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EARLY START

Democratic Leaders Address Civility Crisis; Trump Rallies South Carolina Crowd on Immigration; Wall Street Falls on Trade Fears; Defense Secretary Mattis Lands in China; Prince Williams Visits Israel and Palestine; Fallon on Trump: "Why Are You Tweeting at Me?"; Six Rescued from Burning Boat off Florida Coast. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 26, 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] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching us. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're allowed to disagree, but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Maxine Waters, can you believe her?

(APPLAUSE)

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: I have not called for the harm of anybody. This President has lied again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The collapse of civility in politics has everyone agreeing on one thing -- it's not their fault.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Renewed trade concerns tank the markets. Companies forced to rethink global supply chains as open trade comes under threat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I get everybody off?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, everybody is off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Dramatic moments off the Florida coast. Six people rescued after their boat bursts into flames.

ROMANS: My goodness.

BRIGGS: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs. Look who is back?

ROMANS: I'm back. I'm back after a long weekend in the Midwest. I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, June 26th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

And everyone in Washington is pleading for civility this morning, but when it comes to taking responsibility for the uncivil tone, no one wants to own it.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaking out for the first time since she was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant Friday night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: I was asked to leave because I work for President Trump. Healthy debate on ideas and philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable.

We're allowed to disagree, but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm. And this goes for all people, regardless of politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Now, White House officials say President Trump asked Sanders to start her briefing with that statement. The restaurant's owner's decision not to serve her igniting a less than civil debate, including this from Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Saturday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd.

(APPLAUSE)

WATERS: And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump adding to the incivility, referring to Waters as a, quote, extraordinarily low I.Q. person while tweeting -- be careful what you wish for, Max. The President piling on last night in South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They're only good at one thing. What is their term? Resist. It's the party of Maxine Waters. Do you believe her?

(BOOING)

TRUMP: No, no. No, no. This has become the party of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And Maxine Waters is trying to clarify her original remarks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: I believe in peaceful, very peaceful, protests. I have not called for the harm of anybody. This President has lied again when he is saying that I called for harm to anyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Now, Waters dialed it back after criticism from several Democrats.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeting -- Trump's daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable.

And this from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (R-NY), MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE: No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That's not right. That's not American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So how did we get here? Critics of the Trump administration insist it starts at the top.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: OK. Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.

We're not allowed to punch back anymore. I would like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you.

Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court. Don't worry about it.

Whacky Jackie is campaigning with Pocahontas, you believe this?

He is not a war hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a war hero.

TRUMP: He is a war hero --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five and a half years in the Vietnamese -- TRUMP: He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, OK?

Get that son of a (INAUDIBLE) off the field right now. Out. He's fired.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: He's fired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Even with all of the vitriol from the President, many Democrats are concerned the emotional response to him could fuel the President's claims his supporters are disrespected.

Social media-driven confrontations including public heckling of several Trump officials and backers have opened a rift in the Democratic Party over whether stoking anti-Trump outrage is helping or hurting its candidates ahead of the midterms.

ROMANS: President Trump in South Carolina last night riling up the crowd on his cornerstone issue -- immigration.

[04:05:02] The President has been fuming about immigration courts, saying there are too many judges even though Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to add more immigration judges to handle the extra load. Here is the President from last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have thousands of judges already. So if a person comes into our country, steps one foot, they take their name, they bring them to court, they then release them. They go into the country. You never see them again. It is the craziest thing I've ever seen.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: So I said today -- I said today I don't want judges. I want ICE and Border Patrol agents. I want that. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we want to tell people, I'm sorry, you're coming in the illegally. We don't want you in the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The President also told his supporters in South Carolina, he sees the national uproar over immigration as helpful to Republicans.

Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta traveling with the President.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, President Trump defended his administration's practice of separating children from their parents at the border at a rally in West Columbia, South Carolina.

The President said that his facilities where children are being warehoused as they're being kept away from their parents are actually better facilities than those used during the Obama administration. Here is more of what the President had to say to his supporters at the rally in South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I have my own feeling. And when I heard them talking about the children -- first of all, they were using pictures taken in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. I wasn't president.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And what I learned is one thing. Our facilities are cleaner, better kept and better run. That's the one thing I learned, OK? I saw them.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: But what we have is two extremes. And I liked it. I said, hey, this is fine for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And you heard the President at this rally say not only does he think it's a good idea, he was essentially saying to his audience in West Columbia, South Carolina that he thinks it's good for him politically -- Christine and Dave.

ROMANS: All right, Jim Acosta for us.

