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Trump Tries To Rewrite History With Big Lie Speech At GOP Event In NC; White House Calls Ransomware A Rising National Security Threat; Ex-believer On How He Survived The Rabbit Hole Of QAnon Lies; Disney Opens Avengers Campus After Year-Long COVID Delay; What Sparked The Government's Interest In UFOs; Positive COVID Test Forces Golfer Jon Rahm From Tournament. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 5, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you're full of crap, judge. People are going to die because of this rule. I know there is someone out there, right now, who will go out and buy an AR-15 because of this judge and use it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Biden administration sounding the alarm about the growing threat of cyberattacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really requires the government to take additional actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is going to be an ongoing struggle, increasing threat, increasing defenses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Passengers on a Delta flight subdue another passenger who started to yell and bang on the cockpit door.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are so many different situations that could have gone poorly. But I feel very lucky to be alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this busy Saturday night. Great to have you along with us.
Well, former President Trump is taking his big lie show on the road tonight. And just moments, he is expected to speak at a Republican Party dinner in North Carolina. Close aides spent the last few days encouraging the former president to move on from the 2020 election, and focus on the future -- such as, Republican Party priorities, heading into the midterms.
But sources say Trump has become more obsessed, in recent weeks, with this unhinged idea that he could, soon, be reinstated as commander-in- chief.
Joining me now to discuss, CNN senior political analyst, and adviser to four presidents, David Gergen, and CNN political commentator, Amanda Carpenter. She was, also, Senator Ted Cruz's communications director.
Amanda, I want to go to you, first, because I know, from talking to people around Trump, that they have been trying to tell him for months. Drop it with the election. Drop it with the big lie. Let's move forward.
And yet, he continues to put that out there, right? It has -- it has taken hold in this country. Millions of people believe in this conspiracy theory. And now, he's about to take the stage in North Carolina. How concerned are you that he will continue to just push out these conspiracy theories?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. I mean, it -- it's how he does politics. That is the way Donald Trump campaigns, and governed as president. And as long as he remains stuck on November 2020, everyone else will remain stuck on January 6th, because those two things are inextricably linked.
And I just got to say, Pam, this whole event feels weird, right? Like, he is entering this speech so diminished as a twice-impeached, losing president under multiple investigations. His aides are talking about reinstating him as president. He can't even be reinstated on social media, right now.
And so, I just have a lot of questions about this event. It doesn't seem presidential at all. It's the smallest crowd. He is running extremely late. And so, this -- this -- I think, his power is waning and this speech will prove that.
BROWN: Well, what do you think, David Gergen?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Amanda's had very good points to make. Donald Trump. I don't think he is in danger of losing his base, yet. But he's clearly losing power. And I think that's a very important, you know, to his concept of who he is.
The reason so many Republicans are deferential to him, especially those running for reelection, is he seemed to be far more powerful than they are, and you can't punish them. If he loses power, he become a paper tiger, I think he is in anger of that now. Just look what happened to him losing out on Facebook. He is going to be off Facebook. He's going to be off Twitter for at least the next two years, right through the midterm elections.
He had a bloggers men (ph) will tell you, you know, he invented this blog. Thought it would be a great platform to connect with people. It got minimal number of people who signed up. It was so embarrassing, he had to take it off and take it down. I think those are really good indicators of how much power he had in the past, versus how much he has today. And you can go through other things. The fact that -- you know, the fact that CNN is not covering him, live, tonight with his speech. This is the first time -- he hasn't been out in three months. Eager to know how he is evolving.
CNN decided not to cover it. I think it is exactly the right decision. But it's because he's become less relevant to the future. He spent so much time trying to win arguments about the past. He is now losing the future.
BROWN: But it's interesting, though, Amanda, because he has lost power. But yet, he still has power when it comes to fear, right? A lot of lawmakers here in Washington are fearful of him. And I was talking to these -- the Capitol police officers. These brave men who were there on the front lines on January 6th and were bruised and battered and fought off the rioters.
And they are, still, dealing with the consequences from that day, physically and emotionally.
And they couldn't get over how lawmakers wouldn't hold him accountable, and how they struck down the -- the Republicans struck down the January 6th commission. Clearly, he still has power to make these lawmakers make certain moves because it can be believed that they're afraid of him.
