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Deliberate Crash in the Alps; Clinton E-Mail Controversy; Reports: Co-Pilot Treated For Mental Illness; Friend: Co-Pilot Familiar With Crash Site Area; Saudi's Claim To Have Achieved Key Goals In Yemen. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 28, 2015 - 08:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New revelations about the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, did he hide depression from his bosses? Should they have been aware of his condition?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: We're going to go high into the French Alps to get a unique view of the dangerous and grim recovery efforts and our panel is going to be discussing and answering your questions that you've been tweeting about this accident.

BLACKWELL: Plus an interesting twist in this Hillary Clinton e-mail saga, her private server wiped clean according to a Republican congressman. No more e-mails on it. We'll talk about that. Your NEW DAY continues now.

KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you as always. I'm Victor Blackwell. We're going to start with the new developments this morning about the crash of Flight 9525. Right now, recovery teams are racing to bring back those bodies of those who died in this tragic plane crash. Officials say they are making good progress, but it could take several weeks before this process is complete.

KOSIK: Meantime, the hunt is on for a second -- a key second black box, but the search efforts have been complicated by both the rough terrain and intensely high winds on the mountain.

BLACKWELL: All right, so back in Dusseldorf, investigators have been combing through the apartment of co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz. The German prosecutor said that a ripped up doctors notes were found. A local paper is reporting that Lubitz had been treated for mental illness.

KOSIK: Pamela Brown is anchoring our coverage from Cologne. She is outside the headquarters of Germanwings. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Germanwings officials are staying tight-lipped not addressing these new revelations that Andreas Lubitz had an illness. Now publicly German officials are only saying that he was having a medical condition being treated by a doctor and that doctor gave him a note of absence even on the day that he authorities according to authorities, deliberately crashed the flight into the French Alps.

Now the "Wall Street Journal," "The New York Times" and other publications are reporting that he was being treated for depression and "The Bild" newspaper, the largest newspaper here in Germany, a tabloid newspaper, apparently interviewed his ex-girlfriend, who said that he had two different personalities.

On one hand, he was very sweet and caring. That he was very needy for attention. On then on the other hand, she said that he would get very angry and that he was paranoid about losing his job as a pilot.

This is a dream that he apparently had since childhood and he was very fearful, paranoid of losing his job. Our Fred Pleitgen who is also in Germany and he has more on this -- Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Investigators are continuing to try to find out what drove Andreas Lubitz to crash his plane into the French Alps. Of course, right now, the big thing that they are focusing on is his medical records.

We learned yesterday from the state prosecutor in Dusseldorf that they raided properties that he stayed at, both in the town of Montabaur where he was staying with his parents as well as his brother and in the town of Dusseldorf.

We know that in the town of Dusseldorf they found extensive medical records and those medical records showed that he was going for treatment for an ongoing ailment. Also that he had a sick note for the day of that doomed flight.

So he wasn't actually supposed to be at work. The big question here now is what exactly was that ailment? Was it a mental problem or was it more of a physical problem? There are various German and international media outlets, who were saying that he was suffering from something like depression.

None of that has been corroborated yet by the authorities here or by the Germanwingings airline. They say they never received a sick note from him and that, of course, leads them to believe and the public prosecutor to believe that Lubitz was trying to hide his ailment from his employer.

"The Bild" newspaper of Germany, which is a big German tabloid claims to have an interview with an ex-girlfriend of Lubitz. In that interview, she describes him as a very sensitive man, someone who needs a lot of attention, but who could also be quite flattering, but also a man who had a very dark side to him.

Someone who for instance, would wake up in the middle of the night with bad dreams, someone got into fights with her as well, in the end she says that they split up. So, piece by piece the authorities, of course, the media as well, trying to piece together what exactly happened on that flight, why he crashed that flight into the Alps. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Cologne, Germany.

