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Protests Rage in Puerto Rico; Trump Crowd Taunts Rep. Ilhan Omar; Record Heat; Spacey Case Dropped. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 18, 2019 - 05:00   ET




[05:00:04] TRUMP RALLY AUDIENCE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Send her back. An American congresswoman. An ugly plan emerges to get re-elected 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 country for over 250 million people will get above 90 degrees in the next few days. Many of you well over 100.

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

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

BRIGGS: Good morning. Good morning to all of you. I'm Dave Briggs, Thursday, July 18th, 5:00 a.m. in the east. It's almost Friday as we say.

We begin this morning with Puerto Rico and protests raging through the night there in Puerto Rico as demonstrators call for the immediate resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello.

Demonstrators overturned barricades while police fired tear gas into the crowd. Some of Puerto Rico's biggest stars, including Ricky Martin, rallied the crowds for a fifth day in a row.

Their anger reaching all the way here to New York where "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda told the people of Puerto Rico, quote, we're here to have their back.

CNN's Leyla Santiago in San Juan with the latest.


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 other 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 -- 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.


DEAN: Leyla Santiago, thanks so much.

Racial tropes now a concrete theme in President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.

Trump intensified his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen. At a fiery campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, he painted the so-called "Squad" as the face of the Democratic Party. Even just the mention of their names inflamed that crowd.

And if you want to gauge the response, the top Merriam-Webster searches last night -- racism, socialism, fascism, concentration camp, xenophobia, and bigot.

White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins was in Greenville.


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.

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 and later came to the United States as a child refugee before becoming a U.S. citizen.

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

TRUMP RALLY AUDIENCE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

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.

[05:05:05] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Representative Rashida Tlaib.


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 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 are 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 election -- certainly, something that the president leaned into during that rally in North Carolina -- Jessica and Dave.


BRIGGS: OK. Kaitlan Collins there, thank you.

Two members of the Democratic squad are responding after the president's renewed attacks.

Ilhan Omar tweeting, quote: I am where I belong, at the people's house and you're just going to have to deal.

And this from AOC. Quote: We have the power to triumph over hatred, division, and bigotry, but decency cannot be taken for granted.

DEAN: The field now set for CNN's Democratic primary debates later on this month. The only change from the last debate, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, he's going to fill the slot opened by California Congressman Eric Swalwell, who dropped out of the race.

CNN conducts a live drawing tonight to determine the candidate lineup for each night. There's going to be three drawings of upper, middle and lower polling tiers to help even out that field between two nights, July 30th and 31st.

You can find out which candidates will face off each night in a special live event. Watch "The Draw for the CNN Democratic Debates". It's tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

BRIGGS: All right. To the heat. Boy, is it oppressive blanketing this country.

Check out a road in Shawnee, Oklahoma, which simply buckled in the heat. More than 130 million people under some sort of heat advisory today, so please check on the elderly and disabled friends and neighbors if you can. The heat intense in many areas, as high as 115 degrees with the heat index.

Here's meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.



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 by one Democrat to impeach President Trump defeated in the house. The vote to kill the measure drafted by Texas Congressman Al Green is the first formal action taken on impeachment since the Democrats gained control back in January. The 332-95 vote included a majority of Democrats, voted along with Republicans. Still, those 95 Democrats who voted for impeachment show 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 pre-trial hearing. The Oscar winner was accused of groping an 18-year-old at a bar in Nantucket and facing indecent assault and battery charge.

Prosecutors say they dropped that case due to the, quote, unavailability of the complaining witness. The case effectively crumbled when texts 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.

Ahead here, "Office" and "Friends" leaving Netflix. Will users follow them? A number of U.S. subscribers falling for the first time in a decade.


[05:14:50] BRIGGS: We'll check CNN business at 5:14 Eastern Time.

Netflix has passed the 150 million subscribers mark but it missed the forecast for new memberships. The streaming giant adding 2.7 million new subs in the second quarter, just over half of the 5 million new subscribers analysts expected. And Netflix reported the first drop in nearly a decade. The stock dropped 12 percent after-hours trading.

Netflix said it didn't believe competition was a factor in its membership, quote, since there was not a material landscape. Still, though, hard to ignore the competition its biggest threat may be from Disney Plus which debuts later this year. Half the price of standard Netflix plan. It will face even more competition when Warner Media's HBO Max launches next year. Warner Media owns CNN, of course.

