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Trump Arrives In Paris On Second European Trip In A Week; Trump To Hold News Conference In France; Remains Found In PA Missing Men Case; One-Trillion Ton Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 13, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:37] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: (Foreign language spoken)

President Trump touches down in Paris.


ROMANS: A busy day ahead, including his first public face-to-face with reporters since his son's meeting with that Russian lawyer, but the president doesn't seem to think it's a problem.

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

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

I've been waiting all morning for you to speak some French.

ROMANS: I had to pull out the French.

BRIGGS: Finally, you delivered.

It is 11:30 in Paris. Just hours from now, in Paris, President Trump holds a news conference alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. It will be the first chance for reporters to question the president publicly since the revelation Donald Trump, Jr. met with a Russian lawyer hoping to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

In advance of that news conference, President Trump tells Reuters he was unaware of the meeting Don, Jr. agreed to, only learning about it a couple of days ago.

ROMANS: A Republican source says the president has privately expressed dismay his son agreed to the meeting but believes Don, Jr. did nothing illegal. That source also says the president is annoyed the story has become a distraction from the overseas trip last week to Poland and Germany, a trip the White House sees as a success. So how will all of this affect the president's trip to France?

CNN's Melissa Bell joins us this morning from Paris. Good morning.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. What's going to be extremely interesting once we see both presidents get out together -- and it has yet to happen although Donald Trump has been in Paris for more than two hours now, Christine -- is going to be the body language between these two men.

So much has been made of the fact that Emmanuel Macron was, in many respects, the anti-Donald Trump. So different are their worldviews and yet, there is so much that unites them. They are both political outsiders, they are both plain-speaking, they are both pretty tough men who defend their worldviews vigorously and seem to have a certain respect for one another.

Emmanuel Macron certainly believes he's been watching, you know, this growing isolation of Donald Trump on the world stage. He feels that there's an opportunity for him here to try and bring him back into the fold.

There will be an awful lot in the way these two men square up to one another in front of the cameras. And, of course, you mentioned that crucial press conference that the American press, in particular, are waiting to get so much from.

I think with this particular visit and its timing, coming as it does in the middle of all these troubles for Donald Trump in Washington, there is perhaps even more of an opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to find a partner with whom he can do business, getting him to realize the importance of the historical ties that bind Europe and the United States because that world stage that one would have imagined Donald Trump shying away from in the early days of his presidency might well be one that he is actually relieved to be able to seek out today in Paris, leaving behind him, in many respects, all this cloud of the last few days in Washington.

ROMANS: All right, thank you for that. It's nice to see you this morning. You've got a lot of work ahead of you over the next few hours, no question.

BRIGGS: No doubt about that.

Joining us to help break down the politics of all of this, "CNN POLITICS" reporter Tal Kopan in Washington, and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, historian and a professor at Princeton. Good morning to both of you.

ROMANS: Hi, guys.

BRIGGS: I want to point your attention to an interesting op-ed appearing this morning in "The New York Times" from the president's top two advisers -- his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, his Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn. And, in a sense --

ROMANS: In "The New York Time," you say?

BRIGGS: Yes, let's talk about that.

ROMANS: In "The New York Time," you say?

BRIGGS: It is in "The New York Times." It is 6,000 characters versus 140 characters where the president prefers to speak in.

But, Julian Zelizer, let me ask you about that. It's the failing "New York Times." It's often derided as fake news. When you're top two advisers take to "The New York Times" to write a very eloquent and passionate piece on American leadership, what does it say about those very knocks against the media before we even get to the content of it?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it says that despite what the president says, at least some people in the administration understand the importance of all these media institutions that they disparage.

And this is an effort by two top policymakers in the administration to outline some kind of doctrine and to make some kind of sense about President Trump's overseas policies when the Twitter account won't do that for them.

ROMANS: You sometimes hear people talk about MMT&C -- the grown-ups, McMaster, Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn. The people who are trying to executive this 'America First' worldview -- this op-ed, "The Trump Vision for America Abroad."

[05:35:05] You know, it talks about agreement at the G20 about open trade but it has to be fair. What I see when I hear them talk about open trade that has to be fair, I see other countries running around excluding the United States. I see Mexico and China talking about doing a deal. I see the E.U. and Japan doing a deal.

Is the United States' 'America First' policy, as it is so far, mean America alone?

ZELIZER: Yes. What the critics will say is that the U.S. is isolating itself. So with trade agreements we are now further removed from key deals and from regions like Asia where you can see some of the effects on issues like North Korea. Also the climate change.

