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Trump Documents Judge Wants To Discuss Trial Date; A Top Investigator Calls The Alleged Suspect A "Demon"; Alisyn Camerota Interviews Larry Hogan; United States Faces Extreme Heat. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired July 17, 2023 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: A potential case of wrong place, wrong time. An Arizona woman is in the hospital tonight after a bison charged her in Yellowstone National Park. We are told she and another woman tried walking away after seeing the bison, but she was injured significantly when the bison gored her.

Alisyn Camerota, as I hand it off to you, wow! Can you imagine? I know you can't, but can you imagine?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Well, that's awful, Laura. What are you supposed to do when you see a bison if not ease away slowly? What -- what is the answer? That's basically what I need to know.

COATES: Do you think I know?


CAMEROTA: Yeah. Okay --

COATES: I watch National Geographic with popcorn on my lap. Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: Got it. Roger that. All right, well, we will find out and alert everyone tomorrow night. Laura, great to see you.

COATES: Nice to see you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to "CNN Tonight."

An investigator on the Gilgo Beach serial killing case calls the suspect a -- quote -- "demon." Tonight, a flood of new evidence. But why did it take detectives more than a decade to put it together? Local reporters and our John Miller are here to tell us.

And 80 million Americans under heat alerts. How long can humans live in 125-degree temperatures? CNN's Bill Weir is with us to explain what our leaders need to do now. And tonight, we are learning more about what Donald Trump plans to do if he is reelected in 2024. It involves completely reshaping the power of the presidency. One of his former staffers tell us what that means.

But first, Donald Trump has to deal with the various court cases and investigations that he is at the center of. The DOJ and team Trump go back to court tomorrow to hammer out a trial date for his mishandling of classified documents. Here's what Donald Trump said Sunday about the judge in that case, the one that he appointed.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know it's a very highly respected judge, a very smart judge, and a very strong judge.


TRUMP: I did, and I'm very proud to have appointed her. But she's very smart and very strong and loves our country. I mean, loves our country. We need judges that love our country so they do the right thing.


CAMEROTA: So, let's begin there with tomorrow's news tonight. The judge in the case, Aileen Cannon, is telling both sides to be ready to discuss a trial date when they appear in her courtroom tomorrow. The DOJ wants this trial to happen fast. Team trump hopes to delay a trial until after the primaries or even after the presidential election. So, who will be the judge side with?

Let's bring in David Schoen, who is President Trump's defense lawyer in his second impeachment trial and was also approached by team Trump about handling in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case but declined to do so. Also joining us, criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson. Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here.

Okay, so, that soundbite that we just played, tell me, Joey, just telling the judge, she is so smart, she is so strong, she loves the country, are judges susceptible to flattery? I mean, does that affect -- could that affect a judge's judgment?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Listen, I think everyone is somewhat susceptible to flattery, to be fair, but federal judges like other judges, I mean, they are supposed to be about the law. Now, we do know, Alisyn, that there have been some issues as it relates to this judge based upon prior rulings that were favorable to Mr. Trump. Ultimately, an appellate panel dealt with that issue involving the special master. I digress.

CAMEROTA: But they were overturned, which is -- so, in other words, her judgement, people felt that she was siding with team Trump and then an appellate panel overturned.

JACKSON: Unanimously. Two of those judges in the appellate panel were appointed by Mr. Trump. I think that significant. I think judges have to be about the law.

The only way for our system to work is not for judges to be influenced by any type of flattery but to be influenced by what does the Constitution say, what do statutes regulate and rules say, and most importantly, what does a federal indictment say and what they're going to be doing here.

And so, I think this is what this will center around. It will center around specifically tomorrow the issue that you mentioned in terms of what is an appropriate trial date, hearing things from both sides, Trump wanting to extend it, move it on perhaps until after the presidential election. Department of Justice saying, no, we need to do this now.

I think this also some other significant issues concerning classified documents, how they're handled, how the jury handles them, how they're processed, what the public gets to see.

CAMEROTA: And we will get to those in a second.


