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EARLY START

Trumps Racial Slur; Connecticut Primary; Kansas Primary Winner. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 15, 2018 - 5:00   ET

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


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House cannot rule out the President used the N word, the racial undertones of the President's tweets, a persistent problem for the White House.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Three hundred priests accused of abusing 1,000 children dating back to the 1940s, a damning report casting a long shadow over diocese across Pennsylvania. Good morning and welcome to Early Start this Wednesday morning everyone. I'm Christine Romans.

NOBLES: And I'm Ryan Nobles. It is Wednesday, August 15 and it is 5:00 a.m. in the east, a historic night for diversity in America, Christine Hallquist becoming the nation's first transgender major party nominee for governor.

CNN projecting the former energy company executive won last night, the Democratic primary in Vermont. She'll face the Republican governor Phil Scott in November. Hallquist telling CNN's Don Lemon, this is a critical time for all oppressed Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE HALLQUIST, VERMONT GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: I think we should be talking about all marginalized communities. You know, it's certainly - if I look at what's happening, certainly, at the national level, you know, there's a systematic attack and it's going to start, you know, it's going to start with the most marginalized communities. So, the fact that - that our President has got after the transgender community is no surprise and I think everybody should be afraid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: In the Connecticut primary, the 2016 national teacher of the year could become the state's first black Democrat in Congress, Jahana Hayes, defeating Mary Glassman in the fifth Congressional District primary. She takes on Republican Manny Santos, a former Mayor of Meriden in November.

NOBLES: In Wisconsin, CNN projects state senator Leah Vukmir has captured the GOP Senate primary, defeating former Democrat and marine Kevin Nicholson. Vukmir will take on the democratic senator Tammy Baldwin in November. And in the governor's race there in Wisconsin, Democrats selecting state schools chief Tony Evers to challenge the Republican incumbent Scott Walker. ROMANS: History also made in Minnesota, Democrats in the Fifth District nominating state representative Illhan Omar, a progressive Somali-American woman for a congressional seat, and Congressman Keith Ellison won the Democratic nomination for Minnesota Attorney General, despite allegations of domestic abuse against him. He denies those allegations, but the DNC will begin a review.

NOBLES: And we finally have a winner in Kansas after the primary there. Kris Kobach, a Trump backed candidate officially the winner of the Republican nomination for governor. The incumbent governor Jeff Colyer conceded the race last night after an absentee in provisional ballets extended Kobach's lead to 345 votes out of more than 313,000 casts.

ROMANS: Right. The Trump campaign is filing for arbitration, claiming Omarosa Manigault-Newman breached a 2016 non-disclosure agreement. It is the first legal action since Omarosa published that Tell All book about her time as a senior advisor to the President. And it comes less than 24 hours after Mr. Trump declared there are no tapes of him using the N word on The Apprentice, a claim the White House is not backing up. We get more from CNN's Jeff Zeleny at the White House.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Ryan, President Trump looking forward to another day with, at least, no public events on the White House schedule, the second day in a row, here, he's not scheduled to be seen in public, but, boy, in private, so much conversation still about those explosive charges in that book by his former top staffer here - African American staffer here at the White House, Omarosa Manigault-Newman.

Now, of course, the President, yesterday, just being slammed for some of his responses to her, calling her, of course, a cruel word in a tweet in the morning, but then going throughout the day, just going after her, specifically.

But it was in the White House press briefing in the afternoon, where White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the President, and if he has ever said the N word, that racial slur on tape. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they'll never hear Donald Trump utter the N word on a recording in any context?

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can't guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the President addressed this question directly. I can tell you that I've never heard it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: But of course, the President has given thousands and thousands of hours, if not more than that, of radio interviews, other things, other programs. So, she did not want to say that it's, simply, not true, that he could've never said that, Christine and Ryan.

NOBLES: Jeff Zeleny at the White House. Thank you. Two Trump campaign advisors Omarosa recorded discussing the President's alleged use of the N word claimed they were only talking about it because of Omarosa's bullying tactics. Katrina Pierson and Lynne Patton can be heard discussing the possible existence of a recording. Pierson even suggests that Mr. Trump is embarrassed by it.

Both women now claim they were just trying to get Omarosa to move on. Pierson telling CNN's Erin Burnett, the former Apprentice star was, quote, "the complete epitome of annoying."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATRINA PIERSON, SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN: It got to the point to where we had a campaign to run. So, what you hear in that tape which is not the tape she's been referencing, is me placating to her, which I did a number of times, because she would not let this tape go.

LYNNE PATTON, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATOR: There were a lot of times that we talked about this tape because Omarosa was, literally, obsessed with it. She brought it up constantly. It's clear, now, that the reason why she did was because she was surreptitiously recording us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: Now earlier this week on Fox, Pierson, initially, denied having any conversations about the existence of a possible Trump N word tape.

