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U.S. Women's Soccer Team Wins Fourth World Cup; President Trump Threatens Iran Over Uranium Enrichment; Iran Demands U.K. Release its Oil Tanker. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 8, 2019 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



JESSICA DEAN, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Joe Biden apologizes for comments about working with segregationists, but he's manning a vigorous defense of his record on issues of race. Good morning and welcome to EARLY START everyone, I'm Jessica Dean in for Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CO-HOST, EARLY START: Good morning to you, good morning to all of you, Monday, July 8th, 5:00 a.m. in the East. The top story on all, all of the national papers --

DEAN: Every paper --

BRIGGS: Is these incredible women. The U.S. women's soccer team rewriting the record books and sparking a movement with their stunning and dominant performance in France.


BRIGGS: Team USA never trailed in this tournament, not for a moment, capturing its second straight World Cup title with a dominating 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. Plenty of fans shouting USA, but this chant is the one resonating across continents.


CROWD: Equal pay. Equal pay. Equal pay. Equal pay.


BRIGGS: Right, many of the fans, female and male chanting equal pay. After the victory, the president was asked if female athletes should get paid the same as male athletes.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to see that, and you also have to look at numbers because when you look at World Cup soccer, that's one thing. And you also have to look at soccer, professional soccer, you have to see who's taking in what.

So, I don't know what those numbers are. I would like to see that, but again, you have to look at the great stars of the men's soccer and great stars of the women's soccer, and you have to see year round, how are they all drawing?


DEAN: Now, worth noting here, a gigantic $370 million pay gap between the men's World Cup prize money last year versus the women this year. But when it comes to revenue over the last three years, the women's team fairs slightly better than the men.

But the U.S. set to honor its returning heroes, what effect will this team have off the field. We go live now to Lyon, France, and bring in Amanda Davies, she's been there for every moment, good morning to you, Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Good morning Jessica. The U.S. women's team actually getting ready now to leave their hotel the morning after the night before as Megan Rapinoe put it, with sunglasses season in full swing after the well-deserved parties here in Lyon on Sunday night.

This is a U.S. women's team well aware that what they've achieved in the last month or so is much more than just winning a trophy. They created history, yes, with that victory over the Netherlands, becoming champions for a record extending fourth time. But they've really given themselves a platform like never before to fight for what they believe in.

As we saw with this coverage on the front page of the newspapers that Dave was talking about, the Dutch did give them a real test, but heroes was it going to be, but Captain fantastic Rapinoe to break the deadlock. The player who's made as many headlines off the pitch as on it over the last few weeks, that goal also saw her claim the golden boot for the tournament's top scorer.

And what a moment as well for Rose Labelle. She scored the second four years after she was sitting at home actually watching the last victory in Canada whilst eating pizza. And talking about watching at home, the result was celebrated rightly by fans across the USA. This tournament has so increased the visibility of the women's game. It's seen more rivals on it than ever before, and that fact hasn't been lost on the U.S. women.


MEGAN RAPINOE, CO-CAPTAIN, TEAM USA: I think everyone is ready for this conversation to move to the next step. I think we're done with are we or should we have equal pay? Is it, you know, is the markets the same? Yes, everyone is done with that. I mean, we put on as all players -- I'm saying every player that just woke up, put on the most incredible show that you could ever ask for. And we can't do anything more.


DAVIES: It was an incredible spectacle, so no surprise that the body that represents the U.S. women in that lawsuit used the moment just minutes after the trophy celebration to issue a statement which really hit hard against U.S. soccer. It sad "the sad equation remains all too clear. And Americans won't stand for it any more. These athletes generate more revenue and garner higher TV ratings, but get paid less simply because they are women."

We know the mediation process between the two sides is set to get underway. But before that, of course, the 2019 World Cup winners rightly enjoying their moment, returning home as I said later on Monday before that ticker-tape parade through New York on Wednesday, Jessica.

[05:05:00] DEAN: All right, Amanda, thanks so much.

BRIGGS: And of course, the politics of this, real quickly, the president hedged on whether or not he would invite the team to the White House. Earlier Jessica, he had said he'd extend the invite win --

DEAN: Right --

BRIGGS: Or lose.

DEAN: Right --

BRIGGS: Nancy Pelosi did already invite them to the house.

DEAN: To the Capitol, yes --

BRIGGS: Yes, so --

DEAN: We'll see how that all shakes out, yes --

BRIGGS: We'll see where that goes, right. All right, turning to Iran now, how will the U.S. respond to Tehran exceeding the uranium enrichment limits it agreed to in that landmark nuclear deal. President Trump gave a first indication last night.


TRUMP: Iran better be careful because you enrich for one reason, and I won't tell you what that is, but it's no good, they better be careful.


BRIGGS: Iran's move comes more than a year after the president withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed tough economic sanctions. CNN's Fred Pleitgen just back from an assignment in Tehran and joins us live. Fred, let me just ask you your perspective on all of this. What do you think Iran has learned from the North Korean approach? They have --


BRIGGS: They have nuclear weapons, and the president has repeatedly coddled Kim Jong-un despite that.

