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AT THIS HOUR

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Honored at New York City Hall; Soon Labor Secretary Acosta to Speak Amid Jeffrey Epstein Controversy; New Woman Comes Forward with Accusations Against Epstein; Nadler: House Judiciary Committee May Investigate Acosta Plea Deal on Epstein; Megan Rapinoe Speaks to Fans in New York City. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:30:00] (SINGING)

CARLI LLOYD, U.S. SOCCER TEAM PLAYER: Thank you.

(SINGING)

LLOYD: Well, let me just say this first. I've got 22 of the best, best friends right behind me.

(CHEERING)

(SHOUTING)

LLOYD: And I feel like the old granny a little bit, because I'm always telling them to turn the music down. No, I mean this is incredible.

Carlos, thank you.

Thank you to U.S. soccer.

Our support staff over there, you guys work tirelessly. We changed nine different hotels throughout our journey in the World Cup.

(APPLAUSE)

LLOYD: They don't get the credit they deserve.

Everybody here, Molly, our G.M., the coms group, everybody. I'm super, super proud of this team.

You know, we were obviously here four years ago. It never gets old. These parades are amazing, you fans are amazing.

I'm just super proud of every single player on this team. It took all 23 players to get to this point. Everybody played a role. It was just incredible to see so many different players step up, so many different players come through every match we needed somebody to kind of lift us and it's a testament to this group behind us. Such a talented, talented group. To the coaching staff, to Jill, Graham here, we don't have a few of

our other coaches. Dawn is -- I don't know where Dawn is. Is she here? Yes, Dawn, B.J., Ryan, thank you guys. It was a tough couple of years to get to this point, but we couldn't have done it without you guys, so thank you.

To you fans, to New York City --

(CHEERING)

LLOYD: -- you guys are amazing. The support in just a couple of days to get this parade going, you guys are truly, truly amazing. We cannot thank you enough for all of your support.

I'm a Jersey girl, through and through, but New York --

(CHEERING)

LLOYD: New York, it's just as close. Even though I'm an Eagles fan down in Philly.

(CHEERING)

LLOYD: So fly, Eagles, fly!

(CHEERING)

LLOYD: But thank you, guys. Thank you to the city of New York, the mayor, everybody that played a role in this. We can't thank you enough.

And here's to the next chapter. Maybe we'll see you in another four years.

(CHEERING)

ROBIN ROBERTS, NBC CO-ANCHOR, GOOD MORNING, AMERICA: You have to admit, the players, they gave us so much to cheer for. The watch parties that we saw all around the country and here in New York in the parks were something.

And this next player really -- I have a hankering for a spot of tea right now. Why would that be?

(CHEERING)

ROBERTS: Because we're going to have Alex Morgan up here talking to us.

Alex?

(CHEERING)

ALEX MORGAN, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER: I just want to say I'm loving the enthusiasm. It's not even noon yet. So thank you, guys.

(CHEERING)

MORGAN: And thank you, guys, for bringing the heat.

I also want to say thank you for your chants, your signs and your posters. We appreciate it. Keep it going.

(CHEERING)

MORGAN: The "USA" chants I meant.

But thank you so much, New York City, for coming out. Over a million people, plenty more this morning. It is very hot, you guys.

And I wanted to thank Mayor De Blasio for giving us another key soon enough to the city hall. Soon enough you're going to need to change your locks, so.

(LAUGHTER)

Thank you all so much. I think that we have been known as America's favorite soccer team.

(CHEERING)

MORGAN: But from here on out, we'll just be known as America's team.

(CHEERING)

MORGAN: Thank you, guys. I love you guys so much.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERING)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Alex Morgan doing it the way Alex Morgan does.

We're going to have much more of this celebration and ceremony after a break.

[11:34:17] ROBERTS: The mayor and first lady will now --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back, everybody.

The women's World Cup champs are about to get the keys to New York City. We're going to bring you all of these big moments, the dance moves, the cheers, the whole shebang. We'll bring that to you in just a moment.

We have other news to get to right now. Including this. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is expected to speak this afternoon. This is amid the controversy surrounding a sweetheart plea deal that he inked a decade ago as U.S. attorney overseeing the case against sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. Now Epstein, as we well know, is facing new charges here in New York

of sex trafficking. Acosta is facing new scrutiny.

Just as a new woman is coming forward with allegations that Epstein assaulted her when she was just 15 years old. The woman, who is now 32, tells NBC News that she was 14 years old, 14 years old when she was first approached outside her New York City high school by a young woman who would later introduce her to the man charged with running a sex trafficking ring. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER ARAOZ, EPSTEIN ACCUSER: I didn't necessarily think that he was going to rape me.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Did he hold you there?

ARAOZ: Yes. Mm-hmm.

GUTHRIE: No question in your mind he knew you did not want that to happen?

