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EARLY START

Trump's Critical Trip To Asia; Major Changes In GOP Tax Plan; Brazile: DNC Was Rigged For Hillary Clinton. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 3, 2017 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:11] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump readies for the longest foreign trip of his presidency. He leaves for Asia this morning. And a show of force overnight is raising tensions with Pyongyang.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The biggest tax overhaul proposal in years is out. What's in it, what it means for you, and can Congress pass it.

Also, talking about those 11 breathless minutes on Twitter where the president's account was no longer.

ROMANS: The president went dark for 11 minutes.

BRIGGS: I'm sure there were a few happy about that on Capitol Hill.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour this Friday morning, everybody -- jobs day.

President Trump taking this morning -- taking off this morning on a marathon overseas trip. Air Force One departing Joint Base Andrews at 9:00 a.m. on route to Hawaii, then to Japan on Sunday, followed by South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the trip ends in the Philippines on November 12th.

Ahead of the trip, the president spoke out on the North Korea threat touting America's relationship with Japan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Japan is a warrior nation.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS, "THE INGRAHAM ANGLE": Yes.

TRUMP: And I tell China and I tell everyone else that listens -- I mean, you're going to have yourself a big problem with Japan pretty soon if you allow this to continue with North Korea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says the president is thinking about putting North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism as a quote "threat to the entire world."

We're also learning that Pyongyang may be getting ready to carry out new missile and nuclear tests.

For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Matt Rivers live for us this morning from Beijing. Good morning to you, Matt.

Ahead of this trip, are bombers doing something the North Koreans might find a bit provocative?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Each time we -- the United States does this, the North Koreans aren't really happy about it.

What happened on Thursday was that the U.S. military says it flew two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula. They say this was a planned drill well in advance. We have seen this happen before.

But the North Koreans said that they believe it was a dry run for the U.S. practicing for a potential nuclear strike on Pyongyang. Of course, the U.S. denies that.

But that gives you an idea of the tense situation that Donald Trump will be wading into when he comes to this part of the world. North Korea is certainly going to be very high on the agenda at each stop he makes.

Also, on Thursday, a South Korean intelligence agency said that they detected fresh activity in North Korea that points to signs that could signal that North Korea is preparing for yet another missile test. They also say that North Korea is ready to launch another nuclear test at any moment.

So that's what Donald Trump is dealing with as he tries to come here to Asia and chart -- plot out some long-term solution for the North Korea crisis.

But that said, he's got a lot of other things he needs to talk about when he goes on this trip. Take trade, for example. The U.S. pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and so there's going to need to be fresh discussions with countries like South Korea about the trading relationship with the United States.

He's also going to come to China where he says he wants to talk to President Xi Jinping about things like opioids and Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea.

So yes, North Korea will absolutely be very high on the list -- the top item that Donald Trump needs to discuss -- but he's going to have plenty of other things to talk about on this 10-day trip.

BRIGGS: Indeed he will. Matt Rivers live for us in Beijing. Thanks.

ROMANS: All right. The Trump administration says this will be the biggest tax cut ever and now lawmakers begin debate on the bill that Republican House leaders have put forward. The president is optimistic, tweeting last night, "Great tax cut

rollout today. The lobbyists are storming Capitol Hill, but the Republicans will hold strong and do what is right for America!"

The Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, says this bill has plenty for lawmakers to agree on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Many of these issues are not partisan issues. This is about creating middle-income tax cuts and creating a competitive business system to bring jobs back here. So we hope for and look forward to hopefully, there being some Democrat support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: One sticking point for lawmakers will likely be who's winning big with this plan. Corporations getting a huge tax cut, down from 35 percent to 20 percent. The administration believes this will spur growth, create jobs, raise wages, bring companies back to the United States, bring factories back here.

The ultra-rich are also big winners. The bill repeals the estate tax in 2024 and until then, doubles the exemption to about $10 million.

