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EARLY START

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; Bloomberg Pledges $4.5 million for Paris Deal. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 23, 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] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

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

ROMANS: Breaking overnight. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is admitted to the hospital, she is in labor with another royal baby on the way. That will be what? Fifth in line to the throne?

Prince Harry with a wedding next month and all kinds of stuff in the royal.

BRIGGS: I have to do my royal homework.

ROMANS: I will tell you what, I'll cover the royal stuff. You cover sports.

BRIGGS: Sounds good.

ROMANS: OK then, so clushe. Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It is 31 minutes past the hour. We start with this breaking news. Authorities are warning people to keep doors locked and eyes open as long as this gunman in the Nashville Waffle House attack remains is on the loose. 29-year-old Travis Reinking shot and killed four people with an AR-15 style rifle early Sunday morning. Reinking 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 and his father who later gave them back to Reinking. For more, let's go to CNN's Diane Gallagher in Antioch, Tennessee.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

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 -- , they say that just after 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, Central Time, he came to the 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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) ROMANS: Interesting. All right. He is on the loose.

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

[04:35:06] He wants to focus on the economic growth and realizes the best past forward is to normalize relations with the international community. Let's go live to Seoul right now, bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks. Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Christine, we just heard from the South Korean Presidential office. They are giving us a few more details about that summit on Friday between Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in. We know in the Sun that South Korean press will be allowed to cross the border. The MDL, the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea, so that they could get the shot live of Kim Jong-un walking across the border into South Korea.

It is the first time the North Korean leader has ever done that. So, it will be an historic moment. There will also be a welcoming ceremony. We understand that at this point, the blue house still doesn't know whether or not the first lady will be coming as well. So there is a possibility that Kim Jong-un could bring his wife along as well. Obviously, a head's up there to the White House as well, the fact with this summit upcoming with the U.S. President Donald Trump, potentially it will be with Melania Trump as well.

So it really is a sense of the North Korean leader being legitimize here and talking about the first ladies, welcoming ceremonies, a huge difference from where we are just a matter of months ago and from the South Korean side as well. They are making a concession today. A small concessions that the military saying that they are stopping these propaganda broadcasts across the border into North Korean blaring k-pop and news, weather reports, that sort of thing, they had stopped that now and that has been on and off for decades as part of the psychological war. So there is really a sense that both sides are trying to make small concessions ahead of Friday's meeting. Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Paula, thank you for that in Seoul.

BRIGGS: All right. French President, Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel both be in Washington this week. Both expected to press President Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. Macron arrives in Washington today for the first official state visit of the Trump presidency. Macron says he and President Trump share a common bond as political mavericks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ROMANS: Iran's foreign minister says President Trump's threats to pull out of the nuclear deal with his country said what he calls a very dangerous message to Iran and the world. The pact went into force in January of 2016, during the Obama presidency. Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program and in exchange to end sanctions against Iran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says, President Trump threats to withdraw from that deal sends a message globally that agreements don't matter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Obviously, this would be a bad precedent 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BRIGGS: What that means, we do not know.

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 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 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 needs -- the other 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.

[04:40:10] BRIGGS: And 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 vast. The White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway insisting the President is genuinely worried about Cohen's well-being.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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. 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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: The U.S. investigated the biggest wireless carriers for possibly working together to make it harder for customers to switch services. Sources says, the Justice Department sent a letter to four major U.S. carriers. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, not all four are under investigation, but the DOJ is looking for information about possible collusion. The investigation is tied to technology known as e-sim. It lets the customers remotely switch wireless carriers without having to insert a new SIM card. The DOJ alleges that some carriers work together to restrict the technology. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint declined to comment at the Justice Department, but AT&T told CNN it is aware of the investigation, adding that it provided the requested information to the government and will cooperate.

BRIGGS: OK. Breaking baby news. Royal baby news. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to a London hospital. The early stages of labor, she and Prince William are expecting their third child with the latest on all of this, CNN's Max Foster joining us from London. Max, good morning to you. What do we know about #royalbabythree?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know this, check out the media frenzy that is already started here outside the hospital. So there is a sort of a bit of panic this morning, because the agreement we made was no one come to hospital until the Duchess was admitted. We know that in the early hours of today, she went into the early stages of labor. So very similar sort of timing to last time. And last time, we had this with Princess Charlotte, she came out in the afternoon. So we are expecting that to be the case this time. We understood that this was the due date. So everything seems to be going as plans so we could have royal baby three, Dave, on those steps later on today. Who knows, hopefully it will all go to plan.

BRIGGS: All right. Max Foster live for us in London this morning. This all ahead of the wedding. Prince Harry gets bumped as you say tight into sixth.

ROMANS: That is right. You have to become sixth in line to the throne. Do you have any advice for the royal couple? You have three children. I have three children, but two versus three? What is state advice to them?

BRIGGS: I don't think they have the same child care issues that the two of us have. I think they have more help than that.

ROMANS: They don't. They really have -- they have one nanny.

BRIGGS: Divide and conquer.

ROMANS: I know, right.

BRIGGS: So what about yourself?

ROMANS: Be patient. Just be patient.

BRIGGS: That works for no matter how many kids you have.

ROMANS: All right. 43 minutes pass the hour. ISIS has struck again, this time killing dozens as they register to vote. The latest on that next.

BRIGGS: And the mysterious death of the Russian journalist. Did he get too close to the truth? That is ahead.

[04:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: ISIS is claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed at least 57 people at a voter registration center in Kabul, Afghanistan. More than 100 other people are injured, five children among the dead. This is the most serious attack to date against Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his plan to hold the parliament to election in October. We want to bring in a freelance journalist, Ali Latifi, live from Kabul, just a devastating death toll there. What do we know?

