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House Votes To Hold Attorney General Garland In Contempt; Biden & World Leaders Gather For G7 Summit In Italy; 8 Million Residents In Florida Facing Flood Threat. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 13, 2024 - 05:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: It's Thursday, June 13th.

Right now on CNN THIS MORNING:

Attorney General Merrick Garland held in contempt of Congress. Will America's top prosecutor be prosecuted?

President Biden in Europe, meeting with world leaders, trying to shore up support for Ukraine.

Plus --


LEE MARSHALL, RESIDENT: Cars, they're not making it. We've seen over 50 cars this in the middle of the line (ph) -- in the middle of the highway.


HUNT: Life-threatening flooding, roads submerged, over a foot of rain already falling in Florida. And the threat, not over yet.


HUNT: All right, 5:00 a.m. here in Washington. A live look at Capitol Hill on this Thursday morning.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's wonderful to have you with us.

Tension between the DOJ and House Republicans spilling over on Capitol Hill.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Resolution recommending that the House of Representatives find United States Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yeas are 216, the nays are 207. The resolution is adopted.


HUNT: The House voting to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over subpoenaed audio recordings of President Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur. It was the interview in Biden's classified documents case where Hur characterized the president as an elderly man with a poor memory.

Garland responded to the contempt vote in this statement saying, quote, it's deeply disappointing that the House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon.

Today's vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers and the Justice Department's need to protect its investigations.

Here was the House Speaker Mike Johnson after the vote.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Look, we did our job on the contempt and I think it sends an important message. We're defending Article One and our authority for oversight, and we have to do that. We'll see what happens next, but -- I mean, the House has to do its work and I'm pleased with the outcome.


HUNT: All right. Joining me now to discuss is Julia Manchester. She's a reporter for "The Hill" newspaper here in Washington.

Julie, good morning.


HUNT: Wonderful to see you.

So, this is not the first time that an attorney general has been held in contempt of Congress. It is also it seems incredibly unlikely, but the Biden Justice Department would to prosecute their top law enforcement official. Take us behind the scenes of the dynamics on the Hill of how we got here and where we go next.

MANCHESTER: I think the most fascinating part of this, Kasie, is that there were some Republicans who weren't sure if they even wanted to go here because we know that they obviously have the transcript. We know that transcript really made waves in Washington and around the country when Robert Hur essentially wrote that during his interview with Biden during the classified documents probe. You know, Biden was forgetful and acting like an elderly man essentially.

So, Republicans have been pushing for the audio and Democrats and critics of Republicans say this is political. They essentially want to cut an ad and use the audio against Joe Biden for political purposes, but for awhile, it was unclear as to whether the Republican conference here would get on board. But we know that one Republican, Dave Joyce from Ohio, voted against

this with Democrats. So interesting how those dynamics played out.

HUNT: Very interesting. And here was Congressman Dan Goldman, a Democrat, again, an ally of President Biden talking about this, let's watch.


REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D-NY): There is no legitimate legislative purpose for them to obtain the audio recording because they're not prosecuting him. They're not trying to determine whether to prosecute him. And there is no legislation they can identify. There's no oversight they can identify that points to why they need the audio recording.

And what they really want to do is release it to help Donald Trump misconstrue these recordings, use them during the campaign, and that is not a legitimate purpose.


HUNT: When I say him there, of course, he's talking about President Biden because this would be a recording of President Biden. He's laying out there for in political terms. He's saying, look, they want this so that they can use it in a campaign.

MANCHESTER: Absolutely. And we know that with this, you know, potential impeachment probe or not potential anymore, we saw that Republicans weren't able to draw that line when it came to Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. So they can't even approach the issue of impeachment.


So this is how Democrats say they are trying to do it. And then, of course, this is all happening, of course, during the Hunter -- the week of the Hunter Biden verdict. But that's, you know, we live in really fast new cycle world. So, you know, essentially, this is, you know, we're running into Donald Trump sentencing, and there's going to be other negative stories about Donald Trump out there around the sentencing.

So there are some that say this is essentially a way to get around that.

HUNT: Let's listen to a little bit of how Republicans characterize this in the aftermath. They basically acknowledged this isn't going anywhere. Let's watch.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But there's no way he'll get prosecuted over this, Garland.

REP. KELLY ARMSTRONG (R-NC): Well, I have -- I -- never say never, but I don't know when you're sending a contempt motion to the guy who's in charge of prosecuting the content motion that I would I would say I like our chances, but the real fight is going to be on executive privilege and whether we have -- whether we should have this information and I truly believe we do.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): He we just hold him in contempt of Congress. Is he -- they're putting Steve Bannon in prison. Peter Navarro is in prison. Merrick Garland evidently deserves to go to prison.

REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): I mean, the Department of Justice isn't going to go prosecute the attorney general. I mean, but, you know, it's important.

RAJU: It's symbolic.

