Return to Transcripts main page


Democratic Debate Face-Off; 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; Saints Fans Will Get Their Day in Court on Missed Call. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 30, 2019 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The final countdown to the CNN debate. The first 10 Democrats take the stage to face off tonight.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And the search for answers after the Gilroy shooting. When 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. A hundred million credit card applications and accounts compromised in one of the biggest data breaches ever.

[05:00:00] ROMANS: What's in your wallet?

SANCHEZ: Oh-oh. Maybe you don't want in there.

ROMANS: Hopefully not a hacker.


Good morning, and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, July 30th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

It is now just hours to go until the start of CNN's debates, clashes among two fields of ten presidential candidates each that could reshape the Democratic race.

On the eve of the debates, new polling 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 pulled to a statistical tie with the former vice president after the earlier debate. And with president Trump injecting race now and racism into the campaign as never before, note Biden has 53 percent among black Democrats, more than twice the share of all candidates combined.

When Democrats were asked who, who has the best policy ideas, they picked Senator Elizabeth Warren over Biden by five points. SANCHEZ: That plan of hers for everything working out on campaign


Tonight's lineup includes three of the frontrunners, Senators Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and the major of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg.

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


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), 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.


SANCHEZ: Now, Sanders spent part of the day before the debate doing a bit of unorthodox debate prep with Cardi B shooting a campaign video. He spoke exclusively to CNN about it afterward.


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.


SANCHEZ: And so much of what she does goes viral. That's a smart move by Bernie Sanders.

Meantime, Pete Buttigieg was asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo about how he'll convey he has the nerve to take on President Trump. Listen to this.


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.


SANCHEZ: A sharp attack there from the mayor of South Bend. We have 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.

Another one, folks. A hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customer accounts and credit card applications.

Paige Thompson is accused of breaking in and gaining access to 140,000 Social Security numbers, one million Canadian social insurance numbers, 80,000 bank account numbers. She accessed an undisclosed number of names, addresses, credit scores, credit limits, balances.

According to the Department of Justice, Thompson had worked as a tech company software engineer for the cloud hosting company Capital One was using. The hack happened March 22nd and 23rd. It's fixed the vulnerability, adding, the largest category of information accessed was credit card applications from 2005 through early 2019. The bank said no credit card numbers or log-in credentials were compromised.

Thompson, 33 years old, was arrested Monday in connection with the breach. Her attorney could not be immediately reached for comment. Capital One said it'll notify you if you were affected by the breach, and it'll make free credit monitoring and identity protection available.

How many times have you gotten this offer? This is the third time. The bank is investigating the incident.

SANCHEZ: We're learning more 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 was Keyla Salazar was a 13-year-old from San Jose.

And the youngest victim was a 6-year-old Steven Romero who was playing in a bounce house with his mother and grandmother when all three of them were shot. His father, Alberto Romero, says he got a panicked call from his wife and he raced to the hospital.


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.


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 at the Garlic Festival created an Instagram account days before the shooting and posted messages shortly before the attack.

[05:05:02] One of those messages quoted a book from the late 1800s that says, white men must rule over those of color.

Our Josh Campbell has the latest on this information now from Gilroy, California.


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.


SANCHEZ: Thanks for that, Josh.

U.S. weapons will continue flowing to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Senate on Monday failed to override President Trump's veto of resolutions, banning sales to the Saudis and UAE. The resolution initially passed Congress with bipartisan support. The override vote comes two months after the administration used an emergency declaration to bypass Congress and to expedite billions in arm sales. The White House said it needed to deter what it called Iran's malign influence in the Middle East. ROMANS: 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.

When Republican Congressman Mark Meadows was accused of being a racist earlier, Cummings came to his defense. This time around, Meadows was slow to return the favor and cautious with his words.

More now from CNN's Pamela Brown.


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, saying 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. 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) SANCHEZ: Thanks for that, Pamela Brown.

President Trump meantime signing into law a bill for the permanent extension of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The measure was passed overwhelmingly by both the House and Senate.

The president was joined at the White House ceremony Monday by first responders and surviving family members.

And while addressing the assembled heroes, he mentioned his role in the 9/11 response effort.


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.

[05:10:02] I spent a lot of time down there with you.


SANCHEZ: The comments were reminiscent of previous no evidence claims the president had made concerning 9/11. That includes stating during the 2016 campaign that he helped a little to clear the rubble. He claimed after the attacks he had people working for him to clear the rubble, that he saw Muslims celebrating on rooftops. Quite a list of dubious claims made by the president about September 11th.

ROMANS: All right. Ten minutes past the hour.

A leaked photo has led to a new investigation involving two American teens arrested in Italy, accused of murdering a police officer. A live report from Rome, next.


[05:15:25] ROMANS: Face-to-face trade talks between the world's two largest economies, U.S. and China. A senior Trump administration officials are in Shanghai to resume negotiations. Expectations for a long-term fix are said to be low, kind of guiding expectations low here. 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 at last month's G-20 summit in Tokyo.

