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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  March 21, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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be the you who talks to your dermatologist about stelara®. continue to look for something, but continue to look for something that doesn't exist doesn't matter. >> the white house standing firm after the fbi acknowledged an investigation into ties between the trump campaign and russia. will the administration ever be able to escape the clouds of this political storm? and overnight, republican leaders with critical changes to the health care bill. is it enough to help the bill pass with the vote two days away. good morning. thanks for getting an "early start" with us. i'm dave briggs.
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>> i'm christine romans. it is tuesday, march 21st. president trump back in washington this morning after one of his trademark campaign style rallies in kentucky. he talked about health care and tax reform and other topics. did not touch on the extraordinary testimony by the fbi director james comey. this despite tweeting all day long about the capitol hill hearing. a hearing that features fireworks, but not smoking gun connecting russia to the trump campaign. the fbi director confirmed for the first time there is an fbi investigation into whether trump allies colluded with russia with the election meddling. >> comey told senators the investigation started in late july and they had come to the clear conclusion of the russian interference driven by vladimir putin's disdain for hillary
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clinton. >> they wanted to hurt our democracy. hurt her. help him. putin hated secretary clinton so much, the flip side, he had a clear preference running. as the summer went on and the polls appeared to show secretary clinton was going to win, the russians gave up and focused on trying to undermine her. >> the republicans focused during their part of the hearing of leaks that led to the resignation of michael flynn. press secretary sean spicer asked later of russian officials who flynn talked to. spicer raised question who knew it was flynn on the other end of the conversations and why did they leak? >> why was a name that should have been protected by law put out in the public demain? what else do we need to know? who was behind that unmasking? >> there is a way to go.
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we are in the first chapter of the process. >> the other big news from the hearing, the fbi director's confirmation there is no evidence to back trump's claim that trump tower was wiretapped and president obama ordered it. even so, donald trump standing by the allegation. mr. comey saying mr. trump will not apologize adding to questioquestio questions remain and surveillance may or may not have taken place. >> and how is the kremlin reacting after monday's explosive testimony by the fbi director? let's go live to moscow and get the latest from frederik pleitgen. fred, we were glued to the hearing all day long. you had two top enforcement officials painting russia as an adversary out to harm u.s.
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interests around the world. >> reporter: christine, we were glued to the hearings as well. it seems as the kremlin and russian opfficials are going ou of their way to not comment. we managed to get in touch with vladimir putin's spokesperson as the hearing was going on. we said what do you think. he said quote we saw no reason to comment on the hearings. the same for the other top level russian officials who are active on twitter and media. we are hearing little from official sources. one source that is commenting so far is russian state owned tv russia today which was substantially mentioned as being propaganda arm of the kremlin. they said they believe the hearings were like a 1970s soap opera which is repetitive and flat. at the same time, you are looking to see how it ends. critical reaction that came from moscow. by and large, you could see the kremlin and other entities in
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the russian government don't want to talk about this topic at all. they stand by what they have been saying all the time. they said they believe this is politically motivated and their country is being demonized. >> a 1970s soap opera, dave. >> extraordinary political times. as the anchors of "early start" we play a limited role in the program. that seems to be on par with the argument used by white house press secretary he sesean spice. listen to spicer making these comments at the same time the house committee investigating whether or not trump campaign aides colluded with russia. >> paul manafort played a limited role for a limited amount of time. i believe paul was brought on in june and by the middle of august, he was no longer with the campaign. for the stretch of the general
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election, he was not involved. >> to be clear, manafort was hired in march of 2016 to lead the delegate operation for the campaign. he was promoted in may to campaign chairman and chief strategist. manafort resigned among power centers in the trump campaign. in a statement, manafort did not reference his role in the campaign, but denies any ties to or contact with the russian government. he was the stabilizing force behind the campaign if you remember. wildly fluctuating. he moderated and stabilized things. >> i remember some called him the grown up in the room. able to unify the campaign. limited role. breaking overnight. against mounting odds, republicans reveal significant changes to the plan for repealing and replacing obamacare. with the vote planned for
