Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

John Bolton is Interviewed about a Plot to Kill Him; Producer Price Index Falls in July; Adam Goldstein is Interviewed about Flying Taxis. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired August 11, 2022 - 08:30   ET



JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: It's not just a window into how they behave with their terrorist activities and sponsorship of terrorist groups but how they conduct their foreign policy altogether, including most specifically with respect to the nuclear weapons program. This is not a regime that can be trusted to meet its commitments or obligations. It's a regime that sees the United States as an enemy and acts that way.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: What do you know about how widespread this is, other officials who may have been targeted? Is it possible Donald Trump himself is on the list?

BOLTON: Yes, look, I don't know a lot of the specifics, but I think it's very clear that it's not just former government officials that Iran is after. We know of an Iranian American citizen in New York who was just subject of a near attack last week. And I'm sure there are others as well.

This is a case of Iran not simply carrying out terrorist attacks against American service members or diplomats in Iraq, of which they have done an awful lot over the years, but trying to kill Americans on American soil.

And, look, again, it's the nature of the regime. One of the first things that the Islamic Revolution did in 1979 when it seized power in Iran and overthrew the Shah (ph) was take hostage diplomats at the American embassy there. I mean that's the way they started off. And it's gone downhill from there.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm curious, it's an interesting moment we're in where there are a lot of people questioning institutions, particularly -- honestly Republicans are questioning a lot of the institutions here. But how do you feel about the FBI and the people who put these charges together, this charging document, and also the Secret Service, who have been protecting you for the last year from this threat?

BOLTON: Right. Well, I said yesterday, I expressed my thanks to the Department of Justice prosecutors and the lawyers who worked on it, to the FBI for the extensive work that they've done and for the Secret Service once again providing protection. I've had long experience as an alumnus of the Justice Department with the department, with the bureau, and, obviously, over the years with the Secret Service/ And I think overwhelmingly they are professional in their - the carrying out of their duties. And I don't recognize a lot of the criticisms being made of these institutions.

I may also say it's not just the right that's critical here. There was a cartoon in "The Washington Post" yesterday critical of the Secret Service in connection with a report you just had on here about the cell phones.

So, you've got the left attacking the Secret Service, the right attacking the FBI. I'll just say for myself, I'm a law and order conservative. I have been since I supported Barry Goldwater. I'm still a law and order conservative.

BERMAN: You're too young to support Barry Goldwater.

Ambassador, one of your jobs was to work in the Justice Department. You just brought this up, you're a Justice Department alum. So, talk to us about the standard procedures for handling a case like the search that happened at the former president's house. I understand that that's not a standard case. But in terms of people asking why isn't the FBI, why isn't Merrick Garland out there making public statements about an ongoing investigation, you worked at DOJ. Give us a window into what that thinking might be.

BOLTON: Well, I think it's absolutely correct that the normal practice of the department is that it does not comment on pending cases or investigations. The department speaks when it makes filings in court and when its lawyers appear in court. That is the practice. That's the rule. That's the way it should be.

However, there are times, and I think this is one of them, when the fundamental integrity of the Justice Department, the FBI in this case, are being called into question. And there's an obligation to defend what the department is up to.

It's a very difficult decision to make. The rights of the people being investigated need to be protected. The overall investigation needs to be protected. But confidence in the integrity of the institution needs to be protected as well. So I don't minimize how hard this would be, but I do think Attorney General Merrick Garland should say something because right now a lot of things are being said by a lot of people who know absolutely nothing about the circumstances, the search, the grounds on which it was conducted and a whole range of other things. In a more civil time, people wouldn't comment on it. We're not in a more civil time. And so I think the attorney general, it's a heavy burden on him, but I think when you weigh it, maybe it's a 51-49 decision. I think he needs to say something publicly and the sooner the better.

BERMAN: You do point out that this is being -- these questions are being raised by people who just don't know anything about what was behind the search right now.

[08:35:02] Is this in a way the tail wagging the dog? Is this allowing these people who were raising these questions, maybe for political points, to win?

BOLTON: Well, I think in many political contexts, the preemptive attack is the way to go. You strike first before the other side can define the issue. And I think the Justice Department is now being subjected to a pretty effective preemptive attack. It's got a very difficult path to walk here. I want to emphasize, I'm not diminishing the difficulty of them saying anything publicly. But I think the nature of the times we're in, forget Joe Biden and the White House. That's not the issue here. The issue is former Judge Merrick Garland and the integrity of the men and women, the lawyers, the FBI agents, everybody who works at the department is being called into question. And it's, I think, the questions that are being raised have no bearing on reality. But somebody in the department has got to take up the cudgels.

BERMAN: You - to be clear, you're not asking - you're not raising those questions. You're not questioning Garland's or the department's integrity here, are you?

