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Pence Breaks with Trump; Funeral for A Slain Journalist Turns Violent; Passenger Lands Plane. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 13, 2022 - 08:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Pence knows that everyone is noticing this, David. It's not like Mike Pence is sneakily walking into Georgia for this announcement.


BERMAN: He knows that it's going to make waves.

AXELROD: Yes. Absolutely. No, I think there's a message here. There's a statement here. And there's a chance to inflict a loss on someone who may be a rival in 2024 in seeking the presidency. So, the political logic of Pence going in is very, very clear.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, totally. When you see these poll numbers, it's not that surprising. Some of Pence's own former staffers are working for Kemp.

But, David, I do have a question about what's going to happen next Tuesday in Pennsylvania because there has been a very fascinating primary playing out there.


COLLINS: There are now concerns in the former president's orbit about Kathy Barnette, who has been this rising, far right star in this race, who's really come out of nowhere when you talk to people who have been watching this, paying attention closely. And there's not a lot known about her. But I wonder what your view of what we could see happen on Tuesday night is.

AXELROD: Yes, this is a fascinating story because for many, many weeks there -- David McCormick and Dr. Oz have been battling each other in Pennsylvania. Oz being the president's choice. McCormick, a former financier, who was the choice of regular Republicans, and they both made very convincing arguments and opened up a path for a third candidate. That often happens in politics. And here comes Kathy Barnette, someone who Steve Bannon describes as ultra-MAGA, and she's running up the middle. And right now, if you were betting, she's got as good a chance as anyone to win this primary. So, I think she's taken everyone by surprise here. And there's very little time to stop this train. BERMAN: Yes, it is interesting. The former president put out a

statement yesterday. He's backing Mehmet Oz, obviously. He's saying, well, we don't know a lot about Kathy Barnette, but he also hedged his bets.

AXELROD: He did.

BERMAN: He says, well, but if she win, you know, that's great, and I'll back her 100 percent. So that was very interesting there.

AXELROD: Yes. I know.

BERMAN: David, I want to ask you about our friend, David Gergen, who has got a book out about how he wants to see leadership passed to the next generation.


BERMAN: Among both Republicans and Democrats. And he says he doesn't think that either Donald Trump or President Joe Biden should run again in 2024. I want to focus on the part about President Biden because that's interesting. You don't see incumbent presidents not run for re- election anymore.

What do you think of David's assessment there? Do you think that for the good of the party and the good of the country that the president shouldn't run?

AXELROD: Look, David served four presidents. I sat in the office next to a president for two years. And we both know how crushingly demanding that job is. And so it's -- you know, age was an issue in 2020. It certainly would be in 2024 if the president asks the country to allow him to serve until a period when he would be closer to his 90s than his 80s. And this is going to be a question. But that's only a question that he can resolve.

I think for the Democratic Party, the dilemma is, when will he resolve it, because if the president follows his normal pattern and makes this decision late, perhaps as late as the fall of 2023, it really doesn't leave much time for other candidates to emerge. And it will change the nature of any primary for 2024.

So, I think there are a lot of Democrats who are going to feel tense as the year goes on and he reserves the option. So, there will be a lot of pressure on him to make a decision.

COLLINS: Yes, and, David, this isn't just a conversation that critics of President Biden have. It's one his own aides have, some of his most loyal allies.


COLLINS: That's just a part of reality. And so I do wonder, you're saying that if he's not going to run for re-election, which, I think, is pretty hard for a lot of people in the West Wing right now to imagine happening, when do you think would be a good time? You were saying he shouldn't wait. When do you think that would be the best time for him to make that announcement?

AXELROD: Well, for the Democratic Party, and maybe for the country, early in 2023 would be optimal because that would allow candidates who aren't necessarily well known to put a campaign together and make their case to the country. If he does it in the fall, it really reserves the race to the vice president and others who have run before or celebrities or billionaires. And -- because there's not much time between September and when the voting begins in early 2024. So, I think it would be -- it would be important for him to make his intentions clear early.

But, you know, he's always said, Kaitlan, and you've reported this many times, if I feel like I can do it, then I will run. So that is -- that would be an argument for going late. And I think he's set up the predicate for going late.


And he's also said, if Trump runs, I'll run. And there are a lot of people saying, you beat Trump once, you can beat him again. So, I think there's going to be a lot of drama surrounding this decision well into 2023.

I guess it was, what, Lyndon Johnson who was the last president who could have run for re-election that didn't. And he didn't decide until March of 1968. That would be very late in the cycle.

David Axelrod, great to see you. Thank you so much for being with us.

AXELROD: Good to see you guys. Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, moments ago, the funeral for a slain journalist turns violent. As you can see, Israeli police using batons to beat back the crowds that were carrying the coffin. We are live in Jerusalem, next.

COLLINS: We're also live outside a courthouse in Kyiv where the first trial for Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians is getting underway for that man right there.


