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Pelosi Calls on Labor Secretary to Resign Over Epstein Plea Deal; Sen. Elizabeth Warren Raises $19.1 Million in 2nd Quarter; Trump: Will No Longer Deal with U.K. Ambassador Who Called Him 'Inept'; U.N. Watchdog: Iran Enriching Uranium Beyond Levels in Nuclear Deal; Judge Could Dismiss Kevin Spacey Assault Case. Aired 6- 6:30a ET
Aired July 9, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Multimillionaire financer Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender, pleading not guilty to two sex-trafficking charges.
[05:59:33] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got a man who's now looking at spending the rest of his natural life in jail.
GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: The alleged behavior shocks the conscience.
JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF JOE BIDEN: The one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he's a racist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to have a problem with black voters.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can go back and pick everybody's record apart. No one knows the context of the moment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nineteen point one million dollars in the second quarter for Elizabeth Warren.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is really vaulting into the very top tier of the candidates that are out there.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. We're ready for you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The chairs. What you can't see is these chairs adjust, OK? These chairs adjust, and we have big problems getting them at the right height! Right?
CAMEROTA: One second ago --
J. BERMAN: That was it. CAMEROTA: That was where John was and I was.
But welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 9, 6 a.m. here in New York.
So while you were sleeping, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign because of a secret sweetheart deal he made with the multimillionaire and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein a decade ago that has now come to light.
This last weekend, federal prosecutors indicted Epstein on new sex trafficking charges that allege that he exploited dozens of girls as young as 14 years old at his homes in New York and Florida.
J. BERMAN: Investigators also say they uncovered a cache of naked photos of young women in Epstein's case. Epstein now faces 45 years in prison.
This case has tentacles everywhere: the Trump cabinet, Donald Trump himself, who was on the record with statements about Epstein and young women. There's a new statement from Bill Clinton's office. There are royal family connections.
We're learning this morning that the attorney general has recused himself from parts of the case already because of legal connections. We're also learning that William Barr's father had professional connections with Epstein. Again, tentacles everywhere.
This morning we're waiting to hear from Secretary Acosta on the new calls for his resignation. We are also waiting for new comment from the White House.
CNN's Brynn Gingras joins us now with all the developments in this case that are, frankly, new and stunning.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, let's reiterate what Alisyn said. Jeffrey Epstein, already registered sex offender, has friends in high places. Former President Clinton, President Trump, who in a 2002 interview called Epstein a terrific guy.
Now, both have somewhat tried to distance themselves, but Epstein is behind bars right now. He's awaiting a bail hearing. But it really may be harder for others, like Acosta, to distance himself from his past connections to this multimillionaire.
GINGRAS (voice-over): Growing calls this morning for President Trump's labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, to step down over his handling of sex abuse allegations against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was the U.S. attorney for Florida's Southern District a decade ago.
A newly unsealed indictment charges the hedge fund manager with operating a sex-trafficking ring where he is accused of sexual sexually abusing dozens of underaged girls in his New York City home. Epstein pleaded not guilty to all charges Monday.
G. BERMAN: As alleged, Epstein was well aware that many of his victims were minors and, not surprisingly, many of the underaged girls that Epstein allegedly victimized were particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
GINGRAS: According to the New York indictment, Epstein ran a trafficking enterprise between 2002 and 2005. The 66-year-old allegedly paid hundreds of dollars in cash to girls as young as 14 years old to have sex with him at his homes in New York and Palm Beach, Florida.
Prosecutors say a search warrant executed on his Manhattan townhouse uncovered a "vast trove of lewd photographs of young-looking women or girls."
The indictment is a direct rebuke of a secret, non-prosecution agreement Acosta negotiated with Epstein's high-powered attorneys in 2008, which suspended a federal grand jury investigation into the allegations against him. In exchange, Epstein pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges. "The Miami Herald" called it a deal of a lifetime, considering it was a federal investigation identifying 36 underaged victims.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now calling for Acosta's resignation, saying that deal was unconscionable.
Attorney General William Barr recused himself from that investigation, but now the Justice Department is looking at whether he needs to recuse himself from any other investigation into the case.
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm recused from that matter, because one of the law -- one of the law firms that represented Epstein long ago was a firm that I subsequently joined for a period of time.
GINGRAS: Prosecutors calling for other women to step forward.
G. BERMAN: The alleged behavior shocks the conscience. They deserve their day in court. We are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment.
