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Giuliani Backtracks; Omarosa's Secret Recording; Korean Summit; Omarosa Recorder Chief Of Staff Kelly Firing Her; Idris Elba Shakes Up James Bond Rumors; Plane Stolen; Firefighters Make Progress Battling Holy Fire. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired August 13, 2018 - 04:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: President Trump returning to Washington to a new flip flop by his legal team. How Rudy Giuliani contradicted himself on a key question from the special counsel.




CHRISTINE ROMANS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: Omarosa on the outs with President Trump. She will play the bombshell tape she recorded in the situation room.

BRIGGS: A new signs of easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. The leaders of North and South Korea announcing a summit in Pyongyang. Of course, pretty skeptical of any denuclearization plans by the North. Good morning. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Good to have you back.

BRIGGS: Good to be backs my friend. How are you?

ROMANS: I'm well. It is Monday, August 13, it is 4:00, as good as can be at 4:00 a.m. in the East. Good morning everyone.

President Trump returns to the White House tonight. Following a week at his New Jersey golf club that the White House called a working vacation. Special Counsel, Robert Mueller's Russia investigation no doubt, top of mind in the west wing. Sunday, Rudy Giuliani told CNN that if the President sits down for questioning by Mueller, he will deny he ever directed his former FBI director, James Comey to end the investigation of former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.


RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: The President said he never told Comey that he should go easy on Flynn. Comey says the president did. He pit in his memo. If he goes in and testifies in that under oath, instead of just this being a dispute, they can say it is perjury. If they elect to believe Comey instead of Trump.


BRIGGS: Contrast that to what Giuliani told ABC back in July.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is he a good witness for the President if he is saying the President was asking him or directing him in his words to let the Michael Flynn investigation go.

GIULIANI: He didn't direct him to do that. What he said to him was, can you give him a break.


BRIGGS: Can you give him a break? Which is it? The President never asked Comey to give Flynn a break or did he? Last June the former FBI director told the Senate Committee, the President told him during that faithful meeting, quote, I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. To letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

ROMANS: President Trump is slamming his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions again. The President tweeting our A.G is scared stiff and missing in action. The President also criticizes Sessions for failing on acting on meetings between Christopher Steele and former associate deputy Attorney General, Bruce Ohr. Steele is the author of that notorious Trump dossier, Ohr's wife worked for fusion GPS conducting research and analysis on Mr. Trump. No comment on the president's tweets from Mr. Sessions or the Justice Department.

BRIGGS: Serious concerns about security in the White House, now that we know former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman was able to sneak a recording device into the situation room. Omarosa appeared on NBC "Meet the Press." She claims the recording you are about to hear is chief of staff, John Kelly firing her last December.


JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think it is important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure, we can all be -- you know, we can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation and you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is very obvious threat. He goes on to say that things can get ugly for you. The chief of staff of the United States under the direction of the President of the United States threatening me on damage to my reputation and things getting ugly for me. That is downright criminal. And if I did not have these recordings, no one in America would believe me. No one.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Chief of Staff, John Kelly went on to tell Omarosa his

concerns about her job performance involved money and integrity issues. Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders going on the attack with this statement, the very idea, of a staff member -- that a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House situation room shows a blatant disregard for our national security and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of the disgruntled former White House employee.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight. North and South Korea have agreed to hold a third inter-Korean summit. The South unification ministry said the summit is scheduled September in Pyongyang. This would be the first time a South Korean leader has gone to North Korea in a decade. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in April and agreed to another summit in the fall in the North Korean capital.

ROMANS: Protesters against racism vastly outnumbering the small group of white nationalists demonstrating in Lafayette Park across from the White House. About two dozen white nationalists made their way from the metro station to a small stage for what was built as the Unite the Right two. They were shadowed the entire time by at least a couple of thousand counter protesters and a large contingent of D.C. police. The nationalist's speeches were at largely drowned out by the anti- racist group.

[04:05:18] The White nationalists ended their program early and made a quick exit back to the metro station. Organizer Jason Kessler, who is also behind last year's unite the right rally in Charlottesville, a rally that left three dead, and dozens injured, he blames the low turn-out this year on logistical issues.

BRIGGS: In Charlottesville, anti-Racism demonstrators gathered at the site where Heather Heyer was run over and killed last year. They paid their respect by using chalk to scroll messages of remembrance on the street and on the walls of nearby buildings. Many of them expressing disgust with the police who are out enforce throughout the city. And Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, spoke to CNN about the tribute to her daughter.


