Return to Transcripts main page

STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY

Interview with Nancy Pelosi; Interview with Mike Rogers, Dutch Ruppersberger

Aired April 6, 2014 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Sunday morning's questions: Are those underwater sounds that searchers are detecting the pings from black boxes on Flight 370? And did someone deliberately fly this 777 on a path designed to avoid Indonesian radar?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY (voice over): Today: two ships in the search detect underwater signals.

(UNKNOWN): This is an important and encouraging lead but one which I urge you to continue to treat carefully.

CROWLEY: The race to find the black boxes before their batteries die.

And then, running against all odds, House Democrats push for a November miracle.

CROWLEY (on camera): Are Democrats going to take back the House this year?

PELOSI: Well, of course. We have great candidates.

CROWLEY (voice over): Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on mid-term politics, double standards for women in power and whether Congress deserves a raise.

Plus, the CIA accused of conduct contrary to American values in its post-9/11 pursuit of terrorists. We talk with the two top members of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Mike Rogers and Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger.

And questions out of Fort Hood.

(UNKNOWN): The possibility does exist that we may never know exactly why the alleged shooter did what he did.

CROWLEY: Guns, mental illness and a country's promise to its soldiers. A discussion with Iraq War veteran and congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Tim Murphy.

This is "State of the Union."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY (on camera): Good morning. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. A Chinese ship has reported detecting two pulse signals that match the frequency emitted by the pingers on black boxes in the southern Indian Ocean that -- that match the frequency of the 370s. A British naval vessel is en route to the area.

Additionally, about 300 nautical miles away, an Australian ship has detected what's described as an acoustic noise.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, a senior government official tells CNN the plane may have deliberately been flown around Indonesian air space to avoid radar detection. CNN's Joe Johns is in Kuala Lumpur and Will Ripley is following the search in Perth, Australia.

Joe, I want to go first to you. This idea that the plane was deliberately flown to evade Indonesian radar, where does that get us? What's the -- what's the point of knowing that? Where does it take the investigation?

JOHNS: Well, Candy, this was a conclusion reached after reviewing radar from neighboring countries. That's our understanding. And it creates an inference for investigators of radar avoidance, an inference that can still be overcome, that someone in the cockpit with command and control and skill intentionally took the plane in a direction that skirted the Indonesian airspace.

And so the next question is why. And the investigators would have to ask, plain and simple, whether it was done to avoid detection by Indonesian radar.

So a piece of information that tells us why the authorities continue to look so closely at the flight crew onboard Flight 370. And it points away from some of the theories we've been hearing for weeks now that the plane was somehow flying itself on autopilot. Candy?

CROWLEY: Joe Johns in Kuala Lumpur. Thanks, Joe.

Will Ripley is in Perth, Australia.

So now we also are hearing these sounds. The Chinese say that they have heard two underwater noises that are on the same frequency as these pingers. When you look at the pictures, the Chinese technology does not look all that sophisticated. How seriously do authorities take these reports?

RIPLEY: Well, I think, right now, the right answer to that would be they're working to gain an understanding of this technology. They're trying to wrap their heads around (inaudible) the Chinese use to detect these pings. And until they have that full understanding, they can't really assess what their level of confidence is.

But, look, this is in an interesting area. It's right smack-dab in the middle of this newly refined search zone, right on this arc that we've shown you where the satellite data seems to indicate that this plane may have gone down. So clearly significant enough to send the HMS Echo to this area with its sonar technology to try to get a better handle on things.

But we also need to keep a close eye on what the ocean shield is doing right now. Authorities here in Australia, our source at the Australian Defense Force is very tight-lipped other than to say they are definitely looking into something. They just won't say what it is. So certainly some -- some interesting leads, but we don't want to get overconfident here. We've seen what can happen over the past weeks when that happens.

CROWLEY: We have, multiple times. Will, thanks very much.

Joining me now in Washington is Kitty Higgins, a former member of the NTSB, and Nick Sabatini, a former associate administrator of the FAA. Welcome to you both.

