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EARLY START

Andrew Gillum up for Governor Election in FL; Jeff Sessions Faces Renewed Criticism from Trump. aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired August 29, 2018 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[04:00:00]

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW GILLUM, MAYOR TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA: Tonight we have shown the rest of the country that we can be the David in the situation where there is a Goliath.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA JARRETT, CNN EARLY START ANCHOR: A primary night shocker in Florida. Progressive Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the states first African American nominee for governor. It sets up a huge ideological clash in November.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN EARLY START ANCHOR: The Attorney General facing renewed pressure from the president. But he has the backing of a man who knows him well, senate majority leader.

JARRETT: And Google is politically biased, rigged, suppressing conservative voices. That's what the president say's. What is the search giant have to say about that. Good morning and welcome to "Early Start". I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning, Laura. Good morning to all of you. I'm Dave Briggs - excuse me. Wednesday August 29th, 4:00 a.m. in the eastern. There was an earth quake overnight in L.A. but relatively minor compared to what happened on the opposite end of the country.

We begin with a historic upset in the Florida Democratic Primary for Governor. There's an earth quake for you. CNN projects Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, an progressive candidate backed by Bernie Saunders will win the parties nomination. The victory in November would make Gillum the states first African American chief executive.

In a field five candidates Gillum was the only non-millionaire. He welcomes the challenge of putting the Florida's Governors mansion back in democratic hands for the first time in two decades.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GILLUM: Tonight we have shown the rest of the country that we can be the David in the situation where there is a Goliath. What we got to do now is commit ourselves to brining it home. Not for me, not for just those of us in this room, but for the names that we can't call, and the faces that we can't recognize. We're going to bring this thing home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: A Florida Governors race is shaping up as a major test of the national political atmosphere in November. Gillum is set to face Trump backed candidate Ron DeSantis who won the Republican Primary. The race pits two 39 year olds, who in many ways mirror their party's national moods against each other.

CNN also projects Florida Governor Rick Scott will win the Republican Senate Primary and face incumbents Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in the general election. Nelson's seat is one democrat's must hold onto if they have any shot at a senate majority.

BRIGGS: In Arizona Congresswoman and former fighter pilot Martha McSally will win the republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. McSally fending off a challenge from two hard lined conservatives giving moderates a view of few (ph) playbook to thrive, you might say in the Trump era. More now from CNNs Kyung Lah at McSally's headquarters in Tempe, Arizona.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Dave, and Laura she is America's first woman to fly in combat for the U.S. Air Force. Martha McSally fought a tough primary against two conservative challengers. She took to the stage today. She won the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate representing the state of Arizona.

And like her military chops she came out swinging, fighting, looking squarely to November.

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MARTHA MCSALLY, ARIZONA US SENATE NOMINEE: Tonight marks the chapter, the next chapter in this campaign, the beginning of a 70 day sprint to electing Arizona's next senator.

I am impressed as anyone that my opponent brags that she owns over a 100 pair of shoes. I on the other hand have over 100 combat missions serving our country.

Fabricating a centrist image to fulfill her ambition. She's a fake production, running on a phony script in order to fool the voters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: McSally spent the bulk of her victory speech attacking the winner of the Democratic Primary Kyrsten Sinema who is currently in congress. Both of these woman are well financed. This is expected to be an ugly and brutal race between these two women. Whoever wins will make history. They will be Arizona's first female senator. Dave, Laura.

JARRETT: You can feel the excitement in that room. Kyung, thank you. Well if democrats retake control of congress in November President Trump warns there will be violence. CNN has heard a recording of President Trump in a closed door White House meeting with evangelical leaders.

With no real basis for his comments what so ever the president taking a fire and brimstone approach in an appeal to get voters to the polls for the midterms.

BRIGGS: Yes, he said in Florence (ph) it's not a question of like or dislike it's a question that they will overturn everything that we've done. And they will do it quickly and violently, and violently there is violence when you look at these Antifa. These are violent people. The far left Antifa is a loose collection of antifascists groups who stage counter protests against white supremacist and Neo-Nazis.

[04:05:00]

President is also saying the November election is not only a referendum on him, but also on religion, free speech and the first amendment.

JARRETT: Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, gets a much needed boost from Senate Majority Leader. Two key Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, has signaled, in recent days, they would be open to replacing Sessions after the mid-term elections.

He's lost the president's confidence since recusing himself from the Russia probe last year. But Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, through his weight behind Sessions Tuesday in no uncertain terms.

