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New Healthcare Concerns; Trump Defends Bad Poll Number; Trump White House Attempts to Pivot from Russia Investigation; One-on-One with Camilla Parker Bowles; Elon Musk's Warning; Bloodshed in Chicago; Remembering Martin Landau. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 17, 2017 - 04:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: New trouble for Republican healthcare efforts, a brand new CBO score delayed, and so is a vote after a health scare for John McCain.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And new polling shows the president's approval dropping new record lows. Yet, the president defending the number even as the Russia Investigation hampers his agenda.

Hi, everybody, welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans, 32 minutes past the hour. What 36 percent approval rating...

BRIGGS: Not bad.

ROMANS: ...36 approval lowest in 70 years of any president at this time.

Let's talk about this the health scare for a key Republican Senator. The latest obstacle then for Republicans trying to pass a new healthcare bill and there are new concerns John McCain's absence potentially could be longer than first thought.

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell announcing he will postpone a healthcare vote because Senator McCain is recovering in Arizona after having a blood clot removed above his left eye. McCain's absence could jeopardize efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with two Republican Senators, Rand Paul and Susan Collins, already declaring their opposition. McConnell needs every other GOP vote, all 50, to pass this thing.

BRIGGS: Now, doctors described the surgery on Senator McCain as "minimally invasive", but CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, knows that McCain does have a history of invasive melanoma in and around that area. McCain's doctors are now waiting for pathology's tests to see if more treatment is need.

Now, the health bill faces political challenges as well. He mentioned Senator Collins is a no. Asked about the claim by Vice President Pence the Senate healthcare bill strengthens and secures Medicaid, here's what Collins said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I would respectfully disagree with the vice president's analysis. This bill would impose fundamental sweeping changes in the Medicaid Program and those include very deep cuts that would affect some of the most vulnerable people in our society including disabled children, poor seniors.


ROMANS: All right, reaction from state governors not much warmer. In a very tense closed-door session Saturday, governors confronted the vice president and the top administration health officials over the cost the healthcare bill would impose on their states.

The administration team making this frantic bid at the National Governors Association meeting this weekend to win them over or at least win their silence -- the silence of skeptical Republican Governors. Republican and Democratic Governors said that effort left major questions unanswered.

BRIGGS: Meantime, the Congressional Budget Office will not release its latest analysis of the GOP health bill today as was expected, and it's not clear when it will do so. Also unclear whether a new analysis would actually approve the bill's popularity with the public.

Take a look at this poll from the "Washington Post"/ABC News showing Americans prefer Obamacare to the Republican Proposal by a 2:1 margin. Not clear how much they really know about the bill; I'm not sure how much any of us know at this junction.

[04:35:00] ROMANS: Right, that same poll bearing news that might rattle another president, but draws a shrug from the current White House occupants.

President Trump reaching a new low in approval ratings, just 36 percent, in the latest "Washington Post"/ABC News poll, down six points from the same poll at his 100-day mark in April.

President Trump responding with a tweet that apparently he wants to have it both ways, accepting and casting doubt on the poll at the same time.

BRIGGS: He says the ABC News/ "Washington Post" poll, even though almost 40 percent is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time.

Now, that's got a few issues. First, it's actually the lowest approval rating at the six-month mark of any president in the last 70 years, so not exactly not bad.

And second, the final estimate from the "Washington Post" poll was 43 percent for Trump, 47 percent for Hillary Clinton, who actually ended up at 48.5 percent on election night. That is well within the poll's margin of error. ROMANS: The Secret Service rejecting a claim by President Trump's lawyer that the agency would have prevented anything questionable from happening at that meeting last June between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.

Here is Attorney Jay Sekulow on ABC's "THIS WEEK" claiming nothing happened at the meeting that included several Russians and top members of the Trump Campaign.


JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I wonder why the Secret Service -- if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allow these people in. The president had secret service protection at that point that raised the question with me.

Donald Trump, Jr., himself said things should have been done differently. Having said that again, none of that is violation of the law that's more processed.


ROMANS: So, he was on the Sunday shows yesterday. That was clearly the message from the personal attorney of the president that, hey Secret Service let them in, so nothing bad could have been happening, right? It is true...


