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THE SITUATION ROOM

Plane Debris Found in Indian Ocean; Ohio Police Officer Indicted; Donald Trump Speaks Out; Interview with Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana; Source: Boeing Thinks Debris Matches Jet Like MH370; Trump: Politicians 'Don't Have a Clue' on Immigration; Bobby Jindal Shares Immigration Plan. Aired 6-7:30p ET

Aired July 29, 2015 - 18:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Happening now, breaking news. Plane wreckage found. Investigators are scrambling to figure out if it is a piece of the missing Malaysian jet that vanished more than a year ago. This hour we are getting late word that the debris might be a match.

Trump lashes out. He sits down with CNN and responds to a lawyer's claim that he went on a tirade because she needed to pump breast milk. Stand by to hear more from Donald Trump on the issues and the offensive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I beat her so badly. She's a vicious, horrible person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Charged with murder, a campus police officer is indicted as shocking video is released of his exchange with a driver who wound up with a bullet in his head. We will show you all of the confrontation and how it turned deadly.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Breaking news tonight a 6-foot-long piece of plane wreckage is providing new hope in the unsolved mystery of Malaysia Flight 370.

CNN has learned that the debris is consistent with the appearance of piece of a wing of the Boeing 777. That's the same kind of plane as MH370. Our aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, is standing by and she will tell us what she is learning. The debris was found in the Western Indian Ocean near an island off the coast of Africa. That's thousand of miles away from the MH370 search area in the Southern Indian Ocean, where an international team believes the plane went down.

Investigators caution it is too soon to determine whether the new discovery is actually a piece of the missing jet or wreckage from another plane crash. And 239 people were on board the plane when it turned dramatically off course and vanished. More than a year later, their families still need answers. We have correspondents, analysts, newsmakers standing by to cover all the breaking news.

But, first, let's go to our aviation correspondent, Richard Quest. He has the very latest -- Richard.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Wolf. It is the most startling, potentially important and significant development since MH370 disappeared. CNN's Rene Marsh now has confirmed from her sources that it appears the piece that has washed up in La Reunion is part of a plane similar to the 777 and therefore could be part of MH370.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST (voice-over): Aircraft debris found off the coast of Reunion Island near Madagascar in the Western Indian Ocean. And now everyone's wondering, is this a remnant of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that disappeared after taking of from Kuala Lumpur in March 2014? The debris appears to be part of the wing, possibly one of the flaps. It is being investigated by French officials on site.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: They have part numbers stamped on the plane. The Boeing numbers are very identifiable. They will be able to determine pretty quickly if it is part of a Boeing aircraft and, if so, if it is this plane.

QUEST: MH370 and its 239 passengers and crew bound for Beijing disappeared shortly after takeoff. The internationally coordinated effort first focused on a surface search in the South China Sea. And then it moved west to the Strait of Malacca, near where the last point of radar contact with the plane was seen.

The search soon drifted dramatically south to the Indian Ocean, where the plane is believed to have veered off course and flown for hours. Final location is only believed to be because of a series of handshake pings that the plane sent to a satellite.

The search teams have combed vast areas of the ocean floor and are continuing to do so today. They're hunting for any traces of the 777. The Malaysian government eventually declared the missing plane an accident and all of its passengers and crew were presumed dead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Now there are plenty of parts of the wing, Wolf they're looking at, but in particular, something known as the flaperon. This is a part of the control surface at the rear of the wing that acts both as a flap for extending for greater lift, but also allows for the plane in terms of turning left and right.

And it was the way it would go up and down, so significant indeed. The search is now on to find the serial number to get it verified by Boeing that not only is it from a 777, Wolf, but it is from that 777.

BLITZER: Richard, I want you to stand by. We have much more to assess of what is going on.

I want to bring in our aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh. She's joining us on the phone.

Rene, tell us what your sources are telling you. Rene, can you hear me? I think we are going to have to reconnect with Rene Marsh.

[18:05:00]

Basically, her information according to a source close to the investigation is that an initial assessment from Boeing of photographs suggest the debris discovered is in fact consistent in appearance with the Boeing 777 flaperon, which is a piece of the plane's wing. We will get more from Rene. That's coming up.

But let's compare this piece of wreckage to parts of the missing Malaysian jet.

Tom Foreman is here with a closer look at the Boeing 777.

What are you seeing, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, let's look first of all at the pieces of debris, the various views we have of this.

This is somewhere between six feet to seven feet long, three feet to four feet wide. the general question is does it fit into the puzzle of a plane like this? If you rotate this around to look at some of the possibilities, yes, there is very much the possibility it could be one of the pieces right in here, maybe out in here, because it simply looks like them, when you consider that. That's the first step.

