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Inside Politics

Supreme Court Overturns Roe, Ends Federal Right To Abortion; Court's Conservative Supermajority Flexes Is Muscles; Evidence Shows Trump Pressured DOJ To Overturn U.S. Election; President Biden Attends G7 Summit; Congress Passes Guns Bill With Bipartisan Majority; Election Workers Describe How Trump Lies Upended Their Lives. Aired 8- 9a ET

Aired June 26, 2022 - 08:00   ET





ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST (voice-over): A thunderbolt from the Supreme Court.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Millions of women will go to bed tonight without access to the healthcare that they had this morning.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Right to life has been vindicated. The voiceless will finally have a voice.

PHILLIP: Half the states could ban virtually all abortions, after a ruling that leaves the nation more divided than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This decision is an outrage, forced motherhood is illegitimate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm absolutely ecstatic. There are going to be babies' lives saved from this.

PHILLIP: How will it transform America and will it be a rallying cry for the Democrats in the fall?


PHILLIP: Plus, Trump's power play.

RUSTY BOWERS (R), ARIZONA HOUSE SPEAKER: You're asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath.

PHILLIP: New details on how his pressure campaign to stay in power at all costs nearly worked. And push the country to the brink.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The system held, but barely. And the question remains will it hold again?



Women of child bearing age in America have now lost a constitutional right they lived with their entire lives. Roe versus Wade has now officially been overruled, but the question today is what happens next. The anti-abortion movement is celebrating a 50-year effort to chip away at it and eliminate abortion, but across the country, women and men of all ages took to the streets to protest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm angry, I'm fired up. The fight is not over. People did this fight 50 years ago. I guess it's our turn to take the fight up again. It may take us 50 years, but we'll get back.


PHILLIP: This much is clear, the court's decision has widened the gulf between red and blue states in America. But millions are now left to wonder what other constitutional rights could be in the crosshairs of the most conservative court this country has seen in generations.

But here is where we stand today, in 11 states from Oklahoma to Kentucky, abortion is already effectively banned.


JOHN O'CONNOR (R), OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL: The womb is now in Oklahoma the safest place for a child to be. Oklahoma's law is clear now. And so, law enforcement is now activated with respect to any efforts to aid, abet or solicit abortions.


PHILLIP: Ultimately, the number of states virtually banning all abortions could rise to two dozen in total because of century old laws on the books that could now snap back into place.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: What this means to women is such an insult, it is a slap in the face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedom. A woman's right to choose reproductive freedom is on the ballot in November.


PHILLIP: And joining me to discuss this and so much more, Leigh Ann Caldwell of "The Washington Post," CNN's Manu Raju, NPR's Asma Khalid, and NPR's Sarah McCammon.

There is now clearly -- I mean, we have been talking about red and blue America, I don't think that there has been a moment in a very long time quite like this where people in red states are now questioning what life is going to be like for them under this new ruling. What's the impact?

ASMA KHALID, NPR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think the impact is kind of unclear as to how this will all shake out. We heard from President Biden on Friday, talk about the fact that his administration will work to protect the freedom of women to travel across state lines for abortion. And also protect the right for people to receive medication in the mail.

But I think one question that remains really unclear is how certain Republican states may try to fight back against opportunities that Democratic state governors are giving them and whose state has jurisdiction over that? That's a really, really unsolved question at this point.


PHILLIP: It's been such a long time. I mean, people like our colleague Ron Brownstein described the last 50 years as the rights revolution, people have garnered rights through the courts in part that they have come to live with. Civil rights, you know, human rights, women's rights, those are being rolled back in a certain way.

And your point about what the states are doing is really well put because this is the next frontier. It is like a burgeoning cold war between the states. States are already talking. Red states are talking about how they restrict travel. How they make it illegal to receive abortion pills in the mail.

What else they can do? I mean, the states that have 12 week bans or 15 week bans. This is going to be only the beginning of the next phase.

SARAH MCCAMMON, NPR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I want to point out that already in -- across much of the country there are many states, there were before Friday, many states where abortion access was extremely restricted.

