Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Dead Heat in the Iowa Caucuses; Trump Acquitted By Senate; Remembering Kirk Douglas; Cruise Ships Quarantined Off Japan, Hong Kong. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired February 6, 2020 - 05:00   ET

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


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Tells officials the full results finally are expected by this morning.

[05:00:05]

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The counting now in day four after technical issues of an app led to a complete meltdown on caucus night.

And the issues persist after releasing a batch of results Wednesday, Iowa Democrats had to issue a minor correction further clouding the already delayed numbers. And now, the National Democratic Party is stepping in.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny still on the ground for us in Des Moines.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, the count is still going on here in Iowa, but the story here about the first Iowa caucuses is how did this go so wrong. So much finger- pointing already, starting between the Democratic National Committee and the Iowa Democratic Party. I am told that the DNC is essentially taking over this counting operation and has been making phone calls individually to those precinct chairs trying to get the information.

So, ask yourselves what has happened in the last day or so. I am told that they are trying to recreate -- find that paper trail of all of those preference cards, and going through them and compiling them with the overall spreadsheets. So, what they are doing is trying to verify all of these specific numbers.

Much to be dissected here. The candidates have all moved to New Hampshire but still, the eyes are on waiting for that final vote here.

And, Pete Buttigieg, who people thought was sort of flat-lining before the Iowa caucuses, certainly pulling off an upset over Bernie Sanders, who was promising a big turnout and a big victory.

That is perhaps the key takeaway. Why didn't more Democrats come out and participate in this first-in-the-nation caucus? The level of voters looks to be around the same as 2016, not the level of the record-setting in 2008 when Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses. For now, though, the Buttigieg campaign will certainly take narrow, almost victory -- Laura and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much. Hopefully, you launch to New Hampshire.

And a full field of 2020 Democratic contenders blanketing New Hampshire ahead of the state's primary on Tuesday. Last night, four of the top candidates were on stage for a series of CNN town halls.

After admitting he took a gut punch in Iowa, former VP Joe Biden is trying to look forward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, let's put this in perspective. There are a total of, what, 44 delegates who are going to come out of that and it looks like it's going to break down somewhere between seven and 15 among the top four of us.

I expected to do better and I expected that our organization would perform better, but the fact is I'm happy to be here in New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Biden also trying to slow Bernie Sanders' momentum. The former vice president says he worries about a Democratic socialist label being pinned on the broader Democratic Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: But if Senator Sanders is the nominee for the party, every Democrat in America, up and down the ballot in blue states, red states, purple states, it's easy -- and easy districts and competitive ones -- every Democrat will have to carry the label Senator Sanders has chose for himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Elizabeth Warren is making it an electability argument with New Hampshire voters. She's rejecting any suggestion a male nominee would have a better chance of beating President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In 1960, a lot of folks said I'm not sure we can do a Catholic because nobody's ever done a Catholic before. We've never had a Catholic president before. Or in 2008, a lot of folks said we can't have an African-American nominee because we've never had an African-American president before.

But our party is better than that and we proved that our country is better than that. 2020, we can and should have a woman for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: The round of applause there for her.

Tonight, round two a CNN town hall event. The final Democratic presidential town halls before the New Hampshire primary. A special live event resumes tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern.

ROMANS: President Trump will speak publicly today after being acquitted by the Senate of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. This ugly chapter in American history is now over, the fallout just beginning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: Two-thirds of the senators present, not having found him guilty of the charges contained therein. It is, therefore, ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby acquitted of the charges in said articles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The Senate acquittal did not have the full backing of the GOP like the White House was hoping for. Senator Mitt Romney became the first senator to vote to convict a president in their own party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATE CLERK: Mr. Romney?

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Guilty.

SENATE CLERK: Mr. Romney, guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Breaking from President Trump is a huge risk for any Republican. Before the vote, Romney explained his decision in a dramatic speech on the Senate floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am.

[05:05:02]

I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.

I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Romney said he knew there would be backlash, and oh, did it come quickly.

The president tweeted out a video calling Romney slippery among other things. President Trump's son Don Jr. is calling on the president to expel him.

ROMANS: And even though the impeachment saga may have ended, neither side was willing to let it go.

Republican senators are questioning or requesting Hunter Biden's travel records. And Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler says it's likely the House will subpoena former national security advisor John Bolton.

JARRETT: Coming up next, why does Bernie Madoff say he should be let out of prison?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:10:15]

ROMANS: All right. Ten minutes past the hour.