Then you go to a checklist here and you say, what else can we tell about this? First of all, is it the right type? We just heard from Rene, and from Richard there, yes, we believe this is the right type. It would fit a 777. Is it the right color? You saw it. It looked like it's kind of the right color of the plane. Right condition, too. It's got barnacles on it. That's consistent with being in the water for somewhere around 500 days.

Then we come to the question of place, is it in the right place? That is the tricky part that has to be sorted out right now. If you get the serial number, you will know it is from the right plane. But you still have to explain what was it doing way over here when all the search areas have been way over here? Could it have flown? Remember the site is up here. Could it have simply flown this far? Not really.

This is roughly 1,000 miles more than this. You are going to run out of fuel a long time before you get here. That's why the question is, was the calculation correct? Did it come down here? And has this piece drifted here all this time, roughly some distance more than the width of the United States to show up as the first physical evidence, maybe, of what happened to this plane, Wolf?

BLITZER: Key word, maybe. But it is so, so, intriguing. All right, Tom, thank you.

A Malaysian team has been dispatched to Reunion Island to investigate the wreckage found earlier today. Malaysia's minister of transportation tells CNN they're hoping to identify the debris as soon as possible. One of the key questions tonight, could the wreckage, as Tom just described, if it is in fact from that Flight 370, have drifted so far almost to the coast of Africa? Southern Indian Ocean is of course where the international teams have been searching.

Let's bring in our meteorologist, Jennifer Gray. She's looking at the currents in the Indian Ocean over there.

So, what is your assessment, Jennifer?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Wolf, you remember during the tsunami in Japan, debris ended up on the West Coast of the United States about nine months later. Debris can drift. And it can drift, very, very far.

In fact, the ocean is controlled by these gyres, basically counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. And so basically anything that is on the surface can drift very far distances. And this is the basically the pattern it would go. North from Australia and then all the way back down south off of the coast of Africa.

So it is possible. But it is a little bit more complicated than that. Even though the gyres are like big conveyor belts, you also have all of these tiny little eddies in between the main gyres. Even though you have this around, you also have these tiny little currents in between. So any store, any very gusty winds, the very windy days that we had during the search area could definitely blow it into these areas in the middle. And it can stay there for quite some time.

But just to give you an idea where we are searching and where the debris was found, you can see this area right here, that's where we are basically searching, that gray box, that's the search area. That purple box right there, that's where they're using that underwater sonar, looking at the bottom of the ocean floor to determine if in fact the plane is still there.

And, of course, from where they're searching now to where that debris was found is just over 2,600 miles. Yes, Wolf, very, very far, but it is not out of the question.

BLITZER: Certainly isn't. Thanks very much, Jennifer, for that.

I want to bring back our team of experts. Our aviation correspondent Richard Quest is back with us, along with our aviation analysts Peter Goelz and Miles O'Brien, and our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.

But I first want to bring in our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh.

You have been talking to sources. I want to be precise right now. What exactly, Rene, are you learning?

Unfortunately, I think we have not been able to connect with Rene Marsh. But we will keep on trying. Rene, if you can hear me, stand by.

I want to bring in Peter Goelz in first.

I know you have been speaking -- you are a former managing director over there at the NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board. What are you hearing, the intriguing information? Rene's assessment, an initial assessment from Boeing, based a source close to the investigation, that the photographs suggest the debris discovered is in fact consistent in appearance with the Boeing 777's flaperon, a piece of the wing.

[18:10:15]

PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I think Rene has got it right.

Boeing has taken a look at these photographs. There are some unique parts of the flaperon that can be seen in the photographs. And they are moving towards a conclusion that this has come from the 777. Now the question is, did it come from this one? I think we know this is the only 777 that has crashed in this part of the ocean.

BLITZER: Is it the only 777 that's ever crashed?

GOELZ: It's the only 777 that's ever crashed and not been recovered.

BLITZER: Ever?

GOELZ: There was one that crashed on landing at Heathrow, but nothing like this.

BLITZER: Nothing like this.

So, Miles O'Brien, when you hear this information, it is so intriguing. Give us your analysis.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think Peter's dead on there.

This is -- obviously, serial numbers will take it -- will dot the I and cross the T, if you will. And every airplane part has a number assigned to it and a long history of where it all came from. That's part of what makes aviation so safe, because it's not just parts that are randomly placed on. Put it that way.

But the point is these designs are very specific. Unique does apply here. It appears looking at some of the schematics and drawings that are floating around the Internet that this might very well be a match. And that is extraordinary. Here we are, 500-plus days. And we finally can say potentially, if this does bear out, that the plane crashed. All of the theories about it landing, flying to the north, landing on various islands, all of that suddenly goes away if in fact what Rene is hearing from her sources, and what we are seeing just by looking at the parts and comparing it to widely distributed schematics online do in fact bear out.

BLITZER: Richard Quest, as you well know, we heard from Peter and Miles -- only an hour or so. It shouldn't take very long for Boeing. They don't have to physically get a piece of it. They can look at the video. They can get a description. They can look at the serial number.

