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An Attack In Sweden That Never Took Place; Top Senate Committee Preparing To Investigate Russian Interference In The Election; Senate Intelligence Committee To Investigate On Russian Interference In U.S. Election; President Trump, To Release A New On Immigration; The Secretary Of Defense Lands In Baghdad Overnight To Assess The Situation In Iraq; North Korea Accusing South Korea And Malaysia About Kim Jong-Nam's Death; Ceo Of Uber Is Vowing To Fire Employees Who Mistreat Women. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 20, 2017 - 04:30   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Suggestion of a terror attack that never happened, prompting new questions for President Trump.

Why did he tell his supporters about an attack in Sweden that never took place?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: A warning from the Senate Intelligence Committee. If you have papers related to Russian interference in the election, hold on to them. They're wanted as part of a probe into Moscow.

CABRERA: And a new executive order on immigration expected this week. But first, the whole line security department is outlining who could be impacted the most and how law enforcement should deal with this new order.

Welcome back to Early Start and thanks for waking up early on a holiday. I'm Ana Cabrera.

SANCHEZ: Great to see you this morning, Ana, as always. I'm Boris Sanchez, about half past the hour.

Let's start with the surprising comment made by the President over the weekend at the same campaign cell rally in tempo with the President slammed the media for spreading passage, He made a comment that is drawing questions about where he gets his facts and how he forms his world view?

President Trump is trying to back up a claim that unchecked immigration poses a threat and then said this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers that have a problems like they never thought possible.


CABRERA: The main problem with that comment is there was no attack Friday in Sweden. President Trumps and his remarks also mentioned Germany, Brussels, Nice and Paris. So, the context was clear. Turns out though the remark came one day after the Fox News aired an interview with a filmmaker who is tried to ties Sweden taken in refugees to increase in violence crime there.

Now, Mr. Trump is trying to clarify his point. The white house is trying to clean up this mess and Sweden is trying to contradict the President's claim.

CNN's Athena Jones is travelling with the President and have more now from Florida. Athena,

ATHENA JONES, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Ana and Boris. The President's comments at the Melbourne rally on Saturday, suggesting there may have been a some

sort terror incident in Sweden on Friday night, left a lot of people all around the world scratching their heads.

The President later, Sunday, tweeting that he was referring to a Fox news report that aired on Friday night. Here is some of what that report had to say.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX HOST: Perhaps no nation on Earth is more committed to accepting foreign migrants and refugees in Sweden. 2016 alone, the country accepted more than 160,000 asylum seekers.

By having a population of less than 10,000,000 people, only 500 of these migrants were able to get job in Sweden. But if these arrivals are not able to work, they are at least able to commit crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was an absolute surge in both gun violence and rape in Sweden...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...wanted against open door policy. So, they know that this -- this crime is happening. They can feel it. The statistics are clear. But they would refer to what is the root, cause behind it and say, oh it's just more happening, more violence.

It is men who are raping people, not the refugees. They make excuses for us. I think, that is what they are referring to at the government has gone out of its way to cover up some of these problems.

JONES: What's clear here is that the President is an avid watcher of cable news. It's where he gets a lot of information from. And ... but this lack of precision, the fact he said something that made it sound like he was referring to a terror incident, left a lot of people scratching their heads.

You had the Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt saying the tweeter to say, Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?

Questions abound, the fact of the matter is, the President often repeats things that he heard or -- or read without checking, and this has become a problem. It shows that the President's words matter and that a lot of people all around the world are listening very very closely to what the President says. Boris, Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Athena Jones reporting. Quick fact check here, Swedish government figures actually show the overall crime rate has changed very literal there over the last ten years or so. Something Stockholm probably had in mind as it tweeted out this. Saying we look forward to informing the U.S. Administration about Swedish Immigration and Integration Policies.


The Trump administration holding nothing back in an effort aimed at ending questions at home and abroad about the stance toward Russia. Vice President Mike Pence in Germany told world leaders that the U.S. will hold -- hold Russia accountable even at it seeks avenues for cooperation.

Meantime, the White House Chief of Staff went on a Sunday talk shows to flatly deny recent reports of constant contact last year between Russia and the Trump campaign.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Top levels of the Intelligence community have assured me that -- that story is not only inaccurate but it's grossly overstated and it was wrong.

