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Trump's Travel Ban Tweetstorm; First Charges for Leaking; London Mayor to Trump: Stay Home; Arab Nations Cut Ties to Qatar. Aired 4:30-5a ET
Aired June 6, 2017 - 04:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDDEO CLIP)
[04:30:54] SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: It's social media, please understand the difference.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I think that you need to have a little bit of an understanding here.
GORKA: I'm inside the White House. I know what policy is. You're a journalist.
CUOMO: When the president says, "This is what I want," what are you saying, we shouldn't listen to what the president says?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: When you that take the president's word and which words do you take him at? The White House side stepped that, the president tweets about a travel ban. Now, the agenda overshadowed. The ban's chances of surviving in court are in jeopardy.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's crackdown on leaks yields his first arrest. A federal contractor accused of sharing classified document on Russia's election hack.
ROMANS: London's mayor renewing calls for President Trump to cancel his state visit to the U.K. More on the growing divide steaming from Saturday's terror attacks between two very close friends.
Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.
BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.
Two live reporters in London in just moments. First, the White House desperate to focus on policy, being forced to answer for a new tweet storm from President Trump. The president now hardening his stance on the travel ban despite aides protesting for months that it is not a travel ban and they kept it up into the night, posting this until after 9:00 p.m. Eastern: That's right. We need a travel ban for certain, all caps, dangerous countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people.
ROMANS: Now this comes after a series of earlier tweets where the president slammed his own Justice Department. He went after his own Justice Department for, quote, watering down the original ban to make it, quote, politically correct. Top aides then trying to explain how presidential tweets are not an expression of White House policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, I don't think the president care what is you call it, whether you call it a ban, whether you call it a restriction, he cares that we call it national security and that we take steps to protect the people of this country. It's real simple.
GORKA: It's not policy.
CUOMO: Of course it is.
GORKA: It's social media, Chris. It's social media.
CUOMO: It's not social media, it's his words. His thoughts.
GORKA: It's not policy. It's not an executive order. It's social media. Please understand the difference.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's his preferred method of communication with the American people.
CONWAY: That's not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: All right. All this as the administration asks the Supreme Court to let the travel ban go into effect. Lower courts have blocked the ban, citing Mr. Trump's rhetoric as a candidate and as president online and off.
BRIGGS: In court, Justice Department lawyers have bent over backwards to avoid the phrase "travel ban". Instead, they've called it a temporary pause or just the executive order. Now, once again the president's tweets seem to be undercutting that very message.
ROMANS: All right, a federal contractor with top secret clearance is the first person for facing charges for leaking classified documents under the Trump administration. The Justice Department charging Reality Leigh Winner with leaking information to an online media outlet. Sources tell CNN the document that Winner allegedly leaked was the basis for a story published Monday by "The Intercept".
BRIGGS: The article includes details of a 2016 Russian military cyber attack of a U.S. voting software supplier. Winner is due in court on Thursday.
National security correspondent Jim Sciutto has the latest from Washington.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, let's talk about this NSA document first. We know that it was classified, prepared just last month, in May. So, some of the latest intelligence regarding Russian interference in the election. And the focus was on Russian attacks, or attacks traced back to Russia on voting systems, probing attacks.
This does not change the intelligence committee's assessment that Russia did not actually change votes or voter tallies during the election, but it does give more details about Russian attempts to get into these systems, look for vulnerabilities, and that's important not just for what possible effect it could have had on a past election, but going forward, because intelligence officials are always telling me that Russia is certain to attack future U.S. elections. And, of course, we have them coming up, in 2018, 2020. That's important.
Let's talk about a hacker nor or the leaker, I should say.
[04:35:03] A contractor working for the NSA, 25 years old, apparently accessed this classified document, printed it out, and then shared it with a journalist. That journalist shared it with another contract, another contractor to ask if it was a valid document and then that contractor shared it with his or her bosses to let them know that this was out there.
And then when they did an investigation, they were able to trace it back to this leaker, in part, based on a very simple fact, the image of the document had a crease in it which seemed to show it had been printed out. They looked at how many people have printed out this document. It wasn't very many and through some good detective work were able to trace it back to this leaker who now faces serious charges.
CNN spoke to her mother. She got a court-appointed attorney, but facing a very challenging legal future -- Dave and Christine.
ROMANS: Indeed. All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you for that.
