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EARLY START

Buttigieg And Sanders In Dead Heat In Iowa Caucuses; President Trump Acquitted By The Senate; Actor Kirk Douglas Dies At 103. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 6, 2020 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00]

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: EARLY START continues right now.

Breaking overnight, new results from Iowa. Essentially, a tie between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. State Democrats are hoping for a final result today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): There's no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: What are the costs of turning on President Trump? Mitt Romney bracing for the fallout after voting to convict the president in his impeachment trial. The president speaks publicly later today.

JARRETT: And remembering a legend of the big screen. Actor Kirk Douglas has died at the age of 103.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Thursday morning, 30 minutes past the hour.

Breaking overnight, a virtual dead heat in Iowa. The latest results from Monday's caucuses show Pete Buttigieg in front of Bernie Sanders by one-tenth of a percent in the state delegate race. With 97 percent of the vote counted that is a statistical tie. Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Amy Klobuchar round out the top five.

Iowa's Democratic Party chairman Troy Price tells state officials the full results are expected by this morning.

JARRETT: The counting now in its fourth day after technical issues and cascading failures crippled the state 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. Now, the National Democratic Party is stepping in.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN WHITE HOUSE 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 flatlining 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)

ROMANS: All right, Jeff Zeleny with the Iowa state capitol still behind him there.

A full field of 2020 Democratic contenders is blanketing New Hampshire now ahead of the state's primary 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 Vice President Joe Biden is trying to look forward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And 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)

JARRETT: 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 Sen. Sanders is the nominee for the party, every Democrat in America, up and down the ballot in blue states, red states, purple states, the easy -- and the easy districts and competitive ones -- every Democrat will have to carry the label Sen. Sanders has chose for himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Elizabeth Warren is making 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, 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. Twenty twenty, we can and should have a woman for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Tonight, round two of the 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.

JARRETT: More ahead on all of this. Plus, residents of New York State will have a slower go at the airport.

[05:35:00]

What the White House changed overnight and why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: We will hear from the president today. President Trump will speak publicly after being acquitted by the Senate of abuse of power and obstructing Congress.

(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: Democratic House managers walking out of the Senate chamber with nothing to show for months of effort. This ugly chapter in American history is now over but the fallout is just beginning.

JARRETT: The Senate acquittal did not have the full backing of the GOP like the White House was, of course, hoping for. Sen. Mitt Romney became the first senator to vote to convict a president is his own party.

[05:40:04]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROLL CALL: Mr. Romney?

ROMNEY: Guilty.

ROLL CALL: 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: 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.

There's no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did. The president's purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.

What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault under electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep one's self in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Romney has said he knew there would be a backlash and it was swift. The president tweeted out a video calling Romney slippery among other things. President Trump's son, Don Jr., is calling on the Republican Party to expel him.

ROMANS: Even though the impeachment saga is over, neither side seems to be letting it go. Republicans senators are requesting now Hunter Biden's travel records. And, Democratic congressman Jerry Nadler says it's like the House will subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton.

JARRETT: All right, let's go live to Washington and bring in CNN reporter Michael Warren, who covered all of this from day one.

Mike, we've got to start with Mitt Romney, of course. He decided to make a little bit of history yesterday. For someone who has covered this so closely, how surprising was it to you? Is it surprising because it's Mitt Romney, not someone necessarily known for taking bold stances, or is it surprising given just how highly partisan things are in Washington right now?

MICHAEL WARREN, CNN REPORTER: Right. Well, I think in the sort of lead-up to this, Mitt Romney was telegraphing that he was probably going to vote to convict the president on at least one article, which he did.

But, you're right. I mean, if you look back at Mitt Romney's sort of long political career, he's someone who has been tagged, sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly, as a political opportunist. He started his career as a sort of pro-choice Massachusetts moderate. Then he was running as a social conservative in 2008 when he was running for president. Then as an immigration hardliner in 2012.

Definitely, somebody who is always sort of seen, even by voters in his own party, as somebody who is maybe inauthentic -- wasn't really sure of himself in his own skin.

You can say whatever you want about this vote to convict. It certainly wasn't politically opportunistic in the era of Donald Trump. And we can see from the president's own response just the kind of blowback and pushback --

ROMANS: Sure.

WARREN: -- Mitt Romney is taking from this. It really is remarkable in Romney's own political career.

JARRETT: Yes. But I think it's worth noting he's not up for reelection until 2024.

ROMANS: Yes.

