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CNN First Major U.S. Network on Ground In Port-au-Prince Since Gang Uprising; Former Vice President Mike Pence Says He's Not Endorsing Trump; Nightclub Shooting in Indianapolis Left One Person Dead and Five Injured; Continuous Danger of Severe Weather Surrounding the Gulf Coast. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired March 16, 2024 - 06:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone and welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Saturday March 16. I'm Amara Walker.

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Danny Freeman in for Victor Blackwell and it is so good to be back with you in person. It's the treat.

WALKER: We are inaugurating Studio 8.

FREEMAN: That's right. That's right. It's beautiful.

WALKER: It's doing it right. It is very nice. Welcome everyone. Thank you so much for being with us. Here's what we are watching for you. CNN is the first major news network to make inside the make it inside the Haitian capital after gang violence is basically shut down the city the situation on the streets of Haiti and the efforts to get people out.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year.


FREEMAN: Former Vice President Mike Pence says he is off the Trump train. The reason Pence says he cannot in good conscience support Trump this year.

WALKER: A special prosecutor and the Georgia election subversion case has resigned after a judge ruled that either he or DA Fani Willis must go the lasting impact of the ruling. Where does the case go from here?

FREEMAN: And workers at an Oregon airport make a shocking discovery part of the United Airlines plane that had just landed is now missing. That's coming up on CNN This Morning. The situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate as gang violence takes

over the island nation and residents are left with nowhere to go. The United Nations in fact says that 80 percent of Port-au-Prince the nation's capital is currently controlled by gangs and millions of people are now suffering from acute hunger.

WALKER: Now Haiti was thrown into chaos at the start of the month when gangs took over are calling for the resignation of the country's Prime Minister and his government. And since then Prime Minister Ariel Henry stated he will resign but it is not clear who will replace him or when an interim government will take over. CNN is the first major news network and Port-au-Prince since the recent gang uprising began. CNN reporter David Culver details his difficult journey into the Capitol.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to refly to Haiti. It's going to take us one hour to get there.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The logistics of this trip alone have been incredibly challenging to say the least. They're confirming with us something that we've been working on the entire day, and that is the landing zone trying to figure out where we'll touch down. And it's a very dire situation in Port-au-Prince.

Gunshots. Do you hear that? Already hearing gunshots just a few seconds into stepping out of the car after arriving here in Port-au- Prince. Our pilots tell us that they had been shot at previous trips. And yet they still intend to continue to make these missions as often as they can. Not just to bring people in who like us want to cover this and bring this story to the world.

But more importantly, to bring those who are desperate to get out. It's been a lot of diplomats in particular that have left but others are on the list. In fact, some of the pilots that we've spoken with say they have lists that are hundreds of people desperate to get out.

Of course, that is really a luxury. Many of the Haitians don't have that opportunity, nor can they even consider it. So for them, it's about having to deal with what is a worsening situation with each passing day and hoping that the U.N. or other foreign forces that might be able to bring aid can do that as strategically and quickly as possible. David Culver, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


WALKER" All right, David Culver, thank you for that. Former Vice President Mike Pence says he cannot in good conscience, endorse his former boss Donald Trump in the 2024 general election.

In an interview on Friday, Pence did not hold back saying it should not come as a surprise that he won't be endorsing Trump, as their views on various issues have quote, profound differences.

FREEMAN: And the former vice president enter his own presidential bid back in October and withheld endorsing any candidates in the Republican primary but he previously agreed to back the eventual GOP nominee. CNN's Kristen Holmes is in Washington with more.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amara and Danny, former Vice President Mike Pence unequivocally not endorsed seeing his former boss, former President Donald Trump.


Now there have been some questions as to what exactly the former Vice President was going to do. Remember for four years he was his loyal soldier, a loyal soldier to Donald Trump. But the two fractured over January 6, Donald Trump and his allies had launched a pressure campaign against the former vice president in order to get him to overturn the 2020 election results, which he refused to do.

Now, he did bait earlier this year raised his hand and say that he would support the former president even if he was convicted of a crime. But clearly, that has changed. Take a listen to what he said.

PENCE: It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year. Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years and that's why I cannot in good conscience endorsed Donald Trump in this campaign.

