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Nashville Gunman On The Run; Trump Wants North Korea Nukes Dismantled Before Sanctions Relief; Duchess Of Cambridge Hospitalized In Early Labor; Suicide Bombing Targets Kabul Election Center; Four Presidents Pay Tribute to Barbara Bush. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired April 23, 2018 - 04:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, the gunman who killed four people at the Nashville restaurant is still on the run and could be armed.


JAMES SHAW JR., TACKLED GUNMAN: I chose to react, because I did not see any other way of me, you know, living.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The customer who charged the gunman and ripped the rifle away is telling his story.

ROMANS: President Trump reportedly wants North Korea to dismantle its nukes before he'll talk lifting economic sanctions.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is admitted to the hospital in labor with another royal baby on the way. Good Monday morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." Alongside a true royal watcher. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I love to watch the royal, and you know, Max Foster is already there at the hospital, they are all been summoned there, so she is on the early stage of labor, but Yes, I am Christine Romans, I like babies, I like babies that aren't royal too. It is Monday, April 23rd. 4:00 a.m. in the East, 9:00 a.m. in London, 12:30 p.m. in (inaudible).

BRIGGS: I got to like babies.

ROMANS: I like babies. All right. We are following a breaking news story this morning. One minute after the top of the hour.

Authorities are warning people to keep doors locked and eyes open as long as this gunman in the Nashville Waffle House attack remains on the loose and he is on the loose. 29-year-old, Travis Reinking shot and killed four people with an AR-15 style rifle early Sunday morning. He is known to have a history of mental problems. Last July, he was arrested after breaching a White House security barrier demanding a meeting with President Trump.

Federal law enforcement arrange to have his firearms taken away, but the guns were given to his father, his father who later gave them back to Reinking. For more, let's go to CNN's Diane Gallagher in Antioch, Tennessee.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, of course, above all else, right now, people here in Antioch, Tennessee and really surrounding everywhere are really on edge. Because, we are looking at more than 24 hours now since the shooting. And they still do not know where he is. They have been looking for him and they have used k-9's trying to find this man and still no sign of 29 year old, Travis Reinking, now they say that just after 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, Central Time, he came to this Waffle House here, parked his truck.

He was nude except for a green jacket armed with an AR-15, came into the parking lot, and opened fire. He killed two people in the parking lot and went inside the Waffle House and began shooting again. He killed two more people inside the Waffle House. They say had it not been for the heroic actions of one customer James Shaw Jr. that this could had been much worse.


SHAW JR.: The gun was kind a -- jammed up and it was pushed down. So we were scuffling. And I managed to get him with one hand on the gun and I grabbed it from him. I threw it over the counter top. And after that, I was trying to get out the door and I think he was pretty much in the entrance so I just took him out with me.


GALLAGHER: The last time anybody saw Reinking, he was walking down the street. He put pants on by that time and wasn't seen again. In Washington, D.C. in July of 2017, U.S. Secret Service has actually arrested him trying to get on the grounds of the White House. He told him he was a sovereign citizen that he -- and wanted a meeting with President Trump. Shortly after that, the FBI and authorities in the home state of Illinois interviewed him. Illinois revoked his authorization to have weapons. They confiscated four guns. They gave those guns to his father.

Now, police here say that the father has acknowledge, he gave those four guns back to his son. One of those guns, according to police, was the AR-15 used in the shooting here at the Waffle House. Authorities in Illinois and his hometown, according to police report also had some run-ins with him with some mental health thing. He threatened to kill himself with a gun before and he also told them that he is having -- basically the pop star, Taylor Swift was stalking him. Authorities here recognize that we should be dealing with him with someone having mental health issues. Right now, though, Dave and Christine, they really just want to find him.

(END VIDEO) BRIGGS: All right. Dianne, thanks. Let's talk about the latest on

this North Korea situation now.

According to "The Wall Street Journal," President Trump plans to ask Kim Jong-un to dismantle his nuclear arsenal before any significant economic concession are made, it is not clear though how the North Korean leader might respond with such an offer, but a source in Pyongyang tells CNN, Kim is committed to denuclearization.

He wants to focus on the economic growth and realizes the best path forward is to normalize relations with the international community. Let's go live in Seoul, welcome CNN's Paula Hancocks. Paula to say a healthy dose of skepticism that Kim Jong-un is willing to fully denuclearize ahead of this meetings with President Trump. Good morning.

[04:05:00] PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, good morning Dave. And a healthy dose of skepticism that Kim Jong-un is willing to denuclearize full stop there. And many analysts that say, that he has a very different many ideas of what denuclearization means than what Mr. Trump and President Moon Jae-in here in South Korea think. We did hear from Mr. Moon just a few minutes ago, he was reacting to Kim Jong-un saying that he have that freeze on nuclear and missile testing. Saying that it is an act of good faith, saying it is a crucial decision and highly praising it.

