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Another Run At Health Care; Curiel On The Case; Paris Police Shooting. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 21, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: Can Republicans actually get a health care deal done in the next week? There's optimism, there's skepticism in the party. Hey, it's Capitol Hill. Are they trying to satisfy their base or actually bridging the internal gap?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN HOST: And in one of the crazier coincidences I think you'll ever see, a federal judge attacked by Donald Trump over his Mexican heritage will now hear a case involving the president's policies on Mexico. Will the White House weigh in? Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Alison Kosik.

BRIGGS: And I'm Dave Briggs. It is 30 minutes past the hour on this Friday. We've heard this before, folks. Republicans insisting they're nearing a breakthrough on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare but the devil, as always, in the details. And getting enough Republicans on the same page remains the big challenge, especially since most House members have not even seen any reworked bill.

The leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus, Mark Meadows, and the head of the more moderate Tuesday Group, Tom MacArthur, have been working on a compromise agreement they believe could deliver 18 to 20 new yes votes from Republicans.

KOSIK: But, a Republican House member familiar with the talks tells CNN he's skeptical the Freedom Caucus can actually deliver those votes. President Trump sounding hopeful, though, a deal will get done -- listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really, really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week but it will be -- I believe we will get it and whether it's next week or shortly thereafter.


KOSIK: And many are actually questioning why the GOP would even attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare again, just weeks after flaming out on the issue. Much of the disagreement still centering on whether to gut protections for those with preexisting conditions.

BRIGGS: So let's bring in Zach Wolf, managing editor of Good to see you this morning, Zach.

KOSIK: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Hung up on a couple of issues. What are these essential benefits and can you charge people more with preexisting conditions? Can they allow the states to get a waiver on this? What do you think the likelihood of even getting a vote next week is?

ZACHARY WOLF, MANAGING EDITOR, CNN POLITICS: You know, it -- so, we went through this before and the fundamentals of this have not changed. There is still the basic disagreement over what to do about these certain aspects of Obamacare amongst Republicans -- moderates in the Senate and some in the House -- and conservatives, and I don't see how the -- how the -- how the lay of the land has changed. We haven't seen any new text for a different bill. We haven't seen a CBO score so we don't know how much it would cost. So it seems like getting something done by next week is incredibly aggressive and it -- you know, I don't know anybody out there who says absolutely, yes, this can get done. So count me among the skeptical on health care.

KOSIK: You know, you've got these kind of grand statements. There's one from Rep. Tom Cole who says the differences have narrowed, that this thing is very much alive. But then you've got Capitol Hill and if we know Capitol Hill, the focus -- it's hard to have them sort of dual focus. And we've got that stubborn little thing keeping the government running --

BRIGGS: Oh, yes.

KOSIK: -- happening next week, as well. But if you ask the president, he wants both. He wants health care, he wants to keep the government running, he wants both. Listen to what he said in a press conference yesterday.


REPORTER: Which one is more important to you to have, a vote on health care or a vote on a bill to keep the government open?

TRUMP: I want to get both. Are you shocked to hear that?



KOSIK: OK, I'm not shocked.

BRIGGS: -- not so much.

KOSIK: Are you shocked? And there is the reality, you know -- it's hard to get one huge bill through Congress, let alone keeping the government running.

WOLF: Well, yes, and that's the real -- that's the real deadline there next week. They have to fund the government, otherwise there's a government shutdown. I don't think anybody on the Republican side of the aisle really wants a government shutdown. Things have been complicated recently with some demands from the White House to add border funding into what would otherwise have been a relatively clean government funding bill, but that's really the -- that's really the ball that we need to keep our eye on next week, unless you see some sort of incredible breakthrough on health care.

BRIGGS: Yes, funding the wall versus funding the exchanges in Obamacare appears to be the one thing that will decide that funding bill. But let's talk about this deadline and maybe it's because the media makes so much of 100 days and what it means for a president achieving some major legislation. Does it appear to be impacting the White House and does it really matter?

WOLF: I think it's pretty clear that they really want to get something done because next week there will be all these talks about, you know, what has he accomplished in his first 100 days. Earlier this week he was talking about how effective he'd been in his first 90 days as president. I think that's seriously up for debate, what they've accomplished. Certainly nothing legislatively, so he really wants to get something as all these cable news networks and newspapers and the internet all take a look at what he's done so far.

[05:35:06] BRIGGS: Those darn cable news networks, you know? I mean, it really muddled the waters, Zach.

KOSIK: All right, it's Friday. Let's kind of end on a light note here. I understand a couple of pictures were taken in the White House with Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent. One in front of -- there you see -- Hillary Clinton's portrait --

BRIGGS: What a crew.

