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EARLY START

Ohio State Attack: Act of Terrorism?; Trump Vs. CNN; Petraeus Interviews For Sec. of State; Tennessee Wildfires Out Of Control; Deadly Plane Crash In Colombia. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 29, 2016 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:20] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: New details about the Somali refugee who went on a stabbing spree at Ohio State. Could his final Facebook post lead investigators to conclude this was an act of terrorism?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect Donald Trump in a new overnight Twitter rant. His beef this time, journalists asking for evidence behind his claims of huge voter fraud. So far, there is none.

ROMANS: Wildfires burning out of control in Tennessee. Entire cities ordered to evacuate. The Dollywood theme park on high alert this morning as the flames close in.

All right, welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Nice to see you. About 30 minutes after the hour right now. New developments overnight in the stabbing spree at Ohio State University. Was this inspired by international terror groups?

This morning investigators are examining the Facebook posts by the Somali immigrant who carried out these attacks. He was a student at Ohio State who recently complained online that he was sick and tired of seeing fellow Muslims mistreated. He was shot and killed by a campus police officer after wounding 11 people. This was a 911 call moments after the attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 911 CALLER: This guy in a Honda Civic came out, ran through the crowd, jumped out of his car and started chasing people with a knife, and he was running down Woodruff and I saw his face. Oh my God!"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown is in Columbus with the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Christine. We are learning more about the suspect, 18-year-old Abdul Artan. The man who officials say plowed his speeding car into a crowd at the Ohio State University and then came out and started slashing people with a large knife. Officials say he was a student at the university.

And just before he launched this attack officials tell us that he posted on his Facebook page and went on an anti-American rant and aired grievances about Muslims being attacked all over the world. In this post he says, "America, stop interfering with other countries." He goes on to say "My brothers and sisters, I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured everywhere." And then in this post he says "Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell waiting for a signal. I am warning you. Oh, America."

Investigators have been scrutinizing this post and going through all of his other electronic media, talking to his friends, his family. Investigators have not come out and said that they have determined a motive but, certainly, they have said terrorism is a possibility.

We know that he spoke to the local newspaper at the university last year and he talked about feeling uncomfortable showing his Muslim faith on campus, but his mother says that he never spoke to her about that. That he was a good kid. That the only thing he complained about was his grades at the university.

Still a lot to learn. We know that he was born in Somalia, came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident, but investigators still determining the why -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Pamela, thank you for that. New this morning, Donald Trump attacking CNN for questioning the president-elect's unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud. Now, Trump has been sharing tweets from his supporters -- his supporters who are going after our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny. Zeleny reported there was no proof of voter fraud.

One of Trump's retweets is from a 16-year-old calling Zeleny "pathetic", arguing there is no evidence Trump did not suffer from voter fraud. Another retweet from Trump goes after Zeleny as a "generic CNN part-time wannabe journalist". Jeff has responded to Trump on Twitter this morning with this -- actually yesterday -- "Good evening. Have been looking for examples of voter fraud. Please send our way. Full-time journalist here still working."

BERMAN: Classy, smart, and a good reporter.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: All right. Trump Tower will be busy today. The president- elect has a full day of meetings and the vice president-elect says we can expect some big announcements -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look forward to being back at it first thing in the morning and there will be a number of very important announcements tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: One of those important announcements could be the pick for secretary of Health & Human Services. A source tells CNN the president-elect has chosen six-term member of Congress, Tom Price of Georgia. Price is a former orthopedic surgeon, a vocal critic of Obamacare. He believes that regulatory burdens, taxes, and lawsuits against medical professionals have caused a spike in health care costs.

President-elect Trump has big dinner plans tonight. He will be breaking bread with Mitt Romney. The 2012 GOP nominee is a leading contender for secretary of state and that has many Trump loyalists up in arms since Romney did try to scuttle Trump's White House bid. Sources tell CNN this dinner will be private.

[05:35:06] BERMAN: Romney called him a flim-flam man.

