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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  March 24, 2015 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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>> texas senator ted cruz officially announced he's running for president. yeah. cruise said after doing exhaustive research to see if he chance to win he said, screw it i'm going to run anyway. that's the attitude -- that's the right attitude. >> ted cruz could be president of the united states, and if you thought the secret service was drinking before, well -- >> finally carnival is no longer the most dangerous cruise in america. >> welcome to "morning joe." it's early, says john heilemann. you're complaining already. >> yes. >> because barnicle's presence. >> really? >> no i love mike barnicle. >> love is there. >> please don't be like donny yesterday. >> oh, yeah. >> that was weird. he was like handsy and telling you he loved you and kissing me. >> i promise never to do that. >> good lord. he could not stop -- >> don't have any problem there.
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>> could not stop talking about know your value conferences with this guy licking me and kissing me. >> donny licked you? >> wet kisses. >> he licked you? >> yes. it was too much. too much. >> grotesque. >> i though. i think he should apologize. anyhow, in washington we have senior contributor "daily caller qult and columnist of the week matt lewis and editorial director for "the national journal." great to have you onboard. >> speaking of grotesque, huh? >> huh? >> talking about a power tan dumb from washington, d.c. >> i wonder what they have to say about ted cruz which we will get to. but first, what is on the front pages of every paper this morning. we start with israel prime minister benjamin netanyahu scrambling to deal with fallout on dual fronts this morning, multiple fronts. a report in the "wall street journal" claims israel spied on closed door talks between the u.s. and iran over a possible
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nuclear deal. netanyahu allegedly used the classified information to urge members of congress to oppose any agreement. all of a sudden that speech here is looking a little bit dirtier than it already did. officials say the disclosures outraged the white house more than the spying itself. netanyahu and israel ambassador ron dermer reportedly knew their actions would damage ties to the white house but decided the end result justified the means. however, the plan apparently backfired as many democratic lawmakers were not onboard. israeli officials say they do not spy on the u.s. or other allies. meanwhile, netanyahu is apologizing publicly for warning that israel arabs were voting in quote, droves saying he realizes the comments were offensive but he is still facing criticism for stating he opposed a two-state solution and now his critics include a former republican secretary of state. take a look.
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>> in the aftermath of netanyahu's recent election victory the chance of a two-state solution appears even slimmer, of course given his reversal on the issue, on the eve of israel's elections last week. remember, three months after he first took office as his country's prime minister in 2009 netanyahu shared his vision for a two-state solution. since then his actions have not matched his rhetoric as settlement construction has continued. >> john heilemann, baker, come on. >> well -- >> well what? well what? >> yes. james addison baker iii. it has been -- this has been the policy of the united states for every administration in our lifetimes to be in favor of a two-state solution. james baker when he was
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secretary of state under george herbert walker bush there was a lot of tension that people forget about that bush administration and likud and israel. it doesn't surprise me at all that there will be bipartisan consensus among republican states men of which james baker is certainly one, and democrats on the kind of complete horror show that this relationship is now. >> it's a horror show. >> the turn of events that have occurred over the course of -- really over the course of the last few years but coming to a real peak or valley in the last month and a half. >> ron, i would like to go with you. what i have a problem with is that president obama is taking the hits for this horror show. do you think that's fair at this point given what we've learned? let's assume part of the "wall street journal" article is true. >> oh, i assume the whole thing is true. the man who wrote that story, i worked with him at the white house, excellent reporter.
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it's does show what a dysfunctional horrow show we have to use john's phrase. how many times in the past do we have an ally to spy on americans to divide americans. republicans from the -- why has the white house got into a position where number one spied upon. >> wait a minute. whoa. >> being spied upon. and number two, how is it that they're not keeping congress more in the loop to not be used as wedge. >> excuse me ron. matt lewis, may i just ask you. who at this point really is taking -- why is the president obama taking the hits for this horror show given what we've learned in the "wall street journal" today given what we saw happening in congress, and given what we saw in the runup to the israel election? can you please help me out here? could you please cut through the b.s.? >> i don't know if i can help you out, mika. i think benjamin netanyahu was prime minister in the '90s when bill clinton was president. i think bill clinton handled the
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relationship with israel much better. and i think there's really no doubt that during the obama administration things have gotten very very tense and i'm not saying that it's entirely his fault, but it is very clear that the relationship with our ally israel is not good right now and i think at least part of the blame probably does go to the white house. >> i just want to know what you're all afraid of. i do. i don't understand. >> i'm afraid, mika of pretend that this is only the fault of one party. a relationship -- >> i'm not saying that. i'm just waiting for somebody to actually come close to stating what really has happened here. >> well, the israelis spied on americans to divide americans. that's not a very good thing. it's not a healthy thing for an ally to do. now, the president has got to help put this relationship back together. it's partly on him as well. it's just a fact. he is the commander in chief. he's responsible for the relationship. >> it just seems to me that every time we talk about benjamin netanyahu's tactics from literally flipping on the two-state solution some would
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say perhaps misleading people or lying, race baiting or some would say a lesser version of and now this spying. why are you laughing? >> a stronger version of i believe david referred to it as racism. >> everybody says, john heilemann, and i saw you stumbling. >> i'm not stumbling. >> everyone says yes, but. yes, but, but, but, but, but, but. a relationship with israel is what it is. it is going to remain strong and tied together by a lot of different historic reasons. but you know what? at some point you've got to call a spade a spade. mike barnicle, want to help me out? >> two different relationships. historic and longstanding relationship between the united states government and israel and the bitter fractured relationship between the presidents of the united states and benjamin netanyahu and between benjamin netanyahu and the secretary of state of the united states who has dealt with him consistently and honorably over a period of years. >> thank you. >> and benjamin netanyahu has
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been deceptive, he has been argumentative, he habiterly opposed to most of the goals that would require some strong step toward peace in the middle east. and it's frustrating. the "wall street journal" piece -- >> i bet you're looking at what i'm about to -- >> terrific piece of reporting. clearly, clearly adam had a lot of sources within the united states government to help propel this story forward and, clearly, this is not the first time this has occurred with israel spying on the united states. >> thees spi an nanlg didn't upset the white house as much as israel's sharing with inside information with u.s. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high stakes deal intended to limit iran's nuclear program. it goes on to say, using levers of political influence unique to israel netanyahu and determiner calculated that a lobbying campaign in congress before an announcement was made would improve the chances of killing or reshaping any deal.
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>> by the way it's been a long time since an israeli ambassador to the united states has worked hard to do so much damage to the relationship between the two. >> yes. okay thank you, mike barnicle. thank you. thank you. >> let me quick play devil's advocate. everybody spies on everybody. we spied on angela merkel for one thing. another thing is look -- what about this is -- whether or not this is overrout there is a real sensesomething, including netanyahu, that this is an existential crisis that if iran goes nuclear, it is a huge huge deal. i think that explains why extreme measures have been taken. >> matt, beverly hills you get to iran going nuclear, the house of representatives and the speaker of the house already went nuclear on the president the united states by establishing his own foreign policy. john boehner is speaker of the house, he's not secretary of state and he's not president and he invites behind the scenes the
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head of israel. >> and plays into their hands. >> come to the united states and, by the way, bibi don't tell the president we asked you. >> use matt's analogy. the analogous thing would be yes, everybody spies on everybody but the analogous thing to be is the united states to try to use intelligence gleaned while spying on germany to break up nato. >> matt matt -- >> it's really -- there's a element to this. >> everybody has their own server? i'm just curious. i mean you have to get your bias out of what is going on here. >> look, i'm playing devil's advocate here. while we're on it let me say, what's unclear that netanyahu, let's go to the two-state solution right? one way of viewing it is that he played this up to win the election that he's being divisive. but if you take him at his word what he is saying is he has aspirational goal is for a two-state solution. >> really.
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>> ask him if it's possible, if it's feasible, if it's going to actually happen he would say no. >> i can't. >> a lot of bombs in israel as they did in gaza. >> that wasn't what he sid. >> god. >> what he said was he was no longer in favor of a two-state solution which contradicts the official policy of israel and contra contradicts what he said during his prime ministership and the stated policy of israel and the united states for decades. >> you guy, seriously using a different set of rules, i have to say. >> ron one thing is for sure. this is a terrific piece of reporting in the wall street. >> i mean, unbelievable. it kind of makes the republicans look really used. let's move on to presidential politics. we will revisit this, i am absolutely positive. yesterday in front of a packed house at liberty university senator ted cruz became the first candidate to announce a presidential run for 2016. speaking with no notes and no teleproerchter at the christian
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college's convocation he unmistakeably tried to stake outertory with young evangelicals urging them to get off the sideline, vowed to protect obamacare and stand with israel framing his vision for the country as the politics of imagination. >> imagine health care reform that keeps government out of the way between you and your doctor. imagine a simple flat tax. imagine abolishing the irs. imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders. imagine repealing every word of common core. i want to ask each of you to imagine, imagine millions of courageous conservatives all across america rising up together to say in unison we demand our liberty. >> cruz is likely to face a
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formidable field and an up hill battle when it comes to fund-raising. he was polling in the single dimg jits in many early contest states. early announcement was seen as a jab at rand paul who is expected to announce on april 7th. paul supporters made their presence felt at cruz's rollout appearing in the background in stand with rand tees. last night while applauding cruz for being a conservative paul insisted he is best suited to take on hillary clinton. >> we kind of come from the same wing of the party, and if you look at our voting records you will find that we're very very similar. i guess what makes us different is probably our approach as to how we would make the party bigger. i'm a big believer that you all should stand on principle and be true to your principles but i also think that we should take those principles and try to bring in new people with them. i spent the last couple of years trying to go places republicans haven't gone and maybe not just throwing out red meat but actual actually throwing out something
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intellectually enticing to people who haven't been listening to our message before. >> joining us from washington msnbc political correspondent kasie hunt who was there at yesterday's announcement. what did it feel like? how did it seem to you? >> good morning, mika. it had the feel over all of a mega church sermon. in t. hall was packed with students who were required to be there. but cruz appealed to them pretty successfully. there were a couple of lines that fell a little bit flat but he had a lot of good applause lines. he was greeted like a rock star afterward. i went to the floor afterward and he was mobbed with students who tried to take selfies. one woman tried to give him a cupcake. another woman tried to speak to him in spanish and he acknowledged he grew up speaking spanglish when he talked to her. the optics were great. he succeeded in getting the attention that he has been lacking lately. i got a note from facebook they say that there were 2.2 million people, individual people, who engaged with him on facebook,
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which is up from 70,000 people in the previous 90 days. so clearly he's generated interest here. but i think what you mentioned before about money is going to be the key issue. there's a reason why he's taking the next ten days and going on a major fund-raising tour instead of heading straight into the early states. >> matt lewis, how do you think he did? i hear you compare him to president obama. i'd like you to develop on that a little bit, if you could. >> yeah. >> i think he did very well. i think it was a very good announcement speech. it is interesting. he used the word imagine. i counted 38 times, some people say 40. but that's a lot. and it's calculated. you noeksknow, frank luntz has said the word imagine is the most powerful word in the english language. you don't accidentally use the word imagine 38 times. i think the reason he did it is because it works. i think he's tapping into something that barack obama tapped into when he talked about, you know believe and when he talked about hope and
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change things like that. there's a desperation out there in the public on both sides of the political spectrum. they're desperate and they want to believe that somebody can, i would say, magically solve their problems. it's a leap of faith, right? in the case of barack obama he had really no experience of you know governing as an executive. he had no experience of, you know transcending the political paradigm and bringing people together. but we believed he did or a lot of americans believed he did. and i think cruz by the word imagine, is trying to convince people to just imagine there's something special about him. he has the cult of personality and somehow he can magically be the next ronald reagan george washington, or fdr, all men that he cited in his speech. >> okay. we're going to talk more about that and also still ahead, we're going to talk about hillary clinton. >> that's it? no more ted cruz? >> i think we'll save it. you want to go there, don't you,
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badly. >> let him. >> uh-huh. >> a little bit. >> after your helpaon netanyahu. >> it was the first question of the morning. i'm still waking up. >> oh, please. lame. >> give me a break. >> there's a word for people like you. >> i can go cruz. >> now listen we're going to talk about ted cruz because i -- i actually think people are underestimating him. but there's a lot to say. also hillary clinton is trying to make up with the press a little bit yesterday. she had a really interesting couple of comments about us. i spoke with one of her top people yesterday as well and i'll share with you about that. also benjamin netanyahu's top spokesman joins us following the prime minister's apology to israeli arabs. we'll ask him about the "wall street journal" report about israel spying on the u.s. also the police chief of ft. lauderdale weighs in on the use of racial slurs within the department. he's going to join us. plus, forget what you know about apple steve jobs.
