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First Presidential Debate Tonight; Fact-Checking The Candidates; Police Release Bodycam And Dashcam Video; Arnold Palmer Remembered; Is Twitter Up For Sale?; Important Changes For Financial Aid. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired September 26, 2016 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Security, race, economic well- being, expected to be front and center, not to mention temperament. It is no secret that these candidates do not like each other, which is fitting because voters don't seem to like them much, either. They have higher unfavorables than any candidates in history. Still, more people expected to watch this debate than any in history -- go figure.

We have new information this morning about how the candidates are preparing, who will be in the audience, and what the moderate will or will not do.

Let's bring back our panel. CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston. He is at Hofstra University with his adoring fans there. Here in studio, senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES".


BERMAN: And CNN Politics reporter Eugene Scott here, as well. Mark Preston, set the stage. Give us the latest, briefly if you will, about how the candidates were preparing overnight.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, they -- last night, Hillary Clinton did a second debate session at the hotel near her home in Chappaqua. This briefing took place right after her meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She was with her trusted aides going through mock debates preparing for, as you said, what could be this record-breaking showdown for this presidential debate.

Meanwhile, you have Donald Trump working through briefing books. And we're told by his campaign that he didn't actually do any mock debates, necessarily. Doing something a little unconventional than what we're used to where you have these candidates prepare, trying to square off with somebody off to their side who would be their rival.

So, Hillary Clinton going to the traditional route, John and Christine. It seems that Donald Trump is going the Donald Trump route.

ROMANS: Brian Stelter, they're going to be next to each other on those lecterns, side by side. I called it a podium, John Berman -- the encyclopedia Berman over here told me it's actually a lectern, not a podium.

BERMAN: It's not me, it's Noah Webster. It's the English language.

ROMAN: OK, I see, I see, all right, the English language. I am at odds with the English language, apparently. But look, they're going to be next to each other. There will be a split screen --


ROMANS: -- so you will be able to see them react. They will have two minutes to respond.


ROMANS: Right? So that is a decent time for a real response, not a bumper sticker.

STELTER: It is. Lester Holt will start each segment with a question. I'm looking at the rules here -- each segment with a question. Each candidate has two minutes to respond. There will be 15-minute sessions, six of them in total and there's no commercial breaks. There's no chances to run to the restroom, take a break. There's no time for any of that. There's no halftime show. This is 90 minutes without any interruptions between these candidates.

ROMANS: And to be quiet. There's only going to be applause at the beginning, at the end. Donald Trump tends to feed off the energy of the crowd but there won't be crowd feedback.

STELTER: That's right, the Commission's very clear on this. There will be silence from the audience. Anyone who tries to speak up will be removed. We know that Clinton's going to have some supporters in the front row, like Mark Cuban. We know Trump will have his family in the room, but they are to remain silent.

BERMAN: This will be the biggest awkward silence since like first dates in college.


BERMAN: Eugene Scott, Donald Trump -- both sides trying to work the refs here -- and that's a phrase that will be overused over the next 12 hours to be sure, but it's true, right? The Clinton team wants to make sure that Trump isn't graded on a curve. And the Trump team is really going strong that they don't want too much onstage fact- checking. They think it will be unfair to Donald Trump. Listen to what Kellyanne Conway said overnight. Listen to this.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: If Mr. Trump has any disadvantage going into tomorrow night's debate it's that he's not really treated fairly, and that's pretty obvious if you read many of the print reports, if you turn on almost any station. At any point in the day the coverage varies from incomplete, meaning it's all about him and it's negatively against him to overtly bias. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So there was a lot of pressure on Lester Holt tonight, of NBC, who is the new moderator tonight, to keep things moving, to keep things to time. But, depending on who ask, to keep the facts straight or not.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER : Right. Well, one of the best ways that the Trump campaign can prevent Lester Holt from having to fact-check is just be sharing facts. That will prevent that very clearly. But the reality is, whether or not they respond -- whether Lester responds the way they want him to or not is going to depend upon what Trump says, what Clinton says, and how voters are likely to interpret what is being said.

