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President Biden Says He Will Not Step Down As Democratic Presidential Nominee In Interview With George Stephanopoulos; Democratic Senator Mark Warner Assembling Group Of Democratic Senators To Assess President Biden's Viability As Democratic Presidential Nominee; Some Calling For Vice President Kamala Harris To Replace Joe Biden As Democratic Presidential Nominee; Former California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer Defends President Biden Against Those Calling For Him To Step Down As Presidential Nominee; Texas Coast Under Tropical Storm Warnings As Tropical Storm Beryl Moves Across The Gulf Of Mexico; Rightwing Party In France Leading Recent National Elections; More Than 130 Million People Across 18 States Under Heat Alerts In U.S.; Whistleblower Says Boeing Used Parts Scrapped As Below Quality Standards In Building Planes; Grandson Of Jesse Owens Discusses His Grandfather's Accomplishments At 1936 Berlin Olympics. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 06, 2024 - 14:00   ET



BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unlike Palin, George W. Bush, in 1999, was not significantly damaged for coming across as weak on foreign when a reporter quizzed him on world leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you name the president of Chechnya?


TODD: Jimmy Carter, a devout Southern Baptist, shocked Americans in a 1976 interview with "Playboy" magazine when he said, quote, "I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times."

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: That humanized Jimmy Carter. His willingness to be honest, coldly, almost clinically honest, it would serve him well, and also hurt him as president.

TODD: Historian Tim Naftali says sometimes these interviews have been given to deal with a crisis that's overblown, one which the media and others might exaggerate, but that American voters don't make a big deal out of. The Biden interview, he says, is not one of those moments. He says this crisis is genuine.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in New York today. With just 44 days until the Democratic National Convention and four

months until voters head to the polls in November to pick a president, a defiant President Biden is vowing to stay in the race and win the 2024 election.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the Lord Almighty came down and said, Joe, get out of the race, I'd get out of the race. The Lord Almighty is not coming down.


WHITFIELD: In the aftermath of his recent shaky performance at CNN's debate and growing calls from some within his own party to drop out, the president sat down last night for a make-or-break television interview with ABC News. With voters and pundits hanging on every word, the president downplayed his dismal debate as a bad night and not a sign of a bigger problem. In addition to saying that Trump was shouting over his muted mic and that it distracted him during the debate, the president also said that he was hired from travel and he wasn't feeling well.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was sick. I was feeling terrible. Matter of fact, the docs with me, I asked him they did a COVID test trying to figure out what's wrong. They did a test to see whether or not I had some infection, a virus. I didn't. I just had a really bad cold.


WHITFIELD: In the interview the president also dismissed growing concerns about his mental fitness but refused to commit to taking a cognitive test. He also downplayed polls showing him trailing Trump, saying he remains the Democrats' best chance to beat Trump in November.

We've got a team of correspondents covering this for us. Even McKend is in New Orleans where Vice President Kamala Harris is set to speak later on today. And CNN's Arlette Saenz is in Delaware with President Biden. So Arlette, you first. How is the Biden campaign feeling today following that interview?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, the Biden campaign is expressing optimism after the interview as aides really see it as a key opportunity in trying to convince Americans that the president is up for a second term. The president was quite defiant, insisting that he is not backing down from this 2024 race, even as they are there are some pressure coming from within his own party, from officials and donors who are concerned about what it would mean to keep Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket in November.

Now in this interview, the president also would not commit to taking a cognitive test at a time when many Americans have concerns about the president's age and mental and physical stamina, especially after his performance on that debate stage.

But the president in this interview also forcefully pushed back on the idea that top Democrats want him out of this race. Take a listen.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: And if Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jefferies and Nancy Pelosi come down and say, we're worried that if you stay in the race, we're going to lose the house and the Senate, how will you respond?

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd go into detail with them. I've spoken to all of them in detail, including Jim Clyburn, every one of them. They all said I should stay in the race, stay in the race. No one said, none of the people said I should leave.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they do?

BIDEN: It's like, they're going to do that.


BIDEN: Yes, I'm sure. If the Lord Almighty came down and said, Joe, get out of the race, I'd get out of the race. The Lord Almighty is not coming down. I mean, these hypotheticals, George.


