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EARLY START

Tariff Trouble, Canadian Prime Minister Calls Insulting; Ready For A Fight, Somebody Is Lying; Groundbreaking Breast Cancer Study; Assad To Visit North Korea. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 4, 2018 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he is overreacting. I don't want to get in the middle of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: Well, the G7 could be interesting. U.S. allies waging a fierce campaign against the President's new tariffs. Now even senate Republicans trying to slow the President down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have everything you need. What else do you need? Man up? Make your decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: New claims this weekend from the President's legal team if a subpoena is unnecessary. The President cannot obstruct justice. He can pardon himself. It keeps and his recollection keeps changing. And by the way, he dictated the misleading statement about the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

BRIGGS: And many women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer may not need chemotherapy. A ground breaking study that could lead to big changes in treatment worldwide. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, June 4th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East. Nice to see you all this Monday morning a, a lot to get today.

President Trump's metal tariffs are isolating the U.S. from its closest allies. The U.S. hit the E.U., Mexico and Canada with steel and aluminum tariffs. Citing a national security threat with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls offensive. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADA, PRIME MINISTER: The idea that the Canadian steel that is in the military vehicles in the United States. The Canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets is somehow now a threat. The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: America isolated. Canada insulted. But economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, says that tariffs are not an attack on Canada.

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LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Mr. Trudeau, I think he is overreacting. I don't want to get into the middle of that. As a fine friend and ally of the United States. Nobody denies that, but the point is, we have to protect ourselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Well, the three U.S. allies plan to protect themselves, they plan to retaliate. The finance ministers of the world six figures economy call the tariffs disappointing. It can also raise prices for U.S. consumers and risk jobs. Congressional Republicans are fuming.

Senator, Bob Corker, says they are working out a plan to push back on the tariffs. It also puts the U.S. in another trade dispute just after targeting $50 billion of Chinese good. The U.S. and Canada, or China rather just wrapped up their latest round of trade talks. But China warns those tariffs is $50 billion in tech focus tariffs will kill any possible overall trade deal. Trade adviser Peter Navarro says, Trump-China policy is measured, it is thoughtful and it is strategic.

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PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING TARIFFS: We love to have a peaceful and friendly relationship with China. But we also are standing firm on the idea. That the President is the leader on this and he has known this for decades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How far are you willing to go?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: He adds that the relationship with China structurally needs to change and that is what we are seeing right now, is the beginning of that.

BRIGGS: All right. Remember this wild claim during the presidential campaign from then candidate Donald Trump?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I could stand in the

middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters. OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Well, if you thought that was a little extreme. Rudy Giuliani taking that one step further. Insisting that even if the President shot someone he would not face criminal prosecution. Quote, if he shot James Comey, he'd be impeached the next day. Impeach him and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.

ROMANS: OK. That capped off another whirlwind weekend for the Trump legal team. It began with "The New York Times" reporting on the confidential 20 page January letter from Mr. Trump's lawyers to Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. The lawyer -- or the letter argues the President cannot, by the nature of his job obstruct justice in the Russia investigation. More now from Boris Sanchez at the White House.

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BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Dave and Christine, Rudy Giuliani, the President's attorney on the Sunday morning talk shows, echoed some of what we saw in those letters that were sent from the President's legal team to the Special Counsel that were printed by "The New York Time," on Saturday. He essentially said that he likely would have changed some of it, but he agrees with roughly 80 percent of what is contained in those letter.

The idea that President Trump being the top law enforcement official in the country could end any investigation he so choses. Even one that focuses in on him.

[04:05:06] And then on the issue of pardons. He is arguing that, again, in theory, President Trump does have the legal authority to pardon himself. Something that he says likely will not be required and it could potentially cause a political uproar.

RUDY GUILIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: He has no intention of pardoning himself. But -- doesn't say he can't. I mean, that is another really interesting constitutional argument. Can the President pardon himself? I think, the political implications of that would be tough. Pardoning other people is one thing. Pardoning yourself is another.

SANCHEZ: Guiliani also said that any subpoena coming from the Special Counsel would wind up in court. He would try to challenge it. Further he said, that the President reserves the right to potentially try to prove again in court that the Special Counsel probe is illegitimate. Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEO)

BRIGGS: All right. Boris, thanks. Seem that -- some of President Trump's strongest supporters are not buying the argument that it is impossible for him to obstruct justice. Here is what former New Jersey Governor, Christ Christie has to say about that subject.

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REP CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: It is an outrageous claim. It is wrong. They were trying to make a board argument, lawyers do that all the time.

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BRIGGS: Christie is a former federal prosecutor and once led the Trump transition team.

