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ISIS Leader Appears To Address Followers In New Video; Sri Lankan President: Easter Bombers Had Links To ISIS; Emperor Akihito To Abdicate The Throne; Charges Filed Against Alleged Synagogue Shooter; Renewed Focus on Trump's Response to White Nationalism. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired April 30, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[1:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everybody! Thank you for joining us. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, he's been on the run and laying low for five years, but now the leader of ISIS has reemerged in a new video praising the terror attack in Sri Lanka, urging his followers to stay loyal.
Very good people on both sides, words from a U.S. president that could define his first term. His white nationalism emerges as a major theme in the 2020 election. And later the 21st century equivalent of asking a rape victim about the length of her skirt. British police is demanding cell phones and social media accounts from those who report a rape and warning refusal could mean no investigation.
And so apparently, reports of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi demise were greatly exaggerated. The ISIS leader has appeared in a new video to address his followers and call for more attacks. If this is, in fact, al- Baghdadi, it will be his first video appearance since 2014. Since then, the terror group has lost all its territory in Iraq and Syria. In the video, he talked about the battle for Baghouz where ISIS lost its final pieces in Syrian real estate. Off-camera he also praises recent attacks in Sri Lanka.
CNN Intelligence and Security Analyst and former CIA Operative Bob Baer joins us now from Washington. OK, Bob, so compared to his last appearance with the Al Nuri mosque in Iraq, this seems to be a complete image makeover for Baghdadi. You know, back then, he sort of spoken grand religious statements. He was dressed in the colors of the former caliphate rulers.
This time he sort of classic insurgent. He's had a new look, the very new, very clean brand new utility vest, you know, with all the pockets that the fishermen will have or the reporters. I saw the rifle at the ready by his side. If you didn't know what he said, the messaging seems pretty clear. ISIS and his leaders are now back in the insurgent business.
ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Five years ago when he appears in Mosul, he's appearing as is the Calif. You're right in all the gowns and the formal Arabic and the rest of his beautiful Arabic by the way, and now he's become a guerrilla, you know which is amazing.
And what got me was it reminds me the shot of Osama bin Laden with a Kalashnikov, the you know, short barreled Kalashnikov next to him. Now, he's saying we've gone underground and we're going to hit where we want to. We're not done.
VAUSE: Yes. It seems although really staged a bit too much.
BAER: Well, these guys are all staged. You know, it's like the beheadings, they were all very well staged, the production values were high and they're people -- I mean he clearly has people around him. This was not a grainy clip at all. And so he's got people around him. And wherever he is, he feels very safe, and that's really that the $64,000 question, where is he.
VAUSE: You know, if nothing else, we know he's alive. Back in 2017, some of us has suggested he may have been killed by Russia. And then there were early reports from May 2015 that he may be left disabled after an airstrike. And that could actually be possible because you know, the video, we don't seem to stand up or moving away that would indicate his full range of motion.
Also, some note that his hands looked a little anemic, his ear is wrinkled like someone maybe with a heart condition, but overall you know, this is a guy who has not spent the last five years living out a spider hole.
BAER: No. John, to me he looks very healthy. You know, he's been well taken care of. And if he was injured an airstrike it wasn't seriously. And you know, he's aged clearly over these five years, but beyond that, he look -- he's saying and he's telegraphing I'm back in business.
VAUSE: And if this is mentoring spiral the followers, you know, remain loyal and steadfast. You know, we had a few setbacks but we're still here. How persuasive is that message given that they've lost so much in the last 12 months?
BAER: Well, it's you -- look, you know, losing Raqqa, the capital of the caliphate was a setback. You know, that their time is not here. But a lot of these organizations especially the Islamic state is simply a franchise. So he's telegraphing to followers all around the world is look they couldn't get me. I'm immortal if you like, and we're back in business. And go out there and conduct the war, the jihad against the West, against Christianity, against pagans or what have you.
And I think this is going to be a very powerful message and I think the fact that it follows the attacks in Sri Lanka which were clearly connected the Islamic state, we know now, is this guy still very dangerous.
VAUSE: The questions timing, though. Why release this video now. Is there one specific event which may have triggered that decision?
BAER: Oh I think he was waiting too for this event and he knew that the connections with the Islamic State would come out. The fact that these guys were trained you know, in Syria by the Islamic State, the explosives were prepared by the Islamic State, and these guys all have connections, he knew that would come out and he just his -- you know, this is you know, act two is he opened it with a you know, I hate to use the word, a bang.
[01:05:17] VAUSE: Yes, and a very staged shot of you know, gone from the caliphate leader to the -- to the insurgent underground, you know, what are you going to call it, and very much a different image for al- Baghdadi. Bob, good to see you. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, ISIS in the world has changed a lot since al-Baghdadi's last video appearance in 2014. ISIS no longer has a terrorist army numbered in the tens of thousands, the Caliphate has crumbled, and now the terror group is looking to be an inspiration for attacks like the one in Sri Lanka. CNN's Nic Robertson has more.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: This was the old ISIS, a terror group territory. Now shelled out of Mosul, shot out of Raqqa, and finally after many months, blasted out of Baghouz. They are now stripped of their so-called caliphate. Change is coming and this is what their future will likely look like, a network of social media and deep web connections, a virtual Caliphate held together by trust, bolstered by far-flung franchises.