SAENZ: So far five House Democratic lawmakers have called for President Biden to step aside. The most recent lawmaker to do so was Congresswoman Angie Craig of Minnesota. She released a statement this morning after that interview saying that the present since debate performance and also his lack of a forceful response from the president himself in the days after make her concerned and not convinced that he could run this campaign and beat Donald Trump in November.


CNN has also learned that Senator Mark Warner has tried to assemble a group of Democratic senators to try to get on the same page about the future of Biden's candidacy. Sources telling CNN that Warner himself may be moving closer to the possibility of believing that President Biden should step aside at this moment.

The president this morning convened a phone call with the co-chairs of his campaign. In the coming day he is expected to hit the battleground state Pennsylvania, trying to make his case directly to voters. But it does come at a time when many questions continue to mount about whether Democrats, more Democrats might call for President Biden to step aside in this race as so many are concerned about what it could mean for the top of the Democratic ticket in their race against Trump in November.

WHITFIELD: All right, Arlette, thank you so much. Eva McKend with the vice president in New Orleans. So she's expected

to speak this evening, and she did make an appearance last night. What's going on?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: She did, Fred. The vice president is facing a tremendous amount of scrutiny at this hour. She is really rejecting this, though. She is showing complete loyalty to President Biden both privately and publicly as well, saying she is proud to be his running mate and really they trying to steer the conversation back to what she would characterize as the accomplishments of this administration.

But the reason why some Democrats are really pushing for her to be at the top of the ticket is they think that she can provide some energy to core coalitions in the Democratic Party at a time when they sorely need it. So that is female voters, young voters, the black female voters that are here at this Essence Festival who are tremendously proud of her, Fred. They would love to see her at the top of the ticket. But they also say that they're comfortable with President Biden forging on until November. Take a listen.


MAURICE LUCAS, VOTER: It might be a little bit controversial, but I'm all for it. I think she is prepared. She's been in the role, has the experience. And I think it would probably make a lot of people happy to see a different take on the ticket. No offense against President Biden. I think he's done a great job. But I think we did a younger -- we need a younger transition in the party, I would say.


MCKEND: I don't know if you can hear me. I think I lost you. But the vice president will address a crowd later this evening here at the festival and a Q&A format, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, I got you. Eva McKend, thank you so much. Arlette Saenz as well. Appreciate it.

All right, so did Bidens high-stakes interview quiet the growing number of Democrats calling for him to drop out of the race? Well, today now five members of Congress are asking Biden to step aside. Biden downplayed the push for him to do so in that interview, when asked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos. Listen to more of that exchange.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Senator Mark Warner is assembling a group of senators together to try and convince you to stand down because they don't think you can win.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Mark as a good man. We've never had that -- he also tried to get the nomination, too. Mark is not -- Mark and I have a different perspective. I respect him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jefferies and Nancy Pelosi come down and say, we're worried that if you stay in the race, we're going to lose the house and the Senate, how will you respond?

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd go into detail with them. I've spoken to all of them in detail, including Jim Clyburn, every one of them. They all said I should stay in the race, stay in the race. No one said, none of the people said I should leave.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they do?

BIDEN: It's like, they're going to do that.


BIDEN: Yes, I'm sure. Look, if the Lord Almighty came down and said, Joe, get out of the race, I'd get out of the race. The Lord Almighty is not coming down. I mean, these hypotheticals, George. If.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it's not that hypothetical anymore. I grant that they have not requested the meeting, but it's been --

BIDEN: I met with them. I met with a lot of these people. I talk with them regularly. I had an hour conversation with Hakeem. I had more time with Jim Clyburn. I spent time, many hours off and in the last little bit with Chuck Schumer. It's not like -- I had all the governors, all the governors.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I agree that the Lord Almighty is not going to come down. But if you are told reliably from your allies, from your friends and supporters in the Democratic Party, in the House and the Senate, that they're concerned you're going to lose the house and the Senate if you stay in, what will you do?

BIDEN: I'm not going to answer that question. It's not going to happen.


WHITFIELD: All right, joining me right now to talk about all this is former California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. She served four terms in the U.S. Senate before retiring in 2017. Great to see you, Senator.



