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Wisconsin Preparing for Recount; Fidel Castro's Funeral Set for Sunday; Syrian Regime Forces Have Claimed Two More Neighborhoods in Eastern Aleppo; Multimillionaire in Lafayette, Tennessee is a This Morning; Severe Storms and Heavy Rain in Forecast for Southeast. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 28, 2016 - 04:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect Trump launching into an epic Twitter rant. He slams the recount in Wisconsin while claiming he actually won the popular vote of the election. And he has some words for Hillary Clinton, too.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: A tale of two cities in the wake of Fidel Castro's death. The people of Havana grieving, while in little Havana, they are dancing in the streets. So what's next for U.S.-Cuba relations?

ROMANS: And welcome to Cyber Monday. Millions of Americans hunting for the best online deals. But you are being hunted, too, by retailers who want you to spend more money than you have. Beware.


ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUEZ: And I'm Miguel Marquez in for the lovely and talented John Berman. It is 30 minutes past the hour. Six hours from now, the Wisconsin election commission will be meeting to set-up a timeline for recounting every vote in the state from the November election. And that is igniting a Donald Trump Twitter rant. Again, the president- elect calling the recount a scam and Hillary Clinton a hypocrite for getting behind it. And that's not all. Trump twitting in addition to winning the Electoral College in a landside, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally. And by the way, there is zero corroboration or...

ROMANS: ... evidence.

MARQUEZ: ... or evidence of that. And he is also alleging quote serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire, and California, asking so why isn't the media not reporting on this, serious bias, big problem. Trump is offering no, zero, nothing in terms of evidence to support either of those claims.

We get more this morning from CNN's Ryan Nobles in Palm Beach, Florida. RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Miguel, Donald Trump

has wrapped up his holiday weekend here at Mar-A-Lago Resort in Florida. And while we didn't hear or see the president-elect all that much, we did learn quite a bit about how he feels about that recount effort underway in Wisconsin, that was started by Green party candidate Jill Stein. Trump tweeted about the topic 12 different times, more than he has tweeted about any topic since being elected president. He even suggested at one point that he may have won the popular vote, if votes cast illegally were not included.

Now, the Clinton campaign has joined in on this effort. They say they don't find any evidence that anything wrong happened with the vote, but they just want to rule in or rule out that possibility. Now, Trump has a very busy Monday planned at Trump Tower. Eight people will come to meet with him and the vice president-elect Mike Pence, among them Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. He is being considered as a secretary of Homeland Security. Also on tap, Kathleen Harnett-White. She could be the next EPA secretary. She was once a Texas commissioner on environmental quality. And of course, Trump still has a number of major decisions to make, including who will be his next Secretary of State. Christine and Miguel.

ROMANS: All right. Ryan Nobles in Florida. Thanks, Ryan. One of Donald Trump's top advisors claims most of the president-elect's most loyal supporters would feel betrayed if Mitt Romney is picked for Secretary of State. Kellyanne Conway making it clear she is not a fan of the former Massachusetts governor and she describes the anti-Romney sentiment among Trump backers as breathtaking in scope and intensity.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: I know there are other candidates being considered apart from the ones that are just being covered more commonly in the media. But apart from that, Governor Romney in the last four years, I mean, has he been around the globe doing something on behalf of the United States, which we are unaware? I'm all for party unity. But I'm not sure that we have to pay with that for the Secretary of State position. But again, let me repeat. What Donald Trump decides, Kellyanne Conway and everybody else will respect. It's just the backlash from the grassroots -- I am hearing from people who say hey, my parents died penniless, but I gave $216 to Donald Trump's campaign. And I would feel betrayed.


MARQUEZ: Now, Romney and Rudy Giuliani are widely considered the frontrunners for the top job at the State Department.

ROMANS: And a warning to president-elect Trump and the rest of the Republican Party from Ted Cruz. The Texas senator predicting there will be a popular revolt if the party does not deliver on its biggest campaign promises. Listen to Cruz describe what Trump should do -- what would happen if a flip-flap on key issues like the repeal of Obamacare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: If we're given the White House and both houses of Congress and we don't deliver, I think there will be pitchforks and torches in the streets. And I think quite rightly, people are so fed up with Washington, this election was a mandate with change of the most catastrophic thing Republicans could do is go back to business as usual.


[04:05:01] MARQUEZ: Now, Cruz was asked if he stands by his previous claim that Trump is a quote pathological liar. He declined to answer saying he wants to focus on the future.

