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Megan Rapinoe Goes One-On-One With CNN's Anderson Cooper; White House Social Media Summit Turns From Constructive Conversations to Trump Claiming Social Media Is Discriminating Against Him; Former Presidential Candidate, Billionaire Ross Perot Dies At 89. Aired 7:30- 8a ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 07:30   ET



[07:31:03] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're getting oh so close to a celebration for the ages. The World Cup champions with a ticker tape parade through the streets of New York City. The last few weeks really had been a whirlwind for the team with star player, Megan Rapinoe, tangling with President Trump while leading her team to victory. Listen to what she told to Anderson Cooper.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: How do you -- do you phase out all the stuff that's swirling around you, all the stuff with President Trump, all of that when you're on the field and preparing to be on the field? Or do you use it as motivation? How do you do what you do?

MEGAN RAPINOE, CO-CAPTAIN, U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: That's -- I don't know how I do it. I don't phase things out. I don't like go into a zone. Like I definitely am on the field at times like thinking about all of these things knowing the kind of impact but then in the same way, I'm just free and doing whatever.

COOPER: But you're aware -- because, you know, if --

RAPINOE: Yes, I'm aware.

COOPER: -- if you hadn't won, there would have --


COOPER: -- been a whole other sort of reaction and blowback and --


COOPER: -- you know, who knows what coming out of Washington.

RAPINOE: Right. Yes, no, I'm very aware of that. I'm aware of not only sort of my position within the team, but the team and just all of the media and how everything affects each other. I just -- I think I sort of naturally just kind of feel that and have a kind of go with the flow attitude but, yes, I'm aware that this was a huge win for us in many ways.

COOPER: I want to ask about the stance that you famously do. And what do you call -- is there a name for that?

RAPINOE: I don't know.

COOPER: Because that was the subject of a lot of discussion. I'm wondering if there was a particular -- where that came from. Is there a name for it?

RAPINOE: I don't know where it came from and it just felt -- I felt the team had so much pressure on it and obviously, individually, we each have that pressure but more so as a team. And it was just like this like moment -- and it wasn't an "f" you moment at all. It was a moment, I think, for everyone to celebrate through that. Like, you're not going to take our joy from anything. And it was just this, like, we have arrived, sort of.

COOPER: That's the message?

RAPINOE: Something like that, yes. Like, are you not entertained by all of this? Like, the circus is here and we're here for it.

COOPER: It is a sort of very like circus entertainer --


COOPER: -- sort of in the center ring. As far as I know, there is not an invitation from the president to the White House. He had said later on, well, you know, he'd criticized you but said that win or lose that -- he'd said that you should win before you talk and that win or lose, your team would be invited. There hasn't been an invitation publicly yet. Would you go, would your teammates go?

RAPINOE: I would not go and every teammate that I've talked to explicitly about it would not go.

COOPER: Everyone that you've talked to?

RAPINOE: Everyone that I've talked to, yes. I don't think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we've worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life, I don't think that we want that to be coopted or corrupted by this administration.

COOPER: And going to the White House would be, in your opinion, risk coopting or corrupting your message?

RAPINOE: Yes, I think so. I think it's an opportunity for this administration to sort of put us on display as their, you know, sort of guest for the day. And I don't think that that makes sense for us at all. I can't imagine any one of my teammates would want to be put in that position. There's so many other people that I would rather talk to and have, you know, meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington than going to the White House. COOPER: There's a good chance the president is watching this

interview or will watch this interview. What is your message to the president?

RAPINOE: Message to the president. I think that I would say that your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You're excluding people that look like me.

[07:35:00] You're excluding people of color. You're excluding, you know, Americans 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 harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America is great for a few people right now but it's not great for enough Americans in this world.

And I think that we have a responsibility each and every one of us. You have an incredible responsibility as, you know, the chief of this country to take care of every single person. And you need to do better for everyone.

COOPER: The idea of make America great again if it means going back to an America from the '40s or '50s, that's an America where you could be imprisoned for being gay. Where you could be sent by your family to a mental hospital where you could not walk down the street holding hands with your loved one or I could not walk down the street or go dancing or anything.


COOPER: It's interesting how different people view things through a very personal lens. And as you said, maybe don't walk in the shoes of other people who, you know, did not have rights in a past America.

