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President Slams Donald Trump By Name; Fragile Ceasefire in Syria Holding; Hackers Target World Anti-Doping Agency; Clemson Coach Sounds Off On Anthem Protests. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 14, 2016 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama calling Donald Trump unfit for the presidency, hitting Trump with attack after attack. As Trump unveils his child care plan that he and his daughter Ivanka put together.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Nearly two days into Syria's cease-fire, peace there seems to be holding but desperately needed humanitarian aid, it's still not reaching the hundreds of thousands of civilians who need it.

[05:00:01] ROMANS: Simone Biles, Venus and Serena Williams all hacked. Russian hackers breaking into the World Anti-Doping Agency's database, stealing and releasing medical data from these huge Olympic stars.

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

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. It's Wednesday, September 14th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And new developments this morning on Hillary Clinton's recovery from pneumonia, her campaign announcing that she does plan to return to the stump tomorrow. Clinton spent Tuesday resting at home, receiving "get well" flowers and catching up on reading, reading books that is, making phone calls and watching President Obama campaigned for her while in Philadelphia.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not me going through the motions here. I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.


HOWELL: That's three reallys there. He seems excited about it. Hitting the campaign trail there with an intensity reminiscent of the energy seen in a Barack Obama of 2008 and 2012, defending Hillary Clinton, saying that she's being held to an unfair standards while hammering away at Donald Trump. The president also slammed the media for creating a false equivalence

between the two candidates saying you can't grade the presidency on a curve.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski was in Philadelphia and has more for us this morning.



Right. So, President Obama stood at the Philadelphia Art Museum, steps here, yes, the ones from "Rocky", and he quickly showed he was here not just to support Hillary Clinton, but to punch back against Donald Trump repeatedly and directly, calling her by name, which he doesn't always do.

And he got specific, too, including Trump's praising of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Listen.

OBAMA: Think about what's happened it to the Republican Party, right? They used to be opposed to Russia and authoritarianism, and fighting for democracy. And now, their nominee is out there praising a guy, saying he's a strong leader because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press and drives his economy into a long recession.

And when they interview or ask him, why do you support this guy? He's a strong guy. Look, he's got an 82 percent poll rating. Well, yes, Saddam Hussein had a 90 percent poll rating.

KOSINKI: The president didn't hold back. I mean, he called out the Republican Party, saying that they're fanning resentment and blame. He also called out Trump for his knowledge, his business dealings, even his charity work and said he was hiding his tax return.

I mean, this is more of what we can expect from President Obama who is expected to spend much more time on the campaign trail when his schedule allows next month -- George and Christine.


ROMANS: And, Michelle, thank you.

Let's dive deeper into Donald Trump's new child care plan. Trump now has three main proposals for working families. First, women whose employers not offer paid maternal leave could claim six weeks' unemployment benefits. Now, critics say that leaves out fathers. So six weeks for women.

Second, Trump would create a dependent care savings plan giving a tax break for anyone who sets aside up to $2,000 a year to cover the costs associated with child care, or elder care, working families, working parents taking care of their own parents. Finally, parents could deduct the average cost of child care in their state based on their some worry that these proposals might invite employers to drop their paid maternal leave and as one put it, stick it to the taxpayer.

The big question, how does Trump pay for all of this? Well, his campaign estimates it would cost $2.5 billion. It would fund that by trying to rid the unemployment system of fraud, which it valued at $3.4 billion.

Hillary Clinton released her childhood plan early in her presidential campaign in 2015, she would cap the cost of child care at month northern 10 percent of income, guarantee 12 weeks of paid family leave and provide universal pre-K for 4 year olds. We don't know how he would pay for it.

HOWELL: All right. Let's get some context on what's happening today. Let's bring in CNN politics reporter Eugene Scott right here.

Eugene, good to have you with us.


ROMANS: Good morning.

Let's start with this child care proposal. Does this move the needle for Donald Trump with women do you think? You know, you have Ivanka Trump standing with him, she's a powerful, powerful surrogate for him. Does this help him with women?

SCOTT: When I speak with voters who bubble with Donald Trump particularly women, it's when he starts talking about child care that he has their attention most. I think if he moves forward with this and explains more on Thursday he may have some look at him again who has written him off in the past.

[05:05:03] I think one interesting point about another group that Trump isn't doing very well with that gives him a second look this time is millennial voters. It's a group that he's not doing well. A lot forget that millennial like Ivanka Trump, many are old enough to be parents and don't have the income yet that allow him to pay for child care. So, I think he hits two interesting groups there that can help with the polls.

HOWELL: Donald Trump relying on the perception that things are bad. The economy is d. Getting worse but the numbers don't say that. And the president in Philadelphia really hammered that point home. Let's listen to what President Obama had to say about that.


