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Trump Leaves Door Open for DREAMers; Hurricane Irma Bears Down; North Korea Crisis: Putin Meets with South Korea's Moon; Japan Warns North Korea. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 6, 2017 - 04:30   ET



[04:32:21] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Just hours after his administration ended the program to protect DREAMers, President Trump says he may now revisit the issue. What's the next move for Congress?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: And Hurricane Irma is churning through the Caribbean. U.S. territory set to get hammered by one of the strongest storms ever. What's the threat to the mainland this weekend? We'll let you know.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik, sitting in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It's 4:32 in Puerto Rico, where they're preparing for Irma. We'll go there live shortly.

But, first, less than 10 hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of the program that protects young documented immigrants from deportation, an estimated 800,000 of them. President Trump announced he was leaving the door open to reconsidering the decision.

Take a look at this tweet from the president just before 9:00 Eastern Time last night, quote: Congress now has six months to legalize DACA, something the Obama administration was unable to do. If they can't, I will revisit this issue.

KOSIK: The administration claims it's dismantling the Obama era program that protect some 800,000 DREAMers because it was created by executive order and is vulnerable to legal challenges.

Listen to what the president had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a great heart for the folks we're talking -- a great love for them. And people think in terms of children but they're really young adults. I have a love for these people and hopefully, now, Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KOSIK: Despite that comment, White House talking points on Tuesday urged DREAMers to prepare for a, quote, departure from the United States. Those talking points obtained by CNN were sent by the White House to offices on Capitol Hill.

BRIGGS: If you have whiplash, we understand. This story is baffling, virtually all the Democrats in Congress and some Republicans as well lining up against the decision. House Speaker Paul Ryan says it is my hope that the House and Senate with the president's leadership will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution. That includes ensuring that those that have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.

KOSIK: And then there's this from Arizona Senator John McCain, saying: I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know.

The president's decision to end protections for DREAMers triggering protests all over the U.S., in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Denver. That's just to name a few.

BRIGGS: Also voicing his displeasure, President Obama for the first time saying publicly part: Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own.

[04:35:09] Kicking them out won't lower the unemployment rate or lighten anyone's taxes or raise anybody's wages. Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kicked hopeful young strivers out of America or whether we threat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated.

KOSIK: And the decision to end DACA also had some serious economic consequences. Experts say repealing it would worsen the shortage of workers in the United States. A survey of DREAMers by the left- leaning National Immigration Law Center finds that 75 percent are employed and their average wage is $17 an hour. Their median age is 22 years old.

So what that means is most are primed for careers, for jobs and incomes for the foreseeable future. Meaning they're adding revenues to the U.S. coffers. The unemployment rate is super low at 4.4 percent. So this shows that people are finding work especially at lower incomes.

Aside from stagnant wages, the biggest problem in the labor market is a lack of skilled workers. Right now, there are a record 6.2 million job openings in the U.S. And experts say that number will likely increase if DREAMers are taken out of the labor market. The problem is that employers can't find workers with the right skills and it spans multiple industries like technology, trucking, farming and tourism.

So, clearly, so many of these DACA recipients are really the fabric of our economy and they are productive members of our society.

BRIGGS: Yes. Jeff Sessions pointed out that he thinks in his remarks this takes jobs away from Americans that would otherwise take those jobs. The research shows otherwise.

Now to Hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic hurricane in a decade churning toward the U.S. Right now, Irma, a category 5 hurricane, packing 185-mile-per-hour winds. Still too early to tell if the monster storm will make landfall on the U.S. mainland, but Florida could be in harm's way this weekend. President Trump declaring emergencies for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with storm preparations. We'll have the full hurricane forecast for you in a moment.

KOSIK: The most immediate concern is for people in the north eastern Caribbean. Irma hitting Barbuda this morning. A 36-curfew issued for the entire territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

They are under hurricane warnings including other islands of Puerto Rico. And that's where we find CNN's George Howell.

