Return to Transcripts main page


Today: First Impeachment Witness; Trump Seething Over Impeachment; Incredible Courtroom Drama; Tampa Bay Rays Past A's In American League Wild Card Game. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 3, 2019 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Just hours from now the first witness in the impeachment inquiry faces Congress. What will the former special envoy to Ukraine have to say?



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question.

JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: I have one for him. I just wanted to follow-up on the one that I asked you, which was what did you want --

TRUMP: Did you hear me? Did you hear me?


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The president unleashing fury about the impeachment probe, lashing out at Democrats, angrily refusing to answer questions.


BRANDT JEAN, BROTHER OF BOTHAM JEAN: I don't know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please? Please?


ROMANS: And a moment like you've never seen in court. A convicted murderer and her victim's brother in this emotional embrace.

The power of forgiveness. That moment really something.

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

BRIGGS: Still shocking, no matter how many times you see it.

Good morning. I'm Dave Briggs, Thursday, October 3rd. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. We start in the nation's capital. The Democrats' impeachment inquiry

begins in earnest this morning. Three House committees will take their first testimony from the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine. Kurt Volker resigned one day after he was named in the whistleblower complaint. That report alleges a cover-up by the White House of a call in which President Trump pressures the president of Ukraine to investigate a conspiracy theory about Joe Biden and his son.

ROMANS: Volker also set up a meeting between Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and an adviser to the Ukrainian president, part of an effort to move the Biden matter away from official channels. Now, the Justice Department is telling the White House to preserve records of all of the president's calls with foreign leaders. Democrats have warned they could be coming for those documents.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is on Capitol Hill.



Potentially, a huge moment up here on Capitol Hill. The president's former special envoy to the Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- he is set to appear behind closed doors later today. Now, Volker was named in the whistleblower complaint. The whistleblower alleging that Volker had an involvement in the conversations with the Ukrainian president about the, quote, navigating the demands that the president has made of him.

This comes as several key House committees are readying potential subpoenas of the White House as early as Friday for key documents related to the president's phone call with Ukraine, and also the holding up of Ukrainian aid.

Now, the House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings says the White House's flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents, he says, has left them no choice but to issue the subpoena.

And this really keeps in line with the similar rhetoric that we've heard from House Intel Committee chairman Adam Schiff. He said up here on the Hill on Wednesday -- he warned against the blocking of witnesses and the blocking of documents coming from the White House -- the stonewalling, he said.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We're not fooling around here, though. We don't want this to drag on months and months and months, which appears to be the administration's strategy.

SERFATY: He's warning that this essentially just plays into the Democrats' hands -- potentially, if they draw up articles of impeachment. He says it will be considered obstruction of Congress' duties -- Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Sunlen, thank you so much for that. President Trump's fury over the impeachment probe reaching a boiling

point for all to see. Our Kaitlan Collins reports, the president has been lashing out privately, behind closed doors, for days. Now, the starling is in front of the cameras and in his twitter account, first in his tweet complaining Democrats are, quote, wasting everyone's time and energy on B.S. -- although he didn't say B.S.

He also spent the day again targeting House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff. Both before and after it emerged the whistleblower contacted Schiff's panel for guidance. Schiff denies seeing the complaint in advance.

BRIGGS: Later, the president let loose on reporter Jeff Mason of "Reuters" as the president of Finland looked on.


MASON: The question, sir, was what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter?

TRUMP: Are you talking to me?

MASON: Yes. It was just a follow-up of what I just asked you, sir.

TRUMP: Listen, listen -- are you ready? We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question.

MASON: I have one for him. I just wanted to follow-up on the one that I asked you, which was what did you want the --

TRUMP: Did you hear me? Did you hear me?


TRUMP: Ask him a question.

MASON: I will, but my --

TRUMP: I've given you a long answer. Ask this gentleman a question. Don't be rude.

MASON: No, sir, I don't want to be rude. I just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that I asked you.

TRUMP: I've answered everything. It's a whole hoax and you know who's playing into the hoax? People like you and the fake news media that we have in this country.

And I say, in many cases, the corrupt media because you're corrupt. Much of the media in this country is not just fake, it's corrupt.

And you have some very fine people, too -- great journalists, great reporters -- but to a large extent, it's corrupt and it's fake.

Ask the president of Finland a question, please.

MASON: OK, I'll move on now.

Mr. President, the WTO ruled today in favor of the United States --



MASON: -- saying that the United States can now impose tariffs on European goods because of illegal subsidies against Airbus.

