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Trump Defends Acosta Amid Calls to Resign Over Epstein Deal; Judge Blocks Justice Department from Swapping Legal Team in Census Case; Megan Rapinoe to Trump: 'Your Message is Excluding People'; Judge Questions Constitutionality of Obamacare Mandate. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 06:00   ET



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I feel very badly for Secretary Acosta. I've known him as somebody that has done such a good job.

[05:59:12] REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): No surprise, he knew about this when he nominated him.

CHRIS RUDDY, CEO AND PRESIDENT, NEWSMAX MEDIA: The plea agreement is indefensible. He's not going to stay for long.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): We are the champions!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): We are the champions!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): We are the champions!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fresh off their historic fourth World Cup win, the U.S. Women's National Team will take a victory lap.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What is your message to the president?

MEGAN RAPINOE, CO-CAPTAIN, U.S. WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM: I would say that your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You need to do better for everyone.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, July 10. It's 6 a.m. here in New York.

And new overnight, a key ally of President Trump says Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's days could be numbered, telling CNN he could be out in a couple of weeks.

This all stems from new developments surrounding the sex-trafficking plea deal Acosta struck in 2008 with millionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is now facing new charges of abusing dozens of underage girls.

For now, CNN has learned the president is privately telling people he still has confidence in Acosta. And grammar be damned, the president says he feels very badly for Acosta and is offering no such sympathy for Epstein's alleged victims.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So as you know, in that secret 2008 plea deal, Epstein was given just 13 months in jail, and he was allowed to leave to work six days a week. But why?

Secretary Acosta, then a U.S. attorney in Florida, is now breaking his silence about the case. The embattled labor secretary is tweeting that he is, quote, "pleased" that prosecutors are moving forward, because there is new evidence and testimony available. But is that an explanation?

CNN's Joe Johns is live at the White House with the latest. This seems to be changing by the hour, Joe.


Well, publicly, the president is supporting Alex Acosta. And privately, he seems to be saying the same thing. Of course, we all know that could change.

That depends, of course, on a couple things, we're told. It's about the news coverage of this situation, including that controversial plea agreement. And there's also a question of whether the calls for Acosta's resignation start to pick up.


TRUMP: I feel very badly, actually, for Secretary Acosta, because I've known him as being somebody that works so hard and has done such a good job.

JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump defending embattled Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over the controversial plea deal he oversaw in 2008 that allowed multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein to avoid federal sex crime charges, allegedly involving dozens of underaged girls.

The president claiming the administration is looking at the deal but downplaying Acosta's involvement.

TRUMP: I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.

JOHNS: Privately, sources tell CNN Trump is expressing confidence in Acosta. But the president's associates think that confidence could erode with negative news coverage.

RUDDY: 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.

JOHNS: The deal under renewed scrutiny after Epstein pleaded not guilty Monday to new child sex-trafficking charges. Acosta tweeting Tuesday that he is pleased New York prosecutors are moving forward with the new case but standing behind the 2008 plea deal as a growing number of Democrats push for his resignation.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Acosta perverted justice to give a very sweet deal to -- to an accused multiple child molester and has no business in government.

JOHNS: Top congressional Republicans condemning Epstein's alleged crimes but refusing to take a stance on Acosta's future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know enough about it to say anything.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): He serves at the pleasure of the president, and I'm declined to defer to the president to make that decision.

JOHNS: In 2002, President Trump described Epstein as a "terrific guy" and "a lot of fun to be with," noting, "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."

Now Trump is trying to distance himself from Epstein.

TRUMP: I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken with him for 15 years. I wasn't a fan.


JOHNS: Now, a couple of things I think we have to say. No. 1, there is certainly a big question about what that falling out with Jeffrey Epstein was all about. Reporters asked the president that question. He did not respond.

Alex Acosta is not seen as having a lot of support in the West Wing. Nonetheless, the president's been reluctant to get rid of any other cabinet official, simply because it adds to the narrative of chaos in the administration.

John, Alisyn, back to you.

BERMAN: All right. Joe Johns for us in the White House. Joe, stand by there. Let us know if you hear anything new.

In the meantime, I want to bring in Errol Louis, CNN political commentator; Elie Honig, former federal prosecutor and a CNN legal analyst; John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst; and Bianna Golodryga, a CNN contributor.

