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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Dem Lawmakers Appear Divided On Biden After Closed Door Meetings; Biden Faces Make-Or-Break Day In Re-Election Bid, As House And Senate Dems Meet Behind Closed Doors; WSJ: Biden's Inner Circle Kept Signs Of Aging Under Wraps; Tonight: Trump Back On Campaign Trail With Florida Rally; GOP Platform Echoes Trump's Calls For Mass Deportations; Dem. Rep. Mikie Sherrill Calls On President Biden To Steph Aside; Creditors Accuse Giuliani Of Treating Bankruptcy Case As A "Joke". Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 09, 2024 - 16:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: And the timing is impeccable because today, the San Diego zoo is revealing the country's newest pandas.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Yes, these are the first pictures of Yun Chuan and Xin Bao. They are the first giant pandas to enter the United States in more than two decades. And were told those been several weeks acclimating to their new home. Zoo officials described Xin as gentle and well-behaved, and Yun is smart and lively.

SANCHEZ: They're like miniature Buddhists (ph) covered in hair.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Disarray does not even begin to describe it.

THE LEAD starts right now.


SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): I'm going to disagree with some people in that room, but I'm all in on Joe Biden.


TAPPER: Democratic senators behind closed doors hashing it out. House Democrats met earlier, one describing a sense of sadness in the room, all this week with plummeting poll numbers with Biden on top the ticket.

Ahead, the Democratic Party split as the Bidens dig in. But first, the message President Biden needs to convey on the world stage with this big NATO speech, now, just minutes away.

Plus, Donald Trump's return to the campaign trail, pushing a watered down platform, trying to say he knows nothing of controversial Project 2025. We're live in Miami with what he says next.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're going to start in our 2024 lead with a feeling of, quote, sadness. That's how one top Democratic lawmaker described today's House caucus meeting to discuss whether President Biden should remain at the top of the ticket in the race for president, telling CNN's Lauren Fox, it was, quote, talking about someone you love who is in obvious decline Senate Democrats emerging from their own meeting just minutes ago, the consensus there seems to be that there is no consensus, while almost no -- no new lawmakers have publicly called on President Biden to drop out of the race.

Some members still expressing lot of concern over Biden's candidacy behind the scenes, even after the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus publicly have thrown their support behind President Biden, along with others who say they are still team Biden.

Here's what Democratic caucus chair Pete Aguilar said when asked if Biden is doing enough to assuage concerns, he is followed in this clip by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.


REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): My answer is, you know, we'll see, like, let's -- let's see -- let's see the press conference. Let's see the campaign stops. Let's see all of this because all of it is going to be necessary.

REPORTER: Are you confident that President Biden has what it takes to win in November and serve the next four years.

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


TAPPER: All of this comes in the face of Democratic governors privately telling President Biden, they worry he cannot win their states again. Numerous elected Democratic officials privately expressing terror that Biden at the top of the ticket good puts not just his race, but their careers and the Democratic Party in peril.

Jake Sherman reports that California Democratic congressman Mark Takano recently saw a poll that had President Biden losing in Takano's congressional district, a district that Biden won with 62 percent of the vote in 2020.

So far, the highest ranking congressional Democrat to call on President Biden to drop out is Congressman Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, who did so on THE LEAD yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA): I think he should step aside. I think it's become clear that he's not the best person to carry the Democratic message. And here's the thing, we have an incredibly strong message in record to run on. In all, you know, respect to the president, he's done a great job.


TAPPER: Let's turn now to CNN's Manu Raju, who has spent the day compiling reaction from lawmakers after these high-stakes Capitol Hill meetings.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Joe Biden is putting Democrats in a jam.

REP. RITCHIE TORRES (D-NY): If the president declines to leave voluntarily then he's going to be our nominee, and we have to make the best of a complicated situation. I think I'm viewing it pragmatically.

RAJU: Some resigned to support the president even they fear he may lose to Donald Trump.

REP. SEAN CASTEN (D-IL): The stakes of this are about what is the future for the country and two different scenarios, and I think there's a lot of concern about, will we be able to have that conversation in this media environment? But my God, that's the conversation we have to have.

RAJU: Do you support keeping him on the top of the ticket, Biden?

CASTEN: That's all I have to say.

RAJU: In their first in-person meeting today since Biden's debate debacle, House and Senate Democrats aired out their grievances, and left with no consensus.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): As I said yesterday, I believe we should try to make sure we can win this election.

