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EARLY START

Big Wins for Democrats. Aired 3-4a Et

Aired November 8, 2017 - 03:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Democrats ride a wave of anti-Trump frustration to a series of big wins on Election Day, but can the party find a way to carry that momentum into the midterm?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE USA: Do not underestimate us and do not try us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: A direct message from the United States to Kim Jong-un. He says provocations from the North would amount to a fatal miscalculation. The President arrived in Beijing overnight. We're going to go there live.

Good morning. Welcome to Early Start. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Good morning.

Wednesday, November 8th, that is 3 AM in the East, 4 PM in Beijing. We will go there shortly as Christine said.

A blue wave crashing ashore for Democrats last night, giving them a much needed morale boost, election night, a strong one for the Dems with key wins in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and several other local races. The Virginia race closely watched though as a national referendum on the Trump presidency. Here are the numbers.

ROMANS: That's right. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam beat former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie by a wider than expected margin. Democrats now looking to build on this momentum as the countdown begins to the next year's midterm elections.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has more from Northam headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Christine and Dave, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam winning and winning in a much earlier evening than expected. They were biting their nails and expecting a very late night. But in the end, that's not what happened and they're saying that this is an indication of a bigger picture of an anti-Trump sentiment. Ralph Northam spoke about that to the crowd here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RALPH NORTHAM, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry, and to end the politics that have torn this country apart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Still a lot of confidence that Democrats across the country are feeling coming out of this Virginia Governor's race. They are definitely looking at the bigger picture here saying that in 2018, it's going to be difficult to run as a Republican, as one Democrat very deeply involved in this campaign said, "There's a big Democratic turnout right now and if you're up in 2018, that's got to be scary if you have an R next to your name."

Christine and Dave?

BRIGGS: Brianna, thanks, the state of New Jersey also going blue Tuesday, Democrat Phil Murphy will take over for Chris Christie as New Jersey's next governor. Christie had a 14 percent approval rating. Keep that in mind. Kim Guadagno comes up short there.

In New York City, no contest for Steve.

ROMANS: No, Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio easily cruising to victory over three challengers. Danica Roem making history in Virginia, the 33-year-old former journalist elected as the nation's first openly transgender state lawmaker. She defeats 13-term incumbent Robert Marshall who proclaimed himself Virginia's chief homophobe.

BRIGGS: Also in Virginia, former TV anchor and Democrat Chris Hurst winning the 12th District House race. You might remember Hurst's girlfriend, Alison Parker, who was tragically killed on live television in 2015.

And in Maine, voters approved an expansion of the state's Medicaid program under Obamacare, major setback for Republican Governor Paul LePage, a staunch ally of President Trump who vetoed expansion bills five times.

ROMANS: Let's go live to Los Angeles, bring in CNN political reporter, Maeve Reston. Good morning, Maeve.

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning.

ROMANS: What can we glean from these wins last night?

RESTON: Well, I think so many of us were looking at what the climate is going to look like next year in 2018 when we have these incredibly important House and Senate races that will determine who controls those two bodies. And what we saw tonight was really not a good night for Republicans. Clearly, Trump has been able to win in some of these places across the country, but not been able to pull the candidates that he's supporting over the finish line. And we saw that in the Virginia race in particular, Ed Gillespie had taken, walked kind of a tricky line there by not campaigning with Trump, but Trump tweeted on his behalf and recorded a robocall. And that distance really didn't help Ed Gillespie.

He was crushed by a much larger margin than folks were expecting in that race, and that really doesn't bode well for Republicans next year. And I think that's another thing that's really important to look at is that the Democratic sweep was really across the ballot, down-ballot races, all the way up to the top, the state House races. And so, that tells you something about how the country is feeling right now about the president.