ROMANS: ...the president had Secret Service protection, but after that interview aired, because the interview aired this weekend, the Secret Service said it had no responsibility to check out participants in the meeting because Don Jr. was not under its protection at the time. So the Secret Service coming out with a statement about its responsibility and role in office.

BRIGGS: Yes. You might want to double check that.

Sekulow's comment also drew fire from some lawmakers, including California Democratic Congressman, Ted Lieu, who tweeted this. Now, the dumb as a rock part, I think mentioning that Mika Brzezinski tweet that the president...


BRIGGS: ...sent out a while back, dear, dumb as a rock, Jay Sekulow, Secret Service's job is not too deter violations of federal election campaign act. That's the job of the prosecutors.

Sekulow was also seen on CNN "STATE OF THE UNION" Sunday where he reiterated that the president was not aware of the meeting and not engaged in it. Got a search and got a skeptical response from the top Democrat on the Senate Intel Committee, Mark Warner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I think if I had a meeting that involved Russian Government efforts to try to help Candidate Trump and hurt Clinton that I would remember that, and frankly it's a little bit unbelievable that neither the son or the son-in-law ever shared that information with their dad, the candidate.


ROMANS: All of this came after new developments on who was in that room. We learned yet another person attended that meeting, Russian- American lobbyist was not mentioned. Now -- we've now learned there eight people were at that meeting. That is a significant jump from what we've been told originally.

The ensuing furor sparked the Sunday tweet storm from the president who said the media is distorting democracy, and he added rhetorically Hillary Clinton can illegally get the questions to the debate and delete 33,000 emails, but my son is being scorned by the fake news media?

BRIGGS: The White House looking to get back on message and stay there by announcing a series of additional theme weeks spotlighting domestic issues. The White House is starting with Made in America this week, with a focus on manufacturing.

A White House spokesperson says products created in the 50 states will be showcased today with other events planned during the week. American HeroES Week and American Dreams Week come later, details yet to be announced.

The White House has tried to highlight themes like infrastructure and workforce development in the past, but those messages were largely overtaken by other news often generated by the president himself.

It's worth noting though even though this week's theme is Made in America, many items in the president's own clothing line and that of his daughter, Ivanka are made overseas in countries like Bangladesh, China and Indonesia.

[04:40:00] ROMANS: In fact, human rights activists who were recently detained in China whether they were trying to audit the factories where she subcontracts to have her things made.

All right, once again, the stock market is at record highs, but Wall Street's optimism has not translated into economic growth. The S&P500, the Dow look at this, record high closes on Friday, even as turmoil in Washington stalls the Trump Economic Agenda.

Here is what's driving stocks, corporate profits. Corporate profits are keeping the bulls running. A number of big name company's report this week including Netflix, Goldman Sachs, American Express, Microsoft. Anatalia expectations are high. Last season's profit growth was the best in years.

Investors are also banking on a fed that's more cautious about future rate hikes, cautious because of low inflation and slow consumer spending. Consumer spending makes up the majority of economic growth and Americans seem to be -- it seemed to be cutting back.

Retail spending dropped in June for the second month in a row. Consumer confidence fell to the lowest since the election which may be a sign Americans are losing faith potentially in the president's economic agenda or they haven't seen anything quite yet, you know, tangibly that has been, you know, something he has done that has led to economic growth.

The administration promises though that its policies like tax reform and spending cuts will spur a 3 percent growth, a lot of experts are optimistic. They expect a slower growth rate of more like 1.8 percent, Dave.

BRIGGS: But the president tweeted over the weekend that, you know, and he was in Bedminster at the U.S. Women's Open, at his club there, that everyone there was very happy that the stock market was up 17 percent since this election. So, that appears to be with people are telling him.

ROMANS: Well, that says the people running are the investor class, maybe not necessarily the working class because we've pointed out many, many times that were wages haven't really big and very much. There is really good job creation and continuation of what we've -- what we have seen, but for investors. Investors are making money because companies are making money.

BRIGGS: That would make sense in Bedminster, New Jersey.

All right, an American researcher convicted of spying and now sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran, Princeton University identifying the man as history grad student, Xiyue Wang.

The university saying he was arrested in Iran last summer while doing scholarly research in connection with his Ph.D. dissertation. The semi-official Fars News agency, saying Wang was accused of gathering information and that the ruling can be appealed.

Iran has a history of arresting foreign nationals and holding closed door trials. The state department says it's aware of Wang's case but would not go into specifics.

