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EARLY START

Dangerous Heat Wave Ahead; Biden And Harris Share Debate Stage Again; President Trump Says U.S. Navy Ship Downed Iranian Drone. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 19, 2019 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:31:28] JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: The stages are set. The progressives on night one; the rematch, night two. What to expect at the CNN Democratic debates.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And do not underestimate the heat. One hundred eighty-five million people in more than 30 states are at risk. Triple-digits for most of the East.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: Another flare-up with Iran. The U.S. downs a drone in a critical waterway. What the Iranians are saying now.

BRIGGS: And how would you escape a burning building? This man went straight down the outside of a 19-story building. How Spiderman ended, ahead.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. Happy Friday. I'm Dave Briggs.

DEAN: Hi, everybody. I'm Jessica Dean in for Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour here in New York.

A dangerous, potentially deadly heat wave ahead today, extending through the weekend. One hundred eighty-five million people in more than 30 states will be under some kind of heat advisory.

Heat indexes will be well over 100 for most places in the eastern half of the U.S. And remember this, extreme temperatures like these are the most deadly weather events in the U.S.

Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera has the latest now from our Weather Center.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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. One hundred five 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: All right, thanks, Ivan.

Get ready for round two. Lineups all set for the CNN Democratic primary debates and we'll get the rematch many were waiting for. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris together on the same stage again. That's Wednesday night, July 31st.

In case you forgot, here's what happened the last time these two tangled.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No --

HARRIS: Do you agree?

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: That dispute over race hurt Biden and the fight for the nomination certainly tightened in the polls.

DEAN: Cory Booker will also be on that 19 stage. He and Biden have also clashed over race and you can expect more scrutiny of Biden's record. Booker's deputy communications director tweeting, "Mark the date: July 31, 2019. Joe Biden finally gets his own Senate Judiciary Committee hearing." That, a reference to the contentious Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings that Biden chaired in 1991.

BRIGGS: For the first time, the debates will also feature the leading progressives head-to-head. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren sharing the same stage and that does mean Sanders won't have a chance to take on Joe Biden, in particular on health care.

[05:35:02] Here's how Sen. Warren sees all this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am delighted. Bernie and I have been friends for a long, long time. We've worked on 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: All right, mark your Google calendar. The debates live, July 30 and 31, moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper, live from Detroit right here on CNN.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is tracking the latest now, live from Berlin. Fred, are we learning more details? And also, what are we hearing from Iran on all of this?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are hearing, Jessica, some more details from the U.S. military. They say that it was a detachment of the Marines who were on board the USS Boxer, a specialist in electronic warfare who apparently jammed the drone and then caused it to crash. Now, that's the U.S. side of things. The Iranians also coming out with their version as well. Quite remarkable, actually, for the Iranians to act this quickly to something specifically said by the president.

I want to read you a statement from the spokesman for Iran's Military Forces. And he says, quote, "Contrary to Trump's delusional and groundless claim, all drones belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz" -- and this is key now -- "including the one mentioned by the U.S. president, have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out their scheduled surveillance and control operations."

So, the Iranians acknowledging, seemingly, that they were flying drones around the USS Boxer, but saying that it is not true that one of their drones was taken down.

And you're absolutely right, Jessica. This is a very key waterway -- an extremely narrow waterway.

I was on the bridge of the USS Abraham Lincoln when it went through there a couple of years ago, and you can literally see, pretty much, both shores from either side. And you can always see Iranian boats going around there -- Iranian military vessels -- Iranian planes as well. So certainly, always a very tense situation when a ship that size goes through there.

And we also know that in the Strait of Hormuz, there have been some serious incidents over the past couple of months with some tankers being attacked. The U.S. saying Iran was behind it; the Iranians denying that.

And then, of course, that shooting down of an American drone not too long ago where the U.S. says it was in international airspace. The Iranians claiming it infringed on their airspace, Jessica.

DEAN: All right, Fred Pleitgen. Some great context there helps us understand. Thanks so much.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA RALLYGOERS: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: You, of course, know the president inspired those chants by denigrating Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Now that he's facing a bit of a backlash, he's trying to rewrite history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It really was a lot. I disagree with it, 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: "A little bid badly."

How quickly, exactly, did the president start speaking once he heard those ugly chants? Let's get out the timer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious, anti-Semitic screeds.

GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA RALLYGOERS: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

TRUMP: And she talked about the evil Israel --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: Mr. Trump appears to milk that moment. In fact, he didn't say a word until the chanting ended, as you heard.

And after he left North Carolina and returned to the White House, he tweeted, "What a crowd and what great people. The enthusiasm blows away our rivals."

So why is the president backtracking? Well, CNN has learned close allies and aides, including his daughter Ivanka, have expressed concern that chant could wind up defining a dark and divisive campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MINNESOTA TOWN HALL CROWD: Welcome home! Welcome home!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Congresswoman Omar was back in Minnesota Thursday to those chants and welcome crowd. Here's what she said in the (INAUDIBLE).

[05:40:08] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

Let's bring in Ron Brownstein, senior editor for "The Atlantic" and a CNN political analyst. Good to see you, sir.

