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NTSB Releases Crash Details; NBA Postpones Lakers Game; Biden on Trump Attacks; Sanders' Rise in Polls; Trump Unveils Middle East Plan; Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 28, 2020 - 06:30   ET



OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: His final transmission before NTSB says flight radar data indicated it made a left descending turn.

Meanwhile, access to the crash site has continued to be an issue. A part of the terrain literally had to be bulldozed just to be able to get a car to that actual location. All part of investigators trying to get to an answer as to why exactly this happened.


JIMENEZ (voice over): NTSB investigators are carefully combing through the wreckage, searching for reasons why the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others crashed.

JENNIFER HOMENDY, BOARD MEMBER, NTSB: It was a pretty devastating accident scene.

JIMENEZ: The pilot flying in foggy conditions, one factor federal authorities say could have contributed to the tragedy. The NTSB also digging into the flight's final moments as the pilot flew under special visual flight rules.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER: Two Echo x-ray, you're still too low level for flight following at this time.

HOMENDY: Approximately four minutes later, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply.

JIMENEZ: In the 2018 interview, the former NBA star and father of four explained why he often used a helicopter.

KOBE BRYANT (December 2018): Traffic started getting really, really bad, right? And I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play. I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft, but still not compromise family time. And so that's when I looked into helicopters.

JIMENEZ: Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were on their way for some of that family time Sunday, flying to her club basketball game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of her passion, he began to love the game again, like he always had.

JIMENEZ: Alyssa Altobelli, one of Gigi's teammates, was flying to the game with her parents, John and Keri. Payton Chester played for Bryant's Lady Mamba's team too. She was with her mother, Sarah. Their family called them amazing and beautiful. Ara Zobayan's fellow pilot said he had a big personality. Christina Mauser was a teacher and basketball coach, but at home she had another title, wife and mom.

MATTHEW MAUSER, HUSBAND OF HELICOPTER CRASH VICTIM: She was witty. She was gritty. She had an amazing sense of humor.

JIMENEZ: In tributes, memorials and even murals, fans keeping Bryant's spirit alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kobe meant a lot to this city. He's my hero.

JIMENEZ: Current Lakers player LeBron James, who surpassed Bryant's scoring record just hours before his death, writing this emotional reflection, I'm heartbroken and devastated, my brother. I promise you I'll continue your legacy, man. And for Gigi, whose basketball light was just beginning to shine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please join us in a 24 second moment of silence.

JIMENEZ: Her beloved UCONN women basketball team leaving a seat vacant, draped with her jersey number, honoring a life tragically cut short.


JIMENEZ: And the NTSB does plan to be on site for the next five days collecting preliminary evidence. And while they say they won't get to a cause of the crash on scene, they do feel confident they'll get to a cause.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my gosh, the more details we hear, the more haunting it all gets.

Omar, thank you very much for that reporting.

So the Lakers postponing tonight's game at Staples Center as they mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Andy.


You know, Kobe Bryant, he joined the Lakers when he was a 17-year-old kid and he played for them for 20 years. So you can imagine so many members that organization just not in a place to go out there and put on a big game. In the meantime, thousands of fans, they continue to come out to

Staples Center and visit and see the pop up memorials that are there to honor Kobe Bryant.

Now, the Lakers did release a statement saying the Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for your tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available.

Now, for the first time, LeBron James did comment on Kobe's death. He posted a very emotional Instagram post saying he can't stop crying thinking about Kobe and his daughter Gigi. LeBron says he spoke with Kobe Sunday morning before the crash. And in the post LeBron added, I'm heartbroken and devastated, my brother. Man, I love you, big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I will continue your legacy, man. You mean so much to us, all here, especially Laker nation, and it's my responsibility to put this on my back and keep it going.

Now, the Lakers next scheduled game is Friday night at home in L.A. against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Now, Super Bowl week kicking off last night in Miami with opening night. Hard Rock Stadium was lit up in purple and gold to honor Kobe. Across town the players all on hand at Marlins Park to talk about the big game. They did have a moment of silence for Kobe before the night got going. Many of the players talking then about the impact that Kobe had on them.


PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: I wasn't lucky enough to get to meet Kobe, but the impact that he made in my life, I mean, it was huge. The way he was able to go about every single day when I was a kid and the work ethic and the intensity that he had to be great every single day.



SCHOLES: Yes, and, John, Kobe once said that he wanted to be remembered for having plenty of God-given talent, but he didn't waste any of it. He always wanted to overachieve and he hoped that that would inspire the next generation of athletes. And I'd say mission accomplished.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, indeed. I mean there's no question that he inspired a generation of players in the NBA right now and no doubt players for years to come.

CAMEROTA: And that was really powerful what LeBron James said also, that he's going to continue his work.

BERMAN: Sure. All right, Andy, thanks very much.

So, the president's defense team spent hours attacking former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. How will candidate Joe Biden respond just days before the Iowa caucuses? That's next.




JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These guys were attacking me and my family. I get it. And the press corps with me, they're all good people following me, they keep asking me, you know, they just brought up your son Hunter and they're doing this and that and the other thing. Well, guess what, I don't hold grudges because presidents can't hold grudges. Presidents have to be fighters, but they also have to be healers.


BERMAN: That's former Vice President Joe Biden responding, or in some ways not responding, after hours of attacks by President Trump's defense team, but his campaign, his staff, not being nearly so delicate.

Arlette Saenz has been covering the Biden campaign on the trail. She joins us now live from Iowa City.

And the campaign had a lot to say, Arlette.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, they certainly did, John. And really this came as no surprise to the Biden campaign that President Trump's legal team would bring up Biden and his son Hunter Biden in their arguments. In fact, Joe Biden told me over the weekend he was expecting that they would become a focus.

But you heard that very measured response from Joe Biden himself. But his campaign team did release a very pointed statement saying, we didn't realize that "Breitbart" was expanding into ted talk knockoffs. Here in planet earth, the conspiracy theory that Bondi repeated has been conclusively refuted. They added, Joe Biden was instrumental to a bipartisan and international anti-corruption victory. It's no surprise that such a thing an anathema to President Trump.

Now, this is all coming as we are just six days out from the Iowa caucuses and those comments from Republican Senator Joni Ernst from here in Iowa, that's caught the attention of Biden's campaign, when Ernst said that she's interested to see if the Trump team's arguments is going to influence any Iowan's decisions as they head to caucus on Monday.

And Joe Biden even responded directly to that late last night in a tweet. He said, Iowa caucus goers take note, Joni Ernst just spilled the beans. She and Donald Trump are scared to death I'll be the nominee. He added, on February 3rd, let's make their day.

And this gets at the heart of what the Biden campaign thinks is going on here. They think that this whole episode shows that President Trump is most concerned about facing Joe Biden in a general election.

And I have to tell you that here on the campaign trail, Biden's been getting a lot of questions from reporters about this, but we haven't heard questions in those question-and-answer sessions from voters directly about impeachment. And Joe Biden thinks this works to his advantage. He told us that every time Trump's team mentions his name in this trial, it gets him another vote here in Iowa.


CAMEROTA: Arlette, thank you very much for the news from the ground there.

So, we are six days away from the Iowa caucuses and Senator Bernie Sanders is surging. What's behind his rise in the polls?

Let's get "The Forecast" with CNN's senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.


CAMEROTA: Don't pretend you don't know.

ENTEN: I -- you know, I like being a little coy. Don't you like being a little coy on a Tuesday morning?

Take a look here. So --

BERMAN: It's like the least alluring thing I have ever heard before 7:00 a.m.

CAMEROTA: Oh contraire.

ENTEN: My girlfriend likes it in any event.

BERMAN: All right.

ENTEN: Iowa top choices for the Dem nominee. This is a "New York Times"/Sienna (ph) College poll out this past weekend. Just take a look here. This is saying what we've been saying all along over the last few weeks. Bernie Sanders up to 25 percent. He was at 19 percent in October. He's up 6 points.

Look at the slide for Elizabeth Warren from the last poll. She was at -- she's -- she's actually at 15 percent now. But whatever. She's at 15 percent now. She's down 7 points. Klobuchar up a little bit.