BRIGGS: The president tweeting himself, "Ed Gillespie worked hard, but did not embrace me or what I stand for." He did embrace what he stands for late in this election certainly in the southern part of the state. It's a complicated issue though. And that the President was in Virginia several weekends playing golf, but never appeared to your point with Gillespie. And the Democrats, according to CNN's own polling yesterday, have a 37 percent approval rating, their lowest in 25 years. Can we over-read these types of elections?

RESTON: We absolutely can. It's such an excellent point. What the Republicans are going to try to do in all of these districts, you've got, for example, the 23 House districts where Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but you have a Republican sitting in those seats, vulnerable Republicans. And what the Republicans are going to try to do is really localize all of those races.

So, they would like to see different races in every part of the country next year and so, there is a danger in reading too much into these results, and the Gillespie strategy whether it worked or not, it really could play differently in other parts of the country. We know for example that the Democrat who won in Virginia did particularly well with women, did better in the northern Virginia suburbs than we were expecting. And so, that tells you a little bit about where some of those more middle of the road voters are going right now.

ROMANS: And when we look at some of these polls, exit polling done in New Jersey, another state where a Democrat took the gubernatorial mansion, and you've got minorities and under 30 seem to lean Democratic and come out in pretty good numbers. Can Democrats build on that kind of momentum there and elsewhere?

BRIGGS: Yes. And we absolutely were seeing tonight, those emails going right out trying to use these victories across the country tonight to pump up fundraising, pump up enthusiasm. Democrats are not in a particularly good spot right now. You have these two factions of the party, the Bernie wing of the party and the Hillary wing of the party really fighting over what the message should be in 2018 and what kind of candidates they should be running.

So, they have a lot to sort out here, too, but they really are going to try to build on the enthusiasm of the wins tonight. They've been waiting for wins like this for a while.

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: Yes. You both talk about the exit polling. Right now, it appears that Hillary Clinton did worse with women in Virginia than did Northam which is a fascinating dynamic, but so too is Virginia. If you can talk about in how different it is in terms of the complicated, almost purple sense of it...

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: ...that you go on in 2018, not many states are truly like Virginia, are they?

RESTON: No, not at all, and this has certainly been a state that's been a bellwether in the sense that it has been trending Democratic, and so, Republicans were kind of guarding for a loss a bit tonight. But, in those highly competitive districts across the country, the dynamics are going to be very different.

And, for example, the Paul Ryan-funded Super PAC is trying to find very local issues in all of these races to get voters excited about anything to talk about other than the Trump presidency.

ROMANS: You just have to wonder for Republicans what last night meant and if we're -- as you say, if we're overstating, I guess, the importance for the overall trends, because this has just been such an abnormal political cycle overall.

RESTON: Yes. And how will the Russia investigation play out, what kind of situation will Trump be in next year, if members of close to his inner circle or even his son are in legal jeopardy, it's very hard to know right now how voters will interpret those signals coming from Washington, how the economy will be doing, job growth, the stock market.

ROMANS: Right.

RESTON: All of those things are going to matter and could change how things go even in the final days of a race as you all know well.

ROMANS: But I think it's still fascinating, you guys, you've got the stock market at record highs and the president talking about it, tweeting about it, and taking credit for it, yet, his own approval ratings are at the lowest they've been. So, maybe there's a disconnect here. The more he talks about how great the stock market is, the more people who elected him think, "Wait, I'm not feeling that."

BRIGGS: I'm not feeling it, right.

ROMANS: Right.

All right, Maeve Reston...

RESTON: Right. ROMANS: ...nice to see you, CNN national national reporter in Los Angeles for us. Thanks.

RESTON: Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. President Trump arriving in Beijing over night after delivering a pointed message to North Korea, in a speech to the South Korean parliament, the president made it clear he is more than willing than past U.S. presidents to use military force against Pyongyang if it continues to threaten America and its allies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The regime has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past. Do not underestimate us and do not try us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Let's go live to Beijing and bring in CNN's Matt Rivers.

Good morning to you, Matt. How might this speech be interpreted in North Korea?

