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EARLY START

Washington Post Reports Trump And Allies Are Trying To Expose FBI Source; Trump: U.S. Will Keep Preparing For North Korea Summit; Final Preparations Underway For Royal Wedding; China Proposes $200 Billion Boost In American Purchases; Kilauea Volcano Shoots Ash 30,000 Feet Into The Air. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 18, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:30:41] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's allies reportedly trying to expose a top secret source at the FBI. It's all part of a campaign to undercut the Russia investigation. The Bureau now trying to minimize the damage if the source is revealed.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The president pushing forward with plans to meet with Kim Jong Un but overnight, North Korea with a major reversal. We're live in Seoul with the latest.

ROMANS: A U.S. official says China is on the verge of boosting purchases of American goods by $200 billion. That would be a major win for President Trump. And then just hours ago, China throwing cold water on it, calling it an untrue rumor.

BRIGGS: And the royal wedding just a day away. We just learned who is walking Meghan Markle down the aisle. We're live in England with this breaking royal wedding news.

All I can say is Christine Romans nailed it.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: You've got to tell them, it's Prince Charles. I hate to tease you and make you wait for two minutes. It's Prince Charles.

BRIGGS: OK.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: But more on that in a moment.

ROMANS: It's 31 minutes past the hour.

Let's start with this.

Breaking overnight, "The Washington Post" reporting President Trump and his allies are ramping up a campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing a top secret FBI source. That has the Bureau scrambling to protect other live investigations and lessen the danger associates might face if the informant's identity becomes known.

The "Post" reported earlier this month that an FBI informant had provided information early in the FBI's Russia investigation.

BRIGGS: The president doing his part to discredit the special counsel, alleging his 2016 campaign was spied on -- even predicting an ensuing scandal to be quote "bigger than Watergate."

This high-stakes standoff pitting President Trump and Republican chairman of the House Intel Committee Devin Nunes against the Justice Department and Intel agencies. Their leaders warn that identifying the source would put lives in danger.

This week, FBI director Chris Wray, appointed by President Trump, said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: The day that we can't protect human sources is the day the American people start becoming less safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, telling "The Washington Post" the president believes some law enforcement officials have been conspiring against him. Giuliani also suggested the Bureau might have embedded a spy inside the Trump campaign.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does President Trump believe that the FBI had a spy at some point inside his campaign?

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I haven't spoken with him directly about that but I've certainly seen the reports and if there is any truth to that it should certainly be looked into.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The idea of an informant inside the Trump campaign originated with testimony by one Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of the firm that authored the unverified dossier on the president. But a source close to Simpson later said he was referring to someone outside the campaign who contacted the FBI.

ROMANS: Let's go live to Washington and bring in Brenna Williams, multi-platform editor of CNN "THE POINT" and "CNN POLITICS."

Let's start here on this story about the source -- the FBI source or FBI spy or FBI two spies, I guess, if you're Rudy Giuliani -- the way he posited yesterday. This is exactly what the Trump team wants to use to try to discredit the Russian investigation overall.

BRENNA WILLIAMS, MULTI-PLATFORM EDITOR, CNN "THE POINT": Absolutely. And there is a difference between a spy and a source. Sources come to the FBI all the time with tips that are very helpful. And as Director Wray said, when we start compromising those sources, and their safety, and their identities, it's a bigger issue, right? We can't send that message to sources in other investigations.

And the "Post" reported that in recent weeks, to try and guard against potentially the source being revealed in this case they've had to start looking at other open investigations and making moves to protect those investigations, those sources, people involved with them.

If nothing bad happened -- if there was no misdeeds in the election I don't think that anyone -- I think everyone would agree that no one's lives should be put in danger over it, right?

BRIGGS: Yes.

And the 2018 chicken or egg question is did the president get this story from Fox or did Fox gets this story from the president? It doesn't really matter. They're synonymous with one another right now.

But here's what Rudy Giuliani said on "FOX & FRIENDS" yesterday morning.

[05:35:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I am shocked to hear that they put a spy in the campaign of a major party candidate -- or maybe two spies. And now, I'm going through my brain -- and you know I was a big part of that campaign -- trying to figure out why was the spy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

GIULIANI: Now I'm wondering is it this person or that person or this person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

GIULIANI: Now, if there's a spy, they got nothing from it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Wow, that's just mind-boggling stuff.

Rudy Giuliani went on to say if there was an informant that it would render the Mueller investigation completely illegitimate.

Is that right?

WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I think it's interesting because they're -- constantly, they're trying to comment different angles to try and show that the Mueller investigation is completely illegitimate.

