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Politics in the Race for President; Giuliani Faces Creditors in Court; Updated Hurricane Predictions; Question about Weight Loss Drugs. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 10, 2024 - 08:30   ET




SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: The Biden campaign trying to move forward and move on from that debate.

But former President Trump is back on the campaign trail challenging Biden to debate him again this week and launching new attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris.

Joining us now, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, and Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton.

Thank you, gentlemen, for coming in this morning with us.

Joe, I want you and Shermichael to listen to the first senator to go ahead and break with Joe Biden. And I know, as a Republican, Joe, you have been very vocal about not letting Donald Trump back into office. But listen to what the senator has to say.


SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win the election, and maybe win it by a landslide and take with him the Senate and the House.

I think that we could lose the whole thing.


SIDNER: Joe, what do you think about Senator Bennet's assessment?

JOE WALSH (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I think he's right, Sara. I think he's right, sadly.

Look, from the very, very beginning Donald Trump hasn't had anything to prove in this campaign. Everybody knows who Trump is. Everybody knows what a horrible human being he is. We just have to decide if we want that back in the White House.

But Joe Biden has always had one thing to prove. He's not too old. Well, he didn't do that nine, 10 days ago. In fact, he proved the exact opposite. So, right now, all we're talking about is Joe Biden's unfitness. If that continues, Sara, Donald Trump will win. If we talk about Donald Trump and how unfit he is, Trump will lose. But that's not the case right now with Biden in there.

SIDNER: And, Shermichael, Republicans, obviously, loving this mess when it comes to what's happening with the Democrats. Donald Trump came out and spoke about it. But we did talk to Alayna Treene, who said that they've put all their money sort of into going after Biden. And the possibility of Kamala Harris, you're now seeing Donald Trump really go after her. Should the Republicans be concerned about a last- minute change?

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I mean, I think at this point you strategically begin to prepare for a potential pivot in your messaging and your targeting, I mean she would become the first woman of color to run for the presidency in modern times. I mean, obviously, you had Shirley Chisholm years - decades ago. So, that's a - that's a pretty big deal. She's younger, and so that's certainly something that benefits her.

And she's been on the campaign trail for a couple of months now talking about the reproductive issue. And so from my perspective as a Republican strategist, I'm trying to figure out what other issues I can sort of penetrate voters on where I think the vice president is weak on. And you do begin that process now, testing the messaging, seeing what works, running some ads here and there so that if she does become the candidate at the very last minute, you're ready to go.

SIDNER: Yes, shows a bit of nervousness and planning on the Republican's part.

I want to get, though, Shermichael, to the Republican platform and questions over Project 2025, which was created by some of Trump's former officials during his administration. Now, Trump has said he has nothing to do with Project '25, but it is made up of those several prominent former Trump administration officials. You see some of them there. Peter Navarro, for example, on that list.

Here are some of the things that are said in Project 2025. And I want you to just go through this with me.

First of all, it promotes - promises to eliminate a bunch of terms from all laws and federal regulations, including eliminating the terms for protected classes, including getting rid of the word "sexual orientation," "diversity, equity, and inclusion," "gender equality," "abortion," and "reproductive rights." It labels the FBI as a "bloated, arrogant, increasingly lawless organization," calling for it to be overhauled. Replacing federal civil servants jobs with political appointees. And calling for the elimination of the Department of Education. It cuts climate change research funding and eliminates the use of the abortion drug Mifepristone.

I know that is a long list. We will try to keep it up for a bit.

Shermichael, which of these things do not represent the platform for the Republicans and Donald Trump himself, because a lot of these things he has talked about in the past. SINGLETON: Yes. I mean, look, I think in many ways, Sara, it's almost like a wish list. I mean I'm very familiar with the Heritage Foundation. Every four years, when the parties select a nominee, the Heritage Foundation typically has a wish list of things that they would like to accomplish over the term of that Republican presidency. The reality is, it doesn't always happen.

And I think one of the reasons why you see Trump attempting to pivot away from this is, one, they recognize that there's a sliver of potentially movable voters in some swing states where a lot of this does not register very well with them. They're keenly aware of that. And I know some voters are saying, well, look, I don't trust Donald Trump on this issue. But I can tell you, as a strategist, it will be suicide, Sara, to stick with positions that you know turn voters off. You have to accept reality and say, look, maybe this is what some guys may want to do. We cannot accomplish just because we need to not only win, but we need to govern effectively.

SIDNER: Joe, do you think that this sort of extreme plan, which let's put it back up there, called Project 2025 its actually the true blueprint of what Donald Trump wants to do and he's just trying to soften it, as you heard Shermichael say, for the general election?


