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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Biden Eases Post-Debate Democratic Defection Crisis, But Many Lawmakers Vent Fears He Can't Defeat Trump; Cook Report: 6 States Move Toward Trump In Electoral College Partners; Dem. Rep. Sherrill Calls On Biden To Drop Out Of 2024 Race; Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) Discusses About The Call On President Joe Biden To Drop Out Of The Race; Trump Making First Publican Appearance In Miami; Latest On Donald Trump's VP Pick; Trump Attacks Biden And Harris At Florida Rally; CNN Investigation On Airbnb's Across The Country; Deputy U.S. Marshal Shot Teenager Trying To Carjack Him. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 09, 2024 - 20:00   ET



MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Air Force says its continued message here is deterrence. And with this aircraft, power.


VALERIO: So when the cannon starts to open fire, the tail where I'm standing recoils a full six feet way. You know your heart really skips a beat, when this all starts to happen. And the entire plane, feels it.


VALERIO (voice over): The Ghost Rider, just one piece of the U.S.- Korean strategic symphony as the tempo of these exercises continues and North Korea watches across the horizon. Mike Valerio, CNN, Osan Air Base, South Korea.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And our thanks to Mike Valerio for that report. And thanks, of course, to all of you for being with us. AC360 starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, as more congressional Democrats fall in line and senators show support, is the Democratic revolt against Biden done?

Also, Trump back on the trail, what he is saying about Biden's choice and how he claims it may impact who he picks to be his vice president.

Also ahead tonight, hidden cameras at Airbnbs across the country, watching even people's most intimate moments. A six-month CNN investigation uncovers how the company fails to protect guests and keeps this prying concern out of the public eye.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

There's a lot to get to tonight. We begin at the close of what was billed as a politically make-or-break day for the President. When he got through with only a single new Democratic lawmaker publicly calling for him to end his campaign, a day that ended with remarks welcoming NATO leaders, which though he read them off a teleprompter, gave doubters of his candidacy and competency little in the way of fresh ammunition.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our friends, it's good that we're stronger than ever. Ukraine can and will stop Putin, especially with our full collective support. They have our full support. Americans, they know we're stronger with our friends and we understand this is a sacred obligation.


COOPER: The President awarded NATO's outgoing secretary general the Presidential Medal of Freedom and announced plans to send additional air defenses to Ukraine. It was, by all appearances, a perfectly ordinary moment for a president, except that it comes nearly two weeks into a crisis for the campaign and just a few hours after House and Senate Democrats met behind closed doors to discuss his future at the top of the ticket.

What seems to have emerged is a public show of support from the leadership.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): As I've said before, I'm with Joe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Sen. Schumer ...

SCHUMER: Thank you, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... doesn't it leave Democrats in a difficult position?


COOPER: Senate Majority Leader Schumer today, a source with knowledge of his meeting with members, tells CNN he's set to bring any concerns they have about the President to the White House. House Democratic Leader, Hakeem Jeffries is also publicly on board with the President.

And for the most part, the majority of Democrats tonight seem to have moved toward a kind of acceptance that, however enthusiastic or uneasy they may be about it, this is who they've chosen to take on Donald Trump.


REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): President Biden has already won the nomination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, President Biden is surely our nominee. REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): At this point, he's the best candidate.

He's the only candidate.


COOPER: With that said, there are challenges. Just tonight, the influential Cook Political Report moved six key states closer to the former president in their Electoral College forecast. Two days from now, President Biden will face reporters in a free-form press conference. And as our next guest, James Carville, wrote in The New York Times, he doesn't think the dam which held today can hold forever.

Quoting now, "Mark my words," Carville said, "Joe Biden is going to be out of the 2024 presidential race whether he's ready to admit it or not."

James Carville joins us along with CNN Political Commentator Jamal Simmons, who served as deputy assistant to President Biden and communications director to Vice President Harris.

James, do you stand still by what you said or do you think President Biden has survived this crisis?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I mean, you know, six - Cook - moved six states away from Democrats. I watch some of these press conferences and it reminds me of a book that made me read in college called "Ship of Fools," a bunch of desperate people sailing into disaster.

And you know, I just think that cowards have never beat criminals in a war yet. And the way that you beat criminals is not to be cowards, it's to take it directly home. There's nothing that I see that remotely changes my mind or changes what I think about where we are.

COOPER: But do you believe he - I mean, what - that - what you said, though, is different than what you said in that - you said he's going to drop out. What you're saying is you seem now resigned to or upset about that, basically, they have capitulated.


