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CNN RIGHT NOW

Wall Street Journal: Pilots Followed Boeing Procedures, Still Crashed; Reuters: Anti-Stall Software May Have Re-engaged 4 Times; Woman Charged After Illegal Entry At Mar-a-Lago; Fmr. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) Texas Raises $9.4 Million In 18 Days; Trump: Mexico Is Now Helping To Stop Illegal Crossings; Official: Prosecutors Want Jail Time In Cheating Scandal, Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired April 3, 2019 - 13:30   ET

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


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All they have been focused on this system called MCAS.

[13:30:04]

MCAS is software onboard the plane. Here's what we're talking about. I'll bring in a model. Because of the positioning of the engines on the Max 8s and Max 9s, they have tendency to want to nose up in the air. The MCAS is automatic software that's supposed to kick in and bring them back to level. But if they get a false reading from the instrumentation in the front, it could push them into a dive. That is the fear here. So the procedure for the pilots, they are to go through and basically shut down MCAS and bring the plane back to level and fly on.

So if these reports are true, what it's saying is that when the pilots did that, the plane continued. They would pull it back up and MCAS would push it back down, and back and forth they went up until crash time. That is a very big change with Boeing and the FAA saying, well, maybe the pilots didn't follow the right procedures. Bri?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN RIGHT NOW: And there is also this new reporting from Reuters about just how many times this anti-stall software may have reengaged after the initial turnoff. It's however important to note, it's unclear whether the crew redeployed the system or if this kicked in automatically. Why does that matter?

FOREMAN: It matters because it's a continuation of the earlier thought. Look, if you're saying, as the FAA and Boeing, that the safety of these planes can, in fact, be controlled from the cockpit, but if some bug, if something wrong is making an automatic system, a robot on board take over control no matter what they do in the cockpit, then you have a completely different equation. We don't have answer to any of this. We are all desperately waiting the preliminary report from the Ethiopians to find out which parts of this may be true, which may refute it.

But all of this keeps the future of this plane very much in limbo. Is this just a technical problem, is this a pilot problem, is it a combination of the two and when and how is this going to be solved to the satisfaction of the airlines, the pilots, and the flying public and all those families who lost loved ones in these crashes?

KEILAR: Yes. Tom Foreman, thank you so much for outlining all of that for us. And I want to bring in former NTSB Managing Director and CNN Aviation Analyst, Peter Goelz, with us. What did you think of this report?

PETER GOELZ, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, O'NEILL AND ASSOCIATES: Well, Brianna, there were two things that stood out. One was that the Ethiopian pilots were well trained. They were well trained. And Ethiopian Airways is noted for that. They take their training seriously, as they take their maintenance seriously. Secondly, it's a setback for the recertification of this plane. If there -- there is a question of, it was at a lower altitude than the Lion Air, why did it kick in so early? If it kicked in multiple times, there was simply not enough room for these pilots to recover. And this is a problem.

KEILAR: And then this Reuters report, the system may have reengaged up to four times before the crash. There are still some unanswered questions about that. But how does a pilot deal with something like that?

GOELZ: Well, how do you deal with it after you followed the procedure to turn it off? That's the question. They had gone through the procedures, according to Ethiopian release or the leak that these guys had shut the system down and had followed procedures and it had not solved the problem. There may be a speed issue involved. But this is really quite challenging.

KEILAR: Being is having another problem right now of which I am sure you are familiar. This other Being plane, this other model, the KC- 46. These are used by the air force. So they at this point are actually refusing delivery of this plane. And the reason is because of, quote, foreign object debris in closed compartments. Let's listen to what the Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, had to say about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HEATHER WILSON, AIR FORCE SECRETARY: We actually stopped again the acceptance of the KC-46s because of foreign object debris that we found in some closed compartments. We've got corrective action in place, including 100 percent look at some of those closed compartments to make sure that the production line is is being run the way it needs to be run.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Foreign object debris in closed compartments, explain that to us. What is the debris that we're talking about and where would this have been found?

GOELZ: It could be anything from metal filings, to tools, to other paper debris. In any case, it indicates a quality control issue. Before that compartment is shut, it needs to be checked. It needs to be clean. It needs to be in A-1 shape. And if Boeing isn't doing that on the line, it's another black eye. KEILAR: That seems like basic stuff, Peter Goelz, sweeping out the compartment. Am I wrong?

GOELZ: It is fundamental.

KEILAR: Fundamental, all right. Peter Goelz, thank you so much.

[13:35:01]

So in a bizarre security breach, a Chinese national is arrested at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort. How this all went down and what the woman who was arrested was carrying?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:39:48] KEILAR: Security questions are now being raised at Mar-a- Lago, the President's resort in Palm Beach, Florida, after a woman from China lied her way onto the property.

