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Russian Airliner Carrying 224 People Crashes in Egypt; U.S. Special Ops Deployed to Syria; The Bush-Rubio Feud; Flash Floods in Texas. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 31, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: The latest on that Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt carrying 224 people.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, the next hour of NEW Day starts right now.

VOICEOVER: This is CNN breaking news.

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

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We're starting with that breaking news out of Egypt. A Russian passenger jet carrying 224 people has crashed in Sinai.


The Metrojet flight 9268 took off from the resort town of Sharm el- Sheikh just after 6:00 am local time. Rather, just before 6:00 am. It was headed to St. Petersburg, Russia, when it lost contact with air traffic control. That was 23 minutes into that flight.

KOSIK: Russian officials say they're sending five planes as part of a rescue mission to the site of where the crash is, and dozens of Egyptian ambulances have been rushed to the crash site. Any effort to reach the site, though, it could be difficult because of what the region is like. There's rough mountain terrain there.


BLACKWELL: We've got coverage from around the world this morning. International diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is live in Moscow. Aviation correspondence, Richard Quest is in our London bureau. We're starting with Ian Lee in Cairo. Ian, we understand that the Prime Minister there has been meeting with ministers and security officials. What are you hearing this morning?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONSENT: We're now hearing that the Prime Minister is going to be heading out to the Sinai Peninsula, to the scene of the crash. We're also hearing from state media is reporting that this is likely a technical failure. They are saying on state media they're ruling out any sort of foul play. This plane took off early in the morning, about 5:58 local time, and it disappeared from radar at 6:20, about 300 kilometers into the flight. The site of the crash is in north central Sinai, near a town called El Housna. We're hearing that roughly 50 ambulances have made their way to the site of the crash. Now Reuters is reporting, and we have not been able to confirm this, but Reuters is reporting that there are voices that are being heard at the site of the crash. Now this plane, what we're hearing from the civil aviation administration here in Cairo, this plane fell from 31,000 feet. So anyone surviving that crash really is nothing short of a miracle. But we haven't heard any official update from the Egyptian officials about what the site of the crash looks like and what's going on there. This crash was found by Egyptian military jets that were in sky at the time. They were able to locate this plane. Now, if there are any survivors, we are told by the Egyptian government that they will be brought to hospitals here in Cairo. But at this time, from what we're hearing, those 217 passengers, including seven crew members, there is no word on their fate at this moment.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ian Lee for us there in Cairo. The latest reporting that the Prime Minister en route there to the crash scene in Sinai.

KOSIK: All right, let's move on to -- we have Richard Quest with us right now.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, good morning.

KOSIK: Richard, good morning. You know we're hearing that the pilot had said there was some sort of technical problem. Are you hearing that as well?

QUEST: OK, Alison, there is an enormous amount of confusion this morning, of which we need to thread ourselves very carefully through. For instance, the actual aircraft itself, initial reports said it's an A321 with more than 220 people on board. Now the Egyptians are saying in a statement that it was an Airbus A320. I find that somewhat less likely with that number of passengers. So we have that level of confusion that we have to just be careful about. There is this report of potential survivors but, as Ian says, the plane came out of the sky at 31,000 feet and, if you look at the rate of descent of the aircraft, its vertical rate of descent, it seems highly unlikely that there were survivors. But, again, there's that element of confusion this morning.

And then you have the question of did the pilot make some calling saying that he was -- that there were technical problems or they had radio difficulties. That is not confirmed. That is confusion this morning as well. So there's an enormous amount of -- I can't even call them facts -- coming from the Egyptian authorities or the Egyptian side at the moment which we simply don't know. And remember in this instance -- in, in, in these instances it is the state of occurrence that has the responsibility of, of investigating this. So it's where the accident happened that has the, the, the, that is, that will hold the investigation. And there is some question over whose airspace it was when the, the accident took place. So I'm, I'm suggesting, Alison, at this hour that we have to tread with ultimate caution with every single fact. Other than that, we know this Metrojet airbus did come out of the sky this morning, with multiple loss of life.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we are dealing with multiple governments and, as we know, in these situations some of the initial reports are erroneous when you're dealing with a case such as this. Richard, I want you to stay with us. I want to bring in Nic Robertson, who is in Moscow. We know that the Russians are deploying resources and launching investigations. What are we learning this morning?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the very latest we have from the Russians comes from their embassy in Cairo. And on their official Twitter account they now say that bodies are beginning to be recovered and removed from the crash site. This is the first indication we've had that that is happening. What the embassy in Cairo is being backed up by of course is the larger Russian infrastructure here. President Putin has already called for a commission, a special commission, to investigate this. He called on the Prime Minister to do that. He's appointed the head of the, of the Transport Ministry. The Transport Minister is going to head that investigation. We've heard as well now from the Deputy Minister, the Emergency Ministry here, there are playing a leading role in events now. They are sending five aircraft, five Russian aircraft, to aid in the investigation and the recovery efforts. They're sending those to Egypt right now. And we also understand that that Transport Minister, who's going to head this, this special commission that will look at the Russian side of the investigation, responsibility obviously falls to the Egyptians, but the Russians are putting one of their senior people, the Transport Minister, we understand is now going to be on his way to Egypt as well. So this is the information that's being provided to Russians at the moment here. Victor.