States like Missouri, down to one clinic and performing a handful of procedures a month for the last couple of years.

So already patients were traveling and this disproportionately affects lower income women, women of color, and it is going to only get harder to travel across state lines, perhaps because of some of these legislative efforts and also just because it costs money.

It takes time. And I think we're going to see just an escalation of that trend.

PHILLIP: Yeah, you see employers saying they're going to cover the cost. Look at the employers. These are Apple and -- you know, these are big companies, national companies.

One thing about this moment we're in, the numbers are so stark. They haven't changed. Public opinion on roe v. Wade, do they want to overturn roe v. Wade, 34 percent of Americans said yes, in a may poll, 66 percent said no. Those numbers haven't shifted really a whole lot in the last few years

and yet we have Republican politicians in Washington, Kevin McCarthy, saying now he's going to go for a national 15-week abortion ban.

What happened to leaving it to the states?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I asked him that on Friday, whether he supports 15-week abortion ban. He said that he does.

There is going to be a debate within the Republican Party about exactly how far to go, both on the state level and on the national level. The state level, do you go and restrict abortion access altogether? Exceptions for the life of the mother, for rape or incest, that will be a fight on the right.

On the national level, do Republicans, they take the majority next year in the House, do they try to put forward a bill that would ban abortion at some level, McCarthy will face a lot of pressure from the right, even though there will not be signed into law by a Democratic president, but that is going to be the fight among Republicans and the question is going to be how -- what kind of impact does that have in the debate, the next few months where obviously the midterms will determine who controls congress, will that be enough an issue that can change some key races, particularly those states you mentioned on that map, where the abortion could be outlawed right away, places like Wisconsin, Michigan, even Arizona, big Senate races, big house races, some big governors races too.

LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, WASHINGTON POST EARLY 202 CO-AUTHOR: And -- but it is happening as you mentioned so close to a midterm. And there is some consternation among some Republicans how this is going to impact in those suburban districts, especially among women.

I do know that there are some Republicans who thought that moving forward with the gun legislation on a bipartisan way was good politics because they were worried about having the gun issue and abortion on the table at the same time for voters, especially those suburban voters and so they thought let's take one off the table, because they don't know if they're going to be rewarded or, you know --

PHILLIP: According to "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times," former president Trump who is largely responsible for this happening is also worried about what this might mean for the midterms.

They're reporting that he thinks that it would be bad for Republicans, and Democrats are wanting to run on this. But do you get the sense there is certainty about how much activation they can really get out of this issue?

KHALID: No, I think anybody who is certain about it is bluffing at this point, really. Nobody knows. We heard President Biden, we heard other Democratic lawmakers say roe is on the ballot. Essentially the message is vote.

But I will say, like, young Democratic activists, folks on the left, progressive left, feel like they have been voting and there are a lot of questions about whether or not that's actually a sufficient thing to be telling people who want sort of more radical activism at this moment.

MCCAMMON: And we're good to see a turning of the tables because for so long, this issue has been a rallying cry for the right. Back to the 2016 campaign, those of us who covered it, we remember talking to many voters that even if they had misgivings about Trump, they were concerned about the Supreme Court and abortion.

[08: 10:04]

And now they have won. And so what does that mean for the electorate?

PHILLIP: I have a question for you, Sarah, because I know you covered this issue very closely. A lot of Republicans, when you're looking at -- across the country, abortion is such a potent issue in a primary context, but they tend to ignore it in a general election. Is that possible anymore at this point?

MCCAMMON: It is not in the short-term. Already we're hearing both sides saying they're going to try to engage voters over this. Abortion rights activists go back to the voters and say, please, vote this is your only chance to regain the rights.

Abortion rights opponents are saying we can go further now, we can take Congress, ban abortion and state legislatures. I don't see this issue going away anytime soon.

