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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Judge Temporarily Blocks SC 6-Week Abortion Ban; Ukraine: Air Strike Kills 2, Wounds 31 at Medical Facility in Dnipro; Two More Oath Keepers Sentenced to Prison Over January 6; Man Opens Emergency Exit Door Mid-Flight, 12 Passengers Injured. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 26, 2023 - 16:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: I just want to know if you're on the high-risk user list.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: You would call the cops, your friends at the State, the Defense Department. No?

SCIUTTO: No, not for Boris, no. I promise.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Women in South Carolina have more access to abortion for now, at least.

THE LEAD starts right now.

A day after the six-week abortion ban went into effect, a judge has ordered the law to be put on hold. Anyhow it's up to the all-male justices of the state Supreme Court.

Plus, we're on standby for another member of the far-right militia Oath Keepers to be sentenced for their role in the January 6th Capitol insurrection, one defendant telling the judge she was, quote, just another idiot running around the hallway.

Then, the horrifying moment after a man opened the door of a jet mid- flight. Twelve people are injured and now, the big question is, why did he do it?


GOLODRYGA: Hello, everyone. And welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper today. We start today with our health lead.

A judge has temporarily blocked South Carolina's new abortion restrictions from going into effect. Yesterday, Governor Henry McMaster signed a law banning most abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy before many women even know they're pregnant. It did allow for some exceptions, but for now, it's all on hold while the state supreme court takes up the case. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is following these developments for us.

So, Dianne, what happens now?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Bianna, at this point in South Carolina, the limit on abortions returns to what it was before the governor signed that bill into law, so 20 weeks with some exceptions. Now, of course, this, again, came just 24 hours after Republican Governor Henry McMaster signed that abortion bill that would have banned most abortions after six weeks into law.

And for a lot of people in South Carolina, this sounds familiar. The judge said that he thought the state Supreme Court should review this legislation first. It would be up to them to determine whether they want to rule on it or take other judicial action, but this happened before on a very similar six-week ban that was signed into law earlier this year. The state Supreme Court ruled that violated the state constitution. Privacy guarantees in there.

And in fact, lawmakers had been sent back by the governor to try and figure out a way to fix and tweak this bill so it would adhere to what the Supreme Court wanted. Now, there were discussions and debate during this. In fact, those five so-called sister senators, three Republicans, one independent, one Democrat, warned lawmakers that they thought that the language that had been tweaked did not address the Supreme Court's concerns. One of those, Bianna, you actually spoke with earlier today, who says this is exactly what she expected.


STATE SEN. PENRY GUSTAFSON (R-SC): I'm not surprised at all that there is an injunction against this law, and it's just very unfortunate because we know -- we know those clauses were a problem, yet the House, you know, put them back in there, reinserted them, and that's -- that was one of the many reasons why I voted against it, because I don't think it can be upheld.


GALLAGHER: Now, there are other Republican lawmakers who said they do feel that the tweaks they made to the legislation will hold up with the Supreme Court this time. Attorney General Alan Wilson, a Republican, issued a statement to CNN saying: We're considering all our options. We've defended the right to life in court before, and we're prepared to do it again.

Bianna, there was one key difference this time around. In January, the opinion that struck down the first six-week ban, that was written by a woman. She has since retired. She hit the mandatory retirement age and now South Carolina has an all-male state Supreme Court.

GOLODRYGA: Dianne Gallagher, thank you.

I want to bring in CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero for more on this.

So, as we just heard from Dianne, the South Carolina Supreme Court similarly ruled against, they struck down this same law earlier this year, down 3-2 earlier by the state Supreme Court as I noted. That original opinion was written by the court's sole female justice. She has since been forced to retire.

How do you think the state's all-male Supreme Court justices will now deal with this bill, which is very previous -- very much like the previous one?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. So, there's a couple differences here, Bianna. So, one, we have got this different composition of the South Carolina Supreme Court, and my understanding is that this may be the only Supreme Court -- state Supreme Court in the country that's all male at this point. And so, we'll have to see whether that new justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court will have a different view.


