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Trump Slams Report on Barr News Conference; Buttigieg's Iowa Rise; Jeff Sessions Set to Announce Senate Run; Kawhi-Les Clippers Host Bucks in L.A. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 7, 2019 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A three-pointer in three seconds and drill that half-court shot.


And it was perfect rotation. Perfect spin.

And watch the reaction from this kid. Ice in his veins. He doesn't even celebrate. And he gets mobbed by the O.U. mascots.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he knew it was coming to get him.

BRIGGGS: I think he knew that was going in. He needs to tryout for the Sooners.

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.


CHATTERLEY: New questions this morning about Attorney General Bill Barr's role in Trump's impeachment defense.

BRIGGS: A new 2020 poll puts Mayor Pete Buttigieg among the Democratic front-runners in Iowa.

CHATTERLEY: Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions plots his political comeback, exactly one year after President Trump fired him.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Julia Chatterley.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Dave Briggs. Thursday, November 7th, it is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Breaking overnight, President Trump pushing back 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 said to aides in recent weeks, he wishes the attorney general 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: Meanwhile, Republicans 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 Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, trying out the incompetence argument.


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.


CHATTERLEY: Senator Graham did resort of one tried and true tactic, labeling the entire impeachment process a sham. He says he refuses to legitimize it.

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 was so dangerous, he felt Ukraine's president should ignore them, even if it meant losing an opportunity to meet with President Trump.

CHATTERLEY: Now, Bill Taylor is 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, scheduled to appear on Wednesday, along with State Department official George Kent. The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, scheduled to appear on Friday.

BRIGGS: A new 2020 poll reveals a tight four-way race among Democrats in Iowa. Elizabeth Warren leads with 20 percent in the Quinnipiac poll. She's followed, though, by Pete Buttigieg at 19 percent, Bernie Sanders at 17 percent and Joe Biden at 15 percent. Top tier candidates in Iowa separated by just 5 percent, essentially the margin of error here. Tulsi Gabbard is polling at just 3 percent but she has qualified for

the November DNC debate. And with her polls showing, Amy Klobuchar becomes the sixth to qualify for the December debate.

CHATTERLEY: And 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. But his troubled relationship with President Trump could mean the decision could throw the race into chaos. Sessions held the seat for two decades before the president named him to head the Justice Department back in 2017. His relationship with Mr. Trump collapsed after he recused himself from supervising the Russia investigation.

There's six Republicans already in the race. How the president reacts to Sessions' announcement could mean returning the seat to Republican hands or losing to incumbent Democrat Doug Jones.

BRIGGS: Do you think he knew the anniversary? Do you think he knew that date and it was by design? Or it was an oversight?

CHATTERLEY: Happy coincidence.

BRIGGS: Yes, I don't know. Maybe it was by design.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I think --

BRIGGS: Just ahead, he came this close to being hit by a train.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like slow-motion. Like, I fell. I'd seen the train.


BRIGGS: Hear that man talk more about the moment he was saved by a stranger.



Bill Gates weighed in on political ads on social media, saying the problem isn't fact-checking, it's targeting.



BILL GATES, CO-CHAIR, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: It's the targeting where you don't see the hate ad that just appeals to that one person. It's the targeting that's really screwing this thing up.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHATTERLEY: Joining in to discuss the intense pressure on social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, over their handling of false or misleading political ads, CNN business lead writer, Matt Egan.

Great to have you with us.


CHATTERLEY: What do we think of this? We have our own views.

EGAN: Well, I mean, this debate is so fascinating. Here were are, three years after the 2016 election. And we've got business leaders, social media companies, lawmakers, they just don't know how to grapple with this problem. And it is a legitimate one, that some say it's a threat to democracy.

And so, we've seen Facebook and Twitter take very different approaches here. Twitter, just last week, they say they would ban political advertising. Facebook has said that it does not want to do that. It's been resistant to do that. It doesn't want to police the ads, either, even though it represents just a small fraction of their overall revenue.