BLACKWELL: Richard, I want to bring you back in. We learned from one of the resources here that the last altitude that was recorded, or when it was last on radar, was on 30 -- at 31,000 feet, that from the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry. Is there anything that can be gleaned or ruled out from there being no record of a precipitous descent on radar? At 31,000 and then gone?

QUEST: Oh, well, no there is evidence of a precipitous descent. You start from the -- in this case, you start from what point of flight. According to flight radar 24, the plane took off at about 50 minutes after the hours, not 58 past the hour. So it's about 15 -- about 18 to 20 minutes into the flight, I believe, when this incident took place. It's at 31,000 feet, so in the early -- it's in its initial cruise phase, which is an extremely safe phase of flight. Most accidents and incidents take place on takeoff and landing, we know that. Only about 10, 11 percent ever take place in the, in the cruise phase. So for something to happen which brings down and fatally destroys an aircraft is absolutely unusual. Now, the we -- looking at the numbers as I see them at the moment, the plane gets to about 33,000 feet. It think it's actually higher than the Egyptians get to. It gets to about 33 - 32,000 feet, and then its rate of descent is quite dramatic. And it seems to have a very, variable rate of descent. That's known as the vertical rate of descent. So it's falling, then it's rising, it's falling, then it's rising. And that goes for quite some seconds before the plane finally does succumb. So whatever happened at 32-odd-thousand feet was, was dramatic enough that made the plane either uncontrollable or the way it was being flown, it became uncontrollable and stalled.

KOSIK: Richard, that can you tell us about this air carrier's safety record? Kogalymavia, it's also known as Metrojet in Moscow. Do you know what its safety record is like?

QUEST: No, I don't. I'll be absolutely up front. But I can tell you the A321's been around since about 2012. It has about five A321s in its fleet. It flies under the brand of Metrojet. This particular aircraft is about 19 years, 18 years old. Its previous owners have all been Middle Eastern carriers. Not that should not be one jot of concern. You know 18, 19. I promise you this, there are many aircraft flying around the United States that are as old, if not older. So that shouldn't be a concern in any shape or form, if it's been properly maintained and if the crew are properly trained. And those are the two aspects that are going to be crucial. I have no doubt that those are the two aspects that will be crucial in this investigation. Was the aircraft properly maintained, and was the crew properly trained? And that is going to be -- and, and, and that, that's -- and if you're talking about Russian aviation, we do know, we do know from IATA reports and from ICAO reports that Russia has had a safety problem post-Soviet Union, (vast) expansive airlines, many new carriers, and they have had some difficulties with safety in the past. It's a straightforward fact.

BLACKWELL: Nic Robertson, let me come back out to you. We heard from Ian Lee reporting in Cairo that the Egyptians have said that there's no evidence of foul play here. Considering the region, considering when in this, this plane took off and when it started to have problems, have the Russians made any comments similar to those, or speaking at all, about the potential for foul play?

ROBERTSON: The Russians haven't made a comment about it at all yet. They'll certainly be aware of the situation in the Sinai. They're certainly we aware of their raised profile in the Middle East. They'll certainly be aware that ISIS has made threats about them since they've upped their oper -- their military operations over the past month inside Syria. I don't think though they're join the, join the dots or make any too rapid conclusions. But the fact that President Putin came out early on this, called for a special commission, there are clearly avenues that this government here is going to explore and make sure that this doesn't have terrorist links, or find out to the contrary, if that's the case. There will be many things to look at this. All the evidence we're hearing so far seems to point in the other direction. But the Russians will certainly be aware that their profile and the threat to them over the past month in the Middle East by ISIS has absolutely gone up. They've attracted a lot of negative attention from ISIS because they're targeting them, they say, inside Syria.

