Return to Transcripts main page

CNN News Central

FBI Advises How to Spot, Prevent a Mass Shooter; Top House Democrats Divided Over Best Path for Biden; U.S. Announces $2.3 Billion in Military Aid for Ukraine. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 04, 2024 - 08:30   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That to fuel their justification for violence.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, the FBI says that there's no one key characteristic that will guarantee some will become a mass shooter. But if you start to see multiple of these warning signs happening, again, it could be time to seek help, and that could include from law enforcement, from a principal, from a supervisor, a member of clergy, anyone that can help you start that conversation to try to get someone help.

Because you know, for so often, all these mass shootings that you and I have covered over the years after the fact, we learn that someone knew something, someone saw something, but they just didn't reach out. Obviously, the FBI wants people to come forward and to get past that stigmatism of not reporting things that they see troubling signs.

And finally, it's worth pointing out as you mentioned at the top, we're in this period of time here in July, this according to the Gun Violence Archive, this first week of July is what they describe as the worst week for shootings in the United States. And you know, we could look at some of the numbers here.

July 4 today has often seen the most mass shootings in a day, tomorrow, July 5th, you know, the second number of mass shootings. There are a number of factors for that. First, you have people that are out in large gatherings, sometimes those gatherings are infused with alcohol.

You have more prevalence of weapons here in the U.S., people settling scores with guns more and more. And so, all of that obviously very concerning we're in that time. And so, that's not to say people shouldn't go out and have fun. Obviously, it's an enjoyable --


CAMPBELL: Time to celebrate the birth of the nation. But it's just something that people continue to focus on particularly in the security industry, that you have to be aware that this is a particularly violent time when you're out and about.

WHITFIELD: Yes, important to read the signs that you suggested earlier and pay attention and respond accordingly.


WHITFIELD: Josh Campbell, thanks so much. All right, well, another true headache on a holiday. Nearly a million customers ordered to boil their water or used bottled water just as they prepare for 4th of July celebrations. And brand new sex assault allegations against Sean Combs this morning.



WHITFIELD: A party divided. CNN has learned that a call between lawmakers and House Democratic leadership, several expressed concern that if President Biden stays on the top of the ticket, he might not only lose the White House, but also ruin any chance they have a flipping the House.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has more from Washington. So, Sunlen, what else are you learning about this phone call in this real dilemma?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Fred, well, top Democrats on Capitol Hill, they are certainly feeling and hearing this panic from their members. And they're essentially trying to take stock of this moment. There was a conference call last night convened by House Democratic leadership, where they heard from many top Democrats, and there was, according to a source familiar with this call, really they split.

There were some Democrats that were very vocal and saying they want Biden to go, that they think it's time for Biden to go. But then there was also a lot of concern voiced about those that said there would be a frenzy and worried about the frenzy that would break out if that actually happened and what that would do to the party in that moment of chaos.

Now, notably on this call, House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, whose voice here has so much sway with so many members, he did not express his opinion on what he thinks should happen. So, that's important to note here. Now, as all this though is playing out behind closed doors as they try to plot the strategy going forward, we are hearing from more and more Democrats publicly speaking out against the President continue his run.

We heard from Congressman Grijalva, he became the second sitting Democrat calling for Biden to go publicly yesterday. We also heard from Congressman Seth Moulton, who walked up to that line, but didn't cross it. He said he has grave concerns, and that Biden he says, is certainly not getting any younger here.

There are also other Democrats who are sticking by him for the moment, but also acknowledging that something has got to change and change fast. Here's Congresswoman Debbie Dingell this morning.


REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): I think that the one clear thing this week is that there's only one person that can show he is up to the job, has the stamina to do the job, that he will do the job, and that is Joe Biden. And he needs to get out there on a sustained basis and do things spontaneously.

One interview is not going to reassure folks. We've got to be realistic.


SERFATY: And a source on Capitol Hill also reflects that sentiment that a lot of House Democrats are feeling. Let's see how this interview goes. Let's see how he does on the campaign trail in Wisconsin. And they're using the next few days to kind of make up their mind. A source says that this is going to be an inflection point of sorts when the House Democrats come back to Washington after the holiday weekend, after all this plays out on the campaign trail, Fred, and they return to Washington on Monday.

