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How Trump Frames First 100 Days; G7 Meeting to Include Stakeholders in Syria Conflict; Tillerson to Meet Russian Foreign Minister in Moscow; New Risks U.S. Military Faces in Syria; Coral Bleaching Hits Great Barrier Reef; Man Bloodied When Kicked Off United Airlines Plane. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 11, 2017 - 02:00   ET

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


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[02:00:08] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --

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SESAY: Hello. Welcome to viewers all around the world. I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

The White House is defending its missile strike, and it's not ruling out further military action in Syria. Now many are wondering what's next as Donald Trump's foreign policy evolves.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny shows us how the U.S. president is framing his first few months on the job.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can say this is a great honor.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I got it done in the first 100 days, that's even nice. You think that's easy.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORERSPONDENT (voice-over): In the Rose Garden today, President Trump hailing the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court as the biggest accomplishment so far in his young presidency.

TRUMP: A new optimism is sweeping across our land and a new faith in America is filling our hearts and lifting our sights.

ZELENY: The president making clear that his has eyes on the clock with the end of his first 100 days quickly approaching, with global threats and challenges mounting.

White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, seemed to raise the stakes, saying the president could act again in Syria in response to conventional bombs, not only a chemical weapons attack like the one that killed dozens last week.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If you are gassing babies, if you put a barrel bomb in to innocent people, I think you can -- you will you will see a response from this president.

ZELENY: Tonight, a new CBS News poll finds that 57 percent of Americans approve of the missile strikes last week in Syria. Yet, Americans are leery of the president getting more involved, the poll found. Seven in 10 Americans believe the administration needs authorization from Congress. More than half of Republicans agree.

Only four years ago, Mr. Trump, then a private citizen, also agreed, saying on Twitter, "Obama needs congressional approval.

But as president, Mr. Trump did not seek such approval before releasing 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria military targets last week.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And why does he not need congressional approval?

SPICER: When it's in the national interest of the country, the president has the full authority to act. He did that.

ZELENY: The White House says the president's America First agenda still stands and the action did not necessarily represent a new Trump doctrine.

With foreign policy suddenly front and center at the White House, infighting that has plagued the administration appears to have cooled, for now at least. Tensions between Steve Bannon, the chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior advisor, reached a boiling point last week. CNN is learning the president stepped in, telling them, "We've got to work this out."

SPICER: The reason the president has brought this team together is to offer a diverse set of opinions. He doesn't want a monolithical kind of thought process going through the White House. He wants a diverse set of opinions. That's -- he is the decider.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- cross the line if he said to work it out?

SPICER: I think sometimes - again, I'm not going to get into what happens internally, but I think sometimes it might spill out in public more than other things.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- Steve Bannon.

SPICER: He is very confident in the team he has, that they are an unbelievable amount of knowledge and he enjoys the counsel that they all bring to the table.

ZELENY (on camera): So even as the White House insists the infighting inside the West Wing will be kept to a minimum, or at least be more quiet, there is still no agreement on the Syria policy of this White House and what would constitute crossing a red line. Would it be a chemical attack for the president or barrel bombs as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said today. He walked that back as the day went along and said that, look, the U.S. posture towards Syria has not changed but they are still leaving open the door to more attacks depending on how the Assad regime responds.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Syria will be the focus of key meetings in the coming days. G-7 foreign ministers are gathering in Italy, meeting Tuesday with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Turkey. These countries are stakeholders in Syria's conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads to Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

Our CNN correspondents are covering these developments from Italy and Russia. International diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is in Luca; and Paula Newton joins us from Moscow.

Welcome to you both.

Nic, let me start with you.

There's been talk about Secretary Tillerson emerging with a mandate from his G-7 counterparts to push for a change in Russia's position on Syria. Talk to us about that and what any kind of mandate looks like.

