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Last Day for Mexico Before U.S. Tariffs; Joe Biden Pulls Back Support for Hyde Amendment; Jerry Nadler Splits with Nancy Pelosi on Impeachment Inquiry; Trump Going Back to Washington After Five-Day European Trip; Colorado Couple Got Violently Ill at Dominican Resort; Theresa May Resigns Today as Conservative Party Leader. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 7, 2019 - 04:30   ET


[04:31:41] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: It's deadline day for President Trump to order tariffs he's been threatening to impose on Mexico.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I make no apologies in my last position, and I make no apologies for what I'm about to say.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden flip-flops on federal funds for abortion.

BRIGGS: A Colorado couple says they became violently sick at the same Dominican resort where three Americans mysteriously died on vacation.

ROMANS: Plus, how did an airplane door fall from the sky right into a Las Vegas neighborhood? Imagine finding that on your sidewalk.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Happy Friday, everybody. 4:32 Eastern Time.

Today is the deadline for President Trump to decide whether to impose tariffs on goods from Mexico. Here is a live picture of the president's golf club in Ireland where he starts his day. The president must set the wheels in motion to carry out his threat to impose an initial 5 percent tariffs starting Monday unless Mexico stems the flow of migrants at the southern U.S. Mexico border. Both sides say there is still a chance at a deal to avert the tariffs. But Vice President Mike Pence underscored the U.S. demand that Mexico must first halt the tide of migrants.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The bottom line is we made it very clear that Mexico has to step up. They have to do more, and they have to do more quickly.


BRIGGS: Mexico's Foreign minister announcing last night that his country is deploying 6,000 Mexican National Guard troops to the country's southern border with Guatemala to help curb migration. Earlier the Foreign minister said he is optimistic a deal can be made with the U.S. in time.


MARCELO EBRARD, MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We are optimistic because we have a good meeting with respectable -- respectful position from both parts. We have the opportunity. We have the opportunity to share our point of view.


BRIGGS: President Trump for his part believes tariffs are a win-win for the U.S. telling FOX's Laura Ingraham they're, quote, "a beautiful thing."


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans should love what I'm doing because I view tariffs in two phases. Number one it's great to negotiate with because people don't want to be tariffed for coming into the United States, they don't want that. And number two, frankly if they're gone, you make a fortune because all the companies are going to move back into the country.


BRIGGS: The president said lawmakers including Republicans should, quote, "be ashamed of themselves" for not standing solidly behind him on tariffs. Talks between the U.S. and Mexico resume in Washington later this morning.

A 180 from Joe Biden on the Hyde Amendment. The former vice president and Democratic front runner reversing a long-held position on abortion funding in the space of a single day. He says he no longer supports the measure and wants to eliminate it. The Hyde Amendment blocks federal funds from being used for more abortions.

More now from CNN's Arlette Saenz in Atlanta.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Christine and Dave, after he had faced swift criticism from his 2020 rivals, Joe Biden made a major reversal when it comes to abortion. He told a group of Democrats here in Atlanta that he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions in most cases except for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.

[04:35:12] Now take a listen to what Biden had to tell Democrats in Atlanta last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BIDEN: I can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to -- to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code.


SAENZ: Now this was a very quick reversal. You had basically seen the entire Democratic field criticize Biden for the fact that he supported this Hyde Amendment. That was really the first major fault line that you had seen between the former vice president and his 2020 rivals. But now Biden issuing that major reversal saying that he does support ending the Hyde Amendment -- Christine and Dave.

ROMANS: All right, Arlette, thank you for that.

Now a candidate's view on abortion are becoming more critical to a growing number of voters. Take a look at this new CNN poll, 3 in 10 Americans now say a candidate must agree with their views on abortion to win their vote in the -- in a major election in 2004. Only 17 percent of voters felt that way.

BRIGGS: House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler privately pushing to begin impeachment inquiry into President Trump. But he is running into resistance from Nancy Pelosi. According to Politico Democrats held a meeting this week where the House speaker argued she'd rather see the president in prison.

CNN's Manu Raju has more from Capitol Hill.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave. Now a split between the House speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairman of the House Judiciary over whether or not to open up an impeachment probe. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of that committee, says they should and he's been making this case privately to Nancy Pelosi on multiple occasions.

