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CNN International: Biden's Family Urges Him to Stay in the Race; U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Trump Immunity Claims; Far-Right Party Leads Elections in France; Calls for Justice, Accountability After Police Kill Protesters in Kenya. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 01, 2024 - 04:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president and his family talked about the debate and the family encouraged the president to stay in the race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no plan, there's nothing in the party rules that contribute to the solution to this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether former U.S. President Donald Trump has presidential immunity. I don't think this is going to be the win that Donald Trump and many of his MAGA supporters are expecting.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Here in Paris, an unbelievable result really in many ways in the first round of the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world, also streaming on CNN Max. I'm Max Foster in Paris, where a seismic shift in politics appears to be underway. The country's far-right leading the first round of the national parliamentary elections with President Emmanuel Macron's ensemble alliance slumping to a dismal third.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta. We'll get back to Max in just a moment. But first, CNN is learning that the Biden family is encouraging the U.S. president to stay in the 2024 race. Now, this comes despite growing calls for President Joe Biden to step aside after his poor performance during last week's debate. Mr. Biden's family also reportedly discussed whether top aides should be fired. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has the latest now from Washington.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden and his family huddled at Camp David on Sunday for a previously scheduled photo shoot. But looming over this visit was Thursday night's debate and all of the immediate fallout. Now, two Biden advisers tell CNN that the president and his family talked about the debate and the family encouraged the president to stay in the race.

These advisers say that the conversations were focused on how the family can help and not whether the president should reconsider his candidacy. Now, the president himself has also been eagerly collecting data, anecdotal and through public polling. Of course, all of this as there has been criticism from all corners of the Democratic Party, going from Democratic lawmakers and Democratic officials as well as donors racked by anxiety over Thursday night's debate performance.

Now, the president did have a fundraising blitz over the weekend where he too conceded that the debate on Thursday was not his best but still maintaining that he would stay in the race and that he would fight hard for voters.

Now, of course, there are still plenty of questions unanswered here and there is still the immediate fallout that the campaign continues to have to wrestle with, particularly on calls over the course of the weekend trying to reassure their supporters that at the end of the day it is two vastly different records between President Biden and former President Donald Trump and that is where the focus should stay.

But the very least, on Sunday, the president having those conversations with his family who are all pivotal to his decision- making and then offering their support moving forward.

Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: In the coming hours, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether former President Donald Trump is immune from criminal prosecution. He is accused of trying to overturn the 2020 election, including his actions on January 6th. But the court's decision could impact other criminal cases against him.

Trump argues 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.

Joining me now is civil rights attorney and legal commentator Areva Martin. Appreciate you being with us.


CHURCH: So in just a few hours from now, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on Donald Trump's claim of immunity from criminal charges relating to trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election on January 6th. What ruling are you expecting on this?

[04:05:00] MARTIN: I expect that the Supreme Court will rule that there are definitely some actions taken by a sitting president that are immune from prosecution, official actions taken by that president. But I also expect that the Supreme Court will either determine that some of the actions of Donald Trump were not official actions and were in fact private actions or they will send the matter back to the district court judge, Judge Tanya Chutkan, for her to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine which of the actions are indeed official actions of a president or those that are private actions for which there is no immunity. So I don't think this is going to be the win that Donald Trump and many of his MAGA supporters are expecting.

CHURCH: So how far-reaching could this ruling prove to be on other cases against Trump, like the classified documents case?

MARTIN: That's a great question, Rosemary, and that's why I don't think the court is going to come out with a blanket immunity saying that everything that a sitting president does is immune from prosecution because a sitting president can engage in criminal conduct that can be determined not in the scope of his duties as a president.

You know, think about this example. So when a president vetoes a bill, clearly you would not want to criminalize that conduct and you would want the president immune from any criminal prosecution related to criminalizing -- I mean, to vetoing a bill that wouldn't be criminal conduct.

