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Trump Forces Major Reversal on Census; Court Blocks Military Money for Border Wall; "Salute to America": Trump Promises "Show of a Lifetime"; Disney Finds Its Live-Action Ariel; Coco's Magical Run. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 4, 2019 - 05:00   ET



[05:00:22] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: An incredible reversal from the Justice Department by way of tweet. The president demands a citizenship question on the census against orders from the Supreme Court.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN ANCHOR: No military money for a border wall. Another blow to White House efforts to fulfill a major campaign promise.

BRIGGS: A salute to America tonight in D.C. But military brass are concerned about politicizing the military.

KOSINSKI: And Disney with a major casting move. Who's going to play Ariel in the live action version of "The Little Mermaid"?

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Michelle Kosinski.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It's a whole new world. I think that's an "Aladdin song."


BRIGGS: But it's a whole new world once you hear the story. It is a very good one.

Look at this, folks.

It's Thursday, July 4th, Independence Day.

KOSINSKI: Fireworks!

BRIGGS: Let's show some fireworks.

KOSINSKI: Kapow! Kapow!

BRIGGS: Yes. Wednesday night in Chicago, lighting up the sky there. It was a pretty spectacular display as you can see.

Several cities across the country had fireworks including my own tiny town in Connecticut. Happy Fourth of July, everybody. We start in the nation's capital this morning, with politics, and

extraordinary proof how disruptive one man's tweets can be when that man is the president of the United States. The Justice Department reversing course, now looking to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census despite a Supreme Court ruling blocking it. The about- face coming just one day after the administration said it would drop the fight and print the form.

But then Wednesday morning, President Trump shook up multiple government agencies tweeting he was absolutely moving forward with adding the question. He also called news reports about the census fake despite the announcement from two of his own departments that the question had been dropped.

Note that just a few weeks ago president Trump said this --


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think that -- and I'm not overly involved in that. That's really a legal matter.


KOSINSKI: Somehow, though, the president decided to get involved. His tweet caught DOJ lawyers off-guard. Two federal judges demanded to know more.

One government lawyer said simply: I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the president has tweeted.

Last week, the Supreme Court blocked the citizenship question, questioning the motive for adding it.

BRIGGS: A new setback for the White House and its bid to build a border wall. A federal appeals court blocking President Trump from redirecting $2.5 billion from the military budget to pay for it. The Nine Circuit says the spending power remains in the hands of Congress, rejecting the administration's claim that public interests justify the move.

This just hours after Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan ordered an investigation into an offensive post involving Border Patrol personnel. That decision prompted by a closed Facebook of current and former agents was uncovered that featured jokes about migrant deaths. And a new report from the inspector general at DHS just revealed troubling conditions inside migrant detention centers.

KOSINSKI: But none of this seems to be fazing President Trump. He tweeted: Our border people are not hospital workers, doctors or nurses. Many of these illegal aliens are living far better now than where they came from and in far safer conditions.

That remark got the attention of presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. Maybe he ought to go sleep in one of those detention centers and tell us how great the conditions are.


KOSINSKI: One incite on those conditions from newly released drawings by some of the children inside those detention centers. The president-elect at the American Academy of Pediatrics received them from one social worker. They appear to depict children in cages.

And we've learned just Tuesday, 33 migrants, including a pregnant woman and ten children, were found inside a semitrailer in Arizona. The trailer was filled with produce from Mexico. Refrigeration was not turned on.

BRIGGS: The Biden and Harris campaigns trading new blows over busing to desegregate schools. Now, Kamala Harris appears to at least partly embrace the position she criticized Joe Biden for just last week.

[05:05:00] Harris was asked again yesterday to clarify her position on mandatory busing for desegregation.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Busing is a tool among many that should be considered. When we address the issue, which is a very current issue as well as a past issue of desegregation of America's schools, so I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America schools. I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school district.


BRIGGS: Note that Harris just described busing as a choice for school systems to consider. Contrast that to her breakthrough moment at the presidential debate criticizing Biden for his opposition to federally mandated school busing back in the 1970s.


HARRIS: 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.

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.

HARRIS: So, that's where the federal government must step in.


KOSINSKI: So, now, their campaigns are going at it, yes, on Twitter. Biden's campaign manager tweeting, it's disappointing that Senator Harris chose to distort Vice President Biden's position on busing, particularly now that she is trying to tie herself into knots not to answer the very question she posed to him.

