Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump's Plethora Of Eyebrow-Raising Claims; Trump Defends Cancelling Denmark Trip; Jay Inslee Drops Out Of 2020 Race. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 22, 2019 - 05:30   ET



[05:31:08] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it.


JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Now, at one time, this would have been pretty outrageous. The president retweets conspiracies, repeats an anti-Semitic claim, and that was just the beginning.


ROBERT LUNA, POLICE CHIEF, LONG BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA: Suspect Montoya had clear plans, intent, and the means.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: More mass shooting plots foiled in the wake of El Paso and Dayton. One of them, a hotel employee with an arsenal at hand.

CHATTERLEY: The Democratic field is down to 22. We'll tell you the latest candidate to drop out.

BRIGGS: And, 10 people lucky to be alive. They walked away from a fiery plane crash in California.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHATTERLEY: And I'm Julia Chatterley. Thirty minutes past the hour.

Now, even by President Trump's standards, Wednesday produced a plethora of claims, suggestions, and conspiracies that should pretty much stop you in your tracks.

Trump demonstrated his apparent opinion of himself with this remark about his trade war with China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Somebody said it's Trump's trade war. This isn't my trade war. This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents.

Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it.


CHATTERLEY: Now, just for the record, his chosen approach to the trade conflict comes at a cost to American consumers and farmers, and not necessarily to China, as he claims.

Trump also doubled down on the anti-Semitic trope he used Tuesday when asked about his claim that Jews who support Democrats are, quote, "disloyal."


TRUMP: In my opinion, you vote for a Democratic, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people and you're being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that.


BRIGGS: He made those remarks after retweeting declarations he's, quote, "King of Israel and the second coming of God," quoting a conspiracy theorist in the process.

TEXT (TRUMP, TWITTER): Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words.

"President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America. He is the best President for Israel in the history of the world and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he's the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.

But, American Jews don't know him or like him. They don't even know what they're doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!

But that's OK. If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's good for all Jews, blacks, gays, everyone. And importantly, he's good for everyone in America who wants a job." Wow!

BRIGGS: On the issue of guns, the president seems unable to make his mind up. In another twist yesterday, he denied telling the NRA that universal background checks are off the table, but also claimed current background checks are mostly sufficient. The system screens for some but not all indicators of past violence and mental health problems.


TRUMP: We have a lot of -- we have a lot of background checks right now. Gun owners can tell you that, others can tell you that.

But there are certain weaknesses. We want to fix the weaknesses and I think that'll happen. Let's see what happens.

I'm concerned that no matter what we agree to -- when we get there, I'm concerned the Democrats will say oh, well, we now want this and we want -- and, you know, it's a slippery slope.


CHATTERLEY: Stronger background checks do have broad bipartisan support. A refusal by Republicans to take action could come at a cost in 2020.

BRIGGS: President Trump's obsession with Barack Obama not letting up. Twenty times in 30 minutes with reporters yesterday, Trump tried to blame his predecessor for his troubles.

Here's just a small sample on Russia and border separations.


TRUMP: They were taken out because Putin outsmarted on Crimea, on the red line, on other things -- totally outsmarted Obama.

It was President Obama that built those cages, so President Obama had separation. I'm the one that brought them together.


BRIGGS: For the record, all nations in the G7 agreed Russia had to leave because of its takeover of Crimea.

And, family separations during the Obama White House were rare and circumstantial. It was not blanket policy until the Trump administration.

CHATTERLEY: And we're not done yet.

[05:35:00] At least one country is pleased that President Trump says Russia should rejoin the G7.


TRUMP: That's not the way it really should work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Speaking foreign language).


CHATTERLEY: Russian-controlled media is celebrating after President Trump said he wants to see Russia rejoin the group of the strongest industrial nations. A translated version of Trump's remarks, along with graphics of a G8 logo with Russia's flag, getting big applause there on state T.V.

But other members of the alliance not on board yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): As the situation is today, I would say there is not yet sufficient progress for saying the reasons we had in 2014 are obsolete.

BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Given Russia's provocations, not just in Ukraine but in many other places, I must say I am very much with Chancellor Merkel in thinking that the case has yet to be made out.


CHATTERLEY: The G7 meeting is set for this weekend in France. Next year's meeting, though, will be hosted by the United States.

BRIGGS: President Trump defending his decision to cancel his trip to Denmark, putting blame on the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, after she called the idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland, quote, "absurd."


TRUMP: I thought that the prime minister's statement that it was absurd -- that it was -- it was an absurd idea was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to do was say no, we wouldn't be interested.


