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Biden's Plan for Proving He's Fit for Office; More Sleep, Less Work for Biden; Biden: "I'm Not Going Anywhere"; Labour Party's Landslide Win in the UK.; UK's New Prime Minister; Hurricane Beryl Heading Toward Yucatan Peninsula; How Trump's Team is Viewing Chaos Surrounding Biden; Trump Calls Biden "Broken-Down"; Vice President Harris Stands by Biden. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 04:00   ET



PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's Friday, July 5th right now on CNN. This morning, Joe Biden and the political fight of his life, his plan for proving he's fit for office, getting more sleep.

Plus --




REID: -- a landslide win in the U.K. Power shifting to the Labour Party for the first time in over a decade.

And this, Hurricane Beryl tearing up the Caribbean now heading towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

5:00 a.m. here in Washington, here's a live look at Capitol Hill. Good morning, everyone. I'm Paula Reid in for Kasie Hunt. It's great to be with you.

More sleep, less work. That's President Biden's plan to stay sharp and focused on the job after last week's devastating debate performance. According to three sources, the president intends to stop scheduling events after 8:00 p.m. so he can get more rest. And there's no sign he's considering bowing out of the race. Listen to these remarks at yesterday's July 4th barbecue at the White House.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: This could not be done without the family support. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We love you. And I really mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Thank you. You got me, man. I'm not going anywhere. All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP) REID: To stay in the race President Biden has to calm fears among his own supporters about his mental fitness. He didn't help his cause in this interview with the Philadelphia radio show.


BIDEN: I'm proud to be, as I said, the first vice president -- first black woman -- served with a black president, proud to have been involved of the first black woman on the Supreme Court.


REID: Let's bring in Mariana Alfaro, national politics breaking news reporter for "The Washington Post." Thank you for being up early with us. Let's start with the big question everyone has. I mean, is it even possible that Biden would step aside right now?

MARIANA ALFARO, NATIONAL POLITICS BREAKING NEWS REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, coming from all the conversations we've been having, you know, hearing from governors after this meeting they had, I want to say it seems like he is very sure that he won't step out. And I think that, right now, again, we haven't seen a lot of pressure from other elected Democrats, especially in Congress, because they've been out this week, but I think that this coming week, when they return to the Hill, we'll be hearing to see if more come out and call him for it.

But after, you know, this governor's meeting, it's pretty evident that he has no desire to step down. And he -- ultimately, we've heard from so many Democrats that he is the one to make the call. Yes.

REID: So, what are you hearing from sources right now about the conversations inside the White House?

ALFARO: Yes. So, I mean, specifically from this governor's reunion, I think we came out hearing a lot of these, you know, governors, Democrat governors saying that they still have confidence in Biden. They still -- you know, know that he has to make the choice.

sBut also, you heard -- I think it was a New Mexico governor, main governor, saying, we're not sure if, you know, you can win their state in this state. I think we need to be reassured more. And I think that that's the kind of conflict the Democrats are hearing right now across the country. They want to continue supporting Biden, but also, they know that it could hurt not only him, but the rest of the party on the ticket come November.

REID: And what are you expecting over the next few days?

ALFARO: Again, especially if Congress is back on, on Monday and Tuesday, I think we're going to be hearing a lot of Democrats, maybe be more, you know, open, be more, candid about what's going on. But I think that there's still a lot of confusion within the caucus and the Senate groups, and they are still waiting to see their leadership act more strongly.

I think that, you know, we're trying to get them on the Hill next week and see what their thoughts are. But I do expect the list of House Democrats calling him for -- to leave the ticket to micro -- in the coming week.

REID: Interesting. You think it'll grow? And what is the conversation around the other option? What is the other option? Obviously, he has a vice president, but there's a list of names. What are you hearing?

ALFARO: Yes. I mean, specifically on the vice president front, I think it's just because, again, she's been with him for the last four years. She knows the administration, I think that we saw a bump in popularity for her over the last week. And maybe it's just like the internet speaking, but I think that we definitely seen more interest in Kamala Harris than we've seen before.

But logistically speaking, she could be the obvious choice, just, you know, speak about campaign funds and all that stuff. But then, you've seen, you know, Gavin Newsom step up yesterday. He was very, very clear that he's still behind the president. He hasn't really, you know, embraced his idea that he could be next. And same with Andy Beshear over in Kentucky, I think. You know, Gretchen Whitmer, all these folks have been saying that they will continue standing by the president.


But then, there's still that sense they're in the background. They know they could still be tapped in. But I think overall they become united behind the president, despite all this.

REID: You mentioned campaign funds because there are consequences to who -- if you decide to select someone else, money can follow some of them, but not everyone. The money that Biden has in his war chest.