Harris's press secretary using a Biden quote from 1975, slamming back: He called busing an asinine concept. C'mon. Y'all are better than this.

BRIGGS: And this reply from the Biden camp. Quote: if we're cherry- picking quotes on Twitter, what about this one from this January? Senator Harris said, you're not going to hear me criticize Joe Biden, I think he's a great guy.

Expect this to come up during a big exclusive CNN interview. Former Vice President Biden sits down with Chris Cuomo starting tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m., right here on CNN.

President Trump says his July 4th military extravaganza and speech in Washington will be, quote, the show of a lifetime.

KOSINSKI: Best ever.

BRIGGS: Show of a lifetime. Yes.

But the cost, optics and tone of his salute to America have critics wondering if it will really be nonpartisan, as promised, or if the president will go off script and make it a Trump rally. Some top military brass are concerned. One retired four-star marine general telling "The New York Times", quote: Leave tanks for Red Square.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reporting from the White House.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dave and Michelle, we are now just hours away from this grand extravaganza that the president has planned for the Fourth of July celebration. Something that we should note, past presidents have not typically attended here in the nation's capital.

We also have military officials saying there have been top officials at the Pentagon who have been reluctant to parade out the military equipment that you're going to see during this event because they don't want the president to politicize the military.

Of course, the other thing that people are paying close attention to is how much this is all going to cost? And so far, the Department of Defense has not revealed just what kind of a price tag they're expecting on this. But we do know that "The Washington Post" is reporting they are going to divert at least $2.5 million from the National Park Service. That's money they get from entrance fees and whatnot, and they're going to use that to help cover just a fraction of what this event is going to cost -- Dave and Michelle.


BRIGGS: OK. Kaitlan Collins, thank you.

One note about tonight's "Salute to America", CNN will carry the event live. The White House has explicitly said this is not a campaign rally. We believe you.

The viewers, though, should see it and decide for themselves.

KOSINSKI: A rain could put a damper on to tonight's extravaganza in Washington, while millions across the eastern U.S. brave sweltering heat.

Meteorologist Karen Maginnis has the forecast.


KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's going to be a typical July 4th forecast, Michelle and Dave, with the afternoon and evening thunderstorms, hot and sticking weather just about everywhere we look. In northern Great Plains, that's where we'll see the most organized, the thunderstorms.

But up and down the Eastern Seaboard, temperatures in the upper 80s into the 90s. Probably not going to see any records, but it looks like the fireworks will come from the sky around Washington, D.C., with about 60 percent chance of showers and storms.

Now, New York City and Boston, spectacular displays. It looks like a pretty forecast there.

For Atlanta, it's going to feel like upper 90s in the forecast. Sixty thousand people running the Peachtree Road race for three miles. Well, that looks pretty good. The last three miles are going to be on a little bit of a tricky side. It's going to be 102 degrees in Dallas.

All right. Just garden variety thunderstorms but the most organized area for the storms will be across the Northern Plains into the Dakotas and into the Rockies.

Back to you, guys.


KOSINSKI: Thanks, Karen.

Boiling red U.S. for the Fourth of July.

BRIGGS: Should be a nice night out here. KOSINSKI: Yes, I like it that way.

Well, a 16-year-old accused of rape, taping it and showing it to friends, but a judge said he shouldn't be tried as an adult. The reason will shock you.


[05:15:08] KOSINSKI: A 12-year veteran police officer fired for hesitating during the Las Vegas massacre. The Las Vegas Police Department says Officer Cordell Hendrex stopped in the hallway, one floor below the shooter as shots rain down on concert goers on October 2017. He then instructed a trainee officer and two members of the Mandalay Bay security team to move back and take cover in an alcove.

Las Vegas Police Union president says Officer Hendrex who admits he froze and was terrified with fear should not have been terminated. He blames news coverage for the dismissal.

BRIGGS: He, quote, comes from a good family. That's why New Jersey judge as a teen accused of rape shouldn't be tried as an adult. The explanation is sparking outrage.

In 2017, a 16-year-old boy was accused of raping an intoxicated 16- year-old girl in a basement during a house party. Authorities say the boy filmed the encounter and shared it with friends despite the girl's pleas to stop. Prosecutors called his actions sophisticated and predatory and pushed for him to be tried as an adult.

KOSINSKI: In his denial, Judge James Troiano of Monmouth County Superior Court said rape cases typically involve two or more males using a weapon. He said the boy shouldn't be tried as an adult because he, quote, comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school and was probably headed for a good college.