JARRETT: So, it was a hard vote, of course, but maybe it doesn't hurt quite as much as for someone like Susan Collins.

ROMANS: We'll hear from the president in about six hours and maybe he'll be more presidential in the things he's been tweeting out -- you know, the insults and the -- you know, the slick videos.

But the papers -- banner headlines all across the country -- Trump acquitted. How does Washington -- how does the administration work with Congress now and move forward on policy this year?

WARREN: Well, it really does seem at this point in an election year -- just before the president is trying to go up for reelection, you have a Democratic House in Congress -- there really isn't much more that Congress and the White House can do together. You're going to see a continuation of the president's good relationship with the Republican majority in the Senate, continuing to sort of confirm judges and any other administration appointments.

But really, this is a continuation of what was happening before the entire impeachment scenario was happening, which was not much going on on Capitol Hill. The president really trying to run for reelection at this point. And Democrats not really in a position to pass much past that Democratic majority in the House.

JARRETT: Let's turn to Iowa, Michael. Obviously, Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are in a statistical tie at this point. We only have 97 percent of the precincts reporting. We still don't have all those votes counted up.

But one thing I think that's not getting enough attention is look at Klobuchar. She is nipping at the heels of Joe Biden. And I wonder -- I want to get your views on it. What is it going to take to thin out this race?

WARREN: Well look, there's going to be a money issue for a lot of these campaigns, particularly the ones that didn't end up at the top of the heap in Iowa. And that's a problem not just for Klobuchar, who has struggled throughout this campaign to really get a lot of donations, but even for sort of big-time candidates like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

[05:45:13]

At a certain point, once the rubber hits the road and these elections start happening -- these primary elections -- donors are looking for winners and I think that's a real issue here.

But the sort of debacle with the Iowa reporting does, in a way, for that sort of second tier of candidates -- those three -- Warren, Biden, and Klobuchar -- kind of makes New Hampshire a reset for them. But they really do have to perform there. It's a difficult place for them.

I think this muddle with the Iowa results, in a strange way, kind of gives them a chance to reset their own campaigns, but they've only got a few days to do that. New Hampshire really may be one of the culling moments.

ROMANS: Those two there are so close, Buttigieg and Sanders.

It's interesting. The president -- you can tell that he is setting up 2020 as his economy, which is good, versus socialism, which is bad. And, Bernie Sanders fits into that storyline better for him than Pete Buttigieg.

JARRETT: Yes.

WARREN: Absolutely.

JARRETT: All right, Mike, thanks so much for getting up with us this morning. See you soon.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Mike Warren.

WARREN: See you.

ROMANS: All right.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCENE FROM UNITED ARTISTS "CHAMPION."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: 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 was that of a rebellious Roman slave in 1960s "Spartacus."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCENE FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES "SPARTACUS."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Off-screen, Douglas led an open revolt against Hollywood's infamous blacklist. He was nominated for 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.

Quote, "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 married in 1954.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:51:57]

ROMANS: Amazon, meet the taxman. For the first time since 2016, Amazon owed money to the federal government. But that $162 million tax bill last year, it amounts to just a little over one percent of Amazon's profits.

Amazon, a frequent target for critics who complain the juggernaut doesn't pull its tax weight. In a blog post, Amazon touted it had over $1 billion in federal income tax expense, as well as billions in other federal, state, and local taxes.

But the think tank, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, noted those amounts aren't taxes that Amazon actually pays, adding, quote, "Congratulating an employer for collecting the payroll tax is like congratulating yourself for breathing."

President Trump has frequently criticized Amazon for paying literally no taxes to state and local governments. It should be noted, though, the Trump administration's tax cuts helped to lower the overall corporate rate and Amazon's tax policy appears to be completely legal.

JARRETT: 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 faster. That includes Global Entry and the NEXUS program. The new rule, however, does not affect TSA's popular precheck program.

The sweeping move by Homeland Security comes in response to New York State's green light law. That law allows undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses but prevents federal agencies from accessing DMV databases. Essentially, this is the administration making life harder for New Yorkers because the state won't help deport undocumented immigrants.

The acting DHS chief said access to databases is needed to vet applicants for those travelers' programs.

ROMANS: And 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 the kidnapping. Efforts to track and locate this person are ongoing. A State Department spokesman would not comment on this case when contacted by CNN.

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 are appropriate mental care to prevent suicides.

One of the prisons under investigation -- the state penitentiary in Parchman has reported nine inmate deaths in just over a month.

ROMANS: A powerful weather system ready to pound the eastern U.S. More than 20 million people under a flash flood watch. Fifty million face winter weather alerts.

