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Iran Conflict: 1,000 More U.S. Troops to Middle East; Trump's Campaign Kickoff; Search for a Motive; Stewart Strikes Back; Hong Kong Chief Exec Speaks in Face of Protests; SCOTUS Hands Down Four Key Rulings; Former Egyptian Mohamed Morsy Dies. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 18, 2019 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:22] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The Pentagon orders troops to the Middle East as Iran warns, under estimate us and you'll be sorry.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump kicking off his re-election campaign today and tweeting about deporting millions of undocumented immigrants starting next week.

ROMANS: FBI agents want to know why would an army veteran open fire on a federal building in downtown Dallas.


JON STEWART, FORMER HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": No, Mitch McConnell, I'm not bent out of shape.


BRIGGS: Jon Stewart slams the Senate majority leader in a surprise late night cameo.

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

ROMANS: Good morning. I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

Let's begin with the escalating tension with Iran. The Pentagon now announcing the U.S. will send 1,000 more troops to the Middle East along with military resources. Just before the announcement by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the Defense Department released 11, 11 new high resolution photos taken after the attack on two tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman.

Among these images, these declassified images, these show what the Pentagon says is a small Iranian guard crew that removed the mine from the hull of one tanker.

Now, Iran strongly denies involvement in the attack.

For the latest, let's bring in senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen. He is live in Tehran for us. And, Fred, I think it's extraordinary that the Pentagon declassified

these pictures. They clearly want to show what kind of images they are seeing as they make this case.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. That certainly seems to be what they're showing. On the other hand, Christine, the interesting thing about those images is that they show a picture of the Iranian boat but you don't actually see whether or not there's a mine or anything else on that boat.

And I think that's why the Iranians are continuing to say that they unequivocally saying were not behind those attacks. And at the same time, the Iranians coming with some pretty bellicose rhetoric of their own. A top Iranian general coming out and saying that the Iranians are very closely monitoring what they call enemy forces in the area, obviously referring to U.S. forces being beefed up over the past couple of weeks and now more so with that new troop deployment, and then saying that if there is a move on the part of what he calls Iran's enemies, obviously referring to the Americans, that there would be a crushing response from the Iranians and in a very broad region.

Of course, Christine, the Iranians have again and again said if it comes to a shooting war between themselves and the U.S., they would not only use their own military but all of their proxy forces they have in the region.

Meanwhile, Iran's ambassador to the U.K. issuing a strong warning to our own Christian Amanpour in an interview, saying he believes the U.S. and Iraq are headed towards a dangerous confrontation. Here's what he has to say.


HAMID BAEIDINEJAD, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.K.: We are heading towards a confrontation which is very serious for everybody in the region. I hope the people in Washington will be very careful not to under estimate the Iranian determination, that if they would be wrongly turning into a conflict, they will be very sorry about that.


PLEITGEN: So, as you can see, there is still a very volatile thought in this region.

One sort of more positive note came from the Iranian president who earlier today at an event said publicly that Iran does not want to enter into a conflict war with any nation. And he said Iran's problem right now is they're dealing with what he calls inexperienced politicians in Washington, D.C., Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, in the U.S. side this is a president who came to office by promising to get out of costly foreign wars and focus at home. So, there are hawks in his midst, but we know the president has been -- has not want to do any kind of adventures on the international stage.

Nice to see you. Thanks so much in Tehran for us, Frederik Pleitgen. BRIGGS: All right. President Trump claims ICE agents are about to

begin removing millions of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Last night, the president tweeting: Next week, ICE will begin the process of removing millions of Americans who illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico using their strong immigration laws is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our southern border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a safe third agreement.

Now, that's apparently a reference to a requirement that migrants crossing into Guatemala will have to claim asylum there, not anywhere else. The president and the White House were offering no specific details about this planned immigrant roundup.

ROMANS: All right. Today, the president makes it official, he is running for a second term in 2020.

[04:35:04] The big announcement comes tonight at a rally in Orlando. Some of the president's supporters, they are already camping out at the Amway Center to get a prime spot in line.

Abby Phillip has more from the White House.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, today will be a big day for President Trump as he officially relaunches his re-election campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida. Now, this rally is expected to be massive.