We are now standing alone, in many ways, from the rest of the world. So the 'America First' strategy can be very detrimental and it assumes 'America First' doesn't include the interest in curbing --

ROMANS: Right.

ZELIZER: -- climate change. So it's a very particular understanding of what that means.

BRIGGS: So from this interesting op-ed in "The New York Times," Tal, to a very important press conference that we call a two-and-two -- two questions from the American media and two from the French. Certainly, one has to be about Don, Jr. -- this meeting he took with the Russian lawyer.

And we got a hint of how the president might play this in an interview with Reuters when the president said, quote, "I think many people would have held that meeting and you have to understand when that took place this was before Russia fever. There was no Russia fever back then. That was at the beginning of the campaign, more or less. There was no Russia fever."

Well, there certainly is now, but even then that was an American adversary, arguably our greatest on the planet. Twelve o'clock Eastern time we will learn how the president plays this.

Is this the typical line you'd expect from the president relating to that meeting?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think so. I think that what we saw in that Reuters article is a good preview of what we're going to see from him. You know, the famous self-proclaimed counterpuncher who does not suffer anything he perceives as an attack against him.

And, you know, you mentioned pivoting from "The New York Times" op-ed. I think that they're actually connected and they're connected in the sense that time and time again we see that no one can really speak for the president's vision but the president.

I mean, his aides have struggled over and over to keep up with his changing explanations of things. They'll come out one day in the press conference and give an answer and then the president, himself, will undercut them in an interview. And, certainly, he has two polls in the White House sort of pulling him in different directions, at home and abroad, on policy.

And so, this press conference is going to be our opportunity to hear from the president himself how he sees himself moving forward. And, you know, to the point that he keeps undercutting his aides, there's sort of no one else who can articulate his vision but himself, and so it's an incredibly important time to hear directly from him.

ROMANS: There's also, you know, legislation. There's a big explosive agenda -- aggressive agenda that he wanted to do. Tax reform, health care reform, infrastructure.

Julian Zelizer, you've got Republicans still trying to work on health care.


ROMANS: Still trying to work on tax reform, frankly, and it's sort of been overshadowed by all of this.

Listen to what the president said to Pat Robertson yesterday about the health bill.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm sitting, waiting for that bill to come to my desk. I hope that they do it. They've been promising it for years.

They've been promising it ever since Obamacare, which is failed. It's a failed experiment. It is totally done. It's out of business and we have to get this done -- repeal and replace.


ROMANS: The president goes on to say he's angry.

BRIGGS: Angry.

ROMANS: Angry if they don't get this thing done.

What role should he have in this?

ZELIZER: Well, he should have had a much stronger role. I think there's many Republicans on the Hill who feel he's been a hindrance. Every time they're trying to build momentum for the legislation the news turns back to the Russia scandal, not because of the media but because of him.

ROMANS: And that's what Republicans think. Republicans think --


ROMANS: -- this is not a media-created hoax. They think that the president has misplayed.

ZELIZER: Exactly, and he hasn't really done much to whip up the vote, which presidents can do, to try to help build the coalition on Capitol Hill, nor has he used the bully pulpit to try to explain why this bill is good.

So most people hear it's going to cut Medicaid benefits, which it will. It will remove regulations. So it's incumbent on the president to offer a different explanation, but all we hear is he'll be mad if it doesn't comment and he --

BRIGGS: It's strange to see his absence on this given that 84 percent of Republicans still approve, Tal Kopan, of the job the president is doing. His base is very much still behind him.

So is the president's absence on health care, by design, and b) what do you expect is the future of this health care bill? We understand they want a vote by late next week.

[05:40:03] KOPAN: Yes, that's right, Dave. So, a) I think it is somewhat by design. Keep in mind that when the House was doing this Trump did try to be actively involved and sort of got in the way.

He goes into meetings with Republicans and starts to make some promises to them about negotiating the bill. And every time leadership thought they were in sort of a good place there would come a message that Trump actually wants it to -- he told the conservatives he wants it to go their way or he told the moderates it would go their way.

And remember he -- then, after they passed it and they held a Rose Garden press conference celebrating it he confirmed, himself, that in a closed meeting he called the bill mean.

And so, when it came time for the Senate to do its work -- you know, McConnell has generally run a much more closed process than Paul Ryan was willing to run, and so the president not being actively involved in that may be something that they actually asked for.

