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President Biden to Give Interview on ABC and Attend Multiple Campaign Events in Attempt to Demonstrate His Viability as Democratic Presidential Candidate; Donald Trump Challenges Joe Biden to Second Debate; Wildfires Continue to Burn Out of Control in California. Record-Breaking Heatwave Hits West Coast; Senior Administration Official: Framework in Place for Ceasefire Deal. Aired 8-8:30a ET.

Aired July 05, 2024 - 08:00   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: -- Bertoletti taking home that coveted mustard belt, scarfing down 58 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes yesterday. The 16-time champ Joey Chestnut, of course, he wasn't allowed to participate in the annual competition, banned after signing on with a plant-based food company. He did though, compete in his own event in Texas yesterday, downing 57 all-beef hot dogs -- not plant- based, in five minutes, and raising $106,000 for military families.

A new hour of CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right now.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: More Democrats and big donors are putting pressure on the president of the United States to step aside as the Biden team moves to salvage his campaign with a new aggressive strategy.

And dangerous heat will blanket much of the country this weekend, putting millions at risk and threatening to stoke already dangerous wildfires. How you can stay safe in these record breaking temperatures.

And in minutes, the June jobs report drops, and what it means for the economy and how it could impact interest rates.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield with Erica Hill. John, Kate, and Sara are off today. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

HILL: Efforts to course correct continue this morning with the Biden campaign trying to convince voters the commander in chief is still up to the task and to stay on the ticket as they continue to try to recover from the disastrous debate performance now more than a week ago. This morning, the White House laying in a new memo what they are referring to as an aggressive July schedule for the president, kicking things off with a rally today in the key battleground state of Wisconsin. Of course, he will also be sitting down this afternoon there for an interview, one that many are looking at is a make-or- break moment for this campaign. That interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC will be his first since the debate, his first TV interview. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is live at the White House this morning. They are trying really hard at this course correction, but it seems with each move it's actually raising new questions, Priscilla.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, and each move is under great scrutiny. Now, of course, the Biden campaign is trying to shift the narrative after a really difficult week that brought into question the presidents candidacy. Now, of course, this July memo in some ways is a signal to allies that we hear you by laying out this aggressive travel schedule. Now, this includes the president, the first lady, the vice president, the second gentleman visiting collectively every battleground state. It also includes the president going to battleground Nevada to talk at two conferences targeting Latino and black voters. It also includes a $50 million paid media blitz.

And notably, this memo also talks about the president engaging in more off the cuff moments. Now, this is something that we have heard repeatedly from allies over the last week, that they want to see the president in more unscripted moments. They want to see him on the campaign trail showing that vigor and aggressiveness that his advisers say is this is the case behind closed doors and, in some cases, at rallies when he is feeding on the attendees and the people there.

Now, the president yesterday was here at the July 4th celebration. He did, indeed, have an off-the-cuff moment when someone in the crowd yelled, "We need you."


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You got me, man. I'm not going anywhere. All right.


ALVAREZ: Now, the president, of course, is trying to chart a new course here and provide that reassurance to Democrats. He tried to do that earlier in the week with Democratic governors along with his campaign. But there's still a lot of questions. He's heading to battleground Wisconsin today, later battleground Pennsylvania over the weekend, and of course, that primetime interview. All eyes will be on that. The campaign has been signaling toward that as an important moment. And so certainly it's going to be very important what unfolds over the next few days as they try to but reassure and salvage the president's reelection bid.

Yes, absolutely. Priscilla Alvarez at the white has this morning. Priscilla, thank you. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, while Biden looks to course correct his campaign after the debate, Donald Trump is ready for round two. The former president unleashing some Fourth of July fireworks on social media last night, posting a flurry of attacks against Biden and the Democrats, calling out the president to debate against him a second time, this time, quote, "no holds barred."

CNN's Alayna Treene is with me now. So Alayna, what more is the former presidents saying? He's kind of seizing on this moment, isn't he?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: He is. There's no question, Fred, that Donald Trump as well as Republicans at large are relishing this moment. And look, we have seen Donald Trump really ramp up some of his rhetoric online in the past 24 hours or so.


But I will also argue that he's been uncharacteristically quiet this week. He has had no public events. He stayed at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey. His team essentially told me that he's purposefully laying low. He wants Joe Biden and all of the handwringing we're seeing from Democrats about what should happen next following his poor performance last week at that debate, they want that to take centers stage and be the story.

But we did see some taunting from Donald Trump yesterday and really challenging Joe Biden to another debate. I'm going to read you some of what he said. He wrote, quote, "Let's do another debate, but this time, no holds barred, an all on discussion with just the two of us on stage." Now, of course, this is something that Donald Trump is pushing for. Again, when I talked to Donald Trump's team about this, they're saying this is him trolling the president and Democrats a bit.

