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EARLY START

Trump Pressuring to Get Summit Back On; Alberto Turns Deadly; Starbucks Closing for Anti-Bias Training. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired May 29, 2018 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:28] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: High urgency as President Trump tries to get the summit he canceled with Kim Jong-un back on track. Only two weeks now to get it all sorted out.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Subtropical storm Alberto turns deadly. Two members of the news crew killed when a tree falls on their news van. Heavy rains today and getting more danger conditions.

ROMANS: And don't go to Starbucks today for your afternoon caffeine fix. All 8,000 U.S. stores will close for anti-bias training.

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

BRIGGS: Home brew.

I'm Dave Briggs. It's Tuesday, May 29th, 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Today, the president will head to Nashville, Tennessee. He's got a campaign rally there expected to focus on jobs and the econmy.

But we start with this summit. It's now just two weeks until the on again/off again, maybe it's on again, we're not sure, summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Urgency is certainly escalating as the president pushes aides to make the meeting happen on the original target date , which is June 12th, a meeting he himself cancelled just five days ago

ROMANS: Now, "The Wall Street Journal" reports the U.S. has decided to hold off on pushing for major new sanctions against North Korea. The White House had been set to announce the new sanctions as soon as today, but decided Monday to press pause while talks with Pyongyang proceed.

For more this morning, let's turn to CNN's Matt Rivers live in Seoul.

And, Matt, for anyone who checked out for the weekend and now checking back in, it looks as though the planning for the summit is back on. The June 12th date circled on the calendar.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, we spent the last four or five days here in Seoul, basically listing different indicators that all sides involved here are pushing forward. So, let's update our viewers on what the latest is. There's a couple of teams of Americans here in this part of the world.

First, a team of Americans that went to the demilitarized zone yesterday to meet with their North Korean counterparts to try and hammer out the details of a potential summit. We know those delegates are not meeting today, but they could very well meet again tomorrow here. So, that is kind of the meat and potatoes of the summit, if you will.

Down in Singapore, we know that a North Korean official, according to video we have seen from Japanese media, has gone to Singapore to meet with the American logistics team that is down there. So, both sides clearly trying to work out how this would actually go down, where it would take place and the like.

It's worth noting that part of the reason this summit was canceled, according to the Americans is the last time the logistics team went there, the North Koreans didn't show up. But we know that the North Koreans are there now.

And one other thing, we did see video of a top North Korean official named Kim Yong Chul, often described at Kim Jong-un's right hand man, the top nuclear negotiator for North Korea, he was spotted in Beijing airport. And when you're a North Korean official going somewhere else for diplomatic activity, almost always, you transit through Beijing.

So, all of these things together show that these working level talks and working level diplomacy is ongoing. And we could see higher level official meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for example, and North Korean officials before the summit takes place. And one more thing, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will be meeting with President Trump before any summit takes place.

ROMANS: Certainly, all this preparation must be in the hyper speed because it could take months or even years to prepare, even lesser, lesser important summit.

All right. Matt Rivers, keep us posted. Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. President Trump honoring the fallen and himself on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. The president remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice, calling their love of country more deep and more pure than most will ever know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They marched into hell so that America could know the blessings of peace. They died so that freedom could live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: But before making those remarks, the president used the memory of fallen soldiers to tout his economic achievements, tweeting: Happy Memorial Day. Those would be happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for blacks and Hispanic ever and women in 18 years, rebuilding our military and so much more. Ending it with that one, nice.

ROMANS: Then came the blowback. Among many critics, former Joint Chiefs chairman, General Martin Dempsey tweeting, this day of all days of the year should not be about any one of us, no matter how prestigious or powerful, no matter how successful we perceive ourselves to be.

[04:05:01] Rather, this day should be about those who gave their lives so that we could live ours in freedom.

And not many characters needed from former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden. He summed it all up with a simple: OMG.

BRIGGS: How's this for a juxtaposition. A powerful Memorial Day image emerging from Monday's Atlanta Braves game. A junior ROTC member standing at attention next to the stadium's POW-MIA chair of honor as a fan in the red rain coat shades him from the rain with this umbrella. The photo spread quickly on social media, and the Braves posting on Twitter with the one word caption: respect.

The team dedicated the chair last year to remember servicemen and women who remain unaccounted for since World War I.

ROMANS: That's right. It is not the official summer start of barbecues season. Memorial Day is about remembering all those people who served for us.

All right. A top official at Health and Human Services claiming reports the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 children are, quote, false and misleading. Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan releasing a statement saying the children are not lost. He insists it is simply a case of sponsors not responding to follow-up calls and says the agency is not under obligation to make the calls. He says those calls are made voluntarily.

BRIGGS: He writes. In many cases, sponsors cannot be reached because they themselves are illegal aliens, and do not want to be reached by federal authorities.

Information about the missing immigration children came to light in a Senate subcommittee meeting in April. That's triggering a lot scrutiny amid reports that immigrant children are being separated from their parents at the U.S. border. The DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defending the policy, saying similar separations happen in this country, quote, every day.

