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New Day

Bob Baer is Interviewed about His New Book; Justin Green is Interviewed about China Eastern; Golden State Dominates Dallas in Game One; Tiger Woods Returns to PGA Championship. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 19, 2022 - 06:30   ET



KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Could we also try and get something that we want in return for voting yes for Finland and Sweden.


ATWOOD: So, it's an area to watch. The secretary of state is meeting with the Turks here in New York just this week.

HILL: Kylie, appreciate it. Thank you.

Ahead, a story that's never been told, the hunt for a Russian spy in the top ranks of U.S. intelligence. We're going to talk to Bob Baier about his new book, next.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Biden using defense powers to tackle the baby formula shortage. What that means for desperate families.

And, what to expect when Tiger Woods returns to the PGA championship today and who will not be playing.


HILL: In 1988, a KGB officer code named "Max" began to provide information on moles who had been planted by the KGB inside U.S. intelligence.


Their role was to help the KGB eliminate any Soviet agents working for the United States, to create a blind spot in Moscow for U.S. intelligence for years to come.

Well, that information actually led to the arrest of three American intelligence officers working on behalf of the Russians in the FBI and the CIA. There is still, though, a lingering question, what if it wasn't just those three? What if there was another mole who was never found?

Joining us now is Bob Baer, CNN intelligence and security analyst, former CIA operative, and also the author of the new book, "The Fourth Man: The Hunt for a KGB Spy at the Top of the CIA and the Rise of Putin's Russia."

I'm actually -- I'm totally fascinated by this book, Bob, and just by that premise, right, was there another mole? The book is titled "The Fourth Man." I'm guessing it's a yes.

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. Erica, yes, there was. And I have spent four years on this. The FBI has been very helpful. The CIA. People in the CIA have told me they have no doubt there was a fourth man.

He was at the top of the CIA. His knowledge of counterintelligence allowed him to avoid arrest. And as we speak, the FBI is still assembling evidence on this guy, even after 15 years.

BERMAN: At what cost? What was lost or, you know, the effects of having this person in their (INAUDIBLE).

BAER: It was devastating. It was worse than Ames, Hanson or Howard. He -- for instance, he gave transcripts of conversations between Yeltsin and Putin. I mean, I'm sorry, Yeltsin and Clinton, and took these transcripts from the White House, very top secret, and sent them to Moscow. Putin used those transcripts to effectively blackmail Yeltsin and wedge his way into power. He gave all sorts of military secrets, counterintelligence secrets, you name it. He -- there's never been a better placed spy than this guy.

HILL: It's amazing, too, to think that, as you just said, that this investigation, right, is basically still ongoing.

BAER: It is. As of three weeks ago the FBI was knocking on doors, making sure that they hadn't missed anything. It's at the eastern district of Virginia right now, the U.S. attorney, they're still looking at it. They would love to put this guy away.

But he played to win. He didn't take money. He didn't pass documents that could be traced. He didn't make -- he didn't do any travel that he couldn't account for in the CIA budget. He was good. It's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," only this guy is undoubtedly going to get away.

BERMAN: And what's the connection to Putin here? This in a way was Putin's guy.

BAER: Yes. He was originally recruited by counterintelligence in 1984, so continued in the second chief directorate. That second chief directorate became the FSB, which Putin headed. And the presumption is, when these transcripts between Clinton and Yeltsin were leaked, it was Putin himself who took them to Yeltsin and said, we know everything you're doing, beware, the KGB is everywhere. And at that point, sometime then he appoints Putin prime minister and then he becomes president.

It's a nasty game in Moscow, but he had help from Russians. And this guy, the fourth man, also helped wreck FBI investigations because he knew so much about them. He told the Russians about them. They adjusted for them. And these spies, like Ames and Hanson, could continue for more years.

HILL: And so -- and so it brings us to where we are today, right? I mean you point out that the appointment of Putin, right, led to this, you know -- not a black hole, but it led to us not having this intelligence out of Moscow, which can only be described as an intelligence failure you said. The fact that they didn't see the Putin appointment coming. An intelligence failure on par with Pearl Harbor and one that is still felt today.

BAER: It is. Erica, it is. I mean, look, we didn't see Putin coming because we had no agents around him. They had all been betrayed. And when he comes to power, the ambassador to Moscow told me, I got better intelligence from Moscow taxi drivers than I did the CIA. That's how devastated U.S. intelligence was. He's on the record with that.


HILL: I mean, it's something. Listen, you want a good thrill for read, here you go "The Fourth Man."

Bob Baer, always great to have you with us. Appreciate it. Thank you.

BAER: Thank you.

HILL: A deadly accident or a case of sabotage. New details about the cause of a China Eastern crash in March that killed 132 people.

BERMAN: And the CDC now monitoring several people for monkeypox as the first case is reported here in the United States.


The surgeon general joins NEW DAY ahead.


BERMAN: A new report suggests that a China Eastern flight that crashed in March may have been intentionally crashed by someone in the cockpit. "The Wall Street Journal" says a preliminary assessment of black box data shows that a human had to put in the directions to make the Boeing 737 Max take its steep dive into the ground.

