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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Two Days Away From CNN's Presidential Debate; Julian Assange Avoids U.S. Prison Time In Plea Deal; Protesters Storm Kenya's Parliament; Arwa Damon On Humanitarian Needs In Gaza; Trauma Nurse Teaches Kids To Pack Wounds, Stop Bleeding. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 25, 2024 - 16:00   ET


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Championship back in the late 1990s, according to


Good for that guy. I got to say, I am furious though that we did not once in the news cast mentioned that the Florida Panthers, my team, a team of destiny --

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: We say this on the --

SANCHEZ: They won the Stanley Cup last night. I'm so pumped for them.


SANCHEZ: Have I watched a minute of hockey my entire life? No. Not a single minute.

KEILAR: Do you have many moments like that?

SANCHEZ: But it's my team, the Florida Panthers, I'm good for that guy. He's a good dad.

KEILAR: That was pretty amazing, right?

SANCHEZ: Yeah. You know who else is a good dad? Jake Tapper.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN HOST: We are just two days away from the biggest night of the 2024 campaign.

THE LEAD starts right now.

We're covering Thursday's debate from all angles. The three topics the Trump campaign wants to focus on and how team Biden could respond.

Also, WikiLeaks founder set to plead guilty after leaking thousands of classified documents. Julian Assange's standoff with the U.S. is coming to an end. I'll talk to his brother. Plus, dramatic scenes out of Kenya. Protesters storming the parliament building and then setting it on fire, amid an outrage against a new finance bill.


MATTINGLY: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Phil Mattingly, in for Jake Tapper.

And we start today with our 2024 lead because, of course, we're just two days away from the very first presidential debate of this election cycle. Thursday night, right here on CNN, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will take the stage and trying to sell voters on their visions for the next four years.

Sources say President Biden and his advisers have started mock debates at Camp David while the Trump team is narrowing in on a few specific topics they want to bring up during the debate.

We start things off with CNN's Kayla Tausche at the White House, and CNN's Kristen Holmes down in West Palm Beach, Florida, near Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

Kayla, let's start with you. Walk us through these mock debates. How's everything unfolding for a very, very leak-proof operation at this point?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, at least that is the goal, Phil, the bind team has now been hunkered down at the rural mountainside retreat for nearly five days, going through the motions, of going through material, culminating in those mock debates that I'm told began yesterday where the team felt like they had enough of a sense of how to run those practice debates of what I'm told were varying lengths to practice what they think will come up in the debate and what they want President Biden to be both reacting to and proactively bringing up on his own.

I'm told that at Camp David, the team is undergoing long working days as the preparation is geared toward both of this substance on stage, as well as the stamina required for a pretty busy stretch with the 9:00 p.m. debate going late into the evening, followed by traveled to North Carolina and a rally taking place the next day.

They'd been talking about a number of things that could come up, notably, what the Biden campaign expects to be a focus for the president and two, on abortion, democracy, and what they see as the danger of the Trump economy.

The campaign released an ad to that effect earlier, this morning. That's going to be running in battleground states as part of $50 million in ad spend in the month of June where they say that Donald Trump is in it for himself and Joe Biden is in it for voters, for their families.

Now that message has been crafted in recent weeks and it comes after weeks of top Democrats telling the campaign that there needed to be a shift in messaging that Biden touting his accomplishments on the economy just simply wasn't moving voters that he needed to take a tougher line of attack, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Kristen, over you. Obviously, the Biden is very structured, on some level normal in terms of a debate process. That's not how Trump operates, nor his team.

What's he been doing over the course of that last two days, I guess?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I just got off the phone with the number of Trump's senior advisers. They held a call with a border has kind of just walking through the debate. A lot of it was levels settings saying that Joe Biden has shown up and performed before, but they also talked about what they want to focus on or what they hope that Donald Trump will be focusing on talking about the economy, specifically, inflation, talking about crime rates, talking about immigration, in particular.

