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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Iran Says It's Ready To Send Weapons To Friendly Nations; Murder Charge Dropped Against New York Bodega Worker; Judge Orders October Trial For Lawsuit Between Musk And Twitter. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 20, 2022 - 05:30   ET



JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST (via Webex by Cisco): They want to get something done before the August recess and Manchin is just not willing to do that.

Now, this has really ticked off several members of his party, but the thing about Joe Manchin is love him -- like him or hate him. He is the person Democrats and Republicans have to deal with on some of these provisions. He's definitely derailed several parts of Joe Biden's agenda --several big parts of Joe Biden's agenda.

But at this point, as you heard Sen. Schumer say yesterday, they're just going to take their wins -- some of these prescription drug negotiations, extending Affordable Care Act subsidies -- and take that part of the -- of what Manchin said he would support and go forward because they kind of have to.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you made, actually, a very good point saying that you believe that what Sen. Joe Manchin has done is essentially make Democrats' wins smaller. And you say that Manchin is just not working on the same timeline that most Democrats want him to.

So what can Democrats do to kind of promote the wins that they have had heading into the midterms?

KUCINICH: They've been kind of stuck in this cycle throughout the entire year where they really were -- Biden made some very big promises on the campaign trail. Democrats have tried -- some Democrats have tried to make that reality. And again, they run into that immovable force that is Joe Manchin and have something -- have smaller things to sell, yet still really big wins.

Democrats have been trying to get this -- the ability for Medicare to negotiate on prescription drugs for quite some time and extending these ACA subsidies will really give them something to talk about going into the midterms. It's just a -- trying to scale back on what they had promised to do versus what was actually able to do given the makeup of the U.S. Senate currently.

FISHER: Yes, and it's funny you say that because Sen. Mazie Hirono said -- told our CNN's Manu Raju yesterday -- in reaction to all of this stuff about Joe Manchin, she said the 50-50 Senate sucks, putting it quite bluntly. And you really -- you know, there really is the sense though on Capitol Hill among Democrats that there's been frustration with Sen. Joe Manchin for quite some time. But with comments like that, it really feels like it's entering into a whole nother level.

KUCINICH: Well, right. And some of the things you've heard Democrats say in terms of the midterms is that they need more votes. They need more Democrats in the U.S. Senate in order to neutralize some of the moderates' power from blocking some of the more progressive agenda items.

Are they going to get their wish? It's going to be a tough year for Democrats. It certainly seems like that might not be in the cards. But hey, we're three months out. Stranger things have happened I suppose.

FISHER: Yes, and we've seen the White House try pretty much everything here to -- they've tried publicly --


FISHER: -- pressuring Manchin. They've tried privately pressuring Manchin. So far, none of that has worked. But we'll see if they're able to get something done on that front ahead of the midterms. But as you point out -- I mean, it's just a few months away.

Jackie Kucinich, CNN's political analyst, thanks so much.

KUCINICH: Thank you.

FISHER: So, House lawmakers voting to pass a bill that would write protections for same-sex marriage into federal law. The legislation received bipartisan support with 47 Republicans joining Democrats to approve it. House Democrats took up the bill to protect marriage equality out of fear that the Supreme Court could revisit other landmark decisions after overturning Roe v. Wade.

It's not clear that the measure can pass in the Senate where at least 10 Republicans would need to join with Democrats, though.

Well, just hours from now, American lawmakers will hear from Ukraine's first lady in person. And Netflix losing a million subscribers. Why many investors are actually relieved.



FISHER: Iran says it is ready to send advanced military equipment and weapons to friendly nations. This, as Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Tehran working to solidify an alliance with the president of Iran. And Putin also met with Iran's supreme leader.

CNN's Clare Sebastian is live in London with more. Clare, is Iran talking about supplying drones for Russia to use in Ukraine?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristin, it's not clear 100% that that's what they're talking about, but it's not implausible. This is what the commander of the Iranian ground forces told a semi-

official news outlet. He said that Iran has been able to develop the most advanced UAVs -- unmanned aerial vehicles otherwise known as drones -- used in cross-border reconnaissance and combat operations. And he said, and I quote, "We have reached the level of self- sufficiency that it is possible to provide equipment and weapons to other friendly countries." So that, of course, speaks volumes. I think friendly countries to Iran is not a huge grouping.

And this is perhaps not a surprise because we know that Iran has previously supplied drones to third parties, including Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen. But, of course, it is significant because the context here is that U.S. intelligence reported just a week ago that they believe that Iran is getting ready to supply Russia with up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable drones. They also said that they believe that Russian delegations have actually traveled to Iran to view those drones.


