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NYT: Don Jr. Told Info Came from Kremlin; Senate Republicans Huddling on Health Care; Deadly Military Plane Crash; Iraqi Government Declares Mosul "Liberated". Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 11, 2017 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:28] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump Jr. was told the Russian government was providing damaging information about Hillary Clinton. This in a stunning new report this morning from "The New York Times." We've got those details ahead.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And 16 people killed in a Marine Corps plane crash in Mississippi. A huge debris field, no survivors. Many questions this morning, with the FBI on site. The latest information we have just moments away from a devastating scene in Leflore County.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes exactly past the hour.

Let's begin here. Up first, not only did Donald Trump Jr. meet with a Russian lawyer, there is new reporting this morning that Don Jr. was told the Russian government was directing her efforts to spread damaging information about Hillary Clinton. That is according to "The New York Times" citing three sources familiar with an e-mail sent to Trump Jr. That e-mail reportedly says the information about Clinton was part of a Kremlin effort to help the Trump campaign.

BRIGGS: Now, the e-mail was written by British publicist Rob Goldstone, an entertainment business associate of the Trump Sr., with connections to Moscow. Although Goldstone suggested the damaging material originated with the Russian government, there is no evidence it was related to the Russian hacking of the DNC.

Now, last night, Don Jr.'s newly hired attorney dismissed this "Times" report, calling it, quote, much ado about nothing. His statement reiterating that Don Jr. didn't do anything wrong by taking the meeting and that nothing came of it.

ROMANS: The White House consumed on Monday by questions about this meeting. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisting the campaign did not collude, describing the meeting as very short and absolutely no follow-up. Sanders had fewer answers about the White House pattern of denying any possible wrongdoing, only to backtrack and offer amended answers when presented with contrary evidence.

Listen to this from this off-camera White House press briefing. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REPORTER: How are we to take all of these blanket denials that occurred through the transition and now when it has been proven and recognized by the president's attorney and Don Jr. that those blanket denials were not factual?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESWOMAN: Look, I think the point is that we've tried to make every single time today and then and will continue to make in those statements that there was simply no collusion, that they keep trying to make that there was.


BRIGGS: Sanders adds that President Trump only learned of his son's meeting with the Russian lawyer in the last few days. The president himself has been staying largely out of sight. Today, the second straight day with no public events on his schedule.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny with more from the White House.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, the White House is still facing a new round of questions here over a meeting that happened in 2016 about Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, his oldest son, as well as Jared Kushner, and the former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Now, the White House spent a lot of time on Monday devoted to this question -- what happened at that meeting, what happened with that Russian lawyer they were talking to. Now, the White House wants to talk about anything but this. They wanted to turn the page on this, of course.

But there's word from the Senate that they want to talk to the president's son. Take a listen to Senator Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It's also a continuing pattern that we've seen since the election of Trump campaign and Trump administration officials who have conveniently forgotten meetings with Russians only when they are then presented with evidence they have to recant and acknowledge those kind of meetings. It is why we've got to continue this investigation.

ZELENY: Now Donald Trump Jr. has retained a New York lawyer to represent him in these matters here in Washington. It is also Jared Kushner as well as Paul Manafort. So, what this does is sort of adds more fuel to the fire, adds more questions here on what exactly were the relationships, was there any collusion at all between the Trump campaign officials and the Russian lawyer operatives here.

Now, this is all going to come to a head later this week. The Senate Intelligence Committee will be meeting for the first time interviewing some Trump campaign officials -- Christine and Dave. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

More questions this morning about the players involved in setting up that meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer. The latest additions to a growing cast of characters, music publicist Rob Goldstone and his client, Emin Agalarov, a pop star -- a pop star who asked Goldstone to make the meeting happened.

[04:35:11] Helping us sort out who's who, senior international correspondent Matthew Chance live in Moscow.

A pop star who I have not heard of but who is popular in the former Soviet republics. Walk us through the web.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I can't believe you haven't heard of him. He's massive in the former Soviet Union. His name's Emin.

He sold more than a million records apparently. And, you know, he's got this sort of playboy image. You know, he's often sort of photographed with very beautiful women.

And actually Donald Trump Sr., the president of the United States, before he was president of the United States, appeared in one of his pop music videos playing the role of the sort of boss like he did in "The Apprentice," saying, Emin -- pictured daydream being a beautiful woman -- Emin, I'm tired of you, you're never awake, you're fired. And that's one connection between the president and this pop star in the former Soviet Union.