MATT RIVERS, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Well, in North Korea, they could take it one of two ways. They can look at this speech and say, well, we didn't the direct threats that we saw during Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly where he threatened to completely destroy North Korea and called Kim Jong-un a little rocket man.

But at the same time in this speech, Donald Trump was really pointed in talking about the human rights abuses in North Korea, talking about daily life being very difficult and sometimes deadly for the North Korean citizens and it really went after the system, North Korea's system and that is something that is not going to sit well with the North Korean government.

We know that Donald Trump is here now in Beijing. He's actually touring the Forbidden City with Chinese President Xi Jinping and both of their wives. They'll have dinner there later on tonight. But really, that's just largely pomp and circumstance at this point. The real substance of the day came in South Korea when Donald Trump gave that speech to South Korean lawmakers, really using some strong language, albeit no direct threats, but saying, I mean, you heard it right off the top, do not underestimate us. Do not threaten us. By continuing to pursue these weapons, you are only making your country less safe, very strong words from the President.

He didn't really get into laying out the exact way that a diplomatic solution might come about, but he did say that he hopes there could be a diplomatic solution some time down the road. And one thing that we do know that the North Koreans were looking for is, is the U.S. going to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism. President Bush took North Korea off that list in the mid-2000s. Donald Trump has said he's looking at putting that back and a senior administration official now telling CNN that he will make that decision by the end of this trip.

And one more thing before we let you go or send it back to you in the studio rather, about a photo op that didn't happen. Donald Trump despite saying that he wasn't going to visit the DMZ on this trip, the border between North and South Korea, he actually attempted to go to that border this morning, actually went so far as getting on Marine One, flying a couple of minutes towards the DMZ before bad weather forced them to turned around and cancel what would have been a dramatic photo op.

BRIGGS: Yes. Mother Nature had better ideas. Matt, I want to ask you before you go. About this dinner the President is having in the Forbidden City, how symbolic, how important is that moment?

RIVERS: It's highly symbolic in the sense that no foreign leader, U.S. or otherwise, has been allowed by the Chinese government to have a formal dinner inside the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City, that iconic imperial palace directly in the heart of Beijing, it's really one of the crown jewels of Beijing. And the fact that Donald Trump is being really given all this pomp and circumstance, it shows that the Chinese are rolling out the red carpet and at least it could give one the argument that the Chinese looked at Donald Trump and say, this is someone we need to wine and dine and if we do that, perhaps, that will help our diplomatic efforts.

BRIGGS: Yes. The Chinese know flattery is the way to Donald Trump's heart, Matt Rivers live for us in Beijing. Thank you.

I might say as much about Xi Jinping as well about the power he has now in China.

ROMANS: Yes, true, very true, and he does.

All right, the Vice President headed to Texas today in the wake of the church shooting. And now a staunchly pro-gun Texas senator says he's ready to take action -- next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: The Vice President Mike Pence heading to Sutherland Springs, Texas today to visit with victims of Sunday's deadly church massacre, plans to speak at a prayer vigil. This morning, we have new details about the gunman who killed 25 people and an unborn child.

Devin Kelley escaped from a behavioral health facility in New Mexico in 2012, months after he was accused of abusing his ex-wife and her child.

BRIGGS: Documents show he was sent there for pretrial confinement. Law enforcement was advised he was a danger to himself and others after he was caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base. The suspect's phone has been sent to an FBI lab, but so far, investigators are unable to break into it.

ROMANS: Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas says he is working on federal and state levels to make sure information that could stop dangerous people from buying guns is reported to the national criminal background check system in a timely fashion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORNYN: This seems to be an area where there is bipartisan support to come in and fix the background check system to make sure that we keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons, people with mental illness, people who commit domestic violence and the like. If we can address that and close those gaps, I think that will be a big improvement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: According to an ATF official, there is no evidence that a bump stock was used by the Texas gunman. We learned that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on bump stocks. That's in response to the Las Vegas massacre last month.

