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Republicans and Democrats Have Seen the Intelligence Reports at the Center of the Devin Nunes Controversy; United CEO Finally Apologizing. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired April 11, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:18] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Breaking news and it is a CNN exclusive. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Republicans and Democrats who have seen the intelligence reports at the center of the Devin Nunes controversial tell CNN those documents show no evidence of wrongdoing by the Obama administration. Contradicting President Trump's allegation that former national security advisor Susan Rice broke the law.
Plus, more information about the investigation into Trump team connection to Russia. Details about a surveillance warning against one of the president's campaign advisors and why FBI thought that advisor could be acting as a foreign agent.
Plus fall out for United Airlines. People around the world outraged by this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. My God. Look what you did to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: United CEO finally apologizing but it's not over yet. The family of the man who was dragged off that plane Dr. David Dowell says he is being treated at a Chicago hospital.
Let's get right to our breaking news first, though. On the Trump administration charges of improper surveillance by the Obama administration. CNN is learning more about the claims of House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes that members of the Obama administration improperly requested the identity of Americans appearing in intelligence reports. Now, just to refresh your memory here is what congressman Nunes said previously.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R), CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: There's some information in those documents that concern me, the reports that I read, that I don't think belong there. It would make me uncomfortable.
Some of it. I think it bothered enough that I went over the White House because I think the president need to see these reports for himself.
I was concerned about Americans identities being either not masked properly or in fact being unmasked an intelligence reports.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Congressman Nunes also said that he would share what he saw with the other members. Well, he has. And CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju is learning more.
Manu, what are you learning?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Don, tonight both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who did see that information are casting doubts on the claim that's Devin Nunes made that Obama administration officials and improperly requested the names of U.S. individuals that had been redacted in those intelligence documents. Now CNN sources say these lawmakers as well as aides who have seen these same exact documents that Nunes reviewed last month, they tell CNN they see no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything out of the ordinary or illegal. In one congressional source, Don, described these request are made to unmask these individuals as quote "normal and appropriate."
LEMON: So Manu, you and Jim Sciutto, both have talked to sources who have actually seen these documents. What are they telling you about their contents?
RAJU: Well, they are saying that there is nothing there including one congressional source who did see these documents is that there is quote "absolutely no smoking gun in these reports." And they said look, have the White House declassify them to make it clear that there's nothing there. Nothing alarming in them as Devin Nunes suggested.
Now, a lot of questions though, Don, have been raised about the role of Susan Rice who, of course, President Obama's former national security advisor on whether she acted legally in requesting the names of Trump officials who were incidentally collected in those intelligence reports. And President Trump himself said last week that he believes that Rice may have broken the law.
But Don, multiple sources who have reviewed these documents say flatly they just do not back up what the president claims that she may have broken the law that these are routine requests. Now, one cautionary note that the president has not revealed what intelligence he is relying on to make at assertion that Rice broke the law. We have asked. Others have asked. They still have not provided that yet, Don.
LEMON: So even if the Obama administration act the properly what are the rules, Manu, for actually making and granting these unmasking requests?
RAJU: These are all set by the intelligence committee. Certain senor national security officials can certainly make these requests. Intelligence agencies as well as the national security agency, in this case can decide whether to grant the request. But this practice typically -- these requests have made by senior officials. They are rarely denied Don. And now, despite their judgment that Obama officials requests where within the law and regular practice, some members of Congress continue to have concerns about the justifications given by some of those officials to request the unmasking of these individuals and the standards for the intelligence agencies to grant such request. So this will be part of the reviews in the Capitol Hill. We will see what they have look at right now. But there are some concern about how it's been done right now.
[23:05:02] LEMON: Of course, as you know, and I think you were one of the first ones to report that chairman Nunes was force to temporarily recuse him from the investigation. He is being investigated by the House ethics committee himself because of his handle of the documents. What is the status of that investigation now, Manu?
