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Biden Struggles as Trump Spews Falsehoods at CNN Debate; Supreme Court Rules on Ticketing the Homeless; Supreme Court Reverses Precedent Again; U.S. Forces Being Moved Closer to Israel and Lebanon; Michigan Voters Weigh Following CNN Debate; Biden, Trump Hit Campaign Trail After CNN Debate; U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision on January 6th Case. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 28, 2024 - 10:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, another big day in U.S. politics today. Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson

in Abu Dhabi where the time is 6:00 p.m. in the evening.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington, D.C. It's 10:00 in the morning here where we are waiting for more crucial

opinions from the Supreme Court this hour, perhaps in the next several minutes. Eight cases remain outstanding including former president Donald

Trump's broad claim of immunity with, Becky, enormous implications for this election and the presidency going forward.

ANDERSON: Good to have you on board, sir. And the historic presidential debate between Donald Trump and President Joe Biden has of course wrapped

right here on CNN, leaving many Democrats all across America today with one question on their mind, what do we do now?

Well, that looming Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity packing even more potential impact after last night's CNN presidential debate. The

big takeaways from that debate, Democrats reacting with alarm, if not downright panic after what was clearly a halting, struggling performance by

the president.

While Donald Trump's son Eric says his father is, quote, "elated by his performance," Mr. Biden's showing leading to some Democrats calling on him

to exit the presidential race all together, though there is zero indication at this point that he is considering doing that. And we've just learned

within the last hour that Mr. Biden still plans to debate Donald Trump again in what is a scheduled debate in September.

Jeff Zeleny has more on the candidates' performances and how the president's clearest moments came when he responded to Trump's repeated

falsehoods during the debate. Have a look at this.



DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This place, the whole world is blowing up under him.

ZELENY: -- confronting the sitting president.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've never heard so much malarkey in my whole life.

ZELENY: But Joe Biden setting off alarm across the Democratic Party after a shaky performance against Donald Trump at the CNN debate in Atlanta.

TRUMP: Joe, our country is being destroyed as you and I sit up here and waste a lot of time on this debate.

ZELENY: In their first face-to-face encounter in four years, Trump struck a far different tone than he often does at rallies, rarely raising his voice.

TRUMP: I really don't know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don't think he knows what he said either.

ZELENY: One of Biden's chief goals was to project an air of strength. On that score, he struggled.

BIDEN: Making sure that we're able to make every single solitary person eligible for what I've been able to do with the -- with the COVID, excuse

me, with dealing with everything we have to do with.

ZELENY: After a week of debate practice, he arrived on stage with a hoarse voice and often looked down or away. And on key policy issues for

Democrats, like abortion --

BIDEN: If I'm elected, I'm going to restore Roe v. Wade.

TRUMP: He's willing to, as we say, rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month and kill the baby.

BIDEN: That is simply not true. We are not for late-term abortion, period, period, period.

ZELENY: It was Trump who tried catering to the middle.

TRUMP: Like Ronald Reagan, I believe in the exceptions. I believe in the exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. I think it's very

important. Some people don't. Follow your heart. But you have to get elected also.

ZELENY: But Biden did go after Trump on his treatment of veterans.

BIDEN: My son was not a loser, was not a sucker. You're the sucker. You're the loser.

TRUMP: He made up the suckers and losers, so he should apologize to me right now.

BIDEN: A four-star general stand your side, it was on your staff who said you said it, period. That's number one. And number two, the idea, the idea

that I have to apologize to you for anything along the line, we've done more for veterans than any president has in American history.


ZELENY: And on Trump's recent felony convictions in New York.

BIDEN: The only person in this stage as a convicted felon is the man I'm looking at right now.

ZELENY: Causing Trump to fire back.

TRUMP: When he talks about a convicted felon, his son is a convicted felon at a very high level. But he could be a convicted felon as soon as he gets

out of office. Joe could be a convicted felon.

BIDEN: The idea that I did anything wrong relative to what you're talking about is outrageous. The crimes that you are still charged with, and think

of all the civil penalties you have. How many billions of dollars do you owe in civil penalties for molesting a woman in public, for doing a whole

range of things, of having sex with a porn star on the night while your wife was pregnant? I mean, what are you talking about? You have the morals

of an alley cat.

TRUMP: I didn't have sex with a porn star, number one.

ZELENY: And on one of the biggest questions facing voters, the candidates' age.

BIDEN: This guy's three years younger and a lot less competent.

TRUMP: He challenged me to a golf match. He can't hit a ball 50 yards. I think I'm in very good shape. I feel that I'm as in good a shape as I was

25, 30 years ago. Actually, I'm probably a little bit lighter. But I'm in as good a shape as I was years ago. I feel very good. I feel the same.

ZELENY: The argument devolved into taunts.

BIDEN: I told you before I'm happy to play golf if you carry your own bag.

