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EARLY START

U.S. to Expel Haitian Quake Refugees; White House: We Need Moore's Vote; Turkey Day for Trump; Feds Sue to Block AT&T-Time Warner Deal; Trump Names North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism; Political Crisis in Germany. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 21, 2017 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:30:16] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Haitians who came to the U.S. after the deadly earthquake in 2010 have 18 months to leave the United States. The administration ending protected status, despite concerns Haiti can't handle an influx of tens of thousands.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The White House may not want Roy Moore, but it wants tax reform. Now it seems the president's advisers are willing to deal with the former to get the latter.

BRIGGS: And the president set for one of the greatest responsibilities of the commander-in-chief. Yes, he'll pardon those two turkeys. Neither named Hillary.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: Funny.

BRIGGS: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START.

ROMANS: Dave Briggs made a funny this morning. Very funny, Dave.

I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour this Tuesday morning.

Haitians who took refuge in the United States after a devastating earthquake in 2010 now have to be out of the U.S. by July of 2019. The Trump administration announcing it is ending Haiti's coverage under TPS. That's the temporary protected status that allowed nearly 60,000 Haitians to live in the U.S. since the 2010 quake. The change is part of a wider administration effort to tighten immigration into the United States.

BRIGGS: The TPS program is meant to shield immigrants fleeing disaster or conflict zones from deportation. The decision comes after the Homeland Security Department determined the extraordinary conditions created by the earthquake no longer exist.

Critics of the decision aren't buying that, including Republican Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who tweeted: I traveled to Haiti after the earth in 2010 and after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, so I can personally attest that Haiti is not prepared to take back nearly 60,000 TPS recipients under these difficult and harsh conditions."

ROMANS: The Democratic party chairman, Tom Perez, also blasting the move, saying Donald Trump's cruelty knows no bounds, adding: I'm disgusted at the president's heartlessness. With this decision, Trump is tearing families apart and turning his back on the values that have made our country great.

BRIGGS: Also new overnight, President Trump overruled in his bid to target sanctuary cities. A federal judge permanently blocking the president's executive order that would have slashed funding to cities that limit their cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. Judge William Orrick rejecting the administration's argument that the order affects only a small pot of money.

ROMANS: The judge used comments by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the president himself as evidence the order was intended to target a wide array of federal funding. The judge's ruling affects lawsuits brought by two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara. San Francisco's city attorney calling the decision a victory for the American people and the rule of law. The Department of Justice blasting the ruling, accusing court of exceeding its authority and promising to take action.

BRIGGS: The White House won't come right out and say it, but it wants Roy Moore to be the next senator from Alabama. Two top officials making it pretty clear that if it means having Moore's vote for the tax bill and other Trump agenda items, they'll take him and all his baggage. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the president is leaving it up to Alabama voters to sort through the sexual allegations Moore faces, but she admitted the Republican "R" next to Moore's name is a factor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Obviously, the president wants people both in the House and the Senate that support his agenda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That remark came after counselor Kellyanne Conway made it clear the White House does not want to lose a seat to the Democrats.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don't be fooled. He'll be a vote against tax cuts. He's weak on crime, weak on borders. He's strong on raising your taxes. He's terrible for property owners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, vote Roy Moore?

CONWAY: And Doug Jones is a doctrinaire liberal, which is why he is not saying anything and why the media are trying to boost him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So vote Roy Moore? CONWAY: I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get

this tax bill through.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Now, that's a reversal from her position just four days earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONWAY: Incontrovertible principle is that there is no Senate seat that's worth more than a child.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The president himself still keeping uncharacteristically quiet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you.

REPORTER: Your thoughts on Roy Moore, Mr. President? Do you believe his accusers?

TRUMP: Thank you.

REPORTER: Do you believe Roy Moore's accusers, Mr. President?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Press, let's go! Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: It's only been 12 days. The White House saying President Trump is not all in behind Roy Moore, as shown by the fact that he has not campaigned in Alabama on Moore's behalf.

ROMANS: All right. Two new major media figures facing sexual harassment allegations. Eight women, eight women tell "The Washington Post" longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances, including groping, making lewd phone calls, and walking around naked in their presence.

[04:35:06] All the women were employees or aspired to work for "The Charlie Rose Show" from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011.