ROY: It wouldn't call it symbolic.

We hold him contempt, we'll see what he does. I mean, hopefully, he'll look at this and see the error of his ways.


HUNT: I want to go with I don't think that Merrick Garland views this is an error in his ways, or will admit this. But again, unlikely this goes anywhere from here, right?

MANCHESTER: Unlikely it goes anywhere from here. And look, Republicans and Democrats, they have all the information, they have the transcript, you know, getting that audio would essentially maybe color some things, but the argument is, it doesn't really do much to change that information.

I thought it was interesting though, what Marjorie Taylor Greene said. She talked about Steve Bannon going to prison. You know, what Republican say is the politicization of the Justice Department and essentially saying or admitting in away. This is a tit-for-tat really between both sides and this is essentially Republicans pushing back.

HUNT: All right. Julian Manchester of "The Hill" getting us started today -- Julia, thank you very much for your time.

MANCHESTER: Thanks, Kasie.

HUNT: All right. Coming up next here, right now, world leaders arriving at the G7 summit in Italy. We'll take you there.

Plus, New York's governor slams a recent pro-Palestinian, I'm going to go ahead and call this anti-Israel protest in Manhattan.

And Donald Trump back in D.C. for the first time since becoming a convicted felon.


[05:11:54] HANNITY: Happening right now: President Biden meeting with world leaders at the G7 Summit in Italy in the midst of a renewed push for military support for Ukraine. Today, he'll be holding a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. G7 members also expected to announce a $50 billion loan to Kyiv using interest from frozen Russian assets.

President Biden on the 80th anniversary of D-Day last week, sent this clear message to Moscow.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will not walk away. Because if we do, Ukraine will be subjugated and will not end there. Ukraine's neighbors will be threatened, all of Europe will be threatened.

And make no mistake: the autocrats of the world are watching closely to see what happens in Ukraine.


HUNT: Joining me now is CNN's Max Foster. He is live from London for us.

Max, good morning. Always wonderful to see you.

S set the stage for us here in terms of these leaders meeting. "Politico" framed it this way, their Europe team. They said this is a meeting of six lame ducks and Georgia Meloni: Meet the G7 class of 2024.

And then they write, quote: This week's gathering of G7 leaders in Italy looks more like the last supper than a display of Western power.

Is that fair?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Well -- I think the point they're making is that, you know, you got Biden going to election. You've got Sunak in the U.K. getting into snap election, Macron going into a snap election. So when they're saying the lame ducks, they might not be there, you know, by the end of the year. So any decisions they make now may not be binding, so G7 is all about power. The world's biggest economies, obviously not China there, but the -- in terms of the West and working with allies like Japan is immensely powerful.

But when the individual leaders there are empowered to make decisions are lost, then it becomes less powerful. So that's why they're talking about the lame duck element. Also, when you talk about the Italian prime minister, you know, she's a reflection, isn't she, what were talking about earlier this week where you have this rise in right-wing support across Europe.

She's a right-wing prime minister of a major country. And she really represents the change in Europe that people are feeling. And that Biden will experience when he gets here. I'm sure.

HUNT: Yeah. So we're -- this is the Italian prime minister, just to read people in on kind of what is on -- on the screen here right now, this is a live pictures of the G7. We're waiting for these leaders to gather for what they call like the class photo.

I mean, the other thing looming over this Max is, of course, the specter of Donald Trump and nerves among, I guess I would say these lame duck ducks that politicos talking about European leaders who are worried about what might happen if he comes into power. I'm not sure I would include Giorgia Meloni in those, because you might remember -- I mean, I'm interested to see what this scene looks -- looks like here in a couple of minutes as these leaders start to gather.


But remember what it was like when Donald Trump was on the stage. I want to remind everyone what he did. This was him shoving another world leader out of the way. This was back in 2017. This was a NATO meeting, but not a dissimilar situation. Let's loop it. There it goes. Ready, watch oh, there is.

I mean, that's what its like when Donald Trump is on this stage, what is the behind the scenes chatter among European leaders right now?

FOSTER: He was great TV.

Well, he, you know, he epitomizes, doesn't he, the strong man, if I can call it that, which is what were seeing around the world and that its a visual representation patient of that he is the man on the global stage. And we were missing that a bit, at the moment in Europe with these lame ducks, for example. And they're quite congenial, a lot of the world leaders will see today.

Then you got, you got Putin, you got, you know, the Hungarian prime minister. You got, you know, Xi, who are seen as these strong men. So I think that Trump really epitomize that. And, you know, his ideology is what really fired up the right wing here in Europe made it much more popular, his ideas about selling, the ideas of the right-wing to the mass public, which has been very successful in America, but there's also being successful here.

So he may be back at the end of the year. These events I think it was really difficult frankly for other world leaders because when you're getting into these family photo moments, it's all about you as a man on the world stage, projected yourself to the people at home. And if you're being pushed aside by one of the world leaders, it doesn't really work for you.


