tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN May 31, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PDT
a secret memo now in the hands of the special counsel. andrew mccabe says the president wanted to fire james comey over the russia investigation. so why did rod rosenstein say otherwise? the president refusing to condemn roseanne's racist tweet, but he does want his own apology for slights from the media. and a remarkable story from ukraine. a russia reporter thought to be
assassinated shows up at a press conference. saying a plot to kill him was foiled. a lot of people were in on the plan. the one person that was not, we will tell you in a bit. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm dave briggs. >> i'm christine romans. may 31st. 4:00 a.m. in the east. the crucial question in the russia investigation. did the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein provide cover -- deputy attorney generjegeneral rosenstein provided cover for andrew mccabe? a secret memo in the hands of robert mueller. >> that said mccabe wanted russia mentioned in the recommendation to fire comey. doing so could be problematic for the president. rosenstein cited comey's handing
of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. the president and allies have used the role in the comey firing to suggest he should have recused himself over the mueller investigation. the justice department declined comment. president trump's lawyer rudy giuliani out front of the mueller investigation over the timeline to get it wrapped up. >> filed by september 1st. >> will he fire him if he doesn't file the report? >> i don't think he will fire mueller. mueller is creating his own problems. >> giuliani saying the line of attack with a veiled threat to mueller's team. >> we'll challenge mueller to write whatever you got. take your best punch with your 13 democrats. you couldn't find a republican? you have a group there which is a lynching mob. we are ready to knock the heck out of you with our report.
>> giuliani defending the president with the reports he tried to get sessions to un-recuse himself on russia. giuliani said if true that would still not be obstruction. president trump with a veiled attacks on session was the volley of tweets saying he wishes he picked a different attorney general. giuliani says he does not think the president will fire sessions before the mueller investigation ends. >> i don't think the president is going to touch mueller or rosenstein. i think it will be worked out. >> has he ever said to you i would like to get rid of jeff sessions? >> i decline to answer. >> former attorney general weighing in on the attacks against his successor. >> it serves no purpose whatsoever. it doesn't help the president.
he is attacking him for something he is required to do. >> your advice to sessions? >> stay strong. >> the white house is pushing back and trey gowdy under cut the conspiracy theory that the fbi planted a spy in the campaign. gowdy underscored the cowardice that have not spoken up. calling it bad for republican leaders whom history will rat r remember as moral weaklings. the fbi used a confidential source, but not planted within the trump campaign. cnn's boris sanchez has more from the white house. >> reporter: the white house not letting a lack of evidence taking the wind out of their sails, dave and christine. they pushed back on comments by trey gowdy.
a republican who has actually been able to see some of the und underlying classified information to state the issue over the claims of the spy imbedded in the campaign by the deep state. something the white house has not been able to provide evidence. gowdy saying the investigation has nothing to do with donald trump. sarah sanders not addressing what gowdy said, but the president does have reason to be concerned. listen to this. >> clearly, there is still cause for concern that needs to be looked into as the president is concerned about the matter. >> reporter: this should not come as a surprise. a source telling my colleague jim acosta stating this is political strategy. he is trying to use it as a political weapon to defend himself and further to try to energize his base.
