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Report: 3 Women Accuse Weinstein of Rape; Deadly California Wildfires; Trump's I.Q. Test Boast Versus Tillerson; Team USA Knocked Out of World Cup. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 11, 2017 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:02] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It's that time of the morning, just about the top of the hour. Let's get a check on CNN "Money Stream".

Stock markets around the world are mostly higher. Asian markets closed up. European markets and U.S. stock futures, they -- well, I see Dow futures looked like it's ticked down here. We'll watch it, barely moving we'll call it.

Delta will report earnings before the bell today. Low fuel prices have been a boon for airlines. So, watch for that one. Guns -- I'm sorry, the banks, later, this week, will start to report.

Speaking of guns, the Brady Center suing bump stock manufacturer Slide Fire. The gun control group is seeking damages and counseling for the survivors of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Gunman Stephen Paddock had 12 rifles mounted with bump stocks. Bump stocks speed up the rate of semiautomatic fire to mimic fully automatic fire. Slide Fire has temporarily suspended sales of those bump stocks.

Bump stocks have been selling out at gun shops across the country since the Mandalay Bay massacre. Some retailers say the sales are driven by the fear of consumers that gun restraint legislation will somehow ban these bump stocks. So, they're rushing out to get them so they can fire their semiautomatic weapons like they're automatics.

Hackers are vowing to work with the government to help make few hour elections more secure. A group of hackers showed how easy it is to infiltrate voting machines at a conference last summer. Terrifying. Now, these hackers are forming a coalition to focus on ways to make elections more secure, on the federal, state and local level. Department of Homeland security said 21 state election systems were targeted by Russian hacking in the last election.

Interesting move there.


EARLY START continues right now with the latest on Harvey Weinstein.


ROMANS: New details on the allegations against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. A-list celebrities say they were victims too and horrifying audio of Weinstein seeming to admit to sexual assault.

BRIGGS: And President Trump against his own secretary of state. Jokes about an IQ test. Sources tell CNN maybe not a joke after all.

ROMANS: Seventeen dead now in wildfires in Northern California. More than 100 people are missing and firefighters are still struggling to gain control, a dangerous and active situation in wine country. And another fire raging all the way down south in Anaheim, just a lot of trouble with the wildfires in California.

BRIGGS: Devastating, yes.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, October 11th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East, 2:00 a.m. in California. It is 6:00 p.m. in South Korea.

Let's begin with Harvey Weinstein, accusations of sexual conduct against him. The former Hollywood mogul and Democratic powerbroker, Weinstein, they reach a new low. This as the board of the company he founded insists they knew nothing about the many incidents now being alleged.

"The New York Times" reports that A-list actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, they both say Weinstein made unwanted advances on them on separate occasions in the late 1990s. They've joined a number of growing actresses who have spoken out, making frighteningly similar accusations.

"The New Yorker Magazine" also publishing a story alleging Weinstein raped three women.

BRIGGS: That's a claim Weinstein spokesman categorically rejected. Her statement says in part: Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein who has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. With respect to any women who had made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.

CNN is reaching out for clarification on each specific allegation.

ROMANS: "The New Yorker" also posted audio from a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015. In it, a young model resists Weinstein's efforts to get her into his hotel room and she refers to a previous incident where she says he groped her.

We want to warn you the audio you're about to hear is pretty disturbing.


HARVEY WEINSTEIN, FILM PRODUCER: I'm not going to do anything and you'll never see me again after this. OK? That's it. If you don't -- if you embarrass me in this hotel where I'm staying -- AMBRA GUTIERREZ, MODEL: I'm not embarrassing you --

WEINSTEIN: Just walk --

GUTIERREZ: It's just that I don't feel comfortable.

WEINSTEIN: Honey, don't have a fight with me in the hallway.

GUTIERREZ: It's not nothing, it's --

WEINSTEIN: Please. I'm not going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. On everything, I'm a famous guy.

GUTIERREZ: I'm -- I'm feeling very uncomfortable right now.

WEINSTEIN: Please come in. And one minute. And if you want to leave when the guy comes with my jacket, you can go.

GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?

WEINSTEIN: Oh, please. I'm sorry. Just come on in. I'm used to that.

GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?

WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.


BRIGGS: I'm used to that.

