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Stocks Open Higher; Six Months for Syria Mission; Allies Help in Syria; Four Military Crashes in 24 Hours; Surgeon General Issues Public Advisory. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired April 5, 2018 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:56] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Just moments now into the trading day. What a difference a day makes. We are looking at a far different picture at about a minute in here. Stocks opening slightly higher after a wild Wednesday, to put it mildly.

CNN business reporter Alison Kosik joining us now from the New York Stock Exchange.

Is it feeling a little lighter on the floor today, too?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a little more levity today. Yesterday was quite the wild ride, right? We saw the Dow swing 700 points throughout the session, down 500, up 200, 230 by the time the day was over. Now we're seeing some strong arrows to the positive. The Dow up 118 points.

But don't be fooled here. Those wild swings that we've been seen lately, they are far from over because the reality is what sparked that wild ride, worries about an all-out trade war with China, those worries still exist because the situation is far from resolved. And so that's going to be uncertainty that weighs on Wall Street and that is something that's going to keep Wall Street looking at those headlines. This market will continue to be headline-driven.

So as we see the dust settle, we do keep a couple things in mind. The S&P 500 and the Dow have wiped out all of their gains for the year and now the focus turns to fundamentals. First quarter earnings season kicks off next week and investors are really going to be listen to what CEOs of these companies say about the worries about these tariffs effecting their own companies.


HILL: And we'll be watching.

Alison Kosik, appreciate it. Thank you.

We have new details this morning about what's being described as a tense meeting between President Trump and his top military advisers. The president getting irritated when they warned him that immediately withdrawing troops from Syria would be a big mistake. So we know now the president, of course, is holding off, for now, at least.

CNN's Elise Labott is live in Washington.

Elise, who else was in this national security meeting?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, it was a meeting with his national security team. So you had a defense secretary, James Mattis, the chief -- joint -- chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. You also had John Kelly, of course, the chief of staff. And John Sullivan, who is the acting secretary of state in Rex Tillerson's place sense he left a few weeks ago. Obviously there were others in the meeting.

Who was not in the meeting was John Bolton, who is going to be the next national security advisor starting on Monday. In fact, we understand the current national security adviser, who's leaving at the end of the week, H.R. McMaster, was not there.

A very tense meeting, as you said, between President Bush and his national security team. You've heard -- excuse me, President Trump -- over the last week or two saying he wants to get out of Syria. The troops will be coming home soon.

He really surprised his national security team in saying that earlier this year. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did lay out a strategy where U.S. troops would stay for a while to get the job done. And essentially President Trump saying he wants troops out in six months. His military advisers saying that is not enough time. You want an enduring victory. You don't want those areas that were liberated from ISIS, you don't want ISIS coming back. You don't want Iran to fill the void or other -- or Russia or other countries. President Trump saying, I want the job done in six months, Erica.

HILL: We're also hearing more from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, noting that the president also wants to see more help from allies in the region, wants them to, quote, put more skin in the game.

Did the White House offer, though, any more specifics as to what they want that to look like?

LABOTT: They haven't said, you know, publicly what they want this to look like. But President Trump has really focused a lot on the money. We understand in this meeting he went on at great length about the money that this is costing the American people. He said that the U.S. has not gotten anything for it, and wanting to know why other countries, specifically he's focusing on the Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, to pay more money for U.S. troops to stay. Because in addition to paying for the troops, they're, you know, in addition to the troops being there, they're spending the lion's share of the money.

[09:35:03] So he's been talking to the Saudi leader, other leaders about paying some of that money. I think in principle the Gulf States are willing to spend more. But certainly this is something very important to President Trump. He's promised his supporters he would bring a lot of that money back home. And he said in that meeting, I have to deliver on that promise.

HILL: All right, Elise Labott with the latest for us there.

Elise, thank you.

Joining me now, retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, former assistant secretary of state for political military affairs under President George W. Bush.

Good to have you with us.

As we hear -- as we hear not only the details of the meeting from Elise, but we're hearing the details from the president himself about what he wants. He wants troops out within six months. He wants to get this wrapped up. This is something the president has told us repeatedly he will never do. He will not telegraph his moves. He will not talk about his plans. Does this put the U.S. at risk?

BRIG. GEN. MARK KIMMITT (RET.), FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL MILITARY AFFAIRS: Well, I -- first of all, I think those comments that Elise made really brought everything home. She did a great job encapsulating it.

But the fact remains is, I think the president probably went out on a ledge when he put a timeline on it. He said that was a major mistake President Obama made in Afghanistan. And so I think he's going to give the military the time they need to get this done.