that source telling jim they believe it is bad for the country and likely will continue to get worse as the russia probe moves forward. dave and christine. >> boris, thank you. president trump weighing in on the fallout over roseanne's racist tweet demanding an apology instead of condemning the tweet. this is the easiest thing you have to do, but here is what the president did instead. bob iger called valerie jarrett and apologized. he never called and apologized to me. maybe i just didn't get the call. here's the white house press secretary sarah sanders. >> where was bob iger's apology
to the white house staff over the jemele hill? and joy behr for the mental illness? where was abc after kathy griffin? that is the double speak. the comments are inappropriate. that is the point he was making. >> following the backlash that she was ambien tweeting. roseanne said it was an explanation, not an excuse. in a later tweet, she said i am not a racist. i never was and never would be. her ex-husband, tom arnold spoke to cnn. >> she was so far gone with the conspiracy theory and hillary is a pedophile and obama wasn't born here and how crazy that was. i just knew that this would not
end well. >> roseanne's on-screen husband john goodman said quote, i wasn't going to get an emmy anyway. breaking overnight. russian foreign minister meets with kim jong-un in north korea. sergei lavrov on the visit to pyongyang says sanctions must be lifted if is there a solution to the north korea nuclear problem. that would pit russia against the united states. mike pompeo is set to meet with kim yong chol. he meet with pompeo yesterday at dinner to try to iron out the details of the summit with kim and donald trump. for the latest, let's bring in diplomatic editor nic robertson in seoul. a lot to cover, nic. >> reporter: dave, what we are hearing from sergei lavrov in pyongyang will be troubling for
the white house. he is indicating there should be an international diplomatic process that needs to go to the united nations. we know how strange that sounds. russia is the one that says let's take the issues to the united nations. they are vetoing or avoiding that process. it is clear that russia wants a stake and say how trump and kim jong-un talks go. we show president xi in china has taken a similar position. we know that rattled president trump before. we know that because he said he thought president xi was trying to destabilize the process. we know secretary pompeo is meeting again with kim yong chol. north korean leader's top negotiator. to narrow gaps on the denuclearization and security for the kim regime going forward. the state department saying the
north koreans must make some historic step. must do something they have not done before. that sounds like shaping expectations ahead of the summit in june. dave. >> pompeo again tweeting yesterday about complete verifiable irreversible. thanks, nic. big news on trade. u.s. may make good on the trade threat slapping tariffs creating another battle with three trading partners. the president granting a few exemptions in march. those exemptions expire in less than 24 hours. "the washington post" says the white house did not get what it wants from trade talks. it plans to hit all three allies
with tariffs. it is targeting $8 billion of tariffs. which whiskey and harley davidson. commerce secretary wilbur ross says a decision will be announced today. ross was in paris yesterday. he heads to beijing for another u.s. trade battle. china and the u.s. is working on a trade deal. the u.s. just announced plans to target $50 billion in chinese goods. we're going to get a list of the goods by june 15th. export controls. u.s. implement china for buying u.s. tech which comes june 20th. >> what is the overall strategy? is there consistency to it? it looks like ala carte. >> that's a good analogy.
we were told there was a framework for dealing with china, at least. then the new tariffs came out a couple days ago. there is concern about what is the framework and how does this all fit together? maybe wilbur ross has a strategy. ahead, stuff great movies are made of. this one was real. a reporter faked his own death to avoid assassination. you won't believe the one person he did not tell. that's next. ahh... s r is g. d it's time t. pack in even more adventure with audible. with the largest selection of audiobooks. audible lets you follow plot twists off the beaten track. or discover magic when you hit the open road. with the free audible app, your stories go wherever you do. and for just $14.95 a month you get a credit, good for any audiobook. if you don't like it exchange it any time.
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foil an nas natissassination pl. two people are in custody. we have senior international correspondent frederik pleitgen putting this together for us. >> reporter: dave and christine, this was an absolutely bizarre story that unfolded after initially blasting the russians for allegedly killing arkady babchenko. including the prime minister of ukraine coming out and essentially saying on his facebook page he holds the russian government accountable. russians fired back saying it wasn't them. it was all staged. at some point there was a press conference in kiev for arkady babchenko as he showed up very much alive. he confirmed this was all part of the operation by the ukraine intelligence service. they got wind of what they say was a russian controlled plot to kill babchenko. they say the only way they could
have prevented that plot and try to find the people behind it was to stage this man's death. >> i would like to apologize for what you had to go through. i buried friends many times. it is a sickening feeling when you bury colleagues and forced them to experience this. >> reporter: even babchenko's wife did not know about the fact he was part of the operation. he came forward and apologized to her for what he called the hell she had been going through in the time she thought he was dead. ukrainians are calling this a brilliant operation. they are very, very happy. the russians, for their part, absolutely fuming. they ripped into the ukrainian. >> fred, what a story. >> wow is right. to reiterate. sorry, honey, i faked my own death and didn't tell you. please let me know if you ever apologized for anything like
that. how would you take that apology? >> i'm glad you are alive. now i'm going to kill you. >> sorry i spent the insurance money. 19 minutes past the hour. stanley cup finals all even. wait until you see the save that kept the capitals on top. i promised our family i'd find your lost recipe. by tracing our history on ancestry, i found the one person who still had it. now, i'm brewing our legacy back to life. i'm david thieme, and this is my ancestry story. now with 100 million family trees, find your story. get started for free at ancestry.com.
