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April Jobs Numbers; White House to React to Jobs Numbers; Alan Armstrong is Interviewed about Planes; Rick Singleton is Interviewed about his Missing Officer. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 08:30   ET



JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We don't know exactly why, but we've got to find those answers. And I suspect it's going to be a multitude of responses that we're going to have to take across the spectrum here of mental health. There's no one thing that's going to be able to solve this.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the military pride itself on preparation. I sometimes think that this should be something that is taken care of before it becomes a problem and that that's part of the culture change, but we'll keep tracking this.

KIRBY: I don't think we would disagree with you at all about that.

KEILAR: Yes, no, I know -- I know you don't.

All right, we'll keep tracking that story as well.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, thank you so much for being with us.

KIRBY: Yes, ma'am.

KEILAR: So, here in moments, the highly anticipated April jobs report is going to be released. We'll break down the numbers ahead.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: And a passenger walking off the wing of a plane. We'll see just how he got there.


MARQUARDT: Just in, the April jobs report. Let's get straight to the news that was released moments ago with CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

Christine, what are we -- what are we hearing?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Another very strong month of job creation in the American economy. And 428,000 jobs added back. This is the 12th month in a row of job creation.

[08:35:03] It's a little bit lighter than the average for the beginning of the year, which is an average of, like, some 560,000 every month. That's a lot of job creation. But, still, a big number. In normal times, a number like this would be absolutely blockbuster. But, remember, we're trying to dig out of that big jobs hole created because of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus recession. We're still down a little over a million jobs over -- a million jobs over the course of the entire -- the entire crisis.

And 3.6 percent is the unemployment rate. That is essentially steady there. We've had a couple revisions in February and March, but overall you can see this is a strong trend in the American labor market. No question.

And the jobless rate has come down dramatically from the worst of things in 2020, when you were looking at almost 50 percent. 15 percent unemployment rate. Now, we saw wages increase, you guys, by 5.5 percent. That's a pretty strong wage growth overall. That's one of the concerns that some economists have. They'd like to see the job market, believe it or not, slow down a little bit here so it doesn't spin off even more inflation than the economy.

As you know, the Federal Reserve is working very, very hard to try to tamp down on inflation right now, try to do that by raising interest rates. So, a lot of changes happening in the American economy at the moment.

For you, what that means, jobs are plentiful, wages are rising but so are costs in terms of inflation and borrowing costs will be rising. Anybody who's got a credit card, a home loan, a car loan, if you're getting new loans, you're going to have higher interest rates for all of those things. So a lot happening in the economy, you guys.

KEILAR: So what's the takeaway for people, jobs-wise, and also spending-wise?

ROMANS: The takeaway jobs-wise is that you have your pick out there of the kind of job you want. A record number of open jobs in this economy right now. And we're seeing that people who are job hoppers, job leaver, they're getting even bigger wage increases than that 5.5 percent I was telling you about. More like 10 percent is the kind of wage increases people are getting when they're leaving their job for other jobs.

For consumers, what I'm really hoping here is that we're putting in a peek in the next few months maybe in terms of inflation. I think that the war in Ukraine is going to be a problem for food and energy costs for months ahead. But in some of the core figures we look at in the -- in terms of prices, it could be that you're starting to see a peak put in, in terms of the inflation number.

I mean, bottom line, everyone feels really sour about the economy here right now, but what these job numbers are telling you, they're telling you the job market remains very, very strong here. And especially for people who are hopping to new jobs, they're seeing wage increases that are higher than inflation, you guys. KEILAR: All right.

MARQUARDT: All right, we're going to go to Jeremy Diamond over at the White House.

Jeremy, we understand that the administration is going to respond in a little while. What do we expect to hear from the Biden administration?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we'll hear something similar from the president that we've heard every month, that we've seen over the last 12 months of over 400,000 jobs added every single month, which is to say that the president is going to tout the fact that he believes this is a strong economy, a strong jobs market.

But, of course, we know that the reality is that Americans aren't quite feeling that. A new CNN poll out just this week showed that only 23 percent of Americans said that they believed the economy is doing at least somewhat good. And so the president, even as he is getting these pretty strong jobs numbers coming in once again this month, he is still confronting this disconnect that seems to be existing within the American population and with American voters in particular, which is to say that the numbers on paper don't match how Americans seem to feel.

And a lot of that, of course, is due to inflation. Something that President Biden has been tackling, trying to tout the fact that he is tackling, but Americans, a majority of Americans actually think President Biden's policies have hurt the economy. They don't feel like he is doing enough on inflation. And, of course, all of this is going to be top of mind for voters as we head closer and closer to those November midterm elections.