HOLMES: I will note that when former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the 2024 presidential race, Donald Trump called on him to endorse him. But that race between the two men did get increasingly more and more ugly. Pence saying that Donald Trump was wrong about January 6, was wrong about the 2020 election, was wrong about what Pence's capabilities were in overturning that election.

The former president responding that Pence was weak and he didn't have the courage to do what he needed to do on January 6. So, while it is unsurprising that former Vice President Mike Pence did not back the former president and also goes to show you kind of a stark difference here as we know that the, again, the former vice president was the right hand man to Donald Trump for four years, really one of his most loyal soldiers. Amara and Danny.


FREEMAN: Kristen Holmes, thank you. All right, for more than this joining me now a CNN political commentator, Errol Louis. All right. Mike Pence said this should come as no surprise. But let's start there. Are you surprised that Vice President Pence did not fall in line like we've seen so many other GOP rivals do?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, not necessarily. Danny, good morning. The reality is that Donald Trump has a problem. Why would Mike Pence with him in the first place back in 2016? It's because he brought along the old Reagan coalition. That's social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and defense Hawks.

And it has been something that Republicans have relied on for a generation. It was the Reagan coalition that brought them eight years of Reagan and combined 12 years of Father and Son, the Bush administrations. And Pence was sort of the last part of that. And it was really a key part of the coalition that brought Trump into power in the first place in 2016.

That has fallen apart. I mean, as Pence really just kind of laid out right there on fiscal issues, on social conservative issues. And in fact, on defense issues. Trump has gone his own way. He's now scrambling to try and put together some kind of a coalition that'll bring him back to the White House. Pence is saying that's not going to be so easy.

FREEMAN: Okay, but here's my question on that Errol is that, listen, Mike Pence, like you said he was brought onto the ticket once upon a time to boost credibility, in addition to build a coalition with evangelical voters, some of the most social conservative Republicans out there. I'm curious, though, does his word matter anymore with these voters who are such big Trump fans?

LOUIS: Well, look, every word does matter. And the answer is yes. I mean, Mike Pence, you know, before he went into politics, and before he became a governor and a vice president, he was part of talk radio, you know, conservative talk radio, that's invisible to a lot of us, but it's still a potent network that really unites a lot of people.

This is somebody who was supposed to provide did provide in 2016, just a small margin of victory, you know, let me win -- when Trump lost Michigan by only 150,000 votes four years ago, every vote counts, every broadcast every endorsement and key states, as we saw, the margin of victory can be really quite narrow. So yes, Mike Pence does matter.

FREEMAN: Well, let's speak a little bit more about that, because former President Trump's weakness has always been those more independent leaning voters closer to the middle. I mean, bluntly, can he afford to lose any of his hard drive supporters?

LOUIS: No, no, my answer that would be absolutely not. I mean, it would not be wise, let's put it that way. It would not be wise strategically and politically to just ride off the part of the base that helped him get elected in the first place.

And they're going to have to have some conversations, if not with Mike Pence himself personally, then with a lot of his supporters, evangelical leaders, fiscal conservatives, defense conservatives. Trump is trying to steer his way to some kind of a middle position.

And you know, that's not so easy to do under the best of circumstances, when you threaten to have somebody hanged. It's going to be that much harder to have that conversation, Danny.

FREEMAN: All right. But I guess the question is, is former President Trump really risk of losing those voters? I mean, you know, at least in the primary Mike Pence his message was not at all appealing.

[01:10:06] LOUIS: He's not only at risk of losing those voters. He's at risk of losing the election. If you go back to the early days of the Trump administration, he was in the mid 40s, to high 40 percent approval rating. You go and look at it today, or just a few days ago, he's still in that same zone.

Winning in politics is about addition, not division. And so he's going to have to add he's looking wherever he can. He's looking at suburban women. He's going to have to sort of make some kind of a deal with the people who supported Nikki Haley. He's losing part of his conservative base. He's going to have to make some kind of a deal with the people who supported Mike Pence.

I mean, that's just the reality of it. That's going to be I think, the dynamic that really drives the Republican nomination process, which, let's remember is not entirely over yet.

FREEMAN: But it may not be entirely over yet. But still, I mean, former President Trump just basically, I mean, he is the nominee in name. Now, he just basically slipped through Super Tuesday and more. He's remaking the RNC now in his image.

Do you see that these smaller cracks like Mike Pence, like Nikki Haley, still not endorsing? Does that signal that Republicans are united today or not?