TRUMP: Let's not act like children.

BIDEN: You are a child.

ZELENY: Trump continuing to downplay his role in the January 6th insurrection.

TRUMP: I said peacefully and patriotically. But they asked me to go make a speech. I could see what was happening. Everybody was saying they're going

to be there on January 6th. And I said, they ought to have some National Guard or whatever.

BIDEN: He didn't do a damn thing. And now he says if he loses again, such a whiner that he is, that there could be a bloodbath?

ZELENY: And only answering if he would accept the 2024 election results after being pressed by CNN's Dana Bash three times.

TRUMP: If it's a fair and legal, and good election, absolutely. I would have much rather accepted these, but the fraud.

BIDEN: But you continue to provoke this lie about somehow there's all this misrepresentation, all this stealing. There's no evidence of that at all.

And I tell you what, I doubt whether you'll accept it because you're such a whiner.


ANDERSON: Well, there was very little evidence of substance in all of what was a 90-minute debate. It has to be said. Jeff Zeleny joining me now from

Atlanta. A very good wrap of what we saw over that 90-minute period last night.

Look, the response to Joe Biden's performance last night, and let's be quite clear, it was his performance rather than anything he said. Extremely

worrying for Democrats. For those who support Donald Trump, they'll say, you know, he's come out of that, you know, very, very well. But for those

who support Joe Biden, for Democrats in the United States, for many people watching around the world, there is one question today, should Joe Biden

step away? And if he does, what happens next?

Is it clear at this point were that to happen -- well, firstly, Jeff, whether that is going to happen and if it were to happen, what, you know,

what's the process?

ZELENY: Becky, I cannot recall a time when the criticism was virtually all coming from within. I mean, never mind the Republican criticism of

President Biden, these are from allies, people who generally like him. Tom Friedman, for example, the global affairs columnist in "The New York Times"

calling Biden a good man, urging him to step aside and relinquish his delegates.

As of now, Friday morning here in the United States, we should be clear, there is zero sign that there is any movement toward that. The Biden

campaign says, of course, President Biden is not dropping out and changing his reelection plans. So that's where that stands, his mindset. We will see

him speak in a couple of hours' time at a campaign event in North Carolina. But we will see how this develops. This is a brush fire that is growing


Let's say should he decide to do so, what would the process be? These delegates that he has won through the primary challenges would only be up

for grabs, if you will, if President Biden decided to make a decision to not run, and then there could be what we have rarely seen in U.S. history

an open convention. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago could sort of fight it out who would be the standard bearer for the party.

But, again, that would only happen if President Biden relinquished his delegates. There can't be a fight without that. So at this point, there are

two candidates in this race, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and this morning President Biden is deeply wounded politically.

ANDERSON: Yes, and at this point, it is pretty much Joe Biden's call whether to drop out or not, and, you know, taught that there will be those

around him who will be, I'm sure having that discussion.


But as you say, zero indication at this point that despite what happened last night on the stage in Atlanta, Georgia. Zero indication that he will

step aside at this, which suggests that Joe Biden has, Jeff, another debate to perform at three months or so from now. The ABC debate in September. As

far as I can tell, reports suggest that his camp says he will do that debate, correct?

ZELENY: I'm sure they will. I mean, they have said this morning they would do the debate. They would like a do-over, quite frankly. A bigger question,

Becky, is if Donald trump would agree to do that debate. His advisers may say, why should he, he's already performed well?

Look, a lot will happen between now and September. That would be after the conventions, after President Biden would be formally nominated in Chicago.

I think a bigger question now is, are there any members of the cabinet, are there any elected Democratic officials, governors, high-ranking senators

and whatnot, who would really sort of speak truth to power and say, he is not the strongest nominee?

The reason this matters, and if anyone is wondering if, you know, this is sort of being hyperbolic here, just listening to the panic and the voices

of Democrats, it is clear that the one chief goal of President Biden was to show that he was strong, was to show that he was up for the task of

reelection and indeed a second term. He fell flat on that front. And again, that is coming from people who think very highly of him -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and from many following the U.S. presidential debate abroad and of course I'm broadcasting from Abu Dhabi, watching Biden isn't just

about how he performs and how he performs if he's still around for the upcoming elections, about the reality of the U.S. and its standing in the

world today. And that is what frankly is worrying a lot of people as they watched what happened last night.

It's always good to have you, Jeff. Thank you very much indeed.

Vice President Kamala Harris says Joe Biden started slowly in that debate, but she says he finished strong. Afterwards she told CNN's Anderson Cooper

that voters should focus not on his performance on stage but in office. Have a listen.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: He was a very different person on the stage four years ago when you debated him, you must -- I mean, that's certainly

true, is it not?

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anderson, the point has to be performance in terms of what a president does.

COOPER: Right, but that is what's scary for people watching this.

