Return to Transcripts main page


Rules for Trump Probe; David Alvarez is Interviewed about 9/11; Antonio Brown Accused of Rape; Trump Speaks At Pentagon Memorial. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired September 11, 2019 - 09:30   ET



LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Alleged affairs against President Trump during the campaign. All of that is part of their inquiry.

But, if you ask leadership, they have a different tact. They basically say, no, this is just a continuation of the investigations we've been doing since the beginning of the year. And there's a political reason for that. There is a diverse Democratic caucus. There are moderate members who do not want to be talking about impeachment in their re- elections, especially those who are running in some places that President Trump won in 2016.

Then you have members who are progressives who say, look, our base is hungry to do something on this. We have to act. Time is running out. They want to be talking about impeachment.

So part of this confusion may be strategic. It gives members a little bit of room to make this exactly what they want it to be. Is it an investigation or is it a formal impeachment inquiry? I think that's in the eye of the beholder.

Jim and Poppy.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Lauren Fox on The Hill, thanks very much.

This morning, as we remember the victims of 9/11, these 18 years later, we're also bringing you the stories of some of the heroes, including first responder Luiz Alvarez. We're going to speak to his son next. It promises to be a powerful conversation.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christopher Joseph Dunne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard Anthony Dunstan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patrick Thomas Dwyer. SCIUTTO: What's become an annual ritual. Live pictures at Memorial

Plaza at the World Trade Center as they are reading the names of each of the victims, nearly 3,000 of them, from 9/11.

This morning, of course, 18 years later, we're remembering the victims, but also the heroes from 9/11. And here's one of them. NYPD bomb squad detective -- sorry, one moment.

This is the president. He's in Washington going to visit the Pentagon Memorial. Of course, the attacks also targeted the Pentagon these 18 years ago. The president arriving there. In a short time, there will be a moment of silence there and when we do see that moment of silence, we will bring you back.

Meanwhile, we want to take a moment to talk about one of the heroes of that day, 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez.

HARLOW: He passed away in June from cancer. Cancer related to the time that he spent at Ground Zero. Just days before he was there, you saw him sitting next to Jon Stewart, who became a champion for all of them, testifying on Capitol Hill, fighting for an extension to make permanent and fill the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.


LUIS ALVAREZ, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER: You all said you would never forget. Well, I'm here to make sure that you don't.


HARLOW: And we never will.

With us this morning, we are so glad to have Luis' son, David Alvarez.

Good morning, David.

DAVID ALVAREZ, SON OF 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER LUIS ALVAREZ: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

SCIUTTO: David, thank so much to have you here.

This is your first 9/11 without your dad.


SCIUTTO: And I wonder -- of course we both wonder how your family's doing, but also what this day means to you.

ALVAREZ: Well, the day has meant a lot to me ever since 2001, ever since 9/11. But, as you mentioned, this is the first time -- the first day of remembrance that I don't have my father with me. And it absolutely takes on a whole new meaning.


HARLOW: You have incredible strength. You were by his side through this entire years' long battle. He passed away just before that legislation was passed and signed by the president.

ALVAREZ: Correct.

HARLOW: But at his funeral, on July 3rd, you spoke. And I watched it this morning and was in tears. I just want everyone to watch a moment of you honoring your father, if we could play that.

ALVAREZ: Thank you.


ALVAREZ: He understood that to be a public servant meant to be in service of the greater good for all. Should I be fortunate enough to join the NYPD in the near future, I hope to be as admirable and effective an officer as he was. My father and I didn't always see eye to eye, like any father and son pairing would, but I loved him like nothing else.

He was my hero, my inspiration, the one above all I wanted to make proud. The one I aspire to be.


HARLOW: And he called you all of these names, like bubba (ph). But you say it made you most proud when he called you son, my firstborn son. How will you honor him?

ALVAREZ: Well, my father, caring for my father in his last few weeks has actually inspired me to go back to school. I'll actually be pursuing a nursing program next year. My hope is to help care for other cancer patients. Hopefully other first responders as well.


