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Investigators Poring Over Amtrak's Camera Recordings; White House Official Said Trump Won't Pledge to Declassify Dems Memo; Super Bowl Anti-Terror Reports Left on Plane; Philadelphia Eagles Beat New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII; Some Eagles Players Plans to Skip White House Visit Over Trump. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired February 5, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:04] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Investigators in the deadly crash of an Amtrak passenger train in South Carolina say they are hoping for more answers today. NTSB officials poring over camera recordings from Sunday's crash that killed two people and injured 116. That train was diverted on to the wrong track and smashed into a parked freight train.
CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung joins us now from South Carolina with the latest -- Kaylee.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt tells us he hopes important information can be gleaned from those forward-facing cameras on the train like eyes on the front of the train. We hope to hear more from him about that information in a 4:00 press briefing he'll hold today.
But at our last communication with him, investigators were still searching for data recorders on both trains. Akin to the little black boxes you always hear as critical to the investigations when airplanes crash.
Here's what we do know about how this deadly crash happened. A switch on the track was lined and locked as they say in the railroad industry in the wrong direction. This switch locked with a padlock to send the Amtrak passenger train off the main track, diverting it to a siding track, squarely into that parked freight train.
Investigators now trying to understand the why. That will be a question they will need the help of CSX to answer. CSX, the railroad corporation that owns the stretch of track where this crash occurred. That means they're the ones responsible for maintaining and operating the signaling, switching and maintenance of this track. CSX offered up a statement to us, offering their condolences to the families of the two victims killed in this crash, the conductor and engineer of that Amtrak train, also saying they will cooperate fully with the NTSB investigation, but they have yet to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
HILL: Yet to acknowledge any wrongdoing. It's impossible to ignore, too, that this is just the latest in a string of issues, crashes for Amtrak, over the last couple of months. What is -- what is happening there? Is there any connection between them? HARTUNG: Well, the NTSB chairman is saying you have to look at each
of those four crashes on a case-by-case basis. Because when you look at what happened in Virginia and North Carolina, those were both cases where drivers of vehicles went around the closing arm at the railway crossing. In one case in Virginia, a garbage truck, in another case in North Carolina it was an SUV.
When you look at what happened in Washington state, in that case, an engineer mistook one signal to mean something else. Speed was also a factor. And then you have the cases we've explained here in South Carolina.
One commonality between Washington state and South Carolina is that technology exists that could have prevented both of those crashes in the form of positive train control. Something that we need to make clear here in South Carolina is that the signals were down on the stretch of track where this crash occurred. So it's unclear if PTC, had it been installed on the track and on the Amtrak train would have been working with those signals being down, Erica.
HILL: One of the things they're looking into, obviously.
Kaylee Hartung, appreciate it, thank you.
The release of the GOP memo isn't just further straining the White House relationship with the FBI. My next guest says the world is watching and our foreign partners may be thinking twice about the information they share with us.
HILL: A senior administration official telling CNN Democrats' rebuttal to the Nunes memo will be, quote, "evaluated," if it is sent to the White House. But it's a mistake to presume one way or the other whether the president will declassify the memo without the White House lawyers and others seeing it.
Already the release of the GOP memo causing even more damage to an already strained relationship between the trump White House and the Intelligence Committee. And that impact could be felt far beyond these borders.
Joining me now to discuss, CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd.
In fact, you're writing about this and you said this is a crisis of intelligence. How? Why?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think that we've relied so heavily on foreign intelligence relationships over the past several decades particularly when it comes to Russia. Our partners are able to go places that we just can't go -- Israel, the United Kingdom, Japan. Meaning our intelligence partner.
We're in a scenario now where the whole framework for whether a foreign intelligence partner should share intelligence has been turned on its head. Before, if you're Israel, you share information on Russia and you knew that there were processes that the intelligence community had to go through to declassify intelligence.