BLACKWELL: All right, Nic Robertson for us in Moscow. Richard Quest in London. Our thanks also to Ian Lee in Cairo. We'll continue to cover this breaking news. The latest in that bodies of the plane crash victims are being

recovered at this crash site in Sinai. Fifty ambulances en route. That reporting coming in this morning, and we know that Russia has sent five planes there specifically in rescue operations. We're hearing from both the Egyptians and the Russians as this investigation begins and this recovery mission begins as well. Stick with us, we'll continue the coverage.

KOSIK: All right. And we'll move on to other news as well. Fighting ISIS, the U.S. preparing to send Special Forces to Syria as ISIS strikes back with a message to the U.S. Also ahead, deadly flooding in Texas. A flash flood watch is in effect. We're going to get the latest from emergency officials.

And could Jeb Bush's presidential hopes ride on attacks against his friend, Marco Rubio? One campaign is struggling while the other gets stronger. We're breaking it down a little later this hour.


KOSIK: New this morning, the war on ISIS is intensifying.

A video purportedly from the terrorist group has surfaced on line and it shows the beheading of four Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. And at the end of the video a masked man addresses President Obama before he executes one of the prisoners. And he tells the President that these actions are in retaliation for a daring rescue that happened in northern Iraq. This coming as the White House announces that U.S. troops will be deployed on the ground in Syria. The deployment of around 50 Special Ops forces is the most significant escalation of the American campaign against ISIS to date.

CNN's Chris Frates is live for us from Washington with the latest. You know, to say that this video is disturbing is an understatement, and to talk about the timing, well, the timing is interesting as well.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right, Alison. And what we're seeing is that about two dozen Special Operations forces are heading to Syria, bringing U.S. troops that much closer to the front lines.


FRATES: President Obama secretly told Defense Secretary Ash Carter a few months ago he wanted faster progress in the war against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, and to come up with a plan, a U.S. official says. Now the President has ordered a small number of Special Operations soldiers into northern Syria to help local forces fight ISIS.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President does expect that they can have an impact in intensifying our strategy for building the capacity of local forces inside of Syria to take in the fight on the ground to ISIL.

FRATES: The team's no more than 50 troops total, could include members of the Army's elite Delta Force and Green Berets, as well as Navy Seals. Their mission, to provide ammunition, communications, intelligence, and supplies to local Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground. Until now the President had long said he would not put troops in combat, especially in Syria. And the White House insists that's still true.

ERNEST: These forces do not have a combat mission. This is not in any way an attempt to diminish the risk that they will face, or the bravery that they will need to summon to carry out these operations.

FRATES: Secretary Carter did not discuss the ground troops while meeting service members in Alaska Friday night, but he did say ISIS is one of the biggest threats.

ASH CARTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We gotta beat ISIS, we're gonna beat ISIL. These guys are evil and they're -- and, you know, we are, as I said, the noble and they are the evil, and we are the many and they are the few. And fundamentally, we're just strong. So we will beat them. And we're doing that now and figuring out how to get better at it.


FRATES: The Special Operations forces are expected to be sent from Iraq, across the border, into northern Syria. The U.S. will use F-15 and A-10 jets launched from an air base in southern Turkey, all part of an effort to help anti-ISIS forces eventually take back ISIS' self- proclaimed capitol city of Raqqah. But make no mistake here, Alison, Obama wanted to avoid putting troops on the ground where they're likely to end up in combat situations. Alison.

KOSIK: You know, the Obama administration really getting a lot of criticism for doing this about face. It, when you look at it, many believe it really is -- why not sort of say own up to it and say, yes, we changed our minds, we want to send small combat forces to start?

FRATES: Well, I think the Obama administration is saying that we are only sending advisers, they don't want to open the door to that troops on the ground, and they can still say that they're just there as advisers. But, as we've seen recently, troops have been killed in these advisory roles, so it really does, as you say, open the door to a question of how involved will these troops be. These are small teams but we're going to keep an eye on this and see if this is in fact the nose -- camel's nose under the tent here, Alison.

KOSIK: Yes, and it's certainly important not to forget that these American forces will be in harm's way. Chris Frates, thanks so much.

