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Trump Meets Today with Mexican President; ISIS Says Top Leader Killed in Airstrike in Syria; E.U. Orders Apple to Pay Ireland $14.6B in Back Taxes. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 31, 2016 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:26] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: After more than a year of mocking Mexican immigrants, Donald Trump will meet with the president of Mexico, just hours ahead of his highly anticipated immigration speech.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: ISIS vowing revenge for the death of one its most important leaders. How this notorious terrorist was struck down.

HOWELL: And the big question, Apple will it have to pay nearly $15 billion back to Ireland? The enormous tax ruling thrown down by the E.U. and how it could impact your bottom line.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm George Howell.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour this morning.

Breaking overnight, Donald Trump announcing he will meet today with the president of Mexico. That meeting will happen just hours before Trump delivers this hotly anticipated speech where he's expected to lay out details of his immigration policy. Now, a sit-down between Trump and President Enrique Pena Nieto is surprising, to say the least, given Trump's repeated vows to build a wall along the Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it.

Last month, Pena Nieto told CNN there's zero chance that will happen.


ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, PRESIDENT OF THE MEXICO: There is a way to have Mexico pay that wall. But any decisions inside United States is a decision of its government.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: But under no circumstances would Mexico pay for that wall?

PENA NIETO: There is no way that Mexico can pay for a wall like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Trump has also drawn fierce attacks in Mexico, and in the wider Hispanic community for the sometimes heated insulting rhetoric against immigration.

CNN's Phil Mattingly is traveling with the Trump campaign. He's got the latest for us.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George and Christine.

We knew there was going to be an important speech, an important moment in Donald Trump's campaign on Wednesday, we just didn't know it would involve a visit to Mexico. Now, Donald Trump's immigration speech scheduled for Wednesday in Arizona is still on. What was unexpected was his visit to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The president's office saying they extended invitations both with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the meeting will be private.

Donald Trump also has that speech as well, where we have all been waiting for the specific details of that immigration policy in Everett, Washington, on Tuesday night, he mentioned the stakes for that speech.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There is no better evidence of the fact that Hillary Clinton's immigration policy which brings in illegal immigrants and ref -- well, is that a true statement -- it brings illegal immigrants and refugees to take jobs from our hardworking African-American and Hispanic citizens, and they want those jobs.


Instead of providing free health care and jobs to millions of refugees from around the world that we have no idea even where they come from, we should rebuild our inner cities and provide jobs to struggling Americans that have been struggling for years and years.

MATTINGLY: Now, there are still a lot of logistical issues to figure out for Donald Trump's trip. No question about it. The Secret Service being pushed hard to figure this out in just a short period of time. And I'm told inside of Trump's team, there's concern about this idea. A lot of unknown variables when you're meeting with a world leader.

But that said, those supporting this idea, including Donald Trump, making very clear, this is the type of moment, a big bold moment, a big bold statement that they believe should help him show that he is ready to operate at the highest points of the world stage -- certainly an unexpected twists, though -- guys.


HOWELL: Phil Mattingly, thank you. Last night, Donald Trump Jr. sat down with Anderson Cooper, offering a

preview of what he plans to say during the big immigration speech today. Here's some of what he said.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tomorrow, your dad is giving a big speech on immigration. "A," I mean, have you seen the speech? Do you know what it is? Have you talked to him about it? And if so, is there going to be more clarity on exactly what his speech is?

DONALD TRUMP, JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Yes, there's going to be more clarity. I've seen parts of it. You know, they're finalizing aspects of it. They're going to continue to lay things out in the weeks and months as that expand.

You're going to see a lot more details but you're going to really see the fundamental principles that we have to do, that we have to secure our border. We have to start implementing an E-Verify system. We have to let ICE do their job. Enforce the existing laws on the books.

I mean, some of this is not rocket science. These are laws that are there today. They've been on the books for years. They've been expanded. And these guys are basically told they can't do that.

So, you know, we have to have baby steps first.

[04:35:01] We have to have ICE do their jobs. And we have to do this for the benefit for the benefit of the American people.

COOPER: Your dad was very clear about its policies. Obviously build a wall, have Mexico pay for it. Go after the criminals. The 11 million undocumented immigrants who are here, they've got to go. Good ones can come back. It will be done humanely. There will be deportation force.

He seems to be deemphasizing on that or at least focusing -- trying to focus on build a wall, E-Verify, go after criminals. And now, we're hearing from -- someone from the campaign just the other day, well, on the 11 million, we'll figure that out down the road.

