Return to Transcripts main page
U.S. Drops "The Mother Of All Bombs"; Passenger Dragged Off United Airlines Flight Likely to Sue; Search for the Missing Chibok Girls; "The Fate of the Furious" Roars Into Theaters. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired April 14, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, the mother of all bombs. The U.S. military drops its most powerful non-nuclear weapon on Afghanistan. The passenger dragged off a flight, plans to sue United Airlines and he says this moment was more horrifying than his escape from the Vietnam war. And later, the new "Fast and Furious" movie is opening around the world and hoping to smash international box office records. Hello, and thank you for joining us. I am Isha Sesay, this is NEWSROOM L.A.
For the third time in a week, the Trump administration has resorted to a dramatic military show of force to send a vid message to the world. This time, that message was delivered by MOAB, nicknamed: "The Mother of All Bombs." It's the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. Arsenal. The ten metric ton behemoth was dropped on a cave and tunnel complex used by ISIS in the rugged frontier of Eastern Afghanistan. It was also the first time the weapon had ever been used in combat. We get the latest now from CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The enormously powerful Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb or MOAB went off more than an hour after sunset in Eastern Afghanistan, in the Nangarhar province. An ISIS stronghold where a U.S. special forces soldier was killed less than a week ago. That was the target for the big bomb which was being used in combat for the first time. An ISIS camp in the remote area not far from the border with Pakistan.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.
FOREMAN: The region is home to the (INAUDIBLE) branch of ISIS known as ISIS Cave, built in part by recruiting fighters from the Taliban which also remains a dangerous force. The purpose of the MOAB? Take out the enemy in one swoop, collapse tunnels, and hit the terrorists even if they are hiding in caves.
JAMES MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's a concussive blast. So, everybody underneath that thing is either obliterated, ears are bleeding, or they're completely destroyed. FOREMAN: So, how did this weapon actually work? If I had a MOAB in
the room with me here now, this is about the size of some 30 feet long, about 22,000 pounds. This is actually pulled out of a back of a C-130 by a parachute and then cut loose to free-fall to the Earth, somewhere around three miles being guided by GPS along the way toward its target. And then, just before it reaches the ground, that's when about nine tons of explosives detonate here with devastating effect. First of all, there's the shrapnel from this. It is driven with so much force, it can penetrate hardened concrete and dig deep into the earth.
Secondly, there is the blast wave from this, which is so strong, it scorches and scours the Earth in all directions for thousands of feet, and then everything comes rushing back into the vacuum it creates doing even more damage. And lastly, military leaders talk about the shock and awe effect, saying that this is so overwhelming to be close to. If you survive it even, you have a different impression of the kind of power that the U.S. military can project onto the battlefield. So, obviously, troops now want to get to the blast site of this weapon to see if this real first use on the battlefield; it lived up to expectations.
SESAY: Tom Foreman there with that report. Well, it would be normal for the U.S. President to give the "OK" in a situation like this. But when asked directly, President Trump ducked the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you authorize it, Sir?
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Everybody knows exactly what happened. So - and what I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they've done the job, as usual, so we have given them total authorization. And that's what they're doing. And frankly, that's why they've been so successful lately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, this is the President's third show of force in a week. Mr. Trump recently authorized a cruise missile assault on a Syrian airfield, and he ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail toward North Korea. Let's bring in CNN Intelligence and Security Analyst Bob Baer, he joins us now from Newport Beach, California. Bob, good to see you. So, this bomb, as we pointed out, targeting a complex of ISIS tunnels and caves. What more can you tell us about this complex, and the operations of ISIS was running from the space?
[01:04:49] ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the Islamic State in Eastern Afghanistan is fairly small compared to the Taliban. We're talking about maybe 500, we're not sure, fighters. And there's been an offensive in that area of the last couple of weeks. This administration would like to drive them out of Afghanistan. The Afghan army has been up there and wasn't able to get into the mountains very far. And they are the ones that asked for, you know, this bomb, or something, or some sort of big bombing there to see if they could continue this offensive. You know, the President has promised that he's going to bomb the Islamic States into oblivion and that's what he's doing.
SESAY: Bob, the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, tweeted a message in support of the strike. But let me ask you this big picture, and as you look down the road - I mean, is the day America dropped the mother of all bombs on your country actually a good day?
BAER: No, it's not a good day. Well, the fact is that the Taliban is contesting half the districts in Afghanistan. It controls many of them. And in the south, the east and other parts of Afghanistan, they are gaining ground, the Taliban. So, we have to resort to air power. And no, it's not a good day. Ideally, you'd like to have the Afghan army up there, reasserting sovereign control, but the Afghan army simply can't do it alone and there aren't enough American troops to turn back this tide. And frankly, we're much worse than we were in October of 2001. The Taliban is - I wouldn't say they're winning the war, but they're slowly clawing back territory and which has disturbed Washington for the last couple of years.