[11:40:16] ARAOZ: Oh, yes. No, he definitely -- yes. There was no way. I was like -- I don't want to say I was screaming or anything of that nature. But I was terrified. And I was telling him to stop, please stop, you know.

GUTHRIE: And did he?

ARAOZ: No, he did not stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: At the very same time, sources are telling CNN that when it comes to Alex Acosta, the labor secretary and his role in inking the deal way back when that really basically got Epstein off, sources tell CNN the president has privately expressed confidence in Alex Acosta. But the same sources tell CNN Trump's mood could change at any moment. We. of course, know that from recent history.

All the while calls are mounting on Capitol Hill and beyond for the labor secretary now to resign.

Abby Phillip is at the White House for us. She's joining me right now.

Abby, what are you hearing from the White House about this coming statement from Secretary Acosta? What's expected today?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, there's no question the pressure is building on this situation, which is why you're seeing Alex Acosta making the decision to come out front and explain himself in person this afternoon around 2:00.

But we're also hearing from our sources that he is not expected to resign. This statement is going to happen at the Department of Labor later today.

And there's a sense in the White House that they're taking their cues from President Trump, who just yesterday was asked about all of this and he took the time to defend Alex Acosta.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can tell you that for two and a half years, he's been just an excellent secretary of labor. He's done a fantastic job. But you're talking about a long time ago. And again, it was a decision made I think not by him but by a lot of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: So we're also hearing another argument coming from the White House. This morning, the vice president's chief of staff, Marc Short, made sure to note that Alex Acosta, according to Short, was being requested to be taken off the case by Epstein's lawyers, by the defense, because Epstein's lawyers believed that he was too aggressive in this case.

So don't be surprised if you hear more about that later this afternoon.

From the sounds of it, the White House is preparing to mount a defense of Alex Acosta. But Acosta himself is doing it this afternoon with that statement.

Yesterday, he also tweeted that he believed new evidence was coming to light and that he welcomed the reexamination of Jeffrey Epstein in this case.

But if he takes questions, there will be plenty of them, as there are a lot of concerns about his role in the sweetheart deal, why he chose to go down that path.

As all of this unfolds, the president himself will be watching very carefully. White House aides stress his mind can change at any moment, as he evaluates how this is all playing in the media, something he watches and monitors very closely -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yes, it's quite surprising that amid all this Alex Acosta is holdings -- I don't know if it's just a statement or a press conference, we will see.

Abby, thank you very much.

So we'll have to wait and see the response from Capitol Hill to whatever Secretary Acosta says today.

But even before then, we are hearing from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler telling CNN that he may investigate Acosta's plea deal with Epstein a decade ago.

CNN congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly, is following this on Capitol Hill.

Phil, what are you hearing right now?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Kate, there's a couple different dynamics at play here. I want to kind of explain them and walk you through them.

We have obviously seen Democratic leaders, really a flurry of all Democrats, rank and file and leadership call for secretary Alex Acosta resign. If he does not want to resign, they have called for President Trump to fire him.

What Democrats haven't done, at least en masse right now, is say that they're going to launch investigations or they're going hold hearings.

In fact, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was asked if hearings should be held. He said he wanted to wait and see what the Justice Department review of that non-prosecution agreement laid out before he made any decisions on that front.

Speaker Pelosi was asked about it and she said it's the president's job to investigate this, it's his cabinet.

You mentioned Jerry Nadler, who said they would carefully review the possibility of a potential investigation. But he also noted in that same interview that the Judiciary Committee has an awful lot on their plate right now. So does the House Oversight Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. So it's an interesting dynamic.

The Democrats in the majority in the House, who have control to hold hearings or an investigation, so far have been reluctant to go down that path. Part of the reason is really twofold. One, they have a lot on their plates, as Chairman Nadler said. The second is they're waiting to see what comes out next. Part of what you're seeing, I'm told, is there's kind of the expectation that Acosta may not make it through the week. We will see, however.

You made a key point here, both Republicans and Democrats will all be watching at 2:30 today when he speaks to figure out if there are next steps, and what those next steps might be -- Kate.

[11:45:10] BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And all the while, we have this SDNY case now against Jeffrey Epstein, and dozens of underage victims, that they are still asking for more victims to come forward if they can. Amidst all of this, there's that.

BOLDUAN: Phil, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

We're going to keep our eye on Washington and Capitol Hill, but we're going to turn our attention back to New York City, where we'll have more live coverage of today's celebration of the U.S. women's soccer team. Co-captain Megan Rapinoe about to speak to the crowd.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: Welcome back, everybody.

Megan Rapinoe, co-captain, the woman of the hour, is speaking now to fans in lower Manhattan.

MEGAN RAPINOE, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER: Let's go, New York City!

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: I see you all right here. I see everyone in the distance as well. Hello back there!

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: This is crazy. This is absolutely insane.

Such at a loss for words. I mean I'll find them, don't worry.

(LAUGHTER)

But ridiculous.

