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Britain Gets A New Prime Minister; Massive Protests In Puerto Rico; Department of Justice Issues Warning To Robert Mueller. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 23, 2019 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:49] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The U.K. will announce a new prime minister this morning. Big changes could be in store if Boris Johnson gets the job.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets of Puerto Rico blocking a major expressway and launching an island-wide strike to demand the governor's resignation.

BRIGGS: "Stay in your lane." The DOJ warns Robert Mueller not to stray from his report when he testifies tomorrow.

ROMANS: And, vaping is as bad as cigarettes. The FDA hopes magic will keep teens from picking up the habit.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Some important ads ahead.

I'm Dave Briggs. Good morning, everyone. Five thirty-one Eastern time on a Tuesday.

We start in the U.K. where it is a pivotal day -- Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt. Next hour, a new prime minister will be announced but a number of government ministers are pledging to resign if Johnson, a polarizing front-runner, wins -- and that list continues to grow.

Nic Robertson joining us live from 10 Downing Street with the latest. Good morning, sir.

Who is Boris Johnson and why are so many suggesting this could be trouble?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: They're suggesting it could be trouble because Boris Johnson has a checkered past and a problem with the truth.

He comes in, if it is him, facing huge challenges. Number one, rising tensions with Iran.

Secondly, Brexit has promised a do or die no-deal Brexit come the 31st of October. He wants a cabinet that will support him on that and this is why we're seeing so many senior cabinet members indicating that they will resign. Chief among them, if you will, Chancellor of the Exchequer, number 11 Downing Street, says he will leave before Theresa May leaves her job.

A member of an important minister within the foreign office stepped down yesterday and there are a couple of other cabinet members threatening to do the same because they do not support Boris Johnson if he goes ahead with a no-deal Brexit.

But who is he? We've seen him hanging on that high-wire -- that zip- wire in London. He kind of got marooned there waving those two little British Union Jack flags.

Johnson has that comedic, charismatic character, cajoling people, try to win them over, and that's one of the reasons, if it is him, that he will have been voted because he is so strong and so popular in so many ways.

He is an intellectual. He is very smart. His teachers found him to be one of the smartest in the class but always racing to do things at the last minute.

That said, he does have that trust deficit. He's lost two jobs -- one at the newspaper and one as a senior Conservative Party member over lies with the Conservative Party. Not telling the truth about an adulteress affair cost him those jobs.

Theresa May, in that last cabinet meeting right now. Many of the cabinet members wondering if Boris Johnson, if it is him, will keep them on. Those challenges are coming and if it is Boris Johnson, he will step over the threshold as prime minister in about 24 hours -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Will he, Nic -- or will he jetpack into where you're standing? Beware -- you never know how Boris makes an entrance there.

Thank you, Nic.

ROMANS: All right, to Puerto Rico now where hundreds of thousands of protesters taking to the streets blocking a major expressway, launching an island-wide strike to demand the resignation of the governor, Ricardo Rossello.

Singer Ricky Martin among the celebrities there in those demonstrations. A river of protesters flooding the street near the governor's mansion.

On Sunday, Rossello said he will not step down. He will not run again but he's not -- he's not leaving office. The embattled governor claiming he can regain the confidence of his people.


SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR, "SHEPARD SMITH REPORTING": Governor, who has come forward to support you in the middle of this chaos? GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO: There are folks that have supported me. There are folks that support the rule -- the rule of law.

SMITH: Who, specifically, is supporting you today?

ROSSELLO: There are people. You just have to --

SMITH: Could you give me one name?

ROSSELLO: -- see them. There is a protest. It's -- I've talked to people --

SMITH: Just one name, Governor.

ROSSELLO: -- from different groups. Well, a lot of people from the administration. People that have --

[05:35:00] SMITH: Governor, you're not able to give me the name of one person in Puerto Rico who supports you --


SMITH: -- continuing as governor? Is that correct?

ROSSELLO: I can. So, the mayor of San Sebastian, for example.


ROMANS: CNN asked the San Sebastian mayor, Javier Jimenez, if he, indeed supports Rossello. Jimenez called the governor's claim wrong and mentioned the impeachment process.

We've got more this morning from Nick Paton Walsh. He's in San Juan for us.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Christine, Monday started peacefully with hundreds of thousands of people blocking an expressway, sending the message they wanted to. But then, frankly, they changed direction and a small number of them ended up here in front of the governor's mansion. And as you can see now, the police have had to move in to clear them out.

There was a smaller number of protesters. Some turned up wearing masks, others were simply peacefully dancing.

