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Trump And Zelensky Call; Historic Flooding From Tropical Storm Imelda Devastates Parts Of Texas; New Details On Acrimonious Split In Relationship Between Prince Andrew And Jeffrey Epstein; Virginia Roberts Giuffre Reveals New Details On Her Alleged Sexual Abuse By Prince Andrew; American University Student Sues Neo-Nazi Trolls And Wins. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 21, 2019 - 17:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alex Marquardt, in for Ana Cabrera.

Tonight, Joe Biden on the campaign trail and on the attack. Not against his Democratic rivals, but against the president, after reports that President Trump asked the leader of Ukraine to dig up dirt on him and his son.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Vice president, how many times have you ever spoken to your son about his overseas business dealings?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so, now you know --

BIDEN: Here's what I know. I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question. Why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader? If that's what happened. That's appears what happened. You should be looking with Trump. Trump's doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum. And he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me.

Everybody looked at this, and everybody's looked at it and said there's nothing there. Ask the right questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Vice President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, but if you've never spoken to your son --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could he be impeached for this?

BIDEN: Depending on what the House finds, he could be impeached. But I'm not making that judgment now. The House should investigate it. The House should investigate this. This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power. To get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States and ask about me and imply things, if that's what happened, that's -- that's appears to be what happened. We know that's what Giuliani did. This is outrageous. You have never seen anything like this from any president.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Vice President, you said, before you entered the race, that one of your concerns was about your family being brought into this race. Are you comfortable running a campaign in which --

BIDEN: I know what I'm up against. I know what I'm up against. And a serial abuser. That's what this guy is. He abuses power everywhere he can. He -- and he sees any -- if he sees any threat to his staying in power, he'll do whatever he has to do. But this crosses the line.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Sir, what are you calling the president to do?

BIDEN: I'm calling the president to release the transcript of the call. Let everybody hear what it is. Let the House see it and see what he did. That's what I'm calling for.

(CROSSTALK)

MARQUARDT: For their part, the president's team has suggested that Biden leveraged his position when he was vice president to shield his son, Hunter, for an investigation that involved his role on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

But, let's be clear, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing. We, and many other media outlets, have looked into it. The story doesn't check out.

So, let's get right to Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Jeremy, the president referred, as he has in the past, to all of this drama as a witch hunt. And, yet, when asked in the Oval Office about this famous phone call with President Zelensky on July 25th, when asked whether he brought up Biden on that call, he didn't deny it.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: No, he didn't deny it. And, in fact, the president has refused to say whether or not he did, indeed, bring up Biden. But, again, when he was asked that, he could have taken that opportunity to deny that that conversation took place. But he didn't, Alex.

And what we're seeing, instead, from the president, is something of a familiar playbook here. And it is one that the president previously used, when he was facing investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. You will recall, of course, Alex, that he repeatedly referred to that investigation as a Russia witch hunt.

And, now, he is referring to this whistleblower complaint as the Ukraine witch hunt. Striking out yesterday in the Oval Office, and, again today on Twitter, against this whistleblower complaint and trying to paint it as some kind of a partisan exercise. That, of course, Alex, ignores the role that the inspector general, for the intelligence community, has played. This is somebody who was appointed by President Trump, confirmed by the U.S. Senate last year. And he, in fact, has taken the extraordinary step of going to Congress and making clear that he disagrees with the decision by the acting director of National Intelligence to not share this complaint with those Congressional lawmakers of those relevant intelligence committees.

So, that all continuing to play out. But, Alex, this is not going anywhere. We know that next week the acting director of National Intelligence is expected to testify on Capitol Hill. And the president, for his part, he is going to be meeting, actually, with the Ukrainian president on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly next week. So, this issue sure to remain front of mind -- Alex.

[17:05:02]

MARQUARDT: Yes, that's right, acting DNI Joseph Maguire testifying to both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Lots of questions for him. Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Thanks very much.

