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NYT: Kremlin Tried To Help Trump; Who Set Up The Don Jr. Meeting?; Deadly Military Plane Crash; Iraqi Government Declares Mosul Liberated. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 11, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:15] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump Jr. was told the Russian government was providing damaging information about Hillary Clinton. A stunning new report in this morning's "New York Times" ahead.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And, 16 people killed in a Marine Corps plane crash in Mississippi. A huge debris field, we're told, and no survivors. Many questions this morning. The FBI is on site. We'll have the very latest information for you just moments away.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

Up first, not only did Donald Trump Jr. meet with a Russian lawyer, there's new reporting that Don Jr. was told the Russian government was directing a lawyer's efforts to spread damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

That's 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.

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

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

BRIGGS: The White House consumed on Monday by questions about the meeting. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisting the campaign did not collude, describing the meeting as, quote, "very short with absolutely no follow-up."

Sanders, in an off-camera briefing, 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.


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, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: 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 is that there was simply no collusion that they keep trying to create that there was.


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

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

Helping us sort out who's who here is senior international correspondent Matthew Chance, live in Moscow. Matthew, we know you are a big Emin Algalarov fan, as well. Please help us explain who all these characters are.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, Emin is perhaps the most colorful of the characters. As you mentioned, he's a massive pop star in the former Soviet Union. I think it's safe to say he's the biggest pop phenomenon that's come out of Azerbaijan and he's been living in Russia since he was a four-year- old kid.

Interestingly, he actually had a pop music video which Donald Trump appeared in. He appeared in it and he was playing this role of the sort of the boss, as he always does, in that kind of "Apprentice" role.

And he said to Emin, what's wrong with you, Emin? I'm really tired of you. You're fired. And it was kind of like a jokey parody of Donald Trump's personality in his T.V. show, "The Apprentice."

The interesting thing, though -- the really interesting thing about Emin is that his dad, he is the son of -- his dad, he's one of the biggest property developers in Russia. He owns the biggest shopping mall, for instance, in the Russian capital. And, Aras Algalarov, which is the father of Emin, he is the business partner that Donald Trump had when they jointly staged the Miss Universe competition in Moscow in 2013. So there is this direct line of connection that runs from the

President of the United States through this media publicist -- this music publicist, Rob Goldstone, to this pop star, to his father, which, you know, the suggestion is is that that was the channel that was used by the Russian government because they also have close contacts with this businessman as well -- the Russian government -- to try and manipulate and access the Trump campaign.

Of course, the Trump administration certainly denies that, as does the Kremlin. They say they've got no -- nothing to do with any of this.

[05:35:00] BRIGGS: The biggest pop star to ever come out of Azerbaijan. That is good stuff. Matthew Chance live for us this morning. Thank you.

All right. Yes, it's -- what a tangled web we weave, indeed.

Joining us this morning, "Weekly Standard" reporter Chris Deaton, live in our Washington bureau. Good morning to you, Chris.


BRIGGS: Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about this story eight times yesterday. It should be interesting how silent he is on it today now that even the uber Trump-friendly "New York Post" is reporting on "The New York Times" on their cover. How significant is this "New York Times" report? How does it change the argument?

DEATON: It's a big story because we have an instance here of a tangible piece of evidence that points in the direction of what this entire narrative has been about all along, right, trying to demonstrate some sort of link -- some piece of evidence between the Trump campaign and Russian actors, be they state actors themselves or people doing their bidding in an effort to influence the election.

This "Times" story has a lot of delimiting information. We have to be careful about that. There are some gaps we have to fill.

But there are some things that we can take away based on the sourcing of this story that we do know, and one of those things is that Donald Trump Jr. supposedly entered this meeting not under the pretext that it was going to be about this Kremlin-linked information to help his father in the campaign, but that was the actual point of it. It didn't seem terribly ambiguous.

We heard that Don Trump Jr. said that we talked about the Russian adoption issue and blowback from previous U.S. policy. It made it sound like oh, maybe that's going to be the point of the meeting -- no.

