Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Shifts On Key China Penalties; U.S. Embassy Moves To Jerusalem Today; Prom Night, Welcome To The Jungle; Royal Wedding Week; Apple CEO Takes Jab At Facebook. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired May 14, 2018 - 04:30   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: President Trump trying to bring jobs back to China. A potentially stunning concession from the President. He wants to relax penalty on a major Chinese telecom firm.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: The U.S. Embassy in Israel move to Jerusalem this morning. A high level delegation on hand, protests expected. What does this mean for America's role in peace talks? We go live in Jerusalem.

BRIGGS: Is this something you want at your child's prom? Parents and students outrage after a cage a tiger rolled out. Why the school is defending the move. Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans, 31 minutes pass the hour. Let's begin here with the President vowing to save jobs, Chinese jobs. Trump said, he is working to get Chinese smartphone makers ZTE, quote back into business, tweeting, "Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done." Just last month, Trump's Commerce Department crippled the crippled ZTE, it barred U.S, company from selling its vital parts. That was punishment for ZTE, violating U.S. sanctions by selling to Iran and then lying about disciplining the employees involved.

Last year, the Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, called ZTE's behavior egregious.


WILBUR ROSS, U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY: We are putting the world on notice, improper trade games are over with.


ROMANS: Are they? Now the White House says Trump expects Ross to resolve the trade action. Trump's tweet draw sharp criticism from Democratic lawmaker, Adam Schiff, he calls ZTE tech a major cyber security threat and that Trump should be more -- care more about our national security than Chinese jobs. Trump's policy reversal come as the U.S. and China gear up for round two of trade talks. A Chinese delegation heads to Washington this week. The goal is to avoid a full grown trade war. In a second tweet, Trump said China and the U.S. are now working well

together after pass trade talks are one sided, adding be cool. It will all work out.

BRIGGS: All right. The Trump administration doing what president past had promise by moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in a matter of hours. The formal ceremony set for 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The White House declaring the move reflects the reality that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital.

Critics arguing this effectively marks the end of America's role as an honest broker in Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations. CNN's Elise Labott, joining us live from inside this new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Good morning, Elise.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. Well, it is a big day here in Jerusalem for the country of Israel and a very popular move by Israeli standards up to the compound. You can see people, pro-President Trump signs lining the street along with those, Israeli-American flag, the very high level U.S. delegation in addition to dozens of Senators and business men, and you also have the leader of the delegation, deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, of course, Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law, who will rolling out his own peace plan in the coming days or weeks and, also, of course, Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter, tweeting this morning. Let me read to you.

"Thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mrs. Netanyahu for the warm welcome to Israel. I'm honored to join you and the U.S. delegation in commemorating the dedication of our new Embassy in Jerusalem and celebrating the friendship between our two countries.

Now, events, later on, in a couple of hours, include a recorded message from President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, will be here to address the crowd. Last night at the gala, he was asking all countries now to follow President Trump's lead and move their embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Of course, the U.S. is saying that this is long overdue, but clearly most nations in the region don't agree. You heard even this morning very tough rhetoric coming from the Iranians. They say that this will add fire to already combustible region.

The Palestinians also consider Jerusalem as, you know, as their capital of the future Palestinian State. And they say this definitely prejudices those final negotiations. Now, one other note, very controversial past today will be giving the invocation at the ceremony.

[04:35:00] Robert Jeffress, who has been criticized for his anti- Muslim, anti-gay and anti-Mormon, even Jews and Catholics, he has criticized in the past. It seem today, it is very controversial speaker, and out this ceremony which is rally being praise by Israel's the new day in U.S./Israeli relations. Dave.

BRINKLEY: And that is a very controversial move. Elise Labott, live for us at the new embassy. Thank you so much.

Mitt Romney, a long critic of this President, says Jeffress says, you cannot be saved by being a Jew. This is past comments from Jeffress and quote Mormon is a hearsay from the (inaudible). He says the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be given the prayer that opens the United States embassy in Jerusalem. Romney says of Robert Jeffress. Wow.

