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EARLY START

CNN Projects Sanders Narrowly Beats Buttigieg in New Hampshire; Trump: Stone Sentencing Guidelines a "Miscarriage of Justice"; FTC Reviewing Past Big Tech Acquisitions. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 12, 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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[04:32:33]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A great victory tonight.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Bernie Sanders with the win in New Hampshire, but it was razor thin. Who's right behind him and who's on life support in a crowded field?

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

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Jarrett. About 32 minutes past the hour here in New York.

There is an established front-runner in the Democratic race. CNN projects Bernie Sanders winning the New Hampshire primary on the heels of a win in the popular vote in Iowa. The win for Sanders surprisingly tight in a state where he cleaned up just four years ago.

ROMANS: Moderates advancing as they try to slow the party's move to the left. Pete Buttigieg coming in a very close second and Amy Klobuchar surging into third. Elizabeth Warren, a distant fourth even though she's from neighboring Massachusetts.

JARRETT: Joe Biden wasn't in New Hampshire for election returns. He came in fifth. Since 1968, every single Democratic presidential nominee took first or second in New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.

(CHEERS)

We are taking on billionaires and we're taking on candidates funded by billionaires.

(CHEERS)

We're going to Nevada, we're going to South Carolina, we're going to win those states, as well.

(CHEERS)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I admired Senator Sanders when I was a high school student. I respect him greatly to this day, and I congratulate him on his strong showing tonight.

And thanks to you, a campaign that some said shouldn't be here at all has shown that we are here to stay.

(CHEERS)

And a politics of my way or the highway is a road to re-electing Donald Trump. If today's Washington were serving is America well, a guy like Donald Trump would never have come within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place.

(CHEERS)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Amy Klobuchar, and I will beat Donald Trump.

(CHEERS)

We have beaten the odds every step of the way.

(CHEERS)

We -- we have done it on the merits. We have done it with ideas, and we have done it with hard work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Now the reality of Sanders at the top setting in for an influential group. The Culinary Union new distributing a flyer that says Sanders would end culinary health care if elected.

[04:35:01]

The biggest change for the candidates going forward, the demographic map, the race now moves from mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire to far more diverse Nevada and South Carolina.

CNN's Phil Mattingly at the magic wall with a look at what happened overnight -- Phil.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I want to get to what comes next in a minute. Let's start with Bernie Sanders. He has an unending amount of millions in grassroots fund-raising support, one of the best organizations in the race. And now, he has a primary victory, a repeat of what he did in 2016. But the numbers are a little different. Right now, with 97 percent

reporting up by 4,000 votes, CNN obviously called the primary for Bernie Sanders. I'll tell you why. Bernie Sanders in the most populace areas of the state of New Hampshire doing extremely well. The three largest townships in the state, he won all three, in university towns like Plymouth, Durham, in places like that. Also big numbers where you expect public university students to come out in a big way for Bernie Sanders, they did, in fact, do that.

Guys, take a look at this map, and you'll see not just Bernie Sanders light blue but light green for Pete Buttigieg, dark green for Amy Klobuchar. Why is that different? Well, that's different from 2016 when it was a wipeout of light blue for Bernie Sanders when he was up against Hillary Clinton.

If you want to know why in is different, there's a couple of things here. One, it's obviously a different race, a larger field, more robust organization for a lot of those people. Obviously, a lot more money here. You also had candidates that were able to break into the core components of Bernie Sanders' wall in New Hampshire back in 2016.

Take a look at the border of Vermont where Bernie Sanders is from. You see a lot of light green. That's Pete Buttigieg taking advantage of opportunities. You also see Pete Buttigieg doing very well in the southeast part of the state, some of the more affluent townships in the state, doing better well. The better educated parts of the state, doing well.

And you had Amy Klobuchar, where you see the dark green. A lot of Republican-leaning areas went toward Amy Klobuchar. But, guys, one of the most interesting elements of the entire night was the fact that the race was really a static three-person race throughout. You didn't hear much from Elizabeth Warren, you didn't hear much from Joe Biden.

