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Passengers Capture Plane Crash; Flight Crashes and Everyone Survives; Trump Thanks Kim; International Alliances in Trump Era. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 2, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:31:17] DAVID GREGORY, CNN ANCHOR: Dramatic video emerges from that Aeromexico plane crash in Mexico. Passengers capturing the moment. Watch this. It's just incredible. Their flight went down seconds after taking off in bad weather. The scramble to make it out alive also seen in this video. Incredibly and miraculously, all 103 people on board survived.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is live from Mexico City this morning. She spoke with some of the survivors.

Leyla, good morning.


A lot of the investigators will now be focusing on exactly what lead up to the crash of this Aeromexico flight. In the meantime, the survivors themselves are trying to make sense of this. According to the U.S. embassy here in Mexico, at least 65 U.S. citizens were aboard that flight. And one of the questions they're now asking, many of them, how will I ever get back on a plane to get home.


AL HERRERA, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: It happened yesterday, 24 hours ago. It's still fresh in my mind. I can't close my eyes right now. I still see the flames. I see everything.

SANTIAGO (voice over): Al Herrera still can't stop thinking about this moment, seconds after taking off, impact, screams and panic as passengers shifted into survival mode to escape the plane and smoke of the fallen plane in Durango, Mexico. All 103 people aboard Aeromexico Flight 2431 survived, more than half were U.S. citizens.

HERRERA: You're seeing first responders running at you with stretchers and I'm yelling at them to go to the more injured people.

SANTIAGO: Once off the plane, he says he joined a priest, who was onboard, in prayer. CNN talked to Father Esequiel Sanchez, director of the Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe in Chicago, just hours before surgery for his injured arm. He was still counting blessings and giving thanks. The idea that nobody died, he says --


SANTIAGO: State officials have pointed at bad weather as a possible factor. Strong wind gusts knocked the plane down. Hours before its scheduled departure, officials warned of possible storms and hail. Overwhelmed with anxiety, Herrera and several other passengers boarded a flight to return home, stopping in Mexico City.

HERRERA: I cried.

SANTIAGO (on camera): Why?

HERRERA: The (INAUDIBLE) got to me. I saw my seat where I was sitting in front of me. I saw all the people. And like everything flashed back.

Well, when you're actually sitting there with your seat belt on, it all -- it all came flooding back. Like really hard. People die when planes crash and here I am, as a survivor, taking another plane. The lady in front of me held my arm because I was sobbing.

SANTIAGO (voice over): With bruises on his legs and a passport still filled with the mud from the scene, he hasn't found a way to leave it all behind.

SANTIAGO (on camera): What will you tell people when you get home to Chicago?

HERRERA: That I fell from the sky and survived.


SANTIAGO: Incredible to talk to them here when they stopped in Mexico City on their way home.

As for the investigation, investigators have recovered black boxes. Those are the recorders that will be critical to understanding exactly what happened. The government here in Mexico has established a commission to investigate, but already they acknowledge that it could be months before the investigation is complete.

And, Alisyn, one more quick update. We did check in with the father. He is out of surgery. And I understand he is now recovering and resting.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: That's very good news, Leyla, as is all of this story. Really remarkable.

Leyla, thank you so much.

But you can hear in Leyla's interview, obviously people are suffering from PTSD. I mean it's so recent that they're, of course, still traumatized. And to have to get on another plane is really scary, but they have no other way to get home. [06:35:11] GREGORY: Well, and for so many people who have any anxiety about flying, takeoff and landing is really what heightens that. And, you know, I think, as we watch this, the immediacy of it. And then, you look at the flames, and people I think shocked that they can walk away. And there is, obviously, things they're walking over that's, you know, burning embers of the plane and so forth. But just that level of shock.

You know, there's so much great radar, so much great information about weather for flight. That's a question I think -- I know you'll talk to Mary Schiavo and others -- that they'll look at, which is, you know, something as sudden as wind shear like this --

CAMEROTA: Why did they take off?

GREGORY: That could actually, you know, force the plane down is obviously really concerning.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I don't like to think that wind can make the plane crash --


CAMEROTA: Because you have to take off sometimes from Chicago and really windy places. So I can't wait to talk to Mary Schiavo.

So, how did everyone on that plane survive the plane crash? We could call it a miracle, but Mary Schiavo, our aviation expert, has a different explanation. She joins us next.


[06:40:06] CAMEROTA: OK, we've been talking about that Aeromexico plane that crashed moments after takeoff but somehow all 103 people on board made it off alive. Now we are seeing video of that crash from inside the plane.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just so scared.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kidding me now. Are you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kidding me. (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Oh my God. Oh my God.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, you can just hear the raw emotion, as you can imagine, afterwards of the survivors.

Joining us now is CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo.

Mary, it is so great to have you here to explain what we're seeing, OK -- MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Because when I look at that video and all of the people made it off alive, I see a miracle, but I'm guessing you have a more technical explanation. How did everyone survive this?

