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EARLY START

Awaiting President Trump In London; Trump Denies Calling Markle Nasty; Calls For Impeachment; Democrat Candidates Booed; Cruise Ship Crash; Virginia Beach Gunman Resigned Before Shooting; Teen Wounded In Shark Attack Off NC Beach. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 3, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: President Trump just touchdown in London after breaking diplomatic etiquette remarks that risks insulting his royal host.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no basis whatsoever for impeachment. None.

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BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Plus, the president defiant as Congress returns to Washington today.

ROMANS: Two 2020 Democrats booed at their own convention. What each candidate said to set the progressive crowd off.

SANCHEZ: Really alarming moments caught on camera. You see people running for their lives as a cruise ship slams into a smaller boat and the dock. More footage from that moment ahead. Good morning and welcome to "Early Start," I'm Boris Sanchez in for Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Nice to see you today. Dave gets a day of R and R. I'm Christine Romans, it's Monday, June 3rd, it is 4:00 a.m. in the East. Let's view the president touching down in England for a three-day visit just moments ago, and he has already taken a sledge hammer to diplomatic etiquette, not only with remarks that risked insulting his royal host, but also by plunging headlong into the U.K.'s messy, political landscape. The president just moments ago tweeting about the mayor of London, insulting him, even insulting his height. Earlier he made this remarks about Brexiteer Boris Johnson the front runner to become the next Prime Minister before leaving Washington.

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TRUMP: He is been a friend of mine. He is been very nice. I have a very good relationship with him. I have a very good relationship with Nigel Farage, with many people over there and we'll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: President Trump in this spat with the London mayor city Kahn,

after Kahn called the president a global threat. Mr. Trump compared him to the mayor of New York.

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TRUMP: No, I don't think much of him. I think that he is the twin of De Blasio, except shorter.

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ROMANS: And then just moments ago reiterating that insult via Twitter, saying, oh, now I'm landing, so he is obviously on the Twitter. The doors are open on Air Force One. We expect him to be coming down any moment. Let's go to Buckingham Palace, while we watch for his arrival. Let's bring in CNN's Nic Robertson. Hi, Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi, Christine. And president really is opening gambit, touching down here in the U.K. very a blatant criticism of mayor city Khan who had that op-ed in one of the Sunday newspapers here. The president calling him foolishly nasty, saying that he's some by all accounts is a terrible job. So, this does seem to be the way that President Trump is going to tackle his critics here in the U.K.

There are plenty of other critics as well. There are protests to be expected around London principally tomorrow. The leader of the Labour Party, Sadiq Khan Party, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition here, has declined to attend this state banquet tonight that President Trump will attend.

But before all that begins, it really will be the red carpet state visit for President Trump, he'll arrive here at about five or -- three or four hours or so at Buckingham Palace. He'll have tea lunch with the queen, the he'll get a tour of some of the gifts of the queen has been given by visiting dignitaries over the years. And he'll go to Westminster Abby where he will lay a wreath, we understand at the tomb of the unknown warrior.

[04:05:03] Then with Prince Charles having tea with him in the late afternoon, and then returning to Buckingham Palace late in the evening for the state banquet, the pump ceremony and circumstance that we know President Trump so much enjoys or looks forward to. But very clear on his agenda here, hitting back at any critics that he may find here in the U.K.

ROMANS: Yes.

SANCHEZ: There are plenty of them, Nic. Sorry to interrupt, Christine. I just wanted to ask Nic, about the timing of this. Obviously the president visiting the U.K. in the middle of this Brexit battle and the potential for a new Prime Minister making these comments about Boris Johnson, how is that being received there?

ROBERTSON: Negatively, I think by and large is the impression that he is interfering in British politics, but it quote President Trump did precisely this last year, with the same interviewer for the same newspaper and he criticized Theresa May saying that she wasn't negotiating her Brexit deal with the European Union very well. That she should have been tougher, that Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary here would make a good Prime Minister.

Well, Theresa May's last day on the job is Friday this week. The real race for the leadership begins Monday next week. Boris Johnson is the bookie's favorite at the moment. He may not win it, but will take the top line he has said, with the European Union, negotiating that Brexit deal, potentially pulling Britain out of the European Union without a deal. And for President Trump that is something that he applauds it certainly seems. President Trump wants Britain out of the European Union. Boris Johnson, he seems to favor him as the man who may be able to deliver that as Prime Minister.

ROMANS: Nic, just taking a step back in a kind of a historical perspective here, it strikes me that we're at a moment when the two architects of the post-World War II, architecture, if you will, the United States and Great Britain are both in these moments where they are turning inward and rejecting the alliances that they actually formed. Isn't that sort of interesting?