WHITFIELD: All right, Sunlen Serfaty, thanks so much. Alisyn?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CO-ANCHOR, CNN NEWS CENTRAL: OK, joining me now is Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky, CNN senior political commentator Ana Navarro and former Congressman from Illinois, Joe Walsh. Great to see all of you this morning. Julie, this feels like a very fluid situation.

Things seemed to change by the hour. You just heard Sunlen say that Monday seems to be a pivotal day.


When do you think that President Biden needs to lock in a decision, and what do you think is going to happen today?

JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think President Biden needs to prove to not just his base, but to the American people that he's up to the task, that we cannot unsee what we saw on Thursday. And yet, it has been a week now, happy 4th of July, but it's been a week since the debate and the President has not been out there.

I understand he has an interview with Stephanopoulos that he's doing tomorrow. It's going to air on Sunday, so we're going into a long weekend now without any kind of visibility from the President. And Debbie Dingell is right, it cannot just be that one interview with George Stephanopoulos.

It can't even be two or three sit-downs with journalists, he has to get out on the trail, he has to talk to voters, he has to spontaneously present himself as the candidate that he could be. And if he is not capable of doing that, he needs to take a very short, but serious look at what the next steps are. And look, I love Joe Biden, and I think he's been the most successful

president of my life-time, if not the last 60 years, but the problem for Joe Biden is that voters are thinking about the future. They're thinking about whether he's capable of governing for the next four years, he has to prove immediately, he has to prove -- yesterday, two days ago, three days ago that he's up to the task.

CAMEROTA: So, Joe, as you know, last night, President Biden met with nearly every Democratic governor, and the governors then came out speaking from the same script saying that they had his back. They said, quote, "he is in it to win it. So, in that case, what's everyone still waiting for?

JOE WALSH, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Him, Alisyn. They're waiting for Joe Biden. Look, Julie is right. Look, think about this. That debate was a week ago, a week ago. The fact that Joe Biden hasn't been out taking questions from the media, taking questions from voters unscripted for 90 minutes, a couple of hours, the fact that he hasn't done that in the past seven days, man, that's a much bigger fail than his performance at the debate.

Biden has always had one test in this campaign. Is he too old? That's all the American people have been concerned about with Joe Biden, if he could get over that, he would beat Donald Trump. He didn't do that. And again, the -- it's been one week, fact that he has not been out is a bigger lapse in performance than what he did at that debate.

CAMEROTA: And CNN is reporting the behind-the-scenes. There's talk of a succession plan, though the Biden campaign dismisses that reporting. So, where do you think will be 24 hours from now?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have no idea and I think nobody knows, so I don't know what's going to happen on the Democratic side until Joe Biden says he's out, he's in, that's what we know. But I do know what's happening on the Republican side.

And you've got an increasingly emboldened out-of-control Donald Trump, who's not being taken into account, who's not being called to task because we are all focusing on what's going on, on the Democratic side. It's taking out all the oxygen. In the last week, we've seen what's happened to people around Donald Trump.

Rudy Giuliani disbarred, Steve Bannon went to jail, went to prison. Nobody talking about that. Nobody talking about how Donald Trump has pretty much gotten immunity from the Supreme Court now, and this is the guy who's calling for retribution and vengeance and wants to be a dictator for one day.

So, this time, vengeance, retribution, Donald Trump now thinks he's got immunity. What could go wrong? And we're not focusing on any of that because of these throes of agony going on, on the Democratic side. From where I stand as somebody who does not want to see Donald Trump elected under any circumstance, I would just like Democrats to figure it out and figure it out quickly.

If it's Biden, fine, if it's Harris, fine, if it's Clint Eastwood's empty chair, fine. If it's any empty chair, fine. But let's just focus on what it is and what we've got to do to make sure that Donald Trump does not get re-elected.

CAMEROTA: Julie, there are already polls out, and as you say, you don't think and I've not heard really anybody say yet, that they think that the George Stephanopoulos interview on Friday will entirely change everyone's mind. So, what data point would seal the deal here one way or another?

ROGINSKY: Well, the data point is exactly what Ana just talked about. The President needs to go out there and prosecute the case against Donald Trump. We need to stop talking about whether he's capable of doing that. We need to see that he is capable of doing that. Look, the Supreme Court just ruled effectively that we could either have a benign dictatorship or a totalitarian dictatorship, which is effectively what Donald Trump wants.