CARVILLE: No, I don't. And I think like Sen. Patty Murray, who's been in the Senate for over 30 years, and the fact that she's came out and said this speaks volumes as opposed to what people say in front of a camera. So I still think I'll stand by my thing that he won't run. But if he does, we're just making a idiotic choice for the future of our country and I can't help but believe that. And I, you know, the proof is in the pudding. They're moving states away from us. We're losing. We're not winning. And when we lose, America loses. It's that simple.

COOPER: Jamal, I mean, James talks about the Cook Political Report moving six states toward Trump after the debate. Do you take that as a terrible sign?

JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's not great. Anderson, it's really not great. Listen, the Democrats right now are like in a field of kerosene with a bunch of dandelions made of matches, right? In every direction we turn, a fire could break out, whether we keep President Biden or we don't keep President Biden and we go with a new candidate.

So I think what we're seeing now is a bunch of Democrats who are deciding they're going to just stay with the horse that's already on the track, and they're going to try to ride that horse and see how far it goes. I'm also hearing from some Democrats that they're a little nervous that we're trading a problem today for what could be a bigger problem tomorrow and a harder problem to solve tomorrow.

So just because people are out in public doesn't mean that everybody's already on board. I think people are waiting to see if there are any more shoes that are going to drop in this before they get completely on board with the candidacy.

COOPER: Well, James, Jamal, obviously it raises a very good point, which is one you have talked about. I mean, if, you know, find he can talk on a teleprompter, his critics will say, but what happens a month from now or two months from now if there is a huge, you know, if there's another debate like performance?

CARVILLE: Well, first of all, Jamal is a very astute and sharp commentator. And so you get through one teleprompter performance, what are you going to do on September 10th when there's another debate schedule? What are you going to do - you know, he couldn't meet with the German chancellor because he had to go to bed when he was at the NATO conference.

I just - Anderson, I just think, you know, you're right, is there a risk in trying to change directions? Of course, there's risk with everything. But with risk comes hope and, right now, we have always been a party of hope, you know, hope and a place called hope and dealer - a leader in hope, and I have a dream and keep hope alive.

And I don't see any hope in a Democratic Party right now. I see a lot of fear and a lot of, well, if we try something different, we end up in a ditch. Well, we already in a ditch. We ought to try to get out of it as opposed to trying to drive in it.

But I agree with everything that everybody says. I think we got to have a change. I just genuinely do.

SIMMONS: You know, Anderson ...

COOPER: Jamal, you know, we just heard some of the kind of - go ahead, Jamal.

SIMMONS: Well, no, I think James makes some interesting points. I do think the President has gotten better over the last week. You know, that event he did in North Carolina was a good event. Obviously, he did the conversation with George Stephanopoulos. I still want to make sure the President has actually watched the debate. I feel like that's kind of entry stakes to having the conversation. The President needs to watch the debate so he can actually know (INAUDIBLE) ... COOPER: Well, again, and he told George Stephanopoulos he wasn't sure

if he had watched it or not. I mean ...

SIMMONS: Yes. That was not the best moment. But the President is getting back to talking about Project 2025 and what's happening with the Republicans. Here's what we know, much like what happened in France this week, there is a anti-MAGA majority that exists in the country. It existed in 2018, 2020, 2022 and now I think in 2024. The President has to mount a consistent campaign where he's showing people what he can do and then I think that majority we're betting is going to show up again in 2024. If we can do that, then I think we can save the country.

And I think the President has been on a path to showing people he can do it. But it's going to be a consistent effort. It's not a question, I think, that is going to get answered. This is one of these questions that's going to be with us all the way into November or as long as the President is the nominee.

COOPER: Yes. And, you know, James, that idea of, you know, that there's this anti-MAGA, you know, enough anti-Trump people out there who will just vote for the Biden-Harris ticket because they are anti- Trump, despite any concerns that they have. Do you believe that that is large enough?

Because I mean, there was - prior to the debate, I seem to recall a lot of discussion about the need for all these independent voters and all these people who may be on the fence or may be thinking about third party candidates. If there is not a true heartfelt enthusiasm for a candidate and it's just I'm fearful of this other candidate, does that lead to a lot of people staying on the couch or just kind of thinking, well, why am I going to get a babysitter this day to go vote?