CHURCH: And this admission buried within the letter from the president's legal team to Robert Mueller. The first acknowledgment the President did dictate the initial misleading statement about Don Jr.'s meeting with Russians at Trump tower. Recall the point of that meeting with for the Russians to deliver dirt about Hillary Clinton. But the statement initially put out in Don Jr.'s name, said the topic was mostly the adoption of Russian children. Here is what a Trump lawyer said at the time.

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JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP' LAWYER: That was written by Donald Trump Jr. and I am sure within consultation with his lawyer. So that wasn't written by the President. The President did not signed on anything, the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and the not issues statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.

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BRIGGS: As to record, solve the contradiction on another member of the Trump legal team, Rudy Guiliani, used it as a new reason the President should not testify in the Mueller probe.

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GUILIANI: This is the reason you don't let the President testify. If, you know, every -- our recollection keeps changing.

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BRIGGS: Giuliani said he thinks Trump lawyer who said the President did not dictate the Don Jr. were quote, uninformed. He also said the president wants to testify. He believes he is innocent.

ROMANS: President Trump claims he never would have hired Paul Manafort as the campaign manager if the Justice Department has simply warned him, Manafort was under investigation. Mr. Trump tweeting quote, "As only one of two people left who could become President, why won't the FBI or Department of Justice have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort. Should have told me. Paul Manafort came into campaign very late. He was with us for a short period of time." Manafort was with the campaign for nearly five months. Three of those months as chairman. It was not very late in the campaign. BRIGGS: Manafort was hired to help get Donald Trump through the

convention. The flat, not lost, (inaudible) former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg tweeted, "Donald, nice selective memory. You hired Paul, because you were losing the delegate fight during the primary. If you stuck with Corey Lewandowsky, you would not have been nominee. You are lucky Paul worked for you." Paul Manafort has been indicted by Special Counsel, Robert Mueller on charges that include alleged bank fraud and foreign lobbying violations. Though these charges not related to his work with the Trump campaign.

Former President Bill Clinton in an interview on Sunday says the impeachment proceedings would have already begun if a Democrat were President. Clinton was of course impeached, thinks Republicans would not be as tolerant as something like to Russian investigation, have things gotten this far along. Listen.

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BILL CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: I think if roles were reversed and I'm just talking based on my experience. If it were a Democratic President and these facts were present, most people I know in Washington would believe impeachment hearings would have been gone already.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Bill Clinton alongside James Paterson -- took issue with the President's rough rhetoric and name calling.

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CLINTON: I don't like all this. I could not be elected anything now, because I just don't like embarrassing people. My mother would have whipped me for five days in a row when I was a little boy, if I spent my time bad mouthing people like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right. First Lady, Melania Trump set to attend a White House event honoring Gold Star family this evening, the reception closed to the media will mark the first time Mrs. Trump has participated in an official event in almost a month. On May 10th, the first couple greeted American prisoners freed by North Korea at Joint Based Andrews. Four days later the first lady (inaudible) spokesman called a benign kidney procedure. She has not been seen in public since. Officials say Mrs. Trump will not join the president for the G summit, the G7 summit or the summit next week with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

BRIGGS: That doesn't strike me unusual at all, but that she would not attend the summit in Singapore, is that new?

[04:10:02] ROMANS: Well, sometimes and I believe, she has been to a G7 summit before.

BRIGGS: I believe in that. It is just the latter one. ROMANS: The spouses usually do attend this G7, the leader summit.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, President Trump now eight days from meeting with Kim Jong-un at the Singapore summit. Bit another world leader is heading to Kim's front door. What Syrian President Bashar al Assad is expected to visit North Korea means for nuclear talks? Next.

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BRIGGS: All right. Just eight days until President Trump meets with Kim Jong-un. And North Korea says, Kim plans to sit down with another world leader. Bashar al Assad. North Korea state news agency says the Syrian President planning to visit Kim in North Korea. Now, the timing is unclear.

North Koreans are shaking up their military leadership ahead of the Singapore summit with President Trump. Alexandra Field has more live from Seoul this morning. Alice, good morning to this tale of two murderous dictators, an interesting turn in the story. What is the dynamic between Syria and North Korea?

[04:15:06] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, this is interesting news and it certainly comes as an interesting times. Certainly these are two countries that have a history of war relations that stretch back to the 1960's. Kim Jong-un's grandfather, the founder of North Korea actually met with Bashar al Assad's father back in the 1970's. And these two dictators as you put it, has in the past exchanged messages of congratulations, messages of support for one another.

Now, this will be the first face-to-face meeting. Now, admittedly no date has been set yet. But it has been reported by North Korean news that the meeting would happen. This will also be the first time that a world leader travels to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong-un.

