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Showdown At Consumer Protection Bureau; Talking Taxes; Franken Back To Work; Conyers No Longer Ranking Member; Mom Targets Bullies, Police Targets Mom; Texas Mall Shootings; Tragedy Finds Man Who Escaped Las Vegas Shooting; Egypt Terror Attack; Bali Volcano Erupts. Aired 4-4:30am ET

Aired November 27, 2017 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:14] CHRISTINE ROMANS, ANCHOR: One agency, two bosses, who is in charge this morning? At the bureau charged with keeping big banks in line.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Critical task for the President this week, can he win over Republican Senators? Pass a big tax plan and what's being done to get them on board?


SEN AL FRANKEN, (R) MINNESOTA: I'm just going to do my job. And I'm going to go forward.


ROMANS: Senator Al Franken, contrite, but moving forward. He is headed back to the senate on the heels of groping allegations. But another Democratic accuse of harassment is giving up a top job in the House. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." Nice to see you all, I am Christine Romans, welcome back.

BRIGGS: Thank you my friend. Good to see on Monday, November 27, it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. It will be a great holiday weekend. The question this morning who is running the consumer financial protection bureau this morning? That depends on whom you ask. Is it President Trump's choice, Mick Mulvaney? A harsh critic of the agency also the director of the office of management in budget or is it Leandra English, the handpicked successor to the outgoing chief? An Obama appointee.

ROMANS: Last night English filed a lawsuit against the President, she is seeking to block Mulvaney's appointment to run the agency. Her suite argues that Dodd Frank Wall Street reform law, entitles her to the job.

BRIGGS: The White House says the federal vacancy's reform act gives the President the right to appoint Mulvaney instead. For context. Here's what Mulvaney said about the agency in 2014 about the agency. The president now wants him to leave.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICK MULVANEY, BUDGET DIRECTOR: The place is a wonderful example of

how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody. It turns up being a joke. That is what the CFB really has been in a sick, sad kind of way.


ROMANS: Republicans hate this agency. Consumer advocates say it's the first attempt to try protect consumers after the financial crisis. The President named Mulvaney acting head after the outgoing chief Richard (inaudible) appointed Ms. English on Friday, setting up his legal showdown. The administration calls the maneuver a stunt that quote, his political ambition above the interest of consumers, a source quotes to Mulvaney tell CNN, he is expecting a normal transition, not some kind of face-off when he shows up at the bureau this morning.

BRIGGS: It could be interesting Senator Tom Cotton, a longtime CFPBB nemesis also back in the president, in a statement he calls the bureau a rouge, unconstitutional agency and adds. Leandro English's lawsuit's to stall herself as acting director against the president explicit direction is just the latest lawless action by the CFPBB. The President should fire her immediately and anybody who disobeys Director Mulvaney orders should also be fired summarily.

ROMANS: It is important here to know, what this agency does. The bureau does, it was created after the 2008 financial crisis. It is aimed to protect consumers and keep an eye on Wall Street. And despite criticism from Republicans, the bureau has had its share of success. It ordered Wells Fargo to pay a $185 million fine and pay $5 million in refunds in the wake of its fake account scandal. The bureau also got more than $700 million in payouts from city bank and Bank of America stemming from allegations the banks misled credit card customers. Republicans, there are a lot of regulatory bodies.

It was created because all those regulatory bodies failed to really rein in Wall Street. It was an alphabet soup of begging regulators and no one actually had a mission of protecting the consumer. And that is what this agency is meant to do.

BRIGGS: Aside from the legal battle, though, they're designed to protect people from what?

ROMANS: From small lenders, shady lenders, people's whose business motto is to put, you know things you don't need, tack them on the credits cards or tack them on the loans also, pay day lenders and the like. Things that have never been -- also, collection agencies and crazy things they do to track people down and really ruin their reputation to try to get money back from them. Also loan forgiveness for some student loan borrowers who were really duped into getting student loans not right for them. A lot of things like that that the banking industry hates.

BRIGGS: All right. Big battle ahead.

ROMANS: Absolutely. 4 minutes past the hour. Congress returns to Washington this week. With no major legislative achievement this year. Crunch time for the GOP. Their last best chance, the tax bill. President Trump is already tweeting his support for tax cut, adding that senate Republican will hopefully come through, for all of us.