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thursday, house republican leaders rolled out amendments to the american health care act. changes include work requirements and block grants for medicaid and more money to ensure older americans. you remember the age tax that the aarp has been fighting against. more details in a moment. republican leaders making the changes to apiece both gop conservatives and moderates. it may not be enough. the ultra conservative freedom caucus announced it still has enough votes to broke the bill. the president is expected to ratchet up the pressure on resistant lawmakers when he speak was lawmakers on capitol hill at 9:00. that is where we have cnn's phil mattingly. >> reporter: dave and christine, the president has been called the closer by speaker wall line. he is able to put that to the test this morning. they need his help to try to
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close the deal. releasing a manager's an mentim. in the hopes of drawing the moderates and the conservatives wary about the tax. the big question is will those things and final push from president trump be enough to close the deal? bottom line? they need 216 votes. they are planning to have the final vote in the house on thursday. they are short right now. if you talk to aides, they know there is work to do. with the changes as incorporated with the president's help behind closed doors, the closer, if you will, they get this across the finish line. one key issue is as this moves forward, besides what the president himself has to say, on those changes and what will happen next. you are hearing alliance on what the senate will do to make the package more palatable. we will see.
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dave and christine. >> the clock is ticking. let's talk about the changes. the republican leaders are making to get the bill through the house. they include giving states the option of taking medicaid money as a block grant. i states could require able bodied medicaid recipients to work. states would be barred from expanding the medicaid role. the obamacare taxes would be repealed this year instead of next. $75 billion set aside to increase the health insurance tax credits for the consumers in the 50s and 60s. the aarp says they will hold lawmakers accountable if they raise costs. >> will it satisfy the aarp? stand by. republican leaders face a steep climb getting through the house. speaker ryan is playing the long
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game with an eye to pass the senate. >> we have to make sure every change we make conforms to the senate rules to make sure it cannot get filibustered. all these changes added, we're doing to make sure they are done in a way they cannot get filibustered. we feel good. >> after a frenzy of political horse trading, conservative lawmakers say no more changes. conservative senators hoping to make changes emerge from the white house meeting monday afternoon disappoint ondisappoi. secretary of state rex tillerson is a no show at the gathering of nato northeforeign ministers next month. he will meet with the chinese president here in the u.s. tillerson is attending meetings in russia next month. democrats among others raising questions about the administration's foreign policy commitments with russia and china appearing to trump fellow
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nato members. the secret service under fire. jason chaffetz calling the white house jumper pathetic and alarming. he went undetected for 16 minutes. after reviewing video, he told reporters quote, every redundancy in the system failed. james comey not on the onthe on the hot seat. a preview of day two of neil gorsuch's confirmation hearings next. 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
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president trump's supreme court pick neil gorsuch getting set for a grueling day on the hot seat. day two of confirmation hearings begin in hours. tension on day one as democrats making it clear they believe the
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vacant supreme court seat was stolen from them. neil gorsuch doing his best to keep this out of the process. >> we say these are politicians in robes. if i thought that were true, i'd hang up the robe. >> each member of the senate committee gets 30 minutes to grill judge gorsuch today. we get more this morning from cnn's sunlen serfaty on capitol hill. >> reporter: good morning, dave and christine. today is day two of neil gorsuch's confirmation hearings. very likely we will see a lot more fireworks coming from the committee today. on monday, members of the committee, especially democrats, really signaling they are gearing up for a fight here. they will grill neil gorsuch. not only about his judicial philosophy, but they clearly are intending to make this confirmation as much about donald trump as they can. >> you will have your hands full
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with this president. he will keep you busy. it is incumbent to demonstrate he or she will serve as a check of balance on the presidency. >> reporter: this is anticipated for a few days. the chairman of the committee senator grassley expects to vote in the next couple weeks. if confirmed through committee, he will go to a full senate vote. dave and christine. >> sunlen serfaty, thank you. some passengers flying into the u.s. will be required to check almost all of their electronic devices. u.s. officials tell us the ban will cover nonstop flights into the u.s. no specific airlines or airports yet. flights from the middle east and africa. devices larger than a cell phone checked. a state department official says embassies have been notifying countries and airlines. officials say the directive is
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to ensure security measures. it will cover a limited period. if a passenger transferred through a second city, the threat would be negated according to officials. the ban on the electronics is related to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. they are actively trying to build bombs with little to no metal detection. officials say information from a recent special forces raid in yemen contributed to that move. remember that recent raid in yemen? >> where we lost a navy s.e.a.l. a terrifying story. still more information. new concerns of north korea after pyongyang's test of the rocket eveninngine that could bd in an intercontinental ballistic missile. live in beijing next.
