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U.S. Women's Soccer Team Wins World Cup Over Netherlands; Billionaire Jeff Epstein Arrested Over Allegations Of Sex Crimes; Career High Approval Rating For Trump; Joe Biden Apologizes On Segregationists Comments; Nancy Pelosi Is Wrong On Impeachment, Says Justin Amash; Detention Centers Open To Media Says Trump; Elie Honig Answers Legal Questions On Cross-Exam; CNN Original Series "The Movies" Premieres Tonight. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 7, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. What a stunning victory. Team USA winning the World Cup championship title in a 2-0 shutout victory over the Netherlands.
The U.S. Women's Soccer Team never taking their foot off the gas pedal for one instant -- a flawless game with two big heroes. Team captain Megan Rapinoe scoring the first goal off a penalty kick and minutes later, 24-year-old Rose Lavelle gathering the ball in midfield, surging forward and nailing the second goal.
The World Cup champs will now be welcomed home in style with a ticker tape parade in New York City on Wednesday. Now I want to bring in CNN's Amanda Davies in Lyon, France. Amanda, how are the players and the fans reacting to today's historic win by the U.S. Women's Soccer Team?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, don't let the calm quiet of the stadium behind me fool you. The atmosphere just a few hours ago was incredible. Like any major sporting event I have ever been lucky enough to witness.
And the tens of thousands of U.S. fans who've traveled here, supported this side over the last couple of weeks were streaming out of this stadium with that traditional USA chant, waving their flags in the air with their faces painted, proudly sporting their jerseys.
As Megan Rapinoe, the captain, the star of today put it, sunglasses season is firmly here. The party is getting started, and it is well deserved after this historic victory. It doesn't just see this U.S. Women's team win back-to-back World Cup titles. They're just the second team in history to do so.
This win means that they have won 4 out of 8 editions of this tournament. They're unbeaten -- they've only lost one match since 2017, one match in 45. They are absolutely deservedly being talked about as the benchmark for the rest. The top ranked side in the world. They didn't have it all their own way against the Dutch. They were
made to fight for it, but they won't mind how they got there at this point. It seemed to be written in the stars that it was captain Megan Rapinoe who stepped up, who finally broke the deadlock after just an hour, converting that penalty.
She over the last couple of weeks has written as many headlines off the pitch as she has done on it in terms of fighting the equal pay battle, in terms of the verbal sparring with President Donald Trump and of course, in the last couple of days, she's also criticized FIFA, world football's governing body for putting today's final on the same day as the Gold Cup.
But ultimately, she stood there at the press conference afterwards and she said for her and her team, this was all about so much more than just taking home the trophy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGAN RAPINOE, TEAM CAPTAIN, U.S. WOMENS NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: We've done exactly what we've set out to do. We've done exactly what we want to do. We say what we feel, all of us really. I know that my, you know, voice sometimes is louder but, you know, in (inaudible) and in conversations and everybody is in this together. We are such a proud and strong and defiant group of women. I don't think we have anything really to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES: If it's been the team of '99 that have been held up as the role models for the next generation of young U.S. players, you have to say, Ana, now it's the team of 2019 who will very much be leading the way for the next generation.
CABRERA: Amanda Davies, thank you for that reporting. I want to bring in Michelle Akers. She knows what it means to win. She has been there, done that -- a Golden Boot winner who starred in the historic 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cup victories by the U.S. Michelle, what's going through your mind today? What does today's win mean to you?
[17:04:59] MICHELLE AKERS, FORMER MEMBER, U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: Incredibly emotional. It's my team out there, you know. I feel like I'm running every run with every single one, blocking every ball. And it's been a long haul.
This team is fighting for more than just winning a World Cup. They're trying to push boundaries and change the world essentially. So, it means a lot on many different levels. SO, I'm just really proud of this team. I could cry. I'm so happy for them. We've got burgers going and margaritas going so, I'm celebrating.
CABRERA: Well, cheers! Cheers to you. Muchelle, you know, the U.S. hasn't been known as a soccer-centric nation. I wonder if that changes today. What has this World Cup victory accomplished do you think for women's soccer in this country? AKERS: Well, the USA -- it's the USA mentality, right? It's not just
about being the best in the world as the USA, as America the country. It's really about changing everything for the world and that's the cool focus of this team. It's not just winning. It's changing things.
