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EARLY START

Clinton Versus Trump; Obama Speaks Out Against Congress; Chicago Hits Grim Milestone: 500 Homicides. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 7, 2016 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:13] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's national security day on the campaign trail. Get ready for a big one. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, the very latest, including the very latest accusations from both campaigns both moments away.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama laying into Congress for refusing to act on a landmark trade deal. We'll bring you some of the president's remarks. CNN is live in Laos this morning.

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: Nice to see you this morning. I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday, September 7th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

And new this morning, with no lead in this presidential race secure, national security will be in the spotlight today with new proposals and new attacks on the way. Aides to Donald Trump say that this morning, Trump will call for a significant increase in military spending and to restore the military budget cuts that were part of the sequester. That's the tough word we don't like to use, but you will remember.

Trump will go after Hillary's foreign policy vision which he says favors, quote, "military adventurism". And overnight, Trump seemed to reveal part of his secret plan to defeat ISIS. That plan now appears to be simply order his generals to figure out a way to beat ISIS in 30 days.

Sounds easy, right? And Trump blasted Secretary Clinton over her emails and claimed that she never talks policy.

CNN's Sara Murray traveling with the Trump campaign has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, John and Christine.

Well, Donald Trump stuck to his message of national security as he was campaigning yesterday in Virginia and in North Carolina. And in a fiery speech here in Greenville, he went after Hillary Clinton over her use of her e-mail server, saying this was disqualifying behavior for the presidential candidate. And he specifically talked about the way she destroyed communications devices, about wiping her emails. He called this shady activity, even suggesting it was criminal.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If she applied for a low- level job at the State Department today, just a low-level job, she couldn't even get a security clearance based on what she's done. Her conduct is disqualifying. And by the way, who uses 13 different iPhones in four years? Who?

The only people who use that many phones are usually involved in very, very -- and I mean very shady activity.

MURRAY: Now, well, there was another change in Donald Trump's speech and that was him behaving more like a traditional candidate and almost laying out a plan for the first 100 days as president. In addition to saying he would appeal Obamacare and saying he would build a wall around the southern border, he also said he would convene his generals in just 30 days and come up with a plan for how to defeat ISIS.

Now, Trump is back on the trail for nontraditional stops for Republican candidates, he'll be in Philadelphia and New York.

Back to you, guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: After his national security speech, Trump heads to New York City for national security town hall event, where he will share the bill with Hillary Clinton at a one hour Commander-in-Chief Forum. Clinton and Trump will each answer questions from an audience comprised mainly of veterans and active duty troops.

Now, with the CNN national poll showing the race in a dead heat, Secretary Clinton escalating her own attacks on Trump, speaking with reporters on her campaign plane for the second day in a row after avoiding them for the better part of a year.

CNN's Joe Johns has the latest from Florida.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Hillary Clinton making changes, taking questions on her plane for the second time in two days, using the opportunity to both defend herself and to launch some fresh attacks on Donald Trump particularly on his business practices and his business relationships, trying to turn around the narrative on honesty and trustworthiness that had been dogging her throughout her run for president.

She focused once again on the fact that Donald Trump has not released his income tax return.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He said that the American people don't care about his tax returns. And in fact, he's also said that it's none of our business. I just think he's dead wrong.

I'm going to continue to raise this, because I think it is a fundamental issue about him, in this campaign. That we're going to talk about in one way or another, for the next 62 days because he clearly has something to hide.

JOHNS: Here at a public event in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton once again zeroing in on national security and veterans issues, something that's expected to continue in the forefront as we approach the September 11th anniversary. Neither candidate is expected to be on the trail on that day -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[04:05:04] BERMAN: All right, Joe Johns -- thanks very much.

Bill Clinton hitting the campaign trail, defending the work of the Clinton Foundation. He was in North Carolina. Clinton said his charitable foundation has been open and transparent. And he blasted the Trump Foundation for making an improper donation for Florida's attorney general in 2013.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I got tickled the other day Mr. Trump called my foundation a criminal enterprise. That was pretty funny considering -- considering it's the three major evaluators waiters of foundations gave it the highest they could give. He made a political contribution to the attorney general of Florida who at the time had her office investigating Trump University and mysteriously the investigation vanished.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi accuses Hillary Clinton of trying to bully her now. She does admit asking Trump for a donation three years ago but claims her office was never investigating him.

ROMANS: All right. After a seven-week summer recess, it is business as usual in Congress and that means gridlock. Senate Republicans blocking two Republican bills to fund the public health response of the Zika virus outbreak. Those bills would also Planned Parenthood funding while permitting Confederate flags to fly at military veterans cemeteries. If no progress is made over the next three weeks, a government shutdown is possible at the end of the month.

