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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Trump Faces New Charges In Classified Docs Case; GOP Lawmakers Get Questions On New Trump Charges As They Leave Town For August Recess; 13 GOP Presidential Candidates In Iowa For Fundraising Dinner; Afghans Awaiting U.S. Visas Say They're Being Deported From Pakistan Back To The Taliban; Russian Missile Strikes Two Buildings In Dnipro; Price Spike Getting Attention. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired July 28, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: A swift quake.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Yes.
SANCHEZ: That tops the, quote, beast quake of 2011 when Seattle Seahawks fans celebrated a touch down by beast mode running back Marshawn Lynch, that stadium built for noise. And she's just a phenomenon.
SCIUTTO: I thought only your fans shook the planet. It's probably close second.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, there are dozens of us.
SCIUTTO: Ladies and gentlemen, Boris Sanchez.
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: A key witness in the Trump classified documents case now identified.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Who is Trump employee number 4? CNN confirms the name after he allegedly discussed surveillance camera footage on Donald Trump's Mar- a-Lago property. This new identity as the former president faces new charges.
Plus, the political future of Senator Mitch McConnell. What his office is saying today about his freeze this week in front of reporters.
And only on CNN. Terrorized by the Taliban, the desperate plea from Afghans now in hiding two years after the chaotic American withdrawal.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome to THE LEAD, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper.
We start today with our law and justice lead and the chaotic and consequential week for Donald Trump and his growing legal challenges. As the former president and his lawyers waited to see if he would be charged for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, special counsel Jack Smith unveiled more charges in a separate case, the one involving the handling of classified documents. Trump now faces three more charges including two for allegedly trying to destroy surveillance video footage at Mar-a-Lago. And his reaction is probably what you'd expect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: This is harassment. This is election interference.
INTERVIEWER: You've called Jack Smith deranged.
INTERVIEWER: Again, if you're elected president again, is he somebody you would fire?
TRUMP: Well, I wouldn't keep him. Jack Smith, why would I keep him? He's deranged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Today, we're also learning the identity of the person referred to in last night's superseding indictment as Trump employee number 4. Sources say Yuscil Tavares oversaw the surveillance camera footage at the property and at one point, another Trump employee asked Tavares if he could delete the footage as part of a request from, quote, the boss.
CNN's Paula Reid starts off our coverage today with a closer look at these new charges and how investigators say the alleged crimes played out.
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former President Donald Trump facing new legal peril tonight. A Florida grand jury returned a superseding indictment Thursday, adding two charges against Trump for an effort to alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal surveillance footage that is at the heart of the prosecution's case.
Trump reacting in a new interview right after the charges dropped.
TRUMP: It shouldn't even be a case.
REID: Prosecutors also added Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira to the case, charging him with obstruction and lying to the FBI during a January 2023 interview. The indictment describes how de Oliveira told another Mar-a-Lago employee that, quote, the boss wanted the server with the surveillance footage to be deleted. Prosecutors also added one more count against Trump of willful retention of national defense information related to a classified document he showed to visitors at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2021. That meeting was recorded by one of his aides.
TRUMP: These are the papers. This was done by the military, given to me. See as president I could have declassified it, now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret.
AIDE: Now we have a problem.
TRUMP: Isn't that interesting?
REID: CNN has learned that document, a presentation concerning military activity in a foreign country, was actually returned to the Archives in January 2022. Prosecutors will have to prove that document was willfully retained even though it was eventually returned even before Trump received a subpoena.
The former president firing back suggesting he would have Smith fired if he is re-elected.
INTERVIEWER: If you're elected president again, is he somebody you would fire?
TRUMP: Well, I wouldn't keep him. Jack Smith? Why would I keep him? He is deranged.
REID: Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee investigations into Trump after the former president launched his latest bid for the White House.
MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I pointed Mr. Smith I did so because it underscores the Justice Department's commitment to both independence and accountability.
REPORTER: Can you tell us whether you expect to have an indictment this week?
REID: Smith has said little publicly, recently ignoring questions about another Trump indictment related to January 6th.
Trump's lawyers met with Smith and his team Thursday, ahead of an expected indictment in that case --
TRUMP: We're going to walk down to the Capitol.
REID: Amid all the legal peril, concerns, too, about the security at the courts. In Atlanta where Trump may also face charges in the coming weeks, barricades are going up around the courthouse.
