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tv   Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs  CNN  April 6, 2018 2:00am-2:59am PDT

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week when mark zuckerberg faces officials on capitol hill. >> it affects so many people. "early start" continues right now. president trump with big praise for scandal plagued epa chief scott pruitt. will that prove to be a political kiss of death? if this was my remark. >> president trump tosses the script and ignores key facts on voter fraud and immigration and more. the president ups the ante with the trade standoff with china. how asia responds this time to the new tariffs talks. welcome to "early start." i'm rene marsh. >> christine romans is back next
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week. i'm dave briggs. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. first, the president standing firmly behind scott pruitt. the epa administrator this morning. as controversy amounts around the embattled epa administrator. pruitt is the cabinet appoi appointment most effective of ca carrying out the president's agenda. returning from the event in west virginia yesterday, the president was asked if he still has confidence in pruitt. >> i think that scott has done a fantastic job. i think he is a fantastic person. i just left coal and energy country. they love scott pruitt. they feel strongly about scott pruitt. they love scott pruitt. >> the president's backing is so strong sources tell cnn he floated replacing attorney general jeff sessions with scott
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pruitt as recently as this week. sessions is a target of the president ever since he recused himself from the russia investigation. the president endorsed pruitt despite the headlines and allegations he sidelined top aides who pushed back on spending. more from cnn's sara ganim in washington. >> reporter: good morning, rene and dave. bad headlines continuing for epa administrator scott pruitt. this time reports that he sidelined officials after they pushed back or raised concerns of the pricey travel and overall management of the agency. two sources with the knowledge of the matter told cnn that career and political appointees who disagreed with pruitt were iced out. a story reported by "the new york times." in one case, an official was reassigned when he refused to drive pruitt through town with lights and sirens to avoid heavy washington traffic. others were raising concerns about his spending and frequent
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trips home to oklahoma and his international trips that cost thousands of dollars of the taxpayers. it included a lot of leisure time. this all adds to a list of ethics issues piling up on pruitt in the last few days. including a sweetheart deal he received a $50 per night apartment in the city. leading some top white house officials to grow frustrated with him. the most important official, president trump, indicated he is still backing pruitt at least for now. rene and dave. >> sara. thank you. president trump including $100 billion on tariffs for chinese exports which is rattling the markets and sparking a fear of a trade war. the president put this statement out late yesterday. in light of the chinese retaliation, i instructed the trade representative to consider $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate. earlier this week, the trump
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administration announced $50 billion of chinese exports in tariffs. china retaliated on 106 american products with tariffs. that's what the president is calling unfair. he telegraphed the move calling china out for unfair trade practices. >> we're at a point where we had to do this. our economy is strong and our jobs are great. we will come out with numbers on friday that hopefully will be fantastic numbers. companies are doing really well. you have to go after the people that aren't treating you right. >> potential for more tariffs sent stock futures sinking. they off the lows. asian markets mostly shrugged off the move. national retail federation slamming the threat and some senators criticized the proposed action. ben sasse calls the move nuts. during the tax reform round table on thursday in west
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virginia, the president tossed out his prepared remarks. literally. take a look. >> this was going to be my remarks. it would have taken two minutes. that would have been a little boring. little boring. i'm reading off the first paragraph. this is boring. come on. we have to say -- tell it like it is. >> after going off script after talking about tax reform, he ad libbed on border security and anchor babies and voter fraud. >> we have cnn political director zach wolf joining us from washington this morning. good to see you, sir. >> good morning. >> the president doing it my way. he is going full sinatra now. that is symbolic for tossing out the script on everything he is doing right now. instead of tax reform, rape and voter fraud.
