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Health Experts Warn This Weekend Could Bring COVID-19 Spikes; Multiple States Order Bars Closed Again As Pandemic Rages; Trump Falls Further Behind Biden in 2020 Polling; New Pentagon Report Concludes Russia Actively Working With Taliban; Supreme Court Could Force Release Of Trump's Financial Records. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 5, 2020 - 18:00   ET

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


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[18:00:00]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for staying with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And we have this just in to CNN. We are following news of a large spike in positive COVID-19 test results today. More than 120 students who attend the University of Washington in Seattle are now infected with the coronavirus, according to the university and the city's public health officials. Almost all of these newly infected people live in the university's fraternity houses.

Washington is one of the many states watching the number of new coronavirus cases shoot up this weekend, 34 states in all, that's most of the country, reporting an uptick in new infections. Despite that somber news, that the curve is not flattening, let alone declining, Americans across the country are celebrating Independence Day this weekend, either by going out or staying in following distance and safety guidelines, or in many cases, not.

President Trump and the first lady playing hosts to one of the nation's biggest holiday gatherings of people, music and fireworks on the National Mall and people who attend were not required to wear a mask but they were able -- they were available to people who wanted one. This as health experts warning the July 4th holiday weekend could trigger even more spikes in coronavirus cases.

And we are hearing new reports of large holiday gatherings with many people not following social distancing guidelines. The videos are eye- popping.

I want to bring in CNN's Polo Sandoval. And, Polo, you've been reporting on these large crowds of partygoers without masks in several Midwestern states this weekend. What more are you learning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, look, Ana, the reality is, even with this warning from officials and this very real concern that we could see a post-holiday increase when the weather is perfect, there are many people who certainly find it very difficult to resist the urge to head outside. Of course, the main issue here is they should be responsible.

We're seeing much of that here in New York's Coney Island, for example. But there are some certain incidents, there certainly are gatherings, they are certainly being in a closer look, including one in particular in Michigan, in the southwest portion of the state, Diamond Lake, this that's been video circulating on social media of a massive party yesterday. You see partygoers there, some clustered together, packed in tightly, dancing in the water.

According to one individual that CNN spoke to, this is basically a party, a yearly party that's organized by residents in and around that lake area for residents in and around that lake area. One local health official is saying, confirming that they were fully aware that this party was going to happen, that they did speak to organizers, they tried to recommend that they try to adhere to some of the recommendations.

But the reality here is that the county, for example, the state, cannot necessarily -- it doesn't fall under jurisdiction when you compare to maybe other situations, like bars, more established locations where they can enforce social distancing measures. So all they can do, really, simply recommend they try to adhere to that.

However, that same local health official telling CNN they are certainly prepared to have their tracers get to work, especially if they is see an increase. But we should point out, it's still soon to tell if that, in fact, happened.

And then you also these other images coming out of Wisconsin, mainly out of Noah's Ark Waterpark know in Delton, Wisconsin. You see many people headed there. We should point out, however, that the manager of that location speaking to CNN, saying that they had implemented a series of measures to present not only employees but their guests as well.

They've been preparing for this already for multiple months with temperature checks, all guests will require to wear masks in some of the more common non-water areas, and also some of those attractions that do not allow for social distancing were simply closed.

So, you have two examples here of some of those events or gathering that we're seeing across the country, certainly not the only ones. Let's not kid ourselves. Of course, across the country, it's very likely people did come together.

But the main recommendation thing we keep hearing from authorities is that they should at least be careful and that's what we're seeing here in Coney Island. Many people are remaining relatively distant here, they are keeping masks those masks on, and, of course, those that don't, city employees are simply handing those out. Ana?

CABRERA: Those videos though are as if there was no pandemic right now. Polo Sandoval, thank you for your reporting.

Now, to Florida, which is, today, reporting nearly 10,000 new infections just one day after that state saw a record single-day high, more than of 11,400 new cases.

[18:05:00]

Boris Sanchez is in Miami Beach for us. Boris, there is now a mask mandate there and the beach was closed for the holiday weekend. What are you seeing?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, earlier today, there was quite a sizable crowd outside this COVID testing center at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Some 1,200 tests were administered. Both people walking up and in their vehicles. The line actually wrap around the block at one point hand. And they'd have to shut down early because there was so much of a demand for tests.

