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Trump Demands Justice Department Inquiry; Santa Fe Schools Closed After Deadly Shooting. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired May 21, 2018 - 05:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Unlike buybacks, capital spending helps the broader economy.

Starbucks is open to all, no purchase necessary. Starbucks will let anyone sit in the cafes or use store bathrooms even if they don't buy a drink. Telling employees to consider every person a customer.

This policy change follows the uproar over the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks last month, one who asked to use the bathroom, and an employee told them it was for paying customers only.

Both men were then arrested for trespassing sparking accusations of discrimination. Starbucks later apologized to the men it plans to close 8,000 stores next week for racial bias training. Do you like this new Starbucks policy? Let me know @davebriggstv on Twitter. EARLY START continues right now.

President Trump hereby demands to know if the feds infiltrated his campaign. That follows reports of long time intelligence sources early in the Russia investigation. Russia may not have been the only foreign power to influence the 2016 election. A report shows Donald Trump Jr. hosted a second unknown meeting with an emissary for two gulf state nations.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not do a moment of action? Why not a moment of change? Why not change what's happening because it's horrible.


BRIGGS: Passionate plea from Texas native, Kelly Clarkson, as anger, sadness, and frustration today after another school shooting claims ten more lives at an American school in Texas. Lawmakers are searching for answers that have nothing to do with guns. We hear about school exits and even Ritalin. More on that in just a bit.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs. Christine Romans has a case of the Mondays for you "Office Space" fans. It is Monday, May 21st. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

In just a few hours, President Trump expected to formally demand his own Justice Department review itself and the FBI to determine whether they spied on his presidential campaign for political purposes.

Now this development comes on the heels of reports last week that the FBI dispatched a confidential source to speak with aides to the campaign about its possible links to Russia. U.S. officials have already confirmed to CNN no source was embedded in the campaign.

In the interest of heading off a larger showdown, the DOJ says it's going along with the president's command. More now from Ryan Nobles at the White House.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No doubt the president was active on Twitter this weekend taking aim at the Department of Justice and the FBI because he was upset over the informant, a source attempting to gain information and access about the Trump campaign.

He capped off his weekend of tweets with this tweet calling out the Department of Justice saying, quote, "I hereby demand and will do so officially tomorrow, that being Monday, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI and DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump campaign for political purposes and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama administration."

That tweet quickly got some results. The Department of Justice put out a statement not long after where they said they were going to essentially expand the investigation that was already taking place.

The deputy attorney general, Rob Rosenstein, said the following, quote, "If anyone did infiltrate or surveilled participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."

So, they are essentially expanding this investigation to find out and rule in or out whether or not there was anyone attempting to launch this investigation for anything other than the reason that they thought there was something inappropriate or illegal going on.

So, this at the very least also appears to be an attempt by the president to try to discredit Robert Mueller and his investigation. We'll have to see if it has any impact on the special counsel going forward.

BRIGGS: All right. Ryan Nobles, thank you. Let's go live to Washington and bring in Daniel Lippman, reporter for "Politico" and co-author of "Politico's" morning newsletter "Playbook," a must read. Good to see you, Daniel. Welcome to EARLY START.

Let's listen to Mark Warner, Ranking Democrat on the Senate Intel Committee, about this demand by President Trump. Listen.


SENATOR MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I have no information that would indicate that the president's tweets or theory of the case is at all based in truth. I find it outrageous that the president's allies are in effect playing fast and loose with confidential information.


BRIGGS: Are they playing fast and loose with confidential information? Are there legitimate concerns about what was done and why it was done?

[05:05:07] DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER, "POLITICO": Well, Trump has long been paranoid about being surveilled. Remember, last year, he talked about whether the Obama administration surveilled him at Trump Tower? But, you know, we have to remember the use of informants is a long- time practice in investigations.

And so, they were trying to protect Trump from his foreign policy advisers, who are at risk of getting influenced by foreign powers. It doesn't seem like this was a case of DOJ trying to torpedo the Trump campaign.

BRIGGS: All right. So, here is how the Justice Department reacted to this demand by the president. Rod Rosenstein's statement said if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action." But the question is, Daniel, is this likely to satisfy this petulant president?

LIPPMAN: Yes, what happens is if they find the DOJ did nothing wrong, it doesn't seem like that is something that will make President Trump happy. He will probably say the investigation into this informant went wrong, is bias by career Democrats at DOJ. And so, the president has his theories, but they are not often borne out by the facts. That appears to be the face this time as well.

BRIGGS: All right. Rudy Giuliani over the weekend late last night in fact, suggesting that September 1st is when Bob Mueller could wrap up this investigation, at least the obstruction of justice portion of it if the president sits down to an interview. It is not known if this is the truth. We have not heard a comment from the special counsel about this. What is Rudy Giuliani up to here?

