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EARLY START

Trump Plans to Visit El Paso and Dayton; President Trump's Response to Racism and White Supremacy; China Responds to Trade War Escalation; Marlins Rookie Isan Diaz Homers In Big League Debut. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 6, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


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

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

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

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VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: 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.

[05:00:01] 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 so, as they put it, their community can grieve and heal in peace.

Democratic candidate and El Paso native Beto O'Rourke put it even more bluntly. He tweeted this: 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 meeting with the president.

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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.

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BLACKWELL: CNN's Rosa Flores is here with me now on how the city is coping with this tragedy and how they feel about the president's visit. You've been speaking with people at this memorial and around the community.

What do you hear?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, some of the people that I talk to say they know that it's the president's duty to be here as commander in chief. They have respect for the office, but they have difficulty reconciling the words that he has used to describe immigrants, to describe the migrant caravan because the other thing, Victor, is El Paso is really ground zero for the immigration debate. So, people here have been feeling the immigration policies that the president has enacted, and so, they talked to me, for example, about the remaining Mexico policy. Just across the border in Juarez, there are hundreds of people who are waiting to seek asylum and because of the president's policies, they have to wait in Mexico.

In this community, a border community, a lot of people even though they live in the United States, they know people in Mexico. They have family members and friends in Mexico. So it's really just one giant community with an international line in between.

You know, I was just talking to a woman here at the memorial, and she says that she's really not happy that President Trump is coming here because she doesn't believe that he's -- his words are genuine. He described in such an eloquent way, when he denounced white supremacy and racism, she says she just doesn't believe those words.

Her name is Karla Cuburu. She is in much pain and still trying to heal because all of this -- because of all of this. Take a listen to what she has to say.

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KARLA CUBURU, EL PASO RESIDENT: It's his responsibility to show up when something like this happens in the city when there's any type of tragedy. I think it is part of his responsibility as a leader of the United States, however, I -- seeing his recent commentaries and his responses to this tragedy, I don't think he has -- it's really coming from him, you know, from the goodness of his heart. I'm hoping for the best. I would hate for any more violent acts to happen with his visit, but I do appreciate that he is coming down.

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FLORES: Now, we haven't heard of any protests. She's concerned about possible violent acts or something happening while the president is here, but, of course, they're hoping for the best as this community continues to heal.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's the last thing this community needs is another violent act. Rosa Flores, thank you so much.

Now, the president is also planning to visit Dayton as we mentioned. The city's mayor, Nan Whaley, she says that the two spoke by phone. That was Sunday night. Whaley says she told the president he is welcome but she made it clear she expects something to be done about gun violence.

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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.

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.

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BLACKWELL: CNN's Ryan Young has more on the investigation from Dayton -- Ryan.

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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.

[05:05:01] 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.

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BLACKWELL: Ryan, thank you.

Let's bring in now, James Gagliano, retired FBI supervisory special agent, CNN law enforcement analyst.

Good morning to you.

I want to start here with you as the former army ranger, right? What we learned from Ryan is that this man fired off 41 shots, killed 9 people, injured two dozen others in 24 seconds. We saw the drum. We know the weapon.

Your reaction to his ability to be able to do that.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Chilling to watch the videotape. It shows the gunman coming down the street and making a hard left turn trying to get inside the bar. If that gunman had not been interdicted by the police, as you said, in 24 seconds, the slaughter could have been incalculably worse.

I look at this from a perspective of, I cannot fathom why a 100-round double drum magazine on a semi-automatic weapon is necessary. Don't tell me target practice. Putting that into the hands of somebody who's not in law enforcement, who's not in the military with those types of drums, the high capacity, the ability to fire weapons at a high rate of fire and have all of that available ammo does not belong on the streets of Dayton, doesn't belong on the streets of El Paso, doesn't belong on the streets of America.

BLACKWELL: We heard from Mayor Nan Whaley there. She says something to be done about gun violence.

Let me ask you specifically about the online revelations from this investigation that he tweeted extreme left wing views, Antifa postings as well. The relevance of the investigation, and reconcile that with the target, this bar on a Saturday night.

GAGLIANO: Huge relevance, obviously for law enforcement, so important to get the motive and causality. People are like, it doesn't matter. Those people are dead. That's true. But for law enforcement, to get out in front of the next one. Between

2000 and 2013, the FBI conducted a study on pre-incident, or pre- attack indicators. What are we missing? Why were no red flags that jumped out?

We're used to mentioning facts right here. First of all, most of the shooters have no criminal record. Most of them obtain their weapons legally. The median is 38.8, 12 is the youngest, 88 is the oldest, 63 of them are Caucasian.

And here's the important thing, 77 percent of them spend a week pre- planning, 46 percent of them spend a week or more in preparation to cause this to happen. Did this person in Dayton target that bar for a particular reason? Was it a racist methodology or was it related to the fact that he had just killed his sister and this was a target of opportunity?

BLACKWELL: Let me tell you about the shooting here in El Paso. We learned from the police chief yesterday and I have my phone up because I want to get the quote right, about the shooter and the suspect here. He said, as soon as he got here, he was lost in the neighborhood. After that, he found his way to the Walmart because we understand he was hungry. He didn't want to go anymore into details of than that.

But the random nature of choosing this target, you receive that how?

GAGLIANO: Yes, so curious but that tells us a lot as we peel the onion away. The police are being cautious of what they're releasing until they have all the facts. We're data-driven. They're trying to figure out what was the real causality behind this.

We know from his online rants. We also know he drove some 600 miles from Allen, Texas, 9-1/2 hours, came to the border. And we could see behind us, that's Juarez back there. Very close proximity to a major city in Mexico.