Now this is a very complicated story, involving lots of different people, lots of different strands. So, let's take a quick look at how we got here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT (voice-over): What should have been a routine call between world leaders was anything but. On a July 25th call between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Trump pressed President Zelensky to work with his personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, on digging up dirt on Joe Biden's son. The White House said the two presidents discussed strengthening the relationship without giving specifics. But Ukraine said they talked about the investigation of corruption cases which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.

In May, the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he was going to Ukraine to push the new president to investigate Joe Biden and his son's links to a gas company. He canceled the trip. But then, in July, went to Madrid to meet with an aide to President Zelensky to talk about Biden.

Biden's son, Hunter, had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company which Ukraine's prosecutor general was supposed to be looking into. But, in 2016, Joe Biden, as vice president, played a prominent role in getting the prosecutor fired, because he had been ignoring corruption. Biden joining other countries and groups in the widespread push to get Ukraine to clean up its act.

Fast forward to 2019, and President Trump, his lawyer, and many supporters pounced, accusing Biden of helping out his son. Now, there are questions about whether that push by Trump and Giuliani is tied to the late August move by the White House to put a hold on $250 million in military aid for Ukraine which was later released. On September first, Vice President Mike Pence met with Zelensky. When asked about the efforts to get dirt on Joe Biden, the vice president danced around it.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As President Trump had me make clear, we have grave concerns about issues of corruption.

MARQUARDT: Whatever the alleged promise that the whistleblower says the president reportedly made, Democrats in Congress are vowing to get to the bottom of those claims.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: They deserve a thorough investigation. That's what we're -- intent on doing. And, come hell or high water, that's what we're going to do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT: House Intel chairman there, Adam Schiff, saying, come hell or high water, he is going to get his answers. He's going to be asking, next week in an open session, questions of the acting director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, who had blocked that complaint from the whistleblower at the behest of the White House and the Department of Justice from Congress.

He will also be appearing, at some point in the week, we don't know when yet, in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. That will be a closed-door hearing. And he will be have -- he will be asked some very strong questions about why he did not hand over this complaint and the contents of this complaint.

So, let's break down this complex story with CNN Political Commentator and Host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED," here with me on set, S.E. Cupp, and former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem. Thank you, both, for joining me tonight to try to break down for our audience what is really a complex story, involving two countries and a long, long list of individuals.

So, let's start at the -- at the beginning. Juliet, we had this --

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes.

MARQUARDT: -- incredible moment this week, where this -- the inspector general of the intelligence community went to Congress, essentially circumventing the director of National Intelligence --

KAYYEM: Right.

MARQUARDT: -- on this complaint, not revealing what was in it, but was -- had been told, by the White House and the Department of Justice, to not forward this complaint, as he has meant to do. What do you make of that?

KAYYEM: So, there are four stories now going on. So, I'm going to try to make it clear to people. Because, as you said, Alex, it has been a complicated 72 hours. So, four different stories. One is, of course, Biden's son which is an irrelevant story to the -- what Trump is doing. And, as you noted in the runup, everyone has examined it. It's irrelevant. But the White House is raising this issue of corruption by Biden's son.

The second is the issue regarding the quid pro quo. Did the president call Ukraine and say I'm going to hold up the military money or not? That's a question that we don't know the answer to yet.

The third story is -- regards the whistleblower, what you mentioned. The -- you know, the question of really is there a cover-up going on? And then, the most important, and the only one that matters, which is, did the president and his agents simply say to the Ukraine, get information on my political enemies? Giuliani has admitted it. The volcar (ph), who is the liaison to the Ukraine for the White House, basically, sort of, introduced Giuliani to all the right people. So, we're -- he's -- Trump is using the apparatus --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- of the U.S. government to make this happen. And then -- and then, Trump has not denied it.

[17:10:02]

That last piece, did the phone calls get made so that you -- the Ukraine would perceive it as the president is asking us to dig up dirt on Biden's son, that's not in dispute. It's not in dispute. No one is denying that.