CAMEROTA: But David, in terms of the date, as I said, the DOJ wants it to happen soon. They're asking for a mid-December trial date. And team Trump has reasons to want to delay it and push it past the primaries, maybe even past the presidential election.


So, which one do you think that Judge Cannon will side with just given what is customary?

DAVID SCHOEN, TRUMP'S DEFENSE LAWYER IN SECOND IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Well, what is customary, I think, is what they call, you know, split the baby. I think that the date the government has in mind is an aggressive date. It's certainly shorter than normal in a federal criminal case, even in an ordinary case.

But I think -- you know, I think it is going to be somewhere in between. I'm not sure it should be a function of the election although I think that's important to the American people. I think the real issues here are the value of discovery, the Classified Information Procedures Act, issues that complicate things extraordinarily, and motions practice in this case.

You know, the special prosecutor said that it's really not a novel case, it's a very simple case. I don't think that is fair. We've never really encountered the tension between a former president and his view of documents and the Espionage Act. So, there is certainly novel issues however one resolves them.

CAMEROTA: But David, just to be clear, you don't think that the timing of the presidential election should play into this? I mean, as it gets closer to November 2024, isn't that a factor?

SCHOEN: Sure. No, I think it's definitely a factor. It's politically a factor. But, you know, my focus generally in cases is on, you know, sort of what the real mechanism is about moving forward. There is a Speedy Trial Act. I think that in the interest of the American people, it should be after the election.

But I think that tomorrow, a focus is going to be on the real nuts and bolts of this case and how that drives the date. I think that's -- it is extraordinary. You know, you're talking about 57 terabytes of images at least so far.

We say normally the Library of Congress print collection is 10 terabytes of data. It is not really fair to compare data and images. Maybe it is more than that. But this is a whole lot of information, 833,000 pages so far to review. Its' not -- it wouldn't be normal to put that to trial within six months.

CAMEROTA: That is -- those are some sobering numbers that you just threw at us. But Joey, back to why this is so delicate a case. So, in terms of even the discovery, even having to present --


CAMEROTA: -- to the other side the materials that you are talking about, unless you have security clearances, you can't --

JACKSON: Can't get access.

CAMEROTA: -- show them the classified and top-secret documents. And does Donald Trump still have those security clearances? I know Walt Nauta does not as a codefendant?

JACKSON: Yeah. I think what's important is whether the lawyers who are accessing the information have the requisite security clearances and are able to evaluate the information.

It's an interesting question, Alisyn, because certainly, cases are governed by the ability for the defense attorneys to dissect the discovery, evaluate it, make determinations upon how they can use it to their client's advantage for prosecutors to share that discovery with them here. There's more complication because that's classified information.

But now, you have this interesting balance about whether or not the judge should take in to account a presidential election, and I'm torn on it for the following reasons.

On the one hand, I mean, trial should proceed in accordance with the schedule that's appropriate for everyone to evaluate and be prepared. On the other hand, you don't want the public to lose trust of the system.

Critical to our legal system although it should be apolitical, should be apolitical, is people buying in. Will they buy in if the judge says nothing to see here, keep moving forward, forget about the presidential election? It has to factor into some degree the extent to which it factors in as an open question. I just think it should -- the judge should be too differential to that process but should be deferential to the process of making sure everyone is fully prepared to move forward on a date certain. That should be the criteria.

CAMEROTA: Joey, David, thank you both very much. We'll be watching very closely what happens tomorrow in court.

Let's bring in now former Trump White House deputy secretary Sarah Matthews. Sarah, great to see you. I don't know if you've heard that soundbite that we played at the beginning of former President Trump complimenting Judge Cannon. She's so strong, she loves the country so much, she is so smart.

I know that we've heard and do things like this. This is a device that he sometimes uses when he wants to curry favor with someone or manipulate them. How did you hear that?

SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Exactly what you said. It sounds like he's heaping praise on her in hopes that she will rule in his favor tomorrow. I think this just goes to show that Trump is all about loyalty. He thinks that this judge owes him something because he put her in this position. So, therefore, in his eyes, she should rule in his favor.