They can determine rather quickly within a matter of hours, and that's what they told us an hour ago. Now we're apparently getting this much more quickly than we even assumed. They can determine very quickly whether or not this is a piece of that plane.

QUEST: They will already have determined if it is 777. They will the thing. They see it morning, noon, and night. They will know exactly whether this has come off a 777 or not. The issue of course is whether it has come off from 9M-MRO, the 777 that went down.

And that, they are going to want to be absolutely certain, because, Wolf, the true significance of this is the closure that it brings. The moment you can say with certainty that this came from MH370, you give that measure of closure to the 239 families of those on board. They have always said they will not and cannot accept that the plane went down, what the prime minister has said went down in the in the Southern Indian Ocean.

But if you now have a piece of debris, then it is clear beyond any out.

BLITZER: But Tom Fuentes, law enforcement authorities, even if they have this piece, even if in fact it is a piece of the wing from the 777 from the Malaysian airliner, it doesn't bring us necessarily any closer to determining, to learning why that plane may have crashed in the Indian Ocean.

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, it doesn't, Wolf. We don't know -- we are not going to know that until we find the main part of the plane which is presumably at the bottom of the ocean.

However, there might be consideration to resuming an aerial search near the Reunion Island, near the coastline of Africa and Madagascar, to the east coast of Africa, because the more debris that they find, if there is more debris floating, the more chance they will have of how the plane crashed, how it came apart, what happened to it. Is there a sign of explosion, or fire, or something else with the debris that they find?

So finding this, and if it is a match to the plane, to me, should initiate an additional aerial search for floating debris in that particular area, as well as maintaining the search at the bottom of the ocean farther east towards Australia.

BLITZER: If you were involved, Peter, in this investigation, where would you be looking now, assuming that is in fact a piece of that wing from that 777?

GOELZ: I would convene the best ocean current experts from that part of the world and try and backtrack given the weather pattern over the past two years, and see what is the potential path for this piece and then start searching along that path.

BLITZER: Who should take the lead, Miles, in this search for debris if in fact this is a piece of that wing?

[18:15:00]

O'BRIEN: It does get a little bit complicated, doesn't it?

The Australians are taking the lead because it sort of fell in their turf. In this case, we're in the area where the French authorities, the BEA, take jurisdiction. They are certainly a completely competent organization and have direct experience looking for just this kind of thing. I'm thinking about Air France 447.

To have the BEA taking the lead at this point and engaging and helping with a search for floating debris, I think that would be good.

BLITZER: Peter, what does it say if in fact this is a piece of that wing, what's called the flaperon from the wing, what does that say if anything about the next step in this investigation, where we go from here?

GOELZ: Investigators will look at this piece and see exactly what the fractures look like. How did this piece separate? You can tell whether it was a stress fracture, whether it was a compression fracture, whether there was a sign of an explosion. It's unlikely that an explosion took place.

But it will give them a slight hint. But the investigation goes back to the water. We got to find the plane.

BLITZER: Richard Quest, you have been studying this. I know you are even working on a book on this whole case. You have been involved in reporting on this story from day one. Give us some perspective now, if in fact this is the real deal.

QUEST: If this is the real deal, it closes off one huge question of, you know, where did the plane go? If it is the real deal, Wolf, we know that the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.

We can get rid of all of the talk about talk about Diego Garcia, all the conspiracy theories, frankly, all the very damaging stuff that has misled us along the way. However, it doesn't, as Tom says, tell us why. But we know they're still searching. While you and I are talking now, there is a ship that is searching part of the 120,000 square kilometers that the authorities have designated as the most probable area. It's about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia.

So the search goes on. And if this is part of MH370, Wolf, then it redoubles that effort in many ways. But it doesn't tell us with any greater certainty exactly where it was. You are still left with Inmarsat. You are still left with the handshakes. Frankly, as Peter says, you are going to reverse-drift it. But you are still left exactly where you are believing it went down.

BLITZER: One important point, Tom, if in fact, if in fact this is the real deal, it will bring at least an element of closure to the families, nearly 300 people who were aboard that aircraft.

FUENTES: It will verify that that plane went down in the ocean. That's huge in itself, and that they have the right ocean on top of that.

BLITZER: All right, guys, stand by. We are following the breaking news.

Sources close to this investigation now saying this piece that was washed ashore is consistent with the Boeing 777's flaperon, a piece of the wing. Much more when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:22:32]

BLITZER: Following the breaking news on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Our aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, now reporting, according to a source close to the investigation, that an initial assessment from Boeing, from Boeing, of photographs suggest the debris just discovered off the coast of Africa is in fact consistent in appearance with a Boeing 777's flaperon. A flaperon is a piece of the plane's wing.