So, I mean, they should be celebrating and they are carrying our legacy, which is part of the whole picture, right?
AKERS: So, this team has really made a name for themselves. They're standing on our shoulders but they're also a totally different entity, but that part I'm really, really proud of.
CABRERA: And they are also leading the way for women, not just in soccer, but across the board. And I know they've been fighting hard for pay equity. We know we've been reporting on the disparity and pay between men and women's soccer players.
According to "The New York Times," each team player, in this case, will earn about $250,000 for winning today's World Cup title. Now, if the U.S. men's team had won today, players would earn about $1.1 million so, over a million dollars each. And just moments ago, in fact, Michelle, the president weighed in on the issue of equal pay for female athletes. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to congratulate the women's soccer team on winning the World Cup. That's an incredible achievement. It was a very exciting game. I got to see a little bit of it. And to the great players and it's a great honor to have them capture it for the United States fourth time. And that's a tremendous thing. So, congratulations to the team on the World Cup.
I would like to see that. You also have to look at numbers. So when you look at World Cup soccer, that's one thing. And you also have to look at soccer, professional soccer. You have to see who is taking in what. So I don't know what those numbers are. I would like to see that.
But again, you have to look at the great stars of the men's soccer, the great stars of the women's soccer. And you have to see year round how are they all drawing. What is the attendance for women's soccer outside of World Cup? But I would like to see it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Michelle, could you hear? What's your reaction?
AKERS: My reaction? God, I wish he would have seen the game. That would have been great. Played in a lot of World Cups and the presidents have always watched those games or attended in person. That would have been awesome.
I think winning this World Cup makes a great case. Actually supports exactly what the women's national team for the USA is saying and what women want, equality-wise, not only women but dads, sons, everyone. It's an equal pay thing, equal opportunity. So, I'll be looking forward to what happens next.
CABRERA: All right, Michelle Akers. Let's continue the conversation here on CNN. We'll have you back. Thank you for taking the time.
CABRERA: And, obviously, a huge congrats to the women's World Cup winning team. Let's turn now to another developing story right now. Billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is locked up in a federal prison in New York City and is expected to be in court tomorrow after his arrest yesterday.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN, Epstein has been indicted on new charges related to alleged sex crimes involving minors. They add the alleged crimes happened between 2002 and 2005 in both New York and Palm Beach, Florida.
Now, Epstein was convicted of similar crimes in 2008, but he avoided a possible federal life sentence after cutting the deal of a lifetime with federal prosecutors. He only ended up serving 13 months in a county jail. And joining us with more on this latest twist in really a blockbuster story here, editor-at-large for HuffPost, Vicky Ward.
She is also the author of the best sellers, "The Liar's Ball," "The Devil's Casino" and most recently, "Kushner, Inc.," an expose on Jared and Ivanka Kushner. Vicky, you've done a lot of reporting on Epstein. I know you've interviewed him and some of his alleged victims. What's your reaction to this arrest?
[17:10:01] VICKY WARD, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, HUFFPOST: Well, you know, finally, finally tomorrow, you know, maybe the wheels of justice will begin to turn as they should have done many years ago for Jeffrey Epstein. I mean, this is an extraordinary story in that the sort of miscarriage of justice that played out for over a decade here kind of played out in plain sight.
And, you know, I have to give a shout out to Julie Brown at the "Miami Herald" because it was really her three-part investigative series highlighting the, you know, appalling things that happened to Jeffrey Epstein's victims that got Congress moving.
That got, you know, 15 Democrats that critically got Ben Sasse, the Republican from Nebraska, to say to the Justice Department, Wait a minute, what on earth happened here, because it looks like you guys broke the law back in 2007 when you cut a plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein giving him this cushy 13-month sentence in a county jail where he was free to walk around and go to work.
And the FBI investigation, the federal investigation was cut off and none of the victims were told that this plea deal was going on. The plea deal was struck importantly by the current labor secretary who was then the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, you know, so interesting questions for him. He always said, well, you know, it was -- he told sources of mine,
well, you know, I was told to leave Jeffrey Epstein alone. I was told Jeffrey Epstein was to do, you know, had something to do with intelligence. So I think, you know, this is the beginning of the second chapter of this story and there are many questions about this man. Why he was able to escape justice? But this is such an important milestone what happens tomorrow.