I believe in that same interview, he even said something along the lines that she should -- quote -- "do the right thing" or "people who love this country do the right thing." He went on to say that she loves our country.

And so, it just goes to show he's kind of putting out this thinly- veiled threat of wanting her to -- quote -- "do the right thing" tomorrow. And I think that hopefully she is going to ignore that and do what's best for the case.


CAMEROTA: Sarah, there was this really interesting "New York Times" article about what Donald Trump and his team are planning if he were to win the primary and then win the presidential election in 2024. And basically, it's to consolidate presidential power.

He, you know, didn't feel basically that he was powerful enough last time around and had to share it with other branches -- power with other branches of government, and he would try to change that.

Here are some of the things that they focused on. These are actual plans. I mean, this is -- they are not -- they are not running away from this reporting.

This is what they say they want to do. Bring independent agencies like the FTC, the FCC under presidential control. Refuse to spend money that Congress has appropriated for certain programs that Donald Trump doesn't like. That practice was banned under President Richard Nixon, by the way. Strip -- basically allow -- scour the intelligence agencies and the State Department and other defense agencies to remove some of Donald Trump's perceived enemies.

What do you make of those plans?

MATTHEWS: You know, I've been sounding the alarm for a long time that I think that Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy. I resigned on January 6 because I was so disgusted with his lack of action that day and his lies about the election.

And I think that this just goes to show that he wants to erode our democracy, he wants to do away with our system of checks and balances, and he wants to consolidate power and essentially have a dictatorship.

Donald Trump is not running his 2024 campaign to empower Americans. He just wants more power for himself if he were to become president ever again.

And so, my hope is that he will never have that chance and that either someone will beat him in a nominating context and either Republican nominee. Obviously, that doesn't look to be the case right now. He is the front runner and that is really concerning to me.

CAMEROTA: And Sarah, people like you and Alyssa Farah Griffin and Stephanie Grisham have spoken out about having a breaking point and leaving and never wanting to work in those conditions again for Donald Trump.

But other people are still with him. Who -- how hard would it be do you think if he were to win for him to assemble a staff and get people to go along with him?

MATTHEWS: I think that I get asked that question a lot in terms of, you know, how did you work for Donald Trump back in, you know, his first administration because I wanted people of good character like myself, like Stephanie Grisham and Alyssa Farah Griffin to be surrounding him, people who would give him good, solid advice.

And what I'm most worried about and what we saw at the end of his administration was that he stopped listening to people who weren't telling him what he wanted to hear, and he started listening to people who are feeding into his worst instincts.

That is my worry as well if he were to ever win the presidency again, is that the folks that will be surrounding him would not be people of good character. I think a lot of the folks who are sticking by his side aren't doing so in the best interest of our country. I think they're doing so in the best interest of their own careers.

CAMEROTA: Sarah Matthews, great to talk to you. Thank so much for being here tonight.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: A new flood of evidence in the Gilgo Beach serial killer case, including a doll reportedly found in the suspect's house and hundreds of guns. We'll break down everything we learned today about this case and why police thought the suspect was getting ready to strike again.



CAMEROTA: Investigators are finding a ton of evidence in the Gilgo Beach serial killings on Long Island. A source tells CNN that officials found between 200 and 300 firearms in a walled off vault behind a locked metal door in the suspect's basement.

Fifty-nine-year-old Rex Heuermann was arrested and charged with murder in these killings -- the killings of three of the women whose remains were unearthed near Long Island's Gilgo Beach in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the killings of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello.


ANTHONY CARTER, SUFFOLK COUNTY DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: I can't begin to imagine the pain that these families have had to endure over the last decade and to know that this demon was capable of doing such deep evil acts to these families. It is just beyond comprehension.


CAMEROTA: The suspect reportedly had only one question at jail after being arrested last week. He said -- quote -- "Is it in the news?" This is according to a source there.

Joining me now is Anthony DeStefano. He is a legal affairs and criminal justice reporter for "Newsday" on Long Island. Also, CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller is here. And Alexis Linkletter, host of "Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer" on our sister Network, ID. Great to have all of you.

