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Intel: Russia Plans to Target Swing States to Influence Elections; Black Man Dies After Being Pinned by Security Guards at Wisconsin Hotel; Economists Warn Federal Reserve Should Cut Interest Rates Soon to Avoid Increased Unemployment; Senator Michael Bennet Becomes First Democratic Senator to Call on President Biden to Step Down as Presidential Nominee; Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Counsels Democrats to Wait on Further Developments in President Biden's Performance before Calling for New Presidential Candidate. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired July 10, 2024 - 08:00   ET



MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: And the good news is that the rate of inflation has cooled substantially. Prices are no longer skyrocketing. But there is growing concern from economists about how the jobs market is holding up after all that tough medicine from the Fed. There are yellow lights flashing, the unemployment rate is still low, historically low at 4.1 percent, but it has moved noticeably higher. A year ago, it was at 3.5 percent. The black unemployment rate, that's moved up even faster. The rate that workers are quitting their job, getting hired, has gone down.

Now, by no means am I saying the jobs market is imploding. It's not. But cracks have clearly emerged. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, he acknowledged as much yesterday, telling lawmakers that the jobs market has, quote, "cooled considerably." And he said, inflation is not the only risk we face. Thats why investors on Wall Street, they're betting and the Fed is going to dial back that inflation fighting medicine by cutting interest rates. The market is pricing in a 73 percent chance of a rate cut not in this next meeting, but the one after that, the one in September.

Now, economists I'm talking to are warning the Fed not to wait any longer than that. Moody's economist Mark Zandi, he told me, quote, "The biggest danger is a policy mistake, that the Fed keeps rates too high for too long. Right now, the Fed is signaling a September cut. I think that's OK. But if they wait any longer than that, I fear they are going to overdo it."

John, there's a lot of pressure on the Fed to get this just right. The stakes here are massive.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Matt Egan, thank you very much for that.

A new hour of CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: New warning signs for Democrats, a Democratic senator now saying publicly he does not think Joe Biden can win reelection after that debate performance. And just in, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking out this morning and leaving the door open to Biden bowing out of the race.

Plus, a man is dead being pinned to the ground by four security officers, part of it captured on video. His family is now demanding answers, drawing comparisons to the death of George Floyd.

And forecasters recalibrating their predictions today for the hurricane season after Beryl set the bar high. Get ready for a hyperactive hurricane season, friends.

I'm Kate Bolduan with Sara Sidner and John Berman. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: An aide for President Biden says we're done talking about the debate. And from a senior White House official, I'm moving on to my day job. But this morning, Nancy Pelosi told "Morning Joe" that's just part of the new White House strategy to move past concerns over Bidens fitness for office. Nancy Pelosi being very tepid on whether or not she thinks Biden should continue to run.

But there is a potentially big new wrench in the form of Senator Michael Bennet. He is the first Democratic senator saying these words to the public out loud.


SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election, and maybe win it by a landslide and take with him the Senate and the House. And so, for me, this isn't a question at polling, it's not a question of politics. It's a moral question about the future of our country.


SIDNER: Bennet is not alone. Overnight, we learned two more senators privately said they, too, think Biden simply cannot win in November. And in a rally last night in Miami, as you might imagine, Donald Trump pounced.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The radical left Democrat Party is divided and chaos and having a full full-scale breakdown.


SIDNER: We told you a bit about what Nancy Pelosi was saying. This is just in now. She said, "It's up to the president to decide if he's going to run. We're all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short." This is what she just said, and we are working on getting you some sound for that in just a bit.

But first, CNN's Arlette Saenz is at the White House right now for us. Arlette, what can we expect today? We're hearing from the aides trying to move this forward and move on, but you're hearing a whole lot of other things from, for example, senators and now from Nancy Pelosi that don't seem so supportive of the president.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sara, President Biden and his team are simply pushing forward with this campaign, essentially telling those doubters about the president remaining in the race, that it's time to move on. Aides believe that the debate over the debate and the path forward in this campaign is essentially over, that President Biden has vocalized his intent to stay in this race.


One aide telling CNN, quote, "He truly believes he is the only person who can defeat Donald Trump. It's not an act." They believe that the president has telegraphed his intentions to remain in this race and insist that that is not changing at this moment.

