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Transcript: Final Words from Cockpit Different; U.S. Close to Releasing Spy; Congress Set to Pass Ukraine Aid Bill

Aired April 1, 2014 - 08:00   ET



MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: A transcript has absolutely no clues of criminal act hit.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight: we have the transcript from the Malaysia 370 from air traffic control. What it reveals about those disputed final words, as sources tell CNN the plane's dramatic left turn is now being considered a criminal act.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Massive recall. Another million G.M. cars recalled overnight, more than 6 million this year. More than a dozen deaths blamed on the problems. The company's CEO on Capitol Hill today. Should they have ordered the recall sooner?

CUOMO: Breaking news. The U.S. close to a deal to release Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel within weeks. This move igniting controversy across the intelligence world. We're live with the latest.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome once again to NEW DAY. It's 8:00 in the East on this Tuesday, April 1st.

A shakeup this morning in the final words and who spoke them from Malaysia Flight 370. Transcripts show Malaysian officials gave wrong information weeks ago about the last communication before the plane vanished. Malaysian officials now are saying they're not sure who was talking that the moment. But they're comfortable saying the plane went down because of a deliberate action in the cockpit.

Our Jim Clancy is in Kuala Lumpur.

Jim, help us explain how officials came to conclusions now in our fourth week. JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we have to look in the context, it's not just Malaysian investigators. It is part of the international team on the ground that apparently concurs that it was somebody acting inside the cockpit deliberately maneuvering the plane. I can tell you right now, most of that is coming from the radar data. Not just about the turn, but about what the plane did, what course it set, how it flew back over the Malaysian peninsula.

We've already got the transcript. And it cleared up some inconsistencies.


CLANCY (voice-over): Breaking this morning a copy of the transcript from Flight 370 confirms no one in the cockpit ever said "All right, good night." Instead, the final voice transmission at 1:19 a.m. actually was, "Good night Malaysian 370." For weeks Malaysian authorities said, "All right, good night" were the final words before they lost communication.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Confirm this, 1:19 when we got the last transmission from the cockpit that says, "All right, good night".

CLANCY: The rest reads like a normal cockpit transcript. Someone saying good day and good morning while the plane was taxiing. During the flight's takeoff at 12:42 a.m., someone said, "Departure, Malaysian 370." About 15 minutes into its flight, another voice transmission, "Malaysian 370 maintaining flight level 350." And then the final words were recorded, "Good night Malaysian 370."

This as Malaysian government sources tell CNN they're creating the plane's sharp left turn as a, quote, "criminal act", carried out by one of the pilots or someone else on board.


CLANCY: All right. When we look at that evidence, when we look at the radar records and get a chance to see that, we'll understand better why they're making a conclusion about this being a criminal act.

Back to you, Chris.

CUOMO: This is becoming an active example of why disclosure is often in the best interest of an investigation.

Jim, thank you for the reporting.

Meanwhile, 11 planes and nine ships wrap up another day of searching. New questions about the investigation are coming from this new report suggesting poor communication sent search crews to the wrong part of the Indian Ocean for days.

Covering that angle, we have Paula Newton in Perth, Australia -- Paula. PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, "Wall Street Journal" report, we spoke to authorities about it today. And they didn't deny what happened.

What happened, Chris, was that, for days, as you say they were in the wrong place. Why? Because two separate teams during this investigation just failed to coordinate with each other, communicate with each other. And that led to so much precious wasted time.

Having said that, the Australian authorities, including the head of coordination here now, and that is Angus Houston, says, look, we're turning the page on this. We do have a coordination effort here now and we are giving this all we have. Still, challenging time ahead.

Chris, I was struck by the fact this retired chief of the military is saying one of our priorities is to hope that coordination works in the family's best interest, so they get finally the disclosure they've been looking for -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Paula, thank you very much.

Absolutely, the word struck is the one we have to play off right now. Let's bring in David Soucie, CNN safety analyst and author of "Why Planes Crash", and Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation, and attorney who represents victims and families after airplane disasters.

Mary, do you have like that in a contract or something like that where I have to list all those things every time?

SCHIAVO: No, that's a long intro. You can shorten that.

CUOMO: You're too qualified. You're too qualified for this.

All right. Let's do a quick answer session here about what matters and what does not, OK?

David starting with you, that the language is different from what we heard before until now. That fact, impressive or no?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: I think it has impact on the confidence of what information we are getting. And that lowers my confidence level in the information we're getting from Malaysia.

CUOMO: So, the confidence in the investigation relevant.

Mary, the actual language distinction, relevant or no?

SCHIAVO: Not as relevant to me as now they're changing who they think spoke the words.


SCHIAVO: That's significant to me.