BRIGGS: The president also took shots at Denmark's commitment to NATO despite its decades of strong support for U.S.-led military missions.

CNN's Anna Stewart live in Copenhagen this morning. Anna, good morning to you. What's been the reaction there?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, I think in terms of the NATO contributions, this is something the president has repeatedly criticized NATO members for. They need to pay two percent of their GDP, he says. Denmark pays 1.35 percent.

TEXT (TRUMP, TWITTER): For the record, Denmark is only at 1.35 percent of GDP for NATO spending. They are a wealthy country and should be at two percent.

We protect Europe and yet, only eight of the 28 NATO countries are at the two percent mark. The United States is at a much, much higher level than that.

Because of me, these countries have agreed to pay $100 billion more, but still way short of what they should pay for the incredible military protection provided. Sorry!

STEWART: However, as you point out, Denmark would believe that it contributes a lot in terms of military support. It has fought alongside U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war against ISIS and it has cost this country very, very dearly. Their military is a minnow compared to the United States, just 17,000 personnel. And they have racked up some huge human costs. You know, the Afghan

war, for example, was the deadliest in Denmark's modern history.

Now, this also comes, of course, after all these days of diplomatic back-and-forth -- a huge spat over the president wanting to buy Greenland, which is not for sale. That insulted many people in Denmark.

The cancellation of the state visit, as well. The president was invited to be here in less than two weeks' time by Her Majesty the Queen.

And calling, of course, the Danish prime minister's comments nasty just yesterday.

So all of this put together has not gone down well in Denmark.

However, there has been a diplomatic flurry overnight. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did phone the Danish foreign minister to try and smooth things over. That went down pretty well.

And some people suggest that perhaps, actually, this flurry of diplomatic activity may actually strengthen the relations between Denmark and the United States -- Dave.

BRIGGS: OK, Anna Stewart live for us in Denmark this morning. Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: All right, let's move on.

New arrests on both coasts -- suspects accused of plotting mass shootings in the wake of El Paso and Dayton. That makes almost 30 in the last few weeks.

In Long Beach, California, police say 37-year-old Rodolfo Montoya was planning to shoot employees and guests at the Marriott Hotel where he was a cook. Officers seized multiple high-powered weapons, tactical gear, and high-capacity magazines from Montoya's home.


LUNA: Suspect Montoya had clear plans, intent, and the means to carry out an act of violence that may have resulted in a mass casualty incident.


CHATTERLEY: Police say Montoya does not appear to have a criminal history that would have barred him from owning the weapons.

He will appear in court as early as today.

BRIGGS: In Central Florida, police arrested a 16-year-old female high school student over threats, they say, she texted to students at a nearby Catholic school. Police say the teen used the phone belonging to her sister, who goes to the Catholic School, to threaten a school shooting.


MICHELLE SOSA, POLICE OFFICER, ATLAMONTE SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT, ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLORIDA: The reason why they do this, we don't know, but there is no tolerance for threats like these. And we want to encourage parents to educate their children and let them know that this is not a game, it is not a joke.


BRIGGS: In Texas, Walmart just announced it plans to reopen its El Paso store where 22 people were killed this month in the next three to four months.

BRIGGS: Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee bowing out of the 2020 campaign.


GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's become clear that I'm not going to be carrying the ball, I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race.


BRIGGS: Inslee made addressing the climate crisis the core issue of his campaign but failed to gain much traction.

Inslee has yet to reach the polling threshold for the third Democratic debate so he was unlikely to qualify.

[05:40:04] A source tells CNN Inslee plans to seek a third term as Washington governor.

Still, though, 22 candidates remain in the Democratic field. Right now, 10 have qualified for the next debate. Businessman Tom Steyer is one poll away.

CHATTERLEY: Now, remember when candidate Trump promised to eliminate the federal debt in 2016? Eye-popping numbers show the U.S. deficit is skyrocketing at a pretty alarming rate.

The Congressional Budget Office now predicting the deficit will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, and reach $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year.

A number of factors are driving the increase, including President Trump's trillion-dollar tax cut in 2017 and a huge spending package. Adding to the pile here, a 2-year budget deal, of course, recently signed by the president. That deal set to raise government spending by hundreds of billions of dollars.

The dismal forecast also comes as the president said his administration is weighing several tax cut proposals to help keep the economy moving. Economists believe doing so would only further reduce the government's revenue and add to the deficit.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a record number of fires raging in the Amazon could hurt efforts to combat the climate crisis.