We're in a situation now because of this Nunes episode where one congressman decided to write a 3 1/2 page memo. There is an obscure rule used within the House Intel Committee to declassify it, and seemingly the president decided to go ahead with it because it served his political interests.
What certainty does any foreign intelligence partner have now that this won't happen again? It is such a dangerous precedent.
HILL: So what's the -- I mean, what is the real world? What's the tangible impact starting today of that? So if those partners decide to hold back, who is at risk? Is it simply what --
HILL: -- Washington?
HILL: Is it what agents are doing overseas? How broad is this?
VINOGRAD: It's all of the above. There is no threat that we work on that we should be concerned about, that we don't get intelligence from foreign intel partners on. So whether it's ISIS, whether it's a terrorist attack here at home, whether it's the vulnerability of our people overseas.
So now we're in a new age where we should be very cognizant of the fact. There are going to be massive gaps in our intelligence and particularly when it comes to Russia, if you're a foreign intelligence power, why would you share intelligence on Russia right now? It could end up on the "New York Times," on the (INAUDIBLE) Web site. And that means that going into the 2018 midterms, which by the way CIA director Pompeo has said that Russia will attack us again, we're going to be missing intelligence on what Russia is doing.
HILL: And perhaps missing that intelligence, it's also not clear what has been done since we learned about the vulnerabilities to further protect against those.
[10:40:03] HILL: We heard from Chairman Nunes that the State Department is the next target of what he's calling phase two. When you hear that, what are your thoughts?
VINOGRAD: I think it's a distraction. I think that --
HILL: So you don't believe that there is actually any there-there, that this is just -- VINOGRAD: I think that the FBI and State Department have inspector
generals that should be doing their jobs, which is if there is any wrongdoing by any employees, they should be looking into it, but Nunes also has a job to do along with the rest of Congress and we spent the past several weeks analyzing every word of a very poorly sourced 3.5 page memo. Instead of focusing on the real threat of Russia's ongoing attack on our country.
So if there is impropriety at the State Department, if there's impropriety at the FBI, let the IGs look at it and let Congress get back to their mission, which Trey Gowdy pointed out yesterday is try and look at what Russia did and what we're doing to protect our country.
HILL: There is also, we've been learning a little bit more, before I let you go, former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. This letter in 2013, "Over the past year I've had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin."
When we see all of this, if he'd been touting his Russia connections for years, and then we have this surprise from folks within the Trump campaign, should there have been any surprise there? How does that happen?
VINOGRAD: I can't really see how anyone was surprised. Frankly, it was like Carter Page put up a neon sign in Russia that said I'm open for business, come recruit me. He bragged about his desire to work with the Russians. It's on his public bio on the Internet. And so he was an ideal foreign intelligence target. The Russians knew that he wanted to work with them, he made this very clear, and from an intelligence perspective, if you're Russia, you play on that in the same way that Russia has been playing, for example, on President Trump's paranoia about the deep state.
President Trump and Carter Page have frankly broadcasted to foreign intelligence services what their vulnerabilities are.
HILL: Samantha Vinograd, always appreciate your take. Thank you.
VINOGRAD: Thank you.
HILL: The documents marked official use only and important for national security found on a plane, left behind, found by a CNN employee.
Up next, what that stack of papers revealed about the Super Bowl security.
[10:46:40] HILL: Highly sensitive documents detailing the response to two terrorism exercises, what might happen if the Super Bowl were hit by an anthrax attack. Copies of the report were supposed to be locked up or shredded. Instead, a CNN employee discovered those documents.
Joining us now with more, CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin.
I mean, it just leaves you scratching your head, Drew.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think we were as surprised as the Department of Homeland Security was. A CNN employee found these, Erica, in the seatback pocket of a commercial airplane, 78 pages of this stuff, documents that contain the details of preparations in the event of a biological attack during last night's Super Bowl. They were based on these two DHS exercises, that simulated an anthrax attack, along with listing what worked well and there were many things that worked well, it talked about shortcomings that exposed during those training exercises.
