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Trump Meeting With World Leaders At United Nations; Trump In The Spotlight At United Nations; Haley Sends Warning To Pyongyang; Equifax Executives Step Down After Breach; Residents Of Lower Keys Return Home; Second Arrest In London Subway Bombing. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 18, 2017 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: OK, EARLY START continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What he thinks the speech is a tremendous opportunity obviously to reach so many world leaders at the same time.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I personally think he slaps the right people. He hugs the right people and he comes out with U.S. being very strong in the end.


BRIGGS: Today, all eyes on President Trump as he makes his debut at the United Nations General Assembly. Big question, how will the president's America first message be received by the U.N.'s world first mission?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Politics not necessarily television that took center stage at last night's Emmy Awards. Surprise cameo by Sean Spicer left the Hollywood elites stunned and laughing and gasping.

Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm sure what Sean Spicer was doing was he was laughing at that Melissa McCarthy jam, here's the head line. The show must go Don. I'm Dave Briggs. It's Monday, September 18th, 5 a.m. in the east. We'll get to that Emmys conversation in a moment.

But first, President Trump heading to the United Nations on the eve of his highly anticipated address to the General Assembly. A lot on the line for the president. It's been a frequent critic of the U.N.

Last December, President-elect Trump tweeted, "United Nations has such great potential, but right now it's just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad."

ROMANS: He's also complained about the marble tile. He doesn't like those. Today, the president has meetings scheduled with French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before hosting a working dinner with Latin American leaders. With everything that's going on, the president still finding time to tweet. The Twitter-in-chief in force this weekend. This is what he tweeted on Sunday, he retweeted a video that appeared to show him knocking over Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.

In another tweet he took a swipe at Kim Jong-un calling him rocket man giving him a little nickname. We get more from CNN's Athena Jones.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave. This is a huge week for President Trump. He's taking his first turn on the most high-profile stage in the world. We are talking about 193-member nations taking part in the U.N. General Assembly this week.

Those world leaders, a lot of them, are eager to take the measure of President Trump. They are also going to be eager to hear what kind of message he delivers when he speaks before the general assembly on Tuesday especially given the fact that Trump has been such a critic of the United Nations.

As a candidate, we heard him talk about what he called the utter weakness and incompetency of the United Nations. He said the U.N. was not a friend to democracy or freedom or even to the United States.

Now it's not clear how much he's going to be tempering that criticism when he speaks on Tuesday. We did get a little bit of a preview of what he's going to say from his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster speaking on "Fox News" Sunday. Watch.


H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He thinks the speech is a tremendous opportunity obviously to reach so many world leaders at the same time and to emphasize really three themes. First is to protect the American people, the second is to moat American prosperity, and the third is really to help promote accountability and sovereignty.


JONES: So there you heard General McMaster say this speech is a tremendous opportunity for the president to address so many gathered world leaders. It's also a chance for world leaders to hear from the president about how he's going to promote this America first agenda that we've heard him talk so much about.

How he's going to promote that at a meeting of a global organization that is aimed at solving global challenges together. One key meeting he's having late in the week is a lunch on Thursday with the leaders of South Korea and Japan. The key topic there will of course be North Korea and its nuclear provocations -- Christine, Dave.

BRIGGS: No doubt about that. Athena Jones, thank you. Let's bring in "Washington Post" staff writer, Eugene Scott. Good morning to you.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

BRIGGS: So 193 nations together, the president needs to look strong and in control. The huge speech on Tuesday night. Before that, he's a Twitter troll. The one tweet raising eyebrows showing a golf ball headed towards Hillary Clinton appeared to knock her over.

This is a retweet of a lame juvenal jift, and then labelling Kim Jong- un who has nuclear weapons who wants to erase countries around the world, including this one, labelling him rocket man. Eugene, what does that do to the president's image around the world ahead of this U.N. General Assembly?

EUGENE SCOTT, STAFF WRITER, "WASHINGTON POST": I think it just reinforces the idea that this president is unpredictable and it's not clear what he's going to be prioritizing this week. Will it be appealing to the base?

[05:05:05] The people who like this unconventional president who just continues petty disagreements with the person he already beat in the last election, or is he going to move toward addressing very real issues that are -- just don't impact America but the world as a whole.

I think we saw maybe there are like more than ten, maybe as many as 15 tweets and retweets Saturday morning, but we didn't get a clear idea in terms what it is that the president is going to be prioritizing this week. That would have been very interesting to those who voted for him who are very interested in his global affairs perspective.

ROMANS: Many of his supports need to step up. Quite frankly people tell me come on get over it. You're still up tight. This is why we like the president. It's just a joke. Come on. Don't be a snowflake. Right?

But he's not talking to his base. He's not talking to those Americans who love this. He's talking to people with whom he has to work to try to rein in North Korea, to try to deal with Russia and Syria. I mean, this is not presidential.