BRIGGS: Rose apologizing, saying, I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken. Rose now suspended by CBS with PBS and Bloomberg immediately pulling distribution of "The Charlie Rose Show." ROMANS: All right. Also suspended, Glenn Thrush, one of the top

reporters at "The New York Times." A story published by the policy Website Vox.com details alleged sexual misconduct involving younger female journalists. Three women, including the article's author, Laura McGann, they accused Thrush of unwanted groping and kissing. And what began with what the author of the article called hazy sexual encounters under the influence of alcohol.

BRIGGS: In an e-mail to CNN, Thrush apologizes and says he's starting out-patient treatment for alcoholism.

He's also pushing back on some of the allegations, saying, quote, my recollection of my interactions with Laura differs from her. The encounter was consensual, brief and ended by me. She was an editor above me at the time and I did not disparage her to colleagues at "Politico" as she claims."

ROMANS: Also, the first claim against Al Franken, Senator Al Franken, of sexual misconduct since he took office. Lindsay Menz says the senator touched her inappropriately in 2010. She tells CNN he grabbed her back side while taking a photo at the Minnesota state fair. Franken tells CNN he does not remember taking the photo with Menz and feels badly that she felt disrespected.

Feels like there's a real reckoning in media, in politics, in finance, in Hollywood, of this kind of behavior that so many of the men seem to not have realized was inappropriate.

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: They think it's insensitive. Walking around naked in front of people you work with is never appropriate.

BRIGGS: It's never insensitive. It's far more than that. And yes, we're clearly far from through this. Another allegation, sounds like it's coming towards a Democratic, longtime House member. We might hear about that later today.

ROMANS: All right. Thirty-seven minutes past the hour.

President Trump promised to kill a billionaire tax break, but the GOP tax bill, both versions keeps it intact. Here's candidate Trump in 2015 railing against wealthy investors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They make a fortune, they pay no tax. It's ridiculous, OK? And some of them are friends of mine. Some of them I couldn't care less about. It's the wrong thing. The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: He's talking about something called the carried interest provision. At the time, Wall Street worried Trump would eliminate it, but both the Senate and the House tax bill keep that loophole, the loophole that makes very rich people a lot richer.

Carried interest deals with how the U.S. taxes investment income. Typically, hedge fund managers take a fee from investors, then claim a share of their profits, usually 20 percent, and that 20 percent profits or carried interest is taxed at only 23.8 percent, well below the 39.6 percent it would be if it were ordinary income.

Now, the industry says that extra money helps fund risking investments like start-ups. Critics say it just gives the wealthy an unfair advantage, and removing it would raise $16 billion in revenue. So, who uses this deduction? Experts say it's mostly used by private equity managers, venture capitalists, and real estate developers.

BRIGGS: Not start-ups? You're not buying that economic argument?

ROMANS: Look, I mean, President Trump and many others have said this would be a really quick way to make money for the tax code, right? If you're trying to reform the tax code, you've got to get rid of loopholes.

BRIGGS: You've got to find revenue.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: That sounds like a way to find an awful lot of it.

ROMANS: But carried interest is not a part of it.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, AT&T says it will fight in court after the Justice Department sued to stop a merger with Time Warner. But why? And what it means for the future of CNN's parent company, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:43:33] ROMANS: All right. Forty-three minutes past the hour this Tuesday morning.

LaVar Ball in a verbal tug-of-war with CNN's Chris Cuomo. In an interview that lasted 23 head-spinning minutes, Ball refused to thank President Trump for getting his son and two other UCLA basketball teammates out of jail after their arrest for shoplifting in China.

BRIGGS: Ball has minimized the president's role over the weekend, to which Mr. Trump responded by tweeting that Ball was very ungrateful. He should have left them in jail.

Ball telling CNN he is still not convinced the president helped bring these guys home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAVAR BALL, FATHER OF LIANGELO BALL: If he said he helped, that's good for his mind.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What do you mean good for his mind? BALL: But why even got to say it? If you help, you shouldn't have to

say anything. If you helped, you should haven't to -- if I helped someone, I don't walk around saying, you know, I helped you now. Come on now, you give me some love. I helped you! Come on, for real?

I would have said thank you if he would have put them on his plane and took them home. Then I would have said, thank you, Mr. Trump, for taking my boys out of China and bringing them back to the U.S. There's a lot of room on that plane. Did he help the boys get out? I don't know.

CUOMO: Why do you doubt it?