ROMANS: Ten victims from the Texas church shooting remain in critical condition. The families of those killed will receive $6,500 each to cover funeral expenses from a state fund. Officials say a company has stepped forward to donate all of the caskets.

BRIGGS: This morning, there is shock and sadness around Major League Baseball, following the news that former start pitcher, Roy Halladay, died in a plane crash. He was just 40 years old. Authorities say Halladay was piloting a small, single-engine aircraft.

ROMANS: That's when it crashed in shallow water off the coast of Florida on Tuesday. He was only the person onboard the two-seater plane and police say they received no distress calls. The NTSB is investigating that crash.

Halladay retired in 2013 after 16 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, winning more than 200 games and two Cy Young Awards. He also owns the only no-hitter in National League post-season history. The Blue Jays releasing a statement saying the organization is grief stricken by the loss of, quote, "one of the franchise's greatest and most respected players but an even better human being. It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise."

BRIGGS: Sorry. I grew with Roy. He is a great man. He'll be missed.

ROMANS: Sorry.

BRIGGS: He'll be missed by everybody. Yes.

ROMANS: All right. Twenty minutes past the hour, most Americans get tax cuts under the GOP plan, but millions of U.S. households will pay more and that number will only grow. We'll tell you why next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right, selling tax reform fiercely underway in Washington. Here's what we know. Most American households get tax cuts under the GOP plan, but millions may face higher taxes right away and that number will only grow over time.

Tax writing committees are still fighting over the GOP bill, but a new Congressional study finds it will hit American households differently even if households earn the same amount of money. For example, take a middle class household earning $75,000 to $100,000 a year, 84 percent will get a tax cut in 2019, but 11 percent of those households will pay more taxes. The difference is due to the complexity of the bill. It's a mix of rate cuts, eliminated deductions and expiring tax credits.

So, a household's tax bill will depend on things like where they live, how many children they have and if they plan to borrow in the future. That's why the number of losers will grow with time. By the year 2027, fewer than half of American households will get tax cuts. Nearly one in five will pay more. That may be the reason only 31 percent of Americans right now support the GOP bill and that's from a brand new CNN poll. About 45 percent say they oppose the plan.

We know the White House -- the members of the White House team selling this that were on Capitol Hill feverishly yesterday working to sell this to Democrats, they've been trying to sell it to Republicans in these high tax states who are very worried about getting rid of the state and local tax deduction.

BRIGGS: They're selling there, but the Senate, what will the Senate do with the House bill? Do you have any sense of that?

ROMANS: I don't have any sense yet. They have to really show that this is not just tax cuts that mostly benefit the rich and corporations, that it is something that will benefit a middle class family.

BRIGGS: Yes. There's a long way to go on this bill.

ROMANS: True.

BRIGGS: All right. The beaten and bruised Democratic Party with something to smile around today, a sweep of big races on election night. Exit polling shows part of the reason is President Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: The Democrats with a series of big wins on election day exit poll show anti-Trump frustration at least partly to blame here, have the Democrat carry momentum into the mid term.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Anyone who doubts the strength or determination of the United States should look to our past and you will doubt it no longer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: President Trump arriving in Beijing over night after issuing a direct message to Kim Jong-un. He says provocations from the North would amount to a fatal miscalculation. Traveling with the President in China, we will check in with Matt Rivers shortly in Beijing, the President, the first ever to dine in the Forbidden City, very symbolic.

Good morning. Welcome to Early Start. I'm David Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. They are certainly rolling out the red carpet for this President in Beijing.

BRIGGS: Indeed.

ROMANS: Thirty-one minutes past the hour, but let's start with politics at home here. A blue wave crashing ashore for Democrats last night, giving them a much-needed morale boost. Election night a strong one for the Dems with key wins in Virginia, in New Jersey, New York City and all, a bunch of other local races.

The Virginia race closely watched as a national referendum on the Trump presidency, Dave.