The commissioner of Customs and Border Protections says agents will stop referring families to the Justice Department for prosecution until a policy is in place to keep parents with their children. Instead, families will be released with a court date, effectively reviving that so-called catch and release program that the President has attacked.

House Republicans are still planning to vote this week on an immigration reform bill, but it appears they still -- they still do not have the votes to pass the compromise measure.

BRIGGS: Aides say the House is almost certain to move on legislation to plug holes in the President's executive order on family separation. But in the senate, it's difficult to see any proposal that can enough votes to pass. No firm deadline for an immigration bill, but Congress leaves at the end of this week for its July 4th recess.

ROMANS: It is primary day in five states today with votes in Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Among the notable races, Mitt Romney is likely to win the nomination for a Utah Senate seat against Republican state representative Mike Kennedy. In New York, former Congressman Michael Grimm is fighting to get his

old seat back after doing time in federal prison for tax evasion.

BRIGGS: Oklahoma voters swing a controversial ballot measure to make theirs the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana. Thirtieth, excuse me.

There are also runoffs today in Mississippi and South Carolina. The President was in South Carolina last night to back incumbent Governor Henry McMaster who was forced into a runoff against his Republican challenger.

ROMANS: All right. Asian stocks falling overnight after President Trump's trade policy backfires on Harley-Davidson. The company is shifting some production overseas to avoid new tariffs from the European Union retaliation.

Those tariffs are retaliation for Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum. The E.U. tariffs will make Harley motorcycles $2,200 more expensive. Instead of passing that along to customers, Harley plans to move production. Bad news for U.S. workers.

Trump has long-championed Harley-Davidson as an American manufacturer, meeting with execs last year. Now he is tweeting his surprise. It would be the first wave of the white flag on trade.

On Wall Street, Harley stock fell six percent, proving that Trump's trade battles have consequences for U.S. companies. The Dow fell more than 300 points led by American exporters and big tech stocks.

So far, tech had been immune to trade fears, but sources say the White House plans to block Chinese investment in U.S. technology, targeting Xi Jinping's Made in China's 2025 plan. That is a national strategy to dominate industries like aerospace, robotics, and electric cars.

The Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, denied that China itself was a target. Instead, he said he would hit all countries, quote, trying to steal our technology. But trade advisor Peter Navarro then contradicted Mnuchin. He called the market drop an overreaction.

[04:09:59] BRIGGS: All right, ahead, the Secretary of Defense landing overnight in China. A critically important trip with North Korea, trade and security issues at play. Will Ripley is live for us in Beijing ahead on EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: Defense Secretary James Mattis touching down in China overnight. He says he's prepared to do a lot of listening when he meets with Chinese leaders. Mattis making the first trip to China by a Secretary of Defense since 2014.

Let's go live to Beijing, bringing in CNN's Will Ripley.

Will, good morning, sir. What is he likely to be hearing from President Xi? WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they're going

to be some pretty tense discussions here in Beijing, given the fact that the United States is saying national security is the driving force why they are not wanting Chinese tech firms to invest in the United States.

They don't want the Chinese to get their fingers in U.S. technology, robotics, aerospace, electric cars, the kind of things that the White House says could potentially affect national security down the road as China tries to become a global leader in a lot of these areas and has been accused of intellectual property theft.

[04:15:03] And he's also going to have to talk to them about the $50 billion in tariffs that are due to take effect next month. Of course, China has vowed to retaliate against that. The Defense Department has called China a strategic competitor. And so you're mixing national defense with trade, some areas that the Secretary may not be completely comfortable in given his military background.

He will also be talking about the denuclearization of North Korea. Obviously, the United States needs China to keep the pressure up in terms of sanctions in order for its long-term plan to continue the maximum pressure campaign.

But with all of these other issues swirling around, it's really unclear how much progress he is going to make here in Beijing. He'll be heading to South Korea and Japan after this -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Will Ripley live for us, 4:15 p.m. there in Beijing. Thank you, sir.

ROMANS: All right. Prince William is making the first-ever royal visit to Israel at his hour. This morning, the Duke of Cambridge is visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Then he meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin.

Max Foster is traveling with Prince William and he joins us live from Jerusalem this morning.

Hi there.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Christine. Yes, an absolutely diplomatic tightrope for Prince William, this one, as he tries to negotiate all the sensitivities, political and religious, in this region.

He is currently within the stunning museum here. He's been laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance. I went through the museum before he went in. A harrowing process, very emotional, but it's one of those events that visiting VIPs are expected to attend.