HARRIS: A president who had cited an insurrection against the capital -- no, but I got the point that you're making about one and a half hour debate

tonight. I'm talking about three and a half years of performance in work that has been historic, whether it'd be infrastructure. The former guy --

the other guy --

COOPER: But is that the man -- the man who we saw on the stage tonight. Is that the person you see in meetings every day?

HARRIS: The other guy on the debate stage -- the person that you saw on the debate stage that has for -- that the last three and a half years up until

today performed in a way that has been about whether it be in the Oval Office, negotiating bipartisan deals so that we have an infrastructure, a

real infrastructure plan where we're putting trillions of dollars on the streets of America to upgrade our infrastructure.

Whether it be the person I see in the Oval Office who is meeting with heads of the military and the intelligence community. And in the situation room,

ensuring the safety of America, the person I see in Joe Biden on the world stage convening world leaders who often ask for his advice. Most recently,

just doing the G7 conference. So I'm not going to spend all night with you talking about the last 90 minutes when I've been watching the last three

and a half years of performance.


ANDERSON: Kamala Harris with my colleague, Anderson Cooper post-debate last night.

Well, for our other big story today, the Supreme Court has started handing down rulings for the day, and we are waiting for some major ones still to


CNN's Jim Sciutto picks it up for us in Washington -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: None of the big cases yet as relate to Trump, for instance, the immunity case, but we did just learn this from the court. A decision that

is highly watched in this country. The court has ruled that cities can now ticket homeless people for sleeping outside. Justices ruled in favor of a

city in Oregon that had ticketed unhoused people for camping out. They rejected the opposing argument that such ticketing amounts to cruel and

unusual punishment.

We do still await the biggest decisions that have to -- that relate to Donald Trump. Deep implications for the November election, for some of the

January 6th defendants as well.


Trump, of course, bigger picture is fighting charges that he interfered in the 2020 election, attempting to overturn the results. He says he can't be

prosecuted for actions he committed while president, his lawyers making some alarmingly broad arguments, including if you'll remember that argument

that even if he were to order SEAL Team Six to assassinate an opponent, perhaps he couldn't even be charged for that. Another case still pending

involves rioters on January 6th, 2021 whether they can be charged with obstructing an official event.

CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider joins me now to break this all down for us.

Let's begin with this homeless ruling today. Not one related to the president, but does have enormous implications, does it not, for how cities

respond to what is a homelessness crisis in the country?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It does, and this is a big loss for homeless advocates. These homeless advocates actually one at the

lower courts with the lower courts agreeing that the ticketing procedures administered by this town in Oregon did violate the Eighth Amendment's ban

on cruel and unusual punishment. But today the Supreme Court is reversing that decision saying no, the Eighth Amendment's cruel and unusual

punishment provision just was never meant to apply to ticketing.

It was more meant to apply to things like torture or harsh punishment. So this is a big loss for people who advocate for the homeless all across the

country. On the flip side, it now it gives some leeway to towns, cities, to enact ordinances to deal with what's become a growing homeless problem. You

know, just the stats there were about 650,000 homeless people across the United States in the last year. And that was up about 12 percent from the

year before.

So cities and towns are trying to grapple with this homeless problem. And in particular, this town in Oregon, Grants Pass, they had actually put

forward a very strict ordinance. It had a monetary fine for the first time someone was ticketed for sleeping out in public like if they didn't vacate

the park in a certain amount of time. They could actually get slapped with an even higher fine and then even on top of that, if they still didn't

comply, they could be put in jail. So it was a very harsh ordinance. And that's why these homeless advocates sued.

But, Jim, today, the court in a 6-3 vision written by Justice Gorsuch, citing against those homeless people and advocates and just saying, you

know, the cruel and unusual punishment provision of the Eighth Amendment was never really meant to protect against ticketing. And in particular,

Justice Gorsuch said, you know, federal judges shouldn't really be able to overrule the prerogatives of city officials who need to deal with these

problems. So it is a loss, but also giving cities and towns the breadth to deal with this homeless crisis as well.

SCIUTTO: A 6-3 decision as so often we're seeing with this conservative court, six conservative justices, three liberal justices.

Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

We continue to await decisions on those cases affecting the former president. Broad claims of immunity as well as the January 6th rioters.

We're going to be back after a short break. Please do stay with us.



ANDERSON: Well, the stakes were extraordinarily high last night in the first debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential election campaign. A chance for

U.S. voters to get a glimpse of their presumptive candidate. While Donald Trump's team is taking a victory lap, some of President Biden's supporters

are hitting the panic button. For many Democrats, their candidate failed to prove he has the ability to lead for another four years.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's a lot of people who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now. We're still far

from our convention. And there is time for this party to figure out a different way forward if he will allow us to do that but that was not what

we needed from Joe Biden and it's personally painful for a lot of people. It's not just panic, it's pain.