In terms of its passage, look, it's not looking good. It hasn't looked good. They have never shown any ability to get to actually 50 votes and being able to build a coalition of moderates and conservatives within the Republican Party to support this bill.

I'll never declare anything dead because I've seen Congress do amazing things but it doesn't look good is the bottom line.

ROMANS: Yes, and now they're talking about taxes on the rich. You know, leaving the taxes on the rich in that -- gets you a couple hundred billion dollars but it might lose you some real fiscal conservatives there. People who don't want -- who are anti-tax, anyway.

It's just fascinating stuff, guys. All right. Thanks for being here with this morning. A lot to talk about.

And I just -- I mean, the fact that Emmanuel Macron did a -- did a video in English saying make the planet great again, and now he's hosting the president who wants to make America great again. It's just a really interesting --

BRIGGS: And said, out of the G20, our world has never been so divided, and many thought that was a veiled shot at President Trump. So, interesting dynamics ahead of this meeting in Paris.

ROMANS: Forty-two minutes past the hour.

Remains of several people found under 12 feet of concrete after an exhaustive search in Pennsylvania. What police are saying about the suspect, next.


[05:46:20] BRIGGS: A sad discovery in the search for four men missing in Pennsylvania. The body of at least one of the four has been identified, found buried on a property in Bucks County. That's about an hour from Philadelphia.

Joining us now with the latest, CNN's Brynn Gingras. Good morning to you.

ROMANS: Good morning, Brynn.

BRIGGS: A story that just gets more disturbing by the hour.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, this was a missing persons case and then this grim discovery. It's just terrifying and awful.

The Bucks County district attorney says the remains were found in a 12-1/2 foot deep grave. The D.A. says the body has been identified and is that of Dean Finocchiaro. Now, there are additional remains in that common grave that have not

yet been identified but the worst fears, of course, are that they belong to the other three that were missing last week, these three men -- Jimi Patrick, Thomas Meo, and Mark Sturgis. All four, again, went missing last week.

Police have arrested 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo. The bodies were found after police dug through concrete recently poured on land owned by DiNardo's family. And then, DiNardo had been arrested on Monday on an unrelated gun charge, was released on $1 million bail, but then he was arrested again yesterday after police say he tried to sell a car belonging to one of the missing men.

Bucks County D.A. Matt Weintraub, who held a news conference at midnight, says he hopes that arrest is going to give him and his investigators enough time to now bring homicide charges.


MATT WEINTRAUB, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: I feel that we bought ourself a little bit of time in charging Mr. DiNardo with the stolen car case today and getting that $5 million bail. It is my hope that he does not post that but that's his prerogative, of course, if he can post it.

But we're going to start looking seriously at the homicide charges and, in fact, we already have pursued that option.


GINGRAS: A lot of work still be done. The district attorney says cadaver dogs helped to locate the remains, even 12-1/2 feet below ground under concrete.

The big question though, guys, is that investigators are still trying to figure out a motive, still trying to figure out how these guys are all connected. Two separate investigations going on on the property and also, again, just figuring out what happened here.


ROMANS: Sad story.

BRIGGS: More press conferences we expect today?

GINGRAS: Yes, we should get more news.

BRIGGS: Maybe some more information. Brynn, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. Internet companies, big and small, banning together to preserve net neutrality, Dave's favorite phrase.

BRIGGS: I hate that saying.

ROMANS: We'll tell you what it means, next.


[05:52:57] BRIGGS: Welcome back.

Scientists are examining the causes and effects of an enormous iceberg breaking away from the Antarctic Peninsula. The 2,200-square-mile floating block of ice represents one of the biggest such events ever recorded. It's getting global attention for its significance in climate change.

CNN's Kyung Lah has more.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A crack more than 120 miles long on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula finally breaking off, creating a spectacular iceberg weighing more than a trillion metric tons, roughly the size of Delaware.

ARADHNA TRIPATI, UCLA PROFESSOR: It's one of the largest icebergs in human history.

LAH: UCLA professor Aradhna Tripati has spent her career studying Antarctic ice, traveling to the very peninsula where the ice shelf called Larsen C broke off.

Professor Tripati has seen two other big sections of the Peninsula break off and dissolve, the first in 1995 and then another in 2002. She watched as this crack grew for years, caught off guard that this break happened so soon.

What this latest break means is something scientists aren't yet agreed on. Antarctica, the coldest place on earth, is a continent covered in ice and icebergs have been breaking away from ice shelves for millions of years.

But at the end of the 20th century, the peninsula was one of the fastest-warming places on the planet. That warming has slowed or reversed slightly in this century.

