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Donald Trump Doubles Down on Immigration; Clinton Campaign Responds; Hurricane Warning in Florida; Massive Rescue Operation at Sea; Colin Kaepernick to Continue Anthem Protest. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 1, 2016 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: These improvements will involve enhanced processing of radar signals, that's how Musk described it. Auto pilot relies on radar and cameras. Critics have been calling for changes to Tesla's autopilot software following a series highly public crashes, including one fatal accident.



HOWELL: Donald Trump giving a fiery speech in Phoenix, Arizona, reviving his base, just hours after showing a different side of his persona, sitting down with the president of Mexico. We examine the tale of two Trumps, next.

ROMANS: The Clinton campaign blasts Trump's speech as his darkest yet. We will see how Clinton responded to Trump's foray into foreign policy.

HOWELL: In the Florida panhandle, hurricane warnings now are in effect as a powerful tropical storm barrels in, the path shifting slowly. Could that storm now wreck the holiday for millions of Americans?

ROMANS: I do not like that path.

HOWELL: Oh, it's not looking good.

ROMANS: I do not like that path.

HOWELL: Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm George Howell.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is Thursday, September 1st, it is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And Trump -- Donald Trump talking tough on immigration overnight, laying out a plan that certainly is not the softening telegraphed over the last week or so. In the highly anticipated speech intended to clear up his positions on the issue, Trump laid them out point by fiery point. Ten points altogether: No amnesty for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. What he called a deportation task force focused on expelling criminals. Leaving the idea of mass deportation of undocumented immigrants for sometime later. So, focusing on criminals. No federal funding for U.S. sanctuary cities like San Francisco. No visas for visitors from countries without adequate security screening.

Here are some highlights from the speech.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. Zero. Zero.

There are at least 2 million, 2 million think of it, criminal aliens, now inside of our country, 2 million people. We will begin moving them out day one as soon as I take office, day one.

I am going to create a new special deportation task force focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice. Just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice, maybe they will be able to deport her.


ROMANS: Trump talking tough on immigration laying out a plan that is not the softening we have been talking about. Of course, you heard Donald Trump there. You heard him layout point by point what he would like to do here.

What's so interesting about so much of this is that Donald Trump is going back to sort of the beginning again. Talking about what he would like to do and sounding very strong and strict on immigration.

Let's listen to Sara Murray's reporting now.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, George and Christine.

Well, anyone who thought Donald Trump was softening on his immigration policies got their answer as he was campaigning last night in Phoenix, Arizona. He said he was going to add 5,000 new border patrol agents. He was going to triple the number of ICE deportation officers. And as for the 11 undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., Trump said those weren't his main priority. That's border security. But he said, if they ever hope to have legal status, they would first have to leave, return to their home countries, and apply through the appropriate channels.

TRUMP: As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities. But unlike this administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement and ICE and border patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs the way the jobs are supposed to be done. Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.

MURRAY: Now, earlier in the day, he traveled to Mexico where he held a cordial meeting with the president of Mexico. By the time he got to Arizona, he was ready to serve up red meat to his Republican base.

Now, we saw many sides of Donald Trump yesterday. Today, he is campaigning in the pivotal battleground state of Ohio. We'll see if he continues to speak to his GOP base or if he aims to expand it.

Back to you, guys.


HOWELL: Sara Murray, thank you.

New details now on Trump's brief trip to Mexico for a private with the meeting with the president of that nation, Pena Nieto. The main disagreement to come from the meeting was Trump's vow to build a border wall and to have Mexico pay for the wall. At the briefing that followed, their sit-down meeting, Trump said the two men did not discuss the subject of who pays for the wall.

[05:05:04] Listen.


TRUMP: We did discuss the wall. We did not discuss payment of the wall. That will be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting. I think it was an excellent meeting.


HOWELL: But hours after Trump left, President Pena Nieto tweeted in Spanish, quote, "At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall."

The Mexican leader also told Trump that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, benefits both the U.S. and Mexico. He argued that more than 6 million U.S. jobs rely on exports to Mexico. Trump has consistently slammed NAFTA on the campaign trail.

ROMANS: All right. Joining us this morning to help sort through the fallout from Donald Trump's big immigration day, "Newsday" columnist, best selling author, Ellis Henican.

Good morning. Nice to see you. Good morning.

ELLIS HENICAN, NEWSDAY COLUMNIST: No more Mr. Softie, OK? No more Mr. Softie.

ROMANS: So, you heard the headlines this morning. Maybe many people waking up right now didn't even hear all of the speech. He didn't speak until 9:00 Eastern Time. What is your headline from Donald Trump last night?

HENICAN: Well, double down. I mean, this was the throaty base Donald we got last night. It was such a huge contrast from the tone in Mexico where he was calm. I dare say almost presidential and maybe didn't mention who would pay for the wall. But we did see the many sides of Donald. HOWELL: Let's take a moment to actually listen to Donald Trump.

First, his meeting with the Mexican president and then second, we will hear from Trump on the campaign trail in Arizona.