SESAY: So, the strategy going forward on the part of the Trump administration, what is it? Does the dropping of this bomb give us some indication of what that is going to look like?
BAER: Well, that's the problem, Isha. There is no strategy - there's no strategy in Syria, there's no strategy in Iraq, and there's no strategy in Afghanistan. You know, ultimately, you need a political solution to these wars, and there isn't one on the table. And the administration is stuck with the same problems the Obama administration had. The only thing they're changing is they're using more air power. And of course, there are more civilians dying. And that's when it becomes a problem.
SESAY: Is it the absence or - let me phrase it the other way, how much of the absence of a strategy in these places is contributing to these, these massive grand shows of force if you will?
BAER: Well, Isha, you know, it's frustrating for the American military. The American military knows what it's doing, but it hasn't been given a strategy. It hasn't been given a strategy in Iraq. It's just, you know, keep on fighting and it's a war of attrition. And you know, there's sectarian differences, there are religious differences, there are competing interests, whether it's Iran or Russia and we do not have an end game. You know, there isn't an end game or without an end game, these wars will go on forever.
SESAY: As you talk about the lack of an end game and the lack of a clear strategy, it would appear though as much of the optics is in play here for the administration, it's also about sending a message to nations like, Russia, sending it to Syria, sending it to North Korea. I mean, is this an effective - those whether or not it's an effective message, I mean, how is it going to be read in those places? And is there really a message that will bring about deterrence?
BAER: Well, looking at Moscow, or Pyongyang, I don't - they read the messages differently than the ones we send. I mean, will this deter North Korea sending a strike force to ensure? I don't think so. The Russians have continued the bombing. The Russians are devilling down against us in Syria. And I guess, it's either supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, at least indirectly. So, you know, will this be a deterrent, this air strikes, or a strike force by North Korea? Let's wait to see, but I don't think so.
SESAY: Bob Baer, joining us there from Newport Beach, California. Bob, always good to talk to you. Thank you. Well, the bombing in Afghanistan is sending a message to countries around the world. President Trump is not afraid to use his military might. Reporters are asking specifically what it says to North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't know if this sends a message, it doesn't make any difference if it does or not. North Korea's a problem. The problem will be taken care of. I will say this, I think China has really been working very hard. I have really gotten to like and respect, as you know, President Xi is a terrific person, we spent a lot of time together in Florida, and he's a very special man. So, we'll see how it goes. I think he's going to try very hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:10:05] SESAY: Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, North Korea is preparing to celebrate its most important day of the year: "The Day of the Sun." The reclusive country often marks the occasion with a show of military force. CNN's Will Ripley is in the North Korean capital.
WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With the looming threat of a nuclear showdown, new images of Kim Jong-un guiding a special forces operation. North Korean Commandos jumping out of planes. Their leader, all smiles. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warns, North Korea already may have the capability to deliver missiles equipped with deadly Sarin nerve gas. "The security situation around our country is getting increasingly severe," Abe said. President Trump praising Chinese President Xi Jinping for turning away coal-carrying cargo ships from North Korea. Coal, a major source of revenue for Pyongyang, believed to help fund its missile and nuclear programs.
TRUMP: President Xi wants to do the right thing. I think he wants to help us with North Korea.
RIPLEY: But Chinese Customs officials say, overall trade between China and North Korea jumped by nearly 40 percent in the first quarter of this year. We got the call before 5:00 a.m., we were told to dress up and leave our phones behind. We went through a couple of hours of security, and now we're here on this street. It's completely closed off. Tens of thousands of people are moving in here. Raising questions about how far China's willing to go to rein in its unpredictable neighbor.
We saw North Korean leader Kim Jong-un making a rare public appearance in Pyongyang. Not a military event, but a ribbon cutting of a new high-rise apartment complex. An attempt by the regime to show economic growth despite heavy sanctions over their nuclear program. The message from the North Koreans seems to be that they want to move forward with their military programs, but they also want to grow their economy peacefully. But they say, if they are provoked, they are not afraid to go to war.