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the molten rock is traveling ten yards a minute. >> the national park service is releasing this video of lava removed from the roadway in case it needs to be used as a possible evacuation route. 75 homes have been destroyed. the national weather service says kilauea's volcanic haze has reached as far as guam. and indicted harvey weinstein on rape and other charges. this comes months after dozens of women come forward alleging sexual misconduct. he is currently free on $1 million bail. his attorney says this does not come as a surprise. weinstein is due back in court july 30th. in tennessee, a woman charged with murder in the shooting death of the sheriff's officer. erica castro miles gunned down
officer daniel baker. authorities are still searching for a second suspect who is armed and dangerous. he has been added to the state's ten most wanted list. parents from parkland school have created a pac. they plan to back congressional candidates who endorse a bill to ban assault weapons. one says the gop is controlled by the nra. the stanley cup finals are tied at 1-1. capitals took a 3-1 lead in the second period with goals from alex ovechekin. a stunning save by holtby helped
and the secret memo in the hands of the special counsel. why did rod rosenstein say otherwise? and remarkable story from ukraine. a russian reporter thought to be assassinated turns out he is alive and a plot to kill him was foiled. unbelievable story there. we have fred pleitgen on that. i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. 31 minutes past the hour. almost friday. breaking overnight. russia's foreign minister meets with kim jong-un in north korea. sergei lavrov on a visit to pyongyang says sanctions must be lifted if there is to be a solution to the nuclear problem in north korea. that would pit russia against the united states. >> mike pompeo is set to meet again in new york city with kim yong chol. the former north korean spy chief. for the latest, let's bring in diplomatic editor nic robertson in seoul.
nic. >> reporter: good morning, christine. sergei lavrov meeting with kim jong-un in pyongyang is a clear indication that russia is wading into the middle of what president trump may view as u.s. business. laying downey d ideas that russ believes is important to get a denuclearization agreement. he says it is very clear that to do this in a come prope-hence sh way, you -- comprehensive way, you lift yourself into sanctions. president trump and kim jong-un may agree and should go to the united nations security council. this is odd language from russia which typically avoids the united nations. it does seem to be a clear effort by russia to internation internationalize what is supposed to be a one-on-one
between kim jong-un and president trump. you had president xi with two meetings with kim jong-un. president trump was upset about that. he said china was destabilizing the balance of the process coming up to the summit in singapore. certainly secretary mike pompeo will be having another round of talks today with north korea's top negotiator kim yong chol. the pair of them are expected to bridge the gap in understanding what north korea talked about when it says it wants denuclearization of the korean peninsula and what the united states says it must have which is complete verifiable and irrelevaversible denuclearizatif north korea. these positions, a gap remains. they are narrowing the gap, but it is key to moving forward. the state department saying
north koreans must make an historic concession. russia and china are trying to get a stake. >> a new piece on the chess board. thank you, nic. a crucial question in the russia investigation this morning. did deputy attorney general rod rosenstein providing cover for the president over the decision to fire fbi director james comey? the former deputy andrew mccabe thought that may be the case after talking with rosenstein. cnn confirmed the memo written about that discussion now in the hands of mueller. >> that said the president wanted russia mentioned in the recommendation to fire comey. doing so could have been problematic for the president. rosenstein cited the handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. they used the comey role in the firing suggesting rosenstein should have recused himself.
president trump's personal lawyer rudy giuliani out front of the mueller probe on wednesday reinforcing the white house timeline forg getting the investigation wrapped up. >> file the report by september 1st. he is clearly -- >> will he fire mueller? >> i don't think he will fire mueller. mueller is creating his own problems. >> giuliani also echoing the president's line of attack with the veiled threat to mueller's team. >> we'll challenge mueller to write whatever you got. take your best punch with your 13 democrats there. you couldn't find a republican? you got a group that is a lynching mob. let them do their job. we are ready to knock the heck out of you with our report. >> giuliani defending the president. following reports he tried to get jeff sessions to un-recuse
himself on russia. giuliani said even if true, that would still not be obstruction. >> attack with a volley of tweets saying the president wished he had picked a different attorney general. >> i don't think the president is going to touch mueller or rosenstein. i think in the long run it will be worked out. >> has he ever said to you i would like to get rid of jeff sessions? >> i deliver to answer that one. >> former attorney general mukasey weighing in on the repeated attacks. >> it serves no purpose whatsoever. it doesn't help the president. he's essentially attacking him for something he was obligated to do. recuse himself. >> advice to jeff sessions? >> stay strong, brother. >> the white house pushing back
today after republican congress member trey gowdy under cut the conspiracy theory that the fbi planted a spy in his campaign. gowdy under scored the quote cowardice of the republicans that have not spoken up against the president calling their silence bad for republican leaders whom history will rather as moral weaklings in the face of the president who assaulted democratic institutions. cnn's reporting is the fbi used a confidential source, but not planted within the trump campaign. boris sanchez with more from the white house. >> reporter: white house not letting a lack of evidence take the wind out of their sail, dave and christine. they pushed back on comments made by trey gowdy, the congress member who sits on the house intelligence committee. a republican who has been able to see the underlying classified information the president is using to base these conspiracy
claims about the spy imbedded in his campaign by the deep state. something the white house has not been able to provide evidence. gowdy saying this investigation has nothing to do with donald trump. sarah sanders from the podium not addressing what gowdy said, but the president has reason to be concerned. >> clearly cause for concern that needs to be looked into as the president is concerned about the matter and we follow twill the issue. >> reporter: the source here at the white house telling my colleague jim acosta that they are looking at the probe and trying to use it as a political weapon to defend himself and energize his base. that source telling jim that they believe it is bad for the country and likely will continue to get worse as the russia probe moves forward. dave and christine.
