Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

CNN Democratic Debate #1, Tonight at 8PM; Hacker Arrested in Huge Capital One Data Breach; FBI Surging Resources to Gilroy to Assist with Investigation; Trump Escalates Attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings; U.S. Teens Charged in Stabbing Death of Italian Officer. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 30, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:19] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The final countdown to the CNN debate, first ten Democrats take the stage to faceoff tonight.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And the search for answers after the Gilroy shooting. What investigators know about the alleged gunman.

ROMANS: New details on two American teens arrested in Italy. Detectives trace the knife they say was used to kill a police officer.

SANCHEZ: Plus, Capital One hacked, 100 million accounts compromised and one of the biggest data breaches ever.

ROMANS: What's in your wallet?

SANCHEZ: Maybe fraud.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Nice to have you today.

I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, July 30th. It is 4:00 a.m. in New York, 10:00 a.m. in Rome.

It's now just hours to go until the start of the CNN debates, clashes among two fields of ten presidential candidates each that could reshape the Democratic race. On the eve of the debates shows Joe Biden bouncing back to 34 percent, roughly his share before the first debate. And Biden has done it almost entirely at the expense of Senator Kamala Harris who had polled to a statistical tie with the former vice president after the earlier debate.

And with President Trump injecting race and racism into the campaign now as never before, note Biden has 53 percent among black Democrats, more than twice the share of all other candidates combined. But when Democrats were asked who has the best policy ideas, it was Senator Elizabeth Warren. They picked Warren over Biden by five points.

SANCHEZ: And tonight's lineup includes three of the frontrunners: Senator Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg.

Yesterday, Warren actually declined a chance to criticize her colleague Bernie Sanders ahead of the debate. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie and I have been friends forever. We all have a chance to talk about our vision for America, to talk about our plans for America, to talk about how we see building a future in this country. And that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to talk about my plans to make this America work, not just for a thin slice at the top but make it work for everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: We'll see if that friendly tone continues tonight.

Senator Sanders spent part of a day before the debate teaming up with rap artist Cardi B to shoot a video.

He talked exclusively to CNN about that afterward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What Cardi B does is not only is she an enormously popular entertainer, what she's doing is speaking to young people about the important issues that are on their minds and I applaud that very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: We also heard from Pete Buttigieg who was talking to CNN's Chris Cuomo last night about how he's going to convey that he has the nerve to take on President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not scared of this president. I mean, this is a guy who was working on season 7 of "Celebrity Apprentice" when I was driving armored vehicle cars outside the wire in Afghanistan. I'm not afraid to take him on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: It's two big nights of CNN Democratic presidential debates. Ten candidates each night, starting at 8:00 p.m. tonight. Live from Detroit, right here only on CNN.

ROMANS: All right. In one of the biggest data breaches ever. A hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customer accounts and credit card information. Paige Thompson is accused of breaking into a Capitol One server, gaining access to 140,000 Social Security numbers, a million Canadian social insurance numbers, and 80,000 bank account numbers. She also accessed an undisclosed number of names, addresses, credit scores, credit limits, balances and other information. That's according to the Department of Justice.

According to authorities, she had worked as a tech company software engineer for the cloud hosting company Capital One was using. Capital One said the hack happened March 22nd, and 23rd, and it found and fixed the vulnerability, adding the largest category information accessed was credit card application, get this, from 2005 to early 2019.

Bank said no credit card numbers or log-in credentials was compromised. Thompson was arrested Monday in connection with the breach. Her attorney could not be immediately be reached for a comment. Capital One said it will notify you, it will notify you if you're affected, and will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available. The bank is still investigating this incident.

SANCHEZ: We're learning more this morning about the three people who died in Sunday's shooting rampage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Trevor Irby was a 2017 graduate of Keuka College in Central New York. His family says the 25-year-old moved to California to be with his fiancee. Another victim, Keyla Salazar, was a 13-year-old from San Jose.

[04:05:01] And the youngest victim, 6-year-old, Steven Romero, who was playing in a bounce house with his mother and grandmother when all three of them were shot. Alberto Romero, his father, said he got a panic call from his wife and raced to the hospital.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALBERTO ROMERO, 6-YEAR-OLD VICTIM'S FATHER: I can't believe what was happening. What she was saying I thought was a lie. Maybe I was dreaming. They told me he's in critical condition and they were working on him. Five minutes later, they told me that he was dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Romero's wife and mother in law, fortunately, both survived their injuries.