They say that he will be comparing and contrasting his administration to that of President Joe Biden. Now when you talk about those issues, the economy, particularly inflation immigration, crime, these are all issues that Donald Trump polls ahead of Biden on. And that is part of the reason why his team wants him to focus on this. They know that Biden is going to bring up things like abortion.

Democracy is going to bring up what happened on January 6, or at least they are preparing for that. But what they are hoping and talk seem to Trump about doing is pivoting to the things that the voters have shown through these various polls that they care about, but they believe that Donald Trump is, quote/unquote, better at.

Now, one thing I want to point out here is pretty interesting. Donald Trump is not usually a candid person. He often says, things are easy. He doesn't have to do any work.

But he did give an interview with "The Washington Examiner" in which he talked about debate prep.


And one of the lines he said, again, particularly candid when it comes to Donald Trump, he said it's very hard to prepare for debates, adding debating is an attitude more than anything else.

But if you talk to Donald Trump's team, his advisors, they don't want much of the attitude. They don't want much of the attacks on Biden. They are hoping that he can and stick to the actual messaging -- again, immigration, crime, the economy, particularly inflation, when he gets up there on that stage, Phil.

MATTINGLY: All right. Kayla Tausche, Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.

Well, a federal judge just rolled back parts or former President Trump's gag order, that's ahead of his sentencing in the New York hush money case.

CNN's Paula Reid joins me now.

Paula, what does this actually mean for the former president?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Phil, it means the former president can now speak freely about Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, and anyone else who testified in his New York criminal trial. He is also now a free to speak about the jury. This was a little surprising and even the judge said he was, quote, reluctant to lift this portion of the gag order because he said that there were still ample evidence to justify continued concern for jurors, but no one who served on that jury has come out publicly and Trump is still prohibited from identifying any of them, in a public arena.

Now, large parts of the gag orders are still in place because prosecutors, for example, they're still working on his sentencing, which is currently scheduled for July 11. So he's still cannot talk about prosecutors, court staff, or their family. They might be wondering why is the judge doing this now?

Well, the judge said et quote, circumstances have changed. He said that he crafted this gag order narrowly around the time of the trial to protect against certain extra judicial statements that Trump would make. But, of course, this move comes just two days before the CNN debate were Trumps conviction will likely come up.

Now, the Trump team tells me they are still unsatisfied with this and call what's left of the gag order, quote, un-American. And they avowed two once again challenge this gag order in court, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Timing is everything. Paula Reid, thanks so much.

My panel joins me now to discuss.

First, Trump saying that debating is an add -- it's like it's a vibe, right? Like essentially like debating is a vibe. You should, that's what you were talking to Biden about back in 2020, like, sir, it's a vibe.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Actually, prep was just all vibes.

MATTINGLY: This all vibes. It's just all -- it's all vibes, five hours per day of vibes.

So, we know Donald Trump and his team are going to attack Biden on immigration. Here's what Trump said about it during his most recent rally.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, we had the safest border in the history of our country. Now, we have the unsafe is border in the history of the world.

I mean, how stupid is an open border? But equally and to be honest with you, much more importantly, open borders because you have millions of people coming in. They're coming from all of these places deserve causing tremendous death.


MATTINGLY: Kate, for all of the unpredictability of people attributes to Donald Trump, you know, this is coming from the Biden team. What are you telling the president if you're in that room?

BEDINGFIELD: Go right back at him, you know, say, we had solutions on the table, you throw them aside, you said you'd rather have this as a political issue. I think there is a lot of purchase for Biden in that argument. I don't think he should be -- feel like he needs to be back on his heels on this. I think he can certainly and should talk about what he's done, those steps that he's taken over the last few months in particular.

He can talk about the fact that on day one, the oval office, he put forth a comprehensive plan, sent it to Congress that he is consistently worked on this issue. But I think the big weakness for Trump on this issue is the fact that he scuttled a deal that he essentially said, I want this as a political issue. People don't like that.

