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CNN Projects Republican Karen Handel Wins Georgia House Special Election; Uber CEO Resigns After Months Of Crisis; Failed Terror Bombing At Brussels Train Station; State Opening Of Parliament In U.K. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 21, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:31:30] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN HANDEL, (R), WON GEORGIA HOUSE RACE: Thank you. God bless you.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A painful reality this morning for the Democratic Party. Tens of millions of dollars was not enough to beat Republicans in a closely-watched special election in Georgia. So how can Democrats recover with a message that this might resonate in 2018?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It is the first day of summer, everybody. Look at that beautiful -- good morning, New York.

BRIGGS: Oh, that feels good.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour. First day of summer, a long day.

BRIGGS: The park.

ROMANS: It will be the longest day of the year. And it was a long night for Democrats because Democrats this morning searching for a new --

BRIGGS: You've got that right.

ROMANS: -- strategy after suffering defeat in a high-stakes, high-cost election -- a special election in Georgia. CNN projects Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff by four points in a district Republicans have typically won by 20 points or more. Still, it was enough to provide a morale boost to Republicans worried about President Trump's potential to drag down GOP candidates in midterm elections next year.

BRIGGS: Last night, after declaring victory, Handel did not minimize the president. She and her supporters embraced it.


HANDEL: And a special thanks to the President of the United States of America. (Applause)

HANDEL SUPPORTERS: Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.


BRIGGS: That was a pro-Trump crowd. Jon Ossoff, meanwhile, falling short despite raising $23 million in the most expensive House race in U.S. history. In conceding, he tried to paint a hopeful picture of Democratic victories to come.


JON OSSOFF, (D) LOST GEORGIA HOUSE RACE: This is not the outcome any of us were hoping for --


OSSOFF: -- but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us. It's extraordinary what you have done here. The fight goes on.


ROMANS: Republican Ralph Norman won a special election in South Carolina's Fifth District. With earlier wins in Kansas and Montana, that means Republicans are now four and zero in special elections to replace Trump appointees.

BRIGGS: All right, let's bring back our panel. CNN political analyst David Drucker and "Bloomberg News" White House reporter Shannon Pettypiece.

ROMANS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning to both of you.

ROMANS: Happy summer.

BRIGG: Yes, happy first day of summer. Shannon, let's start with you. In the end of Jon Ossoff's campaign, he says they're a beginning of something much bigger. Certainly, he has to paint the loss that way but what should Democrats take away from the most expensive loss in U.S. House history?

SHANNON PETTYPIECE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Well, it is, technically, a long time between now and November 2018 and a lot can happen, but I think what this says is you need a message and you need a candidate and you can't just run on an anti-Trump platform which Democrats, you know, tried to do in the last presidential election and they've been trying to do in these special elections. But, you know, voters are savvy, they're smart, and they want to vote for a candidate who shares their values and, you know, who they believe in, you know. It can't just be an opposition race here. So I think it's a wake-up call to Democrats. I think Republicans

probably needed to win this more than Democrats just to really hold the base and hold what they had here, and I think maybe it will have some Republicans feeling more comfortable and a little less skittish going into 2018. I don't necessarily think it should though because, you know, a lot can go on here and, you know, this is only a small sample size we're seeing compared to what is going to play out in 2018.

[05:35:08] ROMANS: You know, I wonder what you think, David, about this assumption that President Trump is some sort of liability for these Republicans because maybe that's an elitist construct to think that Trump -- President Trump is a liability. Maybe he's not.

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it depends on the district that we're talking about. I think that in Republican districts Republican voters are still with Trump because the alternative to them is a liberal Democrat running Congress and passing all sorts of bills that they don't like or blocking bills they like. And so, I think what Democrats should not do is look at the -- look at what happened in Georgia and decide that the message was wrong. Their candidate actually ran on a very pragmatic, centrist message that didn't try and nationalize the race and didn't focus on Donald Trump.


DRUCKER: It was the Republicans that nationalized the race and said if you vote for Jon Ossoff you're going to get Nancy Pelosi. That resonated with Republicans in the district because guess what, they are Republicans. And so, heading into next year what Democrats needs to do is try and recruit candidates that are better fits for the districts that they're targeting. There are signs that -- there are some signs that they're doing that. And I think for Republicans the message is they need to pass things so that they deliver for their base on the majorities that they elected, and if they do that they have a really good chance of their base turning out and holding things together despite the president.

