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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Three Killed, 4 Injured in Grand Canyon Helicopter Crash; President Continues Defense of Former Staffers; Protests as Kim Jong Un's Sister Visit Seoul; Kim Jong Un's Sister Pushes for Diplomacy At Olympics; Team USA Wins First Gold in Pyeongchang; Russian Passenger Plane Crashes Outside Moscow. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired February 11, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: -- a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the Grand Canyon.
[07:00:03] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: These are some of the first pictures we are getting of what happened there. Local police have called in the military now to help rescue the survivors. And you can see why. The terrain is rocky. The winds are high and it's still dark in Arizona.
CNN's Polo Sandoval is joining us live with more details. What have you learned this hour?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we do understand that first responders have actually reached these four survivors so they are helping them, administering first aid there and trying to get them some of the help that they need. The next issue, though, is getting these survivors out of the scene.
It is something that has proven to be difficult, to say the least. You mentioned, it is rocky. It is extremely rugged terrain there. This accident happening in the corner of Master (ph) Canyon, which is a part of the Grand Canyon there, a deeply valley that is extremely tough to get by air. With these windy conditions, we understand wind gusts up to 50 miles an hour making it very difficult for aerial access. However, now with military assistance, that likely could hopefully get these what are described as trauma, level one trauma patients out of the scene as this investigation begins.
We understand the NTSB will be looking into the cause of this accident. This was a tour operated by Papillon Tour group. It's described itself as the world's largest sightseeing company. We also understand that this was a helicopter that was an EC 130 based on the manufacturer's Website. It's a single engine, very roomy, very capable aircraft there, capable of transporting seven to eight people, very popular among both law enforcement and also the tourism industry.
So, again, the NTSB will be launching an investigation there. We dig some digging, found out that this tour group, this tour company was involved in a deadly accident back in 2001 and haven't seen anything since. And now here we are, again, where again four of seven people did survive a deadly accident there in the Grand Canyon. This is still an evolving situation as the military now joins in for assistance here, trying to get the survivors away from the scene and over to help.
BLACKWELL: Yes, hopefully, sunrise there in a few hours helps bring the people out quickly.
Polo Sandoval, thanks so much.
SANDOVAL: You bet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is another example of the White House being forced to deal with a crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has to be a zero tolerance towards that type of domestic violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is being rather defiant in response to these accusations of two his now former staffers.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He said, very strongly yesterday, he is innocent but we absolutely wish him well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Disgusting comes to mind. Disturbing also comes to mind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's important for the president to acknowledge the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are in the middle of a Sunday afternoon protest in Seoul and these people are angry about what is going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice President Pence came here calling for maximum pressure, calling for isolation of North Korea, and instead the North Korean delegation was in the VIP box with him.
BLACKWELL: We'll get to that story in a moment, but Democrats are now demanding answers as the White House faces questions over the handling of two staffers accused of domestic abuse.
PAUL: A dozen Democratic senators have sent a letter to Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn. And the senators ask when the White House found out about the abuse allegations and why the staffers were allowed to keep their jobs until this week. It's not only a moral question, there are also some national security implications here. The letter asks, should Rob Porter have been handling classified information with an interim clearance?
BLACKWELL: Now, President Trump continued to defending his now former staffers, this time through a statement on Twitter saying that lives are being destroyed over what he called mere allegations and whatever happened to due process, he asked. But after that, an attempt at pivot for the president to the ongoing fight over immigration. PAUL: We are live from Washington with our CNN correspondent Kristen
Kristen, good morning to you. What are you hearing from the White House?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Good morning, Victor.
Well, administration officials are telling us this is a White House in turmoil dealing with, yet, another public relations crisis. You mentioned that pivot to immigration. Well, this is likely because of the widespread backlash President Trump received from that tweet, from that response.
And this is really become a pattern that we have seen with the president when responding to these abuse allegations, particularly when they are against his colleagues or his friends or even himself.