The other thing I would say about this I think is maybe a little counter-intuitive, people like the tougher measures, no question, but they don't like a lot of Trumps rhetoric around this issue when he says that immigrants poison the blood of our country and, you know, they didn't like family separation. So there can also be some benefit, I think, for Biden and getting Trump going on this issue because Trump has a tendency to say things that really turn off those moderate voters who are going to be decisive in this election.

MATTINGLY: Matt, how are you -- Matt Gorman, how are you if you're the Trump team framing this issue? They're up on double-digit points on this if you poll.


MATTINGLY: They think it's one of their best issues, if not be best issue. But do they need to be careful about how they approach it?

GORMAN: I think in some respects, but look, the Overton window has shifted on this issue just in the last five years. I mean, always been doing this for a long time. Always we'd always talked about when it came to immigration, there was border security but there's also some sort of legal status, citizenship conversation. That has been pushed aside because its issue is so potent on the border security part.

And I think one thing also speaks to the potency of the issue is the Biden team felt the need to not only rely on that attack about kind of scuttling the deal, they felt they needed to do something on the executive order, do you feel that need to go further? If that wasn't the case, I thought they're winning on that issue. They would need to go on the executive order.

And so I feel like again, bring it back to immigration much as possible. Crime, safety, immigration, those are his, no pun intended, safe grounds he can pivot back to.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, I think Gorman just call me old. It's fair.


You covered immigration as closely and more deeply than probably most people in this town over the course last several years. To Matt's point, the Overton window has shifted, the debate is in a different place than it has ever been before. Kind of what I asked Kate, like, how does the Biden team counter that is the legislative issues a way to actually connect? Because it's a debate.

ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a challenge here, right? I mean, I do think that the pendulum has completely swung to the right here on the politics of immigration in the past few years. Years ago, we might be talking about, you know, one -- the sort of Democratic nominee, talking about the need for legalization in exchange for border security, while the Republican nominee emphasizes the need for border security. Now, you're going to have two people almost trying to flex their border security bona fides on stage.

I do know that the Biden administration is crafting sort of a strategy here where they point at both executive actions taken recently that providing relief to undocumented spouses and the United States flipping that to say we reunited families, you separated families, as well as the previous executive action that limited asylum at the southwest border. They'll also highlight numbers and say, look, I mean, May 2019, the Trump administration also struggled with a record number of monthly border crossing. Now those encounters have more than doubled under the Biden administration.

I think the central question here is, can a sort of sophisticated argument around, we worked with you in Congress? You opposed it, then former President Trump said to tank a bill that would have invested in board security, can that match up against spotlighting a crime committed by individuals out of those millions? Can stoking division square up against sort of a -- a bit more of a complicated argument around the policies you attempted to implement?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, there's sort of a compassionate conservatism in some ways that I think Biden is attempting with the executive orders in this more comprehensive bill. It certainly has shifted to the right. It's not even Trump I think that has made it shift to the right. I think it was Greg Abbott sending my roots to these different aisle blue states. So, now, folks who are in blue states are now experiencing a lot of these issues.

And it's not even crime, it's like overcrowding in some of these areas and just the sight of people who are unhoused has made this an issue. I think that's front and center for a lot of folks.

What I do think the sort of nuances -- this nuance work against Trumps hammer, right?

KANNO-YOUNGS: Yeah. HENDERSON: And I think but the key for Biden is to make the hammer seen terrible and inhumane, right? One of the policies he wants is to deport all these folks, right? What is the impact on the economy of that? Something vicious and terrible that he said was this idea of a fight club of migrants, which is a terrible idea.

So I think that's going to be a trick I think for the Biden team to try to inject into this conversation.

MATTINGLY: We're running out of time. But I want you both to have a quick answer to this. To that point, is nuanced possible in this moment? You've both been in the room with these candidate -- with candidates before these big moments trying to explain cloture. It's probably not going to work.