Is there going to be more clarity on that tomorrow or --

TRUMP: The 11 million is one thing. But, when you take out, again, the criminals, when you take out t people who have committed felonies. When you send them back home, that's actually millions of people. That's a big portion of that group.

And without doing that, everything else is irrelevant. And you have to take those steps first --

COOPER: That was pretty much Jeb Bush's policy, that was pretty much a lot of other Republicans' policies. Even your father has even acknowledged that under Obama, they've been deporting an awful lot of people. So, I guess what people -- and you know this better than anyone, what

has concern, particularly Republicans just in the last week or so, some of your dad's statements about softening --

TRUMP: Anderson, I was there, because you're obviously referring to the Hannity thing. I was there with them. I did a segment for the next day five minute after that. He wasn't softening on anything. He didn't change his stance on anything.

What he did was and what he's done all along, he's speaking with the people. He's not lecturing them like most of the politicians you see there. He's actually having a conversation. He basically surveyed the room and asked, hey, what are your thoughts on this, I want to take that, because I want to take into account what the people say.

Unlike our opponent who basically will take into account only those who contribute millions and millions of dollars to her campaign. He's actually having a conversation with the people of this country, the hard working men and women who made this country great, he's giving them a voice. He's asking opinion. He didn't say, well, my policy has changed, he didn't say that.

Now, the media will run with it however they want, but that's actually what happened. And I was in the room.

COOPER: It does seem to the viewers we're talking to, seemed like he's polling the room, he's not quite sure what has policy is.

TRUMP: He was asking for an opinion. His policy has been the same for the last six, seven, eight months --

COOPER: So, he still says deport. They've all got to go.

TRUMP: That's been the same, correct. But again, you have to start with baby steps. You have to let ICE do their job. You have to eliminate sanctuary cities. You have to get rid of the criminals, certainly. First and foremost, you have to secure the border.

These are common sense things, Anderson. These are things that every other country around the world has done and those who haven't and who gotten lackadaisical about it, look at what's going on. And perhaps, you know, Europe is the best example of that right now.


ROMANS: All right. Top House Democrats want the FBI to look into whether the Trump campaign had any, quote, "overt and covert connections" to suspected Russian government cyberattacks. Democrats say Donald Trump's remarks inviting Russia to leak Hillary Clinton's emails and links between Trump aides and Russia raised red flags.

Security experts say Russia was almost certainly behind the cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, and the subsequent leak of internal DNC documents. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid sent a similar letter to the FBI on Monday. HOWELL: It has been a busy week for the FBI. As early as today, the

bureau is expected to release a public report it sent to the Department of Justice last month. That report focused on its investigation into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server. You'll remember, the FBI Director James Comey recommended no charges in that case, but called Clinton's handling of classified materials, quote, "extremely careless."

Law enforcement officials say the FBI agent notes from Clinton's voluntary interview at FBI headquarters will also be released in the next few days.

ROMANS: Donald Trump says the U.S. is losing to Mexico. But the two countries are very close trade partners. Mexico is the third largest trading partner for the U.S.

Exports to Mexico, $267 billion last year, imports worth $316 billion. That's a trade deficit. It doesn't mean that the U.S. a loser. It means that the U.S. buying more from Mexico than it is selling to Mexico. The top products going back and forth are machinery, oil and gas, plastics, agricultural products.

Mexico is the second largest supplier of ag products to the U.S. Top categories are fresh vegetables and fruit at more than $4 billion each, and then wine and beer and snack foods. These trade channels are opened up by NAFTA, something is that Trump has spoken out against. With hundreds of billions of dollars of trading hands each year, Trump will likely be speaking about his trade plans, of course, with the Mexican president. We'll hear more about all of that tonight.

But it's a fascinating relationship. In some cases, George, when you look at the things that the U.S. is buying from Mexico, some of the parts inside of those manufactured products were -- originally manufactured in the United States, exported in Mexico, put in something and brought back. So, it's not a clear win or lose scenario, it's much more complicated than that.

HOWELL: You know, it's a private meeting, wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall?

ROMANS: Oh, yes, absolutely. Look, the president of Mexico has compared Donald Trump with Hitler and Mussolini.


ROMANS: Donald Trump has said that Mexicans are rapists. What an astonishing thing to be those two men in that room together.

[04:40:01] HOWELL: What a conversation there.

ROMANS: We're following a story in a fight against ISIS. A top terrorist killed in an air strike. The significant blow struck to ISIS and their vow for revenge, next.


ISIS is vowing revenge for the killing of its key deputy, Mohammad al- Adnani, in Syria. Adnani was the terror group's official spokesman, the media face, if you will, a chief strategist who he repeatedly called for attacks on the West. Coalition forces haven't confirmed his death, but the Pentagon says Adnani was targeted in a precision strike near the Syria-Turkey border.

