Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Calibrates Anew on Immigration; Trump Versus Clinton; Central Italy Earthquake; Ryan Lochte Charged in Brazil. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 26, 2016 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:37] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump is now saying he is hardening his immigration plan, just one day after he said he is softening it or appeared to be softening it. We are digging in what Donald Trump really thinks about immigration.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the battle over bigotry. Explosive charges. A blistering speech from Hillary Clinton laying out what she sees as Donald Trump's ties to racism. He responds, calling Hillary Clinton a bigot.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

OK. Overnight, everything changed when it comes to Donald Trump's immigration plan or changed back or didn't. At this point, it's quite frankly difficult to tell. But it is all playing out here with the interview on CNN.

The question is, does Donald still believe that all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States need to go, by force if necessary? Until last week, he said yes. But then he seemed to say no. Some could stay. We will work with them, he said. A softening it was called.

But now in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Trump is back to saying undocumented immigrants will have no path to legal status unless they leave the country first.

CNN's Jason Carroll is breaking it down for us this morning.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine, John, the Trump campaign trying to sort through the muddled message on immigration. The Trump campaign has been very specific saying that Trump has been consistent when it comes to his point of view, saying that he always said no path to citizenship. No amnesty. But what is clear is that the message is unclear and the only one who

can clear it up is Donald Trump. Listen to how he tried to clear up the message last night with Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: If they haven't committed a crime, is there a path to citizenship?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, there is not a path -- there is no path to legalization, unless people leave the country -- well, they come back in, if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes. There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.

CARROLL: So, that's what he told CNN's Anderson Cooper, but he's also made other conflicting statements in other interviews on the subject of immigration.

TRUMP: They'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty, as such. There's no amnesty.


TRUMP: But we work with them.

Now, OK, when I look at it and everybody agrees we get the bad ones out. When I go through and meet thousands of people on the subject, and I've had very strong people come up to me. Really great, great people come up to me. They said, Mr. Trump, I love you. But to take a person that's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and the family out, it's so tough, Mr. Trump. I've had it all the time. It's a very, very hard thing.

You're going to have to send people out.

I would get people out and have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.

They've got to go out.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But how do you do it in a practical way? You really think --

TRUMP: They've got to leave.

You're going to have a deportation force.

CARROLL: I spoken to a number of Trump supporters who said if Trump softens his position on immigration, Trump is going to end up losing their votes. One supporter in particular told me that one of the reasons why he likes Donald Trump so much is because he is plain spoken and clearly this is a subject where he is not as clear as he needs to be.

Once again, the only one who can ultimately clear this up is Donald Trump. The campaign hoping will finally be able to do that when he delivers his policy speech on immigration next Wednesday in Phoenix -- Christine, John.


BERMAN: All right. Jason, thanks so much.

To be clear, Donald Trump's latest position to Anderson Cooper last night was that all 11 million undocumented immigrants have to go before they come back to get status. That is the new latest old position but it's the one we know right now that he told Anderson about.

Now, his shifts on immigration are drawing fire from Jeb Bush whom Trump beat for the Republican nomination, while attacking Bush's stances on immigration. Some of the positions Trump held at least temporarily the past week seemed to echo those of Bush.

[04:35:03] This was before he changed again. One example, back when Trump was advocating deporting all 11 undocumented immigrants, Bush advocating letting some stay as long as they meet a long list of criteria. Now in a radio interview, Bush says this is all a game to Trump.


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I can only say that whatever his views are this morning, they may change and they were different than last night and they'll be different from tomorrow. So, I can't comment on his views because his views are -- they seem to be ever changing depending on what crowd he's in front of.

He sounds like a typical politician, by the way, where you get in front of one crowd and say one thing and then say something else to another crowd that may want to hear a different view. All the things that Donald Trump railed against, he seems to be morphing into -- it's kind of disturbing.


ROMANS: All right. On top of everything having to do immigration, there is the battle over bigotry. Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering speech in Nevada, laying out what she sees as Donald Trump's connection to racist speech, action and policy.

But in the interview with Anderson Cooper, Trump basically said I know you are, but what am I. Hillary Clinton is a bigot, he says. Listen.