MATTINGLY: Not going to do it right now.

BEDINGFIELD: Well, no one's -- well, no, I mean, my God -- I hope no one's arguing that. No. Trying to explain cloture would be losing strategy.

I disagree a little bit that saying the Republicans and Donald Trump wouldn't come to the table and play ball is complicated. I think people fundamentally get that. However a complicated argument, broadly speaking, no, does it land well in a debate? It does not.

What people respond to in debates is emotion, a sense of authenticity, a sense of control? And so in that I can't believe I'm going to say this, but in that sense, I sort of agree with Donald Trump, debating is a lot about attitude.

You also have to have the facts. You have to have an argument. You have to know what you want to say.

GORMAN: Humanizing issue. Humanizing this issue than nuancing something, but they can go to the same effect no matter what part of your talking about.

MATTINGLY: I mean, Matt Gorman is a permanent vibe.

Thank you, guys. I appreciate it.

And coming up, now that Julian Assange is a free man, is there a chance she gets back to his old habits? I'll have to ask his brother, next.



MATTINGLY: Topping our world lead, a plea deal in exchange for freedom. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's 12-year extradition standoff with the United States is over.

CNN's Nic as Robertson reminds us how this years-long saga all began.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): On his way to apparent freedom, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange bailed from British jail, and now hours from completing a plea deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, accused of playing a role in one of the biggest security breaches in U.S. history.

Assange was essentially on the run from the day his WikiLeaks first published U.S. secrets in 2010. Initially about the war in Iraq, including this video of a U.S. Apache gunship killing Iraqi civilians, and two journalists. His next release, thousands of secret documents about the Afghan war, then a massive data dump of sensitive global U.S. diplomatic communications, tens of thousands of secrets in the wind, lives of spies, potentially compromised.

TRUMP: WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.

ROBERTSON: Perhaps most consequentially, while on the lam in London in 2016, publishing leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign manager during her presidential election campaign against Donald Trump. For 14 years, Assange was a fugitive first fleeing Sweden, following a 2010 arrest warrant, link to rape allegations, which he denied, landing in the U.K., sun facing extradition back to Sweden, eventually jumping U.K. bail in 2012 taking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Ultimately wearing out his welcome, expelled seven years later, promptly arrested, taken to the UK's maximum security Belmarsh prison, facing and fighting extradition to the United States.


And now here, not in a North American courtroom, but in the U.S. District of the North Mariana Islands, a territory of the United States in the Pacific Ocean on route to his native Australia. His last hurdle, he must plead guilty to one count of obtaining and disseminating classified U.S. information linked to U.S. national defense.

And then he'll go free for time already served, 62 months in a tiny U.K. jail cell. His wife, who is also his lawyer, and mother of his two children, who was outside his UK jail just a few days ago, now waiting for him in Australia.

STELLA ASSANGE, JULIAN ASSANGE'S WIFE: That will be the first time that I -- that I get to see him as a fully free man. All this -- it's so alien to the way we've -- it's been until now for the past 14 years.

ROBERTSON: His freedom, it seems, in part, due to diplomacy.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Regardless of the views that people have about Mr. Assange's activities, the case has dragged on for too long. There is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration. And we want him brought home to Australia.

ROBERTSON: In recent weeks, Australia's prime minister increasingly advocating for Assange's return. The White House denying it had any involvement in the plea agreement.

Ironically, Assange's get out of jail deal, better kept secret than his historic leaks. He was on the plane heading towards home, hours before the news broke.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


MATTINGLY: Our thanks to Nic Robertson for that report.

Now I want to bring in Julian Assange's half-brother, Gabriel Shipton.

And we appreciate your time. As I told you during the break, this is obviously -- I think it's a real very emotional time for you and your family.

Can you give us a sense of behind the scenes, the pieces that had to come together for this to actually reach an outcome? I know there are a lot of moving parts that we probably didn't even know about.