FRATES: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's get more now from CNN military analyst, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. Lieutenant General, first thing let's get to some of the just basic Ws here. When we say that they will be advising and assisting, first who will they be advising and assisting? I understand there're some groups that maybe the U.S. doesn't know as much about as it would like to. LT. GEN. MARK P. HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: That's true, Victor, and when you take a look at norther Syria, very different from Iraq. The advise and assist rules in Iraq were to train large formation of Iraqi soldiers to go after ISIS in Anbar in northern Iraq. In Syria what you're talking about -- consider this, you're in a neighborhood with a bunch of different people and you're trying to pull them all together. So each one of these Special Forces, or Special Operators, will go with each one of those groups to try and coordinate action. They will provide them with tools, some with supplies and logistics, probably not much training, truthfully. But these guys are fighters, so they will go -- the U.S. forces will go and just attempt to help coordinate the actions of a lot of disparate and various groups. We're talking about Arab tribes that all fight for different reasons, and Kurdish forces which are fighting for a nationalistic intent. The Special Forces guys will go in there to try and coordinate their actions, to help them defend their own territory, and eventually retake Raqqah.

BLACKWELL: OK, so you answered one of the other questions. What exactly what they'll be doing here. But you say that they have, many of these forces have varied interests and varied reasons for fighting. Is it possible that the U.S. can go into Syria and focus solely on ISIS, and not on Assad and the civil war?

HERTLING: Oh, I definitely think so. And, yes, and that's, that's the strategic intent. Remember, one of the things that I think we confuse is are we attempting to help topple, topple Assad? That is not the priority intent. What we are attempting to do is to destroy and defeat ISIS. This is...

BLACKWELL: But can it be ignored?

HERTLING: I'm sorry?

BLACKWELL: Can it be ignored?

HERTLING: No, but I think the majority of the free Arab Syrian armies are really looking to counter Assad. But they have to defend themselves first in their own tribal areas, and that's what these Special Operators will do. They will defend them against the advances of ISIS by helping them fight but, more importantly, by bringing in air power. And I think that's a critical event that will occur that you'll see in northern Syria.

BLACKWELL: The Syrian Kurds, who the U.S. will be -- these Special Operations commandos will be working with very closely, have said that they want more. They want more support, they want more arms, they want more resources. Is it likely we'll see in addition to just the assistance, the manpower going in, but a large amount, a large cache of weapons going to them as well?

HERTLING: Yes, well, I've worked a long time with the Kurdish forces in, in norther Iraq, Victor, and they are very good fighters. They are excellent. But they are also very nationalistic. What they want is a Kurdish homeland. They want to establish those borders and defend themselves in a very nationalistic way. That's very different than what you're talking about with the Syrian-Arab coalition. They are looking to basically defend their tribes, and there's very many of them. Think of the Kurds as one group trying to defend a homeland that they're trying to establish, which causes other problems, versus the Arab tribes, Syrian Arab tribes, which are just very interested in tribal connections, and it's going to be very different. But I think, yes, you will hear the mantra from the Kurds, we need more, we need more, we need more. And that's because they want us to establish their own states.

BLACKWELL: All right, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. Thank you so much.

HERTLING: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Of course when we come back we'll have the very latest on that breaking news out of Egypt, that Russian passenger jetliner crashing in Sinai. The reports now that bodies are being recovered. That from the Twitter account of the Russian embassy in Cairo. More on this story in a moment.


VOICE OVER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: And the breaking news this morning out of Egypt. Metrojet flight 9268 has crashed in the Sinai. Russian state media reports the flight was carrying 224 people, 17 of them children. At this hour the Russian embassy has reported that bodies are now being recovered from the crash site. I want to bring in aviation correspondent Richard Quest. He's following this story from London. And, Richard, something you said when you were up at the top of the hour stood out, in which you had questions about this being an A321 because of the number of people, the number of passenger and crew?

QUEST: No, what this is is -- no, I have no questions about it being a 321. I believe it was a 321. The Egyptians put out a statement saying it was an A320.


QUEST: And, so what I was saying is, I have doubts about that statement. I'm pretty certain this was the -- we, we know the aircraft identification code. We know the route that it was on. Simply looking at the number of passengers on board tells me it's an A321. I was clarifying. Anybody who has seen this report from Egypt saying it's an A320, that I was doubting that. It's a 321.

BLACKWELL: Gotcha, an A321(inaudible).

