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NYY: Trump Okays Strikes on Iran Then Calls Them Off; Biden Calls Booker after CNN Interview. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 21, 2019 - 05:00   ET


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Protest, there is not one clear leader of this protest movement. And it is really hot. It feels like a 104 degrees Fahrenheit right now with the humidity at like 75%. Protestors are dropping and needing medical help for heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Dave.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, great reporting there from Ivan Watson. We will check back with you with those dramatic pictures behind you, thanks.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It's top of the hour. Let's get a quick check of business. So let's look at global markets around the world here. You can see a mixed performance in Asia. You know, the reason they're held back, there are concerns over the geopolitical tension with Iranian oil prices soaring yesterday, slightly lower right now, so we're really closely watching oil prices.

Markets were up in the U.S. after that Fed decision Wednesday held right steady this month but signals the possibility of future rate cuts. The S&P 500 popped to a record high close.

Also soaring on Wall Street, workplace messaging company Slack it jumped almost 50% on its first day of trading. Is now valued at more $20 billion.

All right, how many seconds does it take to reset a light bulb? This video GE shows you and it's been mocked on Reddit. It goes on and on and on for just under a minute for two different versions of light bulbs. Each one involves more drama than the last. Goes on like that.

BRIGGS: Good stuff.

ROMANS: Involves more than ten steps. The video was originally posted in January. Reddit users just found it, a user said, they thought the video was a parody, until they realize it was from GE's actually account. Careful --

BRIGGS: Huh, hard to believe that was mocked. All right. Early Start continues right now. Breaking news.

Breaking overnight, "The New York Times" says President Trump ordered then called off strikes against Iran.

ROMANS: A witness makes a stunning courtroom confession at the trial of a Navy SEAL charged with murder.

BRIGGS: New released video shows one man's wild attack on TSA agents at an Arizona airport.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The New Orleans Pelicans select Zion Williamson.


ROMANS: Wow, the number one picking the NBA draft shares an emotional moment with mom after his long time dream comes true.

BRIGGS: So there were tears, trades, skinny pants and no socks.

ROMANS: I know. I love the no sock game last night, the old passion. Good morning and welcome to early start everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning. Happy Friday everybody. I'm Dave Briggs, June 21st, 5:00 a.m. in the east. It is 1:30 p.m. in Tehran. We begin with breaking news there, the President stepping back from the brink.

"The New York Times" reporting that President Trump authorized military strikes against Iran, then abruptly called them off. The strikes were in retaliation for Iran shooting down a U.S. military drone. The Times says the President initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets like radar and missile batteries.

The Times reporting there were ships in position and planes in the air when the President walked the whole thing back. It was not clear whether he simply changed his mind or whether logistics or strategy caused the pull back.

It's also unknown whether the attacks may still occur, but what is clear, the President's public response seesawed since the drone shoot down. Thursday morning Mr. Trump seemed inclined to give Iran the benefit of the doubt at the same time leave open the possibility of war.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth. I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it, but we'll be able to report back and you'll understand exactly what happened. But it was a very foolish move that I can tell you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how will you respond?

TRUMP: You'll find out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you willing to go to war with Iran over this?

TRUMP: You'll find out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: For the latest, let's go live to Tehran and bring in Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen. Fred, good morning. A lot of this has to do with where that $130 million drone was shot down. President Trump said yesterday, we have it all documented scientifically not just words it seems Iran says the same thing?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you're absolutely right, Dave. Iran is saying exactly the same thing. And the Iranians really, I have to say, are putting a lot of information very quickly which is not something that I've seen here, at least in a very long time but a lot of different entities, the military but civilian leadership coming out with information and tweets of their own.

Now, of course, we know the U.S. military says that this drone was hit by an Iranian surface to air missile as it was flying in international airspace. The U.S. puts the point that I think they put on that, about 20 miles off the Iranian coast. Well, the Iranian leadership has a very different take on things.

In fact, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif got involved in all of this. As Iran was actually lodging a complaint to the United Nations, he basically laid out how he said this drone flight went down. And then, he even tweeted out coordinates, where he says that this drone was hit the coordinate. And we sort of checked them out, it would put it about 9 miles off the coast which of course would put that in Iranian territorial waters and would also mean that would have occurred over Iranian airspace as well. So that's the Iranian narrative on all of this.

[05:05:18] Now, as far as that New York Times report is concern about the President apparently saying that there would be strikes, then calling those strikes off. There hasn't been any direct relations yet from the Iranians, direct responses yet from the Iranians. However, one thing that we have seen is that Iran's head of their national security council he came out and said, any sort of attack on Iran would be meet with a crashing response. Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, Fred Pleitgen live force from Tehran, thanks. We'll checking with Josh Rogin of Washington Post with the latest on all of this in about 30 minutes.