ALI LATIFI, JOURNALIST: So basically, what we know is that the voting center was near a school and this is a big problem in terms of the election. The voting centers that they pick (inaudible) to a voting center in Kabul yesterday and it was in a mosque. So, these are areas that would no matter what be trafficked by civilians and would be high traffic areas that people would pass by in any ways. And today, we are learning that among the five children killed was a 5 year-old boy also by the name of (inaudible).

ROMANS: That is just devastating. We know that ISIS claimed responsibility. What are police or what are authorities saying now about -- about elections? Parliamentary elections that are forth coming later this year? LATIFI: So they are going to carry on with the elections. There are

no plans to cancel or postpone the elections, because as a matter of fact, the parliamentary elections are supposed to happen by a year ago. They are already had been delayed at least twice. And before the feel the Parliamentary Elections are precursor to the Presidential elections. So the Parliamentary Elections will be the first big test of what will face these sort of Democratic polls, this go around ahead of the Presidential election which is due in 2019.

ROMANS: All right. Ali Latifi, our journalist there in Kabul, thank you so much to your reporting. Thanks.

BRIGGS: Human rights organizations calling for a thorough investigation into the death of a Russian reporter, journalist Maxim Borodin died last week when he fell from the fifth floor balcony 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 on this intriguing story. Nic, what do we know here?

[04:50:08] NIC ROBERTSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dave something about this just doesn't add up. I went to his apartment where he allegedly just fell as the police would have you believe from his fifth floor balcony. I went to his -- the company that he work for, were they describe him as being a, you know, an outstanding journalist who great investigative reporter.

He always did stories that created a big splash. They told a friend of his who said, look this is guy who had a lot to live for, he wasn't suicidal. He had a girlfriend in Moscow, and he was looking forward to starting a new job in Moscow. So it doesn't add up. When you take a real close look which is what we did, we went to that apartment building and we try to talk to neighbors and most those around there are just too afraid to saying anything.

One person did tell us that the police just came and picked up his body, but didn't asked neighbors what happened that night. Did they see anything strange? There is big dent in the soil as broken twigs in the trees nearby and mud splattered on the wall where right beneath his balcony. And the company that he works for, the media organization that he works for says they are now finding their internet traffic is being throttled back, their own investigation and to that say that someone is doing that officially.

So, though they were -- the news organization work for, though they won't say this was murder by the state, but they say it was a tragic accident. You really get the feeling that fear is really prevalent in the news office. They are afraid of speaking out, because the facts just do not add up at the moment.

BRIGGS: Yes, falling from balcony is beginning to come quite an epidemic there in Russia. All right, Nic Robertson, live for us in London. Thanks. ROMANS: All right. Michael Bloomberg is writing a $4.5 million

check. He is going to cover American share of the Paris climate accord. Why he is spending that deal on "CNN, Money," next.

[04:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: President Trump considering a pause for his pardon for boxer Jack Johnson. Johnson was the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion. He was convicted in 1913 by an all-white jury for taking his white girlfriend across state lines for quote, immoral purposes. He was imprison for a year, destroying his boxing career. The idea to pardon Johnson was suggested to the President by another famous boxer, sort of on a big screen, Rocky. Sylvester Stallone, talked to the President about this pardon.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on "CNN Money," this morning. Global stocks falling overnight after Wall Street finish a week lower. The Dow fell about 200 points by a dragged down by Apple. Apple shares Dow 4 percent after analysts predict slowing iPhone sales had pushed the entire tech sector lower. Both announce as S&P 500 also close down. So it is the busiest earning week of the season with more than a third of the S&P500 set to report. And starting today, with Alphabet Hasbro, Whirlpool, we expecting corporate CEO to weigh-in on tariffs and corporate tax cuts so we will be listening to all of those conference calls.

The Guardian newspaper reports Fox news host, Sean Hannity, received help from HUD in multi-million dollar real estate deals. Something he did not disclosed when he interviewed the HUD Secretary ben Carson last June. Hannity is linked to Shell companies that spends $90 million, buying properties over the past 10 years. HUD helped him get two of those mortgages worth about $18 million. And insured under National Housing Act Program. In the e-mail to the Guardian, Hannity's real estate attorney defended his client adding that most people keep personal their personal financial issues private. Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Michael Bloomberg is writing a $4.5 million check. Covering America's commitment to the Paris climate accord. President Trump pulled out of that PAC last year. Many business leaders blasted the decision including Bloomberg. So now, the former New York City mayor and billionaire tells CBS, he will pay America's share of the deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, CEO, BLOOMBERG: America made a commitment and as an American and if the government is not going to do it, we all have a responsibility. I'm able to do it. So, yes, I am going to send them a check.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Bloomberg hopes the President will change his mind and until then, he says, he'll will fund the deal in the government's place.

BRIGGS: He also called President Trump a reasonably successful real estate developer. But he was quick to point out this is a different profession. He said he is not a business person. And he doesn't know how to manage big organizations.

ROMANS: He is not the first person in the seize week as it called, who has said, well, he is a real estate developer. That is a lot different that somebody who runs a big organization.

BRIGGS: A CEO, I you will.

ROMANS: That is right.

BRIGGS: All right. "Early Start" continues right now with the latest on North Korea and the Waffle House killer.

Breaking news. The gunman who killed four people at the Nashville restaurant still on the run and could be armed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The customer who are a hero, who charged the gunman and ripped the rifle away from -- he is telling his story.

BRIGGS: President Trump reportedly wants North Koreans to dismantle their nuclear program, before he'll talk about lifting economic sanctions.

ROMANS: And breaking overnight. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is admitted to the hospital, she is in labor with another royal baby on the way.