LOUIS: Oh, no, no, no, they are not united. I mean, look, you got to add some other data points to that. Yes, he's doing great with Super Tuesday. He's got a mathematical lock on the nomination. And so that should play out when they get to the convention.

On the other hand, you got to look at some of these midterm election results. You got to look at some of these special election results. You got to look at some of these referenda in some of these states, including conservative states like Kansas, where they either failed or could not get a passage of very conservative measures.

And so, you know, Donald Trump sees their handwriting on the wall. That's why he's migrating on some of these issues. And so while yes, the formal nomination may be his, he's already looking to November. He is trying -- he and his strategists are trying to figure out how to get to the necessary electoral votes that are the whole point of this exercise.

FREEMAN: All right, well, we shall see the impact of this non- endorsements I think, in the weeks and months ahead. Errol Louis, thanks so much for your input, appreciate it.

LOUIS: Thank you.

WALKER" The lead prosecutor in the Georgia election subversion trial stepped down after a judge's blistering ruling on the romance between him and the Fulton County District Attorney. What this means for the case moving forward against former President Donald Trump.

Also, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly inching closer to a President Biden calls a red line and the ongoing war against Hamas. We are live at the White House with the latest.

Also, another scare in the air for a Boeing jet. The new safety concerns after an external plane panel flies off a 7379.



FREEMAN: In New York, the judge overseeing Trump's criminal hush money trial has agreed to delay its start likely to mid-April it was initially set to begin March 25. Well hearing set for that date will address a dispute over documents raised by Trump's legal team and their motions to dismiss the case.

Depending on the hearings outcomes, the trial may face further delays. Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying records related to payments made to conceal an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. Now Trump denies the allegations and has pleaded not guilty.

And 10 days remain for parties to file an appeal to a judge's ruling allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to stay on Donald Trump's election interference case. And Trump's attorney has already signaled he plans to appeal.

WALKER: Now despite prosecutors being able to continue the case it is still somewhat of a win for Trump as it means yet another delay. CNN's Nick Valencia explains how funny Willis will get to continue the case at the cost of her special prosecutor.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The lead prosecutor on the Georgia election subversion case against Donald Trump and his allies stepping down. He says in the interest of democracy and dedication to the American public and to move this case forward as quickly as possible.

Nathan Wade handing in his resignation letter hours after Judge Scott McAfee ruled District Attorney Fani Willis could stay on the case only if Wade goes. Willis accepting the resignation of the man with whom she was romantically involved writing I will always remember and will remind everyone that you were brave enough to step forward and take on the investigation and prosecution.

In his ruling, McAfee concluding the defense failed to prove Willis financially benefited from hiring Wade. But this finding is by no means an indication that the court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the district attorneys testimony during the evidentiary hearing.

Judge Scott McAfee wrote, rather it is the undersigned opinion that Georgia law does not permit the finding of an actual conflict for simply making bad choices. McAfee also describing Willis's fiery testimony last month as unprofessional.

FANI WILLIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: Even intrusive into people's personal lives. You're confused. You think I'm on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I'm not on trial, no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.

VALENCIA (voice-over): And her January remarks at an Atlanta area church as legally improper.


WILLIS: First thing they say, Oh, she's going to play the race card now. But no, God, isn't it them that's playing the race card when they only question one?

VALENICA (voice-over): The judge also saying reasonable questions exist about the timing of Willis and Wade's relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did your romantic relationship with Ms. Willis begin?


VALENCIA (voice-over): McAfee writing, the district attorney chose to continue supervising and paying Wade while maintaining such a relationship. As long as Wade remains on the case, this unnecessary perception will persist.

SCOTT GRUBMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't think it's a good day for the justice system.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Defense attorney Scott Grubin faced off against Willis during the case when he represented Trump ally Ken Chesebro, one of the four co-defendants to take a guilty plea.

GRUBMAN: I hope and expect that the criminal defense lawyers in this case will appeal this decision. And I hope the Georgia Court of Appeals has a different view than Scott McAfee.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: She's not equipped to do the job and that case should end immediately.

VALENCIA (voice-over): The former president's legal team vowing to fight on we will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place, Attorney Steve Sadow said.

