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NTSB: Blown Southwest Jet Engine Showed "Metal Fatigue"; CIA Director Pompeo Met Secretly with Kim Jong-Un at Easter; Haley on Sanctions: "I don't get confused"; Sen. Graham "Unnerved" after Briefing on Syria; Remembering former First Lady Barbara Bush. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired April 18, 2018 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We now know that there was a woman that was at least partially ejected at one point, as you're about to hear from one passenger. It took, in their own words, several minutes to finally be able to pull that woman back into the cabin.


TIM MCARTHY, WITNESS: Somebody screamed, and we realized what happened when the window went out. And so, I tried and tried, and I couldn't. I just couldn't. And then Andrew came over and just trying to get her back in. It didn't feel like it was trying to pull me out. It just felt like whenever I stuck anything out it would just slam me back.


SANDOVAL: The picture that these passengers paint with the description is really incredible. Sadly, however, in spite of these really incredible efforts by strangers, we now know that the woman did not make it. Now identified as Jennifer Riordan, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, described as a Wells Fargo executive, Kate, a mother, a wife. Certainly, people here on the ground hoping their families at least get a small measure of peace knowing there were so many people that came together in that crucial moment to try to save their loved one's life.

BOLDUAN: It is just absolutely terrifying and so sad.

Polo, thank you for bringing the details.

The investigation into what happened to that engine continues.

Joining me now is CNN's Richard Quest. And he often does double duty for aviation correspondent for CNN, and is the editor-at-large at CNN Money and host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" on CNN International.

So, Richard, what do you make of the details that are coming out about what happened to this plane? The metal fatigue and something of an explosion and this woman almost being sucked out.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT & CNN MONEY EDITOR-AT-LARGE & CNN HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: We'll start from the basics. Engines are not supposed to explode. So something clearly went very badly wrong. And if you look at all of the previous incidents of engine explosions recently, the British Airways 777 and the former Southwest just a couple of years ago, and the American Airlines and the Quantas A-380, in all cases, it was either an oil leak, some sort of pressure leak or metal fatigue along the turbine discs at the front of the engine or the fan blades. That's why when they inspect for maintenance on these engines, they use bore scopes going right into the heart, down the pipes and around the corners, and that's what they'll be focusing on here, the nature of the metal fatigue in that FCM engine that eventually caused it to blow up and to eject the various parts into the fuselage.

BOLDUAN: It is still amazing to see the pictures and the video coming out as it made that emergency landing.

You are in the Florida Stock Exchange. What is the impact of this disaster like this on Southwest Airlines?

QUEST: OK. Well, we never count dollars before lives in this case, but it is worth pointing out today, because people will be saying should I fly Southwest? Is Southwest safe? The answers to both questions is yes, Southwest is safe. And the market is seemingly brushing off what it sees. And Southwest shares are up 3 percent on the back, incidentally, of good earnings from United Airlines, which is up some 6 percent. And indeed, the whole airline sector has been up very sharply. What we're seeing in the market -- and we'll talk more about it on markets now live which is at in just about an hour and 15 from now. What we'll be talking about then is the markets and the earnings and putting into perspective just what you need to do in these extremely tricky investing times.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right.

Thank you, Richard. It's very good to see you.

Coming up for us, talking about very unnerved, try that on for size. That is how one Republican lawmaker is saying after he left a classified briefing on the president's Syria policy. Why? What is the Syria policy first off? And why are fellow Republicans so nervous after hearing the briefing? We'll find out from another Republican who was in the briefing, joining me next.


[11:38:15] BOLDUAN: An extraordinary meeting between the CIA director and a dictator, confirmed via tweet by President Trump. The White House now says the once secret face to face between Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, happened over Easter weekend. This morning, the president confirmed it via Twitter and said, "It went smoothly, and a good relationship was formed."

This comes at a critical time when details over the president's sit- down with Kim Jong-Un are still being hammered out and worked out.

Joining me now, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congressman, thanks for coming in.


BOLDUAN: Is it news to you that Mike Pompeo was in North Korea meeting with Kim Jong-Un.

KINZINGER: I got it this morning when I woke up and it was surprising, and I know Mike. I worked with him on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Great guy. I put a lot of trust in him.

While this is unique and very surprising, I think it's good because you want these kinds of meetings to happen before the president actually goes and meets. You want some of these things to be hammered out so that final negotiations can be put down because we're really at the 11th hour of diplomacy, and if this fails, I fear what comes next.

BOLDUAN: Pardon me for being cynical in the world of politics, Congressman, but do you think that this coming out now has anything to do with the fact that Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state is up at this moment?

KINZINGER: It's possible.

BOLDUAN: This could help strengthen his position in getting confirmed.