GABRIEL SHIPTON, BROTHER OF JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, this is the culmination of a years-long campaign, Phil. It was a grassroots campaign that led into a political campaign and particularly the Australian government. The Australian government were key into negotiating this deal, into putting in place what needed to happen for Julian, to get out of the prison and to this island where he's on his way to at the moment to put this play before U.S. judge -- he has to fly to a U.S. district which is the Mariana Islands, which is the closest district to Australia.

But it really is the combination of a years-long campaign, the political will of the Australian people led to this diplomatic solution but the Australian government, and U.S. DOJ. I think the efforts in Congress as well had a significant impact that Julian has a growing constituency in congress, both Democratic and Republican side, who have been calling on the Biden administration to bring this bring this case to a close.

So it's hard to really pinpoint on the exact single thing that led to this. But I think there's so many people who have attributed to this campaign and they should all giving themselves a big pat on the back today. It's momentous de for Julian Assange.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, you make an important point, that the political winds inside the U.S. domestically have shifted certainly over the course of the last decade. Until that point, you know, it's been over a decade since Julian was a free man.

Has he ever expressed, given what he's been through over that period of time, that he should have done something differently, that there was enough other way or another course of action that he should have taken through this process?

SHIPTON: He hasn't ever expressed that to me, Phil. I think, you know, the work that WikiLeaks and the work that Julian did it's historical now. We can see that some of the cables that WikiLeaks leaked to actually lead to the end of the Iraq war the video, the collateral murder video that exposed "Reuters" journalists being killed by helicopter gunship in Baghdad, I think those are historical moments, historical publications that went all around the world. Torture in Guantanamo Bay, as well as corruption in the banking system, toxic waste dumping.


This is a legacy of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange I think it's part of history now, so looking back and having regrets -- I'm not inclined to do that myself. So I don't think Julian is either.

MATTINGLY: I think you make an important point about just the sheer scale of what was uncovered and reported on over the course of time because of WikiLeaks.

To that point, and I know there are more immediate concerns, but in terms of next steps, have you talked about maybe going back to a WikiLeaks type of activity with him as you expressed any desire to go back to what he was doing prior to all of this.

SHIPTON: Now, he hasn't expressed -- I haven't spoken to him about that at all, Phil, any sort of desire. I mean, he's been -- been talking to him in the lead up to this. And he's just excited to be a free man again. It's been 13 years he's been detained one way or another. He has two small children or five and his 7-year-old sons Gabriel and Max.

So he's just excited and looking forward to spending time with his family doing some normal things, things that he hasn't been able to do for many, many years. Like here, the Australian bird life, seeing or have a swim in the ocean, have a meal with his family.

I think that's what he's most looking forward to. His health has been in decline while he's been inside the maximum security prison for the last five years. So he really needs to some time to actually recuperate as well. And the doctors I've spoken to have gone and seeing him says that he can -- he can get better, that he can recover from this. So, I think Julian's really looking forward to that quiet time for some rest, and recuperation after he gets back to Australia.

MATTINGLY: Certainly an understandable near term focus, a wife, two children now.

Gabriel Shipton, we appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

SHIPTON: Thanks for having me, Phil.

MATTINGLY: And coming up, the chaos at Kenya's parliament as protests over a tax hike turned deadly.

Stay with us.



MATTINGLY: In our world lead, violence gripping Nairobi, Kenya. Protesters upset over a proposed tax increase clashed with police today. Police responded by firing live rounds at least five people were killed.

This video taken inside Kenya's parliament building shows moments after an angry crowd broke through police lines to storm and set fire to parts of the building.

CNN's Larry Madowo has been covering it all live on the ground from Nairobi, Kenya.

