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President Trump Racist Tweet To U.S. Lawmakers; Are Immigration Raids Underway; Flooding Threat As Barry Moves North; America's Choice 2020; Founder of L.A. African-American Museum Found Dead; Trump Meeting With Guatemalan President Postponed; Iran's Zarif in New York For U.N. Meeting; American Airlines Extends Cancellations; Ebola Spreads In Democratic Republic Of Congo; Djokovic Beats Federer In Epic Wimbledon Final; WWE Wrestling Star Arrested. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 15, 2019 - 04:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump launching a racist attack on four Democratic lawmakers, telling them, to go back to the countries they're from, even though they're all American.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: The top administration telling CNN, raids to round up thousands of undocumented immigrants are underway, but the cities where the raid should have happened say otherwise.

BRIGGS: Millions under flash flood watches in the Mississippi River Valley, as tropical depression Barry continues north.

DEAN: What a match at Wimbledon for the ages, the historic win for tennis player Novak Djokovic breaking records. Good morning, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is Early Start and I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning to you. Novak Djokovic chowing on some grass there, case good at Wimbledon and I'm Dave Briggs, Monday, July 15, 4:00 a.m. here in New York, 9:00 a.m. in London where Novak was eating the grass.

We start with the hashtag racist-in-chief trending all day on Sunday here's why. Well, Democrats are fighting back after President Trump attacked four minority Democratic lawmakers, telling them to go back to their country. The president's racist tweet, underlining his used of the Oval Office to normalize bigotry. Trump's comment apparently aimed at Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. The president writing in part, why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.

DEAN: Factually Trump is wrong. All of them are American citizens. Three of the four were born in the United States. Ilhan Omar moved to the U.S. about 25 years ago, when she was 12, clearly that's not the point. Not a single Republican member of Congress has objected to the president's racist comments. Democrats both those politically align with the progressives Trump targeted and more centrist ones are slamming the tweet, the president though doubling down, saying on Twitter, the freshman Democrats use disgusting language. More now from White House correspondent, Boris Sanchez.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Jessica, the president exploiting a rift among these Democrats and House speaker over recent weeks and their used of social media and the House speaker's decision to push forth an immigration funding bill which they did not accept. It appears that now these Democrats are banning together against their common enemy.

All four of these women sending out rebukes of the president, as did House Peaker, Nancy Pelosi. Take a look at what she tweeted, writing quote, I reject Donald Trump's xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation. She goes on to say that the president should work with Democrats for a humane immigration policy that reflects American values.

Clearly President Trump here using the language of white nationalists to try to court supporters who feel uncomfortable with immigration. Based on the president's long list of racist remarks, he is apparently comfortable saying this sort of thing. Dave and Jessica?


BRIGGS: OK, Boris, thank you. Immigration officials insist that raids are underway across the country, but the show force threaten by President Trump has not been seen, at least not yet. We were originally told these 10 cities were being targeted, but CNN cannot confirm any arrests, there were sporadic reports of ICE activity in a few places, Chicago, Florida and in New York. Mayor Bill De Blasio says there were three confirm ICE operations, but there has been only one report in Chicago of any apprehensions by ICE agents.

DEAN: "The New York Times" reports plans for the operations were all through the last minute, because news reports tipped off immigrant communities about what to expect. If that information was supposed to be kept secret, this comment last week from the president did not help.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Its starts on Sunday. And they're going to take people out and they are going to bring them back to their countries.


BRIGGS: According to "The New York Times," a secondary raid plan is now being rolled out by the White House, did calls for smaller scale apprehensions over a week or so. Ken Cuccinelli, is the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He was tight-lipped about the details when pressed by Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Can you guarantee that no parents will be separating from their children in these raids?

KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: In the same way I wasn't willing to talk about operational details that would be an operational detail that I'm not here to comment on. There are million people, including families with removal orders. The priority remains for ICE to get at criminals.


[04:05:15] DEAN: The operation is expected to target about 2,000 undocumented immigrants who have court orders for removal from the country. It will also focus on recent arrivals to the U.S. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more now on the steps activists took to get undocumented immigrants prepared for the raids.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Dave, Jessica. Well, the pro- migrant community here in Queens, New York, one of many across the country, mobilizing at a massive push to essentially educate members of the community particularly migrants about their rights regardless of whether or not they lack status to be in the country. We have heard from many of participants of this, a very small but very vocal group over the weekend saying, that they strongly oppose President Trump's hardline immigration policies.