Now, one adviser telling CNN that some in the president's inner circle have expressed concerns about the deterioration of support for President Biden up on Capitol Hill. But ultimately, this adviser said, the only way the president would exit this race is if he was prodded to do so by his close members of his family.

But still, the White House and the president behind the scenes have been working to try to rally as much support as possible for the president to try to bleed, or to try to stop any further bleeding of support from Democrats up on Capitol Hill. Now, President Biden today will be fully focused on his job as commander in chief. This morning he will be stopping by a meeting at the AFL CIO talking to about 60 union chiefs from across the country. And then he will turn his focus to the NATO summit, attending a few events at the summit this morning and hosting leaders here for a dinner this evening. He'll also a welcome the new British prime minister to the White House a little bit later in these afternoon.

But many eyes will be on President Bidens performance at the NATO summit in the coming days including on that solo press conference tomorrow, as many allies and those who have doubts about President Bidens future in this race have said that he needs to do more to show voters that he is up for a second term.

SIDNER: And looking for some reassurance. Arlette Saenz, thank you so much, live there for from the White House for us. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Let me bring in CNN's Jeff Zeleny for more on this. Jeff, let's start with playing what we just heard from the former House Speaker -- sorry, there you are, Jeff. Jeff, let me play first what we heard just now from the former house speaker, Nancy Pelosi, this morning about President Biden. Let's listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA): I want him to do whatever he decides to do, and that's the way it is. Whatever he decides, we go with. I think it's really important, and I would hope everyone would join in, to let him deal with this NATO conference. This is a very big deal -- 30 heads, over 30 heads of state are here. He is the host of it, and that means not just hosting. It means orchestrating the discussion and setting the agenda. And he's doing so magnificently. And I've said to everyone, let's just hold off. Whatever you're thinking, either tell somebody privately, but you don't have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week.


BOLDUAN: Jeff, what do you hear in that? I mean, Pelosi saying I want him to decide and do whatever he decides to do. We have heard what Joe Biden says he has decided to do. But what do you hear from Speaker Pelosi and what do you hear from -- what are you hearing in Michael Bennet coming out publicly to say that he doesn't think Biden can win.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate, good morning. If you unpack what Speaker Pelosi is saying there, it's actually quite interesting. She is saying that hold off, no one should make any proclamations at least publicly to the Michael Bennets and others of the world. But she's also saying, let's see how this week goes. Let's see how the NATO summit goes. Let's see how the rest of the week goes, and that includes what does polling show.

So Kate, I am told that Democrats really are in a state of disbelief over how this has played out, but particularly they are keeping their eyes on some swing states. What is the data showing this week? So if you listen to what former Speaker Pelosi, who is as close and as a sharp of a reader as polls and the dynamic as really anyone in the party, she is saying, let's take a breath and hold off. What she did not say is try to a really quiet the conversation and that Biden is all in. She said it's up to President Biden.

So it was pretty extraordinary there. And of course, I'm thinking back now, just watching those comments made just a few minutes ago on "Morning Joe," what she said last week. She really framed the conversation around President Biden's performance at the debate, asking publicly, was that an episode or a condition? So I think this is the latest sort of words of wisdom or lessons to her party, saying it's up to President Biden, but hold off for now.

But Kate, the reality he is that time is on the side of the president and the White House. They've essentially tried to run out the clock this week and tried to circle the wagons, and they've been pretty successful at doing that. So President Biden is winning the week in terms of holding off that big dam from breaking. That did not happen, at least it hasn't happened yet. So the pressure campaign has worked. The question is, though, how much more difficult of a race to run is this now for the next four months? And it's pretty significant.


BOLDUAN: Talk me through that. What are the signs, as concrete as they can get, what are the concrete signs that his path has been made any more difficult since that debate performance?

ZELENY: Kate, the bottom line is the battleground map is expanding. It has gotten extraordinarily more difficult in some of the swing states since that debate. And we should point out even before the debate, former President Donald Trump was leading in many of these states. But if you look at our road to 270, of course that is the magic number needed to win, some important adjustments here. Look at Michigan. That now in our rankings is lean Republican. Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, that is part of the blue wall that Biden has been holding onto, needing to win. Not saying he can't, but it's in a very much more difficult position than they were hoping it would be here in the month of July.

