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EARLY START

Chopper Crash-Lands on Roof of Manhattan High-Rise; Ortiz Back In Boston; The Battle for Iowa; Warriors Stay Alive. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 11, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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[04:01:19] NATHAN HUTTON, WORKS IN THE BUILDING: You could feel the building shake.

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CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: What caused a helicopter to crash and burn on the roof of a building just blocks from Times Square in New York?

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Red Sox legend David Ortiz moved to a Boston hospital overnight after getting shot in the Dominican Republic.

ROMANS: President Trump and former Vice President Biden with dueling campaign stops in the great state of Iowa today. Is this what the 2020 race will look like?

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there will be a game six in Oakland. And it was a great job --

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BRIGGS: The Warriors survived game five of the NBA finals but lose their superstar to a potentially devastating injury. Kevin Durant may not play for a long while, folks.

ROMANS: Oh, wow.

BRIGGS: Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

Tough news for the folks in Oakland.

ROMANS: I missed that headline.

All right. And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday. It is June 11th, 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Good morning, everyone.

All right. The NTSB, the FAA, the New York City police all on the scene of a deadly chopper crash on the roof of a Manhattan high-rise.

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FIRE UNIT: We have what appears to be a helicopter that crashed into the roof. The helicopter is on fire.

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ROMANS: One first responder described the scene as a debris field on fire. An Agusta chopper A109E chopper flying in very poor visibility in the early afternoon, slamming down on the roof of the 54-story building. A witness describes the moment of impact.

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HUTTON: You could feel the building shake and you could actually hear the alarms when they went off. The alarms went on, security came in, told us, everybody, get out of the building now. Do not take the elevators. Walk down the stairs.

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ROMANS: All right. The pilot has been identified as Tim McCormick. He was a certified flight instructor with 15 years of experience flying helicopters and single engine planes. He was also an ex-fire chief in upstate Clinton, New York.

Now, his colleagues there left heartbroken and stunned.

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DON ESTES, EAST CLINTON FIRE CHIEF: Tim will be exceptionally missed by his department members, not only for his leadership, but his wonderful sense of humor. Rest in peace, brother.

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ROMANS: You can see how sad they are.

Investigators say there is no sign of criminal intent. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

BRIGGS: Red Sox legend David Ortiz back in Boston this morning. The team sent an air ambulance to pick him up after the former Sox star was shot at a night club in his native Dominican Republic. Team president Sam Kennedy says Ortiz's condition is serious but doctors cleared him for transport to Mass General.

One suspect Eddy Feliz Garcia captured and beaten by bystanders. Another fled on foot. An assistant says Ortiz does not know Feliz Garcia but is confident it was not a robbery attempt.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann has that story from the Dominican Republic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, we are outside the hospital in Santo Domingo where doctors apparently saved David Ortiz's life, Big Papi as he is known here and in the United States, he was brought here suffering from a gun shot to his back. Doctors had to operate on him for hours removing parts of his colon, intestines and gallbladder in order to stop the internal bleeding.

It is still a mystery why two men apparently approached him at a night club that he was used to frequenting, a very well-known place, a place considered to be safe.

[04:05:00] And one of them took a gun out, police say, and shot him in the back and would have probably escaped had the crowd not tackled him and beat up this alleged gunman very badly. The second man has escaped at least for the moment. Police say they are searching for him.

So while that investigation continues, David Ortiz has managed to make something of a remarkable recovery. He came to and has talked to his family. Doctors here in Santo Domingo gave him the all clear to go on to Boston, a city where he is so famous and revered. But it is going to be the beginning of a very long recovery. But the good news is David Ortiz, Big Papi, is safe and receiving the treatment he so desperately needs -- Dave and Christine.

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BRIGGS: All right. Patrick Oppman, thanks.

The Boston Red Sox family was stunned by the new of Ortiz's shooting and they paid tribute to former star before last night's game against the Texas Rangers.

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ANNOUNCER: Please join us as we offer a moment of reflection, thought and prayer for a complete healing and full recovery for you our beloved Big Papi.

ALEX CORA, BOSTON RED SOX MANAGER: He'll be back with us, he will be in that clubhouse with that big smile and that huge heart. You talk about super heroes without capes, and he is a superhero without cape. That's the way we see him, you know? So, he'll be OK.

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BRIGGS: Manager Alex Cora adding he and his players are trying to stay positive and sending prayers to the Ortiz family.

ROMANS: All right. It does not appear that President Trump and Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden will cross paths today in Iowa where they are both campaigning. The president is attending a fundraiser. He'll also visit an ethanol plant where he'll tout a new federal ethanol policy intended to help growers.

