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Congress Nears Deals Despite Trump's Rhetoric; Trump Wants Military Parade; Successful SpaceX Launch. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired February 7, 2018 - 04:00   ET



[04:00:13] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's have a shutdown. We'll do a shutdown, and it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Congress inching toward deals on a budget and immigration, but comments from the president and his chief of staff have one key Republican saying he's holding his breath.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president wants a parade. After seeing that spectacle in France, the president wants his own military parade in Washington. But objections are being raised over using weaponry and American troops as political props.

BRIGGS: And a successful launch for the most powerful rocket since the Apollo missions. The rocket already passing beyond the orbit of Mars, and it's a SpaceX Tesla roadster floating through space with David Bowie rocking out on loop.

ROMANS: Elon Musk just tossed a car to Mars. It's so cool. I love that moment.

BRIGGS: Awesome. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, February 7th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

And the federal government runs out of money in about 44 hours. But leaders from both parties say they are near a deal to fund the government for two years. The Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate huddling to hash out their remaining differences on defense and domestic programs.

Sources say immigration and a deal on DACA have not been part of the spending talks.

BRIGGS: Negotiators got a brief scare when President Trump jumped into that issue with both feet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We don't get rid of these loopholes where killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to kill, gang members, and we're not just talking about MS-13. There are many gang members we already have mentioned.

If we don't change it, let's have a shutdown. We'll do a shutdown. And it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of.


BRIGGS: The White House later saying the president was, quote, not advocating for the shutdown. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders turning the president's shutdown comments back on to Democrats saying if they want to hold the government hostage over immigration, the president welcomes that fight.

ROMANS: In case a budget deal is not settled by midnight tomorrow, the House passed a short term bill funding most agencies through March 23rd and the Pentagon for a full year. Senate Democrats are likely to oppose it, but that may not matter. Sources say budget negotiators to announce a two-year deal as soon as this morning.

With the very latest, CNN's Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Dave, there's no question the clock is ticking down to the government running out of money, essentially needing to extend a short-term funding agreement. But the biggest development that's occurred up to this point is not the usual kicking the can down the road. At this point in time, aides in both the Republican side and Democratic Senate of the Senate and House tell me they are on the verge of a major budget deal, something that would increase spending caps for both defense and nondefense discretionary spending, up to $300 billion, the type of deal that would essentially lock in a two-year budget agreement.

It would include an increase of the debt ceiling. It includes more than $80 billion in disaster relief for hurricane-ravaged Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. It would include some health care spending, as well. This is the kind of thing that lawmakers have been pointing to as a possibility, essentially clearing the decks of all these major items. It looks like they're finally there.

The big question now is, what are House Democrats going do? Democrats for a long period of time have held up the possibility of doing a deal like this because they want a DACA resolution. They need leverage to get that resolution. At least that's what aides in both chambers have been saying.

Right now, Senate Democrats are very clearly on board. House Democrats, wary, and House Democrats are going to be needed if it's going to have to move through the House. There's a lot of Republicans who are very uncomfortable with the large number of spending increases which means Speaker Paul Ryan is going to need obviously some Republicans. He's going to need a lot of Democrats, too -- Christine and Dave.


BRIGGS: All right. Phil, thank you.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly standing by his comments about undocumented immigrants that some saw as demeaning. Audio posted by the "Washington Post", Kelly tried to draw a distinction between the 690,000 DACA recipients and about one million others who potentially qualified for the program but failed to register.


JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The difference between 690,000 and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses but didn't sign up.


ROMANS: There's another reason here, as well. We should note it costs $495 to apply for DACA's status and then you pay for renewals. You know, Kelly was confronted by lawmakers in a closed door meeting about those comments. According to people in the room, he repeated the sentiment.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to spin the lazy label then not on to immigrants but on to Democrats.


[04:05:02] SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're focused on actually getting a solution. And, frankly, I think if anybody's lazy, it's probably Democrats who aren't showing up to work, and aren't actually getting to the table to make a deal on this.


BRIGGS: Kelly also told reporters it is not likely President Trump will extend the March 5th deadline he gave Congress to act on a DACA plan. One key player in the talks, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, has renewed optimism.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I felt really bad yesterday. I feel better today. Democrats are openly talking about $25 billion for a wall plus other things. The president tripled the number of people under DACA. So, we're back in the ball game.


ROMANS: Republican Senator Susan Collins says Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could begin the immigration debate by allowing both sides to offer amendments as opposed to introducing a bill written behind closed doors exclusively by Republicans.

BRIGGS: Chief of Staff John Kelly says he expects recommendations by tomorrow on how to handle the Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims of surveillance abuses by the FBI. Kelly says the Democratic memo is lengthier than the GOP's, around 10 pages, and claims the White House is not leaning in either direction when it comes to releasing it. But he did offer this warning --


KELLY: Where the first was clean relative to sources and methods, my initial cut is this one is a lot less clean. But at the end of it all, it will be guys like Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray from FBI, certainly the national security attorneys at the White House giving the president a recommendation on it.


