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Trump Plans To Use Supreme Court Ruling To Fight Criminal Charges; Sources: Dems Fear Biden At Top Of Ticket Will Hurt Down- Ballot Races; Americans Celebrating Independence Day Overseas. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 04, 2024 - 07:30   ET




MERLE MEYERS, BOEING WHISTLEBLOWER: But you have to care. Leadership has to care to do that. But if you can't even keep parts segregated from good parts, what else aren't you doing right?


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: The mystery here is that we do have an exact accounting of where these parts are. They range from the superficial, like fasteners, to the critical wing flaps used for landing. If these parts weren't returned to the scrapyard, our whistleblowers worry that they ended up on new planes delivered to airlines and other customers in the last decade or so.

How big a deal is that also hard to know since we don't know exactly how or where they were used. But there is no question that these scrap parts should not have been put on planes -- Alisyn, Fred.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Pete Muntean, thank you very much for alerting us to this.

So this morning, President Joe Biden's fresh message to voters. "We've just got to keep moving," is what he says. Will the rest of the Democratic Party agree?

And new medical concerns about a possible link between several popular weight loss drugs and loss of vision.



CAMEROTA: The impact of the Supreme Court's ruling on presidential immunity is still reverberating. We're learning this morning that Donald Trump plans to use the historic decision to attack the evidence against him in all four of his criminal cases. One source says Trump's lawyers believe the ruling could have the biggest impact on his Mar-a- Lago classified documents case.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz has more from Washington right now. So, Katelyn, what are you learning?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Alisyn, there's always been this expectation that Trump's team would use this immunity opinion to attack the cases and the indictments broadly. But what they will also be able to do and what is now expected from what we're hearing from sources is that they're going to try and cut out the details that these cases have if they were to go to trial.

This is a focus around the evidence in the cases. Because there are things, like in the Mar-a-Lago case in Florida. That is so largely about things that took place after the presidency alleged obstruction and having documents in Mar-a-Lago in unsecured locations that were national security and should have been protected.

And yet, his attorneys are going to be arguing to the judge and already have told the judge that they want to cut out things like when Trump had the documents taken out of the White House at the very last hours of his presidency.

So looking at the evidence is going to be something is going to continue on in these cases as they move forward now that the Supreme Court has decided, and it's going to ricochet in all four of those cases.

Also, Alisyn, everybody is looking at this opinion. It's not just Donald Trump's team. People like Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark, who are co-defendants of his down in Georgia -- they, too, see possible help potentially for them. They're fighting their charges there in other ways -- other types of immunity for federal employees. They've been losing that battle in the courts.

Mark Meadows, though, is expected to go to the Supreme Court just later this month when he has a deadline upcoming for another appeal.

And the general idea from the sources I have heard from is that it might not explicitly help them now that the Supreme Court has defined presidential immunity -- but hey, it couldn't hurt -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. It has not simplified things, Katelyn, is what I'm picking up. Thank you very much -- Fred.


President Biden vowing he will see this race through to the end and his team declaring he will absolutely not withdraw from the ticket despite growing fears among Democrats that he will hurt their chances in down-ballot races.

Joining us right now, Republican strategist Joseph Pinion. And Maura Gillespie, founder of Bluestack Strategies and former press adviser to John Boehner when he was House Speaker. Good to see both of you.

All right. So, Maura, you first. I mean, a few things here. I mean, a lot of things, right, that are happening right now simultaneously.

Biden and his supporters, including those Democratic governors outside the White House trying to salvage his reelection. And then, two Democratic Congressmembers saying out loud Biden should step aside. Plus, the contingency plan. If not Biden, then his vice president.

So let's focus on the latter. Kamala Harris says she is proud to be his running mate. How viable is this momentum for Harris now when for much of the past three years there was criticism, if not uneasiness that she was a liability?

MAURA GILLESPIE, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL, BLUESTACK STRATEGIES, FORMER PRESS ADVISER TO SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (via Webex by Cisco): To me, it's really late in the game to be even having this conversation because quite frankly, there has been so much criticism against Kamala Harris. You know, she was the border czar but really, the border is a big weakness in the Biden-Harris administration.

So I wonder why they didn't listen to Dean Phillips when he told them it's time to pass the torch. This should have been as surprising as it seems to be to the Democrats, but I think that they're very late in the game to be having this conversation.

And at this point, Biden is being supported by his family telling him to run. And at the end of the day, that's not really where things should be coming from. It should be coming from the American people who have largely now expressed they don't want either Trump or Biden in this race.

