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Michael Bloomberg Expected To File For Alabama 2020 Primary; French President Macron Says Europe Is Facing The "Brain Death Of NATO"; Tech Firm Sold Mislabeled Chinese Gear To U.S. Military. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 8, 2019 - 05:30   ET



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

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

Just six weeks ago Bloomberg ruled out a run.


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


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Bloomberg rejected a run earlier because that path to victory seemed narrow with Joe Biden in the same lane, but Biden has been struggling of late in the crowded Democratic field.

His former Obama adviser, David Axelrod, tweeted, quote, "This is a thunderclap and not exactly a vote of confidence from leading moderate in durability of Joe Biden campaign."

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

CHATTERLEY: 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BLOOMBERG: And I just said to Sen. Warren on the way out, Senator, congratulations, it was a nice talk. But just let me remind you if my company hadn't been successful we wouldn't be here today. So, enough with this stuff.


CHATTERLEY: Sen. Warren, herself, 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 can buy this election. It's not enough. When billionaires, millionaires, and corporate executives get their tax and get their fortunes and say we want a bigger (INAUDIBLE).


BRIGGS: Bernie Sanders echoing the same sentiment. Quote, "The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared."

Meantime, the Trump campaign conceding Bloomberg could pose a threat as a fellow New York business titan who is even wealthier -- far wealthier than Trump. But a 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'll need it.

CHATTERLEY: House Democrats taking steps to avoid dragging out the impeachment inquiry. CNN's Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report the House could wrap up the proceedings by Christmas.

Two main reasons to expedite here -- concern public attention could wain after weeks of revelations and fear a lengthy process could complicate the 2020 race. And, Democrats are speeding things along. They're limiting the number of witnesses at upcoming public hearings and they're avoiding court battles that could delay the inquiry.

This could explain why no subpoena was issued yesterday when former national security adviser John Bolton refused to testify.

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.


JONATHAN KARL, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: But to be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo. MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We do that all the time with foreign policy. And I have news for everybody -- get over it.


BRIGGS: New transcripts released in the probe showing remarkable consistency, though.

The 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 other officials' 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, and Clinton."

Now a lawyer for the whistleblower whose report sparked the inquiry has sent a letter warning the president to cease and desist attacking his client. He says he's deeply concerned the president's rhetoric places the whistleblower and their family in physical danger.

More on all this.

Plus, is the most critical transatlantic partnership in jeopardy? Blunt words from the French president. Why he says NATO may be obsolete.



BRIGGS: Michael Bloomberg filing for the Alabama Democratic primary today.

His adviser, Howard Wolfson, says this. Quote, "Mike believes that Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation. We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated, but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned to do that."

Let's bring in CNN reporter Michael Warren, live in Washington. Michael, happy Friday. It's been a bit, brother.


BRIGGS: Good to see you, man.

The New York tabloids are sure thrilled. I mean, it just writes itself -- "Kabloom", "Bloom for More -- One More." I think they've got a lot of material there.

But, bottom-line this thing for me. Eighty-seven days to the Iowa caucus. Is it too late and does Bloomberg have a serious chance of winning the nomination?

M. WARREN: Well, it still seems wide open enough that it's not too late but you don't know exactly where this is going to go. Bloomberg could be a huge factor, shaking up the race entirely -- particularly on that center-left side of things -- or he could completely go nowhere.

Look, money is very important in politics and Bloomberg has basically an unlimited supply of it, but it's not everything. It can't buy you a nomination. Just ask Tom Steyer, the other Democratic billionaire running for president.

So -- but again, I think the question about whether or not he crowds out Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg in that center-left position -- Joe Biden has struggled. He's stagnated in the polls and slipped a little bit, but he's not been in freefall.


So this is a, I think, a real first test for Bloomberg if he does get in. Do we see a freefall for Joe Biden? Do we see those numbers not really change much? I think that will, in many ways, determine what Bloomberg's real factor will be in this race.

CHATTERLEY: Do Democratic voters actually think they need an alternative candidate here -- whether this is, for Bloomberg, a choice between wanting to take on Trump here or just seeing a field that isn't cutting it right now?

