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Kamala Harris Confronts Joe Biden on Civil Rights Issues at Democratic Debate; Trump Offers Lighthearted Warning to Vladimir Putin at G-20. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- indictment says Jones intentionally caused the death of her unborn baby by initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant. The case has drawn outrage from abortion rights advocates who say losing a pregnancy is not a crime. Alabama recently passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Utah Police now say the owner of a home they searched in connection with the disappearance of 23-year-old McKenzie Lueck is considered a person of interest. Investigators found multiple items of evidence while searching a Salt Lake City home. Authorities say they have spoken with the owner who has not been identified and is not in police custody.

Lueck has been missing since the morning of June 17th. Police say a Lyft took her from a Salt Lake airport to a park where she met someone else. The Lyft driver says she did not appear to be in any type of distress when he dropped her off.

Ahead, one chance to make a first impression. Kamala Harris made the most of it. A standout performance taking Joe Biden and the rest of the field to school.


ROMANS: All right. Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Happy Friday, everybody. What a night it was, debate night two.


BRIGGS: 4:33 Eastern Time. Let's get into it. The Democratic debate round two belonged to California Senator Kamala Harris.



JOSE DIAZ-BALART, DEBATE MODERATOR: Senator Harris -- Senator Harris, I'm so sorry. We will let all of you speak. Senator Harris --

(CROSSTALK) DIAZ-BALART: Senator Harris --


DIAZ-BALART: We will let you all speak. Senator Harris.

BIDEN: We can't afford the wait for (INAUDIBLE) on this issue.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we're going to put food on their table. Yes? OK?



BRIGGS: The senator taking command of the debate stage more than once. Most memorable confronting former Vice President Joe Biden about working with segregationist senators and his record opposing some aspects of school busing in the 1970s which had a dramatic impact on her life.

ROMANS: Before the debate the Biden camp said he was ready to defend his record. When faced with reality, this happened.


HARRIS: In this campaign we've also heard, and I'm going to now direct this at Vice President Biden. I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.

[04:35:04] But I also believe, and it is personal, and I was actually very -- it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing, and, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.

So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly. As attorney general of California I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on.


RACHEL MADDOW, DEBATE MODERATOR: Senator Harris, thank you.

Vice President Biden, you have been invoked. We are going to give you a chance to respond. Vice President Biden.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You mischaracterize my position across the board. I did not praise racists. That is not true, number one. Number two, if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I'm happy to do that.

I was a public defender. I didn't become a prosecutor. I came out and I left a good law firm to become a public defender. In terms of busing, the busing, I never -- you would have been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council. That's fine. That's one of the things I argued for, that we should not be -- we should be breaking down these lines.

But -- so the bottom line here is, look, everything I have done in my career, I ran because of civil rights. I continue to think we have to make fundamental changes in civil rights and those civil rights, by the way, include not just only African-Americans but the LGBTQ community.

HARRIS: But Vice President Biden, do you agree today -- do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then?


HARRIS: Do you agree?

BIDEN: I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That's what I opposed. I did not oppose --

HARRIS: Well, there was a failure of states to integrate public schools in America.

BIDEN: No, but --

HARRIS: I was part of the second class to integrate Berkeley, California, public schools almost two decades after Brown v. Board of Education.

BIDEN: Because your city council made that decision. It was a local decision.

HARRIS: So that's where the federal government must step in. That's why we have the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.


ROMANS: Fact check, Biden was a vocal opponent of federally mandated busing. He argued at the time busing programs were bad for local communities. He did say he would allow busing under certain circumstances like when a school system has been racially segregated by gerrymandered district lines.

We should note Biden speaks today at the Jesse Jackson Rainbow PUSH Conference in Chicago. Let's bring back Zach Wolf -- Zachary Wolf, CNN Politics digital

director. And you know, it looks like Kamala Harris was sort of capitalizing on that moment because later right after the debate she tweeted this, "That's her." You know, there was a little girl in California.