Larry, walk us through. I was watching it on TV. It was extraordinary to see what was happening live. What do you see?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Phil, this is a very chaotic day here in Nairobi and across many in the parts of the country as protesters declared seven days of rage. And Tuesday was supposed to be the day of a total shutdown. They were trying to occupy Kenya's parliament and they did manage to breach the wall and get inside Kenya's parliament, went to the speaker's house. The speaker seat made away with a maze of the national assembly.

These all protests are about proposed tax hikes contained in what is called the finance bill that has led to a lot of anger on the streets here in Nairobi and across the nation. We saw police use live rounds to try and beat back protesters, and a lot of criticism now from human rights groups who say the police used an overly militarized response to largely peaceful protesters. That is why these five confirmed dead. When the full account is done, likely the casualties would be much higher.

MATTINGLY: Larry, what happens next? We have any sense is the bill going to be pulled? Where does this go from here?

MADOWO: It's likely this bill will still go ahead because President William Ruto's government has a majority in both the national assembly and the Senate, the two houses of parliament. So he did not address that finance bill specifically when he addressed the nation a short while ago, all he said is that legitimate protesters were infiltrated by hijack -- and hijacked by criminals. And that has not gone down well with so many of these young people who organized on TikTok and Instagram and X and came out to stand up for their rights.

And they said, we were armed with banners and flags. Police were armed with live bullets. Who were the criminals here?

So it looks like on Thursday, there'll be even more protests across the streets of Nairobi and other parts of the country, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Yeah. We'll certainly be watching. Larry, keep doing great reporting. Stay safe as well. Appreciate it.

So a few Western journalists are able to get into Gaza, a former CNN correspondent turned aid worker, she's there now. What she's seeing on the ground. That's next.



MATTINGLY: The situation in Gaza remains at a crisis point. Today alone brought a new warning that the entire population is at risk of famine.

Former CNN international corresponding Arwa Damon is the founder of INARA, a humanitarian organization on the ground in Gaza, my former colleague. She joins me now.

Arwa, what are you seeing is -- there's a lot I want to ask you about what you're seeing. But in terms of the greatest need, what is it right now?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Phil, it's absolutely everything, and that is because, A, there's not enough aid getting in and never has been and be what gets in to the southern part of the strip does not make it to the north and vice verse.

And let me further clarify that, and some of the challenges that exist. So what one of the main crossings now since that the Rafah invasion to the southern part and the middle part of Gaza is through Kerem Shalom, otherwise also known as Karem Abu Salem. And the challenge there is that there's only one road that Israel is allowing these humanitarian trucks to be able to use -- commercial trucks as well.

That one road now is literally like running the gauntlet because of the amount of looting and criminal activity that happens on it, which means that it is incredibly dangerous for these trucks to move there because they're not only facing the potential danger of the bombings and getting caught in crossfire, but now right now, all of these gangs that are there.


And then you have what's able to get into Gaza from the north and that is unable to move to the south. Let me further clarify -- what comes into the south right now at this point in time is a lot of commercial items. So there's plenty of, you know, fresh fruits and vegetables and chocolate milk that you can buy on the market, assuming that you're able to afford the astronomical prices, but you don't have things like hygiene kits. You don't have the food parcels at this stage.

In the north, though, you have a ton of flour, there's a lot of flour coming in, bread prices are less than what they were before, but there is nothing else. Their people are literally sustaining themselves on bread.

And so, you have this growing desperate situation where aid is harder to move around. People are growing even more desperate.

And, you know, it's really only in being here and seeing that the scale of the devastation I was just up north in Gaza City and in the Jabalia refugee camp a few hours ago, where you really realize that -- I mean, you're left speechless, right? Like I'm actually right now at a loss for words when it comes to what people are having to cope with and the level of the destruction and how they are quite literally living in the rubble of their homes, in some cases on top of piles of rubble where they still believe that, you know, bodies are potentially buried underneath.