CARVILLE: Again, I congratulate Jamal. He's a sharp commentator. There is an anti MAGA majority in this country, but I see - I saw Senate polls today. I saw polls in Wisconsin where Tammy Baldwin's up five and Trump is down six. I see the same thing in Nevada. I see the same thing in Arizona, Montana, Pennsylvania, Ohio.

I think people want to vote Democratic. They want to vote a change. They're asking for a simple thing. Let's give them change. If we give them change and we give them something fresh, we'll get 54 percent. We'll have - we'll keep a Senate majority, we'll win the House back.

But we're trying to talk people out of doing something that they want. We're trying to talk people that you really don't want change and they really do. And yes - and if - we might win anyway, because maybe, you know, if you look at France or you look at Britain, but that's a big risk we take and people are asking for something simple, something different. Give it to them. They're not asking for anything hard. That's what I think.

COOPER: Jamal, we just ... CARVILLE: But yes, there are a majority of people that don't want to

vote MAGA, true.

COOPER: Jamal, we just heard some of the lukewarm support for Biden from congressional Democrats. I also want to play something that Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver said today.


REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): Well, I've come to the final conclusion that President Biden is not ready to be rolled into an old folks home, if that's not an insult.


COOPER: I mean, again, that's not, you know, if - that's - I'm not sure - while Democrats - you know, he's publicly supporting Biden. That's not a message that's exactly, again, going to drive people to the polls.

SIMMONS: It's not. You know, here's where James is right, too. You know, I kind of learned some of this stuff working for James and Paul Begala back in - the day when I was on the Clinton campaign. Hope is important. I mean, Barack Obama had the famous line, there's never been anything false about hope.

So one of the things I want to hear the President and the Vice President talk more about is what we're going to do to help make the country better for everybody on January 21st. It's not just about being against Trump. I think people have the case against Trump. I want them to give people a really crisp three-point, you know, one big message - three points.

Here's what we're going to do to make your life better. I think right now we've got 10 or 12 points about what they want to do. That's too many. People aren't going to be able to digest that. And especially now when things have gotten so tense because of what happened with President Biden, I think we've got to get a very crisp, clear message about how the Democrats are going to improve the world if we beat Trump.

COOPER: James, I just want to ask you one last question, which is I'm wondering, what do you say to Democrats who I'm hearing from and I'm sure you are - I don't know if you check your, you know, messages, but I'm sure you are hearing from who say, how dare you are even talking about this because you should be talking about how bad Trump is and you should not be doing something that weakens Biden.

Obviously, in my case, you know, I believe it's my job as a journalist to talk about what is true and what's not true and what we are all seeing and not be taking - not - you know, it's not my job to be supporting a particular candidate. What do you say, though, to Democrats about what you are saying? I'm sure you hear this.

CARVILLE: I completely understand where you're coming from. I thought about this for a long time. I'm very comfortable with where I am. I'm very comfortable with what I'm saying and I understand that many people who were friends of mine are, you know, not very pleased with me and think I should just fall in line and not try anything I could to do that and I just cannot get there and I'm not very likely to get there.

But trust me, Anderson, trust me, Jamal, I've thought about this and agonized over it and I don't know, prayed over it, but I think that the country wants a change and I think the Democratic Party from 1932 to 2022 is the greatest political party in Western democracy. And I was always been very proud to be a member of it, but when people demanded change as they have numerous times in our history, we've given what they've demanded. We've given them change. Well, let's give it to them again. Let's do it. That's why I have (INAUDIBLE) ...

COOPER: James Carville ...

CARVILLE: ... I've not taken this situation lightly, thank you.

COOPER: James Carville, Jamal Simmons, thank you.

Next, one of the Democratic lawmakers who has been taking part in the debate over President Biden's political future and The New Yorkers' David Remnick, who calls the President staying the race, in his words, an act not only of self-delusion, but of national endangerment. I'll talk to him about how he feels now.

And later, what a six-month-long CNN investigation reveals about hidden cameras watching guests at Airbnbs across the country and how far the company goes to keep it all quiet.



COOPER: Despite Democratic support for President Biden, largely holding firm today, there was another defection. She's New Jersey Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, who put out a statement after today's caucus meeting, which reads in part, "Because I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I'm asking that he declare that he wouldn't run for re-election and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee."

Joining us now is Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Biden- Harris National Campaign co-chair.

Congresswoman, appreciate you joining us. You heard what the Congresswoman there said. What - she was the only new voice in Congress saying that publicly. What we did hear today was several of your colleagues offering what seemed to be, I don't know if lukewarm support is the right term, but support for the President, saying not to step down, but saying he's already the nominee and that's the reality.