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: And so, all these other issues are important, but it -- the core issue is what the president did --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- to get a foreign government involved with our elections.

MARQUARDT: There -- S.E., there are allegations, from Democrats, that this is very much tied -- that the president has tied aid to that country, to Ukraine, $250 some million that was initially held up and then released. Contingent upon whether the -- Ukraine actually investigated Biden and his son. Did it strike you or what struck you about when the president was asked about this in the Oval Office and did not deny that he had talked about Biden on this call with Zelensky?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. And, in fact, I think later told reporters, well, someone should look into Biden. Someone should look into Biden. Almost -- I wouldn't -- I wouldn't say, you know, in a court of law, you know, admitting to what has been alleged he said in this phone call. But, basically, saying, well, I'm interested in that. Aren't you interested in that? Under the umbrella of having this conversation.

So, there's a lot to look into. Juliette very, you know, expertly laid out all the tentacles of this. And part of what Trump is counting on is how complicated this is. It's why he's raising the specter of a witch hunt --

MARQUARDT: Right.

CUPP: -- and introducing, kind of, other --

MARQUARDT: Right.

CUPP: -- elements into this, because he wants us to be confused. He wants us to think, well, I can't trust this aspect, so I'm not going to trust any aspect. Or I can't make sense of it, so I'm just going to forget about it.

MARQUARDT: Right. And, Juliette, we do have all of these -- we do have investigations, by three different committees, into the --

KAYYEM: Right.

MARQUARDT: -- Trump-Giuliani and Ukraine dealings. We also now have Joe Maguire, the acting DNI, in front of these --

KAYYEM: Right.

MARQUARDT: -- committees next week. Joseph Maguire, don't you think, is having to walk a very tough line here, where he has a complaint from someone in his own intelligence community. But it's about his boss. So, if you were in the House or the Senate next week, what would you be acting -- asking of acting DNI Maguire?

KAYYEM: I would ask him who told him he could not disclose this to the House or Senate. So, we believe -- we know that it's the Department of Justice. It's Barr and OLC, essentially, aiding and abetting a coverup.

So, why I call this piece a whistleblower piece less relevant now is, you know, if you do an analogy to the Mueller report, right, this is the cut -- this is the obstruction of justice part of it. Right. This is just a, sort of, piece which they're trying to hide this information from coming out.

And so, it's relevant because, obviously, we want the information that the whistleblower knew. But it surely seems already -- we know a lot of it already. Trump has not denied it. Giuliani has already said it. So, if you are in the Senate or the House, you're going to just push Maguire. Maguire is -- I don't feel sorry for him. He's in an impossible position. He has chosen to be in that impossible position.

I am so tired of all of these people being in these leadership positions and not defending the covert operatives or the intelligence agents who are getting this information to protect the U.S. government. So, yes, --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- he may be in a bind. He has a solution. He absolutely has a solution which is to go public. It is absolutely clear he can do that or quit. But this is a --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- this is the stage we're at now. You know, to be -- you know, to be blunt about it.

MARQUARDT: And, you know, these intelligence operatives, and this one in particular, he did everything by the book. He filed the complaint --

KAYYEM: Right.

MARQUARDT: -- with the inspector general. Intelligence community famously apolitical. But then, when the president was asked about this whistleblower, he called him or her a partisan. And then, when asked if he knows who it is, says he doesn't know the whistleblower's identity. And so, let's listen to how several Republicans are trying to spin this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW WHITAKER, FORMER ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is a clear example of someone that's part of the deep state, so maybe part of the deep state in the intelligence community, taking advantage of this whistleblower procedure, and then trying to create this firestorm.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R), MISSOURI: It looks to me like another deep state attack. I mean, another bureaucrat attack -- bureaucratic attack on the president.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: I think there are people in the intelligence community and other parts of our government, who just have it out for the president. And are utilizing every opportunity to try to take swipes at him.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: You are never going to see the attacks stop. The left is not going to give up, because they cannot even accept the fact that they lost.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT: S.E., here we are, again, this deep state being tossed around, given how complicated this is. But, you know, this is an incredibly important story. Will people tune out and just assume that that's what this is, is just more of the deep state, going after Trump?

