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Rare Tornado Hits Near Los Angeles, One Person Injured; Off- Duty Pilot Steps In After Captain Suffers Medical Emergency; Appeals Court: Trump Attorney To Testify Friday In Classified Documents Probe. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 23, 2023 - 07:30   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- roof off. Holy --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get away from us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, go someplace else.



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: What you're looking at -- it's not Oklahoma, it's not Alabama -- that is Los Angeles -- a video of a rare tornado that ripped through an industrial area in the city. It sent debris flying everywhere as you can see here. This one in Montebello was the strongest that California has seen in four decades. Officials say that one person suffered minor injuries. There was substantial damage to buildings.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is live on the ground tracking this. I mean, Stephanie, I imagine people are a little bit in disbelief. I mean, I can see the tree through the fence behind you. I mean, I imagine they are a little shocked by all of this.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Remember, Kaitlan, we were talking earlier about how this has just been the weirdest winter ever in California? This is more proof of it as you take a look at how that tree is impaled. We know that at least one roof collapsed. We know cars were damaged, windows were blown out. All of this happening in just a few minutes as this was a very, very small tornado -- an EF1 -- and it touched down for a very short time.


ELAM (voice-over): Debris flying through the sky in Montebello, California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw what looked like a waterspout kind of tornado twister that was about 30 feet wide that just came through and was just bouncing like a top in between picking up debris. The whole sky looked like a dump.

ELAM (voice-over): The National Weather Service confirming the area in Los Angeles County saw a rare tornado touch down Wednesday. The powerful winds tearing through this warehouse, damaging more than a dozen buildings in the area, blowing out windows, and tearing roofs off buildings.

Torrential rain came down after this roof was torn from a seafood supply warehouse. The employees hid in the corner unable to pull this metal door down against the wind. The warehouse was hit by the tail end of the storm that left the building battered with debris strewn throughout.

The National Weather Service says the storm formed so quickly no official warning was given to residents.

ARIEL COHEN, METEOROLOGIST, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: This particular tornado spun up every quickly. And there's actually a subset of tornadoes that formed too quickly to be detected and warned for and this happened to be one of those.

ELAM (voice-over): On Tuesday, a small tornado hit a city in Santa Barbara County creating a very narrow and consolidated path of destruction. Residents witnessed debris flying in the air and trees uprooted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Within a few seconds my carport disappeared. I turned to go in the house and a piece of it hit me in the face. Luckily, it was a flat piece and didn't cut me. Some of these awnings were flown up in the air several hundred feet and landed in tops of trees.



ELAM: And the power has been out in this part of Montebello. In fact, when we got here the power company was out here restoring lights and getting this back up.

But just think about this. We're talking about sustained winds of up to 110 miles per hour -- strong enough to take that tree, pull it out of the ground, and throw it -- impale it on top of that fence, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: And you know what, Stephanie, I was just thinking about? I grew up in Alabama. We had tornadoes every weekend it felt like sometimes, but we knew what to do in advance of them. They didn't always -- you didn't always get a ton of warnings but you knew --

ELAM: Yes.

COLLINS: -- get in the bathtub. Put your tennis shoes on in case it does hit your house and you are walking around debris like what we've seen there. But I imagine a lot of people there -- they probably never experienced a tornado before.

ELAM: Yes -- no, exactly. I grew up in California, Kaitlan, and this is not something that we talk about. We talk about earthquakes, we talk about a lot of things. It's not preparing for tornadoes. And this one happened so fast that there just wasn't the warning for people to even know that it was coming. And it was during daylight hours, so people were out here in this community working at that time.

So yes, just completely terrifying. This is something you just are not used to.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely.

Stephanie Elam, thank you.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, but don't we know that, right -- Louisiana and Alabama.


LEMON: Those -- any -- it just comes out of nowhere. At least when you have a hurricane or even a snowstorm --

COLLINS: You know it's coming.

LEMON: -- you know it's coming. A tornado -- it's just -- it's crazy.



LEMON: And in California.

This story is shocking. There is a good ending to it, I just want to tell you. It's an off-duty pilot who was flying as a Southwest passenger who stepped into action when the captain had a mid-air medical emergency. He helped with radio communication while another pilot took the wheel and together, they safely landed the plane, right? So there is a good ending to it.

Pete Muntean joins us now. Pete, this is an incredible story. How did it all unfold?


LEMON: Right.

MUNTEAN: It's kind of the dream sentence that every pilot wishes to hear when they're a passenger on board a commercial airliner. You know, a pretty amazing coincidence here after a lot of pretty bad headlines for the airlines.

