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Stage Set for CNN Democratic Primary Debates; Dangerous Heat Wave Threatens Millions; Trump Says U.S. Navy Destroyed Iranian Drone. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 19, 2019 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:21] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The stages are set. The progressives on night one. The rematch on night two. What to expect at the CNN Democratic debates?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Do not under estimate the heat. 185 million people in more than 30 states at risk. Triple-digits for most of the East.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: The drone was immediately destroyed.


BRIGGS: Another flare-up with Iran as the U.S. downs a drone in a critical waterway. How did the Iranians respond?

DEAN: And how would you escape a building on fire? It's not quite the right video there, but one man decided to scale down a 19-story building. We will show you that coming up.

But first, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is EARLY START. And I'm Jessica Dean in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning to you. Happy Friday, my friend.

DEAN: Yes.

BRIGGS: It is Friday, July 19th. I'm Dave Briggs. 12:30 p.m. in Iran, 5:00 p.m. in Japan. It is 4:00 a.m. here in New York where it will be 108 degrees tomorrow afternoon. But we will get to the heat in a minute. Start with politics. Get ready for round two.

The lineups are set for the CNN Democratic Primary Debates. And we will get the rematch we were waiting for, at least some were waiting for. Former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris together on the same stage again Wednesday night, July 31st. Now in case you've forgotten what happened the last time these two tangled.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then?


HARRIS: Do you agree?

BIDEN: I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education.


BRIGGS: That dispute over race hurt Biden in the fight for the nomination tightening the polls.

DEAN: Cory Booker will also be on that night two stage. He and Biden have also clashed over race. You can expect more scrutiny of Biden's record from him. Booker's deputy communications director tweeting, "Mark the date, July 131st, 2019. Joe Biden finally gets his own Senate Judiciary Committee hearing." That being a reference to the racially charged Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearing that Biden chaired in 1991.

BRIGGS: For the first time the debates will also feature the leading progressives face-to-face. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren sharing the same stage. Here's how Senator Warren sees it.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am delighted. Bernie and I have been friends together for a long, long time. We've worked a lot of issues together. I'm here because I believe we have a country that is working great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. And 2020 is all about making this country work for everyone else, making democracy work for everyone else.


BRIGGS: So mark your calendars. The Democratic debates live July 30 and 31. Moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, live from Detroit right here on CNN.

DEAN: A dangerous, potentially deadly heat wave ahead today and going through the weekend. 185 million people and more than 30 states are under some kind of heat advisory. Heat indices will be well over 100 for most places in the eastern half of the United States. And remember, extreme temperatures like these are the most deadly weather events in the U.S. They consistently killed more people than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. So very dangerous conditions out there.

Ivan Cabrera has the latest now from the Weather Center.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, good morning. Still seeing the heat index values of 110 to 115 degrees, with 250 million-plus of us feeling this, about 86 percent of the country, essentially, 105 to 115 right through Sunday, so this is a prolonged heat wave. It will not be hotter this summer, I don't think. I mean, this is

quite a stretch here. As I mentioned, we're looking at a quarter million people impacted by at least temperatures above 90. And then when you factor in the humidity it's going to feel like 105 to 115. And not just this afternoon but Saturday we could be breaking some records as well, and then heading into Sunday as well.

Chicago, your heat wave ends on Sunday with a front that will eventually make it into the northeast. It just will take its sweet time getting here. And so that by Sunday, we're still pushing 100 in Boston, New York, D.C. And then, the front comes in mid-80s as we head through the early part of next week. It's going to feel like I'm going to want to put a sweater on by Tuesday with highs in the 70s and 80s -- guys.

BRIGGS: All right, thanks.

Another escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. President Trump saying the Navy ship USS Boxer destroyed an Iranian drone.


[04:05:05] TRUMP: The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew. The drone was immediately destroyed.


BRIGGS: Now Trump said it happened here over the Strait of Hormuz, a critical passageway for trade, oil and gas.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen tracking this live from Berlin.

Fred, he said it was destroyed. Did we shoot down said drone or what exactly happened here?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Dave. Well, the U.S. is saying that there were electronic counter measures that essentially jammed the drone and caused it to crash. This was apparently done by Marines who are on board the USS Boxer. Of course it is an amphibious ship but does have a lot of Marines onboard. But just a couple of minutes ago, Dave, I actually for the first time got a denial from the Iranians specifically to what President Trump said.

