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Tomorrow: Key Special Election in Ohio; 12th District Votes Tomorrow on Key House Seat; Violent Sunday in Chicago: 44 People Shot in 14 Hours. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired August 6, 2018 - 10:30   ET




JASON REZAIAN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That he would sit down with the Iranians at any point. But I've heard different things from the State Department and I think that, you know, people -- other people in his administration are less likely to push for talks with --

HARLOW: Well, Pompeo - I mean has laid out key things that would have to happen before any face-to-face. And I think a lot of those that is 12 points that he outlined -

HARLOW: Right.

REZAIAN: -- back in May are sort of nonstarters or at least the sum of them would be a nonstarter for Iran. So, I think what's happening here is the sanctions will start to take effect over the next few days. We'll see what impact it actually has on the Iranian economy. And there will be a wait and see to see how Iranians feel about reengaging with the U.S., especially after we left this deal.

HARLOW: Let's talk about the secondary sanctions here. Because this is not only sanctions on Iran, this is sanctions on European companies, companies -- big companies of our allies, like Volkswagen or an airbus, that do business and sell a lot of cars and a lot of planes into Iran. And they did not want to see the U.S. pull out of this nuclear agreement.

So, I mean, now what? It seems like the U.S. is on an island in many respects.

REZAIAN: Yes and no. I mean, I think that there's also deep concern among those companies in Europe to see if they might be able to get waivers from these sanctions or not. But overall, there's a lack of confidence, and there has been, even since the nuclear deal was struck back in 2016 -

HARLOW: Right.

REZAIAN: -- for foreign investment inside of Iran. So, you know, Iran has kind of taken it from all sides here. And, you know, much of it is a problem of perception and fear of instability. HARLOW: Explain that to the American people. Because these waivers --

this is really important. These companies would have to get waivers from the U.S. Treasury Department to be able to sell directly into Iran and to keep selling into the United States. I mean, how likely is the Treasury Department under Trump to do that when he's slapping these sanctions and even more in November directly on Iran?

REZAIAN: They've made it very clear that they're very unlikely to offer those sorts of waivers. And I think they're taking a very tough line, maybe one that they'll walk back a bit over time. But, you know, initially I think they're trying to get the Europeans especially on their side with this. And I just don't see that happening.

HARLOW: Jason, thank you for the reporting. Appreciate it.

REZAIAN: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: It's a crucial special election in Ohio on the line. Of a House seat that Republicans have controlled in this district for three decades. CNN went to Ohio to ask the voters there, why is this race so close?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What do you think would happen if everybody in Washington sat around a table like this and talked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it wouldn't be a coffee club. It would be a liars' club. On either side, I believe.



[10:37:18] HARLOW: All right. At stake tomorrow, for Republicans in Ohio, a seat that they have held in this district, Ohio 12, since the 1980s. Candidates in the special election are neck and neck, if you look at the polling right now. That is why President Trump made a special trip to Ohio for a rally this weekend.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must elect Troy Balderson. We have to elect Troy. I need your vote August 7th.


HARLOW: He does need it, if he wants to keep this seat in Republican hands, because it is a very tight race. Is the president helping or hurting the cause though in Ohio? Our Alex Marquardt spoke with voters in Ohio 12th.


KEN FINK, COFFEE CLUB MEMBER: They have Fox News network on one. They had CNN on another. And I would get a little upset. So I moved over here so I wouldn't have to watch any news networks. And I'm quieter now. A lot better. I can't believe that.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 10:00 a.m. Coffee Club has been meeting at the Hamburger Inn in Delaware County, Ohio, for over 55 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for Trump. I'll vote for Trump again, if I get a chance.

MARQUARDT: The club went for Trump in 2016. But listen in on a Wednesday morning, and you'll hear criticism of both parties.

What do you think would happen if everybody in Washington sat around a table like this? And talked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it wouldn't be a Coffee Club. It would be a liars' club. On either side, I believe. Politics right now, none of them are telling the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is doing exactly what he said he was going to do when he was elected into office. If he had had some help, we would be OK.

MARQUARDT: President Trump won this district easily in 2016. It's now considered a tossup for the 2018 midterm elections.

DANA GARRISON, VOTER FROM DELAWARE, OHIO: I would be surprised if a Democrat won, but, you know, if they poised themselves with conservative views, they might be able to align themselves with the majority of the people in the town.

MARQUARDT: Ohio's special election is the final test for both parties to see where they are ahead of the midterm elections. It's a local race, but one that's tying both candidates to national issues. It's where Danny O'Connor is running as a Democrat.

DANNY O'CONNOR (D), OHIO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I think there are a lot of folks who just want someone who is going to try and solve some problems.

MARQUARDT: If he has any chance of winning this district, he'll have to reach moderate voters, who have been voting Republican for decades. Voters like his fiance.

SPENSER STAFFORD, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE'S FIANCE: Somebody said, oh, so are you a Democrat now? And I was like, no -- something in me was like, I cannot identify as a Democrat. And I'm like, no, I'm a Danny- crat. I never wavered over whether I would support him or not.