REID (on camera): Carlos will make his first court appearance Monday down in Florida, and it's unclear how his addition to the case and these new charges will impact a time line for this all to go to trail. Prosecutors that this should not alter the current schedule of putting this before a jury next May, but former President Trump's legal team have been trying to push any potential trial until after the election. And, Bianna, this is likely another opportunity for them to try to delay this case.
GOLODRYGA: All right, Paula Reid, thank you.
I want to bring in CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller.
John, good to see you.
So walk us through how prosecutors could go about putting together such a detailed time line here. They know about a 24-minute phone call between Trump and de Oliveira, and de Oliveira and Walt Nauta walking through a tunnel where we now know surveillance cameras are located. It really does feel the special counsel's team has gathered a lot more evidence here.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So the special counsel's team is building this piece by piece. So in some cases when they know about a conversation between Walt Nauta, Trump's right-hand valet and assistant and another person, that's because they can see that on Nauta's phone billing and they can see that on the other persons, and they know when they've spoken for how long.
But in other cases, they have text messages going back and forth where they see content unlike where they just see times. And then other cases, they have videotape of boxes being moved, but then remarkably in that June 24th timeline, you have the attorney talks to Trump and says, you know, we're going to turn over these boxes. Trump knows that other boxes have been moved at this point. He talks to Walt Nauta and says, I'm going to Bedminster, you stay behind, and Walt then meet with the head of maintenance to look for this tunnel that leads to where the documents are hidden, and the cameras in the tunnel.
And, you know, they have video of them with flashlights allegedly in the tunnel spotting the cameras. And what's the next thing that happens? They go to the head of I.T. for the Trump Mar-a-Lago resort, and they say, what does it take to delete these videotapes of the boxes being moved and us looking at the cameras and everything else?
Ultimately, it takes more than they thought because the I.T. chief then sends that up to other management people in the Trump Organization to say we're not deleting anything, and that's why it was all turned over pursuant subpoenas.
GOLODRYGA: So we know that Nauta and de Oliveira were in this video, but Trump was not present at Mar-a-Lago when these alleged conversations happened. How do you prove then it was directed by him?
MILLER: It's circumstantial to the extent you have communications between Trump and Walt Nauta that can be documented, you know, phone to phone but you don't have the content of those conversations, but then you have Walt Nauta informing another person these are instructions I got from the boss, who in context would be Donald Trump.
So, some of it is circumstantial. Some of it is direct, but prosecutors are hoping it will all come together in this mesh where it is clear what's going on.
GOLODRYGA: So sources also say that de Oliveira was involved in the pool incident, which we know prosecutors were investigating, and that was when employees drained the resort's swimming pool and ended up flooding a room where computer servers containing surveillance video logs were kept. I'm sure investigators are looking at that now as well.
MILLER: So Trump's Save America Fund has paid a lawyer representing de Oliveira $200,000 as this investigation is going on. And, Bianna, that's before he was charged with any crime. So that indicates that he has been the focus of law enforcement scrutiny throughout this investigation. And I think you could intuit from that he has probably been under pressure through his lawyers to cooperate with the investigation, become a witness.
And I think the superseding indictment naming him as a defendant is a pretty good indication that he's not going that way at least not right now.
GOLODRYGA: The superseding indictment surprising a lot of people as we're awaiting the potential indictment for the president's involvement in January 6th.
John Miller, always great to see you. Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Joining me now is former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman.
Akerman -- Nick, thank you so much for joining us.
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Sure.
GOLODRYGA: So these two new charges the former president faces for allegedly attempting to delete security footage, how serious are they compare today the ones that he was already facing in the case? I mean, both seem to relate to the obstruction of justice here.
AKERMAN: That's right. They're both extremely serious. The first charge relates to obstructing the subpoena that was attempted to get all of the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, but the second one which was the subject of the superseding indictment that was added, relates to the effort to try and delete what was -- the film and the video that recorded what happened in moving around the boxes that obstructed the first subpoena. So, both of these are interrelated. It adds more to the case. It makes
it a stronger case, and if it wasn't beyond a reasonable doubt before, it's beyond, beyond a reasonable doubt that these subjects conspired to obstruct justice.
GOLODRYGA: So obstruction squared, you can identify it as.
AKERMAN: That's right. It's some way to put it.
GOLODRYGA: How do you -- how do you think the judge in this documents case, Judge Aileen Cannon will react to prosecutors just now adding more charges to yet another defendant. I mean, she just recently set the trial date for next May, though most people believe it will happen later. Obviously, the former president wanted it after the election. Prosecutors wanted it in December.