Now, Hillary Clinton finally and the Obamas, finally, whose daughter Malia interned with Weinstein are speaking out against him and the board of the Weinstein Company said the recent allegations come as an utter surprise to the board that they had no knowledge of it.

Joining us now is senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter. He's the host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES".

Good morning to you, Brian.

ROMANS: Hi, Brian.

BRIGGS: Let's start with the latest developments in this story. Where is it headed?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: There was going to be a board meeting today. Instead, the board came out last night with that statement you all shared saying, hey, we did not know about this.

[05:05:04] We are horrified by these allegations, and the board is pledging to do whatever it can to help with whatever ongoing investigations.

You know, right now, the New York police and the L.A. police say there's no open investigations into Harvey Weinstein's conduct. No new accusers who have called the police and alleged wrong doing.

What we have seen is women coming forward through 'The New York Times" and "The New Yorker", and last night, Gloria Allred representing a woman who's also accusing Weinstein of doing wrongdoing. So, the police say they're not investigating, but it doesn't mean the door is completely closed to those possibilities. It is possible we could see a criminal element to this story, police investigations if women call in with those reports.

ROMANS: Two now very powerful women are on the pages of "The New York Times" saying he had made unwanted to them, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. At the time, they were not powerful women. They --

STELTER: Exactly.

ROMANS: -- he was the power player. His wife overnight, someone who is known in her own right as a fashion designer, she told "People Magazine" she's leaving him.

STELTER: That's right. They have two kids together. They've been married for 10 years. In recent days, they were together in Los Angeles, huddled amid this worsening crisis for Weinstein and his company. Last night, she's saying she's going to leave him. No further details from Georgina Chapman about that.

But that was not a surprise to Weinstein and to his friends given the depths of this -- of this scandal.

BRIGGS: We hope he's very happy with the potted plant, but the question might be how did this story not come out sooner? Because in "The New Yorker" it says all 16 women who had accusations there said the behavior was widely known within Miramax and the Weinstein Company. How was this story buried and hidden for so long?

STELTER: Partly, it was Weinstein's power to keep things buried, meaning when reporters would sometimes try to pursue allegations about his misconduct, he would find ways to make the stories go away or make the stories so watered down that they ended up not having much impact. But there was more than just that. It was also a culture of looking the other way, of not wanting to look too deeply at what he might be doing in the halls or in the hotel rooms in these cases.

That audio tape from 2015 I think shows this was a decades long pattern. Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, these now A-list stars, they say they were harassed in the 1990s. We know there were settlements as early as 1990, according to "The New York Times", but it goes up until recently until 2015.

Weinstein told his friends he's been seeking help in the past year or so. But that's also the same time "The New Yorker" and "New York Times" started calling around. So, you'll wonder if he only really started to profess to change his ways when it was clear the reporters were actually for the first time able to interview women on the record.

You know, I spoke to one of the accusers yesterday, Asia Argento. She's one of the women accusing Weinstein of rape. She says, this is our truth.

I said, what do you want to see happen? Do you want to see Weinstein charged? Do you want to see him prosecuted? She said, I just want people to know what happened. This is our truth and people should know it.

BRIGGS: That audio recording well within the statute of limitations on those crimes. So --

ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Brian.

BRIGGS: Thank you, Brian.

ROMANS: We'll talk to you again very, very soon.

All right. President Trump adding to questions about whether he respects and supports his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The president suggesting that the two men could square off in an IQ test after Tillerson reportedly called him a moron.

Here's what President Trump told "Forbes Magazine", I think it's fake news. But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests and I can tell you who's going to win.

The White House claims the president was joking when he made that comment. Not so says CNN's Jim Acosta, who tells us that may not be the case.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, a source tells CNN President Trump was not joking when he said that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should square IQ tests. The source close to the White House said the president was upset about being called a moron and spouted off about Tillerson's intelligence because he was mad.

That's contrary to what White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters when she insisted the president was just joking and that the press should get a sense of humor. Here's what he had to say.

SARA HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke, nothing more than that.

He has full confidence -- he has full confidence in the secretary of state, that he wasn't questioning the secretary of state's intelligence. He made -- he made a joke. Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime, but he simply made a joke.

