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EARLY START

Police Investigating Manhattan Bombing; Details into Minnesota Stabbing Spree; Syria's Fragile Ceasefire in Jeopardy; President Obama Suggests Sexism Could be Hurting Hillary Clinton's Bid for White House. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 19, 2016 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight, five suspicious devices found at a New Jersey train station. At least one has been detonated. More details coming up this hour as investigators comb that scene.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also, a car stopped overnight possibly connected to the investigation into the bombing in New York City. This, as the FBI obtains new surveillance video that could give them their biggest clue yet, if we have behind this all.

We have the latest on the manhunt.

ROMANS: Plus, the eerie similarities between the bombs used in this weekend's explosions in New York and New Jersey and the details into the stabbing spree at the Minnesota mall.

ISIs now claiming responsibility for those attacks -- for that attack.

We have it all covered for you this morning. Welcome back to EARLY START. A lot going on our breaking developments. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Thirty two minutes after the hour right now. And breaking overnight. New terror fears that the five devices, apparently pipe bombs found in a trash can right next to train tracks in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The bomb squad is on the scene there detonating one device already. This, of course, in the wake of the explosion on Saturday night here in New York City. Now this latest incident in New Jersey this could create mayhem for the morning commute in the northeast.

The officials have shut down New Jersey transit trains running through Elizabeth, we think also Amtrak trains as a precaution. This, all while the FBI and the police investigate.

I want to go right to CNN's Rachel Crane who is live in Elizabeth with the very latest. Rachel, what's happening right now?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the FBI, the bomb squad, local authorities her on scene responding to that back pack that the mayor tells us could have up to five devices in it. Now one of those devices was unintentionally detonated when the bomb squad was using a robot. That robot cut one of those wires.

Take a listen to what the mayor had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS BOLLWAGE, ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY MAYOR: The robots that were going in to disarm it cut a wire and it exploded. I don't know the technological aspect of that. I know there are other devices. I don't know what they are made up of, but they are going to have to be removed. And all of the fragments from the other piece are going to have to be picked up so that the FBI can investigate this fully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CRANE: Now, John, I actually heard that detonation over the phone. That's because I was on the phone speaking with the mayor at the time. The mayor also tells us that there was no cell phone or timer connected to those devices.

Now the FBI tweeted that they are calling those devices IEDs, improvised explosive devices. They also said that the authorities are on the scene and that they have rendered the area safe.

Now the mayor also told us that those devices are still here on scene and the FBI is working to encase them, he says they will go to Quantico where the FBI will continue that investigation.

[04:35:00] Now it's also important to point out how this all began. What happened is two gentlemen saw a back pack in a trash can. That's when they took the backpack. They thought they might find something valuable in it.

Instead, they say they saw wires and a pipe. That's when they left the backpack, they went around the corner, as they say, they see something, say something that's what they did. They told the police. The police responded. That's when they called the bomb squad and the FBI.

Now, we are told as they pointed out that this area is secure. As we know, though, this is the second explosion or, I'm sorry, the second device rather that has been found here in the State of New Jersey in the last 48 hours. But very important to point out, John, that there has been no connection between these two incidents made yet. John?

BERMAN: All right. But if officials are on the scene investigating you can bet they are looking for possible connections. Rachel Crane, thanks so much.

ROMANS: Also breaking overnight. Police and the FBI conducted a traffic stop of what they're calling a vehicle of interest in the Manhattan bombing. This, as surveillance video appears to show that one man was seen in the vicinity of both bombs in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. One bomb that went off another that did not. And many developments in

this story overnight break them down for us this morning is CNN's Jessica Schneider and -- there are five people in custody we're told as well. Not charged with anything. But they are at the FBI -- the FBI building in Manhattan.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And that's all a result of the traffic stop that happened at 8.45 on Sunday night. The way it went down it was in Brooklyn. And the FBI and the NYPD working together, they conducted a traffic stop for what they're calling a vehicle of interest.

Now, there aren't a lot of details emerging from this just yet. We're not exactly sure why they were tracking that vehicle and why it was exactly stopped and how many people were inside, who those people were.