Let's go live to London and CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank standing by with perspective on Adnani.

And, Paul, what exactly will his death mean in the war against ISIS?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: George, it's a huge breakthrough in confirmed on the war on ISIS, perhaps the biggest breakthrough yet.

[04:45:03] Adnani was an absolute critical part of the ISIS terrorist organization, the key deputy of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. It was Adnani who actually announced their so-called caliphate, even before al Baghdadi in 2014. He has been the operative who was overseen ISIS external attack -- plotting the attacks in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and elsewhere. Western intelligence officials believe were approved by him.

So, a very, very dangerous individual indeed. And perhaps even more than Baghdadi, the one that the Western security forces wanted to take off the battlefield. He was also somebody that inspired a wave of terrorism in the West through audiotapes that he put out in the last couple of years, calling for ISIS followers around the world to launch attacks in ISIS' name by any means necessary. And we saw, for example, that shooting in Orlando, over the summer, follow n from of those audiotapes.

HOWELL: So, again, this key official under Abu Bark al Baghdadi suspected to be killed in the strike.

Also, what more are we hearing about the new reports about ISIS stepping up its efforts to attack the U.K., Paul?

CRUICKSHANK: George, a senior European counterterrorism official tells me that intelligence came in during the summer that ISIS was stepping up their efforts to infiltrate operatives into the U.K. to launch attacks. Up to this point, it's been difficult, more difficult for them to that than to send operatives back to Continental Europe because the U.K. is separated by sea, it's not part of the Schengen zone where there no internal borders controls within the European Union.

But the organization stepping up efforts according to recent intelligence, discrediting significant concern here in the U.K. The same time, this official telling me that they're discovering more and more ISIS operatives on Continental European soil. They're very worried about the threat right now. And at least, in the short term, the threat is likely to go you box of

the death of Adnani. ISIS, as you point out, has vowed retaliation. And these operatives who were part of this external attack division ultimately answering up to him. This may be a worrying few days for security services here in Europe.

HOWELL: CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank live for us in London -- Paul, thank you for the insight.

ROMANS: The 911 calls from the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in June, those calls have just been released by the Orange County Service. Forty-nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside the packed gay nightclub. It's the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the frantic calls coming from inside the club and from people whose loved ones were trapped there.


CALLER: Yes, my son was shot in the club in the Pulse in Orlando, and he's still in the bathroom and he's bleeding. He got shot and nobody's going in for him.

OPERATOR: Do you know which bathroom he's in?

CALLER: He's in the pulse. He's in the club. He's in the bathroom. He's got shot.

OPERATOR: Yes, I understand. There's several bathrooms, though. Do you know which one he is in?

CALLER: I don't know what bathroom, no. Nobody's going in for him.

OPERATOR: No, we do have lots of help out there. They're trying to get in to --

CALLER: I know, I know.


ROMANS: It's heartbreaking. Orlando police have yet to release their batch of 911 calls, which include recordings of gunman, Omar Mateen, during the massacre, pledging his allegiance to ISIS.

All right. Apple hit with a nearly $15 billion tax bill.


ROMANS: Ouch, by the European Union. This is the beginning of what will likely be a long fight. What it means for company's future overseas, what it means for investors and what it means for taxpayers here in the U.S. We're going to take a trip to London, next.


[04:53:08] HOWELL: The European Union is ordering Apple to pay as much as $15 billion back in taxes, plus interest, to Ireland. The three-year probe into the E.U., by the E.U., ruled that Ireland's tax deal is with the California tech giant breached rules on state aid to corporations.

ROMANS: Record crackdown on these loopholes, tax loopholes enflaming tensions with the U.S.

CNN's Isa Soares live in London with the very latest.

Isa, the E.U. saying Apple is not paying its fair share, enriching itself and its shareholders at the expense of taxpayers.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. Good morning to you, Christine. Good morning to you, George.

A very staggering amount and a damning report we heard from Europe that $14.6 billion plus r interest. And when I was speaking to a source in the last hour or so, they were saying that interest could amount to something like $7 billion. Meaning, the total amount they'll probably have to pay, Christine and George, $21 billion.

Let me explain to you, explain to our viewers, exactly what the European Commission has said. We have a graph to explain the workings of Apple in Europe. Europe is basically saying that Apple has -- the Irish government has given Apple illegal state aid. Helping the tech giant to basically artificial blow it's tax bill for a period of 20 years.

