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Markets in Turmoil after Trump Tweets Threat to Tax All Chinese Imports; CNN Poll: Trump's Director of Communications Discusses Economy; Polls; Possibly opposing 2020 Election Results; Michael Cohen Arrives at Federal Prison in NY; Horrifying Video of Russian Passenger Jet Bursting into Flames; Boeing Publicly Acknowledges Problem with MAX-8 Warning Indicator; U.K.'s Duchess of Sussex Gives Birth to Healthy Boy. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 6, 2019 - 11:30   ET

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


[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And once again, it started with a tweet from President Trump over trade talks with China. Right now, the Dow is down more than 170 points. And fear is that it could keep going, of course. This started over the weekend when President Trump tweeted out decided to turn out that trade negotiations were moving too slowly so he just decided to turn up the pressure, threatening to tax nearly all Chinese products coming to America.

And the timing here is key. Yes, he levels threats all the time, but the timing of this week is key. This week has been widely seen as the potential final round of talks before locking in a new deal with the economic superpower. And he's not backing down this morning, sending out another tweet about that. But now, who knows what going to happen?

CNN business correspondent, Alison Kosik, is at the New York Stock Exchange with much more.

Alison, what are you hearing there?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We're hearing that this could be just a tactic, a ploy by the president to try to push China's hand to make a move when the two sides meet on Wednesday. But after we saw what happened at the opening bell today, the bigger worry is, what happens if he's pushing too far and pulls the rug right out underneath these negotiations going on with China. Because we got a taste of what could happen if these negotiations break down.

Now, at the opening bell, we did see the Dow fall as much as 471 points. At the moment, we're seeing the losses cut in half. Make no doubt about it, these investors are rattled. They're rattled about the uncertainty about what's going to happen with these trade negotiations. They're especially rattled because, over the past few months, we have seen stocks raise higher. We've seen the S&P 500 hit record highs, the NASDAQ hit a high. The Dow getting close to a new record high as well. The Dow is up, as of Friday, 14 percent higher, the NASDAQ up more than 20 percent higher, and S&P 500 up 17 percent higher. That was as of Friday. You see just how much investors have bought into stocks over the past few months. Their big concern, if negotiations break down, new tariffs, additional

tariffs, can really change the landscape of doing business. It could raise the cost of doing business. That could wind up eating into profits, and eventually trickle down to where stocks are. So you're seeing investors sell their stocks today. They don't want to be left holding these highly valued stocks in an environment where there are pressures on profit -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Alison, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

KOSIK: Sure.

BOLDUAN: Joining me right now for more on this is Marc Lotter. He's head of strategic communications for President Trump's 2020 re- election campaign.

Thanks for coming in, Marc.

MARC LOTTER, DIRECTOR OF STRATREGIC COMMUNICATIONS, TRUMP RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: The status of the trade talks with China, I think the best way anyone can put it is they're uncertain at best at this moment. Everyone thought that the U.S. and China, they were basically headed to something of a deal come Friday, which you would think would be a great thing for the president. It would be a great thing to tout. Then the president's tweet yesterday, then he seems to double down today. Is this a last-minute negotiating tactic? What is this?

LOTTER: I think we have seen some reporting coming out that China possibly was backing away from some of the commitments that the trade negotiators already thought that they had sealed up in good faith. And so what you see now is the president sending a very strong signal that he wants the deal done, but he wants it to be a good deal. We're not going to back away from things that had previously been agreed to. I think this is just a very strong message from the White House, from the president, that we expect China to live up to the agreements they have already made, and let's finalize this deal and push through.

BOLDUAN: Just for our viewers, what we're looking at right here, to the right of your screen -- welcome to live TV, Marc -- is what I'm told is Michael Cohen's SUV arriving to the facility where he will be beginning a three-year prison sentence about 70 miles outside of Manhattan, this federal prison. I'm told that's his SUV. We'll continue to watch this. We'll bring you more on this.