North Korean officials tell CNN, it's a touch-and-go situation that could escalate into an all-out conflict. Think tank 38 North says, new satellite images show North Koreas Punggye-Ri nuclear site "primed and ready" for North Korea's sixth nuclear test, just days before North Korea's most important holiday of the year. Holidays are a time when Pyongyang has been known to project power through military force. With tensions on the Korean Peninsula at their highest level of years, nobody knows what Kim Jong-un's next move will be. And threatening to push tensions over the tipping point, this news out of Afghanistan that the U.S. dropped the mother of all bombs on ISIS tunnels. Is this a veiled threat for North Korea given that they conduct their nuclear test underground? And the big unknown right now, how will North Korean leader Kim Jong-un respond? Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.
SESAY: Well, Syria's President is calling the report of last week's chemical attack "100 percent fabrication." This is despite eyewitness report and independent analysis that contradict his assertion. During an exclusive interview with AFP T.V., Bashar al-Assad said the Syrian military does not possess chemical weapons and that it would not use them if it did. He also accused the west of helping terrorists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT: The west, mainly the United States, is handing (INAUDIBLE) to the terrorists. They fabricated the whole story in order to have critics for the attack. We don't know whether those dead children, were they kids of the country home, were they dead at all. Who committed the attack if there was an attack? You have no information all. Nothing at all. No one investigated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, Assad's comment to our departure from the Syrian omni- statement 14:05 following the chemical attack, they blame terrorist groups for the deaths. One other important note to share with you, AFP T.V. was not allowed to film the interview with Assad. That was done by Syria's Presidency. But we're learning more about contacts between President Trump's associates and Russia. Multiple sources tell CNN, intelligence officials outside the U.S. have been finding their own information related to the allegations. CNN Jim Sciutto has details.
[01:14:35] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: CNN has learned that British and European intelligence intercepted communications between Trump associates and Russian officials and other Russians known to western intelligence during the U.S. Presidential campaign, and shared those communications with their U.S. counterparts, multiple U.S. and western officials tell CNN. These sources stressed that at no point did western intelligence, including Britain's GCHQ which is responsible for communication surveillance, target these Trump associates. Instead, their communications were picked up as "incidental collection" during routine surveillance of known Russian targets. The U.S. and Britain are part of the so-called five eyes agreement, along with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, which calls for open sharing among member nations of a broad range of intelligence. This new information comes as former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser, Carter Page, provides a confusing, even conflicting story about his contacts with Russian intelligence. He has denied that he was a foreign agent.
[01:15:37] CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: This is -- it's just such a joke that it's beyond words.
SCIUTTO: Page told CNN's Jake Tapper that when he visited Russia last July, he never discussed easing sanctions on Russia related to the seizing of Crimea.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Did you ever talk with anyone there about maybe President Trump, if he were elected, then-candidate Trump, would be willing to get rid of the sanctions?
PAGE: Never any direct conversations such as that. I mean it --look, it's --
TAPPER: What do you mean direct conversations? I don't know what that means, direct conversation.
PAGE: Well, I'm just saying, no, that was never said, no.
SCIUTTO: But interviewed on ABC News, Page could not provide a clear answer.
PAGE: Something may have come up in a conversation -- I have no recollection, and there is nothing specifically that I would have done that would have given people that impression, George.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: But you can't say without equivocation that you didn't discuss the easing of sanctions?
PAGE: Someone may have brought it up, I have no recollection and if did - was it was not something I was offering or some always that someone is asking for.
SCIUTTO: These intercepted communications certainly to be of interest to the House and Senate Intelligence Committee investigations of Russian influence in the U.S. elections as well as the FBI investigation. A source close to the Senate investigation tells me that if it is relevant to their probe, they will certainly examine this intelligence. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington. SESAY: Now, Senior U.S. official is slamming WikiLeaks, CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, taking aim at the organization Thursday. Here's what he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
MIKE POMPEO, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY DIRECTOR: WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in ordered to obtain intelligence. It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is an on state hostile intelligence services often vetted by state actors like Russia.
SESAY: Well, Pompeo lash with post comments by U.S. President Donald Trump. Mr. Trump praised WikiLeaks during his Presidential campaign. He even said he loved the organization after it released hack e-mail tied to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Well, time for a quick break now and President Trump flip-flopped on some significant issues this week. We'll look back on a few more, like this one.
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Number one, NATO is obsolete. Number two, the countries in NATO are not paying their fair share. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.
[01:20:14] KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN WORLD SPORTS Headlines. After recent events, there was no surprise at Thursday night, Europa League quarterfinal between Manchester United and Anderlecht, played out amid the tightest of security in the Belgian capital of Brussels. United dominated last chance of the game and they took the lead through Armenian international. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the host hung in there and they would level just three minutes from time. 21-year-old Leander Dendoncker with a starring header 1-1 this one ends.
