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Inside Politics

Trump Becomes First President In History With A Mug Shot; GOP Candidates Sling Attacks At Ramaswamy At Debate; Polls: Biden, Trump In General Election Dead Heat; Judge Sets Oct. 23 Trial Date For One Of Trump's Co-Defendants; Biden Top Aides Avoid Talking About Trump Indictments. Aired 11a-12pm ET

Aired August 27, 2023 - 11:00   ET




MANU RAJU, CNN HOST: The mother of all mug shots.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What has taken place here is a travesty of justice. We did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong.

RAJU: Donald Trump's fourth indictment gives both his supporters and opponents an image to rally behind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The history books will remember this mug shot as much as they will his official presidential portrait.

RAJU: Will it have any impact on his place atop the Republican field?

Plus, rebuking Ramaswamy.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I've had enough of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT.

NIKKI HALEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: You have no foreign policy experience and it shows. It shows.

How the 38-year-old political newcomer ended up at the center of the GOP's first debate.

And Biden's reelection challenge, convincing the left he's on their side. What's his plan to do it?

Good morning and welcome to INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY, I'm Manu Raju.

The nation is waking up to another horrific shooting. Three black Americans killed at a Dollar General Store in Jacksonville, Florida. Authorities say the gunman, who also is dead, left behind a racist manifesto. We'll have more on this in the political reaction later in the program.

But, first, Donald Trump has taken countless photos during his 40 plus years as a celebrity real estate mogul, television personality, and politician. Last week, he added to that total, but this time as a criminal defendant.

Here it is an image you've likely already seen one that we're sure to see plenty of as a 2024 campaign pushes ahead, especially and probably most specifically from his own campaign. Because within hours of Trump 2024 website was already stocked with mug shot merchandise. You can wear it on a t-shirt or even a long sleeve for when the chilly Iowa caucuses roll around.

You can stick it on the back of your car. And, of course, you can sip your morning coffee from a Trump mug shot mug. Now, the Trump campaign says it was raised more than $7 million since Thursday night. And as for Trump himself, he spent all of 20 minutes at the Fulton County jail on Thursday being booked and processed. He then spent another 20 minutes that night recapping the experience on Newsmax.


TRUMP: I came in. I was treated very nicely, but it is what it is. I took a mug shot, which I never heard the words mug shot that wasn't didn't teach me that at the Wharton School of Finance. I went through an experience that I never thought I'd have to go through. But then I've gone through the same experience three other times. In my whole life, I didn't know anything about indictments and now I've been indicted like four times.


RAJU: All right. Let's discuss all this and more with CNN's Eva McKend, Eli Stokols from Politico, Bloomberg's Mario Parker, and Margaret Talev from Axios.

So a lot about the -- this is history moment, of course. We've been saying this a lot, because there's been a lot of history made this year, including the first ever mug shot for a former president here. This is how John Bolton is, Trump's former national security adviser, describe that mug shot.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He could have smiled, he could have looked benign. Instead, he looks like a thug. And I think it's intended to be a sign of intimidation against the prosecutors and judges.


RAJU: Clearly, Trump campaign trying to capitalize on this. Does it have any impact on the race?

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: When your slogan for surrendering is never surrender? It kind of encapsulates what the theme of the last week has been all about. I mean, look, right now, we know that Donald Trump has such a commanding lead in that GOP field that none of the candidates can figure out quite how to handle a debate stage. No one's figured out how to break through a crack it. I think we don't really know yet how much impact this will have three months from now, six months from now as these cases proceed. But at this exact moment, I think the mug shot sort of thought process on the Trump campaign side was more about him not looking weak or afraid.

I really see I, yes, it's a fundraising move, and it's been a successful fundraising move. But I saw it as sort of defensive in here also.

RAJU: And look, the polls also indicate kind of what you're saying here, Margaret, about where things are in this race at the moment. Donald Trump still had commandingly. In fact, it's grown from February to August, 10 points. He is up since then. You've seen Ron DeSantis down 12 points. There's been an uptick among some other men. Only really Vivek Ramaswamy and those two others have gone down.


We'll talk more about the state of this race in the coming -- in the next segment. But what do you think, Mario, about why these candidates are not making any headway in light of these indictments?

