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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Travel Ban Inspires Run for Congress; Family Blames American Airlines for Newlywed's Death; President Trump Skips White House Correspondents' Dinner for the Second Year; Trump To Hold Rally In Michigan During White House Correspondents' Dinner; Lawyer At Trump Tower Meeting Says She's Kremlin "Informant"; Putin Critic: Veselnitskaya "An Agent Of The Russian Government"; Pyongyang Calls Korean Summit "New Milestone"; Trump Praises Korean Summit, But Says U.S. Won't Be Played. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired April 28, 2018 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- to undermine the U.S. policy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that the leaders of North Korea and South Korea are talking, and nuclear missile tests have stopped for now is a cause for optimism.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think it's going to work out just fine. Let's see what happens, but I think it will be very good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did it take so long, 11 years to get to this historic moment?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're not going to be played. We'll hopefully make a deal. If we don't, that's fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday to you. It has been quite a consequential week for President Trump. Today, he's going to one of his favorite places, a campaign rally.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The president is holding a reelection rally Michigan instead of attending the White House Correspondents Dinner. It's safe to say that he may have Russia on his mind, but he most likely -- he may talk about it tonight. We have no idea.
President Trump slamming the Mueller probe and Democrats late last night just hours after a Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. during the campaign admitted that she is indeed an informant to the kremlin.
BLACKWELL: Also, a CNN exclusive report finds the National Rifle Association is bracing for a possible investigation and is saving documents related to its dealings with a kremlin-linked banker. PAUL: CNN's Abby Phillip live in Washington for us right now. So, Abby, we know how much the president loves his campaign rallies. He's going to friendly territory here for the most part in Michigan. We know there will be some protesters there, but with these major developments in the last couple of days, what do we expect to hear from him tonight?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi and Victor. It's not clear exactly what the president is going to say. As you pointed out, it's hard to predict sometimes, but we do know what's been on his mind.
This weekend is the, as you mentioned, the White House Correspondent's weekend. That's important because in the past former presidents have gone to this dinner. They have toasted the free press, made jokes, but the president, for the last two years has decided to go out on the campaign trail instead.
A little bit of counter programming with his core supporters. Now President Trump over the last several days has been busy on a number of fronts, foreign policy front, but also tweeting and giving interviews about the special council probe into Russian interference.
Now just last night, he tweeted again about this, talking about a House Intelligence Committee report that was issued in the last day that found, according to the Republicans on that committee, that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians.
Democrats did dissent from that report, but President Trump is seizing on it in the last days saying this about the House Intelligence Committee report, "House Intelligence Committee rules that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. As I've been saying all along, it is all a big hoax by the Democrats based on payments and lies. There should never have been a special counsel appointed. Witch hunt."
Now much of that tweet is not a surprise at all, but the special counsel probe led by Robert Mueller is ongoing. There are developments happening in that probe nearly every day. The latest in the last day was that the attorney, the Russian lawyer who attended that meeting with Don Jr. in 2016 at Trump Tower has given an interview with NBC saying something interesting and new about her relationship to the Russian government. Listen to what she said.
PHILLIP: So Veselnitskaya has said in the past that she was simply a lawyer who had tried to meet with Trump campaign staff to talk about the issue of adoptions, but in the wake of that meeting, we learned, through numerous press reports, that she actually was -- had come -- to promise dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Now, it remains unclear what exactly all of this is going to mean, but what it does seem to indicate is that her relationship with the Russian government is far closer than she initially let on and far closer than the Trump campaign associates let on. It's again, not clear how much they knew about her relationship with the Russian government, but these new developments raise some big questions about what direction the special counsel probe is going and we also know President Trump is -- is trying to discredit the probe as it continues -- Christi and Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Abby Phillip, thanks so much.
PAUL: Thank you, Abby. So, CNN politics political analyst, Rachael Bade, with us as well as CNN politics reporter, Jeremy Herb, and former White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, Richard Painter. Thank you all so much for being with us.
[08:05:03] Rachel, I want to start with you and get to the timing of this admission that she is an informant, Veselnitskaya, is there any gauge of what her intention is to admitting this now?
RACHAEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's a key question I would say going forward. I mean, obviously, the House Intelligence Committee just put out this report yesterday saying that there was no collusion with President Donald Trump and the Russians.