Now, people took issue with many parts of this response, but one thing, in particular. There was no mention of the victims. President Trump did not mention the victims when he first responded to the situation in the oval office and then he didn't mention the victims again in this tweet.
Now, take a listen to what a Republican Congressman Charlie Dent had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: There has to be a zero tolerance toward that type of domestic violence that is being discussed in these two situations.
[07:05:04] That's very clear. And, of course, we should be very sympathetic and empathetic to the victims, to the women who have been violated here, subject of violence. That said, I think it's important for the president to acknowledge the victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And again, that was a Republican congressman. And now, as you mentioned, that the letter from 12 Democratic senators. And they are outlining everything from the security clearance. Did Porter disclose this situation? Did he actually get denied a security clearance? And was he handling these classified documents without a clearance?
And what did John Kelly and Don McGahn know? And when they did know it?
And I just want to for our viewers lay out what we've been told by our sources which is that it was in January and February of 2017, so a year ago, when Porter first told Don McGahn that this might be an issue on his background check and then again in the fall of this year is when John Kelly was made aware of the situation. PAUL: All right. Kristen Holmes, we appreciate it so much. Thank
BLACKWELL: And still to come, Kim Jong-un's sister had a lunch meeting with the South Korean prime minister in Seoul but on the street was very different, not so friendly. Protesters chanted anti- North Korean slogans. We'll tell you more about what happened there.
PAUL: And history was made in Pyeongchang. The U.S. took home gold in the men's snowboard slope style and Coy Wire was there with Red Gerard's elated family. We have a live report for you. Stay close.
[07:10:35] BLACKWELL: Well, in case after case, President Trump continues to defend those accused of abuse or harassment without a word often about the victims -- the women in these cases. Will this pattern have some political consequences? That's at least one of the questions we'll talk about with our guest Kelly Jane Torrance, deputy managing editor at the "Weekly Standard", and Siraj Hashmi, commentary writer and editor at "The Washington Examiner".
Welcome back. Good morning to both of you.
KELLY JANE TORRANCE, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, WEEKLY STANDARD: Good morning.
SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Thank you for having me.
BLACKWELL: So, let me put up a couple of faces to get to who the president defends here. Here are some of the people, the president, himself, one of the seven here, who have benefited from the defense of the president. You can see the faces and the list of those. But these are all allies of the president. But was there in defense for John Conyers, a Democrat, who is in Congress, Senator Franken, former senator now, and Harvey Weinstein.
So, Kelly, to you first. It does depend on when you are and if you're nice to the president.
TORRANCE: Yes, it does, Victor. Look at that list. It's quite a basket of deplorables, wouldn't you say? It is very telling that Trump has a habit of defending men, but, of course, only men who are on his side and who like him and who he thinks can do something for him.
And it's really concerning. I have to say, those of us who during the election kept arguing that judgment and character matter, I think, we are really being proved right here. If you take a look at some of these people and how much it sounds like John Kelly and Don McGahn defended Rob Porter and keep him on, that is why the White House is desperate to have decent people working for them. And from all accounts, Rob Porter was actually good at his job.
But why are the White House having trouble finding great people to work there? It's precisely for these reasons of character and judgment. People don't want to be associated with President Trump.
BLACKWELL: They have got a few more positions to fill since Porter resigned over the past couple of days. More have resigned for various reasons. There is this letter that a dozen senators sent to Chief of Staff Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn asking a myriad of questions here. When were you -- when were officials made aware of the allegations, did Mr. Porter disclose the domestic abuse? Was he denied a security clearance?
Siraj, to you, what's your degree of confidence by March 1st request from the senators, that they'll get answers to any of these?
HASHMI: I don't actually have high expectations that the White House will return to Democratic senators' requests for answers. But if Don McGahn and White House Chief of Staff Kelly knew to the extent we know about David Sorensen and specifically Rob Porter, with respect to the acquisitions made against him and abusing his two ex-wives, they both need to resign. I mean, there is no excuse for not only domestic violence but condoning domestic violence and allowing that behavior to continue and even flourish.
