Return to Transcripts main page


Revived Travel Ban & New Security Measures To Take Effect; Aide to Pope Faces Sex Charges; Trump Gives Health Care Message; Rockets Trade Aims to Compete with Super Teams. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The president's travel ban takes effect tonight, and no legal challenge can stand in the way. New guidelines released overnight lay out specifics on who can and cannot enter the U.S.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A top Vatican official will face charges of sexual assault. But this morning, he's defending himself before heading home to face a judge.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Health care is working very well. We could have a big surprise with a great health care package.


BRIGGS: Teasing the next episode. President Trump sending a message of sorts on health care. Will it be enough to get Republican senators all on the same page?

A very heavy lift remains on that health care bill.


BRIGGS: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Nice to see you all this morning, bright and early. I'm Christine Romans. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East, this Thursday, June 29th.

Breaking overnight: new rules for implementing the Trump administration's revised travel ban. Those new rules take effect tonight at 8:00 p.m.

[05:00:02] That's the word from a senior administration official. We're also getting specifics this morning on who will be allowed into the U.S. from these six Muslim-majority nations and who will be kept out.

BRIGGS: All right. Let's bring in CNN justice reporter Laura Jarrett on this.

Laura, good morning to you.

The Supreme Court has said those with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship can come. Now, we know who that entails, and there are some surprises. Tell us about that.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, some surprises, Dave, and, frankly, more questions. Sources tell us that new guidelines sent overseas to posts late Wednesday say that visa applicants from six affected countries will be required to prove they have a parent, a spouse, a child, a son or daughter-in-law, or sibling here in the U.S. But who gets left out is pretty expansive and includes fiances, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, and all other extended family members. So, a pretty big list.

Now, this travel guidelines also come as Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced new security measures for U.S.-bound flights yesterday. Some visible, some not, including increased scrutiny for passengers, enhanced screening of electronics, and more use of K-9s to find explosives, Dave.

ROMANS: Interesting, Laura. The court also said anybody who accepted a job in the U.S. or someone coming here to university could also travel here. Does that still hold?

JARRETT: That part should still hold, because those are the categories the court laid out plainly. But the problem is what happens to people on the line, like fiances were not one of the categories that the Supreme Court listed. You can now see how the Trump administration is using that to find a pretty narrow version of who's in and who's out.

But, certainly, anyone specifically delineated in the court's order will be protected.

BRIGGS: All right. Laura Jarrett live for us in Washington -- thanks so much.

To discuss the day's political action, let's bring in CNN politics reporter Tal Kopan live this morning in Washington.

Good morning to you, Tal.

Let's talk about the ban that goes into effect tonight at 8:00. Do you expect more chaos as we saw the first time around?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, it won't be like what we saw the first time around. You know, the first time around, there were people sort of in the air when the travel ban came down who suddenly got to the airport and had no idea whether they were allowed in this country. Now, we've got some more clear guidelines.

But in terms of the aftermath, you know, the litigation here is certainly not over. And, you know, as you mentioned, the Supreme Court ruling can't be challenged, per se. But as Laura was describing, the sort of notion of categories of family members who do and don't count, the fiance issue, these are the types of things that are going to draw continuing legal questions and challenges.

And, you know, that was actually in one of the dissents from the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, was very concerned that this is simply unworkable. So, while we expect the airports to be slightly more orderly, this is certainly not the end of a little bit of litigation back and forth.

ROMANS: All right. So, the new I guess watered down travel ban -- and I know, you know, I've been hearing from pro bono law groups saying they'll be having all the big major airports are going to have hundreds and hundreds of lawyers there for the next, you know, 48 hours to help people who might have legal questions or legal troubles stemming from all this.

Let's talk about health care and where it is, I guess in the triage unit at the moment in the Senate. The president -- you know, against the backdrop of the Chicago Cubs at the White House, says that there's a surprise coming. Listen to the president himself.


TRUMP: Health care is working along very well. We could have a big surprise with a great health care package. So, now, they're happy.

REPORTER: What do you mean by big surprise, sir?

TRUMP: I think you're going to have a great, great surprise. It's going to be great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.


ROMANS: A great, great surprise. I'm sure he's not talking about the surprise of how terrible poll numbers are for support of the health care bill and health care reform at the moment.