I mean, that just really sounds like that was brought up in the meeting and that this Kremlin-linked information stuff really had an overarching point to it. It was evident that that's what this was going to be about.

ROMANS: And we should be clear, and there's some great reporting this morning about -- the Russian adoption issue is, in many cases, really a Russian sanctions issue.


ROMANS: That's what -- that's what that is --


ROMANS: -- about. You know, there's lobbying from attorneys, apparently like this attorney here --

DEATON: Right.

ROMANS: -- on behalf of people who have been sanctioned by the U.S. government and they don't like it.

DEATON: That's exactly right and so that, you know, kind of goes back -- and it's actually, Christine, a great point that you bring up because the lawyer who was at the center of all of this -- we have, as Matthew was just describing, all these people who were fixers, connectors, people trying to set up the meeting -- Goldstone, himself, the Algalarov family.

Just as a quick aside, I actually took a peek at a YouTube video in between segments here of Trump and Algalarov kind of exchanging pleasantries. It looks like two years apart so there's, you know, more YouTube evidence of the connections between these two families and some supposed fondness there.

The lawyer here who is at the center of all this was part of that sanction stuff. She was quoted, I believe, in NPR reporting about her four or five years ago so it's not like this person was an unknown quantity beyond just a little bit of Googling. So to not know who this person was or her potential Kremlin contacts kind of beggars belief.

BRIGGS: An on-camera briefing -- some transparency would be helpful at this juncture but that's not happening anytime soon -- off-camera yesterday. Nothing on the White House schedule as of now.

You could argue the same transparency is being used with this health care plan that the Senate is trying to hash out, that is now up to 10 Senate Republicans opposing this bill, names that were added over the July Fourth recess. Could they continue to see more no votes in the Senate or is there a chance that Mitch McConnell, with this Ted Cruz fix amendment, could somehow get a vote and get enough votes late next week, Chris?

DEATON: I find it hard to believe just because of how tepid moderates have been with the idea of altering some of the regulations and restrictions that Obamacare put in place on insurers already.

We have to go back to the very beginning of this debate this year where a key breakdown among House conservatives and House moderates had to do with Obamacare regulations, themselves. A lot of them affected coverages -- insurance coverage of people with preexisting conditions and people's ability to access that coverage at an affordable price.

That issue has manifested in different ways throughout this entire process including, I think to a lesser extent but no less an extent, with this Ted Cruz idea of allowing insurers to offer some different plans that might not be Obamacare compliant. So it's going to earn -- trying to earn moderate support is going to be a really difficult road.

ROMANS: Yes. Senator Susan Collins saying she needs a complete overhaul. We could listen to her right here.


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 Sen. Cassidy and I introduced earlier this year. I'm not claiming that bill is perfect but it provides a foundation from which we could proceed.


[05:40:02] ROMANS: I don't know. I mean, Chris, what do you -- what do you think the chances are that they do something there? I mean, it feels like every day this patient is, you know, slipping away on life support.

DEATON: Yes. First of all, just listening to Sen. Collins there and talking about the idea of a complete overhaul and the timeline that we're on, I mean it seems to me like the Republican's slogan at this point should be Rome wasn't built in a day but health care, we can do that in 45 minutes.

I mean, it's just absolutely incredible how fast they're trying to push this process through and doing it kind of under the cover of darkness and not having these public hearings about how do some of these stability funds and money that's going to help subsidize people who might face higher costs, is that sufficient. What are these changes going to actually do?

It kind of is the idea of let's just push something across the finish line and hope that it works out well. The feasibility of doing that and getting people to legitimately get behind a plan on the moderate win, like Collins is part of, and the conservative wing, it's just such a difficult task because the gap is significant and the issues both sides are addressing are so different.

BRIGGS: Yes, you wonder if they just write off her and Rand Paul at the opposite end of the spectrum and try to get everyone else. But the August recess is drawing very near. Time is running out.