CABRERA: Right. And we are expecting a hearing tomorrow and we should know more about the allegations in the indictment when it's unsealed. I know you interviewed Epstein a number of times in the early 2000s, and you had said he kind of creeped you out from the beginning. At that time, you were doing this deep dive of who he was, how he got his wealth. What were your interactions with him like?
WARD: Yes. So, I found him incredibly creepy and threatening. I was pregnant at the time and he didn't like the fact that I began to uncover that, you know, a lot of the stories he had told the rich and famous in New York about himself was simply not true.
And he would phone me and at the end of the phone call every time he talked to me he would say, by the way, Vicky, this is off the record. And if I don't like this story, here's what's going to happen to your unborn children. That was the kind of tenor of this guy.
And I have to say, the mystery around this man, you know, still remains. It's still baffling to me how many of New York's sort of billionaires, the Wall Street crowd, Les Wexner of the Limited. What is the hold that Jeffrey Epstein has over them?
You know, when I reported my story for "Vanity Fair," Jeffrey Epstein got into the offices, got famously sort of Conde Nast legend, got past security and went to see my then editor, the editor of the magazine, Graden Carter.
And they had a private discussion at the end of which Grayden Carter decided to remove the on-the-record story that I had alleging that Jeffrey Epstein had sexually harassed two young women, two sisters, one of them was under age. And, you know, that was incredibly difficult for me then as a reporter. These women had been so brave to go on the record.
WARD: I couldn't understand the leverage, what -- how did Jeffrey Epstein, you know, manage to negotiate that. And I think that these are the kind of questions that really now, you know, I'm certainly going to be on in a major way. I've been following this for quite some time. You know, he's got connections.
[17:14:54] CABRERA: Well, we know one of those victim -- we know one of the victims, Vicky, that is part of this new round, we understand, of allegations, is one of the women and at the time, a young, young woman who you spoke to, whose story wasn't able to be told.
WARD: Right. CABRERA: We know this is a man who had a lot of money. He has a lot of connections, very controlling. You experienced a taste of that as you've explained in your reporting.
And in a 2018 piece for the "Daily Beast," you wrote, "He has a way of spooking you, does Epstein. Or he did. My babies were born prematurely, dangerously so. He'd ask which hospital I was giving birth at and I was so worried that somehow with all his connections to the academic and medical community that he was coming for my little ones that I put security on them in the NICU." Vicky, how do you think his alleged victims are feeling today?
WARD: Well, I think, you know, knowing the family, I think they will be feeling a mixture of empowered and afraid. You know, I'll never forget the mother of these two women telling me that many years later she was afraid to walk the dog at night. Afraid at who might jump out at her.
You know, this is a man who, you know, even recently, I've been told as been advising the crown prince of Saudi Arabia with the bond issue of Aramco. So, he is still mixing with influential and important people. So imagine how brave or the courage it's taken for these women to come forward and really hope that they get a fair and just hearing.
CABRERA: All right, Vicky Ward, we really appreciate your insight. Thank you for joining us.
WARD: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: New polls show President Trump with his highest approval rating. But why is he still losing in match-ups with top Democrats running for the White House?
Plus, Joe Biden's rivals wanted an apology for his comments about working with segregationist senators and they finally got it. Find out how they're responding and why Biden is saying sorry now.
[17:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: President Trump got some good news this holiday weekend. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, his approval rating has risen to 44 percent. That is the highest level of his presidency and a five-point bump from April. That boost is due in part to his 51 percent positive rating on the economy.
However, his disapproval rating still sits at 53 percent. That's down just 1 point from April. With us now to discuss, "Politico's" White House correspondent and associate editor, Anita Kumar and "The New York Times" White House Correspondent, Michael Shear.
Anita, in that same poll in hypothetical head-to-heads with 2020 candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden is the only candidate with a wide lead over Trump right now. This poll was done after the debates. He is still sitting 10 points ahead of Trump again, in a head-to-head. What does this tell you about what voters are looking for? ANITA KUMAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR, POLITICO:
Well, I mean, in one hand, it's not too surprising. Obviously, the former vice president has the name recognition that none of the other Democrats have and he's been leading so, that's not too surprising.
But if you look at the poll, what's really interesting is that some of that support is coming or its stronger support for him from independents and moderates than there is for President Trump. And that's really where the president and his advisers are going to be looking. They really want to shore up that support. That is something that, you know, was very key in the midterm elections and he needs to get some of those people back in order to win in 2020.
