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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Appeals Court Rejects Trump Plea To Keep January 6 Documents Secret; British Prime Minister Engulfed In Turmoil As Scandals Mount At 10 Downing; Five Million At Risk From Possible 'Nocturnal' Tornadoes. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 10, 2021 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, it is Friday. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, sources confirm it is Friday. I'm Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour -- time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

Today is the second and final day of the White House's Summit for Democracy. The virtual conference of global leaders, notably including Taiwan, a move likely to annoy Beijing which has already criticized this summit. The central themes of the event, fighting authoritarianism and corruption while promoting human rights.

JARRETT: Bob Dole's funeral will be -- will be held in just a few hours from now at the Washington National Cathedral. The longtime senator and decorated war veteran lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday. President Biden remembering him as a giant of our history. Dole died Sunday at the age of 98.

ROMANS: The family of Riley Franz, wounded in the Oxford High School shooting last week, now filing a lawsuit against the district and school officials. The suit alleges the shooting that left four students dead was entirely preventable. Franz was shot in the neck; one of seven students injured in that attack.

JARRETT: A group message on Snapchat disrupting what could have been another mass school shooting -- this one in Florida. Police claim 19- year-old John Hagins, a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, planned to shoot up the campus on the final day of classes before winter break. Fellow students, though, alerted authorities about a troubling message he posted on Snapchat. He is now in custody.

ROMANS: In Arkansas, a jury has found Josh Duggar guilty on federal child pornography charges. The former reality T.V. star was arrested in April and pleaded not guilty. Investigators say one of the files on his computer included babies as young as 18 months old. He now faces up to 20 years in prison. New York Attorney General Letitia James ending her bid for governor and instead announcing a run for a second term. She had been considered a top Democratic challenger to Gov. Kathy Hochul. James, in a statement, citing ongoing investigations in cases and said she intends to finish that job.

On Thursday, CNN reported James' office has subpoenaed former President Trump for a deposition as part of her civil investigation into his namesake company.

JARRETT: Turning back now to our top story today. A major blow to the former president's bid to keep his White House records under wraps and out of the hands of the January 6 Committee. Trump had wanted notes, memos, call logs, and a host of other documents about that Capitol attack kept secret, claiming they're covered by executive privilege.


But a federal appeals court disagreed with him, writing in a 68-page ruling, in part here. Quote, "The Committee is investigating a singular event in this nation's history. There is a sufficient factual predicate for inferring that former President Trump and his advisers played a materially relevant role."

Committee members feeling confident that they will eventually get the materials they want here even if this case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): And I think that if they're a conservative court they don't even need to take this case from the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals made a very powerful argument, which I think is the right one, that both branches of government -- the executive branch and the legislative branch -- agree these records should be turned over. And why on earth should the court step into the middle of that and decide against both branches?


ROMANS: All right, let's bring in Bloomberg national political correspondent Emma Kinery in Washington. Nice to see you this morning.

You know, it looks like this case is headed to the Supreme Court next. Some of the language in last night's ruling, though, is devastating to other people who are trying to dodge the House select committee subpoenas right now.

EMMA KINERY, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG (via Skype): Absolutely, and thanks for having me.

This was a really big blow for the Trump administration -- the former Trump administration and a big win for the January 6 Committee. The three-judge panel ruled that there was no legal reason for Trump's argument and that, as you had said, that these are critically important documents. Trump has two weeks to appeal the ruling and he has said that he will appeal to the Supreme Court. But if he does -- if that ultimately fails, it will affect not only him but others like Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, who are also trying to claim executive privilege.

JARRETT: Yes, and it's not at all clear that the Supreme Court will take it up, which means that this decision -- this 68-page decision is the law of the land and will stand.

I also want to ask you about some other news on Capitol Hill, Emma. The Senate voting 59 to 35 to create this fast-track process that essentially allows the Democrats, and the Democrats alone, to raise the federal debt limit as early as next week. Now, 14 Republicans crossed over the aisle to vote with the Democrats just in favor of the fast-track process; not actually in favor of upping the debt limit.

