tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN April 11, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT
not ink. printing doesn't have to be painful. now, during "hp savings month" at staples, get up to $180 off hp printers. to russia, but no love here. america's top diplomat heads to moscow as tensions over syria reach quite a high point. north korea lashes out at the u.s. deployment of war ships to the region. the communist nation says it is ready to war. and you may remember this pledge by then candidate donald trump? >> i love golf. si i think it's wup wi it's one of but i won't have time. i'll be working for you, i won't have time to play golf. >> well, there's a lot of time, apparently. and president trump is on pace to spend more on personal travel
in one year than the entire obama administration. good morning, i'm john berman. >> and i'm poppy harlow. it's getting tense this morning. russian president vladimir putin firing off at the u.s. one day before secretary of state rex tillerson meets with his russian counterpart. tillerson right now in the air on his way to moscow for this high-stakes meeting with sergey lavrov. a short time ago he ripped russia and its steadfast support to have syria, even after last week's chemical attack on civilians. >> he condemned russia for breaking its promise to the world that would eliminate chemical weapons years ago. >> -- demonstrate that russia has failed in its responsibility to deliver on its 2013 commitment. it is unclear whether russia failed to take this obligation seriously or russia has been incompetent, but this distinction doesn't much matter to the dead. we can't let this happen again. >> the distinction doesn't much matter from the dead.
those words coming from the secretary of state moments ago. and in breaking news, vladimir putin speaking. first, let's go to italy. cnn's nic robertson is there. you herd him a short time ago with those provocative words, nic? >> reporter: he's had a very strong support here from the g-7, also from the gulf allieses, turkey, saudi arabia, jordan, qatar, the emirates, all here, as well, that mandate is to speak to the russian officials. er is gave lavrov, president putin, if he meets them, and say clearly, you need to back away from bashar al assad. you need to work for a cease-fire in syria. you need to work for a political transition in syria, to remove president assad out of office. that's what russia signed up for under the u.n. security council resolution. there is support for the u.s. strikes on syria last week. there is support for the existing sanctions on russia that were in place already, but where there wasn't consensus here, we certainly heard from the british foreign secretary
here, saying there should be more sanctions on russia. there wasn't consensus on tillerson going to moscow with the backing of addition sanctions on russia. the secretary very clear in what his approach is going forward for iraq and syria. isis still the top of the list for the u.s. this is how he put it. >> to be clear, our military action was a direct response to the assad regime's barberism. the united states priority in syria and iraq remains the defeat of isis. >> reporter: what we're seeing here, more broadly speaking, certainly what the allies are interpreting here is that the trump administration, if you will, has caught up with the obama administration on getting rid of assad, removing him in a transition from power, as a key part of moving forward on syria, and of course, what this administration has, is it's prepared to use military strikes as we've seen. poppy? >> all right, nick robertson for us in italy. let's get right to moscow,
because there is breaking news. russian president vladimir putin responding not just to the u.s. action in syria, but seemingly also to the statements made by rex tillerson, michelle kosinski is there. what are you hearing, michelle? >> reporter: john, russia has strongly denounced those u.s. strikes, calling them inadmissible and aggressive. now vladimir putin compares them to the second iraq war. >> translator: that this resembles very much the situation of 2003 and the war in iraq. there was a campaign launched in iraq and it finished with the emergence of isis on the international agreement.
>> so a warning to the u.s. look at what the consequences could be. of course, the u.s. saying this was very narrowly targeted. that it wasn't targeting russia. that it meant to not do any that were to people that were in the area, that there was a warning given. that it was really meant to send a message and to try to prevent chemical attacks. but russia sees this as, again, an aggressive action. and they keep warning the united states against doing more harm down the road if this continues. >> all right, michelle kosinski for us in moscow. thanks so much. another hot spot in the world to look at this morning, north korea issuing a warning to the united states. north korea saying, we're ready for war. this comes after the decision to pull a u.s. carrier strike group to the u.s. peninsula. >> north korea saying that it is ready to defend itself against what it is calling reckless acts of aggression. our will ripley is the only american journalist inside of pyongyang and he has more. also this morning, you do have the president tweeting directly to north korea.