TRUMP: And it was a big win for the United States --


TRUMO: -- right?

MASON: It was a big win for the United States.

TRUMP: You never had wins with other presidents, did you? But we're having a lot of wins at the WTO since I became president.

MASON: This was a case that started I think 10 or 15 years ago. But it --

TRUMP: Yes, OK. Excuse me, the wins are now because they think I don't like the WTO and they want to make sure I'm happy because all of those countries were ripping off the United States for many years. They know that I'm wise to it. We've had a lot of wins. This was a $7 billion win -- not bad.

NIINISTO: But I think the question is for me.

MASON: So, the question --


BRIGGS: Yes, that question was for the president of Finland. As for the one directed at Mr. Trump, he never answered Jeff Mason's question.

Meanwhile, in an interview with ABC News, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she thinks the president is trying to divert attention because, quote, he knows the argument that can be made against him and is scared.

ROMANS: That was -- I know that we've been living this for three years, but that public performance yesterday was different. I think it showed a president who is seething in a way that we haven't seen before, and that question that Jeff Mason asked pointedly, several times, the president did not answer it. He said, I gave you a long answer? No, he gave him a non-answer, an unrelated answer. What did the president want the president of Ukraine to do concerning Joe Biden and his son?

BRIGGS: Pretty simple and respectful question, given the circumstances, also referring to himself, the president, as a stable genius, again.

ROMANS: Right.

A very public stance on one of America's biggest companies. Why Apple's boss is leading a defense of Dreamers.



ROMANS: How's that for starting the fourth quarter? The past couple days on Wall Street have been very bad for investors, October living up to its stock market reputation. The Dow closed about 500 points lower Wednesday. The Dow now down 840 points to start the fourth quarter. That's 3.1 percent, wipes out the 1.2 percent gain from the third quarter.

Take a look at futures right now. Looks like they're going to try to bounce. This is all about growth, or rather, a lack of growth. Manufacturing is shrinking in the U.S. and Germany, and a growing number of economists believe President Trump's gambit with tariffs is backfiring.

The president is casting around for a scapegoat. First he blamed the Fed, then the impeachment process, but this is precisely what economists have warned about for more than a year, that the president's trade war would hurt the very sector he has sought to protect and the damage could spill to the rest of the economy.

BRIGGS: Apple is taking a public stand on Dreamers. The company and its CEO, Tim Cook, say undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children have made an outsized contribution at Apple. The tech giant employs 443 Dreamers from 25 countries and 36 states.

In a court filing, Apple says: We collectively owe it to the Dreamers to hold up our end of the bargain. It is not just a legal requirement. It is the moral thing to do. Who are we as a country if we renege?

The Obama administration approved the DACA program in 2012, only to have President Trump rescind it in 2017. The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on that move soon.

ROMANS: At least seven people are dead after a World War II-era B-17 bomber crashed while trying to land at an airport just north of Hartford, Connecticut. Six others on that plane and at least one person on the ground were injured.

CNN's Jason Carroll is live for us this morning at Bradley International Airport.

Jason, what are you learning this morning?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's just a terrible accident. Members of the NTSB are here on the ground collecting evidence. They're going to be doing that, Christine, for the next seven to ten days.

But what is already clear is that minutes after the pilot took off, he immediately ran into trouble. According to the NTSB, the B-17 took off here yesterday at 9:45 a.m. At 9:50, five minutes later, the pilot radioed that he needed to return back to the airport.


PILOT: Number 93012, we'd like to return to the field.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Number 93012, sorry -- say again. What's the reason for coming back?

PILOT: Our number four engine is actually starting trying to blow out (ph).

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: I just want to make sure because we have jet traffic coming in. Do you -- can you go or do you need to be on the ground right now?



CARROLL: And members of the NTSB investigative team say that the B-17 was unable to gain altitude and that pretty much falls in step with what eyewitnesses said on the ground. They said they looked up and they could tell that the plane was in trouble.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was too low. He was way too low. I ran over to the field and actually a guy had turned around in his car and he's like, oh my God, I thought it was going to land on me.


CARROLL: Again, 13 people on board, three crew members, two pilots, one attendant. There were seven fatalities.

According to the NTSB, six people aboard the plane survived. And Christine, they're crediting one of the passengers for actually helping save some of those folks who were on board the aircraft. They say a member of the air National Guard was actually sitting in the back of the plane, and he pulled many of them to safety -- Christine.