Pelosi says no. She believes that's a wrong approach. She (INAUDIBLE) supports a current plan which does not go down this route. She also believes that moving to vote to impeach the president ultimately would be fruitless and help Trump essentially be reelected because the Senate would not convict this president and the president could essentially say he has been exonerated. She does not want to go down that path.

Nevertheless, Jerry Nadler is pressing on. I am told behind closed doors he's made the case on multiple occasions to the speaker, only to get rebuffed, including at a meeting earlier this week when he told the speaker very clearly that moving forward with an impeachment inquiry could add weight to the legal case in court. The cases involving the fight between the House Democrats and the Trump administration over the subpoenas that they are demanding for information, subpoenas that the White House is not complying with.

He thinks they could win those cases. Also he believes it would be important to centralize all the investigations that are happening in the House. He says these are all happening under his committee, particularly the investigations involving potential crimes involving this president.

Now there's pushback, not just from Pelosi but also Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, who himself is looking into different aspects of the president's conduct while in office. But nevertheless the Judiciary chairman is facing pressure from his own members in the House Judiciary Committee who want to move forward with the impeachment probe, who are growing frustrated by the defiance from this administration. And this tension and division only bound to intensify in the weeks ahead, particularly if the administration does not comply with their demands -- Christine and Dave.

ROMANS: All right, Manu, thank you for that.

The president lashing out at Nancy Pelosi for that prison comment. Here's the president in a FOX News interview.


TRUMP: I think she's a disgrace. I actually don't think she's a talented person. I've tried to be nice to her because I would have liked to have gotten some deals done. She's incapable of doing deals. She's a nasty, vindictive, horrible person. The Mueller report came out. It was a disaster for them.


ROMANS: The backdrop there just says it all. The interview took place at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, in front of the graves of American soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. The president's first act upon landing at Colleville-sur-Mer to celebrate the lives and the sacrifice of all those people was to turn to internal politics and bash the House speaker.

BRIGGS: President Trump returning to Washington today set to depart Ireland in the coming hours. During this five-day trip to Europe, he wasted no time wading into domestic U.K. policies, even apparently claiming he'd talked politics with the Queen, which she rarely if ever does.

CNN's Nic Robertson live in Doonbeg, Ireland with the very latest.

Nic, it looks like things have taken a turn for the president, perhaps he can, after all, golf today.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Dave, this is Ireland, we're on the Atlantic coast. The weather blows in, it blows out, it blows in, it blows out. I think that was maybe the fourth shower we've had this morning. A few minutes ago, maybe we'll get some more rain, but blue sky and that's good for the president for his golfing today but he leaves behind him quite a legacy of faux pas, political faux pas.

[04:40:05] That mention of a border wall with the -- when he was meeting with the Irish prime minister, when he landed here talking about a border wall between the Irish Republic here and Northern Ireland. Of course there isn't a wall, and it took the Irish prime minister to weigh in and tried to sort of correct the president on that.

But what the president has also left behind in mainland Britain is this sense that he's raised the stakes, the political stakes for all the parties involved in Brexit, and on top of that, implied that he's talked politics with the Queen, which no one does. This is what he said.


TRUMP: So I think before you can think in terms of Brexit for the next few weeks, you're going to have to find out what happens, who's going to be the new leader.

I found it to be a very set of an amazing period of time, especially having spent so much time with the Queen who I think is an incredible lady, but I spent so much time and, you know, there's a lot of question marks as to who's going to be leading, and so it was very interesting talking to her, being with her for so many hours, actually.


ROBERTSON: So what the president has done while he was in the U.K. is put Britain's national health service, sort of sacrosanct health care system for the people of Britain on the political table and that's so much raised the political stakes and certainly doesn't put the party that embraces him, the Conservative Party, and any future leader in good light if there is a general election coming up in the U.K. which could happen. The president's words unsettling for a lot of people in the U.K. --Dave.

BRIGGS: Indeed. OK, the president back at his private golf club for the second time on this very trip.

Nic Robertson live for us.

