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Candidate Endorsed by Former President Trump Loses Republican Primary for Nebraska Gubernatorial Nomination; Audio Released of Lindsey Graham's Favorable Comments about President Biden after January 6th Insurrection; Russian Forces Stalled in Eastern Ukraine as Ukrainian Forces Continue to Hold Ground; Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Becomes Incapacitated; Interview with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) about Vote to Protect Abortion Rights. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired May 11, 2022 - 08:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Charles Herbster in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary. The Trump backed Herbster -- Trump did back Herbster, even though he is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied. Trump put a lot into this race. Don Jr. campaigned there. Trump himself delivered a nearly two-hour speech at a rally for Herbster 10 days ago. This serves as a kind of political appetizer for some extremely high profile primaries coming up, including Pennsylvania, where Trump has put a lot on the line, and the outcome anything but certain.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now, CNN senior political correspondent and anchor of INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY, Abby Phillip. Abby, so I know you were watching these. What does this mean to you? I know, so late. What does this mean to you -- I was asleep -- but what does this mean to you that he makes the difference in the congressional race in West Virginia but not in the governor's race in Nebraska, in the primary?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: Yes, I think there are some local factors going on here. Believe it or not, West Virginia is in a lot of ways still kind of a single party state. The state used to have a long tradition of Democrats having a presence there, but really it has boiled down to now Joe Manchin. And I think that result seems to indicate that the sort of Joe Manchin wing is very small, and it's certainly not large enough to overcome Trump's dominance in that state.

But when you look at Nebraska, you have the added factor here of an actual scandal, credible sexual assault allegations against Herbster in the last several weeks of this campaign. And it seems that even Trump can't overcome that. Trump may be able to get away with a lot when it comes to those kinds of allegations, but he can't transfer that over to other candidates in a lot of cases.

It's not the first time that Trump has endorsed candidates who have been accused of misconduct. He did it in Alabama with Roy Moore. He did it in Pennsylvania, prior to his candidate, chosen candidate dropping out of the race. And in this case in Nebraska, he couldn't make the difference in a situation in which those allegations were credible, and including one brought by a Republican official in the state, who I think voters -- they look at that and they say, who do I believe here?

KEILAR: I wonder when you're looking towards Pennsylvania what you're seeing, because what we see now say race that is pretty tied up, right, as you look at the Republicans there in this race for Pat Toomey's seat. What do you think this portends for that?

PHILLIP: Well, Pennsylvania, is going to be very, very interesting. There are a lot of dynamics happening here. But Dr. Oz, who Trump has endorsed, has not been able to pull away from the rest of the field. And it's actually a quite large primary field for Pennsylvania Republicans. And you're starting to see, people weren't talking about Kathy Barnette a couple of days ago. They're talking about her now because as voters are making their decision, Trump's endorsement is on the table, they are now splitting their vote between three main candidates, and Barnette who actually is campaigning as a kind of ultra Trump Republican is actually gaining ground.

And so I do think this is going to be really fascinating. You have a Republican Party that is very, very split here. There is Oz, who a lot of Republicans don't think deserved the Trump endorsement but got it anyway.

KEILAR: He's gained some ground.

PHILLIP: He's gained a little bit of ground, but it's clearly not enough that he is the clear favorite here. I think that most people who are looking at the race in Pennsylvania see it right now as a jump ball. And if you're Dr. Oz, that's not really where you want it to be about a week out from when voters go to the polls.

KEILAR: Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns out with a new book, and they have some sound actually of Senator Lindsey Graham talking about Joe Biden just after the January 6th insurrection. And here's what he said about Joe Biden.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC): He'll actually come out of this thing stronger. Moments like this reset. It will take a while. People will calm down. People will say, I don't want to be associated with that. This is a group within a group. What this does, it would be a rallying effect for a while, the country says we're better than this.


GRAHAM: Totally. He'll be maybe the best person to have, right? I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?


KEILAR: I wonder what kind of forecaster you think he is, but also what you think about what he said about Biden there.

PHILLIP: I think people should remember that Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden used to actually be friends, in real life, not just Washington friends.


And not long after Biden was elected, he would sometimes say, well, Lindsey Graham used to be my friend, and I don't know what happened. There has been a rift between these two men, and it's interesting to see that even in the days after January 6th, Graham still kind of was his old self.