BRIGGS: There's that little girl.


ROMANS: That was during the debate who was bused to school. That little girl was me. She was ready for this moment and capitalized on it very well.

WOLF: Right. Ready for it. This was clearly pre-planned. This was a --


WOLF: This was a well-executed strike, I think, and an incredible moment in the debate, something she much needed to sort of get some buzz in -- and to get some attention amongst Democrats in this very crowded field. I think she rose above during this debate and hopefully for her I think she would say that will get her some more attention and help her out in the week ahead.

BRIGGS: Let's be clear, though, Joe Biden has a massive, massive lead on this field, and for good reason. He has a lot of the moderates, a lot of the independents. He wants, you know, to take a moderate position on most things. No one is going to go into this voting booth because of a position someone took in the 1970s. That doesn't matter. Why does this exchange matter moving forward?

WOLF: Yes, interestingly Joe Biden also has a lot of support among minority voters in places like South Carolina. That is supposed to be one of the -- one of the strong suits for him. If you look at polling they break for him at the moment. And this is important because it could hurt that. It could jeopardize his strength amongst those voters who are so important, number one, for any Democrat who wants to win a nomination but, number two, for any Democrat who wants to defeat President Trump. So this is the kind of chipping away at his popularity amongst those kind of voters is really -- may be really an important thing.

[04:40:08] BRIGGS: Maybe, because even when he came out and made the statement about segregation of senators, his poll numbers did not move, not one bit. You wonder if this is just one of those media moments or if this is one of those moments that registers with America.


BRIGGS: We won't see it until we get some polls ahead.

ROMANS: There was a moment -- I want to play this moment where the -- they were asked to raise their hands if they wanted to decriminalize crossing the border illegally. Immigration huge, huge weak spot for the president right now. I'm wondering if it could become a weak spot for the Democrats. Listen.


DIAZ-BALART: Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation. Can we keep the hands up so we can see them?


ROMANS: OK. So I couldn't count how many, but a lot of hands went up. Nine hands.


ROMANS: The cover of the "New York Post," one of the president's favorite hometown papers, all major Dem candidates raised hand in favor of free health care for illegal immigrants. I mean, that's going to get twisted as the open borders crowd. Who wants to lose the elections. Was that a weak moment for the Democrats as a group?

WOLF: I mean, that's an argument that Donald Trump is going to make against Democrats.


WOLF: Anyway. So you're kind of already in that boat.


WOLF: I don't know if you lose anything by, you know, staying true to what you believe in that moment because it's already going to be what he's going to say about you. I think more importantly this was the issue that decided the previous election and he is now going to have to defend a record on that.


WOLF: So he's sort of, you know, the one defending it. Is it a good thing for them to get moderate voters in, you know, northern states? No. Is it the thing that's going to lose the election for them? No.

BRIGGS: Health care is also a major issue moving forward. And the person who won the stage last night, Kamala Harris, she was one who said she would do away with private health insurance.

WOLF: Right.

BRIGGS: Moving forward, health care as an issue, are they running away from Obamacare? And how central will that issue be?

WOLF: This is so important to Democrats right now because it is the single issue that helped them get the House back in 2018. And heading into 2020 it's the single issue that seems to divide them more than any other because you have about half the Democrats who essentially want to do away with private health insurance. A lot of people have private health insurance. Anybody who has health insurance through their employer. We're talking like 200 million people have private health insurance.


WOLF: So if you enacted the Bernie Sanders Medicare for All plan you would take half the country and take away their health insurance and give them something else. Maybe it's something better, but that is a very painful process that you go through. So it's -- that kind of turbulence would be -- would be difficult, number one. Number two, it's not clear that they could make this happen at all so you have half the field that wants to do it and half the field that wants to do a half measure. This is going to be the thing that they have to figure out.

ROMANS: All right. Zach, nice to see you this morning. Thank you so much for staying up late or getting up -- staying up late I think it is for you.