It's what Al Qaeda did when it was beaten out of Afghanistan, survived through trust, friends forged on the front lines, dispersed around the world in defeat kept their ideology together through secret communications, attacking when and where they could.
ISIS' changing circumstance is already breeding a change in tactics. They have begun telling would-be jihadists stay at home and attack. Nevertheless, a virtual caliphate ISIS will be weaker. Without territory, they'll lose training camps and the space to plot and plan atrocities with impunity.
Some members may seek to join other terror groups not as easy as it sounds. The al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria has been rounding up some ISIS members already. Loss of territory alone won't snuff them out completely. ISIS' precursor al Qaeda in Iraq still carries out a wide-ranging terror campaign from remote farms and urban lockups.
Candidate Trump threatened to bomb the expletive out of ISIS but it's easier said than done. Their extinction when it does come will be over time and through attrition, but until then their social networking virtual caliphate will remain a threat. Nic Robertson, CNN London.
VAUSE: During an exclusive interview, the Sri Lankan president has confirmed to CNN that the Easter Sunday bombers had very clear links to ISIS and obtained training from the terror group. CNN's Nikhil Kumar has more now from all of this from Colombo, Sri Lanka. So exactly what is the president mean saying to Sam Kiley about all this and what are the details and the evidence the bring forward to back up this claim?
NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, John, as you say, he told Sam Kiley that there was very clear link between ISIS and the local groups that mounted these devastating Easter Sunday attacks. He also told Sam -- and he spoke to Sam just hours before this video image of the ISIS leader. He told Sam that over the last 15 years, there have been connections between ISIS and certain Sri Lankan individuals.
Now, remember, all of this comes after revelations about the intelligence that the Sri Lankan authorities had received ahead of those Easter Sunday bombings. We know India warned them a bunch of times. And we also know from Indian intelligence that the warnings themselves that they originated when Indian authorities moved to arrest an ISIS suspect, this suspect during interrogation coughed up information about Zahran Hashim, the spiritual leader of the NTJ, the local Islamist group.
And we now know that they aren't Zahran Hashim was among the suicide bombers who blew himself off at the Shangri-La Hotel here in Colombo. So a number of strands coming together including on Friday there was a massive shootout in Eastern Sri Lanka. When authorities here mounted raids on a series of safe houses, they uncovered a massive hole of explosives, ball-bearings, 150 explosive stick, but also Isis flags and other paraphernalia.
So the evidence of the connections between this local group and ISIS, we've been getting it in little bits over the last week, and then of course now the president saying that there were very clear link. So we're waiting to hear more from authorities about just how concrete those links were. Something that we hope to hear from the authorities at this investigation unfolds over here in Sri Lanka. John?
VAUSE: Well, also from the president, he seems to have passed you know, the fairly who have read these attacks on to a lot of others within the government. Has he avoided or political repercussions from these attacks?
[01:10:00] KUMAR: Well, John, this is something that's been a matter of discussion here for several days now just who at the top of government, the president, the Prime Minister, who's going to have to pay a price, will they pay. So far as you say, the buck has effectively been passed to other officials with both the President and Prime Minister saying that look, we weren't told. We weren't given the information that was out there, very specific information.
We know I mentioned those warnings from India, we know that there was one warning just one hour before the first explosion on Easter Sunday. So far it's very much a case of blaming other officials but we'll have to see what happens.
Remember, this is a government, the president and the prime minister from two different factions, political factions in this country. They came together in an unlikely alliance following the election back in 2015. They have had a pretty tough time working together. The top of government has been wracked by feuds, and many people, ordinary Sri Lankans that we've been speaking to that they've gone out even as they mourn, even if they adjust this new reality of checkpoints and curfews, they're also increasingly angry that the political leadership here seems to have dropped the ball on something so very important and so consequential. John?
VAUSE: OK, Nikhil, thank you for what I very like to say on these political ramifications for the president and others. I appreciate it. Nikhil Kumar there live in Colombo. Well, the clock is down on the reign of Japan's Emperor Akihito. In about three hours, the process we'll begin for the much-loved monarch to abdicate allowing his son Prince Naruhito to ascend the Chrysanthemum throne.
The 85-year-old Akihito has become known as the People's Emperor for reaching out to his subjects like no other monarch has ever has. Will Ripley joins us now from Tokyo with details. These things are very hard to say when you have a cold, Will, but the Emperor Akihito is the first Japanese monarch basically to take the throne under the pace World War Two Constitution there. The first Japanese Emperor to be considered -- not to be considered rather living God and no real political powers. So was that leave for his legacy?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what it means is that he was the first -- he's really the only person, the only emperor who will ever have existed that's alive today you know, between the old era and the new. Because his son Crown Prince Naruhito, when he ascends to the Chrysanthemum throne, he's always lived under the Pacifist Constitution that the emperor is a symbol of the state in the people.
