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EARLY START

Winter Blast Invades The North And East; Trump Hopes For Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal; Prince Harry Interviews Former President Obama. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 27, 2017 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:31:36] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Five feet of snow and climbing. Parts of the north and east getting socked with some winter weather as a cold front brings single-digit temps for New Year's revelers.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: And the White House getting ready to roll out framework of an infrastructure plan, but can the president get Democrats on board for what's historically been a bipartisan issue?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik. Good morning.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

I'm six, two. How tall are you?

KOSIK: I am five feet, and I think we're about to see from Pedram how --

BRIGGS: Five feet, so it's snow your height.

KOSIK: That snow's piling up, yes.

BRIGGS: They're used to snow but not this kind of snow, in Pennsylvania. We start with the weather outside. It is indeed frightful. Snowfall records being shattered as temperatures dig in a winter blast invading much of the north and east.

That's some cool time-lapse video here of some record-breaking snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania. People there got, as we told you, over five feet of snow since Christmas day alone. It is not over yet.

KOSIK: Some people are, though, trying to make the best of it. This man you see here, he broke out his skis to get around his neighborhood. Even some dogs are having a hard time getting around in this but hey, at least they don't have to shovel. They get to play.

BRIGGS: Outstanding effort.

Twenty-one Pennsylvania National Guard troops have been now put on active duty to help medical and law enforcement emergencies.

The snow, part of a broader system heading east for New Year's. Temps there for the ball drop in Times Square, single digits.

Let's get to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri live in our weather center. Good morning to you, sir.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, good morning, Dave.

BRIGGS: Is it still on the way in Erie, Pennsylvania?

JAVAHERI: Yes. You know, unbelievably, just about another foot potentially left in store across that. Some of these regions where we've seen upwards of four feet of snow come down and that's really incredible, right? You think about a foot of snow being just a limited amount compared to what has already happened. This is a state record for Pennsylvania as far as the amount of snow that came down in a matter of just a couple of days.

And, in fact, you take a look. Christmas Eve, two inches fell. You work your way on into Christmas day. You had a white Christmas of record proportions here -- 34 inches and then 24 more followed come Tuesday afternoon.

In fact, from Monday into Tuesday, in Erie, we had enough snow here to be more than, say, parts of Boulder, Colorado get in an entire year. And we saw that across parts of New York State.

But here we go. Big-time cold air now following this so we're really not expecting much in the way of the snow to melt anytime soon. How about windchills as cold as 30-36 below zero even at this hour across portions of the northern tier of the country.

Parts of 22 states now and 62 million people underneath windchill advisories ranging from 20 below to 45 degrees below zero. Those temperatures, 45 below zero, takes about 10 or so minutes of exposed skin to cause permanent damage to your skin, so really important to note that over this region.

In fact, is it Mars, is it Minnesota? When you look at the temperatures it's unbelievably comparable because in International Falls, known as the ice box of the U.S., high temps expected today to be minus eight. On Mars' surface, the Rover observation sent us a report of minus nine for a high temperature on Tuesday. It kind of gives you the perspective of this.

And that arctic air is on the move. It is moving right towards areas of the Great Lakes. And that's just one shot of this. I think we'll get a secondary bout of it pushing through so you'll get a brief period of warming.

Look at what happens in St. Louis. It goes from 17 up to the upper twenties. In Chicago, from 11 up to almost 20 degrees and then the bottom drops out Saturday.

I want to break this down further because when you look at exactly how this plays out we get another shot of arctic air. We're already down on our knees and we get another lack from the really arctic air coming in our Canada, and that pushes right over portions of the northeast this go-around.

[05:35:06] So the energy really concentrates itself directly over places as New York City, Philly, Boston, in particular. Look at this forecast and look at 2017 and on one of the most remarkable notes when it comes to dropping it potentially into the single digits right around midnight there on Sunday.

But with a 10-mile and hour wind, as we expect, that would translate to a minus-seven windchill. So I suggest anyone outdoors wear at least four layers. And keep in mind, leave good loose layers between your shirts, as well, because you want to trap body heat between those layers. That's how you're going to survive.