If you look at a Fox News poll from October 27-30, 69 percent saying they're satisfied right now with the choices. Twenty-eight percent saying they wish there were other options. And isn't the risk here, too, that the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders here go -- hang on a second, this guy just wants to thwart us and stop taxes on big billionaires here and that's why he's stepping in now.

M. WARREN: Right, it's sort of a perfect timing.

Elizabeth Warren releases, just yesterday, this calculator on her Web site to say put in -- if you're a billionaire, put in your amount of money and this is what you'll pay in taxes. And then, just a few hours later, Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire himself --


M. WARREN: -- jumps in the race.

He does sort of provide a foil that I think Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders haven't had, which is this argument that they've been making that politics and particularly the Democratic Party has sort of been captured by wealthy people -- by sort of corporate interests -- and Michael Bloomberg sort of provides that foil for them.

But I do think it is a question about what do Democratic voters want? I do think there's -- there is a significant number of more moderate voters within the party that aren't necessarily interested in what Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have to offer. They're more interested in can our candidate beat Donald Trump.

And I think that -- again, that's --


M. WARREN: -- always the test, but I don't think Bloomberg necessarily passes or fails that test. It's going to be a wait and see approach.

BRIGGS: Well, bottom-line is Trump won by, what, 77,000 votes in three states. Does Michael Bloomberg take away Republican support if he get -- if he got the nomination?

M. WARREN: Right. I mean, this is sort of a give and take here, right?

Republicans under Donald Trump picked up a lot more sort of working- class voters in those Midwestern states. But they've sacrificed and we've seen this since 2018.

And even as Bloomberg mentioned -- you know, even in these races this week in places like Virginia, the suburbs are moving away from Republicans. Is Mike Bloomberg the guy to take those voters permanently from the Republican camp? He does run on issues like gun control and common-sense gun laws, as he puts it.

Is that exactly the issue that is sort of motivating those voters or it is more just simply anti-Trump? And in that case, a lot of Democrats are going to say it doesn't really matter who you are as long as you're somebody who's seen as being able to beat the president in November.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and that's the big question here.

I want to bring it back to impeachment, as well.

Mick Mulvaney was expected to testify today. All the signs are he's simply not going to do it. The Democrats want to wrap this up. Does it even matter if he doesn't at this stage?

M. WARREN: Right. I mean, I look at this subpoena of Mick Mulvaney as sort of the House Democrats crossing their t's and dotting their i's, making sure that they've done their due diligence in calling any of these people who might be able to provide evidence.

But none of these White House officials have complied. They've cited executive privilege and that sort of seems to be it.

And frankly, House Democrats are acting as if they don't really need people like Mick Mulvaney to testify. They're moving forward.

You know, our colleagues have reported on this schedule. They believe that -- Democrats believe they could even impeach the president or at least have a vote on impeachment by Christmas. That suggests that all of this evidence, all of this testimony that we've heard and that we've now seen released this week -- they're moving forward on public testimony, public hearings.

They seem to think that they have enough. They just need to figure out can we make these public hearings -- sort of make the case to the public that what the president's done --


M. WARREN: -- is impeachable.

CHATTERLEY: Keep it simple.

BRIGGS: It all starts Wednesday.

Michael Warren, good to see you, my friend. Have a good weekend.

M. WARREN: Thanks -- you, too.

CHATTERLEY: All right, let's move on to the retail sector now.

Two major retailers facing rough times.

Sears announcing it will close another 96 stores in the next few months after closing several hundred others over the past year. The 132-year-old company has been closing locations at an accelerating rate after declaring bankruptcy a little over a year ago. The company will operate only 182 stores after the closings.

And it's not the only retailer with troubling news. This week, Gap announced yesterday its CEO, Art Peck, will be stepping down. He's been in charge during several years of declining sales.

He's also one of the highest-paid chief executives in the retail sector. Filings show he made over $20 million last year. He was expected to stay on as the company spends off its Old Navy brand.

