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Trump Versus Beauty Queen; Clinton and Sanders Teaming Up; Shimon Peres Remembered; Watt Could Be Out For At Least Eight Weeks. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 28, 2016 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:01] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump on defense this morning, despite the fact he says he won the debate. He is on the trail going after not just Hillary Clinton, but a former Miss Universe, taking issue with her appearance. And now, on Anderson Cooper overnight, she is responding.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton calls in the reserves, Bernie Sanders around the campaign trail with one target, young voters. How Clinton is trying to capitalize on what she believes is a big debate win.

BERMAN: One of the world's great agents for peace, a man who worked decades to make this world a better place has passed. Shimon Peres being remembered for everything he did, not just for Israel, but also for the world.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's Wednesday, September 28th. It is 5:00 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 just keeps stirring.

On the stump, even after the debate, Trump is repeating his fact- checked and debunked claim that he opposed the Iraq war. But most surprisingly, he refused to let go of his scathing criticism of the weight gains of a former Miss Universe. She's now speaking out about it to CNN. All of that while Trump is actually bragging about his restraint for going easy on Hillary Clinton.

CNN's Sara Murray is with the Trump campaign. She's got 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's certainly not giving any of those up on the campaign trail.

Back to you, guys.


BERMAN: All right. Sara Murray, thanks so much.

A big day on the trail for Hillary Clinton who hopes to fix a nagging problem for her campaign. Bernie Sanders will join Clinton, of course, his former rival, at an event in New Hampshire, sources tell CNN that Sanders is planning a new surge of events in battleground states. She needs his help to woo skeptical young voters. They are not going to her as much as they had gone to Democrats the last few elections.

Also this morning, Hillary Clinton has received a surprising endorsement from "The Arizona Republic" which has never in 126 years backed 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."

Again, that's from "The Arizona Republic", which has never endorsed a Democrat. You can argue whether or not this paper editorials and endorsements matter anymore, but that's one that doesn't usually got the Democrat's way.

Clinton is back on the campaign trail. She's clearly very excited about what the campaign and CNN poll found to be a 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. He said that makes him smart. Now, if not paying taxes makes him smart, what does that make all the rest of us?


BERMAN: That's Hillary Clinton in North Carolina yesterday. She's in New Hampshire today. Let's talk about all of the action on the campaign trail.

Joining us now, CNN politics reporter Eugene Scott.

Eugene, we were talking about Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. But now, we have Donald Trump versus Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe. Let me walk people through where we are right now. Towards the debate Monday night, Hillary Clinton brought up this former Miss Universe from Venezuela who according to this person gained weight after she won the crown and Donald Trump criticized her calling her "Miss Piggy".

[05:05:08] Now, that happened on the stage --

ROMANS: And "Miss Housekeeping".

BERMAN: And Miss Housekeeping also. Trump didn't really address on the stage. But in the next morning, almost inexplicably, yesterday morning, he brings it up on "Fox and Friends". Listen to what Trump said almost unprovoked the next day.


TRUMP: I know that person, that person was a Miss Universe person. And she was the worst we ever had. The worst, the absolute worst. He was impossible and she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe.

She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a -- it was a real problem. We had a real problem.


BERMAN: So, there's Donald Trump volunteering criticism of a woman's weight.

ROMANS: And the host even said, oh, we didn't know that story. We didn't know about it. And he kept on it.

BERMAN: And then, and so, Donald Trump creates or helps bring Alicia Machado into this discussion. She appeared on Anderson Cooper last night and this is what she said.


ALICIA MACHADO, MISS UNIVERSE 1996: We can't accept -- we can't accept more insults for my Latin community, no more. No more insults for the women. I know very well Mr. Trump, and I can see the same person that I met 20 years ago.


BERMAN: So, obviously, look, this is exactly what the Clinton campaign wanted.


BERMAN: I mean, they brought this up, she brought this up for a reason on that stage. But Trump --

ROMANS: But he took the bait.

BERMAN: Exactly.

ROMANS: And then took it again.

SCOTT: Yes, I was actually talking to a friend from Arizona, a voter yesterday who said he felt like if Hillary Clinton brought up this situation from 20 years ago, then Donald Trump has the right to bring up situations with Clinton 20 years ago. But the difference is this isn't something that Trump said 20 years ago, this is something Trump said yesterday.

He made comments very recently that made this as you mentioned a current story, which was very interesting because had he handled it differently when she brought it up. And said, you know what, I made these statements 20 years ago, I apologize. I'm pivoting. I actually now feel this way, maybe the response would have been different.

ROMANS: Let's say in response to women. This is something that Rudy Giuliani said about Hillary Clinton after the debate. And as you know, Donald Trump and his surrogates have been sort of saying that he should be congratulated for holding back on bringing up Bill Clinton's past. Listen.


RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NYC MAYOR: President of the United States, her husband, disgraced this country what he did in the Oval Office. And she -- she didn't just stand by him, she attacked Monica Lewinsky, after being married to Bill Clinton for 20 years, if you didn't know the moment Monica Lewinsky said that Bill Clinton violated her, she was telling the truth, then you're too stupid to be president.


ROMANS: So, here's my question, what does it get them with women voters or undecideds to go back on this, to blame a woman for her husband that happened that is 20 years old. I don't -- I don't -- from people who have been in the headlines for having affairs out of wedlock. What does that get them?

SCOTT: I think there's some question, if there's some strategy, it's not clear right now, for a candidate that is doing as poorly as Donald Trump is doing with women voters, it's not very clear where he's hoping to get with this.

But one thing that I think is very interesting we have Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager on "NEW DAY" yesterday, he said, whatever they throw in the next area she will be prepared. The expectation is that they may given these hints. And so, we'll see --

ROMANS: What strategy is it? I don't know what it gets them?

BERMAN: I don't know -- the Clinton people clearly know how to respond, the chief strategist said, oh, yeah, we're basically ready for anything. So, we'll see if it happens.

I want to talk about a weakness for the Clinton campaign, one she's trying to address today. She's got Bernie Sanders on the trail with her today. She needs younger voters to be more enthusiastic about her candidacy right now.

I want to show you the latest Quinnipiac Poll of millennial voters, their choice for president. You can see -- look at the drop from august to September. She lost7 points among millennial voters. Look where it 20, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

These voters are a key part of what is called the Obama coalition. They turned out for Barack Obama. And she needs them to turn out for her. And that explains why Bernie Sanders is out there today and apparently more. But can he do it for her, Eugene?

SCOTT: Well, he definitely has the ability to make points, to make issues like climate change, like criminal justice reform in a way that resonates with this bloc that has resonated with her.

[05:10:03] There are two more debates, it's interesting to see if she is able to say anything to make significant strides with the community. After the first debate, I did see on social media some of the activists who have been most critical of Hillary Clinton say, you know what, she has made significant strides in this area. They're not on board but they've noted some progress. It will be interesting to see if Sanders actually can bring them over the line.

BERMAN: They're counting on him. I mean, there's no question in my mind that the Clinton team is actually counting on Bernie Sanders to deliver. That's a big ask from the former opponent.

ROMANS: I mean, when you talk to some millennials, for them, the question is do they vote or they don't vote.

BERMAN: Or do they vote for Gary Johnson.

ROMANS: Or do they vote for Gary Johnson, you know? They were so inspired, some of them. I mean, I don't mean to generalized, they're so inspired by the Bernie movement, they just feel that Clinton seems inevitable to them.

BERMAN: Back to their parents' basement.

Eugene Scott, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it. All right. The world is mourning the loss of a man who spent decades working for peace. Former Israeli prime minister, former Israeli president, Shimon Peres, he passed away overnight. He was 93 years old.

This man spent six decades in public service. He was one world's last living links to Israel's founding. Israel would not be what it is today without him in so many ways. He, of course, received the Nobel Peace Prizes for his work trying to build bridges in the Middle East. And he is being remembered and honored all over the world, nowhere more than inside Israel.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is live at the hospital where Peres died just outside of Tel Aviv with the reaction that's pouring in this morning.

Oren, what are you hearing?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a testament to his legacy that even those who didn't agree with him, those who opposed his political views are still pouring forth with condolences, with messages of sorrow for the passing of the ninth president of Israel, Shimon Peres. Even if they didn't agree with him, they respect, fully respect what he did for the country, because he was there from the very beginning working on the foundations, the creation of the state of Israel, and worked all the way through. He was working on peace, he was working on building trust and confidence between Israelis and Palestinians, up until the very end and that will be his legacy -- the man who carried forth peace and did everything in his power to make it happen.

That is what is being remembered in the messages of condolences we're getting from all around the world, of course, not only from here in Israel, but also from the U.S., from Europe and elsewhere. Let me read a bit of what President Obama had to say.

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."

It is messages like that that are a testament to how much Shimon Peres meant to those he worked with, in his career in public service spanned decades. We expect to see many world leaders attending his funeral. The expectation from what we're hearing now is that funeral will be on Friday before the Sabbath comes.

As for who will be here, the Israel ministry of foreign affairs says President Barack Obama, vice President Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as leaders from Europe, Canada and the rest of the world. That is a testament to the legacy of Shimon Peres -- John.

BERMAN: We're going to see here the possibility of the pope will go. I mean, this is the who's who of people around the world who've been working in diplomacy, working for peace for generations.