KOSIK: Oh, that's the trick.

BRIGGS: Loose layers.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

KOSIK: I didn't realize that. I grew up in Miami.

BRIGGS: I always had them tightly packed.

KOSIK: I know, me too.

JAVAHERI: No, no.

BRIGGS: Man, we learn a lot from Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Give it some room for your body heat, yes.

KOSIK: OK, that's good to know. Thank you.

BRIGGS: Well done, my friend.

KOSIK: I believe that New Year's Eve I'm going to be in Times Square. Thanks so much, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Yes, yes.

KOSIK: President Trump and the White House are hoping to unveil the framework of an infrastructure plan by next month. The hope is to have it be a major part of the president's first state of the union address on January 30th.

The plan will propose spending at least $200 billion on infrastructure over the next decade with the hopes of spurring an additional $800 billion in state and local funding despite the fact that state and local budgets are strapped.

BRIGGS: Already, some Democrats and business groups saying $200 billion is too low, but a White House official says the figure is more of a floor than a ceiling.

As part of the plan the White House will also propose simplifying the federal permitting process, hoping to reduce the time it takes to get projects done.

KOSIK: The president is set to travel across the country pushing his infrastructure agenda. It is historically proven to be an area that usually gets bipartisan agreement. White House officials have suggested few politicians would oppose the plan to fix crumbling roads and bridges, among other projects.

BRIGGS: All right. Joining us to discuss, once again, senior political correspondent for bustle.com, Erin Delmore.

Erin, I am skeptical that bipartisanship can happen in this toxic political environment. But, Democrats had no economic message in 2016. Republicans just passed a tax cut plan -- it be unpopular right now, but the economy is taking off.

Can Democrats risk opposing infrastructure, of all things, even with an unpopular president?

ERIN DELMORE, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, BUSTLE.COM: I spoke with Sen. Chuck Schumer right after President Trump was elected. And remember, that was a tough time for Democrats. They were reeling.

But he pointed at infrastructure as one bright spot in the agenda. He said at the time that he could see bipartisanship there.

But look ahead at the political forecast. It's 2018, which means that they're up facing a midterm election and they're working with a historically unpopular president. So there could be a benefit there in having Democrats oppose Trump this year, even on something that Trump has called a softball, like infrastructure.

BRIGGS: How? How would you oppose infrastructure if you're the Democratic Party?

DELMORE: There are two things to look at there.

There's the overall spending in this bill. They could say that it's not enough, it's not what was promised, it's not high enough. But there's also the question of timing so Democrats really want to see DACA on the table as soon as possible in the new year.

If you look back at the fall, President Trump said he would give Congress six months to find a legislative fix for the thousands of Dreamers in the United States --

BRIGGS: Right.

DELMORE: -- who were brought here as children. That deadline is going to come up in the middle of March.

But, Republicans and Democrats, they're looking at proposals to shore up the health care law. Look specifically at Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins on that one.

And, there's going to be this infrastructure first that we talked about. Those are three major priorities and almost no time.

KOSIK: But where is the revenue for infrastructure coming from? We're going to get the framework next month. Where is it coming from because tax reform left little, sort of, extra money out there?

DELMORE: The proposal from the White House right now is that you'll see a slice of funding from the federal government and then you'll see state and local governments making up the difference.

KOSIK: They're going to have to raise taxes. That is not going to be easy.

DELMORE: State and local government are in for it this year because Republicans have not only said here's tax reform -- work with this in your home states -- but they've said that entitlement reform could be next. Now, if that happens, state and local governments are going to have to pick up some of the cost of that social safety net at home.

BRIGGS: All right. It should be an interesting month, certainly in politics and certainly when we talk about the Russia investigation. Now the president, daily, attacking the FBI, attacking Bob Mueller and the special counsel and their findings.

And, "USA Today" has an interesting editorial on that this morning about the "Smearing Robert Mueller" is the title of this piece.

