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Mike Bloomberg Preparing 2020 Run; House Dems Move to Speed Impeachment Inquiry Along; Mislabeled Chinese Gear Sold to Military; Raiders Rally Past Chargers in Key AFC West Clash. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 8, 2019 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The House could impeach President Trump by Christmas. What's behind a renewed push to wrap up the inquiry?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Chinese surveillance gear sold to the U.S. government. Prosecutors say a top tech firm could have put sensitive information at risk.


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

BRIGGS: Good morning.

CHATTERLEY: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning, everyone. I'm Dave Briggs. Happy Friday. November 8th, it is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We start with a big shock for the 2020 presidential field. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, preparing a White House bid.

A spokesman says Bloomberg will file paperwork to get today to get on Alabama's Democratic primary ballot, ahead of the state's early filing deadline. No filing decision yet, but the billionaire businessman has been making calls to connected Democrats over the last few days, including, where else? Iowa.

A strategist that's worked with Bloomberg says one major factor in his thinking is this week's election in Virginia, where his gun safety group helped Democrats win control of the state legislature.

Just six weeks ago, Bloomberg ruled out a run.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: But the truth of the matter is, if you look at the layout of who is going to vote and where the country is, I would be unlikely to get reelected -- to get elected. But in the private sector, I can make a difference.


CHATTERLEY: Bloomberg rejected a run earlier because that path to victory seemed narrow with Joe Biden in the same lane. But Biden has been struggling in the crowded Democratic field.

A former adviser David Axelrod tweeted: This is a thunderclap and not exactly a vote of confidence in the durability of the Joe Biden campaign.

Well, today, Biden is in New Hampshire, filing for the ballot there. He will no doubt face questions about Bloomberg.

BRIGGS: Bloomberg has made no secret he doesn't want the party dragged too far to the left. At a gun violence forum in August, he jabbed Elizabeth Warren moments after her appearance.


BLOOMBERG: I just said to Senator Warren on the way out, Senator, congratulations. It was a nice talk. Just to remind you, if my company hadn't been successful, we wouldn't be here today. So, enough with this stuff.


BRIGGS: Senator Warren in North Carolina was asked about a possible Bloomberg run.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not enough just to have somebody come in, anybody, and say they're going to buy this election. It's not enough when billionaires and millionaires and corporate executives get their cracks and get their fortunes and say, we want a bigger piece of democracy.


CHATTERLEY: Bernie Sanders echoing the same sentiment: The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared, quote.

Meantime, the Trump campaign conceding Bloomberg could pose a threat as a fellow New York business titan that's even wealthier than Trump. The campaign source adds, quote, let's see how well he can take a punch.

Last night, Bloomberg dined at a Manhattan restaurant where some patrons gave him a round of applause. One told him, you have my vote. Bloomberg's response, I will need it.

And he will need it. He has low favorables in Iowa and other voter blocs Democrats will need to beat Trump.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, House Democrats taking steps to avoid dragging out to the impeachment inquiry. CNN's Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report the House could wrap up proceedings by Christmas. Two main reasons to expedite, concern public attention could wane after weeks of revelations and fear the lengthy process could complicate the 2020.

In two ways, the Democrats are speeding things along by limiting the number of witnesses at upcoming public hearings and avoiding court battles that could delay the inquiry. This could explain why no subpoena was issued yesterday when former national security advisor John Bolton refused to testify.

CHATTERLEY: In the meantime, the White House obstruction strategy drags on. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has been subpoenaed to appear this morning. But a White House official says he's not expected to comply. Remember, Mulvaney famously said this last month --


REPORTER: To be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We do that all the time with foreign policy. I have news for everybody. Get over it.


BRIGGS: New transcript released in the probe showing remarkable consistency. A top State Department official George Kent describes Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani as a sort of shadow secretary of state, pushing a, quote, campaign of lies. And he confirmed others' testimony that the president held up vital military aid until he got what he wanted.

Trump, quote, wanted nothing less than Ukrainian President Zelensky to go to a microphone and say, investigations, Biden, Clinton.

CHATTERLEY: Well, now, a lawyer for the whistleblower whose report sparked the initial inquiry has sent a letter warning the president to, quote, cease-and-desist, attacking his client. He says he is deeply concerned the president's rhetoric places the whistleblower and their family in physical danger.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, it's beginning to feel a little like Christmas.

CHATTERLEY: A lot like Christmas.

BRIGGS: Not because of the Starbucks cups, but the record low temps headed to the East Coast.



BRIGGS: He was President Trump's punching bag, but when Jeff Sessions launched the campaign for his old Alabama Senate seat, he made it clear, the president is still his guy.


JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I left President Trump's cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on the CNN and attack the president? Nope. The president is doing a great job for America and Alabama, and he has my strong support.


BRIGGS: Sessions' announcement coming a year to the day after the President fired him as attorney general. Aligning with the president makes perfect political sense.


Mr. Trump has higher approval ratings in Alabama than just about any other state.

CHATTERLEY: Another day, another new record for U.S. stock markets. The Dow and the S&P 500 both hitting fresh highs yesterday after comments from Chinese officials sparked new trade optimism. A Chinese spokesman for the government said in the past two weeks. Top negotiators had serious constructive discussions and agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement.

The White House sent mixed signals later on Thursday. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg a phase one agreement would include tariff agreements and concessions.

On Fox Business News, though, Trade Advisor Pete Navarro had this to say.


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF TRADE POLICY: There's no agreement at this time to remove any of the existing tariffs, as a condition of the phase one deal. And the only person who can make that decision is President Donald J. Trump. And it's as simple as that.


CHATTERLEY: Perhaps no surprises there. Investors shrugged off those comments. Prices fell on U.S. treasury bills generally considered to be a safe haven. Optimism has been high since the U.S. and China came to a preliminary agreement back in mid-October. The country's leaders are still looking for a venue to sign that deal.

BRIGGS: More funerals planned today for the family of nine Americans killed in Mexico. Three mothers and six young children lost their lives. Forty-three-year-old Dawna Ray Langford and her sons, 11-year- old Trevor and 2-year-old Rogan were laid to rest Thursday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dawna was a person that was full of life. She loved people.


BRIGGS: The Mexican government and the victims' families have different accounts of what happened. Officials claim it was crossfire between rival cartels. However, the family believes they were targeted. CNN has spoken to the families who expressed their frustration over what they see is an ineffective response so far.

Mexican security forces have moved into the area to protect Mormons who cross the border, hoping to practice their religion more freely.

CHATTERLEY: The labels said "made in the USA" but federal prosecutors say the surveillance gear was actually build in China. Now, a New York tech firm is accused of selling it to military and government agencies.

The FBI raiding on Aventura Technologies, charging seven current former and current employees. Officials say the company was paid tens of millions for Chinese night vision cameras and other tech. Prosecutors say hostile foreign governments could have accessed some of the U.S. government's most sensitive facilities. The company claims the gear was made on Long Island.

BRIGGS: All right. Coming up here, remember that black cat? I know you do.


BRIGGS: I know you do.

The cat that caused the stir at MetLife stadium in the NFL? Well, it's missing. Will he reappear at Sunday's Jets/Giants dumpster fire? Or will he be smart and skip it?

Andy Scholes with "The Bleacher Report", next.




With an early taste of winter today in the East, where the Arctic blast could bring record-low temperatures. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has his frigid Friday forecast for you.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good Friday morning, Dave and Julia.

I hope you're ready for winter-like weather over the next few days because we have several opportunities for temperatures to be 20 or 30 degrees below where they should be this time of year, for many parts of the Eastern U.S.

Here's our first cold front moving through at the moment. This has allowed for a clearing trend across some or most of the major East Coast cities. Still, a few clouds and showers lingering around the Atlanta region today. But high pressure will take control of the weather, allow for cool

overnight lows, especially into Saturday morning. We have freeze advisories and warnings all the way southward into Georgia and the Carolinas.

And then another round for cold air and the potential for snow over the next five days, specifically as we head into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. A brief warm-up on the East Coast for the weekend, but then look at the frigid arctic air mass that will settle in from the Great Lakes to New England. You can already see the temperatures picking up from Minneapolis to Chicago for the day on Monday.

Back to you.


BRIGGS: Derek, thank you, friend.

The Oakland Raiders rallying past the Chargers for a big win on Thursday night football.

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

Good morning, Andy.


Yes, Jon Gruden has got the Raiders playing some good football right now. They are right outside that playoff picture in the AFC. The game in Oakland last night, it was a tight one. They're down four with 90 seconds to go.

Josh Jacobs going to rumble 18 yards here for the touchdown. That gave the Raiders the lead. Philip Rivers has one more shot to win this game. But he would throw an interception. Raiders win, 26-24, to improve to 5-4 on the season. The Chargers now lost six games this year by one score.

And check out Gruden, celebrating with the fans in the black hole in Oakland. He gives one guy a big hug at one point.


Raiders have three more games there in Oakland before making the big move to Las Vegas next season.

All right. Kawhi Leonard back in action last night on TNT, after taking a game off for load management. The NBA deciding not to fine the Clippers for letting Kawhi sit for a game because they deemed he was dealing with a knee injury. They did fine the Clippers $50,000 for Doc Rivers making inconsistent comments about Kawhi's health.