[17:15:00]

CUPP: People who want to certainly will. And, look, I don't think it's unimportant to ask a question about the volume of leaks coming out of this White House. And that should be alarming.

But, again, it's not -- it's not the story here. It's the story they want to talk about, and it's why Trump has spent so much time conditioning the environment, over the past three-plus years, so that all of these institutions, from intelligence to law enforcement, would be undermined. And he would have people saying, it's the deep state. Look no further. A lot of people are going to stop there and instead of pursuing important questions.

MARQUARDT: Juliette, if, indeed, this whistleblower is going by the book, what recourse -- what happens next? What recourse does this person have? Because they could come out and, presumably, make these accusations in public.

KAYYEM: If I --

MARQUARDT: But we're assuming, at some -- we're assuming, at this point, that this is someone who wants to keep their job and stay undercover in the intelligence community. So, play this out for us.

KAYYEM: Or not get arrested. Yes, or not get arrested for disclosure --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- of information that might be classified. So, this is why I think we are at a new moment. Because the whistleblower followed processes that assumed that the president would not be the -- you know, the person threatening our national security. Right. Would not be the focus of concerns about whether, you know, someone was undermining our own safety and security.

So, the problem here is that you have an entire process that's built, rightfully, to be apolitical. And, now, you have this political overlay, because it is the president who is the focus. That is why I don't have confidence in the processes anymore.

And that is why I think you're seeing so many leaks to "The Washington Post," to "The Wall Street Journal." I have never seen anything like this before, in terms of the specificity of information from a whistleblower. And the reason why is because people on the inside know --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- that the processes aren't working. Right. So, they know that Barr and Maguire and the OLC lawyers are stopping the processes, because they are protecting --

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: -- the political person, namely Donald Trump. And so, this is why we're in a -- in a new era about, sort of, how do we protect our democracy? Let's just be clear here, from intervention by a foreign government in 2020. Read -- you know, read the report. Right?

MARQUARDT: Right.

KAYYEM: 2016 and now 2020. This is a -- this is Deja Vu just in plain sight. And -- but let's not be blinded by the fact that it's in plain sight. It's happening.

MARQUARDT: OK. Well, we could be talking about this incredible story all evening but we have to leave it there. Thank you so much, Juliette Kayyem, S.E. Cupp.

CUPP: Thanks.

MARQUARDT: All right, well, be sure to tune in in just under an hour to "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" right here on CNN.

Now, as 17 2020 candidates swarm Iowa today, one candidate is making an urgent plea to voters to keep him in the race. That's coming up.

[17:17:55]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUARDT: Barely 24 hours after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his presidential bid, another Democrat, from right next door in New Jersey, is signaling that his candidacy is also in trouble. Senator Cory Booker has qualified for the CNN-"New York Times." That's next month in Ohio. But the Democratic National Committee is set to raise polling and donor thresholds for debates the month after that in November.

CNN's Jessica Dean is in Des Moines, Iowa, where she spoke with Senator Booker a short time ago. Jessica, how precarious is Booker's position right now?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is serious. And he said as much himself. He said, this is a very critical turning point for his campaign. Sometimes, in politics, you know, you hear what are, kind of, desperate pleas for money, as we get toward the end of a fund-raising quarter from all sorts of different campaigns.

But he says this is not that. This is -- this is serious. This is not grandstanding. That this is an honest appraisal of where they are. That if they cannot raise $1.7 million by the end of September, that it's just not a viable path forward.

Here's more of our exchange. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First and foremost, we have run a race to win. I'm not in this for some endeavor of ego. We have said from the beginning, we're going to be in this race if we win it. And, right now, look, we're in Iowa. We have -- we're the number one-endorsed campaign by state legislators and state-elected officials of any campaign.