CARPENTER: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, he -- I'm not arguing the point that he has total control over the Republican Party, at this point. If he wants the Republican nomination for president, not a single candidate in the field, right now, is prepared to take it from him. Nobody wants to talk about January 6th on the Republican side because it blows back on them.
I mean, Donald Trump's failures and spreading of the conspiracy theories blows back on so many of them because they were part of it. Even right now, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, everyone can outwardly say they wish we would move on from Trump but they are wholly dependent on him, at this point in time.
This is the weird limbo that we are in when it comes to the field. But what I thought was extremely interesting was Mike Pence gave a speech, earlier this week, in New Hampshire. And he was willing to talk about how proud he was of the Trump-pence record.
But he changed, from a previous speech that he gave in South Carolina. And the fact that he described January 6th as a dark day and told the audience that he and the president will never see eye to eye.
Now, I give Mike Pence no pass on his complicity in that administration because he was part of everything in the run up to January 6th. But Mike Pence saw something, that he saw that I need to try to put some distance between me and Donald Trump. And it didn't go over well in that room because those are die-hard party activists but I think he knows people outside that room are very uncomfortable with all of these election lies. And the consequences that we saw on January 6th.
BROWN: And let's talk, a little bit more, about those consequences, David Gergen. Are you concerned that democracy really is in peril? Or do you think that that is overblown?
GERGEN: I don't think it's overblown, at all. I think the -- the -- the peril is growing, not diminishing. That's the very sad and alarming part of what we're seeing unfold here. We've never had a president, former president act in such a way as Donald Trump has been, the very idea that he might be reinstated as president, which is what he's musing about apparently. You know, he talks to the other people out of the Congress and he talks about I will be president again by August.
I mean, that's bizarre. But what it does suggest is that he has no limits. He has no mental or emotional limits. And if he get -- not just what Congress is going to do with Joe Biden. But what's going to happen on these voter-suppression laws?
If there's anything that can put democracy in peril, it would be if a number of these Republican states embrace these suppressive laws preventing people of color from going to vote. And it winds up that next time around, the Republicans actually win through suppression. That's when you are going to have an unbelievable revolution in this country. Because people will say it's totally unacceptable. That's the peril that's out there. That really worries a lot of people.
BROWN: David Gergen, Amanda Carpenter, we will leave it there. Thank you, both, for coming on.
CARPENTER: Thank you.
GERGEN: Thank you, Pamela.
BROWN: The pushback against Trump's false narrative. Earlier tonight, I spoke to two Capitol police officers, who faced down the violent pro-Trump mob just 150 days ago. We talked about it during that discussion.
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell was brutally beaten on January 6th. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn was subject to racial slurs. Both these heroes share their perspective of what really happened during that attack. And they had some powerful words about how the nation needs to reckon with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFC. HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Tell the truth. Tell the truth. I -- I don't understand how anybody can live with their self being dishonest. I -- you can apologize to people. You can apologize to everybody in this world. You apologize to yourself knowing that you're full of crap? I -- how do you live with yourself?
BROWN: And let's talk about the truth. Let's talk about -- more about what happened that day.
We have video of you, Sergeant Gonell. You were right in the thick of it, at the very front.
SGT. AQUILINO GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Yes, that is correct.
BROWN: Right, you told me right after 1:00, and I believe we have video to show of you here. This is one of the officers. You were feet away from this officer, right?
Sergeant Gonell, what was going through your mind when you saw this?
GONELL: Gut wrenching because I'm right next to that young lady on the left side. And there was nothing I could do to help him.
I hear him scream. Every time I hear him scream, it's gut wrenching.
It -- it's baffle me that people are calling this a tour. It bothers me. It's an insult.
This is not a tour. This is not a concert. And -- and for a lot of people, pretending that everybody came to the Capitol for Fourth of July or a concert, Memorial Day, whatnot. And -- and then, did whatever they did and went home like nothing happened.
We, officers, we living this when we get phone calls from the FBI. Hey, do you recognize this officer? He got assaulted by this individual. Do you -- do you see yourself? Do you remember when you were struck? Watching the video. Watching the -- the pictures, whatnot. It -- it's -- we still living it.
Meanwhile, for some of these individuals calling this a -- a fantasy, like it never happened, we gave them the time for them to escape. We gave them the time to -- to go to safety. And thinking that, when they do come back and they did came back that day, luckily, and with our -- our doing, nobody -- no -- none of them got hurt.