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MITCH MCCONNELL, REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADER: I have total confidence in the Attorney General. I think he ought to stay exactly where he is.

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BRIGGS: Blunt, quick. Last week, Sessions hosted a breakfast at the Justice Department with a number of former Republican Senate colleagues who urged him to stay on the job.

CNN reported last week, the president has renewed cause to fire Sessions and Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, but a source telling CNN, Rudy Giuliani talked him off the ledge.

The president said to be worried about Robert Mueller's reaction if he does remove Sessions.

JARRETT: The start of Paul Manafort's second financial crimes trial has been pushed back a week. The Federal judge approving a defense request for a delay to September 24th. Jury selection will still take place on September 17th. The judge

also warned Manafort's lawyers several times at a pre-trial hearing yesterday about their behavior in court, indicating, she's closely watching the defense team to make sure they don't act out.

Meantime, the NYPD is investigating a robbery at the home of a banker, who previously worked with Manafort. David Fallarino told police a briefcase and an iPad were taken. Prosecutors have said Fallarino was involved in Manafort's bank fraud schemes, but he was never charged.

BRIGGS: President Trump slamming Google, accusing it of political bias. Trump claimed on Twitter that Google search results were for Trump news is rigged, so that almost all stories and news is bad. Adding Google and others are suppressing voices of conservatives. The president then doubled-down later in the day.

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TRUMP: I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people and I think that's a very serious thing and it's a very serious charge. So, I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Google disagrees with the president, telling CNN, the goal of search is to find the most relevant answers, not set a political agenda. Adding that it never ranks results to manipulate political sentiment.

Google's results are based on algorithms, using hundreds of factors, like user experience and how many prominent sites link to a page. Still, Trump says, Google's actions could be illegal.

Economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, says the White House is investigating.

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LARRY KUDLOW, ECONOMIC ADVISOR: We're just going to do some investigations and some analysis. That's what we do.

UNKNOWN MALE: Is there any evidence that they actually are censoring any search results?

KUDLOW: We're looking into it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Congress has already looked into social media bias, holding two hearings this year on the topic. And execs from Google, Facebook and Twitter have all been asked to testify on Capital Hill next week. The topic is censorship and election interference.

JARRETT: The nation's final farewell to Senator John McCain begins today on what would have been his 82nd birthday. McCain's body will lie in state today at the Arizona Capital, where people can pay their respects.

A private ceremony will be held between two public viewings and on Tuesday, McCain's best friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, gave an emotional farewell on the Senate floor.

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LINDSEY GRAHAM, REPUBLICAN SENATOR: He taught me that principal and compromise are not mutually exclusive and the foundation of a great person as well as great nation. If you want to help the country, be more like John McCain. I believe there's a little John McCain in all of us, and the little John McCain practiced by a lot of people can make this a really great nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Graham also weighing on how to remember John McCain in Washington, noting the Capital Visitor's Center does not have a name.

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GRAHAM: It would probably be better branding for us, because I think most people would look at John and say, hey, that's a pretty cool guy. And one of the reason's I might want to do it is because John hated it. He thought it was a waste of money. That's my last way to get at him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Tomorrow, there will be a church memorial service in Phoenix. McCain's body will then be flown to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and will lie in state at the Capital rotunda on Friday.

On Saturday, mourners will gather for a service at the National Cathedral in Washington. John McCain will then be laid to rest at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Sunday.

JARRETT: Breaking overnight, parts of ...

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BRIGGS: at the Capitol rotunda on Friday. On Saturday, mourners will gather for a service at the National Cathedral in Washington. John McCain will then be laid to rest at the Naval Academy in Annapolis Sunday.

JARRETT: Breaking overnight, parts of southern California rattled by a small magnitude 4.4 earthquake. The quake had centered near the city of La Verne, but it was felt over a wide area. It happened at about 7:30 pacific time last night and was followed by some smaller aftershocks. Witnesses tell the L.A. Times, some items in their homes were shaken to the floor. There have been no reports of injuries or significant damage.

BRIGGS: It's amazing our there in L.A., they just laugh these things off... JARRETT: Yes, they're no big deal.

BRIGGS: ...as you read on Twitter, no - no big deal at all. All right, ahead, teachers in Seattle threatening to walk off the job before school starts. They join a half a dozen smaller districts that are already on the picket lines in Washington State.

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BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, more than 100 undocumented immigrants arrested in north Texas for unlawfully working in the U.S.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made the arrest after Homeland Security investigations issued criminal search warrants at the trailer manufacturing company Load Trail. Investigators were tipped off, the company may have hired them fully knowing their documents were fraudulent. No comment yet from Load Trail.

