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Trudeau Apologizes Again for Blackface; NJ Man Charged with Scouting for Terror Group; Democratic Hopefuls Aim at Frontrunners; Polls for Democratic Primary; Nike Ends Deal with Brown. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 20, 2019 - 06:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:34:05]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, questions about the future of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he issued a new apology after still new images of him in blackface surfaced. And he admits there may still be more offensive images out there.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: What?

BERMAN: He doesn't know.

CAMEROTA: How many are there?

BERMAN: He doesn't know. This all comes as Canadians decide whether to re-elect Trudeau next month.

Joining us now, CNN's Paula Newton, who lives in and covers Canada for us.

This is something.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do. And what a turn during an election campaign.

So his election campaign is in chaos. His international reputation now in tatters. The issue is here, as you guys were just saying, he literally says he cannot remember, that he didn't recall the events of this.

Look at this. This was a new video that came out from the 1990s. Before that, the one of the picture there, as you see him, dressed as Aladdin at an Arabian Nights gala. And then --

BERMAN: That's 2001.

NEWTON: That's 2001. He was a teacher, 29 years old at that time. And this is high school. An impersonation of Harry Bellefonte.

[06:35:01]

He addressed this himself last night saying, look, I just do not remember.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: I am wary of -- of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered. And I think the question is, how can you not remember that? The fact is I -- I -- I didn't understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Stunning. The prime minister continues on his campaign. He definitely is not resigning. He will face this at each and every campaign stop, you can guarantee it.

CAMEROTA: I don't know what to say. I mean this seems like his -- one of his go-to costumes at this point.

NEWTON: And I think that's what Canadians are thinking about it as well. And the issue is here, even they don't know how to take this. And the one thing I've got to tell you, why didn't he say it before, because he didn't say that he didn't remember. He knew this happened and he didn't tell anybody about it beforehand.

CAMEROTA: Paula, thank you very much.

All right, meanwhile, federal authorities have foiled a terror plot that involved major U.S. landmarks. The worrisome details, next.

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[06:40:16]

CAMEROTA: A New Jersey man indicted for allegedly scouting possible attack targets for the terror group Hezbollah. Among the locations prosecutors say he surveilled were the White House, the Statue of Liberty, and Fenway Park.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is here with details.

This is scary, Brynn.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and he's been -- he was doing it for years, Alisyn. Authorities believe 42-year-old Alexei Saab from Morristown, New Jersey, belonged to Hezbollah for more than two decades and acted as a scout for the terrorist group here in the U.S. for several years, reporting information back to its leaders.

These are some of the pictures. They're just eerie. That the federal government says Saab took as he surveilled possible targets for an attack. Among them, airports in New York City, local bridges and government buildings, also Times Square, the U.N. building, the Statue of Liberty. In Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Building, and the White House. And in Boston, Fenway Park, the Prudential Center and Quincy Market. That was just a few of the locations.

Saab also allegedly worked to gain information about the structural weaknesses of bridges and tunnels to determine how a future attack could possibly cause the most destruction.

And according to the 33-page criminal complaint just unsealed, Saab trained with Hezbollah, visiting Lebanon on at least ten occasions and received bomb making and firearms training. The Department of Justice says Saab became a naturalized citizen in 2008. He's been in custody, though, since July, but tracked by feds at least prior to 2018. And he's now facing nine federal charges, including providing material supporting to a foreign terrorist organization.

John.

BERMAN: All right, Brynn, thank you very much. Stay on that for us.

New developments in the race for president. Elizabeth Warren all of a sudden being attacked by some of our Democratic rivals. What's going on here, next.

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[06:46:15]

CAMEROTA: The frontrunners in the Democratic presidential race are taking more friendly fire from fellow rivals.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is live in North Carolina with more.

What are they saying?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, this might be the best evidence yet that both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are pulling away from the rest of the field and it's the way their rivals in this Democratic Party are treating them.