We gave them the time to do that. And then, when they come back and say, well, we're going to hold them accountable. Oh, count me out? I cannot follow this guy no more. And then, when you actually had the time and the opportunity to hold them accountable --- you say, no, well, he's in the office but he is leaving.
But then, when he leaves, oh, he is out of the office. We can't hold him accountable. Which one is it?
BROWN: You're talking about Donald Trump, the former president.
GONNELL: That is correct. That is correct.
DUNN: We had a common enemy on 9/11. And that's why it was so easy to get bipartisan support because we had a common enemy, as Americans. Now, the common enemy is another American, is an American, is an American, is an American. We are so divided as a nation, and it's sickening.
And that's -- this -- look at the -- look at the footage. How is that -- how do you -- how do you call that normal? How -- how do you call that normal?
GONELL: And how do you condone that and continue to condone?
BROWN: It's not normal and it shouldn't be condoned. And anyone who has tried to whitewash that should be ashamed of themselves. They are deceiving themselves. They are lying.
DUNN: Never forget. 9/11, the motto was -- 9/11, the motto was, what, never forget? January 6th, never forget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Never forget. Well, make sure we never forget on this show. I'll tell you that.
Well, don't even think about moving. We are just getting started.
Coming up, this hour. An unruly passenger tries to breach the cockpit, causing a major mid-air emergency.
Also, a former QAnon follower explains why he genuinely believed Anderson Cooper ate babies. He actually thought that. For the record, Anderson doesn't eat babies but I am going to ask him how he managed to escape the rabbit hole of bizarre conspiracy theories.
And then tonight, ahead of the forthcoming government report on UFOs, former Navy pilots talk about their baffling close encounters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa! Got it! Ha ha ha! Woo hoo!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is that thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my gosh, dude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, what is that man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at it fly!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: But first, fuel pipelines, hospitals, even meat processors all hit by hackers? I'm going to ask Bryan Cunningham, a former-deputy legal adviser to the national security council and Condoleezza Rice, among many titles, how America can protect itself from crippling cyberattacks.
BROWN: FBI Director Christopher Wray calls it a warning for all Americans as cyberattacks are on the rise across the country. Recent high-profile attacks involved ransomware, where hackers gained control of a computer or entire system, and then hold it for ransom.
These kinds of attacks are getting bigger. Last month, we saw one of the nation's largest fuel pipelines shut down, for days, in a crippling cyberattack. And just this week, a ransomware attack halted work at the world's largest meat processor. A similar attack disrupted ferry service to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
And we learned, New York's subway system was hacked in April. And two Florida hospitals say they were hit, as well. Wray is comparing this challenge to terrorism threats, after 9/11.
Joining me, now, is Bryan Cunningham. He is the executive director of the University of California-Irvine Cybersecurity Policy And Research Institute. And he was a White House national security lawyer.
You have so much experience, in this realm, Brian. Tell our viewers, why they should be paying attention to this issue. Because I think, for a lot of people, it's a threat. It's an invisible threat. You don't see it, right?
And if you are not impacted directly, it's hard to really care about it, day to day. What is your message?
BRYAN CUNNINGHAM, UC IRVINE CYBERSECURITY POLICY & RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Thanks for having me, Pamela. This is very frustrating, for me, because this ransomware attack on infrastructure threat is, both, extremely serious, from a national security standpoint, and completely preventable. And that's what I want your viewers to take away, completely preventable.
Ransomware is one of the easiest attacks to protect against. Back up your files, securely. Train your employees not to click on suspicious e-mails and exercise your crisis-response plans. There is no reason why these ransomware attacks have to be successful at all, much less on our critical infrastructure.
BROWN: But what is the real-world impact? Why is this such a big deal?
Why is the FBI director comparing this to the threat landscape after 9/11?
CUNNINGHAM: Well, I think, it's because, for the first time, you've seen escalating attacks on our critical infrastructure that actually are bringing pain and suffering to the American people, and have the potential to bring a lot more. By the way, this is no accident. You don't have an attack on the gas and oil system, the food-production system, hospitals, a week or two before a major international summit with the Russians.
Either, the Russian government is tolerating these attacks or they're directing them as a way to test the administration. But either way, they are going to get more and more serious, unless we do something to stop them, and not just individuals and companies having better cybersecurity. But I mean, our government taking action to let bullies, like Putin, know that this is not going to be acceptable.
