tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN May 18, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
down and that way you can fog s on other issues. thank you, it's the end of the broadcast. i appreciate it. that's it for us tonight. thank you so much for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night. the russia probe is out of the hands of the trump administration. a former fbi chief tapped as special counsel. what this means for the investigation. the white house and members of congress reeling from the barrage of bad headlines. good morningme. welcome to "early start." i'm dave briggs. >> i'm christine romans. you had the biggest decline in the markets in year because the president was knocked off the policy issues. now the temperature has gone
down a little bit. >> i feel like washington, d.c. ex exhaled. the entire town. congress, the white house. >> now there's a process. the investigation into russia's meddling now in the hands of the former director of the fbi. robert mueller appointed special counsel. he has the power to investigate, to question, to issue subpoenas and prosecute federal crimes if any discovered. mueller appointed by deputy rod rosenstein. >> rosenstein said the move was not a finding crimes had been committed, but quote based on the circumstances the public interest requires me to place this investigation under authority of the person who exercising the degree of independence from the normal chain of command. >> the appointment following a series of damaging headlines from the firing of the fbi director james comey to the president divulging sensitive
information to comey's memo saying the president asked him to end the investigation of michael flynn. >> on capitol hill, the news of the special counsel is being greeted with relief. that includes democrats demanding answers and republicans who just want the barrage of questions to ease. we begin with justice correspondent pamela brown in washington. >> reporter: good morning, dave and christine. a significant move with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein handing the reins to robert mueller. he appointed him as special counsel. he said in a statement he did this out of public interest. he thought it was important especially given all of the recent revelation. including the memo from former fbi director james comey where he indicated in the conversation he had with the president that president trump apparently asked him to end the probe into
michael flynn, the former national security adviser. it is unclear how much of that revelation factored into the rod rosenstein's decision to appoint robert mueller as special counsel. we can tell you comey did not share the memos with him or other top doj officials familiar with the matter. now robert mueller overseeing the matter, he will have the same authority as a general. he can interview the president and issue subpoenas. it is up to him where he wants to take the investigation. >> pamela, thank you. new details coming in on how the mueller appointment went down. law enforces telling cnn that rosenstein thought about appointing a special counsel after comey was fired last week. he signed the order yesterday. this is what is fascinating, dave. he signed the order. then only alerted the white house and top lawmakers. remember, this was taken out of
the hands of the attorney general because he recused himself over the investigation. don mccann talked with senior staff to talk it over. >> the general feeling of the special counsel is let them do their thing and we'll do ours. so far, aides are not saying what president trump's reaction is other thanes from administration. one official telling us it is sinking in with how the white house is doing. jim acosta has more. >> reporter: robert mueller has been tapped to be the special prosecutor in the russia investigation. insisting there was no collusion with his campaign and russia. the administration officials say the white house received almost no advanced notice of the news before it was announced by the justice department. same for jeff sessions who was here at the white house when the
news came down. it is unclear how it impacts the white house. one white house official describes staffers e s exha. >> plenty of capitol hill insiders caught off guard by the special prosecutor. paul ryan was alerted before the announcement. the entire rank and file was not. still lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are applauding the choice of robert mueller. >> that goes for republicans who have seen their agenda side tracked among mounting pressure to push back against the president. one republican aide tells phil mattingly said the pounding was an issue. we have more from sunlen serfaty on capitol hill. >> reporter: good morning, dave and christine. the response has been
overwhelmingly positive and seems to have gone a long way to lower a lot of the temperatures up here on capitol hill. praise coming from both democrats and republicans. saying that robert mueller is someone very well respected and great credentials. someone that is a known come commodity to them. someone known to lead the investigation. the ranking member mark warner and the chairman of the intelligence committee richard burr praising the selection. they are leading their investigation on the senate side. they asked the senate select committee will continue its own investigation and to the extent anything is required, we will engage with director mueller. our expectation is he will engage with the committee. making clear their investigation continues and they expect to work with mueller and the days ahead. today, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein will be up on