And it says, "Imagine if it's true that the Russia story is truly fake news and a witch hunt, as the president and his minions insist. Why would they sling mud at the very people and institutions that would place their valuable imprimatur on such a conclusion? Why, you have to wonder, are they so worried about what Mueller's investigation might reveal?"

Are these the actions of an innocent person -- an innocent party? Why attack Bob Mueller if they've done nothing wrong?

DELMORE: There are two things going on right now.

The first thing to remember is that the FBI is genuinely a thorn in the president's side. This Russia investigation has hung over his head, and his White House, and his legislative priorities for the entire year.

[05:40:05] And, Trump was told by his own lawyers that the investigation would wrap up by year's end. Now, we're not going to see that happen. That's not what Bob Mueller intends.

But at the same time, you see Trump voicing that criticism and it has the effect of discrediting the investigation. So we're finding something out --

BRIGGS: But what if the investigation finds nothing -- right.

DELMORE: Right. If the investigation finds nothing at all it's a win for President Trump. And I --

BRIGGS: Is it after you've totally discredited everything they do?

DELMORE: I do not think that he would continue that line if nothing is found. The president has said he's comfortable reversing -- BRIGGS: Then he would what? Then he would hold Bob Mueller up as a beacon of truth? What would he then do and say?

DELMORE: Think about the larger picture of what's going on with the FBI right now. There is a move, at least among some Republicans, to discredit the investigation.

But look back to October 2016. There was a move to discredit the FBI for being biased against Hillary Clinton.

BRIGGS: Yes.

DELMORE: Now, the FBI isn't a political football but we've seen it tossed around that way for much longer than just this year.

KOSIK: All right, let's end on a lighter note. This is the 110th day -- or yesterday was -- where the president has spent at a Trump-owned property as president.

Interestingly enough, he was golfing after he spent a good amount of time insulting President Obama for doing the same. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Obama, it was reported today, played 250 rounds of golf.

Everything is executive order because he doesn't have enough time because he's playing so much golf.

Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there.

I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf.

He played more golf last year than Tiger Woods.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: OK, so we're seeing two different presidents --

BRIGGS: Golden oldies.

KOSIK: Sure, two sides of President Trump when his words come back to haunt him.

DELMORE: Yes, it's a stressful job and I think he's decided that playing golf suits him. I mean, in the best light, golf can be a way for him to bridge the gaps.

He came in as an outsider. He doesn't have these relationships with lawmakers or with people who are traditional denizens of Washington.

But, yes, when you put a mash-up like that up it does look like President Trump hit Obama hard. It was one of his favorite attack lines against the president. He wanted to paint the president -- former President Barack Obama -- as being elitist, as being a person who doesn't work hard.

Remember, it's on the heels of the birther controversy. There's a lot there to unpack.

BRIGGS: Eight-six days of golf. Dare to dream.

I'm just saying the president should resolve to play with a few Democrats in 2018, but he --

KOSIK: He gets it done.

BRIGGS: Erin Delmore, thanks for being here.

KOSIK: Erin, thanks so much.

BRIGGS: Appreciate it.

DELMORE: Thank you.

BRIGGS: The tiebreaker to settle the Virginia House race that will determine balance of power in the bellwether state delayed now until at least next week.

Lawyers representing Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds are taking the matter to court. They want the circuit court judges to reconsider their decision to allow a controversial ballot to be counted as a vote for Simonds' Republican rival David Yancey.

The decision to count the controversial ballot made the race a tie. A day after a recount, the panel had declared a one-vote victory for the Democratic Simonds.

KOSIK: The chairman of the Virginia Board of Elections says the tiebreaker will be delayed to let the legal process play out. And if the tiebreaker eventually goes forward it will then be a lot draw. That means the two candidate's names would be put into film canisters and the first name drawn from the bowl will be declared the winner.

BRIGGS: Man, have we got to broadcast that live. That could be some outstanding television.

