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Hurricane Beryl Expected to Affect 7 Million People in Texas; Top Democrat House Leaders Want Biden to Exit Race; France's Left-Wing Coalition Wins Most Parliament Seats; New Round of Talks in the Israel-Hamas War; Boeing Accepts Plea Deal with Justice Department. France's Left-Wing Coalition Beats Far Right In Surprise Result; Modi To Visit Moscow For Wide-Ranging Talks With Putin; Biden To Host NATO Summit In Washington This Week; Biden Aims To Reassure Critical Voters in Pennsylvania. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 08, 2024 - 02:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world and streaming on CNN Max and I'm Michael Holmes, appreciate your company. Coming up here on the program, bracing for Beryl, the storm is a hurricane once again as it roars towards the Texas coastline.

Democrats still divided over Joe Biden. We will tell you who the latest are to join the call for the U.S. president to bow out of the 2024 race.

And the center begins to fold in France, voters deliver a win for the country's left-wing parties and a stinging rebuke of the far-right.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Atlanta, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Michael Holmes.

And we begin this hour with Hurricane Beryl, which has gained strength in the past few hours from a tropical storm to a Category One hurricane. And it is expected to make landfall in southern Texas in the hours ahead. In its latest advisory, the U.S. Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado watch related to Beryl impacting more than seven million people.

Residents along the Texas coast are being urged not to underestimate this hurricane and to be prepared for a potentially dangerous storm surge, flash flooding, strong winds and power outages. Beryl has already done major damage in the Caribbean, killing at least nine people throughout the region and Venezuela last week when it became the earliest Category Five hurricane in the Atlantic on record.

Turning our attention now to politics, U.S. President Joe Biden pushing forward with his campaign despite concerns with stops in battleground state of Pennsylvania on Sunday. There he received support from the state's Democratic Senator John Fetterman, but the president still facing pushback from within his own party. A number of House Democrats are joining the chorus, calling on Biden to abandon the presidential race after his debate performance against Donald Trump and with polls showing Biden's support slipping.

During a call on Sunday, a source said a handful of senior Democrats told the House minority leader that Biden needs to exit the race. The call was meant to gauge the feelings among Democratic leaders before Congress returns to work this week. And there was deep concern over having President Biden at the top of the ticket this November and what it could mean for the Democrats' chances of retaking the House and holding the Senate.

CNN's Dana Bash has more now on that call held by House Democrats on Sunday.


DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR & CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (through telephone): What they were trying to do was say to their leader, look, you got to help us out here. Effectively, we want you to make it clear to the president that this is what we believe needs to happen for the good of the presidency and for the good of the party. I'm told that one of the messages that was very clear was concern about losing the ability to retake control of the House.

And Susan Wild is a Democrat from Pennsylvania, where the president was today. She is one of those so-called frontliners. My understanding is she was one of the, if not the only frontliner on this call. And she was pretty adamant that she felt it was crucial for President Biden to step aside in order to not face some serious losses in November.

But I do want to say one other thing, even though this is very significant, these are really important players in the House Democratic Caucus, people entrusted with really big positions in these really important committees. It's not just one-sided. There are Democratic lawmakers who are saying, absolutely do not go.

I'm told that Maxine Waters, for example, veteran congresswoman from California, that Bobby Scott also was saying, you know, this is the wrong thing. We cannot push Joe Biden out. And they're not alone.


We're hearing that from other lawmakers and also from a lot of grassroots organizers and people who have been home. I mean, remember, it's July 4th week. So all of these lawmakers have been home on July 4th. Most of them were at parades or events. So they've really been interacting with their constituents. And it is not one-sided at all.

Debbie Dingell was on "State of the Union" with me. She comes from the critical battleground state of Michigan. And she said she heard just as much support for Joe Biden pleading with her to tell him to stay in the race as people saying, please tell him to go. So it's not cut and dry in the least.


HOLMES: Dr. Larry Sabato joins us now from the University of Virginia. He's the director for the Center of Politics at UVA and also the editor of "Return to Normalcy: The 2020 Election That Almost Broke America." Always good to see you, sir. There's been the debate performance fallout, the discussion about the ABC News interview, Congress back to work Monday. What do you think this week holds in terms of Joe Biden moving the needle?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: I think this is the moment of decision, not just for President Biden, but also for Democratic leaders. With Congress back in session, they're all in one place or most of them are in one place, and they're going to be communicating a great deal. And already we've had some additional members of Congress, all Democrats, come out and suggest that President Biden should step aside.

