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CNN This Morning

Trump, Biden Look to Boost their Campaign War Chests 10 Days Out from First Presidential Debate; Hundreds Evacuated As Strong Winds Fuel Fast-Moving Fire Near Los Angeles; Israel's Military Announces a Tactical Pause in Rafah to Get More Humanitarian Aid into Gaza. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 17, 2024 - 05:00   ET



MANU RAJU, ANCHOR, CNN THIS MORNING: It's Monday, June 17th, right now on CNN THIS MORNING, President Biden and Donald Trump are looking for a boost to their campaign war chests ten days out from the first presidential debate. Hundreds evacuated as strong winds fuel fast- moving fire near Los Angeles.

Plus, Israel's military announces a tactical pause in Rafah to get more humanitarian aid into Gaza. Yet, the Prime Minister criticizes the move -- 5:00 a.m. here in Washington. Five A.M. here in Washington, here's a live look at New York City and good morning everyone, I'm Manu Raju, Kasie Hunt has the day off.

It's so great to be with you. President Biden and Donald Trump holding dueling campaign events over the weekend, with just ten days to go into the first presidential debate of 2024, of course, right here on CNN. For Donald Trump, he went to Detroit to court black voters, but also throw red meat to his base in an event run by a hard right group.

Biden meantime, hard now with movie stars, joining Barack Obama for a star-studded event to raise millions for his campaign that has struggled to overcome Trump, according to many polls. But Biden's strategy was clear, instill some fear into his supporters about what a second Trump term could look like, including with the Supreme Court.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The next president is likely to have two new Supreme Court nominees, two more, two more. He's already appointed to that have been very negative in terms of the rights of individuals.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Could this be -- could this be the scariest part of all of it?

BIDEN: Well, I think it is one of the scariest parts of it. Look, the Supreme Court has never been as out of kilter as it is today.

(END VIDEO CLIP) RAJU: Now, Trump spent part of his weekend in Detroit seeking to take

advantage of signs of waning enthusiasm for Biden among some black voters.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The crime is most rampant right here and in African-American communities. We don't want to get robbed and mugged and beat up or killed because we want to walk across the street to buy a loaf of bread. But the black population wants law enforcement --


TRUMP: More than any other population.



RAJU: Right, joining me to discuss, "Washington Post" reporter Mariana Alfaro. Mariana, thank you so much for waking up and joining me --


RAJU: This morning. It was an interesting week. Look, this is post convention. Trump has now more so on the campaign trail, he did a little bit of both this week, and he's in Michigan obviously, a critical battleground state. He was meeting with trying to core black voters at a black church. It's unclear how many actual black voters actually get candid at that event. That is a separate story.

ALFARO: Yes --

RAJU: But then he went over and spoke to this hard-right group as he tried to rile up his base. I want to get your --

ALFARO: Yes --

RAJU: Thoughts on both. But on the issue about black voters, just in terms of the polls and where things stand. This is obviously a key part of Joe Biden's coalition. In any -- in exit polls from 2020, 87 percent of black voters came out and supported them, obviously, much more than Trump.

The challenge for him right now is that you look at it, the margin is tightening, and there's no question about --among several polls. Is -- how reflective do you think that is of right now of where things stand in this race, and can Biden reverse this trend as we head into November?

ALFARO: I think we still have a very long Summer ahead of us, but that is a little bit concerning. I think that's why you're seeing it. President Biden doubled down on reminding voters, you know, Trump is trying to portray himself as this way right now, but let's not forget what happened between 2016 and 2020, and all the things that he said, specifically, black -- about black voters and African-Americans in the country.

So, I think you're going to be hearing way more of that because in states like Michigan, just like a slight, you know, 3 percent change and among -- support among black voters could really hurt President Biden.

RAJU: Yes, and just a little bit more about his pitch when Trump was speaking to black voters this weekend, he went and talked about Joe Biden's record on the issue of crime.


TRUMP: Biden wrote the devastating 1994 crime bill, talking about super predators, that was Biden. You know, he walks around now talking about the black vote. He's the king of the super predators.



RAJU: So, he didn't actually coin the terms, so the --

ALFARO: Yes --

RAJU: Predator, actually, factually accurate. But the issue of how effective is that pitch? Is it the right tone to strike in trying to court black voters and talking about crime and going after Biden's record, which of course, is much different than Trump's record when it --

ALFARO: Yes --

RAJU: Comes to race and relations in particular.

ALFARO: Yes, I think that part of his strategy is fascinating. I think we saw yesterday a lot of the potential VP picks for -- talking about crime and crime and crime all over the Sunday shows, and I think it was fascinating because if you look at the data which I think the FBI released just last week, violent crime has actually diminished in a country over last year --

RAJU: Including in some major metropolitan cities.