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the new book cuts down the conventional wisdom to expose the man behind the machine. but first, there are so many segues here. >> the machine behind the man? >> oh, god, just stop. >> i know. >> it's -- we should try and have one day where we're kind to each other and you're not lewd. >> i am always kind to you. i say great things constantly to everyone when you're not around everyone. >> uh-huh. >> all right. nose getting any longer? let's talk about what's happening out there. tornado season is right around the corner. if you notice we haven't talked about many tshds this march because we've been talking about snow and ice for so long now. we are nowing looking at the quietest start ever to a around the season. we've had no tornadoes so far this month. this breaks the previous record when the last first tornado was march 23rd, record for fewest ever in a march was six. we are going to have a chance for a few severe storms over the next couple of days. if we're going to have any most likely wednesday afternoon and evening. i have my eyes on oklahoma and
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possibly missouri. this morning we just got your garden variety thunderstorms and heavy rain across missouri. kind of strange to be talking about thunderstorms when we've been talking about winter weather so long. so here it is today. 7:00 p.m. the orange and red shows you where the chance of severe storms would be. we're talking st. louis through missouri and then as we go through this evening, make it to st. louis around 10:00 11:00. tomorrow is the big show. that's when we have the best chance of severe storms. anywhere from oklahoma city approaching dallas back up through southern portions of missouri. near st. louis, also. the best chance of severe weather will be oklahoma and eastern oklahoma as we go throughout wednesday evening. the rest of the forecast the east looks very quiet today. very enjoyable day from florida through the mid atlantic. still cold in new england. i got good news boston on thursday you have a chance of hitting 60 degrees for the first time in 3 1/2 months. you deserve it. we all do. we leave you with a shot of washington, d.c. i think barnicle is doing an
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irish dance in the streets there. i just said 60 degrees. washington, d.c. going to be a nice afternoon after a chilly start. taxi. vo: after years of being treated like she was invisible it occurred to mindy she might actually be invisible. ♪♪ but mindy was actually not invisible. ooh, what are you doing? can you see me? she had just always been treated that way. yeah. you don't have to look at me like that. there are worst things than an attractive woman touching your body.
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now to the con tr verse shul rolling stones story on an alleged gang rape at the university of virginia that became a story itself. a month's long police investigation is now suspended after officials announce there is no evidence to support what was detailed in the magazine's reporting. nbc's gabe gutierrez has more. gabe? >> reporter: mika charlottesville police had been investigating this for months. the police chief now saying that he can't rule out something happened, it just wasn't what was described in that "rolling stone" article. it was the story that rocked the university of virginia and sparked a national conversation about sexual assault. now police said they found no evidence that it was true and have suspended the investigation.
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>> that doesn't mean that something terrible did not happen to jackie. we are just not able to gather sufficient facts to conclude what that something may have been. >> reporter: the lengthy "rolling stone" article was published in november. a woman the magazine called jackie claims she was gang raped in 201 by seven february at the ph icap a si house. >> were you able to find the fraternity member who orchestrated this attack? >> no. >> reporter: charlottesville police chief said jackie did not cooperate with the rape investigation. the shocking story initially led university officials to halt all greek activities but soon jackie's friends began to raise doubts. >> she said there were five men. the article reported seven. >> reporter: "rolling stone" apologized to the readers saying there now appears to be discrepancies in jackie's account. on the campus they worry the discredited story will have a chilling affect on future sexual assault victims coming forward.
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>> these stories will begin to open for women to speak out perhaps are getting slammed even harder. >> reporter: ph icap a psi is exploring legal options to address the extensive damage caused by "rolling stone." for its part they are expecting an independent investigation into that article conducted by columbia university's journalism school to be published within the next few weeks. mika? >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. and joining us now we have host of "the docket "and former prosecutor and civil rights attorney sema ira. sema, you would say you would not advise the fraternity to sue "rolling stone." >> i would not advise that because through another lawsuit we have depositions and depositions then open up prior acts of misconduct potentially by members of the fraternity. also, through these depositions and through communications members of the fraternity could then end up talking about some
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type of corroboration into jackie's story which, again, opens up the investigation that is allegedly not closed. >> according to the cops. >> there has been such damage to the reputation all around. i mean this university was put on the map for so many other reasons and then all the focus became this. >> mika you could also say that they are a public ebtity right? as a public figure they're actually waived out of any kind of defamation suit. however, in the journalistic sense, maybe they have a lawsuit for negligence. there's a few options here. >> thank you. you can catch sema every tuesday at 11:00 a.m. on "the docket on shift" by msnbc. charlottesville police chief is going to join "morning joe" live in our 7:00 eastern hour with more on the investigation. we look forward to talking with him. and coming up we'll talk to the stanford lecturer who is fielding a whole lot of phone calls from republican presidential contenders right
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now. why he's the man to talk to for the gop in 2016. plus, hillary clinton meets one-on-one with president obama at the white house. what was on the agenda? we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." the volkswagen jetta is really fun-to-drive. go for it. okay. wow... woohoo! i'm dreaming... pinch me. no, not while you're driving. and, right now, you can get a one-thousand-dollar volkswagen credit bonus on jetta models. seriously, pinch me. it's not a dream. ow! it's the volkswagen stop dreaming, start driving event. stop dreaming, and test-drive one today. hurry in and you can get 0% apr plus a $1000 volkswagen credit bonus on 2015 jetta and passat models. there's nothing more romantic than a spontaneous moment.
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we're going to get to that in just a second.
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hillary clinton kicked off her week with a busy day in washington on monday and it included a meeting with barack obama. press secretary josh earnest said the president met quietly with him for about an hour. president obama and secretary clinton enjoy catching up in person when their schedules permit and the two discussed a, quote, range of topics. that's not really saying anything. earlier it in day clinton appeared on a panel at the left-leaning center for american progress. last night she spoke at a journalism awards ceremony where she joked about her relationship with the press and recent news surrounding her e-mail practices while at the state department. >> i'm well aware that some of you may be a little surprised to see me here tonight. you know my relationship with the press has been at times, shall we say, complicated. but i am all about new
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beginnings. a new grandchild another new hairstyle hairstyle, a new e-mail account. why not a new relationship with the press? so here it goes. no more secrecy. no more zone of privacy. after all, what good did that do me? >> okay. joining us now for the must read opinion panls fellow at the hoover institute and director of domestic policy studies at stanford university lonnie chen. first, hillary, any thoughts on what she just said? >> that was really awkward. i just thought it was awkward. i think all the discussions around the e-mail she's had have been very awkward to me. and they don't event sincerity and that's the biggest problem. >> i didn't know what to say
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coming out of that because i actually spoke with one of her top people yesterday. i've had really hard time getting to her, reaching her, and it's not just about me. i mean being able to cover the story. and it almost seems like there's this moat around her and it's actually hurting a great personality that she has. and from what i have heard from people who have interviewed her, my husband has interviewed her, i've talked to his photographers. she's very personable. really nice and really fun. i wouldn't know because there's no access. and so the joking is awkward at this point. i'm not really sure what to make of that. ron forni text jump? >> i've known the clintons since mid '80s. i koved them edcovered them many arkansas. first, for any politician the best thing you can do to get the benefit of the doubt from the
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media is for us to get to know you as a person to understand where you're coming from to give us access so that there's context behind what you're saying. that's for any politician. for her, you're right. she's very likable. she's very friendly. she's very smart. she's a very hard person to not like once you get to know her. so the best thing she could be doing for her press relations is to let the media who are around her get to know her and, two, don't spin, don't dissemble, don't put this moat around her. she really hurt herself with her press corps two weeks ago when he said the e-mails, that was about convenience when we all know it wasn't about convenience. so now there's a doubt about hers credibility sow with the people around her. >> no i know. the conversation i had yesterday was really tough because i'm sorry, i haven't been able to figure out how we actually cover this story.
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and trying to ask questions is not -- it's about what we do so -- are you okay there? what were you going to say, john heilemann, besides hubbeta, hubbeta. >> there are many things to say about her as a person in private. i think ron said that she got off on the wrong foot with the media two weeks ago around the e-mail story. there's so much scar tissue now for her with the press. some of it is -- some of it is earned. >> may i please push back on that though. >> not until i finish my sentence. >> fine. one sentence. >> i'm not excusing her. she needs to have a better relationship with the press. it hurts her to have a bad relationship with the press. i've been as critical on this e-mail thing as anybody. but it does -- it is 25 30 years of scar tissue that's built all for her and on both sides. the press sees the clintons through a more negative prism
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than it looks at other democratic politicians. whatever you think of lib wall buy liberal bias. it's not going to get -- it's not going to change. >> oh, wait i think -- i disagree. let me tell you why i disagree. >> it's not going to change. >> i've been studying the dynamics of men and women leaders. and you know what men do when they want to change the dynamic? they press the reset button and they just move forward and they forget all the clutter that's happened in the past. she needs to do that. she can do that. i think she could do this in the blink of an eye if she actually moved for walter reedward and dealt with the press and let her personality come through. quite frankly, get a message and go. men do it all the time. i'm telling you, i've seen politicians literally change their fate in the course of one speech or one conversation because they press the reset button. i know women can do it too. >> i don't want deny it's impossible. >> you guys are amazing the things you block out in relationship so you can move on
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with people. unbelievable. you should see joe and bill clinton. seriously. you go from impeachment to the two of them being best buddies. i don't know how it happens. do you know how it happens? men press the reset buttons. >> i'll ask ron. ron -- >> no we've got to go to lonnie. >> quickly. in your many years of koving the clintons, ron, isn't the thing so resonant is the fact this is a recurring -- he rer flexes -- the way she's reacted to this incident is how she's reacted to every thing in the past 25 years. >> mika, you're right. that's what she has to do. john, you're right. it's hard for her to do it because she goes back to early 1980s, late '70s when she got beat up by the arkansas press and by the arkansas voters because she had the awed das city to use her maiden name. that kind of thing lingers with her. she ran the education standards in arkansas successfully but she was seen as being -- >> i disagree. >> no, i'm telling you why she has scar tissue. >> i know.
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but she had that reset button. remember, she brought it to russia. come on now. >> she's got to do that. i'm trying to explain why it's hard for her, mika. >> lonnie you've gotten call frgs rubes from rubio christie why are they calling you, who do you like? >> i like all of those guys. i think the challenge for republicans. you saw this with ted cruz yesterday. we know what ted cruz is against. >> we do. >> he does b like obamacare or amnesty. >> he made that clear. >> or the irs. >> or executive action. but what we need the know more about is what do republicans stand for. i think that will be the big challenge in this election and that's what cruz has got to do and all these other guys have got to do as well. >> why are they calling you and what would you do for them? >> i think they're interested in hearing about some of the things that we probably could have done better in 2012. i think they're interested in hearing about where i and others who think about policy think the party needs to be to be successful in this election. ultimately what it means to have -- whoa wee talk about an
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upwardly mobile agenda and opportunity agenda. what does that mean? the candidates are starting to think through that issue. >> i think probably -- this is probably a little bit too -- a word or two on each one. walker how would you describe him? >> walker has got a very good record i think in some ways for presidential campaign. the question now is how does he translate what he did in wisconsin to a national agenda. >> rubio? >> great thinker. i've been spending the last couple of years thinking and conservative policy solutions. >> christie. >> christie again, translating new jersey into a national campaign. >> tough. >> well, i think he's going to have some challenges, yeah. i think the question there is how does he talk about the new jersey record in a way that people find compelling. >> jeb bush. >> jeb bush he's the wonk's wonk but in some way he talks about policy even when no one else wants to hear about it. the question is going to be how does he take that interest and talk about policy in a relatable way. >> how does he not be pore boring? >> relatable. i person to say relatable.
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>> that's great. rand paul. >> with rand paul i think what space is he going to be in. he was sort of -- i know they don't want to say isolationist but that's the space he was in. not where the foreign policy electorate of the party is now i think. so how does he pivot that message away from where he's been. >> ted cruz. >> what is he for? that's the big question there. we know what he's against but we've got to figure out what he's for. >> ben carson. >> please. >> thank you very much. very good. >> one thing to say before we go on this segment on your theory about men and women. >> yes. >> i think what a lot of people don't understand for hillary clinton, for 30 years, she has taken the criticism personally. >> and -- wow. and that's actually something i talk about a lot, too. she has. put it away. press the reset button. move forward. others will follow. that's what men do. it's unbelievable but you guys can block out -- >> she needs to bring the red button. >> the red button.
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>> i need a red button too. i need a red button every day. i need one right here for every five minutes for sitting with you people. not you. nice to have you on. >> don't trash lonhee. >> i like lonhee. will you come back? >> i would be happy to. >> are you in new york a lot? >> every couple of weeks, actually. >> why don't you stay for the next segment. can you? >> sure. >> don't leave. even though heilemann is staying. up next this book "flash boys" didn't win many friends on wall street. best-selling author michael lewis is next with the banking industry a year later, how is it? we'll be right back.
