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Remembering Sen. John McCain; Two People Killed, 11 Injured In Florida Mass Shooting; Former Archbishop Calls For Pope Francis' Resignation; Neil Simon Dies At 91. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 27, 2018 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:40] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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, CNN ANCHOR: Reality setting in for emotional colleagues of John McCain. A week of tributes is now set for legendary senator.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Florida targeted by a mass shooter once again. This time it was a football video game tournament.

JARRETT: And the legendary Neil Simon has passed away. The playwright leaves 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 5:31 eastern time on a Monday.

We are remembering the late, great Sen. John McCain -- the patriot, the maverick, the man who sacrificed. He was all about service.

So here's how he might want you to remember him from his own memoir.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I hope those who mourn my passing, and even those who don't, will celebrate as I celebrate a happy life lived in imperfect service to a country mad of ideals, whose continued success if the hope of the world.

And I wish all of you great adventures, good company, and lives as lucky as mine.


BRIGGS: Lucky -- he called himself fortunate. He suffered through brain cancer and five and a half years as a POW and considered himself lucky, Laura. JARRETT: Yes, absolutely.

BRIGGS: We will remember him in a just moment with Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton.

But we start with the tributes pouring in from around the world for John McCain, a titan of American politics -- a true American hero.

The Arizona senator died this weekend at his ranch in Sedona, Arizona. He was 81.

His death coming a day after his family announced he had stopped all treatments for brain cancer which he had been battling for over a year.

JARRETT: McCain served as a naval bomber pilot and spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, famously refusing an early release.

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, seven children, and his mother Roberta, who is 106 years old.

There are plans for a full week of memorials. We get more on that from CNN's Kyung Lah in Phoenix.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave and Laura, Sen. 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 have 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, Sen. 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 will be his final resting place -- Dave, Laura.


BRIGGS: All right, Kyung Lah, thank you.

Let's bring in Daniel Lippman, reporter and co-author of Politico's "Playbook". And, CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton University.

Good morning to both of you.

I want to allow you both to just kind of share your reflections on what John McCain meant for this country.

Julian, if you were teaching a course about John McCain, what would you want the students to know about this hero?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, HISTORIAN AND PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Well, most important, this is someone who devoted his life to public service. Whether it was the military or whether it was in Congress, he committed himself to the role of the government as a representative, as a senator, and I think that's most important.

Second, he was part of the Reagan revolution. He was a key part of the conservative movement that remade American politics since the 1980s. And in some ways, that's as important as his record as a maverick.

BRIGGS: Daniel?

DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER AND CO-AUTHOR, POLITICO'S PLAYBOOK: I think just how he put principle instead of party, and when he fell short he fessed up and he admitted to it.

[05:35:04] And so there are a lot of senators and Congressman in Congress right now who don't operate with the same principles as John McCain. They either don't have principles or those they do they're willing to throw out the window in terms of political convenience.

And so he has a lot of lessons he can teach every politician in America.

JARRETT: You know, Daniel, you talk about principles over party.

Take it back to 2008 -- he's at a rally. And I want to play some sound from a woman who had some words to say about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.


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





MCCAIN: No -- no, ma'am -- no, ma'am. He's a -- he's a -- he's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about. He's not -- thank you.


JARRETT: You know, you look at that clip and he doesn't even hesitate.

BRIGGS: No, he takes the --

JARRETT: He doesn't -- he doesn't make one move in the other direction, Daniel. He just does the right thing there.

What do you make of that?

LIPPMAN: That's hard to imagine if that happened at a Trump rally, and they don't even have town halls for President Trump. And it's hard to see how Trump would respond in that scenario. He would probably encourage that woman and that's kind of a sad tale for our country.

And I think a lot of politicians, they don't -- they haven't served in the military. You look at Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan -- all leaders who have served the country in politics but they don't have that moral core of having fought for our country.

BRIGGS: Yes. Contrast that town hall moment with our president today, who was once a leader of the birther movement.

But Julian, you write that "John McCain, ironically, opened the door to the transformation that has remade the Republican Party and allowed for the rise of Trump." How so?

ZELIZER: Yes, he has a complex legacy. That 2008 clip that you just showed came in the context of his selecting Sarah Palin instead of Sen. Liebermann as his running mate. Palin opened the door to a lot of these forces that are now part of Trump politics.

He also was there as the Tea Party took form and he was often critical of the Tea Party, but he was part of that establishment.

And another part of his legacy is while he criticized President Trump, he often did vote for his Supreme Court pick, for his tax cut. And I think that's a complexity that Sen. McCain, himself, would want discussed.

He wouldn't want us to soft-pedal his career and he, himself, spoke about his imperfect legacy and that's certainly part of his story. This relationship between the GOP and its fringe element that kind of came together under President Trump.

JARRETT: Yes. His legacy is obviously unmatched Daniel, but the president had very little to say about it. In fact, he didn't really say anything at all other than sympathies and respect. And then, he posted an Instagram of himself.

