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Clinton and Trump Headed Down Campaign Home Stretch; President Obama at the G20 Summit Hermine Weakening But Threat Remains Alive; No Agreement on Syria Out of U.S.-Russia Talks; Local Elections Referendum on Merkel's Refugee Policies? Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 5, 2016 - 04:00   ET



[04:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump now headed down the home stretch both set to hit the campaign trail in key battleground states this week as both campaigns try to quash questions about issues dogging the candidate for months.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: And President Obama in the waning hours of his final G20 summit. He is meeting with Vladimir Putin this morning after key meeting with British and Turkish leaders on Sunday. So, what progress has being made?

We are live in China. And good morning. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.


KOSIK: Nice to be here.

ROMANS: So much reporting this Monday morning of Labor Day. I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, September, 5. It is 4 a.m. in the East. Nice to see you all this morning.

Today, Labor Day, traditionally marks the start of the presidential campaign in earnest. But this time around it's really just the start of the home stretch to November. Both sides marking the occasion by ramping up the rhetoric at issues that have dodged them for months now.

Donald Trump's surrogates being mostly vague about whether he still supports mass deportations. All except one surrogate who says Trump does not support mass deportation. This as Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine steadfastly defends her handling of the e-mail controversy.

CNN's Kristen Holmes has the latest from Washington.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Alison, Trump campaign officials and advisors continuing to deflect direct questions on their candidate's immigration policy, specifically where he stands on the issue of mass deportation. Vice presidential campaign Mike Pence and Trump campaign manager

Kellyanne Conway refusing to give concrete answers on what would happen to the millions of undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States. Saying that certain enforcement actions had taken place including the deportations of those with criminal records as well as the building of that wall, there would be some of reassessment regarding the undocumented immigrants.

However, Trump's supporter Rudy Giuliani not dodging the question during an interview on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Taper, saying Donald Trump was no longer in favor of mass deportation.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Donald Trump as he expressed in his one of his interviews recently would find it's very, very difficult to throw out a family that's been here for, you know, 15 years and they have three children, two of whom are citizens. That is not the kind of America he wants.


HOLMES: Now while the Trump campaign continues to work to explain those details, the Clinton camp is having to answer questions of their own about Hillary Clinton's use of that private e-mail server. The issue again in the spotlight after the FBI released notes from its July interview with Clinton.

Now while the documents laid out why the FBI decided not to recommend charges against Clinton, the note showed Clinton telling investigators she did not recall or did not remember at least 39 times. Often response the questions about the process, potential training or the content of those e-mails.

Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended Clinton on Sunday.


SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I sat with her while she has answered questions, while she has answered questions about what she did and why and then she said look, by using one device I made a mistake. I apologize for it. I've learned something, and I wouldn't do it again. And I want all the facts to come out.


HOLMES: With the Labor Day kick off, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and will be crisscrossing the country this week with lots of campaigning in those battleground states. We'll see both candidates in Ohio later today.

Alison and Christine.

KOSIK: OK, Kristin, thank you.

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence now says both he and running mate Donald Trump will release their tax returns. But there is one big however. Pence tells NBC's Meet the Press he will put his returns out sometime this week, but he stuck with Trump's position that his taxes will only be release after the IRS finishes auditing them.


GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump and I will are both going to release our tax returns. I'll release mine in the next week. Donald Trump will be releasing his tax returns at the condition of an audit.


KOSIK: And when asked if that would happen before or after the election, Pence said well, we'll see. Hillary Clinton has released her returns from 2007 to 2015.

ROMANS: It is stunning departure from tradition. A swing state newspaper has bypassed the republican and democratic nominees endorsing a third party candidate for president. The Times-dispatch of Richmond, Virginia lending its way to the campaign of Libertarian Gary Johnson.

The paper's glowing endorsement says, "Much of the country is distressed by the presidential candidates offered by the two conventional political parties and for reason. Neither Donald Trump, nor Hillary Clinton meets the fundamental moral and professional standards we have every right to expect to have a president."

[04:05:05] "We find Gary Johnson to be reasonable but unscripted, reasonable and good humored and in all respect, optimistically, realistically presidential."

The endorsement represents a blow to both major parties. The paper gave no extra credit to democratic V.P. candidate nominee Tim Kaine for serving as Virginia's junior Senator. And it snob Trump after endorsing the republican standard bearer in every presidential race since 1980.

KOSIK: Happening now, President Obama in China wrapping up his final G20 summit. In just a couple of hours, he's going to be holding a news conference then fly to Laos for East Asian ASEAN Summit on Sunday.

The president met with Turkey's president and Britain's Prime Minister. Both of them facing turmoil at home, the aborted coup in Turkey, and Brexit in the U.K.

And this morning, the White House is expecting a smoother arrival in Laos, then on Saturday in China when no red carpeted stars greeted Air Force One. And there was a spat on the tarmac between China -- between Chinese and U.S. officials over media access.