RAJU: It appears to be moving forward. Democrats and Republicans at least have agreed (INAUDIBLE) on list of witnesses that they do want to interview. A lot of them private interviews. And sources tell us that the Republicans really want to focus on who may have leaked classified information, something they believe could be a crime.
On the Democrats, they are looking for any ties whatsoever between Russia and the Trump associates. So they are trying to talk to a number of those Trump associates. Now, one person who will be on that list, Don, is going to be Susan Rice. And she is going to have to defend these requests that she made for learn the identities of American citizens when she is interviewed before the House panel as well as the Senate intelligence committee in the coming weeks, Don.
LEMON: All right. Manu Raju from Washington. Manu, thank you very much.
RAJU: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Now I want to bring in CNN's Fareed Zakaria, also CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and Steve Hall, legal analyst Laura Coates, Susan Hennessey, the fellow in national security law at the Brookings Institution, former congressman Jack Kingston who was a senior advisor to the Trump campaign.
So good evening to everyone and thank you for joining us.
Juliette, I'm going to start with you. The "Washington Post" is reporting tonight that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor. We know that is not easy. What does it say about the FBI suspicion?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it says a lot. So three main points out of this terrific "Washington Post" story. First of all, remember the FISA warrant wiretap, it was approved by
the court after Donald Trump mentioned Carter Page's name. So one has to believe that the evidence was pretty good because their inclination would have been to be very cautious playing in the political space.
Secondly, remember the FISA standard are knowing that Carter Page would have knowingly been an agent of a foreign power. That is high standard. That is not - he is, you know, silly or not paying attention. It is a knowing standard.
But third, and this is just to raise caution to the story. No direct tie to Trump still. So this is important story because it is FISA wiretap. But in the story itself there is no knowingness between Trump and Carter Page.
LEMON: Laura, the Post is reporting this. The government's application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators bases for believing that Page was agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow officials said. So the FBI suspected him of being a Russian spy. The Post is reporting that reportedly try to get a meeting with Trump. What's your reaction to this?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, the presumption of the assumption that you cannot get a FISA warrant or you have to get it easy to get, these are very, very thick applications. Comey himself joked about it being as thick as a wrist often times and trying to get the information need. So what this is telling you is that this man was already on the radar for the FBI probably in 2013 when he was initially linked to bureaucrat who is a Russian spy who is since then deported after he was convicted of being a spy who is undocumented in the United States and then reported to the attorney general.
So you had that connection there. Julia talks right, however. There is no yet a link to Donald Trump. Remember, though, probable cause to get it the first time is hard enough with FISA. To have it repeatedly renewed over more than one 90-day period suggests that the court has seen either sufficient information to warrant additional investigation or there is additional information they need to still get and there are still more probable cause in the new warrants. Either way, this is indicating that the FBI investigation is very, very ongoing. It is ripe at this moment in time and that it is going to continue particularly with respect to Carter Page.
LEMON: Fareed, how is this it fit in with what we know about Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Well, again, you just have a lot of smoke. You know, you don't have a fire so far that we know. But it's uncanny how many people close to the front campaign have seem to have some kind of connection with Russia.
And then the part that, to me, as interesting is that when these investigations begin, the wild almost crazy way in which the Trump administration tries to counter attack and shut down, you know, the allegations that Susan Rice broke the law. This would be easy to recognize that this was going no way. This is going to be disproven. But the frenzy with which it's being done all suggests that there is something here. That, you know, we don't have a smoking gun, but as I say there's a lot of smoke.
LEMON: Do you think this could be just - just could be examples of drifting just going to Russia because that's where the money is. You go for speaking engagement. You got to do what other - no.
[23:10:04] RAJU: No. Because China has lots of money. Kazakhstan has lots of money. Nigeria have lots of money. No. There's something else going on. And you know, I would guarantee you that it would be very difficult to find this pattern of contact with any previous presidential campaign in a single government in quite the same way.