ROMANS: Yes, he did, among other things. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee and Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas will be meeting with the president-elect today. Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, McCaul is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Corker is being considered for secretary of state, McCaul is up for secretary of homeland security.

BERMAN: President-elect Trump tweeted he was very impressed with David Petraeus after interviewing the former CIA director for the top job at the State Department. Petraeus is seen as a potential compromise pick amid reports of deep divisions within team Trump over Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. Some Republicans, though, believe Petraeus should be disqualified for sharing some classified information with his biographer, with whom he was having an affair when he headed up the CIA.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How'd the meeting go this afternoon?

DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE CIA: The meeting went really well. I was within him for about an hour. He basically walked us around the world. Showed a great grasp of a variety of the challenges that are out there and some of the opportunities, as well. So, very good conversation and we'll see where it goes from here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Petraeus was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2015 and is currently on probation. He agreed to a plea deal that landed him a sentence of two years' probation and $100,000 fine.

ROMANS: Let's bring in "Newsday" columnist and talk radio host Ellis Henican to talk about it. I guess this very big important job, secretary of state, and it looks like three very different people are at the top of this list if, indeed, it is these three. I mean, there could be others that we're talking about here. You've got David Petraeus, who comes with some baggage. You have Mitt Romney, who comes with a lot of baggage.

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, "NEWSDAY, TALK RADIO HOST: They all come with baggage.

ROMANS: And you have -- no, but even Rudy Giuliani, who was -- I mean, he was out there supporting Donald Trump the entire time, even after the tape came out. You know, the "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD" tape came out and people ran to the exits, Rudy Giuliani was there by Donald Trump. It will be so interesting to see which way he goes.

HENICAN: Right. There's no questioning Rudy's loyalty in that equation but, I mean, he has some baggage as well. The foreign speaking fees, the relationships with governments overseas. The question that hasn't been asked in this not nearly enough is which of these guys actually shares the world view of the president who may be appointing them?

BERMAN: Well, I don't know that I hasn't been asked. Look, that's the main criticism about Mitt Romney. Kellyanne Conway and others say this guy, you know -- Mitt Romney, for instance, said that Russia was the premiere global threat to the United States.

HENICAN: That's true.

BERMAN: And Donald Trump, of course, says that Vladimir Putin is a strong leader.

HENICAN: Listen, most of the discussion about this beauty contest really has to do with loyalty and questions of politics. For instance, Rudy Giuliani has a very muscular view of America's role in the world, quite different from what -- from what Donald Trump laid out on the campaign trail. General Petraeus, as well, not someone you think of as much of a -- much of a shrinking violet when it comes to international intervention.

I just think in this, as we have gotten so focused on all this fascinating political machinations, we do have to ask which of these guys is going to run what kind of foreign policy?

BERMAN: You know, it's interesting. Look, I mean, David Petraeus already facing opposition potentially, Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky--

ROMANS: Yes.

HENICAN: Yes.

BERMAN: -- who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee. He says he's got problems, potentially, with him. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: And they spent a year and one-half beating up Hillary Clinton over revealing classified information and then they would appoint somebody who the FBI says not only revealed it but then lied about it in an interview, and purposely gave it to someone who did not have the clearance to have that? I think that's a potential problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So there was that and also, look, Gen. Petraeus obviously led military efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan and Rand Paul, there, has not been supportive of those things. By the way --

HENICAN: That's right.

BERMAN: -- Donald Trump had varying degrees and hasn't been supportive either.

HENICAN: Maybe he is. No, I just think it's so interesting. And then there's the notion well, Trump is going to be the president, right, so maybe any of these guys can execute whatever his -- whatever his policies are, although I guess that's kind of a funny argument for -- maybe it doesn't even matter who the secretary of state is. I don't believe that.

ROMANS: I remember months ago in earlier iterations of this campaign when Paul Manafort said he sees himself more as the chairman of the board, not necessarily the CEO. And so when you think about it like that, so then will the secretary of state be the architect of foreign policy?