However, in the case of Donald Trump, with respect to trying to submit a, you know, a list of or a slate of fake electors, electors who were not selected by those individuals in the state, actions by this president to subvert the 2020 legitimate electors and the legitimate process that was done to elect Joe Biden as president, those are actions that would be actions of a candidate Trump, not a President Trump.

So you can see where the Supreme Court would want to draw a line between those private actions that an individual takes that are not advancing the office of the president versus those like vetoing a bill which are clearly under the purview of a presidential, someone sitting in the White House as the president.

CHURCH: So how will the justices decide if what Trump said and did after the 2020 election were official or private acts? How is that determination made?

MARTIN: My guesstimation, and of course, you know, I don't have a crystal ball and can't say definitively what the Supreme Court will do, but my suspicion is based on the historical record and everything that we've seen, is that this court is likely to send this matter, remand it back to the district court, remand it to Judge Tanya Chutkan for her to hold an evidentiary hearing, almost a mini trial, so it's for there to be a determination by this judge as to which actions were indeed official actions and which actions were indeed private actions.

And I think it's important to note that Special Counsel Smith, Jack Smith, made it very clear in the indictment that the actions engaged in by Donald Trump to subvert the 2020 election were indeed not actions of a President Trump, but as candidate Trump, and there's a big difference. There's no immunity, or no immunity that I believe that this Supreme Court will afford to someone acting as a candidate, as essentially a private citizen for all practical purposes.

So I think we're going to see this matter remanded back to the district court for there to be an evidentiary hearing and for this judge to be the final arbiter. Now, of course, we know Donald Trump, whatever decision is made by the district court, is likely to be appealed again if possible. So I don't think there's going to be a quick resolution to this, but I do not think that the ruling that we are expecting in several hours is going to exonerate Donald Trump from all criminal liability.

CHURCH: Areva Martin, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your legal analysis. Appreciate it always.

MARTIN: Thank you, Rosemary.

FOSTER: Here in France, a surge in support for the far right in the parliamentary elections. It was the result, really, that Emmanuel Macron had dreaded. And we've just heard that 76 candidates have already won their seats in that first round.

That means they got absolute majorities in the first round. Think back to 2022, and only five candidates were announced after the first round. So this is historic on many levels.


Thousands of people taking to the streets of Paris to voice their opposition after the strong showing by the National Rally. We're not quite sure which of those 76 seats actually went to the National Rally, but if it's high, it is significant. The party of Marine Le Pen is leading after that first round. The left-wing new Popular Front coalition came in second.

Macron's centrist alliance came in a pretty distant third, actually. CNN senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann brings it all together from here in Paris.


JIM BITTERMANN, 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.

MARINE LE PEN, NATIONAL RALLY PARLIAMENTARY LEADER (through translator): 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.

BITTERMANN (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 a 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, projections 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: A big story for France, but also a big story for Europe and, indeed, the West. Let's speak to our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, about that, because this, you know, France is a major diplomatic, economic player, and this will have an impact on the wider world.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Absolutely. I mean, look at the way that France has tried to play a leading role in bringing peace between Lebanon and Israel along the border there. Look at the way they've taken a forward-leaning position over Ukraine, in terms of suggesting even that there should be French and other NATO troops on the ground in a training capacity, helping Ukrainian forces inside of Ukraine.

That's a red line, it seems, for some people, for Putin. That's a forward-leaning position. And, of course, Macron has been able to set these positions because he is president, and president has purview over foreign policy, defense policy, things like that. This is something, however, that Marine Le Pen's party would potentially challenge if they were in that position of power-holding the prime minister-ship inside the parliament, if they get there, if they make that position. They would challenge the president on his authority to do that. And they take a weaker stance, for example, on Ukraine.

They wouldn't want to send the long-range weapon systems that France is sending right now. They wouldn't want to have French troops inside of Ukraine. So there's that.

Where do they stand on certain other foreign policy issues has sort of not been the center of the debate so far, but certainly when it comes to the European Union, they take different positions to President Macron, who, as president, picks the European commissioner from France at the EU in Brussels.