For the latest from China let's bring in White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski. A lot of drama going on behind the scenes of the G20. MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alison. Right.

I mean, there was tension here literally from the moment President Obama talk -- touched down. Shouting matches between Chinese security and U.S. officials. At one point, nearly coming to blows.

The U.S. officials weren't surprised by that. You know, things like this happen when they visit China. But this was another stark reminder of just how difficult some of these relationships that President Obama is trying to manage in this part of the world can be including with China.

President Obama sat down for four hours with China's president yesterday. You know, President Obama said it was going to be a candid discussion even in areas where they don't agree and the touchy subject of human rights.

It was interesting though that human rights was not mentioned in the read-out of the meeting President Obama had with Turkey's President Erdogan. Even though Turkey has been criticized for how it handled things after the coup attempt there. Arresting or firing tens of thousands of people, including teachers and journalists.

The president also will have other meetings and now comes this moment in a sense we've all been waiting for, a pool aside meeting. It's not a formal sit down, but it is a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. And that comes, of course, just as talks have broken down yet again over trying to craft a cease-fire in -- cease-fire in Syria.

And all of this comes this morning as North Korea fires more ballistic missiles into the sea. That is something that keeps happening. The U.S. has been trying to work with China to add more pressure to North Korea to try to change that behavior. But that's just one more thing to add to the plate of threats and issues to talk about during this trip, Alison.

KOSIK: So, clearly there is a lot of dialogue going on between world leaders, but anything concrete coming out of this G20 summit?

KOSINSKI: So far the biggest has been this climate announcement. I mean, this was not unexpected. But it was the U.S. and China jointly formally joining the Paris Climate Agreement. And they want this to be really an example to the rest of the world that they've now officially joined in that accounts for a big chunk of world emissions.

Nearly 40 percent of global emissions comes from just the U.S. and China. So, even though that was something that they were already on board with, this was kind of the formal signing of it into action. But they still need many other countries to get on board. And they want this to be kind of the spur to more action. Alison?

KOSIK: Our CNN's Michelle Kosinski, live from Hangzhou, China. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. Eight -- nine minutes past the hour this Labor Day morning. Let's take an EARLY START and your money to look at your money. The U.S. stock market closed for Labor Day. On Friday we learned just how the labor market is doing with the release of the latest jobs report.

A 151,000 new jobs were added in August. A decent gain. But, you know, it's a lot fewer than the 275,000 new jobs added in July. The unemployment rate remains steady at 4.9 percent. You know, this report was critical for the Federal Reserve. Stronger job gains would have raise the chances of a rate hike. But a near term hike now seems less likely after the latest report.

KOSIK: Now the prediction is maybe December we'll see a hike.

ROMANS: Maybe.

KOSIK: All right. Hermine weakening, but the threat remains very much alive. Flooding and danger at the beach this holiday Monday. The latest on the storm's track that's coming up next.


KOSIK: This morning, a new storm track for Hermine. A big shift taking it further out to sea, but don't be lulled. Seven million people still under tropical storm warnings. Holiday beach goers still face life threatening surf and rip currents and the waves up to 5 feet on shore and up to 14 feet offshore, which the unfortunate passengers on this cruise here that you see, know all too well.

I could imagine how sea seek these people were then. The anthem of the seas here that's heading to Bermuda rolling and pitching in high seas. But thanksfully still safe according to the cruise line of oil Carribean.

All right. Let's get the latest on the storm's path and bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Good morning.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi. Good morning, Alison. You know, this is a pretty fascinating storm in the way everything transpired in the past couple of hours.

[04:14:59] And if you take a look at what the storm system has done, it is now a post-tropical storm. Meaning, it has lost all of its tropical characteristics. Really it hasn't weakened much. The winds are down to 70 miles per hour, just a couple of notches below what would be considered hurricane for its wind. So that difference is negligible.

But it is not a storm getting its energy from the warm ocean. It's no longer warm across this region offshore. It is not interacting with the Gulf Stream. It is a cold core system.

And what occurred essentially is the forecast actually shifted slightly because the storm interacted with the jet stream. Just a couple of hours later, that alone instead of keeping the storm close to shore which would have really sent massive waves piled up on the immediate coastline. That alone really shifted its several hundred miles offshore, about 200 miles to be precised. And that case makes the winds come out of the north which are parallel towards the coastline. So the waves heights there are going to be limited compared to what it could have been if the storm system that closer to the coastline.

So, we'll keep some showers in the forecast in Boston today. But notice partly cloudy skies out of New York City much of the same out of areas around Washington. Important to note, though, even though it might seem like it's a nice day outside, you'll see a lot of those flags on the beaches.

And the main concern is the rip current threat. It's extremely high with this particular storm system. So, it's offshore, but churning up the waters enough to where if you are on the immediate beaches, I believe Alison was just talking about the waves at the beach there being around 5 feet high, offshore up to 14 feet high.

