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Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK) Discusses Mitch McConnell Admitting Defeat On Border Deal; Blinken: U.S. Reviewing Hamas Response To Hostage Proposal, Will Hold Discussions With Israeli Officials Tomorrow; Intensive Bombardment & Strikes Reported In Gaza; NTSB: Evidence Indicates Key Bolts Missing From Door Plug; Super Bowl Pre- Game Festivities & Fun Kickoff In Las Vegas. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired February 06, 2024 - 14:30   ET



REP. JOSH BRECHEEN (R-OK): Where is Remain-in-Mexico policy that says, why should it be the United States responsibility to not only pay for detention of those that would come across in high in numbers? Why should that be the responsibility of the taxpayer?

Why are we not talking with them remaining on the opposite side of the border, that the premise for them to obtain legal entry into our country needs to be upon the justice of their claim?

Not coming across and then us, you know, granting them, again, through their taxpayer utilization, legal defense, ankle monitors they could cut off themselves?

What happens when somebody has an ankle monitor put on them, cuts it off, and hides in the interior of the United States?

So the --


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The Border Patrol -- look, you wonder, because of the cost to taxpayers. This would cost them less, because this would project these --


BRECHEEN: -- would keep them on their side of the border.


BRECHEEN: It would cost the taxpayer left --


KEILAR: -- the process for asylum.

But you have the Border Patrol Council, right, which is the union representing Border Patrol agents, which has previously endorsed former President Trump, saying this would be a deterrent. So, why do you disagree with them? Why do you think they're wrong?

BRECHEEN: Look, the union itself, there is good things that they've been a part of, the Homeland Security Committee. But you know, the union themselves, they all said, the gentlemen that's the spokesman there also supported Mayorkas.

I'm a part of the committee that sees him as complicit in the problem that we see, because he refuses to enforce congressional law.

We have no problem if the Immigration and Nationality Act would be enforced to the level that Congress said it should be enforced. Detention until a proceeding. That's with the Immigration Nationality Act of Section 2:35 says.

And yet, you have an administration who's claiming, well, here's a solution, but the real solution has already been on the books for decades, and they refused to enforce it.

In 2017, it was being enforced. We had the lowest number of illegal immigration in our nation's history, 40 years. And yet, what's the difference between 2017 and to date? The difference is an administration that chooses to be lawless.

KEILAR: All right --

BRECHEEN: And the Republicans -- go ahead.

KEILAR: Can we have an honest conversation about this?


KEILAR: Because the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 that you're talking about also says that people can come to the border and ask for asylum, even if they crossed into the U.S. without authorization.

And if you are citing that bill, you should be very much aware of this, because this particular bill in the Senate side would change that. It would give the president the ability to do exactly what you were citing, the part of the bill that you're citing.

Because in November of 2018, when former President Trump tried to use that very bill that you're talking about to curb illegal migrant crossings, he was prevented from doing so by a federal court, because it violated the very law that he was trying to use, the law that you are saying is on the books.

BRECHEEN: The laws on the books, President Biden, on day five, utilized it when it came to Brazil, South America -- South Africa, excuse, me, and the United Kingdom. He utilized that's provisional law that he has the --


KEILAR: It can't apply to asylum, Congressman. BRECHEEN: Hang on, let me finish. Let me finish. We'll have an honest


On day five, President Biden utilized the Immigration and Nationality Act to say those from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, you're done, because there is a provision that says a class of aliens or an entirety of aliens, if they are seen as being destructive to the United States, the president has the authority to holler, whoa.

He refuses to -- he knows it's there. He's used to before, but he refuses to use it because he doesn't understand to the level that I think common sense tells the average American people, that's what the American people at large of saying, even in New York City.

That's what's happening in our southern border, quoting New York Democrat Mayor Adams, "will destroy" -- he's talking about his city -- will destroy his city. Many of us are continuing this, it could destroy our country.

KEILAR: Listen, Democrats in many of the cities, we have had them on. They have major problems because of the crisis at the border.

But you are just wrong when it comes to that bill, because what you are calling for President Biden to do is something that former President Trump attempted and that a court found he couldn't do.

The bill says that people can come to the U.S. border and ask for asylum, even if they crossed into the U.S. without authorization. And I know that's inconvenient, but that is in the very bill that you are citing.

