tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN April 11, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
there are indications that a decrease in visits to florida will mean an increase to other property. >> thanks for watching. erin burnett "out
front" starts now. >> next, breaking news. the trump administration accused of a coverup. tonight, a bootded peak speaking out. let's go "out front." good evening, i'm erin burnett. "out front" this evening, the breaking news, russian coverup. the white house making a huge accusation against the russian government charging that vladimir putin is covering up for syria and bashar al assad's chemical weapons.
nikki aheadly in an exclusive interview moments ago with cnn took it further. when asked if russia knew in advance about the chemical weapons attack in which more than 80 people were i would, here's is what hailey said. >> i think if you
look at the fact that when this information came out, they were so quick to defend. they didn't look shocked. they didn't look fwriezed. they were so quick to defend. then the evidence comes out and we see exactly what it is. and we know exactly what the environment was. then you realize -- >> they knew what was going on? >> i think that they knew, yeah. >> haley's comments in contrast to what we've been hearing from others in the administration. >> at this time, there's no consensus in the intelligence community that that's the case. >> i'm not seeing any hard evidence that connects the russians directly to the
planning or execution of this particular chemical weapons attack. >> it seems like a basic thing. did russia know about a sarin gas attack and did russia cover up a sarin gas attack? these are basic crucial things. why can't the trump administration get its story straight? we begin with barbara starr at the pentagon this evening. >> reporter: a lot of ambiguity on the question of russian involvement. we've talked to top-level officials about it. they say they're not ready to make that final connecting of the dots. there was no more ambiguity when james mattis made clear he didn't want to get into the question of whether the administration would take the next step in syria and that is to attack assad's barrel bomb activities. he would not get into that but he was not 578 big yus about the rest of it.
did pentagon top brass, not ready to say russia was complicit in bashar al assad's attack. >> they're responsible for the planning of the attack and the attack itself. >> reporter: telling moscow the trump will use force and is not ruling out further military action against assad. but hoping that the russians temper their own actions. >> i'm confident the russians will act in their own best interest and there's nothing in their best interest to say they want this situation to go out of control. ro . >> reporter: secretary of state rex actual erson. but vladimir putin calling it
reminiscent of the u.s. invasion of iraq. >> translator: this very much resembles the situation in free h 2003 and the war in iraq. the iraq campaign was launched and finished withed with the disintegration of the country and the emergence of isis. >> reporter: now investigating how much they knew of the attack ahead of time. the snumplt said they likely knew about it. the u.s. knows a russian drone flew over the hospital treating victims. and an unknown fixed wing aircraft dropped a conventional bomb five hours later trying to destroy evidence. only syrian and russian aircraft fly in the area. the latest in how badly damaged the syrians got in that u.s.
missile strike, today, the pentagon saying that there were 23 syrian aircraft damaged or destroyed, about 20% of the syrian operating air force. erin? >> obviously put in those terms, a very significant move. barbara, thank you. this comes as the secretary of state rex tillerson is in moscow tonight hours from his first meeting. as of this moment he is not scheduled to meet with the russian president vladimir putin. by the way, that's a history making thing if it doesn't happen. our reporter is in moscow. michelle, this comes as there is tough talk from the u.s. >> reporter: what we've heard today coming from each side seems to be widening the gap between understanding. seems to be making cooperation more difficult. you look at some of the things said over the last couple of
days, russia calling the striks on syria as aggression. seems like at this point tillerson, about to go into the meeting with at least the russian foreign ministers is going the extra length to project too strong of a line saying things today like he hopes the syrian president is not a part of the future of syria, that he hopes russia will change course because what they're doing is not in their best interest. listen. >> russia has really assigned itself with the assad regime, the irans and hezbollah. is that a long-term alliance that serves russia's interest or would russia prefer to realine with the united states, with other western countries and middle east countries who are
seeking to resolve the syrian crisis? >> reporter: it was that statement that prompted republican snerpt lindsay graham to say that he thinks in some ways tillerson is being naive here. graham called assad and putin both war criminals cut from the same cloth. at this point, though each side, officials from america and russia are saying that they are looking for cooperation, so -- i mean, it's just so intriguing to imagine what these statements are going to be tomorrow when we hear from tillerson and the foreign ministers after that meeting. >> thank you, michelle live in moscow tonight. now brad sherman of california, a member of the house foreign affairs committee at the center of all this, thank you. donald trump, the president just spoke for the first time since the strike about syria in five days. here he is. >> we're not going into syria.