BERMAN: House Republicans are promising to punish dozens of Democrats to control the House floor in June to protest the lack of action on gun control. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the 25-hour sit-in broke numerous rules and caused long-term damage to the reputation of the House. Democrats who staged the sit-in could be facing fines or resolutions condemning their conduct.

ROMANS: All right. Time for an early start on your money this Wednesday morning. Most Americans think the job market is in way worse shape than it really is. A new survey shows 57 percent of Americans believe the unemployment rate is higher than 4.9 percent. About 40 percent picked the current rate and just 5 percent think it is below that figure.

Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted the jobless rate in the campaign trail. He calls it a joke. He calls it a hoax.

So, some of the feelings may be tied to what Americans are hearing in the presidential race. Nearly a quarter say job prospects for the next generation may be weaker than they are today. Here's an interesting, something we saw in an exit poll during the primary, when researchers asked, how would you rate your own personal financial station, 52 percent say they're in good or excellent shape? About a third say they're fair shape, just 14 percent say they are doing poorly.

So, there is -- I don't know, this gnawing concern of about how people think things are out there. But when asked about their personal situation, they said, oh, yes, fine.

BERMAN: It is interesting. I think it's the long term psychological damage, you know, of the Great Recession. I think that may never go away.

ROMANS: And wages have been too static. People aren't getting the pay raise they think they deserve.

BERMAN: All right. President Obama with some harsh words for Congress during a really interesting international town hall, part of an historic overseas trip. We'll tell you what he said, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:12:15] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back.

President Obama right now in Laos this morning. He spent just over an hour taking questions at a town hall for young Southeast Asian leaders, just finished a few minutes ago. He took Congress to task for failing to act on a key priority, his trade deal in the region.

The president now flies back to the Laotian capital for the East Asian Summit.

For the latest from Laos, we turn to our White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski.

Good morning. Good afternoon to you.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi there.

Yes, you know, he also had a little dig in there for someone who is unnamed. He talked about the economy, and he said when times are rough, people tend to turn on each other for their differences, of religion, of race. He said that happens in America, too. And not everybody in America agrees with him. And he said he would leave it at that.

He also brought up a number of topics when talking to young leaders. These are young Southeast Asian leaders here in Laos. They asked about the environment, responsible development, projects that benefit everybody, not just people who are the wealthy. And they also asked about the TPP. Remember, the U.S. has seen this

as a litmus test in the region. Not just for a trade deal itself but for America's keeping its word and for America's staying power in Asia. Remember, the White House seeing Asia as really -- you know, as the fastest growing part of the world, really a sustainable force for America's economic health going forward. That's why they see the Trans Pacific Partnership being so important.

So, President Obama with both U.S. presidential candidates opposed to the TPP. And even though many Republicans in Congress agree with the president in trying to ratify it, it's not coming up now that Congress is back in session.

Here's some of what he said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, we're in a political season now, and it's always difficult to get things done. Congress isn't doing much right now. They're all going home and talking to their constituents trying to get re-elected.

So, after the election, I think people can refocus attention on why this is so important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: And, so, there has been the question how much is President Obama going to be involved, now that he comes back from this trip in two days. In the campaign trail with the poll numbers being so close how much is President Obama going to do. He's only done a few events so far.

There is an event coming up this month. There's going to be another -- that's in Philadelphia.

[04:15:01] There's going to be a fund-raiser, too, in New York. But there have been reports out there that once October is here, he's going to be on the trail pretty much 100 percent of the time. That doesn't look like that's going to be possible either. But we know from official sources that we can expect the pace to pick up quite a bit, but we're going to have to wait for October.

Back to you, guys.

ROMANS: All right. Michelle Kosinski, thank you so much for that.

BERMAN: All right. A new source of tension this morning between the U.S. and Iran, and a dangerous moment in the Persian Gulf. U.S. defense officials say that a Navy patrol ship was forced to take evasive maneuvers to avoid colliding with an Iranian vessel. This is one of seven fast attack craft involved in the encounter. It came within 100 yards of USS Firebolt on Sunday.

Officials say the Iranian action was unsafe and unprofessional. This is just the latest in a string of recent incidents involving small craft and Revolutionary Guard Navy harassing or getting close to U.S. Navy ships.

