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EARLY START

2020 Presidential Campaign Kickoff; Murder For Hire Plot On David Ortiz; Historic Protest In Hong Kong; U.S./Iran Conflict; India Increases Tariffs On U.S. Good; U.S. Open At Pebble Beach; Pete Buttigieg Rushes Home; Boeing CEO Vows To Be More Transparent; Phoenix Family Alleges Excessive Force; U.S. Had Planted Malware In Russian Power Grid; Market Mixed Ahead Of Fed Meeting Investors; Men In Black Disappoints At Box Office; Target Shoppers Face Delays At Checkout. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 17, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


[04:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our states is -- considering a full range of options.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: Military action on the table amid U.S. tensions with Iran over those attacks on oil tankers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: President Trump firing some of his pollsters, right before his re-election campaign officially kicks off tomorrow.

BRIGGS: Police in the Dominican say they're closing in on the master mind of the ambush shooting of Red Sox legend David Ortiz.

ROMANS: Hundreds of thousands take to the streets of Hong Kong. Protesters there refuse to back down raising pressure on Beijing. Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: What a sight. Good morning. Good morning everyone, I'm Dave Briggs, 4:31 Eastern Time on a Monday. We start overseas with tensions rapidly escalating between Iran and the U.S. following attacks last week on two tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman. In the next few days the president's national security team expected to discuss whether to send additional U.S. forces to the Middle East. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said the president has said clearly, he doesn't want to go to war. Pompeo says the discussions will focus on deterring and defending against Iranian aggression.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: The last 40 days we've seen a number of activities, not just these past two, but four other commercial ships which challenge the international norms of freedom of navigation. The United States is considering a full range of options. We've briefed the president a couple of times. We'll continue to keep him updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Now Over the weekend, Pompeo and the British, as well as the Saudis all blamed the attacks on Iran. Tehran denies it and actually suggests the U.S. may have sabotaged the tankers itself to ratchet up the pressure on Iran. But right now, Iran is announcing that it is against scaling back its commitment to the nuclear deal. We are joined now by CNN Fred Pleitgen, live in Tehran with the latest. Fred, good morning.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. Yes, as we speak right now, the Iranians are making that announcement. They've already said some pretty significant things about their reduction of their commitments under the nuclear agreement, they say that they have already significantly ramped up the production of low enriched uranium at their site in (inaudible). In fact said, they've already quadruple it and they would reach the limits of what they've set themselves of the amount of low enriched uranium, they are allowed to stockpile in about 10 days.

Now, Iranians have said before this announcement today that they are going to produce an unlimited amount of low enriched uranium and certainly it seems as though right now they are really ramping up that process. They're making that announcement at a heavy water reactor in the town of Arak. They also said, they want to produce more of that heavy water for different product for fission process to create nuclear energy and also want to try export that as well.

So, as you can see, the Iranians are clamping down their commitments under the nuclear agreement. However they are saying they still want to stay in the nuclear agreement. It's a clear message, Dave, to the United States that the Iranians are extremely angry at the policy of sanctions by the Trump administration. Also quite angry at the Europeans for not giving them more economic benefits.

At the same time, Dave, the Iranians also saying they are not going to back down in that standoff in the Persian Gulf. You've already mentioned it, they are saying that they believe the U.S. may have been behind attacking those two tankers. But they are also saying that the maximum pressure policy of the Trump administration is not a diplomatic tool, but is, indeed, economic warfare, Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Fred Pleitgen with the latest there from Tehran, 1:04 p.m. there. Thanks, Fred.

ROMANS: All right. The Trump campaign has fired several of its pollsters as it prepares to officially kick off the president's 2020 re-election bid tomorrow in Orlando. Now their latest numbers show the president trailing Joe Biden in 11 key states. When those results were leaked to the public the pollsters lost their jobs. The president confronted with facts and numbers explaining them away with a very familiar refrain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[04:35:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't believe those polls. There's no way he beats me in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But even your own polls show you're behind right now, don't they?

TRUMP: No, my polls show that I'm winning everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've all seen these reports, 15 out of 17 states. You spent 2 million on a poll and you're behind.

TRUMP: "Good morning America" today, they had that phony polling information. I explained to you last night that it was phony, but you didn't do anything about it. You should have, but it was late in the evening and perhaps you didn't get a chance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why does it bother you so much?

