Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Is Liable For Sexually Abusing And Defaming E. Jean Carroll; George Santos Charged By DOJ In Federal Probe; Did President Biden Miscalculate On Debt Ceiling Crisis?; Biden's Approval Rating Drops In Key Voting Block; "CNN Tonight" Presents "On the Lookout." Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired May 09, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to this hour where we bring you "Tomorrow's News Tonight." We have our great lineup of reporters. We have Harry Enten, Kara Scannell, Jeff Zeleny joins us tonight, and Eva McKend. Great to have all of you guys here.
Okay, let's with former President Donald Trump. He was found liable in the E. Jean Carroll defamation and battery case. The jury awarded Carroll nearly $5 million in damages that Donald Trump must pay related to sexual abuse and defamation.
E. Jean Carroll responded today, saying -- quote -- "I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and to get my life back. Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed."
CNN's Kara Scannell has been at the courthouse since the start of this case. She's here with us tonight. Okay, so, Kara, tell us what it was like in the courtroom when that verdict was read.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, the judge told everyone to assemble at 3:00. And we saw E. Jean Carroll entered just about two minutes before three. She sat down, sitting between two lawyers. And during the trial, she sat a little bit further down this row. So, she's between two of her lawyers, holding hands with one them.
And so then, as the judge's clerk was reading the verdict sheet, the first question is, did the jury find that Donald Trump had raped E. Jean Carroll? Answer, no. She was still just had her hands clasped with her lawyer. Next question, did the -- did E. Jean Carroll proved that Donald Trump sexually abused E. Jean Carroll? Answer, yes. So, that was the win on the battery count. Then they went immediately to damage, and then into the defamation.
CAMEROTA: And what was her demeanor, I mean, at that moment?
SCANNELL: So, she looked like she had a sense of relief on her face. As they got the further down the verdict sheet, she was smiling more. And, you know, she and her lawyer were like holding hands and just kept looking at each other, smiling. She was like leaning in and forward and kind of into the whole moment.
But there was no audible sound. There was no big reaction. In part, as the judge said, he wanted to maintain decorum. He did not want any outburst. So, he set the table at the outset for that.
CAMEROTA: And then what was the response on the Donald Trump side, Joe Tacopina, his attorney?
SCANNELL: So, Joe Tacopina, um, you know, it's interesting in court, he went over and shook E. Jean Carroll's hand and her attorneys' hand. And given how this was such kind of a hard-fought battle, that was --
CAMEROTA: That's a classy move.
SCANNELL: A very classy move. And he said afterwards that none of this was personal. You know, he essentially respected them and their lawyering. So, you know, they've come out and said they are going to appeal. Tacopina spoke to reporters afterwards. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE TACOPINA, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Obviously, you know, he's affirming his belief, as many people are, that he cannot get a fair trial in New York City based on the jury pool. And I think one could argue that that's probably an accurate assessment based on what happened today. And, you know, again, it's something that -- you know, we're very confident on the appellate issues here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCANNELL: So, Tacopina had spoken to us after he got off the phone with Donald Trump. So, there he is telegraphing what Trump and he had just discussed. You know, he was talking about these appellate issues. There are a couple things they're looking to appeal.
One of it is what they could not get into trial, and that was they wanted to put in testimony about Reid Hoffman, who is a big donor to Democrats. He funded in part some of E. Jean Carroll's legal defense.
One of their big defenses in this case was that she was politically- motivated. So, they really wanted to hit that point.
The other thing, they didn't want the Access Hollywood tape to come in, and that's something that Carroll's lawyers really capitalize on. I mean, they spent a lot of time in their closing arguments on that because part of it is they want to show there's a pattern. So, they're saying that shouldn't come.
And some of the -- the two other women who testified, who said that the former president had assaulted them in the past, that testimony was allowed. So, these are all issues that they're going to raise on appeal.
CAMEROTA: Speak on the politics, Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, boy, we add one more thing to the resume, if you will, of Donald Trump. And, of course, this comes on the eve of a meeting that he's having in New Hampshire tomorrow with Republican voters and independent voters on CNN, a town hall, so he, of course, will talk about this. But -- or he'll be asked about it.
But you kind of wonder, in the -- you know, this is a very serious manner, but you wonder if it will matter politically. Talking to Republicans, talking to some Trump advisers, they are not so quick to dismiss it because one thing that they're trying to go after, they have the always Trumpers, they have the people who will always be with him.
