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House Dems' "Tense Meeting" on Border Funding; Trump: Rape Accuser is "Not My Type"; Iran: U.S. "Closing Channel of Diplomacy Forever"; Bill Gates: Regulate Big Tech; Pompeo and Crown Prince Bin Salman Meet. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 25, 2019 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:38] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Infighting overnight among House Democrats. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party wants changes to an emergency border funding bill. We'll tell you why.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: She's not my type. That's the president's dismissal of a woman accusing him of rape decades. Here how Jean Carroll responded to that.

BRIGGS: New sanctions mean the end of diplomacy. Big push back from Iran and the U.S. as world leaders prepare to head to the G20.


BILL GATES, MICROSOFT FOUNDER: Well, technology has become so central that government has to think, OK, what does that mean?


ROMANS: And Bill Gates joins the call to regulate big tech. Why he said it's time his own industry needs to be closely watched.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Good morning, everybody, 4:30 Eastern Time on a Tuesday.

We start with the fighting behind the fighting over the immigration battle here. A Democratic source calls it the hardest Nancy Pelosi has had to work in her speakership. House Democrats emerging from a tense late-night meeting about an emergency border funding measure with Speaker Pelosi agreeing to review specific changes. Why? Democrats in the Progressive and Hispanic Caucuses argue the $4.6 billion proposal does not go far enough addressing humanitarian needs.

Pelosi called the meeting following reports of poor conditions at border protection centers and President Trump's threat of mass deportations.

The speaker addressed the border issue before the meeting.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Families belong together. In America, everyone has rights, immigrants have rights. And we just have to beat that drum for the next couple of weeks. And as we do so, we must also pass legislation that meets the humanitarian needs at the border.


ROMANS: The clock is ticking on several fronts here. A vote on the Democratic proposal is set for today. Lawmakers leave Washington for a one-week recess on Thursday. The president pushed back his timeline but says deportations, there will be deportations in 12 days. The chair of the House Democratic Caucus recently outlined leadership's border strategy.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): We should provide the humanitarian assistance necessary to change the conditions along the border, particularly as it relates to immigrant children. But we need to make sure that there are guardrails that are erected so that we do not inadvertently fund the reckless Trump deportation machine.


ROMANS: Now without some version of emergency immigration funding, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says that the effect on HHS would be essentially like a government shutdown.

BRIGGS: Help is comes immediately for nearly 250 migrant children held at the Customs and Border Protection facility in Clint, Texas. The Department of Health and Human Services will be shifted into its shelter system by today. This comes days after CNN reported on a team of lawyers, doctors and advocates warning of what they called major health and hygiene problems at that Clint facility.

Our Jake Tapper asked Vice President Mike Pence about those conditions on Sunday. Pence quickly pivoted to politics.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We have money to give toothpaste and soap and blankets to these kids in El Paso County right now.


TAPPER: So, why aren't we?

PENCE: My point is, it's all a part of the appropriations process. Congress needs to provide additional support to deal with the crisis at our southern border.


BRIGGS: As of June 10th, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been transferred from DHS to HHS, a 60 percent increase over last year.


All right. An extraordinary denial from President Trump in the face of rape allegation from the mid-1990s. According to the president, written E. Jean Carroll is, quote, totally lying when she claims he sexually assaulted her in a New York City department store. Mr. Trump tells "The Hill", quote, this: I'll say it with great respect, number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?

Watch Carroll's reaction when Anderson Cooper reads her the president's remarks.


[04:35:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: He said: I'll say it with great respect. Number one, she's not my type. Number two. It never happened. It never happened, OK?

E. JEAN CARROLL, COLUMNIST: I love that. I am so glad I am not his type. I am so glad.

This is -- this was 20 years ago. And I probably was at that moment in that five-minutes the most attractive woman in Bergdorf's, in that one bit of time.


ROMANS: Carroll has been an advice columnist for "Elle" Magazine for 26 years. She alleges Mr. Trump attacked her in one of the store's dressing rooms. The president has denied accusations of sexual misconduct now by more than a dozen women.