Max, can I ask briefly? You mentioned that Donald Trump popularized some of the right wing themes that we are seeing kind of play out in European politics. I was, you know, pouring over some of that coverage in the wake of the European parliamentary elections. And they pointed to young people, in particular in Europe as a place where this is finding some resonance, including who is someone who is apparently a pretty charismatic figure in the German right-wing party that saw some gains.

What's going on with young people in Europe and the appeal of this the ideology?

FOSTER: Well, you know, I haven't seen any specific polling around this, but if we take the U.K. as an example, which is somewhere, you know, I know well, there are interesting debate.

So, traditionally, younger voters will be left-leaning. There'll be supporting their Labour party, for example. On the right, you've got Rishi Sunak's party and the reform party led by Nigel Farage.

And what you are seeing is that there are young people still supporting the left, but lower (ph) young men of actually started supporting the ideas of, you know, Nigel Farage which isn't far right. But as far right as they pretty much go in this country and it's interesting because they're appealing -- the left and the right appealing to a similar thing. You know, the challenges of surviving in this world where there's so such big challenge on cost of living, they're just coming into it in different directions.

So I would say that anecdotally, young men are being drawn to the right. Also to the left, but, you know, you're not seeing lots of women, young women being drawn to the right in the same way.

HUNT: It's a really interesting way to think about it.

All right. Max Foster for us live in London -- Max, thank you very much. Always appreciate you.

All right. Coming up next here, heavy rain, flash, flooding causing life-threatening conditions in South Florida.

Plus, police in New York pullover a driver and find a cache of weapons and ammunition inside the car. We'll try to figure out what's going on there.



HUNT: All right. Welcome back.

We've got torrential rain and floods, drenching south Florida as multiple counties remain under a state of emergency this morning, some region seeing up to 18 inches of rain. That is more than a months worth in 48 hours first, major flooding in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas, submerging cars and leaving people to wade through high waters.


LEE MARSHALL, RESIDENT: It's crazy. I've seen people walking, the water up to their waist. Small cars, they're not making it. We've seen over 50 cars.


HUNT: Wow. Meteorologist Elisa Raffa joins us now.

Elisa, good morning. How much more rain can they expect?

ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I mean, we could still get another four to eight inches of rain in places. We're not quite done yet with this raining. I mean, but we've gotten so much in the last 48 hours, people are kayaking in the streets of south Florida.

Look at all of this range that's just coming into the city streets, even washing up there along the sidewalks, just incredible. Look at the amount of rain that's falling in the last 48 hours, we're looking at totals well over 10 inches in spots, and that's what caused that extreme flash flooding.

Also, look at how large the area, too, that got some of those very hefty totals. We're talking about 12 inches of rain in Fort Lauderdale, over nine inches in Miami, seven inches in Fort Myers, so just incredible amounts of rain.

The two day total in Fort -- I'm sorry, this isn't even the one day total, the one day total in Fort Lauderdale, over 9.5 inches, is their eighth wettest on record, period, eighth wettest day that they've ever had, and it is more than a months worth of rain in just one day.

The risk continues today.


You've got that moderate level, three out of four risk for heavy rain from Naples to Fort Lauderdale down into Miami.

We still have the stationary front that's kind of parked. So, continue to bring some of that rain as we go through the day today, maybe tomorrow, trying to ease up some as we head towards the weekend.

But I mean, yeah, look at that rain forecast still at least another four inches of rain possible for parts of South Florida. Obviously, they don't need any more rain, with all of that intense flooding that we've had the last two days -- Kasie.

HUNT: Yeah, really remarkable.

All right. Elisa Raffa for us this morning -- Elisa, thank you very much.

All right. Twenty-four minutes past the hour. Here's your morning roundup.

New York's governor when are denouncing antisemitic graffiti outside the homes of five Jewish members of the board of the Brooklyn Museum. The New York City hate crimes division is investigating.


GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D), NEW YORK: This is not New Yorkers are and we should not descend of this chaos and allow any tolerance for this disgusting, abhorrent behavior.


HUNT: Then, New York City police arresting a man with a slew of weapons in his car. Police say they recovered a nine millimeter Glock, nine loaded magazines with 100 rounds of ammunition, handcuffs, a stun gun, and NYPD uniform items. Authorities say it's too early to tell if this incident is related to terrorism.

The Southern Baptist Convention narrowly rejecting a proposal to ban churches that allow women to be pastors. The vote received support from 61 percent of the delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention. But it failed to get the required two-thirds supermajority.

All right. Coming up next here, President Trump meeting with congressional Republicans today. And there could be an awkward reunion.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We do have to do something about Mitch McConnell. He is -- he's a disaster.


HUNT: Corruption trial of Senator Bob Menendez.

And here (AUDIO GAP) arriving at the G7 in Italy for a picture shortly with other world leaders. We'll bring you all that live.