Right now, they are saying a vehicle of interest was stopped in Brooklyn at 8.45 last night. Now in the meantime, more significant developments happening when it comes to video surveillance. We know that one man was seen on video in both locations. The West 23rd Street location where there is the explosion at 8.30 on Saturday night, and then also the West 27th Street location where a pressure cooker was found.

Now what we understand from law enforcement officials, they are telling CNN that on that video, one man was seen at West 23rd Street with a duffel bag with wheels. That was at 7.50 p.m. about 40 minutes before the explosion happened. Then, 10 minutes later at 8 o'clock, that same man is spotted on video four blocks north at the West 27th Street location.

Now we understand that he was carrying this same duffel bag on wheels at West 27th Street. Then in that same video, we understand that he left the duffel bag, two additional men came upon the scene and then went into the duffel bag, took out what officials are calling a white plastic bag. And they believe that the pressure cooker device was inside that bag.

Now it's significant that one man was seen in both locations where both of these incidents occurred. But now police and investigators are trying to figure out if these two men that were also seen and how they are connected to what happened and what transpired on Saturday night, and who exactly this one is that was seen in both locations.

But again, very significant considering the fact that he was carrying that duffel bag and that white plastic garbage bag was found seen inside or was seen inside that may have contained pressure cooker. Christine and John?

ROMANS: All right. Fascinating. Of course, there is also another device in Seaside Park, New Jersey. That was at the start of the Marine 5K or something.

BERMAN: And Jessica, just to be clear, now they're saying that the nature of those devices could be a connection of what happened here in Manhattan?

SCHNEIDER: There could be. It was something that Governor Cuomo talked about at a press conference that I was at yesterday. He did say that the devices in Seaside Park and in New York were similar. And what they're saying is similar is that both devices used a cell phone as the timing device.

So, in New Jersey, before that Marine Corps run, the charity run on Saturday morning, they found three pipe bombs. Only one of them detonated. And then of course there was the explosion in Manhattan around 8.30 on Saturday night.

But what they are saying is the similarity is that a cell phone was used as a timing device in both locations. However, you know, you can find online instructions to make these bombs and a lot of times they talk about the fact that you can use cell ones as a timing device.

So, that in itself doesn't necessarily link these two incidents. But they are looking at this. They say that black powder was used in the New Jersey bombs as well. So, they are piecing together the details. But as of yet, no distinct and definite connection between the two.

ROMANS: All right. Jessica, thank you.

[04:39:56] BERMAN: All right. And of course, there was another attack this weekend. ISIS is now claiming responsibility for a multiple stabbing attack in a Minnesota mall.

The attacker knifed nine people before an off-duty police officer shot him to death. The official say three of the people remain hospitalized right now. One in life threatening condition.

As of right now, the FBI is calling Saturday's attack a potential act of terrorism.

I want to get the latest now from CNN's Nick Valencia.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, investigator saying that the suspected attacker showed up at the mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota at about 8 p.m. on Saturday and carried out his rampage. He asked at least one of the victims whether or not they were Muslim. He also was mentioning "Allah" during his attack.

In all he stabbed nine people before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer.

At a press conference on Sunday, police, the mayor and the FBI all highlighted the heroics of these off duty police officers who they say clearly prevented more people from being injured.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE KLEIS, ST. COULD MINNESOTA MAYOR: His heroic actions are exemplary having witnessed what he did as the suspect was lunging at him with a knife. Not only did he fire, the suspect went down and he came back up on three different occasions. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: The motive so far still remains unclear. However, on Sunday afternoon, the media wing of ISIS and affiliated media outlet called Amaq claimed responsibility for the suspect calling him a soldier of ISIS.

CNN has not been able to authenticate the claim by this web site. But it follows a similar pattern of this group taking responsibility for those who have been inspired by ISIS.

The FBI there in Minnesota was unwilling so far to fully call this a terrorist act saying that they are investigating it as a potential act of terrorism. They are unsure if the suspect had any direct contact with the terror group.