BRIGGS: President Trump refusing to reveal whether he has confidence in FBI Director Chris Wray. Wray and the president recently clash on whether campaigns should accept dirt on their opponents from foreign governments. He was asked by "The Hill" about his confidence with Wray. The president replied: Well, we'll see how it turns out. I mean, I disagree with him on that.

Here's what Mr. Trump recently told ABC News.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is somebody that said, we have information on your opponent. Oh, let me call the FBI, give me a break. Life doesn't work that way.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: The FBI director says that's what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI director is wrong.


BRIGGS: The FBI has not responded to that comment from the president.

ROMANS: Senator Bernie Sanders' plan farther than any Democratic candidate in the field. His plan cancels all $1.6 trillion in loan debt for some 45 million people.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bottom line is we should not be punishing people for getting a higher education. It is time to hit the reset button. Under the proposal that we introduce today, all student debt would be canceled in six months.


ROMANS: All right. This ambitious plan goes beyond the proposal from Elizabeth Warren, Senator Elizabeth Warren. And it has not eligibility limitations. He wants Wall Street to pay for it. The plan is facing backlash from some who say it would help rich people.

It's a populist play to young voters who have more student loan debt than mortgage, new for this generation. According to college boards, the typical graduate of a four-year public college has $26,900 in debt. Private colleges, more, $32,600.

Not everyone agrees there is a crippling student loan crisis in the same terms as Warren and Sanders. A senior fellow at Manhattan Institute said Monday the government already has systems in place for people who need helping repaying their loans. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is accused of cutting elements of those plans in every year of the Trump administration.

BRIGGS: President Trump doesn't think he needs congressional approval for a military strike against Iran.


TRUMP: I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn't have to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy Pelosi actually said you must have congressional approval. So, you disagree with her on that?

TRUMP: I disagree.


BRIGGS: Members of Congress have hotly debated the question of president's authority especially in the wake of the attack the president called off last week. He ordered that strike in retaliation for Iran's downing of an unmanned American spy plane.

ROMANS: The president targeted Iran's supreme leader with new sanctions Monday. He warned that U.S. restraint is limited. Overnight, the Iranian foreign minister slapped back, saying the new sanctions mean the White House is, quote, closing the channel of diplomacy forever. CNN's Frederick Pleitgen is standing by for us. He is live in Tehran

today again.

Fred, what's the latest?


Well, the Iranians have a dual approach to these two new sanctions. On the one hand, they seem to be wanting to laugh them off and are saying that they don't mean anything and are just propaganda. On the other hand, they are also lashing out at them. As we said, also, saying that this closes any sort of diplomatic channels that might have been possible.

We do have some new lines that we just got from Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, who just said, get this, that he believes the White House is in a state of mental disability. He then goes to say, now, this is a quote what I'm reading now, the Pentagon is confused, CentCom is confused. The White House is confused as well. Among this confusion, they have begun to take illogical moves and lie.

Essentially, what Tehran was saying on the one hand, the White House is saying it wants talks with the Iranian administration. On the other hand, the Iranians are saying it's precisely the additional sanctions that are preventing Iran from going back to the negotiating table. At the same time they're saying, look, the sanctions are not having any sort of effect on the Iranian economy. They say the supreme leader does not own any assets. He owns a modest home and a mosque.

At the same time, they're saying, look, this is not going to allow us to go into any talks. They're quite angry also, Christine, about the fact that the foreign minister, Javad Zarif, is being sanctioned as well. In fact, a senior advisor to Rouhani tweeting just a couple of minutes ago, that Zarif is in the process of becoming Iran's Nelson Mandela -- Christine.

[04:40:04] ROMANS: All right. That's some comparison.

All right. Thank you so much, Fred Pleitgen in Tehran for us.

BRIGGS: Kellyanne Conway will not be showing up to a hearing on Wednesday to discuss her alleged violations of the Hatch Act. White House lawyers claiming longstanding precedent allows her to decline the House Oversight Committee's invitation.

