tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN July 21, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT
new this morning, reports the president's legal team is looking to undercut the special counsel on russia. it could set up a major conflict between the white house and robert mueller. who is teping away from the spot light and why. and o.j. simpson set to go free. what he's saying about his past as he's looking forward to life on the outside. good morning. >> it's frill, july 21st. it's 4:00 a.m. in the east. up first, exclusive new reporting this morning. the president's lawyers are looking for ways to undermine the investigation by robert
mueller? "the washington post" and "the new york times" report aides are scouring the backgrounds of mueller and his staf, searching for conflicts of interest they can use to undercut the probe. >> "the washington post" also reporting the president has asked about his power to pardon aides, family members, even himself. one adviser said the president was curious about the reach of his pardoning authority. this follows the earlier attacks on mueller and those involved in the investigation. >> reporter: christine and miguel, mt. trump and the white house increasingly focused on the investigation into the russian meddling of the 2016 election. there are indications that the scope is expanding.
president trump talked about robert mueller and the idea he could be looking into the trump family's finances. the president said he thought that would be outside of the r purview of that. the legal team is look at strategies here. the washington host and new york times are both reporting that the president is also looking into ways to disrupt this investigation. they're looking into the background of the attorneys working on this investigation. it just shows how much time and attention here at the white house is being focused on this. so much fallout reverberating from the interview with "the new york times" earlier this week, about the president expressing his blistering disappointment with the attorney general. it's sent shock waves throughout the west wing. the attorney general is one of the most loyal soldiers in the trump army. he was the earlier republican
senator to sign on. as we end this week, the sixth-month mark of this presidency. the russia investigation dominating many things here at the white house. christine and miguel? >> thank you, jeff zelny. the is the said he would have hired someone else if he knew that sessions would recuse hils in the russia probe. >> i have the honor of serving as attorney general. it's manager that -- goes beyond any thought i would have ever had for myself. we love this job. we love this department. and i plan to continue to do so. as long as that is appropriate. >> with more on the attorney general's response and damage control a t the white house, cnn's jessica schneider. >> reporter: attorney general
sessions seems to be rebuffing the suggestion that he might resign. the president criticized his recusal. the president saying the decision was unfair to the president. and that president trump wouldn't have asked him to become attorney general if he knew sessions would remove himself from overseeing the investigation. of course, those comments drew a lot of speculation. white house deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders has clarified, in part, saying the president does have confidence in sessions. but really was just disappointed in the decision sessions made to recu recuse. >> clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the attorney general. i think you know this president enough to know that if he wanted somebody to take an action, he would make that quite clear. >> christine and miguel? >> thank you, jessica. with that in mind, the president is resufling the legal team
helping with the probe. marc kasowitz will see his role as lead lawyer on the russian investigation diminish. jay sekulow and another washington attorney, john dowd, will take over. >> by working outside the white house, their relationship will be protected by attorney-client privilege. jay cobb will replace mark peralo. >> donald trump jr. and paul manafort may be appearing. >> we have asked for voluntary appearances. we're having hearings next wednesday. we want to hear right away.
