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Erin Burnett Outfront

Some Top Dems Tell CNN They Want Biden Out Of Race This Week; A Plan To Replace Biden?; Trump Sentencing Delayed. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 02, 2024 - 19:00   ET




Breaking news, the full-court press to save Biden's campaign and a growing pressure to step aside. Tonight, a Democrat in a tight election who says it's time for him to step aside.

Plus, a senior DNC member says he has a plan for how the party could replace Joe Biden should he drop out. It's a plan, he says, can beat Donald Trump. So what is it? He's my guest.

And delayed. The judge in Trump's hush money case postponing the former president's sentencing. So, will it happen at all after the Supreme Court's decision on presidential immunity?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erica Hill in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, Biden speaking out. The president just addressing donors, offering an explanation for why he performed so poorly at CNN's presidential debate, blaming his travel schedule, saying he almost fell asleep on stage.

Biden isn't the only one trying to do a little damage control tonight. Here's Vice President Kamala Harris in a new interview with CBS News.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Joe Biden is our nominee. We beat Trump once, and we're going to beat him again, period.

REPORTER: Are you ready to lead the country if necessary?

HARRIS: I am proud to be Joe Biden's running mate.


HILL: Well, for the first time, a Democrat in Congress has now publicly calling on the president to step aside. In a statement, Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Texas writing, I represent the heart of a congressional district, once represented by Lyndon Johnson. Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same.

And it turns out, he's not alone. In just a moment, I'll speak with a Democrat who's running for Congress and is also urging Biden to withdraw from the race.

All of this as questions about his ability to serve are growing louder. CNN spoke with more than two dozen Democratic officials, donors, and allies of the president. Many of them telling CNN, they have made up their minds and they believe the president should quit his campaign, some even pushing for a decision to be made this week.

And here's former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a longtime, very close ally of Biden.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Now, again, I think it's a legitimate question to say, is this an episode or is this a condition? And so, when people ask that question, its' completely legitimate -- of both candidates.


HILL: CNN is also learning Democratic governors are set to meet with the president tomorrow to hear from him directly, the White House meantime, is acknowledging and its first briefing since the debate, it is fair game to ask questions about Biden's health after the presidential debate.

But according to "The New York Times", Biden's lapses are actually becoming more frequent, writing that in interviews, people in the room with him more recently said the lapses seem to be growing more frequent, more pronounced, and more worrisome. "The Times" citing this example from June 18th. Joe Biden, during an immigration event, struggled to name his homeland security secretary.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thanks to all the members of Congress and homeland security secretary -- I'm not sure I'm going to introduce you all the way. But all kidding aside, Secretary Mayorkas --


HILL: According to "The Times", some allies were, quote, shaken up by that stumble from the president. All this coming as brand new post- debate CNN polling finds 75 percent of voters say they believe Democrats have a better chance of winning in November if Joe Biden is not the nominee.

MJ Lee is OUTFRONT live outside the White House tonight.

MJ, I know that you're getting some new information about these comments that President Biden just made at a fundraiser, including that explanation about his debate performance, and some changes in that. What more are you learning?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Erica, this is a new explanation that we are getting from the president himself as he was talking at a fundraiser in Virginia. And I just want to make clear to our viewers, this is all according to the initial pool reports that we are getting from reporters in the room. So, until we get that official transcript, we should just consider this as paraphrases.

But apparently, the president apologized to everyone in the room saying, this is not an excuse, but it is an explanation. And he blamed the extensive foreign travel that he did in the lead up to the CNN debate for his poor performance. Just a reminder for everyone, he did go to France for the D-Day anniversary, and then he turned right back around and went to Italy for the G7 summit.

And he told the room, I didn't listen to my staff. So this adjusting their being his staff did not I think this was a good idea, and then he apparently said, I almost fell asleep on stage.


I just want to unpack this new explanation for a second as the explanation for why his debate performance was so bad. I find it a little bit puzzling and frankly, I'm not sure that a lot of people are going to find this reassuring if anything. Some folks might hear this and be -- you know, even more concerned. Yes, there were two foreign trips in the lead up to the June 27th CNN debate.

But he returned from Italy on June 15th. The debate again was on June 27. So we're talking about roughly 12 days in-between when he was back in the States. And remember, a part of those 12 days, about a full week, he actually spent with his advisers at Camp David for the sole purpose of really focusing on debate prep.

So why is the president falling asleep on the debate stage at the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 1030, perhaps, Erica, it's possible that he was making a lighthearted joke. Again, we are still waiting for the full context and the tone that he might have used in offering that up.

But I do think a lot of Democrats might hear that and say, well, this is not a laughing matter. I will also note, again, this is the first time that we have heard this version of an explanation up until now, including the night of the debate, the campaign was saying, he is sounding like this because he is suffering from a cold.