Precisely the case anywhere from the coastal New Jersey all the way up there towards parts of New Hampshire certainly on down towards Massachusetts as well as parts of Rhode Island as well.

You could see a very dangerous coastal scenario. So., the storm system just meanders. Over the several days it pushes off into the Canadian maritime. The impacts, though for beach goers this afternoon not going to be the best day to be out there even if the skies are sunny across the region.

To the south, though, this is the place to be from say, St. Charleston towards Jacksonville, Pensacola. The hurricane of course moved through a couple of days ago when the sun back out here. Some scattered thunderstorms where you expected, guys.

But at this point, it looks like the storm system will want to continue pushing offshore. As it does, we get another surge of summer- like temperatures. So, enjoy the next day or so because back up to around 90 in New York City by mid-week.

KOSIK: Any warning to surfers, though? I know that surfers here in New York are going to probably be out in full force with those waves.

JAVAHERI: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. You know, just like you said, it's very, very dangerous. And it almost wants to lull you in because it looks like a great, great day to be outside.

KOSIK: Right.

JAVAHERI: But even the strongest swimmers in the world will not be able to fight these currents. If you out Michael Phelps out there, even as the greatest swimmer he is these waters could easily pull him out into the open sea where if he's interacting with them. So, it's very dangerous.

ROMANS: So, enjoy the sand, Pedram. Do not enjoy the surf.

JAVAHERI: Yes. Absolutely. ROMANS: And exactly zero percent of surfers will take that advice. All right.


ROMANS: Thank you so much. Nice to see you.

KOSIK: Thanks, Pedram.


ROMANS: An early exit for tennis great Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open. The two-time Open champ was beaten in a five-set thriller by 22-year- old Lucas Pouille of France. Nadal who has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments failed to advance to quarter finals from any major this year. Pouille joins two other Frenchmen in the U.S. Open till the eight. The first time that has happened since 1947. All right.

The G20 will come to a close with no deal. And ending the violence in Syria, what obstacles kept the U.S. and Russia from reaching a deal in Syria? A live report from Middle East, next.


ROMANS: Welcome back. Twenty two minutes past the hour.

No deal. Talks between the U.S. and Russia have concluded without an agreement on military cooperation to better target ISIS, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have been meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in China to try to strike a deal. But the U.S. official says there are still issues to resolve.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is following development. She is live in Amman, Jordan for us this Labor Day morning. Good morning.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. It's still unclear why these talks broke down. What the issues are that remain to be resolved between the U.S. and Russian negotiators here.

But we've heard from President Obama yesterday saying that there were grave differences that remain and probably likely in the coming hours, we will be hearing from U.S. and Russian officials on more specifics of what disagreements they have and what these issues that remain to be resolved are.

Now a key part of this deal would have been boosting military cooperation between the United States and Russia inside Syria when it comes to the fight against extremist groups like ISIS.

Now in the past, there have been disagreements between the U.S. and Russia on the term extremist groups where the Russians have gone after moderate opposition groups under the pre-text of targeting Al Qaeda affiliated groups. So, this it's not clear if this is one of the issues that they are

facing here. But there was a lot of skepticism, Christine, in this region especially in Syria, some of the activist that we've spoken to in some of the rebel-held areas of the country when it came to any sort of sustainable long-term peace deal.

But there was hope riding on the possibility of a pause in fighting that would allow humanitarian aid into besieged areas. This has been critical. We have heard from the United Nations warning, saying that they really desperately need to get food and medicine into besieged areas of Syria.

This specifically is true when it comes to rebel-held Aleppo where we have seen this humanitarian crisis unfolding, where we have seen the humanitarian situation worsening almost on a daily basis there.

And just overnight, we have heard that the regime and their allied forces have managed to besiege the rebel-held Aleppo yet again, cutting off any routes into the city putting more than 250,000 people, Christine.

[04:25:09] Yet again, under constant bombardment and with no humanitarian supplies going in. Again, the civilians in Syria are paying the heaviest price in this conflict.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks for that, Jomana Karadsheh this morning. Thank you.

KOSIK: Meantime, Turkey's government is claiming victory in its effort to drive ISIS fighters out of town along the Syrian/Turkish border.

State media says the last strip of territory was cleared Sunday by Turkish forces and Syrian rebels. And is now totally under control of the Free Syrian Army backed by coalition forces.

ROMANS: In Germany, exit polls suggest Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling party was soundly defeated in her home district. The local elections were seen as a referendum on Merkel's open door policies for migrants.

Her party, that a Christian democratic union was beaten by the social democrats and the far-right alternative for Germany and anti- immigration party.

KOSIK: OK. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton suddenly heading for the finish line. The first debate is three weeks away. Both candidates are trying to clean up issues weighing them down. Trump on immigration, Clinton on her e-mails.

We've got the latest on the back and forth coming up next.