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Right Wing Parties Lead France's First Round of Parliamentary Elections; Biden Campaign Stating President Not Planning on Stepping Down as Democratic Party's Presidential Nominee; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) Interviewed on President Biden's Debate Performance and Democratic Party's Strategy Moving Forward; Supreme Court to Hand Down Decision on Presidential Immunity. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired July 01, 2024 - 08:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Reverberations all around Europe and the world. Max Foster in Paris, thank you very much.

A new hour of CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right now.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: In just a couple of hours, a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court. Expected, the justices will decide whether Donald Trump has sweeping presidential immunity from prosecution. We're standing by for the ruling that will define the presidency for years to come.

And we will continue to fight. Those are the words from first lady Jill Biden in a new interview after the president's disastrous debate. We have new reporting on the advice he is getting from his family this morning.

And Will Smith is going back to where it all started -- music. He debuted his first new song in more than five years at the BET Awards.

I'm Sara Sidner with John Berman. Kate Bolduan out today. Those stories and more head on CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

New this morning, this is a quote, "We will not let those 90 minutes to find the four years he's been president." First lady Jill Biden telling "Vogue" her family is going to continue to fight as President Biden and his campaign are facing an avalanche of calls to have him give up his reelection bid after his poor performance during the debate on Thursday.

And as key Democrats continue to do damage control, others worry that the replacement scenarios are just as bad as keeping Biden at the top of the ticket. CNN's Edward-Isaac Dovere joins us now with more. What are you learning about this? You have this great article that talked through some of the different scenarios that are being discussed right now.

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Yes. Good morning, Sara. People that I have spoken tell me that many of the top people who would be considered as replacements for Biden have, of course, had their phones buzzing almost nonstop since Thursday night, and some preliminary thinking and planning is going on for what that might look like. Of course, this is all theoretical because the way the convention rules work, Joe Biden would have to step aside for there to be any possibility of an opening. Where it goes from there, it could go to Kamala Harris. That's where most people think it would have the edge. But then it could open up to just a floor fight, the kinds of things that really hasn't even happened in the movies.

But a new CBS poll yesterday had 55 percent of people saying that Joe Biden should stay in the race, 45 percent of likely, of registered Democrats saying they think that he should go and someone else should be the candidate. That is a kind of number that an incumbent president in a tight election whose approval ratings are already low, pretty scary for them, and they need to figure out what's going to happen here.

You do see a response from the Biden campaign saying he's the best candidate to knit together the coalition for all this, the kinds of chaos that would be set off by this would be too much. And take a look at this new ad out this morning that the Biden campaign has released to try to answer some of what they're thinking about.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Did you see Trump last night? I mean this sincerely, the most lies told them in a single debate. He lied about the great he created. He lied about the pandemic he botched. And then, his biggest lie, he lied about how he had nothing to do so the insurrection in January 6th. We all saw with our own eyes.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We're going to walk down --


DOVERE: So look, that's -- the theme of that ad is we get knocked down, we get back up. That's something that Joe Biden is trying to say is going on here. That quote that Jill Biden said, we're not going to let 90 minutes to find the presidency, that's also something Kamala Harris said to Anderson Cooper right after the debate on Thursday night. That is where the Biden campaign and the Biden administration is going with this, not giving in now. And of course, we've got the Biden family gathered at Camp David over the last day is saying to him privately that they want him to stay in for sure.

SIDNER: Yes, signaling that Joe Biden has no intention of stepping down for now. Isaac, thank you so much for reporting. John?

BERMAN: All right, with us now is Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from the state of Florida. Congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us. Your colleague, Jamie Raskin, said that Democratic members are having open, honest, serious discussions right now about the future of the presidential campaign. What type of discussions?

[08:05:09] REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): The colleagues that I have spoken to have talked about focusing on making sure that we can use our hands to door-knock and make phone calls and rally the troops rather than pearl-clutching and handwringing, John. We have a very serious election coming up, just under five months from now, that is between a decent man, Joe Biden, who cares about American families, and a conman who cares selfishly only about himself and has proven that time and again, bragged during the debate about overturning Roe versus Wade, told 30 lives according to your network, including his record during COVID, which killed millions of people, drove up inflation.

This is a man who has bragged that he yanked away the rights of millions of women and he would make it even worse. And that's what we have to focus on right now. We don't have time for handwringing.

BERMAN: Handwringing, and pearl-clutching, those are the two phrases you just used there. Is that what you think the concern is over President Bidens debate performance Thursday night?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What I think -- what I know that my colleagues and I have talked about across our caucus, when I talked to voters in my district, they want to make sure that we can put our heads down, move forward, and organize and mobilize. That's what we need to be doing right now. It is 90 minutes -- focusing on 90 minutes versus the record of a man who has been the best president in modern times, who has passed legislation that lowered prescription drug costs for seniors. You know how much that means to constituents in a district like mine in South Florida?

The fact that diabetic patients now only pay $35 a month for their insulin, that seniors' drug costs are going to be kept at $2,000, that Joe Biden championed successfully negotiating for lower prices and prescription drugs in Medicare when it was Republicans that actually prohibited that in federal law. Those are the things that are going to matter to voters when they make a decision between a guy who is a convicted felon and a president who has championed the things that matter to them and their bottom line in their lives.

