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Trump, Pence Rivalry Intensifies Ahead Of 2024 Election; Roberts Tried And Failed To Persuade Supreme Court To Save Roe; Survey: 43 Percent Of Parents Of Young Kids Will Not Vaccinate Them. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 26, 2022 - 12:30   ET



KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, here the America First policy, somewhat you're going to hear from some of conservative leaders from across the spectrum. We have Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy, Lindsey Graham, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, all of them likely to be focused on that future of the Republican Party. But again, it remains to be seen whether or not President Trump can actually move forward as he malls a presidential run.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Kristen Holmes on the scene of the big speech, glad to have you on the program. We'll see what Trump says when he gets there. Let's bring the conversation back into the room. Is it irony? Help me with the right word that Donald Trump's first trip back to Washington is to give a speech on law and order when we know now more than ever, that a federal grand jury is inside the West Wing investigating his efforts to steal the country, to steal an election.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's just part of the script that none of us probably could have written without it being like, tossed back for not being realistic enough. But look, I mean, the President has obviously been giving a ton of speeches, the former president, he was out in Arizona over the weekend giving another speech on Saturday. So he is well practiced at this. One thing he has not done is given a policy speech yet. That's what his aides are teeing up for this afternoon, we'll see if that happens. He literally is going to be blocks from the federal courthouse where the grand jury is deciding what happened on the 6th that he was complicit in this blocks from the Department of Justice, where the Attorney General right now is the deciding sort of how to proceed with this.

The attorney general of course, is also giving a speech or an interview, I should say this afternoon to NBC. We'll see what he says. So, a very interesting moment for the former president to return to Washington. I think the most interesting thing is just obviously, as Kristen was saying, the former vice president who is as loyal as the day is long now obviously trying to chart his own path. I don't get a ton of sense of what the market is for that among Republicans.

But look, Donald Trump would be happy to have Mike Pence in the race, as well as many, many, many other Republicans because the key to Trump's future is a big Republican field. That's his way to victory again, and teeing up that way, the ambitious, holistic, Kristen was a reading off of speakers that helps Donald Trump.

KING: And so you're trying to, to Jeff's point, if you're Mike Pence, you're trying to figure out is there a path for me? When he says we need more -- we need to do more than just criticize and complain. It's pretty clear who he's talking about there. Donald Trump is -- just a living grievance. He airs his grievances every day. But we have to focus on the future and not the past. Isn't it easy to say that, you know, again, whenever you thought of Mike Pence before he was vice president, he was part of the Trump administration, if Republicans want something new, is it him?

ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I mean, it's -- it has come out in the hearings as well, that, you know, yes, he did refuse to go along with this plan to stop the certification of the electoral account as well. But as you were saying this was one of the more loyal people to the former president, during the administration. I thought, just as telling us any comment he made during his remarks today, that being the former, the former vice president was also his first answer in the Q&A, when somebody asked about kind of the distinction and the growing divide between him and the former president.

And he actually, you can go look at the exact quote, but kind of play down that there was a big difference between them as well, so still trying to play it a little bit both ways here as well. But you're right, if there's any kind of distinction between the rhetoric that being Pence and Trump, you still have the former President focused on promoting these false claims about the election, the 2020 election, whereas Vice President Biden saying let's move forward from that. That is both criticism of the former president, but also trying to now focus on some of the actual issues that are causing issues for the Biden administration.

KING: And there are a lot of Republicans who wished Donald Trump would just go away until after the November elections, because they just think that they have a political climate that works in their favor, and they don't want him messing with it. To Kristen's point and to your point, can Donald Trump give a policy speech? While on Friday, he was in Arizona, ostensibly campaigning for his choice in the governor's race there, but much of the speech was not about her, but about him.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I renounced my beliefs, and if I agreed to stay silent, and if I stayed home, and took it easy, if I announced that I was not going to run any longer for political office, the persecution of Donald Trump would immediately stop. But that's not what I do. I can't do that. Because I love this country and I love you.


KING: In his mind, or at least in his public presentation, he is always the victim. But that is the part that whether it's the Senate race, the governor's race in Georgia, or whether it's anywhere else, a lot of Republicans wish please, not now.

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Yes. And I think, you know, for Republicans, and we saw that with former Vice President Pence today. They want the good parts of Donald Trump so they are loath to quit him completely, even if they believe some of the things he does now is unhelpful. So Pence likes the fact that Trump remains popular with the base. He likes the fact that conservatives think that a lot of things that President Trump stood for during his terms and time in office was beneficial, the Supreme Court justices he appointed, the tax cuts, things like that.


So he doesn't want to really quit himself from Donald Trump. He wants to quit himself just from those problematic parts, particularly when it comes to the 2020 election. And I don't know if you can do that, you know, because it's still the same guy all wrapped into one.

