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Diplomats Work to Deal with North Korea Threat; "Dreamer" Program to End?; Bracing for Hurricane Irma; Tennessee Beats Georgia Tech in 2OT Thriller. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 5, 2017 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: American Airlines canceling flights to and from Caribbean destinations as Irma approaches. States of emergency are in effect in Puerto Rico and Florida.

Florida Governor Rick Scott saying he spoke to President Trump Sunday about Hurricane Irma, and the president offered the full resources of the federal government.

The monster storm could potentially hit south Florida this coming weekend. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is tracking Irma and joins us live.

Where do you think Irma could hit?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it looks like at this point, we're favoring western Florida as far as a model guidance is concerned. We'll break that down here momentarily.

But the storm system sitting there with 150 mile-per-hour winds gusting over 180 miles per hour, very impressive system. And of course, you know, I think the storm will get up to a category five inside the next 24 hours if not through the next couple of days. The official forecast does keep it as a very healthy category four, just on the cusp of a cat five.

But a lot of people get fixated on the numbers assigned to the storms. I want to note that about two-thirds of storm fatalities with tropical systems are water-related, whether it be flash flooding, whether it's be storm surge. So, very important to note, don't be too concerned necessarily about the winds associated with the storm system. If you're in the path of it, evacuation, proper evacuations, your evacuation plan really should be in store right now because the storm system, the models suggest a good westerly track here. And we think sometime late this weekend, areas around northern Cuba is where the storm could be.

And then beyond that, the steering currents in the environment take this toward western Florida. So, initially, the Florida straits and Florida Keys and then potentially out toward western Florida. So, that's where we're having at least the best possibility to see landfall at this point going into the weekend, guys.

KOSIK: All right. Thanks so much, Pedram Javaheri.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Ahead, Christiane Amanpour with some global analysis to the North Korean nuclear threat ahead, as EARLY START continues right now.



NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: His abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war.


KOSIK: America's ambassador to the United Nations lashing out at North Korea's leader, escalating tensions as the world waits to see if they'll test yet another weapon.

BRIGGS: And President Trump expected to announce today he's ending the immigration program known as DACA. What that could mean for the young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers that it protects.

KOSIK: Plus, Hurricane Irma en route to American soil. Florida and Puerto Rico already declaring a state of emergency ahead of landfall.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It's Tuesday, September 5, 5:00 a.m. in the East, 4:00 a.m. in Houston and 5:30 a.m. in Pyongyang. We're live around the globe.

Ahead, we begin with North Korea defying international condemnation over its latest and largest nuclear test, with signs of more tests yet to come. U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, arguing at an emergency Security Council meeting that the international community must exhaust every last bit of leverage over Pyongyang to avoid a nuclear war.


HALEY: The time has come to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it's too late. We must now adopt the strongest possible measures. Kim Jong-un's action cannot be seen as defensive. His abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war.


KOSIK: Among North Korea's few remaining pain points that could be targeted with sanctions, oil imports, textile exports, and the regime's other sources of foreign currency. Pyongyang slamming the U.S. via state media, bragging it will use its, quote, nuclear strategic weapons to eradicate the land of the U.S. with no trace left on earth.

BRIGGS: All of this as South Korea says it has spotted continuous signs the North is preparing another ICBM test.

CNN's Ian Lee joins us live from South Korea where that country is conducting exercises off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.

Good morning to you, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Dave.

This is the continuation of exercises that began on Sunday after North Korea's nuclear test. At this time, it's the navy's turn. They are testing their capabilities and their readiness in the event of a war. We've already seen from the army and the air force, South Korea also testing its own ballistic missiles.

But what we're hearing coming from North Korea this morning is that they could be preparing for another ballistic missile test. This is coming from South Korea's national intelligence service saying they've detected the movement of a projectile they believe could be an intercontinental ballistic missile. And this is important because this would be the first ICBM test since last Sunday's announcement when they said that they could put a nuclear weapon on top of an ICBM.

[05:05:01] And that nuclear test was a hydrogen bomb, which they also said would fit on top of an ICBM.

For South Korea, they are still trying to show a tough stance towards the North with cooperation with the United States. In a phone call between President Moon and President Trump, President Moon said that he wants more U.S. weapons to the tune of billions of dollars, also talking about lifting the limits of their ballistic missile program. Right now, they can have a cap of 500 kilograms. They want that lift so they can develop more advanced ballistic missiles -- Dave.