KOSIK: -- and then another in the Oval Office. What could we make of this?

WOLF: Well, you know, a lot of liberals are wondering why Ted Nugent, of all people, was there. He once referred to Barack Obama as a mongrel. He did some other -- has said some other really inflammatory things. They're kind of frustrated about that. But having celebrities over to the White House and they take pictures of themselves is nothing new. That happened, you know, time and time again during the Obama administration. Maybe with not somebody quite as inflammatory as Ted Nugent, but it's not new.

BRIGGS: Yes, you're right. People made more out of the Hillary Clinton photo than they actually made out of Ted Nugent and the past statements he's made --

KOSIK: All the --

BRIGGS: -- yet being right there in the Oval Office.

KOSIK: Twitter's having a field day with Ted Nugent if you go on -- interesting.

BRIGGS: Yes, they are trending. Do you think it was offensive at all -- the photo with the Hillary Clinton portrait?

WOLF: You know, I don't know. Her portrait sits in there. She's the first lady. If people go in there I guess they can take their picture with her. I'm sure people do it on White House tours. And you forget, when Donald Trump went and greeted White House tours shortly after taking office, that photo --

BRIGGS: That's right.

WOLF: -- was front and center right behind him --


WOLF: -- for the whole time. So it's going to -- they're not taking it down.

BRIGGS: Yes. I think it was much ado about nothing as well, Zach. All right, Zach Wolf, have a great weekend -- appreciate it.

KOSIK: Zach, thanks very much.

WOLF: Thanks.

BRIGGS: All right. So, no comment from the White House after it was announced that Judge Gonzalo Curiel will hear the case of a California man who claims he was illegally deported to Mexico. If Curiel's name sounds familiar it's because he is the same judge who was attacked last year by then-candidate Trump for his handling of the Trump University lawsuit case. Mr. Trump claimed Curiel could not be impartial because of his Mexican heritage. He is from Indiana. The lawsuit was ultimately settled.

KOSIK: OK. Well now, Curiel, who was chosen randomly, will preside over the case of 23-year-old dreamer Juan Manuel Montes, who claims he was deported despite being protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Montes tried to sneak back into the U.S. on February 19th and was caught by border patrol agents. His lawyers claim he was improperly deported one day earlier. Homeland Security officials dispute that, insisting Montes left the country without preauthorization and therefore, voided his status.

OK, President Trump heading to the Treasury Department later today and there, he will sign executive orders aimed and targeted at the Dodd- Frank financial reform law. The president will direct Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin to review regulators' authority on banks in trouble. He'll also ask him to label some financial companies as risky, and he will direct Mnuchin to review tax regulations from last year.

And ahead of that meeting, the Treasury secretary is giving some reassurance to investors about tax reform. At an event Thursday, listen to what Mnuchin said. He said, "Whether health care gets done or health care doesn't get done, we're going to get tax reform done. We hope that this won't take until the end of the year. It will be soon, very soon."

So, Wall Street was happy to hear those words. You saw the reaction on the floor. The Dow zooming 174 points right after the comments and holding onto those gains through the closing bell. The average is now positive for the week, recovering from two days of 100-point losses. We are seeing green arrows this morning.

BRIGGS: You know, that -- those comments from Mnuchin came 24 hours after Steve Moore, Steve Forbes, Art Laffer, and Larry Kudlow -- four guys who advised then-candidate Trump on finances -- they wrote an op- ed in "The New York Times" saying just get tax reform done. Pare it down, get corporate and get middle-class tax cuts and boost the economy.

KOSIK: Easier said than done.

BRIGGS: Right.

KOSIK: Easier said than done.

BRIGGS: But clearly, they're sending a message to the president.

All right, some breaking details from Paris this morning about the gunman who opened fire on police. Now, one candidate in the French presidential race with a stunning reaction. We're live in Paris.


[05:43:25] KOSIK: Breaking overnight, a second suspect in connection with that terror attack on police in Paris surrendering to Belgian authorities, and there are new details about the attack on the Champs- Elysees. Authorities say the attacker who was killed by police was well-known for his radical Islamic activity. All this, as the French prepare to head to the polls for presidential elections. One of the candidates with some stunning comments this morning.

Let's go live to Paris and get the very latest from CNN's Melissa Bell. So give me the latest on the shooting and then how you think this attack could swing the election this weekend.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're learning this morning is that a second suspect was being searched for by French authorities. Now, we've also learned and had confirmed to us that that man that was being looked for has now handed himself into Belgian authorities.

What link was there between the man who's now handed himself in, in Belgium, and the Frenchman -- the man of French nationality who took on the police here so dramatically at 9:00 p.m. local time on the Champs-Elysees? That is one of the big unanswered questions.What do we know about the man who carried out the attack -- the man who was killed here last night after taking on security forces? That he was, according to sources, a French national and that he was on the radar of French authorities.