MATTINGLY: What you're describing right now -- I want to make very clear and I think everybody probably knows who you are and your work while you were at CNN, but you have been in conflict after conflict after conflict as a reporter, you have seen there is no way to be antiseptic about what you've seen over the course of your career. Why is this leaving you speechless? What's different about this?

The fact that there's no possible exit for civilians to reach safe space. Just about every single other war zone has some sort of an exit to it, even if that path is dangerous. There's always a way to get out.

Generally speaking, when you survive a bombing or when the frontline kind of moves through your neighborhood, you're able to move out and you have access to shelter, food, water, medical care, none of that exists. Your people are being shepherded around this nightmare from one spot to another trying to keep each other safe.

And then there's also the sheer level of psychological obliteration, the trauma that comes every single day that is constantly triggering and re-triggering people. You know, I was talking to one of our colleagues also works in the sector. He's sees from Gaza, has a five- year-old son.

And he was saying that their biggest fear is the war that is going to come after the bombs because he was saying that right now to a certain degree, the constant triggers, the threat, the fear of the constant scrapping around for food and water, it kind of is keeping a lot of people distracted, because all of their emotional trauma has been buried underneath, but there's this very fear that that is going to come up and completely, and totally paralyzed them.

There's also a very real fear due to this complete breakdown of social order. There's absolutely no rule of law here and we are seeing this increase in criminal activity, increase in looting. There are various reports of an increase in gender-based violence, which tragically happens in every single similar space.

But people are terrified of what tomorrow is going to bring and not just because of the potential for violence, but because even if the bomb stop, there futures, so on, uncertain. It's also the first time that you really have aid organizations, this deeply entrenched in a war zone and completely and totally unable to move aid from -- or to the population that actually needs. I mean, it's almost mind-boggling, not to mention one last point that

also makes this very, very different medical evacuations of stop. There have been no medical evacuations since the Rafah border closing.

MATTINGLY: Arwa Damon, important work you do, but also the important observations being able to share that in a place where its very difficult to see exactly what's happening right now.

We very much appreciate you. Thanks so much.

DAMON: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: The U.S. surgeon general says gun violence is a public health crisis. Up next, one trauma nurse is teaching kindergarteners how to prepare for the unthinkable.



MATTINGLY: In our health lead, the U.S. surgeon general has declared gun violence and urgent public health crisis. One trauma nurse is already way ahead of the curve.

Here's CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The gunman shot 26 people, most them six and seven-year-olds.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: We're evacuating people. We're evacuating people.

KATE CARLETON, REGISTERED NURSE, SUTTER ROSEVILLE MEDICAL CENTER: Sandy Hook, I think it was an anniversary but and I saw something that came across. My heart broke for those families and I just thought about what when my kids do if they were in a situation like that, like, what were my husband do if he was in a situation like that? Like how can we help them?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kate Carleton has seen the very worst of humanity as a trauma nurse at Sutter Roseville Medical Center just outside of Sacramento.


After Sandy Hook, the young mom took on a new mission to empower kids, really young kids to do something during the unthinkable.

How much do you think about it?

CARLETON: I think about it when my kids are in school. I think about it when were at a sporting event. I think about it when we go to a mall, to an airport. It's its just kind of one of those things it's on your mind. I wanted my kids and other kids that if they are in a situation where

it may be an active shooter situation or mass shooter situation, that they could help.

Hi, guys.

GUPTA: Which is why we find ourselves in this classroom with these adorable third graders who are about to get a lesson in a way that I've never seen before. They're going to learn how to stop the bleed.

CARLETON: I want you to think about that. You guys have the knowledge and the power to save somebody's life by knowing this. You could save somebody's life. How does that make you feel?


CARLETON: I love that word, amazing. You're right. It makes you feel amazing.

So that's what were teaching you to do today, is we're teaching you how to save somebody's life.