QUEST: Now, now just, just to viewers who, to viewers who may be a little bit unfamiliar, they're all parts of the same family. Basically Airbus has built a small short-haul jet. It's known as the A320 and it goes from 18, 19, 20, and 21. And all it really that means is that the aircraft gets longer and longer and longer for more passengers. But one you start getting up to 220 passengers, you're talking about an A321. BLACKWELL: OK, let's talk about the Russian aviation industry and the number of incidents that, that you mentioned in the last (hit) that have happened in the last several years, several decades.

QUEST: Yes, I mean, look, ever -- Russia has had more accidents than, than say for example one would expect in Western Europe or in the United States. If you look at the last -- and I've just been looking at it -- if you look at the IATA safety report for 2014 -- forgive me looking down while I want to get these numbers absolutely right -- you're talking about the accident rate per million flights. Now you're still very -- you're still talking about a very high degree of safety, a very high margin of safety, but if you take North America, North American operators have on average one accident rate per million flights. Europe, the EU, has 1.35 accidents per million flights. But the CIS, Commonwealth of Independent States, of which Russia is a part, has 2.19. So it's getting on for nearly double, well, it's over double, the U.S. It still compares very favorable to say Africa, which has 11.18. What does it tell me? It tells me that in Russia and in the CIS you have a very fast -growing aviation sector with many new aircraft, many modern aircraft, Airbus and Boeing, going into the sector and it's a question of training and infrastructure. And both of those, you can't say one without the other, training and infrastructure not keeping up with the pace of growth. We've seen it in Asia, we've seen it in the CIS as well.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll see if there's a maintenance issue or if there is some technical difficulty as this investigation continues. Richard Quest in London for us. Thank you so much.

KOSIK: And the cause of the accident very much in question. Allison Chinchar has been looking at whether weather conditions could have played a role, weather conditions in Sinai at the time of the crash. She joins us live from the Weather Center. Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right. We take a look at the Sinai Peninsula. Again, we've got a couple things to keep an eye out for. One, the topography. It's very up and down, especially in the region where we do expect that this flight likely sent down. Somewhere in this area. Again, you do have very high elevation. Now with that elevation comes some upsloping winds. Now normally those can be a factor, especially if you have planes taking off or coming down in that general region. But this plane would have been well up into the atmosphere, we're talking 20, 30, 40 thousand feet up into the air because it had been in the air for a while. It left all the way down here in Sharm el-Sheikh. So it's been a while since that plane had taken off. So upsloping winds likely not a factor, regardless even if it was in some of that rough terrain. Now we take a look at -- we've got the flight radar up here. But we want to take a look at some clouds because clouds really were not a factor, and neither were the winds. Now one thing we do know is the winds in this area were only around 10 miles per hour at best. Now another thing too to note that when those winds -- that's at the surface -- but the plane being much higher, we also take into account the winds that are in some of those higher levels of the atmosphere. Those winds also not very strong, even 10, 15, 20 thousand feet up into the air. So again the plane didn't likely encounter any issues with winds. Clouds also. We had some clouds over the water in this general area, but not over the peninsula itself. So clouds, rain, none of that should have been a factor. Now one thing to note as we go over the next couple of days, those conditions are expected to stay the same. So, Alison and Victor, we aren't expecting weather to hinder any recovery efforts over the next couple of days. And that is at least some good news for the folks as they get out to this very unstable and very high terrain area.

KOSIK: All right. Allison Chinchar, thanks very much. And we're going to continue to follow this breaking news throughout the morning.

BLACKWELL: All right, new this morning, a major boost for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign. Fresh off his breakout debate performance, the party's most prodigious fundraiser, billionaire Paul Singer, now throwing his support and big dollars behind the Junior Senator from Florida. The endorsement caps what's been a, a good week for him, a rough week for Governor Jeb Bush. He's had to slash campaign staff salaries, lost his COO, delivered what's been described as a lackluster performance in Wednesday's debate, has had influential political voices like Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan writing about his fate. She wrote this. "It's just hard for me to see how this can work. By hard I me, for me, impossible. "

To discuss, we're joined by Republican strategist, Lisa Boothe, and CNN political commentator, Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona. Ladies, good to have both of you with us.