And I think if you're looking at the polls and if you're a Team Biden, in order to stand up and preserve your legacy and salvage anything you should see this is an opportunity to bow out. Because that's preserving your legacy. That's putting America first.

So I would harken back to that idea of what does it mean to be a public servant putting the public interest ahead of your own.


WHITFIELD: Except, of course, Maura, the White House and, of course, even President Biden all are saying let the voters decide. That's when you will be able to gauge what the American people want because thus far, we've heard from a lot of Democratic elected officials.

So, Joseph, to you. You know, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton saying this. "I have grave concerns about his ability to defeat Donald Trump. When your current strategy isn't working, it's rarely the right decision to double down. President Biden is not going to get younger" -- quoting him.

Also, reportedly, a draft letter now is floating on Capitol Hill that lawmakers may sign, pressing Biden to step down.

So, Joseph, even if Biden is defiant -- digging in, you know, his heels -- how does he endure or survive this kind of tidal wave?

JOSEPH PINION, REPUBLICAN STRAGEGIST (via Webex by Cisco): Well look, there are a few factors here. Number one, I believe the Congressman's own words belie the truth. This is not about doing what is right for the American people. This is about a Democratic Party that has dug themselves a grave and now are looking for an escape hatch.

And so, yes, it was quite clear to everyone that Joe Biden had not only lost a step but lost his footing on the global stage.

It was quite clear when we had Robert Hur with a big billboard telling the American people that it was his opinion -- the Department of Justice's opinion that he was not fit to stand trial. He was mocked.

Every single person who has spent the last three years with grave concerns about the empty stares, the falling up the stairs, the tumbling down the stairs -- we take no pleasure in saying these things. It is just a reality for a man that is our commander in chief.

And so, I think Republicans are going to do everything humanly possible to keep Joe Biden on the ballot. To tell the American people that Democrats have effectively perpetuated an Aaron Sorkin fever dream on the republic -- a fraud on this republic by trying to tell you that this man was fitter than he was.

You look in places like Wisconsin where he has to possibly either not be alive to be off the ballot. Place like Georgia where he has to demonstrate that he is unfit mentally to be off the ballot.

So these are all going to be very intricate steps that Democrats are going to have to go through, and Republicans are going to push back firmly on all of those.

WHITFIELD: So perhaps, Maura, this is a little window into Biden's strategy. He was on a Philadelphia radio station on "The Source With Andrea Lawful-Sanders." She's going to be on CNN later on this morning. Biden is trying to put more attention on his opponent, Trump. Listen to what he said.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Like, he talks about 'black jobs'?


BIDEN: He just talks down to people.


BIDEN: He has no respect. It's a shameful comment and it's not surprising. This is a guy, as I said, questioning George Floyd's humanity. Led the birther movement against President Obama. Accused the Central Park Five -- they should be in jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: So, Maura, Biden is underscoring Trump as no advocate of Black voters. Do you expect Biden will try to do this more to perhaps upstage the criticism that he's facing?

GILLESPIE: It's a smart tactic to go out there and point out all of the things that Trump has said and done. I think the debate showed us that really, like, the biggest issue here is trust. I don't think you can trust things that Donald Trump has said. I don't think you can trust that he is going to advocate for the interests of the American people. I think he's advocating for himself by putting himself in a position to keep himself out of jail.

On the flip side, I don't think you can trust that Joe Biden is equipped to handle this job. He's already been failing to do so. And we saw on the debate stage he really wasn't all there.

And so, trust now is completely eroded for the American people because this was blatant, as to Joe's point. This was obvious. This was coming -- a long time coming. He went into office at an older age. They're both going to be octogenarians. Should they be in the White House for the next four years -- either -- whoever it is?

And so, the -- this is where yes, the Democratic Party can hit Trump for a lot of things, but the Republican Party has just as much to go after on the flip side. So again, I have long said I don't see either of these choices being good for the American people moving forward.

But for the Democratic Party, if they really believe and the polls are showing that they are so far behind, there's opportunity here. They should be capitalizing on it by moving past Joe Biden.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Thank you so much, Maura Gillespie, Joe Pinion. Great to see you both -- Alisyn.


Right now, voters are at the polls in the U.K. where the fate of the ruling Conservative Party is on the line. Six hundred fifty seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs, and whichever party wins will determine who becomes prime minister.

The incumbent PM Rishi Sunak voted this morning. He is the one who called for this surprise snap vote months earlier than necessary.