GUPTA: Kate is now part of a grassroots movement among trauma specialists backed by the American college of surgeons and the American Red Cross to teach these skills to young children. The likelihood of a child dying in a school shooting maybe rare, but a child dying from a firearm is not. In 2021, guns were the leading cause of death for young people under 18 in the United States, making up 19 percent of all children's deaths.

Stop the bleed training was born in the aftermath of Sandy Hook when a panel of trauma specialists from around the country determined that turning bystanders into immediate responders could very well save lives.

What is staggering, though, is that for the past six years, Kate has been teaching kids as young as kindergarten how to pack a wound and stop bleeding.

CARLETON: So if you see somebody who's hurt and there's a puddle of blood next to them, that's one of the things you're going to look for. So everybody say, puddle.

KIDS: Puddle.


GUPTA: Kindergarteners, just seem so young to think about putting, you know, pressure on a wound, trying to stop the bleeding. But they seem to understand what you're saying.

CARLETON: As long as we presented in a way to them that is non- threatening, it's not scary. They roll with the information very well.

If I have a cut and the blood comes out like a sprinkler goes -- We kind of take away that active shooter part and just say look at

where teaching bleeding control in -- what can happen in the home, or just when you're out on your day-to-day environment.

You think if they got caught with one of those saws, that that might cause them to get hurt pretty bad?

Yeah. Okay, we're going to take what we have and were going to pack it inside.

GUPTA: For the younger students, she emphasizes packing the wound deeply.

CARLETON: Next thing we're going to do is we're going to have to hold pressure.

GUPTA: Keeping in mind that with injuries like gunshot wounds, the bleeding often happens deep, so superficial pressure alone won't be enough.

CARLETON: Do you think you're strong enough to do this?

KIDS: Yes.

CARLETON: So I'm just going to have you guys put your knee on. It'll make a little bit easier for you. You won't get tired. Good? Okay.

GUPTA: So do you feel like you good now, that you had to actually do that?

JEREMY, THIRD GRADE STUDENT: Yeah. I think I would be like ready to help anyone.

GUPTA: Wow. Well, what's the -- what's the best part of that for you?

JEREMY: Like the feeling when you get to see them go to the hospital and know that they're okay, like the feeling that you save someone's life.

CARLETON: We're going to go high and tight.

GUPTA: So, those that are older, like the sixth graders, including Kate's own daughter, she also teaches them to use tourniquets.

CARLETON: I'm going to twist this until the bleeding stops.

GUPTA: None of this is easy, empowering, yes, but sad that the training has become increasingly necessary.

The question about gun violence came up today in the sixth grade class. What goes through your mind when you know that topic has now been broached?

CARLETON: What I tried to do is acknowledge it because it's real, but I'm very aware and cognizant of not spending my time on the gun violence part, but it also tugs at my heartstrings a little bit, for sure with the kids that that's even on their mind.

GUPTA: In a world where we already teach our kids to run, hide, and fight during active shooter drills, teaching elementary students how to control bleeding, maybe come as useful as stop, drop, and roll.

I was watching you today and it was emotional for me even as a trauma surgeon to think that you're teaching kids to do things that, I don't know, I just feel like sad that kids would have to learn that.

CARLETON: Initially when I first started it, it used to and I think I've really worked hard to take that emotion out of it. When I say that emotion is because I feel like when I would initially go into that with that kind of feeling, I just found that I couldn't teach the information in a way that it really, it resonated with them. It was being taught out of fear for me and I don't want that.


If we can teach it like teaching hands-only CPR, or how to use an AED, like it just becomes part of what we do. It can be used in all situations, whether it's a violent situation or it's not. But either way, it's saving somebody's life.

Stand up nice and tall, and what do you do? Pat yourselves on the back.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta CNN, Rockland, California.

CARLETON: All right. You guys saved their life.


MATTINGLY: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you.

We'll be back in a moment.


MATTINGLY: We are just two days away from the first general election debate presidency, right here on CNN, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, moderate. That's Thursday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

Meanwhile, the news continues on CNN with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".