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Trump to Visit El Paso and Dayton; President Trump's Response to Racism and White Supremacy; China Responds to Trade War Escalation. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 6, 2019 - 04:30   ET



MAYOR DEE MARGO (R), EL PASO, TEXAS: The president is coming out and I will meet with the president.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump plans to visit El Paso and Dayton tomorrow. Not everyone welcomes him.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The president focuses on mental illness instead of gun safety.

ROMANS: China just punched America's Midwest hitting farmers right where it hurts.

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

[04:30:00] BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's half past the hour.

President Trump is planning to visit both El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, within the next few days. The White House says he'll express condolences and offer federal help in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend.

Now, here in El Paso the number of people killed has now climbed to 22 with at least two dozen injured and some people here are just not in a welcoming mood. The El Paso County Democratic Party sent an open letter urging the president to cancel the visit so, as they put it, the community can continue to grieve and heal in peace.

Democratic candidate and El Paso native Beto O'Rourke put it even more bluntly. He tweeted: This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday's tragedy, possible should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here. El Paso Mayor Dee Margo has often disagreed with the president,

especially on the proposed border wall, but he said that will not stop him from visiting with the president.


MARGO: He's coming out here on Wednesday. And I want to clarify for the political spin that this is the office of the mayor of El Paso, in an official capacity, welcoming the office of the President of the United States, which I consider as my formal duty.


BLACKWELL: CNN's Rosa Flores is here with me now. We've heard from the politicians, right, about how they feel about the president's visit. What do you hear?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPOINDENT: Emotions are very raw right now, victor, in El Paso as you might well imagine. There are still FBI agents recovering evidence from the scene that's behind us. The memorial keeps on growing. I just walked there this morning and you can smell the candle scent outside.

BLACKWELL: And they're people who come here at all hours of the day and night.


BLACKWELL: I mean, there are two people over there right now.

FLORES: Around the clock. When you talk to them, most of the time they say, look, I don't know anyone who died, but I feel so connected, and right now, my community in so much pain that we all need to come together.

Now, I did talk to them about President Trump visiting the city and a lot of them have difficulty reconciling the words that the president has used in the past to refer to immigrants, to refer to Mexicans and they're having trouble. It's a very painful time.

Some of the individuals that I talked to said that they don't believe that his words were genuine when he spoke so eloquently and provided positive thoughts. They just felt that those were not his words, that they were scripted words.

And one individual, Oscar Salazar, who grew up here in El Paso just recently moved because he said, I wanted to move to El Paso because it's a safe city. It's a great city to come back to and only for him to come back to this but he said he hopes that President Trump has positive things so say while he's here in his city.

Take a listen.


OSCAR SALAZAR, EL PASO RESIDENT: But hopefully, this is an awakening for everybody as a humanity. I'm just a little nervous about how the public is going to react to him coming back after saying so many negative things about Mexican people and stuff like that. It's kind of heartbreaking but that's the world that we live in today, so --


FLORES: You know, Victor, the other thing too that individuals keep on mentioning is that the death toll has increased to 22. It happened yesterday and for all the people of El Paso, hearts are very heavy. They're still trying to figure out how to heal. We all heal in different ways. We'll have to be respectful to each other as the healing process continues is what people have been telling me. The president's visit might help some people, might not help others. It's going to be a tough time.

BLACKWELL: The healing process is going to take a long time. We got the news of additional deaths within 45 minutes of one another yesterday. And of course there's still a lot of work to do here.

Rosa Flores, thanks so much.

Now, as we said, President Trump is going to visit the city of Dayton, Ohio. The city's mayor, Nan Whaley, says the two spoke by phone Sunday night. Now, Mayor Whaley says she told the president he is welcome but she made is clear she expects something to be done about gun violence.


MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D), DAYTON, OHIO: I talked to him about 24 seconds that this gunman wreaked that much havoc with that kind of gun. And I said look -- I said, Mr. President, I'm from Southern Ohio. People have rifles, they have handguns. Like, we're -- we are not people -- like we're not East Coast or West Coast folks that say no guns at all. I said, but, like, I don't understand why anybody -- why any citizen would need that gun.