Areas for improvement, including confusion among health agencies about alerts, differences of opinion determining just how many persons would potentially be exposed, and this is the kicker, they're all labeled for official use only, which means they should be stored in a locked drawer after business hours or shouldn't be shared with anybody and that they should be shredded before discarding.
CNN isn't revealing the most sensitive information in the reports because of national security concerns and that's exactly why we also withheld publishing this story before last night's Super Bowl. DHS said it could jeopardize safety.
Listen to this, though, Erica, included in the documents was the travel itinerary of the senior manager at DHS, the man in charge of the government's detection and response to a bioterror attack. We tried to reach him, but he didn't return our calls.
HILL: Wow. So of the items that the report lists out, were those addressed by DHS prior to the Super Bowl?
GRIFFIN: Yes, and we should also point out that that's why they have these exercises. The problems that detailed in the documents are designed to highlight the problems so they can be fixed before a big event. DHS officials say that is exactly what happened in this case, here is their statement they gave to us.
"The issues revealed in the exercise are exactly what we expect to see from such an event, a training event, and they did not highlight gaps that could not be addressed." They confirmed to us that they did address these things.
As for the DHS official whose name appears on those documents, well, Erica, they would not comment. They called it a personnel matter.
HILL: Ah. Personnel matter. Drew Griffin, appreciate it. Thank you.
Turning now from a Super Bowl blunder to Super Bowl bliss. Especially if you're of course an Eagles fan. The city of brotherly love flying high on the wings of Eagles on this Monday. Much more on the big game, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:54:01] HILL: The Eagles soaring to victory, the underdogs, of course now the top dogs after beating the Patriots in a Super Bowl thriller. Check out some of these wild celebrations in the city of brotherly love. Philadelphia fans taking to the streets to mark the team's first Super Bowl title.
No matter what team you're rooting for, an estimated 14 million Americans, though, are expected to call out sick today. It is super sick Monday.
Coy Wire, however, is not one of them. Despite the sub-zero temps outside the stadium, and I'm guessing you may not have even slept yet, my friend.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I got 54 minutes to sleep, but that's all on me for now to get me through this morning. That adrenaline, the energy, Philadelphia doing something that had never been done before. They win their Super Bowl championship. And you mentioned that underdog mentality.
There is one guy that embodies that, he went from backup QB to Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, what a journey it has been. Imagine just a few years ago you were in the Mayo Clinic with your wife because she has a rare heart disease and you propose to her there and then two days later you go down the street to the courthouse, you get married, you've never been on a honeymoon, you don't know if you're going to play anymore, but you do come back.
[10:55:12] And now here he is, receiving a touchdown pass in this game. He threw a touchdown pass, he became the first player in NFL history to ever do that in a Super Bowl. I caught up with him after the game in the tunnel. I just had to see what he was feeling. And he could see it was just all still so surreal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK FOLES, EAGLES QUARTERBACK: It hasn't sunk in. So much is going on right now. But just being in this moment, being with these guys, it is great when I get to be with my teammates and family and loved ones. But right now there's a little bit of chaos, but unbelievable.
DOUG PEDERSON, EAGLES HEAD COACH: This whole post season, Nick has shown exactly who he is and what he can do and what he's capable of doing. He's well-deserved of the honor.
ZACH ERTZ, EAGLES TIGHT END: The stadium was never too big for him all year. And he kind of did the same thing that we expected him to do tonight.
BRANDON GRAHAM, EAGLES DEFENSIVE END: I'm so happy for Nick Foles because, you know, a lot of guys didn't give him a chance. But he lit it up. And now on defense, needed to make a stop, we made a play to get off the field and win the game.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WIRE: I caught up with Nick earlier in the week and I asked him about his 7-month-old baby girl Lilly. I said when you look into her eyes, Nick, what do you see? How does it change the game for you? He said, I see my wife, she means everything to me. And he broke down in tears. He's a genuine guy. That's his wife Tori there. What a journey it has been for this family, Nick Foles, making history.