BRIGGS: It's 5:00 p.m. there in Seoul, Ian Lee live for us. Thank you.

KOSIK: On top of the strong words at the Security Council, the head of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency is saying that North Korea has evolved from a regional menace to a global threat.

BRIGGS: And for more on the diplomatic efforts to cool tensions on the Korean peninsula, let's bring in chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour live for us in London.

Great to have you on, Christiane.

KOSIK: Good morning.

BRIGGS: All right. Let's talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin. He just said that sanctions are useless and ineffective and compared the North Koreans to Iraq.

Is Putin's view, scary as that may be, shared among others in the international community?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDEN: Well, not really, but President Putin and President Xi Jinping of China are sort of on the same page while the rest of the U.S. permanent five of the Security Council, the United States, France, Britain, they are all -- all wanting to put more pressure, sanctions, diplomatic pressure, cutting off financial flows into North Korea, trying to cut off the life blood that North Korea uses to build up its nuclear arsenal.

So, yes, these permanent five members, the world's big powers, seem to be split right now, which is something that certainly regional leaders say is sending the wrong signal. Everybody has to be on the same page in order to give a united and clear message to North Korea that this continued provocation or build-up in threats will not be tolerated.

So, you know, the next question is what to be done and what can the international community expect? Well, we've been told by the Japanese ambassadors to the U.N. and also by the former U.S. energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, that, yes, diplomatic and financial pressure should be kept up, but there should be some way of eventually getting to some kind of negotiated settlement, and some deterrence.

And also, as we speak we're not sure what exactly precisely that device was that they tested on Sunday. Some are saying it may not be the hydrogen bomb that North Korea claimed, but it maybe some kind of boosted atomic device.

Listen to what Ernest Moniz told me.


ERNEST MONIZ, FORMER ENERGY SECRETARY: I have to see that yesterday's nuclear test obviously is a great concern. But I do want to emphasize it does not establish the statement made necessarily that they have the capability to actually deliver such a weapon on a long-range missile, number one. And number two, qualitatively they already had demonstrated their ability with nuclear explosives.

So, to me, I'm reluctant to have an overreaction to yesterday's event as opposed to keep turning up the pressure, as I say, and get into discussion that's can actually resolve the security environment in that part of the world.


AMANPOUR: So, Dave and Alison, you can imagine that many of the world leaders are having conversations by phone with President Trump. There's a lot of dialogue going on about how best to move forward this. And at the same time, you have as Ian Lee just reported, the South Koreans believing that maybe the North Koreans are getting ready to move or somehow operate yet another ICBM. And you also have reports inside South Korea's parliament that the defense secretary under some tough questioning said that he would be willing to consider a plan for a potential deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea.

So, this is, you know, a very, very dangerous situation, as you heard Mr. Amano, the head of the IAEA there in Vienna, saying. That this is now a global threat. It's not just a regional emergency. And there must be a united international community response to get a clear message to North Korea.

KOSIK: Other suggestions from China and Russia are a freeze for freeze plan where North Korea would freeze its nuclear development in exchange for the freeze of joint American/South Korean drills. The U.S. has already dismissed it.

What do you think? Are there any other ways that North Korea could potentially come to the table?

AMANPOUR: Well, here's the thing, that is what was proposed by President Xi and President Putin in July during the last sort of ratcheting up of the tension and crisis. And, of course, the United States and its allies rejected that, because what it means is getting rid -- essentially, North Korea wants to get rid, so does China, by the way, diminish U.S. military presence in -- not just in the peninsula but in the Pacific region, as well.

[05:10:12] So, the U.S. says that is a non-starter certainly at this moment. But Secretary Moniz said that you can't just focus on the nuclear issue with North Korea. You must be able to focus on sort of broader issues like their desire to have a peace treaty to end the 1950s North Korean war, the desire to rebuild their economy, the need to get them into some kind of posture of deterrents and containment. All of this is going to require actual talks and negotiations once they are brought to the table with sufficient diplomatic pressure to see there is no more room for anymore of this kind of provocation.

Of course, the big unknown is, what their motive is. People are still trying to figure that out. And are they potentially about to blunder into some kind of miscalculation. That is the big fear right now.

BRIGGS: All eyes on the peninsula on Saturday, on that national holiday in North Korea. Christiane Amanpour, thanks so much for the insight and analysis.

KOSIK: Thank you very much.

