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President Trump In Philippines; Moore, I Will Fight Sex Misconduct Accusations; Trump Insults Kim Jong-un; Ex-Intel Chief Blast Trump. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 13, 2017 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:14] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump teasing a big announcement on trade abroad as he faces new questions about whether he challenged the Philippine leader over human rights.

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Plus Republican candidate Alabama Roy Moore saying he will fight accusations that he pursued relationships with girls under 18 years old. Good morning and welcome to Early Start, I am Alex Marquardt.

ROMANS: Nice to see this Monday morning, I'm Christine Romans, it is Monday November 13 it is 4:00 a.m. in the east and 5:00 p.m. in Manila. It is noon in Moscow. President Trump in the Philippines this morning for ASEAN summit, his final stop in Asia. Just a few hours ago he met with India's Prime Minister. Before that President Trump first sit down with the controversial President of the Philippines Roderigo Duterte. White House saying behind closed doors the President briefly brought up Duterte's human rights record. Duterte's spokesman however flatly saying, human rights was not brought up.

MARQUARDT: President Trump also meeting overnight with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Abe and Turnbull vowing to work with U.S. on answering the North Korea threat and President Trump saying he has met some of the important goals on trade.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've made some very big steps with respect to trade, far bigger than anything you know. This has been a very fruitful trip for us and in all fairness for other nations. The way they treated us, the respect of Japan and China and South Korea particular, because we went there, have been really a great respect to the people of our country and the people of the United States. We very much appreciate it.


ROMANS: The President not saying exactly what those big steps on trade are, but vowing an announcement Wednesday once he is back on American soil. Senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny live for us this morning in Manila with the very latest, good morning. JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning

Christine and Alex. We are on the final leg of the president's trip to Asia and the stop in Manila was always one that could have been problematic and controversial, in fact some aide were hoping the president would end his trip in Vietnam where he was yesterday. But he did come here to the Philippines to meet with the controversial President Roderigo Duterte and other leaders, he is trying to keep the focus on trade and North Korea trying to keep our World Leaders engage on that. But it was the question of whether human rights came up in that one-on-one meeting that is causing some discrepancy and more controversy this morning. The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, she is telling reporters that President Trump brought up the controversial and in fact bloody human rights record of Rodrigo Duterte. He is spokesperson is saying, look it did not come up at all. So we do know that President Trump did not dwell on this. His spokeswoman said he talked about it only briefly. We have seen protests here in the streets against this President. But he is saying some what the opposite. He said today that he believes the five Asian capitals has been a smashing success. He said the red carpet has been rolled out for him. Let's watch.


TRUMP: The red carpet like nobody I think probably has ever received, and that really is a sign of respect, perhaps for me a little bit but really for our country and I'm very proud of that.


ZELENY: So the President there saying this trip has been a success, but Christine and Alex, as you were saying the president thinks, he'll give a speech on Wednesday, when he comes back to the White House about trade. We will not know until then and of course and in months to come, what actually did come out of this 13 day Asian tour.

ROMANS: All right Jeff Zeleny for you flowing it on very closely there in manila. Thank you, Sir.

MARQUARDT: President Trump taking a moment from his big Asia trip to use both the carrot and the stick on North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un. Insulting his appearance and pondering the possibility of friendship. All in just one tweet. Tweeting why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me old when I would never call him short and fat. Oh, well, I try so hard to be his friend and maybe someday that will happen.

ROMANS: At a news conference the president suggested it is not impossible that he could be friends with the leader he has called little rocket man.


TRUMP: Strange things happen in life. That might be a strange thing to happen but certainly a possibility. If that did happen, it would be a good thing for -- I can tell you -- for North Korea. It would be good for other places and the world.


ROMANS: Trump insulted Kim Jong-un after North Korean officials called him a dotard meaning senile old man and a warmonger. Meantime tensions could likely to ease on a North Korea peninsula. Today, a North Korea soldier was shot and injured overnight while (inaudible) to the South of the DMZ.

[04:05:11] MARQUARDT: President Trump backtracking from his suggestion that he believes President Vladimir Putin of Russia, over his own intelligence agencies on the subject of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. At a news conference in Vietnam the President put a different spin on his comments about the Russian meter but still shopped short of an endorsement of the U.S. Intelligence assessment.


TRUMP: I believe that he feels, that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As for whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our Intel agencies, our intelligence agencies, I've worked with them very strongly.


ROMANS: That followed earlier remarks the President made on air force one when he referred to Obama era intelligence chiefs as quote political hacks. After that comment the CIA released a statement reaffirming Russia's election interference.

MARQUARDT: One of those so called hacks, the president single out by name was former CIA Director John Brennan. He tells CNN that Mr. Trump may be jeopardizing national security.


JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: I think what, by not confronting the issue directly and not acknowledging to Putin that we know that you're response be for this, I think he is giving Putin a pass and I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome.


MARQUARDT: Now, let's go live to Moscow and bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen, Fred, how are the Russians reacting to all of this?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Good morning, well they're actually reacting positively to all of this. That controversy about whether the President said that he believes Vladimir Putin over the intelligence agencies, well the Russians are giving that a bit of a different spin. The big head line here in Moscow is the U.S. President wants to improve relations with Russia. Exactly that very point about whether Trump believes the agencies or Vladimir Putin, well the Russia state media turn that into, while the President relies on his intelligence agencies, he still thinks that relations with the Russian federation need to improve. That is something that the Russians say they want to work on. They have say they're not exactly sure when that is going to happen, but you can clearly see how they're taking very positive vibes from those informal meetings.

One of the big, I wouldn't say controversies at APEC, but whether or not there was going to be a formal meeting between President Trump and the Russian president Vladimir Putin. We know that it did not take place. The Russians are now saying that is not a problem at all. They had three informal meetings and actually got a lot done. The Russians keep pointing to the joint declaration that the U.S. and Russia signed on Syria and possible cooperation at least getting out of each other's way in Syria. Russians giving a positive spin to all this. I want to emphasize to you guys that the Russians really are changing the way they're talking about the Trump administration from what we've seen only a couple weeks ago when they really seemed to be down on the administration. It does seems to be a more positive posture now Alex.

MARQUARDT: All right Fred, thanks to you. Fred Pleitgen in Moscow.

Now, a deadly 7.3 magnitude earthquake has rocked the Iraqi City of Hallabja, that is located near the countries border with Iran about 220 miles north of Baghdad. State run television in Iran reporting at least 328 people killed in that country with over 2500 injured. Fatalities also being reported on across the border in Iraq with dozens hurt. The quake was felt throughout Iraq and as far away as Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey.

ROMANS: All right. Senate Republican begin mocking up their version of the tax bill today. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin says the plan will spell tax relief for most middle class Americans but he stopped short of promising every family would get a break.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: By simplifying the code we're pitting everybody on a level playing field. We've literally run hundreds if not thousands of examples within treasury. And for most people, may not be 100 percent, but both the house and senate version provide middle income tax relief.


ROMANS: That was on CNN yesterday and it comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backtracked similar claims. McConnell told the "New York Times" he misspoke in promising nobody in the middle class would get a tax hike. Under the GOP plan, congressional study find 11 percent of middle class households would pay more taxes in 2019. Nearly 1 in 5 would may more taxes by 2027, something Mnuchin says President Trump doesn't want, adding lawmakers will fine tune the bill before the President signs it.

[04:10:03] You know, this is first and foremost, corporate tax relief. That is what this bill is all about. And this idea that everyone in the middle class would get a tax cut, just not true. There will be some families, depending on where you live, high tax states, how many kids you have. Who would pay a little bit more probably?

MARQUARDT: People really trying to come to an understanding of this.

ROMANS: Exactly.

MARQUARDT: All right. Roy Moore the Republican candidate for the senate in Alabama says he'll fight accusations and he pursued teenage girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30's, we'll have an update from Alabama next.


MARQUARDT: The Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore insisting he will stay in the race and fight back against allegations he pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls. Republicans are now deeply anxious about that reporting by "the Washington Post" which includes an alleged sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his early 30's. Members of the Trump administration on a Sunday show joining the President and saying Moore should step down if the allegations are true.


04:15:10] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If more evidence comes out that can prove he did this, then sure. By all means he should be disqualified but that is a huge if.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I also want to make sure that we, as a nation, are not always prosecuting people through the press. He has denied the allegations. I've read the stories. I've heard not the testimony and the evidence, but what people are saying publicly. I denounce that conduct. If the allegations are true, he should step aside.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: I only know what I see on TV and what I read on paper but if the allegations prove to be true, he should step down.


ROMANS: Washington Post spoke to the 30 corroborating sources. None of the administration officials you just saw would directly say whether they personally believe these women. Moore denies the accusations and he suggested the whole thing is a setup.


ROY MOORE, (R) ALABAMA: These attacks involve a minor. They're completely false and untrue. I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone. These allegations came only four and a half weeks before the general election on December 12th. Why now?


