Trump Lawyer: He May Sue NY Times; Clinton Hoping For Primary Win By Investing Heavily In Kentucky; Kasich Undecided On Endorsing

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Win By Investing Heavily In Kentucky; Kasich Undecided On Endorsing

Trump; Buffett Buys Apple Shares; Huge Airport Security Lines; Syria

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[05:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump on the warpath against "The New York Times" blasting the paper for criticizing how he treats women. And a former primary rival tells CNN he can't now endorse the presumptive nominee because of how his wife and daughters would feel.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In just hours, Democrats in two states head to the polls. Can Hillary Clinton end Bernie Sander's two-state winning streak?

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: Nice to see you all this morning. Thirty minutes past the hour. I'm Christine Romans. Breaking overnight, a lawyer for Donald Trump suggests Trump might sue "The New York Times" over its article portraying his treatment of many women as sexist and unsettling.

Trump's fury over that story -- fury -- extended late into last night with a series of tweets. One said, "No wonder the @nytimes is failing. Who can believe what they write after the false, malicious and libelous story they did on me."

Picking up on the word libel, CNN's Erin Burnett asked Trump organization attorney Jill Martin about the chances of a lawsuit against the Times. Martin responded that it was a distinct possibility. All this as the "Times" defends the piece. Reporter Michael Barbaro telling John Berman that none of the facts are in dispute.

One of the women quoted in the story backed up the "Times" telling CNN last night that her portrayal was factual.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA RES, FORMER ENGINEER ON TRUMP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: The article has pretty much quoted me the way I spoke it.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, "CNN TONIGHT": Did you think it was negative? Do you think there was an agenda attached to it?

RES: It's hard to say. You know, I think that you would probably come away with a negative feeling about Trump but that doesn't necessarily mean that there was an agenda to make it that way. I would say good luck with life, Donald, but I don't that you should be president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: But not all the women quoted agree that the "Times" played it straight. CNN's Sara Murray has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, John and Christine. Donald Trump kicked off his week by going to war with the media. He took aim at "The New York Times" for a report they had in which they interviewed dozens of women who were in Donald Trump's orbit who said he seemed to objectify them. He seemed to make unwelcome advances toward them.

One woman who was a contestant in his pageant even said she received an unwanted kiss on the lips from Donald Trump. But there was one of the women who was prominently featured in the story who came out. She was on CNN and said she felt mispresented by her portrayal in "The New York Times". She said she never felt uncomfortable around Donald Trump.

ROWANNE BREWER LANE, FORMER DONALD TRUMP GIRLFRIEND: I asked them several times if it was a negative piece they were writing on him, in general, because I didn't have anything negative to say with my experience with Donald.

AndI was actually warned by some people that it can tend to get spun negative, and I said that's impossible because I'm not giving them a negative story. He was a gentleman, he was thoughtful, he was kind, he was generous, he was a gentleman, you know, and he and I had a lot of fun together.

MURRAY: And that sent Donald Trump off on Twitter. He raised the alarm with CNN's own control room when this woman originally appeared on "FOX NEWS" to make sure that there were people disputing the story. He took to Twitter to say that the story was false, to say it was malicious.

Now, all of this just builds into a broader narrative when it comes to Donald Trump, and that is the issue of how he deals with women, how he's dealt with women in the past. One thing we still haven't seen from the campaign is a cohesive attempt to try to improve Donald Trump's favorability numbers with women in the broader electorate, and he does have an issue on that front.

Many of those women do have an unfavorable view of him and that's something the campaign is going to have to deal with if they hope to win in November. Back to you, John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right, Sara. In just hours, Hillary Clinton hopes to bounce back in at least one state after losses to Bernie Sanders in Indiana and West Virginia. Both campaigns think Sanders probably has an edge in Oregon today, but Sec. Clinton has been investing a lot of time and money in Kentucky, which her campaign thinks she does have a better chance to win.

Let's get the latest now from senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, another election day today, Kentucky and Oregon. The Clinton campaign is really looking to a win in Kentucky as one of the states they believe they could possibly use to break Bernie Sanders' recent winning streak.

