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Hillary Clinton slamming Trump as his supporters make controversial; Huma Abedin, Congressman Anthony Weiner are separating following new reports that Weiner was sexting with a woman. Aired 4:30-5:00a ET

Aired August 30, 2016 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:333] ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Aggressive personal attacks on the campaign trail. Hillary Clinton slamming Trump as his supporters make controversial, some might even say tasteless statements about her.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Anthony Weiner's newest sexting scandal. The sordid photos that led to a separation from his wife that are now smacked in the middle of the presidential campaign.

KOSIK: Beloved actor Gene Wilder passing away at the age of 83. We remember his amazing work.


GENE WILDER, COMIC ACTOR: I want -- I want -- I want everything I've ever seen in the movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leo say you'll join me.

WILDER: I'll do it. By God I'll do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was God (ph).


BERMAN: I love that scene. I love that scene.

KOSIK: Such a great scene. He was great, really good.

BERMAN: And amazing.

KOSIK: Good morning. Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Alison Kosik.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. 31 minutes past the hour. This morning, the Trump campaign entangled in a new racial controversy just days before Donald Trump is set to address black voters.

An African-American surrogate for Trump tweeted out this image of Hillary Clinton wearing blackface saying she is pandering to black voters. At the same time, former Ku Klux Klan leader and current Louisiana senate candidate David Duke is trumpeting his support for Trump which Trump is disavowing.

Hillary Clinton expressed concern over Duke trying to link himself to Trump. He said, "Nobody knows how well he, Duke is doing and how is embrace of Trump and Trump's acceptance of him could put that man, that despicable man in the Senate of the United States."

Now overnight, Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway responded to attacks by Clinton also from running mate Tim Kaine, attacks that have been accusing Trump of pushing prejudice.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, voters have to look at something. It has to make sense to them for them to believe it. And so I think Clinton and also Tim Kaine who is a real disappointment last week playing this race card for them to go so far a field on these accusations and these conspiracies. Most people look at them and say, "That doesn't make sense."


BERMAN: CNN's Jim Acosta have the latest now from Washington.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE CORRESPONDENT: John and Alison, the nasty election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is taking more ugly turns.

First, the Trump campaign released a statement condemning a robocall from white supremacist and senate candidate David Duke to encourage his supporters to vote for the GOP nominee.

Then late yesterday, one of Trump's top African-American surrogates, Pastor Mark Burns apologized for a tweet he posted showing Hillary Clinton in blackface. Here is a video message from the Pastor about that posting.


PASTOR MARK BURNS, THE HARVEST PRAISE & WORSHIP CENTER: I really am a shepherd to God's people and the last thing I want to do is to offend people. The tweet was not designed to anger or stir up the pot like it did. It was designed to bring how I do with very little reality as to why the Democratic Party and how I view it and have interpreted have been pandering and using black people just for their votes.


ACOSTA: All of this comes as Trump is struggling to clarify his position on another hot button subject, immigration. Trump is scheduled to deliver a major speech on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday night.

A top adviser for the GOP nominee says Trump is standing firm on his position for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but added a decision on what to do about the millions of law abiding undocumented immigrants in this country could come years later. John and Alison?

KOSIK: OK, Jim, thank you. Hillary Clinton facing a brand new controversy, as well this morning, long time Clinton aide, Huma Abedin announcing that she and former Congressman Anthony Weiner are separating following new reports that Weiner was sexting with a woman who also happens to be a Donald Trump supporter.

This is five years after Weiner blew up his political career by accidentally tweeting a snapshot of his crotch. Donald Trump using the new scandal to attack Clinton calling it an example of her bad judgment. For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Miguel Marquez.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John and Alison, nearly 24 hours after the story first broke in the "New York Post," we still haven't heard from Anthony Weiner, himself.

[04:35:05] He did say to the post that the relationship with this 40 something woman had been going on for some time, but he considered the conversation private. And that he didn't think any of the tweets were inappropriate.

Well, look, none of this is stopping Donald Trump from making this into a campaign issue or at least trying to make it into a campaign issue. He brought in Hillary Clinton's bad judgment as he call it in a statement saying, "I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such a close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told? It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this."

There is no indication, I will say if any security breach or security concerns related to this, but that is something that the Trump campaign is certainly trying to make hay out of it that the Hillary Clinton campaign has said nothing other than to allow Huma Abedin to make statements on her own.