This source telling Rene there is a unique element to the 777's flaperon that they believe they're now seeing in photos that have been seen now online here in THE SITUATION ROOM and indeed around the world. They're not providing more detail. They say this is preliminary. but they're watching it closely. Remember, 239 people were on board the plane that disappeared more than a year ago.

The search, Richard Quest, you have been studying this now very, very closely, was in a wholly different area from where they found this piece of the plane presumably. And it raises all sorts of questions, doesn't it?

QUEST: It does. But it is consistent as we were hearing with the way in which the currents in that part of the world operate, and also, Wolf, the time between when it happened in March 2014 and now, which gives you a rough idea of how long it would have taken to get west over to Reunion Island.

At the moment, there are several ships that are still contracted by the Australians being paid for by the Australians and the Malaysian government pretty much 50/50 with contributions from the Chinese with a company called Fugro. They're still searching in the South Indian Ocean.

They have obviously had to slow down the search at the moment because it is winter. The weather is treacherous in the search zone. I understand that they get about one in every two days they can search because it is simply so dangerous. The waves are so bad. But, Wolf, they have had 60,000 square kilometers, about 25,000 square miles. And that has now doubled. And that's it. This is it.

The search area they're looking at, at the moment, Wolf, if the plane isn't found, then they really don't know where to look. That's part of the significance of today's potential discovery. It reinforces the point that the plane did go down in that ocean, if it is true.

[18:25:11]

BLITZER: If it is true, in fact.

Increasingly, based on this initial information that our Rene Marsh is getting, it seems it very possibly could be true.

Miles, tell our viewers what a flaperon is.

O'BRIEN: A flaperon has two functions. It allows the plane to bank. It also is used when the plane is slowing down for landing.

It deploys out and changes the aerodynamic surface so the plane can fly slower, more safely. It's very interesting to think about why this particular piece would have broken off cleanly. That means it was hanging down. One of the ways it would be in that configuration is if the pilot had decided to slow the airplane down. This is not something that the autopilot would do.

So it raises a very interesting question, why this piece, why this piece having broken off cleanly, and could it be some sort of indication that somebody was trying to ever so gently slowly put that plane in the drink?

BLITZER: They could learn a lot, Peter Goelz, from the video, from the pictures of this flaperon.

GOELZ: Boeing can certainly identify whether it comes from their plane. To learn how this part separated from the wing, they're going to have to get it into a laboratory, and put it under an electron microscope and take a very close look at it.

But Boeing can certainly identify this piece and confirm that it came from Malaysia 370. They may have already done so.

BLITZER: Because this is a not necessarily all that difficult, especially if they have the serial number from that flaperon?

GOELZ: There are serial numbers. We reconstructed TWA Flight 800 based on the serial numbers of literally thousand of pieces. There are numerous pieces within this six-foot section that has unique serial numbers on it, that has a pedigree. And Boeing will know what those numbers are. They will be able to identify this quickly.

BLITZER: You have been involved, Tom Fuentes, in a lot of these kinds of investigations. This potentially could be a huge, huge key.

FUENTES: It could be. Going back to what Miles just said is important, because if that flaperon was in a deployed position which made it vulnerable to being cleanly broke away from the plane, then that means it shouldn't be the only one that that happened to.

The other flaperons on the other side should also have, theoretically, broken away and be floating. That would mean there's likely to be more pieces of that wing, the flaperon and possibly other debris floating in the general vicinity that I think would warrant an additional aerial search in that area.

BLITZER: Let's not lose sight, Richard Quest, of the fact once again 239 people were on board the plane. Their families clearly want to know what's going on.

But Boeing, the manufacturer of this 777, they want to know. They want to make sure that they can determine why that plane disappeared. If there is a problem, there are a lot of other 777s flying around the world right now.

QUEST: Twelve hundred of them between the 200 series and the 300 series, and many more hundreds on order. And they're developing the 777X, Wolf. Oh, yes, believe me, the nefarious option has always been on the table. Was it the pilot? Was it hijacking, whatever?

But the mechanical option which many of us believe is the likely answer, the mechanical option, however small that might have been did put a question mark over the 777. So Tim Clark of Emirates has said time and again, the airline industry, the aviation community, the flying public, they need to know, which is why I have always maintained from day one that it is not of if they find it, but when.

BLITZER: Why do you think it's mechanical?

QUEST: I think it's mechanical for all sorts of reasons, and not least of which that the pilot suicide argument has never struck me as being -- if you look at all the other examples of pilot suicide, this is in a completely different scenario.

If you look at them individually, it just doesn't ring true. Then if you also look, there is no evidence of hijacking. There is no evidence of terrorism. There is absolutely no evidence. There are plenty of people who would like to construct the evidence, but at the moment, there is no evidence to say it was the pilots or it was hijacking.

BLITZER: Miles, you agree?