ANDERSON: It's Van Jones speaking just after the debate last night.

Joining me now to talk about President Biden's performance called dismal by so many and an outright disaster by others is the director of the U.S. and

Americas Programme at Chatham House, Leslie Vinjamuri.

Joe Biden's mission in this presidential debate was probably to prove his critics wrong, showing that he had the mental acuity, he was fit, and that

he should run not just for the rest of his time, but for four more years. His performance just did the complete opposite of that, didn't it?

LESLIE VINJAMURI, DIRECTOR, U.S. AND AMERICAS PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: It was a very difficult performance. And, you know, those people who are

watching remember many Americans undecided at those who are decided lacking in enthusiasm for President Biden, even when -- even those for whom he is

their candidate. And this debate has not helped that, but, you know, I think the broader context is absolutely essential here that many people who

support President Biden support him also because they absolutely do not want to see Donald Trump re-elected to a second term as president.

So the stakes are -- this is not a normal election, the stakes are extremely high. One thing to reject President Biden, it's another thing --

ANDERSON: Sorry, I was just going to say I think you're possibly coming to -- you know, there's a different argument here. There's a Democrat voter

who will just never vote for Donald Trump. So whoever the Democrat candidate for president is, they will vote for that man or woman. And then

there is the argument about whether Joe Biden should be that candidate for those who want a Democrat as president.

And I think, you know, when you asked the voters and the polling seems to bear this out, you know, I don't think that this debate necessarily move

the needle between those who are going to vote Republican and those who are going to vote Democrat. But it was very clear that people are extremely

disappointed with Joe Biden as the candidate for president in 2024 for the Democratic Party. Many are calling for him to step down. How would that

work? Is it clear at this point?

VINJAMURI: No. Look, you're absolutely right. The performance was poor. The reaction to it was deeply negative. The most unsettling thing I think for

President Biden is that those who are very much in the Democratic ecosystem have all come out against the president. So what happens now? This is

really up to President Biden. There's nobody else that can make that decision.

He would have to decide. It's too soon. It hasn't even been 24 hours. It's a bit shocking that people already expect there to have been a decision

given how high the stakes are for America, for America's democracy, for Europe, for the entire world. It's an extremely grave decision. And on the

back of a president that clearly is not demonstrating the ability to speak to the issues, but has demonstrated the ability to serve, most the

especially because he has such an extraordinarily deep and experienced bench of foreign and domestic policy officials around him, that doesn't

negate the fact that he's got to be able to speak to the world, to speak to the United States, to speak to Americans, to speak to Russia, and China,

and Iran.


But there has to be an alternative in a world that is where the stakes are so phenomenally. The question now is whether there is pressure on him from

those who he trusts and whether that leads to any decision by the president in advance of the convention to stand aside.

ANDERSON: We saw him with Jill Biden, his wife, last night, and she walked the president off stage. And she is clearly a key voice in his inner

circle. She ushered him through the American restaurant Waffle Hour after that. How do you think? Is it clear at this point, you know, how Jill Biden

herself will be advising him?

VINJAMURI: Nobody will know how Joe Biden is advising her husband, the president of the United States of America. She's been in politics alongside

him for most of her adult life. She is very accomplished. She understands again how high the stakes are. If President Biden were to make an

announcement, I think we will hear about it first from President Biden. But the problem of course now is that that confidence in his ability not only

to govern, I think the concern now is about his ability to actually win what many people consider to be the most important and consequential

election of their lifetime.

If he could get through, I think many people would concede that he has the people around him to continue to govern many of the policies. He's brought

the United States out of COVID. He's galvanized NATO and America's allies in the face of a land war and invasion my Russia in Europe. He's done many

extraordinary things. Certainly some things to contest. But the question right now is, can he actually persuade the American people? And that is

deeply -- it looks deeply unlikely.

ANDERSON: And you're absolutely right to point out there has been -- there have been some real successes. I mean, real successes under this Biden

administration, whether you're from the right or the left. I mean, you know, if you were honest, from the right, you would concede to those. It

just seemed that it was impossible for Joe Biden last night to expertly and eruditely, you know, talk about those successes. And it did in the end come

down to performance.

For many following this U.S. presidential debate where I am here in the UAE and around the world, watching what happened last night isn't just

watching, you know, two men sparring it out and sort of reflecting on how they performed. It really is about how the U.S. stands on the global stage.

What sort of significance or consequence do you think that event last night has for the reputation of the United States around the world?

VINJAMURI: It's deeply concerning. But remember, they're also listening to Donald Trump. The former president who was spewing fake facts and who was

also putting proposals that are deeply concerning certainly for many people in Europe, critiquing Europe for not spending enough to support Ukraine,

playing fast and loose with the numbers, saying that he would solve the war before he was inaugurated, saying that Israel should, you know, get the job

done, prevaricating on, you know, whether there should be a state for the Palestinians.

