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EARLY START

Temperature Rises as Political Civility Declines; Trump Rallies South Carolina Crowd On Immigration; Secretary of Defense Mattis Arrives In China; Six Rescued From Burning Boat Off Florida Coast. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 26, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:32:40] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH 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 -- do you believe her?

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

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The collapse of civility in politics have everyone agree on one thing. Well, 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: Did I get everybody off?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, everybody's off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ROMANS: Wow.

BRIGGS: Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 33 minutes past the hour this Tuesday morning.

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

The 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 political 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: A White House official says President Trump asked Sanders to start her briefing with that statement.

The restaurant owner's decision not to serve her igniting a less than civil debate, including this from Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters over the weekend.

(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. 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 an "extraordinarily low I.Q. person," while tweeting, "be careful what you wish for, Max."

The president then saying this last night in South Carolina.

[05:35:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They're only good at one thing. What's their term -- resist.

It's the party of Maxine Waters -- do you believe her? No, no -- no, no. This has become the party of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Maxine Waters trying to clarify her original remarks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: I believe in peaceful -- very peaceful protest. I have not called for the harm of anybody. This president has lied again when he's saying that I called for harm to anyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: 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 (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: 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? Well, critics of the Trump administration insist it starts at the top.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks.

The guards are very gentle with him. He's walking out like with big high-fives, smiling, laughing. I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you.

If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell -- I promise you I will pay for the legal fees -- I promise -- I promise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Even with all 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: All right, let's bring in "CNN POLITICS" multi-platform editor Brenna Williams.

And, you know, I think in incivility from the president is something that is par for the course, quite frankly. It's one of the reasons why he was elected, you know? His supporters love that he tells it like he sees it and he uses this sharp language.

But when the resistance gets ugly it's something that feeds a different kind of narrative.

Let's listen to what Marco Rubio tweeted. He said, "Trump haters still haven't realized how much they help him with their condescension of those who either voted for him or don't share their hatred of him, and how much they help him with their irrational hostility toward those who work for him." Could it be that this incivility, with the resistance now turning uncivil as well, is actually going to help the president?

BRENNA WILLIAMS, MULTI-PLATFORM EDITOR, CNN POLITICS "THE POINT": Yes. Actually, it's really interesting because fueling the fire and fanning the flames, kind of playing into this narrative that President Trump has kind of started to weave of people being uncivil and people attacking Trump supporters, and the Trump supporters needing to become even more -- coalescing even more, backing each other even more, it's going to start driving people even further apart.

And now, we've kind of taken this uncivil discourse out of the rallies, out of the private spaces, out of these spaces where you're among like-minded people. And on both sides, taking it out against other people into public places so that you might not be safe going into a restaurant -- not physically safe, but you might not feel comfortable, right?

And I think Sarah Sanders did have a point there. You should be able, regardless of who you support, to go out in public and be safe --

BRIGGS: Yes.

WILLIAMS: -- and not get yelled at.

BRIGGS: Yes, and Sanders actually had a good point in saying "healthy debate about political philosophy is welcomed" when she talked about being kicked out of that restaurant.

Unfortunately for Ms. Sanders, just a few hours earlier her boss preempted those remarks with a tweet about that restaurant, saying it should focus on its "filthy canopies, doors, and windows." That it's "dirty on the outside and dirty on the inside."

WILLIAMS: And that can --

BRIGGS: So does he want a civil tone? He tweeted 14 times yesterday. Not one was a plea for civility. Does he want a civil tone in politics today?

WILLIAMS: I don't think so necessarily, given the things that he has been tweeting and he has been saying because it gets people riled up. It gets people thinking about this instead of talking about immigration, about talking about other issues, about talking about the budget deal.

We -- this drove the news cycle yesterday and into today, having to respond and counteract each other and we're not talking about the big issues here. We're talking about who is fighting who, what they're saying, what they're condoning, what they're not condoning, how dirty a restaurant in Virginia is. And we're not talking about issues, which is kind of par for the course in politics.

[05:40:00] But we've seen in the past how rhetoric can turn really nasty and turn very physical with that congressional baseball shooting last year, which what happened to Gabby Giffords a few years ago. There's a very fine line between civil discourse, uncivil discourse,

and violence, and we should never get anywhere close to that.

ROMANS: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I think the politicians need to take responsibility because the things that they say matter a lot to their constituents and constituents listen to their elected leaders and they see themselves in their elected leaders. And if President Trump, since the campaign, has been condoning punching that guy in the face, there's a fine line between rhetoric and action.

ROMANS: Yes, and what politicians may think is sort of performance art, honestly. You have people who are -- you see the videos of people reacting badly to other people and in real -- in the real world there's an incivility that comes from that.

All right. Brenna Williams --

BRIGGS: It's everywhere. It's all around us.

