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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Is Trump Flip-Flopping On Immigration?; Trump Paid Heavily For Fundraising; Obama To Visit Flood-Ravaged; Turkey Reeling From Weekend Wedding Bombing; U.S. Men's Basketball Team Wins Gold Ahead Of Closing Ceremony; Fed Rate Watch Is On; "Tide Is Turning" On Middle Class Jobs. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 22, 2016 - 05:30   ET



[05:32:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: To be determined. Is one of Donald Trump's biggest policy proposals being tossed aside? Trump's campaign manager says the so-called deportation force to remove millions of undocumented immigrants may not happen. We'll tell you what Trump said behind closed doors.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And the damage assessments are growing worse after devastating floods in parts of Louisiana. President Obama is preparing to head to the region, but did he wait too long to take the trip?

ROMANS: See you in Tokyo. The Olympic Games come to a close in Rio. We'll have the very last of the big winners and tell you how Ryan Lochte is trying to now explain the controversy that saw him go from victim to vandal.

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

SANCHEZ: Always happy to be here with you, Christine. I'm Boris Sanchez. We are 33 minutes past the hour and this morning the Trump campaign is remaining ambiguous about what could be the most stunning flip-flop of his campaign if it does, indeed, happen.

Sources present at a Hispanic roundtable, on Saturday at Trump Tower, say the Republican candidate was not firm on what's been the foundation of his campaign, the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. Some at the roundtable even left with the impression that Trump would consider a path to legalization. Others there, though, didn't quite get that vibe.

But on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION", his new campaign manager was noncommittal. CNN's Chris Frates has the latest from Washington.


CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Christine and Boris. Well, you might remember that Donald Trump campaigned hard in the primaries on his plan to deport the 11 million immigrants who are in this country illegally. But on Sunday, Trump's new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, signaled Trump's hardline stance might be softening. Here's CNN's Dana Bash pressing Conway on the "STATE OF THE UNION".

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me play something from what Mr. Trump has said previously. Listen to what he said back in November.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're going to have a deportation force and you're going to do it humanely.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST, "MORNING JOE": But what are they going to be, ripped out of their homes?

TRUMP: Can I tell you?


TRUMP: They're going back where they came. If they came from a certain country they're going to be brought back to that country. That's the way it's supposed to be.

BASH: So does Donald Trump still support that -- a deportation force removing the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What he supports -- and if you go back to his convention speech a month ago, Dana, what he supports is to make sure that we enforce the law, that we are respectful of those Americans who are looking for well-paying jobs, and that we are fair and humane for those who live among us in this country.

[05:35:00] BASH: So --

CONWAY: And as the weeks unfold -- as the weeks unfold he will lay out the specifics of that plan that he would implement as President of the United States.

BASH: Will that plan include a deportation force -- the kind that he just -- you just heard in that sound bite and that he talked about during the Republican primaries?

CONWAY: To be determined.

FRATES: Now, questions about Trump's immigration positions come after a meeting with Hispanic leaders on Saturday where he reportedly told attendees he plans to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants. Now this would be a huge reversal for Trump, who campaigned on the idea of creating a deportation force that would expel undocumented immigrants from the country.

But not everyone who attended that meeting walked away with the same impression that somehow Trump is open to granting legal status to undocumented immigrants. In fact, one meeting attendee told CNN that Trump talked about treating people who are in this country illegally in a fair, in a humane, and in a legal way, but he didn't interpret that to mean that Trump wanted to grant them legal status.

Now, Trump plans to focus on immigration all this week so we'll likely hear more directly from Trump, himself, in the coming days. Boris, Christine, back to you.


SANCHEZ: Thanks, Chris. Joining us here to break down Trump's possible immigration flip-flop, if it does become a flip-flop, and what that may tell us about a shift in direction for the whole campaign, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES". And in Washington, political economist Gregory Valliere. He's the chief strategist for Horizon Investments.

Gregory, I want to start with you.


SANCHEZ: This potential flip-flop for Donald Trump -- you know, immigration is the backbone of his platform.


SANCHEZ: Does he risk alienating his supporters with this kind of ambiguous talk?

VALLIERE: It could be a lose-lose, Boris. First of all, I don't think it's going to help him with Hispanic voters. He's still going to lose overwhelmingly. Obama got 71 percent, I think Hillary could get 75 percent of Hispanic voters. But the other half of the equation is what about the blue collar white voters who are the real core of the Trump support? They could start to view him as just another politician.