But we did see Donald Trump had a great night, and honestly, maybe not even on the substance. He did falter and some of his answers. He did lie a lot on stage at that debate. But the country trust between him and Joe Biden was unquestionably good for the former president. And so this is really what he's putting out there. But of course, we have to see if this is even a possibility for the Democrats at this stage, Fred.

WHITFIELD: So for Trump, it's not just targeting Biden, even Harris, so the overall White House, but now he's also zeroing in on George Stephanopoulos, who will be leading the interview that will be airing on primetime this night on ABC. In what manner is he doing that?

TREENE: Well, he's also posting on Truth Social about this. And look, I mean, it's interesting, Fred, because when I talk to Republicans, we know that Democrats are watching this interview later, and as Erica pointed out at the top of the show, that this is a make or break moment for Joe Biden.

Republicans are also watching this very closely. They will be watching this interview. We will see them responding in real time. And they're also unsure of what's going to happen.

I do want to read for you as well what Donald Trump wrote about this. He really went hard after George Stephanopoulos. He wrote, quote, "The meanest and most vicious interviewer out there is George Slopadopoulos" -- obviously criticizing his name -- "of fake news ABC, one of the worst and most vile broadcasters in the business." He went on to continue to attack him.

And look, this is a similar strategy to what we saw Donald Trump and Republicans do in the leadup to the debate. They attacked the moderators. they try to paint the media as fake news, not a new concept when it comes to Donald Trump. But they're already trying to get out in front of this interview and paint it as potentially favorable to Joe Biden in the event that Joe Biden does well. And so we're seeing them trying to manage expectations before it even happens, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Alayna Treene, thank you so much. Erica?

HILL: A potentially historic and extremely dangerous heatwave is intensifying for millions of people on the west coast. How they're trying to stay safe in these sweltering temperatures.

Plus, new details on a framework for a potential ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas this morning.

And a terrifying Fourth of July at one Texas beach after a shark attacks multiple swimmers.



HILL: As California firefighters work to put out the massive Thompson fire, it's now at 29 percent containment, they're fighting against a dangerous heatwave. And as a heatwave, it now expanding across the country. High temperatures and winds causing major issues, injuring nearly a dozen firefighters. CNN's Stephanie Elam is live in Sacramento this morning. So Stephanie, walk us through where things stand this morning.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the heat is going to continue to boil here. The sun is just starting to come up here in Sacramento, Erica, and were in for another really hot day. Temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above normal. We've already seen records falling this week. All this while firefighters are battling some dangerous blazes across the state.


ELAM: Burned-out homes and cars left in the wake of a fast-moving wildfires in Oroville California. The Thompson fire has burned thousands of acres as of Thursday, with about 12,000 people still under evacuation orders. The fire raging by night, then smoldering and flaring up under triple-digit temperatures. Eleven firefighters were hurt fighting the blaze, three when a fire truck rolled over, the rest from the heat. All are expected to recover.

NICK SCHULER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, CAL FIRE: It's difficult conditions that they face.

ELAM: Four structures, at least two of them houses, have been destroyed by the fire, more than 12,000 remain at risk. Add in high winds and the damage can be random. In this neighborhood, homes like this one still standing, while feet away, fire scorched ground. Crews still putting out hotspots. This fire season has been exceptional. More than 130,000 acres burned, a 1,600 percent increase from last year.

SCHULER: This winter, we had a significant amount of rain, but with rain brings growth. And the challenge with that is that fuels and vegetation continues to dry out.

ELAM: What's helping California firefighters, new technology allowing helicopters to fight the fires at night.


SCHULER: The ability to battle fires at night allows us to gain the upper hand when in normal conditions fire activity decreases at night.

ELAM: Now the concern, fireworks.

This video showing how a firework started a three-acre fire in San Francisco in a matter of minutes.


ELAM (on camera): And that is one of the concerns that's why even through this holiday weekend, they are saying, do not use any fireworks, but we are seeing the effects of human induced climate change, which has promised that the dries will get drier and the hots will get hotter, and for a lot of people, they are saying this is really dangerous, Erica. This can mean the difference between life and death if people don't stay inside and stay cool because it is going to be so hot out here in the west.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, so important to get that message out. Steph, appreciate it. Thank you.

Well, every year, hundreds of people are killed after they're exposed to extremely hot temperature. CNN's Jacqueline Howard is with us now with more on some tips on how to stay safe here.

So Jacqueline, in terms of the concern, we've been talking so much about the heat in the country. It is happening earlier. It is in more places. It can actually land people in the hospital.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Oh, absolutely, Erica and that's a major concern right now.