Hillary Clinton campaigning across the state of Kentucky, making some 11 stops in her last series of visits there over the last couple of weeks. But yesterday she campaigned aggressively across Kentucky. She, of course, had Donald Trump in her main focus here, even if she tries to outrun Bernie Sanders. But she took on a bit of Donald Trump's own words as she imagined what a debate against him would be like.

[05:35:00] HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's just imagine I'm on a debate stage with Donald Trump. Now personally, I am really looking forward to it. (LAUGHTER) So let's suppose here's the question. So, what is your plan to create jobs? His answer is I'm going to create them, they're going to be great, I know how to do it, but I'm not telling you what it is I'm going to do.

ZELENY: So, even as Hillary Clinton keeps her eye on Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders has his eye on Hillary Clinton. That's why he's coming here to Los Angeles to have a campaign rally tonight. He believes those 475 delegates in the state of California on June 7th could be, at least, a moral victory for him even if it's not enough to put him over the top.

But, he'll be campaigningaggressively here in California for the final three weeks until the June 7th primary here and this long Democratic fight finally wraps up -- John and Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you. Joining us to help break down Trump's controversy and the Democrats primary face-off, CNN politics reporter Eric Bradner is at our Washington Bureau. Good morning again, Eric. So nice to see you this morning.

ERIC BRADNER, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning.

ROMANS: Priorities USA, the pro-Hillary super PAC, dropped an ad last night -- an anti-Trump ad last night. I want to listen to a little piece of it and get your thoughts on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out her wherever.

Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: It's fair to say, Eric, that Trump's relationship with women, comments he's made about women, with or without "The New York Times" piece and the controversy around that, is now fair game in this general election.

BRADNER: Absolutely. So, "The New York Times" piece is really just one part of this much bigger story that is going to drag on from now through November. Hillary Clinton and her allies see Donald Trump's very high unfavorability ratings -- historically high for a presidential nominee -- around 70 percent according to some polls -- and they realize that he cannot win the presidency if he doesn't improve those numbers pretty significantly.

So, Priorities USA -- this is its opening salvo, right? This is its first big shot, the one it's been loading up for and, surprisingly, it's focused on Trump's problems with women. The idea is to try to bake this idea into the electorate right now and make it much harder for Trump to improve his standing with women later on, in part because he's still sort of transitioning out of a primary period where he was able to -- while speaking to a different, much smaller electorate, really sort of be the Teflon candidate who could bounce back from all this. It's not the same story in the general election. It's a different audience.

BERMAN: Priorities spending $6 million in the next two weeks in Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, and I forgot -- one other state. Colorado, maybe, as well. And as this ad is going up as part of a $100 million ad buy they intend to do between now and November. That's a lot of money they're going to put behind this.

And it was interesting to see, Eric, also overnight, John Kasich, who dropped out of the race against Donald Trump, did a really interesting interview with Anderson Cooper. He was asked whether or not he would endorse Donald Trump, and listen to him cite his wife and his daughters as reasons for saying not yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360: So, just for the record, you're undecided about whether or not you would endorse Donald Trump.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I am, right. I'm undecided.

COOPER: Are you undecided about whether you'd actually vote for him?

KASICH: You know, at the end of the day endorsing is going to mean a lot and, frankly, my wife and my daughters have watched this. And if I were to turn around today and endorse him they'd be like, why dad, and that matters to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: My wife and my daughters, from John Kasich, a key figure in this party right now from the key state of Ohio. Interesting, Eric.

BRADNER: Absolutely. So, there's a reason he mentioned his wife and his daughters and it has a lot to do with what we've been talking about with Trump's problems with women. If you're John Kasich, you're sort of looking at this election and seeing the possibility that Donald Trump could lose.

He's still a sitting governor -- Kasich is. He could run again in 2020 and he could very easily make the argument look, you tried the polar opposite of me last time. It didn't work. I offered you a different way forward and I was the last one standing.

If he wants to run for president again, what he's doing now makes a lot of sense and he's really positioning himself to be sort of the anti-Trump going forward in terms of style, if not substance.

ROMANS: Let's talk about the Democrats quickly. Kentucky-Oregon primaries today where a lot of talk the last couple of days about Hillary Clinton maybe tapping Bill Clinton for some sort of economic expertise. You had a really interesting take on why that resonates in Kentucky.

