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Trump Attacks CNN in Tweet; State Government Shutdowns; Liberation Near In Mosul; Trump Speaks to Arab Leaders About Qatar Dispute; Tesla Stock Up in Anticipation of Model 3. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 3, 2017 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs. Christine Romans will be back tomorrow, 30 minutes past the hour.

We, at CNN, we'll keep doing our jobs; the president should do his. That is the network's official line after the latest escalation in President Trump's war on the media. The president tweeting out this edited clip from a WWE Wrestling broadcast originally posted on Reddit, 2007 video of Trump body slamming WWE Owner, Vince McMahon, was altered to make it look like he was attacking a figure with a CNN logo for a head.

It has since become one of the president's most shared, most re- tweeted posts ever. Sadly, some of the president's fans laughed at the clip, but members of the media, some of whom have faced threats for their reporting, took it very seriously. It came just three days after presidential spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said this.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president in no way, form, or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence of anything quite the contrary.


BRIGGS: CNN officials' statement on the wrestling tweet calls that Sanders statement a lie. Meantime, some Twitter users flagged the tweet saying it violates the social media company's ban on hateful conduct. But Twitter decided it did not cross the line.

Official reaction from Washington and beyond has been mostly one-sided against the president in part because it's been radio-silence from Republicans. But, just before he posted tweet, Nebraska Senator Ben Sass said on Sunday that he's been troubled by the president's recent attacks on the news media.


SEN. BEN SASSE (R) NEBRASKA: There's an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that, and trying to weaponize distrust. The first amendment is the beating heart of the American experiment, and you don't get to separate the freedoms that are in there.


BRIGGS: Weaponizing distrust.

For more reaction, let's bring in White House Reporter, Kaitlan Collins, traveling with the president at his New Jersey Golf Club.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Democratic members of congress have wasted no time attacking the president after he tweeted a video of himself tackling a man with a CNN logo imposed on his head.

House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi said, "violence and violent imagery to then bully the press must be rejected. This July 4th, celebrate freedom of the press, guardians to our democracy."

Congressman Frank Pallone echoed her sentiment saying, "Donald Trump promoting violence against the press is a disgrace, a threat to the presidency and our democracy. We must all speak out."

The president has ramped up his war on the media in recent days starting with a personal insult to a television host on Thursday and only escalating it with a video he posted on Sunday. White House Officials have not responded to several requests for comment, asking if they stand by their statement that the president has never encouraged violence in any form.

The only administration official who has responded to the president's tweet is Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert when he appeared on ABC Sunday morning. Here's Bossert's reaction to the president's tweet.


TOM BOSSERT, HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: I think that no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don't. But, I do think that he's beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to. And he does that regularly so...

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS HOST: And you don't think that's a threat to anyone? You don't think that's sending a message do that to the media, do that to CNN?

BOSSERT: No, I certainly don't. I don't think so. And I think that importantly here he's a genuine president expressing himself genuinely and to be honest, I think that's why he was elected.


COLLINS: The White House often says that the president is his own best messenger, and that Twitter is a platform where he can speak directly to his base without going through the media. Instead of using that platform to tell 33 million people about the healthcare debate or to preview his upcoming foreign trip where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time, he is using it to attack the media. BRIGGS: Kaitlan, thanks.

President Trump's attack on CNN only his is most recent aggression. He spent the past week relentless berating the new media including CNN, MSNBC, CBS, "The New York Times", and the "Washington Post."

On Saturday, he used more than a minute and a half at the Kennedy Center Event honoring veterans to slam the media.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The press has destroyed themselves because they went too far.


TRUMP: Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet, and the people saw it right from the beginning. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I'm president, and they're not.


[04:35:00] BRIGGS: For those keeping score at home, here's a tally of President Trump's tweets attacking the media. At 94, there are nearly as many blasting the press as the next two topics, jobs and the military, combined.

President Trump attempting to shift his focus on the North Korean Nuclear Threat during phone calls with the leaders of China and Japan. Mr. Trump and Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe agreeing to hold a Trilateral Summit with South Korea on the side lines of the upcoming G20 meeting in Germany. They plan to appeal to Beijing to do more to isolate Pyongyang.