HILL: In terms of the time they need, obviously it's tough to put a number on that, as much as many people would like to see one, because they would like to see troops come home, and that is understandable. But there's the concern as well about pulling out too soon. And as Elise laid out there, what that means for ISIS and what that means for the areas where ISIS could, in fact, go back, where there could be further issue, how much do you believe that is still a part of the plan and the thinking as -- as this ultimate plan is being worked out?

KIMMITT: Well, it's exactly part of the plan. The fact remains that ISIS is back on the offensive. Ever since Turkey came in from the north, our fighters, the YPG fighters, have pulled away from the ISIS fight and are now fighting against Turkey. So this is an example of what could happen if the Americans leave and the coalition leaves entirely. The Turks are not going to be going against ISIS. ISIS will have a chance to flourish.

And also this will be a victory for both Russia, Iran and for that matter Syria if we pull out.

HILL: And that is a major concern. An understandable one.

The president wants to see more help from allies. What could that help look like? What more could be done here? Is it simply a matter of money, as we've heard the president talk about?

KIMMITT: Well, as Elise mentioned, it is money. But there's a significant amount of capability in the region as well. The United Arab Emirates, the Saudis, the Qataris, they've got tremendous military capability, especially in aircraft. There really is little reason why they shouldn't be participating in these raids against ISIS targets as well. They can relieve a significant number of the sorties that our own people are flying.

HILL: I'm going to put you on the spot here for a moment, but if you were advising the president, what would you tell him to do right now?

KIMMITT: Well, what I'd say is the worst thing that we could do is make the mistake that the Obama administration did, which is pull out of the region too quickly, pull out of Syria too quickly. We think that the vacuum is going to be filled by people who are on our side. Quite the contrary.

We don't want the Russians to succeed. We don't want the Iranians to succeed. And, for that matter, we don't want to see the Turks succeed. Let's stay in there. Let's get the job done. Let's take the time we need.

HILL: Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, always appreciate your insight. Thank you.


HILL: Five service members killed in 24 hours. None of them in combat. The latest on the military investigations into deadly aircraft crashes, next.


[09:42:43] HILL: A series of tragic crashes for the U.S. military. This week alone, five service members killed in four separate air crash crashes. And now the military is trying to determine how this has been happening.

CNN's Barbara Starr joining me live from the Pentagon.

Those numbers are disconcerting to say the least.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: And they are growing, Erica. And let's start out by recalling that all of these are training accidents. These are not aircrafts shot down in combat.

We've been looking at the numbers and actually in the last three weeks, 14 service members have lost their lives in a series of aircraft incidents, accidents around the world. Just yesterday an F-16 crashing in Nevada. Earlier in the week, another aircraft crashing in Djibouti in east Africa. Seven killed in a crash -- an accidental crash, not combat, in Iraq. None of these are combat actions. They are either routine missions, they are training accidents.

And the real question, of course, is, what is going on here? What is causing this to happen? The numbers just absolutely staggering.

So the military always has investigations into all of these incidents. There could be a good deal of concern that this may involve lack of money for readiness and training in some cases. We do not know for sure. But readiness and training has been an ongoing issue. Of course, the investigations could find other reasons. They could

find mechanical error. They could find crew error. We don't know.

But let's just come back to where we began. In the last three weeks, 14 service members losing their lives in aircraft accidents while on duty.


HILL: Barbara Starr. Barbara, appreciate it, as always. Thank you.

New video shows three buses believed to be carrying expelled American diplomats leaving the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Russia, of course, ordering 60 American diplomats to leave the country by today in retaliation for the U.S. expelling the same number of Russians. It is unclear how many U.S. diplomats are on those buses. The diplomatic tit for tat, of course, stems from the poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter on British soil. Moscow has denied any involvement.

[09:45:00] To combat the growing opioid epidemic, the surgeon general issuing a rare public advisory. We have that, next.


HILL: The woman who shot at -- who shot three people at YouTube headquarters had practiced shooting at a gun range just hours before that attack, according to police. We've also learned that officers spoke with Nasim Aghdam 11 hours before that shooting. They had found her sleeping in a car. Her family, we know, had reported her missing and had also called to say they believed the car was in the area. At the time she was about 30 miles southeast of YouTube headquarters. Police say she seemed fine at the time, so they let her go.

[09:50:00] The mysterious SUV crash in northern California that killed at least five members of the Hart family is now being called a crime. Authorities say there is evidence Jennifer Hart intentionally drove her SUV off a cliff. Investigators are still searching for the family's three missing children, but presume they were washed out to sea. Sheriffs are looking through a phone that was found near the accident site. They are also hoping that a laptop and iPad, which were found inside the family's home, could yield some clues. The bodies of both parents and three of their six children were found at that crash site.