KING: It's a fascinating question. I don't know the answers. Please chime in if you think you do, if how much does Trump still have, right? How much is the January 6th Committee hearing? How much of the investigations? How much is just since the American people often just want to move on? Even if they liked somebody in the rearview mirror, let's have changed in the next election. Where are we there? Because the fascinating thing about Trump and his people is they say the quiet thing out loud. This is Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon is likely to go to jail soon. He was just convicted of contempt of Congress. He says we're going to get Trump back and this is going to happen.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP CHIEF STRATEGIST: Put away the cute little phrase, drain the swamp. Put away the cute little phrase, swamp creatures. This is not marginally cutting out a program to. This is not about that. This is about going to the heart of it, the heart of the beast. This is Babylon on the Potomac. That's what we have here at the imperial city. And this is by the way, we finally have a plan, ladies and gentlemen. We're at war. We're with the administrative state.


ZELENY: Look, I mean, this is the preview of the second act, I guess, of the Trump presidency, Trump show. It is a long time between now and when that act would start. But if the former president actually is going to follow that, the roadmap, which is exactly what Steve Bannon was trying to do, trying to get him to look, to have focus on, really, you know, hollowing out the federal government, continuing what he was doing. We will see this afternoon. We will see in Mr. Trump's speech, which is around 3 o'clock eastern or so, if he is going to turn the page and start a second act by talking about policy, or if it's going to be that grievance from the past. We'll get a sense this afternoon. I have my bets. But we'll see.

KING: We'll see. And we'll have that conversation tomorrow. Next for us, though you don't miss this brand new fascinating CNN reporting on how Chief Justice John Roberts tried, but ultimately failed to swing one Conservative vote in an effort to save Roe.



KING: Today some fascinating new CNN reporting about Chief Justice John Roberts and his failed campaign to save the federal right to an abortion. Sources say the Chief Justice spent much of the spring lobbying his Conservative colleagues hoping to change at least one mind and to protect the foundation of that landmark Roe v. Wade decision. But the sudden and shocking leak of the court's draft decision ending Roe hamstrung Roberts. CNN's Joan Biskupic is with us now. This is her great reporting. Let's start with the period of time before the leak, right. Obviously, they've had the draft. Everyone on the court knows the math. They know the courts bout to overturn Roe, Roberts tries to stop it, how?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST & SUPREME COURT BIOGRAPHER: Yes, it's essentially five, one, three. The five conservatives to his hard right all want to do away completely with Roe even though, John, as you remember, this case was supposed to be only about whether the Mississippi ban on abortions at 15 weeks is constitutional. That's where they started this case. But then the five to his right go further, his by himself saying I want to overturn. I want to uphold the Mississippi law. But I don't want to touch Roe. The three liberals, three remaining liberals on this court are saying we want to keep abortion rights exactly as is.

So he's trying to pick off someone from that right wing. Brett Kavanaugh is his most likely target, also trying newest conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett. He's working on him, he's working on him. And this has the result of giving liberal some very slim hope that maybe all is not lost. But it has another effect. It gives the conservatives on the hard right, some anxiety. They're thinking, can he do this because John Roberts himself has switched his vote in the 11th hour. He famously in the Obamacare case in 2012 did that. He's also known for being quite canny and able to work these compromises at the very end.

So he's doing this, trying to make some progress. And then suddenly, on May 2nd, this draft opinion becomes public. And what it does is that, it makes a very difficult task even harder because it locks in these votes much more than they were.

KING: And so you have this fascinating nugget that, you know, we all found out on May 2nd when political published a draft. But the justices knew for a couple of days because the report is trying to verify it was a legit draft. So the justices know this is about to go public and whoa.

BISKUPIC: And they know and in fact, John, that afternoon of May 2nd, they were on a public stage. They were doing a memorial service for the late Justice John Paul Stevens. This service was being live streamed. They had to have the best poker faces. When I go back and I look at that again, I'm like, oh my God, how did they hold themselves together? Knowing that this huge decision was about to be made public.

KING: It's remarkable reporting. I urge you to go to and read it in its full detail. Joan, thanks for sharing it with us.


Up next, some new COVID numbers about just how many parents still don't want to vaccinate their kids and an important health update from the White House about the President's COVID fight.


KING: A health update on President Biden just in from the White House. The President's physician says Mr. Biden's COVID symptoms are now quote, almost completely resolved. The President's feeling well enough to resume his exercise routine. And he's now finished his five day course of Paxlovid. Biden, his doctor says, will though continue to isolate as this is just a five. That news coming from the White House the same day in his hosting a summit on COVID vaccines and it comes as a third COVID school year approaches and as 13 states report new COVID cases are climbing.

Let's take a quick look at the numbers. This map we haven't used in quite some time. But looks, 13 states, you see there, the red and the orange reported more new COVID infections this week compared to last week, so 13 states trending up. If you look at the overall national case count, it is way down 122,000 and change yesterday compared to 807,000 back in January. So way, way down, but it is trickling up a little bit, not a cause of alarm, but it cause of maybe concern. Concern because hospitalizations also starting to trend up, again, still well below 50,000, way, way down from the January peak. But you don't want that number trending back up.