O'BRIEN: Well, yes, we have a dearth of evidence. We have a lot of theories. And we go with theories that seem likely.

And we go back to this whole idea of a plane that suddenly disappears from radar, its communications devices simultaneously silenced, and then makes this dramatic turn completely anomalous and then flies on for several hours, six to seven hours.

How could you reconcile that scenario with some sort of catastrophic failure, which would have led to that sudden disappearance from radar screens and communication? It's very difficult to

O'BRIEN: ... and that makes this dramatic turn completely anomalous and then flies on for several hours, six to seven hours. How could you reconcile that scenario with some sort of catastrophic failure, which would have led to that sudden disappearance from radar screens and communication?

It's very difficult to jibe those two things. And that's why it's hard for a lot of people to come up with a mechanical scenario. But you can't say never in this case. And really, the only scenarios that this takes out of the picture if it's proven true is that somehow this plane landed safely somewhere. And it's good to get that one off the table if this, in fact, turns out to be a piece.

BLITZER: I assume. You know, you studied very closely. That initially takes off from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, heading for Beijing. But all of a sudden seems, what, about an hour or so later, seems to make a U-turn. Somebody forced that plane to make a U-turn. Whether it was mechanical, the pilot, or whatever. Right?

GOELZ: It's very, very puzzling. Because you have the sequential turning off of all of the identification devices. You have the U-turn back towards Malaysia. It crosses the island and then makes another turn. So it's very puzzling. You can't eliminate mechanical. But you can't eliminate anything.

BLITZER: And Richard Quest, you've studied this, I think, more than almost anyone. The communications from the cockpit, all of a sudden they just stop.

QUEST: Yes. 1:19, "Good night, Malaysia 3-7-0." The last words. We are pretty certain they were said by the captain, Captain Zaharie Shaw, Ahmed Shaw. And nothing more. And we don't know -- we know that the turn was -- the turn was deliberate. Nobody questions that that turn at 1:22 was done deliberately. The reasoning behind it is what we've got absolutely no certainty about.

And that's why I can agree with -- I think anybody who's looked at this finally comes down to the conclusion. I happen to believe it's mechanical. But do I discount the other options? Absolutely not. Am I prepared to be proven wrong on this? Completely. Because we just don't know. And I think only a fool in this situation has gone into this with an absolute closed mind on what the final answer is.

BLITZER: That's a good point, Richard.

Tom Fuentes, a lot of people remember that U-turn from the plane. And they think that wasn't necessarily mechanical. And so they look at foul play. Exactly. And all of the expert analysis that everybody conducted 16

months ago when the plane went missing, each theory sounded great up to a certain point. And then it fell apart. And that's what the problem is.

When you looked at whether it was the captain or co-pilot suicide or you looked at the lithium batteries and the cargo hold caught fire and sent fumes up through the plane or why the transponder went out. Or was it hijacked? All of these different theories looked good up to a point. But they never completely explained the whole thing to everybody's satisfaction.

And that's why Richard I agree completely that almost anything now, if it was proven to be the reason, you could say, "OK, now we see it."

BLITZER: You agree, Richard?

QUEST: Absolutely. I mean, the lithium batteries, we've heard it. The mangosteen fruit. We've heard about it. Five tons of it in the cargo hold. And there's no evidence of pilot suicide of the captains.

And that's why we've got to find it. Yes, look, so far they've spent about $100 million looking for it, give or take with change. But that's less than the cost of one 777, even allowing for bulk purchase discount that an airline gets. So anybody that suggests they've spent a small fortune looking for this, they've spent money, but they will have to keep finding more.

The only thing, Wolf, that's going to prevent them from keeping searching is if you literally can say, we've looked at this ground. We can't find it. We've searched it thoroughly. Now we need more evidence before where we search next.

BLITZER: All right. We're standing by. We'll seeing if Boeing issues a formal statement as a result of what we've been covering. Everyone stand by. Much more on this story coming up; also much more on the day's other breaking news we're following. Significant news. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:38:22] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. CNN has now learned that Boeing believes a piece of the plane wreckage found off the coast of Africa is, in fact, consistent with the Boeing 787. The same model as the Malaysian airliner that vanished more than a year ago. We'll have more on the story coming up.

But there's other news we're following, including a new CNN interview with Donald Trump. Let's bring in our chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash. She has more on her exclusive interview. Give us an update, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, Donald Trump likes to remind people that he is the only one who had been talking about illegal immigration. And that really did help propel him at the beginning of his candidacy in the way that he appealed to the most conservative.

But what I wanted to ask was about the specifics about what he would do, for example, with the maybe 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Maybe more. Listen to part of that conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I want to get the bad ones out. Not only the ones in the prisons. And by the way, and they're never coming back. Not only the ones in the prisons but the ones that are going around like in San Francisco and shooting Kate, and shooting Jameel and shooting people that should not -- that should be with us, OK.

