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Awaiting Supreme Court's Ruling On Trump's Immunity Claim; Putin Holds Talks With Kim Jong Un In North Korea; Baseball Legend Willie Mays Passes Away At 93. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 19, 2024 - 05:30   ET



MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR: All right, 5:29 a.m. here in Washington and here's a live look at the White House. Good morning, everyone. I'm Manu Raju in for Kasie Hunt. It's great to be with you.

Now, the Supreme Court's ruling on Donald Trump's push for total immunity could come any day now. It's one of the most highly anticipated rulings this year and it has massive political implications. Trump's arguing that official acts should be immune from prosecution, which he says includes his alleged role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

Now, I caught up with a few Republican members of Congress to get their thoughts on the pending decision.


SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): He doesn't -- he doesn't deserve the persecution he's gotten from the Biden administration. So we'll see -- we'll see what comes out with the Supreme Court decision. But this persecution of a political opponent -- the prior president -- is wrong. I'm going to respect the Supreme Court decision.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Well, no. Nobody thinks he deserves absolute. It's -- the question is what counts as an official act. So he should get immunity for official acts. Every president should. That's long been the position of the (INAUDIBLE).

RAJU: Including overturning the elect -- turnover to the election?

HAWLEY: Well, the question is does that count as an official act?


RAJU: Joining me now, Associated Press congressional reporter, Farnoush Amiri. Farnoush, great to see you --


RAJU: -- in the studio and not in the hallways --

AMIRI: Yeah. RAJU: -- chasing members of Congress with me.

So what do you think -- how do you think Republican members are going to deal with this, right? You -- they have fallen in line behind Trump, really since the beginning of the Trump era, but some of them a little squishy. Not those two members. They're in line with Trump. But some of them are a little squishy about whether he deserves absolute immunity.

AMIRI: Yeah. I mean, even Hawley saying it depends on what you're considering an official -- an official, you know, part of his job. And he's talking about --

RAJU: Yeah, is overturning the election an official part of his job.

AMIRI: Part of the job, yeah. And he's also talking about absolute immunity versus immunity that presidents are given.

And I think you're right. I mean, you were speaking to a few members who are very strong supporters of the president. There are other people who do not want to be asked about his Supreme Court cases or his legal cases every day, but that is the reality that we're going to see on Capitol Hill. You know. You covered it for so many days.

But it seems like they are going to have to deal with -- this is going to be the biggest case against him, right --

RAJU: Um-hum.

AMIRI: -- in the Supreme Court. And whatever implications of that -- I mean, it's going to impact, if he becomes president again, their everyday lives.

RAJU: Yeah, really. And it will, of course, impact the two immediately criminal federal criminal cases, both classified documents case and the election subversion case at the federal level. We'll see what happens as we so closely watch. We're all waiting for that day.

Now, meantime, we saw Trump come to Capitol Hill last week.

AMIRI: Um-hum.

RAJU: We saw Republican members fall in line, including the Senate Republican leader. What was interesting is that there were some Trump critics --

AMIRI: Right.

RAJU: -- who were in that room with Trump, including Sen. Mitt Romney who we have not heard from about this meeting and about why he attended and what he said, if anything, to Donald Trump.

So I caught up with him yesterday and I asked him about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I didn't go there to support former President Trump. I went there to listen to what he was planning on doing if he became president. With President Trump, it's a matter of personal character. I draw a line and say when someone has been actually found to have been sexually assaulting, that's something I just won't cross over in the person I would want to have as President of the United States.


RAJU: I mean, that's an interesting comment. I mean, obviously, he is in the minority of Republicans on this. But, you know, he says I draw a line and say when someone has been found to have been sexually assaulting, that's when I just won't cross over and support that person for president -- referring to the E. Jean Carroll case when Donald Trump was found sexually -- found liable for sexual assault.

AMIRI: Yeah. I mean, he's looking beyond all of the other legal challenges that Donald Trump is facing and this is, for him, saying it crosses a line. Obviously, we know Mitt Romney is an extremely religious man.

RAJU: Um-hum.

AMIRI: These -- his -- he's always talked about Trump's morals as one of his biggest downfalls and one of the hardest things about having to support him up until the impeachment.

But yeah, I mean, it goes back to show -- I mean, he's in the minority not only in Republicans but in that room. I mean, the only other person that voted to impeach him or to convict him was Dan Newhouse in the House Republican --

RAJU: Um-hum.

AMIRI: -- session. So these are minority voices but even the attendance is showing that he's still the Republican presumptive nominee.

RAJU: Yeah.

AMIRI: He's still the leader of their party and they will show up regardless of how they feel about him personally.

RAJU: And just what a change since 2012, right, when Mitt Romney was the Republican presidential nominee.