ROMANS: All right, South Korea is making a rare proposal for military talks with North Korea, the move coming after weeks of heightened tensions amid a series of North Korean missile tests, the most recent, a successful intercontinental ballistic missile launch. South Korea's defense ministry is proposing talks Friday on the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone. The North has yet to respond.

BRIGGS: All right, ahead, once considered the other woman, public support has grown for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, since her marriage to Prince Charles, now speaking exclusively to CNN. Camilla is taking on some critical topics on her birthday. We'll tell you what she's talking about next.


[04:45:00] ROMANS: All right, the Duchess of Cornwall speaking exclusively to CNN to mark her 70th birthday. Camilla Parker Bowles is now married to Prince Charles for a dozen years, but rarely heard on camera opens up to us on some issues important to her.

BRIGGS: Very cool. CNN's Royal Correspondent, Max Foster live in London with more on this exclusive interview. Good morning to you, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, yes. And what's interesting, she was the other woman in many people's minds. Camilla was the woman who stole Princess Diana's husband away from her, so a very contentious figure.

But over the last 12 years, since Charles and Camilla were married, I think there has been this program to really rehabilitate her brand really around the world and to bring her out and bring her in touch with the public more and more, putting her in a position to one day become queen.

She will technically become queen; whether or not she uses the title is another thing. But I was given access to her for a day and this is a harmless process really getting to know the future queen.

And she spoke to me on camera, she's never done that before, and she was speaking to me in a -- in a center for victims of domestic violence, a very serious subject, but here's a bit of what she said to me.


FOSTER: We've heard some, it could be powerful stories today. What are you able to bring to these sorts of conversations?

CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL: Well, I'm not sure what I'm able to bring. It's what all of these very brave ladies tell me. It's seeing is believing or hearing is believing. I think like many other people in this country, I didn't know much about domestic abuse, that I knew nothing at all or read a bit about it.

And I think that I went to visit another charity going to save lives where again I sat around and listened to some very brave ladies tell their stories. And I think everybody there was moved to tears. And, I thought as I came out, I thought, you know, I just wish there was something I could do to help.

We can talk if it was a taboo subject and I think we can talk about it and if I can talk about it and bang the drum a bit seeking (ph) a lot of other people. So, that's what I'm trying to do to help.


FOSTER: She's just got a few charities that she focuses on one of domestic violence, so she's really build some credibility there, so it is a subject she cares about. ROMANS: I have not heard her voice...

BRIGGS: No, no.

ROMANS: ...I mean, it's remarkable. I mean, you see -- you see pictures of her, but really she's not sort of the face of the family by any stretch. How did it come about this interview? She's rarely on camera.

[04:50:00] FOSTER: Well, one of the things I've wanted to do with the Royal Family, for a long time, is just to give an insight really into Camilla's character simply because when you meet her, and it doesn't come across on camera, she's very charming, very are charming, very funny.

She's, by far, the most popular royal with the royal press pack because she comes up to us, she speaks to us and she has a laugh and she does care about the media whereas some of the other members of the family are quite prickly around the media, let's put it like that.

So, I wanted to give a sense of her and I think through the interview get a sense of her and that's really what it achieves if anything. And as you're saying, many people haven't heard her and she's not really confident about speaking the most situations either, see that very often.

BRIGGS: Yes, she talked about the seriousness (ph) Max also, that's some great video where she's eating chocolate on camera. I didn't realize that was an uncomfortable moment, but she was able to laugh it off, so it's nice to see that side of her as well. Max thanks so much. We appreciate it...

ROMANS: I can't imagine any...

BRIGGS: ...interesting load.

ROMANS: I can't imagine anyone would be prickly around Max.


BRIGGS: Not at all.

ROMANS: He's such a warm and fussy guy. All right, Tesla founder Elon Musk says he knows the biggest threat to humanity and he has a plan. That's on CNN Money Stream next.


[04:55:00] BRIGGS: A little boy and an anti-violence activist, among the dead, in new bloodshed over on the weekend in Chicago. CNN affiliate WLS reports 10 people have been killed, another 37 wounded since Friday night. Among them were 9-year-old, Gustavo Garcia, who is a passenger in an SUV when he and the 31-year-old behind the wheel were shot.