But Emperor Akihito was born into a time when the gates of the Imperial Palace were so walled off that it would have been impossible for foreigners and regular Japanese alike to be witness to it. As you can see, the crowds continue to gather, there's just huge crowds. We're going to walk through here.
Emperor Akihito, he personified the transformation of post-war Japan from this imperial power that was intent on conquering Asia much the way that Nazi Germany tried to conquer Europe, to a country that repaired its image and its relationship with the world, although maybe not some of its neighbors after World War Two.
Emperor Akihito has been a symbol of trying to restore the image of the Japanese monarchy. And you can see, he's earned the love of his people. I mean, this is -- there are a lot of people out here. Certainly, it's been a rainy day. Normally you wouldn't see crowds like this, and the crowds continue to grow by the hour because this is a huge day. It's the end of the Heisei Era which means the era of serene peace, and tomorrow marks the start of the Reiwa Era which is the era of beautiful harmony.
And it's the first time John in some 200 years that an emperor has abdicated while still alive. The Parliament passed a one-time exception allowing Akihito to retire. He's getting older. He's been treated for cancer and other ailments, and he's ready to have a life out of the public eye. And with the hundreds of public engagements that he does every year, all of the meetings, all of the travel, a lot of Japanese people would probably agree that he deserves a little bit of a break.
VAUSE: Let's get to the future here. We have this you know, 59-year- old Oxford-educated Crown Prince. He's set to take the throne. How much modernizing really you know, does he want to do. I guess, how much will be allowed to do? I mean, you know, in Japan, women still aren't allowed to you know, to sit on the throne, but there is a development there. You know, a female cabinet minister will actually be able to watch the ceremony which I guess is progress.
RIPLEY: Yes. Well, I think this is a perfect example, John. This ceremony that traditionally only men are allowed to witness. Even though it's 2019, even though the new Empress is herself a Harvard- educated former diplomat, she cannot be in the same room with her husband when he becomes the Emperor and she becomes the Empress. She won't get to see this mysterious old ritual where they pulled these ancient treasures out of from secret hiding places.
Actually, they don't even use the actual treasures, they use replicas of a sword and a mirror and a jewel to symbolize strength and benevolence and wisdom. She won't get to witness that ceremony because it is only men allowed. They are making an exception to allow a Japanese female lawmaker but that is one example of a kind of what some people view as an outdated patriarchal tradition that the Japanese monarchy and lawmakers who you know, decide Imperial Household law should look into, should consider. Another is succession law itself, the role of women.
[01:15:04] Right now, as it stands, a man keeps his royal status for life, whether or not he decides to get married. But there's only one eligible bachelor, right now, in the Japanese imperial family, 12- year-old Prince Naruhito, who basically has to decide to get married and have a male heir in order to keep the dynasty continuing this unbroken --
So, the imperial household claims 2,000-year dynasty -- Imperial Dynasty. Some people are saying that women should be allowed to stay in the royal family. They shouldn't have to become commoners if they decide to get married.
And they say that really, you know, the whole stake and the existence of the Japanese royal family is contingent upon them being willing to make that change. So, obviously, today's all about the ceremony and the transition from the Heisei Era to Reiwa Era. But then, there are going to be some tough questions about whether or not the monarchy needs to adapt, John, to more modern times.
VAUSE: Yes. They face these issues and Britain was the, you know, monarchy there. They'll face it again, I guess, in Japan. And you and I will be facing all of this in about 20 hours' time when the rule action begins. So, I'm glad you'll be with us, because you'll be the one to do all the talking. But, thank you, Will. We'll take a short break. When we come back, Boeing's CEO promises to bring back what he calls one of the safest airplanes in the sky, and then he bails on a news conference when the questions gets tough.
VAUSE: Charges have been filed against John Earnest, the man accused of opening fire in a synagogue in California. Prosecutors charged him with murder, attempted murder, and arson. An (INAUDIBLE) official tells CNN the agency received a tip about Earnest online threat just moments before Saturday's attacks.
It did not mention specifics. However, it was too late to intervene and save the shooting and prevent that from happening at Chabad, in Poway, California near San Diego.
Meantime, funeral services were held Monday for Lori Kaye, who died while shielding her rabbi from the gunman. Three people were wounded, among them, an 8-year-old girl.
The growing threat of violence from white nationalism and the response to it from the U.S. President is emerging as one of the big issues on the campaign trail. Well, Donald Trump forcefully condemned the latest synagogue shooting while at a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, he did not call out white nationalism by name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We forcefully condemn the evil of Anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And last month, Trump was asked about the threat from white nationalism after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand which left 50 people dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world?
TRUMP: I don't really, I think it's a small group of people that have a very, very serious problems. I guess --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:20:08] VAUSE: And then there were his words at the wake of deadly violence, two years ago, in Charlottesville, Virginia where neo-Nazis carrying torches and chanting Anti-Semitics slogans, clashed with those who were protesting their message of bigotry and hate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Those words might just define the first term of the Trump administration. For more, we are joined now by Peniel Joseph, Professor of History at the University of Texas in Austin. Professor, thanks for being with us.