Let's continue to talk about the economy, if we could, though. Marc, the economy is always something that the president loves to tout, and he has the right to, because the economy has been good under his presidency. But his approval rating on the economy, it's up there at 56 percent in CNN's latest numbers, but his overall approval rating is hovering around 43 percent. Why isn't it higher if the economy is doing so well?

LOTTER: Well, I think for two years we have had a massive misinformation campaign about Russian collusion, which has now been totally debunked, and things like that, which have held the approval rating back. But I also believe that because we had such a long and slow emergence from the recession --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: So you think that it is -- you think the has to do with the Russian collusion investigation?

(CROSSTALK)

LOTTER: I think it partially involves Russian collusion. But I also think, in many cases, we had such a slow slog out of the recession under the last 10 years that it took the American people a while to feel the economic benefits, to feel the security and the things that we're seeing. So as the economy continues to do so well, we're already starting to see the president's approval picking up. And I believe that's because Americans are becoming more confident in it. They feel it at home. They see it in their paychecks. They see it in their communities. And so I think it

BOLDUAN: Well, right now --

LOTTER: -- will continue to increase from there.

[11:35:09] BOLDUAN: Well, but, Marc, right now, when you're looking at -- and this just came out from Monmouth -- it asked this very question, asked people how much their families have felt -- how much their families have felt the good economy, and 54 percent have said not much or not at all. Does that worry you?

LOTTER: No, it doesn't worry me because I think, as I said, when you had a long slow recovery, people are naturally skittish from it. I think that's one of the reasons President Trump was elected in 2016. And it takes a while for them to feel that confidence. But I will tell you from a couple weeks ago, there was a story in the "Wall Street Journal" that said a record-high number of employees and retirees were feeling more confident than ever that they were financially secure and able to afford their own retirement. So we're seeing it starting to trickle through the American populous. As that happens, I think the president's approval will continue to climb.

BOLDUAN: We'll stand by and see if the number ticks up. It seems like an important one to you and everybody.

I want to ask about Nancy Pelosi because she said something about the election that I want to get your take on. In an interview with Glenn Thrush, of "The Times," she said she's basically preparing for the president to challenge the result of a close election in 2020. And the way she put it is that she said that, "We have to inoculate against that. We have to be prepared for that."

She's not -- she thinks the president could be challenging a close election. What do you say to that?

LOTTER: Unfortunately, the speaker is beclowning herself with this. We're still seeing that 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton, is still out there saying the election was stolen from her. You have Stacey Abrams out there still saying she was elected the governor of Georgia when we know that isn't true.

BOLDUAN: I'm asking about -- I'm asking about -- I'm asking about, so you can guarantee, no matter how close an election, Donald Trump will accept the outcome of the election?

LOTTER: We accepted the outcome in the 2016 election when people were saying --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Not entirely though, my dear, not entirely. In late November of 2016, Donald Trump tweeted, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote, if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

Which as you well know, there's no evidence of that, and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. So again, can you guarantee, when you see what Donald Trump has said in the past, that he will accept the outcome of the 2020 election no matter what it is?

LOTTER: Of course. And President Trump had the largest Electoral landslide in Republican history, going back to 1988. It's a map we continue to say we're going to win. And we're going to expand. So I have no doubt that when President Trump's re-elected, he's going to accept the outcome of that result.

BOLDUAN: And if he's not re-elected, we would expect for him to accept that result as well. I know you would -- I hope you would say the same.

Good to see you, Marc.

LOTTER: Good to see you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for coming in.

Going to get back to breaking news. President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, arriving -- as we were looking at his SUV earlier -- arriving at federal prison in New York.

Let's go back over to Brynn Gingras on the ground there.

Brynn, what do you know?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kate, made really good time from New York City, about an hour and a half. He is right there, if you can see over my shoulder, in that black Escalade sitting in the passenger seat. A lot of the press here able to get a good shot with their zooming cameras to see his face. We're not really quite sure why he stopped there. Authorities stopped him at this, what I said earlier to you, was this makeshift barricade as he came up the driveway. He was stopped there for five to 10 minutes then they asked him to pull over, and now it looks like he might be moving his way up to the prison. There's a white car ahead of him, so possibly escorting him to the actual building at the top of this hill.

