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Porter Urged To Stay And Fight; Would U.S. Talked To North Korea; Justice Ginsburg #MeToo Here To Stay; Olympic Diplomacy; White House Willing To Talk With North Korea Amid Sanctions. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 12, 2018 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:22] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Stay and fight. That is what Rob Porter says he was told by senior officials at the White House despite allegations of domestic abuse. His story doesn't line up with the chief of staff.

DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: Invitation is on the table. Kim Jong-un's sister says South Korean leaders are welcome in Pyongyang. Now the Vice President hitting the U.S. could find itself at the table as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are they listening and acting fast enough?



GINSBURG: It's not acting.


ROMANS: Even if congress does nothing, me too is here to stay. Revealing talk with Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome to "early start." I'm Christine Romans it is Monday morning.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It is 4:31, 6:30 over there in Pyeongchang. We will go live there shortly. We start off with the White House shoveling the move beyond the Rob Porter scandal this morning. New reporting and tweeting suggesting Porter was urged not to quit after accusation that rose of domestic violence. Axios reports, Porter telling associate some senior White House officials strongly encouraged him to quote stay and fight to keep his job as staff secretary. That is a key gate keeper for President Trump. Porter said he never misrepresented anything to chief of staff John Kelly.

ROMANS: This doesn't square with Kelly's version of events. CNN reported last week that Kelly's defenders in the west wing insist Porter mislead him. That story backed up by an unnamed member of congress who told Axios reporter promise Kelly the story concern the verbal and emotional abuse not domestic violence. After days, the speculation of Kelly's future, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said this to our Jake Tapper.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I said to the president last night, I told him I will be with you today, please tell that Jake I have full faith in chief of staff John Kelly and I'm not actively searching for replacements. I saw that all over the news today. I have faith for him and he does.


BRIGGS: The President this weekend also weighing in on the Rob Porter scandal. He did not identified the White House aide by name but did tweet this. People's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused. Life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as due process? That stunning tweet followed by this remark on Friday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As you probably know he says he is innocent. I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday he is innocent. You have to talk to him about that. We absolutely wish him well.


ROMANS: The President's comments getting a lot of attention by people who followed the central park five case where the President took out $85,000 a newspaper ad talking about the young men's in this (inaudible) rape case. They served prison time and DNA evidence eventually found them innocent.

BRIGGS: No apology (inaudible), no mention of the women abused who were abuse here. That is the real stunning omission from the tweets and statements.

ROMANS: Right. The President statement drawing this heated response from Jennie Willoughby. One of Porter's ex-wives who said he abuse her. She write in Time magazine, everyone is talking about how Trump implied I'm not to be believed as Trump is a model of kindness and forgiveness. As you rhetorically acknowledge his own shortcomings and show empathy and concerns for others, I forgive him. Thankfully my strength and worth are not dependent on outside belief. The truth exists whether the President accepts it or not.

BRIGGS: The ranking Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee says he plans to meet with the FBI to hear concerns about a Democrats memo. The document rebuttal to the Republican Nunes memo alleging FBI surveillance abuses. Last week the White House barred publications of the Democrats memo claiming it contains numerous classified and especially sensitive pages. Democrats called that hypocrisy since the FBI warned against release of the Republican document, but the White House did it anyway.

ROMANS: A group of Republican Senators just released a version of President Trump immigration plan ahead of this week's floor debate comes from the floor debate released. It comes from the conservative members and resembles the proposals outline by the President. This includes a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million eligible immigrants in exchange for a border wall and enhanced border security, plus a number of new laws that would make it easier to detain and deport immigrants. Also included is tighter immigration enforcement and limited family base visas even further. This week, majority leader Mitch McConnell is offering different proposals to compete for the 60 votes needed to advance.

[04:35:00] BRIGGS: One of the House leading conservative voices is raising concern about of leadership from house speaker Paul Ryan. Congressman Jim Jordan of the house freedom caucus says he had issues with Ryan's support frame massive spending bill passed last week.


REP JIM JORDAN, BENGHAZI COMMITTEE MEMBER: He could have stood firm from the position that we passed earlier in the week. The position that our conference then supported. I wish he would have done that. Do I think the speaker has problems? Yes, I do. Particularly now as we headed into the big immigration debate.


