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EARLY START

Protests After Armed Man Killed by Police; New Charges for Bombing Suspect; Senator Warren Vs. Wells Fargo; Trump Blasts Hillary Clinton; U.S.: Russia "Responsible" for Aid Convoy Bombing. Aired 4- 4:30a ET

Aired September 21, 2016 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:14] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight: anger and frustration as protesters take to the streets after an armed black man is gunned down by police in North Carolina. Demonstrations getting violent in the early morning hours, all of this happening after video captured another black man being shot and killed by police in Tulsa. We have all the developments in both of these cases.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New details emerging about the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombing. He now faces federal charges. And surprising revelations, what he allegedly did in the days before the bombings.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, September 21st. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Tensions rising overnight in North Carolina after a fatal police- involved shooting. Now, police in riot gar using tear gas to disperse protesters, some throwing rocks and water bottles. At least a dozen officers injured in these clashes that turned violent. Now, protesters later setting a fire on the road, looting trucks forced to stop in place.

The mayor of Charlotte calling for calm, calling for a full investigation into the shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott by Officer Brentley Vinson. Both the officer and the victim are African- American.

Listen to the local police chief described what led up to the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERR PUTNEY, CHARLOTTE POLICE CHIEF: At this point, all we know is they're in the apartment complex parking lot, and this subject gets out with a weapon, they engage him and one of the officers felt a lethal threat and fired his weapon because of that.

REPORTER: So, the warrants weren't for the man but we're not sure if this man was connected? PUTNEY: Absolutely. They were not specific to the deceased, but we don't know if there's a connection of the deceased with the suspect that we're looking for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That explanation of what happened in that parking lot is not sitting well with protesters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But as far as my child, my nephews, I am concerned, I'm worried about them. Something has to be done, whether it's our city leaders, whether our state leaders, these presidential candidates that are coming on to the scene, something has to be done. There was a terrorist in New Jersey and New York, he was taken alive. They said they wanted to question him. So, because you wanting to question him, does his life mean more than our black men across the nation? It doesn't make any sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Officer Vinson has been placed on paid administrative leave while this shooting is investigated. We will have updates throughout the morning on this developing story.

BERMAN: Yes, to be clear, this has been going on all night into the morning right now. I was just looking at some local reports that a Walmart, a local Walmart there had been broken into. So, police still trying to deal with protesters who very, very angry about this situation. All we know right now is Keith Lamont Scott, 42-years-old is dead.

And this comes on the heels of a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police say that PCP was found in the vehicle of a victim 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. They suggest he may have been on some sort of drug. But an attorney for Crutcher's family says while they're looking into that, this remains an example of how not to handle someone in that situation.

Dash cam and helicopter video shows Crutcher with his hands up being shot by an officer as he walked towards his SUV. There were protesters on the street outside Tulsa police headquarters on Tuesday.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Ana Cabrera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John and Christine, outrage is growing in this community, with protesters gathering in front of the police station, calling for the arrest of Officer Betty Shelby who opened fire, shooting and killing 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. His family calling the video leading up to his shooting devastating, saying there was no evidence, reason for her to open fire. Now, there are two separate investigations into whether or not this

shooting was justified. First, the criminal investigation by the Tulsa police homicide unit. There's also a federal rights probe that was sparked after the Department of Justice officials saw the video. The video from the police dash camera, as well as the helicopter. Both videos showing Terence Crutcher with his arms in the air as he approaches his SUV.

But in neither video can you see Officer Shelby open fire. That is the crucial moment and the big question mark here. Officer Shelby's attorney telling us, leading up to that moment, Terence Crutcher had refused to obey several commands. And that he reached into his vehicle, which is why Officer Shelby opened fire, fearing he may be grabbing for a weapon.

Now, we know there was no weapon. He was unarmed and there's no weapon in the vehicle.

[04:05:02] As outrage continues to grow in this community and around the nation, the police chief is asking people to withhold judgment until the investigations are complete and he vows justice will prevail -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Ana Cabrera for us -- thank you for that, Ana.

New details emerging this morning about the accused bomber Ahmad Rahami, with authorities filing federal charges. Court documents reveal investigators recovered new video from a cell phone of Rahami family member. The video said to show the suspect setting off an incendiary device partially buried in the ground.

Documents say that in a video, he lights the fuse, there's a loud noise or flames, and then billowing smoke and laughter.

CNN has also learned that two years ago, the FBI investigated Rahami following a violent family fight.

CNN's Pamela Brown has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, John and Christine.

