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Former First Lady Barbara Bush Died At The Age Of 92; Southwest Airlines Flight In That Emergency Landing Caused The Death Of A Passenger; President Trump finally breaking his twitter silence on Stormy Daniels; Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 18, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first -- so you viewers don't think I'm somebody just not getting along with her. For the last three years, I have never said anything bad as I have been employed with you all for three years. But on this, I disagree with her. She could have easily just let it go. But instead she fired back. She could have said there was miscommunication. But instead she went back on the President. At the end of the day she is an appointee.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hang on, hang on, hang on. They admitted to keeping her out of the loop on sanctions on Russia --

BAUER: No, they did admit to that?

BALDWIN: Bu Larry Kudlow admit it.

BAUER: -- to try to just let this go. Kudlow took one for the team.

BALDWIN: But they boxed her out.

BAUER: I know very well that Kudlow actually just went ahead and tried to smooth this over. And he said very complementary things about her so she could let it go, but she took the shot because she is not a team player.

Look. She, from the beginning, was a never Trump or even after he won the nomination. If you remember Obama's last state of the state, she was the one that spoke on behalf of the Republican Party and she even took the shot against our nominee then.

BALDWIN: So hang on. When she was sitting on TV on Sunday morning, do you think she was just confused?

BAUER: Well, she is taking the lead on many things. Look. Because there is been a void in the secretary of state's office, she has been able to fill a void and kind of go out on her own as far as policy on a lot of things.

BALDWIN: So do you think she sat there on TV and went out on her own and freelanced on what she thinks the administration would do the next day on sanctions?

BAUER: This isn't the first time she and the President disagree. BALDWIN: Yes or no, do you think she freelanced?

BAUER: I don't know. I don't know. I think it's quite possible. I think she has played the bully at the U.N. when we need to in fact tried to make friend with some of our neighbors and allies.

BALDWIN: Well, she is tough on Russia.

BAUER: And it's good for TV. It's great if you are running a primary, especially in a primary for the President.

BALDWIN: OK. Larry Kudlow has apologized. He did admit and it was just Larry Kudlow saying that she was left out of the loop. I'm wondering, too, and I was talking about Elise Labott who has travelled around the word and covered her and covers affairs such as this and she brought up a great point. And I kind of agree with her. I wonder if Larry Kudlow would have thrown her under the bus -- he said she was ahead of the curve, right, on the Russian sanctions. And I'm wondering would he have said that to a man?

BAUER: I don't think there is any --.

BALDWIN: I'm wondering was Larry Kudlow man slating Nikki Haley.

BAUER: Larry Kudlow said, I can't remember exactly, about three or four nice things about her. She has done a great job for us. We are proud of her. So he went out of his way --.

BALDWIN: He threw her under the bus. He said she was ahead of the curve.

BAUER: I don't know that is throwing somebody under the bus. Again, he was the one that backed down and try to act like - and take the blame. He actually took the blame. So throwing her under the bus, I don't think is at all what happened.

BALDWIN: Do you think he would have said a man was ahead of the curve?

BAUER: I think in politics too often the media likes to say it because somebody is a woman or they are minority.

BALDWIN: Not in the media.

BAUER: And so to say because she was a woman --

BALDWIN: I'm just asking for your opinion.

BAUER: I think that has become quite too often what people defer to.

Look, the gloves come off in politics. There's no question about that. I have been popped before. It happens. And so, whether she is a man or a woman, if they disagree, that - those are things that happened.

BALDWIN: How about just quickly because I speak southern and so do you. Her response with all due respect, I don't get confused.

BAUER: Well, I could name several times where she has been very confused, but we won't get into that today. But she could have very easily just come back and said it was miscommunication. That's how you work as a team together.

BALDWIN: That was her job.

All right. Andre Bauer, bam today. Wow. Thank you so much.

On that, the NTSB, by the way, back to this awful plane story. They say that the engine problem on that southwest flight is what killed that woman, not something they say a mechanic could have spotted from the outside. So next, we will take you live to this hangar, show you what could have gone wrong and how it could have been prevented. Stay with me.


[15:38:06] BALDWIN: Investigators are pulling the evidence of quote/unquote "metal fatigue" in that engine. It failed causing the death of the passenger on that Southwest Airlines flight in that emergency landing. Southwest has announced it is accelerating engine inspections. There has been checking all those fan blades right there inside that engine.

The FBI in Philadelphia wants anyone who runs any pieces of plane debris, finds them, contact them immediately. Meantime, passengers on this flight are praising as a hero the veteran Navy fighter pilot who was at the helm of this airplane who landed that 737.


JOE MARCUS, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT 1380 PASSENGER: This is unbelievable. I mean, she is true hero. You know, the courage she took for her to take full control that situation that like to save everyone onboard, it was just really unbelievable. I feel like I did win the lottery a bit as soon as that plane landed. It was like oh, my goodness, this is crazy. But I'm just trying to, you know, move on and, you know, just put it behind me.