RAJU: And you don't know if that's the case yet?


JAYAPAL: I think that there are changes that people need to see to continue to feel comfortable.

RAJU: Yet some like Congressman Jerry Nadler now say they are on board with Biden, despite privately calling for a change on Sunday.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): He made very clear he's going to run. He's got an excellent record, one of the most existential presidents of the last century. Trump would be an absolute disaster for democracy. So I'm enthusiastically supporting Biden.

RAJU: What did you say on that call on Sunday?

NADLER: I'm not going to comment on what I said on a private call.

RAJU: Several Democrats pointedly refused to say that they supported keeping Biden atop the ticket.

Mr. Goldman, do you support keeping Biden as your nominee?

REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D-NY): No comment.

RAJU: Do you support keeping Biden at the top of the ticket?

Do you support keeping Biden at the top of the ticket?


RAJU: Do you think that Biden just stays as your nominee?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love that tie.

RAJU: Biden has won strong support from senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): All I can tell you is I am a big supporter of Biden. I --

RAJU: What about the people who believe that he's going to lose?

WATERS: I am going to work as hard as I can for him. Biden is going to win. The team Biden-Harris is going to win, win, win.

RAJU: In the Senate, Democrats like Patty Murray raising deep concerns about Biden's viability, while some standing firmly by him, including Bob Casey, facing a tight race in battleground Pennsylvania.

Do you support keeping Biden at the top of the ticket?

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): Well, I said so numerous times, you heard my remarks over a week ago in Scranton.

RAJU: The other concerns that he could sink vulnerable Democrats like yourself. What do you say to that?

CASEY: I'll leave that to the pundits.


RAJU (on camera): Now, Senate Democrats engaged in at lengthy closed- door discussion where a wide range of views were aired, I'm told, including, quote, deep concerns about the prospects of a Donald Trump victory in November. And after that closed-door meeting, Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, came and talked to reporters.

Initially, the leaders didn't talk about that meeting. They talked about abortion politics and then later when Chuck Schumer was asked about Joe Biden repeatedly, all he would say is, I'm with Joe, including when I asked him if he agreed with the sentiment of Patty Murray, the senator from Washington state and president pro tem, who had deep concerns about Biden, he was simply said, I'm with Joe -- Jake.

TAPPER: That's bizarre.

All right. Manu Raju, thanks so much.

Let's go now to CNN's MJ Lee at the White House who attended today's press briefing.

And, MJ, you had reporting this morning that Democrats view today as a make-or-break day for Biden's candidacy, both because of the congressional meetings, but -- and also this NATO speech. What's the sense over -- over at the White House? Did they -- do they really think this is in the rearview mirror?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, as you said, so many Democrats, we have been talking to really point it to today as being such a pivotal day for President Biden and his political future and the sense was that today would really give us the answer of will there be a full revolt within the Democratic Party or is the dam that has been holding so far going to continue to hold?

But as Manu just reported, we saw these lawmakers coming out of these meetings and saying, look, we aired our grievances. We talked about our concerns. We are going to continue talking. There are divisions.

I cannot stress this enough, Jake, as far as the president is concerned, the conversation is over. They are not talking about this anymore. We saw the president, especially starting yesterday, coming out in full force and saying the voters have chosen me. I am the Democratic Party's nominee and I am going point to continue fighting this fight.

And the sense that I'm getting -- that I am getting today from the White House, from Biden aides, from the campaign is not only are we done talking about this, it frankly doesn't matter what lawmakers might say. It doesn't matter what other editorials might come up. It doesn't matter what the pundits say, the president is firmly decided and nothing is going to sway him.

TAPPER: Also today, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre still could not or would not say whether President Biden watch his CNN debate performance from 12 days ago. Stephanopoulos asked him if he had and he said he didn't think so, which is odd to answer.

LEE: Yeah. In that interview, the president's answer to that question had been, I don't think -- I don't think I did. No, Karine Jean-Pierre was asked to clarify that, she said that she actually hadn't spoken to the president about it and didn't know so the answer. But she sure that he has seen some clips.

Now one thing that I did ask Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, in the briefing today, was whether upon reflection, whether there were any questions that she has been asked recently about the president's health that she would have handled differently. Here's that exchange.