HENICAN: But this is a president who hasn't been attending security briefings. I mean, this doesn't seem like a guy who's going to want to be making all the detailed decisions every day and just having a secretary of state execute them, does he?

ROMANS: Yes, but you know -- yes, but then he's in there -- I mean, look, he's in there negotiating right now with Carrier, right, and United Technology.

HENICAN: Right.

ROMANS: He's been trying to get a win on keeping this plant in Indiana, you know. He's already -- he's working in some of those ways for some wins, which would be a very public win.

HENICAN: Of course, it'd be great.

ROMANS: So, you know, you do see him in the details in some of these things that are in his wheelhouse, I guess. Let's talk about the -- I guess the public face of this. Kellyanne Conway, last night, tweeting a picture of Donald Trump in Donald Trump's office looking over a laptop. "@realDonaldTrump and I working hard tonight. Thank you for the privilege of a lifetime." You know, I think she's trying to say here look, there's all this idea of a fray spilling out in the public. It's not as bad as it seems. [05:40:07] HENICAN: And maybe not. I mean, you have to ask the

basic question. Is she running some kind of rogue operation here or this orchestrated in some more central way, and I don't think we really know the answer to that.

ROMANS: Things are moving so quickly. It feels to me like a more rolling with the punches.

HENICAN: It's too quick to be organized, right?

BERMAN: We have been seeing, for instance, a White House work this way. It would be very unusual if this continues on to the administration in this kind of --

HENICAN: Why won't it?

BERMAN: I think it will. I think there's no reason to expect that it won't.

HENICAN: Right. The one mistake you can make with Donald Trump is saying well, you know what? He's going to be different tomorrow.

BERMAN: Yes.

HENICAN: That has not been a very good thing about him so far.

ROMANS: The first cabinet appointment for Barack Obama -- President- elect Barack Obama -- was what, 20 days into the transition? Is that right?

BERMAN: I mean, he's on schedule.

ROMANS: Right, right.

BERMAN: He's fine -- you know, he's perfectly fine being on schedule.

HENICAN: We may get a bunch today.

BERMAN: Yes, Tom Price.

HENICAN: Yes.

ROMANS: I think we will. I think we will. All right, nice to see you.

HENICAN: OK, nice to see you.

ROMANS: An influential group of economists predict faster growth once Donald Trump takes office but that could be reversed if he pursues his anti-trade agenda. A new OECD report shows the U.S. economy growing at a 2.3 percent annual rate next year. That would be an improvement from its forecast before the election. It would be an improvement from the current annual rate of 1.7 percent. OECD expects GDP to rise three percent in 2018.

Now, Donald Trump's target growth rate is 3.5 percent. He has said he thinks he can get to four percent or even higher. The last time that happened Bill Clinton was president and there was a little thing called a personal computer and another little thing called the Internet that sort of fueled this global economic boom.

BERMAN: This is going to turn into something.

ROMANS: Yes, I think it's got really good potential. The forecasters say much of the added growth would be wiped out if Trump imposes tariffs and stricter trade policies. There are also two market forces that could hinder growth, the dollar. Look at this. The dollar has jumped four percent since the election. It's near a 13-year high. That can pinch manufacturing because it makes American goods more expensive overseas.

And look at this other factor. The 10-year Treasury note has surged 30 percent since the election. That makes mortgages more expensive. It makes borrowing money more expensive. Now, the bank stocks have liked that and maybe savers would like that, but when you're -- that's a big move so quickly.

BERMAN: Mortgages are getting higher. I mean, seriously, that's a big deal.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: All right. Monday Night Football, Green Bay and Philadelphia. The Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, he actually had a good game for a change. Hines Ward with this morning's Bleacher Report -- that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:39] ROMANS: Hundreds of employees at Chicago's O'Hare Airport plan to strike today. Janitors, baggage handlers, and cabin cleaners, just some of the workers planning to hit the picket line. They're joining workers from at least 20 other airports across the U.S. as part of a national day of disruption. The employees are fighting for a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.

BERMAN: Monday Night Football, a night where fans saw the resurgence of Aaron Rodgers and his so-called mystery tent on the sidelines.