But they are trying to rebrand him a bit, if you will, among some people who are not sort of thrilled with the Biden administration and those are the --
CAMEROTA: Suburban women?
ZELENY: Suburban women, first and foremost. And this is not good in the long term. In the short term, in the primary, does it matter or not? It's hard to say. He is in the pole position here. He is leading this race. It is early. But in the general election, I heard so much worry from Republicans, thinking this can't be good a year from now should he win the nomination.
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, sometimes, it feels like a game of whack-a-mole with all of the many controversies surrounding the former president.
But when you speak to Democratic voters, for instance, there is nothing more unifying than a deep animus for the president. And you also hear a deep frustration that it seems like, according to Democratic voters, that the former president seems to constantly escape accountability. So, you have an instance with this outcome where it seems like he is being held accountable in some way.
But I think the more that Trump is the focus, it actually unifies Democrats.
CAMEROTA: Harry, do we have any numbers on this? How are voters feeling?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: So, I think we have some numbers historically. And let's walk over to the wall and give you sort of an understanding of what occurred back in 2016, right? There was the Access Hollywood tape that was mentioned.
And there's a question that was asked by CBS News/New York Times poll. Essentially, it was the allegations that Trump made unwanted sexual advances towards women. Fifty-four percent of voters said that those allegations were mostly true, compared to just 41% who said mostly false. Of course, Trump was still able to win that 2016 election despite the fact that a lot of voters believe those allegations. So, you might look at that number and say, okay, you know, even though this is a more serious charge, it might not have that much of an effect, it might not be baked in.
But I want to give you a look here because I think this is sort of -- it is an interesting sort of deeper dive in the numbers. Again, it is that same question, did Trump make unwanted sexual advances? And this is among Republican voters, okay, Republican voters before the 2016 election. If you believe yes, that Trump did, in fact, make some unwanted sexual advances, Trump won those GOP voters but just by 20 points. Compare that to the no category. Trump won those GOP voters by 92 points.
So, if all of a sudden you get a few more Republican voters who perhaps believe that Trump made some unwanted sexual advances towards women, that could, in fact, increase his margin just enough to perhaps flip the general election. Maybe not the primary, but the general election. Trump needs all those Republicans that he can possibly get.
Finally, I will just point out this. These are Google searches. So, people who search for E. Jean Carroll today versus Alvin Bragg on April 4th, the day that Trump was arraigned, about twice as many Americans searched for E. Jean Carroll's name today than for Alvin Bragg's name back on April 4th. So, I do believe that this will be able to capture at least some Americans' hearts and minds based upon their Google searches.
It's certainly something they're looking at. So, we'll just have to wait and see whether or not it actually does have an effect, guys.
CAMEROTA: That's really interesting, the Google searches. I do think that that, you know, puts your finger on the zeitgeist, for what that's worth. What has Donald Trump said?
SCANNELL: So, Trump has -- you know, he put a statement on Truth Social. He is blaming the judge. He is blaming the jury, saying he can't get a fair trial. And that's echoed in what his attorney had said, too. You know, that -- his statement. He is saying, I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. The verdict is a disgrace, a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time.
Interestingly, part of the defamatory statement he was found liable for was saying he did not know who E. Jean Carroll is. So, he's not deterred from repeating that even after he was found liable.
CAMEROTA: Jeff, as Eva was saying, you know, this is not the only case. So, there are other things. And, of course, we don't know, as Harry was saying, how voters will respond. But it feels like this is just the beginning of what could be a snowball effect in terms of legal cases.
ZELENY: Really possibly. And this was the first time a jury has rendered a verdict in a case against the former president. So, I think that is significant. But yes, there are other cases. As you said, whack-a-mole. I mean, I think that's a good way to put it down the road. I mean, Georgia, obviously, first and foremost, interfering in the election there. The federal investigation as well.
I'm not sure that any of these individual cases will sort of drive voters. But one thing I hear again and again is this Trump exhaustion. Republicans out there who are looking for someone else say they're exhausted by the drama of this.
So that, I think, is kind of one of the things that worries the Trump advisor, just the exhaustion about all of this. And we know he will be defiant. He is suddenly not going to change his posture. But this campaign is trying to run a more professional campaign, really trying to target some of those suburban women and things. This makes it harder.
