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More Clearances could be Stripped in Coming Days; President Trump's Military Parade Postponed; NYT: WH Aide Worried Omarosa has 200 Tapes; 2nd Day of Deliberation in Manafort Trial. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 17, 2018 - 05:00   ET



RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: It is Friday, August 17th. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East. We're going to start with politics though. It appears President Trump is not done using security clearance to punish political adversaries. And officials confirm the White House is thinking of stripping more clearances in the coming days despite the furor over the president's retaliation against John Brennan. Some of the former CIA directors, intelligence colleagues are rallying behind it. It issued a new statement, among them, six former CIA chiefs, including all five from 1997 until Brennan came on the job.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: They write, "The president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances and everything to do with the attempt to stifle free speech. This action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials and that signal is inappropriate and deeply regrettable."

NOBLES: That statement came hours after the architect of the bin Laden raid retired Admiral William McRaven published a stunning rebuke of President Trump. In a "Washington Post" op-ed, McRaven wrote, "Brennan is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency."

ROMANS: Despite the criticism, few Republicans seem to think revoking Brennan's clearance is that big of a deal.


SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: I don't know why former government employees continue to carry their security clearance with them. Anyway, I don't see how Mr. Brennan attempting to help the Trump administration.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. Brennan has gone way over the line in my view. And I think restricting his clearance makes sense to me.

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: The fact he is out there every single day, acting in a partisan way probably doesn't help his cause.


ROMANS: Former top government officials are generally allowed to keep their security clearances so they can advise future administrations.

NOBLES: And President Trump will have to wait until next year for his military parade. It was originally scheduled for November, but the Defense Department says it will now explore dates in 2019. The parade would have been held on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.

ROMANS: An administration official tells CNN the planning estimate for the parade is up to $92 million, tens of millions of dollars higher than originally expected. But on a flight to Colombia, the Defense Secretary James Mattis disputed those numbers.


JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Whoever told you that is probably smoking something that is legal in my state, but not in most states. I'm not dignifying that number with any reply. I would discount that and anybody who said that, I almost guarantee you one thing, they need to stay anonymous. No kidding. You look like an idiot and number two, whoever wrote it needs to get better sources. I'll just leave it at that. And I don't know who wrote it. I haven't seen it. But I guarantee you there's been no cost estimate.


ROMANS: The Pentagon is not saying why they have pushed the planning into 2019. The president calls for a military parade in Washington after he was impressed by the Bastille Day parade he attended in France last year.

NOBLES: "The New York Times" reports that White House aides are worried that Omarosa could have as many as 200 recorded conversations and that they could be on them. Omarosa released a new recording Thursday. It was taped after she was fired from the White House in December. She and Eric Trump's wife, Lara, can be heard discussing the job with the president's reelection campaign that would have paid Omarosa $180,000 a year. Listen to Lara Trump raised concerns with Omarosa about turning on the president.


LARA TRUMP, WIFE OF ERIC TRUMP: Listen, obviously, with, like "The New York Times" article and stuff, you know, it's, it's --

OMAROSA MANIGAULT, AMERICAN WRITER: What is "The New York Times" article?

TRUMP: The one that, the one that -- it was in "The New York Times" today. I guess you didn't -- with Maggie Haberman, or they wrote about you. It sounds a little like obviously, that there are some things you've got in the back pocket to pull out. Clearly, if you come onboard the campaign, like, we cannot have - we got to --

MANIGAULT: Oh, God, no.

TRUMP: -- everything, everybody positive, right?


ROMANS: Omarosa says she considered that job offer a hush agreement. Lara Trump claimed the recording has been edited, calling it a fraud. She says, quote, "Woman to woman, I shared a connection with Omarosa is a friend and a campaign sister. And I am absolutely shocked and saddened by her betrayal and violation on a deeply personal level."

Lara's husband, Eric, also tweeting, "I truly hate disloyal people." Meantime, Omarosa's publishers, Simon and Schuster says, it will not back down from selling Omarosa's tell-all book despite legal threats from the Trump campaign.

NOBLES: This morning, Jurors returning for a second day of deliberations in the trial of the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. On day one of deliberations, there was no verdict but jurors did send a note asking the Judge T.S. Ellis for questions, one asking him to explain the definition of reasonable doubt, Manafort facing 18 counts of financial crimes, including alleged bank and tax fraud.

[05:05:01] If he's acquitted, Manafort still faces another federal trial next month. Court filing show the Special Counsel's Office has almost three times as many exhibits lined up for that trial as for this one.