LEE: Have -- the last 12 days made you reconsider any specific statement, but you might have made in recent months on -- on that issue.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, I appreciate the question. I really do and the opportunity. I think there has been moments here when I have said -- and especially in the gaggle, I think -- and actually yesterday, if I -- if I have, you know, said -- misled in something that I've said or haven't had the full information, I actually own up to that.


And I actually say I will do my best to get you the information.


LEE: But, Jake, when I did ask her about specific examples, including one incident back in 2022 when the president appear to be looking for a dead congressman at an event and the White House press secretary afterwards said that he had done that because the congresswoman was top of mind for the president, she said that in both of those examples that I cited, she would not change her response.

TAPPER: Okay. MJ Lee, thanks so much.

Our panel joins us now. We have Paul Begala, Shermichael Singleton, Sarah Matthews.

Paul, one of the things that you hear from Democrats coming out is kind of like this is what it is. And he's the nominee and we got to defeat Donald Trump, like they're -- there -- other than you saw Maxine Waters very enthusiastically supporting President Biden, there kind of seems to be this just acceptance which I guess is one of the stages of grief.

Here's Congressman Gregory Meeks to Wolf Blitzer earlier today.


REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): I think what was clear to me in the meeting was that we're all united and understanding and what everyone, you know, may have different position, but we understand one thing, the existential threat to the United States of America is Donald Trump.


TAPPER: If Democrats are making this argument that Donald Trump poses an existential threat to United States of America as the congressman says, doesn't sticking with Biden about whom so many voters have serious concerns undermine that argument?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Before the debate, Jake, the majority of Democrats in a "New York Times" poll, I'm going you a writing because the way, it's just really rough.

Is Joe Biden too old to be an effective president? Fifty-one percent of Democrats before the debate said yes. Okay, I haven't seen new data, but I don't need it. That's gone up.

Democrats love Joe Biden but they're really worried about Donald Trump to say the least. But you're seeing here they closed ranks. Politicians are herd animals, okay? And the herd exists to protect the whole, and I would have told you a week ago that when the herd came back from being dispersed around the country, they would collect around the fear that Biden would drag them down and cost them control of the House and the Senate.

It seems like they've gone the other way. And in that sense, I give the Biden team a lot of credit. I think the linchpin here, the key has been the Congressional Black Caucus. Black Democrats are not the majority of my party, but they're the heart of my party. They are the most important voters in my party.

They gave us Don -- Joe Biden to begin with who beat Donald Trump. And it looks like they may be saving Joe Biden now.

TAPPER: And, Shermichael, another top Democrat told CNN this all might come down to in the end, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Senate and House Leader Hakeem Jeffries in the House saying, quote, and this is what the Democrats said, Chuck and Hakeem are going to have to say the Congress is turning on you. That's basically the bottom line.

Do you think that's right?

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, as of now, it doesn't appear to be, right? But I think reality at some point is going to hit and for all of these guys, especially Democrats and vulnerable seats. I mean, 2, 3, 4 months ago, the expectation was that Democrats were going to regained control of the House.

I just had lunch with a friend and a couple of days ago and she told me based on internal polling on Republican outside, they feel pretty confident that we're not only going to keep the House, we may actually increase the majority, potentially.

I think, Jake, Democrats are going to have to do what Americans all across this country do when they have a parent who's older, when they have to take the keys away, you can no longer drive. You can no longer go to work.

And that's a tough conversation to have. I understand why the president is defiant. I understand being prideful. I understand not wanting to lose a sense of oneself, but at some point, you have to accept reality that maybe you have aged differently than everyone else. And that's okay. And that's the reality of life.

And we can respect the president. I'm a conservative. I have differences with Joe Biden, but I respect him as a commander in chief, he's given five decades for this country and that's something honorable. But I think at this point, it's time to move on. TAPPER: Sarah Matthews, correct -- is it fair to characterize you as a

Republican who doesn't want to vote for Trump? Is that -- is that -- yeah. Okay.


TAPPER: So I'm very curious, where does all this leave you? Because there are a lot of voters like you, they were still voting for Nikki Haley months after she dropped out of the race, your battleground state voters in suburbs of Milwaukee and Philadelphia, Atlanta, what does this do for you? The story about Biden's health?

MATTHEWS: As you mentioned, I'm a lifelong Republican and I've said that I would vote for Joe Biden. I would vote for Joe Biden if he was in a coma, but I don't think that the majority of the electorate feels that same way. And that's what's at stake here.


