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EARLY START

Puerto Rico Gov. Won't Run Again; Democrats Raise The Stakes; Tensions Mounting With Iran; Holy Moly It Was Shot; Deal On Budget Debt Ceiling Taking Shape; Trump White House; Severe Weather; Boris Johnson Emerges As British Prime Minister Favorite; Vatican Crypt Site Of Cold-Case Search; Long-time Manhattan Da Morgenthau Dies At 99; Oregon Law Excuses Student Mental Health Days; Three Of Four Juvenile Escapees Are Captured; Great White Leaps Out In The Water In Cape Cod Bay; Turkey Breaks Through Window In Utah Home; Hall Of Fame Class Of 2019 Inducted Into Cooperstown. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 22, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: A scandal plagued governor of Puerto Rico will not seek another term, but millions are demanding he leave sooner.

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REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

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CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Democrats raise the stakes ahead of Robert Mueller's testimony this week. Will the testimony help or hurt the push for impeachment?

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey. You will be saved. If you obey, you will be safe. Alter your course.

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BRIGGS: A British vessel seized after being warned by Iran to change course. The U.K. is vowing a robust response.

ROMANS: And power still out for thousands in New York and Detroit. No air conditioning on one of the hottest, most unbearable weekends in memory comes to a close. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Welcome back my friend.

ROMANS: Thank you.

BRIGGS: It was a hot and wicked Sunday.

ROMANS: Yes, it was.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Happy Monday everybody, July 22, 4:00 a.m. here in New York, noon in the UAE, 9:00 a.m. in the U.K. Live reports ahead. We start this morning in Puerto Rico where a major change is coming, but not just yet. Embattled Governor Ricardo Rossello announcing he will not run for reelection next year.

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RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR (through translator): I have listened to every Puerto Rican and I listen to you today. I've made mistakes and I've apologized. I admit that apologizing is not enough. Only my work will help restore the confidence of these sectors and lead to a true reconciliation.

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BRIGGS: In response to a huge week now of huge protests, Rossello is resigning as president of the new Progressive Party.

ROMANS: Many Puerto Ricans had been calling for him to step down entirely after the leak of sex's and homophobic private chat messages with his inner circle. Protesters also say government corruption is undermining efforts to deal with high poverty rates, crushing debt and the aftermath of hurricane Maria. CNN's Nick Payton Walsh is in San Juan for us with the latest.

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NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Christine. A bizarre statement really from Governor Rossello. On (inaudible) really that he would step forward on Facebook, at 5:45, the day before a massive protests against him Monday, where organizers hope they get a million people out of the streets and saying he is not resigning. Now there was a minor concession in his Facebook broadcast in which he said, he was not going to be contesting the election next year. But all honesty he was very unlikely to win those in the first place.

So, essentially, many are reading this behind me as the governor digging in his heels. They want him gone immediately, there are actions from people behind me wants to say, listen, this man has to get out. They think this will boost the numbers on the streets on Monday.

One of the key goals is to lock down a major expressway into San Juan. The mall around are closed. Federal government offices are closed. The Justice Department is telling local employees still to come into work, but there's a real sense now that Governor Rossello is perhaps blind to call some Democratic candidacy.

He should leave, even the message possibly a (inaudible) from his press secretary, she stepped down. Nowhere to be associated with the corruption allegations like (Inaudible), in front of her sons, she said in a lengthy letter. But it hasn't changed his mind. Well, the protest on Monday will do so, we will have to see. Dave, Christine?

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BRIGGS: All right. Nick Payton Walsh there in Puerto Rico.

Some dramatic new audio capturing communications between Iranian and British ships in the Persian Gulf moments before the Iranians seized the British tanker.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be save. If you obey, you will be save. Alter your course.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A royal navy warship in the region to protect British vessels telling the crew aboard the Stena Impero that the Iranian revolutionary guard crew had no business telling them what to do.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I reiterate that as you are conducting transit passage in a recognize international strait, under international law your passage must not be impaired.

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BRIGGS: Iran for its part said it detained the British tanker for unspecified violations of maritime law. The crew of 23 are still being held, this is just the latest escalations in the Strait of Hormuz. A critical waterway for trade, oil and gas. Senior International Correspondent, Matthew Chance is in the UAE along the Strait and joins us with the latest. Matthew, good morning.

[04:05:00] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All right. Good morning, Dave. We're just a short distance from the exact spot where that British flag oil tanker was taken into Iranian custody and seized in a dramatic scenes that actually Iranian state television broadcast all over its country showing Iranians Special Forces Revolutionary Guards boarding the ship wearing black (inaudible) descending from the helicopter hovering above it while fast patrol boats circled the British flag oil tanker.

Also those dramatic radio communications that are intercepted that show a confrontation, at least on the air waves, between a British military war ship and the Iranian navy. They can't do anything though the British to stop that oil tanker being taken into Iranian custody. The British promised robust responses to this Iranian action.