President Trump has signed a $19.1 billion disaster relief package as promised. Even tweeted a photo that appears to have been taken on Air Force One. The measure will bring much needed relief to Americans affected by hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other disasters. Several House Republicans held up passage of the bill last month after the Senate passed it.

ROMANS: All right. Deadlock in those trade talks between the U.S. and China, and the Chinese government is applying pressure to the U.S. beyond just retaliatory tariffs. On Monday, China's Education Ministry issued a rare alert. The Chinese government warning students against studying in the U.S. They said the potential students and scholars in the U.S. that the U.S. was delaying visas or outright rejecting applications to study.

Tensions flared again Tuesday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a harsh rebuke of China's human rights record on the 30th anniversary of the massacre of democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square. His remarks sparked an immediate backlash from Beijing which described them as prejudice and arrogant.

And there is still the issue of more tariffs. President Trump said Thursday he was ready to slap new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese products. Here's what he told FOX News.


TRUMP: I'll definitely get a deal with China. I mean, they want to make a deal now. I will say I'd want to get a deal but what they did was very bad. We had a deal and they tried to renegotiate. They can't do that.


ROMANS: The president told reporters he will decide on applying new tariffs after he meets with the Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G- 20 summit.

You know, a lot of people who've studied trade and the markets, there are a lot of things the Chinese can do beyond tariffs to really make life difficult for American companies. They can deny the U.S. access to these rare earth minerals. They can sell en masse the treasuries that they have amassed over the years which would be destabilizing to the world economy. They --

BRIGGS: Never heard a whisper of that last one.

ROMANS: Well, because it would also hurt them, too. You know, that would be mutually shared destruction.

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: But that is still something out there. The nuclear option as many people call it. They can also tie U.S. companies up in red tape, and, you know, in port inspections and the like. They can really make things difficult for American companies. So there's a lot of pressure Chinese government can apply here.

BRIGGS: So this trade war could get ramped up ahead of the G-20.

ROMANS: It could. It could.

BRIGGS: Ahead, a Colorado couple says they got sick at the same Dominican resort where three Americans were recently found dead. You'll hear from them next on EARLY START.


[04:48:26] ROMANS: All right, new developments this morning in that investigation of three unexplained American deaths at a Dominica Republic resort. A Colorado couple who stayed at the same facility in La Romana last year claims they became violently ill once they arrived. Kaylynn Knull and her boyfriend Tom Schwander were suing -- are suing the owners of the Grand Bahia Principe resort. They believe they were exposed to pesticides in the air-conditioning system.


KAYLYNN KNULL, AMERICAN TOURIST AT DOMINICAN RESORT: It's too coincidental with the symptoms that we had for me to even begin to stay quiet about it.


BRIGGS: Meanwhile, autopsy reports are in for the three Americans who died at the resort. All three had fluid in their lungs.

Rosa Flores with more from the Dominican Republic.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Christine, there are new developments into the mysterious deaths of the three Americans who died in the Dominican Republic. This is according to the attorney general's office who released preliminary autopsy results. According to the A.G., Miranda Schaup-Werner had a heart attack. The Maryland couple Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day had internal bleeding of the pancreas and fluid in the lungs.

Now all of this is dependent upon toxicology reports so official cause of death has not been determined yet. Now the A.G. also mentions some medications that were found inside the couple's room.

And here's another development, the FBI is assisting with the investigation. This is according to a State Department official who says that local police asked the FBI to assist with the toxicology reports and then of course there is an FBI attache here in this country that is helping with that.

[04:50:07] And finally health inspectors went into the resort that you see behind me to conduct a health inspection and the results of that inspection are expected Friday or Monday -- Dave, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Rosa Flores in the Dominican Republic. Thank you, Rosa.

A West Point cadet is dead after an accident near an academy training site in upstate New York. Nineteen more cadets and two soldiers were hurt in this vehicle rollover. Their injuries are not considered life threatening. Now the dead cadet's name has not been released pending his family's notification. West Point says the cadets were in a light medium tactical vehicle on their way to a land navigation course at the training site.


LT. GEN. DARRYL A. WILLIAMS, WEST POINT SUPERINTENDENT: We want to make sure our soldiers and cadets train in realistic training environment so this is part of our realistic training.