Oren Liebermann, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. Thirteen minutes past the hour.

Police in California are defending their actions after of shooting and killing an African-American man. Next, we've got the video that police say is proof that they were forced to open fire.


[05:17:48] BERMAN: This morning, police in southern California are pleading for calm after officers fatally shot an African-American man. About 200 protesters or so were gathered near the scene. They've remained peaceful. Police say the unidentified man, they say he was acting erratically behind a restaurant in El Cajun.

The police chief says the man kept his hands at his pocket and refused commands. They say officers were forced to take action when the man held a dark object and took what they call a shooting stance. They say this is what you're seeing here in an image from cell phone video.

Police will not release the full video until the district attorney has a chance to review it. No words yet on exactly what that object is in his hands right there. No gun, though, was found to the scene.

ROMANS: All right. The big business and consumer story this morning. Wells Fargo cracking under 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's keeping his job but they're clawing back a lot of his pay here.

Another executive is out, Carrie Tolstedt. She headed the division that created the fake accounts over the years under scrutiny now. She left the company ahead of her scheduled retirement. She was going to retire at the end of the year. She's due to receive a boat load of money but she will not receive a severance or salary. She could be granted over $77 million in stocks and options that have been granted over the course of a career in banking.

Wells Fargo board of said Tuesday, it's launching an independent investigation into the company's sales practice. Tuesday. During the company's investigation, CEO John Stumpf will work for free.

I keep saying Tuesday because, you know, you would think the board, at the very moment that this announcement came out that 5,300 people have been fired over five years for this culture of corruption, you would think that the board already had independent investigation, internal investigation, or doing major, major damage control.

BERMAN: They've got to figure it out.

A All right. He may be the most feared defensive lineman in all of football. But for Houston, Texas may have to play the rest of the season without JJ Watt. It is such a loss to the game and such a loss to Texans fan Andy Scholes who will be back with this morning's "Bleacher Report", next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:24:09] BERMAN: Oh, big NFL news this morning. Reigning defensive player of the year, JJ Watt, he may be done for the season.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. You know, have you ever wake up to a report on your phone and immediately start crying? That was me this morning because I'm a big Texans fan.

According to multiple reports, JJ Watt reinjured his back last Thursday against the Patriots, he will now be placed on injured reserve. He's going to miss a minimum of eight weeks, likely going to be out the rest of the season. Watt had surgery in late July for a herniated disk. He has never missed a season in his career but that streak is coming to an end.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the cover of this week's "TIME" magazine, Kaepernick's action of kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice has turned into national movement. When speaking with the media yesterday, Kaepernick said it was an honor to be on the cover of the magazine.

[05:25:04] And he also gave his thoughts on Monday's presidential debate.


COLIN KAEPERNICK, 49ERS QUARTERBACK: To me, it was embarrassing to watch, these are our two candidates. Both are proven liars. And it almost seems like they're trying to debate who's less racist. And you know what, at this point, talking to one of my friends, it was, you have to pick the lesser of two evils, but in the end, it's still evil.


SCHOLES: U.S. Ryder Cup team taking a picture. Tiger Woods vice captain. He's not playing. Check this out, they kick him out of the picture, not once. Apparently, that's a picture there, Tiger, only for players. Tiger is going to play competitively for the first time this year, next month.

During last night's Yankee-Red Sox game, a fan got up to propose to his girlfriend only one problem, he dropped the ring on the way up. So, the whole section chips in, tries to help look for it. Look at the poor guy there in the middle. He's just distraught.

ROMANS: He looks sick.

SCHOLES: This is all going down on the big screen. Hey, they found the ring in the cuff of his girlfriend's pants. So, he got down on one knee, proposed. And, of course, the whole crowd went crazy as she said yes.

Berman, I understand you were at the game last night. Were you aware this was going down?

BERMAN: As a matter of fact, yes, they put it up on the big screen, the first part of the proposal. He was going to propose for her. The people I was sitting with, we thought it was a hoax. We thought the whole thing was a setup and there was going to be some staged entertainment thing.

Then the screen goes to black. We're trying to figure out a whole section, whole side of the stadium erupts in applause in the middle of the inning. That's when they found the ring. It was nice to see. It was the only nice thing, in fact, about the game last night, which otherwise was --

SCHOLES: Yankees won 6-4, yes.

ROMANS: This is more proof that John Berman is not really human. He goes to baseball games. He goes --


BERMAN: Not very much, not proud of the 2 1/2 hours I got last night.

ROMANS: Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: All right. Donald Trump's past coming up once again on the campaign trail. Next, what a former beauty queen says about the Republican nominee after he had some scathing words for her.