Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Trump Shots Down Report on Barr News Conference; Manhunt for Murderers of Mormon Family; Trump Holds Raucous Rally Amid Impeachment; Prosecutors Ties Trump in Roger Stone Trial. Aired 4:30- 5a ET

Aired November 7, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


[04:30:48]

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: New questions this morning about Attorney General Bill Barr's role in President Trump's impeachment defense.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: A new 2020 poll puts Mayor Pete Buttigieg among the Democratic frontrunners in Iowa.

BRIGGS: Former attorney general Jeff Sessions plots his political comeback exactly one year after President Trump fired him.

CHATTERLEY: Plus, two accused killers who broke out of jail and fled to Mexico get caught trying to sneak back over the border.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Julia Chatterley.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

CHATTERLEY: Good morning, Dave.

BRIGGS: Good morning, everyone. I'm Dave Briggs. 4:30 Eastern Time right here in New York City. We start with breaking news overnight.

President Trump pushing back hard against a report in the "Washington Post." The "Post" says the president asked Attorney General Bill Barr to hold a news conference to publicly clear him of legal wrongdoing in his call pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

The "Post" reports Barr refused citing people familiar with the matter. But Barr's Justice Department did send out a memo declaring there was no campaign finance crime connected to the call. Trump advisers told the "Post" the president has said to aides in recent weeks he wishes the AG had agreed to hold a news conference.

Late last night, the president slammed the "Post" and CNN for reporting the story which he called, quote, "totally untrue."

CHATTERLEY: Republicans, meanwhile, struggling to come up with a clear and coordinated defense of the president in the impeachment inquiry. They've given up on the no quid pro quo mantra in the face of damaging testimony from several senior diplomats. Listen to Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, trying out the new

incompetence argument.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent. It depends on who you talk to. They seem incapable of forming a quid pro quo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHATTERLEY: Senator Graham also resorting to one tried and true tactic, labeling the entire impeachment process a sham and saying he refuses to legitimize it. Quote.

BRIGGS: The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine told House investigators Rudy Giuliani encouraged the Ukrainians to intervene in U.S. politics. According to Bill Taylor's newly released deposition, President Trump's personal lawyer wanted investigations launched into his political rivals.

Taylor told lawmakers it was his "clear understanding that security assistance money would not come until the president of Ukraine committed to pursue the investigation." Taylor went on to testify that he saw Giuliani's request as so dangerous he felt Ukraine's president should ignore them, even if it meant losing an opportunity to meet one-on-one with President Trump.

CHATTERLEY: And Bill Taylor in fact is expected to be one of the first witnesses to testify publicly in the impeachment investigation. House Democrats announcing the first televised hearings will be held next week. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, is scheduled to appear on Wednesday along with State Department official George Kent. The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, she is also scheduled to appear on Friday.

BRIGGS: A new 2020 presidential poll reveals a tight four-way race among Democrats in Iowa. Elizabeth Warren leads with 20 percent in the Quinnipiac poll. She's followed by Pete Buttigieg at 19 percent, Bernie Sanders at 17 percent and Joe Biden at 15 percent. The top tier candidates in Iowa separated by just 5 percentage points. Tulsi Gabbard polling at just 3 percent but she has qualified for the November DNC debate. And with her poll showing, Amy Klobuchar becomes the sixth candidate to qualify for the December debate.

CHATTERLEY: Now with damning evidence mounting in the impeachment inquiry, President Trump sticking to a familiar script. At a rally last night in Louisiana he called House Democrats deranged, delusional and destructive, and labelled the investigation a hyper-partisan sham. And he was just getting warmed up.

Jim Acosta has more.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Julia, the president held a raucous rally in Louisiana where he railed against the impeachment inquiry. The president's remarks were laced with falsehoods. At one point, he accused the whistleblower of disappearing when that is not the case. The whistleblower's lawyers have tried to keep that person's identity a secret.

[04:35:04]

President also accused Democrats of trying to overthrow him in a coup. Here's more of what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democrats are becomingly increasingly totalitarian. Suppressing dissent, defaming the innocent, eliminating due process, staging show trials and trying to overthrow American democracy to impose their socialist agenda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The president also laid into his potential Democratic rivals in the 2020 election. He also warned this crowd in Louisiana that if the Democrats take back the White House in 2020, there will be a great depression. The president's speech was more about fear than the facts -- Dave and Julia?

