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One Thousand More U.S. Troops To The Middle East; President Trump Says ICE Will Start Removing Millions Of Immigrants; Trump Set To Formally Kick Off Reelection Bid. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 18, 2019 - 05:30   ET



[05:32:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The Pentagon orders troops to the Middle East as Iran warns underestimate us and you'll be sorry.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump kicking off his reelection campaign today and tweeting about deporting millions of undocumented immigrants starting next week.

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




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

Welcome back to EARLY START this Tuesday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.


BRIGGS: Hi, there, everybody -- 5:32 Eastern time, 2:02 p.m. in Tehran and that's where we begin this morning.

Amid escalating tension with Iran, the Pentagon 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 Sec. Patrick Shanahan, the Defense Department released 11 new high-resolution photos taken after the attack on two tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman. Among the images, these show what the Pentagon says is a small Iranian Revolutionary Guard crew that removed an unexploded mine from the hull of one tanker.

Iran strongly denies involvement in the attacks. Let's welcome in senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen live with the latest from Tehran. Fred, what are you seeing?


Well, the Iranians are continuing to deny any involvement in the attacks but I did, just a couple of minutes ago, get some new reaction after the U.S. announced the deployment of those additional 1,000 troops.

This comes in the form of a senior Revolutionary Guard commander -- a lieutenant general within the Revolutionary Guard who said, quite bellicose as well, that the U.S. Naval Forces in the region are not a threat to the Iranian Forces because Iranian Forces, as he puts it, are in a heightened state of readiness and also at the height of their strength as well.

Now, this comes after yesterday, another senior Revolutionary Guard commander came out and said that the Iranians are very closely monitoring what they call "enemy forces" in the region -- of course, referring to U.S. Forces -- and if those enemy forces made any sort of move that there would be, as he put it, a "crushing response" from the Iranians. So, some pretty tough talk as well.

All of this Dave coming as Iran's ambassador to the U.K. told our own Christiane Amanpour that he fears Iran and the U.S. could be in for a dangerous confrontation. Here's what he had to say.


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


PLEITGEN: And, Dave, one of the things that the Iranians keep saying is that they don't believe that President Trump wants an armed conflict with Iran. But they also say that this region in the Middle East is an area of unintended consequences where obviously, things could go wrong -- could be miscalculated very quickly.

[05:35:10] One of the things that did happen is that Iran's president -- say, about an hour-hour and a half ago -- he came out and said that Iran does not want any sort of military confrontation with any nation. He says Iran's biggest problem right now, as he puts it, is that the Iranians are dealing with what he calls inexperienced politicians in Washington, D.C., Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, interesting. We'll get the latest on congressional response here in just a bit.

Fred Pleitgen reporting live from Tehran. Thank you. ROMANS: All right.

Meantime, at home, President Trump claims ICE agents are about to begin mass deportations of millions of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

Last night, the president tweeted, "Next week, ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have 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."

That's apparently a reference to a requirement that migrants crossing into Guatemala would have to claim asylum there, not anywhere else.

The president and the White House are offering no specific details about the planned immigrant roundup.

BRIGGS: Today, President Trump makes it official he's running for a second term in 2020. This big announcement comes tonight at a rally in Orlando.

Some of the president's supporters already camping out at the Amway Center to get a prime spot in line. They were there 42 hours ahead of this rally.

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 reelection campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida.

Now, this rally is expected to be massive and the campaign is, in many ways, treated it almost 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 has 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 and insisted that they do not reflect the reality on the ground. He says 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 purge 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 overrun by radicals.

But will he attack Joe Biden by name? This is something that campaign officials have hoped that he would do a lot less of but President Trump seems to not be able to help himself in that regard -- Christine and Dave.


ROMANS: All right, Abby Phillip at the White House. Thank you for that, Abby.

Twenty-twenty 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 that if I'm your nominee, winning Georgia, North Carolina, 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 is naive to think Democrats can work with Republicans in Congress after Trump leaves office.


BIDEN: And so, folks, look, if you start off with the notion there's nothing you can do -- well, why don't you all go home then, 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.


ROMANS: All right.

Joining us live this morning, "Washington Post" correspondent -- congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian. Good morning. So nice to see you this morning.


ROMANS: I want to start with Iran because the temperature is still real high in the Gulf of Oman and between these countries. And I'm just wondering your thoughts here.

You've got the United States government, under the Trump administration, that has repeatedly criticized American intelligence agencies and thumbed its nose at European allies. And then, you have this incident -- these incidents in the Persian Gulf, which are exactly the time you need to believe your intelligence and you need to be talking with your allies about a concerted multilateral strategy, which is the way it would have been done before.

This is exactly what we've been worried about on the international stage, isn't it?

DEMIRJIAN: Yes, it is. And I think that you see the developments coming kind of from all fronts. You see the attack on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman. You see the spat about the uranium enrichment happening --

ROMANS: That's right.

