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Isa Soares Tonight

Hunter Biden Convicted on Federal Gun Charges; Joe Biden to Speak on Gun Safety after Hunter Biden's Conviction; Wall Street Journal Reports Hamas' Leader Yahya Sinwar Lauds High Civilian Death Toll in Gaza As Necessary Sacrifice. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 11, 2024 - 14:00:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Hello everyone and welcome, I'm Bianna Golodryga in for Isa Soares. Tonight, guilty on all three charges. The U.S.

President's son Hunter Biden is now a convicted felon. A federal jury found Hunter Biden, President Biden's only surviving son guilty on three felony

gun charges.

It's a historic first-ever conviction of a sitting president's child. Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to

$750,000 at sentencing. However, he likely will receive far less than the maximum as a first-time offender. Special counsel, David Weiss and

prosecutors held a news conference in the past hour. Here is part of their reaction to the jury's verdict.


DAVID WEISS, SPECIAL COUNSEL: First, while there has been much testimony about the defendant's abuse of drugs and alcohol, ultimately, this case was

not just about addiction. A disease that haunts families across the United States, including Hunter Biden's family.

This case was about the illegal choices the defendant made while in the throes of addiction. His choice to lie on a government form when he bought

a gun and the choice to then possess that gun.


GOLODRYGA: A source familiar with President Biden's plan, say that he will head to Wilmington later to be with his son. And we are waiting for the

president to speak. He's due to give a speech on preventing gun violence at any moment now in Washington, we'll bring that to you live when it happens.

First, let's go straight to CNN's Marshall Cohen, who was in the courtroom in Delaware. A significant moment as we noted earlier, Marshall, the first

child of the son of a sitting president who now is a convicted felon. Talk about the reaction in the courtroom. We saw his stepmother, his mother

really, the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden who has raised him for much of his life after his mother died there, at his side for much of this trial, she

wasn't there though when the verdict was read.

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, she missed the verdict. She came into the area right outside of the courtroom just about seven minutes after the

verdict was read. This happened pretty quick, Bianna, between the time when the court officials announced that there was a verdict in the case, and

when the jury was actually brought back into the courtroom to announce that verdict.

It was really a fast turnaround and basically wants Hunter and his attorneys who were in the room, it was all systems go, they did not wait

for the first lady. Not much of a reaction from the defendant in this case. After the trial concluded, Hunter turned around and flash brief smile to

his lawyers and paralegals that were by his side throughout this case, gave them all a big hug, pat on the back, and then one-by-one, it almost was

like a receiving line.

There were a lot of Biden family members and Biden supporters and friends, many of whom from the Delaware and the Wilmington community, they were in

the gallery behind him, and he sort of went one-by-one and gave a hug to each of them. As that group walked out, some of them did look kind of

shell-shocked based off of what they had just heard. Three guilty verdicts read in a row.

Of course, the charges in this case were all about Hunter Biden's addiction. It's against federal law for a drug addict or a drug user to buy

a gun and possess a gun. And that is exactly what the jury concluded that he did. So, he's guilty on all three counts. He could face prison time,

technically-speaking, these charges could lead to a maximum punishment of 25 years in federal prison.

But as you already mentioned and as so many of the legal experts that have watched this case have said, it seems highly unlikely that he will have

much prison time. It's even possible he'll have no prison time with a probation sentence, that will be decided by Judge Noreika, she is a Trump

appointee, but she was confirmed to the federal bench with wide bipartisan support in the Senate.

So, she's not someone who is seen as a partisan hack, she did not set an exact sentencing date yet, but she said probably 120 days.


That could put this sentencing hearing right in the peak of Hunter Biden's father's re-election campaign this Fall. And by the way, Bianna, it's only

half-time for Hunter Biden, there's another trial that he faces in September on federal tax evasion charges, so, the gun's case is now

behind him, tax case coming later this Fall.

GOLODRYGA: Coming later this Fall in California, and perhaps could overlap then with the sentencing that we get and we hear finally from the judge in

this case. Marshall Cohen, thank you, we'll come back to you later in this hour. And CNN has learned from one of the jurors in Hunter Biden's trial,

juror number ten said at first the jury was evenly split on whether or not to convict. This was last night. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we just decided, OK, the first thing we're going to do is let's vote now and see how -- see how the count was. So, we voted and

it was six to six. Now, I don't believe that -- and give them -- we're trying to change their minds or we weren't trying to change anybody's mind.