Just going to give you a little bit of this. This is a top spokesman for Iran's military, literally just a couple of minutes ago, and saying, "Contrary to Trump's delusional and groundless claims all drones belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz," and this is the key sentence now, Dave, "including the one mentioned by the U.S. president, have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out surveillance operations." So the Iranians for the first time acknowledging that this took place and acknowledging that they were flying a drone in the vicinity of the USS Boxer. Again, of course, the Strait of Hormuz a key waterway, also a very

narrow waterway. I've actually gone through the Strait of Hormuz on the USS Abraham Lincoln a couple of years ago. And you can constantly see Iranian ships, Iranian planes, as you're going to through that narrow waterway. We've seen some massive incidents there over the past couple of months, some tankers that were attacked. The U.S. blaming that on the Iranians. The Iranians saying that it wasn't them.

And then of course you had that incident where the Iranians shot down an American surveillance drone claiming that that was in their airspace. The U.S. of course continues to say it was in international airspace. And now the Iranian Revolutionary Guard pouring more oil onto the flames saying that they believe that the U.S. every time they go into the Persian Gulf feel they are going into hell and every time the U.S. leaves they feel that they are leaving hell -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Another contentious day ahead there.

Fred Pleitgen reporting live for us, thanks.

DEAN: President Trump would like you to believe this made him unhappy.




DEAN: The president inspired those chants by denigrating Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Now that he's facing a backlash, he's trying to rewrite history.


TRUMP: And I disagree with her, by the way, but it was quite a chant and I felt a little bit badly about it, but I will say this, I did and I started speaking very quickly.


DEAN: Really? Well, let's break out the CNN timer. Find out how quickly the president started speaking once he heard those ugly chants.


TRUMP: Omar has a history of issuing anti-Semitic screeds.


TRUMP: And she talked about the evil Israel --

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Rather remarkable when you play it back. And it seemed like Mr. Trump milked every moment, he bathed in it. Didn't say a word until that chant ended. After he left North Carolina and returned to the White House, he tweeted, quote, "What a crowd and what great people. The enthusiasm blows away our rivals."

So why is the president backtracking? CNN has learned close allies and aides including his daughter Ivanka have expressed concern the chant could wind up defining a dark and divisive campaign. But some Republicans are still in the president's corner.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isn't it racist, though, to say send her back?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): No. I don't it's racist to say. Was it racist to say, love it or leave it? I don't think a Somali refugee embracing Trump would not have been asked to go back. If you're racist you want everybody from Somalia to go back.


DEAN: Congresswoman Omar was back in Minnesota Thursday. Here's her message in the face of all the hate.


REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I know there are a lot of people that are trying to distract us now. But I want you all to know that we are not going to let them. '


DEAN: Senior Democrats are now calling for a security evaluation for Congresswoman Omar and the three additional lawmakers Trump called out by name in his Wednesday night rally in North Carolina.

BRIGGS: Check out CNN Business at 4:09. The fight for 15 headed to the Senate.

[04:10:02] The House passed the Raise the Wage Act Thursday but there's little chance it will be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The Raise the Wage Act would bring the federal minimum wage up gradually from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025. If passed by the Senate, it would mark the first federal wage increase in a decade, remarkably. Fast food workers have been protesting for higher pay since 2012. Since then some cities and states including California and New York have raised it on their own. Walmart CEO recently said that the federal minimum wage is too low. Amazon adopted a $15 minimum wage last year. Back in November White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he doesn't think minimum wages are a good idea at all, raising doubts that President Trump would ever sign it.

The Chamber of Commerce has said it's willing to meet in the middle on some higher minimum wage but that $15 is out of the question.

DEAN: The water is back on at least for now in Fort Lauderdale. A water main break left about 220,000 customers without service Thursday. On Wednesday a subcontractor repairing electric lines hit a pipe that supplies water to a treatment plan. That cuts off the city's water supply and ticked off the mayor.


MAYOR DEAN TRANTALIS, FORT LAUDERDALE: I don't want calm demeanor at this -- confidence here right now to in anyway suggest that we are going to hold back in our attempt to try to seek compensation not just for the city, not just for the city customers but for as many people as possible that had been affected.


DEAN: Repairs on the broken pipe are expected to last through the weekend. And a boil water advisory is now in effect. Water distribution sites will stay open until at least Saturday.

