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Trump Investigation By Special Counsel Continues; What Will Investigations Mean For Election?; Nearly Half Of U.S. Tap Water Is Contaminated; Scientist: Global Temps Highest In "At Least 100K Years"; New York Area Beaches Ramp Up Shark Patrols. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired July 07, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And second of all, this is not as gross as that time that he offered a piece of half- eaten pizza to someone at pizza shop in Florida. I think that he might get a pass for this one.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: No, I saw that. Even his ardent supporters were like "no, thank you" with the pizza.
All right, Abby, have a great weekend. Great to see you and good evening.
PHILLIP: Have a good show, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN TONIGHT.
We have a fantastic show for you this evening. It has been quite a week of developments in the special counsel's investigation into Donald Trump. So, what is Jack Smith's next move? Well, tonight, we are going to break down who he is talking to and what evidence he has so far.
Plus, a disturbing new study finds that nearly half the tap water in United States is contaminated with so-called "forever chemicals." These are dangerous synthetic compounds that are linked to cancer and other diseases. Erin Brocovich is here tonight to sound the alarm.
And the race for 2024, President Biden getting support in his reelection bid today from a top progressive while former President Trump and Ron DeSantis are going after each other, and former Trump national security adviser, John Bolton, has a warning tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: The indictments don't have any impact. He has been indicted twice. It hasn't had any impact. If he gets indicted two or three more times, who cares? I think the real question on what the election may turn on is whether the special counsel can get a trial date and hold it before the republican primary process begins. If he can't get it and this trial is delayed until after the election, I very much worry about what the outcome would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Okay. So, let's begin with what we know tonight about the Jack Smith's investigation. Joining me now, we have CNN political correspondent Sara Murray, former FBI director Andrew McCabe, and former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman. Great to see you, guys.
Okay, Sara, you've been reporting on all of Jack Smith's moves. Do you get a sense that the urgency or the timing has ramped up lately?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, it is always hard to predict the exact timing, right, when it comes to the special counsel, but I do think what we have seen in this investigation are a lot of activities that you would expect to take place near the end of it.
You know, we've been talking a lot about this December meeting with Donald Trump and a number of his advisors that really went off the rails. That's something that investigators had previously asked about.
And now, they're sort of circling back, too. They're checking on it again with other witnesses. That's the kind of thing you would expect to see at the end of an investigation.
You know, we know that they brought Rudy Giuliani in. They talked to him in a voluntary interview for two days. He is sort of a late in the game witness, another box for them to check late here.
And we know that they have negotiated some sort of limited immunity deals with folks. Again, something you would expect to see later in the investigation. We also know, though, Alisyn, that there are a few witnesses out there that they haven't talked to yet.
So, we are still waiting to see are there boxes out there they want to check or essentially could they be reaching the end stages, the final stages of this investigation before they announce, you know, whatever indictments they may announce.
CAMEROTA: Nick, we learned this week that Smith, Jack Smith, special counsel, is focusing on this very heated Oval Office meeting that happened after Donald Trump had lost the White House. So, when you look -- I don't know if you can see this, actually, Nick. I hope you can -- at all the different players --
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: I can.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Good. So, all the players who were at that meeting, everybody from, you know, Rudy Giuliani, you can see there as well as White House counsel. Who do you think prosecutors are most interested in?
AKERMAN: In terms of all those people, I mean in terms of the person who can put it all together, I believe it's Mark Meadows. He was the chief of staff. He was really the in between person between the Willard Hotel people, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, Roger Stone, General Flynn, and Donald Trump.
As we know from Cassidy Hutchison's testimony, he was going to go to a meeting on January 5th at the Willard Hotel, but due to her kind of warning, he did it over the phone. But he knew what was going on. He was killing the messages between all the key players and Donald Trump.
So, if I had to pick one person on there that I think is the most important, he is the man. And from what we know, he has already testified in the grand jury.