He wants to put people in camps. He said so. He is going to obliterate NATO effectively, we know that. We've had President Zelenskyy out there, kind of nervously eyeing a Trump presidency because he knows Ukraine is going to be given away to Putin if Trump gets elected. We are talking about mass deportations, we are talking about an adjudicated rapist.

We're talking about somebody who has been convicted of 34 felonies, being the president of the United States with absolutely no guardrails before him. The fact that I'm able to prosecute this case right now, the fact that Ana just did, and the fact that Joe Biden has not done that in the last week is troubling to me.

So, if he can do it, he needs to go out there and do it now. If he can't do it, he needs to step aside and let somebody do it who can. But we are on the precipice of not being able to celebrate the 250th anniversary of our democracy in two years, if that's a belief.

Because we are about to elect somebody who is a threat to that democracy. It is plainly stated by me and many others, the President needs to go out there and say it. And if he can't, he needs to step aside and let somebody do it who can.

CAMEROTA: Joe, on a practical --

NAVARRO: Alisyn, if you --

CAMEROTA: Yes, go ahead, Ana.

NAVARRO: About that, I think the key question that Stephanopoulos, I hope asks, and that I think a lot of us want answered is, do you have -- was this a one-off or do you have a condition? Do you have a medical diagnosis that the American people should know about? Or how do you explain what happened last Thursday?

Give us that. And if not, I'll tell you what the other data point will be. The clock, the calendar, right? I mean, the Republican convention is in two weeks, the Democratic Convention is in six weeks. So, the time is running out to make these changes. There's a lot of procedural legal FEC issues that have to be sorted out if you're talking about changing a candidate.

This is not like changing a boyfriend in high school. This entails an enormous amount of things that need to get done. And I don't think people are thinking about that. There's ballots being printed, there's primaries that have happened. Different states have different regulations.

So, there's a time that's going to come when chain -- making this change, you know, people think there's going to be on what night that comes out of the sky. Well, they're running out of time for that what night to appear.

CAMEROTA: And Joe, I mean, one big issue that might be the deciding issue is the donors. There are big mega Democratic donors, one of whom is saying that he's not going to give any more to Joe until there's a change at the top of the ticket. Is that what's going to be the deciding factor?

WALSH: No, I don't think so. And actually, the smaller donors might be an even bigger factor. Look, Alisyn, the great irony here is this, it almost doesn't matter who the Democratic nominee is, because I'm certainly supporting whoever will run against Donald Trump.

This election is going to be about democracy or not democracy. So, all of -- all of those people who opposed Trump, it doesn't matter who the nominee is. That's why it's so just crazy that we're going through this right now. But to Ana's point, that's why your decision needs to be made right now.

One other point I'd make, it's not the Biden re-election campaign. It's the Biden-Harris re-election campaign. If Joe Biden decides he's going to step down, Kamala Harris is right there. And I think the entire country would immediately rally around her to defeat Donald Trump.

CAMEROTA: Well, and maybe, but as you know, there's lots of undecided voters who have not thrown in their support yet behind something like that. But as I said, it's very fluid and we'll see what the rest of the day holds. Julie, Joe, Ana, thank you all very much. Great to talk to you. Fred.

WHITFIELD: OK, I'm overstating the obvious. The holiday is going to be a hot one where the temperatures are expected to soar to record highs, and who will be crowned this year's hot dog eating king? The people vying for the title now that world champion Joey Chestnut, he's out of there.

And a look at the first fireworks of the day. U.S. service members celebrating the 4th at the largest base overseas, Camp Humphreys in South Korea. One of their hits, "Somebody Told Me", you'll see them live tonight on CNN. It's part of our independent state celebration with live firework shows from across the country. Also performing live, it will be Bebe Rexha, Ashanti, T-Pain and more

on the 4th of America celebration starts 7:00 p.m. Eastern tonight here on CNN.



CAMEROTA: On our radar this morning, the U.S. announcing another $2.3 billion in military aid for Ukraine, that includes $150 million in missile interceptors, artillery rounds and anti-tank weapons drawn directly from U.S. stockpiles. It also includes Patriot air defense missiles, which have been critical in Ukraine's fight against Russian attacks.

In northern California, the Thompson Wildfire is now at 7 percent contained, this is according to Cal Fire. Officials say it has scorched nearly 4,000 acres. They also have a warning for anyone who plans to celebrate the 4th.