Now, we should listen to what Gates said. He said that he thinks that, you know, they should not be targeting these ads, which I think is interesting. We should also remember that Facebook, one of the things that makes their ad platform so powerful, is the ability to narrowly target the ads, to say a woman in her 30s, married in Ohio -- I don't think want to necessarily wants to give that up.

And Hillary Clinton also weighed in on this, at the same conference yesterday. She knows a little something about the dangers of misinformation on social media. She gave Twitter a lot of credit. She says they did the right thing. She called on Facebook to do the same.

BRIGGS: Targeting is why they make their money. Not just on politics, an online shopping and on and on.

Here's what I found interesting from Bill Gates, regarding the fact- checking of these political ads. Listen to this one.


GATES: I disagree with people who think that a corporation should sit there and do fact-checking against those things. It -- yes, there are extreme cases. Somebody can come up with Holocaust denial or various things. But, no, no private company can or should make those judgments.


BRIGGS: That's very interesting. I'm not sure if they should -- that's a moral question. Can they? Are they capable of fact-checking this sea of political ads? EGAN: It would be really difficult. He's right. There's practical

problems here because there are so many different ads that are out there. There's a new report that came out just this week talking about how there has been so much misinformation on Facebook about the impeachment inquiry. And it's really, really hard for anyone to police that.

But, listen, what they do here really matters because it speaks to their reputation. Not just with the users, but perhaps, more importantly, with the regulators and the lawmakers, because it all feeds this perception that Facebook could be too powerful, which is why regulators are investigating.

BRIGGS: Closing in.

EGAN: We learned that California is looking at Facebook, as well. And people like Elizabeth Warren, they're calling for breaking up Facebook.

CHATTERLEY: I think we should focus on political interference outside of the United States, than what's going on with U.S. politicians, quite frankly. When we can't control the likes of North Korea and Russia intervening in the 2020 elections, quite frankly, there's bigger issues afoot.

BRIGGS: Good point.

CHATTERLEY: We have to move on. I want to talk about Bill Gates weighing in on Elizabeth Warren's potential policies if she becomes president after 2020. Bill Gates had an interesting thing to say about how much tax he's paid and what he thinks about paying more. Listen in to this.


GATES: Now, I've paid over $10 billion in taxes. I've paid more than anyone in taxes. But I'm glad to have -- you know, if I had to pay $20 billion, that's fine. But when you say I should pay $100 billion, OK, I'm starting to do a little math about what I have left over.


CHATTERLEY: He's paid $10 billion worth of tax. Let's digest that. But he said he would be willing to pay double that, but not all of his wealth.

There's an interesting point here. He was joking. But it's an interesting point.

EGAN: The interesting point is, he's saying, one, there's a problem with the system and maybe the rich need to pay more. But, too, he is warning that if you overtax the rich, if you overtax anyone, it's going to actually have a negative backlash, because it could stifle innovation. It could cause capital to ship overseas.

So, he is talking about trying to find this balance between lots of taxes that can help ease inequality and also trying to keep the economy growing.

BRIGGS: Yes, nobody cares what a handful of billionaires think. But if it does impact the masses, then that's why it matters.

And, by the way, we should just note, Elizabeth Warren did tweet overnight: I'm always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views, Bill Gates. If we get the chance, I would love to explain exactly how much you would pay under my wealth tax. I promise it's not $100 billion.



BRIGGS: Let's get that meeting set. All right?

CHATTERLEY: Yes, she might not be so open to talking to him. And she's coming out and saying, hey, we can have this conversation.

BRIGGS: Matt, good to see you, my friend.

EGAN: Thank you, guys.

BRIGGS: Thank you.


BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, the Clippers losing to the Milwaukee Bucks. But L.A. fans are asking why superstar Kawhi Leonard was sitting for the nationally televised game.

Andy Scholes with more in "The Bleacher Report", next.



BRIGGS: The Milwaukee Bucks/L.A. Clippers was supposed to be a huge match-up between two of the NBA's best players. But the clippers deciding to sit Kawhi Leonard for what is called load management, one of the great debates taking over sports.

