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How Trump's Team is Viewing Chaos Surrounding Biden; Trump Calls Biden "Broken-Down"; Vice President Harris Stands by Biden; Rishi Sunak Delivers Final Speech; Framework in Place for a Ceasefire Agreement in Gaza; Nathan's Hot Dog Champ Overshadowed by Joey Chestnut. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 04:30   ET




PAUL REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: 4:30 a.m. here in Washington. Here's a live look at the White House. Good morning, everyone. I'm Paula Reid. It's great to be with you. We are just over one week removed from the presidential debate and both campaigns seem to be shifting strategies.

The Trump campaign largely laying low over the past few days, but the former president did make one notable remark. He was caught on camera speaking about his opponents and the debate at his golf course. The video was obtained by "The Daily Beast," and you may find some of this language offensive.




TRUMP: I kicked that old broken-down pile of crap. He's so pathetic. It's so amazing. It's just so (INAUDIBLE) bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just can't imagine.

TRUMP: Can you imagine that guy dealing with Putin and the president of China who's a fierce person?


REID: Meanwhile, the Biden campaign is saddled with doubts about the president's ability to remain at the top of the ticket. Part of the strategy includes a sit-down interview today with George Stephanopoulos that will air tonight.

Joining me now, Stephanie Lai, politics reporter for Bloomberg and Stephen Neukam, congressional reporter for Axios. Thank you so much for being with us. Stephanie, I want to start with you, because it seems that the Trump campaign is making a deliberate choice to see the spotlight, something they don't do a lot. And I want to read from some of your latest reporting. You write, that, aside from a celebratory rally last Friday, Trump has largely gone silent, even canceling a planned television interview with a Virginia network, according to local outlet 13 News Now. After flirting with announcing his vice- presidential pick in the days before the debate, his campaign reverted to their original plans to unveil the pick closer to the Republican convention.

So, a rare less is more strategy from the Trump campaign?

STEPHANIE LAI, POLITICS REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: We're seeing a very different side of Former President Donald Trump. Unlike in the past, where he's injected himself into controversies that didn't necessarily concern him, and in turn, causing himself some own controversy. He's seeded the spotlight, as you've mentioned.

And in doing so, he's been able to focus the negative attention on President Biden's debate performance to show the Democratic infighting and to project, you know, Republican strength. They don't have the same problems and it seems like the polling has been helping them ever since the debate. And so, we're seeing that the campaign has largely allowed the advisers to do the talking for President Trump.

And instead of, you know, potentially unveiling a vice presidential running mate, he's decided to hold off on that announcement, which is something that we were expecting, but there was discussion among sources that it had told me that they might have unveiled it earlier should the debate not have gone the way that they were hoping it to go.

REID: And, Stephen, the big boost to Biden this week was the meeting with Democratic governors. But your latest reporting takes us inside that meeting where, look, they laid out some tough realities here. You say, the governors were clear-eyed about the current political reality reflected by polls. Democrats, as it stands, are poised to lose the White House and potentially both chambers of Congress to Republicans in November.

What else are you hearing from your sources?

STEPHEN NEUKAM, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Yes, a source that was briefed on that meeting that I spoke to said that the feedback from Democratic governors was blunt to former president -- or to President Biden. But they also said that President Biden signaled that he was not getting out of the race, that there was very little wiggle room in him dropping from the campaign, that he's in it to win it.

Now, that's the public posture that we've seen from the White House and Biden surrogates for the past few days. That's what they're going to say publicly until a different decision is made anyway. But look, they came out and they said that they supported the president and that's a boost to him in the sort of environment that he's in right now. [04:35:00]

REID: Yes, absolutely. But of course, if he does step aside, that has repercussions, not just obvious, immediate ones for Democrats, but also for the Trump campaign. We have some new CNN reporting, it talks about how Republicans are trying to determine what the Democratic incumbents stepping aside would actually mean for the Trump campaign. And trying to determine what the Democratic -- what this would mean, and they believe that the path back to the White House would likely be easier with Biden at the top of the ticket.

