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GOP Allies Urge Trump to Speed Up 2024 Bid after FBI Search; Opening Statements to Begin in Suit over Kobe Bryant's Crash Photos; Court in GA Hears Arguments on Sen. Graham's Push to Quash Subpoena. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired August 10, 2022 - 14:30   ET



MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: But, over the last 48 hours, we have been told that Trump has just received a barrage of encouragement to run as soon as possible, including at a dinner last night that he had with a group of House conservative members.

I talked to one of those Republicans that was at the dinner last night, Republican Jim Banks of Indiana. And here's what he told me about that meeting with Trump.

"He, as in Trump, told us that his mind is made up, it's just a timing of when he will make that announcement. My sense is he is fired up and ready to go. And he received a lot of encouragement in the room to get out sooner than later."

Now, Victor, I'm also told that during this meeting, Trump in the group of House Republicans talked about the types of investigations into the Department of Justice that Republicans will pursue, if they were captured the majority in the fall. And so this is really just another example of how Republicans are rallying to Trump's side in the wake of this FBI search. Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Melanie Zanona with the reporting there on Capitol Hill. Thank you very much.

Let's discuss now a CNN Political Commentator, S.E. Cupp, and CNN Political Commentator, and former Trump Campaign Adviser David Urban. Welcome to you both.

David, let me start with you. Do you think that the former president should get into the race before November?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, Victor, I would urge the president not to get into the race before November. I think that the President's entrance in the race would deflect a lot from the focus where it should be placing the focus where it should be on the record of the Biden administration, right? Joe Biden has historically though, he's polling at the lowest of any president in polling in modern polling, even you know, as far back as the Eisenhower years and, you know, right track, wrong track in America, 85% of Americans believe the country's going in the wrong track. So with those, with really bad numbers like that you want to focus on this administration, not on Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: S.E., what do you think, do you think it matters?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I don't think there's any -- I think it's sort of delusional to think that you -- that Trump is in a silo and Republican, you know, Senate and congressional candidates are running without him or apart from him. He's very much involved in these races. He's endorsing many candidates. He's, you know, not just dipping a toe but an entire leg into the midterm elections. I don't think especially Republican voters are really separating Trump from Republican candidates. So I don't think it matters all that much when he announces or not.

BLACKWELL: David, are you trying to get in there?

URBAN: Yeah, look, I obviously disagree with S.E. on that, on that point, right. I think that the candidates matter. People vote for individual candidates. They don't -- you know, there are some where the president has waded in. She said he's dipped a whole leg and not just a toe and his weight in with wholehearted support. But there are lots of races across this country where the president hasn't weighed in or, you know, people are running on their, on their own merits. And then they haven't wrapped themselves in the cloak of Trumpism. And I think they deserve a chance to be heard by the voters and not diluted by the message of this raid or anything else from now until Election Day.

BLACKWELL: Listen, on this search -- go ahead, go ahead.

CUPP: Good luck. I mean, good luck with that. I understand the desire to separate, you know, some candidates who don't want to be tainted by Trump, from Trump himself. But I mean, good luck with that. This is all happening at the same time, not in vacuum.

BLACKWELL: We saw it last night.

URBAN: But S.E., my simple point is we should be -- if you're a Republican, you want to run on the Biden record, not on the Trump record, right? You want to run on the lowest number in history, inflation, right, everything.

CUPP: Oh, I'm not disagreeing with your strategy, David, I completely agree. No, no, I completely agree with your strategy. If I -- you know, if I were advising Republicans, I would be saying exactly what you are. I'm just not sure if it really matters all that much when Trump gets in, I think he's already looming so large over the party. That's all.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, on this search specifically, we know that Trump's base that 30% or whatever, of Republicans, they are energized by this.

CUPP: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: Do you think that this brings some of those Republicans who were starting to separate after the January 6 hearings, thinking maybe someone else, this pulls them back?

CUPP: I think we're making too much of what this means for voters who were always going to vote for Trump. And so, of course, they're energized, they were always energized. It's not like this. They needed this pick me up. There were always with Trump. And this just solidifies what they always thought about the deep state and the conspiracy theories. And then I think if you were really turned off by Jan. 6, something like this will probably continue to turn you off. This is an awful week for the President in the country. I mean, he's facing several lawsuits, his tax returns are going to be over overturned. His home office was searched by the FBI. This isn't good. And so I think if you were already getting a whiff of wanting to move on, thinking this guy's probably corrupt and maybe even got some -- you know, facing some criminal charges. I think this continues to push you in that direction.

BLACKWELL: But David to that point, why we're seeing the potential 2024 opponents Nikki Haley, former Vice President Pence, Ron DeSantis, former Secretary Pompeo, all coming out with these statements, deriving the FBI, deriving the administration when this could help them if they just stay silent.