What you saw when you go through the top one, two, and three, want to pull up where Bernie Sanders came up first, second, and third, almost the entire map. Who else is in there? Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, almost the entire map, almost every township. The top three were Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar, and not necessarily in that order come means they weren't ideological lanes so much as there were three dominant candidates.

Now, who was not dominant? That's easy to tell when you look at this. First, Elizabeth warren, also a neighboring senator from Massachusetts, down here, coming in 9.3 percent. Not getting any delegates. And you have to actually scroll down to see where Joe Biden ended up, 8.4 percent.

A very disappointing showing when his clearly aware it was coming. They were in South Carolina when it all took place. I think that underscores the reality of what's next.

You guys were talking about the demographic make-up of what's coming in the races ahead. Take a look at the first two contests that we had had in this Democratic primary, make-up. Iowa, 91 percent white. Very limited minority groups. New Hampshire, even higher percentage of white vote. Very limited minority communities in the state.

Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in both Iowa and New Hampshire were able to take advantage of those demographics. The big question going forward -- do they have a coalition that can go broader than that?

So, let's look at what's coming next demographically, and you have a very different picture. Frankly, a picture more reflective of the Democratic Party. In Nevada, a major Hispanic and Latino population that will be voting in the Democratic primary, 20 percent statewide.

That number will go even higher when you're talking about just Democratic voters. South Carolina where Joe Biden was, he's not even being subtle about why he was down there, it's this -- 26.5 percent of the population voting is first place. It's even larger when you get into a Democratic primary's perspective. That's where candidates are looking going forward.

But the reality is this right now -- at the moment, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders with the win tonight, Pete Buttigieg having a great night in Iowa last week, having another great night. They are looking at a timeline that is going to look different state by state going forward.

However, as it currently stands, total pledge delegates because of Iowa and New Hampshire, Pete Buttigieg slightly over Bernie Sanders. -- slight lead over Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar with a good night for her campaign riding the momentum of the big debate it was, sitting at seven. Joe Biden at six, real questions about the money, the organization going forward.

No question about it from Joe Biden. He believes South Carolina is his firewall. So much so that he was there on New Hampshire primary night.

ROMANS: Yes. Remarkable you have to scroll up to find Biden on the results. I mean, that's just really remarkable.

All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you, Phil.

JARRETT: All right. It's going to be a long 17 days for Joe Biden before the South Carolina primary. The former V.P. led the Democratic polls for the best part of a year, but he left New Hampshire before most people even voted.

[04:40:00]

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JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We just heard from the first two of the 50 states, two of them. Not all the nation, not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation, not 10 percent, two. Two.

Now, where I come from, that's the opening bell. We need to hear from Nevada and South Carolina and Super Tuesday states and beyond.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Jessica Dean covers the Biden campaign. She is live on the ground for us in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Jessica, how does he leave before the polls close?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good question, Laura. I think a lot of people were going, wait, what's happening?

But yes, that came out yesterday morning, and then that is exactly what happened. Joe and Jill Biden leaving the state of New Hampshire before the polls ever closed and flying directly to South Carolina which as we've talked about, as Phil was saying, the Biden campaign does consider its firewall because of his deep support among black voters there ho, again, as we saw in that data, we're about to expand this map, and the Biden campaign is excited about that. They think Joe Biden is primed to do well when a more diverse population is participating in this primary process. And that's about what's going to happen in Nevada and South Carolina and in Super Tuesday.

The question, though, is how well will he do. When you hinge all of your campaign on this launching pad, you really, really have to perform very well.

The Biden campaign knows that. And had is why you -- that is why you saw them get out of New Hampshire where the writing was on the wall here. You know, you saw, you have to scroll up to get to Joe Biden's turnout here yesterday. But the writing was on the wall in New Hampshire. They wanted to go ahead and start, get down to South Carolina, start to fortify that base there.

Meantime, Elizabeth Warren also, like Biden, not taking delegates home, the neighboring senator. We'll keep an eye on how they plan to move forward and expand as the primary map expands with it.