GINGRAS: And we're still awaiting word from the White House, but a senior administration official told CNN there was an internal review of Acosta's involvement in Epstein's case but stopped short of commenting on his standing in the administration right now.
In the meantime, the U.S. attorney's office says it's received calls from more potential victims in this case. So if there is some good news, John and Alisyn, that's it right there.
J. BERMAN: Indeed. You know, justice for these victims, long, long overdue, perhaps. Brynn, thanks very much.
CAMEROTA: What a tangled, twisted web of -- how many people are somehow tangentially connected to this?
J. BERMAN: It is hard to keep track, and the question, I guess, is just how tangential?
[06:05:06] CAMEROTA: Right. That's right. That's what has to come forward.
J. BERMAN: There are legal, and there are political questions; and we're just beginning to get to the bottom of it.
CAMEROTA: All right.
J. BERMAN: So a reshaped Democratic race for president this morning, with Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing a surprising fundraising haul, and we have the first candidate to drop out. Could more soon be to follow?
CNN's Rebecca Buck live in Washington.
And Rebecca, let's start with Elizabeth Warren. Small dollars leading to a big number and perhaps a big problem for Bernie Sanders.
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John.
So there was some question of whether Elizabeth Warren would be able to turn her surging poll numbers over the past few weeks into a big fundraising haul this quarter, and that question yesterday was asked and answered. Warren announcing $19.1 million for the quarter. It puts her in third of the candidates who have announced so far, after Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden.
And what makes Warren's fundraising haul even more notable is she didn't do any of these high-dollar fundraisers with big donors like Buttigieg, like Biden, like Kamala Harris. All of her fundraising came from small donations online.
I'll take you through some of the numbers here: 384,000 people donated to her campaign, and 80 percent of those in this quarter were new donors with an average contribution of $28.
Of course, that reflects the surge in enthusiasm that we've been talking about with Warren, cementing her place in the top tier of this field.
But meanwhile, the field is winnowing, with Congressman Eric Swalwell announcing yesterday that he's dropping out of the race for president. He was a candidate for exactly three months, but his candidacy, his bid for president failed to catch fire.
Elizabeth Warren tweeted her thanks to Swalwell for putting gun reform front and center in the election. She added, "The American people are lucky to have you in this fight" -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Rebecca. Thank you very much for that.
Now to a CNN exclusive. CNN's Chris Cuomo sitting down with former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife. In this exclusive, Jill Biden reveals that she was surprised by Senator Kamala Harris's debate attack on her husband's record on race and segregation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL BIDEN: The biggest surprise, I think, was the debate. I think, you know, I think probably Kamala was a little bit of a surprise.
He got into politics because of his commitment to civil rights; and then to be elected with Barack Obama. And then someone is saying, you know, "You're a racist." As soon as I heard those words --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: No, they say you're not a racist, but this all stinks.
JILL BIDEN: I knew, but as soon as I heard those words, I thought, "Uh-oh, what's coming next?" And I think the American people know Joe Biden. They know his values. They know what he stands for, and they didn't buy it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: We will play the complete interview with Joe and Jill Biden in our 8 a.m. hour.
J. BERMAN: It is really interesting how the Bidens are resetting now prior to the next CNN debate just two weeks -- 2 1/2 weeks away.
So new this morning, retribution. We are learning the administration pulled an invitation to British -- to the British ambassador to attend a dinner last night. President Trump says he will no longer deal with the British ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, after Darroch called the Trump administration clumsy and inept in private cables.
The president's criticism of British leadership didn't end there.
CNN's Max Foster live in London with the latest fallout. Max, and this is really becoming beyond just awkward.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is, but the British government very much standing by their man in Washington. Theresa May offering her full support for Kim Darroch.
Behind the scenes, though, John, it has to be said, a huge amount of concern about the state of the U.K.-U.S. relationship. The sort of situation that the U.K. has left it or found itself in.
The view here very much that Darroch was simply doing the job he's paid to do, which is to offer frank assessments to the current administration.
And the big question is how to interpret this tweet from President Trump. So as you say, he says, "We will no longer deal with Darroch." Is that an official instruction? We know that he was disinvited from a dinner last night at the White
House. That's one thing. But we're also expecting him, though, to attend a meeting today with Ivanka Trump at the White House. The question is will he be allowed in?
If he's not allowed in, it does suggest that he's become persona non grata and, effectively, that diplomatic apparatus between the two countries is starting to break down, which is a very difficult situation for London to deal with; because they feel that Darroch, who was simply doing his job, and it's not up to a head of state in a host country to define who should be -- who should be the ambassador in that country.
