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The President's Speech; Trump Delays Signing New Travel Ban; Russia's Response to Trump Speech; Dial Testing Trump's Speech to Congress. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 1, 2017 - 04:30   ET




[04:31:12] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment, believe in yourselves --


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A positive reception for the positive tone in President Trump's first speech before Congress. We have all of the highlights, including the tearful moment that you don't want to miss.

Welcome back to EARLY START this morning. I'm Christine Romans.


There was a "you had me at hello" moment, right, where he condemned hate straight out of the gate.

ROMANS: That's right.

BRIGGS: I think everyone felt much better.

ROMANS: Even his critics were talking about the speech saying that was the presidential tone they wanted.

BRIGGS: It was a tough speech to counter for his critics.

Four-thirty-one on this Tuesday this morning.

The White House hoping this morning President Trump's big speech provides a reset of sorts. In the address to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump cast a more presidential image than we've seen from him so far. After about an hour spent mostly sticking to the teleprompter, as he ran through his policy goals, we got a lot of answers how to pay for them.

The president did offer up this challenge to lawmakers.


TRUMP: The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts, the bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls, and the confidence to turn those hopes and those dreams into action.


ROMANS: The president recapping many of the greatest hits from his campaign promises. Several times, we saw all the Republican lawmakers standing and all the Democrats stuck to their seats. Perhaps the most poignant point of the night came to a tribute to one of the president's special guests.

CNN's Jim Acosta is at the White House. He's got more for us this morning.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, President Trump put the divisive rhetoric of the early days of his administration behind him and embraced a moderate more softer tone in his speech to a joint session of Congress. During his address, the president sounded open to immigration reform, back Obamacare's protection of covering patients with preexisting conditions, and even voiced his support for NATO, an alliance he has criticized in the past.

The most striking moment of the space came when he paid tribute to Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens who was killed in a military raid in Yemen at the beginning of the Trump administration.


ACOSTA: But the president did not tone down his rhetoric across the board, using the term "radical Islamic terrorism" in his speech, despite advice from his new national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, who said he should not use the phrase -- David and Christine.


BRIGGS: (INAUDIBLE) dived into the specifics on the topics Jim mentioned there. First on immigration, President Trump striking a new tone of compromise. Hours before the speech, he surprised many when he said he wants Congress to take up an immigration reform bill that could grant legal status to millions of documented immigrants in the U.S.


TRUMP: I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: To improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation's security, and to restore respect for our laws. Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.



BRIGGS: While stopping short of the path to citizenship, the president's proposal would offer legal status to undocumented immigrants who are not serious or violent criminals. The president drew big applause from Republicans when he repeated his pledge to build a wall -- a great, great wall.

[04:35:03] Although he did not insist that Mexico pay the bill.

ROMANS: The president is not backing down from his campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Mr. Trump outlining his goals for a new health care system during last night's address. He wants to keep coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

And he's calling for a guaranteed transition for Americans insured to exchanges. He also wants to help Americans purchase their own insurance and said relying exclusively on government mandated plans, and he says bringing down costs including the price of drugs is critical.


TRUMP: Action is not a choice; it is a necessity. So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.

With reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time provide better health care.

The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do.


ROMANS: Later today, Republicans will try to get on the same page on Obamacare, when House leaders brief their Senate counterparts on repeal plans at a meeting called by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

BRIGGS: The president also calling on Congress to fund a $1 trillion national infrastructure bill, which would make good on another campaign pledge. Mr. Trump says his program would be financed by both public and private capital.


TRUMP: America has spent approximately $6 trillion in the Middle East, all the while our infrastructure at home is crumbling.

With the $6 trillion, we could have rebuilt our country twice, and maybe even three times, if we had people who had the ability to negotiate. (APPLAUSE)


BRIGGS: Infrastructure may be one of the rare areas of bipartisan agreement. Bernie Sanders also ran on a pledge to spend $1 trillion on roads, airports, bridges and other infrastructure.

ROMANS: The president's new tone was evident from the very start of this speech. He opened the address by condemning the recent spate of anti-Semitic acts across the nation and the shooting of Indian men in Kansas.


TRUMP: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.



ROMANS: Mr. Trump meaning Kansas, not Kansas City. This, as law enforcement officials tell CNN that threats targeting Jewish community centers and day schools across the nation likely originated overseas. Officials did say some of the phoned-in threats are likely copycats.


BRIGGS: Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivering the Democratic response to President Trump. Beshear said the president is not helping and attacked efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.