Think about this. The Southwest flight 6013 just took off from Las Vegas yesterday morning and was bound for Columbus, Ohio when only about 27 minutes in it turned back for Las Vegas. The pilot of this plane had an apparent medical emergency, according to Southwest Airlines, leaving only one pilot in the flight deck. That is when this passenger who was an off-duty pilot from a completely different airline was pressed into service and into the flight deck.

This is the statement from Southwest Airlines. It says, "A credentialed pilot from another airline, who was on board, entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication while our Southwest pilot flew the aircraft. We greatly appreciate their support and assistance."

You have to think about this. This is so rare for something like this to happen and it is a really serious incident.

I want you to listen now to the air traffic control audio from where one of the members of the crew -- we're not totally sure if it was a Southwest pilot or the pilot pressed into service -- communicated with air traffic control about the severity of this incident -- listen.


SOUTHWEST PILOT: OK, we're going to get airstairs out here. The captain became incapacitated while en route. He's in the back of the aircraft right now with a flight attendant, but we need to get him on an ambulance immediately.


MUNTEAN: Southwest not releasing the condition of the pilot who fell ill.

Also a mystery is the name of the off-duty pilot who came in to help. In fact, no airline really claiming that pilot just yet. Just a case of right place-right time here, Don. The FAA is investigating.

But one thing to underscore, it's good that the 737 had another pilot -- two pilots on board at all times. It's required by federal regulations. It can be flown with one pilot but better to have two pilots, Don.

LEMON: Yes, right on. I've heard is there a doctor on board before, seriously, but never is there a captain on board or a pilot on board.


LEMON: Unusual.

Thank you, Pete. Glad there was a good ending to it, though.

HARLOW: Kaitlan --


COLLINS: The phrase "Is there a pilot on board" is --


HARLOW: No thanks.

LEMON: Can you imagine though if you heard that over the intercom -- is there a pilot? You'd be like wait a minute, where is the pilot? Who's flying the plane?

HARLOW: Exactly right.

All right, moving on. There are major developments in the Trump classified documents investigation. The former president's own attorney will now have to testify before that grand jury. That is stunning. We'll explain why. Trump's former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is here to discuss that and a lot more next.



COLLINS: This morning the former president is dealing with a major legal blow that he was dealt yesterday after his defense attorney Evan Corcoran was denied attorney-client privilege, essentially meaning that he is going to be testifying tomorrow before a grand jury that is investigating the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago without being able to cite attorney-client privilege.

On top of testifying we are also told that Evan Corcoran must turn over documents -- notes that he took about his defense of the former president and the existence of these classified documents.

In response to the ruling that we heard yesterday the former president's team said, "There is no factual or legal basis or substance to any case against President Trump. The real story here is that prosecutors only attack attorneys when they have no case whatsoever."

Joining us now for perspective on this is Mick Mulvaney who was Trump's acting chief of staff at the White House. Obviously, Mick, you know the former president well. What do you think is going through his mind as he is thinking about his attorney about to testify before a grand jury while having to talk about their private conversations?

MICK MULVANEY, FORMER ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, TRUMP WHITE HOUSE: What's going through his mind? What's going through his mind is obvious. He thinks this is a witch hunt. They think this is a continuation of the Russia collusion charge, the Mueller investigation, the first impeachment, what's happening in Manhattan.

I can tell you for a fact that's what Donald Trump is thinking. He's seeing this as part of a series of attacks against him. Whether it is or not is open to interpretation but that's exactly what Trump is thinking.


COLLINS: But do you think he's nervous? I mean, it's the idea that his attorney is going in there and is going to have to testify about everything they've discussed. MULVANEY: Listen, attorney-client privilege is the type of thing that lawyers and people in lawsuits will claim every single time. Even if the attorney says 100 percent correct and legal things to his client they are still going to invoke attorney-client privilege. It's part of the practice. I used to practice law. So just because your attorney has to talk and has to testify doesn't mean he's going to necessarily give evidence that's bad for the client -- in this case, Donald Trump.

But certainly, I think it's a loss for the Trump team because what it says is that someone has been able to convince the judge that it was possibly conversations in furtherance of a crime. That's the only way you can sort of get through the attorney-client privilege is by making the case that conversation was in the furtherance of a crime. So there must be evidence someplace in this case that convinced a judge that they might have been talking about committing a crime.

COLLINS: And that's a fair point. We don't know what Evan Corcoran is going to say yet when he testifies tomorrow.

You referenced the case here happening in Manhattan. That is separate from the Evan Corcoran situation. This is with Stormy Daniels and the hush money payments.

Do you think it's inevitable that Trump is going to be indicted?

MULVANEY: I do. I think the political pressure is such, the timing is such. I think the statute of limitations in this case runs out in May. I do think he's going to be indicted.

