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House Democrats Battle Over Border Funding; Trump: Rape Accuser is "Not My Type"; Iran: U.S. "Closing Channel of Diplomacy Forever"; Bill Gates: Regulate Big Tech; Team USA Beats Spain to Advance to Quarterfinals. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 25, 2019 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: 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.

[05:00:05] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: 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.

BRIGGS: New sanctions mean the end of diplomacy. Big push back from Iran as 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: Bill Gates joins the call to regulate big tech. Now, he says it's time his own industry is more closely watched.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning. Good morning to all of you. I'm Dave Briggs. Tuesday, June 25th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We start with the immigration battle and you may have seen, but doctors, Christine, have called this child immigrant facilities tortured facilities and that's why this immigration battle is so heated. They say no soap, soiled clothes, poor hygiene, all where children are being held at the southern border.

Now, emergency funding at the border could be in jeopardy over demands to provide more humanitarian aide. House Democrats emerging from a tense late night meeting with Speaker Pelosi, agreeing to review specific changes to a $4.6 dollar proposal. Why? Democrats in the Progressive and Hispanic Caucuses argue the $4.6 billion proposal does not go far enough addressing humanitarian needs.

A Democratic source calls it the hardest Nancy Pelosi has had to work on her speakership. 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: Children taking care of children in these facilities.

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. And 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 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 the children will be shifted into its shelter system by today.

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. That's a 60 percent increase over last year.

ROMANS: An extraordinary denial from President Trump in the face of rape allegation from the mid-1990s. According to the president, writer 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.


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 his own FBI Director Chris Wray.

[05:05:04] Wray and the president recently clashed 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 President 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: We're counting down to the first Democratic 2020 debates. Round one tomorrow night features Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke center stage. O'Rourke just announced a new proposal for a war tax. He wants nonmilitary households, households without member of the military in them to help cover the cost of health care for veterans of new wars.

Round two Thursday night features Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders centerpiece. Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris will also be headlining.

These first two debates offer the lower tier candidates an opportunity to break out of the pack and get some attention. Most of them have kept a light campaign schedule over the past few days as they prepare to make what could be their make-or-break moment. That preparation ranges from mock debates to reading up on policy differences.

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: Meantime, the president targeted Iran's supreme leader with new sanctions Monday. He warned U.S. restraint is limited. And 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 Frederik Pleitgen is standing by live in Tehran.

Fred, how did those new sanctions fly?


Well, the Iranians are essentially saying that these new sanctions are more propaganda than anything else. It was quite interesting because Hassan Rouhani, the country's president, he was on TV and he gave a raging speech for his standards against the United States. He accused the White House of being in a state of mental disability and confusion in not knowing what to do.

Essentially what the Iranians are saying is they will not affect the supreme leader at all. The country's president saying the supreme leader only owns a modest house and a mosque and has no dealings in the United States, and so therefore would not be affected by any of this.

We also have to keep in mind, that the others who were sanctioned as well, especially the leadership of the Revolutionary Guard, a lot of them have been sanction before and a lot of them, of course, are some of the most hard line members of the Iran's power structure and certain there's no way to see that these people would change the way that they operate in any way, shape or form.

But one of the things that Rouhani also said, Christine, was that he said that this essentially closes off any sort of channel to diplomacy. He said that the fact that the United States on the one hand is saying that they want to get Iran back to the negotiating table, but at the same time, also sanctioning also Iran's top diplomat, Javad Zarif, shows, as he put it, that the United States is lying about wanting any new talks.

And interesting to see Iranian media earlier today, they are downplaying all this, pretty, pretty far down in the newspapers and the newscast as well, Christine.

ROMANS: I'm so glad you're there to parse it all for us. Fred Pleitgen in Tehran, thanks, Fred.

BRIGGS: New this morning, House Democrats have found evidence of political motive for adding a new question to the 2020 Census questionnaire. A former top adviser to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the House Oversight Committee that he sought advice on the issue from conservative law professor John Baker. Democrats say Baker has argued a citizenship question is necessary so House seats can be redistricted without counting noncitizens.

Commerce Secretary Ross maintains he added the question to help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act. But Democrats claim the real objective of the citizenship question is to discourage Latinos from responding to the Census. The Supreme Court is set to rule this week on the question's validity. So, it's unclear if the latest revelations will have any effect on whether the action is asked.

ROMANS: A warning that some commonly prescribed drugs are tied to a nearly 50 percent higher risk of dementia in older people. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine suggests the link is strongest for a certain type of antidepressants, antipsychotics and epilepsy drugs. The researchers say the increased risk is associated with an adult taking a strong dose of one of these drugs daily for at least three years. [05:10:06] It's unclear whether the drugs caused the dementia or if

there was something else at work. The researchers say it's important not to stop taking drugs you're prescribed without consulting a doctor. But certainly, this is getting a lot of attention here this morning.

Ten minutes past the hour.

A missing student mystery in Utah. A 23-year-old was dropped off at a park, hasn't been heard from since.


[05:15:04] BRIGGS: 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 lifestyle that they must be constantly monitored.


GATES: Well, 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.