What exactly that will be, we are not clear yet, it's going to be meetings later on today in London among British high officials to discuss what measures they're going to take. The possibility of sanctions is there, of course, as is the possibility of some kind of international effort to protect shipping in this Persian Gulf region with assets, including assets from the United States. So, that is something that is being actively discussed as well. In the meantime, the Iranian Foreign Minister has accused the United

States of trying to draw Britain into a conflict in the region. This latest incident, of course, you got to set it against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the United States and Iran which has seen growing military pressure in the region. Including the downing of drones by both countries of either side. And so this is a very dangerous moment. The tensions in the Persian Gulf region really start to ratchet up to dangerous levels, Dave.

BRIGGS: So, we shall see what robust means. Matthew Chance live there in the UAE this morning. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. The Democrats who want to launch impeachment proceedings against the president, this could be a make or break week. Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress on Wednesday. And Democrats, they've struggle to effectively used his reports to make their case. Mueller made it clear in May that charging President Trump was never an option he could consider, but he refused to exonerate him.

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ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.

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BRIGGS: Mueller will appear before the House Intel and Judiciary Committee. Here's what the two chair men are hoping to achieve.

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NADLER: The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanor. And we have to present or that Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Since most Americans are -- you know, in their busy lives haven't had the opportunity to read that report and it's a pretty dry prosecutorial work product. We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life. Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigations himself? We want the people to hear it directly from him, not filtered through Bill Barr who had his own misleading characterization of it.

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BRIGGS: More than 80 House Democrats have called for an impeachment inquiry of the president, but the American people may not have the stomach for it, according to a new NBC News Wall Street Journal poll, half of registered voters say forget the hearings and let the president finish his term.

ROMANS: All right. A deal on the budget on the debt ceiling appears to be taking shape, but still needs President Trump's approval. The Washington Post reporting this morning that pending deal would extend the debt ceiling and set new spending levels for two years.

Now instead of the $150 billion in new spending cuts, recently demanded by the White House this agreement would include fewer reductions but and an exact figure could not be learned. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke several times over the weekend as that August recess looms. Here's what Senator Chuck Schumer said about the negotiations.

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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: We're willing to go a good ways, but the bottom line is the administration has to compromise as well. It seems when Mr. Mulvaney gets involved, they ask for things that are outlandish. He was one of five congressmen who wanted to shut down the government a few years ago. I'm hopeful that (inaudible) can prevail and we can come together. We are making progress, but we are not there yet.

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ROMANS: The bottom-line simple here, every day there is less time in getting a deal locked in becomes more essential. The U.S. Government could default on its debt in early September if the debt ceiling is not raise. A default would of course risk the position of U.S. debt as a global safe haven investment and could rattle markets.

BRIGGS: All right. A brutal heat wave, straining the power grids over the weekend. Overnight, up to 53,000 customers in New York City were without lights or air conditioning at one point. That number is now cut by about a half. Con Ed said it took about 33,000 customers in Brooklyn off the grid deliberately to protect vital equipment.

[04:10:00] Meanwhile in Detroit severe storms left damage and 290,000 customers without power. The high temps blamed for two deaths. Heatstroke failed former NFL player Mitch Petras in Arkansas and an unidentified woman hiking in Maryland. For a look of the week ahead, let's bring in meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, guys. Finally getting a break in that forecast over the next couple of days after the upper 90's and low 100's across the Northeast, LaGuardia, Atlantic City, in and across places such as Bridgeport, Connecticut, temps climbing up to even 99 or 100 degrees across portions of town. All of these either setting or tying records, climatologically speaking, it is that latter portion of July into early August where we see the hottest temperatures of the year.

In fact, first time ever we've seen Boston have two days that failed to see temps dip below 80 degrees into the overnight hours. That was Saturday and Sunday morning. Low on Sunday morning in Boston, an incredible 83 degree afternoon. What if I tell you we don't make it there by this afternoon? High's only expected to 81, upper 90's. What we saw yesterday and of course, you factor in the humidity yesterday felt well warmer in that as well.

New York City is 100 gives way to 84 today, but notice we do have a few active areas of thunderstorms forecast to move in later on this afternoon and this evening. So, that will help keep your temperatures at bay. Throughout the next couple of days we will see a gradual warming trend, but really, the highest we get is about 87 degrees by late week, guys.

ROMANS: Eight seven, I can take -- I can handle that.

BRIGGS: Its' a little bit more.

ROMANS: All right, 11 minutes past the hour here. A big transition coming in the U.K. It looks like the Donald Trump Britain is now about to be Prime Minister. What it means for Brexit and relations with the United Kingdom.

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ROMANS: The most divisive politician in Britain is just days away from fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming Britain's next Prime Minister. If polls are an indication, Boris Johnson's is the odds on favorite and his bid for power could make the Brexit mess even messier. Is that even possible? CNN's Nina Dos Santos is live in London with the latest. Nina?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Christine. Yes, well, as if things could not get any messier, what we've had over the course of the weekend is people are saying, look, if Boris Johnson does become the next Prime Minister, which is looking highly likely at this point. Well, allies of Theresa May pleading for Chancellor of Exchequer, a de facto Finance Minister here in the U.K., the second most senior member of the cabinet have said, they will resign and agitate potentially to bring down the government and to precipitate a new election from the back benches.