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listen. >> remember my opening remarks at trump tower when i opened. everybody said, he was so tough and i used the word rape. yesterday it came out where this journey coming up. women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. they don't want to mention that. so we have to change your laws. >> in many places like california, the same person votes many times. you probably heard about that. they like to say that's a conspiracy theory. not a conspiracy theory, folks. millions and millions of people. >> zach, feel free to fact check us. where is the president headed? >> there is no evidence of people voting multiple times in california. there never has been. nobody has shown it. he had a commission that was supposed to look into it. they have not come up with the
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report that found it. i am not sure. we play this and continue to play it and he is saying it and he is the president of the united states. there is no evidence that it happened. it is one of the cunundrums. he said was that mexicans are rapists. people coming across the border. he was vilified by people, even republicans said that, and now he is returning to it saying i was right. they are doing it now to the caravan of people that he doesn't want coming into the united states. is he saying mexicans are rapists? that is not clear to me or putting up a tough face and saying here i am. i won. i'm not going to change. this is trump. i think it is the latter. the delivery mechanism is flawed. >> back to the campaign. really. >> yeah. you know, speaking of throwing
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out the script. he has done that in more ways than one. in cnn reporting, zach, his cabinet is struggling to keep up with him. pulling out of syria and tariffs and troops going to the border wall and diplomats scraping together plans at last minute for the meeting with kim jong un. what does this is a larger picture about just what is happening in the white house and how effective this president will be in pushing policies forward? >> the stories of how chaotic it is to work in the white house are nothing new. go back and look at reince priebus' statement. every day is just crazy. it feels like that outside the white house, too. what is an amazing in the list you flashed, two things that caught the government by
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surprise involve u.s. troops in syria and moving them down to the border. he is operating on the whim status. doing it in ways that involve american fire power which is incredible. >> i think it highlights just john kelly's role and how it changed in the white house. >> let's circle back to scott pruitt. normally you look at the pros and consequen for the president. we can show you some of the accomplishments he had in terms of what the president has wanted. on the flip side, zach, the scandal. rental agreement. pay raises. resignatio resignations. travel and excessive spending on travel. does the president look at pros and cons or does he listen to his favorite network? >> if that is your standard for ethics, you are the swamp.
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if your standard for ethics, i like what he does then you are the triple swamp. you are all of the swamp. >> the triple swamp. does scott pruitt stay or go? >> i'm not in the prediction game. i left that long ago in the trump era. i think the idea, however, you could simply use him to replace jeff sessions is bizarre because you would have to send him through a confirmation hearing. take a step back and considering that for a moment. it would be incredible to see democrats and republicans pick over scott pruitt in any confirmation hearing. getting ahead of ourselves is does he stay or go? that is an open question. >> that would be a bloody confirmation battle. zach wolf, thank you. it is the border or bust for hundreds of central american migrants headed right now for
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the u.s. cnn is on the ground with the caravan. that is next. narrow escape for construction workers. the story behind this stunning video straight ahead. you're trying to lower your very hwith a healthy diet... and exercise. and maybe even, unproven fish oil supplements. not all omega-3s are clinically proven or the same. discover prescription omega-3 vascepa. the one that's this pure... and fda approved. look. vascepa looks different... because it is different. it's pure epa. vascepa, along with diet, is clinically proven to lower very high triglycerides by 33% in adults, without raising bad cholesterol. that's pure power. proven to work. vascepa is not right for everyone. do not take vascepa if you are allergic to icosapent ethyl
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others say the march is on. what are we seeing? we are in puebla. one bus arrived transporting people from oaxaco to puebla where we are now. some now having permission from the mexican government to be here without fear of deportation. the permit to allow them to be here. many of them still saying they plan to go to the united states. others saying they are afraid of the rhetoric coming from the white house. they will stay in mexico over going to the united states. now, the president of the united states, president trump, has said the numbers are dwindling. this is a caravan that is breaking up. while this group is seeing the numbers diminish and they are breaking up into smaller groups, that is actually something that is normal. remember, this is a caravan that has been organized for years. they have been doing this for more than five years. every year, they start with a big number.
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this year about 1,200. the groups get smaller and smaller as they make their way to the north. organizers say the group of 200, they believe, will make it to the u.s./mexico border to seek asylum. i asked people here today what will happen if they encounter national guard troops given that president trump says that is the new plan to provide more security on the border. many of the people here said if they have to wait, they will wait. if they find another way, they will find another way, but they will make it to the united states of america. dave, rene. >> leyla, thank you. we have stunning video to show you. look at this towering crane being used to build the new police headquarters in st. petersburg, florida. it collapses and sends workers running for their lives. security video captured the massive crane about ten stories high falling over thursday morning. just barely missing some of the