ROMANS: All right, nothing but love, honor and respect for the fans and friends for the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

Mourners gathered up by the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Thursday to celebrate Aretha's life. She succumb to pancreatic cancer Thursday morning at her Detroit home at the age of 76. Take a look at the Apollo marquee paying one final tribute to Franklin. The theater probably called itself Aretha's home.

NOBLES: Fans also flocking to her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame leaving behind flowers, photos, even a queen's crown. Aretha Franklin's life and career earning more than her share of R-E-S-P-E-C- T.

"Respect" was written by Otis Redding. Aretha made it a civil rights call to arms. And then it was "Natural Woman" written by Carole King and turned into an earthy expression of sexuality by the legendary Queen of Soul.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was the breaker. She was the person that went out front. Stepped on out there and did what she was supposed to do and set the pace for the rest of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ABCs. She could sing it. It would become a classic because of the way she did it and how she did it. And the feeling that she had and her soul came out in everything.


ROMANS: Aretha Franklin was the first woman admitted in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. She had 88 billboard chart hits during the rock era and she won 18 Grammy awards. As a little girl, young woman, 12, 13 years old, she began singing at her father's church in Detroit.


ARETHA FRANKLIN, QUEEN OF SOUL: He did say at one point that one day I would sing for kings and queens. He did say that. And I have.


NOBLES: And Aretha Franklin, being remembered by political figures from both sides of the aisle.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well. She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific. Aretha Franklin on her passing. She's brought joy to millions of lives and her extraordinary legacy will thrive and inspire many generations to come. She was given a great gift from God, her voice. And she used it well. People loved Aretha. She's a special woman.


NOBLES: One of her most memorable performances came at the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. And the Obamas releasing this statement, quote, "She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she just helped us forget about everything else and dance."

ROMANS: All right, this morning 30 seconds alone with a heartless psychopath. That is what one family member of Shanann Watts says he wants with her husband. That husband accused of killing Watts and their two young girls.


[05:12:59] ROMANS: All right. It's Friday. It is 12 minutes past the hour. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow is super psyched about the U.S. economy.


LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: Our economy, our investors, our workforce are crushing it right now. We are crushing it.

And people say this is not sustainable, it's a one-quarter blip, is just nonsense -- absolute nonsense. Any business economist worth his or her salt will look at these trends and tell you we're going for a while.


ROMANS: We're going for a while. That is Kudlow yesterday at the cabinet meeting. He is right. The economy is strong right now. Super charged by big government spending and lower taxes. And he mentioned though that people say it is a one-time blip. That is because there are some concerns that this is more of a sugar rush than a permanent fix.

Look at the second quarter. The U.S. economy grew an impressive 4.1 percent. But the recent tax cuts boosted spending and investment. And the looming threat of tariffs prompted a rush into exports in that quarter, particularly soybeans. Economists expect both to slow and that means growth, it will be as robust for the rest of the year.

The CBO is not as optimistic as Kudlow about the future. The CBO predicts the U.S. economy will grow 3.1 percent this year. By the way, that's good, that's fantastic. But then look, they see it tapering off. 2.4 percent next year, 1.7 percent in 2020. By then, the CBO says the effects of tax cuts would have faded and higher interest rates could cut into consumers spending, leaving the U.S. to face climbing deficits and the national debt by the way of more than $21 trillion.

NOBLES: Breaking news this morning, a Phoenix police officer in critical condition at this hour after he was shot last night. According to police, a man parked in a vehicle in north Phoenix fired at the officer twice. He returned fire. The officer and the suspect are both in critical condition. The officer is not being identified. He has been with the department for about a year. We will bring you more information on this story when it becomes available.

ROMANS: A grim end to the search for a pregnant Colorado mother and her two children. Shanann Watts' body discovered on the property owned by his husband's former employer.

[05:15:05] The remains of her 3-year-old and 4-year-old daughters, Bella and Celeste, they were found nearby. Shanann's husband was accused of killing all three of them. We get more this morning from CNN's Paul Vercammen.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: Christine, Ryan, that husband Chris Watts walked into court in an orange jump suit and reading glasses, his expression blank. This is the same man who earlier in the week has pleaded for the return of his wife, 15 weeks pregnant, and their two little girls. During that interview, he had also said when asked about a possible confrontation that they had an emotional conversation. Authorities are saying very little about his arrest on suspicion of three counts of murder.

Who is sounding off? The victim's brother. He said in a social media post, "I just want 30 seconds alone with that heartless psychopath." And went on to say, "May Satan have mercy on his soul." He has not been formally charged. Chris Watts will be back in court on Tuesday. And prosecutors have until Monday to bring charges against him. Back to you now, Christine, Ryan. NOBLES: Thank you Paul. The Vatican says it unequivocally condemns the sexual abuse of minors. Pressure had been building on the pope to address the grand jury report describing crimes of 300 predator priests in Pennsylvania. The Vatican says, quote, "The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith."