John, why did it take 10 years to come up? Now, evidence is coming to the fore. Police say that they're gathering all sorts of new evidence. Why did it take more than a decade to put all of this together?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: You know, the Suffolk County Police homicide detectives worked on this for a long time and used every tool at their disposal. They got the FBI to come in and do a profile. They did some telephone work for the Suffolk County Police.

But when the new commissioner came in, Rodney Harrison, who was the chief of detectives at the NYPD and then chief of department, he took over the Suffolk County. He said, let's bring everybody in. Let's bring in the state police. They have unique abilities. Let's bring in the sheriff. They have accessed the people in prison, informants, and so on. Let's bring in the FBI, and they formed a task force.


And then using all of those capabilities, they literally broke it down to let's start with the phone work. We know the bad guy had a phone and that he called the victims' families and that he, you know, made other calls. And they found out from that to say, who can we compare? Who calls from these two locations, too? We have one witness who gave us a description. Let's look for people --

CAMEROTA: A description -- there was a witness who --

MILLER: Physical description.

CAMEROTA: A physical description of him or the car that he was driving?

MILLER: Both. So, what do we got? We got three things. We have a description of a guy. We have a description of a car. And we have -- and we have, you know --

CAMEROTA: The burner phones.

MILLER: The burner phones.


MILLER: Can we put a burner phone in that car or a burner phone and that person together? And then a state police investigator running the car in a different way through different databases finds a green pickup truck that matches to the person who lives within that box (ph). And then the burner phones and the rest, as they say, is history. The DNA, of course, closing the loop.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. So, Anthony, I know that you've been talking to some of the neighbors in where this guy, Rex Heuermann, is from, his neighborhood. What did they say about him?

ANTHONY DESTEFANO, LEGAL AFFAIRS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORTER, NEWSDAY: They were, of course, very surprised, very stunned, very shocked. They thought he was just sort of an average Joe, a little sort of quirky in the neighborhood. The house was not very kept -- kept very well. He is a bit eccentric.

CAMEROTA: Which is a little strange for an architecture --

DESTEFANO: Of course, yeah.

CAMEROTA: -- an architectural consultant.

DESTEFANO: You would think he would be more compulsive about appearances and structures. But it wasn't that way.

CAMEROTA: But did they say -- I've read some reports that he was at times combative. Do you -- did you hear that from everyone?

DESTEFANO: I've read those reports as well, yeah.

CAMEROTA: So not the nice guy in the neighborhood?

DESTEFANO: No. He didn't even look as a nice guy. He may not have been that communicative but he was -- had that sort of big doughy look and people sort of thought that he was a little intimidating.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I did read that. Some people thought that he was a menacing. Maybe even beyond just his stature. So, Alexis, you know, I know that lots of people had tried to crack this case and tried to profile who it might be. And so, did anybody get close?

ALEXIS LINKLETTER, HOST, ID'S "UNRAVELED: LONG ISLAND SERIAL KILLER": No, nobody got close. And I think what's really frustrating about this entire thing and how it has unfolded is that none of this evidence that they have is new. This is all evidence we've had since 2010, and it begs the question of why did it take 13 years to get here.

It just calls into question the previous administration that was in control of the case in 2010. And we know the police chief at that time was corrupt. He ended up in jail, so did the D.A., James Burke and Thomas Spota. And it is frustrating. Had they done their jobs, these families of these victims could have suffered a lot less time. It's just very frustrating.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. John, there were other bodies, as you know, found in the same vicinity. Is there any reason other than location to believe that it is the same suspect? Does it have some of the same telltale signs?

MILLER: So, some of those cases they're looking at, one of them is an infant, a toddler. So, that is kind of the one that doesn't fit with the rest of the pieces.

CAMEROTA: And one is a man.

MILLER: And one is a man. But you really have to ask this question, right? Ali, it's -- how many people were using that same stretch of road as a burial ground for murder victims? It is not common for serial killers or other offenders to kind of have a joint burial ground.

On the other hand, it's a very dense area. There are few deserted areas around. This is one of them. But they are -- now they have an advantage which is that they have a house full of forensic evidence that they're collecting from and the storage area beyond that. And perhaps, other locations to be found and what they were able to take from him based on a search warrant for DNA and hair. So, there will be a lot more things to compare to maybe bring those cases together.

