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EARLY START

Today At NATO Summit: Welcoming Ceremony; Soon: Judiciary Committee to Hold First Hearing; Kamala Harris Ends 2020 Presidential Campaign. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired December 4, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


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[04:31:53]

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump arriving for what could be another tense day of face-to-face meetings with NATO leaders near London.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Adding to the tension, new video which appears to show world leaders possibly joking about President Trump.

BRIGGS: Get set for another split screen news moment later this morning with the president speaking from London just as a new stage of impeachment hearings get under way on Capitol Hill.

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

ROMANS: Good morning. I'm Christine Romans. It's 32 minutes past the hour here in New York.

The president, though, preparing this morning for a day of meeting with world leaders at a NATO summit in Britain, as a new stage of impeachment hearings gets under way just hours from now in Washington. Now, the summit, so far, marked by some tense interactions, including a few with French President Emmanuel Macron. Adding to the tension, a new video that surfaced last night showing several of those very same leaders seeming to gossip about President Trump.

Now, this pool video was first notice by the CBC. Microphones could only pick up fragments of the conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Is that why you were late?

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: (INAUDIBLE).

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: He was late because he takes four -- forty minute press conference off the top every time. Oh, yes, yes, forty minutes. He announced --

MACRON: (INAUDIBLE)

JENS STOLTENBERG: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUDEAU: I just watched, I watched his team's jaws just drop to the floor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that cocktail party.

As you can see, they didn't mention Trump by name. But he was the only NATO leader who held a 40-minute plus press conference.

Add it all up the day is said to be a test to the president's diplomatic skill.

For the very latest from the summit, let's turn to CNN diplomatic editor Nic Robertson.

That certainly adds a level of drama and gossip to the events and the proceedings, does it, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It does.

Justin Trudeau deciding not to comment or add anything to those words that were picked up just last night. So, I think what we are seeing here is down to business. The NATO secretary general arriving here, and saying very clearly, the agenda today, arms control, fighting terrorism, dealing with Russia, the rise of China. These are the big issues on the agenda here.

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, showing up and saying that the reason NATO is so strong is it can change to fit the situation, 29 nations together. A billion people, safety in numbers. And interesting this morning as well that President Trump who stayed away from really sort of directing sort of having very clear one-on-one with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeting this morning that he was happy to meet him last night.

There are conversations talking about trade, talking about NATO. No mention of British elections coming up. And that was something, of course, that concerned for the British prime minister. But it was the three-hour meeting this morning, the big NATO meeting that will have everyone watching to see what's agreed.

But, of course, that bilateral with Angela Merkel. We know that President Trump wants her to pay more of Germany's GDP in defense spending.

[04:35:03]

So, that's bound to come up.

Will there be a long on camera before that bilateral as we saw yesterday with Macron and Trudeau and Stoltenberg?

ROMANS: Yes, the president's press accessibility yesterday was really something. I mean, maybe almost two hours of press availability. So, on a wide range of subjects. We'll see if he is feeling that chatty today.

All right. Nic Robertson, thanks so much for that.

BRIGGS: As Nic mentioned there, the president has that one-on-one with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and we expect to hear from the president before he boards a plane to return to D.C.

Kaitlan Collins is traveling with the president and joins us live.

Kaitlan, good morning to you.

That video that emerged with Trudeau, and Macron, and Stoltenberg, and Boris Johnson, is there anything in that that you think would anger the White House or is that the image that he wants -- President Trump challenging the institution and those world leaders?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We've asked the White House if they've got any kind of reaction. They haven't gotten back to us yet.

But, of course, the president doesn't like this idea there are other world leaders who are laughing at him, because yes, if you watch that video, they do seem astonished while talking act the fact that there was this 40-minute press conference, not in a way that the president will like. It's in a mocking manner, where they're talking about how late the president was, how long that press conference went on while they're discussing this, seemingly alluding to Trump.