The other difference here is that the legislature slightly changed the language. And so, what they're doing is they're trying to get to this six-week limitation. Last time the court said, go back and try again, because it is inconsistent with the state constitution.

So, the prior justices' opinion was based on the interpretation of the state constitution and a right to a woman's ability to be able to have knowledge as to whether she is even pregnant at that stage.

GOLODRYGA: So, is this a case that ultimately could go before the Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court, that is?

CORDERO: So, it's possible. We are currently at the decision stage, so the Supreme Court of the United States has, at the end of its term, the 2022-'23 year, and so opinions that have been considered by the court throughout the past year are now periodically coming out. So, it would be a -- it could go up just as interim but really for the court to consider it as a substantive matter, it wouldn't be until next year anyway, and the first is the chance that -- first, we have to see how the South Carolina Supreme Court rules, and then the legislature could try to go at this with different language again, since that's what they did since January.

GOLODRYGA: Understandably, this is all very confusing for the residents and especially women of South Carolina. What is the law that holds right now? Does the initial 20-week ban, is that the law that's in place right now until we hear more from these judges?

CORDERO: Right. So, it goes back to what it was before the South Carolina legislature passed this six-week limitation. I think the bigger picture here is we go back to what the U.S. Supreme Court did in the Dobbs case by overturning Roe versus Wade, and what's interesting about that is the court said that Roe had been confusing, and that returning this authority to the states would take courts out of it. And I think what we're really seeing, if we just look across the landscape, is the exact opposite, is that it has created -- the Dobbs decision has created uncertainty in people's ability to live their lives in accordance with a consistent law. It has upended 50 years of an expectation of what the law is. And it

has created confusion on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on what state a woman lives in.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and confusion in many states of the country as of now.

Carrie Cordero, thank you so much for breaking this down for us. We appreciate it.

Well, turning to our world lead. Two people are dead, at least 31 others left injured after a Russian rocket blasted through a medical facility in Dnipro, Ukraine. Children ages 3 and 6 are among the wounded. Today's attack comes just hours after a barrage of Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine overnight.

CNN's Sam Kiley is in Dnipro for us.

So, Sam, this isn't the first time Russia has attacked a Ukrainian medical facility. What more are you learning?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not only is it not the first time, but the World Health Organization says that attacks on health facilities generally over the last year and a bit of war conducted in Ukraine by the Russians, number over 950, nudging towards a thousand different attacks that they have cataloged, and we've seen this, excuse me, systematic attempt to break down the ability of the company to treat its war wounded, to treat its civilian wounded right across the country throughout the last year.

So, on this occasion, a neurological clinic was struck with a missile at 10:30 in the morning, potentially peak period. Now, local authorities are saying it's a miracle more people were not killed and injured, and the reason for that is that there was actually a handover of staff between, excuse me, two different shifts, which meant that the numbers of people in that clinic were less than might ordinarily have been the case in mid-morning.

Nonetheless -- excuse me -- nonetheless, the effects have been absolutely devastating. Whatever hit this building and the local authorities have not worked that out yet, was significant in its size. In all probability, the local authorities believe quite likely to have been an S-300 guided missile, which would act with or rather be targeted, in other words, it's got mechanisms on board that actually fire it at targets, so this could be said to be a targeted attack, what the French have described as a war crime.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, yet another war crime.


We're talking about doctors and medics among the wounded, not to mention the young children as well.

Meanwhile, Russia is saying they were once again attacked last night. Sam, this seems to be somewhat of a trend at this point. KILEY: Yeah, there was a -- they don't -- they are claiming that this

was a UAV, what people are calling colloquially a drone deep inside Russian territory. We don't have any confirmation, and the Ukrainians very seldom comment on these matters except for occasionally with wry humor, but they are claiming, the Russians, that is, that they were once again attacked inside their territory in what is emerging as some kind of pattern, whether it's Ukrainians or Ukraine-backed partisans or partisans who are sympathetic to Ukraine.