And it comes as a vaccine conversation as we go back to school as well. The Kaiser Family Foundation asked, has your child has been vaccinated? What's the view of parents? Seven percent, say yes, 10 percent said, yes, right away, 27 percent say they want to wait and see, 43 percent of parents still say definitely not when it comes to vaccinating their children, and 13 percent only if required. Vaccines are the issue at a big White House conference today. Among the questions, there are new vaccines in the pipeline, a few months away probably, that tailor the vaccine or a booster to the new variants. So if you still need to be boosted, should you do it tomorrow, do it today, or should you wait a few months? This is Dr. Fauci's view.


ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: As a physician, if I had someone at risk, and hasn't been vaccinated with a boost in several months, I would not want to wait a few months. I would want to get them covered now. And then when you get to the fall, then you're concerned about when you're going to give them that additional boost. But you don't want to hold back in a high risk person.


KING: Continue the conversation with Dr. Leana Wen. She's a CNN medical analyst, the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner. Dr. Wen, do you agree with Dr. Fauci that somebody who needs to get an additional booster shouldn't say, well, I'm going to wait two or three months, maybe there'll be a new one, more tailored to the variants?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I definitely agree that people who need that booster shouldn't wait. And so if you are 50 and older, if you're somebody with an underlying medical condition, if you're immunosuppressed, you should definitely get the booster now. And that's because there is a high rate of COVID-19 in many parts of the country, that additional booster will protect you now. There's also by the way, no guarantee that the booster, that's coming out in a few months is necessarily better, because that booster is targeting the variants that we have now but who knows if those are still going to be the circulating variants at that point.

The White House has also said that getting a booster now does not preclude you from getting another booster in the fall. So don't wait if you're a person at high risk. That said, if you're under 50, and generally healthy, you don't need to get the booster because you are still relatively well protected as long as you've got the initial first booster.

KING: It's hard to believe, we're about to turn from July into August, which means return to school in some parts of the country is only a few weeks away and in most of the country maybe a month or six weeks away. When you see the Kaiser Family Foundation numbers and the continued high hesitancy of some parents to get their school aged kids vaccinated, does that trouble you? Is that about to be expected worrisome?

WEN: Well, it definitely worries me and that I would prefer that we have a much higher vaccination rate. I mean, you look at even five to 11 year olds, the percentage that's fully vaccinated is 30 percent, which is really low considering how long the vaccines have been here. I do think that the wait and see approach for younger kids may be expected because those vaccines are relatively new. Although I was among those first in line to get my two little kids vaccinated, they have their first dose they're getting their second dose next week, I would urge other parents to do the same.

I think that there has been this misconception that children somehow don't get sick from COVID, while they can become ill, although the likelihood of severe illness is much lower. But as a parent, if I can reduce that low likelihood to virtually zero with a safe vaccine, of course, I would do that. And so I would urge that parents consider the vaccine, talk to their pediatrician if they have questions, and also know that there could be surges of COVID coming this fall and winter, so protect your child.

KING: And as we have the COVID conversation now discussion, including at the highest levels of the Biden White House about monkeypox, we have 3,487 confirmed cases in the United States. Dr. Fauci today says he believes the Biden administration is doing a good job, but it needs to do an even better job. What, what needs to be done?

WEN: Well, vaccines certainly are what needs to be done. Right now we have 300,000 doses that have been distributed on a two dose vaccine here in the U.S. But the CDC says that 1.5 million people are eligible. So we're pretty far off from the total vaccine dosage. But we also need far better testing. Now, the testing capacity has been ramped up recently. But I fear that we're still missing a lot of cases. Right now, you can only be tested if you meet a very specific case definition. You have to have active lesions. Well, it would be great if we can have a much broader testing strategy and ultimately try to get our hands around monkeypox.

KING: Dr. Wen, as always, thank you.


Up next for us, Congressman Glenn Thompson celebrates his gay son's wedding day, three days after voting against legislation, codifying same sex marriage.


KING: Topping our Political Radar today, Republican Congressman Glenn Thompson's mixed message on same sex marriage. Just three days after voting against a federal law that would require states to recognize same sex marriages, Congressman Thompson attended his son's wedding. His son is gay. The congressman's office says he was quote thrilled to welcome his new son-in-law into the family and he called the bill though an election year stun by the Democrats. Thompson was one of 157 House Republicans who voted no on that legislation.

The European Union today agreeing to an emergency plan to ration natural gas this winter, the deal aims to cut back gas use by at least 15 percent until next spring. The move comes amid fears Russia will continue to further squeeze Europe's gas supply because of its invasion of Ukraine.


Russia says it will be withdrawing from the International Space Station project after 2024. The leader of Russia's space agency says it plans to build its own orbital stations. This came as a surprise to NASA. NASA officials say they have not received any official word from Russia about its decision to end what has been a decade's long partnership.

Thanks for your time today on Inside Politics. Hope to see you back here tomorrow. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.