Now, the White House this week, after that draft opinion came out of the Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, they are hoping to galvanize voters, particularly women in the suburbs, to vote for Democrats because of this abortion issue. But, still, it seems that top of mind for voters, the number one issue is the economy. And that disconnect just doesn't seem to have been bridged despite these numbers that we're seeing once again this month.

MARQUARDT: Major question for the midterms, will this message about all these new jobs, 428,000 in April, breakthrough.

All right, Jeremy Diamond at the White House, Christine Romans in New York, thanks so much for breaking that down for us.

We do continue to follow the news out of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine. That is where the next stage of evacuations are apparently underway at the besieged Azovstal steel plant, which Russia has been attacking relentlessly. This morning, fighters there, Ukrainian fighters, are saying that Russian forces fired at a car that was trying to evacuate civilians who have been there for weeks.

[08:40:05] KEILAR: And back in the U.S., did the Alabama corrections officer who ran away with an inmate practice their escape days earlier? The county sheriff joins us ahead.


MARQUARDT: Police in Chicago are saying that a male passenger on a United Airlines flight is now in custody after opening up the emergency door and then walking onto the wing of the jet as the plane was taxiing at Chicago O'Hare Airport. Now, it happened yesterday as the plane was approaching the gate. Police are saying that the man pulled the emergency exit and walked out onto the wing. He would eventually slide himself down onto the air field, where he was immediately taken into custody by police.

Now, United is saying that passengers and the crew were able to get off that plane safely. The man so far has not been identified and charges against him are pending.

KEILAR: Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Charleston to Dallas had a midflight scare after pilots made an emergency landing after losing part of the wing called the winglet.


The winglet is a curved piece at the end of some aircraft wings that reduces draft.

And joining us now to show us on an actual plane is Alan Armstrong, pilot and aviation attorney.

Alan, it's always great to have you walk us through stuff like this. Show us where the winglet is, you know, where it should be and explain what it does.


This is a winglet structure. You can see it's basically perpendicular to the wing. It's held on with ten very large bolts, and six bolts here, that gives it strength to withstand tosinal (ph) forces on the winglet.

The winglet has really four benefits. The first benefit is it increases the span of the wing. In pilot lingo, that's the aspect ratio. It makes the wing more efficient. The second benefit is, it delays the onset of vortices, which create drag. The third benefit is, it decreases induced drag. And the fourth benefit is it increases the range of the airplane. So, it's a very beneficial structure on modern aircraft. They've been testing these things since the 1980s and they found that they've had these -- these four benefits I just described.

MARQUARDT: Alan, this is Alex Marquardt. That part of the wing that you were just pointing to looks very solid. Is it rare for it to break off in the middle of a flight like that?

ARMSTRONG: It is rare. However, we should not be alarmed. It's not an essential flight control. It's not either a primary nor a secondary flight control. So, while it's disturbing, you would lose your winglet, it's not -- it's not a catastrophe. The aircraft flight qualities are not going to be altered significantly.

KEILAR: What does it feel like to the pilot who's flying the plane when it falls off?

ARMSTRONG: It's going to be almost imperceptible. It's just not going to be that significant. There may be some slight difference in terms of the yaw of the aircraft because one wings had a winglet and one wing doesn't. So there may be some perceptible yawing motion back and forth in your seat. But it should be fairly benign to the pilot.

KEILAR: Alan, we always appreciate the walk through of this. I don't care, if you're looking out the window and that thing falls off, it's incredibly alarming.

Alan Armstrong, thank you so much.

ARMSTRONG: You're very welcome.

MARQUARDT: All right, well, we're getting a new look this morning of the inmate who has been charged with capital murder, remember, who is now on the run with a corrections officer. The county sheriff is joining us next with the latest on the manhunt.

KEILAR: And, this morning, the Supreme Court is bracing for potential violence ahead of the anticipated reversal of Roe v. Wade.



MARQUARDT: It was exactly one week ago last Friday when corrections officer Vicky White and inmate Casey White, same last name, not related, left the Lauderdale County Jail in Alabama and went on the run and have not been seen since. Now, officials say that the two had a, quote, special relationship. The nature of that relationship still not exactly clear. The U.S. Marshal has now released new images of Vicky White with brown hair, in case she may have altered her appearance. We should note that those are photo shopped images.

We're also getting a new view of Casey White's tattoos. That's the inmate who's on the run. Casey White, his tattoos, some of them, linked to white supremacy. You can see the confederate flag right there on his back. U.S. Marshals claim that they're receiving tips on the pair's location from, quote, all four corners of the United States.

So, with us now for the latest is the Lauderdale County sheriff, Rick Singleton.

