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White House Tries to Explain False Trump Tower Story; President Trump Said to be Angered by "Libya Model" Comment; Tim Cooks Spends Too Much Time on His Phone; Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 5, 2018 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:37] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The Eagles are grounded. President Trump cancels the Super Bowl champs' visit to the White House over he says the national anthem controversy.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The special counsel accusing Paul Manafort of witness tampering. Prosecutors want him in jail until trial. Could that make him more likely to cooperate?


TIM COOK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, APPLE: I don't subscribe to the machines taking over the world. I worry much more about people thinking like machines.


ROMANS: And a candid Apple CEO talks about limiting phone usage. What the company's doing that could change your lifestyle.

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

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. I think, you know, it's too late for us. But do you monitor your kids' screen time?

ROMANS: I do. I do.

BRIGGS: I do not.

ROMANS: Because my kids don't have phones. So -- you know, I'm one of those wait until eight. Wait until eighth grade.

BRIGGS: Just wait, my friend.


BRIGGS: It gets ugly out there. 4:31 Eastern Time.

Polls open in a couple of hours. Primaries in eight states today. But we start with this national anthem flap which is not over yet.

"Our president is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party which no one wants to attend." The unfiltered words of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney after President Trump canceled the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles White House celebration.

The move inflaming the controversy over players kneeling for the national anthem. In a statement from the White House, Mr. Trump, in the third person, says, "They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better."

It is worth noting no member of the Eagles took a knee during the anthem last season. Safety Malcolm Jenkins did raise a fist as you see there. Chris Long supported him with a hand on his shoulder. Last month the NFL announced it will require players on the field to stand during the national anthem or the teams will be fined. Some players have been kneeling to protest racial injustice. It famously prompted the president to say this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired.


BRIGGS: CNN's Jake Tapper has learned the Eagles held team meetings to discuss the White House invitation and not many of the players wanted to attend, somewhere between 10 and 12, according to reports. But the president making an issue of players taking a knee was never actually brought up.

Eagles management releasing this statement. "Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration. We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received."

Torey Smith, a member of the Eagles Super Bowl team, who will play for the Carolina Panthers next season, was more vocal, tweeting "So many lies. The men and women that wanted to go should have been able to go. It's a cowardly act to cancel."

Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, once again echoing those sentiments on CNN last night.


MAYOR JIM KENNEY, PHILADELPHIA: There's no one more disrespectful in this country than the president of the United States, which is a sad thing to say but it's true. The guy talks about being patriotic. He avoided the draft five times in Vietnam. If he wanted to be patriotic he could have been patriotic back then as opposed to this sham of a -- of an issue relative to the national anthem.


BRIGGS: The White House has renamed the 3:00 p.m. event the "Celebration of America." The president also tweeting last night, "Staying in the locker room for the playing of our national anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry."

Reminder, teams only started coming out for the anthem in 2009 after the government paid them to do so. Also, staying in the locker room is an option next season for NFL players who don't want to stand for the anthem.

ROMANS: Let me get this straight. That was an advertising moment. This is all an advertising moment where you have the teams standing on the field. Right? That's how it started.

BRIGGS: Yes. That's how it started in 2009. Some thought they may take this off the issue. Leave the players in the locker room. But the NFL openers did not kill the issue.


BRIGGS: It is still alive. Why? Because the president loves this issue. I think he's poll tested it ahead of the 2018 midterms.

ROMANS: And getting all the attention this morning is the idea of a president, the White House deciding what patriotism looks like.


[04:35:03] ROMANS: You know, he has said if you don't stand for the anthem, you shouldn't even be in this country. Deporting people who don't stand for the anthem.

BRIGGS: Reminder, the Golden State Warriors were disinvited from their celebration.

ROMANS: That's right.

BRIGGS: They may win another NBA title in the next week so we haven't heard the end of this.

ROMANS: No, we haven't.

All right. 35 minutes past the hour. The special counsel accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of witness tampering in his criminal trial. In briefs filed in federal court, Robert Mueller's team says Manafort asked witnesses to lie for him. They're asking a judge to send Manafort to jail now until his trial. He is currently on house arrest under a $10 million unsecured bail.