PENIEL JOSEPH, HISTORY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN: Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: OK. So, when Former Vice President Joe Biden announced he was in the race for the White House, those comments by Donald Trump were at the center of his campaign launch, and the President seemed to have taken the bait. This is what Donald Trump said on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And if you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So, Trump (INAUDIBLE) not just on litigating what he said, but also rewriting history, even this new version of what he said, you know, with the good people. He says that they were there trying to save a, you know, a statue of a confederate general, that doesn't seem a whole lot better.
JOSEPH: No, it doesn't. I mean, when it comes to this idea of white nationalism, there are really two Trumps.
There's a Trump who has been a vehement supporter of the confederate flag, there's a Trump who has really used, not just dog whistles and cold words, but really come out in full-throated support, at times for extremist elements, even during his own campaign rallies where he advocated violence against protestors and Black Lives Matter activists and others.
And then there's the Trump who says, well, there are -- there are good people on both sides. And then finally, there's the presidential aspirant who says that Anti-Semitism is bad, all hate is bad. And what's interesting is that the President really -- When he's -- when he's saying these dog whistles, when he's saying
things like, you know, Muslims are all bad, when he's trying to do a Muslim ban, when he says that Mexicans are rapists, he's really feeding into these French groups that have grown not just domestically, but around the world, and that he represents an exemplar of in terms of a support system in the White House.
VAUSE: There's information from the anti-defamation league, which founded last year, 39 of the 50 extremists-related murders were committed by white supremacists, and that is up from a year before. And also, earlier this month, while testifying before Congress, the man, Donald Trump, chose to lead the FBI, had this warning. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR OF FBI: The danger, I think, of white supremacists, violent extremism, or any other kind of violent extremism is, of course, significant. We assess that it's a persistent pervasive threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Which puts him at odds with the President who doesn't think it's a growing threat. But, has anything changed, is there any other factor out there apart from Donald Trump's -- the President's refusal to condemn white nationalism by name that would, you know, explain this increase in fatal attacks?
JOSEPH: Well, yes, I mean, I think it's everything from the anti- immigration sentiment that's happening domestically that the President has led. But it's also Brexit. It's also the rise of right-wing authoritarianism, anti-democracy, including voter suppression, right here, in the United States and even in the state of Texas where I live.
So, it's really a confluence of interest. What's interesting to note is that Donald Trump did not invent this, but he's become the global symbol of this white nationalist movement, internationally. So, he's become --
The President of the United States, which is really a disgrace, has become from a global symbol of world white supremacy, and I don't think there's anything he can do to divorce himself from that, because it's so integral to his political power and legitimacy among the base of anywhere from 37 to 40 percent of Americans who really support what he's talking about.
VAUSE: And, you know (INAUDIBLE) that the President's response to Charlottesville is, you know, among the worst and darkest moments of his presidency. And Joe Biden, as you say, has jumped in on that, and it was the opening point for his campaign launch. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The folks we saw, hate in Charlottesville, we saw it again in Pittsburgh, at the Tree of Life synagogue, in the attack of the deadliest in America history, on a Jewish community. And we're reminded again, that we are in a battle. We are in a battle for America's soul. I really believe that. And we have to restore it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That was Biden's first campaign rally since getting into the race. But, you know, is that a view which is shared by the majority of Americans, because Donald Trump still has a lot of support of there.
JOSEPH: Well, I think it is shared by a majority of them. I think that what we saw in the 2016 elections is that 40 percent of Americans, who are eligible to vote, did not vote. [01:25:06] So, a lot of this has to do with everything from voter
suppression, but also just civic engagement in the United States, the more economic inequality, the more hate speech, more racism, more intolerance we have, the less of an open democracy we have.
So, what's interesting is that we have a plurality of people who support Donald Trump. That their voices are even louder than their numbers, and when you -- when you see people fighting back with these March for Our Lives, these immigration marches, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ marches.
You're seeing, really, a majority of Americans who really think about American democracy as inclusive, the nation has a nation of immigrants, the nation has a nation founded on principles of equality for all, and that they're trying to perfect its union through the centuries. I think that's the majority of Americans.
VAUSE: A couple of months ago, we had this, sort of, you know, which seemed extraordinary at the time, this admission, coming from the President himself, at one of his campaign rallies. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, they have a word, it's, sort of, become old- fashioned. It's called a nationalist. And I say, really? We're not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I'm a nationalist, OK? I'm a nationalist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, you got that statement, a very public statement (INAUDIBLE) this refusal to call white nationalists out by name. So, what are the extremists? What are the white supremacists here? It seems, you know, obviously, we've moved away beyond a dog whistle.
JOSEPH: Absolutely. It's very explicit. They hear somebody in the White House who's supporting this idea of a white ethno national state. This idea of, you know, white Anglo-Saxon protestant state.
We have to remember not only is there a big spirit of Anti-Semitism, but historically, there was a big surge of anti-Catholicism, there's anti-Italian, anti-Irish hatred, beyond just anti-Latino and anti- black racism and hatred as well.
So, he's tapping into a vein, some of our worst impulses. And these are groups that have always existed. They've been on the fringes and the margins, that they've been connected to conservatism movements, at least, since the 1960s, when we think about the rise of Richard Nixon and then Ronald Reagan.
