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Trump Teases Trade Abroad Announcement. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 13, 2017 - 5:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But GE is the biggest DOW loser by a long shot. One third of its market value vanished this year alone so GE's new CEO is under pressure to spark a turn around. Analysts expect him to announce a dividend cut and layoffs during an investor meeting today. So watch GE.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Early Start continues right now. President Trump teasing a big announcement on trade abroad as he faces new questions about challenging Philippines leaders over human rights.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Plus Republican candidate for Senate is Alabama Roy Moore says he'll fight accusations he pursued relationships with girls under 18 years old. Good morning and welcome to Early Start. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUARDT: And I'm Alex Marquardt, it is Monday November 13th. It's 5 am in the East, 6:30 in Pyongyang, North Korea and 6 pm in Manila. President Trump is in the Philippines this morning for the ASEAN Summit which is his final stop on his Asia tour. Just a short time ago, he met with India's prime minister. Before

that, President Trump's first sit down with a controversial president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte. The White House now saying that behind closed doors, the president briefly brought up Duterte's questionable human rights record. Duterte's spokesman however flatly saying that human rights were not brought up.

ROMANS: President Trump also meeting over night with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Abe and Turnbull vowing to work with the U.S. on answering the North Korean threat. And President Trump says he's met some important goals on Trade.


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

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: The president not saying exactly what those big steps on trade are, but vowing announcement on Wednesday once he's back on American soil. Our senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny is live for us this morning in Manila with the latest. Jeff, President Duterte is accused of having his forces commit extrajudicial killings by the thousands, that's in the name of fighting drug trafficking. Do we know that if President Trump really did confront him about those accusations?

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Alex, good morning. That is essential question that is still hanging over the presidents final stop on his trip here in Manila. Of course it was one of the questions going in, would President Trump confront President Duterte as many human rights groups were hoping he would. The White House is saying that the president briefly discussed this, that he briefly talked about this.

But we're getting a different story from the office of the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. His spokesman said look, it did not come up. So human rights groups are now saying that they believe that -- that the Philippine government with distort this difference here.

But moving beyond all this, we do know that the President Trump did not press him extensively on this. They did talk about it trade, also talked about North Korea. But this came on a day when the president started here but the bounce in his step, he was ending his trip, nearly the end of it here and he talked about how the red carpet, in his words, has been rolled out across Asia.


TRUMP: There's a red carpet like nobody I think has probably 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 it shows in one respect the flattery that President Trump has received and seen across this trip is paying off in that regard. But Christine and Alex, we will find out if the substance actually follows this. The president is due to give a speech, comes back to the White House on Wednesday on trade and possibly North Korea as well. Guys.

MARQUARDT: The president does like his red carpets. Our thanks to Jeff Zeleny in the Filipino capital.

ROMANS: And military parades. Military parades are red carpets. OK. 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 one tweet.

Here it is, Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me old, when I would never call him short and fat? Oh well, I try to be -- I try hard -- try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen."

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


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


MARQUARDT: CNN's Will Ripley, the only American network news correspondent, I believe on his 17th trip to the North Korean capital is live for us this morning in Pyongyang. Will, what are you hearing there on the ground?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Alex. Yes, it was a strange and surreal few hours over the weekend. Where first there was that tweet from the president. Then he gives this press conference in Vietnam talking about the possibility of a friendship with North Korea's leader.

And the sense that I got when I showed his remarks to the North Korean officials we were with, and again, this is not an official response. We don't have that yet. But it was a real, I guess a sticks and stones kind of feeling. You know, the insults, they don't seem to really resonate here anymore. And frankly, the talk of friendship doesn't resonate here either.

The North Korean's felt if anything, President Trump, but hinting at the possibility of being friends, they -- they almost viewed that as a -- as a cunning attempt in their words to try to dissuade North Korea from rounding off its nuclear program. But clearly that -- that statement in North Korean media over the weekend, once again, reviving that old insult for President Trump, calling him a dotard and saying that they will not stop moving forward their advance.

