Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

House Committees Preparing To Subpoena White House; Former Dallas Cop Gets 10 Years For Murdering Black Neighbor; World War II- Era Plane Crashes in Connecticut. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 3, 2019 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: 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, we still have the potential for oppressive heat -- 50-plus record highs potentially being set today. I mean, just look at these temperatures expected from Birmingham into Atlanta -- upper 90s. So the oppressive heat is going to continue for the next several days across the southeast.

But there is relief coming in the form of a cold front. Look at it sweeping eastward. We like to see the oranges and reds replaced with the yellows and greens. That means cooler weather in store for us and it's indicative in our 7-day forecast for the Big Apple.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And by the way, pumpkin spice latte started in August -- but, thank you, Derek.

A lot more to get to as EARLY START continues right now.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

JUDGE TAMMY KEMP, 204TH DISTRICT COURT, DALLAS, TEXAS: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: And a moment like you've never seen in court. A convicted murderer and her victim's brother in this emotional embrace. You can't help but ask yourself if you could forgive in that moment.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. That was really powerful.

BRIGGS: Wow.

ROMANS: Thirty-one minutes past the hour this morning.

But let's begin in Washington where 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.

BRIGGS: Volker also set up a meeting between Trump and 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 all records of the president's calls with foreign leaders. Democrats have warned they could be coming for those documents.

Sunlen Serfaty on Capitol Hill with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Christine.

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Sunlen, thank you.

"The Washington Post" reports President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in his plan to exert pressure on the new president of Ukraine.

It was Mr. Trump who ordered Pence not to attend the inauguration of President Zelensky. And months later, Trump used the vice president to inform the Ukrainian leader that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid was still being withheld.

BRIGGS: The "Post" also reports one of Pence's top advisers was on the July 25th call between presidents Trump and Zelensky. Officials close to the vice president insist he was unaware of President Trump's efforts to pressure Zelensky.

Recent conversations with a person close to the matter reveal Pence advisers are frustrated with how the White House handled the fallout from the Ukraine revelations.

[05:35:03]

All right, more on all this, plus a CNN exclusive. The FBI running ads on Facebook. Who is the agency targeting and why?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: President Trump's fury over the impeachment probe reaching a boiling point. Our Kaitlin Collins reports the president has been lashing out privately for days.

Now the snarling is very public. First, in this tweet complaining Democrats are, quote, "wasting everyone's time and energy on bullshit."

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.

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

[05:40:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

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?

MASON: Yes.

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 --

SAULI NIINISTO, PRESIDENT OF FINLAND: Yes.

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 --

NIINISTO: Yes.

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 --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That was remarkable.

And the president never answered Jeff Mason's question. And when he ordered Jeff Mason to ask a question to the president of Finland, then the President of the United States answered that question, too.

Now, the president seems angrier than ever before. Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I think the president knows the argument that can be made against him and he's scared. And so, he's trying to divert attention from that to we're standing in the way of legislation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The whole mess has congressional Republicans increasingly concerned.

Joining us to discuss, political congressional reporter -- "Politico" congressional reporter Melanie Zanona, live in Washington. Good morning, nice to see you.

MELANIE ZANONA, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO, AUTHOR OF POLITICO'S "HUDDLE" NEWSLETTER: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

ROMANS: We know we've heard from Democrats that they want to say careful, focused, efficient on their -- on their probe. What do congressional Republicans see in the -- in the response from this White House?

ZANONA: What they're seeing right now is that Trump is acting as a one-man war room, lobbying attacks from his Twitter account and from the podium that you saw in that exchange with Jeff Mason, and they are growing increasingly concerned that there is no central strategy to deal with impeachment.

They feel like they are not equipped to respond to these fast-moving reports that are popping up. They are uncomfortable with some of the attacks that Trump has launched, whether that's going after the whistleblower or whether that's talking about civil war, as he did over the weekend in a tweet. So, look, they are saying we need some help here.

You don't see a lot of Republican allies going out and defending the president right now. They're keeping quiet for a reason. They don't feel like they have anything to say right now.

So, some GOP leaders are taking matters into their own hands. I'm told that they're going to be holding a conference call today with some members to get on the same page.

And when they do get back in town, they're going to start bringing in experts to talk to members in these special briefings. They want to bring in people who have worked on the Clinton impeachment or some of these GOP members on the key committees or possibly, even White House officials because Republicans, right now, are desperate for some guidance.