[04:35:00] And he didn't disagree with me. Maybe he was just, you know, placating me a bit -- I don't know -- but I appreciated that he listened to me around that. And, you know, we'll continue to push because I don't want other cities to go through this.


BLACKWELL: Ryan Young has more on from Dayton -- Ryan.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Victor, a lot of work still to be done by the police department to try to figure out exactly what the motive was when it comes to this shooting.

But there's so many questions in this community for what exactly happened when you have people from the ages of 57 to 22 who were killed in this crime. People want to know exactly why the shooter came here, trained his gun on the club behind me, and opened fire. What we do know is at least 41 rounds was fired from that weapon that he had. Police believe he had over 200 rounds of ammo within that clip and in the car. So, there's still a lot of questions.

There is one man who is still alive who apparently accompanied the shooter and his sister, who he ended up killing, to the scene. He was shot. He's still in the hospital. That man may have more details for police to sort of unravel this investigation.

Twenty-four seconds is all it took for that shooter to kill nine people and wound dozens of others. And now, we're seeing all these surveillance images of the shooter as he moved through the street. There are 911 calls where people were calling for help.

But it was the police response -- those heroes who got into the scene within 30 seconds and were able to take the shooter out -- who saved so many lives -- Victor and Christine.


BLACKWELL: All right, Ryan. Thank you.

President Trump condemning racism and white supremacy in a speech on Monday, but he failed to acknowledge his own racist and divisive rhetoric. He stopped short of endorsing a House bill that would expand background checks for gun buyers.


TRUMP: The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.

We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts.

We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace.

We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence.


BLACKWELL: Now, before the president made those remarks, he used his Twitter account to call on Republicans and Democrats to come together for strong background checks on gun purchases. He even suggested lawmakers marry the legislation to immigration reform. Now, resistance to that idea from within the White House. CNN has learned at least two White House officials oppose connecting the two issues.

In the wake of the El Paso massacre, the Justice Department is trying to make new developments a capital crime. A programming note, Chris Cuomo will moderate a live "CUOMO PRIME

TIME" town hall, "America Under Assault: The Gun Crisis". That's tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

Christine, back to you in New York.

ROMANS: Don't want to miss that.

All right. Thank you so much for that, Victor.

President Trump sharply escalating U.S. sanctions against the Venezuelan government. He's imposing a total economic embargo against Venezuela via executive order. Now, the president explaining the move in a letter to Congress, citing what he calls the continued usurpation of power by illegitimate Nicolas Maduro regime.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president after Maduro's win in elections last year that were widely viewed as a sham. The only exemptions to the new embargo are for U.S. businesses and humanitarian aid.

All right. Global markets trying to find their footing this morning after a worse day of this year, a flare-up in the trade war between the U.S. and China dragging down stock prices around the world Monday. The Dow closed down 767 points, its worst day of the year and sixth worst point drop in history. The S&P 500 down nearly 3 percent, only its worst day of the year. The Nasdaq down 3.5 percent, the worst since October last year.

So, what happened? China retaliating against the latest round of Trump tariffs. China devalued the Yuan for the first time in a decade. It takes the bite out of U.S. tariffs on the U.S. side and risks starting what is known as a currency war.

China also announced it was halting the purchases of U.S. egg products. The American called that a body blow to American farmers who are already hit by the trade war. China was once the biggest market for soy bean farmers. Now, soy beans are sitting in storage at record levels. And according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve bank, delinquencies on agriculture loans have tripled since mid 2015, now the highest in eight years.

Some important perspective for investors here: the Dow is up 10 percent this year, the S&P up 13-1/2 percent, Nasdaq up 16 percent, even after Monday's selloff.

[04:40:10] I want to bring in CNN's Matt Rivers live in Hong Kong.

And, Matt, proof that trade wars are not easy to win as the president has said. I don't see an offer up here. The next in person negotiations between the U.S. and the Chinese are sometimes this fall.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And, you know, those are low -- relatively low level negotiations. I mean, the only time we've really seen a lot of movement in terms of trying to about face when things have gone south during this trade war, Christine, the only time that we've seen both sides kind of get back on the right track is when Xi Jinping, the president of China, and Donald Trump meets face to face. And that's not going to happen for a while. There's nothing on the books that would suggest that those two mean are going to meet.

