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Trump, Biden Honing Their Strategies Ahead of Debate; Today Marks 2 Years of U.S. Supreme Court's Ruling on Roe v. Wade; Iowa Reels from "Monumental" Flooding. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 24, 2024 - 05:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, ANCHOR, CNN THIS MORNING: It's Monday, June 24th, right now on CNN THIS MORNING. The clock is ticking. Joe Biden and Donald Trump honing their strategies ahead of their looming debate re-match. Plus, it's been two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade, handing control to the states.

But how will it impact the outcome of the election this November? And a month's worth of rain in just three days. This morning, Iowa is reeling from what authorities are calling monumental flooding. All right, 5:00 a.m. here in Washington D.C., a live look at that beautiful sunrise in New York City on this Summer Monday morning.

Good morning, everyone, I'm Kasie Hunt, it's wonderful to have you with us. Three days and counting before the historic debate rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump. A president and a former president have never faced off in a debate like this.

Both sides, of course, angling for any edge they can get, and the urgency feels palpable. President Biden has been hunkering down at Camp David for three days of preparation so far, including participating in mock debates, that style of preparation, of course, creating criticism from Trump's supporters, including Florida Representative Byron Donalds.


REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): He has to be in Camp David for 7-8 days to prepare himself to be in a 90-minute debate with Donald Trump. That does not bode well for a man who says he wants four more years.


HUNT: As Joe Biden's campaign says, he wants to focus on three areas, abortion, upholding democracy and Trump's economic plan. They argue that, that plan benefits the rich. Here's one of President Biden's top supporters, his campaign Co-Chair, Mitch Landrieu trying to tip his hand a little bit on the president's theme for Thursday night.


MITCH LANDRIEU, SENIOR ADVISER TO JOE BIDEN FOR INFRASTRUCTURE COORDINATION: It really doesn't matter how Donald Trump shows up. If he comes in unhinged like he is most of the time, or he sits there and is quiet, people are going to know that he's a twice impeached, convicted felon who has been found to have defamed somebody sexually, abused somebody and gone bankrupt six times.

They will always know that, and that is something that the American people have to think about.


HUNT: There is all that. Let's bring in Julia Manchester; she is a staff writer for "The Hill". Julia, good morning to you --


HUNT: Thanks so much for being here. So, we are now kind of seeing the Trump team as we head into this debate, trying to -- shall we say, heighten expectations --


HUNT: For the president because they have spent so much time arguing that the president is basically incapable of doing his job. So, my question is, at what point -- I mean, that sets the bar for President Biden so low --


HUNT: So, now, they seem to be trying to raise it up and say, well, as long as he -- you know, that he is actually capable. What are we going to see?

MANCHESTER: Look, I think you're going to potentially see -- you know, depending on what Donald Trump follows in debate prep, you know, is Donald Trump going to be measured, calm, cool and collected, or is he going to be like he was in the first 2020 debate?

Much more erratic, very much -- coming in very hot. So, I think that's a fear among a lot of Republicans. A lot of Republicans I've chatted with have said, look, on that -- during that first 2020 debate, that's when Donald Trump lost the election or was the beginning of his -- a lot of his troubles during that campaign.

So, I think this is very much -- you know, his -- those around him trying to push back on that, trying to hire those -- heighten those expectations for President Biden.

HUNT: Yes, so, I mean, if the biggest challenge for the sitting president is perceptions around his age and his performance. The biggest challenge for the former president is, if you speak with strategists who are willing to be honest, the fact that he can come across as unhinge, that can get --


HUNT: Very personal. Here was how Kristi Noem talked about what the debate could or should look like for the former president over the weekend. Watch how she characterized it.


GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R-SD): I think it's an important debate. It will be great opportunity for President Trump to talk about his policies, and how his policies when he served as president of this country were good for every single family that lived here.


I don't think that he has to talk about -- get personal during this debate at all, because he's going to have so many good things to talk about in contrast with Joe Biden's policies.


HUNT: So, she says, he doesn't have to get personal. He can talk about the policies --


HUNT: But how big of a challenge is that for the former president?

MANCHESTER: You know, if you look at his appearance in Philadelphia last weekend during a campaign rally, he was getting personal, he was a bit unhinged, and we know that his base likes that. But the difference between a campaign rally in a debate like this is, he is speaking to many more Americans including those very -- you know, persuadable independent swing voters who may be unhappy with the economy under Joe Biden, who may be unhappy with some of Joe Biden's policies.

