Return to Transcripts main page


For Whom The Bells Tolls; Shooter Targets Video Game Tournament; Remembering Neil Simon; Remembering John McCain; Call For Pope's Resignation. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 27, 2018 - 04:30   ET




SEN JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: 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. Public service forges ahead without the legendary (inaudible) a week of tribute now set.




DAVE BRIGGS, EARLY START SHOW CO-HOST: Florida targeted by a mass shooter once again. This time it was a football video game tournament. Three are dead, including the shooter.

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. Welcome back to Early Start, I'm Laura Jarrett.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It is 4:32 Eastern Time on a Monday. A lot of people remembering John McCain. This morning Republican and Democrats call this of courage, character, service and sacrifice, but one is underrated and John McCain is his sense of humor. Listen to what Lindsey Graham told Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the things that draws you too one another is humor.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes. I have some. He doesn't. Yes. He is very funny.


You know, he is funny in the weirdest kind of ways. You know, I'm not a big reader. He is. But I might as will be, because he reads an entire book to me.

BASH: Reads aloud.

GRAHAM: Yes, reads aloud. I said, what do you think about this? I think if I like that book, I'd bought it. But John has a very sarcastic sense of humor that took him through some pretty dark times. But he is a very funny guy.


BRIGGS: How else do you survive five and a half years in the Hanoi Hilton? But Nicole and Susan Collins both talked about one thing, his sense of humor and how much fun he was.

JARRETT: yes and the sarcasm. See him giving double horns to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Well, tributes are pouring in from around the world for John McCain. A titan in American politics and a true American hero. The Arizona Senator died this weekend at his ranch in Sedona, Arizona. He was 81. His death coming the day after his family announced he has stopped all treatment for brain cancer in which he has been battling for over a year.

BRIGGS: McCain served as a naval bomber pilot for nearly six years as prisoner of war in Vietnam, famously refusing an 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 his mother Roberta who is 106. There are plans for a full week of memorials, 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.


[04:35:04] JARRETT: Kyung Lah, thank you for that. 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.


BRIGGS: His voice will be missed. 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: We're told the White House drafted a statement from 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, and Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, instead posting a brief tweet.

There was no mention of McCain's military service or any praise for him whatsoever. And the President's Instagram post had a photo of him instead of the Senator. McCain was one of the administration's most vocal Republican critic.

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 featured retweets 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, a 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 all of that, we are all in his debt. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush will deliver eulogies at Saturday memorial at the National Cathedral.

JARRETT: As for who will replace John McCain in the senate. That is up to the Arizona's Republican Governor, Doug Ducey. Ducey says he won't name his successor until after McCain is laid to rest. The governor will fill the vacancy until a special election is held in 2020. The winner of the special election will hold the seat for the remaining two years of McCain's term. Then in 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.

BRIGGS: Senator John McCain left us with no shortage of memorable moments. His final lasting images thumbs down on the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare. Last July he delivered a dramatic vote around 1:30 a.m. backing his own party that is happening 11 days after he undergone brain surgery. Just days before that vote with a scar above his left eye from surgery, Senator McCain delivered a speech on the Senate floor imploring his 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!


JARRETT: Then there's this unforgettable moment back in 2008 during McCain's Presidential bid. 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.


[04:40:00] JARRETT: We'll give McCain the last word. Here he is in his own words in 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Just Remember that. John McCain considered himself lucky.

Even after brain cancer and even after five and a half years as prisoner of war in Vietnam. You wonder, Laura, if bipartisanship dies with John McCain. It had been on life support long before he was diagnosed. But his work with Feingold and Kennedy and Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Will we see anything like that in the years ahead?

JARRETT: Even watching him at that rally in 2008. Can you imagine someone doing that today? Can you imagine someone taking that kind of stance? It seems so obvious. But still, we have not seen anything like that lately.

BRIGGS: Can you imagine if that question was posed to President or candidate Trump? How he might answer. I think we already know the answer, but John McCain will be forever remembered.

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

They 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 School massacres. 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.


BRIGGS: All right. Polo Sandoval there, thank you.

JARRETT: A former Vatican official says the Pope should resign over his handling of abuse allegations against an American cardinal. We are live in Rome up next.


BRIGGS: 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.

JARRETT: Now a former Vatican official calling for Pope Francis to resign. Claiming, he told him in 2013 about abuse allegations against and American Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick resigned last month over decades old sexual abuse allegations. CNN's Delia Gallagher is live for us in Rome with more, Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Laura, they are coming back from Ireland last night on the papal plane. Pope Francis did respond to those accusations from his former papal envoy accusations. Which were published in 11-page statement on Sunday implicating Pope Francis and others in the Vatican's hierarchy for knowing about the abuse of former Cardinal McCarrick and for covering them up.

