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North Korea Conducts Nuclear Test; Trump Talks Putin; Clinton Slams Trump; Super Bowl Rematch: Broncos Vs. Panthers. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 9, 2016 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight, North Korea conducting the largest nuclear test yet. Concerns of the rogue nation's nuclear program and questions over the timing of the latest test.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And Donald Trump going on a Russian government sponsored television station to say he does not think Russia is meddling in the U.S. presidential election. This surprising appearance coming days after criticism for his repeated praise of Vladimir Putin.

[05:00:07] ROMANS: Hillary Clinton saying she will focus more on herself, less on Trump, but she got some hard hits in first. We'll tell you what Secretary Clinton said.

Good morning, everybody. It's Friday. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. I can confirm it is Friday. It is September 9th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And breaking news overnight: North Korea conducted the most powerful nuclear test ever. And this one appears to have taken place in the northern part of that region. South Korean officials recorded seismic activity with the magnitude of 5.3. The president of South Korea called this latest provocation from Pyongyang "fanatically reckless".

Let's go live to Seoul and bring in Paula Hancocks.

Paula, the fifth nuclear test North Korea appears to have conducted and the most powerful one and coming on the heels of President Obama's visit to Asia.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. The timing certainly is interesting, isn't it, John.

The fact is North Korea announced in a triumphant announcement on state-run television that they have successfully tested a nuclear warhead and they say that, no, effectively, they can put that on any one of the ballistic missiles. Its impossible for the world to verify that, but consistently, officials in Washington, Seoul, Tokyo have said it would be very dangerous not to take Pyongyang at its word.

In the past hour, there has been an intelligence briefing for lawmakers here in Seoul. They have said they believe that North Korea's goal is to mount a nuclear warhead on a Scud missile, effectively being able to target much of South Korea and, of course, remember 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea as well.

Certainly, there are concerns that this is going much quicker than expected. Intelligence says North Korea has advanced quicker than they had expected. Now, as you can imagine, there has been strong condemnation from around the world, from the U.S., South Korea, Japan, even China, the main trading partner and pretty much the main ally of North Korea, all condemning this latest nuclear test.

It shows that Kim Jong-un is determined to forge ahead with his nuclear missile program as he has been publicly saying time and time again. International condemnation sanctions clearly are not slowing him down -- John.

BERMAN: Very interesting. Of course, the missile technology that North Korea developing also accelerating in pace as well. Paula Hancocks for us in Seoul, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. Donald Trump is embracing Vladimir Putin, declaring the Russian leader is probably not meddling in the U.S. election. Comments coming in an interview with Larry King on RT America, that is a network founded by the Kremlin. Trump under fire for praise of Putin. Now this is what he told Russian television.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE (via telephone): I don't know. I have been hearing about it. I've been reading about it. I think it's probably unlikely. I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. Who knows? But I think it's pretty unlikely. But, you know, who knows? If they are doing something, I hope that somebody's going to find out so they can end it because that would not be appropriate at all.


BERMAN: U.S. investigators believe hackers broke into the DNC database earlier this year.

Hillary Clinton has directly accused Vladimir Putin of trying to influence the U.S. election. Donald Trump, though, praised the Russian leader during Wednesday night's security forum.


TRUMP: If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him. I've already said, he is really very much of a leader.

I mean, you can say, oh, isn't that a terrible thing? The man has very strong control over a country. Now, it's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly in that system, he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.


BERMAN: The Trump campaign now claims it did not know the Russian television interview would be aired on Russian television network called RT. He thought it was just a favor to his friend Larry King.

While that's going on, Donald Trump is repeating his false claims that he opposed the Iraq war from the start. He did not.

Let's get more from CNN's Sara Murray.


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

Well, Donald Trump had planned to spend yesterday talking about education policy. But instead, when he arrived at a charter school in Cleveland, Ohio, he could not help but rehashed a number of the national security issues that came up at a forum the night earlier.

He went after Hillary Clinton for her use of a private e-mail server, but he also launched into a lengthy defense of his view of the war in Iraq, once reiterating his claim that he opposed it before it began.

[05:05:05] TRUMP: Before the war, much closer to the war, I gave statements that we shouldn't have gone in. And shortly thereafter, immediately thereafter, and honestly, a lot of reporters said, hey, right at the beginning, he made this statement. That statement was a very major story in "Esquire" magazine.

So, I just wanted to set the record straight. There is so much lying going on. And Hillary Clinton lied last night about numerous things, including her e-mail. But she also lied about this.