KINZINGER: It's possible, and I don't think that necessarily would be a bad tactic, because the Senate is debating whether or not to put Mike Pompeo in. I'm not saying the administration did it for this reason, but I don't think it is anything improper. It's saying, you are looking to put the chief diplomat in place and let me tell you what he's already done. He's already met with Kim Jong-Un, which is a really big deal. So even if they did put it out for the reason of his nomination is going on, I think it's totally appropriate.

[11:40:09] BOLDUAN: On Syria, Nikki Haley and the White House, let's just say they're not on the same page right now. She says sanctions against Russia were coming. She said they were coming or already were in place. The White House says she's confused. And, of course, then she hits back with the "I don't get confused."


BOLDUAN: The back and forth -- I don't even care about the back and forth, more so I care about do you think Nikki Haley speaks for the president anymore?

KINZINGER: I do. I actually really admired her for saying that, I don't get confused. I think she's a very tough person and has represented us very well at the U.N. And I think has a very long career in front of her.

Look, my guess is, and I'm speculating, is that initially they wanted to do sanctions and the president changed his mind. It's OK to change his mind. But she was put out on a ledge. And it's OK to say we struck and we'll figure out what the next steps are, but I don't think it's proper to leave people out hanging. And it seems the chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, backed off of that, which I appreciate him willing to do. And if sanctions are appropriate for the next step against Russia, let's do it. We're also concerned with escalation. I think we made a strong point with the strike and we'll see where it goes from here.

BOLDUAN: You've been -- I mean, to generalize here, you've been pro- sanctions against Russia. No Question.


BOLDUAN: Do you think it's time for another round? Why do you think the White House is hesitating here?

KINZINGER: I do think it's time for another round. We finally put in place the sanctions from meddling in the election, all of the sanctions that Congress passed. I do think it's time for more because, look, when you poison people in the U.K., when you support Assad and his gassing of civilian, there's got to be a price to pay. I'm obviously not president. That's his decision to make. And if there's a reason -- I don't doubt that -- I think actually President Trump has been very hawkish against Russia in all, but words. And so if they decide sanctions aren't the way to go for now I'll be OK for that, but I hope they entertain it as a way to go against the Russians. The thing to keep in mind is the Russian lynchpin right now is the weak economy, the fact that they only exist on the price of oil, they have a weak economy, a declining population, and a military that's really not all that capable with the exception of (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about something related here. The defense secretary gave you all a classified briefing on the strikes yesterday. Coming out of the briefing, Senator Lindsey Graham said that he was now unnerved, very unnerved, and also said that he is now more worried, not less, about U.S. policy toward Syria after leaving the briefing. How about you?

KINZINGER: We have different briefings, same people. I don't know what was said in the Senate briefing. I left OK with the briefing because it was specifically based on what we did in response to chemical weapons. I wish we'd had a slightly more robust strike, but I think it was very robust and sent a strong statement. The biggest question is, what is the Syria policy. Since the beginning of the civil war, whether it's under President Obama or President Trump we haven't had one.

BOLDUAN: But did you get the impression, because it seems like Lindsey Graham did -- he said my impression is that this administration, this president wants to get out of Syria as soon as possible. Was that the impression you had leaving, as well?

KINZINGER: I don't think I got that impression. Again, I don't know what was said in his briefing. It was a different one. But I did get the impression that they weren't going to talk about a broader serious strategy. That's the case for the last year and a half. It's a complicated issue. We don't need full intervention in Syria right now. It's difficult. But Assad needs to go. We need a diplomatic solution to this war and we have to stop Iran from completing a land bridge.

BOLDUAN: Kellyanne Conway said over the weekend that it was sarin gas that was used. She seemed pretty definitive they knew that was it, that was what happened. CNN's reporting now is U.S. intelligence didn't have absolute certainty that sarin gas was used as one of the chemicals in the attack. Is that OK? Were you OK going ahead with the strike if they didn't have, quote, unquote, "absolute certainty."

KINZINGER: Yes. Absolutely. I don't want to speak to what the I.C., the intelligence community, has or doesn't have. I don't want to reveal that. They know at least -- we do know that at least chlorine gas was involved. And if sarin seems possible, if it was involved that's another thing, too. But the reality is whether it's chlorine, sarin, or any other gas, it's a chemical weapon, and there's got to be a point in which freedom-loving people stand up. Frankly, we've seen it in polling where I saw today that two-thirds of Americans support what the president did.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, thanks for coming in. I appreciate it.

KINZINGER: You bet. Any time. Thank you.

[11:44:33] BOLDUAN: Thanks.

Coming up for us, the country continues to mourn the passing of former first lady, Barbara, Bush. And at the very same time, we are learning more about the plans for her funeral this weekend, and who from the White House is going. We'll remember her coming up.



BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.


BOLDUAN: So true. Pearls of wisdom from the beloved Barbara Bush. The former first lady died yesterday at 92. She'll be remembered for her quick wit, her fierce loyalty, her love of family, and also being a champion for literacy and so much more.

