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EARLY START

U.S. And European Union Agree To Work Toward Zero Tariffs; Secretary of State Pompeo Defiant In Clash Over Trump-Putin Summit; Explosive Detonated Outside U.S. Embassy In Beijing. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 26, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:30:13] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The president and the E.U. stepping back from the edge of a trade war. Both sides say they'll hold off on new tariffs and try to resolve other issues as they work on a larger deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The predicate of your question implied some notion that there was something improper about having a one-on-one meeting. I completely disagree with the premise of your question.

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ), RANKING MEMBER, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I just -- I didn't ask you a predicate, I asked you a simple question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The Secretary of State on the defensive. Both parties demand answers about the president's private meeting with Vladimir Putin.

BRIGGS: And a scare at the U.S. Embassy in China -- an explosion just off the compound. We'll have a live report in just moments.

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

ROMANS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning, it's almost Friday.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is almost Friday. It is Friday eve, 30 minutes past the hour.

Let's begin here. The U.S. and the E.U. stepping back from the brink using the threat of a transatlantic trade war, at least for now. Both sides agreed to work to eliminate trade barriers.

In a press conference with the European Commissioner president Jean- Claude Juncker, President Trump called it a big day for free trade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We agreed today, first of all, to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: It was essentially a deal to make a deal.

The two leaders agreed to resolve their biggest issues on trade -- the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and the E.U.'s retaliation on things like denim, bourbon, motorcycles. In return, the E.U. promised to buy more U.S. natural gas and soybeans.

And both sides agreed to hold off on further tariffs during talks. That includes Trump's threat to slap tariffs on imported cars.

The president thinks the barriers on auto imports are uneven. The E.U. charges 10 percent on U.S. cars. That's way more than the 2.5 percent the U.S. slaps on European cars.

Both sides promised to reduce trade barriers. The U.S. and the E.U. have the largest economic relationship in the world with a trillion dollars in trade.

That's one reason why you saw the stock market pop yesterday. This is something investors wanted to hear. They wanted to hear that they were --

BRIGGS: Indeed.

ROMANS: -- stepping back from the brink even though we do need to hear a lot more details and there's work to be done.

BRIGGS: And we will hear more. The president in Iowa and Illinois --

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: -- talking tariffs and trade.

Leaders of the far-right House Freedom Caucus introducing a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Ultraconservative Republicans and President Trump have had Rosenstein in their sights for months now, mainly for his role supervising the Mueller investigation and what they call Justice Department stonewalling on Congressional subpoenas for thousands of documents.

Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows says the impeachment measure could be brought up for a vote at any moment as what's called a privilege motion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS: It would require a vote on the House floor within two days. Quite frankly, it's either we hold him in contempt, or we get the documents, or we impeach him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: In reality, impeachment is highly unlikely. Top House leaders don't support it.

Rosenstein, himself, has pushed back forcefully against House Republican critics. In May, he said the Justice Department is not going to be extorted.

And there's not much time to do anything, really. The House leaves for a month-long recess after today.

ROMANS: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clashing with Democrats and Republicans at a Senate hearing that turned out to be high on drama and low on substance.

Pompeo trying to project toughness on the administration's Russia strategy, insisting the U.S. will not recognize Crimea as part of Russia even though the president, himself, is unwilling to make that same commitment.

BRIGGS: The Secretary of State refusing to provide details about the one-on-one meeting in Helsinki last week between the president and Vladimir Putin, as the White House announces a second summit between Trump and Putin will not take place until next year.

More now from Michelle Kosinski on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Dave and Christine.

This was a chance for senators to finally get their questions answered on what exactly was said in this 2-hour closed-door meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

But, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, often with a snarky attitude, simply would not answer many of them, saying they were private conversations. I mean, even the simplest question, did Trump tell you what went on in that meeting.

This was contentious from the start.

MENENDEZ: Has the president told you what he and President Putin discussed in their 2-hour closed-door meeting in Helsinki?

POMPEO: The presidents have a prerogative to choose who's in meetings or not. I'm confident you've had private one-on-one meetings in your life as well -- you've chosen that setting as the most efficient way to --

MENENDEZ: I just asked a simple question. Did you --

POMPEO: I just -- I'm giving you a simple answer, Senator. MENENDEZ: You can't eat up my seven minutes, Mr. Secretary. Did you -- did he tell you whether or not -- what happened in those two hours?

POMPEO: Yes, Senator. The predicate of your questions implied some notion that there was something improper about having a one-on-one meeting. I completely disagree with the premise of your question.

[05:35:05] MENENDEZ: I just -- I didn't ask you a predicate, I asked you a simple question and I hope we're going to get to it. Did he tell you what transpired in the 2-hour meeting?

POMPEO: I've had a number of conversations with President Trump about what transpired in the meeting. I was also president when -- present when he and President Putin both gave us a sense of what they discussed in the meeting that followed immediately after.