ROMANS: All right. It is Cyber Monday. A day of holiday made up by the retail industry to make you spend more money, if you missed out on Black Friday. Here is your online shopping cheat sheet. Amazon is offering 75,000 deals. It is best to count maybe on its own devices, the Echo, FireTV, and Kindle. They're all at least 20 percent off. Wal-Mart has deals on TVs from Samsung, discounts on hundreds of dollars on many models. And Target is making -- is taking a different approach, offering 15 percent off on your entire order in stores and online.

Target also has deals, but the 15 percent discount allows people to save on Staples and on put items that never go on sale. So that's different there for Target. There are also some web sites out there that are compiling these deals for you. set-up by the National Retail Federation, it has rolling deals throughout the day. The has a comprehensive list of sales at major chain stores with direct links. sorts stores and private categories, plus has a great database of coupon codes.

If you are looking for something specific, try But remember, I mean, sales for Black Friday began the first week of November. So Black Friday is not really even Black Friday anymore. And then, this weekend, I saw Cyber Monday deals starting on Saturday. It is an awful lot of mission creep. But if you are looking to fill out your holiday list, check out some of these deals today. But be careful. Be very careful because some of the deals are not deep discounts. It is up to you to be smart.

MARQUEZ: I'm waiting for slashed prices on Christmas Eve.

ROMANS: There you go. On apparel and on jewelry, I think the longer you wait, the better. And on furniture, be careful. There are some deals out there in the furniture stores. The best furniture deals are actually in February. So if you don't need it for the holidays, wait until February.


MARQUEZ: I get a good deal on a gift certificate. That's what I would do.

(LAUGHTER) MARQUEZ: Now, plenty of tears in the wake of Fidel Castro's death. In Havana, tears of sorrow. In Little Havana in Miami, tears of joy. So where do U.S.-Cuba relations go from here with Donald Trump in the office?


[04:41:40] ROMANS: Fidel Castro's funeral is set for Sunday. Over the next six days, Cubans will celebrate the life of their former leader in a series of public events. On Wednesday, the late dictator's ashes will begin a ceremonial journey, 700 miles across the island nation.

More now from CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Havana.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miguel, Christine, a still very somber Cuba continues to absorb the news of Fidel Castro's passing. Officials have decreed that clubs cannot play music. There would be no sales of alcohol. They very want to give the picture to the world of a country in deep mourning. And we have seen candlelight vigils, people who are very much grief-stricken by the former president's loss. Others people seem somewhat indifferent. And I don't remember seeing less people on the streets. People seem to be staying in their homes while this period, nine-day period of mourning goes on. On Monday, there will be a 21-gun salute to honor Castro's life. And people who want to pay their respects, Castro's ashes, he was cremated, expected to be on display in Revolution Square. Later in the week, there will be a large ceremony in that square. We expect Raul Castro and other top officials to attend, to really speak to the nation about Fidel Castro.

And then from there, his ashes will be transported across the island, about 700 miles in total from where I'm standing. On that route, they are recreating the journey of the Cuban revolution, took power. We expect people to go out and pay their respects, and salute this head of state who was of course so controversial. From there, he will get to the second largest city in Cuba, Santiago de Cuba, where he will eventually be laid to rest. But of course, the debate over Fidel Castro, who the man was and his legacy will go on for years. Miguel, Christine.

MARQUEZ: Our man in Havana, Patrick Oppmann.

The mood is anything but somber in South Florida. Cuban exiles dancing in the streets in Miami's Little Havana. Hundreds waving Cuban flags and banging on pats and pans, overjoyed by the news of Castro's death. As CNN's Boris Sanchez tells us, many of them have waited decades for the celebration.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Miguel, it is hard to believe that the response from people in Cuba and the response from people here in Miami is to the death of the same person. As you can see behind me, there is a celebration here. There is a DJ with a speaker set-up playing music, people waving flags. Some people holding mementos of loved ones on the island that couldn't be here to celebrate a moment that many people are saying they have been looking forward for a long time. And perhaps no better story captures the divide, the polarity between the two responses to the passing of Fidel better than Elian Gonzalez. And the saga that played out here in Miami back about 15 or 16 years ago. Elian, for his response, has called Fidel a father figure. And he basically said that he is someone who he admires and looks up to. Here is some of what Elian said to the death of Fidel Castro.


ELIAN GONZALEZ, STRONG SUPPORTER OF CUBAN REVOLUTION: He is a father, who like my father, I wanted to show him everything I achieved. That he would be proud of me. That's how it was with Fidel. If I learned something and wanted to show him and there are still many things I want to show him.


[04:45:07] SANCHEZ: And of course, Elian Gonzalez is not nearly well liked here in Miami as much as he was when he was a child. Several people I have spoken to, say that they see him as a prop for the regime, as a propaganda to elevate Fidel Castro into the status of an idol. They don't see him as an objective voice when it comes to Fidel's legacy. The party here is going to continue seemingly for the next few days. But in Havana, as you know, there are nine days of mourning. A very stark contrast between the two places. Miguel and Christine.