I'm not predicting that will happen because he seems determined to stay in and it's up to him. But if something were to happen, I think it would have to happen this week, barring another incident weeks from now.

HOLMES: How long does he have in the political sense? I mean, what's the momentum in this discussion, and for the party, how important the issue of time left until the election?

SABATO: Well, it's very important because whether the Democrats want to admit it or not, whether the Biden campaign wants to admit it or not, President Biden is behind. He was behind before the debate and he's further behind now. I know there's been one other poll suggesting that the swing states are still close, but you have to look at the polling averages and things don't look good and they seem to be getting worse that more than anything else, except maybe for the views of the big donors that will probably determine whether Biden stays or goes.

HOLMES: I see this a lot on social media and it does resonate a bit. I mean, do you see elements of a media feeding frenzy on this whole issue, particularly when Donald Trump has major issues with his own cognition and clarity of thought? I mean, do you think there's a bit of a blood in the water mood with Biden rather than, you know, more measured and balanced reporting on this issue, including the other candidate?

SABATO: Yes, I actually entitled a book I wrote back in the early 90s, "Feeding Frenzy." So I'm well familiar with media feeding frenzies. Is this a frenzy? It is. Is it justified as many frenzies are? Yes, because that appearance at the debate was extraordinary. Actually, it was extraordinarily bad.

And I do think it reaffirmed people's doubts. Not everybody had articulated them, but most people had doubts about someone running for another four-year term as president at age 82. So I don't blame the media for that. What I do blame them for is under covering Trump's lies and misrepresentations and also his own slurring of words and word salads, those ridiculous word salads of his that make no sense. You know, he's showing signs of age, too. He's 78.

HOLMES: Yeah, yeah, exactly. It does seem to be a bit one way. But on that on that point, how much is this whole thing helped Trump, at least for the moment? I mean, Team Trump has been remarkably quiet throughout of all of this. Is that a smart tactic? Take the win of Biden dominating the headlines in a negative way and just, you know, shut up?

SABATO: Yes. And it's surprising they were able to do it because they normally can't convince the candidate to be quiet. That will end soon because the Republican convention is beginning in another week or so. And that's going to change the shift of attention to Trump. Now, the good news for Trump is most of it will be positive. He'll be announcing his vice presidential candidate and various events will be occurring in Milwaukee at the Republican convention.

But sooner or later, there's going to be a reckoning sooner or later. There will be a reckoning and Donald Trump is going to even out the coverage in a negative way.

HOLMES: I'm almost out of time, but I wanted to ask you this in the big picture of what Democrats are thinking about how worried are some in the party of not losing just the White House, but potentially the House and the Senate?


You know, there's a lot of brave faces out there. They're circling the wagons, a lot of them. But what is the broader party concerned about losing all three branches?

SABATO: I've heard the word panic a lot. I think it's justified. I prefer the word terrified because even though so far, the Democratic candidates for Senate and for House and other offices have actually been leading Biden, which is highly unusual, normally the top of the ticket leads.

They realize that as the election approaches, that will change. And in the end, the presidential margin, whether you're winning or losing, determines pretty much whether you win the Senate and the House and loads of state offices. So they have every right to be terrified.

HOLMES: Always good to get your analysis. Larry Sabato, thanks so much.

SABATO: Thank you, Michael.

HOLMES: And now to France, where the left-wing coalition has won the most seats in the parliament, defeating the far-right in a stunning upset. My colleague Max Foster is in Paris with the latest. This was one where the polls were wrong again.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. We weren't expecting what we got last night, let's just say. Celebrations, though, here in Paris on the streets as the election results were announced.


A jubilant crowd gathered in the central part of the city to celebrate on Sunday, and police had to finally use tear gas to disperse them. The New Popular Front, a coalition of several parties, won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the largest bloc, but it fell short of an absolute majority. President Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble Alliance got 163 seats. Marine Le Pen's far right National Rally and its allies came in a third at 143.