Clearly releasing a statement saying that she and her husband are going to separate and that it seems to be the end of their marriage after several different attempts. The only question left is how big apart of the election campaign does this become. Alison, John?

BERMAN: All right, thanks to Miguel for that. Hillary Clinton says she is preparing to debate her opponent, but does not know which Donald Trump will show up.

She was at a fund-raiser and during that fund raiser, Clinton told donors that Trump might try to - might try being presidential to, "convey a gravity that he hasn't done before," or she said he might to insult and score some points. Either way, Clinton said she is not taking anything for granted.

KOSIK: Leaders of both parties are commenting on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decision to sit out the national anthem and protest of police tactics. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest says while the freedom to express his opinion can be defended. The quarterback's perspective is quote "objectionable."

Donald Trump called Kaepernick's protect terrible saying he should, "Find a country that works better for him."

BERMAN: Big names facing primary elections today. Long time Arizona Senator John McCain on the ballot just a day after his 80th birthday. His challenger is trying to make age an issue in this campaign.

In Florida, Republican Senator Marco Rubio was polling well ahead of his opponent despite getting into the race late. He in fact said he would not run to reelection for senate, but he decided to do so after losing in the Republican primaries for president.

Democratic member of Congress Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she has a primary race. Her challenger Tim Canova was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. Wasserman Schultz quit as Democratic National Committee chair amid acquisitions that she was working against Sanders in his race against Hillary Clinton.

The FBI is investigating the suspected hacking of election computer systems in Illinois and Arizona. Personal records for as many as 200,000 voters were exposed in Illinois alone.

But, the breach not expected to effect voting. That's the hope. The attack comes on the heels of the suspected Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee's email system in July.

KOSIK: Are you chomping at the bit to buy a new iPhone?


KOSIK: Yeah. You see I've got a cracked phone. I need a new one. Well, you may want to wait until next week. I guess I should wait.

Apple is hosting an event on September 7th and it's widely expected to unveil the iPhone 7. OK, so here is what insiders are talking about, what the things are going to have. So a new iPhone camera, possibly with a dual lens system, a thinner body, but that may mean the end of the head phone jack, stating (ph) so.

Apple may switch to Bluetooth connectivity for headphones or make users with standard ear-buds use an adapter. We can also see a new version of the Apple watch and an updated line of MacBook Pro computers.

Apple's stocks have had a rough year. It's up just 1.5 percent in 2016. Slumping iPhone sales over the past two quarters have investors reevaluating the company.

Meantime, regulators in the European Union are expected to rule this morning on charges that Apple dodged taxes by making a deal with the Irish government. That ruling could force Apple to pay back taxes of almost $20 billion. $20 billion, but think of it this way. It's kind of a drop in the bucket for Apple when you think they've $231 -- $231 billion on their balance sheet.

BERMAN: That's been petty chump change to them.

KOSIK: Absolutely.

BERMAN: All right, Hollywood legend Gene Wilder, he passed away yesterday at the age of 83. What a life. What a career. We're going to look back next.



[04:43:57] WILDER: We'll begin with a spin traveling in the world of my creation what we'll see will defy explanation.


KOSIK: So good. The great Gene Wilder in one of his most memorable roles as the eccentric chocolatier in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." Hollywood is mourning a lot to the legendary comic actor who is also an accomplished screen writer and author.

He died Monday at the age of 83 suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Wilder frequently collaborated with comedian Richard Pryor, "Stir Crazy" one of my favorites. But it was his work with Director Mel Brooks that was one the -- that the great comedy partnerships over last 50 years and it began with Brooks casting Wilder as Leo Bloom in "The Producers."


WILDER: I'm hysterical. I'm very hysterics. I'm hysterical. I can't stop when I get like this. I can't stop. I'm hysterical.

[04:45:05] I'm wet. I'm wet. I'm hysterical and I'm wet. I'm in pain and I'm wet. And I'm still hysterical.


KOSIK: Fast forward to 1974 and Wilder in the role of the Waco Kid in the cool classic "Blazing Saddles." And that same year, their final collaboration which Wilder co-wrote with Brooks, the Oscar nominated "Young Frankenstein."


WILDER: If you're blue and you don't know where to go to, why don't you go where fashion sits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putting on the Ritz.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KOSIK: Now Brooks tweeted a final salute to his long time friend calling him one of the truly great talents of our time who blessed every film they did with his magic.


MARTY FELDMAN, IGOR: Dr. Frankenstein.

WILDER: Frankenstein, you must be Igor?

FELDMAN: No, it's pronounced, Igor.