BROWN: Thank you to Fred Pleitgen. Not far from where I am now here in Cologne is a medical clinic that apparently treated Andreas Lubitz. I visited that clinic yesterday and we're being told that he visited back in February as recently as March 10, but this clinic is making it clear that he was not being treated for depression. There are still a lot of unanswered questions here -- Alison and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Pamela Brown, anchoring our coverage from Cologne there. Pamela, thank you so much.

[08:05:07] KOSIK: So we're getting very different portraits of the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz. One friend says he was normal. He was nice. He was even happy. There are also reports which CNN is looking into that he got psychiatric treatment and even woke up screaming from nightmares.

Joining me to talk about this now is a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Lisa Van Susteren. Good morning to you.


KOSIK: So what do you think, does this surprise you that these very different images are emerging about Andreas Lubitz?

VAN SUSTEREN: No, actually. It doesn't surprise me because what happens is that people like this can show a certain face when they feel like it. And then in unguarded moments when they lose their cool and control they can act out angrily. So it just depends what you get that time of day.

KOSIK: Once again, it's this German newspaper the magazine reporting that Lubitz's ex-girlfriend says he woke up screaming from nightmares, but he didn't say anything to his employer. I mean, is there any way that the employer can really keep track of this kind of behavior?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, sure, of course. I mean, we can have better filters. We've gotten so enamored of technology that we have checklist psychiatry. I don't know how much they get into psychological evaluation beyond just that.

But the primary issue really is to reframe it. This man isn't primarily depressed. That's not the fundamental issue with him. He is primarily or was a very angry individual, and over time that anger turned him into a mass murderer.

What happens is the depression you see comes from the fact that you've got anger in your heart and you're blaming the rest of the world for many humiliations and rejections that you're getting.

KOSIK: And if he does go ahead and tell his employer that he's got this medical issue, there's that stigma that follows him, you know, could he be at risk of being fired?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, certainly. We have seen that this is something that the airlines take seriously, but they are kind of depending on the people who are evaluating him and the people evaluating him have a mechanical view of things. And too often what we see and I see this all the time in my practice, is that people are diagnosed as depressed when they are fundamentally really very angry and then they get depressed because they can't work well with the world.

They keep getting rejected. They get humiliated. They don't do well in their job. They don't get girlfriends to stay with them. This is what causes them the sense that depression needs to be treated when it's anger.

KOSIK: But there are reports that Lubitz took a leave in 2008 for several months from his pilot training. What alarm bells does that raise and should that have raised alarm bells for the airline?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we know so very little about this actually, I can speculate, but I would guess that what they are calling burn-out was really the fact that when he might not have done so well he had to repeat classes, when he didn't do so well he became very angry.

And probably became sort of made it everybody else's fault that he wasn't doing well, held that inside and that caused a sense of burn- out that made him leave for a year and a half.

KOSIK: So we are asking viewers to tweet us their questions at #germanwingsqs. A clinic treated Lubitz, it says it was not for depression, but it's not saying what it was for.

So here's what one of our viewers wants to know. He asks if the law allows the clinic to reveal what they were not treating, why can't they reveal what they were treating? Doctor, what's your response to that?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I don't know specifically confidentiality laws in Germany, of course, but here's what we know in the U.S., if a person is thought to have a psychiatric condition that puts others in imminent danger then we do have policies that allow us to take that person out of circulation so to speak.

So the big question is how is that communicated within Lufthansa, what are their policies, was this doctor affiliated with the industry. We don't know these things, but what we do know is that if a person does have dreadful psychiatric condition with thoughts of taking a plane down, clearly those kinds of things need to be communicated to superiors.

KOSIK: How upsetting that investigators found those notes ripped up showing that he should not have flown that day?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it does say something that he ripped it up and threw it in a waste basket. It wasn't just left on his desk. This was an angry dismissal it seems like of what was being said.

KOSIK: All right, Dr. Lisa Van Susteren, thanks so much for your analysis.

