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Washington Nationals Beat Houston Astros in World Series; No More Political Ads on Twitter; Pentagon Declassifies Videos and Images of Raid That Led to ISIS Leader's Death; North Korea Launches Unidentified Projectile; New "Easy Fire" Threatens Hundreds of Homes in Simi Valley, California; Boeing Admits Mistakes and Missed Red Flags. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 31, 2019 - 04:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- and behind closed doors.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Twitter bans political ads amid heightened social media scrutiny. What do the 2020 candidates think?

ROMANS: And the Pentagon declassifies images from that raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Was the ISIS leader whimpering like a dog as the president claims?

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

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Good morning. Happy Halloween, everyone. 4:30 Eastern Time and in the nation's capital, that's where we start this morning with breaking news and it has nothing to do with politics.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 3-2. There it is.


BRIGGS: The Washington Nationals coming from behind in game seven to beat the Houston Astros and win their first World Series. But for six innings, the Astros were in total control. Nats rallied and took the lead for good in the seventh.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's hitting .176 against him. That's down the right field line into the corner. This ball is gone for a homerun.


BRIGGS: The unlikeliest of post-season heroes Howie Kendrick hits the homerun there to put Washington in front to stay. They erupted for six runs in the last three innings, for a 6-2 win in a historic series. First time in any major sport the road team won every game in a seven-game series. Champagne was on there. Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg named World Series MVP after two

brilliant starts and he talked about the comeback.


STEPHEN STRASBURG, WASHINGTON NATIONALS PITCHER: It's almost like we've done it so many times that it's like we have to get punched in the face to kind of wake up. And, you know, I think it's just the M.O. You know? I mean, we've -- we don't quit. And we never quit throughout the season despite kind of everybody saying that we were done.


BRIGGS: Oh, dear. We need a viewer warning for this guy. He is a legend. Fans watching at Nationals Park went nuts after the final out. That guy is epic. A celebration in D.C. going well into this morning. Head for a slide. Good form. The Nationals official Twitter feed summed it up this way, "BRB, be right back, we're partying." No doubt the Nationals win a bitter pill for Astros fan Andy Scholes, he will, whether he likes it or not, have to join us for the "Bleacher Report" in the next hour.

ROMANS: All right. Some dramatic turns expected today in the impeachment inquiry. At 8:00 a.m., the National Security Council's top Russia expert, Tim Morrison, testifies. He will be the second witness who listened in on the call, July 25th, between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine.

CNN has reported Morrison will corroborate key elements of Bill Taylor's account. Taylor is the top U.S. diplomat and Ukraine and testified Mr. Trump pressed to publicly announced an investigation into the Bidens in exchange for security assistance.

BRIGGS: CNN has also learned Morrison is leaving his job soon, raising expectations to speak more freely in his deposition.

Also this morning the first House floor vote on impeachment around 10:30 Eastern Time. The resolution allows for public impeachment hearings and the release of depositions transcripts, also outlines the role of House Democrats and more limited rights for Republicans and the White House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sounding optimistic.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Mr. Clyburn, our whip, has given me a very good report about our vote tomorrow. He's the whip -- the vote counter. Thank you, Mr. Clyburn.


ROMANS: One big remaining question, will John Bolton testify? A source tells CNN House investigators invited the former National Security adviser to appear next week. But Bolton's lawyers say he won't appear unless he is subpoenaed. Other witnesses have said Bolton raised concerns about shadow diplomacy with Ukraine by the president and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

BRIGGS: Also today, two hearings that will determine whether the White House can defy subpoenas. Bolton's former aide, Charles Kupperman, has asked a judge to decide whether he should testify over White House objections. A different judge will hear arguments on whether former White House counsel Don McGahn is immune from testifying.

ROMANS: No more political ads on Twitter. Its CEO tweeting, "We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well." There is intense scrutiny of social media giants, particularly Facebook, for allowing politicians to run false ads.

BRIGGS: 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are responding. Former vice president Joe Biden's spokesperson saying, quote, "Faced with the choice between ad dollars and the integrity of our democracy, it is encouraging that for once revenue did not win out." Fellow presidential hopeful Andrew Yang called it, "The rare triumph of the public good over the bottom line."


South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said this in New Hampshire.


PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a bold step. And I think it reflects that sense responsibility. And I think other online platforms would do well to either accept their responsibility for truth or question whether they should be in the business.