WALSH: Absolutely. Sara. Look, Shermichael's right, it's a wish list, but it's a wish list coming from Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Look, let's quit blaming the Heritage Foundation for this. This is what the Republican Party voters want. Project 2025 is all about ending our democracy and making the president a king and a dictator. If you read all of it, Sara, it's all about strengthening the president, giving the president control. Complete control over the Justice Department and the FBI. Most every aspect of the executive branch. It is utterly un-American.

But, no, this isn't the Heritage Foundation. This is exactly what Donald Trump has promised that he wants. He wants to be a dictator, a strong man, a king. And this is what Republican base voters have said they want.

SIDNER: It would certainly put him in a position to have a huge amount of power over all of the federal government.

Shermichael, you - hop in.

SINGLETON: Sara, it - just really quickly. I mean a lot of the mechanisms in place to get rid of the Department of Education and a lot of these other things, Joe's a former congressman. He knows as well as I do a lot of this stuff is almost impossible. I mean the - you would need Congress in some ways to get rid of some of this stuff.

So, again, I think it's - I get why people are afraid and concerned and worried. But the reality in terms of the mechanisms needed to bring this to fruition are just almost non-existent. SIDNER: But if Senator Bennet is correct, and the -

WALSH: The - the - Sara, the reality is, you -

SIDNER: Go ahead, Joe.

WALSH: No, Sara, I was just going to say, at one point -

SIDNER: I was going to say, Senator Bennet has said they're going to lose the Congress and potentially the Senate if Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket and Joe Biden is at the top of the ticket.

Joe Walsh, what's your response?

WALSH: I love my friend Shermichael. But the reality is, the leader of the Republican Party, the nominee to be president, wants this to happen. He's saying that he wants to be a king and a dictator. Project '25 is the platform for this. Shermichael may say, oh, it's going to be really difficult to achieve all of this. But this should scare the you know what out of the American people that a candidate for president wants all of this to be the reality. That's what's seriously concerning.

SIDNER: Joe Walsh and Shermichael Singleton -

SINGLETON: Yes - yes, but - but, Joe - but, Joe, I would - I wish -

SIDNER: Go ahead.

SINGLETON: Sara, I was just going to say quickly, I could wish to become a billionaire tomorrow, Joe. The steps to get there or pretty darn difficult. And you know that. And that's the point that I'm simply attempting to make. Even if Republicans were to control the House, were to control the Senate, there are a host of Republicans who are more moderate, who live in districts that do not agree with some of this. So, it would be almost impossible to bring it to fruition.

SIDNER: Joe Walsh's point is that he wants it to happen in the platform.

WALSH: It's the platform of their party. That's the deal (ph).

SIDNER: All right. All right, Joe and Shermichael -


SIDNER: Thank you both so much for coming on this morning and having that spirited conversation.

SINGLETON: Thanks, Sara.

Good to see you, Joe.

SIDNER: Always appreciate it.

John. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's my main takeaway, Joe and Shermichael

both love each other.

This morning, a showdown in bankruptcy court between Rudy Giuliani and creditors. They are furious. They want the judge to rein in the former New York mayor's spending, and possibly liquidate his assets so they can finally get what they say they are owed.

CNN's senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz is outside the courthouse in lovely White Plains, New York.

Katelyn, tell us what we're going to see today.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, John, it is a hearing that starts at 11:00. It might not be a hearing that Rudy himself shows up at in person, but he's got to be here to attend that hearing because it's an opportunity for his creditors to grill him. They are quite unhappy with the former mayor of New York as they're seeking about $150 million in debts that he owes to them. Largely to the two Georgia election workers he defamed, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

And what will be happening at this hearing that begins at 11:00 a.m. is that not only is Rudy going to be having to answer questions under oath, whether he's on Zoom or here in person, but they also are going to be talking about what happens next with this bankruptcy proceeding. Does it continue on the way it's going and have Rudy put all of his assets under an independent trustee? So essentially he would lose control of all of his money in that situation, and properties of his, like a property he has in New York City, a property he has in Palm Beach, that he lives in. Those would be liquidated very quickly. Or would something else happened? Would he find a way in bankruptcy to reconfigure things, to continue it on and avoid these creditor's pursuits.

They're very unhappy for many reasons. One of them is that they say he has not been forthcoming.


He's been acting in bad faith. And the lawyers for Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman have laid out an extreme option for the judge, even kick him out of bankruptcy entirely so everybody can go after what this man is worth.


BERMAN: Could be an expensive day for the former mayor.