Chairman Elijah Cummings tells CNN he plans to subpoena Conway on Wednesday. And his panel will vote to hold her in contempt if she ignores the subpoena. Earlier this month, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel recommended Conway be fired for violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from using their authority to influence the outcome of an election.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump has signed an executive order to make health care prices more transparent for patients. The order requires hospitals to disclose prices that reflect what insurers and patients pay for common items and services. And it calls for patients to receive an estimate of their out of pocket costs before they are treated. Hospitals, insurers and other providers in health care industry are already preparing to fight this, to fight disclosing their contracted rates.

BRIGGS: Mitch McConnell is set to meet with 9/11 first responders today. He'll be discussing an extension for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The current funding expires in 2020. The fund's administrator says there's not enough money left to pay off all of the claims. Last week, former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart criticized the Senate majority leader for holding up legislation and challenged him to sit down with first responders. The new bill does not call for a specific amount of money for the 9/11 fund, just whatever sums are necessary through 2090.

ROMANS: All right. Bill Gates calling on the United States government to step up regulation of big tech. The founder of Microsoft says company like he created have so much influence on culture, business and life, they must be constantly monitored.


GATES: Technology's become so central that government has to think, OK, what does that mean about elections? What does that mean about bullying? Things like privacy I'm sure they'll -- and there should be at some point better regulation as it relates to that. The fact that now this is the way people consume media, you know, has really brought a realm that we need to shape it so that the benefits outweigh the negatives.


ROMANS: Those remarks from Bill Gates on the same days Senators Mark Warner of Virginia and Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a bill that could force companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook to reveal how much they make, how much money they make off your data.

The bill would compel commercial data operators and more than 100 million monthly users to provide public updates. And, you know, some folks say, I want to know how much you make. I want to know what you're doing, what you have on me and who you're getting it to. That's what I like to know.

BRIGGS: Yes, we don't know enough about the data they control.

The L.A. Dodgers take the action to protect fans after two people were hit by foul balls. Hear from the latest victim, next.


[04:47:22] ROMANS: Dozens of hours of videotext messages and other documents released in "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett's case. Back in January, Smollett claimed he was attacked and a noose was placed around his neck. For the first time, we're seeing Smollett wearing that rope as police arrived to his apartment. Smollett's face blurred in the video because he was considered a victim at the time.


JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: The reason I'm calling is because of this (AUDIOP DELETED)

POLICE OFFICER: OK, do you want to take it off or anything?

SMOLLETT: Yes, I do I just wanted you guys to see it.


ROMANS: Police later determined this was an elaborate hoax staged by Smollett for attention and publicity. All charges against Smollett, though, were dropped in late February for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment. That decision is under a separate review by the county's inspector general.

BRIGGS: Family and friends of a missing Connecticut mother dismissing a theory being floated by the attorney for her estranged husband. Fifty-year-old Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, vanished last month in a midst of a custody battle. Her ex-lawyer alleges she may have staged her disappearance in a "Gone Girl" type of situation. The popular novel and film, a wife fakes her own death after disappearing to frame her husband for murder in retaliation for his infidelity.

A spokesperson for Jennifer Dulos' family calls the theory false and irresponsible. The estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, and his girlfriend pleaded not guilty of to charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution on her disappearance.

The Los Angeles Dodgers plan to extend the protective netting past the far ends of each dugout at Dodgers Stadium. It comes after a fan was hit in the head by a foul ball Sunday.

Kaitlyn Salazar spoke about the incident.


KAITLYN SALAZAR, HIT BY FOUL BALL: You know those movies where a bomb goes off and you hear an eerie sound and then like the scene starts to get fady and then everyone sounds like mumble? Yes, like that.


ROMANS: There has been greater scrutiny on fan safety after a woman died last year when she was hit by a line drive foul ball at Dodgers Stadium. Just last month, a 4-year-old girl was struck in the head by a line drive during a game in Houston.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The host is Milan and Cortina!



BRIGGS: The Italian delegation erupting in cheers after the International Olympic Committee announced the 2026 Winter Games will be held in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The IOC selecting Milan and Cortina over the other finalist, Stockholm.

[04:50:05] Italy has hosted the Winter Olympics twice before. Cortina in 1956 and Turin in 2006, but this will be the first time for the city of Milan.

