Return to Transcripts main page


Charles Manson Dies Of Natural Causes At 83; White House President Interceded For Players; Fall-Out From Trump-Ball Feud; Border Patrol Agent Killed In SW Texas; Stepping Down, Mugabe. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 20, 2017 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:30] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I am Dave Briggs, 30 minutes pass the hour on a Monday. Breaking news overnight. One of America's most notorious killers, Charles Manson has died. The California department of corrections says the wild eyed cult leader died of unspecified natural causes.

ROMANS: 83 years old, has been in prison since 1971. Serving life with a possibility of parole on seven counts of first degree murder. CNN's Stephanie Elam has a look at Manson's role as ring leader of one of the era's most sensational mass murderers.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manson's maybe the most famous notorious mass murder, ever.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The summer of '69 was marred by gruesome murders that shook the nation. Five people killed at the home of Hollywood star, Sharon Tate. And another couple murdered the following night. Manson's was the mastermind behind the brutal killings. The leader of the clan that carried out the unthinkable. He was convicted of conspiracy and murder in 1971, and infamously in went down in history.


CHARLES MANSON, MOST NOTORIOUS MASS MURDER IN AMERICA: I do a lot of things you guys don't see.


ELAM: Manson was born in Cincinnati 1934 to a single, teenage mother.


MANSON: She got out of my life early. I spent the best part of my life in boy schools, prison and reform schools, because I had nobody.


ELAM: After marrying twice since spending half his life in prison, 32 year old Manson made his way to Berkeley in 1967. He established himself as a guru in the summer of love and was quickly sharing a home with 18 women.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get kids, children, coming in and hear is Charlie Manson saying how much he loves them and wants to take care of them. He took full advantage.


ELAM: Manson's passion for music translated into an obsession with the Beatles 1968 song, Helter-Skelter.


VINCENT BUGLIOSI, MANSON TRIAL PROSECUTOR: The Beatles wanted a worldwide revolution, blacks against whites.


ELAM: Aiming to launch the fabricated war, Manson directed his disillusion clan to kill. On August 9, 1969, four Manson followers invaded the Hollywood Hills home of actress Sharon Tate, where they massacred five people. The 26 year old starlet was 8 1/2 months pregnant. The next night, the clan brutally murdered Los Angeles couple Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, at both homes, they left behind shocking murder scenes.


BUGLIOSI: When those words Helter-Skelter was found printed in blood on the murder scene that matches the Manson's fingerprints being found at the murder scene.


ELAM: After evidence on the case is mounted, and a high profile trial, Manson and four followers were convicted of nine murders and sentenced to death in 1971, which was downgraded to life in prison when California banned the death penalty. Stephanie Elam CNN.


BRIGGS: The sister of Sharon Tate, one of the victims told People magazine, I said a prayer for his soul.

President Trump says he should have left one of three UCLA basketball players in a Chinese jail after the player's dad was not sufficiently thankful. The LaVar Ball, father of the UCLA Liangelo Ball and L.A. rookie Lonzo Ball dismissing the president's role in getting his son released. The outspoken Mr. Ball telling ESPN, who? What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out. Now, the President slamming Ball as ungrateful. CNN Boris Sanchez has more from the White House.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Dave and Christine, President Trump never known to back down from a fight. This latest spat with Mr. LaVar Ball over the release of his son from prison in China over alleged shoplifting. This all started while the President was on his 12-day, five-nation tour of Asia. The three UCLA players were detained. The President found out about it after hearing from White House officials and personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping, if those students could be released and safely returned to the United States. They were.

And in that process the President on Twitter wondered whether or not the players would thank him. They did. He tweeted about them, warning them to be weary of the many pitfalls in life. But then, as soon as we thought it was over, on Friday, LaVar Ball, the father of Liangelo Ball, one of those three students made a comment to ESPN down playing the President's role in their release. He tweeted about the situation once on Sunday morning. Then again, hours later, writing, quote, shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be. Five-ten years in jail.

