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EARLY START

NFL Show OF Unity; Republican Revise Health Care Bill; White House Rolls Out New Travel Ban; Deadly Church Shooting; GOP Tax Plan Unveils This Week; North Korea Added To Travel Ban; Trump Versus North Korea; Mexico Rattled By Aftershock. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired September 25, 2017 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[04:00:13] CHRISTINE ROMANS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: The NFL fighting back in a show of unity after President Trump called on team owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

RYAN NOBLES, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: Time is running short for the Republican health care bill, an opposition to the bill growing by the day as a new version of the bill attempts to target (inaudible).

ROMANS: Breaking overnight, the White House rolling out a new travel ban expanding to eight countries including North Korea and Venezuela. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "early start." nice to see you.

NOBLES: Good morning, I'm Ryan Nobles in this morning for Dave Briggs. It is Monday September 25th it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. And we begin with a league-wide show of solidarity. NFL players and owners united in protest against President Trump after a weekend of relentless attacks condemning players who chose not to stand for the national anthem. In stadiums across the country Sunday, and even London, players locked arms, kneeled, raised their firsts during the National anthem. Some teams skipped the anthem entirely, staying in the locker room.

ROMANS: Even the national anthem singers were bending a knee. A game in Detroit and one of the national singers join the protest, look at that. Kneeling along with the players on the side lines. This all began when the President made these remarks at a rally in Alabama, Friday night.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of bitch off the field, right now. Out! He is fired. He is fired!

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NOBLES: And he didn't stop there. The President tweeting nearly a dozen times about protests by pro-athletes including this, quote. If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespected our flag and country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend. In response, the President tweeted again, great solidarity for our national anthem and for our country. Standing with locked arms is good. Kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings.

ROMANS: Mike Tomlin, Head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of three teams that remain in their locker rooms during the national anthem said his players acted in unison.

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MIKE TOMLIN, HEAD COACH, PITTSBURGH STEELERS: We didn't ask for this. This was placed upon us by circumstance. I heard rumblings of guys talking yesterday. My contention was that we will not allow politics to divide us. Many of them felt like something need to be done. I asked those guys to discuss it and whatever they discussed that we have 100 percent anticipation or do nothing.

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ROMANS: The President meantime telling reporters his attacks have nothing to do with race.

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TRUMP: This has nothing to do with race. I've never said anything about race. This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Let's get more from CNN's Boris Sanchez at the White House.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ryan and Christine, the President choosing to make this issue of players kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games a focus of his on Sunday tweeting out multiple times that they should not be kneeling during the national anthem. He actually wrote on Sunday night "sports fans should never condone players that do not stand, proud for their national anthem or their country. NFL should change policy. The President digging in his heels after first calling for NFL owners to fire players who wouldn't stand during the national anthem at a rally in Alabama on Friday night. He is repeated the refrain multiple times, including once when he arrived here at the White House after spending several days at his resort in New Jersey saying most people agree with him. Listen to what the president said.

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TRUMP: I think that the flag has to be respected and our country has to be respected. There's plenty of room to do other things, but our country has to be respected, and I've always felt very strongly about that. By the way, most people agree with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: We've seen an outpouring of anger from not only NBA and NFL players but also coaches and owners including Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, who said that he was disappointed in the tone of the President Trump speech on Friday night. The President did respond on Sunday saying that Robert Kraft is a friend though he disagrees with him and does believe that owners should do something about these players, in his eyes, disrespecting the American flag. Ryan and Christine?

NOBLES: Boris, thank you. The latest Republican attempt to repeal and replace Obama care appears to be on its last legs. Again, the senate finance committee holds a hearing on the Graham/Cassidy bill today. Senators John McCain and Rand Paul already in the no column and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa of Alaska as well as Ted Cruz of Texas now all voicing concerns. Republicans cannot afford to lose any of those three Senators.

