tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN July 12, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
it sort of sounds like the president, once he listened carefully to the press conference, that he saw i think what i saw initially, which was a poor performance by acosta. and i thought it was strange that the white house -- of course they want to sort of stick it to the democrats and they want to fight, fight, fight on everything. it was always odd this idea that they were going to hug acosta, who gave this sweetheart deal to this guy, who we're finding out from the fdny is a monster and a lot of this stuff was out there ten years ago, 30 or so victims. you heard from acosta in the press conference, it was like we didn't have enough victims. it was clear that he really got rolled over by those attorneys. it made it seem like the feds couldn't really go up against jeffrey epstein in a confident way. and then you see now that obviously there's a different story out of new york where they've got him and he's obviously in jail. so yeah, it's not a surprise
that it ended up this way, particularly because you have more victims coming out. we're hearing from these folks on the different networks and you imagine that that's going to continue as this case continues. >> absolutely. everyone stand by. with me on the phone is julie k. brown. without this dogged in trepid journalist, many of these charges may not have been brought. it is your reporting that has brought so much of this to light. thank you for all of the digging you have done and continue to do, julie. let me get your reaction to the labor secretary resigning this way. >> well, i'm only surprised that it hasn't happened sooner, to be honest with you. these questions have been out there now since my series ran in november and he never responded. he never adequately explained a lot of the key questions in this
case. and the press conference that he had the other day was -- there were so many untruths there. i was preparing a fact check story where i was going to be able to show with documents that a lot of what he said was not true. so i just don't think that there was any way at this point he's going to be able to get ahead. >> you should still put that out. i think everyone will want to read that and pay perhaps even more attention to it now. what do you make of our katilan collins reporting that the president's turn on acosta was because of the lack of victim notification? and can you remind our viewers, to the extent that acosta went right along side epstein's attorneys to make sure that victims never knew about this deal? >> yeah. and that is really what is key in this whole mess with acosta. not only did he not notify the
victims, but they missed -- the prosecutors misled them into thinking they were still working on the case when they had secretly disposed of it. if this deal was something that was the best you could do and forever he's been saying this was done properly, there was nothing wrong. if that was true, then why did he make those women, those girls fight for months, almost a year, to even get a copy of the agreement? that question, he has never answered. >> why, julie? you're the one who did all the reporting on this. you're the one who has pressed and pressed. what is the sense you got as a reporter on the why there? >> i think that he really didn't think anyone was going to analyze this as closely as it
has been in recent months, not only by me, but a lot of journalists asked that question and it's gotten a lot of attention right now. but i think that he never as a prosecutor thought that this was going to be examined the way it has. >> do you have any evidence or belief that part of the why in terms of having the secret meeting with epstein's attorneys, emailing with them and his team of prosecutors emailing with them about moving and filing the charges in miami to, quote, hopefully cut the press coverage significantly. that came from one of the prosecutors to the attorneys. do you believe that because of how politically connected jeffrey epstein was and is, to say, former president clinton, president trump called him a terrific guy in 2002, was it at least in part because he was so powerful politically? >> well, you know, florida is
kind of a strange state, to say the least. there are a lot of strange political bed fellows and i think that there was definitely some political strings pulled in this case. how far up the chain they went or who was involved, i don't think we know the answer to yet. but hopefully we will, especially now since so many reporters are digging into this. now there's story after story. i would say from the beginning, the truth always comes out. it might not come out in my life time or your life time. but the truth comes out but i think he will find out how this played out. >> what kind of risk or exposure does acosta have in the southern district of new york's new investigation? >> that's a good question. i'm not sure. i do think that there was some things that happened behind-the-scenes that need to be looked at. one of them i wrote about in my
series involving a name by the name of bruce ryan hart who was an assistant prosecutor with acosta. he technically was not on the epstein case, but epstein was pressuring these prosecutors, and among the other tactics he used was to offer them a job. mr. rein hart, he's now a federal magistrate. he's denied he did anything wrong at all. it's very suspect that one day he's working for acosta and the next day he's working for epstein. he literally left his job at the prosecutor's office one day and opened his own firm that happened to be located right next to jeffrey epstein's lead attorney jack goldberger's office in palm beach. he claimed he didn't have any kochb denl information about epstein's case, but in the court files on this case, one of the
prosecutors in the u.s. attorney's office admitted that reinhart did have confident information about this case. so you have a prosecutor in acosta's office who had information go to work for epstein representing some of the epstein co-conspirators or alleged co-conspirators that he represented one of the accomplices, he represented the pilot. so that, to me, it's always been curious how that could have happened. >> julie, thank you so much for calling in on this breaking news. and just thank you for the reporting you did and never giving up and never stopping on this. it is so important and we heard officials in the southern district of new york say that a lot of what they know is because of your reporting. so julie, great, important work. thank you very much.