CABRERA: Biden apologized yesterday for those comments that were so controversial about working with segregationists. Here's how he explained why he did this now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESDIENTIAL CANDIDATE: The first opportunity they had to do it in a fulsome way. If any comments I made were taken in a way that people took offense from them, then I am truly sorry for that. That was not my intention.
But if you notice, I went on to talk about all of those sort of attacks that are going on, about the past, and laid out where I was and what we want to do. This is about the future. But the fact of the matter is that's why I chose here in South Carolina and chose an audience that in fact is would be the most likely to have been offended by anything that was said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Michael, does Biden's reasoning make sense?
MICHAEL SHEAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, sure, it makes sense. I mean, he's trying to, you know, get past a mine field which is -- which anybody will have when you have a 40-year record. You're going to find things that you've said or done that are going to be picked apart during the heat of a presidential campaign.
I think to Anita's point, he is trying to cast himself as this sort of mainstream kind of middle of the road Democrat who can appeal beyond the fringe of the Democratic Party and pick up those independents and those moderates. The problem is that only works in the general election.
At the moment he's fighting a battle against a number of progressives and liberals in the Democratic Party, and that's the, you know, that's what he has to be concerned about at the moment. And so the apology was really a recognition that he has to sort of stay in the good graces of the people in his own party before he can sort of fully turn to the future like he would want to do.
CABRERA: And Biden's lead in the polls show his lead shrinking among Democrats. And you look at some of the others now, you have senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren gaining traction in some of the polls. Their numbers are going up. In some polls, even passing Senator Bernie Sanders. Anita, is Sanders doing something wrong or are Warren and Harris doing something right?
KUMAR: Well, I think what's happening is you're just seeing people starting to get to know some of these candidates. Obviously, Senator Sanders was out there last time so people -- some people do know him. But some of these other candidates, Senator Warren, Senator Harris, the people are getting to know them.
They are watching debates, seeing them out there. And so I think that's part of it, is just them getting to know them and getting -- they're getting a lot of headlines and getting a lot of traction. Obviously, Senator Harris had the big headlines from the debates last week. So, part of it is just a name recognition issue.
CABRERA: I want to turn to Congressman Justin Amash who told our colleague, Jake Tapper, this earlier about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's hesitation to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[17:25:02] REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): From a principled moral position, she's making a mistake. From a strategic position, she's making a mistake. If she believes, as I do, that there is impeachable conduct in there, then she should say so. She should tell the American people we're going to move forward with impeachment hearings and potentially articles of impeachment.
When she says things like, oh, I think that we need to have the strongest case before we go forward, what she's telling the American people is she doesn't think there's a strong case. If she doesn't think that, then she shouldn't open her mouth in the first place and say she thinks there's impeachable conduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Michael, what's your assessment on that strategy?
SHEAR: Well, I mean look, he's right in the sense that Nancy Pelosi has made a calculation that from an electoral perspective. From a strategic perspective, she's not certain that moving ahead with an impeachment process that you know won't succeed because there aren't the votes to convict in the Senate.
Nancy Pelosi has decided at least for the moment that that's not a wise strategy. I mean, it's interesting for Justin Amash who is essentially a man on an island alone to be sort of commenting about the strategic benefits or cost-benefit analysis for one party or the other.
I mean, he essentially has been disowned by the Republican Party and disowned the party himself and he is certainly not a Democrat. And so I don't think Nancy Pelosi is going to listen to Justin Amash really as she decides her strategy for this. She's sort of set her sights on what she thinks is the right approach and it's not going to be diverted by him.
CABRERA: All right, Michael Shear and Anita Kumar, good to see both of you. Thank you very much.
CABRERA: Coming up, Senator Kamala Harris is speaking to voters in Florence, South Carolina this hour. These are live pictures. She speaks to the crowd there. Hear how she's responding to former Vice President Joe Biden's apology about those comments he made that we just discussed. That's next.
[17:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris still haven't settled the back and forth they started nearly two weeks ago on the debate stage. But this weekend, Biden apologized for comments he made about his history of working with pro-segregationist senators in the 1970s saying he regrets those comments and that he has changed since the '70s.
Senator Harris called him out for those comments in their first presidential candidate debate. And today, Harris is talking about Biden's apology. CNN's Kyung Lah is in South Carolina where both Harris and Biden are spending the day campaigning. Kyung, how is the senator responding to Joe Biden's apology this weekend?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, before this town hall and this town hall, Ana, just wrapped. We're in Florence, South Carolina. Before she held this one, she had another meet and greet at a small church. And she spoke to reporters there.
