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EARLY START

Well Gun Plan; Deadly NYC Chopper Crash; O.J.'s Hypothetical Confession; Trumps Holds Rally In Pennsylvania; Let The Madness Begin; North Korea Summit Security Preps Begin; Military Personnel Dispatched To Salisbury. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 12, 2018 - 04:30   ET

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


[04:30:00

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The White House laying out proposals for reducing gun violence in schools, which include arming teachers but leave out two big commitments from the President.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Tragedy in New York City. Five people are dead after their chopper plunges into the East River.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O.J. SIMPSON, FOOTBALL LEGEND: Almost like you (ph), Ron and Nicole, were physically dead and they almost killed me, who I was attacked and murdered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: After 12 years under wraps, the jaw-dropping interview from O.J. Simpson. Does these hypothetical story count as a confession? Welcome back to "Early Start," on a Monday everybody, I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Do you have to say it is Monday? I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, it is 32 minutes past the hour. Last night the Trump administration put forward its proposal to give some school personnel what it calls, rigorous firearms training. That is the center piece of a plan to combat gun violence in and out of schools, the plan President Trump promised after the Parkland shooting. Now, the proposal has other elements, but not among them are two things this President said last month he would prioritize.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In addition to everything else, in addition to what we are going to do about background checks, we will go very strongly into age, age of purchase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The White House's new plan does not expand background checks, does not raise the minimum age of purchase. The plan does call for a new commission just the day after the President said all commissions do is talk. For more, let's turn to Boris Sanchez at the White House. (BEGIN VIDEO)

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Dave and Christine, it is a multi- pronged effort that the White House is including in the proposal to try to stop school shootings in light of the shooting in Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior high school last month.

First, the White House is pushing for the creation of a new task force headed by education secretary, Betsy DeVos, that would examine the problem of school violence and then recommend possible policy solutions and funding solutions that would limit school violence.

Secondly, the White House is going to push Congress to pass two bills; first, the Fix NICS bill that would incentivize local municipalities to report information to the national background check system; and then secondly, the stop School Violence Act, which provides funding for schools to try to beef up their defenses essentially.

Beyond that, the most controversial part of this is what the White House is advocating that states should put into effect. First, one policy that would require states to train personnel within schools to be armed, that is the hardening of schools, something that President Trump has pushed for, for a very long time dating back to the 2016 campaign.

Also very controversial, the idea of risk protection orders, something that the White House is advocating that states should do is allowing law enforcement to temporarily take firearms away from individuals that have been deemed at risk and prevent them from buying more weapons for a certain amount of time, Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Boris. No reaction yet from the NRA. One Republican Congressman with a top NRA rating tells CNN the White House proposal is a missed opportunity, fails to honor the victims and survivors of the Parkland shooting. That lawmaker favors raising the minimum age to buy assault style weapons. The lawmaker believes that President Trump has quote, "Abandoned his instincts on the issue of gun safety."

BRIGGS: Breaking news overnight. A deadly helicopter crashed in New York City's east river caught on video last night.

[04:35:02] All five passengers on board were killed. The pilot was the only survivor. Here is his may-day call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lima Hotel, mayday, mayday, mayday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lima Hotel, you OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: East River, engine failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am sorry say again? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: East River, engine failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a little broken up say one more time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had an engine failure over the East River, Lima Hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Requiring assistance?

It was a mayday call. LaGuardia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Lima Hotel is code for liberty helicopters which operates about flight. The pilot was able to free himself from the wreckage and was rescued.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL NIGRO, FDNY COMMISSIONER: One of the most difficult parts of the operation we're told is the five people besides the pilot were all tightly harnessed. So, these harnesses had to be cut and removed in order to get these folks off of this helicopter which was upside down at the time and completely submerged.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: In the cold water. The chopper was in the air for a private photo shoot. The National Transportation Safety Board will arrive this morning to investigate.

A pivotal special election in Pennsylvania, tomorrow's polls showing a tight race between Democrat, Conor Lamb, and Republican, Rick Saccone in the states reliably Republican 18th congressional district. President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton there by 20 points in the 18th, which covers some of Petersburg suburbs. The President campaigning in the district for Saccone over the weekend, that rambling freewheeling speech was more about his favorite candidate, Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I know her weakness. Wouldn't we love to run against Oprah? I would love it. I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.