LIPPMAN: Rudy has made a number of statements that have proved to be inaccurate. But when it looks to be as clear cut as this, I don't think that he created the September 1st deadline out of thin air. And so, Mueller has wanted to wrap this up before the midterm elections.

But, you know, Trump's lawyers have promised that the inquiry would come to an end several times and it continues to roll on. This may be a similar case here. This is contingent whether Trump gives an interview this summer to Mueller. If he doesn't, this inquiry will probably continue until after the elections as well.

BRIGGS: Yes. A lot of questions about will it wrap up before the midterms. We've heard about deadlines. We heard a deadline Thanksgiving of last year deadline and it was going to wrap up by the end of the year. We continue to now push the end date of this to get the president to sit down for an interview.

What can you tell us about this "New York Times" reporting about another Don Jr. meeting at Trump Tower, this time with gulf nations promising to help the campaign. What's the "Politico" reporting on that and how significant would this be.

LIPPMAN: So, it doesn't -- there is no indication in the report that they actually gave help. But the fact that Don Jr. met with this gulf emissary and this guy has an Israeli intelligence company aimed at psychological operations and social media manipulation. That's clearly concerning.

There should have been alarm bells that rang out and said we should not be meeting with people representing foreigners offering to help us in the campaign. So, this is something that a lot of Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill did not know about this meeting.

And you have the gulf countries seeming to get a result because Trump favored them for months after he was inaugurated in the battle against Qatar. If they didn't help, they still got some concrete results in terms of American foreign policy direction.

BRIGGS: All right. Daniel Lippman, thanks for being here from "Politico." Appreciate it.

Schools in Santa Fe, Texas closed today and tomorrow. The city still reeling from Friday's school shooting that left ten people dead. It was the nation's 22nd school shooting this year. Sadly, shockingly, there have been more deaths in our schools in 2018 than our in military.

The Galveston County sheriff says the entire incident lasted 30 minutes, but that included a 25-minute exchange of gunfire between the police and shooter. The suspect telling police he spared some people, so they could tell his story. The mother of one victim, 16-year-old Shana Fisher, said her daughter rejected the suspect's advances for months.


SADIE BAZE, DAUGHTER SHANA FISHER KILLED IN SHOOTING: My daughter was going up to my mother and telling me mom the past four months and my brother that he had been making advances on her and she finally stood up to him because her younger sister was bullied in school.

[05:10:04] And she was showing her, look, this is what you do. You have to stand up to him and say no. It is not right.


BRIGGS: There was a funeral prayer service Sunday for one of the shooting victims, Sabika Sheik. She was the 17-year-old exchange student from Pakistan. Listen to the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.


M.J. KHAN, PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF GREATER HOUSTON: All you young people sitting in the audience, don't look at Austin or Washington to solve your problems. You must solve your problems yourself. Take the lead from the students in Florida. They stood up and said no more.


BRIGGS: The suspect's family says they are as shocked and confused as anyone here. What they learned is, quote, "incompatible with the boy we love." Authorities say the guns used by the suspect were legally owned by his father. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked if the father should face legal consequences.


ART ACEVEDO, HOUSTON POLICE CHIEF: Anyone who owns a firearm who doesn't secure it properly and ends up in the wrong hands and used to kill innocent people, that should carry some significant consequences. We need to think about that on the national level across this country.


BRIGGS: Chief Acevedo also posting these comments on Facebook, "I know some have strong feelings about gun rights, but I want you to know I have hit rock bottom. This is not a time for prayers and study and inaction. It is time for prayers and action and the asking of God's forgiveness for our inaction especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras, acted on a solemn manner, called for prayers and once again do absolutely nothing."

Many officials, including politicians are pointing fingers at video games and broken families and too many school entrances and more but not guns. Many officials still insisting more teachers need to be armed.


DAN PATRICK (R), TEXAS LT. GOVERNOR: We cannot sit back and say it is the gun. It is us as a nation, George. On this Sunday morning when we all go to church and pray and the synagogue or mosque, let's look at ourselves at the nation. It is our Second Amendment. You know, talks about a well-run militia, the Second Amendment, our teachers are part of that well-run militia, by the way.

OLIVER NORTH, INCOMING NRA PRESIDENT: The disease is not the second amendment. The disease is the youngsters who are steeped in the culture of violence. If you look at what is happened to the young people, many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten.


BRIGGS: President Obama's education secretary, Arne Duncan, thinks students should boycott school until stronger gun laws are passed. He says the idea is tragically necessary and asked what if no children went to school until gun laws change to keep them safe? My family is all in. If we can do this at scale, parents, will you please join us?

Since 2009, the United States leads the world with 288 school shootings. Mexico is second with eight. Pop star and Texas native, Kelly Clarkson, with this emotional plea at the Billboard Music Awards late last night.