The bombing inspect Ahmad Rahami has been named in federal charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction bombing, destruction of property and use of a destructive device. The complaint says that 12 fingerprints recovered from the pressure cooker and duct tape and cell phone recovered at 27th Street in Chelsea. And it says that he bought some of the bomb items used over eBay.

And CNN has learned that just two years before that, the FBI opened up an inquiry into Rahami after he was charged in a domestic dispute. A neighbor apparently heard the father call his son a terrorist and notify the authorities. According to a U.S. official, the FBI interviewed his father who we're told recanted the fact that his son was a terrorist and just said he was worried about people he was hanging out with.

But apparently, the FBI did not interview Rahami who was in jail at the time. The grand jury decided not to indict. FBI revealed in a statement that it conducted internal database reviews, inter-agency checks and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.

Meantime, we have learned the Pakistani wife of Rahami has been cooperating with U.S. officials. She apparently was on her way back to the United States after her overseas trip and was questioned after her husband was identified as the bomber. She's not accused of any wrongdoing at this point in the investigation -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right, Pamela.

We have more new information about the bombing suspect this morning. CNN has learned that U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent a report about Ahmad Rahami to the FBI and other agencies back in 2014. Border protection flagged Rahami for extra scrutiny because of his extensive travel and time spent in areas associated with terror groups. The contents of his notebook are emerging in Newport documents. They include mentions of al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki.

The phrase, the "sounds of bombs" will be heard in the streets, and there was a bullet hole through the pages. It seems that that occurred during his shootout with police.

Also, CNN has learned that Rahami's family members are telling investigators they had no contact with him after the first blast in Seaside Park, New Jersey. His arraignment tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday.

ROMANS: All right. Eight minutes past the hour.

The Senate Banking Committee grilling Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf yesterday on the Hill. Senator Elizabeth Warren giving a forceful condemnation of Stumpf's role in the fake account scandal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: If one of your tellers took a handful of $20 bills out of the cash drawer, they'd probably be looking at criminal charges for theft. They could end up in prison. But you squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers, and you could drive up the value of your stock and put hundreds of millions of dollars in your own pocket.

And when it all blew up, you kept your job, you kept your multimillion-dollar bonuses, and you went on television to blame thousands of $12-an-hour employees who were just trying to meet cross- sale quotas that made you rich.

This is about accountability. You should resign. You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on. And you should be criminally investigated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Big questions this morning about those bonuses. Think about it -- this is 2011 and 2015. That is the span of this time when this culture of cross-selling caused all of these problems and really screwed customers. Should those bonuses be paid back for those years? That's the big question.

Elizabeth Warren says yes. We could see more fireworks today as the House picks this up, the Oversight Committee is hosting Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch. Remember the Mylan Labs? That's the company under scrutiny for hiking the price of EpiPens. That will be another one, interesting one to watch.

There's some population anger from people. Banks and your EpiPens, think about it. I mean, these are things that you need to survive. You know, don't mess with that.

BERMAN: You're going to see bipartisan outrage falling over each other this morning.

All right. We're going to have the latest on overnight protests in Charlotte over the break.

[04:10:02] I say overnight, this is still going on. There are new developments this morning on the streets there after a black man killed by police.

All right. Also this morning, Donald Trump is making his case for how to battle terror in this country. Profiling is the answer and new defense on that from Donald Trump. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right. The breaking news out of Charlotte, North Carolina, this is an ongoing situation there, with protests erupting after police fatally shot a black man. That man, 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, as you can see police in riot gear. They've been using tear gas in effort to control the crowd.

Police and a dozen officers were injured there. No word on how many protesters were injured. The protesters are asking for answers after Scott was shot in an apartment complex by an officer there serving a warrant for someone else. The mayor of Charlotte is calling for calm and a full investigation this morning into the shooting.

[04:15:04] Much more on this coming up.

ROMANS: All right. This morning, the Trump campaign is defending the candidate's support of profiling to prevent bombings like those that happened over the weekend. A Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tells CNN's Erin Burnett that political correctness is hindering investigation into suspicious people and behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: The idea that people have a reason to be suspicious and don't feel comfortable to say that. I mean, I've talked to Mayor Giuliani about this. We used to have police officers able to patrol certain places of worship based on reasonable suspicion. That's just all gone away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Donald Trump himself is slamming Hillary Clinton for her suggestion that he is inspiring ISIS recruits.

CNN's Jim Acosta was with Trump in North Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, less than one week before their debate, Donald Trump is questioning Hillary Clinton's ability to win the war on ISIS.

