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Showdown At Consumer; Talking Taxes; Trump Defends Moore; Franken Back To Work; Conyers No Longer Ranking Member; Mom Targets Bullies, Police Targets Mom; Texas Mall Shootings; Pope Arrives In Myanmar; Egypt Terror Attack; Bali Volcano Erupts. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 27, 2017 - 04:30   ET




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


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Senator Al Franken contrite but moving forward. He is headed back to the senate this morning on the heels of groping allegations while another Democrat accused of harassment is giving up a top job in the house. Welcome back to "Early Start." Everybody, I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. Welcome back. Last week in November.

BRIGGS: That is unbelievable to me. You have the Christmas tree up. I'm very proud of you for giving out, you did strong.

ROMANS: All right. 30 minutes past the hour. Who's running the consumer financial protection bureau this morning. That is the big question and it depends on who you ask. Is it President Trump's choice, Mick Mulvaney, a harsh critic of the agency? He was also the Director of the office of management budget. Or is it Leandra English, the handpicked successor to the outgoing chief, an Obama appointee.

BRIGGS: Last night Leandro English filed a lawsuit against the president. He is seeking to block Mulvaney's appointment to the agency. Her suit argues the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, entitles her to the job.

ROMANS: But 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.


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.


BRIGGS: The President named Mulvaney acting head just after outgoing chief Richard Cordray appointed Ms. English on Friday. Setting up this legal showdown. The administration calls Cordray's maneuverer a stunt. Quote, political ambition above the interest of consumers. A source close to Mulvaney tells CNN he is expecting a normal transition and not some kind of face-off as she shows up at the bureau this morning.

ROMANS: Senator Tom Cotton, a longtime CFPB nemesis also backing the President. In a statement he calls the bureau a rogue unconstitutional agency and adds Leandra English's lawsuit to install herself as acting director against the president explicit direction is just the latest lawless action by the CFPB. The President should fire her immediately and anyone who disobeys Director Mulvaney's order should also be fired summarily.

BRIGGS: The bureau does, it was created after the 2008 financial crisis. To protect consumers and keep an eye on Wall Street, despite criticism from Republicans, the bureau has had its share of success. The Bureau 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.

ROMANS: It is literally the brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who of course is the nemesis of many of this GOP congress people. It was set up because of all the alphabet soup of agencies we still have the financial crisis and no one really looking out for the consumer. That is consumer. That is what the first word in it is, to protect the little guy. Republicans hate it. Banks hate it. But it has gone out there and shaken the trees and gotten money back for consumers.

BRIGGS: No matter where you stand on it, based on entirely the concept of being independent from the White House.

ROMANS: It's supposed to be independent from the White House. That is what's interesting.

BRIGGS: It has to be.

ROMANS: That is the whole point. It's supposed something just having the consumer in mind. Regardless of what political win, regardless of how much money a lobbyist on Wall Street are spending. This fits the pattern what we've seen from the administration to really loosen the regulations on Wall Street. To really loosen those regulations that goes right into that playbook.

BRIGGS: It is a gut Dodd-Frank. All right. A matter of hours, Al Franken makes his return to the senate. On Sunday he gave interviews. For the first time since allegations of inappropriate conduct surface over a week ago. Franken telling Minnesota public radio he is not considering resigning and will cooperate with the Senate investigation. More now with 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.


[04:35:11] YOUNG: In 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: All right. Ryan Young for us thank you so much 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 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: President Trump defending embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore and rewriting his own past. CNN has reported on the President's history with sexual misconduct allegations and how they apparently shaped his support for Moore. Now the "New York Times" reports the President is privately telling aides and at least one senior Senator that notorious access Hollywood would tape is not authentic. This despite admitting at the time it was real.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, knows this words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.

This was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I apologized to my family and I apologized to the American people.


BRIGGS: The "New York Times" also reported the President is annoyed with his daughter Ivanka for criticizing Roy Moore when she said quote there's a special place in hell for people who prey on children. Now the President wading into muddy waters again. We are now from Boris Sanchez in Washington.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Christine and Dave, President Trump returning to the White House on Sunday with no shortage of items on the agenda and no shortage of controversy either. On Sunday, the President dug his heels stopping just shy of endorsing embattled Republican senate candidate Roy Moore in that heated race in Alabama. The President took to twitter to attack Doug Jones, Roy Moore's opponent. He writes quote the last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schuma Pelosi puppet who is weak on crime, weak on the border, bad for military and the great vets, bad for the second amendment and wants to raise taxes to the sky. Jones would be a disaster. This simultaneously happening as other Republicans, establishment Republicans are calling for Roy Moore to drop out of this race all together as Senator Lindsey Graham put it on State of the Union on Sunday.