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north korea, i'll tell you what, what's happening there is disgraceful and not smart. not smart at all. >> president trump talking tough on north korea during the rally in kentucky. this comes as we learned the rock rocket evngine could be used ina ballistic missile capable of hitting the u.s. we have correspondent will ripley with more. will, what is the reaction here? >> reporter: you know, dave, not a lot of specific reaction to president trump's remarks. what they do show is north korea is really top of mind for the
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trump administration right now. we know there is supposed to be a briefing with rex tillerson and president trump as they come up with the strategy that they present to the chinese president xi jinping who is expected to make a visit to the united states next month. all of this on the heels of the test of the rocket engine. the sources at the pentagon are saying that evenings ingine cou placed on a ballistic missile. we know that is north korea's end game. we know based on satellite images, they made rapid progress in producing materials used to make nuclear weapons. plutonium and uranium. the nuclear facility has doubled recently. that is alarming with the people with the atomic energy agency. the general says he doesn't believe diplomacy will work
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here. beijing wants to stop military exercises. china holds the cards. they have economic leverage with north korea. there are a lot of things to discuss. clearly the problem continues to grow and it is being felt in the region. especially in japan and south korea. right in the bull's-eye for the powerful and sophisticated weapons of north korea. >> will, thank you. president trump spent much of monday tweeting about a house intelligence hearing where the fbi director said his campaign is investigated for possible ties to russia. so why did trump go con with co quiet in kentucky? 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,
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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. so don't wait. call now to request your free decision guide. it could help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that works for you. these types of plans have no networks, so you get to choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. rates are competitive, and they're the only plans of their kind endorsed by aarp. remember - these plans let you apply all year round. so call today. because now's the perfect time to learn more. go long.
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exist. >> the white house not backing down on questions of the coordination of the trump campaign and russia which came hours after a familiar sight. fbi director weighing in on the 2016. and republican leaders making changes to the health care plan. trying to apease lawmakers on the fence. is this enough to pass the health care bill? welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. what a day. the president tweeting. being fact checked in realtime by the fbi director. president trump back in washington after one of his trademark campaign style rallies in kentucky. he talked about health care, tax reform, college basketball and colin kaepernick. he did not touch on monday's extraordinary testimony by fbi director james comey. this despite tweeting all day long about the dramatic capitol
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hill hearing. a hearing that featured fireworks and no smoking gun connecting russia to the campaign. the fbi director confirmed an fbi investigation into the trump allies colluded with russia in the election meddling. >> comey told senators the probe started in late july and by a month after the election, the intelligence community came to a conclusi conclusion. an effort driven by vladimir putin's disdain for hillary clinton. >> they wanted to hurt our democracy and hurt her. putin hated secretary clinton so much, the flip side, he had a clear preference for the person running against her. as the summer went on and the polls appeared to show secretary clinton was going to win, the russians gave up and focused on trying to undermine her.