Also, look out west to Nevada and Arizona. Arizona is still a battleground in our map, a toss-up, but Nevada is much more difficult, and the Biden campaign is aware of this. Also Georgia, of course, the site of the debate, has always been one of the more difficult battlegrounds for President Biden to win, but they've been investing heavily there. Now that is lean Republican. But Minnesota, I am told by many Democratic advisors and strategists now that is also on the cusp of becoming more difficult as well. So we have moved that into lean Republican.

So the bottom line here is the battleground map is expanding, the opportunities for Donald Trump to win have grown. And Minnesota, you may think, well, that sounds like a Democratic state. But if you you'll think back to 2016, that was the narrowest defeat for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, just lost it by about one percentage point or so. So think of Minnesota from here forward as the reddest blue state, if you will.

So the bottom line to all of this, this race is now more difficult for President Biden going into the final stretches here. So he won the pressure campaign, at least so far this week in Washington. But what type of a race is left for him, and it's harder, Kate.

BOLDUAN: I still think there's a real question on timing. Jeff, great analysis, as always. And when it has the clock run out for Biden to get out and Democrats to still have a chance to change direction. Timing is like an amorphous thing in this unprecedented time of when is time up, when has he completely run out the clock? It's something that will continue to debate going forward. But it's great to see you, Jeff. Thank you so much. John?

BERMAN: All right, a new warning from intelligence officials detailing how Russia is planning to interfere with the 2024 presidential election, now armed with artificial intelligence.

Stop hiding behind the facade of an elderly doddering man. An angry message this morning to Rudy Giuliani from the people he owes millions of dollars to. Today, he will face off against them in court.

And "F them both" 2024, how one woman just won a major free speech lawsuit about a vulgar yard sign.


[08:17:43] BERMAN: This morning, a new warning from US Intelligence officials,

Russia is planning to target swing states to influence the November election and the Justice Department says it has disrupted a Russian bot farm that was using AI to spread propaganda and misinformation in the United States.

With us now, CNN National Security analyst, former CIA chief of Russia Operations, Steve Hall.

Steve, great to see you.

So what has changed and what has stayed the same in terms of Russia?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: John, I think the thing that has really stayed the same is Russia's intent to try to meddle once again in our elections and influence them quite frankly, in the direction of Donald Trump, of course, who would be their favored candidate.

So, they saw how that is worked in the past in the United States, how it has been very effective for the Russians, not really even having to come up with their own propaganda, but primarily just using the divisions that already existed in the United States and sort of playing those off of one another that has been a very effective tactic in the past.

The thing that has changed though, and it still kind of remains to be seen how it has changed is the use of artificial intelligence. This is a very strong arrow, I think, powerful in the Russian's quiver and it will be very interesting to see how they deploy it and how effective it is going to be for them.

BERMAN: You have any advice to people who are on social media because that's one area we know the Russians like to play.

How can you tell what's real and what's a Russian plant?

HALL: Yes, these days, John, it is really getting more and more difficult. And of course, the AI that we were just talking about is going to probably make that even more difficult, but it is, I think just sort of a basic hygiene program that sort of all of us have.

You know, you get up in the morning and you brush your teeth and when you get online, you try to verify to the extent possible the source of the information that you're reading and not being overly reactive to the first meme or the first thing that pops upon your screen, that's of course, what the Russians are counting on is societally right now in the United States and in the West, people are spending so much time online and reacting very strongly and very quickly.

So I think you really need to think twice about what you're reading and think twice about what your response is going to be and try to figure out whether or not somebody is trying to easily manipulate you and that's not an easy thing to do, it is an easy thing to say, but I think it is up to all of us, as Americans, and even in Western Europe as well to try to identify when we are being manipulated. Hard thing to do, but necessary these days.

BERMAN: That's great advice. I mean, the Russians are counting on us to be lazy and everyone has got to be vigilant in their own way about this.

So this Intelligence warning was interesting. It is that Russia is doing this, wants to do it.