And a big bulk of the questions were focused on whether or not she had any reaction to Vice President Biden's -- the former vice president's apology, and here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he says he's sorry. I'm going to take him at his word, but again, that doesn't address the issue of busing in America. And the fact that he still, you know, we have to -- we cannot rewrite history about what segregationists were doing at that time on a number of issues, including opposing busing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And so I followed up on that and asked her, well, it took him three weeks to apologize. What does she think about how long it took him to apologize? And she said that she was done talking about it, that that was her answer for now. But she again stressed that you cannot rewrite history. And hen she talks about history, Ana, she's talking about the '60s and the '70s, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Kyung Lah, appreciate that reporting. Thanks. Customs and Border Patrol agents are under fire after a secret Facebook group is exposed. Hear how the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security is responding to racist posts, next.
[17:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Just moments ago, President Trump weighed in on new reporting by "The New York Times" on the border patrol stations in Clint, Texas, a little known spot that has suddenly become the public face of chaos, filth and illness at America's southern border.
And "The Times" really goes into detail, horrific detail of disease and outbreaks among migrant children there like shingles, scabies, and chicken pox. Agents say the smells of unwashed children permeated their own clothing. Well, here's what President Trump had to say about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm going to start showing some of these detention centers to the press. I want the press to go in and see them. And I just spoke to Mark Morgan, and I just spoke with, as you know -- so we're going to send people in. We're going to have some of the press go in and just because they're crowded and we are the ones who were complaining about they're crowded.
They're crowded because people come up. But now thanks to Mexico, it's slowing down greatly and I think you'll start seeing some very (inaudible) -- but it is crowded. But we want to have press go in and see because, you know, "The New York Times," it really is fake news. Thank you, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Let's get to CNN's Natasha Chen in El Paso, Texas. Natasha, tell us more about this "New York Times" reporting and what kind of reaction you are getting from Texas lawmakers.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, Ana, the "New York Times" and the "El Paso Times" here worked together to interview about a dozen Border Patrol agents about the very real issues inside these facilities. And we also talked to representative -- State Representative Mary Gonzalez who represents that Clint area where the facility is.
She also spoke to "The New York Times" for that article after she got a lot of stories from the Border Patrol agents who live in this area. Now, just to be clear, she was told by agents that back in May, there were as many as 700 kids in a place that was designed for about 100. And those 700 kids were using two shower facilities.
It's gotten a lot better. She visited last Monday when it was down to 25 kids using an increased eight shower facilities. So that's a lot better. But also she was talking about their access to food. That in May, when there were that many kids, she was told about one microwave that they had to feed that many children. Now they have two.
And with all of the reporting that's been out there, now this facility behind me, she says, has been catering food to Clint. So here's what she had to say about all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY GONZALEZ (D), STATE REPRESENTATIVE, TEXAS STATE HOUSE: A lot of the people I talk to who work there were saying we have been telling higher ups there's a problem. And those -- and basically those pleas have been ignored. A lot of the people who I talk to have been in the Border Patrol for decades, 23 years, 24 years. This is something very new to them. They were never charged with being caretakers of children.
At the end of the day, we have to realize that my community is struggling with an administration-made problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And CNN has been allowed inside a couple of facilities within the past month but never allowed to bring a camera with us. Our colleagues were only allowed to go in with pen and paper and on those visits our colleagues did tell us that they saw sanitized conditions and kids with resources to wash up and get food. But again, repeating that these are not the type of places where anyone would want to stay for a long period of time, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Natasha Chen, I'm glad we're continuing to focus on this story. It's so important. Thank you.
Even though the Supreme Court ruled against it for now, people close to the president say he is determined to get a citizenship question added to the census. So what are the legal avenues left for the administration? A, you know, Elie Honig joins us next to answer your questions. It's "Cross-Exam" in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:40:06] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: A battle between the courts and the Trump administration is brewing all over adding a citizenship question on the census. Now, after the Supreme Court blocked it for now, the Department of Justice told the court Friday it is still exploring options of adding it, including proposing an addendum to include the question later or maybe an executive order.
