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Feud Between Omarosa and Trump; FBI Defends Decision to Fire Strzok. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 14, 2018 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, EARLY START HOST: The president against his former Senior Aid. He even retweeted his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. That's right. The president retweeted Michael Cohen, a man who also secretly recorded the president. Many in the White House now bracing for Omarosa to turn out more recordings.

It all casts a spotlight on a long time favorite tactic of the president, non-disclosure agreements. White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, has more.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOSUE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, a week ago, the White House strategy was to not respond to the claims in Omorosa's new book, but the president went right through that when he was tweeting multiple times about Omorosa, calling her a wacko, saying that she was someone who is vicious and disliked by her White House colleagues as well as skipping White House meetings and work all together, but adding that he kept her around because she said nice things about him, someone who made $180,000 of taxpayer funded money.

Now, the president also said that he did have Omorosa sign a non- disclosure agreement, but she later denied signing the White House version of the NDA.


OMOROSA MANIGAULT-NEWMAN: I never signed that draconian NDA that they presented to me when I walked into the White House because I knew from my prior time in the White House - this was my second tour of duty working in the White House. I worked for the Clintons prior - but this was not something that was acceptable.


COLLINS: But Omarosa's recordings of her conversations with John Kelly and President Trump himself have created this sense of paranoia in the West Wing. When she was about to leave the White House last December, her colleagues long suspected that she was recording their conversation, and now those fears seemed to have come to the light.

Omarosa is promising that she does have more conversations recorded and if the White House retaliates against her, she may publish them. Christina and Dave - BRIGGS: When President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act Monday, he failed to thank one notable member of Congress, John S. McCain. Mr. Trump did thank five other lawmakers but no mention the bill's namesake, of course. Senator McCain has been one of the president's leading Republican critics. He is currently home in Arizona being treated for brain cancer.

Take a look at this comment from the Senator's former Chief of Staff, Mark Salter, who tweeted for those asking, "I did expect Trump to be in blank hole today no more than I expected it to be Monday."

ROMANS: Later in the day, the president recycled a familiar swipe at Senator McCain at an upstate New York campaign event.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would have gotten rid of everything, but as you know, one of our wonderful senators said thumbs down at 2 o'clock in the morning.


ROMANS: He's talking about healthcare repeal there. This John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act represents a $16 billion increase in funding for the Pentagon.

Breaking news, a number of pedestrians are injured after a man crashed his car into barriers outside Britain's Parliamet. Met (ph) police say they're keeping an open mind, but counterterrirosim officials are leading the investigation. The driver, we're told, detained by officers at the scene. Officers do not believe that any of the injuries suffered are life-threatening. We'll stay on top of the story, bringing you any new information as it comes in.

BRIGGS: The FBI's defending its decision to fire Peter Strzok, the agent who's anti-Trump texts are fueling the president's conspiracy claims. The FBI's Deputy Director, David Bowdich, making the decision to terminate Strzok after the office that usually handles discipline rules, he should only face a suspension and demotion.

The bureau says the Deputy Director has the delegated authority to review and modify and disciplinary findings in the best interest of the FBI. Strzok's lawyer tells CNN he believes Bowdich had the power but not the right to fire his client.


AITAN GOELMANL: We had an agreement with the FBI OPR, Office of Professional Responsibility, which is their main caretaker for the internal discipline, that Pete would get a 60-day suspension and a demotion. And at the last minute, that was countermanded by the higher ups and he was fired. So yes, we were surprised.


ROMANS; The president doing a little gloating, I guess, on Twitter, calling Strzok a total fraud. Strzok says he is deeply saddened by the decision to fire him. He tweeted a link to a GoFundMe account to help cover his legal bill and his lost income.

Strzok's firing also sparking some family drama. Bobby Goodlatte denouncing his father, Virginia Congressman, Bob Goodlatte. The Republican lawmaker, of course, recently chaired that fiery House Committee where Strzok - the hearing where Strzok endured relentless personal attacks.

BRIGGS: Bobby Goodlatte tweeting, "I'm deeply embarrassed that Peter Strzok's career was ruined by my father's political grandstanding. That Committee hearing was a low point for Congress. Thank you for your service, sir. You are a patriot."

The retiring congressman venture capitalist son also tweeting he'd given a maximum allowed donation to Jennifer Lewis, who is the Democrat running for Goodlatte's open seat in November.

[05:05:00] ROMANS: The uncle of White House Senior Advisor, Stephen Miller, referring to his own nephew and an immigration hypocrite. In a scathing editorial for Politico, David Glosser says this about Stephen Miller's attitude toward immigration: "If my nephew's ideas on immigration had been enforced a century ago, our family would have been wiped out."

BRIGGS: Glosser says a family ancestor fled anti-Jewish program is what is now Belarus, coming to the U.S. in 1903. Glosser describes how he has watched with, quote, "dismay and increasing horror as his nephew becomes the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family's life in this country."