BOLTON: No, not at all. I -- look, people have to understand, this search warrant wasn't dreamed up in the department and carried out on a whim. A federal judge or a magistrate had to sign off on it. So, if somebody's got questions, they're always entitled to raise them, but - but this direct attack on the - on the very core value of the integrity of the department I think requires an answer in real time. I know it's hard for them to do, but I think they need to do it.

KEILAR: Ambassador, I wanted to ask you about Austin Tice. John was just having a conversation with his mother, Debra, ten years now after he went missing in Syria, detained in Syria. And you wrote in your book about how you and I believe Secretary Pompeo would try to dissuade and were able to dissuade President Trump from just calling up Assad and asking for Tice's release.

Now we're at ten years where he's been gone. He's been detained. Do you think it would have actually worked and what would the trade-off have been?

BOLTON: Well, you know, I've heard that that's written in my book. I've looked for it and I can't find it. And I can tell you at least one reporter looked for it and couldn't find it either.

Here's the point of -- that - that I believe in very strongly. That the president's got a responsibility to try and protect all Americans, obviously including the hostages, but I think arguments about swapping for hostages really miss a basic point that you're putting the price on the head of the -- of future Americans who can be taken.

I can tell you, and there's some things I can't say, but I can tell you that steps were taken in the Trump administration, privately, to have conversations with the Syrians. They did not involve a hostage exchange. And they didn't succeed. Nor did conversations in earlier administrations. It's a wrenching, it's an indescribable feeling for the - for the

families and the friends of the hostages. I understand that. But let's remember, the president has an obligation to all Americans. And if freeing one hostage puts more Americans in jeopardy in the future, that doesn't benefit the country as a whole.

KEILAR: Former Ambassador John Bolton, sir, thanks for being with us this morning.

BOLTON: Thank you for having me.

KEILAR: Just in, another key inflation report. The Producer Price Index has just been released. We'll have those numbers ahead.

BERMAN: And Serena Williams lost her first match since announcing her plans to retire.



BERMAN: Time for "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

An informant -- no, "The Wall Street Journal" raises the possibility that someone with knowledge of the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago may have tipped off the FBI to the existence of such documents there. "The Wall Street Journal" reports someone familiar with the stored papers told investigators there may still be more classified documents at the private club.

KEILAR: And prices at the pump ticking just below $4 a gallon today for the first time since March. AAA reporting the national average is at $3.99, down from a peak of more than $5 in June. It's still about 80 cents higher than it was this time last year.

BERMAN: The CDC is concerned about polio spreading in New York. A senior official says the single case detected could be an indication of several hundred cases circulating in the community. This is the first case of polio diagnosed in the U.S. Since 2013.

KEILAR: Serena Williams lost her first match since announcing that she plans to retire. She was knocked out of the Canadian Open in Toronto. Williams is expected to play at the Western and Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, ahead of the U.S. Open.


CALLER: They had a small plane inbound and the co-pilot jumped out.

911 DISPATCHER: The co-pilot jumped out?



BERMAN: New 911 calls reveal the moment a co-pilot exited a small cargo plane midflight, shortly before it made an emergency landing in North Carolina in July. Officials say they later found the body of the 23-year-old co-pilot in a neighborhood. It's still unclear why he exited the plane.

KEILAR: And 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. Just go to

BERMAN: All right, just in a few minutes ago, a key inflation measure, another one, has been released.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans here.

What do the numbers say?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's a rare reprieve in this runaway inflation story again, John.

Producer prices fell from June to July 0.5 percent. Fell. We haven't been able to say something like that in months. The overall inflation rate, the factory level inflation rate at 9.8 percent, much cooler than expected. We look at a line chart of what that looks like, you can see it feeds into that inflation peaking narrative that we have been talking about. You can see the peak was back in March of something like 11.6 percent. That was the highest ever on record. Now, 9.8 percent. It was gasoline prices, the big driver here. About 80 percent of this decline you can attribute to the lower fuel prices that were really helpful on factory floors where they're making - who are making goods.

We also have jobless claims that came out just for a quick real feel indicator of layoffs in the American job market right now, 262,000. Last week's, though, was revised down. These are still historically low numbers, but they have been ticking up just a little bit. We've been watching that very, very closely to see any sign of strain, what has been overall a very, very good labor market.

But the inflation story here, again, a reprieve for factory owners and factory producers. Just like yesterday we saw those consumer numbers, a reprieve. However long it may be, many people hoping that this is signs of a peak in the inflation story, you guys.

BERMAN: You know, one fingers crossed yesterday after the CPI number came out. Maybe the second figure crossed after the, you know, Producer Price Index. Holding on, hoping for more good numbers.

Christine Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: So, you could soon call a cab and fly above the traffic.


BERMAN: I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this, but maybe you can. The new investment from United Airlines.