And you're absolutely right about the numbers for Florida. They are record-breaking and they are staggering, another day shy of 10,000 new COVID cases for the Sunshine State. Keep in mind, the first four days of July, Florida is seeing more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases. They saw about 100,000-plus for the entire month of June. And a big part of that chunk of new cases is coming from right here in Miami- Dade County. Almost a quarter of those cases are here in Miami-Dade County.

We actually heard from the mayor of Miami earlier, Francis Suarez. He was talking about people acting as if there, they weren't in the middle of a pandemic and folks ignoring social distancing. He's pointing to that as being a big cause of this surge.

Listen to more of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the end of March, Miami had a remain-at-home order in place which lasted through May 20th. A week later, restaurants were then allowed to reopen, the dine-in customers at 50 percent capacity. Is that what contributed to this?

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R-MIAMI, FL): There's no doubt that the fact that we opened, and the City of Miami was the last city in the entire State of Florida to open. I was criticized for late-of-waiting so long. But there's no doubt that the fact that when we reopened, people started socializing as if the virus didn't even exist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Yes. So the concern again, Ana, is that this 4th of July weekend, so many people are already ignoring social distancing, that we may see a spike after that two-week incubation period and even more numbers in the Sunshine State is already seeing.

Of course, I was able to take a test earlier today. It is easy very easy for folks at home. All you needed here was a government-issued I.D. You've got that uncomfortable second of a swab up your nose, but then you get the results in three to five business days. And we heard one of the organizers here telling folks to try to show up early.

This spot opens up at 9:00 a.m. He says that, by 6:30, there's already a very long line. Ana?

CABRERA: It's good to hear there that testing seems to be available to anybody. I definitely talked to people who've had a hard time getting tested even if when they know of somebody who's been infected with the virus and been in close proximity in other parts of the country.

Boris, we know the GOP Convention is set to take place there in Florida next month. Is it going to be safe?

SANCHEZ: Yes. It's really a wide-open question right now, Ana. If you listen to the FDA commissioner, Stephen Hahn, it seems as though he is waiting to figure out if it's actually possible for the convention to be held in Jacksonville, about eight hours north of here. He essentially said that it is too soon to tell.

That's not exactly what we heard from Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, a week ago today. He was saying that he believes that by the time the convention rolls around in August, the numbers here will be going down.

Also, we should note that Jacksonville actually has a mask mandate in place in all public setting. It will be an interesting image if the president is up there accepting the Republican nomination for a White House in a crowd of people wearing masks. And it's a question as to whether he may even wear a mask oor not if that's the mandate in Jacksonville at the time. Ana?

CABRERA: OK. Boris Sanchez, thank you.

I'm joined now by a Dr. Saju Mathew. He is a primary care physician and a public health specialist.

Dr. Mathew, when you see these videos of large groups at water parks, at a pool party, is this like Memorial Day all over again? And what does this mean for the fight against the virus?

DR. SAJU MATHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Hi, Ana. It's like the similar comment that I made a few weeks ago when you asked me that question, and I would say my response would be, much worse. We are in a dire situation and that mountain just keeps getting steeper and steeper and steeper.

And, look, Ana, you know, I urge all Americans to really look inside and do a little bit of introspection, and ask ourselves, how important is it for us to get back to our normal lives again? How important is it for us to be able to get on the plane and travel and not wear a mask, call a friend up and say, listen, let's go to dinner tonight? That's really important to me.

I'm making a lot of sacrifices. I haven't hugged my parents in four months. And yesterday our July 4th party was in a garage, you know, the garage was open. There was a table in the middle. My parents were nine feet away from me and I was on the other end. We all need to understand that we have to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gain. Otherwise, this will continue to be an uphill battle.

[18:10:00]

And, remember, one last thing is, a virus somewhere is a virus everywhere. Unless we fight this together, we will continue to have restrictions really for a very long time to come, until we get a good, effective vaccine.

CABRERA: There may be a false sense of security among younger people, right, who we are seeing in some of these videos because we still know that, according to the data, the majority of people who are dying from this illness are elderly.

However, we're starting to see this surge in people who are hospitalized because of this virus. So even if they're not dying, they are sick enough to be hospitalized. Arizona reports that 91 percent of its ICU beds are full. Officials in Texas warned hospitals in some cities there are at risk of having a shortage of ICU beds. Today, President Trump's former Homeland Security adviser, Tom Bossert, even warned that some states experiencing surges are going to need more than a mask mandate. Do you agree?