CAMEROTA: Kara, thank you very much. It's great to have had you in the courthouse for all of this. Thanks for the reporting.
All right, next, truth-challenged Congressman George Santos has been charged by the Justice Department in a federal probe. Harry has done the math, and he will tell us about Santos's campaign contributions. I was told there would be no math, but you're going to do --
-- you're going to do the math for us. Fantastic. Okay. Great.
CAMEROTA: Congressman George Santos charged by the Justice Department in a federal probe. Santos could appear as soon as tomorrow in a New York courtroom. The charges are currently under sealed, but the FBI and DOJ were investigating allegations of false statements in Santos's campaign finance filings.
CNN's Harry --
CAMEROTA: You're just Harry. You're now like Madonna.
CAMEROTA: He is here to fill us in on the developments. All right, so, he has been charged. For what?
ENTEN: Yeah. I mean -- so, I think what -- what I want to take a look at --
ENTEN: -- is sort of just how bad his numbers are. CAMEROTA: Okay.
ENTEN: This to me is just so incredible. I've never seen quite numbers as bad as this. So, this is George Santos's quarter one 2023 fundraising in his main account. Take a look at these contributions. He took in only about $5,000, which is pathetically low for a sitting congressman.
Even more amazing is the refunds that he had to give back from his campaign account were a little more than $8,000. So, he had to give back more money than he took in.
CAMEROTA: Why is he giving money back?
ENTEN: Because it might have been some people who said, oh, I don't want to be a part of this campaign, he might have to give in. That's one reason why. We're not exactly sure in the totality, but that could definitely be one reason why.
But it is not just the fundraising. I want to give you an idea of his historically-low approval or favorable ratings. So, George Santos's favorable rating in New York's third district, just 7%.
I went back and I tried to find people who had similar approval or favorable ratings. The only two I could find were Bob Taft in 2005, the Ohio governor, at 7%, and Rod Blagojevich at 8% back in 2008. He was the Illinois governor. Keep in mind that Taft and Blagojevich were or became convicted criminals which, of course, is something that may end up happening to George Santos.
Finally, the idea maybe, hey, you know, maybe there is a republican base in New York three that he can hold on to. Uh-uh, that is not the case. Here's the favorable rating among Republicans in New York's third district. George Santos, just 11%. Of course, he is a Republican. Joe Biden, who is a Democrat, has the same favorable rating, 11%. So, he is as unpopular as the truly unpopular sitting president is among Republicans.
If you are just tallying it all up, George Santos's data is awful for him even before any charges were brought, and I can only imagine that his numbers may somehow find a way to sink even lower.
CAMEROTA: So, Jeff, surely, Republicans will oust him from Congress.
ZELENY: Surely, they will.
-- or won't.
And this is why. Look, Kevin McCarthy's majority hangs on really five votes. That is one of those votes from that district on Long Island. So, Republicans need that vote. But Republicans are growing increasingly worried about this. Nancy Mace, the congresswoman from South Carolina, Republican, said tonight, she believes it is time for him to go. Others as well. We will see if there are charges filed tomorrow as we expect how this will go. But they need his votes.
So, Speaker McCarthy has said that if someone is convicted, then they move toward removing someone. But as they are charged, that is not the criteria. Again, it is a mathematics thing. If Republicans had a big majority, he would already be gone.
MCKEND: And, you know, Alisyn, I've been covering this since December, several months now, and I think that it is easy to get up -- get caught up in a theater of George Santos because some of it is quite theatrical. And he himself enjoys -- sort of relishes being notorious, it seems like. He has played into this quite a bit.
But you have to remember that there are people who live in this district and there are some really boring basic things that members of Congress have to do.
CAMEROTA: For their constituents.
MCKEND: For their constituents.
MCKEND: That these constituents are sort of rely on their lawmakers for like ensuring there is federal funding for certain projects, for instance, or trusting them with really sensitive information.
And all along, as I have been speaking to people who live in that district, that has been the core frustration. We -- you know, whether they voted for him or didn't, they do not believe that they have a credible person in office.
So, I spoke to them in response to this. They said to me that it is the beginning of being heard. But now, it is time for Kevin McCarthy to act. It's an absolute insult if he doesn't act now.