WHITFIELD: So you've known Joe Biden for very long time during his more than three decades in public service. He's been called the comeback kid over the years after overcoming a lot many times. Can he overcome the growing calls within the Democratic Party for him to step aside?

BOXER: In my opinion, that's the wrong question, because the leadership is not calling on him to step aside, and you are picking up the hypotheticals that Stephanopoulos put out there.

WHITFIELD: Well, there are five Democrats, there are five elected officials who are.

BOXER: But I'd just say, who are they? Who knows them? They are -- they've gotten their five minutes of fame. And I said that the other day. Spare me your five minutes of fame. You never did one thing that I know about. You may be great. I want you to get reelected, but this isn't the way to go.

WHITFIELD: Yes, so here --

BOXER: Don't step out as one member of Congress. I just have to say this. I do know Joe all those years. I want to just be very direct with you. What did I see? I saw the old Joe Biden I know and love. Was he quieter in his voice? Absolutely. And I'll tell you something. He wasn't defensive. It was hypothetical after hypothetical. He told the truth. He felt awful. He took all the blame. And people love to see someone step back up and fight.

Now, having said all that -- to him, we really need to talk. We think we need someone else, and here's who we think can win, that's a different story. I'm out of the arena. But I do think if you're asking me about whether he --

WHITFIELD: OK. I don't know if it's my signal. I'm kind of losing some of what you said. OK, I'm being told that we do kind of lose a little bit of your signal.

I'm wondering, Senator, I want to ask you one more question, if you are still there. OK, we're going to try and reconnect a little bit. While we're -- OK. So I think we've tried to reconnect. I hope I can hear all of what you said, because there were a couple of portions that I didn't get to hear, Senator, and I really want to listen to every word.

So I'm wondering, what is your feeling about conversations that either are about to happen or are being discussed that should happen among Democratic leadership? Should they be having a conversation with the president about his viability, even after the ABC interview last night, after the debate, all of that, should they be having a conversation with him about that option of stepping aside? Do you think it's appropriate for other elected officials to have that conversation with him?

BOXER: What I think is very appropriate is for the leadership in the House and Senate to be in constant contact with the president about the work they want to do and anything else that comes up. What I think is inappropriate is for individual members of Congress who have no leadership portfolio to come out, and now you've mentioned their name on here and they have their five --

WHITFIELD: OK, I am, I'm really sorry about that, because we've lost the signal again. And I think we all value the voice and the words of Senator Barbara Boxer there. So if we are able to reestablish it at some point today, we're going to try and do that again, or if it's not today, then maybe it's tomorrow. But our apologies to our viewers and to the Senator for not being able to finish this conversation. Really valued conversation. All right, turning now to tropical storm Beryl, people along the Texas

coast are now under tropical storm warnings as Beryl moves across the Gulf of Mexico. A live look at South Padre Island, Texas. It looks gorgeous, doesn't it? But the conditions are assumed to be very threatening, and the Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued voluntary evacuation orders and have urged coastal residents to be very prepared ahead of Beryl.

Let's get to Chad Myers right now. Chad, so it does look beautiful, doesn't it? I mean, idyllic there on the coast. So how much time before those conditions deteriorate, if that's the direction it's going?


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: For Brownsville, for South Padre, it doesn't really go downhill a lot more from what you see there. The farther you go up the coast, that's where we're really going to have the really rough problems.

We have two things going on right now. Very warm water is the accelerator, but shear in the atmosphere and dry air in the atmosphere, that's the break. This storm kind of has both pedals going at the same time. The shear is trying to break the storm up, and it really got broken up over the Yucatan Peninsula. Let me tell you, I have not seen a storm lose so much power in that short amount of time over the Yucatan. It's a pretty flat place. We're not talking like we're going over the mountains of the Dominican Republic.

So warm water in the middle 80s, that's the fuel. And then the break, trying to keep it from becoming something. And it still will become something. And yes, the winds will pick up in Brownsville, the waves will pick up. We have the surf advisories, please don't be in the water. But what we're really watching is, will this be a Corpus Christi storm or something slightly farther to the east? We are still going to get winds and waves with that surge. We saw the surge from, what was it, Alberto just completely washing over Surfside Beach. I can easily see that kind of thing happening here again.

