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EARLY START

First U.S. Primary Today in New Hampshire; Trump Budget Calls for Cuts to Health and Loan Programs; Deadliest Day in China Amid Coronavirus; Russian Satellites Are Tailing U.S. Satellites. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 11, 2020 - 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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[04:30:52]

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: The first in the nation primary today in New Hampshire. Candidates redirecting their fire at the 11th hour and the first votes already cast. Who has the most to gain and the most to lose?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The deadliest day in mainland China from the coronavirus. Another confirmed case in the U.S. wait until you hear about the mix-up that got them released from the hospital.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett, 31 minutes past the hour here in New York.

It's primary day in New Hampshire, a pivotal vote in a wide open contest that could reshape the 2020 race. Democratic candidates make final appeals across the state Monday largely pivoting from attacking each other and turning their fire on President Trump.

ROMANS: Keeping with tradition the first votes were cast overnight in three small towns. Taking an early lead, Senator Amy Klobuchar. Big endorsements and a strong debate performance have not so far vaulted her to the top.

Here was her closing argument last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know we are searching at kind of an interesting time. Time and time again, New Hampshire has surprised the nation by giving us incredible precedence. New Hampshire has surprised the nation by not always going with the most famous person or the person with the biggest bank account.

What New Hampshire has done is given us leaders. So I'm asking you to do that for me today.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: Also noteworthy in the early voting so far, Michael

Bloomberg, he wasn't even on the ballot but he got two write ins from Democrats and a Republican write in as well, a twist likely to get under President Trump's skin this morning.

CNN has full coverage of New Hampshire primary day.

We're starting this morning with Brian Todd live in one of those three first voting villages, Dixville Notch -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Laura, it was interesting throughout the evening and morning here with Michael Bloomberg coming on top. We're going to talk about that result in a moment. But what we also have to talk about here is the fact they came very close to not being able to hold the vote here in Dixville Notch which would have been a shame because it's been a tradition here for 60 years. Every presidential cycle they've had the vote at midnight.

But this year, they almost didn't have it, why, because under state rules, you have to have at least five people in a precinct, five voters in order to hold a vote. They only had four up until about December. When a gentleman named Les Otten who's a developer he moved away because he had projects elsewhere.

He decided to move back in late 2019 after speaking with some of the local people here. They basically told him, hey, if you don't come back we probably can't have a vote. So, he decided to come back, he established his residency and he basically saved the day for Dixville Notch by moving back in late 2019.

We spoke to him just moments after the vote just past midnight and he talked about what's important to him about Dixville Notch. It's not so much the fact they're the first votes in the first in the nation primary but that they're sending a signal about voter turn out.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LES OTTEN, DIXVILLE NOTCH VOTER: I made my vote count and I did it with my fellow citizens, and 100 percent of us voted tonight and we are a democracy in action. I think as a country, we need to come to grips with the fact that in major elections, 50 percent or so of our population doesn't get involved and we can't expect to solve the country's problems without the involvement of our citizenry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: And Les Otten is here because he's a developer. As I mentioned, he's renovating this place for Balsams Resort. He hopes to have it back up and running in about two years and that would be great because it's a beautiful place in a beautiful setting here in Dixville Notch and good luck to him.

We did speak, Laura, about the results here. Michael Bloomberg as you mentioned the surprise surge winner here came out of nowhere in write- in votes to take Dixville Notch with three votes, one on the Republican side, two on the Democratic side.

[04:35:04]

He was such a surprise here that they didn't even have him on the whiteboard that they laid out in the results when the evening started.

They had about five Democrats, and he was not one them. They had to write-in Michael Bloomberg each time and he ends up winning Dixville Notch -- Laura.

JARRETT: A hundred percent voter turnout with five people. You got to look New Hampshire. Thanks, Brian.

TODD: Right.

ROMANS: Bernie Sanders working late into the night to get the vote out today. He won the popular vote in Iowa but trails the delegate race.

CNN's Ryan Nobles on the campaign trail with Sanders in Durham, New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, it's a little ironic that we are with the 78-year-old candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, and we're on a college campus with a very popular band playing behind us and a very young crowd. But that has consistently shown to be the strongest base of support for Bernie Sanders.

