Return to Transcripts main page


Gunfire at Pearl Harbor; Impeachment Vote Coming?; Kamala Harris for Veep?; Real-Life Cannonball Run. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired December 5, 2019 - 04:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, deadly gunfire at Pearl Harbor, just days before ceremonies to mark the World War II attack.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A full House vote on the impeachment of President Trump could come the week before Christmas.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to hear a lot more from Kamala in a lot of different ways.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She can be president some day herself. She could be vice president.


ROMANS: Could Senator Kamala Harris return to the 2020 race as a vice presidential candidate?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the cannonball run.


BRIGGS: A team of outlaw racers set a new record in a real life cannonball run. For those of you who don't recall the 1981 film.

I hope you do.

ROMANS: I -- you know, I have to reach back into the archives.

BRIGGS: Oh, you don't.

ROMANS: I've got to reach back into the archives.

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

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. I had to explain to my producer who is too young to remember. "Cannonball Run" is a classic.

Thursday, December 5, 4:00 a.m. in New York.

ROMANS: Burt Reynolds in that one?

BRIGGS: Burt Reynolds, very good.

ROMANS: OK, it's coming back to me.

BRIGGS: It's a classic.

ROMANS: Coming back to me.

BRIGGS: All right. We start though with some breaking news overnight.

ROMANS: Yes, deadly gunfire causing panic and a lockdown at a military base in Hawaii.

Two civilian ship yard workers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickman killed by a U.S. sailor who then killed himself. A third civilian employee was wounded and is in stable condition.

Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick says the attack came just days before commemorations of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


REP. ADM. ROBERT CHADWICK, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY, HAWAII REGION: The role that the shipyard played in World War II is pretty legendary, and the shipyard is well known for, you know, the amazing work they did then and the amazing work they continue to do. So, this is certainly a tragedy for everyone here.


ROMANS: Chadwick says the attack took place near dry dock 2, a maintenance area for submarines.

An investigation is underway. Authorities have not released a motive nor the identities of the shooters of the victims. We're going to bring you more information on the story as we get it.

BRIGGS: House Democrats meanwhile now planning their next steps after four legal scholars yesterday made the case for and against impeaching President Trump. Sometime next week, the Judiciary Committee will hear from staffers on the Intelligence Committee testifying about the findings of their investigations. We also expect the Judiciary Committee to vote on articles of impeachment then the week of December 16, a possible house floor vote on articles of impeachment.

What as of now would be in those articles? Well, the Democrats' report lays out evidence for abuse of power, bribery, obstruction of justice and obstruction of Congress. Democrats are debating whether to wrap the president's actions listed in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation into those obstruction counts.

At Wednesday's hearing, the Democrats' three witnesses agreed the president had committed impeachable offenses.


NORM EISEN, DEMOCRATIC COUNSEL: Did President Trump commit the impeachable high crime and misdemeanor of abuse of power based on that evidence and those findings?

PROF. NOAH FELDMAN, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Based on that evidence and those findings, the president did commit an impeachable abuse of office.

EISEN: Professor Karlan, same question.


EISEN: And, Professor Gerhardt?



ROMANS: Now, the Republicans' witness, law professor Jonathan Turley warned of a more slippery slope. He said thin evidence could lead to more and more frequent impeachments.



PROF. JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: I believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments.

If you prove a quid pro quo, that you might have an impeachable offense.


ROMANS: Turley cast doubt on a quid pro quo despite significant evidence seen by millions of Americans.


REPORTER: Let's be clear, what we just described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democrats' server happened as well.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We do -- we do that all the time with foreign policy. GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE E.U.: Was there a quid pro

quo? As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes.


ROMANS: Whatever the risks of impeachment, House Democrats seem ready to move forward. At a closed yesterday, hearing yesterday -- meeting yesterday, sources telling Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked her members, are you ready? They replied in unison, yes.

BRIGGS: One of the Democrats' impeachment witnesses sparking outrage from Republicans and the White House after she invoked the name of President Trump's 13-year-old son Barron during the hearing. Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan is making the point that the Constitution limits the president's power but admits she went too far.


KARLAN: I'll just give you one example that shows eye the difference between him and a king, which is the Constitution says there can be no titles of know built. While the president can name his son Barron, he can't make him a baron.