You have a great piece out --

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Good morning, good evening.

BRIGGS: -- in "The Atlantic" this morning --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- which we will get to in just a moment, on the politics --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- of this ugly moment.

But first, Ron, I just want to talk about the societal impact for a moment.

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

BRIGGS: So many parents across this country must be terrified for their children if they're from somewhere else, if they look like someone else. When they go back to school will they hear those chants?

To you, what's the impact --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- of "go back where you came from" -- "send her back" chants on our society?

BROWNSTEIN: It is remarkable at this point in our history.

I mean, we are at a point Dave where already, a majority of our K-12 public students are kids of color. By 2020, a majority of our entire 18 population would be kids -- will be kids of color. And by 2023, a majority of our high school graduates will be kids of color.

And the idea -- I mean, to understand just how abhorrent this is, I think people should just take one moment and think about if they heard the words from the president or that crowd in any other context in American life.

If 20 high school juniors were standing on a football field around a classmate with a hijab, chanting "send her back" or "go back," which is what the president said, what would happen to them? How many of them would be disciplined or expelled?

If 20 people did this in a -- in an employment -- in a lunchroom on a factory floor, what would happen to them?

If a CEO of a global company said to a senior vice president because they disagree with their decision, "go back" -- forget "send her back" -- the president's own words, "go back."

You know, I got an e-mail yesterday from a senior executive at one of the big U.S. business trade associations who said this would be a firing offense.

BRIGGS: Yes, sure.

BROWNSTEIN: That language would be a firing offense at any major company in America.

And the idea that we are kind of -- a large part of certainly -- virtually the entire Republican Party is shrugging their shoulders at the use of that language from the Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt --

BRIGGS: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: -- is really a moment, apart from the politics, that is kind of a low. I don't think historians will have any trouble viewing this --

DEAN: Yes.

BRIGGS: Yes, Ron, but seeing --

BROWNSTEIN: -- as a low point in our modern history.

BRIGGS: Seeing is believing, OK? Aside from the Jedi mind trick attempt by the president yesterday --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- we all --

BROWNSTEIN: Sure.

BRIGGS: -- see the showman was soaking that up.

But the people --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- behind him, you can see, also were not comfortable with this chant.

DEAN: Yes, they're looking at each other -- yes.

BRIGGS: Many people in the shot were kind of looking around --

BROWNSTEIN: Some of -- yes.

BRIGGS: -- not wanting to go there.

DEAN: Now, Ron, I want to talk --

BROWNSTEIN: Maybe too many were.

DEAN: Yes. I want to talk about your --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. DEAN: -- piece. You've got a really insightful --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

DEAN: -- new piece in "The Atlantic" and you're making the argument here that there is a key bloc of these swing voters that are going to be --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

DEAN: -- really decisive in this 2020 election, and those are people who approve of Trump's handling of the economy but disapprove of him overall.

And you talked to someone who has done the research and they said, "These people are strongly held back by three things: the values that they have, the views they have on non-economic issues, and some very real --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

DEAN: -- concerns about Trump's character and temperament."

So, Ron --

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

DEAN: -- what does President Trump have to do to get these people to vote for him?

BRIGGS: And really do it.

DEAN: Yes, to really do it and follow through

BROWNSTEIN: Well, this -- I mean, this really is -- right.

So, you know, there are so many Republicans today saying wait a minute. Why does this -- why is he running on who is a real American and trying to divide the nation along lines of race and ideology that way when he should be running on the Ronald Reagan question -- are you better off than you were four years ago, and the economy?

The problem he's got Jessica, as you're noting, is that there are too many people who say yes, I am better off than I was four years ago but I don't like him anyway because of all of these other reasons -- some of the policies he's taken, but mostly his behavior, his values. The very things he has done this week. That's the paradox that he's in.

The racial division, the general contentiousness of his presidency, the volatility of it has driven away too many of the voters, I think, who would normally be drawn to him because of the economy. For him to believe he can safely win just by mobilizing people who say yes, I am better off.

In fact, in polling, an incredible number -- one-fifth of the -- consistently in national polls, something like one-fifth of the people who say that they like the way President Trump is handling the economy say they would vote for Joe Biden anyway.

And the paradox is that if he can't rely on those swing voters they've clearly decided they have to gin up their base by stirring more cultural and racial conflict, even by doing things that alienate yet more of the swing voters they should be getting --

DEAN: Right.

BROWNSTEIN: -- in the first place. And I think that is the treadmill that he is on at this point.

DEAN: Right, and --

BRIGGS: On --

DEAN: -- perhaps also firing up the Democrats even more to turn out and vote.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes --

BRIGGS: But, Mitch McConnell --

BROWNSTEIN: -- as in 2018.

[05:45:00] DEAN: Yes.

BRIGGS: Ron, Mitch McConnell says he thinks Trump is onto something. Is he right? Can the president succeed in elevating these four women of color as the face of the party?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it's kind of a real referendum moment for the party.

You know, look, you could certainly run against these women and their ideas and what they believe in and what they have advocated for. And they have -- some of them have said things that are going to be very controversial. But with the American -- have said things that are very controversial to the American people.

