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EARLY START

Judge Blocks 3D Gun Plans; Escalating Trade War With China; Manafort Trial Underway; Military Ceremony for U.S. Soldiers' Remains; Mets Suffer Worst Loss in Team History. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 1, 2018 - 05:00   ET

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


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: A federal judge says instructions to make 3D guns cannot go online as planned, but how long will untraceable guns stay out of dangerous hands?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China and others -- remember this -- have targeted our farmers. Not good. Not nice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump defending his trade policies with China. Now word overnight the next round of tariffs could escalate dramatically.

JARRETT: Shifting blame. Heated statements and a $15,000 coat. A fast start to Paul Manafort's trial on financial crimes.

[05:00:03] Good morning, and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett, in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good to see you, my friend. I'm Dave Briggs, Wednesday, August 1st already, if you can believe it. Five a.m. in the East.

We start with a chilling story for many Americans this morning. A federal judge flocking a government settlement that would allow for 3D printable guns for sale. You could print out the instructions to guns on the Internet, if you can believe it or not. This is a terrifying ordeal for many parents in this country who simply know that their kid could be printing that at the moment.

Now, the founder of the gun rights group Defense Distributed says his company's site is going dark until he can review the judge's order. Before the ruling came down, he spoke to CNN's Laurie Segall about concerns publishing plans could endanger the public.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The democratization of guns online, giving people the ability to 3D print their own guns would make it feasible for felons, minors, mentally ill, to have access to firearms. Are you worried about those repercussions?

CODY WILSON, FOUNDER, DEFENSE DISTRIBUTED: No, I don't believe that access to information is ever tremendously negative or a bad thing. I know that people can use information for bad things, but this isn't a justification to, what, stop a publisher from speaking?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Nearly a dozen states sued to stop the firm from publishing the printable plans. President Trump even weighed in, tweeting: 3D plastic guns being sold to the public doesn't seem to make much sense.

The White House later confirmed it supports the existing law.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HOGAN GIDLEY, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The president is committed to the safety and security of all Americans. He considers this his highest responsibility. The administration supports a nearly two-decade-old law and will continue to look at all options available to us.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BRIGGS: It is worth noting the State Department cleared the way for the settlement that would have allowed the printable 3D gun plans.

The NRA releasing a statement saying it supports existing law that makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, and possess an undetectable firearm. But just last month, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch defended exactly the opposite viewpoint.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESPERSON: What Democrats call, quote/unquote, ghost guns and the rest of us simply call freedom and innovation, 3D- printed guns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Before the site went dark, more than 1,000 people downloaded plans to print an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

This is a scary story, Laura Jarrett, in particular because there's a lot of parents out there that don't understand this just yet, and none of us do. You can purchase a 3D printer with ease on the Internet. These plans are already out there. To that point, 1,000 people already know how to download an AR-15-style rifle.

JARRETT: Yes, and it's very unclear what exactly would happen at an airport, what would happen at a school?

BRIGGS: Right.

JARRETT: What would at any public accommodation? How would they be traced at all?

BRIGGS: It's a scary sight that hopefully we will stay on here at CNN and let you know where it's headed. OK, the Trump administration's pending China tariffs could be

significantly higher than first announced, a source familiar with discussions has confirmed that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods could be raised from 10 percent all the way to 25 percent. They would cover things like fruits and vegetables, handbags, refrigerators, rain jackets, even baseball gloves. China's foreign ministry moments ago saying blackmail and pressure by the U.S. will never work and promising to take countermeasures, if need.

The U.S. has already imposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods worth $34 billion. China responded in kind. The president addressed the trade war at a rally last night in Tampa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: China and others -- remember this -- have targeted our farmers. Not good. Not nice. And you know what our farmers are saying? It's OK. We can take it. These are incredible people. We can take it.

Now, we're going to open up markets. We're going to do it the way it should be. And all of this stuff, you're going to make it back and it's going to be made back faster than anybody would know, but we haven't been treated right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: President Trump says the tariff tit for tat will eventually open up markets. That may be the end game, but so far, it's destabilizing well-established markets.

As a stop gap, the administration announced a week ago it's preparing a $12 billion emergency aid package for farmers caught up in the trade war. The move has been panned by many Republicans for being a short- term fix. Markets in Asia were down slightly overnight.

JARRETT: Today will be Paul Manafort's first full day in front of a jury. One thing certainly became clear in opening statements yesterday -- President Trump's former campaign chairman is ready to pin the blame for his alleged financial crimes on his former top aide. CNN is told the president followed the developments in the trial from Air Force One.

