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EARLY START

Democrat Declares Victory in Kentucky Governor's Race; Sondland's New Recollection; Arrest in Mexico Massacre; 14-Year-Old From PA Solves Car Blind Spots. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 6, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Big blue wins in ruby red states, where power is shifting and what it means for 2020.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A big revision from a top witness in the impeachment probe. What Gordon Sondland suddenly recalled and how it wrecks the White House defense.

MARQUEZ: An arrest after nine Americans were massacred in Mexico. The family says they were targeted because of if past conflicts with cartels.

ROMANS: And we've all been thrown off by blind spots while driving. Now, a teenager has a solution and a $25,000 prize for her work. There is hope for us yet.

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

[04:30:01]

MARQUEZ: And I'm Miguel Marquez, keeping Dave Briggs' seat warm.

It is 29 minutes past the hour. We're right here in New York.

Now, breaking overnight, an ominous election night and a warning for president Trump as reliably Republican seats go to Democrats.

In ruby red Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear claiming victory in the governor's race. No CNN projection yet, but Beshear leads Republican Matt Bevin by several thousand votes with 99 percent of the votes count. Bevin refuses to admit to defeat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY BESHEAR (D), DECLARES VICTORY IN KY GOVERNOR'S RACE: It's a message that says our elections don't have to be about right versus left. They are still about right versus wrong.

I haven't had an opportunity yet to speak to Governor Bevin, but my expectation is that he will honor -- he will honor the election that was held tonight.

GOV. MATT BEVIN (R), KENTUCKY: Would it be a Bevin race if it wasn't a squeaker? I mean, come one. I mean, really and truly, this is a close, close race. We are not conceding this race by any stretch. Not a chance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Now, it is too early to tell whether voters picked the Democrat over impeachment concerns or if local issues like Medicare work requirements and teacher pensions were the divisive issues.

ROMANS: All right. Kentucky Republicans are rushing to distance themselves from Bevin, pointing to his high disapproval ratings. One veteran Kentucky Republican telling CNN: We found out that being an A- hole is slightly worse than being a liberal. Notes that President Trump rallied for Bevin on Monday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're sending that big message to the rest of the country. It's so important.

You've got to get your friends, you've got to vote because if you lose, it sends a really bad message. It just sends a bad -- and they will build it up -- here's the story.

If you win, they're going to make it like ho-hum and if you lose, they're going to say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world. This was the greatest. You can't let that happen to me!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Overnight, we saw more of the same from the president. Three separate tweets pointing out Republicans won other statewide races, taking credit for Bevin's supposed surge while distancing himself from a likely loss.

MARQUEZ: And a huge night for Democrats in the state of Virginia. CNN projects they will flip both chambers of the legislature. That gives them full control of the state government for the first time since 1994.

And there were two other notable winners in the state. Shelly Simonds ousted David Yancey for a seat in the House of Delegates. In 2017, Simmons lost a tiebreaker lot draw from a glass bowl.

And remember the cyclist who lost her job after flipping the bird at President Trump's motorcade in 2017. Her name is Juli Briskman and CNN projects she is the new supervisor for Algonkian District in Loudoun County.

Ryan Nobles has more from Richmond, Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning from Richmond, where Democrats are declaring victory in both the House and the Senate here. It looks as though they are on their way to have the Democrats control both the House and Senate for the first time in more than two decades. This was a pretty convincing win for Democrats across the board, winning some key Senate races in the Richmond suburbs and also in northern Virginia, and picking off House races across the commonwealth in a way that even divides some of the expectations leading into the night.

And Democrats that I talked to, many of the Democratic leaders here attribute their big gains in part to a unified Democratic Party, but also, deep opposition to President Trump. They said it's difficult to ignore the impact that President Trump has had on this race and the energy and enthusiasm that that has created with Democratic voters here in Virginia. Now, it's important to keep in mind that Virginia was a state that just a couple of years ago was a pretty reliable Republican vote. In fact, before Barack Obama won here in 2018, you had to go back more than 40 years to see a Republican lose a presidential race here.

Now, Donald Trump has said, he thinks he can win Virginia in 2020. Based on the results here tonight in 2019, it looks like that will be a very uphill battle for President Trump and the Republican Party.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Ryan, thank you for that.

Republicans did manage to score one big win. CNN projects Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the Mississippi governor's race. President Trump endorsed Reeves and held a rally for him in Tupelo.

