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Meghan McCain Jabs Trump; Two Boats Collide Head-on on Colorado River; Police Shoot a California Man Arguing Over Ice Cube Tickets. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 3, 2018 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGHAN MCCAIN, DAUGHTER OF JOHN MCCAIN: We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric.


ALISON KOSIK, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Raw emotion for John McCain's family. A poignant rebuke to the president as the senator is laid to rest.

DAVE BRIGGS, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Breaking overnight, two "Reuters" reporters jailed in Myanmar for doing their job.

KOSIK: And a post-holiday headache brewing off the Florida coast as tropical cyclone is gaining strength as it heads for the Gulf. Good morning and welcome to a special Labor Day edition of EARLY START, I'm Alison Kosik.

BRIGGS: Good morning Alison, good morning everyone, I'm Dave Briggs, it's a late start for EARLY START Monday, September 3rd, 5:00 a.m. in the East, we start with John McCain. The competing visions for the future of the Republican Party, all on full display at the funeral for late Senator John McCain.

Speakers at the Saturday service casting the Arizona senator's life and legacy in sharp contrast to the conduct of the current president. None were more direct than the senator's daughter Meghan McCain. She did not mention President Trump by name, but did make several unmistakable and pointed references in her emotional remarks.


MCCAIN: The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great. We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KOSIK: Meghan McCain's remarks drew anger from some who said she and others politicized the funeral during which the president was golfing and tweeting. After the service, President Trump tweeted this, "we'll let you decide if it's a response or a coincidence." Lindsey Graham, McCain's closest friend in the Senate, but who is now increasingly aligned with President Trump told Cnn this.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: She is her father's daughter. If you say something bad about her dad, he will know it. Whether you are the janitor or the president of the United States. She is grieving for the father she adored.

And I think most Americans understand that.


BRIGGS: Sunday, McCain was laid to rest in the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, about a thousand midshipman attending, filling the seats of the chapel and lining the route to the cemetery where McCain would be buried next to friend and wingman Admiral Chuck Larson.

Defense Secretary James Mattis presenting flags to Senator McCain's 106-year-old mother Roberta and his wife Cindy. Her final farewell to her husband captured in this powerful image. Cnn's Brian Todd has more from Annapolis.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Alison, this was to be a closed ceremony and a closed burial here on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy. And yet, the day provided two of the most powerful public images among all the send-offs that we've seen of Senator John McCain this week.

One of them was the image of the crowds gathered on the streets of Annapolis, Maryland, leading up to the gates of the Naval Academy. Even though, these people couldn't come in and witness the ceremony themselves, many of them were just, you know, gathering around the gates to pay their own respects to Senator John McCain.

Another very powerful image that the whole world could see if they were watching this was the flyover. The FA-18 jets flying in formation, they flew right over our location on Sunday afternoon, and one of them, of course, symbolically peeled off to symbolize a fallen comrade.

Some questions are asked as to why Senator McCain wanted to be buried here at the Naval Academy when his father and grandfather who were both storied Admirals in the U.S. Navy are both buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Well, John McCain, for him, this was the place where it all began. This place really forged him, forged his character. He had a complicated relationship with the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class here, he didn't do so well academically.

But also, I think, you know, every story that you hear is that this place is what really forged his character and forged his toughness that would serve him so well in Vietnam and as a prisoner of war for more than five and a half years. Dave, Alison.

KOSIK: OK, Brian Todd, thank you. With Senator McCain now laid to rest, the big question is, who Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will pick to fill his seat. Some are hoping he picks someone in the mould of McCain himself who will challenge President Trump.

Others are hoping for someone who will align more closely with the president. Whoever Ducey picks, he or she will fill McCain's seat, his Senate seat until a special election happens in 2020.

[05:05:00] BRIGGS: And if you want proof of bipartisanship, it's still possible, check this out from Saturday service, former President George W. Bush sneaking a piece of candy there from wife Laura, passing it to Michelle Obama. Little things in this climate go a long way.

KOSIK: Yes --

BRIGGS: Nice gesture --


KOSIK: Right? Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh beginning tomorrow. But Democrats are complaining about the Trump administration's decision to withhold more than 100,000 pages of documents relating to Kavanaugh's service under George W. Bush.

The White House and Justice Department had determined the pages are protected by executive privilege. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer calling the hold back a Friday night document massacre. Saying it has all the markings of a cover up.

A Cnn review of documents that has been released found many are simply just schedules, talking points, announcements and news clippings.

BRIGGS: George Papadopoulos; the convicted former Trump campaign adviser publicly contradicting Attorney General Jeff Sessions' sworn testimony to Congress in a court filing late Friday night.

Papadopoulos says both the AG and the president apparently supported his proposal for a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign. A contrast that with Sessions' description of that conversation.


JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I pushed back at that. You made statements that he did in fact at the meeting -- I pushed back. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last October to one count of lying to investigators in Friday's filings. He asked to be sentenced only to probation which he's already served.