There was also a small concession form the South Korea side this morning. The South Korean Defense Ministry saying, that they have stopped broadcasting propaganda across the border, across the DMZ into North Korea. They have been broadcasting k-pop and news for example. And they have now stop that now. So it appears at this point that both sides and at least are making small concessions before that crucial meeting on summit on Friday. And so, they at least want it to start well. Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Paula Hancocks, live for us in Seoul, thank you.

Meanwhile, French President, Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel bloof (ph) be in Washington this week. Both expected to press President Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. Macron arrives in Washington today, but the first official state visit of the Trump presidency, Macron and President Trump share a common bond as political mavericks.


PRES EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: We have a very special relationship, because both of us probably the mavericks of the system on both sides. I think President Trump's election was an unexpected one in your country. And probably my election wasn't expected in my country. And we are not part of the classical political system.


BRIGGS: Trump will host President Macron for three days of meetings and events, including dinner tonight at Mt. Vernon, George Washington's Virginia home. And a state dinner tomorrow at the White House on Wednesday, Macron will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress.

ROMANS: it is indeed a special relationship. The French were the first allies of the United States, right?

BRIGGS: They still had dinner at the Eiffel tower.

ROMANS: That is right. All right. Iran's Foreign Minister says President Trump threats to pull out of the nuclear deal with this country send what he calls a very dangerous message to Iran and the world. The PAC went into force in January of 2016 during the Obama presidency. Under the deal, excuse me -- Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the end of sanctions against Iran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, says that President Trump threats to withdraw from the deals sends a message globally that agreement don't matter.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Obviously, this would be a bad president that if the United States sends these message to the international community that the length or the duration of any agreement would depend on the duration of the presidency. That would mean people would at least think twice before they start negotiating with the United States. Because negotiations involve give and take. And people will not be prepared to give if the take is only temporary.


ROMANS: Javad Zarif says if the U.S. quits the agreement, Iran's options include, restarting its nuclear activities or unspecified quote, drastic measures.

BRIGGS: OK. Today, the senate Foreign Relations Committee votes on the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. If Republican Rand Paul votes no, as expected, CIA Director Pompeo will be the first Secretary of State nominee ever to be rejected in committee. Even so, the nomination goes to the full senate on Thursday. Democratic Moderate, Heidi Heitcamp, of North Dakota says she will vote yes.

Right now, GOP leaders expects to win at least one more vote from the Red State Democrat, enough to push Pompeo through a floor vote to confirmation.

ROMANS: President Trump on a Twitter tirade this weekend, trying to use former FBI Director, James Comey's newly released memos to discredit the Russia investigation. The President arguing Robert Mueller's probe is illegitimate, tweeting James Comey illegally leaks classified documents to the press in order to generate a special counsel, he means counsel, therefore the special counsel was established based on an illegal act. Really? Does everybody know what that means?

The Department of Justice Inspector General is reviewing how Comey handled his memos which details seven meetings or conversation he had with the President, in early 2017. At least one of those memos was later classified as confidential.

BRIGGS: Exactly. President Trump also aggressively defending Michael Cohen. He claims that "The New York Times" is trying to destroy his longtime lawyer. After report detailing how poorly the president has treated Cohen in the past. The White House Counsel, Kellyanne Conway, insisting the President is genuinely worried about Cohen's well-being.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I'm telling you that the President's concern has been for Michael Cohen the way he has been treated. He has said that again and again in tweets and again and again with the cameras rolling, with the media and the cabinet room and elsewhere.

[04:10:06] And why is that? Because, I see people go on TV constantly who don't know President Trump at all and say he is loyal to no one, but himself. That is completely not true. He stands up for people in his inner circle and people he knows when he thinks to be treated unfairly.


BRIGGS: The President claims "The New York Times" is trying to undermine his relationship with Cohen in order to get him to flip and cooperate with the Feds.

ROMANS: China welcomes Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin's offer to hold direct trade talks in Beijing. In a statement, China's commerce ministry said it received a message form the U.S. about its willingness to hold bilateral trade talks and welcomes the move. Secretary Mnuchin, told reporter Saturday that the trip to China is under consideration.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: I have continued to have a dialogue with my counterpart on the trade issue and we're, as you know, I said before, we're cautiously optimistic to see if we can try to reach agreement on trade.


ROMANS: Trade tensions between China and the U.S. are escalating. Each side threatening the other with billions of dollars in tariffs. And this week, Corporate America may weigh-in and host a multinational company's report earnings, including many analyst say, they are vulnerable to a trade war, like 3M, Boeing, Intel, Chevron, they may say how the trade spat could affect their businesses. And a new report found some tariff will lead to job losses, especially for Domestic manufacturers. The administration imposed tariffs on steel imports if you recall last month. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says, that steel tariffs are likely to cost more jobs than they save.

BRIGGS: Another issue with our allies, European Union has Macron and Angela Merkel will come. OK. So breaking news.

ROMANS: Yes, breaking news royal baby news. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to a London hospital. She is in the early stages of labor, Kensington Palace tweeting that she is at St. Mary's Hospital with Prince William right now. They are expecting their third child, the baby will be fifth in line to the British throne, and the sixth then is of course, Harry. He would be the sixth in line to the British throne. The top six are considered, you know, the core royal family.