MURRAY: Now, of course, there is no public proof that Donald Trump opposed the war before it started. And in fact, his public comments leading up to the war actually suggested that he supported the invasion of Iraq, but he is obviously changing his tune now on the campaign trail.

And I will tell you, it was a little bit of an awkward setting to see Donald Trump talking about the threat of ISIS, calling Hillary Clinton essentially a liar for the way she talked about her use of a private e-mail server at a charter school in Cleveland in front of a couple of rows of children.

Now, he is back on the campaign trail today in some very different settings. He'll be delivering a speech in Washington, D.C., and campaigning later today in Florida.

Back to you, guys.


ROMANS: Thanks, Sara.

BERMAN: Sara Murray, thank you so much. I want to go to Washington right now and bring in CNN political reporter Tal Kopan.

Thanks so much for being with us. Good morning to you. Great to have you here with us.

A lot of talk about Vladimir Putin over the last 24 hours. Donald Trump heaping praise on him in the national security forum. Donald Trump going on RT, Russia television, for a surprising interview, not criticizing Vladimir Putin during that interview.

Paul Ryan, the highest Republican official in the U.S. right now, has a different view of Vladimir Putin. Listen.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Vladimir Putin is an aggressor that does not share our interest. Vladimir Putin is violating the sovereignty of neighboring countries. It certainly appears he is conducting in state-sponsored cyber attacks on what appears to be our political system. That is not acting in our interests. And that is an adversarial stance and he is acting like an adversary.


BERMAN: Tal, one of these moments again where Republican leaders forced to come out and criticize/condemn something Donald Trump has said. We have not seen this for a few weeks from Paul Ryan. It is back now.

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, and it's really interesting. You know, Trump has bee given many opportunities, many, to walk back his past praise of Vladimir Putin. Every time he is asked about this, he refuses to go after the Russian leader, which you can't help the impression the Democrats are trying to paint at least, that he is somehow sympathetic to Putin or admires him as a strong man.

And, you know, it's really interesting. His running mate Mike Pence also defended this in the interview with CNN. He sort of says, well, I don't like the system in Russia, but you cannot deny Vladimir Putin is stronger within that system, which is remarkable. To go ahead and give an interview on Russian television that night as the comments are reverberating. It is just not good image management from his campaign.

ROMANS: Let's ask you about some the former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on another network yesterday. This is a headline we will talk about this morning. It's this birther issue and whether Donald Trump renounced sort of his foray of hiring investigators and hinting that the president was not indeed an American citizen.

Listen to what Rudy Giuliani said last night on this other network.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: I want to know whether you believe whether your candidate for president believes he would succeed a legitimate president?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Donald Trump believes now that he was born in the United States. That issue was raised originally by Hillary Clinton's --

MATTHEWS: When's he going to say this president is legitimate? This is a fundamental question, Mr. Mayor. Is the president of the United States legitimate or not? If you believe it, why doesn't your candidate state it?

GIULIANI: I believe it. He believes it. We all believe it.


ROMANS: I believe it. He believes it. We all believe it.

Does Donald Trump, has he done or said anything to suggest that he does believe the American president is American?

KOPAN: Well, if he has, I haven't seen it. I follow this stuff pretty closely.

This is another example of something where he has been given multiple opportunities. This is something he is asked about frequently. He dodges something vague about where he stands. He also continues to use the line that Rudy Giuliani tried to use that the Clinton campaign was the origin of these rumors.

This is something that polls hurt him especially with the African- American community which he is trying to do outreach in the past few days. We have not seen him repudiate what he said.

[05:10:01] The closest he has come is saying the birth certificate's there. You know, it is the Donald Trump way. But he has made no sort of unequivocal statement that he believes Barack Obama was born in the United States and he was wrong in suggesting otherwise.

ROMANS: Do you think this is fodder, John Berman?

BERMAN: It will and should be asked every day through the debates as long as Donald Trump continues not to answer that question. Hillary Clinton, she say in Charlotte, Donald Trump is playing games. Listen to what she said.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Everything is a game. It's like he is living in his own celebrity reality TV program. You know what, Donald? This is real reality. This is real people. This is real decisions that have to be made for our country.


BERMAN: That was during a rally in North Carolina yesterday. There, Tal, you heard Hillary Clinton going after Donald Trump. What is interesting this morning is the word from the Clinton campaign that she will turn her focus away from exclusively hitting Donald Trump and talk more about herself. Why is that?

KOPAN: Well, she has to. If you look at what happen, with the polls, she made a calculated decision after the Democratic National Convention. She got a nice bump from the convention, which is biographical focused on her.