Look at that -- just wow. We're going to roll through some of these. But where do we -- where do we legitimately stands on health care reform here?

KOPAN: Well, I'm not sure that the president actually has anything in mind when he's talking about a big surprise. It's sort of a safe bet because every twist and turn of this saga has been a little bit unexpected and no one really knows what's coming next. So, it's sort of the showman in him forecasting what's coming.

But, you know, our understanding is that senators on the Republican side are really buckling down our trading proposals. McConnell, the leaders of the Senate Republicans, is really trying to get to a deal by the end of this week that they can then send to the Congressional Budget Office for analysis. And then, as soon as they come back, vote again.

So, this is sort of moving along. It remains to be seen if there is actually a deal that can be achieved that can keep enough moderates and Republicans on board because, remember, Republicans can only lose two votes to pass this thing.

[05:05:08] BRIGGS: Yes. It will be tough to take it in either direction without losing far too many on the other side. But to Christine's point about these polls, in the teens, if you will, speak to the notion of no one is really selling this bill, certainly not the president. The furthest he's gone is to call it a great health care deal. Mitch McConnell's not selling it.

Who is? And what are they saying?

KOPAN: Yes. There's not much of that. You know, you see Republican moderates and conservatives finding issues with the bill. So, you're mostly hearing complaints.

You know, there hasn't been a ton of grassroots mobilization coming out in favor of this bill. Certainly, you do have an outside group, America First Policies, which went with a little bit of air support for the bill by way of attacking one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up in 2018 which all reports say caused a serious concern and backfired a bit.

So, you've seen ads, but the outside groups haven't mobilized. You know, on either side of the aisle, we have not seen lawmakers really successfully tap the stories they think illustrate their point about why it's worth keeping or tanking Obamacare. We just haven't seen that kind of mobilization.

ROMANS: Interesting. Let's talk about 2020. I mean, it's already underway, apparently. The president had his first fundraiser last night, five months in. I think 40 months to go until -- until 2020.

You know, there are -- the old-time political hands say this is just unheard of to -- so quickly move from governing to campaigning. But this is the president at his peak entertainer mode we were told by someone in the room. He clearly relished the evening, and everyone got their money's worth.

Do you think he was sending a message to potential primary challengers, to the Republican Party? What was the goal here do you think?

KOPAN: Yes, probably all of the above. You know, it's also certainly a place where the president feels comfortable, you know, in front of a crowd that supports him. And so, you know, we know that his staff and he certainly tried to schedule these events where he really feeds off them and energizes him as opposed to the daily slog of Washington and, you know, sort of the constant barrage of attacks. He feels that he's under.

But certainly, you know, there was already talk -- as soon as he was nominated, of potential challenges in 2020. So, perhaps it's not surprising that he's moving so quickly when you combine those two factors.

BRIGGS: All right. Well, the Trump supporters are also happy about two immigration measures, the House is voting on them today. We'll ask you about those in about 20 minutes.

Tal Kopan, thanks.

ROMANS: Doing a lot of work on the immigration stories.

BRIGGS: Indeed.

ROMANS: All right. Cardinal George Pell, top adviser to Pope Francis, and the highest ranking member of the church in Australia, he's facing sexual assault charges this morning.

Speaking at the Vatican a short time ago, Pell proclaimed his innocence. Not only denying the allegations, he promises to return to Australia to fight the charges and clear his name.

CNN's Delia Gallagher is live in Rome with the latest.

This is -- I mean, this is a very high-ranking official here, you know, what do we expect to happen?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, this is a very significant step because charges are actually being brought. These allegations have been swirling in the press, especially in Australia, for a couple of years now. And Cardinal Pell has always denied any wrongdoing.

He said this morning that he has kept the pope apprised of the situation, but what's different about today, of course, is that these are actual charges. That he now has to go back to Australia and face a trial on July 18th. Now, the pope, according to the Vatican this morning, says he's going to give him a leave of absence to return and face those charges.

But the Vatican essentially this morning saying that they are supporting Cardinal Pell. They iterated their respect for the Australian justice system. But they say the Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied these allegations which, by the way, we don't know the exact nature of. The Victoria police say they are historical sex abuse allegations. And some of the reports from ABC Australia of alleged victims are about cases that occurred in the '70s and '80s.

