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Cosby Defense Rests After Calling 1 Witness; Trump Meets with Cabinet Amid Jeff Sessions Controversy. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 12, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:32:09] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this hour. The defense has just rested in the trial against comedian, Bill Cosby. This pretty shocking move. It comes after only one witness was called to testify for Cosby's side. The defense also moved for acquittal, but it was denied. Cosby's charged with three felony accounts of aggravated indecent assault.
CNN correspondent Brynn Gingras, and CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, are here with me.
Brynn, what happened today? This is a long road coming to this, and then it ended abruptly.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And you saw on the video Camille Cosby at the side of Bill Cosby. That's the first time we've seen his wife of 53 years be there, the first time we've actually seen a family member at this trial. We've seen a lot of people alongside him, but certainly not a family member.
What's happening today is they're giving the closing statements to the jurors at this point. Then we're going to see jury instructions, and then it's possible they might start deliberations in this case, but they certainly have a week's full of testimony from last week.
But you just said it, the defense rested, one witness called. It was actually a recall of a detective that the commonwealth called in their case, but they do have, you know, 12 witnesses that they heard, those jurors, from last week during the commonwealth's case, including Andrea Constand, the woman at the center of all this, who accused Cosby of drugging and molesting her in his home in 2004, her mother, other key witnesses. And certainly, now it will be in the hands of the jury soon.
BOLDUAN: Very soon.
So, Paul, what do you -- 12 witnesses on one side. One, you could even say almost call it a half a witness, since it's a recall witness on the Cosby side. What does that signify to you?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's not unusual in a criminal case for the defense to rest presenting no evidence, especially in a situation where they think it's a really weak case. Now remember, this entire case is 13 years old. That's when it was claimed to have happened. It was turned down by the district attorney originally, who thought it wasn't enough evidence to make out a criminal case. And now as the case is presented, it relies primarily on the victim's testimony and her mother's testimony, as against the testimony -- well, not even the testimony, but the claims of Cosby's attorney. So, I think the defense just thinks it's a weak case.
BOLDUAN: And what do you make of that, the decision to not put Cosby on the stand?
CALLAN: Oh, that was a brilliant decision by the defense, because, bear in mind, if he took the stand and opened the door to cross examination about the fact that 60 other women have made claims against him, he would have no chance of an acquittal. Here now, the jury's going to have to look at Constand's testimony, the mother, and there was one other victim who testified during the trial that the M.O., using drugs and then having sex with the woman, occurred to her as well, but that's a far cry from 60 potential witnesses. So, it was a good idea not to put him on.
[11:34:54] BOLDUAN: As Brynn says, it will soon be in the hands of the jury. A long road getting here. We'll see where it hands up.
Thank you both very much.
The attorneys general of the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia are set to unveil a new lawsuit against President Trump very soon. They say he's violating the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign governments at his hotel. We will bring you that news conference as soon as it begins. We'll bring it to you live.
We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: All right, welcome back, everyone. We are moments away now from the video that we've been waiting for this hour, the video coming from the president, sitting down, leading a meeting with his cabinet. All eyes, of course, on Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the breaking news this hour that Sessions has agreed to, and the committee has agreed to as well, the Senate Intelligence Committee, has agreed to have him testify in public tomorrow, amid, of course, reports that Jeff Sessions' relationship with the president is on the rocks.
One more time?
Oh, and here is that video right now. Let's listen.
[11:40:17] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning. We have much great news to share with the American people today as we continue to deliver on our promises.
Due to a record-long delay in confirmation and the confirmation process by the Senate Democrats, which I call the obstructionists -- maybe they'll change, but I doubt it for a while, but they are truly obstructionists -- this is our first cabinet meeting with the entire cabinet present. The confirmation process has been record-setting long, and I mean record-setting long, with some of the finest people in our country being delayed and delayed and delayed. But that's -- much of that is over, and now we're going through, as you know, the regular process with people at other levels of government, and that's a very long process also, including Ethics Committee, which has become very difficult to deal with.
All of that being said, we now have our cabinet finally approved. And I want to welcome Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats -- thank you -- and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
This is an incredible, talented group of people in this room, generals, governors, congressmen, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and many, many others. I choose each person at this table, and I chose them not only because of their remarkable experience and success, but because they are all united by one shared goal, what they want to do, it's one very simple, but very beautiful goal, serving and defending our beloved nation.