I want to bring in Justin Green. He's an aviation attorney and former president of the International Air and Transportation Safety Bar Association. He has extensive experience flying multiple planes. And we should note, he did represent families in a lawsuit against Boeing after a 737 Max crash in Ethiopia in 2021.


Justin, great to see you here.

I put this up first so people can see just how rapidly this plane descended. Here's an animation. So, again, people can see the steep dive this took. And "The Wall Street Journal" reports includes this quote today, which I think is what's raising so much alarm, the plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit.

How would they be able to tell that?

JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Well, the first thing I want to say is, the investigation is still continuing. Everything is still preliminary at this point. But the -- what's kind of been released is the black box data. There's two black boxes in the airplane, the flight data recorder, and that's the data that's saying the pilot is pushing forward or causing what happened. We -- at this point we have some very important evidence, we have the radar data that you showed up before, we have video, we also have communications. But what we don't have right now is a readout of the cockpit voice recorder.

Now, the flight data recorder, as "The Wall Street Journal" said, will show what the pilots did. The cockpit voice recorder will indicate why they did what they did.

BERMAN: Or what they talked about while they were doing it, correct?

GREEN: And also whether someone from the cabin -- from the cabin broke into the cockpit.

BERMAN: So there is still that possibility. "The Wall Street Journal" also points this out is, it's not impossible at this point that another person came in. That wouldn't be on the flight data recorder if there was a -- some kind of intrusion?

GREEN: It would -- it would be picked up by the mics on the cockpit voice recorder but it probably would not be indicated on any of the data. The data is basically showing what the controls were doing, the control inputs, what the -- what the outcome of those control inputs are, but it's not going to show someone breaking in and a fight in the cockpit.

BERMAN: I do have to ask, if there is a pilot who wants to do something like this, what kind of safeguards are there in place to keep someone from bringing a plane straight down?

GREEN: So, I men, the first thing, pilots are probably the most scrutinized group of professionals in the world, you know? They get annual screening. They get psychological screening. But also they work in very close proximity to other people every day and they're observed constantly.

However, pilots are also human beings. So until there's actually technology that will prevent a pilot from crashing an airplane on purpose, there is that possibility.

Now, after Germanwings, where the co-pilot had intentionally crashed the airplane, and remember from that case, when we got the cockpit voice recorder, we -- you know, they showed that there was banging on the cockpit, that he was breathing all the way through, so that indicates that a cockpit voice recorder. But now there's always supposed to be two pilots in the cockpit with the idea that the other pilot would prevent the pilot from crashing the airplane on purpose.

BERMAN: Yes, there's pictures of the aftermath of Germanwings. It was so hard to recover that plane as it crashed in the mountains. And these are some of the pictures there.

You just talked about the co-pilot, the idea that there is someone else in there. Is there some way to have one person watching the other and give that person some agency to stop it?

GREEN: Well, that's -- you know, that's what they're supposed to do. And there was an event on a JetBlue flight where the -- one of the pilots kind of lost it and the other pilot locked him out of the cockpit and was able to safely land the airplane. So, the idea that two people are in the cockpit at all times is a very important safety feature.

BERMAN: As we said, there is the flight data recorder. This information from "The Wall Street Journal" coming from that. Waiting to see if we do learn more from the voice recorder

GREEN: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Justin, thank you so much for being with us.

GREEN: Thank you.

BERMAN: U.S. Marshals securing the homes of Supreme Court justices as Homeland Security warns of possible murder threats against them.

President Biden invoking the Defense Production Act in response to the baby formula shortage. What that means for millions of anxious mothers.

HILL: And, later, what Amber Heard's sister testified she saw Johnny Depp do as this defamation trial gets even more heated.



HILL: The Golden State Warriors dominate the Dallas Mavericks in game one of the NBA Western Conference finals.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning.


So, after a two-year absence from the Western Conference finals, Steph Curry and the Warriors certainly returning in style last night. Game one against the Mavs rather close in the first half but Golden State opening it up in the third quarter off the Luka Doncic turnover. Steph comes down the court and hits the step back three. And moments later, Steph getting a little fancy. The over the head pass to Draymond Green, and then he's going to go back and get it, hits another three. And then after that one starts just dancing around. You see Luka Doncic in the background kind of watching that.

A Rough night for Luka. He had more turnovers and field (ph) goals (ph) for the first time in his playoff career. Warriors pull away to win this game easily, 112-87. They're now 7-0 at home in the playoffs.

All right, and we're a little over an hour away from the start of the second men's golf major of the year, the PGA Championship, taking place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And Tiger Woods says he's feeling stronger.


TIGER WOODS, 15-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: There's going to be limitations. I mean there's a lot of hardware in there and there's going to be limitations to what I'm going to be able to do. And -- but I'm going to get -- I'm going to get stronger. I don't know how -- how much that is or how much range of motion I'll ever get back, but sure was a hell of a lot better than it was, you know, 12 months ago.


