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Manhunt For Waffle House Gunman; Heroic Customer Disarms Gunman; Reinking's History Of Troubling Behavior; Trump's North Korea Strategy; French President Arrives Today For State Visit; Kate Middleton In "Early Stages Of Labor". Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired April 23, 2018 - 05:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, rushed to the hospital with another royal baby on the way. The reporters are there. Max Foster is on the scene. Everyone deciding will there be a baby this afternoon?

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Fifth in line to the throne. I'm Dave Briggs. Monday, April 23rd, 5 a.m. in the east, 10 a.m. in London. We will go there live to London shortly.

We're following the breaking news. Authorities warning people to keep your doors locked and eyes opened as long as the gunman in the Nashville Waffle House attack remains on the loose. The 29-year-old Travis Reinking shot and killed four people with an AR-15-style assault 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 an arranged to have his guns taken away, but the guns were given to his father, who later gave them right back to Reinking.

For more, let's go to CNN's Diane Gallagher in Antioch, Tennessee.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now Dave and Christine, of course, above all else, people here in Antioch, Tennessee and surrounding area are really on edge because we are looking at more than 24 hours now since the shooting. They still do not know where he is.

They have been looking for him and used k-9s 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 and parked his truck.

He was nude except for a green jacket armed with an AR-15 and 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 inside the Waffle House. They say had it not been for the heroic actions of one customer, James Shaw Jr. that his could have been much worse.


JAMES SHAW JR., TACKLED GUNMAN: The gun was kind of jammed and it was pushed down. We were scuffling. I managed to get him with one hand on the gun and I grabbed it from him. I threw it over the counter top. I just took him out with me.


GALLAGHER: The last time anybody saw Reinking he was walking down the street. He put pants on and wasn't seen again. In Washington, D.C. in July of 2017, U.S. Secret Service actually arrested him trying to get on the grounds of the White House. He told them he was a sovereign citizen 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. Police here say the father acknowledged the guns and gave the guns back to his son.

One of the guns, according to police, was the AR-15 used in the shooting at the waffle house. Authorities in Illinois and his hometown also had run-ins with him. He threatened to kill himself with a gun before and told them that he was having the pop star, Taylor Swift, was stalking him.

Authorities here recognize that we should be dealing with someone with mental health issues. Right now, though, Dave, Christine, they really just want to find him.

ROMANS: Terrifying he is still to the loose.

According to "The Wall Street Journal," President Trump plans to ask Kim Jong-un to dismantle his nuclear arsenal before any significant discussions are made on economic sanctions.

It is not clear how the North Korean leader will respond to such an offer. But a source in Pyongyang tells CNN Kim is committed to denuclearization, wants to focus on economic growth, and realizes the best path forward is to normalize relationship with the international community.

Let's go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks. Paula, all of that sounds reasonable. But are the North Koreans say denuclearization, sometimes it appears as it they mean denuclearization from the United States. You know, getting rid of its nuclear umbrella and position in the region.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. This is why even the South Korean president is saying the devil is in the detail. There is an assumption that when North Korea talks about denuclearization it is not the same denuclearization that the U.S. and South Korea are thinking of. Donald Trump has said that he wants irreversible and verifiable, complete denuclearization. There are few people you will find that know much about North Korea who believed that Kim Jong-un will actually give up all of his nuclear capability.

So, it's certainly going to be an interesting meeting on Friday when the North Korean leader meets the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. The Blue House here has said that that will the first chance they will get to see the willingness to talk about denuclearization and whether or not the North Koreans really do see it as the same as they do.

Although President Moon said he doesn't think there is a difference in the concept of that word, but it will be really the devil in the detail.

[05:05:09] Now we are hearing more about that detail of the summit on Friday. We understand now the South Korean press will be able to go into the North to be able to film the North Korean leader crossing the border into the South for the first time ever -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Paula Hancocks for us in Seoul. Thank you so much for that, Paula.

BRIGGS: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will both be in Washington this week, both expected to press the president 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.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: We have a special relationship because both of us are probably mavericks of the systems 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. We are not part of the theatrical 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.

Joining us to discuss all of this, Hugo Gordon, editorial director of "The Washington Examiner." He's in D.C. this morning. Good to see you, sir.


