tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN January 24, 2018 2:00am-2:59am PST
new developments in the russia investigation. the special counsel narrowing his focus. why michael flynn and james comey's firings could be critical. the president allegedly asked the acting fbi director who he voted for in in the oval office. this as the white house beats back claims andrew mccabe job was targeted by the attorney general. and a ken condition community reel -- a kentucky community reeling after yet another school shooting. two teens are dead as the epidemic of shootings continues in 2018. good morning, everyone, thanks for getting an early start with us. i'm dave briggs. >> i'm christine romans. wednesday, january 24th. 5:00 a.m. in the east. let's begin with the russia investigation. the special counsel robert mueller is focusing on the firings of former fbi director james comey and former national security adviser michael flynn. two stories confirming a story to cnn a story reported by the "washington post" that mueller is aggressively scrutinizing
efforts by the president or others to hamper the investigation. cnn sources say the terms for questioning the president are far from set. >> mr. trump's lawyers want him to answer in written form only but understand there may be in-person interviews. press secretary sarah huckabee sanders was asked why the president has not simply fired mueller. she said in part because of how the media would react. >> why doesn't the president just get rid of bob mueller, just fire him? mr. gidley said today that it's wasting taxpayers' money. in that regard, why doesn'tly just end the investigation -- doesn't he just end the investigation because it's wasting the taxpayers' money? >> look, we want to see this come to a complete and full conclusion. i think we all know what everybody in this room would do if the president did that. i don't think that's helpful to the process. >> the report on mueller's plans come as we learn two critical players in the probe have already spoken to mueller's team including a member of the
cabinet. more from cnn's jessica schneider in washington. >> reporter: we do now know that both the attorney general and former fbi director james comey have both been interviewed by the special counsel's office. the attorney general was questioned for several hours by mueller's team last week on wednesday according to a source close to sessions. former fbi director comey spoke with investigators last year. the interviews we know focused on two things. first, that's meddling in the election, and second, whether or not president trump obstructed office since taking office, especially as it concerns his firing of james comey in may. jeff sessions and james comey are of key interest. sessions for his meetings with the russian ambassador during the campaign. and of course the fact that he was involved in the firing of james comey. of course as for former fbi director james comey, he took many notes that he's talked about about his interactions with the president and of course the special counsel will be very
interested in comey expanding upon those. the president actually weighed in on sessions' interview on tuesday. >> the attorney general told the special counsel -- >> not at all. >> did you talk to him about it? >> i'm not at all concerned. >> reporter: jeff sessions' interview, a major development in the russia probe. the white house has continually said that it is cooperating with mueller's investigation. >> thank you for that. joining us this morning, making his long-await "early start" debut, cnn political analyst errol lewis. i know you've been long waiting to get up at 3:00 in the morning to join us. we appreciate it, especially on a huge day in this russia investigation. among the developments we can put up on the screen -- hard to put them all on one graphic. bob mueller seeks to question the president, some written, some essential.
