Trump & Clinton Fight For Florida; Trump Vows To Sue Female Accusers; SNL Takes Trump To Task; AT&T Buys Time Warner For $85



Accusers; SNL Takes Trump To Task; AT&T Buys Time Warner For $85

Billion; Kurdish Forces Advance On Mosul; Dakota Pipeline Protest: 127

Arrested; Apple Expected To Unveil New Macs. Aired 5:30-6a ET - Part 1>

[05:30:15] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Battleground Florida -- Trump and Clinton fighting to take that state. For Trump, Florida is must-win. His campaign chief, over the weekend, concedes he's trailing in those polls.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Kurdish forces advance on Mosul, now just five miles away from that occupied city. The operation, though, has taken a tragic turn. ISIS extremists slaughtering dozens of civilians in the street.

ROMANS: A very big deal. AT&T buys Time Warner. It's an $85 billion deal. What does it mean for your favorite networks like HBO and CNN?

Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: AT&T purchases Bruce Wayne, you know -- Netstart (ph), and Christine Romans, all in one deal right there. I'm John Berman. It's 30 minutes after the hour.

ROMANS: Alexander Graham Bell took Bruce Wayne, just like that.

BERMAN: Even Christine Romans. All right, Election Day, it's here -- in Florida, at least. Early voting there begins in just a few hours. Florida -- it could be a pretty important state in presidential elections if, by important, you mean deciding the whole darn thing.

Hillary Clinton has inched ahead in most Florida polls but there is no inching across the country. Nationally, Hillary Clinton's lead can now be measured in feet. A new "ABC NEWS" tracking poll shows Clinton with a 12-point lead. Even Donald Trump's campaign manager admits he is trailing.


CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, NBC "MEET THE PRESS": Where do you see this race right now? Do you acknowledge that you're behind?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We are behind. She has tremendous advantages. She has a former president who happens to be her husband campaigning for her. The current president and first lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: It is all but impossible for Trump to win the election without Florida which is why he kicked off three days of campaigning there overnight.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, Christine, despite national polls showing Donald Trump trailing behind Hillary Clinton, despite his own campaign manager coming out and acknowledging that the campaign has some ground to make up, Donald Trump coming out here in Naples, Florida telling a crowd here that the polls are wrong, that the media is wrong. He also continued to double down on this whole idea that the system is rigged against him.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My message is this. If we win on November 8th, we are going to fix our rigged system. It's a rigged, broken, corrupt system. It's rigged. It's broken. It's corrupt. They want me to take that back. Let me tell you, folks, it's a rigged system and we are going to drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C.

CARROLL: There has been concern that because Donald Trump is trailing in national polls that it could be a drag on down-ballot races. Trump telling the crowd here in Naples -- telling voters that they have to get out and vote. And for the first time, we heard him say that he has to -- voters have to get out and help re-elect Republicans.

Trump also making no mention of his accusers or any threats of any lawsuits. But, once again, no acknowledgment that he is trailing nationally behind Clinton in those national polls -- Christine, John.


ROMANS: Thank you, Jason. Hillary Clinton understands a Florida victory could seal the deal on November 8th. She'll be campaigning in the Sunshine State for two days, starting tomorrow. Today, she is in New Hampshire with Sen. Elizabeth Warren at her side.

CNN's Joe Johns is there.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Hillary Clinton wrapping up her latest trip here to the Tar Heel State with a stop at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, talking to a large crowd here with polls showing her in a tight race in the state with Donald Trump, but running very strong nationally. She's now trying to use some of her popularity to help Democrats in down- ballot races.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to do everything I can. I hope you will do everything you can to help elect Roy Cooper as your next governor. He has real plans, not just rhetoric. Real plans to create good jobs and protect the environment. And he will stand up for your voting rights.

JOHNS: Earlier in the day, Hillary Clinton made two other stops in North Carolina in the Research Triangle area. First stop, Durham, North Carolina, visiting a large African-American Baptist church there. Also going to Raleigh, North Carolina and visiting St. Augustine's University.

At both stops she was accompanied by the "Mothers of the Movement", a group of women whose sons were killed and, often, confrontations with police. Hillary Clinton reaching out to minority millennials and others -- people. The campaign teams will be important in November.

[05:35:00] Hillary Clinton will be back in the Tar Heel State later this week campaigning, for the first time, together with the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama -- John and Christine.