ALFARO: Yes, including I think Detroit when they were speaking there, so, I think that that's something that the Biden administration -- the Biden campaign has really good chance of, you know, hooking onto and saying -- you know, Trump is saying that's what the reality is, and it's different.

And also, I think Trump is setting himself up to be compared, you know, present-day Trump to the Trump of I don't know, 20-before, but we're saying all these like, you know, very slightly -- you know, races and proving things about black voters.

RAJU: Yes --

ALFARO: And --

RAJU: But the birther conspiracy with Barack Obama, who is obviously campaigning with --

ALFARO: Yes --

RAJU: Joe Biden this weekend, that, that among the things that the Biden campaign point to in the immediate aftermath of these comments. One other thing before we talk about Biden was that, there was this meeting that Trump went to with this group called Turning Point USA, very hard right group.

This is what our Republican or CNN colleagues wrote about the strategy for the presumptive Republican nominee, about why he is actually talking to this group. He said "the approach of relying on outside groups is untested. He's relying on this outside group like Turning Point USA.

The advisors say this would be unlike any other transitional campaign strategy in modern history, only made possible by their recent FEC ruling that allows campaigns to directly work and coordinate with outside groups. It's also born out of a crucial challenge, the Trump campaign has yet to solve for money."

So, in going to these groups, this is fascinating because the Democrats have created this ground game, mostly about turning up voters. They've created this operation across the country, but Republicans don't have that yet, but Trump is going to try to rely on these traditions -- these groups like a conservative right-wing group to try to turn out those voters at the polls. Will it work?

ALFARO: I mean, a thing about that is that it risks, you know, leaving out that center of the Republican Party that, that group of voters who was not, you know, fully seeking out these groups that might be considered extreme, to their eyes, they might also don't -- you know, agree with a lot of the things that these groups are saying and then who reaches out to them.

You know, these Republicans were still like, I don't know if I should vote for Trump, but I -- you know, he's extreme in some ways, but I would like the Republican Party to reach out to me. I think that those are going to be the ones left behind by these -- you know, co- operations with these groups.

RAJU: In the meantime, Biden was in Hollywood, he made the case to his supporters there about what he believes is going to be a real threat to reproductive rights if Donald Trump wins the presidency. This is what he said to his supporters at this Hollywood fundraiser.


BIDEN: After the -- after the decision that overruled Roe v. Wade, the Dobbs' decision. You had Clarence Thomas talking about the fact that there are going to be other things we should reconsider including In vitro fertilization, including contraception, including all these things.

By the way, not on my watch.


Not on my watch.


RAJU: You know, obviously, since the Dobbs' decision, Democrats have succeeded in running on this issue, but polls do show that it is a major issue among a lot of voters, but it may not necessarily be the decisive issue for so many swing voters. If you're the Biden campaign, how much is this, hold your message or is this just, you know, one of many different messages against Trump.

ALFARO: I think it definitely is in a top three of messaging at this point. And we saw it again happen with all the IVF discussion in just this week with the decision not to, you know, rule out the abortion pill. And I think that is something that we saw repeatedly sent to us to the campaign.

You know, they were really messaging around it, but I think that at some point, they also got a diversified -- the things that they're talking on, and I think that again, we've been reminded of what happened with the Supreme Court and Roe for the last two years.

I think that that's nothing new. But at some point, you've got to break new ground and then start reaching out to voters and, you know, especially the immigration front, I think that that's one of the core issues that the Biden campaign is trying to lift up --

RAJU: Yes --

ALFARO: A little more.

RAJU: It's a day -- we'll see. I mean, obviously, it's worked in special elections as well, down ticket races. Will it work for Biden to keep the White House? Maria Alfaro, thank you so much for joining us this morning. And coming up next, just ten days out from the first presidential debate.

And there's one rule that could give one candidate an edge. Plus, a wildfire in California exploding in size, fueled by winds near 70 miles an hour. And the Princess of Wales makes a rare appearance, an update on her battle with cancer.



RAJU: Catherine, Princess of Wales making her first public appearance i nearly six months since her cancer diagnosis last Christmas. On Saturday, she joined the British royal family in the balcony at Buckingham Palace for King Charles' official birthday ceremony, along with the traditional military spectacle known as Trooping the Color. Now, Kate stepped away from public duties back in January, and many Brits were relieved to see her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kate come to see us all, and she's thanked us all, and we thank you too, Kate, and we love you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We lost one Princess of Wales in a tragedy, and we've all been very worried and uneasy about it, but now, this is going to be joyful euphoric.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dreadful diagnosis and she's out and about, and it's wonderful for people to be able to see her.



RAJU: CNN's Max Foster joins us from London. So, Max, both the king and the princess dealing with cancer at the same time, the king returned to his duties a few months ago. But this event marking a big moment for the royal family, the end for the -- and for England. The first time we have seen her, the princess, in almost six months. How did she appear?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Well, she looked really well. It was all about the children. She was with the children the whole time, and I think that was on purpose because that's who she's prioritizing in this process away from her treatment.

