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Diverse Candidates Rule The Night In Tuesday's Primaries; White House Can't Guarantee Trump Didn't Use "N" Word; Hundreds Of Pennsylvania Priests Accused Of Abuse; Search Intensifies After Italy Bridge Collapse. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 15, 2018 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN projecting the former energy company executive won last night's Democratic primary in Vermont. She will face Republican Gov. Phil Scott in November.

Hallquist telling CNN's Don Lemon this is a critical time for all oppressed Americans.


CHRISTINE HALLQUIST (D), VERMONT GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: I think we should be talking about all marginalized communities. You know, certainly, if I look what's happening certainly at the national level, there's a systematic attack and it could -- it's going to start -- you know, it's going to start with the most marginalized of the communities.

So the fact that our president has gone after the transgender community is no surprise and I think everybody should be afraid.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: In the Connecticut primary, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year could be the state's first black Democrat in Congress. Jahana Hayes defeating Mary Glassman in the 5th Congressional District primary. She takes on Republican Manny Santos, a former mayor of Meriden, in November.

ROMANS: In Wisconsin, CNN projects state Sen. Leah Vukmir will have captured the GOP Senate primary, defeating former Democrat and Marine Kevin Nicholson. Vukmir will take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November.

And in the Wisconsin governor's race, Democrats selected the state schools chief Tony Evers to challenge Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

NOBLES: History also being made in Minnesota. Democrats there in the 5th District nominating State Rep. Ilhan Omar. She's a progressive Somali-American woman for a Congressional seat.

And, Congressman Keith Ellison won the Democratic nomination for Minnesota attorney general, this despite allegations of domestic abuse against him. He denies those allegations but the DNC says it will begin a review.

ROMANS: And finally, one week after the Kansas primary, Kris Kobach is officially the winner of the Republican nomination for governor. Incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer conceded that race last night after absentee and provisional ballots extended Kobach's lead to 345 votes out of more than 313,000 cast.

NOBLES: And the Trump campaign is filing for arbitration, claiming that Omarosa Manigault Newman breached a 2016 non-disclosure agreement. It is the first legal action since Omarosa published a tell-all book about her time as a senior adviser 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." It's a claim the White House, though, is not backing up.

We get more from CNN's Jeff Zeleny who is at the White House.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE 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 also going throughout the day -- was 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.

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: 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.

ZELENY: And, of course, the president's 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 have never said that -- Christine and Ryan.


ROMANS: All right, Jeff, thanks.

NOBLES: All right, let's talk about this. "CNN POLITICS" digital editor Zach Wolf live in Washington for us this morning.

ROMANS: Hey, Zach.

NOBLES: Zach, good morning.

Let's talk about this Omarosa, which really is becoming a bigger and bigger mess for the White House. Perhaps they shouldn't be all that surprised about it given Omarosa's history and the president's history with her, specifically.

But I was interested yesterday to hear what some of the chatter was on Fox, in particular. Listen to what Geraldo had to say.


GERALDO RIVERA, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS: You can't sing at the same volume, the same tune when you're talking about North Korea and when you're talking about Omarosa. The president, by responding at the same kind of tone as she is giving it -- dishing it out to him -- I think diminishes him and I wish he would just cool it.


NOBLES: This isn't the first time we've heard this type of advice given to the president -- that he shouldn't engage in these kind of theatrics, particularly with someone that was a former reality star. But, Zach, he never seems to listen to that advice, does he?

ZACHARY WOLF, DIGITAL DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: No, he doesn't. I don't think he can help himself in this particular case, it seems like.

You know, there is no strategy by which I think it's a good idea to kind of bring Omarosa up to his level and get into a -- you know, essentially, an online shouting match with her, calling her names, disparaging her. I just don't understand how -- nobody is going to advise him to do that.

[05:35:03] I don't think it's something he can help though. When he sees the headlines, when he sees the things that she's saying and the ink that she's getting, and looking at the charges in her book, I think he probably just can't help himself.

ROMANS: You know, I think it's so fascinating that there's this reality show happening that the president is engaging in -- this White House reality show.

But this administration is working to chip away -- to roll back the legacies of the Obama administration every single day. Let me give you an example.

A Betsy DeVos rule would limit loan relief for defrauded students. That happened at the end of last month.

Ben Carson moving to roll back Obama-era fair housing rules -- rules which were meant to reduce segregation in public housing. Mick Mulvaney looks to weak oversight of military lending, something that caught -- that caught advocates for military families off guard.

There are real things happening in this administration every single day. It's not just a reality show there.

WOLF: It's not just a reality show but it's hard to look away from the -- you know, kind of the train wreck headlines that we see every day screaming at us. And the way that he is sort of -- commands attention is almost like a diversion from those other things that are going on.

ROMANS: Yes. Other things that affect millions of people by the way, you know.

NOBLES: Exactly, right.

ROMANS: You know, I mean important policies.

NOBLES: We had primaries last night, Zach. Perhaps the biggest headline is what happened in Vermont -- the first transgender woman to win a primary for governor, Christine Hallquist. That happened yesterday.