BERMAN: All right, Joe Johns for us. Thanks so much. President Obama has his sights set sort of beyond Donald Trump right now. He wants to trounce Republicans in the House and Senate, as well. At an event in Las Vegas overnight, he essentially accused the Republicans of creating Donald Trump. Listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump didn't start it, he just did what he always did which is slap his name on it, take credit for it, and promote it. That's what he does. When, suddenly, it's not working and people are saying wow, this guy's kind of out of line -- all of the sudden these Republican politicians who were OK with all this crazy stuff, up to a point -- suddenly, they're all walking away. Oh, this is too much.

So, you know, when you finally get him on tape bragging about actions that qualify as sexual assault and his polls numbers go down, suddenly that's a deal breaker. Well, what took you so long? What the heck? What took you so long?


ROMANS: Meanwhile, an increasingly confident Hillary Clinton is quietly reaching out to Senate Republicans behind the scenes. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has learned Clinton is reassuring her rivals that she is willing to work with them if she wins the White House and that she will be a different kind of president with an open-door policy. Different, by implication, I suspect, from President Obama.


ROMANS: Her aides say despite the outreach, Clinton plans to spend the next two weeks campaigning as if she were the underdog, taking nothing for granted. Not measuring the drapes yet --

BERMAN: No. ROMANS: -- but trying to reach out and say let's get something done.

BERMAN: But there's a shift here in her campaign. Number one, she's trying to pack the Senate with as many Democrats as she can. She wasn't doing that before, at least not outwardly. And now also reaching out to Republicans, also, thinking about governing, so it is an interesting development.

And I want to bring in "Newsday" columnist and syndicated radio talk show host Ellis Henican.

ROMANS: Morning, again.

BERMAN: Ellis, thanks so much for being with us.


BERMAN: I want to talk about Donald Trump's closing argument right now --


BERMAN: -- because what do you do? What do you do when you're down by 12 points in the polls with two weeks to go? Well, this weekend he gave -- went to Gettysburg and gave what was supposed to be a big policy speech, and he did talk about policy the second half of the speech. But the problem was in the first half he talked about this.


TRUMP: Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign -- total fabrication. The events never happened -- never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.


BERMAN: And this was the beginning of his Gettysburg address that laid out, you know, the policy of his first 100 days.

HENICAN: I don't remember Lincoln saying any of that stuff. I mean, listen, this is nuts, right? I mean, it's the least attractive part of Donald Trump. Why, in your final closing argument, would you focus on the thing that so many people -- especially, Christine, so many women -- hate about you? The second half of the speech -- the 'what I'm going to do in the first 100 days'was standard, smart, political closer. The man can't help himself.

ROMANS: You know, the second part of that speech was policy.


ROMANS: I mean, talking about draining the swamp was something that his supporters had wanted all along. The drain the swamp thing, I think really works. We're talking about, you know, the revolving door between the federal government, and K Street, and all that --

HENICAN: Yes, yes, yes, all of it.

ROMANS: -- really appeals to those -- to those voters who support him -- and Independents and women, frankly -- but it's derailed by the -- by these other things.

HENICAN: I'm going to sue 11 people. Even if you win you're going to sue them, I guess?

BERMAN: Can I show you what may be a sign of the sort of self- destructive nature here? There's a new "ABC NEWS" tracking poll out that shows Hillary Clinton up by 12 points. If you dig deeper in this poll it asks what voters really aren't liking about the Trump campaign right now, and it's this issue of it all being rigged and the issue of him refusing to accept the outcome if he loses. Sixty-five percent disapprove --


BERMAN -- 29 percent approve. And, again, this is part of his closing argument and people don't like it.

HENICAN: And you know the people around him understand that. I mean, Kellyanne is a -- is a pollster, right? I mean, she gets that. She sees those numbers. I just don't think there's anything they can do to make him stop.

ROMANS: I mean, it's even a punchline on "SNL" which has had a field day with this election. Let's listen to that.

HENICAN: This was fun, yes.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR, NBC "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Will you accept the results of the election.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, NBC "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I will look at it at the time because, frankly, this whole thing is rigged, even the media. Every day I turn on the news and all of the newscasters are making me look so bad.

HANKS: And how are we doing that?

BALDWIN: By taking all of the things I say and all of the things I do and putting them on T.V.


ROMANS: OK, Tom Hanks is really good. I liked him. He was a --

HENICAN: I want him to play me. He's good, he's good.

[05:40:00] ROMANS: Yes. I mean, you know, and a lot of people said, you know, late night has picked a horse in this race. I mean, do you think so? I mean, it's pretty -- HENICAN: Well, maybe, but in a way, that horse picked all of us, right? I mean, Donald Trump has just run a campaign that is so easy to cover, is so compelling and has, frankly, been such a train wreck in so many ways. I don't know how you ignore that.

