Return to Transcripts main page


North Korea Conducts Nuclear Test; Trump Grants Interview to Kremlin-Funded "RT America"; Wells Fargo Fined For Fake Accounts. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired September 9, 2016 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Overnight, North Korea conducts its largest nuclear test ever. Analysts say that this blast shows progress for that country's nuclear program and real problems for diplomacy, now, in that region.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Donald Trump standing by his embrace of Russian president Vladimir Putin while making an appearance on a Russian-funded T.V. station. What could this mean for Trump's message?

BERMAN: Hillary Clinton now says she will focus more on herself and maybe a little bit less on Donald Trump, but she still hits him hard and often on the campaign trail. We'll tell you the strong new accusations being lobbied across party lines. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone, I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour this Friday morning. Breaking overnight, North Korea raising tensions around the world, conducting its fifth nuclear test. This one appears to be the most powerful yet. South Korean officials recording seismic activity with a magnitude of 5.3. The president of South Korea calling the latest provocation from Pyongyang fanatically reckless.

I want to go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks. Bring us up to speed, Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, North Korea made a very special announcement. It was a triumphant announcement where they claimed they had successfully tested a nuclear warhead, which they now claim they will able to mount onto any ballistic missile that they have. Now, that is a statement that is going to concern officials around the world.

We have just heard, as well, that the intelligence agency here in South Korea has briefed lawmakers and they say they believe North Korea's goal is to mount a nuclear warhead on a scud missile. So they would effectively be able to target much of South Korea and, of course, 28,500 U.S. military personnel who are station here permanently. They also say that the progress North Korea has made is far quicker than predicted or estimated.

Now, we've certainly seen that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has been in a rush this year not only with two nuclear tests in one year, which is unprecedented, but also with its missile testing. Its submarine launched missiles, musadan mobile missiles, and the certainly the fact that international sanctions have increased and, potentially, after this could increase some more, not slowing the North Korean leader down.

He seems immune to sanctions, he seems immune to international condemnation. And, certainly, officials around the world are condemning this latest move today. We've have condemnation from the U.S., from South Korea, Japan, China, to name just a few -- Christine.

ROMANS: It has knocked back the Korean stock market a little bit but has not spread around the rest of the world, but seriously raising some concerns on the diplomacy front and the security front. Paula Hancocks in Seoul following it for us. Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, Donald Trump with a new embrace of Vladimir Putin, declaring the Russian leader is probably not meddling in the U.S. election. Now, Trump's comments came in an interview with Larry King on "RT AMERICA". This is a network funded by the Kremlin. Trump is already under fire for his praise of Putin and this is what he said, new, overnight.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know. I mean, I've 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 that it's pretty unlikely. But, you know, who knows? I hope that if they are doing something, I hope that somebody's going to be able to find out so they can -- they can end it because that would not be appropriate at all.


ROMANS: All right, that's Donald Trump overnight. U.S. investigators believe Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee's database earlier this year. Hillary Clinton has directly accused Putin of trying to influence the U.S. election, but Trump praised the Russian leader during Wednesday night's commander-in-chief forum -- listen.


TRUMP: 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.


ROMANS: The Trump camp now claims it had no idea that that interview with Larry King that we played to you before that, that was on Russian television. He had no idea it would be on the Russian television network, insisting it was conducted in a podcast format as a favor for his friend, Larry King.

Trump is also doubling down on his claim that he opposed the Iraq War from the start, even though that claim has been debunked. Let's go live now to Washington and bring in CNN politics reporter Tal Kopan again this morning. And, you know, I guess I want to start on the support for the Iraq War. I mean, this has been swirling around here for a few days. Donald Trump continues to say he was against it.

[05:35:00] He was against it in 2004 in an "Esquire" magazine interview. We know that prior to that, when there was a ramp-up to the war -- in the early stages of the war -- he was on the record as saying he supported the war. So there's a very different reality from what Donald Trump has been saying on the campaign trail.

And you still have Donald Trump also continuing to praise Vladimir Putin. Continuing to call him a strong leader and to praise his leadership above the president, certainly. And Mike Pence, actually, last night -- his running mate -- also sharing that view. Let's listen.


GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think -- I think it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country, and that's going to change the day that Donald Trump becomes president of the United States of America.


ROMANS: Does this infatuation with Vladimir Putin and Putin's leadership -- who is a strong man, essentially -- does that hurt Donald Trump?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: It's a little bit hard to tell at this point. I'm not sure it hurts him with his core supporters. I think they like the sort of strength he projects. It's funny, I'm reminded back in 2012 when Mitt Romney was relentlessly mocked for calling Russia our top geopolitical foe in the entire world. And now we have almost the exact opposite.

