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Four Officers Shot in Line of Duty within 24 Hours; New Meetings This Morning at Trump Tower; Trump Back on Twitter; Confrontation Between Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters and Polices; Syria's Heaviest Bombardment. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 21, 2016 - 04:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to EARLY START. We thank you for joining us this morning. I'm Boris Sanchez.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, November 21st, 4:00 a.m. in the East. We begin with Breaking News this morning.

Four police officers shot in the line of duty across the nation in the span of 24 hours. Here is what we know right now. Two of the incidents took place in Missouri, one in St. Louis, the other in Suburban, Kansas City, two other officers shot in Sanibel, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas.

In St. Louis, a 46-year-old police sergeant was in his patrol car last night when he was shot twice in the face by a gunman in a silver car who pulled up alongside him, opened fire and then sped off. Now, that suspect later killed in a shootout with police. The 20-year veteran police officer, a married father of three, is in critical, but stable condition after surgery and is expected to survive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This officer was not involved in a traffic stop. This officer was not trying to pull this car over. This officer was driving down the road and was ambushed by an individual who pointed a gun at him from inside of his car and shot out the police officer' window.


ROMANS: All officers in St. Louis will now ride two to a patrol car until further notice.

SANCHEZ: And 10 minutes outside Kansas City, in Gladstone, Missouri, a police officer was shot during a traffic stop last night. The suspect in this case was also shot. Kansas City police tweeting that the officer is expected to survive. The suspect's condition and identity though is yet to be confirmed.

ROMANS: In Sanibel, Florida, West of Fort Myers, a police officer was wounded in a drive-by shooting last night. Authorities say he was sitting in his patrol car following a routine traffic stop when someone pulled up and began firing. To officer was treated at the hospital and released. The suspect was taken to custody a short time later after exchanging gun fire with other officers. This is the first time in the history of the Sanibel Police Department that an officer there was shot.

SANCHEZ: And in San Antonio, investigators say that the shooting death of the 50-year-old police officer was a targeted intentional killing. Detective Benjamin Marconi was gunned down in his patrol car Sunday outside police headquarters during a traffic stop. Officials are still on a hunt for the suspect. Just hours ago, San Antonio police released this picture of a man they say who may have information about the murder.

We have more from Polo Sandoval.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police in San Antonio in the middle of the major manhunt, they're trying to track down the person or persons responsible for the shooting death of the 20-year veteran of the force. At this point, investigators believe that their officer was in the middle of a traffic strop outside the police department. He's actually filling out a citation for a driver and a third vehicle pulled up behind him and the person getting out of the car, walking up to the passenger side of the patrolman's vehicle, and then shooting the officer. The police chief there is saying the gunman shot the officer again and now, the search is on for the individual, San Antonio police with the latest on the investigation.


WILLIAM MCMANUS, SAN ANTONIO POLICE CHIEF: Witness reports indicate the suspect to be a dark male, slim built in his 20s or 30s, he was wearing a gray pants and a gray shirt at that time. We have descriptions with and without facial hair. We are actively pursuing all leads and looking into all motives. All of the SAPD resources including from our federal enforcement partners, our federal law enforcement partners, and state and local government are all being utilized. We considered this suspect to be extremely dangerous and a clear threat to law enforcement and the public.


SANDOVAL: Condolence messages are now pouring into San Antonio from across the country. Governor Greg Abbott in the state of Texas is also among them. He is an elected official who is also pushing for legislation to consider targeting police officers in Texas, considering that a hate crime.

ROMANS: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for keeping us up to speed on that. Now, new meetings this morning at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, we

may learn the results of a packed weekend, sit-downs between Donald Trump and a host of advisers, experts, and potential cabinet picks. A dozen such meetings on Sunday alone, aides have hinted there might be staffing announcements, but Trump fended off questions about that from anxious reporters. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: We made a couple of deals, but we'll let you know soon. Pretty soon, pretty soon. We'll let you know.


ROMANS: A couple of deals. CNN's Phil Mattingly among the reporters who camped out at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. He brings us the latest this morning.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Christine, it was a weekend of marathon meeting, meetings after meetings, cabinet potential official after potential official, and some advisors in there as well. But it really was about reading the tea leaves and trying to get sense of who will fill out the top positions in the Trump administration, the president-elect opening the door, greeting every single one of the visitors. But on Sunday, there is a key focus on two individuals, Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani. Obviously, the former, one of the most important early endorsers of Donald Trump's campaign, he has fallen out of favorite in recent weeks, and has actually been removed as the head of his transition team. All of his top allies have gone as well, leaving a lot of questions as to whether or not Chris Christie will actually have a job in the Trump administration. All signs right now are pointing to no. Not so much for Rudy Giuliani, though. A former New York mayor, also a very close confidant and aide to the president-elect throughout the campaign, he has been angling for a Secretary of State job. We asked the president-elect if that is what he is looking for the mayor. Take a listen.