Glosser will appear on New Day at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

ROMANS: All right, voters head to the polls today in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, and Connecticut. In Wisconsin, a bitter Republican primary will decide who tries to oust a red-state Democrat, Senator Tammy Baldwin. State Senator, Leah Vukmir, and Marine veteran, Kevin Nicholson, both trying to convince voters they are most like President Trump.

Vukmir has enough key endorsements to make her a shoo-in normally.

BRIGGS: But she is under fire from her opponent, a former Democrat, mind you, for initially denouncing then candidate Trump during the 2016 primary. Also on the ballot, a Democrat looking out (ph), Governor Scott Walker, who is seeking a third term.

ROMANS: Aretha Franklin's health is failing. A source this morning close to the queen of soul telling CNN, Don Lemon, she is receiving hospice care in her home. The legendary singer has been dogged by reports of illness in recent years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she has kept her struggles private.

Earlier this year, she canceled a pair of performances, including one at the New Orleans Jazz Fest on doctor's orders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make some noise for Aretha Franklin.


ROMANS: A tribute to Franklin at last night's Beyonce-Jay-Z concert in Detroit. Tens of thousands of people singing along to Franklin's music there. Her career stands six decades. She began singing gospel music in a Detroit church where her father was the minister.

BRIGGS: OK, I had concerns about a new economic crisis this morning. Why? The Turkish lira. Now, Turkey's president threatening to cut off all U.S. electronics. The latest live ahead.



ROMANS: All right, a currency crisis in Turkey as the lira hits new lows, shaking markets worldwide. A speech by President Erdogan and - and some policy moves by Turkey's central bank did little to help, frankly.

So investors worry a local crisis may turn into a global one. The lira fell another 10 percent yesterday, it's now down more than 40 percent against the dollar this year. A couple reasons for the plunge, first concern over Turkey's economic stability, the NATO ally faces U.S. sanctions, its president feuding with the American president.

Erdogan also opposes raising interest rates, fueling inflation, and second, rising U.S. interest rates. That makes the U.S. dollar more attractive to investors and more expensive.

When the dollar was cheap, Turkey borrowed heavily. Now that the dollar is stronger, Turkey has soaring debt payments it may have to - may not be able to make. That will hurt foreign banks with exposure to Turkey particularly in Europe, but also in the U.S. as well.

That fear sent global stocks lower. The lira's tailspin also hit the currencies of other developing countries, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Indonesia. The biggest concern here, Turkey's financial problems could spread.

And there is some historical precedent. In 1997 the collapse of the Thai baht, relatively small and isolated currency and an isolated situation, actually set off a financial crisis throughout Southeast Asia.

BRIGGS: So what is Turkey's President Recep Edogan planning to do about all this? CNN's Arwa Damon live in Istanbul with more. Arwa, good morning, it appears he's taking aim at U.S. electronics for starters.

ARWA DAMON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, he is, and quite a fiery speech given to his party's 17th year anniversary. We heard President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying we're going to boycott U.S. electronics.

Going on to say whatever we buy from abroad we are going to produce here in better quality and export it. Of course, first and foremost is the iPhone and other Mac products that come to mind, and he did address that saying they - if they have the iPhone, on the other hand there is Samsung trying to allude to the fact that Turkish consumers do have other options out.

Exactly what does this mean? We don't know at this stage, but this does seem to be along the lines of Turkey's president and the government really trying to rally the nation against what they are basically calling an economic war being waged on them by the United States.

If you'll remember just last week after President Trump tweeted that they would be doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. We saw the Turkish lira take that significant nose dive.

That tweet was in reaction to Turkey refusing to release detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, who Turkey accuses of having links to terrorism. And we've really seen the relationship between these two countries significantly snowball.

That being said, the Turkish lira had been albeit at a much, much slower pace, losing a bit of its power. But we really saw America dealing it a death blow, causing Turkish president to also say America was stabbing a NATO ally in the back. Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, 12:14 there in Istanbul. Arwa Damon live for us. Thank you. A New Mexico judge granting bail to five adults accused of child abuse at this makeshift compound, even as they face some truly stunning allegations.

The judge saying prosecutors failed to prove the defendants pose a danger to the community. Prosecutors tries to demonstrate the threat with evidence Siraj Wahhaj took a series of gun classes in Georgia in 2015.

They also introduced a letter to Siraj's brother instructing him to quote, "die as a martyr".

ROMANS: The district attorney claiming the suspects brought their children from Georgia to New Mexico to perform religious rituals on Wahhaj's son, a teenager rescued from the compound says that little boy who suffered from epilepsy died during one the rituals.


The defense lawyers accused prosecutors of judging their clients based on race and religion.