So, you know, Theresa May is on her way out. So it will be for her replacement to find a way of dealing with this.
CAMEROTA: Max, this is beyond awkward, and it will be very telling to see what happens in that meeting that's supposed to happen with Ivanka today. Thank you very much for all the background.
[06:10:02] So the sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey could soon be dismissed. The dramatic testimony that has now put this case in doubt. That's next.
CAMEROTA: French officials are ramping up efforts to keep the nuclear deal with Iran from crumbling as the U.N. watchdog confirms that Tehran is now enriching uranium beyond the level set in that historic agreement.
Nic Robertson is live for us in Gibraltar where an Iranian ship is still being held in U.K. custody. What is the latest, Nic?
[06:15:10] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The latest we have from Gibraltar authorities, and they released this information late last night, is that the tanker is full of crude oil, jammed full of crude oil, which gives a lie to what Iran has been saying, that this wasn't headed to an oil refinery in Syria under E.U. sanctions.
So where we are now hearing today, and this is -- these are new lines coming from Iran. We are hearing from an adviser to the supreme leader there, saying that Iranian authorities are now duty bound to reciprocate the seizing of an Iranian vessel by the British by taking a British vessel.
We've also heard today from the top military commander in Iran, saying that this seizing of this vessel cannot go unanswered. So the tension over this ship is ratcheting up. Gibraltar and Britain digging in on their positions, saying that this was crude oil, breaking E.U. sanctions. Iran saying that they may well reciprocate.
We are, of course, seeing the French trying to deescalate the -- the tensions over the international nuclear deal by sending a senior diplomat to Tehran today. Of course, President Trump and President Macron met on the sidelines
of the G-20 just 10 days or so ago in Osaka in Japan to talk about this diplomatic initiative.
But Iran is now stepping up its breaking, if you will, of terms of that nuclear deal. Two thresholds it has now gone through: the storage capacities and the level of enrichment. So this now, on the tanker front and the nuclear deal front, ramping up tensions. Will the French be able to deescalate? This is too early to say -- John.
J. BERMAN: Nic Robertson standing in the middle, literally, of this dispute. Thanks for being there for us, Nic.
In just a few hours, the man at the center of President Trump's proposed Moscow tower project is scheduled to testify in private to Congress. Felix Sater was originally scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee last month but failed to show up. He claims he overslept.
The committee is interested in the former Trump business associate, because he worked with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen on the project during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Sater's involvement in real estate -- in that real-estate project is detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.
CAMEROTA: Former deputy White House counsel Annie Donaldson is refusing to answer more than 200 questions from the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, under orders from the Trump administration.
All the questions were about incidents described in the Mueller report. The case is likely to be part of a looming court fight between congressional Democrats and the White House over executive privilege.
J. BERMAN: Dramatic developments in the case against actor Kevin Spacey and the possibility that the case could be dismissed. This after the young man who accused him of fondling him invoked the Fifth Amendment in a hearing over a missing cell phone.
CNN's Jean Casarez was in the courtroom. She is here with much more, and Jean, to say this took a turn would be an understatement.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, this hearing could determine the course of the rest of this criminal case.
You know, it started out being where's the missing cell phone? That was the issue, because the accuser had a phone on him the night he says he was sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey. He was texting his girlfriend, he says, at the same time.
The lead investigator yesterday said there was no question but the data was manipulated on the phone. It was changed.
The accuser, his mother and his father, all took the stand. They said, "We didn't delete any texts at all." But yet, the forensics show things were deleted.
His mother admitted that she deleted some pictures that she thought didn't show her son in the best light. But when the father of the accuser took the stand, because police say they gave the phone back to them, he not only denied ever getting the phone -- it's now lost -- but decorum, respect to the court, his emotions overtook him, and he remembered none of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK LITTLE, ALLEGED VICTIM'S FATHER: I think you've had way too many questions that have gone way too far.
JUDGE THOMAS BARRETT, MASSACHUSETTS JUDGE: Sir, listen to me, you keep this up, I'm going to hold you in contempt. This is a criminal proceeding, and you will cooperate, or, as I say, you'll be held in contempt.
LITTLE: I understand.
Do you want to let everyone know what that was that happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was there when you looked at his text messages?
LITTLE: I asked you a question.
BARRETT: Listen, are you not hearing me, sir?
LITTLE: I am. I'm sorry. Look, I'm sorry, my son --
BARRETT: Listen to me. This is not about that at this moment. It's about what you know.