SEN LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: From a Republican point of view, I don't know what winning looks like with Roy Moore. If he wins, we get the baggage of him winning, and it becomes a story every day about whether or not you believe the women or Roy Moore. Should he stay in the senate should he be expelled? If you lose, you give the senate seat to a Democrats, the time we need all the votes we can get. The moral of the story is don't nominate somebody like Roy Moore.


SANCHEZ: All of this unfolding as a make or break week unfolds for Republicans especially when it comes to tax reform. The senate could potentially vote on the bill as early as Thursday. The President is heading to Capitol Hill early in the week for the third time in just a little bit over a month to meet with senate Republicans to discuss tax reform. Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: All right Boris, thank you for that. Now the tax plan will be the focus of the next CNN debate tomorrow night. Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Democrats Bernie Sanders and Marie Caldwell, square off. That is tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern only on CNN.

All right. This holiday season is all about on-line sales. Black Friday's digital sales hit record numbers, but today cyber Monday could be even bigger. Adobe predicts Americans will spend an unbelievable $6.6 billion, a new record. Followed the $8 billion Americans have never spent on-line on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Americans had never spent so much money and for the first time ever talking on line holiday shopping, more than walking into the stores. Fewer Americans actually setting foot in those stores.

[04:40:03] Early estimates show foot traffic decreased about 2 percent last week. A boom in on line shopping is familiar to this stores. So this year these retailers made big investments in their website and delivery options. They offer deep discounts on things like big appliances, jewelry, tablets, TV's. Big digital sales are good news for retailers. Signals a strong start to the crucial holiday season that America expects to spend trillion bucks this year.

BRIGGS: You know, we're always in the mid as everybody knows, but this year felt different. I am still cleaning up mu inbox undated by e-mails but this year felt different. I'm still cleaning out my inbox.

ROMANS: I didn't spend a dime. I was over-whelm by all the offers.

BRIGGS: They will keep coming. Also on the way, a papal first this morning. Pope Francis touching down in Myanmar. High stakes agenda with the lives of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in the balance. We're live in Myanmar ahead on "Early Start."


[04:45:25] BRIGGS: The Arlington Texas police department standing by one of its officers who shot an alleged shoplifter after the suspect pointed a pellet gun. Police say they responded to a call of someone stealing sunglasses on a mall on 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. ROMANS: The unidentified 20-year-old was taken to the hospital for

treatment. Investigators recovered the bb pistol. Arlington police Chief Will Johnson, tweeting the photo showing the suspect pointing the bb gun directly at the officer, he writes it is nearly impossible to determine the authenticity of a real versus fake gun.

In Virginia, a mom faces there 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 our affiliate why her daughter was being picked on at Ocean View Elementary School on Norfolk. Sims says she called and e-mails the school repeatedly and her messages were ignored.

BRIGGS: She took matters into your own hands putting a digital recorder in the fourth grader's backpack to catch the alleged bullying. When the recorder was discovered, Sims says her daughter was kicked out of a class and a month later Sims 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?


ROMANS: The Norfolk school district says electronic devices are prohibited in Elementary School, but would not comment on the charges filed against Sarah Sims, charges that her attorney beliefs will not hold up in court.

BRIGGS: The University of Tennessee is reportedly backing out of a deal to make Gregg Schiano for the next football coach. The school reportedly backing out after backlash from fans. Upset about his link to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He has been named in court documents as allegedly having known about the child abuse while both men were assistants at Penn state. Schiano has denied about any knowledge of the abuse, but fans protested the hire on campus last night. It's a strange story that he was a 25-year-old assistant at the time. There's no real confirmation that he knew about the Sandusky despicable offenses, but he is a tremendous football coach and a group of students rose up and got him out.

ROMANS: Interesting. All right, 48 minutes past the hour. Really bad news for Macy's, a glitch may have cost them sales on the biggest shopping day of the year. The computers can't go down on black Friday if you're a retailer. Details on CNN "Money Stream" next.