To the Netherlands, where Ajax hosted Schalke at the Amsterdam Arena, and this one going the way of the host who had Davy Klaassen to time for a very timely brace, the first time from the penalty spot. The Dutch team hasn't reached a Major Europe semi since 1997. But they now have a great chance, 2-nil the final score there.
And Russell Westbrook with the first player since Oscar Robertson 55 years ago, to average a triple-double but several figures in three categories: points, assists, and rebound. The Thunder guard has 43 triple double games to beat Robertson's mark. And the Hall of Famer was on hand in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, as the Thunder on a Westbrook's accomplishments and Robertson indeed himself to the home fans by making it clear he believes that the Thunder guard should win this year's MVP award. And that's a look at all your Sports Headlines. I'm Kate Riley.
SESAY: Hello, everyone. President Trump is making good on a major campaign promise to aggressively fight ISIS. But several more promises haven't gone as planned. Our Sara Murray looks at his track record so far.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the second time in a week, the Trump Administration leveraging the full force of the U.S. military.
TRUMP: We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.
MURRAY: But the President doesn't appear to have personally signed off on the hit in Afghanistan. Instead, suggesting he's authorized the military to make such moves.
TRUMP: Everybody knows exactly what happened, so. And what I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they've done a job as usual. So we have given them total authorization.
MURRAY: And Trump demurred on whether the move doubled as a warning shot to North Korea.
TRUMP: I don't know if this sends a message. It doesn't make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem.
MURRAY: The strike in Afghanistan, a follow through on at least one of Trump's campaign trail promises to aggressively target ISIS.
TRUMP: I would bomb the shit out of them.
MURRAY: It's a rare moment of follow-through as of late. The President took to twitter Wednesday night to claim, "One by one, we are keeping our promises." But Trump's recent proclamations sound a whole lot different from his campaign trail pledges. Take Trump's view on NATO this week.
TRUMP: I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.
MURRAY: A sharp departure from this campaign trail rhetoric.
TRUMP: Number one, NATO is obsolete. Number two, the countries in NATO are not paying their fair share.
MURRAY: On China, President Trump tells The Wall Street Journal they are not currency manipulators. But Candidate Trump relentlessly vowed to label the country a currency manipulator on day one of his Presidency.
TRUMP: We are going to label China a currency manipulator. We can't continue to allow China to rape our country. MURRAY: And suddenly, the President has a positive view of Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen. Telling the Wall Street Journal, "I like her, I respect her," on about face from this assessment during the campaign.
TRUMP: In my opinion, Janet Yellen is highly political and she's not raising rates for a specific reason because Obama told her not to.
MURRAY: Trump even appears to be souring on Russia.
Trump: We may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with Russia.
MURRAY: After lavishing praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin during the campaign.
TRUMP: I think I'd get along very well with Vladimir Putin. I just think so.
MURRAY: To be sure, Trump is still holding out a glimmer of hope on repairing ties with Moscow. Trump tweeting today, "Things will work out fine between the U.S. and Russia. At the right time, everyone will come to their senses and there will be lasting peace."
Now after a very eventful week here at the White House, the President departed on Thursday afternoon headed down to his estate in Florida. That's where he'll be spending the holiday Easter weekend with his family. Sara Murray CNN, the White House.
SESAY: Well CNN Commentator who is a Donald Trump supporter is taking some heat, a lot of heat after lighting the President's healthcare strategy to the actions of Martin Luther King. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:25:11] JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I want to say something here that I know will probably drive someone crazy. But think of President Trump as the Martin Luther King of health care.
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, Jeffrey, Jeffrey.
LORD: When I was a kid -
LORD: President Kennedy did not want to introduce the Civil Rights Bill because he said it wasn't popular. He didn't have the votes for it, etcetera. Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm's way to put the pressure on so that the bill will be introduced.
SANDERS: OK. You do understand that Dr. King was marching for civil rights because people that look like me were being beaten. Dogs were being sickled on them. Basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because of the color of their skin. So let's not equate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prie Winner, to the vagina grabbing President Donald Trump.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Wow. Jeffrey Lord there, taking it there. All right, time for a quick break. Next on NEWSROOM L.A., he was violently removed from a United Airlines flight. Now the passenger's legal team is promising action. Plus the latest Fast and Furious movie hit theater, what the U.S. can expect, coming right up.
SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay, the headlines this hour. For the first time, the U.S. has used the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in combat.
[01:30:00] The enormous 10-metric ton MOAB bomb was dropped on a tunnel complex used by ISIS in eastern Afghanistan. Afghan military officials say 36 ISIS fighters were killed and three tunnels were destroyed. President Trump endorsed the military action afterwards, but declined to say whether he gave the actual order.
