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CNN NEWSROOM

Air Traffic Controller Slurs Words and Confuses Pilots; First Lady Rebuffs Michelle Obama's Offer of Advice; NBA Players Honor Borderline Bar Victims; Owner of Borderline Bar Says Too Early to Decide About Reopening; Mother of Telemachus Orfanos Says Get Rid of All Guns. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 12, 2018 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Here is a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONTROLLER: (INAUDIBLE)

PILOT: Say that again?

CONTROLLER: Frontier 762, good to go.

PILOT: Confirms it's...Frontier 262. Cleared for takeoff.

CONTROLLER: Sorry. 262. Runway cleared for takeoff. Sorry, I'm choking a little bit (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: OK. That's terrifying. Our Rene Marsh is with us, our government and regulation correspondent. Who is this lady?

RENE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT AND REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: I know. The FAA is not telling us. They're citing privacy concerns, you can hear from that audio it was very difficult to make out what she was saying. That air traffic controller broke. She eventually became unresponsive. It was actually a male controller returning from his break who discovered her and quickly took over communicating with the pilots.

The FAA is telling us that they are investigating the situation. The agency said as a result, they've changed its overnight shift staffing policies so now the FAA requires in the first 90 minutes of the midnight shift and depending on the volume of traffic, there must be two controllers in the air traffic control tower at all times. Now the agency says in this instance where that controller was incapacitated, she was the only one in the tower.

Again, they're not saying h she is or how or why she became incapacitated for privacy concerns, but it is clear. This is a troubling scenario. You know air traffic controllers, they're critical in helping aircraft take off and land safely. All that said, the agency said this didn't cause any safety incidents, but the fact of the matter is it could have easily caused a safety instance. And so, it really is concerning. The FAA says the female controller is now no longer employed with the agency, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I can't imagine she has a job go back to. Rene Marsh, thank you very much. Rene Marsh, thank you very much.

And then this. This group photo of a bunch of Wisconsin high school students is drawing all kinds of condemnation and possibly an investigation by police. This photo shows a group of boys appearing to pose, making Nazi salute outside of a spring junior prom. Ryan Young is our CNN national correspondent who has been working on this one for us today. And, Ryan, why?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's 2018, Brooke. It's 2018. This photo is showing something hard to believe. High school kids posing before high school prom making the Nazi gesture. One of the teens in the front row is using his hands to make a nationalist sign. It was taken about 116 miles away from Milwaukee. The school superintendent released a statement which reads the school district is investigating this situation and is working with parents, staff, and local authorities. If the gesture is what it appears to be, they'll address all actions including legal. After it started circulating on the internet and we started seeing responses from people. As you can imagine, people are worried about this gesture and the fact it's been online for some time. A lot of conversations still to be had and definitely who sparked this, that's the big question at this point.

BALDWIN: Let's talk about this again and fallouts and ramifications. Ryan Young, thank you very much.

Coming up in a new interview, former first lady Michelle Obama opens up what she was really thinking during Donald Trump's inauguration. And guess what? We have a response from Melania Trump. And in a word, it's blunt.

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Just in, first lady Melania Trump is now responding to former first lady Michelle Obama after it was revealed Melania had to reach out for any advice on being first lady. So, here's what Michelle Obama shared.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: One of the things you learn as a former, it's like, I don't judge what a current is doing, you know, so I'd prefer not to, you know, speak on what she's doing versus what I did because I think every first lady approaches this job differently.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that Laura Bush reached out to you and said if you need any help, I'm a phone call away.

OBAMA: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You wrote about how and have talked about how you extended the same courtesy to Melania Trump. Has she reached out to you?

OBAMA: No, she hasn't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Kate Bennett is with us, our CNN White House reporter. That's the Michelle Obama side of things. You just got a statement from the current first lady. What is she now saying about this?