KOSIK: Picking a name.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a flight from L.A. to Japan spends eight hours in the air only to return to Los Angeles. What happened and the epic Twitter takedown from celebrity on board.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:47:14] BRIGGS: Now to the story that nearly shut down Twitter yesterday. After more than eight hours in the air, passengers on a Los Angeles to Tokyo flight landed right back where they started.

All Nippon Airways flight 175 flew for four hours before making an abrupt U-turn because an unauthorized passenger was on board. The airline says when the cabin crew notified the pilot, the plane turned around as part of airline security procedure.

Model Chrissy Teigen, one of the 226 passengers on board, clearly not pleased. On Twitter, here she goes.

First she said -- first, there was confusion. "After all this I will have spent 8 hours on a flight to nowhere. Like we were all just having a great time up here flying in the sky watching Gran Torino time to go home now."

Then, she showed some amusement. "Don't know why I'm not more upset. The pleasure I get out of the story is worth more to me than a direct flight to Tokyo."

BRIGGS: Amusement turning to frustration here. "I won't be able to sleep until I know how this person figured out they were on the wrong flight."

Then when no one would share information about the mystery passenger, Teigen added, "No one will spill anything. Wish I had more for you guys. Wish I could be your Snowden."

Teigen has apparently since taken off on another flight. All Nippon is rebooking passengers for trips this morning.

KOSIK: OK, but still no explanation how the passenger got on the wrong flight. One possibility is the passenger was ticketed under what's called a codeshare agreement and that's where one airline puts its name on a flight operated by another airline and sells tickets. Last night's All Nippon flight was also coded as a United flight.

BRIGGS: A happy ending.

It was a Christmas Eve to remember for the Travis family of North Carolina. The husband and wife on their way to meet one another when both people saved people in separate incidents.

Crystal Travis and her daughter were driving when they saw flames through the roof of a home. They then jumped out to help the family and just in time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRYSTAL TRAVIS, HELPED SAVE FAMILY ON CHRISTMAS EVE: All of a sudden, like the propane tank on the porch explodes. And so, like, we -- it shakes the ground and you can feel it really fast and really chaotic. And I'm just really glad that they were able to make it out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: OK, that family's OK.

And Crystal Travis had no idea at the same time, 20 miles away, her husband Roger was helping a baby. Roger Travis is an EMT and he saw CPR being performed in a -- in front of a mall and he stepped in to revive the infant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER TRAVIS, HELPED SAVE CHILD ON CHRISTMAS EVE: We did get a pulse back from the child. The child was crying. God put us at the right moment at the right time for the people that needed us the most.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Oh, and what could be an understatement. The Travis family call it, quote, "the craziest day ever."

BRIGGS: A possible meteor sighting across the United States last night after people across the country reported seeing a flying object in the sky. This video was captured by a group in Maine.

[05:50:04] The American Meteorological Society says it's investigating reports of fireballs seen over one dozen states stretching from Maine to Florida, all the way west to California.

CNN has reached out to NORAD and NASA to get more information. So far, we've not heard back.

KOSIK: Dave thinks it was Santa.

BRIGGS: of course, it was. Some late, last-minute deliveries, you know?

KOSIK: Absolutely.

All right, the NFL's big Sunday night primetime game called off. We're going to explain when "CNN Money Stream" comes up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: Prince Harry's stint as guest editor of BBC Radio 4's Today program happening this morning. The big interview, former President Barack Obama. The man whose campaigns were reliant on social media had some highly critical comments about social media as well.

CNN's Anna Stewart live in London for us with the highlights.

A very interesting and warm conversation between the two. What did they talk about?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, they had such a good rapport. But really, the top line was from President Obama when he cautioned people about the use of social media. Take a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the dangers of the Internet is is that people can have entirely different realities. They can be just cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases.

The question I think really has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn't lead to a balkanization of our society but rather continues to promote ways of finding common ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[05:55:20] STEWART: So a warning there, you know. Think before you tweet and be careful at what you read. So that was really the headline -- a serious part of the interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE HARRY, GUEST INTERVIEWER, BBC RADIO 4, TODAY: Harry or William?

OBAMA: William, right now.