MATHEW: 100 percent. Ana, with the cases being so exponentially high and it keeps growing day-by-day, just as our reporters mentioned from the field, just wearing a mask in and of itself is not going to do it.

Listen, from day one, Ana, we have been behind. We have been trying to play catch-up. We never shut down together at once. Only 50 percent of the U.S. shut down back in March. We opened too quickly. We didn't follow metrics.

But look at all these other countries, South Korea, Europe, that have not only flattened the curve, they're crushing the curve. Look at our neighbor, Canada. They have the same tools that are available to us. And we just need to realize that if we can do this together, we can definitely at least try to what I would say quieten (ph) the virus. And that's exactly all we can do at this point until we get a vaccine.

CABRERA: And last night, President Trump falsely claimed 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are, quote, totally harmless. Of the known cases here in the U.S., the current fatality rate is over 4 percent right now. But let's put that aside for the purpose of this next question, because I just want to know, what are we learning about the long-term effects of this virus?

MATHEW: Not very good things. One of my best friends is an ICU doctor up in Chicago, and he tells me, Ana, about the long-term lung complications. We know that there's a part of this virus that attacks the immunological system and puts it into a hyperactive mode where patients are developing blood clots to the brain. We have patients that are recovering from COVID-19 but are still sick three to four months later. We're talking about young people that are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.

Nobody wants to try to get COVID-19. This is a new virus. And every single day, Ana, we are learning more and more. My friend had to hold a cell phone so that a 40-year-old could say bye to his wife. We need to take this seriously and we should really try to work together to combat this pandemic that's out of control.

CABRERA: Dr. Saju Mathew, thank you for the reality check. Your expertise is so important. Thank you for being here and being a voice for all of us, especially this holiday weekend.

MATHEW: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: stores, dens and hair salons are all being allowed to reopen or stay open in some states even as some governors are ordering bars to shut down. So, are these officials incredibly biased or are bars really that dangerous? I'll leave with you this video and allow experts to explain the reasoning on the other side.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[18:15:00]

CABRERA: In Atlanta, a plea for peace after a deadly holiday weekend gunfire that left three people dead in that city where memories of protests after the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks are fresh. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke moments ago about one killing last night of a girl who was just eight years old, the shooting happening just across the street from the parking lot where brooks was killed.

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MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA, GA: We talked a lot about what we are demanding from our officers and our communities. We protested. We demonstrated. We've been angry. We've cried. We've demanded action.

Well, now we are demanding action for Sequoia Turner and for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks, because the reality is this, these aren't police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta. These are members of the community shooting each other. And in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.

And there were two other people who were actually shot and killed last night and several others. Enough is enough.

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CABRERA: Meantime, in Washington, D.C., the mayor and police have identified the 11-year-old boy killed last night. His name was Davon McNeil. Police have no suspects. But the mayor says there is as $25,000 reward leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Another sign how divided our nation as police in Martinez, California are asking for the public's help in identifying a man and a women seen in this video painting over a Black Lives Matter mural. The Martinez Police chief says, a group of community members got a permit to paint this mural so it was allowed to be there. But once it was finished, a man and woman painted over it while making spiteful comments about racism, slavery and the Black Lives Matter movement, we're told.

[18:20:07]

Anyone with information should contact the Martinez Police Department.

Just in to CNN, the owners or managers of three Montauk, New York, establishments were arrested on Saturday. They are now facing misdemeanor charges following inspections related to coronavirus safety. And this happens as more health expert worry bars could be contributing to the rise in new infections. Brian Todd reports.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A carefree crowd at a bar in Austin, Texas. Many inside not wearing face masks. In Jersey City, this bar was cited twice in one weekend for overcrowded. Police say hundreds of people were inside not wearing masks or social distancing.

At this club in Houston, an owner says, they required patrons to show they had a mask in order to get in and had tables spaced out. But he says customers ignored the rules.

BRET HIGHTOWER, CO-OWNER, SPIRE NIGHTCLUB, HOUSTON: As much as distance as we tried to put everyone based on the guidelines, it's not the facility, it's the people.

TODD: These scenes from recent days have prompted America's top voice on the coronavirus outbreak to issue a strong warning about bars.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Bars really not good, really not good. A congregation in a bar inside is bad news. We really got to stop that.

TODD: In Texas, where a coronavirus spike has surged to alarmingly dangerous levels, Governor Greg Abbott admitted he made a mistake with his state's reopening.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars. Now seeing in the aftermath how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting, and, you know, how a bar setting in reality just doesn't work with a pandemic.