LAH (on camera): You learn all of this just from samples of ice.

TRIPATI: You learn it from samples of ice and samples of rock.

LAH (voice-over): This geochemist says the overall trends in the Arctic point to global warming.

TRIPATI: The fact that we've had seven out of the 12 ice shelves on Antarctica collapse in the last few decades, and this one appears to be ready to go with a breaking off of this major iceberg, that -- it's hard to attribute to anything else.

LAH: For now, scientists will track the new iceberg to see if and when it melts. And maps, they'll have to be redrawn for the ever- changing geography in Antarctica.

[05:55:10] Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Global stock markets are higher after the Fed Chief Janet Yellen -- after her Capitol Hill testimony. It sent Wall Street to new record highs.

She signaled the Fed may be more cautious about future rate hikes and that boosted bond prices and stocks. The Dow closing at an all-time high. Right now, futures are higher again.

The data of six million Verizon customers has leaked online. We're talking phone numbers, names, some pin codes. Verizon says the breach was caused by a problem with its cloud server. I hate that when that happens. It has since been closed, we're told.

Verizon also says there was no theft of customer information but security experts say Verizon customers, you should update your pin codes. Do it now.

Internet companies are banning together to preserve net neutrality. More than 80,000 Web sites, including Facebook, Google, Netflix, Amazon -- they are participating in this protest to changes in net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality requires broadband providers to treat all content equally, essentially preventing them from selling access to speedier Internet. The rule went into effect in 2015.

It's seen as Internet fairness but the new FCC chairman wants to repeal the rule. He was appointed by President Trump in January. He says net neutrality kills innovation.

A lot of big tech players today. You will find ways, big and small, they are protesting this.

BRIGGS: You say it's seen as Internet fairness. That would be easier for people to consume and get behind the notion of this. But until people understand it, it's going to be tough.

ROMANS: You know, I saw something yesterday --

BRIGGS: That's palatable.

ROMANS: -- from one of these tech gurus who said if you're not freaking out today about net neutrality, you should be.


ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" has a big day, given the president is in Paris. We'll see you tomorrow.


TRUMP: It is time to put our great country before Paris, France.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: Make our planet great again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a chance for Donald Trump to escape the kind of political heat he's been facing in Washington.

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: At best, it's naivete. At worst, it's something along the lines of an element of a conspiracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always dangerous to jump to conclusions without knowing the entire story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't take foreign campaign contributions, either monetary or of another sort.

TRUMP: He wants what's good for Russia and I want what's good for the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think you have to worry about whether Russia's a friend or foe. Just assume they're a foe.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, July 13th, 6:00 here in New York.

Chris is off today. John Berman joins me. Great to have you.


CAMEROTA: Here is our "Starting Line."

President Trump arriving in Paris as the Russia controversy involving his son deepens. The president hoping for a boost of pageantry. He hopes that will change the conversation.

But the big focus today will be on how Mr. Trump answers questions about his son's meeting with that Russian lawyer when the president holds his first press conference since the controversy.

Now, before heading overseas the president gave two revealing interviews. President Trump dismisses reports that his administration is paralyzed by the Russia revelations and he comes to his son's defense. And he maintains that there was, quote, "zero coordination with the Kremlin and his campaign."

BERMAN: Now, while that's happening, Congressional investigators want to question the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The Senate Judiciary Committee -- its leaders say they will subpoena him if necessary. This is part of their Russian interference investigation. And Senate Republicans are set to unveil the latest version of their health care bill today. What is in it, can it pass? Those answers known maybe by the end of today.

We have it all covered. Let's begin with CNN's Sara Murray live for us in Paris. Bonjour.


Well, President Trump is expected to hold a press conference today alongside French president Emmanuel Macron.

This, of course, as yet another political firestorm is brewing in Washington. This one over Donald Trump's own son, Don, Jr.'s, contacts with a Russian lawyer. We will see after days of laying low how President Trump addresses this controversy in front of the public eye today.


MURRAY (voice-over): President Trump touching down in Paris hoping to forge stronger ties with France's new president, but the trip overshadowed by the president's son's admission in e-mails that he met last year with a Russian lawyer believed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Kremlin.

Ahead of the trip, the president defending Donald Trump, Jr. in a Reuter's interview, saying, "Most of the phony politicians who are Democrats that act holier than thou, if the same thing happened to them they would have taken that meeting in a heartbeat."

President Trump insisting that there was zero coordination between his campaign and Russia,