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U.K. Ambassador to U.S. Resigns After Calling Trump "Inept"; CNN: Trump Privately Tells People He has Confidence in Alexander Acosta; City of New Orleans Braces for a Tornado. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 09:00   ET


[09:00:22] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Jim Sciutto has the day off, and hello to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world, and welcome to a very special championship edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I love saying that.

They made history. Now it is time to celebrate. The excitement is building. We are just minutes away from the start of the ticker tape parade honoring the U.S. women's soccer team. It is all happening just a few blocks south of where I am here in New York City.

The World Cup champions will head up Broadway through the traditional Canyon of Heroes all the way to city hall where they will be met and honored by Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray.

This will be only the second time that a women's sports team has been given a ticker tape parade. The first, also to honor the soccer champs in 2015 when the women's team won the World Cup.

Today marks a historic time and a pivotal time for women in sports as this team has made plenty of headlines off of the field, suing the U.S. Soccer Federation and demanding equal pay to the men's national team.

We're covering the story from every angle. Let's get first to my friend Dave Briggs. He is at the start of the parade.

You are basically on the southern tip, Dave. We got Brooke Baldwin there. We've got Alisyn Camerota. You lucky ducks. Dave, what's the vibe?

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN CO-ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Well, it's really picking up here, Poppy. I'm about 100 yards away from where the players are loading up onto the floats. I've seen them all. They are all ready to go. They are fired up. They haven't stopped partying this whole couple of days and they're ready to go this morning all loaded up.

This isn't just about celebrating this team, though. Four World Cup titles out of the eight Women's World Cups. It's about inspiring the new generation of soccer players and that's who you see here today. A group almost entirely made up of young ladies.

I'm joined by that next generation, three girls who have played together since they were 4 years old. They're now 11. Grace, Avery and Riley joining me here this morning.

Thanks for being here, girls. And these girls even have an opinion on the equal pay issue.

Grace, what do you think of that cause and that chant for equal pay by these ladies?

GRACE, PARADE SPECTATOR: Well, I think that the girls do everything that the men do if not more, and well, they just have, like -- I feel like they have a better friendship with each other and I think they're a really good team so.

BRIGGS: Who do you think is a better team? The women or the men?

GRACE: The women.

BRIGGS: I have to agree with you there. It does feel like that.

Avery, what do you like in particular about this team? What's so inspiring about watching them?

AVERY, PARADE SPECTATOR: I like how they're really good friends and they work together, like -- and, like, we're a good group, our soccer team. And I think we look up to them and want to be like them when we're older.

BRIGGS: OK. Riley. one player you really want to be like is Tobin Heath. You all agree on the same favorite player. Why do we like Tobin Heath so much?

RILEY, PARADE SPECTATOR: She's a really good teammate. She's a good friend and she's also a really good player. And I just look up to her because I want to be like her.

BRIGGS: They all have the same favorite player, they all have the same favorite celebratory pose, too, don't they? And which one is it? It's the Rapinoe? Can we give the fans a Rapinoe as we go? All right, they're going to get a glimpse of Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe in just about 30 minutes.

Back to you.

HARLOW: Love, love, love those girls. Thank you so much, Dave. We'll get back to you in a minute.

Brooke Baldwin is among the sea of fans along the parade route.

Hey, B, how'd you get so lucky to get this assignment?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Because I asked for it.


BALDWIN: Because I want to be surrounded --

HARLOW: That's what women need to do. BALDWIN: I raised my hand and I wanted to cover the parade and I

wanted to get up really early to be surrounded by all these young ladies and boys here as well lining this parade route, wanting to catch a half-second glimpse of their idols. Right, girls? Right. So high schoolers, soccer, best friends, sisters. Why -- this is also their second World Cup ticker tape parade. You were already so here four years but you said this already feels bigger. Tell me why you wanted to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wanted to be here because it's a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity. It only happens every four years and this year we got lucky.

BALDWIN: Why do you love these ladies so much?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're an inspiration. I mean, they win the World Cup. They're winning left and right. They're fighting for equal pay. I mean, what more can you ask more?

BALDWIN: We're coming back to that equal pay issue. I saw your poster, Grace, in just a second.

Sisters, you play soccer. You have this whole Alex Morgan tea sipping situation on your poster. What did that mean when she did it? Because she caught a slack.

[09:05:01] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought she did it because she was showing that Sweden -- I heard that Sweden, they wanted -- they lost to go to the easier bracket so she was sipping the tea to say that's the teases so.

BALDWIN: Yes. I think the English coach was also criticizing their lack of etiquette and that kind of thing. Why do you want to be here again four years in a row? What do these women represent for you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that they showed that no matter what women don't have to conform to stereotypes made by society. And I -- and I love how everyone comes here to support these women that just showed they're much more better everyone else.