That is a woman who is an organizer in the concerned citizens group that has been advocating for something to happen for several months, even traveled up to Washington a few months ago to try to meet with McCarthy.
CAMEROTA: Really interesting because by the time he is convicted, it will be the next election cycle. And so, Harry, he -- what does that look like?
ENTEN: I mean, I don't -- I'm really unsure how he gets reelected. He already has a primary challenge right on the republican side. The Republican GOP establishment on Long Island hates his guts. You already have, you know, a fellow Republican member of Congress on Long Island basically saying he has to go and he should have gone yesterday.
So, I don't really understand, first of all, how he gets past the primary. And if he gets past the primary, remember, New York's third district is a district that Joe Biden won by eight points. But, you know, I'll point out something, you know, jumping off at Eva's point, you know, that, look, there have been plenty of politicians who've been involved in scandals before, corruption scandals.
You know, I grew up in the Bronx. Mario Biaggi was someone who actually went to jail for a corruption scandal. But he was still well- liked by a number of people in his district because he actually did his job. Right? This is what we are talking about, congressmen doing their jobs. It's not apparent to me from your reporting that he is actually doing the basics of actually being a congressman.
ZELENY: And often, these corruption cases happen after someone who has been in Congress for a long time. Perhaps they've become too cozy but their constituents' services are often very good. I mean, look at, you know, Rostenkowski, for example. A Long list of people. But this happen --
CAMEROTA: Corrupt but effective.
ZELENY: Exactly. So, that's why voters send them back. But this, I mean, it happened before he was elected. So, it is hard to imagine him making it out of a primary, let alone a general. But we will see if he makes that far.
CAMEROTA: Wasn't Buddy Cianci, the mayor of Providence, like reelected from jail?
ZELENY: For sure.
CAMEROTA: Sometimes, that happens. But I like your point, that he hasn't established himself.
CAMEROTA: I mean, Santos hasn't established himself long enough to be elected from jail yet.
ENTEN: I -- one other thing I will just note, you know, this is around fundraising. But there is such a laundry list of different things that -- you know, there are different scandals. It's like -- it's like -- you know, we are talking about whack-a-mole in the last segment. It's whack-a-mole here. I mean, how many -- I can't even list them. What is it? Fifteen, 20 different things. He's accused of lying. I mean, he says one thing. I just believe the total and complete opposite of what he actually said.
So, even if he somehow manages to turn the table on this particular charge, there is such a laundry list of them. I'm just -- the math just doesn't work as far as I'm concerned.
CAMEROTA: Kara, it is a good thing that this E. Jean Carroll case has wrapped up because you're going to be busy -- (LAUGHTER)
-- with what happens next.
SCANNELL: And you speak of the theatrics, right? I mean, Santos actually showed up as we were waiting for Trump's arraignment.
Showed up to walk around the park there that day. All the cameras were swarming around him. He just came for the spectacle. And now, he is on the other side of this having to show up in federal court tomorrow.
CAMEROTA: It just gets curiouser and curiouser. Thank you all very much for all of that reporting.
Okay, the nation is moving closer to actually defaulting on its debt unless there is a deal. There is no break yet in the stalemate between President Biden and Republican leaders. Did the president miscalculate? Jeff has some answers on that, next.
CAMEROTA: President Biden met with top lawmakers today on the debt ceiling crisis. Both Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made it clear that negotiations are now stalled with time running out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I don't know what he thinks, what McCarthy thinks, what Speaker McCarthy thinks. I think he knows better. I think he knows that a default would be disastrous, and I think he knows what he's passed could not possibly pass anywhere in the Congress. It's dead on arrival.
KEVIN MCCARTHY, SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Everybody in this meeting reiterated the positions they are at. I didn't see any new movement. The president said the staff should get back together. But I was very clear with the president, we have now just two weeks to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right, Jeff is on top of the story. What happens now, Jeff?
ZELENY: Well, here we go again. I mean, what is next on the agenda is a meeting on Friday. But you're sort of wondering, if there are two weeks to go, why wait until Friday for another meeting? The reality is these meetings are a good photoshop. It is good that it's happening, obviously. But no one expected there to be any resolution. In fact, there was not. They basically stated their position and the staff is going to meet.