[05:40:00] BRADNER: Yes. So, Kentucky's a state where Bill Clinton was actually the last Democrat to win in the general election. He won there in '92 and '96. And, Kentucky's a state that has a history of electing Democrats down ballot, even though it's red in the presidential contest.

The last governor, Steve Beshear, fought really hard to implement Obamacare and sort of served as a model for the nation. And the new Republican governor is doing everything he can to unravel Beshear's work. So, Kentucky's a great example of a state where the Democratic gains of the last couple of decades have been really hard won. They've meant a lot because they've been difficult to secure.

And so, the kind of big picture liberalism that Bernie Sanders is talking about feels really far away and unrealistic in a place like Kentucky. But what Hillary Clinton's offering is a brand that is actually fairly proven there.

ROMANS: Interesting.

BERMAN: It's interesting to see that. First, she suggests she might bring Bill in to help with the economy. Then they say well, that's premature, but yes, maybe. It's interesting. Floating it, knocking it down, refloating it. Ah, politics. Eric Bradner, thanks so much.

ROMANS: Thanks, Eric.

BRADNER: Thank you.

ROMANS: From politics to money. Time for an early start on your money this morning. This is what a jump of $18 billion in market value looks like. Yes, Apple popped four percent yesterday after Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, revealed they bought 9.8 million shares in the first quarter. You know, Buffett is known for his aversion to the tech sector, but with Apple's recent drop this year the price could have been too good to pass up. Also, Berkshire brought on some new fund managers in the past few years. That may very well have influenced the buy. The new generation at Berkshire Hathaway.

The stock jumped -- look at that -- jump from Apple helps the Dow gain 175 points yesterday. All three major averages adding around one percent. It's a bit of relief rally to start the week as the market has dropped for the past three weeks. As for today, Dow futures basically flat. The rise in oil is fading right now.

Stock markets in Europe, though, are higher. Shares in Asia finishing with gains. You're going to get a bunch of retail earnings today. I'm really interested to see what they say about the health of the consumer.

BERMAN: You're really interested.

ROMANS: Yes, I actually am very interested to see.

BERMAN: Some wicked fun to be Christine Romans. All right, air travelers missing flights across the country. Long lines leaving passengers stranded and frustrated. There may be a solution. It may be expensive. We'll discuss, plus how long it's all going to last.

[05:42:40]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:45] ROMANS: A federal judge ordering the names of so-called unindicted co-conspirators of the New Jersey "Bridgegate" scandal to be made public by noon today. We could learn if anyone else in Gov. Chris Christie's inner circle, or Christie himself, was involved a 2013 decision to close lanes of The George Washington Bridge as an act of political retribution.One person has already pleaded guilty, two others are going to trial in connection with the "Bridgegate" scandal.

Defense testimony resumes this morning in the trial of Baltimore police officer Edward Nero, one of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray last year while Gray was in police custody. Before the prosecution rested its case yesterday, officer Garrett Miller testified that he, alone, took Gray into custody after a chase. Nero contends he had just a minor role in the arrest. Now, Miller is one of two officers who were compelled to testify at Nero's trial despite their own pending charges.

ROMANS: This morning, the gun George Zimmerman used to kill unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 goes back on the auction block. Zimmerman will try again to sell the 9 mm handgun after a failed attempt last week. He says that a new online auction will begin on the United Gun Group site at 9:00 a.m. eastern time. Starting bid for the firearm, which Zimmerman, by the way, calls a piece of American history -- starting bid is $100,000.

BERMAN: If you happen to be flying this morning, get to the airport early -- like very early. Lines at security checkpoints longer than ever. Many passengers are reporting wait times of two to three hours. There's a lot of frustrated travelers missing a lot of connections.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just in security for almost two hours and ran to our gate and it was three minutes shy of the door closing, so we got a hotel and are back and hopefully I'll make this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got here about three -- two and one-half hours early and it still wasn't enough time. I had to go back to my friend's place and try it again this morning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So, when will the crush at the security checkpoints ease? Sometime this summer. That's the hope of the TSA. Homeland security chief, which heads up the TSA, Jeh Johnson, says it's all a matter of money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We're working with Congress to get TSA more funding. Congress, last week, approved a reprogramming of $34 million for more overtime and to expedite the hiring of more TSO's. And with OMB, we are evaluating whether more will be necessary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Secretary Johnson is hoping to have 768 new TSA security officers in place by mid-June.

