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tv   Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs  CNN  February 24, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PST

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be the you who talks to your dermatologist about stelara®. did the white house try to get the fbi to reject reports the trump campaign spoke with russia? did it violate procedures? cnn reporting and the white house response you don't want to miss. president trump getting ready to take the stage at cpac. his advisors setting the stage for him. we will show what you they said. and is the white house injecting politics to soothe its needs on the up coming travel sfwh? good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans.
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>> i'm dave briggs. the best kind of week is a two-day workweek. we should stick with this. friday, february 24th. the white house overnight voicing objections to exclusive cnn reporting about communications with the officials and russia. the fbi rejected a white house request it knock down reports about constant communication with trump officials and russians. cnn and new york times reported on the contacts last week. late last night, sean spicer objected to our request to the fbi. he told us quote, we did not try to knock down the story. we asked them, the fbi, to tell the truth. >> another white house official said the request was made after the fbi indicated to the white house it did not believe the reporting on communications during the campaign was accur e
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accurate. the white house reaching out to the fbi would violate procedures on communication was the bureau about active investigations. cnn's evan perez was part of the team that broke this story. he has more this morning from washington. >> reporter: christine and dave, a u.s. official says this all began with deputy director andrew mccane and reince priebus on the sidelines the day offer the stories were published. mccabe told priebus that the story overstated what the fbi knows about the contacts. a u.s. official says mccabe did not discuss the aspects of the case. a white house official says that priebus did later on reach out again to mccabe and james comey asking for the fbi to talk about background. the fbi refused. the fbi refused to comment on this story.
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the communication with the white house and the fbi was unusual because of a decade restriction on contacts. the request from the white house would appear to violate procedures that limit the communications with the fbi on pending investigations. a white house official says that mccabe initiated the conversations. the white house asking the fbi help refute the stories runs contrary to justice department procedure memos in 2007 and 2009 that are supposed to limit direct communications on pending investigations with the white house and the fbi. christine, dave. >> thank you, evan. today, donald trump addresses the conservatives. he speaks at the conservative political action conference shortly after 10:00. his warm-up act went before the faith on thursday. vp mike pence.
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>> let me assure you. america's obamacare nightmare is about to end despite the best efforts of liberals at town halls across the country. the american people know better. obamacare has failed and obamacare must go. >> vice president followed a revealing on stage chat with reince priebus and this guy, steve bannon. this was a rare chance to hear from bannon. you seldom hear him speaking in public since joining the administration. many americans probably never heard his voice before yesterday. more now from cnn's jeff zeleny at the white house. >> reporter: good morning, christine and dave. president trump is heading to the cpac outside washington for the conference today. giving a speech to conservative activists. it was a year ago where he shipped th
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skipped this event. republicans working against him. saying they did not want him to win the nomination. boy what a difference and a victory makes. he is going back as the man of the moment. activists are excited to see him and hear his agenda and rally him forward. now steve bannon, the white house chief strategist who has influence all over the white house is seldom heard from. he made an appearance yesterday and gave a sense of his world view and what the president plans to do in office. >> if you think they will give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. every day. every day it will be a fight. that is what i'm proudest about donald trump. all of the opportunities he had. all of the people have come to him and said you have to moderate. every day, he tells us, i committed to the american people. i promised this when i ran. i'm going to deliver. >> reporter: that will be music to the conservatives ears there except for how the programs will
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be paid for. there is talk of tax reform and health care reform and paying for the wall with mexico. don't look for details today. i'm told this is more of a rallying moment. boy, again, a difference a year makes. donald trump now clearly the man of the moment today at cpac. christine and dave. >> we will hear from the president in six hours. >> safe bet he will address the story and criticize the leaks once again. it is interesting. bannon. you can see his world view. there is some that can't figure out president trump. no question about bannon's world view. interesting. there is concern among some of the intelligence community that the white house may be politicizing intelligence on the travel ban. a senior official tells cnn that the department of justice and homeland security are helping build the case for the temporary
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ban on travelers from the seven muslim majority countries. the officials say the evidence were a security threat is substantial. some tell cnn that they are worried the trump white house is shopping around seeking intelligence report to fit its policy. the white house declined to make a comment. the white house putting the brakes on two more policies from the obama straladministration. discouraging the use of private prisons to house federal inmates. the aim to support what is future needs which may include the detention of undocumented immigrants. most inmates were steered to state under obama administration directive. the white house stepping up enforcement of recreational marijuana laws. the obama administration had directed officials not to interfere in states which
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legalized recreation at use and it came with more power to the federal government. the policy is best left in the hands of states and school districts. mixed messages on trade from the trump administration. a meeting with manufacturers at the white house, the president said this. >> with mexico, we have $70 billion in trade deficit. it is unsustainable. we can't let it happen. we will have a good relationship with mexico, i hope. if we don't, we don't. >> late near the day, john kelly said this at a meeting with top officials in mexico. >> the relationship with the united states and mexico is among, i believe, the most critical in the world. every day, more than $1.5 billion in trade passes between the united states and mexico. it is my responsibility to make sure that trade is crossed