Together, we're working every day, and we've been working very hard together for our country, to protect their safety, bringing back jobs into our country, and putting always America first. And when I ran, it was make America great again, and that's what we're doing, believe me. We're doing it and we're doing it at a much faster pace than anyone thought. I would say that never has there been a president, with few exceptions, in the case of FDR, he had a major depression to handle, who's passed more legislation, who's done more things than what we've done, between the executive orders and the job-killing regulations that have been terminated, many bills, I guess over 34 bills Congress signed, a Supreme Court justice who's going to be a great one, going to be a great Supreme Court justice, and many other things. We've achieved tremendous success. And I think we've been about as active as you can possibly be, and at a just about record- setting pace.
And we're achieving these goals by eliminating these job-killing regulations, unlocking American energy, rebuilding our military, pursuing fair and reciprocal trade deals, achieving massive reductions in illegal immigration, transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs, and building a new partnership among nations to defeat terrorism, which we have to do.
In just a very short time, we're seeing amazing results. And in fact, there are a couple of major stories today in the newspapers about mines that are opening, and the miners are going back to work. Actually, they're pretty big stories. People are surprised. It's kicking in very fast. More small businesses are planning to hire than at any point in over a decade. And last month, unemployment fell to its lowest point in 16 years.
I recently returned from a trip overseas that included deals for more than $350 billion worth of military and economic investment in the United States. These deals will bring many thousands of jobs to our country and, in fact, will bring millions of jobs, ultimately, and help Saudi Arabia take a greater role in providing stability and security in that region.
One of the big things that we did, and you're seeing it now with Qatar and all of the things that are actually going on in a very positive fashion, we are stopping the funding of terrorism. They are going to stop the funding of terrorism. And it's not an easy fight, but that's a fight we're going to win. There will be -- you have to starve the beast, and we're going to starve the beast, believe me.
[11:45:00] Secretary Price has been working very hard to repeal and replace Obamacare. The House passed a bill. The Senate has it right now. Mitch McConnell is working very, very hard, as are the Republican Senators. We will have zero backing from the Democrats, even though they should get in and do something, but we expect to get zero. If we had the greatest bill in the history of the world on health care, we wouldn't get one vote from the Democrats because they're obstructionists. That's what they want to do. That's the game. They think that's the best game. They're looking to '18. So far, we've had two races and we've won both of those races. They spent millions and millions of dollars, congressional races. We have another one coming up and we've been doing very well. But they're obstructionist, and that's sad. But we are coming up with something that I believe will be very good with zero support from the obstructionist Democrats. Sad.
Secretary Mnuchin is helping us put together one of the biggest tax cuts in American history. It may be the single biggest tax cut in American history. And that also includes a great deal of tax reform, simplification and other things.
Director Mulvaney has led efforts to introduce a new budget that cuts Washington spending and protects the taxpayer, and that will come out, and believe me, we'll take care of the people that have to be taken care of. So, that's a first step, but we will be taking care of the people that have to be taken care of. On the human basis, that's very, very important.
Today, we're going to hear from Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis on the ways that we're combating ISIS and defeating terrorism. We've had tremendous success against ISIS and our fight in the Middle East, where we're doing very, very well. We're going to be having a news conference in two weeks on that fight, and you'll see numbers that you will not have believed. And frankly, if you look back to even six months ago, you wouldn't have believed it was possible.
Secretary Shulkin will give us an update on his tremendous work to make sure our veterans are finally given the care they deserve, one of the most important things to me on the campaign trail. We've also been strongly pushing for the passage of the V.A. Accountability Act to ensure employees of the V.A. can be held accountable if they fail our great veterans. It's passed the Senate and the House is voting tomorrow.
So, tomorrow we have a big vote coming up, David, and I think we're going to be in good shape.
But that's something that is going to be great for our veterans. We're also going to hear from Secretary Acosta about a major
announcement that I'll be making later this week, expanding apprenticeships and getting our people back to work. While we have the lowest number in terms of unemployment in many, many years, at the same time, I've always argued with that number, because it doesn't take into account millions and millions of people that have given up looking for jobs. And we're going to be doing something about that and we're going to get those people back to work. And it's already starting in Ohio and it's starting in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and South Carolina and Florida. You see the numbers, and they're starting. I call them the forgotten men and women, but they're not going to be forgotten much longer, believe me.