but when i see people using horrible, horrible chemical weapons, which they agreed not to use under the obama administration but they violated it. >> he says the u.s. isn't going into syria but he won't tolerate chemical weapons. is he sending a mixed message? >> we have three objectives in syria. one is to protect the people and hopefully provide them with good governance in the future. the second is to guard against isis and the third is adhering to the treaty. it is only the third objective that these strikes are relative to and hopefully they will prevent assad from using chemical weapons again. we owe a huge debt of gratitude to obama who got 2.6 million
pounds of pox toxic chemicals out of assad's hands which were desfroi by the international community. >> it's a tough word to use when there were children dying. to your point about the chemical weapons, though, chlorine is among the chemical weapons left along with sarin. the defense secretary today loud and clear. he said chlorine with a chemical weapon. this may end up being crucial as to whether the suchltd goes to war. here's what he said. >> as far as barrel bombs with chlorine. chemical weapons are chemical weapons and if they use clepshel weapons they are going to pay a very, very stiff price. >> congressman, assad used chlorine eight times in the last 30 days of last year.
t it could mean a bigger u.s. military response. would you support it? >> we need to protect the chemical weapons convention and that includes chlorine gas. the one thing about chlorine gas is many entities have access to it and it will be less certain that it was the regime when the chlorine gas was used. some have access to chloroian -- >> chlorine or sarin, either one? >> i would have to see the situation, but i think that the response that we've made so far underlines the fact that the u.s. supports the chemical weapons convention and will impose a price on those who violate it. what we should do in the future, we're just going to have to see as that hypothetical develops. >> all right. congressman you're going to stay with us. thank you.
i want to go briefly to our special correspond. jamie, you spoke to u.s. ambassador nikki haley. what she had to say was very clear, that she said -- and we just heard her and her response to you -- the russians knew about this chemical attack before it happened. if true, that is an incredible violation. that would mean they were equally responsible for a chemical attack on civilians. >> right. she did not say we have hard evidence. she said "i think," but she said very clearly that looking at their reaction, that it -- she said yes. i said is it there? she also said that -- she went on at great length. we're going to play another part of the interview, that everyone in the world sort of knows that russia has been behind this. so let's just play that. >> you know, anything the russians say at this point, no
one's believing it. no one is. the international community seize this for what it is. they've watched russia cover up for assad for years. >> so there she's saying not only did they know before but afterwards they were covering up for assad? >> right. so i don't think that she was meant to contradict the administration on this. she's not saying that there's hard intelligence. i think she was giving her opinion straight out from what the reaction was. my guess is that what we're seeing is that's what the administration is saying privately as opposed to other members of the administration who wanted to say one thing publicly, that they do, according to nikki haley, believe it. a spokesman for her called a few minutes before we went on the air and pushed back a little and said she really didn't mean what she said, but we have the whole
transcript here. it's pretty clear. >> she said it again and again and again. >> right. >> it's interesting she's saying that clearly what she believes when rex tillerson is saying something different. she more courageous than he? what is the game here? coming up, sean spicer apologizing for a stunning statement that hitler did not use chemical weapons on his own people. so what was a gas chamber? president trump tweets that north korea is "looking for trouble." and jeanne moos on united airlines public relations debackling. -- debacle. >> we are united airlines. i mean wish i had time to take care of my portfolio, but..
