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Taliban Peace Deal Hopes to Bring Home Thousands of Troops from Afghanistan; U.S. to Pull Out of Nuclear Treaty with Russia. Aired 4- 4:30a ET

Aired August 2, 2019 - 04:00   ET



[04:03:19] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The Trump administration pushing for a peace deal with the Taliban to bring thousands of troops home from Afghanistan.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: I mean, until such time as there's a deal, we'll be taxing them.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump slaps China with new tariffs on things like iPhones, speakers and toys.

SANCHEZ: Plus, North Korea's Kim Jong-un just launched another missile. President Trump says he has no problem with that.

ROMANS: A dashboard camera captures the moment a plane swoops in for emergency landing on a highway.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Dave Briggs. Always great to be here with you, Christine.

ROMANS: Nice to have you here.

SANCHEZ: It's been a great week. Thanks for making it easy and fun for me all the time. It's Friday, August 2nd, 4:00 a.m. in New York, 5:00 p.m. on the Korean peninsula, 12:30 p.m. in Afghanistan where we begin with a big development in America's longest-running war.

The U.S. preparing to bring back thousands of troops from Afghanistan. The Trump administration negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban right now. Two sources familiar with negotiations say the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan would shrink from about 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000 in the coming months.

A spokesman says the move is part of the administration's push to end the war in Afghanistan which has dragged on for nearly 18 years. This has been a signature issue for President Trump. Listen to what he said just last month.


TRUMP: We're like policemen. We're not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people. Does that make sense to you? I don't want to kill 10 million people.

I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth.

[04:05:02] It would be gone -- it would be over literally in 10 days.


SANCHEZ: The Trump administration has already begun shrinking the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. Five sources telling CNN the goal is to cut half the embassy's personnel by the end of September.

ROMANS: All right. The tariff man is back. One day after talks wrapped in China, trade talks, President Trump said he will add 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods next month, effectively taxing all Chinese goods coming into the U.S.


TRUMP: When my people came home, they said, we're talking. We have another meeting in early September. I said, that's fine. But in the meantime, until such time as there's a deal, we'll be taxing them.


ROMANS: This is on top of the tariffs already imposed on $250 billion in Chinese goods. These tariffs at a steeper rate of 25 percent. The tariffs will hit tech particularly hard. Goods like iPhones and other consumer electronics will now be taxed. It will also affect sneakers and toys. As he has many times before, Trump falsely claimed this.


TRUMP: We're taking in many billions of dollars. There's been absolutely no inflation and, frankly, it hasn't cost our consumer anything. It costs China.


ROMANS: Business groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce coming out against the new tariffs, saying they will only hurt consumers and ultimately undermine the U.S. economy. And new this morning, China's foreign minister said China take counter measures if the U.S. is bent on putting tariffs on Chinese goods. Investors were not happy at all about the tariff news. The Dow had been up. It had a nice rebound in the morning and then closed down 281 points. Retail tech, industrial stocks also fell.

SANCHEZ: For the third time in eight days North Korea has conducted a missile test. U.S. officials believe the latest test on Thursday involves a new short-range ballistic missile similar to the other launches in recent days. And even though the tests violate. U.N. resolutions, President Trump says he has no problem with them.



TRUMP: I think it's very much under control.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why do you say that, sir?

TRUMP: Very much under control.


TRUMP: Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that. I have no problem. We'll see what happens. But these are short-range missiles. They're very standard.


SANCHEZ: Analysts believe the recent launches signal North Korea's displeasure with upcoming military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, as well as South Korea's decision to acquire F-35 stealth fighters capable of evading North Korean radar.

ROMANS: The Pentagon is set to test a new nonnuclear mobile launch cruise missile as the U.S. bows out of the nuclear treaty with Russia today. A senior Defense official saying the new missile was developed specifically to challenge Russian aggression in Europe.

CNN's Barbara Starr has the latest for us.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Christine, Boris, look for this treaty called the INF Treaty that restricts intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Look for it to disappear into history. The U.S. says Russia had already been violating it by deploying these intermediate range missiles on its territory, missiles that could target Europe. And as of today, the U.S. officially will be out of this treaty.

This is a Cold War arms control treaty signed back in the 1980s by President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, all aimed at arms control. The question now, are we in an arms race? The Russians, according to the U.S., have deployed multiple battalions of their new missile that violates the treaty. Conventional at the moment, but it is a missile that can target into Europe. And the U.S. now, upon withdrawal, will begin testing its version of a missile and try and get some congressional funding perhaps to begin its own program.

There is very little hope, according to experts, that the Russians will come back to the table on this. They want to have this kind of system. Look for NATO today to talk about all of this and talk about European security and stability for the countries in Europe. If the U.S. decides to go ahead and field the new missile, they will need those European countries for basing of the American missiles. And nations like Poland that are nervous about next-door Russia just might agree to take the American weapons -- Christine, Boris.

SANCHEZ: And Barbara Starr, thank you for that.

Republican Congressman Will Hurd of Texas announcing he will not run for re-election. He joins a list of -- a growing list of Republicans. The former CIA agent says he plans to pursue opportunities in the private sector to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security. Among issues he hoped to tackle, he cited China's geopolitical threat, international competition and artificial intelligence and cyber security, and instability in Central America.

Hurd is the only black Republican in the House of Representatives and a frequent critic of President Trump.

[04:10:01] On Thursday he scolded the president's most recent attacks against four congresswomen of color, telling the "Washington Post," quote, "When you imply that because someone doesn't look like you and telling them to go back to Africa or wherever, you're implying that they're not American and you're implying that they have less worth than you."