It looks like Michael Cohen is getting ready to check in, officially become an inmate of the federal prison here in Otisville. As I said earlier to you and your viewers, there's two separate campuses here at this federal prison. There's a medium-security prison and then a minimum-security prison. It's very unclear which one Michael Cohen will have. They have different sort of atmospheres. One is definitely more-lax than the medium-security prison. We don't know where exactly he'll be housed until he becomes an inmate. The Bureau of Prisons will update us. But as it is now, just an hour and a half after he left his Park Avenue home, he's in the pen -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: That's right, Brynn.

Thanks so much for bringing us the update. I really appreciate it.

Coming up for us, disaster on the tarmac. It's truly horrifying video to see from the inside and out. At least 41 people were killed after a passenger Aeroflot jet burst into flames during an emergency landing. Why did this happen? And could it have been avoided?

[11:39:37] We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: The video is horrifying, the outcome tragic. This morning, the question is, what went wrong and why. A Russian Aeroflot passenger jet makes a hard landing on the runway in Moscow and then bursts into flames. That's what it looked like from the outside. This is what the view was from the inside.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SCREAMING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: I mean, just imagine seeing that. And 41 people, including two children, lost their lives, 37 people survived. The State Department says this morning that one American is among the dead. And now Russian authorities are launching a criminal investigation into this.

Joining me right now is CNN safety analyst and former FAA safety inspector, David Soucie, and the editor-at-large of CNN Business, Richard Quest.

Richard, let me start with you on this. What are folks saying happened here? Why did that plane just light up like that?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE & CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Well, we know why it lit up. It lit up because of the hard landing. Having initially coming in to land, the plane, as you look at the video, the plane bounces back up into the air, it comes down with a tail strike, which then collapses the landing gear, thus rupturing the fuel tanks, and that's why you get the fire. That bit is quite clear.

What we need to understand is two-fold. Firstly, this alleged lightning strike and how, why, what happened. The plane supposedly was hit by lightning. And then the second thing is, how much control did the pilot have? When the pilot came in to land, he's nose-first. He realizes, he brings the nose up. There's this very hard landing, the plane bounces up. Why did he, the pilot, at that point not go around? Was he able to put power on, climb out, and have another go? That's really the issue.

There's lots of deep aviation issues here, as to what caused the plane to bounce, to go around -- to burst into flames. And then you have, of course, the issue of, for example, the speed of the rescue.

BOLDUAN: David, what are you looking at here when you see -- after all the investigations you have done, you see this, and what are your questions?

[11:44:58] DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, much like Richard said, the bounce is what's in question. But getting to that bounce is what is really disturbing to me. Because by that point in time, the aircraft should have already been prepared to flare. So what happens a lot when you come in to land is you have to prepare for that landing miles before you get to the runway. So if you have too much energy, if you have too much, you can't flare out quickly and, therefore, the nose hits the ground first and reacts by a bounce. Now, with the go- around situation, can you really apply power and go around? With these engines on this particular model, even if you put full throttle, it takes some time for those engines to react and give you full thrust. So perhaps there wasn't time enough, as the aircraft had bounced, the reaction time of the pilot and his ability to get that throttle back up again to make a go around. I'm not sure whether it was attempted or not. But even if it were, I'll not certain it would have saved this from happening.

BOLDUAN: That's important.

Richard, I want to ask you about the latest with the Boeing 737, the Boeing MAX-8. The company, Boeing, is now acknowledging publicly that it knew a year before the two deadly crashes that there was a problem with a warning indicator on these planes. And 340-plus people died in these two crashes. What do we know and what don't we know that actually means?