[04:05:20]ROMANS: In attempt to win them over, party leaders revived the Graham/Cassidy bill and circulated a new measure on Sunday in a clear nod to Senator Murkowski it allows Alaskans enrolled prior to 2020 to continue the eligibility after that. CNN's Athena Jones has more.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Christine and Ryan. A lot of eyes are going to be on GOP Senator Susan Collins early this week. She has expressed some serious doubts about this latest effort to repeal Obamacare. Here's what she had to say to CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union, watch.

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SEN SUSAN COLLINS, (D) MAINE: It's very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill. I have a number of serious reservations about it. I'm concerned about the impact on the Medicaid program, which has been on the books for more than 50 years and provides health care to our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled children, and low income seniors.

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JONES: One more thing she said is she is concerned about the impact of this bill on costs and coverage. That is why she is awaiting to see how the congressional budget office scored this bill, what sort of sense they can get about the number of people who will still have coverage under this new legislation. I should mention we also heard over the weekend from Texas Senator Ted Cruz saying right now they don't have my vote. He would like to see more choices. This is by no means a done deal. We're going to be closely watching what is certain to be a pivotal week. Christine, Ryan?

ROMANS: Absolutely, all right thank you so much for that.

NOBLES: Certainly sets the stage for an interesting conversation tonight. CNN presenting a town hall debate with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy facing off on Health care against Democratic senators Bernie Sanders. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate. That is tonight at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN. ROMANS: that should be great. All right. Breaking overnight the

President Trump administration rolling out a new travel ban. The measuring poses restriction on certain individuals from eight foreign countries, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. This new list targets several non-Muslim nations including North Korea and Venezuela. In most cases travel will be broadly suspended. In others passengers will have to undergo enhanced screening. We get more from CNN Laura Jarret she is in Washington for us.

LAURA JARRETT, JUSTICE REPORTER, CNN: The Trump administration has unveiled travel ban 3.0. New travel restrictions on certain foreign nationals from eight countries. Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, as a replacement to the central portion of that controversial travel ban which expired on Sunday morning. The new restrictions vary by country and they include a phased in approach. Most of the limitations you won't see go into effect until mid-next month on October 18th. For the last three months the Trump administration had used an executive order to ban foreign nationals from six Muslim majority country. Unless they have a so called bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the country. Now, individuals with that bona fide exception, like a grandparent, can still apply for visas to come to the U.S. until October 18. But after that date, these new restrictions will begin. The on a call with reporters, a senior administration adviser called the new restrictions tough, but tailored and quote vital national security. The Supreme Court is also set to hear arguments on this next month and the Justice Department will be filing an update with the Supreme Court soon.

NOBLES: Thanks a lot. An attorney for Jared Kushner confirming to CNN the President's son-in-law and Senior Adviser used a private e- mail account. Fewer than 100 e-mails from January to August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal e-mail account. Political first reported Kushner first use of a private account saying it was set up during the transition in December and use to the trade e-mails with senior White House officials and others about media coverage during the campaign. Then candidate Trump repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton for her use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

[14:10:07] ROMANS: All right 10 minutes past the hour. The Justice Department and the FBI has opened a federal civil rights investigation into a deadly shooting at a Tennessee church on Sunday. One person was killed, seven others injured, when a mask gunman, identified as 25 year old Emmanuel Samson opened fire at the Burnette chapel church. According to sources he used to attend the church. A 22 year old usher, who witnessed the shooting confronted Samson and during the struggle, the alleged gunman accidentally shot himself. He was hospitalized then released to police who are still investigating a possible motive. Samson is due in court on Wednesday.

The GOP's tax plan rolls out this week and President Trump is in Indiana on Wednesday to help promoted. The White House has talk tax reform for months but there are had been few details, so what can we expect? Mainly tax cuts. On that point the administration has given mixed message, treasury secretary said the White House never promised it wouldn't cut taxes for the rich.

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STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: It was never a promise or a pledge. What it was and it is still is what the President's objective was. I think what's important about this plan is it creates a middle income tax cut, it makes businesses competitive and it creates jobs.

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ROMANS: There's no agreement how tax cuts will be paid for. Administration says economic growth will foot the bill. But some of considering offsets. A reportedly only three tax deductions are safe. Charitable deductions, mortgage interest, and retirement savings, but eliminating any deduction will be difficult. One reason the U.S. has not had tax reform since 1986. Every single line in that U.S. Tax code has a constituency. People who want whatever it is that is in there. Somebody's going have to pay.