BALDWIN: Let's go straight to Alan Armstrong, a pilot and aviation attorney who does also represent crash victims. And he is standing next to this big engine, similar to the one on the plane, like the one on the Southwest plane. Obviously not the same A-737 but, you know, show me what these metal - these fan blades are and what metal fatigue means exactly.

ALAN ARMSTRONG, PILOT AND AVIATION ATTORNEY: Hey, Brooke, good afternoon. A jet engine has been called a cylinder of spinning sabers. So let's consider the geometry and the anatomy of a jet engine. Here's your cylinder. And here in fact are your fan blades that compress the air that's brought into the engine. The air is compressed and compressed and compressed. It's then ignited and expelled out the back of the engine giving the aircraft power.

These are your sabers. They are (INAUDIBLE) of the dead engine shaft (ph). There's a potential for a fatigue crack and that would result in this departing the aircraft by virtuously trip of force.

To combat this, Brooke, we have in most commercial airliners, anyway, we have what's called a belt is designed - it is called the containment belt such that if a blade does fail, it will not exit the engine compartment. Unfortunately, yesterday that's exactly what did happen apparently. A piece of the blade did exit the compartment and pierce the window. So this is the basic anatomy of the dead engine. And these are the spinning blades that eroding at alarming speed which have a very, very high degree of force which can penetrate a fuselage if they are not protected from a belt in the jet engine.

[15:40:46] BALDWIN: So Alan, if I may jump in and ask what whether we are hearing about this metal fatigue, which part of that engine -- what would have -- where would the metal fatigue have existed? Somewhere internally?

ARMSTRONG: Well, normally, what you have here with a jet engine, a jet engine is cold and then it's hot. It's cold and it's hot. And when it gets hot, it expands. And as you have the expansion and contraction, expansion and contraction, fatigue can build up in the part with the result that there will eventually be a catastrophic failure. And that's what we had yesterday apparently.

BALDWIN: I see. If I may just ask you to put on your lawyer hat for me and talk to me about you represented - you have represented crash victims before. Based upon what you know, do you think a lawsuit is coming? Would there be cause for that?

ARMSTRONG: I think any competent trial lawyer would look very carefully at the history of this engine and conclude that perhaps there's a product liability claim. We have a similar loss in 2016. So this is not the first time we've had a failure of this particular type of aircraft engine.

BALDWIN: Alan Armstrong, thank you so much.

ARMSTRONG: You are very welcome. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, President Trump lashes out at Stormy Daniels for the first time, calling her sketch of this man who allegedly threatened her to keep her quiet a, quote, "con job." We'll talk to a sketch artist and an attorney next to discuss where this goes next from here.


[15:46:46] BALDWIN: Just in, Republican senator Rand Paul moments ago saying he will meet with CIA director Mike Pompeo, the President's choice for secretary of state who is facing some drama over his confirmation. The senator is against Mike Pompeo for state department. He said he will vote no. The President you just saw him moments ago speaking down at Mar-a-Lago saying that Rand Paul has never let him down. And now, the senator says he has agreed to meet with Pompeo after a phone call with the President. He says quote "we will see what happens."

President Trump finally breaking his twitter silence on Stormy Daniels, mocking this sketch of a man that Daniels claims threatened her to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. The President's tweet reads, a sketch years later about a nonexistent man, a total con job playing the fake news media for fools but they know it.

Then you have Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti responding quote "in my experience, there is nothing better in litigation than having a completely unhinged, undisciplined opponent, who is prone to shooting himself in the foot, always leads to bigly Trump or problems like you claims, i.e., defamation. LOL."

Let's talk this over with attorney Seema Iyer, also a former prosecutor and Stephen Mancusi, a forensic sketch artist. Good to have both of you on.


BALDWIN: To you first just from the legal perspective. I mean, other than the moment, a week or two ago, with the President on Air Force One, saying ask Michael Cohen.

IYER: Right.

BALDWIN: This is the first time we have read any sort of direct acknowledgement on Stormy Daniels.

IYER: He has acknowledged it but also let's remember, in the beginning he was saying he had nothing to do with it and then he sued her for $20 million for the breach of NDA, which acknowledges, you are a party to the action now, right?


IYER: And at this point --.

BALDWIN: This is the first to the public.

IYER: Right. And it just muddying up the record. Because to the public, we just see tweets and back and forth. But in a legal perspective, you have a record filled with defendant statements or a litigant's statement and all of these statements can be used against him.

Also, the lawyers making statements directly to the President, which could also affect the case. So the more and more people tweet, the worse this litigation gets.

BALDWIN: Steven, what do you think of this?

STEPHEN MANCUSI, FORENSIC SKETCH ARTIST: Well, I mean, the composite sketch is an interesting sketch. But we have to keep in mind that the memory is affected by perceptions and lots of things affects perceptions. So you got to see what the level of credibility the sketch might be according to the investigation.

