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North Carolina Special Elections Could be Trump Bellwether; Trump Defends Taliban Invitation; New Vaping Warnings; Big Papi's Big Return; Israeli Leader Says Iran Hid Nuclear Weapons Site; An iPhone 11 Pro. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 10, 2019 - 04:30   ET





DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The radical Democrats want to dismantle, demolish and destroy everything that you've gained. And they will do it and it won't take that long.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president with a lot on the line. Special elections could show if the voters are turning on the president in the first big bellwether of 2020.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Peace talks with the Taliban are completely dead, crumbling after secret talks were cancelled. The president defying his own vice president to set up the summit.

ROMANS: The nation's leading e-cigarette maker warned to stop deceptive marketing. Now, a new warning against vaping from the American Medical Association.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 34, David Ortiz.


BRIGGS: A huge ovation for Big Papi. David Ortiz back in public for the first time since he was shot back in June.

ROMANS: He looks good.

BRIGGS: He looks very good. He sounds great as well.

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

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour here in New York this Tuesday morning. Critical special elections in North Carolina today that could be a bellwether for 2020. The key race is in the state's ninth district, held by the GOP for more than 50 years. It has been vacant since a razor-thin vote in 2018. No winner was declared amid allegations of absentee ballot fraud that prompted state officials to call for a new vote.

President Trump won the district by 12 points, but early voting suggests this race will be tight.

The president tried to rally support for Dan Bishop in North Carolina last night.


TRUMP: The radical Democrats want to dismantle, demolish and destroy everything that you've gained. And they will do it and it won't take that long.

Your way of life is under assault by these people. With your support, tomorrow, we take the first steps to firing Speaker Pelosi and winning back the House in 2020.


BRIGGS: One possible advantage for Democrat Dan McCready is that Democrats hold an eight-point voter registration in the district, although Republicans deep winning the seat.

There's another seat open in the third district. That seat open due to the death of long-time Congressman Walter Jones. Polls open this morning at 6:30 a.m.

ROMANS: The president is defending his widely criticized decision to set up a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David. Those talks would have come just days before the anniversary of 9/11. And it is the Taliban who harbor the terrorists responsible for those attacks. The president claims he called off the meetings when he learned last week the group claimed responsibility for killing an American soldier.

BRIGGS: But the Taliban have already claimed the deaths of nine service members in 2019 and are likely responsible for seven others. The president now insisting there is no path forward.


TRUMP: They're dead. They're dead. As far as I'm concerned, they're dead. They thought they had to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position.


BRIGGS: Sources tell CNN the president overruled National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence, when he decided to set up the meeting with the Taliban. Bolton and his staff do not trust the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, and thought he gave the Taliban too much leverage in those talks.


ROMANS: President Trump sealed a partnership with the Scottish airport in 2014, that routinely sent refueling flight crews to his resort in Turnberry. That's according to a report in "The New York Times." But in this tweet on Monday, the president claimed to know nothing about Air Force crews staying at his resort.

"The New York Times" obtained documents from the Scottish government detailing the Trump administration's deal with Glasgow Prestwick Airport. The report says Mr. Trump played a direct role. But the president claims he doesn't need this kind of arrangement to help his bottom line.


TRUMP: I'm going to give out my financial condition. And you'll be extremely shocked that the numbers are many, many times what you think. I don't need to have somebody take a room overnight at a hotel.


ROMANS: You know, you don't need to prepare a new report of your financial condition. You could just release your tax returns.

BRIGGS: That would do it.

ROMANS: And we could look in to that, right?

The arrangement again raises questions about whether Mr. Trump is benefitting financially from his presidency.

On Sunday, the Air Force ordered a review of all international layover stays.

BRIGGS: Concerned that President Trump repeatedly mishandled classified intel led the U.S. to extract one of its highest level covert sources inside the Russian government. CNN was to report on the successful previously secret mission, citing multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge. The mission was ordered soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office, where President Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with top Russian officials.

