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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

DHS Warns of Potential for Violence at "Justice for J6" Rally; Pelosi in London to Speak Ahead of G7 Heads of Parliament in Conference; Police Release Bodycam Footage of Distraught Gabby Petito. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 17, 2021 - 05:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It is Friday, September 17. It's 5:00 a.m. here in New York. Thanks so much for getting an EARLY START with us. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.

We begin with a chilling warning from the Department of Homeland Security about the potential for violence at tomorrow's Justice for J6 rally. That is at the U.S. Capitol.

According to an unclassified DHS memo obtained by CNN, the violence could begin today. The warning, this warning is based on chatter with officials acknowledging that there is no specific or credible plot.

JARRETT: Yeah, not helping matters. A statement of support by the former president expressing solidarity with the rioters in the January 6 attack. Republican lawmakers aren't commenting, they are trying to distance themselves from the rally, but Democrats have plenty to say.


REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): It has a cost to it. You know, when you have Republican leadership and Republican members of Congress and others who remain silent in the face of this, that sends a very strong message that it is okay and that has a very substantial cost for not just public safety but our democracy.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): It is a concern that we've got this element in American society that is embracing violence to promote a lie. And unfortunately, we have elected political leaders and former elected political leaders that are promoting the same lies.


JARRETT: Meantime fencing is up around the U.S. Capitol again. Authorities determined to prevent a repeat of January 6.

ROMANS: You know, the Capitol is not the only concern. Protective fencing is also erected around the U.S. Supreme Court.

Let's bring in CNN's Jasmine Wright.

Jasmine, this warning is pretty specific and dire. How is DC preparing for tomorrow?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, well, I think that D.C. is all in a heightened sense of awareness. And it is at least in some part because of that uptick in online chatter and violent rhetoric that lot of law enforcement officials say that they have seen since the officer who fatally shot rioter Ashli Babbitt publicly revealed his identity. So it has law enforcement really bracing for potential clashes. And really trying to avoid another January 6, another frankly catastrophe.

So that is why you see that fencing being erected around the Capitol, around the Supreme Court. That is why law enforcement say that they are prepared to issue an emergency declaration around the start of the rally that really allowed them to deputize outside law enforcement officials as Capitol police to really come and respond to any potential situations.

And that is why you see them giving briefings to the top four congressional leaders of something that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said didn't happen last time. But it is something that when she and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have talked to reporters afterwards, say it seems like the Capitol Police are planning things well, all looking forward to this day.

So for the White House's part, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, she declined to detail what security details will look like going forward, how the White House is helping that. Instead she said, and I'll quote this, we are obviously always watching and take steps in order to ensure the security of people who work in government and who work closely with Congress on that.

And now her deputy, of course, on Monday, Karine Jean-Pierre, she really called for peaceful protests, she said that of course Americans have the right to convene but they should do so peacefully which of course would be a difference than January 6. But for his own part, the president will be spending the weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, his home while those -- while the January -- excuse me, while Saturday happens.

ROMANS: Yeah, and I know there are concerns about counter-protesters, and just protesters, and just, you know, just incivility in general. Jasmine Wright, thank you so much for that this morning.

Moments ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in London tells her friends in the GOP: take back your party. She is in the U.K. to address the climate crisis ahead of the heads of parliament conference.

CNN's Daniella Diaz is on Capitol Hill. She's watching the speech with us here.

What else is the house speaker saying in London? DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN REPORTER: She's still talking actually as we're

here right now. But it is really interesting, she has been speaking really candidly about how she sees politics in the United States. She has been criticizing former President Donald Trump. She's been criticizing the Republican Party, and how she sees the divisions between Democrats and Republicans.

Take a listen to what she said calling the Republican Party taken over by cult. Really interesting the second time she said this since she arrived to London.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I would say to my Republican friends, and I do have some, take back your party. The Republican Party, the Grand Old Party, has made tremendous contributions to our country, founded by Lincoln. But over the years, tremendous contribution to our country. Don't let your party be hijacked by a cult essentially that is what is happening.


DIAZ: Really interesting to hear her say that she believes that the Republican Party has been taken over by a cult. This is the second time she said this when she's arrived in London. You know, she's actually there participating in the G7 heads of parliament conference. She actually also met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

But look, she's been talking about former President Donald Trump. She's been talking about the insurrection on January 6, really interesting to hear her talk so candidly about the divisions with Republicans and Democrats -- Christine.

