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Trump Goes To U.N. With Busy Schedule And Many Questions; Emmys Cast Trump In A Key Role; Hurricane Maria Following Irma's Path; Second Arrest In London Subway Bombing. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired September 18, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:31:12] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, he thinks that 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 the U.S. being very strong in the end.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump wakes up this morning at home in Trump Tower preparing to make his debut at the United Nations General Assembly. The big question, will the president's 'America First' message be received by the U.N.'s world's first mission?

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Politics took center stage at last night's Emmy awards in a surprise cameo by Spicey left the Hollywood audience stunned. Were they laughing at him, were they laughing with him?

Twitter was very much divided on Sean Spicer's appearance last night. It was funny, though.

ROMANS: And the winner is politics.

BRIGGS: No question about that, it was.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's 32 minutes past the hour.

Let's begin with President Trump heading to the U.N. on the eve of his first address to the General Assembly. There's a lot on the line for this president who has been a frequent critic of the United Nations.

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

BRIGGS: Today, the president has meetings scheduled with French President Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu before hosting a working dinner with Latin American leaders.

And with all that's going on, the president finding an awful lot of time to tweet. On Sunday morning he retweeted this video that appeared to show him knocking over Hillary Clinton with a golf ball. In another tweet, he took aim at Kim Jong Un, giving him a cute little nickname.

We get more from CNN's Athena Jones.



This is a huge week for President Trump. He's taking his first turn on the most high-profile stage in the world.

We're talking about 193 member nations taking part in the U.N. General Assembly this week. And those world leaders -- a lot of them are eager to take the measure of President Trump.

They're 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, not a friend to freedom, and not a friend 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 but 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.

MCMASTER: Well, 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 promote American prosperity, and the third is really to help promote accountability and sovereignty.

JONES: So there, you heard Gen. 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's he going to promote that at a meeting that is 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. (END VIDEOTAPE)

[05:35:00] ROMANS: All right, Athena Jones. Thank you.

Let's bring in "Washington Post" staff writer Eugene Scott, friend of our show, frequent guest, and early bird. Hello, early bird. Good morning.


ROMANS: So the president wakes up in Trump Tower at home this morning, getting ready for a very big, important week where he'll be projecting strength to the rest of the world for the U.S. and, you know, illustrating U.S. policies.

But this weekend, he was the same old -- his same old Twitter self. He retweeted, like, a GIF, basically, that looked like he was hitting a golf ball and knocking Hillary Clinton down. And that -- OK, hashtag Crooked Hillary.

And then he had this tweet about the North Korea leader. He said, "I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!"

And I've got Elton John in my head in a loop right.

Is -- his supporters, you know, say oh, this is what we love about Donald Trump. It doesn't matter what his supporters think. He's projecting America's priorities to the rest of the world.

What does this look like?

SCOTT: Yes, I think the president has to remember that he's just not the leader for his base, but he's the leader for the entire country. And to your point, at an event like the U.N. he's expected to be a world leader.

Personally, if I were the president I would not retweet something reminding people how much I golf. That's been an area of significant criticism for him. Instead, this would be an opportunity to talk to people about what he's going to do to keep Americans safe, as McMaster mentioned.

There's this North Korea situation that's a serious concern, not just to Americans but to our allies in Asia, including South Korea and Japan, who really want to know what the president and the American government's plan to keep these nuclear tests from continuing will be.

BRIGGS: Yes. He'll wake up to headlines like this one from his hometown paper, "Twit for brains." I'm sure he'll love that one. But, it's a pivotal speech.

All right. Some developments in this Russia investigation as well, particularly on three different fronts, and here's what they are. First, Facebook handed Russia-linked ads over to Bob Mueller, the special counsel. Also, "The New York Times" reporting that Trump lawyers are actually clashing on how much to cooperate with Bob Mueller. Some heated discussion about that.

And lastly, Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, will appear before the Senate Intel panel on Tuesday -- volunteering to talk to them on Tuesday.