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between the two countries. this dynamic trade and relationship is helped create millions of jobs on both sides of the border. >> interesting. president calling it a disaster and he is focusing on the two-way trade. this is the tricky way forward for the administration. both men are correct. the u.s. at the $63 million trade deficit. the u.s. bought more from mexico than it send to mexico. the republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare is getting a harsh reality check from someone who ought to know how hard it will be to achieve. former house speaker john boehner. an on stage chat in florida, boehner said the president and congress will repair, not
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repealing obamacare. >> i shouldn't call it repeal and replace. basically he will fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it. it's not all that hard to figure out. except this, in the 25 years i served in the united states congress, republicans never ever one time agreed on a health care proposal. not once. all of this happy talk went on in november, december and january about repeal, repeal. we'll do replace. i started laughing because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. >> former speaker also weighed in on the first month of the trump administration. saying the trump administration will likely look much like the trump campaign. divisive and incoherent and
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sometimes disrespectful. will the u.s. make a long term strategy to stay in iraq? it could happen. more next.
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duck: quack! call to request your free decision guide now. because the time to think about tomorrow is today. the u.s. military is considering a long term presence in iraq after the fall of isis. that is according to the joint chiefs staff general joseph dunford. he says discussions have started with iraq to help grow and improve the security forces. he cautions no decisions have been made. this comes as u.s. backed iraqi forces gained ground against isis. war planes killing at least 85 isis fighters. this included ten militants in mosul. i want to bring in cnn international correspondent nina dos santos. she is live from istanbulistanb.
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this is interesting. a post-isis iraq as they are still fighting. >> reporter: that is a very good point, christine. this is the second largest city in iraq which gives you an idea of how strategically important it is now they managed to gain a foot hold on the eastern side of the city which they liberated last year. now the western side of the tigris river. now over the last hour, we heard confirmation they captured a key military facility adjacent to the airport where they discovered large stashes of isis weaponry which is being destroyed. no number of the isis casual casualties. they will try to make a push to the difficult side of the battle in the densely populated residential part of western mosul. between the airport and those
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areas, they also got to try to secure the electric power station. some fierce fighting there yesterday. we have not had confirmation if they managed to secure that key facility. the difficult phase of the operation will be when they get to the older and more western parts of mosul. 650,000 civilians are expected to be still living in the parts of the town. we have seen the iraqi air force dropped letters penned by people in liberated eastern mosul along the houses to be picked up by people inside saying stay inside your houses. when the iraqi forces come in the part of town, they are friendly forces and help them. >> nina dos santos, thank you. we have learned that vx nerve agent was used to kill kim jong-nam. the report from authorities say
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the poison was found on kim's eyes and face. he was attacked at the airport in kuala lumpur by two women. three north korean nationals are still wanted. >> that story has every twist and turn. a spy novel. >> like a movie. terrifying story and video adds to that. did president trump's lawyer really promise to deliver a controversial peace plan for the ukraine directly to the white house? one says yes and he is speaking out to cnn. we are live in kiev.
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all right. 23 minutes past the hour. good morning. new revelations this morning about a controversial peace plan to settle the conflict with russia and ukraine. a ukrainian lawmaker presented his plan for peace to president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen. his lawyer says cohen planned to take that to the national security adviser. that lawmaker facing a treason investigation in ukraine. now we have nick paton walsh live with kiev. you have new information. walk us through. >> reporter: bizarre claims and counterclaims. at the heart is the private businessman and michael cohen. this is a bizarre window into publicly it is perceived here in kiev. diplomacy and foreign policy
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through the trump white house. here is what they had to say to me. >> probably spoke around 25 minutes where i presented my intention than as peace plan for the ukraine and how we can finish this. he says listen, this is a gentleman with potential. he wants to send a message to trump administration. >> when you first spoke to him, did you manage your peace plan would end up on michael flynn's desk? >> absolutely not. it was michael cohen idea. he mentioned his name in the meeting. he said listen, michael flynn, for his personal opinion can really support this idea. really support and help you and provide this information to president trump. >> reporter: disagreement about
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what was said about that andms progress was discussed and the personal lawyer talked about how it was a michael flynn issue and needed to go to the national security adviser. mr. cohen denies discussing peace and says this is an example of fake news. the white house denies discussing anything of that matter with mr. cohen or mr. artimenko. the perception the artificial window is open to the white house. we heard from a former president of ukraine. he written to president trump with his peace plan. that undermines the bitter and nasty war in the east. >> thank you, nick. keep us posted on developments. another story missing from that is rex tillerson. again, seems to be on the sideline on a lot of irrelevass the fbi rejecting the
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request to knock down reports that the trump administration communicated with russia. more on this cnn exclusive next.