[04:35:18] But not to father LaVar, should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China, instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful. The President has caught flak for suggesting the idea he would not have helped release this U.S. Citizen, this student athletes from the Chinese prison if he had known one that one of the parents would not give him credit in public. Christine and Dave.


ROMANS: Boris, thank you for that. Two outspoken fathers, one is the President of the United States, whose job it is to try to get Americans who are detained.

BRIGGS: The job that comes with the job, but you said two outspoken fathers. LaVar Ball really followed the Trump playbook in marketing this. He is a professional troll and does it better than anyone, exactly what he wanted is what the President did, to engage in a twitter fight with this dad. He once said I beat Michael Jordan one- on-one in basketball during his prime. He said it just to get reaction and it worked. Professional. This is not over is what I'm saying.

ROMANS: 36 minutes past the hour. Alabama candidate Roy Moore standing by his demand that Attorney Gloria Allred turn over a yearbook own by one of his accusers, we can examined by forensic investigators. The 1977 yearbook is owned by Beverly Young Nelson who claims Moore sexually assaulted. Nelson insist her yearbook was signed by him. The message called her beautiful and signed with love. Moore now says he presided over Nelson's divorce case and claimed the D.A. initials in the yearbook signature were forged from a court document.


ROY MOORE, (R) ALABAMA: They forged the name on to this annual. They also included initials of mine, my receptionist and secretary, which was D.A., Debra Adams. And certainly the forged it and this is a complete fabrication I did not know Nelson and never met her.


BRIGGS: We would like to tell you what Moore said about the allegations, but that radio interviewer didn't ask about them. Alabama's three largest newspapers are not buying this. They are saying do not let this conversation be muddled. This has become a referendum on whether we will accept this behavior from our leaders. One candidate is left in the race worthy of representing Alabama. He is Doug Jones.

ROMANS: All right. We are learning this morning Senator Al Franken has no plans to resign after his allegations of sexual misconduct. A staffer tell Minneapolis Star Tribune. Franken is spending time with his family in Washington D.C. and doing a lot of reflecting. Radio News Anchor Leeann Tweeden accuses Franken of groping her. Franken apologized and called for an ethics investigation.

The reports are hitting Hollywood, media and Washington. It could help them by deducting sexual harassment payouts from their tax bill. Did you know companies can write off the legal settlements for sexual harassment and ordinary business expenses? A new amendment denies the deductions crating transparency and making it more expensive for companies who cover it up misconduct. Democrats Senator Bob Menendez who proposed the amendment says, that will help victims, telling CNN settling secretly and writing it off, companies make it harder for others to come forward and seek justice. The house tax bill had a similar amendment. However it was not included in the final version last week.

BRIGGS: Hang on a minute. Someone wrote into the tax law that you can write off a sexual harassment payment?

ROMANS: Yep. You can write off sexual assault claims. If you have a settlement with somebody regarding that, you can write it off as a business expense. That is one of the reasons like so many people said a company can perpetuate these kind of atmospheres, if they quietly settle it and move on, there's not public shaming in the workplace that helps you.

BRIGGS: Astonishing. Talk about tax reform.

Speaking of, President Trump saying Senator Jeff Flake's career is toast after Flake hurled that word. Trump slamming Flake on twitter after Flake stepped off the stage in the town hall, Friday, still wearing the old, live mic. Here is Flake not so private conversation with Mesa, Arizona mayor, John Giles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [04:40:04] SEN JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: If we become the Party of Roy

Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.

JOHN GILES, MAYOR, GILES ARIZONA: And I am not throwing smoke at you, but you are the guy that could, just for fun. Think of how fun it would be to point out what an idiot this guy is.


GILES: Anyway.


BRIGGS: The President hit back Sunday tweeting, Senator Jeff Flakey, get it, was caught purposely on mic saying that things about your favorite President. Yours. A no on tax cuts because his political career, anyway, is toast. Flake's office responding the Senator is still reviewing the tax bill on its merits and the vote will have nothing to do with the President.

