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Trump Pressuring To Get North Korea Summit Back On; Subtropical Storm Alberto Turns Deadly; Starbucks Closing For Anti-Bias Training. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 29, 2018 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:44] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking this morning, a North Korean official -- a top North Korean official heading for the U.S. President Trump trying to get the summit he canceled back on track.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And, subtropical storm Alberto turns deadly. Two members of a news crew killed when a tree falls on their van. Heavy rains today will make even more dangerous 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.

All right. Welcome back to EARLY START this Tuesday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: It's not up. It's not open at 2:00 a.m. when we come in --

ROMANS: I know. It doesn't open until 5:00 a.m. so --

BRIGGS: -- so that's OK with us.

I'm Dave Briggs. Five thirty-one eastern time -- now 5:29 (ph).

And it's not even two weeks -- two weeks until this on again-off again -- maybe it's on again summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The president pushing aides though to make the meeting happen on June 12th -- that date he originally canceled just five days ago.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports the U.S. has decided to hold off on new sanctions against North Korea.

ROMANS: And breaking this morning, a top North Korean official -- a former spy chief is headed to the United States right now.

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

So we've been watching, sort of, the movements of this guy, a top aide to Kim Jong Un -- someone who has worked with the South Koreans on this issue, and he seems to be headed to the United States.

What does that tell us? MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's several media outlets -- Bloomberg, a South Korean media outlet Yonhap, and there's also a Japanese media that is reported that Kim Yong-chol, who is often called Kim Jong Un's right-hand man, the top nuclear negotiator in North Korea -- that he is on his way to New York right now to meet with U.S. officials ahead of this summit.

We saw video from the Associated Press of Kim Yong-chol in the Beijing airport which would make sense because we know when you're a North Korean diplomat, generally speaking, you do transit through Beijing before heading elsewhere for talks.

Now we should note CNN has not independently verified this information. But if this is true, according to multiple outlets, then that would suggest that things we've heard about higher level meetings between high-level U.S. officials, high-level North Korean officials -- on the U.S. side, perhaps Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being involved -- that those meetings would take place before this summit happens. So we're going to wait and see how that develops in the U.S. today.

Furthermore, there's other things going on on this side of the world. The North Korean official was spotted in the Singapore airport where he will then go and meet with American diplomats that are already in Singapore -- part of that advanced logistics team figuring out how all of this will go down, location and otherwise in Singapore.

And finally, there are American delegates here in Seoul that yesterday, met with North Korean delegations at the DMZ trying to work out an agenda for this summit that could take place in as little as two weeks. They did meet today and they're probably going to meet again tomorrow.

But this gives you an idea of the massive amount of diplomatic activity at the working level and at the senior level, apparently now, trying to make this summit a reality even perhaps on June 12th.

ROMANS: All right, we'll see. Matt Rivers, thanks for following it for us from Seoul. Thank you, sir.

Oil prices are falling fast. That's good news for drivers after a pricey Memorial Day weekend here.

The price of U.S. crude is down about 10 percent after hitting the highest level since 2014. Look at that big move on the right of your screen.

You can thank Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer. Saudi Arabia has been cutting production to nudge oil prices higher and maybe take advantage of the higher prices we've seen. But now, it says it will pump more crude to ease tight supply.

You know, production cuts are not the only reason for the recent higher prices. The U.S. abandoning the Iran nuclear deal could mean sanctions, which could limit Iran's oil exports. But for now, the story is falling oil prices which will mean lower gas prices. A relief since Memorial Day weekend was the most expensive to drive since 2014. Prices up 60 cents from last year, near three bucks a gallon.

Gas prices have been on the rise all year. A typical family can expect, oh, about $200 more to spend on gas this summer.

Let's bring in political economist Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments. He joins us from San Francisco. Good morning.

So we're talking about gas prices that are easing a little bit --


ROMANS: -- and a job market that has been strong. Progress, apparently, on the North Korea front here, negotiations on China.