Our Kaylee Hartung is nearby in West Palm Beach. And with me here in studio is Pat O'Carroll.

[13:40:01]

He's the Executive Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Association and he's a former Secret Service agent.

Kaylee, you first. Take us through this case. What do we know about this woman? What do we know about how she managed to get past security?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, this wasn't a fence jumper of some sort who tried to sneak her way onto the property. This was someone who very willfully proceeded through security protocol that are in place by Secret Service and lied through the process.

So this woman first approached Mar-a-Lago in a parking lot and was greeted by Secret Service, as every guest is. She went through a physical screening process there. Her person and her bags were checked. But then a Secret Service explains is, the determination of the Mar-a-Lago staff as to who was invited and welcome onto the property. They say there was a bit of a language barrier and the staff member who greeted her when she asked to go to the pool determined that she had the last name as a member of the club, and so she was granted access. She was then shuttled to the club. At the club, she had to go through another -- one of those physical screening processes by the Secret Service.

So Secret Service tells me they knew exactly what this woman was carrying with her. Those four cell phones, and the Laptop, and the hard drive and the thumb drive. They tell me they kept a watchful eye on her and had an ear on her through every step she took on this property.

But as she appeared before the hotel or club reception area, just like any of us would if we were enter a hole or club, that's when her story started to fall apart. At this point, she says she's there to attend a United Nations event between the United States and China that evening. That event was not on the schedule. The receptionist knew it was not an event that would be taking place that evening. And so Secret Service immediately stepped in and began questioning her.

Through the course of that interview process, remember that language barrier, I mentioned earlier, it was no longer there. Secret Service saying she clearly had an understanding of the language as she explained, it's actually a friend who told her to fly in from Shanghai to try to speak to a member of President Trump's family about U.S. and China economic relations.

Brianna, it's unclear what this woman's true motives were, what she hoped to accomplish while on the property of Mar-a-Lago. But as this story of hers kept changing, it became very clear she intended to deceive.

KEILAR: Indeed. All right, Kaylee, thank you for all those details.

And, Pat, I want to get your expertise on this. So you look at this, I know, and you see where the system failed but also where the system worked. Tell us about that.

PATRICK O'CARROLL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: That's correct, Brianna. I think well, the first one is that this isn't the White House. It's a temporary residence. And as a result of that, there is going to be a lot more general public coming and going and then also a relationship made with the staff that's at the place.

Probably the first one that I noticed that was very good was that she was searched. There was no weapons on her. She was already cleared before she came in, not having a weapon. The next level of it is as you go through the circles, as there's going to be, they then take her to

one more staffs contact that takes a look, looks to see if she is a resident, as they thought, or a guest of a resident. That starts becoming suspicious as they talk more to her.

And as they talk some more, they realize that this is -- you know, there are some issues here. o they immediately notify Secret Service. Secret Service steps in, starts to talk to her. They start noticing all these discrepancies that are happening. And I think, well, there's also a another major success is that instead of just saying, okay, you're not supposed to be here, and kicking the person out. They do the secondary interviews on her, bring her into an office and do the additional searches.

KEILAR: Should her name, should that have ever allowed her to get through just the fact that she had a similar same name or the same last name as a member?

O'CARROLL: Well, I think that's one of the lessons that are going to have to be learned on this things in terms of that Secret Service does goes to school on any type of an incident like this. But if you thought about it being in a major hotel and if somebody came in and said that their name was Smith and they were a guest, for the a first screening on it, that would work.

KEILAR: Wouldn't they show a key is what I would say to that, like they'll show a key.

O'CARROLL: Good point or a swimsuit in this case, there wasn't either.

KEILAR: Oh, very good point, Pat O'Carroll, thank you so much for your insight on this.

President Trump is claiming that Mexico is starting to apprehend thousands of people before they get close to the U.S. border? Is he right? We have a CNN fact check coming up.

And actress Felicity Huffman arrived for her court appearance in Boston just minutes ago. She and others are accused of cheating the college admission system. Now, the prosecution wants jail time for everyone involved.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:45:00]

[13:49:12] KEILAR: Just in, some new fundraising numbers for Beto O'Rourke. These are first quarter fundraising numbers for the candidate. And you'll remember that Senator Bernie Sanders right now is leading the field. He has just over $18 million in campaign donations. And so this would put Beto O'Rourke at third place behind Kamala Harris.