George, are you finding that people are evacuating? Often what happens with so many of these places that often get hit by hurricanes, people become very complacent.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, good to be with you. So we understand the Bahamas, the prime minister of that nation has actually ordered the largest evacuation in the history of the country, so you get a sense of what's happening here throughout the region. Those evacuations to take place by plane throughout the day.

Here in Puerto Rico, the eastern side of the island, there's been a voluntary evacuation. People have been urged to seek higher ground, safe shelter as this storm closes in. Still dark out here right now. You can't really see the horizon, but I can and I can tell you, the winds are picking up, the water much more choppy. There is certainly a beast of a storm that is lurking closer and closer to us here.

We understand that the storm may -- we may be on the southern side of it. Our meteorologists can tell us more about that, but again, we will feel the impacts here. Throughout the day, though, in Puerto Rico, you've seen people taking preparations. They've been boarding up their windows and doors.

They've been going to stores to get water and supplies to ride this storm out, keeping in mind, this is something that has been seen on this island, a category 5 storm passing through. People are taking the precautions, the warnings seriously. They are doing what they can to prepare for it, Alison

KOSIK: An ominous storm. We will be watching and please stay safe. George Howell, live for us from Puerto Rico.

BRIGGS: Thanks, George.

Several south Florida counties operating in emergency mode, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, when and if Hurricane Irma hits. The mayor of Miami-Dade County signed an emergency declaration. They'll start evacuating special needs residents today. All county offices, along with schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Officials also expected to issue evacuation orders for Miami Beach later today or early Thursday.

KOSIK: Neighboring Broward County is planning to set up dozens of shelters that will be able to accommodate as many as 33,000 people. Broward schools will be closed Thursday and Friday, and in Monroe County, which is on the west coast of Florida, it's also home to Key West, a mandatory evacuation of visitors, tourists and nonresidents takes effect in just a few hours at 7:00 a.m. Eastern. The evacuation of residents begins at 7:00 tonight.

[04:40:03] BRIGGS: Florida Governor Rick Scott ordering the deployment of 7,000 National Guard members, 1,000 high water vehicles and more than 700 generators on stand by. The governor suspending tolls across the state, allowing more people to more easily and safely evacuate. More than 5,000 people based at naval air station Key West have received mandatory evacuation orders.

KOSIK: Meantime, Florida residents are stocking up on storm supplies. Aisles at some stores have been left bare by the mad rush. Lines of people wrapping around the Costco and Pembroke Pines, stocking up on fuel, water and materials to protect their homes.

The NFL's opening weekend also impacted. The Miami Dolphins won't open the season at home Sunday as scheduled. The league exploring other options for their game against Tampa Bay including moving it to a neutral site or playing it at a later date.

BRIGGS: So, where will Hurricane Irma hit the hardest? Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is tracking the storm.

Pedram, where is it right now? What's in store?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it's going downhill very quickly across places such as St. Martin, St. Barts, Anguilla area, home to about 100,000 people, guys. This storm as impressive as I've ever seen on satellite imagery.

Notice, it goes right over Barbuda and when you think about these storms, of course, they're essentially like a top on a table. If there's any sort of imperfection on the table, you'll notice the top begin to wobble a little bit. As it interacts in Barbuda, we're seeing a little bit of symmetry lost in that storm. The wind speeds, they're not going to be diminished by much, 185-mile-per-hour, essentially at theoretical limit of how strong storms can get on our planet, when you think about that.

There's oceanic and atmospheric conditions that can allow these storms to get to a certain magnitude, about 190, 195 is believe to be at the top of the limit, and this storm, of course, sitting just shy of that.

So, here's the forecast. We think it could skirt the northern portion of Puerto Rico as we approach later on this evening, around 8:00, 9:00 p.m. tonight local time, and then beyond Thursday into parts of the Dominican Republic, eventually direct impact possible around the Turks and Caicos.