The clash between President Trump and the mayor of London is escalating. Sadiq Khan now renewing his call for canceling the president's upcoming state visit to the U.K. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: I don't think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in these circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for. I think one of the many things when you have a special relationship, it's not different -- no different to when you go to a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity, but you call them out when they're wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Trump has repeatedly criticized Khan on Twitter for his handling of the London terror attack.
I want to get the latest in this very public feud from CNN's Frederik Pleitgen live in London.
I mean, just a rare thing to see, two very close allies so publicly feuding after such a terrible event.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, Christine, I think that's one of the things that disappoints a lot of people here in London and, quite frankly, in Britain. They're saying, look, we are in the aftermath of dealing with a major terrorist attack. You have a gigantic investigation that's going on.
They are obviously still trying to come to terms with who exactly is behind this attack. They have identified most of them. But at the same time, there is obviously still forensic work going on.
And then to have something like this come up is really something I think that angers a lot of Brits and angers a lot of people in London. You we heard there from the mayor of London, saying that he believes that the red carpet shouldn't be rolled out for President Trump, because he believes that President Trump is saying a lot of things that he thinks aren't correct about London and about the investigation that's been going on.
The other thing, however that the mayor's office has also said is they said, look, Sadiq Khan at this point in time simply has better things, more important things to do than be engulfed in a Twitter war with the U.S. president. So, it's certainly something that is causing a lot of anger I would say here in Britain.
And if you speak to people on the streets, most of them will say that they are on the side of their mayor and saying, look, let's deal with this investigation. Everything else can be pushed to the side.
At the same time, this investigation, of course, is now really become a central issue in the election that's come up in two days here. Of course, Theresa May is running. She used to be the home secretary of this country. So, she was responsible for the anti-terror operations for the strategy of combating terrorism.
She is defending her track record, saying, look, even despite these attacks, Britain is obviously a safe place. London is a safe place. She believes they have the right strategy, even though it is under review at this point in time, Christine.
ROMANS: All right. Frederik Pleitgen, live for us in London this morning -- thank you, Fred.
BRIGGS: Meantime, we are learning more about the men behind the London terror attack. Two of the three attackers have now been publicly identified. CNN's Samuel Burke live at the Scotland Yard in London with that part of the story.
Good morning to you, Samuel.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Dave. And good morning to you, Christine.
Let's just put up a photo of these two terrorist attackers. On the right-hand side, you will see Rachid Redouane. He is 30 years old and claimed to be of Moroccan and Libyan descent.
But more importantly, the man on the left, Khuram Shazad Butt, 27 years old, a British citizen but born in Pakistan. And I say more importantly because authorities tell CNN that he was known both to the police and to MI5, which is the equivalent of the FBI here in the U.K.
On top of that, there is actually a documentary called "The Jihadist Next Door" that was aired nationally in the U.K., in which Mr. Butt appeared. You can see him in Regent's Park, one of the best known, most visited parks here in London, unrolling what looked very similar to an ISIS flag.
And although, it's not the ISIS flag, undoubtedly, anybody looking at that will say it looked awfully similar. And on top of that, Dave, we have we heard at CNN from people in his neighborhood who says they had suspicions about his behavior, the way that he was teaching young children, how to pray. And they claim they flagged him up to authorities.
On top of that, we heard from somebody from the Muslim community here who said they aren't even surprised that he was one of the attackers, that that man verbally assaulted him. And that he had flagged it up to police.
[04:40:00] So, a lot of people questioning here today what resources the police have and how they're using them.
BRIGGS: Samuel, I want to ask you, because you are expert on all things technologically and online, and in the wake of Theresa May calling for renewed calls to regulate cyberspace, do they already do more in the U.K. than we do here in the United States in that capacity?
BURKE: Well, Theresa May is really starting to sound a lot like then- candidate Donald Trump. In 2015, Donald Trump said, we have to close up that Internet in some ways, in certain areas. And now, you have Theresa May also on the campaign trail right now, facing the most important election of her political career, saying something very similar.
Do they do more than what we do in the U.S.? It's very similar in a way. It may be a little more aggressive in some ways. But at the end of the day, what actually happened is because of all the pressure from politicians, from users, and from investors in these social media companies, they push people off of social media, these extremists, not completely, but for the most part, they pushed them for Facebook and Twitter and on to these encrypted apps. Now, these governments say they want the back door, but all the
experts say the technology companies are not going to do that.