[04:05:02] However the senate bill faces a close vote this week. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes. And several Republican Senators have raised objections, including Senator Ron Johnson, who outright opposes the bill. He says it unfairly favors corporations over small business. So GOP leaders may increase the amount of income pass through business can deduct. Other possible adjustments to the bill, cutting state and local tax breaks for corporations and adding back in the deduction for local property taxes. That should help middle class families in high tax states, like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, but the CBO finds the current senate bill will actually hurt most Americans, especially low income Americans. People earning less than 30 grand a year will be worse off right away. By 2027, most Americans would get a tax hike. Those earning a million or more still get tax cuts.

BRIGGS: The tax penalty will be the focus on the next CNN debate tomorrow night. Republican Senators ted Cruz and Tim Scott, against Democrats Bernie Sanders and Marie (inaudible) they'll square off tomorrow night 9:00 Eastern only on CNN. In a matter of hours Al Franken makes his return to the Senate on Sunday. He gave interviews for the first time since the allegations of inappropriate conduct that women surfaced over a week ago. Franken telling Minnesota public radio he is not considering resigning and will cooperate with the Senate investigation. More now from CNN's Ryan Young in Minneapolis.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, Senator Al Franken says he is embarrassed and ashamed. He actually talked about the allegations that he has been facing. Breaking his silence over the last eight days. He talked not only to the papers, but a local TV station and the public radio station. In the public radio station he gave an 18-minute interview, it was wide-ranging. He talked about the fact how this has had a ripple effect throughout his entire life.


FRANKEN: I think this will take some time. But I think that with -- I'm taking responsibility. Apologized to the women who have felt disrespected and to everyone I've let down. I'm cooperating fully with the ethics committee, and I'm trying to handle this in a way, and to -- that adds to an important conversation. And be a better public servant and a better man.


YOUNG: Another quote that he gave the paper he said I don't remember these photographs. I don't. This is not something I would intentionally do. So obviously he still has a lot to sort of think about. He was even asked if there would be more allegations. He said he doesn't think so, but two weeks ago if you would have asked him about this he also thought there wouldn't have been any allegations toward him. He does plan to report to work on Monday morning. Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: Ryan thank you for that.

Congressman John Conyers stepping down as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. The Michigan Democrat facing a house ethics committee investigation into sexual harassment and work place abuse following allegations by former staffers. Conyers denies any wrongdoing.

BRIGGS: Before the decision was announced house minority leader Nancy Pelosi called him an icon for his work protecting women.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe John Conyers (inaudible).

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I do not know who they are. They have not really come forward that is for the ethics committee to review. But I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing.


BRIGGS: Perhaps Pelosi knew what was coming. A senior Democratic aid tells CNN, Pelosi quietly negotiate with Conyers departure as ranking member with the congressman and members of the congressional black caucus.

ROMANS: All right. Whoever wins times person of the year can expect President Trump to let them know they were not the magazine's first choice. The President creating a desktop on twitter, claiming Time magazine called to say that I was probably going to be named a man, person of the year. Like last year. But I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and to the past. Thanks anyway.

BRIGGS: All right. Time says the President is making the claim up. Tweeting the President is incorrect about how we choose person of the year. Time does not comment on our choice to publication which is December 6. The magazine chief contents are going one step further tweeting amazing. Not a spec of truth here.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. Trump has a long running obsession with Time magazine and its person of the year award. He tweeted insults about the magazine in October of 2012 and April of 2013 when its coverage didn't suit him. Of course, several of his golf clubs are fake covers of Time magazine with Mr. Trump being very Presidential that were mock up and hanging probably, bit are not real.

BRIGGS: One you can all get. Who do you think is the time magazine person of the year?

[04:10:03] ROMANS: I am not sure. I wonder if it's the sexual harassment accusers. BRIGGS: Yes. Me too. #metoo. Right. Gretchen Carlson.

ROMANS: You do some sort of mosaic of all of these dozens of women.

BRIGGS: I agree. A Virginia mom facing felony charges after trying to protect her daughter from bullies.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you working so hard to vilify me instead of addressing the issue why this even exists?


BRIGGS: What she did when they are daughter told her she was being bullied at school. Next.


ROMANS: All right the Arlington Texas police department is standing by one of its officers who shot an alleged shoplifter after the suspect pointed a fake gun at him. Police say they responded to a call. Someone was stealing sunglasses at the mall, Sunday. Officers spotted a suspect. Chase ensued. The police say the suspect pulled an imitation firearm from his waist and pointed it at one of the officers who then fired hitting the suspect.

[04:15:06] BRIGGS: The unidentified 20-year-old was taken to the hospital for treatment. Investigators recovered the fake gun that shoots bb's or pellets. Arlington police Chief Will Johnson, tweeting the photo showing the suspect pointing the bb gun directly at the officer, you can see Johnson writes it is nearly impossible to determine the authenticity of a real versus fake gun.