We're building a campaign to win. But we're now into the fourth quarter of the year. And if we can't continue our growth, then we're not going to have a campaign to win. And I don't think people should be in this race if they can't win. I'm in this race to win the nomination and beat Donald Trump. And so, this is a decisive moment for our campaign. If you believe in my voice and want it on the stage, want it part of the process, if you believe in me as the nominee, this is the time. Because if we can't raise this $1.7 million, we're going to have to make the tough decisions that I think any campaign that doesn't have a pathway to victory should make.

DEAN: And are you prepared to drop out if you can't get there?

BOOKER: I'm -- I believe that people will respond. I believe that -- look, we are here right now. We've been in this race. In fact, if you take a step back, the four top fundraisers in this campaign, we're running a better campaign with dollars, because we're competing with them right now with fractions of the resources that they have.

And so, I want to stay in this race. And if people believe that, please don't look at this as a point where we're going to say goodbye to Cory. Keep me in this race.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEAN (live): And there you hear it, there from Senator Booker himself. But, Alex, the thing to keep in mind is, at this point in this race, this is when candidates need to be expanding. This is when they're pouring money into the early states. They're building out their infrastructure. Hiring more staffers. Hiring more organizers. And you have to have money in order to do that -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: Yes, Jessica, I mean, when you look at the senator's polling numbers, what he's saying about the energy behind his campaign, the local endorsements, saying that his message is resonating with voters, that's not really reflected in those polling numbers. When you're at one of these events in Iowa and you've got this huge cross section of Democratic voters, --

DEAN: Yes.

MARQUARDT: -- what are the voters actually saying about how much they want him to stay in this race?

DEAN: Yes, so, that's an interesting point you make, because he hasn't, really, been able to crack single digits in the polls. So, we did talk to some Cory Booker supporters here today. And, in fact, one woman told us she actually decided to support him because of his appearance here at the steak fry today. Another person said she planned to go home and donate to him this evening.

What was interesting with the several people we talked to is that none of them had heard that his campaign was in, kind of, these dire straits, which was, kind of, an interesting thing.

[17:25:03]

But they all had a reason as to why they wanted to support him, Alex. That one woman that planned to donate this evening, she said it was kindness. And that she really felt like she wanted someone with his kindness and character in this race. Whether or not he will be able to raise that $1.7 million in 10 days remains to be seen.

MARQUARDT: Yes, just a few days left. Jessica Dean at the Iowa steak fry in Des Moines. Thanks so much.

All right, well, coming up, parts of southeastern Texas have seen up to 43 inches of rain in just the past three days. And it's all left dangerous floodwaters in areas that are, really, still recovering from Hurricane Harvey that hit two years ago. We'll take you there live, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUARDT: Heavy rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda is finally moving out of Texas. But the storm has left, in its wake, much of the Houston area a flooded mess. As you can see there, there are hundreds of cars that are under water. They've been abandoned. Roads have been blocked. Raging waters forcing more than 400 rescues after almost four feet of rain fell in some parts of the state. That in just three days.

[17:30:00]

CNN's Ryan Young is on the ground there in Huffman, Texas. Ryan, this is a state still very much recovering from Hurricane Harvey, in particular the area where you are right now. That hurricane devastated the region. How bad is the damage you're seeing now and what are people telling you?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, people are trying to assess the damage. One of the things we talked about, especially in Houston, about 30 miles away, a lot of cars have been towed off the road. They've been able to get the cars even back to some of their owners. Not sure how they're going to work.

If you look at this, this neighborhood had to have people rescued from it because the water was rising so quickly. If you even see the water now, this is a lot less than what was here 24 hours ago.

In fact, in the last hour, we watched people wading through this water to try to get home.

What are they trying to assess? How bad the damage is inside their house?

One lady was telling us she had more than a foot of water in her home. That's more than she had during Hurricane Harvey.