VALENCIA: Trump's Georgia attorney Steve Sadow is expected to appeal the decision which could lead to more delays. Prior to these allegations surfacing against Fani Willis, she had asked for an August trial date. What's unclear is if she can get this case back on track for a trial before the November election. Unlike the federal charges that Trump faces, these state charges have different implications because even if Trump wins the 2024 election, he would not be able to pardon himself from this case. Danny, Amara.


WALKER: Nick Valencia, thank you. Joining us now for more on this, CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson, good morning to you. Always great to see you. OK, so Nathan Wade has resigned, which means that Fani Willis can stay on the case.

What's your reaction to the judge's decision, especially hearing the sharp rebuke from him? You know, saying things like, you know, Fani Willis had a tremendous lapse in judgment. There was a significant appearance of impropriety. What is your take?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Amara, good morning to you. I think it was right on the law and right on the facts, why? Three broad issues. Number one, in terms of the conflict of interest itself and actual conflict, the judge finding there was not. There was not this sufficient connection between a monetary motivation to move the case forward.

Why? Because the facts behind that right, what happened? The reality is, is if there was this dependence upon money and connections of money, the prosecutor may have prolong the case. Instead, they asked for the case to move forward. Quite expeditiously, there was a motion to sever the defendants meaning, Amara, there'd be plenty of trials.

They oppose that. Certainly, if there was a financial interest and you were making money, you wouldn't oppose it, you'd want to make more. And so I think as the actual conflict, the judge said there wasn't. And that was actually right, based on the facts and the law that applies to that, in terms of a perception of an conflict of interest, the perception, the judge said there could be. And as a result, he found that there was.

However, the remedy, meaning the cure of that was not to dismiss the indictment. The cure of that was to do what he did, which is to remove the special prosecutor. And as to the comments at the church, the judge feeling that there was nothing with respect to the merits, that Fani Willis says. I'm referring to the remarks that we saw in the clip where she went to the church Fani Willis did, and wax poetic about her being attacked because of the case, the judge saying they were illegally improper, but didn't address the merits and didn't really relate to fundamental unfairness to the defendants in the case.

So just with respect to the entirety of the ruling, Amara, I just found it to be appropriate to the law. And I think it was the right call for the judge. And of course, he's going to be attacked, and of course, he use strong language, as he should have.

WALKER: So then, how does this case move forward? I mean, do you see Fani Willis being able to effectively prosecute Trump and his co- defendants, also knowing that this is probably the most important case of her career and for the for the state of Georgia?

JACKSON: Yes, you know, Amara, she doesn't have a choice, right. She better be ready to prosecute him because this is what it's about. It's about the case on the merits. How it moves forward is I think there will be the appeal. Right. And, of course, the judge will make a decision as to whether to allow that appeal.

Generally appeals are done after a criminal case. This is known as an interlocutory appeal. And if the judge gets permission, the appeal will take place before the case begins, which will lead to further delay. In terms of the case itself, just briefly, it's about the merits, right? The merits of what did the indictment say with respect to what Trump and the other defendants did. Now 14 because four we know what pled guilty, three attorneys.

And so what now has to happen is that there needs to be a focus not on relationships and Belize and Tennessee and trips and cruises.


But on what if anything was done illegally as it related to Georgia law that needs to be right now the purview, the focus and the complete review of the case moving forward. If they do that, then voters, you know, will make decisions on the DA, but jurors will make decisions as it relates to the case itself.

WALKER: Well, speaking of jurors, I mean, it seems that there has been some damage done, at least to the public perception, in terms of you know, that the faith in the process, perhaps the integrity of Fani Willis's office. Do you see that potentially impacting the jury pool for this trial?

JACKSON: You know, so it certainly could. And I think that it's important -- it's an important question, and I think it's an important answer. But I think we get that answer by actually evaluating and assessing a jury that hasn't happened yet. And in the jury selection process, remember that there's voir (ph) dire, voir dire, as some would say, and that means that you question a jury. Have you heard about the case? What do you know about the case? Do you have any special inclinations? Are you supportive Mr. Trump? Are you supporter Fani Willis?Does any that impair your judgment with respect to listening to the facts?

And so before you impanel, a jury to sit on a case, Amara, you ask questions, you qualify them for that case. If they're not qualified, they should be dismissed. If they're bias, they should be dismissed. If they have any other inclinations, they should be dismissed.

