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Trump Versus Biden in Iowa; Reports: Second Suspect Arrested; Jon Stewart's Outrage; What's the Big Secret? Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 12, 2019 - 04:00   ET



[04:00:18] 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.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump and the Democratic front- runner Joe Biden trading insults in Iowa.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, reports of a second arrest in the David Ortiz shooting case.


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


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

ROMANS: Plus, the mystery Mexico deal pulled out of the president's pocket. What does that say on that folded sheet of paper?

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: A lot of cameras there to capture that piece of paper and analyze it.


BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Good morning, everybody. Wednesday, June 12th, 4:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin with what could be a 2020 general election preview. President Trump and Democratic front-runner Joe Biden both in Iowa, each focused a lot of his attention on the other. It felt a little bit like a general election preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 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.


BRIGGS: Quite interesting interaction.

Keenly aware that Iowa takes its role as first to vote very seriously, the candidates also focused on policy. Here's Biden on an evening event in Davenport, Iowa.


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.


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


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?


The Democrat Party is really now the socialist party.


BRIGGS: The president's attacks so far, not registering the polls. In the latest Quinnipiac Survey, Biden beats Trump by 13 points. What's interesting here, all six Democrats do top Trump in this poll, although some by just single digits.

ROMANS: Interesting. All right, more on that.

An angry, emotional Jon Stewart ripping into Congress for health care for 9/11 first responders. The former late night host testified Tuesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing re-authorizing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, and he was clearly irritated by the number of lawmakers who chose not to show up.


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

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.

[04:05:08] Eighteen years later, do yours!


ROMANS: This is something that's been really important to John Stewart for many years now.

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, predicts the bill will pass with overwhelming support.

BRIGGS: 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 his second surgery to treat his gunshot wounds. Ortiz's wife Tiffany says he's stable and resting comfortably in a Boston hospital.

More now from CNN's Alexandra Field.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 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.


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

The pilot who crash-landed and died on a roof of a New York City high- rise was lost and trying to return to the heliport he had just left. That's according to "The New York Times." Timothy McCormick took off in a dense fog along Manhattan's East River. In his last communication, he told the heliport he did not know where he was.

According to the FAA, McCormick was not rated to fly with instruments alone, 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 clear she still opposes the idea even though a growing number of Democrats are now onboard.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It's not it's 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.


BRIGGS: Last week, President Trump called Pelosi, quote, a nasty vindictive horrible person while he sat on the hallowed 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.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You have to work with him. How do you work with him after he leveled such an --


BRIGGS: Right now, about 60 House Democrats support the idea of starting a presidential impeachment inquiry.

Among them, New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


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?


BRIGGS: CNN reached out to 41 freshman Democrats who flipped GOP seats last year to ask whether they support starting on impeachment inquiry. Twenty did not respond. Of those who did, the vast majority were either a no or undecided.

ROMANS: A source tells CNN Donald Trump, Jr. will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee today behind closed doors. 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, quote, very long and very good agreement with Mexico.


TRUMP: That's the agreement that everybody says I don't have.


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

[04:10:03] Mexico's foreign minister, however, says that is news to him. Marcelo Ebrard says there's no agreement beyond what was announced by both countries last week. Whatever's 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. To business now, two of the largest wireless carriers have been trying to merge for years and now they face a major roadblock. Sprint and T-Mobile were hit by a lawsuit filed by New York and California's state attorneys general Tuesday, alleging the $26 billion merger would drive up the cost of cellphone services. New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted: When it comes to corporate power, bigger isn't always better. The lawsuit also claims the deal would cost consumers $4.5 billion a year.

Both T-Mobile and Sprint has said publicly the merger would allow them to better serve customers. The companies agreed to their latest deal last April. As part of that deal sprint said it will divest its low cost Boost Mobile Company, and both promised to build 5G network that would include coverage for rural Americans. Now, the lawsuit argues the rollout of 5G will happen even without this merger and divesting Boost Mobile will not address the harms to competition potentially caused by that deal.

Sprint and T-Mobile did not respond to CNN Business' request for comment.

BRIGGS: All right. Coming up, enormous protests on the streets of Hong Kong. The crowd so large, debate over a controversial Chinese extradition bill had to be postponed. We're live in Hong Kong, next.


