Return to Transcripts main page


Teen Gunman Shoots Five Classmates and Himself in California School; Marie Yovanovitch to Appear in Public Impeachment Inquiry Hearings on Capitol Hill; Browns and Steelers in NFL's Game-Ending Brawl; Elizabeth Warren Hits Billionaires in New Ad. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 15, 2019 - 04:00   ET



COOPER: The news continues right now. Let's turn things over to Christine Romans and Dave Briggs for "EARLY START."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scary to see people running and then have them running into your class. And then just hearing them yell, like, somebody's on campus.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Yet another school shooting and a community changed forever. Five students shot, two killed, when a classmate opens fire on his 16th birthday.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And public impeachment hearings resume today. But it's the testimony behind closed doors that could be more revealing.




BRIGGS: One of the ugliest endings you will ever see to a football game at any level. Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns facing a long suspension for hitting an opponent with his own helmet. And Garrett should be thankful he did not hit him with the crown of the helmet or that it was not in Canada. That was criminal, folks.

ROMANS: That looked like an assault, not a football game.

BRIGGS: Terrifying. It did look like an assault.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday, November 15th, it's 1:00 a.m. in California. Sixteen seconds, 16 seconds is all it took for lives and another

school community to be changed forever. Two Southern California teens are dead after police say a student shot five classmates and himself on his 16th birthday. The motive for the mass shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita is unclear. What is clear, the fear this generation of students and parents now lives with every day.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's scary to see people running and have them running into a class. And then just hear them yell like, somebody's on campus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told you to come here and wait for him. And -- and then is that him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's him. I'm going to walk to get you. Don't move please. I just need to be -- you just need to be in my arms right now, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They tell you on a drill that you never know where the gunshots are, and honestly, that's exactly what happened. You have no idea where it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could have been at the front gate and we could be running directly towards him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Politics so tight. There's the whole, don't take my guns. But after you're in something like this, don't take my life.


BRIGGS: The suspect right now in critical condition. Details about him are scarce. A neighbor says he'd been hit hard by the recent death of his father. The William S. Hart School District where Saugus High is located canceled all classes today in this note somber note. The L.A. County sheriff announced overnight that sheriff's department employee is the aunt of one of the teens killed. This attack brings the total number of school shootings this year to 32, in K through 12 alone.

Sara Sidner with more from Santa Clarita.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, students reigned at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, on Thursday with students running for their lives, as bullets were being fired over and over again by a shooting suspect who police say was also a student, a 16-year-old Asian male, who had come into school with a backpack. Went into his backpack, pulled out a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol and began shooting the students around him.

Sixteen-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy ended up losing their life after being shot by the suspect. And as we understand it, the suspect used the last bullet on himself, so shooting himself in the head. And for the entire day Thursday, he was in critical condition. The last person still remaining in the hospital. All the rest of the victims who survived were able to go home.

We know, though, from students, that it was terrifying in the school when all of this began.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard the one shot and then four after and we just started running. And just -- all I heard was all these kids running and just screaming and calling their parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a .45 semiautomatic pistol which had no more rounds in it. Had no more bullets in it.


SIDNER: There were also several first responders who happened to be off-duty and started helping the students right away while they were still in danger. The suspect, there is still quite a bit of an investigation going on. We understand that investigators are talking to his mother and his girlfriend. And they have, all day, been speaking to those who witnessed this horrific shooting at yet another school -- Dave, Christine.

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

All right. Four minutes past the hour, public impeachment hearings back under way this morning with former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, the only scheduled witness today.


Now Democrats say President Trump removed her as part of a month's long campaign to pressure the Ukrainians to interfere in the 2020 election. In her private testimony, Yovanovitch said she felt threatened by the president's comments about her and was warned by a senior Ukrainian official to watch her back.

BRIGGS: Democrats escalating their rhetoric against the president. Listen to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpening her language describing Mr. Trump's tactics.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery. Quid pro quo. Bribery. Bribery, and that is in the Constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings.


BRIGGS: Bribery is one of only two examples of high crimes and misdemeanors spelled out in the Constitution.

More now from Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Consider this a day today as it comes to the impeachment inquiry as one of split-screen importance. One of those screens, you're going to be able to see publicly. It's going to be live on television. It's going to be the second public impeachment hearing. This one with Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine, who was summarily ousted by an outside pressure campaign, led primarily by the president's outside attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Marie Yovanovitch was pushed out early on in this process. And the way it's being framed by Democrats right now is if Wednesday's hearing with two U.S. diplomats was to give the full scope and scale of everything that was happening in Ukraine, this will be page one. This is where everything started. This is where everything began. Pay close attention because of that fact.