CAMEROTA: Friends, thank you very much. We appreciate all of your expertise in this. This is obviously not the last time we'll be talking about this story. We're just getting started basically with this.

Okay, what does Maryland's former governor, Larry Hogan, think about a third party run for 2024? He's here, and he'll answer, next.


[23:25:00] CAMEROTA: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is teasing that he could enter the presidential race as a third-party candidate. The speculation growing at an event for the centrist nonpartisan group "No Labels" today. Manchin insists he will not be a spoiler, but plenty of Democrats disagree.

Joining me now is former Maryland governor, Larry Hogan. He is also the national co-chair for "No Labels." Governor, great to have you.

LARRY HOGAN, FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: Great to be with you. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So, let's talk about third-party, third parties and third- party candidates. That it's a very appealing, I think, idea to lots of Americans. It's very tempting. It comes up. As you know, every four years, people think, wouldn't it be great to have another option? But in reality, explain how the math works, particularly for 2024.

HOGAN: Sure. Well, the math usually doesn't work and rarely ever has worked. But I think we're in a very unique moment in time where an overwhelming majority of Americans really don't like the two potential choices that it looks like they may be faced with.


In fact, 70% of the people in America do not want a rematch of 2020. They don't want Biden and Trump to be the next president. And so, I get it. It is a tall order. But the efforts of "No Labels" today is really about laying out a commonsense bipartisan agenda and trying to get people to be willing to work together, reach across the aisle to come up with, you know, real solutions. And that's the basic part of it.

But look, if most people do not want candidate A and candidate B, it may open up. Certainly, there is no guarantee of it. But the thought is that there may have to be an insurance policy in case of emergency break glassware where we offer the American people another choice.

CAMEROTA: Well, that interesting because I have heard you talk about this emergency break glass scenario. And do you consider in terms of let's say your own possible run, do you consider the leading Republican candidate having been twice indicted and various other investigations swirling around him, would you consider that a break glass moment?

HOGAN: Well, if Trump were to be the nominee, that certainly would be a break glass moment. I'm still focusing my efforts, and I have been for many years now of trying to get the Republican Party to move in a different direction.

I am still hopeful that we can find a strong candidate that can challenge him, that can win the nomination, and go on to win the election in November. It doesn't seem like that's going to happen today. But we're a long way off and, you know, years of eternity in politics, and we'll be looking at what happens in the primaries next spring.

CAMEROTA: Have you ruled out a run?

HOGAN: What is that?

CAMEROTA: Have you ruled out a run?

HOGAN: Well, I made the decision back in the spring to not seek the republican nomination. I have not completely ruled out the possibility of this. It's not something I'm focused on. It is not something I'm really giving a lot of serious consideration to.

But look, if we get to the point where someone has got to have the courage to put the country first, they are talking about potentially putting a unity ticket where Republican a Democrat would say, you know what, for the good of the country, we are going to run together. And it's not something that I'm actually given a lot of thought to, but I haven't ruled it out.

CAMEROTA: In terms of the math, as you know, President Trump lost some pivotal battleground states like Georgia, Arizona, I think Wisconsin, by a very slim margin, something like 44,000 votes. So, how can a third party being so new not be a spoiler if that were, again, the case?

HOGAN: Well, I can tell you that there is not a soul in the "No Labels" organization that has any intention of being a spoiler. I certainly would not do anything to try to tip the election in Donald Trump's favor. I don't think Joe Manchin or Joe Liberman or any of the other people involved would do it either.

But look, right now, 70% do not want Biden or Trump. Fifty-nine percent have said that they would consider a third alternative. Forty- nine percent of the people in the country are registered independent. And a new poll came out today that really -- it showed that 33% say that they would vote for Trump, 32% say Biden, and 31% say that they would vote for neither.