>> reporter: right. and so we have asked the north korean government for a response. it's late in the evening here, so we don't know yet if we'll be able to get something tonight. but let me just read to you the tweets we just learned about a short time ago. north korea is looking for trouble. if china decides to help, that would be great. if not, we will solve the problem without them. usa. the second tweet, i explained to the president of china that a trade deal with the u.s. will be far better for them if they solve the north korean problem. i just came here from beijing. i was in beijing for nearly a month. we covered secretary tillerson's visit, and i can tell you that for the chinese, the trade issue with the united states is an economic issue. their trade relationship with north korea is not an economic issue. they trade with this country for political and geopolitical strategic reasons. they do not want to see a destabilized korean peninsula. they don't want to see this economy, which relies on 70 to
90% of its trade collapsed. they don't want to see a refugee crisis and certainly don't want to see u.s. control over the entire korean peninsula if there were a military conflict. we need to see what beijing will say, if anything, publicly about this. they haven't been taking the bait when it comes to president trump's tweets, even ahead of the meeting with president xi jinping, by most accounts was a cordial meeting. president xi jinping didn't even mention north korea when he put out a statement after that meeting at mar-a-lago. >> will ripley inside pyongyang, thank you for the reporting, will. let's talk about all the foreign policy issues facing this administration. our military analyst and colonel cedric layton is here and professor cohen, professor of politics at new york university and princeton. colonel, let me begin with you. more of what we're hearing from rex tillerson as he heads to moscow, which is sort of double justification after the strikes on syria saying, a, we don't want these chemical weapons that
are clearly still in syria to fall into the hands of isis. and b, we don't accept the normalization of them. your take on the justification now. are these things that should have been said sooner? say, even on the sunday shows? >> most definitely. because when you have a justification for an attack like this, it's always good to get that outfront. to have that as part of the reason, the rationale for an attack, or god forbid it goes further than that, further combat or further war. you have to have that outfront. one of the big problems you run into, poppy, is the fact that if you have one series of justifications that comes out first and another series that comes out later, it's often hard to square the two of them and bring them together. and that's, i think, the difficult they we find ourselves in. the actions were not bad in and of thelmselves. but the fact is they have to be part of an overall strategy. >> so professor, what's going on between the united states and russia? you've called it a new cold war.
and in the last few minutes, we had the u.s. secretary of state saying that russia is either incompetent or complicit. you have the russian president saying that the united states is trying to fake justify a whole war, saying it's just like iraq in 2003, which are pointed words. and even suggesting that the united states has even bigger plans, trying to strike damascus. >> what's going on, that was your question, right now. i have been doing this for 40 years. i think this is the most dangerous moment in american-russian relations since the cuban missile crisis in 1962. we're in a new and worse cold war with russia. there are three cold war fronts fraught with hot war. the battle ill tix, ukraine, an syria. russia thought, for various reasons. that cooperation in syria would be a way to roll back a new cold war. as we talk, russia is preparing for a hot war.
they're not going to get a hot war, they don't want it, but they're very worried we might. . the good news is, in that context, that we know mr. tillerson very well. they did, and by they, i mean putin himself, one of the biggest economic financial investment deals they've made. that was when exxonmobil got -- >> the rosen act deal. the oil deal? >> no, but it's -- all right. the point is, that was an enormous decision by russia. they know tillerson. they know him to be, unlike many american representatives, a deeply serious and competent man, and straight forward. so what's going to happen, and by the way, putin was supposed to meet with him, but apparently he's not, but that's not certain yet. they are going to have some hard questions for mr. tillerson. and the answers they get, may influence what happens next. and next is the possibility of war with russia. >> colonel, do you agree with
that? that russia does not want, as the professor put it, hot war, but they fear that the u.s. does? and therefore, what do you make of the comments by russian president vladimir putin? not just condemning what tillerson said, but arguing that the u.s. is doing something akin to 2003, akin to making a justification for the war in iraq? >> so looking at president's putin's comments first, i think he's overdoing it, because when it came to the weapons of mass destruction issue in iraq, there was a lot of intelligence information that turned out to be basically false, when it came to them being in iraq at the time that they were talking about. the information that we have on syria right now is a very different set of information. and it is based on the fact that they've actually used these weapons against their own people. so there's a big dumpbs there. the sarin gas had to come from somewhere. and that is the one big difference between then and now.