We've seen that attack on the Kremlin. We've seen a number of different mysterious explosions, train derailments and the like, and of course, just in the last few hours, there's also been a long-range attack clearly attributed to Ukraine by the Russians against the town of Mariupol.

Now, that's inside Ukraine territory, not inside Russia, but all part I think of the Ukrainians' efforts to break down the Russian infrastructure that supports their war in Ukraine ahead of a summer offensive.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, this is that counteroffensive, as you noted. It is believed to be under way already.

Sam Kiley in Dnipro, Ukraine, thank you so much.

Well, coming up, a key update on the debt ceiling talks as lawmakers and the White House head into the weekend without a deal and only days until default.

Then, it turns out her voice won't go on. Celine Dion announces she is canceling her world tour. We'll have more details as to why, up next.



GOLODRYGA: In our money lead, progress but no deal as the U.S. careens toward an economic catastrophe. The White House and Republican negotiators say they are working around the clock to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling. But there are still a number of major sticking points.

CNN's Manu Raju joins me now with the latest.

Manu, are negotiators feeling as optimistic this afternoon as they were late last night and this morning?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In short answer, no. There have been a lot of negative comments coming out of the speaker's office this afternoon from some of the key negotiators, who I caught up with. Those two key negotiators, Patrick McHenry, as well as Garret Graves, two men who have been going back and forth with the White House for the past several days to figure out any sort of deal to raise the national debt limit and what conditions can be attached to it. There are a number of sticking points, but one of the biggest sticking

points right now is on the issue of work requirements for social safety net programs. Republicans are pushing for programs like food stamps and temporary assistance programs for needy families to include some new level of work requirements. Democrats are concerned that could hurt poor families, and they have been going back and forth, and there is no resolution on that issue.

And they -- the Republicans are making very clear, any deal must have the work requirement provision as part of this plan, or, they say, no deal.


REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): If you're really going to fall on the sword for that versus actually negotiating something that changes the trajectory of the country for spending, that's crazy to me that we're even having this debate.

RAJU: Are you willing to drop that work requirement?

GRAVES: Hell no. Hell no. Not a chance.

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): There is forward progress, but each time there's forward progress, the issues that remain become more difficult and more challenging. So, that is, step by step, small step by small step, and at some point, this thing can come together, or go the other way.


RAJU: So, that's where things stand right now, on the brink. Can they come together? There are still some signs of progress over the issue of cutting spending. Republicans have -- Democrats have moved in the Republican direction on that issue, and the length of a debt ceiling increase. They're talking about extending it through the 2024 elections. That would be something that the Democrats want, but even if a deal is reached, getting the votes is going to be a new complicated task.

Already, House Republicans are planning a conference call tonight to try to figure out exactly how they can try to square the votes on their side. They're expected to lose a lot of votes. On the Democratic side, already, Democrats are threatening to revolt if that issue of work requirements in particular is added to this package, so there is very little margin for error, very little time left as we move closer to the prospects of the first ever debt default. No deal yet, and unclear whether Congress can get it done -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Days away from a possible default, impacting not just the United States obviously, our allies and foes are watching this closely as well around the world.

Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, thank you.

So, what are some of the real-world implications if the U.S. does default? We asked CNN's Gabe Cohen to take a closer look at how small businesses across the country could be affected, not just the owners but also their employees and their customers.


GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From a construction site in Baltimore --


COHEN: -- Brendan McCluskey is imploring Washington lawmakers to hammer out a deal and raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. government runs out of cash to pay its bills.

MCCLUSKEY: Please, for crying out loud, just show up to your job and stop putting everybody at risk.

COHEN: He says 60 percent of his firm's revenue comes from construction contracts and they just started another project.

What could a default mean for your business?