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did the white house try to get the fbi to push back against reports the trump campaign spoke with russia and did it violate procedure by speaking with the bureau? exclusive cnn reporting and the white house response you don't want to miss. president trump getting ready to speak at cpac after his vice president and top advisers set the stage. we'll tell you what to expect. and concern among intelligence officials that the white house is injecting politics in the agencies to suit its need on the travel ban. welcome back to "early start." i'm dave briggs. >> nice to see you. it's friday. the best news headline.
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i'm christine romans. 30 minutes past the hour. white house overnight voicing objections to cnn reporting about communications with the trump campaign and russia. multiple u.s. officials say the rejection of the white house request of constant communication with trump official as as and russians. cnn first reported on that last week. last night, sean spicer objected to the characterization. he told us we didn't try to knock the story down. we asked them, the fbi, to tell the truth. >> another white house official said that the request was made after the fbi indicated to the white house it did not believe the reporting on communications during the campaign was accurate. even if that were the case, the white house reaching out to the fbi would violate procedures on communications with the bureau about active investigations that go back to 2007.
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cnn's evan perez broke the story. >> reporter: the u.s. official said this began with deputy director andrew mccabe and reince priebus on the sidelines of the separate white house meeting on the day after the stories published. the white house official says mccabe told priebus that the story vastly overstate what had the fbi knows. the u.s. official says mccabe did not discuss the aspects of the case. the white house official says that priebus did later on reach out again to mccabe and james comey asking for the fbi to talk to reporters on background and dispute the stories. the fbi refused to comment on the story. the communication with the white house and fbi was unusual because of the decade old restriction on contacts. the request would appear to
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violate procedures that limit types of communications with the fbi on penpending investigation. the white house official says mccabe initiated the conversations. the white house asking the fbi to help refute the stories runs contrary to the procedure memos issued in 2007 and 2009 that is supposed to limit direct communications on pending investigations with the white house and fbi. christine and dave. >> evan perez in washington. thanks. president trump addresses the conservatives who put him in office at cpac. we will hear from him after 1 10:00 a.m. his warm-up act went before the faithful. vice president mike pence dismissing the angry town halls we have seen this week. >> let me assure you america's obamacare nightmare is about to
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end. despite the best efforts of liberal activists at town halls around the country. the american people know better. obamacare has failed and obamacare must go. >> the vice president followed a revealing on stage chat with white house chief of staff reince priebus and steve bannon. a rare chance to hear from bannon who seldom speaks in public. more now from cnn's jeff zeleny at the white house. >> reporter: good morning, christine and dave. president trump is heading to the cpac outside washington for the annual conference today. giving a speech later this morning. it was a year ago where he skipped this annual event. republicans there were working actively against him saying they did not want him to win the nomination. boy what a difference and a victory a year makes. he is going back to the gathering today as the man of the moment.