SCHIAVO: Science. The science of crash worthiness and aircraft cabin survivability. It's a very highly studied area. And success is measured in seconds. How many seconds does a change for safety actually give the passengers to get out. And that's been studied extensively over the past 30 years.

Thirty-three years to the day of a very important aviation tragedy. It was the crash of Delta Airlines 191 in Dallas on August 2, 1985, and wind shear, a microburst, survivability, onboard fires, all those were studied in the aftermath and so many changes made.

For example, changing the seat fabric and the insulation on the seats, the padding on the seats, if you get any. Just changing that gave passengers 40 to 60 extra seconds before the cabin filled with deadly fumes. So every little change is measured in the time it gives passengers to get off.

CAMEROTA: And is the magic number 90 seconds?

SCHIAVO: The magic number by law, by regulation, is 90 seconds, because that's what aircraft, modern aircraft, have to be able to be evacuated in to be able to fly. That's the standard. You have to prove, you have to show, now you can do it by computer modeling, but you have to show that everybody can get off that plane and a plane full of, you know, willing volunteers to do the test but with luggage, people, you know, they have to carry dummies that simulate babies, 90 seconds. And the reason for the 90 seconds is that that is the time that studies have shown that you can get off before the plane starts burning, before there can be a very large fires or explosions or before fumes fill the cabin. So even the 90 seconds was studied very carefully.

CAMEROTA: Mary, what caused this crash? Was this just, to your mind, just a microburst of wind, because that is very nerve wracking to hear?

SCHIAVO: Well, probably two things. And, you know, in the United States, at most major airports, we have wind shear and microburst detection equipment, very good radar and onboard radar on almost all planes now that can -- to show this.

But two things are probably at work here. Yes, wind shear and microbursts can bring down a plane. That's what brought down Delta 191 33 years ago today. But it can also cause an engine flame out. When a turbine, when a jet engine ingests a lot of water, hail or has huge gusts of winds, it can actually interferes with the air flow and cause what's called an engine flameout, or in this case it sounds like both engines had a problem, a duel engine flameout. So really bad weather, lots of water into your turbo fan can actually cause it to stop producing power and lift -- CAMEROTA: So, Mary, last, we --

SCHIAVO: And that coupled with the weather can bring that down (ph).

CAMEROTA: We tend to think, as passengers, that we're helpless in the face of a tragedy like this. But you actually have tips and you've seen them work. I mean this is the difference between life and death, these next tips, OK? So here they are. You say how to be a smart passenger.

Number one, don't get drunk. Yes, that -- I guess that's self-evident.

SCHIAVO: That's right.

CAMEROTA: And, number two, know where the exits are. Pay attention when the flight attendants are giving their spiel.

SCHIAVO: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Where sensible shoes, understandable, if you have to be able to run off the plane.

Now, the clothing choice that passengers make, you say, could save their lives. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs. What have you see for people who didn't do that?

SCHIAVO: Well, I've actually represented survivors from many crashes, Air France in Toronto, Singapore, a crash in Taiwan, and many of the survivors, and one woman in particular, kind of my hero, is my hero, she had her shoes off and she was wearing a dress, but, still, she crunched through the wreckage and saved people. And she said, without a doubt, never take your shoes off before the plane is actually airborne, just like in this Aeromexico fight. You might have to get off. And always wear something that covers your arms and legs because you never know when you might have to save your seat mate. And those are, you know, very life saving tips.

[06:45:13] CAMEROTA: Yes, I just -- I mean, honestly, I had never thought about all of the hot wreckage that you were going to have to maybe crawl through or maybe walk over and I will forever be wearing sensible shoes on flights now.

Thank you, Mary Schiavo, for all of the expertise.

SCHIAVO: Me too. Thanks.


GREGORY: Fascinating. A fascinating conversation.

Possible remains of the fallen from the Korean War are arriving now on U.S. soil. Is this a sign that Kim Jong-un can actually be trusted? Ambassador Richard Haass joining us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GREGORY: Vice President Mike Pence greeting what are believed to be the remains of U.S. servicemen brought home from Korea after more than 60 years. President Trump thanking North Korean Kim Jong-un on Twitter overnight. Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong-un for keeping your word and starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen. I am not at all surprised that you too this action. Also, thank you -- this kind action, I should say. Also, thank you for your nice letter. I look forward to seeing you soon.

We want to discuss this and more with Ambassador Richard Haass. He is, of course, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the book, "A World in Disarray," which is still so incisive and resonant in these days that we're living through.

Richard, good to see you.


GREGORY: What do we make of where we stand with North Korea? Reporting this week about more proliferation by "The Washington Post" and plenty of reason to be deeply suspicious of whatever President Trump thinks he has forged in terms of a relationship with Kim.

[06:50:06] HAASS: Well, we should be deeply suspicion. As welcome as it is to get these remains back, assuming they are remains, the fact is they're continuing to produce fissile material, the stuff of bombs, they're continuing to roll out intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could reach us, carrying nuclear weapons. So, yes, the undiplomatic word would be we're being played. They're rolling out certain things, giving us some things we want, like the remains, but in the larger sense they're moving farther away from the goal of denuclearization.