BRIGGS: Always great to have you.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, the Trump administration expected to announce today, it will end this program for young undocumented immigrants called DREAMers. But reportedly, they'll give Congress a chance to fix it. Can they?

We'll discuss that next with Chris Deaton from "The Weekly Standard".


[05:15:40] BRIGGS: Later today, President Trump expected to announce his decision to end DACA -- that's the Obama-era program that protects so-called DREAMers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will hold a briefing at the Justice Department to discuss the president's plan. Sources tell CNN the president wants to delay the dismantling of DACA so lawmakers have a chance to fix it. If they so choose, if they're, in fact, capable. Sara Murray has more from the White House.



Sources tell CNN, even though the president is expected to end the program, he's going to do it with a six-month delay, a window that allows for Congress to come up with a legislative fix to this issue. That news was welcomed by some Republicans who say Congress is the one who should be mending this issue. They shouldn't be legislating from the White House. But others, including the head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Democrats panned President Trump's expected announcement, calling it heartless and saying it defies what he said on the campaign trail.

As a candidate, Trump took pretty much every side of this issue. He promised to end DACA as soon as possible when he came to the White House, but he also said that he would treat the DREAMers with heart and be sure to protect them. Now, sources caution that until the president actually makes the announcement, things could always change. So, we await the words from President Trump's mouth.

Back to you, guys.


KOSIK: OK. Sara Murray, thanks very much.

BRIGGS: So, what's the future for 800,000 DREAMers brought to this country by their undocumented parents? That's just one big question on the long list of agenda items facing Congress as lawmakers return to work today.

Joining us to discuss that and more, "Weekly Standard" reporter Chris Deaton.

Good morning to you, sir.

KOSIK: Good morning, Chris.


BRIGGS: The president tweeted, big week coming up, the understatement of the year perhaps thus far. But let's talk about the likelihood of Congress getting this done, given that Republicans all over the map on this issue of DREAMers and how to best handle them. Jets winning the Super Bowl or Congress reaching an agreement on immigration, what's more likely?

DEATON: Let's go with the Jets and the Browns meeting in the AFC championship game, and then the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Then we'll get to the legislative stuff later.

This is like you said, Dave, one of those issues where there does seem to be almost a split into three routes among the Republican Party right now. You do have some moderates of the mind that maybe we just go ahead and should go ahead and simply codify the substance of DACA.

You have some people even pretty far to the right of the conservative wing of the party like Senator Tom Cotton who will want to use DACA as a legislative bargaining chip. Let's go ahead and implement legal immigration reforms.

And then you have some people in the president's ear, the Steven Miller types, for whom just the re-establishment of the rule of law and the right way of doing business as they would see things is the first order of business. So, because you have those splits, it's really hard to see how Republicans, like a lot of issues this year, coalesce around one particular idea just this moment.

KOSIK: But, Chris, the president said he's going to take care of these DREAMers. He said, I'm going to do it with heart. Here, you can listen to him.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians, don't forget. I have to convince them that what I'm saying is right. And I appreciate your understanding on that. But the DACA situation is a very, very -- it's a very difficult thing for me because -- you know, I love these kids. I love kids.


KOSIK: But he's punting it to Congress, isn't he? What's his rationale in doing this? Is this also a way of him trying to negotiate some of his pet issues into the forefront, as well?

DEATON: That's a great question, Alison. I think, you know, first up, up front, I think it's important to contextualize why today, why Tuesday, September 5th, is the president doing something along these lines when there is so much other stuff going on. There were several attorneys general around the country who are challenging the Trump administration to say, look, it's time to put up or shut up by a deadline of September 5th, or we're going to try to slap this on to an existing lawsuit. And that's kind of giving the impetus to the administration to act on this particular thing right now.

So, I think that that really, you know, more than campaign promises at the particular moment, more than a jobs issue or an economic rationale at the particular moment is really kind of spurring the administration to act.

[05:20:07] I do think that from a campaign promise stand promise standpoint, look, the president is kind of caught between two worlds. There is one side where there's agreement among Republicans, President Trump being one, that this was the wrong way to go about addressing this issue of DREAMers. On the other hand, there is that issue of how do we make a legislative remedy. And that seems to be the one thing that obviously in the coming months if this order goes through today, that's going to have to be negotiated in the coming weeks.

BRIGGS: Of course, the difficulty of all that, Chris, is just further complicated by the fact that Congress comes back today, 12 legislative days in September, Harvey funding, raising the debt ceiling, funding the government, passing a budget.