As they describe it, dehumanizing approach that they have seen from this administration compared to previous ones. When you hear from some of the folks who represent these communities, they are also certainly outraged. When you hear from state assembly woman, Catalina Cruz, who spent a large portion of her life as undocumented woman, she said, that she is essentially standing in solidarity with various undocumented communities across the country. Especially here, one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet.

CATALINA CRUZ, ASSEMBKY WOMAN: I have to tell you, I've been in this country for 26 years. I spent 13 of them, undocumented immigrant. And I can tell you that the fears that we're feeling now is high-end. Its high end by the fact that we have a president who has embolden hatred. I'm getting death threats. I got in calls to my office telling me to go back to my country. That has never happened before. We have a president that is embolden this kind of behavior and people are scared. And we're here to tell them, don't be, because we're going to fight for you.

SANDOVAL: Assembly woman, Cruz, telling she is in close contact with some of the legal representational organization in these communities saying, a bulk of their calls are really just people seeking more information, versus requiring immediate legal assistance. She expects those calls to continue to come in as the week continues. Dave ad Jessica.

(END VIDEOTAPE) DEAN: All right, Polo thank you. Taking a look now on the 2020

presidential race. Democratic contender Beto O'Rourke revealing he and his wife are both descendants of slave owners. O'Rourke in an online post says he was recently given documents showing the ancestry and he writes, quote, "I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others that only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who had been locked out of or lockup in the system." O'Rourke says he will continue to support reparations for slavery, an issue multiple candidates have addressed on a campaign trail.

BRIGGS: he's standing in the polls may not reflected, but Pete Buttigieg is no longer the little campaign that could. The South Bend mayor has ow more than 250 people on its staff, he's campaign flush with cash after raising a stunning $24.8 million in the second quarter. That is expected to be the most of any 2020 Democratic candidate. The hiring spree include putting people on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the key early voting states and signals team Buttigieg believes that fundraising haul will continue into the second half of 2019.

DEAN: Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana investigating the death of a beloved community activist and founder of the City's African-American museum. But they said they have no motive and no suspect. The 75 year-old Sadie Robert-Joseph was found dead in a trunk of a car, Friday. The cadaver was discovered about three miles from her home. Police still do not know what cause her death. Investigators are now reaching out to the public, asking anyone with information to come forward.

BRIGGS: Bastille Day celebrations turning violent in Paris. Anti- government protesters clashing with police on the Champs-Elysees. At least 175 people taken under custody for questioning. Earlier in the day, Emmanuel Macron became the first French president in modern times to get booed during the traditional July 14th parade. Yellow Vest Populous protesters infiltrating the event despite a heavy police presence.

DEAN: The White House confirming a plan meeting today between President Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has been called off. Guatemala postponed the meeting while its constitutional court examines legal challenges to an agreement that would make Guatemala a so-called safe third country for asylum seekers.

Under that agreement, people crossing into Guatemala will apply for U.S. asylum there, instead of at the U.S. border. Potentially easing the current immigration crush at America's Southern Border. Sources say the two presidents were close to solidifying that deal.

BRIGGS: Iran's foreign minister in New York today for a meeting at the U.N. The State Department granting a visa to Javad Zarif. According to the New York Times, the move was approved by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

[04:10:09] The tensions between the two countries are building, with Iran increasing its uranium enrichment. Zarif accusing President Trump of hurting the United States with his Iran policy.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN MINISTER OF IRAN: The Trump administration is isolated in the global community. It is time for the United States, to begin to return to the international consensus.


DEAN: Zarif's visit comes as the U.K. announced they will work with Germany and France to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive. The three countries will meet about that today. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he will be building on the leadership shown by the U.K. alongside France and Germany, as we do what it takes to maintain the nuclear deal and to work to encourage Iran back in to compliance.

BRIGGS: What caused the major Saturday night blackout here in New York City, still not known? And the investigation could take months. Con Edison said a high demand for power was not responsible for the outage. And the utility company president has ruled out other potential causes.