Obviously that investigation, there's some questions about its credibility. It's been done on a very partisan basis and that committee does not have the power to compel testimony. There was a lot of gaps in the investigation.
Now, why did she come out and do this now? This is a woman who is very close with Putin. She is one of his cronies, she's not going to do this without his say-so. So, you have to wonder, you know, the Russians are known for sort of sowing discord.
Was this a warning shot at the president? I don't know. It's just interesting why now, why are they are trying to stir this up again when before they have tried to sort of deny they've had any involvement in the U.S. election. And here she is sort of dangling this bait.
PAUL: Jeremy, Representative Adam Schiff said this admission essentially corroborates that this is someone working on behalf of the kremlin and that Russians thought after the election they would get the help that they sought in that meeting at Trump Tower back in 2016.
Here's the question. She put herself to the Trump campaign as we understand it as a Russian government attorney. She's now saying she was an informant. How much credence does anybody give her at this point?
JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, you know, I think the House Intelligence Committee, if they haven't -- and the other investigators, Robert Mueller and other committees that are probing this, none of them really believed her when she said she wasn't connected to Putin and she was coming here and talking to the Trump campaign on her own.
One of the other things we learned yesterday from the Democrats on the committee, who released their own kind of dissent of a report, from the Republicans was that there was in fact, follow-up after the campaign.
Adam Schiff said that Veselnitskaya reached out and wanted to talk about sanctions, which is what -- the Trump Tower meeting actually became about rather than dirt. In addition, a Russian oligarch with ties to Putin, who also helped with that meeting, he also have reached out to the campaign.
And we heard, you know, after the meeting broke last year that there was no follow-up and we're now learning more and more that that actually wasn't the case.
PAUL: OK. So, Richard, we've mentioned this House Intel Committee report, this redacted report we should point out that they released saying that they found no collusion. You saw President Trump's tweet about it there.
They did say that they found fault for the campaign with that Trump Tower meeting saying it demonstrated poor judgment. Beyond that, not much else, though. Is there any impact to Mueller's investigation from this report?
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER FOR GEORGE W. BUSH: This report is just the Republicans on the committee covering up for Donald Trump and everybody knows it. There's obviously collusion. They have the meeting there in the -- with the Russians in the Trump Tower.
Jared Kushner was there, Donald Trump Jr., and this woman who arranged the meeting, she is not practicing law in the United States. She is now lawyer any more than Michael Cohen has been a lawyer for Donald Trump.
She's a fixer. She's a spy and they met with a Russian spy. That's what we know at this point and to say there's no collusion is absolutely ridiculous. Now whether the collusion was illegal or not, whether crimes were committed by the Americans as well as by the Russians, that's for Bob Mueller to determine.
But we know that the Russians committed crimes in the United States including computer hacking and that this woman was not a legitimate lawyer. She's a Russian spy and the top people in the Trump met with her. That's obviously collusion.
Anybody in Congress that says anything different is just covering for President Trump and the voters see right through it. That's what's going to happen in November.
PAUL: I want to get to a tweet that the president just sent out regarding Dr. Ronny Jackson, of course, as he pulled himself out of the running. He says -- Donald Trump writes, "Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson are proving false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm in fact they deny any of the phony Democrat charges, which have absolutely devastating the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign." Rachael, any chance you think that could actually happen?
BADE: Absolutely not. What this is, is cleanup on aisle four. The White House basically put this guy forward. President Trump wanted somebody he liked personally to be -- to lead the VA and basically chose him over vetting and right now, they're seeing the serious repercussions of that decision.
The Senate did its work in terms of investigating this guy and found these serious allegations. Now these are all out there.
[08:10:04] His reputation has been tarnished and so what you're seeing now is the White House trying to fix this for him, try to put him back in his job. I don't know that they're going to be able to do that.
As for Tester, this is definitely a warning shot. He's not going to resign, but he is from a red state, Montana that Trump carried by a large margin. And so, what the president says in his own state actually matters to constituents who may or may not vote for Tester again. So, I would say that this -- the battle is on in that regard.
HERB: Yes, I agree. You know, it's interesting because Tester's role in all of this because he is from such a Trump state. We have already heard from the president that he said there's going to be a price to pay. I think this is going to be a campaign issue for Tester.