RAJU: One thing interesting too, when the leaked opinion did come out, some of the Republicans on Capitol Hill did not want to talk about the merits of the leaked opinion. They want to talk about the leak itself. Showing you how they view what the midterm election is going to be about, which is they want to focus on Biden's agenda, economy, inflation, less so on abortion, the Democratic rallying cry.

The Democrats, the challenge will be to translate to the voters this you -- the next Congress, next Senate in particular could determine the balance of the Supreme Court. And a vacancy does arise because if Mitch McConnell is the majority leader, do we think he's going to move on a Democratic nominee, especially to replace a conservative vacancy?


PHILLIP: He's already said he won't. And -- but we should be clear, Republicans don't want to talk about the details of this because there is not public support for nationwide elimination of abortion rights in this country. There is just not. Maybe public support for further restrictions, but not for outright bans.

CALDWELL: Yeah, that's right. And Democrats are confident in their message, they had a briefing at the -- House Democrats, had a briefing anticipating this decision, and the message from planned parenthood, and others said voters care about this and the message needs to be, Democrats have an answer, Roe v. Wade, the Republicans' response is complete elimination of abortion and they think they are on the right side of the issue, but the question is are voters going to remember that at the polls given the economy as we have talked about before.

For Democrats, this has never been a top voting issue, but always an esoteric issue.

PHILLIP: Yeah, and I think this is a different world when suddenly roe is not there anymore.

But stand by, coming up next for us, what other rights might this Supreme Court take on next.




BIDEN: Three justices named by one president, Donald Trump, where the core of today's decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country. It is a realization of an extreme ideology and tragic error by the Supreme Court in my view.


PHILLIP: The Supreme Court's conservative super majority is only two years old, and it has already transformed major parts of American life.

In a blistering dissent to the Dobbs decision, the court's three liberal justices warned this is just the beginning. They write the court reverses course today for one reason and one reason only, because the composition of the court has changed.

CNN's Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic is here to join the conversation.

Joan, we knew this was coming. It is extraordinary to see this conservative court stake out their ground so boldly on this issue so quickly.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: It is so true. Exactly what the dissenters said is right. And, in fact, Mississippi, when it first appealed this case to the court, only wanted the justices to uphold the 15-week ban.

Once Amy Coney Barrett was in place, and this very potent five justice block was apparent, that's when they asked for roe to be completely overturned and that's when the court moved aggressively.

PHILLIP: And Chief Justice Roberts explicitly criticized the court's decision to do it and Mississippi's play to change the scope of the case. Chief Justice Roberts, you've written a whole biography on him. The consensus this weekend is that this is a chief justice who has lost his power. What does that mean for the court?

BISKUPIC: OK, it means it is lunging far to the right on many issues. But I do want to add a caveat: the chief obviously lost the court on a defining case of his generation.

One that could not be more important right now, but he still controls on racial remedies, on campaign finance, on religion. He still has his power, but right now, the driving force of this court is to the right of him.

PHILLIP: I want to show everybody a graphic here, I think this is really extraordinary. There have been 15 justices appointed to the court. And if you look from 1975 to 1990, just one voted against the principles of -- just one Republican justice has voted against the principles of Roe.

From 1991 to 2020, look at that graphic, the only justice that is not highlighted there is Justice Roberts, the rest of them in this case voting to eliminate Roe v. Wade.

It really tells you a lot about what is happening in this country.

BISKUPIC: That's exactly right. And I love that graphic, I loved when I -- when I went back --

PHILLIP: This is your idea.

BISKUPIC: I'll tell you what --

PHILLIP: Full disclosure.

BISKUPIC: There has been a major movement in the country on the part of the Republican Party to choose individuals who will go exactly in this direction because five of the six who have broken ranks with their colleagues over 50 years are still with us.


Those five are still with us. And I just have to add this, three of them are only in their 50s, which on the Supreme Court is like toddler level.

PHILLIP: Yes. Clarence Thomas will be, you know, approaching 80 --

BISKUPIC: Yeah, he turned 74 this week.

PHILLIP: Yes. So, Sarah, you've been out in the country, this is a court that is codifying in large part the world view of conservative America. What does that mean for the rest of the country?