There are millions of good jobs that lead to great careers, jobs that do not require a four-year degree or the massive debt that often comes with those four-year degrees and even two-year degrees. These jobs require advanced skills and technical training, and we're going to start that. The apprenticeships -- a very good word from the Trump standpoint, the word apprentice.
Apprenticeships are going to be a big, big factor in our country. We have people with tremendous talent, maybe a mechanical talent, it may be a talent for fixing an engine or a motor. A lot of people that graduated high in their class at the best colleges in the world have no clue, and they would never be good at it. It's a different kind of an ability, but it's a great ability, nevertheless.
We're going to help get our young people the technical training that they need to pursue really exciting careers and careers that they can make good money. They can really earn a great, great salary and maybe even open small businesses.
If everyone in this room continues to do their jobs, then we can restore American prosperity and make millions and millions of dollars, and we can make for these people and the American dream come true. We're going to make the American dream come true for a lot of people that will not have had that experience without the election results that we had in November 8th.
[11:50:04] So we're here to change Washington, return power to the people. We're here to give people a great shot at a great, great job, and even opening small businesses and employing other people.
I look forward to hearing all of the reports from the different people in the room today.
We have done, as I said, about as much as anybody ever in a short period of time in the presidency. That's despite tremendous opposition from the other side. We have done something that's very special. And you see it in the economic numbers, because the economic numbers have been incredible. One just came out, almost $4 trillion in -- worth has been created in the stock markets of our country. Just take a look at that. 700,000 jobs have been created in a very short period of time, since the election, 700,000 jobs. If we would have said that on November 8th, nobody would have believed the number. If we would have said that almost $4 trillion in the stock markets has been created, everybody would have laughed at us. They would have said, oh, that's ridiculous. But that's what it is. So we're very proud of it.
We have a phenomenal team of people, a great group of talent. And we are really now seeing the early fruits of their labor. Some of them won't be able to kick in because, statutorily, you have to wait periods of time before you're allowed to unify.
We'll be having some major legislation very soon on the dumping of steel in our country, which is absolutely killing our workers at our steel companies. We're going to be having some major legislation on the dumping of aluminum and varies other things into our country, which is killing our workers. We'll be announcing that very soon.
So I think that we'll do -- most of you know the people around the room, but I'm going to start with our vice president.
Where is our vice president?
There he is.
And I'll maybe start with Mike and we'll just go around and just name your position, and then we'll ask these folks to go back and have a good day. And we're going to discuss our various reports.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. President. This is the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to a president who is keeping his word to the American people and assembling a team that's bringing real change, real prosperity and real strength back to our nation.
TRUMP: Thank you, Mike.
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Mr. President, it's great to be here and celebrate this group. We are receiving, as you know, I'm not sure the rest of you fully understand the support, but law enforcement all over America, they have been very frustrated. They are so thrilled that we have a new idea that we're going to support them and work together to properly, lawfully fight the rising crime that we're seeing.
SESSIONS: It's an honor to be able to serve you in that regard and to send the exact right message and the response is fabulous around the country.
TRUMP: Great success, including MS-13. They're being thrown out in record numbers and rapidly. They're being depleted. They'll all be gone soon.
You're right, Jeff. Thank you very much.
ALEX ACOSTA, LABOR SECRETARY: Mr. President, it is my privilege to be here. I'm deeply honored. And I want to thank you for your commitment to the American workers. This week is a full schedule for you focusing on the American worker. We're very excited at the Department of Labor. And the apprenticeship program that you're going to be announcing I think is going to make a real difference. So thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you. Congratulations.
RICK PERRY, ENERGY SECRETARY: Mr. President, honor to be on the team. This last week, I had the great privilege to represent America in China at the green energy ministerial. Good timing. They needed to hear why America was stepping away from the Paris Accord, and they did, and that America is not stepping back, but we're stepping into place and sending some messages that we're still going to be leaders in the world when it comes to the climate, but we're not going to be held hostage to some executive order that was ill thought out. My hat is off to you for taking that stand and presenting a clear message around the world that America's going to continue to lead in the area of energy.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Thank you, Mr. President. It's a new day at the United Nations. We now have a very strong voice. People know what the United States is for. They know what we're against. They see us leading across the board. So I think the international community knows we're back.