But the explicit articulation of this idea of white nationalism and this explicit articulation of intolerance, racially and religiously and ethnically, is really unprecedented in the modern sense. We'd have to go back to somebody like Woodrow Wilson to get a president who is this open to this kind of rhetoric. And if anything, it hurts us globally, because the entire world is becoming more diverse. The entire world is becoming more interconnected. There are no walls that we can build across the Atlantic or the Pacific to protect ourselves.
VAUSE: Peniel, we're out of time, but thank you so much for the discussion. Great to see you, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you.
JOSEPH: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: Still to come, after two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max, Boeing took responsibility, with the CEO saying they owned it. That is, of course, except when the CEO can push the blame unto someone else. That's next.
[01:30:34] VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
A new ISIS video appears to show the terror group leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi alive and well. If this is in fact al-Baghdadi it would be his first known appearance in video since 2014.
Off camera, the speaker praises recent bombings in Sri Lanka, also claims responsibility for dozens of attacks in a number of other countries.
Sri Lanka's president tells CNN it's very clear the Easter Sunday bombings were linked to ISIS. He says Sri Lankan intelligence services believe the terror group trained the attackers and that connections between ISIS and extremists in Sri Lanka date back 15 years.
In the coming hours Japanese Emperor Akihito will abdicate the throne making way for his son to take his place. Akihito has been Japan's monarch since 1989. Health concerns are the reasons he is stepping down. Prince Naruhito will be sworn in on Wednesday.
Boeing's CEO is stirring up controversy saying the pilots were at least partly to blame for the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max last month. Dennis Muilenburg was hoping to ease shareholders' concerns but all did not go according to plan as CNN's Drew Griffin reports.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Boeing says it is trying to the fix the 737 Max and provide some kind of a software update that will make this plane safer than any other plane in the sky, according to CEO Dennis Muilenburg.
But that is not an admission that anything was wrong with this plane to begin with. So says the CEO who had to fight back against tough questioning, a question which he just abruptly ended and walked out of a news conference after he was asked whether or not there were design flaws in the 737 Max that created these two crashes.
346 people were killed in those two crashes, this is Dennis Muilenburg's first news conference since then. He denied there was anything wrong with his plane or its design. And instead tried to shift the blame towards pilots who, apparently according to him, did not follow the proper procedures in carrying out Boeing's safety of this airplane.
In the meantime, the company is testing its software fix on the 737 Max although there is no timeline for when this plane gets back in the air.
Drew Griffin, CNN -- Chicago.
VAUSE: David Soucie is a CNN safety analyst and former FAA safety inspector. He is with us this hour from Denver, Colorado.
Short question to begin with -- David. Should he resign?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: You know, I think he has to. I really do. I was very surprised that they didn't put more pressure on him at the annual meeting today. They just tried to separate him as CEO and chairman which in the airline industry is really unheard of.
They have to answer to the board for profitability at the same time answer as a CEO for the sustainability of the company. It's just really unheard of.
VAUSE: Ok. I want you to listen to Muilenburg now talking to investors and the message seems to be, everyone has to share the blame, you know. There's more than one factor at play in these crashes. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS MUILENBURG, CEO, BOEING: We've gone back and looked at both accidents. We've done deep assessments of our plane and the design. And we've confirmed that the MCAS system as originally designed did meet our design and safety analysis criteria and our certification criteria. Those are standard processes that have worked for decades and will continue to work.
Now that said when we design a system, understand that these airplanes are flown in the hands of pilots. And in some cases our system safety analysis includes not only the engineering design but also the actions that pilots would take as part of the failure scenario, right. That's all baked into a system end-to-end analysis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, that is true, it does take a sort of confluence (ph) of events to bring a plane down. But those events have to start somewhere and, it seems that they started, you know, with this software problem, the MCAS.
SOUCIE: Yes. When they say end to end, there's a lot in the middle there that didn't get done right. And the delegation is what I think is probable as far as what the actual cause was. To me, the critical safety failure here was the inability of Boeing to recognize that this MCAS system was what we call Class A system. In other words, it had to have redundancy because the failure of that system from a single point of failure caused death and the crash of that aircraft.
[01:34:56] That is a Class A, without any doubt, even within their safety systems. So what he has to ask himself now is why did the safety system not catch this? Why did it fail anyway?
VAUSE: You know, it's interesting that they're sort of passing some of the blame onto the pilots, but maybe if the pilots were actually given time in the simulator to actually know how the system worked properly, they'll be better to prepared to deal with whatever the MCAS was doing.
SOUCIE: I'll tell you what -- all he has to do, all any of us have to do is listen to that tape recording and listen to that cockpit voice recording of the pilot who's supposedly had had all the training which I believe he had, according to the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. Had all the training, yet when he was faced with that challenged, he asked the co-pilot to take control of the aircraft while he looked through the manual again and again, looking for the procedure, the emergency procedure to respond to what was going on. And he failed at that, and that's why the aircraft crashed.
If that's what he calls pilot error, I think he needs to reassess that thought.