ROMANS: Sources say the informant was the highest level source the U.S. had inside the Kremlin. The spy had access to Vladimir Putin and could even provide pictures of documents on his desk. One source says there was no equal alternative inside the Kremlin.

President Trump said yesterday he knows nothing about reports that he mishandled classified intel.

BRIGGS: Top Democrat candidates for president are teaming up ahead of Thursday's debate to deliver a powerful message on guns.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Gun violence is literally life and death.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That has become so numbingly common.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have kids going to school wondering if they're going to be physically safe.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Learning how to duck, cover, hide.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For fear there's a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's wrong. That shouldn't happen in a country like ours.


BRIGGS: Candidates are speaking out in support of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords' political organization. The video is part of an six-figure digital ad buy. The candidates do have differences on how to combat gun violence but they deliver a unified message in an increasingly hostile primary.

ROMANS: After mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last month, President Trump instructed the Justice Department to prepare a list for lawmakers. It did not include universal background checks. Sources say some officials including Attorney General William Barr quietly urged the president to consider backing such a measure.

All right. Nearly every state now investigating Google over antitrust, marking the latest escalation in regulatory scrutiny of the tech giant. A bipartisan group of attorneys general representing 48 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico launched this investigation. Only California and Alabama have not signed on to the probe.


KEN PAXTON (R), TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: While many consumers believe that the Internet is free, certainly, we know from Google's profits of $117 billion that the Internet is not free. This investigation is not a lawsuit. It's an investigation to determine the facts. And right now, we're looking at advertising. But the facts will lead to where the facts lead.


ROMANS: Silicon Valley has faced growing criticism into whether it's just become too big, harming competition and consumers. The probe will initially focus on Google's advertising, though it may expand from there.

The tech giant has already faced antitrust scrutiny from federal lawmakers, the Justice Department. Regulators around the world have been critical of Google. The E.U. has issued Google $9 billion in fine for antitrust violations over the past three years. Google declined to comment.

BRIGGS: The FDA is warning e-cigarette maker Juul about illegally marketing its product as a safer alternative to cigarettes. The company has been ordered to respond with, quote, corrective actions within 15 working days. Juul says it is reviewing the order and will fully cooperate.

There has been an alarming rise in cases of severe lung illness linked to vaping. The American Medical Association is now urging everyone to avoid these cigarettes. In November, the FDA revealed vaping increased nearly 80 percent among high school students and 50 percent among middle schoolers compared to a year earlier.

First Lady Melania Trump tweeting she is deeply concerned about the growing epidemic and we need to do all we can to prevent e-cigarettes from leading to nicotine addiction.

We talk about this often. Your kids --


BRIGGS: -- you probably don't think they do. They might. The numbers show one of them or their friends do.

ROMANS: That's right.

Thirty-nine minutes past the hour.

Just weeks before Israeli elections, the prime minister reveals what he says is a previously unknown Iranian nuclear site. We check those claims live from Jerusalem, next.



BRIGGS: Desperation growing in the Bahamas, as the death toll continues to rise. At least 50 people now confirmed dead. The power company on the devastated island of Abaco calls the situation dire.


It says there are standing electricity poles for 16 miles from Marsh Harbour to Treasure Cay.

Some survivors are still holding out hope.

Families of the missing are still holding out hope.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope they find him. I hope so. We just have a son. We don't know (INAUDIBLE) yet. I hope they find him. I hope so.


BRIGGS: Meantime, the ferryboat operator that ordered dozens of Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas off its boat is now apologizing.

CNN affiliate WSVN posted the video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All passengers that don't have U.S. visa, please proceed to disembark.


ROMANS: The ferry operator says at the time he was told evacuates needed more travel authorization. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the ferry operator did not properly coordinate the evacuation ahead of time.

President Trump even raised concerns gang members were using Dorian's aftermath to gain entry into the U.S.


TRUMP: Everybody needs totally proper documentation. Look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren't supposed to be there. I don't want to allow people that weren't supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States.