BALDWIN: Not conforming to stereotypes of society and you're how old?


BALDWIN: Sixteen. Last quick question on equal pay. What does that mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just means getting the same respect, getting the same everything as men because we deserve it, we proved and I think we earned it.

BALDWIN: Preach, sister. So here we are.

Poppy, we're waiting more about maybe 30 minutes away. Again, this is a back-to-back World Cup win for these ladies. Some of the ladies who will be parading behind us, they did this four years ago. A lot of newcomers here along Broadway. As you mentioned the Canyon of Heroes, and we cannot wait.

HARLOW: Clearly, preach, sister. And I love your message, Brooke. Raise your hand for what you want, and that's what all these women are doing. Right? All right. We'll get back to you in a minute.

Alison Camerota is at city hall.

Hi, Ali. You got down there so fast from your set here.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: At some point I did have to eject from the car and make a run for it. So I did do that but it was worth it to come here to the end point of the ticker tape parade. This is where the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, will welcome our soccer heroes. There'll be a big event here with them in front of city hall. And we can already see people filtering in and getting good seats.

And seated with me is also a soccer superstar in her own right. I have Briana Scurry with me and she was the goalie, the person responsible for the big save in the 1999 game against China that was -- you were telling me exactly 20 years ago today.


CAMEROTA: And so as you watch all of this, I mean, tell me your thoughts 20 years later.

SCURRY: I tell you it's amazing. My heart is beating so fast and seeing all these people here supporting the team, seeing the women's team gets to have this amazing parade, and all this attention and support, is truly amazing. It's way above and beyond anything we all could have hoped for, and it's just really a thrill to be a part of it.

CAMEROTA: It's so true. I mean, in 20 short years the world has changed. Has the athleticism of the game or the women that played it, when you watch the game that they just won, did you see different things than when you were in 1999 playing?

SCURRY: I definitely think. I think Ali Krieger said it best that this team of 23 players is essentially two great teams in this World Cup because all these players have the ability to start. They all have great skill, they all have great talent.

Back in the day when I played we're probably maybe 14, 15 players deep and maybe a few other players were quite up to par in terms of teams with this team. But on this team you have 23 starters on this team and it's truly amazing. They won it together. 21 of them actually got minutes in this World Cup, and that's truly a testament to how this team is rolled out and how Jill Ellis, the coach, planned everything and worked everything to their --

CAMEROTA: And that's how far they've come and that's why they believe they deserve equal pay.

SCURRY: Absolutely. I completely agree with that. CAMEROTA: OK, Briana. It's great to have you here next to us.

SCURRY: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So you'll be guiding us through our coverage of the parade all day.

So, Poppy, it's just -- it's thrilling down here. The weather couldn't be more perfect.


CAMEROTA: And we'll be covering it all for you.

HARLOW: The sun is shining bright on these women.

Briana, just quickly before we go here, you were obviously a star in the sport but also a star when it comes for fighting for equality on so many levels. You were one of the first founders of the first paid female league for women years ago. What does it mean to watch right now and have a front row seat to this fight for equality against the U.S. Soccer Federation?

SCURRY: I think when you're battling the U.S. Soccer Federation in this issue, you don't really see how it's going to impact, the ripple effects it's going to have later on in the world. And it's truly amazing to see that now and to really see how far it's come. We've got a ways to go but I really think in this environment with this team, the way they've fought so hard and taken up that mantle of not just a footballer but somebody who's making social change, it's really exciting to see for me and I really think that they're going to achieve exactly what they want very soon.

HARLOW: Oh, I think you're right. It's about time. All right. Thank you, Ali. Thank you, Briana. We'll get back to you in just a minute.

As we wait for the start of this incredible celebration on a perfect -- picture perfect day here in New York, let's dive into just what this team has accomplished on the field and off the field.

I'm so happy to be joined now by "USA Today's" sports columnist Christine Brennan and Julie Stewart-Binks, the host of CBS SPORTS HQ.

Good morning, ladies.



HARLOW: What a morning.

[09:10:01] Christine, when you look big picture what this team has done, nine women's World Cups, four of them won by the U.S. team. Back-to-back here for these women. How big is it? How remarkable is it what we're celebrating today? BRENNAN: What we're seeing, Poppy, is the celebration of Title 9.

The law that changed the playing fields of America. Signed by Richard Nixon in June of 1972.


BRENNAN: Now in its second, third generation, look at what it is reaping and look at how much the nation has fallen in love with it. There is no doubt in my mind that if we do not have Title 9, we do not have this scene here today. Because girls and women were being told no, you cannot play sports.


