Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Gordon Sondland Faces Congress This Morning; Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Takes On Elizabeth Warren; Pentagon Says Turkey's Attack On Kurdish Forces After The U.S. Pulled Out Of Syria Has Allowed ISIS To Regroup And Potentially Launch New Attacks Abroad. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 20, 2019 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Can we just play that for the next two hours?

ROMANS: Yes, please.

BRIGGS: It feels good. I'm Dave Briggs, Wednesday, November 20th, 3:00 a.m. in the East, midnight Pacific. He is the man with the most firsthand knowledge of events that brought us to this historic moment -- to impeachment hearings.

Gordon Sondland faces Congress this morning with the President's future, possibly in his hands. Evidence so far all points to Sondland as the witness who could tie President Trump directly to the campaign pressuring Ukraine to investigate 2020 rival Joe Biden.

ROMANS: The E.U. Ambassador's testimony follows a long day of hearings that culminated in one of the Republicans' own witnesses essentially turning on them.

Former Ukraine Envoy Kurt Volker acknowledged some of his closed-door testimony had been less than fully informed. What he didn't realize then, he understands now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. ENVOY TO UKRAINE: Since I gave my testimony on October 3rd, a great deal of additional information and perspectives have come to light.

In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving Ukrainian company, Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden.

In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: One key change in Volker's recollection was connected to

Sondland. Last month, he denied investigations ever came up at a July White House meeting, but yesterday Volker recalled Sondland did bring up investigations with the top Ukrainian official which she says everybody thought was inappropriate.

ROMANS: Multiple Republican sources tell us they are most worried about what Sondland will say today and whether he'll turn on the President. Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, if you paid close attention to Tuesday's testimony, you may have heard one name come up repeatedly who wasn't actually testifying, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. He has been at the center of much of the impeachment investigation up to this point.

He testified behind closed doors in a deposition then had to amend that testimony. That amendment seeming to make very clear that not only did he tie U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to the idea of investigations into the President's opponents, but he actually presented that to Ukrainian aides at his side bar meeting on September 1st, when the Vice President was in town.

Then you actually pay attention to the other depositions that were going on. Multiple administration officials talking about how Sondland had repeated contacted with President Trump. How Sondland touted his ties and close contacts with White House Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, and you recognize that in terms of witnesses, there may be no one bigger than Gordon Sondland.

He was at the center of everything the administration was doing through their quote-unquote "irregular channel," outside of the normal channels.

Now, there have been questions about his testimony, there are contradictions in his testimony, at least the deposition behind closed doors. All of those are going to be have to be answered.

The real question, though, is, what is he actually going to say when he gets in front of cameras?

I've talked to members on both sides of the aisle, and the reality is, nobody really knows. That's unsettling for Republicans who are hoping at some point he would be a big defender of the President. They don't know what's coming.

Democrats feel like he could be a big witness for them. But based on his closed door deposition and the changes to that, they don't know what's coming either.

It will be a nail-biting moment, not just for the White House, not just for Republicans, not just for Democrats, but pretty much everybody watching, because this is an individual that knows what happened and can say explicitly whether or not he was operating at the direction of the President and whether or not anybody else was, as well.

So, this will be a big day -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: All right, Phil Mattingly. Thanks. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman testified on the morning impeachment session on Tuesday, the Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council says he went straight to N.S.C. lawyers to report the Trump- Zelensky call. He told lawmakers he considered President Trump's demands inappropriate.

In one tense exchange, it appeared the Republicans were trying to unmask the whistleblower. Watch what happened when Vindman was asked if he spoke to anyone about the Trump-Zelensky conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL'S EUROPEAN AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent and an individual from the office of -- an individual in the Intelligence Community.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): What -- as you know, the intelligence community has 17 different agencies, what agency was this individual from?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): If I could interject here. We don't want to use these proceedings --

NUNES: It's our time.

SCHIFF: I know, but we need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right. The White House using a taxpayer-funded Twitter account to attack Vindman. The White House slammed the decorated Iraq war vet while he was testifying. The account quoted the Lieutenant Colonel's former boss, Tim Morrison, who testified, he had concerns about Vindman's judgment.

