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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; Can Trump Help Rapper; Hong Kong Protesters Clash With Police; Trump Negotiates For A$AP Rocky's Release; The Lion King Breaks Records; Trump Surprises Wedding Couple At His New Jersey Golf Club; Cop Steers Party In Memorable Direction; CNN Business. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 22, 2019 - 04:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: The biggest protests yet expected today. The governor of Puerto Rico will not seek another term, but millions demand he leave sooner.


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


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: Democrats raising the stakes ahead of Robert Mueller's testimony this week. Will it help or hurt the push for impeachment?


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


ROMANS: A British vessel seized after being warned by Iran to change course, the U.K. now vowing a robust response.

BRIGGS: 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 back to Early Start on a much cooler Monday. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Yes, the AC in here feels good for once. I'm Christine Romans, 32 minutes past the hour here in New York. Let's begin in Puerto Rico though. A major change is coming to Puerto Rico. Not just yet. Embattled Governor Ricardo Rossello announcing he will not run for re-election next year.


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.


ROMANS: In response to a week now of huge protests with another big one set for today, Rossello is resigning as president of the new progressive Party.

BRIGGS: Many Puerto Ricans had been calling for him to step down entirely after the leak of sexes 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 in San Juan with the latest.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Christine, a bizarre strange 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. Were 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 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?


[04:35:00] ROMANS: All right. Thanks for that. Nick Payton Walsh.

Dramatic new audio capturing communications between Iranian and British ships in the Persian Gulf moments before the Iranians seized the British tanker. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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


ROMANS: Alter your course. A royal navy warship in the region to protect British vessels telling the crew aboard the (inaudible) that the Iranian revolutionary guard crew has no business telling them what to do.


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


BRIGGS: Iran 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 very critical waterway for trade, oil and gas.

And Senior International Correspondent, Matthew Chance is live in the UAE along the Strait for us this morning. Matthew, good morning.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. And I'm just a few miles away from the exact point in the Persian Gulf region, the Strait of Hormuz where that British flag oil tanker, the Stena Impero was seized by Iranian Special Forces of their Revolutionary Guard. Dramatic images broadcast on Iranian television of the actual operations taking place.

The British are absolutely furious. They've promised robust action. Exactly what that means though, not clear yet. There are high-level meetings in Britain right now to discuss what the way forward should be. Will it be sanctions, will it be other kinds of measures that can help secure the release of this British flag oil tanker.

Already the British have said they're deploying a second warship to the Persian Gulf region to bolster their forces here and to provide additional protection to British flag ships presence, but there are other measures being considered as well, including convoys, international convoys to protect shipping through this key strategic artery for oil exports out of this Middle Eastern oil producing region, including the United States potentially being involved in this.

Now, when you set this incidence against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, it looks all the more dangerous. The Iranian Foreign Minister has done that. Setting it into that context saying that United States is responsible for trying to draw Britain into a conflict of broader regional conflict alongside the United States against Iran. And so, that's something that is of deep concern as well. Meanwhile,

in a parallel developments, Iran has said that is has broken up a spy ring operated by the CIA. It said that 17 people have been arrested. Some of it, it says, will be executed. Some of them won't be. And so that is another developing story that we're looking at coming out of Iran. As these tensions in the Persian Gulf region, these tensions in the U.S. and Iran get to new heights it seems every day. Dave?

BRIGGS: That latest reporting would be a massive escalation. Matthew Chance live for us near the Strait of Hormuz. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Back here in the U.S. For 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.


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


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


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.


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 that this pending deal would extend the debt ceiling and set new spending limits for two years. The White House has demanded $150 billion in spending cuts, this agreement does not go that far. But we don't know exactly how much would be cut here, it has not been revealed yet.

[04:40:06] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke several times over the weekend as this August recess looms. Here's what Chuck Schumer -- Senator Chuck Schumer said about the negotiations.


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.


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

BRIGGS: President Trump is refusing to stop the attacks on four minority congresswomen and his top aides are not only defending him, they are preparing everyone for more of the same throughout the 2020 campaign.

On Sunday the president tweeting, quote, I don't believe the four congressmen are capable of loving our country. They should apologize to America. Trump advisor Steven Miller leaving no doubt the attacks on the women are part of the president's re-election strategy.


There's a gigantic, enormous distinction between Donald Trump saying I'm going to get on the world stage and put America first at every single thing we do. Those of you that says, America should never come first, and Americans citizen should never come first, which is their view and that's where we are going to take to develop us.

ROMANS: Vice President Mike Pence was asked about these chants at a Trump rally last week. Those chants targeting Somali-born Congresswomen Ilhan Omar.




PENCE: That he wasn't happy about it, and that if it happened again he might -- he'd make an effort to speak out about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will make an effort to speak out?

PENCE: That is what he has already said.


ROMANS: The strategy and those who defend it leaving black lawmakers fed up.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): This is a guy who is worse than a racist. He is actually using racist tropes and racial language for political gaining. He is trying to use this as a weapon to divide our nation against itself.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): We were trying to integrate an Olympic sized pool near my House, I was beaten and all kinds of rocks and bottles thrown at me. And the interesting thing is that I heard the same kind of chants. Go home. You don't belong here. When the president does these things, it brings up the same feelings that I had over 50 some years ago.


ROMANS: According to the latest CBS news poll, 48 percent of Americans believe the president's tweets are racist, 34 percent say, they are not.

BRIGGS: A brutal heat wave, straining power grids over the weekend. Overnight, up to 53,000 people customers in New York City were without lights or air conditioning at one point. That number 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. In Detroit severe storms left damage and 290,000 customers without power. The high temps blamed for two deaths. Heatstroke failed former NFL player 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: All right. I'll take it.