Sheriff, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

I want to first ask you about a local report that Vicky White may have tried to break Casey White out of jail three days prior, so last Tuesday. What do you know about that?

SHERIFF RICK SINGLETON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA: I know absolutely nothing and I don't know where the source of that information came from.

But I do know this, if someone knows for a fact that that happened, they're aiding and abetting if they didn't come forward and report that to us. As soon as we catch Casey White and Vicky White, the next order of business will be to launch an investigation into that allegation.

MARQUARDT: Is there any indication that there was a test run or a dress rehearsal?

SINGLETON: Not that I'm aware of. Like I said, if someone has -- obviously reported that, some of the local media, they need to check their facts because I -- there's nothing I know of about that. And if someone for a fact knew that they had done a dry run and did not record it, they're aiding and abetting. And we will definitely follow up and charge them if we can find out that happened.

MARQUARDT: So, as far as you know, the first and only time that they tried this, they were successful, that was last Friday. Here we are, a week later, going into another weekend, what do we know, what have we learned and where does this investigation stand?

SINGLETON: Well, when I left last night, we were still following up on some leads. We have a handful of leads that look like they hold some promise. We hope they do. I have my briefing this morning at 10:00 and see if we -- there are any new developments overnight. There's nothing that I've been informed of. But, you know, we're aggressively following every lead we get and most of them, as you know, on a case like this, lead to a dead end. But we do have a handful of -- maybe look like they hold some promise.

MARQUARDT: Just a handful. Can you quantify how many of these leads might actually be solid and lead to this pair?

SINGLETON: Well, we -- you know, the leads we get are possible sightings, those kind of things, and we followed up on several. We've had video footage from convenience stores. We've had a report of a Vicky passing a note in Florida. We followed up on those. They were not -- they were not confirmed. It was not -- well, they were confirmed, but it was not them. So, we're just doing everything we can to try to find out where they're at.


MARQUARDT: Do you believe that they're still in Alabama or do you think that they might have made it out of the state?

SINGLETON: At this point in time we really don't know where they might be. They could -- they could be. Absolutely could possibly still be in Alabama. But my gut feeling tells me they probably left the state. But I have no evidence of that. MARQUARDT: Casey White is 6'9". And this manhunt has gotten a lot of

attention. So, I have to imagine that he would be pretty easy to spot. Are you optimistic, even though it's been a week, are you optimistic that you're going to find these two?

SINGLETON: Absolutely. I'm certain we're going to find them, locate them. As I've said, Vicky White's been in this corrections business for 17 years. She's seen this scenario play out more than once. And it always ends the same. We always get them. And we'll get these two.

MARQUARDT: Sheriff, we're looking at images on our screen, we have been of the tattoos on Casey White's body, including a confederate flag on his back and others. What do you know about his possible ties to white supremacy, white extremism?

SINGLETON: I don't have any personal knowledge of that. I'm sure our investigators are looking into that. I don't personally know Casey White. He actually grew up in the county next to us. My own first dealings with him was when we charged him with this homicide here in Lauderdale County. I haven't personally looked into his background to know exactly what his connections are.

MARQUARDT: And have you learned anything more about this special relationship between the two of them?

SINGLETON: Well, the special relationship, we know that he was in our facility in 2020 when he was arraigned on these charges of capital murder and he was immediately returned back to the Department of Corrections. He was bought back on our facility on February 25th of this year. We do know, and have confirmed, that they were in touch via phone during that two-year period while he was in prison and she was still working here.

MARQUARDT: All right, Sheriff, we knows it's a very busy time for you. We thank you for your time this morning.

SINGLETON: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: All right, have a good weekend.

SINGLETON: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: Now more on the big economic news this morning.

The U.S. adding more than 400,000 jobs in April. What that means for economic anxiety.


KEILAR: Since the start of the pandemic, anti-Asian hate crimes have surged in the U.S. This week, CNN Heroes salutes Michelle Tran, who is providing help to Asian-Americans.


MICHELLE TRAN, CNN HERO: The day of our distribution, the line passed four blocks around the neighborhood, where people waited almost two hours to obtain a personal safety device from us.

To make the noise, you pull out the pin, and it scares people away. It alerts people around you.

It was simultaneously heartbreaking, but also motivating to see so many people come out. I think it highlighted the need and the fears that many folks like me are experiencing right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

TRAN: Stay safe. Bye.

I hope that our work helps save lives. That's our only hope moving forward.



KEILAR: And to learn about all the ways that Michelle and her organization are working to combat Asian hate, go to And while you are there, you can nominate a hero in your life.

Alex, it's been so fun hanging out with you for a couple days here.

MARQUARDT: Thanks so much for having me. It's been fun. Absolutely.

KEILAR: And CNN's coverage continues right now.