As we know, Rob Porter has influenced in his position only elevated in the White House within just the last few months and, apparently, according to reports, we heard reports that John Kelly and Don McGahn knew about Rob Porter's accusations and ignored them and that is highly concerning and should not have anyplace in the people's house, the White House.
BLACKWELL: Kelly, this letter is from 12 Democrats. Where are the Republicans in -- even in a general curiosity about how much the chief of staff and the White House counsel knew and when they got the information about Porter? Is there -- I mean, there may not be and not a letter yet but are we hearing from leadership? Is it too far to expect or ask if there would be hearings about this?
TORRANCE: No, it's not too much to ask, Victor, but you're right. Republican leadership has been pretty silent on this. Now, we have heard a couple of lone voices here and there like Charlie Dent as you had on CNN.
But the leadership, itself, is not saying anything and, of course, they are scared to do anything that might offend the president because this president attacks people who he sees as not 100 percent completely loyal. And again, this is one reason why President Trump is so toxic and Republicans think midterms are coming up. We got to be careful. We got to keep our majority.
[07:15:00] Well, by having elected this guy as your candidate and continuing to support him, you are really only making it more likely that Americans are going to get fed up with this and want someone in Congress who doesn't support the kind of person who would say that, for example, that Rob Porter had a bad week. Yes, I guess he did, but you what? The women he abused, they had bad years.
To me, it's just shocking that the president would say things like this and no one in high up in the Republican leadership is taking a stand against it.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Kelly makes a good point there that Republicans are facing what polls show and I guess history shows that first midterm of a new president, which could be a challenging midterm election. What could this mean, Siraj, for their attempt to bring in independent women especially to keep their majorities?
HASHMI: Well, if there is anything we learned from the fallout in the White House is that this is the strongest you can make for term limits, because Charlie Dent is not running for re-election is able to speak his mind because he doesn't have to worry about re-election or getting back into the Republican Party. It seems almost as if any person who is in Congress who is not seeking re-election can suddenly speak their mind and suddenly says what they think about President Trump and the White House.
And so, the failure of the Republicans to really speak out against this White House and the activity and condoning of what we have seen this type of behavior is very concerning, at least within with respect to the midterm elections, and if they are not able to capitalize on at least, say, something as simple as tax reform and, all of a sudden, you know, a lot of characters within the White House are suddenly being thrown out and they are not able to speak out against them, I don't have high hopes for them in the midterm elections.
BLACKWELL: Kelly, one question that is asked in this letter from the 12 senators is how many individuals in the White House are working with interim security clearances? Our reporting that there are 30 to 40 in the White House and appointees throughout the administration. I mean, could this Porter situation hasten a decision one way or the other? Maybe an unformal audit of how many people still don't have those full security clearances and to make a decision on those folks?
TORRANCE: Yes, let's hope so, Victor. Now, I have to say there is a security backlog with doing security checks and it's been the case for years. But somebody who is serving in the White House in a senior position like Rob Porter and some of these other people, they are not -- it's not going to take over a year for that clearance to go through. If they haven't gotten it by now and they are at the senior level, there is something wrong.
And the fact that, you know, it sounds like Rob Porter knew immediately, as soon as he started going through the process this was going to be a problem. And they gave him an interim one and that is actually, you know, pretty normal but it's not normal for a senior official to not have that full security clearance gone through in a year and the fact that there's so many people that are having this problem certainly is concerning.
And you have to wonder, what is the holdup with these people? What are the problems with these people? And are we going to see an exodus from the White House because maybe it turned out that the character of the president led to the hiring of people with poor character themselves?
BLACKWELL: Well, the president is certainly trying to pivot to immigration which certainly will be a topic next week but as evidence by this letter from the dozen Democratic senators, this is not over.
Kelly Jane Torrance, Siraj Hashmi, thank you both.
TORRANCE: Thank you.
HASHMI: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: Well, four people are dead after what deputies are calling a horrific shooting spree. This was in Eastern Kentucky. Authorities found two victims at a home in Johnson County yesterday, two more victims and the suspected shooter were found dead at a home in Paintsville, which is just about 10 miles away. Authorities do not know a motive and the victims' names aren't being released yet.