ROMANS: There is no proof of that claim. Unclear where you get documentation in the rubble like that.

Nearly 5,000 residents have fled the Bahamas in the wake of the violent storm. The prime minister said evacuees will be returned home as homes are rebuilt.

BRIGGS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiling what he claims was a previously unknown site connected to Iran's nuclear program in the early 2000s. Political opponents questioned the timing of the revelation with Israel's general election just a week away.

Oren Liebermann live for us in Jerusalem with more.

Oren, good morning. What are you learning?


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised for weeks if not months that there was more information he was going to reveal from Iran's secret nuclear archive. That, Netanyahu put out in a very dramatic display about a year and a half ago. And it's the timing of that new revelation that has his critics slamming this as electioneering with Israel security.


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): On Monday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealing what he says are new secrets from Iran's nuclear archive.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons.

LIEBERMANN: And calling once again on the international community to follow the lead of President Donald Trump and sanction Iran.

NETANYAHU: The only way to stop Iran's march to the bomb and its aggression in the region is pressure, pressure, and more pressure.

LIEBERMANN: The revelation produced with visual aids was something the embattled Israeli leader had promised for weeks. Though not nearly as dramatic as back in May 2018 --

NETANYAHU: Iran lied.

LIEBERMANN: -- when Netanyahu revealed Israel had stolen Iran's nuclear archive in a prime-time presentation.

The only catch: analysts say none of this information is a game changer. The signatories to the nuclear deal knew about it for years.

The IAEA said there was no new evidence of any work on nuclear weapons after 2009, and experts say none of what Netanyahu showed off today shows Iran violating the deal.

JEFFREY LEWIS, NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION ANALYST: I think it's pretty underwhelming. What you would really need is a site that was active in the recent period, in order to suggest that Iran wasn't complying with its commitments. And, you know, we've seen a new pictures, but we are really far from that at this moment.

LIEBERMANN: Still, Trump said last year's presentation by Netanyahu was part of the reason he decided to leave the Iran nuclear deal.

TRUMP: This disastrous deal --

LIEBERMANN: And that was a win for Netanyahu.

NETANYAHU: What we see as a consistent pattern of Iran lies, deception, and violations.

LIEBERMANN: Critics say Israel's Mr. Security is looking for another win in a tough election eight days away. His rivals slammed the statement as electioneering.

On Twitter, Netanyahu's opponent in next week's election, Benny Gantz, said Netanyahu's use of sensitive security information for propaganda indicates poor judgment, saying even in his last days as prime minister, Netanyahu cares only about Netanyahu. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LIEBERMANN: If another reason for Netanyahu's presentation was to try to prevent a meeting between Trump and Iran's president, that appears to have failed. Trump, not really responding to Netanyahu's presentation, but saying just a few hours later he'd be willing to meet Iran's president for negotiations.

Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister did respond on Twitter to Netanyahu's presentation, saying, the possessor of real nukes cries wolf on an alleged demolished site in Iran -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Oren Liebermann live for us in Jerusalem this morning, thank you, sir.

ROMANS: All right. Is a foldable iPhone on the way?


Don't hold your breath. CNN Business has to what to expect at Apple's big event, next.


ROMANS: Very good news. All four crew members who were trapped inside a capsized cargo ship have now been rescued.


ROMANS: Cheers as the final member of the South Korean crew was brought up Monday. He was trapped behind glass in an engineering control room when the Golden Ray cargo ship ran aground off of the coast of Brunswick, Georgia. Three crew members who were in the propeller shaft were rescued earlier Monday. All four were taken to area hospitals.


BRIGGS: White supremacists may be helping a fugitive couple evade police. Blane and Susan Barksdale are accused of killing a 72-year- old man earlier this year and then recently overpowering two security officers in Utah to escape.

A U.S. Marshal in Arizona believes Blane Barksdale has ties to the Aryan Brotherhood. He does not believe the pair have crossed into Mexico. Blane has been added to the U.S. Marshal's 15 most wanted list. There's a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and up to $10,000 for information leading to his wife.