She made a calculated decision to seemingly get out of Donald Trump's way and try to let him inflict his own wounds. We saw him steady out with the new campaign leadership. He seemed to stay on message better.

Now she can't count on him doing the work for her. This is a reflection of the fact that like Donald Trump, she as extremely high unfavorable numbers and she has to do work to try to convince people to vote for her and not just Donald Trump.

She painted herself in the corner by placing all the burden on Trump. She will have to do the work to convince the American voters that she is the pro-choice not just the anti-Trump choice.

ROMANS: All right. Tal Kopan, 12 minutes past the hour, she is up and looking sharp Adam and ready to go. I hope your weekend starts earlier, because you get earlier for us in the morning.

We'll talk to you in a half hour. Thanks, Tal.

KOPAN: Thank you.

ROMANS: Wells Fargo paying a record setting fine after employees there created fake accounts, oh, yes, in order to charge more fees to customers. Fees you may not know about. What you need to know next.


[05:16:37] ROMANS: Wells Fargo employees created fake accounts to charge customers fees boosting sales numbers and profiting from it. Now, thousands of those bankers have been fired in the Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo is paying a record fine.

Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees for the fake accounts and charging fees you paid for. 1.5 million deposit accounts were fake, 560,000 credit card applications. $185 million fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. $100 million will go to pay back customers. $50 million will go to the city and county of Los Angeles, there's a lawsuit filed there. And $35 million will go to the Treasury Department.

To put that into perspective, last quarter, Wells Fargo made a profit of $185 million every three days, on average. So, three-day penalty of profit of 1.5 million fake accounts.

BERMAN: Dozens of people trapped in cable cars in the French Alps have now been rescued. The crews uncrossed cables that were crossed in high winds 12,000 feet up. They rescued 33 people trapped. Most of them rescued by Italian and French helicopters.

ROMANS: Fear of heights. Fear of enclosed spaces. Fear of lots of things there.

Another picture perfect launch at Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft OSIRIS-REx embarking on a seven-year journey to chase down a potentially dangerous asteroid. It will grab a robot arm to grab the as a sample of the asteroid and bring it back to earth. This asteroid could hit earth in 2135. The probe's arrival is two years away. Where is this on the list of things to worry about?

BERMAN: OK, I put it about number four.

ROMANS: All right.

BERMAN: After who will win the NFL title, right? Football. Season under way right now.

We had a rematch of the Super Bowl. How did it go this time? We have a special treat for you this morning. Coy Wire live in New York. That's next.


[05:23:19] BERMAN: The NFL season is now officially under way. You can smell it in the air. It just smells like football. Broncos hosted the Panthers in a Super Bowl rematch.

ROMANS: What does football smell like?


ROMANS: Nice to see you.

WIRE: Nice to be here.

A lot of questions in the season. How was that Broncos d with von ton and the Panthers? How about the match up with Cam Newton and brand new quarterback for Broncos, Trevor Simian? Just one snap in the NFL for this guy, it was a kneel down, and he has to replace this guy? Bringing out the Lombardi trophy before the game.

Also linebacker Brandon Marshall taking the knee for the national anthem. He is a teammate from the University of Nevada. Marshall believes in what Colin is trying to do. Two interceptions in the game ability to stay calm. He led the broncos about with two touchdown drives in the fourth down.

Look at the high snap. Graham Gano from 50. Ga-no. Broncos win the Super Bowl rematch, guys, 21-20.

All right. Serena Williams shocked and stunned at the U.S. Open, Karolina Pliskova. I was there. We're looking at each other. What's happening? Serena is Pliskova elder by ten years, and it shows. She was heavy in her feet, sluggish at times. Serena losing her number one ranking after 186 consecutive weeks.

[05:25:01] BERMAN: Milestone.

WIRE: It's just like 3 1/2 years if my math is correct.

What do fans love in the south? Football and fast cars. So, why not combine them? NASCAR Bristol Motor Speedway converted from a race track to a football field. This is the battle of Bristol. Expect it to be the largest college football game ever.

West part, John, you're going to love this, 25,000 pounds of hot dogs, 5,000 turkey legs and 545,000 brewskys. Beers.

BERMAN: I endorse al of that, particularly, but I will say like you sit in the stands. We're closer here than you will be. Not very good seats.

WIRE: A little far away. I talked to Jeff Gordon. He says it gets super loud. They will be chanting loud and hopefully --

ROMANS: Awesome. It's nice to see you.

WIRE: You, too.

ROMANS: Thanks for dropping this Friday morning.

All right. New this morning. North Korea conducting the largest nuclear test yet. This has major implications for diplomacy and security. We've got that next.