BERMAN: But don't forget, "Saturday Night Live" had one candidate and one candidate only host their show over the last 12 months and that was --

HENICAN: Oh, who was that? Who was that?

BERMAN: That was Donald Trump. So, you know, you say yes, they're having a field day with him right now but they also tried to, you know, ride him for some advertising dollars.

HENICAN: And listen, he's a compelling figure.


HENICAN: There's a reason that when you add up the minutes of coverage, he's gotten so many of them. Unfortunately, those minutes didn't all help, did they?

BERMAN: Ellis Henican, great to have you with us.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Ellis.

HENICAN: Good seeing you guys always.

BERMAN: Enjoy your day.

HENICAN: Thanks.

ROMANS: All right, AT&T buying Time Warner. How will that affect you --

BERMAN: And me.

ROMANS: -- and networks like HBO? And what is John's future -- John Berman's future at CNN looking like? We've got that next.


[05:45:10] ROMANS: AT&T will buy Time Warner for $85 billion in one of the biggest media deals ever. Will face a tough regulatory fight over it. Time Warner is the parent company of CNN and half of the biggest merger of content and distribution since Comcast bought NBC Universal in 2011.

Both presidential candidates commented on this deal over the weekend. Trump slammed the proposal, promising in a statement to "break up the new media conglomerate oligopolies", while the Clinton spokesman said they believe "regulators should scrutinize it closely", which they definitely will.

Both companies defending this proposed deal, explaining that this gives consumers what they want -- more shows and video on their phones. This is not a horizontal merger. They're calling this a vertical merger. It's not between similar companies. There's just no real overlap in these companies, they're very different.

Time Warner is an entertainment company that will provide content to AT&T, a 140-year-old telecommunications giant.

BERMAN: All right, let's take a closer look at the AT&T-Time Warner deal with CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. We were looking at some of the headlines here.

ROMANS: In most of the headlines this morning, so many of the papers are focusing on the opposition it will have from U.S. antitrust authorities, but they don't overlap each other. It's about the content and the pipes that deliver that content to the viewers.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this will get a very close look but it is not as if AT&T already has a bunch of cable channels and it's taking on even more of them. What AT&T has is a lot of customers -- wireless customers, Internet customers -- but it does not own programming today. So this is a lot like the Comcast-NBC deal which required a long review in Washington but was eventually approved with conditions.

BERMAN: And they get content. They get HBO, they get CNN, they get Warner Brothers, which makes movies. They get --

ROMANS: Harry Potter, Anthony Bourdain.

BERMAN: -- Harry Potter.

STELTER: That's right. There's even examples people don't think about like "The Big Bang Theory" produced by Warner Brothers -- all on CBS but produced by Time Warner. You see TNT, Cartoon Network, TBS, CNN, HBO -- some of the brands in the mix.

BERMAN: What does it mean for consumers? What will they see?

STELTER: Well, you think about what we can't do today, right? So, there's something called "TV Everywhere" that our boss, Jeff Bewkes, head of Time Warner, has been advocating for years. "TV Everywhere" should mean when you have a cable button or when you have a cable package you can watch wherever you want, whenever you want, however you want.

Now, in theory, that sounds great. In reality, we're not there yet. When I walked out of the house this morning I had to log in with a cable I.D. --


STELTER: -- a username and password in order to watch EARLY START in the cab on the way here.

BERMAN: Woo, we should only make EARLY START easier to watch.

STELTER: Now that is wonderful but, yes, it should be easier to watch and Bewkes and others don't -- they don't hide their frustration --

ROMANS: Right.

STELTER: -- about the pace of change. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson says this deal will make those kind of changes faster. That these companies will be able to speed up and make these innovations happen on a faster timetable if they are allowed to buy Time Warner.

ROMANS: So a phone company owns a journalism company, if you look at CNN. They have -- they have, you know, promised that this -- that there's no meddling in the news division.

STELTER: Yes, an important statement over the weekend by AT&T's CEO, saying that CNN will retain all its editorial independence. In fact, the CEO says he understands that if AT&T were to meddle in the news coverage and try to squash stories that are bad for AT&T, it would start to destroy the CNN brand. So I'm glad -- the first thing, to hear there's awareness of that on the corporate level.

ROMANS: You know, 30 years ago AT&T was so big they broke it up, you know.


ROMANS: The government said it had to be smaller and now all of the parts of AT&T have been getting bigger and bigger again.


ROMANS: Do you think it's just this is such a big deal -- $85 billion deal -- these two partners together, that's where the regulatory scrutiny comes from?