BROWN: I want you to listen to Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence under President Trump, back in 2018.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It was in the months prior to September, 2001, when according to then-CIA Director George Tenet, the system was blinking red. And here we are, two decade -- nearly-two decades later, and I'm here to say, the warning lights are blinking red, again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is, literally, under attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And yet, it was just this past Thursday the Justice Department said it will coordinate anti-ransomware efforts with the same protocols as it does for terrorism. Why now? Is that too little, too late?
CUNNINGHAM: I -- I don't think it's too late. I think we still have time. I think the reason for the change in position by the Justice Department is, up until very recently, the dangerous-potential cyberattacks were not being conducted through ransomware, and ransomware attacks were viewed as largely a private sector, only- economic threat.
Now, that the criminals, and/or the governments that oppose us are understanding that they can do both. They can make a lot of money with ransomware. And they can degrade and threaten our infrastructure. And -- and make our citizens upset through ransomware.
And it's, also, much easier than a lot of the more sophisticated attacks where you really do have to break through defense systems, like in the U.S. government or in critical infrastructure. Here, you only have to find an employee who makes a mistake at a -- at a critical infrastructure provider not properly backed up their data.
So, I think, the bad guys are learning now that it's not just a way to make money. It's a way to attack our security and the government's reacting to that.
BROWN: All right. Bryan Cunningham, thank you so much for bringing your expertise on this issue to the show.
CUNNINGHAM: Thank you.
BROWN: Crawling out of the QAnon rabbit hole is not easy. When we come back, I'm going to speak to a former follower about how he got out and what he thinks of Donald Trump gaslighting his supporters.
BROWN: President Trump speaking, this hour, at the North Carolina Republican convention, telling the crowd, we're going to take back our country and again, expected to peddle the big lie that the election was stolen from him.
That's a lie that is, no doubt, fueling a base of QAnon believers. QAnon is centered on the baseless theory that Trump is trying to save the world by waging a secret campaign against enemies in the so-called deep state.
My next guest is an ex-follower who bought into QAnon's conspiracies, including the theory -- a false one, I should stress -- that CNN's Anderson Cooper eats babies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Did you, at the time, believe that Democrat -- high-level Democrats and celebrities were worshipping Satan? Drinking the blood of children?
JITARTH JADEJA, FORMER QANON BELIEVER: Anderson, I thought you did that. And I would like to apologize for that, right now. So, I apologize for thinking that you ate babies. But, yeah, 100 percent.
COOPER: You -- but you -- you actually believed that I was drinking the blood of children?
JADEJA: Yes, I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Jitarth Jadeja joins me now. Thanks for coming on.
What drew you to you to QAnon --
BROWN: I'm -- I have been so looking forward to this conversation. I find it fascinating. You were drawn into QAnon. And then, you got yourself out of the rabbit hole.
Walk us through your experience. What drew you in, in the first place?
JADEJA: Well, it's -- it's pretty long, tedious story. But I will basically try and sum it up.
I was a Bernie Sanders supporter. I didn't trust the mainstream media. After Trump got elected, I stopped believing them, at all.
I went down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories for about a year. And then, in that year, I was a Trump supporter. But I was very -- I was very disillusioned with Trump because it didn't seem like he was doing anything that he promised.
And then, that's kind of when QAnon came along. And Q actually says no, no, no, you know, Trump is just -- he's doing everything. He is doing things you can't even believe in. He's actually winning. He is actually doing some great stuff. And he tells you everything you want to hear. And I was kind of
hooked, line and sinker.
BROWN: Is there anything that you think made you more susceptible to believing in these conspiracy theories, as you look back and reflect on this?
JITARTH JADEJA, FORMER QANON MEMBER: Yes. Look, for me personally, it was -- I had a couple of issues like I was very socially isolated. I had bipolar disorder, which was undiagnosed. That's not to say that everyone with any kind of mental affliction will fall into that.
But the main thing was, it was -- this is something I've noticed, it's a little anecdotal, but there always seems to be some kind of traumatic event that precedes someone's fall into the rabbit hole. For me, it was finding out I had ADHD. And if you -- and that was kind of an issue that I had my whole life and that I had attributed character failings to what was not my fault. Other people I've talked to with, you know, they've lost their job or someone's passed away. And, you know, there almost seems to be like a reaction to that. Just some sort of traumatic event.
