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Jeffrey Epstein Found Dead in Prison After Committing Suicide; Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Speaks on Gun Control; Democratic Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Calls on Walmart to Stop Selling Rifles; President Trump Tweets about Another Possible Summit with Kim Jong-un; Universal Pictures Pulls Controversial Film about Elites Hunting Ordinary Americans; Journalist Examines History of Reporting on Jeffrey Epstein's Activities with Young Girls. Aired 2-3P ET
Aired August 10, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:09] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Our breaking news, Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker, is dead. CNN has learned that the 66-year-old was discovered in his jail cell early this morning where officials believe he hanged himself. No foul play is suspected at this time. U.S. Attorney General William Barr says the death raises serious questions. Epstein was in cardiac arrest when he was taken to the hospital and was later pronounced dead. He was being held on multiple federal charges, all of which he pled not guilty to in July. The indictment accused him in part of soliciting sex from girls as young as 14-years-old, and if found guilty he would have served up to 45 years behind bars.
CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval is on the story for us. So Polo, what's the latest on his death?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, outside of Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center, it is business as usual, but inside you can bet that those questions are certainly mounting. At this point the Department of Justice, mainly the Bureau of Prison, confirming that Epstein was found inside of his cell in the special housing unit at about 6:30 this morning, taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Multiple sources telling us that he took his own life, that he hanged himself. Investigators now tasked with trying to find out exactly how that happened.
I can tell you at this point that the Bureau of Prison is confirming that he was found in his cell in the special housing unit. However, if you remember about two weeks ago, you recall that he was placed under suicide watch not long after he was discovered in his cell with some -- with some injuries to his neck. He had claim that he was assaulted and that he was called multiple things, a child predator, by some of his fellow inmates. However, authorities never fully confirmed whether or not those injuries were potentially the result of some self-inflicted injuries or if they in fact were related to an assault. So that will certainly be key here.
Now, what I can tell you is that based on the current guidance that was issued by the Bureau of Prisons, they state that any inmate that's exhibiting any significant potential for suicide must be removed from that special housing unit and that they be placed in a designated suicide prevention room. So that being said, Fred, there's two potential scenarios here, and I stress potential or possible. That could mean that prison officials here had determined that he was no longer a risk to himself, so he would have removed from suicide watch, or protocols weren't followed. So that is what the FBI is tasked with answering. And, again, those are just two possible outcomes based on what the Bureau of Prisons has confirmed, and also when you look at the guidelines that they are supposed to be following, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval, keep us posted. I appreciate it.
So now there is an investigation into Epstein's death and how this could have happened, particularly after a report of a possible suicide attempt just weeks ago. Our Kara Scannell is with us right now with more on what the U.S. attorney and what he is pledging to do now.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Hi, Fred. Before we get to what A.G. Barr has said, we have some new reporting right now that the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, which is the office that brought the charges against Jeffrey Epstein, a source familiar with that investigation tells me that that investigation is going to continue. The investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's conduct of this sex trafficking operation will continue even after his death.
Now, the charges against Epstein themselves will be dropped because you can't follow-up with a criminal investigation with someone who is dead. But the U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to investigate the whole conduct of Jeffrey Epstein, who was involved in that conduct, and how that might play out. So that's new information that we have from a source familiar with the investigation.
But A.G. Barr is livid, according to someone familiar with his thinking, and he has issued a statement saying that there's going to be not just the FBI investigation, but also an investigation by the Inspector General. He said "Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI's investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein's death."
Anyone who has been charged with child predatory behavior or sex trafficking often is a marked man in prison. And Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general has also commented publicly, he's been tweeting about just the danger that someone in that situation poses and the enhanced risk of suicide.
[14:05:00] Rosenstein said that "Pedophiles facing federal charges are at high risk for suicide. It happened in several of my Maryland cases when defendants were released on bail. Detained pedophiles require special attention. Stopping people from harming themselves is difficult."