What do you think her reaction is going to be to this?
AKERMAN: I don't think it's going to be a big deal. It's not unusual to have a superseding criminal indictment. It happens all the time. I don't think this is really going to add (AUDIO GAP) here. When she moved it over to May, she was kind of constrained by a couple of things.
First of all, the government didn't push too hard on the December date, basically saying it was aspirational, at the time they must have realized they were going to supersede. They didn't come forward with specific information under the Speedy Trial Act to push for the December date. The judge put it over to May. There's also the March trial date for the case.
So May was probably the reasonable time to place the trial date, but there's a lot of give in there that really provides more than ample time to meet all of the milestones that the judge set forth in her order to make it to May. All this means is that the new defendant has to be arraigned. He's going to appear before the judge this week or next. He's going to plead not guilty and this will just move forward as the case has been moving forward already.
GOLODRYGA: So based on this new indictment, how serious are the charges against this new defendant, Carlos de Oliveira? What defense could his attorney counter with?
AKERMAN: There's not much of a defense here. I mean, he has definitely put himself in the middle of this conspiracy. There are e- mails -- not e-mails but text messages that put him right in the middle of this. He's also lied to the FBI. They've got him on the video showing he actually moved the boxes when he said he knew nothing about them.
These are serious counts. They carry up to 20 years in prison, so he's looking at a very serious charge. And when you put all these other two people together with Donald Trump that go before the jury that have to decide guilt or innocence, it just adds to a conclusion that all these people were guilty. They were all in it together, and there was an agreement to obstruct justice, first one against the initial subpoena, and then the third defendant who came in was involved in the effort to try and delete the videotapes.
GOLODRYGA: All right. Nick Akerman, we'll have to leave it there. Thank you so much.
AKERMAN: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, CNN asked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy about the new charges against Trump. Hear his response, up next.
Plus, the 2024 showdown tonight. Will Republican presidential candidates try to capitalize on Trump's legal drama or keep the peace with their number one challenger?
And just into CNN, brand new missile strikes in Ukraine, the sensitive target hit and the new images of the attack are coming in.
GOLODRYGA: Duck and deflect. That's how Republicans on Capitol Hill are responding to the new charges in the Donald Trump classified documents case as they head out of town for their August recess.
CNN's Melanie Zanona is on Capitol Hill for us.
So, Melanie, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did take questions about the Trump charges, though. What did he say?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yeah, Speaker Kevin McCarthy weighed in for the first time today. He was asked by our Manu Raju whether he has any concerns about these new charges which includes allegations that the former president sought to have surveillance footage deleted from Mar-a-Lago.
But Kevin McCarthy would not weigh in on the substance. He would not address the obstruction piece of these charges, which really is at the heart of the indictment. And instead, Speaker Kevin McCarthy tried to point a finger at president Joe Biden and his handling of classified documents.
However, we should point out that not everyone in the GOP feels the same way as Kevin McCarthy. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: What concerns me is you have a sitting president that has a situation like this but nothing's happened. You've had --
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's obstruction versus the actual evidence. It's two different issues. You're saying obstruction --
MCCARTHY: It's not two different issues. How does one keep being indicted and another not? RAJU: Because they're allegedly obstructed a federal investigation --
MCCARTHY: Let me ask you -- let me ask -- let me ask you, one question, take all the names out. Does any senator, any congressman have a right to take a document out of the SCIF?
REP. DON BACON (R-NE): This is not stuff that you take lightly. Let's watch the prosecution make its case, watch the defense make its case and I believe in our justice system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Now, that last voice you heard there, that was Congressman Don Bacon. He is a Republican who represents a swing district, a district that Joe Biden carried in 2020. So, he's a very critical voice in the majority. He can make-or-break the majority for Republicans next year.
And he's also said he's concerned that all of these legal baggage is going to hurt the GOP in the next election, in the general election if Donald Trump is indeed the nominee. That is actually something I've heard from multiple Republicans although some of them only willing to say that privately. But across the Capitol, you have Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, he has yet to weigh in at all on any of Trump's indictments, on any of his legal drama.
So, really a tale of two Republican leaders there -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: All right. Melanie Zanona, thank you.
Well, in just a few hours, 13 Republican presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, will descend on the Lincoln fundraiser dinner in Des Moines. It is a rite of passage on the road to the 2024 Iowa caucuses. But once again, the shadow of Trump's legal mess is looming over the trial -- the trail.