[15:40:00] KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I reached out to see if there was a comment from the first lady's office, and there is. Stephanie Grisham, Melania's spokesperson said Mrs. Trump is a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as first woman in her own way. When she needs advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team within the White House.

Clearly, she's saying Mrs. Trump hasn't needed Mrs. Obama's help, and when she has needed advice, she has not needed to turn to Mrs. Obama. You know, clearly this is a first lady. I've said this before. She feels sometimes when she is attacked or I don't want to say attacked because Michelle Obama wasn't attacking, but when she feels like she's being discussed and she's not involved in the conversation, she likes to put herself back in the conversation.

BALDWIN: One of the fascinating tidbits of robin rob earth's conversations with Michelle Obama is when she was sitting in the rain at Trump's inauguration and how she tried to smile. What did she say?

BENNETT: You know, she discussed just how different the inaugural celebrations were in terms of the audience, the diversity, the sort of vast difference between the people in attendance at Barack Obama's inauguration and what she was seeing at President Trump's inauguration. Certainly, the President was coming out of a very divisive campaign and Presidential election, and Michelle Obama's looking around and seeing different faces, different people, certainly not reflective of the folks that supported her husband in a lot of ways and felt that she didn't want to have the optics of smiling when she personally didn't feel like smiling.

BALDWIN: Kate Bennett, thank you very much on all of these first ladies.

Coming up next, it's been one week since that mass shooting at the borderline bar in thousand oaks, California, on college night. 12 were killed. And now that area is under threat for raging wildfires. We'll hear from the owner of the Borderline Bar next and hear if he wants to reopen.

[15:45:00 (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: NBA players are sending a message about gun violence saying, enough. They showed up in shirts to honor the victims killed in the latest mass shooting in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. Players wore the word "enough" emblazoned on the fronts of the shirts, and on the backs, the names of 12 men and women who were murdered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEBRON JAMES, NBA PLAYER: It's just a very troubling time for everyone. With parents, how can you be comfortable sending them to church or school or the movies or the mall. Those are kind of like the great havens where I was growing up. School, church, go to the mall, a sporting event. That was like heaven, you know. Now it's kind of scary at this point in time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: The Borderline Bar & Grill is just an hour away from the Staples Center where the teams played last night.

It has been almost a week since a gunman forced his way into a nightclub killing college students. It was country night and college students were line dancing when bullets started to fly. Sergeant Ron Helus was one of the first officers to arrive through the door. With me now the owner of Borderline Bar & Grill Brian Hines and his attorney Troy Slaton. Thank you both for being with me, and my sincerest condolences.

BRIAN HINES, OWNER OF BORDERLINE BAR & GRILL: Thank you. Thank you very much.

BALDWIN: Brian, it's my understanding you weren't there when the actual shooting started, but I hear you went straight to the scene. Can you tell me first how you heard about it and what you did that night?

HINES: There was some confusion. I got a phone call from a fellow employee, and as soon as the phone rang, I knew it was something. I flew over there as fast as possible. I was right down the street. I was able to get there during the incident unfortunately.

BALDWIN: During the incident. So, what did you see?

HINES: A lot of people coming together and trying to help each other out. We have a lot of military and great patrons, so I just saw, you know, obviously some havoc, and the police were already there. Two officers who had gone in earlier, and there was still some shooting going on. I heard a lot of explosions from the smoke bombs and people panicking and coming to grips with what was going on.

BALDWIN: And to think this was your bar. It's my understanding, Brian, that one of the college students who was at borderline that night had actually survived the shooting in Las Vegas only to be killed one year later, and I hear that your bar had actually become a place for solace for so many of those survivors of that in Las Vegas.

HINES: The bar has been there 25 years. I've been going there for 24 of those years and owned it for ten. When something happens in this community, that's where we go.

[15:50:00] The fund raisers, everything is always done there. And that place was our place of safety and comfort in these rough times.

BALDWIN: What did it feel like, then, to realize this place of comfort had become a place of violence?