But let's talk about that Facebook development. Why does it matter so much? Congress couldn't get these Facebook ads. Why is it such an important development, perhaps?

SCOTT: And Congress could not get the ads because the law does not allow Facebook, they said, to turn over those ads without a search warrant --


SCOTT: -- but Mueller actually one.

And one of the things that Mueller and his team want to know is who exactly was behind these ads and what were they hoping to accomplish.

Just for perspective, there were at least 3,000 ads over a two-year period from what is believed to be a pro-Kremlin troll farm targeted at voters to give them misleading information about the election, and so Mueller's hoping he can get behind that and figure out what the ultimate goal was.

ROMANS: And, you know, I've got to say, Facebook is under intensifying scrutiny and criticism for not revealing more. And I know that there are First Amendment rules and there are -- you know, there are privacy rules and the like, but we don't know what some of those ads look like.


ROMANS: We don't know what specific --


ROMANS: -- disinformation was spread.

We don't know who or what the accounts pretended to be. We don't know how many American voters saw them and exactly where.

If we're talking about preventing this from happening again, it's a very opaque situation, still, isn't it, Eugene?

SCOTT: Absolutely, and that's what the investigation is trying to get behind, and I think that's a very important point for the American public to realize.

This really is about 2016 perhaps, obviously, but people are focused moving forward on 2018 and 2020. There's been continuing concern by people on both sides of the aisle that if Russia did interfere with the election to the degree that intelligence believes they did so far, then this is not something that's going to stop and stay behind, but this is something that likely could increase in the future.

BRIGGS: All right. Finally, the Emmys. Politics on center stage, as we mentioned.

Sean Spicer making his return. Let's show you what happened.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, EMMY AWARDS: Unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing how big our audience is. I mean, is there anyone who could say how big the audience is? Sean, do you know?


SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmy's period, both in person and around the world.

COLBERT: Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego. I can understand why you'd want one of these guys around.

Melissa McCarthy, everybody. Give it up.



[05:40:03] BRIGGS: I don't know that Sean liked that last Melissa McCarthy jab there, Eugene, but what was the reaction online to this?

SCOTT: Most of the reaction I saw online was concern about the normalization of Sean Spicer. He has this Emmy appearance, he was getting selfies with actors in the back also, and did the late-night circuit.

And people are just wondering what will the Trump administration do differently with their new press secretary in terms of getting honesty to the American public.

ROMANS: All right. Eugene Scott, nice to see you this morning, bright and early.

SCOTT: You, too.

ROMANS: Talk to you soon.

BRIGGS: Let us know what -- let us know what you think of this ad @EarlyStart on Twitter.


BRIGGS: Thanks, Eugene. Ahead, just as the Caribbean was beginning to recover from Hurricane Irma, another dangerous storm headed directly for the islands. Hurricane Maria has now strengthened and is expected to become a major category four hurricane. We'll have the latest forecast and advisory, next.


[05:45:04] BRIGGS: Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price meet with local officials in Monroe County to discuss relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Residents of the Lower Keys finally allowed to return to their homes on Sunday, more than a week after fleeing.

But the threat is not over. Three storms currently raging in the Atlantic. Hurricane Maria taking dead aim at the Caribbean.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has a look at the forecast.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Dave and Christine, an active pattern shaping up across the Atlantic with Lee, Maria, and Jose.

First off here, Maria, a rapidly intensifying storm is a category one right now, but we think this storm could easily jump to a category three by this time tomorrow, potentially a category four by Tuesday into Wednesday as it approaches Puerto Rico, eventually the Turks and Caicos. And then, that right turn could bring it up towards the Eastern Seaboard.

And again, the models on this begin that shift sometime mid to late week where we think this will begin pushing up towards the north. And at that point, we're still a good five to six days out so a lot could be changing with the storm system as the week progresses.

Jose sits there offshore, a weak, disorganized feature, but it has sat there for so many days and churned up the waters. We know the rip current threat and, of course, the storm surge threat as it approaches coastal Massachusetts sometime late this week could be an issue.