ROMANS: All right. Six minutes past the hour.

President Trump working on a trade deal with Beijing just as Ivanka Trump scores a batch of Chinese trademarks. The Chinese government granted Ivanka Trump's brand seven trademarks for things like kitchenware, furniture, paper products and cosmetics, raising concerns over conflicts of interest. Again, Ivanka Trump no longer manages her business, but she does have an ownership stake.

And since global trademarks are granted by foreign government, there's worry of political influence, especially in China, currently working with the U.S. on a trade deal with tens of billions of dollars of tariffs on the line, along with the fate of Chinese telecom ZTE. Remember last month, a U.S. sales ban on ZTE basically put it out of business, punishment for violating U.S. sanctions. Now, a lifeline from President Trump who instead prefers a big fine, or management changes.

But Senator Marco Rubio says Congress will not allow that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: One of the things Congress will do is not even allow Chinese telecom companies to operate in the United States. It's not just ZTE, it's Huawei. All of them depend on U.S. semiconductors. None of these companies should be operating in this country. None of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Last week, the powerful Senate Banking Committee moved to block any deal with the ZTE, saying it puts an economic bargaining chip over national security, warning that ZTE tech could help spy on the U.S. and steal corporate secrets, although there are many who are defending Ivanka Trump and saying, look, her company would be crazy not to apply for these trademarks because in China, you know, it is common, honestly, common to have companies, you know, exploit someone's image or, you know --

BRIGGS: Ask Michael Jordan about that.

ROMANS: Exactly. So --

BRIGGS: They used his name. He had to sue for years and years to get back the licensing of his own name. So, it does make sense as a defensive maneuver.

OK. Subtropical storm Alberto being blamed for the deaths of a local TV anchor and his photographer killed while cover dangerous weather in Polk County, North Carolina. WYFF anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer had just finished interviewing the fire chief when a tree crushed their news van.

Chief Geoff Tennant says in 44 years of fire service, he's never seen a tragedy like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEOFF TENNANT, TRYON, NORTH CAROLINA FIRE CHIEF: We talked a bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and how we want him to stay safe. Then, of course, 15 minutes later, we get the call and it was him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Officials are warning everyone in the region to stay off the roads because the ground remains saturated and more trees could still fall. ROMANS: Alberto downgraded overnight to a subtropical depression

after making landfall in Florida. Downgrade does not mean the storm threat is over. More than 6,000 customers in Florida are without power. Several related watches and warnings remain in effect.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Christine.

We are watching what's happening along the Gulf Coast here because of the slow moving system through parts of southern Alabama. Notice the center of the low right there in southern Alabama. We think Montgomery will get in on the action next as far as the heavy rainfall is concerned. Eventually, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham certainly could see the shift across parts of Mississippi as well and into Tennessee eventually.

[04:10:03] But notice, upwards of almost 30 million people underneath a flood watch associated with the system. And that is beginning to push north and moisture drawn back from the South as well. So, part of Florida who already been hit with very heavy rainfall in recent days once again into South Florida with additional rounds of rainfall over the next several days.

And again, this system will track its way up to the Upper Midwest. As it does, this area experiences temperatures in the 90s the last several days. And, frankly, this is a little bit of relief. We drop into the 80s and eventually 70s after a brief warm up in Thursday in Chicago with a high of 68 come Friday afternoon.

Even the New York City see the cooling trend there as we approach the later portion of the week, into the upper 70s and upper 60s before the week is done -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Pedram, thank you so much for that.

BRIGGS: All right. Coming up, Cavs and Warriors yet again. The NBA finals match up that we just can't seem to avoid after the Warriors staged a furious comeback in game seven. More from Houston, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:15:11] ROMANS: Welcome back. Fifteen minutes past the hour.

Classes resume at Santa Fe High School in Texas today. Less than two weeks after ten people died in the mass shooting. Some students feel since the end of the school year is so close, returning to the building is not worth the pain. Graduation is Friday.

There are also funerals today for two of the shooting victims. Fourteen-year-old student Kimberly Vaughn and teacher Ann Perkins.

At a fund-raiser last night, students raised money for injured students and the families of those killed. BRIGGS: We are now hearing for the first time from the teacher who stopped the shooter at an Indiana middle school last week. Seventh grade science teacher Jason Seaman shot three times by an armed student. The football coach and former college defensive lineman lunged at the shooter, tackling him, and earning widespread praise for his heroics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON SEAMAN, TEACHER, NOBLESVILLE WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: As a person who isn't looking for attention, nor entirely comfortable with the situation I'm currently in, I want to make it clear that my actions on that day in my mind were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances. I deeply care for my students and their wellbeing. That is why I did what I did that day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: One student was wounded. She was reported in critical condition, but school officials say she is making great progress.

ROMANS: That's great news.

With the nation agonizing over so many of these school shootings, there's outrage at a new video game called Active Shooter. Oh my goodness, it's hard even to watch. It is set to be released June 6th on Steam, a gaming platform owned by Valve Corporation. Gamers can choose whether they want to be a SWAT team member responding to an active shooter situation, or the school shooter on a mission to hunt and destroy.

