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Steinle's Killer Acquitted; Corker's Tax Concerns; Roy Moore Vs. Jimmy Kimmel. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 1, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:31:50] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A repeat offender deported five times has been found not guilty in the killing of a California woman in the criminal case that propelled Donald Trump's political rise. His steaming and sanctuary city critics are demanding justice.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: While senators in the Senate will continue to debate the bill tonight, the next roll call vote will be at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Senate Republicans are poised to advance their tax plan. But first, the party has to satisfy concerns of a key senator, one the president has squared off with before.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": So if you are challenging me to a fight, here's what we'll do. Let's find a place to do it. I'll wear a Girl Scout uniform so you can have something to get excited about.


BRIGGS: You'd think Roy Moore has bigger things to do than fight with Jimmy Kimmel, but that's what Moore did. And Kimmel, as you could her, fighting back.

Thanks for getting an early start with us. Dave Briggs is here. I'm here. That's how the president described Rex Tillerson.

ROMANS: You're here, you're here.

BRIGGS: Not an overwhelming vote of confidence. We'll discuss the secretary of state, ahead.

ROMANS: I have great confidence in you that you are here.

BRIGGS: I'm here.

ROMANS: There will be no "Dexit" -- "Brexit" -- "Dexit." BRIGGS: We'll see about Monday -- "Riggsit."

ROMANS: But no "Dexit."

BRIGGS: No "Dexit."

ROMANS: No Dave exit.

All right, I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday. It is 32 -- 33 minutes past the hour.

Let's begin, though, in California. The stunning verdict in the murder case against a seven-times convicted, five-times deported undocumented immigrant.

He was charged in the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle, a case Donald Trump used to propel his political rise. A San Francisco jury finding Jose Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder.

BRIGGS: Prosecutors had argued he shot Kate Steinle intentionally as she walked on the city's waterfront, but Garcia Zarate's lawyer said the gun went off accidentally and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before hitting Steinle.

ROMANS: San Francisco had released him from custody before the shooting instead of handing him over to federal immigration agents.

Candidate Donald Trump decried San Francisco and other sanctuary cities which limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

Now, critics of the sanctuary law say Steinle would be alive today if not for extra protection for undocumented immigrations.

BRIGGS: Sanctuary city proponents argue that immigrants are more likely to cooperate with local authorities if they don't fear it will lead to deportation.

Garcia Zarate's public defender gave this blunt warning to critics of the verdict, including in Washington.


MATT GONZALEZ, ATTORNEY FOR JOSE GARCIA ZARATE: There are a number of people that have commented on this case in the last couple of years -- the attorney general of the United States, the president and vice president of the United States.

Let me just remind them that they are, themselves, under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington, D.C. and they may, themselves, soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence and the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. And so I would ask them to reflect on that before they comment or disparage the result in this case.


ROMANS: The president -- President Trump took three hours to reflect, then tweeted this.

[05:35:01] "A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case. No wonder the people of our country are so angry with illegal immigration."

CNN's Dan Simon covered the trial. He has more from San Francisco.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, this is really the case that made the term sanctuary city part of the American vocabulary. Before this happened nobody had really ever heard the term and they had no idea what a sanctuary city was.

That all changed on July first, 2015. That's when 32-year-old Kate Steinle was taking a stroll on Pier 14 with her father -- Pier 14 being a popular tourist spot in San Francisco. She's enjoying the views in San Francisco and then all of a sudden a shot rings out.

About an hour after the shooting police had their suspect in custody, 45-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. He's an undocumented immigrant. He had been deported to Mexico five times and he would have been deported a sixth time but San Francisco, a sanctuary city, does not comply with federal immigration detention rules and therefore, let him go.

The defense said this was nothing but an ? They said that the gun was found under Garcia Zarate's seat. That it was wrapped in some cloth and when he examined this object the gun just went off. And they also said that this gun, a 40-caliber pistol -- a Sig Sauer -- has a history of accidental discharges.

And ultimately, the jury found enough here to declare reasonable doubt. He was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He'll be deported back to Mexico. And keep in mind he's already come into the country several times so some might make the argument that he might attempt to come back to the United States once again -- Christine and Dave.


ROMANS: All right. Dan Simon, thank you.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions releasing this statement after the verdict. "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers."