ROMANS: Right.

KOPAN: Trump is being mocked for saying Putin's not that bad. You know, there's certainly a perception out there that Hillary Clinton's strength is foreign policy and national security. So giving the Democrats a talking point where they can keep saying look, a top adversary -- maybe not enemy, but adversary of the United States is someone that Donald Trump admires. And it fits into their talking point that he sort of likes dictators or admires their strength.

So I don't know if it's necessarily something that's going to really affect his numbers but it definitely gives the Democrats a lot of cannon fodder for lines of attack they've already sort of shown they want to go after Donald Trump with.

BERMAN: So, new this morning from the Clinton campaign, word that Hillary Clinton's going to focus more on herself and her policy in the days and weeks ahead. She's not there quite yet, right, and last night she went to Kansas City and she was talking to a religious group there, largely African-American.

But she did talk about herself and her faith, but she also made a point of bringing up Donald Trump's birther past. His support of the movement which claimed that President Obama was not born in the United States, not an American citizen, was born in Kenya. This is how Hillary Clinton talked about it overnight.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our nation's values are being questioned in this election. We are facing a candidate with a long history of racial discrimination in his business, who traffics in toxic conspiracy theories like the lie that President Obama is not a true American. If he doesn't even respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?


BERMAN: You know, it's interesting that Hillary Clinton was bringing this up to a largely African-American audience. There have been people saying the last few days well, does the birther issue really matter in this election? You see how she will try to hone in on that, perhaps, in the coming weeks.

KOPAN: Yes, absolutely. Hillary Clinton is nothing if not politically savvy in terms of knowing that you sometimes have to speak to your audience a little bit. She's been around the block a few times in terms of that.

You know, we mentioned she's going to be focusing more on herself. You've seen that Donald Trump has been able to come back in the polls quite a bit from her Democratic National Convention downs (ph), and part of that is that she kind of stopped talking about herself.

You know, she went on attack against Donald Trump and she also sort of ceded the spotlight, did a lot of fundraising in August. Didn't put herself out there quite as much in the hopes that Donald Trump would just make mistakes. And you can't run a campaign just relying on the other candidate to be so bad that voters choose you sort of by default.

She's going to have to do the work to convince voters to vote in favor of her and not against Donald Trump. So I think that's sort of the strategy you're seeing deployed. But there's no way that in that process she's not also going to attack Donald Trump. That just defies logic.

ROMANS: All right, Tal Kopan, have a great weekend. Thanks for getting up early for us this morning. Love your analysis. Thanks.

KOPAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, more than 5,000 people fired. Wells Fargo pays a record fine. This cost the bank now a huge ton of money. We'll tell you what you need to know, next. ROMANS: If you think catching a game from your couch is the way to go, think again. Some of the biggest stadiums are making major upgrades with mobile apps to let you know when the concession line is short or alerts to upgrade your seats. "CNN MONEY"s Vanessa Yurkevich reports.

[05:40:00] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VANESSA YURKEVICH, DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT, "CNN MONEY": It costs $481, on average, for a family of four to go an NFL game. It's a lot less expensive to watch a game at home and even the experience is tough to beat. Technology offers easy access to instant replays and you can switch between big games. Stadiums are taking notice. Last season, attendance slipped. Is the game just not enough anymore?

SETH RABINOWITZ, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING, NEW YORK JETS: I think the game still is enough but modern audiences want to be as immersed in the game and have as much access to the game, as much information about the game as they possibly can.

YURKEVICH: MetLife is one of dozens of stadiums and arenas investing in technology. Everything from Bluetooth beacons to mobile apps to virtual reality in order to help fans better connect and get them back in the seats.

RABINOWITZ: Now we have a tremendous Wi-Fi network in the stadium so you can use our app to stay connected to all of the scores and stats and everything from that game. You can now have your tickets on the app.

YURKEVICH: And, ideally, once you get those people in the stadium you do want them to spend money to be here.

RABINOWITZ: If more people have a chance to purchase something, all the better, of course. We find that certain groups of people aren't trying the type of products that we want to promote. Now we can target just those people and deliver the message just to them.

YURKEVICH: And according to a Northwestern University study, almost half of season ticket holders would pay even more for a better in- person experience.

RABINOWITZ: We have a very stable business model. We know how to generate revenue. And the great thing in the sports business is if we serve the fans right we will make a fair return on our investment.