This new allegation puts even more pressure on Manafort as prosecutors investigate the possibility he coordinated with the Russians during the 2016 race. He faces two trials. One for allegedly failing to disclose lobbying for a foreign government and one for financial crimes.

BRIGGS: President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani denies the disclosure that the president dictated the statement on his son's 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer constitutes a lie. The disclosure contradicts past denials by the White House and the Trump legal team. Giuliani on with CNN's "CHRIS CUOMO PRIMETIME."


CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN'S "CHRIS CUOMO PRIMETIME": Why do you think they chose to lie about his role in drafting the statement about Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russians?


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Chris, you think maybe somebody could have made a mistake?

CUOMO: That's a lot of mistakes.

GIULIANI: Why is it always --

CUOMO: A lot of mistakes.

GIULIANI: Why is it always that somebody -- you think Jay Sekulow lied? Maybe he just got it wrong, like I've gotten it -- I got a few things wrong in the beginning of the investigation.

You can make a mistake and then if you don't -- if you don't -- if you want to, you can say it's a lie. But it was a mistake. I swear to God, it was a mistake. The guy made a mistake.


ROMANS: Many of Rudy Giuliani's comments over the weekend were so over the top even some of the most ardent Trump supporters in and out of Congress are rejecting them.


JUDGE ANTHONY NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: They are not serving him well when they needlessly show their cards and make arguments like he can impeach himself. Why raise that issue? And Rudy Giuliani who was --


NAPOLITANO: Correct. A brilliant prosecutor suggesting that the president could have ordered James Comey to be shot in the Oval Office and that he could not be prosecuted for that? That is absurd.

SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: If I were president of the United States and I had a lawyer that told me I could pardon myself, I think I'd hire a new lawyer.


BRIGGS: Chuck Grassley. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also had some trouble explaining the discrepancies in her explanations about who crafted that misleading statement that came hours after the president tweeted in no uncertain terms he could pardon himself if he wanted to. Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta with more.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, the White House is doing some damage control after the president makes some questionable constitutional claims saying that he has the power to pardon himself and also saying the Mueller investigation is unconstitutional. That's in addition to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders being questioned by reporters about a statement she made last year when she said the president did not dictate a memo to the "New York Times" about his son Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian attorney promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Sarah Sanders told reporters last year that the president did not dictate that memo when he did. Here is what she had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In August you said he certainly didn't dictate that statement. I wonder if you could tell us the basis of your comment when you made that in August.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is a reference back to a letter from the outside counsel.


SANDERS: I understand but it's also pertaining to a letter from the president's outside counsel and therefore I can't answer and I would direct you to them.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What was your basis for saying it in August?

SANDERS: Once again I'm not going to get into a back and forth. And I would encourage you to reach out to the outside counsel.


ACOSTA: One of the president's outside attorneys, Jay Sekulow, told CNN in a statement that their latest recollection is that the president did in fact dictate that memo about the Trump Tower meeting. But Jay Sekulow did not tell CNN any kind of explanation as to why there were these conflicting statements about whether the president dictated that memo -- Christine and Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Jim Acosta, thanks.

Former president Bill Clinton trying to explain himself after attempting to defend his handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Here is what he told Craig Melvin of NBC News.


CRAIG MELVIN, HOST, NBC NEWS: Did you ever apologize to her?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, and nobody believes that I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt. But you typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this and I bet you don't even know them.


ROMANS: He left $16 million, and a lot of people said it sounded like -- he sounded like he was the victim. This happened to him, not that he did it. Mr. Clinton was asked to elaborate during a book tour event last night.


CLINTON: The truth is, the hubbub was I got hot under the collar because of the way the questions were asked.

[04:40:06] The suggestion was that I'd never apologized for what caused all the trouble for me 20 years ago. So the first point is I did. I meant it then and I meant it now.


ROMANS: The former president also says he is a supporter of the Me Too Movement calling it long overdue. Yesterday Monica Lewinsky said she is grateful to the people who helped her evolve and gain perspective in the past 20 years.

BRIGGS: The timing set for President Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore. And with the summit just one week away, the president may not be seeing eye-to-eye with one of his top national security officials.