A new Quinnipiac poll that shows Bernie Sanders now in the lead nationally, shows that he overwhelmingly has the most support of people under the age of 35. And when you think about the issues that Sanders cares the most about -- Medicare for All, fighting climate change, eliminating college debt, making college tuition-free -- these are all issues that appeal to younger voters much more than they might appeal to older voters, and that's Sanders' strength.

But the issue for Sanders is that often, younger voters are very unreliable, so he is hoping that they come out for him on Tuesday here in New Hampshire.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This turnout tells me why we're going to win here in New Hampshire, why we're going to win the Democratic nomination, and why we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of America, Donald Trump.

NOBLES: His campaign is a very robust get out the vote effort, specifically targeted at those young voters, part of the reason that he ended his campaign here on a college campus with a very big concert. All part of that momentum that he hopes pushes him to the finish line and provides for him his first full win of the Democratic primary season -- Laura and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE) JARRETT: All right, Ryan Nobles, thanks so much.

Well, Bernie Sanders' closest competitor in New Hampshire is Pete Buttigieg. The former South Bend mayor making multiple stops across the Granite State yesterday. He said Sanders is not being clear about the cost of his plans which include Medicare for All, the green New Deal, universal child care and eliminating public college tuition.

Buttigieg says Sanders' all or nothing approach is not what most Americans want.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's proposed income over $29,000 being taxed to pay for health care plans. But on that, at least let's credit where credit is due because he's being honest about it. But here's the problem. There's $50 trillion worth of spending, so about half of it is unaccounted for and there's no explanation for where the other $25 trillion is supposed to come for.

I'm concerned that the idea that you've got to either be for a revolution or you must be for the status quo paints a picture where most of us can't see ourselves -- where most of us don't know where we fit in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: So even though Buttigieg does well in New Hampshire tonight, his future in the race is still murky. He may have a hard time drawing minority support in upcoming states, and then there's billionaire Michael Bloomberg lurking with big ad buys ahead of Super Tuesday.

ROMANS: President Trump looking to draw attention away from the Democrats with a raucous rally of his own in New Hampshire. Thousands of supporters packing the president's first rally since his impeachment acquittal. The president combining standard jabs with fresh attacks reinforces the perception he's been emboldened by acquittal.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins is in Manchester.

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KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Laura and Christine, this is the president's first rally since that acquittal vote happened, and you can really sense the president's anger but also his joy of being acquitted. It was something he brought up within minutes of being on stage here tonight talking about that vote in the Senate which prompted him to bring up Senator Mitt Romney, the one Republican to vote with Democrats on voting to convict the president on that first article of impeachment charge.

But before the president could even get Mitt Romney's name out of his mouth, you heard this entire room break out into these loud boos for the Utah senator. Breaking with his party in a bit awkward moment where the president was later thanking Ronna Romney McDaniel, who, of course, is the RNC chair and Mitt Romney's niece.

The president also went after the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she was mumbling angrily behind his shoulder during the State of the Union. You can watch and see her reaction as the president was speaking.

[04:40:01]

It's something he clearly picked up on. We should note two people the president didn't mention were to impeachment witnesses that he fired last Friday that many critics have said is a sign of retaliation for the fact that they went and testified under oath in front of Capitol Hill. Of course, that is Gordon Sondland and Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman. Two people the president did not mention by name here tonight.

Those sources say he has been talking about them frequently, privately -- Laura and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Kaitlan, thank you for that.

JARRETT: Thanks so much, Kaitlan.

Are the Russians tailing the U.S. in space?

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JARRETT: A new U.S. case of coronavirus has been confirmed in California, bringing the number of U.S. cases to 13. That new patient was one of the first evacuees from China, and in bizarre twist, the patient was mistakenly released from the hospital in San Diego.

[04:45:01]

An initial test showed no infection, but further testing confirmed the diagnosis.

The person has now returned to the hospital and is in isolation. The death toll in mainland China alone now surpassing 1,000. At least 108 of those deaths reported yesterday, the deadliest day so far.

CNN's Steven Jiang is live in Beijing for us.