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attraction at the masters, but the other favorite is top of the leaderboard. >> coy wire has more in the "bleacher report." >> good morning, rene and dave. jordan spieth holding the lead at the masters. 17 career rounds at augusta and held a share of the lead after nine of them. he was on fire on the back nine taking ten putts on the back nine. five straight birdies. a career best for him. he was runner up in 2014 and 2016. he won it all in 2015. he finished 6 under 66wi with a two-shot lead heading into the second round. >> starts are important in any event. it is not unique to the masters. if you get off to the good start, you are in control of your fate versus needing help. >> tiger woods appeared frustrated at times calling some
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of his shots terrible during his first round. he could have easily let the round slip away. he got it back he said. he is seven strokes behind the lead after shooting 73. that is better than the opening round the last time he won the masters in 2005. >> i played in a major championship again. also the fact i got myself back in the tournament. i could have easily let it slip away. i fought hard to get back in there and now i'm back in the championship. i know there are a lot of holes to be played. >> what in the world happened to the defending champion? sergio garcia had to use a half a dozen golf balls on the 15th hole alone. five consecutive shots in the water. he scored a 13 on the par 5. that's the worst score ever on the hole at the masters. just last year, he had an eagle on this hole. it took him three strokes. helping propel him to the playoff before he won the green
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jacket. the 38-year-old spaniard finished with a 9 over 81. the worst score by a defending champion. tune in for all access at augusta. i am told hines ward does a tiger woods impression and rickie fowler impression. his game is more like sergio. he has a lot of practice. >> that is one more than costner in "tin cup." just a little fact checking. >> movies are made up. >> thank you, coy. ahead, president trump backing his embattled his epa chief and talking about tariffs. this is all in the last 24 hours. stay tuned and buckle up. this
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president trump with big praise for scandal plagued epa chief scott pruitt. will that prove to be a political kiss of death? if this was my remark. it would have taken about two minutes. what the hell. >> president trump tosses the script and ignores key facts on voter fraud and immigration and more. the president ups the ante with the trade standoff with china. how will beijing respond this time to his new tariffs talk? i think the tossing of the script is symbolic. he has thrown out the playbook. he is going full sinatra. i'm dave briggs. >> i'm rene marsh. president trump is standing firmly behind scott pruitt this
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morning after the controversies surround the embattled epa administrator although he has been most effective in carrying out the president's agenda. returning from the event in west virginia yesterday, the president was asked if he still has confidence in pruitt. >> i think that scott has done a fantastic job. i think he is a fantastic person. i just left coal and energy country. they love scott pruitt. they feel strongly about scott pruitt. they love scott pruitt. >> the president's backing is so strong sources tell cnn he floated replacing attorney general jeff sessions with scott pruitt as recently as this week. sessions is a target of the president ever since he recused himself from the russia investigation. the president endorsed pruitt despite the headlines and allegations he sidelined top
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aides who pushed back on spending. more from cnn's sara ganim in washington. >> reporter: good morning, rene and dave. bad headlines continuing for epa administrator scott pruitt. this time reports that he sidelined officials after they pushed back or raised concerns of the pricey travel and overall management of the agency. two sources with the knowledge of the matter told cnn that career and political appointees who disagreed with pruitt were iced out. a story reported by "the new york times." in one case, an official was reassigned when he refused to drive pruitt through town with lights and sirens to avoid heavy washington traffic. others were raising concerns about his spending and frequent trips home to oklahoma and his international trips that cost thousands of dollars of the taxpayers. it included a lot of leisure time.
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this all adds to a list of ethics issues piling up on pruitt in the last few days. including a sweetheart deal he received a $50 per night apartment in the city. leading some top white house officials to grow frustrated with him. the most important official, president trump, indicated he is still backing pruitt at least for now. rene and dave. >> sara. thank you. president trump including $100 billion on tariffs for chinese exports which is rattling the markets and sparking a fear of a trade war. the president put this statement out late yesterday. quote, in light of the chinese retaliation, i instructed the trade representative to consider $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate. earlier this week, the trump administration announced $50 billion of chinese exports in tariffs. china retaliated on 106 american products with tariffs. that's what the president is
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calling unfair. he telegraphed the move calling china out for unfair trade practices. >> we're at a point where we had to do this. our economy is strong and our jobs are great. we will come out with numbers on friday that hopefully will be fantastic numbers. companies are doing really well. you have to go after the people that aren't treating you right. >> potential for more tariffs sent stock futures sinking. the dow set to fall 200 points at the open. asian markets mostly shrugged off the move. national retail federation slamming the threat and some senators criticized the proposed action. ben sasse calls the move nuts. during a tax reform round table on thursday in west virginia, the president tossed out his remarks. literally. take a look.
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>> this was going to be my remarks. it would have taken two minutes. that would have been a little boring. little boring. i'm reading off the first paragraph. this is boring. come on. we have to say -- tell it like it is. >> after going off script after talking about tax reform, he ad libbed. including border security and anchor babies and voter fraud. cnn political director zach wolf joins us live now from washington this morning. good morning, zach. let's talk about throwing out the script. i mean, the republicans want him to talk about their wins which includes tax reform. instead, he talked about that for a little bit and switched the subject. take a listen. >> remember my opening remarks at trump tower when i opened. everybody said, oh, he was so tough. i used the word rape.
