tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN February 20, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PST
did you ask wlisask whitake change the leadership of the investigation into michael cohen? >> not at all. >> but the "new york times" reporting he tried to have a supporter put in charge of the michael cohen investigation. and could roger stone end up in jail as he awaits trial? a judge summoning him back to court after a controversial instragram post. rain, sleet, ice, snow, half the country is in for some wicked weather and round two is not far behind. plus suicide is not fashion.
anger at fashion giant burberry, the company pulling an ad that had a noose around the neck. not very fashionable. >> no. i'm christine romans. it is wednesday, february 20th, it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. nice to see you again. let's begin with the president facing more obstruction of justice questions in the wake of a "new york times" report that scissors the president pushed to have a federal prosecutor appointed during his administration oversee the michael cohen investigation. mr. trump had by that point already been implicated in the compahen probe. >> the "times" reports that late last year he called math knew whisker to ask if the u.s. attorney in manhattan could supervise it. the ro are t report is raising concerns about obstruction of justice. >> the phone call would be evidence of what? >> corrupt intent.
that is, an effort to use the levers of power of the government for a corrupt purpose. >> would that be obstruction? >> yes. well, it would be attempted obstruction. >> it is unclear what whitaker did in response to the president's call. there is no evidence that he took action. the justice department says whitaker made no commitments but does not flatly deny the investigation was discussed. but trump was not shy about making a blanket denial. >> did you asask matthew whitak to change the leadership of the investigation into michael cohen? >> no, not at all. i don't know who gave you that. that is more fake news. there is a lot of fake news out. >> reporter: good morning. president trump is denying that he ever made that ask of former a.g. matt whitaker to have jeffrey berman oversee the cohen
probe. this is innocence is in respons reporting that he did make that ask because he viewed berman as an am lilly. he was upset about the cohen probe and how it inchmplicated and that he did talk to whitaker with about it over the phone. he thought that he should control the investigators in the probe. during recent congressional testimony, whilt ketaker would and i that he won't discuss conversations with the president. >> i want to know whether you talked to president trump at all about the southern strict of new york's case involving michael cohen. >> congresswoman, as i've mentioned several times today, i'm not going to discuss my private conversations with the president of the united states. >> reporter: in contrast he told the committee he never spoke about the mueller probe to president trump. >> at no tirm has the white
house asked for nor have i provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation. >> reporter: but this latest report being fits into a pattern where he believes that officials in doj roles should show loyalty to him and do his bidding. as you will recall, the president was furious that jeff the russia probe. >> according to the "times" report, this kecontroversy is jt a pattern of intimidation applied by the president that includes orchestrating a lie about the firing of national security adviser michael flynn. you will recall flynn resigned after reports surfaced because of his conflicts with kiss llya. mr. trump reportedly liked the
version of the story better so he ordered sean spicer to use that version in his briefings. >> and the report also says that he asked cory lewandowski to pressure jeff sessions into resignin resigning. aides dodged the orders to secure his resignation. and mccabe because asked if he still believes president trump could be a russian asset. >> i think it is possible. i think that is why we started our investigation. and i'm really anxious to see where director mueller concludes that. >> that comment by mccabe coming just days after he revealed the president's own words and actions led to the counter intelligence and obstruction investigations that were opened. mccabe also telling cnn he briefed top congressional leaders about president trump being under investigation.