BALL: I don't know. If I was going to thank somebody, I'd probably thank President Xi!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The interview did owned a festive note with LaVar Ball telling Chris to wish Mr. Trump a happy Thanksgiving, Christine.

ROMANS: A huge legal struggle on the horizon after the Justice Department files suit to block AT&T's proposed takeover of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

[04:45:05] The federal lawsuit marks an unusual challenge to this big $85 billion deal.

BRIGGS: The Justice Department argues the merger violates antitrust law because AT&T would use its control of Time Warner programming to harm competition. AT&T swiftly pushed back, calling the suit radical, an inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust court precedent. AT&T says it will fight the case in court.

ROMANS: Now, the Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim argues in the DOJ lawsuit the merger would harm American consumers. The very same person said last October he didn't see AT&T/Time Warner deal being an antitrust problem.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MAKAN DELRAHIM, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANTITRUST CHIEF: This is more of what we would call a vertical merger, a content with distribution, rather than two competitors merging. So, I anticipate that the FCC will have little, if any role, and it would be a pure antitrust. It shouldn't be, I think -- you know, just the sheer size of it and the fact that it's media I think will get a lot of attention. However, I don't see this as a major antitrust problem.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BRIGGS: That, of course, was Delrahim long before he was in charge of this case, working for the Trump administration, but you'll likely see that in court.

AT&T chief Randall Stephenson says necessary demand for CNN to be sold off as part of the deal is a nonstarter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDALL STEPHENSON, CEO, AT&T: The bottom line is that we cannot and we will not be party to any agreement that would even give the perception of compromising the First Amendment protections of the press. So, any agreement that results in us forfeiting control of CNN, whether directly or indirectly, is a nonstarter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The president has made no secret of his disdain for CNN's coverage, so there are questions whether that is affecting how the DOJ is pursuing this lawsuit.

ROMANS: All right. Texas Governor Greg Abbott authorizing a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction following the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez. A spokesperson for the Border Patrol Council labor union says Martinez and his partner were injured on patrol near Van Horn, Texas.

BRIGGS: Martinez was struck multiple times, possibly with a rock, and died of his injuries. His partner, whose name has not been released, is in serious condition. Officials say he's having trouble remembering the incident. The area of the attack is a well-known drug smuggling route.

ROMANS: All right. Would you get into an Uber without a driver? That could soon be a reality. Details on "CNN Money Stream," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:52:12] ROMANS: The Trump administration expected to announce new sanctions today against North Korea after the president put the Kim Jong-un regime back on the list of nations labeled as state sponsors of terror.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It should have happened a long time ago. It should have happened years ago. In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: North Korea was removed from the list by President George W. Bush in 2008, but Pyongyang has dramatically escalated its nuclear program since then. So, how is this move being received in the region?

CNN's Anna Coren live for us in Seoul, South Korea.

Hi there, Anna. What is the reaction in Seoul?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, certainly, here in South Korea as well as Japan, they have welcomed this announcement by Donald Trump, believing that this is one step closer to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That is obviously a long way off, but they say it's moving in the right direction, applying that economic and diplomatic pressure.

China, however, Dave, not so enthusiastic. We heard from the foreign ministry a short time ago, and the spokesperson said that this was a highly complex and sensitive situation, calling on all parties involved to ease tensions and return to the negotiating table. We have to remember that China has just sent a special envoy to Pyongyang over the weekend after Donald Trump put pressure on China to do more to get dialogue happening with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

So, the feeling is that whatever progress was made over those few days perhaps is now being eroded by Donald Trump's announcement. Now, it's important to note that it's been two months since North Korea launched a missile test, and that is really a long time, considering that the frequency of which we were seeing those tests, leading up to that last test on September 15th, and the feeling, Dave, now is that North Korea is going to retaliate, they are going to be angry when we finally get an official word from Pyongyang.

We're expecting angry rhetoric and more threats, and potentially, those tests, those ballistic missile tests and nuclear tests could be brought forward as a way of retaliating, Dave.

BRIGGS: All eyes on the region. Anna, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. A political crisis unfolding right now in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel facing the biggest challenge of her political life as negotiations to form a new government collapse. The breakdown in talks raising the prospect of new elections just two months after the last election seemed to guarantee Merkel a fourth term.

[04:55:00] Let's go live to Berlin and bring in CNN's Atika Shubert.