ALFARO: Yes. I think how it works is that if he were to step down or leave the ticket, because Harris is already part of the campaign, it would be easier to transfer all these funds to her. But then, if not, if there's a new candidate and it raises a new sort of questions that we've never seen before about, you know, where do we start with fundraising? Where do we start with gathering all of the Democratic, you know, war chest behind him and or her?

And I think that, right now, those are a lot of things that we've never been put -- in a situation we've never been put in before. So, I think for a lot of strategists, a lot of people kind of trying to see the crystal ball Kamala Harris might be the more clear, easy cut path because, again, they're running out of time.

REID: Yes. No, I think how often have we said that over the past eight or nine years, a place we've never been before. Based on your reporting, how important is the next 24, 48 hours with this ABC News interview tonight?

ALFARO: I think that whatever happens tonight and also, I guess, we're going to see the big parts come out tonight and I think Sunday might be a bit more of the relaxed parts of the interview. But I think President Biden has this one shot that everyone's been calling for, to have a clear communication with the journalists, to be open and candid and have any questions thrown at him. And I think that really depend on how that goes. It's really going to set up the situation for, you know, House Democrats, Senate Democrats coming up next week and the White House's response.

So, again, the campaign has been keeping the same talking points, you know, saying he was tired. He was traveling a lot. You know, there's no excuse behind that for a sit-down interview with a journalist. So, we'll see how it goes and what the news spin will be after that.

REID: Yes, it'll be high stakes.

ALFARO: Yes, it's very high stakes.

REID: Thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it. And up next, the votes are in. The U.K. has a new prime minister this morning.

Plus, a framework in place for a ceasefire agreement in Gaza.

And as we go to break a look, at last night's 4th of July fireworks in New York City.




KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: We did it. You campaigned for it. You fought for it. You voted for it. And now, it has arrived. Change begins now.


REID: For the first time in over a decade, the Conservative Party in Britain is out and the Labor Party is in. Overnight, Conservative British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded the election, promising a peaceful transfer of power.


RISHI SUNAK, OUTGOING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The Labor Party has won this general election, and I have called to Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory.

Today, power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner, with goodwill on all sides.


REID: The landslide victory for Labour gives them control of the British government for the first time in 14 years, with Labour Leader Keir Starmer now taking reins as the next prime minister. So, let's bring in CNN's Max Foster to break all of this down with us. Max, things are moving very quickly this morning. Tell us about the process to move from one prime minister to another.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So, we're about to see Rishi Sunak move out of Downing Street. He'll head up to the palace. He'll resign at the palace in front of the king and then, Keir Starmer will come in and be appointed, and then he'll move into Downing Street. There'll be speeches on both sides. There is this unique thing though, Paula, with that moment between the resignation and the appointment, the king is running the country. So, an absolute monarchy for about 10 minutes, probably.

But I think what we've seen here is, you know, in some ways, isn't a massive shift. You still got a center ground prime minister, but it's moved to the left slightly and by a landslide. So, the British public have completely flipped in many of their voting patterns, even in Scotland where the Scottish National Party has seen its vote collapse.

There's been a lot of change here and a triumph for Keir Starmer because the last election, the Labour Party had the worst showing that it's ever had. Now, it's got one of its best showings. But you have underneath all of that something very interesting going on. You're seeing the hard-right and the hard-left also having successes. So, the Green Party getting four seats, which is extraordinary. Nigel Farage, who is obviously very close to Donald Trump, winning a seat.

But also, you've got the Conservatives collapsing, and you're going to see the hard-right having an influence on the new Conservative Party that comes out of this. So, it's not to say the hard-right haven't had a role to play here in the same way they have in other parts of Europe, it's just not as defined. But we have got now a centrist government, which has moved slightly to the left.

REID: So, Keir Starmer, the next prime minister, what should people know about him?

FOSTER: He's a former human rights lawyer. He is a Blairite, very similar to Tony Blair. He's also taken on some pretty right-wing policies, like stopping the boats of immigrants, illegal immigrants coming into the U.K. He's made massive promises about what he can afford to do, such as bringing public services back to what they used to be, none of which is affordable.


So, this isn't the same as Tony Blair in 1997 coming off a huge wave of optimism and celebration. This is Keir Starmer saying people have voted for change. It's pretty much a vote against the Conservative Party and what people used to have, and he's going to change things. But, you know, it's very difficult to see how he's going to be able to afford it.

And he doesn't -- if you actually look at the votes, he didn't have that many votes across the nation. But he did very cleverly work through this system, a first past -- the post system, which is what we've got constitutionally here, which allowed him tactically to win this. It's not a resounding win for him, although he's got a lot more power in parliament to do what he wants to do.

REID: And, Max, we just got some new reporting that 40 percent of voters skipped the election. What does that say to you?