Does it worry you that lack of enthusiasm is also widespread among independents and many other voters who might not vote at all?


REP. LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER (D-DE): Well, first of all, Anderson, thank you so much for having me back on your show. As you stated earlier, our Democratic caucus had a meeting this morning and it was a very powerful meeting and it demonstrated, first of all, the diversity of our caucus. I mean, we literally represent all of the country and all of the demographics.

And what came out of that meeting was how united we are in our love for this country, how united we are in our desire to uplift and have all Americans thrive and our unity in making sure that Donald Trump is not the next president of the United States. And so we walked out of there unified.

And what you can also take away from our meeting was that the majority, and I say the overwhelming majority of our caucus, is behind this president and this vice president who has done transformational things for our country. And so, you know ...

COOPER: But many ...

BLUNT ROCHESTER: ... the question of - am I worried?

COOPER: But many of those who were saying ...

BLUNT ROCHESTER: I just got to say this one thing, because you use the word worry and it's the word that I - the past 24 hours - had been saying to myself that we have got to, as a country, move from worry to work so that we can win. And so today was a very important meeting for us to be thoughtful, for us to share our thoughts and again, we walked out of there knowing that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee for our party and has accomplished incredible things and that there is more yet to be done.

COOPER: So, you've obviously seen the polls, this Cook Report, I mean, a number of swing states now are - seem to be - and again, polls can be wrong, but seem to be certainly in the former president's favor. How do you - I mean, you talk about work, I understand that, and there are a lot of diehard Democrats who are going to vote for President Biden. But there are a lot of people who, you know, the debate was supposed to influence. That's why the campaign wanted a debate so early. They wanted to get all those people who, you know, Republicans who would - might vote for Biden or people on the fence or people might go for third party.

If there are many members of Congress who are kind of just shrugging and saying, yes, he's the nominee, he's our guy but not fully enthusiastic, why should voters be?

BLUNT ROCHESTER: You know, it's interesting because I feel like there's a disconnect between the narrative that we hear and what so many of us are seeing on the ground.

I mean, just this past week for Fourth of July, I traveled up and down the state. I represent the whole state of Delaware, so all three counties and doing parades and a whole host of things. And people came up to me and said, tell Joe we've got his back. Beyond that, some members of the Congressional Black Caucus were at the Essence Festival for Culture in New Orleans this week. We have been across the country and what we are hearing is different than what we hear as the narrative.

And, you know, the big concern is that for every minute, every second that we're focusing on this narrative, we are putting our country at risk of another term of Donald Trump. I've served under both presidents and so I know the differences and I know the contrast. And the reality is with Project 2025 out there, I was thinking about the touches to each of our lives and what a difference a Biden-Harris administration has made for our country.

COOPER: Right.

BLUNT ROCHESTER: And what the Trump administration has made. And I can tell you, I even think about my mom ...


BLUNT ROCHESTER: ... who today is her birthday, Medicare, Social Security could be gutted, a national abortion ban, you've got Joe Biden fighting for our reproductive freedoms and for our rights creating 15 million jobs, providing a cap on prescription drug prices and capping - providing $35 ...


BLUNT ROCHESTER: ... insulin for our seniors. And so the choice is real and serious and so we're excited about this campaign. We never thought it would be easy. We knew the first one wasn't easy.


BLUNT ROCHESTER: We didn't think it would be easy. But at this moment, we need to keep our eyes on the prize and focus on the American people.

COOPER: Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, I really appreciate your time. Thank you and happy birthday to your mom as well.


COOPER: Quite a different view now from David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker whose recent piece on the subject published shortly after the debate has headlined: The Reckoning of Joe Biden. For the President to insist on remaining the Democratic nominee - Democratic candidate, he wrote, would be an act not only of self-delusion but of national endangerment.

David, have you seen anything that has happened in the last days since you wrote that piece to change your mind, because it does seem we've now seen a number of - you know, the dam seems to have held and now people, members of Congress who did say he should step down are now saying - shrugging and saying he's the guy.


DAVID REMNICK, EDITOR, THE NEW YORKER: Well, here's where I agree with the Congresswoman. I believe that Donald Trump is an American tragedy and a true threat to democracy and it will only get worse in a second term. Joe Biden is absolutely right about what the stakes of this election are.