Theresa May and Donald Trump, they need to decide, are they going to demand a back door? And when the tech companies don't give it to them, are they prepared to say, that's it, we're banning these encrypted messaging apps, exactly the way China does?
BRIGGS: That is the upcoming battle front on this war on terror. Samuel Burke, live for us at Scotland Yard -- thank you.
ROMANS: Raining early morning in London.
ROMANS: Forget what the president decided. Big business and local leaders plan to keep the Paris accord on climate change. Hundreds, hundreds of businesses pledge in an open letter to keep reducing emissions. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Adidas, and L'Oreal, eight states and the mayors of dozens of cities also signed this letter. The letter says local governments and businesses are primarily responsible for decreasing greenhouse gas. And they will continue to reduce their emissions no matter what the policy in Washington.
The president's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord angered business leaders. Dozens of CEOs spoke out, Disney's Bob Iger and Tesla's Elon Musk even quit a White House advisory panel. The president said pulling out will help the struggling coal industry and create jobs. However, experts say coal declined is mainly due to the national gas boom, not regulations.
BRIGGS: All right. New emerging details on what James Comey may tell Congress when he testifies on Thursday. Anticipation is growing. Now we know President Trump won't stand in his way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: In order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey's scheduled testimony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[04:47:06] ROMANS: Two more days until fired Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee. And there is nothing standing in his way, now that President Trump decided to not block his testimony by invoking executive privilege. This morning, we are getting a clear idea of what the former director might tell that committee.
CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, the White House will not stand in the way of fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony on Thursday.
President Trump has decided to not exert his executive privilege. And on top of that, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, says Comey will have wide latitude on what to talk about. Chairman Burr has spoken with James Comey several times. He says the testimony will include Comey's recounting of his conversations and meetings with President Trump in January and February. But Chairman Burr says the testimony will also dive into the wider Russia probe that's ongoing, first by the FBI. Now, it's headed up by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Senator Burr and ranking member, Mark Warner, have also met with FBI acting director Andrew McCabe. They've asked McCabe to hand over any of the memos that Comey kept. But Chairman Burr does say he doesn't expect to get those memos before Thursday's hearing -- Christine, Dave.
ROMANS: All right. Jessica, thank you.
You know, a reminder, CNN will have full coverage of the Comey testimony, begins Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Testimony starts Thursday at 10:00 a.m. and EARLY START begins extra early Thursday and Friday, lucky us, 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
BRIGGS: And at least one bar in D.C. is opening up early for the Comey hearings and serving what they call Russian vodka flavors and FBI sandwiches, Shahs Tavern in D.C.
I wonder what the drinking order is going to be, what is the word you have to drink on?
BRIGGS: Oh, obstruction?
ROMANS: I don't know.
BRIGGS: Not sure. Police say the gunman who shot and killed five employees at an Orlando business on Monday was a disgruntled former employee who singled out his victims, army vet John Robert Neumann, Jr., killed himself after the shooting rampage. Authorities say he had what they call a negative relationship with at least one of the people he targeted. Among the victims: a widower raising two teenagers. Police say Neumann has an arrest record for DUI, and marijuana possession. They also respond to a battery complaint against him at his workplace in 2014.
All right. Forty-nine minutes past the hour.
Rain and scattered storms in the eastern part of the country today. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us now.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Dave and Christine, more rain for portions of the Southeast that have already had days of rain. But now, we are also talking some rain showers across portions of the Northeast as well, for a lot of New England state getting their fair share of those rain showers.
Here's a look at the forecast rainfall. Obviously, the heaviest amounts are going to be further south. We are widespread. We could be talking four-to-six inches, in some areas, could be talking eight- plus inches in the next 48 hours.
Off to the Northeast, we are talking rain, just not quite as impressive amounts.
[04:50:03] But even still, some of these areas could pick up two, maybe even three inches. And if it comes down in a short period of time, that could still lead to some potential flooding.
But you are definitely going to notice the temperature difference. Yesterday in New York 67, 10 degrees cooler today for the high. Philadelphia 74 yesterday, we're only going to be about 66 today. So, certainly, that cooler air is starting to move back in for a lot of these areas.
The good news is, especially for New York, a lot of these cities will see that warm-up as we head into the weekend.
ROMANS: All right. Allison, thank you so much.
All right. Apple unveiling a range of new products, including one that will directly compete with Amazon items. Some goodies to look at.