The G20 will also mark the first face-to-face with President Trump and Russian President, Vladimir Putin. As CNN's Elise Labott explains, the president will face a number of thorny issues on this high-stakes overseas trip.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: President Trump has a full agenda this week. Before he even sits down with President Putin, he visits Poland on Wednesday to take part in the gathering of leaders from Central Europe, the Baltic States, and the Balkans to boost regional trade.

Now, the president wants to promote U.S. natural gas exports there, but this is making European leaders a bit nervous. They see President Trump as supporting the right-wing nationalist government in Poland with their disputes with the E.U.

Now, when he arrives in Hamburg, Germany, Thursday for the G20 meeting, he could also be headed for a collision course with European leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has predicted varying difficult talks with President Trump over climate change and trade when the leaders meet. Now, since his last visit to Europe, the president has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, he has repeatedly criticized Germany over its trade surplus. And then, of course, there's that meeting with President Putin. Now, both sides are playing down expectations.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has said there is no agenda, just what the president wants to talk about. Now, obviously everybody wants to know whether the president will bring up Russia's meddling in the U.S. Election, warn him not to do it again.

I think we're more likely to see the leaders put the elections aside and move forward on issues like Syria and Ukraine. The body language in that meeting is going to be very interesting and telling.

BRIGGS: Should be a fascinating meeting.

All right, the White House Commission on Election Integrity asking for detailed voter information, but that request is running into resistance from well over half the states, South Dakota and New Mexico, joining a growing list of at least 29 states refusing to turnover voter data or expressing reservations.

The Trump Administration claims it simply wants to investigate voter fraud. The president and his commission is asking all 50 states to turnover full names of registered voters along with dates of birth, party affiliation, voter history, and partial social security numbers.

Several of the states objecting to the request are led by Republicans. That includes Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach is co-chairman of the voter fraud commission. He says privacy laws prevent him from sharing some personal voter data.

All this is not sitting too well with the president who tweeted, "numerous states are refusing to give information at the distinguished voter fraud panel. What are they trying to hide?"

Governor Chris Christie taking some heat for his family's day at the beach.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Next, next -- excuse me, next, next. I'm done. We're talking about the closure of government, and you're talking about your TMZ stuff.


BRIGGS: Vintage Christie. Problem is the Christies were the only ones able to enjoy a New Jersey beach during a government shutdown. That story is next.


[04:40:00] BRIGGS: Governor Chris Christie convening both houses of New Jersey legislature this morning an attempt to end a disastrous budget impasse. This is day three without a budget for the state, not as 35,000 workers furloughed for the holiday. All state parks remain closed, ruining July 4th plans for thousands of beach-goers.

The governor and his family they got to enjoy the sand and surf. The Christies had full run of Island Beach Park, a barrier island where the state owned governor's residence is located. Christie shrugging off criticism telling reporters, "That's just the way it goes."

I will tell you how that standby went -- basically, it went stop, next question, next question, this is TMZ stuff.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has more on the shutdown.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave, day three of this New Jersey state government shutdown and there has been little to no sign of any progress between Governor Chris Christie and lawmakers as they try to come up with a solution to this financial impasse happening at Trenton, New Jersey.

As a result, some of the nonessential facilities have been closed and that includes Liberty State Park which state troopers have been blocking off since this budget ordeal started over the weekend.

As a result, we have seen people come here and not be able to gain access, especially on this Fourth of July weekend that certainly has turned into quite the inconvenience for people from around the world that travel here to perhaps check out the sights, check out the view.

So, the main question that folks in New Jersey are asking themselves this morning, how long will this shutdown lasts? I can tell you the last time this went down was back in the summer of 2006, took about eight days for them to be able to come up with a budget and then get rid of the shutdown.

Expected today will be yet another session in which the governor will call back lawmakers, but will there be any progress? That's going to be something that we'll be closely watching throughout the day. Dave?

BRIGGS: Well, they sure will. Polo, thanks.