PRINCE HARRY: "TITANIC" or "THE BODYGUARD?"

OBAMA: "TITANIC."

PRINCE HARRY: "SUITS" or "THE GOOD WIFE?"

OBAMA: "SUITS," obviously.

PRINCE HARRY: Great -- great answer.

Cigarettes or gum?

OBAMA: Gum now, baby.

PRINCE HARRY: Gum.

White House or Buckingham Palace?

OBAMA: White House just because Buckingham Palace looks like it would take a really long time to mow.

PRINCE HARRY: OK, fair enough.

OBAMA: A lot of upkeep.

PRINCE HARRY: Queen or the Queen?

OBAMA: The Queen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: So you see some really great light bits right at the end. They have such a good chemistry, such good rapport. They are friends.

Now, I can tell you that Prince Harry was asked after this interview ran whether or not he would be inviting Obama to the wedding, something the whole country has been asking about. And what he said was he hadn't sent out the invites yet and they don't have the guest list together.

BRIGGS: Oh, come on. He's got to invite Obama. I bet the Brits are already betting on that. Anna, that is good stuff. Thanks so much.

KOSIK: OK.

The Library of Congress says it will no longer archive every tweet after preserving every single tweet since 2010. I had no idea the library did this. The library says beginning January first it will only acquire tweets on quote, "a very selective basis." The library says it began archiving tweets to preserve a record of knowledge and creativity.

BRIGGS: But, Twitter and the ways it's used have obviously evolved with the volume of tweets increasing dramatically. The library doesn't say how many tweets it has but by 2013, it had already amassed 170 billion at a rate of half a billion tweets per day.

KOSIK: Wonder how many were from President Trump?

OK, let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.

U.S. stocks down as shares of Apple had their worst day since August. Apple faced questions surrounding slow iPhone X demand after an analyst slashed his projections for the phone by 10 million.

Tech stocks across the board fell, with the S&P 500 technology sector falling seven-tenths of one percent.

Now, today is likely to be a slow trading day on Wall Street. U.S. futures are flat. Trading volume is expected to be thin amid the holiday week.

Oil reaching its highest price in two and a half years. That's after a pipeline exploded in Libya. Libya's state-run National Oil Corporation said the explosion jeopardized output by up to 100,000 barrels a day. The cause of the blast unclear.

But, U.S. crude oil prices spiking two and a half percent Tuesday to more than $60 a barrel. That's the highest level since June of 2015. Still though, prices remain low compared with the $100 a barrel prices we saw years ago.

The NFL has canceled the final Sunday night football game of the season. But don't worry, no one was going to watch anyway. The last Sunday night football game also happens to be the final game of the season.

The NFL tries to schedule a game that will have playoff implications for one or both of the teams playing but no game scheduled for week 17 meet that criteria and New Year's Eve, it tends to hurt viewership.

So instead, there are going to be seven games scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and an unusually high nine games scheduled for kick-off at 4:25 p.m. So you can still get your football fix on that day.

BRIGGS: I'm looking at the schedule here wondering --

KOSIK: I'm sure you are.

BRIGGS: -- why Cleveland couldn't be in primetime to see if they zero and 16.

KOSIK: Writing about it.

BRIGGS: That would be one stories --

KOSIK: I'm writing about it.

BRIGGS: -- of the final week.

KOSIK: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Alison Kosik. Have a great day.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could see the president roll out infrastructure plan in January. The big question remains will Democrats put politics aside?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN: Yes, I'll work with him on infrastructure if he'll work with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any work on health care going forward will have to be bipartisan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have fundamental tenants of Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president tries to discredit the FBI investigation.

REP. FRANCIS ROONEY (R), FLORIDA: I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These tweets directed at them are really a distraction from these individuals needing to focus on their jobs.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Erie, Pennsylvania shattering that two-day snowfall record in the entire state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden, it's gotten really, really bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're watching NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, December 27th, 6:00 here in New York.

Chris is off; Bill Weir joins me.

It is so called and the snow --

BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: How could is it?

CAMEROTA: Look at Erie.