BRIGGS: Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam beat former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie by a wider than expected margin. Democrats now looking to build on their momentum as the countdown begins to next year's midterm elections.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has more from Northam headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

KEILAR: Christine and Dave, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam winning and winning in a much earlier evening than expected. They were biting their nails and expecting a very late night. But in the end, that's not what happened and they're saying that this is an indication of a bigger picture of an anti-Trump sentiment. Ralph Northam spoke about that to the crowd here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORTHAM: Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness that we will not condone hatred and bigotry and to end the politics that have torn this country apart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Still a lot of confidence that Democrats across the country are feeling coming out of this Virginia governor's race. They are definitely looking at the bigger picture here saying that in 2018, it's going to be difficult to run as a Republican, as one Democrat very deeply involved in this campaign said, there's a big Democratic turnout right now and if you're up in 2018, that's got to be scary if you have an R next to your name.

Christine and Dave?

ROMANS: All right. Brianna Keilar, thank you. The State of New Jersey also going blue Tuesday, in New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy will take over for Chris Christie as New Jersey's next governor, scoring a double-digit win over Christie's lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno.

BRIGGS: In New York City, no contest in the mayoral race, Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio easily cruising to victory over three challengers. Danica Roem making history in Virginia, the 33-year-old former journalist elected the nation's first openly transgender state lawmaker. She defeats 13-term incumbent Robert Marshall who proclaimed himself Virginia's chief homophobe.

ROMANS: Thirteen terms, wow. Also in Virginia, former television anchor and Democrat Chris Hurst winning the 12th District House race. You might remember Hurst, his girlfriend, Alison Parker, who was tragically killed on live television back in 2015.

And in Maine, voters approved an extension of the state's Medicaid program under Obamacare. It's a major setback for Republican Governor Paul LePage, a staunch ally of President Trump who vetoed expansion bills five times.

BRIGGS: All right. Let's go live to Los Angeles and bring CNN national political reporter, Maeve Reston.

ROMANS: Good morning, Maeve.

BRIGGS: All right. Thanks for coming back, Maeve.

ROMANS: Good night.

BRIGGS: Yes, good night, good morning. So, look, it's not a good night for the Republican Party, no doubt about that, no good news from the Virginia race in particular. How bad is the news, though?

RESTON: Well, I think, as we were talking about earlier this hour, there is a risk here in reading too much into the results, but this was a very bad night for Republicans, particularly in the Virginia race, which that's a state that's a bellwether. It's been trending Democratic in recent years.

But in polls, we really saw that race between Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam close up in those final weeks. You had Steve Bannon, the president's former chief strategist kind of bragging over the weekend in some interviews that Gillespie was doing better after embracing Trumpism and clearly, that is not the way that this race played out tonight.

He really struggled in the northern Virginia suburbs. The Democrats did very well with women. Their turnout operation worked very well, which is a good sign for them going into 2018 as they look ahead to these big ticket races that could determine the control of the House and the Senate. And so, there's a lot of good news for Democrats tonight all across the country, just wins up and down the ballot and that says a lot about how people are feeling about Trump. ROMANS: We can talk about whether they can capture that momentum and do something with it, but what is the message in Virginia though for other Republican candidates? I mean, that's what I'm trying to get my head around because it didn't seem like Ed Gillespie really was tying himself at first to Donald Trump and then...

BRIGGS: He's the establishment guy. Yes.

ROMANS: And he is an establishment guy.

RESTON: Right.

ROMANS: Then Trump was sort of tweeting on his behalf. But Trump was playing golf in Virginia a whole bunch of weekends and never was on stage or anything or never made any personal appearances with Ed Gillespie. I mean, I guess, what is the takeaway for other Republicans who are running in the midterms?

BRIGGS: Yes.

RESTON: I mean, I think that what it says is that even if you don't fully embrace Trump, Ed Gillespie clearly did not invite Trump to come campaign with him or want to be seen by his side, but Trump did tweet on his behalf, did a big last-minute push with robocalls, pushing for turnout for Ed Gillespie and then turned on him in a tweet right after the election results were in, which is not surprising to any of us.