>> boris at the white house, thank you. president trump weighing in on the fallout over roseanne's tweet. demanding an apology from abc. instead of condemning the remarks, the president tweeted this. bob iger of abc, ceo of disney, called valerie to let her know that abc does not tolerate comments of those made by roseanne. g gee, he never apologized to donald trump over the horrible comments made on abc about me. >> where was bob's apology to the white house staff for jemele hill calling the president or anyone associated with him a white supremacist? for christians around the world? where was the an follow gpology griffin after holding a
decapitated head? no one is defending the comments. they are inappropriate. that is the point he was making. >> following the backlash over the claim she was ambien tweeting. clarifying it was an explanation. not an excuse. in a later tweet, she said i'm not a racist. i never was and i never will be. roseanne's ex-husband spoke out on cnn last night. >> she was so into the conspiracy stuff with donald trump and how far gone she was and the pizza gate and hillary is a pedophile and obama wasn't born here. the birther. and how crazy that was. i just knew that this would not end well. >> roseanne's on-screen husband, john goodman shrugged it off. he said i wasn't going to get an emmy anyway. this year marks a decade since the financial crisis.
regulators are easing the rule that helped crying trigger it. it is watering down the volcker rule. the rule was a landmark piece of dodd-fra dodd-frank. for years, the banks complained it was too complex. it eases oversight and keeps the strictest rules with the most trading. banks no longer have to prove they are making a trade. that burden shifts to regulators. the change will undo the uncertainty and complexity that make it difficult for banks to comply. how difficult really is it? critics call it a give away to big banks. they are making record amounts of money. is dodd-frank really holding them back? this is the latest move by the trump administration to ease financial regulations. last week, congress voted to roll back other parts of dodd-frank. look at that. profits soared to a record $56
billion in the first three months of 2018. >> you ask the key question. do they need more relief? >> they say they do. the fed chief appointed by the president says they do. they will roll back. the white house briefing room and benji was a kid reporter for "time magazine." his question called sarah sanders to choke up. >> we recently had a lockdown drill. students' mental health worry is me or my friends could get shot at school. what has the administration done to prevent the senseless tragedies? >> i think as a kid and certainly as a parent, there is nothing more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe. i'm sorry you feel that way.
this administration takes it seriously and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing to protect kids in schools. >> that commission with the field meeting today. the president will meet with families of the santa fe shooting. no real great answer from sarah sanders as to what the administration has done and what they will do. that is up in the hands of the commission. what have they done? we are still waiting. emotional, but the kid did not get his answer like other white house reporters. >> a real grown up white house reporter. the stuff great movies are made of. a reporter faked his own death to avoid assassination and guess who he did not tell ahead of time? you won't believe it. more from moscow next.