OBAMA: More Americans are working. More have health insurance. Incomes are rising. Poverty is falling. And gas is $2 a gallon. I didn't even -- all right. Thank you for reminding me. Thanks, Obama.


HOWELL: Thanks, Obama. The president really, you know, taking advantage of the fact that, yeah, the numbers tell one story. But the question for Donald Trump, has perception become reality for

him if he continues to tell people, hey, things are bad? Will people start to operate as if things are bad, despite the fact that the numbers don't indicate that?

SCOTT: Well, I think what we've seen with this election unfortunately we're in a post fact check culture. And so, what people believe and what the facts are don't always matchup. One thing I thought was very interesting about the president's campaigning yesterday, he did spend significant time advocating for Hillary Clinton but a lot of it was simply fact-checking the ideas that Donald Trump put out there.

It's almost as if he preempted his speech for working mothers and working women saying is this a candidate who doesn't have a track record of paying attention to the needs of working class Americans and arguing that Hillary Clinton did.

ROMANS: Look, we all encourage a big robust discussion in this country about how we're going to support working families. Especially low wage working families. Some of the criticism of the Donald Trump plan, you know, the broad brush stroke of the plan is that, you know, for low wage families, it's still hard to put money away pre-tax. Some of these families don't have a tax burden, they're not going -- they're not making enough money to get a lot back on the tax code, et cetera.

So, will it be a real meaty proposal or will it be talking points and ideas? That's what I just don't know.

SCOTT: Right. So everyone is interested to see what he lays out on Thursday in terms of more details. You highlighted earlier, there's still a lot of questions about Hillary Clinton's plan as well. I think what both of these candidates have revealed the economic situation of working parents in America is really diverse, and it's really difficult to come up with a one-plan solution.

ROMANS: This is one time where I can think how to help working parents has really been something that both sides of the aisle are talking about, you know?

SCOTT: Absolutely. Yes, it's a very real issue. I read a great column I believe in "The Washington Post" a while ago saying that a lot of the conversation is about helping middle class families. There are not as many conversations about helping poor families.

There are a lot of people who have trouble paying for kids who don't struggle with the same issues as some of the middle class parents do, such as after-school programs and things like that. Those things aren't options for many Americans.

ROMANS: Do you know in some zip codes, child care costs more than college?

SCOTT: Easily.

(CROSSTALK) ROMANS: When you look at the labor force rate, people dropping out of the labor market, some of those people are where one parent stays home because they can't afford the child care, after school care on a low wage plan.

SCOTT: One thing that's interesting about Donald Trump's plan, he stalked about stay-at-home mothers. It's an issue he mentioned last week at the Value Voters Summit as well. Just acknowledging that the family dynamics of Americans is really diverse and people need plans to respond to that.

HOWELL: Focusing on white educated voters.

And in Pennsylvania, laying out that plan, Donald Trump is really trying to move the needle, you say when it comes to these issues, he tends to do so.

SCOTT: Yes, very much so. And I think President Obama may have said that yesterday in Pennsylvania, a state that has a lot of working class voters, but also has quite a few college educated white voters in the suburbs of Philadelphia that he wants to make sure actually turn out for Hillary Clinton and don't -- aren't led to Donald Trump with these plans addressing these issues that they are addressing as well.

HOWELL: Eugene Scott, thank you so much.

SCOTT: Thank you all.

ROMANS: See you in a few minutes. Nice to see you this morning.

Nine minutes past the hour.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are still waiting for humanitarian aid in Syria. Now, they're two days from this country's fragile ceasefire. Will it get there soon?

We are live on the ground in Syria, next.


[05:13:59] ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START.

We're well into the second day of a fragile cease-fire in Syria. So far, that truce appears to be holding. But desperately needed humanitarian aid still has not reached hundreds of thousands of cross fire of bloody civil war. Agencies are ready to deliver food, and water and medicine. But they first need guarantees of security from all of the parties involved in the conflict.

CNN international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen tracking the latest developments live from Damascus, Syria, getting those guarantees of security not quite there, right, Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, not quite there yet. And, Christine, at this point in time, unclear exactly when the

securities are going to be there. And that's not the only hurdle that United Nations and other aid groups face as they try to deliver aid to those besieged areas specially, of course, Aleppo, which has 200,000 under siege in the eastern part of the country that have been under bombardment before the ceasefire took place. So, certainly, humanitarian aid very, very important for that area.

[05:15:01] Now, on the one hand, they need permission from the Syrian government to actually move their aid trucks into Aleppo. They say they have about 40 trucks packed ready with aid to go to the Turkish border. But at this point in time, it has not been forthcoming yet. The Syrian government said they're not going to allow any aid trucks to enter especially those coming from the Turkish border which is the closest area to Aleppo getting in there.

So, negotiations are still going on, very difficult and unclear when those provisions are going to get there. So, certainly, still a waiting game for those people who have been under siege for such a very long time, Christine.

