Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Jennifer Araoz Filed A Petition Seeking The Deposition Of Epstein; Britain's Ambassador To The U.S. Has Resigned; Delta flight 1425 From Atlanta To Baltimore Made Emergency In North Carolina. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 14:00   ET

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


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Trump Organization explicitly told "The Washington Post" they did not have any sort of guidance or were asked about those advertisements before they were published.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Dianne Gallagher, thank you so much. That is it for me. Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin starts now.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We are keeping a close eye on Washington, where soon, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is expected to speak publicly about a controversial decision he made long before joining President Trump's cabinet.

A decision that many say should force him to lose that high ranking job. This whole thing centers on Acosta's role back in 2008, that plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein's wealthy businessman who New York prosecutors this week accused of running a sex trafficking ring.

But that non-prosecution agreement a decade ago relates to charges in Florida where a cost of one served as the U.S. attorney.

Now, what Acosta will say this afternoon, in a matter of minutes, that's still unclear. But what we do know is that despite growing calls for him to resign, sources say Acosta has no intentions of going anywhere.

Still a close ally of the President, tells CNN that Acosta may not have much time left.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, NEWSMAX CEO: I think the plea agreement he did is indefensible. I think that he's not going to stay for long. I haven't spoken to the President about it. But I do think -- and we're reporting on "Newsmax" actually tonight. Our White House correspondent says he will be out in the next couple of weeks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is live for us there in Washington. And so, Kaitlan, you've learned that President Trump played a key role in this Acosta event today. How so? KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're here.

We're standing outside the Labor Department right now. We're essentially any minute now, Brooke, we are going to hear from Secretary Acosta where one official said he is not expected to offer his resignation. But instead, he's going to come out and defend the role he played in overseeing Jeffrey Epstein's plea deal several years ago.

Now, this is all a result. What we are told was a phone call yesterday with President Trump where the President urged his Labor Secretary to hold a press conference today defending his record and defending his actions there.

That comes as privately, we have reporting that the President has been telling people he still has confidence in Secretary Acosta doesn't intend to ask for him to step down. But people back at the White House are going to be watching this press conference closely, Brooke, because they don't think this will go well.

They are expecting him to come out here. He's essentially going to have to defend a record, some of them see as indefensible. And unless he hits it out of the park, this is a President who is obsessed with the coverage. And if the negative -- if the coverage coming out of this is negative, they do not think that Acosta will be long for this West Wing world.

Of course, the question is going to be, what is his defense of the seal -- a deal that he tried to defend in a series of tweets now that there has been renewed scrutiny on it now the Jeffrey Epstein has been charged. But there are a lot of questions about what exactly is going to be different about his rationale now.

Though, there are still some questions inside the White House about the vetting process sense that he went through, because according to our services are telling us there were not an intense set of questions asked about how he handled this case.

BALDWIN: You know, in his own defense tweeting out about this new evidence, right, by talking to folks in the "Miami Herald" and beyond saying, Well, what about the evidence back in 2008?

Kaitlan, we wait for the Secretary to speak. There you are outside the Labor Department, standby for us. And just to understand really how we got to today's events, you have to go back more than a decade to Florida and to what "The Miami Herald" investigation referred to as the deal of a lifetime.

So at the time, Alex Acosta again, then a U.S. Attorney in Florida, declined to prosecute Epstein on Federal charges of sexual acts with minors. That was despite the fact that investigators had identified dozens of potential victims. Instead, Epstein pleaded guilty to two state charges of soliciting prostitution. And the results just over a year behind bars. No Federal charges, registration as a sex offender, and his victims were not told about any of it.

Back in February, a Federal Judge ruled that the Justice Department violated the law by not disclosing the deal to those victims. And now, the DOJ's office of professional responsibility is investigating if there was any misconduct on behalf of prosecutors.

For his parts, Acosta is defending his actions this week, tweeting that his work was based on evidence available at the time. He went on to say that he is pleased that New York prosecutors are moving forward with this quote-unquote, "new evidence" that he says will quote "more fully bring Epstein to justice."

Gloria Borger is our CNN chief political analyst. And Gloria, we got it from Kaitlan, the President urged Acosta to get in front of cameras to talk today. We also know the President likes a fighter. So is this all really about an audience of one?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think this is Acosta listening to the President and understanding that this is all about saving his job and saving his reputation, quite frankly.