Investors, though, not appreciating the news. Shares fell some 12 percent in after-hours trading. Both Sears and Gap have struggled to compete with e-commerce companies like Amazon.


All right, we'll be back after this. Stay with EARLY START.



In a stark warning, French President Emmanuel Macron says Europe is facing the brain death of NATO. He said those words in an interview with "The Economist" Thursday. Macron says Europe can no longer depend on the United States because of its indifference to the transatlantic alliance.


CNN's Melissa Bell live from Paris with more. Melissa, bold words -- drastic words, as well. It doesn't surprise

me. And I'm quoting Angela Merkel here that she's got to push back here a bit. Talk us through it.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right because there are those who are still trying to defend those old alliances like NATO.

Emmanuel Macron quite brutal in his words, Julia, in speaking specifically to that relationship that he's sought to cultivate with the American president, but then really drawing these conclusions about what we knew where their two very different ideological positions -- their two completely different visions of the world. And I think we knew that they were divided on how they saw the world.

But the American withdrawal from Syria, clearly, and what followed from Turkey -- these have been the sort of concrete manifestations of that American tendency no longer to be the steadfast partner that it had been for Europe until now. And I think that is really what has led Emmanuel Macron to give this interview.

Now, it is interesting that he is saying this at this point. He goes on to draw a series of conclusions.

Europe, he says, can no longer rely on organizations like NATO and it needs, therefore, to reset its relationship with countries like Russia in a very sort of realistic way, but trying to reassess its ability to rebuild the dialogue with countries like Russia.

Now, interestingly, the interview has been welcomed by Moscow this morning. They say that it is a thoughtful interview that he's given, welcoming his words.

And so you see how, in a sense -- in a very concrete way, what are we seeing? All the conclusions and unforeseen circumstances -- consequences are what we knew to be Donald Trump's position on these questions of the old-fashioned alliances that we've become so used to and so used to relying on until now, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and the Moscow response, no surprise there.

Melissa Bell, thank you for that.

BRIGGS: An early taste of winter. An arctic blast could bring record low temperatures to the east. You can blame meteorologist Derek Van Dam for alliteration. Your frigid Friday forecast.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Great 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 to 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 in the skies overhead across some or at least most of the major East Coast cities. Still a few clouds and showers lingering in and around the Atlanta region today.

But high pressure will take control of the weather and 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 of cold air and the potential for snow over the next five days, specifically as we head into Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of 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: All right, Derek, thanks.

The label said made in the USA, but federal prosecutors say the surveillance gear was actually built in China. Now, a New York tech firm is accused of selling it to U.S. military and government agencies.

The FBI raiding Adventura Technologies, charging seven current and former 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 government's most sensitive facilities.

The company claimed the gear was made on Long Island.

CHATTERLEY: It's more deadly to live in rural areas than in cities. New research from the CDC shows deaths from preventable causes are more common in rural America.

The five leading causes, cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injury, including drug overdoses. For most of the decade, the gap widened for several of those.

Rural areas have more limited access to health care. A fifth of the U.S. population lives outside of cities.

BRIGGS: The CDC says there are now more than 2,000 cases of lung injuries linked to vaping across the United States. States have reported at least 40 deaths. There does not appear to be any one product to blame.

Now, Juul Labs has announced it will stop online sales and accepting orders of its popular mint-flavored Juul pods immediately. The company said the decision comes after research this week showed the mint flavor is attractive to young people.

CHATTERLEY: A young girl has finally been reunited with her father after he was detained in a massive Mississippi immigration raid.

Back in August, Magdalena Gomez Gregorio made this tearful plea for her father's release.


MAGDALENA GOMEZ GREGORIO, 11-YEAR-OLD BEGGING FOR FATHER'S RELEASE: I need my dad. My dad didn't do nothing. He's not a criminal.



CHATTERLEY: Andres Gomez-Jorge was released last week after family and friends raised $7,500 to pay his bond. Gomez-Jorge is currently unemployed and the family of six have been surviving on donations of food and money.

BRIGGS: 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 school early to enlist in the Marine Corps. He was finally presented Thursday with a degree he never had the chance to receive 76 years ago.


