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Far-Right Leads French Parliamentary Elections; Biden's Family Encourages Him to Fight, Axios Reports Aides Shielded Biden; U.S. Supreme to Rule on Trump's Immunity Case; Hurricane Beryl Nears Caribbean Islands; Heightened Alert in U.S. Military Bases in Europe; Far-Right Party Leads First Round Of Voting; South Korea: North Korea Missile May Have Had "Abnormal Flight"; Ukraine: Russia Launches Air Attacks On Kyiv, Kharkiv; Biden's Family Encourages Him To Stay In The Race. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 01, 2024 - 02:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world and streaming on CNN Max. I'm Paula Newton in New York. Just ahead for us, we're live in Paris where Emmanuel Macron's election gamble appears to have backfired with the French far-right taking the lead in the first round of voting.

A campaign in turmoil, CNN learns what U.S. President Joe Biden's family is telling him as he faces increasing pressure to stand aside after his disastrous debate performance.

And all eyes on the U.S. Supreme Court. In the hours ahead we'll learn whether former President Donald Trump can claim absolute immunity on his alleged efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election.

And we do begin this hour in France where my colleague Max Foster is live for us in Paris where Max, there is no mistaking the seismic shift in the political landscape there.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the very first time ever, Paula, that the far-right has come out on top in the French parliamentary elections. It's a projection at this point, but we're getting the details confirmed as we speak. And it sent protesters, demonstrators out on the streets of Paris last night. A huge blow to President Emmanuel Macron. But of course, they've got a lot of support as well. So this is just part of the story.

Initial estimates at least showing that the National Rally are leading with 34 percent of the vote, followed by the left wing New Popular Front coalition in second. They are 28 percent. Mr. Macron's centrist alliance came in third in the end, around 20 percent. The French leader who called the snap elections, it was a surprise for everyone, wasn't it, says a, quote, "broad, clearly democratic and Republican rally" is needed in the next round.

We do go into the next round. So the story certainly isn't over yet. But the National Rally's parliament leader, Marine Le Pen, says democracy has spoken, adding the second round set for next Sunday will be decisive. Sounds obvious, but she's basically saying that to her supporters. They need to get out and vote. National Rally leader Jordan Bardella says the vote shows the French people want change and urge voters to remain mobilized.


JORDAN BARDELLA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RALLY PARTY (through translation): The vote they will cast next Sunday is one of the most decisive in the history of the Fifth Republic. Clearly, in the view of the results, the presidential camp, still largely rejected today, is no longer in a position to win. And the kind score of the far left raises major concerns.


FOSTER: What Bardella is pushing for is an absolute majority as opposed to a weakened position under Macron as president. So he's pretty clear that he is ready to take on the role of prime minister, but he wants an absolute majority.

BARDELLA (through translation): I intend to be a prime minister of a cohabitation government, respectful of the Constitution and the Office of President of the republic, but uncompromising about the policies we will implement in the service of France and the French people.


FOSTER: Let's hear more now from CNN senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann who is here in Paris.


JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jubilant cheers fill the headquarters of France's far-right national rally as projections show the party dominated in the country's first round of parliamentary elections.

Once seen as a fringe movement, the National Rally could be positioned to assume power and become the first far-right party to enter French government since the Second World War. The controversial doyenne of the party, Marine Le Pen, asserted that the second round of voting to be held next week will secure their position.

MARIE LE PEN, NATIONAL RALLY PARLIAMENTARY LEADER (through translation): Democracy has spoken and the French people have placed the National Rally and its allies in first place. Nothing has been won and the second round will be decisive.


BITTERMAN (voice-over): Complete results of the election are not finalized and much political maneuvering is expected before the second round of voting is held next week, which could determine whether a seismic shift is underway in French politics. National Rally's leader and Le Pen's protege, 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, could be positioned to become France's next prime minister.

