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EARLY START

Trump to Pick a Second Supreme Court Justice; Trump Administration Scrambles to Reunite Migrants; House Judiciary Panel Grills FBI Agent Peter Strzok for More than 11 Hours; Pop Icon Michael Jackson's Father, Joe Jackson Dies at 89; Trump Softens Plan for Chinese Investment; Disney Wins Antitrust Approval to Buy Fox; Amazon Fostering Small Businesses to Deliver its Packages; Defending Champions Germany Out of the World Cup; England Faces Beer Shortage During World Cup; Swimmer Warms Up with Beyonce Dance Moves. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 28, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Justice Kennedy's retirement makes the issue of Senate control one of the vital issues of our time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CO-HOST, EARLY START: The bitter fight over the next Supreme Court Justices is under way. The vacancy with big legal ramifications, including potentially for women's right to choose.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Eleven long hours before Congress for FBI agent Peter Strzok. What sources say he told lawmakers about those texts that have the president claiming bias at the Justice Department.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour this Thursday morning. Let's begin here with the president relishing a chance to fill another seat on the U.S. Supreme Court as Anthony Kennedy announces he will step down.

All signs point to the president replacing the court's swing vote with a staunch conservative who could change the make-up of the high court for generations.

BRIGGS: The president took his message to North Dakota, reminding supporters he intends to put a lasting stamp on the high court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The travel ban ruling underscores just how critical it is to confirm judges who will support our constitution. And remember this, so we have a pick to come up, we have to pick a great one. We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: To get a justice confirmed, the president will have to navigate with a very slim majority in the Senate. Senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny with more from Fargo.

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, President Trump making clear that the retirement Justice Anthony Kennedy is now a mid-term election issue.

We know that he will pick the replacement for Justice Kennedy from a list of some 25 well respected conservative judges. Largely from the Federal Appeals Court. He has had that list, in fact, it's a public list.

We do not know of course who he will select. But the White House counsel's office going through the list of judges. Now the president at a rally on Wednesday night in Fargo made clear politics are at play as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Justice Kennedy's retirement makes the issue of Senate control one of the vital issues of our time. And I'm very honored that he chose to do it during my term in office because he felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy. That's why he did it.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: The president caught off guard by this as much as anyone in Washington was. He did spend about 30 minutes one-on-one in private conversation with Justice Kennedy who came to the White House to deliver his resignation letter by hand.

Now, the president also was talking specifically to Justice Kennedy about who replacements could be. So this certainly will be dominating forces at the White House as the mid-term election campaign of course in full swing.

[05:35:00] There's nothing that galvanizes conservative voters more than a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The White House believes this could help the president and help Republicans hold the Senate and the House. Dave and Christine.

BRIGGS: All right, Jeff Zeleny there, thanks. The president in North Dakota campaigning for Senate candidate Kevin Cramer, he's taking on Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in the Fall. The president praised Heitkamp in the past and twice asked her to consider joining the GOP.

But last night, the president cast Heitkamp as a liberal Democrat who plans to block his agenda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Heidi will vote no to any pick we make for the Supreme Court.

She will be told to do so. Now, maybe because of this, she will be forced to vote yes, who knows? But I will tell you, she will vote no the day after the election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The president failed to mention Senator Heitkamp was one of only three Democrats who broke ranks and voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Overnight, Heitkamp said she is always willing to work with the president, quote "if he is willing to help North Dakota". There are nine others --

ROMANS: Yes --

BRIGGS: Senate Democrats up for re-election from Trump states, making that terrible for Democrats --

ROMANS: Yes, and she is trying to be diplomatic there. Well, you know, because he's popular in that state --

BRIGGS: Yes, very popular.