ROMANS: It wasn't all heart emojis for Twitter. In a statement, President Trump's campaign manager called the move yet another attempt to silence conservatives since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known. Without directly addressing Dorsey's announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened his company's third quarter earnings call by saying, "We need to be careful about adopting more and more rules around political speech."

CNN has also learned that even as Facebook's executives were fiercely defending its political ad policy, it was allowing an obviously fake page that purported to be linked to President Trump's re-election campaign to run ads on its platform.

BRIGGS: The Pentagon releasing newly declassified video and images of the daring two-hour raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The U.S. Cent-Com commander revealing Special Operations Forces that carried out the raid were pre-staged in Syria after Trump ordered most U.S. troops to withdraw.

Barbara Starr with more from the Pentagon. BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Christine, the top

U.S. commander, General Kenneth McKenzie, briefing reporters at the Pentagon about the mission to get Baghdadi. Right off the top it should be noted that General McKenzie said he could not confirm President Trump's details that Baghdadi died whimpering and crying. In fact, General McKenzie suggested that Baghdadi had at some point attempted to fire his weapon.

He showed three sets of videos. The first video was U.S. forces on helicopters approaching the compound when they came under fire from the ground. Forces on board those helicopters returned fire and eliminated that threat. They don't actually think it was ISIS forces protecting Baghdadi, that it was simply other militants in the area.

The second video, then, if you can look and see the dark figures approaching, those are U.S. Special Forces approaching Baghdadi's compound. They of course found him in a tunnel. He detonated a suicide vest killing himself and two children. They had thought it was three, now they know there were two children there.

The tunnel then collapses, fills with water and two U.S. troops and a military working dog are injured with electrocution injuries because there were wires in that water. Very dangerous business. All three, including the dog, have returned to duty.

The final video that they showed, of course, was U.S. warplanes rolling in and bombing the compound. General McKenzie said they really wanted to obliterate it. They didn't want it to become a shrine. They wanted it just to become another piece of ground -- Dave, Christine.

ROMANS: Breaking news this morning, North Korea has launched at least one unidentified projectile into the sea, off of the Korean Coast. That's according to the South Korean military.

International correspondent Paula Hancocks is standing by live for us with the latest.

What do we know, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, we've just heard new information from the Joint Chiefs of Staff saying that it was two missiles -- projectiles, they say, that was launched from the west coast of North Korea into the waters off the east coast. We heard from Japan, as well, saying that they didn't land in their exclusive economic zone. So, the waters that they considered theirs.

But of course the key question is what range did these missiles have? We have seen in recent months a number of shorter range, one medium- range ballistic missile from the North Koreans. This is actually the 12th that we've seen since May. But of course the question is, if it is longer ranged then that could potentially anger the U.S. president, Donald Trump. He has consistently said that as far as he's concerned, these shorter range don't worry him. What would worry him is something that could be a lot longer. Now, we do know that there has been very little communication between

the U.S. and North Korea, if any, since those talks broke down earlier this month in Sweden. We also know there's been very little discussion between South Korea and North Korea as well, although we have just heard earlier today that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, did send a letter of condolence to the South Korean president Moon Jae-in on the passing of his mother a couple of days ago.

That letter coming through Panmunjom, through the DMZ, so that's really the only communication we have at this point -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Paula for us in Seoul. Bring us up to speed on any new developments. Thank you.

BRIGGS: Wow. All right. Ahead, new incriminating documents revealed as Boeing CEO faces family members devastated over the 737 MAX crashes.



BRIGGS: Hurricane-force winds driving giant flames across a six-lane freeway in Simi Valley, California, setting fire to grass on the other side. A new inferno with a new name, the Easy Fire. Some flames reaching 30 feet into the sky. A CNN news van got a little too close, drenched in fire retardant. At last report, the Easy Fire has burned more than 1600 acres and threatens 7,000 structures.


The flames inching dangerously close to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley. A herd of hungry goats helped save this library. The goats brought in every year to chew a fire break on the hillside around the facility.

Our Stephanie Elam in Simi Valley with more.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, imagine all of this ablaze. In winds just like this. The intensity is something I've never felt and I've grown up here in California. The winds that we are feeling here is like no other. All of that propelling this fire to grow very rapidly yesterday and threatening the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here. If you look inside, you can see the retired Air Force One inside.