But if you can get a fair jury to assess the case, then I think it's a game changer and the case does move forward on the merits. The jury hears it. And if there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt they convict unanimously, and if there's not, they acquit and the defendants go home.

WALKER: Joey Jackson, thanks so much.

FREEMAN: All right. Still ahead. As the central U.S. picks up the pieces from deadly tornado outbreaks, that same storm system is now setting its sights on the south east. We'll take a look at your forecast coming up next.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WALKER: We're following a developing story out of Indianapolis this morning. One person is dead, five others injured following a shooting inside a nightclub. It happened early this morning at a club in Broad Ripple, an Indianapolis neighborhood, known for its nightlife. Police have not identified the victims and they say they have a suspect.

14 million people are facing severe weather threats this morning as the Gulf Coast Braces for more storms.

FREEMAN: And over the last few days, parts of the Midwest were battered by powerful storms and tornadoes, resulting in the loss of at least three lives and widespread destruction of homes and businesses.

For more on this, we have meteorologist Allison Chinchar here. She's in the CNN Weather Center right now, Allison, just tell us where are the greatest threats right now?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All right. So, unfortunately, it's not in the same places that we had the storms on Thursday. That will allow those folks to get the cleanup process done in recovery of everything that they lost on Thursday.

And you can see some of the damage here. This was from Winchester, Indiana. Again, you can see all the, kind of, debris back there. This was one of the tornadoes. We had several on Thursday. This was one of them in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Again, you can see some of the debris being lofted up very high into the air, and it was one of many. We had about 21 total tornado reports, nearly 200 damaging wind reports, and almost -- over 250 hail reports. Some of those larger than grapefruits.

Now, for the focus for today, it's all along this cold front here, and the bulk of it focused today is really going to be across portions of Texas as well as Louisiana. So, you're talking Lafayette, all the way down towards Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Houston also going to be into the mix today.

The main threats here are damaging winds. We could have a possible tornado, but large hail, especially larger than golf balls, is really going to be a big concern across Southern Texas this afternoon and into the evening. Because of the slow-moving nature, there's also the potential for some flooding. A lot of those training storms hitting the same areas over and over again.

Overall, though, the most widespread areas likely only picking up about two, maybe three inches, but a couple spots could pick up as much as, say, three or even four. And then it is a cold front, which means you've got a lot of cold air coming in back behind it. So, a lot of the Midwest, Northeast and then eventually down into the Southeast are going to see a big temperature drop coming up early next week.

FREEMAN: Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

All right. Coming up, Senator Chuck Schumer sounds off on Israel. His sharp criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and how President Biden is responding, all of that coming up ahead.



FREEMAN: President Biden is responding to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's speech where he sharply criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and called for new leadership in Israel.

WALKER: Here is what Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Nobody expects Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the things that must be done to break the cycle of violence. I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government.


WALKER: CNN's Camila DeChalus joining us now from the White House. Hi there, Camila. Tell us more about how President Biden reacted to the top Democrat's stance on Prime Minister Netanyahu.

CAMILA DECHALUS, CNN REPORTER: Well, good morning. President Biden responded pretty positively to Schumer's remarks and said that he ultimately understood why the senator is now calling for new elections to be held in Israel. Take a quick listen to what Biden had to say yesterday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He made a good speech, and I think he expressed a serious concern, shared not only by him but by many Americans.


DECHALUS: Now, as you can see in Biden's remarks, he's acknowledging how Schumer and his recent comments are really reflecting the larger sentiments that a lot of Americans have, who are concerned about the leadership in Israel and how the Israeli government is carrying out its military operations in Gaza.


FREEMAN: Well -- and Camila, if I may, while we're talking about Netanyahu, I understand he's approved a plan of action for the southern Gazan city of Rafah. Well, Biden said before that an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be a red line. What is the White House making of this latest move?

DECHALUS: Well, at this point in time, the White House has said they have not seen the plan and just reaffirmed that they are committed to trying to broker a temporary ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. But when responding just to comments about this report, they really emphasized the need for Israel to put more protocols in place to protect innocent civilian lives in Gaza while they carry out its military operations.

Now, that has been a really contentious point between Israel and the U.S. Biden has repeatedly called on the Israeli government to take more steps and take more precaution when it comes to civilians in Gaza as it carries out its military operations. So, that is something that we're going to keep hearing from the White House, is just really this need for Israel to really protect innocent civilian lives as it carries out its military operations.

