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Delta Fires Back at Ann Coulter over Seat Fight; Biggest Surprises from Trump's 1st 6 Months in Office; Bride-to-Be Calls 911, Is Fatally Shot by Police. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 17, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:30:08] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Conservative pundit, Ann Coulter, is now at war with Delta Airlines. She's been on a three-day Twitter rant that seems to not end. It started when her aisle seat was unexpectedly given to someone else and she was left with a window seat. She begins on her Twitter feed, "Hey, Delta, you mind telling me why it was an emergency to move someone else into a seat I had carefully chosen in advance and booked?"

After a few more bitter tweets, she publicly outs the fellow passengers: "Delta didn't give my extra room to an air marshal or tall person. Here's the woman given my pre-booked seat." She actually includes a picture.

So then Delta hits back with this tweet: "Ann Coulter, we're sorry you did not receive the preferred seat you paid for and we will refund your $30. Additionally, your insults about other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary."

With me now to discuss is Jacqueline Whitmore, a former flight attendant who is now an international business etiquette expert.

Great to have you on.

First, what's your reaction to this?

JACQUELINE WHITMORE, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ETIQUETTE EXPERT & FORMER FLIGHT ATTENDANT: My reaction is there was fault on both parts. First of all, it's the flight attendant's duty to make sure all passengers are safe at all times. Ann Coulter was moved to a window seat, and -- but it was in the same aisle. She had the same exact legroom. She was flying from New York to Palm Beach, so it was a three-hour flight. So most people would just say, hey, I'll just move and let someone else have my seat. What I understand from the article that I read is the flight attendant said, after Ann Coulter said, why are you moving me," the flight attendant said, "I don't know." You never say, "I don't know," to a customer.

In fact, what should have happened is a gate agent should have come into the airplane and total Ann why she was being moved. She did pre- choose that seat in advance. $30 is not the issue here. She doesn't want her money back. She just wanted that legroom. And from someone who has traveled frequently, I know that I always require or like to have an aisle seat. But the way she handled it, photographing a passenger who was replaced was absolutely rude.

BROWN: Right. I mean, the passenger presumably had nothing to do with the situation. But then you look at Delta's response, the statement started off saying, look, we're sorry you didn't get the seat and we'll refund your money. But the statement went on to tell her that her behavior was unacceptable. What is your take on that? Do you think Delta went too far in chastising her?

WHITMORE: First of all, anybody can complain online. That's exactly what I would have done or recommended that someone do. Obviously, it's getting results. Now we're talking about it on national television. So Delta could have offered --

BROWN: But she's a big-time celebrity with millions of followers, a well-known person. She's not just like any passenger.

WHITMORE: Right, but really, the airlines is not supposed to give preferential treatment. That's the bottom line. What they could have done in that case is maybe upgrade her or move her to another seat comparable with existing leg room. And I don't mean in a middle or window seat, but an aisle seat. If that wasn't the case, they could have given her a voucher for $200 or $300 off her next flight. But $30 is really not acceptable.

BROWN: Very quickly, as we wrap up, you said no one should get preferential treatment. But in this case, you don't see Delta releasing statements like they released in her case. It seems as though the fact that she was tweeting and so many people were reading her tweets and retweeting her tweets struck a nerve.

WHITMORE: Absolutely. Where I see her at fault was photographing the passengers in her row. That was a violation of their privacy, and that should have never happened. But anyone -- you know, the social media is alive and well, and anyone can tweet their frustrations. I guarantee you, they will get results.

BROWN: Jacqueline Whitmore, thank you.

WHITMORE: Thank you.

[14:35:39] BROWN: As President Trump gets ready to speak live at the White House on the newest theme week for the White House, he's also approaching six months in office. We're going to talk about the biggest surprises so far.

Plus, police shoot and kill a bride-to-be in Minneapolis after she calls 911 to report a possible assault. Hear what happened.


BROWN: Welcome back. We are just moments away from the White House press briefing. And President Trump speaking live for the launch of their new theme week. And he's facing the lowest approval rating of any U.S. president in 70 years since modern polling began. So six months into his presidency, what are the biggest surprises? I'm joined by an all-star team to discussion. David Catanese, senior

politics writer for "U.S. News & World Report, and CNN political correspondent, Brianna Keilar, and CNN's politics producer, Dan Merica.

Each of you have different things that have surprised you in these six months.

Brianna, I want to start with you.

What's your top one?

[14:39:57] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: My top one, I'm surprised we haven't seen more military invasions. Because I think, coming into the presidency, people had two ideas about what Donald Trump would be, either isolationist when it came to the potential military engagement, or they would take him at his word that, I would bomb the bleep out of them, when he was talking about those ISIS oil fields. And I took him at his, this idea of being able to use military engagement as a sign of strength is something I thought he would lean towards. And I'm surprised that some of the military advisers around him have been able to channel some of that inclination --


KEILAR: -- which I think is pretty clear that he has, into some restraint. So that's number one.

