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Divers Back In Water As Recovery Efforts Resume; Donald Trump's Truth Social Rises For Second Day; Utah Women's Hoops Players Say They Were Racism Targets. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 27, 2024 - 11:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Divers are still in the water at this hour under that collapsed bridge in Baltimore. They're looking for the six construction workers who are presumed dead. Maryland's Governor tells CNN that there must be a full and thorough investigation of what caused this disaster.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was a vital artery for the city of Baltimore and this entire region. Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby joins me now. Mr. Mosby, we're so sorry for the loss to your community. Just tell us how is Baltimore functioning today.

NICK MOSBY, PRESIDENT, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL: You know, obviously it's very somber moments in the city of Baltimore. Particularly, you know, as we continue to go after, really this now two-day fight to try to rescue the victims of this very tragic event.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Have you been in touch with any of their families? How are they coping? I mean, the waiting game that we've heard about so much from people who are in this limbo of not yet being able to mourn in some way still holding out some hope until there's a body. I mean, it's just awful for these families.

MOSBY: Yes, it's -- you know, the agony of watching it over and over again you know because the scene is such a devastation and got so much attention and -- in hearing it from countless of folks. But, you know, knowing that you're sending your family member off to do something as basic as like road work and that they never return home is really just -- a really sad reminder of, you know, some of our essential workers and what they do. And you know, just really grieve -- really, really feeling for this family, you know, at this time.


You know, that's why I think the focus we've always been placed on is really the sanctity of life. You know, folks have been asking, well, how much is the city losing? You know, eventually, what will be the traffic pattern? You know, that has not been our focus, not from a federal or state or local perspective.

It's really been about trying to be as innovative and creative to going after, and again, you know, providing dignity to the family and trying to identify and find the bodies. You know, I would like to give a huge, huge congratulations and shout out to, I guess, the first responders who have been literally working around the clock in really frigid conditions. And you know, they've been persevering through harsh conditions.

CAMEROTA: Yes, we've heard about just the treacherous conditions that the divers are having to contend with. It's dark, and there's all sorts of jagged metal down there as they search through it. So, it's really challenging on every level.

Can you just tell us a little bit about the neighborhoods that were closest to this bridge? Because I understand that some of them were communities that sprouted up after World War II for people who worked at Bethlehem Steel. So, what are they like?

MOSBY: Well -- I mean, this is a very, you know, historic site. You know, ultimately, it's right -- it's called the Francis Scott Key Bridge because it's very close to where Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem. It's gotten right here in Baltimore.

And these communities are working-class communities. And they rely on this bridge. They rely on accessibility. This bridge is a symbol of like upward mobility, connectivity to jobs, you know, as it relates to our port in the industries that have sprouted up around the Port of Baltimore.

That's why this is just more than a bridge to Baltimoreans. Growing up in the city of Baltimore, you know, I've crossed this bridge thousands of times, many of us have. And to see it taken away from our skyline is a kind of eerie reminder of what took place two days ago.

CAMEROTA: Does -- are there any estimates in the city of how long it will take to rebuild this?

MOSBY: No. I mean, obviously, you know, the design and construction of a bridge of this magnitude, it's over a mile and a half long, is a pretty complicated process. But I will say, you know, just -- you know, the real focus has always been really trying to identify. So, the recovery effort is where our focus has been. And phase two will be more or less on trying to figure out a way of cleaning up, getting the port back to some level of normalcy because right now the port is completely shut down. And then the next effort of, you know, how do we rebuild from here.

Baltimore is a resilient town. I know folks get a lot of information about our city nationally, it's not always in a positive light. But our city has always persevered through challenges like this.

And I know that we will. But it's just important that we take time to provide the opportunity for the families of the victims who have been impacted the most, again, protecting the sanctity of lives and the dignity of us moving forward. It's been a priority.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. We're thinking of all of you. Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, thank you for your time. MOSBY: Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: What happened yesterday is drawing comparisons to some other deadly bridge collapses. And CNN's Jason Carroll has more.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Investigators are still in the early stages of piecing together the events that led to the collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge. Already, comparisons being made to past deadly disasters involving America's bridges. I-40 Bridge, Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, May 2002. 14 people killed, nearly a dozen hurt after freight barges being transported on the Arkansas River struck a pier supporting the bridge. A 580-foot section of road collapsed, sending vehicles careening into the water.

Queen Isabella Causeway, Port Isabel, Texas, September 2001. Eight people lost their lives when a tugboat and barge struck the Causeway. 11 people drove into the opening below. Only three survived.

Big Bayou Canot near Mobile, Alabama, September 1993. 47 people died and more than one hundred injured in what was seen at the time as one of the worst disasters of its kind in the United States. It happened after barges being pushed by a towboat in dense fog hit the bridge, causing an Amtrak train carrying 220 people to derail minutes later. Rescue crews pulled victims from the partially submerged buckled train cars.

CHLOE DEMROVSKY, FEMA NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL: We are so bad at learning from our mistakes and preparing for future instances. We need to assess our infrastructure.

CARROLL (voiceover): Collisions, not the only cause of tragic bridge collapses. Take what happened at the FIU Footbridge, Miami, Florida, March 2018. Six people were killed after a pedestrian bridge near the campus of Florida International University suddenly collapsed. The 170-foot-long newly installed bridge had been under construction.

I-35W Bridge, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007. 13 killed, 145 injured. A major interstate at a standstill after the 35 West Bridge collapsed during rush hour. Federal regulators blamed the accident partly on support plates, which they said were half as thick as they should have been.