So, again, we now have a new explanation from the president himself he has blamed naming the foreign travel before the debate.

HILL: We had also heard at one point that he was over-prepared which is certainly not what a lot of folks saw on that stage.

MJ, really appreciate the new reporting important context, as you noted. We will wait until we get that full pool report, but obviously, we're watching it for that.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic congressional candidate, Adam Frisch of Colorado.

You have been calling on the president to drop out. You just heard this latest reporting from MJ that pool report from this event where the president is saying he was really tired from lots of travel. Why do you think he needs to step aside?

ADAM FRISCH, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Erica. Great to be here tonight. Solemn times.

Listen, over the past five or six or seven months, this was not a one night blip that happened last Thursday. I think there's Biden 12, who's ever those inner circle people are, have been protecting Biden at all costs and with all due respect gaslighting, journalists on CNN, "Wall Street Journal", and others that have actually been asking questions, which I think are legitimate.

We have tough times ahead of us. I've been asking for new generation of Democratic and Republican leaders for that matter for some time. I have no idea if this is good for my campaign or bad for my campaign. I do know it's good for the country and good for my district to make sure that these questions are asked, and we get a new batch of new leaders to lead the forward -- to lead this party forward.

HILL: So just to -- just to drill down on that, you want a new batch of new leaders. Is this because you have concerns about the president's mental acuity, his mental fitness. Is it a concern about his age? Is it simply that you think he's been in politics too long?

FRISCH: I'm less concerned about an age, but I think obviously what people have seen over the past many months inside in a couple glimpses, rarely publicly is that it's just not working for 'em. And I'm not a doctor. I don't want to start get into all these diagnosis that are flying around.

I just don't think that he is the best opportunity for our country and our party going forward over the next many years and let alone, you can't govern if you don't win. And I think we have a deep bench. It's important to get some other people up there to make their case.

I'm not focused on how those people are. Everyone talks about the same 12 or 15 people and I'll leave that up to others.

HILL: So then I'm going to ask anyway, so I know you may not want to weigh in, but we do have new polling from CNN which shows Vice President Kamala Harris actually within the margin of error against Donald Trump, pulling better than Joe Biden does in that head-to-head matchup, would you support her as the nominee?

FRISCH: You know, let's see who actually is on the ballot. I think that it's really, really important to understand that Biden -- President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are linked at the hip.

And while the polling is going up and down, we have not seen $500 million or so of Republican television ads. Hammer the way at the two of them about what they need to do. I think -- I wish the Democratic Party had an open and competitive primary, a year-and-a-half ago, I think it was short-sighted and those insular shutting down the Florida state Democratic Party from even having a primary.

I think it's all coming back to bite the party right now. I don't know how Chicago works with the rules and regulations, and I'm not that interested in. All I know is that we need to start an open and competitive primary sooner rather than later.

HILL: Before I let you go, as I noted, you are in a race yourself. Are you concerned about the impact of President Biden at the top of the ticket when it comes to your race and other down-ballot races?

FRISCH: It was kind of interesting over the past couple of months way before what happened last Thursday with that debacle.

Listen, one thing you want to have the rest of your ticket be doing well, having said that, I've had a lot of people, independents and Republicans come up to me and say, they're going to be voting for president -- former President Trump, but they don't want unfettered President Trump.


And they're starting to look strategically at were in the House and were in the Senate across the country. They can try to provide a balance.

I'm not sure if this is 17 people or if this is going to be 25 percent of the vote, again, it might not be believable from your viewers, but I'm not really focused on that. I'm trying to focus on what the right thing to do for the country is, and this is it.

HILL: Adam Frisch, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you.

FRISCH: Thank you, Erica, have a great night.

HILL: You, too.

OUTFRONT now, Jamal Simmons, former communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris, and former deputy assistant to President Joe Biden, and Scott Jennings, former special assistant to President George W. Bush.

Gentlemen, good to see both of you tonight.

Jamal, when we look at what a day it has been and the number of public either calls for the president to step aside or very clear movement, right, toward that. Is this a dam breaking? Are you anticipating a flood?

JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think we've seen the dam breaking yet. I think most Democrats are still going to give the president the opportunity to make the case. Remember, this is something that president is going to have to show us. He can't just tell us about it, right? He can show us better than he can tell us. And so, what we need to do is see the president in unscripted long- form events where he's engaging with people and then we can watch him as he does his job. This is what his job is. His job is standing up on stages and debating with another opponent. His job is sitting at tables, negotiating with people than working through issues.

So, if we can get a window into what that looks like and his ability to do that, I think that would give a lot of comfort to people in the country that he can do the job.