However, I think we're in a state of denialism and what I think we've seen today is an act of collective denialism about this election and where Joe Biden is now. Elections are about not the past and his achievements which are considerable and we've written about them endlessly, but they're about the future.

And unfortunately and it was deeply unfortunate that Joe Biden in front of 10s of millions of people at a debate revealed that his - not that he had a bad night, but it confirmed suspicions that people have been having for quite a long time well-founded and from very well- meaning people, and it was an absolute disaster. And we are in a state of denialism if we continue to dismiss the effect on the polls.

This election, as we know, is not just about Democratic diehards and people who are going to vote for Joe Biden no matter what. It's about small margins of voters in six swing states, first of all, and we're seeing those polls being extremely negative where Joe Biden is concern and that is extraordinarily dangerous.

And so if we care about, and I know we all do, about this country, we cannot make these decisions in a state of denialism. And what we've seen today and I don't know where it'll go the rest of the week is a kind of frozen situation of collective action. I don't doubt the sincerity of the Congresswoman or anybody who feels that way.

But to watch that debate and to think that there aren't going to be more moments like this ahead is to ignore time, it's to ignore the cruelties of biology and reality. We've all experienced it with our parents or grandparents and the problem is - what's at stake here is not just your father's or your mother's ability to drive anymore or to do effective work and you have to have hard conversations with them. It's about - it's not about Joe Biden, it's about this country, it's about this future, it's about the future of democracy.

And if we continue to ignore this, I fear that we are in a state of denial and that we'll head toward November and again, I'm not in the prediction business, but the outcome could be miserable.

COOPER: Yes. The argument or the gamble I guess that is being made is there are enough people who don't like Donald Trump who are going to vote regardless of any doubts they have if it's a binary choice which ...

REMNICK: Absolutely.

COOPER: ... it's not because there are third party candidates, but they are going to vote because they have no other choice against Donald Trump come what may. And to your point ...


COOPER: ... it's not a nationwide election, it is in - it's in these battleground states where Joe Biden won by 20,000 some odd votes in Wisconsin in same - you know, very slim margins ...

REMNICK: I agree.

COOPER: ... is going to make the difference, yes. Do you believe that gamble is a fool's gamble?

REMNICK: I think - it's - the difference has already showed up, I don't - has already shown itself up and I don't think it's a gamble that we want to take. But it's Joe Biden's decision as we've seen.

You know, people on the Democratic side for years have wondered how people who are supporters of Donald Trump can look at him and see somebody who has lies like he does, says awful racist, malevolent things, acts in a malevolent way, seems to care about nobody but himself and they wonder how is it possible to be in such a state of denial that you vote for him anyway, that you vote for him anyway, that you support him no matter what.

This is an incredible quandary for people on the Democratic side. But now what we're seeing is a lot of people on the Democratic side in a state of denial themselves and you have to wonder why. I understand why Joe Biden wants to stay in this. I understand his biography and he's, you know, he's fallen down before and he's dusted himself off in that whole narrative. But again it is not about his personal drama with all due respect it is about you, it's about me, it's about a country of over 300 million people and our future as a liberal democracy.

Do we want to put that at risk so easily, that's my question.


COOPER: David Remnick, thank you for your time. Coming up, while some Democrats want more unscripted moments from President Biden post- debate, his opponent, the former president, is making his very first public appearance since the day after the debate in Miami tonight. The latest on his VP pick and more next.

Also seen an investigation on Airbnbs across the country and hidden cameras in some of them.


COOPER: At this moment, Former President Trump is addressing a crowd of supporters at his Doral Golf Club in Miami. It's his first public event since the day after the CNN debate 12 days ago. Apart from several phone interviews, he's often been playing golf at another of his clubs in New Jersey. This is what he said moments ago about Biden's candidacy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You never talk about a victory was so absolute that Joe's own party now wants him to throw in the towel and surrender the presidency after a single 90-minute performance. They want crooked Joe out of the race. It's a shame the way they're treating him.



COOPER: Kristen Holmes is following the former president in Miami tonight. What more has he been saying so far about it?

KIRSTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the most interesting thing he's been doing tonight is really going after Vice President Kamala Harris. This obviously is notable given what we are hearing about the calls for Joe Biden to step aside and the fact that his campaign, as we know, has been calculating what exactly that would mean for the rest of his campaign until November. What happens if Kamala Harris is at the top of the ticket?