There were a number of results that were a bit surprising but I want to ask you about what happened in Kansas even though this wasn't a vote last night but the results finally became clear last night.

Kris Kobach, who is a Trump supporter, of course, was the lead investigator into Trump's look into election fraud which never really revealed anything. But the president came and endorsed Kobach at the eleventh hour and now he defeats the incumbent governor there.

Does this show us as well as anything that the president remains -- continues to have a stranglehold, at least with Republican voters in Republican primaries?

WOLF: Yes, absolutely. I don't know that I'd call it a stranglehold. I -- he is the leader of the party and he commands attention in the party.

Look at what happened in Minnesota with Tim Pawlenty --


WOLF: -- who had been a Trump critic and was unable to kind of -- even though he had better name recognition, unable to get the primary to try and reclaim his old job.

It's clear that Trump commands such respect among Republican voters or has such sway among Republican voters that he is setting the pace for sure in those primaries.

ROMANS: Can I ask you about these NDAs? I mean, to go back to this idea that there are these agreements between people who work in the White House -- or who worked on the campaign, actually, and the White House.

How common is that really? I mean, is Washington -- every administration steeped in NDAs?

WOLF: You know, it's kind of a new thing that we're learning about.

I don't know that -- you know, there's no reporting that members of Congress are asking their staffers to signs these NDAs. This is something Trump has really brought to town and I think there's some real open question about how enforceable they are.

And, you know, clearly, Omarosa is talking so this is going to be an open question. And we'll have to see what happens with this arbitration suit they've brought against her.


WOLF: But this is a new thing.

NOBLES: Omarosa, Stormy Daniels -- there are many people that have signed these NDAs.

ROMANS: I mean, but by bringing suit --

NOBLES: They're so popular.

ROMANS: By bringing suit and arbitration they just keep the story alive.

NOBLES: Keep the story alive, I know.

ROMANS: That's the other thing.

All right, Zach.

NOBLES: Thanks, Zach.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Zach Wolf.

Thirty-eight minutes past the hour.

In Pennsylvania, a grand jury report reveals just a staggering 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 and as recently as just a few years ago.

The report investigates clergy sexual abuse in six diocese across Pennsylvania, covering 54 of 67 counties.

Emotional victims spoke out in a video provided by the state attorney general.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was groomed, 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 ran right to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were taught, I mean, the priests and the nuns are God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just things like the word God makes me think of him and I just --


ROMANS: A thousand children identified and there could be more.

We get more this morning 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 child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church that has ever been produced in the United States.

[05:40:02] 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."

JOSH SHAPIRO, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: The members of the grand jury wrote in their report "we need you to hear this." There have 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."

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 Casarez. Thank you for that.

NOBLES: The death toll rising sharply overnight after a bridge collapsed in Italy. Search and rescue efforts expected to last for days. We'll have the latest live from Genoa when we come back.


[05:45:54] NOBLES: The search and rescue effort only beginning in Italy after that highway bridge collapse that killed dozens of people west of Genoa. The death toll climbing again overnight to 36.

CNN's Ian Lee is live in Genoa and this search and rescue effort seems to be continuing in earnest, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ryan, and we're seeing more equipment being brought in to help piece apart all these -- this concrete that fell down from that bridge. I'm going to step aside so you actually see what I'm talking about here.

Back there, that is where the bridge collapsed. This is about a half a mile bridge and the section that fell is about 400 yards, so you can imagine. That's four football fields of steel and concrete falling down on the ground below.

At least 35 cars, we're told, were on the bridge at the time. And they're picking through that concrete right now looking for any survivors and they haven't found any since yesterday. But the chief of fire services is still optimistic that they could probably find someone, although they've also pulled out three bodies.

Thirty-six people have been killed in this tragedy. That number could still rise as they say there are still a number of people believed to be trapped under that rubble.

This is a bridge that has had a long history of problems -- structural problems -- and the people in this community have complained about it.

But to have a bit of a silver lining to this, it could have been a lot worse. Today is a national holiday. This road would have been packed with cars that could have made this tragedy a lot worse.

Also, yesterday when it happened was the day before. A lot of people were taking that day off and that is important to note because underneath this bridge is a big industrial park. No one was injured in that park. No one was there when it collapsed.

So, you know, still a tragedy at 36 people killed but this could have been a lot worse, Ryan.

NOBLES: OK. Ian Lee live for us outside Genoa. Ian, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, "NEW DAY" is about 10 minutes away. The great John Berman joins us this morning. Hi, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What an introduction. I know you don't mean it, Christine Romans, Ryan Nobles. It is great to see you today.

You know, I was just looking at some of polls. Harry Enten, who is our great numbers guy who you have on a lot, pointed out overnight that more Americans than not think that the President of the United States is a racist. That's according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.

That's astounding when you sit back and think about it for a moment, and that was before this whole back-and-forth with Omarosa took off.

I was thinking about this. We now live in a world where the White House press secretary cannot guarantee that there's not a tape of the President of the United States using the "n" word. That's just remarkable. It is just remarkable.