he says no one in that group of congressional leaders objected. roger stone has been ordered to appear at a court hearing tomorrow after an instragram post that seemed to threaten the judge overseeing his case. it featured this ipicture that we've blurred out. it has some cross hairs on it, stone denies that those are cross hairs, but the "pospost c jep arrest kopardize his freedo. stonele po apologized to the co and told them that volunteer made the initial post and it was no no way a threat to the judge. big problems with wilbur ross' financial disclose sure forms, they are not accurate. ross claims he sold thousands of dollars of bank stocks that
other reports indicate he did not sell. ross would only say he is committed to complying with the ethics agreement. a report in december found ross never sold his holdings in ba united within 90 days of a tir c after confirmation. >> he blamed a miscommunication with his agent. and space force is a step closer to becoming as in a al securi national security reality. the president signed an order taking the first steps toward the space force. the aim is to proitect american interests in space and blunt the rising power of china. the department of defense will now draft a legislative proposal to submit to congress which must approve any new branch of the military. bernie sanders's pr presidel campaign raking in $4 million
already. that has sanders thinking ahead to possible running mates. >> we would look for somebody who is maybe not of the same gender that i am, and maybe somebody who might be a couple years younger than me and somebody who can take the progressive banner. >> you heard sanders reference his age. the late night comic s also noticed that. >> senator bernie sanders announced that he will run for president in 2020. if successful -- yeah. if successful, he would be the oldest person. that's it. >> at age 77, bernie is the only git to to candidate to toss his hat and teeth in the ring. >> at 77, bernie sanders would be the oldest president in history which explains his brand new campaign yard signs, get off my lawn. >> president trump could be
facing another challenge from within the republican party. cbs is set to air an interview today with maryland governor larry hogan, he is not ruling out a white house bid in 2020 citing the president's weak poll numbers. about half the country is in for some ugly weather today. twomerging into one forming a powerful winter storm. more than 117 million people from the plains to the midwest to the northeast under some kind of weather advisory right now. 20 million others are facing flood advisories in the south. >> washington, d.c. and baltimore expected to take the brunt of the storm. federal offices in the capital are closed today and all philadelphia public schools are closed too. about 1,000 flights already canceled, many of them in and around chicago, philadelphia. and another storm system is moving intoto california expect
to have another round of punishment this weekend. has is -- >> yes, a multistorm setup over the next couple days. so where it is not heavy rainfall, it is a wintry mick or heavy snowfall across parts of the midwest and also the intra mountain west and parts of the northwest as well. the current storm brings in heavy rainfall across the south and north of st. louis into parts of the great lakes, it becomes all snow and all of this pushes on in toward the east as we go in through later on tonight and into early tomorrow morning leaving behind about 4 to 6 inches of snowfall across that region. but again, plenty of flooding threat in place as well from nashville down towards birmingham, even northern portions of mississippi and eastern areas of arkansas whereas much as 4 to 6 inches of rainfall could come down in the
next two days. and we do have another system right on its heels and temps are struggling to warm up across the south. atlanta only 49, charlotte will 1, and up in the midwest, looking into the middle 30s while this system exits, another one follows a similar track going in toward the upcoming weekend. >> it is not good, but you got to know, be prepared. teachers in west virginia get their wish, so why are they still on strike? lysol laundry sanitizer kills 99.9% of illness- causing bacteria detergent leaves behind. lysol. what it takes to protect. they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper
a spokesman on the i believe tell comm intel committee called it a ridiculous conspiracy theory. cnn has learned that jussie smollett that a history of providing false information to law enforcement. in 2007, the "empire" star pleaded no contest to charges in a dui stop. police in l.a. says he gave them a fake name, his blr's. he was sentenced to two years probation and a fine. postal inspectors are helping with a threatening letter addressed to smollett. smollett claimed that he was attacked by two people yelling racial slurs, but his story has not been corroborated. attorneys for a kentucky high school student at the center of a viral video controversy are suing the
"washington post." they streaki inseeking $$250 mi damages for the teen who was in the march for life rally. the video initially touched off apcould you sayings that sand mann was a big on thbigot. >> the lawsuit claims the "post" bullied nicholas because he was a white catholic student wearing a red make america great again cap. the newspaper says it is planning to mount a vigorous expense. nicklaus claims that he have just trying to diffuse tensions. get this, it may not be long before 16-year-olds can vote in oregon. lawmakers proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would lower the age to 16.
