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Flight Attendants Want To Ban "Lap Babies" Over Safety Concerns; Trump Says He Expects To Be Arrested Tuesday, Calls For Protest; China's Xi In Russia For High-Stakes Meeting With Putin. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 20, 2023 - 07:30   ET



JEANNA SMIALEK, FEDERAL RESERVE AND ECONOMY REPORTER THE NEW YORK TIMES (via Webex by Cisco): And a lot of those warnings were specifically about the problems that we saw really bring down Silicon Valley Bank. They were telling the bank -- the bank's executives that their risk management controls were inadequate. That they were exposed to big interest rate moves. That's a lot of the problems that we saw ultimately crashed the bank could someday crash the bank.

And I think the question is why didn't executives do anything about it? Was it that the Fed wasn't enforcing this aggressively enough? Was it that they just completely dropped the ball and just refused? And I don't think we know the answers to those questions.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Well, is there any responsibility from the San Francisco Fed -- from the Federal Reserve net-large to warn people or is it just private communication between those entities and the banks saying you've got real issues here and you need to address them. Because from your reporting, my takeaway was -- and this is a quote -- "The bank did not fix its vulnerabilities."

But did anyone know -- any customers, any depositors know that?

SMIALEK: I think this is going to be a huge area for inquiry going forward because traditionally, the way it's done is that these issues are kept very private. Supervisory matters are kept really under strict lock and key.

But I think there are a lot of questions about why weren't these issues escalated. Was it a failure at the San Francisco Fed? Was it a failure at the Federal Reserve's board in Washington? And is there any sort of recourse in a world where something like this could just fly under the radar for more than a year and a half?

And so, I think that we don't know the answers to that. I think we're going to see a lot of pressure coming from Congress -- and we're already seeing some of that -- to get answers and some sort of solution going forward.

HARLOW: Yes, and if the bank doesn't act on these repeated warnings is there a right to know --


HARLOW: -- for depositors?

Richard, what do you think? Final thought.

QUEST: I think it's very difficult. You have a right to know but at the same time if you start promulgating notices that this or that bank is deficient in its regulatory schemes -- I mean, all banks at some point in time have a problem in some nature.


QUEST: How is the ordinary depositor to know what's serious and what's not?

HARLOW: Right.

QUEST: And the one thing we've learned from SVB and Signature is that today's bank run does not involve going and standing outside and knocking on the door. Today's bank run involves taking your phone out and taking your money somewhere else.


QUEST: And that means it's faster, more brutal, and more destructive.

HARLOW: As Patrick McHenry said last week, the first Twitter-fueled bank run that we saw play out.

Richard Quest in Tokyo, thank you. Jeanna Smialek, thank you. Great reporting as well.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The only passengers on planes who don't have to buckle up -- that's babies sitting on their parent's laps. Why flight attendants want to change that -- that's straight ahead.



LEMON: So this morning, flight attendants are calling for a ban on lap babies. They've got nothing against babies but after the recent cases of severe turbulence they say that they're afraid for children's safety. Right now, kids under two can fly free on their parent's laps.

Let's head to CNN's Pete Muntean. He joins us now. Good morning to you, Pete. What has this response -- what has the response been to this proposal?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, flight attendants have been calling for this for something like 30 years now, Don, but right now the FAA only strongly discourages parents putting babies on their lap. They say every child deserves to be strapped in.

And that is something echoed by flight attendants. They really want this to change immediately, especially considering these turbulence incidents we have seen lately. On that Hawaiian Airlines flight that went through turbulence back in December, 36 people were injured. Among the injured, a 14-month-old baby.

Think about this. If you experience 10Gs in an aircraft accident -- 10 times the force of gravity -- a 20-pound, 12-month-old infant might weigh something like 200 pounds.

This just came up again in that FAA safety summit last week where NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy said this is something like two dozen recommendations out there right now to make these turbulence incidents less severe, strapping in babies and making sure that all of them deserve a seat -- listen.