STEVE BESHEAR (D), FORMER GOVERNOR OF KENTUCKY: You and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it. Does the Affordable Care Act need some repairs? Sure, it does. But so far, every Republican idea to replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of Americans covered.


BRIGGS: Many of the Democratic women in attendance wore white, as you can see, in a nod to the women's rights movement in the early 1900s, which encouraged supporters to dress in white as a simple of purity.

ROMANS: Donald Trump taking a victory lap of sorts last night, rattling off companies who he says are already bringing jobs back to the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Wal-Mart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions and billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.



ROMANS: As some of these executives have credited the president for his pro-business stance on tax reform and deregulation. That's one of the reasons so many of these stocks are rallying here.

But in some of these cases, the jobs he is promoting were part of a previously announced growth plans.

In February, Intel CEO visited the White House, announcing Intel would invest $7 billion in an Arizona factory, creating 10,000 jobs. But Intel announced that initial factory plan back in 2011 with President Obama actually on hand there for the photo op. A strong demand for its products, in addition to Trump policies they say are the reasons it is reinvesting now.

[04:40:01] Fiat Chrysler CEO is creating jobs in Michigan and CEO said he wishes he could give Trump credit but those plans were in place before Trump was elected.

Ford is cancelling plans to build a plan in Mexico and investing in electric and self-driving cars of the U.S. Ford cites the pro- business environment but says it did not cut a specific deal with President Trump.

Other companies like Carrier did cut deals with the president and he deserves credit for creating an environment, they say, where companies want to promote their U.S. workforces, but again, some of these jobs are not new.

President Trump paying tribute last night to the Navy SEAL who died in January during a raid on al Qaeda in Yemen. Carryn Owens, the widow of William "Ryan" Owens, openly sobbing in this emotional moment as the president honored her husband's sacrifice. It was, by far, the most moving moment of the evening.


TRUMP: Ryan died as he lived, a warrior and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation.

Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.



BRIGGS: Hard not to shed a tear watching that moment last night. Two long ovations totaled 2 minute and 11 seconds. Owens was the first member of the U.S. military to die in combat under President Trump who once called the deadly mission a, quote, "success" during last night's address, citing the important intelligence it generated.

ROMANS: I just can't imagine how difficult that was for her.

BRIGGS: The courage just to be there. Remarkable.

ROMANS: Yes, thoughts with her family and it's really still tough days for them.

All right. After steadfast refusals from the prior administration over using the term, President Trump declares the threat exists from radical Islam. How much does that affect the terror fight? What does the terminology mean here? We're live in the Middle East, next.


[04:46:45] BRIGGS: President Trump was scheduled to sign a reworked travel ban today. But last night's congressional address so well- received, the White House is scrapping that plan so they can capitalize on the positive buzz.

The new travel ban will be signed later this week. And CNN has learned it will exclude green card and visa holders while revising or eliminating language that prioritizes certain religions.

Last night, President Trump used language his own national security adviser will not when it comes to combating terrorism.


TRUMP: Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.



BRIGGS: So, how does the president's speech play in the Middle East?

Let's go live to Amman, Jordan, and bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh.

Good morning to you.

Now, uniting this country is one thing. Uniting folks over there, an entirely different accomplishment. Can he do it?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is going to be tough right now, you know, Dave, when you talk to governments in this region, government officials, you talk to people, it's very much still a wait and see. They really don't know what to expect from this new U.S. administration.

And when it comes to things like the travel ban, that was a negative start for so many in this part of the world. But overall, people want to wait and see what comes next. When it comes to that term of "radical Islamic terrorism", this is not something that many or most in this region are happy about. It's not something that they would accept.

Key allies of the United States in this region have been very vocal about trying to separate the religion from ideology. For example, King Abdullah of Jordan, a top U.S. ally, one of the closest in the Middle East has for a couple years been saying that the U.S. needs to make that differentiation, that this ideology of the extremists is not the same as true Islam, as he says, and he described as enemies of Islam.

And others in this region would tell you that the biggest victims of extremists, terrorists of these jihadi groups are Muslims themselves in countries like Iraq and Syria. And in Iraq, they would tell you that they are the ones who are at the forefront of this fight against extremism. So, really, not a term that many would be happy hearing in this part of the world, Dave.

BRIGGS: Jomana, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Absent from the president's speech, any direct message of Russia. But he did say this.


TRUMP: We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies, decades ago, fought on the opposite side of these terrible, terrible wars. This history should give us all faith in the possibilities for a better world.


ROMANS: All right. So, how is Trump being -- the speech being received in Russia?

