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EARLY START

Clinton Puts Spotlight on Trump's Health, Taxes; Trump: Clinton Has Contempt for Voters; Syria Claims It Shot Down Israeli Warplanes; NCAA Pulls Championship Events from North Carolina. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 13, 2016 - 05:00   ET

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


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton trying to explain why she waited two days to disclose that she had pneumonia, calling in to CNN last night to say she didn't think it would be that big of a deal. A CNN exclusive.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump blasting Clinton, accusing her of running a hate-filled campaign. He demands an apology for depecting his supporters as a basket of deplorable, as a violent scuffle breaks out at his rally.

HOWELL: And a breaking story we're following from overnight. Syrian military claiming it shot down Israeli war planes which Israel denies. All of this less than 24 hours into Syria's cease-fire and the question now, will peace last there?

Good morning and welcome back to EARLY START. I'm George Howell.

ROMANS: Nice to see you today, George.

I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, September 13th. It is exactly 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Breaking overnight: Hillary Clinton doing some damage control while recovering from illness, taking a day off the campaign trail, but calling in to Anderson Cooper last night after resting for most of the day.

[05:00:10] Clinton addressing significant concerns about her health and the lack of transparency in her campaign.

The campaign waiting two days to reveal that Secretary Clinton was suffering from pneumonia and only coming clean after this video emerged showing Clinton stumbling, struggling to get into her motorcade to leave the Sunday's Ground Zero service.

Her husband escalating the controversy, telling CBS something like this has happened more than once before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Rarely, but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she just got severely dehydrated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Now both Clinton and Trump are pledging to release more detailed medical records.

For the latest, let's turn to CNN's Joe Johns. He's in Chappaqua, New York, for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: George and Christine, it's expected to be another day of rest for Hillary Clinton here in Chappaqua, New York. Her husband, the former president, is expected to fill in at a fund-raiser in the Los Angeles area she was expected to attend tonight. On Monday, she also stayed at home in Chappaqua, recovering from the diagnosis from pneumonia she got on Friday which was only revealed after caught on video stumbling into a van after leaving the 9/11 Memorial Service in New York City early. She said she was overheated.

In a telephone interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, the former secretary of state said she just spoken with Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer who told her he also was recovering from pneumonia.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE (via telephone): Well, I just didn't think it was going to be that big a deal. You know, I know Chuck said today he didn't tell anybody. It just a kind of thing that if it happens to you and you are a busy and active person, you keep moving forward. And, you know, it's fair to say, Anderson, that people know more about me than almost anyone in public life.

JOHNS: While former Secretary Clinton continues her recuperation, her husband Bill Clinton is expected to fill in for her at another event in Nevada on Wednesday. She says she wants to get back on the campaign trail in the next couple days -- Christine and George.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Joe Johns, thank you.

Hillary Clinton also taking on the criticism of secrecy surrounding her illness, using it to now turn the spotlight on her Republican rival. In that interview with Anderson Cooper, Clinton slammed Donald Trump for failing to not only to release his health records, but also failing to release his tax returns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Compare everything you know about me with my opponent. I think it's time he met the same level of disclosure I have for years. You know, you've got a medical report on me that meets the same standard as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Donald Trump's doctor said he would be the healthiest president in history. That's just not even serious. And I've released 40 years of tax returns, he hasn't released one.

This is a man with unknown numbers of partners and investors who said he is doing 120 foreign deals. The American people deserve to know what he is up to and what he is hiding. So, if we weren't -- if we weren't fast enough, I talked to my staff, we take responsibility for that. But the information is out there. You can't say the same about Donald Trump.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "AC360": Brian Fallon said your campaign will release more of your records. You know Donald Trump said he's now had a physical I believe on Friday and that he's going to release that soon.

Will you be releasing more details about your medical history and do you know, you know, how detailed it's going to be, how far it's going to go back? Is it going to be more about what happened in 2012 when you fell and hit your head?

Do you know how far it will go?

CLINTON: Well, we're going to be releasing more information. And I think it's fair to say we've already met the standard of disclosure of past presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and President Obama. We will add more information. But I've already released information about my health in this campaign as well as nearly 40 years of tax returns.

We've already met a high standard of transparency. We know the least about Donald Trump of any candidate in recent American history. We know virtually nothing about his business entanglements, his foreign investors. You know, it's really past time for him to be held to the same standards, not just as me, but of everybody else who has sought this job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right. Let's discuss all of this -- the fallout from Clinton's illness, all of the rest of the day in politics.

We are very pleased to have CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein here. He's a senior editor at "The Atlantic".

Good morning.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

ROMANS: I'm glad you are here because I have so many things I want to ask you about.

So, you know, a day off the campaign trail with, what, 60 days left to go or something.

[05:05:03] I mean, every moment is critical. So, she calls in last night to Anderson. How do you think she is doing on damage control? What do you hear from her you think that is moving the ball forward for her? BROWNSTEIN: The best damage control for her is the comparison of her level of disclosure with Donald Trump, who he is in a class by himself, by not releasing his tax returns and, of course, that one- page, you know, kind of absurd letter from his doctor saying he's the healthiest --

ROMANS: He said more is coming.

BROWNSTEIN: Finally more is coming. That is the easiest comparison for her. It is much harder for her to explain why and really the instinct that goes into concluding you are one of the last two people to be president of the United States and you got a diagnosis of pneumonia and you don't feel that's worthy of sharing with the public. That is unfortunate instinct.

I mean, their first instinct of Hillary Clinton often is to pull closer and they kind of, you know, to pull up the bars. But I think the best comparison, as in so many other issues in this campaign, the best round for her is to compare to Donald Trump.

HOWELL: You know, the transparency has been an issue for the Clinton campaign. They kept things close to the vest. It worked for them in the past. This time it didn't. Also Bill Clinton saying this happened before. I want you to listen to this sound bite and I have a question for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Rarely, but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she just got severely dehydrated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: OK. So, Ron, Bill Clinton going on defense there saying it happened before. But is this bill doing a bill? He's trying to help, but is it helping?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, it is not clear what he means by this sort of thing. If he means by this sort of thing, the stumbling and the kind of -- you know, the sense that she was losing her balance, that -- if he says it's happened before, they are attributing it to pneumonia. I think it raises the question if this has happened before, whether t is related to something else beside pneumonia.

So, I think he's got to clear up exactly what he meant there because it raised more questions.

ROMANS: Yes, I thought it was interesting. It happened before. Why does it happen before? Is she working herself to the bone? I mean, she just never stops or is there something underlying and I think that's, you know, that's the big question?

Donald Trump attacking Janet Yellen, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. I heard somebody call her the economy's grandma. I mean, you know, he is going after her. She is independent. She is independent of the administration,

independent of the government. The Fed is the only thing that is working on behalf of the American economy because Congress has not done anything. Is he right to go after? Is he right that they are fixing the economy?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, it is very similar and very revealing to his comments about the generals where he kind of said, I'd fire the generals, right? There would be different generals in I came in. He is projecting executive authority that really is more from a kind of vertically organized private sector company where you are at the top of the curve and you control everyone. It does kind of betray a lack of nuance of understanding of all of the independent power centers that make up the American government of which the Fed is one. Certainly, the military --

ROMANS: Appointed by the president.

BROWNSTEIN: Appointed by the president but operating, you know, with a 15-year term.

And the comments there would be different generals. As if he would be kind of, you know, adjusting abruptly and reshaping the chain of command and the progress of promotion. So, I think it is a revealing view of how you get things done from the public sector coming from the private sector. And if he did win, there might be some kind of an abrupt collisions of reality.

ROMANS: Everything is rigged against you. It fits into that too, that somehow even to the setting of interest rates is rigged.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely right. He is appealing to a coalition of a coalition that has a lot of grievance, right? I mean, you asked Donald Trump supporters a significant majority will say life was better for people like them 50 years ago. One of the most revealing questions in this campaign, very few African-Americans, Hispanic, professional women, gays, who will say -- however discontent, they don't want to go back to the way America was 50 years ago.

I think Donald Trump in many different ways stokes that sense of grievance among his supporters, that there is a elite out to get them or at least is not looking out for their interests.

HOWELL: Interesting. Ron, thank you so much.

BROWINSTEIN: Thank you.

ROMANS: Get a cup of coffee. Come back in a few minutes. We have a twofer from you today.

HOWELL: This morning, we are following a story. Syria claiming it shot down an Israeli war plane. Israel denies it. What does this mean for the region? EARLY START continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [05:13:43] HOWELL: Breaking news we are following this morning. The Syrian military claiming that it shot down an Israeli war plane and drone near the Syrian border with Golan Heights overnight. Israel denying that any aircraft were hit. All of this as a fragile ceasefire in Syria appears to be taking hold for now.

The Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov brokered that deal. Kerry says that things look good so far, although it's too early to draw conclusions with it.

A lot happening when many are skeptical whether peace can hold in the region.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us live this hour in Amman, Jordan.

Jomana, first, let's talk about what we know with that breaking news. Syria's claims that it shot down a warplane and a drone.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, according to the Syrian military, their claim was they shot down an Israeli war plane and an Israeli drone, as you mentioned, over the Golan Heights. They say this happened after the Israel air force targeted Syrian army positions.

Now, the Israelis for their part, the IDF came out completely denying this. They say that this is completely false. They say that they carried out targeted strikes against artillery positions in Syria and that there were two surface-to-air missiles that were launched from inside Syria. But at no point were aircraft safety compromised.

[05:15:04] Now, this comes after recent incidents in recent days. We have seen reports of projectiles landing from the Syrian site into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. This all really goes to show the complexity of this conflict in Syria. It's not really confined to the borders in Syria, and so many players involved in this conflict, George.

But over the last 15 or 16 hours or so, reports coming from Syria from monitoring group that monitors the conflict there, they're saying there are no reported, war casualties, deaths among civilians since the Russian brokered truce went into effect. There were reports initially of some sporadic violence reported by both the regime and activist on the rebel side.