BLACKWELL: Two Ohio police officers were killed in the line of duty when they responded to do a 911 call yesterday. Police say the officers were shot as they walked into an apartment where there was a potential domestic situation. Well, the officers have been identified. Their names Eric Juling (ph), he's 39 years old, and 54- year-old Anthony Morelli (ph). Together, they served nearly 50 years.
Their police chief says they were the best two in the department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JOE MORBITZER, WESTERVILLE, OHIO POLICE: Both officers gave their life to the protection of others. Those are true American heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, the suspect who has not been identified was wounded and hospitalized. President Trump expressed his sympathy on Twitter saying: My thoughts and prayers are with the two police officers and their families and everybody at the Westerville Police Department.
PAUL: You're looking at angry crowds there on the streets of South Korea.
[07:20:02] The North Korean leader sister makes a push for friendly ties between the two countries. We will talk about that more in a moment.
PAUL: So glad to have you with us. Welcome back. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.
These are the protests on the streets of South Korea, host of the Winter Olympics, despite the historic handshakes and the symbolic sporting alliances and invitation to visit South Korea to Kim Jong-un.
PAUL: The North Korean sister has been trying to make a connection there. Some South Koreans, though, are not so hopeful about peaceful ties. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOI DO-SANG, PROTESER: Argh. I'm very angry. Now I'm upset. I want America demolish North Korea before Moon Jae-in, before the visit to North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:25:08] PAUL: CNN's Paula Hancocks live from Seoul right now.
BLACKWELL: Paula, give us some context and tell us how many people were there, what the general view was from the protesters.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor and Christi, there were a couple of hundreds of people at that protest just outside the orchestra that was performing from North Korea.
And there have been these sort of pocket of protests following this North Korean delegation around, some of the anger that these people are feeling is that South Korea waited so long to host the Winter Olympics and, all of a sudden, when it's their time the North Koreans come in at the last moment and don't even march into the opening ceremony under their own flag. They marched in with North Korean athletes under a unified Korean flag. So, there is frustration by some in Korea that they feel that, as they have said in the past, this isn't the Pyeongchang Olympics, this is the Pyongyang Olympics.
This is not the overall whelming sentiment, though. There are some who welcome the fact there seems to be a much better relationship, at least on the surface of it, between North and South Korea when you consider just how tense the situation was. Just a few months ago we were talking about the possibility of war and President Moon was saying why there shouldn't be a second Korean war.
Now you have the South Korean president welcoming this delegation. They are pictured smiling, shaking hands, going to women's ice hockey team with the united team, and certainly the optics quite remarkable and different from where we were recently. But, yes, for some protesters, it is simply too much. They are angry that North Korea, as one person said to me, seems to have been able to come to the party without even paying for it.
PAUL: All righty. Paula Hancocks, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Joining us now, Phil Mudd, CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA counterterrorism official.
PAUL: Yes, Kim Yo-jong is a polished face to, look, at the end of the day, it's a murderous regime. What do you think, though, is it a good political move on Kim Jong-un's part to send her to the Olympics specifically?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: It really was. You look at what we just talked about a moment ago, the pressure we saw and the pressure applied by President Trump. This is easily identifiable pressure release valve. The North Koreans are saying, look, we are agreeing to talk with the South Koreans, we've invited them up to North Korea, why should you increase pressure on us at the same time that we're saying we're perfectly amenable to talks?
Of course, the problem is that while they're talking about talks, nobody is sitting there saying they are doing anything about their ballistic missile program or nuclear program. So, in a matter of months, they can keep those programs going and at the same time say, hey, peace is at hand and we can talk to the South Koreans, they're welcome to come up and talk with us.
BLACKWELL: So, President Moon is a relatively new president there in South Korea. He ran on working with or at least talking to Kim Jong- un and his regime. The vice president here in the United States says there is no daylight between the South Koreans and the U.S. Is there growing daylight? Are we seeing a separation?