>> thank you. >> i'm going to take a quick break. we're going to hear from the president in a few minutes talking about this side by side with the labor secretary secretary. again, the labor secretary is out for a sweetheart deal for the sexual predator. we'll be right back. in clinicas to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. i was told to begin my aspirin regimen, blem. and i just didn't listen. until i almost lost my life. my doctors again ordered me to take aspirin, and i do. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. listen to the doctor. take it seriously.
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if you are just joining us, breaking news on cnn, another cabinet member is out. labor secretary alexander acosta resigning after the fallout from the sweetheart deal he gave to jeffrey epstein as a prosecutor a decade ago. we're going to hear from the president in two minutes on all of this. standing next to acosta on the south lawn. let's go to dana bash, our chief political correspondent for more. this is big. >> it's absolutely big. it does fit a pattern, if you're talking big picture about the president and about the cabinet members or close advisers that he loses to scandal, whether it's scandal from within the administration during the time or more -- specifically more usually from before. he talks about how badly he feels for them. and then when he learns more
about the situation that has put them in the hot seat, that has put them in this scandal-filled environment, he realized, wait a minute, this is bad. it's what happened with michael flynn. that's probably the biggest example. and of course it has happened now, according to katilan collins and our other colleagues'great reporting in what has happened in the past 24 to 48 hours as the president watched acosta's press conference, didn't love it but didn't like the fact that he didn't inform the children and victims about the fact that he was going to give the sweetheart plea deal to the man who was in charged of effectively making sure that they were raped. calling it prostitution, which it was not. and that's no small thing. he obviously realized it and it was time for the labor secretary to go, even though the president resisted it at first before he
knew the details. >> we're going to hear from the president in one minute. i'll jump to that as soon as it comes in. to follow on that, exposure for many high-up people in dc, in politics, there are so many questions left here, right? this is the guy the president called a terrific guy in 2002. friends with former president bill clinton who flew on his jet numerous time. >> yes. we're talking about acosta and the labor secretary who has just resigned. but you're right, at the heart of this is a man who is a monster, but has been connected to democrats and republicans alike. as you said, all the way up to former president bill clinton. and it is not over now that we know more details about what he did. >> let's listen to the president standing next to the labor secretary as he resigns. >> he's done a fantastic job. he's a friend of everybody in the administration. and i got a call this morning
early from alex and i think he did a very good job yesterday, under a lot of pressure he did a fantastic job. and he explained it and he made a deal that people were happy with, and then 12 years later they're not happy with it. you'll have to figure all of that out. but the fact is, he has been a fantastic secretary of labor and alex called me this morning and he wanted to see me. and i actually said, well, we have the press right out here, so perhaps you just want to say it to the press. but i just want to let you know, this was him, not me, because i'm with him. he was -- he's a tremendous talent, he's a hispanic man. he went to harvard, a great student. and in so many ways i just hate what he's saying now, because we're going to miss him. but please, alex. >> thank you, mr. president. over the last week i've seen a lot of in the department of
labor and what i have not seen is incredible job creation that we've seen in this economy, more than 5 million jobs, i have seen that workplace injuries are down, workplace fatalities are down. we had the safest year ever in mining, the lowest fatalities ever in mining. i have seen coverage of this case that is over 12 years old that has input at multiple levels of the department of justice. and as i look forward, i do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy that we have today. and so i called the president this morning. i told him that i thought the right thing was to step aside. it would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case
that's 12 years old rather than about the amazing economy we have right now. and so i submitted my resignation to the president effective seven days from today, effective one week from today, earlier this morning. [ inaudible question ] >> there is no need at all, as far as i'm concerned. i watched alex and i thought alex did a great job. you can always second-guess people. they do it with me all the time. i make a great deal with anybody, and then they say, like the democrats, oh, it could have been better. i've got $1.2 billion settlement fine from a company, from zte, and the next day -- and everybody couldn't believe it. the next day the democrats said, oh, he should have gotten more. so you could always be second-guessed. that's what people do. i just want to tell you, this is