And then the President retweeted a misleading post from his social media director. It questioned Vindman's loyalty to the U.S. The President said this yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Vindman, I watched him for a little while this morning, and I think he -- I'm going to let people make their own determination, but I don't know Vindman. I never heard of him. I don't know any of these people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:05:11]

ROMANS: In his opening remarks, Colonel Vindman delivered an emotional message to his father, who brought his family to the United States from the Soviet Union decades ago. Vindman told his father, do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.

BRIGGS: Democrats candidates fight face-to-face to hold or take the lead at the fifth Democratic debate tonight in Atlanta. High stakes even higher with less than 11 weeks to go before the Iowa caucus.

Safe to say, there will be greater focus on Mayor Pete Buttigieg who is now leading the race in the latest CNN/"Des Moines Register" Iowa poll. This will be the first debate since Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan to pay for Medicare-for-All, a plan Biden called mathematical gymnastics.

ROMANS: Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is hitting back at Senator Elizabeth Warren for this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is time for a wealth tax in America!

(Cheering)

WARREN: I've heard that there are some billionaires who don't support this plan.

LEE COOPERMAN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, OMEGA ADVISORS: The vilification of billionaires makes no sense to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That ad trolling billionaires appeared on CNBC last week and included Lloyd Blankfein in it. Warren says billionaires like Blankfein and Leon Cooperman don't pay their fair share. They can afford to pay a two percent tax on fortunes over $50 million and six percent tax over a billion. That number was doubled to number to help pay for her Medicare-for-All.

In an interview with CNBC, Blankfein criticized Warren's ongoing battle with the billionaires.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, FORMER CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS: It used to be -- I used to be kind of a moderate Democrat. Now I'm -- now, without having moved anything, I've become like a, you know, like -- in their eyes, kind of a right-winger, because I don't want to blow up the financial system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Well, Blankfein says he believes the economic system should be fair, he criticized Warren's wealth tax. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLANKFEIN: We can modify our estate tax, but we shouldn't have unworkable, demotivating kinds of taxes that will achieve equality by reducing everybody's level of wealth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Blankfein also accused Warren and others of moving from populism to a kind of demagoguery.

BRIGGS: All right, is ISIS regrouping after Turkey's attack on Kurdish forces the U.S. left behind? New concerns from the Pentagon, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:11:25]

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, two U.S. service members killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, according to a statement from U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the cause of the crash is under investigation. But preliminary reports do not indicate it was caused by enemy fire.

The names of the fallen service members have not been released. The U.S. has about 12,000 troops remaining in Afghanistan.

ROMANS: The Pentagon says Turkey's attack on Kurdish forces after the U.S. pulled out of Syria has allowed ISIS to regroup and potentially launch new attacks abroad.

A new report from the Defense Department Inspector General paints a damaging picture of President Trump's decision to abandon America's Kurdish allies. The I.G. says Turkey unlikely to fight ISIS, despite its public pledge to do so.

A Pentagon spokesman tells CNN that training for Kurdish forces which was suspended, but has now resumed.

The I.G. also says the recent death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi will have little effect on the group's ability to make a comeback.

BRIGGS: And abrupt end with the talks between the United States and South Korea. The U.S. wants Seoul to bear a greater share of the cost for keeping U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula. But negotiations broke off when President Trump hiked the price tag for 2020 by roughly 400 percent.

The chief U.S. negotiator claims South Korea's proposals were unresponsive to the new U.S. demands. Mr. Trump's $4.7 billion price tag infuriated the South Koreans who have faced 24 missile launches this year by North Korea.

On Monday, the North announced that it no longer is interested in having useless meetings with the U.S. That came one day after President Trump tweeted, see you soon to North Korean leader Kim Jong- un.

ROMANS: An audit by the Justice Department's internal watchdog has uncovered security risks with the F.B.I.'s handling of confidential sources.

