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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 10, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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wash, but comb your socks. jeanne mos, cnn, new york. and thank you for joining us, don't forget you can watch "out front" any time, any where just go to cnn go. one question with more than one answer, how far is the trump administration prepared to go in syria. it depends on who you ask, how much credence you give to their words. in any event, a weekend since ordering a cruise missile strike against a syrian air base and after years of arguing against any military action at all in syria, donald trump has passed the rubicund. now people are asking what's next, what are the new headlines, and is a new trump doctrine emerging. last night at the u.n. "state of
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the union," nikki haley came close to calling for a regime change. >> it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with assad. regime change is something we think is going to happen, because all of the sides are going to see that assad is not the leader that needs to be leading syria. >> and the battle against isis is going quite well, then we hope to turn our attention to achieving cease fire agreements between our troops and the syrian people. we think the syrian people will ultimately be able to decide the fate of al assad. >> there was national security advisor, h.r. mcmaster trying to clean up her remarks.
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>> what ambassador haley pointed out is it's hard to see a solution through continuation of thes a assad regime, we're not saying that we are the ones who are going to effect that change. >> today at the white house, press secretary sean spicer cement the day talking about the -- until this latest syrian chemical attack that any military intervention would be targeted on isis. >> the trump doctrine is that america is first, we're going to make sure that our national interests are protgted. we're going to make sure that our interests both in the interest of national and world security, we're not going to be a police force running around the world. we have to have a clear and defined interest wherever we act. and it's our national security first and foremost that
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determines how we act. >> do you think the trump doctrine fits into that? >> i think it does. if you recognize the threat that our country faces if there is a use or spread of chemicals of mass destruction, the proliferation of those that spread to other groups is a clear danger to our country and our people. >> and then there's a confusion over sean spicer's statements over barrel bombs. spicer's statement on barrel bombs, you were in the briefing today, explain exactly what he said. >> reporter: sean spicer was asked exactly what it would take to sort of provoke another attack in syria, would it have to be a chemical attack, would it be a conventional weapon? so sean spicer, not once, not twice, but three times said barrel bombs would be enough. let's watch. >> the sight of people being gassed and blown away by barrel bombs ensures that if we see
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this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of newt action. when you watch babies being gassed and suffer under barrel bombs, you are instantaneously moved to action. this president has made it very clear that if those actions will continue, further action will definitely be considered by the united states. if you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, you will see a response from this president. that is unacceptable. >> so clearly that word was used by on purpose there. again saying it three times, but shortly after that white house briefing, a senior administration official said that spicer was not drawing a line around barrel bombs. because that would be a dramatic escalation of things, because it happens all the time, every day there. a senior administration official said our posture is the same, nothing has changed.
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but at the end of the day, we're left with some confusion as to what is the trump's red line. >> i saw one estimate, the syrian network of civil rights, the regime dropped more than 13,000 barrel bombs in 2013 alone. >> that's 13,000 a day. a barrel bomb is something that has a crude explosive on it, something that's dumped out of a helicopter, that that would provoke a tack would be much different than that attack last week. so spicer spoke a bit about barrel bombs, but if that's true, he did it three times in a row at this press briefing, they are saying that the posture toward syria hasn't changed, they are not ruling out any
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additional action. but it's still not clear what that doctrine is. 57% approval for as well as a sharply limited appetite for anything greater, for u.s. troops to support troops in syria. ryan, i mean did sean spicer just kind of confuse the matter? did he clarify things at all? if barrel bombs were something that could provoke an administration response, that would be huge. >> these are awful weapons that people around the world have condemned. these are huge barrels filled with explosives that are dropped out of the helicopters usually in populated areas. >> that's actually barrel bombs on a helicopter.
