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Judge Rejects Bannon's Attempt To Delay Criminal Contempt Trial; Manchin Vows To Scrub Everything That Could Fuel Inflation; Rep. Jordan Won't Say If He Regrets False Tweet On 10-Year-Old Ohio Rape Victim Who Went To Indiana To Seek Abortion. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired July 14, 2022 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: You need to delay this. A Trump appointed judge said, sorry, no, we start Monday.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Judges very much do not like to delay trials on account of pretrial publicity. They believe that if they tell jurors, you know what, put this out of your mind, set this aside, juries can be fair, that is why the judges did this. And I think the judge will stick to it.
KING: It'll be interesting to watch because Steve Bannon, if you followed this the last five years, loves to talk tough. He has his own podcast, The War Room, he talks tough. He talks tough, I'll talk to anybody. I'll testify to anybody. Then he goes to court, he defy subpoenas. He tries to delay testifying, including on his podcast this week saying, me, they want me to testify. Let's go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP CHIEF STRATEGIST: Pray for our enemies, OK. Pray for because we're going to meet evil on these people. We're going to savage our enemies. My offers out there. Here's what I need. Give me a date, a time, a room number, a microphone, and a Holy Bible. I can take the oath on. Boom, deliver that and we'll see how good you are little Jamie Raskin and Liz Cheney.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Well, boom. Why the hell didn't you do that from the beginning? Why did you get a lawyer and fight it for months and months and months and months and months? And even to this day? He hasn't turned over the documents they want. But he talks tough.
TARINI PARTI, WHITE HOUSE REPORTERM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: That's right. And it's -- I mean, it's definitely too little too late for Steve Bannon. He has not turned over any of the documents. He's not fully cooperating with the Committee. He's offering to do this public hearing, which -- but the Committee wants more from him. And they're going to proceed with this trial. And Steve Bannon can keep going on his podcast and saying these tough words. But in theory, he's not actually acting on, on those words. KING: And yet, and you can understand, look, the guy has lied repeatedly. And he always says I'm ready for the fight. And then he lawyers up and delays any sort of consequences for his actions, but he could be a very consequential witness. This is new, loosely obtained audio is from October 31st. So just before the election back in 2020, Mother Jones obtained this. Listen to what Steve Bannon says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BANNON: What Trump's going to do is just declare victory, right? He's going to declare victory. But that doesn't mean he's a winner. He's just going to say he's the winner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now, Steve Bannon's camps as well, that he was just saying that conjecture, that Trump had said that in other places, however, that is what Trump did on election night against the advice of his campaign team and the lawyers. And so you get this idea, is that more proof that Trump has this row group of advisers that he talks to outside of his White House staff all the time. And here's another example, the January 6th Committee showed these Bannon call logs the other day, on January 5th, the day before the insurrection.
Between the first one and the second one, Bannon went on his podcast and said, tomorrow is going to be wild, like nothing you've ever seen. So we can't connect the dots but he speaks to Donald Trump and then he mimics Donald Trump on the podcast.
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And that was quite because they had the video of that podcast during the hearing. And yes, that could be very illuminating, if he did decide to testify for the Committee. But again, he didn't. And I -- we're talking about this during the break. I think Elie Honig said you can't walk the money back into the bank after you stole the money from the bank. You can't unring that bell. Now that he decided he might want to testify, maybe.
KING: You could say anything you want on your podcast, it's hard when you're in federal court, and there are rules of evidence and rules of procedure. So it gets interesting starting Monday.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, USA TODAY: You read my mind, which is exactly that you can, if you were under oath, even if you aren't under oath, again, lying to a member of Congress is a crime. If you have to testify, then you open the door to that also and that's exactly, exactly what I was thinking, John.
KING: It's going to be -- it'd be that -- this jury selection starts Monday but it'd be fascinating to watch. This is one of those days where you'd like to have a camera in a federal courtroom, wouldn't you?