ROMANS: Yes, just another politician and they wanted somebody who would tough talk. Somebody who, you know, said the things that other politicians wouldn't say. That's why he's getting all those people in those rallies.


ROMANS: It will be interesting to see how that flushes out. Meantime, we have the new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. We heard her all weekend. She's sort of reshaping, Brian Stelter, the image of the Donald Trump campaign, and listen to what she said on ABC "THIS WEEK".


CONWAY: I don't like when people hurl personal insults. That will never change. That's not my style. I'm the mother of four small children and it would be a terrible example for me to feel otherwise.

GEORGE STEPHAANOPOULOS, ABC HOST, "THIS WEEK": Do you think Mr. Trump's going to change on that?

CONWAY: Well -- but he doesn't hurl personal insults.


ROMANS: Doesn't hurl personal insults. What do you make of that, Brian Stelter?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That was a little bit of a jaw-dropper, to be honest. Just Sunday night on Twitter Donald Trump attacked Donny Deutsch, an MSNBC commentator, calling him little, calling him a big failure, and calling him nasty and irrelevant. If those aren't personal insults, I'm not sure what are.

But I understand what Kellyanne Conway is trying to get out there, and I do think when she makes these T.V. appearances she has an audience of one. She's trying to communicate directly at Donald Trump. We've already seen, as Greg, you were saying earlier -- we've already seen some changes in the campaign in the last few days, I do think which can be attributed to Kellyanne Conway. She does seem like a stabilizing force for the campaign and one of the best messengers Trump has ever had.

SANCHEZ: And Greg, I wanted to ask you something about finances. I want to bring up this graphic, the presidential campaign fundraising for July of this year. Clinton raising $51 million, spending about $38 million. Trump raising $36 million and spending $18 million.

The real question here about Trump, though, is this report revealed that he spent about $1.8 million on merchandise and hats and only about $700,000 on expanding his ground game. What does that tell you about the priorities of this campaign?

VALLIERE: It tells me that rookies make rookie mistakes, and for him to not aggressively counter her ads in June and July will come back to haunt him. He should have been advertising a lot earlier.

ROMANS: But you made a good point that the risk -- for the big risk for the Hillary Clinton campaign at this point is overconfidence, though. Tell me about that.

VALLIERE: Yes. I tell you, Christine, we're all talking about Trump, as usual, but at the same time I think she's had a pretty lousy week or so. She's in a little tiff with Colin Powell. She still has huge issues, as Brian was saying earlier, with emails and the Clinton Foundation.

I'd add one more. In "The Washington Post" this weekend there was a long piece on what they were going to do in 2017, obviously a leak from her campaign. It sounded to me like they were measuring for the drapes in the White House. I think that's a little premature.

ROMANS: All right, Greg Valliere, Brian Stelter, interesting -- measuring for the drapes in the White House. Thanks, guys. Great to see you bright and early this morning.

President Obama back from summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard but he won't be at the White House for very long. The president travels to flood-ravaged Baton Rouge tomorrow and he's under fire for not cutting his vacation short to head there, already, last week. Donald Trump went there, he and his running mate Mike Pence, visiting the state Friday. Louisiana's Democratic governor says he is grateful for the attention it brought. You know, things are dire in Louisiana. Sixty thousand homes -- more

than 60,000 homes across 20 parishes have been damaged by floodwaters. More than 106,000 people and households have already registered for FEMA assistance. The death toll stands at 13 and it is raining again. We get more from CNN's Polo Sandoval.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christine and Boris, these occasional downpours are adding insult to injury for so many families who are simply trying to clear out their homes of all the damaged material and get on with the rebuilding process.

Behind me is a snapshot of what you would see if you were to drive the streets of southern Louisiana. We have seen yard after yard where debris is piled high. Much of this, of course, old furniture, damaged furniture. And, of course, even in some cases some of the things that are hard to replace.

New numbers from the state of Louisiana now suggesting that just over 60,000 homes have been damaged in some way. Those are some preliminary numbers, guys. It's important to remember that since FEMA officials are expected to eventually make it onto the streets and begin an official tally of how many homes were damaged by the floods because that will play a significant factor in deciding just how much federal funding would be made available to residents.