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and then i believe at some point they're actually just kind of tossed out. >> one of those things assad has done is he sort of escalates and he tries to see where the international community's red line is. so what he started to do with the barrel bombs is chlorine gas, chlorine gas is not actually banned under the chemical weapons treaty. so when he stopped using sarin gas, he started using chlorine gas. that aside, it seems like sean spicer just misspoke, right? because if we now are going to intervene militarily if assad uses barrel bombs, that means that we're getting involved in a civil war at a dramatic level. the one line for trump is chemical weapons, this is just a deterrent about using sarin gas and other weapons that are
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banned under the chemical weapons treaty that syria did sign and they did promise to give up all their chemical weapons. so i don't see anything that suggests that they're moving the line beyond chemical weapons except for what sean spicer said. >> is there any policy toward syria as it was in the last administration? >> i'm not certain. i think it's out there as a possibility. i actually think the way they played it is great, it puts a question mark on it. it will be discussed with russia and tillerson. it was discussed with china last week. >> so you think the lack of clarity is beneficial? >> it's part of what trump does, he does not want to broadcast, this is what i have in mind. but now we have military options on the table, we're going to continue with economic sanctions.
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and there was a chinese hotel company that was breaking the sanctions with syria and i ran. if you put these tools on the table. >> this was a syrian attack by syrian leader against his own people. how is that america first? how is that in the u.s. national -- i mean how is that a threat to u.s. national security? >> well, if you ask sean spicer, he has an answer to that. >> he's saying the potential spread of chemical weapons. >> right. >> but the truth is this actually goes against the america first ethos, in my opinion, this is not consistent with what donald trump ran on, except, i these it was the right thing to do. there's the obvious humanitarian compassion element that flies the face, that's actually contradictory of the america first ideology.
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but there is a thing to be said for having people be afraid of you, and having people think you're maybe a little bit unpredictab unpredictable. and this reminded me of -- this wasn't george w. bush getting intonation building, this wasn't barack obama's dithering and letting people cross red lines, this was ronald reagan in 1986 after the west berlin discotheque bombing. and i think this sends a message to china, to north korea, and of course yes to russia and syria. >> i just want to explain more of what the trump doctrine is. do we have that? >> the resulting action of what happened ensured that their fueling operation is gone from this air facility, 20% of they have mixed wing aircraft were destroyed and knocked out.
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>> that's obviously the wrong sound. >> actually, general marks, let me go to you with what sean spicer just said. he said 26% of the fixed wing aircraft. then you had the secretary of defense saying it was actually 20% of all of syria's aircraft. >> we struck an airfield and to% was degraded. but i'm not going to second guess general mattis. plus i would think there's a very good argument that there was a large number of aircraft that were scattered from that area. >> because there was advanced warnings? >> enough to get pilots in cockpits and get them out of there. >> let's listen to sean spicer. >> i think if you reck fwhogniz
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threat that our country faces if there's a spread or use of weapons of mass destruction, the spread to other groups is a clear danger to our country and to our people. >> so what does that open the door to? >> i think it sort of does fundamentally change what he says the trump doctrine is, it's not really consistent with what donald trump has been articulating and the steve bannon view of the world, we're over here, we're doing our thing, and bad things happen in other places, but unless you're planning to come literally to the united states, it's not our problem. so jack, you said you think this is good leaving the door open regime change, but that was not the position that donald trump took when he was president, not even close, for him to be shifting that much to be opening the door to regime change in
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syria is huge. it's a radically different world view. >> you can make an argument for u.s. intervens in other places. but do you consider this to be a shift? >> no, and the reason i don't, i think jack is absolutely right, president trump's version of this is being unpredictable. this is the mad man theory, which is basically scare the bejesus out of our opponents. he used that to get a treaty with the soviets. he used it very effectively. that in essence is what donald trump was talking about. i was there that night, we were waiting for president reagan on the south lawn in a motorcade to go to a hotel for a dinner in honor of a senator to eat rocky mountain oysters. the president was late, he was always on time.