BLACKWELL: All right, now, remember, if you have questions about this crash, send them to us on Twitter and use the #germanwingsqs. We're going to get to as many of them as we can throughout the morning.

[08:10:04] Also as we get to know more about the pilot's medical condition, one key question, and there are several, but one key question is should doctors have informed the airline that Andreas Lubitz was suffering from this medical condition?

"The Wall Street Journal" and "New York Times" say that he was suffering from mental illness specifically. We'll have more analysis ahead.

KOSIK: New developments in the Mideast. Saudi Arabia claims to have achieved major goals in their fight against rebel forces in Yemen. More on this coming up.


BLACKWELL: It's 13 minutes after the hour. New this morning, we have shocking details about the co-pilot of this crashed Germanwings Flight 9525. Some of Andreas Lubitz's friends saying he was a normal person, but there are doctors notes showing he was suffering from a medical condition indeed deemed unfit to fly that's according to the German prosecutor.

A fact that he hid from his employer, and the "New York Times" and "Wall Street Journal" are reporting that this was a mental illness. Let's bring in Tom Fuentes, the former FBI assistant director, CNN law enforcement analyst as well, and Les Abend, a former commercial airline captain and CNN aviation analyst. Good to have both of you with us this morning.


BLACKWELL: Tom, I want to start with you. We know that this co-pilot had been hand gliding. Reuters is reporting that a hand gliding acquaintance says that Lubitz was familiar with this area. Does that offer any material information to any investigation or is it just coincidental?

FUENTES: Well, I think it's probably coincidental. If he takes that flight regularly then he would be very familiar with going back and forth over the Alps between France and Germany or Spain and Germany.

BLACKWELL: There is the consideration that this entire plane if it was something that was in the works for a while depended on when the captain went to the restroom so he couldn't time that in the flight.

[08:15:13] Les, I want to come to you next. The CEO of Lufthansa said in the hours after this crash that the co-pilot was 100 percent fit to fly. We now know about these notes saying he was unfit to work and these comments from this ex-girlfriend to this German newspaper. How could the CEO even know that? How could that be something he could determine?

LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It's a great question. He couldn't. The CEO, I'm still currently flying for my airline. There is no way my CEO would have knowledge of that, I mean, this whole thing I take very personally. We know the fact that there was a lot of signs before all of this happened.

This was an accident investigation before the crash. We have a lot of mechanisms in place to be able to determine our health and our fitness to fly, and this gentleman apparently had issues even before he got to the cockpit of a Lufthansa plane.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the psychological testing. What is this like? Are they simple questions if someone is trying to mislead the people who grade these, who determine the physical and mental fitness, could someone do that?

ABEND: Well, I think it's -- you know, we've discussed this before, but mostly the psychological aspect to these tests occur at the initial hiring process. My memory fades me a little bit, but back over 30 years ago it's very similar I'm certain of it, but we were given a test that involved personal questions.

Do we like our mother, do we hate our mother, things of that nature. Just certain key elements that would say that maybe there's some issues. Did we have -- we had to self-disclose, do we have depression, so on and so forth.

And then in the middle of that we were doing stress type tests where one of the examples I can give you is that we listen to an airline traffic control tape talking with pilots during a thunderstorm event and then do geometry and math problems.

And try -- the questions were asked later can we relay what happened with these particular questions. In other words, what did air traffic control say to such and such. Do we have the ability to multitask which would also mean do we have psychological problems perhaps if we can't multitask in a typical pilot role?

BLACKWELL: Tom, let me come to you, do you think cameras should be in the cockpit?

FUENTES: I think you know, I think they will help. They wouldn't have anything to do with preventing what happened here, but certainly we've had enough question in other incidents, you know, that would to me would warrant it.

I mean, we want to put cameras on police officers because we want to know if they shot a person that they shouldn't have shot. I don't know of an incident where a police officer shot 149 other people.