As far as what we know about the suspect, he has had at least three encounters with police in the past, all for minor traffic violations. They are also looking at the car that they found in the parking lot of the suspect which has been impounded. They've executed at least two search warrants in the area for residents to try to get more details of the individual. John and Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Nick Valencia. Thank you for that. Forty-two minutes past the hour. It's Jeb exclamation point. Jeb Bush driving Jimmy Kimmel to the Emmy's and cracking a few jokes on the way. We've that next.

[04:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. Overnight, President Obama suggested sexism could be hurting Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House speaking at a democratic fundraiser in New York. The president also went after Donald Trump calling him unqualified to be president and calling his campaign a reality show.

Trump slammed by critics over the weekend for telling supporters at a rally that a bomb had gone off in New York. That was less than half hour after first reports of the explosion and before officials publicly confirmed any details about what caused it.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, she waited two hours before speaking to reporters and calling the incident a bombing.

For more, here is investigative correspondent Chris Frates.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Hey good morning, John and Christine. The explosions in New York and New Jersey and the attacks in Minnesota over the weekend almost guarantee that national security will be front and center on the campaign trail today.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine told CNN on Sunday that Hillary Clinton has the experience to deal with these kinds of incidents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TIM KAINE, (D-VA) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It just raises the stakes on the need to be really, really smart in dealing with challenges like this. Both with the law enforcement community but also to make sure we're doing what we can to stop any lone wolf attacks in the United States. We know the threat that's out there and we have a plan to deal with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRATES: Clinton was critical of Trump's decision to describe the New York explosion as a bomb before officials that publicly confirmed the details. And on Sunday, Trump's supporter Chris Christie hit back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Listen, I don't think you don't have to defer when saying that there was an explosion and the bomb in New York. I mean, everybody knew that, it was being reported on television, Jake, so there is a difference now.

You should not attribute it to an organization or group if you don't have the facts or information to do that. But I think that what Donald did was perfectly appropriate to tell that group in Colorado Springs that a bomb exploded in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRATES: Now both candidates head to battleground states today. Trump plans to stop in Florida where a recent CNN polls shows him in a dead heat with his democratic rival.

Meanwhile, Clinton is expected to give a speech aimed at millennials in Philadelphia today. In a new poll in Pennsylvania shows she is up eight points over Trump in that swing state. John, Christine, back to you.

BERMAN: All right, Chris Frates, thank you very, very much.

The big night in Hollywood. The 68th Emmy Awards it began with host Jimmy Kimmel trying to catch a ride to the show and had an Uber cameo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, TV SHOW HOST: Hey, you're driving?

JEB BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. I'm between jobs right now. You know you can make $12 an hour driving for Uber?

KIMMEL: I do not know that but that's great. I have to get downtown for the Emmy's.

BUSH: Are you nominated?

KIMMEL: I am. Yes.

BUSH: Wow, what's that like?

KIMMEL: It's nice. It's nice.

BUSH: You think you can win?

KIMMEL: There's a lot of competition and probably not.

BUSH: Well, here's what I know. If you run a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice.

KIMMEL: You know, it's funny. My psychic...

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: Jimmy, that was a joke. Get out of the car.

[04:50:05] And shave that wig off your face you godless Hollywood hippie. And Jeb exclamation point!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That is not low energy. That was high comedy, not low energy.

ROMANS: Godless Hollywood hippie.

BERMAN: That was awesome. All right, the big winners. Besides Jeb Bush, "Games of Thrones" repeated as best drama series setting a record for Emmy wins. The HBO series has now won 38 Emmy Awards breaking the record held by "Frasier."

It was him that hanging out there. Another HBO show "Veep" took home the top comedy award. Its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her fifth straight Emmy as lead comedy actress. A big night also for the People versus O.J. Simpson. You go Jeffrey Toobin, the critically claimed miniseries won five Emmy's including outstanding limited series in major prizes for three of its actors.

ROMANS: Jeb exclamation point.

BERMAN: Exclamation point.

ROMANS: All right. Fifty million Americans could be facing higher gas prices. This morning, a spike in gas. The jump should be short live. We'll explain with an EARLY START on your money next.

[04:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: This morning, Russia says the mistake in killing of Syrian soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition air strike has put Syria's fragile ceasefire in jeopardy.