MUDD: I wouldn't say that yet. If there is daylight, there's just a sliver of daylight. I think the South Koreans, probably along with the Japanese and others were uncomfortable with the level of pressure applied by the United States, a suggestion there might be military action. But the South Korean response has been cautious. They are well aware that the defender of South Korea, including with military troops on the ground is United States, and what the South Koreans are saying you cannot strip us away this easily. That is you can't just invite us to North Korea without some participation by the United States.
I think the South Koreans, despite the fact they want overtures to North Korea are going to be very cautious letting the North Koreans say, hey, keep the Americans at arm's length but we will talk to you and exactly what the North Koreans want, I'm not sure. I don't want the South Koreans are going to fall for it.
PAUL: So, do you think the South Koreans will agree to this meeting that this invitation that Kim Yo-jong has offered?
MUDD: Boy, there is two broad pieces we have to understand here. I don't think they are going to agree to it right off the start. There have to be reconditions and something the North Koreans give. As you just said they got a ticket to the Olympics without paying anything.
The problem is the ticket we are asking them to punch is that they cease progress on their nuclear program. I don't think they're ever going to give that up. Why would they? They would say that's our only defense against a potential attack by the Americans.
So, what is the air gap between doing nothing? That is the South Koreans showing us because they got an invitation and requiring that the North Koreans give up a nuclear program? I don't know what that is but that is what is called diplomacy. There's got to be some talks, there's got some preconditions but it can't be giving up nuclear weapons because I don't think the North Koreans are ever going to do that.
BLACKWELL: Kim has long been threatened by these military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea. Now, there was no freeze, the U.S. did not pause the exercises to get Kim to break-away from his nuclear program. But only after the U.S. announced that they would pause them for the Olympics was that invitation, that phone call.
[07:30:09] I wonder if you think that if the president, President Moon will ask for an extension of that pause, although the U.S. says the exercises should continue immediately, as not to antagonize Kim to continue this conversation?
MUDD: I think they will, but that is the kind of tactical negotiation that the kind of precondition that might lead up to potential talks. The problem here is the American can't sit around forever and say the North Koreans can dictate to us when we have exercises with the South Koreans. I'm sure there will be private talks between the Americans and the South Koreans saying, hey, look, we're going to keep exercising at some level for sometime, but we can't stop forever.
But the question is going to be, what is the bait that gets the Americans and South Koreans to accept those talks? Maybe an extension of the slowdown in military exercises? I'm not sure. There's got to be something on the table for the Americans to show up.
BLACKWELL: Vice President Pence says that even harsher sanctions are coming and those could be potentially against Chinese entities.
Phil Mudd, thanks so much for being with us.
MUDD: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, sir.
All right. Team USA is getting on the board winning its first gold medal of the Winter Games.
BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is live from Pyeongchang this morning and you were there with the family of winner number one.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, can't wait to share that story with you, Victor, and Christi. Team USA has ground to make up or snow or ice you could say. Norway currently leading the medal count with eight, Netherlands has five, Canada in third with three. The U.S. only has one.
Coming up, we'll hear from one American who is favored for gold, Michaela Schifrin, right here on NEW DAY.
[07:36:18] BLACKWELL: All right. Number one already seemingly unflappable 17-year-old American makes history, winning a gold medal in the men's snowboard slope style.
PAUL: Coy Wire is in Pyeongchang and he was with this Red, as he is called, because of the hair. I'm assuming. And this is a kid who doesn't just have talent. He has got some good humor. WIRE: Oh, yes. Great family and great energy. Yes, Redman. They
called him Red for short. What were you doing in high school? This kid doesn't even graduate until next summer. He is 17 and 5'5" and 116 pounds and he's just became the youngest American male since 1924 to capture gold in the Winter Games.
He was second to last, entering his final round with that young kid from Cleveland let loose and bedazzled the judges, taking gold. I was there amongst his 20-plus friends and family members, traveling halfway around the world to be there with him. There were tears. There was disbelief when red had you had his mom and dad and picked up his little sister and looked her in the eyes and said, I love you, Ash.