URBAN: Right. Well, I think, you know, S.E.'s analysis of this, I think Republicans writ large care a great deal about overreach from the Department of Justice and from the federal government writ large, right? I think that small government, big, you know, Republicans, small government, Republicans find this repugnant and repulsive in the history of the Republic, nothing like this has occurred. And so I disagree with her. I think that this has made Donald Trump a sympathetic character, which is very hard to do. But I think it's made him sympathetic amongst a great deal more Republicans that would have considered. So your question at the beginning of that was, has this helped the President as people give him a relook? I think they have, Victor. I think people who may have been outside the tent may be more inclined to be, you know, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Now this has occurred. So just my take on it, but I do think it's helped a great deal this week.

CUPP: I think this is a Trump world talking point that all across the country, people are very concerned about the overreach and losing confidence in the FBI, and the Justice Department. Now, that is true amongst in Mega world, but I think most people across the country saying, if you didn't leave the White House --

URBAN: No, no, S.E., come out of the bubble, come out of the bubble, S.E.

CUPP: Let me finish, if you didn't leave the White House with classified documents, you don't have to worry that the FBI is coming to raid your home office. I think most people think holding even the President accountable is good. That's a good thing. That's a sign of a healthy, of a healthy Justice Department and a healthy FBI. I think that's Trump world talking point that the FBI is corrupt. And the Justice Department is coming for average American. BLACKWELL: Yes, if they did it for Trump, they could do it to you.

CUPP: This is -- it's preposterous. And I think we're parroting it, as if it's a majority opinion, it's not.

URBAN: Yeah, I'm not going that far, S.E. What I'm simply saying is that a wide swath of Americans are very concerned about a historical precedent.

CUPP: I don't think that's true.

URBAN: This is the presidential record act violation.

CUPP: He set the historical president.

URBAN: This is not criminal. This is not -- are you kidding me S.E.? Are you kidding me?


URBAN: Like, did Hillary -- they kicked on Hillary Clinton's door to get server with. He has top secret -- S.E., can I finish? So your top secret information, top secret information on Hillary Clinton's computer, OK. I'm not sure if you're familiar with how skiff works, S.E., but you can't put top secret information on the computer.

CUPP: You don't need to be condescending, David. I know what you know, trust me.

URBAN: I'm not S.E., I'm just saying it is simply a much bigger deal. Nobody rated the Clinton house in Chappaqua. And so for you to say that a --

CUPP: Compare and contrast.

URBAN: Hey, S.E. just let me finish, for you to say that a parenting MAGA world talking points because I'm saying Republicans writ large are concerned. I think you need to get out and talk to Republicans, S.E., that's what I think.

CUPP: I set a wide swath of Americans and I believe that Hillary's emails --

URBAN: I said, Republicans S.E., Republicans.

BLACKWELL: All right, All right, let S.E. finish.

CUPP: Hillary's email's bad. Trump's documents, bad Secret Service texts, bad. I want to see it all. I'm pretty fair and down the middle on this. I'm not saying one is worse than the other, you don't have to. It's all bad. But I think if we're going to apply that same level of scrutiny to Hillary, we should apply it to Donald Trump. And I don't think people wide swaths of Americans believe that the FBI is corrupt and coming for them because they went for a president who set the precedent for doing things that no other president had ever done before. Some of which may, in fact, be criminal. BLACKWELL: All right, we're wrapping it there. S.E. Cupp, David Urban, thank you.

CUPP: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: The trial of Vanessa Bryant's invasion of privacy lawsuit is happening now. She's suing L.A. County over the graphic photos that were taken at the scene of that helicopter crash that killed her basketball star husband and daughter. We've got the latest from the courtroom, next.



BLACKWELL: A jury is seated and opening statements are set to begin in Vanessa Bryant's suit against L.A. County. She's the widow of NBA star Kobe Bryant. She says first responders who arrived at the helicopter crash that killed her husband, her young daughter Gianna and seven other people took and then shared grisly photos of the scene. CNN's Natasha Chen is there. Natasha, I understand one deputy actually showed these pictures at a bar?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, yeah, that's right. In fact, that bartender who was shown these photos by a deputy trainee is here subpoenaed as a witness for this case. Now the whole case really centers around the emotional distress that Vanessa Bryant said was inflicted upon her by just knowing that her team says eight deputies took photos of remains at the crash site including those of her loved ones and share them with people including firefighters, and that possibility of those photos surfacing is distressing to her. So she's suing for negligence, invasion of privacy and that emotional distress.

Now, LA County, the defendant says that those photos never made it online and that's because shortly after this happened Sheriff Alex Villanueva asked those deputies to delete those photos off their phones and so the county says it's not possible to sue for emotional distress over a hypothetical that those photos could one day show up.


Now, I was just in the courtroom, they finished seating a 10 member jury of six men and four women. And as you said, those opening statements are expected to begin this afternoon in a trial that really is expected to go on about nine or 10 days.