A child of Italian immigrants, Bardella has maintained the party's nationalist politics and hardline anti-immigration stance. Across the country and its overseas territories, voters turned out in huge numbers to participate in the high stakes' election. Uncertainty has loomed ever since President Emmanuel Macron suddenly dissolved parliament and called for snap elections earlier this month, sending shockwaves across the country.

Now, his gamble appears to have backfired as his alliance of centrist parties faltered in the vote, finishing a third according to projections. In a statement, the president called for the formation of a broad alliance to block the National Rally from coming to power. "Faced with the National Rally, the time has come for a broad, clearly democratic and republican rally for the second round."

The coalition of left-wing parties also had a strong showing, coming in a close second projection show. However, no party achieved an outright majority, possibly leading parliament into political deadlock. For now, the preliminary results of the election are being received with intensity, drawing some protesters out to demonstrate in Paris.

As a country with a painful history with fascism and far-right movements, deals with an uncertain future. Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


FOSTER: I spoke to journalist Jean Lesieur in the last hour and discuss really how this far-right party has changed from what was seen as an extreme party a few decades ago.


JEAN LESIEUR, JOURNALIST: The program that they had up until two or three weeks ago was totally different from what they're advocating now. It's, you know, its political tactics, which is okay. But for example, basic questions like what age can French people retire, you know? Macron passed a reform that made 64 the legal age to retire.

Madame Le Pen, a few months ago, was advocating 60 years old. She's now talking about 64, 65, which, you know, the law of reality is going to catch up with her very quickly, like it did in Italy with Madame Meloni. Same about immigration. You know, we have shortage of workers here in France, so she cannot be as radical as she would like to be.

FOSTER: What does this mean for the world if we end up in a situation because it's not over until it's over, of course, where we have a far- right prime minister and Macron as president? What does that mean for French policy? Because it feels like chaos.

LESEIUR: Well, chaos or paralysis, and it's really important. If you look at the map of the world right now, I mean, not right now, but, you know, the next few weeks and months, you could have, you know, going from east to west, you could have Putin in Russia. You could have a European Union which will be totally disunited with about half a dozen leaders who kind of side with Putin, even though they don't really admit it. And then you cross the Atlantic and you may have Donald Trump.

What does that bring us? You know, what kind of world does this bring us and what kind of Europe comes out of it? If Mr. Putin feels emboldened to titillate, you know, Poland a little more, the Baltic countries, that's kind of scary.


FOSTER: Paula, I mean, a lot of people scared about this idea about the far right rising to power, but they did really well. They got lots of votes and its young people here who are voting for them. When in the past, perhaps it would have been older people. So there's definitely something going on here and it's a reflection, I think, of cost of living and, you know, this very young leader of the far-right has really tapped into that and connected with people.

NEWTON: Yeah, it has been incredible, though, the political shift just to watch it unfold since Macron called the surprise elections. Max, we'll continue to check in with you. Thanks so much. As we turn our attention to the political turmoil on this side of the Atlantic.

U.S. President Joe Biden's family is encouraging him to actually stay in the race and keep fighting after a dismal performance during last week's debate. And that's from two of his advisers who say the family also spoke about whether top Biden aides should be fired. They spent time together on Sunday at Camp David and discussed how they could support the president.

Now, Biden's advisers say he's closely watching polling data, which is not looking so good for the president.


In a post-debate poll from CBS News and YouGov, 28 percent of voters said Biden should be running for president, just 28 percent, while 72 percent said he should not.

Now, in that same poll, just 27 percent of voters said Biden has the mental and cognitive health to serve as president compared to 50 percent for Donald Trump. "Axios" is reporting that President Biden's closest aides shielded him from White House staff and others from day one. Alex Thompson, a national political correspondent for "Axios," spoke to CNN's Alisyn Camerota earlier.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Can you explain how these aides have been shielding or protecting the president?