>> trump jr. and manafort are scheduled to appear before the senate judiciary committee. senator dianne feinstein also reiterating the subpoena threat. we're learning jared kushner's closed door session next week will be with staff. it's not yet clear when he will meet with senators. this is now being called, miguel, an interview, not testimony. >> meantime, cnn has exclusively learned jared kushner's status as a top aide for president trump is still being used to lure chinese investors to the new jersey development. kushner's name being used online for two companies. being touted quote the celebrity of the family and mr. e perfect, jared kushner. that happens after his family
apologized for using his name in a sales pitch. two senior administration officials telling cnn anthony scaramucci was a possible candidate for the communications director. what happens to the other members of the team? sean spicer has stayed mostly behind the scenes for the communications director search. it's unclear what happens once that post is filled. the u.s. is fining exx exxonmobil. the treasury department is slapping a $2 million fine on the company saying it had reckless disregard for the russia sanctions. that comes after a meeting between this man and the company. he's a close ally of russian
president vladimir putin. his assets were blocked in 2014 in sanctions on russia for annexing crimea. it did not name tillerson in the suit. he has personal business dealings. this move raises concerns over his deep business ties in russia. exxon says the fine is fund m t fundamentally unfair. they filed charges with steven mnunchin. >> the treasury versus the state department? >> versus exxonmobil. o.j. simpson will be a free man. >> i've done it as well as
respectfully as i think anybody can. >> a nevada parole board agreed. more on when simpson will go free and what's next for the former football star. then add a hotel, or car, or activity in one place and save, where would you go? ♪ expedia. pcountries thatk mewe traveled,t what is your nationality and i would always answer hispanic. so when i got my ancestry dna results it was a shocker. i'm everything. i'm from all nations. i would look at forms now and wonder what do i mark? because i'm everything. and i marked other. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
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mr. simpson, i do vote to grant pra role when eligible. and that will conclude this hearing. >> thank you. >> orenthal james simpson will soon be a free man. the nevada parole board has granted the 70-year-old release from prison. what's next for the former football star? cnn's sara sider in has more from carson city, nevada. >> reporter: christine and migu miguel, off to a light start. the parole board made a mistake and said o.j. simpson was 90 years old and then corrected
herself. everyone laughed. o.j. simple sorn spoke for himself. so did one of his friends. and his eldest daughter. they all testified. some things o.j. said were self-aggrandi self-aggrandizing. he talked about how great he was in prison. how he led a conflict-free life. some of those things disputed if you look at his history. >> i've done my time. i've done it as well as respectfully as i think anybody can. i think if you talk to the wardens, they'll tell you. i've been -- i gave them my word. i believe in the jury system. i've honored their verdict. i've not complained for nine years. all i've done is tried to be helpful and encourage the guys around me. hey, man, do your time. fight in court. and don't do anything that's going to extend your time. gnat's the life i have tried to live, because i want to get back to my kids. >> reporter: the parole board decided what he had done in prison, the pranls he took part
in, the help he gave some other inmates the fact that he never got in trouble in his nearly nine years in prison, on the armed robbery and kidnapping charge. he was charged with 12 counts. it all involved the situation in las vegas, back in 2008, where he had decided to go and try to take back what he said was property. memorabilia, that was stolen from him, personal items, he said. as it turned out, he went in, he was with several other men. two of the men had guns. in tend, o.j. simple sorn and one other man was convicted in the case. now, o.j. simpson has been granted parole. he'll get out of prison. not immediately. he's scheduled to get out in october. miguel? christine? >> all right. sara sidner. thank you. a stunning loss in the music world. the lead singer of the band
linkin' park has died. ♪ i had to fall to lose it all but in tend it doesn't even matter ♪ >> 41-year-old chester bennington was found dead. authorities are treating the case as a possible suicide. bennington had been open about troubles in his life, including drug addiction. linkin' park's latest all bum was released in may. the officer who shot and killed justine ruszczyk was -- >> on our squad cars you'll find the words, to protect with courage and serve with compassion. this did not happen. >> pinning blame solely on mohamed noor, the police chief
said the death came from aks of one individual. officers' body cameras should have been on. last night, mourners gathered in the alley where ruszczyk was shot and killed. they called for justice for her relatives. they are stunned by the killing and have hired an attorney. a group of florida teens who taunted and filmed a man as he drowned will not face criminal charges, according to police. in a video more than two minutes long, five teenage boys can be heard laughing as 31-year-old gentleman mel dunn struggles to stay afloat in a pond. they can be heard laughing and warning him he was going to die and they were not going to help him. police call the boys' actions
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[ phone ringing ] hi mom. it makes you wonder... shouldn't we get our phones and internet from the same company? that's why xfinity mobile comes with your internet. you get up to 5 lines of talk and text at no extra cost. [ laughing ] so all you pay for is data. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. call or go to xfinitymobile.com introducing xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. at least two tourists were killed when an earthquake struck the greek island of kos this morning. it was an estimated 200,000 people in greece and turkey felt some degree of shaking. our producer is live with the latest. bring us up to speed.