I mean, Democrats have been saying that democracy is on the line. I've been making that same argument. I'm someone who broke from Trump world over January 6, and I believe that democracy is on the line.

But if Democrats also feel that way, then I would urge them to find their backbone and speak out publicly because we hear all the leaks, you know, that are going on behind closed doors. The conversations over their concerns and fears about Biden not being up to the job to serve another four years. And yet, there have been very few Democrats that have been willing to say it publicly.

And I had a lot of Democrats thank me for my courage over speaking out against Donald Trump. And so now I implored those Democrats to find theirs because at the end of the day, I think that it looks like the writing is on the wall. Joe Biden is probably unlikely to defeat Donald Trump. I mean, if Election Day was held tomorrow, Trump would win in a landslide.

We saw the recent poll that came out in Wisconsin that showed the Democratic incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin up 12 points over Biden there. That is a key swing state that Biden probably needs to win in order to win in November.

TAPPER: He definitely needs it to win.

MATTHEWS: Exactly.

TAPPER: Did you see the tweet from Meghan McCain that said something like what the last two weeks have convinced me -- I'm paraphrasing -- but something like this is convinced what the last two weeks have done, if convince with Democrats aren't really all that afraid of Trump?

MATTHEWS: Oh, exactly. No, that's exactly how I feel. They've been making this case that democracy is at stake here. And then yet there all eerily quiet right now when -- I don't know how that squares with their message that democracy is on the line. And they're not willing to speak out.

And all it makes me think its not their prioritizing their craven ambition over everything else.

TAPEPR: Speaking of which, here is Jerry Nadler, a House Democrat from New York. I think he's the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, and he had said in a private call, its been reported that he thought Biden should step down, but here he is publicly.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): He is the person who's going to do it. He's going to be our nominee.

REPORTER: What had changed your mind then?

NADLER: Again, remember, only he can withdraw. He's made very clear that he won't, and that's the end of story.

REPORTER: But do you guys --

NADLER: The president has determined that he is the best candidate and given the fact that he's won the nomination, you've got all the delegates, only he can make that --


REPORTER: Do you believe Democrats can still win?



TAPPER: So, again, he's going to be the nominee, only he can withdraw. The president is determined that he's the best candidate. This is damning with faint praise.

BEGALA: Yeah. In the Gulf Coast of Texas where I grew up, where my heart is with those folks facing flooding in the storm Beryl, we call that crawfishing, because a crawfish off and moves backwards like that, and that's exactly, I know he's from New York, but if he was from back home, we'd say Congressman Nadler do a little crawfishing here. And I can't -- you have to ask him why that is?

But I will say the Biden people -- I've been in a White House in crisis. When you circle the wagons, you got to make sure you're not forming a circular firing squad. Okay?

Like free advice, I'm a Democrat, I'm a Biden Democrat. I brought -- in my list of villains, Donald Trump is a bigger villain than David Axelrod. Okay? I'm really tired of them attacking Democrats of good faith who are really worried that Biden will cost us the House, the Senate and the White House.

And I guess id give them that advice is if you want to unite your party, tried attacking Trump a little bit, instead of these mythical Democratic elites.

TAPPER: Well, they were going after -- they were going after reporters a lot -- a lot, too.

BEGALA: Right.

SINGLETON: Just quickly, Republicans will win back the Senate. Republicans are likely going to win the House. Joe Biden is behind in Virginia. He's behind in Georgia. He's behind in Arizona. He's behind in Nevada. He's behind in Wisconsin.

There's no way he can win in November.

TAPPER: So stick around. We got a lot more to discuss.

And speaking of attacking in "The Wall Street Journal" and journalists, from "The Wall Street Journal" today, quote, Biden's inner circle work to keep signs of aging under wraps. Who they say kept a tight rein on the president, keeping his potential stumbles out of the public eye, that reporting is next with one of those great "Wall Street Journal" reporters.

Plus, the Republican Party platform just released. How closely did it align with the controversial Project 2025, that playbook that Donald Trump is trying so hard to disavow.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: And continuing with our 2024 lead, new reporting in "The Wall Street Journal" looks at how President Biden's top aides have been working to keep signs of his aging or whatever is going on under wraps.

Reporter Annie Linskey's byline is among those on those "The Journal" articles. She has contributed to the paper's earlier reporting on Biden's health issues.

Thanks so much for being here. It's always good to have you.