a person that i've gotten to know. there hasn't been an ounce of controversy at the department of labor until this came up. and he's doing this not for himself, he's doing it for the administration. and alex, i think you'll agree, i said you don't have to do 3 this. he doesn't have to do this. as everybody knows, we have the deputy and he'll be acting for a period of time. i think you know pat. he's a good man. highly recommended by alex. but pat is going to be acting and we've already informed him. [ inaudible question ] >> yes, and i did have a falling out a long time ago. the reason doesn't make any difference, frankly, but i haven't spoken to him in probably 15 years or more.
i wasn't a big fan of jeffrey epstein, that i can tell you. if you look, the remnants hurt this man and i hate to see it happen. i will say this and i say it again and loud and clear, alexander acosta was a great secretary of labor. what he's done with plans and you see the plans coming one after another. he's just about done with the 401(k). things that nobody would even think of. it's very sad, but at the same time he wants the focus to be on accomplishments, not on what you're talking about. [ inaudible question ] >> alex believes that. i'm willing to live with anything, john. i think you know me. i've lived through things that you wouldn't believe. alex felt that way and he also felt we're doing so well, the
economy, the stock market just hit the highest point yesterday in the history of our country. our unemployment numbers are the best they've ever been. if you look at specifically certainly groups, african-american, asian, hispanic, the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country. there's so many good things and he didn't want to distract from that. and i understand that 100%. [ inaudible question ] >> what? [ inaudible question ] so paul ryan was not a talent. he wasn't a leader. when the people, the great congressmen wanted to go after the dems for things that they did very badly, he wouldn't give subpoenas. whereas nancy pelosi hands them out like they're cookies. paul ryan was a lame duck for a
long time as speaker. he was unable to raise money. he lost control of the house. the only success paul ryan had was the time that he was with me, because we got taxes cut. i got regulation cuts. i did that mostly without him. but for paul ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing. i remember a day in wisconsin, the state that i won, where i stood up and made a speech and then i introduced him and they booed him off the stage, 10,000 people. so for him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible. maybe he gets paid for that. who knows. maybe he gets paid for that. [ inaudible question ] >> so people come into our country illegally, we're taking them out legally. it's very simple. it's not something i like doing, but people have some into our country illegally.
we're focused on criminals. if you look at ms-13. but when people come into our country, we take those people out and we take them out very legally. they all have papers and it's a process. i have an obligation to do it. they came in legally, they go out. what the democrats should be doing now is they should be changing the loopholes. they should be changing asylum. i've been talking to you about this for a long time. they should be changing asylum. there's so many things. now, let me give you the good news. mexico has done an outstanding job so far. if you look at the border, it's down now 30%, and that's only one week inclusive where they've gotten it together. the june numbers just came out. it's down -- it looks like it's going to end up being around 30% down. it's going to be down more and more. they have 21,000 -- and i say
21,000 mexican soldiers on the borders, both their southern border and our southern border. and we really have it in control. the problem is we have a big problem. the laws are so bad, the democrats have to help us fix the immigration laws. but even with that, because of the job that mexico is doing -- and yes, they maybe did it because of tariffs, but they're doing a great job and i appreciate it. [ inaudible question ] >> no, no. who said that? look, anything you do, the democrats will say it's not good. in the meantime, they had a disaster, they have these laws that are so bad. catch and release. you look at the different laws, visa lottery. that was a chuck schumer law. it's a disaster. a lottery. the democrats have caused
tremendous problems. what they've let china get away with for years and years, china has been ripping us off. they're not ripping us off anymore. right now companies are fleeing china because of the tariffs and we're taking in billions of dollars. and by the way, our people are not paying for it. they're paying for it by depressing their currency and they're putting a lot of money. look, nobody has ever done what i've done with china and that's fine. and we'll get along with china. but you know, when i see a guy like biden who is weak and ineffective and everybody that knows him knows he's a weak man, an ineffective man. president xi laughs at guys like that. with that being said, i would say this, president xi, putin, all of these guys go to bed at night and they pray that joe biden or somebody like him becomes president so they can continue to rip off our country.
