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Trump Attacks Mueller On Twitter; Deadly Wildfire Rages In California; Final Report On Malaysia Airlines Jet; New York Publisher Warns Trump; U.S. And Taliban Face-To-Face Talks; RBG Signals She Has Five More Years On Court; Geraint Thomas Wins 1st Tour De France; CBS Board Talks #Metoo Claims Against Moonves. Aired 4:30-05a ET

Aired July 30, 2018 - 04:30   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: President Trump calls out Robert Mueller by name claiming the Special Counsel has conflicts of interest.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN EARLY START GUEST HOST: Several people are still missing as the wildfire rages through California claiming at least six lives.

BRIGGS: A just released report is supposed to close the book on the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Jet. Happy Monday everybody and welcome back to Early Start. I'm Dave Briggs.

JARRETT: I am Laura Jarrett, 31 minutes past the hour.

President Trump escalating his battle on the Russia investigation. Taking the rare step of calling out Special Counsel Robert Mueller by name. On Sunday, he did it twice in a series of tweets. One slamming that Robert Mueller rigged witch hunt and another the president referring to himself in a third person, tweeted in part, is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty and contentious business relationship. I turned him down to head the FBI and fired former FBI Director, James Comey, his close friend.

BRIGGS: President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani on Sunday morning, slamming former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, calling him a quote, pathological manipulator and liar after previously praising him as honest. More now from White House correspondent, Boris Sanchez.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Laura and Dave, CNN has reached out to the White House to get clarity on specifically on what business conflicts President Trump was talking about in that tweet mentioning Robert Mueller. We have yet to hear that, but previous reporting may give us an indication of what the President is talking about. Earlier this year, The New York Times and The Washington Post, both reported that President Trump privately had expressed concerns about possible conflicts of interest on behalf of Robert Mueller based on a dispute over fees related to Mueller's membership at the President Trump's golf club in Virginia.

Now a spokesperson for the Special Counsel told the Washington Post that the reporting at that time, the suggestion made by President Trump, were inaccurate. The back drop of all of this, the president reigniting the frustration with Robert Mueller are these revelations coming from Michael Cohen. Several sources reporting that Cohen is prepared to testify to the Special Counsel that President Trump approved of that meeting in June of 2016 between his son Donald Trump Jr. and some Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

It also comes on the heels of the release of these secret recording made by Michael Cohen in a conversation that he had with President Trump. This weekend, Rudy Giuliani, the president's relatively new attorney drawing the voracity of those tapes in to question.


RUDY GUILIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: He abruptly ended the recording as soon as the President as soon as the president said the word, check. We are now, what we are investigating is how did that happen and what actually did happen. What was eliminated? Then you have to raise that question with every one of these tape. How many of them did he play around with? We have determined the fact that he tampered with the tape in the sense that he abruptly mid conversation turned it off. Now, we know he didn't do that for a good reason.


SANCHEZ: The President and his legal team making their strategy here very clear. Just a few months ago, they were calling Michael Cohen an honorable man and now they are questioning, not only his credibility of the recordings that have come from his legal team. Dave and Laura.


BRIGGS: All right, Boris, thanks. President Trump had a meeting with the publisher of The New York Times earlier this month, but he and A.G. Sulzberger are offering conflicting versions of what took place. The President revealed the meeting yesterday morning from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, tweeting, he spent much time talking about the vast amount of fake news being put out by the media and how that fake news has morphed into phrase enemy of the people. Sad. Sulzberger said the White House requested a meeting and asked that it remain off the record.

[04:35:17] But after the President Trump put it on the record, tweeting about it, the Times decide they released, Sulzberger's notes. The Times publisher says quote, I told him that although the phrase fake news is untrue and harmful, I'm far more concerned about his labeling journalists is enemy of the people. I worry this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise of threats against journalists and will lead to violence.

JARRETT: The President is also threatening to shut down the government in September. If Congress fails to fund his border wall and change the nation's immigration laws. Mr. Trump tweeting quote, I would be willing to shutdown government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for border security which includes the wall.