It's not going to be an easy reelection for him and it does put a target on his back. We heard some of his Senate Republican colleagues criticizing him for the way he handled these allegations, letting them come out and saying it's unverified, but you know, I want to put this into the public sphere.
At the same time, I think Republicans were just as uneasy as Democrats about this nomination because it's pretty clear he wasn't vetted, at least wasn't vetted sufficiently. The fact that these allegations, the White House wasn't ready to respond to them when the whistle blowers came to the Democrats.
So, I think, you know, while Tester is the one getting that's target from the president right now, I think Republicans also are breathing a sigh of relief that this whole mess has passed them.
PAUL: I want to get real quickly. Richard, quickly to this NRA allegation or report this morning that they are kind of bracing for this investigation. They're collecting documents, kind of trying to clean House essentially, make sure they have all of their ducks in a row so to speak when there is this allegation that there are direct links from the NRA to the kremlin.
That the kremlin was trying to fund money through the NRA. If there is a connection found, what is the consequence of that for the NRA, which is such a powerful lobby group?
PAINTER: Well, I think the NRA's power is waning anyway. Americans are fed up with the NRA and with the protection racket they've been running in the Republican Party where they threatened the primary, anybody who supports reasonable gun laws. Americans are getting fed up with the NRA.
And the fact that the Russians are using the NRA to influence our elections just shows how corrupt this organization is. And this investigation is going to have to go forward. We're going to have to find out what the Russians were doing with the NRA.
But I certainly wouldn't put it beyond the NRA to collaborate with the Russians in trying to interfere with our elections. Given the NRA's past history of being so extremist on gun laws, and being willing to take out anybody by any means, take out anybody who opposes the NRA agenda.
PAUL: These are just allegations at the moment. Nothing has been proven, but again, CNN exclusive report saying that the NRA is indeed collecting some of its documents related to kremlin-linked banker there. Rachael Bade, Jeremy Herb, and Richard Painter, we always appreciate you being here. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: The president is tweeting talking about withdrawal of the nomination of Dr. Ronny Jackson for the VA. Let's talk about another member of the president's cabinet who is in a bit of trouble, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, he could now be facing new ethics reviews in addition to the ones that are already happening right now.
Here's a list of the agencies that are looking into some of his actions and decisions in spending at the EPA. They include a look at Pruitt's travel expenses, security team, raises for staff members, those continue, and the inspector general says there will likely be new reviews added to that list.
PAUL: Well, North Korea state media is calling the Korean summit a new milestone although President Trump plans to meet himself with Kim Jong-un, he says he is not going to get played.
BLACKWELL: Plus, the Trump administration's travel ban is sparking protests still. Coming up, how it inspired one woman to run for office in Michigan.
PAUL: Also, a woman got sick on her flight and the doctor tells the crew to land. They didn't do it and her family is suing now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did the pilot make a decision to continue on with the flight when he had a doctor 10-feet away on the cabin floor telling him that that she needed to land?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. Breaking news, right now, the Iranian foreign minister says President Trump's demands to change the Iranian deal are, quote, "unacceptable." This is Iran now doubling down, maybe tripling down after the president has insisted for some time now during the campaign throughout his administration that he says that the Iran nuclear deal is the worst deal in history. The U.S. should not have signed up for it.
And we heard just from the new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, that the president is unlikely to certify that Iran is complying. That decision comes by May 12th, the question then is, if the president does not certify, what will Congress do?
Will they support those snapback sanctions on Iran and what could that mean potentially for their nuclear program moving forward and the other countries that signed on. We will, of course, bring you more as world leaders potentially weigh in throughout the morning.
Now, let's turn to North Korea. State media is calling the Korean summit a, quote, "new milestone." A day of smiles, hugs. North Korean's Kim Jong-un, South Korea's Moon Jae-in agreed to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but no specifics have been discussed yet.
[08:20:02] Now President Trump calls this meeting historic and U.S. officials say they're looking ahead to the president's meeting with Kim Jong-un. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The United States has been played beautifully like a fiddle because you had a different kind of leader. We're not going to be played.
JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I don't have a crystal ball. I can tell you we are optimistic right now that there's opportunity here and we have never enjoyed since 1950. So, we're going to have to see what they produce.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. Joining us now, Jean Lee, director of the Korea Program at the Wilson Center. Jean opened the "Associated Press's" Pyongyang bureau in 2012. Good morning to you.
JEAN LEE, DIRECTOR, KOREA PROGRAM AT WILSON CENTER: Hi. Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So, before we get to the specifics and the meeting with President Trump, let's talk about what we saw between Moon and Kim. This agreement now to end the Korean war sometime this year, 65 years after armistice. Does the president deserve credit for what we saw yesterday and how much?
LEE: Well, he's certainly going to claim credit. Let me put this in a little bit of a different perspective. President Trump when he was campaigning dangled the prospect of sitting down with Kim Jong-un. I think he even said he would have a burger with him. Perhaps that will be on the menu when they do meet.
So, when he was campaigning he dangled that prospect and I know the North Koreans were paying attention and kept that in mind. So, there was always that opening there. Now what Trump did when he took office was unleash this war of words, this fire and fury.
And interestingly enough, what the North Koreans did was use that to their advantage and use that rhetoric to rationalize building up their nuclear weapons. What they did was tell their people, listen, the president of the United States is threatening us with war.
So, Kim Jong-un said I have to build this nuclear program to defend you. So, we did had this year of accelerated testing, and North Korea got that program to the point where Kim Jong-un was happy with it.
And so, he was able to step back and say, OK, I've proven that I can defend you and we are a nuclear power and now I'm ready to sit down and speak to President Trump. So, it's really interesting. In a sense, yes, President Trump can be given credit for bringing us to this point, but perhaps not the way that he's going to draw that narrative.
BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about the next step, which is denuclearization. There are many steps, interim steps potentially, but that's what President Trump is going for. That is quite possibly what Kim agreed to, but what is denuclearization for each member, each party at the table? Has everyone agreed on what that would require of North Korea?
LEE: That is the key point here. The (inaudible) on declaration that President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un agreed to at this historic meeting does mention denuclearization.
But, we should be clear that North Korea has said in its statements that they're talking about a nuclear weapons-free world, in particular, a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula. That is very different than what the United States is saying, which is the complete and verifiable dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear program.
So, there might be a difference in definition here and that will certainly be part of the negotiations in the month the and perhaps years ahead.
BLACKWELL: So, there was a striking moment at least for me, in watching this news conference yesterday with Angela Merkel in which President Trump was asked about responsibility as it relates to closing the deal. Here's what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think I have a responsibility. I think other presidents should have done it. I think the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of the president of the United States. I think I have a responsibility to see if I can do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now, this seems, Jean, to be a departure from the president's typical philosophy of calling in other global matters for the leaders in the region, the powers in those respective regions to take control, have some investment. This, he is saying, I have a responsibility to finish the sentence, get the peninsula to full denuclearization.
LEE: He wants to accomplish something big, something historic. But there is the risk of alienating some major players in this region. If you negotiate something directly with North Korea without consulting or including the other partners, including China, South Korea, and Japan and certainly those leaders are very worried about this.
This is a -- they are the countries and their people are the ones who are at risk of any conflict or any confrontation. So, they certainly want to be part of this process. They're on the one hand, of course, the leaders in the people in this region support a resolution to this confrontation, which has gone on for decades.
[08:25:14] But, they have been living through this for decades, and they also understand how difficult and complicated the issue is and it probably isn't that easily resolved in one meeting.
BLACKWELL: Japan especially quite skeptical of these concessions and we'll remember the concessions to stop down on a testing site and those miss the launches included midrange and intercontinental but not the short range, which can also threaten a lot of neighbors. Jean Lee, always good to have you.
LEE: Thanks for having me.
PAUL: So, President Trump is tweeting this morning in defense of Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson amid his allegations about the doctor's professional conduct. Jackson withdrew his nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the president is actually calling on a sitting senator to resign.
BLACKWELL: Yes, let's read the tweets here. "Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral Dr. Ron Jackson are proven false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm in fact deny any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign.
The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking about a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire and for now reason whatsoever his reputation has been shattered. Not fair Tester."
PAUL: Here's what Tester has said. That Jackson was "repeatedly drunk while on duty where his main job was to take care of the most powerful man in the world. That's not acceptable."
