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Inside Politics

Trump Trial To Be Livestreamed And Televised; Trump Asks To Split Off His Trial From Other Defendants; Barr: "Silly" To Not Put Trump On Trial Before Election; Defense For Trump, Co-Defendants May Cost Millions; Bien Gives Remarks On August Jobs Report; Biden Touts New August Job Numbers. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired September 01, 2023 - 12:00   ET



DANA BASH, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: And will be broadcast on YouTube to the entire world.

Plus, a disaster test and a DeSantis request. The Florida governor tries to sell his national leadership chops by shepherding his state through a brutal storm. While his Super PAC goes full Oliver Twist and asked donors for 50 million helpings dollars to get them through the next stretch of the campaign. And a Mitch McConnell mystery. The Capitol position gives the Republican the all-clear to keep doing his job, but plenty inside his own party are worried about the leader.

I'm Dana Bash. Let's go behind the headlines at Inside Politics.

Up first, he feels no need for speed. Donald Trump wants to make sure his trial moves slowly. So, he's now trying to separate himself from his alleged co-conspirators in Fulton County, Georgia. But whenever he sees the inside of a Georgia courtroom, a judge ruled that the world will also see it live.

We're going to start our coverage with CNN's Zach Cohen. Zach?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY & JUSTICE REPORTER: Dana, yes. Judge ruling that all proceedings and potential trials in this case in Georgia will be televised, does create a scenario where we could watch a criminal trial of an ex-president play out in real time.

Now, we need to remember that this is assuming that the case is not getting moved to federal court where there are no cameras allowed. We know that there's defendants in this case that are already trying to move their cases and potentially all eight or all 19 defendants' cases to federal court. And Trump may have the best case of all of them to do that.

But for now, this decision by the judge does mean and does create a tantalizing possibility of being able to watch as the criminal trial of Donald Trump plays out in real time and really does add a possibility of more transparency to that process, especially in a moment now where, you know, this case is already really polarizing in terms of the way different political, you know, corners of the political world are seeing it.

Donald Trump himself is out there constantly claiming that this investigation in this case, it's just election interference. So, you know, the potential for this to be televised live in real time could give us a firsthand window into the trials. It's happening. But we're going to have to wait and see if Donald Trump does try to move this federal court. And if he does, that means rather luck, basically.

BASH: Yes, exactly. We'll rely on great reporters like you to tell us everything that's happening inside the court. We're ways away from there. Thank you so much for that reporting, Zack. Here to share their insights former Georgia prosecutor Chris Timmons, criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson, CNN political director, David Chalian, and CNN senior justice correspondent, Evan Perez.

Chris, I want to start with you in Georgia, and about this notion of the former president's request to sever. He said or his attorney said, requiring less than two months preparation time to defend a 98-page indictment, charging 19 defendants with 41 various charges, including a RICO conspiracy charged with 161 overt acts, would violate President Trump's federal and state constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law. It's got to be something that the judge is going to take seriously.

CHRIS TIMMONS, TRIAL ATTORNEY & FORMER GEORGIA PROSECUTOR: Dana, absolutely. But I don't think it's going to be granted for a couple reasons. First of all, I thought it was interesting when you look at the pleading that only Steve Sadow signed it, and they conveniently left off. Jennifer Liddell has been the attorney on this case since the beginning, probably about two and a half years ago. I'm sure that's intentional, but I don't think the judge is going to forget that.

Secondarily, you know, attorneys are told all the time you got to go to trial. I mean, having a trial in September, and then having a trial in October is not that big a deal, usually in the criminal world. Now, with regard to the Trump indictment, it's a fairly large indictment. But the other thing you have to keep in mind is, A, there's two attorneys, and B, they're going to have a lot of jury selection to get ready.

So, they know what the case is going to be looking at the indictment. It's a playbook. They know exactly what's coming after them. So, they can pick a jury just fine using that information and he can get up to speed while they're during jury selection. The judge may not agree with me because ineffective assistance of counsel is grounds for reversal. But at the same time, I've had a lot of Georgia judges tell me, tough luck Mr. Timmons, we're going to trial.


BASH: And your point in saying that the newer lawyer Steve Sadow, name was on there and not the other to suggest that it's just a new attorney and there hasn't been somebody who's been trying to prepare for a long time, who's already been on the case. Joey, what's your take on this? JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. From a defense perspective, obviously, I view it entirely differently. You need an opportunity to move forward. And I think it's not unreasonable to the extent that you have a prosecutor who spent a couple of years, sinking her teeth into this, having various witnesses, doing whatever she needed to do to bring forth an indictment to then say, OK, because one or more defendants say they want a speedy trial to lump them all in.