CNN's senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is in Des Moines for us.
So, Kyung, all these candidates are expected to speak tonight. Do you get the sense that any of them are going to go after Trump for these latest charges?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, that is exactly what we will be listening for, to see if there's any variation and some of these lies that we've seen that 2024 deliver so far. This is a gathering. It is a major fund-raiser for the Iowa GOP.
It will be the very first time that Trump and DeSantis are at the same Iowa event. So we're looking to see if there's any friction there.
And, of course, this is the very first gathering since the news broke about these additional charges. You have already heard what Trump has to say. He said it multiple times in response to the breaking news overnight. But as far as the 2024 field, it's been fairly quiet. We have heard
Ron DeSantis talk about it. He's had events with his bus tour that our Jessica Dean has been accompanying him on, and he delivered some familiar lines. He also said and he stressed that he, if he were the nominee, would not cause any distractions.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It requires that we're focused on the issues that matter. We don't have time for distractions. You can't take your eye off the ball. You've got to get the job done.
So as president, you know, I'm going to conduct myself in a way that is focused on the peoples issues. There's going to be a lot of people shooting at you. We know that. A lot of people shot at Donald Trump. We know that, too.
But here's the thing, when they're shooting at you the way you handle it is not shoot yourself in the foot and make sure you keep the eye on the ball.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: But here's something important to point out, those are familiar lines. That sentiment isn't much of a deviation that we've heard from DeSantis previously. So Trump remaining the pacesetter, the person who all the others have to measure up to, Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Chris Christie, the one nominee, candidate that has gone after the former president will not be there.
Also, it's not just Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris paid a visit to Iowa today to talk about abortion rights. How is this move being interpreted?
LAH: It's clearly going to be a Democratic strategy. Democrats here feel that it is issues like abortion where they feel that the public majority is on their side that they are deploying the vice president for, and so, she pounced here. She sees and understands -- the Democrats understand Republicans are gathering for this.
And she is here to talk about Iowa and abortion. And particularly potent, Bianna, because Iowa's governor just recently signed a six- week abortion ban, but it is now stuck in courts before enacted. So, while this issue of abortion is being debated here, the Democrats and specifically the vice president view this as a winning national issue -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Kyung Lah in Des Moines for us, thank you.
Ahead, the statement today about the political future of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But it's what that statement did not say that's also noteworthy. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GOLODRYGA: We're back with the politics lead and new questions about political future for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Wednesday afternoon, cameras rolled as he froze for 30 seconds at a news conference. Today his office says McConnell plans to serve the rest of the current Congress as GOP leader, but that statement did not address his plans after that.
So let's bring in our panel to discuss this and other top stories.
Scott, let me begin with you. You worked with Mitch McConnell and you spoke to him after this incident. How is he doing? And what is your take on their approach at handling it all?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's doing quite well. Actually, after the press conference where he actually came back and answered a bunch of questions from reporters. You know, he was telling me all about his day, met with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, took a call from the president, he called me, he had some meetings in his office, went down to the floor and did the NDAA announcements. He was the keynote speaker at a big dinner in Washington that night as well.
So, it was really just kind of a momentary, I think, post-lunch light- headedness that he was dealing would there and kept is schedule and plans -- you know, they're coming home now and he was telling me he's got a big schedule here in Kentucky for August, including a big political event next weekend.
So, he sounded good and was in good spirits and is looking forward I think to fall and, you know, all the work Congress has to do.
GOLODRYGA: So he didn't reveal any plans about his future to you?
JENNINGS: Well, I can tell you this, he's going to be the Republican leader through this term. And, you know, the only thing I've ever heard him say about elections of any kind is that I don't own this seat. The people who vote on them own them, and that goes for his seat in Kentucky and his seat in the conference and he stands for election.
And I don't know what will happen in the next Congress, but I know he has no plans to go anywhere, and he is going to be the leader of the Senate Republicans. And I've heard no one in the conference saying that that shouldn't be the case.
GOLODRYGA: Well, to that point, Nayyera, I mean, "Politico" is reporting that this incident this week gave the Biden administration and some Democrats paused to consider what negotiations might be like without Mitch McConnell at the helm. There is little love lost between McConnell and Democrats. But the two sides, especially these two men, have a history. And they have been able to work together.