The challenge here is that the White House last met -- it has been 97 days since President Biden met with Speaker McCarthy and the other congressional leaders. Virtually, nothing has happened over those last 97 days. So, here we are on the verge of crisis. Washington, of course, never acts unless there's a brink of crisis. So --
ZELENY: -- in a respect, this is progress because we're getting closer to the end of the day here. But it is really hard to see the end of the road here because the White House thought that House Republicans would fracture. They thought that they would splinter and they would not remain unified.
Well, Speaker McCarthy, it took him 15 votes to get elected speaker, he was able to keep House Republicans unified on their position on this. So, now, it is the president who no longer sort of has the high ground here. And he does -- A, he called this meeting today, and B, he is likely to have to negotiate. He's always saying a clean bill.
We should just say this is not about current spending. Every time we talk about this, we should explain this. This is about yesterday's bill.
CAMEROTA: The credit card bill, yeah. Paying your credit card bill, yeah.
ZELENY: This is not about the Biden policies. We will get to that at another point.
MCKEND: And I would say maybe we haven't really seen Republicans sort of crumble here is because they don't seem to be as affected by external pressures as they have historically. You know, like the republican donor class. It doesn't seem like that is weighing on their decision.
CAMEROTA: But why not? Don't they understand what -- like catastrophes could happen because we keep hearing from all of our financial experts -- social security. I mean, if you -- military checks. If you just go down the line, it's going to be bad.
MCKEND: Yes. Yes, it could be. But at the same time, the people who are beating that drum are the institutionalists. And if you do not really have respect for those voices, then you don't really believe them. And so, I think that is why they are pushing this to the brink.
I will say, it's going to be hard as we get closer to this to make the argument to the American people. I think that they are going to have a harder argument to make to the American people about why we would not be paying for something that already occurred, right, for a bill that is already due essentially.
CAMEROTA: Yes, but aren't they saying, correct me if I'm wrong, sure, sure, we will get to that, we will pay that bill, but we need you to agree that going forward, we are going to slash this and slice and dice this. That's what Kevin McCarthy wants.
ZELENY: Exactly. They want there to be a deal before they raise the debt ceiling. They want there to be spending caps of some kind. And the president says that he is not going to negotiate specifically on the debt ceiling, that spending should come at a later time.
But what I sort of wonder, and we've covered a lot of these over the years, you think back to the -- I guess the most recent example in divided government and that is what this is, President Trump had to negotiate with Nancy Pelosi.
So, at the end of the day here, it's impossible for me to imagine President Biden not having to give some ground and negotiate somewhat on this. But the problem now for Speaker McCarthy is that his conference, his House Republicans also are holding fast and it may not be as willing.
So, at the end of the day, the smart people around Washington I talked to, Republicans are Democrats, think that is likely going to be a democratic only bill where if a few moderate Republicans come on and support.
But one question, I talked to Wall Street executive today, he said, what is happening in Washington? He is astonished that there is not more of a sense of urgency. So, to your point, I think there will be more in the coming days and weeks about, guys, this is going to tank the markets.
CAMEROTA: Who will voters blame, Harry?
ENTEN: So, there are few, little, interesting nuggets that the polling suggests the voters will blame. There was an ABC News/Washington Post poll. In that particular poll, just by a few percentage points, voters said they were more likely to blame congressional Republicans than blame President Biden.
That's very different from what we saw on the data back during the debt ceiling crisis back in the early 2010 when overwhelmingly more voters said that they would blame Republicans in Congress than President Barack Obama.
So, when we are talking about why are Republicans may not be willing to come to the table as faster -- given as fast as you might have otherwise expected, part of that has to do with the polling data. There is not that same political pressure, at least according to the polls, that there was back in the 2010s.
But getting off to Jeff's point in terms of, you know, how Wall Street and investors are seeing things, you know, we spoke about this, I think, last week as the debt ceiling crisis evolves and goes on and on, and that is that the chance of a default, according to investors, is rising rather rapidly over the past few weeks.
Now, it is certainly not anywhere close to a majority chance of happening, but the fact is that the chance of it occurring, at least according to investors, has more than doubled over the last few months.