ROMANS: Imagine how terrifying that must have been for all of those people.


All right, Jason Carroll, thank you so much for that in Connecticut this morning.

BRIGGS: All right, we'll talk a little sports, ahead. Next up is Houston. The Tampa Bay Rays deal another devastating playoff blow to Oakland.

Cory Wire with that story in the "Bleacher Report," next.



ROMANS: A dramatic and emotional scene in a Dallas courtroom. It happened moments after former police officer Amber Guyger received a ten-year sentence Wednesday for murdering her unarmed, black neighbor. The brother of the victim, Botham Jean, addressed Guyger directly in his impact statement, and what happened next shocked everyone.


JEAN: I love you as a person and I don't wish anything bad on you. I don't know if this is possible but can I give her a hug, please? Please?



ROMANS: Guyger's attorney called it the most amazing moment he had ever seen in court.

As for the ten-year sentence, it angered many. There were street protests into the night in Dallas. Amber Guyger will be eligible for parole in five years.

BRIGGS: Well, turns out, you don't need a massive payroll to win in baseball's postseason.

Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, my friend.


The Tampa Bay Rays have the smallest payroll in all of baseball, just under 67 million bucks. By comparison, the Red Sox are at $230 million. They didn't even make it to the playoffs.

Rapper and former A's bad boy MC Hammer throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in Oakland. That's a strike.

But you can't touch this. Tampa's Yandy Diaz playing in just one game since July, he was pulled off the injured list on Sunday and he hits two home runs in a blowout. The team, made up of guys that nobody else wanted -- more than 60 percent of their roster built off of trades.

The Rays win, 5-1, scoring all their runs on four homers. Not bad for the team that nobody thought would make it this far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOMMY PHAM, TAMPA BAY RAYS CUTFIELDER: We've got a lot of young guys on this team, it's your first time in the playoffs. Enjoy this process. Soak it all in. You know, we had the worst odds to win the World Series, so let's shock the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't think so!

PHAM: Let's shock the world!

We all know we do!

KEVIN CASH, TAMPA BAY RAYS MANAGER: Friday, we got in. Today, we're really in! Let's continue --



WIRE: Kevin Cash, money!

The Rays advance to face Houston, who had the most wins in baseball this season.

The National League Division series, though, getting under way tonight, a doubleheader on our sister channel TBS. The Atlanta Braves hosting the Cardinals starting just after 5:00 Eastern, then the Nationals and Dodgers. First pitch set for 8:37 Eastern.

Now to hockey's opening night and the most improbable champions from a season ago, the St. Louis Blues. The city had never won the cup. They were dead last at the halfway point, but they were singing "Gloria" by season's end.




WIRE: Blues fans singing their good luck victory anthem again last night as the team raises their championship banner to the rafters. They're hosting the Washington Capitals, champs from two seasons ago.

The Blues started fast, scoring the first two goals of the game, but in overtime, it was Jakub Vrana who was fast, blowing past the defense to get this game-winner. The former first-rounder out of the Czech Republic giving the nation's capital the win on opening night. Caps win, 3-2.

The NBA season's just around the corner and Pelicans fans hoping to see a lot of this. Lonzo Ball to Zion Williamson for the alley-hoop off the back board dunk. New Orleans' new dynamic duo showing promise in just the second day of camp. We'll get to see it for real when they open against the defending champs Toronto Raptors October 22nd.

Dave, that's on our sister channel TNT. BRIGGS: It will be a very fun team to watch this season, no doubt

about that.

Coy Wire, good to see you, my friend. Thank you.

Romans, I thought you might sing a little "Gloria" there.

ROMANS: I like it, but baseball, football, and hockey all at the same time is just --

BRIGGS: It is a wonderful time of year.

ROMANS: -- a wonderful time of year, for you, for Dave Briggs.

All right. Thanks, guys.

That 90-degree high in New York yesterday, don't expect the same today. A quick cooldown on the way to the East Coast.



ROMANS: All right, record highs on the East Cast will give way to cooler temperatures in the Northeast, but the Southeast will keep baking.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the forecast.


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

I know yesterday was sweltering in the Big Apple, 93 degrees. That was your first 90-degree day in the month of October since 1941, but you're going to love this weatherman and you're going to love this weather forecast because big change is taking place today.

We're talking about over a 35-degree temperature difference from yesterday's high compared to today. Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes, right?

Nearly 60 degrees for the afternoon. That is incredible compared to what we experienced yesterday, right?

Across the southeast.