ROMANS: Hines Ward has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning.

HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning. Good morning, guys. Yes, it's been an off year for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Their playoff hopes have been fading away and Rodgers hasn't been himself. But last night against the Eagles, Rodgers was in vintage form. Second quarter, watch the Packers' quarterback thread the needle to Davante Adams for the touchdown. Big-time throwing catch.

Now later in the game, Rodgers scrambling around. He goes down awkwardly and tweaks his hamstring. So on the sideline, he goes into this mystery tent. Apparently, it's used for trainers to look at injuries in privacy and for bathroom breaks for the players or maybe he's doing a little ice fishing. I don't know. You learn something new every day. The Packers go on to win 27-13.

To the NBA, you had the Warriors. They're hosting the Hawks. Steph Curry showing you off his Harlem Globetrotters' skills. Nothing but net. Draymond Green making his case for defensive player of the year as he blocks Dennis Schr?der's shot and screams for good measure afterwards. The Warriors win their twelfth straight, 105-100.

Now, here's your 'want to get away' moment of the morning. Brown makes the layup against Bryant to take the lead with 3.8 seconds left. Then the Bryant freshman guard dribbles around on purpose until time runs out on the clock, instead of shooting. He thought his team was in the lead. Game over, they lose. But check him out as he tries to give a high-five to his teammates, but they left him hanging. You can't help but feel sorry for the freshman there. He's going to remember that for a long time.

ROMANS: Oh, my heart. That broke my heart. That broke my heart. Oh, all right --

WARD: Yes.

ROMANS: -- Hines. Thanks so much. Nice to see you this morning.

WARD: No problem, guys.

BERMAN: All right, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Alisyn Camerota joins us now. Hey, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Hey, guys, great to see you. So maybe you've heard this story of the family in Syria, in Aleppo. They are tweeting as their home is being bombed. And it's just the most gut-wrenching messages that they are sending out because they are struggling to survive but they are preparing to die. So we have an update from the ground on this story for you.

Speaking of Twitter, Donald Trump, president-elect, has been on another Twitter rant against journalists. We'll bring you that update as well as the bipartisan rebuke that he has been getting for the past 24 hours of claiming that there was some sort of election or voter fraud.

So we have that and so much more when Chris and I see you at the top of the hour.

ROMANS: Great, can't wait. Nice to see you. Thank you. All right, 49 minutes past the hour. A plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia this morning. We have word of survivors. We're going to bring that to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:54:00] BERMAN: All right, we have breaking news out of Tennessee. At least 14 wildfires there are burning out of control. More than 30 buildings in Gatlinburg have been hit already, including a 16-story hotel. Fire officials have ordered everyone to evacuate. Residents in nearby Pigeon Forge, they are leaving. They're hitting the highway. They're trying to get away from the smoke and flames.

Right now, officials at Dollywood are monitoring the fires very closely. Flames are closing in on the property fanned right now by 70 mile an hour winds. Firefighters are on standby at the park this morning. So far, luckily, no reports of any fatalities, only a handful of minor injuries and burns.

Breaking news out of Colombia. A plane carrying 72 passengers crashed on approach to Medellin Airport. Among those on board, members of a Brazilian soccer club. We want to get the latest from CNN senior live affairs editor Rafael Romo and, Rafael, there are survivors.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LIVE AFFAIRS EDITOR: There are five survivors. Colombian aviation officials issued a statement saying that the aircraft declared an emergency at 10:00 p.m. local time, just minutes before it was to land at the Medellin International Airport.

[05:55:04] The pilot reported that the airplane was having some sort of electrical failure on board. Air traffic controllers gave the flight the status of priority landing but it never made it safely to the airport. CNN, John, has confirmed that 76 people have died as a result of the crash. There are, like I said before, five survivors. We have learned that among the survivors there are two players of Chapecoense, a soccer team from southern Brazil. Another survivor is a member of the crew.