THOMAS CLARK, ATTORNEY: We live in a country of religious freedom, and if these people were white and Christian, nobody would bat an eye at the idea of fake healing or praying over a body, or - or touching a body and quoting scripture.

But when black Muslims do it, there seems to be something nefarious.


ROMANS: All the defendants have pleaded not guilty, the surviving children are now in state custody.

BRIGGS: A firefighter died Monday battling the Mendocino Complex fire, the largest in California history. The firefighter's name has not been released, we do know though he is from Utah.

Authorities said a probe into his death is underway. Meantime, firefighters gaining ground on more than a dozen fires burning across the state. Last check, the holy fire was 59 percent contained.

ROMANS: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are in Northern California. They're touring areas devastated by the Carr fire. Zinke blaming everything but climate change for the ongoing wildfire.

He insisted active forest management, including tree thinning, is the key to stop these fires.

BRIGGS: Heavy rain and flash flooding in the Northeast, this drone video shows the swollen Lehigh River in Slatington, Pennsylvania just a few miles from where a group of rafters had to be rescued.

Stormy weather moves into New England today, meteorologist Pedram Javahen with the latest.


BRIGGS: OK Pedram, thanks, a spelling (ph) reversal on a high profile, stand your ground case in Florida. A man who fatally shot another who pushed him to the ground outside the convenience store now facing manslaughter charges and will appear in court today.

Michael Drejka was initially cleared by law enforcement, but the prosecutors stepped in to overrule the sheriff, citing witness interviews and surveillance video. The family of Markeis McGlockton, the man who was killed, say the charges give them a measure of hope justice will prevail.

ROMANS: All right, Serena Williams planning to make a fashion statement at this year's U.S. Open. Andy Scholes has this morning's bleacher report next.



BRIGGS: As Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's coaching career hangs in the balance, we're finding out more about his former assistant coach at the center of all this controversy (ph).

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more for us this morning in the bleacher report. Hi, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, SPORTS ANCHOR, CNN: Hi, good morning, guys. You know, Ohio State has said that they will release the findings of their investigation into exactly what Urban Meyer knew about the spousal abuse allegations leveled against his long-time assistant Zach Smith by Sunday. In the meantime, Meyer is on administrative leave. Now, according to the Toledo Blade, back in 2013, Smith was arrested and charged with drunken driving and Smith's lawyer telling ESPN he kept the arrest secret from Meyer and Ohio State.

Smith reportedly pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. And Smith was fired July 23 after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced. He has denied those allegations. Meyer initially denying knowing about the 2015 allegations when -- when asked about the mistakes in (ph) immediate days (ph), but after Smith's ex-wife Courtney Smith told the stadium she believed Meyer knew about it, Meyer said he'd been inadequately prepared to discuss the issue and that he looked forward to answering questions for the independent investigators.

Ohio States opens it's season on September first. All right. Two weeks after the worst loss of her career, Serena Williams bouncing back nicely at the Western and Southern Open in Mason, Ohio last night. She easily won her first round match 6-1, 6-2. And Serena revealed last week that she'd been in a funk because she felt like she wasn't a good mom. But after talking it through with family and friends, Serena was able to work through her postpartum emotions.

And take a look at this. This is what Serena's going to be rocking later this month at the U.S. Open, this Nike and Virgil Abloh dress with a tutu. It can be yours for $500. And if you have $623,000, you could have purchased this signed baseball by Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and others from the very first baseball hall of fame class. The ball selling for the record price earlier this week, nearly doubling the previous record, which was $388,000 for a solo Babe Ruth signed baseball.

Now according to ESPN, White Sox third baseman Marv Owen collected all of the signatures. The only player from the 1939 class that he was missing was Lou Gehrig, who was too sick to make it to the ceremony. Finally, there are many ways to stay cool on a hot summer day. Well, Marlins coach Perry Hill strategy is wet lettuce. He wets it and puts it in his helmet. That's pretty old school. Apparently Pete Rose used to do it, guys.


And my question is how many heads of lettuce does he need for a hot summer day in Atlanta to make it through the game?

BRIGGS: Hot summer day in Atlanta? I would say three or four.

ROMANS: That's really something.

BRIGGS: But doesn't it get nasty in about five minutes?

ROMANS: I wonder. Do you use a little vinaigrette on there? (CROSSTALK)

SCHOLES: -- you got to keep changing that thing out every inning and if you're in for a long inning, I wouldn't want to know what that looks like.

BRIGGS: Andy, I think you need to research that on a hot day in Atlanta --


ROMANS: -- thank you.

BRIGGS: -- try that for us. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. 25 minutes past the hour. Thanks, Andy. The president says there are no tapes of him using the N-word during "The Apprentice" but White House staffers are bracing for other tapes Omarosa may release.

BRIGGS: And the queen of soul Aretha Franklin in failing health. Tributes pouring in from fans around the world.