SUSAN BRO, HEATHER HEYER'S MOTHER: I burst into tears when I first got there. There were some people there very traumatized, because they had been there last year. It was very challenging for them. One young man hugged me and could not stop the tears rolling down his cheeks. Another one came up and said he had been there last year. He is having a really hard time talking to me. I saw one young lady that just finished her third and fourth final surgery about a month ago and she walked -- she walked up to hug me.


BRIGGS: Police arrested four people at the Charlottesville protest. There were no injuries reported. President Trump posting a tweet ahead of the protest saying quote the

riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in a senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to all Americans. That is a bit of the departure from his comments after last year's unite the right rally, when he said there were very fine people on both sides of the conflict. Though, critics said the President still has not specifically condemned white supremacists the way his daughter Ivanka did do directly on Saturday.

ROMANS: Yes. She has spoken forcefully about NFL players to take a knee if any has about racism.

BRIGGS: Arguably Lebron James as well.

ROMANS: All right. The GOP weighing its options after New York Republican Congressman, Chris Collins, suspended his re-election campaign on Saturday. Collins was indicted last week on charges related to insider trading. Collins continue to maintain his innocence. Republican operative tell CNN, officials are thinking of nominating Collins for a town clerkship. One of the only ways he could be replaced on the ballot.

BRIGGS: Two strong Trump supporters have already indicated they will try for the seat. One is Carl Paladino, who ran for governor in 2010 and lost and later came under fire for making racist comments about Michelle Obama. The Collins scandal puts one of the most heavily Republican district in New York suddenly in play and may affect the ability of Democrats to flip the House in November.

ROMANS: President Trump, once again attacking Harley-Davidson. The President encouraging a boycott, if Harley moves production overseas. Trump tweeted Sunday that quote, many Harley Davidson owners plan to boycott the company, if manufacture moves overseas. Great. Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move. Harley-Davidson declined to comment. Trump first criticized Harley in June after it announced planned to shift some production overseas. Harley needs to avoid steep tariffs from the E.U. It is second largest market.

Those E.U. tariffs could cost Harley $100 million a year. They are also in response to the Trump tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. Also raising costs for Harley. That is two ways Trump's trade policies are hurting this company. Those raised cause by another $20 million a year. Trump has threatened Harley with higher taxes and warned of a public backlash.

In fact, many bikers do support President Trump. His tweet came after hosting a bikers for Trump event over the weekend. Trump invited about a hundreds of bikers to his Bedminster golf club. And you know, some of the production for Harley was moving to Asia even before the president state the policies. That is the big fast growing market. Right? And because the U.S. got out of TPP, the other trade deal, that makes it even more expensive for Harley. So, you can these sort of three ways Trump's trade policies are hurting this company particular. BRIGGS: Regardless of trade policies. This is an odd dynamic for a

Republican president to encourage a boycott of an American company because they made smart business decisions. Strange times.

ROMANS: I had never seen something like that before.

BRIGGS: Ahead, investigation under way to determine how on earth, a man in Seattle was able to steal this passenger plane prompting a military response. What he told the control tower just moments before the fatal crash.


ROMANS: A new concerns this morning about big gaps in airport security after a 29-year-old ground service agent stole a plane at Seattle Tacoma airport and took off without authorization and crashed into a wooded island with military jets on his tail. Richard Russell expressing remorse to air traffic controller's moments before dying in the wreckage and flames.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a lot of people that care about me and it is going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose, I guess. I never really knew it until now.


ROMANS: Just remarkable. CNN's Kyung Lah is in Seattle with the latest on the investigation.


KYUNG LAH, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Good morning, Christine and Dave. The NTSB has recovered the flight data recorder from this crash. It is on its way to Washington, D.C. It will be analyzed approximately mid-week. The investigators here hoping to learn a little bit more about exactly what was going on with the plane? This plane in the crash went through several hundred feet of trees. Virtually nothing is left of it, say investigators, other than one small wing section. The investigation shifting now to 29-year-old Richard Russell.

[04:15:13] What was happening with the three and a half year horizon air employee? He had security clearance to be there as a grounds worker. He appeared happy at work. He posted video blogs of how much he enjoyed his job. He was -- according to his family, happily married. For them and the friends he had to hear those conversations he had with air traffic control. It is simply heartbreaking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may seem difficult for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm and compassionate man. As the voice recording shows, Beebo's intent was not to harm anyone. He was right in saying that there are so many who have loved him.


LAH: Beebo is the family name for Russel, that is how they referred to him before giving that statement, the family held hands, they made a circle and they said a prayer. They said it is their faith that is helping them get through this. Christine and Dave.


BRIGGS: A remarkable story, Kyung Lah. Thank you.