CHATTERLEY: Jim Acosta there.

Now the campaign of Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin have asked for a recanvass of Tuesday night's vote. State Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, claimed victory. Beshear ended the night about 5100 votes ahead. Less than half a percentage point. And Bevin refused to concede. The governor cited the narrow margin and, quote, "reports of voting irregularities" for which he offered no evidence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MATT BEVIN (R-KY): We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted as they should have been counted, that the law was followed, and that regardless of whether they vote this side of the aisle or that side of the aisle that they can always have confidence that the electoral process works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHATTERLEY: Now a recanvass is not a recount. It's just a reprint of receipts from voting machines that can then be re-tabulated. The recanvass is set for next Thursday morning.

BRIGGS: On the one-year anniversary of his firing by President Trump, former attorney general Jeff Sessions is expected to announce he's running for his old U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. His troubled relationship with President Trump could mean that this race is thrown into chaos. Sessions held the seat for two decades before the president named him to head the Justice Department in 2017. His relationship with Mr. Trump collapsed after he recused himself from supervising the Russia investigation.

With six Republicans already in the race, how the president reacts to Sessions' announcement could mean the difference between returning the seat to Republican hands or losing again to incumbent Democrat Doug Jones.

CHATTERLEY: Timing is everything.

Another investigation for Facebook. California investigating the company over its privacy practices alleging it failed to comply with multiple requests for information. The investigation calls for Facebook to produce information about its privacy settings, developed policies and even communications involving top executives, like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Cheryl Sandberg. This adds to the list of headaches for Facebook. It's come under fire for its policies on political speech and its handling of user data.

It's facing a separate multi-state anti-trust investigation led by the New York attorney general and it's involved in other investigations by the Federal Trade Commission after the agency reached a $5 billion settlement with the company over privacy matters. Facebook says it's cooperated extensively with California's investigation, adding it has provided thousands of documents and written responses.

BRIGGS: Just feels like regulation at some point is inevitable.

CHATTERLEY: And on and on and on.

BRIGGS: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: Yes.

BRIGGS: At some point, trying to head that off.

Just ahead, the wrong move that landed two escaped murder suspects right back in jail.

Plus --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAYSHAWN JACKSON, RESCUED FROM TRAIN TRACKS: It was like slow-motion. Like I fell. I see the train.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHATTERLEY: A man who came this close to being hit by a train talks about the moment he was saved by a stranger.

You're watching EARLY START. We're back after this.

[04:40:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to EARLY START. The president of Mexico setting up a special commission to find out who slaughtered six Mormon children and their mothers. More than 200 shell casings have been recovered from the scene of Monday's ambush near the Sonora-Chihuahua border. Mexico's secretary of State confirming gun caps found near the victims came from a weapon that was made in the United States.

More now from Gary Tuchman in Tucson.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Julia, eight people survived this horrifying massacre in Mexico. They are all children. Two of them babies. Three of them were not physically hurt but it's anybody's guess how long the emotional scars will last. And then five of them also suffered physical injuries, serious injuries. They're all in this hospital, the Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, about 65 miles north of the Mexican border.

One of the people hurt is a baby, a 9-month-old baby by the name of Brixon, can't even walk, can't talk, shot in the chest, shot in the wrist. The other four children are his brothers and sisters. Four- year-old Xander, he was shot in the back. Eight-year-old Cody, shot in the jaw. And two sisters, McKenzie and Kylie, 9 and 14. McKenzie shot in the arm and the wrist. Kylie shot in the foot. The two girls, we're told, the older children are doing OK and could be released soon.

The three boys more seriously hurt. All day long, family members have been going inside the hospital to visit the children. The hospital itself has not given us any information about their conditions but the family members are telling us that all of the children will survive, that they're all stable, and that's the encouraging news.

[04:45:07]

We talked with the man we know named Willie Jessop. Willie's son is married to a woman whose mother was one of the three women killed. And a short time ago, Willie went into the hospital to visit the children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIE JESSOP, HIS SON'S MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS MASSACRE VICTIM: One of them got multiple gun wounds. I don't know if you're -- if you're not suffering in your shoulder you're suffering where you were shot in the head. And if you've got your head fixed you're suffering where you got shot somewhere else. I mean, so, of course, the suffering is unbearable to watch. But the medical people are doing everything possible and I'm very grateful for what they're doing.