ROMANS: Remember, the FBI advised against releasing the Republicans Nunes memo, but the president did it anyway. The president met Tuesday with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the Democratic memo. The president targeted Rosenstein after the Nunes memo was released. Trump received the Democrats' document Monday night and is working with a five-day window to make a decision.

All right. The Pentagon is reviewing dates for a military parade in Washington at President Trump's request. The White House says the president has asked for a celebration so all Americans can show appreciation for U.S. service members. The Pentagon says planning is in the infancy stage.

BRIGGS: "The Washington Post" first reported the president's request for a parade. The paper says it could cost millions of dollars to ship tanks and military hardware into the nation's capital. "The Post" reports the president is looking for a parade like the one he witnessed in France last year as a guest of President Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day. He later marveled about that parade being one of the greatest he had ever seen, and that he wanted to top it.

ROMANS: You know, we had don't typically do that in this country because we -- the government, and the military, civilian control, this is just the way it is here. We don't typically celebrate the military in that way.

BRIGGS: You think of Russia, you think of -- right now, North Korea.

ROMANS: In 1991, I believe, there was a celebration after that first Iraq -- the first Gulf War. It was panned as looking like, you know, celebrating death basically and military action.

BRIGGS: It's also the issue of funding for the military, currently a problem on Capitol Hill. So --

ROMANS: Right. All right. To money now. Volatility is back. Stocks roaring higher after taking a nose-dive. It looks like 1,000- point roundtrip yesterday. Some global stocks lost steam overnight. Right now, you've got some

of the European markets, Asian markets mixed here. Asian markets stalled after a strong start.

Wall Street ended higher after just a wild day, Dave. The Dow swinging over a trading range of 1,200 points, changing direction 29 times before closing up 567 points. That's about a little over 2 percent.

The S&P 500, that's the better gauge of sort of the broader stock market, up just shy of 2 percent. The Nasdaq rose 2 percent.

Now, the sell-off was sparked by a couple of things. Rumblings in the bond market, concerns about wage inflation, whether that will force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner or more aggressively than planned, posing a risk to a bull market that's nearly nine years old.

But as stocks turn volatile, the market's cheerleader-in-chief, President Trump, has kept quiet. Testifying in Capitol Hill yesterday, the treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, says the economics are quite strong. And when asked if Trump would accept blame for the recent market drop --


STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I think we'll still claim credit for the fact that it's up over 30 percent since the election.


ROMANS: He's referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It is up about 35 percent since Election Day. Typically administrations don't cheerlead the stock market or the economy. This is clearly an exception.

BRIGGS: Not typical times in many regards.

Steve Wynn stepping down as CEO of Wynn Resorts after allegations of sexual misconduct. Wynn has denied the allegations first reported by the "Wall Street Journal." Now, he says he can't be effective in his role claiming the environment prioritizes a rush to judgment over the facts.

As the news broke, CNN's Miguel Marquez was speaking with Charlotte Arrowsmith. She's a plaintiff if a 1998 case involving allegations against Wynn.

[04:10:04]And she celebrated with a toast.


CHARLOTTE ARROWSMITH, PLAINTIFF IN WYNN CASE: Oh, hallelujah! Thank you, lord. Something positive has final come from this.

You have -- I know it doesn't hurt him. It doesn't hurt Wynn Resorts. He has other licensees. I know all of this. But I'm going to tell you something -- after all he put us through, he needs to be humiliated.


BRIGGS: Wow. The accusations also cost Wynn has job as finance chairman of the Republican national committee. Wynn Resorts president Matt Maddox becomes the new CEO.

ROMANS: Watch that stock today. That stock got hammered when these acquisitions came out.

BRIGGS: Yes, it's the name, it's the face, it's the brand.

ROMANS: Sure is.

All right. Former Vice President Joe Biden putting it politely. He says President Trump has difficulty with precision. Biden telling our Chris Cuomo if he were the president's lawyer, he would advise against talking to Robert Mueller. Biden saying it is possible the president could say something not true without even planning to be disingenuous.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Do you think he has that little control over whether he tells the truth or not?

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I just marvel at the things he says and does, like what, two days ago, anybody didn't stand up and clap for him was un-American, and then maybe treasonous?

CUOMO: They say it was tongue-in-cheek. Democrats can't take a joke.

BIDEN: Let me tell you, he's a joke.


ROMANS: The president's ally say he's still eager to speak with the special counsel's team even as his lawyers try to delay or stop a potential sit down.

Remember when people say, oh, Joe Biden, he couldn't run for -- he's not presidential material because he speaks his mind too much?