This has been hitting people hard because they've realized there's a long process to get back on their feet. Pretty much everything on the first floor has to be taken out, including the carpet and the drywall. A long process that people are not looking forward to.

In fact, listen to the people we talked to earlier about the reconstruction process. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's surreal. It's crazy. We drive down these roads every day. Going down in a boat is a whole different ball game. You know, feel like you're on the lake instead. These people are just like (EXPLETIVE DELETED) not again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the other side -- on the other side, houses in six, seven inches of water. We went in, pulled up carpet, tore up sheet rock. A lot of my friends live back there. So it's pretty tough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: Look, a lot of times we talk about personal belongings, but there are people who lost their lives in this storm. One man was found trapped in his car because people tried to drive through waters like this.

When we first arrived here, Alex, look at that front door. We were actually -- we couldn't even stand here because the door was covered in water. You understand people are trying to air out their homes.

But right now, there are a lot of people scratching their heads. They tell us the water came higher in new places than when Harvey hit before.

A lot of overdevelopment in this area. It's something they'll have to be dealing with for some time. People are glad right now at least the sun is shining.

MARQUARDT: The sun shining. That water behind you looks so peaceful, but it is so dangerous and so damaging --

YOUNG: Yes.

MARQUARDT: -- to people and their lives.

Ryan Young, thank you so much.

All right. Coming up, as one of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers is opening up about the relationship between Epstein and Prince Andrew, we have new details about the nasty split between the royal and the convicted sex offender.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:36:48]

MARQUARDT: We're getting intriguing new details that reveal the cause of the acrimonious split between England's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and his former friend, the convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. The split reportedly happened years before Epstein's arrest this summer and then his subsequent suicide on August 10th.

CNN's Vicky Ward has more on this complicated back story. Epstein accuser, Virginia Giuffre, has been speaking out. Before we

get to that, tell us how these two friends, associates, parted ways years ago. And before -- before this summer.

VICKY WARD, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Yes. Long time before. Long time before Prince Andrew gave that big statement earlier this month.

MARQUARDT: Right.

WARD: Sort of trying to distance himself once and for all, and it's not working.

The reality is back in 2011, Alex, the "New York Post" published a photograph of Prince Andrew walking in Central Park with Jeffrey Epstein. Remember, this is after Jeffrey Epstein served 13 months in jail. And we know that he was convicted for soliciting an underage woman at that point.

The British media goes into a frenzy. Prince Andrew's ex-wife, remember with him, he is very, very close --

MARQUARDT: Fergie, the Duchess of York.

WARD: Fergie, the Duchess of York. Gives an interview on the advice of her publicist, James Henderson, admitting that she took money from Jeffrey Epstein to pay off some of her debts.

She says, it was a terrible mistake. I'd let my ex-husband down. And I abhor pedophilia and wish I had nothing to do with Jeffrey Epstein.

Jeffrey Epstein, as reported on CNN.com, went berserk. He immediately phoned James Henderson, the Duchess of York's publicist, and threatened to sue him personally for defamation if the word "pedophile" wasn't retracted from what the duchess said.

He had his lawyers send the duchess' law firm a letter threatening to sue if she didn't retract everything she'd said. He also turned to a California publicist, Mike Citric (ph), who advised him to hire a British defamation lawyer, Paul Tweed.

MARQUARDT: Was all of that effective? The threats of legal action?

WARD: No. There was absolutely no retraction from the Duchess of York. Not only that, Paul Tweed told CNN that he gave up when Jeffrey Epstein wouldn't listen, wouldn't take his advice.

MARQUARDT: Right.

WARD: And Epstein ended up not paying his bill to Mike Citric (ph), which is how we know about there today.

MARQUARDT: Do you think that Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace, the royal family, has been effective at distancing themselves from all of this brouhaha? We did see Andrew in the carriage with his mother. We saw that very strong statement from Buckingham Palace. In the eyes of most Brits, do you think that they've done -- they've

been effective at creating that distance and accentuating the split between Epstein and the Duke of York?