TRUMP: Because it's untrue. I like the truth. You know, I'm actually a very honest guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president is also promising to produce a new Republican health care plan, but there's one giant caveat. He says to actually pass a health care plan, Republicans first have to take back the House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are going to produce phenomenal health care and we already have the concept of the plan and it will be much --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) tell you what the plan is?

TRUMP: Yes, we'll be announcing that in about two months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: "The New York Times" said the president is willing to gamble that putting out a plan to be debated on the campaign trail will offset some of the advantage Democrats have on the heath care issue, but Republicans worry that putting out a concrete health care proposal with no chance of passage would only give the Democrats a target to attack over this next year.

BRIGGS: Now we know straight from the president's mouth why after all the back and forth he didn't fire special counsel Robert Mueller. Here's what he told ABC news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I wasn't going to fire, you know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody and that didn't work out too well. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The president appear to be referring to the Saturday night massacre. That is when Richard Nixon ordered the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, leading to a series of resignation at the top of the Justice Department. Impeachment hearings followed and ending in Nixon's resignation. Important fact check here, the Mueller report describes how the president did try to fire the special counsel despite saying in the ABC interview that he wasn't going to fire Mueller.

ROMANS: Investigators from the Dominican Republic say they are close to arresting the suspect who ordered the shooting of David Ortiz. Police are calling the assassination attempt a complex plot involving at least a dozen suspects. The retired Red Sox star recovering this morning in a Boston hospital. Patrick Oppmann has more on the investigation from Santo Domingo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, Dominican officials said they could announce as early as this week the arrest of the mastermind behind the shooting of MLB great David Ortiz. Currently Dominican police have 10 suspects in custody. They are looking for several more fugitives, but they admit they do not have the person yet behind bars who ordered the shooting of Ortiz and they have not been able to say what the motive was. But they say they are close. That they are working on it.

Many of the Dominicans we have talked to are skeptical. They say, there are so many crimes that take place here that go unpunished. It's always the small people, the foot soldiers to go to jail, not the kingpins, not the master minds. This time will be different though, Dominican officials tells that this is the highest priority investigation and that whoever was behind this no matter how high up they go, no matter the connections they have, they will pay for this crime which has embarrassed this baseball crazy -- baseball mad nation.

The 10th suspect is expected to be in court later on Monday. Police say, hey will ask for preventative prison that that person will go to jail for a year while awaiting trial. They have already achieved that with the nine other suspects.

But at least two of these suspects were already in prison for homicide and that the police say plotted the shooting of David Ortiz from behind bars. Further proof that even if people go to jail here, it doesn't necessarily stop them from committing crimes. Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Patrick Oppman, thank you for that.

Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg said he was disappointed with how his company handled the 737 Max crisis and he promised to be more transparent going forward. Speaking the ahead of the Paris air show, Bloomberg told reporters, the company's communication was not consistent and was unacceptable. He said with the new safety enhancements the 737 Max will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly.

Chief executive has previously apologized for the lives lost when the two 737 Max planes crashed. He promised to re-earn the trust of the flying public. "The Wall Street Journal" reported Sunday, the FAA may begin flight trials of the new 737 as early as this week. That would be good news for the company which reported no new aircraft orders in May. That was the second month in a row it received no orders that drop, isn't just because of the 737 Max. Boeing also has a big backorder of 5,000 planes, so its customers don't need to place new orders right in the middle of this crisis. That could change this week though, since executives like to announce new orders at the Paris air show which is happening now.

BRIGGS: All right. To sports now, Gary Woodland is Golf's U.S. Open champion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[04:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got it!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: And that was the exclamation. The first major title for the 35-year-old Kansas native. Woodland delivering clutch shots throughout the final round and topping it off with that 30 foot birdie putt on 18 for a three-stroke win. He posted the lowest winning score ever in six U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach. Brooks Koepka, the runner-up was trying to match a 114 year old record by winning his third straight U.S. Open title. He was under the 70 in all four rounds, but not good enough to get it done.

ROMANS: All right. Pete Buttigieg leaving the campaign trail to rush home to South Bend. Why Mayor Pete canceled two critical appearances in New York City, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Pete Buttigieg canceling his campaign events in New York City today. Instead he is home in South Bend Indiana to personally deal with an officer-involved shooting that left a suspect dead.