MCCLUSKEY: So, we're doing millions of dollars worth of work over the next 30 to 60 days. When will we get paid for that? I also have a great backlog the second half of this year as long as we don't have an economic catastrophe.

COHEN: Here now, what goes to your mind?


COHEN: So workers like Chris Church are anxious for deal.

CHURCH: You have four people dependent on you.

COHEN: You're talking about your family.

CHURCH: My family, yeah. Who knows what's going to happen? You think about it and you're going to have roof over their head, or food in their bellies, you don't know.

COHEN: Tens of thousands of small businesses work on government contracts. But a default would even strangle the ones that don't. It would drive up borrowing costs making it harder to get loans and credit.

JOE WALL, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, GOLDMAN SACHS 10,000 SMALL BUSINESSES VOICES: Whether they are trying to grow or just trying to survive, it's going to be very tough for them if the government defaults.

COHEN: Are you worried this could push many of them out of business?

WALL: Potentially, if it's sustained default.

COHEN: How stressful is this time then? ANITA CAMPION, CONNEXUS CEO: Oh, it's been stressful.

COHEN: At Connexus Corporation, a consulting firm that helps developing countries increase incomes for the poor, CEO Anita Campion says 80 percent of their revenue comes from government contracts.

You are already making adjustments.

CAMPION: Yes, definitely. We've stopped hiring. We have made plans to kind of limit spending, we are not being aggressive in our new business, in our new proposals that we're going after. We're just kind of treading water and waiting to see what happens.

COHEN: A long term default could erase by one estimate about 8 million jobs and $10 trillion in household wealth. It would also stall payments for federal programs like Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits and food stamps.

Ephrame Kassaye who runs three markets in D.C. says more than half his revenue comes from customers using SNAP funds.

EPHRAME KASSAYE, STORE OWNER: We're going to have big reductions on the sales into our businesses.

COHEN: What would you have to do as an owner to adjust to that?

KASSAYE: I think it's going to be very bad. I'm going to end up cutting employees.

COHEN: So some grocery stores are already cutting back on expensive or specialty items in case a deal isn't reached in time and sales go south.

KASSAYE: I think they need to consider the people, the American people. They need to consider that. They need to consider the low- income peoples, how they're going to be impacted.


COHEN (on camera): And so, these businesses that are tightly tied to the government are already taking steps to prepare. As for the rest of us, Bianna, if a deal isn't reached, the small business administration predicts more companies raising prices, cutting services, even scaling back expansion plans. In other words, we're all going to feel this before long unless there's a deal.

GOLODRYGA: It is so important to hear the stories and see the faces of the people that could have real-life consequences from a default.

Gabe Cohen, thank you so much.

I want to bring in CNN's Jeremy Diamond, who just got a key update from the treasury secretary.

Jeremy, what did she say? JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. We

have a very important update from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In a letter to congressional leader, she now has an update on that x-date for when the U.S. could potentially default on its payments, and it is not just early June, but it is now a specific date of June 5th.

She writes in this letter: Based on the most recent available data, we now estimate that treasury will have insufficient resources to satisfy the government's obligations if Congress has not raised or suspended the debt limit by June 5th. And she notes that there will already be a significant amount of strain on the Treasury's funds, beginning next week.

She says that $130 billion of scheduled payments will be made in the first two days of June, including veterans payments, Social Security, and Medicare, and this is going to leave the Treasury Department with an extremely low level of resources.

She then notes that during the week of June 5th, another $92 billion of payments and transfers are scheduled, and that based on the Treasury Department's current estimates, the government will not have enough money on June 5th to make those payments scheduled for that week.

So, this gives us a clearer sense of the timeline here and the pressure that lawmakers are under and the White House is under to reach an agreement. A few more days, then that earliest expect date, but nonetheless, a very tight timeline still. Not this Monday, but the following Monday, June 5th, is when the Treasury Department is now estimating that they will run out of money to pay the government's bills.