Let's go to Leyla Santiago who is in New York. Tell us about these numbers and just how we should be viewing these in terms of what it means for his staying power and voter's interest in him.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well -- and that's is the key question in terms of staying power. He is now reporting $9.4 million raised over a two-week period, $6.1 in the first 24 hours. But you talk to his campaign, and they're going to want to stress the average per day.

[13:50:00]

That's where they say he leads the pack. But can he sustain that? Because you have a Bernie Sanders -- Senator Bernie Sanders really coming out with those high totals over a six-week period, $18 million. That's where he wants to focus. And it is true. O'Rourke came into the campaign a little bit later than the rest but -- and that's why they're wanting to focus on the average per day.

But when you look at the two weeks, the fact that he was able to raise over a million dollars on that eve or the last two days before the quarter finished out in terms of reporting deadline, they were able to meet their goals of a million dollars there and that, again, leads to the $9.4 million. But if we're talking about average per day, which is where that campaign wants to focus, then right back to your question, Brianna, can he sustain that average per day?

KEILAR: We'll see in the second quarter. That will be definitely -- you can compare all of the candidates then, Leyla Santiago, thank you so much.

So will he or won't he close the border? President Trump has given mixed answers about this over the last 24 hours. Earlier, he tweeted, Congress must get together and immediately eliminate the loopholes at the border, if no action, border or large sections of border will close. This is a national emergency. But then in a speech last night, he seemed to be slowly backing away from that option.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: And I really wanted to close it. But now, Mexico say, no, no, no, first time in decades, we will not let anybody get through. And they've apprehended over a thousand people today at the southern border, their southern border and bringing them back into the country. I said, why the hell didn't somebody do that in the first place?

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: All right. Let's get a fact check from Rosa Flores, our Correspondent who is in McAllen, Texas, just a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. So, Rosa, is Mexico really doing what the President says it's doing?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Brianna, Mexico has been doing that for years and sometimes at rates higher than the United States. Let's just look at recent history since the 2014 unaccompanied minor surge, Mexico -- they incorporated something called El Plan Frontera Sur, in essence, their southern border plan for Mexico. They added road blocks, checks and, of course, an increase in deportations.

And according to the most recent report from Rice University's Baker Institute, they report that more than 500,000 Central Americans have been deported by Mexico back to Central America, and during some of those years at rates higher than the United States. So Mexico did not wake up yesterday and hear about the threat, about the closure of the border and decide to all of a sudden have a deportation policy. They've been doing it for years, Brianna.

KEILAR: That is a very good point. Thank you for explaining that to us, Rosa Flores in McAllen, Texas.

15 people caught up in that college admission cheating scandal have court appearances in Boston any moment. Among them, actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, who are -- we have seen arriving here just a short time ago. We're learning that all of these people could face jail time if convicted. We have a live report coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:55:00]

[13:57:47] KEILAR: A law enforcement official says prosecutors in the college admissions cheating scandal will be asking for jail time for every defendant, and that includes actresses Lori Loughlin, who you see here in sort of an orange-colored suit that she's wearing, as well as Felicity Huffman. In just a few minutes, these actresses will be appearing in front of a federal judge. Loughlin, as we said, arriving moments ago, shaking some hands as she went in. Huffman here arrived last hour. And she along with Loughlin and 13 other people are charged in this admissions cheating scandal. We have two Hollywood defendants at this point who are accused of bribing and cheating to get their kids into elite universities.

CNN Correspondent Brynn Gingras is joining us from outside of the courthouse there in Boston. And tell us what's going to happen today, what can we expect, Brynn?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna. So we are really not expecting too many fireworks in court. The prosecutors have said they could face, all of the defendants, between 6 months and 21 months for what they are accused of. The pressure is on to cooperate with the government and in this case for all of the defendants involved. But we're not necessarily expecting any plea deals to come out of court today. We don't even know if we'll hear from Lori Loughlin or Felicity Huffman. Likely, we'll just hear from their attorneys as this is really just the first step in the long legal process.

But you've kind of described the optics there a little bit. I want to kind of highlight that even more. We saw Felicity Huffman arrive for court three hours before her scheduled court appearance. Lori Loughlin just going in with security, Felicity Huffman had no security. Loughlin definitely shaking hands and smiling, people screaming, Aunt Becky, as she walked in, so very different. But it will be business once court starts around 2:30. And we're certainly waiting to see if we do hear anything from these two actresses since they have not publicly spoken about the charges.

KEILAR: Yes, it is very interesting. I'm glad you point that out, Brynn, just how different it was when we saw the timing and, really, kind of the demeanor. Brynn Gingras for us in Boston, thank you so much.

And that is it for me. Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.

[14:00:00]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN NEWSROOM: All right, here we go. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.