ALEX THOMPSON, NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT, AXIOS: Yeah absolutely. Some of it is just making sure that you know when they meet with people, when Biden meets with people that it's every once in a while, you know there's not really regular meetings with not even just mid-level staff but even that up that tier one above and one above that. You know, his core team is really not bigger than about 12 people. And you know this was really the instinct of two of his top aides.

They're sort of you know very nondescriptive names Anthony Bernal and Annie Tomasini. And their task was really made easier at the very beginning because of COVID. And so keeping a really tight circle around the president was just sort of built in as a practice but then over time those habits continued.

CAMEROTA: So in other words they started during COVID is that -- do I have that right and now they've continued to shield him from the wider staff.

THOMPSON: Yeah, absolutely. And that's part of the reason -- the reason why this has been such a shock to the system inside the White House is because the Joe Biden that they saw on Thursday night was unrecognizable to them. But as many of them have said to me, this could not have been the first time that he had acted that way. There is no way -- in the minds of a lot of people in the White House they are both sad because how this could affect the election.

They're sad for him because it's great affection for him. But they're also angry because they feel that this side of Joe Biden must have been known to at least some of his close aides and they hid that part of it not just from them but you know from potentially from voters and from Democrats and from donors.

CAMEROTA: Can you give us an example of how they keep the rest of the staff at bay?

THOMPSON: Yeah, absolutely. So, one just -- it's a little example but the resident staff of the White House, you know, who should be the staff that probably get the most actually just normal apolitical face time with the president. Now I talked to a few residents, staff officials including one that gave me a quote that basically said from day one, the very closest aides the president kept them at bay, kept them away from parts the residents would sometimes shut the door and rooms where they usually would be allowed.

Basically there was a huge division between the resident staff of the White House and the Biden family. They kept them very much at bay which struck many of them as unusual, including they said, it was even unusual compared to the Trump White House.

CAMEROTA: And I mean I know that I've read your article and I know that the White House and President Biden's pushback is that he's not comfortable with butlers and servants around him that that's just not his styl. He doesn't need that much help. And so, but the people that you're talking about, the closest aides, the Anthony Bernal and the Annie Tomasini, if all of this is true and they've been protecting him why didn't they protect him from Thursday night?

THOMPSON: That is the million-dollar question. We just don't know and you know I think a lot of the aides, you know, expected that Joe Biden, you know, after doing a week of debate prep, everyone I've talked to said that he seemed good, he seemed fine. You know it wasn't like he was lighting the world on fire with his answers but he was doing well and they were sort of sort of surprised.

And I think you know the fact that they've let him debate is, you know, sort of what's also driving this anger. If they even knew that this sort of Joe Biden was gonna show up, even if it was a possibility, you know, I think there's a lot of anger within Biden world that any of the close aides let him go on stage just because of the election, because of how this could affect his legacy.

And you know I would also say part of the reason that Joe Biden debated is because Joe Biden wanted to debate. I can tell you behind closed doors Joe Biden has always often says I feel so much younger than my age. Joe Biden has a little bit of, you know, what I've report on his denialism about how old he is and how old he can come across. So, I think it was probably a combination of the fact that Joe Biden really wanted to debate and then the people around him were like, well he's fine. But the actual mechanics of it we still don't know, we're still reporting it out.


CAMEROTA: You also have reporting this weekend if there's a specific window of time during the day when President Biden is fully engaged and not as engaged outside of that window so what is that?

THOMPSON: Absolutely. So, you know, you'll notice that the president usually if he has a public event on camera, it's usually between the hours of 10:00 and 4:00, and that's not an accident. It's usually those times when he has less gaffes, when he's less prone to misspeaking, when he doesn't stutter as much.

You'll notice that whenever he's traveling abroad or whenever he's having, you know, a really late rally or even a really late fundraiser, you know, just even going through the White House transcripts you can see that they have to correct his words a lot and he can meander, you know. I think of, you know, one particular fundraiser just last September in New York when Joe Biden repeated the Charlottesville story that he's often told about deciding to run.