[02:05:31] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, you've had the addition, as you say, of the Turkish, Saudis, the Emiratis, the Qataris, the Jordanians. They are sitting down for the first time together with the G-7 counterparts this morning. So whatever that mandate emerges to be, the idea is to broaden it, to strengthen it. What it will be precisely really is unclear. The best understanding we have at the moment, perhaps if we look at the conversation between British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump last night talking about a window of opportunity to be given to President Putin to back away from his support from President Bashar al Assad. And that was articulated by the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, here. He canceled his own trip to Moscow yesterday so he could focus on helping bring unity among the G-7 members. This is how he framed what everyone here seems to be beginning to coalesce around, the message that needs to go to Moscow with Secretary Tillerson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: If I think about the position of Vladimir Putin, he - you know, he's toxifying his reputation of Russia by his continuing association with a guy who has flagrantly poisoned his own people. And so what we're trying to do is give Rex Tillerson the clearest possible mandate from the us, as the West, the U.K., all our allies here, to say to the Russians, this is your choice. Stick with that guy, stick with that tyrant, or work with us to find a better solution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: So what of that mandate? Will there be pressures involved in it? Will there be sanctions potentially put on Russia? It seems there is division ahead of Tillerson's visit or whether or not those sanctions should be applied, period. Should be applied before he goes. But there's a sense if that were to happen it pushes Russia further into a corner. What there is consensus on, and has been, even before the U.S. strike on Syria, is to get Russia to engage with Assad in the U.N. peace talks in Geneva under U.N. Security Council resolution 2254, which is designed to transition Assad out of power, and I think that's likely to be the message and the direction they'll focus on here. Get peace talks in Geneva running properly and meaning something. They have been stuttering along but without real gain or any kind of noticeable achievement so far -- Isha?

SESAY: Our Nic Robertson joining us there with an update from Italy where the G-7 foreign ministers are meeting. Nic, appreciate it. Thank you.

Paula, to you now.

Paula, we just heard the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, talking about how Russia's relationship with Bashar al Assad is toxifying, to use his words, Russia's reputation. Do Russia care about rhetoric like that and the sort that will come out of this G-7 gathering?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRSPONDENT: Yeah, that's an insightful point, Isha. I can tell you they don't care. They don't care reputationally one way or the other. It is not about that. What they do care about is the other point Nic made there, about the sanctions. Remember Russia is already under a pretty significant sanctions regime because of Crimea and Ukraine. When the Trump administration was coming, Russia was hopeful that even those santions might be eased a bit, that there may be a change, that the Trump administration might eventually, after months, after years, look forward to lifting those. Obviously, Syria and the chemical attack have changed the entire dynamic. So when Rex Tillerson comes here later today and he's at the table, he will try and work with persuasion. He will try and figure out what that Russian bottom line is, and then perhaps go back to his G-7 counterparts and say, look, there doesn't seem to be any movement here, we may need to apply more sanctions to both Syria and Russia, to apply more pressure. But if not, Rex Tillerson can look to the Russians and say, what can we do here, what are you willing to do in order to nudge that Syrian regime out of office, somehow come in, have some type of a government. And again, Isha, we're acting like as if this is a simple thing. It is not. This is incredibly complicated on the ground. But if you can get Russia to the table to agree this at least has to be done and get them engaged, you have a better chance of success. And I think that is what Rex Tillerson is looking for when he comes earlier today.

[02:10:04] SESAY: Really big, if, as you well know, as you pointed out, Paula, especially when you have the G-7 giving a mandate to Rex Tillerson, but at the same time, you have the U.S. administration clearly signaling that their policy on Syria hasn't changed. I mean, it begs the question, why should Russia or how can you make Russia change its calculus.

NEWTON: And that's the problem with Rex Tillerson coming here. All the Western allies and the United States, they have a weak hand right now because Russia knows they do not have the stomach, Isha, to go into Syria any more than they already have been. It is going to take, as you say, some creative calculus on the ground when you actually look at the military dynamics which Rex Tiller, with the help of the defense secretary, Mattis, will spell out for the Russians and say, OK, we could do this though and we could do that. Again, if you can come on board, all of us get a win against ISIS, can we then move on to some type of a peaceful transition in Syria. Again, incredibly complicated.