PLEITGEN: Yes, I think you're absolutely right, I'm not sure how much the Iranians are learning from the North Korean approach, but the Iranians certainly are trying to keep the pressure up. I think there's absolutely no doubt about this, similar maybe to the way that Pyongyang tries to keep the pressure up as well.

And I think that this latest move, Dave, is actually quite a significant one because the Iranians had already announced that they're going to produce more low enriched uranium, but now they're actually producing higher grade low enriched uranium.

They're going from about 3.67 percent of enrichment to about 5 percent enrichment. That's still the kind of stuff that only be used for civilian purposes if they would want to build it, which they say they don't want to do. They would need about 90 percent enriched uranium, but still it's quite a significant step to go to a higher level of enrichment on their part.

And the Iranians, of course, are saying the reason why they're doing this is those tough sanctions by the Trump administration. They say, look, we've been adhering to this nuclear agreement, putting severe curbs on Iran's nuclear civilian nuclear program, at the same time, not getting any of the benefits which was supposed to be sanctions relief.

So, now they're telling the other countries that are still in the nuclear agreement, namely the European countries, they want to see sanctions relief as fast as possible. The Europeans say they're working on a mechanism to try and get around U.S. sanctions, but the Iranians are saying that's not going fast enough and that their patients is running up.

The Iranians have already warned the Europeans not to react to them upgrading their level of enrichment. And they also say that 60 days down the line, they are going to start breaching even more provisions of the nuclear agreement until they say they're satisfied that they're finally going to get some sanctions relief from the Europeans, Dave.

BRIGGS: Certainly, sounds like a comic confrontation, Fred Pleitgen live for us in Moscow, thanks.


DEAN: Iran's uranium enrichment move comes at a pivotal moment. The country and its proxies have been increasingly aggressive in the last few weeks. And now, Tehran is demanding Britain release an Iranian oil tanker seized by Royal Marines off Gibraltar. That's where CNN's Nic Robertson is standing by live with the very latest. Nic, what are things looking like from your vantage point this morning?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Jessica, look, this is the ship right here. There are British patrol, Naval Patrol vessels in the area. The Iranians are demanding the ship be released, they're saying it's an act of privacy. The British and the Gibraltar authorities said the ship is full of Iranian oil and it was going to a Syrian oil refinery, breaking EU sanctions.

But Iran isn't buying that, they're saying it wasn't going, the ship wasn't on the way to Syria, and they see this as essentially written at the request of the United States hoping tight on those maximum pressure sanctions on Iran. That's how they see it.

And one of the former members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the elite force in Iran has said that now the British are holding one of their vessels that the Iranians should snatch a British vessel in the Straits of Hormuz. And that's where just a few weeks ago, a U.S. drone was shot down by Iranian forces.

And where over the past month and a half, six different vessels have been attacked by what the U.S. says and Britain says as well were Iranian mines put on those vessels. So, when the Iranians threatened to snatch a vessel in the Straits of Hormuz to counteract this, if you will, that raises the tensions there.

And remembering of course one-fifth of the world's oil passes through by sea the Straits of Hormuz. So, this vessel here right at the center of a massive global diplomatic stand-off, Jessica.

DEAN: All right, well, we know you'll continue to watch that for us. Nic, thanks so much.

BRIGGS: All right, to the 2020 campaign, you remember this from a few weeks ago?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to apologize like Cory Booker has called for?

BIDEN: Apologize for what?


[05:10:00] BRIGGS: And of course, former Vice president Joe Biden right after his controversial comments about working with segregationist senators. He initially refused to back down, but had a change of heart this weekend and then a message delivered to mostly black audience in South Carolina.

Arlette Saenz with more from the trail.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Dave and Jessica, Joe Biden spent the weekend here in South Carolina, making his pitch for why he should be the Democratic nominee. But the former Vice President also offered a rare apology as he said he regrets his recent comments about working with segregationist senators decades ago. Take a listen to what he had to tell an audience of mostly African-American voters in Sumter on Saturday.


BIDEN: I chose to work within the system to make it better, to get things done for the least among us. Was I wrong to do that? I don't think so. Now, was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Well, yes, I was, I regret it. And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception I may have caused anybody.



SAENZ: Biden made those controversial comments nearly three weeks ago, and he came under immediate fire from his Democratic rivals, including Cory Booker who had called on him to apologize and Senator Kamala Harris who raised this issue, saying that she was hurt by the comments during the debate.

And I asked Biden why he waited nearly three weeks to issue this apology. Take a listen to what he had to tell me.


BIDEN: Well, the first opportunity we had to do it in a fulsome way. The fact of the matter is, that's why I chose here in South Carolina, and chose an audience that in fact would be most likely to have been offended by anything that were said.


SAENZ: Now, it's worth noting that Biden was actually in South Carolina a few days after he made those controversial comments. But this weekend, Biden also spent the weekend defending his record. One area where he was offering some explanation was his support of the 1994 crime bill which has come under scrutiny in this campaign as some of his Democratic rivals and his critics have said that it led to an era of mass incarceration.