[04:45:07] Mayor Pete says, he went home because of lessons learned from past shootings involving his city's police officers. He points out the case is still being investigated, so he can't say much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-SOUTH BEND-IN) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've had prior cases of use of force incidents and officer-involved shootings where I hesitated, frankly, to get in front of cameras, because we didn't know very much and it was out of our hands, but what I learned, what I was told by people in the community is that it is important to open channels of communication, to try to be clear on where the city is, even if we don't find ourselves in the position to be able to say or do much right away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Buttigieg was scheduled to be in New York later today to appear at an LGBTQ event, hosted by the Democratic National Committee. His husband will speak at the event instead.

Mayor of Phoenix apologizing to a couple who say police drew guns and swore at them and their kids after an alleged shoplifting incident last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out the (BEEP) car. Get out the (BEEP) car right now. Yes, get out ride now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: This video just shocking here. In the end, no shoplifting charges were filed and the couple were set free. They've now filed a $10 million claim against the city. We turn to our Stephanie Elam in Los Angeles for details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What is shocking about this video coming out of Phoenix is just how young the family is with police officers pulling their guns out on this family. Now what you can see is that the man in the car, these young couple in their 20s and their two young children, the man pulled out, handcuffed on the ground and then forced up against the police vehicle. You can see that an officer sweeps his legs from underneath him after that. At the same time you can see that his fiance is standing there getting out the car with one baby on her hip and another young child walking next to her and the officer trying to yank the baby away.

Finally, the woman giving her children over to a stranger, because she says she was afraid of what the police officers is going to do. She told CNN quote, I really thought he was going to shoot me in front of the kids. All of this transpiring, because of a shoplifting call at a store that was already in progress. Then the store manager alerted the police officers that this family, the store manager claimed, had also shoplifted. The family saying they didn't know their daughter had walked out of the store with a doll that is what they're saying.

And then later if you go through the police report they say that the man admitted that he had shoplifted some underwear and then threw it out of a window. Regardless, many are saying that this was just too heavy of a response for a shoplifting call. The family saying that their daughters are traumatized and their oldest daughter is having nightmares and wetting the bed, because of all of these that had happen. The Mayor, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, also coming out of the statement, saying that she was deeply sorry. That she is going to make sure that every precinct within the Phoenix police department gets body worn cameras by August. So speeding up that time line.

And also saying that there will be a community meeting Tuesday evening, so that people can come together and talk about this. And we've also heard from the police chief, Jerry Williams, saying there will be an immediate internal investigation. And she also said, that she was disturbed by the language and the actions that she saw from the officers in that video, but a lot of people very much questioning the use of force by these officers in this case. Right now all of those officers though are on desk duty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Stephanie Elam, thank you for that.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong demonstrating against a controversial extradition bill for a second consecutive Sunday. They came out despite the fact that Hong Kong's leader apologized and said she was suspending the bill for now. The measure would allow extraditions to mainland China which protestors say that threatens their very political freedom. They want it shelved for good. For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Anna Coren, live in Hong Kong. Really puts pressure also on Beijing, you know, this is one of those signs that Beijing wants to, you know, more quickly absorb Hong Kong into Beijing's political system.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that is right, Christine. And that is China's ultimate goal, to control Hong Kong as well as Taiwan. That has always been the end game. So that is what these protesters turned out last Sunday and the Sunday before and again today. It is raining, but they have still turned out in their thousands to continue to call for the complete withdrawal of this very controversial extradition bill which would allow the extradition of people here into mainland China.

Criminal suspects, I should say. However, no one is buying that. They believe that anyone could be targeted, journalists, visiting people, political dissidents. That any of these people who speak out against Beijing could then be extradited to the main land which is why you have seen, you know, a huge cross section of society turn out for these protests.

[04:50:15] Talking about the business community, you talking about families (inaudible) families, I mean, yesterday -- children on these 3 kilometer walk. They thought it was essential that they were out there voicing their opposition to what they believe is the erosion of Hong Kong's freedom.

And as you say, Carrie Lam last night came out with an apology. Through a press statement with the people here once again, they find it insincere. It is too little too late. They are calling on her to withdraw and they will stay here until she does, Christine.