It also repeals the alternative minimum tax. That's another plus for some wealthy taxpayers.

What about the losers? Well, folks in high tax states -- those of you waking up in New York and New Jersey this morning, no more state and local tax deductions for income or sales tax, and they can only deduct property taxes up to 10 grand.

Homebuilders also feeling it. Their stocks tanked yesterday. For new home purchases, the mortgage interest deduction now cut in half to about $500,000.

Let's talk about this with political economist Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments.

[05:35:02] GREG VALLIERE, POLITICAL ECONOMIST, CHIEF STRATEGIST, HORIZON INVESTMENTS: Hi.

ROMANS: Greg, when I look at this I see the middle-class relief -- I see that. And I see there's some new -- some new relief for working families.

But really, the centerpiece of this thing has always been the corporate tax cuts. Companies want to bring over -- bring home all of that profit that they have stashed overseas at a very low tax rate. We're told that repatriation rate will be something like 12 percent.

VALLIERE: Yes.

ROMANS: The biggest tax cut in history, as the president is promising, is really for companies, not for regular working people.

VALLIERE: Absolutely, Christine, and the great unanswered question is how much of this is already in the market? I think the markets are excited to see corporate earnings do even better because they have much lower taxes to pay.

Is that fully in the market? Maybe not. There might even be another leg up as stock investors realize that these very low rates mean great things for earnings.

BRIGGS: All right. "The Wall Street Journal" calls this half a tax reform. They also point out specifically, this $1 million rate that holds at 39.6 --

VALLIERE: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- and they have some interesting language about that.

Quote, "No members want to vote for a lower top rate and then have Mr. Trump tweet that their quote's "mean" as he did on health care. This is where presidential flightiness and lack of principle have a policy cost." That is the conservative Murdoch-owned "Wall Street Journal" editorial.

VALLIERE: Yes.

BRIGGS: Keeping that $1 million rate at 39.6, does that give them the political cover they need to get this through both chambers?

VALLIERE: Yes, Dave. I mean, it doesn't raise a ton of money. It's not really for economic or mathematical reasons. It's for political reasons.

And there's been a real shift in the last month or two with the populist right-wing, Steve Bannon, and the populist left-wing, Elizabeth Warren, both really opposed to tax cuts for the wealthy. So I think they had to keep this top rate. And I also think maybe the estate tax does not get totally abolished.

ROMANS: Yes. I mean, when you look, that's really hard to make a case that that helps small-time farmers. All of the analysis of that estate tax is that these are really -- this is -- these are very, very wealthy people passing money along and it doesn't really affect that many -- maybe 20 or 30, even, families a year.

Let's listen to what the president said about his timing here for this tax cut. He's very optimistic that this is going to be a Santa Claus tax cut.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We will provide a massive tax cut for American families. We will make the tax code simpler and fair.

I really believe we'll have it done before Christmas. I consider that to be one of the great Christmas presents. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Greg, what is your best guess on when this gets done?

VALLIERE: I just can't see it this year.

There's an enormous fight, Christine, coming up on the budget. The budget expires on December 8th and they've got to come up with a bill. That's going to take up a lot of time.

There are so many issues on tax reform that haven't been resolved. The Senate hasn't even weighed in yet with their own bill.

So I think we'll get it. I do think we'll get a tax bill but I think it comes toward the end of the winter, not before Christmas.

ROMANS: Now the selling, Greg, comes as the president gets in just about three and a half, four hours -- gets on a plane and goes to Asia for the longest trip of his presidency. So they'll be working on that here. He'll be there.

How high are the stakes? What are the risks for the president on this trip to Asia?

VALLIERE: Well, I would just say when he's in Asia he can still meddle on the tax bill, like he did earlier this week saying, oh, let's put the abolition of Obamacare and the tax bill. So even though he's going to be in Asia he'll still be focused on that.