Luckily, as things have been standing now, they look a lot better for the library itself. But still, the fire growing very fast. This Easy Fire here in Simi Valley, because of these winds propelling those embers very fast. They're fighting the fire from the sky, from on the ground, as well. At the same time in northern California, the Kincade Fire, the winds are more favorable up there. And they're looking to ease some of the restrictions as far as evacuations are concerned. But still, with winds this strong, you can imagine that fire season is far from over here in California -- Dave and Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Stephanie Elam there. Thank you so much for that.

She mentioned the Kincade Fire in northern California. Crews there finally gaining ground on this huge blaze. It has grown to more than 76,000 acres but it is now 45 percent contained. Evacuation orders do remain in place for nearly 6,000 people. Meantime, Pacific Gas and Electric says its equipment may be linked to three more fires in the state. Right now more than 200,000 customers are without power in northern California. That's down, that's an improvement. Almost a million were without power earlier this week.

BRIGGS: Those same hurricane-force winds are fueling the Getty Fire that has torched the hills north of Santa Monica. The fire threatens more than 7,000 homes. Finally, a silver lining to all the black smoke, a Northern California couple hoping to deliver their baby at home were forced to evacuate earlier this week by the Kincade Fire. Well, Rachel and James Page had their baby at a hotel in Napa. Penelope Page is just two days old but will have quite a story to tell.

ROMANS: All right. The high winds driving those fires in California, one of two major wind events in the U.S. right now. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has more.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, Dave and Christine. Still another blustery day here across portions of the southwest. And of course when you take a look we do have the extreme and critical areas of concern in place. At least throughout this afternoon and this evening and I think by Friday morning, we'll finally see these winds die down. Still wouldn't be surprised to see some of these winds across portions of Ventura County, even as far south as San Diego County, exceed 50 miles per hour.

But notice 4,000 square miles of land there underneath these high red flag warnings that are in place across the region. But still looking at the rainfall conditions, of course some of these areas have not seen rainfall in some three months. And we expect another couple of weeks of very little to no storms in this region. So certainly going to be a rough go. But again we expect the winds to finally die down later on tonight into early tomorrow.

But on your Halloween here, across the eastern seaboard, quite a bit of active weather. Some severe weather to be had across portions of the mid-Atlantic. About 19 million people at risk here when it comes to the enhanced area, which includes Raleigh, all the way up towards Washington, also the southern tier there of Pennsylvania.

And notice, the storms kind of get there later in the day. So expect quite a bit of warm weather in advance of this front. And then, gusty winds and heavy rainfall sometime after sunset. Highs in Washington, upper 70s. Atlanta 74. New York City, just shy of 70 degrees -- guys.

ROMANS: All right. Pedram, thank you so much for that.

OK. Apple's iPhone sales are falling. Its other revenue streams, though, keeping it growing. CNN Business has the details next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ROMANS: Welcome back. More key documents revealed as a House committee presses Boeing's CEO on the 737 MAX. This hearing was more intense than Dennis Muilenburg's appearance before a Senate committee Tuesday. Crash victims' families groaning when Muilenburg repeatedly mentioned his boyhood on an Iowa farm. A mother whose daughter died in one of the crashes confronted him.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're talking about your performance and like how you've done in this company and the mistakes that have been made and regrets that have been made, you know, and then you start talking about Iowa. When you talked about Iowa just like one too many times, and the whole group said, go back to the farm. Go back to Iowa. Do that. And it's because when you make mistakes like that, and you can't acknowledge them, then, you know, maybe someone else should do that work. And so, I don't feel like you understand. I want to dig in and I want to like confront and -- confront the situation and I want to, you know, solve the situation. It comes to the point where you're not the person anymore to solve the situation.

DENNIS MUILENBURG, BOEING CEO: I respect that. I really do. But I want to tell you, the way I was brought up, and I'm just being honest here about it, what I learned from my father in Iowa was -- is, when things happen on your watch, you have to own them and you have to take responsibility to fix them.


BRIGGS: 346 people died in two crashes. As for that key document, it suggests Boeing had ample warning long before those two 737 MAX jets went down.

Here's CNN's Rene Marsh.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Dave, Boeing's CEO admitted two things he says he regrets.


Number one, the plane's flight control system's faulty design that relies on just one sensor to feed it critical flight information. He says if they knew everything they know now, quote, "We would have made a different decision." The second thing he regrets is just how slowly Boeing acted after that first crash.