Elsewhere, Jersey City, New Jersey residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of stricter regulations on short-term rentals. That is expected to shrink the number of Airbnb listings there. It's a big setback for Airbnb as it prepares to go public.

MARQUEZ: And in Arizona, initial election results show more than 70 percent of voters rejected a initiative to make Tucson a sanctuary city.

[04:35:03]

Tucson is located 50 miles north of the Mexico border.

And Scranton, Pennsylvania, has its first female mayor. Paige Cognetti, a former Democrat, ran as an independent when the local Democratic committee refused to endorse her. One other thing, she is eight months pregnant.

ROMANS: All right. A very big blow to president Trump's impeachment defense. Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, revising his testimony from three weeks ago to admit there was a quid pro quo imposed on Ukraine.

Sondland says he now recalls telling a Ukrainian official on September 1st, resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that he had been discussing for many weeks. That anti-corruption statement was supposed to target the Bidens.

Sondland's revision blows up the timeline peddled by the White House. It is the first clear acknowledgement that the request for a public investigation was on the table after Ukraine was told in late August that aid was held up. Trump allies have claimed that was not the case. So it could have been used as leverage. The timing is super important to the White House, the White House case here.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't think this moves the impeachment needle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I'm pretty sure how it's likely to end if it were today. I don't think there's any question it would not lead to a removal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Now, David Hale is expected to appear at the impeachment inquiry today. He is the third-highest-ranking official at the State Department.

Investigators have requested White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify on Friday. It seems unlikely he will comply with that request. Last month on national television, Mulvaney confirmed the quid pro quo. Hours later, he denied it.

Now, breaking overnight, Mexican authorities say a suspect has been arrested in the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family who were traveling on the Mexican side of the southern U.S. border. Officials say the suspect had several assault rifles and was holding two hostages who were bound and gagged.

ROMANS: Just heartbreaking.

Children who survived the ambush were taken to hospitals in Arizona Monday, heart-wrenching new details now emerging. The victims included three mothers and six children, ages 12, 11, 10, 2, and 8- month-old twins.

The survivors' story just as harrowing. A 13-year-old boy unharmed in the attack, he walked about 14 miles to get help after hiding his bleeding siblings in the bushes. Now, family members believe a history with the cartels could mean they were targeted.

CNN's Matt Rivers has more from Mexico city.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a country that has seen, on average, every single day so far in 2019, nearly 100 people murdered. And yet, this massacre of nine people in northwest Mexico has really shocked this country. Here's what we know so far.

The people come from a community of people who are generally Mormon, who have lived in northwestern Mexico for decades.

The three women, driving three different cars, left that community in a convoy for safety's sake. Safety in numbers is the concept. But it was at 3:00 p.m. that armed gunmen attacked that convoy, shredding the convoy with bullets and lighting at least one of them on fire. And that's when the nine people who lost their lives were killed.

Other children were injured but managed to escape and were transported eventually to hospitals in the United States.

Mexico's government is saying that this could be a case of mistaken identity. This is in a part of Mexico where cartels regularly fight with each other over lucrative drug smuggling routes to the United States.

There is other speculation, however, by the family that we spoke to today of some of these victims that say perhaps these people were targeted themselves because they live in that area they've had run-ins with the cartels in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've had confirmation that this was orchestrated as a provocation for the cartel over here in Sonora where we live, and our family was picked to be the ones to stir up trouble and to start a war. It was an attack on innocent civilians on purpose.

RIVERS: President Trump tweeting that now is the time for Mexico to go to all-out war against the cartels, offering U.S. assistance. But the president of Mexico responded to that by saying that he appreciated the offer of U.S. support but that this was Mexico's problems to solve -- Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Thanks so much, Matt Rivers.

All right. Big bets on Uber and WeWork are costing one global conglomerate billions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:44:25]

ROMANS: All right. Some of SoftBank's biggest tech bets are leading to multibillion-dollar losses. The group reported a $6.5 billion loss on its mega tech funds, including the Vision Fund. That holds investments in Uber, WeWork, Slack, and other major startups.

SoftBank's investments have been riddled with issues. In the July to September quarter, Uber fell 34 percent. The ride-hailing company fell to a fresh low Tuesday after reporting a billion-dollar loss in the third quarter. SoftBank rescued WeWork last month after its failed IPO attempt -- remember -- taking majority control of We Work. SoftBank's rescue package valued WeWork at about $8 billion, less than half of what it poured into the company.

[04:45:04]

MARQUEZ: It takes the shine off the IPOs.

ROMANS: Sure does.