Earlier Thursday before were the planned strikes broke reaction on Capitol Hill was falling right along party lines. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he spoke with the President about Iran both Wednesday night and Thursday morning.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: He believes that we're going into a -- we're getting into a bad space, that his options are running out, that he's not going to be intimidated.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: The top Democrats on the Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for the President, lower the temperature with Iran.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: We know that the high tension wires are up there and we must do everything we can not to escalate the situation but also to make sure that our personnel in the region are safe.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I told the President that these conflicts have a way of escalating. The President may not intend to go to war here, but we're worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war.


BRIGGS: Schumer also said Democrats told the President in a situation room Thursday that he needs to get congressional authorization before taking military action against Iran.

ROMANS: A stunning twist at the end of the Navy SEAL's trial in San Diego Chief PD officer Eddie Gallagher on trial for murdering an Iraqi prisoner and other battlefield crimes. But a SEAL team medic in Gallagher's deployment shocked the courtroom yesterday testifying that he, he not Gallagher killed the young prisoner.

Medic Corey Scott backed up other witnesses who said Gallagher stabbed the prisoner but Scott said, he then covered the prisoner's tracheotomy, his tube with his thumb suffocating him because he knew he would die anyway.


TIM PARLATORE, CPO EDDIE GALLAGHER'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Today for the first time, somebody went to one of the witnesses and actually asked the real question, what is the cause of death?


ROMANS: The medic testified he was only admitting the murder now because he had been granted immunity and he cannot be charged. An outraged military prosecutor as much as accused Scott of lying on the stand, Scott replied, he's got a wife and family. I don't think he should spend the rest of his life in jail. The Navy says it will not drop murder charges against Gallagher. It says the credibility of witness is for the jury to decide.

BRIGGS: It seems cooler heads are prevailing for the moment in the heated spat between former Vice President Joe Biden and his 2020 rival Cory Booker. Biden called Booker late Wednesday following the New Jersey senator appearance on CNN Tonight. Booker had demanded Biden apologize for touting his ability to cooperate with segregationist senators. Booker revealing only portions of the call.


SENATOR CORY BOOKER, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to characterize a private conversation. I think that Joe Biden should explain to people because it's not about me --


BOOKER: I don't feel like I want an apology to me, I think that this is something that he should speak to the public about. And I think he has an opportunity here. And I understood where his intentions were. I understood it's not about me or him. He said things that are hurtful and harmful. I believe he should be apologizing to the American people and having this discussion with all of us.


BRIGGS: Biden met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus last night, a sit down plan prior to his controversial remarks. Caucus members had already publicly depended Biden before the meeting, some wishing he had chosen better words but claiming his remarks overall did not offend them.


REP. HANK JOHNSON, (D) GEORGIA: Not at all. I mean, the honest truth is we have to work with people who we disagree with on moral grounds every day and that's politics.

REP. KAREN BASS, (D) CHAIRWOMAN, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: You know that we have some members of Congress right now that would be a 2019 version of what he experienced in the 1970s. The point he was trying to make is that you do have to work with people who have polar opposite politics. I certainly wished he wouldn't have used that example.


BRIGGS: Republicans also weighing in on this potentially divisive issue for the Democratic Party. Senator Lindsey Graham was surprisingly supportive of Biden.


[05:10:01] GRAHAM: Now I don't want Joe Biden to be president for a lot of reasons, but one of the things that I like about Joe Biden, he's a decent man. There's not a racist bone in his body. He is my friend, and what he did back then and what he will do in the futures try to find a ground where people disagrees with if that can't be done, America's best days are behind us.


BRIGGS: Biden campaign is yet to come on these new developments. Biden and Booker scheduled to appear tonight at a Fish Fry in South Carolina hosted by James Clyburn. ROMANS: All right, tech companies don't like tariffs. They really don't like tariffs on their products. Apple, Dale, Microsoft and others warned against further Chinese tariffs in letters to U.S. trade representative and they ask that their devices including laptops and other consumer technology be left off the list of products facing the duties. They want a special waiver.

Apple reminded the administration that after the 2017 tax reforms that pledged to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy over five years and said it's on track to meet that goal but the tariffs would cut into its ability to do so.

Other tech companies said, small businesses and consumers will be hurt and tariffs wouldn't solve the underlying Chinese trade practices. President is trying to fight. President Trump is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping of the G20 next week where they're expected to talk about trade. Markets are hoping they'll be able to reach an agreement. Trump has said, he will get a good deal or there will be no deal at all.

BRIGGS: All right, ahead, the governor of Oregon has ordered the state police to track down a group of state lawmakers. More on this bizarre political standoff, next.