[10:40:05] O'CONNOR: It took me a while that she'll vote for me.

MARQUARDT: O'Connor is running against Troy Balderson, a state - with the endorsement of President Trump.

TROY BALDERSON (R), OHIO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: We have got Ohio back open for business again. And we're going to do the same thing when you get me to D.C. But you've got to get me there. TRUMP: If the Democrats get in, they're going to raise your taxes.

You're going to have crime all over the place. You're going to have people pouring across the border. So why would that be a blue wave? I think it could be a red wave. I'll tell you what -- really, I think it should be a red wave.

MARQUARDT: Many voters in Delaware County are skeptical of traditional politicians, especially Democrats who say they're moderates in today's divided world. Dana says the tax bill saves her $40 a week. That's a big deal for her family.

GARRISON: The one thing I would say to people who hate Trump is I understand why. I completely understand why you hate him. But when you look at the politics and you look at the economy and you look at how things are changing, it's kind of hard to not want to vote for that kind of change in your own life.

MARQUARDT: Alex Marquardt, CNN, New York.


HARLOW: This special election in Ohio is the last major race before the midterms. How important is this?

Joining me now, our political director, David Chalian. I thought there was such a nice look at how voters there are feeling in the seat that has been so safely Republican for so long. I mean, David, this is 44- 43 in the latest polling. This race could go either way. Explain why it matters so much.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: So, here's why it matters. It's amazing that people are actually thinking about this in August. It's vacation season. It's an off-schedule election. So I agree with you. It was great to hear from some voters there in the district, Poppy.


CHALIAN: Here's why it's so important. It's because what you said. This is the last special election of a "D" versus an "R" before we hit November's midterm elections. There are a couple high-profile primaries still to come. But this is the last time we see the parties battle each other. And the story of the Trump era since he took office in January of '17 has been the Democratic enthusiasm and turnout in all of these House special elections.

Now, they've lost nearly all of them, the Democrats. But they have over performed what -

HARLOW: Right.

CHALIAN: -- Hillary Clinton did in the district or what the previous Democrat did other than when Connor lamb actually won that seat that Donald Trump won by 20 points back in April.

HARLOW: You know I had David Irvin, an advisor to the Trump campaign, on last hour. And he seemed to write this off in two ways to me, David. Saying, yes, it's August, you know people are on vacation, not paying a lot of attention. And, oh, by the way, this is you know a blue dog Democrat. This is no Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And this is someone who has you know said Nancy Pelosi shouldn't - leader of the House, et cetera. I mean, is this just about - you know, is this just about a better Democratic candidate than Republicans have faced there before? Or is this bigger?

CHALIAN: Well, clearly, this Democrat does fit the district more than Ocasio-Cortez would if she were running in the Columbus suburbs.

HARLOW: Right.

CHALIAN: There's no doubt about that. But I think David Irvin is underplaying a little bit here because we all understand the psychology that this has. If Republicans are victorious tomorrow, they're going to breathe a sigh of relief. Because they know the headwinds they're facing, and this will avoid sort of moving into fallout panic mode before the fall election season, the home stretch here.

Conversely, if Democrats win, I was just mentioning, they've had the enthusiasm advantage, both in every poll we've seen, as well as at the ballot box with their turnout numbers. There is a clear enthusiasm advantage on the Democratic side this year. Not uncommon in a president's first midterm year to have the opposition party enthused. And if they win, that's going to give them another big boost of excitement and enthusiasm leading up to November.

So there is a real impact here. We shouldn't underplay it. But remember, this is a special election, Poppy, that is just -- they're going to serve from now to January. These two guys are running against each other again in November to serve the full two-year term.

HARLOW: Right. That's a good point. So John Kasich, Ohio Governor John Kasich, making waves with this interview he did with George Stephanopoulos over the weekend. Let's listen to a part of it.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: He came out against this border separation policy. He came out against the terrorists, and he came out for fixing social security. On his website -- I asked him, why are you bringing Trump in? He said I don't have anything to do with it.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Did he really tell you that he was surprised that President Trump was coming and didn't want him to come?

KASICH: I asked him. I said, Troy, why did you invite Trump in here, the president? And he said no, I didn't. So I think Donald Trump decides where he wants to go and I think they think they're firing up the base.


HARLOW: I mean, either the candidate - the Republican candidate didn't ask for help from the Republican president or he doesn't want to admit that, you know, he did. So, I mean, what is it? I know you reached out.

CHALIAN: Well, let's also be clear. He stood there on stage with President Trump. He embraced and welcomed President Trump's endorsement, and he was -- it's not as if he avoided the event in some way.

[10:45:07] So he welcomes Trump's ability to hopefully juice some excitement in the Republican base and turn out voters on Tuesday. But the campaign has not made any comment on Kasich's comments about who is the motivator behind the Trump rally. Was it President Trump coming in on his own or was he asked to be there? They're going to let that just lay. They're going to leave Kasich's remarks as they are.