BRIGGS: Prosecutors calling the verdict disappointing. The Steinle family expressing disgust.

This statement from Kate Steinle's brother, Brad. "The system failed Kate Steinle from the start. Why would the verdict

be any different? It is failure after failure. The culmination of events in an epic fail."

Kate's father Jim said he was saddened and shocked, adding "Justice was rendered but it was not served."

ROMANS: Senate Republicans trying to pass a tax bill. They can see the finish line but they can also see the high hurdles remaining before a hoped-for final vote later today.

Their top concern, the deficit, and there was bad news for the GOP on that front, a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional scorekeeper for taxes. The Senate bill estimated to cost more than twice as much as it generates in revenues.

BRIGGS: And that was a big problem for one of the president's loudest Republican critics in the Senate, Bob Corker. He has promised not to let the tax bill drive up the deficit so he's fighting for big changes here. Corker's stance leading to a testing huddle here on the Senate floor.

Now, some Republican lawmakers are furious at Corker's tactics. One aide telling CNN it didn't need to be done publicly.

ROMANS: Joining us now, political economist Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments. Good morning, Greg.

And your job is to translate what's happening to Washington for the people who are moving around and making money in the market. So tell me this. What are the chances that they get this thing to the finish line and what does it look like in your view?


The market, of course, had an explosive rally yesterday when John McCain announced he was going to support it. The markets really want to see this deal get done.

But it could slow down. It might not get done today. And I think, more importantly, it might get watered down a bit to satisfy the deficit hawks like Corker. Maybe some of the business provisions won't be quite as generous as the president was hoping for.

BRIGGS: So, Mitch McConnell always described it as a Rubik's Cube.


BRIGGS: I've always felt that they might, instead of solving it, just move the stickers around --


BRIGGS: -- like I did when I was kid.

So what stickers do they move around? What revenue do they find to satisfy Corker, Flake, maybe even Johnson?

VALLIERE: Well, they do something to reduce the deficit estimate, first of all.

Second, they probably, again, make it a little less generous. Maybe the top corporate rate will not go to 20 percent. Maybe it goes to 22 or 23 percent. Maybe the corporate alternative minimum tax stays.

There are things they can do to probably satisfy Corker. The obvious question is would that antagonize others in this Rubik's Cube.

ROMANS: Greg, let me ask you this. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 6,000 points since the election. The economy -- I mean, I would say the economy is on fire.


ROMANS: You've got home sales, new home building, lending, consumer confidence, consumer spending. Just about every little box to tick is really doing well here right now.


ROMANS: So we need tax cuts for companies?

VALLIERE: Well, that's quite a question, Christine.

I mean, he went to Missouri this week and said that the economy's weak, it's not doing all that great, we've got to get tax cuts. The unemployment rate in Missouri is something like 3.5 percent --

[05:40:10] BRIGGS: Wow.

VALLIERE: -- so it's awfully hard to make a case that this economy is ailing.

You could make a strong case we need tax reform.


VALLIERE: The way we tax international companies -- things like that. But if you want to -- if you want to throw $1 trillion at a tax cut when maybe that medicine could be saved to time when we really might need it.

ROMANS: You know, that's interesting because when I look at this, how this whole debate has changed, it really did start, I think, by this real tax reform.


ROMANS: And now, this looks to me like corporate tax cuts and reform of the system to a territorial system, right, but kind of --


ROMANS: -- a mess on the personal side.

VALLIERE: Oh, I agree.

And I think for corporations, which are going to do exceptionally well, you have to ask the question with an extra big pile of money are there workers out there to hire? The unemployment rate is so low. There's a shortage of labor in much of the country. I'm not sure it's going to lead to a huge, new round of hiring.

BRIGGS: All right. Well, the economy would not like a government shutdown --



BRIGGS: -- and that could be just about a week away.

Meanwhile, "The Washington Post" reports that President Trump is telling confidants that could be good for him politically. Would it?

VALLIERE: No, I don't think it's good for anybody. It will be a pox on all your houses if they do this.

You know, now that we get the dessert first with a tax bill, then we've got a big plate of broccoli that we've got to deal with by the end of the year. And right now, they are so far apart on the budget -- what do you do with the Dreamers, what do you do with spending levels -- that there could be a shutdown.