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back from the dead. in a story filled with intrigue, a reporter believed to have been shot dead in ukraine turned up alive. he declared to the ukrainian intelligence services his death was faked to foil a plot. the potential would-be assassin. senior correspondent fred pleitgen following this from moscow. >> reporter: dave and christine, this was a bizarre story after initially blasting the russians for allegedly killing arkady babchenko, including the prime minister of ukraine coming out and essentially saying on his facebook page he holds the russian government accountable. russians fired back saying it wasn't them. it turned out it was staged. at some point there was a press
conference in kiev where arkady babchenko, the man allegedly being killed, showed up alive. he confirmed this was part of the operation by the ukrainian intelligence service. they apparently gotten wind of what they say is a russian controlled plot to try to kill babchenko. they say the only way they could have prevented that plot and try to find the people behind it was to stage this man's death. >> i would like to apologize for what you had to go through because i buried friends and colleagues many times. i know it is a sickening feeling when you bury your colleagues. you are sorry they forced you to experience all of this. >> reporter: even babchenko's wife did not know about the fact he was part of the operation. he came forward and apologized to her for what he called the hell she had been going through in the time she thought he was dead. ukrainians are calling this a brilliant operation. they are obviously very happy.
the russians absolutely fuming. they ripped into the ukrainians and called all of this an attack. dave and christine. >> fred, thank you. the wife apparently found him. >> according to the story. >> wow. >> that is one heck of an apology that man had to make to his wife. an incredible story. ahead, the stanley cup finals all even and just barely. wait until you see the save that kept the capitals on top. melatonin is the body's own sleep ingredient. only remfresh uses ion-powered melatonin to deliver up to 7 hours of sleep support. number one sleep doctor recommended remfresh-your nightly sleep companion. available in the natural sleep section at walmart.
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kilauea's lava flow is quickening threatening it could cut off escape routes. lava from fissure eight is flowing down highway 132. the molten rock flowing at ten yards a minute. >> the national park service releasing this video. some 2,500 people have evacua d evacuated. 75 homes destroyed. the national weather service says the volcanic haze has drifted 4,000 miles on strong winds. reaching some people in guam. flooding in the carolinas claiming two more victims. officials say a landslide in a home in boone, north carolina,
triggered a gas leak and killing two people. more heavy rain and flooding in the mid-atlantic overnight. a new york city grand jury indicted harvey weinstein on rape and other charges. the indictment comes seven months after women came forward alleging sexual misconduct by weinstein. the former hollywood producer is free on $1 million bail. the 66-year-old's attorney said news of the indictment does not come as a surprise. weinstein is due back in court july 30th. in tennessee, a woman charged with murder in the shooting death of the sheriff deputy. erica castro miles gunned down officer baker on wednesday. she is in custody. officials are hunting for a second subject identified as steve wiggins. he has been added to the state's ten most wanted list. just when you think you
heard it all. a prosperity gospel te televangelis. it is asking the ckocongregatioo buy him a personal jet. a brand new $54 million jet. duplantis say the plane gets him closer to the lord. listen. >> i really believe that if jesus was physically on there today he would not be riding a donk donkey. he would be on an airplane preaching the gospel. >> duplantis says this allows him to reach more people around the world. we need your help, twitter. if he gets that jet, what should he name it? what should he name it?
@davebriggs. >> wwjf. what would jesus fly? the stanley cup finals tied at 1-1. the capitals win game two on the road in vegas. they took a lead in the second period on goals by ovechkin. golden knights got within 3-2, but a stunning save helped preserve the lead. it was a beauty. caps win 3-2. game three saturday night in washington. look at the paddle save to save the series for now. it shifts back to d.c. here is your money this morning. global stocks rebounding today. radical parties could gain ground fearing italy could leave the eu. rob tbing the eurozone of the third biggest economy. dow and s&p up 1.3%. microsoft shares rose.
the third most valuable company in the world. edging out google for the spot. microsoft worth $760 billion. that trails amazon by $30 billion. the top spot apple worth $920 billion. walmart has a new perk for workers. college tuition. get this. employees will pay just $1 a day to earn a degree. walmart will cover the remaining costs for tuition, fees and books. this is a brand new benefit. it applies to all 1.4 million walmart employees. for now, it is limited to online degree in business or management. it is the latest attempt to keep talent. it hiked starting wage to $11 an hour. it expanded maternity and parental leave. there is a food fight in retail for the best talent. walmart is doing its best. dick's sporting goods with a stricter gun policy in the wake
of the parkland shooting. it is not hurting its bottom line. dick's stopped selling the ar-15 riff les and raised the purchas age to 21. gun rights advocates predicted dick's would lose business. the stock soared 27% higher. in the earnings call, hunting sales fell, but brought in other new shoppers. >> you wonder if this is ammuniti ammunition, if you will, for other corporations to make changes. "early start" continues right now. we answer who is kim yong? >> breaking overnight. russia's foreign minister meets with kim jong-un in north korea. could russia throw a wrench in the u.s. approach to pyongy