[14:05:05] BORGER: And you know, the case he's going to make is the case he probably made to the President privately and made in his tweets, which is that, "Oh now, there's more evidence and I'm so thrilled that finally this evil man is going to be brought to justice."

When in fact, as you know, and you just alluded to, in the original case that you were talking about, on which Epstein got off very lightly. There were 36 victims -- 36, that's a lot.

So, I don't know what new evidence he's talking about. And I don't know what more evidence you would have needed last time around. So, it'll be interesting to hear him because he may take questions, and he'll have to answer them.

BALDWIN: So, do we think he'll just double down on his defense in the case?

BORGER: It's hard to say. Look, it's hard to say. I don't know what he's told the President. But we do have his tweets. And I would guess that he's going to come out there and elaborate on what he said in his tweets.

But remember, the "Miami Herald's" reporting is effectively, that he caved on this plea deal, that he was dealing with a bunch of top notch lawyers, with somebody who used to be a partner at a law firm that he was also a partner in.

And so, the "Herald" paints a very different picture here. And we're going to have to see how Acosta sort of fills out his own story and what evidence he gives to the American people and of course to the President.

BALDWIN: All right, we're standing by to hear him speak.

BORGER: Yes.

BALDWIN: Gloria Borger, thank you very much. On the very same day that Secretary Acosta is speaking out, so too, is a new accuser of Jeffrey Epstein.

Her name, Jennifer Araoz, and while she is not part of this Federal case brought against Epstein this week in New York, her story sounds eerily similar to the one laid out in the indictment.

Araoz says, that she was recruited back in 2001 by another woman who said Epstein could help her with her dreams of becoming a Broadway star. Jennifer Araoz was just 14 years old, when she was first introduced to the multi millionaire. And she says Epstein knew her age, didn't care -- 14.

At first, their interactions consisted of talking but then things became physical with Araoz giving Epstein weekly massages, wearing nothing but her underwear. Here now is that startling interview and I just have to warn you what you're about to hear is sexually explicit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER ARAOZ, ALLEGED VICTIM OF JEFFREY EPSTEIN: I would have just my underwear on, because he -- that's how he liked it so. And I would just give massages back. And then he would potentially later on turn over and play with himself. And he would also like when I would play with his nipples. He is -- could turn on by that. And then he would finish himself off and then that would be the end of it.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Did you ever tell him your age?

ARAOZ: I told the recruiter. I've mentioned it front of him. Yes.

GUTHRIE: You're 14 years old?

ARAOZ: Yes. He knew very well my age. He knew, exactly, you know, who he was hanging out with, you know. I don't think he cared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And then, when Jennifer Araoz turned 15 she says Jeffrey Epstein raped her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARAOZ: I was terrified and I was telling him to stop, please stop, you know.

GUTHRIE: And did he?

ARAOZ: No, he did not stop. He had no intentions in stopping and that's what he wanted, that's what he got. I just thought like, you know, it's my fault. Like I was like, obligated, like that's just what you're supposed to do. So really, I'm not -- no better.

GUTHRIE: Did Jeffrey have rape you?

ARAOZ: Yes, you know, he raped me -- forcefully raped me. He knows exactly what he was doing and I don't think he cared. What hurts even more so -- that if I wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it some other girls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Today, Jennifer Araoz filed a petition seeking the deposition of Epstein as part of an intended lawsuit.

CNN has reached out to Jeffrey Epstein's attorneys for comment about the latest allegations, but has yet to hear back.

We are watching for the start of that briefing with Alex Acosta, Labor Secretary. Live pictures there in Washington and we will bring to you live the second we see him step behind that podium.

Plus, today Britain's ambassador to the U.S. has resigned after diplomatic cables critical of the President Trump were leaked. The question now, who really forced him to step down? We will talk to Fareed Zakaria, about that.

And, I will speak to a passenger on this Delta flight, where one of the engines failed mid air. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

[14:10:10] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Al right, let's come up on live pictures. Here we go. This is the Labor Department. There we go. There's the podium. We are waiting to see the Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. He will be speaking from that podium.

[14:15:07] BALDWIN: He -- Labor Secretary now, but about a decade ago, he was the U.S. Attorney in Florida who declined to prosecute this multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, on Federal charges of sexual acts with minors.

And that has now come under renewed scrutiny now that I've seen is facing all these charges up here on behalf of prosecutors in New York.

So will he continue to defend himself and his actions or lack thereof in this quote-unquote "deal of a lifetime" from 11 years ago? How will he respond despite the growing calls for his resignation as Trump's Labor Secretary?