He basically told the same story word-for-word just a few minutes apart. And then just at a recent rally in Detroit it was a late Sunday night, the White House transcription office had to correct the president's own words nine times. And so basically, what aides have told me is that he is just like he's solid between the hours of 10:00 to 4:00 but he often makes more mistakes he can ramble beyond those hours.

And there's a reason why he doesn't have many public events before 10:00. There is a reason he doesn't have many public events on camera after 4:00. And it's for that reason the limitations of his age and how the White House is adapted around them.


NEWTON: And our thanks there for that interview from Alisyn Camerota. Meantime, in the coming hours, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether former U.S. President Donald Trump has presidential immunity. Now, Trump has claimed sweeping immunity on his federal 2020 election subversion case. CNN's Jeremy Herb now brings us up to date.

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: The Supreme Court is heading into its final day of decisions on Monday where the justices will rule on a case with significant implications for the 2024 election, whether Donald Trump can face trial on election subversion charges.

The justices are set to issue their ruling on Trump's claims of absolute immunity from prosecution. A decision that Trump is not fully immune from prosecution could clear the way for the former president to stand trial this fall. But the decision could also lead to another round of litigation and appeals that would push any trial beyond the 2024 election.

The case stems from special counsel Jack Smith's indictment of Trump last August over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump responded by claiming he was immune from prosecution because he was president. The trial judge in this case, Tanya Chutkan, and the Circuit Court of Appeals both rejected Trump's claims of immunity.

But the Supreme Court chose to take up this case and they heard oral arguments in April. Several of the justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, were skeptical of the circuit court decision that fully rejected Trump's immunity claims. They focus on whether there should be some immunity for a president's official duties compared to his private actions.

This suggests that the justices could grant Trump some degree of immunity for his official actions, but not for those actions he took that went beyond his role as president. That could pave the way for the election subversion case against Trump to move forward. But how quickly any case actually goes to trial depends on whether the justices address Trump's conduct specifically in their ruling, or if they only set a standard for prosecution that the lower court would then have to apply to this case.

If that happens, Trump could potentially start a whole new round of appeals, likely pushing any trial beyond the 2024 election in November. The special counsel asked the Supreme Court in December to take up this case and this appeal immediately. But the justices declined to do that, instead letting the case work its way through the appeals process.

That's what led to April's hearing and the wait now for Monday's consequential Supreme Court decision, which is coming a little over four months before the 2024 election. Jeremy Herb, CNN, New York.

NEWTON: After the break, Caribbean islands prepare for an unprecedented and extremely dangerous hurricane and we will have more on that next.


[02:20:00] NEWTON: The Caribbean is bracing for Hurricane Beryl. Tropical storm force winds are expected to hit islands on the Caribbean's eastern edge in the coming hours. Beryl is an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour or more than 200 kilometers per hour.

And it is now the earliest Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean on record. And its rapid intensification is very unusual, in fact, for this time of year. Meantime, several countries are under hurricane warnings and watches and authorities are urging caution.

And we are also tracking a tropical storm expected to move inland over eastern Mexico in the coming hours. Tropical Storm Chris was updated from -- upgraded, pardon me, from a tropical depression just hours ago. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm could bring rain totals of up to 12 inches or more than 300 millimeters in parts of Mexico. They warn flooding and mudslides will likely follow.

U.S. officials say several American military bases across Europe are on a heightened state of alert because of concerns about a possible terrorist attack. Now, one official tells CNN they haven't seen this threat level in at least a decade. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more now for us.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: According to two U.S. officials, at least several U.S. military facilities in Europe have gone to an elevated threat level, what's known as Force Protection Condition Charlie. That is above and beyond the previous condition and indicates the possibility of a threat, perhaps a terrorist threat against U.S. facilities in Europe.

Here is how the U.S. Army describes Force Protection Condition Charlie. The Army says it applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received, indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely.