Now we are also hearing from some of the accusers, lawyers for some of the alleged victims have been issuing statements, many expressing frustration that Epstein had killed himself. But also several others calling for additional information, calling for other victims to come forward. So Brad Edwards, an attorney in Florida who has represented a number of victims, dozens of victims over the years, has also issued a statement today, and in that statement he says "The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is unfortunate yet predictable. While we engaged in contentious legal battles for more than a decade, this was not the ending anyone was looking for. The victims deserve to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all the pain he caused. We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in the pursuit of finality and justice. It is never too late to come forward with information. In fact, many co-conspirators who may have been fearful to speak out against him have been relieved of that excuse. This is their last chance to speak up."
So attorneys for some of these victims saying more people who have been afraid, have been intimidated by Epstein, should come forward, that they can pursue civil settlements with him. And as we're learning now that the U.S. Attorney's Office is still going to investigate the conduct that Jeffrey Epstein was engaged in, if these victims come forward, they could aid in that investigation into other alleged co-conspirators or individuals that helped Epstein pull off this scheme for so many years, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Kara Scannell, thank you so much for that.
Still ahead, heartache in El Paso, Texas. A community shaken by a deadly mass shooting one week ago. Today people hit the streets marching to make a change.
Plus 2020 Democrats taking the stage in Iowa to talk about the gun violence problem and what they plan to do. More coming up.
[10:10:45] WHITFIELD: Just moments ago, Senator Bernie Sanders took to the stage in Iowa at a gun forum for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, and this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name Javanah (ph) McDowell (ph) and I'm a gun violence survivor. About three years ago, my 14-year-old son was shot and killed by another child playing with an unsecured firearm. We learn how to set our dinner table differently. We went from a family of four to an instant family of three, no time to prep or prepare. Senator Sanders, if elected president of the United States, how will you prioritize gun safety in your administration?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me begin by thanking you, Javanah (ph), and Sean (ph), thank you for the work you're doing, and thank everybody for your efforts in taking on one of the most dangerous and powerful political organizations in this country, and that is the NRA.
I have spent my political life taking on corporate entities who are more concerned about their own power and their own wealth and their own profits than they are about the needs of the American people. And that is certainly the case with regard to the NRA. So I think the first point to be made, and it's a good point, is that over the years because of organizations like yours, and maybe even more tragically, because of the terrible events that we have seen year after year, week after week, not just in Dayton or El Paso, California, but in schools all over this country where people have seen and witnessed things that are so unspeakable that it is difficult to talk about them.
And when we talk about the epidemic of gun violence in this country, obviously our hearts go out to you and the thousands of other families that have been impacted. But I'll tell you something else that we don't talk enough about. I've got seven grandchildren, and my grandchildren tell me that when they are in schools, they go into drills in order to protect themselves from some murderer who might come into that school and shoot it up.
When I was a kid and when many of you were kids, what schools were about were places to learn, places to socialize, places to have a good time, sometimes not to have a good time. But they were places that were safe. No mother in America ever had a doubt that when she sent her kid to school that some terrible thing might happen.
So the trauma -- I will not forget this. A couple of months ago, I was here in Iowa, and we did a town meeting, and a guy stood up, must have been 6'2", maybe a football player, big guy, and he talks about the fear that exists in his own school about what might happen. So obviously the first thing we have to do is do what the American people want us to do, and there's a lot that they want to do. And you all know what it is. It is expanding and making certain that we have universal background checks.
SANDERS: People in America who should not own guns based on their history will not own guns under a Sanders' administration. We end the gun show loophole. What's the sense of having a background check if you can avoid it. We end the strawman provision. What's the sense of being able to legally go into a gun shop, buy a gun, and then sell it to criminal elements. We're going to end that as well.
What we are also going to do, and I have been on this issue, and I come from a very rural state, a state which literally had no gun control legislation until last year. But what I have believed for over 30 years is that assault weapons are military-style weapons designed for one purpose, and that is to kill as many human beings as you can in a shorter period of time.