[05:45:32] BRIGGS: Some scary moments but a lucky ending for 10 people aboard a small jet in Northern California. The pilot aborted take-off, causing the Cessna Citation to crash, leaving a trail of thick, black smoke over the town of Oroville.

It's not yet known why the pilot aborted. Everyone on board walked away without injury.

The smoke forced the closure of Highway 162, but the road has since reopened.

CHATTERLEY: Fires are raging at a record rate in the Amazon rainforest and darkening the skies over Brazil. Scientists warn the fires could strike a devastating blow to the fight against the climate crisis. There have been close to 73,000 fires in Brazil this year, nearly double last year's number, and more than half of them in the Amazon region.

Just take a look at this image from NASA. Smoke covering Brazil for miles.

The Amazon, often referred to as the planet's lungs, producing some 20 percent of the earth's oxygen -- wow.

BRIGGS: Small, single-use plastics will be banned from Mount Everest and surrounding peaks starting in 2020. This applies to plastic 30 microns wide -- about a one-third of a millimeter.

That includes plastic bags, straws, some water bottles, and most food packaging. The use of all plastic water bottles has not been banned. Those talks are ongoing.

Earlier this year, volunteers were said to have collected 12 tons of garbage in just a few weeks.

CHATTERLEY: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning.

And a look at Wall Street right now, we are tilting to the downside, as you can see there, following the tone, I think, overnight from Asia to around half a percent losses for the Nasdaq. It does come, though, as stocks staged a comeback on Wednesday even as the bond market flashed a recession warning sign yet again.

The Dow finishing some 240 points higher. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing higher by almost one percent as well.

Now, some surprising numbers from the Labor Department. It turns out jobs growth in 2018 wasn't as robust as it first appeared. Preliminary revisions show employers added a half a million fewer jobs

in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported. The change means jobs growth averaged 40,000 fewer jobs a month, less than thought.

The revisions don't change the overall picture, though, of a healthy jobs market.

There's been another credit card breach. MoviePass says a security issue may have exposed customers' records. According to TechCrunch, the breach is believed to affect tens of thousands of customers but MoviePass did not confirm the number.

TechCrunch reported the breach was discovered by a security researcher at a cybersecurity firm in Dubai. MoviePass says it's still investigating and will eventually notify affected customers.

Americans love Target. That's bad news for traditional department stores. Sales at Target increased 3.4 percent during the summer quarter. The results come on the heels of Target's best year in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, Macy's and JCPenney are struggling. Macy's profits falling 48 percent during its most recent quarter. JCPenney, meanwhile, which is trading below $1.00 a share, reported last week its sales dropped nine percent during its most recent quarter.

Retail bankruptcies, such as Sears and Toys R Us, and a strong consumer economy have also benefitted the big-box chains.

BRIGGS: OK, so a field trip is clearly --


BRIGGS: -- in store.


BRIGGS: You have never been to Target. One is six minutes away and it opens at 7:00 a.m.

CHATTERLEY: Oh, you've checked. Wow, at 7:00 a.m.

BRIGGS: You have been missing out.

CHATTERLEY: Wow -- Pizza Hut, Starbucks. Pizza for breakfast.

BRIGGS: It's just a whole day of pleasure --

CHATTERLEY: It's practically lunchtime in our world.

BRIGGS: -- at Target.

All right. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, no stranger to tap dancing in front of the press, will be on the new season of "DANCING WITH THE STARS." Spicer follows on the wingtips of previous politicos, including Energy Sec. Rick Perry, as well as Tom DeLay.

The show's host, Tom Bergeron expressed concern the producers were depriving the audience of a, quote, "Joyful respite from our exhausting political climate."

And some staffers at "ABC NEWS" are not happing, telling CNN the move is a slap in the face, recalling his treatment of the press.

It is certainly an interesting cast. I'm looking forward to some of the contestants -- Christie Brinkley and James Van Der Beek --

CHATTERLEY: Yes, there's going to be lots of support for him, I think --

BRIGGS: -- of "DAWSON'S CREEK" and --

CHATTERLEY: -- as well.

[05:50:00] BRIGGS: Yes, I love James Van Der Beek.

CHATTERLEY: I know. How long do you think Sean Spicer lasts?

BRIGGS: I'd give him one episode. You?

CHATTERLEY: Really? No -- in the U.K., he'd be kept in to sort of punish him --


CHATTERLEY: -- particularly if he's not a great dancer.

BRIGGS: There is that possibility.


BRIGGS: We'll be right back.



Air pollution can be deadly, even when it meets air quality guidelines. A broad study of more than 650 cities in 24 countries over 30 years was just published in the "New England Journal of Medicine."