Now, we've spoken with U.S. European command. They will not confirm that some facilities, if not all facilities, have gone to Force Protection Condition Charlie, but they do say that they update their force protection measures, the steps they take to make sure service members are safe and secure as necessary based on the situation.


One of the U.S. officials we spoke with said they haven't seen this type of move in more than a decade. Now, it's unclear at this point if this is a response to a specific terror threat or more generally the security situation across Europe. We have seen countries like France and Germany elevate their threat level and warn of possible terrorist attacks.

Paris, of course, has the Olympics in less than a month, and then Germany is currently hosting the European Soccer Championships. Ahead of those European or rather German and French officials warn of a possible threat of a terror attack and said they would bring in international police officers to help as well as to make sure the crowds are safe and secure.

The U.S. embassy in Paris also pointed out that France has been at its highest threat level since March and warned of the possibility of large gatherings of people being a target for an attack. That, of course, would include not only the Olympics, but also the Tour de France, which is coming up.

We will keep you posted as we learn more about this and see how it develops in terms of the security situation across U.S. military facilities in Europe. Oren Liebermann, CNN, at the Pentagon.

NEWTON: There's much more here on CNN, including more on those French parliamentary elections and how those opposed to the far-right might approach the second round of voting next Sunday. Stay with us. Max Foster is in France.



FOSTER: Welcome to Paris, where there has been a surge in support for the far-right in the first round of the French parliamentary elections. Initial projections showing us the National Rally has come out on top with the party's parliamentary leader, Marine Le Pen, saying, democracy has spoken.

The left-wing New Popular Front coalition came in second, while President Emmanuel Macron's Centrist Alliance is in third. The French prime minister is urging voters to prevent the far-right from winning a majority in next Sunday's second round election.


GABRIEL ATTAL, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Tonight's lesson is that the far-right who's on the doorstep of power never before in our democracy has the National Assembly risked being dominated by the far right as it was tonight. And so, our objective is clear, to prevent the national rally from having an absolute majority in the second round from dominating the National Assembly, and therefore from governing the country with its disastrous project.


FOSTER: After the projections came out, we headed down into central Paris. These were the scenes that we saw there, protesters hitting the streets, voicing their opposition to the far right. But of course, the numbers have spoken and the far-right does have a lot of support as well.

I'm joined now by Helene Conway-Mouret, a senator for the Socialist Party representing French citizens abroad.

Thank you so much for joining us.

HELENE CONWAY-MOURET, FRENCH SENATOR: Not a shock to you this result but what went through your mind when the projections came through no, actually, it was a shock even though the polls predicted than had been very clear for three weeks of this snap election, it was called but no, it still remains a shock. And we never thought that we would see the extreme right being so strong in France. Of course, the extreme right was in power just for a short time during the Second World War.

And we never had it since. But what they prune is quite counter to everything I defend, you know, I'm a pro European and universalists and I believe that we need to be open to and that France be loyal to what it has always been, and I represent the French abroad. So I'm glad open to the world and not believed that our borders ought to be closed, which is something that cannot be done anyway.

FOSTER: So what happens now? You've got Macron and the left alliance saying because they'll -- they'll typically three candidates now going into the second round from left far right, and the center. What's going to be the direction of the left and the center for their candidates? So they pull out to block the far-right?

CONWAY-MOURET: That was what's all the leaders of the left-wing parties announced last night. I mean, they were all very clear as to the fact that they do not want extreme right to have an absolute majority.

We know that there will be a lot of MPs, but the thing is not to give them an absolute majority and then having the president -- well, some kind of freedom to nominate who he wants as a prime minister and not be obliged to nominate the one that will be representing the absolute majority. So there is a major difference because at the end of the day, we may have a primary who is not from the extreme right.

FOSTER: What candidates actually adhere to it, though? I'm just thinking of an example where there's someone from the right of the centrist bloc and someone from the far left of the left bloc, and neither them deciding who -- you know, who should pull out, perhaps the centrist doesn't want to allow the far left to get through.