JARRETT: So, Daniella, so talking about Trump. And we know that she's been taking the opportunity to address some of the more -- shall we say -- eye-popping revelations in this new book, this new Bob Woodward book called "Peril." and he outline this is conversation that she had with Mark Milley, essentially trying to make sure Trump didn't start a war as a political distraction after he lost in 2020. So, is she essentially confirming Woodward's reporting here?

DIAZ: Seems like it. And I don't think that she necessarily wanted to talk about this while she was in London, but she was asked about it, which is really interesting because we haven't seen her in a few days, so she was asked about this, and seemingly confirming this reporting that we have from this book as you just said. She said that -- she confirmed it by saying it wasn't a question of cutting Donald Trump out of the chain of command, it was a question of what the checks and balances were on that chain command.

And you know, it is also interesting because she addressed the rumors that former President Donald Trump might run for president and she said if he runs in 2024, she predicts that he would lose.

Take a listen.


PELOSI: I don't ever talk about him. I mean, I reference him from time to time. But I don't think that we have a situation that is on the level there. And if he wants to run again, he'll be the first president who was impeached twice and defeated twice.


DIAZ: So lots of interesting news coming from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during this visit in London. We're hearing from her on this, you know, revelation of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and what he did following Trump's deteriorating mental health after he lost the election and of course her calling him what's his name saying that he would lose if he ran for president again. So really interesting stuff here from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

JARRETT: She always -- she always finds a way to get under his skin it seems.

All right. Daniella, thank you. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right. The delta variant is not keeping American shoppers from spending money. Retail sales grew 0.7 percent from July to August. A rebound in the surprise, economists had expected another dip. Americans spent big online on furniture and at grocery stores. A positive sign but the details paint a more nuanced picture.

Let me get an example, grocery sales rose, but restaurant and bar sales fell flat. Americans likely stayed home as the delta variant surged. Car sales also fell 3.6 percent. Chip shortage is restricting supply causing record high prices for both new and used vehicles. So, consumers maybe spending, but it's still stuff for retailers, facing hiring issues and they head into the crucial holiday season. Many are prepping for by racing to bring in extra inventory now. Analysts predict a huge sales boom over the next few months.

JARRETT: All right. Still ahead for you, newly released body cam footage from police in the case of a 22-year-old New York native who disappeared after a road trip with her fiance. We have the latest on the search for Gabby Petito, next.



JARRETT: The latest now on the search for a missing New York woman, newly released body cam footage from police show as distraught Gabby Petito and her fiance in Utah while on their cross-country road trip. Less than a month later, Gabby's family reported her missing. The video was shot by police on August 12 moments after an alleged physical altercation between the couple.


GABBY PETITO: We've just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues.

He wouldn't let me in the car before.

POLICE OFFICER: Why wouldn't he let you in the car? Because of your OCD?

PETITO: Told me I needed to calm down, yeah. But I'm perfectly calm. Sometimes I can get really frustrated.


ROMANS: And Gabby's family and the police are desperately trying to find her, but they are not gets cooperation from her fiance.

Athena Jones has more.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Laura.

The parents of missing 22-year-old Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito are begging the public for information that could help find her. They last heard from her in late August while she and her fiance Brian Laundrie were traveling across the country in her white 2012 Ford transit van.


Police in North Port, Florida, said they want very much to speak with Laundrie who returned alone to the home the couple shared with his parents on September 1, driving Petito's van.

Petito's father Joe Petito issuing this plea at a press conference in North Port Thursday.

JOE PETITO, GABBY'S FATHER: What I need from everybody here is help, because the goal is still not met. That goal is to bring Gabby home safe, right? I'm asking for help from everyone here, from everyone at home. I'm asking for help from the parents of Brian, and I'm asking for help of the family members and friends of the Laundrie as well.

JONES: Petito's parents believe she was last in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area of Wyoming. They reported her missing September 11th. North Port Police are telling reporters they are treating this as a missing person's case and that they are looking at an altercation between Petito and Laundrie captured on body camera by police in Moab City, Utah, but do not know if it has anything to do with Petito's disappearance -- Christine, Laura.


JARRETT: All right. Athena, a lot of questions on that one.

COVID-19 was front and center in the Virginia gubernatorial debate last night. Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin both declaring their support for vaccines but they are not on the same page when it comes to vaccine mandates.


TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA GOV. CANDIDATE: His anti-vax record, he has had rhetoric out there. He told college students if you don't want to take the vaccine, just fill out an exemption. I think that that is life threatening and I think that that is disqualifying as governor.

GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GOV. CANDIDATE: First of all, he called me anti-vax. That is a lie. I'm not anti-vax. In fact, he appointed a woman to the George Mason Board that was absolutely anti-vax, and only reason he did it because she gave hundreds of thousand of dollars for his campaign.

MCAULIFFE: It's all flat words (ph). PSAs, who cares about a PSA? Half the people don't even know who you are on TV. I'm for mandating vaccinations for people who teach our children in school, for children who go in higher ed, hospitals, nursing homes. I want you vaccinated.


JARRETT: McAuliffe also accused Youngkin of being a Trump wannabe, although Youngkin say he didn't agree with the former president's attacks on Virginia's voting system. The election is November 2nd. That is one to watch.

ROMANS: All right. Tom Brady has always said that his goal was to play until he was 45. Now he says that he may hang around until he hit this is number. Tom, is he human? Is he mortal? Is he bionic?

JARRETT: You just sound like John Berman.

ROMANS: "Bleacher Report" is next. Is Berman mortal?



ROMANS: All right. It took every second on the clock for the Washington football team managed to pull off the win against the Giants Thursday night.

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

Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, good morning, Christine. You know, giants fans aren't waking up very happy this morning. They should have won last night but a bunch of penalties and miscues led them to a fifth straight 0-2 start to the season. So New York had a chance to go up by 10 midway through the fourth.

Daniel Jones going deep for Darius Slayton here. Watch this, there's no one within 15 yards of Slayton, but he dropped the pass. Just brutal. They would settle for three to go up by six. The teams trading scores. Giants dropped two in the final seconds. Washington's Dustin Hopkins

misses a 48 yarder that would have won the game. But wait, Dexter Lawrence jumps off sides even though he was sitting right in front of the ball. Hopkins gets another chance on an untimed down. And this time it is good. Washington celebrates as they win 30-29.

Tom Brady and the Bucs meanwhile are looking for a 2-0 start as they host the Falcons Sunday. Brady looking as good as ever as age 44. So how long can he play?

Well, his buddy Rob Gronkowski asked him if he could play to 50.


TOM BRADY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS QUARTERBACK: I don't find it so difficult. Plus, in Florida it is kind of a retiree state, so I feel like that I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it's a yes.

ROB GRONKOWSKI, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: I think it's, will Giselle let Tom play until 50?

BRADY: That is a way better question, and, in fact, why didn't I google that? I think they should.

That of course that answer is no. Sorry, babe, I love you. You would let me. You'd let me do anything as long as I'm happy.


SCHOLES: Yeah, Brady playing at 50 would be pretty incredible.

If you didn't get enough "Hard Knocks" of the Cowboys during the preseason, don't worry, the series is returning mid-season with the Indianapolis colts. The first ever in its 20 year run, "Hard Knocks" is going to follow a team mid season. The series will start November 17 and run to the end of the year. HBO is owned by CNN's parent company Warner Media.

All right. NHL preseason starts a week from tomorrow and the league projects that 98 percent of players will be fully vaccinated before the season begins next month. According to the NHL's protocols, unvaccinated players could be suspended and forfeit pay for every day they are unable to participate due to a positive test or close contact with a positive case.

Women's national team back on the pitch and Carli Lloyd kicking off her farewell tour in style. The 39-year-old scoring five goals as the women's national team beat Paraguay 9-0.


Lloyd now third place on the Team USA's all-time scoring list, behind Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. She's got three more games left for Team USA. Finally, your Friday likely off to a better start than this

goalkeeper, 67th minute, Lazio defending an innocent cross, kicking the ball up to top keeper, Thomas Strakosha, but he just mishandled it somehow. One of the worst own goals you will ever see. Watch this. They lost 1-0.

And you know, a lot of fans were cheering, but they were also laughing at the same time. Something that you definitely don't want to see if you are a player on the pitch, fans laughing at you.

JARRETT: I don't know a lot about soccer, but I know that he was not supposed to do that. That cannot have been --

ROMANS: My son is a goalie, is a jayvee goalie and I pray in the games that he does not --

SCHOLES: Worst nightmare for a goalie.

ROMANS: For the goalie's mom. It's really hard to be a goalie mom.

JARRETT: Thank you, Andy. Have a nice weekend.

All right. In just a few hours, potentially big COVID news, the FDA meeting for a pivotal discussion on vaccine booster shots. That's next.