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when i'm shopping for a used car, i want to be comfortable. i don't want an aggressive salesperson breathing down my neck pressuring me into a decision. when i go to the supermarket there's no one pushing me to buy the more expensive cereal. i just want to shop like i do everywhere else. ♪ ♪ as long as people drive cars carmax will be the best way to buy them. i think it's really hard -- >> you said in the book that's when i knew the markets were rigged. it's disgusting that you're trying to parse your words now okay? you can't say that. >> you are quoted that way in
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the book. but -- >> okay. let's wake through an example. >> do you believe it or not? because you said it. >> let me walk you through an example. >> yes or no question. do you believe it or not? >> i believe the markets are rigged. >> okay. there you go. >> i also think that you're a part of the rigging. if you want to do this, let's do this. >> i really do. >> that was part of the heated argument between two operators of stock exchange markets, brad who accused bill o'brien's market bats of rigging their markets by using what's known as high frequency trading. joining us now columnist for bloomburg news and author of" the big short and money ball" michael lewis. he brought attention to high frequency trading in his book "flash boys" which is now out in paperback. wow. how are you? good to have you back on the show. >> good. >> okay. so the rigging, it's happening, right? >> nothing fundamentally has changed. >> nothing? come on. name one thing. >> a lot of little things have
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changed but the basic incentives in the market haven't changed. the business of a handful of actors being able to purchase special access to stock market information and having a fast review of the market so that -- essentially enables them to trade against ordinary investors at stale prices. that's still going on. what has happened is a flurry of fines of lawsuits and accusations of market manipulation coming out of area various regulatory bodies directed at either dark pools or high frequency traders. and this new exchange that brad created, iex has gotten bigger. it becomes a public exchange in the fall. and is creating a kind of litmus test in the marketplace. >> that was the question i was going to ask for anybody who doesn't understand. the guy on that clip was brad who is the hero of your book in a lot of ways and he was trying to bring market forces to the alleged market which ch is a
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rigged market, right? i was curious to see how far he's gotten and whether there are -- how successful he is now and whether other people are following in his footsteps to try to remedy through the market the problem that you identified. >> what he did, he went from being a trader on wall street and discovered the problem as a trader on wall street to decide the regulatory system wasn't going to do anything about the problem, create an exchange which would be a level playing field, eliminate the speed and high frequency traders had. the exchange is growing fast. small still. a little more than 1% of the market. but there are still a -- private market. still a dark pool. profitable attracted a lot of venture capital. to me one of the interesting by products is he's created a kind of market test that investors, the big investors who -- like mutual funds that trade on his exchange, can now see, quantify the costs of the rigging in the
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market to him and they are starting to do it. i talked to -- one of the biggest mutual fund managers in the country, trades 80$80 billion of stock a year and has calculated that it costs him a third of a percent each year 240 million bucks. to operate in a market to be the front-runner. that's the market force. if investors start to be told that this is costing you this if they're too lazy to do anything about it, the people whose money they're managing will do something about it. that's the path of change. >> $40 million is even big money to you. >> lonhee? >> the sort of notion of the markets being rigged this is why -- not totally related but i think this is why there's so much movement behind audit the fed, right? people get really worked up and amped up about the notion of the opacity of what's happening in our financial markets. that's why people want things like we've got to audit the fed even though the fed is already
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audited six ways to sunday. michael, how is it being received in the valley in silicon valley which is where i spend most of my time and -- >> you probably know. >> yeah. >> the financial system is more than one -- it's not a mono. and to generalize grotesquically the capitalists in sill can valley can't stand the capitalists on wall street. they think of themselves as people who create jobs create growth, sponsor innovation, like disruptive change, and see the people on wall street as people who are trying to preserve a status quo that's way outdated. intermediaries in a world what is rapidly eliminating intermediary intermediaries. it's been taken extremely well. the funding that brad katsuyama got in a new exchange in silicon valley. silicon valley and big mutual fund investors and hedge fund investors. so there's a kind of culture war going on in finance.
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and i think the entrepreneur has a big role to play. >> all right. fascinating. "flash boys" is now out in paperback. michael lewis, thank you. always good to see you. and coming up two years after a preventive double mastectomy angelina jolie is going public after another health scare. her brave admission up next on "morning joe." worke helped perform 26.6 million surgeries deliver 3.7 million babies and treat 133 million e.r. patients. now congress is considering cuts which could increase wait times reduce staff, and threaten your community's health. keep the heart of america's hospitals strong. for you and your family tell congress: don't cut hospital care.
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all right. we're getting some new
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information in here. nbc news has confirmed that a german wing a-320 has crashed in france. a plane was traveling from barcelona to and we are hearing this is a large aircraft a-320. and there are reports at this point 142 people are onboard. again, a german wing a-320 has crashed in france. i believe in the alps. is that what we're hearing? the train was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf. we're getting a lot of information in from different agencies that we're trying to double and triple check. a plane heading to dusseldorf from barcelonascelona crashed in the alps. possibly 142 people onboard. we're going to follow this story and have much more information for you straight ahead.
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all right. welcome back. we've got breaking news. even the headline even is suggesting absolutely terrible news. the german air traffic control is confirming to nbc news that a german wing's a320 airbus has crashed in france. it's crashed in the french alps. this is a large boeing aircraft. 142 people onboard. we are being told at this point, plus two pilots and four flight attendant attendants. the plane crashing in the french a,lps on its way to dusseldorf from barcelona. again, nbc news confirming that a german wing a320 has crashed in southern france. we're working on getting more
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information. around 6:20 eastern time the plane, we are told likely disappeared from radar. the crash site apparently has been located because we are getting word that firefighters are on the way to the scene. exactly where that scene is we don't know at this point. hard to tell if there are any survivors on such a large plane traveling at that level with 142 people onboard. but again, an airbus an a320 has crashed in the alps. this is according to german air traffic control and nbc news has double confirmed this. the aircraft was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf. we're looking atlanta least 1-- at least 142 people onboard and two pilots and four flight attendants. we have squonjohn cox on the phone. he flew these types of plane so he may be able to give us
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insight as to what happened. john, we know so little at this point but it looks very bad. >> unfortunately it does. some of the earlier reports say they have gotten -- spotted remains of the aircraft actually on the ground. the a320 which is reported to be from german wings, this is a very well-known and tried and tested aircraft type. it's been in service for about 30 years, i think now. and german wings is a well-known, well respected airline. and the airplane, initial reports say it was a 38,000 feet and then something occurred and it initiated a rapid descent. that's about all the information we have here. the a320 has had a good safety record, so it's a well-known airplane and widely used. that's about all we know right now. >> i understand. how many people can be onboard?
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i'm told this is a large boeing aircraft. the numbers at this point are 142 onboard, plus two pilots and four flight attendants. >> 142 passengers would be an average configuration for an a320. the a320 is actually built in france by airbus industries. and so 142 would be normal and a crew of 6 would also be normal. this is an average size a320. >> do you know anything about the location of the crash at this point? we have reports that firefighters are on the way to the scene, but we don't know exactly where that scene is yet. >> the only thing i have indications through some sources that i have not independently verified is this is about 30 miles southeast of marse, france. that's the only information i've been able to glean so far. >> what do you know about the
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area now? mountainous? >> not very much. i believe the hard reports that's it in the mountains but i don't have that substantiated yet. >> john cox, if you could stay with us. i want to review what we know right now. the town is deni in france. can you look that up? 30 miles southeast of marse. a german wings aircraft is what we're reporting according to nbc news and german air traffic control has crashed. it was dravling from barcelona to doesusseldorf. traveling in the town of digy 30 miles south, according to john cox who is getting information in from different sources but has not been completely able to corroborate it. 30 miles southeast of marce.
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this is an airplane that's been in service for 30 years. german wings has a good safety record according to cox bs and we're being told it disappeared off radar and there was a rapid descent into the alps. the weather in that area was 56 degrees, mostly cloudy. pretty normal. and the number of people onboard, 142, 2 pilots and 4 fright willing attendants. a large boeing aircraft has crashed. we're getting word in to nbc in the past ten minutes in the french alps. we have anthony romans a former commercial pilot on the phone right now. anthony, when you hear of this very limited information we have what can you tell us about the type of plane, the area where it was traveling and the very little we know about the disappearance from radar and rapid descent? >> well, i understand the airline that suffered this terrible tragedy is german wings
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flying an airbus a320 aircraft. it also appears that lutanza airlines provides the maintenance service for the german wings aircraft. so it would be receiving excellent maintenance. they have a wonderful reputation and a wonderful safety record relative to its maintenance program. there are 142 passengers onboard, but very little is known about the weather or the cause of the aircraft to crash. we are researching that now. but we do know that in general, the a320 aircraft is an extremely modern airliner that has all of the computerized equipment that one would expect. it is a two-crew aircraft. in other words, there is a pilot and a co-pilot along with a number of flight attendants.
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and it is one of the safest aircraft in the sky today. >> yeah. we are hearing, anthony, if i can interrupt you, i'd like to hear more of what you have to say because it's very helpful but just late information coming in. total of 150 people onboard, that would include the passengers and crew. and as you said this is a subsidiary of luthansa. has a very, very good record. apparently we're hear that the pilot radioed in to say "in distress." this is according to french media sources. and that was just about the time it disappeared from radar just before 11:00 local time in france. so there was at least a bit of communication before the plane went down. again, a320 german wings crashed in the french alps in south --
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southern france. john cox, any more information come to mind given the very little details that are coming in, especially about the pilot radioing in saying that they were in distress? >> i've been an accident investigators for something over 30 years and i want to be very very, very cautious. in the early hours after an accident, a lot of information comes out that is later profit ven proven to be only partial accurate or misinformation. so before we go very far on whatever may have occurred in this tragedy is i think it's very incumbent on us to be very careful about making sure that what we learn and what we report and what we talk about is in fact substantiated and proven information. there's assumed single source report right now that there was a radio communication from the crew that indicated some kind of problem.
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that is right now single sourced. it may prove to be true but it may prove also to be not true. so we need to be very very very careful here. >> all right. i have the flight number here. so we're going to be releasing that at this point. german wings flight 4u9525. flight 4u9525. german wings which is a subsidiary of lufthansa. that plane has crashed on its way from barcelona to dusseldorf. 150 were onboard. 142 passengers and a crew of 8. again, this plane crashed in southern france in what appears to be a small town. last we heard about ten minutes ago, firefighters were on the way to the scene so they had located the crash site. and that is about all we know right now. we also do know from experts who are joining us by phone that
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this type of plane has a very good safety record. it's been in the air for decades. its model has. and that there's no indication at least at this point that there might be some sort of repeat situation happening here. and john cox, the flight number now official which gives people information if they know anybody traveling. we don't know much about where it crashed, but in terms of the flight path itself we're told the weather was pretty good about 56 degrees and partly cloudy, is what we were told. very hard to put things together at this point. >> it is. the information is going to trickle in throughout the day as more information becomes available. the reports are it was at 38,000 feet and it initiated a descent. the information is still not
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verified, not substantiated. and radar contact was lost as the airplane continued that descent. there is a sole source report that the pilot indicated there was a problem. they were not more specific than that. as of this moment, that is all we really know. >> did you bring in the information about the sudden rapid descent and where did you get that how did you hear about that? >> one of the sources that i use as a european news source. and i actually pulled it from there. and it's normally one of the ones that typically is pretty good but not always absolutely perfect. and that's one of the things i want to be very careful about is saying that we have reports. they are not substantiated. it's early yet. >> well, we now have the french transport minister he says that a distress signal was sent from the plane just prior to its disappearing from radar. we don't have any reports yet
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from anyone on the ground who have arrive at the crash scene. so we'll have to wait for that. >> unfortunately when you have airplanes that do the kind of des descent rates we're talking about with this airplane the likelihood of survivors is pretty low. >> well, let me if i may, the associated press is reporting, quoting the french president, saying that on flight number 4u9525 the german wing's aircraft that crashed while traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf in the french alps that there are no survivors. this according to the president of france. >> that would be consistent with this type of rapid descent unfortunately. so this is a major tragedy for the europeans, certainly for german wings and for the french.
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it's going to be a catastrophic. event. >> all right. if you're just joining us we are following breaking news right now on msnbc. a 320 german wings aircraft from barcelona to dusseldorf, traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf, has crashed in southern france in a town it appears about 30 miles away from marse. there are 150 onboard this plane. 142 passengers and a crew of 8. german wings is a subsidiary of lufthansa, the safety record on this plane is very good according to initial reports. we are hearing from the french minister of transport that the pilot did radio in to say that the plane was in distress. there's a report that it disappeared from the radar and then there was a sudden and rapid descent, both lufthansa and airbus are not commenting at this point.
