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EARLY START

Travel Ban Takes Effect Tonight; Aide to Pope Faces Sex Charges; Trump's Health Care Message. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:11] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president's travel ban takes effect tonight, and no legal challenge can stand in the way. And new guidelines released overnight lay out specifics on who can and cannot enter the U.S.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A top Vatican official will face charges of sexual assault. This morning, he's defending himself before heading home to face a judge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Health care is working along very well. We could have a big surprise with a great health care package.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump is sending a message of sorts on health care. Will it be enough to get Republican senators on the same page? A big surprise, something just around the corner.

BRIGGS: Teasing the next episode.

ROMANS: That's right.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

It's great to have you back.

ROMANS: It's nice to be back. I mean, vacation is always nice.

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: But anything happen while I was gone?

BRIGGS: No, nothing ever happens. We missed you.

All right. Thursday, June 29th, 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Breaking overnight: New rules for implementing President Trump's travel ban that takes effect tonight at 8:00 p.m. That's the word from a senior administration official. We're also getting specifics this morning on who will be allowed into the U.S. from the six Muslim- majority nations and who will be kept out.

ROMANS: The Supreme Court laid out a general guideline that those with a, quote, credible claim of a bona fide relationship can come. New administration guidance sent to overseas posts Wednesday says visa applicants must prove they have a parent, a spouse, a child, adult son or daughter, son or daughter-in-law or a sibling in the U.S.

BRIGGS: Among the relationships not on the list: grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers or sisters-in-law, fiances or other extended family members. Got that?

The High Court ruled that those accepted to U.S. universities or workers who have taken a job at a U.S. company will be allowed in.

ROMANS: Now, the travel ban news comes after Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced new global aviation security measures which do not include an all-out laptop ban, as some expected. That was a major development.

CNN's Rene Marsh has more from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced new global aviation security measures on Wednesday. Now, the new measures are directed at overseas airports with direct flights to the United States. Kelly says that the measures will be both seen and unseen, and they'll be phased in over time.

These new security measures will include greater scrutiny of passengers entering the United States, enhanced screening of electronic devices, and the increased deployment of K-9s that detect explosives. It will be up to the airlines to implement the changes since DHS, the Department of Homeland Security, only has jurisdiction over carriers that fly to the United States. They don't have jurisdiction over foreign airports.

Now, if an airline refuses to follow the new security measures, they could be included in a laptop ban, face financial penalties, or they could be banned from operating direct flights to the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security says that the move is a way to address the threat that intelligence suggests is looming without having to do an all-out laptop ban.

Back to you, guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Rene. Thank you for that, Rene.

Pressure is increasing on Senate Republicans to come up with a health care bill that can pass. They're still trying to thread an incredibly tight needle that will satisfy both moderates and conservatives. But that's not stopping President Trump from sounding optimistic. Just a day after Senate leaders called off a health care vote for this

week, the president offered this thought --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Health care is working along very well. We could have a big surprise with a great health care package. So, now, they're happy.

REPORTER: What do you mean by big surprise, sir?

TRUMP: I think you're going to have a great, great surprise. It's going to be great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: No. We're not doing that.

No word on exactly what that surprise will be. Worth noting the president has a bit of a history of raising, then sometimes dashing expectations. Sources say Senate Republicans are making progress and that the president is open to changes.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has more from Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, Dave and Christine, there was some optimism if no clear path forward yet, at least when it comes to health care. Look, senators are kind of moving things behind closed doors again, trying to figure out a way to hammer forward on a deal. How that deal's actually going to come about is still an open question.

But one of the biggest issues is that this isn't about one policy here or one provision there. This is about ideology. And inside the Republican Conference, all 52 senators, some have starkly different views about the government's role in health care.

[04:05:01] Take a listen to what Maine Senator Susan Collins had to say.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: There is significant opposition to the health care bill here in the Senate. The opposition comes from various quarters and ideological spectrum is really wide. So, it's going to be a challenge.

MATTINGLY: Now, guys, a key element here is this: Susan Collins very much so has fundamental, that's her word, problems with this bill. She's kind of on the moderate side of things. If you look on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, Rand Paul is in a similar place but for very different issues. And when you kind of consider those dynamics, you recognize why this is such a difficult process for Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate. Now there's a pot of money for them to work with to try and appease

the senators from Medicaid expansion states. Some of the senators who are concerned about opioid addiction and trying to address that. On the other side of things, trying to figure out ways to appease those conservatives who want those regulations cut back further.