CONWAY-MOURET: Well, at the end of the day, it's going to be down to the people voting. I mean, you know, parties -- political parties may indicate what they want as a strategy, as I've just indicated, of not having an absolute majority, but, you know, individuals will make them mind and decides that, well, they, you know, they want to, you know, they don't care or they feel that they just want to vote for the MP that will be best representing the locally. And they will make their choice like that.

But those indicators are for an overall strategy if you like of not having this absolute majority, which is going to have any impact far beyond France, if it is the case. So that's why --


CONWAY-MOURET: -- that's why the left and the center have indicated at that indeed, they will pull out their candidate not to have a an election with three candidates, but only two, with the third giving their votes to, you know, either the center, right, left, or the left.


FOSTER: Has the left failed here? I know the left bloc has kept there vote share. They didn't go down like macrons side did but typically young people would vote for the left. And now they're voting for the right. What happened there?

CONWAY-MOURET: I think it's just the situation France is in -- at the moment, you know, that we've had a president that for seven years made a lot of promises communicated a lot, maybe a bit too much, in fact, and people are now disappointed with the fact that those promises were not kept.

We have the yellow vest and everybody has forgotten what it was about. It was about a surge of anger as to, you know, seeing France, you know, being degraded, you know, poverty being prepped, prevalent now in a society that never knew it. And people knew, social services being degraded, hospitals that 20 years ago, France was at the top. Number one or number two, and now, we're down, you know, number 25 or whatever.

So it's all of that that people can feel, well, you know, the politicians in charge have failed. And they want something else and he wanted to give a strong message because when I saw the figure is yesterday of people voting, I can he felt -- well, you know --

FOSTER: There was a high turnout.

CONWAY-MOURET: Yeah, they do not want the extreme right. But in fact, it's vote that, that's been constantly dated from the three weeks ago the European elections where we thought maybe it was just message.

No, it's not the message. It's an actual movements which is fairly strong with people saying, well, this is what we want now, based on the promises at the extreme right, has made.

So I just hope that in 23 years time when the presidential elections are coming, that if they haven't delivered, they might -- they might be a massive vote against them reversal of what they have known last night.

FOSTER: OK .Helene Conway-Mouret, we really appreciate your analysis today. Thank you for joining us on this historic moment in French politics and really you just heard from European politics as well.

We'd be back in a moment.



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: South Korea says one of two North Korean ballistic missiles launched Monday may have had an abnormal flight trajectory. Spokesperson for South Korea's joint chiefs of staff says the military is still analyzing the data from what could be a fan held missile launch. The launch comes just one day after North Korea condemned a joint military exercise by South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

Ukrainian officials say Russian forces launched air attacks on the country's two largest cities Sunday. Military officials in Kyiv say air defenses destroyed Russian cruise missiles heading toward the capital. Debris from one missiles struck a 14 story residential building, though, causing a fire and destroying several floors, as you can see there.

Now, Russian forces launched an airstrike on the northeastern city of Kharkiv. Officials say one person was killed and nine others were wounded, and that was including an infant boy.

I want to thank you for joining us. I'm Paul Newton. For our international viewers, "WORLD SPORT" is up next. For our viewers in the United States and Canada, I'll be right back with more CNN NEWSROOM after a short break.



NEWTON: And welcome back to our viewers in North America. I'm Paula Newton in New York.

U.S. President Joe Biden is facing dwindling poll numbers, as his family urges him to stay in the race. They spent time together on Sunday at Camp David and discuss how they could support the president. Now, two of his advisers say for the family also talked about whether top Biden aides should be fired.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to CNN on Sunday, praising President Biden's record. Listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Let us not make a judgment about a presidency on one of one debate. Let's talk about what it means to people in their lives. And that's why you're not seeing much change in the polls on this. The difference between Joe Biden and the former president is so clear. It's not about performance in terms of a debate. It's about performance in a presidency.