[ inaudible question ] >> no, i had no idea. i had no idea. i haven't spoken to him in many, many years. >> i've already talked about the epstein matter. i gave a press conference that, according to the media, was longer than any other cabinet official in this administration. i will reiterate what i said previously. my point here today is we have an amazing economy. we have unemployment lower than we have seen literally in my lifetime. and the focus needs to be on this economy and on job creation, on the decreased fatalities in the workplace and in mining. and going forward, that's where this administration needs to focus, not on this matter.
[ inaudible question ] >> we are looking into it. the platforms are absolutely in my opinion 100% crooked. they discriminate against republicans and conservatives. they're 100% dishonest. that's my opinion. and something is going to be done. but i can tell you from personal experience, i see it. i had something happen this morning. i woen't tell you about it yet. but these platforms are 100% dishonest. [ inaudible question ] >> i was not a fan of jeffrey epstein and you watched people yesterday saying that i threw him out of a club. i didn't want anything to do with him. that was many, many years ago. it shows you one thing, that i have good taste.
okay? now, other people, they went all over with him, they went to his island and all over the place. he was very well known in palm beach. his island, whatever his island was, wherever it is, i was never there. find out the people that went to the island. but jeffrey epstein was not somebody that i respected. i threw him out. in fact, i think the great james patterson, who is a member of mar-a-lago, made a statement yesterday that many years ago i threw him out. i'm not a fan of jeffrey epstein. [ inaudible question ] >> you know what, they came in illegally, they have to go out. we have millions of people standing on line waiting to become citizens of this country. they've taken tests. they've studied. they've learned english. they've done so much. they've been waiting seven,
eight, nine years. we have some waiting ten years to come in. it's not fair that somebody walks across the line and now they become citizens. i wish the british ambassador well. some people just told me -- too bad, but they said he actually said very good things about me. he was sort of referring to other people. and i guess i quoted lindsay graham today. he said some things that were pretty nice from the british ambassador. but i wish the british ambassador well. but they've got to stop their leaking problems there, just like they have to stop them in our country. [ inaudible question ] >> we're not giving warning. no, we're not giving warning. there's nothing to be secret about. can i tell you what? there's nothing to be secret about. ice and law enforcement, they're great patriots.