IYER: Hey, can I just weigh in? And I'm sure you know about this, but lately there's a lot of false identification experts. It's a new area of science within the legal system. So now you have this sketch that was made now about someone you saw seven years ago. And, Brooke, we have experts who come into court and say the memory you had from two weeks ago could be a false memory. So how --

BALDWIN: Although, if you are Stormy Daniels and I have other sketcher, listen, please weigh in, saying if it is something that was, you know traumatic, that it would be seared into your memory and you would be able to remember, you as a sketch artist would sit with me and you could help me remember -- jog and take me back to that time.

[15:50:14] MANCUSI: Yes. Well, no. A traumatic experience could definitely imprint the memory on your head. But time between that incident, and when the sketch is actually done, you lose a whole lot of that memory.

BALDWIN: I got you.

MANCUSI: So you have to take that in consideration as the artist. When you sit down with the victim, you got to build strategy as to how much you massage to that memory through the course of the composite sketch.

BALDWIN: What do you think of all this? I mean, now, people are playing memes and comparisons to Tom Brady and somebody talking on Jon Bon Jovi, I mean.

IYER: He's better looking than that. I have to weigh in on that part.

MANCUSI: It is the nature of the composite sketch, you know. It is meant to look like a cross section of the population. So we have to be careful not to put too much credibility in an image that was created through a composite sketch.

IYER: But it also because this turns into a circus. Yesterday or Monday in court, she was approached by the photographer and reporters like she was a rock star. So that is why people are making memes. They are not taking this as seriously as you would take another type of violent crime perhaps.

BALDWIN: Can I just - on that, and then we got it close. The fact that you have the President, you know, first of all, how would he know -- the way he's talking about - he is basically saying she is lying. That he is insinuating she is lying. A, how would he know? Because obviously, this happened seven years ago in a parking lot where Donald Trump was nowhere near. And, b, you have this man saying that the accuser isn't telling the truth.

IYER: I think -- what else is he supposed to say? He has to say that she is lying. He either said nothing or he has to say she is lying. That's the only --.

BALDWIN: Should he say nothing?

IYER: He should say nothing, yes, of course. He should be taking that phone and just throwing it somewhere far, far away so he could never tweet again.

MANCUSI: As the forensic artist, when you deal with a victim, you always - we always default to believing everything they tell us. Because we don't interrogate, we interview.

BALDWIN: No. That's your job.

MANCUSI: Right. But that is not necessarily always true, though, you know. But we always default to that, you know. We want to believe the witness is always trying to help us.

BALDWIN: Steve and Seema, thank you so much.

MANCUSI: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Moments ago we heard from Barbara Bush's son Jeb for the first time since his mother passed away. You will hear his touching tribute after this.


[15:57:07] BALDWIN: Flag is flying at half-staff at the White House today for former first lady Barbara Bush who passed away last night at 92 years of age. And moments ago, her son Jeb Bush spoke about losing his mom.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If she was here, she would say thank God you made it. Because she would have been very upset if I stayed home. That is not a Bush attribute. You commit to something, you are supposed to show up and do it. I'm so blessed to be her son. She taught us to serve others. She taught us to be civil. She taught us to love your family with your heart and soul. And she and my dad basically didn't have to tell us how to do that, they just acted on their love for 75 years. I love her dearly.


BALDWIN: She was married to former president H. W. Bush for 73 years. And he has released a statement. Let me read it for you. I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world. And in fact, I used to tease her that I had a complex about the fact but the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at the enforcer is lifting us all up. We have faith she is in heaven and we will know life will go on as she would have had -- would have it. So cross the Bushes off your worry list. My colleague Robin Meade actually got to spend time with the former

first lady and former President on his 85th birthday a couple of years ago so here is Robin Meade to tell us about it.

Hey, Robin.

ROBIN MEADE, HLN ANCHOR, MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE: Brooke, one of my favorite moments is actually two moments about Barbara Bush. One is what I witnessed her say to her husband. And the second this is what she said to me at the same event. So in 2009, I got a chance to jump out of a perfectly good plane with President Bush 41 for his 85th birthday. So there we are on live television. And train. We are up in the plane and she wasn't going to jump. No way. No how. But you better believe, she was right there waiting for her loved one and when he landed, I love what she ran over and said to him on the microphone.




MEADE: And I think that is such a beautiful example of two people who loved each other for so long and have been such a wonderful example of longevity when it comes to marriage. The second thing was what she said when I landed and this cracked me up.


MEADE: What do you have to say about him?

L. BUSH: I thought he was great. He is an old man, but you came in like a lady.


MEADE: So there you go. I got to at least the endorsement at that moment from the woman that the family calls the enforcer. I feel for President Bush 41 today because for all of us who dread the day that we leave our loved ones or lose our loved ones. I think about how lonely he must feel today.

[16:00:00] BALDWIN: We are all thinking about them.

Robin, thank you for sharing.

The Obamas and Clintons and first lady Melania Trump will be attending the funeral as for President Trump, no word yet.

Thanks for being with me. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.