But this is not Harvey. If you're living in Houston, this is not a 60- inch rainfall event. The storm continues to move. Yes, they'll even be possibilities of some waterspouts. But this is not going to be a devastating rain event. It's a surge, it's a wind event, but not really all of that rain.

Will there be rain? Yes, there could be eight inches of rain, but were not talking the feet of rain like we had. It's hot across the south. It's hot and humid. That's where some of the humidity, some of the rainfall is going to come from. But not as hot and humid as we are out west.

Look at this, Death Valley yesterday was 127 degrees in the beginning of July, and it'll be another hot day today, Vegas could break their all-time high for tomorrow at what, 118?

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Yes, that's unbearable. Folks, stay inside, right. I hope all those air conditioning units are working. All right. Chad Myers, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

All right, hours from now, French voters head back to the polls for the second time in a week. Will they put the far right into power?

Plus hear from a former Boeing inspector who says scrap parts ended up on assembly lines.



WHITFIELD: French voters are set to go to the polls this weekend in a vote that could reshape the country. French nationalists are leading after the first round of voting. And this could potentially mark a major turning point in France's relationship with the U.S. It all comes just weeks ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris. CNN's Saskya Vandoorne has more.


SASKYA VANDOORNE, CNN PRODUCER: A dramatic move no one saw coming. Following his party's stinging defeat in the in the European Parliamentary elections last month, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had no choice but to call snap elections. The stakes for the second round on Sunday could not be higher.

The far right anti-immigration National Rally Party and its allies came out on top in the first round. Euroskeptic and Russia-friendly, its doyen, Marine Le Pen, claims to have detoxified the party whose early ranks included members of an SS military unit commanded by the Nazis. The left-wing New Popular Front block came second, leaving President Macron's centrist alliance trailing in third place. National Rally leader and aspiring prime minister Jordan Bardella has leaned heavily on identity politics.

JORDAN BARDELLA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RALLY PARTY: The thing that the public are very tired of Macron power during seven years of inserts, of increasing immigration, increasing taxes.

VANDOORNE: The 28-year-old has vowed to reduce immigration and free medical assistance for undocumented people and strip citizenship rights from those born to foreign parents on French soil.

After the first round, an unprecedented number of candidates qualified to move forward. Worried this would split the vote, two-thirds of the contestants from Macron's camp and the left-wing alliance dropped out. Their goal, to block the national rally from getting the 289 seats they need to form an absolute majority.

If all of the paralysis that would come from a hung parliament, Bardella said he would refuse to govern unless he commands such a majority.

KEVIN ARCENEAUX, POLITICAL ANALYST, SCIENCES PO: One of the things or one of the big concerns that I think we should all have is that looming over all of this is a presidential election in 2027. And one possibility is that in anticipation of those elections, all of the parties in the parliament will see reasons to block each other, elect -- that they will get electoral advantage for doing so.

VANDOORNE: Le Pen, meanwhile, has made a historic advance, though it's yet unclear if that road will lead her all the way to the presidency in 2027.

Saskya Vandoorne, CNN, Paris.


WHITFIELD: More than 35 million people are feeling temperatures over 100 degrees as record-breaking heat hits the west coast of this country.



WHITFIELD: A blistering multiday heatwave is bringing triple-digit temperatures nationwide and fueling wildfire risk as thousands flee their homes. Term advancing blazes out west. Nationwide, more than 130 million people across 18 states are under heat alerts, and there will be no relief until the middle of next week.

CNN national correspondent Natasha Chen joining me now from the Grove in Los Angeles. How are people keeping cool there, Natasha?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're on the original farmers market side of the property, and people will definitely be coming here for ice drinks and ice cream later on. We're lucky at the moment that there's still this cloud layer that hasn't quite burned off yet. But if you know the L.A. Metro area, you know the temperatures can swing drastically within just a few miles. So going 20, 30 miles north, we're already seeing 100-degree temperatures right now. And people up there, we saw them yesterday at an aquatic center, more than 1,000 people flocking to that pool.


Here's what a couple of them said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hot and we have stay cool. We got here at like 10:50, and the lines were already really long.