Everything seems to be hunky-dory. That should be good for the president.

[05:35:02] VALLIERE: Goldilocks is still alive, Christine. I think everywhere you look you see a good story.

And now, with the North Koreans coming to the U.S., that's a good story. And with the price of oil falling, I think the inflation fears that everybody got stirred up over a month or so ago -- those fears are going to subside.

BRIGGS: So, "The Wall Street Journal" writes about all of this in one interesting editorial this morning -- "The Benefits and Risks of Trump's Dazzle."

They write, "The basis of Mr. Trump's --


BRIGGS: -- rising popularity and the GOP's slowing improving midterm prospects is the strong domestic economy. International financial and political --


BRIGGS: -- is the biggest threat to this achievement."

So how important is it for the president, right now, to just kind of turn down the heat a little bit and just be a little bit more predictable perhaps?

VALLIERE: There's got to be a little more clarity on trade. I mean, as you guys know, multinational corporations plan years in advance. How do you plan years in advance if you don't know if there are going to be big, new tariffs, if there's trade uncertainty on things like NAFTA? So that's an issue. But at the same time, I think the fundamentals look quite good. I mentioned in the earlier half an hour, we get an unemployment number on Friday that I think will be solid, so this president goes into the summer with the economy maybe accelerating.

So I'm not one of these people who thinks there could be a landslide for the Democrats this fall. They may take the House but I think a big tidal wave, as people are saying, is unlikely with the economy this good.

ROMANS: Greg, we've been talking --


ROMANS: -- so much about North Korea and about China trade negotiations but this morning, the big story in markets is the euro and the Eurozone --


ROMANS: -- and political --


ROMANS: -- upheaval in Italy and Spain. That is a huge -- the Eurozone, a huge trading partner for the United States.

Just quickly, how concerned should we be about what we're seeing happen in our friend, our ally, our trading partner of the Eurozone?

VALLIERE: Well, to a certain extent, it's another positive story. You've got a stronger dollar which means less inflation. It's not great for U.S. multinationals to have the dollar get too strong.

I think the Italian story is going to sort of simmer for another two or three months before, perhaps, still another election at the end of the summer.

But all of a sudden these jitters about the euro are going to add a new dimension to looking at geopolitics.

BRIGGS: It wouldn't be a day though if we didn't make you break down a Trump tweet, so let's do that.


BRIGGS: And this one on Memorial Day --


BRIGGS: -- got a lot of criticism from the president when he tweeted, "Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers --

VALLIERE: Yes. BRIGGS: -- for blacks and Hispanics ever." He ends it with the "Nice!"

General Hayden -- Michael Hayden among the many who criticized this. Many veterans were unhappy with the tone.

Pretty much par for the course from this president? Should we expect more?

VALLIERE: Yes, pretty much. It probably is not going to matter in his polling numbers but I think people who look at what he says sometimes have to ask the question, is he going to be narcissistic even on Memorial Day when it's a day to honor people who have made the ultimate sacrifice?

It didn't sit well with people and I think that the critics have a very good point.

ROMANS: His speech at Arlington I think, though, was pretty much right on -- right on message and he stayed on script for the speech at Arlington.

At the same time, we're hearing, Greg, that Ivanka Trump has received a couple of new patents -- or trademarks, rather.


ROMANS: Seven altogether from China, at the very moment the president is easing off his criticism of ZTE. In fact, he's at odds --


ROMANS: -- with his own party and Sen. Marco Rubio about ZTE and the national security threat there.

Is this a coincidence, do you think, or emblematic, I guess, of just this family business that they have not divested of? What do you make of the Ivanka Trump trademark wins --


ROMANS: -- at the very moment the U.S. has negotiated with China?

VALLIERE: Two very quick points.

Number one, I think Rubio is going to now start to consolidate the anti-Trump forces within the party. I don't think anyone can deny Trump re-nomination if he wants it but Rubio is going to be an irritant for Trump.