LEMON: Susan, I want to ask now about what Manu Raju's reporting about Susan Rice, what he brought to us. No evidence of any wrongdoing. What do you think?
SUSAN HENNESSEY, FELLOW IN NATIONAL SECURITY LAW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: There's never been indication that there was any wrongdoing from the get go. So I don't think it's particularly surprising although it's now confirmed. Of course, (INAUDIBLE) incidentally collective in the course of foreign intelligence. Sometimes bad information is disseminated that with their names, sometimes without their names, it will be masked.
There was - Susan Rice as the national security advisor that would be in the scope of her duties. And so, really, this is sort of close of a loop on the story that never quite was. It was an indication of wrong doing. Always part of her job. So really, the only remaining question is why exactly Devin Nunes felt the need to hold these sort of very dramatic press conferences.
LEMON: Steve and Jack, we will hear from you right after the break.
[23:15:19] LEMON: New questions and new reporting tonight on the ongoing Russia investigation. Back now with my panel.
So Steve, I promised that you and Jack are get in now,
Steve, Carter Page was on the FBI's radar in 2013 after he made contact with Russian intelligence agent in New York. Are you surprised someone with his background can get so close to President Trump?
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Don, not really. To me the information that's come out of the "Washington Post" reporting today has, you know, all of the hall marks of a classic Russian intelligence operation where you try identify somebody who is going to be closet that you hope is going to be close to an important policy maker. And then you identify, you know, what his motivations are. And we have people talk, I think it is (INAUDIBLE) who is also involved in the New York sort of spy ring that is going on saying, yes, he is a guy who is willing to pass documents and who is, you know, looking for money.
He has been in Moscow a number of times. He worked there for a while. So they have all of that information on him. This is nothing more really than just a classic Russian human intelligence collection operation and, you know, looks very close to being successful.
LEMON: So the goal - what are you saying by that? What would the goal be then?
HALL: The goal would be - the Russians are always looking to do is they are saying, OK. Who is the next person who is going to be in the White House? Who is the next person who is going to be an important political or economic figure in the United States? And you know, you are not going to recruit Donald Trump to be your spy and all that. It is not like in the movies, you know, Kremlin or something like that, you are going to be looking at people who meet daily with him, who are close to him, who have access to him. And that is what I think they were hoping that Carter Page would development into. Now, it didn't entirely work out for them, but that's the cost of doing business in the intelligence world.
LEMON: All right. Got you. So Jack Kingston, the administration says that Carter Page was not really an advisor, but should they have known about his back ground? It seems his affinity for Russia was well-known.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER RO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Don, absolutely not. This was a very, very obscure short-time advisor and what he advised or who he advised has never been proven. In fact, he even said on CNN that he had written some papers that he seen in. I don't think anybody in the campaign ever saw. I can tell you this, he never met Donald Trump. He never went to (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: So why would the president name him?
KINGSTON: Because early on in the campaign when you are filling out your charts you say yes I got a security guy. I got a transportation team. I got a medical advisory group. I mean, those kind of advisory groups, they are very common to any campaign and to suggest that Russian would have know --
LEMON: So how could carter page be second name onto list and be the second name?
KINGSTON: Well, let me say this because I don't think any of the panelists have suggested it, but it sounds to me on what Steve say and they throw out a wide net. They recruit a lot of people and then probably they encourage as people to get involved with various campaigns because there is absolutely positively no way anybody would have guessed Donald Trump is going to a presidential contender in 2013. And even March of 2016 no one would have said Donald Trump is going to be the man.
LEMON: So you are saying you believe he could have been part of Russian espionage operation against --.
KINGSTON: I'm saying there's absolutely no way he was close to Donald Trump. And so, if they were going out recruiting people would it not be logical to say well, they were probably doing it in other campaigns and other people and other positions. I mean, if we are all operate and under theories right now, that is probably as good as anyone else is.
LEMON: You're not in Congress but go on Jack.
