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Trump Inflames Crowd with Attacks on the "Squad"; Puerto Rico's Governor Faces Growing Protests. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 18, 2019 - 04:30   ET



[04:33:12] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: "Send her back." An American congresswoman. An ugly plan for reelection on full display in North Carolina.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Tear gas and violence as protests rage in Puerto Rico demanding the governor's resignation.

BRIGGS: Dangerous heat across the United States. Over 250 million people will get above 90 degrees in the next few days.

DEAN: And case dismissed against Oscar winner Kevin Spacey after the teen who accused him of groping him pleaded the Fifth.

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

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. 4:30 right here in New York. It's almost Friday. We begin with politics and some ugliness on display last night at a Trump rally in North Carolina. Racial tropes now a concrete theme in President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. President Trump intensified his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen at a fiery campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina.

Trump painted the so-called Squad as the face of the entire Democratic Party. Even just the mention of their names inflamed this crowd. And just to gauge the response, the top Miriam Webster searches last night, racism, socialism, fascism, concentration camp, xenophobia and bigot. White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins has our coverage from


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jessica and Dave, a new chant was started at the president's rally in Greenville, North Carolina, and it's certainly one that is going to be in the headlines for the next several days.

The president had just taken the stage and within minutes he was in the middle of lashing out at those four Democratic congresswomen that the president has been in an all-out brawl with ever since he first tweeted at them on Sunday.

[04:35:05] He started with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She was one of those four who was actually not born in the United States but instead was born in Somalia, later came to the United States as a child refugee before become being a U.S. citizen.

And as the president was lashing out, criticizing her, the crowd in the arena started to chant.


COLLINS: Now it was not a chant that the president himself started but he did pause in the middle of his scripted remarks to let the momentum in the arena here build before then moving on to go after the other three congresswomen.




TRUMP: She was describing the president of the United States and the presidency with the big fat, vicious, the way she said it, vicious, F word. That's not somebody that loves our country. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


TRUMP: She's conducted outrageous attacks against men and women of law enforcement, but Cortez, somebody said that's not her name, it's -- they said, that's not her name, sir. I said, no, no, I don't have time to go with three different names. We'll call her Cortez.


COLLINS: Now White House officials have been teasing all day that the president's rally was going to be one of the most fiery he's had to date. And the president was reading from a teleprompter as he was making those remarks about those freshmen Democratic women of color.

Now we're told that even though some of the president's allies saw it as a mistake when he tweeted on Sunday telling them to go back to the places they came from even though three of them were from the United States, that now you're seeing the president turn that stumble into what his advisers now see as something that can help launch some political momentum for the president and potentially be a strategy in the 2020.

Certainly something that the president leaned into during that rally in North Carolina -- Jessica and Dave.

DEAN: Kaitlan Collins, thank you.

And two members of the Democratic Squad are responding after the president's renewed attacks. Ilhan Omar tweeting, "I'm where I belong at the people's House and you're just going to have to deal." And this from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "We have the power to triumph over hatred, division and bigotry, but decency cannot be taken for granted."

BRIGGS: The field now set for CNN's Democratic debates later this month. The only change from the last debate, Montana Governor Steve Bullock. He fills the slot opened by California Congressman Eric Swalwell who dropped out of the race. CNN conducts a live random drawing tonight to determine the candidate

lineup for each night. There will be three drawings, upper, middle, and lower polling tiers to help even out the field between the two nights, July 30 and 31.

You can find out which candidates will face off each night in a special event, "THE DRAW" tonight 8:00 Eastern Time.

DEAN: Protests raging through the night in Puerto Rico as demonstrators call for the immediate resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello following a series of scandals there. Demonstrators overturned barricades while police fired teargas into the crowd. Some of Puerto Rico's biggest stars including Ricky Martin rallied the crowd for a fifth day in a row. Their anger reaching all the way here to New York. "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda telling the people of Puerto Rico, "We're here to have their back." CNN's Leyla Santiago is in San Juan with the latest.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jessica, Dave, I have seen anger, I have seen frustration, I have seen tension here. We actually made our way to the barricade in front of the governor's mansion, La Fortaleza, where we saw a standoff between protesters that were clearly very angry, and police that are blocking the governor's mansion.

Now, for his part, the governor of Puerto Rico says he will not step down. But I want to tell you, as I've spoken to protesters who have had a week of FBI making arrests and corruption scandals involving former administration officials of leaked chats that have multiple insults for many people here on this island, I want you to hear what else people told me as to why exactly they are marching on these streets.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about the dignity of our country, you know, of Puerto Rico. This is about we being tired of the same stuff happening over and over again. The corruption of this government, of all the governments that have passed through this country, you know. So it's about the indignation of our country, you know. The indignation, the -- finally, this country getting on its foot, you know, and standing up against the strong man.