MCCAMMON: We heard a lot of shock in response to the leak and the decision. It shouldn't come as a surprise. This is what Donald Trump when running for president promised to do.

Very explicitly, to put justices on the court that would overturn roe v. Wade and this is what happened. What it means for the country is we have a very divided country both in terms of ideology and sentiment and in terms of geography.

If you look at the map of the states, the 11 or so states where abortion is already illegal and the two dozen or so where it is likely to be very soon, it looks like the red state/blue state maps. That's for a reason. Access to abortion, right to abortion is going to depend on what state a person lives in.

PHILLIP: I want to talk about what is coming next. This is really a huge part of the conversation. Justice Thomas staked out some ground in his concurrence basically saying let's look at same sex marriage, let's look at contraception, the part of the country that is horrified by Roe v. Wade being overturned is terrified by that prospect.

KHALID: This is the messaging you'll hear from Biden officials, this concern it is not just about Roe v. Wade, it is not just about abortion, it could be about same sex marriage, it could be about contraception.

The challenge for Democrats is there is this level of disenchantment among Democratic base voters of well, what is the solution? To get out and vote? They feel some of them, some of the folks on the far left, that they have tried that, and it didn't really yield to sort of seismic change that they were expecting.

I really will say at this point and time, I don't know that anybody knows what is next, but the Democratic solution to say to folks, just vote, doesn't feel like a sufficient answer to some people on the left.

PHILLIP: The Republicans and conservatives have spent 50 years putting together a multilayered strategy from the bottom up to achieve this end. You can't roll that back by just saying vote for your senator and your House member. It is going to take more than that.

Joan, I want to ask about Justice Thomas, a Thomas biographer Ralph Rossum wrote that he stakes out a position more forth rightly than the other justices are willing to go, but they're kind of sucked along in his wake.

Thomas drags the court in his direction. Thomas often concurring maybe with the conservative majority, but writing separately and going further.

Alito in his opinion, says this isn't going to touch those other rights, but do you think that is a reasonable thing for people to hang their hat on?

BISKUPIC: No. Okay. Clarence Thomas did write alone. It was just a couple of years ago that Thomas was writing alone saying let's overturn Roe v. Wade.


BISKUPIC: And look at what happened. So I never say never anymore. I personally would never have believed that I would wake up and see a headline that said Roe v. Wade overturned. Just having watched this court and watched Republican appointees for so long.

Clarence Thomas is pulling the court and the other justices with him at this point, at this point. And that's what we should all remember.

MCCAMMON: And to that point, while Justice Thomas explicitly called for reconsidering some of the issues you described, the court in its majority opinion explicitly said that's not what we're looking at doing, we see abortion as something different.

That said, you know, when I talk to my conservative sources, they sort of minimize the idea that same sex marriage is next or contraception is next. But the words I'm hearing are things like there is no national strategy for that. That's not a priority.

PHILLIP: It's like a not yet.

MCCAMMON: So it is hard to say what will come down the road.

PHILLIP: I think that's a really important point. It is a strategy of minimization, but it is not to say that that's not on the agenda. There has been a movement, especially on LGBTQ rights to scapegoat gay people in this country and trans people in the country and that can't be ignored in the context of all this that is happening.

Coming up next, the January 6th Committee takes us inside the oval office meeting that nearly decapitated the Trump Justice Department.



PHILLIP: Welcome back. We are standing by to see President Biden at the G7 summit in Germany. And we will give you more when we see those pictures of President Biden and other world leaders.

For now, we're back in the room. We have learned a lot more from the January 6th committee this week about the lengths that President Donald Trump went to stay in power.

Witnesses described how he pushed state officials to overrule their voters and he asked his Justice Department to look into crazy theories including one about Italian satellites. And when none of it panned out, he demanded the DOJ officials allege fraud anyway.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): The president and his allies became keenly aware that with legal challenges exhausted, and electoral votes certified, their only hope would be a last ditch scheme to prevent Congress from certifying the win.