Biden has events in Mount Pleasant and Davenport. So far, several events but none intersect with Trump's schedule. But he is clearly blazing his own path in the first to vote state. He faced criticism for skipping a big Democratic event there over the weekend to attend his granddaughter's graduation.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is in Des Moines for us with more on that and the day ahead.

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LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, Dave, former Vice President Joe Biden will be heading right here to Iowa today and so will President Donald Trump. And that comes after a very big weekend here where a lot of the 2020 candidates were here trying to not only stand out, but also show their strength. A lot of the voters here will be waiting to hear what Biden has to say given that he was not one of the 19 candidates that came for the you will Hall of Fame event over the weekend in Cedar Rapids.

It is the largest 2020 candidate gathering to date and Biden missed that event for his granddaughter's high school graduation. But let's talk about the polls here. The latest CNN/"Des Moines Register" Iowa poll shows the former vice president still leading the Democratic pack but with a much smaller advantage than what we've really seen in recent national polls.

In a three way battle for that second spot where you have a few folks there, you have Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren and also Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Now, on the campaign trail, we're starting to see these candidates sort of criticize and knock Biden be it directly or indirectly.

And from Biden himself, not only did we not see him in Iowa over the weekend, we also didn't see him in California the previous weekend for a major event. He also has done minimal national network interviews. How that will all play out with voters, we'll have to wait and see -- Christine, Dave.

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ROMANS: Great reporting from Leyla there in Des Moines for you. Thank you.

Big picture, how do Iowans feel about the historically large field of 2020 Democrats? According to the latest CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll, nearly 8 in 10 caucusgoers -- they want some of the candidates to drop out. Just 18 percent say that they relish the chance to consider all of the 23 candidates vying for the party's presidential nomination.

BRIGGS: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler striking a deal with the Justice Department to get documents from the Mueller report. Documents related to possible obstruction of justice by the president. That puts off a court fight to enforce his subpoena served to Attorney General Bill Barr.

It is not clear which documents will be provided to the committee. Nadler says the agreement means all Judiciary Committee members will see Robert Mueller's most important files on obstruction.

ROMANS: Shortly after announcing the deal with the DOJ, Chairman Nadler gaveled in a hearing featuring Richard Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean, a CNN contributor. The hearing was called to discuss the lessons from the Mueller report, a job handled by a pair of federal prosecutors.

Dean told lawmakers he came to provide historical context.

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[04:10:02] JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: In many ways, the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate roadmap officially titled "The Grand Jury Report" was to President Nixon. Stated a little differently, special counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a roadmap.

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ROMANS: Dean said that the Trump administration was in, quote, fast competition with the Nixon White House on the degree of obstruction that it engaged in. He acknowledged from the outset that he was a fact witness which angered some Republicans on the judiciary panel.

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REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Here we sit today in this hearing with the ghost of Christmas past because the chairman of the committee has gone to the speaker of the House and sought permission to open an impeachment inquiry but she said no. What I really regret --

DEAN: It is striking, Mr. Gates --

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GAETZ: -- you're here as a prop. You are functionally here as a prop because they can't impeach President Trump because 70 percent of Democrats want something that 60 percent of Americans don't. So, they are in this no-win situation and you sit before us here with no knowledge of a single fact on the Mueller report on a hearing entitled "Lessons from the Mueller report".

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ROMANS: President Trump also lashed out in these pair of tweets and in front of the cameras.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John Dean has been a loser for many years. So, I've been watching him on of the networks that is not exactly Trump oriented, and I guess they paid him a lot of money over the years. Now, John has been a loser for a long time. We know that. He was disbarred and he went to prison. Other than that, he's doing a great job.

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ROMANS: Republicans had a witness of their own. Conservative legal scholar John Malcolm, he offered his view that Mueller's evidence fell short of proving the president obstructed justice.

BRIGGS: Republican Congressman Justin Amash stepping down from the hard-right Freedom Caucus. Last month, the Michigan Republican became the first Republican lawmaker and only to say President Trump committed impeachable offenses. Amash was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus. He told CNN that other members are his close friends and he didn't want to be a further distraction for that group. He says his resignation is voluntary.

ROMANS: All right. Confusion about the deal, the big immigration deal with Mexico. President Trump continues to tease an announcement, an agreement with Mexico. But Mexico's foreign minister and his own secretary of state aren't quite saying the same thing.

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TRUMP: We have an agreement on something that they will announce very soon. It is all done. They have to get approval and they will get approval. If they don't get approval, we'll have to think in terms of tariffs.