ROMANS: That seems almost unreal, two and one-half hours, three hours before a flight and then you have to go back into the city. Unbelievable.

All right, stocks jumped to start the week. Is the market ready to break out of its recent slump? I'm speechless.

BERMAN: You're getting choked up over the stock market.

ROMANS: We'll get an early start on your money, next.

[05:49:30]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:53:40] BERMAN: Talks aimed at the resolving the civil war in Syria resume today. The International Syria Support Group, led by the United States and Russia, will meet in Vienna. Secretary of State John Kerry says they hope to build on efforts to restore a nationwide ceasefire. This comes as the Assad regime claims that local reconciliation efforts are working. Are they?

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is following these developments. He is live in Damascus this morning. Fred, what are you hearing?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John. Well, those local reconciliation efforts might be just that, local efforts, but they certainly -- they aren't something that the U.S. says could work on a national level here in Syria. And, of course, that's exactly what the international company, led by the U.S., is trying to achieve at this point in time.

A nationwide ceasefire for Syria, nationwide political reconciliation, a nationwide transition process politically here in Syria, as well, and that's something where the international community acknowledges, that it is still very, very far away from achieving that.

The biggest sticking point at this point in time at these negotiations is the fact that the opposition says that at the end of a political transition process they want Bashar Al-Assad to step away from power. The Syrian government, not surprisingly, is saying that's not even up for negotiations. They don't even want to talk about that issue. Simply, it is not going to happen.

And so, therefore, it's very difficult circumstances that these talks happen and they really have minimal goals at this point in time. It's to try and get the ceasefire going for all of Syria. It's holding here in the Damascus area. However, if you go up into the north of the country, especially towards Aleppo, the fighting there is still very, very intense and it really doesn't appear as though any of the sides there appear to be letting up.

[05:55:00] So, one thing is stopping the killing and the other thing is stopping the humanitarian suffering of so many people here in besieged areas. There are many towns, John, where people are starving to death, literally, here in Syria.

We were speaking to the Red Cross earlier and they were telling us they tried to deliver aid to a town last week but they were stuck at a checkpoint for seven hours and then made to turn back. So, once again, the people there not receiving any aid at all.

That's one of the things, a top priority at that conference going on, is to try and ease the availability of humanitarian aid to areas that are under siege by the Syrian government, by opposition forces, and of course, by ISIS as well. And that's going to be the most difficult thing to do, John.

BERMAN: You've got to get the aid into those people who need it. In some cases, it's been five years of fighting that have plagued them. All right, Frederik Pleitgen in Damascus. Great reporting, Fred, appreciate it.

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl expected to appear at a court hearing at Fort Bragg this morning. He faces desertion and misbehavior charges for leaving his post in Afghanistan. Prosecutors are asking to delay his trial from August to December. This is because Bergdahl's defense team has requested more than one million pages of documents connected to their client's capture by the Taliban and his five years in captivity. ROMANS: All right, let's get an EARLY START on your money this Tuesday morning. Dow futures flat after those big gains yesterday. Some confidence back in the market here about upcoming retail earnings. Oil prices, seven-month highs. That rally in oil prices fading a bit right now so that might be why futures are just a little bit higher. You can see the Asia and European stock markets higher here.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is making the most of his trip to Asia. Cook will make a stop in India today, sources telling CNN Money. That will mark his first trip as CEO to that nation. He's expected to meet with the prime minister, who has been trying to invigorate Indian's manufacturing sector and develop the country's ties to Silicon Valley.

Cook was in China solidifying Apple's $1 billion investment in that country's version of UBER. He also visited an Apple store in Beijing. The region is important to Apple sales. India -- look at that -- India offers a big growth opportunity with its population of 1.2 billion people.

At the end of March, combined sales from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India accounted for 23 percent of Apple's total sales. In China and Taiwan, about 25 percent.

BERMAN: Wonder if he gets a discount when he shops overseas, too, at all the Apple stores?

ROMANS: All right, college grads, you're entering the best jobs market in years but a new study shows there are still a skills gap.

BERMAN: Uh-oh.