If Marine Le Pen's party, Jordan Bardella, chooses somebody else, as they've indicated they would, then that, again, changes the way that France exercises its very heavy influence at the European Union.


So there's a lot that could potentially change once we get through the second round of voting and we see what the actual result is and how that translates into the French Parliament -- Max.

FOSTER: If we look at the rise in nationalism in France and in Germany and Italy, if we take the European Parliament elections, and then, you know, a rise, in the right at least, or the sharper right in the U.K., and then obviously what's happening in America as well, are we seeing a changing face of the West and its place in the world?

ROBERTSON: I think the short answer is yes, but then you look at the U.K. and you look at the fact that expected this week the left of center Labour Party is expected to have record results over the conservative right-wing party, centrist right party.

If you look at Hungary and Viktor Orban, the nationalist right-leaning leader there, who's been sort of an outlier in terms of the European Union with his right-wing policies, actually he scored poorly in the most recent elections there. The worst he's done since being in power.

But the broad trend, as you say, this in the United States, the potential for Donald Trump to be reelected, what we're witnessing in France or what we've witnessed this weekend, what we saw about a month ago in the European Parliamentary elections there, and even within the sort of gains that have been made within the right-wing groupings within the European Parliament, there is a narrative and a trend to sort of move beyond, let's say, Giorgia Meloni, the Italian Prime Minister, right-wing, came in with sounding like she might be something of an outlier within NATO and the European Union, but actually works with NATO and the European Union in strong support of Ukraine.

But there's a drift towards potentially right-wing parties taking a position like the AfD in Germany, who are more right-wing and don't cooperate with their representatives within the European Parliament.

So if that drift to the further right happens as a result of Marine Le Pen's success and her party's success in France, that pushes Europe more to the right, and I think the way that you would see that most immediately would be tougher policies on immigration, and that's certainly a direction that Marine Le Pen, Jordan Bardella want to take France in right now.

FOSTER: OK, Nic, thank you so much.

Rosie, it's still not over yet. We do have a second round of voting, so all the parties here are really pushing their voters to come back out and reassert themselves. So never underestimate Emmanuel Macron, that everything looks pretty weak for him currently, although he will remain president, but certainly a weakened one as this continues.

CHURCH: Yes, no doubt he'll be holding his breath for that second round of voting. Max, we'll come back to you about around the half- hour mark. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

And still to come, Kenyans are not finished holding their government accountable. After more than a week of protest, they want justice for the people killed by police.

Plus, U.S. President Joe Biden spent Sunday with his family amid growing calls to drop out of the race for the White House. What advice they gave him, that's next.



CHURCH: Kenyans are calling for police to be held accountable after they killed at least 30 people during government protests over the past weeks. Youth-led protests erupted over a controversial finance bill that Kenya's president ultimately threw out. CNN's Larry Madowo joins me now from Nairobi with more on this.

Good to see you, Larry. So how likely is it that these police will be held accountable in the end?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kenyan police and security forces generally rarely get charged and even fewer ever go to jail for killing protesters, even though there's video evidence.

I was reporting outside the Kenyan parliament last Tuesday when protesters stormed parliament. This was the deadliest day, the highest number of casualties in a single demonstration in Kenya, according to the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights.

And we filmed shocking scenes. We were there when police opened fire on largely unarmed protesters. And it has stayed with me, so I went back and reviewed some of that video because when you see helpless men die in front of you, it's impossible to write that out of your brain.

And this story begins with the death of a 19-year-old. And a warning to our viewers, this story contains some graphic images.


MADOWO (voice-over): A prayer for the dead.

The family of Ibrahim Kamau say their final goodbyes. His body being taken for burial. He was only 19.

His mother tells us Ibrahim had just graduated from high school and was hoping to go to college. Ibrahim was shot twice in the neck at a protest in Nairobi.

EDITH WANJIKU KAMAU, SON KILLED IN PROTESTS (through translator): I didn't go that day because I didn't have childcare. But we always went together and came back because the protests were peaceful. The first thing I want is justice for Ibrahim and all the kids who died because they all had dreams.