Certainly we know their history of cooperation between these two countries. It was just this past winter that the U.N. released a report with alleged evidence of the latest cooperation between North Korea and Syria on chemical weapons. So, this is another effort for, it seems for North Korea, to strengthen up its relations with this country that has friendly ties. Not just Syria, we know there is also going to be a summit before the end of the year between Kim Jong-un and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

And we know that recently Kim Jong-un has of course, met with the Chinese President twice. All that in a lead up to the big summit with President Trump and those are not the only nuances inside North Korea as you mentioned, Dave, a big military shakeup. You know, we should point out the U.S. swapped out its top diplomat in the run-up to these and now three top military leaders in North Korea. All swap out.

We are talking about the Army Chief, the Chief of Defense. According to South Korea military and the director of the general political bureau. Analysts can only surmise what is going on here. Officials has said, it is unusual to swap out all three at once. This could be another effort by Kim Jong-un to further consolidate his power, this could also be preparation for this big talks, because we understand, these men are younger than the ones they replace. They had top level positions before. It has sensitive post and we understand that they had some foreign affairs experience. A lot to unpack. Dave.

BRIGGS: Well, they sure is. Eight days before the Singapore summit. Alex, thanks.

ROMANS: In Guatemala, the death toll rising to 25 in the eruption of the Fuego volcano in total more than 1.7 million people affected here. Local officials say the eruption has officially ended, but there is still volcanic ash in the air in the 12 mile radius surrounding the volcano. They are warning residents in these three towns to watch out for volcanic rock and ash. And they are asking anyone living near the volcano to evacuate immediately.

BRIGGS: Four murders in three days. In and around Phoenix, Arizona. At least three of them are linked including a forensic psychiatrist, the Jonbenet Ramsey case. More on this mysterious manhunt next.

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ROMANS: All right. A groundbreaking study finds some 70 percent of women with the most common form of early stage of breast cancer can safely skip chemotherapy. Researchers used genetics testing and tumor samples to gauge the patient's risk, the results could spare thousands of women from toxic treatment that would not benefit them and could actually hurt them in the long run and help tailor treatment to different types of breast cancer. It is the most common cancer in women worldwide. The study was led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and published in the New England Journal of medicine.

BRIGGS: The magnitude 5.5 earthquake shaking the summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, sending an ash plume 8,000 feet into the sky. At this hour, nearly a dozens of people are stranded and an area caught off by lava, some of them choosing to remain despite evacuation orders. Right now, the area has no power, cell reception, landlines or County water.

ROMANS: Three people evacuated from the isolated part of the Kapoho Community on Sunday. The lava flow is encroaching on Kapoho and the McKeny (ph) State Park. Both are at risk of being cut off as lava flows toward the ocean are blocks potential escape routes.

BRIGGS: Arizona police trying to track down a killer linked to at least three murders and they say a four homicide could be related. Among the victims fame forensic psychiatrist Steven Pitt. He was involved in several high profile cases including the killing of child beauty queen, Jonbenet Ramsey in 1996. Pitt was found shot to death in Phoenix, Thursday after witnesses reported a loud argument.

ROMANS: Also killed 48-year-old Valeria Sharp and 49 year-old Laura Anderson. Two paralegal at a Scottsdale Law firm. A fourth victim, 72 year-old Marsha Levine was found dead in his office at a mental health counselling facility Saturday. It is not clear if his case is related to the other three death. There is $21,000 reward for information that leads authorities to the killer.

BRIGGS: Delta Airlines investigating the death of a dog on a flight from Phoenix to Newark. It happened during a layover in Detroit. The officials say the 8-year-old Pomeranian named Alejandro was found dead in its carrier last Wednesday at the airport cargo facility. At least four dogs have died this year while in the care of U.S. Airlines. Delta in its statements, that it is conducting a thorough review of the situation to ensure this does not happen again.

ROMANS: And FBI agent could face charges for busting a move in a Denver bar and accidentally shooting someone. Take a look at this off duty agent. Look at this, early Saturday morning, some kind of a dance-off --

BRIGGS: He's got moves.

ROMANS: Backflip loses his gun from a waistband holster while doing that backflip. The weapon fires when he scrambles to grab it. He hit a customer in the lower leg. The agent has not been arrested or identified. The district's attorney office will determine whether charges will be filed.

[04:25:10] BRIGGS: Killer moves almost -- you can just let that ride for a minute.

OK. The Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 122- 103. Taking a two nothing lead in the NBA finals. Steph Curry, the finals record with nine three-pointers on 17 attempts. 33 points lead the defending champ. The series now moves to Cleveland for game three, Wednesday night.

Ahead, frustration boiling over between with the U.S. and several allies. New tariffs from the Trump administration not going over well. Leaders from the upcoming G7 already expressing quote, unanimous concern and disappointment.

ROMANS: And the President's lawyers say he cannot obstruct justice, but they do say he dictated Don Jr.'s statement about meeting with the Russian lawyer despite what he claims otherwise.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he is overreacting. I don't want to get in the middle of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Some of our biggest allies express unanimous concern as disappointment regarding Trump tariffs policies just announced it over the weekend.