I don't understand the arrest part -- whether or not he'll surrender himself and whether or not they'll require him to surrender himself, and whether or not they'll make any special accommodation for him because he is the former President of the United States because he does have Secret Service protection 24 hours a day.

But I absolutely expect an indictment. There's no reason to go this far down the path if you are Mr. Bragg, the district attorney in Manhattan, and not bring criminal charges.

COLLINS: There is an argument out there that Trump actually wants to be indicted. That this could --


COLLINS: -- benefit him politically. What do you think of that?

MULVANEY: Well, I think it's one of those rare cases where the extreme left in this country and the extreme right want the same thing, which is they want Donald Trump to be arrested. The left want to see him frog-marched in his orange jumpsuit and the right wants to see him arrested because they think it will show that this has been a political witch hunt the whole time, and they think it will make Donald Trump more sympathetic. And honestly, Kaitlan, some of the polling data I've seen in the last week supports that. Donald Trump's numbers in a theoretical Republican primary have actually ticked up in the last couple of weeks. So, yes, it's a strange place to unify the country perhaps but a lot

of folks on both sides of the aisle right now want to see Donald Trump arrested.

COLLINS: But for Trump himself -- this idea that the wants to be indicted -- it seems -- I mean, I understand the argument being made by some on the right about that, but this is a really sensitive case for him personally because it's involving Stormy Daniels, which was a high point of tension with him and the first lady. He's going to be indicted if that is what happens here. It's not -- you know, it's hard to say that that's an advantage -- you know, just completely through.

MULVANEY: It's an excellent point. No one really wants to be indicted, right? No one wants to be arrested. Certainly, no one wants to have your private personal laundry aired in public. But you're absolutely correct about that.

But at some point, face it. If you're Donald Trump and you're thinking look, it's going to happen anyway -- let's make the best of it politically. Let's have a chance to maybe make the argument that I have been targeted. Maybe get some of the sympathy from the -- from the swing voters in the middle. You might as well make the best of the situation. That's one line of reasoning that you might be seeing coming out of Mar-a-Lago.


Last question for you. You're in Washington. We've been talking about that hearing that's happening today on Capitol Hill. The CEO of TikTok be up there trying to make his case before lawmakers.

You actually went to a dinner with Democrats and Republicans last night. Is your sense that there is anything he could say to convince them that TikTok is not a national security threat?

MULVANEY: Yes. Kaitlan, no, and it's very rare. I've been in Washington about 10 years and it's rare that I see a circumstance where anybody has no friends in Washington, D.C. where the Republicans and Democrats are either united for you or sometimes united against you in this case.

And TikTok is there. I'm sure yet -- if you get asked to testify before a congressional committee you sort of have to go because it looks really bad if you don't. But I have no idea what this guy is going to say today. They could possibly change the direction of where Washington, D.C. is going.

So many CEOs think they can go into a congressional hearing and sort of command it like they can a board meeting or a shareholders' meeting. That's not the environment that the CEO of TikTok is going into today.

It should be very interesting to watch. I don't think he can say anything to change the direction of where Congress is going.

COLLINS: Wow, that's significant. Mick Mulvaney, thanks for your time this morning.

MULVANEY: Thanks, Kaitlan.


LEMON: We'll be watching that hearing today.

The Federal Reserve has once again raised interest rates despite the meltdown in the banking sector, but could the tide be turning? Take a look at this person right here. Who's that? None other than "SHARK TANK's" Kevin O'Leary. He's standing by. I wonder if he has any thoughts on this? I mean, he never speaks what's on his mind.

HARLOW: But he's so reserved every time.

LEMON: Every time. He never says -- we have to pull --

HARLOW: He never actually says what he thinks.

LEMON: -- it out of him. Yes, you never know what he's going to say, if he says anything.




JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: We remain committed to bringing inflation back down to our two percent goal and to keep longer-term inflation expectations well-anchored. Reducing inflation is likely to require a period of below-trend growth and some softening in labor market conditions.


LEMON: OK, so that's the explanation there. So we're going to get to Kevin O'Leary, so everyone pay attention.

After nine consecutive interest rate increases the Federal Reserve is signaling an end to hikes in the near future. The Fed raised interest rates by a quarter of a point yesterday despite recent trouble in parts of the banking sector. The chaos had economists worried that the Fed would overcorrect the economy into a recession, but the chairman Jerome Powell said recent events in the bank system could actually help their efforts because it will lead to tighter financial conditions that can slow the economy.

So let's hear what Kevin O'Leary thinks. He is a judge on "SHARK TANK" and the chairman of O'Leary Ventures. Good morning. What do you think?