CUOMO: "The Wall Street Journal" reporting because of delays in putting out information and what was put out to which part of the team, it led to a delay in the search. Is this something to be expected or is it specific to how this investigation is being conducted -- David.

SOUCIE: I think it's specific to this investigation, but there's not a point in looking backward. Let's look forward.

CUOMO: Mary, the idea of it being a criminal act. Investigators say they still believe it was a criminal act. Base on what we know, what has been released from this information, do you think there's a legitimate basis for that?

SCHIAVO: Well, there's no facts, there's no evidence that we know of. I like facts and evidence if you say there's a crime and launch a criminal investigation. Why I think has occurred since they don't have another explanation, they're saying it has to be a crime.

And , well, you know, you usually need evidence for that. I don't see it. So, because there's no evidence, it doesn't mean there's a crime, but that must be all they have to go on.

CUOMO: Soucie, you backed off the human interaction idea in this, as we learned more of the investigation. Is there presumption of innocence when you do something like this? Leave human error, leave these pilots and their families out of it until you have reason to target them?

SOUCIE: Well, my background is FAA and I don't do security investigations. So, yes, that is mind. You have to move the facts to move forward. Mary pointed out there's no facts pointing to a criminal investigation. However, those facts, if they are proving a criminal investigation are by themselves to be kept under wraps. They're not supposed to be released.

So, in that respect, I don't expect we would have information showing it was criminal. That would have been withheld.

CUOMO: All right. Good twist, good twist. Do you believe the reason we're not hearing things is because they're keeping them because they're in criminal context? Do you think that's legitimate explanation for the lack of disclosure by investigators?

SOUCIE: Absolutely.

CUOMO: That's interesting.

So, Mary, do you think the lack of disclosure that the Malaysians are saying we can't tell you yet, that that's about incompetence or about just being proprietary when they don't need to be to the disadvantage of families and really about the integrity of a criminal investigation?

SCHIAVO: Well, no, I think it's more propriety. The criminal investigation would include things like, you know, interrogation of people as to what they knew about the pilot and when, interviewing everybody at the airport, interviewing shippers, you know, that put things on the plane, interviewing colleagues of the pilot. Those things you never see. And they're protected in the U.S.

But things like the transcripts, which they wouldn't release to family members and did an about-face, I think that's more proprietary because there's truly nothing in this air traffic control transcript that gives a hint of a crime.

CUOMO: Let me come at you again on this David. What makes you think they know things their not telling everybody else because they're conducting a criminal investigation?

SOUCIE: Because I've done them before. The other investigations when there's criminal intent, we had one investigation where there was a murder on board the aircraft, someone brought a hammer on board and took the pilot out and killed himself and the pilot together. That was a criminal investigation. We couldn't release any information even to families begging for what happened. We couldn't release anything until after we determined the criminal investigation was closed.

CUOMO: But wouldn't you say that? That we can't tell you because there's a criminal investigation?

SOUCIE: Absolutely. That's a great point. That's exactly what I find fault with the Malaysian government right now. If you can't release it, tell them. I can't release it because this is a criminal investigation, draw a line in the sand. It puts everybody at ease. There's nothing secret going on. This is the way we do it, and that hasn't been done from the beginning.

CUOMO: Mary, do you believe action or inaction on the part of the investigators have delayed finding this airplane?

SCHIAVO: Well, I do unfortunately. I'm going to say out of inexperience or out lack of coordination. I mean, I can't imagine anybody would deliberately try not to find the plane. I just don't believe that. But I just think it was a bit of a coordination problem.

You know, to do a parallel after September 11, 2001, United States had a great difficulty coordinating all these investigative bodies. We did have a lot that remained secret for a while on the criminal investigations part, sure.

CUOMO: Last short answer-question to you, David Soucie. How -- I'm trying to find the right way to insult myself -- my fascination with what's (INAUDIBLE) knew what and didn't disclose it. And when the U.S. is involved, Diego Garcia, this big surveillance place which is right in the region, where they believe this plane went, how unreasonable is it for me to say there must be information that somebody has and isn't giving out because they're in the surveillance business and this plane would have been seen?

SOUCIE: That's not out of question at all, Chris, because I need an investigation of an aircraft that had flown over NORAD. It had flown over that. It was a private aircraft. It had flown in that area. And then that aircraft crashed. We needed information. It took me a year to get the information from them. We actually had a picture of the aircraft on the satellite radar that was going on constantly around that area. It took -- I had to pull teeth to get information.

CUOMO: Right. There's a difference in cooperating in the effort and wanting to share information. Chinese were slow, the Thai government was slow in turning things over. The U.S., they have this big surveillance post, they're supposed to be able to see so much. It's right in the region, I'm just saying it's a legitimate question.