But, I mean, basically, the message for Republicans here is that certainly embracing the president is a risky strategy and then, trying to walk a narrow line doesn't work quite very well either. You're seeing Republicans across the country in a lot of these competitive midterm districts trying to focus on everything except what's going on in Washington. They're focusing on very local issues and hoping to not have those toxic Trump poll numbers affect them. And tonight is certainly going to kind of underscore that dynamic.

BRIGGS: Toxic poll numbers are what both parties have in common right now.

RESTON: That's true.

BRIGGS: CNN's own polling showed the Democrats have a 37 percent favorability number across the country. That's a 25-year low. The anti-Trump message didn't work in the presidential election. Maybe it worked last night at Virginia, but can they over-read the results from last night?

RESTON: They certainly can and that's I think anybody would read too much into these results at their peril, because so much can change. I mean, obviously right now, even though Trump's approval ratings are very low, they are being kind of buoyed by the fact that the economy is doing well, that the stock market is doing well. Trump is taking a lot of credit for all of that, but all of those things can change in a flash.

Obviously, he and his inner circle are under incredible pressure with the Russia investigation going on in Washington, and it's very hard to know where voters are going to be next year as they look at these races, whether they'll be happy with what's going on in Washington. They're clearly not happy with their members of Congress. So, Republicans and Democrats have a lot of work to do here.

ROMANS: When we look at Virginia -- or, I'm sorry, when we look at New Jersey, that win in New Jersey by Phil Murphy, was that an anti- Trump vote do you think or was that an anti Chris Christie vote?

RESTON: I think there was so much Chris Christie baggage there that it was just an incredibly difficult race for the Republicans to kind of make a breakout from his shadow, and we did see some evidence of that in the exit polls, that this was a vote to move on from the Chris Christie administration. So, that was going to be a tough race no matter what and everyone was excepting a double-digit win there.

In Virginia, they had expected really a gap of only a couple of points and that did not turn out to be the case.

ROMANS: Yes, a surprise there.

BRIGGS: Yes, Christie, a 14 percent approval rating in Jersey, one of the lowest in the country.

RESTON: Yes.

BRIGGS: Maeve Reston, thanks so much for staying up late for us. We appreciate it.

RESTON: Thank you.

ROMANS: Thanks, Maeve.

BRIGGS: All right. President Trump arriving in Beijing overnight after delivering a pointed message to North Korea, in a speech to the South Korean parliament, the president made it clear he is more willing than past U.S. presidents to use military force against Pyongyang if it continues to threaten America and its allies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The regime has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past. Do not underestimate us and do not try us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: All right. Let's go live to Beijing and bring in CNN's Matt Rivers.

Matt, good morning to you. The president in Beijing, what do we expect to hear from him there?

RIVERS: Well, this particular stop on this Asia tour for the president is going to be focused on two things. It's going to be focused on North Korea and it's going to be focused on the U.S.-China trading relationship.

North Korea by and large, absolutely, the number one topic of discussion here, the Trump administration has long wanted China to do more when it comes to North Korea, use its economic leverage to get Pyongyang to stop developing weapons. China has so far not been willing to go as far as the Trump administration wants them to. So, that's the delicate dance that's going to be taking place over the next 36 hours between largely President Xi Jinping of China and President Donald Trump.

Right now, we know that the two men are kind of in the easier part of this, they're not really getting into the direct negotiations yet. President Trump took a tour of the Forbidden City with his wife as well as the first lady of China. They're going to have dinner there later on, an honor that no other foreign leader has ever been given since communist China was founded in 1949.

But the meat and potatoes of today, the real tangible stuff, came when the President was in South Korea. He gave that speech. We heard a little bit of it there off the top. This was a strong speech. It didn't have the kind of stuff that you heard at the U.N. General Assembly from the president where he threatened to completely destroy North Korea, called Kim Jong-un a little rocket man. But this was a speech that focused on North Korea's system and that is something that they're not going to like.