But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is blaming Russia for not doing an up tune force to ceasefire, Secretary Kerry tells CNN's Elise Labott he wants Russian leaders to make sure that President Assad let's humanitarian aid through to Syria's hardest hit areas. I want to get straight to CNN's senior international correspondent

Frederik Pleitgen live in Damascus for a sense on what's going on the ground. There are a lot of tension. New tension this morning, Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you are absolutely right, John. There certainly is a lot of tension and part of it has to do with the fact that humanitarian aid still hasn't reached any of those areas that are supposed to reach. The U.N. saying they were very disappointed about their trucks are still caught on the border between and Turkey.

It's not only the Syrian government that's holding that up. The U.N. also says that it doesn't have that it doesn't have assurances of safe passage for its vehicles through rebel territory -- rebel-held territory to be able to reach those besiege people inside eastern Aleppo.

In the meantime, you have more and more breaches of the ceasefire taking place. You had of course that apparent air strike by the U.S.- led coalition in Deir-Ezzor which accidentally hit Syrian government forces killing dozens.

But you also have air strikes on the eastern district of Aleppo. They are killing people on the rebel-held side, so a lot of civilians dying in those air strikes as well. And you know, I was in Aleppo, which has by all accounts been one of the most severe hit towns. And we really did hear a lot of breaches of that ceasefire, a lot shelling going on when we were there.

So, that ceasefire, John, at this point, certainly in a lot of trouble. People in Aleppo and other places in Syria are very worried about that, John.

BERMAN: And people just not getting the help they so desperately needed. And frankly, were promised.

All right. Frederik Pleitgen in Damascus for us. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. Three minutes to the top of the hour. Let's get an EARLY START on your money. Maybe a rough commute to Wall Street this morning due to delays in mass transit as investigations in New Jersey and New York stall trains. We'll keep an eye on that for you.

Dow Futures meanwhile are climbing. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are higher. And oil is up. Drivers in the southeast may get sticker shock when they fill up their gas tanks this morning. A leaking pipeline has spilled 250,000 gallons of gas in rural Alabama.

The company that runs it is scrambling to get it back online. It says it provides gasoline for an estimated 50 million people on the East Coast that runs from Houston to New Jersey. The Governors George and Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina they have declared a state of emergency relaxing the limits on fuel transportation so then try to stave off any shortages.

But prices are spiking and gas prices in Georgia are up 22 cents over the past week. There are shortages in the metro Atlanta area. Drivers in South Carolina and Tennessee are paying 13 cents more than last weekend. Ouch.

BERMAN: Yes. A lot going on there, too. All right. We do have some breaking news this morning. EARLY START continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ROMANS: Breaking overnight. Authorities finding up to five suspicious devices at a train station in northern New Jersey. Detonating at least one of them. Officials are still on the scene. We have the very latest.

BERMAN: New developments in the investigation into the New York City bombing. The FBI is now examining surveillance video that shows the man near the locations where two bombs were planted. They are hoping this video could lead to a suspect. This, as some folks taken into custody for questioning overnight.

ROMANS: Plus, new details on the two other attacks over the weekend. Investigators finding strong similarities between the bombs used in explosions in New York and New Jersey.

And ISIS claims responsibility for a stabbing spree in Minnesota. That suspect shot dead. The Minneapolis Tribune saying it was a 22-year-old college student.

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

BERMAN: Hi, nice to see you this morning. I'm John Berman. It is Monday, September 19th. It is 5 a.m. in the east, a very busy 5 a.m. hour here.

Breaking overnight. New terror fears. Up to five devices, apparently, pipe bombs found in a trash can right next to train tracks in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a busy commuter line.

The bomb squad is on the scene there right now. They've already detonated one device. This, of course, all comes in the wake of the explosion Saturday night right here in New York City.

Police and the FBI they conducted a traffic stop overnight of a vehicle of interest. A vehicle of interest connected to Saturday's bombing. Questioning some of the people inside that car.

[05:00:01] We are getting new details on that. This is new surveillance video appears to show that one man was into two key locations Saturday night. He was first seen on video near the scene of the blast on 23rd Street before that bomb went off.