KEILAR: Flying taxis. Well, this may seem futuristic, but it's actually closer than you think. I don't know if I'm cool with that, but it is. Archer Aviation is working to transport passengers through electric air taxi services using EVTL (ph), which is an acronym for electric vertical takeoff and landing. The vision for these are that it will allow people to bypass crowded highways in an emission freeway.

I guess I am ready for that, though.

United Airlines now putting down a $10 million deposit to purchase 100 of these flying taxis.

Joining us now to discuss is the founder and CEO of Archer Aviation, Adam Goldstein.

OK, Adam, tell us about this. How soon will we see this actually a reality, if ever?

ADAM GOLDSTEIN, FOUNDER AND CEO, ARCHER AVIATION INC.: Yes, well, thanks for having me on the show.

So, Archer's building electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that we're going to use in what's called urban air mobility. So, these are trips that are less than 100 miles. And we'll use these aircraft to replace trips on the ground that are taking 60 to 90 minutes and we can replace that with a flight that can, you know, be five or 10 minutes. These are trips like Manhattan to Newark Airport or LAX to Pasadena.

So, Archer is a company that's based in California. And it is our goal to certify these vehicles here in the U.S. with the FAA by the end of 2024. So, you can see these vehicles out in the wild and in operations in 2025.

And so what's interesting here is that the technology is at a point that's actually very mature. We've seen a lot of advancements in electric power systems and we can see that every day with electric vehicles on the ground. And we use a similar technology to help power these aircraft. But by going electric, it's just a much more simple vehicle than what's traditionally used in urban air mobility today, which are helicopters.

And so the technology is at a really mature standpoint where we can get these vehicles to market. And the regulatory environments is actually very favorable as well. You had the FAA acting administrator on "60 Minutes" not that long ago, a couple months ago, saying that they will certify these vehicles by the end of 2024. And then you have capital that's really come into the market here that's helped fund the build and development of these vehicles.

BERMAN: Look, we were discussing whether this was more like the Harry Potter car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or the DeLorean from "Back to the Future." Looking at the pictures, it seems to be different than all those three things, which might be OK. I might be OK with it being different and new.

Look, how -- you're talking about electric. What's the range? How much weight can it carry? If I'm going to Newark, can I take luggage and my family?

GOLDSTEIN: Yes, so, the vehicle that Archer is building is a pilot plus four passenger vehicle. We can carry around 1,000 pounds of payload. So, we are at a pretty mature level of our technology development stage, and so we validated a lot of our metrics here.

The vehicles will go around 100 miles, but they're going to be used in kind of rapid back-to-back 20 to 30-mile type missions. So if you think about that trip that I mentioned in the beginning, Manhattan to like a Newark Airport, right, that's roughly 20 mile type of trip, and that trip can be brutal. I lived in New York for 20 years. I've done that trip a lot of times, That trip can take you a very long time. But we can do that trip kind of rapid back-to-back missions all throughout the day, over and over again.

So, you can imagine these services will start in cities where we're just going point to point and we're moving people off the ground, into the air and in a very, very safe way. And if you look at the vehicle, you know, kind of as you mentioned, it's - it's an airplane. It's got a wing. It's got a fuselage. It's got a tail. It looks very - it looks like a traditional airplane. But the main difference in these vehicles is there's electric propulsion. And the vehicles do have multiple rotors and multiple electric engines, which means that there's a lot of redundancy built into these vehicles.

So it's very different than a helicopter, which will have 200 to 300 single points of failure. These vehicles will have zero single points of failure and we will certify them at levels similar to commercial airlines. So if you can imagine a vehicle with a United logo on the side, that is as safe as a commercial airline, I think we'll see adoption of these vehicles rather quickly.

BERMAN: All right, Adam -

KEILAR: Thank you. Adam, yes -

BERMAN: Yes, Adam Goldstein, appreciate it. Thank you very much.


KEILAR: Be on the lookout.

A Detroit Lions rookie - a Detroit Lion's rookie's performance off the field just blowing his teammates away. Some "Good Stuff" headed your way.


BERMAN: All right, time for "The Good Stuff."

Rookie Detroit Lion's defensive end Aiden Hutchinson stole the show off the field.



AIDEN HUTCHINSON, DETROIT LION'S DEFENSIVE END: And mother always told me, be careful who you love. And be careful what you do. Cause the lie becomes the truth.

Billie Jean is not my lover. She's just a girl who claims that I am the one.



KEILAR: He just picked a really good song that they are really - oh, wait, let's listen.

BERMAN: I'm going better dancer than singer, how about you?

KEILAR: Yes, I am too. That's totally what I thought. Jinx.

BERMAN: Very good dancer. Props to him. He's a very talented human being. I don't know if he'll sack the quarterback. We'll see.

CNN's coverage continues right now.