COLLINS: Happening now, Israeli police using batons to beat crowds carrying the coffin of the al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as thousands gathered for her funeral procession.


Abu Akleh was shot dead Wednesday while reporting on Israeli military raids in the West Bank.

CNN's Atika Shubert is live in Jerusalem.

And, Atika, what can you tell us about what you're seeing on the ground there this morning? ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: Yes, I'm actually at the Mount Zion Cemetery and the funeral procession has just arrived. If you -- I'm going to spin the camera over here a little bit so you can see the coffin now being carried of Shireen Abu Akleh. And you can see there, so many people have come here today to grieve for her, to mourn her, and to show their respects and their solidarity for her and her work. It's been a very tense, a very emotional day. Thousands of people, thousands of Palestinians have come out to show their support of her.

We were actually earlier at St. Joseph's Hospital, where her body was being prepared, and where her family was waiting. They had hoped to have the funeral procession from there, walking them to -- walking her to the church and then here, but Israeli police did not allow it. And when they tried to do that, Israeli police moved in with tear gas and flash grenades to disperse the mourners, attacking at one point the pallbearers that were carrying the coffin. And the coffin nearly fell.

It was a very tense situation. The family, however, stepped in and took the decision not to do the funeral procession from there. And there the Israeli police then backed out of the hospital grounds, did pin several people in, but the family were allowed to come out and allowed to have this funeral procession go on.

So what you're seeing now is the thousands of people that have come to join in mourning Shireen. And so they're streaming in from the old city of Jerusalem. They just keep coming in. You can see there, a Palestinian flag. That's very significant because we know from the family that they were actually told not to display the Palestinian (INAUDIBLE). That was a special request. But, as you can imagine, it's very difficult to control these crowds. And we now have seen the Palestinian flag flying throughout the funeral procession.

Back to you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, you can see so many people there mourning such a prominent voice.

Atika Shubert, thank you.

Up next, we're going to take you inside the cockpit of a Cessna, which is the same model plane that a passenger who had no flying experience was forced to land when his pilot got sick midflight. My worst case nightmare. You'll see exactly what he went through on CNN, next.



BERMAN: So you may have seen just the unbelievable video of a passenger with zero flying experience successfully landing a plane in a Florida airport after the pilot suffered a medical emergency. Air traffic controllers gave the passenger step by step instructions on how to fly the Cessna, locate the airport, and finally make this really impressive safe landing.

So, how did they do it? Joining me now is Nick Bollhorst, he is the chief pilot at Fly the

Whale Aviation. And he joins me from the cockpit of a similar plane like the one from this incredible story.

Nick, thanks so much for being with us.

Just before you give us a show and tell here, when you heard this story, what was your first reaction?

NICK BOLLHORST, FLY THE WHALE AVIATION CHIEF PILOT: Well, I was really impressed that the passenger was able to step up and the air traffic controllers really stepped up and did a phenomenal job of getting the crew and the passengers back on the ground safely. So, yes, big kudos to them. So, normally these situations have much worse outcomes.

BERMAN: Yes, big kudos, an understatement.

Let me play a little bit of the audio, some of the first audio from where the air traffic controllers begin to guide this passenger. Listen.


TOWER: What was the situation with the pilot?

PASSENGER: He is incoherent. He is out.

TOWER: 3LD. Roger. Trying 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.


BERMAN: All right, try to hold the wings level and descend at a slow rate. What does that look like?

BOLLHORST: So, for us in the aircraft here, this is the same display setup that that aircraft would have had. It's a Garmin G1000. It paints a blue sky, and a brown ground. So this is a horizon. So, actually, where it is right now, that would be wings level. If we were to bank, you would see those shift over. And then we would be holding the yoke. It would be about here, so while you're flying along. So then, to descend, you would push forward gently on it and you would start a descent, which it would show on the screen for you.

BERMAN: So, pushing forward, descend. And holding the wings level means what? Where are you holding on to that wheel and how are you keeping it level, if you've never flown a plane before?

BOLLHORST: Well, it's kind of like a car going down the interstate, if you will. Once it's going down, you -- it's just light pressure on the wheel to make any -- any major changes to it. So, the pilot would have been flying, the aircraft would have already been trimmed out and kind of set up to fly and cruise. So you really wouldn't need much pressure to move. Even this amount of pressure will keep it level or change your direction. BERMAN: And if you weren't flying level, if all of a sudden you

weren't level, how would you know if you're a novice?

BOLLHORST: If it's a beautiful day, obviously you could look outside and you'd see that you're descending pretty rapidly. But on here, you would see that the aircraft is pitching down severely. You'd see just brown almost. These markings are degrees and pitch for either up or down.


The aircraft would actually start letting you know that you're sinking too fast. It will tell you to start pulling up. So, it will actually orally let you know that you need to start making some changes.

