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EARLY START

House Votes to Condemn Trump's Racist Remarks; 2020 Dems Divided on Health Care; U.S. Bans F-35 Fighter Jet Sales to Turkey; Dow, S&P 500 & Nasdaq Snap Winning Streaks. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 17, 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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[04:33:15] REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president's racist tweets.

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JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Midsummer madness on the House floor. A vote to condemn the president's racist remarks, but only four Republicans signed on.

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KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So people who have private insurance would eventually have to give that up under your plan?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They would eventually be covered under Medicare-for-All.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're either Medicare-for- All, which means Obamacare is gone -- gone, period -- or you build on Obamacare.

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DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Kamala Harris trying to clarify her health care position. Joe Biden not buying it. The 2020 Democrats growing contentious.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody, on a Wednesday. I'm Dave Briggs.

DEAN: Good morning. I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christine Romans. It is 33 minutes past the hour here in New York.

A turbulent night on the divided House floor ending in a vote to condemn President Trump's racist remarks targeting four minority congresswomen. Just four Republicans voted for the resolution, all from districts often targeted by Democrats. The leadership and the vast majority of Republican lawmakers still backing the president.

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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The president is not a racist.

REPORTER: Were the president's tweets that said "go back" racist? Yes or no?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No.

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DEAN: The president taking note of the vote and the Republicans unified behind him. The debate itself full of dramatic moments like this one from civil rights icon John Lewis.

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REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest level of government, there's no room for racism.

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[04:35:04] BRIGGS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raising the stakes when she described the president's remarks on the House floor.

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PELOSI: Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president's racist tweets. To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office.

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BRIGGS: You heard there Pelosi being interrupted at the end. It's a violation of longstanding House rules to the president having made a bigoted or racist statement. Republicans moved to have Pelosi's words stricken from the record.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was presiding over the House and clearly had enough.

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REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER, II (D-MO): We don't ever, ever want to pass up, it seems, an opportunity to escalate, and that's what this is. We want to just fight. I abandon the chair.

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BRIGGS: President Trump insisting in a string of tweets Tuesday morning he's not racist. Later, he defended his attack on the so- called squad of minority congresswomen.

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REPORTER: Where should they go?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's up to them. Go wherever they want where they can stay. But they should love our country.

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DEAN: The president's four progressive targets speaking out against him together.

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GAYLE KING, ANCHOR, "CBS NEWS", "CBS THIS MORNING": Do you feel enough Republicans have spoken up against the president?

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Absolutely not.

KING: What message does that send?

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): The normalization of it, the fact that it's against our core American values. That they're choosing him over country.

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DEAN: Some of the president's allies like Anthony Scaramucci were still strongly critical of his racist attack.

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ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: The president calls himself a stable genius. Start sending out some more stable genius-ified (ph) tweets, you know? That tweet is instable, unstable -- however you want to reference it.

It's racist. It's obnoxious. It's obnoxious to Italian-Americans. It's obnoxious to a very large group of people and you should -- you should apologize.

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DEAN: In Kentucky, a group of Trump critics called Resist 45 revised a billboard for horse racing coverage to say "Trump 2020, America's day as the racist."

BRIGGS: Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris trying to clarify her health care plan during an exclusive interview with CNN's Kyung Lah in Iowa. Critics say she has shifted her stance on private health insurance under her Medicare-for-All plan. She says there would be very little role for private insurance because almost everything will be covered.

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LAH: What happens to those 150 million Americans under President Harris?

HARRIS: Well, it's the same as the millions of Americans every day that transition into Medicare as seniors. It's seamless without any difference to their coverage in terms of access to health care.

It has to happen over a period of time. There's no question we would have to go from the current system into a Medicare for All system.

LAH: So people who have private insurance would eventually have to give that up under your plan?

HARRIS: They would eventually be covered under Medicare for All and they would still see their doctor, and that's what they want.

LAH: Joe Biden says that this is -- what you are suggesting -- an elimination of Obamacare. Is that accurate?

HARRIS: It's absolutely not.

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DEAN: Biden reacted to her comments during a stop in Sioux City.

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BIDEN: You're either on Medicare-for-All, which means Obamacare is gone -- gone, period -- or you build on Obamacare like I'm doing and you provide a Medicare option. I don't know what her position -- maybe she's changed per position. I don't know.

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DEAN: Meantime, Senator Bernie Sanders takes on his rivals today on Medicare-for-All. He's scheduled to speak at George Washington University. Meantime, CNN's first New Hampshire poll of 2020 hopefuls shows Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren leading. But they're all within the poll's five-point margin of error.