Joe Biden going on the attack against its Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, calling her elitist and out of touch. The former vice president responding to comments Warren made after the Biden campaign dismissed her Medicare for All funding plan as mathematical gymnastics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If anyone wants to defend keeping those high profits for insurance companies and those high profits for drug companies and not making corporations pay a fair share in taxes, then I think they're running in the wrong presidential primary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Biden in a media post says such comments are condescending to the millions of Democrats who have a different view, adding, quote: It's representative of an elitism that's working and middle class people do not share. We know best, you know nothing.

A Warren campaign spokesperson declined to comment.

MARQUEZ: War crime allegations haven't stopped the president from showing support for U.S. soldiers. Now the defense secretary will urge him to keep quiet.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is declaring to urge President Trump not to dismiss or change the sentences of service members facing war crimes allegations. According to Fox News, the president has ordered a review of charges against Army Lieutenant Clint Lawrence and Army Green Beret Major Matt Goldstein. And he's reportedly considering restoring the rank of former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher who faced a court-martial for premeditated murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice.

Three Pentagon officials tell CNN an information packet is being sent to the White House to make sure the president understands what these soldiers did and how his actions could undermine the integrity of the military justice system.

ROMANS: All right. Forty-six minutes past the hour.

How about a full Thanksgiving Turducken feast in a can?

MARQUEZ: Yum.

ROMANS: CNN business has what Pringles is cooking up, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:51:25]

MARQUEZ: Guilty pleas from two men who admit acting as illegal agents of the Iranian government. According to the Justice Department and the FBI, 60-year-old Majid Ghorbani, and a 39-year-old Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar conducted surveillance on a Jewish center in Chicago. They also admit monitoring members of an exiled Iranian opposition group. Ghorbani is charged with violating U.S. sanctions. Mohammadi-Doostdar pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of acting as an undeclared agent of the Iranian government.

ROMANS: An Ohio woman who was found dead in her home last week was likely killed by her own dogs. Police say 49-year-old Mary Matthews suffered multiple cuts and puncture wounds to the lower half of her body. She was discovered unresponsive by her husband. Investigators found two large Great Danes at the home along with bloodstained clothing throughout the house. The family says they rescued the dogs two years ago, and even though one was vicious, his wife refused to part with them because she loved animals.

MARQUEZ: Now, a school resource officer in Broward County, Florida has been suspended without pay after being charged with child abuse. Deputy Willard Miller turned himself in Tuesday.

The incident occurred back in September and was captured on surveillance video. A 15-year-old female student can be seen lightly kicking the officer. A little more than a minute later the teen is thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

Police say Miller's actions by any measure were unacceptable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF GREGORY TONY, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: And whatever type of verbal dialogue was going on, it makes no sense and it wasn't necessary. I would hope that every cop in America would disagree with that type of response.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Now, Deputy Miller is being held on a $5,000 bond.

ROMANS: All right, cold air now pushing into the U.S. from Canada, bringing heavy snow into parts of New England.

Pedram Javaheri is in the CNN Weather Center.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Miguel and Christine, good morning, guys. Yes, the cold air beginning to filter in across portions of the Great Lakes and eventually, that is the story across the northeast. And wait until you see what the 7-day forecast has in store.

But not too bad to get you started here on your Wednesday. Middle-50s out of Boston and New York. Same story out of Chicago.

But you'll notice where all of the cold air is bottled up into the Northern Plains, struggling to make it to the freezing mark across Minneapolis. And then the story really shifts into a major cold air outbreak, potentially over the next week or so. So here we go. As we go into early to mid-next week, potentially dropping 30 degrees below average into portions of the northeastern United States. But it's trying to get in a few snow showers across the Great Lakes and get into the areas of the highest elevations of the New England region there.

You could see some additional heavy snow showers -- as much as eight inches possible from tonight into early tomorrow morning. Again, you've got to get into the Adirondacks and the Catskills to see that.

But the trend looks as such here with New York climbing up to 61. You notice the dive -- the trend there. Forty-two degrees come Friday afternoon.

And if you think that's cold you look at the forecast into early next week. Potentially, a shot at wintry weather. Highs by Tuesday next week into the lower 40s -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

A stunning vulnerability found in popular voice-controlled smart devices like Google Home, Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri. Researchers say hackers can use a simple laser pointer to take over devices, even from outside your home. They discovered it's possible to make anything that acts on sound commands to act on silent light commands.

Since many systems don't require authentication, hackers would not need a password or a pin. They just need to be in the object's line of sight.