[14:15:09] And we have seen over and over again in Las Vegas and elsewhere, in El Paso, Dayton, we have seen what these weapons can do. I believed for 30 years and will implement as president of the United States the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country.
SANDERS: And on top of that, on top of that, we need a lot of work to think this one through. But many of you know that prior to 1986 it was legal to own a machine gun in this country, machine guns, which are the quickest way to kill people with a gun. But 1986 under Ronald Reagan, machine guns were licensed. And --
WHITFIELD: You're listening to Bernie Sanders there in Iowa roll out what he envisions if president as it pertains to gun control. CNN's Arlette Saenz joining me now from Des Moines where that forum is taking place. So he talked about ending of the distribution of assault weapons if he were president and expanding background checks, to name a few.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, Fred. And you've had many of the Democratic presidential candidates, 16 in total who are in person here, today laying out their vision for how they would try to combat this issue of gun violence in this country. Bernie Sanders talked about the need to stand up and fight against the NRA. A short while ago we also heard from Elizabeth Warren who was rolling out her comprehensive gun control plan which sets a goal of reducing gun deaths in this country by about 80 percent. And former vice president Joe Biden was also on stage, talking about gun violence and grief in very personal terms as he talked about his own connection with grief relating to his family. And he talked about his work, not just as a senator when he helped to pass an assault weapons ban in the 1994 crime bill, but also his work as vice president when after that massacre at Sandy Hook when he was working, trying to come up with some solutions to try to stem gun violence. And take a listen to what he had to tell the attendees here at this forum just a short while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I'm going today if I'm your -- if you choose me to be your president, is take what you have turned from a cause into a movement. Things have changed. They've changed fundamentally, because we're not only any longer just talking about the major things that have to be done relating to dealing with gun violence in America. We have to start to educate the American public. That's what you're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAENZ: Now Biden also talked about the victims of gun violence and families who lost loved ones in school shootings. But also the impact that it's had on police officers who have had to deal with these school shootings and these children who have died. We're going to be hearing from a few more candidates in the coming hours, including Senator Kamala Harris, as we've really seen gun control become a focal point in this 2020 race since those mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton just last week. Fred?
WHITFIELD: Arlette Saenz, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Let's talk more about all of this. Joining me right now is Jay
Newton-Small, a "TIME" magazine contributor, and Josh Dawsey, White House reporter for "The Washington Post." Good to see you both. OK, so, Jay, you first. You have so many Democratic candidates who are placing blame on the president, even going as far as calling him a white supremacist. Just take a look at how many are willing to call him that and blame his rhetoric for being contributing factors in the El Paso attack. The president says he doesn't like that. He doesn't like hearing those labels. Do you believe, however, that the president will in any way change the way in which, or at least the jargon that he uses, then rhetoric that he uses in his reelection campaign?
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, "TIME" MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTOR: Unfortunately, Fred, no, I don't think that people are going to see Donald Trump change his rhetoric at all. He doesn't really have the ability, I think, to self-edit. He never has. And even when he tries to sort of stay on message, that only lasts a limited amount of time. The difference between teleprompter Trump and Twitter Trump, the teleprompter Trump really doesn't survive. It's a very short-lived persona that he adopts when he absolutely has to, and then he inevitably goes back to Twitter Trump, which is this unfiltered, these are my opinions and this is the way I'm going to give it to you, I don't believe in political correctness, kind of Trump that he feels has won him the presidency in 2016 and the same rhetoric will win him the president in 2020.
[14:20:00] WHITFIELD: So Josh, let's take a look. Here are those candidates that I spoke of who are willing to call the president a white supremacist or blame some of his rhetoric on setting the tone, giving allowances, if you will. The president yesterday said he doesn't like those labels, and at the same time he promised on gun control that there would be meaningful background checks that he will be a proponent of. Does he have that kind of political capital to make that happen?
JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The president says, he cast the term Republicans who are spectacle of the NRA, which is gearing up for a battle against any sort of background checks, will all come along. He has popularity very strong across the country among Republicans, 85, 90 percent. And if you talk to Democrats or Republicans on Capitol Hill, folks in the White House, almost everyone agrees that the only way anything happens is if the president makes it happen.
Now, in the past, the president has said after Parkland, after other shootings, that he wanted more extended background checks, and the effort fizzled. He got pressure from the NRA, he stopped talking about it, we moved on. And you have five weeks before the Senate will return, which would have to pass this. So it remains to be seen whether the president's current iteration of saying that he's going to support stronger background checks and he's going to force others to come along continues or not. Five weeks is an eternity in politics, particularly in the Trump White House. But the president right now seems very determined to do it. So we'll have to see.
WHITFIELD: And Jay, these Democratic candidates are not just in some cases placing blame on the president, but they're also saying that these retailers have some responsibility as well. Here's Kamala Harris.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: On the issue of Walmart, yes, they should stop selling guns. I do believe that. It's just -- there is -- we need background checks, let's just start with that. We need background checks, and we need people to be, as I've said, responsible in a way that they are selling them. So it's not about everyone needs to stop selling guns, but we absolutely need to have checks and balances on it, and part of that is we need background checks. So that's where I begin and end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So Jay, some people put some pressure on Dick's Sporting Goods a while back. They stopped selling some firearms. And now there are some Democrats like Harris who are saying, retailers like Walmart need to make some changes. Is this something that will appeal to voters?
NEWTON-SMALL: I think Walmart, the question for Walmart is, is it going to get them more or less people who will buy there if they're going to make this change. They are a business, and frankly, it's the bottom line that matters to them. But if there's enough public pressure that says, maybe you shouldn't sell certain kinds of guns, maybe you shouldn't sell guns at all, that's going to bring more people into their shops to shop there, then maybe it's a PR move. Maybe it's a profitable move for them to stop selling guns. And if it's not, then it's hard to imagine Walmart saying to its investors or to its stockholders, we're just going to do what doesn't make political sense, especially when the country itself, Congress can't even come together to say, hey, maybe we shouldn't allow people on the no fly list, suspected terrorists in America, not to buy guns. We can't close loopholes like the one in Charleston that allowed Dylann Storm Roof, a felon who shouldn't have been able to purchase a gun, but because of the loopholes in our background checks, because the system is imperfect and not fully funded, people like him fall through the cracks.
And so until we can even figure out how to come together as a country to do bipartisan, sensical ideas, it's hard to say the solution isn't going to be pressuring retailers into selling less guns because they're always going to be available whether they're at Walmart or other places. The solution has to come from people coming together and getting their lawmakers and the president to say, this is enough, we need to pass at least some restrictions here that will stop this from happening again and again.
WHITFIELD: We'll leave it there for now. Jay Newton-Small and Josh Dawsey, good to see you both, thanks so much.
Tonight, Fareed Zakaria investigates the deep reasons why white supremacy is showing its face. Watch the CNN special report "State of Hate, The Explosion of White Supremacy," Tonight at 9:00 eastern and pacific only on CNN.
[14:27:51] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. President Trump says Kim Jong-un wants to restart nuclear negotiations once joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea are over. Trump tweeting out today that Kim's request came in a new letter sent to him by the North Korean dictator. Those tweets coming just hours after North Korea conducted another round of short-range missile tests. Samantha Vinograd is the former senior adviser to the national security adviser in the Obama administration. Good to see you, Sam. So what do you make of the timing of this letter and the president's tweets?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Fred, missives trump missiles in this scenario, and that's a big problem from a security perspective. Kim Jong-un is linking U.S. joint military exercises to denuclearization. Joint military exercises are critical for force readiness with respect to the United States protecting its interests in the region. Kim Jong-un is doing something very different with these missile tests. He's testing these missiles to try to get at Trump and to try to make Trump fear that he's going to call off denuclearization talks.