Let's go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Alexandra Field. Alex, good morning.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. We now know that this historic meeting will take place at 9:00 in the morning local time in Singapore. That's 9:00 in the evening back in the States on the East Coast. At this point, though, a lot of details are still set to be hammered out. And the White House has certainly tempered the expectations of what would come out of this meeting. At the same time we're learning that there could be a rift among some of the president's top foreign policy advisers moving into this meeting.

It seems that the most hawkish figure in his administration, the National Security adviser John Bolton seemingly sidelined as this meeting moves forward. He of course has taken the hardest line against North Korea. He was also the one who invoked Libya, making comparisons to North Korea. That seemed to derail the whole summit, lead to President Trump's cancelling of it. Certainly angering President Trump.

The whole thing got back on track of course when a top North Korean dignitary traveled to the United States. We understand that Bolton wasn't in the meeting to smooth it over. Secretary Pompeo was there. And apparently convinced the president not to have Bolton that. All of that contributing to a rift between the secretary of state it seems and the National Security adviser. The National Security Council rejecting claims that there's a rift.

The White House certainly playing it down. But really, Dave, it's absolutely interesting to point out here that the administration official that would have taken the hardest line against North Korea is really not in public view when it comes to this process just about a week away from this sit-down -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Yes. An awful lot to work out including who's going to pay for the hotel suite of Kim Jong-un in just one week to go.

Alexandra Field, live for us in Seoul. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, 42 minutes past the hour. Even the CEO of Apple admits he spends too much time on his phone. The new tool to help curb tech addiction. A CNN TV exclusive next.


[04:47:18] BRIGGS: How much time do you spend on your phone? Even the CEO of Apple thinks he's on his iPhone too much time. In a CNN exclusive, Tim Cook tells Laurie Segall he was surprised by his own tech habits after seeing data from a newly unveiled Apple tool. Screen Time, Monday's centerpiece, at Apple's Annual Developer Conference.

Laurie has more with Tim Cook from San Jose.


Well, a lot of announcements today and a lot of excitement at the Developer's Conference. You have over 5,000 developers here to listen to a lot of these announcements that we'll see on our phones in the next coming months. One very interesting one, just a little bit unexpected. A tech addiction tool. It's called Screen Time. So Apple is now giving us the ability to monitor how much time we're spending on our phones. There'll be certain features that allow us to look at those numbers. I know for me that's going to be very scary. And also, you know, give us the ability to take that power back and to actually be able to focus a little bit more.

I spoke to Tim Cook about it. Take a listen.


SEGALL: So tell me about your own tech habit.

COOK: Yes.

SEGALL: What did you learn?

COOK: I have been using it and I have to tell you I thought I was fairly disciplined about this and I was wrong. When I began to get the data, I found I was spending a lot more time than I should.

SEGALL: Like where? COOK: And --


COOK: I don't want to give you all the apps, but just too much. And the number of times I picked up the phone were too many.

SEGALL: What do you tell people who are worried they're addicted to their smartphone? Who are worried about tech impact on children?

COOK: I think ultimately each person has to make the decision when they get their numbers as to what they would like to do. And I encourage everyone to look and everyone to make an informed decision and ask themselves if they are picking up their phone 10 times an hour or 20 times an hour. Maybe they could do -- maybe they could do it less.


SEGALL: It's interesting to hear Tim Cook talk about this, to talk about this very openly at a time where I think a lot of us are questioning tech and its impact on society. This is months after what happened with Facebook and the data privacy scandal. So you hear a lot of really serious questions being answered at this event. That's also lighthearted in the spirit of Apple and innovation -- Christine, Dave.

ROMANS: All right. Laurie, thank you for that.

The Koch brothers oppose President Trump's moves on trade. And they're launching a campaign against it. The conservative billionaires want the administration to embrace free trade. So their political network is planning a multi-year, multi-million dollar crusade urging the president to lift the recent metal tariffs on key allies, not slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, modernize NAFTA and get this, revise TPP.

[04:55:01] That's the trade deal the president quit a year and a half ago. The campaign pits the Koch brothers, GOP kingmakers, against the Republican White House and many pro-business Republicans worry recent trade actions will hurt business.

Senator Bob Corker says he's working with like-minded Republican senators to push back on tariffs. He pleads with Democrats to join the efforts.