So, are you hearing anything about contingency planning? Are they thinking that far ahead?

LAI: I think from what I've heard from advisers so far is that, you know, they're prepared for any circumstance. Any candidate, even President Trump has said that he's ready to take on whoever is on the top of the ticket. And so, it seems like they're not too concerned just yet in terms of who it would be if it's not Biden. And the polling that we've seen so far suggests that no one else does as well as Biden does.

REID: Now, the former president, he's suggesting that they should do another debate, but he had some ideas about exactly what that would look like. Yesterday, he wrote on Truth -- excuse me, on Thursday, he wrote on Truth Social, let's do another debate, but this time no holds bar and all in discussion with just the two of us on stage talking about the future of the country. He went on to say, what a great evening it would be. Just the two of us, one on one in good old- fashioned debate the way they used to be, anytime, anywhere, any place.

OK. Politically map out what would that look like for both of the candidates?

NEUKAM: Well, consider me skeptical that if you put those two men in front of a camera with no holds bar, that they would talk about the future of the country, it would be very nasty. We saw it in the last debate, talking about -- it was on serious things, their golf scores and --

REID: Yes.

NEUKAM: But politically, look, I think why that there's a risk for both campaigns? Why would either do it at this point? I mean, why -- I know he's saying that publicly, I think that's to put pressure on Biden to sort of driving this narrative that he's not fit for office and won't debate. But the president -- the former president won the last debate and the last debate was a disaster for the current president. So, for -- from either of their perspectives, I don't understand why they would do it again.

REID: Right. So, the next 24 hours, critical, right? You have the rollout of this ABC News interview, high stakes. Let's talk about first the Trump campaign, right? How do they view the next 24, 48 hours? I mean, it seems like they want to keep quiet. Can they continue to keep quiet or are they going to see how the ABC News interview goes?

LAI: Well, I guess we'll see. You know, even after that video leaked of President Trump on his golf course, it was interesting to note that the president himself had posted that video on Truth Social. And so, it seems like, you know, they're just rolling with it. They're going to see what happens. And perhaps, you know, if something catastrophic does happen, you know, we might see his main campaign advisers weigh in.

REID: Fair to say this is one of the most critical moments for the Biden White House.

NEUKAM: Biden, the folks that we're talking to, he has a very small window here to clean up this mess that he's in, to convince party leaders, party donors, people down the ballot that he is ready to take on this task.

So, yes, starting with the interview tonight and -- you know, and into early next week and through the next week, we're going to see polling, more polling come back as well, and that will give us an idea of what the electoral map looks like. It's critical.

REID: Critical indeed. Thank you so much. With President Biden's re- election bid in doubt, a lot of attention shifting to Vice President Kamala Harris.

CNN's Brian Todd shows us the evolution of Harris's partnership with the president and the challenges she's faced along the way.


KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Our president, Joe Biden.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The public face of Kamala Harris relationship with Joe Biden started on a contentious note.

HARRIS: I'm going to now direct this at Vice President Biden.

TODD (voice-over): At a Democratic primary debate in 2019, Harris challenged Biden for working with segregationist senators in the past, telling Biden it was hurtful to her.

HARRIS: You also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.

I'm suspending --

TODD (voice-over): Harris would later drop out of the 2020 race before a single vote was cast. But she'd impressed Biden enough with her toughness that he asked her to run with him.

BIDEN: Is the answer yes,

HARRIS: The answer is absolutely yes, Joe. And I'm ready to work. I am ready to do this with you.

TODD (voice-over): Harris fought hard with Biden through a bruising campaign and emerged as the first woman, the first black American and the first person of South Asian descent to hold the office of vice president.

HARRIS: We did it, Joe.

TODD (voice-over): But there were setbacks early in the administration. In 2021, after Biden assigned Harris to handle relations with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, countries of Central America, to help address the immigration crisis, Harris gave an awkward, heavily criticized answer in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt.


