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Kim Darroch Resigns Following Televised Debate; Alex Acosta to Make Public Statement This Afternoon; U.S. Women's Soccer Ticker Tape Parade Today. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: We're just minutes away from the women's national team walking up onto that stage and being honored with keys to New York City. This is going to come from the mayor.

Just an amazing hour of a parade up Broadway from the southernmost tip of Manhattan, up and this is only the second women's athletic team, if you can believe it, to be honored with a ticker tape parade. Of course, the first one was four years ago when they also won the World Cup. We'll get back to this in just a minute, I promise.

In the meantime, some other news for you. The U.K. ambassador to the United States says he is done. Kim Darroch has resigned. He did so this morning after leaked memos showed that he called the president "inept" and "insecure."

On Tuesday, President Trump slammed Darroch on Twitter, calling him "wacky, stupid and a pompous fool." And this morning, CNN has learned Darroch decided to resign after the man who could become the next prime minister refused to support him.

Erin McLaughlin is with me with the reporting. Kylie Atwood also joins me from Washington.

Erin, let me begin with you in London this morning. Tell me a little bit about what it was that prompted Darroch's pretty abrupt resignation?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, a British government source tells CNN that Darroch's resignation was triggered by an exchange that happened during last night's leadership debate.

Keep in mind that British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to stand down from her post in two weeks' time, and there's a leadership contest under way between the current British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and the former British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, also seen as a Trump favorite and the favorite to win this context.

During last night's debate, he was repeatedly pressed as to whether or not he supports Darroch, pressed as to whether he will ask Darroch to resign. He continuously evaded those questions. Let's watch the exchange.


BORIS JOHNSON, CANDIDATE FOR BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is vital that our civil service is not politicized by -- by ministers leaking what they say.

JULIE ETCHINGHAM, ITV HOST: Will he still be in his job come January?

JOHNSON: whoever leaked that deserves to be eviscerated.

JEREMY HUNT, CANDIDATE FOR BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Boris, just answer the question for once. Go on. Go on, tell us if you'll keep the ambassador in Washington.



HUNT: Come on.

I will keep him until he's due to retire.


HUNT: And I think we'd like to know if you would.

JOHNSON: Well, I'm not going to be so presumptuous.


MCLAUGHLIN: Senior ministers say that that exchange is the equivalent to throwing Darroch under the bus, a government source telling CNN that Darroch saw that, decided to resign. In his resignation letter, Darroch saying that it was clear he could no longer be an effective ambassador -- Poppy.

HARLOW: OK. Wow, to watch that. Erin, thank you so much.

Kylie, to you, I mean, how expected -- or unexpected -- was this?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, if you look on the face of it, we had this war of words, right? President Trump, calling the ambassador wacky and pompous. But it gets deeper than that, right? It's about could the ambassador do his work here in Washington any more. That was going to be the difficult thing if President Trump was tweeting out that his administration would no longer deal with the ambassador.

Now, I want to say, however, that the State Department here in Washington never received such orders. They said that they would continue dealing with the ambassador and his team from the U.K. here in Washington. But the problem is, if he couldn't have meetings at the White House, he wouldn't be able to do his job.

And I also spoke with other ambassadors here in Washington yesterday, who pointed out that the ambassador could have stayed on and done his job if he had the faith of his home government, if they continued to back him.

And that, as Erin has pointed out, is exactly the question mark. If Boris Johnson had become the prime minister and not backed Ambassador Darroch here, he wouldn't have been able to do his job. So in that sense, it's expected.

But I spoke with an official from the U.K. embassy this morning, who's just devastated. I mean, they really liked the ambassador. He was someone who built a sense of camaraderie here in Washington. And so they are going to be really upset to see him leave.

HARLOW: Yes. I mean, after seeing that. And if he can't go have meetings at the White House, what can you effectively do as ambassador? It's a great point.

Thank you both, Erin and Kylie. I appreciate it.

We do have breaking news that could be very significant, just in to us. We have learned that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is expected to make a public statement this afternoon.

This, of course, comes as he is facing increased pressure to resign although sources have been telling us, the president is privately expressing confidence in Acosta. They also say that confidence could disappear with more negative news coverage.

[10:35:06] What is this all about? He is the one who negotiated this sweetheart plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a multimillionaire in 2008, who was accused of sex trafficking and child sexual abuse -- many, many instances of it.

Instead, all he had to do was plead guilty to two prostitution charges. He was sent to jail, where he was allowed to leave six days a week to go to work, unheard of. Also immunity for others around him in all of this. Now, he is facing new sex trafficking charges.

Let's go to Abby Phillip at the White House with more.