Many people around the world clearly are concerned about President Biden's ability to communicate. They're more concerned about what a Trump

presidency would look like. Certainly here in Europe. And the concern about Joe Biden comes from the fact that they're not persuaded that he can defeat

Donald Trump. Donald Trump for so many people across Europe, for so many leaders, is the real concern.

ANDERSON: Slightly different perception here in the region where I am. But, you know, my sense is that there is the wider concern is just about the

strength of the U.S. in and of itself at this point and going forward.

It's really good to have you. Thank you so much for joining us.

And we have been talking about those on the left who are in a position to as it were whisper into Joe Biden's ear at present.


Tom Friedman is one of those writing in "The New York Times" that the debate left him in tears and Biden, who has been a friend of his, who he

knows well over the years, he said, quote, "has no business running for reelection." A debate that left him in tears, he said, and that's Tom

Friedman's stance, and there have been many, many others writing in a similar vein.

Still to come, some other headlines that we are following. Why U.S. Military forces are being moved further into the Mediterranean Sea as

Washington can't take its eyes off Israel and Lebanon. More on that after this.


SCIUTTO: I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington. Breaking news, more breaking news out of the U.S. Supreme Court which has just overturned an historic

precedent thereby curbing the government's power in approving regulations. It is a huge case involving what's known as Chevron deference, will have

huge implications for environment, public health, and the workplace.

CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider joins me now to break this down.

Chevron deference as it's known required federal courts to defer to the opinion of federal agencies. 40 years, that's been the law of the land.

It's over now. Tell us what this means and how it was decided.

SCHNEIDER: Just a quick note on that, Jim, they required courts to defer to agencies when there's statute was ambiguous, when there were questions

about the statute, when the statute wasn't quite clear. And that is what the court is now overturning, saying that federal courts should not just

give agencies carte blanche when Congress hasn't specifically spelled out the parameters of anything that agencies might then try to act on.

It seems complicated. It's a bit wonky, but this is a case that has been on the books since 1984. And now what the Supreme Court is doing is saying

it's no more. Federal judges no longer have to defer to agency interpretation of statutes.


Now, just to give you a little background, this was a case that involved herring fishermen in the Atlantic and they were challenging a Department of

Commerce regulation that actually said that they needed to pay the salaries of the monitors who were on board with them to make sure that they were

following fishing regulations. So you can imagine that this created a big uproar in the fishing community saying, wait a minute, why did we have to

pay the salaries of the government employees who are on board our ships, making sure we're following regulations?

So that is what tipped into this lawsuit. And it's gone through the courts and the major issue here was, did the Department of Commerce as a

government agency have the power to unilaterally enact this law that made these fishermen pay these salaries when it wasn't explicitly stated in the

law that was passed by Congress.

And the Supreme Court saying today, no, this agency in particular went a bit too far and from now forward, if a statute doesn't specifically spell

out something that an agency needs to do, the agency might not have the power to do it.

And Jim, I'll tell you this is significant because, as you can imagine, with the especially recent deadlock in Congress, Congress often writes laws

that are somewhat open-ended and open to the interpretation of the agency that it might govern. And these agencies are the ones who arguably have the

expertise in a lot of these subject matters. So it's long been held that these agencies should be the one to be able to enact these rules and spell

out the particulars.

But now there's going to be a lot of uncertainty in these agencies if they can even enact these rules because they might be second-guessed by the

courts. And that's what the Supreme Court today is setting up in this 6-3 decision.

SCIUTTO: And listen, as a practical matter, U.S. Congress has not exactly proven its ability to pass laws in recent years as well. So you have that


Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

And, you know, Becky, looking at this, a lot of attention has been focused on this conservative U.S. Supreme Court as relates to abortion rights

overturned two years ago, expanding gun rights already quite liberal in this country. But this gets to this case, well, I know a lot of our viewers

might not be aware of, it gets to the entire role of government in terms of environmental regulation, workplace regulation, it is a major flip with

enormous implications going forward.

ANDERSON: Good insight, man. Thank you very much indeed. And it is why we have you working with us today out of Washington. Thank you, Jim.

It is no secret that many in the world are keeping a very close eye on U.S. politics at present. Last night's historic CNN presidential debate was no

different. Today, European papers calling the head-to-head a disaster for President Biden and highlighting the precarious position that U.S.

Democrats have now found themselves in.

Meantime, the Kremlin says President Putin has not watched the debate, but Russian state media has mocked Mr. Biden's performance, calling the debate

a disastrous reality show. And of course, one of the biggest stories internationally is the war in Gaza. There was -- there were moments when

that came up in the debate last night. But now there are mounting concerns on another Middle East front.