ROMANS: The accident focusing attention on a startling fact. Far more U.S. service members die during training exercises than in combat operations.

Look at this. A congressional report finds that in 2017, for example, nearly four times as many troops died in training accidents as in combat.

BRIGGS: Wow. Residents in a Las Vegas neighborhood receiving an unwelcome surprise. An airplane door falling from the sky, hitting a building and then ending up in someone's front yard. Happened yesterday afternoon. Officials say an access panel fell off an A-4 military plane shortly after it took off from nearby Nellis Air Force Base on a training mission there. Thankfully no one was hurt. The FAA and Las Vegas Police are investigating the incident.

ROMANS: The biggest wildfire in California history was sparked by a man trying to plug a wasp nest. A Cal Fire report says a Mendocino County rancher tried to plug the entrance by hammering a 2-foot long concrete stake into the hotel but the shower of sparks lit dry glass on fire. The flames went on to burn nearly half a million acres last July. No charges will be filed.

BRIGGS: Question for you, is four years of college still worth it? Romans has the answer in CNN Business. Next.


[04:56:44] BRIGGS: A changing of the guard begins in Britain. Prime Minister Theresa May resigning today as Conservative Party leader. She will remain as prime minister until a successor is named in July.

Let's welcome in CNN's Anna Stewart live in Peterborough, England with the latest.

Anna, good morning.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Yes, so British prime minister's successor will start being picked in the next few weeks. So she sets on today as leader. Nominations start on Monday. There are currently 11 candidates and they are going to have to pick up the Brexit mess that Theresa May leaves behind. And the problem is, nothing's changed in parliament. There's likely no majority for a no deal Brexit. There's likely no majority at the moment for anything else either.

And in places outside of Westminster, like this in Peterborough, there is just huge frustration. People here voted overwhelmingly to leave the E.U. by 61 percent, and yet they're still in the E.U. They just had an election yesterday to elect a new MP there and he sat down, Labour clung on but in second place was the eight-week-old Brexit party that's led by Nigel Farage. An extraordinary result kicking the Conservatives into third place.

Now I spoke to Niger Farage. He was here an hour ago, I said, you know, this must be a dreadful loss. He thinks it's a victory, given how well they've done in such a short amount of time. I asked what he would think about Boris Johnson taking over from Theresa May since he's such a staunch Brexiteer. Take a listen to what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIGEL FARAGE, BREXIT PARTY LEADER: Boris twice voted against Mrs. May's treaty, the one she signed with Mr. Barnier from the European Commission, said it was an awful deal, it would reduce us to a slave state. The third time he came back to the House of Commons, guess what? He voted for it. So I don't know what Boris believes in.

STEWART: But is there any appetite in parliament for a no deal Brexit?

FARAGE: In the country there is. And if parliament doesn't get that, the Brexit party will get stronger still. That's why the Brexit Party is growing in strength. The parliament is out of touch with the people.


STEWART: Huge pressure for Theresa May's replacement, Dave, and yet there are currently 11 candidates wanting to give it a go.

BRIGGS: A contentious couple of weeks coming there to the U.K.

Anna Stewart, enjoy that. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on how CNN Business is doing this morning. Let's take a trip around the world with me, if you will, global markets, European markets slightly higher here. You can see, you know, Asia closed mixed for the week. U.S. stocks finished Thursday higher. The Dow recorded its fourth day of gains in a row, closing up 181 points. It's on track to snap a six-week losing streak. So this will be a rare up week for the Dow if it holds in here.

The S&P 500 closed up a fraction, and the Nasdaq closed up half a percent. So investors will turn their attention now to that May jobs report, it's due out at 8:30 Eastern Time today.

April was a surprisingly strong month and economists think 185,000 jobs were added in May. May's report will be a key factor the Federal Reserve will consider when it meets in a couple of weeks.

Will the Fed be cutting interest rates to try to blunt the president's trade war? That's what everybody is wondering on Wall Street.

OK. Is four years of college still worth it? Big question. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says if you drill down into the numbers, yes. A new report finds the average college graduate earns $78,000 a year compared with $45,000 earned by a high school graduate. That's a different of more than 30 grand and a college degree is still a good investment. The study finds a college degree has 14 percent average return on investment.