I will tell you this. We are in one community where a majority of residents do, in fact, have flood insurance. Only about 12 percent of the total homes affected are covered by that kind of insurance, however, many people here don't have insurance for the contents. That's what you see behind me. So that is where officials hope that the federal government will step up and that is the message that many people here, Christine and Boris, hope that the president hears loud and clear when he visits this region.


ROMANS: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you for that. Tens of thousands of home are damaged by floodwaters in Louisiana and paying for the cleanup bill will be a major problem. Just 42 percent of homes in high-risk areas of Louisiana have flood insurance. But many areas hit by the flooding in these most recent storms, they're outside of the high-risk areas. They are flooding for the very first time in recent history. And as Polo mentioned, only 12.5 percent of those homes have flood insurance.

FEMA says one-fifth of all flood insurance claims come from homes outside of high-risk areas. That's the main issue right now in Louisiana. But there can be problems even when areas are designated as high-risk. Mortgage lenders typically require federal flood insurance on any homes in those regions but it doesn't apply if someone owns their house outright.

Also, the federal classification can change and existing homeowners may not be told to add insurance. Or, the policy may have lapsed due to non-payment and then the lender isn't notified, so the person is uncovered.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's a tough, tough situation there.

ROMANS: It really is.

SANCHEZ: A terror attack on a wedding in Turkey leaves dozens dead. Why the age of the bomber is shocking the world as Vice President Joe Biden gets ready to visit the country.


[05:47:25] ROMANS: ISIS is the prime suspect in a bombing at a Kurdish wedding in Turkey over the weekend. Officials say at least 51 people died in the explosion. Of those, they say at least 22 were under the age of 14. But what really makes this attack especially disturbing is the age of the suicide bomber. Authorities believe he or she was between 12 and 14 years old.

Later this week, Vice President Joe Biden travels to Turkey to deal with the repercussions of that attempted coup against the government of the NATO ally -- tragic.

SANCHEZ: Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Alisyn Camerota joins us now.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Good morning, everybody. I'm just preparing my morning granola here in the green room, which is a far cry from the pork chop on a stick and the fried dough that we enjoyed at the Iowa State Fair this weekend. We were there with the V.P. nominee Mike Pence and we had a long chat with him about his differences with Donald Trump, so we'll bring you all of that.

Also this morning we're going to be talking about the controversy surrounding this female runner, this South African whose gender has been questioned by officials and journalists and why they believe that she may not really be female. So we talk about all of that when John Berman and I see you on "NEW DAY" in a few minutes.

ROMANS: All right, can't wait for that. Thanks, Alisyn. All right, a major shift is happening in the labor market. Good paying middle- class jobs, they are coming back, yes. So what industries are hiring and what does it mean for interest rates? We're going to get an EARLY START on your money next.


[05:53:05] SANCHEZ: The Rio Olympics are now history. The 2016 Summer Games wrapping up last night with the traditional closing ceremony that included a giant Brazilian samba party. The U.S. men's basketball team captured the final gold medal in Rio, the 46th gold for Team USA.

And as the real games ended, American swimmer Ryan Lochte still making news, now admitting that he over-exaggerated that Rio robbery story. CNN's Coy Wire live in Rio now with the details. No shortage of controversy or spectacle at these Olympics from Ryan Lochte. The green pool water, the Mongolian wrestling coaches ripping off their clothes. Tokyo has a lot to live up to, doesn't it, Coy?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Boris, and you know, heading into these Rio Games there was so much media coveragehighlighting the negatives in this city and I think they certainly exist. But I think it's safe to say that it was the athletes here in Rio stealing the show, not the negativity. We got to witness some of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen doing their thing. Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Usain Bolt outstanding.

So last night it was a celebration, the closing ceremony. Brazil won the most medals in their nation's Olympic history. Their soccer is like religion here and Brazil won their first ever Olympic gold, so a huge samba party to cap it all off last night. All was right.

Simone Biles, the four-time gold-winning superstar, was carrying the American flag for Team USA. I got to spend time with her here in Rio. She's humble, she's kind, she's absolutely the perfect person to represent our nation.

But the highlight of the night got the performance portraying the passing of the Olympic torch forward to the next host city of the Summer Games, Tokyo, and the prime minister of Japan jumping out of a giant green pipe dressed as video game hero, Mario. There were viewing parties back in Tokyo -- 2020, look out.

All right, there were some events yesterday, too, and I got to go to the last gold medal event of the Games being handed out to USA men's basketball after whipping Serbia by 30 points. Team USA earns their third straight Olympic gold.

