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EARLY START

Another Black Eye for Trump Foundation; What Caused Deadly Train Crash?; Obama Speaks at Shimon Peres Funeral; Lady Gaga to Headline Super Bowl 50 Half Time Show. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 30, 2016 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. New questions this morning about the Trump Foundation. Has it been soliciting money illegally for a decade? A new report raises questions. Hear why millions in donations may have been against the law.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Big questions over what led to a deadly train crash in New Jersey. Now, federal officials want to know why key safety improvements are taking decades to put in place.

BERMAN: Dignitaries are gathering around the world to say good-bye to Shimon Peres, the former Israeli prime minister and president.

[05:00:02] President Obama among the speakers. He just delivered his eulogy. We will have the latest from Jerusalem.

KOSIK: Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. It is Friday, September 30th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

KOSIK: And new revelations this morning about Donald Trump's charitable foundation. "The Washington Post" is reporting the Trump Foundation never obtained a required certificate from the state of New York to solicit money from the public. This despite the foundation claiming to raise almost $1.7 million in donations just for veteran groups this year alone.

The key word in determining whether the Trump Foundation broke the law was "solicit", whether the foundation asked for money. For years, Trump was the foundation's only donor, but since 2008, Trump has not given the foundation that bears his name a dime. While according to "The Post", other donors have given more $4.3 million.

David Fahrenthold who broke the story in "The Post" told CNN's Anderson Cooper that by not registering, Trump may be avoiding a damaging audit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST (via telephone): If he had to register every year, he would have an independent auditor come through the books of the foundation, look at all the (INAUDIBLE). And specifically ask a question, did Donald Trump's foundation spend money that benefited Donald Trump in a way that it wasn't supposed to? We found a few allegations that it seems to have happened over the years. If it's required to go through these regular audits, it might have found it earlier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman declined to comment on whether he is investigating the foundation's lack of registration, but he's already launched a probe in the wake of the earlier "Washington Post" reports that the foundation made expenditures that benefitted Trump and his businesses. No comment yet from the Trump campaign.

BERMAN: Donald Trump, he is rejecting the notion that he was baited by Hillary Clinton. She, of course, brought up former miss universe and his criticism of her weight. Trump did not comment on it during the debate, but he has afterwards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Back in Monday's debate, going into that debate, a lot of people said that Hillary Clinton was going to try to bait you. And some people say maybe you took the bait. Would you be more disciplined maybe in the second debate?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think I took the bait. You know, every online poll have me winning the debate. So, every single one of them, many of them. So, look, I found it to be an amazing experience actually.

We had 88 million people or something around that number and I just found it to be an amazing experience. No, I think we did well. I think I did -- you know, I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Now, Trump there was citing polls that are not, in fact, polls. They are contests. These online contests, they are not scientific. You can vote many times. Robots can vote.

Polls are polls. Most of the polls conducted by CNN, I think all of the polls, by news organizations found viewers thought Hillary Clinton won the debate.

KOSIK: Those were credible. The ones he is talking about are not. So, in the same interview with New Hampshire 1, Trump also concedes if he brings up bill Clinton's infidelity at the next debate, his marital history could be on the table.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Do you think, maybe, your past marital history is also fair game?

TRUMP: I guess. I mean, they can do. But it's a lot different than his, that I can tell you. I mean, we have a situation where we have a president who was a disaster and he was ultimately impeached over it in a sense for lying. So, we'll see whether or not we discuss it.

REPORTER: You're not worried about your past history at all?

TRUMP: No, not at all. I have a very good history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right. Joining us now to talk about the overnight developments in this election contest, senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES".

Brian, you brought in a newspaper, a visual aid, "The Washington Post", because David Fahrenthold, a reporter for "The Washington Post" has been relentless looking charitable giving and foundation. He has a new front page story on the foundation. The idea that it did not register properly in New York state.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: He has been on the roll with stories about the foundation, about Trump's charitable giving or lack thereof.

This latest story, the campaign is not responding to. In the past, they tried to tar David Fahrenthold, saying he is obsessed with looking into the foundation. From a journalistic point of view, that is a good thing, to be obsessed.

KOSIK: But are voters paying attention to this? I mean, this is -- one of a series of stories done about the foundation in the same vain. Are voters paying attention? Does it resonate when they he go to cast their ballots?

STELTER: I think the reason what Farenthold is getting at matters because he's getting at issues that relate to the tax returns -- Trump spending of his money, his use of various foundations and various charitable assets to write off things, he is getting into the lack of information about the taxes. That according to polls is something that voters do care about.

BERMAN: Much of this would be cleared up, much of these issues, many of these issues will be cleared off if Donald Trump released his tax returns, which he has not done.

[05:05:02] Not specifically in this case, but it gets to the idea of how much he's given.