I want to go live to CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. Matthew is in Moscow for us this morning.

He did not mention Russia by name. But that clip we just played you, many are wondering if the president is softening his tone and setting us up for another Russia reset?

[04:50:10] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think this continues to be mixed messages coming from the Trump administration when it comes to its policy on Russia. President Trump mentioned NATO. He affirms his support for the western military alliance. Previously, of course, he called it obsolete and criticized its expansion, which was music to the ears for some people in the Kremlin who shared that point of view.

At the same time, he mentioned, you know, that sound bite you just mentioned, he said America is willing to find new friends and forge new partnerships, which is being interpreted by some here in a bleak reference to the idea that Russia and the United States could cooperate on, for instance, international terrorism, something that the Trump administration has spoken about and President Trump has spoken about in the past.

The Kremlin has commented on this within the past few minutes saying that, "Without two biggest countries working together, it's just impossible to be effective on the war in terrorism." So, they certainly think, the Kremlin, that there are areas for cooperation on that issue and other issues as well.

ROMANS: All right. Matthew Chance for us this morning with a view from Moscow -- thank you, sir.

All right. The view from Wall Street. What in the world is going on? This has been quite a string of broken records. And now we enter the month of March. I'm going to give you a little progress report on February, when we get back.


[04:55:49] ROMANS: I've got to say, the reaction overall this morning in the papers and online pretty positive to that speech last night, the president's congressional address. You've got to imagine that the White House is pleased here this morning.

According to a CNN/ORC poll, 78 percent of those who watched had a positive response. We should note the sample lean Republican, which is typical of a Republican president.

What was the reaction of the speech live as it happened?

CNN's Tom Foreman was tracking real-time reaction from viewers.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christine, hey, Dave. More than 39,000 people cast about 15 million votes moment to moment, telling us what they thought of the speech. The line goes up if they like it, down if they don't. Democrats in blue, independents in purple, Republicans in red.

And the president had them all pointing the right direction early on, when he talked about hate crimes. Watch the lines.

TRUMP: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.


FOREMAN: That is what any president would want. Look, everybody's clustered together here, up in the positive territory.

But these moments were very hard to come by, especially when he talked about policy. Yes, they agreed when he talked about helping out veterans. Yes, they agreed a little bit when he talked about jobs. We saw plenty of area where is they disagreed, particularly on policy, and particularly when he brought up Obamacare.

Watch the lines.

TRUMP: Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.


FOREMAN: Yes, big applause line in the room. They all jump up. But, look, Democrats hated it. Independents didn't like it. Interestingly, the Republicans in our sample, look at that, they're falling off, too.

At no point did these lines ever cross. Democrats never liked it more than independents. Independents never liked it more than the Republicans. And interestingly enough, men always liked what he had to say more than women -- Christine, Dave.


ROMANS: All right. Tom Foreman breaking it down for us. Thanks, Tom.

Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this Wednesday, the first day of March.

The Dow streak of record highs is over. The Dow fell slightly Tuesday, finally ending that ridiculous run that we were counting with bated breath. It caps a strong month, the Dow rose 5 percent in February. The S&P 500 gaining about 4 percent over the month.

March looks to be off to a good start. Futures are higher right now, stock markets in Europe are solidly higher. That's a sign that investors there, they liked President Trump's speech. It's like basic material stocks doing well here, infrastructure play, shares in Asia higher as well.

Now, despite the Dow finally snapping that record, the Trump stock market rally far from over. One of America's policymakers is paying close attention.

Here's what the president of the New York Federal Reserve told my colleague Richard Quest.


WILLIAM C. DUDLEY, NY FED PRESIDENT: There's no question animal spirits have been released most the election. Stock market is up a lot. Household and business confidence is increasing. There's a survey of small businesses that showed a very large increase that December and sustained that increase in January. So, there's no question that sentiment has improved quite markedly post the election.


ROMANS: Yes, you're seeing it in so many of the indicators. But Bill Dudley warns if the government increases spending on the military by cutting back domestic programs, the net effect, he says, may not give a powerful boost to the economy. He would know, he's number three at the Fed behind the chair and vice chair. He helps oversee interest rates and regulate banks, making decisions affecting millions of Americans.

A major bidding war in the book industry is over. Penguin Random House is signing a deal of pair of books by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. The bidding war here was unbelievable. "The Financial Times" reports bidding between several prominent book publishers had surpassed, Dave, $60 million. Penguin Random House declined to comment on any dollar figures.

These books are likely to be released in 2018. The Obamas plan to donate a significant portion of their author proceeds to charity, including the Obama Foundation.