Israeli officials have said that they are prepared for what they call intense action in Southern Lebanon against Hezbollah. And that's got U.S.

forces being moved closer to Israel and Lebanon. We are hearing this from two U.S. officials make concerns of escalating cross-border fire.

Let's get you to CNN's Oren Liebermann joining us live from the Pentagon -- Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have seen the statements from Israel. In fact, I was just in northern Israel where the

military said and Northern Command said they had approved and gone over plans for what would be an offensive in Southern Lebanon, that including

the cross-border attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon, the responses from Israel, have prompted the U.S. and others for that matter to take a very

close look at that border and take steps that would be necessary should the fighting escalate into another front in the war, essentially a major

escalation between Israel and Hezbollah.

The U.S. obviously has forces in the region. The USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, that travels with several other vessels in what's known as an

ARG, an amphibious ready group, was already operating in the region but it will now move into the Eastern Med, closer to Israel and Lebanon, because

of concerns over the possibility of a war starting there. It also comes with a dock landing ship, as well as another vessel.

And crucially, it comes with several thousand Marines in the form of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.


They are special operations capable and crucially one of their mission essential tasks is to be able to carry out what's known as a NEO, a non-

combatant evacuation order. That would be if the U.S. says it's time to bring U.S. citizens out of Lebanon.

Not the first time we've seen this. Back in 2006 during the last war between Israel and Hezbollah, the U.S. evacuated some 15,000 American

citizens from Lebanon. The possibility is there. They've been reviewing plans since the beginning of the Gaza war frankly, Becky, in case they need

to evacuate U.S. citizens. Right now it's just a warning not to travel to Lebanon.

ANDERSON: Yes. Good to have you. sir. Thank you very much indeed.

Oren Liebermann on the story. Still ahead, CNN heads to the critical swing state of Michigan to gauge voter reaction to Thursday's CNN presidential

debate. Our findings after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson. The time here in the UAE in Abu Dhabi is quarter to 7:00 in the evening, just before 6:45.

We are watching the reaction around the world to the first presidential debate between U.S. President Joe Biden and his challenger former president

Donald Trump.

CNN's Laura Coates was in the critical swing state of Michigan to gauge voter reaction to the candidates' stances on a number of topics and

basically at their performance. The issue of reproductive rights was an especially hot topic during her panel discussion with voters. Have a



LAURA COATES, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST AND ANCHOR: There was a couple of moments to say the least where there was a huge reaction, particularly on

the issue of abortion. Here's what was said.


BIDEN: I supported Roe v. Wade, which had three trimesters. First time is between the woman and a doctor. Second time is between the doctor and an

extreme situation. A third time is between the doctor -- I mean, between the woman and the state. The idea that the politicians -- that the founders

wanted the politicians to be the ones making decisions to woman's health is ridiculous.


COATES: With what was said just now by the two candidates, did it persuade you in any way that either was going to be able to be speaking to, because

if they needed? Anyone? Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think President Biden spoke to it and I could see and feel his passion about that should be between a woman and her doctor, and

not all these other entities.

COATES: Do you think that the former president Donald Trump addressed the issue in a way that spoke to you? Anyone?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It didn't necessarily speak to me, but it did bring up something very important where it was interesting to see how like facts

were being thrown out that weren't actually facts about like babies being killed at certain stages of abortion. But just generally speaking, for

late-term abortions don't happen as often as they seem to, but it seems to be a consistent talking point. So it was interesting to me that what Biden

has done wasn't really addressed by Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't necessarily feel as though my rights or the rights of my daughters are any more protected with what Trump said or what

Biden said. I don't see any actions to re-establish Roe v. Wade being taken by Biden and I don't see our rights as women being protected by Trump.

COATES: At one point, President Biden spoke to the issue saying, if he were reelected, that he would ensure that Roe v. Wade became the law of the land

again. Were you convinced by that statement?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The action is in the pudding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there are bigger issues in this country that need to be addressed.

COATES: Show of hands, how many of you feel that abortion and reproductive rights is a big consideration for you going into this election?

As you can see, a lot of different opinions tonight and reaction to this debate that was happening. A really consequential moment. I'm in a swing

state with so many voters who know what the stakes are.


ANDERSON: Well, now the debate is over, the candidates are back on the campaign trail.

CNN's Kayla Tausche is following President Biden's campaign in Raleigh, North Carolina, today, and Alayna Treene, covering Donald Trump in

Sterling, Virginia.

So what can we expect, starting with you, Kayla, in Raleigh today?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a lot of anticipation for what President Biden will say on the stage here and how he

will comport himself here after a debate performance that even his own advisers acknowledge was lackluster and was below their expectations. But

they've told me that they are trying to pack up the wins that they have, package them on social media and push them out to their followers, which

we've already seen them start to do, and then move on.