ROMANS: All right. As the dust settles from the CNN Democratic debate, Joe Biden says he was surprised by the degree of criticism aimed at former President Barack Obama. From health care to immigration to trade, key accomplishments of the Obama administration came under fire. The real target of course was Biden. The former VP has tied himself closely to Obama who is beloved among Democrats. Campaigning in Detroit Thursday, Biden was asked about the attacks on Obama's legacy.


JOE BIDEN(D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I must tell you I was a little surprised at how much the incoming was about Barack, about the president. I mean, I -- I'm proud of ever served with him. I'm proud of the job he did. I don't think there's anything he has to apologize for. I hope the next debate we can talk about how we fix -- our answers to fix the things that Trump has broken. Not how Barack made all these mistakes. He didn't.


ROMANS: Yesterday, CNN asked four of the candidates about President Obama's legacy.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are having an honest conversation about an administration that was incredible. I would take him back -- heck, if he was running for president for a third term, I wouldn't be running.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have nothing but praise for President Obama. I think he did great work. JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've always praised Barack

Obama. Last night I did that we regard to the economy. At the same time, let me be very clear, Don, I do believe that when it comes to immigration -- and I said this when I was mayor of San Antonio before I even joined the Obama administration in 2014 -- that there were ways that we could improve on what the Obama administration was doing.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama was a great president. And I think for a lot of us, we're looking to figure out how to build on his accomplishments and build on his records.


ROMANS: President Trump also noticed the attacks on Obama and talked about them at his campaign rally in Cincinnati.


TRUMP: But I was watching the so-called debate last night.


TRUMP: And I also watched the night before. That was long, long television. And the Democrats spent more time attacking Barack Obama than they did attacking me, practically.


ROMANS: A spokesman for Obama declined to comment on the attacks from Biden's Democratic rivals.

SANCHEZ: With Puerto Rico's scandal-plagued governor set to leave office in just a matter of hours, it's still unclear who will actually replace him. That story and more next.


[04:17:21] ROMANS: Welcome back. House Democrats are near a milestone on the path to impeachment, one that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won't be able to ignore. By CNN's count, 117 House Democrats now support opening an impeachment inquiry. One more and that will be half the Democratic caucus. It is also 22 additional supporters for an impeachment inquiry since Special Counsel Robert Mueller's public testimony opened the flood gates. The number is significant because only a couple of months ago Pelosi had suggested in an interview with our Manu Raju that nowhere near a majority of House Democrats were in favor of impeachment.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If a majority of the caucus wants to go forward with an impeachment inquiry, would you go for it?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It's not -- it's not even close in our caucus.


ROMANS: While a majority is meaningful in the sense that it raises questions Speaker Pelosi would have to address, it is also noteworthy that 118 is still 100 votes short of the number needed to actually impeach the president.

SANCHEZ: Big news out of the Justice Department. DOJ will not prosecute James Comey for leaking classified FBI memos. The Inspector General's Office at the DOJ referred the former FBI director for potential prosecution. But DOJ officials chose not to move forward because there was no evidence Comey intended to violate the law.

Remember the case centered around memos that Comey shared with a friend and attorney Daniel Richmond who then gave that information to a "New York Times" reporter. Comey later testified that he hoped his actions would prompt the appointment of the special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, which of course it did.

ROMANS: Puerto Rico's scandal-plagued Governor Ricardo Rossello is leaving office today but who will replace him is still unclear. The Puerto Rico legislature on Thursday delayed a vote to confirm Pedro Pierluisi as the new secretary of state. By law, he should be the one to succeed Rossello. But if Pierluisi is not confirmed before Rossello officially steps down, then the island's justice secretary, Wanda Vasquez, would be next in line. Vasquez has said she does not want that job, but she tweeted Thursday, if the time comes, she will assume the responsibility imposed by the constitution and the law.

SANCHEZ: No runway? No problem. See what drivers saw as a plane came in for an emergency landing on the highway next.


[04:24:29] SANCHEZ: A controversial billboard in North Carolina is coming down. It features photos of the four progressive congresswomen known as the Squad along with a headline, "The 4 Horsemen Cometh," you can see there the word "cometh" is crossed out, replaced by "are idiots." A local gun shop owner paid for the sign. There was a lot of blow back from anti-gun groups. And the company that owns the billboard actually convinced the gun shop owner that it had to come down. The gun shop owner says he had to intention of inciting violence.

ROMANS: Police dash cams catch some crazy things but this may beat them all.

[04:25:02] Small single engine plane making an emergency landing on a state road south of Tacoma, Washington. A state trooper happened to be on patrol in just the right place at the right time. Pilot David Acklam struggles to land without power and nails it. No injuries. No damage to the plane. No damage to any other cars on the road thanks to the Trooper Clint Thompson's help. Acklam even managed to stop the plane at the red light. The FAA is investigating the incident. SANCHEZ: Have you seen this fine feathered fugitive? Animal Control

workers across two North Carolina counties have been trying to find this emu who they say decided to call -- who they decided to call Eno. Every time they arrived on the scene the big bird is apparently already gone. Emus can run up to 30 miles an hour. It's been on the loose since June. It keeps popping up in people's backyards. Eno was spotted on Tuesday -- the last time he was spotted was Tuesday. He was meandering in a pasture near the town of Hillsboro.

I actually went to high school across from an emu farm -- enu, emu? How do you say it?

ROMANS: I'm not sure actually.

SANCHEZ: Emu farm, and I can imagine why those neighbors don't want to be anywhere near that smell. It's not good.

ROMANS: Twenty-six minutes past the hour. There's hope this morning for an end to America's longest war. The latest on peace negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan next.