KEVIN O'LEARY, JUDGE, "SHARK TANK", CHAIRMAN, O'LEARY VENTURES: I thought yesterday's testimony was fascinating. Look, let me -- let me give it to you blow-by-blow about why everybody should think yesterday through. The 25-basis point hike was highly anticipated -- 69 percent probability -- it happened. The market went up. It was expecting it.

Then Powell starts testifying. This is where it gets interesting.


O'LEARY: Clearly, he's much more hawkish than the statement said, particularly in the back end. But the minute I really thought was incredible was when he starts talking and answering questions about the regional bank crisis. At that moment a release comes out of Yellen saying she's not considering guaranteeing the --

HARLOW: Can we play it for people so they can hear this?

O'LEARY: I've never seen such a well-orchestrated team-up on that.

HARLOW: Well, they contradicted each other. Just -- I want people to hear what Yellen said.



JANET YELLEN, SECRETARY, U.S. TREASURY: And have not considered or discussed anything having to do with blanket insurance or guarantees --


YELLEN: -- of deposits.


O'LEARY: I was sitting in front of the trading desk watching two monitors explode at the same time -- Powell's hawkishness and then her comments. So what that was signaling to the market, I think orchestrally so, is that we're not worried about the regional banking system anymore. Forty-eight hours ago we were. We are not now.

So basically, they're telling you in their own code that these three banks that we've been talking about now for 3 1/2 weeks are just poorly run institutions that are going to zero and it really doesn't matter.

Now, whether First Republic is bought (PH) or not, that brand is so tainted. You would never open an account there and nobody else would.

HARLOW: I have a -- I have -- I have an account at First Republic. A lot of people have accounts at First Republic.

O'LEARY: Is it more than $250,000?

HARLOW: No -- no, Kevin O'Leary -- not even close.

O'LEARY: I rest my case, your honor.

HARLOW: But my point is there are a lot of economists who disagree with you. I'm sure you saw the paper out a few days ago from economists Columbia, Northwestern, and USC who said 90 percent -- 190 small and regional banks are at risk of failing right now, pointing out that it's not just the management of these three banks. And you are saying that is the case but you don't think the government would shore them up?

O'LEARY: No. I don't think you're going -- there's a political will in any state.

Let me give you an example -- just being pragmatic. You're an orange farmer in Florida and you are being asked as a taxpayer to back up a bank in California that has nothing to do with your world or your economy.

LEMON: Right on.

O'LEARY: Regional banks were set up 40, 50, 60 years ago to take care of the differences of the economies in different states. The state should eat it. And that's why people are starting to think about this. And wait a second. Why do I have to suffer bad policy or a bank that has gone rogue when I have nothing to do with them?

There are states and the audit is going on everywhere -- state-by- state. Where have the most successful regional banks been? It's been in a state that nobody ever talks about, North Dakota, and here is why.

LEMON: Nobody's talking about North Dakota.

O'LEARY: North Dakota is the only state that has its own sovereign bank, the Bank of North Dakota, that supervises all the regional banks. They don't have failures. They take care of their own. They worry about their own committees.

Now, if we did that in every other state then I would agree with you -- have regional banks. But they are of no use to me or anybody else anymore.

HARLOW: Not to you.

COLLINS: OK, that second part though is not true.

O'LEARY: Explain why.

COLLINS: PPP loans -- regional banks were really critical on helping small businesses get that. A lot of people -- I'm from Alabama. A lot of people I know don't know someone at JPMorgan that they could call to help them --


COLLINS: -- get a -- get a PPP loan.

O'LEARY: Let me -- let me -- let me counter that.


O'LEARY: Ninety-nine percent of PPP loans -- because all of my companies took them. We did it online. We didn't care which bank. We tried to get in the queue as fast as we could. We orchestrated it.

Let's take the state -- here's the data. What state was the most successful in processing PPP loans -- $1.8 billion -- the highest per capita -- North Dakota because they actually had an orchestrated banking system that worked.

And so my argument is why doesn't other states --


O'LEARY: -- look at that model and go that way? If California wants to have banks that are very aggressive in technology let them eat it. Let them eat it.

HARLOW: Kevin, I think Kaitlan makes a critical point here. It's PPP and it's beyond.

I'm sure you saw Bob Diamond who used to run Barclays, one of the biggest banks--


HARLOW: -- who wrote that op-ed yesterday in The Washington Post. And he points out the important fact you've got 40 percent of loans for small- and medium-sized businesses are from banks outside of the top 25. A lot of the startups that weren't all big Silicon Valley high- flying companies that got loans from SVB told me it was because they couldn't get loans from the big guys. Small and regional banks know their customers better, generally, and they are willing to give loans where some of the bigger institutions won't.

Don't you lose that if you lose those banks?

O'LEARY: You don't need all of them anymore is my point.