Let me first take these developing stories we have now. When you see that the Malaysian source, coming from the Malaysian government, Malaysian officials, says, well, it deliberately flew outside Malaysian radar range. Does that tell you anything about -- you know, as former investigators and safety experts, does that tell you anything about where this plane is or how or why it might have gone down?

HIGGINS: No. I think it's interesting information. It's one more set of data that will be looked at. They're looking at it now, as they are looking at the pinger noises. But until we find the black boxes, until we find the wreckage, we don't really have any hard information to go on.

CROWLEY: In fact, if you were in your old job and you were watching this search -- we had had that one map up that showed, well, we've searched here and we've searched up here. These are huge areas. These are not little, small places, and they move, sort of, casually from one place to the other.

So when you're looking at that map, to me you get a sign that we're not still sure of anything.

SABATINI: That's true. And I would say I would have very low confidence in what is being reported today because of the many different sites that have been claimed to be where there's been debris, et cetera, and turned out to be false.

CROWLEY: And what about the debris? Because it seems like, every day, it's like, oh, there looks like what might be a debris field or this or that. At this point, four weeks later this coming week, where is that debris? Is it still all together? Is it -- has it sunk? Is it well under the water? Can we expect to see anything on top or is it now underneath?

SABATINI: Well, if one were to use the Air France tragic accident, you will find debris. The airplane, assuming that it did impact the sea, it is going to break up. There are components on that aircraft which will separate. Most of it will sink to the bottom. A good part of it, or pieces of it, will float to the surface.

CROWLEY: So we could still find something on the surface at this point, although it may be nowhere -- or probably won't be anywhere near where the stuff that has sunk to the bottom.

So, let me ask you, when both of you look at the data so far -- and I am assuming that safety investigators begin on day one, sort of, gathering information -- is there a feasible explanation that you see now that would point to a problem with the plane?

HIGGINS: Again, we don't have the evidence that we need to make that -- make that finding. We don't have the black boxes. And until we get them and until we get the wreckage, it's all speculation. And when we have this data, the radar data, which I think has been confusing at best and is being reinterpreted almost every day -- and I think there's been a lot of speculation, understandably, given how little is known. But investigators, and I think the good investigators, will tell you that, until they get the black boxes and until they can read them out, it's all speculation.

CROWLEY: And I know you feel the same way, but it is clear to me that the Malaysian government has all along, sort of, moved this toward a pilot and a deliberate event and not a random, sort of, everything goes out on the plane, and that this new evidence of, well, they deliberately skirted Malaysian radar is -- points toward that. But you don't think it's definitive?

SABATINI: It's not definitive. There is no objective evidence to suggest that. I will add that the 777 has one of the best safety records in air transportation. So it will be interesting to note and learn what will be found if and when we recover the black box.

CROWLEY: And it's possible we won't?

HIGGINS: Well, I think they will. I think that they will keep at it until they do.

CROWLEY: When you look at what we've seen so far and how difficult this has been, where do you see the future of aviation in terms of aviation safety and being able to find planes when they disappear from radar? What do you see changing in the future?

SABATINI: Well, if you look at the history of aviation safety -- and let me point out, we are at the time, at this time, living in the safest period ever in the history of U.S. air transportation and globally as well. As several data points, if you just take post-World War II, where, in 1946, there were 1,500 fatalities, approximately, of passengers, today we are at zero.

And if you look at the past five years...

CROWLEY: In the U.S.?

SABATINI: In the US. Let's talk about passenger operations by U.S. air transportation systems. In the United States, in the past five years, the U.S. air transportation system has transported 3.7 billion people. That is the equivalent of having transported the population of the United States more than 10 times without putting so much as a scratch on anyone.

CROWLEY: In terms -- but -- you're right. And this is an individual tragedy and it's outside the norm for air travel everywhere. But the question is, should more be done on these planes, to these planes, inside these planes, so that something like this doesn't happen and you just see a plane disappear?

HIGGINS: Well, I think there are some lessons we can already begin to look at here. The fact that the black box data stops pinging after 30 days. The Safety Board has recommended that that be extended to a longer period of time. Clearly, that needs to be acted on.