SCIUTTO: Good for you. Nurses are the front line to health care.

HARLOW: Completely.

SCIUTTO: They're the ones who truly deliver the patient care. I've seen it so many times, including with my family.

I want to talk about your father's legacy here because I think a lot of Americans might have been introduced to him during that very powerful testimony on The Hill.



SCIUTTO: I just want to play a clip of that, if we can, and then get your reaction.


LUIS ALVAREZ, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER: I have been to many places in this world. [09:40:07]

Excuse me. And done many things. But I can tell you that I did not want to be anywhere else but Ground Zero when I was there.

You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo. And I am going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.


SCIUTTO: You know, you could say that testimony worked, right? That they voted, I believe unanimously --

HARLOW: Almost.

SCIUTTO: To fund this fund for -- to the year 2090.

Do you consider that part of your father's legacy, and are you proud of it?

ALVAREZ: Absolutely. Absolutely. I was there the day of the final vote. I was sitting in the gallows. And it was incredibly emotional. More emotional than I thought it would be to hear all those yeas counted. But it's absolutely part of my father's legacy and something that I'm incredibly proud of.


HARLOW: What, in conversations you had with your father and just what you knew of him from his character, what do you think he would hope that you could contribute in his legacy to this world, you and your two brothers?

ALVAREZ: Yes, my two brothers, Tyler and Ben, he would just tell us to take care of each other. That was one of his final messages to all of us really before passing was, just take care of each other. Take care of those around you. Take care of your family. Take care of your friends. And just do the best we can.

HARLOW: I think Jim and I both know personal loss well, and I can say there are no words that help. There's nothing we can do to ease your pain.

ALVAREZ: Thank you.

HARLOW: But the memories will always be there for years and years and years and you certainly have a lot to cherish.

ALVAREZ: Yes, absolutely. One thing that I do really appreciate is that not many people have this opportunity to have their loved ones immortalized.

HARLOW: That's true.

ALVAREZ: And, you know, one thing that my father was sort of concerned about in passing was that he wouldn't see all of us grow up. He wouldn't see all of us get married. He wouldn't see his grandchildren.


ALVAREZ: But, you know, some day, God willing, you know, I'll have my own children who can just Google search their grandfather's name and see these incredible videos of him testifying.



SCIUTTO: No question his memory is alive.

ALVAREZ: Absolutely.

SCIUTTO: We appreciate you and wish you the best of luck.

ALVAREZ: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you, David.

SCIUTTO: With you -- with your studies going forward.

ALVAREZ: Thank you. I appreciate that.

HARLOW: Good luck. And thank you for pursuing that and giving back in that way.


ALVAREZ: Thank you.

HARLOW: All right, take good care.

SCIUTTO: Take care.

ALVAREZ: Thanks.

HARLOW: So in moments, as you just saw the president and the first lady there arriving at the Pentagon, we will hear from the president at the Pentagon as the memorial observance ceremony continues. Stay with us for that.



SCIUTTO: This is a live picture from the Pentagon. Just moments ago those gathered held a moment of silence near the time when the plane hit the Pentagon that day. They're now saying prayers. The president, of course, Melania Trump there paying their respects. It's that kind of day.


SCIUTTO: Moments like this across the country happening. And I'll tell you, Poppy, I was -- I went to cover the Pentagon attack

that day. Like all of us, I think as people remember today, those memories seared into your brain.

HARLOW: Forever.

SCIUTTO: And the reaction of people there on the ground as it happened, risking their lives to save other lives, was just remarkable. And that --


SCIUTTO: That, you know, that's one of the stories of that day.

HARLOW: Uh-huh. One hundred and eighty-four people killed when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on a morning that looked very, very much like this, right?


HARLOW: A September morning like this.

SCIUTTO: I remember speaking to a guy who went into the flames after the attack. A Navy officer who -- it was so hot, he said to me, that his uniform melted on his skin as he went in there.


SCIUTTO: Those are the heroes of that day.