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. tonight sean spicer apologizing on cnn after saying hitler did not use chemical weapons. let's show what he said. >> you had a -- you know, someone as despicable as hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons. >> obviously, that is not true, right? the gas claim. i don't know what he thinks was in the gas chamber. he was asked to clarify. here's what he said. >> i think when you come to sarin gas, there was no -- he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that assad is doing. there was not in the -- he brought them into the holocaust
center. i understand that. i'm saying in the way assad used them where he went them into town and stalked them down. so the use of it. >> right. i guess there is a difference, right. because hitler put people in concentration camps to gas them. assad sent them to town to gas them. now he has an apology. do you know how this is playing with the president? >> erin, it was a full-throated apology unlike anything we've seen from a top white house official in the administration. it did not play well with the president at all or other senior advisors. they instructed spicer to apologize and clean it up. so he told wolf blitzer he's sorry again and again. >> frankly, i mistakenly used afternoon inappropriate and
insensitive comparison to the holocaust, for which there is no comparison. i apologize. it was a mistake to do that. >> really not apologizing once. apologizing multiple times to wolf blitzer earlier this evening. i was talking to sean spicer after that and i asked him what led him to do this. he said a he apologized for being a distraction to the president's policy on syria. he also said i wanted to set the record straight. this is not the first thing the press second has had to walk back this week. he talked about barrel bombs yesterday. b the press secretary, one of the most visible faces of the administration saying, look, i made a mistake and i'm sorry. >> jeff, thank you very much.
jeffr congressman, let me start with you. what is -- was your reaction, your gut reaction when you heard what sean spicer said this afternoon about hitler? >> it was simply outrageous. it was painful at this passover season and it worries me to think that sean spicer or anybody that high up in the administration would have such a lack of knowledge of the historical context. but i'm just as worried that spicer made other comments today that shows he doesn't understand what's happening in the world to civilians in at least 117 different locations where atrocities are happening right now. so he doesn't know the current context and his comments about the historical context were pachl and uncalled for. >> john, here's the thing. i understand he's apologizing again and again and again. take him for his word for that.
but saying something like what he said about hitler is not something you say because of a slip of the tongue. >> first of all, you don't do hitler comparisons. first of all, you don't do it from the podium and you don't do it at passover. i think it was a mistake he apologized sincerely. the democrats are wanting his head over this. but this combines ig rabs with arrogance. >> it is stunning that somebody with any historical sense at all would say that he didn't use chemical weapons. i mean, he used gas chambers. >> yeah. >> i find the whole thing stunning. i'm taking the apology at face value but what he said, he said. >> as someone who's spent a lot
of time reading history, i mean, even this evangelist boy knows it's passover. i can think of no greater one in the entire history of the world and that's -- i mean, there's competitors with stalin and mao and stuff like that, but hitler is a stand-alone. i agree with john. just don't go there and he stood up. he's apologized and for heavens saksz let's move on. this constant comparison in the corner of donald trump to hitler. the president of the united states is not adolf hitler and they need to stop with that as well. >> not particularly relevant to the conversation but i completely agree with you. >> democratic leader nancy pelosi has come out with this. either he is speaking for the president or the president sloov known better than to hire him. do you agree with nancy pelosi?
>> i think he showed himself to be out of his depth and not imagine history. as i said, i was just as concerned about his com that an the world that there were atrocities occurring to children and babies that there would be an administration response. there are terrible atrocities going on right now as we think of the holocaust we've got to think about the victims in southern sudan and east congo, somalia and yemen and so many terrible things happening as we speak. for spicer, without a strategy, without a plan, without even knowing where these places are, to say that we're going to respond to tragedies like this when he knows -- he should know that they've -- >> yeah. >> they have no plan to do that. >> to your point, john, there are some within the administration who may have knives out for him. i'm not saying nikki haley was among them. she did weigh on it, though. here she is.
