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Trump Sacks the Eagles; Manafort Accused of Witness Tampering; Apple CEO: I Spend Too Much Time On My Phone; Capitals Move Within One Win of First Ever Stanley Cup. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 5, 2018 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Could that make him more likely to Cooperate?


[05:00:02] 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, Tim Cook, talks about limiting phone usage. What the company's doing that could change your lifestyle or shock you.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It's a problem every one of you faced. It's Tuesday, June 5th. We'll hear from Tim Cook shortly. It is 5:00 a.m. in the east.

We start, though, with the NFL has this new national anthem policy, but they have the same old problem: the president of the United States. Here is a quote: 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.

That was the words of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney after President Trump cancelled 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.

Worth noting, no member of the Eagles took a knee during the anthem last season. Safety Malcolm Jenkins did a raise a fist as you can see there. And 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 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 learned the Eagles held team meetings to discuss the White House invitation. Not many of the players wanted to attend. Reports are somewhere between 10 and 12.

But the president making an issue of players taking a knee was never actually brought up, according to these reports.

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, who played for the Eagles on the Super Bowl team, who will play for the Panthers this 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 echoing those sentiments on CNN last night.


MAYOR JIM KENNEY, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA (via telephone): 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 renamed the event at 3:00 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.

A 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: All right. Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Sarah

Westwood live this morning in Washington.

And, Sarah, this is the president of the United States deciding what patriotism looks like. He has said, you should be fired if you don't -- aren't the patriot that he thinks you should be on the sidelines of an NFL game and he's also said maybe you should leave the country. Deport people --


ROMANS: -- who don't portray his brand of patriotism.

It's interesting. There's a quote from the president that was in a signed deposition. The president in a phone call to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the fall of last year. And he said, this is a very winning strong issue for me. Tell everybody you can't win this one. This one lifts me.

Is he going too far here? I mean, disinviting the Eagles? Is this still a story, a position, a branding move that lifts this president?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Trump is about particularly inflammatory when it comes to the NFL protests. But the White House and Trump clearly see this particular issue as a winning one for President Trump. He is a culture war president, whether it's going after people who say "happy holidays" rather than "merry Christmas", whether it's picking fights over preserving confederate monuments.

These are the kinds of things that President Trump knows his base likes. He knows that people are going to respond in a certain way. And he manipulates that for his own gain.

Public opinion does bear out that people do support standing for the National Anthem at the NFL. The NFL has been dropping in ratings for a lot of reasons, not just because of President Trump's criticism. But he knows that this is an issue that has been popular with people outside his base in the past and perhaps he thought he would avoid embarrassment with an event that was under attended by cancelling it and drawing attention back to something that was successful for him.

[05:05:10] BRIGGS: You know, the key point there, was he damned if you do, damned if you don't if ten players show up, not even enough to field a starting offense? Wouldn't the issue, wouldn't a story had been, look how few players showed up embarrassing the president had he had the event?

WESTWOOD: Right. And President Trump, someone who is famously obsessed with crowd sizes and maybe would not appreciate if his event was under-attended. So, now, the conversation is being had on his terms. We're talking about standing during the National Anthem. We're talking about the definition of patriotism and we're not focusing on the issues that players might have wanted to draw attention by staying out of the event.

ROMANS: I think it's just fascinating that he keeps going back to the issue that divides us. You know, I mean --


BRIGGS: This is not going away. There's a handful of players taking a knee. It was all about gone from the NFL sidelines, but he wants to keep it alive.

ROMANS: I mean, the conversation inside these locker rooms is what? I mean, the team meeting was they did not want to go to the White House?

BRIGGS: Many of these players weren't going to the White House long before the new National Anthem policy just out of disagreement with this president. League-wide, I can tell you, players are not happy about the NFL policy. They did not end this issue.

ROMANS: What's going to happen in the fall? Are they going to stay in locker room? Are they going to take a knee?

BRIGGS: I don't -- if anyone takes a knee, you might be looking at one, two, three, maybe a handful of players top. I think largely the issue had gone away.

ROMANS: All right. Let's talk about Rudy Giuliani here. He was on with Chris last night.


ROMANS: You know, this is the president's attorney. I'm curious what you think about sort of the information or misinformation and changing narrative that keeps coming out of the president's attorney here. Is he -- what is his job? Is his job to be a spokesman or to be a lawyer? I'm not quite sure.

I'm confused by the information that comes from Rudy Giuliani. Is that on purpose do you think?