Then, we have a law, right? You're supposed to come in legally. I would get people out and I would have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.

BASH: Hold on that point right there. When you say "get people out," are you talking, like, a mass deportation?

TRUMP: We don't even know who these people are. No one even knows...

BASH: How do you find them?

TRUMP: We've got to find them.

BASH: I mean, you're a business guy.

TRUMP: Excuse me. We've got to find them. Politicians aren't going to find them, because they have no clue. We will find them the. We will get them out.

[17:40:06] BASH: What about the DREAMers? What about people who came here when they were children? They didn't know what they were doing. They came with their parents, who brought them here illegally.

Now many of them are upstanding citizens. Again, you're right, we don't know how many people, but about maybe even 1.8 million people fall under this category. Should they be able to stay legally?

TRUMP: We're going to do something. I've been giving it so much though. You know, you have, on a humanitarian basis, you have a lot of deep thought going into this, believe me. I actually have a big heart. Something that nobody knows. A lot of people don't understand that.

But the DREAMers, it's a tough situation. We're going to do something. And one of the things we're going to do is expedite. When somebody is terrific, we want them back here. They have to be legally.

BASH: They have to leave, too.

TRUMP: They're with their parents. It depends. But look, it sounds cold, and it sounds hard. We have a country. Our country is going to hell. We have to have a system where people are legally in our country.

Do you know if you want to come into Mexico and become a citizen, it's almost impossible. They give you tests. They give you all sorts of things. They make it almost impossible. And with us they just walk across, and everybody just immediately -- immediately, they're members of, called members of our country? It's not right.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: So, the question about what to do about it, Wolf, Donald Trump said to me that he would ultimately give some of the undocumented immigrants who he says are good people, not the criminals, legal status. He said for now he's ruling out a path to citizenship.

But even legal status, I think, to some in the base who very much like him and like what he says on the issue of immigration, might see that as amnesty.

And it is a bit different from what Jeb Bush, for example, is saying, who just would say that we don't have to send them back to their community. But it's still, I think, a question mark on how he's going to gather all of the people who are in the shadows, find them, send them back, and then bring them back in an expedited way.

BLITZER: All right, Dana. Thank you very much.

Let's get some reaction to what is going on. Joining us right now, another member of this very crowded Republican presidential field, the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.

Governor, thanks very much for joining us. Let me get your quick reaction on this immigration proposal that arguably, if not arguably, the front-runner, Donald Trump, is putting forward to mass deport what he calls the bad illegal immigrants but then find some other way to deal, presumably, with the good illegal immigrants.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Wolf, first of all, thank you for having me back on your show.

This is when I think you do with our immigration policy. First, right now the only thing the federal government should be doing is securing our border. I think the gang of eight got it wrong, I think Jeb got it wrong when they talk about amnesty, they talk about a comprehensive approach. We tried that in the '80s; it didn't work. They told us they would give amnesty. They would secure the border. Instead, they only granted amnesty. Now we have millions more folks here more illegally.

So the first thing, it needs to be stand alone. Doesn't need to be linked to anything else. And you know that the border will be secure when the border state governors tell you it's secure. After we've done that.

Our immigration system is backwards. I think immigration can either make our country stronger or weaker. Right now we've got low walls and a narrow gate. We need high walls and secure the border and a broader gate. I think we need to make it easier for people who do want to come here legally, that want to learn English, adopt our values, ant to work hard and want to help improve our economy. One of the dumbest things we do today is we educate people and we kick them out of our country to compete against us.

BLITZER: So what would you do with the millions who are hard-working decent people, especially the young kids, who may have been brought here illegally by their parents but have grown up in the United States? Would you kick them out?

JINDAL: Well, two things, Wolf. I think the American people are compassionate. I think they're pragmatic and I think they'll deal with these folks that are here illegally compassionately and pragmatically. But I don't think they want to have that conversation until they know the border is secure.

And the reason they're skeptical is they've seen what's happened before. They were told before, "Let's do it all at once," and it didn't work. So I think after the border's secure, after those border governors tell you it's secure, then I think we can have a conversation about how to deal with it pragmatically and compassionately.

But this issue of assimilation is important. In Europe, they're struggling with this. Again, third-, fourth-generation immigrants that don't consider themselves parts of those societies. In America we have proudly been the melting pot. We've done it very, very well over time. We need to continue that. There are some on the left that are too politically correct that say, well, we're now a salvo (ph). I think that's a mistake.

I also think Jeb Bush's approach is a mistake. Just this week, he talked about amnesty, giving amnesty to all those folks who are here illegally. I think that's a mistake, as well.

BLITZER: He wants them at least to get some legal status, if not necessarily immediate citizenship. You're totally opposed to that, as I know.

