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House Condemns Trump's Racist Remarks; 2020 Dems Divided on Health Care; Retired Justice John Paul Stevens Dies; Anger Over Garner Decision; Bryce Harper Rallies Phillies Past Dodgers. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 17, 2019 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Domino's is keeping its prices low in hopes of keeping customers. The company has not raised prices on pizzas in about a decade.

[05:00:06] 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.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president's racist tweets.


BRIGGS: Midsummer madness on the house floor. A vote to condemn the president's racist remarks, but only four Republicans sign on.


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.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Kamala Harris trying to clarify her health care position. Joe Biden isn't buying it. The 2020 Democrats growing contentious.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, the passing of a legend. Retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens has died.


PROTESTERS: Black lives, they matter here! Black lives, they matter here!


DEAN: Anger boiling over. The Justice Department will not bring charges against the officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christine Romans today.

BRIGGS: Good morning. Good morning to all of you. I'm Dave Briggs. Wednesday, July 17th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the east.

A cool image to show you this morning. The Washington monument has turned into a rocket. It is the Apollo 11 honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and landing on the moon.

That anniversary officially on Saturday when time for a plug CNN airs its incredible doc "APOLLO 11", 9:00 Eastern Time, from a moment that was unifying to total division and chaos in Congress.

A turbulent night on a 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 Democrats. Justin Amash also voted for, weeks after leaving the Republican Party.

The leadership and the vast majority of Republican lawmakers still backing the president.


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?



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


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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) DEAN: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raising the stakes when she described the president's remarks on the House floor.


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.

I urge a unanimous vote --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman -- the gentleman from Georgia.


PELOSI: -- and yield back the balance of my time.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): I was just going to give the gentle speaker of the House if she would like to rephrase that comment.

PELOSI: I have cleared my remarks as a parliamentarian before I read them.

COLLINS: You can take it -- could I ask the words be taken down? I make a point of order that the gentlewoman's words are unparliamentary and request they be taken down.


DEAN: You heard Pelosi being interrupted there at the end. It's a violation of longstanding House rules to refer to the president as, quote, having made a bigoted or racist statement.

Republicans then moved to have Pelosi's words stricken from the record. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was presiding over the House and had clearly had enough.


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.


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


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.


BRIGGS: The president's four progressive targets speaking out against him together to CBS.


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


KING: What message does that send?

[05:05:00] REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): That the normalization of it, the fact that it's against our core American values. That they're choosing him over country.


BRIGGS: Some of the president's allies like former communications director Anthony Scaramucci were still strongly critical of his racist words.


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.


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

DEAN: 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 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.


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.


BRIGGS: Biden reacted to her comments during a stop in Sioux City, Iowa.


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.


BRIGGS: Meantime, Senator Bernie Sanders takes on his rivals today on Medicare-for-All. He's scheduled to speak at George Washington University.

CNN's first New Hampshire poll of 2020 hopefuls shows Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren leading. All though within the poll's 5-point margin of error. The poll also shows a lot of uncertainty with 64 percent still say they are undecided.

DEAN: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99. The soft-spoken Midwesterner suffered a stroke earlier this week and passed away Tuesday at a Fort Lauderdale hospital with his daughters by his side. Stevens served as a naval intelligence officer in World War II and was nominated to the high court by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975.

But, Stevens went on to become a leader of court's liberal wing, serving until 2010.

Just two months ago, our John Berman asked him about President Trump's relationship with the judiciary.


JOHN PAUL STEVENS, FORMER ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT: He's getting advice from people who are knowledgeable about judges and I hope he won't do too much damage. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Do you think he understands the role of the judiciary in the country?


BERMAN: Why not?

STEVENS: Well, I think he often speaks about them as Obama judges and other kind of judges. But I think John Roberts was dead right when he said there are only one kind of judges and they're all working for the federal government.


BRIGGS: The White House released a statement saying: Justice Stevens was known for his humility, legal acumen and affection for his beloved Chicago Cubs. His work over the course of nearly 35 years on the Supreme Court will continue to shake the legal framework of our nation for years to come.

And Chief Justice John Roberts says Stevens' unrelenting commitment to justices left us a better nation.

A race to raise the debt ceiling has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to speak again to negotiate both a budget and a debt deal. The U.S. reaches its $22 trillion limit on borrowing. It reached it back in March. Since then, the government has been shifting money around to pay the bills.

Congress and the president need to reach a deal before the government runs out of money in September. Pelosi told reporters she's not doing a short-term deal. Mnuchin says he wants a comprehensive deal, but if one is not reached, requested a clean bill to keep government running while a deal is hashed out.

Pelosi doesn't want any part of a clean debt ceiling vote. There are only seven days before the House leaves for its August recess.

DEAN: The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against the New York City police officer accused of fatally choking Eric Garner.


PROTESTERS: Black lives, they matter here!

[05:10:02] Black lives, they matter here!


DEAN: Garner's final words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry in the Black Lives Matter movement. The medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide. But Attorney General William Barr made the decision not to bring charges, siding with a Justice Department team from New York over the Civil Rights Division in Washington.

BRIGGS: Barr said prosecutors could not successfully prove the officer acted willfully. Garner's family disagrees.