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okay. and we have now joining us on the phone along with john cox and anthony romans mikey kay who has logged a lot of hours in the air. from what you're hearing so far, what are your thoughts and analysis here? >> good morning, mika. yeah i mean what has already been reported it's an a320. we know they were carrying 142 passengers. we know there were six crew onboard. a total of 148. it looks like the aircraft disappeared off radar at about 68,000 feet which puts it quite high in the french if alps region which is interesting. i certainly don't know what the weather conditions were like but usually in that part of the world at 68,000 feet it is winter time precipitation occurs. >> 38,000. >> over that region. so you know, again, we don't
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know if the aircraft was with imc which is in cloud or vmc, which is visual meteorological conditions. we're not sure of that as well. being around clouds is important in terms of the references. but in that part of the world as well they have what's called safety altitudes. and when ever an aircraft has a problem of any kind whether it be mechanical related or whether it be atc related, they will have certain altitudes that they will not be allowed to go below. and they're in the french alps region some of the terrain there can go well above 10,000 feet. so what the aircraft and the pilots will want to be doing is whenever they have an emergency of any kind, they will be looking at the safety altitude is within the area and looking to try and maintain an altitude at least sort of 3 to 5,000 feet above that. >> apparently we're going to clarify the level in which it
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was flying because we heard reports of 38,000 feet. just watching the different headlines from all the major news outlets, french president francois hollande said apparently no survives in the german wings craft. we are hearing different numbers here. up to 150 passengers onboard. let's go to london now. bill neely is standing by with more. bill, what can you tell us? >> yes, there is some confusion still but we believe the numbers onboard are 148. that's 142 passengers, 2 pilots and 4 other crew. a320 plane flying from barcelona to dusseldorf. as it was crossing the french alps, something happened. we don't know what. french president francois hollande has just made an address on national television saying it is a tragedy and no survivors are expected.
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no survivors are expected. the other thing about that area is it is very remote. we're talking about 8, 9,000 feet an area with very little road access. so even if there were survivors and, of course the french president simply doesn't know for certain that there are no survivors, but it's an area that it would be difficult for rescue teams to reach very easily. as for the cause of the crash, again, a complete mystery at the moment. this was a plane with a good safety record. the a320 is the workhorse of the industry. the weather appeared normal at the time with cloud and light winds. there was a distress signal sos signal called a 7700 which is sent in times of distress. many analysts are already saying it must have been something catastrophic onboard. obviously at that height there are no birds flying. it's not as if it's going to hit something at 34,000 feet. so something catastrophic
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onboard. as i say, 148 people suspected to have died according to the french president, no survivors expected. mika? >> bill neely, thank you very much for that synopsis of this breaking news. horrible terrible news coming out of europe this morning. if you're just joining us nbc news has confirmed a german wings aircraft that was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf has crashed. we are told there are up to 150 people onboard that plane and according to french president francois hollande there are no survivors. we now have a map up for you. this is where the plane crashed at digne les bains. the closest airport might have been monica but it didn't make it. the weather is just fine as bill neely just reported and the type of aircraft this is has a very very positive safety record. john cox, from everything that we're reporting, we have the
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flight number by the way. the flight number is 4u9525. and we're looking at reports of an sos signal that was sent in from pretty high altitude. analysts now saying, according to bill neely, that something catastrophic must have happened on the plane. i don't want you to surmise, john cox, but from what you know about the aircraft its history, and flying in that area what comes to mind in terms of the questions you would have at this point? >> well, i think a couple of things are important. if the reports of the distress indication from the airplane are, in fact utilizing the transponder, which there's a single report the emergency code is 7700. if that was displayed to air traffic, it says that the pilots knew they had a problem, that so
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far they have not reported any direct transmissions back and forth between the air traffic controllers and the airplane. so they don't indicate initially we don't have reports that they're trying to divert. they just say that there's a problem onboard. and that would be unusual because normally when you talk to air traffic control you have a plan already put together. we have had a problem, lost an engine, whatever it might be. and we need to go -- we need the following things. so all of these things come together and say that we don't have a lot of information, but to have an airplane have a problem at high altitude which is 38,000 feet and then descend so rapidly to something below 6,000 feet is very unusual because even if it's a depressurization you normally stop at 10,000 feet. so the continuing descent, that is something that certainly the
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investigators will look at very very closely. >> you saw it's unusual. can you think of cases in which that has happened and what has been the cause? >> the case where's you see airplanes at high altitude that are lost you can look at the air france airplane, you can look at a couple others you know in the cases of a loss of control event, but they're very rare. so these are -- these are things that the investigators are going to look at really carefully and understand what's happening. the flight data recorder, right now if in fact it's true that there are not any survivors in this tragedy, the next big thing is to get investigators on scene and to get the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder because they will tell the tale of what happened to this airplane. >> mike? >> i think john is absolutely correct. we know very little right now. we don't have any reports of
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anybody on the ground on the scene of the crash. what we do know is there are 148 dead. we do know the french transport minister has indicated a distress call was received from the plane prior to its crash. it was flying it between 34,000 and 38,000 feet over the french alps in the south of france. that is all we know right now. and given the nature of the world that we live in we shouldn't proceed any further in terms of speculating or trying to figure out what happened because we do not know. >> anthony romans is still with us. he's a former commercial pilot. and anthony, just listening to the coverage can you make any analysis very carefully here in terms of this terrible loss that we are reporting on here? s. >> well, i think john cox is absolutely right. there's so little information with regard to the causation of the rapid loss of this aircraft that it would be irresponsible to speculate. but we can talk a little bit
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about the a320. that is a digital fly-by-wire system aircraft which, as opposed to having big control wheels, has side stick controls that are independent of one another, at the co-pilot station and at the pilot station. and it offers something called flight envelope protection. and simply what that means is that the pilot cannot put flight inputs or control inputs that would exceed the par ram meters that are preprogrammed into the computers. when the pilot controls the aircraft with these kind of joy sticks that they have it sends a -- an electronic relay to computers which interpret the pilot's control inputs. then if the software is programmed for those inputs it allows the aircraft to follow
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the pilot's command. so because it's a very complex aircraft more can happen to cause problems. now, i don't want to get into the realm of speculation, but these are extremely complex machines. and, you know, i have every confidence the maintenance performed the usual, credible maintenance job. however, we do have to remember aircraft are the safest way to travel. however, when things go wrong, they generally go wrong very rapidly. and what appears to have happened here is some type of catastrophic problem. whether it was human induced by a passenger or whether it was mechanical in nature. john is absolutely right. to have a distress call come in
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and not cite for the air traffic controller what the immediate problem is what might have gone wrong, what do they plan to do to try and save the aircraft is highly unusual. so whatever happened whether it was human, passenger, or mechanical happened very very rapidly. >> okay. i'm just getting some new information here. just to add to what you are saying, which is absolutely fascinating, anthony, and helps a lot, according to the aircraft was 24 years old and we're also getting reports that debris has been discovered in the barcelona area. we have to get a sense of how close that is to the crash site which we will put together. i've got a lot of information being handed to me right now, so i'm going to go through it with you. >> i have a brief description of
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the area of the crash site. >> okay, yeah where is that? >> from a french resident, according to france tv. this is a difficult area to access. the resident said. only helicopters can go or it takes several hours of walking, at least three, to get there. >> okay. and now we also have word of debris that is in barcelona area, as well. so the president of france says he doubts there are any survivors in the a320 german wings aircraft with up to 150 people onboard. this is a subsidiary of lufthansa airlines. the french minister of transport says an sos signal was sent to distress call was sent in before the plane went down. we're being given word of a rapid descent. something very sudden happening onboard. the aircraft, as i said was 24 years old. debris has been found in the barcelonaette region. that's a little different.
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we have a correspondent in berlin saying that there's no information yet on the nationality of the passengers, that german wings has an excellent reputation in germany. it is a high time right now for german tourists in spain most likely, a large number of germans were on that flight. also a spokesman for the interior minister is giving some information. they're working right now on trying to figure out the nationalities of the passengers. they want to take some time to take the families into account and to notify them. the crash, as you mentioned, mike, was an in a mountainous region, a very difficult to reach area and we're now getting word of debris that is elsewhere as well. they say the plane probably lost radar signal around 10:45 a.m. local time. as soon as it lost radar, security protocols were put into place immediately. military firefighters police everything. a massive operation was put under way and crisis proettocol
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was put into place. they have the highest levels of communications with spain and germany, and today president hollande and angela merkel of germany are meeting to discuss this. a lot of information just coming in from credible news sources. and again, we are now hearing word of debris found elsewhere away from the crash site. john cox, i just threw a lot at you. but clearly, what we're seeing here is an international operation to get information, to handle the families and to figure out who is onboard that plane. john, are you with us? lost john cox. that's okay. we're working still -- go ahead, mike. >> if we could get a google map somehow of the area between barcelonaette and digne, france. if we can get a -- we're working on getting a map of that area. but it sounds as if it is an
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extraordinarily remote area in the south of france in the french alps. and mika just indicated that there have been reports of some debris being found in barsonette. not barcelona. barcelonette. it would be helpful to find out where those two town i assume they're towns, are in relation to the exact crash site itself. >> again, what we're looking at here and where all the questions are really centered on in terms of covering this tragedy is exactly what happened when that distress call came in what caused this plane to disappear from radar and desscent. and experts who talk much more than us about this type of plane which has very good safety record, it appears something catastrophic happened on the plane. and had it been flying at a
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lower altitude there could be other questions that we would put into place as to what might have happened. but at this point there might not be some exterior source like a bird hitting the engine and those things happen at lower levels. we're looking at something very quick and catastrophic happening on the plane flying at 38,000 feet. let me just go through what's happened here and we're joined by john cox, as well, who is going to help us along here. very carefully, but we've got word now breaking news here of an airbus operated by lufthansa's german wings airline crashing in southern france. all 148 onboard are feared dead. the president of france says there's no possibility of survivors. and we may be talking about 150 people. we're not sure yet. also ministers from several countries are working on trying to figure out the nationalities and the names of the people onboard. they're working on that. they're working on getting to the families first and then
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getting the information to us. likely a significant number offer is mans of than flight from barcelona to dusseldorf given this is a heavy vacation time and they use those flights. the accident happened in a zone that is very hard to access according to one expert here on the scene. a spokesman for france for france's aviation authority said the airliner crashed near the town of barcelonnette, 100 kilometers near the french riviera city of nice. the statement of the prime minister's office said the crash happened in a remote and sparsely inhabited commune in the foothills of the french alps. the airbus said it was aware of reports about the crash in the area. everybody is trying to get to the scene right now. rescue workers are having a very, very difficult time. again, the a320 is 24 years old.