ROMANS: President Trump's power to launch a nuclear weapon openly acknowledged by the nation's top nuclear commander, General John Hyten spoke over the weekend at an international security forum spelling out how he would respond to a hypothetical launch order.


JOHN HYTEN, COMMNDER OF U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND: I provide advice to the President. He tells me what to do. If it's illegal, guess what's going to happen?


HYTEN: I'm going to say, Mr. President it's illegal. Guess what he is going to do? He would say what would be legal? And we'll come up with options of mixed way to respond to whatever the situation is. That is the way it works.


BRIGGS: General Hyten's remarks follow a senate foreign relations hearing last week on the President's authority to launch nuclear weapons. The first congressional hearing of its kind in more than 40 years. The Pentagon's review is expected to reach the President's desk by the end of the year.

President Trump turning attention to the border wall after a border patrol agent is killed on the job in southwest Texas. Latest we are learning about the investigation, next.


[04:46:16] BRIGGS: Jared Kushner's lawyer accusing senate investigators playing what he calls gotcha games with his client this comes after the senate judiciary committee sent a letter to Kushner saying he failed to hand over key documents covering information on the campaign's contacts with Russia. Justice Correspondent Evan Perez spoke to Kushner's attorney and has the latest from Washington.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, for months, there's a growing perception that Jared Kushner hasn't been up front about Russian contacts from the failure to list on security clearance application to this past week when the senate judiciary committee sent a bipartisan and public letter, Kushner saying he hadn't turned over documents that the committee knew existed. The committee says that documents cover everything from campaign contacts with WikiLeaks to a Russian back door proposal to connect Russian President Vladimir Putin with the campaign. An idea that Kushner rejected. In an interview with me on Sunday, Kushner's attorney pushes back against those accusations.


ABBE LOWELL, ATTORNEY FOR JARED KUSHNER: The committee investigations, unfortunately are divulging into political gotcha games. If they leak parts of interviews or send me letters through the media or turn Jared Kushner's very clear e-mail there should be no contacts with anybody in a foreign country into what they call a missing document, they are undermining their own credibility.


PEREZ: The bottom-line here is that Kushner is not promising to provide interview to the senate judiciary committee and while his attorney says he is cooperating with congress, Kushner has another investigation, keep in mind, the criminal investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Right now, Mueller is working through the roster of White House officials who are coming in for interviews. We expect Kushner will be one of them. Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: All right. Evan Perez thank you for that. The FBI is searching for suspects and potential witnesses to a deadly attack on two border patrol agents over the weekend in southwest Texas. The 36- year-old Martinez and his partner were patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border in the big bend section when they were injured.

BRIGGS: Customs officials are not releasing any other details, both agents were transferred to a hospital where Martinez died. His partner is in serious condition. President Trump responding on twitter last night, tweeted I part, we will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will and must build the wall.

ROMANS: Actor Jeffry Tambor saying he may not return to his Emmy winning role in the show "Transparent." The 73 year-old actor accused of sexual harassment by at least two people. Amazon still investigating the allegations, according to website "Deadline" Tambor denies any wrong doing in a statement released by his publicist which reads, the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given a politicized atmosphere that affected our set, I don't see how I can return to "Transparent." BRIGGS: Deadline reports the allegations, comes from two of the

actors transgender colleagues. His former assistant Dan Barnes and fellow transparent actor, Trace Luzette, in a blog post said that Tambor repeatedly propositioned and groped her and pushed himself on her while on set.

ROMANS: All right. 50 minutes pass the hour it is Monday morning. Do would you watch Netflix at work or in the bathroom? According to a new survey, you are not alone. You are -- not the minority.