So, there's a huge crowd there, a lot of people you spoke to are the royal fans there, obviously, the ones that come out on these occasions, and they haven't seen her since Christmas, and you can just see there, can't you? She really is the star of the show for the royal family.

The king said he was delighted that she was able to go. She's a big asset as all the children, I have to say, Prince Louis stole a lot of the attention as he was standing at this spot, he started dancing, all the other spots, his sister had to tell him to keep his arms down.

So, they came across as a normal family yet again. I mean, the relationship with the royal family and the British public is that they are present within public life, when they're not there, people question where they are. You get the conspiracy theories and all of that, but I think what the princess wanted to do was show that she's well enough to do some things, but she's not enough to go to back to full-time work as it were.

RAJU: What do we know, Max, about her long-term prognosis, and has the palace been forthcoming about how her treatment is going?

FOSTER: She has said that she has many months left of this. She's currently undergoing chemotherapy. They won't reveal exactly what type of cancer it is. So, we're not entirely clear about what the prognosis might be, only that she looks pretty well. They're trying to get this balance right, I think.

In the past, they didn't give out any medical details, they wouldn't have told us that she had cancer. We still don't know what the queen died off, for example, Queen Elizabeth. They feel that they are putting a bit more out there. The king certainly very keen to do that with his cancer, because he wants to encourage people to get tested.

But yes, there are people that feel that she's a public figure. She should tell everyone exactly what type of cancer it is. There's a big debate out there. She's made her decision, I don't think we're ever going to be told.

RAJU: Yes, all right, Max Foster in London, thanks for that report. And just ahead for us, two dead and 14 injured in a Juneteenth festival in Texas. Plus, a contentious Virginia primary puts Republican infighting on display.



RAJU: All right, 21 minutes past the hour. Here's your morning round- up. Two people are dead and 14 others injured following a shooting in Round Rock, Texas. The incident took place during a Juneteenth celebration. Police are asking the public for help finding a suspect.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore expected to pardon more than 175,000 people with marijuana convictions. According to the "Washington Post", the pardons will forgive low-level possession charges, and will also apply to individuals who have already died.

And a fast-moving fire in southern California triggering red flag warnings for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura County, is already burned nearly 15,000 acres, and is only 2 percent contained as crews battle winds up to 70 miles an hour. And we're also tracking a dangerous heat wave roasting half the country as temperature skyrocket across Midwest, Great Lakes and northeast this week. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us. So, Allison, just how bad is it?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, METEOROLOGIST: All right, over 80 million people are under some type of heat alert, you can see the bulk of them right here across the northeast, stretching into the Midwest. You've got heat advisories, heat, excessive heat watches and warnings.

But when you look at the population, it's not just those areas, over 80 percent of the U.S. population is going to see a temperature of 90 degrees or higher at some point this week. And also talking records, and a lot of them over 195 potential records at some point over the next several days, the bulk of them, yes, are located in the northeast and the Midwest, but you can see some of them down to the south, some of them out across the Rocky Mountain area.

So, this is going to be pretty wide spread. We're also not just talking daily records, but all-time records possible. Caribou main, the forecast is 99. If they do in fact, reach that on Wednesday, that will break their current all-time high temperature record of 96 degrees.

Now, if we take a look at some of these cities, again, Boston, New York, you're talking about all of those temperatures continuing to go up as we make our way through. So, this isn't just going to be a one or a two-day thing. You're looking at basically the rest of the week for these temperatures being above average.

Another thing we're keeping an eye out is the tropics, particularly this system down here just off the Yucatan Peninsula has a 70 percent chance of developing into some type of tropical system in the next several days. But regardless of whether it does that, low pressure system is going to slide up through the gulf, bringing a tremendous amount of rain, especially to Texas.

Look at this red and pink color here, you're talking in excess of 8, 10, even as much as a foot of rain coming through over the next several days, it's why you have the potential for that flooding. Here's a look at that low pressure system we talked about, again, very slowly meandering its way through the Gulf of Mexico.

And as it does it, will strengthen a little bit. The question is whether or not it strengthens up to tropical storm strength, regardless though, look at all of that moisture that it just funnels into that area. That's why you have the potential for very excessive rainfall, not just for Texas, but also portions of Louisiana.


And you can see that here on Monday as well as Tuesday, and there's even, Manu, a threat for flooding on Wednesday as well.

RAJU: Only June, and already so many record temps, this is going to be a brutal Summer. Allison Chinchar, thank you for that. And up next, a tactical pause by Israel's military to allow more aid into Gaza. Plus, the rules for the first presidential debate.



TRUMP: John is running against Bob Good, who is actually bad for Virginia and who will stab you in the back.