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At Least 11 Dead As Duck Boat Sinks In Missouri; Shock At President Trump's Invitation To Putin To Visit The White House; Several Tornadoes Pummel Iowa; NFL And Union Put Hold On National Anthem Policy. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 20, 2018 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: It's not every day you break national intelligence news to --

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The national -- the director of national intelligence.

BRIGGS: -- the director of national intelligence.

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

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour this Friday morning.

Let's begin with this breaking news this morning. At least 11 people are confirmed dead near Branson, Missouri. Their duck boat sank in rough waters at Table Rock Lake.

The final moments of this tragedy caught on video. A warning here -- you might find these images disturbing.

But you can see the boat being rocked in all directions as the wind picks up here. The area was under a severe thunderstorm warning at the time and winds reach over 60 miles an hour.

Now, there were 31 people on board, including two crew members, when the boat sank. There are children, we're told, among the fatalities.


DOUG RADER, SHERIFF, STONE COUNTY, MISSOURI: At this time, we have 11 confirmed fatalities. Of the seven that was transported, only one of them had serious injuries. There was some heavy wind and it was having problems due to -- due to the wind.


BRIGGS: Six people remain missing. The search will resume in the morning. Fourteen people survived; seven are being treated at a local hospital.

There were life jackets on board. It's unclear at this point if people were wearing them. A spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, parent company of the Ride the Ducks Branson, said that it is in contact with its employees who were at the scene.

Other boats on the lake did return to the dock safely. The NTSB is launching a "Go Team" to investigate.

ROMANS: Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

In Washington, a new stunner capping off a week where one surprise tops the last.

President Trump hoping to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House this fall. The announcement via Twitter, the latest sign the president is sticking by his strategy of rebuilding relations with Russia.

That's in the face of bipartisan criticism over the Helsinki summit and questions about what he agreed to at his private meeting with Putin.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, at a security conference in Aspen, said he still has no idea.


DAN COATS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I don't know what happened in that meeting. I think as time goes by -- and the president has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting -- I think we will learn more. But that is the president's prerogative.

If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted I would have suggested a different way, but that's not my role, that's not my job. So it is what it is.


BRIGGS: A visit to the U.S. this fall would be Putin's first since 2005.

In another extraordinary twist, it turns out even Coats was unaware the invitation was being extended, and we know that because we have proof of that.

Joining us this morning, CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood, and "CNN POLITICS" senior writer Harry Enten. Good morning to both of you.

ROMANS: Hi, guys.

BRIGGS: That proof came here on stage in Aspen with Dan Coats. Here is the reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDREA MITCHELL, CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS, HOST, "ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS": The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.

COATS: Say that again?

MITCHELL: Vladimir Putin coming to the --

COATS: Did I hear you -- did I hear you --

MITCHELL: Yes, yes.

COATS: OK. That's going to be special.


BRIGGS: Special is one take on that. Here's another from the "New York Daily News" -- "Who's Your Vladdy?" -- with the president riding a horse with a bare-chested Vladimir Putin.

Sarah Westwood, what does that stunned reaction tell you about Dan Coats and the decision-making within this White House?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, one of the bipartisan criticisms of President Trump -- not just with the Helsinki summit but in general when it comes to Russia -- is that President Trump hasn't taken seriously the intelligence provided by agencies where he installed the leaders.

And clearly, he is not looping in his director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats. He's not relying on Dan Coats' advice, obviously, for how to conduct these sensitive meetings.

And now, it's really difficult to see what President Trump thinks he might gain by an additional meeting with Vladimir Putin. All of the controversy surrounding the summit in Helsinki is going to make it really difficult for President Trump to implement the kind of the thaw between Moscow and Washington that he clearly envisioned.

So an additional meeting here in Washington is only going to cause more problems for him domestically and only make that goal of reaching that detente with Russia potentially even more difficult.

BRIGGS: It's reminiscent of his golf game. From what I understand, he takes a mulligan whenever he wants a mulligan. He doesn't ask his playing partners, he just re-tees it up.