[05:05:02] CNN's Jessica Schneider has more for us in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Laura, it was a fiery first day in the Paul Manafort trial. Lawyers for both sides, they gave the jury their opening statements. Prosecutors called Manafort a shrewd liar and said he's made millions of dollars in secret income from what they called a, quote, cash spigot, that came from working with his golden goose in Ukraine, the pro-Putin president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Of course, that is all the basis of these charges in Virginia, that Manafort hid the money he made from foreign lobbying in 37 foreign bank accounts. Prosecutors say he never paid taxes on any of that money, and then they say he lived an extravagant lifestyle, complete with multiple homes, and even, get this, a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich.

On the flip side, Manafort's attorneys will be mounting a dual defense. First, they say it was the Russian oligarchs Manafort worked for who actually demanded he pay into those secret accounts. And secondly, Manafort's lawyers are trying to shift the blame to Rick Gates, saying it was Gates who, of course, is Manafort's former deputy, who's already pleaded guilty to other charges. They say Gates was really the one stealing and embezzling the money.

So, of course, it was a lot packed into this first day of the trial with the White House continuing to distance itself from Paul Manafort and pointing out that these charges have nothing to do with Manafort's time as campaign chairman for President Trump -- Dave and Laura.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: OK, Jessica, thank you.

President Trump putting a little physical distance between himself and the Mueller investigation by campaigning for Republican candidates in Florida last night. Boy, did things get tense when his supporters fiercely heckled our Jim Acosta.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

BRIGGS: Tuesday night raw there.

The president did nothing to calm the crowd, nor did his staff. The president's son, Eric, retweeted the video, which was retweeted by the president of the United States. Just think about that for a moment.

Jim Acosta has more from Tampa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Laura, at a rally here in Florida, the president steered clear of the subject of the Russia investigation, instead returning to one of his favorite topics on the campaign trail, immigration, telling his supporters here that there should be voter ID laws across the country. At one point remarking that you need an ID to buy groceries.

Here's what he had to say.

TRUMP: Only American citizens should vote in American elections, which is why the time has come for voter ID, like everything else.

You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID, and you need your picture.

ACOSTA: The president also lashed out at the news media, referring to reporters in the back of the room as fake news, even talking about what he considers to be fake polls. But at the same time, the president talked up a poll that shows he's one of the most popular Republican presidents in recent history -- Dave and Laura.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: ID for groceries, that is a first. Jim, thank you for that report.

Immigration officials have agreed to hold off briefly on deporting a group of immigrant families just reunited after being separated at the border. An attorney for the families said last night the government will stay removals through Friday. It's a small win as advocates try to buy more time for immigrants they say have not had a full opportunity to make their case for asylum in the U.S.

BRIGGS: Earlier at a hearing on Capitol Hill, an HHS official heading up the reunifications told lawmakers he had warned over the past year about the dangers of family separation, but the head of ICE's enforcement division had glowing words about detention centers where the government is housing children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW ALBENCE, ICE EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ENFORCEMENT: I think the best way to describe them is to be more like a summer camp. These individuals have access to 24/7 food and water. They have educational opportunities. They have recreational opportunities, both structured as well as unstructured.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: That official essentially echoing words from Laura Ingraham on Fox News.

Officials at the hearing had few details to offer about plans going forward for reunifying the hundreds of children still separated from their parents.

JARRETT: Facebook removing a network of suspected Russian-linked accounts it says were organizing political events in the U.S. It's the most extensive effort to interfere in American politics the social network has publicly disclosed ahead of the midterms in November. The social media giant trying to prevent a repeat of 2016 when accounts connected to a Kremlin-linked troll group posed as Americans on its platform.

Asked by CNN to respond to the Facebook reports, a Russian official said she hopes materials will be presented to the Russian side.

[05:10:08] BRIGGS: Identification could take years, but this morning, remains believed to be Americans from the Korean War are being flown back home. We're live at the ceremony in South Korea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) JARRETT: A military ceremony for the remains of what are believed to be U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War taking place this morning at an air base in South Korea. The remains handed over last week by North Korea will be flown to Hawaii for forensic examination. Officials say that process could take a very long time.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us live from Osan Air Base in South Korea.

Paula, I know you've been there for several hours. Bring us up to speed.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, right now, the caskets are being loaded onto the C-17 planes, which will then take the remains from the Korean War to Hawaii for identification.

[05:15:06] Six by six, these caskets are being put on to the C-17s, and there are 55 in all. Officials tell us that from their initial observations and from past experience, that could well represent the remains of far more than 55 service members.

Now, we have been hearing from those officials who have just had a couple of days to start the investigation process, forensic experts coming over here to Osan Air Base. They say that some of these remains are likely American. They say they do believe that they are likely from the Korean War as well. So, certainly, what North Korea has told the United States, at this point they say there is no reason to disbelieve that, and they will have to, obviously, take months, potentially even years now to try and identify exactly who these remains belong to.