At a rally here in North Carolina, Trump held up the recent terror attack in New York as proof that his policies on immigration and terrorism are the way to go.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: A claim that my opposition to radical Islamic terrorism is a recruiting tool. What does that have to do -- I'm being tough. Why because I'm tough, it's a recruiting tool? It demonstrates a level of ignorance about the terror theft that is really is disqualifying for a person seeking presidency. When she says my opposition to radical Islamic terror provides aid and comfort to the enemy, we know that Hillary Clinton has once again demonstrated that she's really unfit for office.

ACOSTA: And the Trump campaign is defending Donald Trump Jr.'s comparison of terrorism to a bowl of Skittles. The Donald Trump campaign put out a statement, calling Trump Jr. a tremendous asset to the campaign and saying he was speaking the truth on the issue of Syrian refugees -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right. Jim Acosta, thanks.

A new report in "The Washington Post" suggests that Donald Trump may have broken the law by using his family charity to settle lawsuit against his for-profit businesses. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, he dismissed the report, disputed it without disputing the facts of the case.

The report cites four separate donations totaling more than $250,000 that the Trump Foundation used to settle these legal disputes. The report says Trump may have violated self-dealing laws, that's what's called when you use a charity to do your profit business. Nonprofit leaders, you're not allowed to use charity money to benefit your own business.

ROMANS: Interesting.

All right. The Presidential Debate Commission has announced the topics of the first presidential debate which is Monday, folks, just days away. Those topics are achieving prosperity, securing America and America's direction, which seems to focus down to just about everything. Nevertheless, both candidates seem prepared.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If she treats me with respect, I will treat her with respect. I don't know what I'm going to do exactly. You know, it depends what level she hits you with, if it's fair, if it's unfair.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I can take that kind of stuff. I've been at this and, you know, I understand it's a contact sport. But I'm not going to take what he says about everybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Our coverage of the debate starts this weekend and I for one can't wait for the first one. I really feel -- I mean, a look -- a gesture, one answer change the course of a campaign.

BERMAN: No, absolutely. America's direction really narrows down the focus of that debate. I mean, razor-focused on one subject there.

ROMANS: All right. Eighteen minutes past the hour. Going on right now, angry protests in Charlotte after another fatal shooting of a black man. We've got the latest on that ahead.

Also ahead, the president with an 11th hour plea for help in Syria. Are world leaders receptive? We go live to Damascus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:23:19] ROMANS: All right. More now on that breaking news from North Carolina. You see the images here of protesters in Charlotte. They are furious about a police officer shooting a man. They are throwing rocks and water bottles at officers wearing riot gear. Police are still trying to control the demonstrators going on for hours now, firing tear gas at the proud. At least a dozen officers have been injured.

Protesters and political leaders demanding answers after a police officer shot Keith Lamont Scott, who shot at an apartment complex Tuesday. That officer was there serving a warrant for someone else. Charlotte's mayor is urging calm and a full investigation of the shooting is now under way.

BERMAN: We'll get back there in just a moment. Meanwhile, President Obama says the world needs to step up and unify to ease the suffering in Syria. In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the president urged nations to welcome all refugees fleeing war. And he called the situation unfolding in Syria unacceptable. As for a deadly bombing of an aide convoy west of Aleppo on Monday night, the U.S. says Russia is responsible. But the Russian defense ministry has released drone footage to make the argument the attack was the work of terrorists.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen tracking the latest developments live from Damascus in Syria.

You know, Fred, here in New York, the U.N. secretary-general outraged that this kind of convoy was hit and targeted.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, word from the secretary-general of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, that really that forceful we really haven't heard before. President Obama also saying that he believes there's no military solution to this conflict, that sides need to get together and negotiate.

Quite frankly, John, right now, that isn't happening. And certainly, the attack on that convoy is another sign of that.

[04:25:03] Now, the Russians have come out and categorically denied that they are in any way, shape or form involved in all of this.

They say they were tracking the convoy earlier that day when it stopped tracking it, once it actually reached the warehouse it was supposed to go to. And they say they have no idea who hit it. They also seem to insinuate that there were possibly rebel groups in that area that might have been hiding behind that convoy to move around on the battlefield. Of course, that's a very contested area out there.

You just said it -- the U.S. says that it believes that Russian jets were responsible for that bombing. So, certainly, right now what you have here in Syria is the U.S. and Russia supposed to find a solution to all of this, very much not on the same page. Very much at odds and that the cease-fire is still in place in any way shape or form, we're certainly not seeing it here on the ground, John.

BERMAN: It doesn't seem to be in place in any way, shape or form.

Frederik Pleitgen, thank you so much.

ROMANS: All right. Let's talk about North Carolina here. This is happening right now. We've got fires and looting in North Carolina, as protesters in the streets after police shot and killed an armed black man. We're going to speak with someone live on the scene right after this quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)