Bring us up to speed on what's happening there.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the moment, what's happening is that the president, Walter Steinmeier, it's his job to kind of find a way out of this political dilemma, and he's saying, look, everybody, get your act together, get back to the negotiating table.

He's going to meet with the different coalition -- or potential coalition partners who walked out, the FDP, the Free Democrats and the Greens. And he's going to hope that somehow they can cobble together some sort of agreement to move forward.

However, it's not at all clear that any of the parties want to continue this way. In fact, Chancellor Merkel herself has said, you know, she doesn't want to see a minority government, and if talks don't work, well, she'd rather see a new election. So, that means what we could be seeing is elections in the spring, but

it would be -- it would be quite a deal for the country to go through. They already had a very tough election season just two months ago, but it could get so bad, these talks, that already in the recent media polls, 51 percent of respondents said that they would like to see new elections.

ROMANS: All right. Atika Shubert, where it is almost 11:00 a.m. in Berlin. Thank you so much for that, Atika.

BRIGGS: All right. For the first time ever, astronomers confirm making visual contact with a visitor from beyond our solar system. Take a look at Oumuamua, loosely translated for what's Hawaiian for messenger who reaches out from a distant past. Astronomers first spotted it through a telescope on Maui and initially thought it was a comet or asteroid from our solar system, but because of its orbit, they quickly determined the object came from interstellar space. It is at least the size of a football field.

ROMANS: That's cool.

BRIGGS: Very cool.

ROMANS: All right, President Trump set to wield his pardon power without controversy today. At a Rose Garden ceremony, the president will grant clemency to two hand-picked turkeys named Drumstick and Wishbone. This White House video shows the free birds arriving in the nation's capital Monday. They spent the night in a suite at a luxury Washington, D.C., hotel, relaxing before their big day.

BRIGGS: A little spa time, a little big bird background. Both share a June birthday. Drumstick has a slight height and weight advantage. After the ceremony, they will join last year's turkeys, Tater and Tot at Virginia Tech's gobbler rest exhibit.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning. Global stocks mixed today after Wall Street closed higher. U.S. stocks rose, thanks to a bounce in telecom and tech stocks.

Biggest question still for investors: tax reform. Wall Street is waiting for more details. It's a short trading week, though. Markets are closed for Thanksgiving. We'll watch trading volume opening the door for wild swings.

It's official. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will leave the Central Bank for good. Yellen submitted her resignation yesterday from the Fed's board of governors. She could have stayed on as a governor until 2024. Instead, she'll leave next year when her successor as Fed chief is sworn in.

Jerome Powell is nominated to replace her at the top of the Fed. Yellen is the first Fed chair in three decades not to receive a second term.

Forget Venmo, cash is still king. It's true, digital payments have multiplied in recent years, but U.S. cash in circulation has risen nearly 90 percent in the last decade. That's according to a Federal Reserve study. In total, $1.6 trillion in U.S. dollars exist and the majority is actually held outside the country.

BRIGGS: Makes sense.

ROMANS: Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo beginning in 2019. If the nonbinding deal goes through, it would be Volvo's biggest sale of autonomous cars yet. Uber's self-driving system is still being developed, but in the future, the company could make driverless cars available to passengers. The deal comes as the company struggles with its human drivers. Uber was fined $8.9 million Monday for improperly conducting background checks in Colorado.

BRIGGS: So, can we now just cure the common cold? We have self- driving cars --

ROMANS: I know, it's true! That is actually funny.

BRIGGS: Technology.

All right. EARLY START continues now with the latest on 59,000 Haitians.

(MUSIC)

BRIGGS: Haitians who came to the United States after the deadly earthquake in 2010 have 18 months to leave. The administration ending protected status ending, despite concerns Haiti cannot handle an influx of tens of thousands.

ROMANS: The White House may not want Roy Moore, but they need him in the Senate. How does that square with leading Republicans who have promised to expel Moore if he wins?

BRIGGS: And a day of epic proportions at the White House. Two turkeys, one pardon. The president gets to wield his presidential power controversy-free.

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for getting an EARLY START with us. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, November 21st. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin here with Haitians who took refuge in the United States after that earthquake in 2010. They now have to be out of the U.S. by July 2019. The Trump administration announcing it is ending Haiti's coverage under TPS, the temporary protective status that has allowed nearly 60,000 Haitians to live in the U.S. since the 2010 quake.