Return to Transcripts main page


Hollywood's Biggest Night Ends with Big Blunder; President Trump's First Address to the Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday; Planned Talks Between the U.S. and North Korea Are Off; The Dow Sets 11 Record Highs In A Row. Aired at 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 27, 2017 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:01] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Think again. We have the epic envelope slip that ended the Oscars.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you this Monday morning, everybody. I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour.

Well, it is Hollywood's biggest night and it ended with a bang, just not the one anyone expected. A bizarre blunder marked the end of the Academy Awards. This starred when legendary stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took the stage, their job to announce the winner for Best Picture.




BRIGGS: Just one problem, La La Land did not win, the moment bringing squirm-inducing flashbacks of Steve Harvey announcing the wrong Ms. Universe in 2015. After two and a half minutes of acceptance speeches and onstage celebration for La La Land, the mistake was announced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lost, by the way.

JORDAN HOROWITZ, PRODUCER, "LA LA LAND": Guys, guys, I'm sorry. No, there's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke.


HOROWITZ: This is not a joke. I'm afraid they read the wrong thing.

This is not a joke. Moonlight has won Best Picture. Moonlight. Best Picture.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST: I think you guys should keep it anyway. Guys, this is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this. I would like to see you get an Oscar anyway. Why can't we just give out a whole bunch of this?

HOROWITZ: I'm going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight.


WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR: Hello. Hello. I want...

KIMMELL: Warren, what did you do?

BEATTY: I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That's why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny.

KIMMEL: Well, you were funny.

BEATTY: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.


BEATTY: This is Moonlight, the Best Picture.


ROMANS: Congratulations, Moonlight.

BRIGGS: Yes. And Warren Beatty, you're OK. You're clear on this. To discuss the envelope slip for the ages, let's bring in senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, host of Reliable Sources.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You get an Oscar, you get an Oscar, you get an Oscar.

BRIGGS: What the heck happened?

STELTER: This was apparently the tale of two envelopes, the accounting firm in-charge of this, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, they have two sets of envelopes back stage. One of them was actually used to give Emma Stone her prize for Best Actress. The other one saying Emma Stone's name in La La Land apparently went out on stage with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. We don't know exactly how, but Pricewaterhouse Coopers has taken the responsibility. We can show on screen the statement from the accounting firm overnight. They have been doing this for 83 years. And now, tonight, they have to apologize, they have to sincerely apologize to everybody involved for this error. They went on to say that there were envelopes and there were apparently a slip-up. They say they're going to investigate this. This is a huge embarrassment for the company after 83 years of being in charge of protecting the winners of the Oscars.

ROMANS: You can see Warren Beatty trying to figure out what was going on. He even looked at one point to see if there is another envelope or another piece of paper...


ROMANS: ... trying to figure out what was going on.

STELTER: Because it said Emma Stone, but it also said La La Land.


ROMANS: Two and a half minutes of acceptance speech.


STELTER: And even more dramatic and walked back stage, and checked to make sure it was right. It is easy the Monday morning quarterbacking this. These two famed actors were in a really difficult spot here. They went with what they were told.

BRIGGS: Right. How did they let the acceptance speeches go on...


BRIGGS: There were at least two people who knew who was supposed to win. As soon as they heard that name...

STELTER: Exactly. That is where the investigation, where it sounds silly. It is going to be a big Hollywood investigation to figure out what exactly went wrong and for how long. Because the accounting firm is saying this was immediately corrected. But it didn't look immediate to the viewers.


STELTER: I mean, I was about to turn off my laptop and go to bed by the time La La Land folks was wrapping up with their speeches.

ROMANS: I will say this. I thought everybody handled this with a lot of grace. I mean, the producer for La La Land, his reaction, we have his reaction after the show. Let's listen to what he said.

[04:35:01] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOROWITZ: I'm a little bit in a daze, but you know, it's what happened. And I'm glad I got to stand up there. I'm glad I got to invite my friends from Moonlight up there. It has become an incredible community of people. I have become particularly close with a lot of the people on the cast and crew. It was -- you know, things happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they said this is wrong, Moonlight actually won. What did you think?