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yesterday, it came out where the journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. they don't want to mention that. so we have to change our laws. >> many places like california, the same person votes many times, you probably heard about that. they always like to say that's a conspiracy theory. not a conspiracy theory, folks. millions and mostillions of peo. >> zach, if you will, a quick fact check and bigger picture. many americans are fearing he could do damage because he is not focusing on tax reform. >> a quick fact check. no evidence that people in california voted repeed atedlre. he had a commission created although there is no evidence of it. there is no evidence of that. you know, he keeps bringing it up and feeding the conspiracy theory. it is a conspiracy theory.
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on the other hand, when he used the word rape in the kickoff announcement, he was calling mexicans rapists. let's not forget that. or whitewash it. does he now believe that? did he ever stop believing it? it is remarkable for him to suddenly bring up and say i was right without any evidence. it is stunning. that's the fact checking of that -- let's not forget those two things are wrong. the broader issue is he is returning to or becoming this trump who won't be tethered by what people want him to say. yeah. this is a good example of that. yes. >> i said earlier he is going full sinatra or maybe he is going full garcia and hitting ball after ball after ball in the water and leading him out of the tournament that early. but the president won this way
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on the campaign trail. if he gets his wall, if he gets china to renegotiate on trade f he gets these wins -- trade, if he gets these wins, does it work? >> not if people are distracted by the words that are coming out of his mouth or thinking about scandal laden epa secretary. the wins are only good if you talk about the wins and not the other weather you created around yourself. it will be harder for him to get wins if people are talking about those other things. >> quickly, scott pruitt. he is sticking by scott pruitt. he called him a fantastic guy. listen to what he said yesterday when he was asked if he had con if -- confidence in pruitt. >> i think scott has done a fantastic job. i think he is a fantastic person. >> you know, traditionally that
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thinking he is a fantastic person has been a kiss of death. here are a few people the president has called fantastic or good people. take a listen, zach. >> michael flynn is a wonderful man. >> reince priebus is a good man sgrchman. >> we will see what happens with mr. bannon. >> rex is a very good man. >> so we don't know what will happen with pruitt. as far as trump's base, do they care more about draining the swamp or more about the job that pruitt has been doing as far as deregulation? >> i'm not sure it is an either/or proposition. all of the clips you played, that was right before the people were fired. being a good man is no level of job security in the trump administration. >> good point. >> and so, you know, i don't think for trump he doesn't want to be the guy who cowers in the face of bad headlines.
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he doesn't like to give in to what people say he should do. i think that probably is a good thing for pruitt. on the other hand, this is a lot of bad press. >> it is, indeed. "wall street journal" says if there is a more consequential cabinet official, he is it. the president watches his favorite network to determine what he does with cabinet officials. this was said last night on fox. >> if that is your standard for ethics, then you are the swamp. if your standard for ethics are i like the things he does, then i don't care about the ethics. if that is where you are, you are the triple swamp. you are all of the swamp. >> if that is your standard for ethics, you are the swamp. can he survive? >> it is a very open question. i'm out of the prediction business in the donald trump
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era. i think there are arguments on both sides. trump will not kowtow. it is unknown how he gets through the mini scandals over and over. >> if i'm a betting man, this guy stays. he has gotten it done. zach wolf, thank you. president trump finally broke his science about the allege -- silence about the alleged aware with adult film actress stormy daniels. he said aboard air force one he knew nothing about the $130,000 his lawyer made. >> do you know about the $130,000? why did michael cohen make the payment? >> you have to ask michael cohen. he is my attorney. you have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money for the payment? >> no. >> cohen paid daniels out of his pocket he says to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
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daniels and her lawyer agree the agreement is not valid. >> it's like christmas and hanukkah all rolled into one. you can't have an agreement if one party claims they knew nothing about the principle terms of the agreement. so the president has just shot himself in the foot. thrown his attorney basically, michael cohen, under the bus in the process. >> avenatti says he looks forward to testing the truthfulness of the president's claims. avenatti always has something to fire back at this president. >> he certainly does. coming up, facebook's apology tour is not over yet as the privacy scandal continues to grow so does the mea culpa.
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and we are live in beijing to talk about the president's new tariff threat. whatevrme mayo behr through it, in one coat. behr marquee, #1 rated interior paint. find it exclusively at the home depot.
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president trump is threatening $100 billion in tariffs on chinese exports. the tariffs and threats of tariffs stoking fears of a trade war and rattling markets sending stock futures sinking. how is china responding to the latest tariffs threats? we go to cnn's ivan watson in beijing this morning. it sounds like they are planning on putting up a fight. >> reporter: they have not given any counter measures yet. they have denounced the threat of $100 billion tariffs on chinese goods calling it a provocation. saying we do not want to fight a trade war.