BRIGGS: It is an interesting dynamic between these two world leaders. The least likely on the surface friendship, but it seems to be working. When it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, probably the biggest of the many issues they'd like to resolve, can there be any agreement or resolution?

GORDON: It is possible that President Trump is quite changeable in his attitude towards these international deals. He has just nominated Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state. He is vehemently opposed to the Iran deal.

I think that both he and John Bolton and the president all think it was a very bad deal. The French president will argue for two things. One is that the Iranians have already gotten most of the benefits from the deal.

And therefore, let's not give it up when it perhaps can do some good even if the good is minimal. The other thing, of course, is that the French like the other European nations want to continue to trade pretty heavily with the Iranians.

So, they have billions of dollars to lose. So, that is another reason why both Angela Merkel and Macron will argue with Trump to stay in the deal.

ROMANS: Yes, certainly, there will be a lot to talk about here. And Macron seemed to really play the president or play to the president's needs, if you will. The pomp and circumstance with which he was greeted in Paris is something that clearly stayed on the president's mind. How do you think he will try to encourage the president to agree with him on these issues?

GORDON: Well, he is referred to in some corners as being the Trump whisperer. Obviously, the phrase comes from horse whisperer. It sorts of implies that President Trump is a difficult animal to deal with here.

But President Macron gave President Trump a very, very dignified welcome to Paris on Bastille Day. He treated him to great pomp and circumstance as you say. This is something which plays very well to President Trump's need for respect.

He craves respect. Rightly, he holds the most important office in the world. He often gets disrespect here at home. President Macron is a canny fellow. He knows the way the president's mind works.

He will continue throughout this trip to be very respectful and dignified and treat the president with dignity and try and portray himself as a partner, international partner of great stature with the president, to get what he wants.

BRIGGS: We know that military parade on Bastille Day stuck in the mind of President Trump. Let's talk about another fascinating dynamic that between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Again, it appears on the surface that the bullying has indeed worked. The president is not using the "Rocket Man."

It seems like Kim Jong-un has come a long way, but "The Wall Street Journal" reporting that they have agreed that President Trump has said he needs full denuclearization before major economic sanctions relief. There is some skepticism in particular on the right about the progress and the intentions of the North Korean. Listen to Tom Cotton and Bob Corker.


SENATOR BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: He views having deliverable nuclear weapons as his ticket to dying an old man in his bed. He saw what happened with Gadhafi. Gadhafi is a dead man because he gave up his nuclear weapons.

[05:10:04] And so to think somebody will go in and charm him out of that is not realistic.

SENATOR TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: This announcement on Friday is better than continued testing, but it is not much better than that.


BRIGGS: Not much better than that. How skeptical should we be that North Korea is ready to denuclearize, to get rid of their nuclear weapons?

GORDON: We should be very skeptical. The North Koreans have been lying to everybody, but particularly to the United States for 25 years. Kim Jong-un's father and his grandfather have both been just deceiving the rest of the world for a very long time.

I was in South Korea when Kim Il-sung was talking to President Carter on this before President Clinton. They will make promises and lie and continue their program. I think there is a lot of truth in the idea that Kim Jong-un sees nuclear weapons as his guarantee that he will stay in power. That he will not be toppled.

On the other hand, the president, President Trump that is, has put great deal of pressure on not just Pyongyang, but also on Beijing and it is perfectly clear that the North Koreans are feeling this pressure.

Whether it is enough to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and actually removing North Korean nuclear weapons, that is something which the president has right said will only time will tell.

ROMANS: All right. Hugo Gordon, come back in 30 minutes. We'll talk --

China welcomes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's offer to hold direct trade talks in Beijing. In a statement, China's Commerce Ministry it received a message from the U.S. about its willingness to hold bilateral trade talks and welcomes the move. Secretary Mnuchin told reporters Saturday a trip to China is under consideration.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I have continued to have a dialogue with my counterparts on the trade issue and we're -- as I said before, we're cautiously optimistic to try to reach agreement on trade.


ROMANS: Trade tensions between China and the U.S. have been escalating, each side threatening the other with billions of dollars in tariffs. This week, corporate America may weigh in. A host of multinational companies report their earnings, including many that analysts say are vulnerable to a trade war, 3M, Boeing, Intel and Chevron.

They may say how a trade spat could affect their business. A new report found some tariffs will lead to job losses especially for domestic manufacturers. The administration imposed tariffs on steel imports last month. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a report says those steel tariffs are likely, quote, "to cost more jobs than they save," end quote.