RAPINOE: Yes, it was not a great place for a lot of people. It was a very oppressive place. And that's not to say that it was the worst place in the world. I think that's one of the things that a lot of people go to. No one's saying that they want to leave America. But I think as one of the great countries in the world and for sure we want to see ourselves as that, we need to constantly look within and challenge ourselves to be better so everyone else can be better around us.

COOPER: Do you -- I know you've been invited by, I think, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I think Nancy Pelosi.

RAPINOE: Shout out AOC.

COOPER: So is that an invitation you're taking up? Nancy Pelosi had said, you know, you're -- you'd be welcome to a bipartisan congressional thing. Do you plan on going to Washington in one way or another?

RAPINOE: Yes, definitely. And I think even just the conversations with the teammates that I've had, I think everyone is interested in going to Washington. I think we've always been interested in going to Washington. This is such a special moment for us. And to be able to, you know, sort of leverage this moment and talk about the things that we want to talk about and to celebrate like this with the leaders of our country is an incredible moment.

So, yes to AOC. Yes to Nancy Pelosi. Yes to the bipartisan Congress. Yes to Chuck Schumer. Yes to anyone else that wants to invite us and have a real substantive conversation and that believe in the same things that we believe in.


BERMAN: A fascinating discussion with Megan Rapinoe. And there is more of that as well.

But the breaking news, the British ambassador to the United States has just resigned, forced out essentially by President Trump after he criticized President Trump. We're expecting to hear from the White House for the first time. You're looking at live pictures. Stay with us.


[07:42:21] BERMAN: All right, we do have some breaking news just in. Remarkable new accusations against millionaire Jeffrey Epstein who is in jail this morning charged with sex trafficking and abusing young girls. Of course, he had a court settlement in 2008 on similar charges that was orchestrated by the Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta. These new accusations come from a woman named Jennifer Araoz, and I don't know if I'm saying that correctly. She says when she was 14 in 2001, she was approached by a woman outside her high school and basically asked to service the man who ended up being Jeffrey Epstein.

Listen to this interview with the "TODAY Show".


JENNIFER ARAOZ, CLAIMS EPSTEIN RAPED HER: Once a week, twice a week my freshman year.

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

ARAOZ: I told the recruiter. I've mentioned it in 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.

GUTHRIE: At that moment, it didn't --

ARAOZ: At that moment, yes, I've --

GUTHRIE: -- you know, strange to you?

ARAOZ: -- but at the same time, I was scared too because I didn't know if he would get angry. So I kind of just followed. I would have just my underwear on because 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 used to get turned on by that. And then he would finish himself off, and then that would be the end of it.


BERMAN: All right, this woman Jennifer Araoz says she is willing to testify in this new federal case here from the Southern District of New York and which makes this so important is, again, this allegedly happened here in New York City. Not in Florida where this other case was settled in very controversial terms. Again, by then-U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta who is, as of this morning, still the secretary of labor. We are waiting to see how the White House responds to these new accusations and how Alexander Acosta explains what he is now hearing.

In the meantime, the White House social media summit was supposed to be a constructive conversation for the leaders of social media. Instead, President Trump is reportedly calling a cast of conspiracy theorists Twitter trolls to the White House for an airing of grievances.

John Avlon here with the reality check. John.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, John. So, social media connects the world and it drives people apart. It can make us smarter and much, much dumber.

[07:45:03] And it often operates without clear common sense regulation. And so normally, a White House summit to bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges for today's online environment would be something to celebrate.

But this is the Trump White House. And so Thursday's social media summit is instead shaping up to be a Star Wars bar of the alt-right, a thinly veiled campaign confab on the Taxpayers DIME. Actual digital leaders with platforms like Facebook and Twitter are reportedly not invited. Instead, there's a cartoonist known for anti-semitic images, propagator of the QAnon conspiracy theory, a pro-Trump meme creator and various alumni of far-rights, some briefly banned on social media for trying to spread toxic nonsense.

