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Southwest Flight Makes Emergency Landing; Comey Seemingly Sticking On Script On Book Tour. Aired 12:30-1pm ET

Aired April 17, 2018 - 12:30   ET


[12:30:02] MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: -- there is one particular repair or part. Is there something in this engine maybe right from the manufacturer that was the case of Sioux City crash in Iowa where there was a flaw in the engine right out of the box for manufacturing and over years that flaw grew and the stress on the engine caused it to finally fail.

So they are going to look at the manufacturer, maintenance parts, anyone who touched that engine, because we want to make sure it doesn't happen again. Like I said, the plane could have been lost, many lives could have been lost, so they're very fortunate and the NTSB will treat this as a warning play. How can they stop this right now and find out there other parts to there and that's kind of a pattern.

If you have one bad part, maybe a manufacturing flaw, maybe a supply chain problem on the parts of supply, the NTSB is going to want to find that out and isolate that and put out a warning to other operators that would be real important develop at the ADG engine. Maybe the engine (INAUDIBLE) a life below it doesn't look like that from the screen, it doesn't look like an old plane, that's really difficult for me to see the screen.

So, that's what they're going to be doing, and of course their first concern is always the safety and the lives of people on board. They're going to look at that engine every way they can.

JOHN KING, INSIDE POLITICS HOST: And as we watch these pictures from our affiliates in Philadelphia live pictures from the tarmac. You see the first responder's fire crews and another right around that engine. Kristopher Johnson is still with us. You are a passenger on the plane.

Kristopher in detail like the breaking news right at the top, I quickly moved away as you were telling your story. I want you to take us back as we hear from our experts about how these things play out. You say you're at about 30,000 feet when you heard a bang. The pilot came on and said there was a problem.

Just walk us through, you said it was a drop in altitude and then it was a relatively stable landing from there? Walk us back through that again.

KRISTOPHER JOHNSON, ON FLIGHT THAT MADE EMERGENCY LANDING: Yes, it definitely was a stable landing. You know, we started descending, making a turn back to Philadelphia. We were probably with one engine for maybe 10 minutes. And, you know, I watched it on the Southwest that's where it's a -- we decrease altitude from, you know, 8,000 to 5,000 and then when we finally landed it was relatively smooth kind of a typical landing so the crew and the pilot did a fantastic job getting the plane down.

KING: And when you're on the ground, again, we have a report and we're trying to get more information as nobody's fault information often contradictory or it's hard to get a details and it's this guys that was rising to get off the plane first responders. We have a report of one injury. What was the scene on the ground in terms of the flight crew gets you off the plane? Were you taken to buses, ambulances on the ground? What was that scene like?

JOHNSON: So I mean they did a great job. They got us, you know, row by row, got us off. They attended to the injured person first, got them off the plane, you know, and after that, you know, we got our stuff and just get on busses that we know were heading through it, to the hangar.

KING: So we're told one passenger has been transported to a hospital Southwest airline incident here at the Philadelphia airport. We're going to continue to watch this play out, again, our compliments to the crew and obviously the first responders.

One person was injured and taken to a hospital and emergency landing at Southwest airline flight left New York LaGuardia Airport was in route to Dallas but emergency landing you see it right there because of that engine failure in Philadelphia, again our reports now are one person injured. We're going to keep tracking this breaking news.

When we come back, James Comey's book is officially out today. He continues his publicity tour and the White House doesn't like it.



[12:37:47] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the book in the making for some time or was there some watershed moment where you concluded you must write it? If it's the latter, what was the watershed moment? I look forward to reading the book.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Yes, you may have heard I was fired.


KING: A little bit of humor there from the former FBI Director James Comey for the Good Morning America crowd slitting (ph) moment of humor. One subplot of the Comey book tour is whether his answers might contradict anything he told the special counsel or might possibly undermine his credibility as a possible future courtroom witness. So here's a good test.