Maybe they drag it into January, but I think the chances of a shutdown have increased this week as both Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump all indicate an unwillingness to deal.

BRIGGS: Immigration at the heart of that.


BRIGGS: I like broccoli, frankly.

ROMANS: I do, too, but I get the metaphor --

BRIGGS: I'm unusual.

ROMANS: -- as well.

VALLIERE: I like -- I like dessert.

ROMANS: Greg Valliere, have a great weekend.

VALLIERE: All right, guys. See you later.

ROMANS: Thank you, sir.


ROMANS: All right.

"The New York Times" reporting this morning President Trump pressed top Republicans over the summer to end their Russia investigation. The highly unusual intervention said to include the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee which is overseeing one investigation.

According to half a dozen lawmakers and aides, the president told Intel chairman Richard Burr he was eager to see an end to the probe that has overshadowed much of his first year in office. Burr tells the "Times" he informed the president when the committee has spoken to everyone it needs to, they will finish.

BRIGGS: The chairman insists he did not feel pressured by Mr. Trump.

The report also says the president urged Senators Mitch McConnell and Roy Blunt, who is on the Intel Committee, to end the Russia investigation swiftly.

A White House spokesman telling CNN at no point has the president attempted to apply undue influence on committee members.

Ahead, one of the more bizarre Twitter fights you've seen in recent history. Roy Moore challenging Jimmy Kimmel to face him man-to-man.


KIMMEL: With me, he wants to go man-to-man. Maybe if you wanted man- to-man instead of man to little girl you wouldn't be in this situation -- allegedly.


BRIGGS: Wow. What led to the dust-up, next.


[05:47:40] ROMANS: Palace intrigue on the menu for President Trump's lunch with Rex Tillerson today.

Reports of a tentative White House plan to replace the Secretary of State swirled around Washington yesterday. CNN learning that plan was leaked in an effort to express President Trump's displeasure with Tillerson and to publicly shame him.

The administration seriously considering replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. A source familiar with the situation says the clock is ticking.

BRIGGS: Hashtag "Rexit."

Our friend Josh Rogin reported in "The Washington Post" that Pompeo has been informally preparing for this for some time, reaching out to potential job candidates, looking into how the State Department can be further reorganized.

But the president's chief of staff, John Kelly, tells State Department staffers the reports about Tillerson being replaced are not true.

Publicly, the White House insists everything is status quo.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want Rex Tillerson on the job, Mr. President?



ROMANS: Rex is here.

BRIGGS: Rex is here.

ROMANS: Tentative plans to replace Pompeo at the CIA with Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas -- well, that could pose a problem for the president. It would put another Senate seat in play in 2018 at a time when Republicans, of course, have a razor-thin majority.

If Cotton gets the job, Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson select a replacement. And under state law, someone else would most likely have to run in the fall.

BRIGGS: Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers being treated for stress this morning, still hospitalized as calls for his resignation mount.

House leaders from both parties, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, calling on Conyers to step down over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. One of his accusers spoke out yesterday.


MARION BROWN, ACCUSED REP. JOHN CONYERS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Some of the things that he did were -- it was sexual harassment violating my body, propositioning me -- inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business, and then proposition me to, you know -- for sex. And he's just violated my body.


BRIGGS: That interview with "TODAY" courageous. She did that despite having a nondisclosure agreement.

Responding to Leader Pelosi's call to step down, Conyers attorney says Pelosi, quote, "sure as hell won't be the one telling the Congressman to leave."

[05:50:03] ROMANS: With a big election less than two weeks ago, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore taking time out for a Twitter feud with Jimmy Kimmel.

The spat started when Kimmel sent one of his writers to an Alabama church where Moore was speaking Wednesday night.

Moore issuing this challenge to Kimmel on Twitter. "If you want to mock our Christian values, come down here to Alabama and do it man-to- man."

BRIGGS: Wow. Kimmel firing back. "Sounds great, Roy. Let me know when you get some Christian values and I'll be there." And later adding, "OK, Roy, but I'm leaving my daughters at home. P.S. Wear that cute little leather vest."

Kimmel went further last night on his talk show.


KIMMEL: I think you're actually going to like this, Roy. I'm going to come down to Gadsden, Alabama with a team of high school cheerleaders, OK? We'll meet you at the mall. Don't worry, I can get you in.