They see a president that is lashing out and they don't think that strategy is working. It may have worked for the Mueller report, but they are not confident that it's going to work in this case.

BRIGGS: Yes. The president, in a phone interview, telling Michael Goodwin of "The New York Post" -- no, absolutely no war room. I've got good people, good lawyers, and apparently, a Twitter account.

He also says that he loves it -- this back-and-forth over impeachment. It does not appear so when you watch that press conference yesterday.

Let's hear from other Republicans trying to explain their stance.

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart from Utah -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CHRIS STEWART (R-UT): This is one sentence in one phone call. The Democrats will make a terrible mistake if they set the threshold for impeachment this low. I truly believe that if they impeach for this, we'll never have a president serve out his four years again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: There's a lot to unpack there. But right there at the end, Melanie, he says "We will never have a president serve out his four years again."

The only way that happens is if, of course, 20 Senate Republicans turn on the president. Is there any sense that even one might be beginning to slowly turn?

ZANONA: Look, we have seen some Republicans come out and say they are uncomfortable with the president's phone call with Ukraine. They said they don't like some of the rhetoric and some of the actions by the White House to cover some of this up.

But so far, no one is using the i-word. No one is calling for impeachment.

[05:45:02]

However, I will say that it looks like a lot of Republicans are just trying to keep their heads down and see if another shoe drops. They're trying to leave themselves a little bit of wiggle room in case some bombshell does pop up where they would have to call for impeachment.

I mean, it's very hard to see that happening, but you are seeing more and more cracks starting to emerge in Trump's firewall to the report on Capitol Hill.

ROMANS: And we don't know what this testimony is going to reveal on Capitol Hill, as each day we'll have new revelations, quite frankly.

ZANONA: Exactly.

ROMANS: Today, we're going to hear from the former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker.

What do we expect? This is behind closed doors but it's not classified. We'll be able to hear from members of these committees pretty quickly. What is the meat here?

ZANONA: I'm sure we will be hearing from members, if I know Capitol Hill, not too long afterward.

But look, Kurt Volker is someone that Democrats view as a key fact witness in this probe. He was someone who set up a meeting between Rudy Giuliani and an aide

to the Ukrainian president. It's unclear whether they were trying to tap Giuliani as some sort of emissary or as the whistleblower alleged, they were just trying to do some sort of damage control because Rudy Giuliani was out there pushing for this.

So, Democrats really want him to be able to shed light on what exactly was the State Department's role in this sort of Ukraine pressure campaign.

BRIGGS: Another interesting and very important 24 hours ahead.

Melania Zanona from "Politico" --

ZANONA: That's for sure.

BRIGGS: -- great to have you -- thanks.

ZANONA: Thank you.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

All right, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:50:53] BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, at least 22 paratroopers injured during a military exercise at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. A spokesperson says something went wrong during a nighttime jump. Several members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team ended up in the trees.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

ROMANS: Protesters taking to the streets in Dallas after former officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years for murdering her unarmed black neighbor.

The scene inside the courtroom was extraordinary with a stunning moment of forgiveness.

Here's CNN's Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Dave and Christine, the drama that unfolded at the end of the Amber Guyger murder trial is unlike anything that we've ever seen. A range of emotions that went from anger to sadness to forgiveness.

KEMP: We, the jury, find unanimously that the defendant did not cause the death of Botham Jean while under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from inadequate cause and assess the defendant's punishment at 10 years imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The words left Botham Jean's family appearing dismayed and shocked.

Amber Guyger sentenced to 10 years in prison. She'll be eligible for parole in five years at just the age of 36.

CROWD CHANTING: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Outside the courtroom, the sentenced angered protesters, sparking chants.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police departments around the country (INAUDIBLE). This is not a joke. This is our lives.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): But at the same time inside the courtroom, a dramatic scene was unfolding.

B. JEAN: I forgive you.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Botham Jean's 18-year-old brother Brandt spoke directly to the former Dallas police officer who killed his brother. He told Guyger that he didn't want to see her rot in prison and that he had one request before she was taken to her jail cell.

B. 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?

KEMP: Yes.

(Brandt and Guyger hugging).

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Guyger's attorney called it humbling and the most amazing moment he had ever seen in a courtroom.

The emotion lingered long after the case ended. Judge Tammy Kemp hugged Botham Jean's family.

And in a rare move, also hugged Amber Guyger, the convicted murderer, and gave her a bible.