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>> the republicans focused on their hearing on leaks that led to the resignation of michael flynn. press secretary sean spicer asked about it. spicer raised questions of who knew it and why did it leak. >> why was a name that should have been protected by law put into the public domain? what were the motives? who was behind that unmasking? there is a way to go. i get you want to know the end of the book, but we're on the first chapter of the process. >> the other big news, the fbi director confirming there is no evidence to back president trump's claim that trump tower was wiretapped and president obama ordered it. even so, president trump still standing by the unfounded allegation. his press secretary saying the president will not apologize to
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president obama and adding that questions remain about surveillance that may or may not have taken place during the campaign. >> can't make this up. for its part, russia denied meddling in the election at every turn. how is the kremlin reacting after the explosive testimony by the fbi director? let's go live to moscow and get the latest from cnn's frederik pleitgen. russia is on trial here. do they acknowledge as such? >> reporter: no, absolutely not. the russians for their part and the kremlin, dave, are going out of their way to not comment. it is interesting. we were able to get in touch with the spokesperson for vladimir putin as the hearings were going on. we said what do you think of it. he said i don't believe there is any reason for me to comment on this at all. we do expect there is going to be a call with the kremlin at some point this morning. certainly try to get more
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information from them at that point in time. so far, russian officials known to comment on twitter, are really staying silent. the only comment we are getting from the state broadcaster in russia. heavily mentioned in the hearings. they say to them this seems like a 1970s soap opera they are seeing in america. the plot is flat and you want to hear the outcome of it all. certainly the comments we are getting are critical of the hearings, but the russians standing by they had nothing to do with the meddling in the election process. they say the debate going on in the u.s., they call that humiliating for america. >> fred, thank you. the tv network rt ignoring the hearings. breaking overnight. up against mounting odds and ticking clock, republicans unveil significant changes to the plan for repealing and replacing obamacare.
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with the vote planned for thursday, house republican leaders last night rolled out a package of amendments to the health care act. the changes include work requirements, block grants for medicaid and more money to ensure older americans. >> republican leaders to apiece all conservatives and moderates. the aultra conservative house says it has enough to block the bill. the president is expected to ratchet up the resistance. when he meets with lawmakers at 9:00. that is where we have phil mattingly. >> reporter: dave and christine, this is the week. the president has been called the closer by speaker paul ryan. he is able to put that to the test this morning to meet behind closed doors with the house republican conference. the reality is they need his help to close the deal. they started to do work on their own. releasing the manager's ame amendme
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amendment. a package of changes in the bill to draw the moderates and some of the conservatives wary about the text. the big question is will those changes and will this big final push from president trump being enough to close the deal? they need 216 votes. they are planning on having the final vote in the house on this bill on thursday. they are short right now. aides are honest. there is work to do. with the changes as they are incorporated with the president's help, as i said, the closer if you will. they can get this across the finish line. one of the key issues to keep an eye on, as this moves forward, besides what the president has to say is on those changes and what will happen next. you are starting to hear re reliance on what the senate will do. is that enough to sell the house members? we will see. dave and christine. >> thank you, phil. what are the changes the
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republican leeraders are making? giving the states the option of taking medicaid money as a block grant instead of per enrollee. states could require able-bodied medicaid recipients to work. states barred from expanding the medicaid role now ahead of the phaseout expansion in 2020. the obamacare taxes would be repealed this year instead of next and $75 billion set aside to increase the tax credits for consumers in 50s and 60s. >> republican leaders face a climb getting the bill through the house. speaker paul ryan is playing the long game with the eye to passing a bill that can make it through the senate. >> we always have to make sure every change we make conforms to the senate rules to make sure it can't get filibustered. all these changes added we are doing to make sure they are done in a way it can't get
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filibustered. >> now after a frenzy of horse trading, lawmakers, conservatives, are told no negotiations are over. senator mike lee described the meeting as frustrating. ivanka trump is getting white house security clearance and an office in the west wing. she will not have an official title. the first daughter will be given government issued communications devices and clearance to access classified information. she will not be considered a government employee. will not draw a salary. the secret service under fire this morning. jason chaffetz calling the response to the white house fence jumper pathetic and alarming. the suspect went undetected for 16 minutes before he was located
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and arrested. after reviewing video of the incident. every single redundancy in the system failed. judge napolitano benched by fox news. acclaimed last week that president obama used the british to spy on president trump. that allegation denied by u.s. and uk authorities. napolitano has not been seen on the air since making that comment. a fox news source telling cnn he has been pulled indefinitely. napolitano is a former new jersey superior court judge. he is fox's top legal analyst. he has been with the network since 1998. extraordinary day and they talk about how that may have impacted the relationship with the u.s. and uk during the hearing. the president's supreme court nominee ready for a long day on capitol hill. what does neil gorsuch say about the politically charged nature of his nomination? we will tell you.