WALKER: All right. Camila DeChalus, thank you very much. Live for us there at the White House.

Joining me now to discuss is former U.S. State Department Middle East Negotiator Aaron David Miller. Aaron, good morning to you. First off, I just want to get your reaction to Chuck Schumer's remarks. I mean, this is a -- the top Democrat in Congress, a Senate majority leader. He's the highest-ranking Jewish-American in U.S. government. And of course, also hearing President Biden saying he basically supports those comments. What's your take?

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATOR: I guess my -- thanks for having me, Amara. My take, I guess, is that in decades of following this issue under both Republican and Democratic administrations, no Senate majority leader, no pro-Israeli politician has ever, ever given a speech which is as bold and clear, calling literally, for the removal of the current Israeli prime minister in an electoral process.

I think what it reflects are two things. Number one, there's a huge growing divide between the democratic establishment, longtime supporters of the state of Israel and the current Israeli government. No surprise there. And second, given the Republican reaction, it really does reflect the reality that Israel, like so many other issues in our argued culture today has now become a polarizing rather than a unifying issue.

The Israelis, by the way, including putative successor to Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, member of the war cabinet, reacted very badly, I think, to the -- Schumer's speech. Indicating that Israel is not a banana republic and, essentially, the Americans need to allow the Israelis to make their own choices.

WALKER: Yes, yes. Of course, that reaction has been swift. You know, saying that his comments contradict longstanding U.S. foreign policy. How is Schumer's speech and his calls for a new election and its criticism of Netanyahu? How is all that being received in Israel, where we know, according to polls, that Netanyahu's support is waning.

MILLER: It's waning in the sense if -- that if elections were held today, Benny Gantz would probably achieve three times the number of seats and be able to form a government. Where it's not waning is the reality that -- inconvenient reality, I think, for some, that the vast majority of the Israeli public supports the ongoing war effort. And I think the problem for Senator Schumer is he criticized the Israeli positions on two issues, oppositional Palestinian state and support, I think, for a ground campaign in Rafah. And yet, those are two issues on which there is broad consensus among the Israeli public, at least for now.

So, I'm not sure what impact this speech is going to have, either on toughening up U.S. policy, or allowing the Biden administration to tread the very narrow line between a Republican Party that has emerged as the Israel can do no wrong party and a deeply divided Democratic Party.

WALKER: What are your concerns and what is your sense of how this ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza will be carried out. We just heard that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved plans for action there. And we also know that there is an intention to move displaced Palestinians from Rafah to humanitarian enclaves. What exactly is a humanitarian enclave when we know that there really is, virtually, no safe places left in Gaza?

MILLER: Yes, the Israelis claim they have a plan. Administration officials, at least as of today, have said they have not received a plan. Look, if you had months and you had the support of international humanitarian organizations cooperating, you could probably move 1.4 million people to safe areas where there's access to potable water, shelter, good sanitation and medical care.


But the reality is the Israelis aren't going to wait months. I don't think they're going to receive much cooperation from nongovernmental organizations and humanitarian organizations trying to surge assistance into Gaza. And I worry, as everyone else does, that how can you conduct an intensive kinetic campaign? Perhaps involving airstrikes as well as special ops in a densely crowded area without doing grievous injury and harm to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. I mean, Rafah, at capacity before October 7, it's only 300,000 people. Now it's 1.4 million with a huge population density ratio.

So, we're weeks away from this. I think the administration is hoping that somehow an Israeli-Hamas hostage deal and -- there are negotiations getting underway. Perhaps they'll be able to achieve one.


MILLER: But I'm very worried. Without one, I think the Israelis really are intent on moving toward the final phase of their large-scale military operations against Hamas in southern Gaza.

WALKER: And expectedly, of course, that the political pressure will only grow even more intense once this ground invasion begins, especially on President Biden and the Democrats. Just big picture here in terms of the comments, the criticism, the sharp rebuke from Senator Chuck Schumer and the support coming from President Biden for those remarks. Is this the beginning of a shift in U.S. support, this bipartisan support that Israel has seen -- what the world has seen for decades?

MILLER: Well, at least from the administration, we're in the six months of the war, and yet the administration had refused so far to impose any serious cost or consequence on any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies. The president is looking to try to find a way to navigate this because he's got to deescalate the situation there, turning them morally, turning him politically. But I suspect, Amara, that the situations could get worse, sadly, before it gets worst.