The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness. The death penalty. I think it is a discussion we have to start thinking about. Don't you? I don't know if you're ready. Can you imagine covering Bernie or Pocahontas? Pocahontas. How about that? Maxine Waters, a very low I.Q. individual. But our new slogan, keep America great, exclamation point. Keep America great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The President also tweeted on Sunday. Republicans are five and zero in recent congressional races, bragging he backed and campaigned for each of the winners. He did fail to mention the Senate race in Alabama -- deep red Alabama where he backed two losing candidates. Donald Trump, Jr. will be in Pennsylvania today to campaign for Saccone.

A cringe-worthy moment on national television for Betsy DeVos. The education secretary admitting on "60 minutes," she does not know how schools are performing in her home state of Michigan. DeVos is a longtime advocate of school choice using public money to offer parents alternatives to traditional public schools like charter and voucher program. DeVos says alternatives drive public schools to perform better, but she had no answers when asked if school choice was successful in Michigan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESLEY STAHL, 60 MINUTES, CORRESPONDENT: Are the public schools in Michigan gotten better?

BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: I don't know overall. I can't say overall that they have all gotten better.

STAHL: The whole state is not doing well.

DEVOS: Well there are certainly lots of packets where the students are doing well.

STAHL: Have you seen really the bad schools and maybe try to figure out what they're doing?

DEVOS: I have not -- I have not intentionally visited schools that are under performing.

STAHL: Maybe you should.

DEVOS: Maybe I should. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: DeVos eventually acknowledged public schools in Michigan need to do better.

ROMANS: All right 38 minutes pass the hour. Republican lawmakers discussing legislation limiting President Trump trade powers, nullifying his new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Republican Senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, said he would support such legislation even if he is not sure the measure would pass.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RON JOHNSON, (R), WISCONSIN: There is really growing level of optimism, because we're returning certainty to American in Wisconsin's economy and the top of cancelling after now imposing this steel tariffs has interjected uncertainty in the economy were just it wasn't necessary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: In Wisconsin, Harley Davidson is in Wisconsin and the E.U. has already said that they would slap back on tariffs if need be. Trump's tariff plan faces opposition not just from fellow Republicans, but from allies, aids, corporate America, the series of trade war. Again the E.U. already promise to retaliate threatening tariffs on quintessential American good like Harley Davidson motorcycles. The concern that would hurt U.S. jobs, Johnson, of course represents the state of Wisconsin.

BRIGGS: O.J. Simpson in his own hypothetical words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMPSON: We go over. Get into my car (ph) and go over.

JUDITH REGAN, AMERICAN EDITOR, PRODUCER, BOOK PUBLISHER: Let's just go back and do the details. Where did you park?

SIMPSON: I don't want to go to details. And hypothetical, in the alley.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The interview unearthed after 12 years. Does it sound like a confession? You decide next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:44:20] BRIGGS: A never before seen 2006 interview with O.J. Simpson broadcast for the first time. The former football star and actor spelling out how he would have killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman in 1994. The interviewed aired last night on Fox.

ROMANS: It was conducted by publisher, Judith Regan, for the book Simpson wrote with her "If I did it," a book which was never released. Simpson offering what he claimed was a hypothetical explanation for the murders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGAN: So Ron Goldman comes in the back.

SIMPSON: Yes. A guy I really didn't recognize. I may have seen him around, but I really didn't recognize him.

[04:45:00] As things got heated, I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself. And this guy kind a got into a karate thing. And I said, "Yyou think you can kick my ass," and I remember I grabbed a knife. I didn't remember that portion, taking the knife from Charlie. And to be honest, after that, I don't remember, except I was standing there and all kind of stuff around.

REGAN: What kind of stuff?

O.J. SIMPSON: Blood and stuff around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Judith Regan will be on "New Day" to talk about that O.J. interview later this morning.