KELLY CLARKSON, POP STAR: Why don't we not do (inaudible) when do a moment of action. Why don't we do moment of change? Why don't we change what's happening because it's horrible?


All right, ahead, the U.S. and China agree to dial back the rhetoric on trade. What each side gives and gets next on EARLY START.



BRIGGS: It's 5:17 Eastern Time. China and the U.S. calling a trade ceasefire at least for now. In a joint statement, the U.S. and China announcing the initial trade agreement. There are few details, but neither will impose new tariffs and China will significantly increase the U.S. goods it buys.

It did not name a dollar amount. That was the top demand of the Trump administration during trade talks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calls this meaningful progress.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We are putting the trade war on hold. So right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework.


BRIGGS: The U.S. previously threatened tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods. Still unknown is the fate of ZTE. The Chinese tech giant was crippled after the U.S. banned it from buying vital U.S. parts.

But on a big reversal from last week, President Trump suggested saving it. Mnuchin insists there is no quid pro quo linking ZTE to a trade deal and that the administration is not going easy on ZTE and that was echoed by economic advisor, Larry Kudlow.


LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: If any remedies are altered, they are still going to be very, very tough. Do not please, do not expect ZTE to get off scot free, ain't going to happen.


BRIGGS: ZTE faces punishment for violating U.S. sanctions and lying about discipling the employees involved.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro winning another six-year term in Venezuela's presidential election. His chief rival, Henry Falcon, rejected the election as illegitimate setting widespread irregularities that echoes the sentiment of many countries, including the United States.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls the election a sham adding, "We need Venezuelan people running this country. A nation with so much to offer the world." Maduro says he would be open with talks with quote, "the empire of the United States."

And a lot of talk about Steph Curry recently and his slump. We'll ask the Houston Rockets about that slump. Lindsay Czarniak is here with the "Bleacher Report" and a blowout in golden state. Good morning to you.



BRIGGS: The Vegas Golden Knights once a 500 to 1 shot to win the Stanley Cup are turning impossible to possible. Lindsay Czarniak here with this morning's "Bleacher Report." No one thought this would be done although there were a few people in Vegas that did bet on that.

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's very true. I mean, this is not just the great sports story, but story of the year. It is so amazing, by the way. I mean, I don't know if it would be believable as a movie. Seriously.

The Golden Knights are the first expansion team in the four major sports to post a winning rhetoric. This is a team of players who felt they were unwanted by other teams. They helped this city heal after the mass shooting at a Vegas concert that killed 58 people in October.

This team making a promise before its first game to do whatever possible to help the families of the victims push through. Now look at this, Dave, they shocked the world. Yesterday, the Knights beating the Jets 2-1 to and advance to the Stanley Cup final. Four wins away from hoisting the Lord Stanley Cup. Marc Fleury saying it's about much more than just (inaudible).


MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, GOLDEN KNIGHTS: As a team, you can heal. Change your mind a bit.

DERYK ENGELLAND, GOLDEN KNIGHTS: Make us run and win the series and move on. It is awesome for us. It all comes back to the city and the people affected by that.

[05:25:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be proud of the team cheering for something. We will provide a little bit of that to Vegas.


CZARNIAK: This is remarkable story. The Warriors and Rockets paying tribute to the victims of the latest mass shooting. They held a moment of silence for Santa Fe High School near Houston before last night's game three.

Once the game began, Warriors guard, Steph Curry, channeled his emotions to the tune of 35 points. He was so in the zone in the third quarter. He took out his mouthpiece here. Watch him here. He doesn't curse normally. That is what just happened. The defending champs blowout the Rockets by 41 points to take a 2-1 series lead. He may be asking what is Steph's secret?


STEPHEN CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Don't over-think it. Wake up, eat breakfast, lift weights, get your shots up in practice, and just have confidence in yourself that you can figure it up.


CZARNIAK: Easy for him to say. Curry's recipe for greatness. Georgetown football player, Ty Williams, accomplished greatness over the weekend that moved all those who know him. He suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed during a football in 2015.

Saturday, he walked for the first time in two and a half years walking across the stage. Look at this. His name was called at Georgetown graduation. Williams with the help of the walker and brace, doing most of the work on his own. What seemed impossible months before. Visibly possible to those watching. Look at that embrace. The president of the university. Unbelievable. Everybody cheering.

BRIGGS: You can imagine there were not dry eyes left.

CZARNIAK: You know, he had been the keynote speaker at graduation about a year and a half after his accident. The way he tackled what he dealt with is remarkable.

BRIGGS: That is great stuff. All right. Lindsay Czarniak will join us on Instagram live after the show. Don't go too far. Thank you.

All right. The headlines fast and furious this morning. A second Trump Tower meeting and end date for the Mueller investigation.

The president demanding an investigation into whether his campaign was infiltrated by the feds. That's ahead on EARLY START.