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Trouble for Trump?; Clinton and Sanders Teaming Up; Shimon Peres Remembered. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 28, 2016 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:01] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump fending off criticism over what he said during and after the big debate. And now, a former Miss Universe is weighing into Trump. Remember he took issue with her appearance. We'll show you what she said.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton calls it in the reserve. Bernie Sanders joining her on the campaign trail with one target -- young voters. How Clinton is trying to capitalize that she believes is a big debate win.

ROMANS: Shimon Peres being remembered as a force for peace. The former Israel leader passing away at the age of 93. We'll have more on his life and the legacy he lives him.

BERMAN: An icon.

ROMANS: Benjamin Netanyahu just had a press conference talking about his legacy and all the things that he accomplished there.

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

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday, September 28. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

And this morning, Donald Trump is insisting he won the first presidential debate, this despite the CNN poll that found Hillary Clinton the decisive winner. This despite the fact that he stirred up a hornet's nest of controversies that he keeps on stirring on the stump. Even after the debate, Trump is repeating his fact-check and debunked claim that he opposed the Iraq war. But most surprisingly, he is not letting go of the stinging criticism of the weight gain of a former Miss Universe who is now speaking about all of this to CNN. All that while Trump is actually bragging about his restraint for what he calls going easy on Hillary Clinton.

CNN's Sara Murray is with the campaign and has the latest.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, John and Christine, even as some of Donald Trump's own supporters say they had misgivings about his debate performance, a very fired up candidate took the stage here in Florida last night, saying he won the debate and even insisting that he held back against Hillary Clinton.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Last night, when I debated Secretary Clinton on America's future --


TRUMP: For 90 minutes, I watched her, very carefully, and I was also holding back, I didn't want to do anything to embarrass her.

MURRAY: Now, at times, this rally almost felt like a throwback to the Donald Trump of the Republican primary, he kept interrupting himself, touted crowd size, touted poll numbers and even slamming the media. If Donald Trump missed any opportunity to go after Hillary Clinton on the debate stage, he certainly giving any of those up on the campaign trail.

Back to you, guys.


ROMANS: All right. Sara, thank you so much for that.

Now the center of the campaign debate, a former miss universe reacting to the insults she said Donald Trump hurled at her. Remember, at the debate, Hillary Clinton brought up Alicia Machado, as an example of Trump's treatment of women. Machado says Trump was really rude after she put on weight after winning for Miss Venezuela in Trump's 1996 Miss Universe pageant.

Trump surprisingly is going there again after the debate. He told FOX News that Machado, quote, "gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem."

Overnight, Machado told Anderson Cooper she is now speaking out to defend Latinos and women from Trump's insults.


ALICIA MACHADO, MISS UNIVERSE 1996: He was really aggressive. He was really rude. He was a bad person with me. And that is the story that I need to share for my community.


BERMAN: A big day on the trail for Hillary Clinton and hopes to fix a nagging problem for her campaign. Bernie Sanders joins his one-time rival for an event in New Hampshire. Sources tell CNN that Sanders is planning a surge of events for Clinton in key battleground states. She needs his help to woo skeptical younger voters.

Also this morning, Clinton is receiving a pretty surprising endorsement from "The Arizona Republic", which has never in its 126 years back a Democrat. The paper wrote, "We understand Trump's candidacy tapped a deep discontent among those who felt left behind by a changed economy and shifting demographics. Their concerns deserve to be respect. Ironically, Trump hasn't done that he has merely pandered. Instead of

offering solution, he hangs scapegoats like pinatas and invites people to take a swing. This is Hillary Clinton's opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind."

Now, there is a legitimate argument about the effect of this right now or the influence of newspaper editorials and endorsements. Nevertheless, a rare one for Democrats from "The Arizona Republic."

As for Hillary Clinton, she is now clearly relishing with her campaign in a CNN poll calling her debate victory.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm going to leave it to the fact-checkers to go through all of -- all of Donald Trump's claims. There was a lot of work for fact-checkers last night.

When I confronted him with the reasons why he won't release his tax returns, and I got to that point where I said, well, maybe he's paid zero.

[04:05:09] He said that makes him smart. Now, if not paying taxes makes him smart, what does that make all the rest of us?


BERMAN: Now, Nielsen says about 84 million people watched the debate at home on traditional television. That's television.

Add to that the millions more who watched at parties, bars, offices and online, and that makes it unquestionably the most watched debate.

ROMANS: I think it was a record low for Monday Night Football, wasn't it?

BERMAN: It was. A lot of people thought that 100 million people would watch the debate, including -- when I say a lot of people I mean me. So, in some ways, it didn't actually mean -- I thought it might hit Super Bowl levels. It didn't quite hit that.

ROMANS: That expert forecast that was from you.

BERMAN: From me.

ROMANS: At the top of your head.

All right. Wells Fargo cracking under the pressure following the fake account scandal. The CEO John Stumpf will forfeit most of his 2016 salary, including his bonus and $41 million in stock awards.

