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Deadly Chopper Crash; Ortiz Back In Boston; David Ortiz Back In Boston in Serious Condition; The Battle for Iowa; WSJ: Kim Jong Un's Half-Brother Was a CIA Agent; Warriors Stay Alive. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 11, 2019 - 05:00   ET



NATHAN HUTTON, WORKS IN THE BUILDING: You could feel the building shake.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: So what caused the helicopter to crash and burn on the roof of a building just blocks from Times Square, New York City?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Red Sox legend David Ortiz moved to a Boston hospital after he was shot in the Dominican Republic.

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


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


ROMANS: Warriors survive game five of the NBA finals but lose one of their superstars to a nasty injury.

And you say the ESPN reporting on the injury is pretty dire.

[05:00:01] BRIGGS: They say torn Achilles, and that could change the entire --


BRIGGS: -- NBA for 2019 and '20.

ROMANS: All right. Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

Good evening, everybody, June 11th, it is 5:00 a.m. in the East. We start right here in our backyard. The NTSB and New York City police are on the scene of a deadly chopper crash on the roof a Manhattan high-rise.


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


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


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.


BRIGGS: 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 an ex-fire chief in upstate Clinton, New York. His colleagues are left heartbroken and stunned.


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.


BRIGGS: Investigators say there's no sign of criminal intent and the cause remains under investigation.

ROMANS: 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 this 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.

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.


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

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


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.


ROMANS: Manager Alex Cora adding that he and the players are trying to stay positive and send prayers to the Ortiz family.

BRIGGS: To politics now to and a possible 2020 preview in Iowa today, with President Trump and Democratic front runner Joe Biden both campaigning in the same state, possibly setting up some very fascinating split screens in the 4:00 and 7:00 hours. The president is attending a fund-raiser and set to visit an ethanol plant where he'll tout a new federal ethanol policy that's intended to help farmers.

Now, Joe Biden has community events in Ottumwa, Mount Pleasant and Davenport.

[05:05:00] So far, none of them intersect with Trump's schedule but he is clearly blazing his own path in the first to vote state. He has faced criticism for skipping a big Democratic event over the weekend to attend his granddaughter's graduation.

Leyla Santiago is in Des Moines with more on that and the fascinating day ahead.


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.


ROMANS: All right, Leyla. Terrific work in Des Moines for us.

Big picture, how do Iowans feel about the historically large field of 2020 Democrats? According to the latest CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll, nearly eight in 10 caucusgoers 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 on to possible obstruction of justice by the president. That puts off a court fight to enforce the subpoena served to Attorney General William 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 learned from the Mueller report, a job handled by a pair of federal prosecutors. Dean told lawmakers he came to provide historical context.


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 Richard Nixon. Stated a little differently, special counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a roadmap.


ROMANS: Dean said the Trump administration was in, quote, fast competition with the Nixon White House on the degree of obstruction that it had engaged in.

Dean acknowledged from the outset that he was not a fact witness, which angered some Republicans on the judiciary panel.


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. Gaetz --


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".


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


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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BRIGGS: Michigan Congressman Justin Amash stepping down from the hard right House Freedom Caucus. Last month, he became the first and still only Republican lawmaker to say President Trump committed impeachable offenses.

[05:10:01] Amash was a founding member Freedom Caucus. He told CNN other members are his close friends and he didn't want to be a further distraction for the group. He says that his resignation is voluntary.

ROMANS: In his bid to quash criticism of his deal with Mexico, the president sowed more confusion, teasing an as yet unannounced agreement with Mexico. But it's not exactly clear what it is. The president boasted in a tweet he had a fully signed and documented another part of the deal with no details. And then he said this to the cameras.


TRUMP: Well, we have an agreement on something that they will announce very soon. It's all done. And they have to get approval. And they will get approval. If they don't get approval you have to think in terms of tariffs.


ROMANS: Mexico's foreign minister said there is no secret agreement, and as yet unannounced new agreement with the U.S., adding that aside from what I explained there's no agreement of every kind. Everything I've been talking about was known since Friday.

"The Wall Street Journal" is reporting as part of a deal to avert tariffs, Mexico agreed to revisit U.S. demands for a radical overhaul of the immigration system, the safe third party designation.

Here's what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when asked if there's another agreement.


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.