BRIGGS: The deal passed at 5:30 a.m. Friday. Raising budget caps by $300 billion over two years. Congressman Jordan says that is not consistent with the promises Republican made to cut spending.

ROMANS: Today President Trump will unveil his long awaited infrastructure plan. At his state of the union, he laid out his vision invest $1.5 trillion to fix America's infrastructure. We know the broad strokes draft obtain by Axios spelled out the details. The White House declined to comment on the leaked plan. Based on that, here is what to expect. The White House invest $1.5 trillion, but only $200 billion will be direct federal spending. The rest is a mixed of private investment and state local tax dollars. Breaking that $200 billion down further a 4100 billion goes to the local government incentives and $20 billion for transformative projects. $50 billion for world (inaudible) grants. States can spend that on transportation, broadband, waste and water. The rest for infrastructure related undertakings. The Trump administration doesn't proposed a specific funding mechanism. That discussion is for congress. That is complicated by two things, the new tax bill and the president's budget proposal expected today. Both will add to the deficit.

BRIGGS: Spending continues. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the me too movement will have what she call staying power.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GINSBURG: I don't think they will be a serious backlash. It is too

widespread. My concern is that it shouldn't stop with prominent people. It's amazing to me that for the first time women are really listened to because sexual harassment often had been dismissed as -- well, she made it up or she is too thin skinned. So I think it's very healthy development.


BRIGGS: CNN's Poppy Harlow interviewed the Supreme Court justice on Sunday in Columbia University.

ROMANS: Meantime leaders of the senate judiciary committee want to know how the office over seen the federal courts is addressing sexual misconduct. The CNN investigation founded just four of more than 1,300 complaints filed during the 2016 fiscal year were referred to a special committee investigation.

BRIGGS: The sale of the Harvey Weinstein film studio could be in jeopardy. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, filing a lawsuit against the disgraced movie mogul and his former company. Schneiderman's four month investigation revealing quote, vicious and exploitative mistreatment of employees that started in 2005 and continued all the way through October of 2017.

ROMANS: Eric Schneiderman wants any sale of the studio to include compensation for the Weinstein accusers. Weinstein's attorney releasing a statement claiming there was no criminality in his client's behavior.

BRIGGS: The suspect in the shooting death of two Ohio police officers charged with two counts of aggravated murder. Police say Quinton Lamar Smith shot and killed Westerville police officers as they were entering Smith's apartment responding to a hang-up 911 call involving possible domestic abuse. This chilling 911 call made by the suspect's wife Candace Smith.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911. What is your emergency?

CANDACE SMITH, QUINTON LAMAR SMITH'S WIFE: Please help. Please help. Please help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is wrong? Tell me what's wrong?

SMITH: He shot the police officer. Hurry up. My daughter is in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is your husband?

SMITH: I don't know. My daughter's in the house. She is 1 year old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 1-year-old in the house with your husband?

SMITH: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And your husband shot the officers?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He shot the police officer, yes.


BRIGGS: The 1-year-old is fine. Police records show officers had been called to the Smith home for domestic violence reports. President Trump spoke last night with Ohio governor John Kasich who is from Westerville. President offering his thoughts and prayers to the officer's families.

Breaking news this morning. The entire Baltimore metro subway link system shutting down for emergency repairs. Maryland department of transportation officials say the system will remain shut down for up to four weeks. Officials said the decision came after a thorough safety inspection over the weekend. This is a system which is replaced by a system of shuttle buses paid for with emergency funding from Governor Larry Hogan.

[04:40:12] ROMANS: That will be a mess today. Southwest airlines forced to cancel more than 200 flights out of Chicago's midway airport, because of the shortage of deicing fluid. The airline has worked to manage deicing fluid levels through several recent storms, but did not have enough to safely operate many of its flight on Sunday. Southwest says multiple deliveries of deicing solvent is expected today and operations should be close to normal.

BRIGGS: And coming up, Kim Jong-un's sister with the charm offensive at the winter games. Will South Korea accept her invitation to Pyongyang and is the U.S. left on the outside looking in? We are live in Pyeongchang.