ROMANS: Police say the 19-year-old gunman who opened fire there created an Instagram account days before the shooting and posted two messages shortly before the attack. One of those messages quoted a book from the late 1800s that said white men must rule over those of color.

Josh Campbell has the latest on the investigation from Gilroy, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Christine and Boris, another week, another incident of mass violence here in the United States. This one taking place here in Gilroy, California.

We're told by authorities that on Sunday afternoon a 19-year-old local resident made his way to the grounds behind me. This was the site of an annual festival some four decades old. Officers telling us that using a tool, the suspect was able to cut his way through a fence and bypassing security protocols that were in place. Once inside, he opened fire. Now, he was quickly engaged by law enforcement officers. Within the

span of one minute, he was killed, but not before taking life of his own to include two children.

Now, this remains an ongoing investigation. There are many threads here, to include the weaponry. We're told by officials that this was an AK-47 style rifle which we've seen in a number of incidents in the United States involving the mass loss of life. We're told that the weapon was purchased legally in nearby Nevada and brought here to California.

One other thread officers are looking at is whether this person had any assistance. There were witness accounts perhaps that there was an accomplice. That's something officers continue to run down as we speak.

Finally, we're hearing from the FBI that they are surging resources from around the country to this location to assist with this investigation, specifically we're told bringing in victims specialists to assist with those who made an impact, and as well as forensic examiners.

We're told that this is a massive crime scene behind us. A large plot of territory they have to go over and comb over in order to find, spend rounds, and look for any evidence that they can use to track the shooter and his movements on the day of the attack. Again, multi investigation continues, even as citizens of this community continue to grieve on the strategy that struck them here Sunday afternoon -- Christine and Boris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: U.S. arms will continue flowing to the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The Senate on Monday failed to override President Trump's veto of resolutions, banning arm sales to the Saudis and the UAE. The resolutions initially passed Congress with bipartisan support. The override vote comes two months after the administration used an emergency declaration to bypass Congress and expedite billions in arm sales.

The White House says it needed to deter what it called Iran's malign influence in the Middle East.

ROMANS: Asylum claims for some migrants will be harder to make under a new decision by Attorney General William Barr. Barr moving to end asylum protections for migrants based solely on having relatives who are prosecuted. Barr overturned a 2018 Justice Department ruling that said a Mexican migrant whose father was targeted by a drug cartel could be eligible for asylum. President Trump has sought to restrict access to asylum, which the administration views as a magnet, drawing migrants north from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, to the U.S. southern border.

SANCHEZ: Meantime, President Trump is escalating his racial rhetoric. Now in addition to targeting and accusing the Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings and his district, the president is also calling Al Sharpton and Bernie Sanders racists. One Republican Congressman Mark Meadows was accused of being a racist earlier. Cummings, who's a very close friend of his, came to his defense. This time around, Meadows was slow to return the favor and cautious with his words.

We get more now from CNN's Pamela Brown.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christine and Boris.

President Trump is expanding his attacks against Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings to include activist Al Sharpton and even Bernie Sanders. Trump tweeting Cummings' district is rat infested and a place no human would ever want to live.

Now, Cummings fired back, saying he goes to his district in Baltimore every day and fights for his constituents. Cummings recently subpoenaed Trump's family and complained about the administration's handling of the border crisis.

Trump also went after Democratic activist and Reverend Al Sharpton for supporting Cummings, sayingM next, Reverend Al will show up to complain and protest, adding Sharpton is just a con man at work.

Sharpton fired back that if he was con man, he'd be nominating him for his cabinet.

Now, amid the criticism of the president's attacks on Cummings, that they were racist, President Trump used Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' description of Baltimore to defend himself against those accusations, tweeting: Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the city of Baltimore to a third world country.

[04:10:02] Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a racist.

The president's chief of staff defended his boss, saying that he is not a racist. But this is the second time the president used the word "infested" in connection with a person of color. Just recently, the president said four minority congresswoman should go back to the crime infested countries, where they came from. A senior White House official told me that the president's use of that word has nothing to do with race.

But the latest round of tweets are putting some of the president's allies in a tough spot, namely Congressman Mark Meadows who was close with both President Trump and Congressman Cummings. He released a statement saying he doesn't believe either man is a racist.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: And welcome to 2020. Thank you so much for that, Pamela Brown. President Trump signing into law a bill for permanent extension of 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The measure was passed overwhelmingly by both the House and the Senate. The president was joined at the White House ceremony Monday by first responders and surviving family members.

While addressing the assembled heroes, he couldn't help but mention his role in the 9/11 response effort.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I was down there also. But I'm not considering myself a first responder but I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The comments were reminiscent of none of claims the president made concerning 9/11. Remember during the 2016 election campaign, he said he helped a little bit to clear the rubble.