Number two, all of this sanctimonious talk over the last few years about the Clintons, maybe there was some truth to that.

But when you see Ivanka doing this, taking advantage of something we're involved in, you have to conclude the swamp has not been drained yet. BRIGGS: It does appear that way -- all right.

Greg Valliere, you picked the wrong day --

VALLIERE: All right.

BRIGGS: -- to stay up late because Starbucks is closed --


BRIGGS: -- my friend.


BRIGGS: Two thirty-nine Pacific Time. Thank you, Greg.

ROMANS: Can you -- can you imagine the outrage if they were Sasha and Malia Obama -- like a children's furniture line and --

BRIGGS: It would be weeks of coverage --

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: -- on a certain network.

But you can't blame her, on the other hand. The Chinese will steal --

ROMANS: Absolutely.

BRIGGS: -- and use your likeness.

ROMANS: Absolutely, and her company --

BRIGGS: And you have to protect the brand, right?

ROMANS: Her company is working independent of her, we are told --


ROMANS: -- and they are trying to protect her name and brand.

BRIGGS: All right.

Ahead, Alberto downgraded but no less dangerous. Flooding possible in the Southeast as heavy rains head north. The storm blamed for the death of a local news crew in North Carolina.


BRIGGS: All right, "NEW DAY" is about 15 minutes away. But first, we have a clip for you from February 14th of 2017.


ROMANS: We have been here together for three years, getting up in the middle of the night navigating all the twists and turns of the news flow. This is our final day.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We're sure going to miss you here at CNN, John.


Where are you going?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I would say -- you know, you guys -- instead of seeing your front side, I'm going to see you on the backside. But for Chris, it's his better side. I mean, nine o'clock.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Very, very revealing.


CUOMO: I want to say, boy -- I have to tell you, watching those 90 seconds of everything you've meant to EARLY START really shows the power of just showing up.


[05:45:06] ROMANS: He spent like 15 months on the nine to eleven show and now, he's over there with Alisyn Camerota -- John Berman.

John, you just -- you just -- you just don't sit still.

BERMAN: You just can't get rid of me. It's like a bad rash. It keeps popping up in all new different places, right?

BRIGGS: Yes. Congratulations, John. We're happy for you.

ROMANS: And don't -- and don't screw up today. I mean, everyone's watching.

BRIGGS: Well, he set the bar low. I was in there yesterday.

BERMAN: Nowhere to go but down at this point.

CAMEROTA: I know. And it's funny, Christine. You and I have sort of work husband swapped, you know?

BRIGGS: That's -- that is true.

CAMEROTA: Dave was my work husband for many years, John was your work husband.

ROMANS: Right.

CAMEROTA: So there's a lot of sharing going on.


BERMAN: There's nothing at all creepy about any of this.

ROMANS: I know, and we can't tell everyone who we like better and no one will ever know who we prefer, right?

CAMEROTA: Well, it's going to be really exciting. I'm so happy to have John for this wild ride that we are embarking on and this strange trip. And it's just -- I mean, look, there cannot be a better partner in the world.


CAMEROTA: Somebody who has your back --

ROMANS: Correct.

CAMEROTA: -- and brings it every morning, so I'm thrilled.

BERMAN: I'm still hung up on Romans saying that no one will ever know who we all prefer, right there.

ROMANS: I know. Love the one you're with, Berman.

BRIGGS: Do you want -- do you want to reveal it on three? We'll count to three and you just --

ROMANS: Love the one you're with. Love the one you're with.

BERMAN: OK. I may get the "C.R." tattoo on my arm removed and get another one. I have an "A.C." one this one but that was for Anderson Cooper, just in case. I was --

CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.

BERMAN: Where can I fix this?

ROMANS: Oh, my gosh. So much news today which you will actually discuss when you actually --


ROMANS: -- have your show on. So we promise it won't be just all this --

BRIGGS: Good luck on the maiden John Berman voyage.

ROMANS: Nice to see you guys -- thanks.

