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EARLY START

Trump Doubles Down on Racist Politics; Trump Administration Moves to Restrict Asylum Access; Biden Versus Sanders on Health Care; Standoff Escalates Between U.S. and Turkey. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 16, 2019 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[04:32:15] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country, if you're not happy here, you can leave.

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): This is the agenda of white nationalists.

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JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: The defense of racism now an ironclad part of the president's playbook. His rhetoric met with mild criticism from the Republican Party he reshaped.

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JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The transition of dropping 300 million people on a new plan are a little risky.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The system that Joe and others are trying to prop up is the most wasteful bureaucratic and expensive system on earth.

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DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders squaring off on health care, a pivotal issue now dividing some Democrats.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm Dave Briggs.

DEAN: Good morning. I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour here in New York.

President Trump escalating the ugliest of ugly politics. Instead of apologizing for his racist attack on four progressive House members, he justified it at a White House news conference. Trump sparked the controversy Sunday when he tweeted the Congress women, all of them U.S. citizens should, quote, go back where they came from.

John Roberts of Fox News put this question to him yesterday.

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JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?

TRUMP: It doesn't concern me because many people agree with me and all I'm saying, they want to leave, they can leave.

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DEAN: The episode reflects the president's certainty he won't lose the support of his base or the Republican Party he's reshaped.

BRIGGS: Most GOP lawmakers kept mum, but a number of prominent Republicans did come out against the remark, if not against the president. Here's the only black Republican in the House, Will Hurd of Texas.

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REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): The tweets are racist and xenophobic. They're also inaccurate. It's behavior that's unbecoming of the president of the United States and the leader of the free world.

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BRIGGS: George Conway, Washington lawyer, Trump critic and husband of Kellyanne Conway, wrote a blistering op-ed for "The Washington Post".

Sunday left no doubt, Conway wrote, naivete, resentment and outright racism roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president.

Now the women being painted by Trump as the America-hating, communist- loving face of the Republican Party are pushing back.

More now from White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

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KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dave and Jessica, not only is the president not backing off the remarks he made over the weekend, he's escalating his attacks on these four Democratic congresswomen, accusing them of hating the country and saying if they do not like living here, then they should leave.

[04:35:09] He was at an event on the South Lawn of the White House when he came prepared with pieces of paper with bullet points to make the case where he said he felt he was in the right.

TRUMP: As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country, if you're not happy here, you can leave. And that's what I say all the time. That's what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial. A lot of people love it, by the way.

COLLINS: Now, the women that the president has accused and made these attacks on held a press conference yesterday where the four of them appeared on Capitol Hill to confront what the president said, statements they said they were not surprised by to come out of the president's mouth.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.

OMAR: This is the agenda of white nationalists. Whether it is happening in chat homes or it's happening on national TV and now it's reached the White House garden.

COLLINS: I should note that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader's office said we will hear from him at his normal press conference that he holds pretty much on a weekly basis.

And people will be watching to see what it is he has to say about these racist attacks coming from the president -- Jessica and Dave.

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DEAN: Kaitlan Collins, thanks so much.

The Trump administration taking the most direct step yet to restrict access to those seeking asylum in the United States. The move could make the long and dangerous journey all for nothing.

We get more now from CNN's Nick Paton Walsh in Mexico City.

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NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Trump administration has done all it can to make the journey practically of Central Americans trying to get to the United States as difficult as possible. But this is a legal move to essentially, potentially make that journey entirely pointless.

What the Trump administration will do on Tuesday is publish in the federal register a new rule that basically says if you've traveled through a country to get to the U.S./Mexico border, but it's in that country that Central Americans should be requesting asylum. It will invalidate them from requesting asylum in the United States.

Now, I mean, that will face obviously legal challenges, certainly, and it may get knocked down or it may certainly slow the passage of people trying to get into the U.S.

This particular legal challenge is one of a number of things the Trump administration's trying to do to slow the passage of tens of thousands of Central Americans up through Mexico towards their border. They did try to hatch an agreement with Guatemala, to declare itself a third safe country, meaning the Central American is passing through it will actually have to apply for asylum in Guatemala entirely and, of course, they pressured the Mexican government to send troops, the national guard down to the Mexican-Guatemalan border to stop the flow of people across that border as well. But this particular legal challenge is stark. As I say, it's had

human rights activists and advocates saying it will face legal challenge in the courts, but they've also warned that you're essentially pushing migrants desperate, so many of them for a better life and to escape the perils of their home countries to much more dangerous measures. Do they have to take to the sea to get around Mexico in order not to pass through and invalidate themselves for U.S. asylum?

Lots of questions but increasing concerns for the fate of often whole families to try and take this particular Trump and the Trump administration's clear march towards making passage impossible as they possibly can.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Mexico City.