So, obviously, on the surface, officially, Iran and Russia have dismissed those reports. They're not commenting on that officially. But this does add weight to that intelligence and the idea that Iran may be willing to use weapons exports as a way of cementing alliances as we see these sort of fault lines emerging in the Middle East, Kristin.

FISHER: Clare Sebastian live in London for us. Clare, thank you.

Ukraine's first lady is going to be speaking to members of Congress in Washington this morning. Olena Zelenska was welcomed at the White House by first lady Jill Biden and the president on Tuesday. And her trip is -- her trip here to the United States is really designed to highlight the human cost of Russia's war on Ukraine.

Well, also just hours from now, former Vice President Mike Pence returns to Capitol Hill for the first time since leaving office. And a ritzy robbery on a California highway.



FISHER: This morning, the FBI is investigating a multimillion-dollar jewel heist in California. The jewelry was stolen from a Brinks truck at a rest stop about 80 miles north of Los Angeles. The merchandise belonged to 18 different jewelers. It was being transported from a trade show in Northern California to one in Pasadena.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all fine jewelry -- very high-tag, and it's just gone. Sunday you had merchandise; today you don't have anything. My life, my life. That's how I live. That's how I feed my kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FISHER: The trade show's manager says that the total loss -- this is crazy -- is more than $150 million. Just a ton of money.

Well, a New York judge formally dismissing a murder charge against a bodega worker who fatally stabbed a man in the store earlier this month. Surveillance video of the confrontation showed the victim coming behind the counter and shoving 61-year-old Jose Alba, who then grabbed a knife and stabbed the attacker multiple times.

Alba's attorney said it was self-defense. And after reviewing the evidence, the Manhattan D.A. agreed -- a decision that was praised by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY, NY: I think, in this case, we had an innocent, hardworking New Yorker that was doing his job and someone was extremely aggressive towards him. And I believe after the D.A.'s review, the D.A., in my opinion, made the right decision.


FISHER: The right decision. And Adams says prosecutors conducted a thorough investigation.

Well, new details on Twitter's legal battle with Elon Musk. The social media giant and the world's richest man had their first day in court on Tuesday as Musk tries to back out of that $44 billion deal to buy the company.

CNN's Alexandra Field has more.


ELON MUSK, BUSINESS MAGNATE AND INVESTOR: And we want to go find out what the heck is going on.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is it a case of buyer's remorse for the richest man on the planet or was Elon Musk misled in his bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion? The trial, centered on those questions, now set to start in October.

The social media giant winning round one in a Delaware court with its motion to fast-track the trial this fall that will determine whether Musk must buy it or pay a billion-dollar breakup fee. A judge agreeing the longer the delay in determining whether the deal closes, the greater the risk of irreparable harm to the publicly held company.

Twitter arguing in court, "What we have here is a buyer looking to conjure an exit ramp for a deal that doesn't have one." Their attorneys adding that drama surrounding the deal is already creating undue risk and uncertainty for shareholders and chaos in the company, saying, "He's doing his best to run Twitter down. He's doing his best to create exposure for Twitter."

The plaintiffs suing Musk to close the deal say the would-be buyer is, instead, attempting to sabotage it, pointing to a series of tweets from Musk that they view as an attack against Twitter literally on Twitter, including a post seemingly trolling the company with this emoji.

Musk inked the takeover deal in April and said he was pulling out earlier this month after, Twitter points out, the market turndown sent its shares tumbling. Also falling in the same time period, Tesla's stock value, shares of which Musk planned to use, in part, to finance the takeover.

CHRIS STOKEL-WALKER, WIRED CONTRIBUTOR: I think that's exactly what we're seeing. We're seeing Elon Musk's bluff being called here. He offered to buy Twitter at a premium of 38% over what it was trading at, at the beginning of April. We've seen since then the price essentially cratering.

FIELD (voice-over): In a July 8 letter to Twitter, Musk said he was dumping the deal, citing lack of information from the company on the number of fake accounts on the platform and obfuscation, his attorneys allege, on how Twitter arrived at the estimated 5% fake user figure it reported in its SEC filing.

Musk's attorneys argued to hold the trial in 2023, saying they needed more time to investigate the fake accounts that they say are key to the trial, stating, "When Mr. Musk came into the company and started asking about that, the answers that he got were alarming. And frankly, the runaround he got from the company was alarming."

Twitter says the number of fake accounts, first described by Musk as a reason for the takeover and now his reason for turning it down, have nothing to do with the deal itself. Their attorney says, "Musk knew all about false accounts when he signed the merger agreement" -- adding, "Nothing in the negotiations leading to the deal or merger agreement are at all contingent on that."


Alexandra Field, CNN.


FISHER: Coming up on "NEW DAY," the real-life murder at a "LAW AND ORDER" T.V. shoot. And NASCAR coming to the streets of Chicago, next.