NICK SCHULER, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY & FIRE PROTECTION: This week in California is a challenge for firefighters, triple-digit heat, red flag warning, heat warnings, and July 4th. And unfortunately, people are going to use fireworks, 95 percent of fires in California are human caused, therefore preventable.

Our firefighters are battling fires across California, and often times on the line for more than 24 hours. It's a difficult condition that they face. They're well-trained, they must stay hydrated and rest as appropriate.


CAMEROTA: And a town just north of Boston will not have their usual 4th of July celebrations after a barge carrying fireworks caught fire overnight. Marblehead has canceled their annual Independence Day gathering as authorities continue investigating the cause of that fire. And an update in the nation's capital, a boiled water advisory that had impacted much of the area has been lifted.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had issued the advisory as a result of algae blooms in the Potomac River. Now, customers can use tap water for all purposes. The water is meeting the quality standard set by the EPA. Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Alisyn, right now, Hurricane Beryl is battering the Cayman Islands with sustained winds of 120 miles an hour. Those winds can cause as much as 4 feet of storm surge and dangerous surf for the trio of islands. And in just the last three hours, 1 to 2 inches of rain have soaked Grand Cayman, and it's falling at a rate that could quickly lead to flash flooding. Meteorologists Elisa Raffa is tracking the storms. So, Elisa, where might it be heading next? ELISA RAFFA, METEOROLOGIST: Fred, we are watching Mexico very

closely. That's where it's going to head as we go into tomorrow, but we're still dealing with a major Category 3 hurricane with 120-mile per hour winds. We have had tropical storm-force winds on the Cayman Islands all morning.

We have seen gusts reported over 55 miles per hour for some of that islands, right now, we're seeing gusts nearing 40 miles per hour there for Georgetown. Notice the conditions kind of getting better for Jamaica as they look at some of that damage. We've had some weakening over the last day or so, because we have a wind-shear nearby.

That's wind energy upstairs in the atmosphere and hurricanes hiatus(ph). So, that extreme intensity has been able to be shaved off and will continue to do so as it heads towards Mexico. But we are expecting it to maintain hurricane strength as it gets towards the Yucatan Peninsula.

You're looking at rain totals of 4 to 6 inches, and some spots could be up to 10 inches as it makes that landfall in Mexico, as we go into tomorrow. So, that could lead to some flash flooding. Plus, they're looking at 4 to 6 feet of storm surge. So, we maintain that hurricane strength as it gets to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

You have got hurricane warnings in effect there, then it exits into the Gulf of Mexico where these waters are very warm. So, it can intensify again into a hurricane before it heads towards that border between Mexico and Texas. So, we are watching this closely because it depends on how strong this heat dome is, if that track nudges any farther south or north headed towards Texas, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, and then Elisa, let's focus in on the west coast of the U.S. because the temperatures are just soaring, it just seems like there's no end in sight. What's happening?

RAFFA: Yes, you can see here where we've got the heat domes, which is in part what's steering -- what's steering Beryl. And you've got temperatures today for the 4th of July holiday, you're looking at up near 100 degrees. In Dallas, temperatures, 113 in Vegas, 115 in Phoenix as we've got multiple areas of heat that are setting up.

So, as we go through the next couple of days, we're looking at more than 200 record-high temperatures falling some all time high temperatures possible in places like Las Vegas because of this extreme heat. Look at the warnings, they stretch from border to border, from Canada down to Mexico, most of California with some excessive heat.

Watch our warning in effect, because you're looking at this heat lasting multiple days. Sacramento could be looking at temperatures well above 105 degrees, four, five days or more, rather these warning stretch into next week. So, it's long live, long duration and not really much relief at night, which is what makes this exceptionally dangerous.

Temperatures in Bakersfield up at 114 this weekend, at 114 on Sunday, Palm Springs temperatures nearing 120 degrees, Sacramento, 110 just incredible. And this heat, like I said stretches up into Oregon, a place that really doesn't have too much air conditioning, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Elisa Raffa, thank you so much. All right, a new hour of the CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right now.

CAMEROTA: No one is pushing me out. That's what President Biden says. He is defiant as Democrats remain divided over whether he should stay at the top of the ticket. What he's saying in new interviews this morning. And we're seeing weather extremes today.

Deadly Hurricane Beryl now battering the Cayman Islands as an intense heat wave hits millions of people across the U.S. this 4th of July.