I'm told from an adviser that President Biden not only plans to stay in the race but he also remains committed to a debate in September. There's

currently a second debate scheduled for September 10th. That is supposed to be hosted by ABC News. But some political strategists have suggested that

showing up for that debate would not for the former president Donald Trump because of the way that his performance went down last night.

And one in particular, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report says one of the main rules in politics is never save a sinking opponent. So that's some

of the atmosphere around President Biden's performance in the wake of it. He was asked so immediately afterward how he believed he performed and

whether he had any concerns and he pointed to the lies that were told by Donald Trump, citing "The New York Times" who've said that there were 26

lies that we're told on stage.

And that continues to be a frustration echoed by his campaign that Biden was on the defensive for much of the night of course to fact-check Trump,

who perpetuated falsehoods. But even so, there were many opportunities for President Biden to come back swinging especially on issues of critical

importance to his campaign where he had done deep preparation and many of those opportunities were missed.

ANDERSON: I need to get to Jim Sciutto who is in Washington. We just heard more from the Supreme Court.

Jim, what do we have? Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Becky, this is one of the big cases we were watching for, not the Trump immunity case, but a case that relates to convictions of January 6th

rioters for obstructing an official event. And the justices have just tossed those obstruction charges against them. Barrett, Sotomayor, and

Kagan dissenting.

I want to go to CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider to break it down for us. Tell us what the court decided here.

SCHNEIDER: Jim, the Supreme Court essentially ruling against prosecutors and sort of their broad latitude to charge these January 6th defendants.

This involved a very specific actor, Joseph Fischer. He participated in the mob that storm the Capitol. However, he was charged as one of several

charges with this obstruction charge. And what this charge, the specific statute says, is that if you obstruct an official proceeding and that was

sort of what prosecutors relied on, this idea that all of these rioters who stormed the Capitol obstructed the vote count inside the Capitol.

However, you know, the people who were defending Joseph Fischer, they pointed out that there's another part of this law that talks about

corruptly destroying evidence, and they relied on that part of the law to say these rioters never should have been charged with this particular law.

And today, the Supreme Court is agreeing with them saying that you not only needed to storm the Capitol, but you also needed to have some part in

obstructing or delaying the actual vote count and maybe destroying some evidence.

So what this means practically is that at this point there have been about 250 cases involving this particular statute. We have about 50 people who

have been convicted under the statute, and 27 more who are currently incarcerated because of this particular statute.


And what it means for all of them is they now will be able to challenge the fact that they were prosecuted on this statute when they say, look, by just

storming the Capitol, we weren't violating this statute because we didn't destroy any evidence. We didn't really interfere directly with the

electoral vote count.

What the interesting -- the very interesting part of this is that Donald Trump's team, if his trial or the charges against him based on the January

6th charges move forward after we hear from the Supreme Court about this immunity issue, Donald Trump is also charged with this obstruction statute.

Now of course it can be argued that Donald Trump was a lot more involved in sort of delaying this vote count in the Capitol. But his lawyers will

likely argue on the basis of this Supreme Court decision that maybe his particular charge dealing with obstruction should also be thrown out.

So I think the takeaway here, Jim, is that it throws many, dozens of these January 6th defendants' cases, it creates some question. Will their

sentences hold? Will their convictions hold? And it's now going to bring about a whole array of challenges and appeals on the basis of the

convictions that we've already seen in these January 6th cases of which there are many? Like I said, there have been -- there are 250 cases

currently pending, and there have been about 40 -- sorry, 50 people already convicted under the statute.

So it's going to throw a lot of this into some disarray and question. And they'll be able to challenge it in appeals.

SCIUTTO: Jessica, to be clear, this does not impact all of the January 6th prosecutions, correct? Because only a portion of the rioters were charged

for obstructing an official proceeding.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean, we've seen an array of charges that -- you know, assault charges, different types of charges that

many of these rioters have faced. It's only maybe a handful of them who have faced this obstruction charge. Like I said, 250 cases now pending. I

realized that's more than a handful, but yes, I mean, we've had hundreds and hundreds of people charged in relation to January 6th.

And only, you know, a portion of those were charged with this obstruction charge. So it doesn't mean that every case that was prosecuted after

January 6th can no longer stand. It only means that those people who were charged or convicted with this particular law, with this particular statute

involving obstruction, they can now challenge it.

SCIUTTO: Jessica Schneider, a lot of news from the Supreme Court today, to help us break it down.

Joining us now Larry Sabato. He's director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, Corey Brettschneider who teaches political

science at Brown University. He wrote the book, "The Presidents of the People: Five Leaders Who Threatened Democracy and the Citizens Who Fought

to Defend It."