ROMANS: Fred, you've been there so many times. But you say it's quieter there than it has been in some sometime since you've been on the ground reporting?

PLEITGEN: Yes, absolutely, it certainly is. But at the same time, we've been speaking to people here, Christine, and they say that they're optimistic, but very cautiously optimistic that the cease-fire could potentially hold. They say, look, they've had cease-fires in the past, regional cease-fires and nationwide cease-fires. But all of those have fallen apart. So, they hope that this time it can last. They hope that the U.S. and Russia and work together to fight groups like is.

Of course, they've been disappointed so many times that many of them remain skeptical about whether or not it could hold. But, again, the U.N. says, so far, it seems to be holding. There have been some isolated incidents of fighting, but they do say there's been a big decrease in violence that they've seen since the cease-fire agreement went into place.

ROMANS: All right. Fred Pleitgen for us in Damascus -- thanks, Fred.

HOWELL: A cyber attack on the World Anti-Doping Agency and Russian are suspected. In this case, exposing the medical records of well- known American athletes from tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and many more. The hackers alleged the U.S. athletes tested positive for doping. The agency though dismisses those claims.

CNN's Matthew Chance is following developments live in Moscow this morning.

Matthew, good morning to you. What has been the response from the Russian government about this? MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, George,

the Russian government has issued a categorical denial, saying they have nothing effectively to do with this hackers statement from the spokesman for the Kremlin, saying that "we can say any such actions on the part of official Moscow or the Russian government or any of Russian secret service is strictly out of the question." "It is," in his words, "simply ruled out."

Of course, the Russians have a fair degree of deniability, because even though researchers and law enforcement agencies particularly in the United States, point the finger of blame as Russia being behind the hack attacks, there's not a great deal of concrete evidence. There's the circumstantial evidence they used sophisticated electronic devices which implies state backing for it. It requires a lot of organization. They don't target economic interests. They target political ones. As criminals they've been trying to empty your bank accounts.

And they tend to target individual or organizations aligned with Russian national interest. So, they don't target Russia's friends. They tend to target its enemies. And that's what leads researchers to think this is a Russian hack attack.

HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Matthew Chance live in Moscow -- Matthew, thank you for the reporting.

ROMANS: All right. Are you ready for the new and improved NFL color rush? Nike unveiling the new uniforms for all 32 teams, and this time, they figured out how not to confuse color blind fans watching at home on TV.

Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:23:01] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back, everybody.

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney said his players have the right to protest during the national anthem but he does not agree with the method.

HOWELL: Andy Scholes is here with the "Bleacher Report" this morning -- Andy.


You know, Dabo Swinney said he would not discipline his players if they decided to protest. But he added he does not think Colin Kaepernick's actions are an effective way to do it.


DABO SWINNEY, CLEMSON HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: I think everybody has a right to express themselves, you know, in that regard. But I don't think it's good to be a distraction to your team I don't think it's good to use the team as the platform. I totally disagree with that. I just think there's a right way to do things. And I don't think two

wrongs make a right. Never have, never will. And I think that it just creates more divisiveness, more division.


SCHOLES: Kaepernick along with other NFL players once again knelt during the national anthem in week one. And Kaepernick said he will continue to protest social injustices until things change.

All right. The NFL color rush jerseys are back. The Bills and Jets will be the first teams to wear them this Thursday. Hey, in you're color blind, don't worry, the NFL worked with experts to fix the problem from last year where people who were color blind could not tell the difference between the two teams.

Thursday night's game will also be the first to be broadcast live on Twitter. The first of ten games you can watch this season on the app or website.

And finally, check out this kid. He greatest 8-year-old rugby player ever. His name is Mialoco Tau (ph). And as you can tell, he's bigger than every other 8-year-old out there. He's punishing the kids. It's really unfair. If I were a parent of one of other kids, I would say, you know what, run close to him but not too close because that could happen.

[05:25:01] ROMANS: That's awesome.

Every kid has a thing they're good at, you know? Find out the thing that you're good at, watch that guy go.

SCHOLES: In ten years, we should pay attention to the Rugby World Cup because we'll probably hear this kid's name.

ROMANS: Awesome. All right.

HOWELL: Andy Scholes thank you so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

President Obama stumping for Hillary Clinton saying he really, really, really, really wants her to win, slamming Donald Trump as unfit to be president of the United States.

EARLY START continues, after the break.


HOWELL: President Barack Obama outright dismissing the thought of Donald Trump becoming the commander-in-chief of the U.S., hitting him on everything from foreign policy to domestic economics. This, as Donald Trump pitches his plan to make child care more affordable.

ROMANS: Much needed humanitarian aid still not reaching hundreds of thousands of civilians in Syria, nearly two days into this tenuous cease-fire.