BRENNAN: As opposed to, yes, you can play. And this is just that manifestation of it 20 years to the day. I covered that World Cup in the Rose Garden. Beautiful day by any mesh, just one of the great days in sports history male or female. And that was a revelation 20 years ago. This has been an affirmation. This has been we get it, we love this, what we're doing with our girls and women in sports, the empowerment of girls through sports.

HARLOW: There you go. Acclimation.

BRENNAN: And here we are.

HARLOW: When I was looking back this morning so many of these women on this team before this lawsuit was filed had been fighting for equal pay. You have 2016 op-eds by both Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath has been talking more and more about equal pay and why they deserve it. And then in Anderson's great interview last night, wasn't it great, with Megan Rapinoe, she talked about the need to stand up for those who don't have such a big voice beyond equal pay, by the way. Just equal rights for gay Americans, minorities. Listen to this.


MEGAN RAPINOE, CO-CAPTAIN, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM: I think that taking care of others, standing up for yourself and other people if they don't have the ability to do so is very uniquely American. I think everybody in America would say that, and I think we have a rich history and a pride in saying that and those words and oftentimes in doing that in the world.


HARLOW: Do you think, Julie, that the wins that this team may achieve off the field in terms of equality will be even bigger -- could be even bigger than the wins on the field?

STEWART-BINKS: Oh, definitely. I think that's the -- you know, that's the sticking point of this World Cup. I covered the 2015 World Cup and I was talking to a friend last night, I said, you know, it didn't obviously have the same sort of off-the-field feeling in terms of how it transcended sport but that was also because our political environment was very different at that point.

These women have taken a platform and really run with it. And I'm Canadian. So I've grown up cheering for the Canadian women's national team, cheering not against the U.S. but that was our biggest rival.


STEWART-BINKS: But then then covering the U.S. women's national team, seeing them first as athletes then getting to know them as people and seeing what they've done, just as a female, as a woman working in sports, I'm so inspired just what they've done. It gives me shivers. It's emotional just seeing what they've done and knowing that this is a moment in time that we'll look back on. We'll say, hey, remember --


STEWART-BINKS: -- the 2019 team women's World Cup, remember Megan Rapinoe who is going to be one of the biggest sports stories of this year. And I think for women of all-time. So I'm excited to see this in terms of equal pay, but just in terms of, you know, we heard one of the young women out there saying constructs of what we are allowing women.


STEWART-BINKS: How they're allowed to speak, how they're allowed to act. Yes, you can celebrate and be unapologetic about it, so I like that this is really a turning point.

HARLOW: Yes, you can. Yes, you can.

All right. It's all about to get started. Don't go anywhere. Thank you both very, very much.

Minutes from now the ticker tape parade actually begins. Of course, this is honoring and celebrating the U.S. women's World Cup soccer team. True champions. We are there. Stay right here.


[09:15:00] HARLOW: All right, welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York, and he is out. The U.K. ambassador to the United States resigning this morning after those leaked memos show that he called President Trump "inept, incompetent and insecure". Kim Darroch made the announcement this morning one day after the president snapped back on Twitter calling him "whacky, stupid and a pompous fool."

This morning, CNN has learned that Darroch decided to resign because the man who could very likely become the next Prime Minister, Boris Johnson refused to support him. Let's go to my colleague Erin McLaughlin, she joins us live this morning on that, and then we'll get to Kylie Atwood. Erin, talk to me more about why now because he was set to be done with his term at the end of the year anyway.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Poppy, but government sources here in the United Kingdom are telling CNN that Darroch's decision to resign now was ultimately triggered by an exchange that took place during the leadership debate last night.

Theresa May, remember, is expected to leave her post as Prime Minister in two weeks time. There's currently a race between the current U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson; the former London mayor, former Foreign Secretary also seen as a Trump favorite. During the course of last night's debate, Boris Johnson was repeatedly pressed as to whether or not Darroch would remain in post if he in fact becomes Prime Minister as he's expected to do.

He continuously evaded that question, and that exchange really being seen at this point by senior ministers here in London as the equivalent to throwing Darroch at that point under the bus so to speak. And so, having seen that, Darroch took the decision to resign now, raising all sorts of questions as to who might replace him.

We're already hearing from Brexiteers, the likes of Nigel Farage pushing for an ambassador who is more pro-Brexit, more pro-Trump, but ultimately, it will be Theresa May's decision.

[09:20:00] HARLOW: It is indeed, Erin, thank you. Kylie, to you on this, so I just think the bigger picture question here becomes how forthright will ambassadors think that they can be going forward, right? If there's this risk of the leaked memos, but yet, you need to, you know, talk openly and honestly about what you're facing in the country you're ambassador for to those at home. I wonder if this stifles that.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN SECURITY REPORTER: Well, it definitely does. I mean, you have ambassadors here in Washington who are now worried about what they are saying in their cables that they're sending back to their countries especially when it comes to the Trump administration.