CAMEROTA: Why? Because they are an impasse or because we are getting closer to the June 1st --
ENTEN: I -- you know, it's probably both of those things that are going on. Right? We are closer to an impasse and there is no sign at this particular point that there is going to be a deal. As you heard the speaker say, we came into the room, we re-articulated our positions, and there we are. That doesn't exactly sound like very fruitful negotiations at this point. Of course, we still have a few weeks to go.
CAMEROTA: Kara, I remember in 2011, covering this day in and day out ad nauseam like it feels like now, and I remember thinking -- at the 11th hour, they came up with a compromise. And I remember thinking, okay, they are going to trick me again. Fool me once, shame on you. They are not going to trick me again.
So, that is why I am sanguine as I ask these questions, but it sounds like something has changed, to your point, Eva, that we are at a worse impasse this time around.
SCANNELL: That's what I wondered, too. If we -- I feel like we go through these cycles, whether it is the debt ceiling or a budget issue, and then there is -- you know, like you said, Jeff, nothing ever happens until there is a crisis and then crisis averted, right? So, like, what do you guys think are the odds that we are going to have a problem here, that the calamity is going to happen? I mean, will there be the 11th hour deal?
ZELENY: I mean, call me optimistic. I think there will be some type of a deal because we are on the verge of the eve of an election year and it is bad for everyone.
ZELENY: It's bad for the president and congressional Democrats. One thing that is interesting, a lot of pressure on the White House from academics to the president just go in alone. Skip Congress.
ENTEN: Oh, yeah.
ZELENY: Do the 14th Amendment. There is some interesting legal theory on that. Scholars think, yes, he can. The president today was actually asked about that. He said it is interesting. He sorts of considering it but it is a last-ditch option because it would immediately get held up in the court house, back to --
-- just so we have some time.
CAMEROTA: Get ready.
ZELENY: And it has not been tested. That would really rattle the markets. But there are some very from (INAUDIBLE) and others, scholars, urging the president to take matters into his own hands. So, if it really gets far down the road, we will see. But the White House believes that is the last-ditch effort.
MCKEND: I think the politics, too, can shift if more Americans really start to wake up to this and understand what's going on, and feel concerned about social security, their savings --
CAMEROTA: And start calling all of the --
CAMEROTA: Yeah, great point. Thank you all very much for all that.
Okay, so, President Biden is facing plunging poll numbers in a key voting block as he seeks reelection. Eva is doing a lot of reporting on this development. She is going to look at some of the reasons behind the decline and who we are talking about in this demographic.
UNKNOWN: I'm very interested.
CAMEROTA: President Biden's latest approval ratings are weak as he launches his reelection campaign. That is especially true of one key constituency. Young progressive voters aged 18 to 29. Eva has been doing a lot of reporting on this. So, Eva, why are young progressive souring on the president?
MCKEND: So, me and my colleague, Gregory Creek (ph), we spoke to young activists across the country. And essentially, they feel as though they aren't being listened to or they are being engaged at the White House but they describe these interactions as perfunctory.
One of the key issues was this Alaska drilling project that the administration approved. The administration will say that that was already in the pipeline, and no pun intended, and that they had to do it. But also, there have been some other high-profile reversals as well, Alisyn, on public safety issues as well as immigration.
And they are telling us that it is not enough for the White House, for President Biden, to keep telling -- and Democrats at large -- to keep telling these young people, consider the alternative. You know, they have to come with a compelling, inspiring message.
CAMEROTA: Well, is that true, Eva, because if let's say it is race between President Biden and President Trump, these young progressives are not going to vote for President Trump, right? So, what is their -- what would they do, sit it out? Is that what they're saying? MCKEND: Well, they could sit home, they could stay at home. And, you know, it is -- I think that also we are sort of hearing that there is this skepticism about the effectiveness of the electoral process. I voted and I'm seeing the erosion of reproductive rights.
Now, Republicans, though, are talking about, I think, some of the issues dear to this constituency in a way that is problematic, that it might push them to the other side. So, for instance, when we talk about trans youth, these young people, if you are a young person in this country, you are more likely to know someone who is trans, someone who is trans in your family. You're not talking about them in the abstract.
And so, these very vicious attacks that we see on trans folks across the country, that is deeply personal to these voters. And so, they could be so outraged by that on the other side that it may prompt them to support President Biden and Democrats, but it might not be enough.
CAMEROTA: Harry, are the numbers reflecting that?