Gentlemen, so much news in the last several minutes and we're still awaiting the decision on the presidential immunity case. But, Larry, if I

can begin with you, tell us your read as to what this justices' decision on the January 6th case, how that relates potentially to the president's own

legal proceedings, or in your view, it's our understanding that Jack Smith, the special counsel, will still pursue Trump under this statute, given the

argument is he was the one leading the charge as it were with the intention of disrupting the counting of electoral votes? But does it set that

prosecution into disarray to some degree?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, there are other charges, of course, against Trump

(INAUDIBLE) in January 6th, so I don't think it will delay things too much. The delays are being provided by other people.

Jim, you've been around politics for a long time. You've got the six Republicans on the Supreme Court and they are indeed Republicans. And the

three Democrats. And this was 6-3 along ideological lines. The cynic in me and a lot of other Americans will say, here's the Supreme Court helping

Donald Trump again possibly taking -- possibly taking away a charge made against him, but certainly taking away charges that have convicted some of

the January 6th rioters or insurrectionists, whatever you want to call them.

I guess that saves President Trump if he's reelected the trouble of pardoning his, quote, "patriots," unquote. So, you know, that's the cynical

view, but to be perfectly honest, the Supreme Court has created the cynicism and we all know why.

SCIUTTO: Larry, it's a fair point. We should note that the 6-3 majority, how did it come to be.


For one, President Obama had, he was still president, he was replacing Judge Antonin Scalia, who passed away. Mitch McConnell prevented him from

making that choice. That's one justice. President Trump is elected. He makes that choice and then when there was another opportunity to replace

having said that you don't replace a Supreme Court justice close to an election just four years before, they did exactly that at the end of

Trump's term. And that creates this conservative supermajority as it were.

OK, so, Corey, let's talk about another effect, separate out the January 6th finding here. The Chevron case taken in collection with others by this

court, I mean, I remember Republicans used to criticize activists' liberal justices. It's hard not to call this an activist court. Have they written

how government operates in this country now?

COREY BRETTSCHNEIDER, PROFESSOR, BROWN UNIVERSITY: What they're really doing is replacing experts who have studied these issues for their entire

lives and are really in the weeds of things like environmental protection, safety, oversight of fisheries with their own decisions, and it's a kind of

power grabs. So for a long time, and Justice Scalia wrote the decision in Chevron, the idea was, if there's ambiguity in the law, let's defer to


Experts are the ones within the administrative state know the details and lets let their views about the facts, about how to accomplish the goals of

law, lets let them govern. And what the court has done now in a really historic case is strip that power away. And it actually ties into the

January 6th case in that they're saying we need to look at the text of the law. We need to interpret the law that's going to really give us as judges

the power to say what should be done.

The bigger picture here, though, is the longtime assault on the new deal idea that government should provide for the -- promote the general welfare

and replacing it really with judges who are narrowing the power of government to provide for things like health and safety and environmental


SCIUTTO: Larry, I want to separate out for a moment Biden's performance in the debate last night. Just ask a simple question. These are major changes

underway. There were some discussion last night as to overturning Roe v. Wade for sure. But the way this court is changing the country not just on

reproductive rights, but guns and now the role of government.

Has Biden articulated that at all to voters in terms of what's at stake going forward? I mean, the next president might very well appoint two more

justices depending on retirements, et cetera.

SABATO: From time to time, he's mentioned it or even set a speech around it, but he certainly didn't do it last night. It's one of the best issues

Democrats have because it connects directly to reproductive rights. It connects directly to the Dobbs decision, overturning Roe v. Wade, which is

enormously unpopular with the population generally and in particularly with women. So this is an opportunity for Joe Biden to focus Democrats on the

Supreme Court and judicial appointments.

They rarely consider them. Republicans on the other hand have voted on the issue of court appointments since 1973 when Roe v. Wade became the law of

the land. So we'll see whether he can take that opportunity. Last night wasn't encouraging, but it was just one night.

SCIUTTO: A big night with many tens of millions of Americans watching.

Corey, the decision -- this is the end of decisions for today. There is another decision day on Monday. So on Monday we're going to get the

immunity decision.

Tell us the impact of that decision, how important this question is, not just for this election, but going forward. Just briefly if you can.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: The huge issue is whether or not, not just a sitting president, but a president who's left office is immune from indictment,

cannot have charges, criminal the charges brought against him or her. And Trump's argument is that when it comes to official acts, and he thinks that

his role in January 6th, what he's arguing was essentially an official act that that provides immunity, not just in office, but after the fact.

It dates back to the Nixon era when there was a memo written and a belief then it's still the Department of Justice's policies that sitting

presidents cannot be indicted and there's a case about civil immunity for former presidents. And he's really jumped the shark here, Donald Trump and

his team, in saying that actually even after you're president and even if you've committed a crime, you're immune from indictments.

So that obviously would have huge implications. The January 6th case, it would make it impossible to bring it and he would really never face justice

because if he were to win, for instance, he would certainly have immunity then, too.

SCIUTTO: Major changes in this country coming from the nation's highest court and so often along the lines --