Iran wants to be a chaos agent, wants to just mess with things as much as they can, but China might sort of sit this one out. What's going on there?

HALL: I thought that was a really, really insightful and accurate piece of analysis on the part of the DNI and the US Intelligence community, because it really captures where we are sort of geopolitically right now and who is trying to do what with regard to influence operations.

So, the Russians are clearly, I think right now the biggest threat because frankly they have nothing think to lose. There are -- they've already been shut down by the majority of Western-leaning democracies in the world. They are still associated with sort of these down and out states like Iran, North Korea, and the rest.

But Russia is a significant threat because they have nothing to lose. Iran is still sort of feeling its way. It has a pretty sufficient and efficient capability to try to influence things, but they are more of a chaos agent. I like the way that that is characterized.

China has to be really, really careful because they have the most to lose. China has already said, look, we want to engage, we want to be a global power. Our economy needs to expand and because of that, they've got to be extremely careful.

So although they've said they're going to sit this one out, sort of, I think what that really means is they are going to be extremely careful as they go about their information operations so as not to get caught.

BERMAN: Steve Hall, great to see you this morning. Thank you so much -- Sara.

SIDNER: Ahead, a family filled with sorrow and demanding answers. They are comparing their loved one's killing at the hands of security guards to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police.

And how those popular weight loss drugs work? How long do you have to take them? What happens if you get off them? If you've got questions, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has got answers ahead in our show.



SIDNER: A Wisconsin family is begging for answers this morning as they mourn the death of their loved one.

Dvontaye Mitchell's death is drawing comparisons to the 2020 killing of George Floyd at the hands of police.

The 43-year-old Mitchell died after security guards outside a Hyatt Hotel pinned him to the ground. Witnesses caught a bunch of that encounter on video.

Police say Mitchell caused a disturbance, but haven't released many other details at this point. And as you might imagine, some of the images maybe disturbing to you.

Joining us now is CNN's Whitney Wild.

Whitney, what have you learned about this case with not a lot of information coming out from police right now.


There is so much information we don't know. We don't know how long this encounter lasted. We don't know how long it took law enforcement to arrive on scene, but here is what we do know and some of these details you had mentioned before, but they bear repeating.

This happened June 30th at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, and it is not clear what led up to this incident, but the family's attorney, Ben Crump says police told them that Mitchell caused a disturbance at that hotel and that's why security escorted him out of the hotel.

As you had mentioned, quite a bit of this encounter was captured on video that was later shared on social media and what you can see in this video are four security guards pinning Mitchell to the ground. That's what is prompting this comparison to the George Floyd homicide in 2020.

And what we know now is that again, there were four security guards. One of whom appears to be white, the others appear to be people of color. Here is a brief clip from that social media video, as well as some heartfelt words from Dvontaye Mitchell's widow.








MITCHELL: Please. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop fighting. Stay down. Stay down.

DEASIA HARMON, DVONTAYE MITCHELL'S WIFE: He didn't deserve what they did to him. He deserved so much more. His life was worth so much more.

I couldn't even go into the grocery store with my daughter without her being afraid of the security standing at the door.

She is saying all security bad --


WILD: Sara, this has prompted comparison's to the George Floyd murder.

Additionally, because as you heard in that George Floyd video, Dvontaye Mitchell can be heard pleading with officers saying, "I'm sorry." Grunting. The comparisons are very, very similar here.

What is not clear at this point, Sara, is if any charges are going to be filed.

The preliminary cause of death here is homicide. We don't yet know again, if there are going to be charges. The medical examiner says they have no timeline for moving forward with this investigation.

As far as those four -- and here is the quote from the medical examiner, "The cause and manner enter of death are homicide. We do not have a timeline for when this case will be finalized."

Finally, Sara, these four security guards have been suspended. Back to you.

SIDNER: Homicide means he has been killed and you can hear him saying, "Save me." I think on that video, really, really tough to watch. Thank you so much, Whitney Wild. Appreciate you -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail for the first time since the CNN debate and he is now trying to distance himself from the conservative project, 2025 Initiative. Why?

And how a voter fought a $50,000.00 fine over her political yard sign and won.