And the campaign is treating it like a concert with food and music outside of the concert venue as hundreds and thousands wait to get into this arena to see President Trump. But over the last several days, there's been quite a bit of drama as President Trump has lashed out at reports about some internal polls that were reported on several weeks ago showing him trailing Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, in some cases by double digits in these key swing states.

Now, President Trump insisted that these polls are fake, insisted that they do not reflect the reality on the ground. He said he's doing as well as he ever has in the campaign right at this very moment. But at the same time he has forced a personal in his campaign. Three of the pollsters that were responsible for this 17-state survey were fired over the weekend as the president has grown furious over the reports that he might be struggling more than he would like to in this campaign.

As for what we'll see from President Trump in Orlando tonight, I think you can expect president Trump to really hammer home this idea that the Democratic Party is being over run by radicals. But will he attack Joe Biden by name? This is something that campaign officials had hoped he would do a lot less of, but President Trump seems not to be able to help himself in that regard -- Christine and Dave.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS: All right. Abby Phillip at the White House, thank you so much for that.

2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden making the bold prediction he expects to beat Trump in red states.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I plan on campaigning in the South. I plan, if I'm your nominee, winning Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, believe it or not, and I believe we can win Texas and Florida if you look at the polling data now.


ROMANS: While speaking at a forum on systemic racism and poverty, Biden also pushed back against critics who say he's naive to think Democrats can work with Republicans in Congress after Trump leaves office.


BIDEN: So, folks, look, if you start off with the notion there's nothing you can't do, why don't you go home, man. Or let's start a real physical revolution if you're talking about it because we have to be able to change what we're doing within our system.


BRIGGS: The Biden camp right now may be most concerned about Elizabeth Warren's rise in the polls. The Massachusetts senators also addressing the poor people's campaign forum on Monday took aim at Biden and other 2020 rivals for catering to wealthy Democratic donors.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been to a lot of places around this country. I've taken more than 2,000 unfiltered questions from folks. Shoot, I'm over 30,000 selfies now. So I'm in this.

But here's the deal -- ask yourself why I've got the time to do that and most other candidates don't. And the reason is because I'm not spending my time behind closed doors with a bunch of millionaires.


BRIGGS: Warren announced back in February that her campaign would have no fundraisers, dinners, receptions or even phone calls with big money donors.

ROMANS: All right. The FBI is investigating the military and social media background of a 22-year-old man who they say tried to shoot up a federal building in Dallas on Monday.

The man's name is Brian Isaak Clyde. He was shot and killed by federal officers before he'd gain entrance into that federal courthouse. No one else was injured, thankfully.

The neighbor who recorded that incident from his eighth floor apartment windows says the suspect looked ready for battle.


TIM BROWN, WITNESS: I don't know, you know, what he was thinking but he definitely had this planned out. He had a vest on. He had -- it looked like camo pants on. And he had boots on and he had his face covered up, too.


ROMANS: Now, Clyde was discharged from the Army in 2017. He served as an infantryman from august of 2015 to February of 2017.

BRIGGS: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responding to Jon Stewart's outburst to lawmakers over the 9/11 victim compensation fund. Now, in case you missed it, here's what the comedian said on Capitol Hill last week.


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


BRIGGS: McConnell seeming to brush off Stewart's comments in a new interview on Fox News.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, many things in Congress happen at the last minute. We have never failed to address this issue and we will address it again. I don't know why he's all bent out of shape, but we will take care of the 9/11 victim's compensation fund.


[04:40:00] BRIGGS: Stewart immediately fired back to the Republican leader during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert".


STEWART: No, Mitch McConnell, I'm not bent out of shape. I'm in fine shape. Well, I am out of shape, I am out of shape.

I am bent out of shape for them. These are the first heroes, and veterans, victims of the great trillions of dollars war on terror and they're currently still suffering and dying and in terrible need. You know, you would think that would be enough to get Congress's attention, but apparently it's not.

We've spent a year compiling bipartisan co-sponsors and advocates for this bill, all in the hopes that when it finally gets to the great Mitch McConnell's desk, you won't jack us around like you have in the past. So, if you want to know why the 9/11 community is bent out of shape over these past, let's call it 18 years, meet with them tomorrow, as soon as possible and don't make them beg for it.

You could pass this thing as a stand alone bill tomorrow. Meet with them. I'm begging you.