Among other problems, the D.O.J. Inspector General notes F.B.I. agents sometimes use work phones to contact confidential informants, calls that could be traced back to the government.

The I.G.'s report criticizes the F.B.I.'s ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources. It says those problems can result in jeopardizing F.B.I. operations and placing F.B.I. agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm's way.

ROMANS: A white Georgia teen now faces attempted murder charges after police say she planned a racially motivated attack on a black church. They say the 16-year-old took significant steps over several weeks as she planned a knife attack on bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Gainesville, Georgia.

Police say it was thwarted Friday when a student overheard her talking about the plan and alerted school officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY PARRISH, CHIEF OF GAINESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: She's a racist. I can promise you, we have valid evidence now that, I don't know how she's felt in the past, but that's somehow she feels at this point. Reading those details, they're just sickening. It's just very sickening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A white Georgia teen now faces attempted murder charges after police say she planned a racially motivated attack on a black church. They say the 16-year-old took significant steps over several weeks as she planned the attack on Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Gainesville, Georgia with knives.

Police say it was thwarted Friday when a student overheard her talking about the plan and alerted school officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY PARRISH, CHIEF OF GAINESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: She's a racist. I can promise you, we have valid evidence now that, I don't know how she's felt in the past, but that's somehow she feels at this point. Reading those details, they're just sickening. It's just very sickening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Police believe the girl acted alone and that no other churches are at risk. They say they're not aware if she has an attorney. ROMANS: Two prison guards have been charged with covering up their

failures on the night Jeffrey Epstein died at a New York correctional facility.

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas are accused of falsifying prison records. Court documents show the two repeatedly failed to complete required counts of prisoners. Prosecutors say they were shopping online and napping when Epstein apparently took his own life. Both officers pleaded not guilty and were released on bond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON FOY, TOVA NOEL'S ATTORNEY: It is our hope that we'll be able to reach a reasonable agreement in this case. If we cannot, after we've reviewed the evidence, we'll be prepared to defend them in this case moving forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:15:10]

ROMANS: Epstein was being held at the Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on Federal sex trafficking charges. Officials ruled his death a suicide.

BRIGGS: More damaging e-mails from senior White House adviser Stephen Miller. They say he coordinated with editors at far news website, Breitbart, to shape its immigration coverage and push criticism of Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

Those e-mails from 2015 were released Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They were leaked to the organization by a fired Breitbart editor. Earlier e-mail releases indicate Miller promoted stories from white nationalist and fringe media organizations to Breitbart staffers.

Miller and the White House have not responded to CNN's request for comment.

ROMANS: All right, the State of California cutting business ties with some leading automakers. We'll tell you why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:20:21]

BRIGGS: North America's economy is the most resilient in the world for withstanding the impact of the climate crisis according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Climate change will shrink the U.S. economy 1.1 percent by the year 2050, compare that to Western Europe's 1.7 percent decline and the three percent hit globally.

The report concludes preparation for the climate crisis is strongest in North America, making the economies more durable because global GDP growth will be three percent lower by 2050, that means, the developing world will bear the brunt of the economic impact.

ROMANS: A fight over emissions rules is pitting California against major automakers. The state says as of January, it will no longer buy government vehicles from GM, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota or other carmakers who side with the Trump administration in its battle over greenhouse gas emission standards.

The administration and the EPA are seeking to strip California's right to set tougher emissions rules for itself and 13 other states that follow California rules.

California Governor Gavin Newsom says in a statement, the carmakers who have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California's buying power.

BRIGGS: The Miami Dolphins have cut second year running back Mark Walton after police say he punched a woman who was pregnant with his baby. Walton remains in jail. A bond status hearing is expected today. Walton's attorney denies his client is guilty of the charges.

Walton was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 but was cut after being arrested three times during the 2019 off-season. According to CNN affiliate, WFOR, the arrest were for various drug, concealed weapon, reckless driving, and battery charges.

ROMANS: Orders are still coming in for Boeing's embattled fleet of 737 MAX jets according to "The Wall Street Journal." Kazakhstan's Air Astana agreed on Tuesday to buy 30 MAX jets and an undisclosed customer signed up for another 20 at the Dubai Air Show.