In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad says reports of last week's chemical attack are, quote, "100 percent fabrication." This despite eyewitness reports and independent analysis that contradicts his claim. In an exclusive interview with AFP TV, Assad also suggests that photographs showing children who died in that attack may have been staged.
Sources say British and other European intelligence agencies intercepted communications between Trump associates and Russian officials during the U.S. presidential campaign and then passed that intel to their American counterparts. Communications are likely to be scrutinized by the Senate committee investigating Russia's efforts to meddle in the U.S. election.
Well, days after he was brutally dragged off a United Airlines flight, Dr. David Dao is recovering in a hospital. His attorney says he has a long list of injuries and at a heated press conference Thursday Dao's legal team slammed United Airlines.
Our Rene Marsh takes a closer look.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Attorneys for David Dao, the man dragged off of a full United Express flight, fired a warning shot Thursday, saying they will probably sue.
THOMAS DEMETRIO, DAO'S ATTORNEY: If you're going to eject a passenger, under no circumstances can it be done with unreasonable force or violence. MARSH: Dao was released from the hospital Wednesday night, but
suffers a long list of injuries, including a concussion, broken nose, injured sinuses, he lost two front teeth and he's set to undergo reconstructive surgery. After the incident, Dao appeared dazed as he rambled, "Just kill me."
DAVID DAO, INJURED PASSENGER: Just kill me. Just kill me.
MARSH: His attorney explained.
DEMETRIO: He said that he left Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell. And he was on a boat. And he said he was terrified. He said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced in leaving Vietnam.
MARSH: Dao's daughter said watching the video made her family even more outraged.
CRYSTAL DAO PEPPER, DAVID DAO'S DAUGHTER: What happened to my dad should have never happened to any human being regardless of the circumstances. We were horrified.
MARSH: The attorney also blamed the city of Chicago and its officers. While a lawsuit has not been filed yet, they've signaled it's the direction they're going in, asking a court to order the airline and Chicago airport police to preserve evidence, including surveillance video of passengers boarding the flight, the cockpit voice recordings and personnel files.
JUSTIN GREEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: This happened in the absolute worst city, Chicago. It's famous for being a very good place to sue a corporation and it's the last place on earth that United Airlines would want to defend the case.
MARSH: It took three days before the airline CEO faced the media and apologized directly to Dao, a move that may have satisfied some of the airline's PR problems, but in the end may hurt them legally.
GREEN: The CEO of United is already on the record saying Dr. Dao did nothing wrong. So it's going to be, I think, more difficult for United to defend the case.
MARSH (on camera): Well, CNN has obtained an e-mail the airline sent to passengers offering reimbursement for the flight. It says customers are eligible for vouchers towards future flights if they release the airline from lawsuits. Well, after CNN reported this, a United spokesperson later told us that it didn't mean to send passengers e-mails with that language and then told us that no person on board that flight would have to agree to such terms.
Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.
SESAY: And defense attorney Ron Bamieh joins me now. He's a former prosecutor in the U.S. Justice Department. Ron, good to have you with us.
RON BAMIEH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.
SESAY: When you put together Dr. Dao's lawyer's move to file a bill of discovery to preserve evidence and the statements made at the press conference, what's your picture of how they're going to fight this case?
BAMIEH: I don't think they're going to fight. I think they're just going to wait for the big check. What's clear from United Airlines' CEO's statement is they want to make it right, as they say. What they want to do is end the PR nightmare that they're experiencing. So they're just positioning themselves to sit down at the table and watch United write them a big check to go away and hopefully keep quiet.
SESAY: So the move to preserve evidence, that's just smoke screen, that's just going through the motions in your view?
BAMIEH: Yes. They know they're getting a big check at this point.
[01:35:02] When United Airlines spokesman comes out and says we want to make this right he's not talking about giving them a hug. He's talking about giving them some money.
SESAY: I was thinking about the fact that you said that you don't see any wrongdoing here on the part of United.
BAMIEH: Well, what I don't see here is that United should be liable for anything. First of all they're liable, for instance, for having him leave his flight potentially. They shouldn't have let him board the plane. Most carriers have a carriage of contract with all passengers, like if you went to fly on a plane, on the back of your ticket there are these terms at the back of your ticket that tell you when they can let you leave the plane, what you do on a plane, when they can ask you to leave.
But one thing they all have is this little saying that says we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. So they shouldn't have let him board the plane, no doubt. And it's obviously --
SESAY: And there are no exceptions to just unreservedly they reserve the right?