And an altercation began with the police. Some of the protesters throwing what seemed like water bottles initially. Ranks of police changed -- you can see them behind me here -- and then tear gas was fired by the police to disperse the crowd after they used a number of warnings to try and move the protesters on.

That led to them being chased through the streets by some of the units you can see here. And they also -- a continued sense of a standoff here in Old San Juan.

So many had hoped that today would go peacefully but protesters had wanted their message of unity to try and change Gov. Ricardo Rossello's mind to get him to step down immediately. Now you have these ugly scenes, frankly, where it will feed into the protesters' narrative that they face a brutal, corrupt government here, and feed into the government's narrative that they have hardcore elements in the protests who won't accept political compromise -- Dave, Christine.


BRIGGS: 'Ricky Renuncia' the charge there. Thank you, Nick.

The Justice Department with guidance for Robert Mueller on the eve of his crucial testimony before two House committees. Mueller being warned by the DOJ to, quote, "remain within the boundaries of his written report." In other words, don't say anything you have not already said.

So why is the Justice Department cautioning Mueller, who has already suggested he's not planning any surprises?


ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony.


ROMANS: All right, "CNN POLITICS" reporter Jeremy Herb joins us live now from Washington. Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.


ROMANS: You've written an excellent piece that we should tweet out because everyone should read this morning as we head into the next couple of days -- "10 things to watch about the Mueller testimony."

And the very first item on your list is what kind of witness will Mueller be? You know, we've seen him in action in the past. He's got a long history on Capitol Hill appearing before various committees.

And we've made a little mash-up for you of just sort of his style -- listen.


MUELLER: I hesitate to speculate.

I'm reluctant to speculate. So, I'd hesitate to do that.

Unfortunately, Congressman, I don't think it appropriate to speculate.

I really hesitate to comment on other issues.


ROMANS: Are we going to hear language like that, do you think, from Robert Mueller when he goes in front of these committees, especially since the DOJ has said stay within the confines of the report?

HERB: Yes, I think that's a pretty safe bet we will hear quite a bit of that.

And the DOJ letter that we saw last night just reiterates the fact that Mueller has said that his report is his testimony. He didn't want to even have this hearing at all. He hoped the public statement that he gave in May would be the end of it.

Obviously, Congress had other ideas and wants him now to come in, and Democrats are hoping that that will be enough for them. That as long as Mueller will talk about what's in the report, will lay out the episodes of potential obstruction of justice that are in there, talk about the Russian contacts between the Russians and members of Trump's team, that will be enough to sway public opinion even if he doesn't go beyond the report.

It doesn't mean they're not going to ask those questions. I think we'll hear some Democrats try --

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

HERB: -- and get him to talk about whether or not the president committed a crime if he wasn't president. But I think that the "no comments" and the "not speculates" --


HERB: -- we're going to hear quite a bit of that.

BRIGGS: And we'll get more into this letter in a moment.

But what do you mean Democrats hope that would be enough? Enough for impeachment? Only 80 House Democrats support impeachment.

And let's just assume because we hope they've all read the Mueller report -- so him reading it aloud, why would that change anything? Is this about 2020 or is that about impeachment?

HERB: I think for a lot of Democrats, this is kind of a make or break moment when it comes to impeachment. They're hoping that the public opinion will sway as a result of Mueller's testimony. They feel that most of the public didn't actually read this very dense, 448-page report. But if they see Mueller talking about these episodes on television, that will actually be enough to move the needle and move some of the more reluctant and vulnerable Democrats.

BRIGGS: I see what you're saying, it's just that impeachment should be about high crimes and misdemeanors, not about public sentiment. But we never know what's going to come out of this.

[05:40:00] ROMANS: But, I mean, you point -- you point out that the Democrats can really try to focus on specific obstruction incidents to try to -- to try to paint --

BRIGGS: Eleven of them in here.

ROMANS: -- to paint the picture, right? To try to really paint the picture --

HERB: Right.

ROMANS: -- for that one sound bite. You know, the president's a T.V. president -- for that one sound bite that maybe captures the story.

HERB: Yes, and it's important to remember what Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has resisted these calls for impeachment, what she has said. She doesn't think impeachment is a good idea unless the public and Republicans are on board. And until public opinion shifts, I think you'll see the speaker and a lot of the Democrats who haven't joined their colleagues -- they're not going to get there.

Now, it still remains to be seen whether Mueller's testimony is enough. But the hope is that if Mueller is talking about those specific incidences -- and they have picked out five, in particular, they think will move that needle -- that that will be enough to sway public opinion.

BRIGGS: There is, of course, another side to this hearing. Jim Jordan and company will be aggressive in trying to shine daylight onto the --

ROMANS: The Republican side.