Steven, what's the latest?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Laura, heads began to roll as we started to see the political fallout, this expanding outbreak.

Overnight, two senior provincial officials in charge of the health department in Hubei, that's the epicenter, were sacked. That happened not long after the reemergence of Mr. Xi Jinping in state media. Mr. Xi had not been seen for the past two weeks and raising a lot of questions and speculations in the government's role in the government's containment effort. Now, of course, he's reappeared wearing a mask, talking to local

residents in Beijing, visit a hospital, videoconferencing with medical workers from the front line, very much reassuring the nation and also sounding confident and determined. So all these images meant to put to rest all the speculations and questions and basically reinforcing the notion that he's very much in control of the government's response and also cares about the people.

But the thing is, Laura, until he goes to Wuhan, the epicenter, which is 600 miles away from Beijing, there's still going to be a lot of skeptics when it comes to the government's strategy and effectiveness at the epicenter.

JARRETT: Steven, President Trump keeps making this claim about how the virus could actually slow down in the coming months.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The virus, they're working hard, it looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. I hope that's true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Miraculously. Is there any truth, Steven?

JIANG: Well, I hope the president learns his information from authoritative figures maybe even Xi. The two did talk a few days ago. But experts here in China did say this virus thrives in cold weather and not so much in warm weather. They also pointed to the 2003 SARS epidemic which, of course, was caused by another coronavirus. That epidemic peaked and waned when the weather became warm.

But, of course, the thing is there's no guarantee this is going to happen again this time around. When you look at a map, Laura, the two countries with the most confirmed cases outside of mainland China are two tropical countries, Singapore and Thailand.

JARRETT: That's a great point, Steven. Thank you so much. See you soon.

ROMANS: All right. China's trying to get back to work after the coronavirus shut down much of the country. But for many big companies, it's far from business as usual.

On Monday, Huawei reopened its headquarters in Hong Kong, but employees will face temperature checks at office building and parking lots. Alibaba and Microsoft said staff worked from home Monday and they will continue working at home for at least another week. Toyota and General Motors factories are still closed.

The outbreak also causing the world's largest mobile event to lose some of its biggest names. Amazon, Sony and Ericsson are pulling out of the Mobile World Congress over fears attendees could catch this virus. There also be a delay in popular consumer items. Foxconn factories make AirPods and iPhones, they are reportedly extending their closure, disrupting the supply chain for Apple's best selling products.

And the maker of LOL Surprise Toys warned the outbreak has already disrupted production significantly. That will delay shipments which they usually made now for the fall and holiday shopping seasons. This means the toys could be hard to find by the end of the year.

JARRETT: A hundred and nine U.S. troops have now been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries from Iran's missile attack on a base last month. The Pentagon confirms 45 since the end of January when it reported 64 injuries. We're now told 70 percent of the injured service members have returned to duty.

President Trump initially said there were no injuries and then he insisted the potential brain injuries which he called headaches were not as serious as physical combat wounds.

ROMANS: It's not unusual for Russian spies to tail American agents but how many Russian spy satellites following U.S. satellites in orbit? Behavior the U.S. Space Force calls unusual and disturbing. Russia says its inspector satellites are assessing the technical condition of domestic meaning Russian satellites.

Space Force isn't buying it. The first significant statement from the new military branch says Russia's actions placed it among the nations that have turned space into a war fighting domain.

All right, the numbers are in. Was Hollywood's biggest night a raving success or a flop? CNN business, next.

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JARRETT: The Justice Department filing a trio of losses claiming officials are making it more difficult to enforce federal immigration laws. Attorney General Bill Barr is targeting New Jersey, California, and King County, Washington, which includes Seattle. The suits are widely viewed as retaliation against communities with sanctuary cities that protect undocumented immigrants.

ROMANS: Last week giving a similar explanation the Trump administration barred New Yorkers for registering for trusted traveler programs. Now, the state of New York is suing the administration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: The president's crusade against New York is not only an inconvenience to New Yorkers but also poses a direct threat to one of the world's largest economies and the nation's third-largest economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: New York State's Green Light Law prevents federal agencies from accessing Department of Motor Vehicle databases. The acting DHS chief said last week access is needed to vet applicants for the traveler programs.