capitol hill to brief the senate. this is something that was already scheduled and put on the schedule as of last week. we know he will also brief the full house on friday. certainly a very new context to his briefings on both sides of capitol hill. dave and christine. >> thank you, sunlen. more on robert mueller. the 72-year-old who served as fbi director in 2001. his second longest tenure behind j. edgar hoover. he is one of the most credible law enforcement owe isfficials e country. >> in 2004, comey was acting attorney general while his boss john ashcroft was ill in the hospital. comey and mueller worked to fight the bush white house attempt to renew the wiretap program. the pair raced to ashcroft's hospital bed when they found out two bush west wing officials
were headed there to get the ailing attorney general to sign off on the renewal. >> a dramatic moment. mueller and comey threatened to resign and the white house backed off. one other note. special counsel can be fired. without the protection of the council law. he can order rod rosenstein to fire mueller anytime. trump can fire rosenstein. dave, they already started hiring up. several associates at the law firm. they all resigned and getting -- starting to hire. he has to get space. make sure they can get that information and hire clerks and make sure people have the right classified status and begin investigation. >> a lot of questions. will we hear from james comey next wednesday when they want him to testify in front of congress in a public hearing. a senior gop source telling cnn mueller's appointment for
the special counsel over the investigation makes it unlikely comey will testify before congress publicly. the committees were trying to get comey to appear as early as next week. the source now saying quote this shuts the whole thing down. >> lawmakers want comey to testify about the investigation into russia election immediamem. they are pressing the director on his memo asking him to shutdown the michael flynn pr p probe. the source described rod rosenstein angry and exasperated with the white house. believes he is throwing the president overboard by naming the special counsel. two damaging issues overnight over michael flynn. the new york times reporting flynn told the trump transition team weeks before the inauguration he was being investigated by the feds for working as a paid lobbyist for
turkey. sources tell the times the disclosure was made january 4th. suggesting the trump team knew far earlier than reported about the conflict. >> the other story reporting it was flynn who made the first administration decision about the fight against isis and the decision conformed to the pitches of the secret client turkey. he had a plan to take raqqah. using turkish forces. something opposed. >> this was run by general flynn who told the obama team to hold off for reasons unclear. trump went through with the plan and then fired flynn for lying to vice president pence. >> all of this before he stood before graduates at the academy and said life is not always
fair. he instruct ted them to put the heads down and fight and never give up. he seemed to be wallowing in his problems. he took a shot at the media on a day that should have been all about the students. >> look at the way i've been treated lately. especially by the media. no politician in history, and i say this with great maturity. has been treated worse. >> with all the complaints over the media, kellyanne conway was supposed to be the first adviser to go on tv and talk about the appointment of robert mueller. last night on fox news. she canceled at the last minute. we expect to hear more from president trump when he welcomed colombian president juan santos later today to the white house.
all right. president trump's latest drama rattling wall street after months of calm and steady gains. markets tanking on reports the president asked james comey to end the fbi probe into the former national security adviser. dow down 370 points. the biggest selloff since september. the dollar erasing all post election gains. investor calm is over. wall street's fear index. i told you how it had been calm and complacent. look at that. it spiked. it was the lowest level in decades. up until now, they were ignoring
the washington antics and the pressure on the president and the way he behaves in office. instead, they were banking on the promise of tax cuts and deregulation. for investors, the latest issue doesn't signal uncertainty, but the future of the presidency. here is how one wall street trader put it. >> i kind of think we're at a point where it seems like his presidency is starting to crackle and become vulnerable. wall street is feeling that for the first time. >> a changing mood could mean more losses. corporate earnings are strong. stocks hit record highs two days ago. all three major indices are up for the year. hearing that trader say there's a change. the markets had been inpenetrable. >> the markets are wildly
unpredictable. corporate profits are massive. are we overblowing this one day? >> i think we are saying exactly as it is. on that one day, more than 300 point decline. for the first time, there was a question. a question about what's going on. >> and the markets are up 200 points today? is that erased? >> does the special counsel mean the markets think the president can get focused on his agenda? do they think he will have republicans behind him to get a tax reform? you had cohen and mnuchin on capitol hill talking about tax reform. we need progress. >> indeed. an oklahoma jury returning a not guilty verdict in the police shooting of an unarmed black man last year. betty shelby faced first degree manslaughter for the shooting of terence crutcher. he had his arms in the air before being shot.