MARIO PARKER, BLOOMBERG WHITE HOUSE AND POLITICS TEAM LEADER: Well, they're scared. They're scared of that 30 percent of the Republican base that Donald Trump wheels. They see that that face has been energized, going back to the Alvin Bragg case earlier this year. And they're fearful of taking a shot that would damage their prospects.

Now, that's a risky strategy for each and every one of them. Because in order to punch the bully, or to get past the bully, you have to confront the person who's right there in front of you before you can talk about pivoting to Joe Biden.

RAJU: Yes. And like they're not doing that. In fact, this was something that came up in the debate on last week when it was put to Ron DeSantis about the -- about all the candidates about the Trump indictments and DeSantis wanted to move on.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Is this what we're going to be focusing on going forward, the rehashing of this? I'll tell you, the Democrats would love that.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Governor DeSantis, we spent an hour talking about policy. Former president Trump is beating you by 30, 40 points in many polls. So it is a factor in the GOP primary.


RAJU: You think this DeSantis campaign is handling this correctly, the Trump indictments and these criminal charges?

ELI STOKOLS, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, it's clear what he was trying to do in that debate, right, just sort of bum rush over Bret Baier and move past that question. But that is the fundamental question of the primary, and they clearly don't want to deal with it.

So until somebody comes up with a way to figure that out, a way to go at Trump, right, they all attack Vivek Ramaswamy as sort of a proxy for Trump. Because they're scared to go after Trump. So, you know, the sort of Trump 2.0 candidate who is on the stage, they can go after him kind of sad, tells you where they are in the race if they all have to punch up at Vivek Ramaswamy and introduce him effectively to the country, elevate this guide. Nobody's really ever heard of until the debate.

But, you know, go back to the mug shot for just a second, right? That's a face that we've all seen from Trump before. It's not that different, actually, from his official portrait. The portrait that hung in, you know, government buildings and post offices was the same, same glowering Trump face, that's kind of always his, you know, looking what he wants people to see.

RAJU: Right.

STOKOLS: But it does just kind of make clear how completely, you know, how bipolar our politics are, how -- we're living in these two different worlds where he can raise $7 million off that photo from his base, and yet, be totally fine giving Joe Biden's campaign ultimately an image to put an ads to just remind people with a single image, this is an opponent who's been indicted four times.

RAJU: And, look, in the legal problems -- we'll get into deep dive into this later in the program about. The calendar is going to just completely consume the presidential election season.

But for voters I mean, at what point do Republican voters say that these legal problems could be problematic for our nominee of our party?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the base of the party, if you speak to them I was recently in Iowa are just not there yet, Manu.

But something that I can't get out of my mind is that Republicans have long claimed ownership of law and order, sometimes in explicitly racialized ways. And now, the standard bearer, the face of their party is facing four criminal indictments, and is fundraising off of a mug shot.

So our politics are truly upside-down in this country. The very same institutions that Republicans have long held up as part of the example of why America is a great country. They are now castigating those very same institutions.

So it -- I mean, really, post-Trump we will never be the same politically in this country.

RAJU: And look, there's a long way to go as before voters begin to cast their ballots in the Iowa caucuses. We'll see what happens, but it appears we can be certainly facing a Biden-Trump rematch and there have been some early polls, one from Quinnipiac from August 10th to the 14th about where things stand in the general election.

It is a close race, according to this one poll, Biden 47 percent, 46 percent choice for president that's a national poll. Trump's favorability rating in that same poll, 38 percent. Biden is at 40 percent. So this even, despite all this, the general election could be tight.

TALEV: Anyone who lived through 2016 knows it would be ridiculous to rule anybody out right now, because everyone who did that was wrong in 2016.

But I do think a poll is only as good as the questions are and only reflects the moment in time. You cannot look at a poll now and say what it will mean in November of 2024. But we look at all these polls consistently, and they show us effectively the same picture now. And I think that's my Biden knows that he's got an economic message to work on, a working class voter message to work on, a message to young people to work on. He's got a lot of work to do.

RAJU: I mean, we'll talk about Biden too later in the program because he's done a lot of big problems.

STOKOLS: It's just hard being an incumbent, right? Especially in this country that is so divided. He has a lot Democrats, they -- to run on that's been effective. He has a lot of things that he's passed legislatively and enacted. He thinks people start to feel the effects of those things.


