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EARLY START

Second Ukraine Whistleblower Steps Forward; White House: Turkish Military Set To Enter Northern Syria; U.K. Urges Return Of U.S. Diplomat's Wife After Fatal Crash. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 7, 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]

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- that fundraisers. She's also been offered a recording contract.

All right, EARLY START continues right now.

ROMANS: A new whistleblower stepping forward. Lawyers saying the person has firsthand knowledge to support accusations against President Trump over Ukraine.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Biden speaking out. The Democratic presidential candidate saying he is not going to let the president's unproven accusations hurt his family.

ROMANS: A manhunt underway for a suspect in a deadly bar shooting in Kansas. Police say the man is armed and dangerous.

BRIGGS: Overnight, a major shift in U.S. foreign policy. The Trump administration removing U.S. troops from Northern Syria. Turkey set to start a military incursion there.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Good morning, everyone.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

ROMANS: It's 30 minutes past the hour this Monday morning.

And a second whistleblower has come forward with information about President Trump.

An attorney, Mark Zaid, confirming to CNN his team now represents a second person who Zaid says works in the Intelligence Community. Zaid says his client has firsthand knowledge backing claims made by the first whistleblower who raised the alarm first about a call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

BRIGGS: That is likely to undercut Republicans who have called the first whistleblower's claims hearsay based on secondhand evidence. The first whistleblower claimed the president abused his official powers, pressuring Zelensky to dig up dirt on Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and that the White House tried to cover it up.

The president has denied doing any improper.

Jeremy Diamond with more from the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Dave and Christine, there is now a second whistleblower from within the Intelligence Community who has also raised concerns about President Trump's call with the Ukrainian president.

Attorneys for that first whistleblower, whose complaint set off an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats, now say they are also representing this second whistleblower.

Andrew Bakaj, one of those attorneys, says in a statement, "I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019 disclosure to the Intelligence Community inspector general.

Now, the second whistleblower has not filed a formal complaint but we are told that this official has spoken with the Intelligence Community's inspector general. That is the same Trump-appointed inspector general who found the first whistleblower's complaints credible.

Now, as far as the White House, their message right now is that there is simply nothing to see here.

Here is a statement from the White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that she issued on Sunday.

She says, "It doesn't matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers about the same telephone call -- a call the president has already made public. It doesn't change the fact that he has done nothing wrong."

Now, as for the president, he has spent much of his weekend on Twitter where he is lashing out at his enemies, attacking the credibility of this whistleblower, and also, of course, going after Democrats.

But the president is also attacking some Republicans -- namely one -- the former Republican nominee Mitt Romney -- and now, a senator from Utah who has called the president's requests of China and Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, appalling. The president taking to Twitter to call for Sen. Romney's impeachment even though senators can't be impeached.

But the president's message here really is not just about Mitt Romney; it's about any Republican who would step out of line and criticize him -- Dave, Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Jeremy, at the White House, thank you for that. A group of 90 former National Security officials are praising the first whistleblower in an open letter.

The officials, who have served under both Republicans and Democrats, write, "A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed. Whatever one's view of the matters discussed in the whistleblower's complaint, all Americans should be united in demanding that all branches of our government and all outlets of our media protect this whistleblower and his or her identity."

Among the officials signing that letter are former Defense secretary Chuck Hagel and former CIA director Michael Hayden.

BRIGGS: Former vice president and 2020 candidate Joe Biden speaking out, slamming what he called the president's efforts to destroy him and his family.

In an op-ed in "The Washington Post," Biden writes, "President Trump slanders anyone he sees as a threat. That is why he is frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories, and smears against me and my family, no doubt hoping to undermine my candidacy for the presidency. This time, it won't work because the American people know me and they know him."

ROMANS: Biden added that he doesn't intend to go anywhere, telling Trump, "You won't destroy me and you won't destroy my family. And come November 2020, I intend to beat you like a drum."

BRIGGS: Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders this morning after suffering a heart attack last week.

ROMANS: The senator thanked voters on Twitter and said, "I am recovering well and feeling much better. I am more determined than ever to fight alongside you to make health care a human right."

BRIGGS: Sanders underwent surgery after the heart attack. He's canceled events until further notice, although his campaign says he will be on the debate stage October 15th. That event hosted by CNN and "The New York Times."

[05:35:09]

ROMANS: All right, House Democrats setting up hearings this week in the impeachment inquiry. Key players set to testify behind closed doors. We'll tell you what to expect, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: House Democrats are full steam ahead on their impeachment inquiry. Two depositions scheduled this week with key figures in the whistleblower complaint released last month.