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we are not afraid of it. if the united states disregards china and the international community, the chinese side will follow through and will not hesitate to fight back at any cost. now if president trump follows through on the threat and applies tariffs on $150 billion of chinese goods, that is 40% of the chinese exports to u.s. in previous rounds for the tit-for-tat conflict, china sectioned off tariffs for a sector of the u.s. economy. that has some in the u.s. calling issues with the agriculture markets. senator ben sasse was critical of trump. if he is even half serious, this is nuts. he is threatening to light american agriculture on fire. a lot of this may be posturing. as the rhetoric escalates, it makes it hard for beijing and
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washington to back down putting us more at risk of a real trade war. rene. >> and that is something farmers don't want. let's get a check on "cnn money." fears of a trade war rattling investors again. stock market futures down. although they are off the lows. asian markets shrugging off the move. european markets slightly lower. some investors betting the threats are just a emplploy tha will not result in a trade war. march jobs report is due this morning and economists predict 185,000 job created. a slow down from february. it would still mark the 90th month of job creation. the jobless rate to dip to 4%. a fresh 17-year low. wall street watching how fast wages grew. 2.7% is the prediction. anything stronger could raise fears of inflation and higher
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interest rates. facebook's apology tour making more stops. in a pbs interview, sharyl sandberg admitted mistakes. >> we are focused on building social experiences. that is why your friends know it is your birthday or share playlists. we were not focused on the possible misuse of data. >> this week, facebook revealed the scandal on the data was bigger than originally thought. trump campaign consultants may have accessed 87 million users without their consent. ceo mark zuckerberg testifies next week on capitol hill. all eyes on capitol hill in your neck of the woods. >> that is right. coming up, the trump administration ready to slap russian oligarchs are sanctions. we are live in moscow next. and a narrow escape for construction workers. the story behind this stunning video straight ahead. we're almost there. she's coming!
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or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. other side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ♪ otezla. show more of you. 5:55. the white house about to make the next move and it is a bold one in the skirmish with russia. the trump administration could announce sanctions today against several people with close ties to vladimir putin in connection with the alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. cnn's matthew chance is live in moscow with the latest. this would be one bold step if it is true. good morning, matthew. >> reporter: good morning, dave. that is right. it is being characterized as the most aggressive step the trump
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administration will have made against russian oligarchs or business men and leaders as they like to characterize them here. we don't know how many people will be sanctioned. we understand it will be several. the idea, of course, is to punish russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and sanctioning those business leaders or oligarchs that are close to vladimir putin, the russian president, is one way of doing that. we know a number of russian oligarchs have been questioned in the mueller investigation for allegedly illegally funding the trump campaign and trump inauguration. that may well qualify them for inclusion on the sanctions list as well. it all comes at a time of growing tension with russia and the west. dave. >> matthew chance, thank you. we have stunning video this morning to show you. a tower crane being used to build the new police headquarters in st. petersburg,
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florida. it collapses sending workers literally running for their lives. security video captured the massive crane ten stories high falling over on thursday just barely missing some of the construction warningers on the -- workers on the ground. thankfully no one was hurt. virgin galactic launched space ship 2 on the super sonic flight. the first flight since the crash in 2014 destroying an earlier model and killing all of the pilots. it took off from the mojave air base in california. it separated from the mother ship and fired up the rocket. this puts richard branson a step closer to space tourism. and new this morning, ufc star conor mcgregor charged with three counts of assault and
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criminal mischief after attacking rival fighters on board the bus. you are seeing it there. >> allegedly. >> good point. it happened at the barclays center in brooklyn. mcgregor crashed the press conference. dana white said one fighter suffered injuries. mcgregor was upset with the decision to strip him of the lightweight title belt. and james paxton paying attention to his business and while the pre-game ceremony with the bald eagle landed on him. the bird's handler is not sure
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what went wrong or what paxton was wearing. he played it cool. how would you handle that? >> i would not have been that cool. the wing span alone on that bird would freak me out. >> let that will do it for us, folks. >> thanks for joining us. i'm rene marsh. >> i'm dave briggs. "new day" starts right now. have a great weekend. >> this is another step in the wrong direction. >> president trump threatening another wave of steep tariffs on chinese exports. >> there's no trade war here. we don't have a tariff enacted yet. >> i think scott has done a fantastic job. >> he promised to drain the swamp. this is not consistent with that pledge. >> i did not know about the pay raises until yesterda

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