And, Laura, something to note -- we are starting to see the field kind of narrow a bit. Andrew Yang and Senator Michael Bennett announcing that they're dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race. Both men had put a lot of effort and time here in New Hampshire. It just did not work out for them.

So, a smaller field as we head to Nevada -- Laura.

JARRETT: All right. Jessica Dean on the trail for us, thanks so much.

ROMANS: And Nevada and South Carolina are next, that's followed by Super Tuesday, March 3rd. The start of a busy month when about two- thirds of all delegates will be up for grabs.

Let's bring back "Washington Post" White House correspondent Toluse Olorunnipa.

Nice to see you again. Thanks for coming back.

You know, look, if so many Democrats are saying that the most important thing is beating Donald Trump, how does the Biden campaign make the argument that he's the electability candidate if you have to scroll up to find his name here in the first calm of states? TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it is very difficult

for them to make that argument after Iowa and after New Hampshire are they finished far beyond the top tier. The argument that's being made is that, look, Iowa and New Hampshire are overwhelmingly white states, as we go into Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday states like California, Texas, parts of the South, you'll have a more diverse electorate. Some of those states are actually going to be starting early voting relatively quickly.

So, we're already in the Super Tuesday election, and Biden's campaign is saying that is an area where he can be much more successful. That remains to be seen as a lot of those states are looking at what happened in Iowa and New Hampshire and wondering whether Joe Biden has what it takes to actually have the electability argument and show he can defeat Donald Trump and compete with Donald Trump among the white working class, among the rural places where President Trump seems to be running away with some of those counties than previously voted -- that previously voted for Democrats and are voting for Trump in high numbers.

So, it remains to be seen whether or not that electability argument can be made by the Biden campaign. But they are pointing to more diverse states to make it.

ROMANS: Sure.

JARRETT: Toluse, one other thing that seems to emerge from last night is just how angry Democrats are right now. You see that in some of the exit polls. And certainly, you can make the argument that Donald Trump rode to the White House on at least a certain kind of anger.

But how is that going to work for Democrats? Is anger versus anger an effective strategy for them in this race?

OLORUNNIPA: It could be. We have seen anger drive turnout in previous elections. And the anger toward Trump helped in 2018 as the Democrats were able to use and use some of that emotion to turn out voters in high numbers and have the suburban voters and people who normally would have considered voting for Republicans decide to leave the party and vote for Democrats. But the Democrats need something to energize their base. The fact that they're having a fractious primary makes it harder to do that. The fact that there's so much anger against President Trump may dive out a high turnout in November.

[04:45:01]

ROMANS: Yes. You know, the president has a really strong message on the economy. I mean, even with the exaggeration hyperbole, the economy, stock market, jobs market -- I mean, these are things that, you know, conventional wisdom would tell you are in the president's wheelhouse here the Democrats have not really been able to breakthrough.

Michael Bennet is somebody I heard make the case how the economy wasn't working for everyone. He's out. Andrew Yang really sparked a lot of discussion about universal basic

income or guaranteed basic income. The idea that some people just aren't -- aren't succeeding in the overall economy and there are fairer ways to do things in income inequality. Those are the guys who best made the case, I think, and they're both out this morning.

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, there are far more ideas and issues being debated on the Democratic side versus President Trump who is just saying keep America great, let's stick with what we're doing, deregulation, tax cuts. Democrats are trying to figure out how to counter that when you have a strong economy, you have a rising stock market, and you're hearing ideas whether it's health care for all, whether it's universal basic income, getting rid of student loan debt.

And we've seen in some of the exit polls that Democratic voters are also split on what kind of approach they want in terms of figuring out what other voters will accept and what kind of policy they think would be the best to go up against President Trump. That's something that hasn't been settled within the party, and it could be several weeks and months before Democratic voters decide what kind of economic message --

ROMANS: There are lay-ups they could have taken that they didn't. Like today, there's new numbers show record consumer debt. Student loan debt, you know, the payback -- more people are having trouble paying back. Credit card debt at record highs, and young credit cardholders are having trouble paying back their credit card debt.