Last month, an Appeals Court sharply criticized Troiano, reversing his decision and sending the case back down for further judgment. Prosecutors are considering whether to try to indict the teen in criminal court.

BRIGGS: Some courtroom drama in Indiana. Quinn Boes (ph) had just been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the death of his infant son. He was punched cold on his way out of the Gibson County court. The man who punched him said to be the baby's uncle, Jeremiah Hartley, now facing a battery charge.

KOSINSKI: A new program for teens who want to kick the e-cigarette habit. The National Jewish Health, a hospital in Denver, launched the My Life My Quit tobacco and vaping cessation program. Teens in nine states can call or text the help line on your screen right now or go to

Callers will be routed to a trained youth coach. You can provide free and confidential counseling. The clinical director says he hopes to expand the program soon. According to the CDC, there was a 78 percent increase in vaping among

high schoolers the last two years, and a 48 percent increase among middle schoolers.


BRIGGS: A big splash from Disney. Singer Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney's upcoming live action remake of the animated classic. Bailey, one half of the musical's sister Chloe and Halle. She took to Twitter to say it was a dream come true. She is the first woman of color to be cast in the role of a previously white Disney princess.

Director Rob Marshall said, quote, it was abundantly clear Halle possesses a rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance, plus a glorious singing voice. Shooting expected to get underway early next year.

That is fantastic.

KOSINSKI: She's a beautiful girl.

BRIGGS: She is talented as well.

Congratulations to her.

Ahead, she knocked off Venus Williams. Could 15-year-old American Coco Gauff keep rolling across the pond at Wimbledon? Coy Wire has that story in the "Bleacher Report".


[05:23:53] BRIGGS: All right. A 15-year-old American taking Wimbledon by storm as she powers her way into the third round.

Coy Wire has the story in the "Bleacher Report".

Happy Fourth, my friend.


Yes, her win against Venus, it was no fluke. Coco Gauff is the real deal. When she was 4 years old, Dave, she asked her dad why the word GOAT as they were watching Serena Williams play on TV. When he said that it meant greatest of all time, Coco said, I want to be the GOAT.

Before her match yesterday, she got to meet another GOAT, Roger Federer, going out of his way to shake her hand saying, there she is, before wishing her good luck.

Gauff picked up where she left off against Venus. This kid is the baddest 15-year-old on the planet. You can see it in her eyes. She looks across that net fearing no one. She rolled past Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets, a woman who was a semifinalist here two years ago. Coco is having the time of her life and all these hard work is paying off. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORI GAUFF, YOUNGEST TO REACH WIMBLEDON THIRD ROUND SINCE 1991: The last three days have definitely just kind of been surprising. It just shows that if you really work hard you can get where you want to go.

[05:25:01] Last week around this time, I didn't know I was coming here. So, it just shows you have to be ready for everything. That's why I believe everything happens for a reason. People are just telling me to keep working hard and your time will come and, yes.


WIRE: The magical run continues. Coco Gauff taking on Polona Hercog tomorrow who upset another one of Coco's idols, Madison Keys.

Megan Rapinoe is back training with her U.S. teammates as they prepare for the World Cup Finals. Megan Rapinoe back training with her U.S. teammates as they prepared for the World Cup Finals. She said her injured hamstring feeling better every day. She'll definitely be ready, she says, for Sunday's game.

She's also hitting back at critics who say her refusal to sing the national anthem and comments against President Trump are un-American.


MEGAN RAPINOE, USWNT CO-CAPTAIN: I mean, I think that I'm particularly a unique and very deeply American if we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for and the song, the anthem, sort of what we were founded on. I think I'm extremely American.


WIRE: The U.S. will be battling the Netherlands in the final after Jackie Groenen's strike beat the keeper in extra time, giving the Dutch a 1-0 win over Sweden. The Dutch are in the final for the very first time. The Women's World Cup final from Lyon Sunday, 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

Dave, the Dutch are the reining European champs. They were on the pitch for an extra half hour in the semifinal match. Their coach says, though, it just one match, anything can happen.

BRIGGS: All right. Looks like a great match-up for the U.S. Women's National Women. Can't wait for that one Sunday morning. Thank you, Coy.

Michelle, what's coming up?

KOSINSKI: Well, defying logic and the Supreme Court, the president demanding a citizenship question on the census. Now, his Justice Department reverses course and says it will try.