Breaking overnight, the Trump administration barring New York residents from registering or renewing memberships in trusted traveler programs that allow travelers to speed through airport lines. That includes a Global Entry and NEXUS.

The new rule does not affect TSA's popular pre-check program. This would-be move by Homeland Security comes in response to New York state's Green Light Law. It allows undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses but prevents federal agencies from accessing the DMV databases.

Essentially, this is the administration making life harder for New Yorkers because the state won't help deport people.

The acting DHS chief said access to databases is needed to vet applicants for the traveler programs.

JARRETT: Breaking overnight, an American citizen abducted in Afghanistan. A U.S. official tells CNN, the individual was working as a contractor in Eastern Afghanistan at the time of kidnapping. Efforts to track and locate the person are ongoing. A State Department spokesman would not comment on the case when contacted by CNN.

ROMANS: Bernie Madoff making a plea from behind bars. The 81-year-old convict said he's dying and asked a federal judge for a compassionate early release from prison. Madoff currently serving 150 years for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. In a court filing, Madoff says chronic kidney failure has progressed to the end stage and he has less than 18 months to live. JARRETT: The family of a missing 11-year-old boy in Colorado is

making a desperate plea for help. Gannon Stauch's parents say he left his home in Colorado Springs on January 27th and never came back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LANDEN HOTT, MOTHER OF MISSING BOY: I'm afraid that I'll never hear his voice. That I'll never him run and say, mommy, and that I'll never hear those corny jokes he'd always tell every single day, he has to tell me a joke. If you have anything that's credible, if you're afraid, don't worry about -- imagine my son how afraid he is. Imagine how afraid Gannon is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: You can see her pain there.

Police say evidence was found in a neighbor's security camera but they're keeping the details under wraps, calling the discovery the break they needed in the investigation.

ROMANS: Hollywood has lost one of its true screen legends. Actor Kirk Douglas died Wednesday at the age of 103.

For decades, Douglas was one of the biggest stars on the planet. He made nearly 100 movies. Perhaps his most memorable role and the one he said he was most proud of was that of a rebellious Roman slave in 1960s "Spartacus."

JARRETT: Off-screen, Douglas led an open revolt against Hollywood's infamous black list. He was nominated for an Academy Awards three times in his career. He received an honorary Oscar in 1996, the same year he suffered a stroke.

His son, actor Michael Douglas, posting this tribute to his father on social media: To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years. A humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to. But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter, he was simply dad. I am so proud to be your son.

Kirk Douglas leaves behind a big family including his wife Anne. They were married in 1954.

ROMANS: Wow. All right. A true legend there.

Thirteen minutes past the hour. Hail to the chiefs. Kansas City salutes its Super Bowl Champs.

Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:18:10]

JARRETT: The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into conditions at four Mississippi prisons after at least a dozen inmates have died. DOJ says it will focus on whether prison officials have done enough to protect prisoners from one another and whether there's appropriate mental health care to prevent against suicides.

One of the prisons under investigation, the State Penitentiary in Parchman, has reported nine deaths in just over a month.

ROMANS: All right. It's about 18 minutes past the hour.

Thousands of Chiefs fans braving frigid temperatures in Kansas City to celebrate their Super Bowl title.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Christine.

You know, the wind chill was in the teens in Kansas City yesterday, but that certainly wasn't going to stop chief fans from celebrating their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. And the players having tons of fun interacting with the fans the entire route.

Check out Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes catching a beer with one hand and then chugging it.

The parade ended with a rally at Union Station. And tight end Travis Kelce, well, he broke off a WWE-style promo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: It's going to end with the anthem and y'all got to help me say it right here for 2019, 2020 world champions. You've got to fight for a right to party! Believe it. I love y'all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Now, police say only two people were arrested during the festivities. One of those was a driver who took police on a short chase in the middle of that parade route.

All right. Pete Rose is asking baseball for reinstatement once again, this time citing the Houston Astros as to why he should get back in. In a 26-page petition sent to the commissioner's office, Rose's lawyers argue that since Rob Manfred did not punish any of the Astros players for the sign stealing scandal, Rose's 30-1/2-year ban for betting on baseball when he managed the Reds should be ended.

[05:20:08]

Now, Rose's lawyers went on to say his lifetime ban punishment is vastly disproportionate to the punishments for players for performance enhancing drugs and sign stealing. Rose wants a meeting with Manfred. Major League Baseball says they have received the document from Rose's representatives and will be reviewing it.

