people throughout the United States, not just in New York or Las Vegas, but in cities across America. And police have to take extraordinary measures in order to make sure that the public can celebrate safely.

SANCHEZ: As a law enforcement official, sir, what worries you more, an attempted terrorist attack or a deranged shooter?

RAMSEY: Well, it doesn't make any difference when it comes to someone harming people, whether or not they, you know, psychologically have an issue or whether or not it's a terrorist event. I mean the kind of destruction or capable of causing is the same no matter what.

My biggest concern is always, one, the unexpected, which obviously is what happened in Las Vegas with the individual breaking out a window of a high-rise and shooting down on a crowd. But also the more you harden one target, the more appealing another target can look to a person who is bent on causing harm, and that's always a concern. You can't be everywhere. But obviously, you have to secure the sites where you have the largest gatherings of people and rely on the public. If they see something that doesn't quite look right, call the police and let us check it out.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you mentioned one of the tactics used by the shooter in Las Vegas to break up the windows of a high-rise, we're actually learning that in New York, for the first time ever, they're placing reflectors on high-rise buildings to help ...

RAMSEY: Right.

SANCHEZ: ... identify floors in case shots are fired from that kind of higher vantage point. Is law enforcement concerned that we're going to see another Las Vegas-style shooting? Do you think some copycat might be out there thinking they're going to do the same thing?

RAMSEY: Well, there's always potential of a copycat. I'm not aware of any credible threat at all, but you'd be crazy not to take adequate precautions and you have to be able to somehow be able to judge from the ground what floor an individual is on. Just look at one these high-rise buildings and try to guess whether not you're looking at the 35th floor, the 37th floor, some buildings, skip number 13, some have a mezzanine, others don't. There's no way of being able to very quickly identify what floor the threat is on so you can respond even quicker. We obviously saw that in Las Vegas and you'd see that anywhere where you have large buildings.

SANCHEZ: We've learned that officers are also training on how to respond to a suicide attack. What does that training look like? RAMSEY: Well, it varies. I happened to actually be in Iraq on a

commission that I was appointed to, watching the training that they were providing to the soldiers in Iraq, that obviously that's a real threat there. But, you know, trying to do the best you can, the distance that you need to try to maintain, keep people back, constantly talk to an individual, try to keep them from detonating a device, I mean it is different kind of training and it takes a different kind of mindset that American law enforcement simply is not accustomed to.

But we saw in New York that people are capable of having these kinds of -- of committing these kinds of acts. I mean that individual had a device on this person didn't function properly, thank God, but, you know, the mindset is there with some of these folks, and we have to be able to respond.

SANCHEZ: All right. Charles Ramsey, thank you so much for the expertise, sir. We appreciate it.

RAMSEY: Thank you. Happy New Year.

SANCHEZ: Well, if you've got the champagne and your resolutions ready then join us on CNN ringing the New Year with CNN's New Year's Eve Special hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. There will be laughs and maybe even some tears tomorrow at 8 P.M. Eastern only on CNN. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: New details this week about explosive accusations of sexual harassments and assault aboard commercial airline flights. CNN tracked down several female passengers who say that airlines did little to stop alleged misconduct in the skies. CNN's Rene Marsh has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this the gentleman?



RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: A man arrested last week accused of fondling two female passengers on board a United Airlines flight from Newark to Buffalo, New York. Katie Campos was one of them.

CAMPOS: He grabbed my like upper thigh, like in my -- like the crotch area, and he grabbed it pretty forcefully.

MARSH: A police report says that the man told the other woman he would like to kiss her. When she declined, he started stroking her leg. The man now charged with disorderly conduct. United Airlines told CNN, we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and our pilot requested that local law enforcement meet the aircraft on arrival.

Not enough for Campos, who tweeted, "Do better, United Airlines." She says the flight attendant did not offer her to switch seats, she had to demand it. She was then placed directly behind the harasser. The airline says because there were few empty seats, the touching continued.

CAMPOS: At the end of the day, they didn't protect my safety or those around me, and I don't think that that's a good excuse.

MARSH: Like Campos, these three women tell CNN they were sexually harassed or assaulted on commercial flights, and all of them complained the flight crew did little or nothing to help.

