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EARLY START

New GOP Problem: Alabama's Senate Candidate; Will President Trump Meet President Putin?; Dismissed Menendez Juror Says Senator "Not Guilty"; Ezekiel Elliott Emergency Injunction Denied. Aired 5- 5:30a ET

Aired November 10, 2017 - 05:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, before we can make America great again, we've got to make America good again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: An explosive "Washington Post" report accusing Senate candidate Roy Moore of engaging in sexual conduct with a 14-year-old. President Trump and Republican lawmakers, they are calling on Moore to step down, if the allegations are true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, we are no longer enemies.

[05:00:00] We are friends. And this port city is bustling with ships from all around the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump in Vietnam this morning, along with Vladimir Putin. Will the two leaders meet face-to-face? The Kremlin says yes. But not so fast, there are conflicting stories on this one.

Good morning. Thanks for getting an EARLY START with us. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSIK: And good morning. I'm Alison Kosik. It's Friday, November 10th. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East and 5:00 p.m. in Vietnam.

And Republicans this morning trying to figure out what to do about their sudden Roy Moore problem. The Alabama Senate candidate accused in a stunning "Washington Post" report of sexual misconduct with an underage girl.

BRIGGS: A parade of leading Republicans echoing President Trump, calling for Moore to drop out if the special election if the accusations are true.

Alabama secretary of state says Moore can withdraw, but it is simply too late to replace him on the December 12th special election ballot, apart from a write-in candidacy.

KOSIK: Now, Moore is no friend of the GOP establishment, having beat its preferred candidate, Senator Luther Strange, in a September runoff.

BRIGGS: Some Republicans, though, are coming to Moore's defense. Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler told "The Washington Examiner", quote: Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.

KOSIK: Oh, and then there's former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, comparing the claim of sexual misconduct with themes to the shocking "Access Hollywood" tape released during the 2016 election. Here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: But it's interesting. The Bezos, Amazon, "Washington Post" that dropped that dime on Donald Trump is the same Bezos, Amazon, "Washington Post" that dropped the dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore. Now, is that is that a coincidence? That's what I mean when I say opposition party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: All right. For more on exactly what Moore is accused of, let's turn to Alex Marquardt. He's in Gadsden, Alabama.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alison and David.

Well, these are explosive allegations coming just weeks before an already highly dramatic special race to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate. These allegations centering around a young Judge Moore back when he was an assistant district attorney here at the court house in Gadsden, between 1979 and 1981. Four different women have spoken to "The Washington Post", alleging that he tried to sexually contact them or in fact did have sexual contact with them.

The most serious allegations coming from Leigh Corfman, a woman who is now in her 50s, but at the time was just 14 years old. She met a young Judge Roy Moore here at the courthouse with her mother, who was attending a child custody hearing. He exchanged numbers with Corfman and twice, she says, picked her up and took her back to his house. The second time she alleges, to "The Washington Post," he undressed her, touched her over her underwear and guided her hand towards his genitals.

There are also three other allegations from women who at the time range from 16 to 18 years old. They say that he either dated them or tried to date them and kissed at least two of them. Now, these, of course, could be potentially very harmful allegation

for a man, for a candidate who has centered his life, centered his candidacy on his morals and Christian values.

Now, Moore came out swinging, slamming "The Washington Post" report in a series of tweets.

The first of which read: The Obama Clinton machine's liberal media lap dogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I've ever faced. We are in the midst of a spiritual battle with those who want to silent our message -- Alison, Dave.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Alex Marquardt, thank you.

Joining us to discuss more and all things politics, CNN contributor Salena Zito, reporter for "The Washington Examiner".

Good morning to you.

KOSIK: Good morning.

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning.

BRIGGS: All right. So, we heard Alex talk about the past of Roy Moore, always judging people's character.

Here's a little background for those of you who don't know who Roy Moore is, some of his greatest hits. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INTERVIEWER: Do you think that homosexual -- homosexuality or homosexual conduct should be illegal today? That's a yes or no question.

MOORE: Homosexual conduct --

INTERVIEWER: Should be?

MOORE: -- should be illegal. Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Should be illegal?

MOORE: Yes.

It is immoral. It is defined by the law as detestable. It was against the law in most states until the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas said that it wasn't.

You wonder why we're having problems, Newtown, Connecticut? All across our country, with killing, stealing, committing adultery? Because we've forgotten the law of God.

Babies piled in dumpsters, abortion on demand. [05:05:02] Oh sweet land of liberty, your house is on the sand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Oh, wow. Hypocrisy has a new name this morning, Salena, and it is Roy Moore.

But, given all that, he beat Luther Strange. Alabama voters were OK with that. He is not dropping out of this race. He is not. Will he survive this and will the voters accept it?

ZITO: Well, he might not think he's drops out of this race, but if this story holds true and holds up within the next two weeks, I would say that he will -- be sort of neutralized by the news. I think in Alabama, there's certain processes that you have to go over that while it doesn't remove you from the ballot, it makes you -- I forget what the technical term is.

All that aside, if this continues, this is awful. And the Republicans should completely denounce and distance themselves from this character, and you know, you can successfully mount a write-in candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Murkowski did that very effectively in Alaska in 2012 I think it was, you know?

And there are other candidates who were -- in the primary process, who are very popular among Alabama voters. They didn't win. But, you know, I just don't think this is a good thing for the Republican Party or anybody. And the best thing for him to do is to step aside.

BRIGGS: No question you're right about Lisa Murkowski. She had great name recognition, though, in Alaska which you might argue Luther Strange does not. I just want to back up a little bit what you said there, what Mitch McConnell has said, what Sarah Sanders said via the president, if these allegations are true, this is the woman that's saying it. Saying here's what happened.

ZITO: Right.

BRIGGS: "The Washington Post" talked to 30 people. What more do we need to determine if these allegations are true?

ZITO: Well, I totally agree with you.

BRIGGS: OK.

ZITO: But I can't be judge and jury on that, you know?

I mean, look, Vice President Pence came out last night about the seriousness of this, and using sort of the same sort of words, saying, you know, look, if there's even an ounce of truth to this, this guy's got to go. This is not what the Republican Party needs, you know, politically, and it's just not what Washington needs.

You know, this is -- they already have sort of a bad reputation of a host of other issues. You add sexual misconduct with a minor in there, and oh, it's just -- it's just bad mojo. KOSIK: OK, let's switch gears, talk about taxes. The Senate bill

introduced yesterday or introduced finally, we learned what's in it. Very different from the House.

And I get it. This is the legislative process as Paul Ryan had said. But these are very, very different bills, plus you've got the clock ticking to this sort of deadline that's been Republicans have put on passing this thing.

And then you've got the -- if you can call the sales pitch from Paul Ryan. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INTERVIEWER: Once you take away the deductions, a lot of people are going to see their taxes go higher.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Here's our postcard. This is what it shows you. If you double the standard exemption, what we're doing for a family, instead of the first $12,000 being tax-free, your first $24,000 being tax-free, you know what that means, Bill? That means 90 percent of all taxpayers in this country don't have to itemize their deductions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: All right. So what do you think? Does this have a prayer of getting through?

BRIGGS: That was hysterical, was it not?

Sorry. Go ahead, Salena.

ZITO: I think the best thing for everyone is to see the process go forward in Congress, to see the fights and battles over the different ways to approach this tax reform, and to approach these tax cuts, and I think that voters, the more educated they are on what happens and what's being cut and what's part of it, is good for everyone.

It's going to be ugly. It's going to be messy, making the sausage is never pretty but I think that process is important.

BRIGGS: It is. I don't mean to laugh. It's just it looks like we edited that unintentionally because -- because Bill Hemmer says you're going to see taxes higher, many in America and his answer was look at our postcard. He hasn't finessed that. It was a fair question. Sorry for the laughter, Mr. Speaker.

Salena Zito, thanks so much.

KOSIK: We'll see you in a little bit, Salena. Thank you.

ZITO: Thanks.

KOSIK: OK. While you were sleeping, two world leaders touching down in Vietnam. President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin there for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The big question, will they meet?

It could happen on summit side lines today, tomorrow or never.

[05:10:02] A top Russian aide says the sit-down will happen today. But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says no formal meeting is planned at the summit though the leaders might still bump into each other.

BRIGGS: Any meeting between them comes amid multi investigations into meddling, not to mention indictments against Trump campaign officials, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. The president also facing criticism for missing a deadline on enforcing sanctions against Russia for cyber meddling.

KOSIK: The first meeting between Trump and Putin in July, the G20 Summit, caused a diplomatic furor. Russia said President Trump accepted Putin's assurance his country did not meddle in the 2016 election. The U.S. firmly denied that. This time, the White House hopes to keep the focus off the president's trip to Vietnam squarely on business, trade and security.

For the latest on his trip, let's go live to CNN's Jeff Zeleny live in Vietnam this morning.

Good morning.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESOPNDENT: Good morning, Alison.

There definitely is confusion here about whether President Trump will or will not sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is little question that they will run into each other perhaps several times. There's a dinner here this evening.

They also have an event called the family photograph. It's the moment where every world leader who is here from some 21 countries or so come together. So, we do know they will see one another. We do not know if they will have a long substantive meeting.

And you get the sense here talking to officials and reading the tea leaves, they're trying to lower expectations for a formal sit-down longer meeting here. I was at the G-20 summit earlier this summer in Germany when they did have that longer meeting and, of course, there was so much confusion over the conversation of Russian meddling there.

But the Kremlin says -- the White House is releasing conflict statements. The White House is saying no meeting scheduled. We'll keep you updated as this goes on, but the president is trying to keep the focus on trade here as well as keeping pressure on North Korea. He talked a few hours ago about his America first agenda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: So the question is what specific economic proposals he puts forward, what other countries do in terms of the trade imbalance, closing that trade imbalance here. So, that is one of the items on the agenda.

But the president will be here in Da Nang, Vietnam for another day before moving on to Hanoi and the final stop of this five-country Asian swing in the Philippines later this weekend -- Alison and Dave.

KOSIK: OK. But the question hanging over, Putin and Trump, will they or won't they meet?

All right. Jeff Zeleny thanks so much, reporting live for us from Vietnam.

ZELENY: We'll let you know.

KOSIK: We'll be watching.

BRIGGS: Interesting backdrop. Barack Obama was extraordinarily popular there. He was a rock star, so too is President Trump. They love the United States, 84 percent favorability. That's the highest of any country. They just have an obsession.

KOSIK: Thanks for leaving us with that dramatic stat today.

BRIGG: It is very -- they love Trump and they love Obama, too.

Up next, an unexpected turn in the trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez. We'll have the latest for you, next.

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[05:17:29] BRIGGS: Five-seventeen Eastern Time.

A juror dismissed from the corruption trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez says she believes the trial will end with a hung jury. Juror number eight, Evelyn Arroya-Maultsby had long standing vacation plans that the judge had agreed to honor and she says she was dead set against convicting Menendez and his co-defendant Dr. Salomon Melgen. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)

EVELYN ARROYA-MAULTSBY, DISMISSSED JUROR: I told them they weren't going to change mine. And there was no reason for them to try to change my mind. I already was in the courtroom for nine weeks and those nine weeks, they presented everything they had to present. I didn't fall asleep. I paid attention and I wrote my notes. So, what I saw in the courtroom was that he was not guilty of all counts and so was Dr. Melgen. They are friends.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: CNN justice reporter Lara Jarrett joining us live from Washington this morning.

Great to see you, Laura. Where is this headed? .

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, good morning, Dave.

Well, in a series of highly unusual interviews, this former juror has now offered us a rare glimpse into the deliberation room in this case. And she's saying not only does she believe that Senator Menendez is being railroaded by the prosecution in this trial, but she called the experience stressful, she called it tense because she felt other jurors were trying to get her to change her mind.

And she also indicated there were other holdouts. And so, the question now, of course, is, well, what does it mean for deliberations going forward? They have been there for 16 hours, but there's still more to go here. An alternate juror who heard the entire trial will officially sub in for her on Monday and the judge will tell them they're supposed to start from scratch all over again. But I think we'll soon see whether this former juror was right and this case ends in a mistrial -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Fascinating case.

All right. Laura Jarrett, thanks so much.

LAURETT: Thanks.

BRIGGS: All right. Sports fans, stop me if you've heard this one before.

KOSIK: Stop.

BRIGGS: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's suspension is back on. This time it may actually stick, though.

Andy Scholes tells us why in the "Bleacher Report", next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:23:59] BRIGGS: Welcome back. The on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again suspension for Cowboy's running back Ezekiel Elliott is back on. And this time, it appears that might stick.

KOSIK: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report". Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys.

You know, the off-the-field drama just continues for the NFL. And the way the Ezekiel Elliott six-game suspension has been handled is reportedly one the reasons why Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones is threatening to sue the league if Roger Goodell is given a contract extension.

Now, Jones, according to ESPN, says they have been misled by Falcons owner Arthur Blank and the compensation committee about negotiations with Goodell on his contract extension.

The NFL responding to Jones' accusations in a letter obtained by CNN. It read in part: your description of the proposed extension is at odds with actual facts that we can only conclude you were either uninformed or seek to deliberately mislead the other owner.

Now, we reached out to the Cowboys but have not yet heard back. Ironically, Jones' Cowboys play at Blank's Falcons on Sunday.

[05:25:00] Elliott will begin his suspension this weekend.

Another appeal hearing for his suspension reportedly will take place December 1st.

All right. So, three UCLA basketball players accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in China remain confined to the hotel while their legal process plays out. One of the players, were LiAngelo Ball, his father is acting like business as usual. A hundred miles from their hotel, LaVar and his youngest son LaMelo, opening up a pop-up shop in Shanghai for their Big Baller shoe brand.

They don't seem too worried about LiAngelo's situation. UCLA plays Georgia Tech in the season openers tonight in China. The UCLA players could be facing 3 to 10 years in prison if they are convicted for shoplifting.

But, guys, I spoke with a couple attorneys. They're familiar with international law and they both told me they don't think they're going face any severe punishment, likely get a stern warning and sent home, saying don't ever get in trouble again here in China.

And both those attorneys actually told me the fact that President Trump was in China definitely helped those players' case.

BRIGGS: No question. You wonder if the Chinese just want them out and out quickly.

Andy Scholes, good stuff. Fantasy fans really need an answer on that Ezekiel Elliott situation.

SCHOLES: Yes, pick up Alfred Morris.

BRIGGS: Yes, pick him up as many did.

SCHOLES: All right.

BRIGGS: OK. Ahead, Republicans facing a big problem this morning. Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore accused of sexual conduct with an underage girl. We'll have the latest on the stunning allegations, next.

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