MARQUEZ: I'm a junkie for that kind of stuff and I cannot bring myself to get those things because it's just --I just don't know where it's going to go.

[04:55:06]

Now, she's not yet old enough to drive, but 14-year-old Alaina Gassler engineered a solution to eliminate car blind spots. The eighth-grader from Pennsylvania won $25,000 for her invention in a nationwide science competition.

She first noticed the problem when her mom didn't like driving their family's Jeep Grand Cherokee because the A-pillars in it caused blind spots. Gassler tells CNN since you can't take it off the cars, she decided to get rid of it without getting rid of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALAINA GASSLER, PRIZE WINNER, 2019 SAMUELI FOUNDATION: I did that by having a camera behind the A-pillar of a car. And the camera sent video to a projector that projected the image onto the pillar, essentially making it invisible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: She gives us hope all across the board. Gassler says she was motivated to work on the design after learning how dangerous blind spots can be, and especially because her older brother just started driving. Very, very sensible.

ROMANS: Elon Musk or Mary Barra or someone, give her an internship, because she's good stuff.

All right. Let's get a check on CNN business this morning, taking a look around the world at markets. A mixed performance really here on Wall Street. Looking at futures leaning down slightly. I would call that directionless.

Look, this is just a step back after another record high day for stocks, as hopes for a pause in the trade with China boosted investor sentiment. The Dow finished up about 30 points. The S&P 500 closed down. The Nasdaq inched up just a little bit.

New overnight, "The Wall Street Journal" reports Xerox is considering a takeover of printer and computer maker HP, a market value of about $27 million. Both companies are in cost-cutting mode and a deal could afford new opportunities to shed expenses.

AT&T will paycheck a $60 million settlement over claims it misled customers about unlimited data plans. The settlement resolves a 2014 lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission. AT&T, which is CNN's parent company, allegedly charged 3.5 million customers for unlimited plans while reducing their speeds when their usage exceeded a certain amount in the year 2011.

An AT&T spokesperson says: Even though it has been years since we applied this network management tool in the way described by the FTC, we believe this is in the best interest of customers.

The money will be used for partial rep funds to select customers who signed up for unlimited plans before 2011.

All right. You heard about the Turducken, right? Pringles is releasing its Friendsgiving feast Turducken kit complete with turkey, duck, and chicken-flavored kits and you can stuff them and eat. It also comes with pumpkin pie and stuffing.

MARQUEZ: I want them right now! Why don't we have those now?

ROMANS: There are no shortage of holiday flavors for shoppers. Coca- Cola cinnamon and Sprite winter spiced cranberry are already on the shelves. And IHOP has partnered with elf in the shelf for a holiday inspired menu.

The Turducken Pringles kit will be available online starting tomorrow. Yummy.

MARQUEZ: Thank God. You really -- you know, that just really makes my day. Coming into the weekend, I know exactly what I'll be eating while watching --

ROMANS: And serving for Thanksgiving.

MARQUEZ: Exactly.

Now, thanks to our international viewers for joining us with Turducken in mind. Have a great rest of your day.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.

(MUSIC)

ROMANS: Big blue wins in ruby red states, where power is shifting and what it means for 2020.

MARQUEZ: The big revision from a top witness in the impeachment probe, what Gordon Sondland suddenly recalls and how it wrecks the White House defense.

ROMANS: An arrest after nine Americans were massacred in Mexico. The families said they were targeted because of past conflicts with cartels.

MARQUEZ: And we've all been thrown off by a blind spot while driving. Now a teenager has a solution and a $25,000 prize for her work.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Miguel Marquez.

ROMANS: Nice to see you this morning.

MARQUEZ: Good to be here.

ROMANS: Dave is off.

I'm Christine Romans. It's Wednesday, November 6th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the east.

Breaking overnight, an ominous election night warning for President Trump as reliably Republican seats go to Democrats.

In ruby red Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear claiming victory in the governor's race. No CNN projection yet, but Beshear leads Republican Matt Bevin by several thousand votes with 99 percent of the votes count. Bevin refuses to admit to defeat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BESHEAR: It's a message that says our elections don't have to be about right versus left. They are still about right versus wrong. I haven't had an opportunity yet to speak to Governor Bevin, but my expectation is that he will honor -- he will honor the election that was held tonight.

BEVIN: Would it be a Bevin race if it wasn't a squeaker? I mean, come one. I mean, really and truly, this is a close, close race. We are not conceding this race by any stretch. Not a chance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

END