AKERMAN: Now, I wouldn't believe that he would be testifying in the grand jury unless he had worked out some kind of a deal, and he is basically coming clean on everything that he knows.
CAMEROTA: Hmm. Andy, I want to ask you also about this "New York Times" reporting tonight, and that is that Trump's former chief of staff, John Kelly, said in a sworn statement that the former president asked about having the IRS and other agencies investigate those two FBI officials who were involved in the Russia investigation, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
In other words, using the IRS to basically punish them. And I was thinking this might ring a bell for you. Your reaction?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: It does ring a bell, unfortunately. So, this is really interesting, Aliysn. It's consistent with statements that John Kelly made to "The New York Times" directly a few months ago about the same topic.
The interesting development here, though, of course, is that he has made these same statements now under oath, under penalty of perjury, and apparently, they are backed up by notes that he took in these meetings where Trump made these requests about IRS investigations of Pete Strzok and Lisa Page.
So that's a substantiated, you know, essentially a piece of evidence, if you will, in that argument. Of course, it rings a bell for me because I was the subject of a very rare and invasive IRS audit as was Jim Comey.
You know, the likelihood of the two of us being subjected to the same sort of allegedly random audit is infinitesimally small although the postal service IG looked at this and didn't find any, I guess, particular suspicious things about it. I feel very differently about the conclusion. I don't think it's surprising to anyone that Donald Trump was trying to use his access to the levers of power in Washington to exact retribution against his perceived enemies, whether that's through the Department of Justice, through baseless criminal investigation like the one that was focused on me for two years, or through the IRS.
This is what he does, and I think it's probably what the American people can expect if he is ever returned to the White House.
CAMEROTA: Nick, if prosecutes can prove that, that President Trump was trying to exact revenge on his perceived enemies, is that a crime?
AKERMAN: That's a crime. In fact, it's the exact same crime investigated during the Watergate scandal. Richard Nixon did the exact same thing. He had the head of the Democratic Party audited just because he wanted to create havoc for his enemies. He had an enemies list. He went to the head of the IRS and asked that certain people be audited.
So, basically, what Donald Trump is doing is taking the Richard Nixon playbook here and doing the exact same thing probably without even realizing it.
CAMEROTA: Hmm. Sara, tell us about Rudy Giuliani. So, he may lose his law license?
MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, we know, obviously, Rudy Giuliani has been facing some issues, and among them are questions about the future of his ability to practice law. And what we saw as an attorney, disciplinary committee recommended that he be disbarred here in Washington, D.C. It was a unanimous decision that they wrote. There are still steps that need to take place in order for this to happen. This isn't the final word.
But he is also facing an ethics review in New York. And again, this is because of these kinds of claims that Rudy Giuliani was peddling in the wake of the 2020 election when was Trump's -- one of Trump's most vociferous supporters at the time and spreading these election lies.
Take a listen to just some of the things Rudy Giuliani said about the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Joe Biden is in the lead because of the fraudulent ballot, the illegal ballots that were produced and never allowed to be used. We used largely a Venezuelan voting machine in essence to count our vote. If we let this happen, we are going to become Venezuela. We cannot let this happen to us.
They look like they are passing out dope, not just ballots. It is quite clear they are stealing votes.
This was the worst election in American history. This election was stolen in seven states. Let's have trial by combat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, this disciplinary committee basically said that you are a sworn officer of the court. You can't be putting claims like this into litigation that are totally not based in fact, where you have no evidence to prove this kind of fraud. Of course, his allies are calling this a great injustice.
Again, the clips you are seeing there are from a time when Rudy Giuliani was much closer to the former president, and we are now sort of seeing the aftermath of that in Giuliani's life. You know, he is not one of these people that we have seen around Donald Trump who is getting his legal fees paid by one of the Donald Trump PACs. You know, he is not as close to Donald Trump as he used to be. Again, as I said earlier, he also recently spoke to federal investigators for two days, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, it's hard to imagine a legitimate lawyer wanting trial by combat. That's sort of the opposite of the legal system does. But, Nick, would the special council ever want to cut a deal with Rudy Giuliani or is he too flawed as a witness?