SANTIAGO: Many people we've talked to say they see themselves in these chats reflected in the insults, and they say enough.

[04:40:02] They want change. They want to rid the island of corruption. And they worry that what could come of this is vulnerability among those who are already vulnerable. That possibly aid will not come to the island for those who are still rebuilding after Hurricane Maria. The governor, for his part, says he will not step down -- Jessica, Dave.

BRIGGS: Leyla, thanks.

Some intense weather turning deadly in Connecticut. Lightning from a vicious storm hits a tree. A branch falls and hits a car killing the driver.

Oppressive heat blanketing the country as you can see from this wicked heat map. And check out this road in Shawnee, Oklahoma, buckling in the heat. More than 130 million people under some sort of heat advisory today so please check on your elderly and disabled friends and neighbors if you can.

Let's get to meteorologist Ivan Cabrera in the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta -- Ivan.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. The peak of the heat wave is not going to even happen until Saturday here, so the heat index will continue. The air temperature will continue above 90 for many of us but it will feel like about 105 to 115, and that's a result of the heat index when you factor in the humidity here.

We're talking most of our major cities here. I mean, over 85 percent of the U.S. population included here as far as how many of us today are going to be above 90. But again, that's just the air temperature. When you factor in the humidity this is what it's going to feel like, 107 in D.C., 107 in Chicago. Feeling close to 100 in New York. And this will continue day-after-day through the upcoming weekend. In fact, we don't get relief here until a front comes in, and that won't happen until early next week. Look at the drop-off there.

Sunday will be our last day and then we'll begin to see temperatures cooling off by the early part of next week -- guys.

DEAN: Ivan, thank you.

The effort to one Democrat to impeach President Trump defeated in the House. The vote to kill a measure drafted by Texas Congressman Al Green is the first formal action taken on impeachment since Democrats gained control of the House back in January. That vote, 332-95 included a majority of Democrats voting along with Republicans. Still, those 95 Democrats who voted for impeachment shows an increase in support for taking up the question.

BRIGGS: A criminal sexual assault charge against actor Kevin Spacey has been dropped one week after the alleged victim pleaded the Fifth at a pretrial hearing. The Oscar winner was accused of groping an 18- year-old man at a bar in Nantucket and facing indecent assault and battery charge.

Prosecutors say they dropped the case due to the, quote, "unavailability of the complaining witness." Their case effectively crumbled when text sent by the accuser during the alleged assault went missing and the phone vanished altogether. No immediate comment from Spacey. He also faces allegations of sexual misconduct in Los Angeles and Britain that go back years.

DEAN: The White House is preparing to send hundreds of additional troops to Saudi Arabia in response to rising tensions with Iran. This move also reinforces the Trump administration's controversial military relationship with the Saudis. A small number of troops in support personnel are already there on site. And they've been involved in preparations for a Patriot Missile Defense Battery along with runway and airfield upgrades. Iran's Foreign minister accusing the U.S. of waging war through economic sanctions that make civilians primary targets.


FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Do you, as a result, think there could be a war between the United States and Iran?

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I can tell you that we will never start a war. We've never started a war. We will never start a war, but we will defend ourselves and anybody who starts a war with Iran will not be the one who ends it.


DEAN: Politico reports Senator Rand Paul asked President Trump over the weekend for permission to open talks with Iran through Foreign Minister Zarif. U.S. officials say it's not clear whether Zarif is even authorized to negotiate on behalf of Iran.

BRIGGS: A check out CNN Business at 4:43 Eastern Time. Trade talks between the U.S. and China have stalled over Huawei. "The Wall Street Journal" reports the Trump administration is working out how to address Beijing's demands that the U.S. ease restrictions on the Chinese telecommunications giant. At the G-20 President Trump said he would allow American companies to resume sales of Huawei -- of products that don't pose a security threat. But questions still remain including what products U.S. companies will be able to sell to Huawei and when.

According to "The Journal," Beijing is waiting to see what the U.S. does on Huawei before making any commitments. The president has threatened tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods. Hundreds of companies and trade groups have warned that would hurt the American economy and jobs.

DEAN: Senator Rand Paul voted for the president's tax cut driving up the deficit, but for health care for 9/11 responders the purse strings are tight.


[04:49:09] DEAN: Republican Senator Rand Paul is blocking funding for 9/11 first responders who are sick and dying. Paul says passing a long-term funding bill without offsetting the cost would add to the national debt. The measure he's blocking would keep the September 11th Victim's Compensation Fund solvent through 2090. Paul says he at least wants to have a debate. It should be noted the Kentucky senator voted for President Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut which is driving up the deficit.

BRIGGS: It was Jon Stewart's emotional testimony that brought attention to this issue weeks ago. Here's how the comedian and activist responded to Senator Paul's position.