That story in the New York Time is complete garbage and quite frankly, they used different words than that.

SANCHEZ: It's now clear, the White House will not get the final say on this. Senate committee suggests it will conduct a full pledge deep dive investigation into the Trump Russia connection.

CNN's Ryan Nobles has more from Washington. Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN REPORTER: Boris and Ana, good morning. This is a significant development. The senate intelligence committee sending more than a dozen letters to agencies, organizations, and individuals connected to the Trump administration, telling them to preserve records related to Russia.

It's among the clearest signs yet but there will be an extensive bipartisan investigation into the Russian government attempt to interfere in the recent presidential election.

Now, the move comes after a private briefing of Republican and Democratic members of congress by FBI Director James Comey. It was after that meeting which remains a secret that Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted confident that there would be a bipartisan probe into the issue. Up until now, the Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr of North Carolina had been reluctant to take that step despite being pushed by the ranking Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia. The White House did not deny the letters had been sent, but push back on the idea that it was a big deal. Saying that, just because the records were requested, doesn't mean they will reveal anything. The President himself has forcefully defended the validity of his election win and is worked hard to downplay any suggestion that there was an attempt by Russia to intervene on his behalf. Boris and Ana.

SANCHEZ: All right Ryan, thank you. The White House is not backing down after a senior national security adviser was reassigned following a disagreement with President Trump. White House officials have confirmed, Craig Deare was removed from his rules as National Security Adviser and sent back to the original -- original defense department job.

Deare had been assigned to the NSE by the Trump administration, but political reports that during a speech on Thursday, he slammed the President's Chief Strategies, Steve Bannon and what Deare saw is, over all disfunction in the White House. Following his reassignment and the administration spokesperson said that people who don't agree with President Trump should not have a job in his white house.

CABRERA: President Trump is trying to narrow the field of candidates for the new National Security Adviser position. On Sunday, the President interviewed several posibilities that Mar-a-lago. Among them, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton and acting National Security Adviser General Keith Kellogg and (inaudible).

Now the applicant interviews come may concern that Michael Flynn's force resignation from the job leaves the White House unprepared to face any sudden form policy crisis.

(inaudible) Bob Harward was considered a front runner for the job, but he took his name out of the running last week.

SANCHEZ: President Trump says he will release a new executive order on immigration this week. CNN has obtained memos from the Department of Homeland Security which shows Trump's order could send undocumented immigrants from Mexico back across the border while they wait court proceedings.

The new guidance would also toughen laws on Asylum seekers and on a company miners, entering the country and it gives broader authority to immigration officers. An appeals court has suspended proceedings on Trump's original travel ban.

CABREARA: President Trump's attacks on the media are themselves coming under fire from Republican Senator John Mccain. The debate kick-off Friday when the President tweeted, quote, the fake news media failing New York Times, NBC News, ABC's, CBS, CNN is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people.

Senator Mccain jokes with NBC's (inaudible) about his own sometimes contentious relations with the media and he said he wasn't calling the President a dictator, but that dictators get started by attacking the press.

JOHN MCCAIN, SENATOR, UNITED STATES: I hate the press. I hate you, especially. But the fact is I, we need you. We need a free press. If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversary press. And without it, I'm afraid we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started.

CABRERA: Amen, brother. CNN contributor Carl Bernstein who want a full surprise for his reporting on Watergate calls President Trumps the attacks on the press, quote, more treacherous than Nixon's.


Let's get an early start on your money market. Close today for President's day but investors will keep a close eye this week on earnings from big name retailers especially if you have any executive offer commentary on President Trumps proposal to tax imports.

The last major companies to report earnings are big consumer names including Walmart, Macy's and Home depot and retail executives who met with President Trump last week, oppose an import tax.

Big retailers import a large number of their products and many argue a tax will raise prices and hurt their business.

Now Trump has not said yet if he will include this controversial import tax in his plan. However, the revenue raised by is supposed to help pay for many of the tax cuts in the current GOP proposal.

You got to, Rob Peter to pay Paul or you got to make...


SANCHEZ: ...even there with the original plan. Got to be interesting to see how they move forward.

The Secretary of Defense lands in Baghdad overnight to assess the situation in Iraq himself. It comes right as Iraqi forces try to reclaim Mosul from ISIS. A live report from the Middle East next.