BLACKWELL: I wonder, though, these cameras are in cockpits, whether they are on the controls, if they are on the faces. Who is sitting and watching these live streams of hundreds, maybe more than 1,000 cameras real time and what can anyone on the ground, who is monitoring them do about it?

FUENTES: I think nobody on the ground would be monitoring real time. Nobody on the ground could do anything even if they were monitoring. It would be, again, part of the investigation in reconstruction of what happened later. Just like putting a camera on a police officer isn't going to stop -- nobody else is going to stop him from doing what he's going to do. It will tell you what happened after the fact.

BLACKWELL: All right, Tom Fuentes, Les Abend, thank you so much.

KOSIK: Unfortunately, all of this technology in the world can't stop something like that.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the question is even if with this new two-person rule could a second person if a flight attendant was in there --

KOSIK: Yes, they can.

BLACKWELL: If this man is hell bent on taking this plane down --

KOSIK: He is going to take out that second person first. All right, let's move on to a different story. New progress for a coalition fighting rebels in Yemen, we are going to tell you why Saudi Arabia is claiming to have achieved key military goals there and how the U.S. is doing its part in the crisis.

A reminder if you have questions about the Germanwings crash, send them to us on Twitter @cnn use the #germanwingsqs. We're going to answer them in the next half hour.



KOSIK: We're going to continue with our coverage of the Germanwings investigation in just a few minutes, but first, new developments this morning with the crisis in Yemen. Saudi Arabia says that military operations have taken out key rebel targets and that there is word a major announcement is set for later today.

After two days of airstrikes Saudi officials say they have taken out all main air defense systems controlled by the Houthi militia, this group has taken over the capital and captured al-Anad Air Base along with key parts of the port city of Aden. That's where the country's president was staying before he fled.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's bring in CNN military analyst, Major General James "Spider" Marks. General, good to have you this morning. Let's start with the U.S. level of support. The U.S. says that it supports these efforts led by Saudi Arabia. Do you expect that it supports them enough or cares enough to get involved to a greater degree?

MAJ. GENERAL JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it certainly cares enough. I guarantee you that. At this point, the United States is wise to provide what it can in terms of intelligence support. Any requests for logistics, in terms of the evacuation of personnel, the removal of those personnel may be to the Horn of Africa a short distance where the United States has a robust and a very secure presence. And they will continue primarily in terms of observing and providing intelligence, and even targeting data as necessary to the coalition, that's conducting air strikes led by the Saudis right now.

But let there be no doubt the united states is highly interested, they are not going to engage themselves directly and this really is the start of what I would call a war by proxy, Saudi Arabia does not like what's happening on the peninsula, nor does the United States, nor do the regional partners.

And this is a clear example of Iranian expansion that's taking place in Iraq, taking place now in Yemen, it needs to be stopped. It needs to be checked. That's what the Saudis are all about.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about this war by proxy from the angle of the U.S. relationship with Iran.

[08:25:03] The Houthis, Iranian ally, and the U.S. now in these talks about the nuclear program in Iran. How does one affect the other?

MARKS: I've got to tell you this is all a ganglia of connections. These things are all completely tactic. I find it quite ironic that the leader of Hezbollah has indicated that this should move to some peaceful negotiations when Shiite involvement is distinctive, it's precise, it's inarguable part of a larger strategy on the part of Tehran so needs to be checked.

When you have the overarching negotiations, where the United States rightfully is entering into negotiations with Iran in terms of its nuclear development, that needs to be controlled.

But all of this under that umbrella, that's the larger concern. You have a lot of mischief and activity and that's what you see right now. Not unusual to us at all to see this.

BLACKWELL: So, the Saudi king says that this military intervention will continue until quote/unquote "security is brought to Yemen." Security is a very vague sometimes, malleable word in definition. What do you think the king means by that?

MARKS: He wants to make sure that former President Hadi remains secure, remains protected where he is in Aden. Until there are forces on the ground that are countering the Houthi rebels, you're going to see in Yemen not unlike what you see in Iraq right now where you end up containing these elements.