JENNIFER HOMENDY, CHAIR, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: All 25 turbulence recommendations remain open. Addressing these and so many other issues is how we make our skies safer today.


MUNTEAN: The Association of Flight Attendants says, "It is past time to mandate this protection for our youngest passengers. We should do better to protect our children. One injury or death of a child is too many."

Think about this. You're required to put your laptop away during takeoff and landing and at certain times in a flight. A baby should not be on your lap, flight attendants and safety advocates say -- Don, Poppy.

HARLOW: But how would it work? I mean, some babies that are traveling are so small they can't even hold their head up yet.

MUNTEAN: Yes. You know, the recommendation by the NTSB -- or by the FAA, rather, is that if you can, you should put a baby in a car seat.

You know, I've been flying in airplanes --

HARLOW: Right.

MUNTEAN: -- since I was two weeks ago. Both of my late parents were pilots and they strapped me in. I was in the back seat of a Piper Alliance, a six-seat airplane.

So it's possible -- you can do it. It just depends sometimes on the airline's policy as well. But they just want this to be an FAA requirement.


And as this is going right now, we're going through FAA reauthorization. That's how the FAA gets its money from Congress and this could be slipped in as part of that requirement -- as part of that reauthorization process to give the FAA money. So this could happen now. We'll see if Congress takes any action there. HARLOW: And then there's the payment issue. We were just talking about that.

MUNTEAN: Of course.

HARLOW: A lot of parents obviously don't want to pay for a seat for their infant. We'll see. Thanks, Pete.

LEMON: Well, couldn't they possibly have a thing where they strap the baby? You know, where you strap the baby to you. And if you're -- instead of holding it --

HARLOW: Oh, a Bjorn?

LEMON: Yes, like something like that.



HARLOW: Yes, that's a good -- that's a good idea.


HARLOW: But also, I've seen people with the car seats and you turn them around backwards, and then you put the -- you buckle in the car seat.

LEMON: But that means you have to buy another seat and it's no longer free --


LEMON: -- for the baby.

HARLOW: Yes, yes, yes.

LEMON: You've got to pay for another seat -- yes.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Also, we all know Adam Sandler from his work on "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" -- his comedy classics like "The Waterboy" and "Happy Gilmore."


Clip from Universal Pictures "Happy Gilmore."


COLLINS: Of course, everyone watched that. There are also his blockbusters -- "Grown Ups," "Big Daddy." Streaming hits like "Murder Mystery."

Well, last night Adam Sandler, who is better known as The Sandman, received some major recognition for his prolific career that has stretched over three decades. He was awarded The Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

I was lucky enough to be there for all of the laughs and the many tributes to Sandler. You're going to want to watch the whole thing yourself right here on Sunday -- on CNN next Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

During the ceremony many of Adam Sandler's longest friends paid tribute to his trademark sense of humor.


ADAM SANDLER, COMEDIAN, RECIPIENT, MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR: Hello, my name is Adam Sandler and I am the 2023 Mark Twain Humor Prize award recipient for greatness in American funny and bringing the thunderous belly laugh to the sweet people of planet Earth. Can I get a hell yeah?

My first thought, of course, when they told me I was getting this prestigious Mark Twain honor was, of course, wow, is Twain going to be there? No, said The Kennedy Center people to which I replied it makes sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love it when you scream shit at me off-camera, like funny things to say, and I just try and say them like you. And then when I hear you laugh at the funny thing you told me to say I'm in heaven.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew that we were cinematic soulmates, like Hepburn and Tracy.


CONAN O'BRIEN, T.V. HOST, COMEDIAN, WRITER, PRODUCER: You're making a terrible, terrible mistake. Good God in heaven, Kennedy Center, what have you done? No award has screwed up as badly since the MacArthur genius grant was given to Vin Diesel. Seriously, people have not been this shocked since I won a Latin Grammy.


HARLOW: How was it?