VAUSE: A harsh definition. You know, since the Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed last month, Boeing shares have fallen 10 percent. They (INAUDIBLE) about 18 percent of the year. At least seven airlines are reconsidering or reviewing their orders of the 737 Max. Company profits down at 20 percent.
And the CEO is facing, you know, a shareholder revolt. Chances are none of that was actually helped by this statement that he made. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUILENBURG: Our commitment to safety is unwavering and, we do regret the impact that this has had to passengers. We know we do have work to do to earn and re-earn that trust, and we will. We know that in both accidents, there was a chain of events that occurred.
One of the links in that chain was the activation of the MCAS system, because of an erroneous angle of attack data. That was a common link in both accidents. We know that we can break that link in the chain.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: The first part of that statement -- a big impact on the passengers. I mean, I know he's talking worldwide with the (INAUDIBLE) but this has a pretty big impact on the 300 plus passengers who died.
SOUCIE: Yes, that's regrettable -- I mean unfortunate, regrettable -- those are not the terms you use in a tragedy like this. He's not helping himself, he's not helping Boeing.
He's had the opportunity to have an independent assessment of what's going on inside of Boeing. Instead he focuses his effort exactly on the mechanical failure of this airplane.
This is not a mechanical failure. I've done hundreds of aircraft accident investigations, and yes, there's responsibility of the pilot. There's things he could have done better in retrospect. Captain Sully could have done something better when he landed the airplane in the water. He could have turned around and landed at the airport.
But this guy was not in the cockpit. He wasn't faced with those challenges. And the fact that he diminishes that by saying that the pilot should have been able to recover that is just -- it's irresponsible.
He's just trying to shift the blame again. He did great about saying that it was their fault in the first place, but to then bring in the pilots and say it was partly their fault, that's not -- that's not the right way to be handling this.
VAUSE: Very quickly, is it a bit like there's a design flaw in a car and you blame the driver for the car going off the road?
SOUCIE: You know, yes, it's the driver's fault. But what about the deer that jumps out in front of the driver? What about the tires that weren't well -- they were too well-worn, or the breaks that didn't work the way they're supposed to.
All those things in any kind of accident comes into play -- absolutely. But someone has to say we made a mistake to put that driver or that pilot in the situation where he had to do inordinate things to try to recover and save those passengers from dying which, obviously whatever efforts were made, were not enough.
VAUSE: Yes. Keep -- you know, just the impact on passengers? 300 plus are dead after this so -- that's a pretty big impact.
David -- thank you. Thanks for being with us.
SOUCIE: Thank you. Yes. The way that it's being stated, the way it's being handled, he should resign, honestly at this point. He should certainly not be the CEO that's more in charge of the representation of what's going on within the aircraft, or what's going on within the operations of that manufacturer.
The chairman maybe, but CEO, direct operations, no.
VAUSE: I guess we'll see what happens. David -- thank you.
SOUCIE: All right. Thank you.
VAUSE: The U.S. and China have started yet another round of trade talks. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is leading the U.S. delegation in Beijing and says it should be clear in the next week or so if the deal is possible and an end to the year-long trade war can be made.
Now trade is just one friction point between the U.S. and China. Beijing's attempts to expand its global influence is another. Case in point the African nation of Djibouti where China is building a new military base just down the road from one the Americans have.
CNN's Arwa Damon reports.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're on the Horn of African. But all the new construction in Djibouti is mostly Chinese. It's a site that is becoming all too familiar across the continent As America's adversary pushes its influence further around the world. And in this case, right down the road from the U.S.
[01:50:02] This is where it gets a bit more interesting, just right there. That is China's first permanent military base overseas.
China's military, the Peoples Liberation Army, is flexing its muscle. Just a 15-minute drive from the U.S. Naval Base Camp Lemonnier. The two superpowers are now occupying the same crucial piece of Red Sea real estate placing Beijing right at the doorstep of U.S. military's intelligence gathering and counterterrorism operations.
When you first heard about the Chinese military presence and their desire to build a base here in Djibouti, what was your and initial reaction?
REAR ADM. HEIDI BERG, DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE, U.S. AFRICA COMMAND: So the fact that they put their first military base out here makes god sense. However, through the incidents and some of their behaviors here has proven to be challenging, and not constructive.
DAMON: Behaviors the U.S. military says that include the Chinese pumping (ph) military-grade lasers at U.S. aircraft -- something the Chinese deny. But U.S. have concerns moved well beyond isolated incidents.
In a few short years, China's military has pushed past its borders, building islands thought to be like unsinkable aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, and quietly stationing its troops around the globe.
But it's how China invests, says the U.S., using debt to create financial chokeholds, that is now the focus of the Trump administration. BERG: Seeing the investment, the level of investment, the level of
influence that China has been able to achieve, there has been raising awareness of the predatory lending practices that are in place, the debt burdens that can undermine sovereignty.
DAMON: It just one striking example of the great power competition playing out between the U.S. and China, which according to one U.S. Official, America is losing. Here in Djibouti, nearly 80 percent of the country's debt is owned by China.