jeff sessions -- andrew mccabe was asked in the oval office who he vote for. how in your eyes did yesterday change at least the perception or the direction of the investigation? >> it's certainly among other things putting to rest any lingering notion that this is a witch hunt, a fabrication, that this is politically motivated and there's nothing there. throughout the last year, the president has not acted like somebody who has nobody to hide. every piece of information we get suggests that there's been active direct sort of interference in this investigation, attempts to discredit anybody who touches it. and a president who doesn't i think fully at -- at best i think you'd have to say doesn't fully understand his role compared to that of the fbi and the justice department. these are not just a bunch of investigators and lawyers who work for him. that their oath is to the united states. their independence is critical
to the proper functioning of those agencies. and over and over again, you see the president kind of stomping all over that. again, for anybody who is maybe tuning in to this for the first time -- we talk about it every day -- but it's like, are these the actions of a man with nothing to hide. the answer to me is obvious. >> when you look at who has been interviewed in the probe at this point, it is a long list now. what does it tell you about where they are here? look at -- look at that. we've got the first cabinet member, jeff sessions, the attorney general, now interviewed. what does it tell you about whether this is winding down or a crescendo? >> it's a crescendo and winding down. the two things to remember about mueller is that he's a prosecutor. this is not an abstract academic investigation into what might have happened with russian hacking. this is a guy who locks people up for a living and has spent his career doing it, who is looking for evidence of crimes and trying to track down where and when and who might be
involved in any crime, broadly conceived, including obstruction. so knowing that and then looking at the speed -- that's the second thing to know about him. the speed with which he works. he didn't want to draw this out. he's not looking to draw a salary or to spend years doing this. you move further and further up the chain. when you get to the point of talking to the attorney general and you're negotiating to talk with the president, that is the conclusion. that we will know i think fairly soon -- by that i mean, say, in the next six months, everything that he's been able to find. charges have already been brought against several people. there may be more charges. and that last conversation with the president is one you don't want to rush. if he's talking about it now, that means he's talked to absolutely everybody that he need to to try and make a case. >> the president focusing his ire on the missing text messages between peter strzok and lisa page which he repeatedly spread the falsehood that there are 50,000 missing. mr. president, there are not. that is the total cache between
the two. we're not sure how many are missing. some are problematic in that peter strzok essentially said, well, i don't want to be part of the special counsel because there's no "there there" which makes you think he was only interested in taking the president down, not in proving that he's innocent. there's also word of a secret society which to me harkens images of homer simpson's stonecutters. i'm not sure what that is in reference to -- >> harry potter. >> or perhaps "dead poet's society" and robin williams. of course, the many theories about the release the memo. >> yes. >> any of this concern you about the department of justice and how they've gone about their business? >> only a little. we know where the release of the memo was coming to. that hash tag we know by people who track these things is being pushed forward by russian bots. this is something that, as far as i can tell, is part of a
larger effort to discredit the mueller investigation. to draw attention away from the president, to sort of muddy the waters, undermine public confidence in our institutions, including the fbi and including the justice department. to the extent that we play along with it, we're doing the bidding of the bots. >> the president is playing along with it. >> well, it benefits the president. this is troubling. >> he could declassify it himself. he has the power to do that. >> he could and possibly will. look, there's one theory about this memo which is that it draws on classified information specifically so that it cannot be released, so that people can use the talking points. the bots can push it forward. the distraction, the discrediting can go on without anybody actually seeing it. and once you see it, there may be nothing there. the reality, you almost couldn't make this up which is that in the course of trying to get to the bottom of russian meddling,
you have russian meddling in our public conversation. and to the extent that the president, members of congress or anybody else is playing along with that, that should be a cause of concern for people. >> the secret society conspiracy theory is exactly what you see totalitarian regimes do when they're trying to clean out their intelligence services or clean out their military. an interesting parallel. errol, come back in a few minutes. we'll talk about immigration and the hard work to be done yet on immigration. thank you. >> and the president off to davos, as well. >> that's right. first, democratic senator steve mnuchin of west virginia -- joe mnuchin of west virginia saying he will run again. his flirtation with retirement triggered talk among democrats who feared losing his seat to a republican in solid red west virginia. mnuchin has been vocal about his disclosure with washington and admits to telling minority leader chuck schumer "this place sucks." he plans to file paperwork before saturday's deadline.