Parents who lost children in real school shootings are not amused, to say the least. Ryan Petty lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina in the Parkland High massacre. He calls the game and its maker despicable.

BRIGGS: More from the same from Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime also died in the Parkland massacre. He is urging a boycott, tweeting saying the Valve Corporation should face the wrath of everyone who cares about school safety. CNN has reached out to Valve for comment. Active Shooter's developer posted disclaimer with the game saying in no event should anyone attempt to recreate or mimic any of the actions, events, or situations occurring in this game.

ROMANS: Starbucks will shut down some 8,000 company-owned locations this afternoon to give 175,000 employees mandatory anti-bias training. Participating stores will close around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. local time. The training stems from an April incident in which two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks. The store manager called police because the men were sitting in the store waiting placing an order. The men were there simply waiting for a friend.

Starbucks CEO apologized. The company has changed policy to allow people to use Starbuck restrooms and spend time in stores if they have not used purchases. There are limits however. And employees will still have to use their discretion. Closing the stores is expected to cost Starbucks about $12 million in lost revenue. In a grand scheme, obviously, it's sales and earnings, that's nothing. Drop in the bucket.

BRIGGS: Not a Venti.

ROMANS: It's a drop in a drop of the bucket.

BRIGGS: OK. Trump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was at Yankee Stadium to celebrate his 74th birthday on Memorial Day. But the crowd was, well, not exactly celebrating with Rudy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: New York Yankees is wishing happy birthday to Mayor Giuliani.

(BOOS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Wow, let them have it. Giuliani was greeted with thunders boos from the crowd of about 50,000. The fans were not happy with the Yanks who lost the game to the World Series champion Astros 5-1.

To basketball. The Golden State Warriors are back to the NBA finals for a fourth straight year after beating the Houston Rockets in game seven of their Western Conference Final series. The warriors down 11 at the half, outscored the Rockets by 18 points in the third, as they typically do, to take control of the game.

So, Golden State will meet, who else, LeBron James and the Cavs in the finals for the fourth straight year. The Warriors have now won two of the last three titles. NBA finals begin Thursday night in Oakland.

On the ice. Expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights strike first in the Stanley Cup finals, beating the Washington Capitals 6-4 in the series opener. The game was close throughout, tied after two periods. The knights scored three times in the third, including an empty netter to secure the victory. Game two of the cup final Wednesday back in Vegas. This team cannot be stopped.

ROMANS: All right. What was this child's father doing? Look at that baby dangling? I still cannot believe these images. Another man was scaled the building to save that little boy.

[04:20:01] That's next.

BRIGGS: Miraculous, isn't it?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: All right. Now to Hawaii where fast moving lava from Kilauea is forcing sudden evacuations. At least 8 of 24 fissures reactivated yesterday destroying several homes. Authorities going door-to-door now in affected neighborhoods. A forecast shift in wind direction could expand volcanic gas emissions toward populated areas.

CNN'S Miguel Marquez is there for us. He's go the latest -- Miguel. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, this is far from over for the residents of Hawaii. Eight fissures over the last 12 hours became active at least for a little while.

What you're looking at look down here, that is fissure eight, destroying houses in Leilani Estates. Ten homes in the last 24 hours have been destroyed. In total, 41 homes and 82 structures have been destroyed by the lava here. And it shows very little sign of stopping.

One estimates that volcanologist put out, 4 million cubic meters of lava is being pumped out into the land here every day. That is a guesstimate on their part. And while the lava is bad, they're also concerned about Kilauea itself and a possible massive eruption there.

They are not entirely sure what's happening underneath Kilauea, but watching it very closely, they are not sure if there's new magma coming up from deep underground into the crater itself. They do know that it has been retreating. The crater in Kilauea has increased in size from 12 acres to over 90 acres and there is earthquake after earthquake in this area, indicating that it is only getting worse.

One other interesting fact: Kilauea itself. The summit has sunk five feet since all this begun -- Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Remarkable.

Miguel, thanks.

Meanwhile, a father whose son was caught hanging from the balcony in France was actually playing Pokemon Go at the time. It's hard to forget this hard-pounding video, as you see this man scaling the balcony. The Paris prosecutor tells the BFM television network the 4- year-old's father had been out grocery shopping and decided to play Pokemon Go.

That is when a migrant from Mali rescued the child after scaling the building and pulling him to safety. The boy's father could face up to two years in prison. A trial is scheduled for September.

ROMANS: Certainly amazing. And the French president telling that migrant he would have expedited legal papers and French citizenship if he wants.

BRIGGS: And a job offer from the fire department.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: I'm saying he goes to Vegas, baby. That is a talent, that is a genuine talent.

ROMANS: As a parent, it is hard to watch that baby hanging. Oh my god.

All right. Stakes are high here. Time is short. President Trump pushing all parties to finalize plans for a summit with Kim Jong-un, days after he canceled it himself. We are live in Seoul.