Now the president moments ago said he is moving forward on the census. But as of now, the census will be printed without the citizenship question. And that brings us to our weekly segment, "Cross-Exam" with Elie Honig. He's here to answer your questions about legal news. He's a former federal and state prosecutor and now a CNN legal analyst.
So the White House says it's looking at every option to put the citizenship question on the census. Elie, one viewer asked, given the Supreme Court has ruled on this, how can the administration still try to get the question added?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So Ana, this has been really an avalanche of lies and contradiction by the Trump administration and they keep piling up seemingly day by day. So quick review, the administration told the courts the reason we want that question on the census about citizenship is because we want to better enforce the Voting Rights Act and protect against discrimination.
[17:45:01] The challenger said, it's just the opposite. What they want is to put that question on, which will intimidate non-citizens and minorities who will then decide not to return the form, be undercounted, get less representation in Congress, less federal funding.
Now, the Supreme Court heard the case and said to the administration, your reasons, we're not buying it. They're contextual -- they're pretextual, they're contrived. Essentially, they are lies. But the Supreme Court left open the door just a crack.
They said, tell you what administration, if you can come back to us and give us legitimate reasons, we'll reconsider. And so that's the crack that the administration is trying to squeeze through now. But the contradictions are piling up.
First, Commerce and Justice came out and said publicly we're moving on, suggesting they really didn't have a legitimate reason until the president tweeted, we're full steam ahead and we just heard it a few minutes ago again.
And last week, the court said OK, if you have legitimate reasons we need to know by Friday. On Friday, DOJ, the poor attorney who had to go into court and say we're still kind of looking for those legitimate reasons. So, they've got major credibility issues and they're up against the clock. This census has to happen in 2020, hugely important battle. We'll continue to watch it moving forward.
CABRERA: Let's switch to Robert Mueller's upcoming testimony before Congress and the American people. That's coming up in just 10 days. Another viewer asked, do you think Congress will ask Mueller bluntly whether he found that Trump obstructed justice? And if so, how would Mueller's answer impact Congress?
HONIG: So I think Congress will and absolutely must ask this question straight up. If not for the Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president, would you charge Trump with obstruction? Now, Mueller has been kind of cagey about this so far. He's given us hints. He said things like I do not exonerate him and if I found clearly he did not commit a crime, I would have said.
But he's also dropped hints of where he stands. In the report, Mueller talks about substantial evidence. That's a quote from the report of obstruction and he lists out 11 different potentially obstructive acts, but he needs to be asked this question.
I'm one of 1,000-plus prosecutors now who signed a letter saying no question about it, there's more than enough evidence to indict an obstruction, but as much impact as we, a thousand or so may have, it's not going to measure up to what one person, Robert Mueller says if he answers this question.
I think the time for double speak has passed. I think Robert Mueller owes it to the public and to Congress to answer that question straight up, one way or another.
CABRERA: There was some outrage recently after reports of Ivanka Trump participating in some of these high-level meetings during the G20. Another viewer asked, how can President Trump appoint his family members to high-ranking positions? Isn't nepotism illegal under federal law?
HONIG: A lot of questions about this, this week. So the answer is yes. There is a federal Anti-Nepotism Law. It was passed in 1967. At the time, they called it the Bobby Kennedy Law because John F. Kennedy had recently nominated his brother, Robert F. Kennedy to be attorney general several years before that.
And the law says that an executive branch official cannot appoint a family member to an agency that he or she has jurisdiction over. So, that was the rule up until January of 2017, Trump takes office and DOJ on Trump's first day in office comes out with a new opinion saying agency does not include White House staff which opens the door for Donald Trump to hire his daughter and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner as White House advisers and senior advisers.
Look, this is problematic, A, because you have conflict of interest. If you supervise someone in the government and they do a bad job, you need to fire them. It's hard to do that with your son or daughter-in- law. And really, our fundamental idea here is that qualifications need to come above connections.
And we saw a pretty stark example last week with Ivanka Trump with zero international relations background trying to conduct high-level negotiations with foreign leaders. But unless DOJ amends its opinion or Congress closes it, that loophole will remain open for White House staff.
CABRERA: All right, quickly, your three questions.
HONIG: Big week, is Donald Trump going to try to issue an executive order on the census issue? Let me just be clear. Executive orders do not trump Supreme Court decisions. No pun intended but that is simply the way it works in our system.