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we couldn't figure out what was it. as it turned out at the end of the evening, not until i got home did i find out with the rest of the world that he was in there waiting for the completion of the bombing attack in libya as pay back. >> remember what the target was, it was regime change, we were hoping to get gadhafi, and he got out of it. >> our intent was not retaliatory and proportional to the bombing, it's we're going to get this guy. >> the cowboy, or whatever, bellicose, but never gets bogged down in any sort of adventure. >> exactly. >> he projected strength and did not make that mistake. >> with all due respect to jake, this is a cop out, to think that
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this was an attempt to maintain surprise, there was no surprise, because he tipped off the russian government to the missile strike, and the russians apparently tipped off the steerians. let's get to the bottom of this. we're only 70-some-odd days in. but for the trump doctrine, he hasn't arrived at a doctrine yet. i would just like to know what the goal is in syria. and where do you prioritize defeating isis with respect to ending civil war in syria. and he hasn't been clear about that and the only way he will be is to hit a plan to the senate. >> a closer look at urgent global challenges facing the white house, including syria, the president test we're calling it at the top of the next hour. fresh fallout and white hot outrage, ripped up and dragged off a plane, he was kicked off
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we must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change. we're going to stop the reckless and costly policy of regime change. abandon the policy of reckless regime change. pushing recklessly for regime change. a shooting war in syria that could very well lead us into world war iii. over syria? we're going to go into world war iii? this war and chaos must finally come to an end. >> i'm always fascinated, it's one thing when you're campaigning, it's easy to say something than when you're actually president, we have seen this time and time again, barack
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obama closing down gitmo during the campaign, obviously didn't do it as president. george w. bush was against nation building and ends up in afghanistan, obviously nation building. >> and one thing that trump said during the campaign or in the middle east, we never could steal iraq's oil, that's not a thing you can do. you have to depend on russia ands a a to go after isis, that's the last thing he wants to go after isis her, he wants to be remaining. and trump thought that assad could say in power on april 7, the chemical attack happens, he realizes, oh, wait a second, maybe i encouraged him to sort of push the boundary with what weapons he could use and immediately flips around to
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interscreening military and now some of the more hawkish of his party are urging him to go further. i don't think it's necessarily contradictory to respond to the chemical attack, but will he go further and listen to the john mccains and the lindsay grahams who want him to overthrow assad. >> mccain is there saying destroy the entire military of syria, that seems far from where president trump is right now, but do you see a shift from what he ran on? >> not really, because i think he was sending a signal, not just to assad but also to north korea and other actors around the world that may say the united states talks a lot, but they're not going to do anything. >> but during the campaign, he was talking about not doing it, he kept saying we're not going to do regime change, obviously the goal in syria seems to be regime change. >> if they have shifted to regime change, i think that's
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going to get a lot of discussion in the u.s. congress because if you look at libya, we got rid of gadhafi and then we had a void. same in iraq. >> he's there. earlier he was saying assad could stay, now he's saying assad must go. >> he's putting stuff on the table -- and i think if you listen to what nikki haley was saying also, an international coalition. >> but they're where obama was, assad must go, we just don't have a plan to make it happen. >> it's a potential escalation and where you -- this drum beat of war and i felt that, you know, donald trump's movement, he was decisivdecisive, he sent strong message that we will not tolerate chemical warfare, should we go back to trying to topple assad? do you think george washington is going to emerge and run that country? i think the good news is that
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h.r. mcmaster seems to now have donald trump's ear and he served in iraq and afghanistan and basically knows counter insurgency strategy. >> what would happen if assad continues -- assad is not a weak actor, he's not going to sit on the sidelines and watch all of this happen, what if he does use chemical weapons again, or use barrel bombs that kill more people than the chemical weapons did. >> the more he responds to a situation like that, the more he's crossing his base, this is actually an area where the base of trump support and the base of the republican party are actually in disagreement. i think the more and more he slips down this path, if they are at all going to make good on some of the threats you have heard nikki haley and sean spicer have articulated in the last 48 hours, it's going to