I think this will be meandering just offshore, potentially just skirting coastal Massachusetts around Nantucket. And then, it will push back down again and hang out for the weekend here, producing some heavy rainfall right along portions of the northeast as well, with all of this into this weekend -- guys.


ROMANS: All right, Pedram. Thank you for that.

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

Let's go live to London and bring in CNN's Nina dos Santos for the very latest.

Lowering the threat level, does -- is that a suggestion that they don't think other attacks are imminent here?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it means that no other attacks are imminent, but the fact that the situation is still severe, which is the second-highest level, means that an attack could still take place across not just the British capital but elsewhere in the U.K.

It isn't a sign that authorities are giving everybody the all-clear yet, but it is a sign probably, Christine, that they have managed to narrow the net down to a point where they're confident that they have individuals apprehended who played a big role in this particular Parsons Green plot.

As you pointed out before, they made two arrests over the course of the weekend. An 18-year-old man was apprehended in the Port of Dover. That's a major transit point towards the European continent.

And also, a 21-year-old man who was arrested within the Borough of Hounslow. It is very close to Heathrow Airport. It's about nine miles to the west of Central London.

And there's been a lot of speculation in the British press about the identity of these two individuals. That, as yet, hasn't been confirmed by New Scotland Yard.

What we do know, though, is according to various media reports in the U.K., is that they may well have connected by a foster home that they both spent time in, in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey, about 12 miles to the west of Parsons Green. That's a property that still remains under police lockdown for a third day in a row.

And, indeed, the second property was also searched in Surrey as well in a neighboring village of Stanborough (ph), which is just yards away from Heathrow Airport -- the southern perimeter of Heathrow Airport, Christine -- and that was searched yesterday.

So this is a fast-paced investigation. The authorities are probably quite confident now that they can downgrade the security threat level, that they have the people that they might need within their sights.

Because these two individuals have been questioned on the terrorism act that means that authorities have up to two weeks of extra time to gaining more information from them before they have to press charges -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Nina dos Santos for us in London. Thank you so much for that, Nina.

BRIGGS: In St. Louis, a third night of protests over the acquittal of a former police officer charged in the 2011 killing of a 24-year-old black man. Police saying they made multiple arrests after demonstrators started breaking windows, assaulting officers, and refusing to leave the downtown area.

The protests started Friday after a judge found Jason Stockley not guilty of shooting Anthony Lamar Smith after a drug-related car chase.

ROMANS: All right. Time for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Alisyn Camerota joins us. Good morning, Ali.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, guys.

BRIGGS: Morning.

CAMEROTA: Happy Monday. Great to see you.

We have so much show this morning I don't even really know where to begin because obviously, we'll be previewing the U.N. General Assembly and what will happen when President Trump meets with a score -- scores of global leaders and brings his 'America First' message to them.

We also have some new reporting on North Korea and what they're up to.

We have Tony Blair with us to give us his take on everything that has happened in London -- the terror attack -- as well as what's going to be happening at the United Nations this week.

[05:50:02] And then, we have our all-star cast of analysts to bring us all their thoughts. And the cherry on top, John Berman will be here as well.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The whole sundae, man.

BRIGGS: You buried the lead.

CAMEROTA: I buried the lead. Why didn't I start there?

BRIGGS: I mean, all you had to do was say John Berman, second to Tony Blair.

CAMEROTA: You're right.

BRIGGS: All right. Thanks, guys, appreciate it. Looking forward to it.

CAMEROTA: All right.

ROMANS: As three storms brew in the Atlantic, the U.S. already seeing signs that recent hurricanes have hurt the U.S. economy. "CNN Money Stream," next.


ROMANS: Politics taking center stage at last night's Emmy awards. Host Stephen Colbert getting some laughs at the expense of the president by poking fun at his obsession with winning.

[05:55:03] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT: And even during the campaign, Trump would not let it go. This actually happened. This exchange actually happened in the debates.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his T.V. program three years in a row and he starting tweeting that the Emmy's were rigged.