Now, the youngster admitted that he didn't really know how big of a deal the Olympics was for him. It's all about the X Games for him. But for him, this journey has been all about his family. Listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RED GERARD, TEAM USA GOLD MEDAL WINNER: I always know they are going to be there for me. They are just happy to be here. I mean, they were having a great time, as you all saw. Excuse me. But I got a Snapchat this morning at 8:30 when I was taking a bus up and they were all shotgunning beers on the way to the mountain. So I'd say they have been having a good time, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: All right. Let's talk figure skating. Reigning U.S. figure skating champ Bradie Tennell made her Olympic debut in the team event. The 20-year-old didn't look nervous at all under the bright light. Team USA is in strong position to medal here. Americans took bronze in the last Winter Games in Sochi.
Also, Team USA's women's hockey in search for their first Olympic gold since '98, made their debut in Pyeongchang versus Finland. After a shaky start, they had three unanswered goals to win 3-1. They are back in action Tuesday morning, Victor and Christi, East Coast time taking on the Olympic athletes of Russia.
PAUL: All right. Coy Wire, thank you so much. Live for us there from Pyeongchang.
WIRE: You're welcome.
PAUL: We have some breaking news we want to get to you right now. Russian media reporting a Russian airplane with 71 people on board has crashed.
BLACKWELL: Yes, this happened just after the plane took off from the airport near Moscow. Rescue teams are on their way to the reported crash location and we'll have CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance on the phone soon from that airport. Also ahead, the president says Republicans care more about Dreamers
than Democrats. Well, next, he has outlined what the White House wants from an immigration deal. Will they get it?
[07:43:26] PAUL: Breaking news here. Russia media reporting a Russian airport with 71 on board has crashed this morning.
BLACKWELL: This happened just after the plane took off at an airport near Moscow. Rescue teams are on their way to the reported crash location.
We have on the phone with us CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. He is at the airport.
Matthew, what do you know?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, not a great deal at this point, Victor. But within the past few minutes I just landed at this airport which is a main airport in Moscow. It serves the Russian capitol.
It seems that, according to Russian state media, the TASS news organization, there has been this incident involving an Antonov 148 aircraft which is a Russian-made propeller aircraft, which took off sometime ago and we don't have the exact time yet. According to task, 71 passengers and crew on board. It was lost, according to the news agency, which is quoting the Russian emergency situations ministry, it was lost from radar shortly afterwards and believe to have gone down somewhere in the Moscow region, a region, a town called (INAUDIBLE) is one that is mentioned, that is about 28 miles or so from the Russian capitol, so not very far at all.
At this point, of course, we don't know the reasons why this would have happened but I can tell you from my own experience from the past couple of hours and past couple of weeks, indeed, that the Moscow region is experiencing some of its most, you know -- some of its heaviest snowfall for many, many decades.
[07:45:02] In fact, the aircraft that I was on just was forced to circle the airport several times before it was able to come in to safely land. And I expect that the investigators will be looking at that as one possibility as they try to get the bottom of what has happened to this aircraft.
PAUL: All right. Matthew Chance, we will be right back after a short break. Thank you, Matthew. We appreciate it.
PAUL: Breaking news out of Russia this morning. Local media reporting a passenger plane with 71 people onboard has crashed. That plane reportedly disappeared from radar shortly after it took from an airport outside Moscow and then crashed soon after.
We know search and rescue teams are on their way to that reported crash location.
CNN's Matthew Chance is at the airport.
[07:50:00] He was just talking about how snow has made things very dicey here, record snowfall. Do not know if that is the cause here. But again, teams are on the way to the crash site. And we'll get more information, of course, as the day unfolds.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about now what will be a big issue in Washington this week and that's immigration. The president is now hitting Democrats for not fixing DACA when they had a chance, tweeting: Republicans want to fix DACA for more than the Democrats do. The Dems had all three branches of government back from 2008 to 2011, and they decided not to do anything about DAC. They only want to use it as a campaign issue. Vote Republican.