For now, Netflix is at the top of the streaming game, says it expects to add another 7 million subscribers next quarter. DEAN: Families who lost loved ones in 737 MAX crashes claim Boeing

put greed before safety. In heart wrenching testimony before Congress, a Canadian businessman describes his family's final minutes on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, one of the two crashes that killed 346 people. He lost his wife, his mother-in-law and his three children.


PAUOL NJOROGE, OST HIS FAMILYL IN ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 302: I think about their last six minutes alive. My wife and my mom-in-law knew my wife and my mom-in-law knew they were going to die. They had to somehow comfort the children during those final moments knowing they were all their last. I wish I was there with them.


DEAN: In order to maintain capacity, United Airlines has agreed to buy 19 used Boeing 737-700 planes to fill the void created by the grounding of the MAX fleet.

BRIGGS: This Republican congressman claims he is a, quote, person of color. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, like most Republicans, voted not to condemn the president for his racist tweets. Ahead of that vote, he said this to Vice news.


REP. MIKE KELLY (R-PA): They talk about people of color. I'm a person of color. I'm white. I'm a white. I'm an Anglo-Saxon.

But I'm not -- people say things all the time, but I don't get offended.

REPORTER: Has anybody ever told you to go back to your country?

KELLY: Yes, I have as a matter of fact.

REPORTER: Which one?

KELLY: Ireland. With a name like Mike Kelly, you can't be from any place but Ireland.


BRIGGS: Congressman Kelly later told "The Washington Post" he was trying to make a broader point that it's to stop fixating on our differences, particularly our superficial ones.

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 Face App. The DNC sayings 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 Drake, to the Jonas Brothers and the Clear Eye

Guys all taking part.

BRIGGS: As did these two.

DEAN: That's hard to look at.

BRIGGS: That's me looking like Bob Barker there and you not aging so much, I think.

DEAN: Look closely.

BRIGGS: Wow. That truly measures the impact of doing this job every day for a couple of years. Wow, quite a look there. Scary, folks.

All right. Ahead, their fans may boo Santa Claus, but Philadelphia is still the City of Brotherly Love and it was on display at the Phillies game last night. Andy Scholes with that story in the "Bleacher Report".


[05:23:39] BRIGGS: All right. The British Open underway in Northern Ireland. Brooks Koepka having a chance to make history this weekend.

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

Can't wait for the opening championship, my friend. Good morning.


You know, Brooks Koepka looking to get first or second in all four majors in the same season. He first won the PGA championship and then got second at Masters and the U.S. Open this year. Koepka going to look to keep that dominant run when he tees off at about 8:00 Eastern.

And he may have an advantage over all the guys in the field. This year's open championship is taking place at Royal Port Rush in Northern Ireland. Koepka's caddy, Ricky Elliott, grew up in Port Rush and has played that course numerous times.


BROOKS KOEPKA, 4-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: Put it this way, I don't think when he grew up he ever thought there would be an open championship here. To top it off, I don't think he ever thought he would be a part of it and, you know, to be caddying and to be able to win one here would be maybe a legend, wouldn't it? He already is. It would be cool to see him win.


SCHOLES: And weather never great at the British Open. That's the case right now. Low 60s and raining this morning.

Tiger, he's going to tee off a little after 10:00 this morning. All right. Seattle Sounders had a special goalie start their match

with Borussia Dortmund last night.

[05:25:02] Eight-year-old Bheem Goyal opened the match with the same beam. He's diagnosed with leukemia in August of last year. He's a super Sounders fan making school project he could about the team.

Bheem's dream one day to play for the Sounders. And hey, for one night, he did. He got a standing ovation when he was of the pitch.

All right. Angels and Astros last night. Alex Bregman hits one deep to left. Justin Upton tracking it, going to rob a home run. Oops, the ball actually bounces off the warning track. I guess Upton lost track of where that ball was.

Rough night all around for the Angels. They would lose to the Stros, 11-2.

All right. Finally, this was just an awesome moment last night in Philadelphia. This foul ball is going to head for the stands. And, of course, all the kids are going to run after it.

This guy gets there first, watch what he does, without hesitating he hands it to another young fan. This is the best part. Watch this, guys.

They share a hug before going back to their seats.

Dave, if that doesn't warm your heart, I don't think anything will.

BRIGGS: I kept wondering, yes, as they go back to their seats there, they're not buddies. It appears they do not know one another. Bravo, Philadelphia, kids can change things in a stay.

All right. Thank you, Andy Scholes. Great story.

SCHOLES: All right.

BRIGGS: Jessica, what's coming up?

DEAN: All right, Dave.

Send her back. The president presiding over a rally with a crowd espousing the same ideas he tweeted out in a racist tirade. A campaign soaked in hate growing louder by the day.