A public viewing will be held Friday and the private funeral will be held then on Saturday.

CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel, covered the Bush family extensively. She joins me now.

Jamie, you've spoken with the family. What are they telling you? [11:49:55] JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRSEPONDENT: It's obviously a

sad day, but she was 92 years old. She went on her own terms. I think it's very hard for her husband. When she passed away yesterday, he was by her side, holding her hand.

But she's known for her sense of humor. And don't forget any of that. Right now, there's something trending on Twitter I saw or on social media that says #wearyourpearls in honor of her in Texas this week. She's very outspoken and funny. We talk about people being authentic these days. Barbara Bush was authentic, except for those fake pearls that she wore. Which she loved to tell everybody were fake. And the other thing is, her kids had a nickname for her. They called her "The Enforcer." But it wasn't something just for her children and grandchildren.

Listen to these VIPs about Barbara Bush.


CONDOLESSA RICE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: She's a wonderful mother and grandmother and all those things, but she's also very tough. I remember going to Kennebunkport, and I was staying in a nice bedroom, and she says this is your home, but you do know that we make our own beds. I said, OK, Mrs. Bush, I get it, I'll make my own bed.

GEN. COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: And I just arrived in the White House. I'm a three-star general, seated next to Mrs. Bush. And I turned, good afternoon, Mrs. Bush, a great pleasure to meet you, ma'am. She says, call me Barbara. I said, I can't do that, ma'am. Why can't you do it? Ma'am, you're the wife of the vice president of the United States. And she says, I don't care, call me Barbara. I said, ma'am, my mother would kill me. If you don't do it, I'll kill you.


GANGEL: Words to live by. Everybody always listened to Barbara Bush.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. So General Powell calls her Barbara.


BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Jamie. Thank you to much.

GANGEL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I want to talk more now about Barbara Bush and her life and legacy with former chief of staff under George H.W. Bush, close friend of the Bush family, former governor of New Hampshire, John Sununu.

Governor, thanks for coming in.


BOLDUAN: You saw Barbara Bush up close and personal, on the campaign, behind the scenes in the White House for years. What do you remember most about her today?

SUNUNU: Well, I remember that she was always ready to laugh and have a smile on her face. In spite of how serious the business that we might be doing, she always was ready to lighten the mood, if you will, and let everybody know that they shouldn't at least -- they should not at least be taking themselves seriously.

BOLDUAN: When was the last time that you're able to spend time with her?

SUNUNU: I was lucky enough to have dinner with her a couple of weeks ago. I was at the Bush Library doing an event, and Andy Card and I were there. And Mrs. Bush and the president invited us up to the apartment they have at the library for dinner. So it was a nice, private, quiet dinner. We laughed a lot. We reminisced a lot. We talked a lot about what was going on.

I did notice she was much more frail than the last time I had seen her, but I really did not understand how serious her situation was.

BOLDUAN: Yes. So many people are remembering her very sharp wit and humor. Of course, as Jamie points out, her family calling her "The Enforcer." Do you remember any time being scolded or set straight by "The Enforcer," Barbara Bush?

SUNUNU: I worked awfully hard not to put myself in that position. No, we had a great relationship. I was lucky that it was a great relationship. And we had gotten to know each other very well when I was governor and he was vice president. Vice presidents and their families work hard to get a good relationship with the governor of New Hampshire. But we loved our relationship with them. By the time I got there, I knew the rules, I understood the process, and we really knew each other quite well.

BOLDUAN: Yes. The funeral is this weekend, of course. We heard that Melania Trump will be attending. The president has a decision in front of him if he will be attending the funeral. Would you like to see him there?

SUNUNU: Well, I always like to see everybody there, but I also understand the demands on the times of a president. So he's going to have a tough decision to make. It's up to him. And whatever decision he makes I think will be the right one.

BOLDUAN: Barbara Bush has shaped some three generations of Bushes in politics. What do you think her real impact on American politics will be?

SUNUNU: Well, she's had an impact directly in terms of issues. I think she gave the president good advice on a number of issues. She worked with him. She became great friends with Mrs. Gorbachev at a time when the president was trying to establish a personal relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev. And I think she distributed to the smooth transition of the collapse of the Soviet Union. She also brought a style and gentility to the world of politics that I think a lot of people now try to emulate. I would hope there would be more people emulating that today. We have kind of drifted away from it. But she defined a classy way of doing politics that I think is important for people to remember.

[11:55:30] BOLDUAN: It should not be lost, but sure feels lost quite a lot, style, gentility, and class in politics these days.

John Sununu, thank you so much for coming in and sharing that.

SUNUNU: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I appreciate that.

So we're going -- as we go to break, let's hear a little bit more from former first lady, Barbara Bush.


BUSH: The one request I have is, that they stay loving siblings. And so far, so good. And I'll be looking down, so behave yourself.