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EARLY START

Giuliani Says Trump and Comey had No Conversation About Michael Flynn; Former Aide Omarosa Recorded Chief of Staff Kelly Firing Her; North's Kim and South's Moon Agree to Meet in Pyongyang; Demonstrators Pay Tribute to Heather Heyer; Trump Backs Boycott of Harley-Davidson; NTSB Recovers Flight Data Recorder from Stolen Plane; Baltimore Police Officer Caught on Camera Beating a Man Resigns; Tiger Woods Steals Spotlight at PGA Championship; Brooks Koepka Holds Off Tiger to Claim Third Major; Cubs Rookie Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 13, 2018 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Start this Monday morning, I'm Christy Romans -- to the region, good morning everyone, welcome to EARLY START this Monday morning, I'm Christine Romans --

DAVE BRIGGS, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Very happiest Monday, good to see you my friend --

ROMANS: Oh, special thanks --

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs, it is Monday, August 13th, 5:00 a.m. in the East -- the president once called her honest, Omarosa, but now of course --

ROMANS: Low life --

BRIGGS: She's a low life, we'll get to that in a moment. The president though returning 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 telling Cnn that if the president sits down for questioning by Mueller, he will deny he ever directed former FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation of former National Security adviser Michael Flynn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY & ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The president says he never told Comey that he should go easy on Flynn, Comey says the president did, he put it in his memo.

If he goes in and testifies to that under oath, instead of this just being a dispute, they can say it's perjury. If they elect to believe Comey instead of Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Contrast that with what Giuliani told "Abc" back in July.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is he a good witness for the president if he is saying that the president was asking him, 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 --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Can you give him a break? Which is it? The president never asked Comey to give Flynn a break or he did? Last June, the former FBI director told a Senate committee the president told him during that fateful 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."

All right, 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's "Meet the Press", she claims the recording you are about to hear is chief of staff John Kelly firing her last December.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

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

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER POLITICAL AIDE: It's 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's downright criminal. And if I didn't have these recordings, no one in America would believe me. No one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Extraordinary events. Chief of Staff 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 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 this disgruntled former White House employee.

Breaking overnight. North and South Korea have agreed to hold a third inter-Korean Summit. Cnn's Will Ripley is standing live for us in Hong Kong. Will, good morning to you, sir. Is this based on any progress in terms of denuclearization or a preset schedule?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, this is happening actually just days after North Korea blasted the United States and both the U.S. and North Korea have admitted that the denuclearization process has stalled.

South Korea is calling for both sides to play ball here, they have served as an intermediary all along, the two have -- the two sides, North and South met along the demilitarized zone just in the last few hours, announcing that sometime in September, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be meeting in Pyongyang.

This is a big deal. It's the first time that a South Korean president will travel to the North to Pyongyang in more than a decade since 2007, and it comes at a time that the denuclearization process really could go either way, could fall apart or could get some sort of a jump start that has been South Korea's traditional role through all of this.

Now, we don't know exactly when it's going to happen. Early September seems to be difficult logistically according to government officials in Seoul. But we know that it's just about a month, North Korea is planning a grandiose celebration in its capital to mark its Foundation Day.

They're inviting world leaders from all over to attend that. Could that be around that time, September 9th or the week after that President Moon has his summit?

Could it be later in the month, keeping in mind that the United Nations General Assembly kicks off on September 18th. And they have given their rumors of a second Trump-Kim -- Trump-Kim Summit happening somewhere around that time.

So we'll be talking to sources, Dave, trying to figure out when this inter Korean Summit takes place and we'll see what that means for any future talks with the United States as well.

BRIGGS: Well, a lot of questions remain, Will Ripley live for us in Hong Kong, thank you my friend. Protesters against racism vastly, outnumbering the small group of white nationalists demonstrating in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

[05:05:00] About two dozen white nationalists made their way from a metro station to a small stage for what was billed as the United Right 2, it was shadowed the whole time by at least a couple of thousand counter protesters and a large contingent of D.C. police. The nationalists speeches were largely drowned out by the anti-racist group.

The white nationalists ended their program early, made a quick exit back to the metro station. Organizer Jason Kessler was also behind last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that left three dead; Heather Heyer and two members of the state police.

Dozens more were injured. Kessler blames the low turnout this year on logistical issues.