I also think that when you look at -- this is an international accident involving many, many countries. I think the protocols involving these accidents need to be looked at. We're dealing with Malaysia, a country that hasn't had a fatal accident in 20 years. They don't have the experience or the expertise.

And slowly, it's coming together. But only yesterday, there were teams identified to actually begin to do the collaborative, cooperative work. There's been a lot going on.

But the protocol that would create a better process is just now coming in to place. That should be changed.

The other area is family assistance. I mean this country passed a very robust law about -- a little -- not quite 20 years ago, after the TWA accident.

Clearly, one of the major concerns in this accident is how the families have been treated. That needs to change. There are some guidelines, but my sense is, in the international arena, they aren't enforced at all.

CROWLEY: OK. (INAUDIBLE).

Do you agree that some changes should be made in these areas?

SABATINI: I would agree. And, again, post-World War II, after every accident, there has been an assessment of what happened to better understand why it happened. And technology has been brought to bear and has brought us to where we are today in terms of the safest system globally.

CROWLEY: Nick Sabatini, Kitty Higgins, thank you both so much for joining us this morning.

HIGGINS: Thank you.

CROWLEY: We'll get back to this story later in the hour when we talk to CNN's Richard Quest.

But next up, House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, tells me the majority of Democrats are happy to embrace ObamaCare this election season. My exclusive interview is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act hit the seven million mark this week, prompting President Obama to declare victory at a White House ceremony.

But even the president admits the law is not perfect. Some Democrats are going a step further, saying certain components should be permanently sidelined.

Earlier, I sat down with House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, and asked her about the prediction by Robert Gibbs, a former adviser to the president, that the business mandate of ObamaCare will not go into effect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PELOSI: Well, of all the things that I want to say about the Affordable Care Act, Robert Gibbs' opinion -- and I don't know who his clients are or what his perspective is -- but we are celebrating the fact that we have over seven million who have signed up, not counting the 3.1 million who are on the policies of their parents until they're 26 years old, not including over three million, and probably closer to five million, on Medicaid, which would bring us close to 15 million people who now have quality, affordable health care.

CROWLEY: Right.

PELOSI: It's really pretty exciting for those of us who made this fight, the employer mandate, the individual mandate, all an integral part of giving people the -- eliminating...

CROWLEY: So you think it's integral?

You think the employer mandate is integral...

PELOSI: All that is -- it's integral...

CROWLEY: -- is integral...

PELOSI: -- yes.

CROWLEY: -- and will and has to stay?

PELOSI: Yes. And -- and, you know -- this is a -- a -- a -- an initiative that has strong pillars in it that relate to each other.

CROWLEY: But to put a

It, you cannot be supporting anything that would remove the business mandate?

PELOSI: No. No, no. I mean the -- I don't know why we're focusing on that. One person says one thing.

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: -- changing it.

PELOSI: Seven million people signed up. The Congress of the United States, which wrote the bill, the members, which are proud of what they have done, are happy to not run away from what we have done. We're very proud of what we have accomplished.

CROWLEY: Although, you know there are just -- since you say that, there are folks who are running campaign ads, Democrats, distancing -- distancing themselves...

PELOSI: There's a few...

CROWLEY: -- from it.

PELOSI: -- there may be a few and some of them didn't -- weren't there to even vote for the bill and some of them who were there didn't vote for the bill.

But, you know, that's the exception. Democrats embrace The Affordable Care Act. We're very proud of it. And to -- you know, anecdotally, if you hear this, that, and the other thing, that's exactly what it is.

And the plural of anecdote is really not data, it's -- it's a few examples.

But there are a couple of hundred Democrats in the House who are proceeding in a very positive way.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the...

PELOSI: Go ahead.

CROWLEY: -- the Supreme Court ruling this week on campaign finance. And basically, it said that people can donate as much as they want in the aggregate, but the -- you still can only send a certain amount to a congressperson, but you could send it to every congressperson.

PELOSI: Yes.

CROWLEY: So there's no aggregate limit anymore.