[05:46:10] ROMANS: All right, here you go, the blockbuster money story today. Wells Fargo is paying a record fine after employees opened fake bank and credit card accounts in customers' names to juice their own sales numbers. The customers were then charged fees -- hefty fees -- on accounts they didn't even know existed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is hitting the bank with a $185 million fine.

Wells Fargo says it has fired 5,300 employees over the past five years for creating these unauthorized accounts. Wells Fargo, a huge player, the most valuable bank in the U.S. Its valuation more than $250 billion. J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America are number two and three.

Wells Fargo stock down slightly in premarket trading. It was having a pretty rough year before this news. Its largest shareholder is Berkshire Hathaway, the firm run by billionaire Warren Buffett, who owns $100 million of the stock in his own personal account.

BERMAN: A little bit.

ROMANS: Mutual fund managers Vanguard, BlackRock, Fidelity, they're among the top investors in Wells Fargo. That means you're probably a top investor in Wells Fargo. It's probably a part of your 401(k), a widely-held stock.

But certainly so much grumbling about unnecessary fees to use your own money, right? The banking industry already really under fire for that. And then to create accounts where you're getting dinged in your bank account for an account you don't even know exists is just horrible.

BERMAN: It doesn't seem like a nice thing to do.


BERMAN: All right, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Alisyn Camerota -- oh, and this time she's on the couch.

ROMANS: Hello, my dear.

BERMAN: You never know where Alisyn will be.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: No, you don't. I'm coming to you from our on-set green room -- our guest green room -- and it's freezing in here, which is why I'm wearing the fashionable poncho that you see me in. It's like the tundra. There's a breeze blowing through here.

So, we hope you'll join us at the top of the hour because we have the highs and lows of the week. And when you see this montage that we've put together of the political winners and losers, you won't believe how much has happened in just one week. So we'll show you that.

Also, we have the two filmmakers on who made the famous 9/11 film. They're the ones who got the only footage from inside the twin towers on that horrible day. So, we're going to talk to them about what it's like 15 years later. They've gone back to visit victims' families about how they're faring 15 years later.

So, all that when we see you at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: A long, long time. So many of the kids who were babies --

ROMANS: I know.

BERMAN: -- and are grown up and in high school right now. So much has changed. Alisyn, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right, 48 minutes past the hour. Happening today, John Kerry meeting with his Russian counterparty to see if they can finally agree on a ceasefire in Syria. We've got those details next.


[05:52:50] ROMANS: Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov set for two days now of talks in Geneva. Topping the agenda, implementing a ceasefire in Syria so humanitarian aid can reach thousands of suffering civilians. Kerry and Lavrov have tried unsuccessfully to stop the fighting twice before.

With the very latest on these talks I want to bring in Phil Black, live from Moscow. And, you know, we cannot overstate how critical conditions are on the ground here for some progress.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can't -- that's right, Christine, and so that is why John Kerry and American officials are saying they're putting so much effort into trying to make this diplomatic effort come off,despite the fact they're not convinced that it will.

So, John Kerry, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, they're spending a lot of time together lately. This is their third meeting in just two weeks. They're trying to get together this deal that will implement a cessation of hostilities across Syria that will allow an opportunity for humanitarian aid to be pushed into areas where it is so desperately needed, especially the city of Aleppo.

But it's more ambitious than that, too, because what the Americans really hope is that they can get Russia to lean on Syria and force its aircraft to stay on the ground so that the Syrian Air Force will no longer bomb civilians, will no longer bomb the opposition groups that American supports.

And what Russia really wants is something of an extraordinary arrangement. What they want is to team up with America to share airpower information, intelligence targeting, in order to hit terrorist groups on the ground in Syria.

So that's what they're all trying to make happen. As I say, it's ambitious. There's no guarantee that it will happen but the hope is that if you get that into place, then that could kick start a wider peace process that could eventually look at answering some of the bigger questions like what happens to President Assad and perhaps, maybe one day, resolving the overall conflict, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Phil Black for us this morning in Moscow. Thanks for that, Phil.

[05:55:00] BERMAN: All right, dozens of people trapped in cable cars in the French Alps have now been rescued, thankfully. (Video playing) Emergency crews uncrossed cables that got tangled in high winds. These pictures, I've got to say, are just chilling for me. This was 12,000 feet up. They successfully evacuated 33 people stuck overnight. Initially, 110 people were trapped up there. Most of them were rescued by Italian and French helicopters.

ROMANS: Yes, you'd still be crying. Fetal position -- would you be in the fetal position crying or would you be one of the rescuers?