BRIGGS: Astonishing video in overnight from an apartment fire in West Philadelphia. One man trapped in the 19-story high rise took a very unusual and risky way out. Look at this as the unidentified man climbed down the outside of the building and made it to the ground apparently without a scratch.

CNN affiliate WPVI reports no injuries were reported in the fire, although some residents were unaccounted for after the building was evacuated. Source the fire believed to be a trash compactor.

DEAN: Wow.

BRIGGS: We don't recommend doing that.

DEAN: Very methodical, though, the way he came down.

BRIGGS: Yes. Job well done.

DEAN: More than a dozen officers in Philadelphia will lose their jobs over hateful and racists posts on social media.


[04:18:01] DEAN: Grim new details are emerging from Japan's worst mass killing in nearly 13 years. A suspected arson attack on the renowned Kyoto Animation Studio leaving 33 people dead and 35 others injured. The company is a force in the anime industry. Investigators report finding bodies piled on a staircase. Anime fans and mourners laying flowers outside the building. Authorities say a 41-year-old suspect began pouring what appeared to be gasoline on the first floor of the studio before then setting it on fire.

One witness says he was asked about his motive and told a police officer they plagiarized. Police were not able to question him any further because he's receiving treatment for severe burns. BRIGGS: Jeffrey Epstein will remain in jail while awaiting trial on

sex-trafficking charges. A federal judge has ordered Epstein to remain there saying the multimillionaire is both a danger to the community and a flight risk. Epstein is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls. The judge says the court also is concerned for new victims. Epstein's proposed bail package would have allowed him return to his multimillion-dollar New York home accompanied by armed guards and a live-in court-appointed trustee. The judge calling the bail proposal irretrievably inadequate.

DEAN: Hateful and racists posts on social media will cost 13 Philadelphia police officers their jobs. The department suspending them for 30 days with intent to dismiss, four others whose posts were deemed less offensive will also be suspended for 30 days but not fired. Seventy-two officers were initially taken off the streets and placed on administrative duty last month following an investigation into this. Some of the posts allegedly included confederate imagery, anti-Muslim sentiments, violent rhetoric and racist comments.

BRIGGS: All right. It's been 33 years.


TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I feel the need, the need for speed.


BRIGGS: Maverick returns. What's in store for "Top Gun 2," next.


VAL KILMER, ACTOR: I don't like you because you're unsafe.



[04:23:58] BRIGGS: The 200th New York City firefighter has died from an illness related to the 9/11 attacks. Retired 73-year-old firefighter Richard Driscoll passed away Wednesday. According to the FDNY his death was caused by inhaling toxins around the Twin Towers nearly 18 years ago. Driscoll served the New York City Fire Department for 32 years. The Senate is scheduled to vote on a 9/11 first responder funding bill on Wednesday. Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul raised concerns about fast-tracking the measure because they wanted to offer amendments to curb the costs. They'll get their amendment votes next week. They are not expected to pass.

DEAN: Well, talk about karma here. Police say 25-year-old Jaylen Alexander carjacked an elderly man but he couldn't get away. Why? He had no idea how to operate a stick shift. Alexander was later arrested by police in Orlando after allegedly stealing a second vehicle. He is now charged with carjacking, battery on a person aged 65 or older, and grand theft auto.

BRIGGS: Well, it's been more than 30 years but Maverick is back. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[04:25:06] ED HARRIS, ACTOR: You should be at least a two-star admiral by now, yet here you are, captain. Why is that?

CRUISE: It's one of life's mysteries, sir.


BRIGGS: The trailer for the long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel dropped Thursday. In "Top Gun: Maverick" Tom Cruise still has that iconic bomber jacket and an aviator shades, but instead of a hotshot young fighter pilot, he's now an old school flight instructor. Cruise debuted the trailer himself for fans at Comicon in San Diego, near Miramar. "Top Gun: Maverick" hits theaters next summer.

This guy can't wait.

DEAN: You can't wait?

BRIGGS: Cannot wait.

DEAN: Yes.

BRIGGS: Although today is a big movie day. Right? Because "Lion King" officially opens.

DEAN: "Lion King."

BRIGGS: But not doing well on Rotten Tomatoes.

DEAN: But a large discussion about that yesterday.

BRIGGS: Not doing well.

DEAN: Well, the CNN Democratic debates are taking shape. Which candidates will share a stage and who won't get a chance to take on frontrunner Joe Biden?

BRIGGS: And we will check on this heat wave coming across the country. Oppressive 100 degrees temps for millions.