BRIGGS: -- origins of the investigation.

President Trump said he can't get another bite at the apple and Lindsey Graham, effectively, echoing that last night.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I think the apple is done. Most Americans were looking to Mueller to tell them what happened, not Nadler.

Do you think any fair-minded American believes that Nadler's out to get the truth? He's already convicted the president in his own mind. This is all about impeachment. If they impeach the president over the Mueller report, Trump will get reelected and we'll take the House and the Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: That's a bold prediction. The apple is done, though.

What are the Republicans after tomorrow?

HERB: Yes, you know, it's going to be real interesting to see that ping-pong back-and-forth between the Democrats trying to get Mueller to talk about the president's alleged crimes.

And the Republicans -- you know, they're going to try and poke holes and reiterate the fact that the report established there was not a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. I think we're going to see a lot of questions trying to get Mueller to say that out loud and make that the sound bite, as opposed to some of the more bites that the Democrats are looking for.

ROMANS: And whatever report -- whatever kind of pre-comments that he's going to present, as well, will be fascinating to parse.

HERB: Absolutely.

All right, Jeremy, nice to see you. Thank you so much. Again, everybody, his "10 things to watch in the Mueller testimony" a fantastic piece. Thank you, sir.

HERB: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

The Trump administration changing immigration rules to speed up deportations without a hearing before an immigration judge.

The new procedure will cover undocumented immigrants anywhere in the country who cannot prove they have lived here continuously for at least two years. Previously, this fast-track rule only covered undocumented immigrants caught within 100 miles of a land border and within two weeks of arrival.

The ACLU says it will challenge the plan in court.

BRIGGS: The raw emotion of the issue spilling out in Tennessee yesterday.

Neighbors and activists in Hermitage helping out a man and his 12- year-old child effectively trapped in their van by ICE agents. Neighbors brought water and gas and eventually formed a human chain surrounding the pair until they could get inside their home.

The ICE agents had a civil warrant, meaning they could not enter the van nor the house to arrest the man.

ROMANS: Three hundred thousand customers in the dark after violent storms in New Jersey. And we've got brand new flood watches this morning and warnings.


ROMANS: We'll tell you where.


[07:47:25] BRIGGS: A Facebook post suggesting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot costing two police officers in suburban New Orleans their jobs.

The post by Gretna, Louisiana Officer Charles Rispoli referred to the freshman Democrat as a, quote, "vile idiot." The officer, a 14-year veteran of the department, adding that she, quote, "needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve." That, a reference to AOC's past work as a bartender.

Officer Angelo Varisco, who liked the post, was also fired.

ROMANS: The post, by the way, was fake. It wasn't even -- it was a fake comment.

All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning.

The Boeing 737 MAX crisis beginning to affect the economy and weigh on economic growth.

Back in April, Boeing announced it was cutting back production on all 737s from 52 a month to 42. Now, economists say the cuts likely weighed on GDP in the second quarter. The impact could worsen if it's unable to resume deliveries.

Boeing is the largest U.S. manufacturing exporter. Its stock carries serious weight on the Dow. Stock down six percent since the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, shaving $15.7 billion off market cap.

The MAX is its best-selling plane and "The Wall Street Journal" reports jets worth more than $30 billion are sitting in warehouses since they were grounded around the world.

Extended cancellations from three major airlines not helping. It's just not clear when the MAX 8 will return to the air, and it's possible it could be grounded until late 2019 or early 2020.

Boeing reports its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday and second- quarter GDP (economic growth data) due on Friday.

Let's take a look at markets around the world. You've got Asian markets closing higher. European markets closing up, too.

On Wall Street, futures leaning higher here. Stocks finished slightly higher Monday still buoyed by hopes for an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. The European central bank expected to cut rates this week, as well.

The Dow closed 18 points higher. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both up a little bit.

The big question ahead of next week's Fed meeting, how big will the rate cut be? Trump Fed nominee Judy Shelton said she would have voted for a half-percentage point cut if she were on the board.

You know, Goldman Sachs has a report out that says it expects a small rate cut, but the economy is basically too strong to justify a bigger cut at this point.

All right. Two years, ago Equifax exposed 150 million Americans' personal data. Now it's going to pay millions to settle investigations from that breach.

Equifax will pay up to $700 million to state and federal regulators, the largest settlement ever paid for a data breach. About $425 million of that is going to go into a reimbursement fund to pay you back if you bought credit or identity monitoring services because of the breach.

[05:50:04] The deal also requires changes to how Equifax handles private user data.

According to the FTC, customers can't file a claim just yet. And, "The Wall Street Journal" says -- now, some consumers could be eligible for up to 20 grand if you count all the lost time. Like, $25 an hour for the lost time and money you've spent trying to fix your problems -- your identity problems.