So the article takes through incidents we've all seen such as Biden using a shorter set of stairs to get on and off Air Force One. It mentions one particular incident where he failed to show up for a meeting with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the G7 summit in June 2022.

What exactly happened during that?

ANNIE LINSKEY, REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yeah, in that instance, the Germans had put together a small informal soiree. They decided to do it early evening because they'd heard that the president prefers an earlier evening, so they hosted a sudden and it was supposed to be a jazz night for the president, the first lady. So that the German chancellor could happen informal conversation with the president about Ukraine without aides present, without note takers president, just sort of leader to leader conversation. That's how the Germans planned it.

But our sources said that instead, the Germans were surprised that Secretary of State Antony Blinken came in his stead. And so Blinken was the one who had that sort of conversation with the Germans. And Blinken according to two people who were in the room, said that the president had to go to bed early.

TAPPER: And I know that the State Department denies that that's what Blinken said, but it's pretty believable. He would have to come up with an explanation as to why he was there instead of the president.

What are some of the other incidents you cite in the story about how his aides have sought to hide this, whatever it is, decline, let's call it for the sake of an art -- of argument from the public and from others.

LINSKEY: Yeah, some of the forces we talked to present -- specifically cited the use of teleprompters in real, I mean, in every politician uses teleprompters for the larger speeches, but in venues as small as eight people, and then really struggling in some fund-raisers to find words.

And, you know, this one is really heartbreaking one, but in one instance, he really struggled to find the word "veteran".


And it's a word that, of course, is so meaningful to him given his family history in the military.

So, you know, these are the types of things that people behind the closed doors were saying, but he -- you know, you see it, you see it in public, too. But to sort of keep this -- these behaviors in sort of, you know, to --

TAPPER: Under wraps.

LINSKEY: Under wraps, thank you, thank you. The White House has done a number of things, they've kept exchanges very short, spontaneous exchanges are very, very short with this president, whether it will be reporters talking to the president really, for two minutes under the wing of Air Force One, when you have the motors blaring and it's very hard for anybody to hear each other.

So those are the types of things that they're doing. Ordinary a blaring music to try to shut down the end of his events so that he you can't yell a question at him.

TAPPER: And who are the top aides that are being discussed here as the gatekeepers?

LINSKEY: Yeah. I mean, it's his top aides, this kind of inner circle. Anita Dunn is one of them, her -- his communications director. Steve Ricchetti, longtime aide, you know --

TAPPER: Mike Donilon.

LINSKEY: Mike Donilon. And then, you also have some of his -- sort of people -- some of the people who serve as a bridge to the family, Annie Tomasini, Anthony Bernal, who have sort of a more of a personal relationship and are gatekeepers on a more personal level, controlling to some extent his schedule and who gets to see.

TAPPER: And the article also talks about Jeffrey Katzenberg, huge Hollywood mogul, spectacularly successful.


TAPPER: A co-chair of the Biden campaign. He was at the debate 12 days ago.

How was he involved?

LINSKEY: Yes. As the co-chair, one of the things that he's been doing as our reporting showed, as he's been going out in Hollywood and telling people, assuring people who had concerns about the president and whether he should run for reelection. And Katzenberg has served serve as a surrogate going out there, and telling people who had concerns that they shouldn't worry about him.

But Katzenberg is also somebody who has had an extraordinary access to this president and he has seen him many, many times, and has had -- has had a chance to see what many others have seen behind closed doors. And so, he is getting a lot of arrows in from in Hollywood, a lot of anger from donors who do feel a little bit misled, or I shouldn't say a little bit, who feel very misled by the presentation of Biden in various events.

TAPPER: And the article says, quote, Biden's team feels Washington is out to get him and this us versus them worldview has led to what some Democrats describe as a bunker mentality, blinding the president and his aides to Biden's political liabilities.

It's been 12 days and we keep -- I keep hearing different things from different Democrats. Some are convinced that ultimately they will see what's going on and how he's a drag on the ticket and this can't continue, but it does seem as though if you just look at what's going on publicly that the dam is holding at least for now, what do you think?

LINSKEY: I was with the president all weekend. I was in the pool with the president and he was certainly trying to show you know, show not tell as many Democrats have asked him to do. But you know, the events that he had, he had more events than he typically does. He wasn't using the teleprompter.