CHEN: And the first person in that line told me that they waited almost four hours to get in there, people really just trying any which way to cool off. Of course, this is dangerous not just because of the high temperatures when it reaches 101, 115 the into the Valley, into Death Valley specifically, we could be seeing 125 by Sunday or Monday, hitting perhaps all-time records there. This is also really dangerous weather for fires. We've got more than a dozen wildfires, big ones, across, up and down the west coast right now.

Let's just tick through a few of those. We've got the Basin Fire in the Fresno area that it's 14,000 acres right now, almost half- contained there. You've got the French fire by Yosemite, prompting some evacuations there, 900-ish acres, about a quarter percent contained. You've got the Thompson fire, which is also in northern California, about 3,800 acres there, almost three-quarters contained. They did a lot of great work in improving the containment there in the last couple of days.

Then you've got the Balsam Root fire up in Washington state. Now, that one local fire officials say was actually started potentially by fireworks. So really dangerous, not just the hot and dry climate, the extended duration of this heatwave. Then you came off of the July 4th weekend where people were setting off fireworks, sometimes illegally. So a lot for the authorities to be dealing with.

If you take a look at this heatmap that the CDC and other federal agencies made, you can tell just how dangerous the heat is. They're looking at those counties that are in purple up and down, especially in California, just inland of the coast. Thats what they labeled as the most extreme heat. And what they say is that those purple county areas, you're likely to see an increase in emergency room visits due to heat-related illness. So definitely important for people to keep cool as best as they can, to keep hydrated and stay inside where there's air conditioning, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it's a significant area with that kind of high temperature and those threats. Natasha Chen, thank you so much. Stay cool there in Los Angeles.

All right, as record high temperatures become the new normal, an emerging vulnerability is taking shape -- our reliance on air conditioning. It's become our best defense against unbearable heat. The problem is, it's taxing our power grid, and is only accessible to those who can afford to maintain it.

I want to bring in now CNN senior climate writer Laura Paddison, who wrote about this on Laura, great to see you. So air conditioning, it's a lifeline for those battling longer, more extreme heatwaves. We're seeing it right across the country, coast to coast. But some experts say it's increasingly vulnerable. Why and how?

LAURA PADDISON, CNN SENIOR CLIMATE WRITER: Yes, that's right. So as you say, air conditioning has become kind of the ultimate tool for cooling in a lot of places where people can afford it, it can access it. It allows people to live places where the climate can be really extreme. But it depends on electricity. And extreme weather is really putting a huge strain on electrical grids. So hurricanes, winds, storms can knock out transmission polls and wires. Heat can make everything much less efficient. And when temperatures spike, you also can have the situation where everybody is turning on their A.C. units at the same time. It's causing a surge of demand for power. Grids can't cope with it. They buckle, collapse, and you have these outages.

And in the U.S. we're seeing a doubling of major power outages over the last couple of years. And experts are saying that people who have built their lives around having access to this air conditioning, that's actually a lot more vulnerable than people perhaps realize.

WHITFIELD: Heat is dangerous. I mean, it's impacting a lot of people's health. How have you been seeing people, communities, dealing with it when they don't have access to A.C.?

PADDISON: Yes. Well, it's really hard. So if you have a power outage during a period of extreme heat, things go from uncomfortable to dangerous really quite quickly. And that's because it can be really difficult to adapt our bodies to extreme heat. So if the power goes out when it's very cold, you can add layers, blankets, huddle together, build fires. But there's actually not that much you can do when the power is out and it's very, very hot. You can only remove a layer of clothing once. And heat has, can have this really negative impact on our body. It affects all of our major organs, heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, our decision-making capacity. It can make people make riskier decisions. Extreme heat really is the deadliest form of extreme weather. And it's a very hard thing for our bodies to adapt to, and we're still learning about how to do it.


WHITFIELD: Does it seem like these are worries and concerns that really have a global reach?

PADDISON: For sure. We saw last year the hottest year on record. This year could be hotter still. It's playing out across the planet. As we've just heard, these fierce heat along the west coast, potential for blackouts there. But also in southeast Asia, India, brutal early heatwaves, and places where most people, the vast majority, simply don't have access to air conditioning. People sleeping on roofs at night, sleeping in the streets because their homes are sweltering. Southern Europe, too, seeing temperatures into the triple digits, places like -- countries like Bosnia, Croatia saw multi-hour blackouts when spike in demand for power for cooling happened earlier. This happened last month, sorry, when temperatures went very, very high.