ROBERTSON: I think, it's hugely interesting and for many people, it's more than interesting, but it's a worry that we might be entering into sort of a world that is polarized over those in favor of doing business with China and those who are not. But Boris Johnson in particular who is sort of in many ways sees himself in the Winston Churchill mode, and of course Churchill was part of the leadership at the time after World War II that helped construct the current framework -- the diplomatic framework around the world and the global institutions that protects and those stood up the world order that we have become used to. So for him to see himself as somebody who might bring about a change in what Winston Churchill helped construct would be strange, but nevertheless, this is where we seem to find ourselves.

SANCHEZ: And Nic, as we await for President Trump to walk down the steps of Air Force One, I did want to bring up the tweets that he sent out moments before Air Force One landed about Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, we put them on the screen for just a moment and the president writing Sadiq Khan has done a terrible job as Mayor of London that he's been foolishly nasty to the visiting president of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom.

The president goes on to call Sadiq Khan a stone called loser who should focus more on crime in London, not me. Khan reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent mayor of New York, Bill De Blasio, who has done a terrible job, only half his height, and in the event, the president says he looks forward to being a great friend of the United Kingdom and that he is looking forward to the visit. The two leaders, both Sadiq Kahn and President Trump, the spat goes back quite a while. Give us some background on that, Nic.

ROBERTSON: It does absolutely. And to that point President Trump is making that the mayor of London should focus on crime in London. This is a criticism has made of Sadiq Khan before. But this came to a head during or following rather one of the terror attacks on London where President Trump made comments about that attack. Sadiq Kahn pushed back at the time, and President Trump doubled down on his criticism of Sadiq Kahn following that.

So this does -- the two do have form on their differences here, but again, arriving into the U.K. with that tweet, taking on the mayor of London, it does divert away from some of the criticism that has been labeled and directed at President Trump for wading into the Brexit debate here, for wading into the leadership debate here, and of course it takes away from other issues that are going to sort of dot their relationship all be it, you know, with the Prime Minister Theresa May leaving at the end of the week. But obviously the issue of Huawei the 5g network, especially from the United States, for Britain not to use any of that network in the U.K., and also differences over Iran. These are other issues, substantive issues. Yes.

ROMANS: Nic, we're seeing the president and the first lady arriving right now there in Stansted, England. It is 9:10 there local time as you see on the top right of your screen. They will get on a helicopter and go to Winfield House, I believe, which is the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. and then there's obviously a big slate of events throughout the afternoon.

You say you think that there are protests scheduled. Will the president see any of those protests?

ROBERTSON: Probably not. At least not in the early part of today, so he takes that helicopter ride to Winfield House, which is closer to Center of London, obviously won't see anything on that journey. When he comes here to Buckingham Palace, if you will, after that he will again, come by helicopters.

So, again, crowds on the streets won't be able to see them. He will make some ground moves after that, going to Westminster Abby, and going to Clarence House where he'll meet with Prince Charles later in the afternoon, and there's quite a possibility during those rides that he will see some crowds.

There's a lot of security as you would imagine, road closures in the city, but the bigger protests are expected on Tuesday, and those will be more in proximity to the president's arrival at 10 Downing Street or at least as close as those protesters will be able to get.

ROMANS: Nic, we were talking about Huawei, he's there with the treasury secretary, you can see. So, I am certain there will be some discussions on the table about the kinds of demands the United States is making of the U.K. in terms of Huawei and China.

ROBERTSON: Absolutely. I mean, look, when the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was here, just a few weeks ago, that was big on his agenda. He met with the Prime Minister at that time. What was said behind closed doors isn't really known. And of course, this issue really got put on the front burner here in the U.K. when discussions about the possible use of some Huawei network equipment, sort of some of the physical infrastructure rather than some of the switching infrastructure was leaked from a cabinet meeting which led to the Prime Minister actually sacking a minister of defense, because she felt that the leak had come from his office.

That is not proven yet, but that is the level of sensitivity that that issue has reached here. So, it's a hot political potato. We have heard other possible leaders who are in contention in our leadership race indicating perhaps they might be backing away from the Huawei idea undoubtedly Britain feels that pressure, but it's also, you know, Britain has been really reaching over in recent years in particular to have stronger trade relationships with China once Britain leaves the European Union.

It wants to be able to establish its own trading relationships, not only with the United States, but also with China and Britain has seen itself, positioning itself to have that positive relationship that had been called here a golden era of business with China. This puts a serious crimp. The Huawei issue puts a serious crimp in that, because it will necessarily send a signal to the Chinese leadership of which way Britain is going to go, is it going to follow the United States on these or is it going to try to take a more independent light on the huge pressure on this issue right now.