Pennsylvania's attorney general says he appreciates the remorse. He hopes the church will embrace the grand jury's recommendations, including the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations for sexually abusing children.

Broncos general manager John Elway in the market for a back-up quarterback. Colin Kaepernick was an option. Why he isn't anymore. Andy Scholes has this morning's bleacher report when we come back.


[05:21:25] ROMANS: This morning, a warning for parents whose children use EpiPens. A widespread shortage across the country could send kids who have serious allergies back to school unprotected. The shortage has been an issue now for months. It is caused by manufacturing problems and local supply disruptions. Sales typically spike during the back-to-school season of course. It is not clear how many children could be affected. But we do know nearly 6 million kids in the U.S. have food allergies.

NOBLES: The New York University School of Medicine plans to offer a scholarship that pickups the full tuition regardless of financial need or academic performance. That is just north of $55,000 per student this year alone. The offer designed to boost interest and alleviate concerns about debt extends to every new, current or future medical students. About 75 percent of medical students graduated with debt last year. They owed an average of $191,000.

ROMANS: You still got to be smart and get in.

NOBLES: It's not just - a given, yes.

ROMANS: You got to get in.

NOBLES: Well, the parents of the Maryland football player who died are speaking out. Saying the team's coach should have never been allowed to coach again.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's bleacher report. Hey, Andy, tough story.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's certainly is, guys. You know, 19-year-old Jordan McNair died back in June. 15 days after suffering a heat stroke after a grueling football practice. Earlier this week, Maryland's school president came out and said the school was taking legal and moral responsibility for Jordan's death, apologizing to McNair's parents. Yesterday on "Good Morning America" McNair's parents speaking out for the first time and they say head coach DJ Durkin should be fired.


MARTIN MCNAIR, JORDAN MCNAIR'S FATHER: he shouldn't be able to work with anybody else's kid. You don't send your kid away to college, Michael, you send your kid away to college for them to be developed into young people. And that's physically, emotionally, spiritually, and just teach these people - teach our young kids - our young people -- that we worked so hard to get there to, hey, I'm giving my child to you. Keep him safe. And they did anything but that. So of course he should be fired.


SCHOLES: Durkin is currently on administrative leave while the school continues its investigations to the circumstances surrounding McNair's death. ESPN reported last week that Maryland's football program had a toxic culture detailing allegations of verbal abuse, bullying and a general disregard for the players' wellbeing. Durkin has not commented on that report since being put on leave. And be sure to tune in to "New Day" at 7:00 hour when McNair's parents will be on to speak about what happened to their son.

All right, the NFL preseason continuing last night with a Super Bowl rematch between the Eagles and the Patriots. Eagles' fans having some fun trolling pats fans at a plane flying over Fox borough, reminding everyone of the score from the Super Bowl. 41-33. The Eagles however were not laughing in the second quarter.

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles gets stripped, injured his shoulder on the play. He would leave the game.

41-year-old Tom Brady, meanwhile, making his preseason debut and the ageless one looking pretty good. Brady throwing for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Patriots win 37-20.

The Denver Broncos are in the market for a back-up quarterback, but they won't be signing Colin Kaepernick. The team's general manager John Elway said he tried to sign Kaepernick before and it did not work out.


JOHN ELWAY, DENVER BRONCOS GENERAL MANAGER: Colin had his chance to be here. We offered him a contract. He didn't take it. So you know and as I said it in my deposition, I don't know if I'll be legally able to say this, but he's had his chance to be here. He passed it.


[05:25:07] SCHOLES: And for context, Elway tried to work out a deal to trade for Kaepernick before the 2016 season, which is the year Kaepernick started his protest. Now, they couldn't agree on a pay cut so Kaepernick remained with the 49ers. And, guys, it sounded like Elway was saying, you know what, we couldn't work out a deal before the get together, so I guess bridges were burned and we're not going to go back there. You know, at first, people are like, wait a second Kaepernick turned down a job. But that doesn't seem to be the case.


NOBLES: Yes. It doesn't put an end to the controversy by any stretch to the imagination.

ROMANS: All right, Andy, thank you.

NOBLES: More long time Intel officials coming to John Brennan's defense. Now, we've learned some of those same officials could have their own clearances stripped within days.


NOBLES: The White House undeterred by criticism for stripping John Brennan's security clearance. Well, other Intel officials could lose theirs in the coming days.

ROMANS: The president's military parade, it will have to wait for 2019. The Pentagon delaying the parade as cost reportedly -