TRUMP: I happen to have a tremendous feeling for Mexican-Americans not only in terms of friendships, but in terms of the tremendous numbers that I employ in the United States. And they are amazing people. Amazing people.

We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for the wall. And they're great people and great leaders, but they will pay for the wall. On day one --


HOWELL: Talking about payment of the wall. Donald Trump alluding to the fact that, hey maybe there is some question about whether that was discussed and how it was discussed. We definitely know that the Mexican president said that it was discussed and he said no.

HENICAN: Well, don't forget, there are two political figures who have issues with their constituencies, right? Donald needs to nail down his folks and hopefully broaden his constituency. But President Pena Nieto, he has real problems, his approval ratings are down in the 20s. He has a lot of people saying, hey, you should read that guy the Riot Act when he came down here, who's been saying all those horrible things about us. He has been getting a lot of flak about that meeting that maybe he wasn't tough enough. So, watch a little bit of the back pedal.

ROMANS: There is the fact that Mexico depends on $25 billion a year, more than oil revenue, to drive economic development in the country. You have Donald Trump on the campaign. I have not heard hl saying it early in the campaign, all that money flowing across, all of the American money across the border, I'll put a stop to that. That would be devastating for Mexico.

HENICAN: Right. But you know what? It is a two-way street, as you notice. A lot of Americans, 6 million affected by the trade with Mexico, I think you mentioned earlier, third largest trading partner in the world. That is likely to grow as the Mexican economy continues to grow.

So, there's two nations deeply economically and culturally intertwined, and, boy, it's very hard to pull them apart.

HOWELL: You know, it is important to point out Donald Trump, although we saw two tales of Trump, is it the one in Arizona that counts most? Is Donald Trump focusing in, as you point out, allude to here, to his on the base and how is that resonating in states like Ohio or North Carolina? Will it grow that particular group he needs?

HENICAN: Well, George, I think the base loves it. The crowd in Phoenix sounded absolutely thrilled at the speech. The question of how it grows is the box Donald is in. If he is not tough enough, his folks think he is selling out. If he is too tough, it makes it almost impossible to bring anybody else into the tent. And, you know, he doesn't have enough people with just the base, he has to broaden that if he's going to win in November.

ROMANS: Speaking about Ohio, Hillary Clinton was in Ohio. She was in Cincinnati yesterday. She talked about Donald Trump's first foray into foreign affairs. Listen to Donald Trump's opponent.


HILLAR CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: People have to get to know that they can count on you, that you won't say one thing one day and something totally different the next. And it certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again.

[05:10:06] That is not how it works.


ROMANS: Interesting about the Trump supporters, they don't want it how it works. That is the point of the rise of Donald Trump. Is Hillary Clinton -- Donald Trump sort of really owned the news cycle yesterday. Is that on purpose? Her team is sitting back?

I mean, I have seen people tweeting where's Hillary hiding? Are we going to see a more forceful Hillary Clinton or is that just analysis wrong?

HENICAN: Well, I don't think too much more honestly. I mean, that kind of statement is essentially what we're going to get.

Don't forget, though -- Donald is behind, right? He has to take chances.

ROMANS: But the polls have been narrowing.

HENICAN: Yes, yes.

ROMANS: Most recent polls have been narrowing.

HENICAN: Yes, yes. But when you are behind, even if they are narrowing, you have to take some risks. I've got to say, all things taken together, I don't think you can say this is a bad idea from his perspective. It made us talk about it. It was interesting. It was surprising.

He didn't do anything that was damaging to himself. He did seem to be operating outside of the normal ways that politicians do. I've got to say on balance, it was probably a good move for Donald.

HOWELL: Now, the question will be, you know, did it sway any people who are on the fence, which is basically on the wall maybe? HENICAN: Yes, much tougher.

HOWELL: Thank you so much.

HENICAN: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. The real reason Donald Trump was invited to meet with Mexico's president -- money. A Mexican government official and a source close to the Mexican government both tell CNN the idea for that invitation came from Mexico's finance ministry. And it also wants Hillary Clinton to come visit.

The sources say the country wants to show it can work with both candidates and here's why: the Mexican central bank registered more than $11 billion in capital in the first half of 2016. Investors pulling money out of Mexico due to uncertainty over immigration and trade policies with the U.S. This is an important relationship. Finance ministry officials hope that having Donald Trump in Mexico will calm those investors.

The visits are also an attempt to prevent the peso from falling. It is near the lowest level against the U.S. dollar. One peso now worth 5 U.S. cents.

One interesting note, when Clinton leads in the polls, the peso strengthens. The opposite happens when the polls tighten.

And, again, really interesting, $24.8 billion in remittance last year from people in America to Mexico. That is slightly more than its oil production revenue.

HOWELL: Wow. Wow.

If you are waking up in the Florida panhandle, a hurricane warning is in effect for you there. Tropical storm Hermine, it is gaining strength. When will it make landfall and how much of the East Coast could be effected?