And again, haven't spoken about it, Isha, butt Iran. Iran is also very much involved in this, in terms of the grand chessboard in Syria and it is going to make things even more complicated.

SESAY: Paula Newton, we're grateful we have you there in Moscow to break it down for us. Appreciate the analysis. Thank you so much.

We now know the names of the nationals accused of carrying out Friday's terror attack in the Swedish capitol. 39-year-old Rachmed Akilof (ph) is accused of stealing a truck and plowing it into pedestrians on a busy street is Stockholm. Four people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded.

Egypt's cabinet has approved its three-month state of emergency in the aftermath of those deadly attacks on two Coptic Christian churches Sunday. Funerals for the victims of the bombings were broadcast on national television. At least 45 people killed and 125 wounded in the Palm Sunday bombings. ISIS claimed responsibility and promised more violence.

People in California are mourning victims of a murder-suicide inside an elementary school. Police say Cedric Anderson shot and killed his estranged wife Monday and an 8-year-old boy who was standing nearby. A church held a vigil for the victims hours after the attack.

Our own Stephanie Elam is in San Bernardino with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isha, this tragedy took place just before 10:30 in the morning on Monday. What we understand happened from police is that a 53-year-old man came to the elementary school here in San Bernardino, California, went to the front office, processed as anyone would be as a visitor to the school, and he walked to the classroom where his estranged wife -- only married for a couple of months, we understand - was teaching her special needs class. A class made up of first through fourth graders. Police say he walked in without any announcement, began shooting his estranged wife, killing her. Her name being Karen Smith. Karen Smith was there teaching. And standing behind her were two boys, a 9-year-old boy, who is in stable condition, and an 8-year-old boy who we understand has succumbed to his gunshot wounds. That 8-year-old boy's name is Jonathan Martinez. Then after this all transpiring, they say that the man then turned the gun on himself, killing himself. They do believe it was a murder-suicide here inside the school.

Officials working very quickly to reunite the children in that classroom with their parents quickly. And the rest of the school of about 500 students, they worked methodically to reunite those children with their parents after making sure they were releasing them to their legal guardian. But all in all, just a very tragic development here in San Bernardino, California -- Isha?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Our thanks to Stephanie Elam for that.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, is expected to attend a high-profile political meeting. Next, a report from inside Pyongyang. And why there's fears of a nuclear attack.

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(WEATHER REPORT)

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[02:17:55] SESAY: Hello, everyone. North Korea is defiant after the U.S. redeployed warships to the Korean Peninsula. It's not an unusual military move by the U.S., but it's in response to North Korea's recent nuclear threat. Pyongyang says sending the strike group is a reckless act of aggression that could lead to, quote, "catastrophic consequences."

North Korea's leader is expected to attend a high-profile political gathering. The assembly is symbolic, but it could give an idea of Kim Jong-Un's agenda for the country. Despite the recent nuclear tensions, the word on the streets of Pyongyang is very different.

CNN's Will Ripley is the only American TV correspondent in the North Korean capitol.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facing mounting global pressure to stop testing nuclear weapons, many fear North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, might accelerate his weapons program and are waiting for his next move.

On Saturday, North Korea celebrates the Day of the Sun, their most important holiday of the year, honoring the birth of the nation's founding father, Kim Il-Sung. Five years ago, North Korea tried to launch a satellite just two days before the Day of the Sun. The first attempt failed, followed by a successful launch later that year.

Now, North Korea may be ready for another dramatic show of force. After a series of missile launches, U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials believe North Korea is ready to conduct a nuclear test at any time.

In response to recent provocations, the U.S. is rerouting the carrier strike group "Carl Vinson" to the Korean Peninsula just days after President Trump's surprise missile strike on Syria. Some view the strike as a warning to North Korea, the U.S. is willing to respond with force if provoked.

"The situation is so tense, we're at the brink of war," said this Pyongyang resident. "But if that happens, we'll all go to the front lines to fight the Americans."