Up next for us, the markets are down because there's fresh evidence. Your costs are still going up. Inflation is stressing your budget. And guess what it's also stressing the relationship between Democrats and President Biden.
KING: Rough day in financial markets because of two new indicators that your cost of living keeps going up. The Producer Price Index, which measures changes in wholesale prices jumped 11.3 percent from one year ago, that according to a new Labor Department report out today. And Freddie Mac says mortgage rates are also up. The average interest rate on a new 30-year home loan 5.5 percent. That's up from 5.3 percent last week. The drop off on Wall Street today you see it right there. It was worse earlier. But you see the numbers there. That's because investors are now worried about a possible recession or and about new Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.
In Washington Democrats worry inflation and broader economic anxiety are going to cost them control of Congress. And they are increasingly venting at the Biden White House. Among them, Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who said this yesterday, quote, I remember being with a bunch of senior leaders in November, screaming my head off about the price of gas in November and being patted on my head and saying, like, don't worry, we got to get through Christmas, and it'll be better in 2022. So I don't think that we have a great sense of where this is going.
Our reporters are back with us. And so that part is stunning in the sense that the numbers are bad enough. These members of Congress are in tough races, you have to go home at a time when their constituents are paying more for just about everything. And now in addition to that, they've lost trust, essentially in the President and his team to communicate to handle this.
KUCINICH: And you've heard that even going back further. I mean, I think we've all had conversations with members of Congress who said that they were warning the White House about this rising as an issue, particularly in those purple districts where they're, you know, up every single year fighting for their political lives. And the White House is saying things that, you know, are painting things in a very rosy picture that's not being reflected at home. You can't say things like, oh, well inflation is worse in other countries and expect that that's going to, you know, calm any fears here at home.
KING: Right. And so one of the possibilities, the hopes at the White House and on Capitol Hill is that the Democrats do something, remember, the whole big Biden agenda was put off the rails last, they couldn't -- the Democrats couldn't reach agreement among themselves, they couldn't get the votes. So now they're back at it again, in a much slimmer purpose. But then these new numbers come out yesterday. And Joe Manchin, the Prime Minister of the United States, or you know, the key voice in the United States says, I don't mean it to be snarky, but without his vote, you can't get things done.
He says, again, now I'm very, very cautious, and I'm going to make sure that I have every input on scrubbing everything humanly possible that could be considered inflammatory. At other times in that conversation with reporters, he used the words, also, I'm going to make sure there's nothing inflationary. So here's Joe Manchin negotiating an already slimmed down package saying we might have to shrink it more, which if nothing else, prolongs the process.
CHAMBERS: And they're totally running out of time too, John. You were talking about August recess and having to go home and talk to their constituents three weeks, three weeks. And they're not just trying to get this done. They're trying to get a China competitiveness bill done. There's some other matters that are trying to get done, judicial nominations and whatnot. And so they are very much running out of time if they're going to come to a deal with Joe Manchin. And to that point, he has said this whole time that he wanted to see what the inflation numbers were going to be certainly not sounding like someone who was on the verge of making a deal at this point.
PARTI: I think the frustration that we're seeing or hearing from House Democrats in particular is that they're not seeing an urgency from the White House, whether it's on messaging or actually taking actions to ease some of these inflationary pressures. They're not seeing that urgency. For example, there were a group of House Democrats who asked the President to roll back the China tariffs that could, you know, help some with prices.
And the President still hasn't made a decision on that. So they're trying to push the President to take some action. A lot of vulnerable members of Congress had a bill that would have a federal gas tax holiday. This is something they asked the President to endorse months ago. It took him a long time to get there. And even now, the White House is an actively pushing for this. So there's just a lot of frustration for a lack of urgency that they're saying the administration.