Now Republicans have made clear, Yovanovitch was pushed out. But that's the president's prerogative. It's his power to have anybody he wants serve as an ambassador to Ukraine or any other country.

Closed-door testimony is the screen part two. That's what's going to be happening behind the scenes on Friday, and this may be more important than anything that's going on right now. David Holmes, political counselor to the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, will be coming in and testifying behind closed doors. Giving a deposition to committee members.

Why does that matter? David Holmes is the unnamed aide that was pointed out by William Taylor in a surprise announcement during his testimony on Wednesday. He was the aide that was with U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland, as Sondland had a phone call with President Trump, where he discussed the state of play with those investigations that Trump wanted.

Democrats are very keen on this testimony, seeing what it will actually unveil. And more importantly, if it directly addresses, as Taylor seemed to make it out to be, that this is a first-person account. Going against what Republicans used on Wednesday.

So keep an eye on both. Both are very important. One setting the stage of an early part of this entire timeline. The other potentially providing the closing information -- guys.

ROMANS: All right, Phil Mattingly, thank you for that.

So when the going gets tough, the president holds rallies. Last night in Louisiana, he tried to show his supporters he's not too concerned about impeachment.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How about when they ask these two never-Trumpers, what exactly do you think you impeach him for? And they stood there and went, like, what?


ROMANS: You might recall the president said he didn't watch a minute of the testimony. Also told the crowd some members of the Republican Party want the hearings to go longer because it helps him politically. Apparently the president doesn't agree and told the audience it would be nice to see the hearings end.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a flag as -- whoa. Hello. Whoa.


BRIGGS: You're looking at one ugly finish to an -- well, ugly NFL game. It all started with eight seconds left in that game when Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns ripped the helmet off of Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and struck him in the head with that helmet. Led to all kinds of kicking and punching in particular from Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers. After the game Garrett said he made a mistake and regrets it. Expect some fines and major suspensions. The Browns won the game, 21-7.

I've heard heads of officiating former experts say four games, I don't think so. I think the rest of the season, bare minimum, for Myles Garrett. If that helmet was turned, Christine, and he hit him with the crown of the helmet --

ROMANS: Right. There could be a tragedy on the --

BRIGGS: Not to be too graphic, it would have split his head open. It might have ended Mason Rudolph's career. That would be assault if we were in Canada where they have different laws for sports.

ROMANS: Wow. Wow. That's just something.

BRIGGS: Ugly incident.

ROMANS: All right. Nine minutes past the hour, Elizabeth Warren taking fiery demands for a wealth tax straight to the billionaire audience and oh, billionaires, they're calling her disgraceful, out of touch, anti-capitalism.



ROMANS: Senator Elizabeth Warren is taking on billionaires with an ad appearing on their own turf, CNBC.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is time for a wealth tax in America. I've heard that there are some billionaires who don't support this plan.


ROMANS: She wants billionaires to pay a wealth tax. She says they don't pay their fair share. They can afford to pay a $0.02 tax up on fortunes over $50 million. And 1 percent tax over a billion. She calls out billionaire titans, business titans in particular like Leon Cooperman and former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Cooperman responded saying this.


LEON COOPERMAN, OMEGA FAMILY OFFICE CHAIRMAN: A wealth tax makes no sense. It will lead unnatural acts, be near-impossible to police, and it's probably unconstitutional. If this lady wins, we're in big trouble.



ROMANS: Yes, he called her disgraceful. Blankfein tweeted this. "Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign. Not the country. Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA."

Warren wears this criticism of course like a badge of honor. And her campaign says this new -- this new campaign merchandise, the "Billionaire Tears" mug, has become the campaign's fastest selling item. "Billionaire Tears" mug, it specifically calls out Cooperman being brought to tears while discussing the idea of a wealth tax on television recently.

So you've got her really zeroing in on these billionaires who, you know, quietly, they have been concerned about her for months. But now this has bubbled over into the public.


ROMANS: And again it works. It's a line in her rallies that really works. I mean, her core, her base, love that she is going after the billionaires.

BRIGGS: How will it impact her in terms of raising money down the road? I mean, we've seen the Trump campaign raise massive, unheard- of-before sums.

ROMANS: I'm not sure how it's going -- I mean, she's not going to get any money from those billionaires.

BRIGGS: Right. Sure. Yeah.

ROMANS: And she certainly never was going to.