And, of course, this is a president who on the campaign trail time and time again since he's been in office has said he is so much better at being president because the world, the United States is not getting laughed at by the world when they were when Barack Obama is in office. Listen to a few of the occasions where he's made a similar remark to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world is laughing at us, folks.

They're laughing at us at our stupidity.

They laugh at us.

They're laughing at us. It's crazy what's going on.

Everybody is laughing at us.

They're laughing at us. We don't know what we're doing.

They're laughing at us because they think we're stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: So, you see there. He is saying the world is laughing at us. If you look it's not just Macron and Trudeau and Boris Johnson. But also, there is a member of the royal family while they are talking about the president. Of course, he's a president who is greatly impressed by the royal family, wants to impress them every time he's here.

So, the question is how he will respond to that? Of course, now he has several world meetings with the world leaders throughout the day, including Germany, as Nic noted there, but also another interesting one, which is going to the leader of Denmark. Remember, that was a big point of contention in the White House.

And the president said he wanted to buy Greenland and had to cancel a meeting after the prime minister of Denmark said, no, Greenland was not for sale.

BRIGGS: We are watching now some video of the world leaders, Boris Johnson shaking hands with other world leaders -- Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, on the left. They continue to arrive for this big family photo. We will continue to show video of all the festivities this morning.

But, Kaitlan, later on this morning should be some interesting, again, split screen moments for the president as world leaders convene and impeachment hearings begin back in the nation's capital.

COLLINS: Yes. And that's an interesting moment for the president. Something he has criticized Democrats over saying he can't believe they're hosting this first Judiciary hearing the day that he is here doing exactly what you are showing there, meeting, shaking hands with these world leaders, essentially arguing yesterday they were being unpatriotic by doing so.

But he said he doesn't think it affects the meetings or it diminishes his standings with these world leaders. Of course, Dave and Christine, this is something that President Trump is kind of used to. He has been in moments like this before where he's been overseas. Example, the second meeting he had with Kim Jong-un was when Michael Cohen was testifying against him on Capitol Hill, saying things about the president's hush money payment, for example. Things like that.

So, certainly, it's not the first time he's had his domestic troubles that have followed him abroad.

ROMANS: You know, Kaitlan, it's so interesting, yesterday, the president was very accessible to the media, holding forth at least three times with world leaders sitting by his side on a host of international and domestic issues for the United States. In fact, that video that we are seeing, hearing a little bit of from other world leaders at that cocktail party, it seems that's what they're talking about. The president was holding his pressability at the beginning of his meetings with world leaders.

This is a tightly scripted event. Do we expect the president will be as chatty today?

COLLINS: Well, that's the question. You never know when Trump is going to go off-script. And earlier you said about two hours is two hours and one minute exactly --

ROMANS: Wow.

COLLINS: -- that the president speaking with reporters extemporaneously. Nothing planned, of course. And we often see him do that at home, but not so often as he did it yesterday, three times in a row, speaking with reporters. And often, that is what makes world leaders brace for his arrival at meetings like this because they never know what he is going to say.

[04:40:03]

And his meeting with the Canadian prime minister was pretty tame in comparison to the one with the French president. But still, during that meeting with Trudeau, you saw the president needling him over how much money they were spending on defense, that percentage of NATO that requires you to have 2 percent of your GDP, something we continue to happen today because on the president's schedule is a lunch with the 2 percenters, meaning the only people that are in the NATO alliance, the only countries that are in the NATO alliance that do spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

The president is making a point of pointing them out. You can expect he's going to single out those countries that don't.

BRIGGS: All right. Kaitlan Collins traveling with the president at the NATO summit.

We are waiting to see the president meet the host there, Boris Johnson, and Jen Stoltenberg. Thank you, Kaitlan. She'll check back in on "NEW DAY".

It will be interesting, Christine, will Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, will he be asked to comment? He's the only one we can hear on that video.

So they will certainly be firing questions away from world leaders. At the moment, it looks like they will pass. And still no sign of the president up there with the host. We will show it to you.