BRIGGS: Seems pretty simple.


BRIGGS: So far, no response from McConnell.

ROMANS: All right. The unemployment rate as you know is 3.6 percent, the lowest in some 50 years. We hear from some companies in all industries that they are having trouble hiring and retaining staff.

Case in point, Shake Shack, it is expanding around the world, adding 36 to 40 new restaurants this year. They could add even more if they could get the talent. I sat down with its CEO and asked about the fight for workers.


RANDY GARUTTI, SHAKE SHACK CEO: The fight for talent is fierce. I've never seen it be harder or more expensive in my whole career in the restaurant business. So, you have to do a number of things. You have to create a place where people believe in, an ethos that team members want to work for.

It's got to be comfortable. It's got to be flexible. It's got to do things like the four-day work week.

And it's important to be diverse, inclusive. That's what makes the best teams and the place people want to stay.

ROMANS: The four-day 40 hour work week that you started. You're trying it out. How's it going?

GARUTTI: I grew up in the restaurant business since I was 13. The days of the restaurant business have been, look, you work really hard, you're never home, you work 6, 7 days a week, 12, 14 hour days. And lately, we've started challenging that notion, and in some of our West Coast Shacks we've started testing a 4 day work week.

And for a team member who is working in the restaurant business, that's significant.

ROMANS: Right.

GARUTTI: That's a major, radical change in their lifestyle. So, this is absolutely something we hope will lead to better retention rate over time. That's what we're studying. So, we're measuring to see if it actually does.


ROMANS: Think about that for a second. If you have a four-day work week, Dave, you have one fewer commute, child care costs. And when you're talking about the restaurant business, that could be something that really could help retain workers.

They're testing it out on the West Coast to see if it works. There are other luminaries in the business who have said, you know, four-day work week is probably the West Way to go. The five-day work week is really a vestige of the first half of the last century.

BRIGGS: For those that were retention is an issue, is this still a 40-hour work week?

ROMANS: It's still a 40-hour week, right?

BRIGGS: Four ten-hour days.

ROMANS: So, four ten hour days. We can see how it works. He's going to let us know.

You can see the entire piece on Shake Shack on We talked about a lot of different things.

BRIGGS: All right. Let us know what you think about the four-day week on Twitter.

Ahead, Hong Kong's chief executive speaking this morning to the protesters who are demanding she'd step down. We'll go live to Hong Kong, next.


[04:47:40] BRIGGS: Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam speaking live this morning, addressing the huge protests over the last week, forcing her to suspend debate on a controversial extradition bill. Protesters have demanded that she resign.

Live for us in Hong Kong this morning, Ivan Watson.

Ivan, any sense of what she's saying and is it calming the protests?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the protests have died down. There's maybe 100 people here at the Hong Kong parliament.

But what a change in tone. Gone are the top official here in Hong Kong, comparing the protesters to disobedient children that need to be reprimanded. No more of these condescending statements saying that the protesters simply don't understand the legislation she was trying to ram through.

Now, she is effectively prostrating herself offering sincere apologies, saying she must do more and saying she respects the people who came out by, according to some estimates, the millions to peacefully protest against her policies. This is something you would never see in mainland China, government

officials bowing to people who show defines in the streets. It's part of what makes Hong Kong different for the time being and it's part of the underlying tension between the semi-autonomous city and mainland China where no form of dissent is tolerated by the security forces or the government there -- Dave.

BRIGGS: And Carrie Lam, of course, not voted on by the people of Hong Kong but appointed by leaders in Beijing.

Ivan Watson live for us there in Hong Kong, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. A Phoenix couple calling for these officers to be fired following this disturbing incident.


ROMANS: You can see officers cursing at the family and pointing their guns at them. Dravon Ames who said police threatened to shoot him said the entire incident was uncalled for.


DRAVON AMES, ARRESTED BY POLICE: The officers are still working. Everyone knows they are not fit to be policing. Just like any other job, everyone is held accountable and those officers aren't being held accountable at all.


ROMANS: Officers called to the scene responding to shoplifting.

[04:50:01] The parents later admitted to police their four-year-old child took a doll from the store.