You have said bad idea.

PELOSI: Yes.

CROWLEY: You don't like it.

On the other hand, aren't you prepared to use it?

I mean you'll...

PELOSI: You know... CROWLEY: -- go back to...

PELOSI: It won't (INAUDIBLE).

CROWLEY: -- some of these donors and...

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: -- but for your members, because you -- part of what you do is -- as majority -- as a minority leader is to go out and help others get elected.

So won't you go back to these who have maxed out under the old limit and say you can give more now?

PELOSI: No. What we'll do is -- I'm a big believer in donor's choice. And as we've -- we're respectful of the fact that people have not only federal limits, but they have personal budgets. And the people that I talk to are very idealistic about the environment and children being educated and the rest of that. This is not a pragmatic agenda. It is a -- an agenda for the future.

CROWLEY: I guess my question is...

PELOSI: -- has become.

CROWLEY: -- the game is what the game is. And so they've changed it. So would you still use, if you needed to pump up a race here or there, if there's no limits to the overall amount that a donor can spend, you're going to go (INAUDIBLE).

PELOSI: Well, it's the donor's choice. And the donor -- when it comes to individual races, it's donor's choice. And it's just really a bad idea. And it -- shall we say, an ironic thing -- or maybe ironic is not the word -- is that we have to raise money to win the election so we can reduce the role of money in politics.

CROWLEY: Moving to the CIA and a report that we are still awaiting but may get soon about the CIA's -- what we are told is the CIA's misrepresentation...

PELOSI: Right.

CROWLEY: -- of what was actually going on with these so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, torture, depending on, you know, who's describing it.

PELOSI: Right.

CROWLEY: You have blamed that on the highest levels of the CIA, that misrepresentation.

(CROSSTALK)

PELOSI: I mean I do believe that during the Bush-Cheney administration, that Vice President Cheney set a tone and an attitude for the CIA. Many people in the CIA are so patriotic, they -- they protect our country in a way to avoid conflict and -- viol -- violence, etc.

But the attitude that was there was very, I think, it came from Dick Cheney. That's what I believe. CROWLEY: And if that happening could be proven and is, in fact, it came from the vice president's office, is there a net result of that or is that just here's a report (INAUDIBLE)?

PELOSI: I think he's proud of it. I think he's proud of it. I think he's proud of it. So it was a -- it's been a -- an interesting week. We had the seven million. And we've had the "McCutcheon" decision, as you mentioned, the CIA report...

CROWLEY: Right.

PELOSI: But we also had the Republican budget which came out. And I call it the ideological manifesto of the -- of the Republican Party. It is a budget that takes us so into the past as compared -- or, shall we say, contrast it with a Democratic budget that is about the future -- investments in growth, education, science, innovation...

CROWLEY: Are you going to put a budget up next week, the Democrats?

PELOSI: Monday. Monday.

CROWLEY: Monday?

And does it balance?

PELOSI: It's about growth and growth will take us to balance. It takes us to about a -- a 2 percent of GDP deficit, which everybody says is...

CROWLEY: So it assumes...

(CROSSTALK)

PELOSI: -- very manageable...

CROWLEY: -- it assumes growth to balance?

PELOSI: Right.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

CROWLEY: More of my interview with minority leader Pelosi in the noon hour.

She has a very candid answer when I ask if there's a double standard for women in politics.

But next up, it's described as a shocking report on the CIA's interrogation program under President George W. Bush. Now, key parts of it are closer than ever to public release. We'll talk to two top lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CROWLEY: And joining me, the top two members on the House Intelligence Committee, Chairman Mike Rogers and ranking member Dutch Ruppersburger.

Gentlemen, always a pleasure to have the two of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.

CROWLEY: I want to start with Afghan elections, because they took place yesterday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.

CROWLEY: And we may get some preliminary result here.

We've had quite an investment in human life and in money from the U.S. Treasury in Afghanistan.

As we move forward -- so far, we don't have an agreement on the use of forces, but as we move forward, the U.S. in Afghanistan, what are your biggest fears?