But so far, there have been no reports of significant violence. But we're going to have to wait and see in the coming hours if this truce will hold. We've heard from the regime saying that they will abide by it, but they reserve the right to respond to any attacks and also from the moderate opposition saying that they will abide by it. Of course, one would assume here, under a lot of pressure from the United States and other countries that back it, but they say they have a lot of reservations about this, George.

HOWELL: Even the secretary of state saying this deal is less than perfect, but saying that it's better than nothing. It is something, at least a start. Our international correspondent Jomana Karadsheh live in Amman, Jordan

-- thank you for the reporting. We'll stay in touch.

ROMANS: All right. Sharp criticism from Donald Trump accusing Federal Reserve Janet Yellen of playing politics. He says she is keeping interest rates low to protect President Obama's legacy.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TRUMP: She is keeping them artificially low to keep Obama retired. I think she is very political and to a certain extent, I think she should be ashamed of herself.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ROMANS: Very rare for a candidate to have sharp criticism of say a Fed chief should be ashamed of herself.

The Federal Reserve is independent of the White House. It does need approval to act on interest rates. But Trump also called stocks a, quote, "false market", saying money essentially free and the stock market will collapse once the Fed raises rates. He also says savers are getting creamed.

Here's what all that cheap looks like. $9 trillion from the central bank across the globe since the financial crisis pushed in to support the economy, including $3.9 trillion from the U.S. Federal Reserve. What does it all mean for you?

That brings me to today's Romans numeral. One number that is moving your money: 3.44 percent. That is the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the U.S., near the lowest levels of the year. All that cheap money has kept interest rates low, even mortgage rates.

That will go up when the Fed hikes rates and that's expected to happen this year. So, will the cost of home equity lines and credit cards, all of that will go up. But for now, the era of cheap mortgages and cheap money does continue.

HOWELL: All right. Monday night football double header featuring some big wins for the Steelers and the 49ers, with players joining Colin Kaepernick's protest against racial oppression.

Coy Wire with this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:22:09] HOWELL: All right. Colin Kaepernick kneeling once again during the national anthem last night before the 49ers took on the Rams. And this time, four players joined in on that protest.

ROMANS: Yes, Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and George.

Some questions heading into the game last night. Would more teammates join Colin Kaepernick in his protest of racial injustice and police brutality and how would fans react in the game played in San Francisco. And the hometown crowd showed overwhelming support for Kaepernick.

He talked with fans as they asked for photos and selfies and even got his autograph during warm ups. So, when the anthem played just before the game, he was joined kneeling once again by teammate Eric Reid, while two more teammates Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold held up fists. Rams players Robert Quinn and Kenny Britt held up their fists during the anthem too.

Now, as far the actual game is concerned, coach Chip Kelly and San Fran could not start off better. Rams had no answer for Carlos who had two touchdowns in the 28-zip rout.

Speaking of rout. Check this out. Big Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers left Washington in the dust. Antonio Brown with two touchdown catches. A.B. going on and shaking his money maker. I do believe that is what the kids are calling twerking these days. Twenty- six yards score there.

Steelers had a few key players out with injuries. But you never know it. They smash Washington, 38-16.

Stop me if you heard this. Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III is injured. The team announced that he's going to miss at least the next eight games after he fractured a bone in his left shoulder in the very opening week.

Backup quarterback Josh McCown is going to get the start next week against the Ravens. The former Heisman winner and RG3 and Washington's number two overall draft pick in 2012 has been plagued by injuries his entire career. That's tough to see for the Browns.

The NCAA has pulled seven championship events for the school year from the state of North Carolina because of the state's controversial HB-2 law, saying that the law invalidates any local law which prevents discrimination for LGBT individuals. The NCAA president says the anti-LGBT legislation makes the state an unacceptable venue. That means the first and second rounds of the 2017 men's basketball championship. Big money makers will not be there.

Remember, the NBA has already decided, guys, to move the 2017 all-star game out of Charlotte for the exact same reason.

HOWELL: I remember that. In Georgia, that state was under pressure for a similar type of law, but the governor decided not to go that route. I know Atlanta may be looking at those games as well.

ROMANS: All right.

WIRE: That is exactly right, George.

HOWELL: Coy also bringing in the word twerking. I heard in your report.

WIRE: All the kids are saying it these days.

ROMANS: Coy twerks with a twinkle in his eye.

[05:25:00] Coy, nice to see you this morning. Talk to you again soon.

WIRE: You too, Christine.

HOWELL: Coy, thank you.

[5:25:00] ROMANS: Twenty-five minutes past the hour.

Hillary Clinton on the defensive this morning. Exclusively speaking to CNN about why she did not disclose that she has pneumonia until two days after her diagnosis and the transparency issues plaguing her campaign. We've got that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Hillary Clinton defending herself after waiting two days to admit she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Now she is speaking out exclusively to CNN.

HOWELL: Donald Trump insisting that Hillary Clinton apologize for saying that half of his supporters fit into a, quote, "basket of deplorables".