supporters point to the political actity tvism of parkl high school students. a battle brewing between california and the trump administration. the u.s. department of transportation canceled a nearly $1 billion grant for the state's high speed rail project that would have run fr. the governor says it would take too long to complete so the president demand all the money be returned. newsome says the president's move is political retribution. meantime teachers in west virginia are set to strike for a second day. even after the house of delegates in that state shelved annual education bill that prompted them to walk off their jobs. teachers cheered when they found out the news. the republican led house voted
to table the bill that would create charter schools and education savings accounts to help pay for private schools. and the teachers union says they can't trust state senate leadership and they want to make sure the bill is really dead. republican senate president mitch carmichael says teachers are on the wrong side of history. a big bounce for walmart, why sales were up so much and what it means for amazon. nooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent. bounty, the quicker picker upper.
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hold its own against amazon. sales grew 4.2% over the holiday stretch including a 43% rise in digital sales. walmart says online sales were boosted from rolling out grocery pickup to stores across the country. more than 10% of walmart shoppers used curbside pickup. their moves together seems to have worked. it also stocked up on toys hoping to gain customers without toys "r" us as a competitor. low unemployment, rising wages an drop in gas prices also boosted sales. the stock up now 9.5% this year. walma walmart's strong reports after a troubling report last week showing core retail sales fell in decemb in december. a fashion giant is apologizing if a bit of a faux pas.
a runway model in a hoodie with a noose around her name. it led to anxious online backlash. liz kennedy wrote suicide is not fashion. the ceo says the design was i inspired by the marine theme in the collection and they made a mistake. the item has been removed. earlier this month fgucci had t apologize for this sweater. and you are looking at fire fall, a natural phenomenon at yosemite, sort of a magic trick by nature that creates the i will lillusion of lava flowing off the cliff. fire fall draws hundreds of visitors every night. it will end this weekend as the sun changes position in the sky. that is cool. >> mother nature never ceasing to impress.
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did you ask acting attorney general matthew whitaker to change the leadership of the ve investigation into michael cohen? >> not at all. >> a pregnant pause and denial from the president, but the "new york times" reports he tried to get a supporter put in charge of the michael cohen investigation. could ronlger stone end up jail as he awaits trial? a judge simmons him back to course after a controversial instragram post. rain, sleet, ice, snow, affair the country in for wicked weather and round two is not far behind that. >> suicide is not fashion, anger as burberry pulling a hoodie
that had a noose around the neck. welcome back to "early start." >> we're about half past the hour. thank you so much for joining us. we start with president trump facing more are obstruction of justice questions in the wake of a wide ranging "new york times" report that says the president pushed to have a federal prosecutor appointed during his administration to oversee the michael cohen investigation. mr. trump had by that point already been implicated in the cohen probe. >> but the "times" reports late last year he still called then acting attorney general matthew whitaker to ask if the u.s. attorney in manhattan could supervise it. the report is raising obstruction concerns. >> the phone call would be evidence of what? >> corrupt intent. that is, an effort to use the levers of power of the government for a corrupt purpose. >> would that be obstruction? >> yes. well, it would be attempted obstruction. >> now, it is unclear what whitaker did in response to the president's call.