But, you know, when your numbers are 40 percent, you are what you are, right, and so -- and he's been out there pushing this message, the Bidenomic message, doesn't seem like it's really making a dent. So how they're going to convince people, I think, the large -- the biggest thing is the contrast, right? It's not just Biden and what he's done. It's the contrast of Biden versus a guy who has been indicted four times and a party that is, you know, sort of representative of chaos.

And it's clear that a lot of Democrats want that contrast, but none of them wanted it in 2016 and see what happened there.

OK. Next, the political neophyte in the 2024 race as the rest of the field sharpening that applause.


RAJU: Governor Ron DeSantis is back in Florida this morning. We're waiting to see if he plans to travel to Jacksonville, and that's the site of a racist shooting yesterday that left three black Americans dead.

But it was one of his top rivals, Vivek Ramaswamy, who went to T.V. this morning to talk about race in America. He reacted to the shooting in the wake of this remark he made on Friday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


VIVEK RAMASWAMY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm sure the boogeyman white supremacist exists somewhere in America. I've just never met him. Never seen one. Never met one in my life, right? Maybe I'll meet a -- maybe I'll meet a maybe I'll meet a unicorn sooner.


RAJU: Now, Ramaswamy sparred with Dana Bash this morning on State of the Union over that comment.


DANA BASH, CNN HOST: What do you think goes through the minds of the families of the three victims in yesterday's shooting when they hear you say that white supremacy is basically a fantasy?

RAMASWAMY: I'm sure they're grieving for their loss. And I don't want to politicize those victims, Dana.

I was responding to a question where someone asked me, what have -- what racism have I experienced in recent years? And I answered honestly. Most of that racism has come from the modern left. This is part of the dogma in this country.

BASH: Do you acknowledge though that white supremacy does still exist in the United States?

RAMASWAMY: I acknowledge that all forms of racial animus exist in the United States.


RAJU: So just to be clear, the Homeland Security Department, it releases its annual threat assessment. It said that in 2020, that it will -- white supremacist -- extremists remain the most persistent and lethal threat.

And the homeland, 2019 was the most deadly year for deadly violent extremist attacks since the '80s.

Now, Ramaswamy is interesting here, because his rhetoric has been -- he's been anti-affirmative action. He says reverse racism is racism, but clearly not changing his tune in the aftermath of this deadly massacre.

MCKEND: Well, he doesn't want to engage with those facts. And this is part of the larger argument that Republican -- the Republican Party and Republican candidates often make and it's -- it speaks really powerfully to the largely white Republican electorate when you have a candidate of color as the messenger, but their argument is that Democrats make too much of racism, that they talk too much about white supremacy. And Ramaswamy says he doesn't, you know, encounter everyday racism.

But listen, the facts are the facts. He also -- I would argue in artfully went after Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley likening her to a member of the clan. Dana, in her interview this morning, tried to press him on that. And that would have been a perfect opportunity to say, hey, my rhetoric here maybe just went a little too far.

RAJU: Yes. And I'm glad that you brought that up because, in fact, this is what happened this morning.


RAMASWAMY: What I said is the grand wizards of the KKK would be proud of what they would hear her say, because there's nothing more racist than saying that your skin color predicts something about the content of your viewpoints or your ideas.

BASH: No. You didn't -- you didn't just say that -- you didn't just they would be proud.

RAMASWAMY: It is the same spirit. Dana, I think that you're doing --

BASH: I'm not so sure how provoking it is --

RAMASWAMY: -- with due respect, what national media do picking on -- picking on some fringe comment in the context of a broader context that I was offering it in a speech.

BASH: All right. So you just said that your comment was --


RAJU: Again, he's comparing a black democratic progressive congresswoman to the grand wizard of the KKK.

MCKEND: Right. And it seems like it was ultimately meant to get attention. So mission accomplished on that front. But he also is arguing that affirmative action programs are to blame for the racist violence that we see in this country. And that is just not borne out by the facts.

RAJU: And the -- and so put different candidates will handle these issues of race and about mass shootings differently. Governor Ron DeSantis is now back in Florida. He issued a statement last night in the aftermath of that shooting in Jacksonville. He said, "He was targeting -- he's talking about the killer in this massacre. He said, "He was targeting people based on their race. That is totally unacceptable." That was the language from Ron DeSantis. He says, "We condemned what happened in the strongest possible terms."