ROMANS: And quick programming note. On Monday, we'll have two special reports on presidential nominees. Personal stories from those who know them best. Join us for "Unfinished Business: The Essential Hillary Clinton", Monday night at 8:00, followed by "All Business: The Essential Donald Trump" at 10:00.


[05:17:02] ROMANS: Oh, yes, breaking overnight, a hurricane warning issued for the Florida panhandle. Tropical storm Hermine is expected to make landfall tonight or early Friday. With the path shifting westward, it could simply wreck the holiday weekend in the New York area.

I want to bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for the very latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, good morning, guys. Yes, the wide reaching impacts you're going to be felt across much of the Eastern Seaboard in the coming couple of days. But look at Hermine right now, sitting there just 13 miles per hour shy of becoming a hurricane. Of course, at this point, it really doesn't matter what the storm system does became we do know hurricane warnings have been issued.

Indications are this will become a hurricane right around midnight Thursday, into the early morning hours of Friday. In fact, look at this, even tropical storm watches issued from Charleston south towards Jacksonville, as the storm crosses over into the Atlantic.

Flood watch is a very concern across this region. We have a Tallahassee area, Jacksonville, Macon, Augusta -- it will be pretty narrow band of heavy rainfall, the outer bands of the storm system producing rains across the region. Of course, the severe weather threat will be in place as well come Thursday afternoon with some isolated risk for tornadoes.

But here is the immediate coastline. Storm surge warning for storm surge threat, where we could see this at times, especially with high tide, up to 7 feet high. And then you take a look at the track, it comes in as a category one. That is the initial indication, rides the parallel of the eastern coastline here. Even by Sunday afternoon and Sunday night, this could be a tropical storm impacting areas of, say, Boston and New York with heavy rainfall.

That point, but the heaviest rain locked in around the Gulf Coast as much as six to ten inches possible into early this weekend -- guys.


HOWELL: Pedram, thank you.

So, for the thousands of people in the path of the powerful storms -- the Social Security Administration has got your back. The benefit checks are in the mail. Officials say they are delivered as early as today ahead of the regular 3rd of the month pay date to help people buy items they may need to weather the storm. Nearly 13,000 Social Security recipients in Florida, North Carolina and Hawaii are affected.

ROMANS: All right. Will he stand? Will he sit? Will he turn his back? Colin Kaepernick, all eyes on the Niners quarterback tonight looking for his national anthem protest in the final preseason game. Coy Wire with the bleacher report, next.


[05:23:45] ROMANS: All right. The 49ers and Chargers play their final preseason game tonight. The focus is on the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

HOWELL: Coy Wire is live this morning with the "Bleacher Report".

Coy, good morning.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George and Christine.

By now, many of us are aware of Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice in our country. Despite what his objectors are saying, he said all along it was never his intention to disrespect the military. Well, tonight, if Kaepernick sits during the anthem, it will be in front of hundreds of servicemen and women as the Chargers are having their 28th annual salute the to military game. They'll pay tribute to current and retired military personnel. Vietnam war vets and wounded warriors and others throughout the night.

Kaepernick has said he will continue to sit during the national anthem until there is significant change in our country. Will Kaepernick be booed or supported or joined in protest by any of his teammates? These are the questions that will be answered tonight.

Kaepernick has been getting a lot of support for his stance. Even by veterans. On social media, yesterday, a former NFL player and Army veteran Nate Boyer penned an open letter on

He said in part, quote, "What you are doing takes a lot of courage. I would be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes.

[05:25:04] I have never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin. I'm just going to keep listening with an open mind. I look forward to the day you are inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I'll be standing right there next to you", unquote.

The NFL is now saying they have found no credible evidence of performance enhancing drug use by the Steelers' James Harrison, Packers' Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers. The three players were inflicted in "Al Jazeera" documentary back in December, but have now been cleared of any wrongdoing by the league.

For all you college football fans, five days of sitting on your couch can start tonight. Games on TV tonight through Monday. We have Christine Romans' Iowa Cyclones this weekend. George, Iowa State Cyclones rather.

And George Howell's Texas Longhorns against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It's going to be a good, good weekend -- if not great, guys.

ROMANS: Coy is the smartest guy in sports, because he knows how to go right to the anchors home teams and just really, I mean, that guy --

HOWELL: Right on the money.

ROMANS: And it's going to be wet and maybe nasty up here this weekend.

WIRE: Christine, I have a question. I know George's hook 'em horns, but what is Iowa State Cyclones, what's your hand signal?

ROMANS: I don't actually know. I don't know, I don't know. I'll find out. I'm going to the Baylor game this fall. I'm actually excited by the game, and I'm going to see.

All right. Thank you so much. See you later.

HOWELL: Coy, thank you.

WIRE: All right, guys.

ROMANS: Donald Trump's conciliatory tone with the Mexico president is a distant memory by the time he took the stage in Phoenix, and nail down his immigration platform. Did Trump do enough to tie up loose ends?

Stay with us.