But let's just take a look and sort of give you an idea of how the odds have shifted a little bit here and I think this is rather important. Adding that "New York Times" poll into the average, what do we see? We see Bernie Sanders chance up a little bit. Now he's at 6.5 out of 20 percent chance of winning. That's a little bit above Biden, 5.5 out of 20. But, again, here are the -- the key point here is Iowa polls are not necessarily that good. So even if Sanders is favored a little bit, he's not the overwhelming favorite.

BERMAN: Now, you've been digging, though, inside the numbers, because one of the big questions is why, what has Sanders done or what is happening that is leading to this surge in the polls?

ENTEN: So I think that there are two key reasons that Bernie Sanders has surged in the polls. He's getting his base back. Look here among very liberal voters. So back in September in our CNN/"Des Moines Register"/Mediacom poll, he was only at 20 percent among very liberals. Take a look at January, up to 38 percent. He's eating into Warren's base. She's dropped from 48 percent to 32 percent.

Or take a look at the 2016 Sanders supporters. Remember, Sanders got nearly 50 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucus back in 2016. So just getting even half of that is a pretty substantial portion of the pot. And look at this, he was only at 25 percent in September. He's up to 44 percent now. Warren has dropped from 32 percent to 20 percent. So Sanders eating into Warren's base and getting a lot more support from very liberal voters.


BERMAN: He's winning back the people who supported him before at the expense of Elizabeth Warren. You get the sense the Warren campaign probably saw that before we did.

ENTEN: I think they almost certainly did. And that was with the attacks that you saw against Bernie Sanders over the last few weeks.

Another key point here is that the moderate lane very, very tied up, very swished. They don't know exactly -- voters in those lanes don't know who to go for. So, look here, Biden at 23, Buttigieg at 20. You know, if Biden was basically cannibalizing that support, he'd be way up there. But the fact is, he's stuck there. And among the 2016 Clinton supporters, look at this, again sort of this clown car, 24, 19, 18, Sanders only at four. But when he's doing so well among his own supporters back in 2016, the fact that all these candidates are tied up together, it's just enough for him to do well.

CAMEROTA: And aren't caucus goers notoriously hard to predict what they're going to do?

ENTEN: They are very -- they are very hard to predict, as you know. And I'll just show you this. I mean this is back on this date in 2016. Donald Trump led Ted Cruz by 6 points in the Iowa polling. Cruz, of course, defeated him.

But, you know, it's so important to me, you know, the fact is that what we see right now in the Iowa polls, if Bernie Sanders were to win Iowa, he'd get a big bounce coming out of there. Winners get a medium -- 7 point bounce. But also expectation are a key thing that's going on here because for every point candidates outperform their Iowa caucus polls, they gain 0.7 points. For every point they underperform, they lose 0.7 points.

And, of course, for Bernie Sanders, that's so important because right now he's just a little bit behind Joe Biden in the national polls. So winning in Iowa could, in fact, boost him up and he could take the lead in the national polls. But the fact is, because expectations are also higher for him right now, losing could really, really hurt him.

BERMAN: But he's leading in the polls in New Hampshire. He's strong in Nevada. It's possible Bernie Sanders -- it's not impossible for him the win the first three contests and then who knows.

ENTEN: Absolutely true. And then who knows.

CAMEROTA: OK, Harry, thank you very much. You totally delivered on that.

ENTEN: Thank you. I try my best.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

President Trump's plan for Mideast peace has been years in the making and today we will find out what it includes. But has a key player been left out of the process? That's next.



BERMAN: In just hours, President Trump will unveil his long awaited Middle East peace plan. The embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be at his side, but the president has not said whether he has spoken to the Palestinians about the proposal.

Let's bring in CNN's Oren Liebermann live in Jerusalem.

There's a lot of controversy about this for a whole variety of reasons, Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is, John. And details of the plan itself are still very scarce. The White House keeping a tight lid on the details of the plan until it is unveiled. And it will be unveiled in just a few hours as President Donald Trump stands right next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

That will be a fantastic photo op for Netanyahu, especially with what he's dealing with back home. He has just withdrawn his request for immunity from prosecution in the corruption charges, which means charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust will move forward against him as he faces a tough re-election campaign having failed to form a government twice. Netanyahu saying this is a historic opportunity for Israel that the country should seize.