But the storm system itself so significantly large here that some of these islands will be swallowed by the eye of the storm as it crosses over the land masses. So, this is going to be a devastating storm across some of these regions. In fact, once you approached a category 4, exceed that into a category 5, this is signified as catastrophic by the National Hurricane Center.

And this storm is so strong guys, if there was a theoretical category six, every 21 miles per hour or so is when categories switch up from one to another. If there was a theoretical six, this would be up there, 157 being required for a 5 sitting at 185.

And incredibly, you can actually strengthen a little bit as well over the next few hours here because the environmental conditions are as such. The big question as we approach Friday into Saturday. This storm looks likely it will approach around eastern Cuba. The model guidance has been very confident in that.

But notice as you approach this time period into this weekend, there's variations. The models do want to shift the track a little farther back to the east. That would potentially if this verifies with the heaviest concentration being on the coast, that would potentially take some of the major cities of eastern Florida out of direct impact because the strongest winds would be on the right side of this storm system, but then if you're tuned in across parts of Georgia into the Carolinas, Savannah, and Charleston, that is where the threat could be far, far higher.

But again at this point, four days out from that point, we are looking at significant variations but now favoring the eastern side of Florida as more of a likely scenario, guys.

BRIGGS: Well, here's hoping for a hard right turn. Pedram, thank you, sir. Appreciate the forecast.


KOSIK: All right. The House is set to vote today on the first round of disaster funding for Hurricane Harvey. Now, the White House is trying to ease concerns about pairing it with a debt ceiling increase.


[04:48:06] BRIGGS: Vote on the first round of disaster funding for Harvey expected to hit the House floor today. Still being debated, though, whether the emergency funding will be linked to a debt ceiling increase.

"Politico" reporting the Trump administration will spend the day trying to reverse growing GOP opposition pairing the two. The report says Mr. Trump will give the plan a full-throated endorsement, either on social media or in a statement, and that the plan will include no spending cuts. That move will likely anger some conservatives who wanted spending cuts as part of a package to raise the debt ceiling.

KOSIK: The corruption trial of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez beginning later this morning in a Newark courtroom. Menendez and his co-defendant, Florida-based ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen facing fraud and bribery charges. Both men have pled not guilty. The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks.

BRIGGS: If the Democratic senator is convicted, he is not likely to resign because his successor would be appointed by Republican Governor Chris Christie. The Senate could also vote to expel Menendez, but that would require a two-thirds vote and no senator has been expelled in the last 155 years.

Some speculation that Chris Christie would appoint himself. We're a long way from any of that coming to fruition.

KOSIK: All right. A New England sports team caught cheating and it's not the Patriots. The Boston Red Sox admitting they used electronic devices to steal signs from the New York Yankees and other teams. This happening over the past few weeks. According to the "New York Times," Major League Baseball opened an investigation after Yankees general manager Brian Cashman submitted video evidence of this.

BRIGGS: Now, it reportedly showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and relaying a message to players. And now, the Red Sox have filed a claim alleging the Yankees used a camera from their, yes, network to also steal signs.

[04:50:01] Yankee manager Joe Girardi denies it. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has not decided on possible disciplinary action. Perhaps there is.

KOSIK: Cheating not cool.

BRIGGS: Well, look, cheating is not cool, but everyone in baseball tries in some extent to steal signs from a catcher. Usually when there's a runner on second base, the Red Sox had a lot of success with a runner on second base.


KOSIK: You're saying if everybody does it, it's OK?

BRIGGS: Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. But the Red Sox, kudos, they found a use for the Apple Watch. A lot of us have been trying to do that for years now.

KOSIK: All right. On Wall Street, investors are growing a little uneasy as they look around the U.S. and the global economy. That caused the big stock to begin the week. Is the fear here to stay?

We're going to get a check on CNN "Money Stream" next.


[04:5:13] BRIGGS: In just a few hours, President Trump expected to talk by phone with China's President Xi. It will be the first known contact between the two leaders since North Korea's missile launch last week and nuclear test over the weekend.