So, it's not being a spoiler. It's about -- this group is only interested in running if we could actually win and bring the country together.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about an interview that our Kaitlan Collins just did, and that was with Georgia governor, Brian Kemp. As you know, he was no fan of the way Donald Trump conducted himself after he lost the 2020 election. But he says that he would vote for Donald Trump again if he is the GOP nominee.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I just think it might surprise some people that you would work to help get him elected given your history with him.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): Well, I would ask a lot of people. I may not -- you know, I have people that say, you know, I just can't go there and do that. But, you know, I am thinking of the next president is going to be picking probably another Supreme Court justice and judges on the Court of Appeals and federal judgeships and, you know, dealing with those in our military and standing up to our adversaries around the world. Who would you want to be your president?


CAMEROTA: What do you think of that logic?

HOGAN: Well, look, Brian Kemp is a good friend and somebody I admire. I was really involved in trying to help him and make sure he won that primary when Donald Trump was trying to, you know, oppose him. I don't begrudge him for having that opinion. He's certainly entitled to that.

There are a lot of people in the Republican Party that would vote for Trump if he was the nominee. I don't have to be one of them.


I mean, I just don't -- I think he has disqualified himself from being our next president.

CAMEROTA: Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, thank you very much for your time. Great to talk to you tonight.

HOGAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And it's not just Governor Hogan who would consider a third party run in 2024. One Democratic senator is also -- we will tell you what Senator Joe Manchin just said.


CAMEROTA: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin playing coy about a third- party presidential campaign. But what he's not coy about, his thoughts on the far-left influence on the White House.



SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I think he has been pushed too far left. He knows that. And we're still friends. We can talk. I just think that basically, in a lot of the ways they're interpreting and trying to implement pieces of legislation, they never had the intent of what they're trying to do to make something that was in past.

So, we have our differences. We have the ability to dialogue and to talk about it. But I think he has been pushed too far to the left. I don't think that's his -- who he is as a person. And I think that he has the strength to fight back. And he will. We'll see.


CAMEROTA: Okay, let's discuss this and so much more with Rolling Stone columnist Jay Michaelson, pollster Lee Carter, and CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Great to have all of you.

Lee, let's talk about this possible third party run for whomever, okay? So, we just had Governor Larry Hogan on from -- formerly of Maryland, and he did the math. He sorts of presented a compelling case that a third of the country doesn't want either Democrats or Republicans, so why not a third-party candidate? You are a number cruncher. Can it work?

LEE CARTER, POLLSTER: No. I don't think it can because really, as much as we have about 40% of Americans who say that they're independents, they're really not independents. We are mostly aligned with one or the other. We might disagree on a certain issue, we might not like labels, but at the end of the day, it's really hard to go to a third party, especially when third-party candidates are as uninspiring, I think, as the ones that we're looking at right now. I don't think that they're really are the kinds of people you can keep your eyes off of, who are going to give you that kind of energy, who are going to stand for something that's going to change your mind that much. I just -- I don't see it happening.

CAMEROTA: Ron? I know --


CAMEROTA: But why? Why could it never work?

BROWNSTEIN: It can't work largely because of the electoral college. Even if you can draw an audience, as Ross Perot did in 1992 and he won about 20% of the vote, he didn't win a single state because so much -- so many states now tilt so strongly toward one side or the other.

Alisyn, 40 states have voted the same way in the past four presidential elections. That's a higher percentage of states voting the same way than even in the four elections that Franklin Roosevelt won consecutively.

There simply is no path to 270 electoral college votes for a third- party cand0idate, and that means the only thing they can do is tip the election towards one side of the other.

Given the fact that Donald Trump has never gotten past 40% of the vote, the odds are very high that if he is a serious third-party candidate and he is a Republican nominee, he is the one who would be the most advantaged by it no matter who the candidate is.

CAMEROTA: But Jay, as I was telling Governor Hogan, it is -- people are tempted by it. People are -- you know, voters are fickle and people often say, if only there were another way, there were a third party. And so, it is just the system that's preventing it from happening. And, for instance, RFK, Jr., he is getting like 20% in the polls. People are intrigued when somebody breaks the mold.