Now, you have been covering a lot about this upcoming address to Congress from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and how progressives are dealing with this.

This is how Elizabeth Warren dealt with it yesterday when I asked her about whether or not she would attend that address to Congress.


RAJU: Do you plan to attend Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to Congress?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): No. Look, we need a ceasefire. We need to get those hostages back. We need humanitarian relief. And we need to be giving both parties a big shove toward getting to the negotiating table and working out a peaceful solution.


RAJU: Should the president make clear that he should not address Congress -- Netanyahu?

WARREN: Look, that's up to the president, but I'm not going.


RAJU: I mean, how do you think progressives -- and it's interesting. She's not going to go. A number of progressives are not going to go. How do you think the audience will receive him? Because if the progressives aren't there, maybe the people who are going to protest him won't be there.

AMIRI: Yeah. I mean, I think we can go back to 2015 -- you know, his stunning numbers. Nearly 60 Democrats from both the House and Senate side decided to boycott this. Obviously, he was not a wartime president at the time. There weren't more than 35,000 Palestinian deaths on the IDF's response to what Hamas did.

But I think we're going to see numbers beyond what we saw in 2015. I mean, Netanyahu is, once again, coming not by the wishes of the Democratic American president, not by the wishes of the minority leader or the majority leader despite having -- you know, he signed on after weeks of backdoor consternation about this.

But I think we're going to see not just progressives as people I've been talking to -- centrists. Obviously, Nancy Pelosi has been very vocal about how she feels about this. She is no way a progressive. But we're going to see an interesting number of people choose not to come not only because they don't agree with what he has but the way that he is coming --

RAJU: Yeah.

AMIRI: -- to Congress.

RAJU: And that will be something to watch in just a matter of weeks.

Farnoush Amiri, thank you for coming in this morning.

AMIRI: Thanks for having me.

RAJU: It's good to see you again.

All right. This morning, Russia's Vladimir Putin sitting down for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang after receiving a red carpet welcome where the two hugged as they greeted each other. Putin has invited Kim to visit Moscow and said relations between the two are based on "equality and mutual respect," according to Russian state media.

Now, the pair also took a ride in an open limo during this rare two- day visit -- a first for Putin in 24 years -- signaling the two countries deepening ties -- one that's being closely -- watched closely by the U.S. and its allies.

Here is Kim discussing his support for Russia.


KIM JONG UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through translator): Democratic People's Republic of Korea expresses full support and solidarity with the struggles of the Russian government, military, and the people, which are conducting special military operations in Ukraine to protect its own sovereignty, safety, and territorial stability.


RAJU: All right, CNN's Ivan Watson joins us live from Hong Kong. So, Ivan, just tell us what you're learning.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, we know that the two leaders have signed what they describe as a comprehensive strategic partnership act, which is replacing a number of previous bilateral treaties and agreements that have been signed between Moscow and Pyongyang going back generations.

And we're also seeing, basically, this celebration of friendship between two leaders -- to authoritarian leaders who are very much isolated right now by the West. The dynasty that's ruled North Korea has been isolated for generations. The isolation of Vladimir Putin has been taking place for a little bit more than two years since he launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In Kim Jong Un's statements, he's saying hey, I support Moscow and its war in Ukraine. And Vladimir Putin is clearly very appreciative of that support. Take a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We highly appreciate your consistent and unwavering support for Russian policy, including the Ukrainian strand. I am referring to our fight against the hegemonic policy imposed for decades. The imperialist policy the United States and its satellites against the Russian Federation.


WATSON: The U.S. government and the South Korean government both accuse North Korea of arming Russia with thousands of containers of -- be it artillery or rockets. Those are accusations that the North Koreans have denied. And the big question is what more could Russia be getting from North Korea right now and what could it be offering in return?

We do know that in March, Moscow stepped in and the U.N. Security Council -- it vetoed a move for more surveillance of potential sanctions-busting by North Korea. Russia faces its own sanctions from the West.

And so, that is what these two leaders share in common. They don't like the U.S. They are accusing the U.S. of imperialist policies against them. So presumably, it doesn't take -- it stands to reason that these two leaders are discussing more potential sanctions-busting when they get into a room together -- Manu.

RAJU: All right, CNN's Ivan Watson. Thanks for that, and we will monitor the fallout. So, appreciate that reporting.

And today is Juneteenth, the federal holiday which marks the day Union troops notified enslaved people that they were free more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.


CNN's Victor Blackwell spoke with the godmother of soul, Patti LaBelle, and how she managed to perform even in the worst of conditions.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR, "CNN THIS MORNING WEEKEND": So when you tell these stories and you think back to the early '60s and you were touring with The Bluebells --


BLACKWELL: -- considering the social differences, the cultural differences, do you think of those times fondly still?

