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Israel Announces "Tactical Pause" Along Southern Gaza Route; Debate Rules Include Uniform Podiums And Muted Mics; Bryson DeChambeau Wins U.S. Open In Dramatic Style. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 17, 2024 - 05:30   ET




DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John is running against Bob Good, who is actually bad for Virginia and who will stab you in the back like he did me.


MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR: That was Donald Trump talking about Virginia Congressman Bob Good, who is the leader of the House Freedom Caucus. Tomorrow, Good will attempt to fend off a Trump-endorsed challenger, State Sen. John McGuire, in the Virginia primary. It's a bitter matchup that's putting intraparty disputes on full display.

Now, Good initially supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president, and after DeSantis dropped out, Good then endorsed Trump. But as Trump put it on Truth Social, "It was too late," he said.

I caught up with Congressman Good and asked him about losing the former president's support.


RAJU: Donald Trump backing your opponent -- and how much has that hurt your campaign?

REP. BOB GOOD, (R-VA): We're going to win. The people are behind us in the Fifth District overwhelmingly. Everybody needs to be coming together and winning on November 5. The time to talk about previous endorsements or supporting previous candidates is behind us. Again, we're going to win on June 18.


RAJU: Now, if Good loses tomorrow night, it could be the first incumbent primary loss of 2024.

Joining me now to talk about all of this is Axios Capitol Hill reporter, Juliegrace Brufke. Juliegrace, welcome


RAJU: Good morning -- absolutely.

So you cover the House Republicans, the House, the Freedom Caucus, and the like. How much is this race just roiling things within the GOP right now?

BRUFKE: Well, Bob Good has been a polarizing figure since he got there. And there are splits even within the Freedom Caucus. We've seen Warren Davidson --

RAJU: Um-hum.

BRUFKE: -- who is Trump ally, come out against him. But he does have some of the even Trump allies kind of coming out to his defense, including Matt Gaetz, after they both pushed to oust Kevin McCarthy last October. So there's been a lot of spending, especially from McCarthy (INAUDIBLE) trying to --

RAJU: It's the most expensive Republican primary -- House primary in the country.

BRUFKE: I mean, it's fascinating. I mean, the Freedom Caucus dynamics in this and what happens to the Freedom Caucus, whether Bob Good falls, is going to be fascinating to watch. But right now, Bob Good's critics are feeling really good about their odds of ousting him.

RAJU: Yeah.

BRUFKE: And the Trump endorsement has been huge. I mean, we saw Wiliam Timmons, who Bob Good was campaigning against about a week ago, prevail in his primary and then bring a busload of people to go campaign against him.

RAJU: Um-hum.

BRUFKE: So incumbents are -- definitely have knives out for their own GOP colleagues.

RAJU: Yeah, and remember, this is typically is unusual, right? Like, typically, you endorse your fellow incumbents. That's just what happens in Washington. That's the norm. You don't go after your own colleagues because you work with them.

But this Republican Congress has been so different because Bob Good was one of the eight who joined the ouster of Kevin McCarthy back last fall. But it was his decision to endorse Ron DeSantis, which is why Trump is coming after him.

I asked a number of Republicans over the last week about this feud that's going on within the House GOP.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I don't like liars and I don't like backstabbers. And Bob Good -- Bob Good really stabbed President Trump in the back.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Bob Good is going to be terrific for the Trump agenda because he's a conservative fighter. The president sees it differently.

REP. RALPH NORMAN (R-SC): If Bob gets defeated it will be because of Donald Trump.

REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): Should the president get reelected, then I think the president will learn quickly that some of these people may not be sitting in the trenches with him.

REP. CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-FL): Well, I think Bob Good has made a lot of -- a lot about -- a lot of enemies.

RAJU: Would the House be better off without him?

GIMENEZ: Uh, honestly, yes, I think it would be because he's a divisive force. And so, you know, we don't need that.


RAJU: It's so interesting to listen to those comments. I mean, some of them say we need him. We need him to fight in the trenches. Like, Chip Roy says that. But then others, like Carlos Gimenez from Florida, another Trump ally, says that he is a divisive force.

BRUFKE: Well, I mean, Chip Roy also endorsed DeSantis, so I feel like they're close allies. They are both in the Freedom Caucus together.