ROMANS: Let's talk about the polls here Harry, because we know that how Trump has been handling the Helsinki summit in particular, 32 percent approve, 55 percent disapprove.

You break that down by Republicans, 68 percent of Republicans approve. That's a big number but you're right to point out that his approval among Republicans in general, it's higher than that. And his approval on the economy is sky high. [05:35:04] HARRY ENTEN, SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST, CNN POLITICS: Right, exactly. I mean, everything has just sunken down to a new low for him. I mean, you see a 20-point decline from his overall approval rating among Republicans to his approval rating on this meeting with Vladimir Putin.

So it's very clear that the American public didn't like him but at the end of the day, they're still going to be two-thirds of Republicans who are pretty much going to stick with Trump no matter what he does.

ROMANS: And I wonder if as times goes on if that stays true because -- particularly on this trade issue. You heard Peter Navarro, one of the president's trade advisers, yesterday on CNBC talk about the damage to soybean farmers and farmers as a rounding error -- listen.


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: This is a trade dispute. If we can get that right it will have very strong, positive implications for the American economy and the global economy because what China is doing is upsetting the global economy.

But for investors, if you look at that we've got two economies which add up to about $30 trillion in annual GDP and the amount of trade that we're affecting with the tariffs is a rounding error.


ROMANS: Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on agriculture in the Midwest which, by the way, went for Donald Trump.

Joni Ernst, a senator who has been pretty reliable in the president's corner, was compelled to put out a statement saying, "That is no rounding error. Those are real people."

She said some 496,000 jobs are related to farmers. "We need to lessen the pressure on these hardworking farmers and let them sell their goods."

Is there a risk here that trade policy could be the thing that erodes Republican support?

ENTEN: Look, at the end of the day, I'm a big believer in the number one thing that matters in elections is this -- it's money. And if farmers in the Midwest are seeing less of their money in their pocket then yes, it could absolutely affect them on the midterms.

Go back to 1988 when there was a farm crisis in the Midwest. You saw the Midwest move overwhelmingly Democratic compared to the nation as a whole because there was a Republican president in the White House and a lot of voters blamed that Republican president. So if they see less money this time around they could blame the Republicans in the midterms.

BRIGGS: Nonetheless, I think we can all agree the president, at this point, a huge favorite to get reelected -- ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- especially when you look at the candidates for 2020 at this point.

And, Harry Enten wrote a piece about them. Here are the top 10 candidates for the Democratic Party in 2020 and number one is Mr. Joe Biden, taking his third shot at it.

Sarah Westwood, the president, yesterday with CBS' Jeff Glor, said he would love to run against Joe Biden -- listen.


JEFF GLOR, ANCHOR, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Who do you your Democratic opponent will be? Joe Biden says he'll make a decision by January.


GLOR: So, top opponent?

TRUMP: I dream about Biden. That's a dream.

Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than one percent. And, President Obama took him out of the garbage heap and everybody was shocked that he did.


BRIGGS: The rest of Harry's top five -- Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders.

Sarah, should the president want to run against Joe Biden or would this be the perfect fight fire with fire?

WESTWOOD: You know, there are kind of two schools of thought. One is that Joe Biden is a little more loose lips than your traditional politician. That he's someone who could sort of match President Trump's rhetorical style in a way that could potentially take some air out of Trump's sails in that department.

But, Joe Biden does come from the Obama administration and he would carry a lot of the same baggage Hillary Clinton did in terms of representing the establishment -- in terms of representing an era of the Democratic Party that a lot of progressives maybe want to leave in the past. And so, in that sense, President Trump may -- would have an advantage over Joe Biden.

So potentially, that is someone who would be the perfect foil for President Trump in the way Hillary Clinton was.

ROMANS: Harry, does anybody on this list solve the Democrats' problem here?

ENTEN: Not yet, but this is the wonderful thing about campaigns as you learn new things. And if last time around Hillary Clinton was the largest favorite at this point in that particular cycle, then this particular cycle is wide open yet.