But at this point, they haven't quite figured out that magic bullet yet. We'll see if they get there. They certainly want to get this done or at least have a compromise agreement hammered out by the end of this week. Get a CBO score next week. Come back and vote on it the week after.

They've got to get the compromise agreement first. And at least at this point, they aren't there -- Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Phil. Thank you for that.

Happening today, the House votes on two important immigration bills. The first known as Kate's Law would stiffen mandatory penalties for those who reenter the country illegally after being deported. The second bill penalizes so-called sanctuary cities that don't cooperate with federal immigration and enforcement measures.

President Trump touting this support for both of these yesterday on Twitter: tomorrow, the House votes on Kate's Law and No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. Lawmakers must vote to put American safety first. #SaveAmericanLives.

BRIGGS: The president also trying to build momentum by meeting with families of victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. In an odd twist, one of the attorneys challenging the administration's sanctuary cities policy also happens to be the private attorney for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

Jamie Gorelick, who is also once a Clinton administration official, is representing advocacy groups that argue the policy undermines local law enforcement by scaring off immigrant victims and witnesses of crime.

Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis and the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in Australia, facing sexual assault charges. This morning, speaking at the Vatican a short time ago, Pell proclaimed his innocence, not only denying the allegations, but promising to return to Australia and fight the charges and clear his name.

CNN's Delia Gallagher live in Rome with the latest.

Delia, good morning to you.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you.

Yes, Cardinal Pell coming out strenuously, calling it a relentless character assassination. These charges extremely important. The first time the highest ranking cardinal in the Catholic Church is being directly accused of sex abuse.

The allegations have been around for some time. The cardinal says he has spoken to Pope Francis who essentially supports him in returning to Australia. That is significant because there's no question of having to extradite him or the Vatican protecting him. He will return to Australia for a trial on July 18th.

Now, aside from the important issue of the cases of sex abuse allegations for Cardinal Pell, this is also a very important test case for Pope Francis. He's one of the pope's top advisers. The pope brought him in to help with reform. And Pope Francis has been criticized for being slow to reform on sex abuse.

So unless the outcome of the trial is a complete exoneration -- and there are multiple charges, although we don't know the exact nature of those charges -- Pope Francis after July 18th will have some tough decisions to make regarding the cardinal. We'll have to wait and see what the outcome is. It is certainly a test case for Pope Francis regarding what he is doing within the Catholic Church and at the Vatican on sex abuse, Dave.

BRIGGS: Boy, sure is. Delia Gallagher, live for us in Rome. thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Nine minutes past the hour this Thursday morning.

The national security adviser with a new warning about North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The threat is much more immediate now. And so, so, it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach, failed approach of the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, what new options are on the table for President Trump? A live report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:13:32] ROMANS: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says the U.S. has prepared a range of options to use against North Korea including a military option. Two U.S. military officials tell CNN updated options have been prepared. They will be presented to President Trump if North Korea conducts a nuclear or ballistic missile test that shows it has made significant progress developing a weapon that could attack the U.S.

McMaster publicly confirmed those options in remarks Wednesday at a Washington think tank.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCMASTER: The threat is much more immediate now. And so, so, it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach, failed approach of the past. The president has directed us to not do that, and to prepare a range of options, including a military option, which nobody wants to take.

There's a recognition that there has to be more pressure on the regime. And I think what you'll see in coming days and weeks are efforts to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGG: His comments come following the death of American student Otto Warmbier while in North Korean custody and ahead of a day of a visit to Washington by the South Korean President Moon. McMaster says Moon's visit will include discussions on a new approach to North Korea.

Joining us live with the latest, CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul.

Good morning to you, Paula.

What are the options being discussed?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, the options we're looking at today are pretty much the exact same options we were looking at yesterday and a year ago. They are the sanctions.

[04:15:00] Could they be tougher against North Korea? How much more pressure can China put on North Korea, whether it comes to enforcing those sanctions or trying to persuade Kim Jong-un to stop the nuclear and missile program?

You also have negotiations and dialogue, and then, of course, there is the military option which McMaster said nobody wants at this point. But still pointing out that all options are on the table, which of course they would be. It is inevitable that a country like the United States would be updating its military options when you consider that North Korea has stated its goal as being wanting to hit mainland United States with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

But you do also have six prominent North Korean experts in the United States writing an open letter to President Trump saying that it is time to talk, urging him to talk to North Korea saying, quote: to avoid a nuclear catastrophe.