KING: Right. And so you mentioned the frustration today. And you make the key point that it's not new in the sense that look, the President months and months ago said inflation would be transitory. Then they've said other things since then, that have not inspired confidence. And so the yesterday when the CPI, the Consumer Price Index came out today, it's the PPI, the Producer Price Index, yesterday, is the price you pay, today is wholesale prices came out. And the White House said, well, look, the price of gas is down. That's old data. It's old. That's last month's data. The price of gas has come down since, it has, it has. But this is Tammy Baldwin right here in this space yesterday, the senator from Wisconsin asked, is that the right thing to tell the American people? They see this new report that reminds them, yes, inflation is going up. But don't worry it's over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Is that when you would tell them that the data is out of date?
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WI): Certainly not. I know that people are really suffering with the inflation. And while it is great news that in the last month, gas prices have gone down by about 40 cents per gallon. That's really not the break people are looking for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You could argue. And some would argue that's just, you know, a politician in Washington. She's not on the ballot this year. But the other Senate race in her state is on the ballot this year. That's a politician in Washington talking about self-interest. But she's backed up by, look at this, this is a Pew Research Center, Biden's handling of the economy. I don't even read to -- need to read the numbers, Democrats are blue, total is gold, Republicans are red, all three of those lines are heading in the wrong direction, the trajectory for the President on the economy, were 3.5 months from the election. He needs to at least flat line that if not turn it the other way.
KUCINICH: And have a message other than, yes, it's going to get better, I promise. Because I guarantee a lot of people don't read that report, but they're going to the grocery store.
CHAMBERS: And one argument that progressives are making right now that he could take to try and help with that is he could cancel some student loan debt, for instance, that's really something they'd like to see the President take. And he wouldn't have to kick that to Congress. But again, Biden still hasn't made any decision about that at this point.
KING: Do something, your reporting says, they wanted to do something, your reporting says, they're frustrated. We'll see how this one plays out.
Up next for us, this just in, a sitting Republican Congressman reacting to his controversial tweet about a 10-year-old rape victim.
KING: Today, no apology from a sitting Ohio Congressman and a leader in the House Republican Party for getting the facts wrong on a flashpoint in this new post real world. This week, a Columbus man was charged with raping and impregnating a 10-year-old girl. That girl then traveled to Indiana to seek an abortion because she could not get one in Ohio. President Biden you might remember highlighted that story in his White House remarks announcing new actions from the federal government, the administration to try to protect abortion access. But some Republicans earlier this week denied the episode ever happened. Those Republicans included Congressman Jim Jordan, who called the allegation quote a lie. CNN's Manu Raju joins us now live from Capitol Hill. Manu you had a chance to speak for the Congressman earlier today. What did he say?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he claimed that he was never questioning the girl's story. He said he was only reacting to a headline that he saw. This was in reference to a story about the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who claimed -- that story claimed that he found no evidence to support this allegation of this 10-year-old girl from Ohio had travel to Indiana to have this abortion. Jordan tweeted another lie, anyone surprised that he deleted that tweet. So I asked him about that and whether he would apologize to the family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Why did you delete the tweet?
REP. JIM JORDAN (D-OH): Well, because we learned that's illegal aliens did this heinous crime. So we delete the tweet.
RAJU: You do apologize for the girl and the family for suggesting that lie?
JORDAN: I never doubted the child. I was responding to a headline from your profession, and his profession, which happens all the time on Twitter, now that Joe Biden, which is usually a smart thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So then I also asked him whether or not he -- whether this fact for this tweet came across as if he was in fact questioning the child's story. He said, no, not at all. I was just questioning Joe Biden. And I asked him about the idea about whether a 10-year-old should be required under the law of his state to cab this child carry to term if she is raped, he would not answer that specifically saying this is up to the state legislatures. He would not to express his preference on this issue. So not apologizing for the tweet, not apologizing to the family, and not regretting the tweet, but just claiming it was misinterpreted about what he meant. Say he didn't mean to question the girl but criticizing the undocumented immigrant who is alleged to have perpetrated this heinous crime.
KING: Just to be clear, if the Republicans take control of the House, he would be the chairman of an incredibly powerful committee, the Judiciary Committee, which would have jurisdiction over some of these issues. His tweet called the allegation quote, a lie, a lie. Two pretty straightforward words there. And his comments today is that we all misinterpreted that.