>> well, just moments ago, we heard from turkish officials who had completed their initial assessments and what they just said was that 80 people were injured and that there were no casualties in the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit boert turkey and greece. there have been more than 160 aftershocks after that initial large earthquake. and, turkish officials coming out and saying there was a minitsunami that took place because of the earthquake. we saw manager that resembled a small tsunami in the social media videos that came out from the turkish side where you see water washing up on to hotel and resorts that are in this area. the two people who lost their lives on the greek side, greek authorities have come out and said, one is a swedish national. the other is a turkish national who were there just enjoying the summer. the beach. and the sea that's there.
and that's what's really scary about all of this was that it hit1:30 a.m. this is a place where tourists go, local and foreigners. it's about having an idyllic time for the summer. unfortunately, that's not what happened. in terms of damage to property on the greek side, we saw older buildings taking damage. on the turkish side, the minaret of a mosque taking damage and spewing stones out to a nearby area. rescue workers have shut that part off. a lot of people are still out on the streets and waiting for the aftershocks to subside. christina? >> those can be terrifying. thank you so much for that for us in it tan bull this morning. back in the u.s., no relief from the miserable heat today on the eastern half of the country. more than 75 million people under excessive heat warnings of
advisories. we want to brink in meteorologist karen maginnis. >> it will be sizzling hot. in new england, all the way up the i-95 corridor and into the central united states. wre we have a very strong ridge of high pressure. it's like a dome from the central plains toward the mid-atlantic into the northeast. st. louis is going bake with 102 degrees. that is the outside air temperature. that's what's forecast. it's going to feel a whole lot different. if you're traveling toward st. louis, wichita, kansas city, watch out. it will be oppressively hot. you might get a little bit of a break. but not until late on saturday. then going into sunday. and we start to see the heat really start to break down rather dramatically. new york from 90s to 80 on sunday. cleveland from temperatures close to 90 to the low 80s. so there is some heat relief.
but it's going to be brief. back to you guys. >> karen, that looks hot. everyone check on your elderly neighbors. if you live in boston or new york city. will the president really use his pardoning power to undermine the russia investigation? reports this morning say the trump leekle team is looking into it.
will the special counsel probe lead to presidential pardons in the new reports breaking down the white house's new battle plan. shaking things up. the big reason bemind big changes in the president's legal team. and he is set for parole but still creating controversy. what o.j. simpson said about his past before a panel decided his future. welcome back to "early start." >> it's 30 minutes past the hour. up first, explosive new reporting this morning.
the president's lawyers are looking for ways to undermine the russia investigation by special counsel robert mueller. "the washington post." and "the new york times" report that attorneys and aides are scouring the backgrounds of robert mueller looking for ways to undercut the probe. >> "the washington post" reporting the president has asked about his pow or the pardon aides, family members, even himself. one adviser told the post the president wassimply curious agent the reach of his powers. jeff zeleny has more from the white house. >> reporter: christine and miguel, president trump and the white house increasingly focused on the special counsel's investigation. the independent investigation into the russian meddling of the 2016 election. there are indications the
election is spreading. president trump made that indication in his interview with "the new york times "earlier this week when he talked about robert mueller. and that he could being look into the trump family's finances. the president said he thought that would be outside of the purdview of that. this is increasingly dominated much of the conversation here at the white house as the legal team is looking at strategies. the washington post and new york trims both reporting that the president is also looking into ways to disrupt this investigation. they're looking into the background of the attorneys working on this investigation. it just shows how much time and attention here at the white house is being foe doesed on this. so much fallout reverberating from the interview with "the new york times" earlier this week, at the president expressing his blistering disappointment with the attorney general. it's sent shock waves throughout the west wing of the white house, largely because the attorney general is one to ever most loyal soldiers in the trump