First, here in North Carolina last night, Bernie Sanders responding to comments made by Neil Bluhm, a casino magnate, a billionaire at a fundraiser that he hosted for Biden this week in Chicago, where Neil Bluhm said that Sanders and Elizabeth Warren don't represent the Democratic Party that he supports. In his speech to college students last night in Chapel Hill, Bernie Sanders essentially said Bluhm is right.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would contract that with how my good friend, Vice President Biden, is raising money today. And I would say to him, Joe, we are not going to make the changes that we need in this country when you go to three fundraisers in Chicago sponsored by multimillionaires.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBLES: And the criticism of Biden aren't all that out of the ordinary, but this new level of attack on Elizabeth Warren shows that her standings in the polls is increasing. Two of her rivals yesterday, both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, went after the part of Warren's campaign that has been the most successful, all of these plans that she has that seem to be connecting with voters. They both said that perhaps these plans don't have enough specifics.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Warren is known for being straightforward and was extremely evasive when asked that question. It's puzzling that when everybody knows the answer to that question of whether her plan and Senator Sanders' plan will raise middle class taxes is yes. Why you wouldn't just say so and then explain why you think that's the better way forward.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you are tired of the extremes in our politics and tired of the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me.

We've got a lot of great people running, but some of these ideas are better left in the college faculty lounge than right here at this port.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: And, of course, Amy Klobuchar not mentioning Elizabeth Warren by name, but referencing her background as a college professor. This is going to be interesting because many of these candidates will all be in Iowa this weekend. The annual steak fry taking place there as we inch closer and closer to the first votes being cast in this Democratic primary. You can tell, now that we're past Labor Day, that the gloves are coming off and these candidates are making a real push to connect with voters.

John.

BERMAN: When they're bringing up the faculty lounge, Ryan --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BERMAN: You know -- you know things are serious.

CAMEROTA: The old faculty lounge burn.

BERMAN: I know.

NOBLES: It's on. It's on.

BERMAN: Thank you very much.

All right, as Ryan mentioned, some of the candidates headed to Iowa this weekend. A good time to check in on where this race stands. We're joined by CNN's senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.

Harry.

CAMEROTA: Hi, Harry.

I think he's going to do this silently.

Oh, hi.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: You know, I built a little box for myself. That's what I'm going to do. And, you know, fall, plaid on plaid, that's what I like to do.

CAMEROTA: We -- we see that. Well done. Well done.

ENTEN: Beautiful.

BERMAN: I hope you have polls, because --

ENTEN: I do have polls.

BERMAN: OK.

ENTEN: Not just fashion tips for the audience.

So let's just take a look at this, right? This is the national average post-debate, pre-September debate. And we have a pretty consistent picture here, right. Biden right around 30 percent. But we see perhaps a little bit of distance now between Warren and Sanders in the average of polls. Warren's still about 10 points behind Biden, but Sanders holding right around that 15 percent, at 16 percent that we've seen sort of normally, and then Harris and Buttigieg way back.

But I think there's one thing that's really interesting because a lot of times I hear people, well, if you add the two liberals together, right, 21 plus 16, that's greater than 30 percent. But Fox News this week actually tested this and they basically said, if the Dem primary choice was only between Biden and Warren, who would you go for?

[06:50:06]

Biden led that matchup by 16 points. So that gives you an idea that although ideology is important, it's not everything in a Democratic primary.

CAMEROTA: OK. So tell us about Iowa, what's happening in that all- important state.

ENTEN: Right. Right. So all the folks right now are in Iowa, right? So basically I took a Harry's average of the most recent polls here. And the polls there have not necessarily been of the highest quality, but I think this gives you an understanding that Warren and Biden are closer in the state of Iowa than they are nationally speaking. Sanders probably around the same, at least in the average. And Buttigieg, a wee bit higher in Iowa than he is nationally. So we have a really close race on our hands in Iowa, which is

basically everything that we've heard so far, that Biden is there. He's clearly in the top tier, but he's really joined in the top tier by Warren at this particular point.

BERMAN: And when you're talking about enthusiasm in an organization, just the reporting on the ground, Warren's team seems to be doing very well there also.

ENTEN: Right.

BERMAN: What does Iowa tell us (INAUDIBLE).

ENTEN: Right. So I think this is important. You know, why -- you know Harris said, oh, my God, I'm moving to Iowa. She used more colorful language than that. More colorful language than I would particularly use. But we get it.

So, look, how is the eventual nominee done the Iowa caucus in races without an incumbent running on a side since 1972? I think the big thing to takeaway here is, you don't necessarily need to come in first, but you almost certainly need to come in the top three in Iowa if you want to eventually become the nominee. The one guy who finished in fourth place was McCain, but the press described him in a virtual tie for third place at that particular point.