[04:45:24] JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY GENERAL: I know that people are watching for a wedge between South Korea, Republic of Korea and the United States. There is no wedge there to be driven with Korea and the United States.


BRIGGS: Secretary of Defense James Mattis on the flight to Rome rejecting the idea North Korea could hurt relations between the U.S. and South Korea. That suggestion heard more often since the start of the Olympics where Kim Jong-un's sister put on quite a show extending an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang. We have Paula Hancocks live for us tonight in Southern winter games in Pyeongchang. Hi there, Paula.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, it has been a tremendous few days with the amount of coverage we have seen of Kim Jong-un's sister on global media is really quite remarkable. Considering how little is known about her. What she did come with was that invitation for the South Korean president Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang. We have not heard anything from Kim Jong-un. Also we know that there has been, Washington Post article where the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said he was willing to talk to North Korea. The South Korean dispose tonight was the U.S.-South Korean talks has always been the two sides talking and then the U.S. and North Korea should be talking as well. They will do what they can to tray and press that. Also a senior diplomatic source with the knowledge of North Korea said the he believes it is a missed opportunity for Pence in South Korea. The fact there was no acknowledgment on either side with the U.S. and North Korea diplomats sitting feet away from each other.


BRIGGS: Josh Rogan who spent time with the Vice President will join us in the 5:00 hour. Paula thanks.

ROMANS: America's Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait a few more days to kick off her bid for multiple Olympic medals. Coy Wire has more from Pyeongchang. It is windy and it's cold.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: So cold. It feels like zero is what the temperature says right now, but the winds at 45-mile-an-hour gusts. Wreaking havoc in Pyeongchang. The contact at the IOC said these medal ceremony is where the athletes are going is essentially empty. No one wants to be outside. Several competitions postponed or delay, because of this wicked winds including the first women's alpine skiing event in Pyeongchang debut for Mikaela Shiffrin. The giant slalom now pushed back several days. So what are this finely tune athletes do when they get move. Mikaela said they had a great gym. She will be taking a lot of naps. The delay perhaps is more difficult on the family members who made travel plans to be here to cheer this athletes. Now 17 year old snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim is the favorite for gold and a half pipe competitions and she said, she just had the highest scores in qualifiers. This is her first Olympics in South Korea where her parents emigrated to the U.S. from here. She is 5'2", 115 pounds. Fearless when she attacks the wall and soars into the sky. I asked Chloe what is fear.


CHLOE KIM, SNOWBOARDER: I feel like I'm scared a lot of the time. When I'm dropping in, I am like OK, this could happen. That could happen. I'm the most scared when I'm learning a new trick and I don't know what to expect or what I'm going to see. Usually that first trick is pretty scary. After that, I don't feel that much fear.


WIRE: Well after crushing her first run, she seems relaxed. She tweeted something that was trending, she said, could be down for ice cream right now. This coming from the girl who says she doesn't like the snow. Believe it or not. She says it's too cold. She is in Pyeongchang and wants ice cream. Can't wait to watch her go out.

ROMANS: She is fun to watch.

BRIGGS: A great start to the games. Coy Wire, thank you. Stay warm.

ROMANS: Last week, Elon Musk shot his tesla into space aboard the SpaceX latest rocket. Now NASA keeping tabs on his car. CNN money stream is next.


[4:54.00] BRIGGS: $:53 in time, President Trump says he is not convinced the Israelis nor Palestinians are committed to the peace process. When it comes to releasing a plan for peace, the President tells the Israeli newspaper, we have to see what happens. Right ow the region has a troubling spike in tension with Israel, Iran and Syria. CNN's Ian Lee is live along the border of Syria, Israel and Lebanon in Golan Heights. Good morning, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. We are learning about the drone that Iran flew into the air space. It was a copy of the RK-170, also known as a sentinel. Back in 2011, the CIA lost one of this drone over in Iran. Iran says they were able to gathered the pieces and reversed engineered it. This is a stealth drone. Although the drone that Iran had did not have the abilities as Israel says they were able to track it from the moment it took off to the moment it entered Israeli air space and shot it down.