ROMANS: All right a southern Nevada man nearly evaded death in Las Vegas mass shooting lost month has been killed in a tragic highway accident. 52-year-old Roy McCiellan died in a hit and run as he was hitchhiking in Nevada. His wife Denise who also escape the Las Vegas massacre, unharmed says this accident has left her angry and confused.


DENISE MCCIELLAN, WIFE OF ROY MCCIELLAN: I don't understand. Why he wasn't taken at the shooting and several months later he gets taken this way.


ROMANS: Police found the car involved in the November 17 crash. Charges are pending against the driver.

BRIGGS: A Virginia mom faces five years in prison on a felony charge for putting a recorder in her 9-year-old daughter's backpack after the child complained about being bullied. Sara Sims telling CNN that (inaudible) that her daughter was being pick on at Norfolk Elementary School. Sims says she called and e-mailed the school repeatedly but her messages were ignore.

ROMANS: So, she took matters into her own hands. Putting a digital recorder in the fourth graders back pack. She wanted to catch any evidence of this alleged bullying. Recorder was discovered at school and Sims says then her daughter was kicked out of class and a month later, Sims, the mother, was arrested.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not getting an answer from you. Then what am I left to do? I don't think surprise is the right word. I was mortified. I was terrified. Next thing I know, I'm a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I'm trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?


BRIGGS: The Norfolk school district says electronic devices are prohibited in Elementary schools but would not comment on the charges filed against Sara Sims. Charges Sims' attorney believes will not hold up in court. That is brutal. What is a parent to do when they are not getting help?

ROMANS: She is a fourth grader and you have - if she is right. She said she kept talking to the school. You would do anything to try to get your kid protected.

BRIGGS: Well beyond putting a recorder.

ROMANS: All right. 17 minutes past the hour. Hundreds of families still reeling after last week's terror attack on a mosque in Egypt. Now an influential Saudi crown prince, terrorism will be fought until it is eradicated. We're going to go live to Cairo.


[04:22:20] ROMANS: There is still no official claim of responsibility for the Mosque attack in Egypt Friday that killed more than 300 people including 27 children. According to Egyptian authorities, a number of the terrorists were carrying ISIS flags. Now Saudi Arabia's crown prince is speaking up boosting the Saudi led Arab coalition to defeat terrorism. CNN's Ben Wedeman live in Cairo with the very latest. Good morning Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Christine, as you mentioned, no claim of responsibility for the attack on the mosque in northern Sinai, which on Friday killed 305 people including 27 children, wounding 128 others. And in fact, what we know is that two other militant groups here in Egypt have denied responsibility for that attack and also condemned it. Yesterday, Christine, we were speaking to one analyst who observed and follows ISIS supporters on line, and he was surprised to find that given the nature of the target, many of the ISIS supporters condemned and were shocked by the attack.

And therefore, I think it's unlikely at this point, that ISIS ever going to claim responsibility for this massacre, although, as you mentioned, both the Egyptian government as well as eyewitnesses say they saw some of the attackers, at least one of them carrying an ISIS flag. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia has convened a meeting of 40 Muslim and Arab countries to form an anti-terrorism alliance. We have yet to see if the words and the agreements they've worked out in Saudi Arabia will actually translate into concrete action. It's interesting that three years after ISIS rampaged across Syria and Iraq, just now after ISIS's more or less defeated in these two countries, Saudi Arabia finally gets around to forming such and anti-terrorism alliance. Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, interesting context there. Ben Wedeman for us in Cairo this morning. Thank you Ben.

BRIGGS: Volcanic eruptions on the Indonesian resort of Bali forcing thousands of residence to evacuate. Thick ash shooting more than 5 miles in to the air, above Mount Agung. The rumbling volcano also shutting down the island's main airport stranding about 59,000 domestic and international passengers. Indonesians authorities have raised the aviation alert notice to red. That is the highest left signaling an even larger eruption may be imminent. Officials warning against any public activity within 5 to 6 miles of the peak.

[04:25:07] Frightening. All right. Drama could unfold this morning at the consumer financial protection bureau, one boss appointed by the President, another by the outgoing chief. Who had final say on financial matters critical in the country?

BRIGGS: One agency, two bosses. Who's in charge this morning at the bureau charged with keeping big banks in line?

ROMANS: Critical task for the President this week. Can he win over Republican Senators enough to pass a big tax plan? What's being done to get them on board?


FRANKEN: I'm just going to do my job. And I'm going to go forward.


BRIGGS: Senator Al Franken contrite but moving forward.