there is no actual evidence that he took action. the justice department says whitaker made no commitments, but he does not flatly deny that the investigation was discussed. president trump though not shy about making a blanket denial. >> did you ask matthew whitaker to change the leadership of the investigation into michael cohen? >> no, not at all. i don't know who gave you that. that is more fake news. a lot -- there is a lot of fakes out there. >> more now from pamela brown. >> reporter: good morning. president trump is denying that he ever made that ask of former a.g. matt whitaker to have jeffrey berman oversee the cohen probe. this denial is in response to the "times" reporting that he in fact did make that ask because he viewed berman as an ally. and sources tell me and laura jarrett that trump was upset about the cohen probe and how it implicated him in the payments
to two women during the election. and that he did talk to bwhitakr about it over the phone. during recent congressional testimony, whitaker would only say that he won't discuss conversations with the president when asked if he spoke to him about the sdny investigation. >> i want to know whether you talked to president trump at all about the southern district of new york's case involving michael cohen. >> congresswoman, as i've mentioned several times today, iage not going to discuss my private conversations with the president of the united states. >> and in contrast he told the committee he never spoke about the probe to president trump. >> at no time has the white house asked for nor have i provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation. >> reporter: but this latest reporting about trump fits into a pattern where he believes officials in doj roles should
show loyalty to him and do his bidding. as you'll recall the president was furious that jeff session recused himself from the russia probe. boris and christine. >> pamela, thank you for that. according to the "times" report, the whitaker controversy is just one example of a pattern of intimidation applied by the president concerning investigations around him, including orchestrating a lie about the firing of michael flynn. flynn resigned after reports surfaced about his contacts with russia's baambassador. >> he claimed this he was stepping down because he misled mike pence about it, but when an adviser mentioned that paul ryan was saying the president asked for flynn's resignation, trump liked that version better so he ordered sean spicer to use that version for his briefings. >> and the "times" also reports that theewandowski to pressure
sessions to resign. we have a bombshell from andrew mccabe, he was asked bys 3w4r50e6s the president could been a asset to russia. >> i think it is possible and i'm anxious to see where mueller concludes that. >> that coming just days after the president revealed his own words and actions led to the investigations that were ultimately opened. mccaining on also told cnn that he briefed top congressional leaders about president trump being under investigation and he says no one objected. rod rosenstein's replacement has now been named. the president is nominating jeffrey rosen. he formerly worked at kirkland and ellis, the same law firm as the new attorney general bill
barr. rosenstein is expected to leave the justice department in about through weeks, that will mark almost exactly two years since he took over supervising the russia investigation. new overnight, hackers thought to be linked to russia's military have targeted two think tanks in europe. fancy bear tried to i believe fibelieve -- tried to infiltrate. the company is not saying whether the hackers were successful, but microsoft is getting the attention of eu officials who hold parliamentary elections in may of next year. rob roger stone has been ordered to appear in court tomorrow after an instragram post.
stone apologized officially to the court. he told cnn a volunteer made the initial post and it was in no way a threat to the judge. stone was indicted on charges he coordinated with trump campaign officials while he sought stolen e-mails from wikileaks. bernie sanders' second act is off to a hot start. his presidential campaign raking in $4 million in donations already from nearly 150,000 supporters. that has sanders thinking ahead to possibrunning mates. >> we would look for somebody who is maybe not of the same gender that i am. and maybe somebody who might be a couple of years younger than me. and somebody who can take the progressive banner. >> you heard sanders reference his age there. late night comics took notice of that. >> senator bernie sanders announced today that he will run
for president in 2020. if successful -- yeah. if successful, he would be the east -- old he est person. that's it about that. >> only to toss his hat and teeth into the ring. >> he would be the oldest president in history which explains his brand new campaign yard signs, get off my lawn. >> president trump could be facing another challenge from within the republican party. cbs is set to airen a interview today with governor larry hogan. about half the country is in for ugly wed today. two systems merging into one forming a powerful winter storm. more than 150 million people from the plains and midwest to the atlantic and northeast under some kind of weather advisory right now. 11 million others face flood advisories in the south. >> in washington, d.c. and
baltimore, they are expected to take the brunt of the storm. federal offices in the nation's capital are close and minnesota and philadelphia public schools shut down. about 1,000 flights are already canceled, most in an and washington, chicago and philadelphia. and get this, another storm system is moving into california, it is expected to follow the same pattern this weekend. here is pedram javaheri. >> boris and christine, yes, about 130 million people under the advisories and warnings. notice a multistorm setup here over the next couple days, one coming in in the next 24 hours and then another one coming in going in toward late this weekend and early next week. so where it is not heavy rainfall, takes wintry mix or heavy snowfall. and notice the current storm brings in they have very rainfall across the south and north of st. louis into parts of