But by itself, the National Rally will be the biggest single party in the new parliament. Speaking to supporters, Jean-Luc Melenchon, one of the prominent leaders of the coalition to the left, said the people have clearly rejected the worst-case scenario, referring to the far right's loss.


JEAN-LUC MELENCHON, FRANCE UNBOWED PARTY LEADER (through translation): With these ballots, a majority has made a different choice for the country. From now on, the will of the people must be strictly respected. From now on, no subterfuge, arrangement or scheme will be acceptable. The lessons of the vote are clear. The defeat of the president of the republic and his coalition is clearly confirmed.


FOSTER: French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal says he'll submit his resignation today, but will continue his duties as long as needed. The far right's leader, Jordan Bardella, accused President Macron of pushing the country into chaos.


JORDAN BARDELLA, NATIONAL RALLY LEADER (through translation): Tonight, by deliberately trying to paralyze our institutions, Emmanuel Macron has not simply pushed the country toward uncertainty and instability. He has deprived the French people of any response to their day-to-day difficulties for many months to come.


FOSTER: Sebastien Maillard is a special adviser to the Jacques Delors Institute, an independent think tank here in Paris. One thing's for certain, there's going to be deadlock in the French parliament and that comes out of Macron's decision to call a snap election.

SEBASTIEN MAILLARD, SPECIAL ADVISER, JACQUES DELORS INSTITUTE: He called this snap election for, he said, clarification, but we end up with lots of confusion. And it's going to be a while before the dust has settled and that we find a kind of coalition because to get this country governed.

FOSTER: Because the left is, you know, a disparate group of political parties who generally argue a lot. They finally came together, united around the fact they wanted the far-right out. Even Melenchon is saying there's this new unity there. But, you know, the test of that will be trying to find a solution and the initial test of that is finding a prime minister. MAILLARD: Now, in the coming days, it's a stress test for this coalition of the left. As you rightly said, it's made up of different parties. Some of the Greens, communists, the socialists and, as to me, Melenchon inside it are not actually as dominant as they claim to be. And they are very divided, for instance, on Europe. Some are very more for Ukraine or others are a bit more less reluctant on this issue and also on the war between Israel and Gaza. So, yeah, they are divided on many issues.

And coming up with a name will be, I think, quite difficult. And I think Macron's aim now, perhaps, will try to split this alliance in order to attract them more towards the center to try to form perhaps a coalition more center-oriented around his own party, which was defeated, but not as much as predicted.


FOSTER: So that would mean forcing Melenchon and the communists out of that bloc?

MAILLARD: The Melenchon ones --


MAILLARD: -- the socialists ones, who are the hard left. But that will be difficult because, of course, they claim to be in a position to govern, which is wrong because no one has -- actually no one has an absolute majority. No one has clearly won. And so part of the difficulty is because there's going to be inevitably to have some compromise. And in this country, there is no political culture of compromise because under the Fifth Republic, there has been stable majorities.

Macron in 2022 did not get one. But he hoped he would overcome this with this snap elections. And actually, it's even deeper divide. You have three blocks and one of them has to combine with the other.

FOSTER: He said he's going to respect the will of the people. Does that mean waiting? You know, are we going to hear from Macron today? He's got the NATO alliance. Has the NATO summit coming up --

MAILLARD: Tomorrow.


MAILLARD: I wouldn't expect him to speak now. I think he has to wait for the different political groups who have until Thursday to form the official gathering because there are some of the former Melenchon allies are trying to team up with the communists to form their own group. They were going to have -- there's going to be lots of horse trading among them.


MAILLARD: And I think Atal is going to be in the caretaker position for quite a while. FOSTER: Well, to cover the Olympics, presumably, because you need stability for that.

MAILLARD: Definitely. And I think for France in the coming weeks and months to be in such a chaotic, unstable, and uncertain position with no clear orientation for the government, it's also weakening its position inside the E.U. But we need, yes, a security for the upcoming Olympics.

FOSTER: Just staying the sport, it might sound like a bit of a sidebar right now. But France is in the semifinals, isn't it, of the Euros? Actually, that's going to be a really important moment because this country is not united right now. And the one thing that can do that is sport. I mean, that's actually quite a big moment right now --

MAILLARD: Normally, I think, if France succeeds to the final, which is actually on Bastille Day on the 14th of July --


MAILLARD: -- it will be definitely the kind of, if we could celebrate it, I think it would be good for the unity of this country that these elections have showed we desperately need.