army. he was one of the earliest supporters. he was, in fact, the earliest republican senator to sign on. as we end this week, the six hch month mark of this presidency, this russia investigation dominating many things here that the white house. christine and miguel? >> jeff zeleny, thank you very much. as for the attorney general, he's shrugging off the president's attack. the pat president said he should have hired someone else if he knew sessions would recuse himself. the attorney general is determined to stay put for the time being. >> i have the honor of serving as attorney general. it's something that -- goes beyond any thought i would have ever had for myself. we love this job. we love this department. and i plan to continue to do so. as long as that is appropriate. >> now with more on the attorney general's response and damage control at the white house, cnn's jessa snyder in washington. >> christine and miguel,
attorney general jeff sessions, he seems to be rebuffing speck tlagts he might resign in the wake of president trump's harsh words about him in "the new york times" the president expressed his anger at sessions' decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation back on march 2nd. the president saying the decision was quote unfair to the president and that president trump would vchbt asked him to become attorney general if he knew sessions would remove himself from overseeing the investigation. those comments drew a lot of speculation. deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders has chair fid in part. saying the president has confidence in sessions but was disappointed in the decision to recuse. >> clearly, he has confidence in him or he would not be the attorney general. i think you know this president well enough to know that if he wanted somebody to take an action, he would make that quite clear. >> sarah huckabee sanders added
to the comment saying the president does not intend to fire mueller. the president believes the special counsel should not move outside the skoeb of the investigation. the skoeb is up for interpretation about how broad it might be. >> thank you, jessica. the president is resufling the legal team charged with helping him navigate in russia probe. two sources tell cnn the president's long time attorney marc kasowitz will his his role on the russia situation diminish. john dowd and jay sekulow will take the leads as the president's personal attorneys on the russia inquiry. >> their dealings with the president will be protected by the same attorney-client privilege afforded all u.s. citizens. inside the white house, attorney ty cobb will take the lead on legal and communications strategy for russia. he'll be effectively replacing
marc kuralow. senator grassley threatening to speen ya trump jr. and paul manafort. >> is there a deadline associated with that? >> we're having a hearing next wednesday. obviously, we want to hear right away. >> trump jr. and manafort are scheduled to testify wednesday. neither man has confirmed he'll appear. dianne feinstein also repeating the subpoena threat. the meeting for jared kushner with the senate sbel committee member will be with staff. it's an interview, not testimony. >> meantime, cnn has exclusively learned jared kushner's status as a top aide to president trump
still being used to lure chinese investors to his family's new jersey development. his name is being used by two businesses working with kushner companies, drik him in chinese as quote the celebrity of the family and quote mr. perfect jared kushner. it comes after his family apologized in may for using his name. i thought you were mr. perfect. >> i am. two senior administration officials telling cnn anthony scaramukki has been interviewed for the job of communications director. if he is hired, the big question, what happens to other key members of the communications team? sean spicer, the press secretary, has staid mostly behind the scenes in the search for the communications director. it is unclear what happens once
that post is filled. the u.s. is fining exxonmobil for violating russian sanction while secretary of state rex tillerson was still in charge. the treasury department is slapping a $2 million fine. it stems from a 2014 deal between exxon executives and this man, igor session. he's a close ally of vladimir putin. his assets were blocked as paraof 2014 sanctions. >> the treasury didn't specify the exxon executives involved and didn't name tillerson. tillerson stepped down last year but had personal dealings with session when he was with exxonmobil. exxon says the fine is fundamentally unfair.