We know that heat itself, it can be as silent killer. Every year, more than 1,200 people die due to extreme temperatures here in the United States and some heat-related illnesses, we see our heat cramps, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke.

And heat stroke itself, Erica, it is not an actual stroke. It happens when your body is unable to cool itself down. Signs of this are if you have a body temperature higher than 103 degrees, you may have a fast pulse, you may feel dizzy, you may have a headache, you may lose consciousness or pass out, and when that happens, Erica, doctors have 30 minutes to cool the patient's body down before they're at an increased risk of organ damage or even dying from this condition. So it is a very, very serious situation.

HILL: So to that point, if you have such a narrow window, if you have some of these symptoms, do you immediately go to the emergency room?

HOWARD: Oh, absolutely.

You want to call 911 if you see someone having these symptoms and you want to try to cool the body down with cool clothes. What you don't want to do is give that person alcohol, caffeine, or any liquid if they are unconscious, they could choke on that beverage and don't give them fever-reducing medications because those won't work against heat stroke. And if the person is dehydrated or overheated, the medicines might do more harm.

And to stay safe in this heat, Erica, you want to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water this summer and look out for the most vulnerable, that's young children, older adults, and pregnant women.

HILL: All right, Jacqueline, appreciate it. Some really important tips. Thank you.

HOWARD: Absolutely.

HILL: Fred --

WHITFIELD: All right, Erica, coming up, a breakthrough between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the next steps for Gaza as a framework for a ceasefire deal comes into focus.

And the June Jobs Report is dropping just minutes from now. Are we finally on the way to rate cuts?



WHITFIELD: All right, new this morning, a major development in the nearly nine months' long Israel-Hamas War. A senior administration official tells CNN that the "framework" is in place for a ceasefire and hostage deal. While not guaranteed, this comes after a phone call between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.

Now, we're joined now by CNN political and global affairs analyst, Barak Ravid.

Barak, good to see you.

So put this into perspective for us. How significant might this development be?


I think it is very significant. I think a lot of the issues that were discussed for months between the parties that every time there was this some sort of one step forward, two steps back situation, a lot of those issues have been resolved.

These are the big issues, the principles for a possible deal. But once you settle or you agree on the big principles, you can move to a detailed negotiations on issues like who exactly are the hostages that are going to be released, who are the Palestinian prisoners who are going to be released, so I think there has been a very significant progress. It is still not the point where the parties can move to detailed negotiations, but it is very, very close.

WHITFIELD: So President Biden, he obviously has been pushing for a deal for months now, and in that phone call with the prime minister, Biden said, it is time to close. So what is it going to take especially when you talk about those issues at stake? What will it take to nail it down?

RAVID: So first, I think it is very clear that Biden wants a deal. He wanted the deal before his debate with President Trump -- with former President Trump and I think he wants a deal even more after the debate with former President Trump.

But putting that aside, so the head -- the director of the Israeli Mossad is in Doha today to meet with the Qatari prime minister in order to try and solve the final issue that prevents the parties from moving to detailed negotiations, and this issue is Hamas' demand to get a written commitment from the US, Qatar, and Egypt that when the parties negotiate the second phase of the deal, a few weeks after the implementation starts, that these negotiations will not end until there is an agreement on the second phase of the deal.


This means that basically, Hamas wants a commitment that the ceasefire will continue almost regardless of any other development and the Israelis say, we cannot accept that because this means that we can give Hamas a greenlight to draw those negotiations and drag their feet in order to get a ceasefire.

WHITFIELD: So in the meantime, are there any discussions or heightened discussions about a ceasefire or pause leading up to nailing down that kind of hostage deal?

RAVID: Yes, there is not going to be any ceasefire or pause before the parties agree. The ceasefire will only start if the parties agree on all the details. Again, I think this last issue is solvable. I think it will be solved this weekend, and then the parties can move to detailed negotiations.

By the way, this is why you did not see the director of the CIA, Bill Burns going to the region yet. I think, he is waiting to see that this last hurdle is crossed and then he will also traveled to the region, that is the intention from what I understand, and the parties will go into the detailed negotiations that could take something like two to three weeks to nail down really the names of the prisoners who would be released, the names of the hostages who would be released, where exactly the IDF forces will redeploy in the first phase of the deal.

And if all of that would be agreed on in two to three weeks, there will be this first phase of 42 days of ceasefire.

WHITFIELD: Wow, fascinating.

All right, those are the signals to look for. Barak Ravid, thank you so much.

All right, meantime, President Biden is under pressure. The growing list of wealthy donors threatening to close their checkbooks unless he quits his re-election campaign.

Plus, the June Jobs Report coming out right now. What does it mean for inflation? We will dig into the numbers.