AKERMAN: Oh, I think they would cut a deal with him in a nanosecond if he would come totally clean, for sure. I mean, he may have to plead guilty to something to do that.
But, yes, I mean, he was involved in every aspect of this. He can recount exactly how they created the big lie about this false election and fraud in the election. He was involved in talking to legislators trying to get the states, the battleground states, to change their votes. He was deeply involved with the phony electors. He was involved with John Eastman who came up with this crazy scheme to get Mike Pence to basically not qualify Joe Biden --
AKERMAN: -- as the winner of the election.
So, yeah, he was involved in every aspect of this, including, as I said before, being at the Willard Hotel where all the basic no-good- nicks (ph) were kind of sitting around. All of those people there had either been pardoned by Donald Trump or asked for pardon by Donald Trump.
So, yes, he can be a key witness here. He also would have to deal, though, with what's going on in Georgia because I think he is a target of that investigation as well.
AKERMAN: So, if he is to cut a deal, he has got to do it in both places.
CAMEROTA: It's complicated. Andy, we are also learning the Justice Department has spent more than $9.2 million on Jack Smith's investigation of Donald Trump since Jack Smith was appointed in November.
That number, it is interesting when you look at how it breaks down. I mean, more than $2 million in salaries for all the people who are part of this investigation, $80,000 in relocation costs to get people to, you know, where they need to be for interviews and -- et cetera. Is that standard for investigations of this magnitude?
MCCABE: Well, nothing about these special council investigations are standard. But if you put it -- if you compare the costs associated with Robert Mueller special counsel investigation or John Durham special counsel investigation, I think it's appropriately in that same ballpark. I can't tell you exactly to the penny --
CAMEROTA: Well, John Durham was much less expensive. I mean, his was 1$ million, I believe.
MCCABE: You know, my recollection is a bit more than that.
MCCABE: But if you look at what Jack Smith has been tasked with doing and the amount of investigative activity he has executed in the last few months on two entirely distinct and very complicated investigations involving numerous prosecutors and agents and hundreds probably of subpoenas, hundreds of interviews, enormous amount of time in front of grand juries in D.C. and Florida, you know, these are the sorts of bills that you can expect to see from this sort of activity.
So, I'm not shocked by it, and they certainly have a long way to go. Obviously, you've got one indictment that will be going likely to trial at some point in the next few months to a year, and we can expect maybe another massive complicated indictment on the January 6th activity sometime in the next few months potentially.
CAMEROTA: Andy, I stand corrected. You were right. That John Durham was $7 million, not $1 million. Obviously, I'm no mathematician. Thank you very much for explaining how expensive and complicated these things are. Great to see all of you. Really appreciate it.
CAMEROTA: Okay. So, what does this mean for the republican primary? Trump and DeSantis taking potshots at each other today on the campaign trail. And meanwhile, President Biden picking up support from a top progressive. The panel has thoughts. Oh, yes, they do, Bakari. You are getting ready.
CAMEROTA: Ron DeSantis accusing Donald Trump of spending more time and money attacking him than supporting Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We have a lot more to do. I have also been attacked more than anybody, as you know. You know, Donald Trump spent over 20 million attacking me. That's more than he spent supporting Republican candidates in last year's midterm elections.
At the end of the day, people do want to win, though. You know, you can't win with just Republican voters. I think we showed in Florida, you know, if you want a big victory, you got to win independent voters, you got to win people who haven't voted for our party in the last several cycles. I have shown I can do that, and I think we can do it nationally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Okay. Here to discuss the latest GOP feuds and what's happening on the democratic side, we have Jessica Washington of "The Root" and our political commentators Bakari Sellers and Scott Jennings. Great to have all of you, guys.