BLACKWELL: Hey, Lisa, I want to start with you. This leaked Jeb Bush campaign memo to supporters calling Marco Rubio a risky bet as being nominee against Hillary Clinton. Marco Rubio was asked about it yesterday. Here's what he said.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R-FL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Again, guys, it's part of a strategic decision they made, and they have a right to make it. I just don't think it's a smart thing for Republicans to do Hillary Clinton's job for her and make it... One of the reasons why I think we lost in 2012 was Republicans attacking each other. It weakened the eventual nominee, but I can't control other people's campaign. I can control mine.


BLACKWELL: He mentioned Hillary Clinton. I mean Hillary Clinton tried this against Barack Obama back in 2008. Do you think it works this time for Jeb Bush against Marco Rubio?

BOOTHE: Well, I don't. And, look, Victor, it's like dating. The more desperate you get, the more unappealing you are. And unfortunately the Jeb Bush is getting desperate, as he should. I mean, look at the numbers, they're not good for him. Since mid-June his net favorability had dropped the most out of any candidate. As you mentioned, his campaign has had to slash their budget by nearly 50 percent. They cut payroll by 40 percent. His Chief Operating Opera -- or Chief, his CEO had to step down recently. He's got less cash on hand than other candidates like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson. But the biggest problem for him I think is just the fact that he's a lackluster candidate. And that was as evidenced by the CNBC debate where he should have picked up on the fact that Marco Rubio had shut down the moderator's attacks about his voting record, and not, and not have launched that attack. But instead he received a bruising counterpunch from Marco Rubio, and I think that was very damaging to his candidacy, as evidenced by big donors now looking at him.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Maria, Jeb Bush is launching this Jeb can fix it tour on Monday, talking about how he can fix Washington and what he fixed in Florida. Is that the problem? That people don't believe that he's competent, that he can get the job done, or that they, they just want something else?

CARDONA: I think all of that is Jeb Bush's problem. Look, before you can credibly launch a I can fix Washington campaign, you have to launch a I can fix my own campaign campaign. And I think that's exactly what the underlying problem is. Nobody from the beginning, and when I mean nobody I mean mostly Republican voters, have ever had any confidence that Jeb Bush is their guy this time. And that has been something that for him has been very hard to accept. Every time that he comes out to talk to the media he seems like he's either whining, he's complaining, and frankly it is underscoring everything that Donald Trump has been putting forth about Jeb Bush. He looks weak, he looks whiney, and he looks weary. He looks like he's tired. He looks like he has -- doesn't have that fire in the belly. He's always talked about being the candidate that is going to run a campaign in a joyful manner.

BLACKWELL: The joyful tortoise he said.

CARDONA: Exactly.


CARDONA: It seems everything except that, and so I think that this is a time where he's going to really have to reevaluate and, yes, he's saying that he's going to stay in this for the long run because he has a lot of money in his super PAC. But the problem is that when you have a campaign that is flailing, and when you have to start cutting salaries and slashing staff, that's the beginning of the end.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's play -- you talked about what some have described, you're describing, as whining or complaining. I want you to listen, Lisa, to what Jeb Bush said about the next debate. Listen.


REPORTER: You told donors today on a conference call that you said, you were going to get better at this. What are you going to do to get better at this? JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, we've got, we've got eight more debates. I'm going to have to do what other candidates do, which is rudely interrupt and not answer the questions that are asked and, hopefully, the debate moderators will actually ask more substantive questions. (inaudible) It's going fine.

REPORTER: Are you having any fun?

BUSH: Oh, yes, you saw it. We're having lots of fun.


BLACKWELL: What, what's your response to that? I don't know if you could hear, but we had the, the, the words there up on the screen. He says, I'll just have to do what everyone else does, interrupt and maybe I'll get substantive questions. Is he missing it or is that what he has to do?

BOOTHE: Well, look, I think that Jeb Bush has the same problem as Hillary Clinton, they're yesterday's news. Republicans have a lot of candidates in this primary field that represent the future. And the biggest problem with Jeb Bush is Republicans that really need to paint a contrast with the failed Obama administration and the fact that the rich have gotten richer and middle class families have gotten poorer. And if you look at something like Obamacare, middle class have faced insurance premiums of 35 percent. And guess who the beneficiaries have been? It's been the big insurance companies. It's been the big hospitals who are consolidating, getting bigger. But the little man is getting hurt. More small businesses in ever in this country have gone under than being created for the first time in history. So we a candidate that is able to paint contrast with the Obama administration, which Hillary Clinton is just going to perpetuate those same failed policies. And I believe there are a lot of candidates in this race...

