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EARLY START

Trump Versus Biden in Iowa; Reports: Second Suspect Arrested; Jon Stewart's Outrage; What's the Big Secret?; Hong Kong Extradition Bill Sparks Massive Protests; Trump: I Would Not OK CIA Recruiting Kim's Half-Brother. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 12, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


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[04:31:19] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sleepy Joe. He's a sleepy guy.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Only I can fix it. Fix yourself first, Donald Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. President Trump and Democratic front-runner Joe Biden trading insults in Iowa.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, reports of a second arrest in David Ortiz's shooting case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, FORMER HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": They did their jobs. Eighteen years later, do yours!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Jon Stewart outraged at lawmakers who stood up 9/11 first responders.

BRIGGS: Plus, the mystery Mexico deal pulled out of the president's pocket. What does it say on that folded sheet of paper? You can imagine all the photographers out there were analyzing their photos.

I can tell you this: there were no heads of state that signed that document according to "The Washington Post", which gives you some glimpse as to the importance or lack thereof.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour this Wednesday morning.

Let's start in Iowa. President Trump the Democratic front-runner, Joe Biden, both in Iowa. Although they were never in the same city at the same time, each focused a lot of attention on the other. It felt a little like a general election preview.

TRUMP: Sleepy Joe. He's a sleepy guy.

BIDEN: I believe that the president is literally an existential threat to America.

TRUMP: I think he's the weakest mentally. Obama took him off the trash heap.

BIDEN: He's really fascinated with me. I find it fascinating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Keenly aware that Iowa takes its role as first to vote very seriously, the candidates also focus on policy.

Here's Biden at an evening event in Davenport.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Tax cutting passed for multimillionaires and billionaires. Guess where our own (ph) president? He's gone, he's gone.

You know, I don't think the president really gets the basic stuff. He thinks these tariffs are being paid by China. It's like Mexico is doing the work.

And what about health care? Trying to have the Justice Department to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, and he saw how well trying to take away people's health care worked in 2018. And yet they were trying like the devil to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president tried to tie Biden to Democrats in Congress, labeling them radical socialists.

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TRUMP: With Biden, we would never be treated with respect because people don't respect him. More than 100 Democrats in Congress have signed up for the Bernie Sanders government take over of health care. Democrats also support the $100 trillion Green New Deal. How about that beauty, the Green New Deal?

(BOOS)

The Democrat Party is really now the socialist party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president's attacks so far not registering in the polls. In the latest Quinnipiac survey, Biden beats Trump by 13 points. And look at the rest of the top Democrats, they lead Trump by single digits.

BRIGGS: An angry, emotional Jon Stewart ripping into Congress over health care for 9/11 first responders. The former late night host testified Tuesday to a House Judiciary Committee hearing on re- authorizing the September 11th victim compensation fund. And he was clearly irritated by the number of lawmakers who chose not to show up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.

[04:35:03] Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. Shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution.

There is not a person here -- there is not an empty chair on that stage that didn't tweet out: never forget the heroes of 9/11. Never forget their bravery. Never forget what they did, what they gave to this country.

Well, here they are!

Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity -- time. It's the one thing they're running out of.

They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Lawmakers from both parties insist no disrespect was intended. They claim they were monitoring the hearing while conducting other congressional business. The committee's ranking member, Republican Mike Johnson of Louisiana, does predict the bill will pass with overwhelming support.

ROMANS: All right. Breaking overnight from the Dominican Republic, "The Boston Globe" reporting a second suspect has been arrested in connection with the weekend shooting of Red Sox legend David Ortiz. The report says the suspect was taken into custody Tuesday night. It comes as the first suspect arrested was charged as an accomplice to attempted murder. Meantime, Big Papi taking his first steps Tuesday following a second surgery to treat his gunshot wounds, which his wife says he's stable and resting comfortably in a Boston hospital.

We get more this morning from CNN's Alexandra Field.

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ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, David Ortiz is expected to spend at least the next few days in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital here in Boston. But his wife says he's in stable condition and recovering after doctors in Boston performed a second surgery on Big Papi. He was flown here Monday night. The first surgery performed in the Dominican Republic hours after he

was shot in the back Sunday evening. Doctors down there saying it was an extensive surgery. That they did work to repair his intestines, his colon and his gallbladder.

They say he woke up asking to see with his family. We now understand he was able to exchange a few words with his father, his sister before he was put on an air ambulance and taken to Boston. That flight arranged by his former team, the Boston Red Sox.

Ortiz was met here by both his wife and his daughter. He is, again, expected to stay in that intensive care unit for the next couple of days. But certainly the word coming from his wife is that he is beginning to recover -- Christine, Dave.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Alex for us in Boston, thank you.

The pilot who crash-landed and died on the roof of a high-rise in New York City was lost. He was trying to return to the heliport he had just left. That's according to "The New York Times."

Timothy McCormick took off in a very dense fog along Manhattan's East River. In his last communication he told the heliport he didn't know where he was. According to the FAA, McCormick was not rated to fly by instruments only, a requirement for low visibility conditions.