The consequences here, Dana, are quite significant. We know that the room for appeals and other errors are quite significant. The notion of fairness to the public and treating the president fairly like anyone else is significant. We want a justice system where people should embrace the notion that there's justice.

And so, when you have in your papers saying, hey, I'm on trial in September, and we have this meaty case that I have to deal with, and by the way, it involves the former president, may I have it adjourn. I think that that has to really resonate with the judge. And I will be very surprised if it's not granted. And your honor says, listen, let's move the trial to another date where it's more appropriate, everyone's prepared can move forward. And it eliminates the notion of not having a fair trial.

BASH: A split decision, as they say, among our legal guests. Evan, talk to us about what you're hearing from your sources about whether or not they on the Trump legal team think that this is maybe going to be granted or not?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I think they think there's a good chance of this. And part of the reason is, you already have some of the other defendants who are trying to separate themselves because they want to go to trial very quickly.

And so, I think there is, I think, a pretty compelling case to be made for the former president to also try to sever him his case. And then take it, you know, certainly because he's going to -- we're going to see a filing from Steve Sadow in the coming weeks, where they're going to ask for this case to be moved to a federal court.

So, there's going to be some delays that are going to be built into that part of the litigation anyway. So, I think there's a very good chance that that happens. And, you know, I do think that, you know, certainly, when you have this many defendants, the other thing that's getting lost is that no one really thinks that there's going to be 19 defendants, by the time we get to the end of this.

There are some of these people that are going to plead because they're not in a position to defend themselves over the course of a long litigation. So, there are some of these lower-level people who are going to make deals and that's going to happen soon.

BASH: Deals that could potentially implicate the bigger fish?

PEREZ: It's possible that they're agree to cooperate, or they're simply find a way to make a deal with the D.A. BASH: David, I want you to listen to and react to the latest comments from the former president's former Attorney General Bill Barr. And this is just more broadly about how the campaign, and all of these legal prosecutions intersect and whether or not the Trump argument that he shouldn't be touched because he's a candidate is valid.


BILL BARR, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY GENERAL: If a prominent person commits a crime and they're seeking office, that doesn't give him immunity. The idea that, oh, OK, well, I'm sorry, we'll let you get run in the election. And then after we'll address it. That's not a principle. It's silly. It's silly. Now you can argue about whether he should have been charged and so forth. But the idea that this is interfering with the election is simply wrong.


DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Those words that Bill Barr used at the very end of that clip, interfering with the election goes directly with Donald Trump is trying to sell voters every single day. He labels this election interference and Bill Barr saying flatly, he doesn't believe that that's what is going on.

At all here, it is intriguing to hear the attorney general speak this way because, as Evan and I have talked about a lot, the timing of all this matters. I mean, there is sort of a, you know, a year from now, I wonder if Bill Barr would be saying the same thing if we were in the midst of a general election season. And indeed, Donald Trump was supposed to go to trial.

As you know, there is a tradition to not within 60 to 90 days of an election to actually pursue this kind of thing with a candidate in office. And you know, we're not that far away from Donald Trump potentially appearing on ballots. I mean, that's not all that far away at this point.

But his overall point, I think, is one we should all take heed of here, which is that why should these prosecutions wait for an entire election season to go wouldn't it be beneficial to the voters across the country to have some sense of what is at the heart of these charges in the midst of a trial, and perhaps adjudication before they have to make choices.


BASH: Yes. That's one situation that's happening right now and it's certainly an argument. The other thing that is happening of course along with Donald Trump who is the main focus obviously, all of these other defendants who are caught up in his alleged schemes. It's costing millions and millions of dollars to support their legal positions and they're having trouble.

PEREZ: They're having trouble. They're having to do crowdfunding. Some of them like Jenna Ellis, one of his former attorneys, during that period after the election when he was trying to claim that there was fraud. She has gone publicly and she's now a DeSantis supporter. But she's gone out publicly towards sort of shame the former president for not supporting some of the people who really have are in the legal problems.

They're in simply because they listened to him, they thought that they were supporting him. And now they're kind of left on their own and the foreign president's son, sons are now trying to create a political action committee to help some of this. But Donald Trump himself has not really been very active in supporting them, certainly for their legal costs.

CHALIAN: And then we should just make clear. When we're talking about the former president helping or not helping these people, it is not from his own wallet and writing a check. It is about using these political committees, raising money from Americans across the country and small dollar amounts and applying it to these legal fees. It's using some of that political capital he has, but not from his own wall.

BASH: And raising money, making the same arguments that he made about election lies that got him into the legal jeopardy that isn't right now.