as far as what professor cohen said about this being akin to a wrap-up of a hot war with russia, i think it is definitely approaching that. and i do agree with that aspect of what he said. because when you look at the way in which russia has deployed its forces, when you look at the way in which the dialogue has now morphed between the united states and russia, these are absolutely very dangerous times. and the other thing is that the russian military has reorganized itself into a much more competent force than it has ever been before. they are getting ready for something. >> if these are as dangerous times as you both seem to be saying they are, in somewhat alarming terms, i must say, then clarity seems to matter more than aftever. clarity from the united states. and i'm not sure we are getting clarity in where the u.s. position is. sean spicer said the u.s. might do another missile strike, if syria continues to use barrel
bombs. by the way, syria has been using barrel bombs hundreds a month, for months and months and months. and the u.s. hasn't done missile strikes there. if you're in russia right now, what do you think you're getting from the united states, professor? >> we have some disagreements. at this moment, but i don't want to argue with the colonel. >> appreciate it. >> there is zero evidence to tie assad to that gas attack. >> well, the united nations says there is. the people in the air -- >> no, the united nations has not said that. >> nations around there have said -- >> the united nations has not -- >> turkey has said it. >> i think that that's a fruitless argument. but let's talk about how russia is perceiving this right now? >> it's not a the fruitless argument if the russians think somebody is running false flags to get russia and the united states into a war. >> so you genuinely think russia thinks that someone else is doing this to make them look bad? >> let me answer your question, because it's more important. what you just reported that putin said today, it seemed quite harsh, correct, you agree? that's your headline.
but there was something harsher said. and this has not been reported. the second most important man in the russian government is the prime minister. his name is dmitry medvedev. he sat in for putin as president when secretary of state clinton and obama tried the so-called reset. he is inside russia, in the power league, considered the most pro-western member of the putin leadership, all right? yesterday he said, it may have been the day before, because of the time difference, he said, in the aftermath of this syrian event, but also in connection with what people are calling kremlingate in washington, he said, russian-american relations are utterly ruined. i don't ever remember a soviet or russian leader saying that. and secondly, he said, you probably noticed this, we are at the brink of war with the united states. keep in mind that this is the
most pro-western member of the leadership. and imagine what the non-pro-western leadership are telling putin, as -- so for the straight talk, that's what mr. tillerson is -- russia has two questions on their mind. and he's going to have to answer them in a way that's credible to them. they don't pay any attention to spicer. >> look, it's a very important point. the interesting thing is, tillerson will be dealing with lavrov who said, on friday, that this is not irreversible. >> that's right. but lavrov is on the ropes. his position has been terribly weakened, because he represents the face of russian diplomacy. the question is, have we moved beyond diplomacy, now to a war make? >> professor, colonel, thanks so much for being with us. these are big, weighty discussions. we'll have to see what comes from this meeting with the secretary of state and whoever exactly he meets with. coming up for us, he says donald trump, the president of the united states, says we would be sick of winning with him in office. so why is the president's team now holdingback-door meetings to
show how many victories they've actually had. also, fly the friendly skies if you do not get dragged away first. united airlines in damage control this morning. what happened? why? and could it happen to you? also, a cnn exclusive in the sky, onboard an american tanker plane, refueling the fighter jets that are striking isis. you will not want to miss this. that's next. boost. it's about moving forward, not back. it's looking up, not down. it's being in motion.