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president trump's supreme court pick neil gorsuch set for a grueling day in the senate today. day two of the confirmation hearings begin in hours. tension on day one. democrats making it clear they believe the vacant seat was stolen from them. judge gorsuch doing his best to keep politics out of the process. >> we hear judges as politicians in robes. if i thought that were true, i would hang up the robe. >> each member of the senate committee gets 30 minutes to grill judge gorsuch today. we get more from sunlen serfaty on capitol hill. >> reporter: good morning, dave and christine. today is day two of neil gorsuch's confirmation hearing. likely we will see a lot more
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fireworks coming from the committee today. on monday, members of the committee, especially democrats signaling they are gearing up for a fight here. they will grill neil gorsuch. not only about judicial philosop philosophy, but intending to make this about president trump as they can. >> you will have your hands full with this president. he will keep you busy. it's incumbent upon any nominee to demonstrate an independent check and balance. >> reporter: the questioning will start this morning and anticipated to go for a few days. the chairman of the committee, senator grassley, expects the committee to vote in the next couple weeks. if confirmed through the committee, he will then go to a full senate vote. dave and christine. that should be exciting to watch. president trump may be the first billionaire in the white house,
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but not as itch as he usrich as be. "forbes" says he fell 220 spots on the list. he is tied with 544 other people. the decline is due to softness in the real estate market. the magazine estimates 40% of his net worth is tied up in trump tower. trump gave $66 million to his presidential campaign last year. he paid $25 million to settle a lawsuit. >> tweeting in five, four, three. trolling the president. by 8:00, he will come after you, "forbes." mystery solved. not one, but two super bowl jerseys headed back to new england after found in mexico by the fbi. according to the fbi, the
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jerseys from the super bowl were in the possession of the same media member. he has been identified as a former executive with the mexican newspaper. brady thanking officials for hard work on the case. fascinating story. >> i didn't realize there were two jerseys that walked away. >> same guy. that is guts y. how about the patriots get injected in the james comey hearings on capitol hill? a look at the lighter moments next.
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north korea, i'll tell you what, what's happening there is disgraceful and not smart. not smart. >> the president talking tough on north korea at the rally in kentucky. this as we learn the rocket engine tested by pyongyang could be used in an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the u.s. we have will ripley joining us. will, we heard from the administration that america's policy toward north korea hasn't been working. it needs a new policy. he says it is terrible. not smart. the president yesterday. what will the policy be? >> reporter: that's what we haven't heard, christine. specifics about the trump administration plans to do about north korea. it is easy to say everything done over the last 20 years has been a failure. when you look at the list.