But at the same time, Fred, and this is getting a bit lost with all of the tweets, these missile tests advance North Korean capabilities. The missiles that they have tested recently are a new kind of missile, the KN-23, and every time Kim Jong-un does one of these tests, he's advancing North Korean capabilities, whether it be the reliability of the missiles or something else. So President Trump is focused, we heard yesterday, on potentially a third summit with Kim Jong-un. But if they do meet again, from an analytic perspective, North Korea's capabilities have increased while we have pared down joint military exercises, and our force readiness is degrading.
WHITFIELD: So what's the psychology that you're seeing here that Kim Jong-un is playing when in this letter he apparently, according to the president, issued a small apology for some of those missile tests and is now saying, let's meet again?
VINOGRAD: I would expect at least a big apology or for the president to demand one when a despot fires missiles that threaten hundreds of thousands of Americans, not to mentioned our allies. But the psychology is appealing to President Trump's desire to be a historic leader and to make progress on denuclearization even though that's not happening, while also, and we don't know what's in the letter, playing to President Trump's focus on the cost of these military exercises.
[14:30:12] He said that these military exercises are ridiculous and too expensive. And my question for the president is, what should the United States be spending money on if not protecting the United States and our allies from a despotic dictator and his missiles? So Kim Jong-un is trying to get Donald Trump back to the negotiating table. He is sidelining the experts in the United States who actually know something about North Korea who have actual intelligence analysis on Kim Jong-un's intentions, and trying to get President Trump to do some kind of quid pro quo I think with respect to sanctions relief, joint military exercises, and North Korea stopping these short-range tests.
WHITFIELD: So the president has said that the goal is denuclearization, but thus far, there has been no evidence to show that North Korea is willing to do that. So what really is the objective here?
VINOGRAD: Well, this is exactly Kim Jong-un's objective, to make no progress on denuclearization, which the U.S. intelligence community has said he won't do. The nuclear program is Kim Jong-un's crown jewel, so to speak. But Kim's objective is to get President Trump focused on something else, like the cost of a joint military exercise or the short-range missile tests which are dangerous irritant, while Kim Jong-un continues to make progress on his on conventional and unconventional capabilities.
President Trump's strategy, Fred, I really struggle to see what it is other than to say that he's made progress on anything but denuclearization. He pointed yesterday to the return of hostage remains and some other small steps that North Korea has taken. But there has been no progress on denuclearization. And the intelligence community, as a final point, there's reporting that they have assessed that North Korea has increased their nuclear capabilities and continues to produce fissile material and nuclear weapons. So if they meet again, North Korea arguably will have an enhanced nuclear capability since these talks began rather than having engaged in denuclearization.
WHITFIELD: Wow. All right, Samantha Vinograd, thank you so much.
Coming up, the deadly mass shooting in Ohio and Texas now have filmmakers in Hollywood scrambling as a major studio cancels plans to release a new movie.
[14:36:09] WHITFIELD: This just in, Universal Studios is canceling the September 27th release of the film "The Hunt" in the wake of last weekend's mass shootings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just business, hunting human beings for sport.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not human beings --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: You've probably seen this promo that stirred up plenty of controversy. The R-rated film is based around a premise where so- called elites hunt everyday people for sport. Universal Pictures released this statement, saying in part "We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators like those associated with this satirical, social thriller. But we understand that now is not the right time to release this film." I'm joined now on the phone by CNN media analyst Bill Carter. So
Bill, this is a pretty big thing for universal or any big film house to say we are going to suspend or cancel the release as a result of current events.
BILL CARTER, FORMER "NEW YORK TIMES" MEDIA REPORTER: It is. It's not the first time it's happened before. Obviously, that was a lot on television when they have television shows that are obviously following newscasts and things like that. But if you think about what they were doing with this, they really had no choice. This was a movie about people being slaughter by guns. With the mood of the country right now, it is so shocked at what's really happening that it seemed like it was incomprehensible that they would attempt to put this movie out now.