TROVANTE RHODES, ACTOR: I mean, it seemed as if it was a joke. It's Jimmy Kimmel. That's kind of the most disrespectful joke you could play on somebody. OK. Or it was like when Moonlight is the real winner...


RHODES: Yeah, you know, but then it was real. That was just the most unique moment.


ROMANS: I hope the flub doesn't take some of the shine off the Moonlight moment.


STELTER: You're right, but it was La La Land and not Moonlight. There were other awards for La La Land. But this of course, the biggest award for Moonlight. Here's what we can do in order to celebrate the film, watch it. It is on Amazon, it's on iTunes, you can rent the film for a few bucks if you haven't seen it. It is an incredible story of Moonlight. It also represents the diversity of the Oscars. This time, last year, a lot of talk, lack of diversity on stage. Moonlight, an incredible story of this young man growing up in Miami trying to beat the odds, watch him played by different actors over the years. It is an incredible story. So if you haven't seen it, now of course, now that we know the winners, time to catch up on the movies.

BRIGGS: Hollywood has taken its shots over the years for good reason, but how they handled this was kind of their finest moment.


STELTER: And even Jimmy Kimmel is trying to take responsibility, saying go ahead and blame me, I will never be back again as host, even though they had nothing to do with this. You're right, there was grace.

ROMANS: And the night was kind of light on politics. I would say it is light on politics.

STELTER: Yeah, I think compared to what people were expecting, which was for every winner of an Oscar to give a political speech, a lot of folks thanked their families. Thanked their wives, thanked their moms and stuck that, instead of going directly to the politics. However, there were some important moments. We heard comments about not having walls, we heard from a number of actors about love and empathy. There were some maybe jabs at President Trump, even without referencing it.

BRIGGS: Which Jimmy Kimmel did, and we will play some of those in the 5 o'clock hour. He got a few shots in. Brian, we will see you in a little bit.

STELTER: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump getting ready to tackle his first budget in healthcare today, how much of it will end up in the first address to congress tomorrow night?


[04:41:55] BRIGGS: This morning, the big build-up begins leading to President Trump's first address to the joint session of congress, that's tomorrow in primetime. But first, the president has a busy day ahead with a special focus today on healthcare, including meetings with the governors, insurers, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The White House is also set to release outlines of its first budget proposal. Officials tell CNN that the Trump budget will safeguard Social Security and Medicare. They say some other federal agencies won't be spared.

White House correspondent Athena Jones has the details.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRSEPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Christine. The president has another busy week ahead anchored in many ways by the first speech to a joint session of congress, that's tomorrow night. He kicks off today with a series of meetings. There will be meetings here at the White House with governors and also meet with health insurers. A big topic in conversation will be Obamacare. The president talked about Obamacare in his brief remarks to governors at an annual gala here last night. Take a listen to what he had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Obamacare has had tremendous problems. I won't say in front of the Democrats. I will just say it to the Republicans.


TRUMP: It doesn't work. We are going to repeal and replace. And I think you're going to see something very, very special.


JONES: So there, you heard the president promising something special when it comes to repealing and replacing Obamacare. Of course, the details of what the replacement plan is going to look like are very much being ironed out. Also expected today, the president we expect to layout his budget priorities. We expect the president will call for a substantial increase in military spending in the budget and call for cuts to several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency. Back to you.

ROMANS: All right. Athena, thank you for that.

Expect President Trump to focus on military spending, healthcare, and tax reform during his address to congress. But what about the most expensive parts of the U.S. budget, entitlements? The treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin was asked about that on Sunday.


STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: We are not touching those now, so don't expect to see that as part of the budget. OK. We are very focused on other aspects and that's what's very important to us. That's the president's priority.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: The budget director Mick Mulvaney is known for a deficit hawk. And a senior administration official says the president's upcoming budget outline will call for spending cuts to several federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency. Here's the issue. Agencies like the EPA only takes up 17 percent of the federal budget. So squeezing costs there, it only goes so far to cut spending overall. Social Security and other labor costs represent about one- third of all government spending. Health programs like Medicare and Medicaid take up 27 percent. It is followed by military spending, which Trump wants to increase. And then you have interest payments. Interesting, right? It just shows you how the pie -- how small that part of the pie is, what they're talking about.