[04:59:10] BRIGGS: BRIGGS: Breaking news overnight. The embattled President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe agreed to resign. A source with direct knowledge of negotiations telling CNN Mugabe has accepted terms from the nation's general to step down. A letter has been drafted to make the move official. Let's go live to Zimbabwe and bring in David McKenzie with the details. David, you have the details on what Mugabe wanted from this military leaders. Why did he have the leverage in that?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, he had the leverage because throughout the time that the tanks and the armored personnel carriers drove on to the street into the capital here, they really wanted to say this is not a coup, this is a constitutional transfer of power. So, the understanding is that Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old leader of this country is give them that, the transfer of power and in return get some kind of immunity.

[04:55:09] We know from that source very close to negotiations, that he had agreed to some kind of deal. A letter has been drafted. That deal includes immunity according to the source both Robert Mugabe and the first lady, Grace Mugabe and keeping some of his assets. It won't be completely official until this speaker comes out and reads that resignation letter and what we have seen the story that it had many twists and turns that left the entire country on the edge of their seats. Until it becomes official, we won't know whether Robert Mugabe really is leaving the scene here, the country that he is presided over for several decades. It's been extraordinary with thousands on the streets this weekend calling for the President to step aside and that bizarre speech by Robert Mugabe where we expected or many expected that he would say that he was resigning, then he didn't. So, if he doesn't resign, the next few minutes, in fact, will be the running down of the clock for a deadline given by his own Party. They say they will then start impeachment proceedings to push him out. Dave?

BRIGGS: Mugabe reign not quite over. David McKenzie live for us in Harare Zimbabwe. Thanks David.

ROMANS: A huge protest in Washington D.C. against what marchers calling inadequate relief effort for Puerto Rico. Thousands of people marching on the national mall yesterday to draw attention to the struggles that remain two months after hurricane Maria. Organizers calling for an update to the 1920s jones act that requires American ships carry goods and passengers from one U.S. Port to another.

BRIGGS: Performance at the American music awards taken to new heights. Watch.




BRIGGS: Outstanding. You are looking at green screen effects pink singing "Beautiful trauma" from the J.W. Marriott in downtown, Los Angeles, flanked by six dancers. She confessed she did panicked a bit. Take that, lady gaga. What are you going to do for the super bowl show?

ROMANS: All kinds of fears. All kinds of fears.

BRIGGS: Good stuff.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN money. Global stock markets starting to leak lower. Last week the Dow and S&P 500 had their first two week losing streak since August. The concern here is tax reform. Specifically the tax cuts won't pass by then the end of the year. Folks for tax reform lifted stocks to record highs. The Dow fell 100 points Friday, led by Walmart. They hit highs on Thursday. Remember, we told you about the great day Thursday, then Friday took it back. The FCC is scaling back a program that helps low American access the internet, the lifeline program, provides discounted phone and internet service to low income communities. The agency voted to roll back parts of the program, including eliminating a subsidy for customers on tribal land and capping total spending to half the current budget. The FCC says the restrictions will fight abuse in the program. Critics say it only harms low income consumers.

Do you watch Netflix at work or in the bathroom? According to data from the company, you are not alone. They surveyed people that watched outside their homes. They wanted to know where they are watching outside of their homes. 37 percent at work. 12 percent in public restrooms. The use of smartphones and streaming services are on the rise. Two-thirds of Americans stream in public. The most popular place in the air. 44 percent watch on airplanes.

BRIGGS: That is where I watch my net flicks, on the airplane, not the bathroom. Certainly not the public bathroom. "Early Start" continues right now with the latest in the death of Charles Manson.

ROMANS: Breaking news out of California. 1960s cult leader Charles Manson dead at 83 years old. The latest reaction to the notorious killer's death.

BRIGGS: Plus, President Trump lashing out on twitter, saying he should have left those three UCLA basketball players in a Chinese jail. What one of their fathers said that upset the President?

ROMANS: Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore standing his ground in a new interview. Why he says he can prove this signature is not his. Good morning and welcome to "Early start." I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. I need sufficient praise and thanks --

ROMANS: I'll do my best.

BRIGGS: I will do good deeds.

ROMANS: Thank you, you are wonderful.

BRIGGS: I appreciate that, it is Monday, November 20, 5:00 a.m.