KINGSTON: OK. Let me just say this. I think I'm the only one on this panel who was involved in the campaign who ever went to Trump towers who was part of a daily phone call and I can tell you I absolutely never met Carter Page as part of the campaign. In fact, I think I met him for the very first time in the CNN green room in New York City. So I just - abundantly, Carter, this guys was not in the inner circle.
LEMON: Did you meet everybody on the campaign?
KINGSTON: I did not but I know who the players were.
LEMON: OK. So Manafort wasn't a player either because you never met him.
KINGSTON: No, you asked me if I met everyone in the campaign.
LEMON: All right. I'm just wondering, go ahead.
KINGSTON: Again I got to be very careful around you.
LEMON: I'm trying to help you, jack. Go ahead.
COATES: It is predicated, your theory Jack is predicated the fact that you seem to misunderstand what the FBI investigation subject really is. It did not say there was precisely that Donald Trump's efforts to collude with the Russian government. The specific investigation is the fact that people who were part of the campaign and whether people on the campaign somehow involved in a collusive effort and that would include much as (INAUDIBLE) of the distancing that they are trying to do now with Carter Page that would include Carter Page. So, you know, there is not a list of Trump, does not absolve responsibility. It simply said the FBI investigation has named correctly.
[23:20:21] KAYYEM: Yes. Burt Jack, can I just say --?
LEMON: Go ahead Juliette.
KAYYEM: Let me just be clear about the FISA wiretap. So we are just seeing a little piece of an overall investigation which includes Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Price, Page, Lewandowski, because remember Cory was the one who approved, I just want to make sure I get this right, he is the one who proved Page going to Russia, you then have Jared Kushner and others. You also have sessions who was mentioned in the article --
KINGSTON: Whoa, whoa, let me back up. I don't know anything about Carter Page being sent to Russia and Cory Lewandowski signing off on it. Is that what you just said?
KAYYEM: Jack -- Jack -- Jack -- you have to let me finish. You cannot -- you cannot filibuster me. Listen, Jack it's been widely reported in the Post and in "the New York Times" that that's the case. I'm just listing, as I have said often on this show.
KINGSTON: OK, "the New York Times."
KAYYEM: A bunch of different data points.
LEMON: Let her finish jack.
KAYYEM: Excuse me, Jack, this is just rude now. This is just rude. A bunch of different data points regarding a bunch of different pieces of investigation. So I was the first on saying look we don't have ties to Trump with this story in the post. But to argue that he can just be that this is a nothing story is to deny all the different pieces that are coming together. We don't know what the story is yet. But you can't sit here and say these are all random coincidences at this day.
KINGSTON: Well, and you can't say Susan Rice who is a known liar, let's be honest about it.
LEMON: The word you are looking for is prevaricator, but go on.
KINGSTON: It is prevaricator. But I mean, it started with Rwanda. We cannot use the word genocide. (INAUDIBLE) was hero captured on the field of battle.
LEMON: But you have no response to the reporting tonight that said Susan Rice had appears has done nothing wrong for both Democrats and Republicans who have actually seen the intelligence that Devin Nunes offered up.
KINGSTON: Here's what I have to say. I don't remember anybody saying it was because she unmasked the people. The charge was why did she disseminate it and how did she disseminate it? And then actually --.
LEMON: No they said she was unmasking no one has said there is no evidence that she was disseminating.
KINGSTON: And I do want to say, you know, she said one thing to Andre Mitchell and another to Judy Woodrow.
LEMON: And she explained that, Jack. And then next you are going to there. Something else listen, I got to get.
LEMON: Susan Hennessey have been standing by patiently. Susan, give us the last word. HENNESSEY: Right. So one thing and we start talking about Obama
administration officials what they might have done before, the question that remains is whether or not there actually is a connection between Carter Page or Manafort or any of these reports on Russia. What Trump knew, it's a basic question of due diligence. Whenever a presidential candidate or the president of the United States speaks someone's name and says this person is my foreign policy advisor, they are-he is granting that person apparent authority all over the world that has consequences for the United States of America. And again, and again, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, others, I think there's a real question of how much do diligence did the White House perform.