And I want you to know that the fact is that the reaction to the lies of Donald Trump is something that maybe TV isn't focusing on, but people are, and to have a debate where you have to spend half your time negating what he said because he has no -- nothing -- knows nothing about the truth.

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Yeah, we --

PELOSI: One side of the suit -- on one side of the screen, you have integrity. The other side, you have dishonesty.

BASH: Yeah. And we have definitely been pointing out the about 30 falsehoods that we heard from former President Trump. But what you just did Madam Speaker was make the argument for Joe

Biden's reelection in a way that he did not on Thursday night. Isn't that a problem?

PELOSI: I don't want -- I don't say it's a problem. It's a bad night. I see everything as an opportunity. Okay. You want to contrast?

But these people could do debate if you're not even telling the truth or do you want to tall what it means to you and your life when this person becomes president. This president -- now, he -- he lied about January 6. This was a horrible event in our country's history. He was an ex-president of United States who instigated an insurrection.

He tries to blame it on me. Yeah, I plan my own assassination when he was sitting on his butt in the White House, not sending the National Guard and lying about it on the show. And people -- people are well- meaning. They be -- I had one of your reporters say, did he really send the National Guard? No, if they don't want even know, then how can we make a judgment about how other people evaluate a presentation?

So this is a dangerous person as opposed to a person who again saved our country from COVID. The first bill we passed shots in the arms, money in pocket, people own jobs, children at school. This president with his denial and delay cause people to die.


NEWTON: Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi there. Now, later today, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether a former U.S. President Donald Trump has presidential immunity. He's accused of trying to overturn the 2020 election, including his actions on January 6, the court's decision could impact other criminal cases against the former president.

Now, Trump argued that without immunity, presidents would be hamstrung in office and worried about facing charges after leaving the White House. An appeals court ruled earlier this year that Trump is not entitled to any protection.

Former Trump adviser, meantime, Steve Bannon is set to report to a federal prison in Connecticut in the coming hours and it comes after the Supreme Court rejected his bid to avoid prison while he appeals his contempt of Congress conviction.

CNN's Polo Sandoval explains.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Steve Bannon, the conservative podcast host, and at one point, a strategist to Donald Trump, ordered to report to a Connecticut prison on Monday, set to begin his four- month prison term. This coming on the heels of a failed appeal at the Supreme Court, basically a latch last-ditch effort to avoid prison time on the part of Bannon.

He refused to testify as part of a congressional investigation into the January 6th attack and efforts to overturn the 2020 elections.


As a result, Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress almost two years ago. Over the weekend, we heard from a prison consultant, Justin Paperny on CNN, the former federal inmate, offering some words of advice to Bannon. Bannon recently in some interviews on other outlets still seeming to be quick defiant.

JUSTIN PAPERNY, DIRECTOR, WHITE COLLAR ADVICE: It's going to come down to his routine, how we address, adjust, and more importantly, he's got to avoid problems. Bannon has frequently said no prison or jail can shut him up. He has to understand how prison staff can view a statement like that as he pursues his activities, probably 24 hours a day.

SANDOVAL: Like many other members of the previous Trump administration, Bannon has remained a very loyal supporter to Donald Trump and certainly supporting Trump's reelection bid. His argument during the proceedings initially where that he was not willfully ignoring the House committee subpoena instead, just relying on advice from his attorneys, the Department of Justice, however, prosecuted the case against Bannon in response, saying that he responded to the subpoena, quote, with total noncompliance.

Bannon heads to prison just months after Peter Navarro made history, becoming the first former member of the Trump White House to be prison for contempt of Congress. He also recently began a four-month prison sentence of zone after reporting to a prison in Miami.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


NEWTON: Officials in Barbados say hundreds of people have taken two hurricane shelters as they wait for Hurricane Beryl to hit the island. The category four storm has raised alarms right across the region, bringing heavy rains, destructive winds, and the threat of flooding. Beryl is expected to sweep through the islands in the coming hours and continue moving west towards Puerto Rico in Jamaica later this week.

