Return to Transcripts main page


Official: Remains May Head to Russia Today; El Faro Found; John Boehner Reflects on House Speakership. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 1, 2015 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:03] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And thank you so much for being with us.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


PAUL: It is 8:00. Change your clocks.

BLACKWELL: Oh, yes, it is 8:00.

PAUL: That was very important to us. We got an extra hour of sleep.

BLACKWELL: And we enjoyed it.

PAUL: So, 2:00 didn't come as early as it normally does. But it's 8:00 and we are so grateful to have you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you.

A top story this morning, serious trend, the crash of the Metro Jet Flight 9268. Investigation now into the downed passenger jet moving along quite rapidly. The Russian emergency minister is saying that 120 bodies have been fully processed, could be headed home as soon as today.

PAUL: Meanwhile, Egyptian and Russian teams are working in tandem at the crash site, scouring every inch of the six-mile debris field. And they're obviously trying to decipher how a plane that reported no issues during a safety check could crash just a short time after takeoff. We're following this story around the globe today.

We want to start with Arwa Damon in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. And then you can see, we also have Richard Quest there, too.

But, Arwa, what are you learning at this hour.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, both Russian and Egyptian investigative units are still on the ground and both nations have been very quick to dismiss claims by an ISIS-linked Islamic militant group that it brought down the plane.

One military source we spoke to said that groups operating in the area don't have that capability. Another expert that we spoke to saying that in a particularly where the wreckage was discovered, that's not an area controlled by any entity at this stage other than Egyptian security forces themselves. But, of course, what is raising a lot of questions at this stage is that if it wasn't foul play, how did this malfunction take place, especially given there was no advanced warning?


HOSSAM KAMAL, EGYPTIAN TRANSPORTATION MINISTER (through translator): If the pilot doesn't report any faults on the plane, all that will be carried out are routine maintenance checks on the plane before takeoff. There were no reports that the airplane had faults. Checks done before takeoff did not reveal anything. Up until the crash happened we were never informed of any faults in the plane, nor did we receive any SOS calls.


DAMON: Key piece of the puzzle is, of course, the two black boxes that have been recovered from the scene. The analysis to try to extract information from them set to begin very shortly. And also, simultaneously the grim process of identifying the bodies, upwards of 163 bodies now, and around six different morgues in Cairo. We do know that Russian forensic units on the ground as well and, of course, the families waiting for their loved ones to return home to be laid to rest, but also waiting for answers.

PAUL: Arwa Damon, we appreciate the update, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's go to Richard Quest in our London bureau.

Richard, Dubai-based airline Emirates released this statement just a short time ago. I want to read it. "Emirates is currently avoiding flying over the Sinai peninsula until more information is available. We are closely monitoring the situation. The safety of our crew and passengers are our top priority."

We've discussed the conflicts on the ground. But what do you think about this decision?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an abundance of caution. Emirates, along with Air France and Lufthansa are now going to be flying around the Sinai Peninsula.

But, Victor, don't forget, there has been a notice to airmen issued by the United States, by the United Kingdom, by Germany for many months now, warning planes or warning airlines not to fly below 25,000 or 26,000 feet over northern Sinai.

So, the risk has been known over parts of Sinai for quite a long time. This hasn't come out of nowhere. The notice does already exist.

What's different here, of course, is a result of MH-17, whether or not anybody has managed to acquire the more sophisticated surface-to-air missiles that can reach up into the upper altitudes. Most MANPAD shoulder launch surface-to-air missiles can't get beyond 14,000 to 15,000 feet. This plane was flying at 30,000, 31,000 feet, well above even the notice to airmen.

So, and we're getting ahead ourselves here, frankly. We're getting ahead of ourselves. There is no evidence that we know of that suggests it actually was brought down by any form of terrorist activity.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about the next stages of this investigation then, because we've heard from both the Russians and the Egyptian officials that terrorism cannot be a credible or reliable possibility for this.

[08:05:05] They're pointing to technical difficulties. Beyond the --


BLACKWELL: Simply absence of another explanation, is there something that points to that, in the data that you're reviewing?

QUEST: Absolutely. I mean, you know, the plane takes off. It flies for 22 minutes. And for some reason unknown, falls out of the sky.

Now, remember, planes are designed to fly. Everything about the plane is designed to keep it in the air. So, you're going to be looking at not just -- they're talking -- I mean, technical difficulties is putting it a little lightly. You're looking for major malfunction. You're looking for catastrophic failures. You're looking for some form of in-flight fire, failure of the air frame, engine explosion.

I'm just giving you the sort of magnitude of events that causes the pilots to lose control of the aircraft. And even if that event has happened, you're still going to be examining very closely with the airbus aircraft how the pilots flew the planes, what procedures were in place.

