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President Trump Orders All U.S. Troops Out of Northern Syria; Trump's Former Top Russia Adviser Fiona Hill Set to Testify Today on Capitol Hill; Joe Biden Pledges that No Member of His Family will Work in His Administration if Elected. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 14, 2019 - 05:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Syria pulling out as our allies, the Kurds look to cut a deal with Assad and Russia.

DAVE BRIGGS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: A former White House official is expected to testify behind closed doors just hours from now, in the Trump impeachment inquiry.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the officer observed and why he did not announce police, will be addressed.


CHATTERLEY: Fort Worth, Texas, police speak after an officer shot a woman to death in her own home.


BRIGGS: A walk-off thriller in Houston as the Astros beat the Yankees in game two and were headed back here to New York. Good morning everyone, welcome to EARLY START on a Monday, I'm Dave Briggs.

CHATTERLEY: And I'm Julia Chatterley, it's Monday, October 14th, it's Columbus Day, and also indigenous people's day in many places. It's 5:00 a.m. in the east. All right, let's get to our top story now. The remaining U.S. forces in northern Syria, now preparing to withdraw under new orders from President Trump.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the president and his national security team are concerned American troops could get caught in the crossfire.


MARK ESPER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES: Now, what we're facing is U.S. forces in a trap between a Syrian-Russian army moving north to take on the Turkish army that is moving south. It puts us in a terrible position, and the protection and safety of our service members comes first to me. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHATTERLEY: Esper says with the president ordering U.S. forces to pull out, America's main ally in the fight against ISIS, the Kurds are now trying to save themselves from Turkish troops. He says they're trying to cut a deal with the Syrian regime and its Russian backers. Now, following all these fast-moving developments for us, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Istanbul.

Jomana, talk us through once again as you were describing in the last hour, what potential deal between the Syrian Kurds and the Syrian regime over the Assad will mean for Turkish forces here?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We'll have to wait and see, Julia. Lots of questions about this deal that was announced by the Syrian Kurds, the authority there in north and eastern Syria with this statement late last night, saying, basically, that they've been left with no alternative here, but to turn to this Syrian regime to face this Turkish military operation or aggression, as they describe it.

They say that they have requested the Syrian regime, sends its military and deploy it along the border with Turkey to basically support the Syrian democratic forces in facing this Turkish military incursion. But really at this point, Julia, it is not clear what this agreement entails. We have not heard specifics from the Kurdish side, we have not heard from the regime other than their state media announcing late last night, saying that the Syrian military was moving to the north.

And also in the last few hours, we're hearing from the Syrian state media saying that the regime's military, the Syrian army has entered the one town in that part of the country and also are on the entrances of another town. We'll have to wait and see how this will impact the Turkish military operation.

As you know very well, Turkey's biggest issue, they've said that they do not want these Kurdish forces who they see as an existential threat right on their border. Will replacing them, if that happens with the Syrian military impact this Turkish operation? We'll have to wait and see, but at this point, it doesn't seem like there has been a halt in the military operation, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Jomana, thank you so much for that report.

BRIGGS: Now, it's a federal holiday. But still, it is the first day of a busy week for lawmakers with numerous depositions scheduled and subpoenas coming due in the Trump impeachment inquiry. The fast pace in part dictated by the pressure on house Democrats to vote on impeachment as soon as thanksgiving. Jeremy Diamond has more from the White House.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Julia. A busy week on Capitol Hill, indeed. And it all begins today as Democrats continue to move forward with their house impeachment inquiry. They will be bringing forward Fiona Hill for a deposition behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Fiona Hill was the top adviser to the president on Russia and European affairs for much of the president's tenure. But she did leave the administration just a few days before the president's call with Ukrainian President Zelensky back in July. But Fiona Hill will just be the beginning of Democrats' moves this week.

Later in the week on Thursday, they will be bringing forward Gordon Sondland; the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Of course, last week, he was barred by the White House and by the State Department from testifying on Capitol Hill. But now, under subpoena pressure, he will be testifying.


And according to "The Washington Post", Sondland despite denying that there was any quid pro quo in those text messages with key U.S. diplomats involved in Ukraine policy. According to "The Washington Post", he will say that the president told him that there was no quid pro quo, but that he doesn't necessarily know if that statement was, indeed, truthful.

Now, while Democrats have spent much of this weekend preparing for that busy week on the Hill, the president, meanwhile, is spending time defending his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was a fantastic prosecutor. I know nothing about him being under investigation. Somebody said, I heard a report today, I don't -- I can't imagine it. He's a man that looks for corruption, and whatever he does, I really believe he's a totally -- I mean, I know, he's an honorable man.


DIAMOND: A source familiar with the matter confirming that the president did indeed have lunch with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani at his golf course on Saturday. And the president's defense and his decision to have lunch with his personal attorney, all this coming after the "New York Times" reported that Giuliani is under federal investigation. Law enforcement officials are probing whether he violated foreign lobbying laws, Dave, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Jeff Zeleny there, all right, not the only thing we're watching. Joe Biden talking about his son, Hunter, as he takes aim at President Trump. You'll hear from the former vice president after this.