HINES: Just unbelievable. I mean, we just -- we don't know what to do. And obviously, we're trying to come together. But, you know, we're still sorry for the family of the patrons and the employees and everybody who was injured and just had to see and participate in something like that.

BALDWIN: I want to play some sound from the mother of one of those young people. This is actually the young man who had survived Las Vegas. This is the mother of Telemacus Orfanos

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN SCHMIDT-ORFANOS, MOTHER OF TELEMACHUS ORFANOS: My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends. He didn't come home last night. And I don't want prayers. I don't want thoughts. I want gun control, and I hope to god nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Brian, how do you feel about it, and what have you said? Have you been fielding phone calls from any of these families?

HINES: I've been talking to the families. I knew him very, very well. He was a personal friend of mine. Yes. At this point, we're trying to heal from the travesty and just trying to heal from everything.

BALDWIN: As part of the healing process, I had read -- do you plan to reopen?

HINES: Right now, we've been worried about the employees. I want to make sure they're taken care of and they can move forward with their day-to-day lives in any way they possibly can. But a situation like this, and something like this won't take us out. So, I -- there's no way I'm not going to reopen out of fear. We will -- if it works, we will definitely reopen. Right now, we're actually -- with the fires going on in our same community, we haven't even gotten that far yet. I'm trying to get people back in their home beds, with their pets and families and trying to take care of that first. And then we'll worry about the reopening process.

BALDWIN: I ask only because I was, you know -- I think of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, right, 48 people were killed. I was sent there to cover that. And a lot of questions were, like, would it reopen? How would it be all those lives lost within those walls. And it's actually now become a memorial. And they reopened Pulse, but in a different location. And I understand one's desire -- you want to continue on and don't want to allow hate to prevail. But do you worry about that at all? If you were to reopen?

HINES: I do worry about it. But with what Borderline is to that community and to our community, to my community, I don't know if it's going to feel right about the reopening process. But once I stand inside that building, it's going to be like going to my childhood home, and I'll know then.

BALDWIN: You'll know then. Will you do anything differently in terms of security at the bar?

HINES: It wasn't an issue of that. I'm going to do things differently. Just a matter of we need to work with people just to make sure that people are -- they don't want to do these things. There's no way to stop it until you fix the problem with the people and the mental health of everybody. So that's the biggest thing I'm trying to get out of this. If you start having thoughts, anything like this, look at the people that are hurting. Look at the people -- other people have hurt, and just get any kind of help you can.

BALDWIN: Brian, thank you so much. I really appreciate you and your voice and offering this for so many years to people and thousand oaks community. I'm sure they appreciate it, as well. Troy Slaten, thank you as well. Gentlemen, appreciate it.

HINES: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Ahead here, lawsuits and claims of fraud flying around Florida this hour as officials are racing to recount ballots into razor-thin races ahead of Thursday's deadline. Now at least one county says it won't meet the deadline.

And keeping an eye on the markets. The Dow falling 600 points ahead of the closing bell, seven minutes away. Apple stock down 5 percent. We'll be right back.

[15:55:10] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really curious, because I've seen you show and watch you sit down and you eat some mouse head soup and you go, mmm, it's delicious. I'm curious to see when you eat the hardboiled egg if you say it's delicious. There's a plate.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN FORMER HOST: I think egg is the perfect food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eat that. I've never cooked for anybody before.

BOURDAIN: I'm honored, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't say the egg was delicious. You did not --

BOURDAIN: But I ate two of them. Silence is the highest compliment. Just the gnashing of my jaws. Delicious, delicious eggs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Final episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" aired last night here on CNN. And I just wanted to end the show today hearing from a man so many of you admired. Let me tell you, meeting the man was a dream. The episode highlighted Tony's love of Manhattan's lower east side, including the punk rock scene and the whole episode ended with the song "you can't put your arms around a memory." and I just wanted to say, we miss you around here, Tony, every single day. "The Lead" starts right now.