We're getting a peek at what happened inside the store. New surveillance video shows the child is getting the doll and showing it to a woman who appears to say she can't have it. The girl then waits for two other adults and walks out with the doll without paying. I mean, this child is a toddler.

The people say their children are still traumatized by their experience. They had a gun in their face. The pregnant mother was screamed at by police officers who told her to show her hands but she had a baby in her hands. She said, I can't, I can't.

She gave the child to a stranger because she was so afraid of the police. They have filed a $10 million claim against the city.

BRIGGS: A very busy start to the week for the Supreme Court; the justices handing down four key rulings Monday. Among the cases, racial gerrymandering claim by Democrats in Virginia and a bakery in Oregon that refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

More now from Jessica Schneider.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, the Supreme Court stepping into its final two weeks with a flurry of decisions and somewhat non-decisions. The court side stepped again a religious liberty case that asked, when can business owners deny to same-sex couples because of their religious beliefs?

Well, instead of answering that broad constitutional question, the court sent a case involving Oregon cake makers back to the lower court for reconsideration. The cake question may sound familiar since it was just one year ago that the justices ruled in favor of a Colorado cake maker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple, but the court ruled on very narrow grounds saying the Civil Rights Commission in Colorado had shown religious animus towards the baker by ruling against him.

So, really, the broader question of whether businesses can refuse service, it will be left for a later case. It is likely to come at some point since several similar cases are pending in the lower courts.

And the Supreme Court also handed a win to Virginia Democrats in a case concerning racial gerrymandering. The court said the Republicans in the House of Delegates do not have the right to challenge court- drawn district maps that favored Democrats since the attorney general and governor, both Democrats, did not want the lawsuit filed by Republicans.

Now, a lower court had previously ruled that Republicans had improperly let race factor into the districts that they drew. The Supreme Court's decision, that ruling stands.

But still a lot to come from the Supreme Court. We're expecting decisions on partisan gerrymandering and whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the census. We could hear more when the Supreme Court issues opinions again on Thursday -- Dave and Christine.


BRIGGS: Jessica, thank you.

Ahead, Facebook partnering with over a dozen companies to create a new cryptocurrency. Find out more about the digital coin. CNN Business, next.


[04:57:33] BRIGGS: Amnesty International calling for Egypt to investigate the death of the former President Mohamed Morsy, the country's first democratically elected leader. The Egyptian state media says the 67-year-old Morsi was in court where he was on trial for alleged espionage when he collapsed in court. He reportedly suffered a heart attack.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh monitoring live from Istanbul, Turkey. Good morning, Jomana.


You know with these trials in Egypt, they're quite restricted. There's not free media access to them. So, the information that we're getting is coming from his lawyer, from the state prosecutor there and from Egyptian state media. What they say happened during that session of this trial on Monday is that former President Mohamed Morsy asked to address the court. He was allowed to speak for about five to seven minutes, and as he returned to the glass cage where the defendants are kept, he collapsed there.

He was transported straightaway to hospital. According to the state prosecutor, he was dead on arrival. State media saying he suffered a heart attack but the kind of reaction we have seen from his supporters in Egypt and beyond, extremely angry with this news. They're describing him as a martyr blaming the Egyptian government for his death that they're describing as an assassination and as a murder.

The reason for that is for past few years, human rights organizations have been raising concerns about his condition in jail saying he was not receiving adequate medical care. This is being denied by the Egyptians and we're hearing these calls, as you mentioned, for an independent and thorough investigation into his death. But a lot of skepticism, Dave, especially when this investigation would be carried out by the government that's being blamed for his death.

BRIGGS: Very strange circumstances.

Jomana, thank you.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN Business this Tuesday morning.

Let's take a look at global markets here. You can see a mixed performance in Asia. Leading higher are the European markets. Paris looks like it's leading the way there.

Asian stocks mostly I would say leaning lower here. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up around 1 percent after the city's chief executive apologized for how it handled the protests there.

On Wall Street, stocks closed up slightly yesterday ahead of the Fed's meeting. The Fed not expected to cut rates but the fed chief could signal when. So, a lot of headline risk out of this two-day fed meeting here and a press conference tomorrow from Jerome Powell.

All right. Facebook is starting a new cryptocurrency. "The Wall Street Journal" reports Facebook is working with more than a dozen other companies to back a digital coin called Libra.