BERMAN: All right. So imagine, you know, you're sitting in a cockpit for the first time there, looking at all these instruments, looking out the windows for the first time. Explain to us what you're seeing in front of you.

BOLLHORST: So, you would, obviously, have your whole display set up here. You have your power quadrant out in front of you. They were flying I believe it was 9,500 feet, so you probably would have been seeing the coast of Florida at that point. And then when it pitched over, obviously you'd be probably looking straight at the ground. That was a pretty sharp descent that it went into.

BERMAN: How are you -- and the most amazing thing, we understand, isn't so much that the passenger was able to keep the plane in the air, is that the passenger was able to land it safely. So, walk me through what this passenger is seeing, and how he is taking the plane down to that runway.

BOLLHORST: Yes. Well, thankfully, the -- I believe it was -- Morgan was the controller was a certified flight instructor. So that puts him in a pretty good spot to help coach somebody because as a flight instructor your whole job is to take people who have no flying experience and teach them how to operate an aircraft.

So, in a Caravan, really you have your power lever. The more you push it forward, the faster you're going to go. As you pull it back, you'll slow the aircraft down. It's very similar to how a boat would operate in that sense or any other vehicle.

So, as you get down to the runway, he was coaching him through reducing the power and applying more back pressure to the yoke. And basically you're just trying to keep the nose gear up so you don't wheelbarrow it into the ground. And he did a phenomenal job of coaching him through that. So it was a very good landing.

BERMAN: And if you are the pilot/passenger/beginner, what are you looking at there? Are you looking at the ground? Are you looking at the instruments?

BOLLHORST: Primarily you're looking outside. You're trying to get a feel using your peripheral vision of how much -- or how rapidly you're sinking to the ground. So, if you -- you know, you look out, you're looking out the wind screen here as you're coming down -- if you're coming down too fast, obviously you're going to hit the ground and probably get kicked back up into it. But if you're not sinking at all, then you need to reduce a little bit of power and come down a little more from there. So, landing predominantly is done by looking outside the aircraft. So, he would have been looking out the aircraft as the air traffic controller talked him through everything.

BERMAN: And then, finally, the biggest question was, he didn't know how to turn the plane off. Where's the switch?

BOLLHORST: Right here. So, this is your mixture -- I'm sorry, not your mixture, but your condition lever. So it would normally be up here in high idle for flight, low idle for on the ground. And you simply just take this and pull it straight aft, and that shuts the fuel off to the engine.

BERMAN: All right, man, you guys make it look so easy. I know it's not. But thank you for explaining it to us to understand what it must have felt like in that moment.

BOLLHORST: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Nick Bollhorst, thank you. Appreciate it.

BOLLHORST: Yes. Thank you guys for having me. I appreciate it.

COLLINS: We have new CNN reporting this morning. The intelligence community has launched a review into how it judges the fighting power of other countries after underestimating the Ukrainian forces and overestimating fighters in Afghanistan.



COLLINS: CNN Heroes highlighting those who are working to improve the lives of those around them. This week, Anderson Cooper has some tips to help you help them.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "AC 360": Since 2007, CNN Heroes has honored hundreds of everyday people making the world a better place. We shine a light on their causes, help them raise funds for their life-changing work, all while inspiring people with their incredible stories.

But the first step in the CNN Heroes journey is a nomination, and that's where you come in. It only takes a few minutes, and you can do it right now at

Just think about what makes this person special and tell us about them in a paragraph or two. We want to know about their impact and what makes their work unique. You don't need to know your nominee personally. They could just be someone you admire from a far. And they can be from almost anywhere in the world.

This is your opportunity to help that amazing person you know reach more people and change more lives and maybe even become the next CNN Hero of the Year.


COLLINS: And if you've got someone in mind, you can find everything you need to know to nominate your hero right now at

BERMAN: So, finally, we leave you with a story of abandonment. Cameraman John Reilly joined CNN in 1998 at the age of 12. He's been here so long that this morning show has had three different names, at least, and he has worked for CNN in four different buildings.

But it's all really been a side gig for him as he competed as a tournament fishermen and drummed in a Rolling Stone's cover band.

Well, now, John is leaving us, moving south, we understand, to be a shipping magnate with his fleet of seaworthy vessels.

I should note that only at CNN would we actually make you shoot your own good-bye tribute, but that's how we roll here. We know it won't phase Josh, even if I like walk into the camera or move here at all because nothing flusters him ever. I've never seen him fazed by everything. The most calm human ever and always just lovely. We're so happy for John, his wife Vicky (ph), daughters Erin (ph), Shannon (ph) and Megan (ph).

Congratulations, John. Happy for you, but know you will be missed.

COLLINS: I want to hear that Rolling Stones cover band.

BERMAN: He's good. He's really, really good. And he's a Dead fan, which is just irreplaceable.

John Reilly, you're the best.


Bon voyage, my friend.

COLLINS: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: CNN's coverage continues.