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EARLY START

Eddie Murphy Makes Triumphant Return to Saturday Night Live; AP: Warren Gifted Wine Bottles at Senate Fundraiser; Buttigieg Unveils Immigration Platform. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired December 23, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

JOE JOHNS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Memorable characters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

EDDIE MURPHY, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: The white people came and changed everything, but I am still your neighbor.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ordered a new 72-inch Samsung TV, and they said it was delivered, but it's not in the lobby. And we were wondering if you knew anything about that?

MURPHY: Don't worry, boys and girls, Mr. Robinson knows just what to say in situations like this -- oh, you think I stole your TV because I'm black?!

(LAUGHTER)

Can you believe the nerve of them boys and girls? There's a special word for that -- racist.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

ALISON KOSIK, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: OK, I loved that skit. And clearly, you did, too.

JOHNS: Hilarious. I can't stop laughing.

KOSIK: I know it's funny --

JOHNS: Yes --

KOSIK: Each time we see it.

JOHNS: OK --

KOSIK: Got to love it.

JOHNS: OK, thanks, and to our international viewers for joining us today. Have a great rest of your day, for our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Stop the aid, 91 minutes after Trump calls Zelensky and said keep it hush-hush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Newly released e-mails give some of the strongest proof yet the White House knew the perils and feared backlash over pausing Ukraine's security aid.

JOHNS: Millions are hitting the road for the holiday, running into weather trouble. We'll tell you who gets the worst of it.

KOSIK: And breaking overnight, another victim in America's longest war. A soldier killed just days before Christmas. Good morning and welcome to EARLY START, I'm Alison Kosik.

JOHNS: And I'm Joe Johns and happy Hanukkah.

KOSIK: Thank you, good morning.

JOHNS: It is 5:00 a.m. in New York on this Monday, December, 23rd, the first day of Hanukkah. Here's the national Menorah Lighting ceremony near the White House. We wish everybody a happy holiday.

Even as President Trump's impeachment by the house is going on, new details are emerging that could damage his eventual Senate trial. Newly released government documents show the effort to freeze aid to Ukraine began only about 90 minutes after the now infamous call between Trump and the leader of Ukraine.

KOSIK: A spokeswoman for the White House Budget Office says it would be reckless of the media to tie the hold of funds to the phone call. She notes the hold had been announced a week before the call at an inter-agency meeting. But the new documents also show a White House budget official knew at the time the hold-on aid could raise eyebrows. CNN politics reporter Jeremy Herb has more.

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, Joe and Alison. Newly released e-mails reveal that the White House's order to freeze Ukraine aid came roughly 90 minutes after President Trump's call with President Zelensky on July 25th. The e-mails provide new detail to our understanding of how exactly the White House held up the aid.

In the July 25th e-mail, White House budget official Michael Duffey ordered the Pentagon to hold the aid and signaled the decision could be politically explosive. Duffey wrote, "given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction."

We already knew the broad timeline of the withholding of this aid. The security assistance was first ordered held in early July and agencies were notified on July 18th. Then the order was formerly sent July 25th, the day of the president's call. What we learned from these new e-mails is that the two actions occurred roughly 90 minutes apart.

The president got off the phone with Zelensky at 9:33, and Duffey sent the e-mail ordering the aid to the held at 11:04. Now, the greater context of Duffey's e-mail is unknown because he defied a subpoena during the House's impeachment inquiry. The question will be now forced into the Senate as to whether to pursue Duffey's testimony as Democrats have demanded.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has not signaled he will accept any witnesses Democrats are pushing for. But the key number is 51. That's how many senators are needed to approve any witnesses for the trial. Joe and Alison, back to you.

JOHNS: Jeremy Herb in Washington. Mike Duffey was the Trump appointee at the Budget Office responsible for overseeing national security money. He's defied a subpoena from the House impeachment panel, but Senate Democrats still want him to testify.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHUMER: This e-mail is explosive. A top administration official, one that we requested to saying stop the aid 91 minutes after Trump called Zelensky and said keep it hush-hush. What more do you need to request a witness?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: The Senate will only begin a trial once House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. And she's withholding them until McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer reach a deal that Pelosi believes will resolve in a fair trial.

[05:05:00]

But a top White House official doesn't think Pelosi can sustain that position.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARC SHORT, CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: We're confident that this position is untenable and she's going to move it along. And that Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell reach a deal and the house kind of proceed in the Senate.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: So, you think that she'll eventually --

SHORT: She will yield. There's no way she can hold this position.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Assuming this Senate does eventually get the case, one moderate Democrat is raising concerns. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama says he's keeping an open mind to, quote, "see if the dots get connected."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): What I really want to see, though, is to fill in the gaps. There are gaps. Now, people can make up their mind with gaps in testimony, but I would like to see a full and complete picture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Jones is a key moderate as Democrats try to keep the party unified through the impeachment process. Even if that happens, 20 Republicans would have to flip sides and vote against President Trump to remove him from office.