Christopher Ruddy, who you heard in that piece, is a member of the president's cell-phone cabinet. Right? One of the people the president calls regularly to get a sense of -- of the temperature, the political temperature out there. John Avlon, if Christopher Ruddy says that Alexander Acosta has just a

couple of weeks left?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'd put more weight in that than most. I mean, there's a lot of gossip that goes around the West Wing. At the end of the day, this is a president who makes decisions by impulses. But Ruddy is a member of that extended cell-phone cabinet. He does have better insight than a lot of folks.

There is reportedly the chief of staff going after Acosta for his own sort of personal reasons. And then there's just the fact of this plea agreement, which under close scrutiny, raises way more questions than it answers. This isn't going to go away on its own.

CAMEROTA: Let's just talk about that for a second. Before we get to Acosta's future, which may be limited, I just want to talk about his past.

[06:05:05] He seems to be saying that this is the best deal that prosecutors could ever have gotten for Epstein. You have lived this life as a prosecutor.


CAMEROTA: I know, look, rape cases are notoriously hard to prosecute. That's true. Is this the best deal that they could ever have gotten?

HONIG: Please understand, this plea deal is a complete and total injustice. I've never seen anything like it. I've seen what I consider to be good pleas, medium pleas, maybe soft pleas. This is in a whole different category.

There are questions that Alex Acosta has not answered and I don't think will be able to answer. Thirteen months for someone accused of sex trafficking?

Just for comparison's sake, under the federal guidelines, you get 13 months if you possess 2 grams of crack cocaine. That's half a teaspoon. That's 13 months. This man is accused of sex trafficking.

CAMEROTA: Of many, many -- I mean, many girls.

HONIG: Many victims.

CAMEROTA: Weren't there 36 victims?

HONIG: Children. Yes. Children. Also, and speaking of the victims, why on earth did Alex Acosta not notify the victims? You are required to notify victims.


HONIG: By law. You learn that your first week in the office of any prosecutor. You have to notify the victims. Why on earth did he not notify the victims? What was he hiding?


HONIG: He has not answered that, and I don't think he can.

GOLODRYGA: And he basically identified them as prostitutes, right? You have underaged girls that he charged Epstein with prostitution for. They want to change that now, too.

HONIG: And another huge mistake as a prosecutor. You can't -- Victims are victims, and they should not be charged.

AVLON: And the guy getting arrested for crack cocaine for 13 months isn't going a work release all day long so he can go to his office and continue his empire.

BERMAN: But the tie-in for what's happening now is that Alexander Acosta is going to have to live with discussions like this --


BERMAN: -- every day if he wants to go on as labor secretary. And the president is going to have to live with discussions like this every day. And there's this SDNY investigation of prosecution that will be going on every day. And all of these facts will be coming up.

And there will be questions, Errol, about the president's relationship --


BERMAN: -- with Jeffrey Epstein. And there's just some crazy reporting this morning out about there was a party that they went to, a pool party. And the only two men there were Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump and what was it, like, dozens of models there in the pool?

LOUIS: That's right. Swimming naked in the pool and so forth. So look, that's going to be the point at which I think Secretary Acosta's job is really going to be in danger. Right?

We're in a political season. We've got a president who does not need this. He's looking at his poll numbers. He's looking down the road. He's got 24 angry Democrats who are running against him, one of whom is a billionaire who just jumped into the race. They're throwing hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of organization and advertising at him.

The last thing he needs is to sort of bring up this whole issue which has -- plays so perfectly into what the Democrats are trying to craft as an image of somebody who is hostile to women, who's hostile to women's issues, who is not, you know, the kind of person who should be leading the country. Donald Trump, it becomes much easier to just say, you know, "You're fired."

GOLODRYGA: And of course, in typical Trump fashion, he's playing the "I barely knew the guy" card.

CAMEROTA: Though he said he's a terrific guy.

GOLODRYGA: And then yet, they had some sort of rift a number of years ago. We don't know exactly the nature of that rift.

But I've been reading that what will be a telltale sign is whether Acosta will be in the cabinet meeting which will be held next week.

BERMAN: One week.

GOLODRYGA: One week from now.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's move on to what's happening with the census. Because the Trump administration has hit yet another road block in terms of their efforts to add a citizenship question.