BRECHEEN: Also in the bill --

KEILAR: What would change that would -- also in the bill, yes, but these things, one cannot be used to circumvent the other parts of the bill.

And this agreement in the Senate --


BRECHEEN: With a purpose.


KEILAR: Yes, but you can't use one part of the bill to invalidate the other parts. And that is actually something the court found.


I would ask that you revisit what happened in November of 2018, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

BRECHEEN: I would -- in all due respect, I would ask you to revisit in 2017, the lowest numbers in 40 years of illegal immigration with the same laws on the books. The difference is leadership. But lawlessness begets lawlessness. And we have an administration who

refuses to enforce the laws that are on the books.

KEILAR: I would ask for you to revisit the laws that are on the books.

Congressman Josh Brecheen, thank you so much for your time.

BRECHEEN: Thank you.

KEILAR: Coming up, hope for a hostage deal. Secretary of State Tony Blinken back in the Middle East, saying the U.S. is reviewing Hamas's response to a possible hostage agreement.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: As Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Israel, he's bringing new optimism about ending the war in Gaza.

Blinken says the U.S. is reviewing Hamas's response to a proposal that would release the remaining Israeli hostages and bring a sustained pause in fighting.

Qatar is calling Hamas's response positive, but Blinken says the work isn't over. Listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: As the prime minister just said, Hamas responded tonight. We are reviewing that response now, and I'll be discussing it with the government of Israel tomorrow.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but we continue to believe that an agreement is possible and, indeed, essential.


SANCHEZ: President Biden has been briefed on the matter as Blinken continues talks in the region.

In the meantime, there's new video from the U.N.'s main aid organization in the enclave, and it shows dozens of buildings destroyed in northern Gaza, including one of the group's health centers.


CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live for us in Tel Aviv.

So, Jeremy, how is the fighting impacting a very delicate hostage negotiation process?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, just yesterday, Israel's defense minister, Yoav Gallant, described Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, as a man on the run, running from location to location, making it difficult for him to command his forces and communicate with other Hamas leaders. That may be why it took nine days for Hamas to ultimately give their

response in this case here.

But what's also clear is that Hamas has also answered. And even now that these negotiations are still ongoing, the fighting is still very intense in Gaza at this hour.

We have seen earlier today that there has been intense fighting not only in southern Gaza, where the Israeli military, for nearly two weeks now, has been pressing forward with a major offensive in western Khan Yunis, where they say they've killed dozens of militants over the last 24 hours.

But also heavy fighting and strikes in central and in northern Gaza, where the Israeli military had actually withdrawn thousands of troops in recent weeks.

And we're also getting new images of the absolutely, you know, enormous destruction in parts of Gaza. You mentioned that video from UNRWA, the U.N. refugee agency, showing one of the health centers in northern Gaza. Just the absolute destruction all around is startling.

But now negotiations will still continue. And the secretary of state, Tony Blinken, as he is set to arrive in Tel Aviv and spend tomorrow meeting with Israeli leaders, it is very clear that the ball in these negotiations is back in Israel's court.

Hamas has now responded nine days after Israel, the United States, Egypt and Qatar agreed to this broad framework for a potential hostage deal, a potential weeks-long pause in the fighting.

But the details will be critical to work out here. Not only the implementation, but also, it's very clear that infamous response to this initial framework, they are still talking about ending the fighting altogether, ending this war altogether.

And it's been very clear from the beginning that that is not what Israel is looking for here. They are looking for a pause that can go from six weeks to months perhaps, but they are not looking for a permanent ceasefire.

And it still seems like Hamas is pushing for that. So, how they can bridge that gap and then how they can work on the implementation will be critical to seeing if, indeed, this can go into effect.

SANCHEZ: Yes, as we remember from the last pause in the fighting and release of hostages, there was disagreement even as it was being implemented. So a very difficult process.

Jeremy Diamond, live for us in Tel Aviv, thank you so much.

Up next, the NTSB just released a report on the door plug blowout involving that 737 Max-9 jet last month. The report describes a loud bang. Yes. You could say that. More details, coming up.


KEILAR: This just in. NTSB investigators say four bolts that hold the door plug in place on the Boeing 737 Max-9 were missing at the time of last month's blowout on Alaska Airlines flight 182.

