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For Whom The Bells Tolls; Shooter Targets Video Game Tournament; Remembering Neil Simon; Remembering John McCain; Call For Pope's Resignation. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired August 27, 2018 - 04:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's tough to imagine the Senate without him. It's tough to imagine politics without John McCain.

LAURA JARRETT, EARLY START SHOW GUEST CO-HOST: Reality setting in for emotional colleagues of John McCain.



JARRETT: And the legendary Neil Simon has passed away. The Playwright, he lives behind a list of iconic shows that shaped comedy in the 20th century. Good morning and welcome to Early Start, I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: Good to have you here my friend. I'm Dave Briggs. It is Monday, August 27th, it is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Tributes continued to pour in from around the world for John McCain. A titan in American politics and a true American hero. Arizona Senator died this weekend at his ranch in Sedona, Arizona. He was 81. His death coming the day after his family announced he stopped all treatment for brain cancer in which he has been battling for over a year.

JARRETT: McCain served as a naval bomber pilot and served nearly six years as prisoner of war in Vietnam, famously refusing and early released. He made his name in politics as a Conservative maverick. A giant of the Senate and two-time Presidential candidate. McCain is survived by his wife, Cindy and seven children and mother Roberta who is 106. There are plans for a full week of memorials. We get more on that from CNN's Kyung Lah in Phoenix.


KYUNG LAH, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Dave and Laura, Senator John McCain, such a prominent national figure, but Arizona's favorite son. His services will begin here in his home state. The flags at the capitol had been lowered in remembrance of the Senator. And it is here where the services will begin. After a private service at the rotunda, he will lie in state for six hours. Members of the public will begin to come in and say farewell.

On Thursday morning, there will be a public memorial service at a local Baptist Church in Phoenix. And then the Senator departs for Washington.

On Friday, the Senator will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol rotunda. On Saturday a national memorial service at the national cathedral. And then on Sunday, Senator McCain will be laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he began his public service, beginning his military life there. That is where he will be, his final resting place. Dave, Laura.


BRIGGS: Kyung Lah, thank you. Emotional tributes coming from John McCain's Senate colleagues. His closest friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham tweeting America in freedom have lost one of our greatest champions and I have lost one of my dearest friend and mentor. Arizona's Junior Senator, Jeff Flake got choked up speaking on CNN "State of the union" Sunday.


SEN JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: It's tough. I'm going to miss him. I have admired him, like I said, my entire life and it's tough to imagine a Senate without him. It's tough to imagine politics without John McCain.


JARRETT: Across the aisle, Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer said, he is introducing a resolution to rename the Senate Russell office building after McCain.


CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MINORITY LEADER: You don't meet many great men as you go through life. John McCain was one of them. And I would like decades from now little children to ask their parents who was John McCain and they will explain his sacrifice, his patriotism and most of all his fidelity to do the right thing as he saw it. When he did the wrong thing, to change.


JARRETT: And former Vice President, Joe Biden, also honoring McCain with these words. Quote, John McCain's life is proof that some truths are timeless. Character, courage, integrity and honor. A life lived embodying those truths cast a long, long shadow. John McCain will cast a long shadow. His impact on America hasn't ended. Not even close. It will go on for many years to come.

BRIGGS: We are told the White House drafted a statement for President Trump praising McCain, but it was never sent out. Several staff members believes the statement which it went through an internal approval process would be released at the time of the Senator's death. But the Washington Post reports President Trump went against the advice of senior aides, including Chief of Staff, John Kelly, a veteran and Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, instead posting a brief tweet.

[04:05:10] No mention of McCain's military service, not a word of praise for him. And the President's Instagram post had a photo of himself instead of the Senator. McCain was one of the administration's most vocal Republican critics.

JARRETT: Others in the White House though were more gracious. Both Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo calling McCain a patriot. Amid the flood of tributes, President Trump's Twitter feed was largely silent. Except for a retweet of his own post, criticizing the Russia investigation. And boasting about the growing of economy.

Former President Barack Obama who defeated McCain in 2008 issued a statement with his wife, Michelle, saying quote few of us have been tested the way John once was or require to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush will deliver eulogies at Saturday memorial at the National Cathedral.

BRIGGS: As for who will replace John McCain in the senate. That is up to the Republican Governor, Doug Ducey. The governor will fill the vacancy until a special election is held in 2020. Ducey says he won't name his successor until after McCain is laid to rest. The winner of the special election will hold the seat for the remaining two years in McCain's term 2022. The seat will be on the ballot for a full six- year term. Ducey has refused to talk about who he might pick to succeed McCain, except to say he will not appoint himself.