TUCHMAN: Painful, was it for you, as a grown man to watch small children and a baby scream like this?

JESSOP: No one should ever see this, Gary. This family should never have to be going through what they're going through. Nobody should see their little brother or sisters in this situation or a father look and see a mother slaughtered. His children slaughtered and massacred in the most heinous way as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TUCHMAN: After we talked with Willie, he and other family members got in their vehicles, got in a caravan, headed across the border into Mexico where they will attend funerals for some of the people who died.

Dave and Julia, back to you.

BRIGGS: Gary Tuchman, thanks.

Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, is expected to testify against Roger Stone in his trial for lying to Congress. Bannon was a key witness in the Mueller investigation. Also expected to testify, Rick Gates, another former top aide to Mr. Trump. Both men could shed new light on the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia.

Shimon Prokupecz has more from Washington.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Good morning. In their opening statement Wednesday, prosecutors laid out in striking detail how Roger Stone and Donald Trump were in contact during the summer months of 2016, as WikiLeaks was set to released hacked e- mails.

Now you may recall in written responses to Mueller's questions, Trump has said he didn't recall talking to Stone about WikiLeaks. Prosecutors clearly laying out a much different scenario. And one of the big thing prosecutors revealed was that on the day that the DNC -- when it was revealed that the DNC had been hacked, Trump and Stone spoke several times.

Now prosecutors also gave us a window inside their case, telling us some of the witnesses they plan to call. Steve Bannon, who prosecutors called the CEO of the Trump campaign, a senior member of that campaign. They say that he will testify about e-mails and conversations he had with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks and Roger Stone's efforts to try and help the campaign by using some of the information he had concerning WikiLeaks.

It's also, we learned, that another big witness will be Rick Gates, the former top aide to the president, to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. He, too, will testify about Stone's attempts to help the campaign with information from WikiLeaks.

A former FBI agent who worked for Mueller handling the Stone investigation will wrap up her testimony today. The trial could last up to three weeks -- Julia, Dave.

CHATTERLEY: Fears of a hijacking and hostage situation brought Amsterdam's Schiphol airport to a standstill before it was found to be a false alarm. Police were conducting an investigation onboard an Air Europa flight Wednesday when a security alert that triggers airport hijacking protocols was activated by mistake. The airline tweeted that passengers on the Madrid-bound flight were all OK and they apologized for the chaos and confusion. Amsterdam's airport is the third-busiest in Europe behind Heathrow in London and Charles De Gaulle in Paris. BRIGGS: Two former Twitter employees accused of being spies for Saudi

Arabia. The Justice Department alleges Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their access at Twitter to collect sensitive private data on Saudi dissidents. The case underscores allegations that the Saudi government actively tries to silence anti-regime voices abroad.

The DOJ's criminal complaint claims the two men were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Saudi Arabia for their work. The allegations are expected to heighten scrutiny of tech company's ability to protect the privacy of their users.

CHATTERLEY: Two murder suspects who cut a hole on a ceiling to escape from a Northern California jail have been recaptured. Twenty-one- year-old Santos Fonseca and 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar were arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at midnight Tuesday as they tried to cross from Mexico back into the United States.

Investigators had been tipped off the men were in Tijuana. It's not clear how they got there or why they decided to return. They will be sent right back to the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility, which has undergone a security overhaul since the breakout.

[04:50:01]

BRIGGS: An Oakland Raiders fan who fell in front of an oncoming commuter train after Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions is thanking the rail supervisor who saved his life. Rayshawn Jackson admits he was slightly inebriated when he tumbled off the platform onto the tracks.

Listen to him describe the moment he fell and what it was like to be rescued by BART worker John O'Connor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON: I knew I had a couple of seconds because I heard the train. I felt the vibration on the rails coming and I could see the light coming out of the tunnel. And as soon as I seen the light I jumped up and tried and get out of the way and I missed my -- I missed my jump the first jump. And I did it again and I actually felt like the man grabbed me in the mid-air and just took me out of the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: O'Connor will be honored by the Raiders during tonight's game against the Chargers.

CHATTERLEY: Slightly inebriated.

BRIGGS: Yes. Yes. Perhaps more than slight.

CHATTERLEY: Attention to detail there.

Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres teaming up to take on fakes. All the details after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:55:27]

BRIGGS: Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres are teaming up to stop fake celebrity endorsements. The two stars jointly filed a lawsuit Wednesday against 100 anonymous individuals and entities over false advertising and unauthorized use of their names and likenesses to endorse products. The defendants are alleged to be behind pop-up sites featuring their made-up commentary about health and beauty products.

The suit shines the light on so-called celebrity endorsement theft, which is a growing problem for Hollywood in the digital age.

CHATTERLEY: New rules in China when it comes to kids and video games.

The Chinese government announcing a gaming curfew. Gamers under 18 will be banned from playing online between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays and can only play for 90 minutes. The limit goes up to three hours a day on weekends and holidays. The new rules are aimed at curbing videogame addiction.

I'm onboard for that.

BRIGGS: I'm very interested in this. Like I like limits. But should the governments be the ones to set them? Look, parents, we have all failed at setting them. So maybe.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Therefore yes.

BRIGGS: Maybe the government is the answer.

CHATTERLEY: Government is coming, and welcome to China.

BRIGGS: All right. Hit a half-court shot and win free tuition for a year. That was the challenge for an Oklahoma University student at halftime of the team's season opener.

Well, this is a story that entirely depends on video but you're just going to have to imagine going in. You know, imagine this is like radio for a second.

(LAUGHTER)

CHATTERLEY: Yes. This is great. Ended really good. He got the ball in. He didn't celebrate. But the team mascots came running and then really celebrated.

BRIGGS: They did. It was a perfect swish. And I promise you, this is not radio. We'll have --

CHATTERLEY: Stick around, we'll bring it to you later.

BRIGGS: We have that video for you in the 5:00 hour.

CHATTERLEY: Let's move on. Let me give you a check on CNN Business this morning with a look around the world, at the global markets. Global stocks right now higher after Beijing has said that U.S. and China may start to roll back some of those tariffs. As you can see, some of the outperformers there, the Australian markets and the German markets outperforming here. Those are most trade-sensitive.

Stocks clearly at the mercy of trade headlines right now. You can see futures are higher after a close that finished pretty much flat yesterday after Reuters reported the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China could be delayed until December. We saw the Dow finishing flat. The S&P 500 managing to eke out a small gain. The Nasdaq falling slightly.

Trade very much front and center, as we mentioned. Fresh data showing the U.S. collected a record $7 billion worth in import tariffs in September. As new tariffs on apparel, toys, electronics and other consumer goods from China kicked in. Many businesses have warned they will have to pay higher prices on goods because of those tariffs. U.S. companies pay those, remember.

Airbnb meanwhile taking steps towards increased safety, amid growing concerns of its listing. Airbnb says it will start verifying all seven million listings on its platform, with the goal of reviewing every listing and host by December 2020. The announcement comes after a Vice investigation uncovered a scam involving the company's listings. And five people were shot and killed at a Halloween party at an Airbnb rental in California that specifically does not allow parties. A spokesperson for Airbnb said the review team will be internal.

Bud Light is joining the battle for spiked seltzer supremacy announcing it will add Bud Light Seltzer to its lineup early next year. The beer conglomerate hopes the recognizable Bud Light brand will give it an edge against the competition. The spiked seltzer craze is growing as consumers look for drinks with fewer calories and less sugar. Beverage companies are looking to dethrone White Claw, which makes up 58 percent of spiked seltzer sales in the United States. Bud Light seltzer will debut in the first quarter of 2020.

Spiked seltzer?

BRIGGS: It's delightful.

CHATTERLEY: Is it?

BRIGGS: White Claw is delicious. Haven't tried the Bud Light. You've never tried them? We never try anything we talk about here.

CHATTERLEY: We call them alco-pops. Alco-pops.

BRIGGS: Alco-pops?

CHATTERLEY: Yes. That's what we call them.

BRIGGS: We call it (INAUDIBLE). That's coming up.

CHATTERLEY: Spikes seltzer. I'll add it to my list. BRIGGS: Here now is that half-court shot that we promised, winning

free tuition for a year at O.U.

That is Oklahoma student Kale Montez at half time of the team's season opener. Now first, he had to make a layup, a free throw and a three- pointer in three seconds and then drill that half-court shot. And it was perfect rotation. Perfect spin. And watch the reaction from --

[05:00:00]