SOUCIE: Well --

QUEST: OK, let's just cut straight to the chase on this one. There's something called the angle of attack disagree. It tells you if the three senses are not agreeing. That is standard. There's something called the angle of attack indicator. It tells you where the wings are. That is optional. The two were not working properly as intended. But it's a red herring. They are nice to have, they're important to use, but they do not affect -- Boeing is right. Boeing is right. Pilots have flown for many decades without either of these instruments being there. They do not affect the fundamental safety of the aircraft. And in any case, the real issue here, Kate, is pilots didn't know what they were dealing with. They didn't know about MCAS, this safety machinery they had. And more importantly, MCAS was far more powerful than they had ever intended. That's the real issue. All of this other stuff is just showing Boeing's sausage making, if you like, underneath.

BOLDUAN: David, I mean, what do you make of it? You hear that they knew about a problem a year in advance, that is bringing no comfort, no matter what, to the families of these 300-plus people who died.

SOUCIE: I do agree with Richard, if you use the standard system of determining safety, an indicator problem is not something that causes fatalities. It adds information to the pilot. But as we all know, with any accident, it's never one particular thing that causes an accident. It's an accumulation of all of the things that led up to that moment when the pilot made that decision. So are they contributory? Yes, they are. But as Richard said, the MCAS system was never intended to go to the full 9 percent deflection, which was impossible to overcome by the pilots on both of these fatal flights. It was never intended to be that. That came after the fact when they did the flight testing, and that was never communicated back to the engineers who could have identified the problem. So there's a lot of issues here. It's highly technical. But in fact, there was a mistake made, and that is the ability for that MCAS system, which was initially qualified as a class-B or a nonfatal accident issue, became that accident issue as things went forward with the software development.

BOLDUAN: David, Richard, thank you. The problems are mounting, not letting up.

Coming up for us, on the heels of so much bad news, there's actually today some good news in the form of a royal baby. The royal baby has arrived. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have welcomed a healthy baby boy. There's the official announcement, as they do. We'll have all the latest details, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:53:12] BOLDUAN: It is always a joy and pleasure to be able to bring you some happy news, as rare as that may be, and today we can actually do that. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the duke and Duchess of Sussex, the royal couple announcing this morning the birth of a healthy baby boy. The official announcement, as they do over there, setting it out on the easel, just placed outside of the Buckingham Palace. And then the proud father spoke to reporters a little while ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE HARRY: Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It's the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. But we're both absolutely thrilled.

I'm so incredibly proud of my wife. And as every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to die for, so I'm just over the moon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: The name of the baby boy, still TBA. And if you're waiting for a photo-op outside of the hospital like we have seen with Duchess Kate and Prince William, you might have to keep waiting.

Let me get over to CNN royal correspondent, Max Foster.

Max, finally, no, more waiting for you, my friend. I feel like this is a very big moment.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I know.

BOLDUAN: What more are you hearing?

FOSTER: Thanks for the sympathy. Well, the baby was overdue, so we haven't been waiting in haste. So the baby is a boy. We don't know about titles yet. We don't know about a name yet. The queen will decide the title. Effectively, he'll be an earl, unless something changes. She may choose to call him a prince. And the couple may choose not to have a title at all for their children.

But actually, it's interesting to see that easel come out, because that's a big tradition for senior royals. This is a very modern couple, but they are giving nods to tradition as well. So allowing the notice to come out in the full court of Buckingham Palace, they are accepting this baby's place in public life. At the same time, they are trying to keep this celebration private as well. So that's why we've got this gap now for a couple of days when we see the new pictures come out on Wednesday, and when we get a sense of who this boy takes after, his mother or father. That's what we always look forward to, of course. But that will be a big moment as well. But at the moment, the family just want to be together.

[11:55:28] BOLDUAN: And that is understandable. I mean, don't you feel the same way, the idea of like the world's eyes waiting for your delivery, your labor and delivery to happen, is like a terrifying thought to have. But nonetheless, this is what you get.

It's good to see you, Max. Thanks so much.

All right. Thanks so much, you guys.

Coming up, Attorney General Bill Barr, he misses another key deadline. Back to the serious stuff, sorry. Missed another deadline from Congress on turning over the full unredacted Mueller report. Now, House Democrats are getting ready to hold him in contempt if he doesn't release the unredacted version. They have set a vote for Wednesday to do just that. Where does this legal fight go now? That's coming up.

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