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Clinton Back on the Trail Today; Trump Goes After Clinton's Stamina; New Polls Show Big Battleground Shift; U.S. & Russia Extend Syria Ceasefire. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 15, 2016 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:13] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton ready to get back on the campaign trail after three days off fighting pneumonia. Her campaign putting out more detailed medical information. But what question remains?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And Donald Trump's health in the spotlight as he shares some, but not much information in a TV interview. And after not attacking Hillary Clinton over her illness, a bit of a shift for Trump. We'll show you what he said.

HOWELL: And as both candidates keep some personal details quiet, questions about transparency continued to grow. Which candidate benefits from the latest CNN polls? New numbers you don't want to miss.

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

ROMANS: Nice to see you again today, George.

I'm Christine Romans. It is Thursday, September 15th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East. Good morning, everyone.

Later today, Hillary Clinton returns to the campaign trail with events in North Carolina and Washington. This comes after a medical time-out for pneumonia diagnosed on Friday, but not announced until Sunday, which of course raised more criticism that Clinton had not been transparent. Trying to ease those concerns, her campaign released more medical information on Wednesday in a form of a two-page letter from Clinton's doctor who says she is recovering well in pneumonia. This as polls shows her absence from the campaign trail and transparency issue may be taking a toll. Polls are tightening, folks.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is following the story for us. He has the very latest.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and George, Hillary Clinton heading back to the campaign trail, campaigning in North Carolina today after three straight days at home in Chappaqua recovering from pneumonia. And late yesterday, the Clinton campaign released a letter from her

doctor offering more information, a little bit more insight into the medical condition. Now, we learned that she in addition to be treated last Friday for pneumonia, she actually saw the doctor one Friday prior to that, for that persistent cough that we heard out there on the campaign trail. She has been treated for that and is on medication for 10 days for that pneumonia.

Now, the question here is one of transparency. The Clinton campaign acknowledges that there were some missteps here. Well, she's been off the campaign trail watching all this from her home in Chappaqua and they were trying to get their politics right here by releasing this letter from the doctor.

Let's take a look at one of the summaries here from the doctor basically giving an overview to her condition. She says this, "My overall impression is Mr. Clinton is healthy and has not developed new medical conditions other than sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia. She is recovering well the doctors," says, "with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States."

Now, George and Christine, the Clinton campaign hopes this puts an end to it and they hope it puts some pressure on Donald Trump to also release more of his medical information. But the Clintons realized they lost time here and eager to get back to campaigning.

But the top priority of the Clinton campaign, one adviser tells me, her health, that first debate with Trump now 11 days away -- Christine and George.


HOWELL: All right. Jeff, thank you.

Now, that letter that he just mentioned from Clinton's physician does serve to answer some of the open questions about her health. We now know from the last doctor letter released in 2015, Clinton suffered an ear infection that required draining some fluid. She had a CAT scan of her brain showing the blood clot from her concussion in 2012 has completely resolved. She also had a CAT scan of her heart, showing that she is at very low risk of heart disease. The letter lists medications as well, including one for hypothyroidism and a blood thinner. It is a lot of information but a two-page medical summary still though leaves many questions unanswered.

Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more for us.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and George, I think we do have a little more clarity, for example, as to what happened this past week with Secretary Clinton and this diagnosis of pneumonia. For example, we know that she, in fact, got a CAT scan on Friday, that's September 9th, that showed this infection of her lung and that she started antibiotics that time. But also know that she was having difficulty up to a week before that,

having these fevers and these coughing fits that had been pretty well- described.

But, Christine and George, I just want to just emphasize again, we clearly have more information as things stand right now from Secretary Clinton than we do for Mr. Trump. But we still, these are not medical records. These are still summaries of records. They are summaries of records by someone who is interpreting them and then delivering them to us, who happens to also have a collegial relationship with the candidate. So, we can take them for what they are.

Part of the reason that people have been asking for medical records is to have a more dispassionate, unbiased look at some of these records, to try and determine the health of these candidates.

[04:05:08] Dr. Bardack, Secretary Clinton's doctor, said in her mind, there is no question that Secretary Clinton is fit to lead, however -- Christine, George.


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

Donald Trump hosting a fiery rally in Ohio last night. After days of soft pedaling his attacks on Hillary Clinton's health, Trump targeted the subject of Clinton's health since she fell ill over the weekend.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't know, folks. You think Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour and do this? I don't know. I don't think so. I don't think so.

Now, we have one left and in all fairness, she is lying in bed getting better. And we want her better and back on the trail, right? We want her back on the trail.


ROMANS: Trump's own health is still something of a mystery even after a made for TV moment where he surprised Dr. Oz with a physician's letter of his own at a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show." Reporters were not allowed inside though.

For the very latest, let's bring in CNN's Sunlen Serfaty. She is traveling with the Trump campaign in Ohio.



Well, questions over transparency continued to swirl around his campaign. Donald Trump is releasing some new details about his health today. The Trump campaign, they plan to release a one-page medical summary, the results or some of the results of that physical that he had last week.