Let's start with those first two, probably the priorities, the Harvey funding and debt ceiling. How do you see that playing out?

DEATON: Well, from the people that I've talked to, there seems to be some general idea that Harvey funding, you know, just simply needs to not be tied up in some sort of legislative mishmash like we've seen in recent years. There's been the chatter about let's go ahead and tie Harvey funding to a debt ceiling hike which actually would be seemingly favorable to Democrats to me if you're attaching some sort of must-pass emergency aid and you don't want to get into a debt ceiling fight.

But the complicated politics of this are going to muddy really the entire month just because of the sequence of events that you have to tackle. I mean, Secretary Steve Mnuchin had talked about originally, look, we have a debt ceiling deadline of late September, because of the need for Harvey funding, that might be moved up because the federal government might not have the money for it.

So, you have a deadline more pressing on that, you have the expiration of the funding at the end of the month. You have his immigration to worry about, you have to tax reform they want to get to that is tied to actually passing a fiscal year budget for next year, which is separate from the actual government funding issue.

BRIGGS: Right.

DEATON: And I think on top of that, maybe some guys might want to sit and watch football at some point. So, it's going to be a pretty complicated month.

BRIGGS: That is a good point. Football starts Thursday. Kids are back in school today. Congress back in session. Big week coming up.

All right. Chris Deaton, who's the deputy online editor for "The Weekly Standard" -- we'll see you in 20 minutes, thanks, man.

DEATON: Sounds good, guys.

KOSIK: See you then.

Te biggest names in business urging President Trump and Congress to continue DACA. The CEOs of AT&T, Best Buy, and Wells Fargo joining dozens of business leaders, adding their names to a letter defending DACA. First released last week, more than 300 business leaders had signed the letter. Get this -- now, that number has climbed more than 400 signed the letter.

One of the original backers of the letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook, tweeting this: 250 of my Apple co-workers are DREAMers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.

Thousands of people are likely to lose their jobs if Trump phases out DACA. That's according to a study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. An average of 30,000 people will be out of work each month if DACA is repealed. And that would put significant pressure on employers to fill holes in their workforce.

So, it's a reality check to everybody that these undocumented workers are -- especially the DREAMers, are a huge portion of the fabric of our economy.

BRIGGS: Further complicates the issue for President Trump.


BRIGGS: Congress has their hands full.

All right. Week one of the college football season ending in dramatic fashion. Tennessee, Georgia Tech, double overtime. Coy Wire has highlights this morning in the "Bleacher Report."

Hey, Coy. We'll see you in a minute.


[05:28:09] BRIGGS: Well, if you went to bed early --

KOSIK: I did --

BRIGGS: -- like most of us, you missed a Monday night thriller in college football.

KOSIK: Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alison and Dave.

If the first week of the season is any indication of what's to come, we're in for an awesome college football season. Number 25 Tennessee couldn't stop Georgia Tech's offense for most of the game last night. Tech's new quarterback, TaQuon Moore scored five touchdowns on the ground, including this one to put Tech up by two scores in the fourth quarter.

But Tennessee held strong. A score of their own followed by this forced fumble by Gaulden recovered by Micah Abernathy, gave the balls the momentum they needed. Abernathy there dunking the ball in the defensive turnover bucket.

Now, the game went into overtime, then double overtime. Georgia Tech goes for two, but Micah Abernathy and the balls swarming the yellow jackets. The players actually ruled an incomplete pass.

A 42-41 win for Butch Jones' volunteers who didn't give up but gave us an incredible nightcap to the opening week of college football. Also, it's almost time for the NFL season opener. The Super Bowl

champion Patriots will hoist the championship banner Thursday night before their match-up with the Chiefs. And entering his 18th season, Tom Brady says, believe it or not, he says he's still going to feel the butterflies.


TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: Everyone's pretty amped up for this one. It's been waiting a long time for this. You know, it's a challenging season. We're starting a marathon. You know, it's going to take a lot of good football to get to where we need to be.


WIRE: Now, the Houston Texans have done so much to help their fans since Hurricane Harvey devastated the city. And come Sunday, they're going to aim to give us something to cheer about. They're going to open at season at home against the Jaguars. It should be a lot of fun.

You know, some return to a sense of normalcy is what the coach and the team is hoping they can give their fans. And also, Texans superstar J.J. Watt, he started out wanting to raise $200,000.