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EARLY START

All The President's Men; 75th Golden Globe Awards; Oprah's Powerful Moment; More Trouble At JFK; A Brief Cold Weather Respite; NFL Wildcard Weekend; Korea Talks Tomorrow. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired January 8, 2018 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:02]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reality is the President is a political genius.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is completely capable of working alongside of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The President's backers defending his fitness to serve, but his tweets may have actually harmed his case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, OPRAH SHOW HOST: Too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak to the truth of the power of those men. But their time is up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A new day is on the horizon. That powerful message from Oprah Winfrey at Hollywood confronts harassment. This morning the big question in politics, is there a political run in her future.

Good morning. Welcome to Early Start, I am Christine Romans. If you were asleep during the golden globes we'll get you caught up on the politics and the drama.

BRIGGS: This is about the me-too. This is about the wearing black as you are this morning. I'm Dave Briggs, it is Monday January 8. We have reporters in the White House. A water main break at JFK airport, peace talks on the Korean Peninsula and the college football title game at Atlanta, we got you covered.

We start though with the President himself, forced to defend his mental state this weekend. The release of a book full of unflattering anecdotes sparking an uncomfortable interview and a series of bizarre tweets. Many anecdotes coming from former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. On CNN, state of the union, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller slashed Bannon as angry, vindictive person and Michael Wolff book as poorly written garbage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: One of the other tragedies of this grotesque work of fiction is its portrayal of the President. The reality is the President is a political genius. The all these so called political geniuses in Washington, whether it about the big lobbying firms or --

JAKE TAPPER, AMERICAN JOURNALIST CARTOONIST: The only person who's called himself a genius in the last week is the President.

MILLER: A self-made billionaire, who revolutionize reality TV.

TAPPER: I'm sure he is watching and happy you said that.

MILLER: Jake, you can be condescending.

TAPPER: I'm not being condescending.

(CROSSTALK)

A lot of --

MILLER: I'm get to go the issue. The President's tweets absolutely reaffirm the plain spoken truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So here are the tweets that Miller there was talking about. On Saturday morning the president slammed Democrats for taking out the old Ronald Reagan play book. Being like really smart. Capped off a list of his achievements saying I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius and a very stable genius at that.

BRIGGS: And Trump went before the cameras to defend his mental state again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I went to the best colleges, or college. I went to a -- I had a situation where I was a very excellent student, came out and made billions of dollars, became one of the top business people. Went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard. Ran for President one time and won.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: And it is worth noting that a private citizen Trump questioned President Obama as sanity for allowing planes to fly to the U.S. from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.

ROMANS: Quite frankly there, some saying it is not right to be questioning the commander in chief's intelligence or sanity. It's just not seemly. The President himself has done that to a sitting commander in chief.

BRIGGS: Quite often there is tweet for that.

ROMANS: All right. Steve Bannon, the man behind the most damming on- the-record accusations in that Wolff book now refuting some. He said he regrets not responding sooner to comment the attributed to him in Fire and Fury. Comments scathingly critical of Donald Trump Jr. The CNN has not confirmed all of the claims in Wolff's book.

BRIGGS: There is no question that Bannon quotes drove a deeper wedge between the President and the man he now calls sloppy Steve. More now from CNN Boris Sanchez at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Christine and Dave, it's now been five full days since we got those explosive excerpts from fire and fury that drawn the question not only the President's mental state, but also his relationship with some of his closest advisors including former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who, on Sunday, for the first time, directly addressed some of the quotations that are attributed to him in that book. Saying some of the reporting in that book is inaccurate and specifically taking exception to a portion where he is quoted as saying that June, 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals at Trump tower was treasonous and unpatriotic.

[04:05:08] Bannon in a statement released Sunday says quote my comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russian operate. He should have known they're duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate those comments were not aimed at Don Jr., though we should point that according to a trail of e-mails it was Donald Trump Jr. who not only brokered the meeting with Russian Nationals at Trump tower, but then looped in Paul Manafort and Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. The circumstances surrounding Steve Bannon are getting darker and darker over the past few days. The President has been making phone calls to allies and friends to tell them that they either stand with him or with Steve Bannon. When you consider all of that, it certainly seems with the statement Steve Bannon is feeling his influence waning and was trying to salvage what he can of his political career. Christine and Dave.

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: All right. Another very busy weekend for Boris at the White House. Thank you Boris.