All right, Katelyn Polantz, in White Plains, thank you very much.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That is really interesting how that's going to play out, as Katelyn - as Katelyn lays out. Coming up for us, wild flash flooding in New Mexico. Take a look at this. Forcing families to evacuate. All of this happening after weeks of wildfires hitting it there.

And Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back with us today to answer your questions about all of the popular new weight loss drugs out there today.



SIDNER: This morning, the Metropolitan Police Department is investigating after a deputy marshals shot a teenager trying to carjack him near the home of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Court documents show the alleged carjacker, 18-year-old Kentrell Flowers, approached the deputies car and pointed a gun through the car's window. The marshal drew his service weapon and fired several shots. Flowers was transported to the hospital for non-life- threatening injuries and faces charges for armed carjacking and other crimes. Sources say there was no indication that there was any connection between the incident and Sotomayor.

All right, vindication for a Tennessee homemaker after the sign got her in trouble. That's the sign. F-em both. We got it blurred because it uses an expletive to display her feelings on the upcoming elections. She put it in her yard in Lakeland in January. The city quickly noticed and started fining her $50 for every day that the sign remained on her lawn. But she sued the city saying their sign ordinance is unconstitutional. A federal court agreed with her and ordered the city to refund that fine money and cover $31,000 in legal fees.

And this mornings, stunning video of what the National Weather Service calls a dangerous situation for residents in the tiny village of Ruidoso, New Mexico. The area remains under a state of emergency. You'll remember there was a terrible fire. Now, there's heavy flooding. Heavy rain submerging entire streets. Threatens of continued flash floods there have triggered evacuations. All bridge crossings in the village are closed due to that flash flooding.


BERMAN: All right, new predictions this morning of a hyperactive hurricane season after Beryl smashed initial expectations. Forecasters now expect 25 named storms, including 12 hurricanes. Half of those expected to be at least category three. Not good.

Let's get right to CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir.

Wow, Bill.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, Beryl is really waking up hurricane experts. They had already predicted a hyperactive season, but Beryl's positioning an early formation just intensified that concern. Rapid intensification is the watchword of these hurricanes in the age of climate change. The way they just spin up into violent storms in really just a matter of hours.

Beryl intensifying 65 miles an hour in just 24 hours. That is an indication that this could be a violent season. As you look at Beryl's track, as it formed in a part of the - the tropical Atlantic that normally doesn't produce these kinds of storms until September. So, Beryl thinks it's late August or September, even in early June, as it wound its way through the Caribbean, past Jamaica there, of course, up into the Houston area, and now is spinning wild weather in the heartland of the country here.

But Colorado State University has a team of hurricane experts who before the season said this was going to be hyperactive. And now after Beryl, it's as you had said, upping the forecast now to 25 names - 25 hurricanes there with a dozen named storms. And so, folks along the Gulf Coast, along the Atlantic coast, this is the beginning. It feels like, you know, years past you might dodge a bullet, but the scientists are warning us that with these incredible ocean temperatures now, the average category two might spin up into a four or five in ways that they haven't years past.

BERMAN: That is not good news. Look, let's hope they're wrong. But the way things have been going, doesn't seem like that will be the case.

Bill Weir, thank you very much.


BOLDUAN: So, this morning - love that music - we're continuing - welcome. We're continuing with our segment "Dr. Sanjay Gupta On Call." And yesterday Sanjay explained the new data coming out comparing how effective all of these new weight loss drugs are that are on the market and, obviously, so popular. And he promised also to answer your questions about them. And Sanjay is back with us to do just that.


BOLDUAN: So, Sanjay, this is - I love the we're actually just hearing it rather than you having to field my questions and everyone within CNN's questions about all of this. We're getting a straight from - from the viewers.

Let's tick through some of these questions that have come in.

First question that we got was from Charles in Knoxville, and he's asking about some of the reporting on potential side effects that a lot of people actually wrote in and asked about, which is, "have these weight loss drugs been linked to sudden blindness?" What have you learned?

GUPTA: Yes, this is a really interesting question. I was surprised to get this one, in part because what we're talking about, thankfully, is really rare. Eye stroke, as Charles refers to it, is something known as NAION. And this - this happens in the general population already. About one in 10,000 people develop this - this NAION, which is basically sudden, painless loss of vision, usually in one eye.


So, OK, so this was already happening in the general population. But what they found was the people who were taking the Semaglutide medications, and as we talked about yesterday, that's Wegovy or Ozempic, they seem to have a higher incidents. So, instead of one in 10,000, it went up to four in 10,000 or seven in 10,000 depending on what you were taking it for. So, it's still rare, but it is something that people are keeping an eye on.