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it's been part of lufthansa since 1991. mike? >> john cox, we are receiving reports that they lost signal with the plane when the plane was at 6800 feet. what would that indicate to you, if anything? >> i think more than anything it says that the descent was pretty rapid. i'm seeing numbers in excess of 4,000 feet a minute. that dictates a rapid descent but not one outside of what could be unusual to descend below 10,000 feet. if they had a pressurization problem descending to 10,000 would be normal but descend below that that is the question the investigators are going to be looking at is were they in control of the airplane. now, this airplane is a very modern designed airplane and it has a lot of computer software
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that is built in to assist the pilots if there is a problem. and this type of we fly-by hf-wire system has protections built into it. so what caused the airplane to descend at this rate is something that the investigators are going to look at from a core standpoint. right now if there are no survivors, the next thing we need is the flight data recorder. >> and that will give us so many answers at this point. all right. we are following breaking news here on msnbc. it's half past the hour. if you are just joining us we are following breaking news of no survivors in an airbus crash in the south of france. an a320 german wings aircraft was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf and it crashed right just about 30 miles north of nice, is that our latest information, mike? >> yeah. >> which gives us a sense of the
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area, which is extremely difficult to reach. just to give you a sense of how difficult it is to bring in information on this story specifically because we're working with several different ministries from different countries because of the different nationalities onboard and because of where the plane was traveling from and to i'm now getting word there might have been 154 people onboard. the numbers are changing as we speak. we will try and hone this down to accuracy as soon as possible. but again, the headline is terrible. we had a plane with at least 150 people, if not more onboard that has crashed in the south of france, and the french president francois hollande is saying there are probably no survivors. let's bring in nbc's tom costello who joins us on the phone with more. tom? >> i'm actually here now in the d.c. bureau. here's what we know. as you mentioned this plane was en route from barcelona to
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dusseldorf. and it is on this route that's flown by lufthansa's budget airline wing a german wings is the name of that budget airline. and as you have been discussing the fact that this plane appears to have suffered something cataclysmic or catastrophic in mid flight is really concerning here because normally and more than 90%, 95% of the cases involving aviation disasters the accident occurs at takeoff or landing. when, that makes sense, right? the plane is in its most vulnerable state, if you will but once you're at a cruising altitude at 30 34 38,000 feet really very little generally goes wrong at that altitude. you don't have a situation where birds are flying at that altitude and so what you're looking at is a cataclysmic event which could be anything from a sudden depressurization, loss of cabin pressure because maybe some sort of a fracture in the hull of the aircraft. it could be an aircraft engine going out, but truly you would
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need both engines to loosen gin power because you can fly on a single engine. and then, of course the third possibility would be something criminal. if the -- if, in fact the weather here is not a factor then i think that the investigators are going to be looking at those other three possibilities. and certainly not exclusively but those other three possibilities as a leading contender. now, that area north of nice i've actually spent time there, it is a very rugged area. there is a lot of brush and thick mountainous areas. it can be difficult and challenging to maneuver in and out of that area as you would expect, but they have obviously, the french have got a very sophisticated search and rescue network and very sophisticated fire and rescue response. one would assume they are already doing that. in fact, i'm told that it was a french helicopter that spotted this wreckage already. but as to what happened to this
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airbus a320 we simply don't know, of course at this early stage. but i would make this point. that the airbus a320 is a plane that flown around the world and done so every minute of every day. there are more than 6,000 in service, various versions of the a320. and it is flownfy us airways, by american, by delta, by united airlines, not to mention, of course all of these players in europe and in asia and in africa. it is a very well-known plane. to pick up on what john cox was saying, aviation ergs pertxpert, this is a fly-by-wire aircraft. sophisticated computer assisted aircraft as opposed to older models of the 737 which was really an older fly by the feel if you will and using a lot of pulleys and that kind of thing, mechanical ability to control the plane. the airbus and especially this model was among the very first
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to go to a much more computer assisted flying. and in fact they don't have just one computer they have multiple computers backing up and ensuring that the plane maintains the right flight envelope that it is stable that it is flying at the prescribed altitude, and really in the proper parameters. the airbus system does not allow for the pilot to deviate dramatically, to deviate to the point where the plane might be in jeopardy. that is something that old school pilots frankly, they're not too keen on. they like that flexibility for the pilot to be able to make a decision if necessary to save the aircraft. but the airbus has very tight parameters to keep that plane flying well. when i was in france at the airbus facility they made the point to me, listen we don't design planes for the top air force pilots that come out of france and britain and the u.s. and canada. we are building planes that will eventually be flown by people who are in very poor countries
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in which they don't have sophisticated air forces in which the pilots may not have the proper backing and training and that is the kind of pilot that we have to eventually be building this plane for. so that's why they have this strict kind of computer assisted plane and cockpit. but again, at this early stage, i think as john mentioned, what we are most concerned about is to lose a plane at altitude, at that steep altitude and then in a steep decline is really very concerning. >> very concerning. tom costello stay right there, if you can. we're being told by german air traffic control that the plane went down at 10:37 local time. and the minister of france the french prime minister actually has tweeted that the crash has plunged france into deep sadness and he also expressed compassion and solidarity with all the families of the victims. i want to bring in bill neely in london. bill, i know that we are hearing from the interior ministries from several countries, including germany, which is
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worried there are many germans onboard that plane. they're trying to figure out the nationalities of those onboard. we're still trying to figure out the numbers of those onboard. we've heard 142, 148, 150, 154. and of course they're trying to get to the families. so somuch is happening at once here pertaining to this crash which is still a mystery as to how in the world it went down so quickly. >> yes, a mystery. and the latest news is that at least one, possibly two, police helicopters have now located that wreckage. as to the numbers, yes, we're not absolutely sure but we believe it's 148. that's 142 passengers, 2 pilots and 4 crew. for airbus the makers of the a320, this is a tragedy that is very close to home almost literally. airbus is based in southwest france. it's just a short hop across to the crash site. and a few minutes ago airbus released a statement saying that they are making all efforts at the moment towards assessing
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what on earth happened. as tom said you know what we know now is that the plane was flying at altitude at 38,000 feet. it then descended for seven minutes at what experts are describing as a perfectly normal rate. that's between 3 and 4,000 feet a minute. that would be normal for an airport approach. it wouldn't, experts say, cause the plane to break up or cause damage in any way. the pileot had options. there were other airports nearby. nice, marce, a lot of ski resorts which have airports attached. obviously given that he had options and given that he had sent out an sos signal something catastrophic must have happened to prevent him from diverting the plane and landing it safely. it has instead crashed in a very remote area that will be difficult to access even if there were survivors, it would be very tough for search and rescue teams to get up to that
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area of digne les bains. it was going from barcelona in spain to dusseldorf in germany. i suppose, you know you could say it's reasonable to expect that a lot of the passengers onboard would be german. but we simply don't know. a lot of unknowables at the moment. as french president francois hollande said a tragedy for france coming relatively soon after the "charlie hebdo" events in paris. it is a lot for the french to deal with. and he is saying no survivors are expected on that plane. >> john cox, does it sound to you from all of the reports we've been getting as if this plane came down and pretty much straight trajectory? >> i think it's hard to tell. the fact that they're talking about 3 or 4,000 feet per minute descent indicates to me at least that the airplane was under control. when we've seen the loss of
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control events such as air france 447 and a couple of these, they have come down at much greater rates. so that tells me that we don't have one of these uncontrolled descents of extremely high magnitude of 10,000 or 12,000 feet a minute. so i think that is one clue. as far as the number of people onboard, the international civil aviation organization known as icao, they have a requirement or a verified manifest to be provided to the investigative agencies the governments within three hours. so the number and nationalities of the people on the airplane should be available in the relatively near future. first and foremost, they want to make sure the information is accurate and then they will give it to the appropriate authorities, and those authorities will make the determination of when to announce it. >> john, can you repeat what you
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were saying about the level of control it appeared to have on descent? >> sure. the fact that a 3,000 or 4,000 feet per minute rate descent is something that jet airplanes do regularly in the process of climbing or descending. that rate of change is a normal value. when you look at some of the very serious loss of control accidents, for example, the air france a330 out of the south atlantic that airplane came down over 10,000 feet a minute and it indicated that the airplane was not in control. it was in what they call a full stall. and so this tells me that at least we -- if those numbers are correct in the descent rate it says that the airplane was not in one of these uncontrolled conditions clar ss similar to the air france airplane. all of this information is very very very early and it's subject to change.
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>> yeah. we don't know whether there was cockpit communication, ground to air. we don't know. there's so much we don't know. >> well, here's what lufthansa says. this is their official statement. i did think that was fascinating, what john was saying. you're right. we have to wait. we have to wait. lufthansa's official statement. we do not yet know what happened to flight 4u9525. my deepest sympathy to the friends and passengers and crew onboard the plane. if our fears are confirmed this is a dark day for lufthansa and we hope to find survivors. the president of france has said there's no possibility of survivors. looking at the rate of descent, where it crashed, we are told there is debris found 2,000 meters up in the mountains and pretty high altitude and debris found in barclonnette and the crash site.
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and just trying to put the pieces to the,piece pieces together it's difficult to fug ur out how many people were onboard but multiple nationalities and possibly many germans onboard this plane because it's vacation season. and that flight is taken a lot by germans. >> yes, that's right. barcelona obviously one of the most popular tourist destinations in europe. only perhaps paris and rome rank alongside it. germans very keen to go this time of year and it was based in dusseldorf. we know that. as for anything else as you say, it is all a mystery at the moment. airbus has made a statement saying that they are looking into the. events and trying to assess that. they will almost certainly have people on their way to the crash site immediately because it's not that far away. airbus based in tuluse. this crash happening northeast of marce.
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lufthansa saying this is a very dark day for our company. as you say, debris is already being spotted by at least one if not two french police helicopters which are in the area. we understand that the debris may even stretch as far as one or two of the villages nearby. but as to why, if it was a controlled descent, at a rate of 3,000 to 4,000 feet a minute why then you know it crashed and couldn't make it to one of the nearby airports. that will remain a mystery. but i suppose unlike the plane that crashed off the coast of australia, mh370, strong possibility the flight recorder will be recovered. it is a remote area but if debris is already being spotted then there's every chance that in the next few days the flight recorder could be recovered from this plane and the mystery can begin to be unpicked. >> okay. we are being told that a crisis
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room for families has been set up at the airport where the plane was supposed to land. we have a picture of the actual plane that crashed. this is a picture that was taken in 2014. again, a picture of the plane that crashed right now in the south of france. this plane was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf. and the debris is spread far and wide. and we're also focused right now carefully on the rate of descent of this plane and what that might mean in terms of what happened. we're also focused on the weather. could weather have played a role in this. bill karins joins us now with a look at exactly what was happening in the area. how was it? >> it actually was fairly tranquil in the region. there's no big huge storms. the plane took off here from the barcelona area down here. you can see that there. the actual flight path itself took it out over the mediterranean and just northeast of this marselle area. there's not a lot on this map. relatively tranquil.
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the closest weather reporting station had a temperature around 56 degrees at the surface. it was mostly cloudy. it wasn't too windy. it was -- winds were anywhere between 10 to 15 miles per hour. really nothing extraordinary on the weather maps whatsoever that would lead you to believe -- it didn't fly through a thunderstorms or squalls that we've had in the last two recent flights that went down. so mika again nothing on the weather maps whatsoever in this region that would lead us to believe that weather was an issue with this flight. obviously flying through the southern alps high mountains you can get low visibility at lower elevations but by the time the flight took off from barcelona it should have been well above any of those concerns near the mountains at that point. not much help looking at the weather to figure out this mystery. >> john cox, do you -- do we have any idea of how long this plane was in the air on route to does dusseldorf barcelona to monaco to around nice. how long was it in the air? >> i don't have that information. i would anticipate less than an
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hour. that's not really that far. one of the things that is of significance is one of the premier accident investigative agencies in the world is the french bba. they were the team that did the air france 447 accident. they are highly regarded. they are highly skilled. and so they will be mobilizing as well as they are the lead investigative agency assuming the airplane is in fact in the country of france. and so the fact that this very very highly skilled group of individuals will be int. investigative agency in charge leads me to believe that we will know pretty quickly what happened to this airplane because it is on land it is in a place where they will be able to find the recorders. the french investigative agency has the capability of reading those recorders. and so put all that together and
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it's just a matter of us being patient for a few days and letting the bba do their job. >> we're being told the plane departed at 9:55 a.m. local time in barcelona and went down at 10:37 a.m. of course in southern france. we're going the bring tom costello back in. tom, you've been looking at every angle of this and you have studied this type of aircraft and know a lot about it. we have a picture of the plane, the actual plane that crashed, taken in 2014. the record on this aircraft is very good. and it appears such a mystery at this point as what would cause a rapid descent, but we are hearing, tom, i wonder if you can corroborate this that it wasn't a careening descent, if that makes sense to you. >> i can't. i can't corroborate it at all. i'm sorry, mika. you know i think that as john would tell you, the a320 and i'm sorry if we're repeating ourselveses, i was over doing a live report on cnbc as well.
