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EARLY START

President Trump Orders All U.S. Troops Out Of Northern Syria; Black Woman Fatally Shot Inside Texas Home; Search Resumes For Missing Worker. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 14, 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]

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: -- preparing to withdraw under new orders from President Trump.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ESPER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: 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)

BRIGGS: Esper says the president ordering U.S. forces to pull out American's main ally in the fight against ISIS, the Kurds, are now trying to save themselves from Turkish troops. He says they are trying to cut a deal with the Syrian regime and its Russian backers.

Following all this, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh live for us in Istanbul. So, we are now forcing our allies, the Kurds, into the hands of our enemy. Jomana, good morning.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Dave, less than a week into this military operation and not only do you have America's allies on the ground, the Kurds, feeling that they have been betrayed by the United States, leaving them no choice but to turn to the Syrian regime -- you also look at the situation on the ground where you pretty much have this part of Syria -- you know, the American withdrawal that paved the ground for what seems to be the Syrian regime moving in and taking over, ending a victory not just to the Syrian regime but also to their Russian backers.

Now, in the past 24 hours, you have these fast developments that we have been seeing. A statement coming from the Kurdish authorities in that part of Syria saying that they have reached an agreement with the Syrian regime. That they've asked their troops to come in to support them in facing what they're describing as the Turkish aggression. That they've asked the Syrian Army to deploy along the border with Turkey.

Now, there are lots of questions about this agreement and what it actually entails. Very little information at this point.

The Syrian government, for its part, hasn't really commented on that, but through their state media they announced late last night that the Syrian military was moving north to confront what they also described as the Turkish aggression -- an invasion.

In the last few hours, we're hearing also from Syrian state media saying that their military has taken over at least a couple of towns in northeastern Syria.

Now, we'll have to wait and see, Dave. The question is what is Turkey going to do next? How is this going to impact its operations?

We know their main aim was to push back what they saw as an existential threat -- those Kurdish -- those Kurdish forces that are on their border. Will the deployment of the Syrian regime impact Ankara's decision to go forward with this operation? Will it impact it not? We'll have to wait and see.

A crucial few hours and few days ahead.

BRIGGS: And, of course, those worries that more than 10,000 ISIS fighters could be released.

Jomana Karadsheh live in Istanbul -- thanks.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: All right.

It may be a federal holiday today but it's still 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 here to vote on impeachment as soon as Thanksgiving. They're hoping to get it over with before the heat of primary season begins next year.

Republicans, though, in the meantime, now trying out various ways to fight back.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more from the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: 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 a 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 the 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, as somebody said -- I heard a report today. I don't -- I can't imagine it.

[05:35:07]

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 of 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: OK, Jeremy -- thanks.

Joe Biden talks about his son, Hunter, as he takes aim at President Trump. You'll hear from the former vice president, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:40:00]

CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to EARLY START.

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 lashing out at the Bidens in the face of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can tell you now, if I am your president -- next president -- I am 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 name will be involved in any foreign operation whatsoever, period, end of story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BRIGGS: Indeed.

All right, let's talk to senior politics writer here, Zach Wolf, live in D.C. this morning. Good to see you, sir.

ZACHARY WOLF, DIGITAL DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Will that be a liability for Joe Biden come the debate stage tomorrow night?

WOLF: I think this entire could is clearly a liability for Joe Biden. Every fact-check shows there was no wrongdoing. The -- you know, there was no official investigation here. So the facts are on his side.

But I think that the Trump administration -- and the full administration and the Trump campaign have done such a good job of just using the words Joe Biden with regard to Ukraine too much that it can't help but hurt him.

And we've seen that, I think, in the polling, we've seen that in the rise of Elizabeth Warren, and he is going to have to do something to sort of change the narrative about his campaign away from this conspiracy theory and back to the things that the wants to talk about. And that's a clear thing that he's going to have to accomplish tomorrow.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's going to be tough when there's going to be so much noise and rhetoric around impeachment testimony on Capitol Hill this week.

Of all those that are speaking, I think front and center, U.S. ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland, whose text messages and the suggestion that there was no quid pro quo between the two presidents -- the president, of course, of the United States and Ukraine here over withholding aid in order to dish dirt on Joe Biden or on Hunter Biden here.

"The Washington Post" has been all over this, this weekend.

We've got a quick quote on what's expected to come from this testimony. Sondland plans to tell lawmakers he has no knowledge of whether the president was telling the truth at that moment. It's only true that the president said it was not -- that it was the truth, said a person familiar with Sondland's planned testimony.