KOSINSKI: A couple of remarkable moments.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, had this striking criticism.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: It's the president's actions that create tremendous distrust in our nation, among our allies -- it's palpable. In the summit's aftermath, we saw an American president who appeared submissive and deferential.

KOSINSKI: Pompeo did state clearly that President Trump does accept the U.S. Intelligence Community's assessment that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election -- that he has a complete understanding of what happened. But remember, Trump, himself, would not say anything like that -- not even close -- when he was there side-by-side with Vladimir Putin -- Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Michelle Kosinski, thanks. More on that in a moment.

But today, the deadline for the government to reunite migrant families separated at the border, but it is clear the federal government will fall short.

We know as many as 914 parents will not be reunited with their children for various reasons -- the parents cannot be found, have criminal records, need further investigation or, in some cases, were deported without their kids.

ROMANS: We spoke with the head of a program trying to help parents removed from the U.S. without their children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EFREN OLIVARES, RACIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE DIRECTOR, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT: They talked to their son a couple of times but it's also -- those are very hard conversations because their son is crying all the time. They get on the phone and it's like why did you leave me? How come you won't come and get me? What's he going to understand about zero tolerance policy, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The judge in the case has commended the government for its progress on reunifications but says he find the effects of the policy deeply troubling.

BRIGGS: OK, more on this with "CNN POLITICS" reporter Tal Kopan, live in Washington this morning. Good morning to you, Tal.

ROMANS: Hey, Tal.

BRIGGS: So today, deadline day. How significant, though, is this deadline being what we just said -- nearly 1,000 will not be reunited by that deadline. Is there any consequences?

TAL KOPAN, REPORTER, "CNN POLITICS": Yes, Dave, it's been a bit of a confusing process. The judge has been very quick to praise the government for all the progress it makes while, at the same time, insisting those deadlines are not aspirational.

You know, there are going to be about 1,600 families that should be reunited by today as established by the government.

Those are the families that the government was able to quickly establish, are eligible for reunification, they don't raise any red flags in terms of criminal history or family relationships. So they've moved really quickly to try to bring those reunifications together and the judge praised them for that.

But this 900 or so that are going to take longer, we have no indication of how long it's going to take. There were -- you remember, this is the second wave of the court process. There was an earlier wave with about 100 kids under the age of five.

There were 12 parents deported in that group. It's not clear if they've even been able to make contact with all those 12.

And now, we're talking potentially, more than 460 more that will have to be tracked down so there's no indication of how long that is going to take.

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: Tal, what happens to these kids?

Do they stay in detention in the U.S.? Are they placed in foster care? Are they placed with relatives in this country?

What happens to the children who now, for weeks and weeks, have been away from a parent?

KOPAN: Well, so the simple answer Christine is yes. I mean, they remain in the HHS (Health and Human Services) facilities that are designed for children who came to the U.S. by themselves and are subject to those procedures.

So for those children, if there is anyone in the U.S. that they can establish as a -- what they consider a sponsor that's often a family member -- it can also be a family friend of someone otherwise close to the child. If there is someone who comes forward and passes the vetting of HHS, then the child can be released to them.

But there are also some kids who remain in these facilities until they are 18 and then they may be subject to adult detention as well if they are still in the U.S.

Now, of course, if the child begins to pursue their own immigration case and qualifies for their own visa or asylum, they also may be released.

So there's no one way that these children who end up left behind are going to be handled. It's going to take this sort of whole process for them to navigate to come to a resolution.

BRIGGS: Still a mess and still a long way from answers.

KOPAN: Absolutely.

BRIGGS: That seems to be the same summation of what's going on with that one-on-one meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin. We still don't know much about what was said despite the hours and hours of testimony of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

What did we learn yesterday despite the fact that Pompeo did say we will not recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea? Beyond that, what did we learn, if anything?

[05:40:06] KOPAN: Dave, I feel like you're setting me up to say not so much.

But we learned -- you know, one of the things that was really interesting about the hearing is how much it wasn't just Democrats going after Pompeo. I mean, you always expect in these hearings for Democrats to come with a lot of sharp questions, but it was Republicans, too.

Bob Corker, the chairman of the committee, who -- typically, the chairman kind of offers a few layups to the members of their administration. He was going after him, too.

And I think it was really an indication that on Capitol Hill, and more broadly within sort of the political class, there's a lot of concern about how much we still don't know about this 2-hour meeting.

And a lot of concern about the fact that the administration doesn't seem to acknowledge why that's a problem that a foreign country is putting out information before us about what may or may not have been agreed to in a meeting.

There's so much confusion and that's really difficult for those trying to sort of set policy around it and know what did even promise, what did we suggest we were going to promise. Without those readouts, it's very hard for them.