But they look at Donald Trump and they say, I just don't like him. So, Donald Trump has to come off as more likable, more palatable to more Americans.

HUNT: So, speaking of getting personal and how Donald Trump has kind of been performing on the campaign trail, we saw quite the event from former -- from the former president in Philadelphia. Hear what he said about the debate -- well, he used the phrase, jacked up. Let's watch.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Right now, crooked Joe gone to a log cabin to study, prepare -- no, he didn't, he's sleeping now --


TRUMP: Because they want to get him good and strong, so, a little before debate time, he gets a shot -- I say he'll come out all jacked up, right? All jacked up.


HUNT: So, all jacked up, of course, the phrase that we didn't have to bleep --


HUNT: In that comment. This of course, is a line of discussion that we heard after the State of the Union when President Biden by most accounts, performed very well, certainly, Democrats were very happy with the performance that he gave then.

And when I talked to them ahead of this debate, they'll say similar that they have seen him rise to the occasion before --


HUNT: They're hoping he'll rise to the occasion this time. Some of the ugly undercurrents around the wake of the State of the Union performance, alluded to what President Trump -- former President Trump is just willing to say out loud.

MANCHESTER: Right. And this is -- he is very much setting the expectation for the Republican response to President Biden during this debate if President Biden has a good night. Because so much of the criticism of Biden is over his age, over his mental acuity. So, this is how they're able to essentially push back.

But, you know, Kasie, it's so interesting watching that clip of Donald Trump talking about debate prep and such, and contrast it with Kristi Noem, who is very much telegraphing that he needs to focus on policy, needs to be calm, cool and collected. You know, we'll see which one he follows, but you know, it doesn't seem like he's calm right now.

HUNT: All right, a lot at stake. Julia Manchester for us this morning, Julia, thank you very much --

MANCHESTER: Thank you --

HUNT: All right, coming up next here, gunman opened fire on places of worship in two Russian cities. The terror investigation now underway. Plus, will Donald Trump be placed under a gag order in his classified documents case? And why Alec Baldwin says his "Rust' shooting charges should be thrown out.



HUNT: Welcome back. New details coming in this morning after a wave of shocking attacks on churches and synagogues in two Russian cities.




HUNT: Officials now updating the death toll, at least 19 people are dead including police officers, a priest and civilians in what appears to be a coordinated assault in an area with a history of separatist violence. Russian media reporting that some local officials are blaming international terrorist activity, but no group has claimed responsibility.

Authorities say six militants were also killed. CNN's Max Foster joins us live now from London. Max, good morning to you. Bring us up-to- speed on the investigation into this and what's happened here?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're hearing very slowly in terms of information, it's only just really wrapped up that operation. And this is an area of Russia predominantly Muslim population, but also with a very ancient Jewish community there as well.

And this was attack -- apparent attack on both communities. So, two churches and a synagogue attacked as well as a police checkpoint and a police vehicle it seems. So, very dramatic scenes and across two cities, and it does appear obviously, to be coordinated.

But we haven't had a formal update in terms of the investigation apart from they think that an international terrorist organization was linked to it. We did, of course, have an attack on the concert hall, didn't we? In Moscow earlier in the year, ISIS claimed responsibility for that, but we haven't had a claim of responsibility for this.

In fact, the authorities suggested that the Moscow attack was more to do with what's happening in Ukraine. So, we wait to see what the authorities say and where they pin this. Although, they do say they do have a sense of who the organization is.

HUNT: Yes, definitely going to be keeping an eye on this throughout the morning. Max, I also want to ask you about some news that's just in here to CNN this morning, an interview that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did that was aired on Israeli TV.

And he seemed to suggest that the war that they are waging in Gaza may end in its current phase. He says, quote, "it doesn't mean that the war is going to end, but the war in its current stage is going to end in Rafah. This is true", and then he says, "we will continue mowing the grass later" was our translation. This interview was done in Hebrew. And then, he went on to say this about what's next. Let's listen.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translator): After the intense phase is finished, we will have the possibility to move part of the forces north, and we will do this first and foremost for defensive purposes.


And secondly, to bring our evacuated residents home. If we can, we will do this diplomatically, if not, we will do it another way.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: So, Max, how do you hear the words from the Prime Minister?

Because this does seem to be a shift in the rhetoric that he's been using, but obviously still a lot of questions.

FOSTER: But it does fall into line with what we did here at one stage was that there would be three stages to this. So, the air bombardment, then the ground incursion and then a third phase. So, he could just be suggesting we're going into that third phase now.