FOSTER: Okay, Sebastien, thank you so much for joining us with your analysis. England's obviously going to win the whole tournament, but you know.

A new round of ceasefire and hostage release discussions meanwhile, and Israel and Hamas will restart this week. Why the talks this time are expected to be different, from Michael, just ahead on "CNN Newsroom."



HOLMES: Well, there could be a step forward towards a possible ceasefire and hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas. CIA Director Bill Burns is heading to Qatar for a new round of talks later this week. Israel's head of the Mossad also expected to attend. Journalist Elliott Gotkine explains why there is new optimism this time.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JURNALIST: July 7 marked nine months since the Hamas led terrorist attacks on Israel and a day shy of that since Hezbollah began firing on the country. Since then, Israel and the Iran backed militia in southern Lebanon have been engaged in tit-for-tat attacks that still threaten to boil over. Tens of thousands either side of the border have been displaced.

On Sunday, Israel said Hezbollah anti-tank missiles injured a soldier and two civilians, one of whom is a U.S. citizen. The 31-year-old man who suffered shrapnel injuries to his upper body was operated on and was initially said to be in a serious but stable condition. The hospital treating him later said his health had worsened. The attacks came a day after Israel said it killed a senior Hezbollah operative in an airstrike in northern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, CIA Director Bill Burns heads back to Doha this week to resume talks aimed at securing a ceasefire and the release of hostages still held in Gaza. An official familiar with the meeting told CNN he'll meet with his counterparts from Egypt and Israel, as well as the Qatari prime minister, amid rising hopes that a deal may be close.

This comes after a senior Hamas official told CNN it's considering dropping its demand that Israel agree to a permanent cessation of hostilities from the very start. A red line for Israel. Under pressure from protesters to do a deal, but mindful that it could cause his far- right allies to bolt from his coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement on Sunday insisting on four points.

Firstly, that any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until all of the objectives of the war have been achieved. Secondly, that there'll be no smuggling of weapons to Hamas from Egypt over the Gaza border. Thirdly, that there'll be no return of thousands of armed terrorists to the northern Gaza Strip.

And finally, that Israel will maximize the number of living hostages who will be released from Hamas captivity. Israel believes there are still 116 hostages in Gaza who were kidnapped on October the 7th, around a third of whom are believed to be dead. Elliott Gotkine, CNN, London.

HOLMES: A developing story now. Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge and could pay nearly $500 million in fines for repeated safety failures. The U.S. Justice Department filed paperwork on the agreement a short time ago, but lawyers for the families of victims in two crashes say it's a sweetheart deal and that Boeing is getting off easy.

Three-hundred and forty-six people died in the 2018 Lion Air crash and the 2019 Ethiopian Air crash. Both planes were Boeing 737 Max jets. Lawyers say that the families are upset because no individuals are being prosecuted at Boeing. The deal does allow Boeing to plead guilty to one charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Ahead, we'll take you back to Paris and Max Foster, where he's following the surprise results in France's parliamentary elections.



FOSTER: Here in France, the country's left-wing alliance has come out on top after the second and final round of parliamentary elections. That outcome sparked celebrations as many expressed relief that the far-right was denied a majority. A lot of tactical voting made that happen. The final results came as a reversal to the first round of voting last weekend that saw National Rally top its rivals.

But after the second round, the far-right came in third. The New Popular Front coalition came in first with 182 seats, making it the largest bloc. President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance came in second. Now, the most recognizable face of the New Popular Front, Jean-Luc Melenchon, says the French people, quote, "rejected the worst-case scenario." Now comes the task, and it's a difficult one, and no one can really see a way through it at this point of choosing the next prime minister.

Mr. Macron, who called the snap elections, vowed earlier that the results will be respected, but his move is likely to lead to political uncertainty with no alliance reaching an absolute majority. Could that political uncertainty lead to market stability? Instability, rather.