There will be need for clarification, there will be need for specifics, but it will be candidates who will be doing that, or at least that's what the Trump campaign is hoping for.

STELTER: I think Lester Holt should ask for more details from these candidates, though. My sources say "he will not be a potted plant". He will jump in. He will interject when necessary, and not just to keep the conversation moving but to ask for details and to ask where facts are coming from.

ROMANS: Hey, you know, Mark, let's talk -- I want to talk about something that Robby Mook said this weekend on "STATE OF THE UNION". That team Clinton is concerned that we're holding Donald Trump to a different standard.

If he just looks presidential and doesn't say anything outlandish then we're going to give him kind of the same respect and put him on the same footing as Hillary Clinton, someone who they say has commanded the issues in 30 years of putting policies behind those issues. Listen to what Robby Mook said.


ROBBY MOOK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I'm very concerned that Donald Trump will be graded on a curve. Just because he doesn't fly off the handle in the middle of this debate does not mean that he is prepared to be President of the United States.


[05:35:00] ROMANS: How much of their strategy, Mark, is going to be if this is a presidential -- you know, sort of reserves Donald Trump with two minutes of policy prescriptions when he's answering questions. How much do they want to rattle him to make him -- make the old Donald Trump of the primary season come out?

PRESTON: I'm sure they would love to see Donald Trump lose his cool and perhaps revert back to, as you note, the old Donald Trump during the Republican presidential primaries where he literally went on the attack and got very personal with his opponents. But, you know, what's going to be interesting about the fact-checking tonight is -- we'll have to see what happens on stage. But look, as Eugene had said what the Clinton campaign is going to do -- and the Trump campaign will do the same thing -- they'll try to put out a paper almost immediately to rebut or refute what's being said. However, there will be real-time fact-checking by everybody on social media.


PRESTON: So what happens tonight is really going to be longer-lasting ramifications. And Robby Mook saying -- you know, we're talking about gaming the refs. Let's talk about gaming the audience and gaming the analysts because at this point what they're trying to do is try to turn the expectations game around so that we go into with a different view than, perhaps, we have now.

BERMAN: Oh, yes indeed, Mark Preston. And Brian Stelter, one last point here.


BERMAN: There's not just what happens on the stage but there is what happens on social media during the debate, itself, where reporters are tweeting each other, analysts are tweeting each other. Campaign staff tweeting everybody, telling us who's winning, who's losing --


BERMAN: -- in real time --

ROMANS: And maybe fact-checking.

BERMAN: -- and it matters. It matters over the course of the debate.

STELTER: It means -- even the first 15 minutes of the debate matter more than the rest, I would argue. In 2012, during the first Obama- Romney debate, reporters like Ben Smith at "BuzzFeed" wrote stories within the first few minutes saying oh, Romney's already won, Obama's already lost.

Now whether that was true or not, the narrative was set very early on. I think there's going to be attempts to set the narrative very early on tonight. I'm thinking about watching without Twitter, without Facebook, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to resist.

ROMANS: All right, guys, thanks. Don't go anywhere. Thirty-seven minutes past the hour. We'll get back to you guys and talk about the debate again.

You know, one of the weakest parts of the U.S. economy you probably will not hear either candidate talk about at the debate tonight. My Romans' Numeral this morning is the number six. Corporate profits could shrink for the sixth straight quarter as earnings season starts this week. Profits expected to fall 2.3 percent in the third quarter compared with last year. Look at that. That would mark the longest so-called earnings recession since FactSet started keeping track back in 2008.

BERMAN: Something to watch.

ROMANS: It sure is.

BERMAN: All right. Protests a bit calmer over this weekend over the deadly police shooting in North Carolina. The issue of racial justice in policing, though, it will be part of tonight's debate in Long Island. We'll talk much more about preparation strategies -- that's next.

ROMANS: Also, the golf world remembering the legendary Arnold Palmer who died on Sunday. More on his legacy coming up.


[05:42:15] ROMANS: A midnight curfew has been lifted in Charlotte as protesters hold new peaceful demonstrations in the wake of the deadly shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the release of police footage of his death. City officials urging the community to come together and to stay calm.