You may be able to stop them where they are but you're not going to ever get to the point where you want to destroy them. So from the United States perspective we are supportive of what Saudi Arabia is trying to achieve.

Security is as you describe elusive definition. Everybody has their own definition. If you can keep Hadi in place, if you can keep the Houthis isolated in a certain area then you can begin the effort to a trip.

BLACKWELL: Major General James "Spider" Marks, always good to have you, sir.

MARKS: Victor, thanks very much.

BLACKWELL: All right, enjoy the weekend -- Alison.

KOSIK: Thanks, Victor. The University of Oklahoma is revealing the results of their investigation into a racist chant that was caught on video. It appears the fraternity members in the video have learned the song four years ago, but it's where they learned it that is even more shocking. That story is coming up.

And our coverage of Germanwings 9525 is continuing. We're going to high into the French Alps to get a unique view of the dangerous and grim recovery effort. Our panel is going to continue answering your questions about the crash.


[08:31:15] BLACKWELL: 29 minutes before the top of the hour now. Welcome back to NEW DAY. You're watching our continuing coverage pushing forward on this crash investigation of Flight 9525.

Right now recovery teams are working to bring back the bodies of those who died in this tragic plane crash. Officials say they are making progress but it could take several weeks before this process is complete.

KOSIK: And meantime, in Germany investigators have been combing through the apartment of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. The German prosecutor said ripped up doctors notes were found and a local paper is reporting that Lubitz had been treated for mental illness.

BLACKWELL: Let's dig in a bit deeper now with our panel this morning. We're joined by Pamela Brown live outside Germanwings headquarters in Cologne, Germany; we have also with us CNN aviation analyst and former Boeing 777 captain Les Abend; Brian Alexander, an aviation attorney and former military pilot; and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lisa van Susteren.

KOSIK: Let me begin with the first one. We have several questions submitted by our viewers to Germanwingsqs on Twitter. First up, it's required for military and government agency personnel to pass polygraph tests. Can the same standard be mandatory for pilots?

Brian Alexander, let's have you answer that.

BRIAN ALEXANDER, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Well, I think that, you know, that's going to be a question that will be scrutinized as a result of this tragedy, and you'll have to just balance privacy concerns with some of the safety issues that are there as to what heightened evaluation and monitoring processes will be required.

You know, we've heard a lot of discussion in the last day about what's in place presently. I think one thing that's noteworthy is that presently the FAA, for example, once the red flag goes up will require psychiatric and psychological evaluations to be done. I think the question now is what do we do to ferret out and determine if these issues are there in the first instance. That's the challenge.

BLACKWELL: All right. I got a medical question here so Dr. Van Susteren, this one comes to you. Does depression seem to be, or I guess they should say, have a stigma in other countries many people aren't open about it. What is the status of the stigma related to depression overseas?

DR. LISA VAN SUSTEREN, FORENSIC PSYCIATRIST: Well, the status of depression generally is that people feel very embarrassed about being depressed and of course in some places much more than others. I think the real issue here is not to look so much at this guy as being primarily depressed as primarily angry because what it does do is it increases the stigma talking about depression.

He was essentially an angry man and as a result of his anger probably rebuffed people so he got humiliated by girlfriends, he didn't do well at work, so all of those things lead him to feel depressed. It's not primarily depression as we think of it and that adds to the stigma when we don't talk that way.

KOSIK: Pamela, this one for you. Why is there no mechanism in place to have doctors notify airlines or licensing bodies that's available to flag those that should not fly? What are you learning in your reporting?

BROWN: Well, we're learning there is a mechanism in place for doctors designated by the Civil Aviation Authority here in Europe but not from private doctors because of patient confidentiality. So in order for a pilot to be certified every year they have to go through a medical screening by one of these designated doctors at various centers across Europe.

Now, if a pilot is deemed unfit to fly by one of these doctors that is then recorded in the employee's medical record and then reported to the employer. So in the case of Lubitz, if something was found, that would have been reported to Germanwings.