ACOSTA: The White House is also pushing back on Republican Senator Bob Corker who said the president could be leading the country into World War III. Sarah Sanders told reporters Corker was entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. This from a White House that's use the term "alternative facts" -- Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: Jim Acosta, a very busy Jim Acosta at the White House for us.


ROMANS: Let's bring in CNN politics digital director Zach Wolf live to us from Washington.

Good morning.

Let's talk about this sort of IQ showdown and we can all write down on a piece of paper and see what our IQs are.

[05:10:03] We can pass them around and try to figure out --

BRIGGS: I'm not in on that.

ROMANS: -- who belongs to which. No, I'm just getting kidding.

But the president, he -- you know, Sarah Sanders said the media needs to grow a sense of humor, but the president has talked about IQ before. The president has relished what he thinks is his sky high IQ before, again and again.

Let's listen to a little bit of that.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I went to an Ivy League school. I went to the Wharton School of Finance.

I know I have an IQ better than all of them. I know that.

I guarantee you, my IQ is much higher than theirs.

Governor Perry, very nice guy. He made nasty statements about me and then I challenged his IQ.

I keep hearing about global warming and they'll say he doesn't understand. No, I don't understand. Let's do IQ tests.

Some of the pundits, you know, the guys -- believe me, we're much smarter than them. IQ-wise, not even a contest.

I guarantee, my IQ is much higher than any of these people.

I want to match my IQ with some of those guys. With all of them.


ROMANS: Does it remind a little bit that it's a joke, or is the president always joking about IQ?

ZACHARY WOLF, CNN POLITICS DIGITAL DIRECTOR: Well, you know, maybe it's some offhand thing he does and in his mind, he's joking. But he doesn't sound like a joke and he brought it up in the way that he really sort of wanted to have the battle of the brains with his secretary of state and I'm not sure what that's going to accomplish when these guys are supposed to have the united front against North Korea, which is pursuing a nuclear weapon. So, keep your eyes on the prize.

BRIGGS: Measuring IQs and measuring height with a prominent Republican senator with this latest tweet against Bob Corker calling him liddle', not a word, doesn't need an apostrophe, unless he meant lil', but let's get to the point of this. He's now recycling nicknames, though he wants to bring back coal.

Recycling nicknames, is this something the White House thinks is effective.

WOLF: You know, I don't think we can ascribe some strategy to Trump's tweets. We've been trying to do that for a couple of years. I don't think it's there other than it's what he uses to go after people and he's going to continue to do that. He was not ready to let up with Bob Corker, but you know, I'm -- I'm not the person who's going to say we should say oh, the White House meant to do this with Trump's tweets. I think he just tweeted it.

ROMANS: You know, I think you're right. What's so interesting to me there are some who are close to the president, talk to the president, supporters of the president who say this works, they think that this works. When the president is out there throwing insults, his base likes it. They like that he's forceful. It makes him look strong and in command.

But you make a good point about the secretary of state. If he's supposed to be the face of American diplomacy around the world and the president is undermining him or questioning his intellect, how can he be an advocate for the United States of America and for the president if he's being undermined by him? It almost feels like this is a Trump company, not the United States of America that he's running.

WOLF: Yes, and, you know, we've all talked about the moron-gate we can call it or something like that, the IQ-off, but earlier he had undercut Tillerson when he was trying to negotiate with people saying he was wasting his time with North Korea and going after his policy is actually probably a more troubling thing if you take a step back from this.

BRIGGS: Yes, it's interesting when people say that that's how he does business, going back decades, people that worked with the president as a real estate guy said that's how he does business.

Let me ask you about something in this "Forbes" article where he talks about on and off again how much legislation they've gotten passed. More than any administration ever on record and then Sarah Sanders criticizes the Senate for being on vacation and doing nothing, getting nothing accomplished. How do you square that circle in the Trump administration?

WOLF: Well, he said he's been wildly successful at getting things done legislatively. It's just not true. They haven't gotten enacted any of the major legislative priorities that they wanted to do. We're talking about Obamacare repeal, we're talking about tax reform and by the way, you know, getting into a pitch fight with Bob Corker is not going to help you pass tax reform when you need every Republican vote to do just about anything.

So, there is just no factual basis for him being the most successful president legislatively at this point.