What kind of position do you think this puts DeSantis?

PARKER: Oh, this puts him in a very unique position, particularly given some of the things that he's experienced and he's -- the moves that he's made over the course of this election cycle, right? Recall, just two months ago, we were speaking about the controversy that he made about defending Florida's changing curriculum, saying the slavery essentially was something that may have had an unintended benefit for black Americans, right? Before that, the fight -- the fights that he's waged over critical race theory as well.

So this is a moment, and his campaign sure better know that people will be watching to see how he responds to that.

Another point that I would like to make to piggyback off of Eva is essentially that what we've seen with these candidates of color on the Republican side, a lot of their -- the basis of their campaigns has been race doesn't matter, right? We've seen Tim Scott kind of say that he launched his campaign in that regard. Nikki Haley as well. Ramaswamy, of course, is going to the extreme on that point.

But this is something they're doing to Eva's point to try to message to a swath of the Republican Party. And it's dangerous. We see those things. We see the consequences of erasing CRC [ph] in history.

RAJU: Yes. And the other big moment from last week, of course, was the debate, the fallout of the debate.


And the reason why we're talking about Vivek Ramaswamy is because he caught a ton of fire to debate, partly because he's embracing a lot of that very controversial rhetoric. He's trying to please clearly quote the Trump supporters. But even though he is a political newcomer, someone who was really an outlier candidate, now is rising in the polls. He caught a lot of fire from his opponents.


CHRISTIE: I've had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT standing up here.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We don't need to bring in a rookie. We don't need to bring in people without experience.

HALEY: He will make America less safe under your watch. You will make America less safe. You have no foreign policy experience and it shows.

RAMASWAMY: And you know what --

HALEY: It shows.


RAJU: And just a snapshot of GOP voters who watch that debate, according to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll saying that before the debate, 50 percent of voters had a favorable view of Ramaswamy, 60 percent after. But look at this, un-favorability, 13 percent before the debate, 32 percent after the debate.

TALEV: But right now, he's competing for the GOP base, not the overall voting population. And it's sort of unclear, like, what's his endgame? Is he hoping to move into the number two spot in case Trump implodes? Is he trying to end up as a VP or a cabinet member? Is he trying to get a show? Is he just trying to create a platform for him -- for himself to be a thought leader and thought shaper?

He's positioning himself pretty well for all of those things, except he's certainly not courting a swing voting general election audience.

I think there's a couple of really interesting race themes coming out of last week's debate. One is you really do have a number of candidates of color on the stage. You have two Indian-American candidates whose parents were immigrants. And they're both conservative, but their worldviews and their foreign policy views are so incredibly different.

I also think if Vivek Ramaswamy were a Democratic candidate, who was a self-made very wealthy, went to Harvard and Yale, and was talking about the meritocracy that the Republican base would respond very differently to him.

RAJU: Right.

TALEV: It is this idea that you can be a person of color and wrap yourself in all of the policy positions of Donald Trump. That's the proposition that he's testing right now inside the GOP base.

RAJU: And one of those Indian-Americans is Nikki Haley, who actually did well, according to the polls, of that same poll of Republican who watched that debate, GOP voters watched the debate. Seventeen percent among those specific voters, they are favorability improve at a more positive view. Others improved a bit as well, including -- we mentioned Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum, others. But there's people went down too. Donald Trump went down about five points here.

But could this turn things around for Nikki Haley?

STOKOLS: It's hard to see this debate having that much impact when the frontrunner, who has half of the Republican electorate sewn up, isn't even on the stage. She had a good night. Mike Pence had a good night. There are a lot of people who knew what they needed to do take advantage of being on the stage. They said what they wanted to say. And I would put Nikki Haley in that category.

But, you know, again, they're all punching up at a guy very few people have ever heard of before. And this is the person who sees this, you know, his fight for relevance in this primary is to coop Trumpism, to coop Trump's white identity politics, on race and on other things. And to exalt Trump and say, I will do Trump better just in a younger, more diverse, you know, personification of that.