BAMIEH: There are exceptions.
BAMIEH: But in terms of -- I want to make sure I understand your question is, there are exceptions are that you can't be unruly, you can't do certain activities, you can't take your shoes off, for instance, on the back of a carrier of contract this act, this evening. But once he gets on the plane and they ask him to leave and he won't leave, what's their choices? Well, they did the right thing, they said OK, law enforcement is going to ask him to leave. Now should they have asked him to leave? Was it appropriate for them to have their employees take the seats of passengers? Probably not, no. They made a poor decision. But when somebody makes a poor decision, it doesn't allow you to behave poorly. And he decided to behave poorly. He did.
SESAY: He -- I don't follow. He decided to behave poorly, how? Because as far as we can make it, they yanked him out of his seat.
BAMIEH: Right. His behavior are poorly when he sees a police officer. If I'm sitting here right now and a police officer walks in and says, you know, CNN would like you to leave, Mr. Bamieh. I don't say no. I don't say make me or I'm not going to leave. And they say, well, if you don't leave we're going to have to take you out of there. What do I do? I get up and leave like the other three passengers did who left voluntarily when they're asked them to leave. I don't sit there and not comply with the police officers giving me a lawful order to get up and leave.
SESAY: So are you saying that the actions taken were justified?
BAMIEH: I'm saying that when a police officer gives you a lawful order, a command --
SESAY: A lawful order maybe, but when they resort to physical force and escalate the situation the way they did, is that justified?
BAMIEH: OK. Well, what's the police officer supposed to say? You know what, forget what I told you to do there. You know, you're right. I won't make you leave. When the police officer tells you to leave and you don't leave they can force you and use physical force. They're allowed to. The physical force they did was basically picked him up and carried him out of there. They didn't beat him or anything like that.
SESAY: He came back and he was bloodied. I mean, something happened at their hands which presented the situation of him being bloody, concussed, losing two teeth, and needing his face to be reconstructed according to his attorneys.
BAMIEH: Right. When somebody gets physically removed, they're going to be jostled. They're going to be thrown around a bit. That's part of when you resist. What he did was he resisted arrest. He basically resisted a lawful command from a police officer which requires them to use physical force. In California we call that resisting arrest. He did that. That's what he did. And the guy has a long history of not exactly being a legal guy. He doesn't follow the law very often.
SESAY: That doesn't set the stage for -- regardless of what his past may or may not contain, that doesn't in any way set the stage of saying that it's justified how he was treated or that he deserved it.
BAMIEH: Well, no. It becomes relevant because his excuse for not complying with them is he's a doctor. Well, he's a doctor who has lost his license a couple of times for basically selling drugs to people who shouldn't have it for sex. He's not exactly an honorable guy.
BAMIEH: No, it's not irrelevant.
SESAY: Irrelevant. The question of how they settle and whether that becomes a factor in how much they pay him, but I mean, it's irrelevant to the situation as it played out on that plane.
BAMIEH: Not when he makes it relevant. He made it relevant by saying he was a doctor and that's why he had to go. He said he had --
SESAY: He is a doctor.
BAMIEH: He has patients to attend to. He's a doctor whose license has been suspended and can practice one day a week.
SESAY: Still a doctor.
BAMIEH: Still a doctor but still a doctor of ill repute. And so when he makes it relevant, he puts his past into play, and when he puts his past in the play you can consider everything and you consider everything in terms of how he behaved on that plane. He behaved poorly. He was a jerk. He gets removed.
When a police officer tells you to do something, you've got to do it. I'm living 51 years now of being arrest-free. My secret? When the police ask me to do something, I do it.
SESAY: United not seeing it they way you see. United's feeling that he did nothing wrong, then they stepped out of bound, that they need to make it right. Clearly disagree with the way you say it.
BAMIEH: No, United thinks they want to end the PR nightmare. They're not talking about legally. They're talking about the PR nightmare they're experiencing because all of us have issues with airlines because we've all been bumped from planes, we've all been asked to leave, we've all been delayed. So there's a lot of anger toward airlines. But United didn't do it. United didn't physically remove him. The Chicago Police Department removed him.
SESAY: United not making that distinction however. Just claiming responsibility.
BAMIEH: Because it's much easier for United to pay him and stop the nightmare than it is to fight him in court for a couple of months.
SESAY: Ron Bamieh, please come back. Let's keep the conversation going.
BAMIEH: Love to.
SESAY: Appreciate it.
BAMIEH: OK. Thanks.
SESAY: Thank you. Next on NEWSROOM L.A., it's been three years since Boko Haram
kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian girls from their school. We'll tell you about the search to bring them home.