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activists are excited to see him. excited to hear his agenda and rally him forward. now steve bannon, the white house chief strategist is seldom heard from. he made an appearance and gave a sense of his world view and what the president plans to do in office. >> if you think they will give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. every day, it will be a fight. that is what i'm proudest of donald trump. all of the opportunities he had to waiver off this. all of the people who come and said you have to moderate. every day in the oval office, he tells us, i committed to the american people. i promised this when i ran. i'm going to deliver on this. >> reporter: that will be music to the conservatives' ears there. there is talk of tax reform and paying for the wall with mexico. don't look for the details to come to the president's speech
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today. i'm told this is a rallying moment. boy, again, such a difference a year makes. donald trump is the man of the moment at cpac. christine and dave. >> i think it was kellyanne conway yesterday. they should call it tpac. a year ago where conservatives were taking he was not conservative enough. >> cnn has a piece online asking people if donald trump is a true conservative. many were not sure how to answer. including the head of the conference. trying to couch the words just right. interesting. >> it will be interesting. there's concern among some in the intelligence community that the white house may be polite the travel ban. homeland security and the department of justice are helping to build the legal case. the ban was blocked by the federal courts. the official says the evidence for the security threat from the
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countries is substantial al. some intelligence officials say they are worried the trump white house is shopping around and seeking a report to fit its policy instead of the other way around. the white house declined to make a comment for this story. the white house putting the brakes on two more policy from the obama administration. justice department reskinnedici the order for private prisons for federal inmates. this may include undocumented immigrants. most were steered to state facilities under the obama directive. white house stepping up enforcement of recreational marijuana laws. the obama administration directed federal officials not to interfere in states which legalized. it would give more power to the federal government. that came the day the administration did the opposite on guidance on transgender
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students saying it is best left up to the states. the most high profile face of the transgender community. caitlyn jenner, speaking out. she has a message for the president. >> i have a message for president trump from one republican to another. this is a disaster. and you can still fix it. you made a promise to protect the lgbtq community. call me. >> that has been shared a lot in the past few hours. >> retweeted almost 10,000 times. it is catching fire. >> we'll see if president trump calls. >> clearly they are saying this is about state rights. new calls for president trump's tax returns this morning. at several town hall events.
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constituents pat s pushing for . one gop congress member from florida, a trump supporter, says he agrees. >> let me say right here right now absolutely donald trump should release his tax returns. >> i'm one member of the judicial committee. i do believe that donald trump should release his tax returns. >> president trump is not legally obligated to release the returns. it is tradition. every president and presidential nominee has done so for past 40 years. the president said he would release when they are done audits them. donald trump will take his name off buildings before he
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releases taxes. unless someone forces him to do it. >> he was elected without showing tax returns. that's it. repeal the job killing health care law. it should be repealed. it should be replaced. >> we can repeal obamacare and replace it. >> former house speaker john boehner spent years advocating just that. he is now throwing cold water on the idea the republicans can actually repeal and replace obamacare. at a conference if florida, john boehner said the congress and senate will repair, not repeal. >> it shouldn't be called repeal and replace. they will basically fix the flaws and put the more conservative box around it. it is not all that hard to figure out. except this.
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in the 25 years i served in the united states congress, republicans never, ever, one time agreed on a health care proposal. not once. all this happy talk that went on in november and december and january about repeal, repeal, we'll do replace, replace. i started laughing because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. >> the former speaker also weighed in on the first month in the trump administration. he says the trump administration will likely look much like the campaign. sometimes divisive and i incoherent and disrespectful. also sometimes effective. >> it was effective. did president trump's lawyer promise to deliver a peace plan for ukraine directly to the white house? the ukrainian lawmaker says yes. he is speaking out to cnn. we go live to kiev.
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the most shocksult was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. it's opened up a whole new world for me. ♪
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new revelations about a controversial peace plan to settle the conflict with russia and ukraine. he presented the plan to president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen. cohen planned to take the plan to the national security adviser. the lawmaker facing a treason investigation in ukraine. he has given a tv interview to cnn and nick paton walsh is live in kiev. nick, you have new information. it is a complex story. walk us through. >> reporter: it is complex, but involves a dinner in a hotel in manhattan with michael cohen. the businessman and ukrainian
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gives a strange window and public perception of how foreign policy and diplomacy is conducted toward and around the trump white house. here is what he had to say to me. >> probably spoke around 25 minutes where i present my intentions and peace plan for the ukraine and how we can stop the war and finish this. he says listen, this is a gentleman that is potential and wants to send message to trump administration. >> when you first spoke to him, did you imagine the peace plan would end up on then adviser's michael flynn's desk? >> no. it was michael cohen's first idea. he said listen. michael flynn, for his personal opinion as most powerful man to