So now there's a federal judge that says the Department of Justice cannot swap out their legal team, as they had announced they were doing, in order to move forward with this. Because the judge says -- he's demanding an explanation --

BERMAN: The actual quote is "Defendants provide no reasons, let alone satisfactory reasons, for the substitution of counsel."

CAMEROTA: Right. They have to come before him and explain why they are leaving, Bianna -- their departure. That's interesting. I'd like to hear that, as well.

GOLODRYGA: Right. And it could very well be embarrassing for the Justice Department and the administration, too, if they have to go through a process of discovery. A question is whether some of these attorneys are leaving because they feel consciously that this is the right thing to do.

CAMEROTA: In protest.

GOLODRYGA: Right, in protest of what they were defending once. They assumed this is a case closed now. And yet, with the president issuing one tweet, all of this now is rehashed.

BERMAN: Counsel, help me out on the law here. Because my understanding is -- is the judge is saying this is on a technicality. When you leave a case, you have to provide a reason.


BERMAN: The government did not provide a reason. The problem here is when they go public with their reason, that might actually undermine their case.

HONIG: Yes. I know this judge, Jesse Furman. I grew up with him at the Southern District. We were prosecutors together. We used to call him the Furmanator. I think he showed why.

BERMAN: As someone who was called the Bermanator over the years -- yes.

CAMEROTA: He's copyrighted that.

HONIG: Like you, John, he's no nonsense. He gets right to it.

But here's the thing. What the DOJ, I think, was trying to do by changing out the team here was sort of put a Band-Aid on a gaping credibility wound that they -- it's self-inflicted. Because throughout this case -- The Supreme Court, when they came down with the ruling, said, "We don't believe the reasons you, the administration, have given us."

And it's gotten worse in the last week as these contradictions have piled up day by day. And I think the thought is, well, if we change the attorneys, maybe we can kind of hit reset. But too bad. It's a position you've already taken, DOJ. You're stuck with it.

[06:10:06] AVLON: Yes, but this is a whole cascading series of lies the DOJ's been caught in. First by the Supreme Court, which basically said, "Your argument that this census question was about the Voting Rights Act just isn't credible."

CAMEROTA: It stinks.

AVLON: "Come back to us with a better argument."

Then Justice saying, "You know what? OK, we're -- the deadline is too close. We're done."

Then the president tweets. Then Barr shifts strategy. And all of a sudden, you need a new legal team, because those folks have been caught in a -- in a contradiction.

And it's political, obviously. The president has said it is explicitly to benefit his party in redistricting.

BERMAN: Speaking of politics, and much more than politics, Megan Rapinoe, the captain and the best soccer player on planet earth right now.



BERMAN: She's going to be in the parade today, along with Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: I mean, I'm not going to be in the parade, as far as they know. I will be reporting on the parade. But we'll see if I can work my way in.

BERMAN: Fair enough, fair enough.

AVLON: I think not.

BERMAN: So Rapinoe was on with Anderson Cooper last night. And it was really a riveting interview.

CAMEROTA: It was. Really compelling.

BERMAN: Rapinoe has been in this -- this feud with President Trump. And she addressed what she wants from the president with Anderson last night.


RAPINOE: I think that I would say that "Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You're excluding people that look like me. You're excluding people of color. You're excluding, you know, Americans that -- that maybe support you. I think that we need to have a reckoning with the message that you have and what you're saying about make America great again. I think that you're hearkening back to an era that was not great for everyone."


BERMAN: She has a platform, Errol, and she will continue to have this platform. And it's interesting how she's using it.

LOUIS: Absolutely. Look, when it comes to celebrity, the president is -- you know, he's a Hollywood celebrity. Fourteen seasons at "The Apprentice." He's a political celebrity. He's the most powerful man in the world.

This is a kind of celebrity, though, that's kind of based on talent that everybody can see. Everybody watched what those women did. This is not something he can compete with. This is something where I think he's going to sort of maybe just fade away and move on to the next thing.

Because when the parade is done and the ticker tape is all swept up, you know, the women will go into -- will pass into history what they did and what they meant. And people will remember that. President Trump does not want to fight against that.

CAMEROTA: And obviously, Bianna, they're fighting for someone bigger than a soccer game. So they have much more on their agenda in terms of what it means for all women and for equal pay, et cetera.