ROMANS: All right, in Charlottesville, anti -- as demonstrators gathered at the site where Heather Heyer was run over and killed last year. They paid their respects by using chalk to scrawl messages of remembrance on the street and on the walls of nearby buildings.

Many of them expressing disgust with the police who were out in force throughout the city. Heather's mother Susan Bro spoke to Cnn about the tribute to her daughter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN BRO, MOTHER OF HEATHER HEYER: I burst into tears when I first got there. There were some people there very traumatized because they had been there last year and it was very challenging for them.

One young man hugged me and he just couldn't stop the tears rolling down his cheeks. Another one came up and said he had been there last year and he's having a really hard time talking to me.

I saw one young lady that just finished her third or fourth and final surgery about a month ago and she walked, she walked up to hug me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Yes, police arrested four people at the Charlottesville protest and there were no injuries reported.

BRIGGS: President Trump posting a tweet ahead of the protest saying 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's a bit of a departure from his comments last year after the United Right rally when he said there were very fine people on both sides of the conflict. Critics say that the president still has not specifically condemned white supremacists, certainly has not gone as far as his daughter Ivanka did over the weekend.

ROMANS: All right, the GOP weighing his options after New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins suspended his re-election campaign Saturday. Collins was indicted last week on charges relating to insider trading.

He continues to maintain his innocence. Republican operative tells 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'll

try for the seat, one being Carl Paladino who run for governor at 2010 and lost, later coming under fire for making a racist comment about Michelle Obama. The Collins scandal puts one of the most heavily Republican district in New York suddenly in play and may impact 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 any production overseas. Trump tweeted Sunday that many Harley-Davidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas, great.

Most other companies are moving in our direction, including Harley competitors, a really bad move. Harley-Davidson declined to comment. Trump first criticized Harley in June after it announced plans to shift some production overseas.

Harley needs to avoid steep tariffs from the EU, its second largest market. The EU tariffs could cost Harley a $100 million a year. And those are in response to Trump's tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, also raising costs for Harley by another $20 million per year.

Now, Trump has threatened Harley with higher taxes, he has warned of a public backlash, in fact, many bikers do support President Trump. His tweet came after hosting a Bikers for Trump event at the White House over the weekend.

Trump invited hundreds of bikers to his Bedminster Golf Club. It's so remarkable that a Republican president -- it's just you have to remember, this is a Republican --

BRIGGS: Yes --

ROMANS: President --

BRIGGS: Yes --

ROMANS: Who is singling out an American company for punishment.

BRIGGS: For making what amounts to smart business decision. Just imagine if a Democrat president did that on Twitter --

ROMANS: That was the second --

BRIGGS: What Republicans would say, imagine that --

ROMANS: Just --

BRIGGS: An investigation underway 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 moments before the fatal crash, the latest next.

[05:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BRIGGS: New concerns about big gaps in airport security after a 29-

year-old grounds service agent stole a plane at Seattle Tacoma Airport, took off without authorization and crashed into a wooded island with military jets on his tail. Richard Russell expressing remorse at air traffic controllers moments before taking the plane down.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RICHARD RUSSELL, HORIZON AIRLINE GROUND AGENT WHO STOLE PLANE: I've got a lot of people that care about me and it's going to disappoint them just 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, never really knew it until now.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Just remarkable. Cnn's Kyung Lah in Seattle with the latest on the investigation.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SOUTH KOREAN CORRESPONDENT: 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.

[05:15:00] The investigation shifting now to 29-year-old Richard Russell, 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 about how much he enjoys his job. He was apparently, 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE MATTHEWS, RICHARD RUSSELL'S FAMILY FRIEND: It may seem difficult for those watching at home to believe, but "Beebo" was a warm, compassionate man. As the voice recording show, "Beebo's" intent was not to harm anyone. He was right in saying that there are so many people who have loved him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: Now, "Beebo" is a family name for Russell, that's 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's their faith that is helping them get through this. Christine, Dave?

BRIGGS: Kyung Lah, thanks. Baltimore police say an officer caught on video beating a man has resigned. Warning now, the video from Saturday morning is 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, released him and then approached him again to fill out a citizens contact sheet. Officers are required to do that anytime they make contact with a citizen.