ROMANS: All right, let's bring in Cnn politics reporter Tal Kopan in Washington. And I guess let's start here first with the Supreme Court -- Supreme Court pick. An exit that may echo for generations is how the analysis in the "New York Times" puts it here. What do you make of how strong the fight will be from Democrats about the timing and about the pick?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Oh, I expect the fight, Christine, to be, you know, incredibly strong. The question is whether it will be fruitful -- I don't know that it will be --

BRIGGS: OK --

KOPAN: Fruitful in the sense that --

BRIGGS: Yes --

KOPAN: They can do anything, but you're going to hear vociferous opposition, and to the point that you just made. I mean, this -- but the changing of the swing vote on the Supreme Court for someone who maybe a bit more of an entrenched conservative, especially someone who is likely to be young as the president has been doing with the rest of his judicial nominees for the lower courts.

He's been purposefully picking people that will likely get a long life-time appointment. This is a generational, potentially change on the Supreme Court. And so you're going to hear Dems cry out loudly about it. It's just unclear if they're going to be able to actually accomplish anything other than motivating their voters.

BRIGGS: And as with every Supreme Court opening, Roe v. Wade is discussed. It was trending all day long on Twitter. You're seeing two prominent Democrats, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren tweeting about that central issue and that's what this is all about. And then Jeffrey Toobin; our Cnn legal analyst and a former "Harvard Law Review" editor said this about that issue in the future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Roe v. Wade is doomed. It is gone because Donald Trump won the election. You are going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright. Just banning abortion and because they know that there are now going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Is Roe v. Wade soon to be overturned? And what else is at stake here, Tal?

KOPAN: Well, when you talk about soon to be overturned, I think the point that Jeffrey Toobin was making is a little bit more robust than that. In that, you know, the way the courts work, a case has to work its way up to them. So what we've seen in general is that conservatives especially in red states has over the years passed a series of laws sort of restricting abortion to fill out the courts and where they can sort of get away with making it more difficult and where they can, you know, not get away with it.

So now that they know potentially that the Supreme Court could have five justices who may be willing to either substantially eat away at Roe v. Wade or overturn it all together.

You're going to see a lot of those boundary-testing laws as Jeffrey was making the point come up. You're going to see states push the envelope arguably more than they ever have before with some confidence that by the time it works its way to the Supreme Court, those laws may be allowed to stand.

And so that's I think --

BRIGGS: Yes --

KOPAN: You're more likely to see an erosion over time, and that's just one issue to your point, there's a number of issues, affirmative action, gay rights, gay marriage. All of those, you could begin to see sort of similar testing of the waters through the court system.

BRIGGS: The battle after the battle though is Donald Trump's re- election because Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 --

KOPAN: Right --

BRIGGS: Stephen Breyer turns --

ROMANS: Yes --

BRIGGS: Eighty this Summer. He could be looking at four Supreme Court picks if he's re-elected -- ROMANS: That's remarkable, you know, Tal, let me ask you, I know you

covered immigration for us. And now there is an important statistic that I do not want to be lost. Just six children have been reunited with their families from that separation the Trump administration separation policy at the border.

[05:40:00] Just six. I don't think we should let this, you know, fade into the headlines. There is a lot of work to be done for this administration to reunite these families. What do we know about who is taking the lead on that or how well they're doing?

KOPAN: Yes, that's right, Christine, so we know that six children -- six fewer children are in HHS custody than a week ago. We actually don't even know if they've been reunited with their parents or released to some other sponsor facility and HHS is not answering that question, they're not answering a lot of questions including the question of who is in charge.

You know, we should also note that somewhere upwards of 500, children were reunited with their parents before the executive order came down. But they were mostly already in DHS custody as far as we know.

They likely will never transfer to HHS. So we have 2,000 kids remaining in HHS custody. We now have a court order that they need to be reunited, the youngest ones of them in two weeks, but the majority of them within 30 days.

But we have continued to ask the administration who is in charge, which cabinet --

ROMANS: Right --

KOPAN: Official does the buck stop with? Who is taking the responsibility to pro-actively reunite these families with their kids and not just wait until the parents either get out or are deported and apply for their kids to be brought back to them. Those questions still --

ROMANS: I know --

KOPAN: Have not been answered.