JOHNS: Today marks six weeks to the Iowa caucuses. There's new backlash against Elizabeth Warren for her attacks on Pete Buttigieg. She went after him over a high-dollar fundraiser at a California wine cave, but Buttigieg point out, Warren herself took big donor money for her 2018 Senate bid. And now, the "AP" has revealed she held a fundraiser when she gave out -- you guessed it, souvenir wine bottles in exchange for hefty donations. Warren says she's learned her lesson, but will not reveal who those donors were.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I saw how the system worked, and I decided when I got in the presidential race, that I wanted to do better than that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, no plans to release the past bundlers?

WARREN: This is about what we're doing now and the conflicts that people are creating right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: The argument from Buttigieg -- private fundraisers did not corrupt Warren and they aren't corrupting him. He says he is not worried about how big-money fundraisers look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not focusing on optics, I'm focusing on what needs to change in this country. I made very clear what my positions are, what we're going to do. And anybody chipping into this campaign, no matter their background, their story or how much they can give is supporting that vision.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KOSIK: On the policy front, Buttigieg just rolled out his immigration

policy. He plans to pass legislation in his first 100 days that provides a path to citizenship for among others, dreamers and refugees with temporary protected status.

JOHNS: New York's governor is taking action to keep sex offenders from assuming fake personas online, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:10:00]

KOSIK: Breaking news this morning. Five people have been sentenced to death in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "The Washington Post" columnist was killed and dismembered by a Saudi death squad at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The public prosecutor in Saudi Arabia says ten defendants were released because of insufficient evidence. That includes Saud al-Qahtani; an aide to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the most senior official implicated.

JOHNS: Breaking overnight, another American soldier killed in Afghanistan. The Taliban claiming responsibility, saying U.S. and Afghan forces were targeted with improvised explosive devices while conducting a raid. U.S. officials are withholding the name until the next of kin are notified. U.S. and Taliban had just restarted peace talks. More than 2,400 American troops have died in America's longest war.

Between 12,000 and 13,000 troops are currently serving in Afghanistan. A draw-down of about 4,000 is expected soon.

KOSIK: Ugly weather across the country, making for a messy holiday travel. Heavy fog and icy roads leading to a 69-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 64 in eastern Virginia. That close both sides of the highway, 51 people needed medical treatment, two of them are in critical condition. Now, a low pressure system in the southeast is putting more than 7 million people under a flash-flood watch. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, guys. And an absolute soaker in place, too, across portions of the Gulf Coast. The storm system here has been very slow to move in the past 24 or so hours. So, plenty of rainfall already observed across parts of Florida and to Georgia as well. But notice, it is going to gradually shift on towards the coastal region of the Carolinas.

Finally, by Christmas eve, we'll see if the storm system off shore. But before it gets there, look how much rainfall we expect from Charleston down towards Savanna. That's three, four and some cases, more than five inches of rainfall possible across that region. And it's very localized to that region as well. So, we'll watch that carefully here for some flooding across that particular area. But back towards the west, speaking of flooding here, look what's happening into the southwest. Also a potent storm system, in fact, southern California, namely Los

Angeles as much as two to three inches possible within the next three to four days, so, an absolute soaker here, even for their standards of getting in some heavy rainfall. So, temperatures only climbed to around 60 degrees for Los Angeles. The middle 40s out of Seattle and about 76 in south Florida.

Now, as we go in towards Christmas day, we'll enjoy sunny skies for much of the East Coast. Temperatures, not too bad, middle 40s around New York City, guys?

KOSIK: All right, thanks to Pedram Javaheri.

JOHNS: The Philadelphia Eagles make the most of the show-down in the NFC least. Andy Scholes with details in the "BLEACHER REPORT" coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:15:00]

KOSIK: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says convicted sex offenders should be required to disclose their screen names on dating, gaming and social media apps. The proposed legislation would also make it a crime for convicted sex offenders to misrepresent themselves online. Currently, the state compiles sex offenders' information for social media only, not dating or gaming platforms. It then sends the data to social networks which have used it to purge accounts. The governor's office has not explained what the punishment for a violation would be.

JOHNS: Well, it's beginning to look like a blue Christmas for the Cowboys as their playoff hopes dwindle with a loss to the Eagles.

KOSIK: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT", good morning, Andy.

[05:20:00]

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, good morning, guys. Yes, it's not a Merry Christmas for Cowboys fans. Dallas -- you know, they could have won the NFC East yesterday, but they had another classic Cowboys meltdown. They just really didn't show up for this huge game, and the short-handed Eagles meanwhile seizing the day, they jumped on Dallas early, scoring the game's first 10 points.