ROMANS: Yes.

Thank you so much, Brenna. Nice to see you this morning.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

BRIGGS: OK. The president in South Carolina last night riling up a crowd on his cornerstone issue, immigration. The president telling his supporters in South Carolina he sees the national uproar over immigration as helpful to Republicans.

(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.

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.

But we have is two extremes and I liked it. I said hey, this is fine for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: We would love to come into a lot more of those facilities if he's saying to come in and see how much better he's doing it.

The commissioner of Customs and Border Protection says agents will stop referring families for prosecution until a policy is in place to keep parents with their children. Instead, families will be released with a court date.

Effectively, that means the zero tolerance policy is over, right, and you're back to the catch and release -- what's called the catch and release program the president had attacked.

BRIGGS: All right. It's primary day in five states today with votes in Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Among the notable races, Mitt Romney likely to win the nomination for a Utah Senate seat against Republican State Rep. Mike Kennedy.

In New York, former congressman Michael Grimm fighting to get his old job back after doing time in federal prison for tax evasion.

Oklahoma voters weighing a controversial ballot measure to make theirs the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana.

Also, runoffs today in Mississippi and South Carolina. President Trump, as we mentioned, in South Carolina last night backing incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster who was forced into a runoff by his Republican challenger, businessman John Warren.

ROMANS: All right.

The secretary of Defense landing overnight in China, a critically important trip with North Korea on trade disputes, security issues at play. Will Ripley is live in Beijing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:47:10] BRIGGS: All right, "NEW DAY" about 13 minutes away. Erica Hill joins us, in for Alisyn this week. Good morning, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thanks, guys.

BRIGGS: A call for civility all over Washington. You have both parties on the show throughout the show. Do you think we'll hear that from them as well?

HILL: Oh, a girl can dream, can't she? I mean, it's kind of remarkable.

John and I have been talking a lot about this in the last 24 hours or so about this lack of civility really coming to a boiling point as we're seeing more of it. And everybody seems to be calling for civility but we don't necessarily see that behavior being modeled which sort of --

ROMANS: Right.

HILL: -- harkens back to parenting.

So I think it will be interesting to see what changes in the conversation today and how people can move it forward, and that's what we want to press people on. OK, so you're saying that this is what we should see, right? Well, what are you doing to make that happen?

BRIGGS: Yes. With parenting, how do you -- how do you get a civil tone at home? To be honest with --

HILL: I am actually a perfect parent, Dave. I'm not sure if you're aware of it but I'm sure my --

BRIGGS: No.

ROMANS: I heard this.

HILL: -- children would attest to that. I never raise my voice, never lose my cool.

BRIGGS: Right.

HILL: I don't think I've regretted a decision in the 11 and a half years of parenting. So --

BRIGGS: Me neither.

HILL: -- I'm available for help if you want any.

ROMANS: Berman needs your help.

BRIGGS: You're needed in my house as soon as you're done. Yes, it sounds like a plea for help there --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Where's the civility?

BRIGGS: -- for Berman.

BERMAN: Where is the civility?

ROMANS: Oh, this is true, this is true.

BERMAN: Where is the civility?

ROMANS: All right, I'm sorry -- although unlike everyone in Washington, I take ownership of my lack of civility for a moment there and I apologize for it.

(LAUGHTER)

HILL: You know what I actually -- in all seriousness, my parent plan -- I tell my children regularly, it's not a democracy.

ROMANS: Yes.

HILL: So in my house, anyway, I'm totally OK with authoritarianism when I can pronounce it.

ROMANS: Yes. I endorse bribery, actually, in my house. That's the other thing. Oh, I call it reward.

BRIGGS: Big fan of bribery.

ROMANS: A little goes a long way.

All right, thanks, guys. Talk to you soon.

BERMAN: Go take a hike on the Tallahassee Trail. That's all I can say.

BRIGGS: Tallahassee Trail -- yes, that was a new one last night.

ROMANS: Gosh.

BRIGGS: Hopefully, you'll address that in a bit.

ROMANS: Thanks, guys.

Let's gets a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

Asian stocks falling overnight after President Trump's trade policy backfires on Harley Davidson. Harley's stock fell six percent after announcing it would shift some production overseas to avoid new tariffs from the E.U., proving that Trump's trade battles have consequences for U.S. companies and U.S. workers.

Harley wasn't alone. The Dow fell more than 300 points, led by American exporters.

The Nasdaq lost more than two percent thanks to 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" 2025 plan to dominate industries like aerospace, robotics, and electric cars.

There's some worry about what kind of retaliation there could be for American tech companies.

All right. The end is finally here for Toys R Us. The iconic toy store will close its final 200 U.S. stores Friday.