He is keeping his job but another executive is out, Carrie Tolstedt, head of the division that fake accounts. She left the company ahead of her scheduled retirement at the end of this year. She will not receive a severance or bonus. But she still could walk away with $77 stocks and options. She ran the division during the entire time that this banking nightmare was happening.

Wells Fargo's board of directors also said Tuesday it is also launching an independent investigation into the company's sales practices. The new probe comes as employees tell CNN that the practice of opening fake accounts began years earlier than Wells Fargo had previously acknowledged.

During the company's investigation, CEO John Stumpf who worked for free, I've got to tell you, they should have said this two weeks ago, they're two weeks late on this, I think. They're really behind the PR and public outrage on this.

BERMAN: Not to mention the indiscretions to begin with.

ROMANS: Exactly.

BERMAN: They're years behind on that. Wells Fargo has become a four- letter word for both Democrats and Republicans up on Capitol Hill.

ROMANS: And shareholders are cursing mightily because the stock is in two and a half year low.

BERMAN: All right. This morning, the world is mourning the loss of a man who spent decades working for peace. Former Israeli prime minister and president, Shimon Peres, passed away overnight. He spent over six decades in public service and was really one of the last living links to Israel's Founding Fathers. He did receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for trying to build bridges in the Middle East.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is live at the hospital where Peres died, just outside Tel Aviv, with the reaction this morning -- Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And he unfailingly tried to build peace and tried to build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians until the very end. He saw that as his mission, his calling, and that is very much his legacy that's being remembered not only here in Israel, but world leaders as well, many of whom are expected to attend his funeral which looks like it's set up for Friday although that isn't official yet.

Let me read a portion of what President Obama said. He said, "A light has gone out but the hope he gave us will burn forever. Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves, to the very end of our time on earth and the legacy that we leave to others." Those words coming from President Barack Obama.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, he is expected to attend the funeral, again, which appears to be setting up for Friday, as well as a host of other world leaders, including the pope, U.N. secretary- general, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, a long list of world leaders expected to pay their respects to Shimon Peres. For what he meant to Israel, and for what he meant to peace. He was a dreamer, a visionary, a believer in peace until the very end, and worked on it until the very end. In fact, on the morning he suffered the stroke, which is two weeks ago, he gave an hour-long speech and even posted a Facebook video. And apart of his testament, apart of his willingness to work towards peace, and towards building trust, and towards building the state of Israel, a job he started some 70 years ago that he was working on until the day he passed.

BERMAN: Oren Liebermann for us in Tel Aviv -- thanks so much.

I mean, what a life. People forget, Shimon Peres, you know, such a part of the creation and the founding and the development of Israel. He was crucial in building up their military. He was crucial in bringing in the nuclear program. And after basically developing the machinery for war, he then reached across to work for peace which he's done for the last several decades -- an inspiring figure for that country and many around the world.

ROMANS: Prime minister twice, he's held every kind of government position you can imagine -- really a life as a statesman.

All right. Police in California defending their actions after killing -- shooting and killing a black man. Next, the video proof police say forced them to open fire.


[04:13:44] ROMANS: Welcome back.

Police in southern California right now are pleading for calm after officers fatally shot an African-American man. About 200 protesters gathered near the scene. They have remained peaceful. Police say this unidentified man was acting erratically behind a restaurant in El Cajon. The police chief says the man kept his hands in his pockets, he refused demands.

They say officers were forced to take action when a man held a dark object. You can see him there, you can see his stance. This is image from a cell phone video.


JEFF DAVIS, CHIEF OF POLICE, EL CAJON: At one point, the male rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together on and extended it rapidly towards the officer taking what appeared to be a shooting stance, putting the object in the officer's face. At this time, one of the officers with the taser discharged his taser in an effort to subdue the subject. Simultaneously, the officer who had the object pointed at him discharged his firearm, striking the male.


ROMANS: Police will not release the full video until the district attorney reviews it. No word yet what object that man was holding when he was shot but we were told no gun, John, was found.

BERMAN: All right. Court documents reveal Keith Scott, the black man killed by Charlotte police owned a gun and have threatened to kill his wife and son last year.

[04:15:03] CNN affiliate WSOC reports his wife got a domestic violence protective order against him. The court record show Scott had an unlicensed gun and was a convicted felon. Charlotte police have said Scott had a weapon when he was fatally shot last week.

The Scott family insists he was not armed. Videos released by police and the family are inclusive. I just want to note one thing here and observers will tell you this, you know, on both sides, whatever Scott's record was -- before this incident, it does not speak to what happened at that moment. And it does not speak to what police knew about him when they pulled up there. They were there to serve a warrant on another man.

So, no matter what his past was, that's not something police knew. So, it did not play into whether or not their shooting of him was justified or not.

ROMANS: All right. That's a very good point.

Fifteen minutes after the hour.

Could the Russians rig the outcome of the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? Top security officials are taking no chances, next.