LEMON: Jack, you have spoken a lot. I have to go to a break.
LEMON: Hold on. I'm sorry, producers.
So Jack, you were with the Trump campaign. You have been to Russia. Why so many people with the Trump campaign, can you just answer this one question to me, including you, why so many people going to Russia and meeting with Russians? Do you have an answer for that?
KINGSTON: Number one I know nothing about Cory Lewandowski sending Carter Page to Russia.
LEMON: You didn't answer my question.
KINGSTON: OK. Number two let me say this. I went as part of the law firm in which I worked - that I worked for made it abundantly clear at the time. I have said over and over again, I had nothing to do with the Trump campaign.
LEMON: OK. Thank you. I got it go. I'm out of time.
LEMON: Breaking news, Republican Ron Estes, the Kansas state treasurer, I need to tell that he has won the special election for the state fourth congressional district replacing Miami Pompeo who became President Trump CIA director. Estes defeated Democrat Jim Thompson, a civil rights attorney and army veteran and libertarian Chris Rockhold.
With one percent remaining, Estes has 53 percent of the vote to Thompson's 45 percent. See, considered a straight win by Republicans until an energized Democratic base left Estes with a smaller advantage. That's breaking news we need to get in. Had to cut our panel a little bit shorter.
Up next, the backlash going against United Airlines under fire for yanking a passenger off the plane. Even the CEO calling the whole thing truly horrific.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:29:12] LEMON: Outrage spreading across the country and around the world over the shocking treatment of a paying customer literally dragged off a united airlines plane.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, come on, come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Got to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No this is -- oh, my God, look what you did to him. Oh, my --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: CNN's Rene Marsh has the latest on how United is facing this fallout tonight.
So, Rene, good evening to you. United airlines CEO send an internal email calling the passenger disruptive and belligerent. But since has sent a new message, correct?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. This is the third message actually that the United Airlines CEO sent out. And Oscar Munoz finally got his tone right but it took some two days of viral videos and some fierce backlash before the airline actually made that direct apology to the passenger who was dragged off that over booked flight on Sunday night. He says and I'm quoting "I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed, and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be treated this way."
Munoz also pledged a thorough review of how the airline handles oversold flight. And how it works with law enforcement. He said that this review would be completed by April 30th. But Don, this new statement is a far cry from that email that he sent to employees where he essentially defended the flight crew but again did not defend that passenger.
[23:30:47] LEMON: Rene, the White House is also weighing in on this global outrage and the crisis that United Airlines facing. Fill us in.
MARSH: That's right. The passenger we have confirmed his name is David Dowell and he now has an attorney. But you are right. The White House is speaking out about this. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about this issue today. He said that the video and how it was handled was truly troubling. And here's what else he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Law enforcement is reviewing that situation. I think there's plenty of law enforcement to review a situation like that. And I know United Airlines has stated that they are currently reviewing their own policies. Let's not get ahead of where that review goes. It was an unfortunate incident, clearly when you watch the video. It is troubling to see how that was handling. But I'm not going to - they have clearly stated their desire to review the situation. Law enforcement is reviewing it. And I think for us to start getting in front of what should be a very, you know, local matter not necessarily meeting a federal response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: And Don, just an update on a man who we have been watching and looking at in this video being dragged through the aircraft for the last two days now, we do know that he is getting treatment at a Chicago area hospital. Again, like I said, he now has an attorney. But this man told a local reporter that he wasn't doing well, he has a lot of injuries and he is still pretty banged up.
LEMON: Rene Marsh. Thank you Renee.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland.
Senator, thank you so much for joining us. I see you are standing there in front of New York airport. Obviously, you have been traveling. Like the rest of us, I'm sure you still can't get over this video. What's your reaction when you first saw it?