WHITFIELD: So the president also slammed this film on Twitter this week, saying it intends to "enflame and cause chaos," end quote. So the premise of this movie is pretty tough. It's a tough one to swallow.
WHITFIELD: But somehow there was a lot of advocacy for this film. They did put it together.
CARTER: It was a satire. But the point is, one of the things about the movie was that the people being slaughtered were like what they called deplorables, the conservatives were being the targets in this movie. It was obviously a satire. They're trying to reverse the usual aspect of it. And obviously I think they were going for something that would make people sort of both horrified and maybe think was funny. But I think that's one reason Trump particularly reacts to it, because it would have been his base that were the targets of the movie.
But in any event, it doesn't matter, because it was obviously about guns and slaughtering people. And bottom line is, that's really where it went wrong.
What's interesting is, they're going to delay the movie or put it off to another time, but the way things have happened in America, you can't predict when any of these events are going to happen. Two of these happened within a day. So they could schedule this movie for six months from now and some other thing could happen right before that. It's a very dicey theme for a movie to put out in our current state of violence in America.
WHITFIELD: And do you think it was the current events which was the impetus, or was it the president, or both?
CARTER: I think it has to be the current events. I think, my own idea, long before Trump came out against it, I saw the promos for the movie and said they can't put this on now. It's just offensive, it offends people's sensibilities. The idea of using guns this way, clearly that is the source of all of this outrage in America right now, the use of guns in these incidents. So admittedly, maybe Trump pushed it a little further, but I think the main reason is just taste reasons. It was in bad taste to put a movie like this out.
WHITFIELD: Bill Carter, glad you could be with us. Thank you so much.
CARTER: Sure, any time.
WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.
[14:43:58] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker is dead. CNN has learned that the 66-year-old was discovered in his jail cell early this morning where officials believed he hanged himself. CNN has learned that he was not on suicide watch as of late July. Epstein was being held on multiple federal charges which he pled not guilty to last month. The indictment accused him in part of soliciting sex from girls as young as 14 years old. But as far back as 2003, there were questions about Epstein's behavior. Journalist Vicky Ward says she wrote an article for "Vanity Fair" where she had on the record accusations from three different women. The magazine would not publish her reporting. Vicky Ward is with me now. So Vicky, good to see you.
VICKY WARD, FORMER WRITER FOR "VANITY FAIR": Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Tell me more about this powerful network that Epstein built, and how he actually made his money. And then we'll talk further about the accusations in your reporting on that.
[14:45:04] WARD: Yes, so it's interesting, I was talking to one of my sources this morning who I had talked to back in 2002 for that "Vanity Fair" article, and this person said it was networking, women, money. It was all a game to Jeffrey Epstein. It was all one big game. How he made his money was a mystery. That was why I was assigned the article. He lived in the biggest private home in New York, so big it had once been a school. And no one could understand where the money came from. He told people that --
WHITFIELD: A lot of that is still a mystery, right?
WARD: It completely remains a mystery. What I did discover in my reporting back then was that what he told people was just not true. He was not a money manager for a large number of billionaires because there was no sign of him in the markets. What I also discovered was that Steve Hoffenberg, who went to jail for the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history pre Bernie Madoff, told me from his jail cell that he was in fact Jeffrey Epstein's mentor and that he taught him everything he knew. And he claimed -- Jeffrey Epstein denied it -- he claimed that Jeffrey Epstein helped facilitate and was in fact the architect of that Ponzi scheme.
So more mysteries really. But what I could prove was that he was not what he said he was. The network that you talked about, Fredricka, that's fascinating because he was very clever in the way that he would introduce businessmen, philanthropists, to academics, to scientists, to Nobel Prize winners. So everybody felt they were at a very eclectic dinner party.