This week, it's one spy or two spies. Maybe we'll get up to three spies, five spies. There's -- you know, that's this week's flavor of the week for why the Mueller investigation is corrupt, why it's pointless, why there's nothing coming out of it.

But as of the one-year anniversary, yesterday -- paper is the gift, by the way, for a one-year anniversary -- we have seen multiple charges levied against multiple individuals and companies. We've seen guilty pleas, we've seen people sentenced.

So there's nothing -- there's not no here here with this investigation and I don't think that we've seen the -- we've definitely not seen the end of it.

BRIGGS: All right.

Speaking of two completely different narratives that's also the situation regarding North Korea. We're less than a month away from that Singapore summit and it appears there's some major miscommunication or misinterpretation between the president and his own national security adviser regarding what they plan to do with denuclearization on the peninsula.

Here is John Bolton and then President Trump, and a big difference between the two.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: And we have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003-2004. There are obviously differences. The Libyan program was much smaller but that was basically the agreement that we made.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Libyan model isn't a model that we have at all when we're thinking of North Korea. In Libya, we decimated that country. That country was decimated.

There was no deal to keep Gaddafi. The Libyan model that was mentioned was a much different deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: What we have here is failure to communicate.

How do you explain the difference between those two? Is the president just thinking the Libya model is what happened in 2011, regardless of the denuclearization, taking away their weapons of mass destruction, etcetera?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think this, again, is just another flavor of the week. This is the -- this is the miscommunication of the week, right?

We've seen this time and time again over the last 17 months. President Trump thinks one thing and somebody in his administration says something else.

And granted, this is a very fast-moving, very complicated, very big issue and we're a month out and they still have a lot of time and a lot of things that they need to hammer out. But they definitely, in the next month, need to get it together and have a unified message and a unified goal --

ROMANS: Sure.

WILLIAMS: -- heading into these discussions with North Korea.

BRIGGS: Not just unified but informed because Mike Pompeo talked about how well-read Kim Jong Un was in the situation. He needed no notecards. He knew everything about their policy, about their weapons.

We just hope the president is well-read and ready for this summit.

ROMANS: Brenna Williams, thank you so much. Have a wonderful weekend.

WILLIAMS: Thank you -- you, too.

BRIGGS: Thanks.

ROMANS: All right.

Sticking with North Korea, this morning, a major reversal from Pyongyang causing further concern about cooperation from the regime.

We want to bring in Paula Hancocks live from Seoul. And there was this moment where the North Koreans invited in international media -- American and South Korean press to show the dismantling of a nuclear facility, and now?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christine.

Now we're hearing from the South Korean government over the last hour that North Korea has not accepted the visa applications from those South Korean journalists.

So they were expecting to go to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. This is in the northeast of the country. It's where the six nuclear tests have all taken place.

And North Korea made quite a show about saying that they were going to dismantle this nuclear test site -- they were going to shut it down and they were going to invite South Korean and American journalists, and experts into the country to be completely transparent -- to show exactly what they were doing.

But now we're hearing that those visa applications have not been accepted. This is from the Unification Ministry. So, of course, they're trying to figure out now what this means.

We're also hearing from KCNA state-run media that the North Koreans are still angry about that Max Thunder joint military drill between the U.S. and South Korean air forces. It happens every year. The U.S. says it's defensive; North Korea does not see it like that.

They're also saying within this article that if the South Koreans don't understand that they do not want these military drills then potentially, it's going to be very difficult for the two -- the two leaders and the regimes to be meeting in the future.

[05:40:10] So certainly, we're seeing a fair bit of pullback from the North Koreans, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, thank you so much for that. Paula for us in Seoul this morning.

BRIGGS: All right.

The Trump administration set to announce a new rule today aimed squarely at Planned Parenthood. Sources say clinics that provide abortions or even discuss the procedure with patients would be stripped of federal funds under this new regulation.

Family planning laws already prevent direct federal funding of abortions. Planned Parenthood still accepts some federal dollars for annual screenings and check-ups.

This new White House policy would force those services to be performed in a different place than abortions and by different employees if the facility is to keep funded.

ROMANS: We're following breaking news right now.

Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury in March, he has been discharged now from the hospital. He was the last of three victims to be released after a police officer and his own daughter.

The incident sparked a major international uproar and led to new sanctions against Russia. Stay with CNN for more on this story.

Also breaking, a man shot and arrested after police say he opened fire at the Trump Doral Resort in Florida. This happened around 1:30 a.m. this morning.

Miami-Dade police say the suspect was actively shooting in the lobby of the hotel, yelling about President Trump. We are told he draped an American flag over a counter.

The fire alarm was also set off. Authorities think it was an attempt to lure officers into that lobby.

