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CNN NEWSROOM

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies at 92; NTSB Investigating Deadly Southwest Jet Incident; Russia Sanctions Gets Confusing Due to White House Chaos?. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired April 18, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: It was the enforcer. Let's listen to the three of them about what it was like about growing up with Barbara Bush as their mother.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W, BUSH, BARBARA BUSH'S SON: Mother was on the front line and expressed herself frequently. Dad of course was available, but he was a busy guy and he was on the road a lot in his businesses and obviously on the road a lot when he was campaigning, and so Mother was there to maintain order and discipline. She was the sergeant.

JEB BUSH, BARBARA BUSH'S SON: Well, Mom -- the nickname that one of many nicknames that she has was the enforcer. So there were unwritten rules and if you violated them she would enforce the rules, and do it in a way that was pretty effective. I don't remember my dad doing that.

NEIL BUSH, BARBARA BUSH'S SON: She was a rule maker and she did have high expectations for keeping things neat and just basic rules, and she would let us know and we hadn't met those rules, and she would never let us think we were any different or better than others and she was -- she just kept us grounded.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GANGEL: It's a very emotional time, but I will tell you one thing, when Barbara Bush spoke, John, everybody listened.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed. Especially her sons.

GANGEL: That's right.

BERMAN: All right. Jamie Gangel, thank you very much.

Joining me now, Carl Anthony, a historian and the author of more than a dozen books about first ladies.

And Carl, you know, you sat down for an interview with Barbara Bush back in 1994. What do you remember most about her?

CARL ANTHONY, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: Well, that there are few moments where we had I wouldn't say disagreements but I asked her about people who were independents, and she said, oh, that's a cop-out. You should be either a Democrat or a Republican.

A moment that I really remembered was in asking her about what she herself might have wanted to pursue as a young woman and she explained that she didn't really have a chance to even think about that because she met the man she loved at 16, and really, he became, in a sense, her career, but she also made a very good point, which is that many women, all women work. It's just that some of them get paid and others don't.

BERMAN: We're looking at video right now of you interviewing Barbara Bush back in 1994, wonderful to see her there.

You know it's interesting because today in this political environment, people look back and said that Barbara Bush was in politics and was associated in the White House at a different time but that's not to say she was apolitical. She understood politics incredibly well.

ANTHONY: She gave a speech, the 1992 Republican convention which had gotten very -- you know, very conservative and she gave an enormous, extraordinary speech where she talked about American families and she said that they did not all include moms and dads, but sometimes there were two siblings living together or grandparents or a gay couple with children, or a single mother who was getting help from her parents or her siblings and she covered it all.

And she really talked about the practical reality of life rather than always the ideal. She held the ideal, but in many ways she addressed issues head on and didn't apologize for what she considered just a practical compassion.

BERMAN: And again, she used to write the thank-you notes and the acknowledgment letters for the Bush family dating back to the '50s and this was a list that grew and grew and grew, so that when George H.W. Bush ran for Congress, ran for the Senate, ultimately ran for president in 1980, the Christmas card list was what? 10,000 people strong and that group, that list made up the donor base that really drove the Bush political dynasty.

ANTHONY: And that's before the Internet. And by the way, I should add, she was the first first lady to use a computer in the White House. She learned how to use a laptop and she was somebody who always did keep current. She was even, at one point, amused by being brought in as a character on "The Simpsons" and thought it was a -- she called it a stupid show and there was a letter back and forth and forgiveness, but you know, she didn't mind getting into it and offering her opinion. She always had the ability to laugh at herself.

BERMAN: Carl Anthony, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

ANTHONY: Thank you.

BERMAN: Barbara Bush will be remembered for a long, long time. Thank you.

We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:38:59] BERMAN: All right. Just in to CNN. For the first time we are now seeing the picture of the pilot who was being hailed as a hero after the deadly Southwest incident. Her name is Tammie Jo Shults.

This as we have a clear idea of what it was like to be on that flight. Passengers say a woman who was partially sucked out of the plane after a piece of the failed engine shattered a window. CNN spoke to the man who helped pull her back in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM MCGINTY, PASSENGER WHO PULLED WOMAN BACK INSIDE PLANE: Somebody screamed and I realized what had 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 was 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right, sadly, the 43-year-old woman did not survive. We'll have much more on her life in just a moment, but first NTSB investigators have revealed new clues into what might have gone wrong.

Polo Sandoval in Philadelphia where that flight ultimately landed. What's the latest -- Polo?

[10:40:01] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it was exactly 24 hours ago that Captain Shults and 148 other people left near LaGuardia Airport headed to Texas, when we now know, according to the information released by the National Transportation Safety Board, that 20 minutes into the flight something went terribly wrong.