democrats must defend ten seats in november, in states president trump carry. tonight the president heads to davos in switzerland for the world economic forum. gary cohn, director of the national economic council, says the president will sell his accomplishments and remind world leads the u.s. is open for business. many cabinet members are going to davos are already there including the treasury secretary steve mnuchin. he said the result of tax cuts has been better than expected. there are planned meetings with the british prime minister theresa may and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. it comes at a time when trade tensions are running high. the tpp is back on, but not for the u.s. just as president trump restricts asian imports, as well. trump ditched the transpacific partnership one years ago. the remaining 11 pacific nations are forging ahead without the u.s. japan, canada, mexico, and others say their new trade pact will help combat rising protectionism. there's concern the u.s., a long-standing leader in global trade, is turning inwards as
other world leaders preach globalization at davos. trump will defend his america first policies. here's the president yesterday. >> my administration is committed to defending american companies. they've been very badly hurt from harmful import surges that threaten the livelihood of their workers, of jobs actually all over this country. >> trump slapped tariffs on foreign solar panels and washing machines to help u.s. companies this week. it could hurt consumers. americans buy washers from other countries, lots of washers. a tariff will make all washers more expensive. foreign makers will need to offset higher import costs. and with less competition, u.s. companies can hike prices. the administration says they're doing it to create and protect u.s. jobs. the "wall street journal" typically supportive of the president, not so much of these policies, say it will hurt more companies and people. that's before these other countries begin to retaliate. >> yeah. >> you wonder how he will be greeted at davos regarding that. tammy duckworth about to
become the first sitting u.s. senator ever to give birth. the illinois democrat announcing she's expecting her second child in april. nine other women have had babies while serving in congress, but none in the senate. duckworth says her daughter abigail is ecstatic to welcome home her baby sister, adding, "as tough as juggling the demands of mother mood and being a senator -- motherhood and being a senator, i'm hardly unique among working parents." she was critical of the president the other day, labeled him " ccadet bone spur" in pay memorable, point the comment -- in a memorable, pointed comment. >> i'm on the record saying women having babies at work is a very good thing. >> we need more in the senate? >> i would say so. a ken condition community is mourning -- a kentucky community is mourning the loss two of students after a shooter opened fire. more than a dozen kids hurt. [ click, keyboard clacking ]
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5:16. a 15-year-old student facing murder and attempted murder charges after police say he opened fire at marshall county high school in western kentucky. two students were killed. police identified the v chips as 15-year-olds -- the victims as 15-year-olds bailey holt and preston cape. >> these children belong to this community m community. to specific families in this community. this is a wound that will take a long time to heal. >> it will. mourners held vigils last night. students attending a basketball game between two other kentucky high schools wore marshall county high orange and blue as a tribute to the victims. police have yet to reveal a motive. former congresswoman gabby
giffords, herself a victim of a mass shooting, says this is the 13th mass shooting this year. it is only january 24th. former sentencing expected later today in the trial of disgraced usa gymnastics dr. larry nassar. first more of nassar's sexual abuse victims are scheduled to deliver impact statements. there have been 163 so far, including an 18-year-old who demanded an apology and got one. >> i believe in forgiveness, larr larry. you and i are human beings, we make mistakes. although you have hurt me, i want to forgive you and feel closure and move on to healing in my life. i want you to apologize to me right here. i want to forgive you, but i also want to hear you tell me that you regret all the hurt that you've caused. >> i'm sorry. >> thank you. >> powerful. the ncaa is investigating
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to king lebron james joining an exclusive club last night. lebron become the youngest nba player ever to reach 30,000 points. >> wow. andy scholes has more in the "bleacher report." good morning. lebron now the seventh player in nba history to reach the 30k mark, joining the likes of michael jordan and kobe bryant. last night lebron reaching the milestone with this jumper here at the end of the first quarter. despite the special night for lebron, the cavs are losing again, 114-102 to the spurs. their 10th loss in the past 13 games. lebron saying afterwards one day he's going to sit around and enjoy his records, but that time is not now. >> i'll never fully appreciate what i do any time i accomplish something, no matter a win or loss. looking forward to the moment when i'm basically done with the game and can sit back with my family and friends. we can sit back, drink some
wine, talk about all the accomplishments that i had and things that i'm able to accomplish. >> before the game in an odd instagram post, lebron congratulated himself before reaching the 30,000-point mark. lebron was basically speaking to the high school version of himself in the post. let's say social media had a field day with this. the nba announcing the all-star reserves for this year's game last night. and there were some notable snubs. chris paul of the rockets left off despite houston having the second-best record in the league. the thunder's paul george also not making the western conference squad which reigning mvp russell westbrook called outrageous. the sentimental favorite left off this year was the clippers' lou williams. he responded to the snub on twitter saying simply, "lol." andre drummond of the pivotoms seemed more -- puss tons seisto more upset tweeting, "you're kidding me." the winners will be announced on
tnt tomorrow. the new england patriots will be the home team when they take on the eagles in super bowl 52 robert mueller. th -- super bowl 52. the team opting for the road white jersey. they may be thinking why does this matter. the team wearing white has won 12 of the past 13 super bowls. and guys, tom brady is a perfect 3-0 when wearing white in the super bowl. >> most important -- >> you superstitious, there you go. >> the two losses to the giants came while wearing blue. let's hope they keep an eye on brady's jersey. >> don't want to lose it again. >> i don't know what the fbi got going on, plenty. >> they seem busy, right? >> they're busy. thank you very much. the firings of james comey and michael flynn under renewed scrutiny by shoot special counsel. rapid developments in the russia investigation. hi, i'm the internet! you know what's difficult?