Okay, Scott, so, here is an interesting paradox about Ron DeSantis. His poll numbers have been flat, basically haven't budged for several weeks. And yet, his fundraising, he raised $20 million in the three weeks since he has announced. So, is there enthusiasm for him or not?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, there is enthusiasm for him, and he is in a different class than the rest of the people running. The problem is Trump's core hasn't moved. Let's just rough it out. Half the party wants to do Trump and half wants to do something else.
The half that wants to do something else, he has got the biggest chunk, but he hasn't been able to dispatch the other, you know, several people who got into the race. Having a war chest which also includes a bunch of money and a Super PAC and money they brought in from Florida, that should help him move some of these people along in theory.
But in my opinion, until he gets rid of some of them, it's just going to be hard to grow a market share while you got much of people taking out 1% to 8% each.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Jessica, one of the things that Ron DeSantis was saying that is a problem for Donald Trump is that you can't win with just Republican voters, he was saying. But he is attacking to the right of Donald Trump. And as you know, his campaign, his PAC, put out that anti-LGBTQ ad.
So, who does he think that he will be appealing to if he is moving to the right of Donald Trump? JESSICA WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: It's really hard to get in his head because you're right -- I mean, he is saying, you know, I -- I'm more anti-LGBTQ+ than Donald Trump. And then he is also saying, you can't just win with the base.
It almost seems just like a tactic for him because he has to say that. He doesn't have the base that Trump has. So, it is almost he has to say, well, Trump has just slim margin and he is never going to be able to make it because he only has republicans.
But if you look at DeSantis's base, it's, you know, inarguable that he doesn't have this kind of moderate swell that he would need.
JENNINGS: Well, in Florida, he absolutely had moderates and he had independents and he had a bunch of democrats and he did turn a lot of blue areas red. His argument is that he has turned a big purple state red, and I know you like to denigrate your people that he ran against down there. But --
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Chris's, not my people.
But go ahead.
JENNINGS: But it is inarguable that DeSantis had massive electoral success among constituencies that Republicans absolutely have to win. And Trump has never gotten more votes than a Democrat in his life. So, his argument is intellectually correct.
CAMEROTA: Okay. So, will that translate nationally?
SELLERS: No. And the reason it won't is because Ron DeSantis is the (INAUDIBLE). Right?
CAMEROTA: Go on.
SELLERS: That is exactly what he is. I think in two, three, four months, we are going to not even be discussing Ron DeSantis anymore. The problem is the more you get an opportunity to meet Ron DeSantis, the less voters like him. In Florida, he was able to run on policy recently. He was able to do an air drop campaign. It's a huge state. Florida is like three states in one. He was a great statewide candidate.
However, now, you have to go and do kind of retail politics in Iowa, retail politics in New Hampshire, retail politics in South Carolina. What they're realizing is Ron DeSantis is about 5'8". They're realizing that they don't really care for him that much (INAUDIBLE) personal skills. They are realizing that he is not a true fighter against Donald Trump. In order for someone to win this primary, they have to be big on the future of this country, i.e. Tim Scott, and they have to be someone of a bully, i.e. Chris Christie. And there is no combination of both.
That was profound.
CAMEROTA: I took a moment to marinate there.
JENNINGS: I mean, is your -- is your -- is your best argument against a candidate for president, his height?
SELLERS: No, Ron DeSantis is very, very short to be president of the United States.
JENNINGS: I mean, is that your argument about?
JENNINGS: Is Joe Biden -- I mean, why we are talking about --
SELLERS: We are really off the rails.
CAMEROTA: How tall is he?
JENNINGS: I'm just asking. I mean, you --
SELLERS: Probably 5'9".
JENNINGS: We've been on TV all day together. You keep referencing his height. Are you worried about his height or Joe Biden's age?
SELLERS: Oh, that's a tough one. But I will tell you this.
JENNINGS: That's -- I mean --
SELLERS: I don't know. But I will tell you this. I mean, when the field shakes out, I believe firmly --
SELLERS: -- that we will have two individuals that are close to 80 years old running for president of the United States. And I think that -- I think that Donald Trump is going to bully Roger Stone out of the nomination.