WALKER: I'm sure a lot of people on the ground would say they -- how much worse could it actually get? They're obviously living a hell there. Aaron David Miller, thank you.

FREEMAN: Still ahead, a new warning from Boeing after a cockpit mishap sent a plane into a 500-foot free fall. What it's telling airlines to avoid it all happening again.

And tomorrow on CNN, a new episode of the CNN original series, "Vegas, The Story of Sin City." Take a look at a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the '70s, you then have economic changes. There's stagflation. The oil crisis. These have an impact on Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really does represent the shifting face of capitalism in the United States. Now, it's not just about keeping your customers happy. It's about driving shareholder value.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At that time, you start to see the early part of what we recognize today as a very corporate Las Vegas. The feds were coming down on organized crime. So, the '70s in Las Vegas represents a period where on the one hand, it's starting to become OK to actually do business there. And on the other hand, outside of Elvis, Las Vegas isn't so cool anymore.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Las Vegas didn't recognize that it should be looking for ways to appeal to the youth culture.


FREEMAN: You can catch an all-new episode at 10:00 p.m. tomorrow right here on CNN. We'll be right back.



WALKER: This morning, the FAA is investigating how a United Airlines plane lost an external panel before landing. Boeing reports that the plane flew from San Francisco to Oregon yesterday without an emergency alert because the damage was not detected during the flight. However, after landing, an inspection uncovered that missing panel. Now, in a statement, United Airlines said, we will conduct a thorough examination of the plane and perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service. We will also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred.

A bit unsettling. Also, this cockpit seat switches on Boeing 787 Dreamliners are under scrutiny this morning after a terrifying incident that left several people hurt on a flight from Australia to New Zealand.

FREEMAN: Yes, so apparently this plane took a sudden plunge, and witnesses say some passengers were thrown against the roof of the plane. CNN Aviation Correspondent Pete Muntean brings us the new developments in that investigation.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Danny, Amara, it's important to note here that this investigation is just beginning. But Boeing alerting airlines to inspect a switch in the seats in the cockpit of Boeing 787s, together with this account in "The Wall Street Journal", mean there is significant new targets for investigators.

The account in the journal goes like this, the pilots of LATAM Flight 800 were being served a meal. Two sources briefed on the investigation say, a flight attendant pressed a switch on one of the 787's electrically powered pilot seats that slid the seat forward and toward the controls causing the nose of this plane to drop. This really flies in the face of what passengers say a pilot told them, after this incident on Monday, that the cockpit displays briefly went dark and they briefly lost control of the plane.


The switch in question is on the backside of each pilot's seat near the headrest. It's under a plastic cover, it's two positions that move the seat fore and aft on an L-shaped track on the floor. When the seat's all the way back, pilots have room to sit down without climbing over the center console. But the control column is in the center of each pilot's legs in front of them. So, you can see how sliding the seat too far forward creates a bit of an ergonomic issue than when you push forward on the control column, the nose can go down.

What will be really key here are the black boxes. The flight data recorder gets more than a thousand streams of data, including the position of the control column. So, investigators will be able to tell if it got pushed in a linear way, like the movement of these powered seats. They'll also be able to learn a lot from the cockpit voice recorder. And it's very sensitive microphones in the cockpit that pick up ambient noise. So, if there was a struggle with the seat or somebody saying, stop moving the seat, that sound should likely get picked up.

The pieces are coming together in what sounds like an unintentional accident, not a Boeing caused incident. But even still, Boeing is issuing a warning saying that airlines should inspect these planes at the next possible opportunity. Danny, Amara.

WALKER: I mean, I used to be -- years ago, an incredibly nervous flyer.

FREEMAN: Mm-hmm.

WALKER: Then I got over it.

FREEMAN: This hasn't helped.

WALKER: And now I'm back to being a nervous flyer. I mean -- and I religiously wear that seatbelt so tight now.

FREEMAN: Yes, I never take it off. If I'm sitting, it's always on.

WALKER: Yes, exactly.

FREEMAN: Wild story.

WALKER: Frightening.

FREEMAN: Pete Muntean, thank you for that. Appreciate it.

Still to come, aid workers beg for help. They're trapped now in Haiti right now in the midst of a violent gang takeover. We'll speak to two of them, coming up next.