JON STEWART, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS ADVOCATE AND COMEDIAN: Absolutely outrageous and you'll pardon me if I'm not impressed in any way by Rand Paul's fiscal responsibility virtuous signaling. There are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card.

[04:50:02] But somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community, the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors, all of a sudden, man, we've got to go through this.


BRIGGS: The 9/11 funding bill passed the House last week by an overwhelmingly bipartisan 402-12 vote.

DEAN: The Walt Disney Company is pushing back hard against allegations from Abigail Disney. The family heiress said she found workers struggling when she recently visited Disneyland under cover. And then in an interview with Yahoo she said she went to Disneyland to observe worker conditions after receiving a Facebook message and was, quote, "so livid" at what she saw. She said workers told her they had to forage for food in other people's garbage.

BRIGGS: In a statement the company calls her account particularly egregious hyperbole, adding, quote, "This widely reported stunt is a gross and unfair exaggeration of the facts that has not only misrepresentation but also an insult to the thousands of employees who are part of the Disney community." Abigail Disney had frequently spoken out about how much more CEO Bob Iger makes compared to your average Disney worker.

DEAN: That viral app that ages people's faces is now raising security concerns, particularly for the 2020 Democratic candidates. The Democratic National Committee sending a security alert to campaigns warning them not to use the Russia-based smartphone app FaceApp. The DNC saying the artificial intelligence technology could expose facial recognition data to Russia which launched a hacking campaign against the party during the 2016 election.

Still celebrities like the Jonas brothers, the Queer Eye guys, Drake, everybody is doing it. We did it. This was --

BRIGGS: Yes, we did do it.

DEAN: That was your work. Dave really took some quality time to make that happen.

BRIGGS: I took far too much of my day.

DEAN: It's horrifying --

BRIGGS: What do you think? You didn't age, but, you know, just a couple of years.

DEAN: Yes, I did. No.

BRIGGS: I aged about 50.

DEAN: Someone said you looked like, what, Bob Barker?

BRIGGS: Bob Barker was the common refrain. But look, here's the difference in anchoring the show every day and filling in for a week. It ages you tenfold.

DEAN: Right. This is how you feel inside.

BRIGGS: Every day.

DEAN: Yeah.

BRIGGS: Wow. All right. Quite an image.

Ahead an 11-year-old selling beer on the sidewalk. But police say that's just fine. We'll tell you why.


[04:56:50] DEAN: El Chapo Guzman is now sitting in a Colorado supermax prison cell. The Mexican drug lord was sentenced in New York to life plus 30 years on drug trafficking and other charges. El Chapo was moved under tight security to the nation's most secure supermax. He has broken out of prison before in Mexico which is one reason he was tried in the U.S. The Bureau of Prisons rejected defense attorney's request for a 60-day delay in the transfer so they can work on his appeal. The lawyers are claiming jury misconduct.

BRIGGS: Check out CNN Business at 4:57 Eastern Time. A look at your markets around the world. Asian and European markets are lower. On Wall Street, futures are pointing to a low open. Stocks finished lower for the second day in a row as trade war concerns creeped back to the surface. The Dow slipping 116 points Wednesday. The S&P 500 suffered its worst one-day percentage drop in more than three weeks. The Nasdaq finished lower as well.

Now investors wearing the resurface trade -- worries, excuse me, against expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut in two weeks.

Growth in IBM's cloud business appears to be the bright spot in a competitive market. The cloud division was up 5 percent on $5.6 billion revenue in the second quarter, while IBM's cloud business was up, its growth pales in comparison to its competitors Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web services.

Azure posted revenue growth of 73 percent in the quarter ending March 31. Amazon Web services grew more than 41 percent in the first quarter of 2019. IBM says there is still growth opportunity for IBM cloud especially with the acquisition of software company Red Hat that closed earlier this month.

The trade war with China is having an effect on foreign purchase of U.S. homes. New numbers from the National Association of Realtors show foreigners bought less than $78 billion worth of U.S. residential real estate in the year that ended in March. That's a 36 percent decline from 121 billion in the previous year. Economists note the trade war with China and a slowing global economy has made the U.S. a less hospitable place for foreigners to invest over the last year. Real estate agents they are feeling the effect in top markets like New York City, Miami and Southern California.

DEAN: Well, who doesn't love lemonade on a hot summer's day. Right? An 11-year-old boy in Utah comes up with an ingenious twist on the lemonade stand, though. His sign advertised ice cold beer. Business booming. But that got the attention of neighbors. It got the attention of police. And when they arrived they saw the boy was in fact selling ice cold root beer. He just wrote the word root really, really small. The cops were so impressed they even bought a couple of beers from the boy. His root beer stand will stay open until the school year begins. Carry on, young man.

BRIGGS: Genius young man. Bravo, sir.

DEAN: Really, really small.

BRIGGS: All right. 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.