Advance meaning their nuclear program. They talked about reckless remarks from President Trump. Clearly, the North Koreans feel that they've heard enough and they said that to us. They've heard enough and they are resolute.

They are doubling down on their -- on their vow to finalize their nuclear program which means nuclear tests and missile launches. And we know they threatened everything from the world's first thermonuclear above ground detonation in almost four decades to launching a salvo of missiles towards Guam.

Neither of those two highly provocative tests have happened yet. But the sense I get is that North Koreans are still determined to go through with -- with -- with taking measures to finalize the nuclear program and to prove that the United States that they've done that. And so in other words, the world shouldn't be complacent just because North Korean hasn't conducted a test in around two months. Alex?

MARQUARDT: Will, just to ask you quickly about something you touched on there, when the president does tweet these things like calling Kim Jong-un short and fat and little rocket man, how do officials respond to that? Do they take it lightly? Do they take it seriously?

RIPLEY: It's obviously taken very seriously in that you know, in mindset of this country, any insult of their supreme leadership is just about the strongest crime that one can commit.

And so to have the head of states, the president of the United States, you know, throwing these demeaning insults at the way of their leader, keep in mind though, North Korea has been throwing demeaning insults at U.S. leaders for many years, very derogatory nick names for everybody from President Obama to Senator Clinton and of course now, President Trump here, the common terminology they call him, a dotard or an old lunatic.

MARQUARDT: All right. Our Will Ripley in the North Korean capital with unparalleled access.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely. All right. President Trump backtracking from his suggestion that he believes Vladimir Putin 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 leader, but still stopped short of a full throated endorsement of U.S. intelligence assessments.


TRUMP: I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to 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.


MARQUARDT: That followed early remarks that the president made on Air Force One when he referred to Obama era intelligence chiefs as political hacks. After that comment, the CIA released a statement reaffirming that they believe Russia meddled in the election. One of the so called hacks the president singled by name was former CIA Director John Brennan. He tells CNN that Mr. Trump may be jeopardizing American national security.

ROMANS: All right. Let's bring in Washington Post political reporter, Eugene Scott. Good morning Eugene, let's stay here on -- on the subject of -- of Russia and what the president or does not think about those assessments. He has been very loathed (ph) to endorse any of those assessments. And it looks as though he backtracked a little bit over the -- over the weekend. Let's listen to what John Brennan, the former CIA director said to Jake (ph) about how all this plays into the -- you know, what Putin wants, what the Russian's want.


JOHN BRENNAN; FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I think what by not confronting the issue directly and not acknowledging to Putin that we know that you're responsible for this, I think he's 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 worry some from a national security standpoint.


ROMANS: It's really remarkable. It's really remarkable Eugene to sit here and listen to, you know, former intel chiefs talk so directly about the -- the risk they think that this president is in his dealings with Russia.

EUGENE SCOTT, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely, and much of the push back you saw to Donald Trump's initial response to his communication with Putin, there was concern about the national security implications of having more confidence in the Russian president than the American intelligence community.

We saw Senator John McCain tweet this. And there's significant concern about what that could mean for the future relationship between this country and Russia. In that tweet, we saw the president that he's really interested in having a good relationship with Russia and called American critics haters and fools for just even questioning whether or not he was aware of the danger involved in not seeming to initially accept (ph) the intelligence community's findings as eagerly as he seemed to accept Putin's conclusion.

MARQUARDT: And Eugene, (ph) just switching gears for a second. We know that you've been covering the Roy Moore allegations down in Alabama. Let's listen quickly to what White House officials have been saying about them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If more evidence comes out that can prove that -- that -- that he can -- he did this, then sure, by all means -- by all means he should be disqualified. But that's -- that's a huge if.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 publically. I denounce that conduct. And if the allegations are true, he should step aside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I only know what I see on T.V. and what I read on the paper. But if the allegations prove to be true, he should step down.


MARQUARDT: If the allegations prove to be true. Of course those allegations almost 40 years after the fact would be very hard to prove, Eugene, (ph) because no more evidence will come out. The White House, like Roy Moore, does not like to give in to pressure. Do you expect them to change their stance towards Moore?