shelby, who is white, testified that he acted bizarrely and she feared for her life. >> jurors deliberated for no ed hours before reaching a verdict. the family had a hard time accepting it. >> i have four grandchildren at home now that have lost their daddy. i said i would accept whatever the verdict was. i'm going to do that. let it be known that i believe in my heart that betty shelby got away with murder. >> following the verdict, dozens of people protested outside the courthouse blocking the road. chanting no justice, no peace. the police say protests remained peaceful. president trump said he would rip up the iran deal, but now the state department taking steps to keep the u.s. involved. we are live in tehran with how this is playing the day before a critical presidential election in iran. sometimes you just know when you hit a home run.
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one of the worst deals i've ever seen is the iran deal. the nuclear deal is a disaster. it was a terrible agreement. it shouldn't have been signed. >> it was a popular campaign pledge for candidate trump. the u.s. will remain part of the nuclear deal for now. the trump administration renewing sanctions relief for iran as required under the deal. at the same time, imposing sanctions related to the ballistic missile program. the moves coming ahead of the presidential election in iran on friday.
senior correspondent frederik pleitgen live in iran. good morning, fred. >> reporter: good morning, dave. this is actually iranian election which has a trump factor as well. that tough rhetoric we have heard from president trump and the sanctions related to the ballistic missile program really hurting the moderate inn cinncu president rouhani. people are angry of the sanctions brought on to iran. the hard liners want to get tougher on america. they are saying hassan rouhani, you negotiated with america. what are we getting in return? the economy is a big problem. also unemployment is high here. the election here in iran is anybody's guess for who may win. it could be hassan rouhani.
it could also be a tough hard liner who wants to get tough on america. >> the uk, france and netherlands seems to be a trump factor. fred, thank you. >> great to have fred there. he made many trips. he was right there for us. a special counsel will investigate the trump campaign ties to russia despite the objections from the white house. >> frankly no need for a special prosecutor. we discussed this before. >> what will robert mueller find and how long is his reach in this probe?
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and for the white house. a new probe, really with the special counsel. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> the senate, the house, the fbi and special counsel. i'm dave briggs. it is 30 minutes past the hour. the investigation into the russian meddling in the 2016 election is now in the hands of the former director of the fbi. robert mueller appointed special counsel overseeing the problem. he can ask questions and issue subpoenas and prosecute any federal crimes if discovered. >> in a statement, rod rosenstein said this is not an issue of crimes have been committed, but the public interest requires me to place the investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command. >> the appointment is following the series of damaging headlines
from the firing of fbi director james comey to the president divulging sensitive information to officials from russia. comey saying the president asked him to end the investigation of michael flynn. >> on capitol hill, the news is being greeted with relief. that includes democrats demanding answers and republicans who just want all of the questions to ease up. we begin with correspondent pamela brown in washington. >> reporter: good morning, dave and christine. a significant move from the justice department with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein handing the reins to robert mueller. he appointed him as special counsel. he says in a statement that he did this out of public interest. he thought it was important, especially given all of the recent revelations. including the revelation of a memo from former fbi director james comey. where he indicated in the conversation he had with the president that president trump