Take his answers about President Trump's pardon for Scooter Libby chief of staff, then vice-president, then chief of staff, excuse me, to Vice President Dick Cheney. Comey was asked about the Libby pardon in two interviews today the first for NPR's "Fresh Air", the second on Good Morning America. Remember, he's a potential witness. Listen closely.


COMEY: There's a reason that President George W. Bush, for whom Scooter Libby worked, refused to pardon him after reviewing the case in detail. There was overwhelming evidence that he lied intentionally to investigators and to the grand jury. To pardon now is an attack on the rule of law.

It's an attack on the rule of law. There is a reason President George W. Bush, for whom Scooter Libby worked, refused to pardon him after looking at all the facts in the case. It was an overwhelming case. There is no reason it's consistent with justice to pardon him. So it's an attack on the rule of law in my view.


KING: Not exact-exact, but as close as you can get to exact-exact. Now, all the law enforcement training, especially the FBI training coming into play there because everybody is watching this. If you the White House you're watching this, if you're the outside legal team, you're watching this, if you're in the special counsel's office, you now have to go through the book, and every transcript to these interviews to match up what he said to you that was a disciplined guy there going forward.

MICHAEL SHEAR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS: But you that discipline is also going to potentially limit the sort of wow factor as this book tour marches forward, right? Because if he's disciplined, as we think he's going to be, to only stick to the stories he tells in the book in a very literal way and not sort of stray into all sorts of other areas, then, you know, it's not like we're going to be hearing new stories going forward.

And so I think there's going to be an element of people saying OK, yes, we've heard all this before. How many times can we hear it? The book tour may continue but I think some of the interest may fail.

[12:40:10] SAHIL KAPUR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: The great paradox I think of James Comey right now is that in his haze to appear a political and above the fray. He made a lot of decisions that were politically motivated. He's very well aware of the political climate whether it was, you know, the original press conference where he ripped into Hillary Clinton as extremely careless. But, it was the decision to disclose in-depth investigation into her and not Donald Trump.

That exclusive letter, he put out 11 days before the election without knowing but if there was anything relevant on Anthony Weiner's laptop. These were all motivated in his own words by his awareness of the politics and his fear that if he didn't go, you know, far out there and be critical for that, it would appear the Democratic administration is putting its thumb on the scale. It's just remarkable to see that juxtaposition.

JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: You know, by his own words saying that the reason he came out, was he didn't want Hillary Clinton to be an illegitimate President had she won that in and of itself. As you said, it's political. This was more about protecting the FBI that it was about, I mean that's what it seems like. It was more upset protecting their reputation that it was worried about whether Hillary Clinton would be able to --

KAPUR: And, it backfired.

KUCINICH: And, it backfired.

KAPUR: Because it led to a president who is now mounting it and pretty unprecedented assault I think on the FBI.

KING: And so, in every one of these cases you try to find a historical comparison. And we live in the age of Twitter; we live in the age of Trump then there are other what's called the magnifying factors, the times we live in now. But, I want you to listen to John Dean (INAUDIBLE) from the Watergate days had some pretty interesting stories to tell. So, his lawyer said, don't write a book.


JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL UNDER RICHARD NIXON: I had long conversations with my criminal defense lawyer, and he said, John, he said, they're going inevitably, if you do a book, they're going to cross-examine you on everything in the book. They will -- you'll, you know, book tour, make statements that may be slightly inconsistent, which they will make seem greatly inconsistent. So, he said, I'm just telling you, you would be smart enough to do it. I thought that was good advice, and so I followed it. I didn't do a book. I didn't do interviews. I didn't do anything.


DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was good advice in dealing in the '70s with Richard Nixon, not in the -- in 2018 with Donald Trump who has a tool Richard Nixon didn't have, which is Twitter, and he didn't go after Dean, obviously, and he were close to the way that Donald Trump is.

KING: You think if Nixon had Twitter, he might have been calling him a slime ball, or parentheses, jail or --

BASH: Probably. Although I kind of doubt it but it isn't -- but it is entirely possible, the cultural reality of where we are right now is what it is.