We get more this morning from CNN's Nick Valencia.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, the demonstrations continued over the weekend in Charlotte. This crowd chose to protest outside of the NFL game -- the Panthers playing the Minnesota Vikings. It didn't really disrupt the game so much and a thin crowd, as you can see behind me.

Also over the weekend we saw the first police video released from the fatal shooting of Keith Scott. One dashcam video, one bodycam video was released. That was part of the demand from the protesters that we have been hearing all week.

As far as what's happening on Monday, protesters tell me they plan to march to city hall. What they want now is the resignation of the governor, they would like the mayor step down, and the police chief. And they say to plan these protests -- these protests, anyway, will continue, they say, until their demands are met -- John, Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Nick Valencia for us in Charlotte. Thank you so much for that.

Let's bring back our political panel, Mark Preston, Brian Stelter, and Eugene Scott. Let's see, Mark can you hear us? I hear there was a marching band behind you. I think he can hear us. OK, what is your -- I mean, give us the framework of what you think is going to happen tonight.

PRESTON: Look, a couple of things. Look, unpredictability is really going to rule the night. What Donald Trump shows up, we're not quite sure. If I was a betting man -- and I guess I am a betting man -- I suspect Donald Trump will come in, will be more reserved, and will try to focus on specific issues.

I think Hillary Clinton, on the flipside, will try to spend her time talking about her whole career and her history about where she's been and where she's going to go. So, I don't know if we're going to get the amazing fireworks we're looking for but we've been surprised in the past.

BERMAN: You know, BrianStelter, in addition to the debate, something happened overnight. "The New York Times" just put it in editorial overnight. They endorsed Hillary Clinton over the weekend but overnight they did something remarkable, which is that they strenuously unendorsed Donald Trump.


BERMAN: They wrote this whole column about why not just Hillary Clinton is good, but a whole separate column about why Donald Trump is bad. Let me read you a little bit of this.

"Voters attracted by the force of the Trump personality should pause and take note of the precisequalities he exudes as an audaciously different politician: bluster, savage mockery of those who challenge him, degrading comments about women, mendacity, crude generalizations about nations and religions. Our presidents are role models for generations of our children. Is the example we want for them?"

It's unusual. I don't think I've ever seen "The New York Times" do something like this. But I suppose the question is, to be blunt, so what? Is this something voters will care about?

[05:45:00] STELTER: "The New York Times" just described a lot of the reasons why Trump supporters appreciate Donald Trump. And they also describe some of the reasons why voters are willing to look past some of the imperfections because of things they love about the candidate.

I think "The New York Times" editorial board is not going to persuade anybody who's on the fence about Donald Trump. What they were trying to do was drag undecided people that are hesitant about Clinton more firmly into her camp and they may have succeeded with that on Sunday. I think this editorial will have less impact.

Given what Mark Preston was saying about unpredictability, I think I would have taken a bet in July that Donald Trump might try to skip the debate or at least threaten not to show up. You know, I'm a little bit surprised that this was relatively drama free. I think it shows that Trump knows how important this night is. That he needs to be on that stage. That it's the most important night of the year for Clinton and for Trump.

ROMANS: Eugene, what Donald Trump do we see on that stage, though? Do we see a presidential Donald Trump who apologized for birtherism and makes a whole new headline that takes the wind out of the sails of the Hillary Clinton campaign? Do we see someone who Hillary Clinton manages to poke and get -- spark some of his temperament? What kind of Trump do we see?

SCOTT: I think we're going to mainly see presidential, measured Donald Trump --

ROMANS: The Kellyanne Conway Donald Trump.

SCOTT: -- very much influenced by Kellyanne Conway. If we see that, I think Hillary Clinton's going to poke and provoke and try to bring out the Trump that she thinks will be problematic for this country. I think if we see that, the reviews will be terrible. And if that happens, he skips the next debate.

STELTER: What's the second syllable in debate -- bate. We're going to see bating going on by both Trump and Clinton, trying to challenge the other one and trick them. You like that, John? I'm breaking it down.

BERMAN: I do. I was like, what's the first syllable, duh.