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: I can't, Don. It was outrageous when I saw it. And I think everybody would be sickened because people can imagine themselves sitting on an airplane and all of a sudden somebody coming up to them and saying, you know, you are out of here and forcible objecting them. That should not happen on any airline. And so we got to find a way to make sure we stop it.
LEMON: Yes. You tweeted about your outrage senator and here is what you said. You said United must do more than apologize. Full investigation needed. Airlines must start treating passenger with respect not like cargo. What would you like Congress to investigate?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, first of all, I have join with a lot of my colleagues to send a letter to the CEO of United Airlines demanding answers in this case. And also trying to find out how often this happens, that's number one. But number two, as we look into it, it turns out that this is legal. And my view is if you're on the airplane, if you're in your seat, nobody should be able to involuntarily eject you because they over booked the air plane or they need the seats for somebody else. They should provide you with an inducement that you accept, whether it's cash, whether it's tickets on another occasion. There will be a price point at which at least one passenger if they need more seats will voluntarily leave, but you can't just go dragging people out of their seats after they have purchased their ticket and they are about to take off and go to their destination. LEMON: They did respond about this so called overbooking, senator.
Yesterday the flight was over booked today they said it wasn't they just needed the seats for the crew members. Today, United CEO released a third statement apologizing to the passengers and in part says it's never too late to do the right thing. Do you think that they have given an appropriate explanation at this point, Senator?
VAN HOLLEN: No I don't think apologizes are enough. I mean, what United Airlines has to do and in fact, all airlines should do is to say this will never happen. In other words, if you boarded an airplane, you know, unless you are posing a danger to the public which is not what this case was about, if you boarded an airplane and they need more seats either for their crew or because they over booked they got to get on that airplane. They got to say passengers here's what we're going to offer. You know, the first person that accepts, and I like people know what they are going to offer, whether it is cash or whether it is a, you know, tickets on many other occasions. There will be passengers who voluntarily agree to give up their seats. That's a procedure that they often used before. People get on the airplane. That should be required. You should never be allowed to kick someone out of a seat they paid for.
[23:35:25] LEMON: Yes. Before, that's - have you taken care before. I think everyone can agree before people actually get on the plane.
Senator, you know, a passenger who was sitting just a few seats away from that man who was dragged to of the plane told me yesterday that in an interview that shouldn't be viewed as anything wrong on the part of the police, who do you think is to blame here? Is it aviation, is the police, the United Airlines, is there enough going to go around, who do you think?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, look. I mean, obviously United Airlines went asked the Chicago airport police to eject this person. It's their airline policy to involuntarily pull somebody off the airplane. I don't think the Chicago airport police should have cooperated in the way they did. But this was driven by the fact United Airlines and other airlines involuntarily ask people to involuntarily get off of airplanes after they are boarded. And as I'm saying, Don, that should not be allowed to happen. I mean the airline should say to the passengers here's what we will offer and if somebody doesn't want to take it they should offer more.
VAN HOLLEN: Apparently there's actually an overall cap on what you can give when you eject somebody. But there no cap on what you can offer. And so we should look at all of those things.
LEMON: I want to, and since you're there in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie there, we have been talking a lot about overbooking and bumping people off. Here's what Governor Chris Christie has written. He has written a letter to secretary of transportation asking for immediate suspension of this overbooking authority. Do you support that? Do you think airlines will reconsider over selling tickets given this incident, overselling tickets? VAN HOLLEN: Well I think the airlines are the ones that are going to
have to bear the risk of overbooking. And what I mean by that is if they overbook, they should have to offer the passengers something that induces the passenger to voluntarily give it up. You know, before you board an airplane, you are often confronted sometimes in these busy times by the airline person getting on the loud speaker and saying, you know, will somebody volunteer to give up their seat in exchange for sometimes it's a free ticket somewhere else, sometimes it's other kinds of inducements. That should be the process you have to go through. The risk should be onto airline not some poor passenger who happens to draw the short straw.