How do you interpret these concerns? NAYYERA HAQ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I'm glad to hear and say
that President Biden and Senator McConnell were able to connect on a human level. They have served together for so long and been able to figure out a simple path forward, up until recent years, when political conversation has derailed quite a bit.
But this also brings up, Bianna, this concern about our aging elected officials. The average age of a U.S. senator right now is 65 years old. But in a few years, the majority of the voting population will be between the ages of 18 and 45. So, there's a big disconnect between the people who are in office, running power, and those who are coming up and actually having to deal with the impacts of the policies.
We saw Nancy Pelosi, as a leader, step aside, pass over the baton to a younger generation with Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries. So this does raise the question of what is the plan for the future of the Republican Party in the Senate. At some point, Senator McConnell will have to have some kind of passing off the baton for the viability of the party.
GOLODRYGA: We should note, this is an issue that both sides, both parties are grappling with an aging elected officials.
Scott, let's say on Capitol Hill, because we heard Speaker McCarthy tell our Manu Raju that the classified documents case against Trump is very similar to the investigation to have President Biden handled documents, even though most people would disagree with that.
Then you have Republican Congressman Don Bacon who serves a district Biden won saying the allegations in this indictment are indeed very serious and he, in fact, trust the justice system.
So help us understand the split.
JENNINGS: Well, you said most people would disagree with that. Most Republicans would actually agree with Kevin McCarthy. To me, the real split is, yeah, Joe Biden had documents. Donald Trump had documents. But where Trump runs afoul here of everything is the obstruction. It's the obstruction --
GOLODRYGA: Right, but that's a big issue. That's a big different -- yeah, go ahead.
JENNINGS: Yean, if you look at -- if you look at the evidence -- the previous evidence plus what was added this week, the obstruction is extremely problematic.
So I do think McCarthy is channeling with the average Republican would say, which is, well, Biden had documents, Trump had documents, why is he being persecuted? Why is Hunter Biden getting sweetheart deals, or trying to give him blanket immunity and Trump is being -- that's how the average Republican would say it. So, I would expect Kevin McCarthy to channel that feeling. But, obviously, the obstruction to me is the real differentiator on the Trump situation. HAQ: Yeah, Bianna, this is where it gets important that Robert Bacon
(ph) is the one with a Biden one district heading into the 2024 cycle. That he, as a messenger for the party that talks about law and order, it is very difficult for him to be in a position to then have to defend a potential nominee who is under multiple indictments and effectively disregards law and order.
So we will see that being a messaging challenge for many Republicans who are in swing districts going forward.
GOLODRYGA: Scott, if I can just end on what you said. That still much Republicans think that these two issues are similar. You are saying that's the case even with more evidence showing that there appears to have been more of a cover-up from the president that we initially knew from earlier indictments?
JENNINGS: Yeah, look, I'm just going to tell you. If you took a poll of Republicans right now, what you would find is that they believe Trump is being treated unfairly because Biden also had documents. He had been for a lot longer, he had him at his garage, and he had them from even when he was back in the Senate, which no one can even figure out why he would have documents from that period.
That's what the average sort of Republican, I think, would tell a poster. That doesn't necessarily mean all of what they believe is true. But when you here Republicans talking the way Kevin McCarthy did, there's a reason for that, and it's because how Republicans have come to view this in light lot of their overall mistrust of the Biden Justice Department.
GOLODRYGA: Scott, let me turn to Iowa now and the GOP Lincoln dinner where a slew of 2024 contenders are speaking tonight, including Donald Trump. Aside from Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, who have made attacking Trump front and center in their pitches to voters, how do the other candidates like DeSantis needs to handle these latest charges?
Do you think they'll even raise --
JENNINGS: I'm not sure. Well, yeah, I'm not sure if it's any way to handle it. I mean, look, the primary to me, right now half -- a little more than half of the party wants to do Trump and everybody else wants to do something else, and that's fragmented. But until health or more than half of the party decides, okay, we can't do Trump anymore, there's not a ton you can do about it. I'm not sure there's a TV ad or a speech that you could make that would change someone's mind.
What these candidates can do is put themselves in a position where they can possibly pick up the pieces if Trump were to somehow collapse among Republican voters, but right now, the polling, there is no evidence that that's happening, especially in Iowa, where he has quite a large lead.
Although I will say, I think DeSantis has an organization there. I think Tim Scott has an organization there. And so, there are candidates who are waiting in the wings. If Trump were to falter -- will he, we don't know -- but if here, I do think there are numerous campaigns that are putting together an organization that could try to pick up those pieces.