LABELLE: Oh, I have to. That's my life.


LABELLE: That's how I started -- you know, doing things when we were doing them and not being honored and not being treated well.

BLACKWELL: How did you continue to sing through it, to perform through it even at some times when you weren't treated the best?

LABELLE: You sing. That's your job.


LABELLE: And I'm going to sing no matter what, if you treat me well, if you treat me not so well. That's what I do. And I would continue through bad times because we had to keep on moving on and never stop.

Never let anything that somebody did to you that made you feel less than a penny bother your craft. And that's what we do -- we sing. And we've had some moments that would make some other people maybe stay home, but it just kept pushing us up. The worse we were treated, the higher we went. (END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: You can watch the CNN special event, "JUNETEENTH: CELEBRATING FREEDOM AND LEGACY" tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN, and stream it on CNN Max.

Next --


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The branding absolutely missed the mark. You were in charge of branding. Star, you're fired.


RAJU: Does Donald Trump wish he was still just a reality TV star? The author of a new book about the former president weighs in.

Plus, remembering Willie Mays, arguably the greatest baseball player of all time. The Bleacher Report is next.






RAJU: Pop star Justin Timberlake facing a DWI charge after being arrested on New York's Long Island. Here is the now infamous mug shot making the rounds on social media. And according to police, Timberlake was observed shortly after midnight Tuesday morning operating his vehicle in an intoxicated condition.

And in this video obtained by CNN from, a car that matches the police description of his vehicle can be seen driving down the street in Sag Harbor, New York right before the singer was arrested.

Now, according to court records, Timberlake told police he had one martini "and followed friends home." Timberlake was released without bail.

Joining me to discuss, Ramin Setoodeh, New York City bureau chief for Variety. Thank you so much, Ramin, for joining me this morning.

What more do you know about Timberlake's arrest, and how do you think this will impact his public image?

RAMIN SETOODEH, NEW YORK BUREAU CHIEF, VARIETY, AUTHOR, APPRENTICE IN WONDERLAND: HOW DONALD TRUMP AND MARK BURNETT TOOK AMERICA THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS" (via Webex by Cisco): Thank you for having me this morning. So my staff at Variety has been covering this story. It's been one of

the big stories in entertainment this week. Justin Timberlake was arrested on Tuesday morning.

Police witnessed a gray BMW swerving and not stopping at a stop sign. They pulled over the car. The driver was Justin Timberlake. He was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated, held overnight, and released in the morning.

And certainly, the mug shot was seen all over social media, and it has been the talk of social media in the last day or so.

He will be returning to court in July on these charges.

RAJU: All right, let's move to your new book, "Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass."

So, in this book you talk about how the former president longingly looked back at his days as a reality TV show host. And there was on excerpt that stuck out to us when Trump was talking about "THE APPRENTICE."

He says, "So it actually got very good reviews, which is hard for me because they hate to give me good reviews," he told you. "I got unbelievable reviews," he said. "Now, that was before my political days, OK? You know."

So you go on to write in your -- in your book, "If this were a scene from a reality show, the producers might cut to a confessional booth where Trump would look into the camera and admit that he regretted running for president and that starring in "THE APPRENTICE" was the best job he'd ever had."

So you spoke to the former president. Do you -- is that what your takeaway -- one of your big takeaways here is that he does regret running for president?

SETOODEH: It is. One of my big takeaways is that he really misses being host of "THE APPRENTICE."

This is a book that I've been working on for the last three years. I interviewed Donald Trump six times for this book. He gave me more access than he gave any other journalist.

And "THE APPRENTICE," the reality show that launched into 2004, is the skeleton key. It is why Donald Trump is popular. It is why he is once again running for president and the Republican nominee. And it showed millions of people this mirage of Donald Trump as this likeable, benevolent, strong leader and made people believe that he was actually capable of running things and being President of the United States.

RAJU: So you also write about some of the memory lapses during you interviews with Trump. You write, "As he crisscrosses through time, his brain misfires. Even he can't accept that a version of himself existed that was once broadly uncontroversial and popular." And you later write, "On some days, I have the feeling he has no idea whom he's even talking to. At our second meeting, he tells me he couldn't remember sitting down with me, even though it was only a few months earlier."


So talk us about -- talk to us about what happened there.

SETOODEH: So, Donald Trump and I sat down together for a series of meetings in Trump Tower. And yes, as I write in the book, we had a meeting in May and then we met again later in that summer.

And he had a blank expression on his face when I entered into his office at Trump Tower. He had no recollection of our previous conversation. He started repeating some of the same stories that he told me.

And then his office set up even another follow-up interview that was closer in proximity so that he would remember me.