another record high for the nasdaq. a third in a row. the longest win streak since 2015. it's evidence that investors are unfazed by president trump's troubles and a strong earning season. more on this in a few moment paps stunning string of record highs in the stock market. it is still made in america week. the president is wrapping it up by touting deal between these three companies. pfizer, merck, and corning. they'll together work on a new type of glass for ingestible drugs. >> pharmaceutical drug packaging will now be made in america. it's a big step. a big statement. i'm very proud of that. thank you very much, by the way. i know they wouldn't have done it under another administration. >> it is an important deliverable for made in america week. something to show about made in america. until now, 98% of pharmaceutical glass packaging was made
overseas. in terms of giving credit to any other administration, this program maz been in the works since 2012. the companies have been working on this for five long years. corning will invest $5 million initially. expected to grow to $4 billion. creating 4,000 job. the ceos of three t three companies were present. they need federal government approval to move forward, including the fda. o.j. simpson will soon be out of prison, a little later this year. >> i've done my time opini. you know, i have done it as well as respectfully as i think anybody can. >> next, see the moment when simpson found out he would be able to walk free.
grant parole when eligible. and that will conclude this hearing. >> thank you. >> happy o.j. simpson. he'll soon be a free man. the nevada parole board granting parole from prison on the the 70-year-old. what's next for the former football star? sara sidner has more from carson city, nevada. >> reporter: christine and miguel, the hearing got off to a slight start when the chairwoman of the parole board made a mistake and said o.j. simpson was 90 years old and then corrected herself, reminding him he was 70. everyone laughed. then things got quite serious. o.j. simpson spoke for himself. so did one of his friends and his eldest daughter. they all testified. some of the things simpson said were self-aggrandizing. how great he was in prison.
how he led a conflict-free life. some of those things disputed if you look at his history. >> i've done my time. i've done it as well as respectfully as i think anybody can. i think if you talk to the wardens and them, they'll tell you, i gave them my word. i believe in the jury system. i have honored their verdict. i have not complained for nine years. all i have done is try to be helpful and encourage the guys around me, hey, man, do your time. fight in court. and don't do anything that is going to extend your time. that's the life i have tried to live because i want to get back to my kids. >> the parole board decided what he had done in prison, the programs he took part in, the help he gave other inmates, the fact that he never got in trouble in his nearly nine years in prison on the armed robbery and kidnapping charge. he was charged with 12 counts. it all involved the situation in las vegas back in 2008 where he had decided to go and try to
take back what he said was property. memorabilia that was stolen from him. personal items. he said. as it turned out, he went in, was with several other men. two of those men had guns. in the end, o.j. and one other man were convicted in the case. now, o.j. simpson has been grant pad role. he'll get out of prison, but not immediately. he's scheduled to get out in october. miguel? christine? >> our thanks to sara sidner. a stunning loss in the music world. the lead singer of the rock band linkin park has died. ♪ i had to fall to lose it all and in the end it doesn't even matter ♪ >> 41-year-old chester bennington was found dead on thursday according to a spokesman for the los angeles county kor ronner in. authority say they are treating
the case as a possible suicide. bennington had been honest about the troubles in his life. the band was set to kick off a tour in boston next week. >> so sad. >> sad. the police chief of minneapolis speaking for the first time saying the officer who killed bride to be jus tee ruszczyk femaled to protect and serve. >> justine didn't have to die. based on the publicly released information from the vca, this should not have happened. on our squad cars you will find the words "to protect with courage and serve with compassion." this did not happen. >> pinning blame solely on officer mohamed noor said the results were because of the action of one person who failed to -- last night, mourners gathered in the alley where
ruszczyk was shot. they marnlgd through the neighborhood calling for justice. her relatives are still stunned by the killing. they've hired an attorney. a grouch florida teens who taunted and filmed a man while he drowned will not face charges. five teenage boys can be heard laughing inin ining as 31-year dunn was drowning in a pond. they were warning him he was going the die and failed to help him. there is no law in florida requiring citizens to smon help for someone in distress. >> that is the most disturbing story. just disturbing. >> oh, yeah. 49 minutes past the hour. who doesn't care about all the russia headlines? wall street. the stunning winning streak for investors, next. what if we could bring you better value by having better values?