But some of it's out of their hands, you know? It's a terrible thing and politics when your faith is not in your own hands. And I think with Trump, a lot of them are facing that circumstance.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we don't see him filtering in the polls quite yet.
Nayyera, I do want to ask you to weigh in on CNN's Kasie Hunt confirming a new reporting that moderate Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips of Minnesota is considering taking on President Biden for the Democrat nomination. Now, Phillips said he doesn't think that Biden should run again and Phillips plans to be in New York next week to meet with potential fund-raisers.
Is there a space for a challenger like this in the race, and is it to the point where Biden's team should be concerned, right now?
HAQ: It's still very early on. At this point, the Biden White House is going to be keeping the focus on the fracturing in the Republican Party, rather than any concerns about potential challengers. And typically, party apparatus, whether they'd be at the state level or a national level, do coalesce and unite around the incumbent because you have the bull horn, the bully pulpit of the White House.
But what Congressman Phillips does offer, that could be compelling, potentially to unaffiliated voters or people who are not deeply partisan, is the fact that he's of a younger generation, he comes from Minnesota. He also -- random facts, is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, used to run the Talenti Gelato Company. And so, he has a consumer connection. He potentially has a more direct connection to this rising voting base. He does have a future in the Democratic Party, it's just may not be right now.
GOLODRYGA: I didn't know about the Gelato connection. Thanks so much for telling us about that.
We have to leave right there.
JENNINGS: That's an amazing fact. We'll go from a Democratic nominee that loves to eat ice cream, to one that owns ice cream.
HAQ: Ice cream wins, ice cream wins.
GOLODRYGA: Scott making the connection there.
Thank you both, and have a great weekend.
Well, up next, a CNN exclusive, with Afghans in hiding from the Taliban. Their desperate plea two years after that chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GOLODRYGA: They work as translators, humanitarian workers, even journalists, risking their lives to help the United States military who left Afghanistan in 2021. They are promised U.S. visas, a chance for a better life in America. And two years later, many still wait.
Some have ended up next door in Pakistan. And as Nick Paton Walsh reports, many have already been deported, forced to, once again, live under the fear of the Taliban.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the end of America's longest war, the worst of days. As Kabul fell to the Taliban, and its airport became the last chance for salvation. The United States pledged those who helped it would have a new life in America.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those who help us are not going to be left behind.
WALSH: But nearly two years later, not only are some Afghans who've been officially told they should get visas to America still waiting in neighboring Pakistan, some have waited so long, CNN can reveal, they've been deported back to Afghanistan. Sent back by Pakistani police to the Taliban they fled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They stopped and told us, we give you 24 hours deadline. We should not see you in Pakistan land.
WALSH: CNN to spoke to two Afghans, now back in hiding in Kabul, who had paperwork confirming they were being processed for the U.S. so- called Afghan P2 visas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is very, very dangerous. It is very tough. You know how many people have been killed, have been tortured, have been disappeared.
They will punish me, they'll put me in jail. Maybe they will kill me. I'm sure they will.
Still, we believe that USA will help us. We didn't lose our hope still.
WALSH: Another said he hadn't even told close family of his return to Kabul, or deportation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did not hand us over to the Afghan border forces, they just released us on the border, and told us to go back to Afghanistan. Also, they did not give us any deportation document. It was me, my four kids, and my wife who got deported together.
WALSH: For some, desperation means it is already too late. This is where one of two Afghan men, waiting for U.S. visas, took their own lives in the past two months. Throwing himself from the sixth floor here, according to activists. Hundreds of Afghans who've been deported from Pakistan in recent
months say human rights groups, no distinction, apparently made for those with the promise of a U.S. visa.
WALSH: Last week, Afghans in Pakistan waiting for U.S. visas staged a protest, CNN spoke to several who complained of police harassment, and feared greatly deportation to Afghanistan.
One described how the Taliban had beaten him senseless in Kabul before he fled. But that he now fears the Pakistani police's harassment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were asking for visa. There were a lot of policeman, they came into the house, without the information. They took me out of the home, they were putting me in the van.
My kids, there are very much harassed. They were crying. They were asking for help.
WALSH: He described how he once saved his American colleagues during a protest, and had letters denoting his service.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, I'm disappointed because the way that I served the Americans in Afghanistan, and, you know, I was expecting them to welcome me there sooner. It seems like I have no future at all.