ENTEN: I mean, frankly, Joe Biden's approval rating among young voters, they stink. I mean, that is an adjective I would use to describe it. Ultimately, I think the question that you pose is the key question, which is, how do these approval ratings translate in a voting pattern?
And what we saw in 2022 was that Joe Biden's approval ratings among young voters, they were similarly (INAUDIBLE). But what actually happened in the polls, it turns out that Democrats more than held their own among voters under the age of 30. And it's exactly the reason you pointed out, which is that consider the alternative.
Now, the big question again is, do they actually turn out? Because right, we do not have compulsory voting in this country. You actually have to go and cast a ballot.
And when it comes to the polling, what we generally see is that while enthusiasm is lacking, Democrats at this particular point say they are as likely to cast a ballot or a ballot is likely to cast a ballot as Republicans are. So, I certainly agree that young voters might not like Joe Biden but they hate Donald Trump and that may be enough.
MCKEND: And the White House knows that they have work to do on this. We spoke to them as well. They pointed out that this next gen group did endorse the president. They are huge gen Z voting mobilization.
CAMEROTA: Meaning, already for this next election, they've already endorsed?
MCKEND: They've already endorsed him. So, they did note that. And they said that they are speaking to social media influencers. And they are also engaging with grassroots gun safety organizations. That is an issue that is really important to young people. And so, they are attacking this problem. They recognize it is vulnerability.
ZELENY: And the biggest advantage of all that the president has is that he does not have a significant primary challenger.
ZELENY: He would really be in trouble if say Bernie Sanders, for example, decided that he was going to challenge him. A lot of these young voters -- and that is the interesting thing. He is almost as old as the president, but young voters still gravitated him because of his policies. So, that is what the White House really is thankful for every single day.
CAMEROTA: Is Bernie Sanders going to launch a campaign?
ZELENY: No. He has endorsed the president. In fact, I was in Michigan last week talking to a voter who said that her vote for Joe Biden was specifically to stop Donald Trump. She is going to vote for Joe Biden again because Bernie Sanders endorsed him. I said, really? She said, absolutely. So, I do think that the biggest advantage the White House has, and they know, you know, he probably says a prayer every night --
-- that there is not a big primary challenge because we've seen what happens historically when presidents have primary challenges. Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush. It is tough for them in the general.
MCKEND: But when you have to rely on this patchwork of constituencies -- and we have to also remember that President Biden won election in really unique circumstances that were favorable to him. He didn't have to be out on the trail every day during the height of the pandemic. He was able to hold a small event, speak to union workers, do these events and campaign in a style that really worked for him. It's a different ball game this time around.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. I don't know, Kara, if young people are going to be placated by just having some social media influencers touting the president. I mean, they really want him to respect their policy choices and to feel as though he supports them.
SCANNELL: Right. I mean, it's probably different than bringing Olivia Rodrigo out to tell people to get vaccinated and take COVID precautions. These issues are much weight here. Then what we are talking about here. I mean, these issues are much (INAUDIBLE) that what, you know, what we are talking about here, about reproductive rights, about trans rights. That is a significant concern to voters of that age.
CAMEROTA: Harry, why you turned your nose up at Olivia Rodrigo?
ENTEN: I don't know who that is.
CAMEROTA: You don't -- Harry, this tells me that you work too much.
(LAUGHTER) You work too much. You are here all the time. You don't know the biggest hit song of -- what was it? Last year, a year -- two years ago. What was it?
SCANNELL: "Drivers License?"
ENTEN: I don't have a driver's license.
CAMEROTA: Harry, Harry, Harry.
MCKEND: But really, Alisyn, I thought the story was so important because, you know, I'm in Washington and I think the conventional wisdom is that the left will come along. And I think that is really problematic. And is what prompted Greg and I to do this story.
You know, if you listen to maybe progressive lawmakers, they are not sounding this alarm. But if you speak to progressive voters across the country, they are concerned.
CAMEROTA: I appreciate you bringing this to our attention because I hadn't known about how young voters were feeling about the president. So, thank you very much, Eva.
All right, up next, "On the Lookout." Our reporters are going to tell us what stories they're looking out for on the horizon. We are going to find out why Harry doesn't know anything about modern-day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: There it is. We are back with our fantastic panel of reporters in our never-ending effort to educate Harry Enten to enter the 21st century --
-- and understand who Olivia Rodrigo is. It's not working. You are really resistant to this, are you?