Now, the NBA Finals MVP looking pretty healthy last night against the Blazers. He scored 18 in the fourth quarter, leading the Clippers to a 107-101 win. The U.S. women national team back on the pitch, playing their first

game under the new head coach, Vlatko Andonovski. The Macedonian- American previously coached the Seattle Rain in the National Women Soccer League.

Megan Rapinoe, she plays for that team. She was out for this one with injury, as with Alex Morgan who's pregnant. So, Carli Lloyd picking up the slack. She scored two goals as U.S. beat Sweden 3-2. They have a 22-match unbeaten streak.

Team USA will be back in action for another friendly against Costa Rica Sunday in Jacksonville.

Finally, an update for you. Everyone's favorite black cat still on the lam. MetLife Stadium putting out a tweet saying they put up humane traps and continue to search. But they can't find the kitty.

Dave, big game this Sunday at MetLife Stadium, 2-7 Giants taking on the 1-7 Jets. Not sure the kitty wants to watch that one.

BRIGGS: I think Jerry Jones took the cat. He wants to curse future teams.

I apologize for calling it a dumpster fire a moment ago. "The New York Daily News" called it that on their back page yesterday. I'm just echoing their words. It is pretty accurate, though. Dumpster fire here in New York.

SCHOLES: It's probably the worst game on the docket for Sunday. That's for sure.

BRIGGS: I'll watch it, 1:00, Sunday. Thanks, man.

SCHOLES: All right.

BRIGGS: Julia, what's coming up?

CHATTERLEY: Dumpster fire. You can own it.

BRIGGS: Yes, I love it.

CHATTERLEY: All right. The new entry in the 2020 race. And it's a big one. How Mike Bloomberg's bid would change the game.

Stay with us. We're back after this.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome to the show.

An 89-year-old holocaust survivor is leaving under police protection in Milan, Italy, after becoming the target of constant anti-Semitic threats. Liliana Segre, a senator for life in Italy received some 200 threats a day on social media from far right extremists. The threats have increased since she spearheaded the commission of a parliament committee against hate, racism and anti-Semitism.

According to a Milan-base Jewish group, there's been a spike of anti- Semitic attacks recently in Italy, particularly online.

BRIGGS: Ten people had to be hospitalized in Oklahoma after mistakenly getting insulin injections instead of flu shots. Eight patients were at the facility for the developmentally disabled in Bartlesville. Two were employees.

Police say emergency responders found multiple unresponsive people when they arrived because of their disabilities. Many were not able to explain their symptoms. Several remained in the hospital due to the long-acting insulin that was administered.

CHATTERLEY: A World War II veteran from Oklahoma just got an honor that was long overdue, his high school diploma.

Ninety-five-year-old Lewie Shaw left early to enlist in the Marine Corps. He was presented Thursday with the degree he never had a chance to receive, 76 years ago.


LEWIE SHAW, WWII VETERAN: I knew I was going to get the diploma. But I had no idea I would get such a turnout of people.


CHATTERLEY: Shaw served in combat with the Fourth Marine Division in battles including Tinian, Saipan and Iwo Jima. He wore his 1943 uniform underneath his cap and gown.

BRIGGS: A Virginia dad becoming known as the ultimate cheer dad. Rolland Holland likes to mimic a move when rooting for his daughter at football games. Last week, he asked them to show the routine, after three 20-minute sessions, Holland was ready. Friday night's game, he stood up every time the Falcons scored and cheered his heart out, in sync with his daughter's team. Holland does admit the kicks were hard to execute.

I would definitely rip my pants --

CHATTERLEY: He's worthy of a (INAUDIBLE). But even his cheering was high-pitched.

BRIGGS: I think he found the camera with the final turn toward the camera. Well done, dad. We appreciate the effort.

EARLY START continues right now.


BRIGGS: A potential earthquake in the 2020 race. Mike Bloomberg taking steps to run. What it means for the Democratic field.

CHATTERLEY: The House could impeach President Trump by Christmas. What's behind a renewed push to wrap up the inquiry?

BRIGGS: Chinese surveillance gear sold to the U.S. government. Prosecutors say a top tech firm could have put sensitive information at risk.

Welcome back to EARLY START. Happy Friday, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHATTERLEY: Happy Friday. I'm Julia Chatterley.

It is 30 minutes past the hour.

And we're talking about a big shock this morning for the 2020 presidential field. Former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, preparing a White House bid. A spokesman says Bloomberg will file paperwork today to get on Alabama's Democratic primary ballot, ahead of the state's early filing deadline.