TODD: But Abbott and his state are certainly not alone. Texas is among almost a dozen states, some of them experiencing massive spikes in cases, which have either shut down bars completely or have partially shut them or paused reopenings. Experts say crowded bars alone don't account for the recent spikes, but they say the natural social atmosphere in bars is especially dangerous.

DR. JOHN SWARTZBERG, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, U.C. BERKELEY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Bars are place where people are not wearing masks, places where people aren't social distancing, and after some drinks, of course, you lose your inhibitions and you're even less cautious.

TODD: The doctors we spoke to say there's almost no way to make an indoor bar setting safe during this pandemic. Indoors, they say, especially if there's loud music playing at bar is like a Petri dish for the spread of the virus.

SWARTZBERG: Inside in a bar, if it's noisy, if there's music playing, the ambient noise is going to make you talk louder. When you talk louder, you expel more droplets from your mouth. Those droplets, of course, that contain the virus and infect other people.

TODD: Another part of this so-called perfect storm of infection, experts say, is the average age of many people who go to bars.

DR. JAMES PHILLIPS, PROFESSOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: They feel invincible because they're young. And, quite, frankly, throughout the beginning of this pandemic, it's mostly been messaging about older folks and people with pre-existing health conditions as being vulnerable.

TODD: So, has this pandemic killed the bar scene completely? The medical experts we spoke to don't believe it has. They believe traditional crowded bars will make a comeback. But they say that can't be until we have proven vaccines and herd immunity. And they say that could take another year or so.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: If the election were held today, Joe Biden would be inaugurated in January. That's if the polls are accurate. We're going to dig into the numbers when we return.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[18:25:00]

CABRERA: Welcome back.

President Trump's re-election strategy is in full display think holiday weekend. He's facing an uphill battle going into November's election. Trump is trailing far behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls. The last few months have been especially rough for the White House. The country is in the middle of a pandemic with rising racial tensions and an unemployment rate still in the double digits.

Joining us now is Margaret Hoover, CNN Political Commentator. She's also the host of Firing Line on PBS. Harry Enten is a Senior Writer and Analyst for CNN Politics and Brian Stelter, our Chief Media Correspondent and Anchor of Reliable Sources. Good to have all of you here.

Harry, let's start with you. How far behind is President Trump right now in polls?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: Hello, Ana. Look, we had two polls that came out this week, two national polls from the Pew Research Center in Monmouth University. Both of those polls had him down double digits. Both of those polls had Joe Biden over 50 percent.

And this is something we've seen across the national polls. It's not just one, it's not just two, pretty much all the national polls have Joe Biden up around ten points. And we've seen that in the swing state polling as well with significant leads for the former vice president in states that matter, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

CABRERA: The coronavirus is obviously one of the big issues going into the election. Harry, how do you think or how do Americans think he is handling this crisis?

ENTEN: Poorly. I mean, that's something we have seen going on and on and on. The president's approval rating on the coronavirus has headed southward. And more than that, if you were to look at polling that matches up Biden versus Trump on who do you trust more on the coronavirus, what we see there is that Joe Biden is more trusted by about 10 percentage points. It mirrors his national lead in the polls, right, with Joe Biden about 50 percent on who is trusted more on the coronavirus.

[18:30:00]

And that, I think, is the big issue of this election. If Donald Trump cannot get more Americans to trust him than trust the former vice president on the coronavirus, the poll results you see right now are going to last until election day.

CABRERA: Brian, one of the reasons I really wanted to have you as part of this discussion is because we know news consumption is up sharply since March, suggesting Americans are just paying that much more attention to what the president says or doesn't say, and his actions, or inaction, during this extremely challenging and painful time.

Could that have something to do with the president's drop in the polls?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And that's a pivotal point. Cable news ratings are at an all-time high. People are signing up for newspaper subscriptions, digital newspaper prescriptions by the millions. This is a scary time for Americans so they're paying close attention to the news, and they can tell the president is not trustworthy on this subject.

Harry mentioned Pew Research Center. One of Pew's findings in June was that only three in 10 Americans believe they can really trust what the president or his administration say about the virus. Six out of 10 Americans believe they can trust the CDC and other government agencies. So that's a good thing.