GOLODRYGA: Right. And they have a lot of people on their side, right, fighting for that same purpose. Equal pay.

And for the president, once again, you see why picking these individual fights is so beneath the office of the presidency and why, ultimately, he will be on the wrong side of history if he continues to do so with regards to sports legends, right, with regards to people who are not his political rivals.

Do not take targeted attacks against people who set history, who have so many fans around this country and around the world now, who are fighting for much larger issues than just one's ego.

BERMAN: I have to say, it will be very interesting to see what the president does during those two hours when the American team is riding through the Canyon of Heroes here in New York City. Is he on Twitter, for instance?

CAMEROTA: It will be very exciting to cover it, so we'll be there in a couple of hours. Thank you, all.

BERMAN: All right. This morning millions of Americans at risk of losing their health care. Major new developments in the legal battle to abolish the Affordable Care Act. We're going to go inside the courtroom that could decide the fate of Obamacare.


CAMEROTA: OK. Now to this. A Republican-led legal challenge to get rid of Obamacare entirely is using the very same argument that saved the Affordable Care Act.

CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic is live in New Orleans where the case is being challenged. So what's the argument, Joan, they're using?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Morning, Alisyn, from windy New Orleans.

It was not a good day for Obamacare here yesterday. A majority of the three-judge panel appeared poised to throw out the individual insurance requirement that is at the heart of the Affordable Care Act. Possibly invalidate protections for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer and maybe even sink the whole thing. That could jeopardize healthcare insurance for millions of Americans.

Back in 2012, when Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act, he tied it to Congress's power to levy taxes on people who failed to obtain health insurance.

But then in 2017, the Republican-led Congress zeroed out that tax penalty. And now Texas and other Republican-led states, along with the Trump Justice Department, are saying that the constitutional grounds for the ACA no longer exist.

And Alisyn, while we can't tell for certain where this appeals court will go and we won't see a ruling for several months, the signals yesterday were that at least two of the three judges agree with that argument, agree with the Texas attorneys general and others.

This will all end up back at the U.S. Supreme Court, no doubt, the third time it would go there. And again, the fate of the Affordable Care Act is likely to be the hands -- in the hands of Chief Justice John Roberts -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: The Supreme Court seems to be very busy lately. Joan, thank you very much for explaining all of that.

[06:20:02] Let's bring back our panel. We have Errol Louis, Elie Honig, John Avlon, and Bianna Golodryga.

Elie, so if these three -- if these three judges decide that they think that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, or one tenet of it is, what happens to the millions of people who use the Affordable Care Act?

HONIG: I don't -- I don't think there's a plan, right? And people should understand, there's a real chance this happens. The Affordable Care Act is in genuine legal jeopardy.

BERMAN: Growing chance, I would say.

HONIG: Yes. I think increasingly. The forces are aligning against it.

First of all, DOJ changed its position during this administration, from its initial position of just the individual mandate. Now under Barr, it's the whole thing needs to go. The trial-level federal judge said whole thing needs to go.

It sounds like, based on Joan's reporting, that the court of appeals is leaning that way, too. And it's going to come up to the Supreme Court. And the only thing that kept John Roberts on the majority the first time around, that aligned him with the liberal justices, is the individual mandate, which is now gone. So there's a real chance.

AVLON: But remember how many people we're talking about. Right? We're talking about around 20 million people, estimated, who could lose their insurance. Fifty-two million, estimated who have preexisting conditions.

So this is -- out of the three judges, two are Republican appointees. It could come down to partisan lines again. But when President Trump, in his kickoff speech of his campaign, again pledged to protect pre- existing conditions. Watch what the administration's doing in court.

BERMAN: I think the politics of this, Errol, I have to imagine the Democrats, while they don't want people to lose their healthcare, it plays right into their hands.

LOUIS: Absolutely. And my prediction would be if it does, in fact, spool out this way, where it looks like it's in real danger, it would be a gift to the entire Democratic field running for president.

They're already making health care an issue, we know from all of the polling. We know from the midterms. We know that it is a core issue for -- for the Democratic Party. This is a case where I think for the conservatives who have been trying to kill this, be careful what you wish for. If you -- if you get it, the -- the blowback will be unbelievable.

CAMEROTA: But this would require Democrats to seize on this instead of, say, busing at the next debate.