We are staying put and keeping a close eye on these pictures out of the Labor Department and we'll take it as soon as it happens. Quick break, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN, the most trusted name in news.

[14:20:12] BALDWIN: We are back, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Britain's ambassador to the U.S. has resigned after a after a furor over leaked diplomatic cables communications in which Darroch called the Trump administration inept and clumsy. President Trump responded on Twitter calling Britain's U.S. Ambassador wacky and a very stupid guy and said his White House would no longer deal with him. So today this Ambassador stepped down. Did he quit? Was he pushed?

Past and present Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Theresa May voice support for Darroch but the current front runner to replace May as PM Boris Johnson stopped short of backing him, leading one minister to accuse Johnson and throwing Darroch under the bus.

A member of Parliament says, if that is the reason that Darroch resigned, Johnson is quote-unquote "behaving as Trump's patsy." CNN's Fareed Zakaria joins me now. Host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS" -- and good to see you as always.

Do you think he should have resigned first of all?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Well, the British government felt very strongly that he shouldn't resign. Important to point out -- the main reason was that he was going to retire in December.

So, he wasn't going to be around for a long time. Relations between Britain and the United States are mostly conducted between Washington and London anyway, so the ambassador doesn't play that pivotal role in policy issues.

And this is a man with a very long, distinguished career. He was David Cameron's -- the conservative Prime Minister's National Security Adviser, and then came here.

So I think there was a sense that you didn't want to punish him. First, you know, he hadn't done anything wrong, these cables will leaked. These were private diplomatic cables.

BALDWIN: Right, but isn't that so troublesome, because shouldn't you be able, as an ambassador, be able to back channel, be able to speak freely and honestly, assuming that it wouldn't get out?

ZAKARIA: Precisely, and that's why I said -- that's why the British government seems like they were supporting him. What happened is exactly what you said, Brooke, which is that Boris Johnson, the incoming Prime Minister --

BALDWIN: Persumably.

ZAKARIA: Most likely incoming Prime Minister, clearly indicated, he was -- he didn't give him that support that every other Prime Minister past and present had given.

So it came probably recognizing the writing on the wall and not wanting to place his government in a difficult position took the fall. But it's very unfortunate.

Look, we don't know what the American ambassador in London is writing about Theresa May. What we can hope is, it's frank, it's unvarnished, it's opinionated because that's what Washington needs to hear.

BALDWIN: On that note, I don't want to be lost in all of this -- is the way this Ambassador characterized the President of the United States, referring to him as inept. I mean, how significant is that coming from America's greatest Ally?

ZAKARIA: Not so significant at all? I would not be surprised if ambassadors to Britain -- when the Reagan years said that Reagan was absent minded and forgetful, said that Obama was arrogant and preachy.

You know, look, these people are in a sense -- if you read the WikiLeaks cables, when the American ambassador's cables were revealed to the public, I was struck by two things. One, how well written -- many of them were. And two, how blunt and opinionated they were, you want these ambassadors to be providing in essence, character sketches. Why is this important?

What people forget is part of the leak members of the British ambassadors say, therefore, make sure when you meet with Donald Trump, flatter him, praise some recent accomplishment of his, make it about him personally.

In other words, this is all frankly, very good advice about how to deal with Donald Trump -- recognize it's all about him.

Now, whatever that says about Donald Trump as advice from the British ambassador to his ministers in London, that was very good advice. And so, I think he was doing a very good job and it's unfortunate that it leaked, of course, because this was meant to be private and confidential.

BALDWIN: Right.

ZAKARIA: But, I think it's also mean spirited of President Trump and the American administration to try and take some kind of revenge over this.

Let's put it this way, none of this translated into the British government according Donald Trump, anything less than the most fulsome reception any American President has ever gotten.

The state visit he got in London was, you know, grander than anything I can remember.

BALDWIN: It was.

ZAKARIA: So, clearly they were not taking that advice to mean this Donald Trump. No, they were taking it to mean, here's how to approach him.

Again, I think that the President should get over it. It's a you know, he is President.

BALDWIN: Get over it. So says Fareed Zakaria. Fareed, thank you very much. We watch you on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. right here on CNN.

A shocking video today, this Delta Flight having to make an emergency landing -- when you can actually see parts of the plane's metal nose cone, bouncing around inside the engine. [14:05:07] BALDWIN: Passengers were apparently praying, trying to

text loved ones as Delta Flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore, made this emergency landing on Monday in North Carolina.