Officials now say that one of the fan blades on one of those engines essentially detached, crippling that engine, essentially triggering this chain of events that eventually resulted with debris hitting the plane and shattering one of those passenger windows and then creating what was quite the horrific scene according to several passengers. As you mentioned there at the helm, it was Tammie Joe Shults, a Southwest captain that was at the controls along with another pilot, who with their steady hands essentially turned the plane around and started heading here towards Philadelphia to make that emergency landing.

About 12 minutes according to officials went by from the moment that Captain Shults and her colleague declared that emergency to the moment that that plane was wheels down, as you're about to hear from some of those -- remarkable air traffic control audio. You can hear the calmness, the so-called nerves of steel of Captain Shults as she described the scene in mid-air.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your passengers OK, and are you -- is your airplane physically on fire? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Part of it is missing and they said there is a

hole and someone went out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, you said there is a hole and somebody went out? It doesn't matter. We'll work it out there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Jennifer Riordan now identified as the woman who died during yesterday's incident. She's been described as a Wells Fargo executive out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, a loving wife, a loving mother.

John, when you start to hear some of the stories, though, these remarkable stories by these passengers certainly hope that they can at least provide a measure of peace to her family. You hear these stories of strangers helping this woman try to get back into that plane. An off-duty nurse who essentially performed CPR trying to keep her alive. Think about it, these people only had two pilots and one working engine to get them back on the ground.

BERMAN: Our thoughts are with her family.

Polo, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

The White House learning not to mess with Nikki Haley. Why the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations fired back at a top White House official. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:46:49] BERMAN: Republican Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is speaking out about the administration's very public fight over Russian sanctions. These are the sanctions that Nikki Haley announced on Sunday and then White House adviser Larry Kudlow said no, no, no, she was confused about that.

Listen to what Chairman Corker says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I strike up what happened to just sort of the chaotic nature of, you know, the way things are. The public's become accustomed to this. You know, one day we're doing this. One day we're not. I just chock it up to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: He just chocks it up to that. Here to discuss, CNN political commentators Paul Begala and Doug Heye.

Paul, if we can rewind a little bit to Nikki Haley's, you know, conclusion, the final takedown in this spat between Nikki Haley and the White House after Larry Kudlow says she was confused about the timing of sanctions, and whether they happened, she says, I don't get confused.

As someone who's made your career in communication, you have to be impressed by that communication.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. Loud and clear, John. And I suspect Mr. Kudlow has the burn marks to prove it. I've trained a lot of Cabinet officers and spokespeople to go on Sunday shows when I was in the White House.

She -- believe me, she was carefully scripted to go on Sunday and say new sanctions are coming, and then apparently, according to the reporting of "The New York Times," the president saw that and became outraged, and said no, we're going to kill the sanctions.

This happens again and again and again. We have a schizophrenic Russia policy where Nikki Haley doing a terrific job speaking out from (INAUDIBLE), taking on Russia at the United Nations. Secretary Mnuchin imposing sanctions to the Treasury Department. General Mattis arming Ukrainians to take on the Russian invasion and yet our president time after time after time seems to side with Putin against the government that he leads and I just wonder why.

BERMAN: And it was interesting to see, Doug, and you've worked in southern politics, southern Republican politics for some time, that response, you know, from Nikki Haley, you know, as she said in the past, bless your heart.

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, you know, I was actually in South Carolina last week and, you know, she started her statement saying with all due respect, and in southern, that translates into something that I can't really repeat on this show right now, maybe later at night I could, but ultimately I'd go back to what I go back to so many times in this administration. And it's something that Brian Gallagher, the CEO of the United Way, said to me last year which is we need to focus on the policies, not the personalities, because we can always focus on the personalities.

What's important here is somehow the policy changed and we need to know why it changed and what's going to happen. And we need to know from the White House, not just from Nikki Haley. We need to know from the White House what the situation is and where they're going to go forward from here.

We can focus on personalities all day long. Anybody who has ever used the word Scaramucci knows that. The policies are what matters here and that's what we need to learn more about.

BERMAN: Doug, can I read you one other comment that Bob Corker made. Before he talked to Manu he was talking to the "Christian Science Monitor" and Chairman Corker who's had an on and off again love-hate relationship with this White House, says, quote, "Any Republican senator that hasn't been conflicted over this presidency is either comatose or is pretty useless in their blindness. OK. And we've got some of both, of course, not many."

[10:50:13] What do you think he's saying there? HEYE: Well, I think Bob Corker is in a great place that he's

retiring. For those members of Congress and those Senators who aren't retiring, who are on ballots this year, they're in a very different reality because what they say privately, and I've heard this a millions of times from members of Congress and senators is very different than what they are able to say publicly.