HILL: Scott, what do you make of the calls that we've heard today?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Unscripted long form events. Well, let's see, that's what a debate is. I mean, he had 90 minutes of an unscripted event the other night and it was a disaster.

Here's what I make of it. We've had -- this is an amazing day. Number one, "The New York Times" reporting that he's lapsing in meetings. This is becoming more frequent. Number two, we found out today that a felon and a crack addict is now sitting in on White House senior staff meetings. And number three, the president is now tonight to his own donors, blaming a foreign trip that ended 12 days before the debate for his disastrous performance on Thursday.

This is what you call a high-speed come apart. The White House is off the rails. The president has effectively admitted tonight that he is not up to both campaigning for president and being president.

I don't know where we're going from here, but this has been a momentous day and I'll be shocked if there aren't more Democrats would come out and say, what are we doing? We are walking into disaster if we stick with this.

SIMMONS: I reassure Scott wasn't talking about the criminal felon that had the secret documents and he was holding in his bathroom and Mar-a- Lago because there was a felon that we haven't talked about tonight where that's the case.

JENNINGS: Are you comfortable, Jamal? Are you comfortable with a Hunter Biden run senior staff meeting?

SIMMONS: Why are yelling at me?

JENNINGS: Do you think this is good? Do you think this is good?

SIMMONS: Why are yelling at me?

JENNINGS: Come on, I'm asking you, I'm asking you.

SIMMONS: Listen, listen --

JENNNINGS: We're talking about Joe Biden -- we're talking about Joe Biden tonight, who is admitting to his own donors, people in your party that he can't both perform and campaign. And you want to talk about the Mar-a-Lago documents case, which is not going to come to trial before November. This is the sitting president. You worked for him. I want to know if

you were in a senior staff meeting, would you want Hunter Biden looking over your shoulder? That's my question.

SIMMONS: Here's what I want to know. I want to know if we've got somebody in the White House has got the judgment and look out for our freedom, or somebody who was take our freedom away.

And I think what most Americans know is that the MAGA Republicans, whether its Donald Trump or Marjorie Taylor Greene, are some of the ones who are running are in the business of taking freedoms away from women and other people in this country who are trying to live their lives. And that's not what they want.

And that's the reason why I think the Trump is still going to be in trouble when you get down to Election Day.

HILL: Let me talk -- in looking at Election Day and who may or may not be going up Donald Trump in -- up against Donald Trump in November. I am really struck by this new CNN polling.

You worked for Vice President Harris, Jamal. When we look at the polling, she is within the margin of error in a matchup with Donald Trump. In fact, she's polling better than Joe Biden in that moment in that moment. Congressman Jim Clyburn today and I'm going to paraphrase because I know we're a little tight on time saying, look, the party shouldn't do anything to get in the way or tried to do a workaround with the vice president.

Is she the best choice for the Democratic Party if Joe Biden is to step aside?

SIMMONS: I think Kamala Harris is a fantastic person to govern this country if she's called upon of governance. I think when we pick -- we pick the next candidate, we as a party to have an open process and we allow everybody who wants to compete to get in and compete.

I think she'll walk into that process with the strongest hand of any other people who can -- who can run. But we need to see what happens because it's not going to -- you know, what we don't want to have as a Scott Walker or Marco Rubio or somebody who was cooked up in the lab by a bunch of elites, and we say, oh, this would be the best person to run, then we've put them out there and they're not that great.

I think kamala Harris will be a fantastic, but we've got to see how she stacks up against something the other people who are running and you've got a lot of great candidates out there.

And here's the thing -- if we have a big open convention and it's a big floor fight and everybody's paying attention, we'll dominate the news, we'll vet a bunch of these candidates in a way that the American public will like.


And I think we'll find somebody that everybody can rally around and then go forward from there.

HILL: Well, my next guest has a plan for that, so stick around for the B block because we're going to talk about that.

But, Scott, before -- before we end this segment, I am curious, the fact that the vice president is polling better against Donald Trump, Republicans have spent years tearing her down. Could she be tougher for Donald Trump to beat come November?

JENNINGS: I don't know. I don't know if anybody could be any worse than Joe Biden is right now. I mean, look at the CNN polling. He's losing among independents, three-quarters of the country has lost confidence in his ability to lead. I mean, it's really bad.

I don't know if you could get any worse. So from that perspective, it might be worth rolling the dice on it just to get a fresh face in there. But it sounds like Jamal's get ready for it and he knows her better than either of us.

So, I mean -- I mean, could you do worse than Joe Biden right now, who is out telling his donors he's not up to campaigning and being president? I don't think you could.

SIMMONS: You could, Donald Trump.