So President Trump ultimately wanted the Department of Justice to say the election was, quote, "corrupt", and quote, "leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen".


PHILLIP: They refused. CNN's legal analyst Carrie Cordero is joining our conversation. This week, there has been a lot of news, but there was a lot of news out of the January 6 Committee -- two really blockbuster hearings.

But this second hearing about the political coup is pretty significant. Because the argument that they were making was basically that this was Plan A. Plan A was to basically use the government to overthrow the democratic transfer of power in this country.

RAJU: Yes, and to push out the officials who were standing up to Donald Trump and saying that this was -- that the election -- there was no basis at all for fraud, and to install a Trump loyalist to essentially do Trump's bidding.

This was the hearing on Thursday, again demonstrated, just how relentless this pressure campaign was to essentially get the government to do -- to go as far as what Donald Trump was suggesting here, suggesting how close they came, once again to succeeding in this plan.

PHILLIP: We talk a lot about the comparisons with Watergate, and you know, potential like, Friday night massacre. This is Richard Donoghue, DOJ attorney, basically describing them in the Oval Office threatening exactly that to former President Trump.


RICHARD DONOGHUE, FORMER DOJ OFFICIAL: Early on the president said what do I have to lose? And it was actually a good opening, because I said, "Mr. President, you have a great deal to lose. You're going to lose your entire departmental leadership. Every AG will walk out on you. Your entire departmental leadership will walk out within hours. You'll get hundreds and hundreds of resignations of the leadership of your entire Justice Department because of your actions. What's that going to say about you?"


PHILLIP: That's a pretty vivid picture.

KHALID: It is. It is. Right? And I think that to me the clearest takeaway of these hearings, especially this one where we heard the pressure campaign on the DOJ, was that even covering this -- cover the fallout of the election, I think the January 6 hearings have really painted a very clear narrative of how close Donald Trump was, and the lengths to which he was willing to go that I don't think any of us in the moment fully understood what was transpiring.

I will give the credit to the hearings. I mean They have really painted a very clear and concise narrative.

PHILLIP: They're talking here in this hearing, the undercurrent of this hearing was criminality. And what was happening that was illegal.

Now, you had a couple of the witnesses suggesting that people like John Eastman were committing crimes, he needed a criminal defense lawyer. People like Jeffrey Clark needed a criminal defense lawyer. How far do the potential crimes here go?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, so I think the hearings this week, both the hearings with the Georgia officials, as well as the hearings with the Department of Justice officials, really did shift things forward. And one of the things they showed was that multiple people involved really did know at the time that what was going on was potentially illegal and unconstitutional.

But I think they moved things forward because what they showed particularly in the Justice Department hearing was that the president himself was informed that what was going on was illegal and he engaged in specific acts.

So what I think we saw that was different was the definition of overact which is something that you would need in a conspiracy. And so specific things he did -- asking for a suit to be filed with the Supreme Court, asking for the letter to be sent to Georgia, asking for a public statement, remnants of the Ukrainian pressure that he applied that was the subject of the first impeachment hearing, asking for an announcement to be made.

And so there are specific things that were -- that were demonstrated that he did.

PHILLIP: Carrie, I want to know what you think about this because this is from Rich Donoghue's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, back in August of 2021. So this was -- this was not played in the hearings this week but this is what he said, he was asked did Trump ever instruct you or Rosen to engage in illegal activity based on that advice.

And he answered, again, with the caveat that others can decide whether or not the instructions if any were legal or illegal, I did not perceive it to be that at the time.

Do you buy that given all that we have heard that he -- he was a lawyer, would not perceive Trump to be asking him to do anything illegal?


CORDERO: Well, that's his testimony. So we have to take his testimony. That's his view of what he has testified to if this was in a deposition under oath.

But others who have been demonstrated through testimony to the committee has said differently. So a former White House counsel said that he told John Eastman that what was going on, you know, you should get a criminal defense lawyer because you're going to need it.

Others, if that have been demonstrated, recognized including those members of Congress who requested pardons that what they were engaging in might have been illegal, otherwise they wouldn't have been requesting them.