But what has happened, and I think this is the important part, is that Republican officials in Washington are following the lead of the electorate. They all changed their minds about what January 6th would mean for Trump, what January 6th would mean for their party, when they realized that their voters didn't really care. And that's the lesson here. I think a lot of people wonder are they leading people -- leading the rank and file in a particular direction when it comes to Trump. No. it's really the other way around. They are following where the rank and file is. And the rank and file is largely in lockstep with Trump.

So I think that tells us a lot about where this is headed. You can't expect you know Washington establishment Republicans to do what I think some people like Liz Cheney want them to do, which is to say, right is right, wrong is wrong, we're going to go in this direction, even though we know that the popular opinion is somewhere else. Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, so many others, even Mitch McConnell are evidence that that's not really how the politics really works here. They all want to get reelected. They all want to remain in power. So they're going to follow the lead of their voters.

KEILAR: They certainly are. Abby, thank you so much for being with us this morning. Of course, you can catch Abby on INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY at 8:00 a.m.

And ahead, we're going to be joined by the chair of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Dick Durbin, ahead of today's anticipated vote on codifying Roe v. Wade into law.

BERMAN: Overnight, Ukrainian officials said that their troops have managed to push back Russian forces from the northern city of Kharkiv. You can see a yellow and blue flag flying once again in a town outside Kharkiv recaptured by Ukrainian forces. On the side of the road, abandoned and burned out Russian military vehicles. And drone footage shows Ukrainian troops targeting a Russian T-90 tank in Kharkiv. But more fighting might be coming. Ukraine says Putin is diverting troops north into the region.

I want to bring in retired U.S. Army Major Mike Lyons. Major, thanks so much for being with us. Can you show us what you think is happening in the Kharkiv region, the success the Ukrainians have had, and now the countermeasures being taken by the Russians? MAJOR MIKE LYONS, U.S. ARMY (RET): Sure, John. So if you go to

Kharkiv here, you see what is taking place here. The yellow on the map here shows the advances of the Ukraine military as they have gotten up every day to kill and capture and destroy Russian equipment. What has happened is now, you put a circle around it, it's now inoculated against any kind of artillery fire. So the city is somewhat safe now.

But these yellow regions here now actually threaten Belgorod if they want to do artillery. But now let's come and face east here. This is the next objective here, I believe, for the Ukraine military. As Russian forces are going to be forced now to leave Izium, places in the south and the Donbas region to come and reinforce this town, Kupiansk, which is the major logistical supply point for where the Russians are getting logistics and communications coming in. The fact that they have to withdraw from that main fight in the Donbas, in this region here, they're having some success here, Kramatorsk we know that's their primary objective. But the fact that they have got to take troops offline to this area to bring them back here, tremendous failure from the military's perspective.

BERMAN: So the Ukrainians are having enough success around Kharkiv that it, in a way, is hampering the rest of the Russian efforts in Donbas, they're having to move troops?

LYONS: Yes, absolutely. What has happened is the 20 or so battalion tactical groups that Russia deployed into the region after failing in Kyiv have been grinded up. They've been virtually spit out, and they've had to then move, let's say the 40 or so, 40 or 50 that have been in the region so far, and repossessed, replaced them.

The thing is, this area is just too big, it's just too big an area for 40 or 50 battalion tactical groups to try to do anything offensively, OK. So, again, Russia gets up every day, their primary mission is to take land. And they're failing miserably at it. Now, they still have tremendous capability to do that. Ukraine military gets up every day with one mission -- kill and destroy Russian equipment, kill and capture Russian soldiers. The bottom line is Russia doesn't have enough to keep them on the offensive, and it has forced them, again, to do things like this, come back to places like Kupiansk to make sure that they have the logistical supply chain that they need.

BERMAN: Do they have enough to keep it a stalemate, though, Major? That's one of the things we have been hearing the last few days. If Russia wants to stay where it is right now, what happens?