Warning signs starting to flash here very clearly for the White House and the congressional negotiators, who we know have been working around the clock to try and reach an agreement, making some progress but still we know that some major sticking points remain. We will see if this lights a fire under them going forward.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Significant sticking points, as we heard from Manu. So, June 5th, a week from Monday. As we noted, the treasury initially said as early as June 1. There are some skeptics who question where the Treasury Department gets these numbers and whether politics is involved here.

What more can you tell us about this new specific X-date of June 5th and how they got there?

DIAMOND: Look, she has been very clear up until now, the treasury secretary has, that this was an early June timeline, as early as June 1 is what she was saying. She first said it was likely that that was the timeline, then, on Monday, she said it was highly likely that it would be as early as June 1, but certainly an early June, and now she is giving a specific dates as we get closer.

And as the Treasury Department is able to do all the complications -- the complicated calculations that they have to do to calculate how long they can continue to run down the Treasury Department's resources, and so now, we're getting a specific date of June 5th, which, again, is sure to add pressure to these congressional negotiators. One thing that's important here is that there were some questions about whether or not the Treasury Department could make it until June 15th, because that is when we are expecting a significant amount of revenue to come into the Treasury Department.


But clearly, based on this latest estimate, the Treasury Department will not make it until then, and that debt limit deadline is just not going to get extended into late July, which some people had hoped would be the case if we could make it until June 15th. Instead, a very clear deadline here of June 5th, and of course, days before that is when a deal actually needs to be reached to make it through the congressional process and to President Biden's desk.

GOLODRYGA: All right, cutting it way too close for comfort. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for bringing us that latest update.

Well, another member of the far-right militia, the Oath Keepers, was just sentenced in connection with the capital insurrection. The punishment, we'll tell you up next.



GOLODRYGA: In our law and justice lead, just in: the prison sentence for yet another member of the far-right militia, the Oath Keepers. Kenneth Harrelson is being held accountable for his role in the January 6th Capitol attack, and he's not the only one. Oath Keepers member Jessica Watkins also learning her punishment earlier today.

These latest sentences coming off Oath Keepers' ring leader, Stewart Rhodes, was sentenced to 18 years yesterday, and his confidante, Kelly Meggs, was given 12 years behind bars.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is with us.

So, Katelyn, help break down the latest sentence for Kenneth Harrelson.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, Kenneth Harrelson is getting four years in prison for his sentence. He wasn't convicted of seditious conspiracy or even conspiracy of obstructing Congress, but he was one of the people taking part in this plot with the Oath Keepers, helping to lead people and coordinating with Stewart Rhodes on January 6th.

Another member of the Oath Keepers, Jessica Watkins, she received a prison sentence of eight years today and essentially what the judge has to do, he's sentencing all of the Oath Keepers who were tried at the same time as Stewart Rhodes, and he has to essentially determine how to appropriately punish each of these people for the exact thing that they did. What part of the plan they took part in. And they are, you know, able to speak to the judge. Some of them have

been very, very conciliatory about what they did. Jessica Watkins even said today, in court: I was just another idiot running around the hallway. But idiots are responsible, and today you're going to hold this idiot responsible.

So, that was some really strong words from her, but this is a person who at the time was called "cap," as in captain of her group out of Ohio, and who initially on jail calls, after she was arrested, seemed to express no remorse at all, even called January 6th a joke.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and these two sentences today follow two even stronger sentences yesterday for two Oath Keepers convicted of seditious conspiracy. So, what does this mean on a larger scale for the upcoming January 6th cases themselves?

POLANTZ: Well, we're going to have to see how the tone continues on with these Oath Keepers cases. We know that there are additional people who will need to be sentenced, including members of the Proud Boys also convicted of seditious conspiracy, but with these people today, this was such an important focus to watch them, because this is one of those cases that the Justice Department cared deeply about and that there is a lot of attention around what the Oath Keepers did.