FISHER: Netflix reporting the biggest subscriber loss in its 25-year history. Just before the release of the streaming giant's new film, "THE GRAY MAN."


Clip from Netflix's "THE GRAY MAN."



FISHER: Netflix says it lost 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter, but investors are still pleased that number is actually smaller than its expected earlier forecast. They thought it was going to lose about two million. And that the company predicts it will gain back one million subscribers in Q3.

Well, for the ninth year in a row, the American League reigned supreme in baseball's All-Star Game.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's Bleacher Report. And Carolyn, on Monday, you brought us ice cream in the Stanley Cup. Tuesday, it was margaritas in the women's soccer trophy. Can you keep the streak going today? I'll be very impressed if you can.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You know, no pressure, Kristin. Good morning. Maybe a little bit of champagne for the American League, you know.

FISHER: Oh, there you go.

MANNO: It is a city full of stars, right? It is a big party. Baseball's best and brightest -- and they just put on a show in L.A. last night. And like a good Hollywood script, it was really the hometown hero who ended up as MVP.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton grew up in L.A. He actually sat in Dodger Stadium's left field stands as a kid. And down by two in the fourth inning, Stanton launching a game-tying home run to that very same spot. I mean, you couldn't write it better than this. This was his first All-Star hit after going 0-6 in his previous games.


GIANCARLO STANTON, 2022 ALL-STAR GAME MVP: It hasn't fully sank in. It's going to be an amazing memory for all of my life and I'm just -- I'm just happy. This is incredible. My pops took me to my first Dodger game and showed me how to get -- how to have love for this game. And now we're here -- look at us. So it's just incredible.


MANNO: The game really was so fun to watch and the players just having a great time, too.

Check out Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah, who was mic'd up for his appearance on the mound.


ALEK MANOAH, BLUE JAYS PITCHER: There it is. There it is. Bye, you. Here we go. Yeah, baby. Don't flinch. Right down the middle, but we'll take it. Three punchies. Let's go!

(END VIDEO CLIP) MANNO: You know what? After striking out the side, Kristin, maybe Manoah's going to want to be mic'd up every game. I mean, how about that?

The American League winning 3-2. And like you said, almost a decade of dominance at the All-Star Game.

National League starter Clayton Kershaw's best moment came after the game. He thought that his news conference was over when he was surprised by 10-year-old Blake Grice. And Blake said that his late grandfather was a Dodgers fan and that he made a bucket list of everything that he planned to do with his grandchildren once he beat brain cancer, and it included meeting the Dodgers pitcher.


CLAYTON KERSHAW, LOS ANGELES DODGERS PITCHER: Oh, come here, dude. It's great to meet you. Thanks for telling me. That took a lot of courage to tell me that so I appreciate it. It's great to meet you. Your grandad sounded like an awesome guy, yes?


KERSHAW: Yes. Thanks -- all right. Thanks for coming up.


MANNO: Such a great moment there. I mean, if that doesn't make you feel good in the morning something is just wrong with you. I loved that. That was fantastic.

Meantime, elsewhere in sports this morning, Andrew Wiggins became an NBA All-Star and champion this past season, but the Warriors forward says he still regrets getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The league denied his request for religious exemption before the season. He said he felt like he didn't have a choice.


ANDREW WIGGINS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS FORWARD: I still wish I didn't get it, to be honest with you. But, you know, you've got to do what you've got to do. I just don't like putting all that stuff in my body so I didn't -- I didn't like that. And I didn't like that it wasn't my choice, you know. I didn't like that. You know, it was either get this or don't play.


MANNO: And lastly this morning, Kristin, Chicago rich with sports history, as you know. And now, NASCAR is going to be celebrating its 75th season by adding to that legacy. Next year, the city streets will be transformed for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Street Race.

It's going to start a 3-year deal with the city and the Cup Series will race against the backdrop of Lake Michigan and Grant Park. It's NASCAR's latest attempt to kind of switch things up from its traditionally oval-heavy schedule and get new.

The stockcar circuit last came to the Windy City back in the '50s, so some fun news there, too, for fans in Chicago as well this morning.

FISHER: Yes. Carolyn, I'm no expert but I thought that -- I thought that street races were unique to Formula One here.

MANNO: Yes. You know, this is something that NASCAR has tried to do. They try to be innovative. They want to welcome in a new fan base. They want to get a little younger. And so, traditionally, they've raced around the ovals and they've got those tracks in the south that they love. But this is a chance to get something new going and I think it's great.

FISHER: Yes, especially since Formula One is doing so well these days.

Carolyn Manno, thanks so much.

And thanks, all of you, for joining us. I'm Kristin Fisher in for Christine Romans, and "NEW DAY" starts right now.