Police say the situation escalated when the man refused to provide ID, Baltimore's interim police commissioner says he is deeply disturbed by the incident.

ROMANS: All right, to California where firefighters are making major progress, thankfully, battling that holy fire in Southern California. As of just a few hours ago, the blaze, we're told is 41 percent contained. Authorities have lifted evacuation orders in several neighborhoods in Lake Elsinore, the city most threatened by the fire.

More than 11,000 people though remain under mandatory evacuation, down from about 21,000 on Friday. Meantime, the man suspected of starting that fire, Forrest Gordon Clark is being held on $1 million bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum life sentence in prison.

BRIGGS: Ahead, Brooks Koepka may have lifted the trophy, but Tiger Woods once --

ROMANS: Yes --

BRIGGS: Again, stole the show. Andy Scholes has the incredible roar from the crowd after that in the "BLEACHER REPORT" next.

[05:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: Well, for a moment, it looked like Tiger Woods just might pull it off. Just might pull off another major, but he wasn't meant to be a PGA champion.

ROMANS: Oh, but it was so fun to watch. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT", hey Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Hey, good morning, it was certainly was fun to watch. He was so close, you know, I felt like I was back in college for at least yesterday --

BRIGGS: Yes --

SCHOLES: That Tiger was swinging like Tiger from the mid 2000s. Now, I'll tell you what, he clearly has his swagger back. Check out Tiger arriving yesterday at the course, backwards cap and sunglasses, he was ready to go. Now Tiger shooting his best final round ever in a major yesterday, and he did it without hitting a fairway on the front nine.

Near on nine, just an incredible shot from -- right off next to the cart path. He was in -- sinks the putt for birdie and gave us that vintage Tiger fist pump. But here a couple of moments though, probably hot, Tiger on 11, his putt ends up on the lip of the cup.

How did that one not go in? Win on 14, that one lipped out right there. Those will go down in who knows -- Tiger would probably be your PGA champion. He finished strong with a long birdie on 18, he gives another fifth, pumps the crowd, went wild, Tiger ends up 14 under for this tournament, his lowest score in a major without winning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: I was always trailing and it was a golf course in which I couldn't sit still and make pars and be OK with it. I had to keep making birdies and I had to go get it and I tried.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Now, the only person standing in the way of Tiger winning his 15th major was Brooks Koepka; the two-time reigning U.S. Open champ, just unstoppable yesterday.

He finished two shots better than Tiger. Koepka; he won two of the three majors he played in this year. Twenty-eight-year-old just the fifth golfer ever to win the U.S. Open and PGA championship in the same year.

And finally, top national, this is moment you dreamed off as a child. Bottom of the ninth, down three, two outs, your pinch hitter and you do this. Rookie David Bote crosses off a walk-off grand slam to win it for the Cubs, he's pumped, crowd pumped.

Check out Bill Murray, he was there as well, and he was pumped up in the crowd. Afterwards, Bote said that he's never done this before. Well, it is exact situation, guys, actually, it hasn't happened in baseball in 39 --

ROMANS: Thirty-something --

SCHOLES: Years, as you can see, everyone was loving it. Bote's teammates, they ripped the jersey off of him, but you could see like, he didn't care, it was such an awesome moment, the Cubs won that one 4 to 3.

BRIGGS: Yes, the opponents said he'd never had a walk-off hit ever in his career, not even a single, it's only his third major league baseball homerun. What a moment of great leagues --

SCHOLES: Yes --

BRIGGS: Good to see you, Scholes, thank you my friend --

SCHOLES: All right, have a good one, guys.

ROMANS: All right, President Trump returning to Washington tonight to a lot of chaos, and two friends involving his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani and former senior aide Omarosa, we'll break it all down next.

[05:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A low-life, she's a low life --

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Omarosa on the outs with President Trump, we'll play the bombshell tape she recorded in the situation room.

BRIGGS: And new signs of easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The leaders of North and South Korea announcing a summit in Pyongyang and will also have the latest on that investigation into the flight, that plane that was stolen in Seattle over the weekend --

ROMANS: Welcome --

BRIGGS: Ended in a suicide and a bizarre tale. Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Dave Briggs --

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans, indeed, it's just about 30 minutes past the hour this Monday morning. Let's begin here with the president returning 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 --