HILL: Gentlemen, I'm going to leave it there. Always a pleasure to speak with the both of you. Thank you.

OUTFRONT next, that push to replace Joe Biden, as I said, I'm going to speak with a longtime senior member of the DNC who has a proposal tonight to replace the president, should he dropped out of the race. So what is it? How would it work? He's my guest.

Plus, Rudy Giuliani loses his law license because of the lies he told about the 2020 election. And CNN's KFILE uncovering audio of a top Republican who's responsible for shaping the party's agenda.

Someone pushing some extreme restrictions on abortion.


ED MARTIN, DEPUTY POLICY DIRECTOR FOR RNC'S PLATFORM COMMITTEE: It's an absolute scientific fact that no abortion has ever performed to save the life of the mother.




HILL: Tonight, President Biden said for a high-stakes interview later this week. He'll sit down with ABC News. It's his first interview since his disastrous debate performance, is it too little, though, too late?

Harry Enten joining me now to go beyond the numbers.

All right. So, Harry, when we look at where we are today, right? Where we were -- where we were perhaps on Wednesday, Joe Biden was trailing Donald Trump going into the debate. He is trailing him coming out of it.


HILL: Put this in a little historical perspective for me.

ENTEN: Yes. So we can look back and see if there any candidates that match that description. In fact, there had been a few who trail going into the first debate, incumbents, and then trail coming out of that first debate.

You can see on your screen right now, Carter, Ford, Bush and Trump in 2020. You know what those four gentlemen have in common besides being good looking? All four of them, went on to lose reelection.

So, Joe Biden by trailing going into the first debate and then trail and coming out of the first debate joins a company that I don't think he wants to be a part of. So in order to win, he's going to have to defy at least that history.

HILL: So is there a bright spot historically at all here for President Biden?

Yes. It's the right spot that I always like to go to for incumbents who are trailing down the stretch and we have to go all the way back to 1948, Harry S. Truman was trailing pretty much throughout that entire campaign. Of course, he trailed in the final polls. And then of course he went on to win reelection.

Of course, the big difference between Harry Truman and Joe Biden now is Joe Biden's approval rating is in the 30s, not anywhere close to his disapproval rating while Truman was basically neck and neck between his approval and disapproval rating. But I'll just add this, Erica, when you have to go all the way back to 1948 for your historical analogy to be good news, and everything else is bad news. That's not exactly where you want to be.

So what about the chances of a comeback, a resurgence, if you will?

ENTEN: Yeah. So, you know, I have been basically as these new polls have come out post-debate and the poll is going into the debate basically, very skeptical of Joe Biden, okay? It's because of what you saw on slide one. It's because you saw what you saw on slide two.

So, I was like, okay, lets take a step back. Is there any good news? Is there anything that could really change things in a way that were not used to? So, our CNN poll that came out earlier day essentially said, okay, if you've chosen a candidate, are you willing to change your mind or have you not made up your mind?

And take a look at this percentage that say that they could in fact change your mind. Look at this. It's 31 percent. HILL: That surprised me.

ENTEN: That is a huge number, Erica Hill, that is a huge number. I was not expecting that number to be so high. But when you take into account that both of these candidates, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump, are not particularly well like, I think someone -- people are just waiting for an alternative. This number is more than double where we were at this point in 2020.

So the fact is yes, Joe Biden is trailing. But there are a lot more guessable voters at this point than I think we're used to, and I think we have to take that into account. Yes, it's been steady race, but there's still a lot of topsy-turvy things that don't and we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

HILL: Well, buckle up, my friends, this is going to be quite a ride over the next few months, I have feeling.

ENTEN: We shall.

HILL: Harry, thank you. Appreciate it.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HILL: OUTFRONT now is James Zogby. He's been a member of the DNC for more than 30 years and tonight is calling on his party to replace Joe Biden at the top of the ticket.

It's good to have you with us tonight.

So you believe it is time, in fact, for the president to step aside and you want basically a mini primary over the next month or so ahead of the convention. Is there really enough time for that?

JAMES ZOGBY, DNC MEMBER: Sure, there is. Look, in politics, two weeks, three weeks become a lifetime. So much can happen. And it would be energizing for the party if it were to happen.

I laid out a plan. I sent it to the party chair and I've circulated it with many other DNC members. It's a plan to create a controlled process whereby DNC members would be authorized to endorse candidates they would be certified by the party secretary and then the process would begin with town halls. That would be televised, that the party with sponsor and then we come to the convention.

We'd have a limited field because if as I call for 40 or so required delegates are DNC members to endorse.


You would only get a field of maybe four or five candidates. And I think we all know who they are.