BRIGGS: Those tariffs also an issue between Macron and Trump regarding the European Union.

Breaking overnight, the Duchess of Cambridge admitted to the hospital in labor with another royal baby on the way. We go live to London for the latest next.



ROMANS: Breaking baby news, royal baby news. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to a London hospital in the early stages of labor. She and Prince William are expecting their third child.

Joining us live from London with the latest, CNN's Max Foster. Max, you know, you were scrambled there once you knew for sure that she was in the early signs of labor. What is the going wisdom about how long this will take?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if we go on the basis of last time with Princess Charlotte, very similar process of event. She arrived early in the morning with early labor and by afternoon, Princess Charlotte arrived on the steps in afternoon.

So probably if things go as planned, we'll have the same situation again. Certainly, Kate doesn't like staying in hospital for longer than she needs to. Fingers crossed everything go as planned.

So, the next thing we hear should be some sort of announcement that baby has been born and you'll see the notice go on the easel of Buckingham Palace, which will be the formal announcement. We will get the weight and sex and then you will see them appear on the steps.

So, the fifth in line to the throne will appear to be born today. Bumping Harry down to six, Christine, but I don't think he is too worried about that.

ROMANS: No. He is planning his nuptials at the moment. So, I'm sure he's got a lot going on. All right. Keep us posted and we wish everyone well there. Thanks, Max.

BRIGGS: Prince Harry getting bumped. No respect.

ROMANS: The monarchy to democracy. From monarchy rejected by the form of government.

BRIGGS: Well played. The White House releasing a photo of the four presidents and four first ladies who attended the funeral of Barbara Bush on Saturday. The photo features Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush along with First Lady Melania Trump and former first ladies, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton.

Notably absent from the picture is President Trump. He is following with history. The White House said he would not attend to avoid disruptions out of respect for the Bush family. His predecessors stayed away. Keeping focus on the former first lady.

ROMANS: That is history there.

BRIGGS: She was a wonderful woman.

ROMANS: There you go. Unbelievable. A lot of pearls in the audience.

The Cavs had to have it and Lebron James delivered. Lindsay Czarniak with the playoff drama in the "Bleacher Report" next.



BRIGGS: Lebron James put on a performance fit for a king and the playoffs against the Pacers.

ROMANS: Lindsay Czarniak has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Nice to see you bright and early, Lindsay.

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. You know what, things got very dangerous because now we have a brand new series and the Cavs have some swagger thanks to Lebron James. He bought his teammates matching gray suits before Friday's game to show unity, but it did not work. The Cavs lost.

He came back for a new unified look, matching black suits. They looked good. They played good enough to even the series. Lebron scored 23 of the 32 points in the first half. This is the 100th time he matched the points in the playoff same. The other guy to do it is Michael Jordan. The series is tied. Suit watch 2018 continues Wednesday night for game five in Cleveland.

The Spurs facing elimination against the defending champion Warriors. San Antonio was also playing without Head Coach Gregg Popovich for the second straight game as he grieves the death of his wife.

[05:25:10] (Inaudible) was waiting (inaudible) in the interim, Manu Ginobili coming off the bench to do Pop proud. He scored 16 points in the 103-90 victory. After the game, he talked about how tough it is to play through all the emotions.


MANU GINOBILI: I think we have never been through this adversity. Our leader is struggling, so we are trying to respond and play as if he was here. Hopefully we push on.


CZARNIAK: The relationship with Ginobili and Pop is certainly a special one.

To the NHL playoff, the defending back-to-back champions Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers. But look at this, Sean Couturier did everything he could to keep that from happening. He scored three goals and he scored that hat trick with a torn mcl in his right knee. One of the best performances you will see. He said he would rather keep playing through the pain.


SEAN COUTURIER: It is tough because we lost. I tried to leave it out there. It is too bad we did not get the result we wanted.


CZARNIAK: He just wanted to win, guys. The Penguins will play the winner of the Washington and Columbus series.

BRIGGS: Nothing better than playoff hockey.

CZARNIAK: I just said that.

ROMANS: Thank you, Lindsay. Nice to see you.

All right. It's 26 minutes past the hour. A man with a gun and customer with a life-or-death decision.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That it was going to come down to he would have to work to kill me.


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