PEREZ: The grift is only for his own benefit. That's the argument that a lot of these people are making.

BASH: OK. Everybody standby because up next. Joe Biden is heading to Florida. That's going to be tomorrow. He's going to go and see Idalia's damage up close. Will he meet with a potential, potential 2024 rival? Details on that next.




BASH: Welcome back. Let's go to the White House to hear from President Biden.

JOE BIDEN, 46TH U.S. PRESIDENT: One of the strongest job creating periods in our history, in the history of our country. It wasn't that long ago that America was losing jobs. In fact, my predecessor was one of only two presidents in history, who entered his presidency and left with fewer jobs than when he entered. Look, like a moron right now.

Just this morning, we learned that the economy created 190,000 jobs last month. All told, we've added 13.5 million jobs since I took office, around 800,000 of them manufacturing jobs. We created more jobs in two years, then a president ever created in a four-year, single four-year term. We did it two years.

What's more? When I took office, the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that it would not get below 4 percent until the end of 2025. Now the unemployment rate has been below 14 percent for the last 19 months, the longest stretch in over 50 years.

We recovered all the jobs lost during the pandemic. We've added a million more new jobs. More than 700,000 people joined the labor force last month, which means the highest share of working age Americans are in the workforce now than any time in the past 20 years. People are coming off the sidelines, getting back to their workplaces. Job satisfaction is higher than has been in 36 years.

We've seen record lows in unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic workers and veterans, and workers without high school diplomas, and the lowest unemployment rate in 70 years for America's women. The same time, inflation continues to fall. It's now around 3 percent. About one-third of what it was one year ago.

In fact, we learned yesterday that over the past three months, inflation will close. It was close to what it was before the pandemic. And incomes are higher now than there were before the pandemic. While pay for low wage workers has grown at the fastest pace for low wage workers in two decades.

Remember, some experts said to get inflation under control, we needed higher unemployment and lower wages. But I've never thought that was the problem. Too many people having a job or that working people were making too much money. And now months after months and months of bringing inflation down, while at the same time adding jobs and growing wages, it matters. And it's no accident.

I came to office to serve and to build the economy in a different way from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down to move away from trickledown economics and instead focus on the middle class because when the middle class does well, this is not hyperbole. When the middle class does well, everyone does well. Everyone does well. The wealthy do very well. The poor have a shot, and the middle class can make a living.

Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, I've read recently before started calling my plan Bidenomics. It's about investing in America and investing in Americans, is working. A key pillar of Bidenomics is empowering and educating workers who are the backbone of this country.

I want to mention a few actions my administration took this week to support workers by raising workers' pay and helping more workers get good paying union jobs. First, we proposed a new rule to extend overtime pay from up -- for up to 3.6 million workers across the country, additional 3.6 million. Here's why that matters.


Until now, salary workers who were not paid by the hour, were often not guaranteed overtime pay unless they made less than $36,568 a year. That was the threshold. If you're a fast-food manager, or made even $1 more in salary, you are not guaranteed overtime pay even if you worked an additional 40-hour week.

The new rules we proposed this year, this week, raise that threshold to $55,000 a year. That means a mom in North Carolina who makes $37,500 a year as an executive assistant, in sometimes works a 60-hour work week, could not be guaranteed time and a half, whenever she works over 40 hours in that week.

Plus, moving forward, that salary threshold automatically will update every three years. So, this stays up to date with wage growth and purchasing power. Will it make it easier for workers to earn overtime? In the future it would. The automatic update was something we did in the Obama Biden administration. My predecessor scrapped it. We've worked to ramp back. And we'll make a big difference for a lot of American families.

Next, thanks to the inflation Reduction Act, which I might add, not a single member of the other party voted for. We're making the most significant investment in clean energy and combating the existential threat of climate change that's ever been made anywhere in the world.

According and outside experts, the inflation Reduction Act is projected to create more than 1.5 million jobs over the next decade, which I said when I was writing the legislation. This week, the department of treasury and the IRS announced guidance on new tax incentives for companies that invest in clean energy, like building wealth, wind turbines, and installing solar power.

In the previous administration, companies got a tax cut. They could go wherever they wanted to, including overseas and hire whoever they want it in order to get that tax cut. But on my watch, we use tax cuts for companies to stay in America and create American jobs in America, providing additional tax incentive for companies to pay their workers prevailing wages, wages you can raise a family on.

And if you get and if they hire registered apprentices, like those trains is sponsored by unions. That's what happens. For some clean energy projects will still be worth millions of dollars. This is a major incentive to pay prevailing wage and higher union workers. It's good for workers. It's good for the environment. And as companies are beginning to figure out, it's good for company's bottom line as well.