LEMON: Yes. Senator Chris Van Hollen, thank you.
VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.
LEMON: And straight ahead the family of the man violently yanked off the plane speaking out tonight.
[23:42:35] LEMON: Talk about a PR disaster, United Airlines being raked over the coals on social media and late night TV. Jimmy Kimmel ran these commercial spoof last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are United Airlines. You do what we say, when we say and there won't be a problem. Got it. If we say you fly. You fly. If not, tough (bleep).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look what you did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give us a problem and we will drag your ass off the plane. And if you resist we will beat you so badly you will be using your own face as a floatation device. United airlines (bleep) you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wow. A satirical take on a very serious incident. And they are getting it from everywhere. It is terrible PR for United Airlines.
So here to discuss CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara, Judy Ho, psychologist TV host, CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo, the former inspector general in the department of transportation department and also Miles O'Brien.
It is so good to have all of you on. It is watching that video is horrific, Miles. The first question I have is after all of the excuses and the statements yesterday this plane wasn't over booked after all according to United, so what happened here, Miles?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It was sold out and the airline which is a dealing with pilot shortage coming out of bankruptcy. And we are talking, by the way, about republic airways, republic airlines, the actual owner and operator of this aircraft, that is was so-called coach air with united. At any case, they have been having trouble staffing their aircraft and so they are trying to get a four person crew to Louisville to prevent cancellation the next day and they took paying passengers off that aircraft.
One of the big questions I have on my mind, Don, is where was the captain? The captain on that metal tube is God. And if the captain says don't do this, it doesn't happen. And I didn't see him or her managing this situation. So I would like to find out who really was pulling the strings on this whole affair.
LEMON: Glad you said that. I thought the same thing because the captain usually comes on and sort of deescalate things, right, if you are having an issue.
O'BRIEN: Exactly, it's part of their job.
LEMON: So Mark, I have to ask you. The CEO, right, which is the buck stops guys him as well, he released a third statement today calling the incident truly horrific and saying no one should be mistreated this way. We know that they are legally allowed to bump passengers. So what kind of rights do passengers have in these kinds of situations?
[23:45:08] MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Probably more than what's most people realize. DOT allows them to bump passengers. And they have certain regulations as to how they do it. They can do it and they are allowed to do it randomly, but they have to compensate. So there is certain timeline. So this less than two hours no compensation. Two to four hours, 6.24. More than four hours 13.50. But that is a guideline from DOT. That does not prohibit a lawsuit and you know a lawsuit is coming in a case like this. And there's no upper limit with everything that happened to this gentlemen. Not only the personal injuries, not only the fact that social media has made him a completely unintended celebrity of sort and all the digging into who he is and who he was. I think that is all rightfully on the shoulders of united.
LEMON: Because he is a private citizen. If he did not want his personal life exposed and now he is a public figure unwittingly and unwillingly here.
LEMON: So Mary, you say passenger abuse happens every single day, sadly. Because airlines go on power trips and abuse their right to arrest, explain.
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: That's right. I get calls at least once a week, and usually once a day of passengers who have been subjected to things like this. Now, not beaten severely in this manner. I mean, seat them and beat them is not a regular habit of most airlines. But on a flight attendants and gate agents doing things like this and more, taking people off planes at will. In fact, we have a kind of rule of thumb that we tell people. If you tell the flight attendant or the gate agents that you are going to report them or that you them you are filming them guaranteed so you can document what they are doing to you, guaranteed you are thrown off the plane.
I mean, it's just rampant out there. And this wasn't even a legitimate overbooking and bumping situation. The federal aviation regulations do not come into play like this. So there are no limits on what this gentlemen can recover or ask for because it's not legitimate over bumping situation.
LEMON: Seat them and beat them. Very well put.