BLACKWELL: Now we should say that Raj Shah, the deputy White House press secretary, said Friday that the Secret Service has done a search and they're trying to prove this allegation that Dr. Jackson wrecked a car.
They say that there were three incidents, none of which match the allegation that he wrecked a car, but specifics, as the investigation that we assume is happening in the White House, they welcomed him back.
We are told that he will stay in his position there. No intention for him to resign or retire. That there is some investigation to determine if the clinic there was run like a grab and go, as some sources have told CNN.
PAUL: Yes. That he was dispensing all kinds of medications. Sometimes without even any sort of exam of the person, sometimes dispensing medications that weren't for the person who came to pick them up. Obviously, yes, an investigation, we will assume will be conducted.
It is being conducted, but it will continue despite the president's tweet this morning. And we should point out the president is leaving the White House today. He's going to Michigan. This is a familiar place for him. He's going to be in friendly territory for the most part.
But there's a Michigan native who says she's going to run for Congress because she wants to check the president's policies. One in particular has her riled up. We'll talk about that.
[08:32:57] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it was a crucial rustbelt state that helped deliver the election for Donald Trump, flipping from blue to red.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Now he's returning to the state of Michigan and he's going to hold a rally there tonight in Washington township. Skipping, of course, the White House Correspondents Dinner in that other Washington, we should point out.
BLACKWELL: Yes. One possible challenge for the president, maintaining the same enthusiasm in Michigan after amid some trade and budget decisions that could hurt some voters there.
PAUL: Not everyone in Michigan is in lockstep with the president here. When his controversial travel ban that's rolled out last year sparked protests. These protests continue as this case goes before the Supreme Court, of course.
BLACKWELL: It also sparked one other thing, inspiration. More than 90 Muslim American candidates are running for office across the country. Most of them as Democrats and many of them cite that ban as at least one of the reasons they want to run.
PAUL: Fayrouz Saad is one of them. She's a Michigan native. She worked in the Obama administration and is now running for Congress in Michigan's 11th District.
Thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
FAYROUZ SAAD (D), MICHIGAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, good morning.
PAUL: The 11th District could be dicey. We understand that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has ID'd this district as one to try to flip, obviously, in November. Was there something other than the travel ban, as we were talking about, that makes you want to make changes?
SAAD: Yes. Absolutely. I think that people here in District 11, what I really saw on the ground was that people were upset with Trump for a number of reasons. They really wanted change. They want to see someone who is ready to support progressive policies and fight for those progressive policies and then also go to Washington to push against his hateful rhetoric and everything that he stands for.
BLACKWELL: So what are you expecting from the president tonight? I mean, I know that's a difficult question even for us and we've watched every rally. But you're there in Michigan. What are you expecting?
SAAD: More of the same. You know, pitting the problems of America against vulnerable communities, people who can't speak up for themselves.
[08:35:05] And making Michiganders and Americans believe that somehow others are to blame and that the only way to find those solutions is by really dividing us rather than bringing us together. And so, you know, I don't expect that he's going to say or do anything that we're not used to. And you know, what we're seeing is that it's not going to work. And that he's losing his support in the people in Michigan and certainly in District 11 aren't buying what he's selling anymore.
PAUL: Your mother, you say, is a Lebanese immigrant and she is, quote, "not a sign waving sort of person." How do you think you became one?
SAAD: Well, you know, my parents -- you know, they came here as immigrants very simply in search of the American dream. And I'm the product of that American dream. And so I became one because I decided that it is my objective and my obligation really to protect that dream and protect everything that brought them here and what makes America so great.
And so that means everything from protesting at airports and pushing back against Donald Trump, and going to Congress to fight for what I believe in.
BLACKWELL: So let's talk about the district. Right now Dave Trot is representing Michigan's 11th. He has said that he is not going to run at the end of his term. Trump won it in 2016, Romney won it in 2012. From my quick search, and correct me if I'm wrong, there's been, with the exception of a place holder back in 2012 for a couple of months, a Republican representing some form of this changing district since the Johnson administration. So why now do you think a Democrat can win? And your answers thus far
have been focused on Trump. Nationally Democrats are saying that they're going to run on those specific district issues. Is it enough to be an anti-Trump voice?