KING: And one of the political realities right now is as that team Trump savages Comey. It's says, he tries to say, you can't believe this guy. You would think over the Democrats would come to his defense. Of course, they won't, because of the point you just made, they think he cost Hillary in the election. By coming up, are you ready about this Michael. This is from your piece (INAUDBLE) liberal economic advisor, was an advisor of the Clinton campaign, say, "The damage Comey did to the country by the role he played in the election far, far surpasses any credit, he now gets for calling Trump out. History will remember and judge him for the former, not the later," ouch.

SHEAR: Yes, I talked to a bunch of sort of ex-Hillary people, people in her orbit over the last day or so. And one person I talked to, when I put this question. Don't you want Comey out there criticizing Donald Trump? I mean, you all though think Donald Trump is a very good president. The person responded to me, we don't need Comey. We've -- there are enough people out there and they're just, you know, the sense I got was that they can't see past their anger. They can't see past their anger about the initial, you know, press conference that he held, the letter 10, 11 days before the -- they just can't see a best of reason.

BASH: And, if you know, because Comey's book and interviews are fueling that anger from saying pretty explicitly that he just decided to put out the information about reopening the investigation 11 days before without having a really good answer as to why not just wait until you know whether it's relevant.

SHEAR: Just note those answers and they --

KUCINICH: Let's not forget, they were on the plane when that came out. I remember trying to get a hold to people and then saying, we have no idea what you're even talking about. So, this came as not only that they -- this came as a surprise internally as well as externally, and they're not going to let that go.

KAPUR: They don't want any Brownie points with Hillary Clinton or attack in the mental --

SHEAR: Right there's really no contrition on that book about any of the decisions that he made. He sort of defense them all and sort of shrugs and says well, maybe I could have made a different decision but he never says, I don't think I should have made that.

KING: Anybody end of this, we can have a town hall with James Comey, John Dean, some of the Clinton people we'll put them on together.

KUCINICH: That's a really good idea.

KING: Yes, I don't make that decisions around him. Roger saw that went out there. Quick reminder for our viewers, the former FBI Director James Comey sits down with CNN's Jake Tapper, that's a one on one folks. That's Thursday, 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

When we come back, remember the big price, the President promised Russia and Iran would pay after the Syrian chemical weapons attack? Well, it's being paid at least at the moment by somebody closer to home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [12:49:40] KING: Quick update now and breaking news, we're following that Southwest airlines flight forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after a catastrophic engine failures. You're seeing live pictures right now of that plane, they did though land safely.

The FAA has issued a ground stop for planes at other airports scheduled to land at the Philadelphia International Airport while that is cleaned up. Southwest Flight 1382 took off from LaGuardia in New York was headed to Dallas. Of the 143 passengers by crew members on board, we're told one passenger has been transported to local hospital. We'll continue to get details on that. Other details on the investigation, we'll bring in the latest throughout the day here on CNN.

[12:50:15] Back to what's happening here in Washington. President Trump promised, remember, that Russia would pay a big price after the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria. It looks like, though, Ambassador Nikki Haley will paying that price instead. This is Ambassador Haley on Sunday.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: So you will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he has done already, and they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used.


KING: But the president put the brakes on those new sanctions. The "Washington Post" was the first to report this dramatic retreat and its story quotes the administration official saying Ambassador Haley made "An error that needs to be mopped up". And we now have the president's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow talking about this. It is clear there is still a tug-of-war in the administration, but it's also clear the president said, stop, don't do this.

BASH: Fascinating. This is just coming in from our intrepid White House reporter Jeff Zeleny who just talked to Larry Kudlow at the White House and what Larry Kudlow says --

KING: Mar-a-lago.

BASH: Excuse me, in Mar-a-Lago, thank you. What Larry Kudlow said of Nikki Haley, "She got ahead of the curve. There might have been some momentary confusion." I mean that's pretty stunning to have a top administration official saying on the record, dissing throwing out of the bus the U.N. ambassador. That's what I heard and I may I just add quickly on the broader question of whether the sanctions are going to take place, Kudlow told Jeff Zeleny about confusion. No, and then makes clear there is confusion, we have a set of sanctions and additional sanctions are under consideration but not determined.