"CNN Money Stream" next.
BRIGG: The U.S. trying to diffuse a growing diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf, after neighboring countries cut off ties with Qatar.
[04:55:02] Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were joined by Yemen and the Maldives, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorist groups. The Qatari government rejects the claim, calling the measures unjustified.
ROMANS: The country is strategically important for the U.S., with the largest concentration of American military personnel in the Middle East located at a Qatari airbase. A diplomatic feud like this could affect efforts to fight ISIS, and counter Iran in the Middle East.
CNN's Ian Lee following developments. He joins us live from Istanbul. Good morning.
IAN LEE, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Christine.
There is a lot of concern about how this dispute is going to affect the ongoing war against ISIS. Qatar is home to the Al Udeid Air Bas, which is the largest U.S. airbase in the Middle East. Air operations take off from this base. It's also home to the combined air operation command which overseas the airstrikes, the air operations in Iraq and Syria against ISIS.
This also comes as Mosul is on the verge of being completely liberated and Raqqah in Syria, the self-declared capital of ISIS, well, that operation is about to get underway as well.
We have heard from Secretary of Defense James Mattis saying he doesn't believe this current dispute is going to affect the fight against ISIS.
But, Christine, how did we get here? There are a number of grievances. One is that Qatar is supporting terrorist organizations like al Qaeda, like ISIS, although, Saudi Arabia has been accused of supporting these terrorist groups as well.
But one of the big issues is Iran. Qatar has somewhat cordial relationships with Iran. For Saudi Arabia, it's their arch rival in the region. We saw that last month when President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and talked about this coalition against Iran.
Kuwait is trying to mediate this rift, trying to bring the two sides together, also U.S. diplomats not wanting to be seen taking sides, have also offered their support to help mediate this rift -- Christine.
ROMANS: All right. Ian Lee for us in Istanbul -- thank you so much for that, Ian.
BRIGGS: The death toll nearly doubling from last week's suicide blast in Afghanistan. The country's president says more than 150 people were killed in the blast near Kabul's diplomatic quarter. He says at least 300 people were severely injured. Officials have earlier reported the number of deaths at 90. This comes as President Trump weighs the option of increasing U.S. troops deployment to the wartorn country.
ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this Tuesday morning. Global stocks and U.S. stock futures down after Wall Street finished lower to start the week.
But stocks still, they're not far from all time highs. That's thanks largely to tech's breakout year. A third of the gains from S&P 500 are from just five tech stocks. In fact, Google parent Alphabet hit $1,000 per share just a week after Amazon. But Apple fell 1 percent after releasing several new products at its annual developers conference. At that conference, Apple unveiled its answer to the Amazon Echo
called a HomePod. It's a 7-inch tall speaker that works as a home assistant. It uses Siri to play music, check the news and control other connected devices. The product has supposedly been in the works we're told for years, but it seems inspired by smart speakers from Amazon and Google.
The difference, Apple's version costs about $200 bucks more. Apple says that's because of better sound quality.
J. Crew's long-time leader Mickey Drexler stepping down. Drexler will end his 14-year tenure as CEO in July. The company says he will stay on as chairman. He will be replaced by West Elm president James Brett.
Drexler is famous in the retail business. He successfully launched Gap into the casual wear era of the 1990s. Like most retail stores, J. Crew has had tough times. The company struggling with a sales slump and a hefty debt load.
BRIGGS: I'm curious about that Apple speaker, if you call on Siri, like nine devices in your family Roman kitchen are going to respond or does it have its own unique Alexa-type name?
ROMANS: And it costs $200 more because it's just better, they say.
BRIGGS: Because it's Apple.
All right. EARLY START continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe. That's it, plain and simple.
When you use words like "travel ban", that misrepresents what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: All right. That was in January. Apparently not.
President Trump sending his staffs scrambling once again to explain this travel ban, and once again undercutting efforts to get momentum behind his agenda.
BRIGGS: The first arrest in President Trump's crackdown on leaks. A federal contractor accused of supplying a document used in a story about Russia's election hacking.
ROMANS: And a blunt message from London's mayor. He says President Trump should cancel his state visit to the U.K. following this rift after Saturday's terror attack in London.
Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.
BRIGGS: And I'm David Briggs. It is Tuesday, June 6th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.
An embarrassment and political rifts ahead. Jackie Kucinich, David Drucker join us in just a few short minutes.