TRUMP: Thank you. That's great.
[11:55:04] MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: Thank you for the kind words about the budget. You're right, we are going to be able to take care of the people who really need it. At the same time, with your direction, we were able to also focus on the forgotten man and woman who were paying those taxes. I appreciate your support in supporting that budget.
TRUMP: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED CABINET MEMBER: Good morning, Mr. President. It's good to be back in the United States. I arrived back this morning at 1:00 from Italy and the G-7 summit focused on the environment. And our message there was the United States is going to be focused on growth and protecting the environment. It was received well.
TRUMP: Good job.
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Good morning, Mr. President. This community has never faced such an adversity of threats to our country in our lifetime. We have men and women who are working 24/7, seven days a week, to make sure that we are on top of all these threats. It's a joy to be working with the people that I have inherited and we are going to provide -- continue to provide you with the very best intelligence we can so you can formulate policies to deal with these issues.
TRUMP: Thank you.
BETSY DEVOS, EDUCATION SECRETARY: Mr. President, it's a privilege to serve, to serve the students of this country, and to work to ensure that every child as an equal opportunity to get a great education and therefore a great future.
TRUMP: Thank you, Betsy.
TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Mr. President, what an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can't thank you enough for the privilege you've given me and the leadership you've shown. It seems like there's an international flair to the messages being delivered. I had an opportunity to represent the United States at the G-20 health summit in Berlin and the World Health Assembly, and I can't tell you how excited and enthusiastic folks are about the United States' leadership as it relates to global health security.
TRUMP: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED CABINET MEMBER: Mr. President, as your SEAL on your staff
TRUMP: It's true.
UNIDENTIFIED CABINET MEMBER: -- it's an honor to be your steward of our public lands and the generator of our energy dominance. I'm deeply honored. And I am committed and optimistic that we can be both great stewards and be the world's largest producer of energy.
TRUMP: We can do both. Thank you very much.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Mr. President, thank you for the honor to serve the country. It's a great privilege you've given me. Clearly, we are engaged with our allies to ensure that they know where our common interests lie, what our expectations are, that America will continue to be a leader, but they must do more. They must meet their obligations both from a national security standpoint but also for creating conditions of stability, prosperity.
And for our adversaries we are engaging and will engage but they have to know that we will be engaging from a position of strength to protect America's national interest. And we expect to make progress in resolving some of these differences.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Mr. President, it's an honor to represent the men and women of the Department of Defense. We're grateful for the sacrifices our people are making in order to strengthen our military so our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength. Thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED CABINET MEMBER: Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity to help fix the trade deficit and other things. The other countries are gradually getting used to the -- (INAUDIBLE). They're not happy with it, but I think they're -- (INAUDIBLE) - recognition of it. So I am thrilled to have a chance to help you live up to your campaign promises.
TRUMP: Thank you.
ELAINE CHAO, TRANSPORATION SECRETARY: Mr. President, last week was a great week. It was infrastructure week. Thank you so much for coming over to the Department of Transportation. Hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled hanging out, watching the whole ceremony. I want to thank you for getting this country moving again and also working again.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much.
GEN. JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Mr. President, proud to be here. Certainly, very proud to represent the men and women that served the country in DHS. In the five months I've been in the job, we have gone a long way to facilitate and improve the legal movement of people and progress across our borders, yet at the same time, have gone a long way to safeguarding our borders, particularly the southern border. Working with all of our partners to the south, a 70 percent drop in illegal immigration. While we still welcome legal immigrants to the tune of over a million a year, we are no longer a friendly environment for illegal border crossings.
TRUMP: Thank you.
ROBERT LIGHTHIZER, U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: Mr. President, first of all, I apologize for being late for work.
In about four months, I got bogged down in that swamp.
I also have traveled. I just got back from Paris, where we -- (INAUDIBLE) -- and the message was similar to what it was, that deficits do matter and are coming down. Nice to be here.
TRUMP: I know they are. Thank you.
LINDA MCMAHON, DIRECTOR, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity to serve at SBA. And I can tell you that as I've been traveling internationally and as I've been traveling around the country, and I what I continually --