Let's talk about it with Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton, and a CNN political analyst. Good to see you, sir.

ROMANS: Good morning.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, HISTORIAN AND PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, CO-AUTHOR, "FAULT LINES: A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1974": Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

Also, the second whistleblower, but this one with firsthand knowledge of that call between Trump and Zelensky. How does that change the equation moving forward?

ZELIZER: Well, two is worse than one. I do think it's, at this point, not just about the whistleblowers. We have the memo about the call in front of us, we have admissions from people. But obviously, second confirmation just makes this story that much worse and easier for Democrats to keep moving forward on this investigation.

[05:40:09]

ROMANS: It's so interesting though because what you hear from so many Republicans is that well, just because it's a whistleblower doesn't mean it's right or it's true. It doesn't mean it's a valid -- a valid kind of bunch of information. I mean, they're already trying to cast doubt on it.

ZELIZER: But we're well beyond the whistleblowers. We have information in front of the public about what happened in the calls. No one's really disputing it. The real dispute is is it wrong or is it not?

ROMANS: And we also have the president on camera saying to the Chinese, hey --

ZELIZER: Right.

ROMANS: -- we think you should investigate the Bidens. Ukraine, we think you should investigate the Bidens. We have the president in his own words.

And it's fascinating how some Republicans -- the only -- the few Republicans who will talk about this, how they have tried to -- how -- to explain away the president's own words -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): I don't think it's a real -- I think -- again, I think he did it to get you guys.

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): I doubt if the China comment was serious, to tell you the truth.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): You really think he was serious about thinking that China's going to investigate the Biden family?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So the response here is don't believe the words the president says. That is the line from these Republicans?

ZELIZER: Yes. It's either there was nothing wrong with what he said -- I don't believe what he said.

But again, at this point, this is just Republicans being partisan, lining up behind the president. It doesn't justify what the president does.

And I think at this point there's reason for Americans to believe he was serious. We now have a long record where he and Giuliani were seeking help in this and they're continuing to seek help for this election.

ROMANS: And our -- some of our reporting is that he actually brought this up with President Xi on a phone call. In the midst of high --

ZELIZER: Yes.

ROMANS: -- pressure negotiations, he brought up an investigation of the Bidens in a phone call with President Xi.

BRIGGS: The White House has said they will not cooperate on documents until a full House vote.

ZELIZER: Yes.

BRIGGS: What's Nancy Pelosi's hesitation? When will she have a full House vote and get everyone on record?

ZELIZER: I think she's just waiting for all the Democrats to be lined up. And at this point, the scandal gets so much worse with every day.

I think she's waiting a little bit. She's trying to change public opinion. She's trying to see if Republican support cracks even a little bit before this goes to the Senate.

But there will be a vote by the end of the year. I think it's pretty clear that we will see articles of impeachment actually come before the House.

ROMANS: Will Republican support crack?

ZELIZER: The odds are incredibly low but I don't think we're in the place we were about three weeks ago. And so, let's see what else comes out.

ROMANS: Well --

ZELIZER: Look, the thing about partisanship is it will turn Republicans against the president in the same way it helps support them if this becomes devastating. It isn't, at this point, but that's what we're watching for politically and that's when Republican support would crack.

ROMANS: I mean, Susan Collins made some comments this weekend that I think were interesting. Susan Collins -- on the China issue -- in particular on the president's China comments, asking for help from the communist Chinese government to investigate American citizens.

This is what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent. It's typically inappropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That's hard for -- for some reason, the vast majority of Republicans can't say those words.

ZELIZER: Right. Inappropriate is now a profile in courage. That's how things have moved in the Republican Party.

But she did say it. Mitt Romney has said a few words. We'll see if spreads.

ROMANS: Republican Ben Sasse from Nebraska.

ZELIZER: Look, in the end, it might be that the House votes to impeach the president, the Republicans vote to say this is OK, and that's the question on Election Day. But then, Congress is taking a stand -- both parties -- and that will be what voters have to think about.

ROMANS: Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse also saying --

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: -- it was -- his words, I think, were "ridiculous."

BRIGGS: Pretty clear you're right -- this is where that is headed. From the very beginning, it appeared that it was.

ZELIZER: That's exactly right.

Julian Zelizer, good to see you, sir.