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shooting. two teens are dead as the epidemic of shootings continues. welcome back to "early start," i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. 30 past the hour. we start with the developments on russia. bob mueller focusing on the firings of james comey and former national security adviser michael flynn as he prepares to interview president trump. two sources confirming a story first reported by the "washington post" that mueller is aggressively scrutinizing efforts by the president or others to hamper the investigation. cnn says the questions are far from set. >> the president's lawyers want him to answer in written form only but understand there may be in-person interviews. press secretary sarah huckabee sanders was asked why the president hasn't simply fired mueller. she said partly because of how the media could react. >> why doesn't the president just get rid of bob mueller, just fire him? mr. gidley said that it's wasting taxpayers' money.
in that regard, why doesn't he just end the investigation because it's wasting the taxpayers' money? >> look, we want to see this come to a complete and full conclusion. i think we all know what everybody in this room would do if the president did that. and i don't think it's helpful to the process. >> the report on mueller's plans coming as we learn two critical players in the probe have already spoken to mueller's team including a member of the cabinet. more from jessica schneider in washington. >> reporter: we do now know that both the attorney general and former fbi director james comey have both been interviewed by the special counsel's office. the attorney general was questioned for several hours by mueller's team last week on wednesday, according to a source close to sessions. former fbi director comey, he spoke with investigators last year. the interviews, we know, focused on two things. first, russia's meddling in the election. and second, whether or not president trump obstructed justice since taking office,
especially as it concerns his firing of james comey in may. jeff sessions and james comey, they are of key interest. sessions for his meetings with the russian ambassador during the campaign, and of course the fact that he was involved in the firing of james comey. of course, as for former fbi director james comey, he took many notes that he's talked about, about his interactions with the president, and of course the special counsel will be interested in comey expanding upon those. the president weighed in on sessions' interview on tuesday. >> are you concerned about what the attorney general told the special counsel? >> not at all. not at all. >> did you talk to him about it? >> no, i didn't, but i'm not at all concerned. >> reporter: sessions' interview is a major development in shoot probe. the white house has continually said that it is cooperating with mueller's investigation. >> thank you. this morning, political analyst errol lewis, also political anchor for spectrum news.