The driver reported in critical condition. Also killed was 58-year- old, Willie Cooper who ran a non-profit that provides jobs to south side teens. Police state Cooper died in a drive-by shot by someone with an AR-15 assault rifle.

ROMANS: One person still missing after a family was swept away by flash flooding at a swimming hole in Central Arizona. Police saying nine people died when the floodwaters swept 14 members of the family down the stream.

Among the dead are six children between the ages of 2 and 13, a 27 year old man still missing. All were near the cold spring swimming hole Saturday when heavy rains trigger those flash floods, just a tragic...

BRIGGS: Devastating.

ROMANS: All right, so what is next for that hard hit area, let's bring in AMS Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Christine. Look at the convection -- the area of coverage here for the afternoon storms across parts of the intermountain west and also really much of the four corner states.

Once you get to 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, you get just the thunderstorms that blossom across this region which, of course, a tremendous news for the fire fighting efforts, but we know it's proved to be fatal across parts of Arizona here with the river flooding that was in place around Payson.

And these temperatures are really going to be moderated as a result of all the rainfall. Las Vegas dips into the upper 90s by mid-week, Phoenix the coolest there about in about a month. And even around South Lake City starting off into the upper 90s versus the low 100s where we've seen it.

How about the northeast? How about the scattered storms? Some of these storms could be severe into the afternoon hours. Should keep your temperatures on the cooler note around 83 out of New York City, Chicago upper 70s, even St. Louis by their standards what they've experienced, a 90-degree afternoon not too bad.

But look at the trend, it wants to warm up, St. Louis climbs up to 102 degrees, New York City gets up to around 91 degrees and yes, Washington once again back up there closing in on 100 by later this week. Guys?

BRIGGS: Pedram, thanks.

Academy Award-winning Actor, Martin Landau has died. His publicist confirming Landau suffered unexpected complications following a short hospitalization at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Landau probably best known for his Oscar Winning role as Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood and for playing a master of disguise in the original 1960s Mission Impossible TV series. Landau was 89.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this Monday morning. Global stock markets mostly higher after China's economic growth numbers beat expectations and frankly Wall Street hits fresh record highs on Friday, that's spilling into the new week.

The S&P500 and the Dow both closing at new highs as corporate profits are keep the bulls running here. This is all about how much money companies are making. When companies make money, shareholders make money and stock prices go up.

A number of big companies, reporting again this week including, Netflix, Goldman Sachs, American Express, Microsoft. Anatalia hopes pretty high here last season's profit growth was the best in years.

Visa is offering restaurants $10,000, the catch? They have to stop accepting cash, called the visa cashless challenge. The company wants to convince small businesses to stop accepting cash forcing customers to pay with credit cards.

Visa has a clear incentive, credit card companies charge processing fees and experts say those fees can cut into the margins of small businesses as you'll often go to restaurant. Have you ever seen restaurants where they say cash please? We want it cash...


ROMANS: ...but they don't want to pay it all.

BRIGGS: They don't want to claim it too.

ROMANS: All right, is artificial intelligence the biggest threat to humanity? That's what Elon Musk thinks speaking to a group of U.S. Governors. The Tesla Founder says, AI could threaten all human jobs and even spark a war. Musk has been vocal about his concerns about AI.

He wants to make sure tech is developed safely. He even suggests creating a regulatory body to oversee the progress of artificial intelligence. Fascinating, right?

BRIGGS: We still got a few good years of TV left, right?


BRIGGS: Before it's...

ROMANS: Before robot...

BRIGGS: ...AI, right.

ROMANS: Robot anchors?

BRIGGS: Robot anchors.

OK, EARLY START continues right now.

[05:00:00] ROMANS: New trouble political and otherwise for Republican Healthcare efforts, a new CBO score is delayed and so is a vote after a health scare for Senator John McCain. BRIGGS: And new polling shows the president's approval dropping to record low. Yet, the president defending this number even as the Russia Investigation hampers his agenda.

Good morning, everyone and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs on this Made in America Week. Happy Made in America Week...

ROMANS: Made in America...

BRIGGS: ...Christine Romans.

ROMANS: I know...

BRIGGS: Are you fired up?

ROMANS: ...I'm fired up, Made in America.


ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans, Made in America. It's Monday, July 17th. It is 5:00 am in the east. Let's begin with healthcare -- a health scare for a key Republican senator.