PHILLIP: Yes. CORDERO: And the pardons seem -- and that's what the committee was making the point of is that the pardons are a very clear indication that those members of Congress and others knew what they did was wrong and illegal.

And especially they said just very broad-based pardons and they testified that those were the broadest pardon requests that they had seen and so they just wanted blanket immunity for what they had done over the past few months.

PHILLIP: I want to play this sound from Rusty Bowers, who testified this week, to all the pressure that he received personally to influence the count in Arizona. But he was asked about whether he would vote for Trump again and this is basically what he said.


RUSTY BOWERS (R), ARIZONA HOUSE SPEAKER: If you're limit the choice to those two, just because of the implementation of the policy, I would have to go with the one who had lived -- would implement the policy. If you ask me if I want Donald Trump to be president again, the answer is no. I don't.


PHILLIP: This seems to be, if Trump had a superpower, this would be it. Republicans think that he's doing illegal things. They think he's doing unconstitutional things, but they will vote for him again.

RAJU: Yes. And look, Mitch McConnell said very similar. He has said that, you know, if Donald Trump is the nominee, he would support him. McConnell, of course, said that Donald Trump was morally and practically responsible for January 6. He also voted to acquit him in the impeachment trial.

Had the Republicans wanted to stick their necks out and essentially vote to convict him during the impeachment trial, they could have done that and banned him from future office. But they assumed at the time, now wrongfully, that he would be so damaged politically that he couldn't revive himself.

But now it appears that he is and he can and now those Republicans who don't want anything to do with him may be stuck with him.


PHILLIP: Hold on just one second because we have to go to Kaitlan Collins in Austria. Right now, President Joe Biden is huddling with world leaders. He's in Germany for a critical G7 summit.

Kaitlan, you are there. Kaitlan, the president is stressing again that the west cannot splinter in the face of Russian aggression. Ukraine is a huge topic of conversation at this G7 summit this week.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is basically the main topic that they have. Of course, that Russian invasion of Ukraine has basically set the stage for what these discussions are going to be about.

Also, of course, the awful global economy and how these leaders are each confronting inflation in their own nations, others something President Biden is very familiar with.

And you see the world leaders are now gathering for the family photo. That's when they go and stand next to one another, you see several of them there.

They've just had a working lunch following a one on one meeting that President Biden had with the German chancellor earlier this morning. We'll see if they comment on anything while they're standing there taking these photos.

Because you did see President Biden comment earlier on the first Russian strikes on Kyiv in several weeks, strikes that obviously were timed as these world leaders were just getting together.

They seemed intent on sending a message to these G7 leaders who, Abby, I should note their biggest focus here is on keeping Ukraine able to be able to defend itself. They've been sending billions of dollars in weapons to them so far. It's interesting (INAUDIBLE).

But also talking about how they're punishing Putin and trying to choke him off from the rest of the international economy and financial community.

And another step they're taking on that is they're banning imports of Russian gold. All the G7 leaders have agreed to this. And it's especially notable for the United Kingdom to do that because they imported billions of dollars in Russian gold last year and that is, of course, Russia's second biggest export in addition to energy.

And so they're just trying to find these ways, Abby to punish Putin for this invasion as they're also preparing for it to go on for quite some time.

PHILLIP: You're seeing President Biden there speaking with Emmanuel Macron of France and Ursula Van Der Leyen of the European Commission. Notably these world leaders, the men at least, are tireless here for that view.

Kaitlan, real quick before you go, I know world leaders are weighing in on the Supreme Court overturning Roe versus Wade and wiping out a federal right to abortion here in the United States. What is the reaction overseas?

COLLINS: Yes. It is kind of an interesting point for President Biden to come into this summit with because they're talking about rallying democracies against a unified foe, but the president himself is facing criticism, not him necessarily, but his nation, for this decision made by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe versus Wade by several of the leaders that he's meeting with.

[08:39:48] COLLINS: The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that you see right there, French President Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all of them criticize that decision with Boris Johnson calling it a big step backward. Trudeau calling it horrific.