CAMEROTA: All right. Let's talk about what is happening on the democratic side. Jessica, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on "Pod Save America," the podcast today, and she said that Biden has her 2024 support. So, here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I think -- I think he has done quite well given the limitations that we have. I do think that there are ebbs and flows.
UNKNOWN: Will you be supporting Joe Biden for re-election?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: I believe given that feel, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So, what's interesting, Jessica, in February, she wouldn't say that. She would not say yes. She said, I'm going to see how the primary process plays out." So, what changed?
WASHINGTON: I think there is obviously no one stepping up to the plate to challenge Joe Biden. I think AOC is more of a (INAUDIBLE) than she is often given credit for. I think she has shown that she wants to work with the party. She wants a Democrat to be president. She realizes the existential threat of Trump.
So, I think she -- you know, she is saying, okay, obviously, Biden is going to be the nominee. There is no one else. And so, she is lining up behind him. I'm not that surprised by it.
CAMEROTA: RFK, Jr. has raised a lot of money. See, you're laughing. But he has raised a lot of money.
Three million within a three-day span at the end of the quarter and 6 million between April and June. Is it time for Democrats to take him seriously, Bakari?
SELLERS: Absolutely not. You know, it's just Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with social media. He is a caricature. He is -- you know, they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I mean, he rode off the orchard. He is not his uncle. He is not his father.
I'm not sure why he is running for president other than just some reason to build up his own self. I don't think that Joe Biden should pay attention to him. I don't think he should debate him. I think that he is a caricature. I think he will fade away.
CAMEROTA: Quickly, Scott.
JENNINGS: Cuddled by, created by, brought to you by the American left. RFK, Jr. is fully a product of the Democratic Party and American left.
SELLERS: That's not true.
JENNINGS: It's not?
SELLERS: Joe Rogan --
(LAUGHTER) Joe Rogan --
JENNINGS: I'm sorry.
SELLERS: Joe Rogan --
JENNINGS: It wasn't -- it wasn't -- it wasn't the Republican Party that brought this guy along for the last --
SELLERS: We don't want him.
JENNINGS: -- two or three decades.
SELLERS: You can have him.
CAMEROTA: All right, on that note --
JENNINGS: No, no, no. You can't give it away that easy. He's too -- he's too tall for us, Bakari.
CAMEROTA: You can tell it is a Friday night. You can tell it is a Friday night on the set. All right, thank you, on that note.
Okay, this next story is actually quite serious it impacts millions of us. Nearly half of the tap water in the U.S. is contaminated with -- quote -- "forever chemicals." This is according to an alarming news story. And Erin Brockovich is here next.
CAMEROTA: An alarming new study estimates that 47% of our tap water in the United States is contaminated with so-called "forever chemicals." The U.S. Geological Survey tested 700 locations across the country and found out how widespread these chemicals are. The EPA believes these chemicals are more hazardous than previously thought.
Joining me now to discuss is consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, who has sounded the alarm on this for years. Erin, thank you so much for being here. Such an important story. What are forever chemicals?
ERIN BROCKOVICH, CONSUMER ADVOCATE: Well, so, there are chemicals that you find, you know, PFOA, PFOS. You would know it as Teflon. You would know it as a plastic coating. You would know it as firefighting foam. You would know it as flame retardant that we use on our furniture children's night wear, uniforms, firemen gear. That is specifically what PFOS and PFOA chemicals are.
CAMEROTA: Okay. BROCKOVICH: And recently --
CAMEROTA: Yeah. I just -- what do they do to humans now we know?
BROCKOVICH: Oh, my gosh. Well, they create a lot of problems. They can cause or create eclampsia in pregnancy. They can cause testicular cancer. They can cause thyroid cancer. It can lead to liver problems. It can lead to higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure. It can lead to a plethora of diseases and cancers.