This is what the Pope said to journalists on the plane. He said, I will not say a single word on this. I read the statement this morning and I must tell you sincerely, read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. The Pope also added he won't speak about it and now that he may sometime in the future. This came as the Pope wrap up a two day trip to Ireland Villa Somber visit with the Pope apologizing again for that Catholic Churches role in sex abuse and cover up and also leading with survivors of sexual abuse and of Ireland's notorious mother and baby home. But what we heard over and over again in Ireland is that people want action and not words. And for that, they may have to wait just a little bit longer. Laura, Dave.

JARRETT: It seems though, that is not the last we will hear from the Pope on all of this. Delia Gallagher, thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. A check on CNN money at 4:49 Eastern Time. A big victory for unions. A federal Judge striking down sections of the executive orders that made it easier to fire federal employees and weaken their labor unions. The court criticized three of President Trump's executive orders that impaired quote the ability of agency officials to bargain in good faith. Including provisions that limit the time union officials could spend with members. And the issues Unions can bargain over.

[04:50:00] The largest federal employee union calls this ruling, a big win and writing that Trump's executive orders were a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed the public sector employees. There are about 2.1 million civil servants nationwide.

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. This is a big setback to the administration's efforts to rein in federal unions but still would keep significant power even as private sectors Union's decline. White House officials has said, the goal is to make the federal work force more efficient.

Ahead, exactly what we all need this morning, the Little League World Series. A little joy brought to us from these kids from Hawaii. The championship highlights next.


BRIGGS: In Chicago, an investigation under way after six children and two adults were killed when a fire tore through the second story home. The fire broke out around 4:00 a.m. Sunday and was reported by a woman who smelled smoke. Officials say two children were injured and are hospitalized. Their conditions are not known. A firefighter was also sent to the hospital, but he is in good condition. At this point, it is unclear what started the blaze. Public records show the building had two code violations during its most recent inspections in June.

JARRETT: Legendary playwright and screen writer, Neil Simon has died. Simon died Sunday of complications from pneumonia. Neil Simon was a master of comedy. His laugh field hits includes "The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the park, the sunshine boys and brighten beach memoirs." Simon wrote more than 30 plays over six decades. He received 16 Tony nominations winning best play three times. He won a 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 a homerun to give the boys all they would need in this game. And wide pitch brought a couple more homes starting pitcher Kay Lou (ph), tossed a complete game shutout. The third little league title for this Hawaiian team all of them coming in the last 13 years. They are on three runs in the entire tournament shutting out four of five opponents. Congratulations to Hawaii.

BRIGGS: Let's get a check on CNN money this morning. Global stocks are higher today. Following a record day on Wall Street, NASDAQ and S&P 500 both closing at record highs Friday. Tech stocks were the biggest winners. Netflix rising 6 percent after analyst upgrades on the stock was up at 87 percent this year. Speaking out of Central Bankers meeting Wyoming, Friday, Fed chair, Jerome Powell called the U.S. economy strong, adding that he sees further gradual interest rate hikes moving forward.

CEO Elon Musk abandoning and planning to take Tesla private in a dramatic U-turn, Musk, that he now believes a better path for Tesla is to remain public. Musk said his change of heart came after talking to Tesla investors and realizing that going private would be harder than he originally thought. Musk stunned investors earlier this month when he announced plans for buyout of $420 a share. That triggered a jump in Tesla stock price and regulatory scrutiny. The SEC looking to see if Musk misled investors when he said he has secured funding.

"Crazy rich Asians" still crazy rich at the box office. The Rom-com took the top spot once again bringing in $76.8 million since its debut. Ticket sales fell just 6 percent from last weekend. They are at the box office for example the summer top film for Disney's Incredibles too dipped 56 percent between its first and second weekend. The film is also a big win for on-screen representation. The first major studio film in 25 years, the feature predominately Asian cast. Did you see it?

JARRETT: I still need to.

BRIGGS: I never get to movies. Stuck in the Little League World Series for the last several weeks.

JARRETT: "Early start" continues right now.


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


BRIGGS: Reality setting in for emotional colleagues of John McCain. Public service forges ahead without the legendary Senator. A week of tributes is now set.




JARRETT: Florida targeted by a mass shooter once again. This time it was a football video game tournament. Three are dead, including the shooter.

BRIGGS: And the legendary Neil Simon has passed away. The playwright leaves behind a list of iconic shows that shaped comedy in the 20th Century. Happy Monday everybody. Good morning, welcome to "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christine Romans. It is Monday, August 27 --