Also, he will be going into the Palestinian areas. Tomorrow, he'll be having lunch in Ramallah, for example, meeting the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Just a quick bit of context for you, this is "The Jerusalem Post." He is on the front page as he is on many other papers here today. But this is what they write here. They're making a point to the fact that this is the first official U.K. tour to -- royal tour to Israel.

The lack of a formal visit by a British royal, viewed by some as an unceremonious snub of the region's only democracy, has rankled some Israelis for years. But I have to say, some Palestinians are rankled as well because of the Balfour Declaration all those years ago in 1917, which many say paved the way for the establishment of the Israeli state.

So many sensitivities here for Prince William to negotiate. This is an early part of the tour for him, but he's managed it so far. We'll see how it goes for the rest of them.

ROMANS: All right, Max Foster for us in Jerusalem. Thank you so much, Max.

BRIGGS: All right. It's day three of an intensifying search in Thailand for members of a youth soccer team who vanished late Saturday. Authorities believe they're trapped in a flooded cave deep inside a mountain in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

Members of a Navy SEAL unit have been called in to help. Rescue teams trying to drain some of the water from the caves but heavy rains have made it difficult. Families of the victims were spotted praying outside the cave.

ROMANS: That's terrifying. All right, man's best friend takes a big bite out of crime. Wait until you see how much marijuana this dog helped get off the streets of Chicago.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:22:32] ROMANS: Jimmy Fallon is using the bully pulpit at his "Tonight Show" monologue to hit back after the President skewered the comedian on Twitter. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": The President of the United States went after me on Twitter. So, Melania, if you're watching, I don't think your anti-bullying campaign is working.

(LAUGHTER)

FALLON: It's not working. When I saw that Trump insulted me on Twitter, I was going to tweet back immediately, but I thought I have more important things to do. Then I thought --

(APPLAUSE)

FALLON: -- wait, shouldn't he have more important things to do? He's the President of the United --

(LAUGHTER)

FALLON: What are you doing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The President called out the late night host and told him to be a man after Fallon said he regretted tussling Mr. Trump's hair -- remember that -- during an appearance on his show in 2016. He regretted it because it humanized him, he said.

BRIGGS: That's right.

ROMANS: Last night, in South Carolina, the President said Fallon looks like, quote, a lost soul.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight. At least a dozen people shot in Chicago in seven incidents. The victims include an 11-year-old boy and five teenagers. One person died.

The violence comes after three people were killed and at least 36 people injured by gunfire this weekend. Chicago had seen a drop in violent crime in recent months, but there has been a spike since the weather warmed up as we see most summers.

ROMANS: A southern California retirement home resident is in custody this morning, charged in the fatal shooting of a firefighter who was responding to a call about an explosion at that facility, Fire Captain Dave Rosa, a 17-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department. Police say the suspect, Thomas Kim, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and arson.

A second firefighter was also shot. He is in stable condition.

Kim is being held on $2 million bail. Some 80 senior citizens living at the facility are being cared for by the city and community organizations.

BRIGGS: Good Samaritans rushing to rescue a group stranded in a boat burning off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Six people were on board the 45-foot charter when it caught fire early Monday.

The Barriger family from Connecticut saw the blaze from a nearby boat and jumped into action. One person almost went overboard trying to get on to the rescue boat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the people were out on the bow, so I just let her at it, came up alongside the boat. It went from smoke to fire within three to four minutes. I'm telling you, it was ridiculous.

[04:24:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grateful. Lots of thank yous from them, including the captain and crew. We had to help out and do our jobs. It's not a bad day. And we also caught fish.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Cheers to those folks. The fire started in the engine area of the boat and quickly spread. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to the scene and tried to save the boat, but it had already sunk.

ROMANS: Wow, remarkable. In northern California, the Ponte Fire is now torched more than 10,000 acres. Fire crews say it is only five percent contained. At this point, 22 structures have been destroyed, and flames are threatening at least 600 more.

Mandatory evacuations are underway for the entire Spring Valley community. Officials also are strongly advising residents of the Double Eagle Ranch to evacuate. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake County.

BRIGGS: A police dog in Chicago helped sniff out more than $10 million worth of marijuana. It all started with the traffic stop and a K-9 with a need to find weed.

Jayda's key nose helped officers uncover more than 1,500 pounds of pot in the car. Officers say the driver was transporting the marijuana from Chicago all the way to California.

The driver is identified as 42-year-old Jason Tanner. He was arrested and charged with drug possession.

Coming up, everyone claims they want civility, but no one seems willing to prove it. The Democrats facing a midterm dilemma over how to counter the President. Can anyone restore civility to American politics?

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