It is alarming because it took too long for us to study this chemical. It got into the marketplace decades ago. This is not something that showed up and happened yesterday. The companies have known. They have warned. There has been a lot of agency failures and a quick response to corral this chemical before it became widespread throughout our water system across the country.
CAMEROTA: Here is the map of hot spots where scientists found the highest concentration of these chemicals. So, it looks like the northeast corridor from Washington, Philadelphia, New York, also Cape Cod, as you can see on there, are particularly bad. But then it is scattered throughout the country. So, do we know why it's concentrated in those areas?
BROCKOVICH: Well, a lot of where industry went and where they were using it. So, we have been up in Maine a lot. Now, most people don't notice, almost the entire state of Maine and its water has been contaminated with this chemical.
It was found in the dairy milk. The USDA delayed about 18 months reporting that to the state. They have to -- the farmers had to go in and kill all their cattle. You cannot use it in milk. It has gotten into the food chain there. It has gotten into the eggs.
And part of the thing with PFOS and the PFOA, it is a family of chemicals of about 11,000 different chemicals. These are just four of them that we know of. But it follows protein. So, it gets into the food supply, which would be milk, cattle, beef, eggs and leafy greens. So, this chemical follows protein and we uptake it. So, we have (INAUDIBLE) with such a large groundwater contamination because it also entered our food chain.
CAMEROTA: So, Erin, what do we all do? How do we protect ourselves?
BROCKOVICH: Well, you know --
Well, this is a good start. A lot of people don't know about it because we don't talk about it. It isn't until it's something national that will really come to people's attention. But at a local level, they are doing a lot of things. In Maine and in Michigan, they are working with senators. They are getting statute of limitations extended because all of these farmers are looking for some type of recourse. The municipalities have been heavily impacted. The Biden administration does have about a trillion-dollar fund. It is called -- I believe Biden Bucks is how we referred to it, where these municipalities can go because they are going to have to put on very expensive filtration systems to keep this one chemical out of the water supply.
People need to know about their well water. They should have their well water tested. Some states will come out and do well systems for them. So, it's a matter of asking information or asking questions, getting a water report, working with your community, especially the farming community, and start knowing if in fact you do have PFOS in your water because you will need the appropriate filtration to keep it out of your water.
BROCKOVICH: And this is a situation, Alisyn, that has really just begun even though it has been in the system for decades because we haven't even begun to look at the sludge or wastewater, and we take a lot of that and apply it to farmlands, which is adding to the food contamination.
CAMEROTA: Well, it's really alarming. You said that most filters only remove taste and smell. They don't remove these "forever chemicals." The reverse osmosis, if you can afford it, is the way to go. It can cost anywhere between $750 and $7,500. So, everybody needs to just be aware of it and begin thinking of how they can keep themselves safe.
Erin, we could talk about it for hours. I'm sorry that we are out of time, but we will have you back. I really appreciate you sounding the alarm on all this for us.
BROCKOVICH: Thank you for having me. I hate to be a downer on this, but this is a big issue that's not only going to affect all America but globally as well. I can't think of anything more important than the protection and the safety of our drinking water.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. I agree. Thank you for being here. I really appreciate it.
More climate and earth news. The earth has broken global temperature records virtually every day this week. And our next guest has studied climate change for years and has two important suggestions for what we can do now.
CAMEROTA: Global temperature records were shattered this week. One scientist tells CNN that this week's temperatures are probably the warmest in -- quote -- "at least 100,000 years."
Monday's global temperature average beat the last from 2016, then Tuesday set a new record on top of that, and Thursday's temperatures marked the hottest in recorded history.
Scientists say temperatures are in overdrive this month. Thanks to a combination of the natural climate phenomenon called el nino and human caused global warming.
Joining me now is Monica Medina, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society that works to address the world's climate crisis. Monica, thank you so much for being here. It's hard not to feel powerless as we watch the earth burn around us. On June 6th, New York City, as you know, was among the top places for the worst, most dangerous air quality on earth because of wildfires in Canada. So, do we need to be prepared for more days like that ahead?