BERMAN: Again, you say 90 minutes. Is it just 90 minutes for the voters who for months have been telling pollsters they have concerns about President Bidens' age?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: The time for focusing on details like that is long past. Joe Biden is our nominee and should be. We have to make sure that we can get ourselves organized and continue to raise the issues that matter to Americans in our battleground states, get voter turnout to focus on Florida as an expansion state in this campaign. I want to make sure that we are focused on the priorities that are right in front of us, not what's in our rearview mirror.

And I agree with the vice president and many others that focusing on what happened in 90 minutes rather than making sure that we can crystallize the choice between a convicted felon who has vowed when he takes the presidency to seek revenge against his enemies, or Joe Biden, who is going to continue to make sure that we can make life better for all Americans as he has done over the last three-and-a-half years.

BERMAN: Matt Bennett, who worked in the Clinton White House told us a little while ago he thinks that President Biden needs to do town halls. He needs to do interviews. He needs to go out there and show something different. What different would he need to show in a town hall than he showed Thursday night?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Joe Biden did what he needed to do just the other day on Saturday when he was in North Carolina, and took the stage and wowed the crowd, showed the Joe Biden that we all know.

Look, this is a conversation, honestly, John, that is taking place among elites. The voters that I talk to --

BERMAN: I just don't think that's true. Congresswoman, I was out there, I mean, anyone who was anywhere this weekend --

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You don't have to think it's true. But I'm telling you --

BERMAN: But I just think that anyone who was anywhere this weekend talking to anybody, the subject of discussion was the debate and was President Biden's performance? I don't think that that discussion is only for members of Congress.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Oh, I don't think it's only members of Congress also. But there are certainly a greater breadth of how I would define elites. I mean, my, my constituents at home voters across this country are not going to be focused on what "The New York Times" or "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution" talks about. They're not focused on what the political elites are hand-wringing about.


They're focused on making sure that we can have a president like Joe Biden who continues to fight to bring inflation down, who continues to fight to make sure that we can reshore American jobs like we did with the Chips and Science Act. When I'm home among my constituents, they care about the bottom line in their lives, and they care that we don't have a president like Donald Trump was who tried to overturn the results of a legitimate election, who populated his administration with unethical people, and who were focused more on enriching Donald Trump and themselves.

And that's, that's the choice. They want to make sure we have a president who is going to have their back, not give the American people the back of his hand, which is what Donald Trump did over and over again. And at the end of the day, we've got to stop, we don't have time for this handwringing. We have less than five months until an election. We have less than two months to the convention. We need to double down on organization right now, not on worrying about what happened during a 90-minute debate.

BERMAN: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thanks so much for being with us. I really do appreciate the discussion this morning.


SIDNER: All right, behind me a live look at the Supreme Court. Very soon the court's long-awaited opinion on Donald Trump's immunity case will drop. And when it does, Trump's legal life, as we know it, the 2024 race, as we know it, and the future of every presidency moving forward could all be hugely impacted. CNN senior Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic is joining us now. How are we expecting this to be rolled out this morning?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: OK, good to see you, Sara. In less than two hours, the justices will take their elevated bench and they'll begin announcing the last three opinions of the term. We expect this one on presidential immunity to be the final one. We don't know yet which justice has written it and how it will be announced. But there's a very good chance that the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, has authored this opinion and he will be the one who will announce it from the bench.

Sometimes, Sara, there are dissenting voices who are heard who take the unusual step of reading parts of their oral dissent, but I don't -- I think the chief in this one really wants to get as close to unanimity as possible. So, but after that drama of excerpts from the statement read then, the court will announce the end of its session for handing down opinions, and they will begin leaving town. And it will be up to us to then see.

Bottom line is, have the justices ruled in a way that subjects former President Donald Trump to criminal prosecution for at least some of his conduct after the 2020 election, culminating in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol? So the lower courts, Sara, as you know, had shut the door completely on former President Donald Trump said, rejected his assertion of categorical immunity. The D.C. circuit court of appeals said, "For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses does of any other criminal defendant, but any executive immunity that he may that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him in this prosecution."

And just to remind everyone what this prosecution is -- four counts of conspiracy and fraud but brought against Donald Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department, essentially on behalf of the American people, saying that he committed criminal election subversion and should be tried. The trial was going to be held, or at least it was scheduled for March. But because of this these proceedings over his claim of immunity, it has been dragged out. And we'll have to see if the justices rule in a way that any trial can possibly take place before the November 2024 election, Sara.

SIDNER: Yes, this certainly could be one of the most consequential decision the court has made in a very long time. Thank you so much, Joan Biskupic. Thank you. I appreciate it. John?

BERMAN: All right, breaking overnight, the Justice Department and Boeing are on the brink of a plea deal. New reporting on what is in the agreement and why it is being slammed as a sweetheart deal. Steve Bannon has just a few hours of freedom left, but before he

begins his sentence, he is planning to live stream a show from right outside the prison walls.