New Jersey not the only state with budget problems as of July 1st -- these 11 states don't have a budget plan in place, including Connecticut, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Like New Jersey, Maine's governor shut down emergency services over the weekend.

Illinois' dispute is the longest running though. That state has not passed a spending plan in more than two years, putting it at risk to become the first state whose credit rating is downgraded to junk. Many budget impasses are driven by ideological differences made worse by poor budget forecasting.

Last year, half of the states collected less in taxes than expected and many state legislatures are divided on how to make up the deficit. Forty six states had a budget deadline last Friday; that's because their fiscal year begins July 1.

Time for a long range look ahead at the forecast for the whole month of July. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us with some hot spots and some wet spots, unfortunately.

[04:45:00] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good 3rd of July to you, Dave. Here's what's happening across the country today with a lot of heat to go around here of course in early July, but notice there are a few pockets here that are into the lower 80s, upper 70s, even out of Chicago, Detroit, on into Minneapolis. That's some of the areas we could see a few thunderstorms in place that will allow those temperatures to cool off just a little bit.

And, we do have some storms this morning pushing right through portions of, say, Memphis eventually on it to the Tennessee Valley as we go in towards the afternoon and evening hours and that really sets up the stage here for our Independence Day Forecast too for much of these regions seeing scattered storms, as well as, the northeast and also parts of the upper Midwest as well.

And here's the perspective, as far as, where we have some wet weather possible around 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, that's the areas right there, upper Midwest on into parts of the South Central States and eventually into the mid-Atlantic as well a few pikes possible areas of thunderstorms are what we're watching.

Also, across the Atlantic, how about a potential tropical disturbance in the works? This is a five-day forecast, gives it about a 60 percent chance of this disturbance forming as it works straight towards the windward island sometime late this week. So, I'll follow this for our D-letter storm which would be Don. That is the latest here from CNN Weather. Dave?

BRIGGS: Pedram, thank you.

It's the final stand for ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Next, CNN has an exclusive look in a city where ISIS declared its caliphate, and now struggles to survive.


[04:50:00] BRIGGS: In Iraq this morning, the city of Mosul is on the verge of being liberated from ISIS after weeks of fighting. Iraqi troops are locked in a fierce battle for last few blocks of Western Mosul that ISIS still controls.

A Brazilian photographer embedded with Iraqi Security Forces has shared his extraordinary footage exclusively with CNN. Now, our Nick Paton Walsh takes you up close to ISIS' last stand in Mosul.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From here to the river is all ISIS has left of Mosul and this is the story of how it fell on the streets around the mosque they once held sacred but then destroyed.

(Gunfire) Brazilian photographer Gabriel Chaim is on foot with Iraqi special forces. Every footfall could hit a booby trap. An eerie silence holds in just about everything, endless soot.


The streets empty and each human they meet is either desperate to escape or the enemy. In the alleyways, two men approached them.


One is carrying a bomb. They rush in to help their wounded.


A second man carrying a much larger device. Gabriel struggles to breathe. The dust also means they can't see if there are any other bombers or whether three dead and a dozen wounded colleagues lied.

The advance continues up to and around the mosque --


-- and civilians, human shields for weeks, stoop under gunfire or are even oblivious to it. Some never leave the underground. Loud, constant blasts in the darkness.

Unable to walk, the first man feigns ignorance but soon admits ISIS are on the roof and have lined the entire street. The interrogator later tells his team the man is, himself, ISIS.

For the past week, the desperate rush to life had continued. The U.N. estimated 150,000 people were trapped here, but in the end nobody had any idea or how many lie left behind them in the rubble.


WALSH: "Water, water, I'm dying," she screams, her lips white. In crippling heat and panic, pray we never know thirst like this or what it is like to carry your family out lifeless on a cart. This is his mother. "For God's sake, help me carry him," he cries. They try, running to the closest point in the narrow street a vehicle can reach. "Stop the blood loss," they plead. It's unclear if the boy survived.

Even when this tract of dust is cleared of ISIS the killing in Iraq's fractured society won't stop and her private hell of memories won't suddenly be washed away.