COLLINS: It was so good and it was so -- I mean, one of the biggest jokes was that of all the people Adam Sandler employs -- because he puts all of his friends in his movies --


COLLINS: -- Bob Schneider, Steve Buscemi -- all of these -- all of them -- it was so funny watching them. It was really great to be there.

HARLOW: Oh, I love that.

LEMON: It must be nice. You must be exhausted.

COLLINS: I am. But you know what was really lovely is he really -- you know, you saw his wife sitting there. She was in the pink suit --


COLLINS: -- and she looked amazing. His two daughters were also there, and he talked about -- and his mom was there. You can see the whole CNN crew was there -- Jake, Dana, Wolf, and Abby, and Phil Mattingly. And obviously, our big bosses.

But it was just funny to see him talk about how his family always built him up and gave him this confidence that even though he wasn't the best, his mom and his dad made him feel the best, his wife and his daughters made him feel the best. His friends. And it helped kind of like spark this career.

LEMON: Yes. It's good. We often learn through comedy, right?


LEMON: The most important things.


LEMON: In some way it's just like this --


LEMON: You know, it penetrates rather than bounces off --

HARLOW: Right.

LEMON: -- most times -- most times, yes.

COLLINS: And everyone else can also watch the entire ceremony. It's going to air this Sunday on CNN at 8:00 p.m. eastern.


COLLINS: I promise you don't want to miss it.

HARLOW: Can't wait to see it.

OK, Republicans are responding this morning to former President Trump's calls for protests if he is, indeed, indicted this week. Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger is here to talk about it all next.

LEMON: There he is.




REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I don't think people should protest this -- no. And I think President Trump -- if you talk to him he doesn't believe that either. We want calmness.


LEMON: OK. So that was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy objecting to Donald Trump's calls for protests around his potential indictment in New York.

On Saturday, Trump urged supporters to "protest and take our nation back" -- that's a quote -- after claiming that the Manhattan D.A.'s office will be arresting him tomorrow, Tuesday.

So the D.A. has not announced any decision but as we have reported their investigation into the Stormy Daniel's hush money payments is nearing an end.

So joining us now, Adam Kinzinger, CNN senior political commentator and the former Republican congressman from Illinois. Good morning, sir. Thank you very much. I appreciate --


LEMON: -- you joining us.

So the last time the president called for protests we know what happened, and that was on January 6. You heard what everyone has been saying about this.

Can I -- I want -- can I play something before I get your response? This is Trump's lawyer Alina Habba responding to the protest of Trump's arrest as well. Here it is.


ALINA HABBA, TRUMP LAWYER: Let's see if they arrest him. But I'll tell you what, if they choose to do so for a misdemeanor which, frankly, he didn't even do, it is going to cause mayhem, Paula.

I mean, it's just a very scary time in our country. If this is what we're doing in this country you better secure the premises because it's dangerous, you know? People are going to get upset.



LEMON: She was speaking to our very own Paula Reid here on CNN this weekend.

So what do you make of all this? You've got Kevin McCarthy saying one thing. You have Alina Habba saying another.

KINZINGER: Well, I mean, we'll see how this goes. I don't think there's many people that truly believe that the president is likely innocent of this. But regardless, when you start calling -- I mean, we saw what happened

on January 6. The couple of weeks leading up to January 6, I knew there would be violence because of some -- like the equivalent of what I'm seeing on social media today. I mean, there's people out there saying things like we're going to create a moat around Mar-a-Lago. They're not going to be able to get him.

You know, whether this happens or not, and I pray to God that it doesn't turn violent or a standoff like this, it is very dangerous rhetoric. The speaker is right to say -- you know, to try to call for calm in this moment but there are a lot of his colleagues that aren't quite doing the exact same thing or they may say hey, don't protest because it's all going to be feds out there. But boy, your country is being stolen.

If you convince a significant number in this country that everything has been stolen and now the deep state is coming after their hero, they're going to -- they're going to do something. And it's a pretty frightening endeavor and a pretty frightening thought that they've been so misled.

COLLINS: And Adam, what about the idea that Congress -- or that Speaker McCarthy is saying that there are going to be maybe investigations into this? He said he's directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.