Why do you think Donald Trump is doing so well nationally as well as in Iowa and New Hampshire?

JINDAL: Wolf, I'll tell you a couple things. One, I trust the opinions of the voters. Look, I think they're kicking the tires. They're starting to ask tough questions. They want an outsider that will go to D.C., not only stand up to the Democrats but also the Republican establishment.

I think there's a lot of frustration. We've got Republicans that took over the Senate. It doesn't appear things have changed. They want Planned Parenthood defunded. They want somebody to repeal the amnesty (ph). They want to repeal Obamacare. They want to shrink the size of the federal government. The Republicans are in control of both chambers, and yet it doesn't feel like things have changed.

Secondly, look, the more the media attacks Donald Trump, the better he does.

[18:45:01] I think the reality is, the donors in New York, the party leaders in D.C., they don't pick the nominee. The voters do.

I happen to think that's good for me, by the way. Look, we're not running with permission from D.C. We're out there talking to voters. We're willing to take on the big challenges.

And I think there are too many candidates that are neither bold enough, they don't have the backbone, they don't have the bandwidth, they don't have the experience to get it done. We do.

BLITZER: I understand and correct me if I'm wrong, Governor, you want new legislation in various states that tough in up background checks to make sure people with emotional or mental issues, history, or some criminal record for that matter can't go out there and buy guns. You want tighter gun control in effect. Is that right?

JINDAL: Well, Wolf, look, I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I'm not in favor of new laws restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens. But what we have done in Louisiana, you know, we actually strengthened the reporting of those involuntarily committed into a mental health institution, those subject to judge's orders they shouldn't have guns to make sure the record go into the national background database.

Look, we just had a tragic shooting in Lafayette. Clearly, this man shouldn't have been able to buy a gun. Two young women lost their lives. So, I don't want to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. But I do want to make sure those mental health records, those other facts that should be in the background check system are actually put in the background.

BLITZER: But it's frustrating to you that John Russell Houser legally purchased that gun in neighboring Alabama.

JINDAL: Absolutely. Look, he clearly should have been mentally committed, involuntary committed to a mental health hospital. Over the weekend, that was information we've actually gotten from Georgia, that he had been involuntarily committed. Now, they're saying that may not have been the case. But he never should have been able to buy a gun. He shouldn't -- clearly, he was mentally ill. Clearly, he should have been involuntarily committed.

His family had concerns about him. He got into the legal system. He should have been involuntarily committed. He shouldn't have been able to buy a gun.

Now, look, the reality is nothing is going to bring the two beautiful women back. That's not going to help their families. But I do think it's important that states put those record in the national background check.

BLITZER: Do you agree with the former Texas governor, the now presidential candidate Rick Perry, that people should be able to bring guns into movie theaters to protect themselves? JINDAL: Well, look, I'm -- again, I'm a big believer wherever you are

legally allowed to be you should be able to have your Second Amendment rights, your gun rights. I think the more you are allowed to do that the fewer exceptions the better. Obviously, the private property issues, and people certainly have a right on their private property to make decisions about their private property. But I'm a big believer that where you are legally allowed to be you should be able to have your Second Amendment rights as well.

BLITZER: So, people should be allowed to go into movie theaters, go to athletic events, armed, is that what you're saying?

JINDAL: Again, look, I think the more freedom, the better. In general, I'm on the side of freedom. Again, there are private property issues, rights issues. I understand that. You know, somebody has got a right to say what they want to do with their private property.

But I just think the fewer restrictions on law-abiding citizens, the better for them and the better for our country quite frankly.

BLITZER: Bobby Jindal is the governor of Louisiana. He's running for Republican presidential nomination. We'll continue this conversation, Governor. Thanks very much.

JINDAL: Thank you for having me, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, we'll have more on the breaking news. We've been following the debris discovered today. A source is telling CNN Boeing's initial assessment is the piece is, in fact, consistent with the plane, similar plane to the Malaysian jet that has been missing now for months.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:53:03] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. Debris discovered today on the shore of an island in the western Indian Ocean, not far from Africa. A source saying Boeing's assessment is the piece is consistent with a plane like the Malaysian jet that vanished with nearly 300 people aboard more than a year ago.

Let's go to CNN's Tom Foreman. He's got a closer look at what we are learning.

The details are intriguing, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They really are, Wolf. And it really is all about this one piece out here. It's about seven feet long, maybe. It's three to four feet wide. You wonder exactly how Boeing knows that it would be part of their equipment.

Look at the details you can see here in construction. This little piece down in here, this piece in here, all these things are things that engineers would absolutely know about their equipment. And as we look through the pictures, you can see there are other things that are consistent as well. The color seems to match generally what you would expect from that

plane. And look at this. -- you go very close in, you can see the rough edges in here. They are barnacles that are attached to this. That is also consistent with something that has been in the water for close to 500 days.