BLACKWELL: Well, Marco -- Marco Rubio, Maria, let me come back to you. Marco Rubio, of course, this helps his campaign and there have been Democrats who have said that he is the candidate that they're most worried about.

CARDONA: Oh, I don't -- I wouldn't say worried about. I think frankly Hillary Clinton will be able to go up against any Republican that was on the debate stage this past week and, and win. Because frankly ever single policy that they are espousing will actually hurt the middle class, will hurt the, the coalition of voters that actually make up what, what America looks like today, and they have no credibility talking about growing the economy when you have the last two Democratic presidents creating jobs and growing the economy and the last two Republican presidents...

BOOTHE: Have you looked at the economy?

CARDONA: ...failing the, failing the economy. And, and decimating jobs. Yes, I have looked at the economy and the unemployment rate actually goes up under Democratic presidents. So let's make that...

BOOTHE: Hillary Clinton said that this is...

BLACKWELL: Hold on, hold on.

CARDONA: ...let's make that contrast every single day between now and election day, and I guarantee you I will be inviting you to the next inauguration of a Democratic president in 2017.

Well, it's also important to say -- let me, I've got to finish up here, but it's important to say that we're talking about both Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, when they're both still in the single digits, and it's a Carson and Trump game at the time.

BOOTHE: But not exactly. But not a single, but not a single Democrat defended the Obama economy during the CN...

BLACKWELL: All right.

BOOTHE: ...the CNN debate. Hillary Clinton...

CARDONA: They all did, they absolutely did.

BOOTHE: (They've got the worst 1920 under President Obama).

BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it up, we got to wrap it up. This is about Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. We'll continue the conversation, of course.

CARDONA: And, and Jeb Bush would love to have Hillary Clinton's problem, which is she's the frontrunner.

BLACKWELL: Thank you both. Maria, Lisa, good to have you this morning.

BOOTHE: Thank you.

CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Coming up in the next hour, could NBC be shut out of hosting a GOP debate. We'll talk about the fallout with Republicans after that CNBC debate.

KOSIK: And it happened in seconds from the time a police stopped a car before the first shots were fired. The victim's parents say the South Carolina police officer was acting overly aggressive. We're going to show you the police dash cam video next.


KOSIK: A Justice Department investigation is underway into the shooting death of a South Carolina teenager by a police officer. The incident happened in July, and this stunning police dash cam video that you see right here, that was released this week, along with the announcement that the officer involved would not be charged.

BLACKWELL: The family says they're angry, disappointed as well. Nick Valencia is following this story for us. Nick, good morning. NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alison and Victor. We spoke yesterday to the South Carolina State Representative, Todd Rutherford. He said watching the video he sees a flat out execution. CNN has obtained that newly-released dash cam video. We'll let you decide for yourself. We have to warn you, before you watch this video, some people may find it disturbing.


VALENCIA: You can hear the tires screech as Lieutenant Mark Tiller pulls into the fast food parking lot. In less than a few seconds, gun fire. The two shots killed the driver, 19-year-old Zachary Hammond. He was unarmed. Investigators say he had drugs in his system and packaged cocaine in his pocket. Listen as Lieutenant Tiller describes why he opened fire.


VALENCIA: The police dash cam video from July shows what Seneca, South Carolina, police say was a drug sting, the target the passenger in the car, 25-year-old Traci Morton. She was on a date with Hammond at the time of the shooting. Her sobs can be heard as an officer stands over Hammond. The video was released this week, days before Lieutenant Tiller is cleared of wrongdoing. "After a careful consideration of the facts of the case," the Solicitor writes in her ruling, "I have determined that no criminal charges should be filed against Lieutenant Mark Tiller at the state level. She continues, "This has been a very difficult case. No parent should ever have to bury their child."

ANGIE HAMMOND (MOTHER): We are more disappointed by investigation that seemed more focused on attacking the victim, which was Zach, than investigating the shooter.

VALENCIA: At a press conference Thursday, Hammond's parents and attorney say the blame for the fatal shooting rests solely on Lieutenant Tiller.

ERIC BLAND, HAMMON FAMILY ATTORNEY: You would need a set of glasses that doesn't even exist to say that Lieutenant Tiller was in danger of being struck by that automobile.

VALENCIA: In an interview shortly after the shooting, the Seneca Police Chief defended his officer.

POLICE CHIEF JOHN COVINGTON: You know when you sign up to be a police officer that that potential is there during your career that you might have to use deadly force.