ENTEN: Joe Biden is at the top of the list but any of those candidates or even candidates who aren't on there could end up being the nominee and it wouldn't surprise me. Perhaps it's someone we haven't even heard of yet.

ROMANS: President Trump is what, 72 years old? Joe Biden, right now, is what, 75?

BRIGGS: Seventy-five, I believe, yes. So, a young man's game is politics today.

ROMANS: Yes, it is, it is. All right.

BRIGGS: Harry Enten, Sarah Westwood, thank you both.

ROMANS: Nice to see both of you.

BRIGGS: All right.

The Trump administration has less than a week to meet a federal judge's deadline for reuniting hundreds of migrant families.

The White House says it has located 1,606 parents who are potentially eligible for reunification with their children but there may be issues with more than 900 of them. Most require further evaluation; others have waived reunification or have criminal records.

ROMANS: According to the government's latest estimates, more than 2,500 children between five and 17 years old were separated from their parents at the border. So far, only 364 have been reunited.

Last month -- last month a judge ordered all children five and older must be reunited with their parents by July 26th. The administration already missed last week's deadline for children under five.

[05:40:05] BRIGGS: All right.

Ahead, a major cleanup after a string of tornados hits the Heartland. Parts of Iowa reeling with buildings literally torn apart.


BRIGGS: Cleanup just beginning after a series of tornadoes pummeled parts of Iowa. It was part of the same system that sank a duck boat in Missouri.

[05:45:00] A large chunk of the roof of this industrial agricultural equipment company ripped right off. Four hundred people were inside at the time. Seven people were taken to the hospital in Central Iowa.

A state of emergency declared in Marshalltown, a city of about 27,000. Off in the distance there you can see the top of that courthouse blown off by a twister. Trees also toppled over onto roads. At least 10 people were treated at the hospital.

Many customers still without power this morning.

ROMANS: Let's look ahead at what's in store for Iowa and the rest of the country with meteorologist Derek Van Dam -- Derek.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Christine and Dave.

Yesterday's severe weather threat was focused in on the Central Plains. Today, that same threat of storms moves to the south and east.

The Storm Prediction Center has indicated a moderate risk of severe storms today from southern Indiana, western Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee. But that severe threat extends all the way from Mississippi and Alabama into the Great Lakes. Look at the storms firing up later this afternoon and evening, once we get the daytime heating from the sun.

The other big story that we're monitoring is extreme heat from Texas all the way to the West Coast. Look how it builds through the course of the weekend and into early next week. Triple-digit heat from Los Angeles right to Dallas. In fact, the National Weather Service has issued extreme heat warnings from Dallas all the way to Shreveport and that includes parts of southern Oklahoma and southern Arkansas.

Temperatures today easily breaking triple-digit heat from Oklahoma City to Little Rock. More comfortable though along the East Coast. Daytime highs today for New York City, 82, cooling off with chances of rain through the course of the weekend.

Back to you.


ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Derek.

BRIGGS: All right.

The president's invitation for Vladimir Putin to Washington didn't just shock the director of National Intelligence, it shocked late- night comedians.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Everybody around Trump has spent this entire week trying to put distance between Trump and Putin so this whole sordid thing could be behind up and the administration can go back to the people's business of caging toddlers.

(Impersonating President Donald Trump): I look forward to our second meeting. It's just the exciting sequel coming out this summer, "Titanic 2: Here We Go Again."

SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": President Trump said that he told Russian President Vladimir Putin not to meddle in any future U.S. elections. So, good news, apparently there are going to be future U.S. elections.

The White House announced today that President Trump plans to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall in what is sure to be the worst-ever episode of "UNDERCOVER BOSS."


BRIGGS: All right, "NEW DAY" about 10 minutes away. About -- maybe a less comedic take on the reaction yesterday from Alisyn Camerota. Good morning to you.

ROMANS: Hi, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, no. It will be three hours of comedy, Dave.

BRIGGS: It will?

CAMEROTA: Don't worry, that's what we're going to do.