Dr. Julia, I have to ask. What happens when a group of people are put in a situation like that? You know, you are in this a closed environment, the airline already has your over barrel, if you say something they will kick you off the plane or they can have you arrested. And many people feel that way if they have no recourse when they travel. So what happens to - because you heard the passengers say y God, what's going on? But no one stood up to do anything.
JUDY HO, PSYCHOLOGIST: That's right. And the fear of direct consequences, Don, that they already observing with this gentleman, is what make that's diffusion or responsibility phenomenon more severe in this case. And so, I do mentioned, people were yelling out how could you do this, look what you're doing to him, but no one stood up and nobody actually took a stand. This because they could see, number one, that something horrible could happen to them just like this. And number two, the larger the group gets the bigger that group did effect becomes as well. So when you have a large group of people everyone's watching the social cues of others around them. It is somebody else going to stand out. And they are expecting that other people might stand up or that if the situation was severe enough somebody would.
LEMON: Do you think if person one stood up, you think more people would stand? And listen, I'm faulting the people there because I'm sitting and Mark is saying there's nothing you could do.
O'MARA: Well, here's my concern. At that point, once the airline did the tragic mistake of bringing that cops on the plane, cops have to win and you are not allowed to resist the cop. You are not allowed to get up and say don't do that because honestly that's what they have to do. At that point, it is too late. It should have never got to that point.
LEMON: We'll hear from Miles and Mary on the other side of this break.
[23:52:57] LEMON: The CEO of United Airlines apologizing tonight to the man forcibly removed from a flight and promising a thorough review of the incident.
Back with my panelists. So listen, we have some veterans here in psychology or mental health, the airline industry, and in law. Can I talk to my airline industry guys in this because you are apparently really upset by this? What does this say about customer service in your industry? Have they just sort of removed the experience of flying the way it used to be? Does that have anything to do with therefore removing good customer service as well? Mary, you first.
SCHIAVO: I think customer service has taken a back seat to all of the demands that the airlines have put on each other and on their flights and their schedules. And the problem is also that the planes are booked to capacity. You know, we used to have excess capacity and they have taken that all out of the market with their competition and the reduction to just a handful of airlines. So I'm afraid customer service is what is gone. It's just a battle out there, and the internet has exploded. I think my favorite line is this. You get a voucher or an outcher (ph)? And that's what it comes down to.
LEMON: What upsets you about this, Miles?
O'BRIEN: They are overworked. They are underpaid. They are poorly managed. And we as customers have fewer and fewer choices as the airlines consolidate.
I'm mad as heck. And I'm not going to take it anymore. And I think all of us on those planes, we should put our phones down and try to help our fellow passengers a little bit. This poor guy was bleeding, and everybody is zooming in to get another shot of him. They should have helped him out a little bit. And I would like to call upon all of us who are getting on airplanes to have compassion and be kind to each other because the airline won't.
LEMON: Mark O'Mara.
O'MARA: I think Miles said it more politically correct than I will. I think this was a poorly trained staff member, a flight attendant who used a testosterone tussle that they were not going to lose a little mini battle with this person who was not going to get out of his seat. And that's where the supervision and the training fell apart. It was horrific. And quite honestly, it was a battery that this guy caused by having this guy violently removed from the plane. And they should be held horribly responsible for what they did.
[23:55:12] LEMON: We saw him, Dr. Judy, when he was, you know, appeared to be incoherent. What I said was, I don't know what sort of mental state I would be in if someone had just dragged me off of a plane or caused me to be bruised and bloody like that.
HO: Absolutely, because he did not expect this type of treatment. I think the people who were there to observe it, some people have actually reported to the press that they are traumatized and can still hear him screaming. And so, really, at this point United should also be responsible for offering some kind of trauma therapy or trauma treatment just for some of those individuals who really suffered. There were kids on this plane. They were crying. They heard crying after he had been drug off. And so, I think this is really worrisome. And we can't let this be the precedent here.
LEMON: All right. Thank you all. I appreciate it.
That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I will see you right back here tomorrow.