KOSIK: Gene Wilder is survived by his wife of 25 years Karen and by comedy greatness that will live on and we will get to still watch.

BERMAN: I love watching those clips. I got to say "Young Frankenstein" is one of the all time greatest.

KOSIK: And there are so many great that's hard to pin point which is your favorite, you know. Really, it's amazing. And it's only when you go through all of these films that you realized there were so many.

BERMAN: And he was unique and no else could do what he did.

KOSIK: Yeah.

BERMAN: All right, in Jackson, Mississippi, hundreds of mourners gathered at the mass for Sisters Margaret Held in Paula Merrill. The two nuns spend decades devoting to helping the needy.

They were found stabbed to death in their home last week and the in- charge with their mourner -- murder, 46 year old Rodney Earl Sanders was denied bail during his first court appearance, Monday. Authority say Sanders confessed the killing but gave no motive.

KOSIK: Lawmakers in California have approved new legislation that would close a legal loophole in rape cases. That loophole was exposed by the sentence given to former Stanford student, Brock Turner who got just six months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

The new law calls for mandatory sentences for rape convictions instead of allowing judges to use discretion. The measure is awaiting Governor Jerry Brown's signature.

BERMAN: Severe storms leaving parts of Colorado Springs under water, Monday. Fire department crews had to rescue a dozen or so people were stranded in their vehicles when the roads flooded. Some neighborhoods also hit by hail. Thankfully no serious injuries were reported.

KOSIK: And lots of tropical weather systems brewing trouble in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest. Good morning. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Alison and John. Watching the storms across parts of the gulf, really and you take a look just around Western Cuba, almost the precise location as where we had some of the convention yesterday as this time with a storm associated with tropical depression 9.

The forecast hasn't changed much. Still look at a north and eventually easterly track with this a big bend of Florida from Tampa out towards Panama City. But the highest threat for a Thursday afternoon tropical storm landfall.

Now, it could either be Ian or it could be Hermine, depending on what the other storm that we're watching across the Carolina does, but notice the rainfall with this. It's going to be the main threat. A lot of rainfall, 6 to 10 inch of over a pretty extensive area when it comes to this making landfall from Thursday into Friday.

But notice the tropical depression 8, that's sitting right off the outer banks of the Carolinas. Also, it gets kind of moved offshore there. Soon as its skirts the coastline, the cold front shunts it away, so that's good news there with rainfall skirting the coastline as well.

But warm temperatures still looking at mid 90s across an expansive area, but look what happens. First day of September, that's being Thursday, you get a little taste of autumn for some people. Cool air comes in. Temps drop off about 10 degrees by late week. Guys?

BERMAN: All right, a mysterious signal received from deep space. Scientists from the search for extraterritorial intelligence (inaudible) investigating the signal that they say is coming from the star about 95 light years away from Earth.

It was first discovered last year by the Russian Academy of Science. Researchers are now just deciding if the signal is worth further study. Why not? It could if, you know, prove that there is some life out there. Obviously, if here's (ph) bottom of where it's coming from, what exactly it says or if it is some kind of electrical field.

KOSIK: Imaginations going crazy.

BERMAN: As we should be. It's exciting. We'll see what happen.

KOSIK: Stock that has been a sweet by for investors this year is flanging in free market trading. We're going to tell you why the mood turned sour when we get an early start on your money next.


[04:53:44] KOSIK: President Obama this week set to discuss the fight against ISIS when he meets with Kurdish leader Recep Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 meetings in China.

The meeting coming as U.S. tries to cool the battle between Turkey and another U.S. ally in the war on ISIS. Syrian Kurdish troops whom the Turks view as terrorists. Joining us with the latest from Turkey, Senior International Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh. Nick, you know, there seems to be a real impasse here, to the goals of this fight. You know, you have Turkey attacking the Syrian Kurds in Washington saying, "Stop doing that," and Turkey saying, "You can't tell us who we can fight."

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And there was always going to be a moment which the U.S. policy backing the Syrian Kurds against ISIS that's been very effective on the ground, but they all certainly consider terrorist by Turkey.

That policy was always going to run into their fellow NATO member, Turkey got animosity at some point. We now have that particular moment. Turkey moving in to Northern Syria after many years of staying out militarily about wars to take a town called Jarabulus away from ISIS.

But then, as they use the Syrian rebel proxy groups that fighting alongside to move south, they end up clashing with the Syrian Kurds. Now, Washington had always been clear to the Syrian Kurds, but if you're going to advance in that direction towards the west, you have to eventually pull back once you kicked ISIS out to some towns.