FOSTER: CNN's Anna Stewart following developments and joins us now, actually that's a slip of the tongue is quite telling, isn't it? Because if the far right had done well, you would be some market movements, but actually there's some more solidity now.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think so. And certainly at the end of last week, I think investors were already preparing for the fact that there probably wouldn't be an overwhelming majority from the far right. So we saw some markets settling which makes this morning all the more interesting.

Let's take a look, European markets opened about 20 minutes, go half an hour ago. You can see that the ever so slightly lower, but we're not talking about huge losses across the board here and the data is actually ever so slightly higher.

The euro did dip a little against the dollar on all of these results and partly, Max, because while the far right's majority has been avoided, you are now looking at a divided parliament, essentially. You're looking at instability in terms of being able to implement policy, And also a lot of friction within that parliament as well.

You've got Macron, of course, wanting to implement pro-business market reforms, labor market reforms, especially, and he really needs to get a rain in on spending and reduce what is a huge deficit in France and a big concern of the E.U. in Brussels. But, now, of course, you have this far -- not far -- this left alliance within the bloc and that means that they will want to implement spending policies they could do policies are actually not help at all in terms of the French deficits situation.

So, in some respects, for investors on a longer term, we're not seeing the reaction today. It is a more alarming picture than it was a few weeks ago okay.

FOSTER: OK. Anna Stewart, thank you so much for that.

Now, coming up, India's prime minister will meet Russia's president in Moscow in the coming hours. Up next, Michael will take a look at the relationship between the two countries, and if it's changed since Putin's war in Ukraine.



India's prime minister will kick off a two-day visit to Moscow in the coming hours, the two leaders expected did discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest. They say it is the first time, Narendra Modi, will visit the Russian capital since President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. India's ties with Russia date back decades to the Cold War, and have remained strong despite like repeated sanctions on Moscow from the West.

Ivan Watson joining me now from Hong Kong to talk more about it.

And, Ivan, Mr. Modi talking of the, quote, special and privilege strategic partnership between the two nations.

What are we expecting from this visit?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, that is a partnership that was declared a number of years ago. The two leaders have not held a face-to-face summit really since 2021. Narendra Modi has left for Moscow. It's going to be an overnight visit there.

But it is clear that the relationship has taken a hit in some regard as a result of brushes invasion of Ukraine in 2022, because the last time the two leaders met face-to-face, this was last year, Modi made a point of saying to Putin that today's era is not of war. It was kind of a subtle way of criticizing the ongoing war there.

But as you pointed out, the relationship, the alliance between these two countries really goes back generations and India has traditionally purchased weapons from Russia. They work together during the Cold War. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow has been increasingly isolated by the West, India has taken advantage of discount supplies of oil from Russia and the bilateral trade has really surge.

That's gotten really one way with India are buying huge amounts of energy from Russia and the Indian foreign ministry says that the bilateral trade has surged to $65 billion in 2023, 2024, but its almost all going into India. There is a huge trade imbalance and they do expect the two sides to discuss that in-person, perhaps at the face-to-face private dinner that's expected tonight or at more formal talks that will be held in Moscow on Tuesday.

A huge elephant in the room is Vladimir Putin's growing alliance and partnership with China's Xi Jinping. Why is that important? Well, the relations between India and its neighbor China has been on the rocks since 2020 when there were deadly skirmishes in the Himalayas on the contested border between the two countries. They are not getting along. And so, India has looked with concern at the blossoming -- blossoming alliance between the two countries. In fact, Narendra Modi skipped last week, Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Kazakhstan and that seen in some ways, as a snub against Xi Jinping, which kind of dominates that organization. One other area where there's a bit of friction is the fact that Indian

citizens have popped up in the Russian military fighting in the war in Ukraine. Listen to what a senior Indian diplomat had to say about that today.


VINAY KWATRA, INDIAN FOREIGN SECRETARY (through translator): At every level of Russian leadership, but official and political, we have expressed strong concern that Indian citizens who are being taken to the Russian army through improper procedures must be returned promptly.


So, the Indian diplomat say up to 45 Indian citizens are believed to have been as they say, duped are fooled into joining the Russian military. And they want that practice to stop. They say they've gotten at least ten of those soldiers back.

Worth noting, Michael, finally that India, while uncomfortable with the war in Ukraine and while maintaining ties with Ukrainian government, has never formally condemned Russia's invasion of that country -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right. Ivan, thanks so much, Ivan Watson there in Hong Kong following that for us.