VALENCIA: Choking back tears, Hammond's mother says the video proves her son should not have been shot.

HAMMOND: Zach cared more about Tiller's life than Tiller cared about Zach's. VALENCIA: We reached out to Lieutenant Tiller's attorney, who said

that his client acted in self-defense, and that the Solicitor's decision defends the officer's actions. The Hammond family has reached out meanwhile to the Department of Justice to try to push for federal charges. We'll hear from them later this morning. We have an inter -- interview with them. It's in the 11:00 am hour.

KOSIK: So no charges, but a civil lawsuit very likely?

VALENCIA: Pending, yes, pending civil lawsuit. Who knows when, you know, if they will settle. We've seen past instances, past cases in police officer shootings where families have received millions of dollars in these cases. The family is hopeful for that, but they think the officer should have been charged in this. They don't see a lawful shooting from that video. You could decide for yourself, that video out there, newly-released dash cam video.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Valencia, thank you so much.

KOSIK: Investigators in Egypt are beginning to find bodies at the site of a plane crash. Officials are trying to figure out what caused the flight with more than 200 people on board to come down. At the top of the hour we're going to have a live team coverage on this breaking story. Also ahead, deadly flooding in Texas, a flash flood watch in effect. We're going to get the latest from emergency officials.



BLACKWELL: Six inches of rain an hour creates this, overwhelming parts of Texas. At least two deaths confirmed, another two people are missing, swept away by rising water. Much of the eastern half of Texas is under a flash flood watch right now. We have on the phone with us Lisa Block. She's the spokeswoman for the Travis County Emergency Services. Lisa, thanks for spending some time with us. Tell us the latest. What's happening right now?

LISA BLOCK, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Well, we've seen significant flooding in the Onion Creek area of Austin, which was actually flooded in 2013 on Halloween. So we're having a bit of a repeat for Halloween. And the southeastern part of the county was hit hard by flooding along the Colorado River.

BLACKWELL: Responses, are there rescues that are happening this morning?

BLOCK: Well, as day breaks we'll start to look for the missing people again and also look for any other people who may be needing assistance. There was a bit of a lull overnight because of the darkness, and we hadn't received any calls for rescues. So we will be picking that back up as day breaks.

BLACKWELL: All right. We're wishing you the best there with all that you're dealing with as we see here on the screen. Lisa Block with Travis County, thanks so much. Alison?

KOSIK: Former WNBA player Chamique Holdsclaw's struggle with mental illness ended her career. But now she's making an impact for women by starting a conversation no one wants to have.


ANNOUNCER: Once dubbed the female Michael Jordan, Chamique Holdsclaw dominated women's basketball. On the court she had the focus of a champion. But off, Holdsclaw spent decades in what she calls a mental prison.

CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW: I was feeling like extreme highs and lows. When you the star of a team you tend to sweep things under the rug.

ANNOUNCER: The National Alliance on Mental Illness says one in five Americans live with a mental disorder, but most don't seek treatment.

HOLDSCLAW: Ultimately, sweeping things under the rug, you, you explode.

POLICE RADIO: The lady's name is Chamique Holdsclaw.

ANNOUNCER: Holdsclaw made headlines when she took a baseball bat to her ex-girlfriend's SUV and shot out one of the windows. After a decade of misdiagnosed, Holdsclaw found out then she was bipolar. Holdsclaw is now an advocate for mental health.

HOLDSCLAW: I realized once I open my mouth and I said that I struggled with this, I realized a lot of people are going through the same thing.

HOLDSCLAW: I had the same size feet as a 12-year-old. My feet haven't grown. So imagine these feet.

ANNOUNCER: She started a foundation and program called "Mentally Driven."

HOLDSCLAW: What I try to do it I use basketball as a decoy. I bring them in, I get them talking about their emotions and their feelings. We champion for cancer, we champion for heart disease, we need a champion for mental health awareness because it's affecting a lot of people and taking a lot of lives.


KOSIK: And the next hour of your NEW DAY starts after a quick break.


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

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. We welcome you and our viewers here around the world. We're following the breaking news this morning out of Egypt. A Russian passenger jet carrying 224 people crashed in a mountainous area in the Sinai region there in Egypt. The Russian embassy says that bodies are being recovered, but no reports of survivors.

KOSIK: All right, let's get you caught up on what, on what we know so far.