Must get rid of lottery, and catch and release, etcetera and finally go to system of immigration based on merit. We need great people coming into our country. Of course, the President repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the wall. Since February, he has been floating the idea of shutting down the government to get taxpayers to fund it.

BRIGGS: Tariffs are starting to squeeze in American consumers. U.S. steel and aluminum prices are up double digits since the start of the year and some companies are passing it along to customers. The Wall Street Journal's says, the maker like (inaudible) and Pillars are raising prices. Last week, Coca-Cola said it plans to jack up prices and Sam Adams beer hinted at a price increase as well. On CNN's "State of the Union" top White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow was asked, if he agrees with President Trump, the tariffs are quote the greatest?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are tariffs great?

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: You know, if they are targeted for good purpose as per China, I think the answer is absolutely yes. That is always been my view. Most free trader's agree. China has not played by the rules and the trading system is broken, largely because of them. Let me say this, the President has adopted a view with which I completely agree, he is a free trader, and he wants to have no tariffs.


BRIGGS: There is one clear winner from the tariffs. The steel industry. Several steel makers have reported blockbuster sales in profits for the second quarter.

JARRETT: Federal air marshals are tracking you at U.S. airports even if you are not suspected of a crime. The Boston Globe is the first to expose a TFA program called, Quiet Skies, involves federal air marshals tracking American citizens in order to gather data on their travel behaviors. The goal is to thwart any potential aviation threats. Marshals are looking for things like abnormal awareness of surroundings, excessive fidgeting or perspiration, rapid eye blinking or rubbing or even whether you slept during your flight.

BRIGGS: The fast spreading Carr fire in northern California has now claimed six lives. The wildfire more than doubling in size to over 95,000 acres this weekend. More than 1,000 structures have been damaged or destroyed. A broken hearted, Ed Bledsoe lost his wife and two great grandchildren, ages four and five in these fire. He was on the phone with them as the flames closed in.


ED BLEDSOE, LOST WIFE AND GRANDCHILDREN IN CARR FIRE: I talked to Jr. on the phone until he died. He just kept saying grandpa, come and get me. The fire is coming in the back door. Come on, grandpa. I said I'm down the road. He said come and get us. Emily said I love you, grandpa. Jr. says I love you. Come and get us. Come and get us, I said I'm on my way. I said he talked until he died.


BRIGGS: Just unimaginable sorrow there. Seven people are still listed as missing. We get more now from Dan Simon.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Laura, conditions remained challenging. But we are beginning to hear fire officials only for the first time express optimism about the overall effort. They got about 3,500 firefighters working the lines and it seems to be paying off. In the meantime, we are in the lake Redding estates neighborhood. You can see this house behind me, destroyed, but to underscore the random nature and all you can see this house next door is perfectly intact.

At this point, you do have six people that have died as a result of these fire. Two firefighters and four civilians. And you have so many people that remain under an evacuation order. About 38,000 or so. In some ways this region really feels paralyzed. You have all the hotels are completely full. You cannot even get a reservation somewhere. And the evacuation centers, a lot of them are at maximum capacity as well. But hopefully with the collective efforts that the crews put in all of these, hopefully is beginning to make a difference. Dave and Laura.


[04:40:04] JARRETT: A deadly shooting at the New Orleans strip mall Saturday night now appears to be gang-related. Three people were killed and seven others injured when two people opened fire into a crowd outside a daiquiri shop. Both suspects remain at large. One of the injured victims in in critical condition. The other six have non- life threatening wounds.

BRIGGS: Medical officials in Denver Colorado are awaiting test results from the state lab this morning, after isolating a man just back from the Congo for possible Ebola. Initial tests perform that Denver Health and Hospital were negative and officials say they consider Ebola unlikely. The man fell ill suddenly Sunday morning. And the Denver Post reports, he told officials he had been working as a medical missionary in Eastern Congo. The man is reported in fair condition and said to be improving. The ambulance crew that transported the patient is being held in isolation and health officials are looking for significant other for testing as a precaution.

