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Administration's Muddled Message On Syria; Syria's Complicated Calculus; USS Carl Vinson Deployed To Korean Peninsula; Death Toll Rises In Egypt Church Bombings; Kushner and Bannon Feuding; SNL Spoofs Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 10, 2017 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:00] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: What to do next in Syria and now the secretary of state has harsh words for Russia just days before his trip to Moscow.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And an American aircraft carrier headed towards the Korean Peninsula, will it involving Pyongyang or reduce provocation from the regime?

Welcome back to EARLY START this Monday morning.

I'm Christine Romans.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. Always great to be here with you, Christine.

ROMANS: Nice to have you in.

SANCHEZ: We're half past the hour and this morning, the world is waiting to see President Trump's next move on Syria, following the last week's missile airstrikes on a government airfield but top administration official seem to be putting out a modelled message on the fate of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson telling ABC News that the strike was aimed only at deterring further use of chemical weapons by Assad not at regime change.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We are hopeful that we can work with Russia and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on a way forward and introduce through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will ultimately be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad.


SANCHEZ: On the other hand, President Trump's U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley says the U.S. has what she calls multiple priorities in Syria and one of them political stability is impossible with Assad as president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: There is not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime. It just -- if you look at his actions, if you look at the situation it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad.


ROMANS: Haley also says the U.S. is calling out Russia and Iran for their support of the Assad Regime. The U.N. Ambassador warning that the possibility of tougher sanctions against the two countries is not off the table. All this, ahead of Tillerson's high stakes meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, that attempt (ph) comes later this week. The secretary of state's message is already clear, quit propping up Assad.

Our coverage begins this morning with CNN's Ryan Nobles in Washington.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Forcing, Christine, good morning. The big question for the Trump Administration heading into this week is what's next when it comes to the crisis in Syria? Is the strike on a Syrian Airfield a onetime thing specifically designed to keep Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons or is it the start of a more involved U.S. policy to support the removal of Assad?

Of course, the matter is more complicated than just Assad. You have the fight against ISIS raging in that region and of course the regime's relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin. This delegate balance will be unfold display this week as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson travels to Europe and will meet with European leaders on Monday before travelling to Moscow for a high-stakes meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.

Tillerson said he will push the Russians to put pressure on their allies, the Syrians, to eliminate any chemical weapons they may still have. Just days after the U.S. attack on that Syrian airfield, the fighter jets were already taking off bombing some of the same rebel- held locations where the chemical attacks took place, Boris and Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Ryan, thank you so much for that.

You know, the Trump Administration is also flexing its military muscle in the Western Pacific. Right now, the nuclear powered 97,000 ton USS Carl Vinson is leading a strike group towards the Korean Peninsula. The aircraft carrier has more than 60 planes and 5,000 personnel on- board. The shell (ph) of course follows a series of recent provocations from the north, our Alexandra Field tracking the latest development for us live this morning from Seoul.

Good morning, Alex.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine, tension is high here on the Peninsula of the USS Vinson being redeployed to the waters off the Korean Peninsula after it left the area. It was here for training exercises just last month. Its return according to South Korean officials indicating the seriousness with which U.S. Officials take the North Korean nuclear threat. It is what you say a show of force of flexing of U.S. muscle.

It backs up the 30,000 U.S. Troops who are permanently stationed in Seoul, South Korea and the word from Washington is that the return of the USS Vinson is a direct response to the provocations from Pyongyang. They are talking about a series of provocative measure. Some four-ballistic missile launches in just -- since just the start of the year, some two dozen ballistic missile tests in just the last year.

A clear acceleration of the missile program out of North Korea coupled with their stated intention to test launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. These are serious alarm bells that North Korea is setting off not just for security here in South Korea but for the world at large. It is the reason why you are hearing words being echoed out of Washington over and over again now that the White House is looking at all options when it comes to countering the North Korean nuclear threat.

Here in South Korea, officials are closely watching North Korea. They say they expected there could be another missile launch soon. They even expect that there could be another nuclear test soon. It is impossible to predict when North Korea will take these kinds of actions. They are erratic, unpredictable to be sure, but South Korean officials point that there are a couple of high profile events going on inside...

[04:35:00] ROMANS: Right.

FIELD: ...North Korea in April including a celebrated day there, the founder's birthday celebration and South Korean Officials here suggest that that could be a time where you would see another provocative action being taken by the North, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Alexandra Field for us in Seoul, thank you.

SANCHEZ: To Egypt now where the death toll from two bloody Palm Sunday church bombings now rises to 49 with ISIS claiming responsibility for both deadly attacks. The terrorist group identifying the bombers as Egyptian nationals and they are threatening more violence to come.