[04:55:10] It take you one town called Manbij. You have to pull back across a natural boundary formed by the Euphrates River that runs north to south.

They said that they were potentially doing that to Pentagon, but we just heard from Kurdish Militia in the town of Manbij who say that they are still there, they are not in new clashes they said with the Turkish, but they're fighting ISIS to the south and the west, effectively saying, "We're still there. We're fighting ISIS. Turkey, what are you doing? Are you fighting ISIS?"

Now, we will know that Turkey's position if they will fight both ISIS and the Syrian Kurds. So they also view as terrorists with the same porosity that continues the problem for the Pentagon, because they're backing Turkey and the Syrian rebels at Turkey are backing and they're also backing the Syrian Kurds.

But upshot of all of this mess on the ground, we don't really know who is where. We just know that people aren't pulling back with the speed and we want to hope the (inaudible). They're not fighting ISIS, a big distraction from this closing chapter in the fight to kick them out of Iraq and Syria. Alison?

KOSIK: You're right about that Nick Paton Walsh. It's a mess. It is complicated. Thanks very much.

BERMAN: More than 6,000 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya in just the past few days. The Italian coast guard calls the effort one of the biggest operations of its kind in recent years.

The rescue also involved vessels from the E.U. border agency contacts and groups including doctors without borders. Most of the 65,000 migrants are said to be from Eritrea in Somalia. KOSIK: The White House says it has hit its goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees a month ahead of schedule and that it will keep accepting new refugees at the same pace through, at least September.

One humanitarian group, the International Rescue Committee is applauding the achievement and it's urging the U.S. to ramp up its resettlement goal to 140,000 refugees next year.

BERMAN: Mexico's Federal Police Chief, Enrique Galindo has been fired. This follows allegations police killed at least 22 suspected members of a drug cartel. The summary executions are believed to have taken place on a ranch in the western part of the country last May.

Earlier this month, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission accused police of tampering with evidence.

KOSIK: All right, let's get an early start on your money. DOW futures pointing just slightly higher this morning. That follows solid gains yesterday. All three averages are one big rally away from -- can we say it again? Record highs. Stocks markets in Europe and Asia posting gains. Oil sitting steady around $47 a barrel. One stock which keeps our eye on today, Hershey's (inaudible) down more than 11 percent in pre-market trading.

BERMAN: A lot.

KOSIK: It is a lot. It surged this year after Cadbury owner, Mondelez, offered to buy the company. Well guess what, those talks have fallen apart and Mondelez said there's no path forward for a deal.

New this morning, high level executive poaching at 30,000 feet. American Airlines' President Scott Kirby is now the president of United Airlines.


KOSIK: Yes. The change happening basically overnight. United says it created a position for him and his position is effective immediately.

Now, Kirby is an airline industry veteran with a decade of leadership experienced and despite the seemingly quick jump to a competitor, American says it's paying him a severance of nearly $4 million. Not too savvy (ph) at gas can be.

The EpiPen is outrageous drawing the attention of Congress. The House Committee on oversight and government reform sent a letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch that asks for documents and communications related to the surging price of the medicine.

All of this as Bresch earned almost $19 million in total compensation last year. The lawmakers want sales data. They want to see manufacturing costs and federal subsidies and other documents following the public fallout over the price hikes. Mylan is offering a $300 savings card now and yesterday it denounced plans to make a generic version of a drug for half the price. The critic say that's because a rival pharmaceutical firm Teva is preparing to launch a generic competitor as early as next year and this move could give valuable Mylan -- it could give Mylan valuable market share when that happens.

It's interesting to see how Mylan is stepping up to the play suddenly with all the pressure on it.

BERMAN: But you want to see nothing this saddest (ph) P.R. disaster coming at Mylan way.


KOSIK: You think they would.

BERMAN: All right, "Early Start" continues right now.

KOSIK: New controversy for Donald Trump's campaign supportive robocalls from a former KKK leader and a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface tweeted by a prominent surrogate. Well, Clinton is heading back.

BERMAN: Clinton aide Huma Abedin separating from her husband Anthony Weiner. Why? A new sexting scandal for Anthony Weiner, lewd photos behind this split. We're going to talk about what it means right now in the presidential campaign.

KOSIK: Comedic master, Gene Wilder dead at age of 83. We pay tribute to his incredible life.