ROMANS: All right. The U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem triggering some protest, large scale protests on the Gaza border. Israeli defense forces tweeting out a video warning Hamas may attempt to breach security and carry out a massacre. Over 100,000 Palestinians are expected to turn out to demonstrate. Our coverage continues with our Ian Lee. Ian is there for us in Gaza. A 100,000, and you are already seeing people behind you there and you see burn tires to hide their locations from snipers, but else is happening?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, just a little bit a while ago before we came to air, a drone had flown right behind me and dropped tear gas into the crowd and into this area. Scattering the people. But this is already gearing up to be a very tense morning. You see the black smoke from the burning tires behind me. We have seen tear gas. We have seen ambulances ferrying the injured to hospital. We have seen thousands of people coming here today and the Israeli military has said that they expect over 100,000 people all up and down this border.

There are five different camps that Palestinians have been gathering at. And their goal they say, is to breach that border to get to the other side, they say to return to lands that they lost to Israel in the 1948 war. But Israel, for its part, says, well that is a red line. That they won't allow people to cross over. They say the worst nightmare is to have a massive breach of that border fence. But to prevent that, they have a three system.

First they say, they will issue warnings and fire non-lethal means like tear gas and if they get too close, then they will start shooting at protesters to try to push them back. But, you know, when you do have this massive amount of people, this is the largest we have seen so far, you will have a recipe for a deadly day, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, we know that opening officially happening in just a few hours. So, we will continue to check in with you. Ian lee, for us in Gaza, thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. The White House aide who made the horrible joke about Senator John McCain still has not apologized. Last week, White House communications aide, Kelly Sadler, said that McCain's opposition to CIA Director Nominee, Gina Haspel did not matter, because quote, he is dying any way. Now, a phone call to the senator's daughter, Megan McCain, Sadler said, she would have apologized publicly. White House advisers refusing to directly comment focusing, instead on criticizing on the leak that made the remark public. That is not sitting well with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.


thing to say, if it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate. Somebody in my office said that such thing about somebody, I would apologize on behalf of the office.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I), VERMONT: It is beyond my comprehension. It is one thing in the White House for somebody to say something crude and stupid and disrespectful of an American hero. It is another thing for them not to apologize.


BRIGGS: Sources telling CNN the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders privately scolded the White House communication and press staff Friday after Sadler's comments were reported by CNN and other news outlets.

ROMANS: The New York Times reports the Education Department dismantled a team looking into fraud by for-profit colleges. Dismantling it so much so, that it has effectively killed investigations. Those investigations targeted institutions where some of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, top hires once worked. The investigation into Adtalem Global Education, formerly known as DeVry University, was stopped early last year. But over the summer, DeVos picked a former dean at the school to be her investigative team supervisor.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile probes looking into two other for-profit companies also went dark. The Times reports former employees of those institutions are working for DeVos too. And Education Department spokesman says, those new employees had no influence on the investigative team's work.

ROMANS: All right. Breaking overnight, and the tension in Hawaii intensifying.

[04:40:00] A new fissure opening up near the Kilauea volcano. Officials say, it is active and producing fumes and lava spatter. They say, an eruption is still possible at the top of the volcano which could send boulders flying and generate ash plumes over an area of 12 miles from the summit crater.

BRIGGS: Boulders the size of refrigerators. Meantime, more residents on the big island forced to evacuate on Sunday after a new fissure several hundred yards long opened up. In only nearly 2,000 people had been forced to evacuate, vacation rentals in lower Punta, directed to close to relive the demand for water. President Trump has declared a major disaster to expedite federal assistance.

ROMANS: Some of those pictures, there are pictures there, I was watching yesterday of a house catching on fire and burning as the lava got close.

BRIGGS: And they are really watching to see if the lava level drops below the water table. That really will hold the key to this eruption.

ROMANS: yes. All right.

BRIGGS: Ahead. Iranian official with a full-court press to salvage the nuclear deal minus the U.S. How long are the Iranians willing to work to save it? We're live in Tehran with the latest.



JAKE TAPPER, AMERICAN JOURNALIST CARTOONIST: Is the United States going to sanction European companies that do business with Iran?

AMB. JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think the issue here is what the Europeans are going to do. If they are going to see that it is not in their interest to stay in the deal, we are going to have to watch what the Iranians do. They love to stay in the deal. Why shouldn't they? They got everything they wanted from the Obama administration. But I think the Europeans will see it that it is in their interest ultimately to come along with us.