The targeting of two Coptic Churches coming on one of the most important days on the Christian calendar just a few days away from Easter, let's go live to Tanta and bring in CNN's Ian Lee. Ian, this is only of a latest in a string of deadly attacks by terrorist on Coptic Christians in that country. What's the government doing to protect them?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris, not enough according to Christians we've been talking to here. They say, yes, there is security out in front of churches and you might be able to see them behind me where there are guards there with AK-47s but they say this is just the veneer of security, that they don't provide actual security and they say this isn't just unique to Tanta or Alexandria but across the country where Christians go to church. One man said, "I just want to pray without fear."

And so there is a lot of anger towards the security services. The chief of police of the region that we're in Tanta, he was axed by the government but they say that's just a display. It doesn't provide -- what the people need is real security and that's because ISIS is also saying that they're going continue these attacks up and through Easter and they say that Christians have become their favorite prey, so a real ominous warning there.

Now, the government does say they are trying to do their best. They declared a three months state of emergency, which gives the police and the army extra powers to make arrests, to conduct searches as well as to hold people indefinitely although that has been criticized by human rights groups, but these are some really tense times in Egypt.

In fact, this last December, there was another church bombing in Cairo that killed over two dozen people and we've seen these attacks against Christians slowly increased until yesterday's attacks and with Easter, next Sunday, there's a lot of concern among the Christian Community here that their churches won't be safe, Boris?

SANCHEZ: All right, Ian Lee reporting live from Tanta, thank you.

ROMANS: We've also learned that Coalition on Syrian Opposition Forces teamed up Saturday night to repel an ISIS attack on their joint military base near the Jordanian border. The U.S. Official say 20 to 30 ISIS operatives try to storm the base with a car bomb followed then by a ground assault with fighters wearing suicide vests. We're told the vehicle and all the attackers were destroyed with no Coalition casualty.

SANCHEZ: Now, tragic leader is one U.S. casualty to tell you about in Afghanistan though an army special operation soldier was killed late Saturday during a counter-terror operation with Afghan Forces against the local branch of ISIS. The identity of that fallen American soldier has not been released. There are 8,400 U.S. Troops currently stationed in Afghanistan and this is the first American Combat death there in 2017. With so much going on in the world, we forget that there are American stationed all over the globe trying to protect us.

ROMANS: All right, President Trump stepping in to stop the infighting between his two top aides, did that do the trick, what did he say?


[04:40:00] ROMANS: The Trump Administration drafting an executive order to investigate how a certain import affect the U.S. trade deficit. The goal here is to find out if unfair dumping of goods is lowering prices and hurting U.S. Competition. The results show that's happening, administration officials say it could lead to tariffs, uncertain imports. The investigation could target things like steel, aluminium and household goods and appliances.

The Obama Administration slapped tariffs -- several tariffs on Chinese steel. It marks President Trump's latest attempt to follow-through on his campaign pledge to go after countries that take advantage of U.S. Trade policies. His other big promise was jobs 37,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created in Trump's first two months in office, that is a solid increase, but I want to show you this chart.

Check out the trend manufacturing employment since 2000, a drop and then a tiny recovery since 2010. The U.S. Manufacturing output is an all-time high but employment is down. That speaks to automation more than anything else and this is a problem President Trump will have to confront. Robots and machines are doing the work that humans did in the past. Experts say that is a bigger factor than globalization or trade deals.

SANCHEZ: There were some truce talks at Mar-A-Lago this weekend, but not the kind that you would expect. The two combatants, Donald Trump's Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner the two top White House advisors are in the grips of a deepening rift that the president has ordered them to work out.

The two of them have very deep philosophical differences from everything to trade, to involvement in the U.S. -- in the Mideast -- Mr. Trump has told associates that if their relationship doesn't improve fast, he is going to take action. Things are apparently so bad between Kushner and Bannon.

They were ordered to attend the meeting on Friday with the Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus to hash it all out. The president reporting to leave telling the man, "We got to work this out." Stay tune to this.

ROMANS: Over the national Security Council, the revolving door continues to spin. Top deputy, KT McFarland who witnessed the ouster to Retired General, Mike Flynn and the arrival of current National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, she is set to become the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. McFarland says she will stay on it. NSC Intel she is confirmed by the senate, a senior administration official telling CNN that appear still to be months away.