The background to this as well is they're facing more pressure on that northern border, border with Lebanon as well against Hezbollah, which is our -- speaking to analysts earlier this morning. They're much more concerned about that in terms of a regional escalation, because if there is, you know, the more skirmishes there are across that border with Lebanon, with Hezbollah, the more that there is risk of something going wrong or some miscalculation and it blowing up into a much bigger war, not just because Hezbollah is so well armed.

But Hezbollah's linked with so many other proxy groups wish are also linked to Iran, and they could all get involved. So, maybe, the plan here is to go into this third phase in Gaza, but then, you know, shift the focus to northern Israel. That appears to be what all of the analysts are reading this as, anyway.

HUNT: All right, well, we'll keep an eye on that as well. Max Foster for us this morning, Max, always grateful to have you, thank you so much.

FOSTER: Bye, Kasie.

HUNT: All right, coming up next on CNN THIS MORNING, recovery efforts begin in Iowa.


MONTE WARBURTON, POLICE CHIEF, ROCK VALLEY, IOWA: It's hard to deal with that much water. It's a monumental undertaking.


HUNT: The latest on a weekend of historic flooding ahead. And deadly violence across the country, several mass shootings including one at a grocery store.



HUNT: All right, 20 minutes past the hour, here's your morning roundup.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are live here at Mad Butcher in Fordyce, and there's a shooting going on.


HUNT: Violent weekend across the U.S., multiple mass shootings in several states including Alabama, Kentucky and Arkansas. That is where four people were killed at a grocery store. The suspect is expected to be in custody today. Today, Alec Baldwin's team will once again try to get his involuntary manslaughter charges thrown out.

His team will -- team will argue that the gun used in the shooting on the set of "Rust" was destroyed during forensic testing. A judge will rule on the motion today. Scorching temperatures in Saudi Arabia have left more than 1,300 people participating in the Hajj pilgrimage dead.

Temperatures soared to 125 degrees last week. And there's more record- breaking heat on the way for the south and southeast U.S. this morning as northwestern Iowa slowly recovers from major flooding.


WARBURTON: The river rose to historic levels that we've never seen here before, and it's hard to deal with that much water. It's a monumental undertaking.


HUNT: Some areas received a month's worth of rain just over this past weekend. Our meteorologist Elisa Raffa tracking all of it for us. Elisa, good morning.

ELISA RAFFA, METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. We still have flood warnings in effect, Kasie, for a lot of southern Minnesota from Mankato over into South Dakota, Sioux Falls, northwest Iowa, including places like Spencer. And they go down the Missouri River from Sioux City down into Omaha, not because it's still raining, but because this area is just so waterlogged, rivers are still aggravated, could still rise and crust.

Because look at the amount of rain that we've seen in the last just a couple of days or so. You have this pocket of ten to 15 inches in between Sioux Falls there, parts of northwest Iowa, another couple of pockets of 10 inch totals up near Mankato, and a huge swath of some 4 to 6 inch totals.

I mean, we're talking about 17 inches of rain in some communities in South Dakota, nearly a foot in Davis, South Dakota, Sioux Falls, more than 6.5 inches, which is their entire month worth of rain. They get average about 4 inches in the entire month of June. So just incredible. That's why we still have some of these rivers at major and moderate flood stage because again, we're just so waterlogged and aggravated with some of this rain.

We do have a risk for severe weather in parts of this area through Monday and Tuesday for damaging winds and large hail, because we could still find some storms that roll through. Now, we also have some excessive heat. This heat dome continues to swelter heat index values up to 110 degrees possible for a stretch of a 1,000 miles from the northern plains down to the Gulf Coast, Kasie. HUNT: Wow, all right, Elisa Raffa for us this Monday morning, Elisa, thank you. All right, coming up next here, the future of reproductive rights in this country, two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade. Plus, Judge Aileen Cannon's slow-walk approach to Donald Trump's classified documents case.



HUNT: All right, just before 5:30 a.m. here in Washington D.C., a live look at the capital on this Monday morning. Good morning everyone, I'm Kasie Hunt, it's wonderful to have you with us. Today marks 2 years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade, ending the federal right to abortion in America and kick-starting a fierce battle over abortion access in states across the country.

Since the ruling, 14 states have established near or total bans on abortion, all with varying levels of restrictions and types of exceptions. Data from the Guttmacher Institute shows that more restrictive policies don't necessarily stop people from getting abortions. The group reporting that in 2023, the estimated number and rate of abortions hit the highest point in more than a decade.