ROMANS: National security advisor, John Bolton, refusing to rule out sanctions against European companies doing business with Iran, this as the Iranians announce a timeline for saving the nuclear deal. But President Trump just abandon Iran's foreign minister, touring Europe and Asia in a last ditch attempt to salvage the agreement. Fred Pleitgen tracking the latest developments for us. He is live from Tehran with very, a very unique perspective of this deal from right there inside the country, what is the latest?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hi, Christine, well, it has been interesting to see this entire weekend, of course, Iranian officials have been ripping into President Trump and the United States, from our advantage point over here. It is seems to us, that right now, the hard liners and the moderates here in this country seem to have at least still have a common position. That common position is very clear. They want to try to preserve the nuclear agreement. But they also say, that Iran's interests need to be preserved and protected. Which means they want investment from abroad.

That is where that trip by the Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif comes in. As you stated, he is currently in Moscow. He has been speaking to Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of that country. They came up with the joint statement saying they are both committed to preserving the nuclear agreement minus the United States. The Russians by the way stand to benefit a great deal if that nuclear agreement stays in place.

The big day, though, Christine, is going to be tomorrow when Javad Zarif, they moves on to Europe, because as you have just seen also from the John Bolton sound bite that we just saw, those are the countries that are key. The Iranians really want investment from Europe and they want to be sure that European companies are protected when they invest here in Iran. If they want to protect -- if they want to invest here from Iran, from any sort of retribution by the United States. It would be a tall order for the Europeans to essentially go against one of their longest standing allies. That of course, being the U.S., but of course we also know, they are very angry at President Trump for pulling out of the deal, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes. I mean, it really -- if you think of all 75 years of post-World War II, goodwill between the United States and the Europeans. This is really testing that in a way we have not seen really ever before. All right. Fred Pleitgen for us in Tehran, thank you.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight. At least four police officers and six civilians injured in an attack outside a police station in Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia. Four suicide bombers on two motorbikes carried it out. It comes one day after a husband and wife used their four children in a string of deadly suicide attacks on three churches there in Surabaya leaving seven dead. The family included two daughters, ages 9 and 12 and two teenage boys. The investigators believe the parents belonged to a terrorist group that lends support to ISIS in Indonesia. No proof though that ISIS actually directed the attack.

ROMANS: All right. Apple's CEO has some harsh words for Facebook. Tim Cook criticizing the company -- a groups of college grads. We are going to tell you exactly what he said on "CNN Money" next.


BRIGGS: Five days and counting to the royal wedding. And preparations are at a fever pitch in Windsor as the town gets ready for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. The couples has asked American bishop to speak at the wedding Saturday. Reverend Michael Curry, the head of the Episcopal Church will be part of the ceremony. Not the only break with traditions. CNN's Anna Stewart live for us in Windsor with more. Good morning, Anna.

ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: Hello. Yes. Many breaks of tradition, I think, at this royal wedding. It is going to will feel really fresh. It is not a state wedding. It is not kind of limited by the restriction head of states arriving. Instead, they will have the lemon and elder flower cake, instead of a traditional fruit cake. And you know what, Meghan Markle will be arriving at Winsor castle with her mom, not her dad at its tradition. She wants to make sure both parents are included. She will be arriving with Joy (inaudible) at the gate behind me. King Henry the VIII Gate, she will then drop her mom off to the castle, where she can make her way into the church and Meghan Markle will go through a cloister and ascend the steps to the church, her final walk as a non-royal. I mean, we got a lot more to expect Dave, this week. In the coming days, we should get more details on who the little bridesmaids and page boys are. Are they, Princess Charlotte and Prince George are the top contenders, but they are also, you got children a few, distance relatives, little nieces and nephews to consider as well.

BRIGGS: All right. Anna Stewart, live for us this morning in Windsor, and Christine Romans, you are eagerly awaiting.

ROMANS: I think she did not pick a, you know, like a maid of honor, because she has so many friends, so many good friends. She did not want to pick one. Another break with tradition. Best man will, of course, be Prince William.

[04:55:02] BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: All right. This story, I don't know to make of this. Prom night gets wild at one Miami school leaving some students and their parents outraged. Video from Christopher Columbus High School, Welcome to the Jungle Prom, shows a tiger facing inside the cage, as well as birds and other wild life, and some open staying there apparently. Animal rights activists venting their anger on social media, calling it abuse for the sake of entertainment. The school responded by saying, a licensed facility handled the wild life, the whole time. So, caged animal as a party prop. Is that OK in 2018?