ROGERS: Well, my biggest fear is we walk away without a bilateral security agreement. You know, we do not need another safe haven in the world, some 26 countries with ungoverned space are very attractive to al Qaeda and its affiliates.

It's very important we get BSA so we can get our bases preplanned so that we can continue to push back on extremists operating in Afghanistan.

CROWLEY: It sounds like that it will -- that Afghanistan will once again become a terrorist haven if the U.S. pulls out.

RUPPERSBERGER: We need to have our military consultants there. We've trained their military and their police force and the fact that so many people showed up in this election showed the people of Afghanistan do not want the Taliban and they stood up and risked their lives to vote. And that's very positive. Also another positive thing -- over 300 women filed for office in Afghanistan. That never would have happened with the Taliban there.

CROWLEY: It is a changed country. You just don't want to walk backwards.

ROGERS: What we don't want to do is slide backwards and that's - I think both of our concern is that we've made this investment. We are pushing out the boundaries of their own self-rule. It is not going to happen overnight. This election in and of itself does not do that. A lot of positive signs in this election but we can't just turn and walk away and allow it to devolve back into what it was before.

RUPPERSBERGER: And the issue is Karzai. You never know where he's going to be. Mike and I have met with him on numerous occasions. And we don't want to happen what's happening in Iraq right now. It is more of a Sunni-Shia issue. They had people trained on both sides and know how to use road side bombs and that type of thing. So it's an issue.

CROWLEY: Let me move you on to another sort of big blockbuster story that happened this week and that is the beginning perhaps of a road where parts of a Senate intelligence committee report on the CIA program post-9/11 on prisoner interrogation. Dianne Feinstein said about this report the results were shocking. The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never be allowed to happen again. Do you agree with all of that, part of it, any of it?

ROGERS: I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dianne Feinstein. We work very closely together on a lot of national security issues. This report I just have some differences of opinion. The methodology of the report. You can't spend that much time and not interview one person involved in the program and come to the right conclusion. And so I worry a little bit about its timing of release. Remember, we haven't done this since 2004. The program went away in 2006 completely. And we have real problems today. Remember, the Russian intelligence services are cutting people's ears off and putting knives at 85-year-old men's throats to get them in line in places around the world. That's where we need our intelligence services to focus.

CROWLEY: Sure. But can the CIA, if it was as brutal they also said -- this report apparently says the CIA misled you all about the nature of this program, that it was far more brutal than lawmakers were led to believe who have oversight.

RUPPERSBERGER: Well, in the first place, we can't have any of the agencies that we oversee, whether it is the CIA, saying mislead us. That's the first thing. The type of terrorist -- not terrorist. The type of information that is coming in on how -- that we take prisoners and what we do to them, if there are certain things that have occurred where it is torture involved, that's not who we are as a country. But the most important thing that we need to look at, the past, the history, and make sure we make -- don't make the same mistakes in the future. And that's what we're really doing here. And I do also respect Dianne Feinstein. She's a great American. She stands strong for what she believes in but let's get the facts. The most important thing the attorney general right now has the case to look at what - these allegations that are out there. Let's get the facts and then we can make decisions.

CROWLEY: Nancy Pelosi is the leader of your party, Mr. Ruppersberger. I asked her about this report and the things that are in it. She had said, look, this goes to higher-ups here. They're responsible for this. And I said, who is that and she said, Dick Cheney. Do you agree with that? RUPPERSBERGER: I'm going to have to wait for the facts. When Cheney was there, Cheney and Rumsfeld, they were - they did some things that I might not have agreed with. But I think in order to criticize I've got to wait for the facts. ROGERS: It worries me about that most -- more than anything -- any other statement is that politicizes this in a way that I think is horribly counterproductive and likely lead people to the wrong conclusion. There are - there is a counter report that I think people need to read this report is -- I forget -- thousands of pages. We've gone through it and they have made assumptions and left conclusions that cannot be substantiated. This is not the Holy Grail. It doesn't answer all the questions. And again, why now in to an election year would you bring this up, then to say this is all about Dick Cheney. I think -

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: Political.