Also this poll shows a lot of uncertainty, 64 percent of people, very high number, saying they're undecided.

BRIGGS: Still very early.

President Trump says the U.S. will block sales of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey, after Turkey received a new air defense system from Russia.

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TRUMP: Because they have a system of missiles that's made in Russia, they're now prohibited from buying over 100 planes.

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BRIGGS: The president turning to a familiar tactic, blaming the Obama administration for the situation which could affect Turkey's membership in NATO.

Let's bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh live in Istanbul with the latest.

Good morning, Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave.

You know, for months, U.S. officials have been warning, saying there's going to be severe consequences if Turkey went ahead with the deal and acquired the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, and they did go ahead with this. We saw the first deliveries coming in on Friday, and for days, there was no real reaction from the Trump administration until we heard from the president yesterday reluctantly announcing that they will not allow the sale of the F-35 fighter jets go ahead.

But he really was very unhappy with that saying that it's going to cost billions of dollars, that Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, is not going to be happy about it. As you mentioned, again blaming the Obama administration for what he described last month as this current mess, basically saying that Turkey wanted to buy the American alternative to the S-400, the Patriot missile defense system. It was the Obama administration that did not sell them the patriots.

And this is really what we've heard from Turkish officials over and over again saying that they've tried to buy this, the Patriot, but it was blocked by previous U.S. administrations. Some U.S. officials would disagree saying that there were negotiation, but Turkey wanted to also buy the technology that goes with the missiles. Something the U.S. was not willing to do.

But a very critical point right now is that the president did not mention sanctions. He's obliged under the American law to basically hit Turkey with sanctions, impose sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. But so far no mention of that, and that seems to be what has given Turkish officials including President Erdogan the confidence to go ahead with this deal.

BRIGGS: Certainly have not heard the last of this. Jomana Karadsheh, reporting live from Istanbul this morning, thanks.

DEAN: America's largest drug makers sold 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills between 2006 and 2012 in the middle of the country's deadliest drug epidemic. The information comes from a data base maintained by the DEA that tracks every single pain pill sold in the U.S.

And a "Washington Post" analysis found three companies make close to 90 percent of the opioids, Actavis pharma, SpecGX, and Par Pharmaceuticals.

CNN has not been able to reach any of the companies yet. But a spokeswoman for the company that acquired Actavis in 2016 told "The Post" the company, quote, cannot speak to any systems in place before that. A spokesman for the company that owns SpecGX told "The Post", Spec produced opioids within a government set quota and only old sold to DEA-approved distributors. The company that owns Par declined to comment.

BRIGGS: Democrats and Republicans have found common ground in trashing big tech. Lawmakers grilled Facebook executive David Marcus Tuesday about its digital currency proposal Libra. And it was clear members do not trust Facebook.

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REP. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Facebook is dangerous. Now, Facebook might not intend to be dangerous, but surely they don't respect the power of the technologies they're playing with like a toddler who's gotten his hands on a book of matches. Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience.

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BRIGGS: Republican Senator Martha McSally struck a similar tone saying, quote, instead of cleaning up your house, now you're launching into another business model. Facebook wasn't alone with executives from Google, Amazon, and Apple also taking the heat on Capitol Hill. The companies were repeatedly pressed to answer for their market dominance and reports of anti-competitive tactics. The shift in D.C.'s sentiment toward big tech has been a long time coming. Facebook and Google have faced increased scrutiny over data privacy, election meddling, and the spread of misinformation.

The antitrust investigation will likely result in a report that outlines possible policy recommendations. Facebook will face more questions about Libra from the House Financial Services Committee today.

DEAN: Abigail Disney is on a mission.

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ABIGAIL DISNEY, WALT DISNEY HEIRESS: Bob needs to understand he's an employee just the same as the people scrubbing gum off the sidewalk are employees, and they are entitled to all the same dignity and human rights that he is.

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DEAN: The Disney heiress calling out the CEO after going undercover at Disneyland. The conditions she says made her livid.

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[04:48:49] DEAN: At least one young woman accusing multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein of improper sexual contact while he was serving a 13- month jail sentence on sex-related charges a decade ago. A lawyer who represents dozens of Epstein's accusers made the explosive allegation at a Tuesday news conference. He was responding to claims by Epstein's lawyers that the politically collected financier had a spotless 14-year record since pleading guilty in 2008 to soliciting prostitution.

Last week, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors. He has pleaded not guilty.