[04:55:00] BRIGGS: Devastating footage. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.

President Trump working the phones, speaking to three Persian Gulf leaders about the Arab World's widening rift with Qatar. The president speaking separately over the weekend with the Saudi King, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the Emir of Qatar on Sunday. The White House says the president expressed his concerns about the dispute and the urgent need to stop the financing of terrorism. Arab Countries involved in the boycott agreeing to extend the deadline for Qatar to meet a long list of demands by 48 hours.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joining us live from Doha. Good morning to you, Jomana. Now, the president injecting himself into this situation, helping or hurting?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Dave, you might recall a few weeks ago when this crisis started when you and I spoke, I mentioned that a lot of people that we spoke into here feel that the president's input into this crisis has been a negative one.

They feel that he may have pushed for this sort of escalation in the diplomatic crisis that we are seeing now by publicly coming out and supporting Saudi Arabia against Qatar and the Saudi Alliance in this dispute against this key U.S. Military ally, that at the same time, as we've seen Secretary of State, Tillerson pushing towards mediation and trying to resolve this through dialogue.

Now, where things stand right now about a month into this crisis, as you recall, about 10 days ago, the Saudi-led Alliance provided a list of demands, 13 sweeping demands. They went to Qatar to comply with and this includes things like the shutting down of the Al-Jazeera Network, reducing ties with Iran, and scrapping plans for Qatar to establish a Turkish Military Base, something that is underway right now and throughout.

We have heard from Qatari Officials saying that these demands are unrealistic. They say that it doesn't have anything to do with combating terrorism. They think that this is targeting their foreign policy and trying to strip Qatar of its sovereignty.

Now, that deadline just ran out. But, at the same time, we heard from Kuwait that is playing the mediator in this conflict saying that they have received the assurance of the Saudi-led Alliance of extending the deadline by 48 hours.

And at the same time, about, you know, in the past hour or so, the Foreign Minister of Qatar arrived in Kuwait with a written letter from the leader of Qatar in it is that his country's response to this list of demands.

While they haven't really come out and publicly rejected those demands, I think it's fair to assume that they will not be agreeing to it. We heard the foreign minister over the weekend say that that list was made to be rejected, Dave.

BRIGGS: Yes, that's what you're hearing a lot of. Jomana Karadsheh, live for us in Qatar, thanks very much.

All right, global markets are higher this morning as we start a short trading week. U.S. Markets are open only half a day today, then closed tomorrow for Independence Day. The first half of the trading year ended Friday. Wall Street had a strong start driven by stellar corporate earnings and hopes for tax reform, the Dow and S&P500 both gaining 8 percent, while the tech heavy NASDAQ surged 14 percent. That's its best performance since 2009. Big name tech stocks propelled the NASDAQ to 38, closing records just this year.

U.S. Security Officials lifting the laptop ban on flights from Abu Dhabi. Passengers on Etihad Airways can now carry electronic devices. In March, the U.S. banned laptops in cabins, on flights from eight countries including Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

Their concern was that the electronics could conceal explosives. But officials say they lifted the ban on Etihad because the airline began tighter security measures. Etihad operates flights between Abu Dhabi, the Capital of the UAE, and the United States.

We may finally get a peek at Tesla's long-anticipated Model 3. In a series of tweets, founder, Elon Musk announced the first production model rolls out Friday. The Model 3 is Tesla's first affordable electric car and there's a lot riding on its release.

Anticipation has sent Tesla's stock up a staggering 70 percent this year. Musk says they'll sell the first 30 cars on July 28th, then production will ramp up exponentially. Musk aims to produce about 20,000 cars per month by the end of the year.

EARLY START continues right now.

[05:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: The president in no way, form, or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence of anything quite the contrary.


BRIGGS: If that's the contrary, we hesitate to ask, what counts as encouraging violence? The president's latest assault on the media stirring up very real concerns about safe for journalists.

Good morning everyone and welcome to EARLY START.

I'm Dave Briggs. Christine Romans has the day off. It is Monday, July 3rd, 5:00 a.m. in the East.