On Monday, 10 more were purchased by Turkey's Sun Express. The deal breaks a five-month order drought for the MAX jets which have been grounded worldwide since March after two deadly crashes.

Boeing is still seeking regulatory approval to return the MAX fleet to service.

BRIGGS: A Massachusetts teacher has opened her home to one of her students after his mother recently died of cancer. Jake Manning has Down syndrome. Kerry Bremer met Jake and his single mother Jean more than four years and she says she fell in love with him instantly.

Knowing Jean had terminal breast cancer, Kerry spoke to her husband and two kids, and then made Jean this offer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY BREMER, JAKE'S GUARDIAN: If you need a backup plan for Jake, then our family is happy to make him part of our family. And she said, I'll sleep better tonight than I've slept in a long time.

JAKE MANNING, STUDENT: My mom went to heaven. Queen Angel Mom.

BREMER: She's your queen angel mom.

MANNING: Always in my heart. She's always in my heart. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Wow. On Wednesday, Jean Manning passed away and Jake joined his new family. Friends of Jean Manning have set up a GoFundMe page to help support Jake and the Bremer family.

ROMANS: That one is a tear jerker. Tom Hanks' new movie role hitting closer to home than he ever imagined.

Hanks plays the iconic Mr. Rogers in the upcoming film "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and it turns out, the actor and the late children's TV star Fred Rogers, they are actually related according to a discovery made by ancestry.com, something Hanks and wife, Rita Wilson were surprised to learn at the film's New York premiere this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: All of this just comes together.

RITA WILSON, ACTRESS: This is crazy.

REPORTER: Did you have any idea?

HANKS: Well, I would like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers. Can you find out from ancestry.com?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: According to Ancestry, Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are sixth cousins. They share the same great, great, great, great, great grandfather who came from Germany to America in the 18th Century.

BRIGGS: Pretty cool. Movie comes out Friday. I'm excited to see that.

ROMANS: Me, too.

BRIGGS: We all need --

ROMANS: A little dose of sunshine.

BRIGGS: Yes, no kidding. All right. John Dean, Monica Lewinsky, Gordon Sondland. The E.U. Ambassador joins a list of witnesses with firsthand knowledge in the impeachment probes. What will Sondland say when he testifies publicly today?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:29:31]

ROMANS: He is the Ambassador with firsthand knowledge of the President's actions. What will Gordon Sondland say about the Ukraine pressure campaign when he testify publicly today?

BRIGGS: Ten Democrats on stage for their fifth debate tonight. How this showdown is different less than 11 weeks to the Iowa caucus?

ROMANS: Two guards now facing charges for lapses the night Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch. What they're accused of doing instead.

[03:30:04]

BRIGGS: The resemblance uncanny and there could be a good reason. Are Tom Hanks and Mr. Rogers related? Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour. We begin with this. He is man with the most firsthand knowledge of events that brought us to this historic moment.

To impeachment hearings, Gordon Sondland faces Congress this morning, with the President's future possibly in his hands.

Evidence so far all points to Sondland as the witness who could tie President Trump directly to the campaign pressuring Ukraine to investigate 2020 rival Joe Biden.

BRIGGS: The E.U. Ambassador's testimony follows a long day of hearings that culminated in one of the Republicans own witnesses essentially turning on him.

Former Ukraine Special Envoy Kurt Volker acknowledged some of his closed door testimony had been less than fully informed. What he didn't realize then he understands now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOLKER: Since I gave my testimony on October 3rd, a great deal of additional information and perspectives have come to light.

In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving Ukrainian company, Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden.

In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently. And had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: One key change in Volker's recollection was connected to Sondland. Last month, he denied investigations ever came up at a July White House meeting, but yesterday Volker recalled Sondland did bring up investigations with the top Ukrainian official which he says everybody thought was inappropriate.