SCOTT: Yes. I mean I think it's really important to realize just how high the disapproval ratings are for the president's social media use and how high disapproval ratings are for him as a whole.

I think this would be an opportunity to try to change that with people who aren't already on the Trump train. To some degree I wonder if there was a desire to appeal to the base after last week when the president was criticized by so many people in the more conservative wings for moves forward with agreements with the Democrats.

To some degree I wonder if he wanted them to know he was still with them and maybe that means retweeting kind of petty tweets.

BRIGGS: All right. So, Nikki Haley said the speech Tuesday night will hug some people slack, some people in the U.S. will be stronger. In the end, she was asked by Dana Bash about the fire and fury comments that really seemed to set off Kim Jong-un. Here's what she said on Sunday.


DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Was the president's fire and fury remark an empty threat?

HALEY: It was not an empty threat. What we were doing was being responsible. Where North Korea is being irresponsible and reckless, we were being responsible by trying to use every diplomatic possibility that we could possibly do.

We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we could do at the Security Council at this point. Now, I said yesterday I'm perfectly happy kicking this over to General Mattis because he has plenty of military options.


BRIGGS: How effective has that fire and fury remark then and do you expect that same type of language Tuesday night?

SCOTT: Well, it doesn't seem like it's been that effective in terms of scaring the leaders of North Korea to change their behavior. I mean, we've seen their nuclear tests just increase and move forward.

What I think we need to pay allot of attention to is this meeting coming later between the president and leaders of Japan and South Korea. These are people to watch. I know there are many people who voted to Donald Trump just really want him to remain a strong man and give people abroad and internationally who disrespect and threaten the United States the negative attention and response that they deserve, but these types of actions impact our allies.

And so, the reality is if we do move forward with fire and fury in North Korea, they're not just civilians who will be harmed and killed in North Korea. They will be harmed in South Korea as well.

And so, people have to look at the military options that will create the least harm possible.

ROMANS: Eugene, last night, Sean Spicer back at the podium. Did you catch it? Did you see it.


ROMANS: Well, what's your quick reaction?

SCOTT: One thing that was I think most interesting is the number of people on Twitter who were talking about what we see now as the normalization of Sean Spicer. It seems entertaining at this moment, but we have to remember when he was behind that podium he told a record number of lies that misled the American people on some very important things. I don't know that everybody's ready to laugh yet.

BRIGGS: Yes. It was a very much an ongoing debate about that and behind the scenes was interesting because you saw photos on Twitter, all the celebrities running up and taking selfies with Sean Spicer and drinking beer with him. I think they did normalize --

ROMANS: All right. Eugene, come back in about half hour. I want to talk a little bit more about why Facebook turning over those ads to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is such a big deal. We'll talk about in about 20 minutes. Thank you.

Two executives are out in the wake of that huge security fail. Equifax's chief information officer and security officer are, quote/unquote, "retiring immediately," which, when you cover business news usually means they were told to get out.

The breach exposed the financial data of millions of Americans. Equifax is now under federal investigation and troubling new information about how the problem was found as could have been prevented. It was all a flaw in a web application tool.

[05:10:08] The maker of that tool says Equifax could have fixed it, could have prevented this from happening. Apache Group discovered the flaw in March, several months before the hack, provided Equifax with the patch for the flaw.

Apache blames Equifax for not installing it in a timely manner. Equifax admitted to CNN it knew about the vulnerable, but waited until it found suspicious activity to take action. That was after the breach. The big corporation does take time but said Equifax should have moved faster. Understatement of the year.

BRIGGS: I think people have to move faster to take your advice.

ROMANS: We are hearing this -- people are having difficulty getting in touch with the credit agency, just a flood of freezes for people trying to freeze. It's just a total mess. Your information is out of your control. It just really sucks.

BRIGGS: Not over yet. All right, ahead just as the Caribbean was beginning to go recover --



ROMANS: All right. Florida Governor Rick Scott and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price meet with local officials in Monroe County. That's the Keys to discuss relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Residents of the Lower Keys have been allowed to return to their homes that began Sunday more than a week after fleeing. The threat, though, is not over. There are three storms raging right now in the Atlantic and Hurricane Maria taking dead aim at the Caribbean.

I want to bring Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri live from the CNN Weather Center. I know there's a 5:00 a.m. update. What do we know about Maria?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We know hurricane watch is issued for Puerto Rico. It's going to impact Puerto Rico potentially as a major hurricane. We think this storm has everything it takes to rapidly intensify. Like we saw what happened with Irma this time last week. But it will push right through Dominica, Marnick, Guadalupe, which is just about 100 or so miles south of where he had Irma go right across Antigua and Barbuda in the last week so this storm is a little more of a southerly tract.