BRIGGS: Former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, announcing he will resign from the board of a Chinese company at the end of the month. And he says he will not work for any foreign-owned firms if his father is elected. Again, this weekend, President Trump lashed out at the Bidens in the face of Democrat's impeachment inquiry.

And at a campaign event in Iowa on Sunday, Joe Biden said his would be a White House free of conflicts.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can tell you now, if I am your president, the next president, I'm going to build on the squeaky-clean, transparent environment that we had in the Obama-Biden White House. And no one in my family or associated with me will be involved in any foreign operation, whatsoever, period, end of story.


BRIGGS: Biden adding that no family member would have an office in the West Wing or sit in on any meetings as if they were a cabinet member, a clear shot at the Trump White House.

CHATTERLEY: A disturbing meme video of a fake President Trump shooting, assaulting and stabbing members of the media and his critics were shown at a pro-Trump conference last week. "The New York Times" first reported on the video shown at a three-day conference of the group American Priority, held at Mr. Trump's Miami resort.

BRIGGS: CNN cannot independently verify the video and has chosen not to show it, so is not to further amplify it. One part of the ultraviolent video shows a fake Trump's head edited on to the body of a man opening fire on what's labeled the church of fake news.

CHATTERLEY: CNN has released a statement saying, "sadly, this is not the first time that supporters of the president have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining. But it is far and away, the worst. The images depicted are vile and horrific. The president and his family, the White House and the Trump campaign need to denounce it immediately in the strongest possible terms.

Anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence and should not be tolerated by anyone." A spokesman for the Trump campaign told "The Times" the campaign did not produce the video and does not condone "violence", quote. American Priority says the content came from third parties, and that the conference did not endorse it.

BRIGGS: The family of a black Texas woman who was fatally shot inside her Fort Worth, Texas, home by a white police officer is calling for an outside agency to investigate. An attorney for the family of 28- year-old Atatiana Jefferson says she was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew early Saturday morning when an officer shot her through a window.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Observed a person through a rear window in the residence and fired a shot at that person. The officer did not announce that he was a police officer prior to shooting. What the officer observed and why he did not announce police, will be addressed as the investigation continues.


BRIGGS: The officer who fired the fatal shot is scheduled to be interviewed later today by the major cases unit of the Fort Worth Police Department. Polo Sandoval has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went from a welfare check to a woman being killed by the cops.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Outrage is building over the actions of a Fort Worth, Texas police officer Saturday morning. Just before 2:30 a.m., police were called to the home of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson after neighbors noticed her front door was open.

Heavily-edited body camera video released by Fort Worth police picks up what happens next. After police pierced through the front door, they walked the perimeter of the property, when suddenly, police say, an officer spots someone standing near a window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands up, show me your hands.

SANDOVAL: The medical examiner identified the woman who the officer shot as Jefferson. She died at the scene. James Smith says he's the concerned caller who first alerted police.

JAMES SMITH, RESIDENT WHO CALLED POLICE: I feel guilty because had I not called the Fort Worth Police Department, my neighbor would still be alive today.

SANDOVAL: In a statement, Fort Worth police said their officer drew his weapon and fired the single shot after, quote, "perceiving a threat." In addition to the body camera footage, investigators released this still photo, showing a firearm inside the house.

CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson cautions not to jump to any conclusions.

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You're going to release the fact that she has a gun in the home, as perhaps what? To suggest she had a gun and that we were, perhaps, fearful for our life. There's no indication where that gun was. There's no indication she had that gun. There's no indication that she should not have had the gun.


SANDOVAL: CNN has requested the unedited body camera footage. A police spokesperson said nothing additional will be released at this time, and that the department quote, "shares the deep concerns of the public and is committed to completing an extremely thorough investigation." Police have not named the officer who joined the department in April of last year. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BRIGGS: OK, Polo, thank you. Ahead, we'll talk a little sports. The

Houston Astros walk off, evening up the American League Championship Series, it's slated here in New York, Carolyn Manno has more in the "BLEACHER REPORT" next. Good morning --


BRIGGS: Good shot there --



BRIGGS: The Houston Astros soaring after an extra-innings thriller against the Yankees in game two of the American League Championship Series.

CHATTERLEY: Carolyn Manno has more in this morning's BLEACHER REPORT. Great to have you with us, are you also sleep deprived?

MANNO: I am a little sleep deprived.

BRIGGS: Good God --

MANNO: It was such a good weekend of sports --

BRIGGS: Very good --

MANNO: The NFL also, it's OK, I've got a couple of hours of sleep, but I'll get you through it because this --

BRIGGS: Right --

MANNO: Was a match that everybody has been looking forward to since Spring training, living up to the hype completely. It is the baseball version of a heavyweight title fight, and after a bad loss in game one to the Yankees, felt like a must-win for the Astros.