What that tells me is he did not pre-plan this like many mass shooters do. They will go and walk the ground of where they want to conduct this horrific crime spree. It tells me that he took a target of opportunity, one take place close to the border, knew there would be migrants or Mexican visitors, and look for a populated.

BLACKWELL: James Gagliano, thank you.

President Trump condemning racism and white supremacy in these remarks from the White House on Monday, but he did not acknowledge his own racist and divisive rhetoric.

[05:10:06] And he stopped short of endorsing a House bill that would expand background checks for gun buyers.

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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.

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ROMANS: Before the president made those remarks, he used his Twitter account to call on Republicans and Democrats to come together for a strong background checks and gun purchases. He even suggested lawmakers marry the legislation to immigration reform and immediate resistance to that idea from within his own White House.

CNN has learned at least two senior officials oppose connecting gun violence and immigration, those two issues, in legislation in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton massacres. The Justice Department is now considering a federal law that would make mass shootings a capital crime.

A programming note, everyone, Chris Cuomo will moderate a live "CUOMO PRIME TIME" town hall, "America Under Assault: The Gun Crisis". That's tomorrow night at 9:00, right here on CNN.

All right. The first big casualty of the U.S./China trade war, the American farmer. CNN Business is next.

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[05:16:37] ROMANS: Global markets trying to find their footing after the worst day this year. A flare-up in the trade war between the U.S. and China dragging down stock markets around the world Monday.

The Dow closed down 767 points, worst day of the year. That's the sixth worst point drop in history, percentage wise, 3 percent. We've had worst days.

The S&P 500 down 3 percent. Also worst day of the year point-wise. Nasdaq down 3.5 percent. Worst day since last October.

So, what in the world happened here? Well, China retaliating against the latest round of Trump tariffs. China devalued the Yuan for the first time in a decade. It takes the bite or just tries to take the bite out of U.S. tariffs and it risks starting what is known as a currency war.

The Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin officially labeled China a currency manipulator. He'll work with the International Monetary Fund to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China's latest actions. China also announced it was halting the purchase of U.S. ag products.

The American farm bureau called it a body blow to farmers already hit hard by the trade war. China was once the biggest market for soy bean farmers. Now soy beans are sitting in storage at record levels. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, delinquencies on ag loans have tripled since mid-2015.

It's an important perspective for investors, though. The Dow is still up more than 10 percent this year. The S&P 500 up 13.5 percent. Nasdaq up 16 percent even after the big selloff.

All right. For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Matt Rivers live in Hong Kong.

And, man, it looks like China has responded to that being labeled a currency manipulator from the Treasury Department?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT. Yes, unsurprisingly, Beijing is saying now, we're not currency manipulators. We let our currency value -- the value of our currency -- that's going to come from market forces.

I think most people who are experts in the Chinese economy would say that that's entirely true, and if Beijing really wanted to prop up its currency, didn't want to let it devalue to that very -- you know, that have it go to the point yesterday, Beijing could have made that not happen. It was a message Beijing was sending to the United States. It's a form of retaliation. Donald Trump levied new tariffs on $300 billion of new exports since last Thursday. Ever since then we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The tangible response here has been not buying agricultural products. Beijing making that announcement and that's' a huge deal given that it was billions and billions of dollars worth of products bought by China over the last several years.

But this currency devaluation, you know, that's also part of it. It's going to make Chinese more competitive that will ease the burden of this trade war a little bit on Chinese exporters, and if Beijing didn't want to let that happen, they wouldn't have let it happen, Christine.

ROMANS: Two rounds of bailouts so far from farmers. And I can tell you, someone who grew up walking those bean fields, every third row of beans in the Midwest is destined for China, or used to be and isn't now. So, we'll have to see how hard American farmers can be hit. Thanks so much for that.

All right. Miami Marlins rookie making his Major League debut last night. Wait until you see his father's reaction when he hit a home run for his first major league hit. So cool.

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

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[05:24:51] ROMANS: A day after making a statement about gun violence on the field, U.S. soccer star Alejandro Bedoya brings home an award.

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

[05:25:00] Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Christine.

You know, after scoring a goal on Sunday, Philadelphia Union captain, Alejandro Bedoya, well, he ran over to the field mike to make a statement.

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ALEJANDRO BEDOYA: Hey, Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Let's go!

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SCHOLES: Major League Soccer says Bedoya will not be fined or suspended for making a statement midgame. And not only were he not be punished, Bedoya was awarded the player of the week in MLS which is voted on by the media and fans.

Now, Bedoya has been outspoken about gun violence. He grew up about 15 minutes from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed last year.

Now, Bedoya posting on Instagram yesterday, saying in part, my call towards Congress is that we can't just simply sit idly by and continue to watch and hear about this tragedy, without even trying to continue to implement new laws while also helping those with mental illness.

All right. Baseball last night, Marlins taking on the Mets. Isan Diaz making his major league debut. His dad Raul was being interviewed when this happened.

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UNDENTIFIED MALE: Is this an emotional day for you?

UNDENTIFIED MALE: It is very emotional.

UNDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, oh, oh!

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SCHOLES: First career hit for Diaz, a home run. And as you can tell, dad was pretty pumped, definitely a moment for Diaz family will never forget.

All right. Texans up in Green Bay practicing with the Packers this week. Training camp tradition is for the players to ride kids bikes from the locker room to the field.

Well, Wisconsin native J.J. Watt was taking part in the fun yesterday. One problem, some kids bikes not built to hold 250-pound linebackers. Watt sat on the bike and broke it. Watt said he will be buying the little guy a brand-new bike.

ROMANS: I can't believe he could sit on it. I mean, it's so amazing.

All right. Thanks so much for that. Andy Scholes this morning.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: We're right about 27 minutes past the hour. We're getting reaction from people in El Paso, Texas, who are just learning the president plans a visit tomorrow. That reaction, next.

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