BRIGGS: Thanks, guys. See you in a bit.

CAMEROTA: You, too.

BERMAN: See you in a bit.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on -- that was a CNN personnel change. Now let's get a look at what's going on in the markets.

European markets falling right now. Political turmoil in Italy fueling fears it could lead the E.U. -- robbing the Eurozone of its third-biggest economy. U.S. futures also starting a short trading week lower. U.S. markets were closed yesterday for the Memorial Day, of course.

The S&P 500 and the Dow closed lower Friday. That was because of a big drop in oil prices. That dinged energy stocks.

The price of crude down nearly 10 percent after Saudi Arabia said it would pump more to ease tight supply and maybe take advantage of those higher prices recently.

Overall, May has been a strong month for stocks. The S&P 500 is up 2.8 percent so far this month, on track for its best May since 2009.

Another reason Wall Street is on the rise, corporate America had its best report card in eight years. S&P 500 profits have never been higher.

Look at that -- almost 25 percent in the first quarter. That's unbelievable. That's the fastest pace since 2010.

More than three-quarters of companies made more money than they originally predicted. A number of things padding corporate America's bottom line -- faster economic growth and big corporate tax cuts.

Did you use a plastic cup -- maybe some plastic forks and knives this holiday weekend? Well, Europe is looking to ban those products forever. The European Commission is targeting 10 single-use items -- cutlery, straws, plates, cotton swabs.

The goal is to clean up the oceans. Those banned items make up 70 percent of all litter in E.U. beaches and waters.

The E.U. also wants plastic producers to pay for the clean-up estimated at $25 billion with a "B" -- $25 billion.

BRIGGS: And, New York also talking about banning those plastic straws as well.

ROMANS: Yes, it's something.

BRIGGS: They've been a disaster for the environment. All right.

What was this child's father doing while another man scaled a building to save him? Just remarkable video and the latest from this story, next.


[05:53:20] ROMANS: Subtropical storm Alberto is being blamed for the deaths of a local T.V. anchor and his photographer, killed while covering dangerous weather in North Carolina.

WYFF anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer had just finished interviewing the local fire chief when a tree crushed their news van.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEOFFREY TENNANT, FIRE CHIEF, TRYON, NORTH CAROLINA: We had talked a little bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and how we wanted him to stay safe. And then, of course, 10-15 minutes later we get the call and it was him.


BRIGGS: Chief Geoffrey Tennant says in 44 years of fire service he has never a weather event like this.

Officials are warning everyone the ground remains saturated and more trees could still fall.

ROMANS: Alberto downgraded overnight to a subtropical depression after making landfall in Florida. The downgrade does not mean this storm threat is over. More than 6,000 customers in Florida without power.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now -- Pedram.


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

Yes, we're watching southern Alabama here. There is what is left of Alberto beginning to impact places such as Montgomery, eventually on into Birmingham.

And when you take a look at this region we've already been hammered with four to six inches of rainfall and parts of this region from the Panhandle into southern Alabama are underneath a flood warning. Notice the broader view here. It gives us about 30 million people that are underneath a flood watch, so far, for much of Tuesday.

And as that system begins to move to the north, notice additional heavy rainfall in store for Key West, for Miami -- places around southern and central Florida where rainfall totals, frankly, in the month of May have been from five to 10 inches above what is normal for this time of year. And certainly, any amount of rainfall on top of this will result in additional flooding across that region.

[05:55:01] But there goes the system and notice where it ends up -- eventually into parts of the Midwest.

Where it really heads to is where we have some of the warmest temperatures in the country. We had multiple days of 90-degree readings in the last several days. And notice it cools off rather significantly in places like Chicago, eventually to as cool as 68 degrees by Friday afternoon -- guys.


BRIGGS: All right, Pedram, thanks.

A Maryland National Guardsman still missing this morning after the historic flooding in Ellicott City. Emergency responders searching for Sgt. Eddison Hermond. He left a birthday party to help a woman rescue her cat when the flooding started. Witnesses say he was swept away.