FOSTER: Well, it's slightly down from last time, but if you look at the trend, it's an absolute collapse in the number of people voting. The turnout's been absolutely terrible. What it says to me is people weren't engaged in this election. You might say, well, there've been so many elections here, and we had the Brexit referendum, so many prime ministers, people have just tuned out.

I do worry that this is a crushing defeat, not for the -- just for the Conservative Party, but for politics. Politics isn't changing things in the same way that people hoped. So, they're just not engaging in it. And I think that's pretty depressing, and it says a lot about democracy and people losing faith in it, frankly.

REID: Max Foster, thank you. And up next, Hurricane Beryl churning in the Gulf, heading towards Mexico.

And a look at the fireworks lighting up the sky in Nashville last night. We'll be right back.



REID: This morning, Hurricane Beryl is bearing down on Mexico, weakening slightly overnight to a strong Category 2 hurricane. The storm just battered Jamaica with strong winds and a month's worth of rain in just 24 hours. CNN's Rafael Romo reports on the damage from Kingston.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Winds and rain pummel Jamaica for 12 hours. Beryl is the strongest hurricane to strike the island in more than 15 years, tearing a path of destruction through the Eastern Caribbean. Now, the cleanup begins.

DICKON MITCHEL, PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA: To see this level of destruction, it is almost Armageddon-like, almost total damage or destruction of all buildings.

ROMO (voice-over): Many people living on these small islands lost everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything is gone. Everything you can think about is gone. People are homeless. They need food. They need water.

ROMO (voice-over): The eye of the storm passed less than 20 miles south of Jamaica, which seems to have pulled out of this major hurricane better than expected. ANDREW HOLNESS, PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA: I think Jamaica was spared the worst. The damage was not what we had expected, and so were very grateful for that.

ROMO (voice-over): Many residents we spoke with agree.

TASHA PAULA HALL, SHOP OWNER: The greatest thing is we have life, we're still here. That's the greatest thing.

ROMO: This fishing village, just outside Kingston, is one of the hardest hit communities in the area. Take a look at how the powerful hurricane winds destroyed their sheds and stands that they depend for their livelihoods. Now, they wonder how long it's going to take before they can rebuild.

TAIEST CHIN, SHOP OWNER: It's going to be expensive to rebuild back everything, but in time, it will be done.

ROMO (voice-over): The shop owners guided us through the debris- filled beach front.

HALL: One shed here, another there and that's a lot of water coming inside. The rooftop blew off, the (INAUDIBLE) also blew off.

ROMO (voice-over): The deluge from Beryl triggering flooding and forcing around the thousand people into shelters. The storm dumped more than twice the average July rainfall on the city of Kingston in just 24 hours. Never before has the Caribbean been battered by a hurricane this strong, this early in the year.

ROMO: Here in Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness earlier said that about 1,000 people per year. remained in shelters. As for communications, he also said that 70 percent of the network was operational. Power also went out in some areas, but he said that it was being restored already.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Kingston, Jamaica


REID: Beryl is now bearing down on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. And this morning, Mexico's president is urging residents of Tulum to seek shelter. Let's get right to meteorologist Elisa Raffa. Elisa, where is the storm right now?

ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is pretty close to making landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, somewhere near Cancun, Cozumel, and Tulum. We're kind of looking at that eye going somewhere in here. Hurricane force conditions picking up here pretty soon and we'll find that landfall again just within the next few hours.

Category 2 hurricane, after it re-intensified again overnight, weakening slightly as it gets interaction with land. Still 110-mile per hour winds moving west and northwest at 15 miles per hour.

We are continuing to find this storm brings some heavy rain. We could be looking at storm surge that ocean water kind of just coming inland up to four to six feet. And then, you're, on top of that, looking at some four to six inches of rain, up to 10-inch totals possible for some of these communities.


As we go through the weekend, we'll find it kind of exiting the Yucatan Peninsula and then it's got time in these very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to re-intensify again. So, it may weaken some to tropical storm but could get back up to hurricane strength as it sets its eyes on Texas as we go into the weekend.

Like I mentioned, we've got -- you know, it's got a couple of things in its way that it has been weakening it, but we're still dealing with ocean temperatures, even in the Gulf of Mexico, that are more characteristic of, you know, August and September. So, it's really got some fuel once it gets past some of this land.

So, looking at a hurricane landfall here, hurricane warnings in effect, then you get some weakening because of the land interaction, but over water, it could re-intensify, we could be looking at some hurricane force conditions as we get towards Texas by the weekend.

It's really all going to depend on how strong this high pressure is on where, you know, exactly that storm can make landfall. Regardless, we're looking at intense rip current conditions along the entire Gulf Coast as we go into the holiday weekend. Paula.

REID: Elisa Rafa, thank you. And up next, how Donald Trump's team is viewing all the chaos surrounding President Biden right now.

Plus, Vice President Harris standing by her boss, but also waiting in the wings.