BRIGGS: Yes. I think it is both. Yes.

ROMANS: Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. President Trump side by side with Vladimir Putin and the president mocking Russian interference in our election. A live report from Osaka ahead.


[04:47:10] BRIGGS: 4:46 Eastern Time and breaking overnight, President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan and the president appearing to make light of Russia's election interference.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, of course I will. Don't meddle in the election please.


BRIGGS: Let's bring in CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto live at the G-20 in Osaka.

Jim, good morning to you. Whether it's Jared Kushner, Brad Parscale, President Trump, is the Trump campaign open for business for election interference?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, clearly it's not an issue that this president takes seriously in his public comments there. He was laughing off a statement about Russian interference in the election. And notice, too, in that video that Putin is smiling as well. So the two of them having a grand old laugh about interference in U.S. elections which the special counsel's report, you'll remember, found systematic interference by Russia in 2016.

And keep in mind as well that this is the first time Donald Trump stood next to Vladimir Putin since the famous -- infamous, really, Helsinki moment when he took Putin's side over U.S. intelligence agencies as to whether Russia interfered at all. So a clear opportunity for the president to more definitively say, listen, this is something that we will not stand for. But he didn't. He laughed it off. And that's something that's just remarkable and it's not just the words, right? Remember, because we know this is a president that's had only one cabinet-level meeting on election security, and this, as intelligence agencies have assessed, that Russia attempted to interfere again in 2018 and will do so in 2020.

But this is not a possible threat but a very likely threat from Russia. And we know too that Kirstjen Nielsen told people that President Trump's chief of staff instructed her not to even bring up the question of election interference in cabinet meetings. So that's where we stand where everybody involved in protecting U.S. elections says that Russia will -- has and will attempt to interfere again and the president with an opportunity there to draw a line between that infamous Helsinki moment lets that opportunity goes -- go and laughs it off again. I think it's -- you know, it's an important moment there. And if you'll remember, in Helsinki there were both Republican and Democratic criticism of the president's there.


SCIUTTO: Well, you see the same here. We'll be watching.

BRIGGS: We sure will. We'll be watching Saturday, too, when the president meets with Xi Jinping. Jim Sciutto will be there, 5:49 in Osaka. Thank you, sir.

ROMANS: All right. Taxes and the economy a key issue during Thursday's debate with candidates appealing to Middle Class voters. Vice President Joe Biden said dignity needs to be returned to the middle class.


[04:50:02] BIDEN: Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation. We do have enormous income inequality. And the one thing I agree on is we can make massive cuts in the $1.6 trillion in tax loopholes out there and I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy.


ROMANS: Senator Kamala Harris went a step further.

HARRIS: Frankly, this economy is not working for working people. And I am proposing that we change the tax code so for every family that is making less than $100,000 a year, they will receive a tax credit that they can collect up to $500 a month, which will make all the difference between those families being able to get through the end of the month with dignity and with support or not. And on day one I will repeal that tax bill that benefits the top 1 percent and the biggest corporations of America.


ROMANS: Harris also claimed the tax bill will contribute at least $1 trillion to the U.S. debt. That is true. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the 2017 Tax Act would add some $1.9 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

We'll be right back.


ROMANS: Apple's chief design officer Jony Ive leaving the company after 30 years. Ive was instrumental in developing Apple's sleek design aesthetic. He partnered with Steve Jobs on products like the candy colored iMacs, the iPod. He also worked on the original iPhone which of course made Apple the most valuable company in the world. Ive is starting his own design company called LoveFrom and Apple is set to be one of its primary clients. The company will officially launch in 2002.

BRIGGS: The American Women's Team plays host in nation France today. The host in the quarterfinal match in the Women's World Cup.

[04:55:04] Meanwhile, U.S. Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe standing by her comments that she would not visit the White House if the team repeats as champion.