SCOTT: Yes, I know.


BERMAN: No, I think -- I think that's exactly right. And, Mark Preston, I'm trying to remember a past debate where I felt like both candidates were looking forward to it as much as they are tonight. I think they both want this bad. I think they both see big opportunities here tonight.

PRESTON: I think you're right. And look, I think it goes beyond just winning, necessarily. This has become very, very personal where both candidates have really gone after each other in very sharp terms. In some respect, Donald Trump more so than Hillary Clinton.

So beyond winning and realizing that this is avery important moment in this presidential race -- and, of course, there's been a lot of important moments -- but tonight, this is the most important moment. And you just add that little mixture of the personal animosity towards one another and that's what could make it explosive tonight.

ROMANS: The handshakes, the handshakes.

STELTER: Will they even shake hands?

BERMAN: Physical awkwardness.

ROMANS: I wonder. Do you think they will?

BERMAN: Yes, I'm betting they will shake hands.

SCOTT: Probably.

BERMAN: I'm betting they will be on their best behavior for at least the first 30 or 40 seconds. Brian Stelter, Eugene Scott, Mark Preston -- guys, thank you so much. We're talking a lot about this presidential debate tonight. That's been our focus. I wonder what "NEW DAY" is going to cover?


Let's ask Alisyn Camerota -- Alisyn?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": (LAUGHING) We're going to counterprogram. It's going to be entirely different. Actually, Chris and I are already here at Hofstra and we have a big show coming up. We're going to talk about what to look for tonight, as well as the most pivotal moments in past debates. We have some presidential historians here with us and we have some new information on how the candidates have been preparing over the weekend.

Also, there are about 100 (CROWD CHEERING) kids -- students behind me that are already awake. They are -- maybe there's hundreds. They are fired up and they are ready to watch "NEW DAY" and all of our programming throughout the day, as well as the debate tonight. So they will be playing a role, as well, when we see you at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: College, college. Alisyn Camerota, thanks so much.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

BERMAN: Looking forward to it.

ROMANS: All right, business news this Monday morning. Twitter could be up for sale. Some huge names in tech are reportedly interested. We're going to explain in a little more than 140 characters when we get an EARLY START on your money, next.


[05:53:00] BERMAN: All right, the king is gone. Beloved golf legend -- golfing legend Arnold Palmer died Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He was 87 years old. Palmer had millions of adoring fans, Arnie's Army. He really revolutionized the game in the 1960s -- revolutionized the sporting business in the 60s.

His hall of fame career was defined, in part, by his epic battles on the fairway with rivals Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player. Nicklaus released a statement overnight. He said, "Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. We were great competitors but we were always great friends along the way. We were always there for each other. That never changed. He was the king of our sport and always will be."

Tiger Woods said, "Thanks Arnold for your friendship, counsel and a lot of laughs. Your philanthropy and humility are part of your legend."

And President Obama put out a statement also. He said, "Here's to the king who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold."

ROMANS: A real 20th Century icon. No one has a bad thing to say about that guy.

BERMAN: No. I mean, honestly, he invented the modern game of golf. You know, he brought in millions of fans. And he also invented what it meant to be an athlete in America in terms of going beyond just the game, itself. You know, Pennzoil, all the sponsorships.

ROMANS: Businessman.

BERMAN: Designed, you know, 300 golf courses. Yes, amazing.

ROMANS: All right, he will be missed.

Another just terrible tragedy in the sporting world this weekend. A high rate of speed is believed to be a key factor in the horrifying boat crash that killed Miami Marlins' star Jose Fernandez and two other men. The 24-year-old Fernandez survived a harrowing defection from Cuba when he was teenager to become one of baseball's most feared pitchers.

News of his death reducing Marlins' manager, Don Mattingly, to tears.


DON MATTINGLY, MANAGER, MIAMI MARLINS: There's just joy with him when he played. As mad as he would make you with some of the stuff he would do, you just seen that little kid that you see when -- when you watch kids play Little League or something like that. That's the joy that Jose played with.