The other one is I'm surprised he hasn't been better at the deal, because that was the whole basis of what he was talking about. Even though there was this, I think, disagreement among some about how great his business acumen was. As he was coming into the White House, I think he had lost a lot of money. Undeniably, he came in with a set of experiences that most politicians don't have. We just haven't seen that when it comes to health care. Him working behind the scenes.


KEILAR: I wonder if you've noticed that.


BROWN: -- pretty removed.

KEILAR: That's right.


BROWN: Or even just understanding what's in the bill, which we're talking markets, interest in different stakeholders. He doesn't seem to really have that.

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS PRODUCER: That's been the overarching promise of the entire campaign --

BROWN: Right.

MERICA: -- I can make deals. Our old politicians can't make deals. I can make deals. That's what he promised the American people. And I agree --

BROWN: He still talked about it, even in his meeting with Putin. He talked about, look, I'm a good deal maker.


BROWN: -- and so forth.

KEILAR: And there is the cease-fire, yet that's very much up in the air. Right now, you have Syria -- the regime appears to be removing troops, where that might not even be a deal.

DAVID CATANESE, SENIOR POLITICS WRITER, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: You weren't surprised at his bombing of Syria? To me, that was a surprise that he took military action in Syria in a surgical strike after lambasting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the compare, warning, saying, don't bomb into Syria. So that was military action that he took. I was surprised that he did take it. It was sort of a reversal from what he said during the campaign.

KEILAR: I guess I was surprised at how surgical it was. And I'm surprised we haven't seen -- more than that, I'm surprised we haven't seen more of that.

BROWN: So you think there's more - there's kind of an inconsistency, I guess, in a way, right? Like there was a strike in Syria. And in another way, you feel like -

CATANESE: He ran as a noninterventionist. The way I viewed him is he ran to the left of Hillary Clinton on foreign policy. He said Hillary Clinton got us into these wars in the Middle East because of her entanglements, because of her foreign policy vision. To sort of -- you know, the Steve Bannon vision was "bring America home, America First." American First isn't -- what was our strategic gain at bombing Syria? What that was, was a reaction to a chemical attack. That a globalist approach. That is to say it's America's job to intervene when something bad is going on in another country that, frankly, really doesn't affect us.

BROWN: You bring up Steve Bannon. He is still in the White House. Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway.

Dan, what's your biggest surprise?

MERICA: I'm surprised no one has been fired. After the six months of --


-- story that we've had in all the major news outlets about this advisor in, this advisor out, they're all still in there. They're all in their current positions. And the surprising part to me is the amount of leaking coming out of this administration, the daily, weekly story from "The Times," "The Post," CNN, that have three, four senior White House officials sourced.


BROWN: -- the White House.

MERICA: Somebody from the inside is doing damage.

BROWN: I mean --

MERICA: And the president has not done the "you're fired" trademark.

BROWN: Right.

MERICA: I think part of that is because he's under investigation and you want these people closer. You don't want to cut them close on the outside. Mueller could cut a deal later for immunity.


MERICA: So I think that that is the investigation that is over this entire presidency is protecting his advisers, insulating them in effect.

BROWN: Is that your second point or do you have another point?


CATANESE: My second is a bit tongue-in-cheek. It's just that I'm surprised that any of us are surprised at anything.


BROWN: That was what I said -


CATANESE: We shouldn't be surprised at anything.

BROWN: Exactly.


BROWN: That's my thought. Nothing really surprises me anymore.

What about you?

MERICA: We get to my surprises.


MERICA: I am surprised Obamacare is the law of the land. I remember thinking, in early November, if you told me Donald Trump was going to be president, the Republicans were going to control the Senate, and how, and I would have taken that bet. I'm still pretty surprised. And I think there's a lot of lawmakers that are surprised.

BROWN: Dan is good at this.

MERICA: Yes --

BROWN: I normally lose bets.

MERICA: They're still struggling to keep the seven-year promise and deliver on that. That has surprised me. And I think that gets to your point, he hasn't been able to ink that big deal. You're seeing that infrastructure. That was something that even some Senators have said why don't we start with that. And on tax reform. I think all of this has piled up on him, and he hasn't been able to ink that big deal.

This is something that, I'm particularly interested in, is his rejection of the president's club. For so long, it was thought that presidents could get along. And the president currently in the White House can reach back and talk to former presidents. And we're told, he hasn't talked to Obama since Obama took off from the capitol. I was told that Bill Clinton hasn't talked to him since they talked briefly after the election.


[14:45:37] BROWN: Whose decision? Is that his decision? Their decision, to keep a distance?

MERICA: I think the initial relationship is generally made by the current president. They reach out, I have a question on this, how do I handle this? It shouldn't surprise me because you have -- President Trump ran against President Obama, questioned his legitimacy, asked for his birth certificate. But I think there was going to be a humbling in the job to a degree, trying to reach back. There's only so many people know what this job is like.

BROWN: Right.

MERICA: And when somebody is facing these historically low poll ratings, numbers, you know, you reach back and ask, how do I get out of this?


