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New Letter from Clinton's Doctor; Trump Goes After Clinton's Stamina; New Polls Show Big Battleground Shift; U.S. & Russia Extend Syria Ceasefire; ACC Follows Lead of NBA and NCAA. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 15, 2016 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton ready to get back on the campaign trail after three days off to fight pneumonia. Her campaign putting out more detailed medical information to quiet critics.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump's health also in the spotlight as he shares some, but not much information in a TV interview and after not attacking Hillary Clinton over her illness, a shift for Trump.

ROMANS: And as both candidates keep personal details quiet, questions about transparency grow. Which candidates lead in the polls? New numbers you don't want to miss.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. It is Thursday, September 15th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And later today, Hillary Clinton back on the campaign trail after taking a medical time-out for pneumonia. She has events in North Carolina and Washington. You'll remember, she was diagnosed Friday with pneumonia, but that was not announced until Sunday, which then raised more criticism, more questions about the candidate and the issues of transparency.

In the effort to ease those concerns, Clinton's campaign released more medical information on Wednesday. A two-page letter from Clinton's doctor saying that she is recovering well from pneumonia. But the polls show that Clinton's absence from the campaign trail and that issue of transparency may be taking a toll.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is following the story and the has the very latest.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and George, Hillary Clinton heading back to the campaign trail, campaigning in North Carolina today after three straight days at home in Chappaqua recovering from pneumonia.

And late yesterday, the Clinton campaign released a letter from her doctor offering more information, a little bit more insight into the medical condition. Now, we learned that she in addition to be treated last Friday for pneumonia, she actually saw the doctor one Friday prior to that, for that persistent cough that we heard out there on the campaign trail.

[05:00:06] She has been treated for that and is on medication for 10 days for that pneumonia.

Now, the question here is one of transparency. The Clinton campaign acknowledges that there were some missteps here. Well, she's been off the campaign trail watching all this from her home in Chappaqua and they were trying to get their politics right here by releasing this letter from the doctor.

Let's take a look at one of the summaries here from the doctor basically giving an overview to her condition. She says this, "My overall impression is Mr. Clinton is healthy and has not developed new medical conditions other than sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia. She is recovering well the doctors," says, "with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States."

Now, George and Christine, the Clinton campaign hopes this puts an end to it and they hope it puts some pressure on Donald Trump to also release more of his medical information. But the Clintons realized they lost time here and eager to get back to campaigning.

But the top priority of the Clinton campaign, one adviser tells me, her health, that first debate with Trump now 11 days away -- Christine and George.


ROMANS: Eleven days. All right. Thanks, Jeff.

Donald Trump holding a fiery rally in Ohio last night. After days of soft-pedaling his attacks on Hillary Clinton's health, Trump now targeting the subject for the first time since she fell ill over the weekend.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't know, folks. You think Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour and do this? I don't know. I don't think so. I don't think so.

Now, we have one left and in all fairness, she is lying in bed getting better. And we want her better and back on the trail, right? We want her back on the trail.


ROMANS: Trump's health is still something of a mystery, even after a made for TV moment where he surprised Dr. Oz with a physician's letter of his own at a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show". Reporters were not allowed inside. For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Sunlen Serfaty. She's traveling

with the Trump campaign in Ohio.



Well, questions over transparency continued to swirl around his campaign. Donald Trump is releasing some new details about his health today. The Trump campaign, they plan to release a one-page medical summary, the results or some of the results of that physical that he had last week.

Trump also sitting down to discuss his health in an interview that was taped on Wednesday with Dr. Oz. That interview will air in full today.

But some audience members told CNN that Trump says he doesn't exercise of much. He would like to lose between 15 and 20 pounds. And that he does, he does takes drugs -- statin drugs to help lower his cholesterol.

Here is more of what Trump had to say with Dr. Oz, in which he insists that he feels good and believes he has the stamina to be president.

DR. MEHMET OZ, THE DR. OZ SHOW: Let's talk about stamina. You use that word a lot. You made it an issue of this campaign. You are arguing the president has to have a tremendous amount of stamina. If elected, at age 70, you would be the oldest person to ever enter the Oval Office.

Why do you think you have the stamina for the job?

TRUMP: Yes, just about the same age as Ronald Reagan and Hillary is a year behind me. I would say just based on my life, I mean, I've had -- I actually and I don't know if this makes sense, I feel as good today as I did when I was 30.

SERFATY: Now, it is important to note that the Trump campaign, while they are planning on releasing this medical summary, it is not the full release of what that physical shows nor is it the full detail of Trump's medical records. It's far less detailed than what nominees have released, though certainly still lacking a full and complete picture of Donald Trump's health -- George and Christine.


HOWELL: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you.

So, to get some context on all of the different topics, so many topics every day to talk about with these candidates, let's bring in Zachary Wolf, managing editor of CNN politics digital.

Good morning, Zach. Let's talk about the issue of health and transparency. So, the other day, we saw Donald Trump on the Dr. Oz show. If we have these images, this was a made for TV moment where Trump is talking to specific voters, voters who typical skew female. Dr. Oz show is an important voting bloc for Donald Trump.