ROMANS: He also said yesterday that the U.S. is the highest taxed country in the world. It is not. The U.S. is not the highest taxed country in the world. That is false.

BRIGGS: Sarah Sanders tried to explain her way out of that as well.

ROMANS: By like making a different case. But one quick point I'll make about tax reform, Zach, that I think is so important. The IMF yesterday released its growth forecast for the next couple of years and did not include tax reform for the first time. There was always the supposition that there would be tax reform, and this time did not, which caught a lot of people by surprise, because even the economic forecasters saying maybe they won't get it done.

[05:15:06] BRIGGS: All right. Zach, we'll talk to you in about 30 minutes. Thank you so much.

WOLF: Sounds good.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, also the deadly wildfires raging in northern California. Firefighters unable to bring them under control. We'll have the latest for you next.


BRIGGS: All right. Turning now to the wildfires raging in California from the north to the south. At least 17 people have been confirmed dead. Hundreds more hospitalized and authorities are warning that the death toll is certain to rise.

At least 2,000 buildings have been destroyed or damaged and more than 100,000 acres burned, just devastating images here.

CNN's Dan Simon has more from Santa Rosa, in the heart of California wine country.


[05:20:00] DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, authorities are still evacuating people from danger, the flames still advancing on people's homes. At this point, about 180 people are reported missing. That does not necessarily mean they are believed to be dead. It could just mean that there is a communication issue.

We are in the Coffee Park neighborhood, really devastation as far as the eye can see. Not a single home left standing.

Still so many people evacuated, 20,000 or so. The evacuation centers are filled. The need is great. They need clothes, they need children's toys.

Meantime, officials say that the death toll is at 17. They've begun releasing the identities. They include an elderly couple, the husband 100 years old, the wife 98 years old, unable to leave their home as the flames advanced -- Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: That is just the saddest story.

BRIGGS: Heartbreaking story there, yes.

All right. A dark day for the men of U.S. soccer. Team USA fails to qualify for the World Cup --


BRIGGS: -- for the first time in 30 years. Coy Wire with the details in the "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:25:32] BRIGGS: Oh, this story blowing up online overnight. Team USA's World Cup hopes and dreams dashed.

ROMANS: Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report". Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave.

Frustration, devastation for American soccer fans. For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. men's soccer team will not be playing in the World Cup. Team USA held their own fate in their own hands. They're facing Trinidad and Tobago last night, who is ranked 99th in the world, by the way. All they needed to do to advance was to win or probably even tie, just don't beat yourself, right?

Well, they did just that literally. An own goal contributing to a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, ending a run of seven straight appearances on the biggest stage in soccer.

In a memo to all 32 teams, Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear he wants players to stand for the national anthem saying, quote: The dispute is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game and is now dividing us and our players from many fans across the country.

Now, one player at the forefront on the push for equality ands kneeling during the national anthem, Eagles safety, Malcolm Jenkins, he had this to say.


MALCOLM JENKINS, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES SAFETY: You can try to do whatever you want to do, that's not going to deter players from doing what's right or doing what they believe is right. And so, you might be able to change the manner in which that looks, but I don't see players stopping their pursuit for, you know, justice or equality.


WIRE: An emotional moment in Las Vegas before the Golden Knights played their first home in franchise history. The team honored the first responders and victims of the mass shooting with 58 seconds of silence for the 58 lives that were taken. The victims' names shown on the ice. Defenseman Deryk Engelland played minor league hockey in Vegas about 14 years ago, has called Vegas his home ever since. He spoke to the crowd.


DERYK ENGELLAND, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS DEFENSEMAN: I met my wife here, my kids are born here and I know how special this city is. To the families and friends of the victims, know that we'll do everything we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas strong.


WIRE: Engelland would go on to score a goal-leading Vegas to a 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes, Christine, Dave, the Golden Knights are now the first expansion team in NHL history to start a season 3-0.

BRIGGS: Yes, that's in more than 100 years. And ironic America's team emerging right now. Good for them. Thank you, Coy.

ROMANS: Thanks, Coy.

WIRE: You're welcome.

ROMANS: Twenty-eight minutes past the hour.

As if it couldn't get more disturbing, there are new allegations against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. How is it that the board of the company he cofounded can claim they never knew a thing? Just ahead.