BRIGGS: Nancy Pelosi is not ruling out the possibility of impeaching President Trump, but in an interview with CNN's Manu Raju, the House speaker made it clear she still opposes the idea, even though a growing number of Democrats are onboard.

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REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It's not off the table. I don't think you should impeach for political reasons. And I don't think you should not impeach for political reasons. It's not about politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Last week, President Trump called Pelosi a, quote, nasty, vindictive, horrible person while he sat on the hollowed grounds of the U.S. war cemetery in France.

The speaker was asked what she thought about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: First rule of our CODEL is we never criticize a president of the United States when we are overseas. The president took a different tact. I don't think -- I'm done with him. I don't even want to talk about him.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Right now, about 60 House Democrats support the idea of starting a presidential impeachment inquiry. Among them, New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): What is the line that we're waiting to be crossed for an impeachment inquiry? And so far, it doesn't seem like there is one. And so, without a clear boundary, it seems as though we're kind of sitting on our hands. So, if now isn't the time, then, I think, a lot of folks would like to know when is the time?

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BRIGGS: CNN recently reached out to 41 freshman Democrats who flipped GOP seats last year and asked them whether they support starting impeachment. Twenty did not respond. Of those who did a vast majority were either a no or undecided.

ROMANS: All right. A source tells CNN Donald Trump, Jr. will appear before a Senate Intelligence Committee today behind closed doors.

[04:40:05] It comes after a long and contentious fight over Trump returning for more testimony. The president's eldest son was subpoenaed by the committee back in April. Trump Jr. agreed to testify for two to four hours on roughly a half-dozen topics including questions about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting and the Trump Tower Moscow project.

BRIGGS: President Trump insists he has a very long and very good, secret agreement with Mexico.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: That's the agreement that everybody says I don't have, so no because I'm going to let Mexico do the announcement at the right time.

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BRIGGS: And to back up his claim, he waved a folded piece of paper in the air as he spoke to reporters on Tuesday. The president described it as one page of a larger deal that Mexico will be announcing after it receives legislative approval.

Mexico's foreign minister says that's news to him. Marcelo Ebrard says there's no agreement beyond what was announced by both countries last week. Whatever is on that piece of paper, President Trump says it would not have been possible without his threat to impose tariffs on Mexico.

ROMANS: All right. Talks have stalled between the U.S. and China. The United States now blaming China for backing away from progress made in several rounds of trade talks. The Chinese accusing the Americans of bullying them. It all makes this month's G-20 meeting that much more critical.

President Trump raised the stakes promising more tariffs if he doesn't meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka. And his top trade advisor, Peter Navarro, defended the White House's use of tariffs to achieve its foreign policy goals.

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PETER NAVARRO, SENIOR TRADE ADVISOR: We've given the Chinese many, many opportunities to negotiate in good faith, and we had 150-page plus agreement across seven verticals, including the force technology transfer and intellectual property theft. And they reneged on that at the end. So, that's where we are. We'll see what happens and we'll either get a great deal or we'll get tariffs.

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ROMANS: The Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expects a trade deal but said a definitive deal will not likely happen at the G-20, and he said this about negotiations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Well, I think there eventually will be. Even shooting wars end in negotiation. So I think eventually this will end in negotiation.

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ROMANS: Well, most people try to avoid shooting wars, and they try to avoid trade wars, too.

Secretary Ross also painted the president's recent trade threats with Mexico as positive and cautioned don't listen to the sound bites, he said. Judge this administration on the results, and he used Mexico as the example there.

BRIGGS: What are the results in terms of the U.S. trade war with China? Our trade deficit has gone up.

ROMANS: Well, the president thinks the results are --

BRIGGS: The tariffs have been negative.

ROMANS: The president thinks there's a huge piggy bank filled up with money.

BRIGGS: Right, I guess it depends on what you think tariffs do.

Ahead, enormous protests in the streets of Hong Kong. The crowds so large debate over a controversial Chinese extradition bill had to be postponed. We're live in Hong Kong, next.

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[04:47:21] BRIGGS: Huge protests happening right now in Hong Kong have caused a debate over the controversial Chinese extradition bill to be postponed. Now, just moments ago, police fired tear gas on protesters trying to storm Hong Kong's government building.

CNN's Ivan Watson is live for us from Hong Kong with the latest.

Ivan, what's happening there?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Dave.

It is a very fluid situation right now. There are tens of thousands of protesters out in the streets. Police -- riot police firing tear gas at them periodically, and massive numbers around where I'm standing. I'm on a traffic flyover that's been blocked. Downtown Hong Kong which has no traffic right now, and the protesters succeeded in encircling the headquarters of the city government, city hall, effectively, and forcing the postponement.

We're going to pan over here. The signal may break up, but riot police are moving up this pedestrian bridge and moving up in a push to clear demonstrators out of the area. And this is all part of a standoff over a draft extradition law that would allow people to theoretically be pulled to mainland China from the semiautonomous city --

(VIDEO GAP)

BRIGGS: OK, obviously having a little bit of difficulty with the shot there. But clearly we are coming to a confrontation, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: There was a million people over the weekend that protested. Some thought, OK, it might die down after that. It is clearly not going away. And you're looking here at a major confrontation on the streets of Hong Kong.