BRIGGS: Multiple Republican sources tell us they are most worried about what Sondland will say today and whether he'll turn on the President. Phil Mattingly, on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: Christine and Dave, if you paid close attention to Tuesday's testimony, you may have heard one name come up repeatedly who wasn't actually testifying, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. He has been at the center of much of the impeachment investigation up to this point.

He testified behind closed doors in a deposition then had to amend that testimony. That amendment seeming to make very clear that not only did he tie U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to the idea of investigations into the President's opponents, but he actually presented that to Ukrainian aides at his side bar meeting on September 1st, when the Vice President was in town.

Then you actually pay attention to the other depositions that were going on. Multiple administration officials talking about how Sondland had repeated contacted with President Trump. How Sondland touted his ties and close contacts with White House Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, and you recognize that in terms of witnesses, there may be no one bigger than Gordon Sondland.

He was at the center of everything the administration was doing through their quote-unquote "irregular channel," outside of the normal channels.

Now, there have been questions about his testimony, there are contradictions in his testimony, at least the deposition behind closed doors. All of those are going to be have to be answered.

The real question, though, is, what is he actually going to say when he gets in front of cameras?

I've talked to members on both sides of the aisle, and the reality is, nobody really knows. That's unsettling for Republicans who are hoping at some point he would be a big defender of the President. They don't know what's coming.

Democrats feel like he could be a big witness for them. But based on his closed door deposition and the changes to that, they don't know what's coming either.

It will be a nail-biting moment, not just for the White House, not just for Republicans, not just for Democrats, but pretty much everybody watching, because this is an individual that knows what happened and can say explicitly whether or not he was operating at the direction of the President and whether or not anybody else was, as well.

So, this will be a big day -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, it will, Phil. Thank you. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman testified in the morning impeachment session on Tuesday. The Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council says he went straight to N.S.C. lawyers to report the Trump- Zelensky phone call.

He told lawmakers he considered President Trump's demands inappropriate. In one tense exchange, it appeared the Republicans were trying to unmask the whistleblower. Watch what happened when Vindman was asked if he spoke to anyone about the Trump-Zelensky conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VINDMAN: Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent and an individual from the office of -- an individual in the Intelligence Community.

NUNES: What -- as you know, the intelligence community has 17 different agencies, what agency was this individual from?

SCHIFF: If I could interject here. We don't want to use these proceedings --

NUNES: It's our time.

SCHIFF: I know, but we need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The White House, using a taxpayer-funded Twitter account to attack Vindman, the West Wing slamming the decorated Iraq War vet while he was testifying.

The account quoted the Lieutenant Colonel's former boss, Tim Morrison, who testified he had concerns about Vindman's judgment. Then the President retweeted a misleading post from his social media director, it question Vindman's loyalty to the United States. The President said this yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Vindman, I watched him for a little while this morning, and I think he -- I'm going to let people make their own determination, but I don't know Vindman. I never heard of him. I don't know any of these people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:35:12]

BRIGGS: In his opening remarks, Colonel Vindman delivered an emotional message to his father who brought his family to the United States from the Soviet Union decades ago then told him quote, "Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth."

ROMANS: All right, Democratic presidential candidates fight face-to- face to hold or take the lead at the fifth democratic debate tonight in Atlanta. High stakes now even higher with less than 11 weeks to the Iowa caucuses.

Safe to say they'll be greater focus on Mayor Pete Buttigieg who is now leading the field in the latest CNN/Des Moines Registry Iowa poll.

This will also be the first debate since Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan to pay for Medicare-for-All, a plan Joe Biden called mathematical gymnastics.

BRIGGS: Two prison guards have been charged with covering up their failures on the night Jeffrey Epstein died at a New York correctional facility.

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas are accused of falsifying prison records. Court documents show the two repeatedly failed to complete required counts of prisoners. Prosecutors say they were shopping online and napping when Epstein took his own life.

Both officers pleaded not guilty and were released on bond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON FOY, TOVA NOEL'S ATTORNEY: It is our hope that we'll be able to reach a reasonable agreement in this case. If we cannot, after we review the evidence, we'll be prepared to defend them in this case moving forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Epstein was being held at the Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on Federal sex trafficking charges. Officials ruled his death, a suicide.