The main connection, though, is that the pop star's father is a guy called Aras Agalarov, and he's one of Russia's biggest property developers. He owns Moscow's biggest shopping mall, for instance. He's the man, he's the businessman who Donald Trump partnered up with to stage the 2013 Miss Universe competition in Moscow.

So, this is the business relationship that Donald Trump has. Donald Trump Jr. has, as well, obviously. And which led to Rob Goldstone. The British national who is a music publicist who represents Emin sending that e-mail to Don Jr. saying, hey, can you meet with this Russian lawyer, a Russian lawyer who was closely linked with the Kremlin. The suggestion is that it was the Kremlin working through its business contacts in Russia of which obviously it has strong contacts to try and access the Trump campaign. That's, of course, an allegation and something the Kremlin denies.

ROMANS: Fascinating. All right. Matthew Chance, keep us abreast of the developments and players. Thank you, sir.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, potential make-or-break day for Senate Republicans and their health care reform efforts. All of them back from holiday recess. They're getting their first opportunity to discuss the status of their measure to repeal and replace Obamacare. It could give us our first real idea when a new bill could emerge. ROMANS: Lawmakers didn't exactly receive a warm welcome in

Washington. Eighty people arrested on Capitol Hill protesting the GOP health care plan. Demonstrations breaking out in 13 different locations in House and Senate office buildings.

Let's get more this morning from CNN's Ryan Nobles.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, good morning from Capitol Hill.

And there's no doubt that the trip that most of these senators took to their home states during the July 4th recess was not very helpful to the overall debate as it relates to this health care bill. Many of these senators getting an earful from their constituents about the progress of this bill. And that's made the debate here and the negotiations even more complicated.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to offer tweaks to the bill, fixes here and there. But there are many senators, both conservative and moderate, who feel that tweaks are just not enough.

Listen to what Susan Collins of Maine told me yesterday.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I do need a complete overhaul in order to get to yes. I hope that our colleagues will take another look at the bill that Senator Cassidy and I introduced earlier this year. I'm not claiming that bill's perfect, but it provides a foundation from which we could proceed.

NOBLES: So, the big question is, as these senators continue to deal behind closed doors, are they making subtle fixes to their original plan, or are they doing a major rewrite? It could potentially be a combination of both. We still haven't seen this new bill. In fact, many of the senators haven't even seen this new bill.

So, it's likely that the earliest that we'll see any kind of vote on health care could be sometime next week. And there are many here who wonder if even that will happen as the prospects for this current bill seem to be very bleak -- Dave and Christine.


BRIGGS: Seems unlikely. Ryan, thank you.

Sixteen people killed when a Marine Corps plane crashed in Mississippi. The FBI is at the scene investigating. No one survived this crash. This hour, it's not clear what went wrong on the KC-130 that went down in rural Leflore County, Mississippi, late Monday afternoon. KC130, one of the military's most widely used aircraft. A local fire chief says the debris field from the crash is five miles in radius, 4,000 gallons of foam were needed to put out the fire.

ROMANS: All right. We'll continue to follow the developments on that story. A U.S. Army soldier arrested, accused of providing material support to

ISIS. What officials say they found during a year-long investigation. We've got that next.


[04:44:12] ROMANS: It's a big blow to Silicon Valley. The Trump administration delaying a rule that helps foreign entrepreneurs build startups in the U.S. The Obama era rule allows foreigners with fast- growing businesses to apply for something called parole status, the type of visa that lets you work in the U.S. It was due to start next week, but the Department of Homeland Security suspended it now until the year 2018 and may ultimately eliminate this program. This move was quickly slammed by tech leaders and industry groups.

For example, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin who is from the Ukraine tweeted, as an immigrant and entrepreneur that has created tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S., I am beyond disappointed in this decision.

Tech has greatly benefited from foreign-born talents, and the future of immigration is probably the biggest issue for Silicon Valley right now.

[04:45:01] In fact, it was one of the topics discussed at last month's tech summit. The heads of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, all met with the president at the White House.

A U.S. army soldier in custody this morning, arrested by a SWAT team in Hawaii for allegedly trying to provide material support to ISIS. The ISIS confirming 34-year-old Sergeant First Class Ikaika Kang was taken into custody late Saturday after a year-long investigation conducted with the army. Kang served in Iraq and Afghanistan and received a number of awards for his service, including the prestigious Army Commendation Medal.