LEWIE SHAW, WORLD WAR II VETERAN, RECEIVED HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA: I knew that I was going to get the diploma but I had no idea I was going to get such a turnout of people.


BRIGGS: Shaw served in combat with the Fourth Marine Division. He wore his 1943 uniform underneath his cap and gown.

CHATTERLEY: Congratulations, Mr. Shaw.

All right, let's take a look at global markets. Asian shares, right now, mixed as investors digest the latest trade headlines. Officials are giving differing signals on the path to tariffs going forward.

On Wall Street, we are slightly softer but futures -- because we did see hit record highs yesterday. Markets hitting back on highs yesterday.

Shares in Disney jumping five percent in after-hours trading, too. The company announced better than expected earnings, and its CEO said the Disney+ streaming service will be available on Amazon Fire T.V.s.

General Motors, meanwhile, selling its plant in Lordstown, Ohio to an electric truck maker. According to "The Wall Street Journal," a start-up called Lordstown Motors bought the facility and hopes to build an electric truck there starting late next year.

During the 6-week strike, GM workers unsuccessfully pressed the company to keep the plant open. The start-up says it plans to hire around 400 workers and pay them wages similar to GM. The facility had been idle for nearly a year.

Drake looking to get high -- high profits, that is. The rapper partnered with a Canadian cannabis giant, Canopy Growth, to launch a producer in his hometown of Toronto.

He joins a wave of other celebrities who have got involved in the cannabis industry. The names include Snoop Dogg, Seth Rogin, and even Martha Stewart. Still, Drake is unusual in that he's a majority owner of a company since most other arrangements involve endorsements or minority investments.

BRIGGS: The holiday shopping season is almost upon us and while you were sleeping, Jimmy Kimmel was promoting a Trump-themed must-have holiday toy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you can build your own winter White House.

KIDS: Awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mar-a-Lego. You'll have hours of fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I built a golf course. Awe, his hands are so tiny and cute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rescue Melania from her prison tower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help me. I don't want to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bribe the Ukrainian president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, stop this holding of our military aid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then give me some dirt on Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And keep the president out of trouble.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No quid pro quo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We must find the whistleblower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mar-a-Lego, from the makers of MAGA Doodle. Draw your tax returns and watch them disappear. Donald's dream jail sold separately.


BRIGGS: Even a tiny hands --


BRIGGS: -- jab in there.

CHATTERLEY: That's all I can say.

BRIGGS: People would probably buy it, quite frankly.

CHATTERLEY: Now available on the Trump Web site now.

All right, let's move on quickly.

They say it's -- they say it's never too late to say I love you or in this case, Happy Valentine's Day. More than 168,000 text messages sent on February 14th were just received this week, more than eight months late.

The issue occurred across all major U.S. carriers. It apparently stemmed from a maintenance issue with a firm that serves several telecom companies. Some people reported getting Valentine's text messages for a now-ex boyfriend or girlfriend.

BRIGGS: It must have been an odd experience to get a Happy Valentine's --


BRIGGS: -- text in November.

CHATTERLEY: It could have saved the relationship had it arrived on that day.

BRIGGS: If your relationship is saved by a Happy Valentine's Day text, you were -- you were meant --

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Next time --

BRIGGS: -- to call it quits.

CHATTERLEY: -- pick her flowers.

BRIGGS: No one gets bailed out by a Happy Valentine's text.

CHATTERLEY: That's it for the show. Thank you for joining us. Happy Friday. I'm Julia Chatterley.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY." Have a good weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bloomberg sees an opening. He wants to be president so he takes it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It shows that there's a weakness or something lacking in the field. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that Bloomberg has wanted to do this all along.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rudy Giuliani's influence is coming into focus with the release of deputy assistant Secretary of State George Kent's testimony transcript.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giuliani is all over the place and is, himself, in legal jeopardy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats have a lot of information already and it would be great to have Mick Mulvaney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been in the middle of this. He was actually putting a freeze on aid to Ukraine.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, November eighth. It's 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is away. Bianna Golodryga joins me this morning.