HARRIS: We've been to the border. We've been to the border.

LESTER HOLT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: You haven't been to the border.

HARRIS: And I haven't --


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

FOSTER: Fourteen years of conservative rule in the U.K. about to come to a crashing and humiliating end. And it has the -- it's the ominous duty, really, of Rishi Sunak as that final prime minister to be the face of that ending and to tell that story. We're about to see him come out of Downing Street and give his final speech as prime minister, the final speech of any Conservative prime minister until there's another election, which is probably going to be five years away.

And the next person walking into that door will be Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, another centrist, but representing something very different. And he -- as he said, in his own words, it represents change. Nic Robertson is there outside Downing Street. Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, of course, Starmer wants to be able to bring public confidence in politicians. And here comes Rishi Sunak right now to deliver that final speech.

RISHI SUNAK, OUTGOING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. I will surely be seeing his majesty the king to offer my resignation as prime minister. To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all. But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change, and yours is the only judgment that matters.

I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss. To all the Conservative candidates and campaigners who worked tirelessly but without success, I am sorry that we could not deliver what your efforts deserved. It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.

Following this result, I will step down as party leader, not immediately, but once the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place. It is important that after 14 years in government, the Conservative Party rebuilds, but also, that it takes up its crucial role in opposition professionally and effectively.

When I first stood here as your prime minister, I told you the most important task I had was to return stability to our economy. Inflation is back to target, mortgage rates are falling, and growth has returned. We have enhanced our standing in the world, rebuilding relations with allies, leading global efforts to support Ukraine and becoming the home of new generation of transformative technologies.

And our United Kingdom is stronger too, with the Windsor Framework, devolution restored in Northern Ireland and our union strengthened. I'm proud of those achievements. I believe this country is safer, stronger, and more secure than it was 20 months ago. And it is more prosperous, fairer, and resilient than it was in 2010.

Whilst he has been my political opponent, Sir Keir Starmer will shortly become our prime minister. In this job, his successes will be all our successes, and I wish him and his family well. Whatever our disagreements in this campaign, he is a decent, public spirited man who I respect.

He and his family deserve the very best of our understanding as they make the huge transition to their new lives behind this door, and as he grapples with this most demanding of jobs in an increasingly unstable world.

I'd like to thank my colleagues, my cabinet, the civil service, especially here in Downing Street. The team at Chequers, my staff, CCHQ, but most of all, I'd like to express my gratitude to my wife, Akshata, and our beautiful daughters. I can never thank them enough for the sacrifices they have made so that I might serve our country.

One of the most remarkable things about Britain is just how unremarkable it is that two generations after my grandparents came here with little, I could become prime minister and that I could watch my two young daughters light Diwali candles on the steps in Downing Street.

We must hold true to that idea of who we are, that vision of kindness, decency, and tolerance that has always been the British way. This is a difficult day, at the end of a number of difficult days. But I leave this job honored to have been your prime minister.


This is the best country in the world and it is thanks entirely to you, the British people, the true source of all our achievements, our strengths and our greatness. Thank you. FOSTER: A humble Rishi Sunak speaking there powerfully and with much more personality than he normally does. Rishi is the extraordinary thing that you experience when people come out of those positions. But that was the real Rishi Sunak speaking there, and speaking humbly about what he has failed to do, which was to be re-elected, but also paying tribute to Keir Starmer, showing his support for Keir Starmer and saying the -- this country is a great country and what happened here was the vote of the people, and he fully accepts it.

So, what we'll see now is Rishi Sunak heading up to Buckingham Palace, meeting the king and resigning and then it's over to Keir Starmer who will enter the palace, and then he'll be appointed and he'll go into Downing Street and repeat that exercise, giving a speech, showing his vision for the future going into Downing Street. And then, the U.K. will be under new leadership for probably the next five years when there'll be another election, unless there's another crisis, which we learned from the Conservatives.