What do they get out of that?

KINERY: Yes, I think that the way you put it is perfect. This is all political. No one wants -- no Democrats or Republicans -- no one wants the debt ceiling to be surpassed. Essentially, like you have said, the GOP voted to break the filibuster on a bill that would exempt the debt ceiling from the filibuster when instead, they could have just broke the filibuster --


KINERY: -- on the debt ceiling.


KINERY: So it's really a roundabout way of doing it and it's a way for them to (audio gap).

ROMANS: I think your shot is frozen, Emma. But if you can hear us, I'm wondering --

JARRETT: What do they get out of that, you know? Like, what do they get out of just passing this bill -- aligning with the Democrats on that without actually raising the debt limit? Do they think they save face on that perhaps, maybe?

ROMANS: I don't know.

JARRETT: But it doesn't seem like that really does them any favors.

ROMANS: All right, Emma, are you there? There you are.


ROMANS: Let me ask you about this interesting bipartisanship, quickly, between Joe Manchin and GOP senators. They're trying to work around Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, who is --

KINERY: Yes. ROMANS: -- doing everything he can to block the president's ambassador nominees. I mean, he's literally keeping American ambassadors from going around the world to prevent -- to promote American interests.

JARRETT: To promote democracy.

ROMANS: Right. Will the Senate find a workaround? Can they get around Ted Cruz?

KINERY: Yes. I think that one of the things that's really interesting about this is you even have high-profile Republicans like Sen. John Cornyn saying this isn't right. And we have -- you know, people have pointed out specifically China, India, Japan -- a lot of our key allies in the -- you know, people who -- countries that we work very closely with are still -- do not have an ambassador.

There are 54 that were approved by the committee but only six have been confirmed. And many of these are very uncontroversial. They could be --

ROMANS: Right.

KINERY: -- passed by a simple voice vote.

JARRETT: Never a dull moment on Capitol Hill.

ROMANS: The plan here may be to get -- the plan may be to get three or five at a time and find a way to get this process going a little more quickly.

Emma Kinery, so nice to see you -- of Bloomberg. Thank you very much.

All right, a strong labor market pushing jobless claims to the lowest levels in 52 years. First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to 184,000 last week. Employers are trying to attract and retain staff. They are not doing layoffs. And workers have plenty of jobs to choose from.

At the same time, the Biden administration is bracing for the latest inflation report. That comes out in just a couple of hours -- less than three hours. President Biden assured Americans that price increases for energy and goods were starting to ease. We'll get a read of November very soon here.


The other part of the COVID economy, returning to the office.

Wall Street firm Jefferies is now telling everyone stay home. Stop virtually all travel. No more social events after dozens of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. Jefferies bringing back its mask mandate for all of its offices, and anyone who wants to enter any office needs a booster shot by the end of January.

Wells Fargo and Citi have also said no holiday parties. The new protocols highlight the challenge that businesses face trying

to get employees back to the office after almost two years.

And Lyft employees now have one more year to work remotely. Lyft did not cite the Omicron variant, instead pointing to the flexibility that Lyft employees want. A spokesperson said Lyft's offices are set to reopen in February -- that's as planned -- but staffers still have the option to work from home for all of 2022.

Google and Uber have postponed their return-to-office plans indefinitely.

JARRETT: Everyone wants flexibility.


JARRETT: All right, a little programming note for you here this weekend. It's that time of year when the stars come out to honor some of humanity's best. Now more than ever the world needs heroes. Join Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa live as they name the 2021 Hero of the Year. The 15th annual "CNN HEROES ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" Sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on CNN.

ROMANS: I'm very excited to go.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

So, it has not been a good week for England's prime minister. Boris Johnson is now denying allegations that his staff broke any health rules by attending parties at 10 Downing Street during the winter of 2020 while the rest of the country was on lockdown. He's also being held to account for not keeping accurate records of political donations. All of this while he's trying to implement new COVID restrictions and has a new baby at home.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joins us live from 10 Downing Street. Salma, good morning.