ROGERS: Clearly when you say things like that it becomes highly charged politically --

CROWLEY: You think the release of the report - I mean they want it released. Do you think that that is political?

ROGERS: Well, I think, again, if you're going to release parts of the report that you'd like to release, then maybe the other counterargument -- there is another counterargument out there on these facts. So you'll only get one side of the facts to argue from and I think that's unfortunate. And again, remember, this program is gone. There was oversight, debate, discussion, votes, all kinds of efforts back in 2006 when George W. Bush got up and said, all right, we're going to move to a different direction, here's how we're going. And now we're going to -- when the agency is challenged from al Qaeda's resurgence around the world to the Russian intelligence service, remember, we have more KGB agents in the United States -- excuse me, Russian intelligence agents that's the (INAUDIBLE) for them. Then we had at the height of the cold war more Chinese intelligence collectors in the United States via a number that's just breathtakingly nerve- racking for the United States by a number that is just breathtakingly nerve-racking for the United States. That's where we need our intelligence services focused. This is a debate we've had. It's gone. It's a part of our history that we're probably going to talk about for years but we need to move forward. They need to focus on the challenges that face the United States today.

CROWLEY: I guess some people would argue is that there should also be some accountability but let me move you on because in my --

RUPPERSBERGER: One issue though is transparency and we can't give sources and methods which hurts us with our enemies (ph). But the more that we can be transparent the more I think the more the American public will realize that the American intelligence community is there to protect them and help them. And that's the issue. That's the issue that we have with NSA also.

CROWLEY: In the last couple of minutes I have with you, do you think the American public will be any easier knowing that their phone metadata -- that is what number calls what number and for how long will be stored under the president's proposal -- you all need to put legislation around it -- will be stored with the phone companies as opposed to with the federal government. Isn't the point that too much data is being collected?

ROGERS: Remember, that happens already and was happening well before this program got started. That's how they bill. These are really phone company billing records. This isn't some special collection by the phone companies. They collect it as a natural course of their billing cycles for phone numbers.

CROWLEY: But do they want to be a part of this really?

ROGERS: Well they have to - they have to keep it anyway by the FCC rules at least 18 months. And so what happens now is -- and Dutch and I have gone round and round and tried to find the right place. Remember, there was nothing found wrong or unconstitutional with the other program but clearly people didn't have confidence in it with the NSA locking it away. So what we did is said, listen, it's already there. Let's try to find a way. Do you lose a little bit of capability? Yes. But can you find a way so that the court is involved in the transaction of getting the metadata. Remember, not even names and addresses. No names and addresses. So that we can find a terrorist from overseas calling in to the United States. And so that part of the debate seems to get lost. And this is incredibly important as we move forward.

CROWLEY: I've got to stop there.

(CROSSTALK)

RUPPERSBERGER: You (ph) got (ph) to stop (INAUDIBLE) important (INAUDIBLE) you were doing away with metadata and we have court review and I think it seeks the balance to protect our country and make sure people feel secured their constitution rights were not being violated.

CROWLEY: Congressman Ruppersberger, Congressman Rogers, thank you both so much.

We are monitoring news on Malaysia flight 370. A Chinese ship has detected pings in the Indian Ocean. Richard Quest will join us shortly with a little more context on China's role in the hunt for the missing jetliner.

But next a mass shooting at Fort Hood for the second time in five years. Troops give their lives to protect the United States but is the country doing enough to protect them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are learning lessons from what's occurred here and to minimize chances of this ever happening again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Joining me are congresswoman and Iraq war veteran, Tulsi Gabbard, and Congressman Tim Murphy, he's a clinical psychologist in the Navy reserve who treats soldiers with PTS. Thank you both so much for joining us this morning. I'm sorry it is on this subject because it seems like we do it pretty regularly here.

I want to first start out with a statement that came from the father of the shooter, now deceased. And he had this to say Friday, "This situation is very painful. I seek prayers for all the families affected, more so when there is an ongoing investigation. My son must not have been in his right mind. He wasn't like that." It occurs to me, Congressman Murphy, that this could have happened anywhere, that this is not a base problem or a military problem any more than it is a, you know, general population problem. Do you agree or disagree?