Chris Deaton from "The Weekly Standard." Great to have you, sir. Thank you.

ROMANS: Yes, nice and early and the sun rising behind him on the Capitol. Thanks, nice to see you.

DEATON: All right. Thanks, guys.

BRIGGS: All right, breaking news this morning.

Sixteen people killed when a Marine Corps plane crashed in Mississippi. The FBI is at the scene investigating. No one survived the crash.

At this hour it's not clear what went wrong. The KC-130 went down in rural Leflore County Mississippi late Monday afternoon at 1:30. It is 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 and 4,000 gallons of foam were needed to put out the fire.

ROMANS: Forty-two minutes past the hour.

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. It's a 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 until 2018 and may, ultimately, eliminate the program.

The move was quickly slammed by tech leaders and industry groups. For example, the PayPal co-founder Max Levchin who is from Ukraine, tweeted this. "As an immigrant and entrepreneur that has created tens of thousands of jobs here in the U.S., I am beyond disappointed in this decision."

Tech has greatly benefited from foreign-born talent. The future of immigration is almost the biggest issue for Silicon Valley today and it is one of the topics discussed right there at last month's tech summit. The heads of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon all met with the president at the White House. They have his ear but on this subject, apparently, he has not listened to them.


ROMANS: All right, 42minutes past the hour. Mosul, at last, finally free of the grip of ISIS but what's next for the city? Is the ISIS stronghold in Syria next to fall? We are live in the Middle East.


[05:47:20] BRIGGS: All right. Time for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo joining us as we could hope another interview with Kellyanne Conway is on the way today. Chris, the world enjoyed it very much. Kellyanne called that meeting with the lawyer standard operating procedure. How do you think she'd refer to it today?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Probably the same way. Look, we're taking this on today. You guys have been doing a great job covering it this morning, so far. What's different? OK, so you have this solicitation which is come and meet with me. I have information for you. Donald Jr. acknowledges -- admits that that's why he went to the meeting.

We now know today -- "The New York Times" has advanced the story -- how -- that not only did he know that this was going to be about getting oppo, right -- opposition research on Hillary Clinton -- but that the person he was meeting with had a connection to the Kremlin.

Now, what does that mean? Well, that triggers a different level of scrutiny. One, you have to be careful when you're doing something like that. It's not just typical opposition research because when you're working with a hostile foreign power that can raise legal issues.

And even if everything about Don Jr. and why he did this and what it means about him is taken out of this, it still shows something that the administration is very uncomfortable with, which is the need to investigate issues like this, Dave and Christine, matters.

So even if you take Don Jr. out of it -- any culpability, responsibility, liability -- whatever word you want to use that means onus. Take it out, it still means that it matters.

The other thing that we're going to take on today is what is the real timeline for health care?

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: All three of us, we're all blessed with healthy kids, thank God, but we know how expensive it is with the deductible and the co- pay and what it means.


CUOMO: There are too many families affected by this for them to use it as a political football. It's starting to feel like that is really what it's become. We'll take that on, as well.

BRIGGS: Yes. Mike Pence calling it a historic achievement, getting rid of Obamacare. Certainly, some stories behind that.

And Chris, they'll have the latest on this plane crash as well.

CUOMO: We will take you through it. We're light on details on it --

ROMANS: I know.

CUOMO: -- so we don't want to get too far into the speculation before we know. We'll advance the story when we can.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Chris.

BRIGGS: All right, buddy. Thank you.

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


[05:54:00] BRIGGS: 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 towards the city as U.S.-led airstrikes helped pave the way.

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


LT. GEN. STEPHEN 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 and we're performing the same kind of missions -- the coalition is performing the same kind of missions there. We'll take Raqqa.


BRIGGS: CNN correspondent Jomana Karadsheh live for us in Jordan with more. Jomana, good morning to you. A significant and symbolic victory but still a very long road ahead.