AYANNA HART, DELTA AIRLINES PASSENGER: He grabbed my arm and my side right under my left breast, right next to my left breast.

MARSH: Ayanna Hart was on a Delta flight from Los Angeles to Denver in May. She says the flight attendant was of no help.

HART: The flight attendant said, "Oh, don't worry about him, he flies with us all the time, he's Delta Platinum.

MARSH: Hart has a pending lawsuit against Delta for failing to intervene and continuing to serve him alcohol. The airline would not comment on this case citing pending litigation, but said it takes these incidents seriously and with law enforcement investigates them.

ALLISON DVALADZE, DELTA AIRLINES PASSENGER: I was dozing off when I felt a hand in my crotch and realized that the man next to me was holding -- was grabbing my crotch.

MARSH: Allison Dvaladze filed a complaint with Delta after her flight from Seattle to Amsterdam.

DVALADZE: There was not a clear procedure for what they should do. They asked me what I wanted them to do.

MARSH: A month later, she received an email saying it's not fair when one person's behavior affects another, and as a goodwill gesture offered her 10,000 miles.

DVALADZE: If somebody reports a crime to an airline, that it should be flagged, it should not be treated as if it's lost luggage.

MARSH: The airline told CNN, "We continue to be disheartened by the events Miss Dvaladze's described."

JENNIFER RAFIEYAN, UNITED AIRLINES PASSENGER: He started to touch my leg, stroke my leg, tickle it.

MARSH: Jennifer Rafieyan was on a flight from Newark to Phoenix. She too says the flight crew did not move her away from her harasser. Instead, the airline made an offer.

RAFIEYAN: He gave me four $100-gift certificates for travel on an upcoming United flight, and he refused to let me talk to a manager.

MARSH: But shortly after a news article about her ordeal was published, United management called to, in their words, check on her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This message is for Ms. Jennifer Rafieyan. This is (BLEEP) calling

from United Airlines' executive offices. I can't even imagine, you know, what you went through when you were on the flight with the gentleman seated next to you.

SARA NELSON, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: At thousands of feet in the air, you can't call for help, you can't remove the problem.

MARSH: Sara Nelson is President of one of the world's largest flight attendant unions.

NELSON: In my 22 years as a flight attendant, I have never taken part in a conversation in training or otherwise about how to handle sexual harassment or sexual assault.

MARSH: The union surveyed nearly 2,000 flight attendants. One out of five said they've received a report of a passenger sexual assault. The law enforcement was contacted less than half the time. CNN reached out to all of the major U.S. airlines and the industry trade group that represents them. None agreed to go on camera, but all released statements with a similar message, passenger safety, and security is their priority. And they say flight attendants are trained to handle these incidents but none gave a detailed explanation of the policies or guidelines.

No federal regulatory agency tracks how many mid-air sexual assaults happen nationwide. But the FBI does track how many it investigates. Federal data shows a 66 percent increase from 2014 to 2017. The FBI says it's unclear what's behind the rise. But what is clear for these women, flight crews need to do more because, at 30,000 feet, there's no escape.

Well, I want to thank all four women for sharing their stories with CNN. The four women in this piece say they want three things. One, flight crew should always separate the victim from the harasser. Two, do not allow drunk people on flights. Alcohol played a role in a lot of these cases. And three, call law enforcement to report these cases upon landing every time. They also advise try to avoid the middle or window seat if possible, sitting in the aisle allows for an easier getaway if necessary. We do want to point out several lawmakers have been pushing for legislation that would beef up flight crew training and mandate better tracking of these incidents. Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: An eye-opening report, truly a terrific work by Rene Marsh. Joining us now to dig deeper, CNN aviation analyst and former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo, and CNN an aviation analyst Justin Green, who's also an aviation attorney. Mary, to you, first, what is the airline's level of responsibility

here? Are they supposed to be patrolling this kind of behavior?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: They are. They have a federal aviation regulation. It's 121.421. It says they are supposed to be trained and able to handle any kind of passenger misbehaviors, and that, of course, they have a federal criminal on their side, 49 United States Code 46504, which says you cannot interfere with a flight crew.