the xwlgreat lakes, it becomes snow and it pushes toward the east through later tonight and into early tomorrow morning leaving behind about 4 to 6 inches of snowfall. but again, plenty of flooding threats in place as well in the south whereas much as 4 to 6 inches of rainfall could come down in the next two days and again, as this system moves on, we do have another one right on its heels and temps struggle to warm up across the south atlanta only 49, charlotte 41, and in the midwest, in the 30s. and another system going in toward this upcoming weekend. southwest airlines had an operational emergency. an unusual high number of planes taken out of service because of mechanical issues. on tuesday, more than 40 had issues more than double the average number. the airline says there is no common theme to the mechanical
problems and all hands on deck order now extended for all southwest mechanics. the airline hoping that will promptly return service back to normal. remember the teenager who que went viral after this confrontation with a tribal der? now he wants $250 million from the "washington post" details on his lawsuit next. these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office they have businesses to grow
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all right. high level trade talks between the u.s. and china begin tomorrow and the president appeared upbeat about their progress. >> well, there are complex talk, they are going very well. we're asking for anything that anybody has even suggested. i can't telling you about t you timing, but the date is not a
think made magical date. >> the president had threatened to increase the 10% tariff to 25% if a deal isn't reached by march 1. that march 1 deadline seems pretty steadfast. it could be pushed back if the two countries are appear to be making some progress. the u.s. is asking china to do a whole bunch of things. wants china to stop stealing u.s. technology, wants access to chinese markets, more are exports and structural changes in the system of forcing countries to hand over technology secrets. if talks go well, the tariffs might be lifted all together. justice clarence thomas pushing for the supreme court to reconsider one of the foundations of libel law. they say the high court wrongly decided the case "new york times" versus sullivan. thomas now writes the higher
standard is not found in the constitution. he says libel laws should be left to state courts. no other justices joined his opinion. thomas' position echos claims from president trump who repeatedly called for the allwi you laws to be opened up. and a lawsuit has been ruled to move forward agreeing to hear a challenge from a parksed a advocacy group, protect our parks claims the city illegally transferred parkland to a private entity. the center will serve as presidential library and headquarters of the obama foundation. both sides due back in court next week. a battle brewing between california and the trump administration. u.s. department of transportation canceled a nearly $1 billion grant for the state's high speed rail project that would have run from san francisco to los angeles. governor newsome announced last week he was scrapping the project because it was too expensive and would take too long to complete. and that decision led president trump to demand all the money be
returned. newsome says the move is clear political retribution for a california-led lawsuit to try to block his national emergency. attorneys for a kentucky high school student at the center of a viral video controversy are suing the "washington post." they are seeking $250 million in damages for 16-year-old nicholas sandman. the teen was in washington last month for the annual march for life rally when he found himself face-to-face with a tribe elder. >> the video initially touched off accusations that sandman was a big got. the lawsuit claims that the "post" wrongfully tar gigeted a bumlied nicholas because he was a white student raring the red make america great again cap. sankd m sandman says that he was just trying to diffuse tension. an op-ed calling for the ku
klux klan to ride again, sutton publisher of the democrat reporter in linden, alabama confirmed to cnn that he wrote the editorial that called for the return of night rides against democrats in what he calls democrats in the republican party plotting to raise taxes in alabama. >> he also told a newspaper that he wants the klan to use lynchings to clean out d.c. the kkk used night rides to terrorize african-americans. doug jones had this reaction, omg, what rock did this guy crawl out from under. this editorial is absolutely disgusting and he should resign now. a new study out finds that heart attacks are on the rise among young women. and researchers are trying to figure out why. the study published recently in the journal circulation found t
have risen from 21% to 31%. for men, they only crept up three points. each year about 790,000 americans have a heart attack. those are most often linked to heart disease, leading cause of death in the united states. a big oops by burberry. it is apologizing for clothing a runway model with a hoodie with a noose around the neck. criticism from one of their own models liz kennedy led to back lack. she wrote suicide is not fashion. the ceo says the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, but it was insensitive and we made a mistake and removed the item from its collection. airbnb has been subpoenaed by new york city, what data the city wants and why. cnn business is next. nooooo... noooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent.