We also learned about a new document, another internal Boeing e- mail. This one dating back to 2015 and it shows an employee raising concerns that the MCAS system in the 737 MAX that essentially pushes the nose of the plane down was relying on data from a single sensor. That e- mail saying, quote, "Are we vulnerable to single AOA sensor failures?" It is unclear where the conversation went from there. But the

scenario raised is largely believed to be the one that doomed both the Lion Air flight and the Ethiopian Airlines flight.

Now, Boeing has fired one executive so far. But Muilenburg sidestepped questions about whether he would resign, saying that's not where he's focused. He also sidestepped questions about whether he would take a pay cut -- Christine and Dave.

BRIGGS: Rene, thanks.

Renewed cries of voter suppression in Georgia. The state plans to purge more than 300,000 names from the state's voter rolls. That's nearly 4 percent of all registered voters in Georgia. State officials say they will be removed in December if they do not vote or respond to official election mail. The state calls it a routine process. But voting rights advocates say the purge is part of the effort to suppress voting in battleground states.

ROMANS: Foie gras banned in the Big Apple. New York City will bar restaurants and grocery stores from selling the French delicacy. The city council approved the bill Wednesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio says he will sign it into law. Foie gras mainstay at many upscale eateries is made by force-feeding ducks and geese with a tube right into their stomach. The sponsor of the bill calls the practice inhumane and says legislation to ban the sale of the product is historic. Those who try to sell foie gras despite the ban will face a civic penalty upwards of $2,000 for each violation.

BRIGGS: A rough start for the Golden State Warriors just got a lot worse. Superstar guard Steph Curry suffering a broken left hand after a hard fall last night against the Suns. The two-time league MVP will have an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. The team says surgery is possible. The injury bug has hit the Warriors hard this season. The team already without key players, including Klay Thompson who is rehabbing from an ACL surgery. Kevin Durant of course left in free agency.

ROMANS: We're just about the top of the hour. Let's get a check on CNN Business this Thursday morning. Taking a look at markets around the world. A mixed performance here, narrowly mixed around the world. On Wall Street right now, checking futures, and now things like they're shaping up for today. Very narrowly higher. Stocks rallied Wednesday after the Fed cut interest rates for a third time in a row. The Fed has now erased all of last year's rate hikes. The S&P 500 eked out a fresh all-time high. The Dow finished up 115 points, the Nasdaq higher, as well.

Apple's iPhone sales are still falling but new revenue streams are helping it grow. Even though iPhone sales fell 9 percent in the third quarter, still makes up more than half of Apple's overall sales. And Apple is diversifying. Air Pods are just about everywhere. The iPad is making a comeback and its services like Apple Music and Apple Care gave it a boost. Sales from services grew 18 percent last quarter.

CEO Tim Cook said Apple is paying some of the tariffs the Trump administration imposed last year. The big hammer could fall in December when tariffs on consumer facing goods like electronics go into effect.

An iconic brewing company is subtly changing its name and laying off workers. Miller Coors is consolidating to two business units from four and will now be known as Molson Coors Beverage Company as it moves beyond beer. Coors sales have struggled as younger drinkers choose things like White Claw and other spiked seltzers over beer. It will close its Denver office and cut up to 500 jobs. Coors plans to launch more nonbeer products in the future.

So I -- people keep talk about White Claw.


ROMANS: It's sold out sometimes at the store in my town.

BRIGGS: I feel like that's a gimmick. I can still find it.

ROMANS: Do you?

BRIGGS: But they did outsell every craft brewery in September.

ROMANS: What's it taste like?

BRIGGS: And say they outsell Budweiser.

ROMANS: Have you tried it?

BRIGGS: It's fantastic.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: Try the grapefruit. Highly recommended.

ROMANS: I will try it.

BRIGGS: Good stuff.

Thanks to our international viewers for joining us. Have a great rest of your day. For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 3-2. There it is.


BRIGGS: A World Series for the ages. The Washington Nationals with the furious comeback to win the fall classic.

ROMANS: One of the most consequential days in the impeachment inquiry. Big moments expected in Congress, in court and behind closed doors.

BRIGGS: Twitter bans political ads amid heightened social media scrutiny. What do the 2020 candidates think?

ROMANS: And the Pentagon declassifies images from the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. What was the ISIS leader doing --