BRIGGS: It's a great point, David, and Shannon, I want to get your thoughts on that. Republicans did make this as much about Nancy Pelosi as they did about Donald Trump. Is that, for Republicans, an effective message, Shannon?

PETTYPIECE: Yes, I really agree with David on a lot of those points that, you know, if you have a Republican district, Republicans aren't just going to vote for, you know, a Democrat. If they want low taxes, less regulation, they care about pro-life issues they're not going to vote for a Democrat despite what they --

ROMANS: Right.

PETTYPIECE: -- think about Donald Trump. And -- but to the other point, yes, the Republicans have to accomplish something because if they feel like they're just going to be sending someone there who is not going to get those agendas done -- you know, those issues on their agenda done, it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to vote for the Democrat. They might just not vote at all, you know. It might be sort of a demoralized party, you know, and difficult to drive turnout. So, I agree. The next -- you know, and even the next few months here and few weeks, on health care, on tax reform are going to be very crucial for the Republican Party to show that they can govern.

ROMANS: Yes, I think so, too. We -- you know, with Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, out yesterday trying to kind of give a pep talk to folks about look, transformational, once-in-a-generation tax reform is possible. You have, behind the scenes, this health care -- health care being hammered out in the Senate and John McCain sort of sarcastic and mocking yesterday about how he doesn't even know what's in this thing and how it's all happening behind closed doors.

David Drucker, how important is it for them to get a -- to score something here that the president can sign on health care? Yesterday we heard that, you know, he wants it to have heart, whatever that means, in whatever the Senate puts together.

DRUCKER: Well, look, I think for Republican voters what they want to see is health care reform passed. It's interesting when I talk to Republican voters in Georgia and I talk to them in other parts of the country, they don't much care about the fact that the process has been secretive. They don't care about the hypocrisy of Republicans complaining seven, eight years ago about a secret process behind closed doors and now they're doing it themselves. All they want to see is results.

And for Republicans, when they -- when they look at this from a policy standpoint and an electoral standpoint, to them it's about trying to put together a bill that, number one, passes and is signed and number two, actually fixes the problems that exist in the health care system. And all of the things that we've been talking about, process will ultimately not matter if people actually like the bill.

So what is the problem that Republicans face? The House bill that passed is extremely unpopular and it's unclear that whatever the Senate's going to do is going to change that equation. That gives Democrats an opportunity, politically. It also, at some point, means they're going to have to tell voters exactly how they would fix the health care program other than keeping Obamacare as is, which even before all of this was a non-starter.

BRIGGS: Shannon, Christine mentioned Sean Spicer's comment about heart and the health care bill, but he really made news when pressed on if Russia interfered in our 2016 election. He said he doesn't know. And then, pressed on it, said I've not sat down with the president and talked to him about that specifically. Russian interference in our election? Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies agree that happened. Every Democratic and Republican lawmaker that we've talked to agrees with that notion. What do you make of the fact that the president can't weigh in on this and that they haven't talked about it specifically?

PETTYPIECE: Or doesn't want to weigh in on it. And the growing list of things recently that Sean Spicer says he doesn't know about -- hasn't talked -- you know, climate change in the middle of the Paris Accord. You know, he was asked repeatedly what was the position -- the president's position on climate change and he said he didn't know. Had the president seen the health bill? He didn't know. You know, it seems to be a new defense tactic. If you don't want to get into it with the reporters -- if you're trying to, you know, avoid getting caught up in a misstatement or cool the temperature in the room, you, now, just say I don't know, I'll look into that, I'll defer, I'll punt it, and you avoid some of these controversies that, you know, Sean Spicer's found himself in.

[05:40:20] Or the president is out of the mainstream in his baseline assumptions about a lot of things. I mean, you just don't want to get into it. All right. Shannon Pettypiece, David Drucker, nice to see both you.


BRIGGS: Thanks, guys.

ROMANS: Happy summer.

DRUCKER: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Breaking overnight, Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigning as CEO after months of scandal and terrible P.R. reaction to scandal after scandal. Investors demanded he step down. Travis Kalanick helped found Uber back in 2009. He built it into a transportation and technology, and more importantly, powerhouse.

He also fostered a workplace culture, though, that's causing the current crisis at Uber, including accusations of discrimination, sexual harassment, typical brogrammer culture that just, you know -- that a seasoned, mature company cannot maintain it like that. Kalanick says in a statement he is leaving for the good of the company so that Uber can go back to building instead of enduring another fight.