But to your question on Asia, I think the really key here for the markets is, is this president a protectionist, does he believe in free trade, or does he want to stop free trade? I think he would like to kill NAFTA. He obviously doesn't like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. So I think that's going to be an important signal for the markets as he's in Asia.

BRIGGS: What the Republicans and the House and Senate would probably like to see while he's in Asia is a Twitter blackout like we had for 11 minutes --

VALLIERE: Right.

BRIGGS: -- last night when the president's account --

VALLIERE: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- was offline.

An employee of Twitter, on his or her last day, took down the account and Twitter exploded.

VALLIERE: Yes.

BRIGGS: A couple of people -- a couple of hundred thousand people had fun with this, including Brian Fallon, former Clinton spokesman. "Human error is a better check on Trump than Gen. Kelly." Congressman Ted Lieu, Democrat, said "Dear Twitter employee who shut down Trump's Twitter, you made America feel better for 11 minutes."

But there are some serious implications --

ROMANS: Of course.

BRIGGS: -- of this.

VALLIERE: Yes.

BRIGGS: What are they?

VALLIERE: Well, first of all, the president had to go cold turkey. It would be like John Boehner without a cigarette for those nine minutes.

And I think though, the bigger implication is that one disgruntled employee could do this. And you've got an industry right now, like Twitter, that's under a lot of political pressure, so I think this doesn't help their political standing.

[05:40:04] I think that it also -- this is one other point I'd made. I think for Trump -- I mean, this is the way he communicates with his base.

ROMANS: Right.

VALLIERE: And you take that away and you see that his ability to get his message out is really diminished.

ROMANS: We see how he uses Twitter --

BRIGGS: It's enough for the front page of the "Post." Wow.

ROMANS: "That's All, Folks."

No, it will be interesting to see on this trip to Asia if he's tweeting at all, you know. I mean --

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: Or if he's -- if he really dials it back while he's doing his diplomacy thing.

BRIGGS: And stays out of this tax debate. We'll see.

ROMANS: All right. Greg --

VALLIERE: Well, one thing that --

ROMANS: Go ahead.

VALLIERE: One thing, really quickly, they'll be more from Mueller. I think Trump is going to have to have one eye on the special counsel. Mueller is going up the chain of command. I think there's more coming, more indictments for perjury -- things

like that. That could be a distraction for Trump in Asia.

ROMANS: All right. Greg Valliere --

BRIGGS: It could be.

ROMANS: -- political economist, chief --

VALLIERE: All right.

ROMANS: -- strategist for Horizon Investments. Nice to see you. Have a great weekend, Greg.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, new allegations support the idea the DNC rigged the primary for Hillary Clinton and some Democrats are furious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: What Bernie Sanders' camp is saying, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:45:25] BRIGGS: Frustration boiling over for many Democrats this morning following some stunning allegations from the former head of the party. Former interim chairwoman Donna Brazile suggesting the nomination was rigged for Hillary Clinton.

In her forthcoming book, Brazile mentions an agreement arranged in August 2015 between the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Brazile says it gave the campaign a significant measure of direct influence over the party's finances and strategy.

ROMANS: Many Democrats are angry, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tells our Jake Tapper the party has to rebuild, and fast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: This is a real problem but what we've got to do as Democrats, now, is we've got to hold this party accountable. You have got to put together a Democratic Party in which everybody can have confidence that the party is working for Democrats, rather than Democrats are working for the party.

TAPPER: Very quickly, Senator, do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?

WARREN: Yes. (END VIDEO CLIP)

Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders, calls the DNC actions egregious and undemocratic.

Clinton, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.

BRIGGS: President Trump could not help but weigh in, tweeting "Donna Brazile just stated the DNC rigged the system to illegally steal the primary from Bernie Sanders." Adding, "Major violation of campaign finance laws and money laundering. Where is our Justice Department?"

ROMANS: It's important to note Donna Brazile, herself, has admitted to helping the Clinton camp. Leaked e-mails show when she worked at CNN she sent questions to Clinton's campaign in advance of a CNN debate in a town hall.