He talked about human rights violations. He talked about forced labor camps. He talked about Kim Jung-on hurting his own people. That's not going to go over well in North Korea at all. And so, it will be interesting to see how they respond. We also know that the North Koreans are looking for -- the fact that Donald Trump has brought up the idea of putting North Korea back on the state sponsors of terrorism list. President Bush took North Korea off that list. President Trump according to a senior administration official will decide by the end of this trip whether to put North Korea back on the state sponsors of terrorism list.

And one more thing about a photo op that didn't happen this morning, President Trump despite saying he wasn't going to be going to the DMZ actually tried to make a surprise visit to the DMZ by going via helicopter, Marine One, to the demilitarized zone, the border between North Korea and South Korea, got as far as flying for a couple of minutes towards the DMZ, but bad weather actually forced the cancellation of what would have been a very dramatic photo op.

BRIGGS: Yes, Mother Nature stepping in. All right, Matt Rivers live for us in Beijing. Thanks.

ROMANS: All right. Forty-three minutes past the hour, the stock market rally that just won't stop. The Dow just nailed its fourth record high in a row. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 also very close to highest levels in history.

So, it's easy to forget that exactly one year ago, exactly a year ago on election night, President Trump's victory tanked global markets. Do you remember? Dow futures plunged nearly 900 points when it became clear he won the election. But by morning, investors completely took that around and turned optimistic. The Dow spiked more than 250 points, hitting a record high the day after the election. That was the first of more than 70 record highs the Dow hit during Trump's first year, smashing through 20,000, then 21,000, then 22,000, and 23,000. It's up now 30 percent from that moment when futures were down 900 and global markets were so rattled. Now, unlike most of his predecessors, Trump takes credit for Wall Street's rise. He publicly takes credit for it and credit where credit is due. Tax reform and deregulation is boosting the current rally. But this bull market is not all about Trump. Look at this -- put that in perspective there.

Corporate profits and the U.S. economy are strong and the current rise is built on the monumental climate while President Obama was in office, remember? That was coming out of the depths of that horrible recession and financial crisis. This is now the second longest bull market in history. There's also a risk here, I think, in Trump cheerleading the markets.

What if stocks turn around? Then, is he going to take the credit for the fall? And the people who elected him might not feel this hot economy. Fewer than half of Americans are currently invested in the stock market. I think it's something really interesting to watch. The more he takes credit for a hot stock market, is that sending a message to his supporters that he's cheerleading Wall Street fat cat bankers and investors and not necessarily the little guy?

BRIGGS: Well, it's shocking to see the economy performing at a 36 percent approval rating. You would think it would be in the mid 50s with that number.

ROMANS: It's really interesting, isn't it? I will say something else about credit where credit is due. When Donald Trump was elected, a lot of people in business said to me it was as if a switch had been flipped from anti-business and caution to pro-business...

BRIGGS: The environment.

ROMANS: ...throw caution to the wind.

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: And that was something that business leaders like to see. Even though they don't agree with the President on a whole bunch of other things like climate change, like DACA, like immigration reform, it's just very, very interesting times.

BRIGGS: Hard to read.

All right, the Vice President, he heads to Texas today in the wake of the church shooting. And now a staunchly pro-gun Texas Senator says he's ready to take action on background checks, more next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Vice President Mike Pence heading to Sutherland Springs, Texas today. He'll visit with victims of Sunday's deadly church massacre and he plans to speak at a prayer vigil. This morning, we have new details about the gunman who killed 25 people and an unborn child.

Devin Kelley escaped from a behavioral health facility in New Mexico in 2012, months after he was accused of abusing his ex-wife and her child.

BRIGGS: Documents show he was sent there for pretrial confinement. Law enforcement was advised he was a danger to himself and others after he was caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base. The suspect's phone has been sent to an FBI lab, but so far, investigators are unable to break into it.