STELTER: Yes, certainly there's that sense whenever something is getting bigger and bigger. This is already one of the biggest companies in the country. It deserves scrutiny and will get that. But the experts I interviewed over the weekend say they believe this will eventually pass regulatory muster, will eventually be approved. It will take probably over a year -- probably the end of 2017. In the meantime, the bosses here at Time Warner are saying it's business as usual as they prepare for this transaction to happen.

But then you look out past 2017 -- you look out past a year from now and you can imagine some pretty cool things AT&T could do with Time Warner programming. None of us really know what the media world is going to look like in five years --

ROMANS: Totally.

STELTER: -- so what AT&T wants is it wants to have options. It wants to have a lot of doors. It wants to have a lot of options so that no matter how media changes, no matter what devices we're watching T.V. on, AT&T has power.

BERMAN: Brian Stelter, thanks so much. Appreciate it. ROMANS: And we're going to ask those bosses, actually. Coming up on "NEW DAY", Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T. We're going to ask about that $85 billion deal in the 6:00 a.m. hour and exactly what it's going to mean for you how -- how you watch television.

BERMAN: All right.

ROMANS: Consume stuff.

BERMAN: Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Future AT&T employee Chris Cuomo joins us.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": That is true, you know. It's an interesting question to get from Christine. We're bringing in the big guns on "NEW DAY" today to see, you know, what does it mean? You're going to have a lot of employees who are going to be interested in that. And you heard what the kind of larger analysis of this big alleged merger between AT&T and Time Warner. What does it mean? It's all about revenue streams these days, right? How do you make money in different ways in an evolving business?

[05:50:00] We'll have the two bigshots here this morning with Christine Romans guiding the rest of us through what this could mean for you and for us, as future employees, as John Berman just astutely stated.

Also, what we're going to do now is, guess what? The campaign is finally about you. In these last two weeks you're going to have both campaigns making their closing arguments to why they are the right choice for you. Get ready for "Promise-geddon". It's going to be coming your way. Both candidates are going to be doing it. We'll lay out what we think the plans are and also we'll test what can be done and what cannot be done.

Plus, they defended our country. Now, some government officials say they owe the country money. We talked to a soldier who's being forced to remortgage his home to pay back an enlistment bonus that the military gave him years ago. Can you believe that?

ROMANS: No, I can't -- I can't believe it.

CUOMO: You know, I read it very carefully this weekend because I wanted to see -- because mainly this is happening in California right now and I wanted to see what's the legitimate argument for this? Was there fraud? Was there overreach? Is this part of a scam? And I've got to tell you, I don't see it. And what worries me is I think this comes down to Congress doing something to not make this happen, and we all know how that goes. Look at the G.I. Bill.



ROMANS: Geez, all right.

BERMAN: All right, Chris Cuomo, great story. Thanks for looking into it.

Up next for us, the battle for Mosul. Kurdish forces now within five miles of that occupied city. This operation has taken a tough turn right now. We're going to have a live report from Iraq, next.


[05:55:40] BERMAN: New developments this morning in the battle for Mosul. Kurdish forces -- they're moving ever closer to that city. They're now within five miles. They've already liberated several villages from ISIS control, with U.S. coalition planes providing air cover. The progress has come at a price. ISIS militants have reportedly executed civilians who seemed to be celebrating their freedom just too early.

A Highway in North Dakota was shut down by demonstrators trying to block the Dakota oil pipeline this weekend. It is back open this morning. The sheriff's department arrested 127 people, some for trying to cement their hands to police cars. Officers also said they had to shoot down a drone that they suggested posed some kind of a threat.

ROMANS: All right, let's get an EARLY START on your money, Monday edition. Global markets higher this morning after U.S. stocks closed mostly flat Friday. We're in the thick of earnings season this week, again. Wall Street watches some major players reportingthis week -- Visa, today. You've got Ford, Amazon, Coke, Boeing later this week. A big focus on Twitter when it reports Thursday. It could provide some much-needed insight into the future of Twitter, especially now that takeover prospects look bleak.

AT&T will report earnings tomorrow after that big blockbuster deal this weekend. It plans to buy Time Warner in an $85 billion mega- deal. Time Warner stock jumped eight percent after news broke Friday. That stock, right now, up another three percent in premarket trading. Overall, futures are higher here.

A big week for Apple. Now only does the company report earnings tomorrow, which give early sales numbers on the brand new iPhone 7, but the tech giant is expected to unveil a fresh line of Macs at a media event on Thursday. Apple's laptops -- they're long overdue for a refresh. The MacBook Pro hasn't had an update in four years. The Air has been the same since 2010, a lot like John Berman.