SCOTT: I think they will change their stance if Alabamans change their stance. If they see polling numbers supporting that Roy Moore cannot win this election, I think they will work with the Governor of Alabama, who has the power to change -- to delay the election date to get a new candidate in there, or at least figure out what they can do as an alternative.

If they think there's some political consequences for this, I do think they will change their tune. As of right now, I think they find themselves being able to lean on the if there is no proof or if there is no evidence to cover themselves. The problem is, as we all know, it's incredibly difficult to prove that these types of things happen if they even -- if they would have happen today, much less 40 years ago.

And so this additional evidence they say they would like to see is likely not going to happen.

ROMANS: And the question is will this sway voters in Alabama at all? You know, you've already seen some evangelical voters who've been saying this -- this does -- this is not going to change their mind. The Washington Post, oh that's Washington, you know? They -- they -- they just don't -- they just...

MARQUARDT: They see a conspiracy.

ROMANS: They see a conspiracy, right.

SCOTT: Yes. I mean, we've seen polling that says some evangelical voters are now even more likely to vote for Moore after these allegations. And I think that's in part because we're dealing in very tribalistic times. A lot of Alabama voters on the right are so committed to the Republican party and it's ideals that anything coming from the Washington Post, the mainstream media, Washington D.C. itself is immediately dismissed.

What they fail to acknowledge is that these accusers are from Alabama and one of them said she's a Republican who voted for Donald Trump. And so it's not outside people bringing these issues up, it's people that they consider like themselves.

ROMANS: I will say it is -- it is just a -- a quick note to button it up, it is amazing journalism. You know, these reporters were hearing rumors, you know, on the ground and then, you know, tracked down these women and -- and got their -- got their stories on the record. You know, that is journalism.

MARQUARDT: And that's really important to note, because amid these conspiracy -- people believing these conspiracies, they're asking why now. And we do have to repeat that it is the Washington Post reporters' good old-fashioned shoe leather journalism...

ROMANS: Right. MARQUARDT: ...who went out, they heard these stories and they found

these women and convinced them to tell their stories.

ROMANS: Right.

SCOTT: And listen to the -- I'm sorry, just to the why now piece.


SCOTT: I mean, we had some Alabama political reporters on CNN talking to Anderson Cooper, saying that these rumors have been floating for years. These -- this didn't pop up just out of nowhere, but to...



SCOTT: ...your point, they had to really hit the ground and try to talk to these victims, because victims have such a difficult time telling their stories so often.

ROMANS: All right.

MARQUARDT: All right.

ROMANS: Eugene Scott, political reporter, The Washington Post. We'll talk to you again in a few minutes. Thank you, sir.

SCOTT: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Senate Republicans begin marking up their version of the tax bill today. The Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, he says the plan will spell tax relief for most middle class Americans. But he stopped short of promising that every single family will get a break.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, UNITED STATES: By simplifying the code. We're putting everybody on a level playing field. We've literally run hundreds if not thousands of examples within treasury and where most people -- and again, it may not be 100 percent, but by far, the majority, both the House and Senate version provide middle income tax relief.


ROMANS: That was on CNN yesterday and comes after Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell walked back his claims that nobody in the middle class would see a tax hike, telling the New York Times he misspoke. Under the GOP plan, a congressional study finds 11 percent of middle class households would pay more in the year 2019.

Nearly one in five would pay more by the year 2027, something Mnuchin says President Trump does not want. He says lawmakers will fine tune the bill before the President signs it. MARQUARDT: And Roy Moore, the candidate for Senate in Alabama says he

will fight accusations that he pursued teenage girls as young as 14 when he was in his early 30s. We'll have an update from Alabama coming up next.


MARQUARDT: Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is insisting he will stay in the race and fight back against allegations he pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls. Republicans are deeply anxious about reporting by the Washington Post that Moore pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls, including an alleged sexual encounter with a 14 year old when he was in his 30's.

Members of the administration on the Sunday shows joining President Trump in saying Moore should step down if the allegations are true.