JARRETT: It's not part of the narrative.

ROMANS: It's not part of it, it just isn't, or at least it's not breaking through. If they're trying, it's not breaking through.

JARRETT: Christine Romans is trying to help you break through.

Toluse, thank you so much for getting up with us. See you soon.

OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.

JARRETT: Well, the backbone of American justice facing a grave threat after tweet from President Trump. Did it change everything?

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[04:51:20]

JARRETT: An extraordinary 24 hours at the Justice Department raising serious questions this morning about DOJ's independence from the White House.

All four prosecutors in the case against Roger Stone withdrawing after top officials at the DOJ intervened to press for a more lenient sentence for the longtime Trump confidante. The sudden reversal happening hours after the president criticized the prosecutor's original seven to nine-year sentence recommendation. One prosecutor on the case resigning from the justice department all-together as the top brass at DOJ now recommend some unspecified term of incarceration for Stone.

What is crystal clear here is how the president sees this.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I didn't speak to the -- I'd be able to do it if I wanted. I have the absolute right to do it. I stay out of things to a degree that people wouldn't believe. But I didn't speak to him. I thought the recommendation was ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Back in reality, Trump still tweeting about the Stone case, the prosecutors on the case and even the judge on the case last night.

A senior Justice official tried to downplay the department's reversal as a breakdown between prosecutors in the field and department leadership.

Meanwhile, President Trump has also suddenly without explanation withdrawn Jessie Liu's nomination to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for criminal crimes. Liu led the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., that headed up the Stone prosecution. And a source would not dismiss the idea that withdrawing Liu's nomination was connected to the Stone case.

This is just the latest in a series of examples of President Trump and his administration taking extreme measures, clearly emboldened by the Senate impeachment acquittal.

ROMANS: All right. Fifty-three minutes past the hour.

Big tech companies are facing even closer scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is investigating a decade of past acquisitions made by Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, is looking for information on past deals that were not required to be reported to antitrust agencies because the value of the deal wasn't high enough. The agency's conducting a antitrust probe of Facebook, and the Department of Justice is reviewing the tech industry, everything from data practices to its handling of harmful online content.

President Trump, of course, has repeatedly criticized big tech. On Tuesday, he said this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have four trillion-dollar companies. One is Microsoft, one is Apple, one is Google, one is Amazon. So, you have Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft. And so you have an M, you have an A, you have a G, and you have an A, you have MAGA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All goes back to MAGA.

We'll be right back.

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[04:58:23]

JARRETT: A Chicago grand jury handing up a six-count indictment against actor Jesse Smollett for filing a false police report. Smollett told police he was the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime last January, you'll remember. Police later accused him of staging the attack for publicity. Smollett was first indicted on felony disorderly conduct. But Cook County prosecutor Kim Fox abruptly dropped all charges. Smollett's attorney says the new charges are all about politics.

ROMANS: A mystery in space. Astronomers have detected radio signals from deep space that appear to reach earth in a repeating 16-day pattern. Canadian scientists say one of their telescopes picked up the fast radio bursts from a source half a billion light years from Earth. The cause and exact origin unknown.

Wow, that's really interesting.

JARRETT: What is it? Who's out there?

ROMANS: I would like to know more.

All right. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett.

"NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": CNN projects that Bernie Sanders will win the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.

BIDEN: This is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.

(CHEERS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg coming in behind Sanders.

BUTTIGIEG: A campaign that some said shouldn't be here at all has shown that we are here to stay.

JARRETT: Four federal prosecutors withdraw from Roger Stone's case after top Justice Department officials overruled their sentence recommendation.

TRUMP: I thought the recommendation was ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea this was just adjustments on the sentence, nonsense. ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.

This is a special early edition the NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, February 12th, 5:00 here in New York, and we have breaking news.

Breaking overnight, Senator Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary.

END