And so, I think that the Republican angst that you saw on display in that meeting was, in part, a reflection of their frustration with the coziness to Putin, but also a frustration with the lack of information that they're getting about what happened behind closed doors.

BRIGGS: Yes. Corker, again, a Republican, said the president was submissive and deferential to Vladimir Putin. Some pretty strong words from Bob Corker.

Tal, thank you. Appreciate you being here.

KOPAN: Thank you.

ROMANS: Forty-one minutes past the hour.

Today could be an ugly day for tech stocks. Facebook puts privacy first. The stock then plunges more than 20 percent.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:00] BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing says one person detonated an explosive device outside the embassy compound.

CNN's Matt Rivers live for us in Beijing with the latest. Matt, what happened?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dave, this was a bit of a scare this afternoon here in Beijing, really unexpected. We first got word that something was going on from some videos that got widely shared around social media that showed a lot of smoke in the area right behind me.

What ended up happening, according to Beijing police, a 26-year-old man making his way towards the embassy actually lit off what they're calling a firecracker-like device, but it was big enough that it really scared a lot of people.

He did it right over there. There's some scorch marks still on the ground. Apparently, he injured his hand quite badly but no one else in this area was injured.

The other big question, of course, is motive and we don't have that yet from the Beijing police. Just a 26-year-old from outside of Beijing -- from another province, actually.

But this could have been a lot worse when you consider where this is. That's the U.S. Embassy right there, a pretty heavily guarded compound.

And it's that walkway right there were hundreds of people every single day stand, waiting to get visas to the United States for a number of different reasons. That place was quite crowded today when this happened. Hundreds of people line up there every single day. And so the fact that this wasn't worse, the fact that it happened

behind you -- behind the camera and not over there, that means that there weren't any injuries. So really, it ended probably as good as it could have this afternoon -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, Matt Rivers live for us. Five forty-seven there in Beijing. Thank you, Matt.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

Global stocks higher right now but Wall Street and U.S. stocks, that's going to be a completely different story because tech stocks are set to fall big-time just today after hitting a record high. Twitter, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple -- all of them selling off overnight.

And the catalyst, Facebook. Facebook plunged more than 20 percent after hours. That is technically a crash. A 20 percent move in Facebook stock, amazing.

Facebook will invest billions of dollars in privacy. That will cut into profit for years.

Tech stocks have been on fire this year. The Nasdaq is up 15 percent.

Tech has largely been immune to the president's trade wars but Trump's trade war with China just claimed a $44 billion casualty. The U.S. company Qualcomm needed Beijing's approval to buy fellow chipmaker NXP. The deadline was today -- trying to simply let the clock run out.

Trade tensions are also hitting U.S. car companies. The big Detroit automakers -- GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler -- they all say tariffs are cutting into profits.

Particularly, U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum are raising costs for automakers. That sent all three of those stocks lower.

But carmakers aren't the only companies being hurt by U.S. trade policy. Manufacturers like Whirlpool and Harley-Davidson are also taking a hit.

So is Coca-Cola. It plans to raise soda prices to combat rising aluminum costs.

Would you take a chauffeured ride on your next trip to Walmart? How about a ride without a driver?

Walmart is testing a pilot program with self-driving car company Waymo. It shuttles customers to its stores to pick up grocery orders placed online.

The program only in Arizona right now -- a pilot program -- but Walmart says the purpose is to learn how to improve grocery delivery.

It also takes a little bit of a swipe at Amazon. Amazon recently introduced 2-hour prime delivery in certain cities.

That's going to be real -- but watch Facebook today. That Facebook decline is big -- very big. Bigger than the --

BRIGGS: It hurt Mark Zuckerberg in the wallet.

ROMANS: This was bigger -- the decline in the market -- the share -- the value of the company is bigger than what the GDP --

BRIGGS: More than 120 countries' GDP.

ROMANS: Ouch.

BRIGGS: "NEW DAY" is about 10 minutes away. Alisyn Camerota joining us. Good morning to you, Alisyn.

ROMANS: Hey, Ali.

BRIGGS: Curious to hear what an Iowa Republican congressman has to say about the tariffs and the relief that the administration is trying to provide. It could be an intriguing guest this morning.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much for that tease, Dave Briggs.

Yes, it will be very interesting to see how Republicans thread the needle between supporting the president and his plan for tariffs and his plan for bailouts for people hurt by those tariffs.

So, we'll be getting into that as we will also be -- we have the former acting director of ICE on. He has a theory about why the administration is having such a hard time meeting this deadline to reunite the parents and children separated.

[05:50:10] He will share with us what he believes is behind all of this confusion and their policy.

We also have "New York Times" columnist and all-around big brain Thomas Friedman joining us with his take on everything that we've seen over the past week or months or however long you want to say.

And then, does Secretary of State Mike Pompeo know what happened behind closed doors with President Trump --

BRIGGS: I don't think so.