Trump went to go visit the House GOP last week during their morning meeting and was noting that he was doing tele town halls with McGuire.

So, I mean, Bob Good -- it's interesting to kind of see the leadership dynamic there. I mean, all of McCarthy's allies have largely come out against him -- a lot of them down there campaigning in the district.

RAJU: Um-hum.

BRUFKE: And, I mean, the polling right now, from what I've seen, McGuire has been up. So --

RAJU: Yeah. I mean, he could be -- Good could be the first one to lose. I mean, we -- there's been a lot made about the McCarthy revenge tour -- always trying to go after these people. I asked McCarthy about that recently and he sort of downplayed it.

But there are those people who have faced primaries. Nancy Mace has faced a primary but she won. Others won as well. Gaetz is facing a primary in the fall. But Good could be the one who goes down potentially.

BRUFKE: He could. I mean, I think Nancy Mace -- a lot of the McCarthy allies thought that was going to be much closer than it is. But she heavily spent in there. She had the Trump endorsement. And it's kind of a different district makeup. And when Bob Good initially ousted Denver Riggleman it was a different type of primary. It was convention. Less people could vote in it.

RAJU: And he was a more moderate member -- Denver Riggleman. And then it was an unusual way that Bob Good won the seat initially.

BRUFKE: Exactly. So the people that are kind of coming out against Bob Good think that's going to work to their advantage and kind of work for --

And John McGuire -- I mean, he's kind of a conservative Freedom Caucusy type. It's not like he's really getting a huge primary from a moderate or from the far right. It's kind of more of just a Trump dynamic there.


RAJU: Yeah, and the -- I went down to the district and I interviewed Bob Good about this, too, and he downplayed the Trump opposition -- you know, the fact that he had supported Ron DeSantis.

In fact, he's had yard signs that says "Good-Trump" on his yard signs even though he does not have the Trump endorsement. And he rushed up to New York to defend Trump during the hush money trial, too. But that still wasn't good enough for Trump because backing Ron DeSantis was bad enough where he will never forgive him.

BRUFKE: That's right. I think the Trump campaign sent out a cease- and-desist letter if I'm remembering correctly on the yard signs. And it was definitely kind of an awkward dynamic seeing both of them up there in New York standing next to Trump given how things played out in --

RAJU: Because John McGuire rode along in the motorcade with them, and then Bob Good ran up and defended him in the hush money trial in front of the cameras. But they both wanted to get close to him, but Trump doesn't care about that.

BRUFKE: This is true.

RAJU: But look at this -- what Trump said -- he said in Trump Social -- Truth Social post. He said, "Bob Good is bad for Virginia and bad for the USA. He turned his back on an incredible movement and was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently when he gave a warm and loving endorsement. But really, it was too late."

And then you had mentioned Warren Davidson. He is a member -- another member of the House Freedom Caucus. He came out and supported Bob Good last night.

And you have covered this group so closely. What do you take away from that?

BRUFKE: So, Warren Davidson -- he's kind of long been a Bob Good critic, so I -- back in December, he kind of threatened to drop out of the House Freedom Caucus board if Bob Good ended up being the head of the Freedom Caucus. So there's definitely -- he's kind of had some splinters over support even in -- even in that orbit.

RAJU: Yeah, all right.

Well, Juliegrace Brufke, thank you for coming in. We'll see you in the hallways as always.

BRUFKE: I will see you there.

RAJU: Yeah, absolutely.

All right, this just in. Israel's prime minister is disbanding its war cabinet, which formed five days after the beginning of the war between and Hamas. This just one week after opposition leader Benny Gantz left the body.

In Southern Gaza, Israel's military announced a "tactical pause" in fighting. It's designed to allow desperately needed aid into the region, but it does not mean an end to the fighting. The pause began on Saturday and will take place every day from 8:00 a.m. in the morning until 7:00 at night until further notice.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us live. She's near the Kerem Shalom crossing where the aid is standing by. So, Paula, tell us what you're seeing on the ground, and is this pause actually taking effect?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Manu, we're actually inside the Kerem crossing now. The Israeli military wanting to show us that trucks are getting through. We just saw two trucks of potatoes going through.

So they say this tactical pause will be from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. along the road from this crossing. It will just go straight through here into Gaza and then up the Salah al-Din Road, which is the main artery -- north-south -- in Gaza.