Trump also sitting down to discuss his health in an interview that was taped on Wednesday with Dr. Oz. That interview will air in full today.

But some audience members told CNN that Trump says he doesn't exercise of much. He would like to lose between 15 and 20 pounds. And that he does, he does takes drugs -- statin drugs to help lower his cholesterol.

Here is more of what Trump had to say with Dr. Oz, in which he insists that he feels good and believes he has the stamina to be president.

DR. MEHMET OZ, THE DR. OZ SHOW: Let's talk about stamina. You use that word a lot. You made it an issue of this campaign. You are arguing the president has to have a tremendous amount of stamina. If elected, at age 70, you would be the oldest person to ever enter the Oval Office.

Why do you think you have the stamina for the job?

TRUMP: Yes, just about the same age as Ronald Reagan and Hillary is a year behind me. I would say just based on my life, I mean, I've had -- I actually and I don't know if this makes sense, I feel as good today as I did when I was 30.

SERFATY: Now, it is important to note that the Trump campaign, while they are planning on releasing this medical summary, it is not the full release of what that physical shows nor is it the full detail of Trump's medical records. It's far less detailed than what nominees have released, though certainly still lacking a full and complete picture of Donald Trump's health -- George and Christine.


HOWELL: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you.

There was an awkward moment to tell you about for Donald Trump. In Flint, Michigan, at a church that he visited Wednesday, while addressing worshippers there at the Bethel United Methodist Church, the pastor who hosted Trump, the Reverend Faith Green Timmons, suddenly interrupted him mid-sentence. Listen.


TRUMP: Hillary failed on the economy, just like she's failed on foreign policy. Everything she touched did not work out, nothing. Now, Hillary Clinton --

REV. FAITH GREEN TIMMONS: Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we have done in Flint, not to give a political speech.

TRUMP: OK. OK. OK. That's good. I'll get back to it. OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: The Reverend Timmons says that all people are welcome at her church, but she also pointed out Trump's presence did not represent an endorsement.

ROMANS: You mentioned Hillary Clinton's dip in the latest polls apparently weigh down by questions of honesty and transparency. One example, a pair of brand new CNN/ORC polls looking more promising for Donald Trump in critical swings states.

Here they are starting in Ohio, Trump now leads Clinton by five points, 46 percent to 41 percent among likely voters. If you dig a little deeper, it's the independent voters in the Buckeye State who are fueling Trump's surge, and questions about Hillary Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness seem to be a big factor here. Ohio voters consider Trump more honest by a 12-point margin.

Turning to Florida, where Trump now leads Clinton by three points. That's just within the poll's margin of error. And once again, independent voters are leaning Trump's way, 48 percent to 38 percent. Florida voters consider Trump more honest and trustworthy than Clinton by a seven-point margin.

HOWELL: In the meantime, a surprise endorsement for libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. Conservative newspaper in New Hampshire, "The Union Leader" is drawing its support to the Libertarian ticket, calling Johnson and running mate Bill Weld the bright light of hope and reason in today's dark times.

About Donald Trump, the publisher says, this is an op-ed that reads as follows, "The man is a liar, a bully, a buffoon.

[04:10:02] He denigrates any individual or group that displeases him. He has dishonored military veterans and their families, and made fun of the physically frail, and changed political views almost as often as he has changed wives."

ROMANS: All right. Ford ending small car production in the U.S. and a brand new report shows Donald Trump's populous proposals to end outsourcing like that would slam the economy.

Here's the Ford's news first. Ford will move production of the C-Max and Focus models to Mexico over the next two years. Those cars are currently made in Michigan. When production moves, other cars will be made in that factory.

Profit margins on small cars are generally slimmer than those on larger sedans or SUVs. So, maintaining low labor cost is crucial on models like that. Now, Donald Trump told a crowd in Michigan yesterday that the U.S. should not allow the move to happen.

Interestingly, a new report shows the economic policies would hurt the very workers he says he wants to help. The plan would cost $1 trillion over the next four years. That's according to Oxford Economics, a British forecasting firm with offices in the U.S., 4 million would be lost and consumer spending would tank 4.4 percent. Trade is the main issue. Trump wants to slap huge tariffs on goods

from places like Mexico, but many of the parts and materials used to make those goods come from the U.S. So, the manufacturing sector would take a big hit. Very interesting.

On the same day, news that Ford plans to, you know, transition all of its small car production to Mexico, and that is, of course, one of the very issues that has fueled Trump's campaign.

HOWELL: Hot button issue for sure. There are signs of hope for the fragile cease-fire in Syria. There's a new deal to extend peace on the ground, but the aid there is still not getting to the people who need it most. Why?

Well, we are live in the Middle East to find out next.


[04:15:55] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START.