WARD: Not at all. This is the nightmare that keeps recurring for Prince Andrew. Every day, there's a new claim by Virginia Giuffre.

[17:40:07]

Just as you were saying, Alex. Yesterday, I spoke to someone very close to the Duke and Duchess of York. They were, you know, in a great state because of the TV interview that Virginia gave, in which she sort of made new revelations, new details about the night she says she spent with Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

We know that her lawyers have asked Prince Andrew if he'll meet with them just to answer questions. He has said no.

You'll notice, you haven't seen Prince Andrew arriving on American soil.

MARQUARDT: OK.

WARD: I don't think you're likely to.

You know, I think that - actually, what I'm hearing is that he's got to find a different P.R. strategy to deal with this --

MARQUARDT: Right.

WARD: -- because, currently, Buckingham Palace putting out endless statements is not making this go away.

MARQUARDT: But legally, where do things stand between Giuffre -- and, as you mentioned, she's gone very public in an interview with NBC -- and the prince, legally speaking?

WARD: So legally speaking, he is not a target. They want -- I spoke to one of her lawyers yesterday. They want to question him. You know, they said, very simply, they just want information.

The people that the lawyers who are representing the victims, including Virginia Giuffre, are really interested in are Epstein's alleged co-conspirators. That would be Ghislaine Maxwell --

(CROSSTALK)

MARQUARDT: Longtime assistant --

WARD: The longtime assistant. The names that have been floating around.

At the moment, Prince Andrew is not a target. He is somebody that the lawyers would like to speak to.

MARQUARDT: And says, you note, he has not stepped foot on American soil.

Vicky Ward, we know you'll stay on the story. Thank you so much.

WARD: I will.

MARQUARDT: All right. A young college student targeted by racist trolls online and on her college campus, but the storm of hate led to something really quite rare, an in-person apology. That's coming up.

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[17:47:06]

MARQUARDT: A shocking shopping experience at a mall in a Chicago suburb. Video of the incident has gone viral. You can see the black SUV as it suddenly drives into the mall, crashing into kiosks. Shoppers can be heard screaming as they jump out of the way. Amazingly, there were only minor injuries.

And bystanders were able to hold the suspect until police arrested him. Investigators say they're looking into whether a medical issue may be to blame.

A stretch of scenic highway has been marred by tragedy. NTSB investigators are on the scene of a deadly tour bus crash in Utah that killed at least four people and left more than 20 others injured.

Authorities are saying that the bus, which was carrying a group of Chinese tourists, ran off the road and hit a guardrail yesterday afternoon not far from Bryce Canyon National Park. The Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., has sent officials to the area to help the victims.

Targeted for hate. An African-American college student was terrorized by Neo-Nazis with nasty tricks on campus and a torrent of virtual hate online. Now, at first, she went into hiding. And then she decided to fight back, taking her trolls to court. Then she won.

CNN's Sara Sidner has the remarkable story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taylor Dumpson's life changed forever within hours of becoming an American first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taylor Dumpson.

(CHEERING)

SIDNER: Dumpson went from being elected American University's first black female student body president in its 125-year history, to being plunged into a world of hate.

TAYLOR DUMPSON, STUDENT LEADER: I was on my way to campus. I was wearing my sorority jacket. And I ended up having to take it off because the hate crime literally had the letters of the sorority on the bananas, so me wearing that button-down I had just gotten, that was me walking around with a target on my back.

SIDNER: A still unidentified person committed the on-campus hate crime. Stringing up bananas with nooses with the initials of the historically black sorority Dumpson belongs to and other racist messages.

Days later, she was under attack online by Neo-Nazis, spurred on by Andrew England, the creator of one of the most-prolific Neo-Nazi Web sites.

DAVID BRODY, LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW: He told his many, many followers to basically go get her.