The suspect is hospitalized at this hour. No word on his condition.

BRIGGS: All right.

Ahead, if meeting your in-laws was tough, welcome to Meghan Markle's world. Her mom meets the queen today. And we'll also talk about who's walking Meghan down the aisle. We're live in Windsor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:10] BRIGGS: Twenty-five hours and 13 minutes until Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot, and breaking news this morning on the wedding and who will walk Miss Meghan down the aisle.

CNN's Anna Stewart live in Windsor with all the details in what will be a true 2018 fairytale. Good morning, Anna.

ANNA STEWART, CNN JOURNALIST: Hey, Dave. Yes, I mean, it's going to break with all the traditions.

Prince Charles will be walking Meghan Markle down the aisle. And as we spoke about, it's really quite extraordinary when you think about Charles, the future King of England, is a divorcee. Meghan Markle is also a divorcee, she's mixed race, she's an American actress.

It's really breaking with many, many traditions and it shows how much the royal family has modernized and evolved in recent years.

Never forget that the queen -- the queen's uncle had to abdicate the throne because he wanted to marry an American divorcee. So lots new there.

We've also heard that Prince Philip will be attending the royal wedding tomorrow. There was some concern. He did have hip surgery a couple of months ago.

So we've had lots of news and some little fine colorful details on the day itself. The wedding cake -- it is a lemon and elderflower cake -- we knew that. Another break with tradition. It's not a British fruitcake.

What we didn't know was just how much is going in it -- 20 kilos of sugar. That's 44 pounds, I'm told. And again, the same amount for butter.

Sure, it will taste delicious but it won't do anything for anyone's waistline.

BRIGGS: It sounds delightful, though. Enjoy the royal wedding. Our coverage starts at 4:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow.

ROMANS: I guess Meghan Markle's mom --

BRIGGS: Thank you.

ROMANS: -- she landed yesterday -- or on Wednesday, so she's had time --

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: -- to try to catch up with the time zone differences and now, all the meetings underway.

BRIGGS: Just wait, though. After this wedding is what's called the FA Cup Final, one of the biggest soccer matches on the planet --

ROMANS: That's right.

BRIGGS: -- involving Manchester United. ROMANS: That's right.

BRIGGS: So it's going to be hard to secure this entire --

ROMANS: Interesting.

BRIGGS: -- town with all that.

ROMANS: All right, excitement overnight.

U.S. officials say China is on the verge of buying $200 billion more in U.S. goods. A big concession -- a big win for President Trump if it's true because Beijing, this morning, is throwing cold water on that report, calling it an untrue rumor.

In Washington, this is round two of trade talks between the U.S. and China. Officials say China offered -- U.S. officials say China offered to buy more American goods, slashing the trade deficit by $200 billion.

But China denies it. Nope -- they say we're still negotiating -- that's not true. However, that top line number matches what the U.S. demanded in Beijing two weeks ago.

If it happens, China may struggle to buy $200 billion more in U.S. goods. It bought $130 billion last year. The two biggest purchases, planes and soybeans.

So experts say a deal could ramp sales for Boeing. China is its second-largest market. Or it could eliminate the current tariffs on $4 billion worth of U.S. farm products.

Just hours ago, China dropped its investigation into sorghum, but Chinese officials say don't overthink that move.

Also unclear, what China wants in return. The U.S. is already working to lift a crippling ban on Chinese tech giant ZTE.

Global stocks right now mostly lower. They're following Wall Street's lead.

U.S. stocks closed down for a few reasons. Those trade tensions between the U.S. and China -- tech stocks fell. The bond market -- the 10-year Treasury yield is at a 7-year high. That's raising concerns about rising inflation and faster Internet -- interest rate hikes.

Americans are shopping at Walmart both online and in person, big-time. Walmart's overall sales grew last quarter. Online sales jumped 33 percent.

Walmart working hard on its digital investments, part of a larger plan to shift perception of its brand. It wants to appeal to younger, wealthier customers -- the kind that shop at Amazon.

The royal wedding is tomorrow and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could -- it could cost tens of millions of dollars. Beyond the price of the wedding itself, that includes the cost of cleaning statues, fixing roads, and of course, security. That's a fact this ring of steel of security around the event is expected to be $40 million.

[05:50:07] Who is picking up the tab? Well, the royal family will pay for much of the wedding. U.K. taxpayers will shoulder much of the security costs.

And we're told that Meghan Markle will pay for her own dress. Estimates from the design gurus and the design savvies say it could be anywhere from $150,000 to 200 and some thousand dollars for the cost of her dress.

And we're told that --

BRIGGS: You've got to be kidding me.