It isn't that unusual, considering how many prime ministers we've had in this country, and partly explains, probably the lack of people who voted in this election, because it was pretty appalling numbers, and I think that shows a disengagement from politics right now. This is something that Keir Starmer, Nic Robertson, will probably have to address, won't it, this disengagement from politics, disappointment in the status quo. He's got to offer this change that he's talking about, he's been promising for so long and will be pretty difficult to achieve.

OK. OK. We haven't got Nic Robertson currently, but that's going to be the big challenge, really, for Keir Starmer. He admits this is -- this was a vote for change, as in it was a vote for something different, which wasn't the Conservative Party. He's riding off the back of that negativity, really, but also having to pronounce a new vision, really, for the nation. He feels pretty disappointed in the current government. And it is still the current government until Rishi Sunak resigns.

This is Buckingham Palace, the scene at Buckingham Palace. So, the king is waiting there to receive the outgoing prime minister. I have to say there's this unusual moment that occurs under the British constitution, which is that after the prime minister resigns and before the next one's appointed, it's the king who's actually in charge. But that only lasts a few minutes. We hope there isn't a crisis in that time. Keir Starmer would certainly take a lead on that if that were the case.

OK. I'm just waiting to hear what we're going to next, but Nic Robertson is currently in Downing Street standing by for us. I know he's got some -- OK. We're going to return currently to "This Morning" and then we're going to follow the comings and goings. We have a helicopter in place to show the cars going up and down from Downing Street to the palace. We'll keep you across it all.


BIDEN: And the release of all hostages. This proposal has been transmitted by Qatar to Hamas.


REID: It's important to remember, though, that a deal has not been finalized. Joining me now, Joel Rubin, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under former President Obama. Joel, thank you for being here with us.

So, previously, the holdup was the transition between phase 1 and phase 2. What happened here to change that? What was the breakthrough?

JOEL RUBIN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, OKLAHOMA ADMINISTRATION AND FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Yes, Paula. Look, this sustained diplomacy that we have seen now for a couple of months between the Hamas, through its intermediaries, with Qatar, Egypt, the United States, all piling in is pushing Hamas to the position where they really are ending up with very little wiggle room now. They see they have no choice. If they want to get any kind of sustained quiet in Gaza, they're going to have to come to the table with new changes, new ideas.

And also, what's very interesting is that Prime Minister Netanyahu, he has shown some willingness now to engage and reengage despite getting pressure from his right flank. So, to sustain diplomacy from all quarters, the United States, our diplomats are out there in the region all the time pressuring. And I think you're seeing now that the bearing of some fruit. We'll see. It's not done obviously yet, and they're going to be more talks, but it's moving in the right direction.

REID: But how likely is it that this will all come together?


RUBIN: You know, what I'm hearing from diplomats in different corners is that this is as close as it's been in some time, and there's a lot of optimism about this that when Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to send the leader of the Mossad, his chief intelligence agents official to Doha to have these talks, he authorized it.

Now, this is the first real action he's taken since the collapse of the war cabinet, which have been against and other moderate members in it. So, he is doing this now with his right-wing government behind him. And that means that he feels he has the ability to cut a deal, and I think that's a very positive sign.

REID: So, just how important is this deal for President Biden? I want to read something from one of our colleagues, Barak Ravid, he's political analyst and global reporter for Axios. He writes, "A deal in Gaza would be a huge accomplishment for Biden. A hostage and ceasefire deal would upend the news cycle and allow Biden to flex his national security and foreign policy credentials, which officials have long pointed to when rebutting questions about his age."

RUBIN: Yes, there's no doubt that Barak is right on this. Look, this has been a horrific war on the ground. So, much suffering amongst the Palestinians, amongst the Israelis. And American diplomacy has had three goals, restore Israeli security, minimize Palestinian casualties and impacts on civilian life, and prevent a regional war.

And this is President Biden's moment now on the Middle East. He is showing that his sustained diplomatic leadership, while backing Israel, will bear fruit. He also have, I have to mention, send an envoy, Amos Hochstein, out to Lebanon to try to ensure there's no war between Israel and Hezbollah. So, this is the president engaged. He has a NATO Summit coming up next week. Prime Minister Netanyahu in a few weeks here.