ROMANS: His attorney says he may suffer from mental health issues. The criminal complaint alleges Kang swore allegiance to ISIS in conversations with undercover agents and tried to provide them with military documents and training.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at it again for sunning himself on a beach that he closed to the public. Well, the governor you see was auditioning for his next potential gig as, yes, a sports radio host on New York's WFAN radio when the angry calls started pouring in.

In particular, this one from Mike in Montclair.


HOST: What's up, Mike?

CALLER: Governor, next time you want to sit on a beach that is closed to the entire world except you --

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Yes? CALLER: -- you put your fat ass in a car and go to one that's open to

all your constituents. Not just and yours.

CHRISTIE: Interesting, Mike. You know what --

CALLER: What's that? What's that, Gov?

CHRISTIE: You know, Mike, I love -- I love getting calls from communists in Montclair.

CALLER: Communists in Montclair? You're a bully, Governor. I don't like bullies.

CHRISTIE: You know what -- listen, I'm not the one who came on the air -- hey, hold on, Mike --

CALLER: Your entire career --

CHRISTIE: Mike, I'm not the guy who came on the air, swore on the air, and --

CALLER: Who swore?

CHRISTIE: You did.

CALLER: Get the heck out of here.

CHRISTIE: You know, you're swearing on the air, Mike. You're a bum. So, let's --

CALLER: You know, you got bad optics and you're a bull.

CHRISTIE: Oh, bad optics. Mike, I'd love to come look at your optics every day, buddy.


ROMANS: You know, that's how we talk in the breaks.

Despite Christie's historically low 15 percent approval rating in New Jersey, WFAN confirms he is a candidates to take over the afternoon time slot of legendary Mike Francesa.

BRIGGS: Mike Francesa, the legend.

What's he mean he wants to look at your optics? Hey --

ROMANS: Sports callers --

BRIGGS: -- let's keep it clean here.

ROMANS: -- a whole breed of sports callers, right?

BRIGGS: You don't need to look at my optics.

All right. To baseball, rookie sensation Aaron Judge is your 2017 home run derby champion. This kid is unbelievable. The New York Yankees slugger putting on a show at Marlins Park in Miami. That's the host of this year's MLB all-star game. Judge banged out 47 home runs to capture the title, defeating Minnesota Twins start Miguel Sano 11-10 in the final. Four of judge's round trippers traveled over 500 feet --


BRIGGS: One actually hit the stadium roof. It's inexplicable what this young man, the rookie Yankee slugger, is doing now, 6'8", he's a monster. Can't pitch to him in the derby or in games. All rise for judge.

ROMANS: I love that, pretty cool kids.

BRIGGS: Cool stuff.

ROMANS: All right. Forty-eight minutes past the hour.

The revelation Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian attorney created plenty of fodder for late night. Stephen Colbert is just trying to keep up.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: On June 9th of last year, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

You could knock me over with whatever you use to knock over someone who isn't the least bit surprised.

We're supposed to believe that during the height of the presidential campaign on the advice of a guy he met at the Miss Universe pageant, Don Jr. said, hey, Jared, Paul, I know you guys are a little busy now, but I need you to come to a meeting -- with who? I don't know.


About what? I'm not telling you.


OK, we're in.

The acquaintance from Miss Universe who set up this meeting between Don Jr. and the Russian attorney is a game named Rob Goldstone, a music publicist, who on the day after Trump's election posted a picture of himself on Instagram wearing a Russian t-shirt. He's just -- that's understandable. He's just wearing the championship merchandise.

All the Hillary t-shirts were sent to small villages in third-world countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Look, it speaks to the point that if this stuff played out on the Hollywood screen, you wouldn't believe it. It's just too hard to imagine. But it -- in fact, playing out in real life.

ROMANS: All right. Like a good snap, all of Snapchat's stock gains have officially disappeared. We'll tell you why on CNN "Money Stream", next.


[04:54:10] ROMANS: Iraq's prime minister declaring victory after troops recaptured Mosul from ISIS. The move marks an end to a nine- month operation which began when fighters of varying ethnic and religious backgrounds made a coordinated push toward the city as U.S.- led airstrikes helped pave the way.

BRIGGS: Several questions now including, what's next for the liberated city? What's next in the battle against ISIS? Well, the commander of the international military coalition fighting the terror group says the focus now shifts to Syria.


LT. GEN. STEPHEN J. TOWNSEND, COMMANDER, OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE: Well, as of about an hour ago, what was job number two for us, Raqqa, Syria, is now job number one. And we're prosecuting that fight there just like we did here by, with and through our local partners. We're performing the same kind of missions. The coalition is performing the same kind of missions there.