SAAD: We definitely need to be ready to speak to the issues that people care about. Here in District 11, everywhere I go people are concerned about their health care. It was one of the biggest issues that got people motivated and rallied last year.
People care about their roads, about the infrastructure, the quality of our water here in District 11 and certainly in the state of Michigan at large. And so there's a number of things that people are really paying attention to, and these are also all issues that Trump doesn't represent and isn't speaking towards progress and change in the way that we need to see our leaders.
And so, you know, as soon as Donald Trump got elected, though, I saw something here on the ground in District 11 like I'd never seen it before. And that was people getting energized, getting organized and getting mobilized.
I sat with a woman the other day, Martha, at a town hall meeting. And she said that she has never -- I mean, she doesn't even necessarily vote every year. And this year, not only is she paying attention, but she's going to town halls, she's listening to what the candidates have to say. She's just one example of the many in District 11 who are really stepping up and are ready to vote for change in 2018.
PAUL: All right. And we will say what the president said in Michigan tonight.
Fayrouz Saad, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us.
SAAD: Thank you for having me.
BLACKWELL: All right. So listen to this. A woman coming back from her honeymoon dies on her American Airlines flight. Why her family is now suing the airlines.
[08:42:55] PAUL: Forty-two minutes past the hour. There was a 25- year-old woman coming back from her honeymoon who died after a medical emergency on her flight. Her family is suing that airline now.
BLACKWELL: Brittany Oswell is her name. She died in 2016 after fainting on an American Airlines flight. A doctor on board told the crew to land but they kept flying for another 90 minutes.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A newly filed lawsuit paints a disturbing picture of what happened to this 25-year- old woman aboard a Dallas-bound American Airlines flight two years ago.
Newlyweds Brittany Oswell and her husband, Corey, were flying home from Hawaii, according to the lawsuit. Three hours into the flight over Los Angeles, Oswell started feeling dizzy and disoriented. As the plane flew over New Mexico, she took a turn for the worse, vomiting in the lavatory and eventually lost consciousness. The complaint filed by Oswell's family alleges a doctor on the flight recommended the plane land immediately to get her to a hospital. That didn't happen.
The lawsuit says the flight continued another 90 minutes, the rest of the way to Dallas after the flight crew consulted American Airlines' own doctor on the ground. By the time the plane landed, Oswell was without a pulse and died three days later from a blood clot in her lung. Oswell's family attorney, Brad Cranshaw, says the airline was negligent in not diverting the flight.
BRAD CRANSHAW, FAMILY ATTORNEY: Why did the pilot make a decision to continue on with the flight when he had a doctor 10 feet away on the cabin floor, telling him that she needed to land, that my client, Brittany Oswell, was in distress and needed emergency medical care? That's what it boils down to.
SANDOVAL: Cranshaw also alleging medical equipment on board the plane malfunctioned, further complicating potentially life-saving efforts.
American Airlines saying the company is saddened by Oswell's death but would not address specific claims. In a brief statement, they wrote, "We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint."
Aviation expert Mary Schiavo says there are still plenty of questions that still need to be answered.
[08:45:04] MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: What really we have to ask is what would be the issue or the cost on a diversion? And that's something I think that this lawsuit will address. Why could the plane not be immediately landed? Or is there a problem in sequencing, getting clearances?
SANDOVAL: Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
PAUL: Still to come, President Trump is skipping the White House Correspondents Dinner again this year. Did one joke, some people wondering, set the stage for the president's deliberate absences moving forward?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow, it is a very long flight. You guys are public enemy number one. You are his biggest enemy. Journalists, ISIS, normal-length ties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[08:50:12] PAUL: All right. A little bit from last year there. The White House Correspondents Dinner, of course, it is tonight. President Trump will not be joining. Typically, this is a dinner that's an opportunity for the media, for the president to kind of poke fun at one another.
BLACKWELL: But President Trump is once again skipping the event, sending this message to his supporters this weekend, "Why would I want to be stuck in a room with a bunch of fake news liberals who hate me? I came up with something much better. I'm going to hold a rally in Michigan to spend the evening with my favorite deplorable who love our movement and love America."
PAUL: All right. CNN politics, media and business reporter, Hadas Gold, joining us now.