That brings you way back. It brings you to the airline itself. What was their training at that airline? What was the maintenance like? I'm telling you, we already know that the Russian authorities have already basically shut down this airline. They've raided the airlines' offices, impounded the planes and they started an investigation.

Now every aspect, every paper, every maintenance log of that aircraft is going to be poured over by the investigators.

BLACKWELL: So, Richard, one thing that we have not discussed -- we discussed the possibility and the discrediting of this terrorism claim. We talked about technical difficulties, as broad as that term is.

Error or intent of those on board? I mean, it would not be unprecedented. Even this year we've seen that. How do they even get to answering that question quickly? QUEST: Oh, you're talking about some version of either hijack or

pilot suicide. I would suggest that we leave that well and truly off the table until there is a scintilla of evidence that would point in that direction.

The number of cases -- I mean, you're right to raise it, but the number of cases are so few and so far between that you need to have a fairly good, strong piece of evidence to suggest in that direction. And so far we've got nothing towards -- with this particular case. No. We're still very -- the black box will show why, at 31,000 feet, this plane started having variations in altitude, quite dramatic variations in altitude, why the speed suddenly bled off completely to the point it got down to 90 and 70 knots and then literally fell out of the sky, probably breaking in two at some point.

BLACKWELL: All right. Richard Quest, thank you.

PAUL: Well, the cargo ship "El Faro" disappeared a month ago during Hurricane Joaquin. A breakthrough for those looking for the missing ship. Debris and possible location. How they may be able to raise this thing, next.


[08:12:08] BLACKWELL: All right. The mystery of what happened to the cargo ship, El Faro, may be closer to being solved today. The Navy believed sonar images located the wreck at about 15,000 feet of water, 15,000 feet down. A submersible drone will go down to the site possibly some time today to get a positive ID.

Now, El Faro sank exactly one month ago, exactly one month ago, I should say, when it sailed into Hurricane Joaquin while on its way to Puerto Rico. Thirty-three people were onboard. Most of them Americans.

Our Nick Valencia has been gathering information about this.

Tell us about the condition of this ship and how they're going to confirm.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At least initial images suggest this is exactly what they're looking for, this 790-foot vessel that's been lost exactly one month today. Initial images suggest this is entirely intact. It is standing upright and that they're going to go in with a remote operated vehicle, a drone, a deep water drone to be able to get into that area about three miles under water, 15,000 feet.

They've been in the area the last week. NTSB as well as U.S. Navy investigators, trying to figure out if this exactly is the vessel they're looking for. But initial investigation images suggest that it is.

Twenty-eight Americans on this vessel, including five engineers from Poland and family members for the last month, Victor, have been asking for closure, wanting closure. They believe this could be that step towards that direction right now. BLACKWELL: That begs the question of the recovery about those



BLACKWELL: Will they be able to go 15,000 feet down and bring them up? Or if they bring up the ship again, wait until the ship is at the surface to do that?

VALENCIA: Sure. You have to factor in the dangers. We know that this vessel, the propulsion failed on this vessel, which is why it stalled in the middle of this storm, Hurricane Joaquin. The captain said to have had a plan, a very risky one after the fact, but a plan nevertheless to sail about 65 miles within the vicinity of this hurricane. It just didn't seem to have worked out, stalled in the middle of there, causing this ship to sink.

We believe that they found what they're looking for. They will go in with this drone to confirm with 100 percent certainty whether or not it is Eel Faro, and what closure would be for these families that waited for that in the last four weeks, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's try to get some of that analysis now. Nick, thank you so much.

VALENCIA: You bet.


PAUL: Yes, let's talk to Mary Schiavo, former inspector general with the Transportation Department.

So, Mary, let's get to what Victor was talking about I had the same exact question. This thing is three miles down. One, can it be raised? And, two, if not, can they at least retrieve the bodies for these families?


[08:15:00] The Titanic rested at 12,500 feet on the ocean floor. This is lower than the Titanic.

Now, the Navy, actually the Maritime Command, Navy has put them into a separate category of ships. They do have ships (AUDIO GAP) this is a very large ship.

And while the record recovery from the ocean floor is I think 17,000 feet, it's very difficult. In that case, they didn't bring up a whole ship. They brought up parts.

So, the submersibles are able to go down look for the black box and human remains. But in terms of bringing up the whole ship, folks my age will remember when a Russian sub sank back in the late '60s, early '70s. And we had a mission to raise that, and that took three ships. It eventually ended up in a James Bond movie, it was so difficult and fantastic.