ROMANS: One of the things that you hear, excuse me from Trump supporters so often is that they elected him to break the glass.

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: They elected him to cause feathers to be ruffled at international events like this. So, there's -- you know, this is this idea, were they laughing at the president? Well, Trump supporters would say, yes, that's exactly why he's there.

BRIGGS: What's interesting is the comment between he and Emmanuel Macron, it was the president who first challenged NATO and now it's Macron challenged NATO.

ROMANS: That's right.

BRIGGS: And the president taking exception.

Angela Merkel there. We have the one on one between her, the German chancellor and the president. And that will certainly be about paying 2 percent towards -- of your GDP towards defense. That has been the issue between the United States and Germany.

The president got a lot of credit from Stoltenberg for raising the bar across the board on NATO spending.

All right. So we'll move on now to the House Judiciary Committee. Just hours away from holding its first public impeachment hearing after receiving the Intelligence Committee's final report. Four constitutional law professors will lay the groundwork for an impeachment vote, defining key phrases like obstruction of justice, high crimes and misdemeanors. The intelligence committee report makes the case about the president's conduct towards Ukraine compromised national security.

It asks, quote, whether we as a nation are committed to the rule of law or instead whether a president who uses the power of his office to coerce foreign interference in the U.S. election is something that Americans must simply get over.

More now from Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: The House Intelligence Committee voted on Tuesday night to send their more than 300-page report to the House Judiciary Committee. Of course, this is a significant step as the Intelligence Committee is concluding its more than two-month investigation into the president's call on July 25th with Ukraine's president and, of course, the withholding of that nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hear from four constitutional law experts discussing the merits of impeachment. That's setting the stage for the potential writing of articles of impeachment. Of course, that's a very significant step as the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are going to be tasked with writing the articles.

Now, next week, there could be more impeachment hearings as well as markup before this would move to the full House of Representatives, where the House would vote on whether or not to impeach President Donald Trump. A very busy few weeks in the House of Representatives, coming up just before the holidays -- Dave, Christine.

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BRIGGS: Lauren Fox, thank you.

Programming note now, the House Impeachment hearings move to the Judiciary Committee. You can watch live coverage all day right here on CNN. ROMANS: All right. Kamala Harris is dropping out of the 2020 race.

What caused her campaign to fold? That's next.

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[04:48:55]

BRIGGS: Four-forty-eight Eastern Time.

Senator Kamala Harris ending her once promising presidential campaign. Harris struggled for months to improve her low poll numbers in the crowd of Democratic race and finally succumbed to campaign finance issues.

We get more from CNN's Kyung Lah.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave and Christine, Kamala Harris is out. The California senator announced that she is suspending her presidential campaign saying that she is running out of money and that she doesn't see a clear path forward in the early states.

The senator announced the suspension via a video on Twitter.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): As the campaign has gone on, it has become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete. In good faith, I cannot tell you my supporters and volunteers that I have a path forward if I don't believe I do. So, to you my supporters, my dear supporters, it is with deep regret but also with deep gratitude that I am suspending our campaign today.

LAH: Her departure ends a campaign that began so much fanfare.

[04:50:01]

Thousands packed downtown Oakland. People cheering on a woman of color trying to crack the hardest glass ceiling in this country.

The senator once a top tier candidate now becomes the first major 2020 presidential candidate to drop out of the race. Harris pledged that she would still keep fighting, though, the Democratic fight, tweeting directly to the president saying, quote: Don't worry, Mr. President, I'll see you at your trial -- Dave, Christine.

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ROMANS: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you for that.

A decade after Obamacare became law and expanded health insurance coverage, there is a debate among Democrats on the campaign trail on whether to strengthen Obamacare or scrap it in favor of Medicare-for- All, essentially eliminating private insurers and expanding government-run Medicare for everyone. Given the focus on healthcare and private insurance in this election,

I sat down with a Cigna CEO David Cordani and I -- and it turns out he's not happy with the status quo in health care either.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CORDANI, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CIGNA CORPORATION: I'm an American. I'm a parent. My children deserve a better life from that standpoint. We spend the highest percentage of GDP on health care of any other OECD country in the world.