That is attractive to people. A lot of these other people who are kind of criticizing him, criticizing Trump more pointedly like Governor Christie. It just -- it's hard to understand sort of who they think their audience is, because they are running in a Republican primary that, you know, now the Republican base voter Ramaswamy, Trump, that seems to be what they're looking for. Nikki Haley was great. But when you're criticizing Republicans on spending for being hypocritical in their attacks on that, when you're hedging a bid on abortion compared to your other rivals on the stage, and when you're talking about defending U.S. aid for Ukraine, these are oppositions that may make sense in a general election audience, and maybe with some swing voting women. But I don't know how they're going to play in the primary.

TALEV: But also maybe what they believe, like, that's the conundrum, right? If the things that you believe are really far away from the core tenets of MAGA or Trump politics, and you're at three percent or five percent, anyway, why not say what you think?

I mean, like if your goal in this race, Chris Christie, for example, is to get Republicans to rethink what they've signed up for, to rethink what the party stands for, to cleave the party and say, it's better to lose the general election and to reset the party than to sign on for another four years of this, if that's your goal, it makes sense to do exactly what they're doing.

STOKOLS: There are lots for conviction but will --

TALEV: Sure.

STOKOLS: -- the Republican Party -- the people who are going to decide that nomination, are they going to give them --


RAJU: It's really just fasten your seat there. Old guard versus the new guard within the Republican Party. Mike Pence, for instance, pushing a lot of those issues. More support for Ukraine. That says suddenly they're supported among the base with just such a fundamental philosophical divide with a party. So much to play out in the months ahead.


OK. Next, Trump's fourth indictment, that was in the books. But will any of the trials kick off before Republicans decide on a nominee?


RAJU: Now the indictment phase is over. So now comes the trek (ph) towards the criminal trials of Donald J. Trump in Florida, Georgia, Washington, and New York. Now, tomorrow we'll be watching two key hearings for signs of how long that trek will take.

In Atlanta, Mark Meadows will argue that his case in Georgia should be transferred from state to federal court. And if it succeeds, Trump will likely do the same.

In Washington, the judge overseeing the federal election subversion case against Trump will your arguments over when to schedule that trial, it could be as soon as January. So let's break down all of those two hearings with our panel of legal experts, former FBI Director Andy McCabe, former Justice Department Official Kerry Cordero, and Politico Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Kyle Cheney.


Now it's hard for people to keep track of the mountain of legal problems for Donald Trump, not just the criminal trials, but also the civil trials as well. Just a brief look at just the calendar here of just the enormous amount of legal problems for the former president, just as the primary season will be getting underway. Voters will start going to the polls. It's a real problem here and a challenge for him.

But the big thing tomorrow that we're going to be watching, of course, is this Mark Meadows' case, the former White House Chief of Staff. He is trying to argue, Kyle, that he wants to move this case to federal court, get it out of Georgia. Explain what he's trying to do here.

KYLE CHENEY, POLITICO SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER: Sure. So his argument is all the conduct I'm charged with, everything they're saying I did, done in the course of my duties as the White House Chief of Staff. And therefore that entitles me to have my case adjudicated by a federal court, and ultimately in his view dismissed because states are not really supposed to be able to criminalize the work of federal officials if it's part of their official duties. And that's the key phrase, and that's what the state will say. Not a chance. You were trying to help Donald Trump subvert an election. That's not part of your official duties as chief of staff.

So we're going to see something of a mini trial play out where the DA in Fulton County wants to call witnesses who are actually part of all this to talk about what their experience with Mark Meadows was. And this could actually be a pretty interesting preview of what the criminal trial could look like.

RAJU: Andy, do you think that he has a case to move this to federal court, and how quickly could this all be resolved?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: He definitely has a case. Some would say a very good case. It's an exceedingly low bar to get -- if you're a federal official, to have that matter moved to federal court. The interesting thing to me is, you know, proving that he has a colorable federal defense is one part of the standard to get it removed. But actually using that defense in federal court, that's where you might find bigger trouble to prove that he was acting under some federal law or some interpretation of the Constitution and conducting reasonable activity to achieve that federal objective rather than pursuing some corrupt self-benefit or benefit to his boss.

