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White House Dreamer Demands; Unsportsmanlike Conduct; Jason Aldean Returns; Nate's Remnants Steam Toward Northeast; Project Loon by Google. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 9, 2017 - 04:00   ET



[04:00:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Demands threaten to derail the President's deal with Democrats to help young undocumented immigrants.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The Vice President abruptly leaves after NFL players take a knee. But his move to leave the colts game have lawmakers throwing a flag.

Good morning, and welcome to "Early Start." I am Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It's Monday, October 9, it is Columbus Day 4:00 a.m. in the east. We start with an extraordinary volley of personal insults. Influential Republican Senator Bob Corker going much farther than any Republican has with criticism of the President. In an interview Sunday with the "New York times," chairman of the foreign relations committee accused President Trump of treating his office like a reality show with reckless threats that that could set America, quote, on the path to World War III. Corker said he is alarmed by a president who acts quote like his doing the apprentice or something and telling the Times it concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.

ROMANS: All this escalating Sunday when the President launched a twitter tirade against Corker. Trump tweeted he doesn't have the guts to run again. He supposedly denied Corker's request for endorsement, something that is false. He tweeted back saying it's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

BRIGGS: Wow. The trouble between the senator and the president has been brewing for weeks underscored by this remark from Corker last week.


SEN BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.


BRIGGS: This solemnly heels of Corker three weeks ago questioning the President's stability and competence after he assigned blame for the violence in Charlottesville last summer to both sides. Senator Corker's vote critical to many of the President's legislative goals, including tax reform and foreign policy challenges like the Iran nuclear deal. Congress has to figure that out in 60 days.


BRIGGS: If he de certifies.

ROMANS: And Corker's retiring but he is around all year so, this is really important stuff. Joining us now, CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton University, good morning. Give us some historical context for this, because you have a powerful chairman, someone who wields incredible power about what is going to be the President's agenda in the senate, and he very precisely sat down with the "New York Times" for 25 minutes and carefully laid out an alarm bell about this President saying his personality and his lack of temperament and control could lead to World War III. That is remarkable.

JULIAN ZELIZER, HISTORIAN NAD PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Yes. Look. We've had fights before, so in the 1960s, Senator Fulbright attacked President Lyndon Johnson. What makes this fall off your chair moment is the way in which Senator Corker is publicly attacking the competence and fitness of the President to even handle the job. This is more than about policy. This is about whether he can even be in the oval office.

BRIGGS: And we talked about tax reform. He could lose two Republicans if you have no Democratic support. Bob Corker is a true fiscal conservative. He doesn't want a deal which adds to the deficit which this clearly will. There's the Iran deal. His committee to oversee the hearings for a new Secretary of State if they fire Rex Tillerson. So what is the political impact to all this?

ZELIZER: You put your finger on it. The question is whether Republicans do more than tweet. So we now have the comments, we now had the criticism. But they have a lot of power to make problem for the President. Whether it is taking away votes that he needs or whether to use the congressional power of oversight to hold hearings, conduct investigations and to say and raise to the public what's going on with this White House and what are the dangers we face.

ROMANS: He says he knows for a fact, very carefully laid this out to the New York Times. He knows for a fact that the people around Donald Trump, the three grownups in the room, as many others have quietly said behind the scenes, that those three are trying to contain him and keep him in the middle of the road as they said. Something you remember Anthony Scaramucci have said, there are these people in the White House protecting America from Donald Trump. we keep hearing this kind of esteem again and again.

ZELIZER: That is been coming up to the surface, this idea that some Republicans privately acknowledge we have a problem and that the so called adults in the room are not simply trying to devise policy or have a good control of the White House, they are trying to control the President. But, again, if this is all true, if Senator Corker's comments are correct, then it's incumbent upon Republicans to do something. To take some kind of action and that is what we need to be looking for in the next few years.

[04:05:19] ROMANS: What could they do?

ZELIZER: Well, again, the power of investigation and the power of oversight is where we start. Now you have conversations that will emerge on things like the 25th amendment. That is not where we are right now. But there's many tools that congress has to challenge a President.

BRIGGS: All right. Meanwhile Democrats wondering what happened to the deal that Chuck and Nancy struck with the President in the oval office about dreamers. It looks as though the President might be moving the goal post a little bit with new demands and Pelosi and Schumer put out this statement. Basically we told the president our meeting we are open to reasonable border security measures alongside the dreamers. But this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This list of demands -- we'll put this up for you. Will this kill a deal? And what's the future for the 800,000 dreamers in this country now.