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examiner." welcome to you both. i think we'll get to the 100-day discussion in a little bit. but first, if we can stay on syria for a little bit and clarity of message, selina. we heard about when we might' further military action. he says, if syria usings barrel bombs. syria has been using barrel bombs, a lot of them. hundreds and hundreds every month. i think we have a graph to show how many hundreds syria has been using every month. it's a lot, right? and then the white house was backdropping, say, we weren't talking about barrel bombs, exactly. we were talking about chemical weapons. but, look, if things are as tense as they are between the u.s. and russia, if things are as tense as they are in syria, how much more clarity do you think we need from this white house? >> well, i think we need a lot of clarity. this is a very seriousuati situation. having said that, you know, there were a lot of people in this country that applaud what
had the president did last week, in taking, in using the missiles and taking that message that, you know, we are not going tolerate that kind of action against your own people. but up until that moment, we really didn't understand sort of what the administration's foreign policy position has been on syria. and i think we're still unclear as to what it is today, you know, four or five days later. so i think that's an important thing for them to get out. i think that we will see a more clarity after tillerson returns for his meetings over there, but right now, we're kind of unensurunsure. >> and one of the reasons we are unsure, no one has heard directly from the president on what the strategy is going forward, after his statement announcing the air strikes. a new cbs news poll shows how americans feel overall. you've got about 60% of them
supporting the air strikes, but they're very divided when it comes to what do we do after? 18% of americans do favor the use of ground troops. 30% say air strikes, but no ground troops. 26% want only diplomatic talks. 15% want to more u.s. involvement. is it time that we hear from the president tonight go-forward plan? >> well, i think for the president to prosecute a successful strategy in syria and in asia, and we're seeing how complicated this gets, because this involves the russians in the middle east and in asia, it involves china. he's going to have to be more clear and more vocal, so that both our allies and our adversaries know what to expect. i know the president rikes lik rely on this notion of unpredictable. and unpredictability in terms of tactics is that good quality, but unpredictability in terms of frameworks is problematic. if the syrians and russians don't know what the line is ands
isn isn't, they're apt to test the president and see what they can get away, and their tests could be the kind of provocation that is make things even worse. and i think, then in this vein, it's also important for the president to talk to the american people. if we're going to be more can i have potentially overseas and militarily, there's a good argument to make that something needed to be done, the way you bring along the american people is to explain it to them and justify it and ask for their support. you're likely to get it in cases like this, because i think even though there's a lot of hesitancy in terms of more military involvement and boots on the ground, i think the americans need to understand that the u.s. needs to be a leader, but they're not going to be with you unless you're willing to sell it. >> let's talk about the 100 days. they' we're 18 days away from the 100 days. they're going to point to the confirmation of neil gorsuch to the supreme court, point to rolling back tpp, point to the
keystone pipeline and things like that, but they've had a lot of other things not go their way. there's no health care bill or travel ban. they've already lost the national security adviser. already having message meetings on how to sell these first hundred days in a positive way, selina. >> first of all, one of the biggest problems the white house had, for half of these, you know, for 40 days is that they didn't have a central person as their communication person. and you need that kind of person to help keep the team on message. so they lost half of their time right there. i think it's -- i don't think it's unusual to have a messaging meeting, especially with a president that's this different, unpredictable, disruptive and, you know, sort of outside the lines, but, you know, they certainly have their work cut out for them. as you said, they have had some
successes, but they've also had some battles, especially over health care and over the travel ban. i think what's important for them is just to say, hey, you know, this is what washington is like, this is what we have to fight against. and you know, and we're doing our best, but, you know, those kinds of meetings, i think, are important. what i thought was fascinating was is that with less than an hour after they have the meat i meeting, somebody leaked it. >> yeah, close up those leaks. >> salena zito and david drucker, great to have you with us. the issue of management, press management. the stock market opens in just a few minutes and shares for united airlines, they're going to tack a nosedive after this video of a passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight. we're going to have a lot more on that a little bit later this hour. first, our chief business correspondent, christine romans is here. this is united in damage mode. a pr nightmare. the stock taking a hit.
>> yeah, about 2.5%, we think. it had been down 6%, so it's moderated from those losses. but look, this is a company with huge plans for expansion in china, where this video has been seen 100 million times. so that's a number that really matters here. you talk about trying to get the support of the american flying public. this is an international story, at this point here. look, the ceo has to come out and has come out and supported his employees, but a lot of people thought that was tone deaf. he apologized for having to reaccommodate these customers. didn't apologize for the fact this man was dragged off a plane and is bloody. so there could be some better messaging from this company. we have a "cnn money" story about how this has turned a bad situation into a pr disaster for this company. overall for the stock market, we're expecting a little bit lower today. a lot going on, bank earnings coming up later this week, we've got earnings, i think, are really going to drive this overall. and still, again, you're talking about the hundred days and the checklist of what has been
accomplished, elite infrastructure spending, infrastructure plans still need tax reform and the president's meeting with a bunch of ceos, the really important ceos this morning. >> you called it damage mode, not damage control mode. they are in damage mode. they're still damaging themselves by making it worse. >> yeah. >> christine romans, thanks a lot. a lot more to come. we'll be right back. with e*trade you see things your way. ♪ ♪ you have access to the right information at the right moment. ♪ ♪ and when you filter out the noise, it's easy to turn your vision into action. ♪ ♪ it's your trade. e*trade.