SANCHEZ: Two teenage American tourists accused of killing an Italian police officer, allegedly stabbed him 11 times with a knife brought into the country from the United States. Police say the stabbing was the result of a drug deal gun awry. Officer Mario Rega was buried on Monday in his hometown in Naples, in the same church where he was married less than two months ago.

A photograph of one of the teen suspects shows him blindfolded while in custody. That's raising questions about how Italian police have handled the arrest.

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

And, Barbie, the teens are saying this was an act of self-defense.


And right behind me is one of the main Carabinieri police offices. In half an hour, they're going to start a press conference. It will be the first official word we've had from the Carabinieri about these events. Up to this point, it's been piecemeal.

One of the things we're expected to hear a lot about is what that interrogation entailed. As you mentioned, the photo of the suspect blindfolded has caused a lot of concern. The police tell us they have identified who put the blindfold on that suspect, and he has been put on administrative leave.

One of the things that's most important about this press conference today, I think, is going to be the murder weapon. They're prepared to describe it. We've seen the document they're going to be presenting.

It is a 7-inch military style knife. The police tell us Finnegan Elder said it was his and he brought it into the country. This is a knife that police tell us was used in the fatal stabbing of this police officer. One of the other things that is going to be of utmost importance is whether or not the young Americans knew these were police officers. We know they were undercover.

The police say they identified themselves to the young men as Carabinieri. Now, it is not clear if those American English-speaking suspects would have known that that means a police officer. Of course, everyone in Italy does. It is unclear if they would know.

The police -- there were two police officers. The surviving police officer said they did identify themselves. And now, that's going to be a huge point of concern going forward in this investigation, Boris.

SANCHEZ: All right. Barbie Nadeau, we look forward to more information coming from that press conference. Thanks so much for the live report.

We are 17 minutes past the hour.

And Saints fans are going to be happy to hear this. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may have to testify in court about the controversial ending to the 2019 NFC championship game.

Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:23:21] SANCHEZ: The U.S. Soccer Federation is pushing back on the women's team as they fight for equal pay.

ROMANS: Coy Wire has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Coy. SANCHEZ: Good morning.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Good morning, Boris.

The president of U.S. Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro, releasing an open letter yesterday, claiming the world championship women's national team has actually been paid more than the men's team. The letter argues that the federation paid about $34 million in salary and game bonuses to the women over the past eight years, compared to $26 million for the men. U.S. soccer pays the pro-league salaries for the women, while the men are paid by their individual teams.

But a spokesperson for the U.S. women's national team players says the figures are misleading. She called it a, quote, sad attempt to quell the overwhelming tide of support the team has received from everyone, from fans, sponsors, to the United States Congress, end quote.

The controversy over last season's NFC game refuses to go away. According to multiple sources, a Louisiana judge ordering three officials from the game and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to be questioned under oath about the miscall against the Rams that potentially cost the Saints a chance to play in the Super Bowl. A Louisiana attorney filed a fraud suit over the game and is seeking $75,000 in damages to be donated to charity.

The NFL apologized to the Saints right after the game. Since then, the rules have been changed to allow for instant replay of pass interference starting this season.

Former Red Sox star David Ortiz makes his first public comment since he was shot seven weeks ago in his native Dominican Republic. He was released from a Boston hospital Friday after being three operations since being shot in the back at a nightclub.

[05:25:06] Police say the shooting was part of an alleged assassination plot against another man. In a statement, he called the doctors and those who treated him, quote, some of the best teammates I have ever had, unquote.

He also said he's feeling good and he'll approach his rehab like he did when he's recovering from injuries playing baseball. He went on to say, quote, Big Papi will be back soon.

All right. Finally, some levity for you -- 24 competitors declaring thumb war at the World Thumb Wrestling Championships in England.

The 11th annual championships for the thumb-to-thumb combat sport taking place over the weekend. Three rounds, 60 seconds.

SANCHEZ: This is amazing.

WIRE: Pin your opponent to the wooden mat of the ring. One wrestler said they have rigorous training, Christine and Boris. Elastic ban exercises, push-ups on your thumb. Sixty-one-year-old Janet "Nanny Thumb" Coleman won the women's final,

while her son-in-law, Paul Browse, won the men's title for the fourth year in a row.

With the Democratic debates happening on our air tonight, Christine, Boris, I'm thinking this could add a totally new dynamic in the race to see who will be the Democratic nominee.


SANCHEZ: One, two, three, four. Come on. I think I missed my calling in life.

ROMANS: Oh, my gosh.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much, Coy Wire.

ROMANS: Coy, I needed that today. Thank you.

WIRE: You're welcome.

ROMANS: Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will stand side by side, no thumb war, on stage in the CNN debate. We're going to hear from both of them just ahead.