Now that does not mean that he was officially under surveillance. One of the things that we've been talking about a great deal overnight is whether or not this man was officially on France's watch list. That is, whether he was what the French called (foreign language spoken). We've now had confirmed to us that he was not. That does not mean he was not on the radar of authorities. He was believed to have been known for his radicalization. But one important fact is that he was not on that official watch list, which suggests that perhaps the failings of French authorities who failed to prevent this attack are not as serious as they had seemed.

[05:45:17] Still, how is this going to play into that political narrative? We are, of course, just less than 48 hours now until the start of voting and what was already looking like a remarkably unpredictable and also crucial election here in France, Alison, that is the big question.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader who's been leading the polls for months now has been speaking out very forcefully on this, calling for Islamist mosques to be closed off, for calling for Islamists preachers to be thrown out of the country. And a calling for those whose are under active surveillance -- and this is something she's said over and over again over the course of the last few days as her rhetoric has hardened into this first round of voting -- calling for all those -- some 10,500 people who are currently under active surveillance here in France for what could be suspicioned of terrorist activity -- that all of those people, whether they're French or not, should be rounded upand shipped out of the country.

Extremely controversial remarks, extremely strong rhetoric, inflammatory language here this morning from the right-wing candidate who clearly hopes to capitalize on what will be a heightened sense of security and fears about these ongoing terrorist attacks, Alison.

KOSIK: Yes, nothing like security issues to incentivize voters to get to the polls. All right, CNN's Melissa Bell live from Paris. Thanks very much.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, China's air force on high alert. Cruise missile- capable bombers preparing to respond to any provocation from North Korea. A U.S. Defense official telling CNN an extraordinary number of Chinese military aircraft are now being readied for combat. President Trump expressing confidence that China is working "very hard" to rein in Kim Jong Un. CNN's David McKenzie tracking the latest developments live from Beijing. Good morning to you, David. Any comment on this report from Chinese officials?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. Yes, no comment whatsoever and that's not surprising. Both the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying no comment to the questions of are they placing these bombers on high alert and, if so, why are they doing that? Nothing from the Chinese. That's not surprising at all. They don't generally talk about military matters in public, let alone the press. But you did have those U.S. officials speaking to CNN in Washington saying that those bombers are on high alert, speculating perhaps that it's to do with the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Now, China would gain nothing by bombing North Korea even if there were some level of conflict that came through, say experts. But you did have those extraordinary moments of President Trump praising China and the Chinese leader, saying that they are applying pressure on Pyongyang to try and stop their nuclear program. Now, whether that pressure that China is putting on them, particularly on coal imports and other trade issues, has any effect whatsoever, we'll have to wait and see. In recent years, it must be said that Kim Jong Un, the dictator in North Korea, had generally ignored China's pleas to stop becoming a nuclear power -- Dave.

BRIGGS: David McKenzie live for us in Beijing, thank you.

KOSIK: An American charity worker locked up in Egypt for three years is back on U.S. soil and "The Washington Post" is reporting the Trump administration worked quietly with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to free Aya Hijazi. The 30-year-old was cleared of any wrongdoing Sunday. The Obama administration had previously pressed for Hijazi's release but it wasn't until Mr. Trump met with President el-Sisi earlier this month that things turned around. Mr. Trump praised el- Sisi's leadership and offered the U.S. government's backing. The "Post" reports Hijazi and her brother will head to the White House to meet with Mr. Trump.

Verizon experiencing a big drop in customers for the very first time and part of the reason is what this guy is doing over at T-Mobile and what he's doing on Twitter, too. I'm going to show you his reaction to Verizon's results when we get a check on CNN Money Stream, next.


[05:53:15] BRIGGS: Officials in Hawaii are pushing back on the attorney general for a comment about one of the judges who put a hold on the president's travel ban. Now, earlier this week, Jeff Sessions expressed shock a judge in Hawaii could block President Trump's executive order. Judge Derrick Watson was one of several judges to block the second version of the ban, but listen to what the nation's top prosecutor told conservative radio host Mark Levin.


JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional powers.


KOSIK: The Justice Department says Sessions only meant there is a problem when a flawed opinion by a single judge can block the president, adding for the record, "Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific." Hawaii's Democratic Senator Brian Schatz not amused, tweeting this. "Mr. Attorney General, you voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It is my home. Have some respect."