[01:43:04] SESAY: Three years after their kidnapping by the terrorist group Boko Haram, most of the Chibok schoolgirls are still missing. A few have escaped and the militants released some of the others after negotiating with the Nigerian government. But where the rest of the girls are remains a mystery. Here's a look back at the kidnapping.
SESAY (voice-over): It was April 14th, 2014. 276 teenage girls were taken from their school in the middle of the night. Some of the girls were able to escape in the hours that followed.
It happened in a town of Chibok, in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. They were captured by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Several weeks later, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video claiming responsibility for abducting the girls and threatening to sell them as slaves.
With international outrage mounting, protests began over the Nigerian government's failure to bring the girls home and a social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls was launched.
A month later, the hash tag had been tweeted over one million times by people around the globe including politicians, celebrities, and then First Lady Michelle Obama.
One year after the girls were taken, in April of 2015, Muhammadu Buhari won Nigeria's presidential election and vowed to curb Boko Haram's violence.
Another year goes by. In April of 2016, CNN obtained a proof of life video sent by their captors showing 15 of the girls. We shared it with several of the girls' mothers. Some tearful moments as they recognize their daughters.
In October last year, the Nigerian government announced some of the girls were freed after negotiations with Boko Haram. I was there when two months later those 21 girls finally returned to Chibok and reunite with their families.
[01:45:08] The room almost vibrating with the sound of unbridled joy. But for some waiting parents, heartbreak. These women have come looking for their daughters who are still being held by Boko Haram. They'd thought their children were among the group who were coming home for Christmas.
(On-camera): There has been such an outpouring of grief amid the joy, the piercing screams of mothers realizing that indeed they are not to be reunited with their daughters on this day, which has turned what should have been an overwhelmingly happy moment into a bittersweet one.
(Voice-over): Although several other girls managed to escape over the course of the past three years, the majority of those kidnapped remain in Boko Haram captivity to this day.
SESAY: They have been gone far too long. They should be home by now.
We're going to take a short break. More news right after this.
[01:50:06] SESAY: Canada is on track to legalize recreational use of marijuana by mid-2018. The government proposed legislation on Thursday to fulfill an election promise. If adopted the new law would allow adults to possess and grow small quantities of cannabis. Canada already allows the use of medical marijuana but it would be the first G-7 country to legalize recreational marijuana nationally.
All right then. Movie fans, better buckle up. The latest installment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise has roared into theaters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ, ACTOR: You were only supposed to create a diversion, Roman.
LUDACRIS, ACTOR: That was complete destruction.
TYRESE GIBSON, ACTOR: What do you want from me? I'm Roman Pearce, man. This is what I do.
VIN DIESEL, ACTOR: Phase two.
GIBSON: Phase two? What's phase two?
DIESEL: Bombs away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, "The Fate of the Furious" opens in dozens of locations worldwide this week. Analysts told the "L.A. Times" it could rake in $400 million in its opening weekend.
I'm joined now by Segun Oduolowu, he's an entertainment journalist and pop culture contributor to "Access Hollywood Live."
Segun, great to have you with us.
SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: It's good to be back. You look amazing. What are you doing? Because you look slim. (LAUGHTER)
SESAY: I'm going to let that go because there are so many ways I could take that. But let's move on to the film. It has been 16 years, there have been eight installments, which have created a $3.9 billion phenomenon. New (INAUDIBLE). How are they keeping these movies fresh?
ODUOLOWU: Because they appeal to everyone. Multi-ethnic cast. You've got strong men, you've got strong women, you've got racially ambiguous people. They go to wonderful locales. There was "Tokyo Drift," let's hit the Asian market. Let's have Jason Statham in there. Let's hit England and let's hit -- you know, we've got the Rock, we've got Vin Diesel. But what they've also done is they've kept consistent writers, a consistent cast, but they change up the directors. This time around it's F. Gary Gray who's fresh off the heels of "Straight Out of Compton,"
ODUOLOWU: So he is -- well, he's worked with all of these actors before.
SESAY: Well, that's interesting.
ODUOLOWU: He'd worked with Charlize Theron who's also new to this installment of the "Fast and the Furious." He worked with her on "The Italian Job." He worked with the Rock before. He's worked with Vin Diesel before. So when you have all of these -- the same parts and people that are familiar with each other, you're going to get a family atmosphere. And that's what they deliver every single time.
SESAY: And it's important that you mentioned family because the idea of family and loyalty is at the core of these films. It holds together each installment, it holds together the franchise. And that's what they've done to -- that's something they're trying to build with their fans. The sense of family and loyalty to the franchise.