(on camera): President Trump may be trying to put pressure on North Korea to stop developing nuclear weapons. But here in Pyongyang, that pressure seems to be having the opposite effect.

[02:20:03] (voice-over): One North Korean government official tells CNN, "The aggressive acts of war on the part of the United States are getting increasingly reckless. In response, we will continue to strengthen our self-defense capability."

North Korea is working to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the mainland U.S. Most analysts say they don't have one yet, but it's only a matter of time.

"We think we're very capable of defending ourselves," this Pyongyang residents says, "because we have the strong leadership of Marshall Kim Jong-Un."

The mood inside North Korea is not tense, but festive, on their biggest holiday week of the year. Tens of thousands are visiting national landmarks, like the birthplace of late President Kim Il-Sung.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two late leaders.

RIPLEY: For the first time, CNN cameras are allowed inside the museum of the Korean Revolution, more than 120 rooms chronicling all three generations of Kim family leadership. This rare inside look at North Korean history shows the entire nation is built around these three men.

(SHOUTING)

RIPLEY: I'm shown footage from 2011 when North Koreans learned of the unexpected death of the nation's second leader, Kim Jong-Il.

(SHOUTING)

RIPLEY: The footage brings our guide to tears. Now, their supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un, is meeting her and 25 million North Koreans. Like his grandfather and father before him, he has absolute power over the lives of his people.

Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: France's far-right presidential candidate has sparked an outcry. Marine le Pen is sparking protests from Jewish groups and Israeli government, suggesting France was not responsible for the war- time round up of Jews sent to Nazi death camps. The National Front leaders says, "quote, I don't think France is responsible for it," a reference to the stadium where thousands of Jews were held before being sent to Auschwitz. Le pen clarified the comments, tweeting, "I condemn without reservation, the collaboration the Vichy government. I do not want to give it any legitimacy." The Vichy regime went along with the Third Reich.

Marine le Pen is the front runner in the presidential race. The first round of the voting is only 12 days away.

CNN's Melissa Bell went to meet some young French voters who say they are desperate for change, but don't expect to see it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Far from the glamour of Paris, this is what the French call Banlieues, suburban towns made up of tower blocks that are synonymous with poverty, crime and exclusion, and where unemployment is twice as high as other parts of France.

Our journey begins, then further out through, and finally into a distant town.

HASAN BIN BARRAK (ph), GUIDE: (SPEAKING FOEIGN LANGUAGE)

BELL: Hasan bin Barrak (ph) is our guide. He spent 30 years trying to get successive governments to help the Banlieues. Here in this town, social housing was put in the early 1970s.

Hasan shows us a spot where a tower block once stood. It was pulled down to make the area less fortress like. But Frederick, who has lived here all his life, says it still feels like a jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was always involved but it only is because it is the law is the old is our vision of a mobile before the fisherman on his double on the civil process is about the sin of disobedience.

BELL: A little further out of Paris, about a 20-minute drive, lies another town. It was made famous by Nicholas Sarkozy back in 2005.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(SHOOTING) BELL: Just days later, the deaths of two teenagers who'd been running from police would set the Banlieues alight. Sarkozy's use of the word "scum" was not forgotten.

12 years on, the relationship between the police and locals here remains tense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

BELL: Another town is further out still, about a 45-minute drive from Paris. Hasan says it's been forgotten altogether.

BARRAK (ph): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANAGUE)

BELL: As we arrive, so, too, do riot police and their helicopter. Locals tell us they come every day.

[02:25:10] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

BELL: CNN reached out to the police to get their response but they declined to comment.

The young here complain that they see too many policemen. And despite the election period, too few politicians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANAUGE)

BELL: All of those we spoke said they would be voting, but many explained, with little real hope of change.