[05:55:00] And what could be the craziest moment of these games, the country of Mongolia's wrestling coaches. There was a disputed call, left one their wrestlers outside looking in for a bronze medal and so a coach strips down to his underwear, lies there in his underwear. The other one took off his shirt. Even the clothing after judges in protest. The crowd was on their side chanting "Mongolia". What a site and scene here in Rio.

Now, the biggest distraction of this year's Games. Ryan Lochte issued a written apology for his role in that gas station incident which then turned into a full-blown international incident last week. Lochte talked to NBC's Matt Lauer, which aired Saturday night, and Lochte admitted to not telling the truth.


MATT LAUER, NBC JOURNALIST: Because you said at some point after you refused to sit down, the security guard put the gun to your forehead and cocked it. That didn't happen?

RYAN LOCHTE, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: That didn't happen and that's why I over-exaggerated that part.

LAUER: Why did you do that?

LOCHTE: I don't know why. You know, it was still hours after the incident happened. I was still intoxicated. I was still under that influence. And I'm not making me being intoxicated an excuse. I'm not doing that at all. I mean, it was my fault.


WIRE: Certainly a low point for Team USA here at the games but let's talk about the high point, finishing with a total of 121 medals, including 46 golds. The USA came out on top. China in second with 70. Great Britain comes in third with 67.

But guys, this is the first ever South American Olympic Games. They have come to an end so it's a bit of a sad day here. I'll be coming back to Atlanta with my tail between my legs, but it's been a humbling privilege and pleasure to share the incredible stories of these 2016 Games.

SANCHEZ: Oh, we'll get to do it all again in four years, Coy. Look forward to 2020, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, let's get to money now. This is a pivotal week in the game of Fed guessing. Dow futures wobbling this morning. All three major averages still real close to record highs. Stock markets in Europe and Asia will start the week mixed. Oil just below $48 a barrel.

The words Wall Street is digesting this morning "we are close to our targets". That phrase by Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer at a speech yesterday, signaling a rate hike this year is a real possibility. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen speaking on Friday at the annual Central Bankers retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So you could likely see some news, perhaps.

One strength the Fed is citing in preparation for a rate hike, the labor market, and new data shows middle-wage jobs are roaring back as well. The economy added 2.2 million middle-class jobs between 2013 and 2015. That far outpaces the 1.6 million low-wage jobs and the 1.5 million high-wage jobs added during that same time.

The hottest industries for those jobs over the past few years -- construction, transportation, and education. These are jobs that pay between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.

The Ben-Hur remake is struggling right out of the gate. Opening in theaters this weekend, Ben-Hur raked in $11.3 million. The movie will have to make up a lot of ground to break even. It was $100 million to make. The film was produced as a joint venture between Paramount Pictures and MGM. Yes, one of the headlines -- one of the headlines in the paper this morning says it didn't have a prayer at the box office.


ROMANS: That was a biblical joke.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Well if it happens, it's poised to be the biggest reversal of the Donald Trump campaign. Is a deportation force --a round of undocumented immigrants suddenly off the table? "NEW DAY" picks up our coverage right now.


TRUMP: We're going to build the wall and Mexico is going to pay for the wall, believe me.

BASH: Will that plan include a deportation force?

CONWAY: To be determined.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump is not an experienced politician who carefully selects his words. He speaks right from his heart.

TRUMP: Look how much African-American communities have suffered. What do you have to lose?

CONWAY: He is trying to tell Americans that we can do better.

PENCE: Look, the race is on.

SIMONE BILES, OLYMPIC GYMNAST: It has honestly been a dream come true. I don't know how I've been so lucky.

SCOTT BLACKMUN, CEO, U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: This was a fantastic Games.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see gold medal after gold medal that just uplifts you?

BLACKMUN: The incident with the swimmers doesn't define these Games. These Games, for us, are going to be defined by the great performances of our athletes.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, August 22nd, 6:00 in the East. Chris is off this morning, John Berman joins me here in the studio.


CAMEROTA: Great to have you here.

BERMAN: Good to be here.

CAMEROTA: All right, Donald Trump seems to be changing his stance on deporting undocumented immigrants. Trump's new campaign manager says the plan to get rid of 11 million people is now "to be determined".

BERMAN: So is this a pivot, is this softening, is this a flip-flop? It would certainly be Trump's biggest policy reversal of the entire campaign and it comes on his core campaign issue, immigration. We're going to speak to Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, later in this half hour.