So much damage in Ellicott City. First floors of homes and businesses just wiped out, electricity and gas shut off up and down Main Street. Baltimore Gas and Electric unable to say when it will restore service until it can survey all the infrastructure damage there.

ROMANS: All right, breaking news this hour.

Two policemen and another person were killed by an armed man in the eastern Belgian city of Liege. Prosecutors say the attacker was killed. The motive for this attack is still unclear in these early moments after the event.

More details all day here on CNN.

Classes resume at Santa Fe High School in Texas today, less than two weeks after 10 people died in the mass shooting there. Some students feel since -- it's not worth it to go back since the end of the school year is so close. Graduation is Friday.

There will be funerals today for two of the shooting victims -- 14- year-old student Kimberly Vaughan and teacher Ann Perkins.

BRIGGS: We're now hearing for the first time from that teacher who stopped the shooter at an Indiana middle school last week. Seventh- grade science teacher Jason Seaman was shot three times. The football coach and former college defensive lineman lunged at the shooter and earned widespread praise for his heroics.


JASON SEAMAN, SEVENTH-GRADE SCIENCE TEACHER, NOBLESVILLE WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL, NOBLESVILLE, INDIANA: As a person who isn't looking for attention nor entirely comfortable with the situation I am 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 well-being so that is why I did what I did that day.


BRIGGS: One student was wounded. She was in critical condition. School officials say she's making progress.

ROMANS: All right.

Starbucks will shut down some 8,000 locations this afternoon to give 175,000 employees mandatory anti-bias training. Stores will close around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. local time.

The training stems from that April incident in which two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks. The store manager called police on them because the men were sitting in the store without placing an order. The men had said they were waiting for a friend first.

Starbucks' CEO apologized.

The company has also changed its policy to allow people to use Starbucks restrooms and spend time in stores even if they haven't made any purchases.

Closing the stores is expected to cost Starbucks $12 million in lost revenue.

BRIGGS: More than four years after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, the search is officially over.

The U.S.-based company Ocean Infinity resurrected the search earlier this year promising not to seek payment unless the plane was found. The CEO said earlier this morning part of the motivation for renewing the search was to provide answers to those affected and he's sorry the company didn't meet that goal.

Malaysian officials saying there will be no more extensions.

Two hundred thirty-nine people were on board the doomed flight.

ROMANS: A father whose son was caught hanging from a balcony in France -- the dad of that little boy hanging up there was playing Pokemon Go at the time.

A Paris prosecutor tells the BFM television network the 4-year-old's father had been out grocery shopping and he decided to play Pokemon Go when he left the store.

That man climbing up there, a migrant from Mali, Mamoudou Gassama, rescued the child after scaling the building and pulling him to safety.

Just unbelievable. They're calling him Spiderman. He is the darling of Paris.

The boy's father could face up to two years in prison and we're told by prosecutors he is simply devastated (audio gap).

BRIGGS: It sounds like he (audio gap).

So many remarkable things about that story.

ROMANS: It ends well.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: All right, I'm Dave Briggs.

"NEW DAY" starts right now. Alisyn Camerota and John Berman officially begins right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A lot of people are working on it. We're looking at June 12th in Singapore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does feel somewhat rushed. If they need more time they should push it off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been at it for several decades and everyone has failed. And so, Trump seems to have moved us closer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a day for the president to put his narcissism on full display.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is acutely aware of what Memorial Day is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best way to honor the fallen is to make the message about them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flooding is a concern. We're expecting a lot of water.

MIKE MCCORMICK, NEWS ANCHOR, WYFF NEWS 4, DIED WHILE COVERING SUBTROPICAL STORM ALBERTO: It is a freak of nature. I have never seen an event like this one.

JOSEPH LOPEZ, FRIEND OF MISSING NATIONAL GUARDSMAN EDDISON HERMOND: We're all keeping up hope. It is tough to just sit here and wait knowing you can't do anything about it.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.