COOPER: You called last night Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously, you called her policies bigoted. You directly called her a bigot.

TRUMP: She is a bigot, because when you look at what's happening to the inner cities and you look at what's happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks all of the time, she's talking -- look at the vets, where she said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, that it's over exaggerated what's happening to the vets not so long ago.

COOPER: How is she bigoted? Bigoted is having hatred toward a particular group.

TRUMP: She's selling them down the tubes, because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game.

COOPER: So she has hatred or dislike of people?

TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted are bigoted -- her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.

COOPER: But you're saying she's personally bigoted.

TRUMP: She is. Of course, she is. Her policies and she comes up with the policies, and others that believe like she does also, like she came out with policies over the years. This is over the years, a long time.

She's totally bigoted. There's no question about that.

Look at what --

COOPER: But it does imply that she doesn't -- she has antipathy, she has hatred toward --


TRUMP: I think she -- I think she is extremely, extremely bad for African-Americans. I think she's been extremely bad for Hispanics. You look at what's happened with her policies and the policies of President Obama and others. Look at the poverty, look at the rise in poverty and look at the rise in violence.

COOPER: But hatred is at the core of that or dislike of African- Americans?

TRUMP: Well -- or maybe she's lazy.


BERMAN: All right. Now, this all started from Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton had scheduled what her campaign billed as a big speech directed at Donald Trump charging him essentially of racism and arguing he has handed the Republican Party over to a paranoid fringe element.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is following the Clinton campaign.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Hillary Clinton has delivered a lot of speeches about Trump, but here has never been any quite like the one she gave Thursday here in Reno. She questioned Donald Trump's connection to the alt-right movement, that is this growing movement on the Internet largely, white supremacist and others. She says it is a divisive, dangerous radical movement, and it's unprecedented for a presidential candidate like Donald Trump to be involved with.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now, of course, there's always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, a lot of it rising from racial resentment. But it's never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national mega phone until now.

ZELENY: Now, during her speech, she cited specific examples from Bob Dole during his 1996 convention when he said racists should leave the party. She talked about George W. Bush, who embraced Muslim after 9/11. She even talked about John McCain who criticized those who question President Obama's faith back in 2008.

She said that Donald Trump simply is a different kind of Republican. She said this is a different type of conservatism. She called it dangerous. And she asked Republicans to look inside themselves and join her campaign. The question, of course, is she a credible messenger to them? Will they actually follow her lead? John and Christine?


ROMANS: All right. Jeff Zeleny in Reno for us. A new Clinton campaign video is also accusing Trump of racism, connecting Trump to the Ku Klux Klan, charging him with being slow to disavow the support of white supremacist like former KKK leader David Duke. In a tweet, Trump responded she should be ashamed of herself.

And late last night, he rejected the support of racist voters.


REPORTER: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?

TRUMP: No, I don't at all, not at all. And I will tell you, this is not about hate. This is about love. We love our country. We want our country to come back. We want our country to be strong again.


[04:40:00] BERMAN: A federal judge set a deadline for the State Department to deliver some of Hillary Clinton's e-mails uncovered by the FBI with the clock ticking toward Election Day. The State Department must hand the e-mails over to the conservative legal group Judicial Watch by September 13th. The order is limited to documents related to the Benghazi attacks.

ROMANS: All right. Time for an early start on your money. The world hanging on every single word from one powerful woman, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this morning, speaks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at a confab of central bankers. Look for hints of the timing of the next interest rate hike.

In the U.S., stocks fell in anticipation of those remarks. The health care sector lost nearly 1 percent yesterday. That's thanks largely to EpiPen maker Mylan who is under fire for raising the price of the life-saving drug more than 400 percent since 2009.

And the ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, he is now defending the price increase. He made headlines last year when his company raised the price of a drug 5,000 percent overnight. He blames the health care system for Mylan's price hike. That echoes the sentiment of Mylan's CEO who announced yesterday that company would take steps to make the drug more affordable. Those measures include a $300 savings card, increase in financial assistance. That came under fire and people said why not roll back the price increase? Why a card to give people -- you know, a little bit of It is still a higher price than people paid a few years ago.