And we should note, you did note that Ursula Von Der Leyen is here, who of course, leads the European Union. But there are no elected women leaders here at the G7 summit for the first time since about 2006, I believe. Of course, that is because the German Chancellor Merkel, left office. Now she's been replaced by German Chancellor Scholz.

But it is notable that you're seeing these world leaders criticizing that decision because now it puts the U.S. In a category with Poland, Nicaragua, Russia, as one of the very few handful of countries that have actually rolled back abortion rights in the last several decades, Abby.

PHILLIP: That's a very good point. Kaitlan Collins, thank you so much.

And coming up next for us, this is what compromise looks like. How Congress came together to pass the biggest new gun law in a generation.



PHILLIP: It may have been overshadowed by everything else in the last week, but yesterday President Biden signed the first major law to fight gun violence in nearly 30 years. And it passed with bipartisan support after a trail of tragedy from Uvalde to Buffalo finally prompted action.


SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): This bill is a compromise. It doesn't do everything I want. But what we are doing will save thousands of lives.

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Doing nothing is an abdication of our responsibility. This bill includes targeted common sense measures to prevent violence, and to save lives while respecting our constitution.


PHILLIP: Compromise. Imagine that. So, Leigh Ann how did this all come together?

LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, the dynamic in the environment was right. Of course, after Buffalo, the national tragedy, and that spurred these lawmakers to get together.

The politics, some Republicans thought are right for the midterms actually. And also Senator Cornyn, who has a lot of respect among the gun rights groups including the sportsmen was able to keep them at bay while Chris Murphy, the top Democrat on these negotiations was able to bring the gun control groups along. And just a confluence of events brought this together.

PHILLIP: That point about Cornyn is so interesting because take a listen to what he said this week about the NRA.


CORNYN: We work with the NRA to listen to their concerns, but in the end, I think they simply -- they have a membership and a business model that will not allow them to support any legislation.


PHILLIP: An incredibly stark assessment. The politics of this. I mean is that significant, do you think?

RAJU: Yes, look, I mean that's true. And what Cornyn was actually trying to sell Republicans on was the fact that the NRA did get some things that they wanted as part of this larger package, even though they came out fighting this pretty aggressively.

But look, Republicans, vast majority of them, oppose this legislation. You had 15 Republicans voted for it in the senate. There are 50 Republicans in the Senate.

14 Republicans voted in the House. There are a lot more Republicans in the house and House Republican leaders whipped against this. They wanted their members to vote against this.

So even though Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, believes this is good politics, particularly in the suburbs, a lot of Republicans are still in line with gun rights groups, like the NRA, a vast majority of them there just happen to be enough right now to break ranks to pass this.

CALDWELL: And enough retiring Republican senators as well.

RAJU: Yes.

PHILLIP: That's a whole other point, just about. The folks who are retiring and the folks who might replace them will make the Senate look like a very different place. But I think people folks at home want to know what can be next.

What does this mean for actual progress on other issues? I mean I think the third rail in politics -- immigration, abortion, and guns. Guns, something has been done. Immigration and abortion --

KHALID: Not likely.


KHALID: Not likely, right. Abortion we just saw the decision come down from the Supreme Court on Friday. The president himself acknowledged that with the current congress it is highly unlikely if not impossible that anything will get passed in congress. I think (INAUDIBLE) -- I'm paying attention but you think that we haven't seen concrete action on is this competition or innovation act. I hear a lot of pressure from outside groups like Intel, companies that want to make investments in the U.S.

PHILLIP: This is --

KHALID: Semiconductor chips.


KHALID: Exactly.

RAJU: It is a huge issue now. That's probably the one last major bipartisan achievement that could potentially be done in this congress. There are still major differences that they're trying to sort. They may actually --


KHALID: You think it can get done though?

RAJU: It is possible. It's one thing where there actually could be some agreement. But as we know, as we get closer and closer to the midterms getting legislation through, it gets more and more difficult in the two major achievements of this 50/50 Senate and the narrowly divided Congress other than the infrastructure law and guns, can they make it a third, possible. But it could be something.