BRIGGS: Well, if you ever have the feeling President Trump believes the only person in the federal government who matters is him, well, now he's confirming it, sort of.

In his latest interview with "FOX NEWS" the president was asked about open positions at the State Department going unfilled. His response, no problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We don't need all the people that they want. You know, don't forget, I'm a businessperson. I tell my people where you don't need to fill slots, don't fill them.

But we have some people that I'm not happy with there.

INGRAHAM: The assistant secretary of state, you're not getting rid of that position?

TRUMP: All right. But let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I'm the only one that matters because when it comes to it, that's what the policy is going to be.

You've seen that. You've seen it strongly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump has nominated 79 people for State Department jobs, 33 have been confirmed. Way behind Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the nine-month mark of their presidencies.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, the rough year for NFL quarterbacks continuing yesterday as Texans rookie phenom Deshaun Watson suffers a season-ending injury.

ROMANS: Our Houston native Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good morning, guys. You know, had the Astros not won the World Series this news would have just been infinitely worse for Houston.

It's still really sad though for Deshaun Watson who was enjoying a breakout rookie season. And according to reports, Watson suffering a torn ACL on a non-contact play during practice yesterday.

Now, Watson was leading the NFL in passing touchdowns and it's turned the Texans into the highest-scoring team in the NFL. This is a rough season for the Texans. They already lost J.J. Watt for the year for his broken leg last month.

The Texans will reportedly sign quarterback Matt McGloin. And according to Jason La Canfora of CBS, they did not consider signing Colin Kaepernick.

All right, "THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" -- the Jets hosting the Bills. There was a moment of silence before the game in MetLife Stadium for those who lost their lives in Tuesday's attack.

As for the action, in the second quarter Tyrod Taylor -- this is Zay Jones. And check out the "STAR WARS" touchdown celebration. A little lightsaber battle there. It was seven to seven at that point.

The Jets, though, would score three unanswered touchdowns in the second half as they beat the Bill easily, 34 to 21.

All right, a month after surviving the Las Vegas shooting, golfer A.J. McInerney making his PGA Tour debut yesterday in Vegas. McInerney was at the Jason Aldean concert with his girlfriend and he said he saw people to his left and to his right get shot.

Now, McInerney is from Las Vegas and went to UNLV. And he says he was not as nervous as he thought he would be making his PGA Tour debut because he has a new perspective on golf after what he went through.

All right. The World Series champion Houston Astros returning back home yesterday to a hero's welcome. World Series MVP George Springer still has the trophy. I saw him leave the team hotel in L.A. with it.

Carlos Correa and his new fiance there, getting off the plane.

Today, the team's going to hold a parade through the streets of downtown Houston, and schools in Houston canceled today so that everyone can go to the parade and enjoy themselves.

[05:50:06] My good friend, Greg Guys (ph) is a teacher for HISD in Houston. So not only did he get to enjoy the Astros' win, they earned him a day off --

ROMANS: Nice.

SCHOLES: -- on a Friday. So he is doubly pleased about it.

ROMANS: I love it. BRIGGS: Speaking of doubly pleased, Justin Verlander marries Kate Upton this weekend so a pretty good weekend for the Astros' pitcher, huh?

SCHOLES: Absolutely, yes.

BRIGGS: Well, you've got to get to that parade so get out of here.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: Not going to make it.

ROMANS: All right. About 10 minutes to the top of the hour.

It is jobs day in America. The Labor Department will release numbers for October later this morning. We're expecting a major rebound.

"CNN Money Stream" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:54:46] BRIGGS: Ivanka Trump in Tokyo this morning ahead of her father's stopover in Japan. Here she is moments ago greeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of sitting down to dinner.

Ivanka in Japan briefly to speak about women participating in the economy at the annual World Assembly of Women Conference. She used the occasion to call on business and government leaders to pave the way for equality and respect in the workplace.