The only problem with referring to DACA specifically between 2008 and 2011 is that it was not a priority until 2012.
Joining me now to talk about this, CNN political commentator Nadeam Elshami, former chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi, and Collin Reed, GOP strategist and vice president at Definers Public Office.
Both of you, thank you for being with us this morning.
And, Nadeam, I want to start with you. And this bipartisan group of senators who've been working for weeks on this issue of immigration and the four pillars that the president pointed out. In fact, let's listen to what the president says he wants as part of any deal he is willing to sign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My administration has identified three major priorities for creating a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system -- fully securing the border, ending chain migration, and cancelling the visa lottery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now, DACA was not one of them. I assume that Democrats will require that to be one of them. Do you believe there is a bill, there is an agreement, that can be reached that will reach all four of those and pass both chambers?
NADEAM ELSHAMI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now, look, I think the president unfortunately is using the Dreamers as a tool to get what he wants on immigration.
Let me just set the record straight here on what Democrats want. For 17 years, there has been a bill to deal with the Dreamers. I work for Senator Durbin. He introduced it in 2001. So, that was the first time.
And then in 2010, the House when I was there passed the DREAM Act and then it was stopped in the Senate even though it got 50-plus senators. So, now to this moment, the president unfortunately created this
problem. There is a bipartisan group and you know I have to be hopeful because it has been going on for a long time to try to get this issue resolved, but to add all of these other matters in order to deal with the Dreamers, kids who have been here for all of their life, but I'm hopeful that the Senate bipartisan group is going to come up with some agreement.
I've been told that Senate Democrats are going to propose only bipartisan bills and bipartisan amendments during the debate. They have been supported by Democrats and Republicans. So, let's see what they do.
BLACKWELL: Well, Collins, of course, the threshold for the speaker we've heard is that he will only propose or bring to the floor something that the president will sign, something that changing it late in the week rhetorically to something that can become law. There are many in the president's base who will see any path to citizenship for the DACA recipients as amnesty.
Now, do you see any indication that the president will be more likely than, you know, he was -- you know, remember he said at that meeting, that open meeting we all watched, that he is willing to take the heat on the bipartisan legislation. Then a proposal came and he didn't sign it. Do you see indications that he will be willing to sign a bill that does indeed include what he didn't name in that video, protections for DACA recipients?
COLLIN REED, GOP STRATEGIST, VP AT DEFINERS PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Well, I think the political reality in Washington D.C. right now is it's going to take people on both sides of the aisle working together to solve this issue. One pair of senators I keep an eye on is out in Colorado, where you got Corey Gardner, a Republican, and Michael Bennet, a Democrat, both from a swing state, both have been supportive of DACA, and both have said they're going to work together on this issue.
I do think that the Democrats face a bit of political peril if you look ahead to the midterms if they appear to be opposed to any sort of deal that includes increased border security, which the president is going to brand as a wall, whether it is or not. That's what he's going to say because that's what he made a promise to on his campaign. So, it's going to take both sides working together. We'll see tomorrow how that unfolds.
REED: But I think one thing to keep an eye on is whether or not the Democrats are willing to take -- swallow any sort of increased border security, and whether or not they'll be able to stomach that.
BLACKWELL: Nadeam, let me ask you about that. A couple of months ago, I heard from Democrats on this show, I asked, would it be an appropriate deal in order to get protections for DACA recipients o give money to allow them to fund the wall. They said absolutely not, false equivalency, we'll never happen. Now we're hearing potentially that some will be as part of this deal, willing to fund the wall. Do you think they should?
ELSHAMI: You know, in terms of funding the wall, what exactly are we talking about? Are we talking about a physical barrier? Are we talking about technology? Look, it's all part of the negotiations.
But generally speaking, Democrats have always been supporters of border security. Maybe not exactly what the president is talking about or Speaker Ryan is talking about.