You could see them in the imagery, in that stack formation, in their tactical gear on that day. There's been a lot of news coverage about them, a lot of discussion about Stewart Rhodes and what he did and one of the things I wanted to point out is that they even apologized today to police that there was quite a distinguishing, in the sentencing hearing, about what these people did who believed they were keeping an oath and protecting people and what police inside the Capitol actually did that day, which was keeping the oath, the judge pointed out, that the police were the ones who were true heroes.

GOLODRYGA: Conciliatory today, quite opposite of what we heard from Stewart Rhodes yesterday who was not at all.

Kaitlan Polantz, thank you so much.

Well, he played the iconic Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump."



GARY SINISE, ACTOR: Get your hands down. Do not salute me. There are goddamn snipers all around this area who love to grease an officer.

I'm Lieutenant Dan Taylor. Welcome to Fourth Platoon.


GOLODRYGA: One of the best movies ever. Actor Gary Sinise joins us live to show us how he's honoring America's service members this Memorial Day.

We'll be right back.



GOLODRYGA: In our national lead, an investigation into the death of a Navy SEAL candidate has led to an overhaul in the SEAL's training process. Kyle Mullen died last year just hours after he completed the most rigorous part of his training, known as Hell Week. The investigation cited failures across multiple systems, especially the medical monitoring of the trainees. Actions will be taken to address medical screening and the medical staff's information sharing in order to prevent injuries and illness during the SEAL's high risk training.

While the Memorial Day weekend marks a somber holiday, it's also a chance to say thank you and honor people who have served our nation. The celebration part will be the top priority tonight in Washington where there will be a free concert and salute to Vietnam veterans featuring the Lieutenant Dan Band.

Lieutenant Dan, of course, is a character from the award-winning movie, "Forrest Gump."


SINISE: Forrest, I never thanked you for saving my life.


GOLODRYGA: And Lieutenant Dan himself, otherwise known as actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, joins us now.

Gary, it is so good to see you. I'm such a fan of the movie and of you, and I'm just curious, do you ever get tired of the association and people looking to you and saying, oh, look, it's Lieutenant Dan?

SINISE: I've got -- I've gotten used to that over the years. You know, I'll do interviews like this, and those clips are always played. It seems like the movie just is one of those films that lives on and on, and new generations see it, you know, people that were young when it came out are now parents themselves, and they're showing their kids the movie.


It's a classic movie. I was privileged to be in it.

GOLODRYGA: It is a phenomenal movie, and as I told you in the break, you don't age. Just more distinguished-looking. Your band has been doing -- your band has been doing military benefit concerts now for 20 years, if you can believe that. What are you going to be playing tonight in Washington?

SINISE: Well, tonight, you know, I'm the national -- the co-host with Joe Mantegna of the National Memorial Day concert every year in front of the Capitol. This year, it's on Sunday night, coming up, May 28th. And it's the 50th anniversary of the end of combat operations in Vietnam and the return of our POWs, and we're featuring a Vietnam section about this anniversary and the coming home of the POWs on the National Memorial Day concert, but I wanted to do a little something extra this weekend to honor and celebrate the service of our Vietnam veterans, welcome them home. They never got that welcome home they deserved way back when.

So my foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation, is sponsoring a concert with my band at constitution hall tonight. I'm backstage right now. We just finished up our tech and our sound check, and Joe Mantegna is our master of ceremonies.

We have Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L. Davis, a part of the event tonight. One of the POWs, Lee Ellis, is a part of the event. And then, of course, my band is going to be playing for everybody, and right after the event tonight, there's a candlelight vigil at the wall, so it's a very special moment for our Vietnam veterans.

GOLODRYGA: And much warranted as well.

Now, I know your foundation does things like equip smart homes for severely wounded heroes and helps serve meals as well. Tell us how people watching at home can help more.

SINISE: Well, you know, there's several organizations out there like mine that are in the military and veteran support space, and you can certainly support those nonprofits. I encourage people to look at and support us.