BROWN: I think that's so important, because at the end of the day, people who follow this, they're human beings, right? And there's a reason why if you go back and look at the route, there's a reason why people believe in this. And you also told me in the break that you had a distrust of authority of the mainstream media, right?
JADEJA: Yes, absolutely. Because I have been reading and watching news and political news since I was in high school, just because I love economics. And it's just -- it's kind of started with weapons of mass destruction and, sort of, just went from there. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter with the whole Wikileaks and, you know, the John Podesta's e-mails, that whole thing.
So, I was just -- I was -- I just didn't -- I thought that they were lying. I thought CNN was lying. It's insane, that I'm here, and I'm so grateful. But I just -- yes, I had a distrust of everything and everyone, really.
BROWN: It's so interesting, because you also point out your study of economics. I mean, you can be really smart, right? And you can think logically, and yet, get sucked into these conspiracy theories. It seems like so much of it is emotional. Right? After you go through something traumatic, as you said, it becomes an emotional thing.
JADEJA: Look, it has to be emotional. Otherwise, I wouldn't -- it wouldn't make sense, otherwise, for so many people, like such as my dad who has three degrees, who's probably the smartest person I know to fall into it. So, it's a -- it's a -- it's more like a cult, I guess, like a conspiracy cult, but not exactly, but that's a good way to describe it.
And the thing with, you know, like this kind of cult, it's about being human, it's about humans are social creatures. We all have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by someone and we seek connection and meaning and -- in a selfless -- sense of self- importance and affirmation. So, the -- it can happen to anyone, anyone. The only thing that needs to be -- needs to be before that is to be human.
BROWN: And now as you look back to see how far deep you got into, how dangerous do you think these conspiracy theories are and misinformation and the fact that Donald Trump, who so many people look up to and follow continues to push out lies?
JADEJA: That -- I think, it could not be more dangerous. I mean, this is how you get good people to do bad things. No one thinks they're evil. The only reason evil occurred is because it's in service of -- for the greater good or the ends justify the means.
And Donald Trump -- it's so weird, because he now has almost -- he's become a QAnon adjacent. He believes that he will be back. He believes the Dominion voting had something to do with it. Because now, he -- it's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy where he's -- they -- he hid something from, you know, that's downstream from QAnon, and that he said repeats it and it just goes wild from there. So, it's insane.
BROWN: So, for those who are still deep in it, I mean, how did you get out of it? How are you so far down that rabbit hole where you're so obviously exposed to misinformation online? How do you get out of that?
JADEJA: I don't think there's any one way for anyone to get out of it. I think the best thing to do when it comes to other people is to try and focus on their behaviors. I don't -- you know, trying -- distract them, bring them back, you know, their behavior always becomes different, they become agitated and annoyed.
But the thing is, you can't actually get anyone to come out of the rabbit hole, like, by them -- without, they can come out, but they have to do it by themselves and you just have to support.
BROWN: How did you get out?
JADEJA: It's a long -- it's a long story. There was a series -- my mental health improved, my social isolation decreased. QAnon was always wrong, there was that. It was -- and there was almost like another conspiracy theory that took me out, which was I -- before I even fell into QAnon, I was a big supporter of Julian Assange and just watching Trump's Justice Department go off to him really kind of started the -- started the straw that broke the camel's back, I guess.
BROWN: And how hard is it for you that your dad is a QAnon believer?
JADEJA: It's hard. We can't talk about politics anymore, which is sad, because I know it's a little silly because it doesn't really matter considering everyone -- so many people's families have been ripped apart. But like, me and my dad are very different people. We have nothing in common. So -- but politics and economics was
something we like to discuss. And now it's kind of like -- it's kind of like, I'm South Korea, he's North Korea politics, and QAnon is like the DMZ-ed, and my mom and my sister, the U.N. and the U.S.
BROWN: What you just described out so many families in America can relate to. It's just the reality that we're in now.
Jitarth Jadeja, thank you. I could have talked to you the entire show. It's fascinating to hear your experience. We really appreciate you putting yourself out there and talking about it.
JADEJA: No worries, Pamela. Thanks for having me on. And thank you to CNN for covering this. I think it's important.