Now, amid the growing questions over whether he is fit for office, U.S. President Joe Biden getting ready to host some of America's closest allies for the NATO summit. The gathering kicks off in Washington on Tuesday, marking the 75th anniversary of the alliance. Crews were putting up barricades over the weekend as you see to prepare for what is a high stakes summit. The White House says talks will largely focus on upping support for Ukraine and the country's path towards eventually joining the alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he had a productive meeting with Mr. Biden to prepare for the summit.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: I'm absolutely confident out when all NATO leaders can be here this week, it will be a great summit.


We will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the most successful alliance in history. And I just met President Biden and all offers a couple of weeks ago, and that was a good and productive thing where we prepared all the important decisions, will make here on defense, on support for Ukraine, and ultimately some burnishing that European allies are now really stepping up and spending record amount of money on defense and, of course, also on China and our need to work together.

So this is a substance of the summit. And of course, these decisions would not have been possible to make without a strong U.S. leadership.


HOLMES: Mr. Biden is expected to take questions at a news conference when the summit concludes on Thursday now, the UK's new defense secretary, John Healey, travelled to Ukraine on Sunday and a major show of support. He made a stop in the war-torn city of Odesa on his first international trip since being appointed on Friday. Healey sat down with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and promised to deliver more weapons ammunition, and missiles.

His visit comes after the UK's foreign secretary said, military, economic and political support for Ukraine will remain ironclad under the Labour government, which is just, of course, won the Country's general election last week.

For those of you around the world, thanks for spending time with me. I'm Michael Holmes. Our international viewers are going to see "WORLD SPORT" next. Our viewers in the United States and Canada will see more of me with more new CNN NEWSROOM after the break.



HOLMES: And welcome back to our viewers in North American. I'm Michael Holmes. Continuum with the news and the concerns surrounding Joe Biden's reelection campaign and whether he can beat Donald Trump this November have a growing number of congressional Democrats urging U.S. president to bow out of the race in favor of someone else.

But for now at least, it seems California Congressman Adam Schiff is not among them. The prominent Democrat was non-committal on Sunday about the possibility and instead urged the president to consider the situation carefully and objectively.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): What I -- what I would say, Kristen, what I would advise the president is seek out the opinions of people you trust. He's obviously talked to his family about this and that's important. But he should seek out people with some distance and objectivity. He should seek out pollsters who were not his own pollsters. He should take a moment to make the best-informed judgment, if the judgment is run, then run hard and beat that SOB.


HOLMES: President Biden aimed at his Fourth of July weekend in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where he showed no signs he's ready to quit the race. And talked about his plan through a second term, including making taxes more fair.

CNN's Danny Freeman was there as the president made his campaign stops.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the last day of 4th of July weekend, President Biden made another attempt at reassuring Democrats that he is still the man for the job by really projecting a show of force in battleground Pennsylvania. That included stops in Philadelphia and in Harrisburg before ultimately heading back to D.C.

He made appearances with Senator Bob Casey up for reelection, also, Senator John Fetterman and Governor Josh Shapiro.

Now, the day started in a predominately black church in northwest Philadelphia where he really tried to tout the accomplishments of the administration when it comes to African American people in this country, and the rest of the day strategically was more focused on informal, unscripted events throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to really show that President Biden is still able to think off the cuff and be smooth like that.

I want you to take a listen to some of the comments that President Biden said he was rallying campaign staffers at a campaign office in Philadelphia.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're drawing crowds that have been really big crowds ever since the debate, not joking, even that night in the debate, we had great crowds afterwards. And so, things are moving. They're moving hard.

And look, the other thing is that people want to know you care. They want to know we care, and there's nothing letting someone know you care like knocking on doors, and saying my name is so and so, I'm here for Joe Biden, is there anything -- what do you need? What do you need?

FREEMAN: Now here in Harrisburg, President Biden was met with a very friendly and receptive crowd here at the union hall behind me.

He was also unscripted and informal in this particular event, he only spoke for about seven minutes, but then he worked the rope line for about 45 minutes, shaking hands, taking some voters questions, a lot of it was out of earshot of reporters, but that's clearly the image that the campaign wants to put out there that he is not someone that Democrats have to worry about when it comes to his age and his vitality and his ability to do the job.