We have very clinical quality, albeit the highest clinical outcomes in the world for surgical interventions. There is a lot of opportunity for improvement. So, we start with.

ROMANS: Right.

CORDANI: As a company, we made it very clear. We need to improve affordability and simplify the equation. Boil this all down as we listen to what individuals are asking for, we think is appropriate. Help me afford it, help me predict it, and then know me and make it simple for me.

ROMANS: What would be your biggest objection to like a Medicare-for- All?

CORDANI: We haven't found one that says this is the silver bullet going forward.

Secondly, for some of the largest developed socialized health care systems in the world, like the U.K. --

ROMANS: Right.

CORDANI: -- they're actually at the brink of financial failure and ruin right now where individuals are getting deeper queued in the access to care, and the clinical quality that's taking place is becoming more and more challenging --

ROMANS: Longer lines and worse outcomes.

CORDANI: Longer lines, worse outcomes, we believe every American should have access to affordable care. We believe that's best driven through the best of public and private working together, like Medicare Advantage, and we think it need to be choice based. Therefore, we don't think a one-size-fits-all framework is the right answer, especially when you consider the unbelievable and awesome diversity of the U.S. population and the diversity around healthcare is delivered in the United States.

ROMANS: Right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The big issue on health care, important issue on health care is happening right now. Also happening right now, the president just moments ago arriving

before the leaders there at the NATO summit. There's going to be this family photo, this class photo in just a few minutes. There's the president just arriving now. The class photo happening momentarily, scheduled for 4:45 Eastern Time.

BRIGGS: The host there, Boris Johnson and Jens Stoltenberg to your left. They were for context standing there for several what I can describe as awkward minutes clearly waiting for some world leader. Now we know which world leader they were waiting for.

That, of course, was President Trump. We will head this way. We will show that you group photo as it happens.

ROMANS: All right. We are back.

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[04:57:36]

ROMANS: It turns out, turns out, trade wars are not easy to win. And instead of a de-escalation, you've got new fronts in the global trade war this week, a dramatic shift in the landscape here of the U.S.- China trade war as well.

Tuesday night, the House passed the Uighur Act, condemning the Chinese government for its mass interment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. Now, the bill would also authorize the White House to sanction Chinese officials. The Chinese do not like it, hitting back immediately saying this was smearing China's counter-terrorism and de- radicalization efforts. China warned that the passage of his act will affect cooperation in important areas. It stopped short of directly mentioning the trade deal, but that is a really important area.

The trade deal, trade war has been dragging on for a year-and-a-half now. And President Trump would not commit on a time line on the deal instead, he told reporters the deal is up to him and then he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That got a lot of attention. There are only 11 days until a critical round of tariffs on Chinese-made goods. There are few signs the U.S. and China are ready to get this even symbolic skinny phase one trade agreement.

The big question now whether companies or investors are prepared for another year of tariffs -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. So, we're going to leave you with the final images of what's happening at the NATO conference honoring the 70th anniversary. And there was a bit of an awkward wait for the hosts of the conference, Boris Johnson, Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, waiting for one world leader. We found that one world leader was President Trump. Now, everyone has arrived.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

Special coverage of the NATO conference ahead, on an early "NEW DAY".

We'll see you tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new report from the Intelligence Committee --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Expected to serve as the framework for articles of impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impeachment process slowly drags on. They're having one big problem, the president did nothing wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the result of a president who believes that he is beyond impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In London, Mr. Trump was locking horns with French President Emmanuel Macron who said the NATO alliance suffered a brain death.

TRUMP: That is a very, very nasty statement.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: I hear my statements created some reactions. I do stand by.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People call it a bromance.

It's been a power play from the get-go.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.

END