BRIGGS: That we can have.

ROMANS: That's a cool down.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, an American rapper held in Sweden on assault charges. Now the president is getting involved. CNN live in Sweden with the latest.


ROMANS: Welcome back, 45 people hospitalized in Hong Kong after a mob of men attacked commuters at a suburban train station. Officials have not identified the attackers, but one man is in critical condition, the attacks by men wearing white shirts coming hours after mass protests in the Shun Juan (ph) area, police using tear gas and rubber bullets on several thousands of people protesting a controversial extradition bill and Beijing's grip on the city. The protest was mostly peaceful until a group of younger demonstrators formed a line and defied police who are trying to clear the streets.

BRIGGS: A$AP Rocky remains in a Swedish jail this morning accused of assault and now President Trump is trying to intervene on the rapper's behalf, but when it comes to influencing the Swed's he doesn't seem to have much cloud just yet.

Melissa Bell live from Stockholm with the latest. Melissa, good morning.

[04:50:09] MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, we've heard from the spokesman of the Swedish Prime Minister who confirmed that firm call between the American president and the Swedish Prime Minister had taken place. It had been 20 minutes long, friendly and respectful, but of course it will not change a thing, Dave, because what the Swedish Prime Minister told Donald Trump is that he would not and could not seek to interfere in what is an independent judiciary.

And what that means is that A$AP Rocky spent last night, his 19th night in this prison in Stockholm. The other particular in the Swedish system, Dave, and an interesting one I think for Americans, a very different one from the American system is that there is no bail system here at all. So, while the events of the 30th of June, that brawl that we've seen those images of are investigated, he remains here until the prosecutor decide whether to bring charges or not.

Interestingly though, the Swedish man who is involved in the brawl remains free. And that is because the Swedish judiciary decided that he was not a flight risk. So, for now A$AP Rocky remains here. The prosecutor has until Thursday to decide whether she wants to bring charges, whether she wants to release him, or whether she decides the investigation still will take some more time and, therefore, that he needs to stay here.

And what that means is that essentially both from the politicians and from the judiciary, because we reached out to the prosecuting authority yesterday who said, look, we're not going to be influenced at all. But politicians have to say or any tweets at all. So, no presidential tweets from Donald Trump, no amounts of phone calls are going to change what happens to A$AP Rocky from here on in.

BRIGGS: Interesting case for the president who involved himself. Melissa Bell. Great reporting for us, live this morning, the alliance behind the president, Justin Bieber, Kanye, some interesting threesome, Bieber, Kanye, Trump.

ROMANS: But it wasn't just Bieber who said, you know, I appreciate you in trying to intervene on behalf of my friend, but what about the little kids who (inaudible).

BRIGGS: Well, that too.

ROMANS: All right. There's a new king in the box office. "The Lion King" roared pass expectations with a huge opening weekend. We got the details for you next.


BRIGGS: President Trump popping into a wedding reception at his golf club in New Jersey over the weekend, the appearance prompting the bride and groom to lead their guests in cheer. The groom, P.J. Mongelli, telling CNN they sent the president multiple invitations, but didn't know he would actually show up. Mr. Trump first dropped by the cocktail hour to meet the bride, Nicole Marie and other family members.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm the father. I'm the father. Thank you. Thank you so much.


BRIGGS: The couple got engaged at the same Trump golf club in November 2017.

ROMANS: All right. When a Texas police officer responded to a noise complaint, things got steered in a surprising and memorable direction.

The officer ended up riding a mechanical bull at the woman's 22nd birthday party. Officer, best of the Kilgore Police Department did ask party goers to turn down the music, before showing off his skills.

BRIGGS: He's pretty good at it, man. ROMANS: (Inaudible), stayed on for about 30 seconds. Then cheers and

high fives all around.

BRIGGS: Well done, sir. With the holster, all the radio. Good work.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. First, speaking of bulls, let's take a look at markets around the world. European markets opening higher but, you know, some declines in Asian markets. On Wall Street futures up a little bit this morning. Stocks have been resilient this month. The DOW is up 1.6 percent. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ also higher on the month. But really impressive are the year statistics.

The DOW 16 percent gain. The S&P 500 up almost 20 percent. The NASDAQ up 22 percent. A remarkable first half of the year. The question is how long can this last? There are a number of factors that could derail stock's momentum. The U.S. Debt ceiling is back in focus as lawmakers rushed to make a deal there. On the fed front investors are worried about the phase of rate cuts this year and whether they will really bring the desired boost in economic growth. There's also concern that the economy is becoming less resilient to the ongoing trade war with China.

Boeing, meantime, bracing for a disastrous earnings report. Southwest, American Airlines, United Airlines have all extended cancellations for several more months, because of the 737 Max grounding. That will likely hit Boeing's second quarter earnings.

Analysts are forecasting a more than 16 percent drop in sales from a year ago. Nearly 50 percent plunge in earnings per share. The question is how much worse will it get. It suspended its earnings guidance in April, after it reported a 21 percent decline in profit during the first court order. Boeing reports its results on Wednesday.

All right, take a guess at the number one movie over the weekend. "The Lion King," that is right, roared into the top spot making an estimated $531 million buck worldwide in 10 days released. The film is the ninth highest grossing opening ever. The biggest opening for the month of July and for a PG rated film. "The Lion King" is also the second highest grossing opening of the year behind these guys.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the fight of our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to work, Steve.


ROMANS: "Avengers".