[04:16:07] ROMANS: All right. Those huge protests in Hong Kong have caused debate over the controversial Chinese extradition bill to be postponed. Hong Kong's government admits it decided to delay the meeting because multiple traffic lanes are being blocked by protesters. You're looking at live pictures of the scene right now, tens and thousands of demonstrators restricting access to the legislative council building.

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

And, Ivan, just looking at these live pictures, I mean, this is a -- this is a kind of remarkable, what we're seeing unfold here.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. It is pretty astounding, and it is very reminiscent from me of the occupied protests we saw at this very same location five years ago against another controversial initiative by the city authorities. Where from this vantage point, and we're pulled back quite a bit because the cellphone networks aren't functioning very well either because of the tens and thousands of people or because of the authorities are reducing the bandwidth.

But you can see that the city hall effectively, the headquarters of the administration, has been surrounded by tens of thousands of mostly young protesters who have put up makeshift barricades. They use the traffic barriers to put this together. You may see some umbrellas there, which was a similar strategy we saw them use in 2014 as well, and ringed by riot police who moments ago carried out a charge using tear gas that they fired from shotguns just about 100 yards from where I'm standing right now at another side of this encirclement.

So this is a dramatic situation that we've seen escalate in a very short period of time. On Sunday, a million people plus walked through the streets of this city to protest this controversial draft extradition law. And the city authorities said they were still going to go ahead with it. And now, they've adopted a different tactic, basically barricading the headquarters of the government, and they have succeeded in the short-term, Christine, of forcing the city authorities to postpone a second reading of this controversial extradition law -- Christine.

ROMANS: We're watching these pictures, Ivan. So remind us what is so onerous or Orwellian about this extradition law that these protesters are so angry about.

WATSON: We're technically in China. Hong Kong is officially a part of China, but it's semiautonomous. It has its own legal system, and the new law would allow extradition of fugitives to other places like mainland China, which is not allowed right now.

And the fear is that that would expose all sorts of people in Hong Kong to China's very opaque judicial system. And that is part of why on Sunday, if the organizers' estimates are right, one in seven Hong Kongers was out in the streets denouncing this draft piece of legislation. The city authorities insist it is to stop fugitives, murderers for example with jurisdictions where they don't have extradition agreements so that they can move suspected criminals back and forth through different jurisdictions.

But judging by the size of the protests, the people here on the streets do not believe the city officials, and they don't trust the central communist party government in mainland China -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Ivan Watson for us, you know, we'll talk to you again soon. Monitor all that for us. Thank you.

BRIGGS: Great pictures there.

All right. Ahead, a record shattering start for the United States women's national team in the World Cup.

[04:20:05] You won't believe the blow out from round one. Are witnessing the start of a juggernaut of the defending champs?


[04:25:08] ROMANS: Former Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer will be sentenced today, the first in connection with the college admission scandal. The coach pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. He admitted accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to university sailing program, and falsely designating two students as sailing recruits. He is one of 50 people who are arrested back in March. The federal prosecutors recommend a 13-month prison sentence for Vandemoer and a year of supervised release.

BRIGGS: A rousing start for the defending national champion or World Cup Champion, the women's national team in the Women's World Cup.

Wow, the final? Team USA, 13, Thailand, just watch them really, nil.

The U.S. women setting all kinds of records. Most goals scored in a World Cup match, men's or women's. Largest margin of victory in any World Cup match, and American star Alex Morgan five goals tied the record for most scored by a single player in a World Cup match.

And Romans, a debate raged all day long was the bad sportsmanship by the U.S. national team, was it running up the score and was it bad sportsmanship celebrating each goal in a blow out match.

Your opinion?

ROMANS: I admire the debate over equal pay, actually. That's what I think is the biggest story here. These women are astonishing in how good they are, astonishing for what kind of I think patriotism they show for young girls and boys who watch this and love watching it.


ROMANS: My son who's 13 are like, mom, wait, why aren't they paid as much as the men's team? Big, long story but --

BRIGGS: It is and I side with your son on that. The sportsmanship angle, all the way, and, look, it's the World Cup. It's not Little League. It's not our kids out there on the field. Let them play.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump and Joe Biden stomping in Iowa and slamming each other. Are we seeing a preview of the 2020 election?