I want to apologize for what I said about the president's son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he's wrong. But I do regret having said that.


BRIGGS: And First Lady Melania Trump blasted the professor on Twitter saying, quote, a minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering and using a child to do it.

ROMANS: House Democrats want to know more about dash one. That's a mysterious stand in for the number dialed by Rudy Giuliani in newly released phone records from the House Intel Committee. Those records also showed numerous calls from President Trump's personal attorney to the White House and the Office of Management and Budget?


REPORTER: Mr. President, can you explain why your personal attorney Rudy Giuliani would need to talk to the budget office?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really don't know, you'll have to ask him. It sounds like something that's not so complicated. But you'd have to ask him. No big deal.


ROMANS: No big deal.

According to "The New York Times," Giuliani travelled to Hungary and Ukraine this week to meet with several former prosecutors as part of his efforts to defend the president against his impeachment inquiry.

BRIGGS: Federal prosecutors investigating Rudy Giuliani are taking a closer look at Ukraine's state-run oil and gas company. Sources say investigators are focusing on moves by Giuliani's indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to get influence over the energy firm Naftogaz. Prosecutors have interviewed Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev, according to his attorney. But sources say Parnas and Fruman schemed to replace Kobolyev with someone who would be more friendly to their business interest.

CNN has reported that Parnas and Fruman were working at the same time with Giuliani to pressure Ukrainian officials into investigating Joe Biden and his son.

ROMANS: All right. Some brand new developments on trade. A spokesman for China's commerce ministry said U.S. and China trade teams have been keeping close communication on trade, adding the Chinese side thinks if the two sides reach the phase one deal, both side should lower the tariffs correspondingly.

Now, the president, President Trump, has been using tariffs as a tool. The former treasury secretary, Larry Summers, those tariffs are backfiring, telling CNN, we are engaged in a stop or I'll shoot myself in the foot strategy. Instead of resolving tensions with China, Trump said a deal is up to him and may not happen until after the election.

He also escalated global trade concerns now with Argentina, with Brazil, with France, escalating global trade tensions, not capping them here. Larry Summers said tariffs would hurt the competitiveness of American producers that rely on imported goods. That would lead to higher prices and lower incomes for Americans.

Companies are already waiting for the next round of tariffs on Chinese made goods, December 15th is that deadline and questioning whether they're ready for another year of tariffs.

I think most businesses and trade groups thought there would be a resolution by 2020. And that's not clear here.

BRIGGS: Not at all. Nothing is clear.

All right. 2020 Democrats getting peppered with questions on the campaign trail.


REPORTER: Would you consider Senator Harris as a running mate?


BRIGGS: More on Senator Kamala Harris as a running mate, next.


[04:14:37] BRIGGS: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now admitting he and other world leaders were talking about President Trump behind his back during a NATO event at Buckingham Palace. They were overheard apparently joking about the president in a viral video. Trudeau does not appear concerned his comments to adversely affect U.S./Canada relationship.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: I made a reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump.


And I was happy to take part in it but it was certainly notable. And I've had a number of good conversations with the president over the course of this day and yesterday.


BRIGGS: President Trump who is known to be thin-skinned was less than pleased about the hot mic incident.


TRUMP: Well, he's two-faced.

REPORTER: Do you think that Germany is too naive --

TRUMP: And honestly, Trudeau is a nice guy, I find him to be a very nice guy. But the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he's not paying 2 percent. And I guess he's not very happy about it.


BRIGGS: Sources tell CNN the president is annoyed and bothered by the video but believes the two leaders will be able to work throughout. The sources say the hot mic video is not why the president cancelled his scheduled news conference at the end of the NATO conference.

ROMANS: Remember, he had two hours of media availability.

BRIGGS: I think all questions have been answered. Yes.

ROMANS: Yes, I would say so.

It didn't take long for the Biden campaign to seize on the president's uneven performance at this week's NATO meetings in London. The former vice president is barn storming Iowa right now in an eight-day no malarkey tour. And his team is making the case that the president is dangerously incompetent.