It would be a respectful process. It would be an exciting process. You all in the media would be covering it wall to wall from noon to 1:00 in the morning every day. It would be like the Kennedy election in 1960. It would be, I think, very engaging. It would be open, transparent, and I think it would be very democratic and inspiring to the American people.

And here's the point -- instead of this happening, Joe Biden leaving later in the process toward the convention, and handing it off to Kamala Harris, it would give her an opportunity to show her stuff in an engaged democratic process as Jamal was talking about where she actually won. I think she would win, but it would be a process where people would come out of it energized and excited about the outcome, not simply a coronation which I think would not be helpful to her or helpful to the party or to the country.

HILL: How much support you have within the DNC for this proposal. There's a number of DNC members who've told me that they like it. I haven't heard anything from the party leadership and I don't expect to hear anything from.

The call ultimately has to come from Joe Biden. He has to decide whether he's going to leave. But here's the point: if the holdup is that he's afraid of handing it off to Kamala Harris and she may not be able to win, this solves that problem. If there's a fear that if he withdraws, there'll be chaos. This solves that problem.

If there's a fear that if he withdraws, Donald Trump will win, this solves that problem. I think it would create such energy, such excitement. And, it would result in a candidate who was viewed as the consensus candidate of all Democrats coming onto that convention. They'd have their wind in their sails and they would be able, I think to do very well on November.

HILL: So, you're painting this as something that you see is a unifying moment for the party. I should point out in our most recent CNN poll, so-called moveable voters, right, where they're still some wiggle room, say they're more likely to support a Democratic alternative against Donald Trump than they are Joe Biden.

I wonder though, looking at all of this and where we are, what has transpired over the last several days. Do you think the situation could have been avoided?

ZOGBY: Sure, it could have been avoided. People have been talking about this as an issue a few years ago. It's gotten worse over the last several months.

Look, Joe Biden deserves better than this. This is not the way he should go out. He should go out as the person who defeated Donald Trump, who passed significant legislation in its first couple of years before we had a dysfunctional Republican leadership in Congress.

And it would be an opportunity, I think for him to give a farewell address where he becomes the person who sacrificed ambition for the sake of the country. It would be his moment in history where he'd go out, I think elevated in stature rather than reduced.

I do not want to see a situation where for the next three, four, five months, what we're doing is waiting for the next verbal gaffes, waiting for the next false step, waiting for some other sign that Joe Biden is too old. That's what the media will do. That's what you all will do.

And frankly, the debate showed that, and that's all we've been talking about since and that most likely what we'll be talking about for the next month to come. We need to be talking about a Democratic candidate with a vision for the future, who actually can galvanize the party and the country. And we need to focus on that versus Donald Trump, not on whether Joe Biden can get his sentences straight.

HILL: We will be watching to see what the decisions are that are made.

James Zogby, please let us know if you do, in fact, hear back from leadership and what they say about the plan. Thank you.

ZOGBY: I will. Thank you.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, Trump's sentencing and the New York hush money case and delayed after yesterdays immunity decision from the Supreme Court. So, will that ruling ultimately fact Trump's guilty verdict?

Plus, a top Republican who shapes the GOP's platform has actually entertained the idea of imprisoning women who get abortions.


MARTIN: Some people say they should have some kind of penalty, something on their record.




HILL: New tonight, Donald Trump's sentencing officially delayed. The judge in the Stormy Daniels hush money case now, pushing that sentencing date back to mid September, it was, of course, originally scheduled were next Thursday.

The decision comes after a team Trump alerted the Manhattan de that it does plan to challenge the verdict in the wake of the Supreme Courts ruling that Donald Trump does have some presidential immunity for official acts, which also limits, of course the evidence that can be used.

Now that ruling from the high court also means another delay for Trump in special counsel jack smiths election subversion case, where any proceedings at all, I may not resume for a full month.

Ryan Goodman, our OUTFRONT legal expert, is with me now.

So, Ryan, you actually be there are a few areas in this hush money case where Donald Trump's lawyers have a solid argument to now say the evidence is in fact covered by presidential immunity, by that ruling that we got from the Supreme Court on Monday. What specifically is the evidence you think would fall under there?

RYAN GOODMAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So it is counterintuitive. I can imagine that many a person would think, how is this possible if it's about official acts get immunity, the allegations in the hush-money case are all about private conduct with Michael Cohen in the 2016 election before Trump's ever elected?

Here's the key issue. I think with Trump team has the most solid argument is Hope Hicks' testimony, the testimony where she if she ends up crying on the stand, many observers think because she has fully incriminated the president at the time. What she testifying to a meeting with the president in February of 2018, her job position at the time as White House director of communications.