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support this idea who can help you and provide information to president trump. >> reporter: disagreement still about what was said about dinner. felix said peace was discussed and michael cohen said it was national security adviser flynn issue. perhaps he would take the plan. michael cohen was at the meeting, yes, but flatly denies discussing piece. calls this fake news and they never discussed peace. disagreement persists. here in kiev is the public perception because of the reporting on this and the claims and if you find somebody from donald trump's business past like his personal lawyer, you might over dinner in manhattan get that idea floated up to the national security adviser. back then, nienz niemichael fly. some say that is good news if you are trying to get peace in ukraine. bad news if you putin ve invest
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in the peace process. the question is where is the state department in all this? where are the long term u.s. channels meant to be behind the u.s. diplomacy. >> rex tillerson left out of the discussions. more to come on this story. we are now learning that a chemical weapon known as vx nerve agent was used to kill kim jong-nam. the half brother of the north korea dictator. the poison was found on kim's eyes and face. he was attacked at an airport by two women this month in kuala lumpur. three north korean nationals are still wanted. and the dow jones industrial average is on fire. ten straight days of record highs. yesterday, we told you this was the longest streak since 1987. another streak dates back to 1897. a history lesson for your money
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the u.s. military is considering a long term presence in iraq to stabilize the country after anticipated fall of isis. according to the chairman of the joint chiefs dunford. he says the u.s. and nato started discussion was iraq to help grow and improve iraqi security forces. he cautions no decisions have been made. this comes as u.s. backed iraqi forces gain ground against isis. iraqi war planes bombing three cities and killing 85 isis fighters. this includes ten militants in
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western mosul where forces are working to liberate the city. we have cnn's nina dosantos live with more. >>eporter: thank you, dave. there has been a big development in the fighting on the western side of the tigris river. iraqi forces have not only been able to capture the airport in the western part of the city, but key military camp adjacent to the airport. a large amount of surface area. the hope is they will push swiftly toward not densely populated and industrial and military sfal facilities to theh and taking in a large power plant which is the fierce fighting with isis and militants. no word if they secured that power plant. if they have, they have key access to infrastructure before pushing north and west to the
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densely populated older parts of the city. that is where the difficult battle will begin. we are talking about 650 civilians who call the older neighborhoods of mosul their home. there is concern of civilian casualties and the terrain is difficult for the forces to fight. the streets are too narrow. they will have to fight on foot and house to house. that raises possibility of isis suicide bombings and other booby traps and ambushes. to keep spirits up of the 650,000 civilians potentially trapped, we have seen planes dropped letters penned by people liberated in eastern mosul to tell the people stay inside the houses and when that force and push eventually comes, see these people as your friend and not as foe. don't hinder them. help. >> nina, thank you.
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bill de blasio will be on the hot seat today. federal prosecutors expected to grill him in connection with the corruption investigation into fund raising. multiple reports suggest donors to the 2013 mayoral campaign and related non-profit may have received special profits. remember punxsutawney phil's prediction forecasting a late spring? i always watch. not even close. let's bring in meteorologist derek van dam for a real forecast. good morning to you. >> you have to see this, dave and christine. leaves on the trees are appearing 20 to 25 days earlier than usual across the south. this is amazing. all thanks to therolonged warmth we had across the region. once again, we will break many records across the eastern and southern parts of the u.s. with the set up, potential for
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severe weather across the ohio river valulevalley. storm across iowa and minnesota and wisconsin and parts of michigan. a mixed bag of weather today. we will be measuring snowfall upwards of a foot across wisconsin and minnesota and iowa. drive with care across the region. check out the temperatures. you can see where the cold front sweeps in. nashville, 80. 47 for tomorrow afternoon temperature. then we cool things down across the deep south and into new york city. basking in warmth. it cools off this weekend. back to you. thank you, derek. time for some money. the dow hitting another major mark. ten record highs in a row. dow up more than 750 points over the ten trading days. unbelievable. futures are slightly lower right now. watching it drop in global stok stocks. if the dow keeps going, the
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longest streak of record highs is 12. in 1987. the longest streak at closing bell is 14. that was set back if 1897. > colleheck out the big names. companies hit all-time highs on thursday. you may have them in your portfolio. amazon, apple, home depot, boeing, southwest, jpmorgan chase. these are a handful of the s&p. these are widely held stocks. your retirement account is li likely benefitting. what is the catalyst? despite recent comments it will raise rates soon, many believe the fed reserve is behind the economic curve. that is keeping cheap money flowing. the biggest prize for wall street is tax cuts. investors feel that will boost
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corporate profits and help companies make more money. the treasury secretary yesterday laid out a timeline. >> we are committed to tax reform. it will be significant. it is focused on middle incomes tax cut. making the business tax competitive with the rest of the world. a big problem and the reason why companies are leaving and cash is sitting offshore. that is our focus. we want to get this done by the august recess. >> the president says his plan for tax reforming and replacement for obamacare will be ready before his speech to congress next week. >> that is a full plate. >> it sure is. "early start" continues right now. did the white house try to get the fbi to reject reports that donald trump campaign

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