What is the prime minister's defense to all of this? How is he pushing back?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: It's a tough week for the prime minister -- no question about it, Laura. Anger from his own party, anger from the public, and a new baby.

Well, right now what we're looking at is an internal investigation. Two incidences being investigated right now that happened at 10 Downing Street. One at the end of November where Prime Minister Boris Johnson allegedly gave an impromptu speech during a Christmas party; the second on December 18th. Both of those incidences taking place during a lockdown. Now, Met Police has also spoken on this. They say they're not

investigating it at this time but they are waiting for officials to give them more information if and when it does come to light.

But already in the court of public opinion, the prime minister has lost, and I'll tell you why. It is very hard for any member of the public to believe that multiple parties could have occurred right behind me here at the prime minister's residence and offices by his own staff during a lockdown and somehow, the prime minister would not know about it.

So what we're going to see happen now is Prime Minister Boris Johnson quite literally fight for his survival. Crucially, he's going to be doing that within his own party -- the Conservative Party. And the question is will they continue to back him through yet another scandal because this is not the prime minister's first scandal? He's actually earned a nickname, "Teflon Tory," because of their ability to wear one scandal after another.

Like him or dislike him, everyone here will tell you he has nine lives. But the question is, is he running out of chances? Because if MPs begin to feel pressure at home from their own constituents -- begin to feel that their own political seats are threatened, that's when you could see a sea change. That's when you could see the tide turn and the possibility of a no-confidence vote, Laura.

JARRETT: We'll see if that holds up. Salma, thank you.

Back here in the U.S., severe storms are expected today across parts of the south and Midwest. There's also a threat of a tornado -- so- called nocturnal tornadoes developing tonight into Saturday morning.

Here is Derek Van Dam.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right, Christine and Laura. A powerful and multifaceted storm sweeping through about two-thirds of the country over the next 36 hours. We have over 10 million Americans under some sort of winter weather alert from the Intermountain West through the Central Plains, all the way to the Upper Midwest.

And we are anticipating a swatch of six to 12 inches of snow anywhere from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Marquette, Michigan, with the heaviest snowfall occurring across the southern portions of Minnesota as well as central and northern Wisconsin right where the low-pressure system starts to pivot and rotate across that region, giving us our longest duration of snowfall event.

The other facet to the storm is the severe weather threat. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has expanded its enhanced risk of severe storms with our greatest probability of strong tornadoes tonight -- that being overnight -- from Louisville to Nashville, as well as Memphis and Little Rock. Keep an eye to the sky anywhere from the Lower Mississippi Valley right through the Ohio River Valley.

Back to you.


ROMANS: All right, that's your weather. Here's your business for this Friday morning.

Let's get a check on global markets. You can see Asian markets closed lower. Europe has opened very slightly lower. But on Wall Street, stock index futures are leaning up a little bit.

It was a down day -- mostly down day for stocks on Thursday. The Dow flat after an 1,100-point rally -- remember earlier this week, a big start to the week. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 snapped a three-day winning streak there. Stocks pausing from that powerful early-week rally.

Today, the focus shifts back to inflation. The Consumer Price Index for November is due in just a few hours. Prices rose 6.2 percent in October compared to the prior year. That's the biggest annual increase in 30 years.

So, what do economists expect today? They're forecasting annual inflation at 6.8 percent in November. That would be the biggest yearly increase since May of 1982.

It's numbers like these that have the Fed now on inflation watch, poised to roll back COVID stimulus even faster than planned, and begin raising interest rates to prevent this strong economy from overheating.


More evidence of labor's newfound leverage.


STARBUCKS WORKERS, BUFFALO STORE: Cheering after voting to unionize.


ROMANS: For the first time, a union has won the right to represent U.S. Starbucks workers. The vote to unionize at a shop in Buffalo, New York passed by a 19-8 margin. The vote at a second store failed, and the results at a third shop were inconclusive. Starbucks is downplaying the significance of its loss after a major effort to convince its employees that they were better off without a union.