CAMEROTA: And so the upshot of the summit was what? I mean what -- did the summit work or did the summit not work? Was this a good idea for President Trump to meet with Kim Jong-un one-on-one?

HAASS: There's nothing right or wrong with meeting one-on-one. In this case, though, there were very few preparations and extraordinarily vague outcomes. And, again, I see zero evidence that North Korea is closer to the articulated goal. We announced victory and success when, in fact, we don't have it. And we paid a large price. We not only gave him enormous international standing, but in many ways we pulled the rug out from under our closest ally there, the Republic of Korea, South Korea, by shutting down the exercises, by not informing them of what we were doing. So all things being equal, again, it's a little bit like the second inning of a game. But let's be honest, at this point in the game we are behind.

GREGORY: So this notion of the president's belief in personal relationships is something you write about in your most recent piece that you've written. I'll put a portion of it on the screen. Trump is a great believer in the idea, however debatable, that relationships between individuals can meaningfully shape the relationship between the countries they lead, even transcending sharp policy differences. I'm of the view that President Trump has convinced himself vis-a-vis

Vladimir Putin, that, look, once I establish my relationship with him, in Trump's mind, there will be no more interference because he respects, you know, the power, he knows I'll be tough. This is really, I think, how he views that relationship with Putin, which may explain why he's not trying to lead more of an effort to prevent further Russian interference.

HAASS: Look, this wouldn't be the first American president to think that his ability to transform a personal relationship would translate into better U.S. foreign policy -- or better U.S. relations with a foreign country. It almost never works, going back, say, to FDR and Stalin.

President Trump has raised this to a new level. Again, he doesn't prepare for these summits, doesn't -- we don't have everything pre- scripted. He sits down with his opposite number, whether in Helsinki or Singapore or now like he wants to do with the Iranians, and just somehow hopes, what, almost a chemistry is going to happen and they're going to move away from decades of their behavior?

In the case of Russia, I think it's preposterous. What we see is continuing preparations to interfere in American politics. We see no apologies or recognition of what they did in the past. Zero signs they're thinking of getting out of the Ukraine. They've recently committed war crimes in Syria. So there's no transformation of any relationship regardless of what personal chemistry may exist.

CAMEROTA: Richard, we haven't spoken to you since Helsinki, but I want to play for you the moment that was so astounding to so many people when President Trump stood on the world stage next to Vladimir Putin and not only did not blame Putin, not only did not take any sort of aggressive tact of don't do this again to us, blamed the United States. So watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I hold both countries responsibility. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago. A long time, frankly, before I got to office. And I think we're all to blame.

I do feel that we have both made some mistakes.


CAMEROTA: When you watched that moment, what did you think?

HAASS: It was a form of moral equivalence that I found offensive. I'm not saying the United States is perfect in what it does in the world. But given what Russia has done to us, given what it's done in Syria, given its annexation of Crimea, given what it's continuing to do in eastern Ukraine. To basically so both countries have made mistakes, we're all -- we're basically on the same footing? No, we're not. We have historically been the principle proponents of global order. Russia, under Vladimir Putin now, is the principle opponent of all that we believe in, or at least we used to believe in. So, no, we should not put ourselves on the same footing.

GREGORY: We were talking about the founding of the Council on Foreign Relations tying to -- the run up to World War I and thinking about America's role in the world. How do you see, as you look at the -- the state of the world, how, though this administration's eyes, they view America's role in the world?

HAASS: This is more radical foreign policy we've seen in my lifetime, or in any of our lifetimes. For 70 years the United States has played a certain role, building international institutions and so forth. And now we have a president who basically looks at his inheritance and says, it's not worth it. And he's dismantling it. Whether in the area of trade or American alliances.

And what's so interesting is not only does he devalue, I believe, what he inherited, but I don't see any alternative. It's almost like health care, one of the other stories of today. We're repealing but we're not replacing. And we will pay an enormous price for a world that's less orderly, because without us things just won't work out, whether it's Russia or China or terrorist groups, things are going to get much, much messier. To use my favorite word, we're going to -- we're going to see greater disarray. And no -- and the two oceans that surround us are not a mote. Americans will not thrive in a world that begins to unravel.

[06:55:25] CAMEROTA: Author of "A World in Disarray" and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, we always enjoy having you on NEW DAY.

HAASS: Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Thanks for being here.

All right, so, President Trump and his lawyers are looking over Robert Mueller's latest offer for a sit-down interview. Our legal experts take it up, next.



RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: We believe the investigation should be brought to a close. Put up or shut up. What have you got?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're willing to limit the number of obstruction questions, but he would still be asked some in a sit down interview.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't say he's trying to obstruct justice. He's just frustrated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When someone says a subordinate he should do something, it normally is considered an instruction.

[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government has to prove that he had this money and that he spent this money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors have pictures of that illustrious ostrich coat, luxury watches.