MARQUEZ: Thank you, Boris Sanchez.

As Cubans prepare to say a final goodbye to their former leader, more Americans than ever are preparing to visit the island nation. That's because several domestic carriers are ramping up routes to Cuba this morning. American Airlines runs its first, regularly scheduled flights to Havana, and United, JetBlue, Delta, Spirit, Frontier, Alaska and Southwest Airlines start offering Havana flights from U.S. airports in the coming weeks. But those flights could be in jeopardy because Donald Trump is threatening to reverse the progress that has been made in diplomatic relations between the two countries. Here is his chief of staff Reince Priebus.


REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We have to have a better deal. We are not going to have a unilateral deal from coming from Cuba to the United States, without some changes in their government, repression, open markets, freedom of religion, political prisoners, these things need to change in order to have open and free relationships. And that's what president-elect Trump believes. And that's where he is going to head. Talking is fine, but action is something that will be required under President Trump.


MARQUEZ: Trump vows his administration will do all it can to help Cuban people begin a journey of prosperity and liberty. ROMANS: All right. Today is Cyber Monday. Today, we are supposed to spend more money on holiday gifts and not many discounts in the stock market right now. All three major averages at record highs.


ROMANS: That was good, right. We will get a check on CNN Money Stream next.


[04:51:20] MARQUEZ: Syrian regime forces have claimed two more neighborhoods in Eastern Aleppo. Government airstrikes over the weekend pushing the civilian death toll to just over 500 in just the past two weeks. And that's raising concerns a long threatened ground assault against the rebels is about to hit high gear.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is tracking the latest developments, live from London. Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Miguel. Certainly, some very troubling signs there coming out of Aleppo, the most recent information we getting is it appears as though the government offensive is indeed going into high gear at this point in time. As you mentioned, a lot of air strikes going on, a lot of people killed. But then also, a lot of territory loss by the rebels as well. And we have to keep in mind, most of these areas have been held by the rebel forces since 2012. And now, they're losing them very quickly. So the Syrian government has made more advances in the past 24 hours than they have over the past four years. They say they have taken back some 10 districts of Eastern Aleppo. There are some reports saying that the rebels have now lost all of the northeast of Aleppo. That of course is very significant because Eastern Aleppo is the last urban strong hold that the rebels have in all of Syria. So what we could be witnessing right now could be a major turning point in the Syrian civil war in favor of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Of course, all of this with devastation for the civilians on the ground there, the U.N. saying there could be up to 250,000 people still trapped. You mentioned some of them fleeing. UNICEF said they believe of 250,000, a 100,000 might be children. Of course, for them, the situation even worse than for the adults trapped there as well. Miguel.

MARQUEZ: The dynamic here, Fred, if there is no place for the rebels to go, if the U.S. and the Russians cannot come up with some sort of deal, to how you go forward here, where does this thing go?

PLEITGEN: I think a lot of it right now seems to be looking in the direction that the Syrian government and the Russians and of course their backers, Iranians and Hezbollah as well are simply looking for what they call a military solution to the situation in Aleppo, which means they are going to fight until the rebels lose all of that territory. Now, they say the Russians and the Syrian regime say they have set-up what they call humanitarian corridors for the rebels to leave and go to other rebel-held areas in more western parts of Syria and of course also for civilians to simply get out. Civilians don't trust that. The rebels don't trust that. They believe they're going to be killed and captured, if they leave those areas. So, right now, there really aren't many places for the rebels to go. At the same time, you do see Secretary of State Kerry still pushing those diplomatic efforts to try and get a halt to the fighting in Aleppo going.

But with the situation on the battlefield, the way that it is right now, going in the favor of Syrian regime forces, it certainly seems as though they are going to keep pushing on their offensive, that is or appears to be very much in high gear at this point. Miguel.

MARQUEZ: It seems the humanitarian horror that we have seen so far will only get worse in the weeks ahead. Fredrik Pleitgen, thank you very much.

ROMANS: All right. In the Philippines, breaking overnight, an improvised explosive device found a few hundred feet from the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The authorities quickly diffused the bomb, that witnesses say was placed by a person riding in a taxi. Police consider it an act of terrorism. The IED had the same design as the one used in the deadly marketplace bombing in September that killed 14 people.

MARQUEZ: The Army Corps of Engineers is urging thousands of Dakota access pipeline protestors to move to the free speech zone by the 5th of December. But officials say there are no plans to forcibly remove those who remain. Native tribes and environmental activists have clashed violently with authorities in recent days. Many of them fear the pipeline could contaminate the Missouri River and disrupt tribal burial grounds. I don't think they're going anywhere.