And as the White House works to keep auto jobs in the U.S., Ford is moving Focus production to China. It will then import those cars back to the U.S. for sale. The Ford Focus to be made in China and sold back in the United States, that is a first for the American company. Ford previously said it would shift production to Mexico but moving Focus assembly to China saves the company $500 million. After seven years auto sales are slowing, especially for smaller vehicles, so automakers are looking to cut costs.

President Trump attacked Ford on the campaign trail for moving production to Mexico and then he claimed a victory when Ford canceled those plans. But, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did not criticize Ford's plan to move production of the Focus to China. Instead, releasing a statement that companies will come back to the U.S. once President Trump's policies take hold. This is exactly what the president campaigned against. Moving production of American cars to another country --


ROMANS: -- and then importing them back into the United States.

BRIGGS: He's touted in recent weeks, the president, the exciting things U.S. automakers are doing making cars here.

All right, new details this hour about the attacker who detonated a bomb containing nails and glass bottles at a Brussels train station. We're live in Belgium ahead on EARLY START.


[05:46:32] ROMANS: All right, happy summer, everybody. Let's get a little sunshine in our morning. Chris Cuomo's there. Hello.

BRIGGS: Hello, sunshine.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": How are you, friends? I was just discussing with our inimitable boss, Izzy Povich, what does this mean for the Democrats? How do they reconcile all the money and all the momentum getting close, but not getting it done? You know what the Republicans take from it -- we won, and when you win it's always a simple explanation, right? So what we're going to talk today a little bit on the show is the reckoning of political failure, all right?

So the word "fail" -- I was taught when I was young -- very young -- that it means that the future is always involving learning -- F-A-I-L, fail. That's what they taught in campaign school in the Cuomo house. So what does it mean here for the Democrats? We'll take you through it.

Then, we have a great collection of lawmakers on today to talk about what's going on with this health care bill. Do you really have Republicans within the working group who don't know what's in it, still?


CUOMO: What's going on here? So we'll take you through those two big ones and cover what's going on around the world.

BRIGGS: We were trying to take notes. What's it stand for?


BRIGGS: All right, fail -- F-A-I-L, right -- last time I checked -- "Future Always Involves Learning." If you think about it -- honestly, you two have done very well with your lives thus far. You don't learn much when you succeed. Think about it. Once we do well at something we leave it alone. We're happy about that. We don't diagnose it. That's what you have to do when you fail. That's what the Democrats need to do now.

BRIGGS: Wisdom from Chris Cuomo at 5:00 in the morning.

ROMANS: Cuomo campaign headquarters.

CUOMO: The benefit of age -- that and this. You can't do that, can you Briggsy? Can't do that with that real hair, can you?

BRIGGS: Ha ha.

ROMANS: All right, Chris.

BRIGGS: Well done, sir. We'll see you in a little bit.

All right. Belgium's national security council meeting this morning following a failed terrorist bombing at the Central Train Station in Brussels. Authorities say they now know the identity of the suspect. He was fatally shot by soldiers after what officials call a small explosion in the busy transportation hub.

Let's go live to Brussels and bring in CNN's Erin McLaughlin. Erin, we understand you have some new information. Good morning.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Dave, some new and chilling details in terms of how this attack unfolded at the station behind me last night. The suspect entered the station at 8:39 in the evening. Five minutes later, according to the federal prosecutor, he approached a group of people with a suitcase. The suitcase partially exploded. Thankfully, according to the prosecutor, no one was hurt in that partial explosion.

The suspect then made his way down the platform in pursuit of the station master. The suitcase exploded a second time, filled with glass bottles and nails. The suspect then returned to the platform, storming a military inside the station. A military shooting him several times and killing him. Authorities are not publicly naming him although they have identified him as a 35-year-old Moroccan national living in the neighborhood of Molenbeek here in Brussels. They raided his house in the overnight hours.

Meanwhile, as you can see behind me the station has reopened. A relative calm has returned to this area. The Belgium prime minister saying that the opening was in defiance of this attempted terror attack. There's also scheduled for later this evening a Coldplay concert here in Brussels. That is expected to go ahead as normal, as well. There is, though, an increased presence -- security presence throughout the city -- more military, more police as this country remains on high alert -- Dave.