ROMANS: Good morning -- thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

BRIGGS: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

One week from tomorrow we could get a make or break moment in the 2020 race. The fourth Democratic presidential debate live on CNN from the battleground state of Ohio. Will one candidate break out? Find out on the CNN and "New York Times" Democratic presidential debate stage, Tuesday, October 15th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

BRIGGS: All right. The suspect in fatal attacks on four sleeping homeless men in New York City's Chinatown has been charged with four counts of murder. The NYPD says 24-year-old Randy Santos is also homeless. He's being held without bail.

Over the weekend, four homeless men were found dead and a fifth seriously injured. Police say there does not appear to be a motive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BALDASSANO, DEPUTY CHIEF, NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: So, the motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks. It doesn't seem to be any -- no one was targeted by race, age -- anything of that nature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Investigators say Santos struck the victims on the head with a metal object. The injured man was able to speak with police before behind hospitalized in critical condition.

EARLY START will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:49:53]

ROMANS: All right, welcome back. Let's get a check on "CNN Business" this Monday morning.

Markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai have been closed for a national holiday. They open again on Tuesday. You can see European shares are barely mixed here.

[05:50:05]

In the U.S., futures moving a little bit lower here this morning -- the triple-digit decline for the Dow if it holds. You know, stocks closed higher -- nicely higher on Friday.

The mixed September jobs report fueled hopes the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again later this month.

The Dow, on Friday, closed up 373. The Nasdaq and the S&P finished up nicely here, 1.4 percent.

So those gains on Friday helped cut the losses for the week for blue chips for the S&P and the Dow. Those two still, though, ended the week lower, marking their third-straight week of declines. The Nasdaq ended the week higher.

Fox is returning channels to Dish customers after a two-week blackout. The companies confirmed they reached a multi-year agreement Sunday.

Now, while the two sides negotiated, Fox blocked Dish and Sling T.V. customers from accessing local channels in 17 markets. Dish said Fox wanted to force bundle its local channels with its cable networks, which Dish said would hike prices for its customers.

The terms of the deal not disclosed. A Fox spokesperson said Dish customer will immediately regain access to their Fox channels and networks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX, ACTOR, JOKER: When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Joker?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right, "Joker" shattered box office records over the weekend despite or maybe because of all of the controversy around how it depicts violence. The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix, brought in an estimated $93.5 million in North America, making it the highest- grossing opening in October ever.

The film put critics and authorities on edge. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of threats ahead of its opening. But all that worry, in the end, was a recipe for box office success.

BRIGGS: A stunning announcement from the Trump administration. U.S. troops will be moving out of Northern Syria, allowing Turkey to conduct a military incursion in the region. The move reverses U.S. efforts until now to stop Turkish action there.

Ben Wedeman joining us live from Beirut. Ben, why have they made this decision?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not altogether clear.

This was after a conversation last night with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, who just in August, the Turks and the Americans worked out an agreement whereby there would be joint patrols along the border. But the Turks want an area 30 kilometers inside Syria to be part of its so-called safe zone.

So, suddenly, this comes out. It was a shock to everyone, including, apparently, the American troops in Syria and the main allies of the United States in the fight with ISIS -- the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.

In fact, one of their spokesmen, Mostapha Bali, put out a tweet saying that the Kurds don't expect the United States to defend Northeast Syria. But he said, "People here are owed an explanation regarding security mechanism deal, destruction of fortifications, and failure of the U.S. to fulfill their commitments."

So, President Trump seems to be willing to hand over a large chunk of Kurdish-controlled Syria to Turkey, which is very hostile to these Kurdish forces. The Kurds -- the Turks have made it clear that they might resettle as

many two million Syrian refugees in that part of Syria, even though most of them come from the western part of the country and are Sunni Muslims as opposed to the majority of Kurds in that part of the country.

And there's the question of control of the prisons where many of the ISIS fighters are being currently held. According to this agreement between President Trump and President Erdogan, those ISIS fighters will now be the responsibility of the Turks.

We should keep in mind that it was the Turks who originally allowed these fighters into Syria in the first place -- Dave and Christine.

BRIGGS: Bizarre, to say the least.

All right, Ben Wedeman, live for us in Beirut with the bizarre turn of events. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

A manhunt underway for one of two suspects wanted in a bar shooting in Kansas City, Kansas that left four people dead and five wounded. They say 29-year-old Hugo Villanueva-Morales and 23-year-old Javier Alatorre walked into the Tequila KC Bar early Sunday morning and started shooting.

Alatorre is in custody. Police say witnesses told investigators the shooting may have stemmed from an argument at the bar hours earlier.