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combatting isis are ongoing. they have been complicated, though, by rising tension with russia. >> cnn's frederick pleitgen got exclusive access to u.s. flight crew on a mission over syria. you have to take a look at this. >> reporter: faced with new russian threats, the u.s. military not backing down in the skies over iraq and syria. we're on a kc-10 tanker plane, refueling the fighters pounding isis. of course there's some tension since the russians have announced they don't want to communicate with the u.s. anymore, in the skies over syria. that's why crews like this one take great care when they fly into syrian air space. >> reporter: stopping the communications significantly increases the ruisk of mid-air collisions over this crowded air space where u.s. coalition and russian planes operate very close to one another. russia made the move after russia hit a syrian airfield with cruise missiles last week, in response to a chemical attack
on a syrian village, killing around 90 people. washington blames the assad regime, russia's main ally in the civil war there, even as syria denies being bond the attack. but america doesn't want the turmoil to affect the ongoing effort to destroy isis. >> despite the current tensions with russia, the u.s. says the fight against isis has to continue full steam, especially with american and allied forces on the ground and in harm's way. >> reporter: a sentiment echoed by commanders leading the air war against isis. >> we can't take our eye off the ball. it is isis. that's why we're here. so, you know, our national leadership has to do something about a problem. and if we're asked to help out with something like that, we're obviously ready to do it. but right now, isis is the gait. >> so far, the u.s. says there have been no incidents with u.s.
planes and they hope it stays that way. >> frederick pleitgen joins us live from an undisclosed location. that is incredible, remarkable access that you got. >> reporter: it certainly was quite remarkable that we were able to get on flight, poppy. and one of the things that was interesting for us is that the situation here is quite tense and it is quite uncertain, as well. in these few days since the russians have said they don't want to communicate with the u.s. anymore in the skies, especially over syria, but quite frankly, in iraq as well, because the russians actually fly through that area, sometimes, also. and right now, what the u.s. is say sthing is, look, they don'tw whether the procedures that were in place whether or not that still counts or that's still in place. but in the end, for them, right now the main focus has to remain isis and the pilots we're talking to say they call on the russians to do the same, focus on isis, and make sure that the cooperation doesn't hurt the fight against isis at all. >> it's only getting more and more complicated.
frederick pleitgen at an undisclosed location. thanks so much, fred. i want to go live to moscow. we have live pictures at the airport. i believe that is secretary of state rex tillerson arriving as we speak in moscow for this incredibly high-staking meeting that he's supposed to have with at least the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov. as of now, no scheduled meetings with vladimir putin. we had thought that that might happen to vladimir putin, saying, not now. we will have to wait and see if a meeting does take place. >> so as we continue to watch the secretary of state's plane here just landing in moscow for an incredibly important meeting at quite a time of heightened tensions, let's go to our senior international correspondent, matthew chance. you know, you wonder what this meeting between lavrov is going to be like, lavrov and tillerson, but even more so if there's any chance that putin and tillerson will talk. because it's quite a snub, is it not, if the two men do not?
>> i think it will certainly be perceived as a snub, because up until now, most, if not all secretaries of state that pass through moscow, certainly on the first trip to the united states would get an audience with the russian president. strictly speaking in terms of protocol, it's the administer minister that is the equivalent here in russia, sergey lavrov, and that meeting is going haud. they're going to be meeting tomorrow morning here local time. they're also going to be having a working lunch together. and i expect a joint press conference, as well. but the putin meeting, you're right. it doesn't go ahead. i think it will be seen as a little bit of a snub wab little bit of a slap in the face, in response to the snub that the russians have felt we the united states bombing its main ally in the middle east. so that would, i think, would be a reciprocal move. they would see it as that, anyway. >> and we're just hearing from the russian president, vladimir putin, matthew, with some pretty provocative words.