[05:50:25] We certainly do expect that. Erin, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, we'll be right back.


BRIGGS: Pageantry and politics coming together for the traditional state opening of Parliament in the U.K. The ceremonial event highlighted by the Queen's speech marks the formal start of the Parliamentary year.

CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joining us live from 10 Downing Street in London where I guess you expect a low-key event compared to years past, yes? [05:55:00] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Dave, that's right, and we've just learned something as well that will make it even more low-key, add more interest, and worry people a little. Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, normally would accompany her, absolutely at her side or right behind her. We now learn from Buckingham Palace he has been admitted to hospital overnight as a precautionary measure. That has to do with a preexisting condition. He was already beginning to slow down his engagements. In August this year, he was going to start to take a significant back seat. He is, of course, a few years old than the Queen. The Queen, 91 this year.

She'll be traveling not in horse-drawn carriages from Buckingham Palace to Parliament, but in cars. She will not be wearing her two and one-half pound crown. It is very heavy by any standards. She will not be wearing that. She would be normally. It will be carried in front of her. She will wear her long gown. So it is going to definitely look and feel substantially different.

It will be different to that, Theresa May, the prime minister, was expecting. She was expecting to get a massive majority in the recent election. Of course, the opposite happened. We know she's releasing in her speech that she'll use the words, you know, the election didn't go as she expected. She will be -- her government will be approaching the issues of the country with humility. That is a word that some people are saying she might well have used a few days --


ROBERTSON: -- or weeks ago. It would have served her better. Today a different day, Dave.

BRIGGS: It certainly would have. Nic Robertson live for us at 10 Downing in London. Thank you, sir.

ROMANS: All right, it is that time. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Global stock markets and U.S. stock futures lower after pullback from records on Wall Street. U.S. stocks fell as oil prices fell more than two percent. That officially puts crude prices in a bear market. That's a 20 percent drop. It's down 22 percent this year to be exact. Investors worry, once again, over a supply glut. The U.S. and some OPEC countries still ramping up production. Even this speed bump for stocks, though markets are still very close to record highs. Investors -- you know, they're shrugging off potential risks as they hold out hope for tax reform which Speaker Paul Ryan says he still wants to pass this year. He's really giving a pep talk on transformational once-in-a-generation tax reform.

BRIGGS: We'll see.

ROMANS: First day of summer and thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. Brooke Baldwin and more wisdom from Chris Cuomo -- fail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HANDEL: Special thanks to the president.

ROMANS: Republican Karen Handel declaring victory in Georgia's special election.

OSSOFF: This is not the outcome any of us were hoping for but this is the beginning of something much bigger than this.

REPORTER: Does President Trump believe that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 elections?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia's going to do an even better job in 2018 if we don't have a White House that accepts that we were attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been an explosion in Brussels. The suspect has been neutralized (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A heightened state of alert in Belgium.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been the sort of central hub for ISIS' European network.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your new day. It's Wednesday, June 21st, 6:00 in the East. Alisyn is off. Brooke Baldwin is here. Thank you for joining us.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy birthday to Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: Is it? Very nice. We don't talk about birthdays here. All right. But we do have a great starting line for you. Republicans win, avoiding a major upset in the most expensive House race in U.S. history. Karen Handel defeating Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia's special election. Winning requires little examination and certainly gives a boost to the president, but when you fail you need to figure it out and that is the deal for Democrats.

Policy may be the key for change, specifically health care. After weeks of secrecy Senate Republican leaders say they may have a plan to unveil -- a draft of the bill tomorrow. Some Republicans voicing their frustration about the process. Even some in the working group say they still don't know what's in it.

BALDWIN: Meantime, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer refuses to say whether President Trump believesRussiainterfered in the 2016 presidential election. Spicer says he has never spoken to the president about it. How's that even possible? And, President Trump calls Otto Warmbier's death a disgrace and now appears to be blaming his predecessor's inaction. Is that fair? We have it all covered for you on NEW DAY this morning. Let's begin, though, with CNN's Jason Carroll live in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Jason, good morning.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Brooke. You know, Democrats are really licking their wounds this morning. This was a major loss not only for Ossoff but for Democrats as well. The party poured more than $20 million into Ossoff's campaign and still came up short. He was unable to tap into enough moderates and enough independents here in the district and it points to a much larger problem for Democrats, Brooke -- in part, a messaging problem.