ROMANS: All right. If a bank mistakenly deposited $120,000 into your bank account, what would you do? One Pennsylvania couple, well, they spent it. Now, Robert and Tiffany Williams faced felony charges. According to court papers the couple used a money to buy an SUV, a camper, two four-wheelers and a car trailer, among other things.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT WILLIAMS, ACCUSED OF SHOPPING SPREE AFTER BANK ERROR: We took some bad legal advice from people and it probably wasn't the best thing in the end.


ROMANS: The bank error occurred when a customer in Georgia made the deposit and the BB&T teller entered the wrong account number. On top of the felony charges, well, the Williams, they spent all that money, so now they faced $107,000 in overdraft fees.

BRIGGS: Billy Bush returning to television three years after this controversy forced him off the air.


TRUMP: When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.


BILLY BUSH, TV HOST: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy.


TRUMP: You can do anything.


BRIGGS: It's still stunning, isn't it?

The infamous Trump "Access Hollywood" tape.

Billy Bush making his debut Monday as the new host of "Extra."


BUSH: I've learned a few things during my time off or time-out. Bad things happen to all of us. The ingredients of our disasters differ. But the shock to the system and the struggle to overcome we share.

Going forward, I will no doubt have to report on people who had a bad moment. I'm especially interested in seeing them own it and get back up.


BRIGGS: In an interview with CBS, Bush said the "Access Hollywood" Trump tape was, quote, weaponized and he added everyone at NBC knew about the tape before it was released.

Big Papi is also back.


ANNOUNCER: Number 34, David Ortiz.


BRIGGS: Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz making his first appearance since he was shot in June in the Dominican Republic. Big Papi threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his former teammate, catcher Jason Varitek. Ortiz offered thanks on the field, even to long-time rivals.


DAVID ORTIZ, FORMER RED SOX PLAYER: I want to thank the Yankees. A lot of my boys over there came to check up on Big Papi. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. CC, Encarnacion, all y'all, man, thank you very much.

God bless you all. Go, Sox.


BRIGGS: He looks very good. Sounds upbeat. Quick recovery.

ROMANS: He likes the Yankees now.


BRIGGS: Yes. You know, that's just the fans, really. They love each other.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Take a look at the global markets. You can see, there's a little bit of weakness in Shanghai stacks. Tokyo and Hong Kong closed higher. And European shares have opened a little bit lower. Chinese stocks, fell after a quick economic data that fuels some concerns about an ongoing slowdown in China. China's producer price index dropped about 0.8 percent in August. That's the worse decline in three years.

On Wall Street, the futures also leaning a little lower here. But, look, the Dow managed to cling on to gains on Monday, closing up 38 points. I think that's the fourth day higher in a row. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also fell.

Google fell slightly on news that nearly every state is investigating its advertising practices.

Investors will be looking ahead to a new job openings and labor turnover survey. That comes out later this morning about 10:00 a.m. It's called JOLTS. It's gong to give us a really -- a sense of just how brisk the hiring is and how many open jobs there are in America.

We're also hours away from Apple's big event unveiling its new phones. That happens this morning. But don't hold your breath for a foldable phone or a foldable 5G capable iPhone.

Here's what Apple is likely to announce instead. This is what we're expecting. Three new high end phones. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. New features that likely include faster processer and new camera. The Apple Watch is expected to get a refresh.

Apple's iPhone business, its single biggest moneymaker, has been lackluster lately. You know, people are waiting longer to replace their phones. Revenue from iPhones has declined by double-digit percentages in recent quarters. Apple will unveil its new products at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

So, we'll give you a whole rundown of those when it happens.

BRIGGS: Are you going to run out and buy a new one? I'm not a quick upgrader either.

ROMANS: I am not a quick upgrader, either.


ROMANS: I'm pretty I utilized 10 percent of what my phone can do.

BRIGGS: Yes, as well.

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.