PHILLIP: I mean that is not like one of these like cultural third rail issues. But I mean for people at home, it is actually maybe the thing that matters. If you want to buy a car, you want to buy a computer, if you want to buy pretty much anything, this is at the heart of it and it actually has made no sense that they haven't been able to get that done.

To your point Leigh Ann about the kind of politics of the midterms, McConnell this week saying, you know, the quiet part out loud, we need the suburbs that he thinks that the guns stuff (ph) will get them there, right?

CALDWELL: Yes, that's absolutely right. And that's the reason he blessed these negotiations and like I said earlier, he was worried about the Roe decision in the suburbs. And so he thinks that suburban women would not be ok with getting rid of abortion and doing nothing to save children in their schools because of the gun issue. So he tried to take one off the table.

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean not to mention there is no formula on the shelves. Not to mention that the child poverty is extraordinarily high. There are a lot of problems for children in America.

Next, the election worker who paid a terrifying price for Donald Trump's election lies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHAYE MOSS, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, saying things like "be glad it's 2020 and not 1920".




PHILLIP: Donald Trump's election lies didn't just drive our democracy to the brink, it also destroyed the lives of innocent people. Just listen to these two women, a mother and daughter, describing what happened after Trump falsely accused them, by name, of double-counting votes in Fulton County.


RUBY FREEMAN, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: There is nowhere I feel safe, nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you?

MOSS: I don't want anyone knowing my name. I don't want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over at the grocery aisle. I don't go to the grocery store at all. I haven't been anywhere at all.


PHILLIP: These women were terrorized by this lie. It really has a chilling effect and it has had a chilling effect on election workers. Shaye Moss said none of the people who worked with her in Georgia are still in their jobs in part because of how dangerous it is right now to be an election worker in this country.


CALDWELL: Yes. And not only that, but within 12 hours of that hearing my colleagues at the "Washington Post" reported that those -- the members of the January 6 Select Committee now all have to have security because of an increase of threats after that hearing. So, there was a hearing almost entirely devoted on how people's lives have been destroyed and the threats against them, and then the threats increased against the members of the January 6 select committee.

And so it's just how divisive and angry and violent things are right now.

PHILLIP: Amazing.

RAJU: Yes. And look, that's one of the things that these hearings have shown. Is that not only how close things went from the election being overturned, if it weren't for some people simply standing up to Donald Trump, but actually the real life impacts this had on people like Wandrea Moss, who was just simply trying to do her job, and her entire family affected by that. But also people like Brad Raffensperger. He's an elected official in

Georgia, his daughter-in-law, who's a widow, had her house broken into. They're worried about their personal safety and security. And the president's words have an impact. Clearly, we saw this happening after 2020.

PHILLIP: And not to mention people like Lady Ruby and Wandrea Moss are being replaced by kooks, people who believe completely made-up conspiracy theories, who are replacing the good guys.

KHALID: I mean to that point Abby, I mean I think one of the clearest takeaways to me of this week's hearings, hearing that testimony was if one of the goals that former President Donald Trump had was to subvert the system and pressure local poll workers, election workers, he may not have succeeded in 2020 but ultimately, like this pressure campaign continues, and I do think there are ongoing threats to democracy that we're going to see in the 2022 election, the 2024 election. In that way, I think the verdict is out on whether or not he succeeded.

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean I think it's a real shame to see what's been happening but you wonder, you know, where is Congress on protecting election workers in this country? Is that a priority here in Washington? It seems like it is not.

But that is it for "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY". Thanks for watching today. Don't forget, you can also listen to our podcast. You can download INSIDE POLITICS wherever you get your podcast and scan the QR code that you see at the bottom of your screen.

But stay with CNN. Coming up next, we have a special "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. Jake is at the G7 summit in Germany and he'll sit down with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Thank you again for sharing your Sunday morning with us. I hope you have a great rest of your day.