And that the Vatican is reminding people of the work that Cardinal Pell has done in Australia to help safeguard children. So, certainly, a statement of full support for the cardinal. At least until such time as there's an actual conviction which we will learn about on July 18th -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. July 18th. We know you'll be following all it for us. Delia Gallagher in Rome, thank you, Delia.

BRIGGS: All right. The national security adviser with the new warning about North Korea.


H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The threat is much more immediate now.

[05:10:02] And so, so, it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach, failed approach of the past.


BRIGGS: So what new options are on the table for the president? A live report next on EARLY START.


ROMANS: National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster says the U.S. has prepared a range of options to use against North Korea, quote, including a military option.

Two U.S. military officials tell CNN updated options have been prepared. They will be presented to President Trump if North Korea conducts a nuclear ballistic missile test that shows it's made significant progress developing a weapon that could attack the U.S.

McMaster publicly confirmed the options in remarks Wednesday at a Washington think tank.


MCMASTER: The threat is much more immediate now. And so, so, it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach, failed approach of the past. The president has directed us to not do that. And to prepare a range of options including a military option which nobody wants to take.

[05:15:05] There's a recognition that there has to be more pressure on the regime. I think what you'll see in coming days and weeks are efforts to do that.


BRIGGS: Those comments come following the death of American student Otto Warmbier while in North Korean custody and a day ahead of a visit to Washington by South Korean President Moon. McMaster says Moon's visit will include discussions on a new approach to North Korea.

Joining us with the latest, CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul.

Paula, good morning you to.

No doubt the threat might be more imminent than ever. How if at all have the options changed?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, the assumption is the options haven't changed, they have been updated. If there was a new option, new silver bullet, it would have been used before to try and fix the issue of North Korea.

So, the options that we have at this point are the same. They are the sanctions. There is the option of China, whether more pressure could be put on China to try and curtail the missile and nuclear program of North Korea, whether China even wants to try that.

And then, of course, you have the option of negotiations, of engagement with North Korea, and the military option which McMaster did specify that nobody wants.

Now, we did have the six North Korean experts in -- in the U.S., very distinguished gentlemen, this day actually writing an open letter to President Trump saying that they believe that it is time to talk. Talks are needed in order to, quote, avoid a nuclear catastrophe.

This could well be the message that we hear, as well, from the South Korean President Moon Jae-in when he meets with President Trump later today. We know he's pro-dialogue. We know he's pro-engagement. He has said that many times before. He is progressive, a very different personality and policy to President Trump.

So, it will be interesting to see how the two get along. They're very different from each other, but certainly they have a common problem when it comes to North Korea and people here, officials, even the media is focusing more on how the handshake will go, how the interpersonal relationship between the two will go, rather than North Korea.

Certainly concerns in South Korea that if U.S. president doesn't particularly like you, then your country may not get on with his.

BRIGGS: It's a high-stakes meeting indeed, Paula, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. For the first time ever, all U.S. banks passed the Fed's yearly stress tests. It shows the health of the banking industry and it clears the way to pass along hefty profits to banks shareholders. The 34 largest U.S. banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, they got the all clear to pay dividends to shareholders.

This verdict is the second part of the Fed's annual financial checkup. The test ensures the banks can cover the type of losses they saw during the financial crisis. It's established under Dodd-Frank, the banking reform, right, after the financial crisis. Ironically, a clean bill of health likely will fuel calls to scrap many of those banking regulations, particularly those the president says suppress lending.

In fact, the Treasury Department has issued 100 recommendations to lessen the pressure on banks. The supporters of the court rules say healthy banks is proof these regulations work. And 2016 was a banner year for American banks.

Dave, look at these numbers.


ROMANS: They had record profits while payouts to shareholders reached $102 billion. And despite the rhetoric, banks are still lending. Commercial bank loans hit an all-time high last November. BRIGGS: So, I also hear that the true Dodd-Frank hasn't taken hold of

these banks. Is that true?

ROMANS: Those stress tests that the Fed requires, that's part of Dodd-Frank reform.

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: That's part of the reforms after the financial crisis.