SANCHEZ: This morning, Secretary of Defense James Mattis landed in Baghdad as Iraqi forces launch an offensive to recapture the western part of the city of Mosul. The move comes after Iraq regained control of Eastern Mosul in a month's long battle.

CNN's senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is live with the latest. Ben, what are we expecting from the visit from Secretary Mattis? BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Basically, he wants to go there and see what's going on, on the ground and meet with Iraqi officials. Keep in mind, of course, Boris, that he is no stranger to Iraq. He served in the first gulf war and served during the American occupation.

So, he knows the country well, knows the challenges well, also. But this is a battle that's in addition to involving more than 100,000 Iraqi troops. There are more than 5,000 U.S. military personnel on the ground providing vital assistance and backing for the effort to drive ISIS out of Western Mosul. And there are also U.S. war planes and other coalition war planes, hitting ISIS targets on the ground.

So the U.S. has a very large role in what's going on in Northern Iraq. But Secretary, before arriving in Iraq took the opportunity to, in a sense, contradict President Trump, to say the United States is not interested in Iraq's oil. This is what he said.


JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: All of us in America generally paid for our gas and oil all along and I'm sure we will continue to do so in the future. We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil.


WEDEMAN: And of course, it is important to reassure the Iraqis that indeed the United States is not interested in the Iraq's oil. Also keep in mind that the Iraqis were upset that their country was included in those seven countries covered by the executive order relating to the travel ban.


SANCHEZ: All right, Ben Wedeman, reporting from Istanbul, Ben, thank you.

CABRERA: The U.S. is making its presence felt in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. Official say, they deployed an aircraft carrier as part of routine maritime operations. And it comes among growing tension between the U.S. and China over territory and trade. China warn the Trump administration against challenging its

sovereignty, after learning about this deployment.

The biggest brand mash up is no more -- no more. Kraft Heinz walking away from this massive takeover bid for Unilever, and we'll tell you why, next on CNN money.


SANCHEZ: North Korea is now accusing Malaysia and South Korea of collusion in the investigation into the death of Kim Jong-Un's half- brother.

Police say, Kim Jong-Nam was poisoned at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last week. Malaysian government is now ratcheting up diplomatic pressure in its search for answers. CNN's Saima Mohsin is live in Kuala Lumpur with the latest development. Saima, this is a bizarre story but is North Korea presenting any evidence of the collusion that they're accusing South Korea and Malaysia of?

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN REPORTER: Well, they certainly didn't come forward with any evidence. What they say, though, is they are basing this on the sequence of events. So let me -- let me tell you the North Korean Ambassador and yes, another unprecedented statement here on just outside the North Korean embassy, in Kuala Lumpur said, he said because there is a delay in the announcement of the cause of death and because there is no criminal evidence brought forward for, referring to the police investigation and suspects arrested, they believe this is suspicious and we cannot trust the investigation.

He also crucially pointed out that the North Korean embassy, according to him, now, never identified the dead man as Kim Jong-Nam, Kim Jong- Un's, the North Korean leader's half-brother. What he says is that they all along identified him as Kim Cho. The passport he was carrying.

So, they all denying this is Kim Jong's half-brother. Of course if we find back to last week, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia himself, held a press conference saying that the North Korean officials who are at the mortuary all day, Wednesday, (inaudible) they watching them in and out, they had identified him as Kim Jong-Nam at the time.

So, a lot of claims and counterclaims. This has become an extraordinary investigation and extraordinary Diplomatic row. Culminating in these climatic statement here today and then the Malaysians recalling their Ambassador to Pyongyang for and I quote, consultation.

They have an embassy in Pyongyang. Normally amicable relations, and all the while of course, they are continuing with the police investigation. Four new suspects named of police say are wanted in relation to the death of this North Korean man.

Three people wanted to assist in the investigation and four arrested already in custody since last week. Their remand is up tomorrow. We will wait and see if the Malaysians decide to hold them for longer. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: Saima, such a bizarre story. We were just talking about one suspect, thinking that she was on a game show when she allegedly sprayed that poison on to Kim Jong-Nam. A wild story, we thank you for following it for us.