ROMANS: All right, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issuing a rare correction, apologizing for falsely claiming President Trump created three times as many jobs for African Americans than former President Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: This President, since he took office, in the year and a half that he's been here has created 700,000 new jobs for African Americans. That's 700,000 African Americans that are working now that weren't working when this president took place. When President Obama left, after eight years in office - eight years in office, he had only created 800 - 195,000 jobs for African Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, that's even close to true. According to the Labor Department, the U.S. has created 700,000 jobs for African American workers during the Trump administration. It added nearly 3 million jobs during Obama's eight years.

Sanders later corrected herself via Twitter, saying the jobs numbers were correct, but the timeframe for President Obama wasn't. I'm sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump. Sanders made the claim while defending President Trump's record on race.

Bloomberg first caught the mistake, prompting an apology from the White House Council of Economic Advisors. They had cited a miscommunication to Sanders. I will say, there have been a lot of wrong numbers thrown around by the administration about the - about the economy. This is a rare apology and correction to them.

NOBLES: And a rare apology and correction on any topic...

ROMANS: Yes.

NOBLES: ...much less, just, economic numbers. All right, in Pennsylvania, a Grand Jury report reveals a jaw dropping amount of child sex abuse by priests. It says there are credible allegations against more than 300 priests suspected of abusing more than 1,000 children dating back to the 1940s. The report investigates clergy sex abuse in six deices across the state, covering 54 of 67 counties. Emotional victims spoke out in a video provided by the State Attorney General.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was groomed (ph) starting young.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day I met him I was - I was around 18 months old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They targeted me because I was fatherless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in my diaper, and I ran out, and I ran right to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We - we were taught - I mean, the priests and the nuns are god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just things like the word god make me think of him and I just.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: We get more, now, on this horrifying story from CNN's Jean Casarez.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Ryan, officials say that this report, written by 23 Pennsylvania grand jurists, is the largest, most comprehensive into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church that has ever been produced in the United States.

The report states that there were credible allegations found against over 300 priests. Over 1,000 child victims were identifiable from the church's own records, but they believe that the real number of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid to come forward is actually in the thousands.

This 884 page report took two years to put together and there are many redactions. The Attorney General's Office is going to court next month to fight for those redactions to be revealed, saying, quote, "Every redaction represents an incomplete story of abuse that deserves to be told."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH SHAPIRO, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: The members of the Grand Jury wrote in their report, we need you to hear this. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, but never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else. Now we know the truth, it happened everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CASAREZ: Because of the cover-up, almost all of the abuse is too old to be prosecuted. The Grand Jury has issued presentments against two priests who allegedly assaulted children within the statute of limitations. And there also may be more indictments in the future because the investigation is continuing, Christine, Ryan.

ROMANS: All right, Jean. Thanks for that. It's such a terrible story no matter how you (INAUDIBLE). You may have seen more animals on airplanes recently? Another airline putting a limit on what pets you can bring for emotional support.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBLES: Closing arguments in the banking trial fraud against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. The defense rested on Tuesday without calling a single witness. Manafort spoke in court for the first time since the trial began to confirm that he will not testify.

His attorney chose not to present a case claiming the government had not met its burden of proof. But Judge TS Ellis denied Manaforts request to have the charge thrown out. The Judge called on each side to limit its closing argument today to two hours.

ROMANS: Students in Parkland, Florida go back to school today. But things are hardly back to normal. Six months after one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history left 17 people dead. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High now features newly installed 20 fences.

Broward county investing $26 million in security at all of it's schools including double doors, cameras, and security personnel.

NOBLES: Two sisters who worked in a school cafeteria in Connecticut apparently had an appetite for cash. The pair are accused of stealing nearly a half a million dollars in a scam that authorities say dates back to 2013. CNN affiliate News 12 reports Joanne Pascarelli and Marie Wilson were arrested this week and charged with larceny and defrauding a public community.

Authorities say the missing cash was noticed last year when the school districts installed an enhanced accounting system. Both suspects are due in court next week.

ROMANS: Far right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones suspended for a week from posting to Twitter. A spokesperson says Twitter pulled Jones personal account for seven days after he tweeted a link to a video calling for supporters to quote get right - battle rifles ready against the media and others.

Last week a CNN investigation found Jones personal and infowar speeds repeatedly violated Twitter rules. Much of infowar's social media presence has been pulled recently from major platforms.

NOBLES: Starting next month if you want to bring an emotional support animal on a south west flight it can only be a cat or a dog. No peacocks. Passengers will need to present a letter from a doctor and the animal must be on a leash or in a carrier.

Since the beginning of the year American JetBlue, Delta, and United have all introduced similar rules. Of course flyers are becoming increasing bold in brining animals on planes. In January a woman tried to board a United flight with an emotional support Peacock.