CNN's Natasha Chen has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, it's been an incredibly emotional weekend for this community.

The police said that the suspect had an argument of some kind inside the bar before the shooting. And those who were here Saturday night tell me they observed a man who was very agitated, getting into arguments with the bartender and another guest before being kicked out.

[05:55:00]

And those who stayed in the bar tell me that that man came back hours later with at least one other person, passing through this door that says "No firearms or weapons allowed on this property." And yet, police say they believe two suspects fired shots inside when about 40 or 50 people were there, killing four men.

We're also hearing of some incredible heroics, including one man who died as he was pushing aside another woman to save her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, Adu (ph) pushed me or else I would have got shot because I was in front of him. And he just pushed me out of the way and I was just on the floor and there was just people and blood everywhere. And I was just crying and trying to get behind tables and trying to get behind chairs.

CHEN: At a very tense vigil Sunday night, we also heard about another man who died in the arms of his fiance inside that bar.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gave a statement saying, "I continue to be frustrated that these mass shootings and killings occur with regular frequency. Our nation has an obligation to address this ongoing public health crisis."

Dave and Christine, back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: OK.

The British foreign secretary is now getting personally involved as a family in the U.K. demands justice in the death of their 19-year-old son. The teen, Harry Dunn, died after being hit by a suspect driving on the wrong side of the road. That suspect if the wife of a U.S. diplomat. She left the U.K. under diplomatic immunity.

Anna Stewart is live for us in London with the latest. Anna, good morning.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Dave.

I met with the family of Harry yesterday and they are in absolute torment. They've had to process the most horrific news that their son died in terrible circumstances.

A driver on the wrong side of the road colliding with his motorbike when he was on his way to see his father. He was left on the side of the road. The hospital had to come to him. His injuries were so bad he could not be whisked straight to hospital, and he did succumb from his injuries.

But the worst part of this is not just that, but the fact that even these days, weeks later, this family is now having to go through the ordeal of trying to get the suspect back to the U.K. since they flew back to the U.S. under diplomatic immunity.

And the mother wants justice, the family wants justice. There's huge anguish here.

Take a listen to what the mother had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLOTTE CHARLES, MOTHER OF HARRY DUNN: It can't be right that somebody -- a diplomat or their family can come over to the U.K. or any other country, kill somebody, unintentionally or not, and just go away and ignore what's happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP) STEWART: A heartbreaking interview, but she wanted to speak to CNN because she hopes that viewers in the United States of America will be watching and maybe they can put pressure on the U.S. government to do something because here, the British police are not able to get the suspect back to the U.K.

The British government are involved and they will be meeting with this family this week. But currently, all they've been able to do is express their disappointment over the situation.

The power to weigh diplomatic immunity -- that lies with the U.S. government. And this family hopes that the U.S. State Department will waive immunity, but they told us that it rarely happens. They hope that an exception is made in this case and if they don't get that -- if diplomatic immunity isn't waived, this family hopes to travel to Washington, D.C. and they hope to bring this up to the U.S. president, themselves.

BRIGGS: All right. Anna Stewart live for us in London with that latest -- thank you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMILY ZAMOURKA, HOMELESS OPERA SINGER (Singing opera).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: We told you the story of a homeless woman caught on video singing opera in the subway. Well, this weekend, Emily Zamourka performed on stage at a Los Angeles event.

She thanked the crowd for the support she's received since that video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I'm so glad about that, that I could touch your hearts with my new -- with my voice. Thank you so much for all of this that's happening right now. I really thank you. I'm so overwhelmed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Since the video of her first went viral, a Los Angeles City Council member has helped Emily get housing in a hotel and is helping her look for long-term housing.

She's received more than $110,000 from donors via two Internet fundraisers. She's also been offered a recording contract.

I think it's so important -- these stories are so important to remember. When you see someone in a homeless situation in America's cities, remember that there are stories behind every one of these faces and that we all need to help our fellow citizens.

BRIGGS: Stories and talents.

ROMANS: Right. BRIGGS: A just remarkable voice.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second person is coming forward to corroborate whistleblower claims.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is Kavanaugh all over again. And what is it about the Intel Community and Trump that is so off-base here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot ignore what is painfully right or obviously right in front of us. The president dangerously abused his oath of office and his administrative powers.

JORDAN: There were 67 pages of text messages. Why just a few handfuls selected highlighted by the Democrats?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is wild, the lengths to which Republicans are going to try to avoid being criticized by this president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

END