BROWN: And thank you for regaining your trust in CNN. Thank you so much.
JADEJA: Thank you for allowing me. And thank us both for having this conversation. Why not?
BROWN: We're going to keep that going. We cover QAnon a lot on this show and conspiracy theories. Thank you.
JADEJA: OK. Bye.
BROWN: Well, the Avengers Campus at Disneyland is finally open after long COVID delays. We are live in Anaheim, up next.
BROWN: After a yearlong delay due to COVID, the new Marvel superhero themed Avengers Campus is finally open at Disneyland. But with pandemic restrictions still in place, this was not your normal Disney- style grand opening.
CNN's Paul Vercammen is outside the park. He joins me now. What's it like out there, Paul?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're waiting the grand opening, if you will, on June 15th. That's when Disneyland and the New Avengers Campus will again allow people from out of state to come here. They will also not have the tests that they're taking, the temperature checks to let the guests in. So, there's tremendous anticipation and for all the businesses in the area, because after all, Disneyland is an economic engine in this part of Orange County.
Now, as for this Avengers Campus, we have Marvel characters everywhere, the superheroes on the campus, Spider Man seems to be the centerpiece of all of this. They got this ride called Web Slingers, and you sit down in this seat and these, sort of, spider bots have gone crazy. And it's the idea that you are going to sling webs and capture them so they don't ruin the campus. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no. We don't.
VERCAMMEN: Lots of high-tech wizardry here, but some of the effects are just old school optical illusions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: Yes, that floor was as flat as the sidewalk behind me. So, it's a real mix of things here at the Avengers Campus. Back to you now, Pam.
BROWN: Paul, always managed to get the best assignments. Thanks so much for bringing us the latest.
Well, American Navy pilots say they have seen UFOs in the sky. Does the military agree? A new Pentagon report due any day could shine some bright light on this topic.
BROWN: Terrifying moments on board a Delta Airlines plane Friday when a man on a flight from L.A. to Nashville tried to breach the cockpit. Another passenger quickly took the man down, but the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A witness on the flight tell CNN the man seemed unprovoked and, quote, just got up and rushed the pilot's cabin and began banging on the doors. The man was taken into federal custody.
And now to the greater mysteries in the sky, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, is now briefed on the government's quest to find out if credible UFO sightings by U.S. Navy pilots are proof of visitors from outer space. So far, the answer is no. But sources tell CNN that when U.S. intelligence officials report their findings to Congress this month, they won't rule it out either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I will say that we take reports of incursions into our airspace by any aircraft identified or unidentified very seriously and investigate each one. Safety and security of our personnel, for operations are a paramount concern. There's a requirement to put out this report and certainly our propriate teams are working on finalizing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: CNN's Randi Kaye shows us why the speculation may not be so out of this world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that thing. It's rotating. RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A U.S. Navy aircraft captured images of that rotating thing back in January 2015 off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look on the S.A. My gosh. They're all going against the wind. The wind is 120 knots to the West. Look at that thing, dude.
KAYE: Also, in 2015, just a few weeks later, this happened. Watch as a Navy air crew struggles to lock on to a mysterious fast-moving object off the Atlantic coast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is [BLEEP] that thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh, dude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at it fly.
KAYE: Former Navy fighter pilot, Alex Dietrich, told Anderson Cooper about spotting a strange flying object in the sky back in November 2004 off the coast of San Diego.
ALEX DIETRICH, FORMER NAVY PILOT: Enter stage left, the Tic Tac and that's what we affectionately refer to it as, because that's what it looked like.
KAYE: It was about the size of an aircraft fuselage.
DIETRICH: It was white, it was -- it was, sort of, a matte finish, just like a Tic Tac. And it behaved in a way that we were. We were surprised unnerved. It accelerated -- almost didn't accelerate, right? It's sort of jumped from spot to spot and tumbled around in a way that was unpredictable.
KAYE: Former Navy Commander David Fravor was on the training mission with Dietrich and remembers how the object quickly maneuvered.
DAVID FRAVOR, FORMER NAVY PILOT: Like a Ping-Pong ball bouncing off the wall. The ability to hover over the water and then start a vertical climb from basically zero up towards about 12,000 feet and then accelerate in less than two seconds and disappear is something I had never seen in my life.