Of course there's somebody else involved here, and that is the Palestinians. They have rejected this outright and cut off contact with the White House some two years ago after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump promising this is a good deal if the Palestinians would simply come on board.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's something they should want. They probably won't want it initially, but I think in the end they will. I think in the end they're going to want it. It's very good for them. In fact, it's overly good to them.


LIEBERMANN: Trump has said he has the support of Arab states for this plan, but so far they have been very quiet.

Meanwhile, how does this affect Israel's upcoming elections? It's certainly a bit of a boost for Netanyahu and critics have said this is the White House trying to make sure Netanyahu wins this election.

But, Alisyn, it's not that clear. An organization that represents settlers in the West Bank has rejected any plan that calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

CAMEROTA: Oren Liebermann, it is complicated, as always. Thank you very much for your reporting.

So we have new information about how the Wuhan coronavirus is spread. What you need to know, next.



CAMEROTA: More than 100 people are now dead as a result of the coronavirus. A new study suggests the outbreak started earlier and was more widespread than previously known.

Joining us now CNN international correspondent David Culver and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, let me start with you with the medical news.

So what does that mean that -- how do they know that it started earlier, it was more widespread?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean this is based on a study now looking at these first patients that were diagnosed with the coronavirus, really trying to get an understanding of what exactly happened here, how did this unfold? What we were told, Alisyn, as you remember, is that mid-late December is when these first patients were diagnosed. At that point it was only coming from animals. There wasn't human to human transmission.

But now take a look at what the study showed. It says, in fact, the first patient was reported December 1st. So a couple of weeks earlier. That patient, Alisyn, did not have any known exposure to this animal market. The animal market that David has visited. So that's a little bit -- that's a little bit curious as to where exactly did this patient get the virus, was it already starting to spread human to human?

So, you know, Alisyn, you and I have talked about this idea that these quarantines, these lockdowns, while they can be effective, seemed very aggressive, especially given what we were hearing out of China. What we now know is that, as you point out, this started earlier and was probably more widespread already at the point that we first started to hear about it in the United States. That's probably explaining why some of these more aggressive actions were taken and why this has become so difficult to control. You know, thousands of cases now in China.

CAMEROTA: OK, so, David, hospitals in China this morning are saying they need help. What do they want?

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is a desperate plea coming from particularly the staff within those hospitals, Alisyn. And we've been talking with them. Health care workers who are within the locked down zone that Sanjay mentioned, they are saying that they don't have enough supplies when it comes to goggles, when it comes to masks. And so they're asking for those in quite a desperate plea.

And here's what we do know. There are also folks, American citizens, who are within the lockdown zone. And we know that some of them are about ready to board a flight. In fact, I was touching base a short time ago with a mom and her little girl. They are headed back to the U.S. on a flight that's scheduled to depart sometime later tonight local time. And we do know that once they get back, they will be in quarantine from anywhere from 72 hours to 14 days.

But then we're seeing some extreme restrictions happening regionally. So you've got Hong Kong and Singapore and Australia, one state there, all of them essentially saying that if you've been to Hubai (ph) or you're from that area, you are not to enter their region or go to their schools -- it's a wide range of ban essentially -- for two weeks. That's that 14-day mark. They're saying they don't want anybody there.

And then within the lockdown, we're also talking to people going to other extremes of self-quarantine. Our team here in Beijing, we touched base with one man who literally, Alisyn, is sleeping in his car to stay away from his family to prevent from any potential exposure.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, such scary stuff. And we just don't have enough answers yet.

David, Sanjay, thank you both very much.


BERMAN: All right, new revelations from John Bolton emerging this morning. The reporter who broke the story that scrambled the president's impeachment trial joins us next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): If there was ever even a shred of logic left to not hear witnesses, Mr. Bolton's book just erased it.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): I know the leak of this information right here in the middle of the trial is kind of curious timing.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I can't begin to tell you how John Bolton's testimony would ultimately play on a final decision, but it's relevant. I'd like to hear it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are always political repercussions for every vote you take.

PAM BONDI, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT DEFENSE TEAM: Hunter Biden's decision to join Burisma raised flags almost immediately.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hunter Biden's not on trial.