ROMANS: A white Georgia teen now faces attempted murder charges after police say she planned a racially motivated attack on a black church. They say the 16-year-old took significant steps over several weeks as she planned a knife attack Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Gainesville, Georgia with knives.

Police say it was thwarted Friday when a student overheard her talking about the plan and alerted school officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY PARRISH, CHIEF OF GAINESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: She's a racist. I can promise you, we have valid evidence now that, I don't know how she's felt in the past, but that's how she feels at this point. Reading those details, they're just sickening. It's just very sickening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Police say the girl -- they believe the girl acted alone and that no other churches are at risk. They say they're not aware if she has an attorney.

BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, two U.S. service members killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, according to a statement from U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but preliminary reports do not indicate it was caused by enemy fire. The names of the fallen service members have not been released. The U.S. has about 12,000 troops remaining in Afghanistan.

ROMANS: The Pentagon says Turkey's attack on Kurdish forces after the U.S. pulled out of Syria has allowed ISIS to regroup and potentially launch new attacks abroad.

A new report from the Department of Defense Inspector General paints a damaging picture of President Trump's decision to abandon America's Kurdish allies.

The I.G. says Turkey is unlikely to fight ISIS despite its public pledge to do so. A Pentagon spokesman tells CNN that training for Kurdish forces has now resumed. The I.G. also says the recent death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi will have little effect on the group's ability to make a comeback.

BRIGGS: Ahead, his mother died after a years' long battle with cancer. Now, his teacher is stepping up to offer him hope and a home. A story you don't want to miss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:43:09]

ROMANS: An audit by the Justice Department's internal watchdog has uncovered security risks with the F.B.I.'s handling of confidential sources. Among other problems, the D.O.J. Inspector General notes F.B.I. agents sometimes use their work phones to contact confidential informants, calls that could be traced back to the government.

The I.G.'s report criticizes the F.B.I.'s ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources. It says those problems can result in jeopardizing F.B.I. operations and placing F.B.I. agents, sources, subjects of investigation and the public in harm's way.

BRIGGS: An abrupt end to talks between the United States and South Korea. The U.S. wants Seoul to a bear a greater share of the cost for keeping U.S. forces on the peninsula, but negotiations broke off when President Trump hiked the price tag for 2020 by roughly 400 percent.

The chief U.S. negotiator South Korea's proposals were unresponsive to the new U.S. demands. Mr. Trump's $4.7 billion price tag infuriated the South Koreans who faced 24 missile launches this year by North Korea.

On Monday, the North announced it is no longer interested in having useless meetings with the U.S. That came one day after President Trump tweeted see you soon to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

ROMANS: All right, the tariff man is back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: China is going to have to make a deal that I like; if they don't, that's it. If we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise the tariffs even higher.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: A new tariff threat as talks between the U.S. and China have stalled. U.S. and Chinese trade teams spoke last week, both publicly used the same word to describe the state of play. They called it constructive.

But both sides still divided on core issues. Beijing wants all current tariffs on Chinese exports rolled back, the U.S. wants promises on agriculture purchases, intellectual property protections and enforcement. There is intense pressure on both sides to sign some kind of deal and halt new tariffs set for Chinese made goods on December 15th.

Now the difficulty in achieving even a narrow deal underscores just how far apart the two sides are on the broader trade relationship.

[03:45:12]

BRIGGS: North America's economy is the most resilient in the world for withstanding the impact of the climate crisis, that's according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Climate change will shrink the U.S. economy 1.1 percent by the year 2050, compare that to Western Europe's 1.7 percent decline and the three percent hit globally.

The report concludes preparations for the climate crisis is strongest in North America, making its economy more durable, because global GDP growth will be three percent lower by 2050. That means the developing world will bear the brunt of the economic impact.

ROMANS: A fight over emissions rules is pitting California against major automakers. California says as of January, it will no longer buy government vehicles from GM, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota or carmakers, who side with the Trump administration in its battle over greenhouse gas emissions standards.