[04:05:50] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And other things.


MATTINGLY: So, guys, obviously a little bit of hedging there. Maybe some other positions that he may be looking at. This is all coming in the wake of Saturday's meeting with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a 2012 presidential nominee. We were told very definitively he is under consideration for that state job. I'm told from Trump advisors that Donald Trump is intrigued by the idea, the perception, of what it would mean to have Mitt Romney in his administration, particularly in the wake of their 14, 15, 16-month battle back and forth. It will be interesting to see how that all plays out. One key thing to keep an eye on as this week goes on, starting today, there will be a focus on economic jobs, the economic transition landing teams throughout the day, domestic policy as well. Obviously, we are keeping a close eye on who the next big cabinet appointments will be. Trump advisors some are coy about that, but definitely making clear announcements will be made soon. Boris and Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Phil, thank you.

Speaking of those money jobs, economic advisor jobs, Donald Trump could be placing a fellow billionaire in his cabinet. Wilbur Ross is a leading candidate for commerce secretary according to a source close to the transition process. He was a vocal Trump's supporter during the election and met with Trump this weekend. No final decision yet, but Ross is being seriously considered and many expect in the business world expects him to be tapped. The commerce department is the government's chief business advocate. The commerce department also compiles important data on economic growth, trade and income. The next secretary will also oversee the 2020 census.

So who is Wilbur Ross? He is worth $2.9 billion. He is the chairman of WL Ross and Co. Ross made his name buying distressed debt and resurrecting dying companies. Some of the biggest hits have come from steel and coal companies, two areas Trump wants to revive. Ross is also a collector. His collections are reportedly worth $150 million. I can tell you something having covered Wilbur Ross over the years, he is someone who is also very passionate about making sure American's education system is creating the jobs or creating the workers who can fit the jobs of today and tomorrow.

SANCHEZ: Skills.

ROMANS: Skills. When you talk about the skills gap, he is somebody who is really aware of other problems along the pipeline from education, all the way down to early childhood education. So he is somebody who is definitely into some of these issues.

SANCHEZ: Another cabinet candidate that Donald Trump is very enthusiastic about is the potential defense secretary. General James Mattis, the two met for over an hour on Saturday. Afterwards, the president-elect characterized the retired four-star general as the real deal and true general's general. A source tells CNN that no decision has been made, but Trump is quote leaning in Mattis' direction.

ROMANS: Donald Trump says he will live in the White House once he takes the oath of office, but his wife and Melania and their 10-year- old son, Barron will stay in Manhattan temporarily that will allow Barron to finish out his year at elementary school. The Trump campaign has not really released the details about the timing of the family's move. He is asking for the same privacy as security consideration other first families have received.

SANCHEZ: Donald Trump on Twitter tirade, what else is new, right? Escalating his feud with the cast of "Hamilton", while also targeting "Saturday Night Live". Now, Alec Baldwin is firing back. That's next on EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [04:13:33] SANCHEZ: Donald Trump clearly back in charge of his Twitter feed this morning. The president-elect spent the weekend escalating a Twitter feud with the cast of hit Broadway musical, "Hamilton". After Friday's performance, cast members read a message directly to vice-president-elect Mike Pence, who is in the audience. Pence listened and then left the theater smiling. He later said he wasn't offended by what they said. But in a barrage of tweets, Donald Trump said the casts' statement inappropriate, rude, terrible, and he demanded an apology.

Let's get more now from CNN's Rachel Crane.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Christine, while Mike Pence may not have been offended by the message that was delivered to him Friday night, somebody certainly was, that person being president- elect Donald Trump. Despite having a lot on his plate, having to set his political agenda and select his cabinet, he still managed to find time to tweet not once, not twice, but four times about this ongoing controversy, even going as far as calling it harassment and saying that this was disrespectful, that it should never happen. The theater should be a safe space. Mike Pence saying that he was not offended, that he in fact enjoyed the musical. Take a listen to what he had to say.


MIKE PENCE, VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT: When we arrived, we heard a few boos and we heard some cheers. And I nudged my kids and reminded them that's what freedom sounds like. But in the end, you know, I did hear what was said from the stage and I can tell you, I wasn't offended by what was said. I will leave it to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it.


[04:15:05] CRANE: There has been a lot of chatter about this ongoing controversy on social media. Over 14 million people have viewed that message delivered here at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Friday. In fact, there is a #boycottHamilton that has been trending. The irony of course though is that this show has been sold out since it started and it has sold out through August of 2017.

But "Hamilton" is not the only thing that Donald Trump took issue with. He also tweeted this weekend about his dissatisfaction with this weekend's episode of "SNL", saying that the show was not funny and it was biased. Boris and Christine.

ROMANS: People involved in the Hamilton speech they made, they knew he was coming earlier in the day.


ROMANS: So they all sort of collaborated and had different versions of the script throughout the day.

SANCHEZ: The creators have to be thrilled because there is so much publicity. The show has already been sold out for so long.