So it's somehow appropriate that the president is apparently convening this meeting not to talk about real reform but to give Oval Office oxygen to the idea that social media is discriminating against them.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look at Twitter, they don't treat me right. And I know for a fact, I mean, a lot of people try and follow me and it's very hard. I have so many people coming up and they say, sir, it's so hard. They make it hard to follow. What they're doing is wrong and possibly illegal. And a lot of things are being looked at right now. (END VIDEO CLIP)

AVLON: OK, so put that casual threat from the president aside. His Twitter followers exploded from about 13 million before the election to nearly 62 million today. Some suppression. And what the president might be talking about is Twitter's push to suspend fake accounts and suspicious accounts. His followers did drop and then Trump complained directly to the CEO.

Another alt-right grievance is Twitter and Facebook's so far modest efforts at curbing hate speech from folks like conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones. Now, Trump has blasted both outlets for violating far- right free speech, despite the fact that Twitter has bend over backwards to keep his account accessible on the rationale that what he says is important, because he's president, even when it violates their terms of service.

Let's not ignore the obvious. Far from being victims of social media, Trump and his guests of honor are some of its prime beneficiaries. If the social media platforms were really rigged against him, Donald Trump couldn't have used them so effectively in 2016, and wouldn't have already spent millions more than Democrats on Facebook as 2020 gets under way.

Even the accusation of bias can have benefits. For example, the White House online forum for collecting alleged free speech violations also collected people's contact information. And there's a serious side to all of this social media skullduggery. See the new reporting from Mike Isikoff that shows that the Seth Rich conspiracy theory about a murdered DNC staffer was actually a Kremlin disinformation campaign amplified by folks on the far right.

If the president really wanted to clean up social media, he'd support initiatives like The Honest Ads Act that would impose transparency on the politics you find in your feed. But constructive reform didn't appear to be on the agenda at the White House social media conference. That's a shame because the stakes are so high. We know that foreign and domestic trolls are prime to try to influence the next election. And against that backdrop, it's worth reflecting on this warning from Garry Kasparov. The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking to annihilate truth.

And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: And John, as you say, the stakes are so incredibly high as we saw with the Seth Rich conspiracy. And that reporting, as you point out, is simply remarkable. John, thank you very much.

We do have some breaking news. We just got the first reaction from the White House after the British ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch, resigned. Why did he resign? Basically, he was bullied out by President Trump because cables were leaked where Kim Darroch called the president inept. You're about to hear the vice president's chief of staff, Marc Short, respond. Listen.


MARC SHORT, CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: I think the reality was that in light of the last few days, his ability to be effective was probably limited. So it was probably the right course.


BERMAN: All right, an understated response from Marc Short, again, the vice president's chief of staff, the first we are -- we have heard from him. I suspect the White House wanted to give the president a chance for something of a victory lap. So we're waiting to see what the president says on Twitter or maybe in public about this. Stand by for that.

In the meantime, Harvard University has fired one of its athletic coaches. New detail on why the head of its fencing program was let go. That's next.


[07:53:21] BERMAN: New this morning, yet another twist to the nationwide college admissions scandal. Harvard University has fired its fencing coach after he was accused of selling his home to the father of a prospective student.

CNN's Brynn Gingras live with the latest. You almost can't believe this, Brynn.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, right, John. I mean, another fallout here, the firing of the culmination of Harvard's independent investigation into its fencing coach, Peter Brand. But Brand is still under federal investigation. But first, let's talk about Harvard.

The Ivy League says Brand violated its conflict of interest policy when sources say Brand sold his Massachusetts home for twice what tax documents said its worth to a man whose son wanted to go to Harvard to fence. He also had a son on Harvard's fencing team according to the Boston Globe. Now, that man then sold the property more than a year later at $300,000 loss.

Harvard says it was made aware of all of this in April. Though separate, this, of course, was not long after the college admissions scam broke wide open. Brand's attorney said, "Harvard's termination of him is unfair, unwarranted, and an egregious disservice to a loyal employee." Brand had coached to Harvard for a very successful 20 years.

Now, let's talk about that federal investigation last month. A source says the same U.S. attorney investigating the college admissions scam subpoenaed tax records for the property that Brand owned and it's unclear though the status of that investigation right now, John.

BERMAN: All right, Brynn Gingras, you've been all over this story. Thanks so much for the update this morning. Appreciate it.