The near disaster happened mid-air during a flight from Oregon to California, 177 people were on board.

FAA Chief Mike Whitaker has been testifying today on Capitol Hill about his oversight of Boeing following the incident.

We have CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean, here with us.

All right, tell us more about his testimony and this new report. Obviously, those four bolts were very important.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: This is a bombshell finding from the National Transportation Safety Board. It just released this 19-page report. It's a preliminary report about that blowout back on January 5th.

And it essentially says the bolts, which would have been the focus of this investigation from the start, were not there.

This is the actual type of bolt. This is an AN-6 bolt, pretty common in aviation. This is the bolt itself. There's a castle nut here. And then a cutter (ph) pin to keep this all together.

At one point, there was some conjecture that maybe the cutter pin (ph) was missing that would cause this castle nut to work itself free. In actuality, the NTSB says none of these boats were in place at the time of this blowout last month.

The NTSB was able to determine this, because they were able to recover the door plug that fell off Alaska flight 1282 in the Portland backyard of a physics teacher. They brought it to their lab in D.C. to do something called destructive testing.

They were able to tell from the telltale signs on the door itself and also on the fittings there -- you can see those on the side of the door there -- that these bolts were simply not installed.

The running theory from the NTSB now is that these bolts were taken out at some point when this plane was very new. It first flew at the end of October, but the fuselage was delivered by a subcontractor to Boeing on September 1st, of 2023.

At Boeing, technicians there noticed some issues with rivets next to the door. They were able to remove parts of the door and door plug, and the NTSB was able to tell from photos taken of the work that took place on September 19th that the bolts were not installed then.

This only adds further scrutiny to Boeing, which is really under a lot of pressure right now when it comes to its quality control. And the big question here is why they removed those bolts, and why

they did not put them back in. That is something the NTSB is still trying to determine.

They want to figure out what the instructions were specifically that were in the instruction manuals there for Boeing workers at its plant in Rendon, Washington.

Right now, we just heard from the FAA administrator. There are about two dozen FAA inspectors there conducting an audit of Boeing's quality control.

But this is only the beginning. This is just a preliminary report. We will see a final report probably in a year's time.

No laying blame here by the NTSB on Boeing, although we could find that in the final report.

KEILAR: So just very quickly, basically, when the plane is pretty new --


KEILAR: -- the door plug had to come off for a reason, a rivet reason.


KEILAR: And when it was put back on, the bolts were not?

MUNTEAN: Were gone. And the issue is that the door plug itself, which you can't see from the inside of the airplane, you can see from the outside of the airplane -- goes through so many cycles.


MUNTEAN: The inside of the airplane expands because of pressurization, and that contracts when it's not pressurized, so as to hold it there in place.

But at a certain point, essentially, this door just flew free and the NTSB says the door blew out and up and free of the airplane in a very explosive way.

We've seen the videos from on board. It was pretty incredible that everybody survived this and nobody was seriously hurt.

KEILAR: Pete, thank you so much for that.

I do want to bring in CNN safety analyst and former FAA safety inspector, David Soucie, now.

That is a bombshell, as Pete said there, especially since it seemed before this door plug blew off, it was an airplane that was kind of giving some science, right, with the pressurization issues that it had been experiencing on multiplications? DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Yes, three times before this, they

had pressurization indications. And the airplane was put on the ground. They inspected. They checked it.

They didn't go to the extent of doing a pressurization check on the ground, which typically isn't done. They'll do a couple of other things before they do that. But that's the one thing I think is missing here.

But this problem started long, long before this actual door came out. That's for sure at Boeing.

KEILAR: What this is tell you, David, about what happened here and -- I mean, to you understand how this could have happened, if the door plug was put back on without the bolts being there?

SOUCIE: Yes, absolutely. I've been an aircraft mechanic, licensed mechanic for 45 years. I worked on a line, installing aircraft, on the manufacturing line.


And there is often a problem between communication, especially in shift changes, where they change from one to the other.

But here's the situation. Manufacturing employs a certain mindset. When that manufacturing process, the assembly line process, is interrupted with a nonconforming part, which as Pete mentioned, there were rivets that weren't installed properly that had to be repaired.

At that point, they're supposed to change their mindset from being an assembly line to being a repair station. They're actually performing repairs, which require additional inspections when there's a safety flight item.