RAJU: And if he succeeds, obviously Trump will try to do the same. But is it a slam dunk that Trump's case will be moved to federal court if Meadows succeeds?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not at all. They're very different in terms of how I think the court would evaluate those two, because one, the former president is in a completely unique situation as being the executive. And so there would be legal questions about whether him and his

executive capacity qualifies as an officer the way that any other federal employee. So, I think those are two different issues. And then of the former federal employees, Mark Meadows does have, I think, probably the strongest case. That's not to say that he will succeed on his claim, but I think he has the strongest case, particularly as Chief of Staff, to the former president because the chief of staff has involved in everything that a president does. And so his arguments, it's certainly not a frivolous claim, and it will be interesting to see how that hearing plays out.

RAJU: I mean, look, there are 19 people here that are charged. How -- I mean, how do you anticipate, Kyle, you've covered so many of these criminal proceedings and this court -- there's been nothing like this, the former president, along with 18 others in this racketeering and fraud conspiracy case. How will this play out with 19 different defendants?

CHENEY: What we're at right now is what I sort of call the separation phase, where they're all kind of pushing different legal arguments, testing out different legal theories to put the DA and Georgia under pressure to try to see if she's ready to go to trial. So you have a couple defendants trying to speed up their cases and go to trial as soon as October. And they might succeed in that, actually. In Georgia law, it's pretty achievable for them. And what we might see there is some of these key players, key co-defendants, go to trial in a matter of months. And this case will play out in the next few weeks.

RAJU: I mean, Andy, you obviously, former FBI Deputy Director, you've been involved in some of these criminal prosecutions, charging 19 people at the same time. Do you think there was a mistake to do that?

MCCABE: It definitely creates a number of challenges for the prosecution. It is a big group of people that are very different, right? From the president of the United States to some local coffee county election supervisors, things like that.

So keeping them all together as Fani Willis has indicated she wants to will be a challenge. Some want to go quickly. The former president has indicated he wants to slow things down as much as possible. And I think hovering over all these decisions is the very real fact that some of those 19 might decide that spending a million plus dollars on their defense for something that they don't believe they played a major role in, they might be better off actually cooperating, pleading guilty to a minor offense and providing evidence.

RAJU: And some of those people could be those fake electors themselves, or three of them who are charged here. We have mug shots of those three individuals who were charged with these fake electors. And some of them said they were acting in these court filings of -- you know, acting in Trump's direction. Is that a concern, do you think, for Trump that some of these could testify against him?


CORDERO: Well, each of these individuals, as Andy points out, have their own interests. And so they each are going to have to launch whatever defense, number one, they're capable of launching, capable of affording. And whatever is, when they do have counsel, whatever is in their individual interest. That may be contrary to what the former presidents or the other individuals at high levels, his former legal advisors and so forth, the Giuliani's, the Meadows', the Sidney Powell's that have all been charged. So they'll have different interests.

With respect to the DA's office trying to bring all of these cases at once, though, I think it will present a challenge for the DA's office. The DA's office doesn't have the resources that the Justice Department has. All the lawyers and all of the funds that a big institution like that has to put at it. And she's going to be, I think, really challenged by all of the motions practice that's going to take place. And all of the legal counsel that are going to be filing with different objectives to protect their own clients.

RAJU: And you just saw on your screen those 19 mug shots. We can barely fit them on the screen. Are they going to deal with this in the courtroom? Another question altogether, as you mentioned, the complications there. Also the quick question is, how quickly can these go to trial?

But this is -- we're going to see this play out in Washington tomorrow on the federal election subversion case. The prosecution wants to start the Trump trial in January 2024. Trump says the spring of January 2026. Let's look what voters think about this question.

Should Trump's 2020 election subversion have trial happened before the election, according to this Politico/Ipsos poll. 61% say yes, just 19% say no, 19% don't know. What do you think the likelihood, Kyle, is of this happening and playing out before the election?

CHENEY: Likelihood is one thing. I do think the judge will try to schedule it before the election. I think she's not -- she's going to laugh out of the room, this idea of April 2026. That's just five years after the events in question, just seems impossible to imagine. But I think the Special Counsel wants January of next year. That seems very ambitious. But I think she's going to lean in that direction because there is an interest of the public, interest that's what the Special Counsel says, to get this case tried as quickly as you can. It's about, in some ways, the next election. They know -- they say it's not about the politics, but it's about a crime against essentially the election process. So let's do this as quickly as we can in a responsible way.

RAJU: You see that playing out this way?