I want to read to you exactly what he said because he just said it moments ago, so we haven't been able to cut that sound yet, but he says, whatever else can be said about crooked Joe Biden, you have to give him credit for one brilliant decision, picking Kamala Harris as his vice president was the greatest insurance policy of all time. If Joe had picked someone even halfway competent, they would have bounced him from his office years ago.

The reason why this, again, is so notable is, one, Donald Trump and his team have really spent almost no time talking about Vice President Kamala Harris at all. So, they are clearly monitoring this situation very carefully.

Now, they have told me that they have spent millions of dollars in modeling and gathering data to go after President Joe Biden. They have not switch their -- they have not flipped their switch yet to go after Kamala Harris, to look into that data because they are waiting to see what exactly happened.

Now, the other thing, tonight, one thing we didn't hear was any sort of announcement for vice president. Interestingly, he made a very brief comment about Marco Rubio, saying he believes that all of the media here is because they think that they're -- he's -- they're going to announce -- or he's going to announce Marco Rubio as vice president. But then, quickly moved on.

The campaign had been teasing when he's going to announce, but we are still are no closer to his actual announcement. Obviously, as we have reported, he has to make that decision by next Monday. They had said it could come as late as Monday morning. But Senator Marco Rubio, he was here. He spoke. His whole family was here. This is his hometown. Yet, only that brief reference to him in the crowd and then moved on.

COOPER: Kristen Holmes, thanks very much. Perspective now from New York Times Senior Political Correspondent Maggie Haberman and Former Trump White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin. So, Maggie, do you think Donald Trump -- I mean, does he want to run against Biden?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I do. I think that they -- I think the idea of not having Biden in the race has been of concern to a number of Trump advisers, whether they would say that or not, I think is openly is a different issue.

I think that, you know, they know what a race against Joe Biden looks like, or think they do, and they felt, obviously, very good about what happened in the debate. You know, a change in that would potentially impact their calculus for what the next four months look like. So, the fact that President Biden is digging in and telling his critics in the Democratic Party that he's not going anywhere is something that the Trump team is delighting in.

COOPER: Alyssa, do you think there will be another debate?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm skeptical. I do think it was a smart and expected tactic from Donald Trump to try to goad Biden into another debate. I don't think that there's anyone left, right, and center who thinks another debate would benefit Joe Biden.

But I think that if it ends up being that in come September, it's Trump versus Biden, I don't think that there's a reason that Donald Trump would show up, and especially with the commanding lead he has in the polls. I mean, just to put this in perspective, this is the best week and a half Donald Trump has had since he was elected in 2016. The immunity ruling from the Supreme Court, the GOP lining up behind him ahead of the convention, and Joe Biden falling apart in the Democratic Party, frankly, in shambles with the latest polling that we've seen and questions over if he can stick this out.

But what I do think is important is, Donald Trump wants to run against Joe Biden. He sees that he will win, there's a chance he will sweep at a greater level than he previously has. They are nervous of another candidate, despite what he might convey. Even someone younger like Kamala Harris with vulnerabilities she has, that he would be fearful of a change in the candidacy.

COOPER: Maggie, in terms of the search for vice president, the former president has claimed that he may not announce -- you know, it was expected he might announce sooner, that he may not -- depending on what happens with -- it may change depending on what happens to the Democrats. How much of that do you think is true? How much of it is him wanting to try to build suspense and perhaps do something at the convention that he thinks will be dramatic?

HABERMAN: I mean, look, it's impossible to know with Donald Trump exactly where his mind is with something like this, Anderson. I often think back to what happened in 2016 when he had literally offered it to Mike Pence and then still was on the phone with Chris Christie saying, I haven't made up my mind. And then going on air, on a cable show to say he hadn't made up his mind, even as Pence was preparing to come to New York for a press conference. So, Trump will always leave these things up in the air until, you know, the last possible second that he can.


Will he wait until Monday? Maybe. You know, he has a rally on Saturday which would seem like a pretty likely place where he might do it. But, I think we all learned a very long time ago, it's a fool's errand to try to nail down what he is going to do before he does it, because he will then do the opposite just out of spite.

COOPER: Yes, I mean Alyssa, Senator Rubio is appearing with the former president as we heard. I mean, does that indicate anything to you?

GRIFFIN: I wouldn't make too much of it. The president's son, Don Jr., has been extremely critical of Rubio and has tried to frame sort of a conspiracy theory that he would try to plot to overthrow Trump when in office and take control.