But the idea that you do not belong in this country unless you agree with the president's agenda, especially if you're an immigrant or a naturalized citizen, is a -- is a very dicey proposition, I think, to run on.

I do not think that this vision of America can win the popular vote. Can it win the Electoral College vote -- squeeze out Wisconsin, Florida, and Arizona -- possibly.

But again, and you're talking about something that is right at the margin at a point when unemployment is under four percent and the Dow is over 27,000 percent, how do you get yourself in a situation where you are running on this set of issues and concerns? And I would say it's partly by inclination.

This is -- when all you've got is a hammer, everything look like -- looks like a nail. This is the president's kind of go-to move. But I think it is also to a greater extent than Republicans will

acknowledge, it's not only because he wants to at this point, it's because he has to because he has poisoned the other well to great an extent.

BRIGGS: I talk to Trump supporters every day that want him to stay focused on the economy. He cannot, he will not. It does not inspire him.

Ron Brownstein, great piece. Check it out on "The Atlantic." We'll tweet that our for you --

DEAN: Thanks so much.

BRIGGS: -- in just a moment. Appreciate it, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you. Thanks, guys.

BRIGGS: Thank you.

All right. It's been 33 years if you can believe it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR, "TOP GUN": I feel the need -- the need for speed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:50:32] DEAN: Astonishing video in overnight from an apartment building fire in West Philadelphia.

One man trapped in the 19-story high-rise taking a very unusual and very risky way out of there. The unidentified man climbing down the outside of the building. He made it to the ground, apparently without a scratch.

CNN affiliate WPVI reporting some residents were unaccounted for after that building was evacuated.

BRIGGS: All right, a check on "CNN Business" at 5:50 Eastern time.

Stocks finished higher Thursday, snapping a 2-day losing streak. The Dow finished up just three points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed slightly higher as well.

Investors are still expecting a rate cut from the Fed. During a conference Thursday, New York Federal Reserve president John Williams spoke in favor of rate cuts, adding the central bank needed to act quickly when the economy was slowing. The Federal Reserve meets on interest rates at the end of the month.

It's already back-to-school season and some good news now for parents looking to save some cash. Sixteen states are holding tax holidays where families can save on clothes, shoes, computers, and supplies. Online shipping tax-exempt on those days.

The holiday starts today in Alabama. As for Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, you don't need a sales tax holiday. Those states don't have a sales tax.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:56:33] BRIGGS: Tomorrow marks 50 years since Apollo 11 became the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL ARMSTRONG, MEMBER OF APOLLO 11 CREW: One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Neil Armstrong's iconic words after landing with Buzz Aldrin.

Vice President Mike Pence travels to the launch site of Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida tomorrow.

Michael Collins, command module pilot who orbited the moon alone on Apollo 11, reflected on the epic moon shot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL COLLINS, MEMBER OF APOLLO 11 CREW: The question that is usually asked me is were you not lonely? The loneliest person who had ever been on a lonely voyage around the moon and the lonely orbit -- you were isolated in your lonely thoughts. Weren't you terribly lonely?

And I was just amazed by that. No, I was in no way lonely. I felt very much a part of what was going on with Neil and Buzz. I was their ticket home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: People in Huntsville, Alabama will celebrate with a parade today, starting at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, marking 50 years since they gathered downtown to celebrate the Apollo 11 mission by dancing in the streets.

DEAN: Well, talk about karma. Police say 25-year-old Jaylen Alexander carjacked an elderly man but could not 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's now charged with carjacking, battery, and grand theft auto.

BRIGGS: It's been more than 30 years, but Maverick is back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED HARRIS, ACTOR, "TOP GUN: MAVERICK": You should be at least a two- star admiral by now. Yet, here you are, captain. Why is that?

CRUISE, "TOP GUN: MAVERICK": It's part of life's mystery, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The trailer for the long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel dropped Thursday. In "Top Gun: Maverick", Tom Cruise still has that old iconic bomber jacket and aviator shades, but instead of a hotshot young fighter pilot, he's now an old-school flight instructor.

"Top Gun: Maverick" hits theaters next summer.

Dean, you could be my wingman --

DEAN: Thank you.

BRIGGS: -- any time.

DEAN: I really appreciate it and thanks for having me this whole week. And thank you for joining us. I am Jessica Dean.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. I feel the need -- the need for sleep --

DEAN: Yes, yes, yes.

BRIGGS: -- my friend.

Here's "NEW DAY".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": The roster is now set for CNN's 2-night Democratic presidential debate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is best able to take on Donald Trump? The people will be judging them by that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A real ideological difference will be on display. The stakes are really high.

GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA RALLYGOERS: Send her back! Send her back!

TRUMP: I started speaking very quickly. I disagree with it.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president did not name the individual. He said if you do not like this country you can leave.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): He allowed the chant to continue. He owns that chant.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, July 19th, 6:00 here in New York.

What a week we've had --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's only been a week?

CAMEROTA: -- and it's only just beginning to be Friday.

BERMAN: I know.

CAMEROTA: So, to begin with, we have breaking news for you.

CNN has learned the game plan for House Democrats to.

END