MCCABE: Absolutely agree. Yeah, I think the 2026 request was absurd. Jack Smith came in in January a little bit aggressive. It's not going to be January, but I think they'll try to get it in before the election.

RAJU: Yeah, so much to monitor here. Thank you guys for breaking that down for us.

And coming up, the Biden plan to paint his opponents as extremists. Plus, his reaction to the mug shot seen around the world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you seen Donald Trump's mug shot yet?




RAJU: Now Republicans were not the only ones in Milwaukee for last week's debate. Democrats stormed the city in the swingiest of swing states with a clear message for voters to read in the skies and on the streets. What Republicans nominated 2024, Democrats say, will be in an extremist. And here's Biden's campaign co-chair making his case this morning.


CEDRIC RICHMOND, BIDEN CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: I think that whether it's Trump or it's not Trump, it's going to be Trump's policies. It looks more like it'll be his demeanor and it will be his extremism. And so that's what we saw on the state. So whether it's former President Trump or not, I think that it will be everything that he has brought the Republican Party to.


RAJU: I mean, one thing I'm not hearing from the Biden campaign is what is the agenda for the next four years? Because that's not what they're running on. They're running on trying to disqualify the Republicans.

STOKOLS: Well, they're running in part on what they've done already and contrasting that with the chaos that they believe Republicans would create if they were in office again. And they really need that contrast. The campaign can be summed up in Biden's statement when he says, don't compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative. That's essentially the Biden campaign.

Finish the job is kind of a murky slogan for what the next four years will be. And most of it will depend on whether or not they have Democrats running Congress or not. If they don't, there's only so much they can do. They will talk about protecting entitlements, lowering costs for families, all the things that have thematically been kind of, you know, the overarching themes of what they've done so far. But yeah, they do need to define that a bit more for voters. And I think that's part of what you'll see in the months ahead.

RAJU: And there has been a strategic decision by the Biden campaign and the White House not to talk about Trump's many, many legal issues, even though there are plenty of ammunition for them to seize a pond. They have decided to steer clear from this completely. This is how Trump -- Biden responding to the Trump mug shot when asked about it last week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you seen Donald Trump's mugshot yet? Mr. President, are you worried at all about that?

JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: I did see it on television.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you think?

BIDEN: Handsome guy. Wonderful guy.


RAJU: I mean, he was joking there, but he obviously does not want to discuss this. Has there become a point where the Biden campaign, the Democrats say, you know, talk about this? Or is it too risky because the Republicans have been going after him for accusing him of weaponizing the Justice Department?

PARKER: Yeah, it's a risky strategy. A couple of things, right? So you saw Biden, there's real bad blood between Biden and Trump. It's not just politics. The White House is licking its chops at the prospect of a reelection. Any question about Biden's energy level changes and shifts the moment that Donald Trump is evoked, right? And so you saw some of that on camera when he answered that question.

Secondly, yeah, what they're doing is allowing -- essentially allowing the voter to make their own decisions. The voter is hyper aware of the chaos on the other side of Trump's legal jeopardy, of all the challenges he's embroiled in as well.


And so they're hoping that voters will make an informed decision. They govern -- Biden is a creature of the Senate. He governs, he keeps his head down, he gets things done essentially. He hopes to get credit for those things, and that's where the White House is falling short on, but to allow the voter to make their own contrast and decision.

And it's, look, there's always a risk, though. You don't say anything, someone fills up the vacuum, Republicans fill up the vacuum by contending these are political prosecutions, and then there's no pushback on the other side that makes it a harder political argument in some ways.

There was a tweet that the Biden -- Biden put out last week in the aftermath of Trump's arrest, saying that, "apropos of nothing, I think today is a great day to give to my campaign." What is -- what do you make of that?

TALEV: I mean, you know, it's sort of, it's one of those Rorschach tests, you can read into it, what you want to read into it, as he's saying it's the day after the debate, as he's saying Trump's about to get, you know, the perp walk.

But either way, it's like, yeah, I think it is both good politics and good -- good governance to stay away from politicizing and getting involved in what the Justice Department is doing. But on the other hand, Joe Biden, he's a candidate for reelection.

RAJU: Yeah.