JAY MICHAELSON, RABBI, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE: Well, President Biden is not a popular incumbent right now. So, there a lot specific to this cycle. But I think the previous comment is really important. This is a great time to talk about the anti-democratic, small D, democratic nature of the electoral college.

My friend, Jesse Wegman of "The New York Times," wrote a wonderful book about let's abolish the -- let the people vote which abolish the electoral college. This is one of the many ways in which the electoral college freezes into place the system that does not meet most Americans where they are.

But it is true. You know, I was even listening to Governor Hogan's comments earlier. When push comes to shove, there are issues that just divide Republicans and Democrats, the ideology of Supreme Court justices and federal judges.

You know, I certainly don't think that Joe Manchin, who almost stops the most important climate change legislation in this country, speaks for the center of America which is concerned about climate change and doesn't want somebody, you know, in such close relationship with the coal industry to be leading this country.

You know, when push comes to shove, there are kinds of these defining issues. In addition to the electoral college, I agree that it is just very difficult. People say they flirt with third-party candidates, but ultimately, they come down, you know, where they come down.

CAMEROTA: Let us talk about RFK, Jr. for a moment. He has caused controversy. The "New York Post" has a video of him making a claim about COVID-19. He says in part -- quote -- "In fact, COVID-19, there's an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese."

And yet, as we've talked about, his polling higher than a lot of the other candidates.

CARTER: Yeah, I mean, it's somewhat shocking that he's doing as well as he is up until this moment, especially if you look at some of his track record when it comes to vaccines, some of the things that he said. He is pretty far out there.

So, it was only a question of time, I think, before he stepped into something. This one, I think, it's going to be really hard for him to step out of. His entire family is basically on social media right now distancing themselves from him. He's trying to say that this has been taken out of context. The question was asked of me. This is what I said.

But I think it's going to be an issue for him. I don't think he was a real threat to begin with, but I think he just points to the fact that there is an appetite for somebody besides Joe Biden and there's an appetite for somebody who's going to bring up some different kinds of ideas out there.


CAMEROTA: Rabbi Michaelson, your thoughts?

MICHAELSON: Yeah. You know, it's often said that as soon as someone wades into conspiracy swamp, they're eventually going to end up with antisemitism, and that happened here. Right?

This is -- antisemitism is one of the oldest conspiracy theories in our civilization, that there is a cabal of people secretly controlling the world. And when you enter into these kinds of nonfactual, free associated conspiracy theories, eventually, yeah, you would encounter the (INAUDIBLE) conspiracy theory.

And so, you know, as a rabbi, of course, this is deeply offensive. It is fine to kind of make fun of our (INAUDIBLE) to a certain extent, but this is not funny. Right? Lee and I were talking before. We know people in the Jewish community who got very ill with COVID very early on where in New Rochelle in New York, one of the major first sites of outbreak, was centered around the Orthodox Jewish community there.

And so, the idea at that time, Jews were accused of spreading the plague. Now, we are somehow immune from the plague. And this is one of the oldest antisemitic themes in the book and is absolutely reprehensible.

CAMEROTA: Friends, thank you very much. Ron, I owe you one. Thank you as well. Really appreciate you guys being here tonight.

We have a CNN exclusive. Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is going to join Jake Tapper one-on-one on the campaign trail. This interview begins at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow on CNN.

All right, check this out. You're looking at tourists flocking to the flaming mountains in China where on Sunday, temperatures reached 176 degrees. Bill Weir is here with me to tell us what is going on with the extreme heat and what our leaders can do.



CAMEROTA: Close to 80 million Americans under heat alerts today, especially in the southwest where temperatures have been dangerously hot for 38 consecutive days. The heat continues to break records. Listen to this: More than 1,500 places in the U.S. have experienced record high temperatures so far this month.

Phoenix may be the hottest. The city just suffered its 18th consecutive day at 110 degrees or higher. And the heat is on worldwide. China set an all-time national high temperature yesterday at 126 degrees. And a top climate group is warning of worldwide -- quote -- "heat hell."

What can we do about all this before it's too late? Our chief climate correspondent Bill Weir joins me now. Okay, Bill, let's talk about why we're in this mess.