Equifax did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

All right. Have you noticed your favorite stores while you're waiting for a flight? Brick and mortar stores are struggling and the retailers now are focusing on winning you at the airport. Brands are expanding in airports around the world to get travelers to buy impulsively while you're waiting around for your flight, and the move makes sense.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, global travel revenue, which includes duty-free sales, has tripled over the past 15 years to just about $70 billion. Beauty, skincare, and alcohol brands all focusing on airports and millennials, in particular, who are traveling more.

We'll be right back.


[05:55:32] BRIGGS: Foul play is expected in the death of a student at Ole Miss. Deputies on routine patrol found the body of 21-year-old Alexandria "Ally" Kostial near a lake in northern Mississippi on Saturday about 30 miles from Oxford.

According to the University of Mississippi's interim chancellor, she was working toward a bachelor's degree in marketing.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is assisting Lafayette County authorities on the case.

ROMANS: Three hundred thousand customers in the dark in New Jersey after violent thunderstorms. Restoration could take several days here. Flood watches and warnings are in effect in northern New Jersey this morning.

About 6,000 customers in the dark right now in New York City -- in Westchester -- including some customers who just got power back after a scorching weekend. Flash flood warnings issued in parts of both areas.

More than 140,000 customers in the metro Detroit area -- well, they've been without power since the weekend. DTE Energy says it expects to restore power by tomorrow.

BRIGGS: The first T.V. ads against teenage vaping are out, using magic to keep kids away from e-cigarettes.


JULIUS DEIN, STREET MAGICIAN: I'm going to put it into your hand. This is what I'm going to do, OK? Watch very carefully -- boom.


BRIGGS: The ad features street magician Julius Dein transforming an e-cigarette into a regular cigarette.

One cartridge, after all, contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.

This, all part of the FDA's $60 million "The Real Cost" prevention campaign. In 2018, the FDA revealed vaping increased nearly 80 percent among high schoolers and 50 percent among middle schoolers over the year before.

ROMANS: All right, if you're driving a van with more than $200 million worth of drugs on board -- oh, probably best not to crash into police cars. A man in Australia apparently did not get that memo, slamming the police cruiser -- into police cruisers parked in front of a station house in Sydney.

Police arrested the 28-year-old driver, seized the van and the cache of methamphetamine. He faces charges, including drug trafficking and negligent driving.

BRIGGS: Remember that guy we saw climb down a 19-story apartment building in Philadelphia last week? Well, he actually climbed up the building first and he did it to save his bedridden mom.

The man, identified only as Jermaine, says he tried to enter the burning building through the front door but police stopped him. So, adrenaline took over and he started climbing up the fenced-in apartment balconies.


REPORTER: Was she yelling at you because you climbed outside?

JERMAINE, CLIMBED UP OUTSIDE OF BURNING APARTMENT BUILDING TO 15TH FLOOR TO SAVE MOTHER: She was more shocked. She knows I go over and beyond for her. Your mom up there, you thinking she's dying, you do anything you can.


BRIGGS: Once he made it to mom, she told him she was OK and the fire was contained. Instead of just sticking around for dinner, Jermaine climbed down just as easily as he went up.

ROMANS: That is something.

All right. Now, we are getting our first look at Oscar winner Tom Hanks bringing kids T.V. icon Mr. Rogers to life on the big screen.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Singing "It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."


ROMANS: That's really uncanny -- it really is.

BRIGGS: It's fantastic.

ROMANS: Sony releasing the first trailer for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." The film loosely based on the 1998 "Esquire" article that described the effect Fred Rogers optimism and kindness had --


ROMANS: -- on millions of people. Oh, remember when?

The movie comes out just --


ROMANS: -- before Thanksgiving.

I think Tom Hanks -- honestly, he could do anything. He could play anything.

BRIGGS: Nothing he cannot do.

ROMANS: Unbelievable.

All right, thanks for joining us.

BRIGGS: I can't wait for that.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Kindness and optimism.

BRIGGS: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood -- not this one, but hopefully, in your neighborhood.

I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A letter from the Justice Department seems to be a warning to Robert Mueller that they do not want any surprises.

REP. MARK WALKER (R-NC): Mueller, unlike Comey, is someone that may stick to the script as opposed to seeking the spotlight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't the first witness they've attempted to intimidate. It's just the one who has the most credibility.

ROSSELLO: My effort and my commitment is to follow through on efforts that I established for the people of Puerto Rico.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am fed up with corruption.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to fire tear gas and here it comes, here it comes.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 23rd.