Back to the U.S., now, a powerful storm swept through South Texas overnight leaving Tens of thousands in the dark. Strong winds and drenching rains knocking out power to 40,000 customers in San Antonio. Plus more than 100 homes were hit by what may have been a tornado. The storm also causing a partial train derailment just outside of Austin.

We will have more details on this as it becomes available. CABRERA: Northern California just keeps getting slammed. Five people died in the state over the weekend in a rush of water power was knocked out, cars submerged in Southern California. Has the region experienced one of its most wrenching storm in recent years.

Sadly, it's not over yet. There's always too much of a good thing is never a good thing, right...


SANCHEZ: Yes. but she has to ... they went to so much drought.

CABRERA: Right, they needed more -- they needed rain. And now they're getting too much of it.

Let's get the complete forecast with, let's bring a Meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

DEREK VAN DAM, METHEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Ana and Boris, as Southern California's starts to dry out, we focus our attention across the Northern and central portions of the state.

In fact, the National Weather Service using very strong language today, talking about how residents need to prepare to evacuate their house within 15 minutes or less due to the potential of flooding across the part of the State.

You see, we have a series of storm systems lining up, another atmospheric river event potentially taking place. Look out San Francisco and the Sacramento. We're going to measure snowfall in feet across the Sierra Nevada's and then rainfall across the lower elevations. Anywhere between three to five inches, potentially, locally higher amounts.

So, the potential for flooding certainly exist this week across central and Northern California. Elsewhere across the U.S., we have a weak system that's going to bring a few showers across the northern plains and into the Midwest, few thunderstorms for Eastern Texas and then pass to Louisiana.

Check out these temperatures coming up for warm weekend. You will not believe this. We have the potential to break upwards of 25 record highs today, alone, back to you.

CABRERA: 65 degrees in New York yesterday, beautiful.

Let's get an early start on your money. Global markets mostly higher today after (inaudible) Another record close on Friday, that's seven straight for the dow.

Today here in the U.S. market are closed for Presidents day.

The biggest ever brand mash up is no more. Kraft Heinz withdraws with 143,000,000 dollar takeover bid for consumer product giant, Unilever.

The company announced it's off at Friday but Unilever immediately turned down the 50 dollar per share price saying it under valued the company. This merger would have been the largest in the food and beverage industry.

Trumping the $125 billion deal between beer makers Anheuser-busch (inaudible) back in 2016.

Now, the CEO of Uber is vowing to fire employees who mistreat women. CEO, Travis Kalanick is calling for an urgent investigation into sexism at the company. The statement is in response to former female engineers blog post, describing systematic sexual harassment at Uber.

Kalanick tweeted Sunday that the account abound and against everything Uber believes in.

Well, Spacex is back in action. The company successfully launching a rocket, Sunday bound for the international space station after initial delay over minor concerns. The launch went quite smoothly. It was the first successful spacex launch since an explosion destroyed the rocket last September.

So, they're off to the space station, take a couple of days to get to there, they have 5,000 pounds of cargo and experiments on board. For those Astronauts who were waiting for in international space station.

SANCHEZ: Always fun to watch those. What they do there just way over my head.

CABRERA: You know, what would be cool to be an Astronaut.

SANCHEZ: Intense for sure.

CABRERA: My son, my son, I think, is going to go in that scientific way in terms of pursuing career. He is thinking as Astronaut is pretty cool.

SANCHEZ: It is pretty cool. Early Start continues, right now.

CABRERA: The terror attack that wasn't. Prompting new questions about the Commander in Chief. What led President Trump to tell supporters about an attack in Sweden that never took place?

SANCHEZ: The top senate committee preparing to investigate Russian interference in the election. Officials are now warning interested parties do not toss out any documents related to the issue.

CABRERA: With the new executive order on immigration expected this week, homeland security is outlining changes of how importance of this laws will be carried out. The impact this could have on undocumented immigrants ahead.

Hello and thanks for being with us on Early Start. I'm Ana Cabrera with my friend Boris.

SANCHEZ: Always great to see you, Ana.

CABRERA: Colorado connection exists in personal. SANCHEZ: Yes. Yes. Real life here on the desk, I'm Boris Sanchez. It's Monday, February 20th. 5:00 a.m. on the east coast. We start with a surprising comment made by the President over the weekend.