ROMANS: Anna, there's been pressure from business leaders as well. That is a financial hub, Hong Kong is. And there are business leaders who don't want international travelers, for example to maybe, to face extradition potentially even just traveling through the Hong Kong airport. Thank you so much for that. Nice to see you, Anna.

All right. Shoppers at Target face long lines and confusion at the checkout this weekend. We'll tell you what happened. CNN business is next.

[04:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: The U.S. is shifting its cyber strategy against Russia to offense. "The New York Times" reporting the U.S. has placed potentially crippling malware deep in Russia's electric grid. President Trump meanwhile firing up a series of furious tweet Saturday denying the report and calling the Times reporting a, quote, virtual act of treason.

The two administration officials told the "Times" they believe the president had not been briefed in any detail about the malware over concern how he would react or might even leak the information to foreign officials. For the latest, let's bring in senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance in Moscow. Matthew, good morning.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. An act of virtual treason, enemy of the people, the Kremlin absolutely love this kind of, you know, kind of tirade against the free press in the United States, because it fits their narrative. They also want to undermine the work of media in their country.

In terms of the reaction though from Russia about these revelations in "The New York Times," it's been pretty muted. I mean, Russia's got a track record, of course, of infiltrating the critical infrastructure systems of other countries and even carrying out cyber-attacks against neighboring countries of Ukraine, and Georgia, and Estonia in the Baltics, it's been heavily criticize for that.

One of the newspapers I've read says, look, you know it's understandable, it's naive to think otherwise that countries won't probe each other's cyber defenses so they're playing that down. Look, I mean, in the end though it comes down to one of those -- it's certainly not going to improve relations between two countries. It comes down to one of those additional issues standing between the two nations. You've got Ukraine, the conflict there, the conflict in Syria, as well, the allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. political system. Perhaps these are all issues that can be discuss when Presidents, Trump and Putin meet each other which is what expected to happen on the sidelines of the G20 summit, later this come in Japan, Dave.

BRIGGS: Pivotal G-20. Where Trump will also meet with China as well. Matthew Chance, live for us, thank you.

RICHMOND: That is a big story. In Business for the weekend, let's get a check on CNN business this morning. Taking a look at global markets, you can see Asian stocks closed looks like slightly higher there. Hong Kong's Han Sen rose a little bit after the city's top officials suspended the controversial extradition bill. It looks like European markets have open mixed here this morning. U.S. stocks closed down on Friday, roughly flat for the week. Investors are looking ahead to the week's Fed meeting where Fed chair Jerome Powell might hint at the likelihood of another interest rate cut and they're looking toward the G-20 summit at the end of the month, where again, President Trump is expected to meet with Chinese president Xi to discuss trade.

All right. It was a really tough weekend for you, if you were a Target shopper. Oh my goodness, two separate incidents caused delays at checkout lines. On Saturday, a two-hour outage prevented people for making purchases, two hours. On Sunday the company said the vendor that helps it accept payments was having an issue in one of its data centers. Twitter users complained and shared these awful images of the confusion. Target said, that the issue wasn't related to security and that no payment information was compromised, but you couldn't make a purchase.

It was a failed mission for "Men in Black" this weekend. Sony's latest film in the franchise brought in 28.5 million bucks. It led the weekend box office, but was expected to bring in 30 million or so. But then likely it stumbled due to poor reviews. It's rated 24 percent on the review site rotten tomatoes. Next weekend could be better for the global box office. Disney and Pixar's "Toy Story 4" will open bringing back Tom Hanks and Tim Allen to voice Wood and Buzz Lightyear. The Toy Story franchised made nearly $2 billion since 1995 and has been watched 175,000 times in my house.

BRIGGS: In your house?

And there was a star there. The Spork. Sporky.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: I believe of Toy Story 4. "Early Start" continues with the latest on Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: Our state is considering a full range of options.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Military action on the table amid U.S. tensions with Iran over attacks on oil tankers.

ROMANS: President Trump firing some of his pollsters, right before his re-election campaign officially kicks off tomorrow.

BRIGGS: Police in the Dominican say they're closing in on the master mind of the ambushed shooting of Red Sox legend David Ortiz.

END