The Cowboys failing to score a touchdown in this one. Ezekiel Elliott carrying the ball just 13 times. Eagles would win 17-9, Philly could now win the NFC East with a win over the Giants on Sunday. The Cowboys would need the Eagles to lose that game and beat the Redskins in order to make the playoffs.

The Ravens meanwhile clinching the top seed in the AFC for the first time in franchise history. Lamar Jackson wrapping up that MVP award with three more touchdown passes as the Ravens beat the Browns 31-15. After the game, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh having some fun, talking about how good of a season his QB Is having. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN HARBAUGH, HEAD COACH, BALTIMORE RAVENS: How many interceptions did he have for the season?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six.

HARBAUGH: Thirty six to six. I mean, what more can be -- what more do you need to say? It's just -- it's amazing, just tremendous. He's one of the best -- you know, should I say it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep winning, go ahead --

HARBAUGH: Marshall? It's not bad for a running back.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Yes, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs meanwhile putting a beat-down on the Bears on "Sunday Night Football". Mahomes throwing two touchdowns in the 26-3 win, and after this TP to Travis Kelce, watch Mahomes, trolling Bears fans, counting on his fingers how many were taken over him in the 2017 draft.

The Bears and their fans of course will never forget they took quarterback Mitch Trubisky second, Mahomes then went 10th, Deshaun Watson was also picked in that draft, he went 12th. All right, and speaking of the draft, Cincinnati Bengals are now officially on the clock. They clinched the worst record by losing to the Dolphins in overtime yesterday.

The team, now, could possibly select Heisman trophy winner and the LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. He grew up three hours away from Cincinnati in Athens, Ohio. So, might be a good fit there. All right, finally, former CNN Hines Ward needed a new set of clothes after yesterday's Jets-Steelers game. Hines; an offensive coach now for the Jets.

And he said if his team beat the Steelers who he won two Super Bowls with, he would like a Gatorade bath, and as you can see there, Jets getting the win, 16-10, and near the end, they doused Hines there with the Gatorade. So, congrats Hines for that win. Really wanted it against his former team there.

KOSIK: Doesn't mind it at all.

JOHNS: No, you know, I would never want a Gatorade bath. I just --

(LAUGHTER)

Especially in a team bath --

SCHOLES: In the moment, it sounds good. But then yes, you're all cold with all that Gatorade --

JOHNS: And sticky -- SCHOLES: On you --

JOHNS: And sticky. All right, yes, I know.

KOSIK: You smell fruity. Andy Scholes, thanks so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

KOSIK: Some of the strongest proof yet, the White House tried to quiet concerns about Ukraine's security aid. What newly released e- mails show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:25:00]

JOHNS: A bloody weekend in Chicago and Baltimore, two big cities trying to shake their violent reputations. Chicago police have charged one man, who they say was at the scene with a gun when 13 people were shot at a home in Englewood early Sunday. But investigators are not sure if that man actually fired any shots. They say the incident happened during a memorial gathering. Police say some victims remain in critical condition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: We can't normalize this kind of behavior and tragedy in our city -- to call upon the people that were inside who had information about what happened to step up and let their faith overcome their fear. That is the only way that we're going to bring down violence across our city.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Meantime, Baltimore police are looking for as many as four suspects at a shooting outside a hookah lounge. They say a blue car pulled up near the lounge and two men walked up to people in line and opened fire. Seven people were shot. The car used in the incident was recovered but had been set on fire. Three others were shot to death this weekend in Baltimore. And the mayor is calling this level of violence completely unacceptable.

JOHNS: All right, it was a reunion 35 years in the making.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Eddie Murphy!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Eddie Murphy making his much anticipated return to "Saturday Night Live" for the first time since 1984. He is now the father of 10 children. Murphy did not pull any punch lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MURPHY: My kids are actually pretty much my whole life now. And you

know what? But if you had told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home, you know, house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail --

(LAUGHTER)

Even I would have -- took that bet.

(LAUGHTER)

Who is America's dad now?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: One person not laughing at that impersonation of Cosby as Cliff Huxtable, Cosby's indignant publicist who wrote, "one would think Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation so he could make his own decisions. But he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood slave."

As for the rest of the show, Murphy revised some of his most memorable characters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

MURPHY: The white people came and changed everything, but I am still your neighbor.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ordered a new 72-inch Samsung TV, and they said it was delivered, but it's not in the lobby. And we were wondering if you knew anything about that?

MURPHY: Don't worry, boys and girls, Mr. Robinson knows just what to say in situations like this -- oh, you think I stole your TV because I'm black?!

(LAUGHTER)

Can you believe the nerve of them boys and girls? There's a special word for that -- racist.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

KOSIK: OK, so with comedy.

END