He's the president United States at the time communicating with her. And then he's talking to her about the fact that the hush money story was coming out at the time. And he is happy that it's coming out in 2018 rather than before the election. So it was very important testimony.

What can the Trump team do? They can say, there it is, it's a private comment -- as private and confidential conversation between the president and one of his senior advisers. What are the -- what are the Supreme Court just tell us? That's the kind of evidence that would be immune if it was charged. And then otherwise can't be entered at all as evidence in a criminal trial.

That's their argument. I think their arguments against it, but there's something solid about that. It's laughable or implausible.

HILL: Would that be enough, that one piece of evidence you think to call for a new trial?

GOODMAN: So they have one argument against them that I can see how they'll defeat it. And therefore, there wouldn't be a new trial. Down below, the justice in the case, Justice Merchan, already said that Trump had waived the ability to try to raise an immunity claim because Trump knew months before that he could raise this argument. In fact, there's even a brief in which the Trump defense team says the federal court, you can safely ignore the district attorneys arguments on presidential immunity because we're not making that claim.

And then Trump tried to make the claim that basically the eve of the trial and the justice said, too late, you've waived it. That's way too late. Now, even though the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, still too late.

HILL: So quickly before I let you go, Ryan, do you think there is enough time to get all of that sorted out, right? If the perhaps need to be oral arguments, if the judging is to bring every everyone in to get that sorted before this new sentencing date in September or do you see that being pushed again? GOODMAN: I think the judge probably actually pick this September date, so that does not get pushed again, it's ample time. And I think he's even left a large margin of error to be able to decide these cases on the briefs.

HILL: Ryan Goodman, always appreciate it. Thank you.

GOODMAN: Thank you.

HILL: Also tonight, Rudy Giuliani now disbarred. Donald Trump's former attorney, banished from practicing law in the state of New York. And this is over his efforts to interfere in the 2020 election.

It's just the latest fallout for the former mayor. He's also been indicted in Arizona for his role in the fake elector scheme there. This as a fake Trump elector in Wisconsin is still overseeing elections in the state. Roberts Spindell admitted to trying to overturn the 2020 election. There is now a push to get him removed.

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.



SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Wisconsin elections commissioner Robert Spindell, this is turning into a regular welcome. Although it's the first time they've had a theme song.

REBECCA ALWIN, CALLING FOR ROBERT SPINDELL'S RESIGNATION: We didn't have a song, believe it or not, specific to having a fake elector.

MURRAY: I'm shocked.

ALWIN: But I wrote a song.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the tellers who collect the ballots.

MURRAY: Roughly four years ago, Spindell was signing papers to serve as a Republican fake elector for Donald Trump, who lost the state by more than 20,000 votes.

Those papers, Spindell and other Wisconsin fake electors now admit, were part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results, something they acknowledged in a civil lawsuit settlement.

But nothing in that deal blocked him from staying on the board that oversees elections in the Badger State.

SAM LIEBERT, WISCONSIN STATE DIRECTOR, ALL VOTING IS LOCAL: You know, it is a concern that someone who's an acknowledged fake elector, overseas our elections.

MURRAY: Sam Liebert is one of dozens of activists trying to keep the pressure on Spindell. LIEBERT: Bob Spindell must resign from the Wisconsin elections

commission, period.

MURRAY: We caught up with Spindell heading into a commissioners' meeting.

Sara Murray with CNN, can we just ask you a couple --

To ask if there was any chance he'd step aside.

Rigorous protests downstairs calling for you to resign. Do you have any plans to do that?


MURRAY: So you're used to it right now.

SPINDELL: I've been around.

MURRAY: Do you think that they have a point after that civil settlement you signed when it came to the whole fake elector plot?

SPINDELL: No, I don't think so. That was all settled.

MURRAY: He told us his goal this year is to ensure everyone can vote and election laws are followed.

What about 2020 looking back now? I mean, you said there was fraud all over the place, all over the country.

SPINDELL: I didn't say that.

MURRAY: He did. Back in December 2020, without evidence to back it up.

SPINDELL: We have fought all over the country, and the 2020 election especially in swing states.

MURRAY: Now he says --

SPINDELL: I think really nobody knows in terms of fraud, only God knows, but I think we had a good election.

MURRAY: Soon after, activists filed into the meeting room from the jump, it turned contentious.

BIANCA SHAW, ALL VOTING IS LOCAL: It is imperative that you, Mr. Bob Spindell, resign immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Spindell has a question.

SPINDELL: Democrat administration placed 185 polling places to just five. Don't talk to me. Talk to your friends and Milwaukee white Democrats.

(CROSSTALK) [19:40:00]


SHAW: You should not be on the Wisconsin election commission where presenting any person in the state of Wisconsin, and it is imperative that you do what is right for our elections in this state and resign today.