The U.S. and Russia agreeing to extend a fragile cease-fire for another 48 hours. The State Department admits there were violations of the three-day old truce, on both sides. But not a single fatality has happened since that truce went into place. That's the hopeful news. Unfortunately, there's still no humanitarian aid in sight for hundreds of desperate civilians.

And the pictures, Jomana Karadsheh, of the trucks waiting to get in is just heartbreaking.

Jomana is tracking the latest developments live from Amman, Jordan, for us.

Good morning.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. It is day three of the U.S. and Russia brokered truce.

So far, there has no significant incidents of violence that's taking place in the areas covered by this agreement. There have been some violations as you mentioned. But according to a monitoring group, there have been zero combat deaths in the areas covered by the truce.

Now, when it comes to humanitarian aid, this is a major issue. We have not seen movement on that front yet. The United Nations and other agencies say they have their trucks loaded with humanitarian aid that is desperately needed in the besieged areas.

It is on the Turkish side of the border with Syria. They have not crossed yet. What they're waiting for is they want security guarantees for safe passage, for their trucks and their convoys and their drivers. So, they do no want to be sending into harm's way, before they get guarantees from the regime and opposition there will be safe passage for them.

There have been incidents in the past in other truces where they were caught up in fighting erupted as they tried to deliver aid. So, the United Nations and agencies want to make sure this does not happen. They want the United States and Russia to put pressure on the groups. That they are, they have influence on the ground to make sure they are provided with this safe passage.

But so far at this point, no movement yet. The main priority as we've heard from the United Nations is rebel held eastern Aleppo, up to 300,000 people there in eastern Aleppo, really running low on the most basic supplies -- food, medicine and fuel -- to run the generators for their field hospitals in the part of the country where there is no electricity.

So, really dire conditions. And as the United Nations waits for these guarantees, it is these people who are waiting for the aid still -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Jomana Karadsheh in Amman, thank you so much for that this morning.

HOWELL: The University of North Carolina rocked by rape allegations against one of its football players. Why the accuser went public. That story next.


[04:23:06] HOWELL: Breaking overnight: a cross country flight diverted after a crew noticed a suspicious device onboard. The United Airlines flight from Newark to San Diego landed in Denver. Passengers then evacuated that plane. The FBI bomb squad searched the entire plane with Denver police before all clear. No word on the nature of the suspicious device. All the passengers later re-boarded and continued on their trip.

ROMANS: The University of North Carolina football player Allen Artis accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student turned himself in and is now suspended from the team indefinitely. It comes a day after sophomore Delaney Robinson went public, claiming she was raped by Artis back in February. The alleged victim says she acted after months of inaction by authorities and the university. The local district attorney says they are not dragging their feet, that an investigation is ongoing.


JIM WOODALL, ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Is there evidence that proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. I think the UNC Police Department has been working in that vein. It can take a long time in certain cases to gather that type of evidence.


ROMANS: Artis is charged with sexual battery and assault, both misdemeanor. Felony charges would have to come from the district attorney's office.

HOWELL: The ACC, the Atlantic Coast Conference, is following the NCAA's lead, announcing that it will move its upcoming conference championships out of neutral sites in North Carolina. It is in response to the state's controversial transgender bathroom law, also known as the House Bill 2. As mentioned, the NBA also boycotted North Carolina by pulling its all-star game out of Charlotte and moving it to New Orleans.

ROMANS: Super typhoon Meranti living up to its name, hitting the Chinese mainland with heavy rain and 145-mile-an-hour winds after battering Taiwan. The Red Cross in Taiwan says one person was killed and dozens more injured.

[04:25:02] At least 900,000 people lost power in the storm. The storm that produced wind gusts up to 230 miles an hour in southern Taiwan. Unbelievable.

HOWELL: Wow. All right. If you live in the southeastern part of the U.S., you are facing a tropical storm Julia this morning. We will get the latest from meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: George and Christine, Tropical Storm Julia is beginning to pull away from the coastline. And as it does, some residual rainfall in place, but really not much of a significant impact left from the storm anymore along the immediate coast, perhaps getting some say rip currents around the immediate coastline. But again, scattered showers in nature in the next couple days. We will see improving conditions as the storm system begins to peel away.

But look offshore. We have tropical storm across portions of the central Atlantic, this particular storm will begin to move away from the United States and a new developed disturbance there, tropical depression 12 near the Cape Verde Islands that we're watching carefully to see what it could potentially down the line here over the next week or so.

But here is what's happening across the Northeast. How about these set of temperatures, just a gorgeous perspective for New York. The mid-70s, precisely where you should be from the final four weekend of summer there at 75 to 77 over the next couple days. And Boston also in the upper 60s and low to mid 70s in the next couple of days. And we do have a front that will push in toward the region, so perhaps late weekend we get a few light showers pushing in from the west.

But all in all, pretty good setup for this weekend, guys.


HOWELL: Good news.

ROMANS: We'll take that.

HOWELL: Thank you.

ROMANS: The health of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the talk of the campaign trail. Both revealing details but being both accused of holding back too much. The latest on the 2016 race next.