Awards largely took a back seat at the 75th Golden Global awards. The ceremony focusing on empowering women and addressing sexual harassment. This was the first major awards show since Hollywood really began addressing the epidemic in the fall. Some of the most powerful words last night from Oprah Winfrey. She accepted the award with a message to young girls watching at home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WINFREY: I value the press more than ever before as we try to

navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this. What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I'm especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. So I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of who are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say me too again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Well done. Well done Oprah. A lot of people this morning wondering if Oprah's speech to be the start of a political run. After the globes, longtime partner (inaudible) told the Los Angeles times a White House run would be up to the people, but quote she would absolutely do it. In October of last year, Oprah told there would be no running for office of any kind for me. Time will tell.

ROMANS: The standing "o "for Oprah had barely subsided when Ron Howard and Natalie Portman took the stage to present the next award and Portman said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON HOWARD, ACTOR: We are honored bringing you back to this. This. To be here to present the award for best Director.

(CHEERS)

NATALIE PORTMAN, ACTRESS: And here are the all-male nominees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: There she goes. As for the awards it was a big night for female-driven films and television shows. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won for best TV series. The people who did Gilmore girls, a hand maid tale is the best drama series.

BRIGGS: I'm just trying to read these films. Because I haven't seen any of them. Lady bird won for best musical or comedy. While three billboard (inaudible) Missouri won for best dramatic film. Also Sterling Kay Brown became the first African-American to win the globe for best actor in a TV drama. That is a fantastic show. And the first Asian to win the award for best actor and a TV comedy from Master of None. ROMANS: I love that show. I think he is so clever and so great.

Totally deserves it.

BRIGGS: All right. I need to add that tonight.

ROMANS: There's like five or six episodes, there has been two seasons, kind of great clever episodes and the whole cast is great.

[04:10:03] All right. Back to politics. President Trump's official workday has been starting later and later since the inauguration a year ago. The news site Axios obtain internal schedules to show the President in the oval office having executive time from 8:00 to 11:00 each morning. In fact he often spends that time in the residence, making phone calls, watching TV and often tweeting what is about what's on TV.

BRIGGS: CNN has observed the President's start time in the oval office is often around 11:00 a.m. or later. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has responded to the Axios report this way. The time in the morning is a mix of residence time and the oval office time, but he always has calls with staff, cabinet members and foreign leaders during this time. The President is one the hardest worker I have ever seen and puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long.

ROMANS: All right. That crucial deadline today for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador. The new secretary of Homeland Security Kiersten Nielsen has to decide on the future of the protective status. The status is granted in 2001 after a series of earthquakes in El Salvador. The department is widely expected to end the program, which has offered work permits and right to live in the United States. This could mean 250,000 Central Americans will have to leave the U.S. or scramble to find a way to stay. The administration has already announce plans to end the temporary protection for immigrants from several other countries including Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

BRIGGS: All right. It was cold outside. It was wicked, wasn't it? And flooded inside. Part of JFK airport, as you can see, underwater, brought to a standstill by a water main break. Angry passengers left without answers for hours. Frigid JFK next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: International arrivals have resumed the terminal four of New York's JFK airport. A water main break on Sunday afternoon making a really bad situation there even worse. Water poured into the arrival and customs inspections area of the terminal. Bags left behind by passengers, dealing with days, weather delays, those bags soaked in the water.

[04:15:13] BRIGGS: Sudden inundation forcing a partial evacuation of the terminal. Power is even cut off as a safety precaution. The situation left travelers angry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so angry. Words can't even express how I

feel right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone video this because we need answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were in the plane for a good 20 hours. They took us out once to eat. And then back in the plane.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Brutal. We get more now from CNN's Polo Sandoval at JFK.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, good morning. You could certainly say this was an inconvenient weekend for passengers traveling in and out of JFK international airport. First officials here were dealing with the aftermath of Thursday's wicked winter weather that led to the JFK officials describe as a cascading series of issues and then yesterday an actual cascade of water that filled a portion of terminal 4 here, this was all caused by that pipe that burst Sunday afternoon. It prompted the shutdown of international flights that are coming in to terminal 4. Certainly came with a major inconvenience with some flights having to be rerouted. Domestic flights continued as planned although with some delays. Main focus this morning when we try to get to the bottom of what caused this pipe to burst. And this water break really is just the latest, after Thursday's incident, wicked weather, they have been dealing with everything from frozen equipment, baggage handling complication, even a shortage in staffing as well. They're hoping today with potentially warmer temperatures will become another opportunity to try to get operations here at JFK with one of the most busiest airports back to normal. Christine and Dave.