suggesting that the united states risks another iraq war, with his actions inside syria. also, again, just basically continuing to question the honesty of the united states when it comes to the accusations of chemical weapons. >> reporter: yeah, this is the version of events that the russians have been pushing from the outset, that this apparent chemical weapons attack was not a chemical weapons attack at all. certainly not one carried out by the syrian government. that this was, they say, a syrian air force raid on a storage facility that was run by the rebels in southern idlib. where they were manufacturing their own chemical munitions, making land mines, is what the russians say, and stuffing them full of toxic material. and it's the destruction of those weapons that cause the chemical spill and cause that horrifying loss of life. that's the version of events the russians are pushing. and they say they want an investigation, a multi-national investigation to get to the bottom of this. and again, they're saying there could be more, of what they call
provocations look this in the future that may elicit a u.s. response. >> matthew chance for us in moscow. again, secretary of state rex tillerson arriving as we speak in moscow right now for these urgent meetings. we will wait and see when we get off and if he speaks as he deplanes. >> will he speak to vladimir putin after saying the russians were either incompetent or did not take their obligations seriously to get rid of chemical weapons in syria. a lot more ahead. but still to come, if you're awake, you know about this story. united airlines and their ongoing saga. get your seat locked in the upright position, because this united story is sparking major turbulence.
syria is believed to have used chemical weapons against its own people. again, high-stakes meetings right now with russia very supportive of the syrian regime. >> and if secretary tillerson does not meeting with russian president, vladimir putin, that would really be a first very a u.s. secretary of state, especially on their first trip to russia in the job. right now, there is no scheduled meeting between putin and tillerson. these are two men who know each other very well, because of the business dealings that tillerson had when he was ceo of exxon, with russia. he was even awarded the order of friendship by vladimir putin a few years ago. so will he meet with putin to discuss all of these developments? >> and again, you know, prior to this being sort of the appetizer is the secretary of state saying that russia is either incompetent or explicit in the chemical weapons attacks inside syria. and the russian president, vladimir putin, responding just a few minutes ago, he was giving a speech, he said, that the united states risks repeating the mistakes the u.s. made prior
to the iraq war in 2003. sort of the pre-text for an invasion on terms that did not turn out to be, as claimed, also, this continued sense from moscow, the russian government suggesting that the united states is presenti ining eviden that it was a syrian chemical weapons attack and that evidence might not be sound. >> indeed, we're waiting for u.s. secretary of state, rex tillerson as he has just arrived in moscow, after these very pointed comments that he made at the g-7 summit in italy. we're going to continue to follow this and monitor this and bring you the latest. >> and again, steven cohen, a professor ehmeritus saying this is the most tense moment in u.s./russian relations that he's seen since the cuban missile crisis. obviously, a hyperbolic statement, but from a man who's been watching u.s./russian relations for some time, sees this as very tense, particularly with russian troops on the ground in syria and now these u.s. strikes over that same
region. >> and secretary of state rex tillerson in those comments at the g-7, not just saying that russia is either complicit or incompetent, but also saying that they have a very unreliable partner in assad. and you can see the secretary of state, rex tillerson, walking off of the plane right now. him saying that i think that it is worth thinking about that russia has aligned itself with the assad regime, the iranians and hezbollah. is that a long-term alliance that serves russian interests? again -- >> yeah, and again, one thing that a lot of people are looking for right now is a clear articulation of what the united states policy will be going forward in syria. because they've been getting mixed messages from the white house press secretary, from rex tillerson himself, the secretary of state. will he make a more clear statement about how the united states plans on moving forward? >> and you know, his counterpart, tillerson's counterpart in the uk, boris johnson, declining this trip, canceling this trip last-minute after the g-7 following the air
strikes and the comments. tillerson going ahead to meet with his counterpart there in moscow. what happens after that? does he have conversations with the russian president or not? still to be determined. >> and remember, rex tillerson is a man who has had business in moscow with russia before, with some success, when he was the head of exxonmobil. this may be a much more complicated mission. >> with a lot of success. exxon made a ton of money because of their deals with russia. now, though, this is diplomacy. this is an entirely different terrain. this is not about money. this is about foreign policy and the go-forward path for the united states and syria and the u.s./russia relationship overall. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back with much more right after this.