That kind of message wasn't just delivered in the Sunday newspapers for the likes of Phillip Hammond, the Finance Minister also the justice secretary and other key members of the cabinet have said they are not willing to serve under a Boris Johnson premiership.

Theresa May will be hosting her last cabinet meeting in office later on today. She is also got to deal with some emergency cobra meetings. These are the special meetings to deal with emergency security situations and to be sharing one of those on the situation in the Gulf. That are the Steno Impero, the tanker that has been seized by Iran.

But this is obviously a time of huge change. Boris Johnson still emerging as the favorite. And the polls and the ballots will be finished in terms of the ability of Conservative Party members to cast their ballots in about 10 hours from now. So later on today we'll know who will be entering number 10 Downing Street. Will it be Boris Johnson or will it be Jeremy Hunt? Christine?

ROMANS: Interesting. All right, Nina, thank you so much for following that for us. Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. An anonymous tip in a cold case investigation into what happened to a 15-year-old girl who disappeared at the Vatican more than 30 years ago. Investigators hunting for Emmanuela Orlandi, the daughter of Vatican employee who vanished in 1983 on her way home from a music lesson.

The tip led to a crypt in the Teutonic College near St. Peter's and an (inaudible) of crypt for bones beneath its floor. Officials say thousands of bones and bone fragments are being sorted by age. Any recent ones will be DNA tested. The Vatican touting its openness toward the Orlandi family for agreeing to investigations based on only an anonymous tip.

ROMANS: All right. Fathers and sons out fishing, they got a fish to bite, but they weren't the only ones in pursuit.

[04:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back. Long-time Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau has died. He was 99. He was a World War II, a Navy hero, served as U.S. Attorney in the 1960's before a legendary 34 year run as District Attorney. He prosecuted mobsters, crooked politicians, white collar criminals. Morgenthau served until he was 90 years old. A close friend of the Kennedy's, he was at Robert F. Kennedy's side when the call came in that JFK had been shot in Dallas. Morgenthau is survived by his wife, Pulitzer Prize winning author, Lucinda Franks and his five children.

BRIGGS: Oregon is adopting a new law that excuses absences from public schools for mental health days. They are measure treats them just like sick days. The law is believed to be the first of its kind to address mental health and physical health equally. The bill was suggested by students who are inspired by the Parkland student activist. It's designed to encourage kids to admit when they're struggling. Suicide is Oregon's second leading cause of death in the 10 to 34 age bracket.

ROMANS: Three of the four inmates that escaped from a juvenile detention facility in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend have been recaptured, 17-year-old Davian Baldwin, 16-year old, Taiwan Monroe and 17 year old Marcus Ledbetter are back behind bars this morning. The fourth 16-year-old is Taja Bings is still at large. Jacksonville police say the inmates staged a fight in their room Saturday night and then attacked staff members who responded. They fled the facility in a car stolen from one of the staff. The car had (inaudible) plates.

RICHARDSON: A group of fathers and sons out on a weekend fishing trip on Cape Cod Bay got a much bigger bite than they ever anticipated.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good one. Oh, no!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got it on video. I got it on video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get it? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

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BRIGGS: That, in case you missed it, was a great white shark leaping out of the water next to the boat and stealing a fish right off of one boy's line.

[04:25:06] Great white sharks actually make their home in Cape Cod Bay. This summer though is sheer number of them and their proximity to humans has confounded researchers and beach goers alike. There have been more than a dozen close calls near the bay since late last month.

ROMANS: That is something. All right. Police in Utah may have thought something foul was afoot. When they responded to a call of a burglary in progress on Saturday when they arrived at the home they realized just how right they were. Turns out the culprit was a Turkey who had broken through the window. A neighbor ahead called police think he was a burglar, because the homeowner was away. Officials say the suspect suffered major injuries during this break-in.

BRIGGS: Baseball's hall of fame class of 2019 officially inducted into Cooperstown at a ceremony, Sunday. Hale Banes, Edgar Martinez, Mike Musinan, Elise Smith (ph) among the six player class, of course, led by the legendary Mariano Rivera. The Yankee is the first unanimous choice for the Hall of Fame in baseball history. In his speech, he joked about always having to be the one to finish.

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MARIANO RIVERA, HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019: First of all, I don't understand why I always have to be the last. I keep saying that for the last 20 years, but I guess being the last one was so special.

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BRIGGS: The sixth member of the Hall of Fame class of 2019, the late pitching great Ray Halladey, who died in a plane crash in 2017, his wife Brandy there to give an emotional speech in his honor.

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BRANDY HALLADEY, WIDOW: Ray would want everyone to know that people are not perfect. We are all imperfect and flawed in one way or another. We all struggle, but with hard work, humility and dedication, imperfect people can still have perfect moments. He was a great coach, a nervous husband and father only because he is so desperately wanted to be as great and successful at home as he was in baseball.

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BRIGGS: She did a great job. Wonderful job by Brandy there. Doc, we'll miss you. ROMANS: All right. A million people expected to protest the scandal

plagued governor of Puerto Rico, he is refusing to step down, but he won't seek another term.

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