NOBLES: Having spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill, I can tell you as many disagreements there are about health care, there are just as many on taxes.

ROMANS: Absolutely. All right. President Trump igniting another war of words with North Korea as Pyongyang is added to the travel ban list from the Trump administration. Reaction from the region is next.

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[04:16:28] ROMANS: No let-up in the war of words between the United States and North Korea. President tweeting over the weekend, just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speaking if he echoes thoughts of little rocket man they won't be around much longer. As the U.S. Military flew bombers in the international airspace near North Korea and Trump administration adding North Korea to the list of Nations on the new travel ban. I want to bring in CNN Ben Wedeman. He is live in Tokyo. Ben what is the reaction of the regions in this rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well it seems the President Trump is speaking loudly and carrying a big stick, using both those b-1 bombers flying off the coast of North Korea as a stick, and of course, speaking very loudly with this words. The reaction in the region has by and large not been positive to this sort of talk. We did see for instance the people's daily, which is the official newspaper of the Chinese communist Party saying Trump's chest thumping is not helpful. We also heard a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry saying the situation is very sensitive and that any sort of rhetoric like this is not helping the situation. Also a spokesman for the ruling Party in South Korea saying this talk, and speaking about both from Kim Jong-un and the North Korea regime and President Trump is merely serving to heighten anxiety. In the past we had U.S. Administrations that did carry a big stick. They did use this sort of diplomacy in the past but spoke somewhat more softly.

ROMANS: Yes, I would say so. All right Ben Wedeman thank so much for that. Nice to see you this morning, live in Tokyo.

NOBLES: Two major aftershocks in Mexico this weekend with a country still reeling from a deadly earthquake. We'll go live to Mexico City, next.

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[04:22:58] NOBLES: The death toll in Mexico rising to 319 following last week's 7.1 magnitude earthquake. A new challenge for search and rescue efforts over the weekend as two powerful aftershocks hit southern Mexico. CNN's Ivan Watson is live in Mexico City and has the latest, Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hi there Ryan. That is right. The death toll to at least 319 victims of this earthquake. One of the victims, her body was recovered on Sunday from the site of a school that collapsed. The woman has not yet been identified at the Enrique school, but that now brings the death toll at that location to some 19 school children who were killed and seven adults who were also victims at that location. Now, where I'm standing here, it's after 3:00 in the morning here, as you can see, the operation here is working round the clock with teams that have come from all over the world, from the U.S., Israel, Japan, Spain and of course Mexico as well, and we believe there are some other countries that have been involved here at a six-story office building that collapsed with scores of people still believed to be missing inside. All around this location, there are families of the loved ones camping out, conducting an agonizing vigil. There's a sign that one family has put up in the last day that says quote, Adrian, you're a warrior, your family and friends are waiting for you. We love you very much. Several days ago they brought in heavy machinery here instead of working by hand. Picking up some of the slabs of concrete on top of this building. Further, the Mexico City mayor has announced thousands of buildings have been inspected and more than 8,000 are now habitable. More than a hundred schools are going to be operating and classes will resume today. But this is still a city of recovering from last Tuesday 7.2 magnitude the earthquake. Ryan.

[04:25:12] NOBLES: A little bit of progress amidst all that heart break. Ivan thank you for that report.

ROMANS: All right. In Puerto Rico, aid is beginning to arrive. Officials there describes desperate conditions in the wake of hurricane Maria, a major dam, now at risk of collapsing. Millions of people without power, cut or from the world since Wednesday. The threat from Maria is not over yet. A tropical storm watch now in effect for parts of the North Carolina coast all the way to Virginia border. A mandatory evacuation order for visitor in (inaudible) Island.

All right NFL players defying the President with anthem protest, taking a collective knee in a major show of solidarity.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calling our players SOB's and that kind of stuff. That is not the men that I know. The men I know in the locker room, I'm proud of. I'm proud to be associated with those people.

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