TIMOTHY CAWLEY, COEDISON PRESIDENT: We have no indication at all that this was involved in cyber in anyway or physical attack. In terms of loading or demand on the system, it was a warm evening last night, but in terms of the peak demands that Manhattan exhibits on those hottest weekdays, the demand last night was very low.


DEAN: Parts of midtown Manhattan suddenly went dark Saturday night for about five hours. Some 72,000 people were affected by the outages. A Jennifer Lopez concert that was in progress at Madison Square Garden had to be called off for safety reasons. The concert has been rescheduled for tonight.

And we are seeing new video of how Broadway stars adapted when the theaters went dark. The cast of the Tony winning musical "Hadestown" giving a sidewalk performance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a blackout, it's a blackout, it's a blackout.


DEAN: Making the best of that situation. And hey, if you were walking down the street, you got to enjoy some incredible --

BRIGGS: Absolutely, very cool side effect there. OK, check of CNN business now for 12 Eastern Time. American airlines is cancelling more flights because of Boeing 737 Max grounding, the world's largest airlines announced it's extending cancellations until November 2nd, two months longer than it previously announced in a statement American said quote, it remains confident that an impending software update to the Boeing 737 Max will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year.

The planes had been grounded since March after two fatal crashes and a new potential problem with the jet was discovered during testing, making it possible the 737 Max will be grounded until late 2019 or early 2020. American has also is the first U.S. airline to drop a route because of the grounding, cancelling an unstop roundtrip flight between its (inaudible), Dallas, Texas and Oakland California. For those of you who are hitting the skies this summer for vacation, take note.

DEAN: Yes. New Orleans may have been spared a tropical storm blow, but the flooding threat from Barry continues. Millions under watches now. We are going to have more on that, next.


DEAN: Tropical storm Barry, now downgraded to a tropical depression. But the threat from winds and especially from flooding is still very serious. At least, 50,000 people in Louisiana are without power statewide overnight.

Forecast are saying, heavy rain and tornadoes are still a possibility in that area through today. CNN's Natasha Chen is in Franklin, Louisiana, with the latest for us.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Jessica, we're hearing from the St. Mary Parish emergency officials that on Sunday, they got at least seven inches of rain, which is more rain than they got during the entire Barry event the day before. So, really, the problem has come after the storm came through. We'll show you what the flooding looks like here in Franklin. This is the metal shark shipyard. They make aluminum boats. This is supposed to be their parking lot. But this is what flooded after Barry Saturday night into Sunday. Of course, they were very much prepared for this.

The barricade that we are looking at has been here for years. But we did see a lot of folks bringing in extra gravel, plugging holes. So, they were prepared for this flooding to get much worse. Now, this is all coming from a drainage canal that they're hoping will recede overtime. There are some homes in Franklin also being threatened because of the flash flooding.

We visited nearby Glencoe, Louisiana, as well. That is an area that had to be evacuated on Saturday night also because of flash flood issues. We saw one home that was completely ripped apart, because of the strong winds from Barry. We talked to Joseph Colbert who was sitting in the carport at the time. He says his sister was inside the home when the winds struck and broke all the windows. She came running outside. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounded like a train to me. Some people see it,

when you hear a train, they take it as a tornado, but it did sound like a train coming through.

CHEN: And you heard the glass breaking?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am. All the windows had started coming out. Kitchen window, (inaudible) windows, all of it started coming out.


CHEN: Colbert told us that he has been in that home for about 40 years. And now, he's staying with other family members. So there are a lot of people here affected not only by the wind damage, but by floodwaters. And authorities are very concerned in trying to keep those waters out of people's homes. And they are working hard with utility crews, of course, to restore power to everyone. In Franklin, Louisiana, Natasha Chen. Dave and Jessica, back to you.


[04:20:10] BRIGGS: Natasha, thanks.

Today, more heavy rain and flash flooding in parts of the south. Thanks to what's left of Barry. The forecast, now, from meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: yes, good morning guys. Here's what's left of Barry at this hour. Really not an impressive system on satellite imagery and really it has never been the case but there's a center of circulation, southern portions of the state or Arkansas, the conduction or thunderstorm activity has almost been entirely displaced off to the east or to the south. But really, that is not to say we haven' seen tremendous rainfall. And some of the heaviest rainfall honestly come just off shore and that is the good news with this.