But, Jake, they were really short. I mean, it was like six minutes, five minutes. And I think that what Democrats have been saying to us is that they need to see more of those exchanges for longer periods of times before they're going to feel a sense of ease. TAPPER: Yeah. I mean, I -- some part of me that wonders if when people say that, when Democrats say that we need to see him out there, we need to see him taking lots of questions when -- part of me wonders, do they know? Do they do they think that he can't do it? And they're just setting a bar for him that he can't reach.

But to be continued.

Annie, it's so good to see you. Thank you so much.

Donald Trumps suggested questions about President Biden's health might be impacting his own search for a vice president. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We wanted to see what they're doing to be honest, because, you know, it might make a difference. I don't know. I'm not sure that it would, but there are those who say Trump's waiting until he finds out what's going to happen with crooked Joe Biden. And we'll see what happens with Biden.


TAPPER: Coming up next. What Trump is gearing up for tonight in Miami, Florida.

Plus, Rudy Giuliani accused of treating his financial problems as a joke. Brand new CNN reporting on what creditors plan to do for the man once known as America's mayor.



TAPPER: In our 2024 lead, just hours from now, former President Donald Trump will hold a rally not too far from Mar-a-Lago, at his Doral golf club in Miami. We're still waiting on a major announcement on whom Donald Trump has picked as his running mate.

CNN's Kristen Holmes is live for us at from Trump's Doral resort.

Kristen, what can we expect to hear from Trump tonight?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this is the first time were actually hearing from him since what we have seen transpire with President Joe Biden, he did have a rally, Donald Trump, just that they after the debate. But one of the things that we had been reporting is that Donald Trump nor his team really understood that the impact that the debate had until Monday afterwards. So what you heard from Donald Trump on the stage that was a sort of recognition that Joe Biden had not done unwell, but really sticking to the issue, staying on message something, we often don't hear from Donald Trump.

Now, he has been laying low for roughly ten days and it's the first time we're going to hear him actually react to what is happening with President Joe Biden. We expect to hear that, but the big question, of course, remains what we all want to hear, which is an announcement of who is vice presidential pick is going to be.

Now, I've heard from some senior advisers, they don't think its happening today. Others have speculated that it could come at any time. Right now, the only thing that we know is that that announcement is going to come before Monday, but it doesn't mean it couldn't come as late as Monday morning. One tea leave that I want to give you, even though his campaign told me not to read too much into it, we are obviously in Marco Rubio's hometown, Marco Rubio is here speaking, and so is his whole family.


They will be in the crowd today -- Jake.

TAPPER: Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who ran against Trump and lost for the Republican nomination, she's just made a pretty big move in the name of Republican Party unity. Tell us about it.

HOLMES: That's right. So she released all 95 of her delegates that she won during that primary to Donald Trump, but not just that, she encouraged her delegates and her voters to go out and vote for Donald Trump. She said she was doing this in the name of party unity. She said that Joe Biden should not be president.

But this really is just a formality. But on top of that, it really does send a message because one of the things that we had heard from a number of Republicans and Trump's supporters was that Nikki Haley might try to arrange some sort of coup at the Republican national convention.

No one believes that that was actually going to happen. This was a rumor. We know that sometimes Republicans close to Donald Trump trading conspiracy theories. However, this was a signal to everyone in the Republican Party that she was done with her run, that she was giving the power over to Donald Trump, and again, saying that her own supporters to go out and vote for Donald Trump.

Now the one thing I will tell you that we learned today is neither Nikki Haley nor Ron DeSantis have a speaking role at the convention. This is notable because back in 2016, the last time Donald Trump was first nominated during that convention, both of the people who had the second and third number of delegates, that was Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of them had big speaking slots at that convention. This time, not -- do not expect to see either of those rivals up on the stage.

HOLMES: All right. Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.

The Republican Party is gearing up for its biggest official event of 2024. When the party kicks off, its national convention in Milwaukee next week, the party just laid out its platforms such as it is, and CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us now. And, Phil, you've been comparing how the Republican platform compares to the controversial policy guide called project 2025, put together by a bunch of Trump allies, kind of helmed by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

What stands out to you when you compare the two platforms?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, what's most interesting to me I think to start with, is one they are not necessarily the same and I think its been very clear from the very beginning. And despite the former president saying he doesn't know anything about project 2025, as you note, there are several top officials from his former administration, likely future officials, and perspective second term that work with the Heritage Foundation's group known as Project 2025.

