Return to Transcripts main page
New Details on How Boeing Promoted the 737 MAX Jet; Supreme Court Holds Meeting on Mystery Mueller Case; New Book Tells How John Roberts Flipped His Vote to Uphold Obamacare; Teachers Shot with Pellet Guns During Active-Shooter Drill. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired March 22, 2019 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Unions told CNN training for this new plane was completed over a quick iPad course for pilots. Made no mention of the new system now at the center of the two crash investigations.
So let's go straight to former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo. Mary is also an attorney who represents families of airline crash victims and has current litigation pending against Boeing.
Mary, thank you for coming on with me.
With this news here, what is this reporting that Boeing essentially mis-advertised this plane and that pilots were trained on an iPad?
MARY SCHIAVO, ATTORNEY & FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATON: Well, I think that it also gives us tremendous insight into what the office of inspector general investigation and the FBI investigation is all about. Because if you recall, some of their subpoenas sought advertising material. And if you are marketing the plane as like the other 737s so it is cheap and easy for pay lol pilots to switch from one to the other, that could be a very material statement. Either it is true or it is not and that might be part of the investigation. And so for pilots to go from a standard 737 to this one without the second part of this problem, without the warning equipment in the cockpit and without knowing about the MCAS was clearly -- I don't think the plane should have been certified without additional training and remember the training and pilots' manuals also have to be approved by the FAA.
BALDWIN: So who does this fall on? It is easy to say this is Boeing, this is their aircraft, but at the same time, if airlines are being told hey, you can save millions, here is an iPad for your pay lots and we're not giving them all the information they need to know, and then of course there's the FAA, like who is responsible?
SCHIAVO: They all are responsible. Legally, it will be the airlines and Boeing because when the FAA does something, even if terribly ridiculous, the FAA has the defense what is called discretionary function. So the airlines also will be able to say, look, Boeing, we brought with us when we purchased these planes and we placed these orders some of our flight crew, we brought our chief pilot and you never mentioned this system to us. If we knew it was that critical, we might have ordered the warning light or ordered the angle of attack indicator. So I think that the airlines will be saying we were not told this by Boeing especially since Boeing has already admitted they didn't tell pilots. And most airlines don't buy new planes without having their flight teams look at it.
BALDWIN: And here is another piece of new reporting, from the "New York Times," that the plane lacked several features because Boeing charges extra and those features could have helped the pilots detecting the erroneous readings. So should those features be optional?
SCHIAVO: No, they should not. And by law you have to have those features to have an air-worthy aircraft. If they have vital to the functioning of the plane, then the Federal Aviation Administration should not have certificate fid the plane without these present. But that is the circular argument. Boeing would say this this plane was certified without them. And they have lists of hundreds of options that you can order on an aircraft, everything from additional flight extinguishing equipment to better seats. And unless it is part of the air-worthiness approval, then they don't have to include it in the basic package and advocacy of that argument was hotly debated in the 2001 lawsuit that I worked on for so long because airlines could have added a stronger door with better locks and more safety upgrades and we El-Al ordered those doors. So this is a practice in the industry for a long time.
BALDWIN: I can just feel those family members thinking, how did they not have all they needed.
Mary Schiavo, thank you very much for your expertise.
SCHIAVO: Thank you.
BALDWIN: The U.S. Supreme Court is under discussion a case so secret security had to clear the entire floor of a courthouse at one point. A closer look at a mystery grand jury subpoena and its connection to this whole Mueller investigation.
[14:35:21] And teachers lining up execution style hit with pellet guns in an active-shooter drill. Find out what happened after that.
BALDWIN: Supreme Court justices meeting privately to discuss a case that is one of the most closely guarded secrets related to the entire Mueller investigation. An unnamed mystery company is trying to dodge a grand jury subpoena for documents related to the special counsel's work. At one point, security cleared an entire floor of a courthouse in Washington, D.C., just to keep the identities of the lawyers confidential.
Ariane De Vogue covers the Supreme Court for us.