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BRIGGS: OK. From immigration to health care, and the fight over health care, front and center in the race for the 2020 nomination. The issue is increasing the friction between front-runner Joe Biden and challenger Bernie Sanders. The former vice president releasing a 10-year, $750 billion proposal Monday, a plan that Sanders calls too wasteful and complicated.

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SANDERS: The system that Joe and others are trying to prop up is the most wasteful, bureaucratic and expensive system on earth. And when you talk about subsidies, what you're talking about is spending even more money, in this case taxpayer money, on a dysfunctional, wasteful and bureaucratic system. We need a simple system.

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BRIGGS: Arlette Saenz traveling with the Biden campaign in Iowa.

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ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Dave and Jessica, Joe Biden kicked off a three-day swing through Iowa here in Des Moines by touting his newly released health care plan which he says will build on the Affordable Care Act. Now, Biden's plan would provide a public option to allow Americans to buy into a Medicare type of program. It also provides massive subsidies to make purchasing insurance through the exchanges cheaper for all-Americans regardless of income.

Biden also insisting that Medicare for All isn't the answer when it comes to health care, warning that programs like that will be difficult to implement and also are, quote, kind of a little bit risky.

[04:40:08] REPORTER: You're talking now about a public option as part of your health care plan?

BIDEN: Yes. REPORTER: That was very tough the last time.

BIDEN: Sure it was.

REPORTER: When Obamacare was first coming around.

BIDEN: Sure it was.

REPORTER: And it didn't happen.

BIDEN: Can you imagine what Medicare for All, if you think that's tough? Come on. Look, here's the deal, guys. One of the things that's happening is, all of a sudden, the American public has figured out what Obamacare was about.

It's solid, it's real, it's consequential. And we can in fact for a significant portion of the price, we can in fact insure 97, 98 percent of all the American people who want to be insured, and they can keep their policy if they want.

SAENZ: Now, Biden was really focused in the past week and a half on establishing clear lines of differences between himself and his Democratic opponents who are supporting a plan like Medicare for All.

Now, Biden will continue promoting his health care plan over the next two days in Iowa, including making some stops in rural Iowa to talk about healthcare. We're also going to be hearing more about health care from Kamala Harris who has promised a policy proposal coming today. And Bernie Sanders will once again be making his case on Medicare for all on Wednesday.

These candidates clearly trying to draw their battle lines on health care heading into that next debate just over two weeks away -- Jessica and Dave.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, God, I can't believe it.

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DEAN: Tears of joy after a missing camper in California is found alive. Sixty-year-old Sheryl Powell of Huntington Beach disappeared Friday at the Grand View campground in the Bristle Cone Pine Forest.

She had taken the family dog for a bathroom break. Her son believes someone threatened her forcing her to run down the hill where she got lost. This is a photo of Sheryl reunited with her husband Jill and her children Greg and Farrah.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Magnificent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a miracle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After so many days gone.

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DEAN: Powell's son tells CNN his mother was dehydrated but is doing well.

BRIGGS: Prime Day is Amazon's biggest event of the year and some of its employees are using it to protest. Workers in an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota rallied to protest their pay and working conditions Monday. Employees say they face pressure to fulfill orders and worry that Amazon's move to offer one-day shipping for Prime members will increase the strain they're under.

Amazon defended its pay and work policy, saying the company offers, quote, industry leading pay of $15 an hour, benefits and a safe place to work for our employees. Prime Day protests also took place in Seattle, New York, and San Francisco.

Many Democratic candidates including Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren threw their support. Activists also rallied outside Jeff Bezos' home in New York City, demanding that Amazon cut reported web services contracts with ICE. Amazon declined to comment on those contracts.

DEAN: Turkey is buying American fighter jets and a Russian system designed to detect them. Is Turkey threatening its place in NATO? We're live in London. That's next.

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[04:47:26] DEAN: Turkey's president says delivery of Russia's S-400 missile system will be completed by next April. But the $2 billion calls into question the decades-long strategic relationship between Turkey and the U.S., along with Turkey's credentials as a NATO member.

CNN's Nic Robertson is live in London with the latest on this.

Nic, what is the end game here for Turkey?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the end game seems to be, if you listen to President Erdogan yesterday, not only receiving delivery of this missile system but actually co- producing it. This flies in the face of U.S. law and that comes into play with the fact that Russia -- Turkey, rather, wants to buy or is buying over 100 of the United States advanced F-35 fighter jets and U.S. law says that if you -- that any entity that's dealing with the Russian military needs to face sanctions. That's one part of the puzzle.

Another part of the puzzle is if Turkey has both these S-400 missile systems and the United States most advanced fighter jet, then it's essentially got a package here where it can figure out what it takes to defeat the F-35. Turkey then has that knowledge, Russia potentially has that knowledge. So, at a strategic military level this is bad.

The Turkish today have taken their 11th shipment of these components. The Turkish are saying this all should be completed by April next year. President Trump gave President Erdogan the impression at the G- 20 recently that there would be no sanctions placed on Turkey because of its purchase of these S-400 missiles. NATO is worried about compatibility between buying outside of the NATO system military equipment. So, that's another piece of the puzzle.