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>> that's all right. >> the a320 more than 6,000 of them various versions of the a320 went off the assembly line. line it is such a reliable air u craft that is flown around the world. and to lose a plane like this with a lufthansa crew to lose a craft like this a very well-built aircraft flown by a lufthansa crew is very concerning. is john cox still on the line? >> john do we have you? >> yes, i am. >> john has spent the better part of his life professionally looking at safety looking at crashes, and of course, having been a captain with u.s. airways. this kind of a rapid descent from 38 down to 5 on an aircraft that could fly on a single engine if had to would the
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leading theories be a breakup in flight with a fuse ill lodge fractured or losing pressure or the possibility of some sort of a criminal event? it seems to me this is so unlikely. >> well, the history of the airbus is through the airplane for six years and my last six years with the airplane and it's if they had a pressurization problem that would make sense and the rate at which the descent is reported, that also
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makes sense. the place where it doesn't make sense is it continued the descent unarrested all the a way to impact. as far as did the airplane have a problem with the fuselage, an in-flight breakup, i don't think that's there. we have bits of evidence that says that didn't occur because the trance ponder was to the emergency code. that says there's electricity available in the airplane. the rate of descent indicates that the airplane is flying under control. so all of that says that the airplane is not actually coming apart in flight, yet we hear reports of wide scattered de debris. that means the investigators are going to have to connect those bits o of evidence together, and they will. the bea is very skilled. i don't think that we have any indication right now certainly could it be criminal of course it could. that's something that the investigators are going to look at. at this point, everything is is still on the table as far as
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cause. >> to both tom and john from your flying experience and from your reporting experience you've both told us individually and. separately that the most dangerous times in flight are take off and landing, something all passengers understand. in that context, how unusual -- how unusual an event is this in midair for something to go wrong? >> i would make the point that the last time we had an airbus incident was the event between malaysia and indonesia on new year's eve on which an a320 got into horrendous meteorological situation with bad icing and that kind of thing. there are suggestions that that crew may have had a similar incident to what happened to an airbus about five years ago over the atlantic ocean when their air speed sensors froze over
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feeding bad data into their computers. instead of riding the thing out and flying the plane through the storm, the crew pulled the stick back and literal lyly put it into a climb and as a result, the plane stalled and then fell into the ocean. there were concerns, and i'm not sure we have the final report on what happened between malaysia and singapore, but the thinking is a similar event may have just o occurred our over new year's eve and the crew may have stalled the plane. now let many ask john to weigh in on your question because not only is john a safety expert but he flew the exact plane the airbus a320 that sully sullenberger flew into the hudson. so john, when you're looking at take off and landing, those are the most critical events and
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yet once you're at altitude, what can go wrong? >> i think the airasia plane that you referenced and the fact that it's acknowledged that that plane was stalled as the air france was stalled, the e descent rates on those two airplanes was extremely high something over 10,000 feet a minute. so if the reports of the descent rates are correct in what we're hearing on the germanwings airplane, it indicates another issue. so whatever occurred, and we don't have a lot of evidence, but whatever occurred it doesn't look to be similar to the airasia or air france airplane. so we have indications that the descent possibly or probably was controlled at least to a point, but why the airplane continued its descent all the way to
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impact is the focus of the question that investigators are going to have to ask in the very initial stages. once we have the voice recorder, we should know that. >> and john what would you read, if anything and these are initial reports, we must emphasize these are initial reports from the area, but that the wreckage seems to be widespread over a fairly widespread area u. what would you read, if anything, into that? >> well first, i'm always conservative skeptical in the early hours following an accident about those kinds of reports, but if the wreckage is widespread, it indicates the potential for an in-flight breakup. that's somewhat inconsistent with the rate of descent. so we have to learn about what occurred here, but these are the questions that the investigators are going to ask. everything is on the table. they have not excluded anything yet and as an accident
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investigator, it's absolutely essential you keep an open mind and you look at the pieces of evidence and you let the evidence lead you wherever it is that it leads you. that's essential to keep an open mind. >> we're following this breaking news. . at this point, we don't have an exact number of how many people were on board this airbus but it ranges from 148 to 152 people on board flight 9525. the french president says there were possibly no survivors and there are aeroial teams over the scene in southern france where this plane went down. the plane was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf. it crashed in southern france but there is wreckage being seen in some mountainous areas up to 2,000 meters up and also in barcelonnette, so experts saying if the wreckage is widespread,
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that could be consistent with an in-flight breakup. having said that there's also stories that don't work with that, that don't conflate with that because we're looking at some measure of control in that rapid descent, which could indicate other things. we don't know why this plane went down at this point, but we're following this breaking news and taking in information from different news agencyies that are covering this. this area where this plane, which this actual plane is the one that crashed. this picture was taken in 2014. the area where the plane went down is hard to reach, but we are hearing that rescue crews and firefighters and especially from the air rescuers are getting there now. so it is the top of the hour. we have breaking news out of southern france. at this hour, 148 people are believed to be dead after a plane crash. here's what we know right now.
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germanwings flight 9525 was heading from barcelona to dusseldorf when it went down in the frenchalps. those numbers are slightly shifting, but that's what we have right now. france's president says there are likely no survivors. debris has been spotted in the area and search and rescue teams are on the way. officials are warning of an extremely long and difficult search. let's turn to the foreign editor of "the daily beast." french officials are sending condolences and setting up crisis rooms and working to get the nationalities of the people on board and getting to their families the most difficult task for sure. chris? >> that's right, mika. one of the main things they are doing now is trying to get as many people on the ground up
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into the mountain z as they can. the helicopters are directing hundreds of local rescue workers into the hills and mountains to see if there are survivors. that looks unlikely. and see what information they can get out of it. it will be the people on the ground who will come up with the black boxes and information at the end of the day. >> we're looking at a map of the plane's trajectory. it departed at 9:55 a.m. local time in barcelona and apparently went down according to french officials, at 10:37 a.m. mike barnacle it's hard to surmise at this point, so we won't, but we are looking at the descent of the plane. there was this sos signal that came in when the plane was at 38,000 feet. it descended, according to experts, for seven minutes, which would have been normal
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landing approach but then descended faster at 4,000 feet a minute meaning the airplane was rapidly descending but not out of control necessarily, which again, point s tos to something happening in the air, but then we have this conflicting information about a debris field being fairly wide which could indicate some sort of in-air break up. >> it all depends on how much we know. the last distress signal from the plane was when the plane was at 6800 feet that's what we're told. the flight was in the air for less than 45 minutes when it was lost over the south of france. the largest element of this story now is clearly the inability or thus far the inability of rescue workers to get to the crash scene. the french have urged people in the area to stay off the roads o to allow rescue workers to get
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to a rather remote area. chris might know more about the geography. what can you tell us about that area, chris? >> well these mountains are the mountains that are starting to near the mediterranean. and it's very rough terrain. people think it's in europe so it must be civilized, but it's not. the alps are extremely rugged terrain. i think one of the things we need to look at is the possibility that as the plane was going down over this very rough terrain with a lot of mountain peaks in it there could have been some impact that was unexpected. if you're in a controlled but emergency descent and flying among mountain tops, you have a very dangerous situation. the french are reporting that it looks like some remains from the plane are at almost 6,000 feet,
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so that's very close o to the last news that was heard of the plane. >> we're being told that the german president has spoken with the french president. again, the big issue is also getting together the manifest the passengers on board this plane. there's concern that a the lot of vacationers were on this plane, possibly many germans. the german transport minister is traveling to the site of the crash in france right now. this is the latest information about the phone call. chris dickey, standby. we're going to simon shoouser who is "time" magazine reporter in berlin. what can you tell us at this point from what you're hearing in your reporting? >> well what i can tell you is there's very little reaction and very little information coming from the german authorities, as you just mentioned the transport
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minister is headed to the scene, but there have been only condolences and expressions of grief from german authorities and not much more. i u think they are waiting for more precise information. but what's clear is this is going to be quite a shock for german aviation generally because it has such a strong safety record of going back decades. the last time lufthansa had had had a crash was 1993. germanwings has never had a major air disaster. >> germanwings has a very good safety record as you point out, has never had a disaster at all like this. i'm just hearing from spain's deputy prime minister that 45 of the passengers on board the crash germanwings plane are
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believed to be spanish. that is one thing that several countries right now are trying to sort out in terms of the nationalities of the passengers on board and quite frankly we don't even have a clear number of how many people were on board. the last count was 148. mike barnacle, we are not sure. >> simon just indicated something, alluded to something that many people who fly take r for granted. it is that flying is by far the safest mean. s of travel. and when one of these tragic events does occur, it comes as a shock to the system to the news agencies and also those who fly frequently because they rarely occur, plane crashes. >> we have some still photos that have come in from the airport in dusseldorf where family members are actually being put in crisis rooms, but you can see people at the airport responding to the news
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of the crash of the flight that was supposed to land there, flight 9525. word spreading across the airport there because that plane will not be coming home and will not be bringing the passengers home upon word of a crash now in southern france. this plane had taken off from barcelona at 9:55 local time and at 10:37, it was gone. bill neely is still with us from london. officials from multiple countries are trying to sort out who was on board that plane. we have now word from spain's deputy prime minister that 45 of the passengers are believed to be spanish. of course, even the numbers of the passengers on board is unclear to us at this point. last count, 148. >> that's right, terrible scenes from that airport. as you say, around 40 we think,
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passengers on board are spanish. it's safe to assume i think, that the bulk of the rest of the passengers were german. it was flying from barcelona, a common holiday destination at this time of year, back to dusseldorf in germany. we're getting a lot of statements at the minute. lufthansa, the company that ran germanwings, saying this is a dark day for our company. we're getting a few more details from the crash scene. there are at least two police helicopters which have located the debris. the debris is said to be in a crevice between sort of two mountain sides that's inak inaccessible from the road. contact was lost 42 minutes into the flight and contact completely lost at 6800 feet which is roughly the height of the mountains at that point. it crashed at 6,800 feet. and they are confirming what the
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french president said that no survivors are expected on board that plane. as you say, the key mystery at the moment, which could be solved in the next few days because unlike mh-370 this plane has come down in a mountain area and it's expected that the flight recorders will be recovered, but why did it come down? the weather was normal at the moment that it began its descent. no thunderstorms reported light wind light cloud, its descent was controlled, 3,000 to 4,000 feet a minute is an airport approach, not the kind of descent that would lead to the plane either breaking up or stalling, so say analysts any way. so the mystery as to why this plane went down is still with us. >> tom costello in washington i don't know if you have picked up
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fresh information but we have here a report from the french transport minister who indicates that the distress call was recorded at 10:47 from the plane. the plane was at 5,000 feet when the distress signal was received. it was in a normal situation and the crash took place shortly after the signal. that's the latest that we have from the french. what do you have. if anything? >> that's it. i got to say this is really very perplexing. for those of us who have been around aviation for a number of years and who have covered accidents and talked to sources and experts at regularly, daily week ly weekly, this one, you know, is odd because normally you have leading theories within a few minutes just because of the facts on the ground. but the fact that this happened that something happened as this plane was at altitude and then descending, as bill mentioned,
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from 38 down to 5 and crashing in the foothills of the alps is just really odd. i think they are going to be looking at some sort of a -- clearly they want to get ahold of the voice recorder and data recorder. the voice recorder does what it says, it's going to record all the am bee yant sound inside the cockpit. in addition to that, the radial transmissions, but they have that already. you'll hear what the pilots were saying to each other trying to deal with the problem. if a flight attendant came in and said i have a problem in the the back, whether it's a pressure issue or a fracture in the fuselage, they will hear that. but in addition to that, the data recorder which records somewhere between, for example 150 to 1500 parameters of data you will pick up everything from air speed to the condition of the flaps to the heading to what
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the speed sensors were saying to were they having trouble maintaining the aircraft. all of that will be inside that packet of information kept by the data recorder. so then to go down near the crash site is a rugged sage brush, rugged area. it's just really a strange set of circumstances here and i can't say at the moment that there's any leading theory. of course, let me just say we would be hesitant to go into leading theerories this early on, but at this point, i don't think there is whatone. >> you're saying usually something is forming and perplexing because there's at least three conflicting narratives going here. you have the descent and what we know about the descent and the
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sos signal that was sent in earlier. then you have a report of a pretty wide debris field, which conflicts with that descent. then the fact it has this incredible safety record. it's reliable, well-built and we're getting word from german wings they will be holding a press conference at 10:00 eastern time. >> to your point, 6,000 of these have been produced and they are incredibly reliable. this one is 24 years old. that's kind of an older model, but there are plenty flying around the world and doing so very, very reasonably and well. one thing they will also be look at is has this plane flown into any extraordinarily -- regularly flown into salty air
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environments. because they are going to want to look at if there was corrosion on the skin of the aircraft. that can happen if for example you're in a heavy salt air environment like hawaii. highly unlikely this plane was in hawaii but was it in a salty air environment for prolonged periods of time. this plane has been flown by germanwings, one of the world's premier airlines with pilots that rank at the top of pilot rankings and their training and lufthansa and this budget airline don't have accidents. the fact this happened is going to be very concerning. >> john cox, do you feel there's conflicting information coming in? not that one rules out the other, but it doesn't help in terms of understanding even from a base level, which usually when something like this happens,
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something emerges that gives you a clue but you have this wide debris field that we're hearing about and we're also hearing you pick apart how the plane went down in terms of its descent and. what it means. do those two narratives conflict and are they perplexing to you? >> the most important thing to realize is everything is on the table, and that means we're gathering evidence. if the evidence of a wide debris field holds up, then it will lead the investigators in one direction. if it is contained within two ridge lines and relatively small, it means the airplane was intact. so bit by. bit, the evidence is going to lead the investigators. but a moment ago there was discussion about aviation safety as we know it today. let me add to that just a little bit. last year we flew 3.5 billion passengers safely on 40 million flights. to put it another way, we flew
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the population of the planet about every 25 months. that's how safe aviation is today. it's so rare to have a tragedy like we're seeing unfold before us today that it becomes literally worldwide front page news. now in no way taking away from the tragedy today, but yet there will be millions of flights that land safely. so we do need to put this in context. one of the reasons that we have this level of safety is the skills of the investigative agency that will come to a rapid determination of cause and if there is something that needs to be done if it turns out to be a mechanical issue with the airplane, what needs to be done to prevent reoccurrence. if there's a train aringe inging issue with the pilots what caused it and what can be done to prevent reoccurrence. that's how we have made aviation
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as safe as we have. >> we want to just update you on exactly another perplexing factor. the weather seemed quite normal at the time, bill karins. >> first place people look when planes especially it wasn't at takeoff or landing. so many things mika. we were saying that it was reported the last distress call was at 5,000 feet. when you're getting some o of this information, it doesn't make sense. so as we go, all this information is going to be turning out and trying to get to the facts. what we know is the flight path of the storm from the barcelona to dusseldorf was in the general vicinity like this. the plane did not make it that far. we know that for a fact. and then for some reason or another when it was at that height, it began to descend. we know it got down to 5,000 feet when the distress signals came out. so the weather in this area there was no issues whatsoever.