So, my guess is that they'll search for what just Nick said, human remains, and those all-important black boxes and get a good look to see if they have any clues as to what happened. Did the doors on the ship fail? Did the RoRo doors failed; is where vehicles go on and off? Or did it capsize, take on water and capsize? That's what they'll be looking for clue.

PAULA: Good know. Mary Schiavo, we always appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here.

SCHIAVO: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Historic week in the House of Representatives, changing of the guard in the House speaker's role. What Paul Ryan and John Boehner have to say after this passing of the torch.


[08:20:30] PAUL: Twenty minutes past the hour.

South Florida is about more than just about sunshine, HGTV's David Bromstad takes us to his places in Miami -- ice rinks, beaches, all in one day.


DAVID BROMSTAD, HGTV: Hi. I'm David Bromstad. I'm at the Miami Beach, the Edition Hotel. This is my favorite place to be.

You know what? If you think this is cool -- just wait.

A bowling alley in the hotel, in the basement. I can't handle it.

An ice skating rink in the basement of a hotel. If you're like me, you are coming to Miami Beach to be on the beach. I mean, look at this place. It's gorgeous. It's fabulous. Have you seen my tan?

Welcome to the Wynnewood Walls. I mean, just look around us. Beautiful murals. Absolutely fantastic.

There are so many international artists are represented here. This is not your average graffiti. This is what inspired this whole district.

This is truly one of Miami's most popular tourist destinations, and honestly, it's one of mine. Oh, my gosh, do I look like that when I'm angry?



[08:26:18] BLACKWELL: Big changing of the guard in the House of Representatives this week in the House. John Boehner steps down as speaker and passes the gavel to Paul Ryan.

CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash is in for Jake Tapper today as host of "STATE OF THE UNION".

Dana, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So, you've got interviews with the former and now current House speakers. I want to start with John Boehner.

What did you learn from your conversation with him?

BASH: You know, I've known him a long time and I was really, have to say, honored to talk to him. Really, it was pretty much the last thing he did before he left the building this week and left Congress.

But I did learn a lot about how he convinced Paul Ryan to run for president and -- excuse me, for the House speaker's job and what he thinks of Paul Ryan's chances now of being president. Listen to this.


BASH: Now, you've known for a while that doing this job might make it hard to go on to other office, namely the White House, because you get pretty messy. And --

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: I think you get over that.

BASH: So, do you think it's still possible for him to be president?

BOEHNER: Well, I'm not sure -- I think he would have liked to have been president but I think he figured out that God has another plan in mind for him and it's to be speaker of the House.

BASH: I mean, do you think it's possible in this modern time to go from speaker to president?

BOEHNER: I don't know.

BASH: I'm guessing you're not going to try.

BOEHNER: No. I've never been afflicted with this disease.


BASH: And so, how did he convince Paul Ryan to actually become speaker? Paul Ryan said flatly, I do not want the job. Five ways until Sunday. You're going to have to watch "STATE OF THE UNION" to find out how he did it. It's pretty interesting.

BLACKWELL: All right. Paul Ryan, what did you learn from that conversation? This is a job he didn't want.

BASH: It's a job he didn't want at all.

But, look, you know, it's a job that he's got. It's one of the fascinating things about politics. It's all about timing. And sometimes even if you're great for a job, you're just -- the timing isn't right. And other times, like in the case of Paul Ryan, the job kind of finds you. That's certainly what happened here.

He talked a lot about how he plans to do things differently from John Boehner and for people out there looking at Congress saying it's so dysfunctional, there's got to be a way to figure this out, he certainly is talking the talk somewhat. We'll see if he can walk the walk and you'll see what he says about that in our interview.

BLACKWELL: All right. Looking forward to it. Dana Bash, thanks.

BASH: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And "STATE OF THE UNION" starts at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Plus it's been 15 years since election 2000. And on Monday night at 9:00 pm, CNN's Gloria Borger takes you back, "BUSH VERSUS GORE: THE ENDLESS ELECTION".

PAUL: Listen, there's been a shooting on the campus of North Carolina's Winston-Salem university, and the suspect is on the loose. One person was killed, another injured. This happened early this morning. Both are believed to be students.

That suspect has been identified by school officials as Jared Jerome Moore. Again he is not in custody. Police are looking for him. He is also not believed to be a student. Winston-Salem City police are helping campus police with that investigation.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's go to baseball. Well, Mets leading by one in the eighth, Daniel Murphy's error brought in the tying run and Kansas City Royals went on to win game four of the World Series, and now have a commanding 3-1 lead over New York. Game five is tonight.

PAUL: Thank you so much. Make some great memories today. Good luck to all of you running the New York City marathon.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" is next. Stay with us.