I think it's worth pointing out that the person who put all of this together for him was not Jeffrey Epstein. It was Ghislaine Maxwell of whom there's been no sight of since Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested.
WHITFIELD: Her name appears a lot in this -- in these documents. When you talk about this network, so you've touched on, there's the money, then there's power, and now the sex portion that involved accusations from accusers who were as young as 14, and now what has led to these charges of sex trafficking, you know, of teenagers, this is part of that big network.
WARD: It is part of the big network. And I think, you know, Fredricka, that what had so many people interested and on the edge of their seats about this what would have been Jeffrey Epstein's trial, but that still really matters is the trial, if you like, of the ecosystem, because don't forget, the original indictment talked about a conspiracy. There have been many other important, powerful names brought up in connection with this case, former President Bill Clinton, the lawyer Alan Dershowitz, the financier Leon Black, Les Wexler, the retailer last saying I gave Jeffrey Epstein power of attorney, but I discovered in 2007 he stole millions and millions from me. But it begs the question then, why did Leslie Wexler not go to the authorities? And I think the fact that the case still is going to sort of go forward means that all the people connected to it, after all it was a conspiracy, should still think that they're going to be questioned, because they will be.
WHITFIELD: Some of the attorneys for these accusers have said that even in his death, they will continue to pursue avenues to find those responsible, whether they're co-conspirators. You mentioned Maxwell, whose name appears, but that this case is not dead because Jeffrey Epstein is, for now. Vicky Ward, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.
WARD: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: And of course, we'll continue to follow this because it continues to be a big mystery. Thank you so much.
WARD: Yes. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.
[14:53:31] WHITFIELD: All right, very few people have survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, but one of those survivors has dedicated his second chance at life to suicide prevention. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has his story in today's Turning Points.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: For Kevin Hines, the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge is an emotional one. On September 25, 2000, then 19-year-old Hines struggled with mental illness and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.
KEVIN HINES, SUICIDE SURVIVOR: I hit the water, and the impact reverberated through my legs and shattered my T12, L1, and L2. The very second my hands left the rail and legs cleared it, instant regret.
GUPTA: This is the place where you jumped?
HINES: Yes. This is the place where I lived.
GUPTA: Over the last two decades, the suicide rate in the United States has gone up 33 percent, making it the number two cause of death in this country for people aged 10 to 34. Hines has spent the last 16 years as an activist for suicide prevention. His goal, to get a net attached to the Golden Gate Bridge, a barrier to stop someone from dying. And his fight meant something, the net is finally going up.
HINES: There it is. That's the net. It's going up on the Golden Gate as of 2021. This is one of the most special days of my life.
[14:55:06] GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
WHITFIELD: Wow, he and that, life-savers.
Tonight, in the CNN original series, "The Movies," we take a look back at some of the classic films from the 1960s. Here's a preview.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hollywood's reel cameras are off to the premier of "My Fair Lady," one of the biggest opening nights in recent years, with a roster of stars that will make your eyes blink. The star of the picture, Rex Harrison.
SUSANNA HOFFS, VOCALIST AND GUITARIST: In "My Fair Lady," they have a contest to see if Henry Higgins can transform this flower girl with her cockney accent into someone that he could pass off as royalty and high society.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see this creature with her curbstone English, the English that will keep her in the gutter until the end of her days. Well, in six months, I could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rex Harrison, he became that rare guy who could recreate his role on air. But for the role of Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews, who was such a hit on Broadway, was turned down by Jack Warner who personally produced the movie in favor of Audrey Hepburn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By George, she's got it. By George, she's got it.
MOLLY RINGWALD, ACTOR: I love "My Fair Lady." The music is incredible.
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WHITFIELD: How fun to see that again. Don't miss an all new episode of "The Movies" tomorrow 9:00 eastern and pacific only on CNN.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. See you back here again tomorrow. We've got so much more straight ahead in Newsroom with Ana Cabrera right after this.