KOSIK: Frustration is growing over the embattled Archbishop of Washington's response to claims he mishandled clergy's sexual misconduct. I want you to listen carefully to what happened on Sunday as Cardinal Donald Wuerl talked about the pope and the sexual abuse scandal.


DONALD WUERL, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON: Increasingly, it's either that he is the object of considerable animosity.



KOSIK: That's a protester shouting shame on you at Cardinal Wuerl. Another turned her back on the cardinal as he spoke. Cnn talked with her afterward.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she should resign. I think she should understand that just because you didn't mean to do something, doesn't mean that there weren't terrible consequences for lots of people.


BRIGGS: Cardinal Wuerl asked the 200 or so people in attendance to forgive his what he called his errors in judgment and inadequacies. A spokesman for the archdiocese of Washington says Cardinal Wuerl has spoken extensively over the past two months, conveyed his profound sadness, apologies and contrition and addressed every issue that has arisen in a straightforward and transparent manner.

KOSIK: Breaking overnight. Two "Reuters" journalists sentenced to seven years in jail. Thirty-two-year-old Wa Lone and 28-year-old Kyaw Soe Oo were first detained late last year. They had been investigating the mass killing of Rohingya villagers in Myanmar.

The Yangon court says the pair broke Myanmar's official Secrets Act. The two maintained their innocence, but they say they are not surprised by the verdict. "Reuters" editor-in-chief Stephen Adler says the conviction is a sad day for Myanmar, The two journalists and the press everywhere.

BRIGGS: Breaking in the last hour. Ten people shot at an apartment complex in San Bernardino, California. Local police say three people are in extremely critical condition, all of the victims believed to be adults -- more information as it becomes available. An end of the Summer family vacation turned tragic in northern

Wisconsin after a kayak this group was traveling in capsized on Lake Superior, killing the father and three young children. The accident left the mother Cari Mews as the lone survivor.

As boatmen from the U.S. Coastguard tells Cnn, strong winds and waves tipped the craft over, knocking all five, all wearing life-jackets into the open water. Mews able to send a text message to her sister, calling for help, but it did not arrive for five hours due to the lack of cell service in the area.

KOSIK: Search and rescue divers are trying to find four people missing after two boats collided head-on on the Colorado River. Saturday night's crash sending 16 people into the water as both boats sank.

Nine people were hurt, two had to be air-lifted in critical condition, the search area is about two square miles and it's not yet clear whether alcohol or speeding played a role in the crash.

BRIGGS: Police in California shoot a man after an argument over Ice Cube concert tickets, yes. Authorities say the man was trying to buy a ticket to the event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, but he was told they were sold out.

[05:10:00] An argument broke out and nearby deputies confronted him, that's when a man pulled a semi-automatic handgun and fired several shots into a crowded area. Officers then returned fire, hitting the man, the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital.

Police say his condition is unknown, the concert went on as planned.

KOSIK: A tropical storm-watch issued for parts of the Gulf Coast with a potential cyclone brewing in the Florida keys. Let's go to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, good morning.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Alison and Dave. Yes, certainly, a big story here over the next couple of days as the system begins to develop across the western Caribbean.

Southern Florida next in line here for very heavy rainfall we think by this afternoon. This will push through the Florida keys, Miami gets some flooding concerns out of this and of course, the Florida key do as well.

But note, there's a pretty clear path into the Gulf of Mexico, and gradual strengthening where at this point by tomorrow, we're talking about tropical storm Gordon. And one element of good news is that the gradual strengthening remains in place, but really not a tremendous strengthening system where it could potentially remain just a strong tropical storm, maybe a low-grade hurricane as it approaches land.

But we'll follow this over the next couple of days, begins sometime late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning, southern Louisiana, western Mississippi, a lot of rainfall install, that is what we know for sure across that region. And the storm eventually rains itself out across portions of the deep

south. But notice what's happening in the Mid-west. Flooding threats already in place there, frontal boundary pushing right through the Great Lakes, bringing in some strong thunderstorms and of course the heat far from over across the northeast where 35 million underneath heat advisory.

How about this? We shoot up to 95, at least, what it'll feel like in New York City, almost 100 out of Philly by this afternoon.

BRIGGS: All right, we'll take it, one last taste of Summer out here --

KOSIK: Absolutely --

BRIGGS: Out east. Ahead, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan vowing to go after ISIS. The Taliban is saying the same. Could a common enemy actually bring both sides to the table? Well, we are live in Kabul with the latest.


BRIGGS: President Trump's new top commander in Afghanistan has assumed his post. Austin Scott Miller, the ninth U.S. General in 11 years to attempt to win America's longest running war. Miller says he is squarely focused on defeating ISIS and other terror groups.

And he is not the only one making that claim, Cnn's Sam Kiley live in Kabul, Afghanistan with more. Sam, we start though with this news of the killing of a top ISIS leader in Afghanistan. So some good news as Miller takes over.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good news from the perspective of the international coalition which is General Miller observed, his focus very strictly, but not entirely, of course, on the battle, the effort to rid Afghanistan of those groups like al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State that prosecute their Jihadi terror worldwide.