All right. Also, while many of us were sleeping last night, there are the late night comedy shows. I have not seen them in four or five years. But Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, went on the tonight show with Jimmy Fallon. Listen to what was said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, TONIGHT SHOW: We should talk about the debate. Did you watch it?

(LAUGHTER) JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bless me, father.

I'm about to sin.

What amazes me about Donald Trump and he's not -- a decent guy, his lack of sensibility. I mean, the way he talks about, you know, well, you know, I was rooting through the housing market to fail because that's business. That's not business. That's callous. That's not business. Or that, I paid no taxes, and that makes me smart.

What does it make the rest of us? Suckers?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: I have look at Joe Biden and look at him as the Clinton team ambassador for the white working class. You know, he is effectively going after those voters, which is a strong point for Donald Trump.

STELTER: Yes, Joe Biden on Fallon. We have Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail this week, speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Tomorrow night is "Saturday Night Live." The first SNL, when you talk about late night shows, we're going to see the first post- debate parody from SNL.

KOSIK: And Alec Baldwin.

STELTER: Cast as Trump. I'm curious to see how they handle that.

KOSIK: OK, switching gears to Donald Trump's debate strategy for the next debate. There are indications from his camp that his strategy is going to change. We're getting an inkling of what he said to us about what he will focus on. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: That Clintons are the sordid past. We will be the very bright and clean future. While our campaign outlines big changes and bold solutions to make your life better, the Clinton campaign focuses only on small and petty distractions. This will be the year the American people say finally enough is enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Something tells me this will get uglier than it is now if each side brings up marital history. This is going to turn downright smutty.

STELTER: Trump attempting an optimistic message there, when he talks about a bright and clean future, no one is going to come away bright and clean if the next weeks devolve into conversations about the marital history of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and his wife and ex-wives.

I agree with you. Smutty is probably the perfect word for it. It will turn off more voters and ma people less optimistic about the election. BERMAN: You are a media reporter, Brian. And I think there is a

media war within the Trump campaign leading into the debate to focus him on different things. There is clearly a camp that wants to focus on Bill Clinton's past. There is a camp that wants him to prepare more for the next debate or prepare differently, I should say. All of these people are leaking sieves. You are getting all of the articles and to me, as a former political reporter, it seemed to me they are trying to influence Trump, they're hoping Trump read these stories and make a choice.

STELTER: Yes, for the audience at home, you should recognize when you read the anonymous sources talking about what Trump should do differently. They are trying to communicate to the candidate.

Here is what Trump tweeted, saying, "Anytime you read a story about me and my campaign that says sources said, do not believe it. There are no sources. They are made up lies."

Well, John and I, the three of us, we know they are not made up lies. The source does exist. "The New York Times", "The Post", CNN, we are talking real sources in the Trump campaign. They are trying to help Trump get to a better place out of the next debate.

BERMAN: I will say, Donald Trump, if you don't believe the sources, call our show. Tell us how you are preparing for the debate. We have some more questions for you as well.

Brian, thanks so much for being with us.

KOSIK: Thank you.

All right. Several members of Congress telling Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, he is running a criminal enterprise and should be fired or even put in jail. The banker testified before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday, ten days after being grilled by the Senate Banking Committee over the fake account scandal. House members cut him off several times and were frustrated with his inability to answer some specific questions.

A Massachusetts congressman says Wells Fargo reminds him of another infamous company.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHAEL CAPUANO (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Who cares? We'll pretend to be sorry, we'll fire some workers and we'll get through this. You know where I heard that before? The guys who ran Enron.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Ouch!

Another lawmaker says Wells Fargo should be broken up because it's, quote, "too big to manage."

BERMAN: Federal officials are looking for answers right now after the deadly train crash in New Jersey.

[05:10:03] Could this crash have been prevented had certain safety measures, some people are asking for for decades, had they've been in place? We'll have an update next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: This morning, New Jersey transit in and out of the Hoboken terminal is shutdown after the train crash yesterday. Officials say the train entered the terminal traveling far too fast and slammed through a bumper block, flew up in the air and killed one and injured more than 100.

NTSB investigators are looking into what caused the crash. They are trying to address the issue of past measures that might have been taken, whether Positive Train Control could have prevented this. That's a safety system that combines GPS, wireless, radio and computers to prevent crashes and derailments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BELLA DINH-ZARR, VICE CHAIR, NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD: That is absolutely one area that we always look into for every rail accident. As you know, the NTSB has been recommending Positive Train Control or PTC for 40 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[05:15:03] BERMAN: New Jersey Transit does not use positive train control. It uses older less sophisticated systems called Automatic Train Control.

