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EARLY START

Thousands of Troops May Come Home from Afghanistan; iPhones & Toys Hit With Tariffs; "No Problem" With Missiles; U.S. Expected to Pull Out of Nuclear Treaty; Broncos Kick Off NFL Preseason With Win Over Falcons. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 2, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:01] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The Trump administration pushing for a peace deal with the Taliban to bring thousands of troops home from Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Until such time as there's a deal, we'll be taxing them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 moments a plane swoops in for an emergency landing on the highway, and stopped right at the red light.

Good morning, and welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm Christine Romans.

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

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

SANCHEZ: It's Friday, August 2nd, 5:00 a.m. on the East Coast.

And we start with the 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 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 going all the way back to his days as a candidate back in 2015.

Here's what he said just last month. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're like policemen. We're not trying to fight 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. It would be gone. It would be over literally in ten days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: The Afghan government didn't receive those remarks well. The Trump administration has already gun shrinking the U.S. embassy in that country. Five sources telling CNN the goal is to cut half the embassy's personnel by the end of September.

ROMANS: All right. Tariff man is back. President Trump one day after trade talks wrapped up in China with no progress, President Trump said he will slap a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods next month, effectively taxing all Chinese goods coming into the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: This is on top of the tariffs already imposed on $250 billion in Chinese goods. These new tariffs will hit tech particularly hard. Goods like iPhones and other consumer electronics will be taxed. It will affect sneakers and toys. These are categories that have been protected to insulate the American consumer until now.

As he has said many times before, Trump falsely claimed this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Fact check, the money comes from consumers. The bill from customs and border protection goes to the American importers.

Business groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce coming out against the new tariffs, of course. They say it will only hurt consumers and undermine the economy. And new this morning, reaction from China. China's foreign minister

said China will take counter measures if the U.S. is bent on putting tariffs on all these goods.

Investors not happy about any of this tariff news. The Dow closed down 281 points. Retail tech and industrial stocks fell. Crude oil took a dive indicative of how the trade war will hurt global growth and kill the demand for oil. Asian markets fell lower and European markets fell lower for each of the major averages. That's a big move overnight.

SANCHEZ: One notable point in the story, some 80 to 85 percent of toys sold in the United States come from China.

ROMANS: That's right.

SANCHEZ: These tariffs are coming in before the holiday season.

ROMANS: That's right.

SANCHEZ: That might put some strain on parents.

The relationship between the United States and North Korea also under the microscope. It is for the third time in eight days, North Korea has conducted a missile test. U.S. officials believe the latest test on Thursday involved a new short range ballistic missile, similar to the other two launches in recent days. And even though the tests violate U.N. resolutions, President Trump says he has no problem with them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Is Kim testing you?

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

REPORTER: Why do you say that, though? Will you stop --

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 some F-35 stealth fighter jets capable of evading North Korean radar.

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

CNN's Barbara Starr has the latest for us. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[05:05:03] 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: OK, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you for that.

Republican Congressman Will Hurd of Texas will not run for re- election. The former CIA agent says he plans to pursue opportunities in the private sector to, quote, solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.

Among the issues that he hopes to tackle, he cited China's geopolitical threat, international competition, and AI, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, and instability in Central America.

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

On Thursday, he scolded the president for his recent attacks against four Congress women of color, telling "The Washington Post" when you imply 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.

SANCHEZ: 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 V.P. 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. Listen to his answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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'm proud of having 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 in the next debate we can talk about how we fix -- our answers to fix the things that Trump has broken, not how Barack Obama made all these mistakes. He didn't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Yesterday, CNN asked four of the candidates about Obama's legacy, here is their response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Do you know who else noticed the attacks on President Obama? President Trump. He talked about them at his rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, last night. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(BOOING)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: A spokesman for Obama declined to comment on the attacks from Biden's Democratic rivals. But some former Obama aides have told CNN they're furious of these attacks.

ROMANS: Yes.

All right. With the Puerto Rico's scandal-plagued governor set to leave office in a matter of hours, it is still unclear who will replace him.

[05:10:03] The story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: The Justice Department will not prosecute James Comey for leaking classified FBI memos. The inspector general's office at the DOJ referred him 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.

[05:15:03] Remember, the case centered around memos Comey shared with friend and attorney Daniel Richman who then gave the information to a "New York Times" reporter. Comey later testified he hoped his actions will prompt the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, which, of course, it did.