We've seen it, it seems though, plenty of rainfall, more than 10 inches in portions of southern Louisiana and of course the concern is, the soil has been saturated, this is then the case for many, many weeks. And additional rainfall on top of that saturated soil. The levels of the rivers across this region, all of these is really going to exacerbate the situation.

And in fact, notice the rainfall from areas of the (inaudible) hill, Missouri, all the way towards the gulf Coast still in place. Area in (Inaudible), orange and brown, that's the moisture content in the atmosphere and in the next couple days how quickly this is displace off towards the east.

And everything dries up at least from the weather pattern perspective. But that really is going to be part of the element here, because you notice, the flooding risk remains in place across the south and has move forward through this afternoon to the evening, from Memphis back towards across areas of Little Rock there going to see some heavy rainfall and potentially additional flooding into the next couple of days. Guys?

DEAN: All right. Thanks so much.

Ebola is spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country's ministry of health confirming the first case in the disease in the city of Goma. Official say a sick pastor arrived there Sunday by bus. They say the risk of Ebola is spreading in the city of 2 million is low because he was quickly identified, isolated and taken in for treatment. The bus driver and the 18 other passengers will be vaccinated today. More than 1600 people have died since the Ebola outbreak in Congo a year ago.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, it was a Wimbledon men's final for the record books. Novak Djokovic, defeating Roger Federer after nearly five epic hours of tennis. Christina McFarland spoke to the winner. And she will joins us live ahead.


BRIGGS: All right. It took five sets and nearly five hours to crown a champion at Wimbledon. Two all-time greats, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer, produce an epic final, the joker saving two knots points to win the first men single final ever decided by a fifth set tiebreak. In tournament history, they've only been playing since 1877, it's is second straight Wimbledon title and fifth overall. CNN's Christine Macfarlane spoke to the champ, she joins us live from London. And boy, the joker is catching up on Federer and the all-time leader list. Good morning to you.

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. I still haven't recovered from this match. It was like riding a rollercoaster, watching it unfold, you know, we had the longest match in Wimbledon finals history, four hours and 57 minutes to be precise. And these were two titans of the tennis world slugging it out.

On the one hand, a 20-time grand slam champion, on the other, a 15- time. Both gunning to be the greatest of all-time when they end their careers. But we really didn't expect it to be this close. Tied at two sets all we went into the fifth set. And it was a battle for survival out there on center court. The pendulum swinging back and forth between the two tension and emotion (inaudible) with every point.

Roger Federer had a chance to take the match, he had two championship points that he faulted which meant that deep into the tie break with all of center court on their feet. It was the serve who saw it to take his fifth Wimbledon title. And afterwards, he told me this was the most mentally draining match of his career.


NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 2019 WIMBLEDON MEN'S SINGLE CHAMPION: He was playing well, serving well, I had just difficult time to read his serve and he was match points up and serving. And you know, those moments, you just try to stay there. Try to stay present and find that strength and self-belief, and in the end, managed to pull it out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MACFARLANE: That interview was very late last night. Great to see Djokovic still standing. He faced two opponents last night, not just Federer, but the crowd, as well. He was fully on Federer's side, I think even in the royal box, he is a well-deserving champion of the 2019 title.

BRIGGS: Sure looks like Novak is going to catch those 20 grand slam titles. Christina, thank you, great report, great interview. I appreciate it.

DEAN: Wrestling star Jeff Hardy arrested Saturday in South Carolina for public intoxication. Police say they received a reports of an intoxicated person in Myrtle Beach and arrested Hardy without incident. The WWE veteran posted a $153 bond and was released the same day. The 41 year-old Hardy is half of the wrestling duo Hardy Boyz, he pleaded guilty last year to drunk driving in North Carolina. He injured his right knee earlier this year and underwent surgery in May.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, get back to politics. President Trump standing by a racist tweet. Telling four Democratic lawmakers to go back to their countries. They're Americans and Democrats are fighting back.