SANCHEZ: That he saw Muslims celebrating too, quite a few dubious claims --

ROMANS: And also, his first responses after 9/11 saying he now had the tallest building.

SANCHEZ: Who can forget that? Yes.

A leaked photo now led to a new investigation involving two American teens arrested in Italy. We have a live report from Rome, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:16:21] ROMANS: All right. Face to face trade talks are back on between the U.S. and China. Senior Trump administration officials are in Shanghai to resume talking. Expectations for a long term fix, though, are said to be low. A source familiar with the plans telling CNN, officials have been talking by phone since President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a truce last month at that G-20 summit in Tokyo.

SANCHEZ: An Italian police officer who was allegedly killed by two teenage American tourists was stabbed 11 times with a knife that was brought into that country from the United States. Officer Mario Rega was buried Monday near his hometown in Naples in the same church where he was married just two months ago.

A photograph of one of the teen suspects, 19-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder shows him blindfolded while in custody. That raises questions how Italian police are handling this arrest.

Barbie Nadeau is live from Rome, tracking the latest developments.

Barbie, is it typical for suspects to be held like that blindfolded? BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, absolutely not. And the police

have opened up an internal investigation and they've identified they tell us who has put that blindfold on that suspect and they put him on administrative duty.

They are more concerned, of course, with who leaked the photo. That's also part of the investigation.

In a couple of hours here, we're going to have the first official briefing by the Carabinieri police who were involved -- whose officer was involved in this fatal stabbing. We're getting some of the details ahead of that, including the knife. The knife is about a 7- inch military style weapon the police tell us and this officer was, according to the police who have been dictating the narrative of this was stabbed in a very military style. That's the terminology they are using.

We're also hearing in the investigative document that the police officers, there were two working undercover identified themselves as Carabinieri police officers. And it seems unclear based on what the Americans are saying that they understood they were police. Part of their defense is they didn't know that they were confronted by police. They thought they were just people coming after them. That's their line of defense.

The police, of course, tell a different side of story, say that they identified themselves and that the young men acted aggressively -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, one of the young men saying he felt like he was being choked this was self-defense. Still, the officer was stabbed 11 times.

Barbie Nadeau, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. Service was temporarily shut down on two of Hong Kong's two subway lines this morning when anti-government protesters blocked trains at rush hour. Yesterday, the Chinese government accused pro-democracy protesters of committing evil and criminal acts and claimed demonstrators have seriously damaged the semi-autonomous reputation and stability.

A spokesman in Beijing warning Hong Kong citizens to be aware of the grave nature of the current situation. He said, quote, Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong. Hong Kong's affairs are China's domestic affairs.

It's exactly why those people in the streets are protesting.

SANCHEZ: A race against time to save beached whales. Who pitched in and what the whales are doing, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:24:20] SANCHEZ: A day at the beach turned into a desperate effort to save five pilot whales that beached themselves near St. Petersburg, Florida. Wildlife agencies, deputies and beachgoers worked together, putting up tents that run in the beach to protect the whales, and pouring water on them to keep them cool. Three of the whales were taken to deeper water in hopes that they would swim back offshore. Two were carried onshore to trucks and typhoon aquarium rehab facility for a few days of treatment.

ROMANS: An unusual find by security screeners at the Baltimore Washington International Airport, a military missile launcher. TSA agents discovered it in a passengers travel check bag during routine screening.

[04:25:01] It turns out the man was returning home from military duty in Kuwait and wanted to keep the missile launcher as a souvenir of his time stationed there. Fortunately, it was not a live device.

TSA officials say the weapon was turned over to the Maryland fire marshal for disposal. The passenger was allowed to continue on his journey home to Texas.

SANCHEZ: And 20-year-old rapper Lil Nas X makes history with his break out hit "Old Town Road."

(MUSIC)

SANCHEZ: The song featuring Billy Ray Cyrus has the record for the longest consecutive run on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list at 17 weeks. "Old Town Road" surpassed 2017's "Despacito" remix featuring Justin Bieber and 1995 "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Both of those lasted 16 weeks at number one. Both of those in my repertoire of songs I sing in the shower that it perfect and crafted. I got to add "Old Town Road" on there.

ROMANS: My kids sing it all the time. They all sing it in the car. So funny.

All right. Twenty-five minutes past the hour. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will stand side-by-side on stage in tonight's CNN debate. You're going to hear live -- you're going to hear from both of them just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)