The former president does certainly have significant memory lapses and struggled to retain facts and remember the chronology of events, particularly when it came to his presidency and what he accomplished as commander in chief.

RAJU: Hmm. Wow, I'm sure -- and in an election in which memory and age are a huge factor, we'll see how people process that information that you are revealing in your book.

Ramin Setoodeh, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

And don't forget, "Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass." That is out now.

In sports, baseball mourning the loss of a legend. Hall of Famer Willie Mays passing away at the age of 93.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's Bleacher Report. Carolyn, tell us more.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Yeah, good morning. We're going to be remembering him all morning.

The 'Say Hey Kid' one of the country's most beloved and charismatic figures considered by many to be the greatest baseball player who ever lived -- the greatest all-around player -- and his stats certainly back that up. Six hundred sixty home runs, Manu. More than 3,000 hits, 24 All-Star appearances, a two-time National League MVP, and a World Series ring.

The news of the Hall of Famer's death broke while the San Francisco Giants were playing the Chicago Cubs. And the crowd at Wrigley Field delivering a standing ovation instead of a moment of silence. Really powerful. Back in 2015, President Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the greatest honor that the government can bestow on a civilian.

Obama remembering him on social media, saying, "He was a wonderfully warm and generous person, and an inspiration to an entire generation. I'm lucky to have spent time with him over the years, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family."

A life well-lived.

Elsewhere in sports this morning, it looked like the Oilers were destined for disappointment after falling behind three games to none in this series. But now they have hopes of snapping a three-decade Stanley Cup drought for Canadian teams.

Check it out last night. After winning game four in an 8-1 blowout, Edmonton jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks in large part to their captain, Connor McDavid. A three-time MVP had two goals and two assists to become the first player in NHL history to have back-to-back four-point games in the Stanley Cup Final.

McDavid's last point was an empty net goal just seconds after Matthew Tkachuk made a spectacular save to keep it 4-3 at the time.

But the effort here -- what you're watching all for naught. The Oilers win it 5-3 now and the single shift 2,500 miles north back to Edmonton. If they can pull off another win on home ice, the Oilers would push the series to a decisive game seven.


CONNOR MCDAVID, CAPTAIN, EDMONTON OILERS: It's been a fun ride and we're glad it's going to go one more day. That's all we've -- that's all we've earned here is another day, another flight. And we'll be ready to go to Edmonton on Friday.

KRIS KNOBLAUCH, HEAD COACH, EDMONTON OILERS: Yeah, they've got a lot of belief and -- a lot of belief and a lot of just enjoying every extra day. Because we were counted out a long time ago and we're still here playing hockey in June and have the opportunity. We are going back to Edmonton for game six. And there's a lot to -- a lot to smile about.


MANNO: A scary moment for the Yankees' Aaron Judge, who was hit by a pitch in last night's series opening win against Baltimore. Judge left the game early but did confirm afterwards he does not have a fracture in his left hand. This is a big sigh of relief for the star slugger who missed nearly two months back in 2018 after being hit by a pitch in his right wrist.


AARON JUDGE, OUTFIELDER, NEW YORK YANKEES: Any time you get hit by 94, 95 up and in like that and especially in the hands where there's so many small bones and ligaments and stuff like that, you just never know what's going to happen or what it's going to be. So, yeah, just getting that good news is a good thing.


MANNO: In the WNBA, Sparks rookie Cameron Brink had to be carried to the locker room after suffering a knee injury just minutes into last night's game against the Sun. The number-two pick in this year's draft driving it to the basket when she awkwardly planted her leg and collapsed to the floor in pain.

In addition to her availability for the Sparks, the severity of Brink's injury will impact her status for the U.S. Women's 3-on-3 basketball team at next month's Olympics in Paris.

Meantime, three-time Olympian Regan Smith -- three-time Olympic medalist peaking at just the right time. She set a new world record in the 100-meter backstroke last night at the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis. And get this -- the 22-year-old from Minnesota says she thinks she can improve on her record in Paris and get her hands on her first Olympic gold medal.


Manu, at all these trials we're starting to see what these Olympians are capable of. It is a very exciting time with Paris right on the doorstep. We can't wait.

RAJU: Yeah. And watching that backstroke, I was at my kids' -- my 8- year-old twins swim meet last night and they were doing backstroke. Maybe something to aspire to there. Quite a -- quite a feat.

MANNO: A good role model.

RAJU: Yes, indeed.

All right, Carolyn Manno. Thanks for that.

All right. Next for us, President Biden taking action on immigration. Donald Trump is already responding.

Plus --


TRUMP: I love Milwaukee. I was the one that picked Milwaukee, I have to tell you. I was the one that picked it.


RAJU: The former president's love-hate relationship with Brew City.