[08:35:01] However, it appears he went to a private doctor and private doctors are not required to report to an employer if someone's unfit to work because as I said, the patient/doctor confidentiality rules.

BLACKWELL: Les, up to you next, talk of the streaming cameras. We talked about those in the last segment with Tom Fuentes. But what about streaming recording flight data for lost and hard to find black boxes? The question, is that reasonable? Someone would be watching these thousands of hours of flight in planes every single minute of every day. Could they just be recorded and saved on some hard drive on ground?

ABEND: Well, honestly, they are utilized right now. We have mechanism in place where the flight -- digital flight data recorder is actually pulled by maintenance and then we track certain aspects of the flight just to determine trends if we have safety issues. We catch them before they become real issues. So it's happening right now. Live streaming data is also available, actually, but mostly through engine parameters. But, you know, as far as the data being streamed, you know, this requires band width, a lot of other circumstances and we have to figure out what are we accomplishing by constantly sending this data. Does it help, is it cost effective? Obviously this wouldn't have done anything to prevent this tragedy.

KOSIK: And this last question for Brian. Who foots the bill for this post accident search? Is it the airlines?

ALEXANDER: Well, typically there's the governmental bodies that are in charge of the investigation will be in charge of taking care of all of the necessary steps to recover the wreckage and the black boxes and the other tasks involved. The governments usually will foot the bill for that. The airlines may be asked to participate as well. There may be insurance aspects to it as well to cover the cost.

KOSIK: All right. Thanks to all of you -- Pamela Brown, Les Abend, Brian Alexander and Dr. Lisa Van Susteren. Thanks so much for your analysis on all of this.

And keep tweeting us your questions at #Germanwingsqs. We're going to try to read them on air and get answers for you.

BLACKWELL: The conditions that these recovery teams are dealing with are dangerous and gruesome in many aspects. We'll take you near the crash site to show you exactly what they are battling. And why officials say it will take at least a couple of weeks before the bodies are recovered.

Politics also -- more on Hillary Clinton's e-mails, a Republican congressman explains the newest problem with Clinton's e-mail. We'll talk about that.


[08:41:26] KOSIK: Let's get back to our coverage on Germanwings 9525. When the plane slammed into the Alps it was traveling at 430 miles per hour and now recovery teams are tasked with the gruesome, difficult and very dangerous job. They have to find all the bodies and recover the second flight data recorder. That's a hard enough job.

But now we're talking about doing all of that in the Alps.

Our Karl Penhaul, trekked the mountain. Karl -- what was that like just climbing up just to get a look?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was certainly tough going to get in there. I mean in the words of all of the investigators they say the terrain is very dangerous and it's very mountainous. We took out most of the day to get in there and get out. It was very tough going.

But it was also important I felt to get in there just so we get a better understanding of why this operation could take many more days or even weeks to complete. Let's take a look.


PENHAUL: Swinging on a wire, they recover the remains. Hundreds of feet below emergency crews cling to the mountainside just so they don't fall. Investigators say the speed of the crash pulverized the plane and passengers. The recovery operation they say is bit by bit, bag by bag. You can just pick out the small red flags rescuers dig into the earth when they discover new fragments. And that looks like a scorch mark.

The French prosecutor said the plane hit the mountain, bounced off and then disintegrated. It's a tough hike through rugged mountains and steep valleys.

It's still a little while before dawn but we're going toward a trail head.

In order to understand why some rescuers describe this as their biggest ever challenge we try to get closer to the crash zone.

There is a little bit of frost this morning. Now the sun is coming down -- certainly no sign of snow just yet.

"Few people except shepherds live up here, conditions are too inhospitable".

Getting up here is really hanging on to tree roots and grass. You can see why they're going to have to fly anything out of that crash site by helicopter. The whir of rotor blades helps us pinpoint the site. From our vantage point high above we see forensic teams working with expert mountaineers to keep them safe. High winds make flying treacherous.