A sterilization problem at a hospital in Denver may have put patients at risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. The Colorado Health Department says surgical instruments at Porter Adventist Hospital weren't cleaned properly. Officials say anyone who had orthopedic or spine surgery between July 21, 2016, and February 20th of this year could be affected. The hospital hasn't said exactly how many people were exposed. So far, no reports of infections linked to that sterilization breach.

In an effort to combat the growing opioid epidemic in the U.S., the surgeon general wants more Americans to start carrying and overdose antidote drug. In fact, issuing a public advisory, emphasizing, in his words, the importance of the overdose reversing drug naloxone, saying that knowing how to use it and keeping it within reach can save lives.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now with more details.

This is -- this is big on two levels. Number one, just what he's recommending be done. And, number two, the fact that it's a public health advisory. These don't come out all the time.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: These don't come out all the time. I mean to give you an idea, the last one was back in 2005 and it focused on advising pregnant women about not drinking during their pregnancy. So this is a pretty big deal and it gives you some idea of the magnitude.

Obviously, as you know, last October, President Trump declared what's happening with opioids in this country a public health emergency. So it's a pretty big deal.

And basically saying, look, people who are at high risk of abusing opioids, people who are getting high dose opioids, or going home with those things, they should also have people around them who know how to use this rescue drug, called naloxone or Narcan, should know how to use it, should have it, obviously. And the data has shown that in situations where someone has overdosed from opioids, naloxone can work and it can work fast in terms of actually pulling some people -- some people out of those overdose situations.

So that's what's really prompting this. And, you know, 46 states have already had standing orders so that people can go into pharmacies and pick up naloxone no matter what. This takes it a step further, Erica.

HILL: So just so I'm clear here, Sanjay, this is literally saying to the American people, perhaps people who are -- who may be around people who could be abusing the drug, but there's advertising here in New York City for months, last year, encouraging people to have it in general. Should people, in general, be going in and buying this to have on them?

GUPTA: Well, you know, it's -- we're certainly -- this is happening real time, Erica, what is happening right now. It's a cultural change right now in our country. If you had asked me that a couple of years ago, I would have said no, I don't think so. But now, you know, you just have to keep in mind that this is the number one cause of unintentional death in America, overdoses, and opioids are the majority of those.

So what I would tell you is that there are a lot of people around who are addicted to opioids, who -- and those people would surprise you. And it cross across demographics, across ages, gender. So really just about anyone could potentially be an opioid addict.

I think you have to be aware of that, certainly within your own family, within people that you love. And if you -- if you're worried about it, have the Narcan. You could save somebody's life, certainly. Learn how to use it. The surgeon general likened it to CPR. Should everyone know CPR? Perhaps. Someone could have a cardiac arrest around you and you could save a life. It's a good reason to know CPR.

HILL: Absolutely. And you also spoke with the head of the FDA about all of this. What was the reaction?

GUPTA: Well, you know, look, again, I think what you're seeing now is the impact of the president calling this a public health emergency. It's still very vague in terms of what's going to play out. But I did talk to the FDA commissioner and he said -- and he's a doctor himself. And, you know, look, the role of the doctor here and also the accountability of physicians for why this happened in the past is something he's really focused on. Take a listen.


SCOTT GOTTLIEB, COMMISSIONER, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: So when you have tens of millions, really hundreds of millions of prescriptions being written, that's a lot of potential for abuse. So I think a key is to try to bring down overall exposure to these drugs.


GUPTA: And as part of that, he thinks that there should be mandatory training now for physicians with -- that are going to prescribe these drugs. You know, it used to be in -- it still happens, Erica, I'm sure you've heard the stories, I've heard the stories, you go in for something relatively minor, you walk out with 30 Vicodin or 30 some sort of opioid prescription. And it's just not necessary. They're finding that a lot of patients aren't taking those medications. If they are taking them, they're taking them and abusing them or becoming addicted to them.

So it's a problem. And the physician training has been sort of a contentious point. It's something that the FDA commissioner recommends now, those doctors should all go through additional training. The American Medical Association has opposed that, saying that's a one size fits all training program is not going to be the answer.

[09:55:15] So we're going to have to stay tuned on that. But clearly I think what the FDA commissioner is saying as a doctor himself is that the physicians do have to shoulder some of the blame here for what has happened. Hundreds of millions of prescriptions in our country, that should have never happened.

HILL: That is for sure.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate it, as always. Thank you.

GUPTA: Yes. Thank you.

HILL: President Trump making it official, ordering troops to the southern border. Stay with CNN. We've got the latest.


[10:00:10] HILL: Good morning, I'm Erica Hill.