nothing to be secret about. if the word gets out, it gets out. hundreds of people know about it. it's a major operation. if the word gets out, it gets out. it starts on sunday and they're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from. we're focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else. for instance, ms-13, very important. we're taking them out by the thousands. we've already been -- you know, we didn't stop this. we've been taking criminals out for the last year. these people have been here for many years, ms-13, we're taking them out by the thousands. [ inaudible question ] >> i think we'll have it in the end where it will actually be more accurate than the census, because we have information
gotten through other means, whether you look at social security or other places, we have -- including loan applications, we have information that's probably more accurate than the information we could get by going in and asking somebody are you a citizen. a lot of people aren't going to tell the truth. [ inaudible question ] >> no. not only didn't i back down, i backed up. anybody else would have given this up a long time ago. the problem is we had three very unfriendly courts. they were judges that weren't exactly in love with this whole thing and they were wrong. but it would have taken a long time to get through those courts. you understand that better than anybody, john. it would have taken a long time to get to the supreme court. so i asked is there another way. and somebody said there's a way that might be better, it might be more accurate. i said then why are we wasting
time? we're going to be in court for the next two years. in the meantime we have to by law have the printing done. so the printing is started and we're already finding out who the citizens are and who they're not. and i think more accurately. so when i heard this, i said i think that's actually better. i think what we're doing is actually better. and only the fake news, which there's plenty, would say differently. >> reporter: are you worried at all about law enforcement because everybody knows? >> these are great professionals. these are people that have done this for a long time. we're really looking for criminals as much as we can. we're trying to find the criminal population which has been coming into this country over the last ten years. we know who they are, too. we're taking them out by the thousands. specifically gang members from
ms-13 and other gangs. we've been taking them out by the thousands. so we are really specifically looking for bad players, but we're also looking for people that came into our country, not through a process, that just walked over a line. they have to leave. >>. [ inaudible question ] >> some do. the may ors in sanction wear cities like deblazio is probably the worst mayor in the country. i don't know what his attitude is. nobody does, because he doesn't work very hard. nobody knows what he does. but a guy like deblazio probably wouldn't want the raid. many mayors do. most do. you know why? they don't want to have crime in their cities or states.
[ inaudible question ] >> so nobody has treated the military better than president trump. nobody. nobody has even come close. and you see that with budgets, you see that with the pay increases and you see that with medical. but you know where you see it more than any place, is with the vets. because the vets now have choice. they never had choice before. for 44 years -- wait, wait. for 44 years -- we are looking at that. for 44 years, they've tried to get veterans choice. i got it. nobody else could have gotten it. go ahead. say again. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think -- how many bites at the apple do you get? we've gone through 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas.
i let them interview my lawyers because i had nothing to do with russia. now that's come outline, there was no collusion. how many people and how many times -- this has been going on for two and a half years. rush limbaugh said there's nobody else in the world that he knows that could have taken it. and on top of taking it, i've been a great president. listen, listen, i've done more in two and a half years than any other president. nobody is even close. including, we just said, vet vans choice and all of the other things i've got. but for two and a half years. so now they had mueller make a speech and they want to do it again and again and again, because they want to hurt the president for the election because i see what i'm running against. you've got sleepy joe biden. he didn't have the emergency ne the president. the people nipping on his heels don't have what it takes.
china and russia -- and i've been rougher on russia than any president in the last 50 years. china and russia and try north korea why i have a relationship. we don't have a man testing nuclear anymore. wait, wait. you have a man that was so happy to see me. that's a good thing, not a bad thing. you have a man that doesn't smile a lot, but when he saw me he smiled. he was happy. you have a man that when i came into office, all he was doing before under obama was testing nuclear weapons and blowing up mountains. and now he's not doing it. there's nothing he can say. he's written a report. the report said no collusion and it said effectively no obstruction, because there's no obstruction. and the other thing that's very interesting. so they found out there's no collusion. the whole thing is about collusion. so they find out there's no
collusion. actually, it was different. it was bad crimes admitted by the other side. we'll find out about that. i'm sure that's being looked at right now. so there's no collusion and there's no obstruction. now, we have a great attorney general now. he's strong and he's smart. and he read it and he studied it, along with rod rosenstein, who worked it from the beginning. and rod rosenstein and bill barr said there's no obstruction. that's also interesting. number one, there's no crime. and how do you obstruct when there's no crime? also, take a look at one other thing. it's a thing called article 2. nobody ever mentions article 2. it gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. we don't even talk about article 2. so they ruled no collusion, no obstruction, very simple.