All right, Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa posting a series of pictures and videos to Instagram yesterday remembering Kobe and her 13-year-old daughter Gigi. Many of the posts were videos from Gigi's middle school which held a ceremony retiring her number two jersey from eighth grade. One post shows Gigi's framed jersey with the caption: My Gigi, I love you, I miss you. You've taught us all no act of kindness is ever too small. Mommy and still and will always be so proud of you, Mambacita.

Vanessa also posting this picture of Kobe with the caption, #mybest friend, #thebestdaddy, miss you so much.

And the tributes for Kobe and Gigi will continue next weekend at the NBA All Star Game, Christine. The Team LeBron all-star going to be wearing Gigi's number 2 for the game, while Team Giannis are going to wear Kobe's number 24.

ROMANS: I watched some of those Instagram videos, you know, through tears. That -- it shows a man who loved his baby girls -- really just, you know -- Kobe is a dad, really hard to watch.

SCHOLES: Yes.

ROMANS: But all right, thanks so much. Nice to see you, Andy.

Laura, what's coming up?

JARRETT: All right, Christine. More than 7,000 people in floating quarantine near China. Concerns of coronavirus outbreak on two cruise ships. CNN is live in Japan, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:26:19]

JARRETT: Two more flights bound for U.S. will depart today from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The city has been on lockdown for two weeks now.

Meantime, two cruise ships are quarantined in Asia because of virus fears stranding, more than 7,000 people.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is live in Yokohama, Japan, where one of the ships has returned to port.

Paula, how are folks getting food and other things, you know, they need when they're stuck on this ship?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, there's still 2,600 passengers onboard the ship and also more than 1,000 crew. There is more food, drink and medical supplies that are going to be taken onboard.

So certainly there is going to be enough food for people to stay there because they're being told they could have to stay there another 14 days. That's what one of the couples onboard heard from the U.S. embassy just today.

But the issue is, of course, they are still finding patients on that ship. They are still finding people testing positive for coronavirus. There were ten who tested positive on Wednesday, another ten this Thursday.

And so, we are hearing from some people we're speaking to onboard, concerns they are being quarantined on the ship itself. They say they have no problem with being quarantined, they understand that. But one couple we spoke to from Long Island, New York, said why would they keep them on a ship that clearly is contaminated?

Now, this particular couple is on their holiday -- honeymoon, sorry. So, clearly, it's not the best ending to three weeks of honeymoon they have saved up to for two years. And they say they're calling on the U.S. embassy, calling on the U.S. government to do something similar to Wuhan, China, and send some planes in or get some way of getting them out of this ship and putting them in another area.

Now, the alert was just raised just a few days ago when they found out on this ship there had been an 80-year-old from Hong Kong who had tested positive and he'd been onboard for five days. So, that's when alarm bells started ringing, and that's when the testing started. But they still haven't tested everybody, only those who are showing symptoms at this point. A similar situation on a cruise ship off Hong Kong. No one has tested positive there but some 126 people are still being quarantined -- Laura.

ROMANS: All right. Two economic bellwethers feeling the effects of the coronavirus, shipping and autos. Shipping companies that carry goods from China to the rest of the world are reducing the number of ships at sea as these measures to contain the virus squeeze demand for their services and threaten to disrupt the global supply chain. Look, goods are stranded as ships idle in floating quarantine zones.

The auto industry is also taking a hit. Hyundai has suspended production at its plant in South Korea because of disruption to the parts supply. GM, General Motors, is working with its Chinese partners to make sure its supply chain is not disrupted. GM has a large manufacturing plant in Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak.

More big consumer brands are becoming nervous about the outbreak's impact on their businesses. Nike, Adidas, Versace and others have warned investors that sales could take a hit. And Qualcomm, the world's biggest maker of smartphone chips warns that uncertainty about the coronavirus could hit the smart phone industry. Nearly half of Qualcomm's revenue last year came from China.

JARRETT: Barnes and Noble nixing plans to put people of cover on classic book covers. The company wanted to commemorate Black History Month at its flagship New York store but canceled its diverse editions program because of backlash on social media. Barnes and Noble and Penguin Random House planned to release special edition of 12 classic novels including "Romeo and Juliet", "Moby Dick" and "Alice in the Wonderland".

The idea got slammed online however with one critic referring to it as literary blackface.

EARLY START continues right now.

Breaking overnight, new results from Iowa.

END