A former conductor who worked at the Hoboken station told CNN that system and the actions of the engineer need to be examined.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALBERT GIL, FORMER NJ TRAIN CONDUCTOR: It's on the engineer. The engineer gets signals. If he blows through the signal, there is a cap system inside the actual cap of that common that he is operating that will shut him down. By the time the system took over, it was too late.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right. Let's get the latest now from CNN's Jean Casarez in Hoboken.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Alison, the National Transportation Safety Board says their investigators will go in the train when it is deemed to do so. That is because they tell us that when the train plowed through the train station, the canopy or ceiling of the train station actually plummeted down and it is on top of the train at this point. There has been water leakage. They're concern because of the age of

the train station itself. There could be asbestos. So, they have to deal with that, and they will get construction workers to take that canopy off the train. And that is when the investigation will actually begin.

But it started just about 24 hours ago. It was 8:42 a.m., a normal day here in Hoboken. It was train number 1214 that was coming from Spring Valley, New York. And that train, we are told by Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, was coming at an accelerated high rate of speed. It ran into the terminal and the supporting structures broke as the train went into the terminal and it kept going.

The canopy or the ceiling fell down. The train was stopped right at the wall.

Now, the one female fatality that we know of happened. She was not on the train. She was standing on the platform. She has been identified as 34-year-old Fabiola Bittar de Kroon. She recently worked in Brazil and was back over here in the United States.

Now, we do know that the engineer has been released from the hospital. He is cooperating with authorities. We know it was a high rate of speed the train was going, but the end all question of why did this happen, and how this happened, that will be left in the days to come. NTSB says they will be here on the scene for probably the next seven to ten days -- John, Alison.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: All right. Thanks to Jean Casarez for that.

And world leaders gathering in Jerusalem amid heavy security to pay final respects to Israel's Warrior for Peace, Shimon Peres. The former Israeli president and prime minister is being laid to rest at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl.

President Obama was among the speakers at Peres' state funerals, giving a beautiful eulogy a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He knew better than the cynic that if you look out over the arc of history, human beings should be filled not with fear but with hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas was among the dignitaries attending the funeral.

BERMAN: All right. We have no idea who will play in the Super Bowl this January or February. Now we know who will headline the halftime show. You may have heard of her. Andy Scholes certainly has. He has details in the "Bleacher Report", next.

(CXOMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:22:51] BERMAN: Bengals receiver A.J. Green nearly out gained the entire Dolphins team by himself.

KOSIK: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning., guys.

A.J. Green put on a show last night. The dolphins do not look like a very good football team this year. They played as good as their color rush uniforms looked last night.

Green had an amazing game for his fantasy owners. Picking up 173 yards on 10 catches, 51 coming on this amazing leaping grab right there. By comparison, all of Miami's wide receivers combined for 189 yards. Bengals go on to win a snoozer, 22-7.

All right. Way too early to tell who's playing in the Super Bowl, but we know who is playing halftime. Lady Gaga will rock football's biggest game in February. The NFL made the announcement last night. This will be the second year in a row the Super Bowl featured an appearance from Lady Gaga as she sang the national anthem in Super Bowl 50, the rave reviews.

All right. College football, number six Houston pumped up for UConn last night. Check out the sideline. The only loss last year came to UConn. Look at this catch by wide receiver Linell Bonner, one handed in the corner of the end zone. Could be catch of the year. That was one of the quarterback Greg Ward's three touchdown passes. Cougars win this 42-14.

This may be the best golf moment of the year. A fan named David Johnson was pulled out of the crowd yesterday after heckling Justin Rose on the green. Henrik Stenson said you come out here and you make the putt. Rose bet him $100. Check it out. Sinks the putt. How about that?

Gives a couple of Tiger Woods fist pumps, high fives all around to the European Ryder Cup team. If you talk the talk, you better walk the walk. David Johnson certainly did that.

KOSIK: And he says take that.

BERMAN: A victory for hecklers everywhere. A really good lesson to all of our children.

Andy Scholes, crime always prosperous.

Great to see you. Have a great weekend, Andy.

[05:25:00] SCHOLES: All right. You too.

KOSIK: Has the Trump foundation been illegally soliciting donations for a decade? A new report this morning says that's the case. We have the details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KOSIK: The Donald Trump Foundation once again under the microscope. Has the foundation been illegally soliciting donations for a decade? A new report says, we're going to tell you why.

BERMAN: New calls for rail safety improvements after the deadly train crash in New Jersey. Questions growing to find out what happened and what could have been done. We have the latest.

KOSIK: And a final good-bye for Shimon Peres this morning in Jerusalem. Leaders from around the world are paying tribute including President Obama. We are live in Jerusalem.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik. Good morning.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Nice to see you. Looking at 30 minutes after the hour.

And there are new revelations this morning about Donald Trump's charitable foundation. "The Washington Post" is reporting that the Trump Foundation never obtained a required certificate from the state of New York to solicit money from the public. This despite the foundation claiming to raise nearly $1.7 million this year alone.