But I always encourage people to just look within your own communities. Are there veterans? Are there military families? Are there Gold Star families who've lost a loved one? Are there families of our wounded that are going through difficult times right there in your neighborhood? Right there in your town?

If there are, you can reach out and touch them just like I did. I just started going out there and, you know, with the USO. I volunteered, and I went, and I went to the hospitals, and I went to the war zones, and I went to different places where our military lives and works, and I just tried to pat them on the back and let them know that we appreciate them.

And I think a lot of that comes from the Vietnam veterans in my own family who did not get that pat on the back, that welcome home when they came home, and I just wanted to ensure that today's veterans coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq, they would feel appreciated and that we would learn some hard lessons, some valuable lessons from what happened to our Vietnam veterans. And that's what we're doing tonight is just taking the opportunity to say thank you to our Vietnam veterans for all they did for us all those years ago.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Gary, I have to say, it's so commendable, what you do. It's such a great service to honor our veterans, to really honor our country, and as I said, you've been doing it for two decades now, so hats off to you. Thank you so much for being such a great patriot to this country and for promoting all of these men and women who do so much to defend it. Thank you so much, and have a lot of fun tonight.

SINISE: I appreciate that. Thank you for having me.

GOLODRYGA: You'll always be Lieutenant Dan to me. Good to see you.

Well, imagine this. Imagine opening the door of a jet during a flight. Well, that is exactly what one passenger did, and it was all caught on video.

Plus, the CNN original series, "THE 2010S" is back Sunday with a new episode examining Donald Trump's polarizing rise in 2016 to the presidency. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn't care what people think. He tells the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, Trump is a threat.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he doesn't fit in the same box all the other Republicans are in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something happened where a large number of people decided there was an establishment out there that had let people down. They're sending our jobs away. They're letting people come in the country who shouldn't be here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump says, I'm going to make America great again, and people want to believe something good. They'll do just about anything for a job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes Trump to say, there is an elite establishment that thinks you're suckers, and I'm going to stick up for you.


GOLODRYGA: Don't miss "THE 2010S" Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific, only on CNN.

We'll be right back.



GOLODRYGA: In our world lead, terrifying video shows what happened when a passenger against all odds was able to open the emergency exit door while the plane was still in the air earlier today.

CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is every traveler's worst nightmare, an emergency door opening while the airplane is still in the air. Asiana Airlines says two to three minutes before landing, while the aircraft was about 700 feet from the ground, a man in his 30s sitting in the emergency seat opened the door. A less than one-hour long flight from Jeju to Daegu in South Korea turned into a nightmare for 200 passengers and crew.

JTBC PASSENGER (through translator): Maybe the man tried to get off the plane. A flight attendant said, help, help, and about ten passengers stood up and pulled him in.

HANCOCKS: Police arrested the man, saying he confessed to opening the door but gave no reason.

KIM JONG-CHAN, DAEGU POLICE OFFICER (through translator): We weren't able to talk properly with him. He was not in a good mental state. He could not even hold himself up.

HANCOCKS: Jeju's education office says 48 students were also on board traveling to a junior sports festival.


But for aviation experts, the most pressing question is, how was it even possible for the door to open while still in flight?

GEOFFREY THOMAS, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: It seems implausible that the door could be opened in the first place, and then against the airstream, technically impossible, but somehow or other, it has happened.

HANCOCKS: Airbus said in a statement: We are looking into the circumstances of this incident. Aircraft doors can usually only be opened upon touchdown.

Asiana says the cabin was automatically depressurized before landing. Twelve people were treated for hyperventilation, nine of them in hospital. Officials say all injuries were minor, a relatively benign outcome, considering the obvious danger.