ROMANS: The U.S. women's national team is onto the quarterfinals to the 2019 Women's World Cup. They defeated Spain Monday but barely, 2- 1 behind two Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks.

Look at that, Team USA, the defending World Cup champs, will now meet France, the host nation on Friday.

BRIGGS: Questionable decision making by the U.S. goaltender and coach. It was a tough win. But nonetheless, they survived and advanced. Congrats to them.

ROMANS: And McDonald's decision to switch from frozen to fresh beef has fired up its sales. CNN Business has details, next.


[04:55:21] BRIGGS: Four-fifty-five Eastern Time.

During a face to face with the Saudi king, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not bring up the murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Now, there are more questions about whether President Trump will also avoid the subject at the G20 Summit this week.

Jomana Karadsheh live from Istanbul where the journalist was murdered last year.

Good morning, Jomana.

It appears the president is more concerned about the weapons sales to the Saudis than the dismemberment of an American journalist.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, you know, the president has made that clear so many times, Dave, over the past more than eight months since Jamal Khashoggi was murdered here at the Saudi consulate.

As you mentioned, a senior State Department official telling CNN that the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, did not bring up the killing of Jamal Khashoggi or the investigation into his killing with the king, King Salman, during their meetings in Jeddah yesterday, saying it was more focus on regional tensions and Saudi Arabia's main rival in the region, Iran.

It's unclear if he brought up the issue with the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, during their meetings. We know the secretary of state has brought it up in the past. You know, keeping in mind, it was the CIA's assessment that the crown prince ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

And that these meetings, whether it is Secretary Pompeo's meetings or President Trump meeting with the Saudis during the G20, this is coming days after the first independent investigation was completed and the report was published by the United Nations repertoire for extra judicial killing. And she concluded that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial killing that was -- that the Saudi state is responsible for his killing. She said she cannot make any conclusions about the crown prince's skill but she has recommended that he be investigated further and that he get hit with sanctions.

It seems at this point, as you mentioned, that the Trump administration is not willing to do this. We've heard this from the president during an interview this weekend where he dismissed the recommendation of the United Nations investigator calling for an FBI investigation and basically again putting his priority there as doing business with Saudi Arabia over human rights, Dave.

BRIGGS: It does not appear likely the president will address it. Jomana Karadsheh live for us in Istanbul, thank you.

President Trump also said to be considering a trip to the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. The South Korean government official said it would happen during the president's visit to Seoul following the G20 summit. The official says there are no plans for a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

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

Taking a look at global markets, you can see a softness in Asian markets and European markets have closed slightly lower -- have opened rather slightly lower as well. Wall Street, you see the same kind of tone leaning down.

You know, stocks ended mixed on Monday ahead of the planned U.S./China trade talks. Investors looking towards the G20 Summit where President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are going to meet and talk trade. Even if no deal is reached immediately, the meeting could set the tone or at least the outline for the next phase of the trade spat.

The Dow finished up just eight points. That's just about nothing. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed lower. Dow is now just 99 points lower than the record closing high it set in October. The S&P is very close to its all-time high that it hit last week.

ROMANS: McDonald's sales are on fire, and the reason to switch from frozen beef patties to fresh beef last year. That change has led to a 30 percent spike in sales of the classic quarter pounder over the past year. McDonald's made the change to appeal to its customers who want to know where their food comes from. It's the biggest supply chain change McDonald's had made since it started all day breakfast in 2015.

Ann Sarnoff is about to become the new chair and CEO of Warner Brothers, and the first female chief in the studio's storied history. Sarnoff is currently the president of the BBC's Studios Americas. A female studio chief, a rarity in Hollywood even though the industry's trade association says women account for 51 percent of moviegoers in the U.S.

BRIGGS: EARLY START continues right now.


BRIGGS: Billions in emergency funding is on the line but the liberal wing of the Democratic Party could hold it up, demanding more help from kids along the border.

ROMANS: She's not my type. That's the president's dismissal of a woman accusing him of rape decades ago. Hear how Jean Carroll responded to that.