CNN international correspondent Nada Bashir joins us now from London. So, Nada, explain how significant this election is.


NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well look, this could be a gamechanger after 14 years of Conservative Party rule here in the United Kingdom. Opinion polls suggest that the Conservative Party could suffer major losses with the Labor Party -- the current opposition party -- sweeping into power after more than a decade.

Now, of course, there are many key issues at the forefront of voters' minds. This is the first time that voters have gone to the polls since 2019 when Boris Johnson was elected prime minister -- the leader of the Conservative Party. Since then, we've seen many leadership changes -- many new prime ministers -- and a sense of instability within the government -- within Parliament.

Many, of course, concerned with the chaos that we've seen on the police force (PH), but also concerned with the state of the economy, the cost of living -- prices here in the United Kingdom. And, of course, there's also foreign policy concerns at stake. This is an election taking place at a time where the U.K. has diplomatically been very much involved in the war in Ukraine as well as, of course, the ongoing war in Gaza.

So there are a number of key issues, of course, for voters heading to the polls today. Polls opened at around 7:00 a.m. local time. They will stay open until 10:00 p.m., or 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. It is at that point that the counting begins.

Now voters, of course, are voting for their member of Parliament. There are 650 constituencies. They are voting for their local representative for each of these parties; not voting directly for the prime minister.

And what these parties are looking for -- what these party leaders are looking for is for their parties to secure a majority -- that crucial 326 figure and above. And we'll be seeing those counts coming in constituency by constituency overnight into the early hours of Friday morning.

We, of course, expect to see exit polls throughout the night coming in, giving us a steer of where this year's election is heading. Those official results set to be announced on Friday.

And, of course, it is crucial for that party that does win to secure a majority to be able to form a government for the prime minister to take office. So this is and could potentially be a big gamechanger for the country. Many will be staying up overnight to watch those vote counts come in to see who the next prime minister will be.

CAMEROTA: OK, Nada Bashir. Thank you very much for all of that.

New details this morning of a ninth lawsuit filed against Sean "Diddy" Combs by a former adult film actor.

And high temperatures and a water boil advisory could make for a very uncomfortable Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.

It's almost shark week but this year, it's sharks that are in danger. Many sharks species facing extinction. Overfishing is the biggest cause, but pollution is also a major threat. Dive Against Debris is trying to fix that in today's Impact Your World.


JACK FISHMAN, PADI AWARE FOUNDATION: Dive Against Debris is a citizen science monitoring program where scuba divers can remove marine debris that they find on the sea floor.

And as divers, we can quickly see what is not actually supposed to belong underwater, from plastic to metal, to all sorts of things that we may find underneath the waves. As plastic enters the marine environment it breaks down over the course of time. And so, when small organisms eat that it starts with the next level of fish all the way up to the top of the food chain with sharks.

The most commonly found item across the world by scuba divers is plastic fishing line, and that can create a tearing effect. It can create abrasions where it moves and starts to hurt sensitive marine organisms, such as corals. And animals can find themselves entangled.

Once the debris has been safely removed underwater, we sort it, we record it, and then we report it to our database. Over the past 10 years of recording data, we've actually moved more than 2.3 million pieces of marine debris around the world. When divers remove this they're not only making the marine life underwater safer, governments can use that information to create new policies that might prevent the spread of marine debris, especially plastics, in their local community.

As scuba divers, we are ocean optimists. We should not feel discouraged by the immensity of everything that's going on. But rather, we can take one small action at a time and we can make a big difference.


CAMEROTA: And on Friday, go inside the shark battles in American waters. Boris Sanchez dives into the debate between conservationists, fishermen, and shark hunters on "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER." That's tomorrow at 8:00 only on CNN.

And don't miss Discovery "SHARK WEEK" hosted by John Cena. It all starts Sunday on Discovery and streams on Max.



WHITFIELD: All right. This Fourth of July, brutal heat is on tap for many cities across California, especially in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley. Making matters worse, Oroville, where a 3,500-acre wildfire is burning, is seeing record temperatures upwards of 110 degrees.

Cal Fire is warning of dangerous fire conditions. They say a sparkler or a firework is more than enough to cause a brushfire.

And a ninth lawsuit has been filed this week against music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs. This lawsuit filed by a former adult film actress, Adria English, says she worked for Combs between 2004 and 2009. And during that time she accuses him of sex trafficking and sexual assault. An attorney for Combs denies the allegations.