ODUOLOWU: Absolutely. Look, when you've got fast cars, you appeal to men. Men love their muscle cars, you've got Ferraris, you've got more explosions. You've pretty women. That -- men really love pretty women, as I complimented you earlier.
SESAY: Thank you. Thank you. We get it.
ODUOLOWU: But more importantly, that family -- I can take my kids to see it. And aside from the language -- well, the kids that I don't have, but some will have. Beyonce is watching. So mom soon. But you can bring your kids --
SESAY: You can announce on the show.
ODUOLOWU: No. Trust me, nothing to announce yet. Still haven't walked down the aisle. But you have -- you've got kids that you can take to this, you've got grandparents. You can look at a Ferrari, you can look at a classic car, and then there's explosions. And Jean- Claude Van Damme once said and it was really, really smart that humor is lost on a lot of people, but everybody knows a punch, everyone knows a kick, everyone knows an explosion. The "Fast and the Furious" gives you kicks, punches, explosions and cars. You can't beat that formula.
SESAY: Never thought I'd see the day when they'll be quoting Jean- Claude Van Damme.
ODUOLOWU: What? Come on. The muscles of Brussels?
SESAY: And it would be a waking moment. I never thought it would happen. But as we talk about the family holding these films together, holding the franchise together, a linchpin of the family was of course Paul Walker, who tragically died in that offset car collision in 2013. How do they handle this? Because obviously the last installment they had filmed some scenes, they included that. He's now not with us. How did they take that on in this film? Do they address it?
ODUOLOWU: I think that they do with a quick piece. But he had a very long montage at the end of the last one.
SESAY: That's right.
ODUOLOWU: So I think they've laid that to rest, so to speak. And now the main character is Vin Diesel, and Vin Diesel's character and storyline has been the driving force for a while. It is an ensemble cast.
ODUOLOWU: But Vin Diesel and his -- you know, his fight, aggression with the Rock's character, his aggression with the --
SESAY: On and off the set.
ODUOLOWU: On and off the set. We don't want to get into -- do we want to get into the gossip?
SESAY: No. We want to get --
ODUOLOWU: Because I could give you some --
SESAY: No. No.
ODUOLOWU: Because I can give you some stories about that. But it's really more about Vin Diesel now. And in this installment it's Vin being seduced by Charlize Theron and going against his crew. And that whole idea of loyalty and family gets tested in this movie. It's a different twist for the franchise. I think it's an exciting one. I think with F. Gary Gray at the helm of it, you're going to get probably better storylines than people may have seen because he's a director that can really track a story better than just your average action director.
[01:55:04] SESAY: To that point about you getting a better storyline, this one has got a 65 percent movie review on the site Rotten Tomatoes. It brings in tens of millions of dollars at the box office. But it doesn't get much -- I don't want to say respect. Right?
ODUOLOWU: No, it doesn't -- I mean, listen, eight installments. It's like "Friday the 13th" part 900th. You don't get -- you don't get a lot of credit when you are sequels. But one thing that Hollywood should -- really should kind of invest in, are these movies profitable? Because we give --
SESAY: They are.
ODUOLOWU: We give awards for all kinds of movies that no one ever watches.
SESAY: Exactly. That's what I'm getting at.
ODUOLOWU: "La La Land."
SESAY: That's what I'm getting at.
ODUOLOWU: And now you get the opportunity where a big budget action movie that brings in dollars, that entertains the world over, again, this is going to appeal in ways that a lot of your Oscar movies don't. I can watch this in Africa, I can watch this in China, in Japan, Asia, Mongolia if you want.
Everybody knows what a car is. Everybody knows what a Ferrari is. We've heard the name. We know punches, we know excitement, we know explosions. So these movies sell. And even if a United States, Rotten Tomatoes wants to say well, it doesn't appeal to my high-brow sensibilities, the world is watching. And they love it.
SESAY: Can I also say? I'm not ashamed to say, I like them.
ODUOLOWU: My fiancee likes them.
SESAY: I like these films.
ODUOLOWU: I agree. I have to go watch the movie tomorrow when it opens again with my fiancee because if I don't watch it with her, I'm in the doghouse. She likes the Rock. Like if you're watching Dwayne --
SESAY: That's too many --
ODUOLOWU: He's a pebble to me, Dwayne. I'm just calling it out.
SESAY: Too many issues to deal with right now.
ODUOLOWU: He's a big pebble to me.
SESAY: Too many issues. But --
ODUOLOWU: I'm the rock in this family.
(LAUGHTER) SESAY: Stay with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. He will not be back but I will be back at the top of the hour.