Danny Freeman, CNN, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


HOLMES: Meanwhile, Donald Trump trying to distance himself from the conservative plan called Project 25 -- 2025. The plan calls for replacing career government workers with thousands of Trump loyalists. The conservative group, the Heritage Foundation behind the plan.

It's later said recently that the U.S. is in, quote, the process of a second American revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be, unquote. Over the weekend, Trump posted on social media he, quote, knows nothing about Project 2025. He also called some of the proposals ridiculous and abysmal. Trump ally, Senator Marco Rubio, was asked about Project 2025 on Sunday.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Think tanks do think tank stuff. They come up with ideas, they say things. I -- look, I like Heritage Foundation. I agree with some of the things they stand for, but there's a bunch of scholars and people to turn around and work on different projects, but our candidate for president is Donald Trump.

And Donald Trump is running on restoring common sense, working class values and making are decisions on the basis of that, not an ideological lunacy.



FOSTER: The sweltering heat plaguing the U.S. from coast to coast isn't losing any steam. The western U.S. in particular has been dealing with an unrelenting and rather dangerous heat wave. Excessive heat alerts remain in effect for more than 50 million people across the region this week, the heat has proven deadly in California. A motorcyclist is dying from heat exposure in Death Valley on Sunday, that's according to the National Park.

The temperature reached a record 128 degrees Fahrenheit the second day in a row, that Death Valley set a new record.

CNN's Natasha Chen is in Los Angeles with more.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: People are trying to cool off any way they can, including coming to this Hansen Dam Aquatic Center, which has a capacity for 3,000 people at this pool hours after the gates open, there are still people in line waiting to get in.

We talked to the first person in line who waited two-and-a-half hours just to be the first one and make sure that he got a shape at spot. Here's how he described how this heat wave in pairs to previous years living in the San Fernando Valley.

JEFF SALAZAR, LOS ANGELES RESIDENT: I guess with global warming, how things are. It's getting worse and worse every year. When it's winter, it's cold -- it's colder, because we're in a bowl, San Fernando Valley is a bowl. So all the air either gets flies right over us, which is what's happening here. And then the heat sticks here. And then in the winter, it just slams in here, so it's one of the two of extremes all the time.

CHEN: A lot of all time high record jurors were broken over the weekend all up and down California from Redding, in northern California, all the way down to Lancaster and Sandberg, closer to where we are. This has been a very dangerous stretch, especially considering the duration of this heat wave going into potentially midweek in many places, Death Valley reaching, the high 120s, even reaching 130.

And authorities are very concerned about emergency room visits as well. The CDC and other federal agencies have been marking data the on how many, what percentage of total ER visits are heat-related illnesses and those numbers have gone up over the last couple of days also, very dangerous conditions its for fires that are burning all up and down the West Coast. You've got the lake fire in Santa Barbara County, the basin fire over by Fresno of both growing to 13,000, 14,000 acres.

So really dangerous conditions for firefighters as well as everyday people just trying to stay out of the heat. Lifeguards here telling us that they've got a difficult job keeping track of so many people, what they're trying to do is just make sure that there are enough adults to children ratio, to make sure the kids are supervised, to make sure everyone is hydrated because they don't want people passing out, which has happened in the past.

Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


HOLMES: The Olympic Games in Paris, less than three weeks away now and while they have been many great Olympians over the years, few can match the impact made by sprinter Jesse Owens. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Games in Berlin, and achieving made all the more significant because he did it in front of Germany's Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler.

CNN's Don Riddell spoke with Jesse's grandson about his legacy.


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

Yes. Eventually, my grandfather did win the gold, but Luz 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 ANCHOR, WORLD SPORT: You've referred to him as formerly the fastest man in the world, but he's famous not just because of that and 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 is 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 realize 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.

So I challenged my grandfather to a foot race once, fully expecting to be able to beat them 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 be in an old man and a foot race and we set off ready set go, and we took off and I thought I had them for a moment, but then he pretty easily caught up to me and pass me and won the race.

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


HOLMES: What a lovely interview.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. Don't go anywhere. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Rosemary Church after a short break.