KOSIK: Overnight, the president of South Korea met with Vladimir Putin at an economic forum in Russia. Both offered a sobering assessment of the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Let's go live to Russia and bring in CNN's Frederik Pleitgen.

So, in the past, Russia has certainly taken North Korea's side or tried to defend North Korea. This time around, what seems to be Russia's role?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's fairly similar to that and I am actually here at this forum in Vladivostok, in the far east of Russia, which is really only 100 miles away from the border with North Korea. So, that shows just how important this conflict is to the Russians as well.

Now, it was very interesting to see this meeting today between the president of Russia, and South Korea, where it seems as though they see eye to eye on certain issues, but not necessarily on all of them. Russians reiterated their positions, that they believe that only talks and diplomacy could find an end to this crisis. In fact, Vladimir Putin today after the meeting with the South Korean president said he believes that this crisis can't be solved at all if there isn't dialog.

Now, the South Korean president, he took a fairly similar line. He lauded the Russians for taking this through the U.N. Security Council, but he has to say that he said, the Russians need to keep one thing in mind. The bottom line has to be North Korea is not allowed to have any sort of nukes.

Now, of course, the South Koreans at this point, I wouldn't say walking a fine line, but they certainly want all the countries here and the U.S. very much to be on their side. So this meeting very important for South Korea, to make sure they try to see to eye with the Russians. But at the same time, of course, the U.S. is a very important ally for them and that's certainly something they won't want to jeopardize, Alison.

KOSIK: OK. Obviously, a very delicate tap dance.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, thanks so much.

BRIGGS: Also developing overnight, an ominous warning from Japan directed at North Korea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telling the Kim regime it has no bright future if it continues on its current path and now, there are growing cries within South Korea to develop a nuclear deterrent to the North Korea threat.

Let's go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Ian Lee for the very latest, just before 6:00 p.m. there.

Ian, what's the latest there? IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's really two scenarios. The

first is the South Koreans asking the United States to bring their own nuclear weapons and put them on the Korean peninsula. The defense minister said he's willing to consider that option although the president has said that he's still committed to a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

The other option is South Korea developing its own nuclear weapon. And a Gallup poll last year showed that over 50 percent of South Koreans thought that could be a good idea, although South Korea is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, that could make it difficult. I would likely need the United States approval. Obviously, the first option would definitely need the U.S. to agree. The second one, the U.S. would have to support it, which is unlikely to happen, although early this morning in a phone call with Japan and South Korea, the United States reiterated, reaffirmed its support for the two countries, saying that they both lie under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and that the United States is willing to use whatever options are necessary to protect those countries.

BRIGGS: All right. Ian Lee, live for us in Seoul, South Korea -- thank you.

KOSIK: OK. Let's get a check on CNN "Money Stream" this morning.

Stock futures basically flat right now, following a big loss Tuesday, caused in part by concerns about North Korea. Markets in Europe and Asia are mostly lower. So, we did see investors returned from the long holiday weekend with a lot on their minds and the markets sank.

The Dow dropping 234 points yesterday. The Nasdaq lost 1 percent, almost 1 percent. And the S&P 500, that also fell.

So, what is it? What is it that investors are worried about? The focus for the past few months has been on tax reform and corporate profits. But now, there's a shift. There's a shift of geopolitical concerns and worries in Washington. That's what's creeping into the market. And that includes the North Korea nuclear threat.

President Trump's tough talk with China on trade, that's a concern. The looming debt ceiling drama and a possible government shutdown if no federal budget is passed, and a potential disruption by hurricane Irma on top of the damage by Hurricane Harvey. So, there's a lot on Wall Street's plate.

And then there's this. Since 1950, September is historically the worst month for the stock market. It's the only month with a significant negative average. Investors traditionally refocus after summer and that can cause some anxiety, some of which we saw yesterday.

The president continues to push for tax reform, something investors have been cheering since the election. This meeting of the minds taking place at the White House yesterday.