HANCOCKS (on camera): And one thing you notice from that footage is that no oxygen masks appear to have dropped from above. Now, we're told my Asiana that automatically the cabin was depressurized, so the pressure was the same inside the cabin as outside the plane at that time of the door opening. Now, that certainly is going to be something that investigators will look at when they try to figure out exactly how it was possible for that door to be open -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Thankfully a benign outcome, but there's nothing benign about that video. It is horrific. Paula Hancocks, thank you.


GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up, how artificial intelligence helped discover a new antibiotic in just a few hours.

But, first, here's Wolf Blitzer with what's next in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

Hey, Wolf, great to see you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Hey, great to see you, Bianna, excellent show so far.

The House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is standing by exclusively to join me here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We'll dig into the debt ceiling negotiations, which appear to be making progress, but not quickly enough.

As you know, many Democrats are growing frustrated right now with President Biden's handling of the talks. And some worry they'll be forced to vote what they consider to be a bad deal in order to avoid default. I'll ask the minority leader what he's expecting and how he's planning to try to persuade some members to actually go ahead and hold their nose and vote for an agreement.

That's coming up right at the top of the hour right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM."



GOLODRYGA: In the tech lead, what could be the next frontier in medical experiments. Instead of lab test after lab test, researchers in one case let artificial intelligence do the work. It found an antibiotic that seemed to be effective against a drug resistant superbug.

So I want to bring in Jon Sarlin, host of CNN's digital show, "NIGHTCAP", for more on this.

We've talked about skepticism and concern about A.I. This looks like it could really be beneficial. How does it work in lab experiments like this, Jon?

JON SARLIN, HOST, CNN'S "NIGHTCAP": So, Acinetobacter baumannii is a drug resistant disease that is in hospital settings that comes on things like doorknobs that can cause skin infections and blood infections, and it can be deadly. And it is not -- you know, traditional antibiotics are becoming increasingly resistant against it. That's why the CDC in 2019 said it's urgent for researchers to develop new methods to combat this.

Well, researchers at McMaster University, MIT and Harvard are doing exactly that using A.I. So, basically they're using A.I. to take the traditional R&D development phase of a drug, but speed up certain processes within it. So, the traditional process, they took the disease in a laboratory setting and fed it different compounds, around 7,500 compounds, to see how it reacts to those. Now, around 480 had some kind of effect. That data was then input into

an A.I., which basically learned everything about how this disease works. It knows the disease better than the disease itself. So, from that, understanding of how the disease works, scientists then took around 6,000 possible drugs and fed it into the A.I. to see which could work.

This is a process that would have taken a long time. But the researchers told CNN it took a couple of hours. They went to lunch, and by the time they got back, there were around 240 possible drug candidates. They took those candidates, tested them, and one winner emerged.

GOLODRYGA: What a result to come back from a lunch break for.

So, how else do you see this kind of technology being used in the medical field in the future?

SARLIN: So, this is an example of A.I. speeding up certain processes in drug development. But there's another approach that scientists are looking at, and that's creating completely new novel drugs. Some of those drugs are being tested. None are on the market, but money is pouring in.

Morgan Stanley predicts that up to $50 billion worth of money could be around these drugs in the next decade.

GOLODRGYA: It is fascinating. It is fascinating this industry is expanding. We're learning so much.

Jon Sarlin, thank you. Have a great weekend.

Well, in our pop lead, the queen of power ballad, Celine Dion, cancelled the remainder of her world tour and will likely never perform again. This according to a source closer to the singer.

Dion was recently diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, that's a rare and incurable nervous system disease causes progressive body stiffness and muscle spasms. Today, Dion shared her disappointment in an Instagram post, writing, quote: Even though it breaks my heart, it's best that we cancel everything until I'm really ready to be back on stage again. I want you all to know, I'm not giving up, and I can't wait to see you again. Tickets for her shows will be refunded.

And we wish her all the best.

Well, coming up Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION", Jake Tapper will speak with Republican Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Progressive Caucus chair, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. That is all Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern and again at noon here on CNN.

And our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer and "THE SITUATION ROOM." Have a great weekend.