What can he actually investigate here and do you think he's actually going to conduct investigations into this?

KINZINGER: Well, I mean, he can investigate anything. This is a state issue so I don't -- you know, obviously there's a federal investigation.

This has a very chilling effect. This is a concern to me because now you have Congress stepping in and saying, in essence, chilling who you can look at, who you can investigate. Boy, yeah, we may not have authority over you but we're going to put everything out there in the public so that now any low-level prosecutor who goes after a Republican or a friend of a Republican now has to worry about security or having themselves named on a different news network or on the internet.

I mean, the speaker has put together the quote-unquote weaponization of government committee. If it was true to its name it would be investigating his own comments at this moment. Of course, that's not going to be the case.

HARLOW: I do wonder what you think about warnings, essentially, from one Republican and one Democrat over this.

Peter Meijer, a former congressman, said this, quote, "This indictment is a billion-dollar gift-in-kind from Democrats to Trump's '24 campaign," assuming there is an indictment. We don't know yet.

But then I thought this comment from Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly to Jake yesterday morning was really interesting. Let's listen.


SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): You know, I would hope that if they brought charges that they have a strong case because this is -- as you said, it's unprecedented. And there's certainly risks involved here. But again, nobody in our nation is or should be above the law.


HARLOW: Right. No one is or should be above the law. The law is the law, right, and will they indict, we'll see.

But just politically I think they're both pointing to real risks for Democrats and how this could be a political boon to the former president.

I wonder what you think.

KINZINGER: Well, I certainly agree. I actually think, and I've said from the beginning, I think this is going to secure Donald Trump's stature within kind of the base GOP voter, which is -- which to me is actually really sad because these are people that profess Christ as their savior that are now going to go out and defend a man that potentially or is accused of paying off a porn star to protect information about him. And then he lied to people about it.

But I do think it's a huge risk. I think if any -- you know, if there was a preference -- probably if there was -- you know, it would be like the federal case would come first or Georgia would come first but that's not how -- that's not how the law works. The law works when you culminate an investigation and you get an indictment through a grand jury. We don't know what that indictment is going to read. I would caution my Republican friends to wait until you see this indictment if it, in fact, comes.

But yes, there's a huge political risk, no doubt. This is so unprecedented that --


KINZINGER: -- this is all uncharted territory.


COLLINS: Certainly.

LEMON: What will this week look like and what will it look like going into the future?

Thank you very much, Adam -- appreciate it.


HARLOW: We are just a little bit more than an hour away from this very high-stakes meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Xi is in Moscow now. They will be sitting down face-to-face. What will it bring? The White House -- the White House's John Kirby is standing by to discuss.



COLLINS: Moments ago Chinese President Xi Jinping, as you can see here, landing in Moscow with his face-to-face meeting with President Putin. On the agenda, obviously, Ukraine. Xi says that he believes China is actively promoting peace talks while Putin, who was in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol over the weekend, says he welcomes China's, quote, "readiness" to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis.

The White House's John Kirby joins us now. Good morning, John. Are you expecting any tangible agreements to come out of this summit with Putin and Xi?

JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: Difficult to know, Kaitlan. Obviously, we're not part of these discussions so we'll see what these two leaders actually come out and say at the end of this. I guess it's going to be a couple of days here of their meeting and that agenda, so we'll see.

But as you note, we've been very, very public about any concerns about some sort of a ceasefire announcement right now. We all want to see peace. We all want to see this war end. It could end today if Mr. Putin did the right thing. But a ceasefire called right now would basically just ratify Russia's conquest and give Mr. Putin more time to reequip, and retrain, and restart operations at a time and a place of his choosing.

COLLINS: So if they call for a ceasefire you believe Ukraine should and will reject that?

KIRBY: Yes, we do, and we would reject it as well. We think that that's an unacceptable outcome right now. Obviously, we want the fighting to stop. We want the war to be over and as I said, it could end today if Mr. Putin would do the right thing.