KAYE: So, what was it? The government won't say or maybe doesn't know. For decades, the Pentagon's research into these close encounters has been kept under wraps, along with the images, and a now defunct $22 million program designed to investigate UFOs.
So, what are we to believe about moments like this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's getting close -- splash splashed.
KAYE: Members of the U.S. Navy captured that footage of an unidentified flying object spotted off the coast of California in July 2019, just before it vanished into the ocean.
And with so few answers, extraterrestrials have become a favorite subject for conspiracy theorists, with much of the focus on a highly classified U.S. Air Force testing facility in Nevada, known as Area 51.
Bob Lazar is the conspiracy theorist and former physicist who says he worked at the secretive government research site Area 51. He says he was hired to reverse engineer a flying saucer buried there.
BOB LAZAR, SAYS HE WORKED AT AREA 51: This came from somewhere else. I mean, as bizarre as that is to believe, but I mean it's there, I saw it.
KAYE: Others have bought into his claims that the U.S. government buried extra terrestrial technology at Area 51.
LAZAR: It looks like sand. It's made to look like the side of the mountain that it's in, whether it's to disguise it from satellite photographs.
KAYE: So, until someone says for sure what's really out there --
TERRY MAUTH, SAW STRANGE OBJECT IN SKY: No sound no blinking lights, just this big illuminated form.
KAYE: -- will be left still to wonder.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Miami.
BROWN: The mystery continues.
And tomorrow in the CNN NEWSROOM, a former head of the Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program will join me. That's the team that spent more than a decade going over the video and data. So, why does he think this report is a rush job? That's tomorrow. We'll be right back.
BROWN: Breaking news this Saturday night in the sports world, once again, suddenly impacted by coronavirus. Pro golfer Jon Rahm of Spain learned that he tested positive for COVID-19 while he was on the course leading in the memorial tournament in Ohio. The moment was seen by the nation.
CNN's Patrick Snell joins me. So, Patrick, walk us through this remarkable moment as he gets the news.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela, quite extraordinary this Saturday in Ohio. The memorial event, you know, one of the biggest tournament is not a major but it's Jack Nicklaus hosted and, you know, Jon Rahm, a player of huge stature in the game, a former world number one, current world number three player, looking to become the first golfer since Tiger Woods to win back to back at Jack's place, as they call it, for the first time in two decades. He had a six-shot lead after his third round.
He was in total control of this tournament earlier as he completed his second round, Pamela. He had a hole in one. He shot a 64 during that third round, getting himself to 18 under par.
And look at this, this is the moment there. You can see the emotion as Rahm is informed of that positive test. He now has to isolate for 10 days through until June the 15th. The emotion there, all too apparent. I do want to get to a statement. As we see this image from the PGA Tour. He's distraught.
Now, on the last day of May, May the 31st, the U.S. PGA Tour telling us that Rahm had been formed. He was subject to contact tracing protocols as he'd come into close contact with a person COVID positive. Rahm opting though to stay in the tournament, Pamela, testing negative every day since until the most recent test return positive while he was still out on the course, as you can see that video, and the emotion that would follow.
The tour also adding that Rahm is the first positive asymptomatic case as part of the towards routine contact tracing protocols. This has implications as well for the forthcoming U.S. Open, that's the men's tournament. The U.S. Open in San Diego on June the 17th, if he has to isolate now, through June the 15th.
I mentioned Jack Nicklaus, the great Jack Nicklaus, off the top there, he's come out with a statement as well via social media. "I feel very bad for Jon Rahm, he's played absolutely brilliant golf this week. Jon knew as early as Monday he'd come into close contact with an individual who tested COVID positive. He followed all PGA Tour protocols as it relates to contact tracing."
There is that tweet from Jack Nicklaus. A six-shot lead. You really can't put it into perspective how Jon Rahm must be feeling right now. Except I do think, Pamela, that video is so powerful. It really does speak volumes.
BROWN: It does. Patrick Snell, thank you so much.
Heads up on what's coming up tomorrow on the show. I've got an exclusive interview with the Senate Sergeant of arms, Karen Gibson. I talked to her about the aftermath of January 6, how Capitol Hill security has changed since, and how they're preparing for any future trouble.
I'll also talk to Arizona Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, about the big lie and her state's bogus election on it and we'll tell you why President Biden's one on one with Queen Elizabeth is a rite of passage as he heads out onto the world stage.
Thanks for joining us. Have a great night.