SANCHEZ: Still to be determined Nic, and as we're watching, the president prepared to depart the airport there in Stansted, England. We have to ask about his comments regarding the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. The president denying that he ever called her nasty even though he is on a recording saying that she is nasty. How is that being received, especially considering that in just a short while, the president is set to meet the Queen and Prince Charles and all of this pomp and circumstance is set to take place?

ROBERTSON: Well, and he's is going to meet Harry as well. Of course Meghan Markle, the Duchess' husband. So, that could be a little bit awkward. The president's statement came about in a question from the interviewer, Tom Newton Dunn (ph), who was interviewing the president in the White House just late last week. And he asked if the president was aware of the comments that should made that if he became president, this was back in 2016, and she would leave to go to Canada.

And he said he wasn't aware, that she was nasty, and as you say, subsequently said that he didn't make those comments and it is seen here as something of a faux pas that is awkward. But, you know, you have to couch that again, the fact that this is President Trump and this is what people have come to expect from him.

ROMANS: Yes.

ROMANS: That they don't like it, but it's him and that you know, that just falls into the category of another reason why so many people here would come out on the streets and protest against him, because they don't like the way that he does business. They don't like the way that he wades into the affairs of the U.K. and certainly the royal family is an issue here that people wouldn't want to see an outside leader of any stature criticizing. So, a potential awkward moment when he meets Harry at lunchtime today.

[04:15:22] ROMANS: And Meghan Markle, of course, is on maternity leave, a much deserved maternity leave. I think, it's no surprise that the president lobs insult, he does. The denying what is said on tape though after lobbying the insult. That becomes worrisome, because now you're denying reality, your denying your own words. So, that's what the -- it's less the insult and more the denial of the insult that is getting all the headlines here. Nic Robertson, so nice to see you. I'm sure we'll talk to you again this morning as these events unfold. Thank you, sir.

SANCHEZ: Still plenty more ahead. Stay with "Early Start," we'll be right back after a quick break.

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[04:20:00] SANCHEZ: President Trump is weighing in on the Virginia Beach massacre. The president was asked Sunday, if he would support restrictions to gun silencers or suppressers like the one used by the gunman in Friday's deadly shooting.

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TRUMP: I don't like them at all.

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SANCHEZ: We now know the gunman DeWayne Cradock resigned from his job as an engineer with the city before killing 12 people, wounding four others. According to a coworker, the suspect was brushing his teeth in the men's room and exchanging pleasantries with him just moments before opening fire. Miguel Marquez has the latest.

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MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine, Boris, what may be most disturbing about this situation is that nothing seemed to push this individual over the edge into this. We know that he e- mailed his resignation the morning before all of this took place, but the city manager saying that he had not been fired, that there was no process for him to be fired underway. That there were no disciplinary issues that the department was dealing with, that he was in good standing with the department.

This is the memorial, the official memorial. There's a couple of them around town right now that is now starting to grow here at the police station, not far from where all of this took place. This is sort of a massive complex, government complex. The Police departments here, two detectives were sitting at the police department when they heard that this was going on. One had the presence of mind to dawn a protective vest, or protective gear as they rushed out the door. They engaged the suspect, the chief of police gives us a few more details.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the suspect was firing, he was moving. They were returning fire and at one point the suspect was firing through the door and through the wall at the officers and then the firing stopped. They eventually breached the door.

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MARQUEZ: This memorial has been growing now for some time. There are now 12 crosses, there are names of each of the victims, their pictures, and people are signing the crosses, people coming here for a little bit of connection essentially, dropping off flowers, taking a knee, saying a prayer, and hoping that this community can get beyond this. Virginia Beach, Virginia. Now on the grim list of U.S. cities that have suffered this sort of violence. Christine, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Tragically, a list that just keeps getting longer and longer. Miguel Marquez, thank you.

ROMANS: The families had spoken this morning, Thanks Miguel.

All right, 22 minutes past the hour. A shark attack at a North Carolina Beach. Details next.

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ROMANS: All right. Welcome back, a North Carolina teenager is recovering in the hospital this morning after she was bitten by a shark. Authorities say 17-year-old Page Winter was swimming off Atlantic Beach in Carteret County Sunday when she was attacked by a shark. She was air lifted to a hospital in Greenville, North Carolina. She was treated for deep lacerations to her legs, pelvis and hands. The teen is now listed in good condition.

SANCHEZ: Always uncomfortable hearing those stories, especially in summer time, more people on the beach and more shark attacks.

ROMANS: Right.

SANCHEZ: When we come back, President Trump fighting controversy as he visits the U.K., hear what he said about the mayor of London and a member of the royal family when we come back.

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