BRIGGS: Protests in Venezuela spiraling out of control as opposition groups to President Nicolas Maduro are planning to follow Thursday's mass demonstrations with more sit-ins and marches. They blame Maduro for a staggering economic crisis and now, the Maduro government is blaming the opposition for hiring armed bands to attack a women's and children's hospital. CNN's Stefano Pozzebon joins us live from Caracas with the very latest. Good morning to you, Stefano.

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Dave. Yes, you're right. Although CNN has not been able to verify independently that the attack was effectively by these armed as the foreign minister here claimed yesterday on Twitter, it is yet another sign that the conflict and the protests are spreading to popular areas in the outskirts of Caracas and in the outskirts of other cities.

[05:55:15] What has happened so far, especially in the last three weeks of this new cycle of protests, is that the protest groups and the marches will take place in middle-class or residential areas. Definitely not in the popular barriers, as they're called here -- the popular neighborhoods where support for Turismo (ph) is still strong.

What happened overnight with an attack to a hospital, it means it's a sign that these protests are spreading and that there is -- there is tension in the barriers as well. And we know that if Turismo loses, the last stronghold of support that they still have among the most popular and working-class here in Venezuela, it could really well mean that it is the end for socialism here. But it's definitely true and we will look forward to today's new protests to see how the development goes.

BRIGGS: Looks like a weekend of turmoil ahead there in Caracas. Stefano Pozzebon, thank you.

Breaking overnight in Germany, prosecutors arresting a suspect in the bomb attack on a soccer team earlier this month. The alleged attacker is said to be a 28-year-old German-Russian who may have carried out the bombing for gambling reasons. Investigators now dismissing a possible Islamic terror link to the bomb attack that injured one player.

KOSIK: OK, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream. Dow futures ticking higher this morning. The S&P 500 set to rise as well. It looks like stock markets in Europe are mixed but there is a drop in Paris ahead of the country's first round of elections this weekend. Shares in Asia closed mostly higher overnight.

It's been a wild past few days for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Look at this, these swings. Last Thursday, it was down 138 points, thenclosed for Good Friday. Stocks popped on Monday. After that, two straight losses and then a big gain on Thursday. Five triple-digit moves -- count them -- in a row. Before that, there were only 12 of those moves this year.

Verizon losing wireless customers for the first time ever. A whopping 307,000 people left the carrier in the first quarter and investors, yes, they followed. The stock plunged at the open but then clawed its way back and finishing down only one percent, but that was happening as the broader market was posting solid gains. The company's earnings also missing estimates, thanks in part to lower overage fees and Verizon also saying more customers are choosing unlimited plans.

But a big reason for the disappointing results, competition. Competition from Sprint and lots of competition from T-Mobile. That appears to be taking its toll on Verizon. Look at T-Mobile's CEO taking the opportunity to bash Verizon on Twitter. I know, he does this frequently but this was really funny. He tweeted out a direct quote on pot day, by the way, from the CEO about overage fees, saying, "#protip: stop gouging your customers and start doing more for them! Seriously, how #verHIGHzon is he?" I thought that was really clever.

BRIGGS: Yes, especially on 04/20.

KOSIK: And customers were tweeting him, talking about their problems and the funny thing is, is Verizon customer service then jumped on the bandwagon saying how could we help you. So he started this whole chatter about Verizon's problems.

BRIGGS: Stirring it up a little bit.

KOSIK: He loves to play.

BRIGGS: Reminiscent of almost a Mark Cuban-type --

KOSIK: I think so.

BRIGGS: -- CEO, and Mark Cuban will be on "NEW DAY" today.

KOSIK: Yes, he will.

BRIGGS: There is a transition. Thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSIK: And I'm Alison Kosik. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


TRUMP: The plan gets better and better. This will be great health care.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: If it passes they're in trouble. If it doesn't pass they're in trouble, and if they pull it they're in trouble.

KOSIK: Will the president's first 100 days end in victory or government shutdown?

TRUMP: We want to keep the government open, don't you agree? I think we'll get both.

BRIGGS: A freed Egyptian-American prisoner returns home following a Trump intervention.

TRUMP: In case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A terror attack rocks Paris.

BELL: The attacker was a French national who was known to authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't a spontaneous or rapid attack. It was very deliberately targeted.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the face of this great evil we have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, April 21st, 6:00 here in New York.

And up first, it is a race against the clock for President Trump and the GOP desperate for a legislative victory ahead of the president's 100th day in office. Mr. Trump turning up the heat but is there any proof that there could be a vote by Congress on a revamped health care bill when there is no plan that anyone seems to know about, outside a very small group?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: All right, we'll dig into that. Also, Congress faces a more urgent deadline to avoid a government shutdown. They need to pass a spending bill to keep the federal government running. So it is day 92 of the Trump presidency. Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House. Give us the latest, Joe.