First and foremost, my teammates. Just shout-out to the teammates.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: Everybody. Give them a clap.

(APPLAUSE)

CHEERING)

RAPINOE: This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humor, is just so bad ass.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: Like, there's nothing, nothing that can faze this group. We're chillin'. We've got tea sipping. We've got celebrations.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: We've got white girls and black girls, and everything in between.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: Straight girls and gay girls.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: Hey!

(CHEERING)

(APPLAUSE)

RAPINOE: I couldn't be more proud to be a co-captain with Carli and Alex with this team.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: It's my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There's no other place that I would rather be, even in the presidential race.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: I'm busy, I'm sorry.

To the staff, to the coaching staff, the technical staff, to the medical staff, to the support staff, to the massage therapists, to the videographers

(SHOUTING)

RAPINOE: To the chef. Chef T!

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: To our security, to our media people, thank you so much. You make our jobs so easy. We don't have to focus on anything other than what we have to do on the field. Thank you for that.

To the federation, Carlos, thank you.

You were incredible this World Cup. I know that you got a little stick when you were up here, a couple chants. I think that's a sign of affection, though, right? Everybody gets booed. Everybody in a position of power gets booed.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: I'm going to stick my neck out there a little bit, and I'm going to endorse Carlos.

I think he's with us. I think he's on the right side of things. I think he's going to make things right.

(CHEERING)

[11:49:57] RAPINOE: He's proven -- he's proven every day since he's been in office for us that he's with us. He was with us every single day of the World Cup. Not only from just a personal standpoint, how much that means to us, but just from an outlook standpoint and all the eyes looking in, this man was there. He was in the tunnel every single game. He was celebrating every single game. We appreciate that. Thank you.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: We look forward to holding those feet to the fire.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: To the mayor's office, Bill De Blasio, this is our second time around. And your beautiful wife. Thank you for hosting us.

Also to the governor. Cuomo is how you pronounce it, right? Thank you so much for hosting us.

To the NYPD, to the fire department here, to everyone that made this happen, thank you so much. This is not possible without everyone.

(APPLAUSE)

RAPINOE: We really do appreciate all that it takes to shut down the biggest, best city in the world.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: For the biggest, best team in the world.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: Thank you for that. That means the world to us.

I think I'll just end with this. This is my charge to everyone. We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We've got to listen more and talk less. We've got to know that this is everybody's responsibility, every single person here, every single person who is not here, every single person who doesn't want to be here, every single person who agrees and doesn't agree, it's our responsibility to make this world a better place.

I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position that we have and the platform that we have within this world.

Yes, we play sports. Yes, we play soccer. Yes, we're female athletes. But we're so much more than that.

You're so much more than that.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: You're more than a fan. You're more than someone who just supports sports. You're more than someone who tunes in every four years. You're someone who walks these streets every single day. You interact with your community every single day.

How do you make your community better? How do you make the people around you better? Your family? Your closest friends, the 10 closest people to you, the 20 closest people to you, the most hundred people closest to you? It's every single person's responsibility.

There's been so much contention in these last years. I've been a victim of that. I've been a perpetrator of that. But to the federation, sorry for some of things I said.

(LAUGHTER)

Not all of the things.

But it's time to come together.

This conversation is at the next step. We have to collaborate. It takes everybody.

This is my charge to everybody. Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you've ever been before.

If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take this as an example. This group is incredible. We took so much on our shoulders to be here today, to celebrate with you today. And we did it with a smile. So do the same for us. Please. I ask you.

(CHEERING)

RAPINOE: New York City, you're the mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) best!

(CHEERING)

(CHANTING)

BOLDUAN: All right. So that's Megan Rapinoe and that's live TV. Apologies. We cannot control Megan Rapinoe's speech.

But Christine Brennan is here with me as they're going to be getting the keys to the city right now.

I feel like I -- well, I have never seen anything like this before.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: No, I would agree. And when people talk about her running for office, you can see how comfortable she is, how funny. I'm busy, she says.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry, I'm busy.

BRENNAN: But the battle to have her endorse will be extraordinary in the Democratic primary, to have her on stage for a candidate. We'll see how that plays out.

But also --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: And what -- she also took -- and something you noted to me, which is just the diversity of this team, the closeness of this team. And that was something that she very appropriately is celebrating, celebrating on stage in that speech.

BRENNAN: Well, that team looks a lot more like America than the 1999 team. Obviously, soccer started, women's and girls soccer started in the suburbs. Title IX has been a huge success in our suburbs. Not so much in urban areas or rural areas.

But this team has a handful of women who are multi-racial. It has, as Megan you said, gay women, straight women, women who are married to women, women who are married to men. And it is -- again, it is much more of a -- the picture of the fabric of the country.

[11:55:11] BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And what a morning it has been. What a show to watch. What a celebration to witness.

Thanks so much for joining me, Christine. It was great to see you.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you all for joining us today. Much more after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:00:00]