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it was relatively clear. down at the surface, temperatures were in the 50s in the region. no problems of visibility, no rain, no nothing. so what happened at 34,000 feet? any weather at that elevation? there was not many problems even all the way at that height. these are the winds at 34,000 feet. this is the cruising altitude of the plane would have been. a nice little tail wind with it. anywhere between 50 to 60 mile per hour winds aloft, that's just pushing the plane, that's all within the realm of normal. there's no hints at all from my world in the weather world of what could have possibly at 38,000 feet made this pilot and this plane start to descend. that's the mystery. . >> let's go back to tom costello with new information on the flight path. >> i'm on the phone getting more information, but let me pass on the map. i'm going to show this quickly.
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they are passing along the flight route of this plane from barcelona to where it went down. as you can see out over the water there, out over the mediterranean and going down in the foothills between monaco and marseille. at the foothills of the alps is where this plane went down. i think at this point, everything is on the table. what we're going to be anxious to get ahold of are the cockpit flight recorders. until we see the debris field and how scattered it is it's going to be difficult to draw my conclusions. >> tom costello get back on the phone. we'll talk to you in a bit. john cox, anything about the flight path that raises questions to you? also, i mean, it looked like perfect flying weather for sure. we lost john cox for a moment. we'll get him back. chris dickey, foreign editor of
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"the daily beast," joins us on the phone as well. look at where the plane went down and the possibility of a wide debris field. this is not an easy area to get to. >> no, it's not, it's very rugged. they are sending hundreds of people up there to search for flight recorders and bodies. from the reports that have gone out, it sounds like the plane dropped down lower than it intended into this rugged mountainous area where there are a lot of peaks. it's conceivable that it clipped something and then scattered over terrain. i wouldn't put too much emphasis on the debris being over a wide field. maybe bits and pieces here and
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there that will project it but your experts are exactly right. there's just a lot e we don't know. until those people get up there on the ground we won't know it. >> chris dickey thank you, you're right. it could have been caused by hitting a mountain or if it went down completely in one area or broke up midair. >> what we have now is we're now into an area that feeds into a cultural issues our impatience. we're used to getting everything so rapidly. we're just going to have to wait. there's very little found out within the last 20 minutes. it's going to be piecemeal information we receive, bit by bit, we'll provide it it you when we get it. >> the horrible news out of the south of france is that there are likely no survivors on flight 9525. there is a debris field spread
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in a mountainous area in barcelonnette. a pilot sent out an sos signal and descended for several minutes rapidly. there is debris found in the mountain mountains as well as in areas outside of the crash site. there are rescue crews now finally reaching the crash site also by air. it is very difficult to get to. and aircraft that we're talking about here which is germanwings, is 24 years old, the actual plane. that's the actual plane that crashed, a picture taken in 2014. extremely good safety record, reliable, well-built and has never had an air disaster, not even close like this. tom costello is back with us tom tom? >> it's all conjecture, let's say that up front. if this is a debris field that's spread out, if it's spread out,
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that would suggest more of an in-flight breakup. if it's more contained, that would suggest that the plane remained intact until it hit the ground. some discussion about this distress call. we believe that this was an automated transmission, a data transmission. you type in a code into the transponder and hit enter and that sends a message to air traffic control, i've got an emergency. usually that code there are a couple different codes, but if it was code 7700 that would suggest a mechanical code. there's another one if it's a hijacking. i'm not going to tell you the code number, but 7700, that would suggest some sort of a mechanical issue and that immediately pops up at air traffic control. the message that the pilot is trying to relay to the controllers is i've got an emergency here that i'm dealing with probably mechanical get everybody else away from me because i have to get this plane down and i need latitude breathing room and don't want to
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hit anybody else. also telling air traffic control you need to be on your game because i made to defer to another airport. so we don't yet know if there was a voice transmission. at the moment, we believe it may have only been the transponder code transmission. we'll have to see how that plays out as well but this would suggest if they were hitting that emergency transmission at a high altitude and then descending rather quickly down to 5,000 feet that would suggest that they suffered some sort of a perhaps a pressurization issue at altitude or starting to lose the ability to control the aircraft. and i think at this point, everything would be on the table as to what that could be. a break in the fuselage that allowed a pressurization issue. this is very early, the investigative and police agencies are are going to be
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looking at what might have been responsible here as well. >> the 7700 code you're saying that's an option but you don't know that's the one that was entered. >> we believe that a 7700 code was transmitted, that's coming from a single source. we need more information on that. we don't know if there was a verbal transmission as well. >> tom, the code that you're talking about is right, 7700. the thing i would be interested in, i have done a lot of flying in that area there were two distress calls we would be looking for. >> before you say anything we on the air will not say what the hijack code is. >> absolutely, the 7700, and then there's a hijack code. the distress calls i would be looking for as an investigator which is a serious problem on
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board, a failure or a pan call. do we have any indication whatsoever? >> we don't, we have nothing at this point to suggest -- at this point, we don't know there was a verbal call at all. if there was not a verbal call, that would suggest whatever was happening was taking up all of their energy and their attention and they simply didn't have time to key the mic. that would suggest this was a rapid rapidly occurring event and very, very serious that they couldn't even get a radio call off to say whatever, we have lost air pressure we lost an engine, whatever the case may be. >> it's interesting that both of you have raised this because it would never have occurred to me, but the french repeatedly have used the phrase lost signal. not lost a voice, but lost signal. that would fall into what you're alluding to. >> i don't know how much of this
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is lost in translation. that may say they lost the air traffic control signal the radar image. i would also make the point that the manager of the air space is a very sophisticated air navigation system. in many ways it's superior to our ours. the europeans have embraced the global satellite system of tracking aircraft much more aggressively than we have in the states. we're slowly rolling it out. so they very often will have a more precise idea of a plane's location than we do here in the states because we're doing it off of radar. >> do we have any indication in the area that it's gone down do we have an indication of the altitude of the mountainous region? in terms of the radar trace, the reports that it disappeared at 6800 feet, we used to fly around mountains for obvious regions and do that to avoid radar. is there any indication of just
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how high the elevation is around the crash site? and if we do know that, do we know the reported 5,000 feet that we think it descended to, is that 5,000 feet aboveground or above sea level? >> i don't have it. >> we do know that at 10:00, alex confirmed this is eastern time. germanwings, 10:00 eastern time germanwings is going to be having a press conference. this is devastating for them and for lufthansa. germanwings is a subsidiary of lufthansa. the aircraft was 24 years old, had an incredible safety record. they will be coming forward and giving us much information as they can in about 90 minutes. so that should be helpful. they might be able to shed light on what happened here or at least more on who was on board the plane.
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the numbers in terms -- tom, i don't know if you're getting a more clear number of how many people were on board i'm hearing anything from 148 to 154 people on board this flight. >> yeah and that's right, the most consistent number i have seen is 148, but i think what's happening is -- listen as we all know who we deal in emergencies and when you deal in emergencies the facts change rather quickly. you may have a preliminary boarding list and then that changes as you try to match everything up. i can get that in the coming hours. >> i have a statement from a spoke spokesman for german wings. they just gave a short statement to the media. the plane crashed at 11:20 local time. the aircraft was an airbus 320. 144 passengers and 6 crew members on board, according to the airline. we don't know if and how many victims. we do not have backed
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information on the cause of the accident. this is according to a spokesman from german wings, which will be holding a press conference at 10:00 eastern time. but they are giving several statements right now. so if you're just joining us let me reset the breaking news we have been following for the past hour here on msnbc. so at 8:30 eastern time, here's what we know. breaking news out of southern france 148 people possibly 150 people now believed to be dead after a plane crash in the french alps. the flight was heading from barcelona to dooususseldorfdusseldorf. weather conditions were not severe at the time of the crash. we're told by bill karins that the weather was good when the plane went down. we're now told the airbus a320 jet had 144 passengers and 6 crew members on board.
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many of the passengers are believed to be german, and more than 40 of the passengers are reportedly from spain. we have images of someone waiting at the airport in dusseldorf for the flight. spain's king and his wife were visiting france. they are meeting with the french president right now. france's president says there are likely no survivors calling the crash, quote, a tragedy on our soil. german chancellor angela merkel is expected to speak later today. debris has been spotted in the area and search and rescue teams are on the way, but it's been very difficult because of the location. they have been able to get the location by air, but officials are warning of a, quote, extremely long and difficult search. that's due to where the plane crashed, very very difficult mountainous, hard to reach area. germanwings is a low-cost airline that's owned by
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lufthansa airlines and the crashed plane has been with the company since 1991. this is the first plane crash on french soil since the concord disaster in 2000. it's also the first crash r for germanwings of this magnitude. tom costello you're working your sources. we have lots of conflicting information. as you put it and you have been covering stories like this this is your specialty, for years, aviation. some of the information that's coming in that's fairly well resourced is perplexing in terms of leading to any type of preliminary conclusion. >> so let's set the stage here yet again. this plane leaves barcelona at 9:30 or so. at 10:47 a.m. by the way, let's put up the map that shows the route of this flight. barcelona to dusseldorf.
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it goes out over the mediterranean and cuts into southern france and then it goes down in the foothills of the alps. so still very much southern -- the rugged area of southern france. 10:47 a.m. the pilots declare an emergency. they descend from 38,000 feet down to 5,000 feet. 38,000 is a high cruising altitude, it's normal it's fine. you can be at 38 34. to go down to 5,000 feet then they go off radar. at that point, we begin this emergency search for this plane. they find it in a very remote area in the foothills of the alps. this is a 24-year-old airbus a320 a320. it is a workhorse of aviation. it's flown around the world. it's a very reliable aircraft. germanwings is a budget airline run by lufthansa. both have stellar safety
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reputations and records. lufthansa lufthansa's pilots are considered to be among the best in the injury. 45 passengers, we believe, are of spanish origin on their way to dusseldorf. but the fact that this happened so rapidly and we believe this crew was only able to transmit a distress code of 7700 suggesting some sort of a mechanical issue, their code does not suggest a hijacking. it suggests a mechanical issue of some sort would suggest also that this happened very rapidly. so rapidly that they may not have had time to pick up the microphone and tell air traffic control. this is preliminary information. that's what we are getting at this point. >> you pointed out that the plane went from 38,000 to 5,000 feet. do we have an indication of the time span involved in going from 38,000 to 5,000?
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>> i don't have that yet, mike but i'm anxious to know that as well. because that's -- again, the time span is going to matter here very quickly. but whatever happened there, it appears happened rather quickly. here's what's concerning. if they had a pressurization issue, if they lost cabin pressure and simply trying to get the plane down so that was no longer a problem so everybody in the back could breathe. you'd get it down to 10,000 feet. so why did the plane continue to go down to 5,000 and then crashing? i think that would suggest that something cataclysmic had happened in the air. the point is they were dealing with an emergency that forced them to get this plane down from 38,000. they sent an emergency code telling air traffic control that we've got a problem, get other planes around us out of the way, you may need to clear an
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airfield for us and then this plane doesn't level off at 10,000. it continues to descend and then crashes into the alps. >> tom just a couple points. the sort of mantra that's given with an accident or emergency of this nature is navigate and then communicate. then looking for the nearest diversion. they are going to be sparse because of the mountainous region. there are going to be a few airstrips. . even if the pilots were anyone to put it in a glide profile, it's going to be difficult to try to identify and get the aircraft to an airfield. >> i don't know if i agree. they certainly had the latitude. if they had the ability to navigate and to fly the plane, they could have made it to toulouse, not toulouse but to nice or an airfield.