KEMP: You can have mine. I have three or four more at home. This is the one I use every day. This is your job for the next month.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Allison Jean, Botham's mother, shared her hope for how Amber Guyger spends her years in prison.

ALLISON JEAN, MOTHER OF BOTHAM JEAN: That 10 years in prison is 10 years for her reflection and for her to change her life. If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, right.

A. JEAN: -- my son would be standing here today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was no threat.

A. JEAN: He was no threat --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a shame.

A. JEAN: -- to her. He had no reason to pose a threat to her because he was in his own apartment -- in his sanctuary.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Botham Jean's mother says her family will never be the same but they must go on living. The hope is the composure and grace shown by her son Brandt in the courtroom today will be the first steps in that long journey -- Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Ed Lavandera, great reporting.

[05:55:00]

At least seven people are dead after a World War II-era bomber crashed while trying to land at an airport just north of Hartford, Connecticut.

CNN's Jason Carroll live this morning at Bradley International Airport. Jason, good morning.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Just a terrible story.

Members of the NTSB team are here on the ground conducting their investigation. They're going to be here Dave for the next seven to 10 days. What is already, though, clear to investigators is that this is a plane that ran into trouble immediately after takeoff.

The plane took off here yesterday at 9:45 a.m. Five minutes later at 9:50 a.m., the pilot radioed to air traffic control, indicating that he needed to return for an emergency landing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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 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?

PILOT: (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: The NTSB says that the plane was having trouble gaining altitude and that pretty much falls in step with what we're hearing here on the ground. Eyewitnesses say they looked up and could tell that the plane was in distress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EYEWITNESS: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: Thirteen people onboard that plane -- 10 passengers, three crew members. Again, seven people lost their lives onboard that flight yesterday.

Six people did survive, though, and NTSB is crediting on man in particular. He's a member of the Air National Guard who just happened to be sitting in the back of the plane. And they say he was able to pull several people from the burning wreckage -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Jason Carroll live for us this morning in Connecticut. Appreciate that.

CNN has learned exclusively the FBI is running Facebook ads that appear to target Russian spies in Washington for recruitment to switch sides.

One of the ads shows a young woman with her family at graduation, with Russian text saying, "For your future, for the future of your family."

Other ads include Russian text translating to, "Isn't it time for you to make your move?" And, "A time to draw bridges."

The ads link to a page on the FBI Washington Field Office Web site with an invitation to, quote, "Come visit us in person."

ROMANS: All right, looking at markets around the world. German markets are closed for Reunification Day. Asian stocks slid as fears about trade and the global economy grow.

Hong Kong officials are considering invoking emergency powers to ban masks at protests. It would be the first time the emergency law has been used in more than half a century. That's one reason why Hong Kong stocks are up.

Chinese markets are closed for the holiday week>

On Wall Street, looking like a bounce -- going to try for a bounce. It's been a rough couple of days for investors.

The Dow fell about 500 points Wednesday. It's down 3.1 percent in just the first two days of the fourth quarter. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also closed lower.

Good news for regular Jane and Joe mom and pop investors. E-Trade cutting commissions for its clients to zero. The online broker had been charging $6.95 as a standard commission.

Its rivals Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade already did it. They eliminated the commissions Tuesday.

The industry faces competition from startups like Robinhood, with no or lower commissions via popular apps.

All right, Fortnite, one of the hottest games in the world and its popularity is paying off. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has landed on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans for the first time. Sweeney came in at number 150 with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion in V-Bucks.

Also on the list for the first time, Mackenzie Bezos. She came in at number 15 with an estimated net worth of $36 billion after her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

And it is dollar-by-dollar, $9.99 at a time. Tim Sweeney is on that list.

BRIGGS: One at a time, yes.

ROMANS: Yes, my kids play Fortnite.

BRIGGS: A free game makes you a billionaire. That's the American dream.

ROMANS: It sure does.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This is a fraudulent crime on the American people, but we'll work together with Shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them.

SCHIFF: We're not fooling around here. We don't want this to drag on months and months and months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam Schiff needs to tell us what did he know, when did he know it, and how many times did he lie to us in the process.

SERFATY: Potentially a huge moment. The president's former special envoy to the Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- he is set to appear behind closed doors later today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pompeo and President Trump don't want officials to testify. I think it's a great thing that he is actually going to speak openly about this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, October third. It's 6:00 here in New York.

And this morning, a White House in.

END