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cross hiss base. >> given the stakes right now, how is that sean spicer three times talks about barrel bombs as being one of the red lines? in a thing like this, your words seem to matter. >> i find it interesting in that clip that you played, in the beginning, it appears that he's reading. the point i would make here is that this is the trump administration, not the sizer, the haley, the tillerson administration, until you heard from donald trump himself on this, i frankly think part of t this is the chaos that he likes to have, different people, strong people putting their views out. but at some point he will make the decision. >> he has said he wants to take iraq's oil. do you think that's still on the table? >> i think if you have the top ranking foreign policy people in
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his administration coming out and saying things that we should be able to take that as some indication of what the policy is. and so, it seems like, perhaps, that donald trump may be didn't pay that close attention to what was going on in syria, when he was saying all this stuff, now he's president and they put these pictures in front of him, and like any normal person, he's horrified. but this was already happening, i just don't think that he was following it that closely. maybe now that he's president, he does seem to be taking that responsibility. >> regime change, if that is a goal, which it was for the last administration, i'm not clear if it is or not for this administration, but if it is, there's so many unknowns about what comes after assad, even if you can get rid of assad, the vacuum of power is scary. >> this administration has time
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to figure it out. every other administration flames out in seven years. assad is on the decline, putin is tired of trying to prop him up. so we have all these factors at play. this administration understands that. what we did with this strike allows us to start escalating as necessary, and to simultaneously figure out what this thing might look like. i think it's okay that there isn't a strategy in place right now, but i would say regime change is part of it, absolutely. >> i want to thank everybody, coming out. we're going to discuss the strike on the missile base that brian fallon was talking about. and what happens when a united flight is overbooked, apparently passengers get dragged off the aircraft. details and we'll show you the video ahead.
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as we reported, more than half of americans agree with president trump's decision to
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bomb syria's air base. randy kaye tonight has more. >> reporter: president donald trump ordering a military strike in syria was like a punch to the gut for the alt right. a group of trump's most loyal supporters who in part voted for him because of his anti-war stance. trump's base of support is gone if he goes to war with syria, wrote blogger and author. just as the strike on syria was beginning. alex jones founder of the conspiracy driven info wars website said after the strike he would give trump the benefit of the doubt, but still tweeted, we are closer to the start of world war iii than we have been in decades, along with the #nowarinsyria. he asked if trump's strike on syria was a sign of betrayal.
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and this one, trump train headed to destination disappointment? >> i asked the question, why would trump hit a chemical weapons depot with thousands of tons of chemicals. >> reporter: tweeting, i guess trump wasn't putin's puppet after all, i'm officially off the trump train. ann coulter tweeted her dismay, those who wanted us meddling in the middle east voted for other candidates, and reminded us trump campaign on not getting involved in mid eat, said it always helps our enemies and creates more refugees. then he saw a picture on tv. in 2015, trump said he was against u.s. involvement in the middle east. he tweeted then, obama should save his powder. do not attract syria. this one to veteran donald trump was a clear sign to donald trump
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that his supporters have lost faith in him. no more regime changes, no more american dead, more no nation building, it's what you wan on. some of donald trump's alt right base were selling the idea that the syrian chemical attack was a hoax. info wars began returns to the attack as a false flag, suggesting it was only meant to draw the united states into a war. the hash tag syria hopes was only an attempt to convince trump to stay out of syria. when he didn't, blogger mike cernovic stayed online for 11 hours, slamming trump's decision. >> i'm moving to argentina, if trump is going to bring us to war, then there's no hope for america. >> reporter: no hope for america or no hope for alt right trump supporters who may be wondering if their president is a dove or a hawk.
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>> randy joins us, was there any blow back from is some of these reporters turning around and saying these things online? >> reporter: there was, anderson, he took a hit on twitter and his followers started unfollowing him. he talked about being off that trump train, as he put it. this trail of tweets that shows he tried to walk back his comments, he noticed he was losing followers and he tweeted that he was indeed off the trump train regarding syria, but he has not turned anti-trump and he blamed the media for making it look that way. neil gorsuch was sworn into office today. also ahead, a traveler's
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trump administration is trying to turn thing around. for now the strategy seems to be to claim victory at every turn. the president said this today at neil gorsuch's wearing into the supreme court. >> this is a great honor. and i got it done in the first 100 days, that's even nice, do you think that's easy? >> the confirmation of judge gorsuch was his only legislative victory because of the gop's decision to change the rules.