Hyatt Regency Skywalks, Kansas City, Missouri, July 1981. 114 were killed when the walkways on the second and fourth floors of the Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed due to a design flaw. It was known as one of the most devastating structural failures in U.S. history.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


CAMEROTA: And we'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


CAMEROTA: Donald Trump's newly public Truth Social keeps the green streak going this morning after a blockbuster NASDAQ debut yesterday. At one point, purchase orders were coming in so fast that trading had to be stopped. But some investors are raising concerns about whether the stock price is a true measure of the company's success.

CNN's Matt Egan joins us to explain that. So, Matt, the company last year recorded a loss of $49 million. Yesterday, it received an $11 billion valuation. How does that math add up?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Alisyn, there are times when stocks trade just purely on momentum and hype. This is one of those times, right? Trump Media is off to a gangbuster start as a public company. But it has almost nothing to do with the fundamentals.

Now, look at this, up 18 percent this morning. This is after a surge yesterday. This is nothing new. This is part of a pattern.

This company and the publicly traded shell company emerged with, they'd been on fire more than quadrupling over the past six months. The share price spikes -- look at that spike in January. That was around the time that Donald Trump had a landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses. And the higher the stock goes, the higher Donald Trump's net worth goes.

Bloomberg estimates that his net worth went up by about four billion dollars on Monday alone. But look, experts are warning retail investors to be very careful with this stock. They say it's dangerous because the market is assigning a ridiculous valuation.

I mean, remember Truth Social, it's tiny. We're talking about, about a half a million monthly active users. Compare that to the company formerly known as Twitter at 75 million, even Threads is 10 times bigger than Truth Social, and Truth Social is actually shrinking. Monthly active users down by 51 percent year over year.

And it's also important to look at how this company stacks up with the last social media company to go public. That's Reddit. Just last week. Now, Reddit had about a six-billion-dollar valuation its IPO. That was based on pretty healthy revenue, $800 million. Compare that to Truth Social. It had about a nine-billion-dollar valuation, and that's based on just a tiny fraction of the revenue.

But listen, Alisyn, history shows that stocks that are really just trading purely on momentum, they can keep going higher and higher and higher. And it's really hard to pinpoint exactly when they'll come back down to earth.

CAMEROTA: Really, interesting. Speaking of history, just remind us, what happened the last time the Trump business went public.

EGAN: OK. Well, Alisyn, let's go back to 1995 in our home state of New Jersey. We're talking about Trump's casino and Hotel Resorts Company that went public in 1995 to a lot of fanfare and it ended up never making any money, despite the fact that again, this was a casino company. It filed for bankruptcy in 2004. Renamed as Trump Entertainment Resorts and then it went on to lose more than two billion dollars over five years, and then filed for bankruptcy again in 2009.

Trump media actually mentioned this in the SEC filings, saying that Donald Trump has a history of filing for bankruptcies, at least his businesses do, and that there could be no assurances that there won't be another bankruptcy here. This is just another reminder, though, of how much risk is tied in with just one person for this company, right? Donald Trump is not just the chairman. He's the top shareholder, he's the most popular user, and he's obviously facing a considerable amount of law enforcement and legal trouble right now, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Fascinating. Matt Egan, thanks for explaining all of that.

EGAN: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right. The Utah women's basketball coach says her team had to switch hotels because of racist incidents. We have more on this, ahead.



CAMEROTA: The University of Utah women's basketball team switched hotels ahead of its first NCAA Tournament game because of what the head coach is calling racial hate crimes. CNN's Coy Wire joins us now. So, Coy, what happened?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi Alisyn. The Utah women's team was staying in Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho, about 30 miles away from where they were playing their NCAA Tournament games in Spokane. According to a local official, the team was walking to dinner last Thursday when a truck displaying a confederate flag put alongside them started using racial slurs.

Then after dinner, the official said the same perpetrator joined by others, repeated the behavior again as they walked back to the hotel. And it traumatized, Alisyn, the team so much that they decided to switch hotels. Here's Utah coach Lynne Roberts.


LYNNE ROBERTS, UTAH WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: You have people say, man, I can't believe that happened. But you know, racism is real. And it happens. And it's awful.

And so, for our players, whether they are, you know, white, black, green, whatever, no one knew how to handle it, you know? And it was really upsetting. And for our players and staff to not feel safe in the NCAA Tournament environment, it's messed up.



WIRE: Now, Utah won their first NCAA Tournament game before losing to Gonzaga in the second round Monday night. On Tuesday, the NCAA released a statement saying in part, we are devastated about the Utah team's experience while traveling to compete on what should have been a weekend competing on the brightest stage and creating some of the fondest memories of their lives. The NCAA condemns racism and hatred in any form.

Alisyn, police say they are investigating along with the FBI. But at last check, there have been no arrests.

CAMEROTA: Just awful. Coy, thank you for the reporting. All right. Before we go, I want to share some exciting personal news.

My memoir is now officially out. It is called Combat Love. It's about my turbulent teenage years and the very bumpy path I took to achieving my dream of becoming a news anchor. It's a deeply personal and raw story. I would love it if you would buy it and read it. It is now available at bookstores nationwide.

Thanks so much for joining me in CNN NEWSROOM today. I'm Alisyn Camerota. I'll be here for the rest of the week. And "INSIDE POLITICS" with Dana Bash starts after a short break.