MURRAY: Outside, activists said that they're also motivated by Spindell's previous comments, seeming to celebrate lower turnout among Black and Hispanic voters in Milwaukee in the 2022 midterms, a characterization Spindell has disputed.

SHAW: The sense of entitlement was just real. He feels very protected.

MURRAY: He has reason to feel secure. Wisconsin's Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu is the only person who has the authority to remove Spindell from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

His office is right here, but he didn't want to talk to us.

Speaker after speaker called on Spindell to step down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I call on him to do the ethical thing, the right thing, and to resign.

MURRAY: Spindell's response?

No plans to resign? The protests aren't --

SPINDELL: Oh, no, not (ph) resign.

MURRAY: Thanks.

SPINDELL: They'll ask next month, too.

MURRAY: Protesters plan to keep up the fight.



HILL: So, Sara, are there others who acted as fake electors in similar positions as we head into the 2024 election?

MURRAY: Yeah, there are actually fake electors that are willing all kinds of power ahead of November, you know, in a rural county in Nevada, the top elections official is a fake elector. In Arizona, there's a state senator who was a 2020 fake elector.

And in Georgia, the lieutenant governor was a fake elector in 2020. He's welcomed investigations and insisted that he did not take part in any wrongdoing -- Erica.

HILL: Sara, really important reporting. Appreciate it. Thank you. MURRAY: Thanks.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, CNN's KFILE uncovering audio of a top Republican tap to shape the party's platform, pushing extreme anti-abortion positions. He's even entertained the possibility of jailing women and doctors.

Plus, a ceasefire proposal to end the war in Ukraine but will Ukraine go along with it? The country's deputy prime minister is my guest.



HILL: Tonight, newly uncovered remarks by a key RNC official pushing for some of the most extreme restrictions on abortion, remarks found by CNN's KFILE.

Ed Martin is one of just three people that the party chose to lead its platform committee. And over the past two years, he has advocated for a national abortion ban, no exception for rape or incest.


MARTIN: If the conversation is, well -- should there be a federal ban and the consensus is that there shouldn't, I disagree. I disagree with the consensus.

If you ban abortion in Louisiana, is a doctor who has an abortion breaking law? Yes. Should he be punished? Yes. I think that seems obvious.

What is the punishment? Not sure yet. Could be criminal, could be a jail sentence, I suppose. its an absolute scientific fact that no abortion is ever performed to save the life of the mother none, zero, zilch.


HILL: Let's just be crystal clear on that. That last comment is false. Abortion is provided in some cases as a lifesaving measure for women.

OUTFRONT now, Andrew Kaczynski, senior editor of CNN's KFILE.

So, you went and dug through a lot of these comments from Ed Martins over the last two years or so. His views on abortion are I think extreme actually puts it mildly.

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yeah. That's right. And Ed Martin's name that you might not know, but this is someone who's going to wield significant influence over the party platform that's basically the blueprint that the party puts out as their principles that how Trump is going to govern, how Republican, but Republicans are going to run on and he's one of three people selected to help craft it. And his position on abortion is really, it is about as extreme as you can get. He supports a national ban. He doesn't support exceptions for rape or

incest, and he even has discussed the possibility of jailing women who get abortion. And this is all coming at a time when Republicans -- abortion has really been such a losing issue for Republicans. We've seen Trump's sort of tried to moderate his rhetoric on abortion, but Martin is actually pushed back on that. He said that Trump isn't trying to water down the party's position on abortion.

But some of those views that he support on abortion, there for so extreme, he has said he does not even support abortion in the case of this 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped.

Take a listen to those comments.


MARTIN: This 10-year-old was brought up as an example of why abortion is necessary. Now, I have said over and over again that the examples -- that shouldn't be the rule, right? You can't let the exceptions be the rule especially when you get engaged in debate and I refuse to do it.


HILL: I mean, that is -- that is really something because I think we all remember, that story. I know you also found some remarks he talks about the possibility of jailing a woman -- women, I should say, who've had abortions. I want to play that.


MARTIN: What do you do with the woman that has an abortion? I don't think we have a good answer yet. Some people say that they shouldn't be held liable in any way. Some people say they should have some kind of penalty, something on their record, I don't know. I mean, I certainly think that you're going to find a lot of people that don't -- that step away from jail time because they're going to say, well, this is some -- but if you believe it's a baby -- I do -- then you have to do something to protect the baby.


HILL: So he doesn't quite have an answer, but seems even if other people are opposed, but he's not opposed to jail time.

KAZYNSKI: Well, that's right. And Martin actually compared abortion later on in that radio show from his, that's where we found these clips, to a family that was intentionally starving a child to death.