BERMAN: Look, that's not fair. Because the Democrats talk a lot about health care. It's not a busing thing. It's a Medicare for all thing.

CAMEROTA: But there is a Medicare for all thing. But they -- I haven't heard them say, in as sort of cogent a way, "You're about to lose your health care if you have a pre-existing condition." Just that message.

GOLODRYGA: Right. Right. You haven't heard them really defend the ACA. You've talked -- you've heard them talk about blowing it up, right, and switching over to Medicare for all. They're all over the place when it comes to health care.

BERMAN: Except for Joe Biden --

GOLODRYGA: Except for Joe Biden.

BERMAN: -- who in his interview with Chris Cuomo, went extensively into the subject of "I'm going to stand up to any Republican or any Democrat who tries to do away with the Affordable Care Act."

GOLODRYGA: Joe Biden and John Delaney, who said let's work on fixing the Affordable Care Act. Let's keep what's working, and we'll work on what's not working right now.

AVLON: And by the way, polling overwhelmingly favors that position of the public option versus Medicare for all version that would do away with private insurance.

GOLODRYGA: And don't forget what the president said in the interview with George Stephanopoulos. That he had a medical and health care plan coming out in two weeks. It's been more than two weeks, and we're still --

BERMAN: Well over two weeks.


BERMAN: But who's counting?

All right. I don't necessarily like to be the media watchdog for our competitors, but something remarkable happened overnight, perhaps while you were sleeping, which is that Tucker Carlson suggested -- he didn't suggest; he flat-out said that a sitting member of the U.S. Congress should never have been allowed in the United States. Listen to this.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Ilhan Omar is living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country. So be grateful for Ilhan Omar, annoying as she is. She's a living fire alarm, a warning to the rest of us we better change our immigration system immediately or else.


BERMAN: So Bianna Golodryga, at this table, you are an immigrant to the United States.

GOLODRYGA: A political refugee.

BERMAN: A political refugee. When you hear Tucker Carlson saying we've got to change our immigration system. If there are people who come to the United States who aren't grateful, who criticize, perhaps, the policies, they don't deserve to be here. He also went on to say perhaps there are entire countries of people we shouldn't allow in.

GOLODRYGA: Instead of celebrating what this country can -- can do, right, what one can achieve in this country just a few years after immigrating here, as a political refugee. One could be a member of Congress. And -- and differ with her on issues that you don't agree with her on. That's fine.

But to attack her system of coming into the country and saying that people like her should not be here instead of being celebrated as an achievement that only what a special country this is that you can achieve as an immigrant family, running away and leaving a life of fear in another country, to come here and become a member of Congress, it's a great oversight. And I think he knows what he's doing by talking about it this way.

CAMEROTA: We have to read Congresswoman Omar's response on Twitter. She says, "Not going to lie, it's kinda fun watching a racist fool like this weeping about my presence in Congress." Laughy emoji. "No lies will stamp out my love for this country or my resolve to make our union more perfect. They will just have to get used to calling me Congresswoman!"

John, this is, you know, FOX's bread and butter at night in their primetime stuff. There's always outrage. There's always fearmongering. But, you know, it's dangerous. I mean, when I hear that, it's just dangerous.

[06:25:07] And Tucker knows that. I mean, he -- he was on the receiving end of a band of people who didn't like what he was saying while his wife, I believe, was inside; and they were battering their front door. He knows how dangerous it is. When you rile people up into a lather, it gets dangerous.

AVLON: Of course it does. Look, and Tucker's playing a game here where the first half of the clip is he's talking about the glory of assimilation and the extraordinary, only in American rise of Ilhan Omar and then says "but she hates America. She focuses on our faults exclusively."

And I think there's a larger narrative that the right, and the media, the right-wing media keeps piling on, that is not so coincidentally focused on Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a handful of other new congresswomen of color.

And you can say that, you know, the far left can be attacked with baggage about they look at our faults, not our successes as a country. But there is a racial animus that appears to exist against these women that have made their -- there's a conscious attempt to make them the face of the Democratic Party and to demonize them. And it's hard to separate that from a political agenda or something worse.

BERMAN: You know, there's a lot of an attempt here to create intellectual depth to what, to many, just is a racist comment. A flat-out racist comment or offensive comment, suggesting that people shouldn't be allowed in the country -- Errol.