TALEV: He's not taking amongst oath, not to be political at all and never to invoke politics. And this is the line that he's straddling right now. I think if Trump ends up becoming the nominee as we move closer to the election, there is going to come a time where it will be not only appropriate but necessary for Biden to craft some kind of an argument saying, this is the alternative, this person has been whatever, indicted, or if there's any outcome to the criminal prosecutions, whatever that is.

And to make that case and to make that contrast, but to do it right now, everybody can watch the news and see what's going on with Trump. For Biden to get his hands in it now makes it look like he's involved. And he wants to make very clear that that process is playing out independently and has nothing to do with him.

RAJU: And he's also got his own problems, namely his support among younger voters, African American voters, Hispanic polls have shown a really significant deterioration since the 2020 elections. And, I mean, his allies on the left know he has to make up ground.

Bernie Sanders himself was in New Hampshire yesterday, did a rally there. And this morning he was asked about the fact that progressives in Biden are not always on the same page. And he had a message for the folks on the left.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: In this particular time, this particular moment in American history, when we're taking on somebody, the former president, who in fact does not believe in democracy, he's an authoritarian and a very, very dangerous person. I think at this moment there has got to be a unification of progressive people in general.


RAJU: Is that going to work for the left?

MCKEND: It might. You know, Senator Sanders, I think, felt a real urgency to deliver that message because he doesn't feel as though that Democrats are talking enough about the working class and that Democrats are ceding those voters to Republicans.

So it makes a lot of sense for him to be elevating this. We know that progressives feel underutilized, feel as though they aren't elevated enough in the party. And it is something that this president is going to have to confront.

We -- I know from my own conversations with young progressive voters that if Trump isn't ultimately the nominee, it's going to be much harder to get young voters out and feel really motivated, who feel really dispirited by the reversal of Roe and some other promises that they feel as though haven't been fulfilled.

RAJU: And speaking of, which of the -- some of these members who feel underutilized, one of them is Jamaal Bowman. He is a New York progressive. He told this to TheMessenger. "I know for a fact that members of Congress like myself, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley and others, we really inspire and engage young people across the country. When you look at what we're trying to do in 2024, it is imperative to make sure the squad is at front and center in that conversation."

Now this is the squad referring to the members of the far left of the House Democratic Caucus. Folks who the Republicans are very eager to tie to Joe Biden, Biden though has kept them at an arm's length.

PARKER: Yeah, and Biden's done actually a masterful job at this as well, right? So he's incorporated some of their platforms and some of his key legislative victories, the IRA Act, right? So addressing climate change. He's been stimmed on student loans, but he's given that a try as well.

I mean, the White House and the party -- excuse me, the Democratic Party are hyper aware also that he faces these challenges, particularly among young and black voters. You saw that with the rollout of a $25 million ad campaign last week. You speak to some of the campaign operatives and they're talking about engagement with those communities and how they don't want to spend the first five minutes trying to say, we have bettered your life in some way. So they face some challenges.


RAJU: Yeah, no question. Lots of challenges here. Thank you, panel. And next for us, celebrating the 60-year anniversary of an iconic civil rights moment.


RAJU: 60 years ago tomorrow, Martin Luther King Jr. famously had a dream. Yesterday, thousands marched on Washington again to honor his legacy. The first march boasted a crowd of close to 250,000 for a peaceful protest against racial discrimination. It ended with King's historic speech.

Yesterday's march drew a smaller crowd on a similarly hot August day. And among the speakers, the family of the late Martin Luther King Jr., who set his dream, is still not a reality.


MARTIN LUTHER KING III, SON OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Dad would probably say, now is the time. We must preserve, protect and expand democracy. We must ensure that voting rights is protected for all people. We must ensure that our women and children are treated fairly. We must end gun violence. Then maybe one day we will be a great nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [11:55:29]

RAJU: Now as the younger King was speaking in Washington, the shooting at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida left three black Americans dead. The shooter was a white man in his 20s who killed himself after the attack. The sheriff says he left behind several manifestos.


SHERIFF T.K. WATERS, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: Portions of these manifestos detailed the shooter's disgusting ideology of hate. Plainly put, this shooting was racially motivated and he hated black people.


RAJU: Stay with CNN throughout the day for the latest news out of Jacksonville. And that's it for Inside Politics Sunday.

Up next, State of the Union with Dana Bash. And thanks again for sharing your Sunday morning with us. See you next time.