and by the way, you can only get so many bites at the apple. we've got to get on to running a country. you've got immigration, infrastructure, drug prices. the democrats aren't working. all they're doing is trying to hurt people like alexander acosta, a man who has done -- [ inaudible question ] >> i have no idea. are you a democrat? >> i am not, no. >> you know what i know balance ex, he was a great student at harvard. he's hispanic, which i so admire, because maybe it was a little tougher for him and maybe not. but he did an unbelievable job as the secretary of labor. that's what i know about him. i know one thing, he did a great job. and until this came up, there was never an ounce of problem with this very good man. go ahead. >> and let me just add -- let me
just add, you know, i hear a lot about how individuals got dubbed and what not. before our interview, we had never met. we had never talked. the president selected me as it should be done. it wasn't that we knew each other or had a longstanding relationship. and i think that's a testament to his selection process. >> what do you think of the why-fighting against on with democrats, nancy pelosi and alexandria ocascio-cortez. >> well, i think cortez who kept amazon out of new york and they don't like her for that, thousands and thousands of jobs, i think cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody that's been there a long time. i deal with nancy pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it's fine. but i think that a group of people is being very
disrespectful to her. and you know what? i don't think that nancy can let that go on. a group of people that came -- i don't know where they came from. i'm looking at this omar from minnesota. and if one-half of the things they're saying about her are true, shee shouldn't even be in office. but cortez should treat nancy pelosi with respect. she should not be doing what she's doing. and i'll tell you something about nancy pelosi that you know better than i do. she is not a racist, okay. she is not a racist. for them to call her a racist is a disgrace. [ inaudible question ] >> very importantly, today in a few hours, vice president pence and the head of homeland security are taking the press and congresspeople into
detention centers. we're the ones that said they were crowded. they are crowded because we have a lot of people. but they're in good shape. and the reason is because the fake news "new york times" wrote phony stories. what border patrol is doing, they've become nurses and janitors and doctors and they're not trained for that. what they've done is so incredible. so they're touring detention centers and that was my idea. because i read a phony story in the "new york times" today or the other day about the detention centers, about the conditions, and i had people calling me up at the highest levels from border patrol and ice, almost crying about that phony story. and they never saw anything. they have phony sources. they don't even have sources. they write whatever thep. "the new york times" is a very dishonest newspaper. they write what they want. and what they do is a tremendous disservice to this country.
they are truly the enemy of the people. i'll tell you that, they are the enemy of the people. and what they wrote about detention centers is unfair. now, i believe it's going to be the center they wrote about, but we're taking a tour. i would love to be there, but we're going to ohio, wisconsin. i'll be going. but i've seen it. i've seen it. and these centers are -- i mean, to have ocascio-cortez say they're thinking out of toilets, she made that up. that's a phony story. she made it up. and these people, i'll tell you what, i've been with ice and i've been with border patrol a lot. they love those people coming across the border. they love them. and i've seen it. they love them. [ inaudible question ] >> so one of the reasons the democrats don't want to have a census is because the number of
people in the united states for many years -- for years you've heard 11 million. it's far greater than that. but we'll find out, because i'm going to do something much more accurate than the way -- the way we did it in the census would never have been very accurate. what we're doing will be much more accurate. the wall is being built. the ball is being built. we had a couple of good decisions. we had one bad decision. it's very tough. again, paul ryan let us down. paul ryan was a terrible speaker. frankly, he was a baby. he didn't know what the hell he was doing. the wall let us down. now, in all fairness, the problem when we had both houses, in the senate you need 60 votes. well, we don't have 60 votes. we have 51 last time. now we have 53. because we won during the '18 election, which nobody wants to say. just so you understand. so the ball is being built.
we had one setback and one tremendous victory. and i had a tremendous victory that was rarely covered by the press. two days ago i won the emoluments case. people don't know that being president, i lose billions of dollars, and especially in money i can't make because i don't do deals. but i loose billions of dollars. but another thing, i get a salary of $400 or $450,000 a year. i don't think any other president has ever given up -- it's a lot of money, almost a half a million dollars. i don't think i've ever seen anybody say i give up my salary. i'm not looking for credit, but i give up my salary. i get zero. but you know what makes me happy? that we're doing a great job. and i want to thank alex acosta. he was a great, great secretary.