This is how it works. You're seeing there several stores in Europe. This is where Apple operates right across the continent. What Apple has been doing, their profits from sales and stores are channeled -- basically channeled to their head office in Ireland.

Now, this head -- excuse me, this head office in Ireland only exists on paper. There are no premises. There are no real employees. And, according to European Union, there is no real activity.

We all knew that Apple paid very little tax, Christine, in Ireland, because that's what makes Ireland so attractive.

[04:55:05] But in fact, they're paying even less tax than we thought. In 2013, they paid only 1 percent tax in 2014 -- get this, they paid 0.005 percent tax in Ireland.

And now, we're hearing from Apple. We've also heard from Ireland. Ireland said they will appeal. Apple said they will appeal. From what I'm hearing this can a have been a prolonged legal battle.

ROMANS: Of course.

SOARES: And Ireland's already saying, we do not want to use big U.S. business from Ireland. And we also don't want the hefty legal bill, as you can imagine, Christine.

ROMANS: So, Ireland and E.U. on opposite sides of this. The E.U. wants that money back. Ireland saying, wait a minute, wait a minute, we don't want to appear unattractive. The U.S. Treasury saying, hey, wait, the E.U. should not do this because it could hurt U.S. taxpayers in the end. But I have to say $231 billion in cash. That's how much Apple has. Super high margins on a lot of its products, and you look at a tax rate at less than 1 percent. Most people would love to pay less than 1 percent. They don't have a fleet of tax attorneys to help them do that.

How long do you think this fight could be?

SOARES: This could take some time. This morning it could take as long as ten years. It's just going to drag on, because obviously, Ireland does not want to lose the attraction of these big companies like Google and Facebook, really working out of there. They've got more than 5,000 or so jobs right across the country.

This tax bill, Christine, that amounts to total health bill, annual health care bill, for Ireland. So many people in Europe applauding this. They're applauding this. Many in Ireland are saying, look, the way the Celtic tigers come out of recession is thanks in part to companies like Facebook, like Google, like Apple, that really helped us economically.

The rest Europe is basically saying, look, Ireland can't have its cake and eat it. And Apple there needs to be a level playing field for everyone. The very interesting one, before make this point, Ireland has to have a very fine line here politically, as obviously with the U.K. leaving the Eurozone with the Brexit. They need to try and get as much support from the E.U. and also try to not lose that support. Hence, why it's a very, very fine balancing act for Ireland come economically, as well as politically -- Christine and George.

HOWELL: And, Isa, as you pointed out earlier, this move against Apple, it's really watch this space, because other companies, could McDonald's be next?

SOARES: McDonald's, absolutely.


ROMANS: Several different companies, especially tech companies.

All right. Thank you so much, Isa. Nice to see you.

SOARES: Pleasure.

ROMANS: Let's talk more about money this morning. Dow futures pointing lower right now. The market fell slightly yesterday as investors threw economic data ahead of the reports Friday. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are mixed. Oil is down after a big drop yesterday.

It's the final trading day of the month, folks. Yes, the end of August, and here we are, all the major averages gaining in the month a little bit. NASDAQ there in green with the strongest gain of the three, still less than 1 percent. Stocks wavered for the past few weeks as investors are processing, they are processing the fact that the Fed will likely raise interest rates this year.

Fed Chief Janet Yellen hinting last week that could come sooner rather than later. There are three Fed meetings, by the way, left this year and an election. There's a growing rick on the campaign trail. You'll hear what's not working in America.

But when you look at the data Americans seem to be doing better financially. The latest evidence of that is consumer confidence. This is July's reading. It jumped to the highest level in a year. Thirty percent of those surveyed say business conditions are good. That is up in June in that nearly 19 percent believe their wages will rise in the next six months. That's also up.

So, what's driving this optimism? Job growth has been strong. Economy has added 507,000 new jobs over the past two months. Gas prices are low. Stock market is up for the year. S&P up 6.5 percent.

And then maybe more important for most people, home prices are up, the housing market appears strong. Even the bad housing numbers are good. Existing home sales fell last month, George, that's because of tight inventory. They fell because people wanted to buy a house but couldn't find enough on the market.

HOWELL: You know, what's interesting, those numbers on election day, how are you feeling right that, then that will play in the election.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

HOWELL: EARLY START continues right now.


HOWELL: Heading south of the border, in a surprise meeting with Mexico's president, only hours before his highly anticipated speech on immigration.

ROMANS: The public face of ISIS killed in Syria. How this high profile terrorist was struck down and the significant blow his death is dealing to ISIS.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Christine Romans. It's EARLY START.