RAJU: Yes, because I asked him, I said it is interpreted, based on what you said that the allegation, the girl's -- the allegation that this girl was raped and had to have an abortion was a lie. He said, that's not what he said. He said that it was -- he was saying what Joe Biden was saying was a lie. So he's trying to split hairs a bit here. But nevertheless, that is his contention at the moment. But he did delete that tweet afterwards. And we're getting his first reaction about why he did that saying, he'd never questioned that girl, but was just responding to a headline that he saw, which is claims happens all the time on Twitter.
KING: And then a quick pivot -- and then a quick pivot to try to make it about illegal immigration. We've seen this script once or twice before. Manu Raju live on the Hill on important conversation. Thank you. Abortion, of course very much a part of the midterm campaign debate. Now Democrats in most places do want to talk about it. Many Republicans though prefer to avoid this. Avoid that topic. This is a new Democratic ad airing in some key 2022 battleground states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republicans are celebrating ending a woman's right to choose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This as a moment for incredible celebration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a great victory.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they're not done yet. Mike Pence wants to ban abortion in every state. Mitch McConnell says a national abortion ban is possible, 50 years of women's rights stripped away by the few.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now you might think Republicans who have long opposed abortion rights would be celebrating their recent Supreme Court victory. But some brand new CNN reporting details advice from Republican consultants telling candidates in key battleground states and key battleground races to only talk about abortion when asked about it and to instead focus on things like inflation and President Biden. This includes candidates who for years were leaders in opposing abortion rights. CNN's Gabby Orr is live with us here for more on her new reporting. It includes people like Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, it includes people like Brian Kemp, the Republican incumbent running for reelection as Georgia Governor, who for years have put themselves out there as leaders in the anti-abortion moment -- movement. Now it's no.
GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, John and a candidate forum earlier this year, Doug Mastriano, back when he was a primary candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, said that abortion was his number one issue. And yet, in the last few weeks since the decision and Dobbs came down, we really haven't heard him talk about it. He's been shifting to issues like inflation, rising energy prices, rising crime in parts of the country. He's kept his focus on pocketbook issues and law and order issues and doesn't want to talk about abortion.
And the reason for that I'm told is that a lot of Republican advisors to these candidates like Mastriano, like Brian Kemp, who has refused to call a special session, despite pressure from conservatives in Georgia who want him to basically enshrine abortion restrictions in the state constitution. They're being told do not touch this. One adviser to a top Senate candidate actually said, you know, I spoke to my candidate and I said, frankly, I don't want you to talk about abortion until you get to Washington doesn't want to hear it on the campaign trail.
This is a really thorny issue. And Republicans often get into a spot when they're talking about it where they have to explain their position in depth. And you don't want to be a Republican in this cycle talking about anything that doesn't have to do with issues that people are feeling at the grocery store at the gas station and so there is a great sort of unofficial strategy here to shift the focus to those issues. [12:55:10]
KING: So let me try to strip this down a little bit. So it's an important to them for years, it was an incredibly important principle issue until they're in a year where it might cost them votes in the suburbs, which decide key states like Pennsylvania and Georgia, sited in the suburbs, moderate women might back away from you. So put politics ahead of principle now. Fair?
ORR: It's not politically advantageous to them right now. And so they're not talking about it. And look, there are some candidates, Ron Johnson is a good example who really want to adopt the Trump strategy and talk as much as possible about these sort of hot cultural war issues. But instead of using that sort of rhetoric on issues like abortion, they've shifted it to talking about Joe Biden and talking about his cognitive ability, his talking about gas prices and really like using provocative rhetoric on economic issues instead of the culture war issues that could get Republicans especially vulnerable Republicans like Ron Johnson in trouble this cycle.
KING: Math, math, sometimes Trump's principal.
Thanks for your time in INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you back here this time tomorrow. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage after a quick break.