However, there are some very significant differences in the platform. On the platform, at least compared to past years, significantly shorter, very much written in Trump's own voice and it diverges on critical issues that are not just a Project 2025 issue, but also Republican orthodoxy for decades like abortion the was a behind the scenes fight. The former president has made clear he no longer supports a federal ban. He had supported a 20-week ban.

It diverges from Project 2025, fairly significantly, takes the ban language off the table entirely. Does attempt to mollify Christian conservatives, by alluding to the 14th Amendment would say believe says that live starts at conception, but its very different from Project 2025 in the sense that they lay out in their proposal and that 900 page playbook that the federal government, both Congress and unilaterally from the executive branch should be doing everything in their power to protect the unborn.

That could be executive orders. That could be legislation that would almost certainly be a federal ban that they support. Trump is not in that place. He's made that clear and its very much so underscoring the platform.

TAPPER: Are there areas where you see -- well, where else can you see divergence? Where else do they split?

MATTINGLY: I think what's interesting -- cultural issues are central to Project 2025 and they've been central very much in the former president's campaign as well. But one where they diverge is on the issue of gay marriage. It is not an issue that is listed in the platform. That is a change from the 2016 platform which carried over into 2020.

And that is a difference between where the Trump campaign is, where this platform is, and where Project 2025 has been listing in Project 2025 that they believed that government grant programs should be made available to faith groups that make very clear that marriage should be between a man and a woman. In this platform, any reference to issues with gay marriage or conversion therapy, anything of that sort not in there at all, president splitting from groups on that front.

TAPPER: Yeah, I think I saw some gun rights enthusiasts also expressing dismay that there wasn't anything in the Republican platform about guns. I think I read that.


TAPPER: What about areas where they're aligning, Project 2025 and the Republican platform?

MATTINGLY: We should make something very clear here. There are a lot of airships where they aligned on policy issues that the president cares deeply about, none more so than the issue of immigration. We've heard the president repeatedly say he will implement on day one, the largest deportation program ever, referencing in 1950s era program helmed by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This is something Project 2025 is very much behind. This is something that is laid out in explicit detail just as the president says it in the plan as well, the hard line very conservative, very rigid immigration policy is something that they align with totally, and it's also an area where not just Project 2025, but other outside groups have really formed this policy infrastructure around Trump that will likely include individuals who would be the second Trump administration.

They are very much pushing forward on this front, in that area, on areas like defense as well, some economic issues.


There is clear alignment. It's not a direct analog, but clearly that infrastructure is in place and it's one that Trump will be able to utilize should he win.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly with the latest on Project 2025 and the Republican platform, thank you so much. Great to see you.

Coming up next, the new CNN reporting on Rudy Giuliani as creditors accused him of treating his financial problems as a joke, what that might mean for his bankruptcy hearing, which is set for tomorrow?


TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you now. Another House Democrat and other congressional Democrat is calling for President Biden to drop out of the race.

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from a battleground district in New Jersey, just issued a statement that reads in part: I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country in the best interest of democracy, first and foremost, in their considerations. And because I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I am asking that he declared that he won't run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.


Again another House Democrat calling for President Biden to not run for reelection.

Turning now to our law and justice lead, creditors are accusing former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani of treating his bankruptcy case as a, quote, joke, saying he is, quote, hiding behind the facade of an elderly, doddering man, according to court filings.

Now, these creditors want a judge to appoint an independent trustee to take control of Giuliani's finances.

Let's bring in CNN's Katelyn Polantz.

Katelyn, give us a sense of how Giuliani's bankruptcy hearing will go down tomorrow.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Jake, it is one that is likely to have a lot of tension, potentially even anger from the people that Giuliani owes money to. It's very likely he is under oath and has to answer questions about his finances and it's a moment where there could be quite drastic action from the bankruptcy judge that could but give Giuliani quite a lot of grief and pain going forward that he has not yet even experienced.

Remember, Jake, there's $148 million here that Giuliani owes to two women who worked the election in Georgia in 2020, whom he defamed. He owes money to other people as well. But this bankruptcy he is meant to make them whole, move it into the realm where they can start collecting money from Rudy Giuliani.

That just isn't happening. And they are complaining to the bankruptcy judge all of his creditors that he isn't being forthcoming. He is spending money over and over again on Amazon purchases and other things. They just don't have much of an explanation for. And then on top of that, he's getting quite a lot of income, tens of thousands of dollars for a documentary, for potentially his Rudy branded coffee beans.