ROMANS: They were able to successfully encircle essentially the city hall, so the draft bill couldn't be read again. So they had to delay that, and that's what the protesters wanted.

Of course, you know, Hong Kong was handed back over to the Chinese in 1997 with a 50-year kind of transition plan. It is technically part of China but it has this semiautonomous standing, and there are a lot of people there who do not want to be more integrated with communist China.

BRIGGS: They don't want to go back. We will check in again with Ivan Watson in the 5:00 hour. Some latest pictures as to what that confrontation might be between those riot police and the protesters.

ROMANS: Communication a little spotty. And Ivan made the point it's because so many people are using the cell service or it's because the government has narrowed the bandwidth to prevent us from actually seeing things like these.

[04:50:00] All right. Let's come back to the U.S. right now. President Trump says he would not have allowed the CIA to recruit Kim Jong-un's half brother if he'd been in charge when it allegedly happened.

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TRUMP: I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that's for sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Now, the president refusing to confirm or deny a "Wall Street Journal" report that Kim Jong Nam was a source for the spy agency before he was killed by two women with a nerve agent in 2017.

Let's go live to Seoul and bring in Paula Hancocks.

You know, the president saying, well, under his watch that would have never happened. It seems as though he's trying to appeal to his friendship with Kim Jong-un.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine we're seeing that once again, the fact the U.S. President Donald Trump is talking about Kim Jong-un. He's just said to reporters on Tuesday that he thought that Kim Jong-un was keeping his word when it comes to not carrying nuclear and missile tests, pointing out the long-range missile tests are not going ahead, it's just the short range missiles which effectively he's saying don't bother him as much.

Clearly, here in South Korea and across the water in Japan, it is a very different picture with their short range missiles.

And he's also talking about letters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I just received a beautiful letter from Kim Jong-un. I can't show you the letter obviously, but it was a very personal, warm letter. I appreciate it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANCOCKS: So, remember, today is June 12th. It is one year since that historic first summit in Singapore between the U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. There have been two summits from that time, and we are now back to talking about letters going between the U.S. president and the North Korean leader.

We did hear, though, when it comes to "The Wall Street Journal" and "The Washington Post" reporter reports that he was connected, Kim Jong Nam, the half brother where the CIA, a defense lawyer within the court case for one of those women who smeared the nerve agent on his face say to the best of his knowledge, he did believe Kim Jong Nam was meeting with an American intelligence official, and he was privy to all the evidence. We also know in open court one of the police did admit that he had met

with an American just five days before his murder. Although at that point they say they couldn't identify the individual and didn't know necessarily if he was a spy. But certainly, a very interesting development -- Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, certainly, and the president not holding in his praise for North Korea, saying it has tremendous potential under Kim and saying that he got another beautiful letter from the leader. There we go, that bromance continues.

Paula, thank you so much for that.

All right, the Avengers get a new look for better or worse. CNN Business next.

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ROMANS: All right, welcome back. Just about the top of the hour. Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Take a look at global markets. You can see a little bit of declines in Asia and European markets have just opened a bit lower too.

Asian markets closed down as inflation data showed consumer prices at a 15-month high there. On Wall Street, futures leaning just a bit lower. You know, the Dow snapped a 16-day losing streak following just 14 points. I mean, that's barely a move.

Also just barely registering losses yesterday to break a winning streak for the Nasdaq and S&P. They also finished slightly lower. So, markets have been resilient.

Take a look, the Dow is only 779 points below its record high. It's about 3 percent. The S&P and Nasdaq very close to their record highs here after a terrible May. There has been a bounce back in June.

But there's more trouble for Boeing. For the second month in a row, the jet manufacturer received no new orders. Now, it's not just because of the 737 MAX crisis, Boeing has a massive back order of 5,000 planes, so its customers don't need a place more orders now.

And the Paris air show is next month. That's a key trade show where new deals are likely to be announced. So, May typically a slow month for new orders but watching that very closely. Boeing is really important part of the American economy.

All right. "End Game" wasn't the end for Marvel's Avengers. The franchise will soon feature a few videogame. The trailer for the game was released Monday and shows a new look for the super heroes.

Twitter users mocked the changes joking that it might cost too much to hire back the stars of the film. "End Game" made $1.2 billion in the box office on its opening weekend. It made $20 billion globally. The game will be released in May of 2020.

BRIGGS: So people don't like how their Avengers were presented in the video game?

ROMANS: Apparently not. You know, I don't know. You can't mess with Iron Man.

BRIGGS: With Captain America. All right, don't mess with that guy.

EARLY START continues right now.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Sleepy Joe. He's a sleepy guy.

BIDEN: Only I can fix it. Fix yourself first, Donald Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump and Democratic front-runner Joe Biden trading insults in Iowa.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, reports of a second arrest in the David Ortiz shooting case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: They did their jobs. Eighteen years later, do yours!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Jon Stewart outraged at lawmakers who stood up 9/11 first responders.

BRIGGS: Happening right now, police using tear gas on protesters trying to storm a government building in Hong Kong. We are live on the scene.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

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