SANCHEZ: Democrats are vowing to derail President Trump's pick to become the next director of national intelligence. They're already raising questions about Congressman John Ratcliffe's resume as a federal terrorism prosecutor. The Texas Republican claims as a U.S. attorney that he put terrorists in prison. But his office has been unable to provide any names. That's no problem if you ask the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Congressman Ratcliffe is an outstanding man and I'm sure he'll be able to do well. I think he's just outstanding. Highly respected by everybody that does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Democrats are not just concerned about the accuracy of Ratcliffe's resume, they also fear the president is trying to politicize the role of the DNI.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): If we don't have a DNI who speaks truth to power, who first is able to cull the facts and come up with an unbiased view of what they say and in an unvarnished way can tell the president, we're in a much more dangerous world than they would have been. I could hardly think of a worse choice than him.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): If there's any time when they speak truth to power, it's now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr refused to answer questions about Ratcliffe's resume on Thursday. He promised to do so after his committee formally received the congressman's nomination.

ROMANS: Puerto Rico's scandal-plagued Governor Ricardo Rossello leaving office today. But who will replace him? 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 law.

SANCHEZ: Well, we have waiting for months. And finally, we can say football is back. We got our first look at the NFL class of 2019.

Andy Scholes has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:22:16] SANCHEZ: The long national hibernation finally over. Football is back. The NFL pre-season kicking off with the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.

ROMANS: I don't know what I was doing with my time without football.

Andy Scholes has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report". Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, guys.

We made it. You know, we made it through the non-football time. We're not going to have another week without football until February. So, celebrate that.

The Broncos and Falcons kicking off the season last night. Ed Reed among the Hall of Famers honored on the field before the game and he opted not to wear the Hall of Fame polo, instead wearing a t-shirt with images of people who had died with interactions with police, including Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

Now, as of the game, we saw a pass interference challenge for the first time. Coaches can now throw the challenge flag on interference called, thanks to last year's NFC championship game. It didn't work. The call was still upheld but I'll tell you what, get ready. You are going to see this kind of challenge pretty much every game this season.

All right. Broncos rookie head coach, Vic Fangio, he was coaching through that game with some pain last night. He spent the majority of the day in a Cleveland hospital because of a kidney stone. He didn't pass the stone but he said he was in good enough shape to coach. Broncos won 14-10.

Even though it's just a preseason game he said, quote, winning has cured more ills than penicillin.

All right. Mets taken on the White Sox with the new protective netting coming into play in this one. Jeff McNeil on a dead run, makes the catch and uses the netting to sling shot himself back onto the field. The netting was put in place to protect the fans. In this case, it probably saved McNeil from bumps and bruises.

All right. Finally, ever tried your luck at those speed pitch challenges at the park? Well, Nathan Patterson tried one out with his buddies at the Rockies game last month. He hit 96 miles per hour on the gun. His buddy tweeted out this video saying the MLB should sign him up.

Well, it happened. The Oakland A's signed Patterson to a Minor League deal yesterday. Patterson, he hasn't pitched in a real game since high school, but he said he's been working on it for nine months, guys.

And, you know, this is just one of those lessons. Never give up on your dreams. Hard work pays off.

So, Boris, if you still want to be a pitcher in Major League Baseball --

SANCHEZ: Andy Scholes --

SCHOLES: -- you can do it.

SANCHEZ: -- you've spoken the words I wanted to hear. I'm going to get back into gym and fix this rotator cuff. Maybe the Miami Marlins will call.

Andy Scholes --

SCHOLES: Tommy John, come back stronger. That's what everyone does.

SANCHEZ: Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Good to see you.

ROMANS: All right. There's hope this morning for an end to America's longest war. The latest on peace negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. We've got that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [05:29:08] SANCHEZ: We're following breaking news. The secretary of state confirming just moments ago the United States pulling out of a landmark arms control treaty with Russia.

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

SANCHEZ: Plus, the Trump administration is pushing for a peace deal with the Taliban that would bring thousands of U.S. troops home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Until such time as there's a deal, we'll be taxing them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump, the tariff man, slaps China with tariffs on things like iPhones, sneakers and toys.

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

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. We are just about half past the hour.

And we begin with the end of a landmark arms control treaty between the United States and Russia. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirming it moments ago with this tweet. Take a look.

On February 2nd, 2019, the U.S. gave Russia six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russia refused so the treaty ends today. The U.S. will not remain party.

[05:30:00]