Has something fundamentally changed here?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, that's what we will find out soon. But the pressure is clearly building on the White House and on Alex Acosta, to do something. We're learning that around 2:30 this afternoon, he is expected to make some kind of statement about this whole situation.

This was foreshadowed, actually, earlier this morning by another senior White House official, the chief of staff to the vice president, Marc Short.

But just to give us potentially an indication of what we might be in for, Marc Short defended Alex Acosta, suggesting that Acosta was such an aggressive prosecutor that the defense tried to get him kicked off of the case, but he stayed on in order to pursue this plea deal that is being described as a sweetheart deal. So it's not clear what Acosta is going to do this afternoon. It's not

even clear where it's going to be. It's not expected, according to our sources, to be here at the White House. But that could change.

But clearly, Acosta seems to be compelled to come forward to speak in his own words and to explain himself, as the pressure mounts for the White House to do something about this escalating situation regarding Jeffrey Epstein -- Poppy.

HARLOW: OK. Hopefully, Abby, he will take questions from reporters when he makes that statement this afternoon. Because there are a lot of them. Abby, thanks so much.

A new twist in the Trump administration's push to get a citizenship question added to the 2020 census. A federal judge, late last night, now saying the Justice Department cannot switch their legal team. What are the actual implications of that? Next.


[10:41:47] HARLOW: All right. Again, look at this. This is City Hall, right here in New York City. Oh, there you have it. You think they're happy? The women's national soccer team, right there. Megan Rapinoe in the middle, dancing, cheering, celebrating as they should.

They're about to be honored by the mayor of the city, de Blasio, who is going to give them keys to the city. We just heard this amazing drum group perform. The next hour, we're going to keep bringing you this as it happens because it's remarkable and it is historic and they deserve every ounce of this.

All right. Before we get back to that, another twist in the census case. A federal judge has told the Justice Department that it cannot do what it wants to do. It cannot switch out legal teams.

This is part of the president's fight to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census. And what makes this all the more astonishing is that requests for legal team changes in civil cases like this, they're almost always allowed.

Jessica Schneider is on this story.

So that's astonishing, right? They said no to something they almost always permit. And then the language of this federal judge, saying the defendants provide no reason -- let alone satisfactory reason -- for the substitution of counsel? I mean, how problematic is that for the Trump administration?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Very problematic, Poppy. And this was really a scathing three-page order from this federal judge out of New York, Jesse Furman, blasting the Department of Justice and its tactics, telling the DOJ, "Look, you can't just simply switch out your team of lawyers without adequate explanation."

And that's why the judge denied the DOJ's request to change up these lawyers, at least until they can provide some reasoning for doing so. And remarkably, here, the judge is also putting the onus on the

individual lawyers at the DOJ, saying that he wants sworn and signed affidavits from each of them, explaining why they're withdrawing. And he wants assurances that they will essentially be available as witnesses in any future proceedings dealing with sanctions.

Because this New York judge will also be set to review any request to issue sanctions in this case, if it's ultimately determined that administration officials weren't truthful when they gave their reasoning for wanting this citizenship question on the census.

So, Poppy, this order from the judge, it really opens up a can of worms for the DOJ, which still hasn't publicly explained why it wants this change in the team of lawyers. You know, some of the thoughts are that you can't have those same team of lawyers, who said that the census needed to start printing by July First, now saying that there's plenty of time to add the question. And that's potentially why DOJ wanted to switch this up.

But now they're in a real bind because the judge isn't letting them do it until they come up with an explanation and tell it to the judge -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Fascinating. Jess, thank you so much for the reporting.

[10:44:27] All right. Let me take you back here to New York City. Look at live pictures of the ticker tape parade honoring the women's national soccer team, World Cup champions. They're about to be honored with keys to the city. You'll see that live, right here. Don't go anywhere.


HARLOW: All right. Take a look at the sea of fans outside of New York City Hall on a perfect day here in New York City. We're minutes away from the U.S. women's national team, World Cup champions, being honored. They just had this amazing ticker tape parade. They will get keys to the city and you will see it all live, here in just a few minutes.

[10:49:59] Meantime, some pretty significant news out of Washington. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, right now, is testifying in front of the House Financial Services Committee, and strongly hinting at a potential interest rate cut later this month, which of course the president has been calling for loudly. Listen to this.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months. In particular, economic momentum appears to have slowed in some major foreign economies, and that weakness could affect the U.S. economy.

We're carefully monitoring these developments and we'll continue to assess their implications for the U.S. economic outlook and inflation.


HARLOW: We'll know what the Fed decides on July 31st, when they make that decision on interest rates. But there was a really important moment in his questioning with members of Congress. The Financial Services chairwoman, Democrat Maxine Waters, stressed to Powell the importance of the Federal Reserve's independence, telling him not to, quote, "submit to the pressure tactics of the president." Listen to this back-and-forth.