Maybe when you say come down to Alabama and we'll do it man-to-man, maybe that means you're challenging me to a fight, which is kind of what it sounds like. And if you are, I accept, by the way. I accept that invitation.

Whoever wins the fight will give all the money we charge for the tickets to charity. My charity will be the women who came forward to say you molested them.


BRIGGS: Now, this thing's not over.

But the president, one week from today, will do his part to support Roy Moore. Campaigning in a stop down in Pensacola, Florida, which is part of the Mobile, Alabama television market. So he won't have to stand with Roy Moore. He won't even have to be in Alabama to support him in that Senate race.

ROMANS: All right, 51 minutes past the hour.

General Motors says self-driving cars are the next big thing.

Oh yeah, have you seen the stock market?


ROMANS: A hot day yesterday. We're going to talk about what drove that --

BRIGGS: Big run.

ROMANS: -- on "Money Stream."


[05:56:06] ROMANS: South Korea says it does not expect another weapons test by North Korea anytime soon.

A spokeswoman for the government's Unification Ministry saying now that it has test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile the Kim Jong Un regime will likely refrain from further provocations for some time. The spokeswoman says the North does appear ready to prove it can actually hit a target with a warhead.

BRIGGS: Meantime, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging China to squeeze North Korea by doing more with oil. Pyongyang depends on the Chinese for 90 percent of its imports.

President Trump not pleased with Beijing's latest efforts, tweeting "The Chinese envoy who just returned from North Korea seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man."

ROMANS: Today, Hawaii is set to test its nuclear warning siren system in the wake of these renewed tensions over North Korea, the first such test since the end of the Cold War. The air raid siren alerts residents to an impending nuclear missile strike against residents 12 to 15 minutes lead time ahead of any inbound missile.

Legislators in Hawaii are also pushing to reopen its nuclear fallout shelters.

BRIGGS: Scary.

For the first time in 200 years, an emperor of Japan is set to abdicate the throne. Eighty-five-year-old Japanese Emperor Akihito announcing plans to abdicate on April 30th, 2019. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend one day later.

Akihito signaled his desire to abdicate last summer, citing his age and health.

All right, it is Friday. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" to end the week.

Global stocks lower right now but hopes for tax reform blasted the Dow past 24,000 for the first time ever. The Dow surged 332 points, its biggest point gain in a year. Its strong economic data -- more strong economic data and progress on tax cuts.

The Dow has not hit 20,000, 21,000, 22,000 and 23,000 this year alone. That milestone prompted a tweet from the president. He says the market would be down 50 percent if Democrats had won the election last year.

The Dow, for the record, is up 6,000 points since the election. An incredible run built on tax cut hopes, Trump's pro-business mood, and a strong, strong economy. The so-called "Trump Bump" is the latest leg of what has been an eight-year-long bull market.

Obamacare enrollment could fall short by millions of American in 2018. Nearly 2.8 million people have signed up so far, quite a bit more than last year. Good news for Obamacare supporters. But the Trump administration shortened the enrollment period so the pace will have to pick up significantly to hit the 9.2 million of last year.

General Motors says self-driving cars are the next big thing and plans to sell them by 2019. G.M. promises to mass produce fully-autonomous electric cars by then.

The cars will be used for new ride-sharing service, the first step toward a big shift in the car business. GM says ridesharing could ultimately be bigger than its current business of selling cars.

I've heard this from several automakers --

BRIGGS: Me too, but I'm skeptical.

ROMANS: -- that the idea of buying a car and having that be your car -- just your car -- is something from the 20th century. It will not be the model for the 20th century.

BRIGGS: I need my car with my kids' sports gear and toys and all that.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

"NEW DAY" starts right now. Have a great weekend. We'll see you next week.


MCCONNELL: We're on the cusp of a great victory for the country

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republican leaders scrambling to salvage their tax bill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The issue, the debt, the deficit. Senator Corker making very clear he needs a solution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody's seen the bill. It's not the way the Senate's supposed to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump phoned several top Republicans in the Senate to wrap up the Russia investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the president gets frustrated because he doesn't think he did anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not up to him to decide whether he's innocent or not.

ROMANS: Reports of a tentative White House plan to replace the secretary of state swirling around Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want Rex Tillerson on the job, Mr. President?

TRUMP: He's here. Rex is here.