That's unlike the Taliban however, Dave, the Taliban are focused entirely on trying to dismiss this so-called Islamic State out of Afghanistan, just like the coalition and secondary element of the Taliban campaign is to rid the country of the Afghan government.

But we've been able to obtain some video recently of interviews with Taliban commanders in Herat, a very important northern region on the border with Iran where Taliban leaders there are endorsing plans or at least appeals coming from none other than the outgoing American commander here, General Nicholson for peace talks.

There has been some attempt by the Taliban to be encouraged to come into the political process. Every now and again, there are back room meetings to try to make that happen. But this is the first time we've heard from commanders on the ground that they would endorse it.

Firstly and secondly, that just like the U.S. and the Afghan government, they also prioritize the fight against the so-called Islamic State. Dave?

BRIGGS: OK, Sam Kiley live for us in Kabul. Thank you.

KOSIK: Brazil's 200-year-old national museum in Rio de Janeiro went up in flames Sunday. The museum is said to contain at least 20 million ancient artifacts, including a meteorite that was discovered in 1784. Government officials say the spectacular fire destroyed some entire collections.

Brazil's president says the loss is insurmountable, calling it a sad day for all Brazilians. There are no reports of injuries from the fire and no word yet on what caused it.

BRIGGS: All right, he's won five national titles since 2009, one thing Alabama Coach Nick Saban doesn't do is apologize, but he does regret his treatment of a reporter after a post-game interview. Andy Scholes with the details in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT" report coming up.


BRIGGS: Serena out to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open -- well, it took her three steps to advance. Andy Scholes, it's not often we see her drop a set these days. Good morning to you my friend.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, good morning Dave. You know, Serena looked like she was going to make quick work of her opponent taken, that's yesterday, she won the first set in 18 minutes. Eighteen, it was the fastest set at the U.S. Open thus far.

But Kanepi would not go quietly, she won the second set 6-4, making the crowd at Flushing Meadows a little nervous, but Serena would get it back together. And she was fired up in the third set, yelling come on as she won that point right there.

Now Serena would win that third set 6 to 3 to take the match. She is now on to the quarterfinals for the tenth straight time in the U.S. Open. All right, top 25 match up in college football last night.

Eighth-ranked Miami taking on 25th-ranked LSU in Arlington, Texas, and you can see tempers flaring before the game. The two teams nearly coming to blows during warm ups. Even the coaches were in there, getting all riled up. As for the game, the Tigers dominating this one, Nick Brossette getting loose for a 50-yard touchdown in the second quarter. LSU was up 33 to 3 at one point. They would easily go on to win this one, 33 to 17.

Right, the Angels' Shohei Ohtani making his return to the mound for the first time since June. And last night, he became just the second player ever to pitch 50 innings in a season and hit 15 home runs, the other player is Babe Ruth.

So that's a nice company. Ohtani though, he had to leave the game early, his velocity dropped a good ten miles per hour after the second inning. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said Ohtani is dealing with tightness in his back and a sore right ring finger. The Astros will go on to win that game 4 to 2.

All right, finally, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is apologizing for this rant he went on after Saturday's win over Louisville.


MARIA TAYLOR, SPORTS ANALYST & HOST OF ESPN: What answers did you have about your quarterbacks after watching both of them play tonight?

[05:25:00] NICK SABAN, COACH, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA FOOTBALL TEAM: Well, I still like both guys. I think both guys are good players, I think both guys can help our team. All right, so why do you continually try to get me to say something that doesn't respect one of them? I'm not going to, so quit asking.


SCHOLES: Now, Saban had been asked about his quarterback battle between Tua Tagovailoa and Damien Harris all off season long. Clearly, he had had enough. But using Maria Taylor's question was more than fair.

BRIGGS: Yes --

SCHOLES: The network says Saban called Taylor to apologize. I think -- you know, guys, I think Saban did have that ready for the next person who asked him.

BRIGGS: No question --

SCHOLES: You can see he's been fed up with it all off season and leading up to that game, but still props to Maria Taylor for the way she handled that.

BRIGGS: Yes, imagine Maria Taylor not asking about the biggest story facing --

SCHOLES: Right --

BRIGGS: Alabama, that'd be like not asking Jon Gruden about trading Khalil Mack over the weekend. What happened with that? Were you as stunned as I was by the Raiders' trade?

SCHOLES: I think the whole sports world was stunned, Dave, because how do you trade a defensive player in his prime, you know, as good as Khalil Mack. I talked to a lot of Raiders fans, not very happy times heading into this season.

BRIGGS: Great news for the Broncos fans like myself. Andy Scholes, good to see you my friend --

SCHOLES: All right --

BRIGGS: Alison, over to you.

KOSIK: OK, Dave, former president's family and life-long friends say good-bye to John McCain. The send off widely perceived as a rebuke of President Trump. One columnist even calling it the biggest resistance meeting yet.