ROMANS: -- Prince Harry is going wear something more subdued. Let her be the star of the show.

BRIGGS: Yes, just in a pretty regular suit, huh? No tux?

ROMANS: Maybe, maybe.

BRIGGS: That's what the word is.

OK. It turns out speaking Spanish is not the only thing that angers Aaron Schlossberg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AARON SCHLOSSBERG, ATTORNEY: What country you from?

WILLIE MORRIS: (INAUDIBLE).

SCHLOSSBERG: I'm going to call the police. You don't run into people. I'm a citizen here, you're not.

You're an ugly f***ing foreigner, so f**k you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: He had a couple of bad days. There's more that he wants to talk about perhaps, or does not -- wants to run away from. More, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:55:38] BRIGGS: All right.

Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano shooting ash and smoke 30,000 feet into the air. Officials warning everyone in the area to stay indoors after handing out nearly 18,000 masks. Overnight, several fissures reactivating with lava flows in Leilani Estates.

We get more now from CNN's Stephanie Elam there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Dave and Christine, it was an early morning wake-up call as Kilauea continues to erupt. It was just after 4:00 in the morning when there was sharp plume that came into the sky, about 30,000 feet they estimate.

They have not been able to look inside the caldera just yet but scientists do believe that this was in line with that steam event -- the lava getting below the water table and the lava and water mixing and then causing these eruptions.

While that is happening there's still the issue of the people who live in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

It almost looks like we're on a different planet when you get to see up close what the lava has done inside of Leilani Estates. This is the first real look that we've been able to have to see what it's done to this neighborhood and it doesn't even look like homes were here.

This was a road. You can see the power lines down and you can see the sea of lava. This road used to drop off, I'm told, but now it's rising up into a mountain of molten rock that is still steaming.

You can still hear the crunch of the rocks underneath us and these massive fissures that are opening. It's not clear if they will turn into the fissures that will ooze gas and then lava. But still, this is what the people in the neighborhood have been watching to see if it is going to engulf their homes and in some cases, it has already done that -- Christine and Dave.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Stephanie Elam in Hawaii. Thank you, Stephanie.

The first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines approved by U.S. regulators. The Food & Drug Administration clearing the way for the sale of Aimovig within a week.

In one study, patients receiving this one-a-month shot saw their migraines cut from eight to four per month on average. The drug cost $6,900 a year without insurance.

Three other injectable migraine drugs are expected to win approval by next year and several pills for preventing migraines are now being tested.

BRIGGS: All right.

The man whose racist rant in New York City was caught on video and went viral has done it before. Two new videos emerging showing other confrontations involving this attorney, Aaron Schlossberg.

This one taking place in Boston two years ago. Willie Morris says Schlossberg bumped into him on a sidewalk when this happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHLOSSBERG: What country you from?

MORRIS: (INAUDIBLE).

SCHLOSSBERG: I'm going to call the police. You don't run into people. I'm a citizen here, you're not.

You're an ugly f***ing foreigner, so f**k you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Wondering what country Willie Morris is from? Wait no longer. He hails from Massachusetts.

ROMANS: Sorry, I don't mean to laugh, it's just so tightly-wound in --

BRIGGS: What can you do?

ROMANS: In another incident, a man named Isaac Saul said Schlossberg yelled at an Orthodox Jewish man during a protest, accusing him of being a quote "fake Jew."

NBC caught up with Schlossberg yesterday.

BRIGGS: Or tried to.

ROMANS: He ignored questions for almost three minutes and then tried to make a run for it.

CNN has called and left messages with his law firm. Yes, he has a law office. We have not heard back.

The company that operates the business center where Schlossberg's law office is -- basically, the landlord -- says it's terminating its agreement with him.

BRIGGS: He can backpedal but can he backpedal on these racist rants? It doesn't appear he wants to.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

"NEW DAY" has got you all covered. Chris Cuomo interviews Rudy Giuliani and Alisyn Camerota in Windsor.

Have a great weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It looks like the Trump campaign may, in fact, have been surveilled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They won't make any claim that serves the president. They are not backing up any of these claims for facts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American people have a right to know the entire scope of an investigation into the guy they elected president.

WRAY: The day that we can't protect human sources is the day the American people start becoming less safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump owes it to the American people to answer questions.

GIULIANI: We had the first hopeful communication and I think it was a good faith attempt to really narrow the focus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The excitement is growing here in Windsor.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The newlyweds will be met by thousands of their fans.

For a woman who is biracial to be marrying in (INAUDIBLE), it represents a real change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is your NEW DAY. It is Friday, May 18th, 6:00 here in New York.

Look at the beautiful Alisyn Camerota in that picturesque backdrop of Windsor --