WESTWOOD: Well, I think Rudy Giuliani is sort of waging President Trump's legal battle in the court of public opinion right now. He is trying to push this narrative that the Mueller investigation is illegitimate, that its foundation was bias somehow. He has been trying to go back and correct the record on some things, including the Stormy Daniels payment and reimbursement to Michael Cohen that were going to come out anyway. So, he has sort of been on offense for President Trump in a way that we haven't seen because his legal team has mostly been toiling away behind closed doors.

This misstatement is very interesting because it didn't just come incorrectly from President Trump's legal team from Jay Sekulow, who spoke out about the Trump Jr. statement last year. But it was also the White House who was caught misstating whether Trump was involved in compiling that statement. And neither claims to speak for each other. So, now, there is sort of a parallel problem here where the White House and President Trump's lawyers sort of need to explain what went wrong here and how they claim not to coordinate on messaging and yet they both parroted the same lie. BRIGGS: Right. And Sarah Sanders can't comment on her own comment

anymore. But here is what Rudy Giuliani told Chris Cuomo last night about the lying about the statement regarding the Russian meeting at Trump Tower.

ROMANS: Dictating the statement.


CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN "CUOMO PRIME TIME": 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 TO PRESIDENT DONALD 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 that Jay Sekulow lied? Maybe he just 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.


BRIGGS: Why don't we just call a lie a lie and is this an issue just like the anthem that the president wants to keep alive or else why keep sending Rudy Giuliani out there on national television every day?

WESTWOOD: Well, Rudy Giuliani emerging as public attack dog against Mueller has coincided with the rise in favor of public opinion toward President Trump's side of the Mueller investigation which is that maybe this thing should wrap up. Maybe Mueller -- there is some partisan bias going on with the investigation. So, public opinion is swinging towards President Trump. So, maybe he perceives his Giuliani gambit as working.

But, clearly, I mean, we heard the explanation from the legal side that Jay Sekulow perhaps was misinformed about the case at the time. We haven't heard any such explanation about why the White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was also saying the same untruth. Was she misinformed? Did she know and was she was deliberately telling a lie there?

I mean, we just don't know. We haven't heard anything approaching an explanation from the White House there deflecting to the legal team and the legal team is declining to speak for her in this case. [05:10:05] ROMANS: All right. Sarah Westwood, come back about half

hour. We want to ask about Bill Clinton's clunky responses to the Me Too Movement.

Clunky, is that fair assessment?

BRIGGS: Yes, yes.

ROMANS: All right. We're going to ask you about Bill Clinton, Me Too, Monica Lewinsky in the next half hour. Thanks for being here.

WESTWOOD: All right. Thanks.

ROMANS: All right. 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 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 Russians during the 2016 race. He faces two trials. One for failing to disclose lobbying for a foreign government and one for financial crimes.

BRIGGS: Well, it's primary day in eight states, Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and, course, California, where much of the attention will be today. The state may hold the key for Democrats to regain control of the House. But those dreams could take a nightmare turn with the surge of new candidates possibly splitting the vote and leaving Democrats out in a handful of swing districts.

Result of California so-called jungle primary where the top two vote- getters advance to the general election regardless of party.

EARLY START begins at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, midnight Pacific, with complete election night coverage. They hope to gain seven seats in California alone, the Democrats. That is the key to retaking the House. It could go awfully bad for the Democrats as well.

ROMANS: Let's watch carefully.

All right. Even the CEO of Apple admits he spends too much time on his phone. The new tool to help curb tech addition in CNN's TV exclusive, next.


[05:16:00] ROMANS: Howard Schultz is leaving Starbucks. Could that mean a run in 2020? Schultz ends a 36-year run as the public face of Starbucks later this month. He often took a progressive stance on things like gay marriage, immigration, workers rights, fueling rumors that maybe he had political aspirations. Something Schultz has long denied.


HOWARD SCHULTZ, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, STARBUCKS: I have no interest in a political office. I'm here with Starbucks. I have no plans to run for office.

I have no plans whatsoever to run for political office.

I want to be as involved as I possibly can as a citizen to help the country. I don't know what that's going to mean in the future.


ROMANS: A conscience capitalist and not ruling out now a future bid for the White House. That's what Schultz told "The New York Times." Later telling CNN he is considering a range of options, including public service.

The election of President Trump put a spotlight, of course, on business moguls and their political ambitions in 2020. The will you run for president question has been asked of the Disney CEO of Bob Iger, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, J.P. Morgan's Jaime Dimon, and, of course, most famously, Oprah.

BRIGGS: And who of them is going to run?

ROMANS: I think none of them. But I think some say it shows the desperation on the left, that they want to match Donald Trump's celebrity and business prowess with somebody on the other side of the political spectrum.