Ariane, talk about secretive, what are the justices considering in this mystery case? ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right, Brooke. Well,
today, they met behind closed doors for their regular conference where they discuss cases they might take up and one of the petitions is from this mystery country, one of the most secretive things. We don't know a lot, but we were seeing some briefs that were totally blacked out. At one point some of the identities of the lawyers was even being kept secret and it is not every day that whole floor is evacuated so that nobody can see who the judges --
DE VOGUE: -- or who the lawyers are. But this case has changed now and now it is coming to the Supreme Court because the company was -- last year it was a grand jury subpoena went out and the company all we know is that it is owned by a foreign country. They said we're not going to comply with this subpoena under U.S. law we don't have to. We're immune. But two courts stepped in and said, no, you are not immune. And they said, if you don't comply, you're going to have to start paying a fee of $50,000 a day. Back in January, the company raced to the Supreme Court and said, look, we want to you hear our case down the road, but for now, please block this huge fee. And then the Supreme Court said it wouldn't. And so that was one big tea leaf. And now they are sitting and looking at the legal issue, is the company immune or isn't it. And we should hear early next week whether or not the court will take it up. And if it doesn't, then we might learn more information. At the very least, this company is either going to have to comply with that subpoena or it is going to have to deal with that huge fine that has been adding up -- Brooke?
[14:41:05] BALDWIN: And $50,000 a day. We will come back to you and see where the next chapter brings us next week.
Ariane, thank you very much. Ariane De Vogue.
And speaking of the U.S. Supreme Court, we are now getting the inside story of how Chief Justice John Roberts came to flip his vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act. A new book details how the chief justice changed his vote not once, but twice, bargained with liberals, and frustrated conservatives.
Author of "The Chief, The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts," Joan Biskupic, is with me. She's also CNN supreme court biographer.
Joan, first of all, huge congratulations on this book. And you have written about this amazing behind-the-scenes story. Tell me what you've learned.
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT BIOGRAPHER: Sure, Brooke, thank you. Let me bring you back to 2012. We're in the middle of an election year. The Supreme Court is about to consider Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act. And the main provision is the requirement that everyone have health insurance. But there was also this other part involving expansion of Medicaid for poor people across the country. And so the justices have historic three days of oral arguments. They are about to vote and they vote in a way that ends up being pretty predictable. The five conservatives say that that individual insurance requirement is unconstitutional and it should be struck down. The four liberals' dissent. They don't even vote on some of the other parts of it, but they do vote on that Medicaid expansion and they vote to uphold it.
But what plays out over a series of weeks and months until June 28th, 2012 the fateful day is a complete flip. The justices end up upholding the central part of it, the insurance requirement, and strike down the Medicaid part. And that is because John Roberts flipped his vote on both. And as he was working on that, he enlisted not the traditional swing vote on the court, Anthony Kennedy, but liberal justices, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. He gets them to switch their vote on the Medicaid, I think, as a part of his effort to preserve the stature of the Supreme Court so that it is not striking down this Democratic president's important health care initiative. But again, it is something that we see him doing now, giving the one side a little bit, giving to another side a little bit.
And as my book details kind of the evolution of the process and his own effort to make the court not appear political but, at the same time, sort of engaging in some strategy and maneuvering that undercuts his assertions that is he a neutral umpire because what he was looking beyond core parts of the law.
BALDWIN: And this is just one tease. You have such incredible color and detail. Again what is the book and when is it out?
BISKUPIC: "The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts." And it is out Monday. And we'll have more parts of that story coming out here on CNN.
BALDWIN: Wonderful. Wonderful. We look forward to it.
Joan Biskupic, thank you very much.
BISKUPIC: Thank you.
[14:44:30] BALDWIN: The legacy continues. On the next episode of "THE BUSH YEARS, FAMILY, DUTY, POWER," on CNN, as one brother becomes governor, the other sets his sights on a higher office and Laura Bush fears the consequence of having a second president in the family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, George Walker Bush, to solemnly swear.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States so help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Congratulations.
ANNOUNCER: For the first time since John Quincy Adams in 1825, a president's son reaches the White House. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know mom and dad had express that even greater
than being president is watching your son being sworn in. It was a joyful moment for the whole family, but especially mom and dad.