BLACKWELL: But should they vote to fund the wall, brick and mortar, concrete and reinforced, rebarred, as the president talked about, should they vote to fund that?
ELSHAMI: Well, I think it depends on what they're getting for the Dreamers and other issues as well. But what the president is asking for is a lot of money on a proposal that's never really going to do anything. So, let's just see what final proposal is going to be.
BLACKWELL: All right.
ELSHAMI: Senator Durbin and Senator Graham proposed to the president, you know, he rejected it right away. So, we'll see.
BLACKWELL: All right. Nadeam Elshami and Collin Reed, thank you so much, we have run out of time, that breaking news came in and altered our schedule. Thanks so much for being with us.
ELSHAMI: Thank you so much.
REED: Thanks, Victor.
PAUL: Well, Patty Hearts was a victim of one of America's most bizarre kidnappings, and today, CNN's new original series, "THE RADICAL STORY OF PATTY HEARST", reveals her transformation from heiress to terrorist and back again.
Here's a preview.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER (voice-over): Before the O.J. Simpson trial captivated a nation, there was Patty Hearst. As the granddaughter of publishing giant William Randolph Hearst, her kidnapping in 1974 considered the crime of the century.
CAROL POGASH, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO XAMINER REPORTER: It was so extraordinary.
JARRETT: Born into wealth and power, Hearst grew up in Hillsborough, a quiet affluent suburb of San Francisco. For college, she headed to Berkeley, where she walked the streets that bore her name. She lived off campus with her boyfriend, Steven Weed, a former teacher at her high school.
(on camera): It was the couple's engagement announcement in her family's newspaper, "The San Francisco Examiner," which first drew the attention of a small radical terrorist group that called itself the Symbionese Liberation Army, or SLA.
STEVEN WEED, HEARST'S FORMER FIANCE: They pushed me back, shouting, get your face on the floor.
JARRETT (voice over): Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment by the SLA on February 4, 1974.
BILL HARRIS, SLA MEMBER: Patricia Hearst was a symbolic target. She was an heiress.
JARRETT: Locked in a closet for nearly two months, Hearst says she was blindfolded, beaten and raped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what did it do to a 19-year-old mind?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it just completely -- it was gone.
JARRET: Hearst reappeared in April of 1974 on surveillance footage holding a rifle. She and the SLA robbing a bank in San Francisco.
POGASH: She was still a kid. Patty Hearst was a survivor.
JARRETT: The heiress-turned-terrorist was no longer seen as a victim, but a fugitive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patty Hearst emerged from the closet as Tonia.
JARRETT: Nineteen months after she was kidnapped, Hearst was arrested, along with the few remaining members of the SLA. Six others had died months earlier in a blazing shootout with the Los Angeles Police, broadcast live on TV, very new for television.
Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her role in robbing Hibernia Bank. The public remains divided as to whether Hearst was a victim of brainwashing or a willing participant.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN HEIRESS": She was on the run for a year and a half with many opportunities to leave and escape. And she didn't.
JARRETT: Yet she would serve just under two years in prison before President Carter commuted her sentence in 1979.
POGASH: Is there any doubt that none of this would have happened if she hadn't been kidnapped?
JARRETT: After Hearst was released, she married the man tasked with protecting her during her trial. President Clinton issued her a full pardon in 2001.
PAUL: CNN has repeatedly reached out to Patty Hearst, she declined to comment for the series. BLACKWELL: All right. More on the breaking news out of Russia, where local media reporting a passenger plane with 71 people on board has crashed. Now, this plane reportedly disappeared from radar shortly after it took off. This was from an airport outside of Moscow and crashed soon after.
PAUL: We know rescue teams are making their way to that reported crash location. And as soon as we get more information, we'll of course pass it on to you.
Thank you so much, though, for spending part of your Sunday morning with us. We always appreciate you.
BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS (voice-over): More West Wing chaos.
TRUMP: It's obviously tough time for him.
KING: A trusted aide forced out because of domestic abuse allegation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a low grade constant terror of not knowing what I might do to set something off.