BRIGGS: A former officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency charged for sending national defense information to China. Ron Rockwell Hanson was arrested Saturday on his way to the airport for a flight to China. The Justice Department says Hanson handed over information obtained from military and intelligence conferences. In exchange, China gave Hanson as much as $800,000.

ROMANS: Saudi Arabia has issued its first driver's licenses to women. Ten Saudi women received licenses Monday. Officials expect another 2,000 to seek licenses in the next week. The world's only ban on women behind the wheel ends June 24th. Last year, the Saudi crown prince outlined an ambitious plan to reform the economy which included increasing the number of women in the workplace.

There is the economy. There's also, you know, human rights.


BRIGGS: Ten. Ten licenses.

ROMANS: Ten women. All right.

BRIGGS: Baby steps.

ROMANS: 2018, folks.

Facebook facing new allegations over how it handles user data prompting a regulatory backlash. "CNN Money" next.


[04:56:06] ROMANS: A Supreme Court victory. A narrow one for a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple citing his religious beliefs. The justices ruled 7-2 in favor of baker Jack Phillips. But the ruling didn't directly address Freedom of Religion. Instead it cited members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showing hostility towards Phillips suggesting he claimed religious freedom to justify discrimination. The limited scope of the ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy leaves broader questions involving religious liberty unresolved. So the case is not expected to set a precedent.

BRIGGS: Half baked ruling really.

At least 117 homes now destroyed by lava from the Kilauea volcano. Hawaii's Civil Defense spokesman says there are still a lot more homes to count. Lava now covers nearly 5,000 acres. This new video shows the conditions at Kapoho Bay. Lava from fissure eight still flowing into the water there.

ROMANS: A man police say killed six people in the Phoenix, Arizona, area is dead. Dwight Lamont Jones taking his own life after being surrounded by police. According to authorities, Jones fatally shot six people. Some of them with links to his bitter divorce case. The suspect's ex-wife Connie Jones says her current husband recognized a connection to her divorce and notified Phoenix Police.

In a statement Connie Jones calls her former husband a very emotionally disturbed person. Investigators are still trying to figure out if his last two victims found dead inside a house on Monday are also connected to the divorce.

BRIGGS: The Washington Capitals are one win away from Lord Stanley's Cup. They beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup finals. The Caps put the game away early scoring three first period goals. Washington can hoist the cup for the first time ever with a win in game five Thursday night in Las Vegas.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on "CNN Money." It is Tuesday morning. What trade worries? The big rally in tech sent U.S. stocks higher, pushing the Nasdaq to a record close. Its first in three months. Investors love tech stocks. Tech companies grow fast even if the broader economy loses momentum. Stocks rams on Apple, Microsoft, double digit percentages this year. In fact the Nasdaq is up a cool 10 percent in 2018. To compare, the S&P 500 is up just 2.7 percent. The Dow just barely higher for the year. Right now global stocks at this hour mostly higher.

Speaking of tech stocks, Twitter is joining the S&P 500 replacing Monsanto on the index of the top U.S. public companies. Investors liked that. Twitter stock jumped 3 percent on the news. Why is Monsanto bowing out? Last week the Justice Department approved the sale of Monsanto to Bayer, creating the world's largest agrochemical company. The new conglomerate will retire the Monsanto brand name.

Facebook facing new allegations over how it handles user data. The "New York Times" reports that Facebook shares personal user data with device makers like Apple and Samsung. Including access to users' friends without their consent. Facebook disputes this claim, but lawmakers were quick to pounce calling for stricter policy regulations. Facebook is still recovering from its other data crisis. It exposed the data of 80 million users to a third party app.

BRIGGS: Still not out of that mess.


BRIGGS: All right. EARLY START continues right now. Speaking of not out of that mess, the NFL still dealing with the national anthem issue. The latest on that straight ahead.

ROMANS: The Eagles are grounded. President Trump canceled the Super Bowl champs, disinvites them to the White House over the national anthem controversy.

BRIGGS: And Special Counsel Robert Mueller accusing Paul Manafort of witness tampering. Prosecutors want him in jail until trial. Could that make him more likely to cooperate?


COOK: I don't subscribe to the machines taking over the world. I worry much more about people thinking like machines.