Now, we do know also there was a dog tag within these remains that North Korea gave to the United Nations command. The family has already been identified, and notified, we're told. And that dog tag will be sold to that family within weeks. So at least one American family today, they have some kind of closure, 65 years after the Korean War finished, although officials say they don't know necessarily if his remains are alongside that dog tag.

Back to you.

JARRETT: Sixty-five years. Paula, thank you so much for that reporting.

BRIGGS: A passenger and the pilot of an Aeromexico jet are in critical but stable condition this morning following a crash in Durango, Mexico, Tuesday. Aeromexico flight 2431 was headed to Mexico City but went down after takeoff in a field just beyond the runway. There were 99 passengers and 4 crew members on board, 49 people were hospitalized, but amazingly, no one died.

Embraer, the Brazilian maker of the aircraft, says it is ready to assist Mexican authorities in their investigations.

Coming up, it was not a game. It was an absolute shame for the New York Mets. Andy Scholes with the gruesome details in the "Bleacher Report," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:21:42] BRIGGS: All right, we'll get to the Mets' devastation in just a moment, but we start with the NBA continuing to embrace gambling, inking a new partnership with MGM. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, my friend.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Dave.

Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA have been the league most supportive of legalized gambling for years and are now the first to have an official partnership with a sports betting operator. The league announcing yesterday their nonexclusive deal with MGM Resorts. ESPN reporting that it is a three-year deal worth $25 million and allows MGM properties to use NBA and WNBA branding.

Now, Silver has said in the past he believes the NBA should get a 1 percent integrity fee on each wager made on the NBA. Now, that is not a part of this deal, but Silver still says that this partnership is great for the fans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: Whether they're at a bricks and mortar casino or using an app online, that it's going to be an experience that both MGM and the NBA have worked on together where the customer is first and foremost.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: All right. The Nationals keeping their team together at the trade deadline, and at least for one night it looked like it may work out. Washington putting an absolute beat-down on the Mets. They're up 7-0 after the first, went on to win 25-4.

It was the worst loss in Mets history. It got so bad, the Mets' broadcasters just started reading out of the media guide to pass the time late in the game. Shortstop Jose Reyes even came in to pitch in this one late. It's a bad season for the Mets, and this was probably the low point.

And like I mentioned, yesterday was the trade deadline for Major League Baseball, and the Rangers traded pitcher Jake Diekman to the Diamondbacks. Texas is currently in Arizona playing them, so Diekman decided to just hop on the bullpen cart to go from clubhouse to clubhouse, getting a ride from the mascot. Just another reason why every team should bring back the bullpen cart. Pretty awesome.

All right, the Minnesota Vikings rewarding star wide receiver Stefan Diggs with a new contract. According to ESPN, it's worth $81 million over five years. Now, Diggs was just a fifth-round pick coming out of Maryland, and he got emotional yesterday speaking about his dad, who passed away back in 2008. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEFON DIGGS, VIKINGS WIDE RECEIVER: Basically looking at the family and it meant a lot to me. So, you know, with this day coming forward, it just came full circle, and I have a lot of emotions, you know. You can understand a little bit. But you know, for it to come all the way around, I just, I'm happy that I can look at my mom and smile and tell her that everything's going to be OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Yes, and Diggs flew his mom out for that announcement. You see him posting the picture of him giving her a big hug there in Minnesota, guys.

And it's been quite the year for Stefan Diggs. Of course, he caught the Minnesota miracle, that big catch to beat the Saints in the playoffs.

BRIGGS: That's right.

SCHOLES: And now getting rewarded with that contract. Good for him.

BRIGGS: He and Thielen and Kirk Cousins, that offense should be nasty in Minnesota. Andy Scholes, thank you, my friend, have a good day.

All right. Laura?

JARRETT: Well, a federal judge stops blueprints for 3D printed guns from going online, but how long can it keep dangerous people from carrying untraceable guns?

[05:25:02] And prosecutors call Paul Manafort a shrewd liar, but Manafort's side is blaming a former deputy for all of his troubles.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: A federal judge says instructions to make 3D guns cannot go online as planned, but how long will untraceable guns stay out of dangerous hands?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: China and others -- remember this -- have targeted our farmers. Not good. Not nice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: President Trump defending his trade policies with China. Now, word overnight the next round of tariffs on China could escalate dramatically.

BRIGGS: Shifting blame, heated statements, and a $15,000 coat. A fast start to Paul Manafort's trial on financial crimes.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs. I'm asking you for an image of a $15,000 ostrich jacket, because I

don't know what that looks like, Laura Jarrett.

JARRETT: Send it to us, please!

BRIGGS: I want to know.

JARRETT: We want to know.