DEMIRJIAN -- that is where -- about -- I think, nine days away now because the announcement yesterday from Iran was that they were 10 days away from surpassing the limits that were set under that JCPOA joint nuclear deal.

[05:40:00] And then, you're seeing that Iran is basically saying look, we're going to do this unless we see the Europeans making up for the gap -- you know, what the United States has done in terms of our oil trading.

And so, it's kind of -- everything is being thrown into this mix at this point in terms of where the escalations are coming, what the threats are, what the potential stakes are. We don't know if it's going to be an economic confrontation, a military confrontation. It seems there are little elements of everything.

And yet, because that there -- these are all kind of inching towards confrontation, we don't quite know where things are going to break or who's going to blink first. And that's the situation that we're seeing, just kind of complicate an already fairly unstable, fairly tenuous situation in the general region.

BRIGGS: We also don't what, if anything, Congress can do about this. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "Congress must be immediately briefed on the administration's decisions and plans. The authorization of use of military force not been updated since 2001, three days after 9/11."

What do you expect the congressional response to be here?

DEMIRJIAN: Well, I think that the congressional response is going to be to try to work in language, either to this behemoth defense bill that's going through Congress right now or potentially, the appropriations process to say look, we don't -- legally, you can't go to war with Iran unless you come to us first and ask for an authorization.

This seems to have some buy-in with Republicans just because every -- the Republicans are making the argument that the administration would never do this. But it seems that if they could put language like that into some sort of legislation, they'll feel like that sits well with them.

The question is, though, that these bills are must-pass bills. They will probably get through Congress but it's also probably going to take months before they do. So, they're working on an absolute worst- case scenario endgame if there is some sort of military war with Iran. They want to stop that from happening.

But there's a lot that can happen in between and there's also just chronologically a lot --


DEMIRJIAN: -- that can happen before they actually get that bill through Congress.


DEMIRJIAN: And how much they're actually able to stem and block the president from taking interim moves or bring this back from an escalating situation in those intervening months, that's not clear.

ROMANS: Karoun, tonight, the president will officially announce his running for president in 2020 newsflash, but there will be a big rally -- almost a concert-like event, according to our Abby Phillip, in Orlando.

And the president -- maybe it's not a coincidence that yesterday he's announcing mass deportations of illegal immigrants in this country, trying to recapture some of the energy in his base, really, that launched him to the presidency.

He told ABC News, "I'm just going to do it the same way I did last time."

Do you expect that this immigration announcement of mass deportations and a rally tonight -- do you think this goes together?

DEMIRJIAN: I do, and I think that it's quite telling that he's making the announcement about the immigration raids now as he's about to launch his campaign because that's not something you would normally tell. You don't normally project 'Hey, we're --

ROMANS: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: -- going to come after you right now' because it gives people that might be the targets of those raids a chance to make plans or to hide from them. And it potentially compromises the actual enforcement action if that's your prime objective.

But, as we've seen before, the president likes to make these announcements because he feels like it motivates his base. He wants to come out strong. He's frustrated by these poll numbers, as we've seen the reporting on that front.

And he wants to make the case that he's not flustered and he's not rattled by any of this, and this is one of those red meat issues that he likes to throw at his supporters right before the rallies or during the rallies.


DEMIRJIAN: So, the timing seems to be quite uncoincidental, especially given the fact that there's operation concerns in making this announcement.

BRIGGS: Right. The mayor of Oakland, California once did this -- warned people that immigration raids might be coming.

Here's what the president said about that just over a year ago today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I mean, you talk about obstruction of justice. I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff. She advises 1,000 people. They told them, get out of here, the law enforcement's coming.


TRUMP: And you worked on that long and hard and you got there and there were very few people there. To me, that's obstruction of justice.


BRIGGS: Did the president just recommended criminal prosecution for the very thing he just did last night?

DEMIRJIAN: Well, it was -- you know, like over a year ago, right? I mean, I think that the irony, though, is very, very obvious --


DEMIRJIAN: -- that he would criticize --


DEMIRJIAN: -- another public official for doing exactly what he seems to be doing right now in a much larger platform, given the number of Twitter followers he has.

But, again, the president is impulsive in this way sometimes. He is also very, very politically savvy but politically driven, and sometimes prioritizes that over the operational concerns of the rest of his administration. This is not the only platform in which he does it.

But it goes to a pattern of the president sometimes making these bolder pronouncements and then things don't quite play out quite as he's announced. But it still ends up delivering a message to his base and that's who he's worried about, especially as he's heading into a contest where's he's maybe not got the upper hand --


DEMIRJIAN: -- even though he's trying to project that he potentially could.

ROMANS: And there's also when you're trying to parse a tweet there's a lack -- a lack of precision sometimes --

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: -- in the president's words. It's unclear if he means people who are coming in now or people who have been here for 10 years, or what kind of mass deportations --

[05:45:00] DEMIRJIAN: Right.