>> it's unfortunate and we should never have comparisons with hitler ever. that was a terrible time in history and it's not something people want to hear about or think about or think there's another comparison to it. >> clear and definitive. >> clear and definitive. it appears there's one thing we can agree on is that hitler comparisons are terrible, terrible, terrible. i don't think she was suggesting that sean spicer should be fired over it. >> no. all right. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. next north korea warns it's ready for war as u.s. warships close in on the region. and a complete # 80, when he said the guy was belligerent last night. this as the passenger speaks out for the first time. (de♪p breath) (phone ringing)
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very powerful. we have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that, i can tell you. we have the best military people on earth, and i will say this. he is doing the wrong thing. >> those bellicose comments coming after north korea announce tds it's preparing to launch a nuclear strike against the u.s. if provoked. will rippley is out front tonight. >> reporter: kim jong un presiding over the people in pyongyang. the man they call "supreme leader" sitting beneath statues of his father and grandfather. the symbolism is clear. the third generation leader continues to hold absolute power over north korea and its growing
nuclear arsenal. that arsenal has become central to what many here see as a potential showdown with the u.s. after a frantic series of north korean missile launches, the u.s. moved warships, including the aircraft carrier uss carl vinson off the peninsula. that promised an angry response to the north koreans n overnight. call the warships wreck less acts of aggression. the administration said the dprk is ready and willing to react to any mode of war desired by the u.s. president trump responded in-turn on twitter today writing "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." in a 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 solved the north korea problem." blunt words for the kim jong un regime and for chinese president xi jinping who made no specific promises after meeting president trump at mar-a-lago last week. china is the only meaningful trading partner of the u.s. but there's no irchd indication of how far they'll go. tensions on the crane pekorean peninsula. this north korean news reader saying "we are not intimidating" warning of a nuclear strike if provoked. >> you may hear the music
playing behind me. this is a song that plays several times a day, blasted on loud speakers across pyongyang to remind people of the sacrifices of the two late leaders and of course loyalty to the new leader of kim jong un. this is an unprecedented situation because never before has a u.s. president engaged in this rhetoric to which north korea has to release an official response. with this flotilla of warships heading for the korean peninsula expected to arrive in a matter of hours or days, nobody knows how the these two sides are going to respond. it could potentially be a dangerous situation. >> "out front," gordon chang. the former air force colonel cedric lay on the and general marks, also here with me, spider
marks. so i just think there's an eeriness of that song. >> true. >> which just says something so much about the brainwashing and what we see in north korea. >> uh-huh. >> i want to play what donald trump just said. he is upping the ante from his tweet. >> we are sending an armada, very powerful. we have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. that, i can tell you. and we have the best military people on earth, and i will say this. he is doing the wrong thing. >> he's bragging about an armada, saying submarines are even more powerful than that. is that smart? >> the carrier battle group has an amazing capability, aaron. you've got surface, subsurface,
you've got aircraft available and an abilities to provide this amazing air force. the united states has full ability and certainly it's not unpress denlted for them to be in the sea of japan with the carrier battle group. thts not unusual. kind of makes sense and it's very prudent. >> when you're the president of the united states saying i have an armada coming in and it's very powerful and my submarines are powerful, he's doing the wrong thing. is that the right way to speak to kim jong un? >> i don't think so. there's a fine line between provocation and deterrence. what trump said was frightening. he said the submarines were more powerful than strike. he was saying i'm going to
obliterate you. i can do that. >> if i want to. >> you got to remember that kim jong un has a low threshold of risk because of the four incidents starting from the end of january showing instability in the regime. we don't really know how all these statements are going to affect him. we know he's going to act in ways that will surprise us. >> what are you saying? he's come out and hand delivered these threats. that is what north korea said it is justified to do. when donald trump comes out and talks about his nuclear armed submarines and take the statement out of pyongyang, how close are we? >> i think we're very close. i say that carefully, because this is the brink. obviously, when you go into something like the korean war back in the 50s, that was a hot war. we don't want to go there. what we're seeing is this rampup
of rhetoric where you have a very intransigent regime in pyongyang. a seemingly intransigent president in the united states. bystanders who have their positions, especially china. >> right. >> you have a whole issue there where you have to bring all these people together but they're rapidly diminishing the possibility of reaching some kind of a negotiated settlement which would involve either the north koreans not doing something from a nuclear perspective or some reduction in force on either the u.s. or the south koreian side and of course on the north -- >> when they say preemptive strike, is donald trump walking towards that line of provoke something is he trying to walk up to the line of testing kim jong un? >> i would suggest not. they have a posture that is at the highests levels 24-7.
when you'reon the peninsula, the way you approach your job every day is be prepared to fiept tonight. nothing else is acceptable. the provocation, if we're trying to evaluate the level of tension, i would say it doesn't exist any differently today than it did the day before. the issue is what took place in syria sends a very powerful message to the kim regime and pyongyang which is this president is not afraid to strike and not afraid to take kinetic military action and we have a battle power group that has powerful precision capabilities. the north knows that and have known that for years. so i think we need to kind of take a little bit of the air out of the balloon here. i don't think we're ratcheting up the tension. >> gordon? >> when you send a carrier strike group into the sea of japan, that's one thing. you say -- >> yeah.