And this is likely to be the same message we will be hearing from the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, when he meets later today with President Trump, a very key summit and certainly here in South Korea, it's been dealt with in an interesting way. Officials not more concerned with North Korea but more concerned with the interpersonal relationship that the two leaders can strike. They're very different in personality, in policy.

One thing most of the media here is focusing on is the handshake -- real concerns that the handshake might not go well.

BRIGGS: Imagine that. Paula Hancocks, another intriguing meeting with a world leader --

thank you.

ROMANS: All right. For the first time ever, all U.S. banks passed the Fed's yearly stress tests. It shows the health of the banking industry and it clears the way to pass along hefty profits to shareholders. The 34 largest U.S. banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, they got the all clear to pay dividends to shareholders.

This verdict is the second part of the Fed's annual financial checkup. Now, this test ensures that banks can cover the type of losses they saw during the financial crisis. It's a requirement under Dodd-Frank, banking regulations. Ironically, though, a clean bill of health will likely fuel calls to scrap many of those banking regulations, particularly those the president says suppress lending.

In fact, the Treasury Department has issued 100 recommendations to lessen the burden on banks. But supporters of the current rules say healthy banks, that's proof these regulations work, and 2016 was a banner year for American banks. They hit record profits while payoffs to shareholders reached $102 billion.

Despite the rhetoric, banks, they are still lending. Commercial bank loans hit an all-time high last November. And the president and people in the banking industries have been saying these Dodd-Frank rules and regulations are stifling and suppressing lending and hurting the banks and holding them back. Record profits there. Stock prices, too --

BRIGGS: Hang on, haven't they also said these have yet to truly take hold, Dodd-Frank?

ROMANS: So, you look at the stress test, those have been -- obviously they are in effect. And they are showing that the banks are healthy. So, if you are a shareholder in banks, that's very good news for you.

BRIGGS: Absolutely.

All right. The battle for Mosul reaching a final stage with the final push to get ISIS out is nearing. CNN cameras go deep inside the old city. We'll show you what we saw, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:22:42] BRIGGS: The final push against ISIS in Mosul is approaching. CNN cameras traveling deep into the old city, the last stronghold for ISIS in Iraq. There's both evidence of intense fighting and signs of life could be starting to return to normal.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The end is near for ISIS. You can just feel it. And normal life is springing back out of these pancaked buildings. Yet, turn one corner in Mosul towards its old city and the nihilism of the very final chapter in this war emerges.

Liberation leads little life behind. Bodies still where they fell in the scorching heat.

Senior commanders take us in in the calm before their final storm to wipe ISIS off the map.

(on camera): And how many more days do you think ISIS have in Mosul and in Iraq?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some days.

WALSH: Three, four?

(voice-over): Brigadier General Asadi (ph) beckons us on to see their prize. These are the last rooftops ISIS own in Mosul, barely hundreds of meters to go now. In the distant left, the river bank marking where ISIS's world ends.

And in the dust, the ruins of the sacred al-Nuri Mosque. ISIS blew it up, rather than let it to be captured. A terrifying omen for civilians held underground as human shields here.

(on camera): Well, that mosque has always been a distant target for Iraqi forces, and now, they literally are able to see it from neighboring rooftops.

(voice-over): U.S. trained Major Salam (ph) took us into Mosul eight months ago, and now he's here to see the end.

(on camera): We're at the beginning. And now, we're at the end of it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WALSH: So, what are we seeing on the screen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This digital camera that we try to recon the enemy, where are they located, and we try to find where are the civilians also. Nobody is sure exactly how many civilians there are. They located in so many different houses. Many families in one house.

WALSH: Are you getting enough help from the Americans now? Because when we first met eight months you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than enough. I am so happy for all the support from Australian side, from American side.

WALSH: There is the occasional stench of death here from the bodies of ISIS fighters like this one below me here left behind and also at times an eerie silence when the gunfire subsides.

[04:25:04] But it's in these dense streets that you can really feel how hard the fight against ISIS has been in these final moments, but also, too, how many few meters they are away from kicking the terrorist group out of Mosul, but also out of Iraq entirely.

(voice-over): Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Mosul, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Amazing pictures there and access. And we're just so grateful for our team to be able to get in safely.

BRIGGS: Yes. Nick Paton Walsh, terrific job. And good to see some continued progress on that front.

ROMANS: Yes.

Twenty-five minutes past the hour.

Travel ban 2.0 will be in effect tonight. It comes as new airport security measures are implemented around the world. We'll tell you what those are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: The president's travel ban takes effect tonight. In just a few hours, the new guidelines overnight lay out who can and cannot enter the U.S., and it turns out only certain family members will make the cut.