ROMANS: -- he is promising, along with the safe third party laws -- you know -- you know what I mean.

All right, so --


ROMANS: -- nice to see you, Karoun Demirjian --

DEMIRJIAN: You, too.

ROMANS: -- as we parse the administration every day. Thank you.

BRIGGS: Karoun, thanks.

All right. Ahead, Jon Stewart surprises the late-night crowd. You see him popping up from under the desk.

He slams the Senate Majority Leader. We'll tell you why, next.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Now that I have you here, what a delight.



ROMANS: The FBI is digging into 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.




ROMANS: Brian Isaac Clyde was shot and killed by federal officers before he got inside the federal courthouse. No one else was injured. The neighbor who recorded the incident from his eighth-floor apartment window says the suspect looked ready for battle.

[05:50:02] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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


ROMANS: Clyde was discharged from the Army in 2017. He served as an infantryman from August 2015 to February 2017.

BRIGGS: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Jon Stewart sparring again over this 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 with 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 of shape, but we will take care of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.


BRIGGS: Last night, Stewart popped up behind the desk, firing back on "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT."


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

I am bent of shape for them. These are the first heroes, and veterans, and 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 that would be enough to get Congress' attention, but apparently it's not.

We've spent a year compiling bipartisan cosponsors 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've done 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 standalone bill tomorrow. Meet with them. I beg of you.


BRIGGS: It seems easy. So far, no response from McConnell.

ROMANS: All right, it's that time of the morning. Let's get a check on "CNN Business" this Tuesday morning.

A look at global markets around the world shows you a mixed response in Asian markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng actually closed about one percent higher after the city's administrator -- chief executive apologized for how it handled the protests.

On Wall Street, you've got futures here up a little bit this morning. Stocks closed up yesterday -- slightly, really, ahead of today's Fed meeting. The Fed not expected to cut rates this week but the Fed chief could signal when.

Facebook is starting a new cryptocurrency. The company is working with more than a dozen others to back a digital coin called Libra.

The currency would be pegged to a basket of government-issued currencies to avoid big swings in value. And the coin could be used to make purchases on Facebook and across the Internet. The project has been in the works for over a year.

A New York Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, criticized Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos. She said in an interview Sunday the company pays its workers, quote, "starvation wages" and that low wages contribute to Bezos' status as the world's richest person.

Now, Amazon fought back, saying she's "just wrong." The company noted in a tweet it pays a $15 minimum wage and full benefits on the very first day someone goes to work there. It also said it has lobbied to raise the federal minimum wage.

We'll be right back.


[05:57:44] BRIGGS: Remember when President Trump tossed his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, out of the Oval for coughing during that ABC interview? Well, so, too, did all of the late-night comedians.


TRUMP: It's a fantastic financial statement and -- let's do that over. He's coughing in the middle of my answer.


TRUMP: I don't like that, you know? I don't like it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your chief of staff --

TRUMP: If you're going to cough, please leave the room.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": And in fairness to his chief of staff, you try breathing in a room where a man just went through four cans of hairspray. You'd cough also.

SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": You know there's a pretty good chance they set up the cough as a signal and Trump forgot.

If I accidentally start saying I want Congress to see my financial records -- you know, give me some kind of signal. Something simple like a cough.

Sure, but won't a cough be distracting?

No, a cough is great. I mean, it's not like I'm going to lose my mind when I hear a cough.

TREVOR NOAH, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL "THE DAILY SHOW": And by the way, I don't think it was a coincidence that his chief of staff just happened to cough right when Trump was talking about releasing his tax returns. Yes, that didn't sound like a real cough. It sounded more like a "shut the (bleep) up about your taxes."


ROMANS: And he's also -- isn't he kind of a germophobe, the president?

BRIGGS: Kind of?

ROMANS: I mean, maybe he doesn't want sneezing and coughing.

BRIGGS: Very much so.

ROMANS: I don't know. He was angry. I thought he looked angry, yes?

BRIGGS: Yes, we can agree on that.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY." We'll see you tomorrow.


KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The Pentagon has authorized 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East.

PLEITGEN: The Iranians continuing say they unequivocally were not behind the attacks on those tankers. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I trust the U.S. Intelligence Community. If they say it was Iran, we accept their position.

BRIGGS: President Trump officially launching his 2020 campaign today.

BIDEN: I plan on campaigning the south. I plan on winning Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not spending my time behind closed doors with a bunch of millionaires. I'm spending my time building a grassroots organization.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, June 18th, 6:00 here in New York.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Nice of you to be here.

CAMEROTA: Nice of me to show up. Nice to be seen. I had a lovely weekend.

Great to see you. How are you doing?

BERMAN: Great, thanks.

CAMEROTA: Good. I hope you're ready.

BERMAN: Missed you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. I missed you, too. We have a lot of news to get to.

BERMAN: All right.

CAMEROTA: All right.

Tensions are escalating between the U.S. and Iran. President Trump ordering an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East.