apparently asked him to end the probe into michael flynn, the former national security adviser. it is unclear how much of that revelation factored in to rod rosenste rosenstein's deticision to appot robert mueller. we know comey did not share the memos with him or other top officials. now with robert mueller overseeing the investigation, he will have the same authorities as attorney general. he can convene a grand jury. he could issue subpoenas. he could interview the president. it is really up to him in terms of where he wants to take the investigation. dave and christine. >> pamela brown, thank you. details coming in on how the mueller appointment went down. rosenstein started thinking about appointing a special counsel after the fbi director comey was fired last week. he signed the order yesterday and then alerted the white house and top lawmakers. don mccann told the president
who called in senior staff to talk it over. >> the feeling about the special counsel is let them do their thing and we will do ours. so far, aides are not saying what president trump's reaction has been other than frustration. one administration official telling us it is still sinking in. with more on how the west wing is taking this, we have jim acosta. >> reporter: christine and dave, the white house reacting to the news the justice department tapped robert mueller to be the special prosecutor in the russia investigation. president trump issued a statement insisting no collusion with the campaign and russia. he looks forward to the matter concluding quickly. the white house received almost any advanced notice before the news. same for jeff sessions who was at the white house when the news came down. it is unclear how the mueller news will impact the white house. one official describes staffers exhausted after 72 hours before
the president leaves on the first foreign trip. christine and dave. >> jim, thank you. kpil i capitol hill insiders were caught off guard. speaker paul ryan did get a head 's up, but others were not. lawmakers are an applauding the choice of robert mueller. >> that is for those who have seen their agenda pushed back. one republican aide tells phil mattingly that members are happy to have the issue as someone else's problem for now. we get more from sunlen serfaty on capitol hill. >> reporter: good morning, dave and christine. the response initially on capitol hill has been overwhelmingly positive and certainly seems to have gone a long way to lower temperatures up on capitol hill. praise coming from both democrats and republicans.
saying that bob mueller is someone respected and with great credentials. someone that is a known commodity to them. someone trusted to lead the investigation. the ranking member mark warner and chairman of the senate intelligence committee richard burr praising the election. they are leading their investigation on the senate side. adding quote the senate select committee on intelligence will continue its own investigation to the extent any deconfliction is required, we will engage with director mueller. he will engage with the committee as well. making clear that their investigation continues and they do expect to work would mueller in the days ahead. today, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein will be on capitol hill to brief the full senate. this was something that was already scheduled and put on the schedule as of last week. we know he will also brief the full house on friday. certainly a very new context to
his briefings on both sides of capitol hill. dave and christine. >> thank you. a bit more on robert mueller. the 72-year-old served as fbi director for nine years serving republican and democrat presidents. the second longest tenure behind j. edgar hoover. he is widely regarded as a credible law enforcement official. he has a history with the man who succeeded him. james comey. >> in 2004, comey was acting attorney general while his boss john ashcroft. seriously ill in the hospital. comey and mueller worked side by side fighting the bush white house attempt to renew the controversial warrantless wiretap program. they raced to ashcroft's hospital bed when they learned others were rushing to the hospital to renew the order.