WALSH: The U.S. State Department told CNN the Biden administration, quote, continues to demonstrate its commitment to the brave Afghans who worked with the U.S. But added, their processing capacity in Pakistan remains limited, but they are actively working to expand it.
And they urged Afghanistan's neighbors to, quote, keep their borders open, and uphold their obligations when it comes to asylum seekers. Pakistan's foreign ministry declined to comment. Another family were also harassed by Pakistani police, the father briefly jailed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very bad situation for family -- for me and my family. I think it's a bad dream.
WALSH: His wife broke down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Save us from Pakistan. I can't come back to Afghanistan. Coming back to Afghanistan is a big risk, and here, we are dying every moment. Staying in Pakistan is a gradual death.
WALSH: Now, Bianna, on the 15th of August, it will be two years since Kabul fell to the Taliban. And we are in a strange period where those Afghans who risked their lives for the United States and did what the U.S. told them to, which is to flee to a third country like Pakistan, are now waiting for so long for U.S. help to finally materialize. And in fact, the countries that essentially hosted them for nearly two years are forcibly sending them back towards the Taliban.
We are hearing from NGOs, that over 500 cases of deportation have documented this year. That doesn't all mean that U.S. visas. But frankly, if you are being deported back to the Taliban, you don't declare how you used to work for the U.S., as that is happening. This is a significant issue for the State Department to deal with if they're going to keep the promise -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, it's really something to hear that man say two years later, he hasn't lost hope in the U.S., Really powerful reporting.
Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.
Well, next, the details just coming in about new strikes today in Ukraine, and the noteworthy target inside one of the buildings hit.
GOLODRYGA: A Russian missile strike in the center of one of Ukraine's biggest cities. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says two high-rise buildings was struck down in downtown Dnipro. One was a Ukrainian security services building. Three people were hurt.
The strike comes hours after the Russians say they intercepted two Ukrainian missiles in southern Russia. The remnants of one falling and injuring 14 people in the city of Taganrog.
Well, North Korea is flaunting its weapons to the world's and presenting a united front against the West. As he always does, Kim Jong-un watched as troops marched information and big tanks rolled out.
But this year, he also had delegations from both Russia and China by his side. North Korea also used this event to show off its new missiles, capable of reaching mainland U.S.
Well, CNN has obtained the 911 call when Bronny James, the oldest son of NBA star LeBron James went into cardiac arrest at a basketball practice, Monday, in Los Angeles.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
OPERATOR: Get next to him, please, with the phone. I need to find out if there's -- is there a doctor on scene with them or registered nurse?
CALLER: No, there's no doctor on scene.
OPERATOR: Okay, help is already -- help is already on the way, okay. Give next to him please.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The 18-year-old is now recovering at home after spending about three days in the hospital. LeBron tweeted about his son for the first time, yesterday, writing, quote, everyone is doing great and they'll have more to say when they're ready. And we certainly wish Bronny a speedy recovery.
A Kentucky officer who was shot in the head during a mass shooting back in April is finally going home. Officer Nickolas Wilt give a thumbs up as he left the office all today, there you see it. Wilt was just 11 days out of a police academy when he responded to a shooting at a bank in downtown Louisville. Five people were killed.
Doctors noted Officer Wilt's incredible will to survive, and say he's making a remarkable recovery. That is wonderful to hear.
Well, the southern spike in gas prices has the attention of the highest levels of government.
But first, CNN's Wolf Blitzer with what's coming up on "THE SITUATION ROOM".
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Thanks, Bianna.
We're following the very powerful reaction in Israel and indeed beyond to my interview yesterday with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. He refused to commit to abiding by the Israeli Supreme Court if it were to overrule his very controversial judicial overhaul.
Netanyahu offering new remarks today as he tries to ease the fallout. We're going to tell you what he's saying now and why his critics clearly aren't satisfied.
All that and much more coming up in "THE SITUATION ROOM", right here of the top of the hour.
GOLODRYGA: In the money lead, today, the White House says it's watching the sudden spike of gas prices, quote, very carefully. The current U.S. average is $3.73 a gallon. That's up 2 cents today, and 14 cents in a week. Still, far off last year's record.
A senior administration official tells CNN President Biden believes the situation is steady but one to watch. They also note the strength of the economy drives up travel and energy use.
Well, coming up Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION", Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and 2024 GOP candidate Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy. That is Sunday morning at 9:00 and again at noon, right here on CNN.
That is it for us this hour. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".