Despite having a best home record in baseball this year, they went blow-for-blow last night, homeruns as haymakers and in the 11th inning, with the score tied at 2-2, Houston shortstop Carlos Correa delivering the knockout punch hitting the first pitch into the right field seats for the walk-off game-winner.

Houston wins in nail-biter 3-2, to even the series at 1 game apiece. The best-of-seven series now shifting to New York for game three on Tuesday night. Meantime, the Nationals look to take a commanding 3-0 games lead in the NLCS tonight against the Cardinals. First pitch set for just after 7:30 Eastern on our sister channel, "TBS", and make sure to be on the lookout for that as well.

Battle of the same draft class on Sunday in the NFL. Former first- round pick Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City rattled off 17 points in the first quarter after being sidelined with a shoulder injury, Tyreek Hill, back for the first time since week one. He made an impact, hauling in a 46-yard touchdown on the opening drive. But that would be about it. Watson would stay composed, and after

going down 17-3 in the first quarter, Houston ratted off 20 unanswered points heading into half-time. Watson throwing for 280-yards and a touchdown, penalties, mistakes, play calling, oh, my for Kansas City as Deshaun Watson gets the better of the Chiefs' counterpart.

And the Chiefs pick up their second-straight loss at home by the way. Do you think the Chiefs have problems, the Cowboys are reeling after a third-straight loss, this time to the Jets, who came into the game winless. And after being diagnosed with mono five weeks ago, Jets fans are thrilled to see their young quarterback Sam Darnold looking sharp, throwing for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Look at this 92-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson, that was the highlight, the second-longest scoring pass in Jets' history. Dallas, who is pretty banged up, found themselves in a 15-point deficit to start the second half, their come-back attempt falling way short. The Cowboys lose by two. They are back to 500 on the season.

And gymnasts Simone Biles keeps on breaking records and taking names. She is the most decorated gymnast in world championship history after earning five gold medals. Biles now has 25 championship medals, the most ever for a man or a woman. The 22-year-old is already a four- time Olympic champion, but says next year's Olympics in Tokyo will be her last.

And if this is any indication, I think that is going to be a phenomenal way, Dave and Julia, to punctuate her Olympic career. She cannot be stopped.

CHATTERLEY: Greatest of all time --

BRIGGS: Quite a void when she's gone. I mean, 19 of 25 medals are gold, I don't know how you possibly fill that void. By the way, Andy Scholes, our colleague was at that Astros-Yankees game last night. Check out his Instagram --

MANNO: Yes, just go to his Instagram feed --

BRIGGS: It's glorious --

MANNO: I'm glad he's having fun.

BRIGGS: He's able to be a fan. Carolyn, good to see you, thanks --

CHATTERLEY: Thank you, all right, take a look at this. Moments of panic caught on camera, as a speeding SUV closes in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's coming! He's coming! He's coming! He's coming!


CHATTERLEY: See what happens next right after this. Stay with EARLY START.



BRIGGS: Fire crews in southern California finally getting a handle on a huge Saddleridge fire that has consumed nearly 8,000 acres. It's the largest active wild fire in the state. Officials say it's now 42 percent contained, that's more than double the contaminant on Saturday from some 40 structures have been damaged or destroyed in the Saddleridge fire.

All evacuations in Los Angeles have been lifted.

CHATTERLEY: Dramatic video showing a speeding SUV slamming into a police cruiser on a freeway in southern California.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's coming! He's coming! He's coming! He's coming!


CHATTERLEY: Police on the scene were responding to an earlier multi- vehicle crash caused by a wrong-way driver hitting a truck head-on. The SUV driver nearly hit several people including officers, as he came careening down an emergency lane after traffic had been stopped.

The driver told police he blacked out during the crash, he was arrested on suspicion of a DUI.

BRIGGS: EARLY START continues right now. The remaining U.S. troops in northern Syria pulling out as our allies, the Kurds, look to cut a deal with Assad and Russia.

CHATTERLEY: A former White House official expected to testify behind closed doors just hours from now, in the Trump impeachment inquiry.


BRIGGS: And a series is tied, a walk-off thriller in Houston as the Astros beat the Yankees in game two.

CHATTERLEY: Plus, how millions of kids all over the world ended up staring at a blank screen where Fortnite used to be. It's a black hole.

BRIGGS: A literal black hole. All our children are staring into it this hour.

CHATTERLEY: For hours -- welcome back --


BRIGGS: Sunday, it was. CHATTERLEY: This is not a black hole. But welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Julia Chatterley.

BRIGGS: Relatively speaking, I'm Dave Briggs, 5:29 Eastern Time. We start with the remaining U.S. forces in northern Syria, now preparing to withdraw under new orders from President Trump. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the president and his national security team are concerned American troops could get caught in the crossfire.