good morning. >> good to have you. >> let's talk about the sort of rapid headlines in the russia investigation. mueller seeks to question trump. we don't know what that will look like. will it be written q&a, sitting down with investigators -- now, an amazing possibility to think of. all of the developments. does this look to you, what you see on the screen, like winding down or a crescendo -- i guess winding down toward the ♪ -- toward the end? >> winding down but heating up. the way prosecutions go, the way prosecutors act -- and make no mistake, that's what this is, the search for possible crimes and whether or not the law has been broken. what you get is only at the end do you bring in the real target. only at that point do you bring in the president, negotiate carefully, as you've suggested, whether or not he's going to do it in person. videotape at the white house, near the white house, how it will work out. choreographed. at that point, you have to carefully figure out whether or not there are charges that could
lead to something like impeachment. that's the remedy if the president has broken certain laws. the question of obstruction seems to be front and center. you could i think infer that from the fact that there's so much of a focus on why was comey fired, what was the president thinking. he said on national television, the president did, well, it was because of the russia probe and how he handled it. and he didn't like any of that. it's one thing to say that to lester holt on nbc news. it's another to say it under oath. the stakes are very high. even a few words out of order could get the president legally speaking in a lot of trouble. >> yeah. and with his lack of precision with words, that can present a problem. no one should be shocked that jeff sessionss was interviewed by -- jeff sessions was interviewed by the special counsel or that james comey was. how significant is it that the acting fbi director andrew mccabe was asked in the oval office by the president who did you vote for in 2016? what does that mean? >> it's a startling breach of any protocol or etiquette. it's -- it ae's -- he's a caree
civil servant. he's not supposed that you're supposed to ask that. the ballot is secret for just that reason. we have provisions -- >> there's a reason why. his wife had run as a democrat for state senate in virginia -- >> he was given $500,000 by a pac tied to terry mcauliffe. >> is that why the president may have felt compelled to ask that? >> the president seems to have early on a lurking suspicion that people who worked for his predecessor, even if they're civil servants, even if they've never been involved in politics, even if there's a sort of tenuous connection like your wife ran for office, she seemed to be convinced that there was a deep state conspiracy he needed to be worried about. that's one way of looking at it. side by side with that, you have a president who seems to think that almost everybody he encounters in the federal government somehow is supposed to work for him. he needs to figure out if
they're doing their job properly by attending to his needs, protecting him, looking out for him, clearing him, telling him who they voted for and everything else. it seems to be something he does frequently is test everybody out and say are you with me? are you here for me? and nobody else. not understanding that that's a grossly inappropriate thing to say to somebody from the justice department. >> many though in congress are with the president and are doing his bidding now by talking about releasing the memo, talking about the missing texts between peter strzok and lisa page, and talking about a secret society that was floated apparently in a text message, not homer simpson stonecutters. there was a problematic text lost in that. it was that peter strzok insinuated that he didn't want to be part of the special counsel because in his gut there was no there there. he was only interested, the implication being, in taking down the president. james galliano, former retired
fbi supervisor agent told us moments ago he thinks this needs an independent set of eyes. is there anything there there? >> it cries out for more investigation, cries out for scrutiny and explanation. when you are in an agency of that kind, if your career path means you want a bust, i'm only hypothesizing, i've never worked for the fbi -- if you want to get ahead, you want to catch a big case, a big crook, be part of something important, you want to be where the action is. maybe that's some counter fitting ring on the other -- counterfeiting ring on the other side of the country or potential impeachment investigation. i would suggest that we find out from him exactly what did you mean by this? >> sure. >> did you mean you think there's nothing there and the justice department should be doing nothing about it, or were you talking as a careerist, hoping to catch some drug dealers instead of a political investigation? >> let's talk about immigration. february 8th is when the
government is running, until february 8th. what are the chances of a deal on immigration here? >> my guess would be nil. >> he laughs before answering. >> look, we've had the conversation. dial back ten years ago. you could go back 20 years ago, as a matter of fact. this is a very, very -- >> we had the conversation -- >> we're literally had the conversation since the early 2000s, and we are still here. >> remarkable. >> exactly. we stay in the -- so does the issue. the reality, it's the republican base that has one set of views on immigration that are fundamentally different from the democratic base. the lawmakers if trying to do their job have a hard time bringing those extremes into the middle into some kind of workable compromise. when you hear people talking about daca, the deferred action childhood arrivals, as amnesty, we don't want this 5-year-old who was brought here from