BRIGGS: What is the arm next to you there? There's an arm coming in --

CAMEROTA: Well, there's a lot happening here. We're getting ready. This is John getting his microphone on and getting generally primped by Phil, as you can see. Phil is a fashion plate which is obvious.

BRIGGS: Looking good, buddy.

CAMEROTA: So, OK, here's who I'm looking forward to talking to this morning --


CAMEROTA: -- Ambassador Thomas Pickering, OK?


CAMEROTA: He was ambassador to Russia. I want to know what Vladimir Putin's end game is. What does Vladimir Putin want, particularly with this upcoming invitation to the White House?

What segment are you looking forward to?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm looking forward to talking to you for three hours, interrupted by some congressmen and former ambassadors and what not. But I get to sit next to you for three full hours.

CAMEROTA: You are a lucky man, John Berman. BERMAN: Was that the right answer?

CAMEROTA: Yes, perfect.

BERMAN: Yes. I mean, I've been married for 17 years. I don't how to answer that.

ROMANS: Yes, dear. Always end the sentence as yes, dear. All right.

BERMAN: It's my anniversary today.

ROMANS: Is it really?

BERMAN: That's why I know I've been married 17 years.

CAMEROTA: Happy anniversary.

BERMAN: Yes, thank you.

BRIGGS: Well played.

CAMEROTA: That's fantastic.

BRIGGS: Happy anniversary to you both.

CAMEROTA: What are you getting your wife?

BERMAN: Everything. A life of happiness and bliss.

ROMANS: Wait, but you know what's funny?

BRIGGS: You have come off the rails.

ROMANS: Seventeen, it's not -- it's not even on the list of like crystal or paper. Like the drop-off after 15 until you get to 20. Like, 15 to 20, there's like -- there's not even anything you're supposed to get, John.

BERMAN: She told me furniture and I don't know if that means that she thinks I'm like the furniture or whether I'm supposed to get her furniture.

CAMEROTA: All right, we'll explore that.


ROMANS: All right, nice to see you guys. Happy Anniversary, John.

BERMAN: Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right, guys, see you later.

ROMANS: Maybe it's french fries for your anniversary. If you want a french fry fix, McDonald's is helping you out. Free fries for the rest of the year. I'll tell you what the catch is.


[05:53:44] ROMANS: All right, happy Friday. Time for an early start on your money, Friday edition.

U.S. futures are down right now after that lower close yesterday. The Dow snapped its 5-day win streak. It fell 135 points.

Merck is joining fellow drug companies Novartis and Pfizer, pledging to limit drug price increases in the United States.

Merck says it is cutting the price of a Hepatitis C medication by 60 percent. It's going to cut the price of six other drugs by 10 percent each. It also said it will not raise the average price of the drugs it sells beyond the annual rate of inflation in the U.S.

It comes amid criticism of the drug industry because of rising drug prices -- criticism by the president, in particular. Pfizer was slammed by President Trump after announcing price hikes for nearly three dozen drugs but public pressure led them to reverse course.

Trump has promised to pressure the industry into lowering drug prices. His administration didn't do much about this -- it was a big campaign pledge -- didn't do much about this until May when it rolled out a blueprint for increasing competition, reducing regulations, and changing incentives for industry players.

All right. Tesla is finally making enough Model 3s but customers are tired of waiting for them. That's according to an analyst who says that one in four Model 3 orders is canceled because of extended wait times for the car, the expiration of a tax credit, and the fact that Tesla has not made that $35,000 base model available for purchase yet.

[05:55:06] A Tesla spokesperson denied this and said the Model 3 cancellations are exceeding new orders and said the analyst was using outdated wait times.

Tesla, though, has been struggling with the Model 3 for several months. Yesterday, its stock dipped three percent.

All right. McDonald's is offering you free fries every Friday -- say that 10 times fast -- for the rest of year but there's a catch. You get the fries as lunch as you spend a buck on the company's mobile app.

McDonald's has staged a comeback in recent years after seeing a slump as customers demanded healthier food. Now the company is focused on growing engagement on its app in an effort to boost declining sales and appeal to younger customers, and to drive down labor costs.