JARRETT: John McCain left us with no shortage of memorable moments. His final lasting image on the Senate floor turning thumbs down on the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare. The dramatic vote last July, bucking his own Party came around at 1:30 in the morning and just 11 days after he underwent brain surgery. Just days before that vote with a scar above his left eye from surgery, Senator McCain delivered a speech imploring his Senate colleagues to do the people's work.


SEN JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Stop listening to the bombastic loud mouths on the radio and television and the internet. To hell with them.


Let's trust each other. Let's return to regular order. We have been spinning our wheels on too many issues, because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. We are getting nothing done, my friends. We are getting nothing done!


BRIGGS: Then there's this unforgettable moment back in 2008 during the Presidential campaign. John McCain showed his character and pre- viewed the divisive political climate of the last decade.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't trust Obama. I have read about him and he is not -- he is a -- he is an Arab. He is not.

MCCAIN: No, ma'am. No, ma'am. He is a decent family man and citizen that I just happened to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That is what this campaign is all about. He is not. Thank you.


BRIGGS: You heard a smattering of applause there. But that really led to boos throughout. John McCain himself telling us how he wants to be remembered. Listen to what he said on his memoir released this year.


MCCAIN: I hope those who mourn my passing and even those who don't will celebrate as I celebrate a happy life lived an imperfect service to the country made of ideals whose continued success of hope for the world. And I wish all of you greater ventures, good company and lives as lucky as mine.


BRIGGS: Yes. How many people, Laura Jarrett, would be held as a POW for more than five years in Vietnam and consider himself lucky, consider himself fortunate. I think, when the kids go back to school this week and next, it is a moment to teach them a little bit about service, a little bit of sacrifice, a little bit of courage, a little bit of character. That is a man your children can learn from whether Republican or whether you are a Democrat. No matter your political principles are, there is something we as Americans should hold dear. I'm afraid not enough of us do.

JARRETT: And you see it this weekend. The outpouring from every single person from both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republican, everyone comes together over John McCain.

BRIGGS: And unfortunately the silence from the Oval Office. I think it speaks volumes as well.

JARRETT: Definitely. Well, two people are dead, 11 others injured in just the latest mass shooting to rock the nation. This time it happened at the Madden 19 video gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Police say a suspect brought a gun to the venue where the tournament was taking place and opened fire.

[04:10:04] The say the shooter then killed himself. The victims have now been identified as Taylor Robertson and Eli Clayton. This is just the latest mass shooting in Florida over the last few years following the Pulse Nightclub and Parkland shooting massacres. We get more now from CNN's Polo Sandoval.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Laura, police in Jacksonville Florida confirming that the suspect behind the nation's the latest mass shooting is a 24 year-old man from Baltimore, Maryland. Yesterday, he was identified as David Katz. He is among the three people who are dead at the scene. He opened fire at a video game competition Sunday afternoon inside the Jacksonville restaurant. Police also believe that Katz was a participant in that tournament. Though they did not confirm a motive. Only saying that he used a handgun in the shooting.

The ATF now is processing that weapon. Investigators say Katz shot and killed two people at that restaurant. Nine others were also reportedly shot. This morning they are recovering from their injuries. Police now asking the communities for any video that may have been shot at the scene. They already have those seconds of footage that have already circulated on the internet showing those moments before the shots rang out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a tough out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not an easy out. Excuse me.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he shoot me with?

SANDOVAL: Investigators now conducting the search of the suspect's home, his vehicle. And also believe that he may have stayed at a hotel Saturday night. They believe any evidence that they could find there could provide crucial clues as they try to piece together a motive. Dave and Laura.


JARRETT: Polo Sandoval, thank you for that reporting. Another shooting.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a former Vatican official says the Pope should resign over his handling of abuse allegations against an American cardinal. We are live in Rome with the latest.


JARRETT: The Missouri Attorney General says this week his office will investigate allegations of sexual abuse by clergy in the St. Louis area. Missouri will be the first state to publicly do so, since the Pennsylvania grand jury report documenting decades of abuses and cover-ups.