Plus, many automobile -- auto companies significantly ramped up their investments in electric vehicles. My administration announced, has announced more than $15 billion dollars in funding to help automakers convert existing auto plants while retaining the existing workers at good wages, giving them a first crack at the new and different jobs for electric vehicles vs the combustion engine, bolstering the domestic supply chain and ensuring that auto manufacturing jobs remain good paying jobs, including union jobs.

The auto industry has long been a pathway to the middle class and had provided good paying jobs. I'm not going to let that change in my watch if I can help it. If anyone wonders whether unions really make a difference, I urge them to take a look at the new report from the Treasury Department.

It's the most comprehensive look ever at the impact unions have on our economy. And it concludes definitively that unions raise workers income, increase homeownership, increase retirement savings, increase access to critical benefits, like sick leave and childcare and reduce inequality, all of which strengthen the American economy.

Plus, even workers aren't in unions, even workers have been laid off. See benefits of unions when they're strong. Because unions raise standards across the workforce and industries, pushing up wages and strengthening benefits for everyone. You heard me say many times, Wall Street didn't build America, middle class build America and unions built the middle class.


Because of this, we face some pretty tough times in recent years. A pandemic that took more than a million of our friends and neighbors, million fewer people sitting in our dining room or kitchen tables, people we raised and loved, people we grew up with God.

The worst economic crisis since the great depression. Wasn't that long ago, a 20 million Americans were out of work, but the American people didn't give up. They never give up. They've never given up. And today, we have the strongest economy in the world. The lowest inflation rate among the major economies, 13.5 million new jobs. You heard me say it before and I'm going to keep saying it.

My dad said a jobs about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye, and say honey is going to be OK. And mean it. That dignity is coming back to places all across the country.

Well, I'm proud of the historic legislation you might ministration has passed. And the policies who have enacted. The real heroes in this story are the American people, average Americans. They're the ones getting up every day, putting their heads down, going out that door and going to work. They're the ones starting new businesses, taking the chances, hiring workers, fulfilling their dreams.

Three weeks ago, at a clean energy factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I met an IBEW electrician, who builds and repairs America's growing fleet of wind turbine engines. He said, and I quote, in America, with hard work, and low faith, anything is possible. In America with hard work and little faith, anything is possible. That's my father's generation believed. That's what these folks believe too.

Everyday across this country, ordinary people get up and do extraordinary things. Thanks to them, we're going to continue to grow our economy front, middle out, the bottom up with good paying jobs, more breathing room for families, and American workers, building industries of the future.

They remind us of who we are. I'm going to keep saying this. We're the United States of America. There is simply nothing beyond our capacity when we set our mind to it and do it together. Have a good Labor Day weekend. God bless you all.


BASH: Even listening to President Biden, at the White House, speaking about the jobs report that came out this morning, 187,000 new jobs. We're going to discuss it with my colleagues here, Margaret Talev, Manu Raju, and David Chalian.

You know, this has been the biggest challenge of the Biden administration slash reelection campaign that he's got all of these good economic indicators. He can't seem to get traction for it when it comes to how the voters see him. So, this is quite literally a rose garden strategy to say, this is what we're doing. Please give me credit.

CHALIAN: And the reality is, he can't afford sitting at 37 percent approval on the economy to let an opportunity, any opportunity to talk about the economy past that's, so he takes it because you can't throw your hands up if you're Joe Biden or the reelection campaign and say, it just doesn't seem to be breaking through.

Their mission is every single day, they need to continue to be out there to try and convince the American people with all the numbers that you're talking about. I mean, he does have a good story to tell on job growth, on inflation easing. This is not like he doesn't have a story to tell. But you are right, there is no evidence yet that the American people have sort of grabbed hold of that story and buy it completely.

And I'm not sure by the way, I'm not sure that they will. You know, it seems to me, the American people are pretty locked into how they think about Joe Biden, and I'm not sure that he's going to be able to turn that around dramatically.

MARGARET TALEV, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, AXIOS: But as we all sat here listening to those remarks, we all heard the same thing was, the president going after former President Donald Trump -- out of the gate, full dark brand and the whole thing, right. So, and that's important for a couple of reasons.

Like yes, the next election is going to be large part about the economy. So, whether people like what Biden is doing or get it or not, or don't give him credit, he's still going to have to talk about it. Why not try to go on the offense? Why not try to own it? And he's not been able, bite. I think it's the right political decision. He's not been able to go after Trump on the legal stuff because he's trying to show that he's completely firewalled from what the Justice Department and the special prosecutor are doing.