[04:52:55] ROMANS: Just a short time ago Pope Francis landed in Myanmar with a message of peace and reconciliation as tensions rise over the Rohingya refugee crisis. It is a first time the pontiff has visited the country. This after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shifted his stance on Myanmar government actions against the Rohingya Muslim minority, now calling it ethnic cleansing. CNN Delia Gallagher is traveling with the Pope and joins us live from Myanmar. We know this pope has often used his voice and use his platform to talk about the plight of refugees. We are expecting to happen there.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely Christine. There's no doubt that the pope is in favor of finding a solution for the crisis of the Rohingya refugees. The difficulty for the pope is that even the word Rohingya is not a word that is accepted by the government and military of Myanmar, so many people are looking at this trip to see just how firmly he will come out in favor, even in his language, for the plight of these refugees. Now, he is having an important meeting tomorrow with Aung San Suu Kyi. He has already met with her quite at the Vatican.

But many people say that she is not the real person in control here, it is the military. To that end, the pope has scheduled a meeting with the senior general of the Myanmar military which the Vatican has just told us has been moved up to today about an hour and a half from now, Pope Francis will be meeting in this key meeting with the head of the military, because it is there that if this crisis is going to find a peaceful solution that that conversation between the pope and the general that the Pope may be able to forward that issue.

Now, of course if he comes in with a heavy hand and fend his hope, he is not going to have an open ear at the table. So we expect that he may take the advice of his catholic cardinal here in Myanmar and not use the word Rohingya, but everybody knows where he stands on it. He will certainly speak out in favor of the finding a peaceful solution for the right of those refugees.

[04:55:08] ROMANS: All right, Delia Gallagher for us travelling there in Myanmar. Thank you so much for that, Delia.

BRIGGS: All right. There's no official claim of responsibility for the mosque attack in Egypt, Friday that killed for man 300 people, including 27 children. According to the Egyptian authorities a number of the terrorists were carrying ISIS flags, now Saudi Arabia crown prince speaking up boosting the Saudi led coalition to defeat terrorism. CNN's Ben Wedeman live in Cairo with the latest. Ben good morning to you, up to this point, what has been Egypt strategy in combating terrorism?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Up to now it's been fairly conventional war fare fighting against, what is essentially a low level insurgency? In Sinai, they've put a lot of focus on heavy weaponry, tanks, setting up check points, mobile check points, but they're dealing with an insurgency that is been going on for essentially since 2011. It' its composed of local inhabitants, veterans who have known that terrain very well, and if you speak to human rights observers, they feel that the Egyptian authorities, the army and the police have been using really a heavy hand, not really trying to win the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of the northern Sinai, but really just trying to eliminate them militarily, and that, they say, is why this has gone on so long. It's important to emphasize this is really just in the northeastern corner of the Sinai. There are other parts of the Sinai for instance in the south where by and large there have been no major incidents in recent years, although there were bombings of some hotels back in 2004-2005.

STODDARD: far as the Saudi led coalition for the Arab and Muslim countries to combat terrorism, yes, this is the brainchild of the Saudi crown prince. It's interesting that it comes about, it has been formed essentially three years after ISIS stormed through Iraq and Syria a bit late for this sort of thing. I think if you speak to analysts, they will tell you that it's more likely really an attempt at forming an ant anti-Iranian coalition rather than an anti-terrorism alliance. Dave?

BRIGGS: All right. Ben Wedeman live for us in Cairo, thanks. Meanwhile volcanic eruptions on the Indonesian resort island of Bali forcing thousands of residence to evacuate. Thick ash shooting more than 5 miles into 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 there. Officials warning against any public activity within 5 to 6 miles of the peak.

ROMANS: All right. Monday morning, let's get a check on CNN "Money" stream this morning. Global stock markets are mixed today. Friday was a short trade day on Wall Street for the thanksgiving holiday, but enough for stocks to push both S&P 500 be at record high closes. S&P ended above 2600 for the first time in history. Amazon also rose 2.5 percent on a record Black Friday shopping day, for sales there. In fact for physical retailers also fared well. Including Cole, Kacey Penny and Macy, foot traffic slowed but held up better. Macy's credit card system struggled to process transactions causing delays at stores and out ages on line on black Friday. Macy's acknowledged the issue, but customers still took to social media to complain. This issue comes at an inopportune time for Macy's sale drop 6.1 percent. The 11th straight quarter of decline.

New owners for Tine Inc. including the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Iowa based Meredith will buy time for $2.8 billion, adding People's, Sports Illustrated, Fortune Magazine to its roster of Meredith publishes parent, shape and better homes and gardens. The two companies roughly worth the same so, to help fund the deal of business own by Charles and David Koch offered there is $650 million. They are mega donors to conservative causes. In a statement they say it will have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations.

BRIGGS: If anyone was interested in doing such a thing. Early Start continues right now.

One agency, two bosses. So who's in charge this morning at the bureau charge with two things, big banks in line?