This is a global problem, and countries are really having to grapple with it. Heat is only going to become more severe, more frequent as the climate crisis continues.

WHITFIELD: All right, Laura Paddison, thank you so much. Glad to see you all right.

All right, a former Boeing quality-control manager tells CNN that the company took parts deemed unsuitable to fly and put those pieces back on assembly lines.



WHITFIELD: A new report revealing damning documents, and we're hearing from a key whistleblower for the first time on television. It centers on Boeing at a critical time for the aviation giant, highlighting concerns over the safety of airplane parts. Pete Muntean reports the whistleblower claims Boeing employees pulled plane parts from the scrap heap, potentially endangering passengers and flight staff safety to meet tight production schedules and turn higher profits.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): If Everett, Washington, is a Boeing company town, then Merle Meyers was a company man. A 30-year veteran of Boeing, Meyers says his job as a quality control manager put his kids through college. It's a family tradition. His late mother was a Boeing inspector, able to unilaterally decide if a new airplane just off the factory line was fit to fly.

MUNTEAN: What would she think about what is happening at Boeing?

MERLE MEYERS, BOEING WHISTLEBLOWER: She'd be absolutely livid.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): Meyers's new allegations detail an elaborate, off- the-books practice centering on parts deemed not safe to put in new airplanes. He is the latest whistleblower to come forward with claims of quality control lapses at Boeing. This is his first TV interview, inspired by the January 5th door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines 737 Max-9.

Spray-painted red, bad parts deemed not up to Boeing standards, are taken from Boeing's Everett plant and sent to its scrap facility in Auburn. But then one day in 2015, Meyers says a crate of bad parts were improperly sent back from Auburn to Boeing's Everett factory. Meyers alleges the practice continued for years, tallying that more than 50,000 parts escaped Boeing's quality control.

MUNTEAN: It's 50,000 parts?

MEYERS: That's what we counted at the time.

MUNTEAN: It seems like a heck of a lot.

MEYERS: It's a heck of a lot indeed.

MUNTEAN: What does that say to you?

MEYERS: Well, that says it puts people's lives at risk, not just passengers but flight crews. And a lot of these are flight-critical parts that made it back into the production system.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): Company emails show Meyers repeatedly flagged the issue to Boeing's corporate investigations team, pointing out what he says were repeat violations of Boeing's safety rules. But Meyers insists investigators routinely failed to enforce those rules. In a 2022 email, he wrote that Boeing investigators ignored eyewitness observations and the hard work done to ensure the safety of future passengers and crew.

MUNTEAN: Why would they do this?

MEYERS: Schedule. It's schedule.

MUNTEAN: To get points out the door? To make money?


MUNTEAN (voiceover): Meyers believes he was forced out of Boeing last year and is concerned there are still problems at the company.

MEYERS: Well, I think they need to punish, they need to fire people that blatantly violate the process and endanger the flying public. It's a huge problem. And a core -- a core requirement of a quality system is to keep bad parts and good parts apart.

MUNTEAN (voiceover): In a statement, Boeing says it encourages employees to speak up, and that "To ensure the safety, quality, and conformance of our products, we investigate all allegations of improper behavior, such as unauthorized movement of parts or mishandling of documents. We then work diligently to address them and make improvements."

Meyers says he is coming forward now because of the pride he has in Boeing. He goes so far as to call it a wonderful company, one, he says, has been going astray and is in desperate need of change.

MEYERS: But you have to care, leadership has to care to do that. But if you can't even keep parts segregated from good parts, what else aren't you doing right?

MUNTEAN: The mystery here is that we did not have an exact accounting of where these parts are. They ranged from the superficial, like fasteners, to the critical wing flaps use for landing. If these parts weren't returned to the scrapyard, our whistleblowers worry that they ended up on new planes delivered a airlines and other customers in the last decade or so. How big a deal is that? Also hard to know since we don't know exactly how or where they were used.


But there is no question that these scrap parts should not have been put on planes.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, a look back at one of the world's best-known Olympic athletes who set records and broke barriers 1936.