SHOLES: Yes, this morning, Tiger's grouped with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. A threesome with 22 major titles between them. They're going to start off the 10th tee just after 9:00 Eastern.

And, John, you know, Tiger made the cut at the Masters a month ago. He says he feels stronger. We'll certainly see how he does. He won the PGA championship back in 2007 there in Tulsa.

BERMAN: All right, Andy Scholes, thank you very much.


Joining us for now on the Tiger beat, intentional reference to my favorite teen magazine there --

HILL: Everyone's favorite.

BERMAN: "Golf Digest" staff writer Dan Rapaport.

Dan, you know, we watch his every move. We did even before the car accident. but this really adds to the drama.

You've been watching him. How does he look?

DAN RAPAPORT, STAFF WRITER, "GOLF DIGEST": He looks a lot better than he did at the Masters. In only a month he's clearly been able to ramp up his physical regimen, his training. He looks like he's less careful with where he's stepping, a little bit more confident in the strength of the leg. His swing has more speed. He just looks like he's livelier. He looks like a guy who's further along in his rehabilitation than he was a month ago.

But he looked good early in the week at the Masters as well. And this is the key, can he sustain? Can he do it for four days in a row? Because, at the Masters, did it for two days and then over the weekend he faded considerably. The leg just wasn't able to hold up. So, it's great to see him look this good early in the week, but we

need to check back on Saturday to see how he's feeling before we know if he's a realistic chance to contend this weekend.

HILL: You know, it's interesting, listening him to talk about, you know, he's got all this hardware in there now. There's certain -- you know, you have certain limitations. But the fact that you noticed, too, that he seems to be stepping with more, I'm paraphrasing here, but stepping with more confidence when he's out there. I mean I would think that that would show Tiger, who's always had a very tough mental game, right, there's a mental element to what we're seeing in terms of that development over the last month. It's going to be key as well.

RAPAPORT: One hundred percent. And, you know, I think if there's one person who could do it mentally, who can convince himself that it doesn't hurt as bad as it does and that he's not as limited, it's Tiger. I mean this guy is -- he's a cyborg.

And it's just so fascinating to me that he -- he can swing fine and it's been the case really since we saw him for the first time in December. Like, swinging isn't the problem. He has a bunch of speed. He can hit it nicely. It's just walking. It's, can he walk? And this course is hilly, hence the name Southern Hills, but it's not -- not as hilly as Augusta National. So I think that will play into his hands nicely.

BERMAN: So, Tiger Woods is playing. Phil Mickelson, the defending PGA champ, is not. And, of course, you know, the relationship between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is one of the most analyzed in any sport over the last 25 years.

I want to play some sound of Tiger -- somewhat tortured response to Tiger being asked about the fact that Mickelson's not there.


TIGER WOODS, GOLFER AND 16-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: It's always disappointing when the defending champion is not here. Phil is -- has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the tour and committed to the legacy of the tour have pushed back against. And he's taken some personal time. And we all understand that. But I think that some of his views on how the tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there.


BERMAN: He also said he just hasn't talked to Phil Mickelson.

RAPAPORT: Yes, I mean, look, these guys have never been best friends. That's been very clear. They appeared to be kind of softening toward each other over the last five or so years. Remember, they played that match against each other in Las Vegas in 2018.

But, yes, I mean, Phil has very strong opinions about what he thinks the tour has done wrong and what he thinks the tour can do in the future and Tiger does not agree. And I think he made that extremely, unmistakably clear on Tuesday.

And, look, everyone's upset that Phil's not here. You know, like, no matter how you feel about what he said or how you feel about this Saudi league that has started all this drama in our world, like, the fact that the defending champion, one year after maybe the crowning achievement of his entire career, becoming the oldest major winner ever, winning his sixth major, the fact that he isn't here is kind of a sad state of affairs. I think it says -- shows you that Phil's going through some stuff in his life because I don't think people wouldn't forgive him. Like, I think if he showed up this week people would receive him -- maybe not Tiger -- but people would receive him with open arms and be happy that he's there. So the fact that he's not here, I don't think it's because he's sort of afraid of the fans. I think it's because of what going on in his personal life.

BERMAN: Yes, it does seem as if something's bigger -- something bigger is going on there.

And just one other note, Tiger Woods is so diplomatic. You know, you can see him navigating his way through that answer there. That's almost as far as he'll ever go criticizing someone publicly like that.

Dan Rapaport, glad you're there. We'll check back in with you over the next few days.

RAPAPORT: Sounds good. Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: And NEW DAY continues right now.

I'm John Berman, with Erica Hill, on this NEW DAY.

A new move by President Biden. He invokes his defense powers to battle the U.S. baby formula shortage.

Plus, the Dow is down. Gas prices are up. Economic fears felt around the globe this morning.

HILL: As the president begins his Asia trip today, the U.S. is prepping for all scenarios if North Korea fires a missile.


And, the deadlocked Senate race that could shape control of Congress tightening this morning as Mehmet Oz's lead shrinks.