Melissa Bell, CNN, on the outskirts of Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Back to an event in the U.S. now. The governor of the southern U.S. state of Alabama has resigned over allegations that he used state resources to cover up an extramarital affair with a former aide. Robert Bentley was facing possible impeachment. He made the announcement Monday after he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of campaign finance law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT BENTLEY, FORMER ALABAMA GOVERNOR: I'm not always made the right choices. I've not always said the right things. Though I have sometimes failed, I've always tried to live up the high expectations the people place on the person who holds this esteemed office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: The plea deal requires him to not seek or serve in any public office. Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivy was sworn in Monday. She's the first Republican woman to hold that office.

Time for a quick break. "State of America" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia. For everyone else, an exclusive look at the U.S. battle against ISIS in Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: The new dangers U.S. forces are facing. That's just ahead.

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[02:30:36] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

The headlines this hour --

(HEADLINES)

SESAY: After the strike in Syria last week, Russia suspended military communications with the U.S. The U.S. military is still pursuing its primary goal to destroy ISIS.

Fred Pleitgen has this exclusive report on the mission's new risks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Faced with new Russian threats, the US military not backing down in the skies over Iraq and Syria. We're on a KC 10 tanker plane refueling fighters pounding ISIS.

(on camera): Of course, the Russians have announced they don't want to communicate with the U.S. any more in the skies over Syria. That's why crews like this one take great care when they fly into Syrian air space.

(voice-over): Stopping the communications significantly increases the risk of mid-air collisions over this crowded airspace where U.S. coalition and Russian planes operate very close to one another.

Russia made the move after America hit Syrian air field with cruise missiles last week in response to a chemical attack on a Syrian village, killing around 90 people. Washington blames the Assad regime, Russia's main ally in the civil war there, even as Syria denies being behind the attack.

But America doesn't want the turmoil to affect the ongoing effort to destroy ISIS.

(on camera): (INAUDIBLE) that the fight against ISIS (INAUDIBLE), American and allied forces on the ground (INAUDIBLE).

(voice-over): A sentiment echoed by commanders leading the air war against ISIS. UNIDENTIFIED U.S. AIR FORCE COMMMANDER: We can't take our eye off the ball. That's why we're here. So our national leadership did something about a problem they say, and when you're asked to help out with something like that, we're ready to do it. But right now, ISIS is the main target.

PLEITGEN: So far, the US says there have been no incidents involving Russian planes over Iraq and Syria, and they hope, despite Russia's rhetoric, that it stays that way.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, about the KC 10 refueling jet over Iraq and Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Our Fred Pleitgen there.

Australian scientists say the Great Barrier Reef is cooking and dying, and they blame climate change. The problem is bleaching, which happens when rising sea temperatures cause corals to expel algae turning the reefs white.

Our own Lynda Kinkade has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's one of the natural wonders of the world, but it is fast disappearing in front of our eyes. New aerial surveys reveal two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef is likely dead due to bleaching. That's some 1500 kilometers of coral reef, habitats for billions of tiny organisms.

Last year's bleaching was unprecedented. You can see it on the map. Mainly, in the north of the reef. That has not recovered. And the damage this year has spread further south.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I conducted some of the in-water surveys on the norther Great Barrier Reef last year and what we observed in our shallow survey sites were very few species where resistant to bleaching.

[02:34:55] KINKADE: The bleaching is caused by a rising sea level temperature, a result of global warming. Unfortunately, there has been no recovery in two years. The Tropical Cyclone Debby, which generated wind gusts of up to 260 kilometers per hour hit the region in late March, one of the most dangerous cyclones in years. A study is currently underway to determine the extent of the impact of that.

Not only is the Great Barrier Reef crucial to supporting marine biodiversity and the fishing industries, it's also a tourist draw card, contributing about $6 billion to the Australian economy every year.

(on camera): Scientists fear that the time left to act on climate change to save the world's largest living structure is now running out. And once gone, it will never come back.

Lynda Kincaid, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Coming up, the not-so-friendly skies. United Airlines is facing major backlash after a paying customer was dragged off a flight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking into a disturbing incident on a United Airlines. A passenger, who refused to give up his seat on an overbooked flight, was forcibly dragged off the plane.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god. Oh, my god.

Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Just incredible pictures to look at. You can see security officers yanking the man from a seat on a flight bound from Kentucky Sunday. Other passenger video shows him with a bloodied mouth. The airline says it needed the space for four crew members. Officials have placed one of the security officers on leave pending a review.

Let's put up this statement for you from United's CEO. He says, "This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to accommodate the customer. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and to conduct our own detailed review of what happened."

I'm joined now by, Eric Schiffer, CEO of Reputation Management Consultants and the Patriarch Group.

Eric, it is so good to have you with us.

Any kind of crisis is bad for a global brand of the magnitude of United Airlines, but it is especially bad when it's caught on camera and it goes viral.

ERIC SCHIFFER, CEO, REPUTATION MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS & THE PATRIARCH GROUP: Absolutely. And it's especially bad when you have a situation like this, that falls -- something that was bad 30 days ago when they had an issue with this whole leggings stuff that went viral.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFFER: And if follows that. But what's worse is you have a CEO of United who just created this epic fail. It was as gruesome video and then the response that he gave.

SESAY: Talk to us about that statement. When you look at the language and how it was worded, and just that phrase that has jumped out to a lot of people, "I apologize for having to accommodate these customers."

SCHIFFER: Accommodate, now do you use that word? Accommodate.

SESAY: No, no.

[02:40:07] SCHIFFER: That's not a word that -- I don't know anyone that uses that word. That's part of the problem is that there's a lack of connection, a lack of understanding of just people, just humans in general. And I think that what you're seeing is a case of what happens to a lot of CEOs, where they make too much money and they lose touch. You see what happened with Wells Fargo and the CEOs and the craziness that went on. This is a good example. And just a lack of connection and a complete lack of understanding. He went to the media school of Donald Trump, I mean, in terms of media relations. It's just terrible.

SESAY: Yeah. Talk to us about the damage done to the brand, United Airlines, and to their bottom line. Con this be contained?

SCHIFFER: Yeah, I think it's a big hit. Brands are all about trust. So it's a huge hit in terms of trust.

Can it be contained? Absolutely. United has a balance sheet that's tremendous so they can spend their way out of this.

SESAY: How?

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: You may have the money but what are you spending the money on?

SCHIFFER: You throw out vouchers, you do a lot of commercials, you do a lot of nonprofit events. There are things that they can do.

The good thing in United's favor is that people forget. I mean, there are so many things going on. But the sentiment. Right now, it's white hot. I mean this was a doctor who was trying to help people, and I think people are very upset, angry. But they can get through this. There's no question.

SESAY: I want to pick up on you saying they can spend the money, add vouchers, but there is a video, and every time it airs, it takes another similar of shine off the brand. Add to that, there's going to be a lawsuit here. Then what? It just keeps going and out in the public consciousness.

SCHIFFER: Yeah. Yeah. The good thing for United is that there's so much news, OK, and the new cycle is so fast. So these videos have to compete with -- that video in particular will compete with hundreds of new videos that come out, no question, all over, from entertainment to really gruesome events, like what occurred. And, yeah, there will be a lawsuit, and that may play for a day. But in the reality, people will forget over time. That's the sad thing. And that's what these guys are banking on.

SESAY: Yeah.

SCHIFFER: So they figure they can continue to do this kind of thing.

And the way is fight back is pick another airline. The way you fight back is to do something about it. Sell your stock, don't fly the airline, find another way of getting around. So that the ways in which they strategize won't work. That would be a good thing.

SESAY: Needless to say, United's competitors will be taking of this moment.

SCHIFFER: Oh, the love it.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFFER: Oh, this is a hot time for them, absolutely. And the smart ones will take advantage of it, and they should.

SESAY: Eric Schiffer, thanks so much for joining us. Great insight. Always appreciate it.

SCHIFFER: Thank you. Good to be with you.

SESAY: Thank you.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

"World Sport" is up next.

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[03:00:09] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The Trump administration's mixed messages on the way forward for dealing with the war in Syria --