ROMANS: Eighty-seven percent of recent college grads feel well- prepared for a job upon graduation. Only 50 percent of hiring managers feel that recent grads are prepared to succeed in their workforce. This is according to a new survey from PayScale. The top skills to score the biggest paychecks are all in the STEM fields, science, technology, engineering, math.

One surprise in this report. Communication skills are still important. Sixty percent of hiring managers say critical thinking and problem solving is what you grads are lacking. Forty-four percent say they're lacking writing proficiency. Thirty-nine percent would like to see better public speaking credentials.

I think that, you know, this is millennials. I think they said this about generation X. I bet they said this about the baby boomers.

BERMAN: Kids these days. It's basically every sentence that begins "kids these days". All right, 58 minutes after the hour right now. The Republican Party facing so many questions right now surrounding the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, and his issues with women. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Are you considering running?

KASICH: No, I'm not going to do that.

MARK CUBAN, BUSINESSMAN: It's impossible to get on ballots. The hurdles are just too great.

BEN CARSON (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is something that is extremely undesirable to me.

TRUMP: I want to bring jobs back to our country. I want to make our country go again.

CLINTON: His answer is I'm going to create them but I'm not telling you what it is I'm going to do.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have now won 19 state primaries and caucuses.

CLINTON: I will stand up for you. Let's go make the future we deserve to have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's not enough lanes open right now.

JOHNSON: We're working with Congress to get TSA more funding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ran to our gate and it was three minutes shy of the door closing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two and one-half hours early and it still wasn't enough time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, May 17th, 6:00 in the east. Up first, the battle between competing factions of the Republican Party continues. Some in Congress still in crisis over Trump as their standard bearer and some conservatives still pushing for third party run.

Trump, meanwhile, is pushing back against "The New York Times" for its story on his behavior towards women and is now said to be considering a lawsuit. We will speak to his attorney.

(Byline: John Berman, Christine Romans, Sara Murray, Jeff Zeleny, Eric Bradner, Frederik Pleitgen, Alisyn Camerota)

(High: Trump Lawyer: He May Sue NY Times, Times Defends Article On Trump's Treatment Of Women; Women Quoted By NYT Differ On Their Portrayal, Some Back Up Reporting While Others Say It Misrepresented Them; Trump Goes To War Against NY Times, Blasting Newspaper On Twitter & Calling CNN Control Room; Clinton Hoping For Primary Win, Investing Heavily In Kentucky: Sanders Expected To Win Oregon; Clinton Also Aiming At Donald Trump, Imagines Future Debate With Trump As Substance-Free; Sanders Rallies In L.A. Tonight, Set To Campaign Aggressively In California Until June 7 Primary; Clinton Super PAC Releases Anti-Trump Ad, Shows Women Lip-Syncing Trump Criticism Of Women; Kasich Undecided On Endorsing Trump, Says Trump Would Have To Become A "Uniting" Candidate; Bill Clinton's White House Role, "I'll Do Whatever I'm Asked...But I Like This Economic Business"; Buffett Buys Apple, Disclosure Shows Berkshire Hathaway Purchased 9.8M Shares; Judge Orders "Bridgegate" Names Released, List Of Suspected Co- Conspirators Expected To Be Made Public; Freddie Gray Trial, Co- Defendant Takes Stand As Prosecution Rests Case; New Zimmerman Gun Auction, Will Try Again Today To Sell Gun Used In Trayvon Martin Killing; Huge Airport Security Lines, TSA Hopes To Add Hundreds Of New Officers This Summer; Syria Peace Talks Resuming, International Support Group Meets Today; Bergdahl In Court, Prosecutors Asking Judge To Delay Start Of Trial.)

(Spec: Elections; Politics; Donald Trump; The New York Times; Jill Martin; Barbara Res; Hillary Clinton; Bernie Sanders; John Kasich; Bill Clinton; Steve Beshear; Apple; Warren Buffett; Berkshire Hathaway; New Jersey; Bridgegate; Chris Christie; Freddie Gray; Edward Nero; Trials; Justice; Garrett Miller; George Zimmerman; Auction; Gun; Trayvon Martin; Airport; Security Lines; TSA; Jay Johnson; Syria, Peace Talks; John Kerry; Bow Bergdahl; Military; Polls; Women; Media; Business; Stock Markets)

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