KEILAR: Even if you have people -- not that many people because there aren't that many ex-presidents -- who disagreed with Donald Trump, if they called up to try to sort something out, it's a call these would take.

MERICA: Absolutely.

KEILAR: That's sort of the respect that presidents have for each other and there just hasn't been --

MERICA: Absolutely.

KEILAR: -- that desire maybe.

BROWN: And let me ask you about him not being part of the president's club. We were talking about this earlier. Before he went into the White House, there was so much talk among political pundits he would become more presidential, or an expectation he would become more presidential, perhaps lay off Twitter a bit. That hasn't happened. Is that surprising to you, David?

CATANESE: No. I mean, he --


To Dan's initial point, he ran against all three former presidents. He ran against Obama, Clintons, and Bushes. So they're -- he ran against the institution, almost, of the presidency. I think, you know, even though we see these polls come out, even his supporters say, stop using Twitter. In his mind, this is how he broke the mold. This is the only reason he --

BROWN: The modern-day president --


CATANESE: He broke convention. So his argument is, I'm smashing more of these rules, because that's why I got here in the first place. If I would have played by the rules, the Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio/Hillary Clinton way, I would have lost.

MERICA: The reason I'm actually surprised is because you think about the closest presidential relationship is probably George H.W. Bush and Clinton. They literally ran against each other. And Bill Clinton beat him. And now they have this incredibly close relationship. For some reason, the Oval Office humbles people at times. And that has not happened with Donald Trump. He's on an island when it comes to his predecessor.

KEILAR: President Obama said he thought -- he said that the office has a way of sort of creating gravity or just bringing you to a place where it changes your mind about what's at stake.


BROWN: You know what, we're only six months in, so perhaps things will change.

This was such as interesting conversation. We could go on and on.


KEILAR: I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't, though, Pamela.


BROWN: No. Again, nothing surprises me anymore.

(LAUGHTER) Thank you, to the three of you. Brianna, David, Dan, really appreciate it.

Shane Spicer's returned to the podium moments ago as we get really to hear the White House briefing. Stay with us.

Plus, a woman calls 911 to report a possible assault. When cops arrive, she's shot dead by police. What happened here? The events that led up to the shooting, up next.


[14:52:30] BROWN: A bride-to-be in Minneapolis gunned down after calling 911 to report a possible assault. The shooter, a responding police officer. But the circumstances around her death remain very much a mystery.

I want to bring in CNN correspondent, Scott McLain. He's following all of this

What are you learnings?

SCOTT MCLAIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela, as you said, this was a shooting that took place in the back alley of a very suburban middle- class Minneapolis neighborhood. And it was a police officer who pulled the trigger. But what happened and why are still question marks at this point. We are learning more about Justine Ruszczyk. She is an American citizen from Australia, who had been living in Minnesota for the last three-plus hears with her fiance, who she was supposed to marry next month, Pamela.

Now, according to a source who knew Ruszczyk, she said that this 911 call -- she made this 911 call late Saturday night to report a possible sexual assault happening in that back alley. When police showed up, a shot was fired, and Ruszczyk was killed.

Now, the lack of information here is complicated by the fact that the police officers who responded were wearing body cameras, but they weren't actually turned off, nor there any dash camera video that we know of. That's puzzling even to the mayor of Minneapolis, who is calling for more information to be put out there. Listen in.


BETSY HODGES, (D), MINNEAPOLIS MAYOR: Like you, I also have a lot of questions. I have a lot of questions about why the body cameras weren't on, questions that I hope and anticipate will be answered in the next few days, and I share those questions with the community.


MCLAIN: Where this happened is a pretty tight-knit community of friends and neighbors. Many, several dozen turned out yesterday to have a vigil for Ruszczyk.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the local chapter, also put out a statement on this shooting, Pamela. It read in part: "The two officers broke the policy" - meaning the Minneapolis police policy -- "not only when they didn't activate the body cameras before the incident, but when they failed to do so after the use of force. These two officers should face penalties for breaking policy and making the truth so much harder to find."

We asked is the Minneapolis Police Department to comment, they declined, because they are not the agency investigating. They did point us to their policy, though, that does state that those cameras should be turned on in situation involving contact with criminal activity, or prior to the use of any force. And if they're not turned on, they should be turned on afterwards. And at this point, there's no indication that that actually happened.

One other thing to mention, Pamela, is the autopsy on Ruszczyk's body has been completed. We should be expecting the results later on today.

[14:55:15] BROWN: Just an awful story no matter how you look at it.

Scott, thank you very much.

We're moments away from the White House press briefing. Sean Spicer returns to the podium facing questions about what the president knew about his son's meeting with a Russian lawyer. We'll have that for you.

Plus, President Trump speaking live in the next hour from the White House, part of his "Made in America" theme week. We'll also have that.

Lots going on. Stay with us.


[14:59:56] BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown, in for Brooke Baldwin. Thanks so much for being with me on this Monday.

Just moments from now, Sean Spicer returning to the podium for the White House briefing. The president himself speaking live as the White House launches a new theme week.

But first, new developments in the Russia scandal that is enveloping the Trump White House --