BRIGGS: I'm not easily offended by things like this, I know the national fish and wildlife certified this. So, it seems as though the line is distress though indeed. So, let us know what you think about this at the Early Start Twitter handle folks.

Meanwhile, let us talk real sports. Boston Celtics making a statement in game one of the eastern conference finals. Lebron James heard it. The Celtics racing out to a 26-point halftime lead over James and the Cavs on the way to the 108-83 blowout. Really a smoldering defense for Boston made all the difference. Lebron, 5 of 16 shooting 15 points, all of five from three point range. Just a dominating game one win.

The Western Conference Finals, gets on the way tonight. Rockets and Golden State Warriors tonight.

ROMANS: All right. The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins in two weeks. You're welcome. And we are already seeing activity of the tropic. Let's get right to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Christine. Exactly a couple of weeks away and we are beginning to some activity, it is right there across the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and parts of Western Florida, really much of Southern half of Florida are going to be impacted by this with tremendous amount of rainfall. The concern right now, is what is going to come of the feature. You take a look and it certainly has some tropical characteristics. The National Hurricane Center gives it a 30 percent chance. This will become something over the next 24 to 48 hours. If it does, it will be Alberto. I think, it is going to be a long shot at this point, but again, what is almost certain here is the tremendous rainfall from Miami to Fort Myers, and Tampa, and really parts of Florida which have been drought stricken will get quite a bit of rainfall. And it really lights up here to the amount of say 4-6 to 7 inches widespread across the state of Florida. Working into parts of Southern Georgia as well with get some heavy rainfall out of this, before it is all said and done by a latter portion of this week. But the big story, how about the big time heat. 23 plus record temps, possible on Monday. Notice a dramatic cooling trend across the south as you see somehow wet weather begin to move in while to the north, wee the temps kind of warm up at least for another day before cooler temps later in the week, guys.

ROMANS: All right. Pedram Javaheri, thank you.

That is your weather. Here is your money this morning. Asia stocks rising overnight, why are they up? They are hoping that there is fine U.S.-China trade tensions. President Trump vowed to save Chinese smartphone makers ZTE, right before another round of trade talks. A ban -- a U.S. banned last month crippled that company. Rising oil prices helped Wall Street have its best weekend. Two months, U.S. oil hit $70 a barrel. Last week, a boosting energy stocks. The sector is up 12 percent in the past month. That is great for oil companies and bad for drivers. A typical family can expect to spend $200 more on gas this summer.

Another big name brand hit by data breach. A Chili's restaurant, apologizing after a customer credit and debit card info was compromised. Chili's did not say how many people were affected, but if you ate there in March and April, monitor your account. Chile's said the investigation is ongoing. And will inform customer as soon as there are more. Again, if you ate at Chili's in March or April.

Apple CEO taking a jab at Facebook. Tim Cook told Duke Graduates this yesterday.


TIM COOK, CEO, APPLE: We reject the excuse that getting the most of technology means trading away your right to privacy. We choose a different path. Collecting as little of your data as possible, being thoughtful and respectful when it is in our care.


ROMANS: Burn, Facebook.


ROMANS: This is not Cook's first time criticizing Facebook, facing a backlash for allowing a third party to access the data of nearly 90 million users. In March, Cook said Apple could make a ton of money monetizing customers, but chooses not to. He also wants to increase regulations on social media.

Could Boston win the bid for Amazon's second headquarters? A robot think so. A.I. predicts Boston will host H.Q. 2, Amazon's new $5 billion facility. Cities are in a bidding war. H.Q. 2 will create up to 50,000 jobs. Amazon released a short list of finalist in January. After Boston, the A.I. picked Chicago, Atlanta, New York and Toronto. Those are likely choices.

BRIGGS: Is that likely? Surprising. I was going to go with Austin, Texas, perhaps. Where is your odds? ROMANS: It has to have good infrastructure and good high school test

scores and good public education system. It has got to be a place you don't really have long commutes. So, all of these things are going into the thought.

BRIGGS: Boston traffic.

ROMANS: Yes, traffic is my biggest concern.

BRIGGS: OK. "Early Start" continues right now.

President Trump is bringing jobs back.