ROMANS: I know.

SANCHEZ: It will be sold out for even longer now.

ROMANS: The "Saturday Night Live" opening sketch that rankled Trump shows the president-elect at a series of meetings, painting him as seriously out of his league.


ALEC BALDWIN, COMEDIAN, AS DONALD TRUMP: Google, what is ISIS? Oh my, 59 million results. Siri, how do I kill ISIS?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's move on to Obamacare. As you know, 20 million people use it and it sounds crazy, but a lot of them like it.

BALDWIN: Keep it. Let's just keep it.


ROMANS: One of Trump's tweets slamming "SNL", quote, "Equal time for us." But FCC equal time rules apply only during an election campaign, not after. Alec Baldwin, who plays Trump on the show tweeted a reply: "Equal time? There is no equal time. Now, you try to be president. People respond. That's pretty much it."

SANCHEZ: President Obama is advising the world to wait and see whether Donald Trump's policies as president match his promises as a candidate. The president spends most of his final trip abroad answering questions about how Trump's foreign policy will affect U.S. allies. And at a news conference, the president said it is too soon to tell.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president-elect now has to put together a team and put forward specifics about how he intends to govern. And he hasn't had a full opportunity to do that yet. And so, people should take a wait and see approach in how much his policy proposals once in the White House, once he is sworn in, matches up with some of the rhetoric of his campaign.


SANCHEZ: The president says he won't be popping off at every Trump policy he disagrees with. But he will weigh in if some policies call into question America's values and ideals.

ROMANS: All right. To North Dakota, a riot unfolding here. What turned out -- started as a standoff has turned into police clashing with protesters over the Dakota access pipeline. The latest on this violent standoff ahead on Early Start.


[04:22:32] SANCHEZ: Breaking overnight. A confrontation with hundreds of Dakota access pipeline protesters and police, authorities are calling it a riot. Around 400 demonstrators are trying to cross the bridge in order to reach a police barrier and reach a nearby highway. One person has been arrested. Protesters claim they have been attacked by officers with tear gas, water cannons in subfreezing temperatures. But police say those protesters were lighting nearby fires and they denied using the water cannons.

ROMANS: All right. Turning to Syria this morning, it is being called the heaviest bombardment the country has seen in five years. More than 300 people have been killed since the renewed bombing offensive began nearly a week ago. These airstrikes have knocked out all hospitals in Eastern Aleppo. The fears of devastating weapon are back in the fold. Barrel bombs said to be full of chlorine gas.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has the latest from Amman, Jordan. Jomana, just tragedy for the people there, what do we know about the bombing?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, we have been speaking to people, residents of Eastern Aleppo and activists. And by all accounts, this is the worst the situation has ever been in Eastern Aleppo. If you look at those besieged rebel held neighborhoods, they have been hounded by hundreds of air strikes. Those indiscriminate barrel bombs dropped on the civilian neighborhoods in addition to the really intense artillery shells. We are talking about hundreds of people being killed and nearly 1,000 people injured this past week. As you also mentioned, there are reports of at least one incident where there is a suspected poisonous gas being used that led to the killing of a family of six. We have seen hospitals attacked, at least four hospitals in Eastern Aleppo, including the only specialized pediatric hospital. Trauma hospitals that are needed now more than ever also targeted in this recent bombardment campaign. The Eastern Aleppo schools, both in the east and in the regime controlled west, have been hit. We heard from the Syrian regime saying this is a preliminary operation in Eastern Aleppo. And that there would be a ground push to Eastern Aleppo, and it is the civilians who continue to pay the heaviest price in this conflict, Christine, also with the possibility of mass starvation. A real possibility we are hearing from the United Nations as the siege is taking its toll on the civilian population of a quarter of a million people.

ROMANS: A quarter of a million people and maybe this is a naive question, but these people have nowhere to go, right? I mean, they are trapped in the city.

[04:25:13] KARADSHEH: This is the really difficult part to try and understand, Christine. We are not on the ground to be able to verify this. It is based on speaking to some activists. Also, some of the residents, some of those 250,000 people, some of them will tell you we have nowhere else to go. Aleppo is our home. We have nowhere else to go. And on the other hand you hear a different opinion, people who say they do not trust the Syrian regime and they're still called humanitarian corridors. They don't think they will be allowed safe passage if they try and leave. And at the same time, we also hear from rescuers, Christine, that there is fighting ongoing around some of these areas. Snipers from both sides could basically target the civilians as they try to leave. So at the end of the day, you are looking at these civilians being trapped in what has become or what is being described as this giant kill box, Eastern Aleppo.

ROMANS: A giant kill box. I see a picture of children, it is just heart wrenching.

All right. Jomana Karadsheh, thank you for keeping us up-to-date on that. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Four separate police shootings across the country all within a 24-hour period. One officer is dead, one of the suspects still on the loose. The latest on all four cases ahead on EARLY START.