We have heard, though, from U.N. groups on the ground that we've spoken to that this has been open for well over a week now. They have been using it. But the problem is not them being able to get the aid in at this point; it's being able to distribute it because the situation on the ground is extremely lawless. We've heard from the U.N. humanitarian office OCHA saying it's simply too dangerous for them to get to this area to pick up the aid at this point.

We just spoke to Daniel Hagari. He's the IDF spokesperson. Let's listen to what he said.


REAR ADMIRAL DANIEL HAGARI, SPOKEPERSON, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: We share the same target that the people of Gaza will get the food and not Hamas. Hamas is looting.

HANCOCKS: But it's the law --

HAGARI: Hamas is taking the food. HANCOCKS: It is the law-and-order issue because obviously, law enforcement has been targeted by Israeli military and so there is no law enforcement now --

HAGARI: This is --

HANCOCKS: -- within Gaza. So are you going to escort these trucks? The military will escort them?

HAGARI: Well, this is a war zone and we need to act inside a war zone, and to find inside the complexity the way to find solutions.


HANCOCKS: So I asked a number of times would these trucks actually be escorted by the military and that wasn't answered. What they did say was there would be military checkpoints along the way and they would try and make sure that road itself was safe.

There was some controversy about this announcement as well. We heard from an official within the prime minister's office that he hadn't been informed of this and he was not particularly happy about it until he found out that he had a guarantee that the fighting itself in Rafah, which is close by here -- we can hear some of it in this distance -- that would continue.

The Israeli prime minister adamant that the fighting in Rafah has to continue to try and beat Hamas. He has said that is the last area where it is necessary to fight -- Manu.

RAJU: So was the prime minister -- Paula, was he blindsided by this move?

HANCOCKS: It certainly sounds like it. So, I mean, we heard him in a cabinet meeting saying this is a state with an army, not an army with a state. So certainly, his heckles were up.

I did ask the IDF spokesperson if it's a lack of communication and he said well, they make decisions based on what they're told by the cabinet. So again, sidestepping that answer.


But it's not the most auspicious way to open this tactical route. And, of course, this is just one route. The fighting will continue. And the issue is we're hearing from humanitarian aid groups on the ground is it is very dangerous for them to actually get to this particular area. There is looting. There is a lack of law and order because Israel has targeted the law and order within Gaza itself.

So, of course, those humanitarian aid groups now want to get to the aid. They want to distribute it given the U.N. said just last week that as of next month, there may be one million Palestinians that face starvation. It is urgent but it is extremely dangerous for them to be distributing this aid at this point -- Manu.

RAJU: Yeah, no question about it.

Paula Hancocks, thank you for that report. Stay safe. We appreciate your time and your expertise on this.

And next, Biden and Trump face-to-face for the first time since 2020. We're getting into the rules for next week's CNN presidential debate.

Plus, Bryson DeChambeau -- he earns a second U.S. Open championship. The Bleacher Report is next.



RAJU: President Biden and former President Trump will face off on the debate stage in 10 days, and we have new details about the rules both campaigns agreed to.

The CNN debate will be 90 minutes long with two commercial breaks. Neither candidate is allowed to interact with their staff during that time. Trump and Biden both agreed to appear at uniform podiums, and their designated podium will be determined by a coin flip. Plus, if it's not your turn to speak, guess what -- your mic will be turned off. No prewritten notes will be allowed on stage, but the candidates will be given a pen, paper, and some water.

It's the first presidential debate this election cycle between the two presumptive nominees, but both men have talked a big game leading up to the event.


TRUMP: We have an empty podium right here to my right. You know what that is? That's for Joe Biden. I'm trying to get him to debate. I'm calling on Crooked Joe to debate any time, any place. We'll do it anywhere you want, Joe.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020 and since then, he hasn't shown up for a debate. Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I'll even do it twice.


RAJU: All right. Joining me now, CNN national political reporter Daniel Strauss. Daniel, good morning.


RAJU: Thanks for being here.

STRAUSS: Thanks.

RAJU: OK, so you're looking at the rules. Who has got the advantage here -- you know, especially when people have been talking about lot this weekend was about the muted mics? You know, last time they talked they were talking over each other and it was a mess.

STRAUSS: Yeah, it --

RAJU: So, who has got the advantage?