You know, it was -- it's been a rough week. I mean, if you don't want to see a trade war, it was just last Thursday that the president announced new tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States. That was because China was not buying agricultural products the way they said they would, according to the president. China was going to hit back. The fact that they allowed the U.S. to get to 7 to 1 on the dollars, I mean, that hasn't happened in 10 years, it was a major step that China would take.

And the fact that they're not buying ago agricultural products, that they've confirmed that, it was just a couple of years ago that American farmers were able to sell more than $10 billion worth of soybeans. I mean, it's a massive hit to farmers that have already been on the front lines of this trade war.

And you're right. There is no off ramp here. Both sides are clearly digging in. And like you say, trade wars are difficult to win. And I think more and more, what you're seeing is the proof that the president's strategy of raising tariffs on China to get them to change fundamentally the way they do business, the way they structure their economy is simply not working.

ROMANS: And, Matt, so often because, there's not a free press really where you are in Hong Kong, but in China, you know, the editorial pages of some of these newspapers, Chinese state newspapers are saying that, you know, the Chinese are right to dig in and wait until there is a new administration because they don't trust the Donald Trump administration, is that right?

RIVERS: Yes, that's absolutely right. It's almost kind of hard to argue with their logic. If the Chinese government believes that they can wait out, their economy is strong enough and they can wait out Donald Trump, the election isn't all that far away. The Chinese government doesn't plan in months. They plan in years and decades.

And so they're looking at this saying, there's a presidential election in a year and a half, looking at the polls, there's at least an even chance that Donald Trump loses and maybe we'll have a more favorable administration coming up. This is the Chinese game for a very long time. Kick the can down the road, keep the status quo, as favorable to China as possible, and allow them to continue to advance their economic goals. That's their --

ROMANS: Certainly -- certainly, China showing what levers it has and that it is willing to use them in a trade war against the United States.

Matt Rivers, thanks for following up for us in Hong Kong this morning. Thanks, Matt.

Victor? BLACKWELL: Christine, eight Mexican citizens were gunned down here in

El Paso and Mexico's government plans to take action. A live report from Mexico, next.


[04:47:20] BLACKWELL: Thirteen minutes to the top of the hour. Welcome back.

Mexico is calling the El Paso massacre an act of terror. The country's foreign minister calls it an attack against Mexican citizens on U.S. soil and it says Mexico will not only participate in the investigation, it's also considering a petition to extradite the gunman and plans to take legal action against the U.S. Eight Mexican citizens were killed in the shooting, six others are being treated for their injuries.

Patrick Oppmann is live from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, with the latest developments.

Patrick, good morning to you.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Victor.

And three of those eight victims from Mexico came from here from Juarez, just a short distance from where you are, but really a world away. You heard the Mexican foreign minister yesterday while he's visiting El Paso said that his government is going to demand the U.S. make changes, make changes to gun laws and try to fight back the growing sense that Mexican immigrants are not wanted but could be the target for hate crimes.

And for people here, for people we've talked to here, it has changed their outlook, you know, while these two communities, Ciudad Juarez and El Paso are separated by a border, you have people who have family on both sides of the border, who go across the border every day. Certainly during some more dangerous years here where drug cartel violence really racked the city, people -- many people sent their children to live in El Paso. Many people hope to get their family across the border because they felt it was much safer than Juarez.

And really, the sense is that it has all changed and that a place as well known as that Walmart where people -- many people's first stop once they crossed the border, that they're no longer safe there. People say that there really is no going back and that something has changed not only in El Paso but open this side of the border as well.

BLACKWELL: Patrick Oppmann for us there in Juarez -- Patrick, thank you.

Former Vice President Biden, he says President Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-minority rhetoric has emboldened white supremacist. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, he said he would move to crack down on assault weapons if elected president next year.

But the former vice president stopped short of calling the president a white nationalist.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: White supremacist (INAUDIBLE). This is -- this is domestic terrorism.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You talked about the Charlottesville being defining movement. Do you see this as another defining moment?

BIDEN: Absolutely. But, you know, it's a continuation. I mean, this is -- this is a president who continues to speak in ways that are just completely contrary to everything we are.

[04:50:11] I mean, referring to immigrants as, you know -- Mexicans as rapists, talking about, you know, rats in Baltimore. I mean, the way he talks about people.