ZELIZER: yes. It's a little bit like Lucy and Charlie Brown. He takes away a program that was already in place and now he throws all these demands when Democrats were thinking of making a deal. It's like moving the football away. This is very hard for Democrats to say yes to. This is not really spirit of compromise, not really a set of ideas that is plausible for the Democrats. So it will be whether the President is willing to give. It's hard to imagine the Democrats saying yes to all this, just to get something they had a few months ago.

ROMANS: This very well to be the opening gambit in the negotiation. We know the president is a negotiator, he could put everything out on the table. It seems as though the Democrats Pelosi and Schumer are saying that his staff did this, not necessarily him if you look at the wording of that statement carefully. I want to talk about quickly about World War III. The President made these comments on Saturday about North Korea that just add to this mystery about what is America's policy and the temperament of this President. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the one thing that --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You'll figure that out pretty soon.


ROMANS: The President claiming that for 25 years American administrations have failed in containing North Korea, that there's one thing that will work and reporters are saying what is the one thing that would work?

I've never heard a President talk like this before. ZELIZER: Yes. I mean look, these comments are frightening to many

people and for others, they raise questions about is there a strategy. Presidents can use bluster and Presidents can say things that are provocative, but it's very important that when they do there's some kind of thought-through strategy and alternative to the bluster that is in place. What we don't know when we hear Senator Corker speak, if there's anything more there. Otherwise, this kind of rhetoric can be incendiary and take us to military confrontation.

ROMANS: We heard Ronald Reagan say, Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall. That was bluster, that was, you know this is not the same level.

ZELIZER: Yes, and he was also negotiating with the Soviet Union over an arms agreement at the same time. With a very skilled team of advisers, we're not sure that is in place right now.

BRIGGS: I want to ask you quickly about the Vice President leaving the game between the colts and 49ers because a couple of 49ers players took a knee. One was it was a waste of taxpayer funds because they were there for a few minutes and two, does this appear to be a manufactured controversy for the Vice President and for the Oval Office?

ZELIZER: Of course it was. Here you have something that started with a protest about race and criminal justice with NFL players who were trying to make a statement about that, not about the anthem, not about patriotism and the White House has consistently used this as a way to appeal to the base. They are turning it into more of an issue than it is. That is what the Vice President Pence did.

BRIGGS: Every time the story seems to die down, they seem to want to pour gasoline on it. He also missed a heck of a football game. It was an OT win.

Ahead, the singer on stage when shots rang out in Las Vegas won't go quietly.



JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: In a world that keeps on pushing me around going to stand my ground.


BRIGGS: More of Jason Aldean's incredible performance and message to victims, Americans in his surprise appearance on "Saturday Night Live."

[04:13:46] BRIGGS: In a rapid fall from grace, media mogul Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the film company he co-founded. The action comes days after "New York Times" investigation revealed incidents of alleged sexual harassment spanning decades. The Board of Directors at the Weinstein company released a statement saying the decision was made in light of new information about misconduct by Weinstein. Some clients have said they may stop working with the company if Weinstein is still associated with it. The so far no immediate comment from Weinstein.

ROMANS: His own brother on that board that said you got to go.

The bright lights that are the trademark of Las Vegas dimmed last for 11 minutes to honor the victims and the heroes of last week tragic mass murder. Many of the strip's flashing lights went dark from 10:05 to 10:15 local time in exactly one week to mimic after those shots rang out.

BRIGGS: The investigation, the police now know the significance of the note handwritten, with the numbers on it found in the shooter's room. Officials say the numbers are calculations for the distance and trajectory from the gunman's 32nd floor window for the audience at the country music concert he was targeting below.


DAVID NEWTON, LAS VEAGS POLICE OFFICER: He must have done the calculations or gone on line to figure it out of what his altitude was going to be, on how high up he was, how far out the crowd was going to be, and what at that distance, what the drop of his bullet was going to be. He hadn't written out the calculations. All he had was written out the final numbers.


[04:15:15] ROMANS: Those were the first people to get to his room. Can you imagine how terrifying.

Amazing. Great work.

Police still trying to work out the gun man's motive. They searched his home. Officials released some of the personal effects left behind in the chaos of the attack and began returning them to their rightful owners.