poland, doesn't speak the language, and is a practicing doctor in the midwest, we don't want to give him amnesty. we don't want him to get away with something, that 5-year-old. it's to some people's ears, it sounds ridiculous. but to other people, it's a real serious concern. i think the lawmakers are going to need -- put it this way, they'll need more time between now and february 8th to work out these very, very difficult issues -- >> even chain migration. suddenly chain migration is a dirty word. chain migration -- wait a second, south america built on chain migration where somebody would come here and bring -- >> they're not only using the term -- on the left they call it family reunification. >> trying to brand it carefully. both sides are branding it. it's difficult. even things, terms that are being thrown around are pretty, you know, difficult. >> 87% of americans favor a deal for d.r.e.a.m.ers. 79% of republicans even the to stay, according to polling. the president tweeting "cryin' chuck schumer fully understands
especially after his humiliating defeat that if there's no wall, there's no daca." he goes on. but the president, we don't know what he wants. that point has been emphasized over and over again. the senate could get a deal, has no implication on what passes the house. in part because they don't know what the president wants. so what is the biggest holdup here? >> well, i think we know what the president wants. if you look at what he said during the campaign, not just what he said but how he said it, and the vulgarrity, obscenity, rough talk recently and look at what people around him are saying because they didn't wander into the white house, these are his top advisers, and they can speak with authority, his chief of staff and so forth, and what they are saying is they want to put restrictions on legal immigration. they want to eliminate undocumented and want to do an enforcement at a level that we haven't seen before. to run raids, build a wall,
chase people down. it's not something that he's ever wavered on. they've been consistent about this. and it's important to keep in mind, as well, that for part of the republican base, they think of this as existential. they think that all of these immigrants, legal, not legal will become democratic voters and that they've got to do something about it, or they have a long-term problem with staying in power. >> the prospects for a deal are dim, indeed. errol lewis, we appreciate you getting up early for us. great to have you. a kentucky community this morning is mourning the loss of two high school students. a 15-year-old facing charges for opening fire at their school. more than a dozen wounded. when you look at the mercedes-benz glc... with its high-tech cameras and radar, contemporary cockpit, 360 degree network of driver-assist technologies and sporty performance what's most impressive about the glc?
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america's most powerful economic job has been filled. the senate confirmed jerome powell as the next federal reserve chief. powell won with strong bipartisan support. a current fed governor, he helped shape policy for five years under a current head janet yellen. powell's leadership will likely mirror yellen's. he's praised her patient approach, gradually raising interest rates, and slowly unwinding the $4.5 trillion balance sheet the fed acquired during the financial crisis. powell also says he'll find appropriate ways to ease rules on banks while preserving core pieces of dodd-frank like the annual stress tests for banks.
janet yellen steps down february 3rd. she was the first to lead the most influential center bank, the first in nearly 30 terms ton get a second term. she goes out on a high note. a lot of praise for how the fed has handled itself the past few years. a 15-year-old student facing murder and attempted murder charges after police say he opened fire at marshall county high school in western kentucky. two teenagers were killed. police identifying those victims as 15-year-olds bailey holt and preston cape. 14 other teenagers were hit by gunfire. four more suffered other injuries. >> these children belong to this community and to specific families in this community m. this is a wound that is going to take a long time to heal. >> mourners held vigils around the area last night. students attending a basketball game between two other kentucky high schools wore the marshall county high orange and blue as a tribute to the victims. police have yet to reveal a
motive. the alabama house of representatives has advanced the bill to eliminate special elections when vacancies occur in the u.s. senate. the bill would instead allow senators appointed by the governor to serve out entire terms. the republican-backed bill passed along party lines and now moves to the state senate. >> the house member who sponsored the bill says he wants to spare taxpayers the cost. house democrats say voters should have a say. clearly aware a governor in a deep red alabama is likely it appoint a republican senator. this, of course, weeks after democrat doug jones won a narrow victory over roy moore. formal sentencing expected in the trial of disgraced u.s. gymnastics dr. larry nassar. it was expected yesterday but was pushed again to allow sexual abuse victims to deliver impact statements. thus far, there have been 163 including an 18-year-old who demanded and received an apology.