When customers place an order digitally, the order goes right to the kitchen so there's no need for an employee to take the order.

You know, in some states, like New York, there's been this big push for $15 minimum wage --

BRIGGS: Right. ROMANS: -- as there's been that push for higher minimum wages for some of these low-wage jobs. These companies are investing in technology.

BRIGGS: And that app could cut a lot of jobs.

All right. Randi Zuckerberg denouncing her brother Mark's controversial comments about Holocaust deniers. The Facebook CEO was widely criticized for saying some Holocaust deniers aren't intentionally getting it wrong and Facebook would not remove their posts.

In a statement exclusively to CNN, Randi Zuckerberg calls Holocaust deniers and their rhetoric hateful and disgusting. She says her brother could have chosen his words more carefully but says banning such people from social media will not make them go away.

ROMANS: She says, "While it can be appalling to see what some people say, I don't think living in a sterile, Stepford-like, online community where we simply press the delete button on the ugly reality of how people feel is helpful either."

She emphasized the importance of a healthy debate over the role tech companies should play in policing content.

The condemnation of Mark Zuckerberg's comments forced him to walk back his statement hours later.

BRIGGS: The NFL and the Players Union are slamming the brakes on the League's new National Anthem policy. The measure requires teams to make sure all personnel stand for the Anthem or stay in the locker room or off the field until it ends.

The League and the Union releasing a joint statement last night saying they have reached a standstill agreement. That means they will reevaluate the policy.

This week, Jurrell Casey of the Tennessee Titans, revealed his plans to protest during the Anthem. And there are media reports the Miami Dolphins could suspend players who protest on the field during then Anthem for up to four games.

NFL preseason games begin in two weeks and as we know, the president is itching for a culture war.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

BRIGGS: He is looming large over what the NFL will or will not do.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: They're in a tough spot.

ROMANS: Target is offering a back-to-school special just for teachers. The retailer giving teachers -- educators at 15 percent discount on school supplies through tomorrow. This is to help teachers who often stock their classrooms with their own money.

Federal data shows nearly all public school teachers dip into their own pockets for supplies, spending nearly $500 a year.

Education advocates say the discount sort of illustrates how this systemic problem inside the classroom and they want to push to pay teachers more has sparked walkouts across the country.

Teachers do qualify for a $250 tax credit when they buy their own supplies. That credit survived the chopping block in last year's tax bill. But guess what? For a lot of teachers, it's just not enough.

BRIGGS: Nice move by Target.

ROMANS: Yes. I wish I -- you know, other retailers should match it.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: And I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. Have a wonderful weekend.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, July 20th, 6:00 here in New York and we do have breaking news -- really troubling breaking news from overnight.

At least 11 people confirmed dead near Branson, Missouri and there could be more. Their tour boat sank in what appears to be intense winds and thunderstorms.

We have some new footage of this tragedy which, as I said, is troubling to see. Let me show it for you right here.

That's the duck boat. You can see it just being tossed around in that wind, in those waves moments before it sinks.

There were severe thunderstorm warnings in the area with winds topping 60 miles an hour.

CAMEROTA: This is horrible. I mean, just watching this is so heartbreaking. And I don't understand who's taking this video and why there aren't boats -- more boats rushing to help here.

Authorities say that children are among the dead this morning. Thirty-one people were on that boat when it capsized. At least six are still missing at this hour.

So, CNN's Dianne Gallagher is tracking this developing story for us. What do you have that's new that you can share, Dianne?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Alisyn, they're going to resume the search and recovery efforts this morning. There are still six people who are missing. And just looking at that video there -- we do know there were thunderstorm warnings. The owner of this vessel here, Ripley Entertainment, says that it

recently acquired it and that it did have other boats that were on this Table Rock Lake at the time. They got to dock safely but as we know this morning, that is not the case for this particular duck boat.

If you're familiar with a duck boat, it's one of those land and sea type of vessels. This goes through the Ozarks -- Branson Missouri -- a very popular tourist destination for church groups and families. There are a lot of camps in this area.