Let's not forget. Donald Trump is amazingly popular with Republican primary voters. That is first and foremost in these members of Congress' minds in what they're going to say publicly.

BERMAN: And, Paul, I want to go back to Barbara Bush and finish this segment if I can on her because, A, you know, she's your fellow Texan, first of all. You know, B, you ran a campaign basically against George H.W. Bush. You had a chance to deal with what it's like to have Barbara Bush on the other side. I just want to know what that was like.

BEGALA: She was so formidable and fearsome because she had both grace and grit, and that's a difficult thing to have in politics. She was enormously effective for her husband, and later for her sons. I was intimidated by her. I was scared of her. Very interesting that this is how things have changed. 1992 in the two-party conventions, Mrs. Bush spoke at her party's convention. Mrs. Clinton did not speak at her party's convention.

It was not usually the tradition then that the spouse would speak, but Mrs. Bush did and very, very effectively. And she was just terrific. And when the Clintons came in, you know, she was so gracious. She was wonderful to the president, to Hillary, to Chelsea. Over time, I think she held a grudge a little longer than her husband, to tell you the truth. Over time she ended up calling Bill Clinton my fifth son and the president -- President Clinton and Hillary just adored her.

And it's a sad day for America. I mean, she was America's first lady, not just the Republicans' first lady, and I loved and admired her.

BERMAN: I love the admission, though, that you were once scared of her and we'll leave you with this photo of a young Doug Heye standing I believe side by side. I think we have a picture of Doug --

HEYE: A lot of hair that I don't have now.

BERMAN: That is a picture you will savor forever.

All right, Paul Begala and Doug Heye, thanks so much for being with us. Thanks. Appreciate it.

HEYE: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. This is an interview you do not want to miss. James Comey will sit down for a live interview with Jake Tapper tomorrow on "THE LEAD." 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

And it was a homecoming to remember for the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. "The Bleacher Report" is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:14] BERMAN: Hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico hosted a Major League Baseball game last night and a hometown hero sure delivered for the fans.

Lindsay Czarniak has more on today's "Bleacher Report." This is a great story.

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It is. Truly something special. This "Bleacher Report" of course is brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

Cleveland's' Francisco Lindor, he's one of the most positive guys that you'll ever meet. He also has a very unique pregame ritual, choosing the right cologne. That's a true story and the true story is that yesterday was a dream come true for him. He played Major League Baseball in front of family and friends in his native Puerto Rico where there hasn't been much to cheer about since Hurricane Maria roared to shore last September.

Lindor was born 27 miles from San Juan. The first time that he's played on this stage in Puerto Rico. He had 60 family members and friends including his mom. And Lindor didn't miss this opportunity to make them all smile. Look at this. A two-run homerun sending the fans into an absolute frenzy. The crowd chanted his name until he came out of the dugout for a curtain call.

His mom said that this is the greatest feeling she's ever had. Lindor himself described the moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCISCO LINDOR, CLEVELAND INDIANS PLAYER: It means a lot. I mean, it makes my heart get bigger. You know, I just -- it gives me goose bumps just to think that she thinks that way. It's extremely special. You know, she put a lot of time, a lot of effort to get me on the right path. You know, when I was a little kid I was always going in different directions and she took a long time to guide me down the right path, so did my dad, and this is for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CZARNIAK: It was awesome, and you know what, he smelled good doing it, John.

Finally to an athlete who pushed through hours of uncomfortable conditions to finish the Boston Marathon, three-time cancer survivor Mary (INAUDIBLE). She's a mom of two. She ran the first 15 miles in the heavy wind and torrential rain until her lips turned purple so Mary stopped after running for about five hours but she was not done. She was determined to finish the race. She showered, she warmed up a bit. She put on a change of clothes, headed back out to Wilson Street, and then at 12:18 in the morning, Mary and her husband Rich crossed that finish line. She also, by the way, helped raise over $30,000 for cancer research

and of course, we know that you just did that marathon as well. What a feat but can you imagine stopping and then going back out to finish?

BERMAN: I can't. Look, what courage. What perseverance. She looked a heck of a lot better than I did. Get that picture off.

CZARNIAK: No, I mean, that's amazing, John.

BERMAN: I don't want to see that.

CZARNIAK: That's amazing in those conditions.

BERMAN: She was great. They were bad. What a great story she is, as well, and great for what the Celtics are up to and I think we didn't have time for that.

CZARNIAK: Wanted to get it in there.

BERMAN: Lindsay Czarniak, great to have you with us.

CZARNIAK: OK.

BERMAN: Thank you very, very much.

Thank you all so much for joining me today. I'm John Berman. That is all for me. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.