Saying farewell is never easy, but perhaps those grieving could find a little consolation amid these crags, peace of the running water, peace of snow-capped peaks. Peace to loved ones lost.


PENHAUL: You know, what really struck me was seeing those rescue and recovery workers almost clinging on with their fingernails to the side of the ravine where that plane crash is. And then of course to see the other recovery workers swinging on those clinging being buffeted by the high winds there -- absolutely insane.

But it really did give me a good picture to show me that the dedication of these teams is such they are determined, determined to try and at least do something for the families, for the relatives, to bring some peace to them to allow them to lay their relatives to rest -- Alison.

[08:45:12] KOSIK: And Karl -- our thoughts certainly go out to those recovery teams putting their own lives in danger to help that effort. Thanks very much. BLACKWELL: More questions now about Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Now

it appears her e-mail server was wiped clean of all of the e-mails. This has some Republicans in an uproar.

Our political panel weighs in on the latest controversy.

Plus the University of Oklahoma reveals the results of their investigation to a racist chant caught on video -- possibly hear the fraternity members learned the song four years ago. You have to hear where they learned it. That story still ahead.


BLACKWELL: We'll get back to the Germanwings plane crash investigation in a moment.

But first, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has been scrutinized, you know, for the use exclusively of a personal e-mail server. Now it appears Clinton's server was wiped clean and all of her e-mails on that server are gone. That's according to a Republican Congressman, his name is Trey Gowdy.

Gowdy had asked that Clinton turn over her server to the State Department inspector generally for an independent review. Clinton's lawyers said no. But instead, Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of e- mails to the State Department -- that was back at the end of last year.

[08:44:59] Let's talk about the ramifications of this new information with strategist, Republican strategist Lisa Boothe, she's the senior director of the Blackrock Group; and CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona.

Lisa I want to start with you. Good morning to both of you though.



BLACKWELL: Lisa -- first to you, Lisa. How does -- you know what -- let me start with Maria because I need to start with Maria on this. Maria why wipe these server clean if indeed all that was left were personal e-mails, like yoga routines and wedding plans like she said. Why wipe it clean?

CARDONA: Why keep those -- Victor? I mean let's unpack this for a minute here. First a couple things on the request from Chairman Gowdy. He himself said not too long ago that he did not have the authority to demand for the server to be turned over, number one.

Number two, this new subpoena it actually amplifies an old subpoena on documents having to do with Benghazi. Guess what, Secretary Clinton and her team have turned over 55,000 pages of all of her work e-mails from the complete tenure that she had at the State Department, and many of those e-mails were already in the hands of the committee. And the state department is going through the additional ones and those will be in the hands of the committee as well.

In addition, Secretary Clinton has asked for all of those e-mails to be made public. Why do people want to see her personal e-mails Victor? Why does Gowdy want to see her yoga routines? Why does he want to see her e-mails about funeral plans or wedding plans? That's just creepy. And it has nothing to do with the work of the committee.

Frankly, to me, it reeks of desperation and overreach because out of the thousands and thousands of documents that have already been turned over, after ten complete investigations from different committees, after thousands on thousands of taxpayer money that has been devoted to this investigation, they have found zero, nada, a big nothing burger.

BLACKWELL: Well, Maria --

CARDONA: So they are trying to make a lot out of this when there's nothing there.

BLACKWELL: Of course, the suggestion is or the expectation is that there is more than just the yoga routines and these plans.

Let me come to you now -- Lisa. The question is when was this server cleared? Gowdy says that he believes that it was some time in October or after October when those e-mails that were sent to the State Department were harvested, that could have been any time before or after that news conference that the former secretary of state held. Do you expect that the House -- this committee will go through the steps of trying to get an answer to that at least?