Bu the big pieces of the puzzle are quite simply this. Turkey wanted to be in NATO during the Cold War. It was important. It's not so important to it now. It's been falling out of its close relationship with the United States, particularly over the last 15 years.

Turkey is important to Europe because it is a major bulwark against more refugees coming from the Middle East remembering that in the past couple of years, these floods of refugees have destabilized the European political system, to wit, Brexit. Another part of the puzzle is that Turkey now needs a different relationship with Russia. Russia is over the border in Syria. And there's a real concern for Turkey that if Russia and Assad go after the last enclave of sort of free Syria out of Assad's control, if you will, potentially 2 to 3 million more refugees could flood into Turkey.

[04:50:11] And many of those would be Islamist radicals. So, the picture of -- the strategic picture has changed for Turkey. And now, really, it's on the United States to decide what to do about the F-35s and sanctions on Turkey.

DEAN: Yes, a lot of implications there. Nic Robertson for us, thank you so much.

BRIGGS: Code breaking genius Alan Turing will be the face of Britain's new 50 pound note. Turing led the team that broke German codes, helping win World War II. He also played a pivotal role in the development of early commuters. Turing committed suicide in 1954 after he was convicted of homosexual acts. He received a royal pardon in 2014.

Meantime, new controversy over the delay putting an American hero on the $20 bill. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his decision to postpone introduction of a 20 featuring Harriet Tubman was technical, not political. Three officials appointed by President Obama backed Mnuchin's explanation. They tell "The Washington Post" Trump's treasury chief has followed the time line set by the Obama administration.

Ahead, Huggies diaper boxes are getting a much welcome makeover. CNN Business has those details, next.

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[04:56:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're coming.

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BRIGGS: You can expect to hear "Game of Thrones" often when nominations for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards are announced later this morning. The HBO series looking to go out in a blaze of glory after ending its eight-season run.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This entire country is getting more disgusting by the second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a demo we're targeting, mostly on Facebook.

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BRIGGS: Another HBO show "Veep" is a sure bet to be nominated for best comedy series after its final season. Julia Louis-Dreyfus who's six Emmys for playing Selina Meyer is a slam for another best actress nomination, but she will face stiff competition likely from running champ Rachel Brosnahan from "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", and from Phoebe Waller-Bridge from the critically acclaimed series "Fleabag".

DEAN: First they put out the fire, then they put on the party. Firefighters in Buffalo, New York, threw a surprise party for 6-year- old Eric Hill two days after the boy watched his house burn down on his birthday. Dozens of Buffalo's Bravest joined in a celebration with songs and truckloads of gifts.

They made Eric's favorite character, Batman, the party theme. It's good party theme. The cape crusader was joined by some of his superhero friends. The entire community is helping Eric and his family get back on their feet donating money through a GoFundMe fund- raiser.

BRIGGS: Let's get a check on CNN business this morning, first to look at your markets around the world. Asia markets closed mostly lower as investors digest China's GDP data. European markets have opened higher and on Wall Street, the stocks looking to extend Monday's gains as investors wait for a fresh batch of corporate earnings.

All three major averages closed at all-time highs yet again yesterday. The Dow ending up 20 points, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq surpassed the records they set on Friday.

Earnings season in full swing as J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo report earnings today.

Remember chipotle's E. coli nightmare back in 2015? Well, its comeback from that scare appears to be complete. Chipotle stocks now up 75 percent this year, making it one of the best performing stocks in the S&P 500.

Its stock has been on the rise since CEO Brian Nichol took over in February 2018. Under Nichol, Chipotle has started a range of new menu options that have kept the customers coming back. Those moves have paid off with -- I'm not sure why we're showing the president there, with revenue up nearly 14 percent in the first quarter.

A historic first for Huggies. Its new special delivery diapers now feature fathers on the boxes for the first time ever. The company had received criticism for ads that portrayed fathers as disconnected as the role of caretaker. The seven different box designs feature men and women for babies for Huggies premium diaper.

Huggies brand director told "USA Today", moms have been featured on boxes before, adding Huggies believe in celebrating all parents and the great job they are doing. Way to go, dads.

Thanks to our international viewers for joining us. Have a great rest of your day.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country, if you're not happy here, you can leave.

OMAR: This is the agenda of white nationalists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A defense of racism now an ironclad part of the president's playbook. His rhetoric met with mild criticism from the Republican Party he reshaped.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: The transition of dropping 300 million people on a new plan a little risky.

SANDERS: The system that Joe and others are trying to prop up is the most wasteful bureaucratic and expensive system on earth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders squaring off on health care. A pivotal issue now dividing some Democrats.

BRIGGS: Joy and relief after a missing hiker is rescued in California. Sheryl Powell went missing for four days. We'll tell you why.

END