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comcast business. beyond fast. u.s. intelligence officials say a branch of isis based in afghanistan has emerged as a major threat. the ufr.s. official says isis i gathering social media information to determine whom they can use and exploit to carry out their attacks. the warning comes as isis is on the verge of being driven from its last stronghold in syria pl. and whereabouts of their illusive leader remains a mystery. cnn's arwa damon is live in erbil with a fresh look. we have that picture of him preaching, that image that we see so many times of him. other than that, he's sort of
vanished. >> reporter: it really is a bit like trying to track down a ghost. other than his public appearance, which is the only time that we have those images from back in july of 2014, there really has been nothing more than rumors flying around, brief satdi sightings and spotty intelligence. question manage to go out to what are known as the iraqi badlands, a massive wallless area that spans across the desert very close to the syrian border. and these aring a be al baghdad historic grounds. and there is a certain agree of ease of movement for him throughout this area because it is stilled with gorges, they have mountain hideouts there and they have a certain amount of support from the local population. we went to one area where an air
strike did take out one of the top leaderships, an area where in 2015 he and his top commanders are believed to have held a number of meetings. but we spoke to one iraq analyst whocuses on isis and he said even if he is take even out and you destroy the networks in both syria and iraq, isis has other networks based overseas. >> all right. arwa damon for us. be careful. thank you. another member of britain's labour party resigning citing anti-semitism as the cause. joan ryan, a 40-year-old veteran of the party, now its eighth lawmaker to quit. she blamed jeremy corbyn writing that corbyn has allowed the party to become infected. several others defected in the last few days citing
anti-semitism and other concerns. just this week benjamin netanyahu calling for european leaders to take a strong stand after 80 jewish graves were desecrated in france. let's get a check on cnn business. global stock markets are higher. investors are cautiously optimistic on this ongoing u.s./china trade talks that begin in week. on wall street, futures slightly lower here. not very big moves at all. so we'll see how the direction shapes up later this morning. stocks closed nearly higher on tuesday after the president hinted at flexibility on the march 1st deadline to raise tariffs. the s&p 500, nasdaq both up slightly. new york wants to make sure air bmpgt a b and b is not breaking short term rental laws. listings include asks for details about hosts including addresses, volume of bookings and the amount of money they earned. in 2016, new york made it
illegal for people to list entire apartments on airbnb for periods of less than 30 days. the law is aimed at crcracking at people turning their homes into they tells while denying the city tax revenue. virgin galactic could be closer to launching people into space. the high eest and fastest test scheduled for this morning. they made history when it climbed more than 50 miles above earth. the line that the u.s. government considers the edge of space. more test flights are planned in coming months to fine tune the vehicle before passengers will be on board. richa richard branson says commercial flights could be in july and he plans to be the first passenger on board. >> not a cheap ticket. >> no. you know, i don't know. i'll watch from here. i'll safely watch from here. >> and if you cankncan't afford tickets, space force is out
there. another hour of "early start" continues right now. change the leadership of the investigation into your former personal attorney, michael cohen? >> no, not at all. >> a pause and a denial from the president. "the new york times" reports he tried to get a supporter put in charge of the michael cohen investigation. could roger stone end up in jail as he awaits trial? a judge summons him back to court after a controversial instagram post. rain, sleet, ice, snow, half the country in for wicked weather and round two is not far behind. suicide is not fashion. anger at fashion giant burberry, the company is pulling a hoodie that had a noose around the neck. they said it was a marine theme. i don't know. good morning, welcome to "early start," i'm christine romans. >> great to be with you, i'm boris sanchez in for dave br