ROMANS: All right friends and fans rallying around Aretha Franklin as she fights for her life. The 76 year old queen of soul is now in hospice care. A source tells CNN Franklin is being visited by those closest to her. They're reading her messages and friends and loved ones are holding her hand.

Stevie Wonder and Franklin's ex-husband Glynn Turman visited Tuesday. Reverend Jesse Jackson will be visiting today.

NOBLES: It's sad that she's taking this turn but it is remarkable to see everyone on social media sharing some of her greatest performances, and their remembrances of her. Everyone of course has her in their prayers.

Free beer for all this season, that sounds good. That's when the Brown's win their first game. So slow your role. This might not happen right away. How thirsty will Cleveland fans be? We get Andy Sholes on the record in this morning's bleacher report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBLES: The University of Maryland says it takes full responsibility for the death of one of their football players.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's Bleacher Report. Hi Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN BLEACHER REPORT HOST: Hey, good morning guys. 19- year-old offensive lineman, Jordan McNair, died back in June due to a heat stroke he suffered after a grueling workout on campus. His death certainly a tragedy, and what makes it even worse is that it could have totally been prevented.

Now, Maryland holding a press conference yesterday. Their president, Wallace Loh, says the school accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes made during a workout on May 29th that lead to McNair's death.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

WALLANCE LOH, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND PRESIDENT: I said to the family, "the University owes you an apology. You entrusted Jordan to our care, and he is never returning home again."

DAMON EVANS, MARYLAND ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: We will honor Jordan's life, and we will ensure that a tragedy such as this never happens on our campus again.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

SCHOLES: Now last week, ESPN published a report detailing allegations of verbal abuse, bullying, and a general disregard for the player's well-being in Maryland. The school has placed head coach, D.J. Durkin, on leave while they investigate allegations of a toxic culture in the program. The teams' head strength coach, Rick Court, resigned on Monday.

All right, Giant-Dodgers, one of the biggest rivalries in baseball, and it certainly looked like it last night. Giants catcher, Nick Hundley, had some words for Yasiel Puig after an animated mis-swing and then when Puig shoved Hundley it is on. Both benches would clear here.

Dodgers first base coach, George Lombard actually tackled Hundley during the melee. Nothing really escalated from there. Puig and Hundley both ejected from the game. The Giants would go on to win this one 2 - 1.

All right, we all know football fans go to great lengths to watch their teams play, but they may have nothing on this soccer mom from Miami.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

MARIA GARCIA-MELLA CID: My real passion is Real Madrid. I live my life for them. I wake up thinking about them. I go to sleep thinking about them. People who think I'm crazy have no clue.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

SCHOLES: All right, Maria Garcia-Mella Cid is a true diehard fan and she was pretty overcome with emotion when she got to meet Real Madrid on the sidelines of a recent game in her home town, and I'm sure Maria going to be glued to our sister network, TNT, at 2 o'clock Eastern today when Real faces cross down rival, Athletico Madrid, in the European Super Cup. Kicks off Turner's coverage of the champions league, which you'll see all season long on TNT. You can also stream it on Bleacher Report Live.

All right, when the Browns finally win their next regular season game, Bud Light is giving away free beer to their fans, and they're doing it with these victory fridges, which they are placing at bars around Cleveland. And when the Browns win, a lock controlled by Wifi will be open so that the beer can be accessed. And guys, you heard it here first. That beer's not going to be in those fridges long. Prediction, the Browns are going to beat the Steelers week one -

NOBLES: Week one.

SCHOLES: - in Cleveland.

NOBLES: That is bold, Andy, considering, what are they? 1 and 31 over the past three seasons or something like that?

SCHOLES: They're due, Ryan.

ROMANS: That's a contrarian call. All right, nice to see you, Andy Scholes.

NOBLES: Thanks, Andy.

ROMANS: When the Browns win, Cleveland wins. That's the tagline. Thank you. A transgender woman and a Somali-American both poised (ph) for political history to carry spots on the ballot this November.

NOBLES: And hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania accused of sexual abuse, devastating cases dating back to the 1940s.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBLES: A historic night for diversity in America. A transgender woman and a Somali-American among those securing a spot on the November ballot.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people will never hear Donald Trump throw (ph) the N-word?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can't guarantee anything.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

ROMANS: The White House cannot rule out the president used the N- word. The racial undertones of the president's tweets, a persistent problem for this White House.

NOBLES: 300 priests accused of abusing 1,000 kids dating back to the 1940s, a damning report casting a long shadow over dyesties (ph) across Pennsylvania.

Good morning. Welcome back to Early Start. I'm Ryan Nobles.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is just about 30 minutes past the hour this Wednesday morning, and it was a historic night for diversity in America. Christine Hallquist became the nation's first transgender, major party nominee for governor. CNN projecting the former energy company executive won last night's democratic primary in Vermont. She will face Republican governor, Phil Scott, in November. Hallquist telling CNN's Don Lemon, "this is a critical time for all oppressed Americans."