Baltimore police say an officer caught on video beating a man has resigned. A warning, the video from Saturday morning is rather disturbing. For 12 seconds, you can see the officer pummeling the man before pinning him to the ground with an arm across his neck. According to police, the incident began when officers approached the man to talk, release him and then approach him again, to fill up a citizens contact sheet. Officers are required to do that anytime they make contact to a citizen. Police say, the situation escalated when the man refused to provide I.D. Baltimore's interim police commissioner said he is deeply disturbed by that incident.

ROMANS: Some terrifying moments inside a Las Vegas clothing shop when the store's security guard fired a gun at his manager. Police say it started over the weekend when the guard had some type of an argument with his boss. He left the Dress for less store and returned moments later with a handgun. Authorities says, he tried to shoot the manager with no regard for anyone else in the store. Police shot the guard outside the store short time later. No one in the store was injured. But the guard is being treated for multiple injuries.

All right. More than 10,000 people still displaced from their homes as the holy fire continues to rage through southern California. The promising news now this morning for firefighters. That is next.


BRIGGS: Firefighters making major progress battling the holy fire in southern California. As of a few hours ago, that blaze is 41 percent contained. Authorities have lifted evacuation orders in several neighborhoods and Lake Elsinore, the city, the most threaten by the fire. More than 11,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation. But that is down from the 21,000 mark on Friday. In the meantime the man suspected of starting the fire, Forest Gordon Clark, being held on $1 million bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum life sentence in prison.

ROMANS: All right. Flash flood watches in effect in parts of the northeast this morning where the sump pumps have been working all weekend with more rounds of heavy rain ahead. Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera has the latest.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, guys, good morning. And once again the front that has been with us the last couple days with the rainfall on and off throughout the weekend is not the best in the week here in the northeast. But we continue with this front and so we continue with the same weather until about late Tuesday and to Wednesday. We finally begin to break out of this mess here which is of course, resulting in very heavy rainfall over last couple days. Two to four inches of rainfall. Saturated grounds. We still have the flood watches over that impact millions. So once again, it is not going to take a lot of rain to provide us with potential force of flooding here as the area of low pressure is developed along the front.

That just means we are going to enhance the rainfall, well, to the point where we are going to get another two to four inches likely in the next couple days. And then the front finally gets a push to the east and so that by Wednesday, we begin to clear things out temporarily. And we will get sunshine back and look what happens to the temperatures finally back to around 90 before the next front comes in. Not the only system that we are tracking. By the end of the week, another one her. But the temperatures will recover nicely if you are missing the August heat. It is back by mid-week. Guys.

BRIGGS: All right. Ivan, thanks.

Spectacular final round for Tiger Woods in the PGA championship. But not quite enough to catch the winner Brooks Koepka. It has been a decade since Tiger last won a major. His 64 at on Sunday was the lowest final round score at the major tournament ever.




BRIGGS: The crowds love it.

ROMANS: I saw him smile. D I haven't seen him smile like ten years.

BRIGGS: He is back. It is electric. He finished second. Two strokes behind the 28-year-old Koepka, who posted a 4 under 66 to win his second major of the year. The defending U.S. Open champ has now captured three of the last six majors. He is beefy and muskily, but he is a chess player inside. He has just been brilliant over the past couple of years.

ROMANS: That was an excellent golf yesterday.

BRIGGS: It was terrific.

ROMANS: Actor, Idris Elba shaking and stirring James Bond rumors, you get that with this materious news tweet, my name is Elba, Idris Elba, just hours later, he tweeted a photo of the rap group enemy public along with lyrics in one of their songs, don't believe the hype. The tweets come days after reports on the Daily Star in which Director (inaudible) says that the producer of the Bond flicks believes it is time to bring some diversity to the main role.

[04:25:00] Elba himself says he is open to playing the role. Telling CNN, back in 2014, it would be such an honor.

BRIGGS: That would be cool. All right. President Trump returning to Washington tonight. The chaos on two fights. One involving his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani and one another involving a strange senior aide Omarosa. We break it all the drama next.


ROMANS: President Trump returning to Washington to a new flip flop on his legal team. How Rudy Giuliani contradicted himself on a key question from the special counsel.


TRUMP: A low-life. She is a low life.


BRIGGS: Omarosa on the outs with President Trump. We will play the bombshell tape she recorded in the White House situation room.

ROMANS: And the leaders of North and South Korea announcing a summit in Pyongyang. We go live to Seoul. Good morning everyone, welcome back to "Early Start." I' Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good to see you this morning. I'm Dave Briggs.