So, there's major detractors for Rubio. But there are pros. Of course, if there's a change in the race and you're running against someone like a vice president, Kamala Harris, the first black woman running for president, having a Latino on the ticket might be an important factor. I think that he -- I -- well, it's said that it's decided who he -- by Trump, who he's going to be choosing. He's somebody, to Maggie's point, who may change his mind up into the last minute. And there are little fiefdoms around him who are pushing for different folks. I think Burgum is the favorite at this point, but you never know when it comes to Donald Trump.

COOPER: Maggie, do you think Burgum is the favorite at this point?

HABERMAN: I don't, but that doesn't mean he isn't. I mean, you know, I don't know that Donald Trump has a favorite, right? I mean, I think that he has a bunch of options, none of whom are perfect. You know, this is different than 2016 when this was all novel and when he needed Mike Pence to help him solidify evangelical support.

Trump controls the party at this point. So, what he needs is very different and what he might want in a vice president is very different. I mean, Donald Trump is a chemistry player. I've said this to a number of people recently. He did have chemistry with Mike Pence. He has a lot of chemistry with J. D. Vance. I don't know about his levels of chemistry with Doug Burgum. They have a fairly recent relationship. You know, his history with Marco Rubio has never been suggestive of great chemistry. But what exactly is going to be the deciding factor that Trump is making up his mind on? It's only he knows.

COOPER: Maggie Haberman, Alyssa Farah Griffin, thank you. Still to come tonight, a CNN special investigation of just how big Airbnb's hidden camera problem may be.



COOPER: Now, to a new scene and investigation of Airbnb. The popular vacation rental company that boasts millions of hosts but has not stopped guests from ending up on hidden cameras inside a number of rentals which have recorded them in their most private moments. Kyung Lah has the exclusive report.


CHLOE LEBRUMENT, FOUND A HIDDEN CAMERA IN AN AIRBNB RENTAL: It was just like holy cra, this is a camera.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But it didn't look like a camera It was a phone charger Chloe LeBrument's fiance had grabbed it from the bedroom wall of their Airbnb thinking it was hers.

LEBRUMENT: The Airbnb host had called us on the phone and told us that we had taken a charger that did not belong to us and that we needed to return it immediately.

LAH: At what point did you think this isn't really a charger?

LEBRUMENT: He became increasingly paranoid. When am I getting this charger back? I think it was like a light bulb moment that we all just went, oh, my goodness is this a hidden camera?

LAH (voice-over): Across North America police have seized thousands of images from hidden cameras at Airbnb rentals, including people's most intimate moments.

LAH: What happened when you realized that there was a camera in that charger?

LEBRUMENT: It's so eerie and so creepy. Then your brain starts thinking, what did they see? What happened while we were in that room?

LAH (voice-over): In a small town in Maine a couple found a hidden camera at their Airbnb. Listen to what the host told police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, they had sex.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you recorded that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took some screenshots.

LAH (voice-over): The host admits he set up a camera hidden in this clock next to the bed to record unsuspecting guests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, there are there's stuff of a couple -- of couples playing around or getting changed. So --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So, there's pictures of people that are in intimate situations?



LAH (voice-over): It's more than just a few reported cases and Airbnb knows it's a problem. In this deposition reviewed by CNN, an Airbnb rep. said 35,000 customer support tickets about security cameras or recording devices had been documented over a decade. Airbnb told CNN a single complaint can involve multiple tickets. And a CNN investigation found Airbnb not only fails to protect its guests it works to keep complaints out of the courts and away from the public.

LAH: Why don't we know about this?

BELKIS PLATA, REPRESENTED CLIENTS WITH CLAIMS AGAINST AIRBNB: They are trying to keep it secretive. And if everyone knew what was happening, they would not be using their website.

SHANNON SCHOTT, REPRESENTED CLIENTS WITH CLAIMS AGAINST AIRBNB: Airbnb wants to wash their hands clean when they have a host who does something illegal or suspicious. They want to say, we are simply a website. We are not responsible for this host. We are not responsible for this property.

LAH (voice-over): Florida attorneys Belkis Plata and Shannon Schott say trying to sue Airbnb if something goes wrong is extremely difficult. It begins when you sign up on Airbnb's website and click agree to its terms of service, you're agreeing to assume all risk.

PLATA: The person going to rent the property agrees that if something happens while they're staying at this accommodation, they're actually prohibited from suing Airbnb. They must go a different route, which is a binding arbitration. It's a way to strong arm someone.