BERMAN: But they know what it's like to be in PR firestorm right now. They sure do.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: All right. Overnight, aftershocks in Italy get anything the way of the rescue efforts and recovery efforts after the devastating earthquake in the mountainous region there. We're going to go live for an update, next.


[04:45:58] ROMANS: All right. This morning, aftershocks are hampering search efforts following the devastating earthquake in the mountains in central Italy this week. At least 267 people have died. Emergency crews are racing against the clock, trying to find survivors in the rubble. State of emergency is now in effect in all of the areas affected by that quake.

I want to bring in CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau. She is live in Saletta, Italy.

What's the latest, Barbie?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we felt so many aftershocks this morning. There have been 928 aftershocks since the earthquake took place, 57 since midnight last night here.

And we felt them. One was 4.8. The problem with the aftershock is not just so much that the survivors are put back in the moment of sheer panic, it really hampers the rescue operation. They are still working against the clock trying to find people who might still be alive under rubble that looks something like this.

They moved in heavy equipment. They're pulling off the big pieces. But if you look at the rubble, this was someone's house, a two-story house.

You can see every element of their lives. You can see the bit of the bed on top. You can see a pool cue here on the corner. There are lawn chairs. There are still flowers on the balcony here. And the rescue operator think in this particular case, they cleared it. They know there is not anyone. All over the area, there are piles like this. They're sifting through, hoping for that miracle that's going to keep everybody going.

Instead, they are trying and finding body after body, as they move more rubble, they find more of the dead. That's why that death rate continues to rise, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Barbie Nadeau in Saletto for us this morning, thanks for that, Barbie.

BERMAN: Authorities say a major heroine seizure in New York could have a substantial impact on opioid overdoses and deaths in the U.S. Officials say that more than 65 pounds of heroin, 65 pounds was transported from Mexico across the country, to suburban New York City where it was seized this week. Prosecutors arrested two drug traffickers and crippled a sophisticated well-run operation. They say the amount of drugs seized could have filled three quarters of a million individual doses.

ROMANS: All right. Authorities are investigating the deaths of two nuns in rural Mississippi. The victims, Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill both 68 years old. They were killed in their home. The medical examiner said they were stabbed and there was evidence of a break-in. Police found their abandoned car a short distance away. The two nuns run a medical clinic provided free treatment for the poor.

BERMAN: At his own request, a California judge is being taken off criminal cases. Judge Aaron Persky is criticized by a lot of people for sentencing Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months for sexually assaulting a woman while she was unconscious. Turner could have received 14 years. The judge, who is a Stanford alum, is facing recall effort. He will begin hearing civil cases exclusively next month.

ROMANS: All right. South Florida looking ahead to stormy weather for the weekend. Let's get to meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, John and Christine.

That's right. We are monitoring an area of disorganized thunderstorm activity across the southeastern Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center has the potential for development of five days out for a hurricane. But in the near term, a lot of things working against this storm. That being strong upper level wind shear, as well as a lot of dry air a lot of aloft. That's going to prevent this from forming into a tropical storm for the next day or so.

That doesn't mean we want to discount the storm. We have the potential of heavy rainfall through southern Florida. Some models indicating 4 to 6 inches.

As we go forward in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, this low will enter the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That is when we need to monitor it very, very closely. We have a cold front draping across the New England coastline.

[04:50:02] That will provide some relief, but above average for the Big Apple. Back to you.

ROMANS: All right. Derek, thank you so much.

All right. Where in the world could your Uber fare be cheaper than a bus ride? Yes, I'm going to tell you with an early start on your money next.


ROMANS: American swimmer Ryan Lochte hoped an apology would be enough, but it wasn't. Brazilian authorities now charged Lochte with falsely reporting a crime in an incident at the Rio gas station, during the Olympics. He could be tried in absentia if he doesn't return to the country.

CNN's Shasta Darlington is following developments from Rio.

And this story just keeps -- just keeps turning.


Police have now charged Ryan Lochte with falsifying a police report, evidence that really their little misadventure during the Olympics is not going away.

[04:55:04] Now, police say they're notifying Lochte in the United States, so he can prepare a defense, but he is not legally required to come back. However, if a judge convicts him, finds him guilty, this is a crime that carries one to six months in prison or the judge could opt to slap him with a fine.