BRIGGS: Gates' remarks coming on the same day 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.

ROMANS: All right. A new remarkable attack from the president against the Federal Reserve, bashing the Fed for not doing more to help the economy. Yet in the same breath, the president taking credit for a strong economy and the stock market.

Trump said the Central Bank is acting, quote, like a stubborn child for refusing to pursue easy money policies. Last week, the Fed kept interest rates steady, but hinted it could lower them, partly because of rising concerns over Trump's trade war with China, that that trade war could dampen the U.S. economy.

The Fed on alert here but stocks are still near record highs. The president with zero evidence claims stocks would even be higher were it not for the Fed. The president is right, June has been great for investors. You could argue it would be better for investors if not for his trade war.

The Dow is up almost 8 percent. The S&P 500 up 7 percent and the Nasdaq up more than 9 percent in June. And unemployment is at the lowest level in half a century. So the economy is strong, but the president still wants even lower rates, even easier money policy. And after last week's meeting, Goldman Sachs said that the Fed

delivered a clear rate cut signal adding the central bank could drop rates next month due to fear of disappointing the market. Many economists have backed Jerome Powell's wait and see approach to interest rates in order to keep inflation and employment near their targets.

BRIGGS: Police in Salt Lake City say University of Utah student missing for more than a week was last seen at a park before she vanished. Twenty-three-year-old Mackenzie Lueck arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport in the early morning hours last Monday after visiting family members in California. She then took a Lyft ride to a park in north Salt Lake, miles from where she lived and has not been seen since.

Lyft and the driver are cooperating with police. The driver confirmed the route she took, telling police Mackenzie met someone after being dropped off.

ROAMSN: All right. The U.S. women's soccer team cruising through the World Cup until Monday's match-up with Spain. Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:23:06] BRIGGS: All right. Team USA onto the quarterfinals in the Women's World Cup after beating Spain in a nail biter.

Andy Scholes has that story in the "Bleacher Report".

Good morning, my friend. Some argue questionable decision making by the coach and by the goaltender, but they survived.


This game much closer than most thought it was going to be. It was certainly a nail biter. Team USA bailed out by a questionable penalty in the second half. The score tied 1-1, Spanish player narrowly kicks Rose Lavelle in the box. Official calls a penalty. Megan Rapinoe nails down her second penalty of the game. USA squeaking by 2-1, setting up a huge quarterfinal matchup against France on Friday.


MEGAN RAPINOE, TEAM USA MIDFIELDER: That's World Cup level great right there. You just -- you can't replicate it. There's no way to express it or teach it. That's what games are all about. Everybody is playing for their lives. So, that's the best part. I love it. This is the best stage.


SCHOLES: Yes, it's only a quarterfinal but most consider this the final of the World Cup. U.S. and France, favorites to win it all. Tickets for Friday's match-up in Paris have skyrocketed. Cheapest ticket, nearly $700. You can get into the Norway/England quarterfinal, meanwhile, for just 33 bucks.

All right. The Dodgers announcing they will join the White Sox and Nationals in extending their protective netting down the foul line. The team's president said the plans will be announced in the next couple of weeks. This comes as a young fan was hit in the head by a fouling ball on Sunday. That fan, Kaitlyn Salazar, explained what that felt like.


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?

[05:25:02] Yes, like that.


SCHOLES: And there's greater scrutiny on fans safety as of late. A woman died last year after being hit by a line drive at Dodgers Stadium. And cries for more netting became louder after a 4-year-old girl was struck in the net after a line drive during a game in Houston last month.

All right. Finally, the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA most valuable player last night at the NBA Award Show. Giannis the third youngest ever to win the award.

It's quite the journey for the 24-year-old. He grew up selling sunglasses in the streets of Greece to try to get by. Now he's the NBA's best player. While accepting the award, Giannis got very emotional thinking of his dad who passed away two years ago.


GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, NBA MVP AWARDEE: Every day that I step on the floor, I always think about my dad and that motivates me and it pushes me to play harder and move forward. Even though when my body sore, even though I don't feel like playing, I always going to show up and I always go do that. As my dad told me, you know, always one more.

My goal is to win a championship and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Thank you, guys.


SCHOLES: Good stuff from Giannis there. The Mavs' Luka Doncic was named NBA rookie of the year. Definitely a fun on our sister station TNT -- Dave.

BRIGGS: It's a terrific story, Giannis. He wins the MVP about the same time LeBron did. So, a bright future for that young man.

And, Andy, you succeeded in sports when Christine Romans has brought the Kleenex by my floor director Jennings.

SCHOLES: My goal every morning.

BRIGGS: That's when you succeed, my friend.

ROMANS: No, such a quintessential American story. You know, the struggle such a --

BRIGGS: Son of a Nigerian immigrant, born in Athens. No money.

ROMANS: Exactly, and struggle is such a great motivator. That has been such a great American immigration story.

BRIGGS: Agree there.

ROMANS : Thanks, guys. Nice to see you this morning, Andy.

All right. Deplorable conditions for children held at the border. Billions in emergency funding, the help is on the line. But the liberal wing of the House Democrats want more to address humanitarian needs.