And Biden told voters, he forgot the bill both for what went right with it and for what went wrong. Jessica and Dave?

DEAN: Arlette, thank you. President Trump says he wants the media to go inside migrant detention centers on the southern border to prove his claim that they are, quote, "beautiful and incredible." Reporters have been allowed access before, but without cameras. Now, last month, a team of doctors, lawyers and advocates warned of dire health and hygiene problems at several of the CBP centers. The president's response?


TRUMP: I'm going to start showing some of these detention centers to the press. We're going to have some of the press go in and see it because they're crowded, and we were the ones who are complaining about they're crowded.


DEAN: Also developing this morning, several Customs and Border Protection agents placed on administrative duty because of vulgar and sexually explicit Facebook posts that came to light last week.

BRIGGS: President Trump set to address a subject today that just might surprise you, the environment. The White House says he'll deliver remarks on his administration's environment to leadership and America's role in leading the world. Now, the Trump administration has significantly rolled back Obama-era environmental protections, among other things, they almost immediately withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.

And the head of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler says climate change is not a top priority. Trump has said he wants to focus on clean air and drinking water.

DEAN: Services are getting back to normal in Ridgecrest, California after Friday's earthquake. It was the second powerful quake in as many days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get under the table, get under the table, oh, my God --






DEAN: Ridgecrest authorities say all roads and concrete have been inspected following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The city's water facilities are operational and the transit system is resuming its normal schedule. Meantime, new drone video shows the fault line and some damaged homes in nearby Trona, California.

The quake rattled area residents and one family even decided to sleep under a tree.


KAY BYRD, TRONA, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: We thought it was safer that way because they said another one was coming. And if it was worse than that one, you definitely didn't want to be in a house.

BROOKE THOMPSON, TRONA, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: It shook so bad that I had to escape by the window. So, we decided we were going to stay here and spend the night because we were too worried that another one would come in, actually, damage us.


DEAN: Geologists say a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault is likely overdue.

BRIGGS: All right, ahead, he's evaded similar charges in the past, but billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is facing serious new charges of alleged sex crimes involving minors.


BRIGGS: Five-eighteen Eastern Time. President Trump renewed his attacks on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to juice the economy despite that strong jobs report. The economy added 224 --


TRUMP: On the planet, and we're very honored by that. In addition to which we're paying interest rates which the previous administration essentially didn't pay. So, we've had tremendous numbers coming out. And that's a big thing. Our economy is doing incredibly.


BRIGGS: The economy did add 224,000 jobs in June, a sharp rebound from May, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, the highest level since March, but still, historically low. Those numbers don't translate into a need for dramatic action from the Fed, plus stocks reached record highs last week.

Yet, the president claims stocks would be even higher if it weren't for the Fed.


[05:20:00] TRUMP: Well, if the Fed knew what it was doing, they would lower rates and they would stop quantitative tightening. If the Fed didn't do what it did or if it did even half, we would have a Dow that would be as good as it is, we're doing so good. But we would have a Dow that would be anywhere from 5 to 10,000 points higher.


BRIGGS: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will have a chance to respond to the president's attacks when he testifies before Congress later this week. Investors now think the Fed could put a modest, so- called insurance cut in place instead of a rate cut.

DEAN: An indictment against Florida-based billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is expected to be unsealed today. The new charges are related to alleged sex crimes involving minors. Law enforcement sources say these new charges also involves alleged sex trafficking crimes committed between 2002 and 2005 in New York and Palm Beach.

CNN has reached out to Epstein's lawyer for a comment. Epstein avoided similar charges in the past by securing a non-prosecution deal with the federal government in Miami. In November, the "Miami Herald" reported when Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was a U.S. Attorney in Florida. He gave Epstein 13 months in prison for pleading guilty to two-state prostitution charges.

That, even though a federal investigation had identified 36 under age victims.

BRIGGS: Wow, all right, ahead, an in vitro mix-up led one woman to give birth to the wrong kids. Now she has to give them up and she's not doing so quietly.


BRIGGS: The family of Cameron Boyce; a Disney channel star is shedding new light on the young actor's heartbreaking death.


CAMERON BOYCE, ACTOR: So this thing will make me say what I really feel to Jane?


BRIGGS: The 20-year-old star of Disney channel's "The Descendants", you see there, and Jesse suffered a seizure in his sleep Saturday morning. According to a statement from his family, it was the result of an ongoing medical condition he was being treated for. Boyce also starred in "Grown Ups" with Adam Sandler; the comedian called the young actor the nicest, most talented and most decent kid around.

DEAN: A new mother forced to give up her new babies because an IVF mix-up caused her to have someone else's children. Court papers say a New York couple is suing a fertility clinic called CHA after that woman who is Asian had two non-Asian babies.

Each of those babies, a genetic match to a different couple. The other couples are also clients at that same clinic. The fertility company has not responded to a request for comment. The lawsuit says the couple spent more than $10,000 for the IVF services.

There is a $370 million pay gap between men's and women's World Cup soccer. Is a second straight World Cup title for the American women enough to change that on the field and beyond?