standing by his labor secretary who has just resigned amid the scandal surrounding jeffrey epstein. though alexander acosta has resigned, the president said, quote, i am with him while he tried to distance himself as much as he possibly could from jeffrey epstein, the sexual predator, saying i wasn't a big fan of his. remember the president called him a terrific guy back in 2002. so much in that 31 minutes. dana bash, let me go to you first. all over the place. i mean, from defending nancy pelosi to talking about china to talking about the wall, to trying to put himself as far away from jeffrey epstein as he could. i think one thing that struck me on this breaking news that acosta is out is the tone that acosta and the president tried to downplay. well, this happened 12 years ago, why aren't you all talking about how good the economy is. >> right, which was the reason that the president gave for acosta and that acosta gave for
him deciding to resign. not that he did anything wrong, but because of the distraction from the great economy since he is the labor secretary. i mean, there's so many things to say about that, how that should not be the case. but look, it is. and it has been a distraction. not necessarily because he didn't do anything wrong, but because this is scandalous in the truest sense of the term, in that acosta was involved -- actually not just involved, he spearheaded a sweetheart deal to effectively allow somebody who was in charge of and helping in the raping of children to go free and continue to do so. and yes, he said that he had support for his decision up and down the chain at the justice department. this was during the bush administration. that might be the case, but they're not the current labor secretary, now former labor secretary. so that's key.
the other bit of news that we got -- >> i was going to get the mueller. >> on jeffrey epstein that the president said for the first time point blank, that he kicked epstein out of his mar-a-lago club. >> so listen to this, because the president also talked about mueller, the special counsel, and the upcoming testimony that is supposed to be next week on the 17th of july. but we are learning that it may be delayed a week, as democrats negotiate trying to get more time with mueller. we'll get to manu raju on that in just a moment. listen to how the president answered some questions ahead of mueller's testimony. one thing that struck me is that he said effectively no obstruction. let's listen to the whole bit there. >> there's nothing he can say. he's written a report. the report said no collusion and it said effectively no obstruction, because there's no obstruction. and the other thing that's very
interesting. >> dana, what should we take away from that? is it just a throw-away word or is there more to the effectively? >> god, it's so hard to answer that question, poppy, when it's the president and it's something like this. you know, you can take it as him potentially admitting something, but that is so out of character for this president. absolutely so out of character for this president. what he was trying to focus on is what he's been focusing on aad nauseam, which is no collusion. and it's a waist of time and so on and so forth. it was striking that he said effect ivgly twice. and there is a question about whether or not he was saying that for a reason. but again, it's very hard to tell with this president. he sometimes uses phrases in terms very emphatically, very directly and intentionally like no collusion, which he was
successful in creating the narrative around no collusion for the whole mueller investigation. i'm not sure this is exactly the same, but we'll see. >> i hear you. jessica schneider, what is your read? >> i want to jump in because the president is saying effectively no obstruction and he's saying that that conclusion came from the mueller report. that incident exactly true. it was more the attorney general bill barr who, when he read mueller's report and then issued his own report to congress summarizing the conclusions, that's when the attorney general said that there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute on the obstruction issue. that was a decision that the attorney general and the deputy attorney general at the time, rod rosenstein, came to. but as far as robert mueller himself and his team, in the report it very specifically in the executive summery to volume 2, says that they could not reach a conclusion on obstruction. and the reason they couldn't
come to a conclusion on obstruction is because the current guidelines with the department of justice does not allow an indictment of a sitting president. so they concluded that it wasn't even appropriate to even put out any possibility, any charges if this couldn't go forward in any sort of indictment or trial. i mean, robert mueller put it this way, said if we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so. so it's important to note that distinction there between the special counsel's conclusion, which was no conclusion on the obstruction issue, saying that they didn't come to a conclusion because ultimately they didn't have any power to indite. but then of course the attorney general was the one who said there was not sufficient evidence of obstruction. he made that ultimate conclusion, when that wasn't exactly what range of motion range of motion and his team had put forward in the report there. >> let's talk about how different, unique this was compared to other resignations.