CAMEROTA: -- and President Putin? It was hard to tell.

BRIGGS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So all of our analysts will give us --

ROMANS: Great.

CAMEROTA: -- some perspective on this. ROMANS: It's just fascinating -- and that whole trade issue, I'm just fascinated how the Republicans are going to be able to support the president in this when remember, 10 years ago they were against picking winners in the economy.

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: They were against bailouts for certain industries. You know, all of that was -- all of that was socialist manipulation of the American economy --

CAMEROTA: Oh, yes.

ROMANS: -- and now, here we are.

CAMEROTA: Dave and I remember it well. We had many, many a guest and many a talking point on that and --

BRIGGS: Ah, yes, we did.

CAMEROTA: -- it's -- maybe we'll dig some of those notes out.

BRIGGS: Times have changed just a bit.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: Thank you, Alisyn.

ROMANS: Oh, and there's Berman -- the Berminator.

CAMEROTA: Yes, thank goodness John's here. I didn't know if he was going to arrive today.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: John, thank goodness you're here.

BERMAN: I was running late.

BRIGGS: Thanks for making it, John.

CAMEROTA: Yes, he's here.

ROMANS: See you soon.

BRIGGS: Appreciate it.

ROMANS: Thank you.

BRIGGS: That Iowa Republican, by the way, said we want trade, not aid --

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- for the record.

A student suspended for a shirt touting the border wall. Now, he's getting an apology and $25,000.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:56:00] BRIGGS: "If the U.S. starts a war, Iran will end it." That stark warning moments ago from the commander of Iran's Elite Military Quds Force.

Iran's semi-official "Tasnim News" reports he said quote, "Go ask your predecessors about it. So stop threatening us. We are ready to stand against you."

This, of course, comes days after the president's all-cap warning to Iran they would face consequences if it threatened the U.S. again.

ROMANS: In California, authorities have arrested a man linked to the Cranston fire which has scorched 4,700 acres at this point. There is no containment. More than 2,000 homes have been evacuated and more than 3,000 people evacuated.

Brandon McGlover is facing arson charges for allegedly setting this and other fires in Riverside County.

Meantime, the Ferguson fire has charred more than 41,000 acres, forcing parts of Yosemite National Park to close.

About 15 FBI agents now investigating the disappearance of Iowa University student Mollie Tibbetts. She has been missing for over a week.

According to CNN affiliate KCRG, investigators have received information from Fitbit, the maker of a fitness tracker that Tibbetts may have been wearing.

BRIGGS: Addison Barnes, who sued his Oregon high school after it suspended him over a shirt touting Trump's border wall, received $25,000 for his trouble. The money is to repay his legal fees, though.

Barnes graduated this year from Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon.

He claimed the school violated his First Amendment rights by punishing him for a shirt that said "Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Company."

The school's principal also wrote a letter to Barnes saying, "Please accept my apologies for charging you with a suspension. Best wishes to you in the future."

ROMANS: Liberty High School -- Liberty High School. You can't --

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: -- really ban a t-shirt at Liberty High School.

BRIGGS: No. ROMANS: Where there is water there is the possibility of life. Scientists say there is now evidence of a vast liquid water lake on Mars. A team of Italian researchers found signs of a briny lake buried beneath the ice surface near the red planet's South Pole.

Their findings are published Wednesday in the "Journal of Science." How deep the body of liquid water is and whether there are any others like it still remains to be seen.

BRIGGS: Very cool.

Well, given that tape of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen discussing a payoff to a playmate, late-night comedians had plenty of material last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": The audio confirms that Trump knew about the payments during the presidential campaign. Donald Trump lied, so now they have to reset the sign on the White House lawn.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY TO DONALD TRUMP: You never know where that company -- you never know what he's --

TRUMP: Or maybe he gets hit by a truck.

COLBERT: Yes, getting hit by a truck is a real risk. Have you seen the idiot they let drive those things?

SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": Michael Cohen released a recording of a conversation he had with Trump about paying off a Playboy model. And sure, it's lurid because it involves Playboy, but I'm only in it for the articles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: I was sleeping during late-night so I appreciate our producers putting that together for us.

BRIGGS: We never see it happen live, do we?

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: It's not for me to disclose the contents of those conversations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that Sec. Pompeo knows what President Trump believes.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: I'm glad they put off the next meeting. Private meetings like this is -- it's not turning out well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's inconceivable that they'll be able to reunify the remaining children by the deadline.

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We will do our best but we will not cut corners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to make sure that we put Sec. Nielsen's feet to the fire.

(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 Thursday, July 26th, 6:00 here in New York.

So what do you do? What do you do if you invite a sketchy character over to your house -- someone who breaks things, someone whom your friends all hate, someone who really just can't be trusted?

What do you do if you invite that guy over and he completely ignores your invitation? You just say yet.