LOUIS: You know, I -- It's interesting. Because to go back for a minute to something we talked about before, we know that there are lots of young girls who are watching the women's soccer team. And they're being inspired, and they're going to sort of change the world.

There are a lot of people -- I happen to have been one of them as a kid -- who saw all kinds of racist garbage coming out over the airwaves. You know, people like Tucker Carlson. And it was one of the things that inspired me to get into this business, to try and drive away the vestiges of that garbage.

I mean, on talk radio, in particular, you heard it for years and years and years, just spewing this kind of garbage. And that -- I mean, it's stuff like that.

And things like what he said last night are going to be said all over the airwaves all day today and tomorrow and the next day. And it's a wakeup call. It is an alarm to the rest of us that we need to train young people, get them into the media, get them into broadcasting, and do away with that stuff so it'll just be a bad memory.

BERMAN: I like that glass half full analysis of that.

CAMEROTA: The silver lining.

Let's talk about your favorite story of the day. The strip club.

BERMAN: This is amazing.

CAMEROTA: It is. I'm just saying.

AVLON: Whiplash here.

BERMAN: This actually has to do with a lot of what we've been talking about. This is David Fahrenthold in "The Washington Post." Let me just read the lead graph here.


BERMAN: Right? "President Trump's golf resort in Doral, Florida, is to host a golf tournament Saturday put on by a Miami-area strip club, which will allow golfers to pay for a dancer to serve as their caddie girl while they play at the president's club. The Trump name and family crest are displayed prominently in the strip club's advertising materials, which offer golfers the 'caddy girl of your choice'."

And if we can just put up on the screen here a couple of the ads associated with this.

CAMEROTA: And what year was this written, John?

BERMAN: Like, 2019.

GOLODRYGA: I was about to say that.

AVLON: Like, it's about to happen.

BERMAN: Right now. It's today here. This tournament is about to happen.

And I just want to note, and Elie, you're the winner of the golf tournament sweepstakes.

HONIG: Oh, goody.

BERMAN: The president of the United States still owns this club. This is not licensed. This is the president's golf club.

HONIG: My goodness. First of all, let me say when -- during the break when you said the phrase "strip club golf tournament," I legitimately said, "What is a strip club golf tournament?" I think, unfortunately --

AVLON: You're not alone.

HONIG: -- now we all know.

This is -- this is crazy. Politically speaking, forget about legal or anything like that. I'm going to give some straight political talk here. This is crazy. And it's crazy times two when you think about the Epstein and the Acosta overlay and imagery and the abuse of women and the exploitation of women. It all piles up, and it's inexplicable.

AVLON: You know what? The Republican Party's worst fever dream about what Bill Clinton did, you could not imagine this. And this is the party of family values once, which has apparently now just outright abandoned that moniker.

But with a president who's still supported by the vast majority of evangelicals, this is -- this is a caricature of -- of decadence and absurdity of sort of, like, a late Roman level. And they're still sticking by him.

LOUIS: I've got to point out, as a former caddie, among other things, this is taking, you know, some money out of the pockets of some legitimate kids who maybe --

AVLON: Thank you.

LOUIS: -- wanted to make some money this summer.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. I mean, Donald Trump, we know his favorite decade is the '80s. He's living in the '80s. But times have changed.

GOLODRYGA: This is like circa '75. This isn't even '80s.

CAMEROTA: Sure. Yes.

AVLON: I'm not even sure it's a '75 thing.

CAMEROTA: Circa Studio -- AVLON: From the basement of Studio 54.

BERMAN: Can I say, you can get a VIP upgrade, and they say "play and stay" for a thousand dollars.

CAMEROTA: What does that get you?

BERMAN: Three days, two nights stay with breakfast and transportation with a one-half-hour VIP room, bottle and club. It's a big-size value.

GOLODRYGA: Just look at that image, though.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

AVLON: It's a big-size value.

BERMAN: That's what it says. And this is the president's golf club.

LOUIS: It's not for charity or anything?


LOUIS: No redeeming qualities here at all?

GOLODRYGA: For the children.

CAMEROTA: I like that you're trying, Errol. That's really -- that's great.

All right. Everyone, thank you on that note. Thank you very much.

Up next, Meghan Markle wants privacy.