[04:55:13] ROMANS: I don't think they will either. All right. Someone in Lafayette, Tennessee is a multimillionaire this morning. Thanks to a Powerball ticket worth $420.9 million.


MARQUEZ: Merry Christmas.


ROMANS: Can you imagine, 420 million bucks. The winning ticket matched all six Powerball numbers drawn Saturday night. Jackpot is 12th largest in the U.S. history. In case you missed them, here are the winning numbers, 17, 19, 21, 37, 55, Powerball 16. Please consult a lawyer. Sign it. Put it some place very safe.


MARQUEZ: Not my numbers.


MARQUEZ: Severe storms and heavy rain in the forecast for the drought stricken southeast. Let's get the latest from meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Miguel and Christine, good

morning to you both. The sever drought here is really expansive, when you consider the amount the land encompasses. It is in fact larger than the drought situation across portions of California when it comes to the extreme element of that. But you notice places like Birmingham. They have not seen rainfalls in the middle of September. It Atlanta, it has been in the middle of October since we last rainfall across this region of Georgia. In fact, 41 consecutive days and counting is the number of days without rainfall in Atlanta. Over 50,000 days have been recorded and recorded history in the city, the largest gap between rainfalls has been only 39 days. It certainly shows you the record territory we are sitting in the drought here across the southeast.

But here comes the front. We get a secondary bout of moisture coming out from the Gulf of Mexico. It could bring rainfall and maybe some elevations of snowfall across the northeast as well. But the rainfall potential is pretty impressive, if you ask me, 4 to 6 inches in the highest amounts in Northern Alabama. Parts of Northern Georgia could get a couple inches out of this. Of course, the fire situation would be alleviated. So great news all around. Guys.

ROMANS: All right, Pedram. Thank you so much. Let's go check CNN Money Stream this morning. The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P500, all sitting at record highs this morning. But investors are set to take a step back at the open. Dow Futures pointing to losses morning. Stock markets in New York are dropping in the first hour of trading there. The shares in Asia finishing mostly lower. Oil prices are the reason they are weighing on global stock markets this morning. It now appears OPEC countries will not reach a deal to cut production.

Investors can be thankful for gains last week. Something we have not seen in years. In the past three years, the stock market has been very quiet Thanksgiving week, slim gains or losses each of those weeks. Not this year, the Dow is up 1.5 percent over just the past four sessions. It is up about 10 percent for the year. The down side of the recent stock market rally, mortgage rates are spiking. The average 30-year fixed rate is now 4.19 percent. On election day, it was 3.62 percent. The increase comes from treasury bonds which are tied to mortgage rates. Investors are ditching bonds in favor of stocks. That's because they believe that Donald Trump's policies will lead to more government spending and borrowing, which will lead to higher interest rates. Plus the strong stock market reaction makes it easier for the fed to hike its target rates next month. Higher rates are coming.

Here is what that increase means for your money. A $250,000 mortgage with a 3.5 percent interest rate has a payment of $1,123 a month. That same mortgage, with 4.25 interest rate, is $1,230. That is an increase of 100 bucks a month and $38,000 over the life of the loan. All that in just three weeks.

Check out the New CNN Money Stream app. It is business news personalized. The stories, videos, tweets, and topics you want, all in one feed, Miguel. Download it now.


MARQUEZ: I'm happy you did all that math for me.

ROMANS: You're welcome.


ROMANS: Higher mortgage rates, it costs you more to finance a house.

MARQUEZ: All right. Thank you very much. EARLY START continues now.

ROMANS: President-elect Trump launches into a Twitter rant slamming the recount in Wisconsin while claiming he actually won the popular vote in the presidential election.

MARQUEZ: And it is a tale of two cities in the wake of Fidel Castro's death. People in Havana grieving, although in Little Havana, they are dancing in the streets. So what's next for the U.S.-Cuba relations?

ROMANS: And welcome to Cyber Monday as it is known.


ROMANS: Millions of Americans hunting for the best online deals. You are the hunted as well. Don't be fooled into deals that are not really deals.

MARQUEZ: You love that.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm actually Christine Romans. I'm reading your lines.


MARQUEZ: I'm John Berman.



ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans in for Christine Romans. It is November 28th. 5:00 a.m. in the east.

MARQUEZ: And let's recount the Twitter rant that began -- the Wisconsin election commission set to meet in less than six hours to establish a timeline for recounting their votes from the presidential election. And that is touching off a Donald Trump Twitter storm. The president-elect calling the recount a scam and Hillary Clinton a hypocrite for supporting it.