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it's a remote area where the plane went down, but we don't know where the problems began. >> i completely agree, but the third part of the thing was communicate as well. so if they are-and-a-half navigating and working hard to get into an airfield and a glide profile, then their mantra is to put out a may day or pan call. i have some data from flight radar about the altitude, the speed and time profile. what that information is giving me is the aircraft began to descend at 9:32 local and took ten minutes to descend to below 10,000 feet. it also gives me the speed profile, which takes it from over 600 knots to below 200 knots in that 10 minutes. what that tells me is the aircraft is reducing in speed. >> that's absolutely true but i think we need a little more information to be able to determine whether that was a controlled descent or much more
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serious. >> we're following this breaking news. no survivors on flight 9525 according to most experts and the president of france. it's in a hard to reach area in southern france. john cox, you have been with us all morning trying to piece together this information. why don't we do this, what do we know about what happened with this flight? >> well, i think the thing to know is that the flight was normal. it was at 38,000 feet which is a normal cruise altitude for an a320. and then a descent started, if the information is correct, at a rate that is high but within the normal ranges. the airplane descends and impacts the ground. at some point during that descent, they indicate via the transponder that there was a
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problem with the airplane. this, again, would be normal as far as a crew handling an on-board abnormality. at this stage, that's all we know and that the airplane impacted in an isolated area. so i think beyond that we can add some pieces. the a320 has been flying since the early '80s. this particular airplane was 24 years old, that is an average age airbus. germanwings is a highly regarded airline. their pilots are highly skilled. so those are the pieces that say that the infrastructure supporting the flight was good. it's in a highly regulated area. the air traffic control in that part of the world is very good. so the infrastructure supporting the flight is good. so you put all this together and there are more questions that
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remain unanswered than that are answered. so i think one of the things, too, that the previous commenter made is that the inability or the surprise that the airplane didn't try to divert, be careful with that. jet airplanes move extremely quickly. in the neighborhood of eight miles a minute so they can divert to marseille, if they realize that they need on the ground in a hurry. but most in-flight emergencies are better handled in-flight. the redundancies say that you get through the checklist, utilize the assets that the airplane provides. then once you have that sorted out, you set the airplane up for a landing. >> tom costello a number of
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spanish, germans and turkish on board this flight. crisis centers have been set up. tom? >> i'm just curious if john could weigh in on this. i'm looking at that same information that mike just relayed about the rate of descent. they went from 38, as mike was mentioning about 9:32 in the morning. and by about 9:42 a.m. they are down to about 7,000 feet. so you're talking about the span of about ten minutes. dropping from 38,000 down to 8,000. can you read anything into that? by the way, john being an airbus captain, is that a normal rate of descent or does that suggest something far more adegrees. ive? >> i don't think it suggesting anything aggressive. descent will generate somewhere in the 4,000 foot a minute rate
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of o descent depending on speed. you can generate a much higher rate with it extended. 4,000 foot a minute descent is one consistent with an idle december september, but not one that would be as much as a full blown emergency descent for an explosive decompression, because that would generate something over 6,000 a minute at the higher altitude. so i would characterize it as well within the operating envelope and not inconsistent with an idle descent. >> great, thank you, john. >> interesting. >> i just wanted to ask john a question about if the aircraft had some sort of double engine failure and it was in flight idle profile, i was just curious
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as to the max range of what that might be. because i have spent a lot of times over mountains. the winds take the moisture upwards and you get a lot of cloud generally. we have all been skiing and had lovely days in the mountains, but one of the hard things about an emergency profile over the mountains and you have this cloud layer, if you do have an emergency, which means that you are going into a glide profile, you are forced to land somewhere, you have to find an airfield. the fact you can't see an airstrip makes it difficult. so you have to use radio aids which are these navigational equipment and get what's called a cloud break. depending on the cloud base will depend on how quickly you see the airfield which then means you have time to get visually orr yen tated so you go from in-cloud and it's that
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transformation from instruments into a visual flight profile and that could be 1,000 feet or 8,000 feet. the higher it is, the better because it gives the pilot time to set up for that visual approach. so there will be lots of factors that play here in terms of what the cloud base was, if there was cloud, where the nearest diversion was, and how far or what exactly the maximum range of the aircraft was in the emergency profile it was flying. as a lot of the commentators have been saying, there's a lot of information out there that we don't know yet. >> john cox? >> a couple of things. at 38,000 feet, the crew could pick an airport anywhere within in the neighborhood of 120 nautical miles and glide to it if they lost both engines. a dual-engine loss at that kind of altitude is extraordinarily unlikely. i know of the double-engine loss
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that sully sullenberger face we saw a rollback but not engine failures in some cases with some icing, but those are very very very rare and the a320 has not shown much of a history of doing that. in addition, and this is important to your point, the navigation display in front of the place at the turn of one switch will indicate every airport around them and the mileage to that. that is derived by gps information as well as on-board reference system data. so they know within seconds every airport that's around them and they will know from the experience what their capabilities are to reach these airports. typically what happens is you get to the airport like you saw
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with the airplane and you end up too high so that you're so careful about protecting that. but we have no indication right now that they experienced an engine failure at all. it's all speculative. the crew could pick an airport within 120 miles from the onset of this event and should be able to get to it. >> so john, here's an ignorant layman's question. if as you say at 38,000 feet a plane has the capacity to land at an airport within 120 nautical miles, what is it that may have occurred on that plane to cause the pilots of that plane to take it down to 10,000 or 7,000 or 6,000 feet over the french alps? >> well the first thing that comes to mind of course is a pressurization problem.
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if they had a pressurization problem, 10,000 feet would be the appropriate course of action. and part of that descent, although the rate i would have expected to be higher that descent would also include the selection of the 7700 code on the transponder, which is reported to have been sent. what is not consistent is why they continued the descent below 10,000 feet. that's much more of a fund fundamental question that the investigators are going to look at. there's a number of reasons you have to come down in a hurry. if they had a smoke event on board, but if they had, i would have expected them to say something to air traffic control. if they had smoke on board, they are going to come down to 10,000 feet and try to depressurize the airplane. we don't know that happened. so the question is why they descended below 10,000. >> we could get answers when we reach word from the black boxes,
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which are at the crash site. but here's what we're getting now from the french president. the crash site is extremely difficult to reach. rescue crews and crash crews will only be there in a few hours. they will not be able to get there for several hours. so those answers will have to wait some time for sure. >> i was flying in a world war ii airplane 72 hours ago, we were having the conversation because i'm an aviator, if you have a problem in that sort of terrain, there's two real key aspects you need to have luck on your side. the first is surviving the crash crash. the second one is you can then find yourself on a 10,000 foot peak and have to survive before the res kusers turn up.
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with a situation like this, it's highly unlikely there will be any survivors, but i want to pick up on the point that john cox was making. we have, as aviators safety altitudes. it means if you have a problem and you're in cloud, you can descend to a certain altitude which is x amount of feet above the highest peak. so a big thing about this if we were in cloud or visual. >> and chris dickey joins us onset. >> i thought you were in paris. >> we move quickly. >> again, the area you described as tough, not clear and easy to get to. now the french president is saying it's going to take several hours to get there. >> i was just studying the terrain. it's what's called the
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hinterlands above nice. if you have ever been in the south of france this is not the gentle terrain that we think of. this is really rugged terrain. once you start trying to move around up there, it's like the rockies. it's very very tough to move around in. >> which, i think, is why we can't jump to any conclusions about the debris field itself. >> it sounds like -- and you have been giving great commentary on this but it sounds like they were coming down with some sort of in-flight emergency, they were coming down in a controlled descent, but once they get to the level of the mountains, how are you going to negotiate through mountain tops? >> that area specifically. we still have with us bill neely. bill i u don't know how much you have heard, but bring us up to speed. >> just to back up with chris dickey was saying there, reports
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from the scene are suggesting that the debris being found is at least a two and a half hour hike from the nearest village. at the moment a couple police helicopters have located the debris which appears most of it to be in a crevice. what chris has said is difficult terrain. it is an area where the flight recorders should be recovered from. this is not mh-370 this is not an ocean crash. this is a crash in a mountainside. however, inaccessible, it's likely within the next few days we'll have answers to this extraordinary mystery. we don't know why this plane descended as it did. germanwings, the operator, now says 150 people were on board. 144 passengers the 2 pilots and 4 crew. and from the spanish authorities, 45 of the
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passengers were spanish. it was flying from barcelona to dusseldorf, so a lot of the passengers are probably german but no word from german authorities. >> we're hearing germans, pass passengers from spain and from turkey as well, is the word we're getting from spanish officials officials. >> bill from the helicopter flier over the crash site, there's been no reports yet of the site of the crash. is it broken up, intact, no descriptions yet? >> no descriptions yet. debris was apparently found in an area called barcelonnette, which is a little far away from it's thought the bulk of the plane has gone down. we don't have much information except it was found in a crevice. there's light snow in the area so it will be very difficult for
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the rescue team which numbers at least 400, including 240 firefighters. it will be difficult and a lengthy process for them to get to the crash site or as you say, to the debris field. if it's gone down in this kind of area, it's unlikely simply to have gone down in one piece. >> so we're looking at 150 people then officially according to the latest sources believed to be dead after this plane crash in the french alps. this is a germanwings flight 9525 headed from barcelona to dusseldorf when it went down near barcelonnette. weather conditions were pretty perfect at the time. we're told the airbus jet had 144 passengers on board, 2 pilots and 4 crew members.
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many of the passengers, as we mentioned, are believed to be german. more than 40 passengers from spain, some turkish as well. we have images of people waiting at the airport with their heads in their hands getting the news. there are crisis centers being set up for the families in multiple languages. we have spain's king and wife visiting france and they are meeting with the french president right now. of course, the president of france was the first to come out and say there are likely no survivors on what is a tragedy on our soil to use his words. the german chancellor is expected to speak today. in about one hour germanwings is going. to be holding a press conference. they will be talking more about the plane, which has an amazing safety record and no crashes like this or anything like it on their record. i'm just being handed some information. this is from the french
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president's recent press conference. he talks about mostly germans and turkish on board. he says there are no french people confirmed to have been on board. he's fully supports the king of spain's decision to cancel his state visit. the area is very difficult to reach, which is the next thing i was going to say. debris is spotted in the area of barcelonnette, but also where the actual plane crash has been found, we're talking about two and a half hours hiking o to get there. so it will be a long time before we have any word from those black boxes, if they are found. that's a possibility and a mystery as well too. >> i think when we're talking about debris fields there are various aspects of the aircraft that weigh different amounts. so the momentum of various speeds or components will take various aspects of the wreckage certain distances. so the tail is usually the one
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which is found within the nearest location of break up because it's wide and has a lot of drag. the undercarriage, they will travel serious distances. so we might be seeing various aspects of debris in a certain part, it's conceivable you could find the engines a couple miles away in other areas. >> would that be possible if it clipped a mountain top? >> now we're going into the -- >> we're speculating about everything. >> depending on the impact and depending on whether it was intact or broke up at all the tuld, there are various components to how the debris field can manifest itself. the weight of the components will take them various distances, depending on the breakup profile, speed profile, whether it clipped a mountain or broke up at 5,000 feet. >> there was a distress call
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which at least shows that on board they were aware of a problem. i stumble only because we don't want to surmise so much. it was a distress code that was entered via computer. that is specific in its nature. >> yeah as pilots it's the transponder. it gives you a four-digit code. usually when you're flying from spain to germany, they will be given a four-digit code to allow air traffic radar to be able to track the -- >> the pilot punches it in. >> it's a standard procedure. depending on what air space you're in, the french air traffic controllers might give the aircraft another code hand over contact, or something like
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that. if there's an emergency, it's standard protocol to put on that 7700 code. however, the priorities of the pie u lot is to i'veuate navigate and communicate. >> this would be manual control, because nothing automatic in that sort of situation? >> that's a great question. with this airbus john probably can speak more to this depending on the nature of the emergency will depend on whether they have manual or automatic systems available. i'm not sure in this particular case whether it would have been under manual control or automated control. >> we know so little at this point, but again, no survivors believed to be on board this flight. 150 people is the latest number we have been given. one last look here at this for our coverage from bill neely from london. >> just to recap.
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we are expecting a news conference from germanwings, the operator of flight 9525 within the next hour. they updated us a short time ago by saying that there were 144 passengers on board, 4 crew and 2 pilots bringing a total of 150 people on board that plane, whom 45 are spanish. we're expecting a statement within the next hour from the german chancellor because we believe most of the other passengers are either german or turkish people living in and around the dusseldorf area. the cause of this crash unknown. i suppose the two things that we can look forward to is that although it is a remote and difficult area it is an area that it's quite possible to recover the flight recorders from the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. and also french investigators are among the best in the world,
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so we may get a clue within the next few days. >> bill, thank you. as we approach the top of the hour, a brief update on the breaking news we have been following out of france. search and rescue teams are on their way to the site of a crash. all 150 people on board are believed to be dead. the plane was heading from barcelona to dusseldorf. there was a distress code entered before it began a controlled but ultimately rapid descent. there was good weather at the time of the crash. debris has been spotted in the area but because of the location officials are warning of a, quote, extremely long and difficult search. we're talking two and a half hours before they even reach the de debris field by foot. the french president says this is quote, a tragedy on our soil. stay with msnbc for continued
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coverage of this break story with "the rundown," straight ahead. good morning, i'm jose diaz-balart. first on "the rundown" this morning, breaking news, a commercial passenger jet has crashed in a remote area of the french alps. airbus a320 was on its way from barcelona to dusseldorf. there you see the area where it went down. this is an actual pickture of the plane that went down taken in 2014. a total of 150 people were on board. there are reports the pilot made a distress call before the crash at 5,000 feet, very low altitude. the president of france speaking a few moments ago said it is likely there are no survivors. we're just getting these pictures in from the airport in dusseldorf. the destination of the flight showing