JARRETT: We have to watch that one carefully. The long awaited final report is here on the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Jet full of passengers was just released. Live report coming up next.

[04:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BRIGGS: Breaking overnight. The Malaysian government just releasing

its long awaited report on the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the finding leading family members of the victim's frustrated and in tears. CNN's Will Ripley, has the latest for us live from Hong Kong this morning. Will, good morning.

WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hi Dave, I remember hearing family members wailing at the airport in Kuala Lumpur day after day when MH370, because they felt the government was not just given them answers. They felt there was no transparency. It has now been 1606 days since that plane vanished. That is Boeing 777 presumed had gone down somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. The Malaysia government releasing these 495-page report, this is everything they know to this point about the plane. There is a lot of detail in here and what there is not sadly are any answers for the families of those people. 227 passengers, 12 crew members about why this plane went down. They have some theories, they believe somebody probably steered the plane, maybe the plane was taken over by auto pilot at some point. They don't think the plane was taken over by remote control.

But they don't know if it was the pilot or co-pilot or if they did it deliberately if there was some sort of catastrophic failure. Did somebody break in to the cockpit? They have searched the backgrounds of the crew, no indications that anybody was under stress or anxiety or have the motivation to try to crash this plane.

They looked at the pilot's flight simulator in his home, they said, no really significant clues from that. They did an exhausted search between the Australian government and a private U.S. company, they have search more than 230,000 square kilometers, four and a half years, still no answers and no closure for these families, Dave. And the 27 pieces of debris have been found. Only three actually confirmed to be from the plane, those are pieces of the wing that was washed up.

BRIGGS: Just brutal for these families. Will Ripley, live for us. Thank you.

JARRETT: Two Americans among four cyclists killed Sunday by hit-and- run driver in Tajikistan. Three other people were injured. The identities of the victims have not been released. The U.S. embassy in the Central Asian nation said it is working closely with Tajik's authorities and with an ongoing investigation. The interior ministry of Tajikistan sent CNN, a statement that says, one suspect has been arrested and two others has been quote, eliminated. We are waiting for further clarification on the word, eliminated.

BRIGGS: The U.S. and Taliban are talking. That is according to the Wall Street Journal. The two sides met face-to-face last week, in Qatar to lay the ground work for peace talks in Afghanistan. The New York Times report Afghan government officials were not present. Alice Wells, a top U.S. envoy for south Asia, reportedly headed up the U.S. delegation. The Times report, the Trump administration gave top U.S. diplomats the green light to see direct talks with the Taliban. A reversal of long standing U.S. policy. JARRETT: And a polar bear was shot and killed over the weekend after

it attacked a cruise ship guard. It happened on land while the German ship was docked at an island in Norway. The company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said the guard and three other colleagues had not spotted the bear before the attack. The guard is said to be in stable condition and it is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. In the statement, the company said guards acted in self-defense and that it is sorry this incident happened. And this obviously causing a huge uproar on social media. As this situations always do.

BRIGGS: People are blaming the cruise line. But in 2011, a polar bear, same region, attack a group of a British tourist and killed one person. So, acting on a caution for the guard.

Ahead, CBS president, Les Moonves accused of sexual harassment. A board meeting today, what is the faith of television's most powerful moguls. We will get a check on CNN money next.


JARRETT: More than 700 children were taken from their parents at the Mexico border still in custody of the U.S. government, even though a court order deadline to reunite all eligible families has come and gone. There is no indication when those reunifications might happen, because hundreds of those parents have already been deported, while many others are being kept awaiting without explanation. We get more now from CNN's Kaylee Hartung in McAllen, Texas.


KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Laura, over the course of reporting on the impact of President Trump's zero-tolerance policy. We have learned that no two family's stories are the same. But there had been common thread among them. That is confusion and frustration, chaos and incredible challenges in communication. The story that best encapsulates where we are today though, that is a woman who we will call Alejandra. That a month and a half ago she and her six year old daughter crossed the U.S. border, they were fleeing gang violence in their home country of Honduras. They were detained and separated. 11 days ago, Alejandra was given her paper work for release and told that later that day, she would be reunited with her daughter. That did not happen. As of today, she remains in a detention facility here in Texas. Her daughter still in New York. And she sits in limbo and looks for answers, here is what she says she is told.


[04:55:07] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): The first thing that I ask is always, do you know when we will be? My girl would be brought, so she can be reunified with me? And they tell me, no. I don't know anything. They say to me.


HARTUNG: HHS tells says they will not comment on any specific cases. But they say any family who has not been reunited at this time is because of specific concerns they have with that family. Her daughter's attorney had been told a red flag has been raised in these case. Like I said, Dave and Laura, no two stories are the same for these families, but frustration remains for so many.


JARRETT: Kaylee, thank you for that report.

And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, says she hope to serve five more years on the U.S. Supreme Court. Speaking in New York, Sunday, RBG said she would like to follow the footsteps of retired colleague Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens step down from the court at the age 90, Ginsburg was attending a play about her arch adversary and good friend, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Ginsburg added it is not the bald eagle, but the pendulum that is the true symbol of the United States. She say, once it moves far in one direction, you can count on it swinging back.

BRIGGS: One of Britain's most talented young snowboarders died on her 18th birthday. Authorities say, Ellie Soutter, was on a trip abroad in Europe and died near her home in France. And official cause of death has not been yet determined. But British ski and snow board, the governing body of the sport in the U.K. posted a linked to a suicide prevention charity when announcing her death. Soutter was expected to begin competing again in New Zealand next, next month and was tip for a place at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

JARRETT: And Britain's, Geraint Thomas capturing his maiden Tour De France title on Sunday in Paris. The 32 year old won the tour by 1:51 over Thomas Dumoulin of the Netherlands. Four time champion Chris Froome, who started the three week tour as the odds on favorite came in third. But Thomas' win, team sky has won six of the last seven Tour De France titles. Thomas telling the BBC the win is, incredible, the stuff of dreams.

BRIGGS: Nice to see. 4:57, and a check on CNN Money, this morning. Looking like a gloomy day for stocks as well. Global markets are mostly lower so are U.S. futures, but believe it or not, the S&P 500 is within 2 percent of a new high, that is despite huge selloffs recently in big tech names like Facebook and Twitter. Both companies disappointed investors with their quarterly results. The next big test comes to after the close when Apple is schedule to deliver its corporate report card to Wall Street.

The CBS board of directors meets today. To discuss allegations of sexual misconduct against the CEO, Les Moonves, on Friday, the New Yorker published a bombshell expose with six women accused the CBS CEO, of misconduct and harassment and it also raised questions about the overall culture at the network. Sources tells CNN, the board plans to form a special committee to oversee an investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reports some board members have discussed whether Moonves should step aside from the company, pending that investigation. In a statement, Moonves said quote, I recognize that there were times, decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes. I regret them immensely, but I also understood and respected and abided by the principle that no means no. And I never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career. He has been running CBS for more than a decade.

And it is mission accomplished for "Mission Impossible."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a man like that has had enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't fight.


BRIGGS: Fallout is the sixth film in the series raked in an estimated $61.5 million at the box office this weekend. That is the biggest opening ever for the 22-year-old franchise starring Tom Cruise. I have not seen it yet. But rotten tomatoes loves it, 98 percent and everyone I talked to said, it is may be the best film in a really terrific series.

JARRETT: We always need a summer blockbuster, right?

BRIGGS: Tom Cruise, just never ages, man.

JARRETT: "Early Start" continues right now.

BRIGGS: President Trump calls out Robert Mueller by name claiming the Special Counsel has conflicts of interest.

JARRETT: Several people are still missing as the wildfire rages through Northern California claiming at least six lives.

BRIGGS: A just released report is supposed to close the book on the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia airline jet. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christine Romans. It is Monday, July 30th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.