[04:55:00] We'll take Raqqa.


BRIGGS: CNN correspondent Jomana Karadsheh live in Jordan with us this morning.

Jomana, good morning to you.

To hold, let alone to rebuild, seems a formidable challenge ahead there. Good morning.


Of course, yes, this has been a huge victory for the Iraqis, recapturing their second city, Mosul. And it is a major blow to the terror group that saw that as their symbolic capital in Iraq. But as you mentioned, the tough task is still ahead for the Iraqis, you know, when it comes to securing, stabilizing, and holding the territory that they've recaptured from ISIS, like Mosul, rebuilding devastated cities, something that is probably going to cost billions of dollars. And it's unclear how Iraq is going to manage to get those funds.

And then also probably the most daunting of all tasks is trying to rebuild trust within the Iraqi community, to bridge the sectarian gaps between the Shias and the Sunnis. So, the same sectarian divisions that were exploited by ISIS in the first place that allowed for the rise of that group. And then you have several other towns, of course, not as major as Mosul, that are still under the control of ISIS in Iraq. And they will have to drive them out of those cities with the concern that ISIS will then turn back to its roots as an insurgent group and carry out attacks in urban centers like Baghdad, for example.

And as you heard, the coalition, their main focus now is Syria, specifically Raqqa, and that is the self-declared caliphate of ISIS, self-declared capital of ISIS. That is going to be a tough fight that's been going on for weeks, expected to last at least months. And it's a different terrain, geographically different to Mosul. A different partner on the ground, different forces fighting alongside the coalition, with the support of the coalition. But one thing I think we can assume is going to be the same, is we would expect ISIS fighters to fight until the death there, Dave.

BRIGGS: Symbolic win but a long road ahead.

Jomana Karadsheh live for us, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN "Money Stream" this morning.

Global stock markets are higher today after U.S. stock markets closed mostly up. The Dow dipping slightly, but a rally in tech stocks boosting the NASDAQ and S&P 500. Investors have high hopes for tech as Wall Street head into earnings season.

The sector is the best performing this year. It's up 18 percent. So, investors in tech, wow, you've done well.

Second-quarter earnings kick off in earnest Friday. Big names like banks, J.P. Morgan, Citibank, Wells Fargo, all report earnings. Last earnings season was the best in years, in years. Companies are rolling in the profits. So, analysts expect another great quarter. S&P 500 companies expected to grow 6 percent. Profit expected to grow 6 percent from last year.

Like a good snap, all of Snapchat's stock gains have disappeared. Shares of the parent company Snap fell below its IPO, $17 IPO price. That's the first time since going public in March. Investors are concerned about growing losses and weak user growth. Snapchat added just eight million users in the first three months of the year. Compare that to its competitor, Instagram, that added 100 million users in the same time period. Snap's stock is down 42 percent from its peak in March.

OK. Warren Buffett says the wealthy should pay more in taxes. He's literally putting his money where his mouth is, not in taxes, but he's giving it away. He's giving away $3 billion worth of stock to five different charities. That's on top of the billions he has donated over the past decade.

It's part of the giving pledge that he launched with Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The pledge encourages billionaires to donate the majority of their wealth to charity. A hundred people have signed up so far. Imagine having just an extra $3 billion in stock to even give away.

BRIGGS: Life is rough for Warren Buffett.

And happy Amazon Prime Day. All the sales going online right now.


BRIGGS: OK, the latest on this Russia investigation. Big news in "The New York Times."

EARLY START continues right now.


ROMANS: Donald Trump Jr. was told the Russian government was providing damaging information about Hillary Clinton. A stunning new report this morning from "The New York Times", up ahead.

BRIGGS: And 16 people dead after a marine plane crash in Mississippi that left no survivors. The FBI is on site. The latest information is just moments away. A devastating scene there in Mississippi.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, July 11th, it is 5:00 a.m., just about 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Up first, not only did Donald Trump Jr. meet with a Russian lawyer, there's no reporting that Don Jr. was told the Russian government was directing efforts to spread damaging information about Hillary Clinton. That is according to this morning's "New York Times", citing three sources familiar with an e-mail sent to Trump Jr. That e-mail reportedly says the information about Clinton was part of a Kremlin effort to help the Trump campaign.

BRIGGS: The email was written by British publicist Rob Goldstone, an entertainment business associate of Trump Sr. with connections to Moscow.