Mary Schiavo, David Soucie, thank you very much and thank you for not insulting me. Let me do that myself. Appreciate it.

All right. Let's take a look at some of the other headlines this morning. A lot of news for you -- over to Michaela.

PEREIRA: So, you're called teen, Chris. That's teen.

All right. Here are your headlines:

The White House says Obamacare went better than expected. Sign up officially ended at midnight. This morning, the administration says likely 7 million have enrolled. Just weeks ago, they thought they'd fall short of that number.

Strong criticism of the CIA's post-9/11 enhanced interrogations in a still classified Senate report. "The Washington Post" reporting investigators found the agency misrepresented the program to Congress, the Justice Department and the public. It disputes the CIA's claim that harsh interrogation of high level detainees was the only way to obtain information needed to thwart terror plots. The intelligence committee will vote later this week on whether to declassify the report.

In just a few hours time, the House is expected to sign off on a bill giving aid to Ukraine and tightening sanctions on Russia. Meantime, there are conflicting reports over whether Russia plans to pull thousands back from the Ukrainian border. Germany claims Vladimir Putin made that statement in a call with Angela Merkel. But NATO says it has no evidence of that happening.

The death toll is rising from the catastrophic landslide in Washington state. Rescue crews continue the difficult task of finding 22 still missing or unaccounted for. Authorities have now identified 18 victims including this baby, four-month-old Sonoah Eustice (ph). The body of her grandmother was found just a few feet away.

Heartbreaking story. So much heartbreak in Washington state.

BOLDUAN: Everyday something more.

PEREIRA: Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Thank you, Michaela.

Let's take another break.

Coming up next on NEW DAY: a former U.S. intelligence agent, Jonathan Pollard once serving a live sentence for spying for Israel could be released in days. Why? Could this be an attempt to save the stalled Middle Peace talks? We're going to talk about it with Fareed Zakaria, coming up next.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

Breaking news this morning: CNN has learned that the U.S. could release a former intelligence agent convicted of spying for Israel back in the 1980s. Jonathan Pollard has been serving a life sentence. That's been a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel for years. This move would be a reversal of decades-long U.S. policy and would come as a way to save stunted Middle East peace negotiations.

Let's bring in Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS", to talk about this and much more.

This has been in the headlines and out and discussed for years, Fareed. What does this say -- if this is a real possibility, what does this say about the Israeli Palestinian peace talks?

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Well, that is pretty log- jammed if this is the kind of session it would take to get it jump- started. As you say, Kate, five U.S. presidents have turned down the requests of Israeli governments to release Pollard. I think it was the last time was when Bibi Netanyahu was prime minister in the late 1980s. He pushed hard with Bill Clinton. Clinton's then-CIA director, George Tenet, threatened to resign if Pollard were released.

The three directors of Navy intelligence, he was in U.S. naval intelligence turned out spying on the U.S. Three directors in Navy intelligence wrote an op-ed in "The Washington Post" saying this is the most serious breech of security in many, many decades.

So, I think the intelligence community takes this very seriously. This is somebody that spied on the United States out of conviction, out of money, all kinds of reasons. He was making $50,000 a year doing it. So, it's a big, big deal. The reported concessions of the Israeli and Palestinians are making are pretty small. It's a prisoner release and promise by the Israelis they would show some restraint on the settlement activity, the construction of new settlements.

Doesn't strike me -- again talking about what is reported not what is confirmed.


ZAKARIA: But it doesn't strike me as right now as worth this enormous shift in U.S. policy.

BOLDUAN: What are you hearing from your sources this is more likely a sure thing or something floated out as a trial balloon to see what the uproar is?

ZAKARIA: My sense is it's more than that. They have actually discussed fairly specific details of what it would take. In fact over the last two days that is what John Kerry has been doing. He was in Europe, broke the trip short, went back to Middle East. And that this is what he's negotiating with prime minister.

BOLDUAN: And another thing that John Kerry is now focused again on in Brussels is talking with NATO allies about what to do once again about the Ukraine and about what's going on with Russia. I want to get your take on a few headlines that have come out.

But what do you make of the fact Vladimir Putin reportedly called Angela Merkel and said that he was open to pulling back troops that are on the border?

I mean, at this point, how do you trust him?

ZAKARIA: You can't. He's trying to make a deal that gets him, you know, the best case scenario. So, the best case for him is he keeps Crimea. Most important, he keeps Ukraine off guard and feeling like it can do things that would mesh with Russia. And he gets relaxation of sanctions.

So, for Putin that's the trifecta, if you will. He has Crimea. The problem is on the other two fronts, because the Ukrainians are now pretty determined to be more pro-Western, that have association agreements with the European Union, maybe even to have a closer relationship with NATO. This is spooking the Russians.