A really important passing this morning, Ross Perot, the billionaire tycoon who mounted two unsuccessful third-party presidential campaigns in the '90s, he has passed away. He was 89 years old.

CNN's Jeanne Moos remembers his colorful approach to life and politics.


[07:55:06] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ross Perot was a political gadfly who flew high, as high as 19 percent of the popular vote in one of two presidential races.

ROSS PEROT, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have any spin doctors. I don't have any speechwriters. Probably shows.

MOOS: He definitely showed a disdain for politics but explained to Barbara Walters why he got into it.

PEROT: Nobody could have had a better life, wonderful life, wonderful children. Man (ph), I just get up every morning to have somebody who don't know a thing about me tearing my head off. And I'm putting up with that for the American people.

MOOS: Born in Texas, a graduate of the Naval Academy, married over six decades, made a fortune as a pioneer in computer services, the Bill Gates of the '60s as his son put it. His one-time campaign manager compared him to the most aggressive type of rooster.

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He's a tough little bunny (ph) rooster, let me tell you, he was as tough as anybody have ever have been up against.

MOOS: But he was also a humanitarian crusading for POWs in Vietnam, Special Forces that helped take down Osama bin Laden gave Perot bin Laden's walking stick. He seemed to stick it to Al Gore when they debated NAFTA.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I'm listening. I haven't heard the answer but go ahead. I'm --

PEROT: That's because you haven't quit talking.

GORE: Well, I'm listening. How do you stop it without NAFTA?

PEROT: Are you going to listen?

MOOS: Fodder for the Dana Carvey's impersonation.

PEROT: Larry, will you listen to me? Please. Larry, stay focused. I'm here. Listen.

(on camera): One of the things Ross Perot was known for, he was more into showing charts than an eye doctor.

PEROT: It's kind of depressing but it's not complicated. I'm embarrassed to show you this chart. Up, up, up, up, oops. I got up and went into the hospital, thought he had a sore arm (ph), found out he had gangrene. (voice-over): Perot found out he had leukemia five months ago but he

sure knew how to shrug off mortality.

PEROT: I was Texas born, Texas bred, and when I die, I'll be Texas dead.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: What a life.

All right, we have breaking news. The British ambassador to the United States has resigned after a tense back and forth with President Trump. NEW DAY continues right now.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday July 10th, it's 8:00 in the East, and we do have major breaking news. The British ambassador to the United States has just resigned. This comes days after leaked cable show he described the Trump administration as inept. He also called President Trump insecure.

On cue, the president lashed out at the ambassador and said he would no longer deal with him after the cables became public. The British Prime Minister Theresa May, she spoke about the ambassador's resignation moments ago before the parliament. Let's get right to London.

CNN's Max Foster is live there with all the breaking details. This is happening at a very fast pace, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: It really is. And it was a real surprise that the letter came in today, but we got it about an hour ago. And in it, the ambassador said he wanted to put an end to this speculation adding the leak that you're talking about made it impossible, basically, to do his job. You can't be an ambassador to a country when the administration doesn't speak to you.

In the letter, he said, "Since the leak of official documents from this embassy, there's been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador." This was a surprise because the government came all the way out to Theresa May, the prime minister, offering (ph) full support to him saying he was just doing his job offering frank assessments of the Trump administration.

Let's hear what Theresa May had to say in the last hour.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. Speaker, this morning, I have spoken to Sir Kim Darroch. I have told him that it is a matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to leave his position as ambassador in Washington. The whole Cabinet rightly gave its full support to Sir Kim on Tuesday.

Sir Kim has given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.


FOSTER: Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn also offering his support to Kim Darroch. The one notable voice we haven't heard in support of Kim Darroch, though, was Boris Johnson, the likely contender -- the most likely contender to take over from Theresa May as prime minister later this month. He simply didn't offer support. He said the most important thing was the U.K.-U.S. relationship and many people suggesting that that was actually a thing that did it for Kim Darroch in that position. John.

BERMAN: All right, Max Foster, please stay with us for a moment if you can. We also want to bring in Abby Phillip, CNN White House correspondent, Asha Rangappa, former FBI special agent and national security analyst, and Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief for the Daily Beast and a CNN political analyst.

Abby, let me start with you because we are getting the initial White House reaction to this.