KING: Not determined. But when she went on face the nation she specifically mentioned the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that's where this comes from. This was done. This was plan and the president said stop. The president who promised Russia and Iran would pay a price. Stop this. At least when how it's clear they're still trying to work this one through. But the president stopped it, and Nikki Haley who has been a star so far. This is smack down.

KUCINICH: His also not one to get a head of ski.


KUCINICH: Lawmakers trust what she says, other -- fuels other countries, trust what she says. So, this isn't -- I think you're absolutely right, and she is being thrown under the bus right now. Maybe if she and Tillerson didn't dislike each other, she should give them a call, find out what's next.

KAPUR: And it would be the first time the president has change his mind pretty rapidly, pretty suddenly, sharply on an issue and obviously what the White House ends up doing is trying to spread the blame to somebody else and not going to say the president indecisive or he's been mercurial about that somebody else takes the fall.

KUCINICH: Especially not Russia.

KAPUR: Especially not on Russia where his conflicted by all sorts of, you know, personal and political.

KING: That forces to House Speaker Paul Ryan was giving a news current saying it forces Republican leaders in Congress who have been thrilled that lately they would say, finally the administration has taken some tougher steps against Russia. It forces and it will lead a little bit trying to explain things.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I won't get into what sanctions should be applied over that, we obviously should be applying Russia sanctions. We have moved miles in the right directions on a Russian policy. Not only did we scuttle the reset, not only are we sanctioning Russian citizens, not only we're sanctioning Russian oligarchs, we're sanctioning Russia itself. We have so improved our policy with respect to Russia far more hawkish, far more realistic.


KING: Pushed on by the president, though, by many of the players on his own team. And now on this case in a pretty dramatic case after the U.N. ambassador gets out there the president hit the pause button.

SHEAR: Well in everything any time that you're talking about Russia and the relationship between the United States and Russia, it's always in the context of this cloud that's over the president about whether or not he's got some kind of ulterior motive for his policies and looked the combination of James Comey going out there over the last several days saying I don't know if the Russians have something that they are using to blackmail the president, and then the sort of abrupt, like hey, I don't want to do sanctions on Russia, you know, yes, there were some sanctions but he was very much pushed in the direction by Capitol Hill and others. And so it is always a cloud hanging over this president.

BASH: Exactly. And it's not just that, it's not just the confusion, and frankly, the intrigue about top White House officials not knowing it, it's about what this means internationally for our allies. They're confused and that's not good.

KING: From the strategic, communication, mess up, this ones on the president. We'll see where it place out. Up next, the state just held the special election. The Congress guess what? Now faces another one before November


[12:58:53] KING: Topping today's political radar. Pennsylvania voters facing another special congressional election after learning Republican Charlie Dent will retire from Congress he says in the coming weeks. Now Dent had said last year he would not seek reelection on November but now Dent has have to talk with this family and careful reflection he won't finish his term, no dates set as yet for the special election to fill that seat.

Chief Justice Neal Gorsuch -- Justice Supreme Court Neal Gorsuch just cast a deciding vote against the Trump administration in the immigration case before the high court. He and four other justices ruled that a law requiring mandatory deportation of the immigrants convicted of certain crimes is unconstitutionally vague.

The Obama Justice Department also defended the law in the case previously ended in a 4-4 tie after the death of Justice Anthony Scalia.

It's one of the busiest days of the year for the internal revenue, service tax day of course, and the online filling system, well, you guess it, having technical difficulties. The service to taxpayers use to file taxes online is partly down. The IRS says it's working to resolve the issues so taxpayers can continue to file returns. Today is the last day to file those returns, if you don't want to miss the deadline.

Thanks for joining us in Inside Politics. Hope to see you back here this time tomorrow. Wolf, starts right now.