Meanwhile, all of the other -- I mean, all the other statesmen, people from around the world, diplomats, other party leaders, other countries have all kinds of -- I mean, deepest, deepest condolences.

I mean, is -- I know everything we say doesn't shock us anymore Daniel, but wasn't this pretty shocking?

LIPPMAN: Yes. "The Washington Post" Josh Dawsey -- he reported last night how White House staff in for Donald Trump, they proposed putting out a statement -- a news release calling McCain a hero after he passed away. And yet, Trump nixed it. He wanted to go with a tweet instead.

And so that kind of shocked me because ordinarily, when a notable American dies the White House issues a statement. And, John McCain was an extraordinary person and so Trump just couldn't get over the fact that he battled and locked horns with McCain, even to provide some sympathy for McCain's last moments.

And so -- remember, that aide, Kelly Sadler, she said he's dying anyway and the White House didn't apologize for that statement either.


BRIGGS: Julian?

ZELIZER: It's really petty politics and I think these little moments when the whole world is praising, mourning, thinking about someone who did devote his life and body to the United States to do something like this. And those moments tell us a lot about the Trump presidency.

BRIGGS: Yes, and not just all the Democrats who stepped up and had warm statements, but Merkel, Trudeau, you can go on -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Emmanuel Macron.

LIPPMAN: And some of his own cabinet members, too.

BRIGGS: The list goes on and on.

[05:40:00] So let's talk about quickly -- before we turn to the -- what's next in that primary, Julian.

Who carries his legacy because you look at the Republicans -- Bob Corker is out, Jeff Flake is out, Paul Ryan is out. Those who did embody some of the spirit of John McCain, they are leaving. Perhaps a Nikki Haley or a Ben Sasse.

But does anyone carry on his legacy -- his work of bipartisanship in the Senate?

ZELIZER: Not really. That's not what the Senate is about today. The Senate is divided deeply. He is a kind of final voice of that generation and he understood that as well.

So I'm not sure. Maybe Susan Collins at this point as the last standing person --


ZELIZER: -- who embodies those ideals.

But that is not where the Senate is going today and we should be clear-eyed about that.



Well, Daniel, last word there. We've got a primary tomorrow.


LIPPMAN: Yes. I have Doug Ducey, the Arizona governor -- he is going to pick someone after this whole week of memorial services and funerals for McCain. But it's hard to imagine someone who will stand up against Donald Trump when needed.

And, you know, those former Congressmen, like Matt Salmon, that Ducey is considering, they don't exactly ring -- you don't think of them in terms of McCain loyalists who are going to replace him. No one can replace John McCain. Let's just be realistic about that.


BRIGGS: And given Kelli Ward's, the candidate in Arizona, statements about John McCain, you could argue he is on the ballot on Tuesday. She said that his statement from the family that they stopped treatment was designed to hurt her.

Just about 10 days ago -- a week ago she said that John McCain was complicit in the killing of Mollie Tibbetts.

So you would wonder if the Arizona voters have John McCain on their mind when they step into the voting booths on Tuesday.

Daniel Lippman and Julian Zelizer, we appreciate you both remembering the great John McCain. Thank you, both.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

LIPPMAN: Thank you.

JARRETT: Thank you, both.

Well, a former Vatican official says the Pope should resign over his handling of abuse allegations against an American cardinal. We're live in Rome, up next.


[05:46:19] BRIGGS: It's 5:46 eastern time.

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

The victims have been identified as Eli Clayton and Taylor Robertson.

More now from CNN's Polo Sandoval.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave and Laura, police in Jacksonville, Florida confirming that the suspect behind the nation's 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 were dead at the scene.

He opened fire at a video game competition Sunday afternoon inside the Jacksonville restaurant. Police also believed that Katz was a participant in that tournament, though they have not confirmed a motive, only saying that he used a handgun in the shooting. The ATF now 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 community for any video that may have been shot at the scene. They already have those seconds of footage that have circulated around the -- on the Internet, showing those moments before the shots rang out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh (bleep), what'd he shoot me with? Oh.

SANDOVAL: Investigators now conducting a search of the suspect's home, his vehicle, and also believe that he may have stayed at a hotel Saturday night. They believe that 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 report.

Well, "NEW DAY" is about 10 minutes away. Alisyn Camerota joins us.

And, Alisyn, you were on that Straight Talk Express --


JARRETT: -- with John McCain. You've covered your share of political campaigns.

What are you remembering about him this morning? ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh my gosh, I remember so much. I mean, he was a reporter's dream because he was a maverick, because he spoke sort of off the cuff, because he was funny. Reporters loved to cover him.

And being on the Straight Talk Express was so much fun. I mean, it was 1999, it was his 2000 bid. We were in New Hampshire and I got to spend his 63rd birthday with him.