it was a race to the bedside. comey took very careful notes and felt strongly to make sure justice was done. >> drama at the time. mueller and comey threatened to resign and the white house eventually backed off. one other note. a special counsel is not fully independent and can be fired. without the protection of the independent counsel law, president trump can order rod rosenstein to fire mueller anytime. trump can fire rosenstein if he refuses. >> senate democrats are less likely to try to block the next fbi director now a special counsel has been named. two sources in the party tell cnn they still have to see who is ultimately picked to replace james comey. president trump was interviewing candidates for the job when the administration was notified about the appointment of robert mueller. we are told attorney general jeff sessions was also there. >> they met with former senator joe lieberman. the vice president candidate in
2000. lieberman became an independent and backed john mccain for president in '08. he also met with andrew mccabe and frank keating and retired fbi official richard mcfeely. two developments emerging overnight about the former national security adviser michael flynn. the new york times reports flynn told the trump transition team weeks before the inauguration he was the target of a federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for turkey. sources tell the times flynn's disclosure was made on january 4th. suggesting the trump team knew earlier about the potential conflicts. >> the other story said it was flynn who made the first decision of the fight against isis and conform to the wishes of his secret client, turkey. the obama administration had the
plan to take the capital of raqqah to use kurdish forces. >> that plan run by the adviser general flynn who hold the baoba team to hold off. trump went through with the plan weeks after flynn lied to the vice president. >> all of this hours after president trump stood before graduates of the coast guard academy and said life is not always fair. he instructed the class to put their heads down and fight, fight, fight and never give up. the president seemed to be wallowing in his problems and could not resist in taking a shot at the media on the day that should be all about the graduates. >> look at the way i've been treated lately. especially by the media. no politician in history, and i
say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. >> even with all the complaints about the media, the white house isn't always pushing its message. kellyanne conway was supposed to be the first adviser to go on tv and talk about robert mueller on fox news. she canceled at the last minute. we expect to hear more from president trump when he welcomes colombian president juan santos to the white house today. >> there are two questions when he stands beside a world leader. those are highly scripted in who he will call on. we shall see. ahead, anger in oklahoma after a police officer is acquitted in the death of an unarmed black man. >> no justices! >> hear from the victim's
for something that finally relieves your pain, icyhot lidocaine. desensitizes aggravated nerves with the max strength lidocaine available. icyhot lidocaine. all right. president's latest drama finally rattling wall street after months of calm, markets fell on the issue of james comey being asked to end the investigation on michael flynn. dow fell 370 points. investor calm really broken here. money moved into so-called safe havens like gold is the move. the index had been the lowest level in decades. the calm has been broken. that is because wall street has
ignored the drama of washington, d.c. they thought no matter what headlines from the white house, the president was going to cut corporate taxes which would be a gift for their bottom line. investors, this latest drama doesn't signal uncertainty about the economic agenda, but future of the presidency. former fed reserve chief ben bernancke said concerns over stability in the white house is reasonable. markets are blase until the last moment and the changing mood could mean more losses. corporate earnings have been strong. stocks at records two days ago. all three indices are up for the year. dave, you made a good point. this is just one day. it is the first time we have seen that trump rally calm really broken since the election. >> with someone that doesn't understand the mechanisms that
drive the dow. you are skeptical of overreading one day. >> it is one day. for a market that has gone up and up and up on the promise, promise of an agenda from the president, now this is the first definitive question over whether this president's agenda is going to be slowed or sidelined. >> we will see perhaps at the end of trading today. an oklahoma jury returning a not guilty verdict after the shooting of an unarmed black man last year. officer betty shelby faced manslaughter charge for the shooting of terence crutcher. video showed crutcher with his arms in the air before being shot. shelby testified in her own defense that he acted bizarrely and she feared for her life. >> jurors deliberated for nine hours. the crutcher family having a hard time accepting it. >> i have four grandchildren at home now that have lost their
daddy. i said i would accept whatever the verdict was and i'm going to do that. let it be known that i believe in my heart that betty shelby got away with murder. >> following the verdict, dozens of people protested outside the courthouse chanting no justice, no peace. sad news for rock lovers around the world. the lead singer of sound ggarde chris cornell died overnight. he was performing in detroit with the band which launched a u.s. tour in april. cornell's representative said the death was sudden and unexpected. did not specify a cause. chris cornell dead at the age of 52. boy was he beloved.
social media exploding with people who love that music. 50 minutes past the hour. do you have student loans? credit card? you are helping household debt reach new highs. we will tell you more in cnn money stream next. oof, stay-proof look? neutrogena® makeup remover does. it erases 99% of your most stubborn makeup with one towelette. need any more proof than that? neutrogena.
everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount house majority leader kevin mccarthy says the comment russian president vladimir putin was then paying candidate trump was a bad joke. he said he meant the remarks from "the washington post." the post cites an audio recording. the post says mccarthy told leaders including paul ryan, there are two people i believe putin pays.
roarbacher and trump. >> the post reports that after that comment, ryan stopped the conversation and swore those to secrecy. mccarthy said it was a failed attempt at humor. >> if you listen to it, everybody laughed. you know it is a bad attempt of a joke. that is all there is to it. no one believes it to be true. >> aides to mccarthy and house speaker paul ryan denies the remarks were made. then after a recording usurface, they said it was a joke. a popular campaign pledge for candidate trump vowing to rip up the iran nuclear deal. despite that, the u.s. remains part of it for now. the trump administration renewing sanctions relief for iran as required under the deal. at the same time, imposing new sanctions related to iran's ballistic missile program. the moves coming ahead of
friday's presidential election in iran. we are fortunate to be joined by senior international correspondent fred pleitgen live in tehran with details. fred, great to have you on in tehran. when you have the trump factor notis in the uk and france and netherlands. is there one there as well? >> reporter: there certainly is one here in iran. it is interesting, dave. it was out and about in tehran in the past couple days. you can feel how every time there's a statement by the trump administration that is tough on iran or today, for instance, the iranians heard about the sanctions that were slapped on iran by the u.s., it is a problem for housassan rouhani. he wanted to bring more jobs for the people in iran and so far that hasn't happened the way many thought it would.
i asked if there is a trump effect. every time the trump administration does something like this, it hurts the moderate candidate. you see the debates in iran where the hard line candidate said hassan rouhani negotiated with the u.s. he said things would get better. so far, things haven't. hard liners want to get tougher on the u.s. right now the election is too close to call. outcome will be very interesting. dave. >> great reporting for us. fred pleitgen live in tehran. let's get a check on cnn money stream. drama sending global markets lower. futures are flat after the selloff on wall street. look at london and paris and tokyo. months of calm and steady gains. president trump's latest drama over the comey memo is rattling the markets. dow plummeted 373 points. the harshest selloff since before the election. all three indices dropped ending
the investor calm. the fear gauge jumped 42%. it had been the lowest level in decades. until this latest development, markets ignored all of the political risk in washington. they just cared about the promise of tax cuts and deregulation which fueled a rally. the latest report doesn't fuel uncertainty about the president's economic agenda, but future of the presidency. the market is not in a full-blown panic. i want to be clear about that. that was a big move for one day. it is just one day. corporate earnings are strong. stocks still near records and the market is still up for the year. another big money headline. household debt is topping records. household debt now exceeds 2008 peak. debt climbed to $2.7 trillion in the first quarter of the year. the majority of the debt is mortgage balances. the increase is due to student
loans and auto loans. higher debt levels are not necessarily a bad thing. it depends on who holds the debt and more consumers borrowing is a sign of economic recovery. people are feeling comfortable. the student loan part concerns me. >> student loans. massi massive. "early start" continues now with new news about the special counsel. >> the russia probe out of the hands of the trump administration. a former fbi chief tapped now as special counsel. what it means for this investigation and the new investigation and the white house and members of congress reeling from the barrage of bad headlines. will this take down the temperature and mark a new chapter here to mix my metaphors. i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. you get a sense of a massive
exhale in washington. on both sides of the aisle now the investigation is ramped up. the russian meddling in the 2016 election is now in the hands of robert mueller. appointed special counsel overseeing the probe. he has the power to investigate, question, issue subpoenas and prosecute federal crimes if any are discovered. mueller appointed to the job by rod rosenstein. >> the appointment comes after the firing of the fbi director james comey nine days ago and divulging sensitive information in the oval office and comey's memo saying the president asked him to end the investigation of michael flynn. >> and on capitol hill, news of the special counsel is greeted with relief. especially by republicans. we begin with justice reporter laura jarrett live in washington. great to have you on, laura. tell us how this all ca