[05:55:00] JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. A major blow to ISIS and a major victory for the Iraqis but, as you mentioned, a really tough task ahead for the Iraqi government. They need to make sure that they secure, stabilize, and hold the territory that they've recaptured from ISIS, including Mosul.

They have a phenomenal reconstruction effort ahead. Not clear where they're going to get the money for that, estimated in the billions perhaps after the devastation of the fighting.

But perhaps the most daunting challenge ahead for them is to try and rebuild trust amongst Iraqis within that community to make sure that they try and mend the sectarian divide -- that same divide that allowed ISIS to exploit it and rise in the first place.

And they still have some territory in Iraq, not as major as Mosul, of course, to try and recapture from ISIS. And the concern is that the group now will return back to its roots as an insurgent group and start carrying out attacks in urban areas like Baghdad.

And as you heard, the coalition now will be focusing on Syria, on the self-declared capital of ISIS, Raqqa. A tough task ahead for them with that fight that is expected to last for months.

BRIGGS: Indeed, another long slog ahead. Jomana Karadsheh live for us in Jordan. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, 56 minutes past the hour. Time to check your money this morning.

Global stock markets mixed. U.S. stocks closed mostly up. The Dow is down a little bit but the rally in tech stocks boosting the Nasdaq and the S&P.

Investors have high hopes for tech as Wall Street heads into earnings season. The sector is the best performing this year. It got the Nasdaq up 18 percent.

Second quarter earnings kick off in earnest Friday. Big-name banks like JPMorgan, Citibank, Wells Fargo all report. You know, experts expect another great quarter for the banks. S&P companies are expected to grow six percent from last year.

All of Snapchat's stock market gains have disappeared. Shares of the parent company Snap fell below the IPO price of $17. That's the first time since going public.

Investors concerned about growing losses and weak user growth. Snapchat added just eight million users in the first three months of the year. Instagram added 100 million in the same time period.

Snap's stock is down 42 percent from its peak in March. Watch that one today.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Is this "New York Times" reporting the first crack at collusion? "NEW DAY" will discuss right now. We'll see you tomorrow.


HUCKABEE SANDERS: The president's campaign did not collude in any way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an e-mail compromising information about Hillary Clinton. It was part of a Russian government effort to help his father's campaign.

REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: That's opposition research and you're always looking to get the upper hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's been revealed for the first time is potential real coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Rest assured Donald Trump Jr. will be somebody that we want to talk to.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: There was no information given, there was no action taken. He learned nothing from that meeting.

CUOMO: It doesn't matter what he learned, it matters why he took the meeting. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CUOMO: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 11th, 6:00 here in New York and we begin with another major development in Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Here's "The Starting Line."

"The New York Times" reports Donald Trump Jr. was told in an e-mail that a lawyer he had met with last summer would offer him dirt of Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father win the election, fueling new questions about the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia.

The White House is rushing to defend the president's son, saying this is a meaningless coincidence. But we now know of at least seven current or former Trump campaign members that have lied, changed their stories, or simply not been forthcoming about their contacts with Russia.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, Congressional investigators want to talk with the president's son about his meeting with that Russian lawyer.

The vice chairman of the Senate Intel Committee calls this development, quote, "clear evidence," unquote, that Trump officials met with Russians with the intention of hurting Hillary Clinton.

And, we are following breaking news for you. A U.S. military plane crashes in a remote field in Mississippi, killing at least 16 people. What caused the Marine Corps aircraft to plummet from the sky.

So, CNN has all of this covered for you. Let's begin with Jason Carroll. He is live at the White House -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Alisyn. You know, the White House now seeming to have to keep up with what it seems like daily reports about this meeting that Trump Jr. took in June of 2016. The latest report offering new insight into what Trump Jr. knew before that meeting took place.


CARROLL (voice-over): Another potential bombshell report from "The New York Times" alleging that Donald Trump Jr. received an e-mail informing him that the Russian government was trying to help his father's campaign before his June 2016 meeting with the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer thought to have comprising information about Hillary Clinton.