>> we always have a carrier there. >> but the president of the united states isn't ublly out there saying i can nuke you if we want to. >> right. we didn't see a strike group in 2010 because the chinese wrp vehemently opposed to that and because we didn't do that, north koreans killed four south korean civilians. this is going to be difficult to recalibrate the sense of intimidation. >> less is better in this case. very little needs to be said. there are immense capabilities in the u.s. military and there are some very senior people in charge of the national security, the president may not mean to say a thing. >> that is right but he's not a man of less is more. coming up, president trump and vice president pence trying to race in to a crucial race.
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. breaking news at this moment, polls about to close in kansas. a crucial congress election that republicans are scrambling to win in kansas. president trump, vice president pence jumping in at the last minute. trump tweeting about the race. today the seat was left empty because mike pompeo became the cia director for donald trump. ed vaven dero is outfront. >> how you doing, sir? >> reporter: springtime on the plains usually brings tornadoes, not political earthquakes, which is just what jim thompson is trying to deliver in one of the more conservative congress alexander in the country. >> i think it's an anti-ultra conservative vote. >> reporter: he's an army veteran and a bernie sanders
democrat. >> trump has made a lot of people nervous. i see a lot of people here worried about some of the things that they've seen coming out of the trump white house. >> reporter: democrats lost the fourth congressional district in kansas in 1994 and have been out in the wilderness here ever since. donald trump won this district by nearly 30 points. the republican candidate is ronneron e es tez. >> do you connect yourself with donald trump? do you think that's a viable connection? >> i think it is in the district. i think there's a lot of people who like the message that we need to change washington. >> hitching your kwam bayne to the president does have its pitfalls. >> i got to apologize, i didn't vote for you. >> oh, no. that's terrible. >> i think you're going to do a wonderful job, represent republicans very well. i think you're a good solid person. >> yeah. >> i just disare agree with the
republicans philosophy that tax cuts generate jobs. >> reporter: it's that kind of statement that prompted them making robocalls to the sector. >> ron is going to help us big league but i need republicans like ron. >> the eyes of the country are on kansas. the special election tomorrow makes a difference not just for kansas but for the whole country. >> reporter: the national republican congressional committee has dropped $100,000 on television ads in the final days. >> he supports abortion even if parents don't like the gender of their baby. >> reporter: now he's got the world's attention. >> my candidate can't beat me
himself. he has to bring in others to try to beat me. i say line them up. i'm going to keep knocking them down, because the people here want a change. >> reporter: erin, a lot of people didn't realize what was going on in this race until the can early voting numbers started coming in. about 30,000 people voted early. about 13,000 of those were republicans. 12,000, democrats. even though the republicans have a lead in a district like this, that margin of error was too close to call. so polls close in about 15 minutes. >> all right, ed. thank you very much. next, the man dragged off the american airlines flight speaking out for the first time as outrage grows m around the world to united airlines.
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and each job created by the energy industry supports two others in the community. altogether, the industry supports over 9 million jobs nationwide. these are jobs that natural gas is helping make happen, all while reducing america's emissions. energy lives here. breaking news, the passenger captured on video being forcibly removed in that united airlines flight. he says he appreciates all the support he's gotten. meanwhile united airlines has issued an apology. it's a statement that for many is just too little too late. allison cossack is out front.