[04:55:00] We are also hearing from Israel's air force commander. He said, Israeli still going to operate freely inside Syria despite the fact that they lost the plane to Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Another story that we're tracking this morning is that interview that President Trump gave to Israel today. This is a newspaper that is owned by the casino owner and Trump supporter Sheldon Adelson. They are not willing to make the tough compromises that are needed to achieve the peace deal between both sides with the Israeli's and the Palestinians. Dave.

BRIGGS: Should be a task for Jared Kushner. Ian Lee, live for us just about noon there in Golan Heights, thank you.

ROMANS: In Russia, both black boxes has now been recovered following the Sunday plane crash near Moscow. The crew of the Saratov airlines flight did not report any issues before the plane went down. All 71 people on board were killed. The plane disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Moscow. Witness's reports seeing explosion before it went down. Right now, the Russian capital is experiencing the heaviest snowfall in decades. It is not clear if the weather played a role in the crash.

BRIGGS: Lights starting to come back on after the explosion and fire caused the blackout in parts of northern Puerto Rico on Sunday. According to the island's nation's power authority, several municipalities were affected, including parts of San Juan. No one was injured in the blast and it is not clear what caused it. Also difficult to determine how many people have power right now in Puerto Rico which is still recovering from hurricane Maria all the way back in September. ROMANS: The London City airport shutdown on Sunday when construction

crews found a World War II bomb in the Thames River nearby. It happen during a plan development project. Operations to remove the bomb are ongoing. The Royal navy enforcing 700 foot exclusion zone in the area to keep the public safe. All roads leading into the small London airport also closed overnight. That happens from time to time. Think about the blitz on the City of London.

BRIGGS: More rain in the forecast tonight in Cape Town, South Africa. Welcome sight for the City in the grips of the crippling drought. It rain over the weekend for the first time in nearly three week, residents collecting water and buckets and tanks to wash clothes, dishes and flush toilets. The largest reservoir remains at dangerously low levels. Day zero is when Cape Town is expected to run dry is now May 11th.

ROMANS: All right. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will exchange vows in the St. George chapel at Windsor castle. Among new details from the royal family. After the May 19 ceremony a procession will take the newlyweds along High Street in a carriage through the town of Windsor before finishing back at the castle. It is scheduled for noon London time, that means 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Convenient for U.S. viewers who want to see the prince marry an American.

Let's get a check on CNN money stream. It is Monday morning, after last week's turmoil, global is starting this week markets a higher. Right now most European and Asian stocks were up. London and Paris is more than 1 percent. U.S. futures are also higher. Dow features up about 300 points. That is after the worst week in two years. Same for the S&P 500. The Dow climbed 300 points Friday capping off a week of violent swings. Fears of inflation drove the Dow down 1,300 points during the week.

The trial for the future of self-driving cars is over. Uber and Waymo settled their trade secret lawsuit on Friday. It has been one year since Waymo accused Uber of stealing self-driving technology claiming it cheated to get ahead in the self-driving car race. Uber denied that accusation. The trial expected to last two weeks instead Waymo accepted a settlement offer from Uber. Uber will pay about $245 million. Waymo had initially asked for maximum damages of $1.8 billion.

NASA keeping tabs on Elon Musk tesla roadster. The cars was shot in space remember last week, aboard the SpaceX rocket. The David Bowie blasting and a dummy behind the wheel. NASA will track the car as part of the horizon data bases. The directory of more than 755,000 asteroids and 3500 comets. The tesla now has its own entry labeled as a near earth object.

BRIGGS: No more David Bowie. All right "Early start" continues right now.

ROMANS: Stay and fight. That is what Rob Porter says he was told by senior officials at White House. Despite allegations of domestic violence abuse. His story doesn't line up with the chief of staff. The Invitation is on the table. Kim Jong-un's sister says South

Korean leaders are welcome in Pyongyang. Now the Vice President hitting the U.S. could find itself at the table as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are they listening and acting fast enough?



GINSBURG: It's not acting.


ROMANS: Even if congress does nothing, #metoo is here to stay. Revealing chat with Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.