BRIGGS: I remember. His rhetoric used to shock the American people. No longer. Those days are gone.

The current Vice President Mike Pence meeting moments ago with Japan's prime minister, vowing to stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of the North Korean threat. We're live in South Korea, next.


[04:16:07] ROMANS: Welcome back. Sixteen minutes past the hour.

More than 140 people are still unaccounted for in Taiwan following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake. The Taiwanese news agency says at least four people have died. More than 200 injured. The quake was centered in the East China Sea, some 13 miles north of the city of Hualien.

Several buildings in that city collapsed. Others are, you know, barely standing here. The quake could be felt in the capital of Taipei about 75 miles away from Hualien.

BRIGGS: A Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers wants five state supreme court judges impeached over their decision to order congressional maps redrawn. State Rep Chris Dush circulating a letter to colleagues Monday arguing the justices, quote, blatantly violated the state constitution by giving judges power that he says belongs to the legislature. The letter comes one day after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the state high court order to redraw gerrymandered congressional districts. The ruling could tip the balance of power in the U.S. House currently holding 12 of the state's 18 U.S. House districts.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- the vice president vowed to stand with Japan in the face of North Korea's provocations.

CNN's Ivan Watson live in Pyeongchang where members of the north delegations are arriving for the Olympics, and interesting news on who will be coming to Pyeongchang.

Good morning, Ivan.


That's right. The news is that not only will the ceremonial head of state be coming from North Korea, Kim Yong-nam, leading the delegation, but we understand that Kim Yo-jong, she's the sister of the north Korean leader Kim Jong-un, that she, too, will be attending part of the Olympics. That's a very high-level official.

The Blue House, that's the office and residence of the South Korean president, has welcomed this as a sign of essentially goodwill coming from the North Korean side.

Meanwhile, Mike Pence, the U.S. vice president, has continued to hammer home that he wants to challenge what he describes as North Korean propaganda going into the Olympics. Describing North Korea in a speech alongside the Japanese prime minister as a cruel dictatorship, as a prison state, as the, quote, most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.

Take a listen to what else he had to say:


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This week, as the world knows, North Korea is sending a delegation to participate in the Winter Olympics. They'll march under the same banner as South Korea. But we should not forget that North Korea and South Korea have marched under the same banner before, only to see North Korea continue its pursuit of threats and provocations. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: And Pence went on to say that you can expect soon from the U.S. to unleash what he described as the, quote, toughest and most aggressive round of sanctions on North Korea ever -- Dave and Christine.

BRIGGS: We're all looking forward to figure skating, but politics looks like one of the main events there in Pyeongchang. Ivan, thank you.

All right. David Bowie's "Space Oddity" will be playing on loop from a Tesla roadster hurtling through space. You can thank Elon Musk and SpaceX.

More on the successful Falcon Heavy launch, next.


[04:24:09] BRIGGS: Four-twenty-four Eastern Time.

And SpaceX has launched the world's most powerful rocket, pulling off a seamless first-ever launch of Falcon Heavy. It took flight yesterday afternoon from Florida's Kennedy Space Center before a crowd of thousands of exuberant watchers. But beforehand, founder Elon Musk told CNN it wasn't clear everything would go smoothly.


ELON MUSK, FOUNDER, SPACEX: In fact, the first thing something exciting has happened in rocket launch for a long time. People came from all around the world to see what will either be a great rocket launch or the best fireworks display they've ever seen.


ROMANS: The launch was not the only achievement. SpaceX also guided two first-stage rocket boosters back to earth. Those images of them coming down safely on these landing pads just shared like crazy. It was so cool. A third booster was supposed to land on a sea-faring platform but it crashed.

[04:25:03] Trump tweeted: Congrats, this achievement along with NASA's commercial and international partners continues to show American ingenuity at its best.

As the rocket heads into space, on board is Musk's personal Tesla roadster with a dummy.

BRIGGS: There it is.

ROMANS: Star man behind the wheel. The car will play David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on repeat. Yes, Elon Musk just tossed a car toward Mars.

BRIGGS: We see "don't panic" there on the dash. A stunning about-face by Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh

McDaniels hours after the Colts announced he would be their new head coach. McDaniels reneged on the agreement, choosing instead to remain with New England. ESPN reports McDaniels had been wavering on his decision to leave the Pats. And owner Robert Kraft sweetened the contract to keep him.

Another factor, some fuel is in play, which Kraft wanting it to stick to the Colts as revenge of the deflategate saga which was initiated by the Colts after being beat by the Pats in the 2014 AFC championship game. This hurts because the guys they had interviewed for that job all have head coaching jobs. The Colts are back to square one.

ROMANS: All right. Also back to square one perhaps, congressional leaders trying to finish a budget deal and an immigration plan. Oh, that's easy.

But the president's shutdown threat and his chief of staff calling would-be Dreamers lazy probably not helpful.