But banks have been complaining about how onerous all those regulations are, they have to hire all these new compliance people. How it's not fair, how it suppresses lending.

BRIGGS: Getting prepared for those --

ROMANS: Yet, they're making record profits and are paying out all the dividends to shareholders. Stocks are up strongly. So, you can't really --

BRIGGS: Difficult to argue for tearing apart --

ROMANS: Hard to look at the numbers and cry a bunch of tears for American banks.

BRIGGS: Certainly a difficult case to make.

All right. Ahead in sports: the Houston Rockets getting a huge jump on free agency, trading with the Clippers for a star point guard. Andy Scholes can hardly contain himself with excitement. Details to why next.


[05:23:57] BRIGGS: NBA's free agency doesn't begin until Saturday. But the drama is already underway. A huge trade going down, and you know who's happy about it, Romans?

ROMANS: I think Andy Scholes must be. Look at that smile.

BRIGGS: Pretty happy.

ROMANS: He's got the "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Andy.


Yes, let's say I wasn't upset about the transaction going down yesterday. You know what, the NBA -- it's all about super teams now. And luckily for Rockets fans everywhere, they are trying to be the next super team.

The Rockets acquiring star point guard Chris Paul yesterday in a trade with the Clippers. Paul will now play alongside James Harden in Houston, giving them one of the best back courts in the league. And Rockets general manager Daryl Morey saying yesterday it's all

about catching the Warriors and the Cavs.


DARYL MOREY, HOUSTON ROCKETS GENERAL MANAGER: It's a weapons race in the NBA. You're either in the weapons race or on the sidelines. This gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams that are out there.

MIKE D'ANTONI, HOUSTON ROCKETS HEAD COACH: We don't want to play for second. Nobody wants to play for second. So, we're trying to get up there and be a legitimate contender.


SCHOLES: President Trump hosting the world champion Chicago Cubs at the White House yesterday.

[05:25:02] This actually is the second trip to the White House for this team. They also visited the final days under President Obama. The Cubs giving President Trump a jersey with the number 45 on it.

Also at the White House yesterday, with Cubs owner Dan Gilbert who coincidentally was there to talk business and join in on some parts of the Cubs' celebration.

Tim Tebow continues to have a flair for the dramatic. Tebow homering in his first day with the Port St. Lucie Mets. The former Heisman Trophy winner playing home in Florida after being promoted to class high A by the Mets last week. Tebow, tell you what, must like making a good first impression. He also homered at his first at-bat in the minors back in April.

All right. It was not a routine trip to the ballpark for one Major League umpire yesterday. While walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, John Tumpane came across a woman who is about to jump and that's when he sprung into action.


JOHN TUMPANE, MLB UMPIRE: No, I said, I'm not going to let you go. I said let's talk this out and get you back here. She was like, no, just -- no one wants to help me, just let me go. I said, no, we're here to help. She's like, you'll forget me tomorrow. I said, I'll never forget you. I promise on that.


SCHOLES: And Tumpane was able to hold on to the woman until help arrived.

All right. Finally, with the help of golfer Rickie Fowler, Sergeant First Class Bryane Greene had an awesome surprise for his family. Green had been serving overseas for several years and caddied for Fowler for the first two holes of the Pro-Am yesterday, and then he surprised his family walking off the 18th green. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANE GREENE, SERGEANT FIRST CLASS: I was worried about my son running on the course, because anytime he's seen me when I came home for R&R, that's what he'd do, he just bolts. No matter where he is, no matter what the situation is, he will just run and just do the air jump. I got to be stable and ready.


SCHOLES: Always love those moments, guys, when --

ROMANS: Every time with the kids.

BRIGGS: I'm with you, every time. They get me every time.

SCHOLES: Reunions are amazing.

ROMANS: It's so great.

BRIGGS: Rickie Fowler does great things for the military. Very involved with that Folds of Honor Foundation. Great to see that.

You all right?

ROMANS: I'm all right.

BRIGGS: Scholes, get her a tissue. Thanks, buddy.

SCHOLES: All right.

BRIGGS: OK. Ahead, travel ban 2.0 will be in effect tonight. It comes as new airline security measures are implemented around the world. That's next on EARLY START.