Camp Lemonnier does not have direct access to the water, which is why this, Djibouti's main container port is, such a vital lifeline for the Americans. But the U.S. does have some concerns, given how much of Djibouti's debt China controls, could China try to maneuver that into control over the Djibouti's ports?
It happened before on another continent. In late 2017 the Sri Lankan government surrendered a major port to China, after failing to pay back its loans. Djiboutian authorities bristle at that notion, aware of the risk literally banking on China.
ABOUBAKER OMAR HADI, DJIBOUTI PORTS AND FREE ZONES AUTHORITY: we don't want to depend on only one side for one continent or for one country.
DAMON: You know, the Americans and the Europeans are a bit behind the ball.
HADI: Yes. Yes. I think so.
DAMON: At an annual U.S. Naval exercise, where the Chinese were America's invited guests for the opening ceremony, the Chinese military declined to be interviewed. But China has long maintained its investments come with no strings attached. And the investments continued to come. China has tripled its lost two African since 2012.
To counter China's financial dominance, America is trying to push itself as the military partner of choice. But if the current trends are anything to go by, it may not be enough.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Djibouti.
VAUSE: Just ahead, rape is already under reported in the U.K. and U.K.'s House will do little to improve that. How rape victims it seems once again have to prove their innocence.
[01:43:42] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: In the U.K., there's growing anger over new guidelines and regulations requiring rape victims to hand over their cell phones access to social media to police and, if they refuse, the investigation might not move forward.
Caroline Heldman is an associate professor of politics at Occidental College in Los Angeles. And she has also worked extensively with survivors of rape. And she is with us from San Francisco.
So Caroline -- thank you for coming in. It's been a while.
CAROLINE HELDMAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE, CNN COMMENTATOR: Thanks -- John.
VAUSE: Here's a part of a statement from the U.K. police. "Mobile phones and other digital devices such as left off computers, tablets and smart watches can provide important relevant information and help us investigate what happened. This may include the police looking at messages, photographs, emails, social media accounts stored on your device.
Only the reasonable lines of inquiry should be pursued to avoid unnecessary intrusion into the personal lives of individuals." That last line is just a clincher. Is this the 21st century equivalent of asking a rape victim what she was wearing, how short was the skirt, how tight was the sweater?
But it's about gigaton of data worse worst than that.
HELDMAN: It is. It's an invasion of privacy. And the new protocols have made it very clear that if you don't conform to this invasion of your privacy and give up your cellphone for, you know, a couple of months or a couple of years in various cases that have been complained about, than they actually won't prosecute your case. They could drop your case.
This is, you know, what one organization has called a digital strip search. It's definitely going to chill or discourage women and men who are survivors of sexual violence from coming forward, because it adds another barrier.
And frankly, it will probably be found a illegal, because you shouldn't have to give up your privacy in order to get basic protections from the state when you've been victimized.
VAUSE: There is so much wrong with this, but just the basics -- you mentioned this. There is no guidelines as to how long this information will be kept. There's no guidelines as to where it will kept. There's no guidelines as to who gets access to any of this.
I mean there's nothing really governing who has this information influence in the first place.
HELDMAN: Correct. And in fact this used to be the protocol that we use with terrorist in the U.K. and now it's been extended to rape victims. Beyond that if you have a crime on your phone, and they locate that during whatever procedure they're using to investigate your personal materials, they will prosecute you for that crime.
So for example, if you bought illicit drugs in the last year or two and they have your cellphone, you're not going to come forward if you're a survivor of rape which, means that this crime will go unpunished. And it goes virtually unfinished. And it goes virtually unpunished in the U.K. already. So only 2 percent of rapists will ever see a day in jail in the U.K. So the police are doing an awful job when it comes to prosecuting rapists. And now they're making it even harder for rape survivors to come forward.
VAUSE: And so, you know, once a rape victim is forced to expose every aspect of their lives to police, it goes from bad to worse.
Labour MP Harriet Harman explains what happens next. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIET HARMAN, BRITISH LABOUR MP: This document which has been issued today called Digital Device Extraction is quite simple. It says give us all your devices, we will download and review all the material, including deleted material, so that we can give it to the suspect, and use it in the trial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And here's how one rape survivor writes about all of it. "Imagine your most private thoughts and feelings from counseling held in your phone being seen by anyone, let alone your rapist. And imagine those thoughts and feelings then being used to humiliate, discredit you in front of a courtroom of people judging you.
And then imagine having to guarantee about how in the future that data may be used or stored." That's what she had to say.
Why would anyone who survives a rape put themselves through that ordeal?
[01:49:58] HELDMAN: They just wouldn't -- John. I mean this is a classic example of rape being the only crime where when the victim comes forward she or he is put on trial. It's a clear indication that we don't take this seriously.
If the police were really concerned about disclosure and about really finding justice, then they would focus on the fact that 98 percent of rapists go free. They would look at the dynamics of that. They would look at the fact that only 4 percent of cases that come forward are something we call unfounded, meaning there isn't enough evidence to prove that a rape happened which means that the which means that the false reporting rate for rape is similar to crimes like burglary, yet this is the only where we really focused on treating victims who this is the only one that we really focus on treating victims and survivors that come forward as though they are the criminals.