ROMANS: But she is trying to take on -- look, she is somebody who was a bankruptcy lawyer. So her perspective is from the families who -- who go bankrupt and really can never recover. And she talks about these billionaires who, you know, bought companies in bankruptcy, dismantled companies, made their money off of the misfortune of others. It really works for her base.

BRIGGS: Part of it is wanting to get away from the Medicare for All message.

ROMANS: Of course.

BRIGGS: One would assume.

ROMANS: Of course.

BRIGGS: All right. That G7 thing didn't quite work out. But President Trump's Doral resort in Miami will be hosting another big event. The Republican National Committee's annual winter meeting. The RNC says it's signed a contract to hold the event at Doral in March. And it just sent out e-mails to members urging them to book their rooms at the president's property for the late January summit. An RNC official says donors enjoy visiting Trump properties and claimed they are often cheaper to rent than other venues.

ROMANS: All right. Taylor Swift about to be honored for a decade of music but she won't be able to perform a lot of it. Now she's speaking out.



BRIGGS: A state of emergency in Venice, Italy. The City of Canal is crippled by the worst flooding in more than a half century. Conditions so extreme the prime minister creating a compensation plan for residents and businesses. St. Mark's Square and Basilica under water. Venice's Regional Counsel flooded for the first time this week just after it rejected measures to combat climate change.

The water level in the city is expected to rise to nearly five feet today, pushed by a powerful storm system that's moving through the region.

ROMANS: A new twist in Taylor Swift's ongoing feud with music mogul Scooter Braun. Swift posted a scathing note online telling fans Braun won't let her perform any of her old songs when she's honored at the American Music Awards as an Artist of the Decade. Music manager Scooter Braun took control of Swift's old catalogue when he bought Big Machine Label Group back in June. Swift says according to Braun performing the songs will be rerecording her music before she's allowed to do so next year. Swift says sharing her experience could help other artists avoid a similar fate.

BRIGGS: Officials in Roanoke, Virginia, urging residents to stay on alert after a marine deserter wanted for murder was spotted. The manhunt led authorities to close all schools in the city yesterday. Police were called around 4:00 a.m. with a report Michael Alexander Brown had been spotted. The 22-year-old is wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend last week. A SWAT team secured Brown's RV which was found where he was seen. Brown is thought to be on foot, possibly looking for another vehicle. Roanoke schools reopen today.

ROMANS: Safety concerns about over-the-counter drugs being sold at Dollar Tree stores. The Food and Drug Administration issuing a warning letter to the owner of Greenbrier International for using products were made by foreign sellers who are on import alert. That means those sellers have been cited for multiple violations in the process used to manufacture Dollar Tree's Assured brand. The FDA is calling on Dollar Tree to implement a system that ensures it is importing safe drugs.

BRIGGS: 'Tis the season, or is it? In the spirit of the holidays, Claudia and Nick Simonis put out a handful of Christmas decorations on November 1st. Three days later, they received a letter from their San Antonio homeowners association demanding they take the decorations down until closer to the holiday. They're not budging.


NICK SIMONIS, RESIDENT: We're not going to do it.

CLAUDIA SIMONIS, RESIDENT: No, we're not. We're not going to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. That's a first.

C. SIMONIS: When is like -- when is the right time to put it?


ROMANS: Nick says the letter did not specify when closer is. The association did not respond to CNN's request for comment. Claudia is also eight months pregnant. Her due date is Christmas Day.

BRIGGS: December, people. Wait until December.


ROMANS: Dave has an opinion.

BRIGGS: Please wait until December. You don't have an opinion on this?

ROMANS: Look, I would be --

BRIGGS: This is outrageous.

ROMANS: I would be doing it right now if my husband didn't argue with me about it so --

BRIGGS: Oh, dear.



BRIGGS: OK. All right.

ROMANS: There's six Spirit Days this year before Christmas so you've got to -- you've got to --

BRIGGS: December.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: All right? Sports now, the two Major League Baseball MVP separated by just 30 miles on Interstate 5. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels picking up 17 of 30 1st place votes to edge Houston's Alex Bregman. Trout's third MVP award, quite a feat considering the Angels were mediocre and Trout missed the last 22 games with a foot injury. The Angels superstar now has as many MVP trophies as he does career postseason games.

In the National League Cody Bellinger is the first Dodger to win MVP since Clayton Kershaw in 2014, picked up 19 of 30 1st place votes to beat out the Brewers' Christian Yelich.

ROMANS: All right. She said she felt threatened and was warned to watch her back. What will the former ambassador to Ukraine say in public testimony today?

BRIGGS: And a Southern California community is reeling after a teenager opens fire on classmates. Two lost their lives.