BOOTHE: I hope they do because Victor the real question here is what is Hillary Clinton trying to hide? And to Maria's point on Benghazi there's actually several months of an e-mail train from the State Department that's missing -- missing information. So you know, I think what the House committee is doing is trying to get to the bottom of this.

Look, the reality is that Hillary Clinton is living in a house of lies that she built. She continues to peddle falsehoods and lies regarding her private server and private e-mails and she's gone to great lengths to keep that information from ever surfacing.

Look, the "New York Times" just recently disproved another claim of Hillary Clinton's when she said that she e-mailed with other State Department officials on their official accounts so that information was captured -- that turned out not to be true that she was indeed having official correspondents on solely private e-mails. We may never see that information surface and we don't know if any of those e-mails were in fact deleted.

But look, it's not just the issue of the private server that is concerning for America. A White House spokesperson recently just said that she broke ethic codes with the Clinton Foundation taking money from foreign governments and foreign groups like one that has been publicly linked to Iran. Look, we've also new revelations have surfaced that her brother profited when she was secretary of state from receiving preferential treatment from Department of Homeland Security. So look, there is this broader narrative of distrust, this broader narrative of entitlement and this broader narrative Hillary Clinton doesn't play by the same rules that the rest of us do.

BLACKWELL: Maria, let me bring it back to you and unfortunately we're going to have to wrap it after this. But if this had been cleared, this server had been wiped clean, before the news conference that former secretary Clinton held would she not have said it then instead of this will remain private. She would have said this server will remain private and by the way, there are no e-mails on here from that period. Wouldn't she have said that?

CARDONA: What she actually said, Victor, was that she erased all her personal e-mails. So again, Gowdy is making --

BOOTHE: We don't know that they're all personal.

CARDONA: -- Gowdy -- yes, actually we do, Lisa. And to your point, she is being held to a higher standard that -- and no one else will be held to including former secretaries who also did exactly what she did.

BOOTHE: They did not. They did not use a private server.

CARDONA: Let me finish -- Lisa. Let me finish.


[08:55:01] Cardona: And in fact, Secretary Powell did use a private server. And Trey Gowdy, by the way, wouldn't have the authority to ask for that server either, and Secretary Powell has said he wiped that server clean.

So again, she did nothing that her predecessors didn't do. She broke no laws. And moving forward if Republicans want to focus on Benghazi, let's focus on Benghazi.

BOOTHE: She repeatedly lied.


CARDONA: She has said that she will come and testify again. She scolded them the first time she went to testimony and I'm sure she'll do the same thing again.

BOOTHE: The White House intentionally misled --

BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it up.

CARDONA: This is about -- this is all about overreach and desperation on behalf of the GOP.

BOOTHE: No, it's not. The White House intentionally misled the American people.

BLACKWELL: Maria Cardona, Lisa Boothe -- we've got to wrap it there.

And of course, what's important here is that this was the exclusive use of a personal e-mail, personal server so that is something that did not happen in previous administrations.

Thank you both. Quick break, we'll be right back.


KOSIK: We're going to have more on the Germanwings plane crash.

But here is a look at other developing stories we're watching now.

The fraternity facing backlash over a chapter's racist chant is now changing its tone. Sigma Alpha Epsilon says members at Oklahoma University likely learned the chant four years ago during a national leadership event. This comes after the national office condemned the chant two weeks ago saying the fraternity doesn't teach racism or hate.

BLACKWELL: A Boston police officer once honored by the White House for his actions during the hunt for the Boston bombing suspect is in the hospital this morning after a traffic stop turned into a shoot- out.

[09:00:01] Investigators say six-year veteran John Moynihan was hit when the driver got out of the car, and suddenly shot at him. Police returned fire. That driver was killed.

KOSIK: Fire burned through a California school bus, 35 middle school students were on board when the bus began to smoke. The bus driver is being hailed as a hero. She was able to evacuate all of the kids before the bus exploded -- amazing.

BLACKWELL: All right. That's it for us this morning.

KOSIK: "SMERCONISH" starts now.