LYONS: Well, the equipment pouring in from the west is going to provide the Ukraine military the artillery in particular that is going to give them an advantage. And what I mean by that is a standoff. So if you put a zone that exists here, we can shoot fire, the Ukraine military can shoot into a deeper spot than the Russians can fire back at Ukraine in terms of artillery. So that's the advantage that western artillery is going to bring to this fight. And it's pouring in, pouring in with self-propelled howitzers, and also the toad howitzers, the ones coming in on trucks. We're seeing tremendously accurate and precise artillery fires in this region as part of this battle. They can hold off if the Russians don't move, the Russians don't learn, they don't maneuver, they don't break out and the Ukraine military can get that equipment to the spot.

BERMAN: Retired U.S. Army Major Mike Lyons, I really appreciate it. That was an education. Thank you, sir.

Overnight, an Al Jazeera journalist shot and killed in the West Bank. What Israeli and Palestinian officials are saying this morning.

KEILAR: And a plane's passenger taking control when a pilot goes out cold midflight. The air traffic controller who safely guided him down is going to join NEW DAY next.

BERMAN: A short time from now, the Senate will vote on protecting abortion rights with Roe versus Wade in jeopardy. The Senate Judiciary chair joins us live.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: A plane passenger with no prior flight experience taking control of a Cessna when the pilot experienced a medical emergency midflight. The small plane flying from the Bahamas to Florida. Listen to the audio from air traffic control.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane but maintain at 9100.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me, and I have no idea.

MORGAN: What is the situation with the pilot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is incoherent. He's out.

MORGAN: 311 Delta, roger. Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.


KEILAR: With us now, the voice from the tower, Captain Robert Morgan, the air traffic controller who helped that passenger land the plane safely.

Captain Morgan, it is amazing to have you here and have this outcome of this story. Can you just tell us what happened here? Just walk us through it. MORGAN: Well, I was on break and I got a page, hey, come to the TRACON

immediately. So I was, like, that's not a good situation. So I rush over there, I walk in, and the room is really busy, and it's just a really dark room with the radar scopes and they're, like, hey, this pilot is incapacitated, the passengers flying the plane, they have no flying experience. So I said, oh, boy. So I walked over to the radar scope and they're just like here's the frequency is on, and it was an emergency radio, so it's kind of a weird situation for us.

So just, like, kind of took a deep breath and said I'm talking to him now, they said, yes, you're talking to him, I said, well, I can't just be quiet, I got to start doing my job, try to do what I can do to get them on the ground safely. So I have experience as a flight instructor, so that really helped me to kick in, to kind of explain to him what to do. So I said, well, let's bring him to the biggest airport and so I just started kind of vectoring him toward -- to kind of parallel the shoreline and just told him to make shallow turns, slow descents, and I just brought him in to Palm Beach International because we have the biggest runway around there.

And I just tried to give him a nice stable approach. I tried to keep him calm. He was really calm. He said, hey, I just don't know how to -- I don't know how to fly. You know, I don't know how to stop this thing if I do get it on the runway. I said, don't worry about it, we'll take it like one step at a time. So I just brought him out for about an eight-mile final, just so he could just have a really big target to aim at.

And I just kept him calm, and he stayed really calm, and I just kind of talked him through the -- everything, I told him how to use the brakes, when he got on the runway and just to kind of reduce the power, just so he could start a slow descent to try to land on the runway. And about 300 feet he kind of disappeared off our radar scopes, and I said, hey, can you still hear me, because I didn't want him to get nervous, and he said, yes, I'm still here, I said, OK, when you get closer to the runway, just it's going to get bigger, that's when you want to start really reducing your power.

And the plane just landed, and he said, OK, how do I stop this thing? And I said, just hit the top of your brakes, and it will come to a stop. And he said, all right, do you want me to taxi off the runway? And I felt like I was going to cry then because I had so much adrenaline built up, but I was really happy that it worked out with nobody got hurt.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Captain Morgan, let me pick my jaw up off of the floor for a moment. I just don't understand, you make it sound so easy. And it couldn't have been that easy. And you're so calm, and you couldn't have been that calm. I mean, how do you tell a guy -- first of all, you've never flown this plane, right? You've never flown this model?

MORGAN: No. I have flown something similar, but not a Caravan. It was a Kodiak.

BERMAN: So how do you talk someone through this? Is it as specific as, you know, turn the wheel to the right, 45 degrees, push it in?


I just don't get how you explain so carefully for someone to do something they've never done before.