SCIUTTO: And we're going to keep talking about them as best we can.

HARLOW: And we'll hear from the president there in just a minute. We'll bring you that live.

SCIUTTO: We will indeed.

There is other news we're covering today.

One story, NFL star Antonio Brown's former trainer now accusing him of rape. The allegation coming in a civil lawsuit filed in Florida on Tuesday. Brown has denied the accusations.

HARLOW: Those accusations come just days after the Oakland Raiders released Brown following what can only be described as a tumultuous off-season. The star wide receiver just signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Our national correspondent, Jason Carroll, is in Foxborough, Massachusetts, this morning.

And, Jason, I read much of this filing last night and the details are horrifying. JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The details are indeed

troubling, Poppy, no doubt about it. The details are coming from his former trainer. She is alleging that Antonio Brown sexually assaulted her twice in 2017. And she is also alleging in a civil suit that he raped her in 2018.


She released a statement saying in part, as a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision. I have found strength in my faith, my family and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape.

Now, Antonio Brown, for his part, he is speaking out through his attorney. This attorney, Darren Heitner, says that the sex was consensual. And, in fact, this attorney says he may, in fact, Poppy, file a counter-suit against this accuser. They released a statement saying in part, Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit. He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.

Now, the Patriots, for their part, are remaining pretty much tight- lipped about all of this. We are waiting for a press conference. That's expected to get underway later on this morning.

The NFL is going to be conducting their own investigation. They're going to wait for the end of that. But we're going to be waiting here to see what the Patriots have to say about this. We're going to be asking the questions. We'll see if we get any answers.

Poppy. Jim.

HARLOW: OK, Jason Carroll, thank you very much. We'll see where this goes.

SCIUTTO: And we are waiting at the Pentagon now, the president's going to give comments there at the site of the Pentagon Memorial from the 9/11 attacks.

Please, stay with us.

This is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I should mention, who is speaking now there. We'll be right back and we'll bring you the president's comments live.



HARLOW: All right, let's go straight to the Pentagon. Here is the president of the United States honoring the 184 lives lost at the Pentagon on 9/11. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today our nation honors

and mourns the nearly 3,000 lives that were stolen from us on September 11, 2001. On these grounds, 184 people were murdered when al Qaeda terrorists overtook American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon.

For every American who lived through that day, the September 11th attack is seared into our soul. It was a day filled with shock, horror, sorrow and righteous fury.

I vividly remember when I first heard the news. I was sitting at home watching a major business television show early that morning. Jack Welch, the legendary head of General Electric, was about to be interviewed when all of a sudden they cut away.

At first, there were different reports. It was a boiler fire. But I knew that boilers aren't at the top of a building. It was a kitchen explosion in windows on the world. Nobody really knew what happened. There was great confusion.

I was looking out of a window from a building at midtown Manhattan directly at the World Trade Center when I saw a second plane at a tremendous speed go into the second tower. It was then that I realized the world was going to change. I was no longer going to be and it could never ever be that incident place that I thought it was.

Soon after I went down to Ground Zero with men who worked for me to try to help in any little way that we could. We were not alone. So many others were scattered around, trying to do the same. They were all trying to help.

But for the families who join us, this is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss. It's the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over, the last kiss, the last phone call, the last time hearing those precious words, "I love you." Then the attack. The anguish of knowing your family member had boarded one of these flights or was working in the World Trade Center or serving right here at the Pentagon. You waited. You prayed. You answered that most dreaded call and your life changed forever.

To each of you, the first lady and I are united with you in grief. We come here in the knowledge that we cannot erase the pain or reverse the evil of that dark and wretched day. But we offer you the all that we have, our unwavering loyalty, our undying devotion and our eternal pledge that your loved ones will never, ever be forgotten.

Eighteen years ago the terrorists struck this citadel of power and American strength, but the enemy soon learned that they could not weaken the spirit of our people. In times of distress, the heart of the American patriot only grows stronger and more determined. Even in the midst of the attack, the world witnessed the awesome power of American defiance.