ROMANS: Our banner says the administration scrambles to reunite migrants. I'm not sure anybody is scrambling, that's my concern. My concern is that there's not any scrambling happening to get those reunited. So we shall see and we will not stop talking about it. Thank you so much Tal Kopan, covers immigration for us.

BRIGGS: All right, thanks Tal. Do you have $10,000 and want to be your own boss? Well, Amazon has a deal for you, CnnMoney next.

[16:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: FBI Director Chris Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before the House Judiciary Committee today. Expect a good grilling on FBI and Justice Department actions during the 2016 campaign.

Follows a very long day on Capitol Hill yesterday for Peter Strzok. The senior FBI agent spoke to the panel for more than 11 hours.

ROMANS: Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page are exhibit A for Republicans who argue their anti-Trump texts messages during the campaign prove FBI's bias against the president. Four sources from both parties tell Cnn Strzok told the house panel special counsel Robert Mueller did not press him about the texts when they came to light. Mueller did immediately remove him from the investigation.

BRIGGS: Page and Strzok were having an affair during the campaign, he told lawmakers the texts were part of a quote, "intimate conversation". Predictably, the reaction to Strzok's interview was straight along party lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Still, a lot of unanswered questions on who knew what when and as it relates to this particular investigation. You know, what was the genesis of the Russia collusion investigation.

I don't know how any reasonable person reads the texts and would suggest that there was no bias.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: He was cleared from the questions the Republicans were asking, but it was clear before this that the Republicans wanted to use Mr. Strzok and his texts as evidence to sabotage or to discredit the Mueller investigation. I mean, that was clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The house is set to vote today on a resolution by Republican Congressman Mark Meadows calling on the Justice Department to provide Russia and Clinton investigation records by July 6th.

Meadows says if Deputy AG Rosenstein does not comply, he should be impeached.

BRIGGS: Joe Jackson; patriarch of the Jackson family and the man who launched their music dynasty has died. He was reportedly battling pancreatic cancer. The controversial staged dad engineered the careers of the Jackson Five and the solo careers of Michael and Janet Jackson.

Daughter Latoya Jackson tweeted about her father, saying, "you gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world. I'm extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you care." Joe Jackson was 89.

ROMANS: All right, let's go and check on CnnMoney this morning. President Trump softening his tough talk on China, he decided against outright limits on Chinese investment into the U.S. The U.S. has long accused China of stealing U.S. technology. So in

May, the White House proposed twin plans, new restrictions on Chinese investment in tech and tougher export controls.

Both were supposed to be unveiled this week, instead, senior administration officials say the U.S. will rely on Congress to strengthen an existing panel. CFIUS; that's the committee on foreign investment in the U.S. is the panel which screens for investments for national security threats.

The White House also punted on tougher export controls for industrially significant technologies, said the Commerce Department will study the issue. On Monday, tech stocks fell, remember when the news broke of plans for these broad limits on Chinese investment.

So yesterday, the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said China was not the focus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: We will have the necessary tools to protect investments, whether it's China or anybody else. We are not signaling out China, but we will protect technology transfer to China as we will to other important areas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[05:50:00] ROMANS: Through that modernized CFIUS structure. That gave your stocks a boost. But then that optimism evaporated after this, the economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump is not softening his stance on China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL, UNITED STATES: It's going to be very comprehensive and very effective at protecting our technological family jewels in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Got to protect those.

ROMANS: Dave laughs --

BRIGGS: Got to --

ROMANS: Every time he hears family jewels.

BRIGGS: Got to protect them.

ROMANS: I'm in 6th grade. Wall Street closed lower, led by decline in tech stocks right now, global stocks are also down. All right, Disney clearing another hurdle to buy "21st Century Fox".

The Justice Department approved Disney's $71 billion to buy "Fox's" entertainment company -- one caveat, it will have to sell off "Fox's" regional sports networks.