So, they have these two sets of laws that should help to govern the situation. But the problem is the training and it's technically the FBI that handles crimes in the air and the FBIs hanging around the airports, they have other things to do. It's not a TSA jurisdiction. So there is the problem, you know, the gap.

SANCHEZ: Justin, how would one go about prosecuting this kind of case? Where do you even file charges?

JUSTIN GREEN, CNN ANALYST & AVIATION ATTORNEY: Well, the first thing you have to do is report it, and reporting to the airline may not be enough. The airline is not a law enforcement agency. The airline should and I think now will mainly because of the attention that these incidents are going to have on the industry, the airline will report it. But I think if you are assaulted or if you see someone being assaulted, I think you have to report it and it becomes a criminal matter. The FBI should be prosecuting it. And, you know, misbehaving on a federal flight is a violation of federal law.

Going against the airline may be very difficult because the airline is not necessarily liable to a passenger if that passenger is assaulted from another passenger. But as we saw in some of the reporting that Rene provided us, where airlines allow people to get on flights drunk, if airlines don't handle the situation properly, the airline then may be liable to the family.

SANCHEZ: And Mary, when it comes to an incident like this being reported to a team member on the airline, what do you think the procedure should be for their response? If there were a step-by-step plan that they would have to then take, what would that look like?

SCHIAVO: Well, the plan has to be twofold. One is the passenger really does need to act because flight attendants, pilots, they have other things to do. And frankly, often, they don't want to get involved because when this happens, and I've worked several of these cases, what happens is the airline also has to send people to testify, the FBI present its findings to the U.S. Attorney's Office and they have to present it to a grand jury and go through the indictment process, and so, it's a burden on the airlines.

So, sometimes the airline doesn't want to act, so the passenger has to act, a passenger should ask that the authorities be called. It will be local authorities because, as I say, it's not TSA jurisdiction, and the FBI and the airport, and they should ask that a case be made.

And the most important thing, as both Rene and Justin said, is getting that evidence. Whip out your cell phone, start recording, start taking pictures of people because what happens is you have to get this coverage (ph) from the airlines to find out the names of passengers who might have witnessed things after the fact, and a lot of times, they don't want to cooperate because after all, the airline has a history and people aren't going to like me saying this, but in years gone by, it was coffee, tea or me, and the airlines helped promote the image of selling sex. Now, U.S. carriers don't do this anymore, but foreign carriers still do. So, the airlines have to get on board here and help to stop this.

SANCHEZ: All right. We have to leave the conversation there. Mary Schiavo, Justin Green, thank you, both, so much.

GREEN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: We have much more ahead in the newsroom, but first, here's this week's edition of Living in the Future.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Our homes of the future may not look different, but how they're built may be completely new. Building materials are getting a makeover and companies are rethinking how homes are designed.

CRANE: So, right now ...


CRANE: ... we are essentially in the Penthouse, widened (ph) as a fancy apartment.

CRANE (voice-over): For bioMASON, innovation means redesigning one of construction's most popular materials.

CRANE: And you're actually trying to then grow the cement, right?


CRANE: How do you actually do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We take bacteria and we put it in our aggregate and grows around each grain of aggregate as cement component. It literally is just using the same organism that are already doing things similar ...

CRANE: In the...



CRANE: Right.

CRANE (voice-over): Building the homes of the future may mean planning for catastrophes. Hurricane Sandy devastated New York in 2012. A few weeks later, JDS Development started planning their newest high-rise.

SIMON KOSTER, PRINCIPAL, JDS DEVELOPMENT GROUP: When we started designing this building right after Hurricane Sandy, we were working with a group of 50 or 60 people that had all just lived through the problem. As we went around the room and we said, "What happened to you?"

CRANE (voice-over): They designed flood-proofing measures below the building and installed a fleet of generators where the Penthouse would be.

CRANE: Most buildings at least in Manhattan don't do this.

KOSTER: No, nobody does this. The notion that you can't leave or that you shouldn't leave or it's safer in your building than outside is a relatively new concept.

CRANE (voice-over): Natural gas power generators mean that residents will have power even if the rest of Manhattan is in the dark. In the future, smart tech wouldn't be limited to inside your home. How our building is changing even you can't see it.