There is Irma's track. Here comes Maria again pushing right over Puerto Rico, which notice with Irma, it (inaudible) Puerto Rica and Hispaniola and then the storm can potentially move over Turks and Caicos as Irma did this time last week.

So, again, very much similar in that sense of impacting some of these islands but notice the models want to push this to the north, the European model, which has been the more reliable one. Skirting it off shore.

The American has been wavering back and forth and typically behind what the European has been doing. We think it will potentially shift to the east as well. Look at what's happening now of course the northeast, talking about a Category 1, a very disorganized Hurricane Jose.

The main concern is it will push very close to the coast of Massachusetts, sometime around say, Thursday, at around noon. Storm surge and potentially heavy rainfall and indirect impact on the northeast coast line late this week to potentially this weekend because it might just hang out here for the weekend as well so a very pesky storm.

ROMANS: Indirect impact does that mean like rain, high surf? What are you expecting? This is a big commuter port.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely. We could see as much as four to six inches of rainfall on the immediate coast for New York City. One to three inches and some of the coastal communities definitely high surf, maybe a little of a storm surge damage as well.

BRIGGS: All right. Pedram, thanks. Keep us posted on Maria.

OK, two arrests over the weekend in connection with the Parsons Green subway attack in London. Police still searching for other possible suspects. Friday's terror incident left 30 people injured. On Sunday, the British lowered their national threat level from critical to severe.

Let's go live to London with CNN's Nina Dos Santos for the latest. Good morning to you, Nina. What do we make of that threat level being returned to where it was before this attack.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN MONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Good morning to you, Dave. Well, it does seem to indicate that at least when it comes to the immediate danger they feel they ma managed to contain this. But keeping an open mind about other suspects.

They made two arrests over the course of the weekend, two males, one 18 who was apprehended in the Port of Dover, which is a major gateway to head out towards Continental Europe. And then also a 21-year-old man arrested close to Heathrow Airport in the west of London. So far police not speculating on the identity of these individuals. It is believed that they are known.

We don't know whether or not they were known to security forces before this attack took place. That will be a question the people will certainly have for people here at New Scotland Yard.

What we do know is the intense of their connection they seem to have both spent time in the care of an elderly foster couple known for having harbored many hundreds of children, particularly refugees from war-torn parts of the world like Syria and Iraq.

And in fact, the property is still being searched for a third day. Another property also to the west of London in Stanwell also continues to be searched at this hour -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Nina Dos Santos live for us in London. Thank you.

All right. Ahead, after rough season opener, Tom Brady, the Super Bowl champ is back big time. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report" next.


[05:24:05] BRIGGS: NFL regular season just about the books, quarterback, Colin Kaepernick still remains a spectator. He says he's ready right to play football.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. We haven't heard much from Colin Kaepernick this off season. Many questions, whether he still wanted to play football when asked by Sean King of (inaudible), if he still wants to play.

Kaepernick said, quote, "Yes, I've never stopped. I'm ready right now. Working out daily." And in an interview with a CBS Sunday morning, Tom Brady, says he hopes he get signed.


TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: I've always watched him and admired him, the way he's played. He was a great young quarterback. He came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl, and he certainly is qualified and I hope he gets a shot.


SCHOLES: Brady and the Patriots meanwhile had quite the bounce-back performance yesterday in New Orleans. Brady throwing for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarterback. It was the best opening quarterback of his career. Keep in mind, he's 40 years old now. Patriots beat the Saints 36-20. [05:25:12] Atlanta Falcons opening their brand-new Mercedes Benz Stadium last night. Rematch with the Packers, and this game looks much like the one last Jan. Falcons defense all over Aran Rodgers. Winning this 34-23.

Astros clinching the American League west title with a win he over the Mariners yesterday. First division title since 2001 and the entire team did a lap around the stadium giving high fives to the fans pretty cool moment considering what the city has gone through since the hurricane.

Check out outfielder Josh Reddick celebrating but wearing nothing but an American flag Speedo.

Marshawn Lynch, raiders were on their way to a blowout win when the said numb started playing a song "I'm really from Oakland." They put him on the jumbotron, which means the crowd there in Oakland go absolutely not.

Came out of retirement just to play for his home town team. As you can see everyone there in Oakland having fun with that. Jets players did not like it at all. One said after the game it was infuriating that the whole day was just an embarrassment for the jets.

BRIGGS: The last couple of years have been embarrassing for the Jets. They don't need anybody dancing.

ROMANS: Cuomo a Jets fan?

BRIGGS: Tom Brady also told them he never had coffee, 40 years old. Never had coffee, Tom Brady." Thank you, my friend.

ROMANS: All eyes on the president today as he makes his debut on the world stage at the U.N. General Assembly. President's message comes at a critical time during the North Korean nuclear crisis.


HALEY: I said yesterday I'm perfectly happy kicking this over to General Mattis because he has plenty of military options.