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CNN NEWSROOM

Report: Passenger Forcibly Dragged from Oversold Flight; Democrat Rep Skeptical of Assad's Guilt; Gorsuch Sworn in as Justice. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 10, 2017 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You thought you had bad experiences. Look what happened on an overbooked United Airlines flight when an already seated passenger refused to give up his seat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED PASSENGER: You busted his lip.

UNIDENTIFIED PASSENGER: Oh, my god, look at what you did to him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, here's what United says. "Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbooked situation."

An overbooked flight. Who among us has not ignored the request to voluntarily give up your seat even for a few bucks. Jade Kelly was on that flight. She was sitting across the aisle from the man you just saw being dragged off the plane. Jade, I have seen this video multiple times today. I cringe every time I watch. Tell me what happened.

JADE KELLY, PASSENGER ON UNITED FLIGHT 3411: It was very traumatic. I actually was sitting across the aisle from the gentleman, but one of the officers told me and the passenger next to me to move before the man was taken off the flight. So, we were moved to the back of the plane standing up and I couldn't see very well over the officers. But I heard the screaming. And I saw it appeared they were dragging him off the flight.

[15:35:00] We returned to our seats after that, but it was horrible. I had trouble sleeping last night. Even just now hearing the video again, it gives me chills. It was a traumatic experience. I was sobbing as the man left the plane. One of the flight attendants handed me some tissue because I was so upset at what had happened.

BALDWIN: I don't blame you. I don't understand how this so quickly got so physical to have a man bloodied and dragged. Why did this -- they needed two people to voluntarily hop off. Then that became four. But connect the dots for me between somebody volunteering and somebody getting dragged off a plane? KELLY: Originally, we were told one passenger needed to leave the flight at the gate. Then we were allowed to board. So, I assumed that United had handled the situation and somebody had volunteered. Then we were informed that four passengers needed to leave because United had crew that had to work coming out of Louisville on Monday morning. So, at that point, the gentleman and his wife were told that they had been randomly selected to leave the plane. And then the situation just very quickly escalated. When United couldn't handle it, when they lacked leadership to handle it, they called in the security and the man was dragged off very violently.

BALDWIN: After he was dragged off, he ran back on the plane.

KELLY: Yes, ma'am, about ten minutes later, I'm not sure what happened, but I saw him running back on the plane. His face was bloodied and he needed to get home. And so, he had not -- it appeared he hadn't gotten medical attention and he was taken off the plane again, but this time it was not by force. And I'm not sure where he went after that.

BALDWIN: What are we coming to? This is what the United CEO has said. "This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving to work with authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened."

So, you get to Louisville. What did the flight attendants say and do we know how this guy is doing?

KELLY: When we initially did take off for Louisville about two hours after the original departing time, the flight attendant said they were sorry that we had had to witness the incident. And the flight was dead silent, the mood was very solemn returning back to Louisville. Even leaving the plane we were told again they apologized they had to witness the incident. But the apology was not coming from any kind of sincerity. It had nothing to do with the airlines as a company. They were sorry it inconvenienced the other passengers.

[15:35:00] BALDWIN: I understand people needing to get to the next city on time, but come on now. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

KELLY: Thank you very much for having me.

BALDWIN: Thank you. We have an update also on the deadly shooting out in California. That elementary school we have now heard from the police chief giving an update. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIEUTENANT MIKE MADDEN, SAN BERNARDINO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Lieutenant Mike Madden with the San Bernardino Police Department. I serve as our public information officer. This morning at 10:27, e we began receiving reports of a shooting which had just occurred at north park elementary school in the city of San Bernardino. This elementary school is at 5378 North H street and our officers responded to the call. With the initial responding officers arriving in four minutes within the call. This does appear to have been a murder-suicide with both male adult and female adult victim succumbing to injuries with the male succumbing to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. We had two students who were tragically injured and are listed as critical at this stage in area hospitals.

We are not releasing the names or ages of those students at this time pending notification of family. However, we will release that as soon as we possibly can. Again, this is a tragic incident that has befallen our city and I assure you that we are doing everything we possibly can to conduct a very thorough investigation into this matter and to reunify the students at the school as quickly as possible with their parents. I would like to turn the podium over to the superintendent --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:40:00] BALDWIN: So, who adults killed and two students taken to the hospital there. We know the students were bussed on to a local high school to be picked up there in San Bernardino.

More breaking news now. Sean Spicer suggesting a barrel bomb is a red line for President Trump in Syria. If true, that's a major escalation. We'll discuss that.

Also, Democrats turning on one of their own after a Hawaii Congresswoman questioned whether the Syrian President's responsible for last week's chemical attack. We'll debate her argument, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:00] BALDWIN: Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The question who is responsible for the chemical attack in Syria that killed mothers, children. The answer is clear. Bashar Al Assad. But for the Democratic Congresswoman who recently met with Assad in Damascus, there's no proof. Listen to what she told Wolf Blitzer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TULSI GABBARD, CONGRESSPERSON, HAWAII: If President Assad is found to be responsible after an independent investigation for these horrific chemical weapons attacks, I'll be the first one to e denounce him, to call him a war criminal and call for his prosecution into criminal court. Make sure those consequences are there. But the key is now with President Trump's reckless military strikes last night, it flew directly in the face of the action that the U.N. was working on at that time to launch an independent investigation. To find out what the facts are, who was involved and who was responsible. So, I'm skeptical because we have to take at a premium the cost of these wars not only on the Syrian people and the people in the Middle East, but the cost of these wars here in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Now you have Democrats who are calling on the Congresswoman to leave office because of what she said. Howard Dean tweeting, this is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress. We have Jonathan Tasini, Democratic strategist and former Bernie Sanders supporter. Also, Basil Smikle, the executive director at the NY State Democratic party. Gentlemen, good to see both of you. First to you. You agree with the Congresswoman. Correct?

JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND FORMER BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: Yes, and I think he's taken a judicious position and compliment her to be under fire in this environment to say let's look at the facts. I wish she'd put up on the screen her full statement. The only thing I disagree is she called for the execution of Assad if he's found guilty by the International Criminal Court. They turn people over to the host countries. But since this is opening of baseball season here, it feels like deja vu all over again. What Gabbard is saying is let's wait for the facts. She harkens back to the Iraq war.

BALDWIN: Exactly right, she says where is the evidence? Weapons of mass destruction.

TASINI: We rush to war. Tens of thousands of people are killed, trillions of dollars were spent and ISIS was created among many things.

BALDWIN: What do you make of that point? Evidence first, consequences later.

BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NY STATE PARTY: We have been seeing the effect of what Assad is doing to his people for six years now. So I think the American people have seen enough images and I think Donald Trump, and I understand where Jonathan is coming from. There may be A, a knee jerk reaction or B, some kind of way to distract from other issues that were going on at the white house at the time, but we have seen these images. What I would have liked her to say is refrain this conversation. We have the secretary of state on his way to Russia. He is not meeting with Putin but he is on his way to Russia. How is he going to hold Russia accountable? That's where Democrats in particular someone who has been affected by this to hold the line.

BALDWIN: Do you doubt the evidence?

TASINI: I was not on the ground there. I think slight disagreement. If this had been an attack going over the last six years, Assad has been a brutal dictator. He slaughtered tens of thousands of people, that would be one thing. This is a targeted thing about this one incident. Put aside it was completely useless and not strategic and from a military stand point kind of a joke. They flew 50 missiles.

Let's be honest, it was wag the dog. It was an attempt to divert attention from what's happening domestically. Donald Trump's failure at many levels. The health care debate and so on. And we don't know the evidence. So, as the Congresswoman in her statement was very clear. She said, If President Assad is guilty of this horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians, I will be the first to call for his prosecution and then she said execution by the ICC.

BALDWIN: The pentagon points to evidence, we're not on the inside. I don't know how much the Congresswoman would know. She's a veteran and sees things we wouldn't. When it happened in 2013 with 1400 people being killed, absolutely, the Obama administration said, yes, indeed, it was Assad.

SMIKLE: That's right. Interestingly enough, there were concerns at that time as to whether the President should take action here. He pulled back a little bit and went to Congress. It was actually Vladimir Putin who essentially created the agreement for Assad to back down the on the use of chemical weapons. That's what needs to get revisited. It will be interesting to see the relationship with Putin on this issue going forward. That's where I think the Congresswoman could be instrumental in Congress. To say if you're going to go in, if you believe the evidence to be true, at least let Congress dictate how you do this, when you do this and what's our definition of success.

[15:50:00] BALDWIN: I talked to David Lasch, who is brilliant on all things Syria. He's met with Assad multiple times. He still believes the only way Assad is leaving is in a body bag.

TASINI: But there's no military solution for this situation. That's what the U.S. has to understand. There's only going to be a diplomatic situation. He's not going to leave in a body bag. At least not until U.S. action. We should understand the U.S. role can only be and I see this back in the Iraq war as a diplomatic effort and some way of having an arbitration there.

SMIKLE: Diplomacy has not worked.

BALDWIN: More time to talk Syria. Thank you both for your time. I appreciate it.

Next, Neil Gorsuch sworn into the United States supreme court today. Could this be the win that the white house so desperately needs right now. We'll talk to Jake Tapper, next.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY: Under the constitution and laws of the United States.

NEIL GORSUCH, NEXT SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Under the constitution and laws of the United States.

KENNEDY: So help me god.

GORSUCH: So help me god.

KENNEDY: Congratulations.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: History made today as Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the 113th associate justice on the United States supreme court to be a conservative appointee of President. He takes the seat left vacant by the late Antonin Scalia. Jake Tapper joins me now, host of "State of the Union." nice to see you, my friend. Is this the win, is this the shot in the arm that this white house needs for say future legislation?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know that it's going to make a difference in terms of future legislative fights, but it's certainly a win. It's certainly clear points on the board. President Trump promising that he would deliver from a list of conservative possible supreme court justices and getting him nominated and confirmed within the first 100 days is a sizable accomplishment that was no doubt on the President's mind as he spoke earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You just heard that the most important thing that a President of the United States does is appoint people, hopefully great people like this appointment, to the United States supreme court, and I consider this a great appointment. And I got it the done in the first 100 days. You think that's easy?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: You heard him there saying you think that's easy? It's nice. Think that's easy? A little bit of a victory lap there. We have to point out, of course, that in order to get justice Gorsuch confirmed senator mitch McConnell had to change the rules after the Democrats staged an attempt at a filibuster, and, of course, as you know, Brooke, because we've been doing this every day now, Gorsuch, his nomination, his confirmation fight and his confirmation haven't really been a top story because of everything else going on in the world in, Syria and with the Russia investigation, the failure of the health care bill and on and on. That said this is a clear win for the President, and the legacy that he will have going forward, he put a conservative on the supreme court.

Jake Tapper, thank you so much. We watch you as we do every day 4:00 eastern, "The Lead" in just a couple of minutes.

We'll move along and tell but a manhunt under way for a suspect who allegedly stole more than a dozen guns and sent a 100-plus page man photo to President Trump before up and disappearing. Why schools and churches are now on alert.

Got a quick update for you on that video of a passenger being dragged off this United Airlines flight because apparently, the flight was overbooked. He refused to give up his seat, so the Chicago aviation officer involved in this ordeal has been placed on leave now pending an investigation. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts now.