He said the state in that instance would step in. So we compare that to abortion.

And he also argued sort of philosophically about jailing women who get abortion. He said, you need to frame the argument and he said, if you accept the framing, that anti -- pro abortion advocates use where they say it's about a baby, he says, then you can jail women. But if you use the framing that it's about a woman's choice, but he says, if you use this framing, that it's about a baby, then he says the discussion of punishment for a woman is something that can be discussed.

HILL: I know you reached out to the RNC. What did they tell you? What did they say about these views and whether these user actually making it into the party platform?

KACZYNSKI: So the RNC told us that the platform committee has yet to convene to discuss what the language should be in the final document. That's a quote from their spokesperson. We did reach out to Martin several times. He didn't respond to us.

And then, of course, Trump has said that he supports exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother, but he's the -- these are the people that they're putting in the RNC to put the platform together.

HILL: Look, it's important and it's important to hear this and, to know who is in charge of that platform, so that we can certainly see once we have that platform.

I appreciate it as always. Thank you. Good to see you.

Just up here next, one of Putin's top allies has a plan to stop the fighting in Ukraine. The question, of course, is will Ukraine sign onto it?



HILL: Tonight, pushing for a ceasefire in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban now encouraging Ukraine's president to consider a ceasefire with Russia to, quote, speed up peace talks. The authoritarian ruler, one of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump's strongest allies in Europe, making his first visit to Kyiv since the start of the war.

OUTFRONT, Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine's deputy prime minister who is charged with integrating Ukraine into the EU, and NATO.

Madam Deputy Prime Minister, it's good to have you with us tonight.

Viktor Orban, of course, has tried to block EU aid to Ukraine throughout this war. Now wants to cease fire to speed up peace talks with Russia.

Is this an option that Ukraine is considering?

OLHA STEFANISHYNA, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE: Well, the context is a bit different, is that basically, a day ago, Hungary has taken over the presidency in the European Union. And this was the major progress of Prime Minister Orban's visit to signal Ukraine that Ukraine's European integration is not done, this track that even over the next six months while Hungary will be presiding in EU, this track will be -- will be there.

Of course, Prime Minister Orban has taken a specific position when it comes to the aggression of the Russian Federation in to Ukraine, trying to balance between -- between every. So indeed we heard the message about the ceasefire, but he perfectly understands that he cannot be out of the context. And the context is totally different.

The ceasefire is the option which has never worked over the last decades. So it's not something new which can be putting on the table, definitely for a country fighting for its survival.

HILL: Okay. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin today saying the U.S. will give Ukraine more than $2.3 billion in additional aid. You mentioned the NATO summit. You're in Washington for the NATO summit, hoping to establish guaranteed military funding.

What happens to the war if you don't secure that money?

STEFANISHYNA: Yeah, indeed, they -- we have a delegation with me, chief of president's administration, Yermak, and ministry of defense, Rustem Umerov and the major focus in the military support.

We have already secured the financial support to Ukraine through the G7 meeting commitment, and $50 billion and were working on finalizing the commitment in terms of the military support and advanced to Euro Atlantic festival, the NATO of Washington summit. We see the largely the commitment of all the allies, all 32 allies to set this bar. And I think it's really important that we will get there.

Ukraine is developing its own capacity, but this is not only the war of aggression against Ukraine, this was a war of aggression against the democratic order and the rules-based order. And I think it's the best interests of allies to invest into Ukraine's capability to defend itself rather than expect the war on the NATO borders.

HILL: To that point. As Ukraine has continued to seek more funding for president Trump is once again speaking out about funding questioning in fact, U.S. support. This was just in the last week. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's given $200 billion now or more to Ukraine. The money that we're spending on this war. And we shouldn't be spending -- it should have never happened.


HILL: That was the former president, of course, at the CNN debate last week.

How is Ukraine preparing for the possibility that U.S. aid could be slashed, or perhaps even end if in fact Donald Trump is re-elected?

STEFANISHYNA: Well, one thing I agree for sure that nobody would want this war to, to start and Ukrainians will be the happiest nation on the world if we would not be in a situation of war. But what we're talking about is about the shielding and securing the financial commitment, not speaking, but constant increasing or the financial -- financial needs.

But this situation enabling your crazy to sustain its capability requires a sustainable commitment in terms of military and financial support. And these are the decisions we're talking about. It's not about mobilizing go scaling up the finance. It's about securing the state's sustainability and continuity of this financing, advising this is the major focus and the last thing, of course, Ukraine wants is to have speculations on these issues.

HILL: Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna, appreciate you taking the time to join us tonight. Thank you.

And thanks to all of you for joining us tonight. I'm Erica Hill.

"AC360" starts right now.