[05:55:12] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IVANKA TRUMP, ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: In some countries, women are not allowed to own property, travel freely, or work outside of the home without the consent of their husbands.

Countries like the United States and Japan cannot be complacent. We must continue to champion reforms in our own countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: After the first daughter dines with the Prime Minister Abe, she flies back to the U.S. to help in the push for tax reform.

ROMANS: All right. ISIS claiming the attacker in this week's deadly truck-ramming in New York City was a soldier of the caliphate.

The terror group's weekly newspaper did not name the suspect nor claim direct responsibility for the attack. The article stopped short of providing any credible evidence ISIS had knowledge of the attack beforehand or even played a role in the planning. This is the first time ISIS made such a claim in its newspaper before boasting through its regular news agency.

BRIGGS: In Chicago, a manhunt this morning for a suspect who opened fire inside a Starbucks, killing a man and wounding two other people, including a 12-year-old boy.

Police believe it began with a drug deal between two men that went bad in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. They say one of the men then ran into the Starbucks and the suspect, wearing dark clothing and a mask, followed and started shooting.

ROMANS: All right. The University of Notre Dame announcing it will no longer cover birth control for students, faculty, or staff. The Catholic institution making the move less than a month after the Trump administration added a loophole to Obamacare's contraceptive mandate.

New rules allow employers to stop covering birth control if they have a sincerely held religious objection. The school says it honors the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

Employees will lose contraceptive coverage December 31st; students, August 14th.

All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this Friday morning.

U.S. stock futures pointing higher. The Dow hit a record high Thursday after Republicans released their tax plan and President Trump nominated Jerome J. Powell to lead the Fed.

Powell is a current Fed governor who has supported recent policy decisions. He likely won't push for faster interest rate hikes.

Stock markets in Europe right now are up. Shares in Asia closing the week higher.

All right. The market could get a boost from the October jobs report due out at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. The forecast is for a surge of 301,000 new jobs. Increased hiring following the hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida last month, that caused a loss of 33,000 jobs.

The jobless rate, we're expecting it to be holding steady at a really low 4.2 percent. Wages are expected to grow about 2.7 percent, a little bit lighter than last month.

And finally, it's the day crazy Apple fans have been waiting for. The iPhone X hits stores this morning. The cheapest model will cost you a cool grand.

There are reports already of lines at Apple stores around the world. CNN affiliate KABC took these pictures outside of the Pasadena Apple store in California where a small crowd was camped out.

Apple's trying something new this year, releasing different models six weeks apart. There have been concerns about supply constraints but Apple expects to make a fat profit off the phones through the holiday shopping season.

Are you going to get one of those, the X?

BRIGGS: I don't wait in long lines. ROMANS: I don't either.

BRIGGS: I don't do long lines.

ROMANS: I'm also cheap.

BRIGGS: I'll get them in a year.

ROMANS: I'm too cheap. I mean --

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: And I don't even know --

BRIGGS: A thousand bucks?

ROMANS: I don't even know what my phone can do. I probably use five percent of what my phone can do so I don't really need a $1,000 to do more stuff.

BRIGGS: You could use a flip phone, my friend.

ROMANS: I could. You know, I should get like one of those tin cans with a -- with a little string and that's how I could talk to you.

BRIGGS: That would work well.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody. We'll see you Monday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump did not dismiss the idea of arranging a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Trump.

TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia. No person that I deal with does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sessions failed to tell Congress about the proposed Trump-Putin meeting during his confirmation hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His campaign was riddled with people with Russian connections. That's not normal.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: He is peeling away the layers of the onion and somebody's going to end up crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is really about a DNC that lacked transparency.

TAPPER: Do you agree that it was rigged?

WARREN: Yes.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We're going to get this done. Why? Because the American people deserve this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their advertised effort on behalf of the middle- class is simply not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)