They have to have someone who did not work on that airplane coming in and do an inspection to make sure it's ready to go.

So my question is, not only why weren't the bolts put in but why did that process not happen at Boeing? And that is what the FAA needs to make their focus on, is what is going on at Boeing in that culture that would have allowed that to happen.

KEILAR: Yes, huge questions about Boeing's culture, that it persisted for years and are ballooning again now.

David, great to have you. Thank you so much.

SOUCIE: Thanks, Brianna.

KEILAR: On Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest star in the stadium, there she is. She will be in a luxury box. How big of a draw will Taylor Swift be at the big game? We're going to discuss next.




SANCHEZ: Whoa. Whoa.


KEILAR: Yes, I'm ready. Worst answer on earth. Widely known. Just accept it.

SANCHEZ: All right, we have to go the wall and watch some of these dance moves.

KEILAR: No, it's like I am like Elaine on Seinfeld. Really bad.

SANCHEZ: I think you're better than that.

KEILAR: I am a singer.

Anyway, that's not the point of this segment.

SANCHEZ: It's not.

KEILAR: It's about football.

SANCHEZ: If you haven't noticed, it is Super Bowl weekend. It is all about the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers and some singer that I have never heard about.

But the host city, Las Vegas, is putting on quite a show for its first Super Bowl ever.

KEILAR: That's right.

CNN sports anchor, Coy Wire, kicked off Super Bowl week with an opening-night show where he talked with the players and talked about betting, food and, of course, Taylor Swift.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi, Brianna and Boris. The NFL big on Vegas. And so far, it is money.

Last night was one of the biggest events imaginable. And it was not even for the actual event itself.

Opening night, it's like a lot of prize-fighter peacocks parading around, strutting their stuff before the show. And this opening night in Vegas was unlike any I have ever been to.

And 23,800 fans, thousands of media showed up in droves. Check out some of the highlights.


[14:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm living the dream.

TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: In Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII opening night!

WIRE (voice-over): Extra hype. Being the first-ever Super Bowl in Vegas, baby. A place known for putting on a show and making memories.

KELCE: There's nobody that has a better show than Las Vegas, right? It's like the mecca of the world for entertainment.

WIRE: Less than a decade ago, the NFL would have scoffed at the idea of holding a Super Bowl in Sin City. Oh, how the craps tables have turned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I allowed to talk about winning money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've kind of had a bad track record in Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite Vegas moment is winning -- winning at the Winn Hotel on roulette.

JAKE BRENDEL, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS CENTER: We'd come out here for the Labor Day weekend and just get ridiculous. That was -- I mean, the people that were involved in that know who they are.

TREY SMITH, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS GUARD: There's this great restaurant called Tokamadara (ph). And just the food there was absolutely phenomenal.

WIRE: The Chiefs looking to double down and become the first repeat champs in nearly 20 years. The 49ers are looking to parlay a win into an NFL record-tying sixth Super Bowl title.

But there is that one aspect of the game that the players just can't seem to --


KELCE: She's a part of Chiefs kingdom right now. It's -- it's fun seeing her enjoy the game of football knowing that it's kind of new to her life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not trying to get wrapped up in us against Taylor Swift or anything like that.

WIRE (on camera): Which Taylor Swift album title resonates with your character or persona most?


WIRE: Why?

BERNDEL: Because I get sunburned a lot.

DONOVAN SMITH, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TACKLE: "Fearless Lover." WIRE: "Fearless lover." You're combining the two?

D. SMITH: I'm a "Fearless Lover."


PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: I mean the "Anti- Hero" song. I mean that -- that one's pretty sweet. And so I would say that. But I do love "Love Story." I mean it gets me every single time.

CHARVARIUS WARD, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS CORNERBACK: It might bring the NFL money. I'm - I'm pretty sure it do if they show she on TV as much as they do. They show her more than the players sometimes.


WIRE: Yes, players are fully aware of the Taylor Swift effect and the added hype around this year's Super Bowl.

And 97 of the top-100 most watched TV programs last year were football related, Brianna and Boris. And now we're just five days away from what will be this year's biggest shows of them all.

KEILAR: All right, Coy Wire, thank you.

"Fearless Lover" was pretty good.


KEILAR: All right, stay with CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We will have more right after the break.