Jessica Dean is traveling with the Biden campaign in Charles City, Iowa.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, Joe Biden continuing his bus tour through Iowa. He's going all across the state to towns here, making his case in halls like this one that he is uniquely positioned to beat Donald Trump in 2020. And to that end, his campaign releasing a video slamming President Trump. He says in effect that the world is laughing at the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: World leaders caught on camera laughing about President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Several world leaders mocking President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're laughing at him.

TRUMP: My administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.

I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK.

DEAN: The timing on the release of that video no accident. It was released shortly after President Trump landed back in the U.S. after being overseas, and keeps in line with Vice President Biden's practice of not criticizing the president while he's overseas.

Also, Vice President Biden saying he'd consider former rival, Kamala Harris, as a running mate.

BIDEN: She's solid. She is -- she could be president some day. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be attorney general. I mean, she has enormous capability.

DEAN: Biden wrapped Wednesday night here in Charles City. He rolls on with day six of his eight-day bus tour today -- Christine and Dave.


BRIGGS: Kamala Harris receiving a lot of attention from the remaining Democratic candidates now that she's out of the race. Elizabeth Warren tells MSNBC every Democrat should have the California senator on their short list for vice president.


WARREN: Watch what she did during the Kavanaugh hearings, holding our attorneys general accountable. Going after Barr, going after Sessions, Kamala's terrific. And I guarantee, we're going to hear a lot more from Kamala in a lot of different ways.


BRIGGS: Warren called Senator Harris smart, confident, and a tough advocate for families.

ROMANS: All right. Three men just set a new record for the cannonball run in illegal high speed drive from New York to Los Angeles.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the cannonball run. America's illegal grand prix.


ROMANS: The run was made famous in the 1981 movie that starred Burt Reynolds as Irwin Cannonball Baker, the original record holder in the cross country sprint.

Arne Toman, Doug Tabbutt and Berkeley Chadwick just drove a customized Mercedes-Benz from New York City to L.A in 27 hours and 25 minutes, beating the previous cannonball record of 28 hours, 50 minutes, set in 2013. Their average speed, 103 miles an hour.

The guys say they had a few encounters of law enforcement but were never pulled over. They only stopped only four times during the entire 2,825-mile trip.

BRIGGS: Hang on, what does it mean, you have a few encounters with law enforcement, but you weren't pulled over.

ROMANS: I don't know.

BRIGGS: Have you ever had an encounter with law enforcement while driving 100 miles an hour and you weren't pulled over?

ROMANS: No. I mean, I don't generally drive 100 miles per hour.

BRIGGS: We need more information on that. You don't make a habit of that.

ROMANS: I don't know.

BRIGGS: I don't either.

All right. Ahead, love him or hate him, Howard Stern has a way to get people to say revealing things. Hear what Hillary Clinton revealed, next.



BRIGGS: Hillary Clinton hammering her old friend and colleague Lindsey Graham on her debut appearance on "The Howard Stern Show".

The former secretary of state covering a wide range of topics calling President Trump's inauguration, quote, one of the hardest days of her life. She said she just couldn't figure out what happened.

And here's what she told Stern about Senator Lindsey Graham.

[04:25:01] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It's like he -- it's like he had a brain snatch, you know?

indsey was good company. He was funny. He was self-deprecating. He also believed in climate change back in those days.

HOWARD STERN, RADIO HOST: He sold his soul to the devil?

CLINTON: I don't know the answer to that. I think that's a fair question, however.


BRIGGS: Stern asked Clinton if she has a favorite of the presidential candidate and she answered, quote, whomever can win. That's all I care about.

ROMANS: Fans are getting their first look at the new James Bond film "No Time to Die". The first thriller for the 25th installment, 25th installment in the Bond franchise has just dropped.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need a favor, brother. You're the only one I trust with this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The world has moved one, Commander Bond --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is. Sustain the name, you get in my way.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what you do to get along.


ROMANS: All right. This is Daniel Craig's fifth and final outing as 007. "No Time to Die" hits theaters in April 2020.

Your favorite bond? Who's your favorite bond? Sean Connery is mine.

BRIGGS: Roger Moore I think comes to mind.

ROMANS: He's good. He's good.

BRIGGS: That's who I grew up on.

ROMANS: Yes, me too.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, one of America's most famous installations locked down for that a time overnight after a deadly shooting. Details, next.