CAMEROTA: Interesting. OK. What about their home states?

ENTEN: Yes. So this is just a fun little nugget that I love. We had a few polls that have come out this month from home states for some of the candidates not necessarily in the top tier, Harris, Booker, de Blasio, O'Rourke. And in their home states, what do we see? Fourth place running in the polls. Fourth place. Last. Third. And since 1980, no eventual nominee was polling at less than 23 percent in their home state. And all these folks are well below that point. That's a bad sign.

BERMAN: Harry, is this --

CAMEROTA: Is that bad?

BERMAN: Tell -- tell us a little bit more about that number? Is that -- is that bad?

CAMEROTA: Is that a bad number?

ENTEN: That is -- you know, zero percent is not particularly good. Apparently he did get one respondent statewide to vote for him. He was an older gentleman, or so I hear. But -- so he has one guy at least behind him in New York state. So, hey, it's not zero respondents, but it is zero percent.

CAMEROTA: OK. Matchups.

ENTEN: Just going to point this out, right? So basically Fox News this week matched up in the general election, Biden versus Trump, and Biden, all of them were leading him. Biden by 14 points. And I just want to point out, you know, that's an electability argument. But what's really interesting is if you look back over time and you see all this where incumbents were polling at this point in general election matchups, Biden is more ahead of Trump than any person was in an eventual general election matchup opponent. Trump is in really, really bad shape.

BERMAN: What will you be watching on Sunday, Harry?

ENTEN: We will be watching on Sunday the Buffalo Bills are 2-0 and they're favored to beat the Cincinnati Bengals to go 3-0. My Buffalo Bills, baby. Love my Buffalo Bills. Go Bills.

BERMAN: Harry, have a terrific weekend.

ENTEN: I'm going to, because we're going 3-0.

CAMEROTA: Wow. All right, I mean, jingles, maybe. Let's just -- keep working on it.

ENTEN: I'm trying.

BERMAN: We have new reporting, new revelations about the whistle- blower scandal involving President Trump. That information coming up.

But, first, Antonio Brown speaking out for the first time since he was accused of rape and assault. We'll let you know what he had to say, next.

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[06:57:30]

BERMAN: Nike is cutting ties with Antonio Brown. The announcement comes as the Patriots wide receiver spoke for the first time since he was accused by a former trainer of rape and sexual assault.

Coy Wire has the very latest in the "Bleacher Report" this morning from Gainesville, Florida.

Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

Here for our Tums ultimate tailgate, big SEC matchup this weekend with the Florida Gators.

But, look, when it comes to Brown, he left the locker room without ever facing the media after Sunday's game down in Miami. That broke the league's media policy. But he did talk yesterday after practice. He took four questions in a little over a minute and he kept it all football.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANTONIO BROWN, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER: I'm just here to just focus on ball and look forward to getting out there in the home stadium and being with the team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Brown and his lawyers have denied the allegations against him. He's scheduled to make his home debut Sunday against the Jets.

Let's go to Thursday night football action in Jacksonville, just down the road. What a night for Fu (ph) Minshew. Look at that mustache. Gardner Minshew, the rookie sixth rounder out of Washington state taking over for the injured Nick Foles, steps up with two touchdown passes over the Titans. He has five touchdowns in his first three games. A 74 percent completion rate. The highest of any player in his first three career games since the '70 merger. Jags win 20-7.

Finally, break out the champagne bottles in the Bronx. The Yankees clinching their first AL East title since 2012. A 9-1 win over the Angels. Their 100th win of the season. And that's after an incredible 30 players on the injured list this year.

Alisyn, as a former Buffalo Bill, I will say that Harry Enten can do his little jingle any time. Let's go, Buffalo.

CAMEROTA: Yours seems to be actually a little catchier, I think.

BERMAN: Yes. Yes.

CAMEROTA: Harry's still working on his.

BERMAN: Coy's saying it much better by not singing it at all. Let's just say that.

Thanks, Coy.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Coy.

All right, new details in the whistle-blower scandal. NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. And we do begin with breaking news in the whistle-blower mystery. "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" report that the whistle-blower complaint involves Ukraine.

[06:59:55]

CNN has reported on communications between President Trump and a foreign leader that so alarmed this whistle-blower, a member of the intel community, that the whistle-blower filed a report with the inspector general, as is prescribed by law.

END