[04:20:21] BERMAN: President Obama has selected Jeffrey DeLaurentis to become the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than five decades -- at least he's nominated him. DeLaurentis has served as America's charges de affairs in Havana since 2014 and helped oversee the reopening of the U.S. embassy there. His election was wildly expected.

But Republican senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are leading to his opposition makes it unlikely he'll actually be confirmed. So, he was nominated, unlikely he'll be confirmed. The fact of the matter, he actually holds an ambassador title from a previous job and he is the leading diplomat in Cuba. So, he's effectively the ambassador there.

ROMANS: So, he's doing the job?

BERMAN: He's doing the job and he's called ambassador, but he's not officially the ambassador to Cuba. Go figure.

ROMANS: Oh, diplomatic politics.

All right. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is once again denying that he any knowledge of the 2013 lane closures that later became known as the bridgegate scandal. A former Port Authority executive has already testified Christie knew about the politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening. The governor says that's not true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I knew nothing about the lane realignments before they happened. I knew nothing about the lane realignments as they were happening. I had nothing to do with the planning of it. I had no -- nothing to do with authorizing it.

And we sit here now nearly three years later, and there has not been one scintilla of evidence to contradict what I just said.


ROMANS: Former Port Authority executive David Wildstein claims he and Christie discussed the lane closure at a 9/11 ceremony on September of 2013. You're looking at photos of their meeting. He said the governor laughed about the traffic jam. He testified that he joked to the governor about the traffic jams.

BERMAN: All right. Accused New York-New Jersey bomber Ahmad Rahami will not make an appearance at his first court appearance today as planned. His schedule arraignment has been delayed because Rahami is still unconscious in the hospital. In the meantime, investigators believe two men seen on surveillance tape were moving the unexploded pressure cooker bomb from a bag, they may have just been visiting New York. They are likely to have left the area and may not even know that they're being sought as potential witnesses.

ROMANS: I'm watching that video and I wonder if they just saw this nice looking roller bag and said, hey, gee, this got thrown it and throw out the stuff inside and just took the bag home.

BERMAN: The police still want to talk to them. It's just strange to see that in a video. But I think you're right. The supposition right now is that is the case.

ROMANS: All right. New York police arresting a suspect in an explosion at a Bronx marijuana grow house that killed a fire chief and injured 20 others. Police say 34-year-old Julia Salcedo was captured in New Jersey Tuesday after a brief manhunt. Chief Michael Fahey, a 17-year fire department veteran, was killed by a flying debris when the explosion tore the roof off that building.

BERMAN: This morning, the FBI is investigating suspected attempt to hack the mobile phones of top Democratic officials. Agents are now asking to examine the phones of several party staffers. This new development comes on the same day that homeland security chief Jeh Johnson told lawmakers that 18 states are asking for help to ward off cyber attacks he believes could compromise voting results on Election Day.

ROMANS: Uh-oh.

BERMAN: The latest from CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, the question is a provocative one. Can we trust the U.S. election results in light of recent cyber attacks by suspected Russian hackers targeting U.S. voter registration website.

The Homeland Security Department says the answer is yes. They're working with the states to improve cyber security for election systems around the country. First of all, there is no indication that any voting systems have been tampered with. And the voting machines aren't even connected to the Internet.

But Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson said he's take nothing chances. Here's what he told senators on a hearing on national security threats.

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: In the run-up to the November 8th election, we have been working with state election officials, local election officials, to help them with their cybersecurity when they ask. And I'm pleased that 18 states have now come forward and requested our assistance in their cybersecurity efforts.

PEREZ: Now, Donald Trump has raised the prospect of a rigged election and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has made similar comments. A state official says they're confident that they've got enough resources to assure security around the elections.

And at Monday night's debate, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have said they will accept the election results -- John and Christine.


[04:25:00] ROMANS: All right. Evan Perez, thank you for that.

Elon Musk is nothing if not a dreamer. Now, the SpaceX founder is revealing details and a timeline for his plan to send humans to Mars. He estimates the traditional launch will cost $10 million but because he aims to include the cost per ton by 5 million percent. It's big for him.

If all is well, the first passengers could take off to the Red Planet by 2024.

BERMAN: Oh, come on.

ROMANS: Musk said the trip per person would drop to $200,000.

BERMAN: I have great respect for Elon Musk and everything he does but there's positive way it's going to take off by 2024. All of this space tourism stuff is always next year, or months away from the first thing. And we've bee saying that for 15 years.

ROMANS: Come on, Berman, dream big.

BERMAN: It's no going to happen.

You know what? I'm going to make the first trip to Jupiter in 2012. Oh, wait, that already happened. I missed that.

ROMANS: There's something in there -- (CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: It's not going to happen.

ROMANS: All right. Donald Trump's past coming up once again as an issue in his campaign. What a former beauty queen now says about the Republican nominee. What she told Anderson, after he had some scathing words for her.