He released some information, but the fact of the matter is, Zach, at this point, Hillary Clinton has released the most. She's told us in a two-page letter that she, according to a doctor, that she suffered an ear infection that required some draining of fluid, she had a CAT scan of her brain showing the blood clot from her concussion in 2012 has resolved. Also a CAT scan of her heart showing that she is at very little risk for heart disease.

So, more information for Clinton. A made for TV moment for Trump. Which matters more to the voters?

[05:05:00] ZACHARY WOLF, CNN POLITICS DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR: Well, it's just kind of interesting that we are having this debate. It is true. They are two of the oldest candidates to make it this far.

Donald Trump would be the oldest president in history. He eats fast food with abandon. He loves it. He admitted on the show apparently that he doesn't exercise. So, there are those issues. Can he stand up to the job?

And for her, I mean, we recently saw her appear to falter on camera. So, it's also obviously an issue for her. Can they handle this job? Which is the most important job in the country. It's something I think voters are interested in.

On the other hand, these are two people who have been campaigning almost nonstop for more than a year. And the idea that either of them doesn't have the stamina I think is kind of interesting.

You know, four years is a long time. But at least over the last year and a half, they both had good paces.


ROMANS: Go ahead.

HOWELL: Just be interesting to see how the polls play out in the next couple days because you have the made for TV moment that Clinton has been criticized for being wonkish on policy. So, you have the specifics. You have this letter that gives more details. What's more important to voters?

ROMANS: It is clear, Zach, the health issue is important. This is the most important job in the country and some would argue the most important job in the world. Maybe that's very U.S.-centric point of view, but that's why the health issue is important.

But the policies, sometimes, we talk about personality, we talk about health, we talk about a letter from a doctor. But the policies get lost in the mix here. So, let's talk about policy. We're going to hear from Donald Trump in six hours. He's going to

unveil what he says is going to be the most amazing economic proposals in our lifetimes. We heard him on killed care yesterday with his daughter talking about his child care proposals.

You know, and Donald Trump, again and again, some of the big think tanks, they score and say they would hurt the economy, and new one this morning from a place called Oxford Economics says he would blow a $1 trillion hole in the economy and could lost 4 million jobs if Donald Trump's policies are enacted.

What do you expect from him at 11:00? Is he going to move the ball here on what he wants to do in terms of tax cuts and all that? Is he going to revise and try to be more favorable I guess to those think tanks who say he would be bad for the economy?

WOLF: Well, he has thrown a wrench in kind of the typical conservative ideas about the economy. If you look at that paid maternity leave proposal that he had, it was very interesting. It relies on unemployment benefits. Something a lot of Republicans are not necessarily into.

So, he is not taking a conventional approach to this. That's for sure. That is what has foiled a lot of these groups that look at these proposals. There is not a lot of meat on the bones.

So, we just have to figure out what it means. That takes time. It is hard to do in a short amount of time.

HOWELL: Also the e-mails leaked. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is very hard on Donald Trump. He is critical of Hillary Clinton. The simple fact, Zach, that these are private e-mails.


HOWELL: They were hacked and released. That's a big deal.

WOLF: It is. You know, you often wonder what these politicians are thinking. They say things in public that are not as interesting, maybe, and what goes on in their minds behind closed doors. We certainly have a window on that with Colin Powell in these hacked and leaked e-mails of his. You know, you can imagine him saying these things if you have seen him calling Trump an international pariah and being frustrated at the same time with Hillary Clinton, you know, kind of saying, he is just like us. A lot of people, I think, in reading these things.

ROMANS: So interesting. So much more content in the e-mails and less attention to the outrage of someone who is now a private citizen could be hacked. You know, two people could -- your conversation be so public -- the age of hacktivism.

All right. Thank you, Zach. Nice to see you this morning. We'll talk to you in a few minutes. Thanks for getting up early for us.

To money news. Ford ending small car production in the U.S. Something Donald Trump says should not be happening. Ford will move C-Max and Focus models to Mexico for the next two years. Those cars are currently made in Michigan. When production moves means other cars will be made in the factory.

Trump told a crowd in Michigan yesterday the government should not allow Ford to move.


TRUMP: They will employ thousands and thousands of people not from this country and they'll sell the cars through a weak border. No tax, no nothing. We will have more unemployment in Flint and in Michigan.


ROMANS: The auto industry struggled during the recession. But auto sales hit a record high last year.

[05:10:02] And look at these jobs data. This chart shows all workers that manufactured vehicles and parts, 330,000 jobs have come back since the low point in 2009, a solid gain. But pay has not rebounded quickly.

That brings me to my Romans numerals: 93 cents. Hourly wages for auto workers are up only 93 cents since the low point following the recession. Some of these are tied to union agreements, but it shows that while jobs have come back, wages are still lagging, especially for auto workers.

HOWELL: There are signs of hope in the fragile cease-fire in Syria. A new deal on the ground to extend peace, but important aid still not getting to the people who need it most. We look into why, next.


[05:15:00] HOWELL: The United States and Russia agreeing to extend the fragile cease-fire in Syria for another 48 hours. The State Department admits there have been violations of the three-day truce, but on both sides.