it was pretty striking to see acosta standing right there next to the president, given all the heat he is under now. >> it was like night and day when you compare this to, say, a jeff sessions, other members of the cabinet who have had to go away for one reason or the other. the president just went out of his way to make it clear to the people standing there, and you could even see in the body language, that he was not throwing alex acosta under the bus. he suggested that he thought he did a pretty good job in defending himself when he went before the tv cameras the other day. and generally when the president was asked, for example, was acosta becoming a distraction, the president's answer was very careful. well, alex didn't want this to become a distraction for this administration. so the question, of course, is why does alex acosta get this treatment as he heads for the door when so many others in this administration have not gotten
that kind of treatment. and i can tell you, i don't know a whole lot about it, but for sure alex acosta is from a very important state in this upcoming election. he's from florida and he was the united states attorney down in miami. and it's quite clear that people there in the state of florida are watching all of this. so that's one thing to consider when you talk about this. >> abby, just talking big picture about how many key cabinet positions have been vacated, and some of them in candle, some of them walking away on principle, and now another one. i think we had something up on the screen just to give people a sense of the magnitude here of how many folks have left this administration. >> i think we've become a little bit numb to it because it seems to happen all the time. alexander acosta is the 13th trump cabinet secretary to either resign or be fired in two and a half years of the trump administration. at this point in the obama presidency, no cabinet
secretaries had had. at this point in the bush presidency, only one had. so that and in of itself is an extraordinary figure and it tells you a lot about what's going on here. this is an administration where people have had a lot of trouble staying in their jobs, whether it is because there have been unknown things in their background that have come back up that weren't thoroughly vetted or investigated before they were selected for their jobs, or because quite simply, they could not maintain the confidence of the president. so we can't let that slide by, because i think this is really extraordinary, if not unprecedented. >> everyone stand by. manu raju also joins me on the other breaking news that we literally got, manu, from the hill, your reporting, mid trump press conference. what do we know about mueller, the special counsel? is he still going to testify next wednesday? >> it could be delayed by a week. this is what we're hearing from
multiple congressional sources amid concerns from members on both sides, but particularly democrats that there will not be enough time for him to testify next week. initially this hearing was supposed to happen on wednesday. highly anticipated hearing where robert mueller would talk about his two-year investigation into the president and russia interference in the 2016 elections. but the agreement that was reached between jerry nadler, the chairman of the justice department and adam schiff, who both preside over the back-to-back hearings is that the testimony would be limited to two to two and a half hours. that would be enough time for the members of the intelligence committee to question but the larger members on the house judiciary committee would not have enough time to question mueller. so the concerns we've been hearing is there's not going to be enough time for a lot of members who wanted to ask questions to not get their chance. also concerns largely that there would not be enough time to get to the bottom of what mueller
found. two to two and a half hour split roughly between republicans and democrats. one democratic member, karen bass, told me that's not enough time to get to the executive summery of the more than 400-page report. another member told me, madeleine dean, she would be disappointed if she didn't have an opportunity to question the special counsel. i've heard from a number of other members as well. behind-the-scenes they have been discussing how to extend the time, whether the special counsel would agree to come in and sit down for a longer frod. so at the moment we are hearing that they're considering delaying it for a week for these discussions to proceed to potentially get mueller to sit down for a longer period of time. the question is will mueller agree, will it lead to another subpoena fight. we do expect to hopefully hear from the chairman of the judiciary committee sometime soon. but at the moment is spokesman says the hearing is still on for
now on wednesday. >> obviously this is a big one for the democrats. this is a big fish that they've gotten to testify before them. they're going to want every second they can get with him. great reporting. keep us posted. busy friday morning. thank you for being with me this morning. i'm poppy harlow. we'll see you back. you're with kate bolduan after a quick break.
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where challenges exist, you'll find them. at citi, we empower people who are out to change the world. because tomorrow belongs to those who welcome it with open arms. citi. welcome what's next hello, everyone, ooim kate bolduan. thank you so much for joining me. we are following breaking news on a number of front this hour in what is turning out to be yet another wild friday in washington. buckle up, friends. another cabinet secretary out and some of the most highly anticipated congressional testimony this year and beyond, it now may be postponed. cnn learning that the house judiciary committee is considering pushing back the blockbuster hearing from special counl