HARLOW: Sounds like it. David Chalian, thank you so much.

CHALIAN: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Still ahead, a violent 14-hour stretch in Chicago over the weekend. On Sunday, it ended with 44 people in that city alone being shot. We are live in Chicago with an update.


[10:50:08] HARLOW: Welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

We have heard so much about the murder rate in Chicago. But I want to point your attention to what happened in Chicago just this weekend. Five people were killed. Dozens more injured in a streak of shootings on Sunday in a city that has struggled with crippling gun violence, this weekend was particularly troubling. 44 people in Chicago shot in just a 14-hour period.

Our Ryan Young is there live for me this morning with more. 44 people in 14 hours. What are the authorities saying?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy, we're dealing with a little bit of this driving rain here. You're going to go inside in the next half hour or so to hear from police directly. This has been a troubling weekend for them. It was very hot here, and, of course, it seems like when it's really hot, the crime seems to rise. They were dealing with some gang violence, that's what police were saying.

But look, it was so troubling, because of the fact of all the mass shootings we were dealing with. We actually believe the number will go higher. And this is in a city that has seen numbers drop over the past year-and-a-half. In fact, there have been almost a thousand less shootings in some cases over that time period. But people are really having a conversation about what will happen next, because you've had an 11-year-old, a 13-year-old. All victims of this gun violence. They had large outdoor parties this weekend and it seems like, according to police, that gang members were targeting those outside large gatherings and shooting toward those areas.

Now, of course, some of the people who were hit by this were not gang members so you understand the pain being felt in this community, mostly on the west and south side. Also to put this in perspective, this year they've been doing better when it comes to summertime, because they have 30,000 kids to work this summer, that's a Mayor's summer youth program. They were able to get those kids off the street. But unfortunately, the violence still spiked this weekend.

And one of the scenes that really troubled all of us and something that really stood out was outside one of the hospitals here, Strozier Hospital, where so many family members were waiting outside to figure out exactly what happened to their loved ones. Over 40 people crying and hugging, and trying to hold themselves together as they try to figure out what happened to their loved ones, then there was a story of a 17-year-old girl getting ready to go to her senior year high school. She will not make it, because obviously, she was shot and killed this weekend.

The violence here is so troubling. People are asking, what can be done next? They want answers. And, of course, we'll hear from the superintendent in the next hour.

HARLOW: A 17-year-old girl. I vividly remember a few years ago being in Chicago, interviewing a doctor in the emergency room about this issue. And he said when it comes to summertime and the heat goes up, this violence gets even worse and this is what we're dealing with day- to-day. Ryan Young, thank you for being there.

The first lady, defending LeBron James over the weekend, as her husband, the president goes after the NBA star over his interview with my colleague, Don Lemon. We'll explain, next.


[10:57:20] HARLOW: First Lady Melania Trump is contradicting her husband publicly, again. My colleague and friend, Don Lemon, interviewed LeBron James, as you saw extensively on this show last week. It's all about this school that LeBron has built and paid for in Akron, Ohio and the incredible work being done for these kids.

In that interview, James said the president was trying to use force to divide the country. Now President Trump insulted the intelligence of both LeBron James and of Don Lemon in a tweet on Friday. But the first lady jumped to the NBA star's defense, and praised the work that he is doing for children.

Kate Bennett joins me now. Kate, you cover the first lady. Like no one else does. And you have been on this program with me time and time again, talking about how she is her own woman, she is independent, and she will speak out on issues that are important to her. And educating underprivileged children is important to her.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Poppy. I don't know if this was so much a snub of her husband as just a reiteration that she has opinions and she has thoughts and she's going to say them and express them, no matter what the optics might be in terms of whether people see it as snubbing or trolling or all these things we're hearing about. I mean, clearly, this is an interesting one for the first lady to chime in on. People were hash tagging "be best" in tweets with irony about her husband. You know, reminder, be best, which is the first lady's platform. And I feel like that's why she felt she had to jump in on this one.

But certainly, this is not the first time we have seen Melania Trump express views of her own, mostly via her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, who issues these answers. When I asked these questions, again, they're not statements being released. They're responses to specific questions.

And I think it's -- you know, when we look at the West Wing, East Wing communications operations, they're very, very different. The East Wing is very straight forward, and they tend to come right out with an answer. Especially when Melania Trump is feeling like someone is trying to speak for her or assuming that she has another opinion.

HARLOW: And Kate, let me read part of this response, right, that you got. Quote, from her spokeswoman, "It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation." She would be open to visiting the promise school in Akron. I mean, it's not just about supporting the work being done. She's open to going.

BENNETT: Exactly. And I think, you know, whether or not the president is on her side or approves it, she will go if she is invited. This is, again, a first lady who will likely act on her own. We'll see.

HARLOW: Kate Bennett, thank you for being here as always. Good to see what's happening for those kids in Akron.

All right, thanks for being with me today. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. I will see you here tomorrow morning at this hour. Kate Bolduan starts now.