Researchers found increased exposure to air pollutants was linked to more deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Particle pollution comes from coal and natural gas-fired plants, cars, agriculture, unpaved roads, and construction sites.

[05:55:09] The Trump administration has loosened pollution guidelines.

BRIGGS: Yale University failed to stop a professor accused of sexually assaulting at least five students over decades. An independent report says the university first investigated Eugene

Redmond's behavior way back in 1994. The alleged assaults took place at a research facility in the Caribbean. The report says Redmond denied the allegations and refused to take part in the investigation.

Yale says it will now change how it tracks professors' disciplinary records and conduct more scrutiny of internships and overnight programs.

Redmond retired in 2018. He has been banned from campus.

CHATTERLEY: A former doctor at an Arkansas veterans hospital charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of three patients. Robert Morris Levy allegedly falsified records to conceal his misdiagnoses.

In one case, a patient died of prostate cancer after Levy wrongly concluded a biopsy showed he didn't have cancer.

An attorney for Levy says they are reviewing the indictment and that Levy maintains his innocence.

BRIGGS: A powerful storm in South Carolina injures two people when a violent gust of wind sends a tent airborne with two restaurant workers holding on.

One man was lifted above the roof and hit the gutter on his way down. He suffered cuts and bruises and needed stitches above his left eye. One woman was pulled several feet into the air before being hit by a flying table. Local media says both workers will be OK.

CHATTERLEY: One more day of heat and storms for the Northeast before a taste of fall.

Here's meteorologist Derek Van Dam.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Julia.

The Northeast has one more day of a chance of severe weather and one more day of heat and humidity as well. We're going to have a big change in our temperature and how it feels on your skin as you step outside, all thanks to this cold front that's going to slowly meander eastward. It's going to spark off a few showers and thunderstorms today, some of which could have strong, gusty winds and maybe some larger hail.

Look out, Oklahoma City, Little Rock to Nashville, into the nation's capital, as well as New York, Boston, and on into Portland, Maine. We have a marginal risk, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Here comes the cold front. You can see the thunderstorms forming later this afternoon and evening. Don't be surprised if you get caught in one of those heavier thundershowers as you head home from work in and around the Big Apple. By the way, a hot and humid day ahead of you. It will feel like the middle and upper 90s for some locations, especially in the city center. But look at the dramatic cooldown as we head into the early parts of the weekend. Yes, that's right, upper 70s as we look forward to Saturday and Sunday.

Check this out. A 20 percent of development off the Southeast coast. We'll keep an eye on it.

Back to you.


CHATTERLEY: So a welcome relief.

All right, new images of the Titanic reveal its shocking decay. The first man-dive to the storied wreck in nearly 15 years found the ship being devoured by metal-eating bacteria and battered by corrosion and deep-sea currents.

A deep-ocean exploration team made five dives to the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic this month to capture footage and computer imagery to assess the ship's condition and its future.

BRIGGS: Remarkable video.

Instagram says you shouldn't worry. It will not use your photos against you in court.

The chief of the social media giant responding to a meme that went viral, claiming Instagram is planning to roll out new changes to its privacy policy. Instagram's chief says it's a hoax similar to one on Facebook.

If you were fooled, you are not alone. Dozens of celebrities and politicians were as well. That includes Julia Roberts, Usher, Judd Apatow, Rob Lowe -- even our Energy secretary, Rick Perry, who, by the way, oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

CHATTERLEY: Better safe than sorry.

BRIGGS: Do your homework.

CHATTERLEY: Better safe than sorry, quite frankly.

All right, that's it for the show. Thank you for joining us. I'm Julia Chatterley.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY."


TRUMP: If you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people and Israel.

REPORTER: Isn't that anti-Semitic? TRUMP: I'm totally anti-Semitic if you ask me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those comments absolutely are anti-Semitic.

TRUMP: The United States is doing phenomenally well. We have a strong economy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: U.S. Steel announced it was temporarily laying off about 200 workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a recession when you're neighbor's laid off. It's a depression when you get laid off.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, fasten your seatbelts, everyone. It's going to be a bumpy, rhetorical ride this morning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: But that's just Thursday.

CAMEROTA: That's exactly right.

BERMAN: It's just Thursday.

CAMEROTA: Honestly, when I was looking at the list of things that had happened yesterday that we'll get to in a second, I was thinking or you could just call it Thursday.


CAMEROTA: OK, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday. It's August 22nd, 6:00 here in New York.

We begin with something you probably never thought you'd hear the President of the United States say.