BRIGGS: Strike three. A new nor'easter set to hit the northeast tonight and into tomorrow. Meteorologist, Ivan Cabrera, joins us live from the CNN Weather Center. We are exasperated up here, Ivan. What is on the way?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, more snow and more wind and more exasperation I think for all of us here. The difference here, Dave, is going to be with Boston. Boston last time around got just a few inches of snowfall. Not going to be the case. This is going to be a classic New England storm. So Boston is going to be the bull's- eye. Get ready for that. This map where you want to be is in the purple, because that means winter weather advisory. So places like New Jersey heading into New York City, we're going to be talking about 2 to 4 inches.

We can handle that, but where you see the pink, that is the winter storm warnings are flying and that is where we are going to be talking about some heavy snow. The storm is already getting going in the south. Do you imagine? Cold air for snow in Nashville. It is snowing in Kentucky. In fact we have winter storm warnings posted here. These will expire later on this afternoon and into the evening. And in the coastal low will begin to develop.

Stop, if you heard this from before, this will also be, yes, the bomb cyclone will be back. You will be hearing all about that, because the storm has the potential to intensify very rapidly in 24 hours. So bombogenesis it is.

And look at this, by the time we get into Tuesday it is peeking it could be leading to a hurricane force winds along the coast with terrific amount of snow. Boston proper could be looking at 12 to perhaps 17 inches of snowfall by the time we're done. And this is going to be a quick mover, so that by Wednesday, the storm is out of here, but it is going to leave quite a mark in this time east of 95. Dave.

BRIGGS: Thousands still without power from the last couple. Ivan, thank you.

CABRERA: Millions more on the way, yes.

BRIGGS: Let the madness begin. Folks, the field is set for the 2018 NCAA college basketball tournament. University of Virginia will play in the South region as the top overall seed. The other number one over all seed, Villanova in the east, Kansas in the Midwest and Xavier in the west. Since seeding began in 1979, 16 teams in seventh or worst have reach the final four, so picking up set, eight of those pulling out the feet in the past seven years. Coverage begins tomorrow night on TrueTV with the first four games. ROMANS: All right. "Saturday Night Live's" cold open mashing up the

controversial "The Bachelor" finale and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to be honest with you and telling you I cannot commit to collusion right now.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You indicted 13 Russians and like everything that happened in the Seychelles that means nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. The Seychelles were amazing and like -- it is definitely -- it's definitely something. It is just like the more time that goes by, you know, the more that I keep thinking about obstruction.

(LAUGHTER)

This is (BEEP) embarrassing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So that is it? He is just going to be President?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I honestly -- I don't know how to answer that.

(BEEP), so I have to wait two more years for him to be out of office?

Honestly, probably six.

(BEEP).

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So Stormy Daniels. That is nothing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I mean that is definitely fun, but it's not what I'm doing.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any good news for me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you own American steel?

(LAUGHTER)

Then no, I don't.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just leave. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: No, you need a lot of context to understand that. "The Bachelor," of course, picked a girl that he was engaged and he broke up and pick the other one, but Robert Mueller is an interesting audition in that skit.

ROMANS: That is interesting. Who gets the role of collusion or obstruction?

All right. "Toys R Us" may shut all of its U.S. stores. It could happen early as this week. We got those details on "CNN Money" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[04:54:10] TRUMP: South Korea came to my office after having gone to North Korea and seeing Kim Jong-un. No, it's very positive. No. After the meeting he may do that, but now we have to be very nice, because let's see what happens. Let's see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump urging his supporters at a rally in Pennsylvania to give talks with North Korea a chance. Now, the Director of the CIA says the President understands the risks of summit talks with Pyongyang.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Make no mistake about it. While the negotiations are going on, there will be no concessions made. The activity of this administration to disrupt the North Korean economy, to put pressure on North Korea, to galvanize the world in a way that you have countries from Middle East to Europe and Asia, placing sanctions on the North Korea regime, those will continue. President Trump is not doing this for theater. He is going to solve a problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[04:55:09] ROMANS: Today, key security meetings around the globe involving some of the top player who helped set up President Trump sit-down with the North Korea dictator.