STRAUSS: I mean, I think we'll know when the debate happens. I think it is really important to note that the mics will -- there will be a muting mic. There will be no audience at all. These are two things that Donald Trump has used to his advantage in this past. And here, in a debate where he's really trying to highlight Joe Biden's age and demeanor in comparison to him, those are two aspects that I think -- I'm surprised that the Trump campaign agreed to in the first place.

RAJU: So let's talk about the way that they have been preparing.

Ron Klain -- The New York Times headline says "Trump, Biden and CNN Prepare for a Hostile Debate (With Muted Mics)." It said, Ron Klain, a longtime Biden adviser -- he's "worked to prepare Biden for attacks on his family. IN 2012, when Mr. Klain rain Mr. Biden's vice-presidential debate preparations, Chris Van Hollen, at the time a Maryland congressman who was playing the role of Paul Ryan..."

So what do you make of the way that the Biden team views, I mean, this moment? Look, they are down in the polls. They need something to change things. What does Biden need to do to change things?

STRAUSS: They won a -- what I call a "will you shut up" moment. You'll remember in that past debate between Trump and Biden where Biden -- or Trump was going on and on and Biden just lost his temper and the president said, "Will you shut up?" That is something they want again because it --

RAJU: Yeah.

STRAUSS: -- showed vitality. It showed a level of pugilism that they're really trying to highlight and prove to the American public that there is vitality in Biden.

RAJU: And look, that's what happened during the State of the Union.

And, effectively, Trump has been setting his really low bar --


RAJU: -- for Biden to clear. He says he can't even talk. He can't even string two sentences together. I mean, is that what you want to be saying before a debate when you're supposed to be the opposite, setting these extraordinary high expectations that you can't clear?

STRAUSS: Usually, there's a dumbing down ahead of a debate -- a sort of arguing that the opponent is -- has the advantage because you're looking for a comeback kid moment at the debate. We're not seeing that here. We are seeing the Biden -- the Trump team argue that they have the advantage that Trump is going to go in and dominate. And really, if Biden has a good night, having done that will probably make it worse for Trump. RAJU: And so, Trump has talked in the past, over the years, about his debate preparations from 2015 to 2020. Listen to how he talks about it.


TRUMP: Well, my whole life is preparation for a debate. You know, if you think about it, what's preparing for a debate? There are a million different things.

Well, I think I'm preparing somewhat like I prepared for the other debate. I think I'm preparing -- I -- you know, I enjoy the debating process.

I think this whole thing though is debate prep. You know, what I do is debate prep every day. I'm taking questions from you people all the time.


RAJU: So what's different though this time is that the questions that he has been taking often, at times, have been friendly interviews that he's done. He didn't do any debates during the primary season.


Is Trump ready for this?

STRAUSS: I mean, that's a good question. And he always regards himself as the winner of any debate he participates in. I know this because he once called and yelled at me about how he won an early debate.

RAJU: He reads the coverage.

STRAUSS: He reads the coverage.

But he does not -- we know that he had a sort of de facto debate session last week where he met with two Republican senators and staff at the Republican National Committee headquarters and they went over some policy topics. This wasn't a formal debate though where someone like Chris Christie, who was on the podium in the past standing in for his opponent, did a mock debate. But they are still going over some basic tenets and topics that they plan for.

RAJU: January 6, for instance --


RAJU: -- they're prepared for that.

So how do you think Trump deals with that? Does he embrace with that on January 6, which he has been really doing over the last two years?

STRAUSS: Right. I mean, that's one of the big questions. It is something that the Biden team really wants to go after Trump on. They want to portray him as a convicted felon, which he is, and that an arbiter of lawlessness.

RAJU: Um-hum.

STRAUSS: And Trump is going to have to figure out some kind of pivot on that if he wants a good night.

RAJU: Yeah, we'll see what happens.

All right, Daniel Strauss. Thank you for joining us.

And you can catch the first debate between President Biden and former President Trump right here on CNN, Thursday, June 27. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash moderate live from Atlanta beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and streaming on Max.

Now, in sports, it was agony and ecstasy for the world's best golfers, and the U.S. Open came down to a dramatic finish on the final holes.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's Bleacher Report. And Carolyn, oh, man, grueling for Rory McIlroy.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I know. Good morning, Manu. Good to see you.