The administration and the EPA are seeking to strip California's right to set tougher emissions rules for itself, and 13 other states that follow its rules. California Governor Gavin Newsom says in a statement, carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California's buying power.

California, of course, is the fifth largest economy in the world.

All right. Can't watch "The Lion King" on Disney Plus? Your account may have been hacked. CNN Business has the details of what you should do. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:51:33]

ROMANS: All right, 51 minutes past the hour. The number of new anal cancer cases and deaths from the disease rising dramatically in the U.S. According to a new study, the most common type of anal cancer increased 2.7 percent per year between 2001 and 2015, while anal cancer deaths rose by 3.1 percent each year from 2001 to 2016. That amounts to some 69,000 cases and more than 12,000 deaths.

The researchers found the increase particularly among older people and young black men. According to the CDC, more than 90 percent of cases of this cancer are associated with the human papillomavirus or HPV.

BRIGGS: A new drug is giving new hope to migraine sufferers. In a large clinical trial, that drug, ubrogepant showed greater rates of relief compared to a placebo. More than 20 percent of participants reported no pain within two hours, and more than 34 percent are relieved to the most bothersome symptoms linked to migraines, including nausea, sensitivity to light and sound.

The drug is pending approval by the F.D.A. An estimated 40 million Americans and a billion people worldwide suffer from migraines.

ROMANS: Boeing needs to make engine fixes on nearly 7,000 jets to prevent a repeat of a fatal accident on a Southwest flight last year. A passenger was killed when a fan blade broke causing part of the engine covering to fly into the plane, breaking one of the windows and killing a woman in the window seat.

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending Boeing retrofit the engine covers on all of its 737 next generation series planes.

BRIGGS: Three varieties of Breakstone's cottage cheese recalled because of possible metal and plastic contamination. Three varieties are included, that's about 9,500 cases across the U.S. all have a used by date of December 10th.

The Kraft Heinz food company says as a customer found a piece of red plastic in a cottage cheese container. So far no reports of injury or illness. For more, check out cnn.com.

ROMANS: All right, a storm system pushing toward the Rockies in the next few hours. More than a foot of snow expected in the mountains with rain from Arizona to the northern plains. Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri jabbing here he has the forecast.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, guys. It is across the southwest, the four corners region. We do have a pretty potent system lined up in place and enough cold air into the higher elevations to produce some decent snow showers as well. And in fact, if you kind of track the system, it eventually ends up across portions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley and even the Northeast by this weekend.

But the trend for right now, keeping it unsettled, a few thunderstorms, a lot of which is rather unusual, of course for portions of Southern California and the amount of rainfall among the heaviest we've seen in portions of the state since going back to May.

But we do have flood watches, even flood warnings, which means flooding is imminent or occurring across this region of Eastern California on the border there of Western Arizona. Notice, rainfall amounts haven't really been tremendous, generally

about an inch some areas as much as two inches. But of course, when you consider where it's been falling across the Mojave Desert, and parts of the Sonoran Desert, this is rather high amount and again, snow showers also possible into the Rockies.

But notice the trend eventually takes all of this across areas of the Midwest and even down towards areas of the south as well. Seventy degrees in Memphis today. It will go for 57 in Portland, Oregon and the middle 40s across the Northeast -- guys.

BRIGGS: All right, thanks, Pedram. People open their hearts and pocketbooks to pay off about 40 Minnesota students lunch debts after a video surfaced on social media of their hot meals being thrown away.

The students had lunch balances of at least $15.00, so they're hot meals were replaced with cold lunches last week. The School District apologized and people responded by donating to pay off the $20,000.00 debt. A local church pledged another $10,000.00 over the course of a year.

[03:55:16]

ROMANS: I never understand why that happens in schools, why they throw that out. All right, this story will make you -- just a tear jerker -- it makes you so happy though.