So, no quid pro quo. That apparently came from the president. We don't know if that's the truth, though.

WOLF: I love that quote because you could apply it to pretty much everything that the president says. Nobody knows if he's telling the truth -- maybe even him, I think, a lot of the time. But that is a -- that is a well-lawyered thing right there. He was just basically relaying information and who knows if it was true that there was or there wasn't -- in this case, there wasn't a quid pro quo.

But it was interesting in reading those text messages. They were having a normal text message back and forth and then there's this -- sort of pops up this oh, by the way, there's no quid pro quo. It was -- it was very obvious.

You know, is this thing on? Everybody's listening. Ultimately, this could be seen as a CYA moment, I think.

CHATTERLEY: Does the denial matter, though, if the president said look, there was no quid pro quo here? There was no ask for information for dirt on Joe Biden in order to give them foreign aid. Does it matter?

WOLF: I -- personally, I kind of think that the idea of quid pro quo is almost beside the point.

BRIGGS: Yes.

WOLF: It's the pressure in him encouraging the foreign government to get involved in the U.S. election. I think that that, for Democrats, is going to ultimately be just as big a deal. It almost doesn't matter if there was quid pro quo if he's pressuring other governments to get involved.

CHATTERLEY: So important.

BRIGGS: And that's what Democrats have stressed from the beginning.

All right. So, the Defense Sec. Mark Esper out on the Sunday shows trying to walk that line and thread that needle on defending the president on this whole Syria strategy and impeachment. Listen to the Defense secretary yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ESPER: 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.

And we will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress. Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note, as we typically do in these situations, to ensure documents are retained.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: I'm not sure either of those would have made the boss happy.

[05:45:00]

What do you make of Esper?

WOLF: I mean, you know, I think when we see his predecessor on a -- on a different show talking about how, essentially, the American experiment is in danger because we're putting troops in danger, essentially, I think you have a real problem right now policywise in Syria.

And figuring out how to get out of a situation that the White House essentially created and it's not clear why, is going to be a real problem not only for the troops on the ground, obviously, but also for the White House as it tries to transmit all of these things.

It wants to keep Republicans on Capitol Hill happy because they're going to have to defend him from impeachment. But at the same time, they're all extremely angry and disgusted at the -- at what this administration has essentially done in Syria.

BRIGGS: All right. Check out Zach's impeachment tracker.

CHATTERLEY: Yes.

BRIGGS: Sign up for that --

WOLF: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- on cnn.com. Good to see you, sir -- thanks.

CHATTERLEY: Impeachment watch.

WOLF: Right.

CHATTERLEY: It's worth watching if you are mystified by the developments here.

Speaking of mystified, Fortnite players wondering, right now, where has the game gone?

BRIGGS: The black hole. Plus, what could be the Pope's favorite NFL football team?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:51:11] 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. BRANDON O'NEIL, FORT WORTH POLICE DEPARTMENT: The officer 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Here is Polo Sandoval with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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 peer through the front door, they walk the perimeter of the property when suddenly, police say, an officer spots someone standing near a window.

POLICE OFFICER: Put your hands up. Show me your hands.

(Gunshots)

SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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, NEIGHBOR WHO CALLED POLICE: I feel guilty because had I not called the Fort Worth Police Department, my neighbor would still be alive today.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, 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 (voice-over): 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)

CHATTERLEY: Rescuers are still trying to find a worker trapped in the rubble of a deadly construction collapse in New Orleans. Two people were killed Saturday morning and at least 30 others were injured.

CNN's Rosa Flores has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Julia, this weekend was a race against time as first responders and search and rescue teams rushed to the scene to try to save lives, and families rushed to the scene hoping and praying that their loved ones had made it out alive.

Take a look over my shoulder at the black crane. It weighs 110 tons and it was brought in on Sunday to stabilize the structure to allow the search and rescue teams to further their search. The body of a least one deceased was recovered on Sunday.

Now, the dramatic moments of the collapse were caught on camera, showing the floors of the building flatten, a cloud of dust -- plume -- and workers run for their lives.

Now, the cause of the collapse has not been determined yet but OSHA is on-scene and ready to investigate -- Dave and Julia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Thanks.

Tomorrow, 12 Democratic presidential candidates face off in the next primary debate. The Trump-Ukraine scandal has put former vice president Joe Biden at

the center of the news cycle over the past month. Can he turn that to his advantage tomorrow night or will someone else break out?