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at least two tourists were killed when an earthquake struck the greek island of kos this morning. the mag knew tuesday 6.7. the epicenter ten miles north of the island. an estimated 200,000 people in greece and turkey felt some degree of shaking. we have a producer live in turkey with the latest. >> reporter: turkish authorities came out about half hour ago releasing a bit more informing. they're saying that 80 people were injured on the turkish side. and there was no loss of life. and more than 160 aftershocks that took place. as well as a small tsunami. between 30 to 40 centimeters
that washed a bunch of waters up into the shores. people that were there during the earthquake foesed video on social media showing about a foot of water just washing up on to the beaches and going further on and into the resorts and hotels. on the greek side, of course, we have the two people who lost their lives. one, a swedish national. another, a turkish national. five people are seriously injured there. authorities have said. three of them in critical condition with one man having had both of his legs unfortunately amputated already. and this part of the aegean is so beautiful. people go there in the summertime to enjoy a good time. to have fun. at the beach. and to go into the beautiful turquoise waters of the sea. this is cutting their vacations short and creating a nightmare scenario for so many of them, miguel. >> shocking pictures there. gul, thank you very much. all right, back in the u.s.,
no relief from the heat today. the eastern half of the country. more than 75 million people under exesz sif heat warnings of advisories. let's bring in meteorologist karen maginnis. >> we're starting off hot. it's early. the temperatures will feel like triple digits in some areas like washington, d.c. it may feel like 103 degrees. the heat is on. not just in the northeast along the i-95 corridor but into the central united states. wichita, st. louis, kansas city, oklahoma city, to dallas. it will be oppressively and excessively hot. a break in washington, d.c., more so going into tuesday when we back the temperatures off into the 80s. that will be good news. st. louis, triple digits to the upper 80s but monday. a bit of a break there. watch out. severe storms could affect areas across the northern mississippi river valley from aberdeen to
minneapolis. minneapolis, by 4:00, you could see big storms rumbling through your area. >> check on your elderly neighbors, please. it's really important to be a good neighbor. let lest get a check on cnn money stream this morning. global markets lower. but the nasdaq, wow. a third high in a row. the longest winning streak for the nasdaq since 2015. wall street's string of records is tlaits evidence that wall street is unfazed by president trump's troubles. the economy still remains strong here. remember, the stock market is a reflection of how much money companies are making. and companies are making loads of money. earning season has within a strong one so far. more earnings are on the way. general electric and honeywell report today.
amazon has been crushing sears. sears telling investors recently it may not be able to stay in business. turns out amazon could be its savior. they're striking a deal to sell kenmore on amazon and will connect to alexa. this could help business as foot traffic dwindles. competitors are feeling the heat. home depot, whirlpool, and lowe's shares fell. how would you like to get to new york, from new york to d.c. in 29 minutes? tesla founder i lon musk wants to make that happen. he says he has a verbal agreement from the government to create his hyperloop. he's out there tweeting he's got
verbal approval to do it. he walked back the claim later saying they have to work to get formal approval. they're moving forward. he would like the move forward. >> can you imagine? >> it would be awesome. >> i want to be part of that. early start continues right now. new this morning, reports the president's legal team is looking to undercut the special counsel on russia. it could set up a major conflict between the white house and robert mueller. and the president's legal team shaken up. who is stepping away from the spotlight and why? and o.j. simpson set to go free. after nine years behind bars. what he's saying about his past as he looks forward to life on the outside. i guess october is when that happens. >> october, indeed. >> good morning. welcome to early start. i'm christine romans.
>> i'm miguel marquez. up close this morning, the president's lawyers are looking for ways to undermine the russia investigation by special counsel robert mueller. "the washington post" and "the new york times" report aides are scouring the backgrounds of mueller and his staff, searching for conflicts of interest they can use to undercut the probe. the paper cites several sources familiar with the research effort. >> "the washington post" also reporting the president has asked about his power to pardon aides, family members, even himself. one adviser told "the post" the president was simply curious about the reach of his pardoning authority. this follows the earlier attacks on mueller and those involved in the investigation. cnn's jeff zeleny has more from the white house. >> reporter: christine and miguel, president trump and the white house