Number two, is the New York attorney general preparing to take some action against Trump or his family or his business? We saw two consecutive days last week where Trump seemingly out of nowhere lashed out against the A.G. of New York. We wonder if there's something behind that.
And finally, will this be the week that Congress finally takes action to enforce its subpoenas? We had yet another week last week of no action. We've got Mueller next week. We've got the recess after that. I think if they're going to act, they really need to do it ASAP.
CABRERA: OK, Elie Honig, thank you. And stay with us because I have a lot more to talk to you about with the Jeffrey Epstein case coming up. And don't forget, you can read Elie's column at cnn.com/opinion and ask your own questions. Rolling out the red carpet, a new CNN Original Series "The Movies"
premieres tonight and CNN is celebrating. We're live to Brooke Baldwin and take you to the fun, next.
[17:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: There's an entire generation of Americans, they're all in their '50s today whose entire high school experience was captured almost perfectly and forever by a little coming of age movie that came out of nowhere in 1982, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
And my friend Brooke Baldwin spoke to one of the stars of that movie and joins us now. I know you're much too young for that movie to have any effect on your school days, Brooke, but I'm sure you saw it on VHS.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Not at all. I'm old enough. I've got a milestone birthday this Friday. I'm turning something that rhymes with schmorty (ph) so, yes. I am very aware of this movie. And as we have this conversation, it's '80s power hour and the CNN Original Series "The Movies," the debut episode tonight at 9:00 is actually all about the '80s.
And so I thought I'd have a little fun with you before we talk about Judge Reinhold, who I talked to the other day. One of my favorite '80s movie, Robert Redford, much "Out Of Africa?" Randy? Yes. "Back To The Future." Do you have a favorite or are you a Back To The Future 1, or 2, or 3?
CABRERA: Oh, "Back To The Future." I can't remember. I've seen them all. I haven't seen them in a really long time. What's your favorite?
BALDWIN: I think two. I love the hover board. As a kid I always wanted one. And lastly before we get to the sound, Ana, how about "Ghost"?
CABRERA: Oh, "Ghost," yes.
BALDWIN: Were you a fan?
CABRERA: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore. I loved that movie. It's so touching.
[17:54:58] BALDWIN: So good. I will be honest. I had everyone in here looking for my absolute favorite movie of the '80s which is "Dirty Dancing" -- could not find. So, we did a little Patrick Swayze in "Ghost" instead. So I talked to Judge Reinhold who everyone will recognize. He was in "Fast Times."
He played Brad and there were many moments -- his moments shall we say from that movie, but when I talked to him, I actually really geeked out because if you've been watching all afternoon -- I've talked a lot about Eddie Murphy and how my -- one of my favorite movies growing up was "Back To The Future" and he played opposite him. And so I asked him what it was like to just obviously be laughing onset all the time. And this is what Judge said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: When I found out I got to talk to you, I -- one of my favorite movies of all time forever and ever is "Beverly Hills Cop." And I laughed and laughed and laughed --
JUDGE REINHOLD, ACTOR: Thank you.
BARLDWIN: -- I mean, your scenes with Eddie Murphy in his trademark, I won't even do it, but I mean, people know. You can hear it. Like, what was it like doing those movies? What was it like working with him?
REINHOLD: He was so comfortable improvising. I came -- my origins were theatrical so I, you know, stuck to the script. I mean, I was loose enough but I had no idea. He was a tsunami of comic invention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, just imagine being onset with Eddie Murphy as he's playing Axle Foley in those legendary '80s movies. It made me -- I just remember being a little girl and laughing so hysterically, not at all understanding all the jokes. But as I grew older and re-rented and re-rented, I got it a bit more.
But anyway, so we're here at the CNN video store. Just to remind everyone, Ana, anyone can come down. We're here at Hudson Yards in New York City. This is open to the public. You come hang out. Hang out with me. Get some free candy. If you want to tweet about it, it's #CNNthemovies and it all debuts tonight at 9:00, Ana.
CABRERA: I actually really miss movie stores. They are a thing of the past.
BALDWIN: Right, so do I.
CABRERA: I bet there are people watching this right now, Brooke, who are like what? What is that? They don't even get it.
BALDWIN: Well, it should be (inaudible). Be kind, please rewind, what?
CABRERA: I know. We'll talk to you soon, Brooke. Thanks.
CNN's New Original Series "The Movies" airs tonight at 9:00 only here on CNN. We'll be right back.
[17:52:14] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)