This is really an international outbreak that's happening locally. The pandemic is international, but the outbreaks are happening locally so people are watching and reading local news and what they are hearing does not match up to what the president is saying. So I do think that's a serious factor in his lack of approval right now.

CABRERA: Margaret, what do you think is behind Trump's slump in the polls?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think we have a -- an economic disaster, calamity, that while there have been some optimistic signs in the last few days, surely, you still have tens of millions of people out of work. 25 million people out of work. I think the economy and his fumbled handling of the coronavirus is undoubtedly behind his slump in the polls.

And, look, there was, there's a story that Jared Kushner, and this is not a story, multiple people told me this, had said that President Trump is the only person who can beat President Trump. And what you're seeing here is while in these national polls, there is a lack of enthusiasm for Joe Biden certainly. There is a very large majority, sometimes double digits, of Republicans and Democrats who are both afraid of the future of the country, they are fearful for the future of the country, they do -- they are frightened, they are angry.

And that is American carnage. That is Donald Trump's America. That is not the America that most Americans want or aspire to especially on this holiday weekend.

CABRERA: Harry, obviously, it's early July. So we still have a long way until November. Historically, has an incumbent president come back from a gap this big in the polling at this point?

ENTEN: Yes. I mean, look, you know, yes. We're four months out. But if you were to look since 1972 and look at where all the incumbents who went on to win the election were polling at this point. They were polling in high 40s into the 50s. Right now Donald Trump polling in the low 40s, much more like the losers.

If you were to find one example that might be decent for President Trump you'd have to go all the way back to 1948 and the fact of the matter is if you have to go all the way back to the time at which my mother was born, then you really have to go a far way back.

I love you, Mom, but you were born a long time ago so the fact is there's not really much of a historic analogy in pretty much any of our lifetimes.

CABRERA: The president had an opportunity this weekend to speak to all Americans celebrating the nation's independence. However, this was his message, largely divisive. A tone that has worked for him before by, you know, pointing to immigrants in 2016 in that election, but I mean, here he is this weekend framing fellow Americans as the enemy.

Margaret, do you think this could work for him politically?

HOOVER: Ana, here's what we all need to remember about Donald Trump's campaign strategy. Their strategy has never been a Nixon re-election strategy, we're going to try to win all 50 states. This has always been electoral college strategy from the Trump campaign from the beginning. They know that if they can just get 271 electoral votes they can win. And so this is a divide and conquer strategy.

As long as they can rally their base, energize this base, divide and conquer, that's why you see him picking, no, this weekend where did he go? He went to Mt. Rushmore and what did he do?

He picked a cultural issue that he believes is a winning issue for his base. It doesn't help unify the country. It is not an optimistic vision for the country but it is what he believes will rally his base and keep them motivated because all he needs is 270 votes to win.

CABRERA: Brian, let's talk more about --

HOOVER: Electoral votes.

CABRERA: Let's talk more about the White House messaging, Brian, because Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has only been in her role since April. She's given quite a few press briefings in stark contrast to her predecessor. What is your assessment of the job she's done so far? Have these briefings been good for the administration and have they been good for the American people?

[18:35:02]

STELTER: Well, she's trying to pick fights with the press creating opportunities to attack the media and to that end I suppose it works for the base. For the Trump base. There's virtually no difference between the White House and the Trump campaign now.

The president's speeches this weekend were officially White House events but they looked and sounded like campaign events. But denialism, the kind of denialism you see from Kayleigh McEnany and the president saying that the raging fire of the pandemic are only embers. That kind of denialism does not ultimately win campaigns.

Look at what happened about a month ago when the Trump campaign sent a letter to CNN, a cease and desist letter claiming that somehow we were breaking the law by publishing a poll that showed Biden beating Trump by about 12 points. Well, since then, as Harry noted, a bunch of other polls have also shown Biden with a double-digit advantage.

Denialism is not a winning campaign strategy.

CABRERA: Brian, Margaret, Harry, thank you all. Good to have you with us.

HOOVER: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: President Trump is facing multiple crises right now. Crises. A deadly pandemic, record unemployment and now allegations that at best he failed to read and at worst he ignored intelligence that Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. service members serving overseas.

Our next guest has an incredibly unique perspective on this. Retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc. He served this country for 36 years and has had even a bounty on his head. We'll talk to him, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:36]

CABRERA: Look at this headline from "The New York Times." "New Administration Memo Seeks to Foster Doubts about Suspected Russian Bounties."