The effort to organize Starbucks employees has been closely watched nationally. The company has 235,000 employees across nearly 9,000 U.S. stores, with none of them, until now, unionized.

All right, the football world is mourning the loss of the man considered one of the best wide receivers in Denver Broncos history.

Carolyn Manno this morning with the Bleacher Report. Hi, Carolyn.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (via Webex by Cisco): Hey, good morning, Christine.

This is just a shocking store and a sad story. Demaryius Thomas, known by all as a man who was a leader, who was mentally and physically tough. He played 10 seasons in the NFL and, in fact, he announced his retirement just a couple of months ago.

He was only 33 years old and we're still learning the details around his passing. He was found at his home outside of Atlanta yesterday. Police say that preliminary information points to a medical issue as the cause for death. Investigators say they have no reason to believe otherwise, at least at this point in time.

The four-time Pro Bowler spent parts of nine seasons with Denver before retiring as a Jet back in June. He won the Super Bowl at Denver back in 2015.

In a statement, the Broncos say they are "devastated and completely heartbroken." The team says "Demaryius' humility, warmth, kindness, and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him."

Peyton Manning, who won the Super Bowl with Thomas back in 2015, saying this in a statement. "He treated my kids like they were his own. He was there for every teammate's charity event. I texted with D.T. on Tuesday. He was talking about a touchdown audible we called against Arizona back in 2014. Absolutely devastated."

And in 2015, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Thomas' mother and grandmother who were both arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences on drug charges when he was 11 years old. He would have turned 34 on Christmas Day.

This is a story that we're going to learn more about as it continues to develop, as it shocked everybody overnight.

Meantime, I want to transition here and just show you what happened last night in the NFL "THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL."

The Vikings coming into last night's game with the Steelers, having lost four of their last six, including a heartbreaker -- the previous win to the Lions last Sunday.

Minnesota starting strong at home last night, up 29-0 halfway through the third. Running back Dalvin Cook had more than 150 rushing yards in the first half after returning from an injury.

So you're thinking that they had this one in the bag, but the Steelers would score three touchdowns in a five-minute span to come back; two of them courtesy of Najee Harris. Pittsburgh putting themselves in position to tie the score on the game's final play -- a chance to go into O.T. But Roethlisberger's pass into the end zone was incomplete.

So Minnesota escapes with the 36-28 win. All but one of the Vikings' games this season have been decided by eight points or less, so they love to sweat but getting it done. And Purdue ranked number one in college basketball for the first time in program history, but their stay at the top might be short-lived after last night's game against Rutgers.

Listen to the final seconds as called by the Rutgers radio team.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside Williams with seven. One-on-one with Omoruyi. Gets inside -- puts it up and in with 3.4 to go. Get it to Harper with three, with two, with one. Harper for the win. Got it!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go! Let's go!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The game-winner at the buzzer.



MANNO: Fans wasting no time rushing the court to celebrate Rutger's first win against a top-ranked team -- 70-68 the final. Certainly, the best shot of the college basketball season so far.

ROMANS: It's so great.

MANNO: We missed plays like this.

ROMANS: It's going to be a great weekend for some football, too. What's your favorite game --

MANNO: You bet.

ROMANS: -- to watch this weekend for the NFL?

MANNO: You know, there's so much -- there's so much to watch, Christine. I really -- I'm just interested in the playoff race right now. I cannot believe that the Patriots are at the top of the conference, so things are getting hot --


MANNO: -- as the Super Bowl nears.

ROMANS: Packers-Bears in my household. That's what we watch, for sure.

All right, nice to see you, Carolyn. Thank you.

MANNO: Sure.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. Have a great weekend, everybody. "NEW DAY" is next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Friday. It's December 10th. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. Go Army, beat Navy.

This morning --


BERMAN: -- Donald Trump is running out of options. A federal appeals court ruled against the former president in his bid to block the release of his White House records to the January 6 House Committee. So, these records -- a whole heap of them that could reveal all kinds of things could be.