MEGAN RAPINOE, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM CO-CAPTAIN: I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House with the exception of the expletive. My mom will be very upset about that. But I think obviously entering with a lot of passion, considering how much, you know, time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and for leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place, I don't think that I would want to go and I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn't feel the same way and doesn't fight for the same things that we fight for.


BRIGGS: President Trump did say the women's team would be invited to the White House win or lose. He also said Rapinoe should win before she talks.

Some incredible video to show you now. Security cameras capturing the moment a teen catches a toddler who fell from an apartment window in Istanbul. The 17-year-old telling Turkish media he was simply walking down the road when he saw a 2-year-old girl hanging on the edge. Look at that. According to Turkish media the girl's father gave the teen a reward for saving his daughter's life.

We now know what a newly discovered dinosaur species looked like. This is animation of a -- I don't know -- vespisaurus paranises? I don't know.

ROMANS: That sounds all right.

BRIGGS: I tried to nail that. A small desert-dwelling predator. Scientists found fossils of it in Southern Brazil. They say even though it's just five feet long it was related to the T-Rex and walked the earth about 90 million years ago.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN Business this Friday morning. President Trump uses the stock market as his personal scorecard. Earlier this week he took credit for a very strong June on Wall Street, and it is true. This is the strongest June in the stock market since 1955. And stocks are up 29 percent since Trump's inauguration day. That's really good. How does that compare to the past five presidents?

Trump's stock market is roughly on par with the first two and a half years of the Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and the Bill Clinton presidencies. But well below his nemesis. At the same point in the first Obama term, when you put that chart back up, you'll see stocks were up 59 percent rebounding from the great depression. Compare Obama's 59 percent to Trump's 29 percent, maybe not a comparison the president will approve of.

Fans of Taylor Swift and Amazon might not be able to calm down. Amazon Music announced its first ever Prime Day concert will be headlined by Taylor Swift. The event kicks off Amazon Prime Day which actually it's two days this year. The concert will be streamed live exclusively for Prime members on July 10th.

BRIGGS: She's a lyrical genius.


BRIGGS: We can all agree, right?


BRIGGS: The Kamala Harris-Joe Biden faceoff on civil rights stole the spotlight at the second Democratic debate and "The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah took notice.


HARRIS: There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me.

TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": Holy (EXPLETIVE DELETED). She just pulled an M. Night Shyamalan. She was black the whole movie. I didn't see that coming. Did you see that coming? That moment was so brutal on Joe Biden, for the first time I wanted to give him a massage.

See, Biden hasn't had such an intense standoff with a black woman since Michelle caught him sneaking a Big Mac to Barack. This hasn't happened to him in a long time. And that moment there with Kamala, that's why you have to love black women. Yes. You have to love them. You think they've forgotten what you did, and out of nowhere they will spring that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

My mom would do that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) to me all the time. She'll be like, Trevor, you remember that food you stole in 1991? I'd be like, no, mommy.

BIDEN: I agree that everybody wants the -- anyway, my time is up, I'm sorry.

CHUCK TODD, DEBATE MODERATOR: Thank you, Vice President.

NOAH: Yes. After Kamala did the -- what she did to you tonight, Joe Biden, your time might be up.


ROMANS: Trevor Noah.

BRIGGS: I think that's the question. Is his time up?

ROMANS: Our time is up.

BRIGGS: It is. Sadly.

ROMANS: For the week even. Have a good weekend, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Yes. Here's "NEW DAY." Have a great weekend.

ROMANS: Time is up.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We'll rescind every damn thing on this issue that Trump has done.

HARRIS: It's personal and hurtful to hear you talk about two senators who built their career on the segregation of race in this country.

BIDEN: Mischaracterization of my position. I did not praise racists.

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to build a broad coalition of Americans to beat Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Don't meddle in the election please.

SCIUTTO: That was a test for this president. He sits next to the Russian president and makes a joke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump comes across as a supplicant to Putin. Trump is not showing any kind of strength.