MADOWO (voice-over): Protests broke out across Kenya last month against a proposed finance bill largely driven by young people organizing on social media. But the deadliest day was June 25th. When protesters stormed parliament in Nairobi.

Human rights groups accused police of shooting dozens of unarmed protesters, including some who were fleeing. No-one has accepted or denied responsibility for the killings. Our crew filmed shocking scenes.


Like here, left of your screen, a man running away is shot in the back with a tear gas canister at close range. These protesters, standing over a man who's apparently dead, police fire a non-lethal round directly at them.

Nairobi's police chief, seen here, commanded the operation. His officers clearly contravening their own rules for the use of force. CNN analyzed the deadliest two hours when most of the protesters are believed to have been killed.

Keep an eye on the man in white overalls waving his arms earlier in the day. 25-year-old Ericsson Kyalo Mutisya was supposed to be at the butcher's shop where he worked, his mother said, but ended up here. CNN's camera captured him dancing until shots ring out.

Police advance towards the protesters. More shots and people run away. Amid the chaos, we spot Erickson again. He is lifeless on the sidewalk. Around him, other protesters are also on the ground. As the smoke lifts, one man has been shot in the head.

People rush to help, but police keep firing at them. A bag is thrown in the air as the smoke grenade goes off, but that protester escapes. We were on the scene as this unfolded.

MADOWO: There are three bodies lying on the ground. After we heard live ammunition coming from Parliament, a police truck is on fire, and the protesters appear to be pushing the police, overwhelming them, getting closer to Parliament.

MADOWO (voice-over): Unknown to us at the time, Erickson's body was being carried away behind me, his white overalls soaked in blood.

We obtained his autopsy report. Erickson was shot in the back and bled to death. Moments later, another injured protester is carried away, but he is lucky he survived.

That protester is 26-year-old Ian Kea (ph), who was also hit in the back.

IAN KEA, KENYAN PROTESTER: I'm in pain because of the government.

MADOWO (voice-over): He was demonstrating because he's been jobless since he graduated five years ago.

KEA: Our main mission is to change Kenya, to be a better Kenya.

MADOWO: Do you regret going out to protest?

KEA: I'm not regretting anything, because it's my right.

MADOWO (voice-over): Ian is a keen bodybuilder, but has lost the use of his legs.

CNN obtained three autopsy reports of protesters who were demonstrating around Parliament on the same day. Two died from gunshot wounds, one was shot in the head, the other in the back.

One opposition lawmaker concerned about police brutality in recent days says he will fight to hold those responsible.

YUSUF HASSAN ABDI, KENYAN OPPOSITION MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: We cannot accept this colonial-minded, archaic, trigger-happy police. Something must change, and we will make sure that the victims of this particular crisis get justice.

MADOWO (voice-over): Families buried their dead. Young men and women vocalizing their anger at a government they feel is not listening to them. Not helping them create a better future.

An oversight body is investigating police conduct during the protests, but many here don't believe they'll ever see justice.


MADOWO (on camera): CNN has reached out to the Kenya police and the Ministry of Interior about the conduct of security forces on that day, but we have not received a response. President William Ruto said in a TV interview Sunday night that the police did their best, and he maintained that criminals infiltrated legitimate protesters.

But David Chege, the man you saw there who was shot in the head, he was not a criminal, he was a Sunday school teacher. Ibrahim, who was 19, whose funeral you just saw, his mum told us they're so poor they cannot afford to be violent during these protests because they can't even afford treatment.

And I want to show you the body of Ericsson Kyalo Mutisya. He was only 25, he had dreams ahead of him. We saw him just 13 minutes before he was shot dead. He loved dancing, and he showed some of that on TikTok. And for his family, the grief is just unspeakable -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: It is a heartbreaking story. Larry Madowo joining us there with that report. Appreciate it.

And still to come, more on the French parliamentary elections and how opposition to the far-right National Rally Party can fight back. Stay with us for that.