And new reporting and how a 15-year-old nicknamed "God's Influencer," just got named a Saint by the Catholic Church.



SIDNER: Today, former Trump adviser, Steve Bannon is heading to federal prison for defying a congressional subpoena from the January 6 Select Committee. The Supreme Court rejected the Trump ally's last- ditch bid to avoid his four-month sentence.

He had planned to livestream his show from right outside the prison walls. CNN's Sara Murray is live outside of the prison in Danbury, Connecticut.

What have you learned about this grandiose plan to do this live event, if you will?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Sara, it didn't quite come together as they were hoping. I think they're probably going to do the show back at that hotel that they're staying. I think Team Bannon is still hoping that when he arrives at prison later this morning, early afternoon that he might be able to make a statement to the press.


But again, they are sort of now weighing the spectacle that is Steve Bannon with not trying to upset the prison officials who are now going to in charge of his life in just a few hours.

You know, we expect him to roll up to these prison gates, to eventually go inside and there, he is going to go through the kind of processing that pretty much any inmate would when they arrive in federal prison.

He will go through a metal detector. He will be strip-searched. He is going to undergo a mental health evaluation and then he is going to be assigned his housing unit and then here at federal prison just over my shoulder in Danbury, Connecticut is where he is going to spend the next four months -- Sara.

SIDNER: All right, we will be waiting to see when that happens and what happens with his attempts at a livestream there.

Thank you so much, Sara.

All right, it has been a hassle trying to buy a car for weeks, as you know, car buyers because of a massive cyberattack targeting car dealers and some salespeople say they can't get paid. We will discuss this. And Will Smith returning to the award show stage performing a brand new song about his difficulties of the past few years.




BERMAN: This morning, lawyers representing families of victims of two fatal 737 Max crashes say the Justice Department is nearing an agreement with Boeing. The deal reportedly includes a corporate monitor and a fine in exchange for a guilty plea to criminal charges. The lead counsel is calling it a sweetheart deal.

CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean is here with the details -- Pete.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: John, this is a huge development in the saga that stretches back years. You have to think back to the Max 8 crashes, the 737 Max 8 crashes of 2018 and 2019, killed 346 people abroad.

Boeing reached a deal with the Department of Justice, essentially a settlement. It is called a Deferred Prosecution Agreement that allowed it to avoid a trial over a single fraud charge, that it misled the FAA during the certification of the Max 8 that led to those crashes that killed all of those people.

Now, the development is that Boeing has reached a settlement again, deferring trial again according to the department, or sorry, according to families with the Department of Justice.

This really means that Boeing will not face trial one more time. This is a really significant development and the terms of this agreement aren't fully known just yet, but according to the families, the lawyers that represent the families in these Max 8 crashes, they say that there is a three-year probation for Boeing, also a small fine for Boeing and a monitor that will be in place at Boeing to ensure compliance with them.

This is the statement from Robert Clifford. He is one of the attorneys that represent Max 8 victims' families. He says: "There is no accountability, no admission that Boeing admitted crime causing the 346 deaths and the families will most certainly object before Judge Reed O'Connor and that he reject the plea if Boeing accepts."

So this saga continues to get thicker and thicker all the time. This essentially means that Boeing will not face trial one more time. That is really, really significant here.

The thing here is that this Deferred Prosecution Agreement had a window on it. It was supposed to end only days after the January 5th door plug blowout, that put the Department of Justice's microscope back onto Boeing and caused it to reconsider these terms. There was a lot of question here about whether or not Boeing would face some sort of new criminal charges, but according to Max 8 victims' families, it seems that they will not face new charges. It will be another agreement with Boeing and the Department of Justice again.

BERMAN: Pete, I am so glad you laid out the stakes so clearly here and why this is such a big deal, and in the midst of all this, Boeing is still conducting big business, right?

MUNTEAN: Boeing just reached an agreement to fully bring in Spirit AeroSystems, one of its contractors that builds the fuselage of the 737. It is in Wichita.

Now, it will be acquired by Boeing. That means that Boeing is essentially bringing in more control of its quality control. Remember, quality control has been at the essence of the problems at Boeing lately.

There was the door plug blowout back on January 5th. The National Transportation Safety Board said that Boeing did not reinsert the door plug bolts on that 737 Max 9 that had that blowout an Alaska Airlines flight 1282.

The fuselage was built by Spirit AeroSystems, an independent contractor affiliated with Boeing. They essentially had a quality control problem on some rivets near the door plug and then the door plug was taken out at Boeing, which led to this major omission at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington.

So by Boeing acquiring this company, it essentially brings it in- house. It makes it so that Boeing has more control here and the quality control has really been at the essence of all the issues at Boeing.

BERMAN: Pete Muntean at Reagan National Airport, terrific reporting as always. Pete, thank you very much.

So starting today, bars in one state will now be required to offer drug tests that can determine if a drink has been spiked. New details in the potentially life-saving measure.

And we are standing by for a pivotal decision from the Supreme Court this morning on whether Donald Trump has immunity for actions he took as president.