>> reporter: it's the video that stunned the world, united airlines passenger dr. david dow being dragged off and bloodied on an overbooked flight. the incident and response sparking outrage around the world on social media with threats to boycott the airline, turning into a p.r. nightmare for the third largest airline in the u.s. for passenger traffic. today almost 48 hours after dow was physically removed from the flight, an apo popology from un ceo, saying it was truly horrific. >> all good relationships are built on trust. we know that and we know that we have to earn yours, every day on every flight. >> reporter: but these response so dow's removal has been widely criticized. initially he apologized for having to reaccommodate him and
three other passengers. then in an email to staff monday night, he promised to stand by his employees and expressed regret over the situation, but he also called dow disruptive and belligerent and said employees followed established procedures. when he became the ceo, he worked on not only building trust with customers, but on building it with employees too. >> how do we regain the trust of our employees and therefore our customers? >> reporter: p.r. week's steve barrett recognizes the strides merit has made in two years. >> the share price was up, the customer service levels were up and he was well liked by staff. >> reporter: munos made such a name for himself, he was named
the coveted communicator of the year, but barrett says munos wouldn't get the award today. >> if we were awarding it now we wouldn't give it to him because we don't think the response has been up to scratch and has been good enough. >> reporter: munos was the first of nine children in his family to graduate from college, and five weeks into his position at united, he had a heart attack and underwent a heart transplant, only to come back months later. but whether he can come back from this is still up in the air. united airlines stock lost $250 million in market value just today. and erin, this is really a global problem for united there's been a lot of outrage on china's version of twitter after seeing dr. dow who's vietnamese being dragged off the plane. their pr cleanup needs to go beyond just the united states. >> now our legal analyst paul
callan, former prosecutor, it is shocking, you see dr. dow at one point running through the aisle. >> i have to go home. i have to go home. >> saying i have to go home. he's got a bloody face as he does this. you hear him screaming, he says just kill me with that bloody face. how does this play in a court case? >> lawsuits are about two things, what are the damages to the person who was hurt and who are you suing? and here the damages did not look enormous, although he is still in the hospital sand maybe it's triggered another heart attack, so it could be a catastrophic injury, but the target here, united airlines, this is a public relations disaster for them. they, just today they were going between 250 million and 500 million in terms of decreased value for the company, and what
that spells for a lawyer who takes this case is, to buy off a public relations disaster, they're going to have to pay in doctor a lot of money. his case is going to get more than it normally would. >> you might be talking $50,000? >> i'm talking about $500,000 to a million dollars if this case is handled properly. they want to get this out -- it's going to be an ongoing united airlines disaster. the only way you get out of the disaster is pay him money and get a sealed settlement and move on. >> united airlines clearly needs a new pr campaign. >> reporter: talk about turbulence, united better fasten it's seat belt, attacked on twitter, boarded as a doctor, left as a patient, we put the hospital in hospitality, paro
parodied in late night. >> look at what you did? >> give us a problem, and we'll drag your ass off the plane. >> reporter: this movie clip from airplane has taken off. the word of the week is reaccommodate, as we can reaccommodate you the easy way or the hard way. getting ready to fly involves bubble wrap for man and man's best friend. the captain has turned on the no passenger sign. most of the online slings and arrows came via the hash tag new united airlines motto. we have first class, low class and no class. united airlines offers now cabin class, fight club. and please cover your head and brace yourself for a beating. old commercials are being turned
into mashups. >> performing together with a single united purpose. >> oh, my god! look at what you did to him! >> that's what makes the world's leading airline flyer friendly. >> their parody as from other airlines, southwest, we beat the competition, not you. and an actual, real ad from emirates airlines. mocking united with its own slogan, and this, became comply with me. >> and we'll beat you so badly, you'll be using your own face as a flotation device. >> reporter: united is now the one taking a beating and it's the internet that's being unfriendly. jeanne mos, cnn, new york. and we'll be right back. so you're having a party?
how nice. i'll be right there. and the butchery begins. what am i gonna wear? this party is super fancy. let's go. i'm ready. are you my uber? [ horn honks ] hold on. don't wait for watchathon week to return. [ doorbell rings ] who's that? show me netflix. sign up for netflix on x1 today and keep watching all year long.
thank you for joining us. don't forget you can watch "out front" any time anywhere, just watch cnn go. anderson is next with "a.c. 360." a showdown with russia over the poison gas attack in syria, and after stays of botched statements from united airlines for dragging that man off the flight, the ceo issues an actual apology. all that and more on the program ahead, but we begin with breaking news on the donald trump administration charges of improper surveillance by the obama administration. cnn is learning more about the claims of house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes that members of the obama administration improperly questioned the names of people named in intelligence reports. here's what congressman nunes has said