CAMEROTA: So we were all -- we all went to a restaurant and he chose me to sit at his table with him that night and that was a -- you know, just a delight. And it was just so fun to be with Lindsey Graham -- who, of course, they were such close friends -- and John McCain.

It was just really memorable to spend time and to watch him over and over in New Hampshire -- how he worked the crowds. How much he liked retail politics.

So today on "NEW DAY" we have many of his friends coming on to share their memories of John McCain.

And we also are going to dive into what this feud is with Donald Trump. What's it about?


CAMEROTA: What started it?

So we have a White House insider coming on to tell us the backstory of why President Trump felt so negatively towards John McCain.

BRIGGS: Yes. And Marc Short, who worked with the president, will have some interesting insight about that.

It's really unfortunate, Alisyn. It's just too bad the president couldn't rise above and has to be small and petty at a time when this nation just needed him to say something good about an American hero.

CAMEROTA: I mean, yes.

BRIGGS: But we look forward to the show.

CAMEROTA: Just on that point how unusual it is for an American president --


CAMEROTA: -- not to acknowledge an American war hero. So yes, we will talk about all of that.

[05:50:00] BRIGGS: Yes. When you have world leaders all around. We could list more than a dozen --

JARRETT: I mean, I'm sorry -- yes. BRIGGS: -- world leaders who have stepped up with wonderful, warm sentiments about John McCain.

Ali, we'll see you in just a little bit -- thanks.

CAMEROTA: OK, see you then.

JARRETT: Thanks, Alisyn.

Well, the Missouri attorney general says 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 documented decades of abuse and cover-ups.

Now, a Vatican official is calling for Pope Francis to resign, claiming he told him in 2013 about sexual abuse allegations against an American cardinal, but he failed to act.

CNN's Delia Gallagher is in Rome for us with more.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, those allegations were published on Sunday in an 11-page statement from the Pope's former envoy to Washington, D.C. and the Pope was asked about them coming back from his trip to Ireland on the Papal plane last night.

This is what he told journalists. The Pope 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 said that he won't speak now but he may at some time in the future.

And all this came as the Pope wrapped up his 2-day trip to Ireland. It was a very different Ireland than the one John Paul, II saw in 1979.

Pope Francis apologized for the abuses committed by members of the Catholic Church and for the cover-up. He met with survivors of sex abuse and survivors of Ireland's notorious mother and baby homes.

But, Laura, we've heard on the ground in Ireland that people want action, not just words. So it is likely that more will have to be forthcoming from the Pope and the Vatican on this issue -- Laura.

JARRETT: Yes, more forthcoming, indeed. Thank you so much.

BRIGGS: OK. Exactly what we all need this morning -- a little bit of joy -- the Little League World Series. Our team from Hawaii with an awful lot to celebrate. We'll show you, next.


[05:56:39] BRIGGS: It's 5:56 on a Monday and a check on "CNN Money." The U.S. and Mexico closing in on a NAFTA deal and could reach an agreement as early as today. The two countries have met over the past few weeks and Mexico's economy minister told reporters both sides were close to resolving key issues.

"Bloomberg" reports significant breakthroughs 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 tweeting Saturday that, quote, "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 is Canada. Canada says it will rejoin once Mexico and the U.S. reach a bilateral deal.

JARRETT: Legendary playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon has died. Simon died Sunday of complications from pneumonia.

Neil Simon was a master of comedy. His laugh-filled hits included "The Odd Couple", "Barefoot in the Park", "The Sunshine Boys", and "Brighton 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 years old.

BRIGGS: All right, and how about some joy before we go this morning.

Hawaii defeating South Korea 3-0 to win the Little League World Series title. Hawaii's Mana Lau Kong hit the first pitch of the game for a home run to give the boys from Honolulu a lead they would not relinquish.

Wow, a complete game shutout. Starting pitcher Ka'olu Holt tossing that complete game shutout for the league title for the Hawaiian team, all of them coming in the last 13 years.

They allowed three runs this entire tournament and shut out four of five opponents. Congratulations to the boys from Hawaii this morning.

JARRETT: I love just the sheer joy on their faces, right?

BRIGGS: I barely missed a game of that tournament.

That was one of the few misses there for Hawaii in the entire tournament. Just missed the coach with the water.

But a great tournament. One of the great events in our sports today.

JARRETT: That's great.

Well, thanks so much for joining us. I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christine Romans today.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.


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

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: He went every place -- every place that no one else would go to stand up for America.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: When he joins the fight he sticks to the bitter end.

HILLARY CLINTON (D): If you were his friend, he would stand up for you. He didn't like the personal attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House had prepared a draft statement and the president nixed it.

MCCAIN: I'm very happy with what I've been able to do. I am able to celebrate a wonderful life.


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

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, August 27th, 6:00 here in New York.

And leaders from around the world are remembering Sen. John McCain's life and legacy today, from Navy pilot to war hero to a 6-term senator and presidential nominee.

McCain will be honored for five days in various cities this week. It's a schedule that John McCain planned himself.