I talked to some ambassadors that are here in Washington from other countries just yesterday, who said that they have used critical and very blatant language to describe the Trump administration to their home countries as well.

They were not surprised by the content of these cables. Now, they did express empathy, however, for the U.K. ambassador who is now being called stupid and a fool by President Trump himself. And that is eventually what led him to decide that he needed to resign. Now, of course, some ambassadors said that it was probably likely yesterday that Ambassador Darroch would have to resign, that he had no other choice, that he couldn't do his job here in Washington as he wrote in his letter.

And that was his ultimate decision, and one that the White House really pushed him to have to make.

HARLOW: OK, Kylie, thank you for the analysis, Erin, thanks for the reporting, we'll get back to you shortly. As pressure mounts for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign, sources tell us the president is privately expressing his confidence in Acosta, but they say that confidence could disappear with all of this negative news coverage. Acosta is facing backlash over that sweetheart plea deal that he gave

multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2008. Of course, Epstein is accused of sex trafficking and child sexual abuse, but instead he pled guilty to two prostitution charges only. This week, Epstein is facing many new sex trafficking charges, and this morning a new accuser is speaking out. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Jeffrey Epstein rape you?

JENNIFER ARAOZ, EPSTEIN ACCUSER: Yes, I know, he raped me. Forcefully raped me, knew exactly what he was doing, and I don't think cared. What hurts even more so is that if I wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls. I feel really guilty, to this day I feel really guilty.


HARLOW: Oh, God, let me get to our Joe Johns at the White House with more. It's so painful to watch that, and to hear that and to hear the guilt that this young woman and so many others have taken on. But the White House at this point standing by Acosta?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not that simple, quite frankly. As you reported just a minute ago, Poppy, the president is saying publicly even privately that he does support Acosta, at least at this stage. But there's some turbulence in the air. "Politico" is reporting that Mick Mulvaney; the acting Chief of Staff for the president is one of the people who does not support Acosta.

On the other hand, the Chief of Staff for the Vice President was out here on the driveway just a little while ago, he said he expects for us to hear more from Acosta about all this. And one of the most interesting things I think he said is essentially back in 2007 when Acosta was working on this as United States attorney down in Miami.

Acosta essentially was so aggressive on the case that the defense attorneys tried to get him removed. That of course remains to be seen because when you look at that non-prosecution agreement, I mean, it simply doesn't say that, and it does appear that the United States government turned all of its case including allegations of inappropriate conduct with under-aged girls over to the state prosecutors and state prosecutors charged essentially prostitution.

A lot more to be heard on the subject. People here at the White House do say to CNN that the president's support of Acosta is kind of a contingent on what the news reports continue to say, and of course the number of calls for him to step down. Back to you.

HARLOW: All right, and just wait until this thing goes to trial if it does. Joe johns, thank you. Just -- this just in to CNN, a tornado warning has just been issued for several parishes in Louisiana including New Orleans. Let's go live to Chad Myers in the CNN Weather Center. You know, I jumped this queue because they're covering the Obamacare case, and she keeps talking --


HARLOW: About how windy it is and now a tornado warning.

MYERS: Right, and not really even part of the tropical storm that may hit them later in the week or it could be a hurricane for that matter. So, let's get right to it. We do have a lot of moisture that go off to Mexico, the load spinning around, zooming you in to New Orleans, the weather came off of Lake Pontchartrain and over Lac Vieux.

[09:25:00] Pretty much over Lake Wood right now and heading towards the southwest. Here is the local live radar, that would be the French Quarter right there. But I can get a whole lot closer and get into where the actual spin is taking place. So, here's Medary, here's downtown New Orleans right there, this is the spin as it came off of Lake Pontchartrain.

You see the red and the green next to each other. That means that the air is spinning in a direction that could be on the ground with the tornado. Now, briefly, over Lac Vieux, about five minutes ago, I did see some debris in the air on the radar.

That could be leaves, it could be anything just up in the air. But that means there was enough rising motion to possibly be a funnel there with that storm as it's coming on by. One more thing I can take you to with earth cam, this is right downtown on the French Quarter and there is just water in the street here.

Two to four inches of rain has already fallen with this storm and flooding is occurring. Now the pumps are going to pump that out, but the forecast, Poppy, with this next tropical system for another 10 inches of rainfall possibly in the next 48 hours. New Orleans, you better batten down the hatches.

HARLOW: Yes, for sure, OK, Chad, thank you so much, keep us posted. Right after a quick break, we'll get back to the ticker-tape parade in New York, about to start celebrating the Women's World Cup championship team. Stay with us.