Thankfully, no one on board was injured. Avery Porch was a passenger on that flight. So Avery, thank you so much for joining me. I'm glad you and everyone else is A-okay, but I can't even imagine I mean --

AVERY PORCH, PASSENGER ON DELTA FLIGHT 1425: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

BALDWIN: You're sitting there. Your boyfriend's next to you. You've scored those exit row seats. You think everything's going to be, you know, peachy? And then you look out the window? What happened?

PORCH: Yes. Right, so we were just excited. We had some exit row seats. You know, you never think that anything like that would ever happen to you.

So what happened was, we all heard this really loud boom. The plane immediately slowed down, it immediately got hot in the plane, the air cut off. And of course, I fly a lot and he doesn't, sounds like it's okay. It's probably just some turbulence.

BALDWIN: Good for you.

PORCH: So then I started to see, right. But meanwhile, I'm freaking out. But then I start to see some smoke rolling in the cabin, and I was like, this is it. I was like, This is not turbulence. It's getting hot. People are screaming and people are crying.

Like you said, we were all holding hands with strangers praying that we'd be okay. And about 10 minutes goes by before they even address it.

BALDWIN: That's what I wanted to ask you about? What did -- how did they explain what was going on to you all?

PORCH: Well, like I said, it took a while for them, like I said, to figure out what happened themselves. But, you know, if smoke comes in the cabin, something's going on.

So, they immediately -- or not immediately about 10 minutes later, told us that, you know, an engine has blown. We're about to see if we can make an emergency landing. And we will keep you updated with you might have to evacuate this flight.

And so, the flight attendants were running around and one of flight attendant came and explained us again the instructions and she's sitting there kind of shaking the pamphlet. She's nervous.

And that's when I was really getting nervous. I was like, okay, if they're shaking --

BALDWIN: That's when you get nervous, when you look at the flight attendant and when the flight attendant is getting a little shaky, I'd be getting shaky as well.

PORCH: Right, exactly.

BALDWIN: Are you texting anyone?

PORCH: That was terrifying.

BALDWIN: Are you trying to get in touch with anyone? Is you're thinking --

PORCH: Right, so, I was actually -- we were too high for any sort of service to go through. We were actually above the clouds. And so, my boyfriend Tyler and I, we were trying to text but it was going red and we were freaking out.

It did eventually go through as we were about to land. But I just -- I had to text him and I tried to make it not sound scary. But in that moment, you know, that could have been the last text I'll send. It could have been the last prayer we prayed.

So by the glory of God we really did. And the amazing pilot was awesome. He actually landed it a lot smoother than any other flight I've been on. But I was horrified because they were explaining that we're preparing for a crash landing. And they were telling us how to hold our heads.

They were telling us take any like necklaces, like loosen your collar, take any ties off, leave all of your stuff and evacuate. And Tyler and I, we're actually going to be the people to take off the door and help people out.

So, it was extremely horrifying. I can't even begin to explain how it felt.

BALDWIN: You've done a pretty good job and I'm glad you at least had your boyfriend there in essence. But what --

PORCH: Thank you.

BALDWIN: I can't imagine, thank you for your descriptions. Are you okay with flying? Yes or no, are you going to get a hop back on a plane? You know this happens rarely.

PORCH: Honestly, I thought I was at the beginning, I guess, because I was in such shock. And I said, you know, in an earlier interview that I wouldn't be timid because the pilot handled it so well and he did. However, now, I think the shock has worn off. And I'm starting to really experience this -- we can't sleep at night.

I was having nightmares last night, at work I can't focus. So, it's really hard to explain the mental feelings of it because people ask or say -- you're okay, like, but physically I'm okay. But it's just kind of trying to get through it.

BALDWIN: I know, at least -- listen, I'm no pilot, but I know this kind of thing. I cover a lot of stories each and every day. This kind of thing doesn't happen very often. Avery, I'm glad you're okay. Thank you.

PORCH: Thank you. I appreciate it.

BALDWIN: Thanks to your boyfriend for sharing the video. We really appreciate it and take care.

PORCH: Yes, ma'am. Absolutely, I appreciate you having me.

BALDWIN: Thank you. We have kept our eye on the screen there, live pictures from the Labor Department. We're waiting for the start of this news conference from Secretary Alex Acosta.

[14:30:10]