But still, not a single fatality has been reported since. That is considered hopeful news. Unfortunately, there is still no humanitarian aid in sight for the hundreds of thousands of people who need it most.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is live in Amman, Jordan, following developments.

Jomana, is this cease-fire truly considered effective even as humanitarian aid is not moving, not flowing as it was intended?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have to look at what has been going on, George. We are entering day three of the truce and so far, there has been no significant violent incidents reported, according to U.N. officials, U.S. officials, we have seen a significant drop in the violence. Now, there has been sporadic violence here and there considered

violations by both the regime and the opposition fighters. But according to a monitoring group, the most important thing here is that not a single person has been killed in the areas that are covered by this truce. But as you mentioned, the issue that remains much focus here is humanitarian aid.

So far, we have not seen this delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid of food and medicine and other stuff to the areas that are besieged. According to the United Nations and aid agencies, they have truckloads. Their convoys are ready to roll from the Turkey side of the border, but they will not move until they get guarantees from the opposition they will be granted safe passage.

This has not happened yet. Their priority according to the U.N. is eastern Aleppo, that is rebel-held, that is besieged. But in order to get there, they need to go through a main road into that area called Castillo Road. This is a highly contested area. We have seen so much fighting between rebel forces and the regime there.

And according to the agreement to the U.S. and Russia, this area should be turned into a demilitarized zone to allow aid to flow. Now, we have not seen the regime or opposition fighters yet, or the regime, and, of course, it is the civilians are trapped inside eastern Aleppo who are desperately waiting for that aid.

HOWELL: Certainly many people hoping these particulars, these details can be worked out so aid can flow.

Jomana Karadsheh live in Amman, Jordan, thank you for the reporting.

ROMANS: All right. Seventeen minutes past the hour.

The Jets and Bills set to kickoff week two of the NFL season and to make a little history on Twitter. Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report". That's next.


[05:22:09] ROMANS: All right. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall lost two endorsements deals after kneeling during the national anthem. But that's not stopping him from trying to make a difference.

HOWELL: Andy Scholes has more and more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Andy, good morning.


You know, Brandon Marshall says he's going to donate $300 for every tackle to organizations in the Denver community. Now, this comes after he lost two endorsements for joining Colin Kaepernick and his protests of kneeling during the national anthem over social injustice.

Now, Marshall says his intent is not to offend anyone, but rather to simply raise awareness and create some dialogue for affecting positive change. Earlier this week, he met with the Denver police chief to discuss his protest.


BRANDON MARSHALL, BRONCOS LINEBACKER: You know, the more understanding of what they go through and the different, you know, trials and tests it is and he got my side of the spiel as well. And, you know, how some people are feeling as well. So, I think it was a good meeting.


SCHOLES: The Jets and Bills will hit the field tonight. It will be the first ever Thursday night game streamed live on Twitter. Hey, you don't have to have a Twitter account to watch the game on the site or app. Download the app and you are all set. You cans also watch the game by going to on your desktop computer.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is following the NCAA's lead, announcing it will move its upcoming conference championships out of neutral sites in North Carolina. This is in response to the state's controversial transgender bathroom law known as House Bill 2. This means the ACC championship football game will not be in Charlottes as planned.

The NBA also boycotted North Carolina by pulling its all-star game out of Charlotte and moving it to New Orleans.

All right. Pro Football Hall of Fame announcing the 2017 class yesterday. And CNN's own Hines Ward was among the finalists. Also making the cut was Donovan McNabb, LaDainian Tomlinson and Chad Ochocinco. The class of 2017 will formally be enshrined next August.

And, guys, you know what? Between Hines Ward and I, we've got two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP. So, the CNN sports department is doing quite well.


ROMANS: All right. Well, congratulations to him. Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: Thank you very much.

ROMANS: Nice to see you. Geez.

All right. Twenty-four minutes past the hour.

The health of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is the talk of the campaign trail. Still. Both revealing new details and both being accused of holding back some too. The latest on the 2016 race, ahead.


[05:28:54] HOWELL: It is back to the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton after three days off to fight pneumonia. Now, her campaign putting out new medical information, but is it enough to quiet the critics?

ROMANS: After a few days laying off Hillary Clinton's health, Donald Trump taking not so subtle jabs on Hillary Clinton on the stump. But Trump is facing his questions over how much medical information he is releasing in a new interview.

HOWELL: Both candidates accused of not being forthcoming. New CNN polling shows one of them seriously hurt by a perceived lack of transparency. New numbers from states that could very well decide this election.

ROMANS: Polls are tightening.

HOWELL: They are. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm George Howell.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 29, almost 30 minutes past the hour.

Later today, Hillary Clinton returns to the campaign trail with events in North Carolina and Washington. This comes after a medical time-out for pneumonia diagnosed on Friday, but not announced until Sunday. It creates more criticism that Clinton has not been transparent.

Trying to ease those concerns, her campaign released more medical information on Wednesday in a form of two-page letter from Clinton's doctor who says Clinton is recovering well from pneumonia. This as new polls show Clinton's absence from the campaign trail and this transparency issue overall may be taking a toll.