[05:50:03] Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy last year in the hopes of a turnaround but went out of business in March due to poor holiday sales.

Two reasons for the downfall of Toys R Us, big competition from big- box stores and online retailers. And guess what? This company had a huge debt load.

China is blocking access to HBO's Website after the comedian John Oliver made jokes like this one about Chinese President Xi Jinping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN OLIVER, HOST, HBO "LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER": Now really, Xi Jinping is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh, and I'm not even sure it's that strong a resemblance, to be honest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Winnie the Pooh aside, last week, Oliver ran a 20-minute segment criticizing the authoritarian policies of China's government. Since then, China has censored mentions of Oliver on social media and restricted access to HBO.

HBO is also owned by WarnerMedia, parent of CNN. I have to get used to WarnerMedia. It used to be TimeWarner and now it's WarnerMedia --

BRIGGS: You're getting there.

ROMANS: -- so there you go.

BRIGGS: Yes, the new boss -- OK.

Man's best friend takes a bite out of crime. Wait until you see how much weed one dog helped get off the streets of Chicago.

ROMANS: Is that sushi?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:55:36] BRIGGS: Defense Sec. James Mattis touching down in China overnight. Mattis making the first visit to China by a secretary of Defense since 2014.

Let's go live to Beijing and bring in Will Ripley.

Will, the conservative "Wall Street Journal" writes about a bruising fight ahead. What is Mattis likely to be hearing?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly told a group of American businessmen that China will punch back against the United States.

Fifty billion in tariffs are due to kick in next month. Later this week, we're expecting an announcement from the Trump administration that they will block Chinese investment in American technology, citing national security.

So, Sec. Mattis is here talking about trade and other issues mixed with national security. But he faces a very tricky task because obviously, the trade situation is really escalating -- this trade clash -- some are calling a trade war between the U.S. and China.

And yet, he also needs to convince Beijing to keep up the pressure on North Korea. And we know that Chinese President Xi Jinping has met three times in the last few months with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Their relationship seems to be warming as the tensions with trade and other issues with the United States are on the rise.

He's also talking about the South China Sea. China continuing to expand in international waters, putting what some military analysts have called permanent aircraft carries. We know the United States has stepped up its Freedom of Navigation patrols, sailing U.S. warships by those disputed islands.

So, how does he convince China to continue to work with the U.S. on North Korea while all these other issues are also bubbling as well? That is the challenge here in Beijing, Dave.

BRIGGS: Yes, and perhaps they'll talk about those lasers U.S. pilots have been encountering over China as well.

Will Ripley live for us in Beijing. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

Breaking overnight, 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. Now, Chicago had seen a drop in violent crime but there's been a spike since the weather warmed up.

BRIGGS: Good Samaritans rushing to rescue a group stranded on a boat burning off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Six people were on board when it caught fire early Monday. One person almost went overboard trying to get onto the rescue boat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GENE CHECCI, CAPTAIN, LADY PAMELA II: All the people were out on the bow so I just spun around it and came up alongside the boat. It went from smoke to fire within three to four minutes. I'm telling you, it was ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grateful, lots of thank you's from them, including the captain and the crew. We just had to help out and do our jobs. It's not a bad day. We also caught fish.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The fire began in the engine room. Fort Lauderdale fire- rescue responded to the scene and tried to save the boat but it had already sunk.

ROMANS: In Northern California, the Pawnee fire has now torched more than 10,000 acres. It's only five percent contained. Twenty-two structures have been destroyed and flames are threatening at least 600 more.

Mandatory evacuations are underway for the entire Spring Valley community.

There are at least 53 wildfires burning in 10 states. They have blackened nearly 440,000 acres.

BRIGGS: A police dog in Chicago helped sniff out more than $10 million worth of marijuana. It all started with a traffic stop. A K- 9 named Jada helped officers uncover more than 1,500 pounds of pot in the car.

Officers say the driver was transporting the marijuana from Chicago to California. The driver identified as 42-year-old Jason Tanner, arrested and charged with drug possession.

Interesting -- he was taking it where marijuana is legal -- recreational -- in California.

ROMANS: Interesting.

All right, 59 past the hour. That's it for us. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. See you tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: We are allowed to disagree but we should be able to do so freely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump is not the poster child for civility.

WATER: I believe in very peaceful protest.

TRUMP: It's the party of Maxine Waters -- do you believe her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The situation is a real humanitarian disaster.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are going to continue to prosecute those adults who enter here illegally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, June 26th, 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hill joins me now. Also with us, John Avlon.

And with your permission, I want to start with a pop quiz this morning, if I can.

HILL: OK.

BERMAN: This is the "Starting Line."

With 2,000 children still separated from their parents -- this is the quiz -- from the Trump White House is decrying the lack of civility in politics.