BRIGGS: Really incredible, his first responders. This is also amazing, country music star Jason Aldean who was performing in Las Vegas as the attack started tried to find some healing this weekend on "Saturday Night Live."


JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: In a world that keeps on watching me around going to stand my ground and I won't back down hey, baby.


BRIGGS: Aldean opened his SNL appearance with a rendition of Tom Petty's hit I won't back down. He gave an emotional tribute to the victims.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALDEAN: We hurt for you and with you. You can be sure that we're

going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable.


BRIGGS: Aldean flew back to Nevada Sunday visiting the University medical center to sit with victims of the shooting.

ROMANS: And the new fan of Jason Aldean.

BRIGGS: He is incredible. He nailed petty too.

ROMANS: He died the same day as that tragedy.

Coming up, can these giant floating balloons help Puerto Rico? The U.S. Government thinks so. The we'll tell you how, next.


[04:21:31] ROMANS: All right. America solves problems and there's a big problem to solve in Puerto Rico. How about this? Giant floating balloons could bring internet and cell service back in Puerto Rico. Right now about 80 percent of the island lacks cell service. Hurricane Maria wiped out infrastructure. It's issuing an experimental license to x. As a moonshot run by company Google. X using giant balloons as floating cell towers, called project Loon. It sends balloons 12 miles into the air, from there, they connect with on the ground telecommunication system. The project works. It helped Peru provide coverage after the country flooded earlier this year. One big difference. Loon conducted tests in Peru for months before going on-line there. In Puerto Rico X is starting from square one. A spokesperson told CNN Project Loon is making solid progress in Puerto Rico, declined to give a time frame. But look. That is a really interesting solution if they can make it work.

The southeast in recovery mode this morning after Nate weakened to a tropical depression late Sunday morning. The storm making landfall with a category one over the weekend, a hurricane causing destruction and flooding. It initially hit south east Louisiana Saturday and made a second landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi hours later.

BRIGGS: They knocked down power to nearly 67,000 homes across the Gulf most in Alabama. Fortunately no deaths or injuries reported here in the U.S. dozens were killed in central America. National hurricane center has dis-continued all warnings and advisories as Nate loses steam. As for what's left let's bring in meteorologist Karen Maginnis.

KAREN MAGINNIS CNN METEOROLOGIST: The national hurricane center not issuing any more advisories regarding Nate. We have seen significant rainfall when it did make landfall over 24 hours ago. In mobile, Alabama they saw rainfall total in excess of 4 and a half inches, up state Georgia and it almost have 5 and half inches of rainfall. Also some wind damage reported in central and southern Alabama, downed trees and down power lines. We saw some flooding in some of these coastal areas here, but now, Nate is just mixing with the frontal system, going to sweep across mid-Atlantic states. Wow, this is from the bottom parking garage of the Hard Rock cafe in Biloxi, Mississippi. Very impressive there, you saw several automobiles. Today is kind of dreary as this moves across. Temperatures running above normal, like New York City, not until Wednesday will we expect temperatures to be even close to normal levels. Back to you guys.

BRIGGS: Karen, thanks. The growing rift getting worse between the United States and Turkey, both countries announcing visitor visas between the countries canceled. The U.S. Embassy in Turkey issued a statement suspending all visa just days after the Turkish President Erdogan had a U.S. employee arrested. Then hours later the Turkey embassy in Washington released an almost identical statement. It exposed the widening rift between the NATO partners over series of disagreements. They also undermine President Trump's vows to repair U.S. ties to Turkey, afraid under the Obama administration.

[04:25:08] ROMANS: All right 25 minutes pass the hour, Republican Senator Bob Corker on the record with careful cutting criticism of the President. After calling the White House an adult day care center. Corker now says the president's actions could lead to World War III.


BRIGGS: President Trump is a concern to anyone who cares about our nation. That from a Republican Senator warning the President's actions could set the nation on a course for World War III.

ROMANS: While you were sleeping the White House released this hard line requirement for immigration deal. The demands threaten to derail the president's deal with Democrats to help dreamers.

BRIGGS: The Vice President takes a hike after NFL take a knee. The but it has some lawmakers throwing a flag asking who's paying for the brief and costly visit and some suggest this may have been a calculated stunt. Welcome back to Early Start I am Dave Briggs.