WHITFIELD: All right, all eyes on the Texas coast this hour as Beryl makes its way across the Gulf. Beryl is currently a tropical storm but is expected to strengthen to a hurricane again before it makes a U.S. landfall late tomorrow or Monday morning. The National Hurricane Center says a hurricane warning will likely be issued for parts of the Texas coast later on this afternoon. And moments ago, the city of Port Lavaca and Aransas County, Texas, both announcing voluntary evacuations.


All right, it may be pretty hard to believe, but the Olympic Games in Paris now just less than three weeks away. And it's sure to be filled with a lot of memorable moments. There have been so many great Olympians over the years, but few can match the impact made by sprinter Jesse Owens. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, an achievement made all the more significant because he did it in front of Germany's Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

CNN's Don Riddell spoke to Jesse's grandson about his legacy, his grandfather's legacy, which also includes an extraordinary friendship with one of his German rivals. Here's some of that conversation.


STUART OWEN RANKIN, GRANDSON OF JESSE OWENS: My grandfather competed in the long jump against a German athlete by the name of Lutz Long. Lutz was the European long jump record holder. And the two of them came together and the 36 games in a sort of heavyweight battle of long jumpers, and on August 4th in 1936, right under the nose of an in the face of Adolf Hitler. What unfolded was something that no one would have predicted. My grandfather and Lutz Long through their competition actually became allies, became friends.

Yes, eventually my grandfather did win the gold, but Lutz got the silver. And I think just as, or more importantly, what came from that was a bond, a brotherhood between two world-class athletes on the highest stage of their particular event or sport.

DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST, WORLD SPORT: You've referred to him as formerly the fastest man in the world, but he's famous not just because of that in his accomplishments, but because of what he did and where he did it, in Berlin, in front of Adolf Hitler. There may be people watching this interview who don't know much about Jesse Owens, because this Olympics was almost 100 years ago now. So I mean, how would you describe his legacy in its entirety?

RANKIN: You're right, a lot of people watching may not be as familiar with his accomplishments. And those Olympics were made particularly famous because those were the Olympics in Berlin, Germany. And of course, Hitler's philosophy and mindset was that his Aryan nation was a superior nation, and that all other nations and all other people were inferior. So my grandfather's accomplishments of four gold medals was quite a thumb in the eye of his philosophy. And I know it added a bit of additional fuel for my grandfather to perform well, but primarily he wanted to perform well for him and the United States of America.

RIDDELL: How did that performance in 1936 change the rest of his life, and therefore, all of your lives within the family?

RANKIN: Most immediately when he returned from the games, it didn't impact his life as we would imagine it would nowadays, because he was returning to 1936 United States of America, which, candidly, was not a very good place for black Americans. So my grandfather's accomplishments, I don't think, were fully recognized and appreciated until later in his life.

RIDDELL: Can you remember the first time that you realized that your grandfather was kind of fast and very famous?

RANKIN: Despite growing up as his grandson, it wasn't something that was talked about a whole lot in the family. He was really just a normal, everyday grandfather. I did eventually learn that he had at one time been the fastest man in the world. And I remember with that, because I was a pretty fast kid as a kid. I thought, well, wouldn't it be neat if I beat in a foot race the former fastest man in the world. And so I challenged my grandfather to a foot race once, fully expecting to be able to beat him because I was I was probably five. I don't know exactly how old I was at the time. But to me, he seemed like an old man, so I figured I could beat an old man and a foot race. And we set off, ready, set, go, and we took off. And I thought I had him for a moment, but then he pretty easily caught up to me and passed me and won the race.

And so I was really upset. I was sorry that I didn't have a story to tell that I was hoping to be able to tell to my friends at school that I'd beat the former fastest man in the world.


WHITFIELD: Yes, that says special. And of course, I loved that, grandpa always a competitor. He didn't care that it was a five-year- old grandson that he was competing against. Our thanks to Don Riddell. Thank you so much. And opening ceremonies for the Paris Olympic games coming up July 26th.


All right, President Biden looks to calm allies and his base by sitting down for a television interview. Did it work?


WHITFIELD: All right, hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

With just 44 days until Democrats officially pick a presidential nominee at their national convention, a defiant President Biden is vowing to stay in the race and win the 2024 election.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the Lord Almighty came down and said, Joe, get out of the race, I'd get out of the race.