The big question in all of this, Wolf, is where does this fit into a plane like this? If you look at the plane itself, our analysts have been looking at it all day and they say that's also something that's fully consistent with a piece that you might get out of here or out of here on the wing.

So, there's an awful lot of evidence to suggest this thing seems to be tied to a 777. That's what kind of plane this is.

Is it the right one? That's when you go to the map and it gets a little bit more puzzling. Remember, all along we have been talking about a pattern of flight that brought the plane in this broad sweeping flight down here where it ran out of gas off the coast of Australia. The distance we're talking about from here to over here is more than in all likelihood, depending on the exact spot you begin from, the distance across the United States of America.

Could it have simply flown this way from up here?

[18:55:01] Could all this be wrong? And could it have flown? Not very likely, because if the calculations are right, you can't tell from a flat map, but it would have run out of gas about here.

So, there's not much likelihood that it flew this way. If it did, how come nobody saw debris before now?

Instead, what we're probably talking about, Wolf, is ocean currents. And there are an awful lot of them in here. Yes, there are currents which could carry it across this way and a piece like this could float quite some time.

Watch the video where it comes up. It's not a big, big heavy piece that would necessarily stay on the bottom. So, the theory of where it went could be correct. The theory of drift could be correct. And this piece, this thing we have been talking about all afternoon now, this piece could be, maybe, the first physical evidence we have of what happened to the Malaysia Air Flight.

BLITZER: If, in fact, it is confirmed that this piece of the wing is from a Boeing 777, tom, it's got to be from that Malaysian Boeing 777, because no other 777 disappeared anywhere close to that part of the world.

FOREMAN: Yes, that's exactly right. Although I think what we're seeing is very much a go slow approach by the authorities there to confirm absolutely that it's from a 777, and almost all of these parts of the planes are going to have serial numbers on them.

When they get to the numbers, when they check them out, maybe they are encrusted with something, they have to clear them off, but when they check that number out, those numbers will be unique to a plane. Once you have the numbers right, you can say definitively, this came from a certain plane out there.

If it's the missing Malaysia air flight, you know it crashed somewhere. You still have the mystery of how it crashed and where it crashed. But there will be no longer any question of all the conspiracy theories of what might have happened.

BLITZER: All right. I want to bring Alastair Rosenschein into this.

Alastair, correct me if I'm wrong, you have flown Boeing 777s. You've got unique perspective. What's your analysis?

ALASTAIR ROSENSCHEIN, FORMER PILOT, AVIATION CONSULTANT (via telephone): Well, first of all, I'll just correct you. I have flown 737 and 747s. But, you know, in this case here, doesn't make a great deal of difference.

This is a very interesting development. And as your previous speaker said, that with closer analysis, they will be able to say definitely if this piece of aircraft and it is indeed a piece of aircraft, is from the 777, the MH370, the disappeared on the 8th of March last year.

And after 16 months, it's entirely possible, it could have drifted that far. The currents -- there are ocean currents which go from east to west.

And the other thing is that back on the 13th of March, about five -- four days after the aircraft disappeared, I hypothesized the aircraft could have laid on a track between Madagascar and Australia. That's where the fuel endurance would like on a line there. Not as far as Madagascar because there wasn't enough fuel for that. But, you know, I think the most important thing right now is to correctly identify that part.

BLITZER: That shouldn't take very long for Boeing to determine that this is a flaperon, part of that wing, right?

ROSENSCHEIN: Well, yes, it could be one of the flaps which is on the trailing edge of the wing, both wings. That's used to change the shape of the wing, in order words to allow you an aircraft to fly slower for takeoff and landing. And many of these aluminum parts of the aircraft actually are either honeycomb or have air pockets inside them so they can float for a very long period of time.

BLITZER: But, Alastair, even if they confirm it's part of that plane, it doesn't necessarily bring us closer to learning why that plane disappeared.

ROSENSCHEIN: No. Indeed, it's highly unlikely that this part of the aircraft will lead to that. It's also very unlikely will lead to us finding the cockpit voice recorder or the flight deck data recorder, both of which would be many, many miles from where this floating part was found. BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, very quickly, that would be key, to find the

flight data recorder, the cockpit voice recorder, if in fact they could ever find this.

FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. But even just finding this piece, if it's confirmed part of the aircraft to show it did go down in the Indian Ocean, it did crash there, it's not somewhere else, on mountaintops, in the Himalayas, and it would explain why the debris earlier wasn't found because they were looking in the wrong ocean for several days. By the time the search actually focused on that Southern Indian Ocean, a lot of time passed.

BLITZER: All right, Tom Fuentes. Thanks very much, Alastair Rosenschein.

We'll, of course, stay on top of this story. To all of our viewers, thanks very much for watching.

I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Remember, please tweet me @wolfblitzer. Tweet the show @CNNSitroom.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.