BRIGGS: It sure is going to be interesting.

Well, how much time do you spend on your iPhone? Even the CEO of Apple thinks he is on his phone too much.

In a TV exclusive, Tim Cook tells CNN's Laurie Segall he was surprised by his own tech habit after seeing some data from a newly unveiled Apple tool Screen Time, the centerpiece at Apple's annual developer conference. It tells users how much time they spend on their phones and on each app.


COOK: 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.

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're picking up their phone 10 times an hour or 20 times an hour, maybe they could -- maybe they could do it less.


BRIGGS: Maybe we could all spend less time on our phones. Apple is also enhanced a do not disturb feature to hide notifications at night when you should be sleeping.

I always wake up to a dozen or so alerts.

ROMANS: Yes, I think I probably check too much. I need to check less.

BRIGGS: Let's commit, less time.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

Eighteen minutes past the hour.

This is Guatemala where the death toll from the eruption of the Fuego volcano has climbed to 69, as entirely villages were buried in mudslides and under ash. At least 15 people remain hospitalized, including 12 children. Battered residents facing more hazards with this cloud of volcanic ash now stretching across a 12-mile radius spread by the wind. Officials warning residents to be alert for new mudslides and a possibility of new eruptions.

BRIGGS: The Washington Capitals now just one win away from the Stanley Cup.

Lindsay Czarniak has more in the "Bleacher Report." She was up all night watching this game. Washington Capitals Stanley Cup.


[05:23:48] BRIGGS: The Washington Capitals is one win away from putting four decades of playoff utility to rest.

ROMANS: Lindsay Czarniak has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

BRIGGS: We got dressed up for you for your Caps this morning.

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm not biased. I love a good sport.

BRIGGS: You are biased, my friend. Proceed.

CZARNIAK: This is quite amazing. And either way, honestly, it's a great story. These are two teams with tremendous story lines. You've got the Vegas community rallying behind the Knights who never should have been made this far, and then the biggest global hockey superstar in Alexander Ovechkin playing for Washington who has tried for 13 years just to get past the second round.

So, now, the Capital is one win away from winning it all. The nation's capital is erupting. You've got to see what this game was outside Capital One arena. You guys, this doesn't happen there. I mean, it is amazing.

And inside, you can't even hear yourself think with the sea of red, letting the team know they got their support. The visiting Vegas Golden Knights, they had a golden opportunity early. But they just could not capitalize, missing an open net. Oh, yes, I did not do that on purpose.

It was all Caps. They were fast. The momentum was moving. Washington ahead 3-nothing after the first period, never looked back, taking the game 6-2, leading the best of seven series 3-1.

[05:25:04] The Caps now have a chance to lift the Stanley Cup for the very first time on Thursday. If they do it, it will happen in Vegas. If they don't do it, game six will be Sunday in Washington.


CZARNIAK: Hey, we do shift here because the setback for Serena Williams and her return to Grand Slam Tennis. Serena surprisingly pulling out of the French Open ahead of the match with Maria Sharapova because of a torn pectoral muscle. She's going to have an MRI today.

This is the first time Serena has had to withdraw from a major. She after all was making the comeback after giving birth to her daughter last September.

So, Serena Williams clearly disappointed after working so hard.


SERENA WILLIAMS, PRO TENNIS PLAYER: It's hard to play when I can't physically serve. I'm beyond disappointed. You know, I gave up so much from time with my daughter to time with my family. And I put everything on the court, you know? And all for this moment.


CZARNIAK: Fascinating the way she is talking about the family aspect. It is not typical Serena.

To baseball, to say there is bad blood between Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Tigers pitcher Mike Fiers. Tempers flaring after Stanton got hit in the elbow by a pitch last night. Well, yet, he was the pitcher responsible for hitting Stanton in the face with a pitch back in 2014.

But baseball players never forget. They forget. They're like elephant, everyone knows it.

But three innings later, Stanton belted a solo home run. The Yankees won the battle, but lost the game 4-2.

You know that story, right? You're a mom. Elephants don't forget.

ROMANS: I know. My favorite animal.

BRIGGS: You don't want to tick off that guy. I mean, that is a mean hitter right there.

Caps going to hoist the cup? Would you rather they do it in Washington or in Vegas? As a fan? You rather them do it back home?

CZARNIAK: Let's get it done. Again, I'm not biased.

ROMANS: Unbiased observer of the --

CZARNIAK: They're both great stories.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, thank you.

CZARNIAK: Our flag is still there, but the Philadelphia Eagles will not be. President Trump pulls their White House invitation he says over the national anthem. There is also a crowd size element to the story. We'll tell you about that, next.