MONICA MEDINA, PRESIDENT AND CEO, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY: We absolutely do. Thank you so much for having me on tonight, Alisyn, and thanks for this back-to-back segment on environmental issues. They're so important to our health and to our future.
Yes, we absolutely need to be prepared for more of the same. In fact, we've had -- the five of the last eight years have been the hottest on record. So, it's not just the last four days. It's years of increasing heat.
And we know that heat is deadly. It's something that we need to take seriously just like those bad air days last week and the weeks before that, in New York City and all over the East Coast, as far west to Chicago and as far east from us is Europe. So, we know that this is what we're facing and we have to adapt. We can adapt. I think --
CAMEROTA: So, let's talk about that because I do -- I mean, Monica, sorry to interrupt. I just think that sometimes, people turn away from these segments and this topic because it feels so overwhelming and we feel so powerless. So, I was hearted to read that you have suggestions. We can still do things. It's not too late. And so, what do we do to adapt now?
MEDINA: I think it is definitely not too late. We cannot give up. We don't have any choice but to adapt. And we've always understood that change happens, but so does progress happen. And that's why we need to keep going with our energy transition, and we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.
But the other big thing that we can do, this is what we're really working on at Wildlife Conservation Society, is to conserve nature all over the world.
The most effective carbon sinks we have right now, our trees, our nature and wild places, intact force and places like the Amazon and the Congo places where we work today to conserve nature and biodiversity as those natural barriers and defenses to what we see as this incredible warming, whether it's trees and cities and planting trees in cities like we're doing here in the U.S. with some of the new climate legislation that was passed by Congress, or whether it's preserving intact forests.
There's a lot we can do with what we have today. And then if we lean into technology, things like clean energy, new ways of transporting ourselves. Just this week, the world -- the International Maritime Organization has improved shipping -- has set goals to improve shipping emissions. So, we know that we can do this. We just have to keep trying.
CAMEROTA: And we only have about 30 seconds left, Monica. What can individuals do today?
MEDINA: What individuals can do today is mobilize for political action, I think, to continue to lean in to these new efficient cars, new and more efficient energy technologies, supporting wind, solar, all of the transitions, and supporting conserving nature and biodiversity everywhere that we can around the world.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Great advice. Monica Medina, thank you very much. It's really nice not to feel hopeless about it as we watch everything that's certainly been happening this week.
Thanks for coming on.
MEDINA: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Okay. There's been a slew of shark bites off the coast of New York and it has officials trying something new this weekend. So, next, I'll speak to an expert who gets up close and personal with sharks. This is him -- about how we stop this.
CAMEROTA: Beachgoers in the New York area are on high alert after five people were bitten by sharks in a 24-hour period this week. One 15-year-old boy described his experience on Long Island.
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PETER BANCULLI, BITTEN BY A SHARK: My first reaction to when the shark grabbed my foot was to immediately get out the water and get help.
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CAMEROTA: Now, officials are trying something new. They will use drones in addition to lifeguards to scour (ph) the water for predators. Let us bring in "Shark Week" expert and wildlife biologist Forrest Galante.
Forrest, thanks for being here. So, there is this website I'm sure you know, trackingsharks.com. They say the number of suspected shark bites this summer has already surpassed last year's total. Why are sharks biting us more?
FORREST GALANTE, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: Well, specifically in the northeast, Alisyn, what's going on is there have been increased bunker regulations, which is a small species of bait fish, and as that fishery has rebounded from near collapse, what that has done is brought in a whole lot more predators. So, we are seeing more dolphins, more whales and, of course, more sharks. So, with more sharks comes a higher likelihood of an encounter with a shark and occasionally, those encounters happen to be negative.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Thank you. That is really helpful in explaining what is going on. So, do you think that the plan for using drones to spot sharks before they can bite swimmers will work?