MARQUARDT: Why now? Moore also saying last night that he plans to sue "the Washington Post" and that he'll investigate the charges against him. Meantime, some Republicans are still taking Moore's side, former White House strategist Steve Bannon saying until he sees more evidence he is quote standing with Moore. That is a view from the political players, CNN's Martin Savidge asked Alabama voters what they think.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Roy Moore continues to deny the allegations brought against him and it's important to know that some of the strongest support he is received throughout his political career has come from Christian conservatives. And so with this allegations, we want to know what church goers think. We talked to some and you get interesting reactions including this gentlemen, who from the get-go says I'm not voting for him, but there is twist. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roy Moore is my friend. I am a Democrats and I am not going to vote for him, because I'm a Democrat. But I've known him a long, long time. The thing that bothers me about the charges is that he is been in public life, run for many offices, and as many times as this happened, no one's ever said anything until now. And I don't think it comes from any place except Washington. It comes from the Republican Party.

SAVIDGE: He makes reference that he does believe this is some kind of political conspiracy to basically thwart the campaign of Roy Moore. But he is blaming Republicans. You might think that oh, that could be something the Democrats would do. Many people here have come forward and they say they belief it's the mainstream Republican Party that is trying to derail Roy Moore's campaign chances. He is not really popular with them. There are others coming out in support of these women. They know they'll telling the truth, as for why they came forward now, it has nothing to do with trying to derail a campaign. It's because reporters from "the Washington Post" came and asked them about it. And so, that is the timing question. But, it is that timing issue that has many here still skeptical. Christine and Alex.

ROMANS: All right. Martin Savidge thank you for that. Former Vice President Joe Biden says he has not given consideration to run in 2020 yet. This is how he explain it in a new interview with Oprah.


OPRAH WINFREY, OPRAH SHOW HOST: Has there been a thought or consideration for 2020?

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: No, no the yet. I said that not yet because I'm a great respecter of fate. I don't plan on running. I don't know what things are going to be two years from now. I just don't know. I promise you I'm not doing anything to organize running but I'm going to go out there and continue to do what I've done since I was 26 years old.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Also taking a look back at the 2016 race saying that in

hindsight he feels he could have beaten Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

MARQUARDT: And Biden expressed disappointment that he is not the President right now.


BIDEN: I have a regret that I am not President. Because I think there's so much opportunity. I think America's so incredibly well positioned. But I don't regret the decision I made because it was the right decision for my family. Oprah, no woman or man should announce they're running for President unless they can answer two questions, one, do they truly believe they're the most qualified person at the moment. I believe I was. But was I prepared to be able to give my whole heart, my whole soul and all my attention to the endeavor. And I knew I wasn't.


MARQUARDT: Biden announced in October of 2015 that he would not run for President. He said he just could not give total focus to the presidential campaign following the death of his eldest son from brain cancer earlier that year.

ROMANS: He was talking to Oprah about his book that is out now. We'll be hearing more from him. He is doing another interview this morning. All right. The Trump administration is drafting a plan for Middle East peace. The team in charge headed up by the president senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Also working on the deal chief negotiator Jayson Greenblatt, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Pal and he was ambassador to Israel David Freedman. The push comes after months of meeting with Israel officials. President Trump considers himself the ultimate deal maker has made lasting Middle East peace a top priority. Green blat tells CNN the administration will not put an artificial timeline on rolling out that deal.

MARQUARDT: Now moving memorial to the victims of last week shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The site of the Texas massacre transformed just ahead.


[04:25:42] ROMANS: The first Baptist church in Sutherland Springs holdings the first Sunday worshipped service since a gunman massacred 25 of its members and an un-born child, one week ago. The inside of the church opened to the public last night serving as a memorial to the lives lost. Let's get more this morning from CNN's Kaylee Hartung.


KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alex, Christine, there are 26 chairs inside the sanctuary. 26 chairs in the place that each victim's body was found. As you walk among the chairs and you see the names painted in gold lettering, you see where Joann Ward threw her body down in effort to shield her children from gunfire. You see the advantage point that Karla had, the loan chair sitting at the church's altar. Each chair with a red rose in it, one chair with a pink rose for the unborn baby Holcomb. The church leaders expressed a sense of urgency to reopen the church's doors for this church to be a part of the healing process, for it to bring close to some, particularly the victims families. The first staff of congregation will hold next Sunday's worship service on its church's grounds. Alex, Christine.


MARQUARDT: Thanks to Kaylee there. The suspect in a stabbing incident at the mall of America in Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington is now in custody after what police describe as an interrupted theft. Police say the suspect attempted to steal a man's belongings on a dressing room on Sunday night when the man caught him, the suspect pulled out a knife stabbing the man and his relative who intervened. The men got the knife away from the suspect and kept him subdued until the police arrived. The victims were then taken to the hospital. The good news, their injuries are not life threatening.

ROMANS: All right. The White House insists the President Trump brought up human rights to the president of the Philippines. Philippines says no, it did not happened. We are live in Manila next.