And the sanctions, at least the limited sanctions are in place now, reportedly they are in place because of the annexation of Crimea. That is to say, unless Putin gives up Crimea, it's tough to see this set of sanctions being overturned. So, he's trying to play a game now, says I've got what I want now I promise to be good. So, you guys relax.

I don't think --

BOLDUAN: There's no way they're going to say, act first and believe you second.

ZAKARIA: Right. And Angela Merkel is a tough lady. She's slow to act, but when she does, she stays pretty tough.

BOLDUAN: And to your point, the Russian foreign minister issued a statement warning Ukraine about the possibility of joining NATO, saying that -- even the discussion of it, it led to freezing of Russian-Ukraine political communications and led to a headache in the relationship between NATO and Russia.

It does make you wonder. They're meeting once again in Brussels. What can NATO allies do to try to change the dynamic here? They keep talking. Russia seems to keeping holding on.

ZAKARIA: Look, the Russians are more spooked by all this -- that statement you read tells you, because actually Ukraine is not on track to be a NATO member. But what they see is something you and I talked about before, which is Putin got Crimea but he's losing Ukraine. And he sees Ukraine slipping out of his grasp.

So, now, they're warning the Ukrainians, don't get close to NATO, don't get close to the European Union. But, you know, I mean, we've had our reporters in Ukraine. The mode in Ukraine is very anti- Russian, very pro-European right now.

So, the very actions that Putin did that looked like a master stroke have caused it to be very difficult for him to retain influence in Ukraine. That statement is an expression of it.

BOLDUAN: Yes, his chess moves might not be moving in his direction. You're right about our reporters. Karl Penhaul has been giving us some amazing reports, right on that border.

Fareed, great to see you. Thank you so much.


CUOMO: All right, Kate.

Let's take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, the search for Flight 370 so far coming up empty. Still, more questions than answers. Will searchers ever find the missing jet?

And we're watching this G.M. story. The CEO is about to be grilled on Capitol Hill. Millions of cars recalled, 13 lives already lost. Can G.M. come back from this? Is it just the beginning?


PEREIRA: Time now for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

At number one, a change in the flight words from Malaysia Flight 370. Transcripts shows someone in the cockpit said, "Good night, Malaysian 370." No confirmation yet on who spoke those words.

Obamacare open enrollment is over. The White House tell CNN it looks like sign-ups could top 7 million, far more than they expected, even just a few weeks ago.

We are just hours away from testimony on Capitol Hill by General Motors chief Mary Barra on why it took G.M. 10 years to recall millions of vehicles, with faulty ignition switches. This as the company issues another major recall.

The U.S. could release a convicted spy within the next two weeks as part of negotiations over restarting Mideast peace talks. Former intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard has been in jail nearly 30 years. He was convicted of passing secrets to Israel.

Congress expected to give final after approval today to financial aid for Ukraine and tighter sanctions on Russia. This comes amid conflicting reports over whether Russia plans to withdraw some troops along the Ukrainian border.

We always update those five things. To be sure, go to for the very latest -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Mick, nearly 2.6 million cars world wide recalled. Why? Thirteen deaths to start with.

But the most significant number might be 10 -- 10 years. That's how long General Motors knew about the serious ignition switch problem in some of its models.

G.M. CEO Mary Barra will be on Capitol Hill in just a few hours. She's going to be pressed to answer for this.

So, let's take a look at the situation, analyzed it. Joining us now is the former head of safety for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also known as NHTSA, Ms. Joan Claybrook.

Joan, thank you for joining us.


CUOMO: So, let's look as if we are in the courtroom, which is actually where I think this issue is going to wind up. I don't think politically scrutiny is the end of this.

But let's begin with NHTSA, OK? When we're looking at G.M., is it fair to say you can't stop with just G.M., NHTSA knows that companies balance safety and money, this has happened with a lot of companies a long time. It's a systemic problem. Let's look at government first.

Fair criticism?

CLAYBROOK: Oh, very fair criticism. You know, NHTSA is the cop on the beat, and it has to be a regulator. And, unfortunately, in this case, it really wasn't.

It kept delaying and waiting and trying to get more data. It didn't need it. It was a design defect and should have acted in 2007 when it was first recommended by some of the engineers at the agency.

CUOMO: Now is it fair criticism to say the reason NHTSA didn't act is because that politicians know about this. They're lobbied by the car companies, and they have allowed this culture to continue, where different car companies measures safety against what it cost them to fix defects?

CLAYBROOK: Yes. And that's why we need changes in the law. Congressman Fred Upton, who's the chairman of the committee worked on changing the law about 15 years ago. It needs to be updated and changed again.