[05:16:13] ROMANS: A standoff in Oregon over the climate crisis. Democratic Governor Kate Brown ordering state police to locate Senate Republicans and bring them back to the state capital. Some of them left the state to block Senate proceedings after eight hours on fruitless talks on a cap and trade climate bill.

The wife of one told CNN they were in Idaho at an undisclosed location. Governor Brown called their absence absolutely unacceptable.


GOVERNOR KATE BROWN, (D) OREGON: Unfortunately, Senate Republicans failed to show up and failed to do their jobs. Future generations will judge us not on the fact of global climate change but what we've done to tackle it.


ROMANS: Tempers flaring among the Republicans as Senator Brian Boquist warned the governor she should "send bachelors and come heavily armed."

BRIGGS: Wow. Just released surveillance video shows a man attacking a group of TSA agents at a security checkpoint at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. The incident happened Tuesday morning. A TSA spokesperson says the man was immediately subdued and arrested. One officer was taken to the hospital, four others were treated at an urgent care facility.

Phoenix police said the suspect is charged with criminal trespass, resisting arrest, and misdemeanor assault.

ROMANS: All right. Montreal hasn't had a major league baseball team in 15 years. That could change thanks to the Tampa Bay Rays. Andy Scholes with details in Bleacher Report next.


[05:22:32] BRIGGS: The New Orleans Pelicans finally making it official selecting Zion Williamson first overall in last night's NBA draft. Andy Scholes has all of that in the Bleacher Report.

Andy, there were tears, there were trades, and there were trends that you and I are just not in touch with yet at least.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It was very interesting, fun night in the NBA draft last night at the Barclays Center, Dave. Yes, and ever since the Pelicans won the lottery, we knew Zion who was going to be heading to New Orleans, he's considered a generational type talent like LeBron James. And Zion like LeBron James rocking the white suit on draft night.

You know, he knew he was going to be the number one pick for a while now, but that didn't stop Zion from getting very emotional when thanking his mom for everything she's done for him.


ZION WILLIAMSON, NO. 1 OVERALL PICK: I mean, I don't know what to say. I didn't think I would be in this position. My mom sacrificed a lot for me. I wouldn't be here without my mom. She did everything for me.

I just want to thank her. She put her dreams aside for mine.

SHARONDA ANDERSON, ZION WILLIAMSON'S MOTHER: To watch his, we're so happy for him. We were so happy.

SCHOLES (voice-over): The second pick, the Memphis Grizzlies selected John Morant out of Murray State. Then the New York Knicks were up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the third pick in the 2019 NBA draft, the New York Knicks select R.J. Barrett from Toronto and Duke University.

SCHOLES (voice-over): Yes, and unlike most Knicks picks, New York funs loving the R.J. Barrett pick. Spike Lee was on hand giving out high fives. Barrett was Zion's teammate at Duke in their one season in college.

He's from Canada. His dad played for the national team and Barrett actually grew up playing one-on-one games against Steve Nash. Knicks fans hoping he's the star. They've been yearning for him for a long time.

All right. Team USA is moving on to the round of 16 of the Women's World Cup, wasting no time yesterday in swing scoring up a corner kick just three minutes into the game. They go on to win 2-0 to win their group. The US is setting a World Cup record scoring 18 goals in the group stage.

Now is when thing gets serious. Up next a match-up with Spain on Monday at noon Eastern. Loser goes home.

[05:24:57] All right. Finally, major league baseball has given the Tampa Bay Rays permission to explore playing -- to play half their season in Florida and the other half in Montreal, Canada. This is thought of as a last-ditch effort to try to save baseball in Tampa. The Rays have wanted a new stadium for years.

With this plan, they could build a new cheaper outdoor stadium for games early in this season in Florida then potentially move to another newly built stadium in Montreal for the rest of the season. Montreal lost the expos back in 2005.


SCHOLES: Dave, this is fascinating, this--


SCHOLES: We've never seen this in modern day sport, not even really sure how it work because like what would they wear on the front of their jerseys when they're away?

BRIGGS: Right.

SCHOLES: Like Tampa/Montreal?

BRIGGS: I don't know, and it's only a matter of time. If you've been to a game at Tampa, I mean, you can heckle a player from the top deck.


BRIGGS: You can yell across the entire stadium. It's a bad baseball town. Terrible.


BRIGGS: Andy Scholes, thank you, my friend. Should be interesting.


BRIGGS: All right. Romans, what's coming up?

ROMANS: All right. How close did the U.S. come to launching a strike against Iran over the past several hours? The New York Times says ships were in position, planes were in the air, and then the President changed his mind. Breaking details next.