LAH: Is this about controlling publicity?

SCHOTT: 100 percent.

PLATA: Absolutely.


LAH (voice-over): Once they've settled a claim, Airbnb has required guests to sign confidentiality agreements, which CNN obtained, that keep some details of legal cases private.

PLATA: For you to get the check, you must sign the piece of paper, so that no one will know, this will be swept under the rug.

LAH (voice-over): That's exactly what happened to this man.

LAH: How did you feel signing that confidentiality agreement?


LAH (voice-over): This man asked us not to show his face, and we've masked his voice. He and his wife were recorded during a romantic getaway. AIRBNB GUEST: They had intimate footage of my wife and I. The sexual union between two people is sacred. It felt like an extreme violation of our marriage. It's devastating. It's a travesty.

LAH (voice-over): It's a case and others, CNN found that Airbnb does not contact law enforcement once hidden cameras are discovered, even if children are involved. Recording someone without their consent is illegal in every state.

AIRBNB GUEST: If people are out sharing their stories of they were victimized through the services of Airbnb, nobody's going to want to trust them.

LAH (voice-over): This man only found out he and his wife were recorded because police called him months later after another guest found the camera.

AIRBNB GUEST: And they explained that every single room in the house had cameras.

LAH: Every room?

AIRBNB GUEST: The cameras were hidden in smoke detectors.

LAH: Part of the challenge is that the technology has gotten so advanced. These cameras are so small that you can't even see them. In this one bedroom, we have put multiple cameras all around and they're hidden in plain sights. This one is in the smoke alarm, an alarm clock, and even an outlet. And some of them like this one, I can control remotely on my phone. And even livestream.

What would you like to tell Airbnb?

AIRBNB GUEST: I'm not doing their due diligence. They're harming families and they're selfishly making a lot of money while doing that.

LAH (voice-over): Airbnb declined an interview for this story but told CNN, incidents of hidden cameras are exceptionally rare. And when we do receive an allegation we take appropriate swift action, which could include removing hosts and listings. Airbnb's trust and safety policies lead the vacation rental industry.


COOPER: Kyung Lah joins us now. So, you said Airbnb does not notify police if a hidden camera is found. What exactly do they do?

LAH (on camera): Well, Airbnb says that it has a law enforcement response team that will support police in these sorts of cases. And the company says what it also does, though, is that it often notifies the host if a hidden camera is found, and that can backfire because that will allow a potential suspect to delete and destroy evidence.

We should point out, Anderson, that since CNN began reporting out this story, there was a new policy put in place by Airbnb and that essentially banned indoor cameras inside its rentals, but it has long been against Airbnb's rules to put cameras inside bedrooms. And as you just saw, that didn't stop some hosts from doing it anyway.

COOPER: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. Coming up next, what we know from federal authorities about a U.S. marshal who shot a suspect who tried to carjack him while he was protecting the home of a Supreme Court justice. That's ahead.



COOPER: Tonight, we've learned of an alleged attempted carjacking that according to a criminal complaint, targeted a member of the security detail for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Federal officials said the incident happened near her Washington, D.C. home last Friday around 1:15 in the morning. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more. So, what do you know about this?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this was actually a very brazen carjacking attempt. So, two members of the U.S. Marshal Service, they were parked outside Justice Sonia Sotomayor's home, like you said, around 1:00 a.m., July 5th. They're part of her protective detail at the time. That's when police say an 18-year-old got out of an already stolen minivan and then attempted to carjack the marshal's unmarked car.

So, the suspect got out. He allegedly pointed a 40-caliber handgun at one of the marshals, and that's when that marshal fired four times at the carjacking suspect, actually striking him in the mouth. Now, the police report says that while the suspect was on the ground, the stolen minivan took off, the suspect was left behind, the marshal actually attempted first aid until an ambulance arrived.

Now, our source -- a source told us that this carjacking, it does appear to be completely random, meaning the suspects likely didn't realize that this was just outside Justice Sotomayor's home nor did they likely realize that they were targeting these U.S. Marshals because, again, their vehicle was unmarked.

And, you know, even though carjackings, they are down overall this year from last year in D.C., there have been a rash of notable carjackings in the past year. This was one last week, and then there was one in November where carjackers attempted to break into an unmarked Secret Service car for agents who were assigned to President Biden's granddaughter, Naomi.

In that case, the Secret Service agents also opened fire to stop the attempted carjacking, Anderson.