[05:55:00] ROMANS: All right, our thoughts go out to -- out to his family. Just horrible. A moment of silence was observed at ballparks across the country on Sunday. The Marlins game against Atlanta was canceled. Now, the team will resume play today.

BERMAN: A lot of players around the country had a real hard time --

ROMANS: Heartbroken.

BERMAN: -- getting on that field yesterday. So sad.

All right, a man suspected of killing five people in a shooting rampage Friday night at a Washington State mall faces arraignment today. The 20-year-old shooter could be charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Police say he gunned down four women and a man at a Macy's store at the Cascade Mall, north of Seattle.

Investigators say there is no evidence right now of any kind of terror connection. They are looking at possible connections between the suspect and his victims.

ROMANS: All right, it is Monday morning. Let's get an EARLY START on your money this week. It could be an ugly day for the stock market. Futures pointing lower. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are down. Oil prices are up. Analysts watching a meeting of the world's largest oil producers later today. You've probably seen gas prices ticking up recently.

Focusing on the debate tonight, the market has not priced in a possible Trump presidency, so the market could react if Trump has a very good showing.

One stock worth watching today, Twitter. Shares jumping more than four percent on Friday.


ROMANS: Yes, takeover rumors swirling here. Now it's down a little bit in free market trade right now. The two big names reportedly interested in buying Twitter, Salesforce and Google, so watch this space.

Two former Wells Fargo bankers -- they are suing. They filed a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo. They want a $2.6 billion settlement. The lawsuit filed in California. Here are the grounds. It says the bank put unrelenting pressure on its branch employees to open as many customer accounts as possible. It claims managers had a 'do whatever it takes' attitude in telling employees to reach their quotas.

Wells Fargo's CEO, John Stumpf, still in charge of this company despite growing calls for him to step down after his testimony to a Senate committee last week. If he were to step down he would receive -- could receive a $200 million payout. Those former bank employees say hey, they all lost their jobs for doing what they were told to do, which is to sell, sell, sell.

Are you sending a kid to college next year? Listen up, major changes could save you a ton of money. The FAFSA -- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid sounds complicated but it is pretty simple. It can save you money. It's making two changes for the 2017-18 school year.

First, students can now submit the form as early as October 1st, rather than January. Aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis so get the forms in as early as possible then you know how much money you get. Second, students can now base their financial information on their tax return from the previous year. It makes it easier to fill it out all and, again, it gives you more time for figure out how much money you're going to have to work with before you start college.

BERMAN: Of course, it doesn't make college any less expensive.

ROMANS: You have to pay all the money back in the end --


ROMANS: -- and you have to consider you're going to pay -- every dollar you borrow, you'll end up paying $2 back.

BERMAN: All right, it is such a big day. It is debate day. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, just a few hours from now -- they will walk on that stage and face-off in the first presidential debate between these two candidates, ever. What are they doing to prepare? "NEW DAY" has all the last-second prep, starting right now.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton, who's weak, her judgment is horrible.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the lights are bright she brings the A+ game to the table.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump has been preparing for this debate his entire lifetime.

CLINTON: His real message seems to be make America hate again.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton -- she's a world-class liar.

CONWAY: The Clinton camp is very nervous. He's a brilliant debater.

MOOK: I'm very concerned Donald Trump will be graded on a curve.

TRUMP: We will make this country greater than ever before.

CLINTON: When there are no ceilings the sky's the limit.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the sound says it all. Good morning. That's a heck of an alarm clock right there. Welcome to your new day. It is Monday, September 26th, 6:00 in the East.

And guess where we are? Live at Hofstra University. There is where the big debate will happen. History in the making. We're going to have a clock up there for you throughout the day. About 15 hours away.

This is one of the rare instances in politics where the hype is justified. We're going to see something we haven't seen before, Clinton and Trump one-on-one. The race is going to be different after tonight. In fact, people are saying this could be the most consequential debate in modern political history. The proposition, will Trump rise to the challenge or will Clinton come away as the only presidential person on the stage?

CAMEROTA: We'll see if these kids can stay fired up for 15 hours --

CUOMO: More Red Bull.

CAMEROTA: -- as they are right now. More Red Bull.