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major turbulence for united airlines stock this morning. down more than 3% in 20 minutes after the opening bell. that drop, of course, comes on the heels of this video which is literally being seen around the world. more than 100 million views of this. take a look. >> ah! ah! >> honestly, this is tough to watch. the passenger being bloodied as he is being dragged off of a flight because he refused to give up his seat after thisd ai chicago to louisville was overbooked. >> united is facing a boycott, facing a lot more, issues with china and business deal there's because of this the company's ceo came out in a message to his employees saying while i deeply regret the situation arose, i emphatically stand behind all of you and i wanted to commend you for continuing to go above and
beyond to ensure we fly right. >> yikes. above and beyond. >> he also said about that passenger being dragged off that the passenger refused to leave, became more and more disruptive and belligerent. joining us now to discuss, our aviation correspondent, our host of "quest means business" richard quest, and our travel writer and forbes contributor, laura fagley bloom. richard quest, to you, this is your wheelhouse. you know the airlines inside and out. what do you make of it? >> well, there's nothing good that can be said about it from anybody's point of view. it is an unmitigated disaster from united's point of view. the chicago authorities who dragged the man off the plane are also facing severe criticism. which ever way you look at it, it is calamitioucalamitious. that said, poppy, you have to
start dissecting in a relatively cool fashion who was at fault and where. all right? the fault here in united's case was really, "a," they didn't realize they had too many passengers for the plane. "b," that they didn't use economics to push the amount of compensation to the point where somebody was going to give up their seat. they only got to $1,000. they could have gone as high as 1350. the gate agent should have been in touch with the systems operation center in the willis tower and said this is the situation i've got. i got to get these four passengers on the plane, otherwise we're canceling a flight tomorrow in louisville. what do you want me to do? what do we do here? that's the situation. it's very easy post fact o to sy this was awful that was awful,
go back to this time yesterday and say what should they have done. >> yeah. it is easy to say it's pohorrib because those pictures are horrible. richard said they could have upped the price. how many millions of dollars in bad publicity have they lost now. >> i think they handled it terribly from start to finish it could have ended up so differently. if they would have gone higher with the compensation, people probably would have taken it. >> this happened to you this weekend. you were supposed to go to florida on delta with your kids. you ended up not taking a flight but getting paid 11,000 by delta to give up your seats? >> i was the lucky one. i will say, it was interesting to watch economics of it because people weren't offering up their seats as the price kept going higher and higher. once they hit a certain amount, people started saying yes.
for my husband, daughter and i, we were there on friday. the night was flight was indefi postponed. we said sure we made 4,000 friday, we made 4,000 saturday, they paid us in advance for giving up our flight on sunday. in total, we walked away with 11,000 and they refunded our tickets. >> every time this happens, we're struck by the fact that airlines can overbook flights. how is it that they justify selling more tickets than they have seats? they do it every day? >> john berman, really. for goodness sakes, it's the backbone of the system. of course they oversell the seats because a lot of people book seats and either don't show up, cancel, and therefore if they did not overbook by a certain percentage, we would all end up paying more for our seats. by the way, the number of people who are denied boarding is small
as a percentage of total passengers. yes, it's again in the cool light of day, you can sit here hurr hurrah, make enough noise about it, but that overbooking of seats makes the system work to a certain extent for the large network carriers. >> 30 seconds what do we need to hear from the ceo? >> i'm very, very sorry, it should not have happened, but i still stand behind my staff. oscar munoz has a morale problem at united. standing behind his staff is probably more important for that ceo at the moment. >> thank you very much. laura, gone grcongrats on your salary. >> richard quest lashing out at me. >> you know how business works. >> it's like selling too many tickets for a baseball game.
>> didn't your mom ever tell you? life ain't fair. >> the u.s. secretary of state just arrived in moscow. he'll be meeting with his russian counterpart, this on the heels of the u.s. missile strikes in syria. huge amount of tension as the russian leader, vladimir putin, just made some statements. don't go anywhere.
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the breaking news, moments ago, russian president vladimir putin lashed out at the nights for its actions in syria and levied new accusations against syrian rebels. putin says moscow has proof that the chemical attacks that took place in syria last week were an effort to frame -- to frame the assad regime. he warns that the united states rush to blame syria is similar to what washington did in the run up to the war in iraq in