And it is incredible to think about this guy, he's such a respected leader in the locker room. He takes grad school seminary classes in the off season. He wants to be a high school pastor some day.
Well, Erica, he has answered the prayers of Philadelphia fans around the world with a historic Super Bowl win here in Minneapolis.
HILL: That is for sure. His story is such a great one to go along with that of the Eagles this season.
Coy Wire, thank you. Safe travels. I know you're off to the Olympics next, where by the way it's cold, too.
Some of the Super Bowl champs say they're not going to participate in the traditional White House visit because they oppose President Trump.
CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter here with more. And we should point out, too, the invitation has not even been extended at this point.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: No, not officially. But normally Super Bowl champions head to the White House and already some Eagles are saying they're not interested. Malcolm Jenkins on "NEW DAY" this morning saying he does not anticipate going. Some of his teammates has said the same thing.
This is all the result of the protests during the national anthem and then President Trump criticizing those protests last fall. He encouraged protests of the NFL. Of course, it's become a months' long controversy. So we'll see what happens at the White House.
But, look, Erica, first, we got to go to Philly, go to the parade.
STELTER: There's going to be a big parade. My wife is a huge Eagles fan. We're already figuring out how to head down there for the parade. The White House visit will probably come down later in time.
HILL: A little bit later. Yes, I noticed you've got your tie on and you tell me --
STELTER: Pretty tight.
HILL: Two ready to go this weekend. So in terms of the other thing that people love to watch for are the ads.
HILL: Some did really well. And there was one that definitely fell flat.
STELTER: Exactly. The ratings -- the early ratings suggest this was a huge game, 107 million, 108 million viewers likely tuning in for these ads as well as the game. The Alexa Amazon ad, if you all saw this last night. This is the Jeff Bezos ad with all those celebrities, playing with Alexa, auditioning as Alexa. This was the number one ad in the "USA Today" ad meter poll overnight.
Other top ads included the "Dirty Dancing" spot featuring the Giants. There were not a lot of hugely sensational or shocking ads. Just a lot of good old-fashioned humor and comfort food ads.
The one that really fell flat was for Dodge Rams. This was the truck ad, using an MLK sermon in order to sell trucks. A lot of folks thought it was distasteful. We've heard from the MLK Center about it as well. But that's really the morning after controversy with the MLK ad.
I think it's really telling, Erica, in a world where as more options of TV viewing than ever, more people watching more things, NFL ratings were down 10 percent for the season. It's only down 3 percent for the Super Bowl. It means that America still came together last night for this big game. It is still unlike anything else in the world.
HILL: There was also the halftime show which the party that I was at had rave reviews. Some of the headlines, though, I saw this morning were not as kind.
STELTER: It was polarizing. Yes. On social media, some people were hating on Justin Timberlake. I personally love -- I thought it was fantastic. The tribute to Prince got a lot of attention. There was a controversy about whether they would just use a hologram or not. They ultimately did not. I thought it was beautiful the way he lit up Minneapolis in purple toward the end there.
STELTER: So that halftime show ended up I thought being one of the highlights. The ratings grew all game long toward the fourth quarter because it was such a nail biter finish.
HILL: It was a great game.
STELTER: And Super Bowl still, despite all the NFL controversies, President Trump, all of it, it still unites the country like nothing else. Over 100 million people watching last night.
HILL: It is pretty great. Nice tie, my friend.
HILL: And tell Jamie -- tell Jamie congratulations on her Eagles win.
STELTER: I will. Thanks. Thanks.
HILL: Thank you. I'm Erica Hill. Thanks for joining me this morning. "AT THIS HOUR"
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brianna Keilar in for Kate Bolduan.
Dueling memos and deeply divisive politics. In just a few hours, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are expected to vote on releasing their own memo. A counterpunch to the one that was released Friday by their Republican counterparts.
Now President Trump says the GOP memo which claims Justice Department --