BRIGGS: Yeah. Difficult to compensate for increased defense spending. We will see.

[04:45:01] ROMANS: All right. Aides to Sean Spicer are now on notice. The White House press secretary asked the staff to hand over their work and personal cell phones so he can make sure they are not communicating with reporters. Spicer's crackdown comes following after a series of leaks that proved embarrassing to the White House. Sources say Spicer told his aides the use of encrypted texting apps violates the Federal Records Act. One source says Spicer also asked his staff not to leak details of the meeting or the crackdown on leaks.

BRIGGS: So much for that. President Trump is back to hunting for a new secretary of the Navy after the pick for the job backed out on Sunday. Philip Bilden withdrew his nominations citing complications created by his business interests. Bilden recently retired as a private equity investment manager. In a statement, he says he concluded he won't be able to satisfy government ethics rules without disrupting his family's private financial interests. He is the second service secretary nominee to withdraw after Vincent Viola backed out the army secretary job citing his financial interest.

President Trump dismissing calls for an independent investigation into reported communications between the Trump campaign and Russians known to U.S. intelligence, even as questions grow within his own party. Trump tweeted, quote, Russia, talk is fake news put by the Democrats and played out by the media in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks. This came after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie suggested the White House may better consider how to handle this issue.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don't think Reince thought he was doing anything wrong. I really don't. I have absolute confidence in his integrity. But you need to have the sensibility of a prosecutor when you're dealing with these issues because perception matters.


BRIGGS: All this comes as Republican Congressman Darrell Issa who has supported Trump in the 2016 election calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the issue. Other GOP lawmakers are saying the investigations focused on the leaks from the intelligence community.

ROMANS: All right. The father of the first service member killed during the Trump administration is slamming the president for green lighting the mission that killed his son. Navy Seal William Ryan Owens was killed in the raid in Yemen last month. The White House called the mission a success, but Owens' father told the Miami Herald, quote why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission, when it was barely a week into his administration. For two weeks prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen. Everything was missiles and drones, because there was a not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden, we had to make this grand display. The senior Owens also says he declined to meet President Trump when the president to greet Owens body on its return to the U.S.

BRIGGS: The White House correspondents' dinner is going on as scheduled, but for the first time in decades, the president will not be there. Mr. Trump tweeted on Saturday, I will not be attending the White House correspondents' association dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening. The last president to skip the correspondence dinner was Ronald Reagan, who was recovering from an assassination attempt. Mr. Trump's actions comes as he escalates his war with the media, he blocked CNN, the New York Times, and other media outlets from an off-camera White House briefing on Friday.

ROMANS: Another briefing on camera today I think at 1 o'clock.


BRIGGS: With Sean Spicer. I certainly hope that is addressed.


BRIGGS: And they explain, if it happens again. And we hope not.

ROMANS: All right. To money now, the Dow's huge winning streak begins a new week. Will the Dow make history again today? Regardless of what the Dow does, we will give you Warren Buffett advice of how to make money in stocks this year. That's next.


[04:53:20] BRIGGS: Planned back channel talks between the U.S. and North Korea are off, at least for now. The Trump administration now withdrawing visa approvals for Pyongyang's top officials on American relations. A last minute cancellation came hours after the Malaysian government officials say a toxic agent was used to kill Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

CNN's Alexandra Field live in Kuala Lumpur with us. Alex, we understand a major announcement about this investigation a few moments ago. Walk us through it.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this one comes from South Korean intelligence officials. Officials here in Malaysia say they are looking for seven North Korean citizens in relation to the deadly attack on Kim Jong-nam. But now, South Korean officials are saying that some of those seven suspects were part of two different assassination groups that were working together, along with a support group. They say that members of the assassination group included government officials from both the national security, ministry of South Korea, and also its foreign ministry. Those were some of the four suspects who were believed to have left Malaysia immediately following the attack and returned to Pyongyang.

Again, according to South Korean intelligence officials, they are blaming those government officials saying that those officials recruited the two women used in carrying out the attack, the Vietnamese woman and the Indonesian woman who were accused of deploying VX, a lethal nerve agent, a weapon of mass destruction, in busy airport terminals. You can see that attack unfolding on CCTV. Words that the VX was used in an attack, some 10 or 11 days after Kim Jong-nam was killed. After that, police decided to go into the airport wearing protective suits to do a sweep to see if any dangerous chemicals or hazardous substances were still in the terminal that has been opened since the attack.