SIDNER: A hate-filled feeding frenzy began when the Web site published her name, photo, contact information, and social media accounts.

The Anti-Defamation League was the first to warn Dumpson. They e- mailed her saying she became a national target for hatred.

DUMPSON: I was home alone, I closed my blinds, I locked all the doors. I turned all the lights out. And the way people tell you when there's a hurricane or a tornado, you're to hide in a hallway and get small and crouch down. That's what I did. I rocked in the fetal position sobbing and crying.

I had to take a screen shot of the e-mail and send it to my mom and dad because I could not talk.

SIDNER: After months of online harassment, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Everything from her ability to study to her ability to eat was impacted.

DUMPSON: I was terrified. I didn't know where they were. I didn't know where they were. I didn't know if they were coming to find me. I didn't know if they knew where I was.

SIDNER: Dumpson decided to fight back. With the help of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, she sued some of the people investigators could find that trolled her. She sued the Web site and England, it's creator.

(on camera): What would you say to the Andrew Englands of the world?

DUMPSON: You picked the wrong one. And you picked somebody that wasn't going to back down.

SIDNER (voice-over): Dumpson won her case.

BRODY: To the best of my knowledge, this is the first court decision in the country that held that online harassment can interfere with public accommodations.

SIDNER: The judgement equated online harassment with physical harassment.

BRODY: Civil rights laws do not stop where the Cloud begins.

[17:50:00]

SIDNER: England did not respond for comment. Neither he, nor a representative for his company showed up in court.

The judge handed Dumpson a default $725,000 judgment. And separately, she received something that nearly now one does, a face-to-face apology, not from England but from one of the trolls.

She agreed not to say his name or exactly the words exchanged as part of a restorative justice settlement.

(on camera): Online, especially, people want to snapback, clapback, attack. And that's not what you did here.

DUMPSON: I think we always have the opportunity and the possibility to grow and for me in was really important to, even though you're a white supremist, even though you're a Neo-Nazi, even though you think like that, I don't think you're always going to think like that, and it doesn't have to be that way.

SIDNER: The man who apologized was the only one to come forward. He also promised to walk away from online hate and do community service.

When it comes to Taylor Dumpson, she was accepted to law school. She is now a law student, but she says she doesn't disclose where because she knows she will always be a target. The hate has not completely stopped.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT: All right. Thanks to Sara Sidner for the great story.

Lisa Ling is returning for another provocative season of "THIS IS LIFE." From swingers to gangs, it all begins with porn. What is it teaching our kids? Sunday, September 29th, at 10:00 p.m., on CNN.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUARDT: Now this week's "CNN Hero." Three times a week every week, superior court judge, Craig Mitchell, wakes up at 3:30 a.m. to try to change the lives of those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction in L.A.'s Skid Row neighborhood. How does he did it? With running.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[17:55:04]

CRAIG MITCHELL, CNN HERO: Running is a mechanism for the participants to build relationships. This is the one time I'm at the front of the pack.

Lawyers, social workers, people from all different walks of life running with people who are recovering from addiction and homelessness.

Good job.

We affirm. We listen. We support. It shows what open-minded people who really care about each other, how they can treat one another. It's a lesson in and of itself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: To see how running can create a support network that helps people get off the streets, head over to CNNheroes.com.

We'll be right back.

MARQUARDT: Today, people across the world celebrated the famous iconic D.C. Comics caped crusader. Now this year marks Batman's 80th anniversary. It was on this date in 1829 that the first Batman comic was released in New York.

To celebrate, cities worldwide, from Rome to Johannesburg to Tokyo, beamed up the famous bat signal at 8:00 p.m. local time. D.C. Comics is calling it a once-in-a-lifetime event, comparing it to a solar eclipse. We should note that D.C. Comics and CNN are both part of the Warner Media family.

I'm Alex Marquardt. I will be seeing you two hours from now.

For now, my colleague, S.E. Cupp, is continuing our coverage of today's news right after a quick break.

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