LITTLE: But has turned into that.
BARRETT: You -- you -- Listen, you're real close.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: That father became awful close to being in contempt of court, but the accuser took the stand and testified for a long time. Alan Jackson just asking him so many important questions to the defense, because they believe things were deleted on that phone that would help them.
[06:20:04] The accuser said, "You know, I -- my mother saw the phone. My mother had the phone. Maybe my mother talked to me about deleting things, but I didn't delete anything."
The mother denied that she deleted anything.
But at the end of his testimony, an attorney in the courtroom who had been representing some other people in criminal matters went to him and said, "You have a Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate yourself on the stand." So ultimately, all that testimony was stricken.
And the judge said, "Where is this case going, because we can't find the cell phone. The defense can't get it in their hands. He can't testify about the phone, because he's got that Fifth Amendment right"?
So we know a motion by the defense is going to be filed. The judge was exasperated at the whole thing. And we'll see, Alisyn, where exactly this criminal case goes, if it can stand up.
CAMEROTA: What a turn of events, Jean. Oh, my goodness. Kevin Spacey could not have seen any of that coming. Thank you very much for the latest.
So the U.S. Women's National Team is back home, celebrating the World Cup win; but behind the smiles, they say they mean business. So what they told our reporter after landing, next.
[06:25:49] J. BERMAN: Twenty-four hours until the U.S. soccer team enjoys its ticker-tape parade through New York City, and Alisyn Camerota will be in the middle of it all.
In the meantime, the team arrived back in the United States with a message on equal pay. Andy Scholes with the latest in "The Bleacher Report."
Good morning, Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, John.
Yes, the team arriving back home last night, and the celebration tour, it's going to go all week long. Interviews today, including Megan Rapinoe joining Anderson Cooper at 8 Eastern tonight.
Now tomorrow, they're going to have that parade through New York City. Then the team are going to jump on another plane and head to Los Angeles for the ESPYs tomorrow night.
Now Rapinoe and Alex Morgan gracing the latest cover of "Sports Illustrated" with that iconic pose from the championship game.
This team certainly more than just champions on the field. They are trying to make real change as they fight for equal pay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX MORGAN, 2-TIME WOMEN'S WORLD CUP CHAMPION: It's so evident, more today than ever, that we do need to use our voice for what we believe in and for the opinions that we have.
MEGAN RAPINOE, USWNT CO-CAPTAIN: We understand what kind of stage we're on. We're very aware of the attention that we have, the platform that we have. We knew that this would be a huge summer for us in many different ways. And this is just the first step in a very big summer that we hope to have. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: All right. Coco Gauff's magical run in Wimbledon coming to an end yesterday, the 15-year-old losing to former world No. 1, Simona Halep in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
Coco was the youngest to make it to the round of 16 in Wimbledon in 28 years. Her parents told NBC she's in year seven of a ten-year plan to win a major. They added they are surprised her success has come so early, and Coco found it hard to believe herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORI "COCO" GAUFF, 15-YEAR-OLD TENNIS PLAYER: If somebody told me this maybe three weeks ago, I probably wouldn't believe it. Because I knew how hard I worked, and I knew what shots I could make and what was possible.
I hope they learned about me that I'm a fighter, and I'll never give up. And I hope they learned from me that, I mean, anything is possible if you work hard and just continue to dream big.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And just an awesome run from Coco.
And John, you know, do you have your kids on a ten-year plan? Because after watching Coco, I'm trying to think I might need to do something like that.
J. BERMAN: You know, I have my kids on a ten-year plan to stay out of prison. That's -- that's like -- that's like the plan that my kids are on. A little different.
CAMEROTA: Good thing they're at camp and not listening to this right now.
J. BERMAN: Exactly.
CAMEROTA: My kids are on a ten-hour plan.
That -- she's remarkable. We talked to her mom, and you know, they're just, they're committed; she's so committed. I mean, they're just a wonderful family. And they show, I guess, what you can do with -- but also with raw talent.
J. BERMAN: Yes.
SCHOLES: Yes, big things in store for her.
J. BERMAN: And they do keep it in perspective. I mean, they want to make sure that she can still be a kid.
J. BERMAN: We are going to speak with Coco Gauff in our next hour about her amazing run at Wimbledon. If you have questions that you want to ask her, tweet me, because I'm curious what you all think about what she's been doing.
CAMEROTA: All right. So what will the White House say today about Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's role in the Jeffrey Epstein secret plea deal a decade ago? And what about his future in the administration? That's next.