JAMIE GANGELL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: There's that iconic photo where he goes to the Oval Office for the first time as president and his father joined him. And his father said, "Hello, Mr. President." And he said back to his father, "Hello, Mr. President." It was an extraordinary day in that family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Part five of "THE BUSH YEARS" airs Sunday night at 10:00 only on CNN.
More on this confusion the president has sparked with yet another foreign policy announcement over tweet, this time involving North Korea.
Plus, a lot of questions about this active-shooter drill that included teachers shot execution-style with pellet guns. We'll talk about what the teachers went through and hear from a union leader who wants a new law to make sure this never happens again.
[14:50:44] BALDWIN: Some Indiana elementary schoolteachers say active-shooter drills in their district go too far and they want change. Teacher from the Twin Lakes district say they were actually shot with pellet guns by local sheriff deputies and suffered welts and bruises. Some even say the pellet guns drew blood. The school district put out a statement saying it is aware of the concerns and has, quote, "facilitated a meeting with the association and the sheriff's department to collaboratively discuss these matters."
Now the state's largest teacher's union is getting involved. Dan Holub is executive director of the indiana State Teachers Association. He's with me.
So, Dan, thank you for taking the time.
And I know this was only supposed to be a drill. But why were they using these sorts of pellet guns? You can describe what the teachers went through.
DAN HOLUB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INDIANA STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: First of all, I think it was just a situation of poor judgment on behalf of the sheriff's department. But what happened, it was at the start of the active-shooter training that was occurring in the district, teachers were brought into a room, I think four at a time, and asked to put on some eye gear. They were told to turn around and face the wall. And I think that they were asked to sort of crouch down and they were shot at with plastic pellets.
BALDWIN: And what did they say afterwards? HOLUB: Well, many of them were shocked and, obviously, it was a great
surprise to them. As you mentioned, there were light injuries that occurred. And honestly, people just didn't understand why that would be done. We don't start our school buildings on fire when we're doing fire safety training. It just seems to us that there's absolutely no reason that this should have occurred.
BALDWIN: So what is the sheriff's department saying?
HOLUB: Well, first of all, they are saying that they won't do it again. So I think that they understand that they made a mistake. And again, I don't read their minds, but I think that it was just an example of poor judgment.
BALDWIN: And what is your group trying to have changed?
HOLUB: So there's legislation working its way through the Indiana legislature that would provide some additional support for schools. One thing it does is provide expanded support for mental health services, which we think is important. It also provides annual active-shooter training. And what we've sought is simply an amendment to that to say that during that training, you won't shoot teachers.
BALDWIN: Right. You know --
HOLUB: Pretty obviously.
BALDWIN: I'm like, yes, don't do that.
But bigger picture, active-shooter drill sadly is a realty for our students today. And I realize that perhaps it sounds like the sheriff's department realizes that they made a mistake, but how do you thread the needle in truly preparing teachers for the worst-case scenario versus being too lenient?
HOLUB: Look, we support the idea of active-shooter training and other trainings that are necessary. But it needs to be done professionally and it needs to be high quality. And so our concern was really with the professionalism of this training. So that is the reason that we've intervened with the state legislature to try to address it. And we think there's bipartisan support for this. So hopefully, we can turn the page on this.
Dan Holub, thank you. Thanks for looking out for our teachers.
HOLUB: Thank you. I appreciate it.
BALDWIN: The U.S. secretary of state says God sent Donald Trump to save Jews and save Israel. We'll get into that.
[14:54:43] Also, we're getting word of heavy fire in Syria with ISIS fighters as the White House declares the caliphate is 100 percent defeated. We're live on the front lines in Syria coming up.
BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN on this Friday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
We begin this hour with President Trump once again sparking all kinds of confusion with another foreign policy announcement by tweet. This time, he is contradicting his administration on North Korea sanctions, leaving his own aides and his own officials trying to decipher what the heck he means. He tweeted, "It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large-scale sanctions would be added to those already existing sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered withdrawal of those additional sanctions."
So let's go to our CNN national security reporter, Kylie Atwood.
Kylie, what does he mean?
[15:00:01] KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, that is the question because there weren't actually any new sanctions announced today by the White House or by Treasury.