A Massachusetts teacher has opened her home to one of her students after his mother recently died of cancer. Jake Manning has Down syndrome, Kerry Bremer met Jake and his single mother Jean more than four years ago, and she says she fell in love with him instantly.

Knowing Jean had terminal breast cancer, Kerry spoke to her husband and her two kids and then made Jean an offer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY BREMER, JAKE'S GUARDIAN: If you need a backup plan for Jake, then our family is happy to make him part of our family. And she said, I'll sleep better tonight than I've slept in a long time.

JAKE MANNING, STUDENT: My mom went to heaven. Queen Angel Mom.

BREMER: She's your queen angel mom.

MANNING: Always in my heart. She's always in my heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And Wednesday, Jean Manning passed away and Jake joined his new family. Friends of Jean Manning have set up a GoFundMe page to help support Jake and the Bremer family.

BRIGGS: Tom Hanks' new movie role hitting closer to home than he ever imagined. Hanks plays the iconic Mr. Rogers in the upcoming film "A Beautiful

Day in the Neighborhood, and it turns out the actor and the lead children's TV star, Fred Rogers are actually related according to a discovery made by ancestry.com, something Hanks and wife, Rita Wilson were surprised to learn at the film's New York premiere this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANKS: All of this just comes together.

WILSON: This is crazy.

REPORTER: Did you have any idea?

HANKS: Well, I would like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers. Can you find out from ancestry.com?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: According to Ancestry, Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are sixth cousins. They share the same great, great, great, great, great grandfather who came to Germany to America in the 18th Century. That's five greats.

That's not just great. That's legendary. The halftime spectacle in Los Angeles included Rob Gronkowski, the James Corden and Venus Williams among celebs with the Laker girls there.

ROMANS: She's good.

BRIGGS: She's actually pretty good. This came the same day, Gronk ended speculation he might return to football this season, but he ain't, if that is any indication, having too much fun.

ROMANS: Oh, come on. She is good at everything. Right?

BRIGGS: And you don't like Gronk? You don't think that's good performance. No, apparently not.

ROMANS: Look --

BRIGGS: James could shake it, too, man.

ROMANS: I give it to him for trying. I give it to him for trying. But Venus is good at everything.

Let's go to check on CNN Business this morning. Take a look at markets around the world. You can see some negativity here and on Wall Street, how will they pick up the queue when trading begins this morning in just a few hours? It looks like negative as well.

Stocks finished mixed Tuesday, but the NASDAQ managed a record high finish. The Dow ended 102 points lower. The S&P 500 also fell slightly. Now the major averages are in territory never seen before or very close to it, investors will be paying very close attention to trade developments that point to a potential deal. Home Depot spent big money to sell products online but it's not

working. Its stock fell five percent after its third quarter sales fell short of investor expectations. The decline will only put a small dent in what is otherwise been a solid year for Home Depot, but it did lower its sales outlook citing concerns about lower lumber prices and worries about tariffs and the trade war with China hurting its customers.

Kohl's is also struggling. Profit fell 24 percent in the third quarter. It also slashed its outlook heading into the holiday shopping season, a sign that its makeover, including that partnership with Amazon may not be working at least not yet.

One week after its launch, some Disney Plus customers are saying their accounts have been hacked. Disney Plus itself does not appear to have been hacked. Instead, customers' credentials were stolen and other security breaches.

Many people use the same e-mail logins and passwords for multiple accounts including Disney Plus. So what should you do if you think you've been hacked? Change your password and use a different password for each account. This is really important.

Disney said there's no indication of a security breach on Disney Plus itself. And that it takes users data very seriously.

You really cannot be on a lot of different platforms, streaming services, shopping websites with the same login, especially the login as an e-mail address, the same login and password. Otherwise you're just opening yourself up to trouble.

BRIGGS: I better write that down.

ROMANS: Okay.

BRIGGS: I think I've got that issue on a number of --

ROMANS: Okay, Dave Briggs password, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

BRIGGS: Note to self. EARLY START continues right now.

ROMANS: He is the Ambassador with firsthand knowledge of the President's actions.

[04:00:10]