BERMAN: Yes, nice. I like that, and you can tell by my shirts. All right, up next Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump targeting Florida. That state is up for grabs with 29 electoral votes. That's part of what's going on, on the campaign trail.

One other thing to look for is Hillary Clinton, President Obama -- Democrats, in general, turning their focus in a way beyond the presidential race, focusing specifically now on the Senate and the House, as well. Very interesting to see. "NEW DAY" picks that up right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We are going to drain the swamp of corruption.

CLINTON: The United States is bigger than Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Every woman lied. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.

OBAMA: You don't have to be a husband or a father to stand up for women. You just have to be a decent human being.

CONWAY: We are behind. Donald Trump is just going to continue to take the case directly to the people.

STELTER: This is shaping up to be one of the biggest media deals in history.

ROMANS: Coming up on "NEW DAY", the CEO's of Time Warner and AT&T discuss the huge merger.


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

CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, October 24th, 6:00 in the East.

And guess what? The election is finally about you. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump making closing arguments to voters in the homestretch to November 8th. A new national poll shows Clinton with a commanding lead -- double digit by these predictions. But remember, they are only as good as the voter turnout.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, Clinton is intensifying her push into the red states and, reportedly, starting to focus on her transitions team. We are not 15 days until Election Day. We have it all covered for you, so let's begin with CNN's Jeff Zeleny. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Alisyn. Hillary Clinton is heading to New Hampshire today, but not just for herself. For the third straight day she's visiting a battleground state that also has a competitive Senate race. She's working to maintain her edge over Trump in trying to help Democrats win control of the Senate.

This morning we are learning she is looking ahead, as well, taking more steps to plan what she increasingly believes will be her transition to the presidency.


ZELENY: A two-week fight to the finish. It's time for closing arguments. Hillary Clinton striking an optimistic note.

CLINTON: I want to be the president for every American -- Democrats, Republicans, Independents, people who vote for me, people who vote against me -- because we've got to bring this country together.

ZELENY: Donald Trump less so.

TRUMP: Are we glad that I started? Are we happy?

(Byline: John Berman, Christine Romans, Jason Carroll, Joe Johns, Brian Stelter, Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota, Jeff Zeleny)

(Guest: Ellis Henican)

(High: Trump & Clinton Fight For Florida, New National Poll Puts Clinton Ahead By 12 Points; Time Running Out For Trump, Conway: "We Are Behind...She Has Tremendous Advantages"; Trump: The Polls And The Media Are Wrong, "We Are Going To Fix Our Rigged...Broken, Corrupt System"; Trump Campaigning In Florida, Makes No Mention Of National Polls Or Female Accusers; Clinton & Warren Campaigning In New Hampshire, Democratic Nominee Planning Two-Day Stop In Florida; Clinton Targets North Carolina, Using Lead In Polls To Prop Up Down Ballot Democrats; "Mothers Of The Movement" Join Clinton, Women Impacted By Gun Violence: "She Is Running For Us"; Obama Campaigning For Clinton In California, Asks Republicans Rejecting Trump: "What Took You So Long?"; Clinton Reaching Out To GOP Senators, Reassuring Rivals She Will Be A "Different" Kind Of President; Trump Vows To Sue Female Accusers, "Every Woman Lied When They Came Forward"; SNL Takes Trump To Task, Roasts GOP Nominee For Claims Of Rigged Election; AT&T, Time Warner Face Regulatory Fight, $85B Media Deal Will Likely Encounter Government Scrutiny; AT&T Buys Time Warner For $85 Billion, Deal Pending Approval From Federal Regulators; AT&T "Going To Be Very Cautious" With CNN, Stephenson: "Ensuring CNN Remains Independent...Is Critical"; AT&T Won't "Meddle" In CNN's Independence, Stephenson: CNN "An American Symbol Of Independent Journalism"; Kurdish Forces Advance On Mosul, ISIS Fighters Execute Dozens Of Celebrating Villagers; Dakota Pipeline Protest: 127 Arrested, Activists Block Highway, Cement Hands To Patrol Cars; Global Markets Higher, Spotlight On Corporate Earnings Continues; Apple Expected To Unveil New Macs, Tech Giant Has Media Event On Thursday)

(Spec: Election; Politics; Florida; Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton; Polls; Media; Kellyanne Conway; Elizabeth Warren; Roy Cooper; Mothers of the Movement; Barack Obama; GOP; Ellis Henican; Accusers; Sue; Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin; Rigged; AT&T; Time Warner; Regulatory; Jeff Bewkes; Randall Stephenson; CNN; Mosul; Kurdish; ISIS; Executions; Dakota; Pipeline; Protest; Global; Markets; Twitter; Apple)