BERMAN: I'd just be like stop talking to me, stop talking to me. I don't know you, stop talking to me.

All right, a perfect launch for NASA at Cape Canaveral overnight. The spacecraft OSIRIS-REx embarked on a seven-year journey to chase down what's called a potentially dangerous asteroid. This is a first for the U.S. space program.

The probe is going to try to use a robotic arm to grab a sample of the asteroid, then come back -- return to earth. Scientists have their eye on this asteroid. They're concerned it could hit earth in the year2135, which is a while from now, actually, I think, right? I'm not good at math, but it's still a while from now.

ROMANS: You'll still -- you'll still be paying for your kids' college, yes.

BERMAN: It's in my next contract. The probes arrival on the asteroid set for two years from now.

ROMANS: Assuming there's a next contract.

BERMAN: (Laughing)

ROMANS: Let's get an early start on your money. The South Korean stock market rattled by the claim of a nuclear test in North Korea but that has not spread to the rest of the global markets. You can see Dow futures slightly lower. Stock markets in Europe down a little bit. Shares in Asia finishing mostly down.

Oil prices are down but crude has had a huge comeback this week, up more than four percent yesterday thanks to Hurricane Hermine. That storm stalled production in the Gulf of Mexico which caused stockpiles of oil and gasoline to drop. Prices climbed on that news but you should not see too much of a bump in your gas prices unless crude continues to rise.

Got a big recall to tell you about. Ford is recalling 2.3 million vehicles. They have faulty car door latches. The cost of this recall will cut into its profit. Here are the cars Ford is recalling for this issue which, by the way, can result in doors flying open --

BERMAN: They're not supposed to do that.

ROMANS: -- no -- or not closing properly.

BERMAN: They're not supposed to do that.

ROMANS: These are the vehicles. It's various years of the C-MAX, the Escape, the Focus, the Ford Transit Connect, and single model years of the Mustang and Lincoln MKC. Ford says there has been one accident and three injuries reported due to the malfunction.

From car doors flying open to phones catching on fire.

BERMAN: They're not supposed to do that.

ROMANS: No. The Federal Aviation Administration is warning airline flyers do not use your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on U.S. airplanes. It issued this late Thursday. Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises -- "The FAA strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage." That is a direct quote from the FAA.

(Video playing) The unusual warning as to what is a headache for Samsung as it scrambles to replace millions of Note 7 phones around the world. Reports of the devices catching fire while charging prompted the recall and this action from the FAA. The pictures are just something, right?

Some international carriers, including Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and Virgin Australia have already taken steps to stop people from using devices on their aircraft -- wow.

BERMAN: Wow, exactly. And, of course, Apple is looking at this going we're releasing our iPhone just as these new rules and regulations are coming out for the Samsung, too.

All right, overnight, North Korea with their largest nuclear test yet. This big test raising alarm across the world. "NEW DAY" with that story right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Good morning, welcome to your new day. It's Friday, September 9th, 6:00 in the East.

We do have breaking news overnight. A seismic event detected in North Korea, allegedly, its most powerful nuclear test yet. It caused an explosion with a force of a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that could be felt across Korea.

CAMEROTA: Kim Jong-un's government says it can now make nuclear warheads small enough to be mounted on a missile and many worry that that missile could reach the U.S. So let's get right to international correspondent Will Ripley. He is live for us in Tokyo with more. Will, what have you learned?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this test, Alisyn, is being strongly condemned not only by the Japanese prime minister here in Tokyo, but South Korean's president Park. Even China, North Korea's closest ally, is also condemning this action saying it's a direct violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions that are supposed to prohibit nuclear tests, although North Korea has now conducted five, if this does turn out to be verified as a nuclear test. The United States and Japan sent up sniffer planes to test for

radiation. We know that President Obama was briefed overnight on the situation and he also had separate phone calls with the South Korean president Park and the Japanese prime minister to reiterate the United States' commitment to defend this region.

The U.S. is in the process of putting in those THADD missile defense systems on the South Korean Peninsula to protect the 50 million people who live there. In addition to the 25,000 U.S. troops there are also 50,000 U.S. troops stationed here in Japan, along with 127 million people who are in the range of these North Korean weapons.

What does North Korea want to do? They want to develop a nuclear warhead that's small enough to fit on a missile that they can then put either in a submarine or they can launch from the ground and attack their number one enemy, which is the United States and its allies here in Asia Pacific. That's the great concern that they are moving closer and closer to this goal.

This test last week, three missiles were launched.