Remember, though, this all started with Lochte claiming he and three teammates were in a taxi and pulled over by robbers posing as police and put a gun to his head and demanded his wallet. Well, when police looked into that, they said he was lying, that there was actually an altercation at a gas station that involved urinating against the back wall and vandalism and armed security guards reining the swimmers in.

Now, at this point, when all of this came to light, the four swimmers apologized, but Lochte was already back in the United States. Jimmy Feigen, his colleague, ended up having to pay a fine of a little over $10,000 to get out of Brazil to get back to the States. In this particular case, now the prosecutors have to decide if they'll take the police charges to a judge.

But again, if a judge convicts him, it's highly unlikely that Brazil will try to extradite him. The real problem for Lochte is coming with the sponsors, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, and his sponsors -- his big sponsors dropped him. I think he did get a new sponsor of a cough drop. But his big major -- John Berman is coughing. It is not funny, John. All right. Shasta, thank you so much.

Don't make fun of losing money.

BERMAN: Right.

Breaking overnight in Turkey, at least 11 people were killed, 70 others injured in an explosion at a police checkpoint in the town of Cizre, this is along the Syrian border. Turkey state-run news agency says two of the injured are in serious condition. So far, there has been no claim of responsibility.

ROMANS: This morning, Turkish tanks and special forces are in northern Syria. The elite troops streamed in on Wednesday, backed by U.S. air power. They help Syrian rebels to take the town of Jarabulus, one of the last ISIS strongholds on the Turkish border. Turkey's president is making it clear that the operation was also designed to prevent Syrian Kurds from expanding their territory.

BERMAN: Al Shabaab claiming responsibility for the terror attack at a popular beach club in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The AFP news agency reports at least nine are dead. Police say several gunmen from the al Qaeda-linked group stormed into the restaurant just after a car exploded outside. Security forces killed two attackers and arrested a third.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get an early start on your money this Friday morning. Wall Street waiting on the speech by Janet Yellen. The world hanging on every word. They want to know the timing of the next interest rate hike. Just how strong she thinks the U.S. economy is.

The job market, the housing market, stocks fell yesterday in anticipation of those remarks. Global markets are mostly lower this morning. You can see them all right now. U.S. futures are flat.

Uber is testing out a flat rate option that could be cheaper than bus fare. This new service would cost you $2 to catch a shared Uber pool or $7 for the whole back set.

BERMAN: You stretch out.

ROMANS: Yes. Called Uber Plus, the program charges a flat rate for each ride, in addition to a monthly fee. It is currently being tested in a handful of U.S. cities. And while this may be a good deal for customers. Bloomberg reports the company lost $1 billion in the first half of the year. Losing a lot of money as it tries to fine tune that business model.

All right. The economists who advised former presidents are no fan of Donald Trump. That's according to "The Wall Street Journal". The paper surveyed 45 former White House economic advisors from the past eight presidencies.

And of the 17 Republicans polled, none openly support Donald Trump. This is not surprising. Trump has broken with the GOP on many traditional policy positions. The paper also polled Democrats, 13 of whom came out in support of Clinton.

But, I mean, I have to tell you, there are a few economists who like his views on trade, but most do not.

BERMAN: It is an interesting article to read. It is not surprising how Donald Trump has intentionally sort of distanced himself from the orthodoxy of the past.

ROMANS: He would call them part of the status quo. He would say, you guys are part of the problem.

BERMAN: Exactly.

EARLY START continues right now.


ROMANS: This morning, can you identify Donald Trump's immigration plan? Can he? An exclusive interview with CNN that turns everything he has been saying for the last week upside down again.

BERMAN: Hillary Clinton hitting Donald Trump hard. This is after or during the fact that Donald Trump is calling her a bigot. Explosive charges on race being hurled back and forth.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday. I say it one more time. It's Friday, August 26th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And overnight, everything changed when it comes to Donald Trump's immigration plan or changed back or it did not. At this point frankly, it's difficult to tell. But it all played out in an exclusive interview with CNN.

The question is this morning, does Donald Trump still believe that all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, all of them need to go, by force if necessary?