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ROMANS: Unannounced, it will be announced, it might be announced, it has to go through their legislative process, but we don't know what it is.

Earlier, Trump tweeted that he had fully signed and documented another part of the deal but wouldn't say what those details were, or what it was about. Mexico's foreign minister contradicted that claim, saying there is no secret agreement with the U.S., it doesn't exist, adding: Aside from what I've explained, there is no agreement of any kind. Everything I've been talking about was known since Friday.

Here is what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when asked about this other agreement.

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MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: As for other agreements, there were a number of commitments made. I can't go into them in detail here. But each side was committed to a set of outcomes.

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ROMANS: OK. So Trump is teasing a future episode of something we don't know about yet and maybe those folks around him don't either. Trump said tariffs would be reinstated if Mexican lawmakers don't sign off on this unannounced TBD future unconfirmed deal.

BRIGGS: But if the immigration numbers come down in the months ahead, the president will certainly claim a win and he should, right? ROMANS: And that was supposed to be the point of all that,

immigration numbers come down. We think that it is some the sort of an agricultural buy, he had teased a big agriculture buy, but there's just no confirmation for that.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a new report claims late half brother of Kim Jong-un was a CIA informant. New details, next.

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[04:18:35] BRIGGS: Four-eighteen-eastern Time.

A deceased half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was an informant for the CIA, that according to the "Wall Street Journal." A source tells the paper there was a nexus between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam who says he would meet with CIA agents in Singapore and Malaysia.

CNN's counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd says this whole thing may not be so black and white.

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PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTER-TERRORISM ANALYST: Let me give you some other alternatives. I witnessed a lot of instances where somebody was talking to the U.S. government because they thought, for example -- and I don't know if this is the case, but for example, in this instance, they could improve relations between North Korea and the United States, or they were working with another government, a government in Southeast Asia, for example, and they occasionally met with U.S. officials.

I don't know whether he met with U.S. officials or not, but there is a big distance between somebody who was favorable to his former half brother -- or to his half brother or somebody who was a spy. There is a lot of area in between there.

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BRIGGS: Kim Jong Nam died in February 2017 after he was poisoned with a nerve agent at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The two women behind the attack have since been released from custody.

ROMANS: The last abortion clinic in Missouri can remain open at least for now. A state judge granting a preliminary injunction in favor of St. Louis Planned Parenthood's reproductive health services. The ruling keeps Missouri from becoming the first state in the country to have no access to legal abortion.

[04:20:06] The clinic's license was supposed to expire on May 31st but the judge is preventing that from happening until he can hear arguments from both sides.

BRIGGS: People in and around Cleveland are still a bit shaken this morning after a reported 4.0 magnitude earthquake. Highway video cameras captured the moment the quake struck on Monday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was centered in Lake Erie, about 20 miles northeast of Cleveland, near the city of Eastlake, Ohio. Officials say the quake rattled some buildings, but no serious damage has been reported.

ROMANS: All right. They have a fault line right through the Midwest. So people are sometimes surprised where it shakes.

BRIGGS: Shaken, disturbed.

ROMANS: All right. The Golden State Warriors still have a pulse but they won't have one of their big superstars for a while after the game five of the NBA finals. We'll explain, next.

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[20:25:51] BRIGGS: The Golden State Warriors reign as NBA champs is still alive.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: VanVleet, VanVleet picks it up, Lowry, Lowry for the win, won't go. And there will be a game six in Oakland. And it was a great job --

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BRIGGS: The Warriors staved off elimination, beating the Raptors in a nail biter, 106-105 in game five of the NBA finals. But the news was not all good for Golden State, they lost Kevin Durant here to what ESPN is reporting is a torn Achilles. That would force him to miss the entire next season and likely change the entire trajectory of Durant's career, arguably the greatest player in the NBA. It was Durant's first game back from a strained calf that sidelined him for a month during the playoffs.

Game six Thursday night in Oakland.

ROMANS: All right. A potentially fatal blow for the already troubled Woodstock 50, an event to celebrate the golden anniversary of the iconic 1969 music festival.

When I think 1960s, I think Miley Cyrus, really.

Miley Cyrus is one of the headliners tentatively scheduled to appear the August event. It was supposed to take place in Watkins Glen, New York. On Monday, the road racing facility terminated the site license and pulled out as host, the latest in a series of setbacks for Woodstock 50. Organizers insist that the show will go organization they are in discussions with another venue to host this anniversary event.

BRIGGS: All right. Coming up, federal investigators are on the scene of a deadly chopper crash in Manhattan. What caused a respected experienced pilot to crash land on the roof of a high-rise? Details ahead.

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