ROMANS: Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas says he is working on federal and state levels to make sure information that could stop dangerous people from buying guns is reported to the national criminal background check system in a timely fashion.

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JOHN CORNYN, SENATOR FOR TEXAS: This seems to be an area where there is bipartisan support to come in and fix the background check system to make sure that we keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons, people with mental illness, people who commit domestic violence and the like. If we can address that and close those gaps, I think that will be a great improvement.

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BRIGGS: According to an ATF official, there is no evidence that a bump stock was used by the Texas gunman. We're learning the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on bump stocks, that in response to the Las Vegas massacre last month.

ROMANS: Ten victims from the Texas church shooting remain in critical condition. The families of those killed will receive $6,500 each to cover funeral expenses from a state fund, and officials say a company has stepped forward to donate all of the caskets, just tragic.

All right, 52 minutes past the hour -- would you get in a taxi without a driver? You may have a chance to sooner than you think, details on CNN Money Stream next.

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BRIGGS: Hashtag times two, Twitter announcing a new 280-character limit for tweets, twice the current limit of 140. The company has been testing 280-character tweets with a small group of users since September. Interestingly, Twitter says after the novelty of tweeting more characters wore off, most people in the test group to stop tweeting the full length.

They say just five percent of their tweets were longer than 140 characters. The new 280-character limit will roll out to Twitter users nearly all of the 40 languages that Twitter supports. Look out for the president's tweets. Just look out. ROMANS: I don't know. I say brevity is the byproduct of vigor. The fewer words you use, the better.

BRIGGS: Indeed.

ROMANS: Channeling my inner Ernest Hemmingway.

All right, let's go to check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Global stocks mixed after the Dow hit ts fourth closing high right in a row, and despite starting the day trading at records, both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 closed a little bit lower here. But, look, stocks are still growing strong on the one year anniversary of the Trump bump.

The Dow is up nearly 30 percent since Election Day. Look at that chart. Aha, look at the chart now. This bull market is not all about Trump. Corporate profits and the U.S. economy are strong and the current rise is built on the second longest bull market in history.

All right, looking for a higher paycheck, then, think about switching jobs. Workers in almost every industry saw a pay bump when they switched jobs. That's according to new research from ADP. It comes at a time when employers are scrambling for workers. September had 6.1 million job openings. That's just a hair below the record. High job openings are both good news and bad news. It means employers are hiring. They're hungry for workers. Maybe they'll pay up for them. But it also means companies can't find skilled workers or they won't pay up for them. Wage growth has been sluggish and was sluggish again in October.

All right, would you get in a taxi without a driver? Waymo will roll out self-driving taxis with no human in the driver seat. The self- driving car plans to launch a ride-hailing service. It's already been testing fully self-driving cars on the public roads in Arizona. That's a first for tech companies. Even during tests, self-driving cars have a human behind the wheel ready to take over if anything goes wrong. Waymo's new service will begin in Phoenix in the next few months before eventually launching nationwide.

Would you?

BRIGGS: I was just trying to think about that. No, not yet.

ROMANS: Not yet.

BRIGGS: Are you there?

ROMANS: I would do it. I would do it. Put on my seatbelt. Yes.

BRIGGS: It still worries me. I'm still not down.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: All right. Early Start continues right now with the latest from the president's trip to China.

ROMANS: All right. Democrats win with a series of big wins on Election Day. Exit polls show anti-Trump frustration at least partly to blame. Now, can Democrats carry that momentum into the mid term?

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TRUMP: Do not underestimate us and do not try us.

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BRIGGS: Direct message of President Trump to Kim Jong-un. He says provocation from the North Korea would amount to a fatal miscalculation. The President arrived in Beijing overnight. We'll take you there live with Early Start's coverage in China, Virginia, and Pyongyang continues right now. Interestingly, the President is starting to talk about human rights which is something he's largely left out of the conversation until now.

Good morning. Welcome to Early Start. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's Wednesday, November 8th. It is 4 AM in the East.