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sanctions, economic and diplomatic isolation. cyber attacks. none of it has worked. north korea is advancing rapid by. according to the atomic energy, the size of the nuclear facility has doubled. this allows north korea to produce more plutonium and urani uranium. the numbers are believed to be in the dozens and possibly more of nuclear weapons. north korea could be in possession of the intercontinental ballistic missile. china thinks the united states needs to stop joint exercises with south korea. the director general of the iaea doesn't think north korea would be willing to give up nuclear weapons like iran gave up the
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nuclear program. it has come farther along. i heard that every time in north korea. they will not give up the nuclear program. they want to be recognized as a nuclear weapons state. the united states reportedly is considering a new round of stronger sanctions that they hope china will heavily enforce given the economic leverage. sanctions mean north korea looks at other sources of revenue like selling the weapons they are creating, including nuclear materials to rogue states and terrorist organizations. this is not an easy situation. we just don't know what the trump administration is going to do. that meeting on track with chinese president xi jinping and president trump. >> a lot of dangerous scenarios. will ripley, thank you. there was plenty of political drama, but the james comey hearing had unusual focus on football. the same day the fbi announced recovery of two tom brady
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jerseys, the fbi director made this analogy to explain vladimir putin's reason for meddling in the election. >> to put it in a homely met th metaphor, i hate the patriots. i'm rooting against the patriots and hoping opponent beats them. there are only two teams on the field. the reason i don't like the patriots, they represent sustained excellence. i'm a new york fan. >> the fun did not stop there. mike conway drew a comparison of the claim of the preference. >> he had a clear preference for the person running against. >> that may work on sunday afternoon with the red raiders playing the longhorns. she likes the red raiders.
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>> it is logic. by definition, you want their opponent to lose. >> new definition to political football. red raiders trying to keep the chains moving. the football program tweeted this out. not sure what's going on, but we want the red raiders to win and our opponents to lose. #comeyhearing. if that wasn't enough, president trump talked about colin kaepernick in louisville. bizarre day. >> sports are everywhere. i love the political football. you could be a headline writer. spring may be here, but the icy blast for the northeast by the end of the week. meteorologist pedram javaheri. >> dave and christine, across the northeast, big changes in the forecast the next couple days. winter trying to hang in there although we are in spring. a couple shots of cold air on wednesday night into thursday. extremely short lived.
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it pushes out and the mild temperatures build back in place and wait until you see the forecast saturday afternoon in new york city. we go from 56 today to 35 tomorrow. back up to almost 50 on friday. look at chicago. shows you the sign of things to come. from the 50s to the 30s. almost 70 degrees friday afternoon. atlanta takes a nose dive from the 80s down to the 50s. again, all of this very short lived. we warm up quickly back to 63 in new york city on saturday. concern is early next week. another drop. i don't think it will be as significant as we saw in the past 24 hours. watching strong storms this afternoon across portions of the south. generally from poplar bluff and north of atlanta. pedram, thank you. let's get a check on cnn money stream. the stock market is slowing over the past few days. investors looking to resume the
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rally. futures are higher. investors are hopeful to get back to working on tax reform. if the obamacare replacement fails, that could derail. shares in asia closing mixed. housing remains the hot part of the economy. last reading on existing home sales showed the highest sales tally since 2007. mortgage rates rising. and tight inventory. the fake account scandal at wells fargo revealed six months ago. they are struggling to win back customers. plunging 55% for credit card applications. customers opened 43% fewer checking accounts and interactions with branch bankers down 21%. wells fargo's head summed it up by saying we have more work to do. it has recovered since the news
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broke in september. up 25% over the past six months. it is trading near a record high. like all the big banks. >> the banks have had a good time. how much have you saved for retirement? less than $1,000, are yyou are good company. a long running survey finds this stunning stat. a quarter of u.s. adults and spouses have less than $1,000 saved for retirement. people are optimistic when they call it quits. 60% feel confident they will save enough. that is up from 2012 when it hit 52%. still below the 2007 tally. >> a crisis. >> these numbers. i have been covering these numbers for years. we don't save enough. we don't put enough money away. that's going to crimp standard of living later. if you don't live below your means today, you will when it
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really counts. >> especially with entitlements. "early start" continues right now. >> you can continue to look for something, but continuing to look for something that doesn't exist doesn't matter. >> the white house standing firm after the fbi acknowledged an investigation into ties between the trump campaign and russia. will the administration ever be able to escape the clouds of this political storm? and overnight, republican leaders with critical changes to the health care bill. in an effort to appeal to lawmakers, is this enough to help the bill pass with just two days away from the vote? welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. it is fascinating. 5:00 a.m. eastern time. president trump back in washington this morning after one of his trademark campaign style rallies i

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