[04:45:00] SANCHEZ: This morning Neil Gorsuch is said to be sworn in as the 101st associate justice of the Supreme Court. He is going to be taking two oaths of office. Chief Justice Roberts will administer the constitutional oath in a private ceremony starting at 9:00 a.m. and then Justice Anthony Kennedy is going to administer the judicial oath that a public ceremony we'll see at the White House rose garden at 11:00 a.m.

It's going to be really a symbolic moment for both of these men since Gorsuch clerked for Justice Kennedy. It's also going to be the first time a former clerk is going to be on the bench with his former boss. Gorsuch was confirmed Friday mostly along party lines after Republican leaders made that historic decision to go nuclear changing senate rules to get him confirmed by a simple majority vote.

ROMANS: All right, the manhunt intensifying for a man who allegedly stole more than a dozen firearms in Wisconsin and may be plotting a mass attack against religious groups. Police released social media video showing Joseph Jakubowski mailing a 160-page manifesto to President Trump.

He has already made good on part of it, CNN's Rachel Crane has that story.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Boris, the manhunt is underway for suspected burglar, Joseph Jakubowski, who police say mailed a 161-page manifesto to President Donald Trump last week. Authorities released this video of Jakubowski mailing an envelope. Investigator say contains this manifesto field with anti-religious views as well as grievances against the government. The Rock County Sheriff described its contents. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really a long laundry list of, you know, injustices that he believes the government and society and the upper class have put toward on to the rest of the citizens.

CRANE: Schools and churches were on high alert after Jakubowski made good on one of the threats in his manifesto stealing weapons and using them against public officials or schools. Last Tuesday, he allegedly robbed a gun shop where authorities say a large quantity of high-end guns were stolen.

Not 30 minutes after the robbery, police found his car on fire nearby with evidence of arson. Police are cautioning anybody that if they see him to not approach him that he is armed and highly dangerous. The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for anybody who has any information that leads to his arrest, Christine and Boris?


ROMANS: All right, Rachel, thank you for that report. A major milestone for higher education to tell you about the states have just passed a law offering free tuition to middle class students, free college for middle class students. We'll tell you what it means for the rest of the country and we get to check on CNN Money Stream next.


[04:50:00] SANCHEZ: "SNL" returned from a brief hiatus this weekend. As usual, taking on big headlines from the Syria strikes to Bill O'Reilly, here's a bit of a sample with Aleck Baldwin back as the president and the -- as somebody you might recognize, watch.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: This is hard for me to discuss but I've also been in the news this week, apparently several women have come forward and accused me of offering them exciting opportunities here at Fox News.

BALDWIN: I look fantastic and can I tell you something I actually see a lot of myself in you, Bill.

BALDWIN: Thank you, Mr. President and thank you for coming to my defence last week even though no one asked you to and even you went as far as saying, "Bill O'Reilly did nothing wrong"...

BALDWIN: That's good.

BALDWIN: ...and that's based upon...

BALDWIN: Hunch, just a loose hunch.


BALDWIN: But you're not familiar with the effects of the case.

BALDWIN: I mean I'm more familiar with this case than them would say healthcare but I didn't really look into it much now. I was too busy being the super presidential by bombing a bunch of...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way it looks is the U.S. has attacked Assad who like us is already at war with ISIS but Assad is a close ally with Russia who Trump has said he wants to work with to defeat ISIS even though the biggest threat to ISIS is Assad who Trump just bombed. Now, in case, you're having trouble following that here's a re-enactment of what I just described.


BALDWIN: Simple enough, right.



ROMANS: I think Aleck Baldwin, the split screen is Aleck Baldwin as Bill O'Reilly and the president, was pretty clear.

SANCHEZ: He nailed that impression. He's really terrific. Even though he said he said he might not continue doing the Trump impersonation for very long.

ROMANS: Yes, he went -- I want to have paid doubled for that this weekend.


ROMANS: All right, 54 minutes past the hour, Delta Airlines still hoping to get back to normal today after days of cancelled flights, the nation's number two airline, scrubbing (ph) 3,400 flights after powerful storms hit Delta's main hub in Atlanta during the middle of last week. Thousands of passengers have been stranded during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Still Delta warning more cancellations are possible as operations normalize.

SANCHEZ: Officials are trying to figure out who hacked every single one of the tornado warning sirens in Dallas setting off this sound for a full 95 minutes.


SANCHEZ: That is rough. A city spokeswoman says the hacker had physical access to the hub that connects all these sirens. The noise scared a lot of Dallas residents who calls to 911 jammed the system and delayed people for help -- delayed help for people with real emergencies. Dallas Mayor, Mike Rawlings has promised the city is going to identify and prosecute those responsible and it seems kind of funny...