Now, this memo was produced in recent days by the office of President Trump's top intelligence official. The memo confirms accounts that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan but it cast the reports as incomplete and potentially dubious. However, the "New York Times" says a number of former National Security officials say the way the memo was written suggests it may have been intended to justify the Trump administration's inaction.

Joining us now is retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Don Bolduc who served in Afghanistan. He was wanted by both the Taliban and al Qaeda. He's also a Republican candidate for the Senate.

And General, thanks so much for taking the time with us. You found out when you were in combat that there was a cash reward for anyone who killed you. Fast-forward to now. How important is it for the U.S. to get to the bottom of these current bounty allegations, their veracity, and whether any American casualties have occurred as a direct result?

DONALD BOLDUC, RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL U.S. ARMY: Well, good evening. You know, tonight, of course it is really important -- really, my main message tonight is that the political divisiveness between the two parties on the bounty issue must stop. This is not a Democrat problem or a Republican problem.

This is an American problem, and I know if I was down range right now in Afghanistan, I would be saying, we must set aside this finger- pointing and bickering and deliver a unified message to the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and any other nation including Russia who wants to do us harm, wants to do our service members harm. They'll pay a huge price and this is what we are as service members and this is what we owe their families.

CABRERA: For just a moment, can you tell us more about your own situation? The bounty on your life and how did you find out about it? How in the world do you even process that?

BOLDUC: Yes. Well, we found out about it while it was -- the first rotation and it was every rotation after that. I did 10 tours in Afghanistan. Total of 66 months there in Afghanistan. Along with all other kinds of special operation force guys who had the same kind of bounties. Both of my brothers had bounties on their heads. So this is part of the operational environment in Afghanistan. And it is part of this unconventional environment.

And we just use our common sense, we use our training, and we, you know, deal with it. And it is -- we usually discover it because we capture somebody and they tell us. We find pocket litter, and we have it translated and it's there, or we intercept it in signals. And we hear it point blank from them. Right? And, you know, that's how it's done.

You know, we have 18 to 21 intelligence organizations, I've lost count now. And if we expect them all to be on the same sheet of music before we decide to do something we're going to be waiting quite a while. This requires leadership. It requires unity.

CABRERA: So do you believe these reports about the bounties recently? Because President Trump calls them a hoax.

BOLDUC: Well, you know, I don't have access to the intelligence, but, you know, nothing would surprise me in this environment. Particularly knowing in my own mind what, you know, not only Russia but China's objectives are in Afghanistan.

And, you know, I mean, they want free reign in there to take over the resources in Afghanistan and they can only do this if the international community gets out of their way. You know, the way to handle this is through diplomatic means directly with Russia and putting out a strong message.

You know, al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban, they get outside support financially. So it's not I would say -- you know, out of the realm of the possible that this is -- that this is happening.

CABRERA: I mentioned earlier that you were running for U.S. Senate as a Republican in the state of New Hampshire.

[18:45:03]

You're the first one to say that you are not a political person but here you are with your hat in the ring during a time when the country is so deeply divided on party lines.

And General, the president is holding a rally in Portsmouth next weekend. Will you be attending and do you support his decision to keep holding these rallies despite the potential threat to public health?

BOLDUC: So I think it's great that the president of the United States is coming to New Hampshire. It just goes to show how important New Hampshire is in this election. And I think it's great for people to see and hear the president.

We, of course, need to take the proper safety precautions. Yes, I will be there, taking the proper safety precautions with everybody else there. And, you know, we're just going to --

CABRERA: Which look like what?

BOLDUC: Well, for me it looks like social distancing. It looks like wearing masks when it is appropriate. And I think that is, you know, what we owe each other in this, you know, in this very, you know, dangerous time of the virus.

And -- but we still have to move this country forward. We still have to get our economy moving forward, and leaders get out and assume risk, and if you're going to be a leader you have to assume risk and you have to get your message out there, and you have to rally the country in moving forward.

CABRERA: Brigadier General Donald Bolduc, thank you for taking the time.

BOLDUC: Thank you very much. Ana, my 5-year-old granddaughter thinks I'm on the air with Ana from "Frozen." So anyways, I didn't disagree with her from that. I want it to look like I was coming on with Ana Cabrera, and she asked me if I was going on with Ana from "Frozen." So anyways, she's out there listening. She's 5 years old. Hurricane Hadley is what I call her. So God bless you and everybody there, and Happy Fourth of July weekend.