[04:55:01]

JARRETT: Troubling charges against two officials in higher education. The dean at Georgia's Valdosta State University, Keith Walters, arrested for alleged sex crimes. Walters was one of 14 people caught in an undercover sting targeting child predators. The school placed Walters on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

And Jackson State University's president has resigned after his weekend arrest in a prostitution sting. William Bynum Jr. was among 17 people arrested in a sting at a hotel in Clinton, Mississippi. Bynum has been president of Jackson State since 2017. No comment yet from an attorney by either Walters or Bynum.

ROMANS: Former Major League pitcher Mike Bolsinger is suing the Houston Astros, claiming their sign stealing scheme derailed his career. He's asking for the Astros to forfeit roughly $31 million in bonuses from their 2017 World Series title with the money going to children's charities and a fund for needy retired players. Bolsinger was with the Blue Jays in August 2017 when Houston lit him up for four runs in the third of an evening. The poor relief appearance essentially ended his big league career. The Houston Astros are not commenting.

JARRETT: In Washington state, mudslides and flooding has cut off access to Mount Rainier National Park indefinitely. Heavy rains triggered several mudslides. Officials say it's not yet possible for crews to remove the debris because it could trigger more mudslides.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN business this morning. Take a look at global markets.

Moving mostly higher here around the world with the exception of Tokyo closing down on Wall Street. Futures at the moment also bouncing a bit. Stocks bounced back Monday as some businesses in China reopened after their extended shutdowns because of coronavirus.

The Dow closed up 174 points. The tech heavy Nasdaq hit a record high. The S&P 500 also closed at an all-time high.

Sprint stock soaring almost 70 percent after hours after reports a judge will rule in favor of its merger with T-Mobile. An interesting note about the S&P 500 and its record here the five largest companies in the S&P 500 are tech companies. They account for nearly 20 percent of the market value for the entire index. So, just a few names driving things here at record highs.

Amazon is still fighting the Defense Department over a $10 billion cloud computer contract. And in a rare and unprecedented move, it wants President Trump to testify. Amazon wants to ask the president about his involvement with the Jedi Program. Statements on Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos and communications with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Defense Secretary James Mattis. Amazon argues the pentagon's explanation for why it awarded the contract to Microsoft left out critical information and details that led to this flawed and potentially detrimental decision regarding DOD's future cloud infrastructure.

Hollywood's biggest night brought in very low ratings, 26.3 million viewers tuned in to the Oscars Sunday night, the lowest in the show's history. Remember the factors at play here, the show ran 33 minutes longer than scheduled. Other critics were not sold on the show not having a host for the second year in a row. Other awards show like the Grammys and Emmys have also taken viewership hits recently.

And some have talked about how it starts so late for east coasters, right?

JARRETT: Well, it starts too late for us. Waking up at 1:30 in the morning.

ROMANS: Yes, everything is too late for us.

JARRETT: Fair enough.

Well, while you were sleeping late night Stephen Colbert was also gearing up for primary day in New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": To make sure there's not a repeat of Iowa, Democrats have hired a new election consultant to tabulate the votes.

COUNT VON COUNT, VAMPIRE MUPPET, "SESAME STREET": One, two, three.

COLBERT: One poll in New Hampshire said New Hampshire Democrats would prefer an extinction-causing meteor over Trump reelection.

This explains why they've changed the state motto from "Live Free or Die" to "Please Let Us Die".'

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Got to love the jokes about the election. We're just getting started.

Thanks so much to our international viewers for joining us. Have a great rest of your day, everyone.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.

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JARRETT: The first in the nation primary today in New Hampshire, candidates redirecting their fire at the 11th hour. The first votes already cast. Who has the most to gain and the most to lose?

ROMANS: The deadliest day in mainland China from the coronavirus. Another case confirmed in the U.S. wait until you hear about the mix- up that sent the patient home from the hospital.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. It's Tuesday, February 11th, it's 5:00 a.m. in the East. It's primary day in New Hampshire.

A pivotal vote in a wide open contest that could reshape the 2020 race. Democratic candidates made their final appeals across the state Wednesday largely pivoting from attacking each other and turning their fire on President Trump.

END