LAUREN DESTENO, CHEF DE CUISINE, MAREA: When I was younger, the only goal I had was to be a chef in New York City. With my family background being Spanish and Italian, I kind of realized very early on that no matter what was going on, whenever food hit the table and it was time to eat, everyone sat down. I saw what food and creating a meal for someone could do. When I think back to how long I've wanted to be in the position I am now, it's exciting.

So, a day at Marea, I would get tothe restaurant, kind of check on orders, see if all our fish came in and then go through with our staff and see how they're doing, where they're at the day and when lunch starts and it's kind of like a mad dash from then on.

There are a lot of different parts to my job and things that are required on a daily basis. It's my job to make sure that everything comes out when it's supposed to, how it's supposed to. So, being able to have sufficient energy to provide those things is paramount.

Being a chef and working in a restaurant that's as busy as Marea is, it's at its best controlled chaos, it's tough, it's loud, hot, there are a lot of people that are working in there, at least a lot of people coming in our kitchen. We want to provide everything in a timely manner, so it's just a breakneck speed from the moment we start till the moment the last client walks out the door.

With my job being so unpredictable, it means that I don't always get as long of a night sleep as I would want or need. That's something that definitely they extol (ph) on you.

The most important thing that keeps me functioning at the level I need to is being able to come home and feel comfortable and just get a quality night of sleep. Being groggy or unfocused during the day can lead to just kind of silly mistakes, but there's also a lot of decisions that need to be made and to not be sharp and make those when I need to is really a big hindrance to what I need to do.

The part I love most about my job is making people happy and being able to create really amazing situations for them and just delicious food but also just bring them together and that really only happen if I could get a nice sleep.


SANCHEZ: A hoax leaves police to shooting and killing an innocent man at his own front door in an apparent swatting incident. Swatting is when someone makes a prank phone call about a bogus crime to get SWAT teams to show up at your house and surprise you. CNN affiliate KABC reports that a man in Los Angeles is under arrest for making a false call to police in Kansas allegedly telling dispatchers that he had shot his father and was holding his mother and sibling hostage, that said police to an unrelated address and a whole ordeal ended with an innocent man dead.

Polo Sandoval has been following the story. Polo, help us understand what happened.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris, there are so many people now struggling with the reality of what happened here. You have the family of this 28-year-old man, this innocent man, and at the same time US will have the responding officers who were forced to open fire, shooting and killing a 28-year-old Andrew Finch.

Let me tell you a little bit about how this started. According to authorities and a CNN affiliate KABC, a man in California phoned in some of this false information that he had apparently -- that he was in Kansas that he had shot and killed his father and apparently turning the gun on not only his mother but his sister as well and that he would potentially shoot them. Authorities responding to that.

Before we go on though, I want you to hear directly from that caller that is by simple accounts now under arrest, exactly how that call or at least what that call sounded like to dispatchers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just pointing the gun at them, making sure they stay in the closet, my mom and my little brother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, is there any way you can put the gun up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Are you, guys, sending someone over here, because I'm definitely not going to put it away?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I'm just going to go ahead and stay on the phone with you, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's fine. Until they get here, or ... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As long as you need me to, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm thinking about -- because I already poured gasoline all over the house. I might just set it on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, well, we don't need to do that, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a little bit I might.


SANDOVAL: All right. So, here's what happened next. Taking this information, officers with Wichita, Kansas responded to that address. That wasn't even the intended address of this prank. They encountered 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who by several accounts moved his hands towards his waistband that then prompted officers to open fire, shooting and killing this father of two. They later found out that not only was Mr. Finch not involved with this at all, he was also unarmed. So, there is clearly an investigation there that is right now running its course.

In the meantime though, the Deputy Police Chief there is describing this as tragic, Boris, also describing this as senseless. And then also the results of just irresponsible actions that were taken by this prankster, this so-called swatting, many of us may have just heard about this, but this is something that's been around for authorities for a very long time. The FBI has been warning about this for at least 10 years now. Many people now injured in this case and losing their life.

SANCHEZ: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for that. Stay with CNN, we'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: As people around the world prepare to ring in the New Year tomorrow night, we take a look back at some of the big stories of 2017. Many of them involving our favorite shows and celebrities, CNN contributor and Entertainment Tonight host Nischelle Turner breaks down the top seven entertainment stories of 2017.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & HOST OF ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT (voice-over): From political spoofs, to musical tragedies, to social media movements, entertainment and news intersected like never before in 2017.

MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS: Sit down. All right. First of all, I would just like to announce that I'm calm now.

TURNER: Saturday Night Live hit record ratings after the latest presidential election and kept the momentum going by spoofing Trumps presidency throughout 2017.

KATE MCKINNON, ACTRESS: Lock him up. TURNER: Alec Baldwin's portrayal as the president, Kate McKinnon's

double take of Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway, and Melissa McCarthy's scene stealing take on Sean Spicer made the sketch series required weekend viewing and earned all three actors Emmy Awards.

Superhero movies aren't just a boy's club anymore. From "Batman" to the "Avengers", super hero films have dominated the box office for the last decade. But in 2017 "Wonder Woman" proved females have just as much power on the big screen.

The first female-led super hero film of the 21st century received critical raves upon its release and ruled the summer box office becoming one of the year's highest grossing films. "Wonder Woman" also became the biggest live action film ever by a female director, turning star Gal Gadot and Director Patty Jenkins into household names.

Despite new releases from music big wigs like Taylor Swift and Jay-Z, it was a Spanish-language ditty that took over American airways in 2017. "Despacito," by Puerto Rican sensations, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee became the first Spanish track to hit number one in U.S. since the "Macarena" 20 years ago. The song's music video went on to become the most viewed YouTube clip of all time with over 4.5 billion views.

Breaking royal news, Prince Harry officially engaged to American actress Meghan Markle. It's time for yet another royal wedding as Prince Harry and American actress, Meghan Markle announced their engagement in November. The pair met on a blind date, as Harry told reporters, he knew the "Suits" star was the one from the start.

MEGHAN MARKLE, ACTRESS: I can barely let you finish proposing, can I say yes now?

PRINCE HENRY: She didn't let me finish. I was like, and then there was hug, and I had the ring on my finger, and it was like, can I give you the ring? She was like, "Oh yes, the ring."

TURNER: All eyes will be on what Markle wears down the aisle when the couple marries in May '19.

"La La Land". A mix-up leads to the most awkward finale in Oscar's history, "La La Land". Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty presented "La La Land" with the best picture trophy at February's 89th Academy Awards. But the celebration hit a pause when one of the "La La Land" winners pointed out that "Moonlight" had in fact won the award.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a mistake. "Moonlight," you guys won best picture.

TURNER: The uncomfortable moment continues as Beatty explained he had been given the wrong envelope. That mix up proves when it comes to live TV, well, anything goes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Details are just coming in, this is breaking right now. TURNER: A terror attack outside an Ariana Grande concert at

Manchester Arena in May, killed 22 people. The tragedy was carried out by a lone suicide bomber and injured nearly 60 people. Grande returned to the city in early June to perform in the "One Love Manchester" benefit concert and visited fans injured in the attack at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Just a few months later, a gunman opened fire at a Las Vegas country music festival killing 58 and injuring hundreds more. The awful events took place during singer Jason Aldean's set at the popular Route 91 Harvest Festival. The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Aldean paid tribute to the victims with an emotional performance on SNL in October.

#metoo shakes up Hollywood. A series of sexual harassment allegations against numerous Hollywood heavyweights sparked an outcry sure to change the entertainment industry forever. Studio Executive Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis CK were just a few of the men called to task for their alleged indiscretions. The allegations inspired the social media #metoo to denounce sexual assault and harassment. The founder of the #metoo movement was even included in Time Magazine Silence Breakers Person of the Year.

The power of social media continued to keep entertainment in the news and inspiring both change and conversations, there are sure to continue in 2018. Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.


SANCHEZ: Thanks for that, Nischelle. We have much more just ahead in the newsroom. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: Hello. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks so much for joining us in the CNN Newsroom. We appreciate you hanging with us.

And we are following some breaking news this hour. New details on the seeds that were planted by a Trump campaign aide that may have launched the Russia investigation. The New York Times is reporting today that it all started not with a salacious dossier, as many of the President's closest allies claim, but rather with a drunken conversation between Trump aide George Papadopoulos who was cooperating ...