This duel between Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy was everything that golf fans could possibly want out of a Major championship.

McIlroy with a one-stroke lead on the 16th green, but he missed a 30- inch putt for par to drop back into a tie for the top spot. And then more heartbreak on 18. His putt for par inside of four feet lipping out. So he ended up with a bogie.

But DeChambeau having issues of his own on the final hole. This is his approach, missing the fairway and ending up in the sand short of the green, leaving him with a completely blind shot at the pin. And the 30-year-old is known as a scientist. He came up with what he called the shot of his life -- look at this -- knocking the ball just feet away from the pin. DeChambeau would sink the putt to make him a two- time U.S. Open champ.

The win for DeChambeau as exhilarating as it was soul-crushing, Manu, for McIlroy. Like you just said, he has now gone 10 years and 37 tries since his last win at Major championship.


BRYSON DECHAMBEAU, U.S. OPEN WINNER: I am so happy I got that shot up and down on 18. Oh, man. I didn't want to finish second again. That bunker shot was the shot of my life. Those fans out there really helped push me out there today. Even though I hit it in the bunker, the fans were still chanting my name. So, it inspired me to get that one up and down. It's a dream come true.


MANNO: Meantime, the intensely scrutinized rivalry between WNBA rookies Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese firing up yet again on Sunday. In the third quarter, in the Indiana Fever's win over the Chicago Sky, Reese caught Clark on the side of the head trying to defend the layup, sending her to the floor. It was initially ruled a common foul, but referees upgraded the call to a flagrant foul after a video review showed Reese's right arm missed the ball and made contact with Clark's face.

Afterwards, Clark trying to downplay the physical treatment that she's been getting.


CAITLIN CLARK, GUARD, INDIANA FEVER: It's just a part of basketball. It is what it is. You know, she was trying to make a play on the ball and get the block. But yeah, I mean, it happens.

ANGEL REESE, FORWARD, CHICAGO SKY: I'm a basketball player. I can't control the refs. They affect the game obviously a lot tonight. Going back and looking at the film I've seen a lot of calls that weren't made. I guess some people got a special whistle.


MANNO: In the NBA, the Celtics are back home tonight with another chance to close out the Mavericks after getting beaten in the first three games of the series. Dallas flipping the script in game four and finding some desperately needed defense and delivering a 38-point blowout win to force a game five.

The question now is whether that was a minor setback for Boston on the road or the start of something more significant for Luka Doncic and Dallas as they try to find their way back into this series.

Jaylen Brown knows this is not over yet.


JAYLEN BROWN, GUARD, BOSTON CELTICS: We can't take it for granted, and it's going to be difficult. We're going to have to fight and just stay in the moment, and that's what matters the most. We just come out and be a team -- win as a team, lose as a team. You just come out and be the best versions of ourselves.

LUKA DONCIC, GUARD, DALLAS MAVERICKS: I thought it's different because it the finals and everything plays the whole season to be here. And we are the one to be here in Boston, obviously. So it's a little bit different. But they got to play basketball. You've got to give everything you have.



MANNO: And Manu, you could say American swimmer Gretchen Walsh had a pretty good weekend. She set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly in the semifinals at the U.S. Olympic trials on Saturday night, and then followed that up by claiming a spot on Team USA yesterday. This is going to be the first trip to the games for the 21-year-old who swims for the University of Virginia.

And after her race, she celebrated with an emotional hug from her big sister Alex who is actually also a swimmer and an Olympian herself and is competing in three events at the trials. So to set a world record at an Olympic trials is a very rare feat in the first place and hasn't happened in more than a decade. And then you punctuate it by making Team USA -- pretty good.

RAJU: Yeah, pretty good.

And just for Rory McIlroy -- I mean, golf fans will be looking at that and saying he should have made those putts. Those were so close. But this is Pinehurst. This is the U.S. Open. The course is so hard. Those greens so difficult. I was rooting for him, but I guess there's next year.

Carolyn --

MANNO: I know. It's such good TV.

RAJU: It really was.

Carolyn Manno, thank you so much.

And up next for us, President Biden's warning about the future of the Supreme Court and IVF if Donald Trump wins in November.

Plus, hundreds of families forced to leave their homes as fires rage north of Los Angeles.