BRIGGS: I just trust all your royal news.

ROMANS: I listen to Max Foster. Everything that Max Foster said I listen to. We will stay on the subject.

BRIGGS: OK. Ahead. ISIS has struck again. This time killing dozens as they register to vote. We have the latest for you.

ROMANS: Mysterious death of a Russian journalist. Did he get too close to the truth? That is ahead.


BRIGGS: 4:16 Eastern Time. At least 57 people killed by a suicide bomber at the voter registration center in Kabul. More than 100 others injured and five children among the dead. Afghan officials say, the bomber was on foot when he detonated his explosives at the gate of the election center. ISIS is claiming responsibility. This is the most serious attack to date against Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his plan to hold the parliamentary election in October.

ROMANS: Human Rights organization are calling for thorough investigation into the death of a Russian reporter. Journalist Maxim Borodin, died last week when he fell from the fifth floor balcony -- excuse me-- of his apartment. He was working on a highly sensitive story about a shadowy private military firm that deploys mercenaries in Syria and Ukraine. Russian authorities brushing aside Borodin's death insisting there are no grounds to launch a criminal probe. CNN's Nic Robertson is live for us in London with the latest developments, no need to launch a criminal probe. But a guy who is working on a sensitive story about the mercenary's army and falls five floors. That sounds suspicious.

NIC ROBERTSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. And when you go there and look at the facts which is what I did. I went to his apartment just a couple days ago in (inaudible) and there is a dent in the soil beneath the balcony. The twigs on the tree of either side of that and dent on the soil, a broken and mud splattered on the wall. No neighbors around there really wanted to talk about what happened. The one person that we did find was willing to say something said that the police have taken him away after the apparent fall from the balcony. And there was no investigation by the police which automatically raises by alarm bells.

They didn't ask neighbors what they had seen or what they heard at that time. And also, we know that Borodin called a friend the night before saying his place was surrounded by security officials to get a lawyer. Later calling the friend back and saying no, stand down and it was a false alarm.

His employer says that he was a journalist who created a splash with his news, drew a lot of attention. Interestingly they are saying that their media company right now is being throttled back on the internet. They thought the sources, the sources say that has been officially sanctioned. So it seems they are being targeted and throttle back. There is no doubt there is a chill in the air in Russia among journalist over this death. It is completely unexplained.

The police say the door was locked from the inside and therefore, that they don't believe anyone else was there. But, you know, when you look at the facts and you go there and examine it, you just walk away thinking, what we are hearing from the authorities just does not add up at this time.

ROMANS: All right. Nic Robertson, thank you so much from London, thanks.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, country superstar, Shania Twain taking a little heat for something she said about President Trump. That is next.


BRIGGS: Mitt Romney hitting a bit of a speed bump. In his bit of replace retiring Utah Senator Orin Hatch on Saturday at the State GOP convention, Romney failed to get the 60 percent vote he needed to claim the party senate nomination in advance to November unopposed. Instead, Romney will have to compete in June 26 primary election against Utah Republican lawmaker, Mike Kennedy, who beat Romney by nearly two points on Saturday after two rounds of caucus voting.

ROMANS: Revealing profile of singer Shania Twain in the Guardian, revealing she would have voted for President Trump, if she were an American citizen. Shania is by the way Canadian, asked about the President about the British newspaper. Twain said quote, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest. Do you want straight or polite?

As you might imagine, Twitter went nuts. The singer trending worldwide, lambasted online, some hitting her with her own song lyrics. One person tweeted, Dear Canada, there are things about you I admire. You can keep Shania Twain. She does impress me much. Shania apologize as the backlashed intensified calling her response awkward, but saying she should not be taken as representative of her values and it does not indicate that she endorses Trump. Although she said, she would have voted for him if she were American, but now she doesn't endorse him.

[04:25:13] BRIGGS: But is he still the one?

ROMANS: Oh, very well done. Very well done.

BRIGGS: I got more of those. We can just keep going. Ahead, the White House releasing a photo of four presidents and four

first ladies who attended the funeral for Barbara Bush in Houston on Saturday. The photo features Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush along with first lady Melania Trump and the former first ladies, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.

President Trump keeping with recent history, not attending the funeral of a former first lady. The White House said last week, he would not attend to avoid disruption and out of respect for the Bush family.

ROMANS: I thought the eulogy as service was just beautiful.

BRIGGS: It was perfect tone and pitch.

ROMANS: I really thought it would. And you really felt like she is somebody who -- for those of us who did not know her personally, you walked away thinking that is a kind of woman I would have liked to have known.

BRIGGS: And, you know, they made it clear. You know, they wanted people to laugh. She would want people to laugh. Her husband wearing books, socks to honor her commitment to literacy which is terrific.

ROMANS: All right. A man with an assault rifle, customer with a life-or-death decision.


SHAW JR.: That if it was going to come down to it, he would have to work to kill me.


ROMANS: More on the brave action he took and the search for the gunman next.