ROMANS: That said none of the administration officials who spoke would directly say whether they personally believe these women. Moore last night denied the accusations and vowed to fight back.


ROY MOORE, SENATE CANIDATE: (INAUDIBLE) Another attack on my character and reputation (INAUDIBLE) desperate people to stop my political campaign. These attacks involve a minor child are completely false and untrue. And people say...


MARQUARDT: In the meantime some Republicans are still taking Moore's side including former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, who said at an event in South Carolina that until he sees more evidence, he is standing with Moore.

So, that's a view from the political players. CNN's Martin Savage asked Alabama voters what they think.


MARTIN SAVAGE, CNN REPORTER: Roy Moore continues to vehemently deny the allegations that have been brought against him and it's important to know that some of the strongest support he has received throughout his political career, not just this campaign, has come from Christian conservatives.

And so with these allegations, we wanted to know what were church goers thinking. We talked to some and you get some interesting reactions including this gentleman who from the get go says I'm not voting for him but there's a twist. Listen.

(MALE): Roy Moore's my friend. I'm a democrat; I'm 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 those charges is that he's been in public life, run for many offices and as many times as this happened, no one ever said anything until now. And I don't think it comes from anyplace except Washington. It comes from Washington; it comes from the Republican Party.

SAVAGE: He makes reference that he does believe this is some kind of political conspiracy to basically thwart the campaign of Roy Moore but he's blaming republicans. You might think that oh, that would be something the democrats would do.

Many people here have come forward and they say they believe it's the mainstream Republican Party that is trying to derail Roy Moore's campaign chances. He's not real popular with them.

Um, so that's one idea out there. Now there are others who have come out in support of the women and said they've known these women for a long time; they know they're 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 Savage; thanks Martin. Some context, Roy Moore has long been a highly polarizing political figure. He was infamously removed as Alabama's Chief Justice for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from state court grounds and a second time for ordering state judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriage.

MARQUARDT: He's also said that Congressman Keith Ellison shouldn't have been allowed to serve in Congress because he's a Muslim and he blamed the New Town shootings and the 9/11 on the country losing faith in God.

Now a civil war is brewing in the NFL; on one side, the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, on the other side, Commissioner Roger Goodell. Andy Scholes has details in this mornings Bleacher Report coming up next.


[05:25:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, something of a civil war is brewing between NFL owners. At the center of the controversy, is a potential contract extension per Commissioner Roger Goodell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andy Scholes has more on the police report. Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey. Morning, Guys. Roger Goodell's contract is up after next season. And, according to EPSN, he's asking to make nearly $50 million a year and have a private jet for like in his new contract. Now, that would be roughly $30 million a year that Goodell makes right now. And it's all supposed to be Joe Lockhart (ph) hold pro-football (INAUDIBLE), that ESPN reports, is not true. The only truth to the story is that the League's owners, on the compensation committee, will be holding a conference call today to discuss Goodell's extension. The Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, has been opposed to Goodell's any

extension. Even reportedly, threatening to sue the League.

Well, pro football also (INAUDIBLE) is reporting that some league owners have discussed the possibility of removing Jones as owner of the Cowboys. NFL by-laws say, an owner can be removed for detrimental to the league. Removing Jones would, however likely, take years of litigation.

Jones, meanwhile with the Cowboys in Atlanta, for their game against the Falcons and normally, owners stand on the field and chat but not Jones and Falcon owner, Arthur Blank. These two are at odds over Goodell's extension.

And, after the game, Jones was asked, how times he'd not talked to an opposing owner before a game?


JERRY JONES: That's rare. I - I've have games where I didn't visit for whatever reasons but it's rare.


ANDY SCHOLES You can just feel the tension in the stadium. It was a rough day for Jones that the Falcons beat his team points 27 to 7.

(INAUDIBLE) seeing the first win yesterday and it was an emotional day for receiver, Mark C Goodman (ph). He and his wife lost their baby boy early yesterday morning through the complications with the pregnancy. And hours later, Goodman (ph) was on the field and in the second quarter, he hauled that 83 yard touchdown. He immediately dropped down to his knees (INAUDIBLE).