VAUSE: You mentioned this, there's a five-year low in the conviction of rape in the U.K. right now. It's at 1.7 percent, under 2 percent of, you know, someone being accused, standing trial, and going to prison of this crime of rape. It's massively under reported.
If the British police or the British authorities wanted to actually get more people who have been a victim of this crime to come forward, this is the exact opposite of what they should be doing.
HELDMAN: That's correct and, I think that they know that they are doing that. I also think this is a political scapegoat for the Liam Allen (ph) case, in with the police were actually given evidence in the form of text messages records that indicated that it was a false charge. And yet they did not do their job and so now they're passing new disclosure requirements and trying to shift the blame on to survivors who come forward.
When at the end of the day, they actually have the evidence that they needed to not go forward with that case, they just did not do their job. So I think there's both a level of victim blaming here, and also this idea that the police are trying to shift the responsibility.
What they really need to do is do a better job of prosecuting rape cases. They need to address the fact that it's fewer than 2 percent of rapists who get convicted.
There's no other crime that has such a low conviction rate. Imagine a burglary or, imagine a carjacking -- basically, where you knew, that if you Came Forward, that nothing was going to happen, and your life, personal life would put on trial. You just wouldn't do it.
VAUSE: Very quickly -- what do you say to those people who are listening in and they say. Well you've done nothing wrong. You've got nothing to hide. Then what's the problem.
HELDMAN: Well, would they want their personal lives to be put out in a court of law whether it's their bass sexual history? You know, whether or not disturbing or gross messages that they're sending as a joke. Why would they be willing to give up their privacy just to get justice? How is that any way shape or form, there?
VAUSE: It's not. That's it. Caroline, thank you.
HELDMAN: Thank you.
VAUSE: A short break, we're back in a moment.
[01:52:43] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: He was a groundbreaking filmmaker/director, scriptwriter and producer and now John Singleton has passed away at just 51 years old.
He suffered a stroke on April 17, fell into a coma and never recovered. He's probably best known for his 1991 film "Boys in the Hood", an unflinching look at life in South Central Los Angeles, the then 24-year old director and Oscar nomination. In the years that followed he directed a steady stream of movies in television.
A Muslim supermodel is making history with her appearance in the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit edition.
Halima Aden is the first model to wear a hajib and a bikini in the magazine. Three years ago, she was the first contestant in the Miss Minnesota U.S.A. pageant to wear a hijab on her bikini as well. [01:55:04] At the time she told CNN many Muslim women don't feel they fit society's standard of beauty. She said her message: it's ok to be different and that being different is beautiful too.
We all want a friend like this. They talk and talk and talk on the phone, they just do not end the call. (INAUDIBLE) until finally you get -- want to conversation to go bring it to an end. This is especially tricky though when the person on the end of the line actually is the President of the United States.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know when you are dying to get someone off the phone? Imagine that someone is the President. I
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: I know you have to run but --
MOOS: It's that old ploy, you don't have time to keep talking to me.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know where these people come from.
BARTIROMO: Mr. President -- I know you have to go -- hey have no --
TRUMP: I don't know where these people come from -- Maria.
BARTIROMO: Mr. President, I know you have to go.
TRUMP: I'll tell you it wasn't my neighborhood.
BARTIROMO: Final question Mr. President -- it
TRUMP: Honestly unless -- they hate the country.
MOOS: It can make it anchor look like a fish, gasping for air time.
BARTIROMO: Mr. President, before you go --
TRUMP: All of this publicity get -- you know, people see this.
TRUMP: -- and they say hey -- they start learning.
MOOS: And this was Maria Bartiromo on Trump-friendly Fox business, he family just asked.
BARTIROMO: Mr. President I know you have to run. The exact same thing happened a year ago. Mr. President -- I know you have to run.
MOOS: The exact same thing happened a year ago.
TRUMP: I think we're doing very well. Let's see what happens.
STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS HALE: Ok. We're running out of time.
MOOS: The clock was running, but so was the President's mouth until finally --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We talk to you all day but it looks like you have a million things to do.
STEPHEN COLBERT, TV HOS: He get the President off the phone like an annoying relative.
Well listen, I'm going to let you go --
MOOS: Sort of like the guest who over stayed on SNL.
It leaves the TV host with only one escape.
BARTIROMO: Mr. President -- thank you so much.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton loses.
MOOS: Why does that seem familiar? Who is it that always saying thank you, trying to get others to shut up and leave.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you taking the money away now?
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.
To recap, the way to say get out is --
TRUMP: Thank you all very much.
MOOS: And the way to say get off the phone is.
BARTIROMO: I know you have to run --
MOOS: Talk about a busy signal, Mr. President, you're too busy?
BARTIROMO: Mr. President, don't you have to run.
MOOS: Not to hang up.
TRUMP: Well Maria.
BARTIROMO: I know you have to go.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN--
BARTIROMO: I know you have a busy day.
MOOS: New York.
BARTIROMO: I know you have a busy day.
MOOS: New York.
VAUSE: We've got to go, too. We're busy. You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
But the news continues with Rosemary Church, by the way.
[01:57:31] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)