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back with us is jeffrey and kirsten and david gergen. you reported for politico, is it fair to call it a brainstorming session with white boards? >> they were in the executive offices, big butcher block type paper. they broke into groups, one group went into the hallway to come up with a list of things they could sell. >> this sounds like corporate retreats. >> one white house firm said it reminded them of being in the fifth grade. the one thing about the white house is there's so much pressure right now because they know that donald trump is paying attention to this 100-day marker. it's not a constitutional deadline, it's a media deadline.
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and if the media starts reporting as if he hasn't accomplished that much. there may be staff shake-ups, if you don't make a good impression in the next 19 days, bad things could be happening. >> why has the first 100 days become such a critical milestone for our approximates? >> it was theodore roosevelt, they stayed for 100 days and they passed an amazing amount of legislatation and that's now become the gold standard of what a president does, how much you accomplish, especially on domestic policy, obviously no president since then has measured up to that, and many have stumbled rl on, but what they wore about is if they come out of the first 100 days, there are going to be a lot of harsh
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judgments. i think so far it's really hard to say that this -- i think it's easy to say this first 100 days of donald trump have been among the worst if not the worst. >> really? because i should say the president on air force one the other day said, i don't want to paraphrase him incorrectly, said this has been the most successful start for any administration. >> i think he has had his successes, jeffrey lord i think can enumerate them at great length. but they have had successes for the most part that were within his unilateral control, there were regulatory things that he could change, there were things that obama had done that he could change. the gorsuch nomination has gone well. and donald trump is going to make a major mark on the supreme court. i think that's where we're heading, but if you look at the rest of it, especially health
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care. what other has been accomplished except a sense of disarray? when a chemical attack is lau h launched on syria, 48 hours later we're in a world of confusion and they can't get their stories straight. the administration ought to pth next two weeks try to look at what's happening tomorrow. >> in terms of rebranding, is it hard to rebrand these 100 days, other gorsuch that's required a change in senate rules, there hasn't been one. >> when i go to these trump rallies and talk to people. that was always the first thing that people talked about, they wanted a conservative on the supreme court. he got it done. that is a big deal, it's a generational big deal, neil gorsuch was sworn in today, he's going to be around for a very long time. that's a big deal. there's other things that
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haven't gotten as much attention, executive orders and so forth. >> repeal and replace obama care -- >> i do think that was a problem, i just for the life of me i don't understand why the republican congress didn't have their act together on this the day after he was sworn in. be that as it may, here we are. i think i said before, of all these books that he's written, everybody focuses on "the art of the deal". he's written one called "never give up." he's not going away here, he's going to be at this very, very tenaciously. >> people who have written two books, i always twitch a little bit to hear someone described as a writer who didn't actually write their book. >> oh, to the quick. >> those of us who are written books, it's a sensitive subject. >> i think the neil gorsuch
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confirmation was a big thing, but it was outsourced and it was completely managed outside of the white house and it went perfectly, pretty much. you were talking about him -- you were talking about him not getting enough coverage for certain things, and i would say this because he steps on almost every good story he has, so that speaks to why the 100 days have been so chaotic, because he's constantly sending out tweets and putting people down different rabbit trails instead of talking about the good things that he's doing. obamacare is a huge loss for him as well. spending your first 100 days, finding out he's under fbi investigation for connections to russia and his staff and all these things, all taken together don't give us a particularly great 100 days. >> i assume you got this story from people in the white house who were in the meeting, i guess the leaking from the white house, shock. what do they see as their
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biggest obstacle in this exercise, kind of explaining the successes of the first 100 days? >> they see a couple of things and the biggest thing is something you guys have already outlined, there's not any big signature legislative achooemts, the biggest thing, health kacar was solved. and the immigration order was stalled. those are two of the big name items he took on that didn't happen, so that's tough. they do want to take a lot of credit on economic issues, on the consumer confidence going up, and the stock market going up, and hiring even if that was planned before donald trump came in. the economic indicators were good in november of last year, but people didn't feel like the economy was going well, so if he can turn around the way that people actually feel about the economy they will consider that a success. >> what about how donald trump
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makes it very hard for them to stay focused on -- >> that's a regular frustration of people that have worked for donald trump for the last year. you wake up on saturday morning and he's tweeting about wiretapping, and they have to go and defend without any information. a passenger dragged off an overbooked flight after refusing to give up his seat. united as faced a backlash because they were giving his seat to united employees. uncert. but you can feel confident in our investment experience around the world. call us or your advisor... t. rowe price. invest with confidence. i got it. i gotcha baby. (vo) it's being there when you're needed most. love is knowing... he's the one. (vo) was meant to be. and love always keeps you safe.