>> i believe in forgiveness, larry. you and i are human beings. we make mistakes. although you have hurt me, i want to forgive you and feel closure and move on to healing in my life. i want you to apologize to me right here. i want to forgive you but want to hear you tell me that you regret all the hurt that you've caused. >> i'm sorry. >> thank you. >> the ncaa is investigating michigan state university for its role in the scandal. and a half was also a -- nassar was also a doctor for student athletes there. faculty members have called for an emergency meeting of the faculty senate for a vote of no confidence in president lou anna simon. a school? aurora, illinois -- a school in aurora, illinois, closing for a week due to the flu outbreak. one in six students that attend the illinois math and science academy were absent monday. school officials confirm most of them were suffering from
flu-like symptoms. 13 of the 55 faculty members were also out with flu symptoms. the flu remains widespread in 49 states and puerto rico. at least 30 children have died from the illness. >> every, please take -- everybody, please take it seriously. you're probably getting notes from school saying wash your hands, this is a problem this year. we want to encourage people if you don't feel well to stay home. >> to get the vaccine which many communities are running out of and still only gives you a 30% chance of taking out h3n2. netflix just joined an exclusive club of companies worth $100 billion or more. cnn "money stream" is next. your heart doesn't only belong ♪to you. bye grandpa. and if you have heart failure, entrusting your heart to entresto may help. entresto is a heart failure medicine that helps improve your heart's ability to pump blood to the body.
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secretary of state rex tillerson says russia bears responsibility for not holding the syrian regime accountable over using chemical weapons against its own people. tillerson in paris at a meeting with high-level diplomats to discuss a new effort to combat chemical weapons. let's go live to mosqcow and frd pleitgen. good morning. we just got reaction from the russians. what did we hear? >> reporter: yeah. we literal dea couple of minutes ago -- did a couple of minutes ago. we spoke with a spokesman for vladimir putin who told us that the russians wholeheartedly disagreed, not surprisingly i guess, with the americans on this issue and said it was the americans in their mind who were twisting any efforts to try and get any investigation into chemical weapons attacks in syria going. as you mentioned, this comes after a big trading of barbs between the u.s. and russia over this issue.
secretary of state rex tillerson also saying in his comments that the fact that the russians have not yet been able to resolve the chemical weapons issue in syria called into question whether they're useful at all in trying to solve the entire crisis in syria. some very strong words. afterwards, you had big diplomatic wrangling at the united nations between u.s. ambassador nikki haley and the russian ambassador to the u.n. both sides accusing each other of not being helpful in the process, and especially the u.s. ripping into the russians over this issue. >> good stuff. fred pleitgen live. about 2:00 p.m. in moscow. that time of morning. let's check cnn "money stream" this morning. global stock markets right now are mixed after u.s. stocks hit fresh record highs. the dow closed slightly lower yesterday, but the s&p 500, that's the bigger, broader index, of course, and the nasdaq, all-time highs helped along by a strong earnings season. netflix surged 10% after reporting record growth. worth more than $100 billion and joins an exclusive club of only 59 companies. the s&p 500 worth at least $100
billion. the new tax bill is a gift to big banks. jpmorgan chase is giving some of that gift back to its employees. 22,000 workers will get a raise. mainly frontline employees like bank tellers and customer service representatives. the bank will also open 400 new branches, hiring 3,000 new workers. jpmorgan credits tax cuts, less regulation, and an improved business climate. it's not so rosy for all companies. we also heard the maker of huggies and kleenex is laying off 5,000 workers. kimberly clark blamed low prices and poor sales of consumer goods. toys 'r' us planning to shut one-fifth of stores in the u.s. as soon as next month. toys 'r' us declared bankruptcy in september brought on by an increased competition and shift to online shopping. they will close unprofitable stores. this after a brutal year for retailers. usa store closings hit a record high in 2017. so much disruption happening in
so much disruption happening in the retail space. all right. thanks for joining us this morning. i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. "new day" has one of the victims of the u.s. gymnastics/nassar. if they are trying to interview the president, that is very good news for the president because it means they are starting to wrap up. >> we're going to be fully cooperative with special counsel. >> the attorney general and james comey have been interviewed by the special counsel's office. >> it is not appropriate for the president of the united states to ask a federal official who they voted for. >> he doesn't understand the separation of powers. >> let's see how it all works out. >> the people hostile to the president have not been conducting themselves in a manner that be fits the