MURPHY: Yes. It could have happened anywhere. There are special concerns on a military base but really all throughout the nation the concern is how do we handle mental illness. And quite frankly, we're not doing a very good job of it. The military has beefed up a lot of their support but there is a lot of questions involved with how this happens or how any family deals with this.

CROWLEY: Absolutely. And Congresswoman Gabbard, do you think that along those lines the military is living up to its promises to veterans and soldiers returning? And by that I mean, I think that we had promised to help them find jobs, to help them with health care problems, be it physical or mental, and to support their lives here as they try to get them back together. Are we living up to that promise?

GABBARD: I think -- there's more that needs to be done. And I think when we look at the conversation that we're having now in Congress about defense funding and what are our priorities, we have to place at the highest priority the well being and the care of our service members. Our all-volunteer force that really make our military the great military that it is. So when we look at the many stress sores that are placed on our service members and their families, or dealing with the effects of multiple deployments in a high-operational tempo. You're dealing with a conversation about dramatic troop cutbacks and what effect that is having on people, wondering if they are going to have an ability to provide for their families. And you're having these conversations about commissary benefits being cut, retirement benefits being reduced basically mid stream. So all of these things really go to the service member and adding on to the normal stresses that go with serving in the military on, you know, the forefront. So ultimately I think that we have to make sure that we are not digging into the pockets of our service members, adding to this stress, and rather looking very realistically and honestly on how we reduce the waste, fraud and abuse that contributes to so much of these funds being wasted.

CROWLEY: Congressman Murphy, we should say from the outset that we don't know what triggered this. The base seems to think it was an argument. There is, as yet, no evidence. We know that he had been seen by a psychiatrist -- or someone on the base, a therapist of some sort on the base. But we don't know if he had PTS. Having said that, my question to you is, there are by many accounts, thousands and thousands who do suffer from some form of PTS, some more severely than others. How do you as a mental health expert that deals in PTS, how do you differentiate between the PTS soldier who's simply ill and needs help, and the one that's right there on the edge and you need to try to contain?

MURPHY: Well, there are perhaps even hundreds of thousands who have suffered some level of post traumatic stress.

CROWLEY: And who are not violent.

MURPHY: Most of them are not. And most of them get better and they turn it into a source of strength. It really speaks to an overarching problem we have with dealing with mental illness in this country. Not enough providers, variously set up within the military around civilian world. That's why (INAUDIBLE) the bill called Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act because the government often times stands away and we need to deal with this better. But the military like anything else will go through this and say, do we have of enough people? Was this person following through on their treatments? We have this crazy standard in the United States that says, unless a person is on the verge of holding a knife to their own throat or someone else, we're not going to step in. And that's a real problematic standard. So when someone says, gee, it appeared to be an altercation that set things off, that's an overly simplified look and we need to understand the dynamics of mental illness in the military and outside of the military.

GABBARD: And I think just to add to that as Tim is saying, it is important to make sure that people don't automatically assume that because someone is seeking help that that is an automatic correlation to violence and taking action in that way.

CROWLEY: Exactly.

GABBARD: We've got to take away that stigma.

CROWLEY: That was my next question. I spoke to a couple folks I know who are still in the service about this and they said, you know, when we saw this happen, it is tragic. We have three people on that base who lost their lives in this which is horrendous. And then we have obviously the shooter, also dead. But the question they had was, when an employer looks on the screen and sees yet another soldier who had "PTS" or might have had or -- I'm just looking at a job opportunity going away. How do you walk that line?

GABBARD: Well we've got to change the culture first of all to make sure that we are helping people exactly from the time that they need help. And I think that's something that has to change within the military itself because we have service members who are trained to be strong, to be courageous, to be fearless, and to get the mission done. And it is very difficult at a personal level to admit that you may need help from someone. And then to take that next step of saying, well, who can I talk to? Where can I go for that help?