BRIGGS: Now a former Vatican official calling for Pope Francis to resign. Former archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano says, he told the Pope about accusations against U.S. Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick five years ago and he failed to act. McCarrick, who Vigano called a serial predator resigned last month over decades old sexual abuse allegations involving a teenage altar boy. CNN's Delia Gallagher live in Rome with more. Delia, good morning.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Dave. Returning last night from Ireland on the papal plane, Pope Francis did address the accusations on the part of his former papal envoy who wrote an 11-page statement implicating Pope Francis and others in the church's hierarchy for covering up allegations against Cardinal McCarrick. This is what the Pope said to journalists on the plane. I will not say a single word on this, he said. I read the statement this morning and I must tell you sincerely, read the statement carefully and make your own judgment.

So, the Pope not really confirming or denying. But he also said that he may not speak about it now, but he may sometime in the future. This coming on the heels of his two-day trip to Ireland. It was a somber visit where the Pope repeated his apology and asking for forgiveness in the church's role in sex abuse and cover-up. He also met with survivors of sex abuse and of Ireland's notorious mother and baby home. But you know the refrain that we heard over and over again in Ireland is that people want action and not words. And for that, it is likely that the Pope and the Vatican will still have to be forthcoming on this issue. Laura, Dave.

BRIGGS: Yes. It is a long way from over. Delia Gallagher live for us this morning. Thank you.

JARRETT: Well, "Time" magazine once called him the patron saint of laughter. Neil Simon has died, but the laughter will (inaudible) through his work. We will run through the classics next.


BRIGGS: All right. It is 4:22 Eastern Time. U.S. and Mexico closing in on a NAFTA deal and could reach agreement as early as today. The two countries had met over the past few weeks and Mexico economy minister told reporters, both sides were close to resolving key issues. Bloomberg reports significant breakthrough on energy and autos. The auto industry has been a major focus of NAFTA renegotiations, which Mexico and the U.S. along with Canada have been working on for more than a year. President Trump claims the deal has cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs. He vows to tweak it or withdraw. Trump tweeted Saturday, our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour adding that a big trade agreement with Mexico could be happening soon. One country missing from the most recent round of talks, Canada. Canada says it will rejoin once Mexico and the U.S. reach a bilateral deal.

JARRETT: Mollie Tibbetts' father using his daughter's funeral to call on the community to turn the page to more joyful times. More than 1,200 people packing in Iowa gymnasium to say good-bye to the slain 20 year-old college student. She vanished in July during a run and her body was found last week in a field. Local running clubs are holding meet ups in her memory using the #milesformollie.

BRIGGS: Meantime, the man accused of killing her, 24 year-old, undocumented immigrant, Christian Rivera, expected back in court later this week. He is being held on $5 million bond. Tibbetts' murder fueling President Trump and fellow Republican attacks on immigration ahead of the midterms, but Tibbetts family and friends have asked her death not be used for politics.

Legendary playwright screen writer, Neil Simon has died. His publicist said Simon died Sunday of complications from pneumonia. Neil Simon was a master of comedy. His laugh field includes "The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the park, the sunshine boys and brighten beach memoirs." Simon wrote more than 30 plays over six decades.

[04:25:00] JARRETT: At one point in 1967, he had four shows running on Broadway at once. He received 16 Tony nominations winning best play three times and had four Oscar nominations. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his play Lost in Yonkers and won the Mark Twain prize for American humor. He was the only living person ever to have a Broadway theater named for him. Neil Simon was 91.

BRIGGS: Hawaii defeating South Korea 3-0 to win the little league World Series title. Hawaii's (inaudible) hit the first pitch of the game for homerun to give the boys some Honolulu lead they would not relinquish. The starting pitcher Kay Lou (ph), tossed a complete game shutout. The third little league title for this Hawaiian team all of them in the last 13 years.

Just watch the joy. This is what we need this morning. To watch a bunch of kids who know exactly why they play this game. One they love. Tough lost for South Korea. A lot of tears on that side. I watched a lot of these little league World Series. And that Hawaii team, especially in particular on the mounts. Great pitchers. Congratulations to them. One of the misses came right there with the water toss. They did not miss many opportunities, but that was one.

JARRETT: You can see the joy on their faces, right.

BRIGGS: The little league World Series is just fantastic. Year after year. It is about joy. Good stuff.

JARRETT: Well, Senator, war hero, maverick, legend. John McCain leaves behind a gaping hole for a nation in need of leadership. Here is how McCain said, he wanted to be remembered.


MCCAIN: He served his country. And not always right. He made a lot of mistakes. Made a lot of errors, but served his country. And I hope we can add honorably.