BRIGGS: Disney heiress Abigail Disney says she is livid by what she saw after visiting Disneyland undercover. She tells Yahoo! News she went to check out conditions for herself after workers sent her a Facebook message, and every employee had a similar message for her -- quote, I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food and other people's -- in other people's garbage.

DEAN: Abigail Disney has her own message for company CEO Bob Iger, one she's delivered before, that Iger needs to fix the egregious wage gap.

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[04:50:08] DISNEY: Bob needs to understand he's an employee just the same as the people scrubbing gum off the sidewalk are employees, and they are entitled to the same dignity and human rights that he is.

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DEAN: Disney says she recently e-mailed Iger about her concerns but received no response. Bob Iger earned $66 million last year. The median salary of a Disney employee is $46,127.

The company in a statement to CNN points out that it pays workers above the federal minimum wage, and they have committed $150 million to a program for employees to earn a college, high school, or vocational degree.

BRIGGS: All right. Domino's sales are down for the first time in years. CNN Business has what you're all ordering instead, next.

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[04:55:18] DEAN: A slimy seaweed-like algae is keeping tourists away from Cancun. Thousands of tons of the algae are piling up at beaches all over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It's not only an eyesore, it smells like rotten eggs. Yes, bad.

Hotel occupancies are down in June with many offering discounts and transportation to beaches that are not affected.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has repeatedly downplayed the seaweed invasion. He calls the problem controllable, but has allocated very little money for removal.

BRIGGS: That's just nasty.

A white IRS security guard who pulled a gun on a black uniformed sheriff's deputy in Ohio has been charged with aggravated menacing. Lucas County deputy Alan Gaston stopped by the IRS office in Toledo in late May to ask a question about a letter he'd received. Security guard Seth Eklund confronted him and ordered him to leave the building and put his gun in his patrol car. When the officer said he could not, Eklund pulled his weapon. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN GASTON, LUCAS COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTY: Basically prepared myself to be shot at that moment. Clearly, your training is lacking, and the fact that you went from zero to 100 lethal force is unacceptable.

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BRIGGS: Deputy Gaston has filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund and the security company that employed him. He is suing for emotional and psychological distress and lost wages.

DEAN: Chicago's gator watch is over. City officials say all of Humboldt Park is back open after a five-foot alligator was caught Tuesday. The gator dubbed Chance the Snapper was on the loose in the park for almost a week. Chance was captured with the help of an alligator expert who was called in from Florida.

The head of the city's animal care and control agency says they believe the gator was taken to the park's lagoon by someone who owned it. It is illegal in Illinois to own an alligator.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I promise to fight for the living.

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BRIGGS: Well, who needs the iron throne when you have 32 Emmy nominations? "Game of Thrones" scoring a record haul for its final season which was criticized by most of its fans, apparently not so much here. In addition to best drama series, ten of its actors also recognized by the television academy. Overall, HBO dominated with a total of 137 Emmy nominations. Netflix second with 117.

NBC was again the most nominated broadcast network. That included a best comedy series nomination for "The Good Place." The 71st primetime Emmy Awards airs September 22nd on Fox.

DEAN: Drug smugglers have used just about anything to hide their contraband. Now, Spanish police have added another unusual method to their list -- a poorly fitted toupee. Look at that.

They reportedly found a man at the Barcelona airport last month with a pound of cocaine hidden under that hair piece. Police telling the Spanish newspaper the man appeared nervous and raised the suspicion of authorities. He was charged after the poorly concealed package was found to contain 30,000 euros worth of cocaine under the toupee.

BRIGGS: No words.

All right. A check on CNN Business at 4:58 Eastern Time. Let's look at markets around the world. Asian and European stocks lower after President Trump said the U.S. and China still have a long way to go on a trade deal. And on Wall Street, futures are barely moving. Stocks snapped their

winning streaks Wednesday. The Dow closed down 24 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended the day slightly lower, as well.

Despite losing some ground, it wouldn't take much for stocks to hit a new record high today that could also trade just below new highs until the Federal Reserve meets at the end of the month. Investors still expect the central bank to cut rates.

The big question is, how big will that cut be?

Domino's sales slowed for the first time in nearly seven years as it battles competition from delivery apps. Revenue for the second quarter rose 4 percent to $811 million, the weakest increase since 2012. The chain is facing increased competition from Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub and others. Many of the companies offer discounts and promotions to attract customers.

Domino's is keeping its prices low in hopes of keeping customers. The company has not raised prices on pizzas in about a decade.

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

And for our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.

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