All of that coming in to something the creditors have no insight into, and a company that Giuliani owns and in bankruptcy, the whole idea around it is that everything gets out there on the table.

So this hearing, there could be things out there on the table. And then in addition to that, the judge could say something to Giuliani and make a decision to basically wrest control of all of his coffers from him, as well as this assets.

TAPPER: All right. Katelyn Polantz. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, some of the most popular weight-loss drugs, do they actually work? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is on call for this one and he will take your questions.



TAPPER: Time for our health lead now. A new study shows that some weight loss medications are more effective than others.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now for our new series, "Dr. Sanjay Gupta On Call", you see a QR -- QR code on your screen, bottom-right, use that to submit your questions about weight loss drugs, and, Sanjay will be back tomorrow to answer some of those questions.


TAPPER: Sanjay, help us break this all down. What do we know about these weight loss drugs? And what does this latest study say?

GUPTA: Yeah, so there's sort of four main medications that we're talking about here. A lot of people have heard about them broadly speaking, that the tirzepatide and the semaglutide. Tirzepatides are Zepbound and Mounjaro. And the semaglutides, people have heard about even more, are Wegovy and Ozempic.

The way these drugs work, essentially, they are known as post nutrient hormones. Jake, every time you eat, your body releases hormones. That cause you to make insulin, tells your brain that you are full and slows down your gut so that you can actually digest the food. That's essentially how these medications work.

What this study was really looking at was how do they stack up in terms of effectiveness? They looked at 18,000 people over about 15, 16 months and they compared them essentially, what they found was first of all, most people lost weight. Just about everybody lost at least 5 percent of their weight.

But at a year, at the year sort of point, the question was, how are people doing then and what they found was that what the tirzepatides. And again, that's the medications like Mounjaro on average, people lost around 15 percent of their weight whereas with the semaglutides, like the Ozempics, around 8 percent of their weight.

So that was -- that was the big headline here. I will point out, Jake, that about half the people in the trial actually stop taking the medication for various reasons. So that's something to keep in the back of the mind. But in terms of weight loss, that tirzepatide seem to perform better.

TAPPER: Should people, therefore, take tirzepatide instead of other drugs? Or does it depend on the individual?

GUPTA: I think it does depend on the individual. There's two points what I -- what I really dug into the steady. One is that the dosing was different, so it was a different dose of the tirzepatide versus semaglutide. If you actually go at the same dose which they didn't have, it might paint a different picture. That's one thing to keep in mind.

Second of all, there are side effects and for some people the side effects are going to be worse on one drug versus the other. S, maybe in terms of what they actually tolerate as well.

TAPPER: And then you talked about how some people of the 18,000 in this study, some people stopped using the drugs, I presume some of them stopped because there were -- there were side effects. What are the possible side effects?

GUPTA: Well, yeah, let's put up that list again of side-effects and let me just point out again, when you think about how these medications work in large part is they slow down your gut, so you digest your food better. But imagine the side effects that might occur because of that, nausea and vomiting and bowel obstruction. That's in part how the drug works. But in some people, the side effect of that may actually be too much and cause these, these problems where they want to discontinue the drug.

You're also stimulating the pancreas to make more insulin. Some people may develop pancreatitis. I will say most people, for most people, the side effects did diminish over time. And for -- for people they typically accelerate the dose.


They start off at lower doses that increase it. So, as to not get as many of those side effects.

But again, for a lot -- not insignificant percentage of people, it was too much and they ended up stopping the drug altogether.

TAPPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks. And don't forget, submit your questions to Sanjay Gupta about what -- put the QR code backup. Where is it? Put that -- put that back for one second.

Submit your questions to Sanjay, there it is. Thank you so much. About weight loss drugs, zip -- zip code that right there, whatever you want to call it. And he'll be back tomorrow. He'll answer some of your questions.

Appreciate it. Good to see you, Sanjay. Appreciate it.

GUPTA: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: We're just minutes from President Biden and Vice President Harris, both set to speak. The president is at NATO. Harris is at a campaign event I believe in Las Vegas.

We're going to try to tamp down concerns. They are going to try to tamp down concerns about Biden's health or the future of the campaign. What are they going to do? How are they going to be? We're going to be back in a moment, and we're going to watch.