CABRERA: Happy Fourth of July. I would like to pretend I'm Princess Ana. My daughter is 4 1/2 and is a big "Frozen" fan as well. She pretends often that I'm Princess Ana.

Good to have you. Thank you, sir.

BOLDUC: Thank you very much.

CABRERA: Coming up, it's a big week for the Supreme Court with a ruling expected on whether the president will be forced to release his financial information including his tax records. That's next.

But first, here's this week the "Before the Bell" with Christine Romans -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Stocks kicked off the third quarter higher after the best quarter in decades. The Nasdaq finished nearly 5 percent higher for the week ending at a record high. Better than expected jobs numbers could help the rally continue. The economy created 4.8 million jobs last month pushing the unemployment rate down to 11.1 percent.

Now the government noting in that jobs report the jobless rate should be really as high as 12.3 percent if all of the people misclassified in the pandemic were counted as unemployed. Americans are facing more uncertainty even as the economy is reopening and the recovery from the coronavirus recession could take as long as a decade. The Congressional Budget Office now estimates the 10-year average unemployment rate will be 6.1 percent.

The CBO notes its forecasters riddled with uncertainty because of the virus itself. This week Wall Street will look to Washington as lawmakers hint at growing momentum to shape another round of stimulus before the August recess.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.

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[18:53:08] CABRERA: Welcome back. More than a year after House committees demanded President Trump's financial records, we could soon know as soon as tomorrow whether the president's bankers or his accountants will finally be forced to cooperate. And House Democrats aren't the only ones demanding to see what the president doesn't want you to see. The Manhattan district attorney is also waiting to hear from the justices.

CNN's Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue is joining us.

Ariane, first lay out what's at issue in both cases.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT CORRESPONDENT: Right. But, you know, Ana, usually at this point, the Supreme Court term would be over. But the justices usually like to end by June. But because of COVID, things are delayed. There are eight cases remaining. And as you said, two of them are two of the biggest cases of the term, it's President Trump and his bid to shield his financial documents from disclosure. The two cases, the first one is brought by the House. And here, Democrats in the House, they're looking into Trump's financial statements, his relationship with foreign actors, maybe some of his lending practices.

So they sent these subpoenas out and President Trump's personal lawyers are fighting back. They say that this is too broad, this is an illegal fishing expedition. But the other case, as you said, is brought by this New York prosecutor and he's actually seeking the actual tax returns. He's looking into alleged hush money and there in that case, Ana, President Trump's personal lawyers are saying that he has broad presidential immunity while he's in office from some of these criminal investigations -- Ana.

CABRERA: Chief Justice John Roberts has been something of a wild card lately, siding with the liberal justices in three major cases in recent weeks. Should the White House be worried?

DE VOGUE: Well, it's true. Those were unexpected victories where John Roberts sided with the liberals. During oral arguments for these two cases, he really seemed to be looking for some kind of a balance.

[18:55:04]

He was rejecting sort of the extreme positions on both sides and that could mean several things. It could mean that he would allow maybe some of the documents to go out or maybe he'd vote with his colleagues to set a new standard and send the whole case back down to the lower court. But he's going to be key, just as he's been key, as you said, in the last few weeks.

CABRERA: What are the rulings could we see from the court this week, Ariane?

DE VOGUE: Right. There's eight, as I said, that are remaining. There's also a big case concerning the electoral college. And of course that's going to come down in the middle of the election campaign. And on top of that, there's a case concerning the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate that has a lot of religious liberty undertones. And we should get that sometime this week.

CABRERA: And with the court close to wrapping up this extraordinary July session, are you starting to hear anything about possible retirements? We know the president is eager to put up more nominees.

DE VOGUE: Yes. At the end of June, every term, there seems to be a float of potential retirements and you've heard the president, he seems to want a vacancy. He brings up the Supreme Court all the time on the campaign trail. But, Ana, I'd say this year the chances of a retirement are pretty slim.

CABRERA: OK. Ariane de Vogue, thank you so much for being here with us, my friend, especially on your birthday. Happy birthday.

(LAUGHTER)

DE VOGUE: Thank you.

CABRERA: I hope you can enjoy it the rest of the evening.

DE VOGUE: Thanks.

CABRERA: Up next, as cases rise in 34 states over the holiday weekend, the president continues to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus saying 99 percent of cases are totally harmless? How are health officials in his own administration responding to that baseless claim?

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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CABRERA: Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.