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united airlines are phasing criticism. a man was kicked off the plane. the plane was overbooked, something most travellers can relate to. it's familiar and frustrating. what happened is anything but ordinary. >> reporter: the pictures are hard to believe. this because of an overbooked flight from chicago to louisville. it happened when the united airlines passenger refused to give up his seat sunday night. >> busted his lip.
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>> reporter: passengers were horrified as they watched three chicago airport police officers board the plane and yank the man from his seat. police say the man hit his head on the arm rest. you could see the blood flowing from his mouth as he was pulled down the aisle. >> this is wrong. >> my god, look what you did to him. >> reporter: witnesses say the flight crew was trying to free up seats for united airlines personnel. >> once they dragged the guy off, subsequently the united employees come on the plane. other passengers were just berating the employees saying you should be embarrassed to work for this company. >> reporter: united said the flight, quote, was overbooked. normally, when this occurs, passengers are asked to voluntarily give up their seat for compensation. the situation is resolved. however, this was not the case on sunday night's flight. united was forced into an involuntary deboarding situation. passenger rights advocate faults
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the airline for not offering more compensation. >> the maximum denied boarding which the government requires you to pay is $1350 in cash. they could have offered maximum. that would have taken care of the problem. >> reporter: it sparked outrage and tweets like this. united airlines is pleased to announce new seating on all domestic flights, in addition to united first and economy plus, we introduce fight club. the backlash prompted the ceo to respond tweeting, i apologize for having to reaccommodate these customers. our team is moving with the sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. was the passenger wrong for refusing to get off? >> i don't think he was wrong. i think -- my only way of saying he is wrong is -- i have never seen this happen before. i have never, ever seen a
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passenger roughed up and dragged off a plane to put a flight attendant on. >> look what you did to him. >> that statement by the ceo has to be among one of the worst statement s i have heard. the idea that's reaccommodating one of the passengers. the fact also that these seats were taken by united airlines employees. is there any kind of action to be taken? >> quite a bitter pill for a lot of people on board that flight. they feel the same way. i do know that at this point, the department of transportation, they tell cnn that they are reviewing this incident to determine if the passenger's rights were violated in any way. the airline is telling cnn that it offered $1,000 in compensation for anyone who would give up their seat. but they got no takers. consumer advocates as you heard say, they should have offered the maximum of $1350.
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they may have been able to avoid all of this. one other point, we do want to point out that it is in the fine print, an airline can make a passenger give up their seat if a flight is overbooked. but it really is about the way that this man was removed that is sparking outrage. united airlines already is ranked by consumers as having the worst customer service. >> that's not going to help. thanks very much. more ahead in next hour. 360 special report, the president test we're calling it. a look at the international challenges facing president trump who campaigned on putting america first, from syria to russia and north korea and china. it's a full lineup. if you've tried every pill on the shelf to treat your tough nasal allergies... ...listen up. unlike pills that don't treat congestion, clarispray covers 100 percent of your nasal allergy symptoms. clarispray. from the makers of claritin.
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good evening. welcome to a special 360. we're calling it the president test. in the hour ahead what this new president faces when he confronts what other presidents do. president trump's first global challenges are coming nearly all at once. joining us tonight, clarissa ward, matthew chance, will ripley. he is the only american