They're not exactly sure what's happening here. It could be loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. It could be a sudden change in blood sugar, something like that. I think the headline and the message really, if you've had a problem with vision loss or some visual problems in the past, make sure your doctor knows about that before going on these medications.

BOLDUAN: So interesting.

OK, now a question from Gary in Canada. I love this. It's like calling in. This is kind of fun.

The question here is, "how often does a person have to take this drug? Is it just until the desired weight is achieved" or something more?

GUPTA: This is - this is the big question, right? I mean, so these - these are still the new days, but a couple of things to sort of keep in mind. It is a weakly injection. So, for a lot of people initially, they didn't want to take injections. But obviously, as you mentioned, a lot of people are doing it now. Weekly. And you sort of increase the doses, at least initially, over time.

What is interesting is, if you look at people and say, OK, let's plot their weight loss, and we actually created a graph for you, Kate, to look at this, plot the weight loss. This is Tirzepatide, so Mounjaro. And you find that you have significant weight loss going to 36 weeks. But in these trials they said, OK, let's, at that point, 36 weeks, let's flip it. Keeps some people on Mounjaro and start giving placebo. And what you find is that people did gain a lot of the weight back.

BOLDUAN: Oh, yes.

GUPTA: Going up to 88 weeks. Did they gain it all back? No. So, that's sort of interesting. And what seemed to be the difference was people who - who adopted significant lifestyle changes while taking the medication and then kept those lifestyle changes even after going off. About half the people really stopped taking these medications within the first year. Usually it's because of cost.


GUPTA: These are really expensive drugs. I mean over $1,000 a month. There are shortages and then there are side effects, some of which we talked about yesterday, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes. OK. So, this third question, our final one for today, I'm confused about, so please help me. This is from Angela in Delray Beach, Florida. She - the question that she has is, "what are the risks of taking compounded drugs considering they are mostly coming from a handful of reputable and known compounding pharmacies?"

GUPTA: Yes. So, all right. So, compounding pharmacies. The reason that these drugs can be compounded is when the drugs go into shortage. That is the only time. Compounding pharmacies cannot make these drugs when there is an adequate supply. But these drugs are in shortage, and they're probably going to be in shortage for the next maybe couple of years even, amazingly.

So, what they are, are basically taking these - these active ingredients that are FDA approved wholesalers, they're going to a compounding pharmacy and they're essentially mixing the drug themselves. And then they're taking that drug and they're basically making it available. They are not required to provide safety and efficacy data. So, it's really hard to know how effective those compounded drugs are.

What I can tell you, what's really interesting. First of all, they're a lot cheaper. So, if the drugs cost $1,000 a month, that compounded version may cost $250 to $500 a month. It's not cheap, but still a lot cheaper.

What is interesting, Kate. You know these pens. So, these are the pens.


GUPTA: This is Mounjaro and this is Ozempic. It is really these pens that are going into shortage.

BOLDUAN: Really?

GUPTA: Making the drug, synthesizing it or fermenting it, that's not that hard to do. These pens are the real key here. And there's 12 to 14 unique patented parts in each of these pens. And that's what's really going into shortage.

So, when you get the compounded drug, you won't get a pen, you'll get a syringe. You've got to draw it up yourself. You've got to make sure you're getting the right dose. And that's caused concern for a lot of doctors. Is the person really giving themselves the right dose, drawing it up properly. People who are diabetics may be better at this, but people who have never done this before may have a challenge.

By the way, most of the prescriptions coming from primary care doctors. I think around 79, 80 percent. But there's a lot of these prescriptions coming from online as well. So, I think the message here is, beware of the online prescriptions, number one. And, number two, just understand what the compounding pharmacies, it's not that they can't work, it's that they're not necessarily being tested for safety and efficacy. And you're not going to get one of these pens as well.

BOLDUAN: So interesting.

I have been joined by longtime viewer, first time caller, Sara Sidner. SIDNER: You drew me in. You drew me right in. I'm like, this one,

doesn't need any of that. Let's have a conversation afterwards, OK, Sanjay. Maybe you can get me one of those pens. I'm just saying.

GUPTA: Call me any time. Any time.

SIDNER: I'm just saying. She don't need it.

BOLDUAN: We love you, Sanjay.

SIDNER: That was amazing, Sanjay.

BOLDUAN: We love you, Sanjay. Thank you so much. We'll do this again soon. Thank you.

GUPTA: Love you back.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you.

A new hour of CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts now.


SIDNER: All right, as the Biden campaign is trying to move on from the debate and the chatter surrounding it, former House