ROMANS: All right. That was something. The weather is set to warm up this week, but don't crank up the short sleeves just yet. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is here live in the CNN weather center. That was just brutal. My pipes froze this weekend. The hair dryer is underneath the sink, trying to get that thing working again.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: What's funny is a lot of people think it's at freezing process. It's the thawing process that leads to problems because you have the water run-through and it doesn't that you uniformly. Parts get clogged up and pressure builds there. We're watching this because big time cold air. Almost 40 records set on Sunday alone. One of the low spots 5 degrees out of JFK, breaking the record of 6 which was exactly a year ago. The next front that is beginning to push through going to be a problematic one, put this together, talking over 80 million Americans generally across part the of the Midwest, Ohio valley and parts of the south even under a winter weather advisory.

You can see that in the pink and freezing rain and snow just to the north of there. You put this together, I think Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and this is the best bet for any sort of ice accumulation, but less than a quart inch. There's snowfall amounts to get in the white indicative of two or four inches. A few spot could see lake enhanced snow showers. But it is all with this over the next couple days. We see this begin to relief a little bit. See the temperatures go up to say Friday and Saturday. Then Sunday into Monday another blast of cold air. Definitely not a break here.

ROMANS: All right. Pedram Javaheri, thank you so much. Everything was fine. Once I thawed out the pipes. It was fine.

BRIGGS: I too had frozen pipes.

ROMANS: There is no secondary disaster.

BRIGGS: Can you tell us something new. Frozen pipes.

ROMANS: Thanks.

BRIGGS: Ok. Let us talk some sports, the New Orleans Saints advancing the NFL playoffs beating the Carolina Panthers 31-26. Getting Shaun painting off the hook for a bizarre. Quarterback (inaudible) for nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns and the win Saints will now travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings in the divisional round in the wild card game on Sunday game was not pretty by no means but the Jaguars found a way to beat buffalo 10-3. Jags quarterback Bortles ran for more yards 88 and he actually pass for it. It was first home playoff win since '99. We'll play the Steelers in Pittsburgh next Sunday.

[04:20:01] In the other the defending super bowl champions Patriots meet the Titans who stage an epic comeback to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City Saturday. Also in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles, host the defending conference champ, Atlanta Falcons who ousted the Rams from the playoffs. Tonight the national championship game in college football. President Trump will be there as well watching Alabama and Georgia.

North and South Korea setting for a diplomatic talks tomorrow. Less than a week after the president brag about the size of his nuclear button. U.N. Ambassador now defending him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I know it's something that makes people nervous, but if we didn't do it, we would be in a more dangerous --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it is a good idea?

HALEY: I think that he always has to keep Kim on his toes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: My rhetoric and without my tough stance. And such is the stance. I mean this is what has to be done if it has to be done. They wouldn't be talking about Olympics, they wouldn't be talking right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Hmm.

BRIGGS: Interesting shift. That was President Trump saying he is willing to talk on the phone to Kim Jong-un. Even after saying some rather inflammatory things about the North Korea dictator. Diplomatic discussions between North and South Kores is set to resume tomorrow for the first time in more than two years. Now North Korea state media trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul. They have a message from their state media that they just issue. These talks, 31 days ahead of the Olympics Christine and it is interesting will they just discuss the Olympics? Because that -

[04:25:00] The South Korea's clearly want nothing more than a quiet peaceful time. The North Koreans want to be legitimized on the international stage. Will they talk about nuclear disarmament, will they further the talks beyond the Olympics?

ROMANS: They'll be meeting in a small building on the south side of the DMZ. Will Ripley has been there. He is reporting on this and he'll be with us live in Seoul.

BRIGGS: The Truce village, I think is what they call it. .

ROMANS: That is right. All right, let us check about money here, the demands that companies had waiting for years is finally here. The new tax law will create $450 billion boom for Wall Street. That is in addition to the big cut in the tax rate. We are talking of mountains of money sitting overseas. Apple, Google, and Microsoft alone totally combine $460 cold billions in cash sitting overseas stashed there to avoid a high U.S. corporate tax rate. The new law will not only lower the rate, but also give companies a one-time tax break to bring $1.2 trillion back home. Some of the money will reward workers with netter jobs and wages. That is a hope, but most of it will reward shareholders. Analysts predict $450 billion will be spent on stock buyback.

And there is precedent, during the last U.S. holiday back in 2004, 80 percent of the profits returned from overseas went straight to investors. That is $450 billion just from foreign profit, it does not include buybacks inspired from lashing the corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent and the looming buyback bonanza is fueling Wall Street rally. Strongest first week in more than a decade.

BRIGGS: Is that right?

ROMANS: Yup.

BRIGGS: the momentum continues.

ROMANS: All right. Oprah Winfrey raising political prospects with a message to young women at the golden globes last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The new day is on the horizon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: And the President's tweet was like really smart. Now his own words are adding to critics' questions about his fitness for office.