JARRETT: Students in the Seattle public school system may miss the first day of classes next week. That's because teachers and school staff voted to authorize a strike unless a deal is reached by September 5.

Negotiations over pay, health benefits, and efforts to increase social equality in classrooms are all at play. Strikes already disrupted the first day of school in two southwest Washington districts on Tuesday.

Teachers in at least four more districts will join the picket line today. In a statement to CNN affiliate KOMO, a spokesman for the Seattle school district says, they're making good progress and remain optimistic school will begin on time.

BRIGGS: A wayward military mine that was found in Puget Sound has been safely detonated. Navy personnel disposed of the device in the waters between Keyport and Bainbridge Island, Washington. Officials say the detonation did not create a secondary explosion indicating it wasn't active. The origin of the mine is still not known. They may be continuing to investigate.

JARRETT: Puerto Rico now reviving the death toll from Hurricane Maria to 2,975. That is 46 times higher than the previous official figure from the Puerto Rican government. It comes on the same day researchers from George Washington University revealed the findings of a study on storm related deaths between September 2017 and February of this year.

Puerto Rico's governor cautions the new number is only an approximation, however, not a concrete list of names. He also signed an executive order to have a commission work on recommendations from that study to improve public safety and health, and better prepare for national disasters. The governor also saying, a memorial to honor victims is being planned at the University of Puerto Rico.

BRIGGS: In a sweeping reform, California is now the first state to end the cash bail system. Rather than requiring defendants to pay in order to be released before trial, their release will hinge on an assessment of their risk to public safety.

A person who is deemed at high risk, including those arrested for violent felonies, will not be released. Critics have long contended the money bail system perpetuates inequalities since some people can't afford and they sit in jail until the court takes action.

JARRETT: That is a big one actually.

BRIGGS: Yes. That's...

JARRETT: It's a big deal.

BRIGGS: ...long - long coming.

JARRETT: Absolutely. Well, if you were outside in the northeast yesterday, the heat was oppressive, more of the same today, the forecast up next.

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BRIGGS: A nine year old boy in Denver, Colorado killed himself after being bullied in school for coming out as gay. Now his mom is pushing for more focus on bullying and suicide. Leia Pierce say's her son came out to her over the summer break and was looking forward to telling his friends.

Pierce's son was only in school for four day's before the same kids who picked on him last year, targeted him yet again.

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LEIA PIERCE, MOTHER OF SUCICIDE VICTIM: Four day's is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him. My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I'm just sad he didn't come to me.

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JARRETT: The district say's it will offer support to the boys family. But Pierce say's no one at the school has contacted her. Leia Pierce will be on "New Day" in the seven o'clock hour. And as a reminder if you or anyone you know needs help call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

BRIGGS: In what's been called a public health crisis the rates of three sexually transmitted diseases in the United States have now hit a record high. The CDC say's the rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia have climbed for a fourth consecutive year. Cases rose by 200 thousand between 2016 and 2017 alone, bringing the total to nearly 2.3 million.

About 45 percent of the cases are among those woman and girls ages 15 to 24. Public health expert's note there has been a serious decline in resources, when the CDCs division of STD prevention, their budget has shrunk 40 percent in the past 15 years.

50 million plus in the north east face another day of scorching temperatures, meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with the forecast.

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JARRETT: That's a scorcher.

BRIGGS: Yes.

JARRETT: I love it. Well, Manhattan was all abuzz Tuesday, when more than 40,000 bees swarmed a hot dog stand in Time Square. Take a look at that. Fortunately the NYD has an official beekeeper for situations like this.

They say the bees, like the rest of us, were probably just trying to escape the sweltering heat. After leaving a hive on a nearby rooftop, a beekeeper in full protective gear spend 45 minutes carefully vacuuming up the insects.

They were then transported by police to Long Island. NYDP Commissioner, Jimmy O'Neill, later said this tweet, complete with bee puns to assure people that everything was under control. He finished, just another day in NYC.

BRIGGS: I want to see a video of the vacuuming.

JARRETT: Did you know there was a beekeeper?

BRIGGS: Can I get that -- I did not. I also did not know there was a bee vacuum. Can I get that for my house?

All right, ahead, he's backed by Bernie Sanders, now Tallahassee mayor, Andrew Gillum, said he can ride the wave to become Florida's governor. More on the primary night shocker next.

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