Earlier this month, Comcast tried to crash Disney's deal for "Fox" prompting a high stakes bidding war. But "Fox" says Disney's offer was superior and the two entered a merger agreement. And this? Do you have 10 grand and do you want to be your own boss?

Then Amazon has a deal for you. It plans to help launch small businesses that will deliver its packages. It's going to give incentives like uniforms, fueling plans, even classes on taxes and payroll.

This will also help Amazon deliver packages from its sorting centers to customers. You know, it shipped a billion packages last year. That's too much even for UPS, FedEx and the postal service to handle.

Also follows criticism by President Trump over Amazon's deal with the post office. He calls it a bad deal. Post Office is losing money, but you know what? Its parcel business is still making a profit.

BRIGGS: I was once the world's worst pizza man, I don't want that job, I can't deliver things. But Waze and apps like that would make it --

ROMANS: That could help --

BRIGGS: A lot easier today. Ahead, a World Cup stunner, defending champion Germany knocked out, Andy Scholes with the "BLEACHER REPORT" next.

[05:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: The defending champs, Germany, out of the World Cup.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT", hey, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, good morning guys. You know, every four years, the World Cup brings countries together. Well, Mexico and South Korea now forever are going to be friends after yesterday.

Mexico was playing Sweden, at the same time Germany was playing South Korea. Now, once Sweden took the lead on Mexico, Germany knew they had to beat South Korea in order to advance.

And if that happened, Mexico would be out of the World Cup. So it was desperation time for Germany. Mexico's fans around the world totally becoming the biggest South Korean fans, and in the 93rd minute, South Korea scored a goal and at that moment, word spread that Germany wasn't going to win and Mexican fans, they started to celebrate around the globe.

Some even hoisting up Koreans onto their shoulders and carrying them around in Mexico. Mexico now moves on to play Brazil in the knockout stage. Germany meanwhile out of the World Cup in the group stage for the first time ever. Right, England's top goal scorer Harry Kane meanwhile takes the pitch

against Belgium later today, and they may be dealing with a crisis at home. There may not be enough beer for their fans. Right now, beer is being rationed in England due to a carbon dioxide shortage.

Booker, a major U.K. wholesaler is limiting bars and grocery stores with ten cases per day per brand. Now the carbon dioxide that gives beer its fizz is a byproduct of ammonia.

And several large ammonia plants in Europe have been closed for maintenance, leading to the CO2 shortage. Just terrible timing for the soccer fans there in the U.K. Final group stage games taking place today, the action going to get started at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

All right, finally, athletes all -- they all have their own ways of getting psyched up for a game or competition. Well, check out Alabama swimmer Christian Strycker. He does a full on Beyonce rendition before he jumps in the pool.

Strycker has tweeted he is a huge Beyonce fan and would actually love a Summer job as a back-up dancer. And guys, you know what? He's qualified.

BRIGGS: That's pretty solid moves, but you know what the kids are doing today, they're doing the pickle, right? The young kids. I have witnessed many a little league baseball player doing the pickle or the floss --

(CROSSTALK)

On the field. It's this thing where -- I can't, I can't.

ROMANS: The floss.

BRIGGS: Can you do the pickle?

ROMANS: I can't, I can't.

BRIGGS: Scholes, can you do the pickle.

SCHOLES: I can't do the pickle, the floss, you name it --

BRIGGS: You know what I'm doing --

SCHOLES: You can't do it, and I won't --

BRIGGS: Yes --

SCHOLES: Even try.

ROMANS: Can you do the Macarena?

BRIGGS: Oh, I can do the Macarena (INAUDIBLE) --

SCHOLES: It's bringing me back.

ROMANS: Oh, yes, all right, thanks, wine-dancing on EARLY START. All right, thanks for joining us this morning, I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs, "NEW DAY" starts right now, we'll see you tomorrow, yes, you can do Macarena on the way out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could determine the direction of the Supreme Court for generations.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy's successor this Fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell, remember what you said when Obama was president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans should make their voices heard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is on the line here, everything is on the line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)