Some people would say this absence is not a surprise necessarily. Do you know what we can expect at his rally in Michigan meanwhile from the president?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, President Trump did the same thing last year where he held a rally on the same night as the correspondents' dinner. And he's going to be doing counter programming. He's going to try to get attention away from this correspondents' dinner and on to him. We'll probably hear a typical stump speech, a typical campaign speech.
We know that President Trump loves these rallies. It's where he feels most at home being cheered on by all of his fans, but it's interesting that statement where he's saying that we're going to be with people who love America, as though he's somehow insinuating that the journalists who spend their lives working so hard to unveil the truth and they're being honored for that tonight are somehow not -- don't love America in some sort of way. And that's obviously not how most of us reporters who will be there tonight feel about it.
BLACKWELL: More than a suggestion, I mean the president has said and Steve Bannon said when he was part of the administration that journalists are the enemy of the people. So I think he's gone beyond suggestion.
Let me ask you this. Last year there was a full blackout from what I remember from the administration.
BLACKWELL: This year we've got Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne Conway who will be attending the dinner. Why? GOLD: It's clear that the tensions have thawed a little bit. You're
right that last year President Trump put a moratorium on his entire staff. He said you cannot go. This year we are seeing administration officials going. I know -- everything like you said from Sarah Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, down to more junior staffers are all joining some media at their table. This is usually what happens. The media will invite members of the administration, their sources, others to come join them and sit at their tables and have a little -- a night of camaraderie and just kind of a night fun. We called this nerd prom for that reason.
So the fact that Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne Conway are going to be there tonight really shows that the tensions have gone down a little bit and it's OK for them to be seen with us the reporter. In fact last night, there was a few pre-parties, pre-events. Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders, a bunch of other administration people were there. They were taking photos with the media, including people from CNN.
So if that doesn't show you that at least behind the scenes at these events everybody can at least in certain points put politics aside and enjoy themselves and perhaps we'll see some of that tonight as well.
PAUL: Well, and I would think, head off, that this is a point where even if there are some tensions they might kind of melt away a little bit at this dinner because you know what to expect, you know what it is. Maybe you find some common ground, you have some common laughs. Historically is there any other indication in any other administration where there has been a rift so large that the president would unwillingly attend as this president is?
GOLD: Not in years. I mean the last time a president didn't attend was Ronald Reagan and that's because there had just been an assassination attempt, and he was recovering, and he at least called in to the dinner and needed a phone call. And that was understandable.
President Trump, we don't expect him to call in. He didn't call in last time. I would honestly be surprised if he shows up to any of the future dinners. But I would point out, I think that he might want to because he went to the Gridiron Dinner which is a similar dinner a few weeks ago with journalists, with members of administration where there's jokes, there's funny speeches, the president gave a speech, but keep in mind that event is off camera, so his fans, you know, his voters couldn't see that. Tonight this is all on camera.
PAUL: Maybe that's one of the elements that he is displeased about.
BLACKWELL: Hadas Gold, thanks so much for being with us.
PAUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. After 35 years, this quartet is back in the studio. I know Christie is excited. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[08:59:08] PAUL: All right. '70s and '80s music fans, this is not a drill. ABBA is back.
BLACKWELL: Christi is excited about this.
BLACKWELL: Me, not so much.
PAUL: Not so much.
BLACKWELL: The Swedish pop group is releasing two new songs for the first time in decades. It all started with the project to create an ABBA show using avatars, but the band decided to get back in the studio in real life after that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BJORN ULVAEUS, ABBA MEMBER: We hadn't been together in a recording studio since, as you said, 1982. It just took moments and we were kind of looking at each other, because -- and then, straight back, like no time had passed at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Yes. The band released a statement saying, "We may have couple of age but the song is new and it feels good." And I, for one, will be listening.
BLACKWELL: I mean, I'm excited for you. I'm excited for all the fans.
PAUL: You're excited for me. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: I'm excited for you.
PAUL: I appreciate that.
BLACKWELL: You tell me (INAUDIBLE) is going on tour and then you'll see that excitement. ABBA doesn't do it for me.
All right. That's it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00 Eastern for an hour of NEWSROOM.
PAUL: Yes. "SMERCONISH" --