GALANTE: I absolutely do. I mean, I think that it would take a lot of drone coverage at all times, which is something that's very difficult to implement. That being said, you know, my team and I use drones all the time to monitor sharks up and down beaches and especially in shallow areas where you don't necessarily need to know what the species of shark is. As long as you can make out the outline, you can use a drone to fly overhead and look for those sharks.
But honestly, the better methodology is to be a safe beachgoer and a safe swimmer and make smart choices when vising the beach so that you avoid an encounter in the first place.
CAMEROTA: Well, like what? What am I supposed to do when I go to the beach?
GALANTE: Good question. There is a couple of things that you can consider. First of all is not swimming where people are cutting up fish or cleaning their catch if they have been fishing, not swimming near river mounts where water is typically dirtier and sharks are hunting. Sharks are crepuscular, which means they hunt during dusk and dawn. So, choosing to avoid swimming during those times is a good idea.
And then, of course, if you do encounter a shark, just stay calm because that panic, that splashing, that's what leads to the case of mistaken identity which sharks are biting people. These are not attacks. These are cases of mistaken identity. They see a hand flashing in the murk or a foot in the sand, they think, oh, a nice and juicy fish, take a bite and go yuck, that is not a fish, and let people go.
CAMEROTA: Let's watch what happens when you encounter a shark because you study sharks for a living. We have this clip of you freediving to get up close and personal with, I believe, a bull shark. So, let's watch this and listen for a minute.
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GALANTE (voice-over): This is our best shot. Now, if I can just get her to come check me out. Probably weighing close to 2,000 pounds, this hungry mama nearly knocks me over.
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CAMEROTA: That's awesome. Should we all do that? Just grab the shark by the snout when it comes up to us? Is that what we should do?
GALANTE: Definitely. Do everything you see on TV, you know, regardless of your experience level. No, of course not. Don't go swim with giant tiger sharks or pushing any sharks on the nose like I did there. That takes years of training, years of understanding the animals. We were there collecting samples.
That shark, as you saw, came to me. I wasn't going to hurt or push her around. I had to just sort of stop her pushing me over. So, don't do that. You know, if you want to get bitten, that's a very good way to do it. So, I don't recommend trying to fiddle with sharks. Instead, I recommend very responsible and safe visiting of beaches and oceans, and the likelihood of a shark encounter is very, very minimal.
CAMEROTA: All right, Forrest, thank you very much. Thanks for the tips. I will be avoiding the ocean at dusk and dawn. Thanks for all of that and thanks for sharing the great video with us. Have a great weekend.
GALANTE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Well, the July 3rd mass shooting in Philadelphia has drawn national attention. But for one anti-violence advocate, it hit very close to home. The 2022 CNN hero Tyrique Glasgow has been working for a decade to make his south Philly neighborhood safer, building bridges with the police and providing critical support to hundreds of residents. Now, the loss of more loved ones has made him even more determined to keep pushing for positive change.
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TYRIQUE GLASGOW, 2022 CNN HERO: The reality of, you know, just hearing gunshots is (INAUDIBLE).
The family members and friends that I've lost is countless. I knew two of the victims. My cousin, he always looked out for me growing up. (INAUDIBLE) is what our organization is about. He wasn't a young man (INAUDIBLE) carrying gun. He was one of the young men who wanted to do right. And to have, you know, him taken away senselessly, I was hurt.
We need to provide a table of resources instead of having this table of grief. Today, we started our summer camp and working with the kids, having a safe place for our children.
Which should we color?
That's when we try to do our best. Our community engagement center helps us, you know, really provide those essential to quality of life. There are small acts that really changed the community's trajectory. I believe that's how we grow as a community, lifting each other up. It allows me to keep going forward.
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CAMEROTA: And you can find out more about Tyrique's work and nominate your own CNN hero at cnnheroes.com. Nominations close July 31st.
Thanks so much for watching CNN TONIGHT. Our coverage continues now.