EMERALD GARNER, ERIC GARNER'S DAUGHTER: Fire him. I watched them kill my father for five years by continuously playing the video -- in the courtroom playing the video. The fact that this man choked my father outside on the street -- choked him with no remorse.

GWEN CARR, ERIC GARNER'S MOTHER: Five years ago, my son said, "I can't breathe" 11 times. And today, we can't breathe.


BRIGGS: The NYPD has brought developmental charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Commissioner James O'Neil will make a final decision after he receives a report and recommendation. The city of New York settled with Garner's estate for $5.9 million back in 2015.

DEAN: Leaked private messages show homophobia and sexism. Now, protests have broken out. But Puerto Rico's governor is refusing to resign.


[05:15:59] BRIGGS: Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello is refusing to step down as police clash with protesters demanding he resign. There have been days of demonstrations following the leak of Rossello's private group chats. The 900-page leak reveals a vengeful approach to governing and conversations that include homophobic and sexist remarks.

FBI recently arrested two former officials from Rossello's administration in a federal corruption investigation. The raucous protests here prompt Royal Caribbean to cancel a cruise ship stop in San Juan.

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 state charges a decade ago. A lawyer who represents dozens of Epstein's accusers made that explosive allegation at a Tuesday news conference. And he was responding to claims by Epstein's lawyers that the politically connected financier had a, quote, spotless 14-year record since pleading guilty in 2008 to soliciting prostitution.

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

BRIGGS: Disney heiress Abigail Disney says she is livid after what she saw visiting Disneyland under cover. She tells Yahoo she went to check out conditions for herself after workers sent her a Facebook message, and every employee had a similar message, 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 in other people's garbage.

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


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're entitled to all the same dignity and human rights that he is.


DEAN: Disney said she recently e-mailed Iger about her concerns but received no response. 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 it pays workers above the federal minimum wage, and that it's committed $150 million to help employees earn college, high school, or vocational degrees.

BRIGGS: Yes, Christine Romans, my colleague, asked Bob Iger about the massive pay gap. He said it's not an issue I want to address but believes the interests of the employees have been served, quote, very well.

Ahead, it's been a rough time for the Philadelphia Phillies. But Bryce Harper may have boosted their spirits a bit in this new uniform. Andy Scholes has that story in the "Bleacher Report."


[05:23:40] BRIGGS: It was a fiery night on the diamond. Teams were testy from coast to coast.

Andy Scholes has that story in the "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, my friend.


You know, it seems like the Astros and Angels have a feud brewing. Before the all-star break, outfielder Jake Marisnick, he collided with catcher Jonathan Lucroy at the plate breaking his nose and giving him a concussion. Well, Marisnick, he apologized and said he felt terrible. But the Angels are still retaliating last night against Marisnick, hitting him up on the shoulder.

Now, the Astros' dugout not happy about that. They started jeering at the Angels and Albert Pujols at first base, went to yell back at them, the benches cleared at both ends. They ran in, no punches were thrown, though.

Astros manager AJ Hinch said after the game that Noe Ramirez should be suspended for hitting Marisnick, if not, Hinch said, quote, there's not going to be any issue doing it the next time. So if retaliations are cool -- are in, cool. We're well aware.

All right. The Yankees and Rays also had some fireworks. CC Sabathia striking out Avisail Garcia to end the sixth. And he started talking to himself. Well, Garcia took exception to what Sabathia was saying, then it was on.

Didi Gregorius had to hold Sabathia back. Said it was like holding a bear. Sabathia says after the game the whole thing was really just a misunderstanding.


[05:25:00] CC SABATHIA, NEW YORK YANKEES PITCHER: I wasn't talking to him. And you know, he looked up at me, and said something, and it was on. It is what it is. I'm never going to back down.


SCHOLES: Yes. Yankees won that game 8-3.

Bryce Harper, meanwhile, getting his first walk-off as a Philly last night, down a run in the bottom of the ninth, Harper, the laser to center, that would scores two to win for Philadelphia. You see Harper's teammates go to attack him.

Nice rebound for the Phillies after losing 16-2 on Monday.

All right. Finally, Jimmy Fallon came one a genius idea to give a bunch of all-stars weird phrases to casually work into their interviews. At the game last week in Cleveland, they absolutely nailed it. Check out this segment from the "Tonight Show."


CHRISTIAN YELICH: And you can draw back on it. Like they say even a hungry turtle can do a jumping jack.


SABATHIA: I don't think it's possible to have too many power hitters. You don't ask for --

ALEX BREGMAN: I was scrambling and thought sometimes you got to dance with the pants you wore to prom, so --

PETE ALONSO: There's this overarching message, it doesn't matter how much jelly you have in a jar, it's about how you spread it on your English muffin.


SCHOLES: I just love the straight phrase from Pete Alonso there.

And, Dave, no one questioned any of these sayings.


SCHOLES: I mean -- I'm going to give you some lines to work into EARLY START. BRIGGS: Will you prepare some? Because you do have to dance with the pants that brought you to prom, that was it?

SCHOLES: That was -- yes, that's what Alex Bregman said.

BRIGGS: How you spread the jelly on the English muffin. That is brilliant.

SCHOLES: That's the overarching message.


BRIGGS: Thank you, my friend. Great stuff. Jimmy Fallon, well done.

What's coming up?

DEAN: All right. House Republicans follow a familiar pattern, falling in line behind President Trump. All but four refusing to condemn his racism.