CROWLEY: Congressman Murphy, the last question to you, and that is when a recruit goes into the military, should there be some kind of mental exam then and when they come home particularly from a war zone, no matter what they did in that zone, should there be a mandatory mental health check upon return?

MURPHY: There is on both but quite frankly, it's not adequate. There's a quick questionnaire taken before they go over and when they come back. And many times service members minimize what they're saying in terms of there being a problem. They need a more detailed checkup from the neck up is what it's referred to. And what Tulsi was saying is so important. There's a stigma for the civilian world as there is in the military world. And I'm afraid this episode and the way it's being handled is going to add to the stigma if we think that the soldiers (INAUDIBLE) with PTS are going to go snap and then - so don't hire them. They're going to be problem employees. Or someone with mental illness is going to be a problem employee. Look there's a lot we can be doing as a nation and as Congress we're going to be taking this up. But the military will need to (INAUDIBLE) up more. I hope that's part of the outcome of this. I hope that's a lesson learned. But an overall lesson we have to learn is we cannot treat mental illness by denial and by ignoring it.

CROWLEY: Right. Congressman Tim Murphy, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Thank you all both so much for being here on this important topic.

GABBARD: Thank you. Aloha.

CROWLEY: Thanks. When we come back a Chinese ship has detected what may be black box pings in the Indian Ocean. Richard Quest is next with China's role in the search for flight 370.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Updating you now on flight 370, a Chinese ship has reported detecting two pulse signals in the southern Indian Ocean. Those sounds match the frequency emitted by pingers on black boxes. I want to bring in CNN's Richard Quest. He's been covering this story from the beginning. Richard, first, what do you make of China's role in this investigation? Because I do think we talk about them quite a bit and their discoveries.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China had 153 nationals on board, the largest number of passengers on the aircraft and from day one has been pushing hard the Malaysians. It's been almost bellicose in its criticism sometimes of the way Malaysia has been organizing the investigation. And then sudden, Candy, yesterday it's the Chinese who seemingly was searching not in the exact area where everyone else was, comes up with this revelation that they have heard pings or potential pings and they've heard them twice. And not only that, Candy, they don't report it through the normal route via the JACC, the coordinator in Perth. It's reported through Xinhua, which is the Chinese state news agency. Last night, Candy, it led to some very interesting questions about what is the relationship between China and the official organizing in the search authority.

CROWLEY: What's the relationship between the Australians who seem to be leading this now and the Chinese officials? Are they sharing technology at this moment to try to understand the pulse signals? Go ahead. QUEST: According to Angus Houston, asked specifically the question, do you believe China is sharing all its intelligence. China is sharing everything that's relevant to this search. But unlike other countries, it's not sharing it directly. All the Chinese material is going via Beijing first. So what they're doing now, they're going to put more Chinese speakers into Perth to help the coordination. The authority, the search authority, the Australians for want of a better word are saying again they're very, very happy. In fact, he said very, very happy about it according to Angus Houston. There's no doubt China has been plowing its own field in this to some extent and for good measure it has the most number on board.

CROWLEY: In less than a minute we have left, Richard, does China in terms of what it has at sea now, the equipment it has to detect the pinging or to find any of the wreckage, does it have sophisticated equipment as the Brits do or as U.S. does or as Australia does?

QUEST: Fascinating. Because the picture in the video we got yesterday, nobody really wants to say it publicly. But the video we got of the search suggests very rudimentary, very basic way of searching. Shoving a pole over the side of the boat with the hydrophone. That's the way it (ph) was (ph) done (ph). People aren't saying publicly that they doubt whether it could have heard that way, but that's what they're privately telling us. The reality is we don't know the extent of the Chinese technical data they've employed. We do know that HMAS Echo is on the way with the most sophisticated equipment.

CROWLEY: Richard Quest, thank you so much. CNN, of course, will be following this story throughout the day. And we'll have more in the noon hour of this program. Thanks for watching STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. If you missed any part of today's show, find us on iTunes just search, STATE OF THE UNION.

Fareed Zakaria, "GPS," is next.