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA), CHAIRWOMAN, COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES: If you got a call from the president today or tomorrow, and he said, "I'm firing you, pack up, it's time to go," what would you do?

POWELL: Well, of course I would not do that.

WATERS: I can't hear you.


POWELL: Well, my answer would be no.

WATERS: And you would not pack up and you would not leave?

POWELL: No, ma'am.

WATERS: Because you think the president doesn't have the authority? Is that why you would not leave?

POWELL: I have -- I've kind of said what I -- what I intended to say on the subject. And what I've said is that the law clearly gives me a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it.

WATERS: OK. So I hope everybody heard that.


HARLOW: That's a really big deal there because the president has basically said that Jerome Powell is inept as Fed chairman, despite picking him as Fed chairman. OK. We'll keep you posted on that.

Meantime, a terrifying moment in the air -- thousands of feet in the air -- all caught on video. Watch this. This is during a Delta flight yesterday from Atlanta to Baltimore. An engine failed. Passengers say they heard a boom, smoke filled the cabin. This is video showing a metal nose cone bouncing around inside of the engine.

Dianne Gallagher is on this story and she joins me now.

Just -- I just can't imagine.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's absolutely terrifying, Poppy. Not something you want to see at all. That metal nose cone, obviously not supposed to be there, not supposed to be bouncing around like that.

That video was shot by one of the roughly 150 passengers on board that Delta flight, Monday. It was going from Atlanta to Baltimore. The captain came over after they heard that boom, saw that smoke and said, "Hey, we're going to need to make an emergency landing in Raleigh."

The flight attendants began showing them how to brace for impact in that landing. Several of those passengers, Poppy, saying they began texting their family members, letting them know they loved them.

Here's the thing. Delta has the engine back here in Atlanta, examining what's happening. They replaced it. That flight, back in the air today on the way to Baltimore with a new engine on it, though.

HARLOW: Bravo to those pilots --


HARLOW: -- and that entire staff -- you know, team and crew that got that plane down safely.


HARLOW: Dianne, thank you very much.

[10:53:19] OK. Back to my favorite news of the week. Look at New York City right now. The end of the ticker tape parade for the women's World Cup Championship team. They're about to walk out of those doors, be honored with keys to the city and you'll see it all right here. Stay with me.


HARLOW: Isn't it great to cover good news? And that is what we have been lucky enough to do all morning here. You are looking at live pictures out of New York City. City Hall, "One nation, one team," as America is celebrating this morning, the World Cup champions, U.S. women's national soccer, as we should be.

Look at this moment from the ticker tape parade, just moments ago. Star player, advocate for equality in every right, Megan Rapinoe, doing what else? But the Rapinoe. You'll see it in just a moment. There it is. What a moment, what a day.

Final thoughts? Christine Brennan and Julie, to you -- Christine.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, again, what -- it's spectacular. And we wouldn't have seen this 20 years ago. Although Donna de Varona, the chair of the '99 committee that put on that spectacular show, e-mailed me to say that there was a tiny parade in New York, back in '99. Not ticker tape, but a small parade.

There was one New Yorker who couldn't wait to meet the players.

HARLOW: And that was?

BRENNAN: Donald Trump.

HARLOW: Really?


BRENNAN: Donna de Varona is our source on that. So he couldn't wait, back 20 years ago. Now he's --

STEWART-BINKS: That may or may not still be true.


HARLOW: Now he hasn't invited them to the White House.

BRENNAN: It's a little different now, I think.

HARLOW: Julie.

STEWART-BINKS: Yes, honestly, the biggest takeaway is seeing these women step into the spotlight in such a pivotal time politically. And showing that women deserve more and that they -- we break these societal constructs.

And I mentioned -- I'm Canadian. And, you know, I've -- grew up cheering for a different team. And this is team, now, that I'm so proud to know so many of them and to have covered them and to see them just take this moment and transcend time, and just be role models for everyone in this entire world.

And we will look at this moment, years and years down the road, and say, "Hey, we saw things change."

HARLOW: Yes. And now the question is -- we promise to stay on this as a network -- where does this fight go after today? When the cameras and the spotlight isn't on them, where does their actual fight for equal pay go? We'll stay on that.

Thank you all for being with us --


HARLOW: -- Christine and Julie and everyone in the field --

STEWART-BINKS: Thank you (ph).

HARLOW: -- Brooke (ph) and Alison (ph) and Dave (ph), great job.

[11:00:00] Thanks for joining me. I'll see you here tomorrow morning. I'm Poppy Harlow. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts right now.