As a relief, they found there were no substances leftover. But a lot of questions remaining about how the women were able to bring that deadly nerve agent into the country. The experts say it only takes a couple drops or just a swab of liquid to kill someone within minutes. Dave.

[04:55:22] BRIGGS: One thing, how they brought them into the country. The other is how they did not expose themselves. Any answers to that?

FIELD: Yeah. That's been a big question for everyone. North Korean officials have vehemently denied having any role in the death of Kim Jong-nam. They have also said that if these women were to poison him, they would have suffered the consequences, some symptoms or even a fatal consequence. Police here in Malaysia however say that these women were trained to deploy the nerve agent. They are looking at the possibility the women were treated with some kind of antidote or they were using some kind of protective barrier. And the police inspector general here says that there is video of them walking with their hands up. That means they were instructed about how to clean themselves off and not to touch themselves.


FIELD: Those were the theories they are working under at this point, Dave. Certainly, it raised alarm for a lot of people here.

BRIGGS: Such a bizarre story. We appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right. Bill Cosby will be in a Pennsylvania courtroom this morning as his legal team fights to get his trial moved to a different county. The embattled actor's legal team argues he cannot get a fair trial in Pennsylvania's Montgomery County due to overwhelming media coverage. The action comes after a win of sorts for Cosby on Friday, a judge ruled only 1 of 13 accusers against Cosby can take stand.

BRIGGS: Another disturbing act of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. Police say between 75 and 100 headstones were overturned Saturday. Investigators say they have not established the motive. It comes less than a week after a similar incident at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis cemetery where damaged dozens of headstones. At the start of the year, at least 69 bomb threats have been made to 54 Jewish centers in the U.S. and Canada.

ROMANS: All right, 57 minutes past the hour. Let's go check on CNN Money Stream this morning. The Dow is seemingly unstoppable, 11 record highs in a row for closed Friday, with 11 points of gains, 11 points. That's enough to keep the streak alive. Futures are flat right now. The Dow on the verge of history, a gain today would tie the streak for record closing highs. That streak set back in 1987. If the Dow can extend the gains until Wednesday, it would break the record for consecutive gains at the close, which is 14 set, way back in 1897. So what does Warren Buffett think? An annual shareholder featured this review of the state of the U.S. economy, quote, from a standing start, 240 years ago, a span of timeless than triple my days on earth, Americans have combined human ingenuity, a market system, a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants, and the rule of law to deliver abundance beyond any dreams of our forefathers, end quote.

BRIGGS: Eloquent.

ROMANS: Yeah. Plus the annual shareholder meeting, it takes place, this company made $17.6 billion last year. Stock is up 30 percent in the past year. His tips for making money in stocks this year, invest in index funds that mirror the S&P and keep fees to a bare minimum.

BRIGGS: Wait, wait, wait. Index funds?

ROMANS: Index funds.


ROMANS: Donald Trump's pressure in manufactures to making things in America could be spreading going to the toy aisle. Hasbro which produces Play-Doh to a factory in Massachusetts, this is according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has not yet responded to our request or CNN Money's request for comment. Hasbro currently makes Play-Doh in Turkey and China. It used to own a factory that will make it, which also produces board games and trading cards. The company tells the Journal that the move was not a response to the president's policies, but a step to boost production after years of strong Play- Doh sales.

BRIGGS: Love me some Play-Doh.


BRIGGS: Just don't eat it. It's not edible. It tastes terrible. I tried it.


BRIGGS: Early Start continues right now. And the award for Best Drama goes to the Oscars. An ending for the

ages that saw one film awarded Best Picture only to see it stripped away.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Nice Monday morning. Nice to see you, Dave.


ROMANS: I know, I know. I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, February 27th, it is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Hollywood's biggest night ended with a bang, just not the one anyone expected. A bizarre colossal blunder marked the end of the Academy Awards. It all started when legendary Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took the stage to announce the winner for Best Picture.


DUNAWAY: La La Land.