And a fourth person in the U.S. has been infected with bird flu. A dairy farm worker in Colorado now confirmed sick. The state health department says he had mild symptoms and recovered after being treated with antiviral medication.

Three other cases were reported earlier this year in Michigan and Texas, all linked to an ongoing outbreak among dairy cows. The Colorado Department of Public Health says the risk to most people remains low -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: This morning, a new study is linking the popular weight loss and diabetes drugs Wegovy and Ozempic to an increased risk of a rare form of blindness.

CNN's Jacqueline Howard joins us with all the details. Jacqueline, this is alarming.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: It is, but there's no need to panic, Alisyn, because this study shows there might be this association between the drugs -- semaglutides -- and this rare form of blindness. It's caused by restricted blood flow to the optic nerve -- a type of eye stroke.

But it's so rare, Alisyn. In the general population, only about up to 10 out of every 100,000 people have been diagnosed with this condition.

The reason why researchers are turning attention to this though is because in their study they did find that patients with diabetes who have been prescribed semaglutides appear to be about four times more likely to be diagnosed with this condition compared with people who had diabetes and were not prescribed these drugs. And people who are overweight or who had obesity and used these drugs appear to be about seven times more likely.

But again, Alisyn, it's an association. The researchers say we need to take a closer look at what exactly is happening here.

CAMEROTA: For sure -- understood. And, I mean, 10 people --


CAMEROTA: -- is still 10 too many.

But thank you very much for alerting us --

HOWARD: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: -- to all of that. OK, Jacqueline Howard. Thank you -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Today, Independence Day celebrations aren't just happening here at home. U.S. servicemembers at bases around the world are enjoying the festivities as well. CNN's Mike Valerio is at Camp Humphreys in South Korea. It's the

largest overseas U.S. military base. So, Mike, how are folks celebrating?

MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Fred, the fireworks just ended here. So it's like we're back home. We're actually like 40 miles away from the center of Seoul, South Korea. You would never know it though because look at everybody here. This is great.

This is, as you mentioned, Fredricka, the biggest U.S. military base outside of the United States. We've got not one, not two, more than 40,000 people here are connected to the U.S. Department of Defense. And, you know, Fred, for so many families who are on their first deployment here, who are having new kids -- you know, they miss home, or their babies may not have had a Fourth of July experience ever in their lives.

So we just wrapped up fireworks here. We had an amazing concert about two hours. You know, we're 13 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States, so it's starting to wrap up here. But we had Hoobastank, which I don't know where you were in 2003, but Hoobastank had the single of the summer. It was pretty much the anthem of my freshman year spring fling.

The reason they played it here -- we spoke to the lead singer Doug Robb. Here is what he had to say, Fred, about playing --


VALERIO: -- in the middle of South Korea. Listen to what he told us.


DOUG ROBB, LEAD VOCALIST, HOOBASTANK: There's a lot just gratitude and everybody seems so thankful and appreciative both ways, you know? And it's something that you can't replicate -- just go into play a show, you know, at a theater somewhere. And it's really cool. I look forward to it. It does -- I can feel it, for sure.


VALERIO: So it's been an amazing experience -- an absolutely incredible experience. You have our star-spangled sprinkle -- red, white, and blue cupcakes that I will be -- this is the last one I'll be finishing as soon as our live shot is over.

We all lucked out here tremendously, Fred, because we had monsoonal rains over the Korean Peninsula --


VALERIO: -- for the past, I would say week or so. The weather cooperated. We had an amazing fireworks display.

And worth noting, the tapestry of our American experience was on full display. Really, that was the center of attention. No conversation about politics back home. It was very refreshing. I think that people here, Fred, have such a steadiness of purpose furthering the security mission of the Korean Peninsula and East Asia at-large -- the region.

So we're focused on that today and what it means to be an American. It was certainly refreshing. A great experience here in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, at Camp Humphreys

Fred, back to you.

WHITFIELD: Oh, love that -- of course, the focus on fun and freedom.

So there's a lot of movement behind you and I'm just curious -- it seems like they're kind of moving toward a certain direction or they're just kind of circling around. What is happening behind you?

VALERIO: So the fireworks ended, and everybody lives over there. This was prime fireworks real estate. So this is where everybody was gathering. There's maybe one more concert behind the camera, so --


VALERIO: -- that's the mass migration of people. That's what's going on here.


VALERIO: Yeah, yeah.

WHITFIELD: That's the action. I love it. Lots of fun.

Happy Fourth to you, Mike Valerio. Thank you so much.