[05:55:08]

Jeff Zeleny with a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Julia.

Democratic candidates heading here to Ohio for their fourth presidential debate. It is going to be on the campus of Otterbein University in the suburb of Westerville, Ohio.

Of course, all eyes will be on Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, as well as on Bernie Sanders, who is recovering from that heart attack, but other candidates as well.

Now, several candidates were speaking Sunday night at an Ohio Democratic Party dinner rallying the party faithful. But it's also questions that Joe Biden is bringing into this debate about his son, Hunter Biden.

On Sunday, his son, Hunter Biden, said if his father was elected, he would not serve on any foreign boards or work with any foreign governments, clearing trying to move beyond the controversy that President Trump has been stirring up, largely without evidence.

But clearly, this is a defining moment for these Democratic candidates who will be sharing the stage -- 12 of them in total -- on Tuesday night here in the pivotal battleground state of Ohio -- Dave and Julia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: OK, Jeff -- thanks.

You can see the CNN-New York Times Democratic Debate live from Ohio tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern time, right here on CNN.

CHATTERLEY: A defining moment we'll see.

All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning with a look at the global market picture. As you can see, a strong rally for Asian markets overnight, supported by that U.S-China trade deal. Japanese markets, though, closed for a holiday.

What about on Wall Street right now? Well, we're tilting to the downside, off around half a percent, as you can see, taking back some of the gains that we saw in Friday's session as investors cheered progress on that U.S.-China trade deal.

The Dow closing up some 319 points on Friday. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing higher as well. But a disappointment, perhaps, filtering in on the details of that deal. More is needed.

Now, meanwhile, investors preparing for a flood of earnings from America's biggest banks this week, too, and they may not be all that pretty. Investors hearing from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo on Tuesday.

Earnings may have been brought down by lower interest rates. The Federal Reserve, of course, cutting interest rates in July and September, making it harder for these banks to eke out returns on loans.

Stocks, though, have held up reasonably well this year despite the trade war and the slowing global economy. But weak corporate results could give investors a reason to pull back here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHATTERLEY: Millions of kids are staring at this. A special event to end the 10th season of Fortnite seems to have ended the game altogether, at least for now.

On Sunday, players logged on to participate in, quote, "the end" as the game prepares to launch its next situation. But at around 2:00 p.m., a rocket blew up the landscape and dragged players into a black hole. About 20,000 people are still watching a livestream of the black hole on YouTube -- wow.

There is no official word on how long the blackout will last.

BRIGGS: A black hole forcing kids to realize there is sun outside, perhaps.

The American League Championship Series all tied at one game apiece after the Houston Astros' dramatic 3-2 win in 11 innings over the Yankees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MLB ANNOUNCER: Talking to the home plate umpire, Cory Blaser. Here's a fly ball to the right -- back at the wall. This game is over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The game is over, the series is tied.

That's Carlos Correa, first pitch of the 11th inning, into the right field seats for the walk-off winner.

The series now shifts to New York for game three tomorrow night.

Is the Pope a New Orleans Saints fan? That's what it appeared to his 18 million Twitter followers Sunday. The Pope tweeting this Sunday morning. "Today we give thanks to the

Lord for our new #Saints," not realizing the hashtag would automatically generate the New Orleans Saints fleur-de-lis logo.

After beating the Jags Sunday afternoon, here is the Saints' official account. "Couldn't lose after this. #Blessed and highly favored."

CHATTERLEY: That's cool.

BRIGGS: We don't believe the Pope is a Saints fan but if he's going to root for an NFL team it's got to be the Saints, right?

CHATTERLEY: Divine intervention -- I think that's what you call that.

BRIGGS: Exactly, my friend.

CHATTERLEY: Some Fortnite will be hoping for the same, I think, on the black hole situation.

BRIGGS: It'll come back, kids. It'll come back. Go play.

CHATTERLEY: Go and play some sports, yes.

That's it. Thank you for joining us. I'm Julia Chatterley.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHATTERLEY: A disturbing, meme video of a fake President Trump shooting, assaulting, and stabbing members of the media and his critics were shown to a pro-Trump conference last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A huge week on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, we're going to see the former ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, testify.

SEN. KEVIN CRAMER (R-ND): Donald Trump released the entire transcript of his supposed phone call, but there was no quid pro quo. The haters are going to hate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There clearly was a strong arm. The result is the president will be impeached.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, October 14th.

END