COOPER: Do you blame the president in part for what happened in El Paso?

BIDEN: I don't -- but what I do is his rhetoric contributes to this notion that is almost legitimates people coming out from under the rocks. I mean, this is white nationalism. This is -- this is terrorism of a different sort but it's still terrorism.

COOPER: Beto O'Rourke has said that he believes the president is a white nationalist. Do you?

BIDEN: Well, let me put it this way, whether he is or not, he sure is using the language of and contributing to the kinds of things that they say. Clearly, his actions have done nothing to do anything other than encourage this kind of behavior.


BLACKWELL: The former President Barack Obama is calling on Americans to condemn language from leaders that normalizes racist sentiments. The former president released a statement on Monday that did not specifically name President Trump but he did call out the kind of rhetoric the president frequently uses.

He said this: It is at the root of slavery and Jim Crow, the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. It has no place in our politics and our public life and it's time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party to say as much -- clearly and unequivocally.

Back to you, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Thank you, Victor.

North Korea has launched two more missiles. A U.S. official tells CNN they were short range ballistic missiles, similar to those used in recent launches. The missiles landed in waters off the Korean peninsula. The situation is being closely monitored in cooperation with South Korea and the Japanese. President Trump has said he has no problems with these kinds of short-range missile tests.

The Florida man who pleaded guilty to sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN sentenced to 20 years prison. Fifty-seven-year-old Cesar Sayoc faced up to life for 16 IEDs over a two-week stretch the last October. Among the targets, former President Obama, Hillary Clinton and major Democratic donor George Soros. The judge he gave Sayoc a mid-range sentence because Sayoc made a conscious choice not to build bombs that would actually go off. Sayoc said in court he was very sorry and that now that he's sober, he knows he's a very sick man.

All right. How's your 401k today? Coming up, taking stock after a brutal day on Wall Street.


[04:57:17] ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN business this morning.

A look at markets around the world trying to find their footing after a really awful day on Monday. You can see Asian stocks all lower continuing that terrible trend we saw in the U.S. yesterday. It looks like European stocks trying at least stabilize here.

On Wall Street, futures right now a little bit higher here, less than 1 percent. Escalation in the U.S./China trade war caused a huge selloff on Wall Street Monday. The Dow down 767 points, that's the worst day of the year. S&P 500 closed down 3 percent, also worst day of the year. And the Nasdaq finished down 3.5 percent, biggest decline since October.

Now, trade tension hitting tech stocks really hard. Look at Apple. Apple down more than 5 percent. Chip stocks also have a major presence in China such as Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Broadcom all down hard.

So, important perspective here. For the year, the Dow was up a little bit more than 10 percent, S&P 500 up 13.5 percent and Nasdaq up 16 percent even after that selloff.

All right. A run on guns. Stocks of publicly traded gun companies rose on Monday after calls on stricter gun laws. Shares of American Outdoor Brands and Vista Outdoor, a make of ammunition clothes, up 2 percent in that big down day.

You know, gun stocks tend to rally after mass shootings because investors think the prospect of stricter gun laws will get people to rush out and buy more guns and ammunition in anticipation for tougher regulation. It's a sad irony that when something terrible happens in the country, investors in gun stocks are rewarded.

There are growing calls for Walmart to stop selling the assault-style weapons after the two shootings over the weekend.

All right. Thanks to our international viewers for joining us. Have a great rest of your day.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.



MARGO: The president is coming out and I will meet with the president.


ROMANS: President Trump plans to visit El Paso and Dayton tomorrow, but not everyone welcomes him.


TRUMP: Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.


BLACKWELL: The president focuses on mental illness instead of gun safety.

ROMANS: And China just gut punched America's Midwest hitting farmers right where it hurts.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States. This is EARLY START. It is 5:00 a.m. here in New York. I'm Christine Romans.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It is 3:00 a.m. here in El Paso. It's Tuesday, August 6th.

President Trump is planning to visit both El Paso and Dayton Ohio within the next few days. The White House says he will express condolences and offer federal help in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend.

Now, let's start here in El Paso. The death toll has climbed to 22 with at least two dozen people injured, and some people here are not in a welcoming mood. The El Paso County Democratic Party sent an open letter urging the president to cancel his visit.