Now experts warn Hurricane Beryl could be just a taste of this year's Atlantic hurricane season.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers explains the dangers of rapid intensification along with what to expect in the coming months.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew is going to be rough but I wasn't expecting all this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house is flooded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden, the house flooded. It just started going deeper and deeper. And by the timewe were walking out, we were mid-thigh.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): Those who have lived through a hurricane that has undergone rapid intensification are often shocked by its speed and strength.

Rapid intensification is when a storm's maximum-sustained wind speed increases by 35 miles per hour in 24 hours or less. And it could be a significant part of the 2024 hurricane season, with both record warm ocean temperatures and a developing La Nina.

ROBBIE BERG, METEOROLOGIST, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: It means essentially that one day you could look at a storm, it could be a tropical storm, maybe a category one hurricane. Then you wake up the next morning and it's up to category four or five.

MICHAEL BRENNAN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICAN CENTER: The strongest hurricanes that have ever hit the United States, the high-end category four or a category five were all been tropical storms or less three days before landfall.

MYERS: One example of dramatic rapid intensification, Hurricane Ian, in 2022, which took more than 100 lives across Florida and the Southeast.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been here since 1965 and this is the worst hurricane that I've ever been through.

BERG: I was working a midnight shift. When I got on shift, it was a category one or two hurricane. By the end of the shift, we had the aircraft in there and it had exploded up to category four.

MYERS: There's going to be some huge waves with this.

I was working in the morning shift that day and clearly saw the storm intensify overnight. I also warned of a slightly shifting track to the right of the center of that cone. The time to evacuate was quickly closing. And I knew this was going to be bad.

BERG: We tell people don't just check the forecast on one day and wait a whole another 24 hours to check it again. You really do have to stay up to date when you live in a hurricane-prone area.

MYERS: And 2024 has the potential to be a devastating hurricane season. NOAA has issued an above-normal Atlantic hurricane forecast, with up to 25 named storms, eight to 13 potential hurricanes and four to seven of those becoming major hurricanes.


NEWTON: Our thanks to Chad Myers there.

Now, the U.S. state of New Mexico is facing a unique severe weather situation. Both flash flooding and wildfires are wreaking havoc on the mountain village of Ruidoso. And they're not enough to cancel each other out. Officials issued an immediate evacuation order due to flooding Sunday, though its unclear how many people have been impacted by that order.

Meantime, firefighters are trying to put out at least two deadly wildfires in the area, burn scars from these fires may be partly to blame for the extreme flooding in the floodwaters have created mudslides in the area, making firefighters' jobs even harder and we certainly hope for some respite their new Mexico soon.

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles has booked her ticket to the Paris Olympics after a major win at the Olympic Gymnastics trials.


She's now the fourth American woman to compete in three Olympic Games. Biles placed first in the all-around competition on Sunday, leading her competitors by more than five points.

Now, it guarantees the reigning world champion and the most decorated gymnast ever an automatic spot on the U.S. team. And we congratulate her.

As the saying goes, if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you? Well, what if it were part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series? Yeah, you need some Red Bull to jump off of that.

The competition has divers free falling from as high as 27 meters. My stomach hurts. This is video from the third leg of the series held on Italy's Adriatic Coast on Sunday. The series moves on to Northern Ireland's causeway coast on July 20th.

Will Smith returned to his music roots at the BET Awards on Sunday, debuting his new gospel inspired song.


NEWTON: So at those BET Awards, "You Can Make It" as you hear him sing it there, is the Oscar-winning actors first solo material in more than five years, teeing up his first major music release in nearly two decades. The performance comes just months after Smith's surprise Coachella appearance.

Now, I want to thank you for joining us here on CNN. I'm Paula Newton. CNN NEWSROOM continues at the top of the hour with my friend and colleague Rosemary Church in Atlanta and with Max Foster in Paris.