Here's Pedram Javaheri.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, guys. Quite a bit of active weather to be had across the country -- in particular, around parts of the Midwest into New England later on tonight into Friday morning. And, of course, around the southeast some severe weather across the region as well as a level three, on a scale of one to five, there in place for generally damaging winds, a few isolated tornadoes, and certainly could see some large hail as well.

But this is the kind of pattern you'd see more in the spring season and frankly, the temperatures supporting a springlike pattern across portions of the south where 60s and 70s are widespread.

[05:55:01]

But, flash flood watches in place for about 20 million people. And over 50 million to the north, into the Ohio Valley, and eventually into New England dealing with winter weather alerts and that is an area where some icing is possible into New England later on tonight into the early morning hours. But notice Friday, 1:30 in the morning, the system beginning to park just offshore, so the impacts there begin exiting stage right.

But before it's done, a few inches possible as far as rainfall in parts of the south. And then work your way into New England. You've got to get away from the major metro cities to see any decent accumulations. Syracuse there, one of the bullseye regions for heavy snowfall later on tonight.

Temps 60 in Minot, middle 80s down in South Florida -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: Pedram, thanks for that.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch returning to earth after 328 days in space. Koch was part of the first all-female spacewalk and has broken the record for the longest single space flight by a woman. She launched to the International Space Station on March 14th for what was expected to be a six-month mission. Her stay was extended to collect more data on the effects of long-duration space flight.

She landed in Kazakhstan just a short time ago.

ROMANS: What a cool work trip that is.

All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Taking a look at global markets, rallies around the world here. Relief and a feeling that the Chinese will inject whatever money they need to into the financial system to prevent the coronavirus from hurting its economy.

On Wall Street, futures also moving higher here this morning. Stocks closed up yesterday for the third day in a row, rebounding from the sell-off caused by the coronavirus. The Dow closed up 483 points. The S&P and the Nasdaq also record highs. China said it will cut tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. imports by half. Starting next week, China's state council tariff commission said goods with a 10 percent tariff right now will be reduced to five percent. Goods with a five percent tariff will be reduced in half. The commission said other tariffs on U.S. goods will be maintained while it works on exemptions.

Tesla's rally on Wall Street took a detour. Its stock fell from its all-time high, ending 17 percent lower. Tesla's vice president said deliveries from its Shanghai plant would be delayed. Those deliveries were expected earlier this month. Last week, Tesla said the coronavirus would hold up production at that plant.

The stock, by the way, is still up 71 percent this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN COSTNER, ACTOR, "FIELD OF DREAMS": No, I meant what do you want?

JAMES EARL JONES, ACTOR, "FIELD OF DREAMS": Oh, dog and a beer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: A dog and a beer, a classic combo at a baseball game. Now, Coors Light will reinterpret that for Valentine's Day. Coors is offering to pay some of the adoption fees if you adopt a dog -- a dog -- a real dog, not a hot dog. Coors will give $100 to the first thousand people to adopt dogs between now and February 21st.

Coors said, "With almost half of millennials planning to stay in on Valentine's Day, we wanted to help empower people to savor the day with Coors Light and a dog by their side."

Anyone of legal drinking age in eligible states can have some of their fees recovered.

JARRETT: Well, the impeachment trial is over. While you were sleeping, the late-night comics took their parting shots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT: Folks, I hope you're sitting down because I've got some terrible news -- the news.

Today, the U.S. Senate acquitted Donald Trump. So --

(Booing)

COLBERT: -- there it is, OK? It's official. Nothing means anything. Right is wrong, up is down, Missouri is Kansas.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Minority leader Chuck Schumer said that from here on, Trump's presidency will always have an asterisk next to it, and Lindsey Graham will be there to kiss that asterisk at all times.

JARRETT: Now they're going to have to focus their jokes on 2020.

ROMANS: They will.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are still counting votes in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The damage done to Joe Biden is being undersold here.

BIDEN: We took a gut punch in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As these results roll in, if Pete Buttigieg is number one, that could mean a lot for his fundraising.

ROBERT: Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby acquitted of the charges in said articles.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): He was acquitted with facts. It means that his acquittal is virtually valueless.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We voted. It's in the rearview mirror.

ROMNEY: I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, February sixth. It's 6:00 here in New York.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it is, last time I checked.

BERMAN: And in Iowa, breaking overnight, we keep getting new numbers and they just keep creating new controversy. Within 97 percent of the precincts now reporting, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders running neck-and-neck.

END