All right. The gun violence in an American city hits a dangerous milestone overnight. We'll have details, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:20:32] BERMAN: All right. There's now a start date for the Bill Cosby criminal sex assault trial June 5th of next year. The 79-year- old comedian is charged with felony sexual assault. His accuser Andrea Constand claims she was drugged and unable to consent to sex. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Now, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual abuse. This is the first time he's faced criminal charges. The D.A. there is asking the judge to allow 13 of the women to testify at trial.

ROMANS: A chilling confession from the man who murdered Jacob Wetterling in Minnesota 27 years ago. Fifty-three-year-old Danny Heinrich appearing in federal court Tuesday detailing how he kidnapped the boy, sexually assaulted him and executed him. This is part of a plea deal that lands Heinrich behind bars for 20 years on child pornography charges. The killers led authorities to a grave in a pasture after spending years denying any involvement in his disappearance.

BERMAN: It's just horrifying.

All right. A grim milestone in Chicago. The city has reached 500 homicides so far this year. That is more murders than New York and Los Angeles. The two largest U.S. cities combined in more than Chicago had all of last year. The violence there has led one activist to declare the city a warzone in desperate need of federal help.

Let's get more now from CNN's Ryan Young.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPODENT: John and Christine, when you look at the numbers, you look at 500 murders, that is a stat that jumps out.

When you think about August, 90 murders, more than 90 people killed just in August. The numbers continue to rise and we still have several more months of this year before it's over. Six thousand guns have been confiscated off the streets here in Chicago. That's 6,000 illegal guns. That's one gun for every hour of this year.

The Chicago Police Department tells us that's more than New York and L.A. combined, and when you also add the murders together, there are more murders in the city than in New York and L.A. combined.

We went out with the police chief, the superintendent, as he patrolled the streets. He told us this is a bigger issue than just policing.

How can you police the idea that a look or a Facebook or Twitter message can turn into gun violence? SUPT. EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.: The simple truth is you

can't police something like that. You can't. There's just no way we can predict those types of incidents. People are mistakenly thinking this is a police issue. It's not. You know, these are the social, economic ails of the country.

YOUNG: Economics a big part of this. And some of those poorer neighborhoods, people average about $10,000 a year in income.

John and Christine, it's a lot bigger issue than just policing. They say they need immediate help in those areas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: You know, it's interesting, there's something going on in Chicago obviously, because gun violence and murders in New York and L.A. down this summer. Chicago's, obviously, you know, different. So, they got to figure it out.

ROMANS: They certainly do.

All right. To Arizona now, a wild high-speed police chase played out on live television. The pursuit lasted 45 minutes ending with police pinning this SUV driven by a man suspected of robbing a bank in suburban Phoenix. The suspect was shot dead when they opened fire. Authorities say two other suspects were detained close to where the chase began.

BERMAN: The final hospitalized survivor of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting back in June has now been released. That hospital did phenomenal work, treated 35 of the victims of the massacre from the Pulse Nightclub, 49 people were killed, 53 others injured in that shooting.

ROMANS: A hurricane could start to affect the weather in Arizona.

BERMAN: Really?

ROMANS: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us right now to explain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIS: John and Christine, it is a pretty unusual set up here when you have a hurricane, of course, making landfall about 24 hour across the Cabo San Lucas area. It's the Mexican state of Sonora to the north that you see a second landfall. This is still a category 1 hurricane.

And, of course, still strong enough to some of the models projecting this moves on to parts of southern Arizona as a tropical storm. If that happens, we're talking about a very rare situation with only five storms since 1929 having regained those strengths as a tropical system as they move into Arizona. Of course, this would be number six as it happens later on today.

But regardless, you know, tremendous rainfall associated with the system, is going to go into areas of Nogales, eventually into Tucson, could get about 10 percent of their annual rainfall over the next 24, 48 hours. So, we have flood watches in place across parts of New Mexico and also into Arizona as well.

[04:25:01] Now, take a look at this, Hermine is still hanging on off the Eastern Seaboard. It literally is trapped or blocked by the high pressure off to the east, another one back to its west. So there it is right there, just a few scattered showers across the region. But over the next few days big time warming trends remain in place around the Northeast, while the Midwest finally get some relief in the forecast -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right. Pedram, thanks so much. Hillary Clinton and Trump taking fresh swings at each other. They're trying to establish their national security credentials, a big day on the campaign trail. That's coming up -- next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: A split focus for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both ramping up the attacks on each other as they try to polish their national security credentials. The latest from both campaigns moments away.

BERMAN: President Obama laying into Congress for refusing to act on a landmark trade deal. We will bring you some of the president's remarks live in Laos.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans.