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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  February 17, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PST

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i'm just telling you. this is fake news put out by the media. i inherited a mess. it's a mess. >> and that is just the tip of the iceberg. an erratic performance by president trump at the news conference and left many asking what could come next just four weeks in his term? i'm alison kosik. >> i'm miguel marquez. it is friday, february 17th. everything at the white house is
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running smoothly. just ask president trump. in a bizarre extended news conference, the president lashed out in a stunning public display of anger at the media and critics. he complained about inheriting a mess and issues of turmoil in the administration is false. mr. trump will now have to begin his third search for a national security advisor. retired admiral bob harward turned down the job. in a statement, harward declined the job this way. since retiring, i had the opportunity to address financial and family issues that would have been challenging in this position. like all service members, understanding and live this job requires 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. i currently could not make that
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commitment. >> it may not be as simple as that. a senior republican says central to harward's decision was quote a question of clarity regarding the lines of authority and a friend of harward's says he was reluctant because the white house seems chaotic. he called the job an expletive. if there is another candidate for national security adviser on the horizon, not that i'm aware of. and at the time, his decision is not entirely coincidence. it came hours after the news conference which was a break from everything we have seen before. even capitol hill veterans were stunned. one republican senator texting john king. he should do that with a therapy and not on live television. one called it the new normal. adding we're just trying to manage this.
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cnn's sara murray as more from the white house. >> reporter: good morning. donald trump capped of off a busy week with a press conference. something very different from what we are used to seeing in the east room. he stretched on for an hour slamming the media and going after his former political opponent hillary clinton all as he assured the press and american public that there is no turmoil in the white house. >> i turn on the tv. open the newspapers. i see stories of chaos. yet it is the exact opposite. this administration is running like a fine tuned machine. despite the fact that i can't get my cabinet approved. >> reporter: all of that and the president making news on russia. insisting he is not aware any of the top campaign advisers were in contact with russian officials during the campaign. that runs contrary to what we are hearing at cnn from sources who say there are former donald
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trump campaign officials who were no constant kocontact with russian officials throughout the campaign. and president trump seemed to speak glowingly with russia. today, donald trump heads to south carolina for an event at boeing plant there before he heads off to mar-a-lago for the weekend. back to you. >> sara murray. thank you. the news conference marked the first time president trump answered questions of the campaign in contact with russia. he responded to news the russians have a spy ship on the eastern seaboard. >> i could shoot that ship 30 miles off shore. everyone in the country would say, oh, it is so great. that's not great. that's not great. i would love to be able to get along with russia. you had a lot of presidents that
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haven't taken that tack. look where we are now. >> all of this coming the day the top american and russian diplomats met for the first time since trump took office. how were the remarks received at the kremlin? let's bring in our clare sebastian. clare? >> reporter: alison, we are getting a sense of confusion and perhaps frustration with the mixed messages from washington. on the one hand, president trump wants a closer relationship with russia, but the comments from the defense secretary and secretary of state in the last 24 hours. i want to read a tweet from the russian senator who summed it up. he said trump hopes to make a deal with russia. mattis thinks he can put pressure with a position of strength. three lines from one administration. i want to point out the comments from mattis where he said they hope to start dialogue from a position of strength provoked a
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strong reaction in moscow. the defense minister called that fruitless and wanted clarity. we heard from another deputy prime minister. he said nato should check its facts before saying it wanted to approach russia from a position of strength. there is still the will in russia. the president saying he thinks it would be a good time to restore dialogue with u.s. intelligence agencies. there is a sense of excitement when donald trump took office is starting to fade. >> confusion and mixed messages. hallmarks at this point. clare sebastian, thank you. president trump also sticking with the line that it's more important to investigate the source of all of the recent leaks that embarrassed his administration rather than looking into the substance of them. here is what he said when asked about the forced resignation of michael flynn as his national
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security advisor. >> that was classified information. it was given illegally. that is the problem. how does the press get the nf information? >> you know why? it is an illegal process. the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed. >> the fbi is not expected to pursue criminal charges against general flynn over contact with russian officials. law enforcement tells cnn that flynn was cooperative and believe he did not intentionally mislead. there are a lot of bizarre moments at the news conference, but the most bizarre, the president asking an african-american reporter to set up a meeting between him and the congressional black caucus. april ryan had asked about the president's campaign promise to recruvitalize inner cities.
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in the answer, he said cummings canceled a meeting. >> i would like to meet with him. i do want to solve the problem. he probably was told by schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight, he was probably told don't meet with trump. it's bad politics. >> i'm still excited about meeting with the president. i think his staff gave him incorrect information. the meeting was never set. we didn't get the calls. i'm still looking forward to meeting with the president. >> for her part, april ryan says she is a journalist. not a meeting convener. she would like to cover a conversation with the president and the congressional black caucus. almost completely lost in the conference, the first thing he actually said. alexander acosta is the nominee
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for secretary of labor. he is the dean of the florida international university law school. he led the civil rights division at the justice department for are two years under george w. bush. he was also a u.s. attorney. before that, he served on the national labor relations board under bush. he has an under grad and law degree from harvard. acosta is the only hispanic pick in the administration. he spoke out against congress six years ago and handled discrimination cases. as labor secretary, he will be tasked with protecting workers and improving workplace safety and adding job opportunities. he is expected to oversee the monthly jobs report. something the president has called a hoax. president trump vowing to roll out the new executive order on immigration next week. the new version of the order will keep americans safe and acknowledging it will be quote
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tailored to what withi consider be a bad decision. he is referring to the court ruling that suspended the current travel ban and the move by the ninth circuit court of appeals. the three-judge panel agreed to hold off as they await the new executive order. and mike dubkey is expected to be named the new white house communications director. announcement could come as soon as today. dubke is the founder of crossroads would take over the role from press secretary sean spicer who is doing both jobs. one of the biggest promises is repealing and replacing obamacare. is congress finally taking steps to get it done?
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there's still no plan, but movement within the gop on the
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vow to repeal and replace obamacare. congressional republicans met privately to hear from officials leading the efforts. still internal division over issues are slowing the process as lawmakers head home for a week long recess where angry voters are expected to demand answers. cnn's phil mattingly has more from capitol hill. >> reporter: miguel and alison, no question about it. republicans just haven't come together around the repeal and replace on this issue. there are real problems here. over the course of the last couple days, we have seen them start to work behind closed doors to try to get information out to members. some members want to move quickly. some would like to slow down. some are going home and are faced by town halls. this is why these meetings, these briefings are so important. this is why speaker paul ryan laying out an actual timeline
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matters. take a listen. >> repealing obamacare was a reason why we won the house in 2010. a big reason why we won in 2014. still yet a reason why we won the white house in 2016. we owe this to the conservatives to repeal and completely repeal obamacare. >> reporter: there is no question about it. there is a long road ahead. the fact legislation will move and happen, that in and of itself will help the members. on policy, not just on politics or timeline, there are clear differences in the republican party still on what to do with medicaid and what to do with the taxes that are applied to the affordable care act. they don't have straight answers on that yet. that will be with the negotiations going forward. it is a long path ahead. no question about it. there is at least movement and we talked to republican aides and they acknowledge that is a positive sign going into what is
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expected to be a rough recess. alison and miguel. thank you, phil. the senate is in session at this very hour for a rare overnight debate and the clock ticks down toward the vote on the nomination of scott pruitt. it seems opponents do not have enough votes to block the oklahoma attorney general's confirmatio confirmation. pruitt has criticized the agency he voiced to lead and facing a dozen lawsuits over the policies. the vote is set for 1:00 p.m. eastern time. this comes as an oklahoma judge ordered pruitt to release documents over the fossil fuel industry. on the heels of donald trump's conference, the vice president meets with world leaders overseas. how he can ease concerns about the administration.
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vice president mike pence on his way to europe where he is expected to offer reassurance as he meets with world leaders at the munich security conference. those assurances are needed more than ever as mixed signals are coming from washington, d.c. we have international diplomatic editor nic robertson. i imagine a lot of people will want a private moment with the vice president. >> reporter: you can bet. the perspective from europe at the moment is not only vice president mike pence, but secretary of state rex tillerson, secretary of defense
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james mattis, all coming to europe at this time. there's a sense this is damage control by the white house administration because president trump is so critical of the european union and critical of nato. he has been critical of angela merkel. mike pence will be meeting and speaking with angela merkel. she has been criticized by president trump of handling of refugees and german economy and taking advantage of u.s. business and industries. a lot for him to say. a lot for him to do. the message that we heard from tillerson and mattis and the message we expect to hear from pence is reassurance that the united states is with its trans atlantic allies and wants to work together. support nato. isn't going to rush quickly into a deal with russia. is going to exercise caution and concern. the worry here for european leaders for angela merkel when she talks with pence and the
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others, what will happen when he gets back to the white house? what will they hear from president trump? there is southern aconcern and y and appearance of chaos at the moment. we heard it from the russians in a critical way. the europeans and british and french, they get it. it is a new administration. this reassurance coming from mike pence is important. and to give the priorities from the u.s. perspective for the relationship with the trans atlantic a.llies. that is really needed. >> it will be interesting to see how he walks that fine line with his administration and what european leaders want to hear. that relationship always so close and now in question. nic robertson, thank you. let's talk about the weather. shall we? >> thank god. >> storms in the west last for a week and bring more than a foot of rain and in the area of the dam in the oroville area.
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we have derek van dam with the latest. >> this will produce big time rains and snowfall for the mountains region. not good news for the threatened lake oroville dam. evacuations continue across the region. look at the flood watch areas, including los angeles. we could experience 5 to 10 inches of rainfall across the south facing mountain slopes. it is not only heavy rain and strong gusty winds to bring down trees and topple power lines. gusting in excess of 50 miles per hour. the central u.s. looks dry. weak disturbance across the southeast. we have dry conditions across the knonortheast. the temperatures for the big apple, 42. back to you. >> thanks, derek. the future of the jets
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quarterback darrelle revis very much in the air this morning. darrelle revis once considered the best cornerback in the league is accused of assaulting two in pittsburgh last week. revis' attorney said his client did not start the fight and suffered injuries of his own. his lawyer is trying to reach out to revis to arrange surrender. president trump with the news conference. the likes of which we have never seen before. more from the surreal sight at the white house coming up next. and more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. medicare doesn't cover everything. and like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, these help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay.
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i'm just telling you. you're dishonest people. this is fake news put out by the media. i inherited a mess. a mess. >> calling that preview of the press conference a bit of a gross understatement. president trump with
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extraordinary condemnation of virtually all of his critics that has everyone asking what could possibly happen next? welcome back to "early start." i'm miguel marquez. >> i'm alison kosik. it is 30 minutes past the hour. this morning, everything at the white house is running smoothly. ask president trump. in a busineizarre news conferene lashed out in the public display of anger at media and judges and leakers and critics. he complained about inheriting a mess. despite his insistence all is well in the west wing, mr. trump will have to begin his third search for national security advis adviser. bob harward said no to the job days after the president demanded michael flynn's resignation over talks with the. harward said since retiring i
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had the opportunity to address financial and family issues that would have been challenging in this position. like all service members understand and live, this job requires 24 hours a day and 7 days a week commitment. i could not make that commitment. >> a senior republican says central to harward's decision was quote a question of clarity regarding lines of authority. another republican official says harward didn't feel he could form his own team and bluntly, a friend said he was reluctant because the white house seems so chaotic. the friend said harward called the job an "s" word sandwich. the white house official asked by cnn if there is another candidate for adviser, reply was not i'm aware of. the timing is not a coincidence. it came hours after the
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president's rant of a news conference which marked a break from anything we have seen before. even capitol hill veterans were stunned. one senator texting john king saying this. he should do that with a therapist. not on live tv. another republican lawmaker called it the new normal. we are just trying to manage this expletive. cnn's sara murray has more from the white house. >> reporter: good morning, alison. donald trump capped off a busy week with a rock-em-sock-em press conference. he stretched on for more than a hour. slamming the media and also going after his former political opponent, hillary clinton, as he assured the press and american public there is no turmoil in the white house. >> i turn on the tv. open the newspapers and see stories of chaos. yet it is the exact opposite is.
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this administration is running like a fine tuned machine. despite the fact that i can't get my cabinet approved. >> reporter: all of that and the president making news on russia. insisting he is not aware of any of his top campaign advisers were in contact with russian officials during the campaign. that runs contrary to what we are hear at cnn from sources who say there are former donald trump campaign officials in constant contact with russia intelligence throughout the campaign. president trump continued to speak glowingly about russia. hoping to have positive diplomatic relations going forward. today, president trump heads to south carolina for an event before heading off to mar-a-lago, the winter white house for the weekend. back to you. thank you, sara. the conference marked the first time donald trump answered questions of reports his campaign was in talks with
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russia. the president responded to news the russian spy ship on the eastern seaboard. >> the greatest thing i could do is shoot that ship 30 miles offshore out of the water. everyone in the country would say it is so great. that's not great. that's not great. i would love to be able to get along with russia. now, you had a lot of presidents that haven't taken that tack. look where we are now. >> all this came the same day the top american and russian diplomats met for the first time since trump took office. how were the remarks received at the kremlin? we want to bring in our clare sebastian. clare, he talked about moscow and russia in the press conference yesterday. a lot of mixed messages. how are they reading the tea leaves in moscow? >> reporter: miguel, a lot to decipher here in moscow. there is a level of confusion of the mixed messages from
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washington. perhaps some concern that political forces might force president trump to move away from his stated pro russia policies that we heard in the campaign. i want to read a tweet from a russian politician. trump hopes to make a deal with russia. mattis thinks in vain he can put pressure from the position of strength. tillerson is playing second to kerry. that sums up the move that they are not sure which direction this will go. how the president is pulled in different directions. on the mattis comments, the defense secretary saying in europe yesterday, they hope to negotiate from a position of strength. a strong response from russia. he expects clarity from washington on that issue. another sticking point is ukraine. rex tillerson expects russia to
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abide by the minsk agreement to reduce tension in ukraine. ukraine is a key sticking point into russia. russia said repeatedly this is an internal issue. >> fascinating they are seeing stark differences of opinion coming from the administration. clearly not on the same line with russia. clare sebastian in moscow. thank you. president trump sticking with the line it is more important to investigate the source of all the recent leaks that embarrassed his administration than looking int said when asked about the forced resignation of michael flynn. >> what was wrong was the way that other people and including yourself were given this information. that was classified information. that's the real problem. how does the press get this information? how do they do it? you know why?
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it is an illegal process. more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselv themselves. >> the fbi is not expected to pursue charges against sgliefly over contact with russian officials. fbi says flynn was cooperative and did not believe he intentionally misled them. one of the strangest moments of the news conference was the president asking an african-american reporter to set up a meeting between him and the black caucus. april ryan had asked about the president's promise to revitalize inner cities. in the answer, trump said african-american congress member cummings, had canceled a meeting with him. something cummings later said never happened. >> every day i walk in and say i want to meet with him. i want to solve the problem.
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he was probably totally schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight, he was probably told don't meet with trump. it's bad politics. >> i'm still excited about meeting with the president. i think his staff gave him incorrect information. the meeting was never set. we didn't get the calls he talked about. as a matter of fact, i'm looking forward to meeting with the president. >> for her part, april ryan says she is a journalist, not a meeting convener. she said she would like to cover a meeting. almost completely lost in the news conference, the first thing he said. alexander acosta. the nominee for secretary of labor. he is currently the dean of the florida international under law
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scho school. he was a u.s. attorney and before that, he served on the national labor relations board from 2002 to 2003 under bush. acosta is the only hispanic cabinet pick in the trump administration. he spoke out against anti-muslim immigration in testimony years ago. as labor secretary, he will be tasked with protecting workers from discrimination and improving workplace safety and adding job opportunities. he will oversee the monthly jobs report. something the president called a hoax. president trump rolling out a new executive order on immigration. he said it will be tailored to what he said is a bad decision. he is referring to the court ruling that suspended the current travel ban. in the move by the ninth circuit court of appeals upholding that
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decision. the three-judge panel will await the new executive order. mike dubke expected to be named the news white house communications director. the announcement could come as soon as today. dubke, the founder of cross roads media, i would take the role from sean spicer who is doing both jobs. are republicans getting closer to repealing and replacing obamacare? signals from washington, d.c. show movement, but how close are they to a deal?
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still no plan, but movement in the gop on the vow to repeal and replace obamacare. leaders met privately.
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lawmakers head home for a week long recess where angry voters are expected to demand answers. cnn's phil mattingly has more from capitol hill. >> reporter: miguel, there is no question about it. republicans have not come together around the repeal and replace like they expected. they campaigned on this for multiple elections now and there are real problems. over the course of the last couple days, we have seen them work behind closed doors to try to get information out to their members. some members want them to move quicker. some would like the process to slow down. those members are now going home. for recess. where they are faced with town hall backlash. one liberal group attacks them on the issue specifically. this is why these meetings are so important. this is why speaker paul ryan laying out an actual timeline matters. >> obamacare and repealing obamacare is the reason we won the house in 2010. big reason why we won in 2014. it still is yet a big reason why
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we won the white house in 2016. we owe this to the conservatives around the country who elected us to repeal obamacare. >> reporter: there is no question about it. a long road ahead. the fact legislation will start moving, that in and of itself will help the concerns of the members. the reality is on policy, not politics or timeline, there are clear differences inside the republican party still on what to do with medicaid and what to do with the taxes that are applied to the affordable care act. they don't have straight answers on that yet. that will be with the negotiations going forward. it is a long path ahead. no question about it. there is at least movement. we talked to republican aides. they acknowledge that is a positive sign going into what is expected to be a rough recess. alison and miguel. >> thank you, phil. the senate is in session right now.
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4:47 a.m. this is a rare overnight debate as they click down to the debate over scott pruitt to head the epa. they do not have enough votes to block the nomination. pruitt is poised to lead the agency he criticized. the vote is set for 1:00 p.m. eastern time. it comes as an oklahoma judge ordered pruitt to release thousands of documents on communications with the fossil fuel industry. pruitt has until tuesday to comply with the request. he is expected to be confirmed by then. during the first month in office, two presidents have seen bigger gains than trump. they are both known by their initials. i'll give you the answer next.
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vice president mike pence on his way to europe today where he is expected to offer reassurance as he meets with world leaders at the munich security conference. those assurances are needed more than ever as mixed signals are coming from washington. we have cnn's international diplomatic editor nic robertson live in munich. what do they want to hear, nic? >> reporter: they want to hear the message of reassurance. let's not be illusions here. they heard everything president trump had to say. you have the vice president coming out saying one thing and rex tillerson in germany the past day or so. and you have james mattis, secretary of defense, who has been in brussels. he will be here in the next couple hours as well. the message they are bringing as
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far as the europeans can see is one of damage control and damage limitation against what president trump said. think about it this way. angela merkel, tgerman chancellor, she will speak with mike pence tomorrow. angela criticized by donald trump over the refugees. and criticizing her with president putin in russia and criticizing her saying the german economy is trying to steal jobs from the united states. when he comes here to speak with angela merkel, it will be reassurance. that is what we heard from mattis to the nato allies. reassuring support from the united states. that is what we heard from rex tillerson yesterday. saying he wasn't going to go over the heads of the europeans to make a deal with russia.
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there were concerns about rus a russia's involvement in ukraine. these are important to european leaders. there is no illusion over what happens when the top three executives get back to the white house. what will they hear from donald trump? they will have watched the press conference. those concerns will continue. reassurance at this time is critical. i was at a european union meeting two weeks ago. absolutely worried about the direction of the united states is going in. this will begin a reset. >> to be a fly on the wall later today. nic robertson, thank you. let's talk weather. storms in the west could last for a week and bring more than a foot of rain. including some in the area of that shaky dam in california. meteorologist derek van dam has the latest. good morning. >> we have big weather heading toward southern california this weekend, miguel and alison. look at the watches from the national weather service.
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anywhere you see that shading of green, flash flood watches in place. that includes los angeles. rain is not the only concern. high winds in excess of 60 miles per hour, perhaps. you can see the shades of red indicating the high wind warnings in effect. that is all thanks to a series of storm systems that continue to line up our atmospheric river of moisture that will produce significant rain and high elevations of snowfall. not good news for the already threatened lake oroville spillway. remember, evacuations are still in place across the area. elsewhere throughout the u.s., dry for much of the eastern half with the exception of the southeast with the weak distu disturbance moving through. if you like spring temperatures, look at the warm up in the big apple. back to you. >> we like warm ups. thank you for that. the nfl career of jets cornerback darrelle revis hangs in the balance. he is accused of punching two
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men in a street brawl in pittsburgh last weekend. his attorney said his client did not start the fight and suffered injuries of his own. that lawyer is trying to reach out to revis to arrange surrender. let's get a check on cnn money stream. the five-day streak of record highs for the three averages is over. the dow managed a small gain on thursday's close. nasdaq and s&p fell slightly. despite the comments on tax reform and news conference yesterday. investors now want to see action. that has futures ticking lower this morning. stock markets in europe and asia are falling as well. there is one trading day left in the first month of trump's presidency. the stock market needs a huge gain today to make the trump stock rally the biggest of all time. currently that record belongs to
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lindyndon johnson. the s&p 500 jumped 6%. the second best gain in the president's first month in office came after jfk inaugurated in 1961. trump is in third place with a 3.8% gain so far. he is happy about it. he tweeted about it first thing yesterday morning. stock hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. great confidence before tax plan rollout. merps s americans are takin on more debt. $12.5 trillion at the end of last year. it is now less than 1% below the peak debt total the economy hit in 2008 in the third quarter on the eve of the great recession. this is according to the new york federal reserve data. these numbers look alarming. there were differences between now and 2008.
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fewer dli few few fewer delinquencies. student loan debt is 10%. check out what is next. auto loans. a big reason for the jump in debt overall. auto loans hit the highest level on record in 2016. americans now owe more on their cars than they do on credit cards. you know what they say? if you can't pay down the debt on the credit card every month, put those in the freezer and forget about them. it keeps them cold. out of reach. >> good solid financial advice. "early start" continues right now. >> i'm not ranting and raving. i'm telling you. this is fake news put out by the media. i inherited a mess. it's a mess. >> oh, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
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erratic performance from president trump at the white house conference. the performance has many asking what could come next? welcome to "early start." i'm alison kosik. >> i'm miguel marquez. it is friday, february 17th. 5:00 a.m. here on the east coast. >> this morning, everything at the white house is running smoothly. just ask president trump. in a bizarre news conference, the president lashed out in a stunning display of anger at the media and judges and at leakers and critics. he complained about inheriting a mess and insists reports of l k leaks and turmoil is false. insisting all is well in the west wing. mr. trump has to begin the search for the security advisor for the third time. bob harward said no to the job days after

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