ROMANS: ...95 minutes.

SANCHEZ: ...yes, it seems kind of funny, you know, this vandalism...

ROMANS: Right.

SANCHEZ: ...but it's really serious when you consider this, there has been so much severe weather...

ROMANS: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: ...over the past few weeks.

ROMANS: Or and somebody couldn't get through or...

[04:55:00] SANCHEZ: Right.

ROMANS: 911. All right, a severe weather rest today in the Great Lakes region, Meteorologist, Karen Maginnis, has the forecast for us.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, April we start to see that uptake and severe weather and that goes from Mondays weather picture as well, Christine and Boris as we look at thunderstorms could be severe from Chicago, Indianapolis all the way down towards Little Rock and Dallas and into Austin, Texas.

About 17 million people under that slight risk of severe weather and take a look at this going through Monday afternoon right around Chicago maybe into Green Bay just kind of encroaching across St. Louis and then further south into Dallas might see some afternoon and evening thunderstorms with high winds maybe some hail also can't rule out an isolated tornado.

And then into the Northeast to New England, those temperatures, they start off great. April is that kind of month. Monday is great, 70s and then we go into the middle of the week. Take a look at this, New York City temperatures take a real nose dive, 10 to as much as 15 degrees, from what Monday temperatures will be. It looks like the rain moves in and by the weekend jumps back up so that's the hope about spring.

Back to you guys.

SANCHEZ: All right, thanks Karen. Spring means golf. Just when it looks like Sergio Garcia was about to make a mess of another major championship, the pride of Spain rewrote the script on golf's biggest stage. Garcia was unravelling on the back 9 until he drained this eagle putted 15 to tie Justin Rose for the lead. The two are really, really going at it for a while. They are long time friends and rider cup teammate and they finished tied after 18 holes on the first playoff. All Garcia needed to do is two-putt but he finished it off in style to win his first major on his 74th try. Sergio admits that he was getting tired of being called the best player to never win a major and after putting on a fancy green jacket, he said now he could live with being the best player to ever win one. You see the look of relief on his face.


ROMANS: Yes. That playoff dual with his friend, Justin Rose, was just one for the ages and they were thrilled -- they were so happy for each other...


ROMANS: ...all along the -- all along the way. That's really great. All right, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream next. Stock Futures higher this morning, one of the big stories this week, will be earnings from the nation's big banks. Investors want to know if higher interest rates and the prospects of deregulation are helping profits. Many of these bank stocks are record highs already. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are mixed.

New York is now the first state in the country to offer free tuition -- free college tuition to middle class students that covers full-time students at state universities and the City University of New York locations. The cap on income will start at $100,000. Those eligible will have their tuition covered ranges from about $6,500 at four-year schools to a little more than 3,000 for two-year programs. It does not include the cost of them on-board, that can sometimes be more expensive than tuition but this is tuition paid for. Families would have to cover room and board.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo proposed the bill in January. State lawmakers built it into this year's budget which was passed late Sunday night. The governor is expected to sign the bill this week. Well, New York is the first to offer free tuition. Other states are not far behind. Lawmakers in Rhode Island considering something similar, Tennessee, Oregon and the City of San Francisco have recently made tuition free at community colleges.

All right, Pepsi's Kendall Jenner ad may have been pulled after a major Twitter storm, but Saturday Night Live is giving it one final burn.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ain't no can't do but, but let's invite Kendall to set. She has a heart out (ph) in 45 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, well five play. I got to go. I'm on the set of my Pepsi commercial. I stop the police him shooting black people by handing them a Pepsi. I know it's cute, right?


ROMANS: Oh, yes, Pepsi apologized for the ad last week saying it missed the mark and it did.


ROMANS: One last final run of that unfortunate ad.

[05:00:00] SANCHEZ: Swing and a miss.

EARLY START continues right now.

The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson taking a hard line on Russia's involvement in Syria, it comes ahead of his trip to Moscow as mixed messages emerge from the White House on the Syrian conflict.

ROMANS: And an American aircraft carrier heading toward the Korean Peninsula following provocations by North Korea, more on the mission and the state of play moments away.

Good morning everyone. Welcome to EARLY START bright and early this week.


ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans.

SANCHEZ: Great to be here with you, Christine. I'm Boris Sanchez. It is Monday, April 10th, 5:00 a.m. on the east coast//

And this morning the world is waiting and watching to see President's Trump next move on Syria following last week's missile strike on a government airfield. The top administration officials seem to be putting out a muddled message on the fate of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson told ABC News that the strike was only aimed at deterring further use of chemical weapons.