One of those high level meetings happening in Beijing where we are joined by CNN's Matt Rivers. And Matt, by all accounts, there is work to be done before those two men actually get in a same room together, but you heard the President there urging his supporters who we think wanted to hear more about "little rocket man" urging them to give talks a chance.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes and I think that is what allies across the world have been telling the President that they all want a diplomatic solution to this, but you are right. There is a ton of work to do be done before these potential meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. And there are a lot of different allies and stake holders in this process that want a say in this negotiations.

So what you are seeing is South Koreans do today is basically what they went to Washington and to do with President Trump. They're going to different countries around the world briefing different stake holders on exactly how that meeting went when the South Korean delegation went across the DMZ north to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong-un himself.

You got an envoy here in Beijing, briefing the Chinese government. You have another high level envoy going to Japan to brief Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government. You have the National Security Adviser of United States, H.R. McMaster, going to the U.N. You have the South Korean foreign minister going to meet with her counterpart Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later this week and what all of these meetings have in common is the South Koreans are going to give an intelligence briefing about what they heard, some of which is not public of course at this point.

But then all of the allies you can expect to go back to the South Koreans and say look, "This is what we want out of this process. This important to us. We want a say in how this negotiations go down."

ROMANS: Fascinating. All right, Matt Rivers, thank you, sir.

BRIGGS: British Prime Minister Theresa May convening a meeting her government's National Security Council today. They'll discuss potential next steps following the apparent poisoning of the former Russian spy and his daughter. The incident led to new public health concerns over the weekend. CNN's Erin McLaughlin live in Salisbury England with more. Good morning, Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. People here in Salisbury are extremely concerned after health officials announced they found trace elements of a rare and deadly nerve agent at the Zizzi, the pizza restaurant just behind me, as well as an open pub which is not far from here. They're advising anyone who is at either locations after 1:30 p.m. on March 4th to wash their clothes as wells as their other items.

And what this tells us is that Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned prior to reaching that park benched, where they were both found unconscious. And that raises new concerns about the potential for contamination at other parts of the city. We have seen the military move in from 180 military personnel were moving vehicles, such as ambulances, as well as police cars that close the local cemetery as wells as authorities are seriously working to find the source of this poison.

This morning, we heard from the head of the foreign affairs committee for parliament say that this is looking like state sponsored murder. Dave.

BRIGGS: Erin McLaughlin live for us in England this morning, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. It is top of the hour. Let's get a check on "CNN Money." This Monday morning global stocks higher today after that jobs reports Friday was just right for Wall Street. Strong job growth without strong wage growth, that helps all major industries grow at least -- jump at least 1.7 percent with the NASDAQ hitting a record high close.

The U.S. had a 313,000 jobs in February. Wages grew just 2.6 percent slower than a 2.9 percent rise in January. Remember, that number prompted fears about inflation, that number in January sparked a sell off. Investors worry that inflation could spur faster interest rate hikes, but looks like that fear may have been unfounded, at least for now. This week Wall Street will get more inflation data reports on consumer prices and producer prices are due.

Are you underpaid? For the first time ever, workers at big companies will find out. This year, more than 50 major companies will reveal how the median worker pay compares with their CEO. This is a disclosure of this -- a requirement of Dodd-Frank. An advocate say it is about time. Slow wage growth is one weak point in otherwise strong labor market.

So, how do companies stack up? For Humana, the CEO makes 344 times than median worker; Whirlpool, 356 times as much; Kellogg's CEO makes 183 times more than the median worker does.

"Toys r Us" may shut all of its U.S. stores and it could happen as early as this week. The toy store declined to comment on shutter, but it declared bankruptcy last September. Sources say it could not balance its huge debt load while paying to upgrade its stores and digital offerings. Terrible news for toy companies, you know, because "Toys r Us" sells their products, shares of Hasbro fell 2 percent on Friday, Mattel plunge 7 percent. Watch this phase.

BRIGGS: Where will you shop for toys? I guess Target, Wall-Mart still left --

ROMANS: And Amazon?

BRIGGS: Well right, that is in terms of actual breaking water (ph) stores. All right, "Early Start" continues right now.