ENTEN: I just think the song was just made up. I've never heard of this song before.
We played it five times. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: It's a classic. It's now a modern classic.
CAMEROTA: All right, well, every night, we are going to educate you on something else because you don't leave this building.
CAMEROTA: This is called "On the Lookout" where our reporters tell us what they are keeping an eye on. Harry?
ENTEN: All right. So, one, I am looking forward to our CNN town hall tomorrow hosted by our great colleague, Kaitlan Collins. I believe that is 8:00 p.m. Eastern with the former president, Donald Trump, on the non -- you know, basically sucking up --
CAMEROTA: Was that you're sucking up to our producers? Is that what you were just doing?
ENTEN: It's sucking up --
ZELENY: At the bosses.
ENTEN: Yeah, that's right.
CAMEROTA: The bosses, got you.
ENTEN: This is speaking of my lack of current pop culture knowledge. This week is the 25th anniversary, I believe, of the series finale of "Seinfeld." Seventy-six million people tuned into that series finale. I do remember, I can't imagine 76 million people tuning in to the same event that wasn't sports or a presidential debate these days. It truly was a cultural touchstone.
And if I recall correctly, it is also, on that same evening, Frank Sinatra actually passed.
ENTEN: So, that was a pretty big night in American culture.
CAMEROTA: That is amazing, that it is 25 years ago. And also, that tells me you are stuck 25 years ago. That is the last cultural moment you remember, basically, is what you are telling me?
ENTEN: Outside the sports and politics, that is correct.
CAMEROTA: Okay, excellent. Kara?
SCANNELL: I've been in a little bit of a bubble. So, I'm a little behind on what is happening in the pop world. But, I'm very -- even I was covering George Santos for a while, and I'm just so curious what these charges are going to be, and if there are any coconspirators or if there is any appearance that anyone was cooperating with the investigation. So, I'm just --
CAMEROTA: That is all going to be unsealed tomorrow.
SCANNELL: That is my expectation.
CAMEROTA: Got it. Okay, thank you very much. Okay, Jeff?
ZELENY: Interesting sports and political news combined.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead.
ZELENY: The White House always has national championship teams to the White House to celebrate. Tonight, the Georgia Bulldogs which, of course, won the football championship back in January, beating TCU, they said that they declined the invitation to come to the White House. They said the date was not appropriate.
And it is in June. Of course, school is out. So, it is -- perhaps that makes sense.
CAMEROTA: What are you thinking?
ZELENY: It is raising some eyebrows. It's just interesting that they declined this invitation. There has been a bit of a kerfuffle. The first lady, of course, in women's basketball championship, she sorts of stepped in by saying all the teams should come. So, this is just interesting.
But it made me think of the first time I was ever at the White House, 1995, when the Nebraska Cornhuskers, where I went to school, won the national championship. Bill Clinton invited them there. That is where I met Wolf Blitzer for the first time.
CAMEROTA: And Harry Enten?
ZELENY: And Harry Enten. So, I love those days. It's too bad that the Georgia Bulldogs will not be there.
CAMEROTA: That's great. that's a great memory.
CAMEROTA: All right, Eva?
MCKEND: So, South Carolina Democrats just tapped Christale Spain or voted for Christale Spain, the first Black woman in the party's history in that state to lead that party. I found that really interesting, especially in the context of another high-profile Black female lawmaker in South Carolina recently left the party.
Mia McLeod, who I covered last year, who ran for governor, did not feel supported by the party in the primary process when she was trying to be the state's first Black female governor. And now, you have the ascension of Spain.
Also, South Carolina is going to be huge next year as Democrats now make it the first nation primary, that state to be the first nation primary. So, lots of reasons to keep an eye on that state.
CAMEROTA: Excellent. Thank you all. Great to have you here tonight. A lot fun. We also want to take a moment to congratulate our fabulous colleague, Shimon Prokupecz and his team, who have won a Peabody award for their tireless and important reporting in Uvalde, Texas. Congratulations to them.
And tomorrow on "CNN This Morning," E. Jean Carroll is going to join the show to respond to a jury finding, Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation. Make sure you tune in to that.
Thanks so much for watching "CNN Tonight.' Our coverage continues now.