CAMEROTA: I know that there are a couple of factors. One of them is El Nino. So, explain what that is and once that passes, can we go back to some level of normality?


WEIR: You'd like to hope, right?

CAMEROTA: I would like to.

WEIR: Well, there is La Nina, which is sort of a natural air conditioning in the oceans. And then there is El Nino, which is the opposite, a heating phenomenon, and it cycles every two or four years between the two.

And the oceans have been covering a multitude of our sins for a long time. If you imagine heating up a cool bathtub with one kettle at a time of boiling water, you're not going to feel it for the way you would if you splash it on your foot. Right?

And so, the oceans have been absorbing this, hiding it really from us, the full extent of it, and then when La Nina is replaced by El Nino, boom, we are seeing these records.

And so, these heat domes, these blobs that we are now experiencing on land, that has been going around the ocean. But now, it has spread out so much that by September, the prediction is half of the world's oceans will be in a category three or four on a scale of five marine heat wave. So, half of the planet, of our watery planet, will be overheating. Enormous knock off effects on fisheries and coral reefs and even hurricanes, of course, get stronger when the water is warmer.

CAMEROTA: The temperatures -- let's just look at China, Northwest China, 126, roughly around 125 to 126 this week.

WEIR: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So, how are people supposed to live in those conditions?

WEIR: You can't. I mean, that is what is so interesting. I mean, even in Phoenix today, if you stay over 110 for two weeks, you know, you can't send your kids outside, you know, for summers. It changes crops, it changes agriculture, it changes so many things, working outside.

What it does to the body, the wet bulb temperature at a certain humidity, your organs began to fail at a certain point. We've seen young, 40-ish, 35-year-old male in Texas dropping dead from the heat. A rail worker in Italy perished under the heat.

And so, is the biggest killer, more than all other national phenomenon combined or unnatural these days.

CAMEROTA: So, is there anything that heads of states or we as individuals can do now?

WEIR: It's interesting that you mentioned the heat in China. John Kerry, the climate envoy for the United States, just restarted negotiations with China. These are the two top polluters. If they're not talking, nothing gets done for the rest of the developing world. So, it's good that that is thought since Nancy Pelosi made China angry with a visit to Taiwan.

But I want you to hear what John Kerry went through back at home. Now, over there, he was trying to convince the Chinese to put a target on how much methane they are going to release, which is really bad, planet bacon gas, and to stop burning so much coal. But back home, he's facing Republicans with questions like this. This is him last week.


UNKNOWN: You want to have the American taxpayers, my constituents that are having a hard time to afford their groceries, pay for a car, buy a new home, spend $1.6 quadrillion to fix a problem that A, does not exist, and as a matter of fact, you might be exacerbating because it's unknown.

JOHN KERRY, UNITED STATES SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE: Why do you think 195 countries in the world, their prime ministers, their presidents --

UNKNOWN: Because they're gifting like you are, sir.


CAMEROTA: How can they say the problem does not exist?


WEIR: That has been sort of the ideology of the party, you know, that has the most support from oil and gas interest, fossil fuel interest. And ultimately, you ask what can be done. That decision is ultimately in the hand of the sweeteners (ph) from Saudi Aramco, ExxonMobil, the members of the Petroleum Club of Houston.

There is a small number of -- relatively small number of massive petrol (ph) states and corporations that are causing the most of this problem. And they are making record profits right now and seeing no -- show no signs of changing that business model.

So, what has to happen? How much pain has to be felt for them to lose the public license to keep doing that? It's interesting, people do not pick it gas stations. Climate activists do not pick it on places that fuel our lives right now because we are so interdependent on these things.

But the options, the clean options, they are now in droves and are so economical that is outstripping any sort of old fossil fuels. It is just a matter of how fast the world and how justly the world can shift over because it is just a simple problem, Alisyn. he more stuff we burn, the hotter it is going to get.

CAMEROTA: Bill Weir, you always open our eyes.

WEIR: I hope so.

CAMEROTA: You always do. Thank you so much. Great to have you on tonight.

WEIR: Any time. CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for watching us on "CNN Tonight." Our coverage continues now.