ROMANS: OK. So Trump said tariffs would be reinstated if Mexican lawmakers don't sign off on whatever this new unannounced as yet commitment deal is.

BRIGGS: Pompeo adding 30 to 45 days, we'll seem some results on the border numbers.

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


[05:16:27] BRIGGS: The deceased half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was an informant for the CIA, that's according to "The Wall Street Journal". A source tells the paper there was a nexus between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam who it says 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.


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.


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 been released from custody.

ROMANS: Customs and border protection officials say photos of travelers and license plates were stolen in a quote malicious cyber attack. The agency says the images were compromised as part of an attack, a cyber attack on a federal subcontractor. They're used as part of a growing facial recognition program designed to track the identity of people entering and leaving the U.S. Officials say they are working with the law enforcement and cyber security experts to determine the scope of the breach. Initial reports say fewer than 100,000 people were affected.

BRIGGS: All right. Coming up, the Golden State Warriors barely staying alive in the NBA finals, but they're once again without one of their superstars, Kevin Durant, will be for the foreseeable future.

Coy Wire has that major sports in the "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:23:22] BRIGGS: Golden State Warriors stave off eliminations in the NBA finals. But their victory over the Raptors comes at a high price.

Coy Wire has more on the "Bleacher Report".

Good morning, my friend. This story may not just impact KD or the Warriors but the entire league next season in terms of the dominos here. Good morning.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no doubt about it, Dave. KD hadn't played in 33 days, sidelined with that calf injury of course. But he and the organization decided he'd be on the floor for his team. His return lasted just 12 minutes.

It was do or die time for the two-time defending champs down 3-1 in this series and Durant came out on fire, like he hadn't skipped a beat, hitting the first three. Three-pointers, totaling 11 points, but then the unthinkable happened. KD buckling to the ground trying to make a move in the second. You see the despair on his face.

The Toronto crowd initially cheering this injury but as he's helped off the court, the Raptors players let him know no laughing matter. Durant is scheduled for an MRI today. The fear -- a torn Achilles.

Durant's teammates Andre Iguodala, Steph Curry supported him all the way to the locker room. How would they respond after this: crumble or come together? They showed the heart of a champion.

Finally, playing with Durant, they're now playing for him. Nine unanswered points down the stretch, getting a win from the Raptors.

Afterwards, Warriors GM Bob Myers fighting back tears, talking about Durant's injury.


BOB MYERS, WARRIORS GENERAL MANAGER: I don't believe there's anybody to blame. But I understand in this world, and if you have to, you can blame me.

[05:25:08] I run our basketball operations department.

And I'll tell you something about Kevin Durant. He loves to play basketball and the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong.


WIRE: Now, it wasn't just the team's GM breaking down for Durant trainers, players, crying in the locker room even after the game, likely done for the season. And today's point, becoming a free agent after this season.

KD posting on Instagram he's hurting, deep in his soul, but he's staying positive. Laughing that the team winning was like a shot of tequila giving him new life.

Warriors forcing a game 6 on Thursday and one final game ever to be played for fans in Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Now, the defending champs are here. The USA just hours from making their Women's World Cup debut in France. A favorite to win it all. They have lost just once in 2019 and that was France beating them in January. Twelve players from the 2015 World Cup winning team returned and former USA star and all-time international scoring leader Abby Wambach has high hopes.


ABBY WAMBACH, 2015 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP CHAMPION: This team can do really amazing things. I think that we have the -- probably the best attacking front three in the world, maybe of all time. A win for them in France this summer would be epic. You know, and so many people around the world watch what the women are doing and I'm so proud of them for everything they do.


WIRE: Team USA taking on Thailand today at 3:00 Eastern for the debut.

But, Dave, you bring up a great point about KD. The domino effect this may have.


WIRE: He clearly rejuvenated that team being back on the court. We'll see how they respond in the next week.

BRIGGS: You have to wonder if he is -- if it's an Achilles and if he stays then with the Warriors. New York, Brooklyn, L.A., how many teams are impacted for their foreseeable future as well?

This is a major story, Coy Wire. Great job, my friend.

Romans, what's coming up?

ROMANS: All right. Well, we've got federal investigators on the scene of a deadly chopper crash in Manhattan. What caused the respected experienced pilot crash land on the roof of a high-rise? Details ahead.