And again, that all happened after more Americans than not said they already thought the president was a racist. We're going to explore what that all means and how the White House deals with this going forward.

Also, election night in America -- primaries across the country. What does it tell us? Candidates backed -- Republican candidates backed by the president did very well again.

And on the Democratic side, some progressives and firsts.

We're going to have the candidate from Vermont -- the Democratic nominee -- who is the first transgender nominee of a major political party for a governor. She will join us in the 7:00 hour. We're very excited to hear what she has to say about what she expects to do in this campaign going forward.

Also, the Red Sox, 10 games in first place, guys.

NOBLES: You're tossing that in there.

ROMANS: All right, John Berman. Thank you so much, John.

NOBLES: Thanks, John.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

Global stocks are mixed right now. U.S. stocks rose yesterday, breaking a 4-day losing streak after the lira rebounded from record lows. The lira is something they're concerned about here.

Turkey's currency has been under pressure lately, worrying investors. The lira down about 40 percent against the dollar this year, long thrashed by a mix of Erdogan's autocratic policies, U.S. interest rate hike, Turkey's economic instability.

On Friday, President Trump authorized plans to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. In response, the Turkish president called for a boycott of American electronics.

[05:50:00] Turkey also doubled tariffs on some U.S. imports like cars, alcohol, and tobacco.

The founders of Tinder are suing the dating app's owners, claiming they were cheated out of at least $2 billion.

The co-founders filed a suit against Tinder's owners Match Group and its parent company IAC. They claim IAC deliberately undervalued Tinder, denying the founders billions of dollars they were owed.

IAC calls this suit meritless and will defend itself.

All right.

Americans are borrowing more than ever -- borrowing more than ever. U.S. household debt hit a record $13.3 trillion last quarter. Debt is still climbing after four years, even with rising interest rates driving up borrowing costs. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York cites higher balances for mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans.

The number of delinquent loans also fell, hitting a lowest rate since 2003 and it's primarily student loan debt. The report credits an improved labor market for less delinquency on student loans. Americans currently hold $1.5 trillion in debt.

NOBLES: All right.

You may have noticed that there are more animals on airplanes recently, but some of these airlines are trying to rein that in. I've already used that but it's appropriate in this respect. One airline putting a limit on what pets you bring for emotional support.


[05:55:43] ROMANS: Closing arguments today in the bank and tax fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The defense rested without calling a single witness. Manafort did not testify.

His attorney chose not to present a case, claiming the government has not met its burden of proof. But, Judge T.S. Ellis denied Manafort's request to have the charges thrown out.

The judge called on each side to limit closing arguments today to two hours.

NOBLES: The Pentagon's chief spokeswoman under investigation this morning. CNN reporting exclusively the Defense Department's internal watchdog is looking into allegations that Dana White misused her staff for personal errands and retaliated when they complained.

Source say staffers claimed White ordered them to fetch dry cleaning, run to the drug store, and fill out mortgage paperwork.

White did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

Defense Sec. James Mattis would make a final decision on punishment.

ROMANS: The Department of Homeland Security's watchdog will review a TSA program called "Quiet Skies." The recently revealed program uses federal air marshals to track U.S. citizens by computer software as possibly posing a threat.

The passengers are not suspected of a crime, they're not under investigation, they're not on any terror watch list. Investigators look into whether the program follows privacy laws and whether it is effective.

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

Broward County investing $26 million in security at all of its schools, including double-doors, cameras, and security personnel.

ROMANS: Two sisters who worked in a school cafeteria in Connecticut apparently had an appetite for cash. The pair are accused of stealing nearly half a million dollars in a scam 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 district installed an enhanced accounting system.

Both suspects are due in court next week.

NOBLES: Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones suspended for one 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 get battle rifles ready against the media and others.

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

ROMANS: All right.

Starting next month, if you want to bring an emotional support animal on a Southwest flight it can only be a cat or a dog. Passengers will need to present a letter from a doctor and the animal must be on a leash or in a carrier.

American, JetBlue, Delta, and United all have introduced similar measures. They're toughening this up because flyers have become increasingly bold in bringing animals on planes.

In January, a woman tried to board a United flight with an emotional support peacock.

NOBLES: And, 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 telling CNN that Franklin is being visited by those closest to her. They are reading her messages from friends and loved ones. Reverend Jesse Jackson will be visiting her today. ROMANS: And we certainly wish her the best and her family the best -- all of her friends.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

NOBLES: And I'm Ryan Nobles. "NEW DAY" starts right now.



OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Had I heard it while I was working in the White House, I would have left immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is racist. We don't need to have a tape to know that.

SANDERS: This has absolutely nothing to do with race. The fact is the president's an equal opportunity person that calls things like he sees it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) around 18 months old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The largest report into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He abused it and the church covered it up.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, August 15th, 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is off; Erica Hill joins me. You just dropped your cell phone, so working through a few things this morning?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I think -- I think -- I think I'm going to make it, though. I have two cell phones so at least one will work later.

BERMAN: A back-up plan -- I like that.

So this morning we live in a world where the White House --