Despite all of the wildness of the political cycle and the presidential cycle, he is focused on this and it's very important that he stays focused and gets this win.

REID: Thank you so much for joining us.

RUBIN: I'm happy to. Thanks, Paula.

REID: And turning to sports now there's a new Nathan's hot dog contest champion, but Joey Chestnut is still showing everyone up without even being in the competition. Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hey, good morning, Paula. Yes. So, the 4th of July can only mean one thing for American sports fans, that's the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. But this year looks a bit different with 16-time and reigning champion Joey Chestnut not participating after a rift with Nathan's over his partnership with Impossible Foods.

And with the world record holder out, it was truly anyone's game on Coney Island yesterday. And it was tied up until the end with 39-year- old Patrick Bertoletti taking top dog in the end, polishing off 58 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Bertoletti had previously taken a 10-year hiatus from the event before returning in 2022 and he said without Chestnut to compete -- there to compete, he knew he had a chance.

And speaking of Chestnut, the face of competitive eating, while he didn't take the day off, he was down in El Paso, Texas competing against U.S. soldiers to help raise money for military families. And he devoured a whopping 57 hotdogs in just five minutes. That's one less than Bertoletti who had twice the time. And Chestnut also had more than all of his competitors combined. And here's what he had to say afterwards.


JOEY CHESTNUT, 16X NATHAN'S HOT DOG CONTENST CHAMPION: Oh yes. I think the most I've ever done in five minutes, even in practice is 55. And so, this is -- they were pushing me and I was -- I wasn't holding back. Runners have to run, fighters have to fight, eaters have to eat.


SCHOLES: What a quote. Miki Sudo, meanwhile, showing she can hang with the men, setting a new women's world record with 51 hot dogs eaten. That beats her previous record of 48 and a half. She also beat her husband and fellow competitive eater, Nicholas Wehry, who had -- ate 46 on the men's side. Miki Sudo, now a 10-time champ.


MIKI SUDO, 10X NATHAN'S HOT DOG CONTENST CHAMPION: You know that even 10 years into this, I still have more to show. The women's records just going to improve from here on out. And there are a lot of exciting things to come.


SCHOLES: All right. Lionel Messi and Argentina meanwhile taking on Ecuador in what was expected to be an easy victory for the reigning World Cup champs as they look to advance the Cope America semifinals. But Ecuador shocking them with that goal there in stoppage time by Kevin Rodriguez. So, this game would go to penalties and this is something you don't see very often.

Messi lining up for his penalty. But he misses it, kicking it off the crossbar. But luckily for Messi, his goalie, Emiliano Martinez, bails him out, stopping Ecuador twice. Argentina moves on winning penalties four to two.

And it was a tough night for the Minnesota Lynx, potential MVP candidate, Napheesa Collier, leaving the game late in the third quarter with an apparent foot injury. So, she's also set to compete in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games for Team USA. Let's keep an eye on that one. Lynx would go on to lose to the Sun, 78-73.

And finally, Yankees and Reds engaging in an old school standoff before yesterday's game. After the national anthem, the Reds, Graham Ashcraft and Carson Spears remained on the foul line, as did Yankees, Ian Hamilton and Cody Poteet. The showdown lasting for more than five minutes as the Yankees warmed up behind them for the first inning. Players ignoring the umpire's gestures to get them off the field.


But in the end, it was Ashcraft standing strong as he's the last one to move, winning it for the Reds. Cincinnati outfielder Spencer Steer said that set the tone for the game. Reds would win eight to four, sweeping the Yankees for the first time since the 1976 World Series.

There you go, Paula. The old standoff. Reds won that and the game. Big day for them.

REID: Thank you. Well, up next, President Biden preparing for his first television interview since last week's dismal debate.

Plus, swimmers attacked by sharks in Texas.