Among the witnesses, we're expecting to hear from are Vanessa Bryant herself, as well as Sheriff Villanueva, who her team says, covered up this whole incident instead of working with transparency here, asked those deputies to delete the photos instead, what her team calls sweeping under the rug and she's not the only plaintiff. There is another man Christopher Chester who is suing the county as well. His family members were also killed in the crash, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Natasha Chen for us there, outside the Court House in L.A. Thank you very much.

Another GOP lawmaker who voted to impeach former President Trump has lost her primary race for reelection. It is the latest victory in Trump's revenge store against the 10 Republicans who went against him, what this means for the party, next?



BLACKWELL: Another Trump backed election denier has won his primary this time in Wisconsin. This has been Tim Michels beat the state's former Lieutenant Governor to become the state's Republican nominee for governor. CNN Political Director David Chalian is with us now. So David, this was another Trump pants proxy war. This is a W for Trump?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, this was the grudge match, right? Remember, in Georgia, it was the Pence candidate. Brian Kemp, the incumbent that won the Republican primary there for governor in Arizona. It was Kari Lake, she defeated the Pence backed candidate in Arizona. And here we saw it again. The establishment candidate were Pence through his support was Rebecca Kleefisch. She was lieutenant governor under Scott Walker. The winner is Tim Michels. He poured a lot of his own money. He's a businessman into this race, and he touted Trump's backing as a key factor in this victory. So yes, in that Trump versus the establishment, Trump versus Pence. This was a win for Donald Trump.

There are a couple other Wisconsin notes that you should be aware of. The Senate race, one of the most consequential races that could potentially determine control of the U.S. Senate Victor in November, is now firmed up. Ron Johnson seeking reelection. He's the incumbent Republican. And Mandela Barnes the current lieutenant governor. He coalesced the whole Democratic crowd just a couple of weeks before the primary. His competitors dropped out. And he won the nomination formally in yesterday's primary and then we're still watching this one is uncalled fewer than 300 votes separate. This is a state assembly race. Robin Voss, the leader of the State Assembly, rebuffed Donald Trump's request as recently as just a few weeks ago, Victor, to decertify, the legitimate 2020 election results when Joe Biden won this state.

He said, no, Sir, not going to do that. So Donald Trump threw his support to Adam Steen. Right now Vos is ahead by fewer than 300 votes. But this is not yet in projection territory, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, so that's a close one. Before we get to the other races from last night. Let's take a stop in Washington State and talk about the latest in race there.

CHALIAN: Yeah, this is cleanup from last week's primaries. Jaime Herrera Beutler, you see her up here. She has conceded her race in her Republican primary in Washington State. It's actually a top two system in Washington State that makes her the third incumbent Republican of the 10 who voted to impeach Donald Trump in the aftermath of January 6 to lose in a primary along with Peter Meijer in Michigan and Tom Rice in South Carolina.

Two Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. David Valadao of California, Dan Newhouse of Washington have moved on to the November ballot. They survived primary challengers, four of those Republicans actually opted to retire. They saw what Donald Trump was going to bring them and Trump back challenges and they chose to bow out. So the only one remaining of the impeachment 10, these Republicans who sort of voted their conscience over where their party was in that moment is Liz Cheney. Her primary in Wyoming is next week. If she goes down, Trump will have an eight and to win record on his revenge store.

BLACKWELL: Wow, she's the last one on the list. Probably at the top of his list, David Chalian, thank you.


BLACKWELL: Good news here, on the economic front, gas prices have dropped for 57 consecutive days according to AAA. So has inflation now a little though, have we reached the peak? We'll ask an economist, ahead.



BLACKWELL: Happening now, a federal judge is hearing arguments on whether Senator Lindsey Graham should have to testify before Georgia grand jury. It's investigating Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state. Graham has been trying to quash the subpoena. CNN Sara Murray joins us now with the latest on that legal battle. So what's happening inside that courtroom?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the battle is still ongoing? You know, Lindsey Graham is supposed to appear before this grand jury later on this month. He is arguing that any of his activities had to do with his legislative work and so he should not be compelled to show up before the grand jury and answer questions.

You know what the district attorney there, Fani Willis really wants to get from Graham is more information about phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, you know, Graham asked Raffensperger to reexamine some of these absentee ballots and Raffensperger came away with the impression that the senator was essentially asking him to throw away absentee ballots essentially to try to find a better outcome for Trump.

Now Graham has denied it, but this is the heart of why the district attorney there wants to get to. And we'll see if you're successful. You know, we've seen a number of other folks try to challenge their grand jury subpoenas without much luck. Rudy Giuliani, one of former President Trump's former lawyers tried to get his appearance delayed before the grand jury and he was able to do that by a short amount of time but he essentially argued that he should have a long delay.