COLBERT: But he didn't because unlike the presidency, Emmy's go to the winner of the popular vote.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I suppose I should say at long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.



BRIGGS: Alec Baldwin jabbing at Trump after winning the Emmy for his portrayal of the president on "SNL."

The awards show also pulling off a major surprise, as you see there, with a cameo from Sean Spicer, stunning the audience.


COLBERT: Unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing how big our audience is. I mean, is there anyone who could say how big the audience is? Sean, do you know?


SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmy's period, both in person and around the world.

COLBERT: Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego. I can understand why you'd want one of these guys around.

Melissa McCarthy, everybody. Give it up.


ROMANS: I don't know. Is it too soon?

BRIGGS: I don't know.

ROMANS: Is it too soon?

BRIGGS: That was an unexpected jab, I think -- the McCarthy jab there. I -- perhaps too soon. That's what Hollywood people thought.

Other big winners from last night include "THE HANDMAID'S TALE" for best drama series; Nicole Kidman, best actress; and "BIG LITTLE LIES." And, comedian Julia Louis Dreyfus making history, sixth Emmy for "VEEP" -- incredible.

ROMANS: And Lena Waithe made Emmy history as well as the first African-American woman to win for comedy writing. She won for co- writing the Thanksgiving episode of "MASTER OF NONE" with Aziz Ansari, that show's creator there. Really, really funny stuff.

BRIGGS: Hulu a big winner last night. Amazon and Netflix get a lot of the press --


BRIGGS: -- but Hulu really stole the show last night.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

All right. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the White House is evaluating whether to close the U.S. Embassy in Havana following a series of mysterious acoustic attacks that have injured 21 Americans. The attacks began in November of 2016. They continued through August

of this year.

Some of the victims suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, permanent hearing loss, loss of balance, and brain swelling.

A Canadian diplomat is among the victims, as well.

Now, the U.S. is not blaming the Cuban government. The Cuban government has been cooperating with the FBI.

Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning -- this Monday morning.

You know what? Stock market records are in sight again.

Global stocks higher today after a strong week on Wall Street. The Dow rose -- big gains last week, 2.2 percent, record highs there. The strongest week in nine months.

The S&P 500, record highs there, closing above 2,500 for the first time. If futures hold, you will have record highs again today, highest level for U.S. stocks in history.

The Federal Reserve meets this week. Some possible topics for Janet Yellen and company, new economic projections, how the Central Bank plans to wind down its balance sheet, and the future of interest rates.

The Fed held rates steady during the last meeting and economists do not expect the Fed to raise rates this time, either, despite all the signs of strength in the American economy. It's one of the first signs that recent hurricanes have hurt the U.S. economy in the short run. U.S. industrial production fell 0.9 percent in August, the biggest drop in eight years. Industrial production measures factory output and factories slowed because of storm damage from Harvey, especially refineries, plastics and chemical companies.

The Gulf Coast houses many of the nation's petroleum refineries. Petroleum is key to manufacturing plastics and chemicals.

I've already seen signs of job loss. You know, weekly wage earners who have had to file for unemployment benefits because they've lost their job. Longer-term, though, you will see a surge of skilled labor that will be needed in both Florida and Texas.

Two of Apples three new iPhones go on sale this week. The new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus hit stores Friday. They feature wireless charging, new cameras.

But customers will have to wait until November for the iPhone X. It's that $1,000 anniversary phone.

Some analysts think they'll delay a spike in Apple sales until maybe sometime next year. Last year, Apple's annual sales fell for the first time in 16 years.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

"NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It's a very important week for the president and the world will be listening.

HALEY: If the United States has to defend itself in any way, North Korea will be destroyed.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: This is probably one of the most serious national security crises we've faced.

BRIGGS: Ahead of his U.N. speech, President Trump mocking Kim Jong Un as Rocket Man.

JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": He's a disruptor. He enjoys engaging on social media.

MCMASTER: The rockets, though, we ought to probably not laugh too much about because they do represent a grave threat.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Even as people try to recover from Irma there is more hurricane trouble on the way.