Andy Scholes has that story in "The Bleacher Report".

Good morning, my friend.


You know, this is a huge problem for the NBA. You know, they made that rule where teams are not allowed to sit healthy superstars for national TV games. If you do, it's a $100,000 fine. But the Clippers still sitting Kawhi for this one, citing that he's dealing with a knee injury. And the NBA saying that, well, since that's the case, there's not going to be a fine.

Kawhi does plan to play tonight against the Blazers on TNT. But, last night, his Clippers are falling to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, 129-124. Giannis, 38 points and 16 rebounds in this game.

It was a funny moment in this one. Fourth quarter, watch Eric Bledsoe. He thought this was a pickup game. He gets the ball from the ref and tries to dribble it in bounds. One of the funnier turnovers you see this season.

All right. Elsewhere in the NBA, the rockets taking on the Warriors. Now, this over the past five years, is one of the, if not the number one match-up, in the NBA, but certainly not anymore. The Warriors without all of their stars. Rockets won easily, 129-112.

And after the game, James Harden forgetting who the stars on the Warriors actually are these days.


JAMES HARDEN, HOUSTON ROCKETS GUARD: Hopefully those guys, Klay, obviously, K.D., and Steph, hopefully those guys can get back to the court soon. The NBA misses them, obviously. They're a big part of what we do.


SCHOLES: Yes, K.D., Kevin Durant, plays for the Brooklyn nets.

Russell Westbrook making a Rockets fans day after the game. Check out that little guy's face as Westbrook handed him his shoes after the game. That's pretty awesome.

All right. North Carolina five star recruit Cole Anthony making his Tar Heels debut against Notre Dame. What a debut it was. Anthony pouring in 34 points. It was the most-ever for a debut in ACC history.

For reference, Syracuse's entire team scored 34 points in their opener. Anthony, the son of former NBA player and Warner Media news and sports analyst, Greg Anthony. The son, Cole, projected to be a top five pick in the NBA draft. North Carolina won that game, 76-65.

Finally, we don't show you a soccer game in Serbia very often. But this was too good. Look how many shots Tottenham takes at the goal, before they finally find the back of the net. Five guys touch it in the box, for Tottenham before they finally punch it in. It was a sad moment for Belgrade. It would have been even sadder if Tottenham found a way not to score there.

BRIGGS: As a father of a goalie, I sympathize with that goalie, turning and spinning and hopeless to watch.

SCHOLES: Are you ever going to clear this?

BRIGGS: Come on, man.

All right. Andy Scholes, good stuff. Thank you.

SCHOLES: All right. BRIGGS: Julia, what's coming up?

CHATTERLEY: Where's the defense?

President Trump, pushing back on a new report about Attorney General Bill Barr's role in his impeachment defense. All the details after this.




An Oakland Raiders fan who fell in front of a commuter train after Sunday's game with the Detroit Lions is thanking the rail supervisor who saved his life. Rayshawn Jackson admits he was inebriated when he tumbled on to the tracks.

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


RAYSHAWN JACKSON, OAKLAND RAIDERS FAN: I knew I only had a couple seconds. I heard the train. I felt the vibration on the rails coming. I could see the light coming up the tunnel. As soon as I seen the light, I jumped up, trying to get out of the way. I missed my jump, the first jump. And I did it again. I actually felt like, the man grabbed me in midair and took me out of the way.


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


EARLY START continues right now.


BRIGGS: New questions this morning about Attorney General Bill Barr's role in Trump's impeachment defense.

CHATTERLEY: A new 2020 poll puts Mayor Pete Buttigieg among the Democratic front-runners in Iowa.

BRIGGS: Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions plots his political comeback, exactly one year after President Trump fired him. Interesting timing, to say the least.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHATTERLEY: I'm Julia Chatterley. It is 30 minutes past the hour, 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Breaking overnight, President Trump pushing back 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.