MORGAN: Well, luckily the passenger flying has been around aviation a little bit, but he wasn't a pilot and he didn't really have any flying experience. Just been traveling. So he only has seen what the pilots have done. But, you know, in the air, as long as they make small control movements, it is usually a lot of people can fly the plane OK, but, you know, like someone had mentioned earlier, landing is the tricky part. And he had a little balance on the landing, but he couldn't ask for anything better because we had really bad winds, but just since he was a calm person, and I'm kind of a calm person, we're kind of able to work together as a team.

And I had a lot of my co-workers and other facilities also participated to keep everybody calm and get him to a big runway, basically a big target he could land. I knew that if we could get him close enough to the runway and have the power back on the plane, that he'd be successful one way or another they'd be OK.

KEILAR: So you've got to meet him, right? What did you talk to him about?

MORGAN: Yes, I did get to meet him. So he came over after he cleared everything up because they had to clear customs. And he just gave me a big hug, he's like, thank you so much. And I said, man, I'm just glad that you're OK. And it was an emotional moment. And he said that he just wanted to get home to his pregnant wife, and that felt even better because I knew, OK, he's got a family and everybody is counting on him to be there.

But he was very thankful and my whole facility was really happy, you know. They counted me as the hero, but in my eyes he was the hero. But I was just doing my job. You know, I have a little bit of extra training with flying, but it all just kind of came together that day. I've had a lot of people give me instruction in the past, and kind of lead me the right way and it all kind of just came together.

BERMAN: Was there ever a moment where you weren't so sure? Do you even have time to think about well, what if this doesn't work out?

MORGAN: Yes. Those thoughts kind of run through your head, but I kind of just had to fight through them because I was kind of thinking, like, oh, why does this have to be me? But I just kind of worked past it, and I was like, you know, we can do this, we can do this. That's it. I just had to keep pep talking myself in my head.

KEILAR: Real quick before we let you go, you now have seen video of the landing.


KEILAR: On a scale of one to 10, you would give it what? MORGAN: He definitely gets a 10 in my book.


KEILAR: It was pretty good. I mean, you wouldn't have known.

Captain Morgan, thank you so much. I think it's just a testament to the teamwork that you two had, but what a beautiful outcome. Thanks for sharing it with us.

MORGAN: Thank you. Have a great day.

BERMAN: I hope there's a baby named Captain Morgan in a few months, right?

KEILAR: I know, right? So it is the end of an era for a music icon. Plus, brand-new dash cam footage shows the moment an Alabama inmate and the corrections officer who helped him escape were taken down by police.

BERMAN: And tensions rising this morning after an Al Jazeera journalist shot and killed in the West Bank.



KEILAR: Time now for "5 Things" to know for your NEW DAY.

The Senate is set to vote today on a bill to preserve access to abortion nationwide. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calls it one of most important votes senators will take this century. Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin will be joining us here in a moment to talk about what's at stake.

BERMAN: Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh fatally shot while covering the conflict in the West Bank. She was killed as Israeli forces and Palestinians clash in a refugee camp. A second journalist, Shireen's producer, was also shot and injured.

KEILAR: New dash cam video shows the arrest of recaptured Alabama inmate Casey White in Indiana. More video also shows White's return to Alabama last night as police escorted him to his first court appearance since his escape.

BERMAN: So James Cromwell, the actor, sticking it to Starbucks for charging extra for plant-based milk. PETA posted live video to its Facebook page of the actor protesting by super-gluing his hand to the counter of a Starbucks in New York. He eventually came unglued, literally. No word if he will face charges.

KEILAR: And it is the end of an era. Apple is discontinuing production of the last iPod model that it still sells, if you didn't know it did. The company says customers can continue to purchase the iPod Touch while supplies last.

BERMAN: I'm going to save mine.

Those are "5 Things" to know for your NEW DAY. More on these stories all day on CNN and, and don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning.

Today the Senate is expected to vote on a version of the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify a woman's right to seek an abortion. It would make it federal law.

Joining us now is Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. He is the Democratic whip and the chair of the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for being with us. What percent chance do you think this has of passing?

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): It's a long shot. We need 60 votes under the Senate rules to enact a law. I don't believe we will have 60 today. But every member of the Senate will go on record. Do you want to overturn Roe.