The plane, carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members, 81 people total before it crashed southeast of the city of Medellin in Colombia. The flight originated in Bolivia. Search and rescue efforts had to be stopped at first because of poor visibility. Access to the site of the accident has not been easy -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Rafael, keep us posted on developments there. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Stocks look to regain their footing this morning after stumbling yesterday. The Russell 200 index of small-company stocks snapped its longest win streak in 20 years. Investors booking profits after a post-election rally, blaming volatile oil prices for the selling. OPEC meets tomorrow to talk about a production freeze to boost prices, but investors do not expect an agreement. That's weighing on stock markets in Europe and Asia which are trading mixed right now.

Keep an eye on shares of Time Inc. today. The stock spiked 17 percent yesterday. It's up again in pre-market trading. That came after the "New York Post" reported Time rejected a 1.8 billion buyout offer from a group of billionaire investors. Time Inc.'s spokesperson declined to comment on what she described as speculation.

It's a sign of hope for the company that runs "Time" magazine, "People", and "Sports Illustrated". Time was left with a huge pile of debt when it was spun off from Time Warner two and one-half years ago. It has yet to post overall revenue gains since that spin-off. All right, Uber drivers are joining the fight for the $15 minimum wage. The group "Fight for 15" says hundreds of Uber drivers will take part in broader protests across the country today. In San Francisco, Uber's hometown, drivers are planning to march at the airport with signs. In other cities, drivers will idle their cars or march with low-wage workers from other sectors. Uber did not respond to our request for comment.

The company has previously said many drivers make more than $19 an hour. Some have complained that Uber's aggressive fare cuts make it harder to scrape by, especially with the cost of gas, repairs, insurance, which the company does not cover. Uber drivers are considered contractors rather than employees, so they're not entitled to overtime pay or sick leave.

And, of course, if you're flying through O'Hare today, John Berman, there's going to be some -- could be some disruption because you have workers there who are also fighting for $15 an hour who will be staging a walk-off there.

Check out the new CNN Money Stream app. It's business news personalized. All the latest from "CNN MONEY" and other leading sources. Download it now on the App Store or Google Play. AndI think the biggest thing to watch this week in markets is really going to be -- is this post-Trump rally -- does it have legs? I mean, is it really going to hold what could -- I mean, I showed you those small- company stocks.

BERMAN: Yes.

ROMANS: A 20-year -- longest run -- bull run in 20 years for the small-cap stock. Now what happens?

BERMAN: It will -- they're waiting to see policy, I think, after January 20th.

ROMANS: I think you're absolutely right. All right, that's EARLY START for today. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. CNN is now learning more about the man behind the attack at Ohio State. Was he inspired by some kind of international terror group? "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 911 CALLER: The guy ran a car through a crowd of students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks normal like everybody else. I never expected anything like this.

ROMANS: Was it an act of terrorism?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing that you can say, based upon common knowledge, this was done on purpose.

PENCE: There will be a number of very important announcements.

PETRAEUS: We'll see where it goes from here.

PAUL: They spent a year and one-half beating up Hillary Clinton. There's a lot of similarity as far as revealing classified information.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: I know one thing about Mitt Romney, he's going to be loyal.

REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: What do I know about Mitt Romney? He is a self-serving, egomaniac.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are just cautious and ready to go.

BERMAN: In Tennessee, wildfires burning out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of that red are flames.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, November 29th, 6:00 in the East. And up first, there are new details about the attack at Ohio State University that injured 11 people. Investigators are looking into what led an 18-year-old Somali-born student to plow a car into pedestrians, then stab people with a butcher knife.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We also have breaking news. There was a plane crash overnight in Colombia that killed 76 at this point after an alleged power failure. There were 81 people on this charter flight. Almost all of them were members of a high-profile Brazilian soccer team. There was also traveling media among them, as well.

Access to the site -- it happened near Medellin in Colombia, a very mountainous region. Access isn't easy. This happened overnight, again, so when we get details we'll bring them to you. What we know right now we have covered.

Let's begin with CNN's Rosa Flores live in Columbus, the site of that campus stabbing, with the latest.