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Trump Attacks Google; First African-American up for Governor of Florida. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 29, 2018 - 05:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: I love the spicy and sweet combination, I'll try one here.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN HOST: "Early Start" continues right now.


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

BRIGGS: A primary night shocker in Florida. Progressive Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the state's first African-American nominee for governor, sets up a huge ideological clash in November.

JARRETT: The attorney general facing renewed pressure from the president but he has the backing of a man who knows him well, the Senate Majority Leader.

BRIGGS: And Google is politically biased, rigged, suppressing conservative voices, that's what the president says. What does the search giant have to say? This started with the presidential tweet about 24 hours ago, one we thought we'd laugh off. Here we are in a White House investigation. Good morning everyone, welcome to "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs and you can't make that stuff up.

JARRETT: No, seriously and I'm Laura Jarrett. It's Wednesday, August 29, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin with an historic upset in the Florida Democratic primary for governor. CNN projects Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a progressive candidate backed by Bernie Sanders will win the party's nomination. A victory in November would make him the state's first African-American chief executive. In a field of five candidates, Gillum was the only non-millionaire and he welcomes the challenge of putting the Florida governor's mansion back in Democratic hands for the first time in two decades.


GILLUM: Tonight we have shown the rest of the country that we can be the David in the situation where there's a goliath. What we've got do now is commit ourselves to bringing 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 we can't recognize. We're going to bring this thing home.


BRIGGS: Florida governor's race 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 putting two 39-year-olds who in many ways mirror their parties' national moods against each other. CNN also projects Florida Governor Rick Scott will win the Republican Senate primary and face Democrat Bill Nelson in the election. Nelson's seat one the Democrats must hold if they have any hope at a Senate majority.

JARRETT: An 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 line conservatives giving moderates in the GOP a playbook to thrive in the Trump era. We get more from CNN's Kyung Lah at the McSally headquarters in Tempe, Arizona.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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.


REP. MARTHA MCSALLY, (R) ARIZONA AND AMERICAN COMBAT VETERAN: 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 as impressed as anyone that my opponent brags she owns over 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 fake production running on a phony script in order to fool the voters.


LAH: McSally spent the bulk of her victory speech attacking the winner of the Democratic primary, Kyrsten Sinema, who is currently in Congress. Both women 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?

BRIGGS: The year of the woman continues. Kyung thanks.

If Democrats retake control of Congress in November, President Trump warning there will be violence. CNN has heard a recording of the president in a closed-door White House meeting with evangelical leaders with no real basis for the comments, the president taking a fire and brimstone approach in an appeal to get voters to the polls for the midterms.

JARRETT: He said in part, quote, "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 Antifa, these are violent people. Now the far left Antifa is a loose connection of anti-fascist groups who stage counter protests against white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The president is also saying the November election is not only a referendum on him, but also a referendum on religion, free speech, and the first amendment.


BRIGGS: Attorney General Jeff Sessions gets a much needed boost from the Senate Majority Leader. Two key Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, have seemed like (ph) in recent days they would be open to replacing Sessions after the midterm elections.

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


SEN. MITCH MCONNELL (R), K.Y.: I have total confidence in the Attorney General. I think he ought to stay exactly where he is.


JARRETT: Last week, Session 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 calls to fire Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but a source tells CNN Rudy Giuliani talked him off the ledge.

BRIGGS: President Trump slamming Google, accusing it of political bias. Trump claimed on Twitter that Google's search results 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 doubled down later in the day.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESDIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Google has really taken 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.


BRIGGS: Google disagrees with the president, telling CNN the goal of the 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 linked to a page. Still, Trump says Google's actions could be, quote, "illegal". Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow says the White House is investigating.


LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We're just doing some investigation and some analysis. That's what we do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any evidence that they actually are censoring anyone's search results?

KUDLOW: We're looking into it.


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

JARRETT: Well, the nation's final farewell to Senator John McCain begins today on what would have been is 82nd birthday. McCains 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.

On Tuesday, McCain's best friend in the Senate, Lindsay Graham, gave an emotional farewell to his friend on the Senate floor.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), S.C.: He told me that principle and compromise are not mutually exclusive and the foundation of a great person as well as a 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.


BRIGGS: Tomorrow, there will be a church memorial service in Phoenix. McCain's body will then be flown to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He'll lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda Friday. Mourners will gather Saturday 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 was 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 follow by some smaller aftershocks.

Witnesses tell the L.A. Times some items in their home were shaken to the floor. There have been no reports of injuries or other significant damange.

BRIGGS: Still to come, trending topic on Twitter at this hour, but good to know no serious -

JARRETT: It's scary. Yes.

BRIGGS: - damage. Indeed. All right, ahead, teachers in Seattle threatening to walk off the job before school starts. They would join a half dozen smaller districts already on the picket lines in Washington state.



JARRETT: Breaking overnight, more than 100 undocumented immigrants arrested in north Texas for unlawfully working in the U.S. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement made the arrests 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 from Load Trail.

BRIGGS: Seattle teachers and school staff voted to authorize a strike unless a contract is reached by September 5th, the planned first day of school. Negotiations over pay, health benefits, and increasing social equality in classrooms all at play. The strike's already disrupted the first day of school in two southwest Washington school districts 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.

JARRETT: In a sweeping reform, California is 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 now hinge on 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 inequality, since some people who can't afford it sit in jail until the court takes action.


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

JARRETT: And what's being called a public health crisis, the rates of three sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. have now hit a record high. The CDC says the rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia have all climbed for a fourth consecutive year. Cases rose by 200,000 between 2016 and 2017 alone, bringing the total to nearly 2.3 million. About 45 percent of the cases are among young women and girls age 15 to 24. Public health experts note there's been a serious decline in resources for the CDC's Division of STD Prevention. The budget has shrunk 40 percent in the past 15 years.

Puerto Rico now revising 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 findings of study on storm related deaths between September 2017 and February of this year.

Puerto Rico's governor signed an executive order to work on recommendation to improve public and safety for natural disasters.

JARRETT: Manhattan was all a buzz Tuesday when more than 40,000 bees swarmed a hot dog stand in Times Square. Take a look at that. Fortunately, the NYPD has an official beekeeper for situations like this. They say the bees, just like the rest of us, we probably trying to escape the sweltering heat after leaving a hive on a nearby roof top.

A beekeeper in full protective gear spent 45 minutes carefully vacuuming up the insects. NYPD Commissioner, Jimmy O'Neil, sent a tweet later complete with bee puns to assure people that everything was under control.

BRIGGS: So there's a guy that works for NYPD that that's his duty? That's -

JARRETT: I've never seen anything like that. I'm not from New York, but I -

BRIGGS: No, me either.

JARRETT: - didn't know you guys had a beekeeper.

BRIGGS: I'm just going to try the vacuum technique the next time they break out at home. All right, well there were aces and ice baths. The players, boy were they feeling the heat at the U.S. Open as were the fans as you can see. Andy Scholes has more on the Bleacher Report next.



JARETT: Fifty million plus in the Northeast face another day of scorching temperatures. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the forecast for us.


BRIGGS: We'll take it, thank you P.J. And the heat in New York City wreaking havoc on the U.S. Open.

JARETT: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's Bleacher Report.



JARRETT: Thanks there, Andy. Well, he's backed by Bernie Sanders and advocated to impeach the president. Now, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he can ride the wave to become Florida's next governor. The primary night shocker, next.