It's just the fact that I think they said no, because they wanted more information. They want to talk more about the case. So, they don't want to

jump to conclusions right away and say, yes, he was guilty.


GOLODRYGA: And I want to bring in CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen, he's also a former U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. Ambassador Eisen, thank you

so much for joining us. I want to just walk through the grounds for appeal that we know that Hunter Biden, his legal team will now be focused on

because it is debatable and we have already spent much time on this network leading up to this decision from the jury to debate the merits of bringing

this case to trial.

That having been said, even what we heard from the jurors who were reluctant or felt emotional or sympathy for Hunter felt that they were

following the guidelines they were given, and that in fact, the prosecution laid out a strong case. Is it possible in the appellate portion of this, in

the appeals portion to bring forward the argument that this case perhaps should not have been brought or wouldn't have been brought if it was anyone

else other than the president's son?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Bianna, the strongest appellate ground here is a relatively recent line of precedence stemming from the United States

Supreme Court decision in the Bruen case. In that case, they held that gun prosecutions that are based on criteria that were not present when the

Second Amendment that regulates the right to bear arms was adopted in the 19th century add-ons, more recent add-ons like conditioning gun ownership

on drug usage are not constitutional.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter's very capable defense lawyer, who helped deliver that initial 6-6 split that we heard about, he's already tried to get the

appellate courts to focus on these constitutional infirmities. So, for sure, that's going to be one area where we're going to see battle done on

appeal in this case. But the prosecution did a very good job also, so, it won't be an easy appeal to reverse all of these charges.

GOLODRYGA: I'd like to read the statement for our viewers from President Biden as they react to this verdict. And here's what the president said.

"As I said last week, I'm the president, but I'm also a dad, Jill and I love our son and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families

who had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out on the other side and so strong and resilient in


As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.

Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that."

Contrast that with the statement that we heard from former President Trump himself and his lawyers and supporters following his conviction in the New

York hush money trial, and the significance of a president of the United States saying that he will support and he will continue to respect the

judicial process and not pardon his son.

EISEN: The proper comparison here is the one you're setting forth between how Donald Trump talks about the decisions of a jury, of ordinary

Americans, and how Joe Biden does it, not to compare Trump's convictions and Hunter Biden's conviction.


Because of course, Hunter is not a current or former president of the United States. He's a private citizen. If you compare, however, Biden, the

elder respecting the operation of the rule of law of our justice system of the jury. That's 12 ordinary Americans who we entrust to make these most

important decisions about people's lives.

That President Biden embraces that, former President Trump viciously attacked it. He criticized the case, he baselessly made false claims about

it, such as there was no crime, he's attacked the judge before the gag order went on him in that New York case, he attacked the jurors' witnesses.

It's day and night, and it speaks to the qualification of these two men for office, Bianna, the American idea is the rule of law, and if you have one

who attacks the rule of law and one who embraces the rule of law no matter how painful that is when his son has just been convicted. That tells you a


GOLODRYGA: Yes, and this is just one of two cases that will be coming forward against Hunter Biden; the president's son. The next one, well, set

to begin in September, tax-related issues in California just months before the presidential election. Norm Eisen, thank you so much, we appreciate

your time.

Well, for political insight, we now turn to CNN presidential historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library, Tim Naftali, who joins

us live from New York. I want to follow up on what we just heard, Tim, from Norm Eisen, where he said -- what we heard from President Biden is support

and an embrace of the American idea of the rule of law.

In this specific environment right now where our institutions are constantly tested and questioned, how important, from your perspective,

from a historical perspective, is it to hear these words from the president?

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, the presidency is not just theoretical and it's not -- it's not just historical, it's human. And

first of all, I think it's very significant for the country to listen to the head of state react in a human way to his son's tragedy.

The son has been found guilty. He's been found guilty for illegal behavior, but illegal behavior link to an illness. The President's response is an

understandable response, I believe most Americans would feel for the president and the first lady at this time.

And I think that's extremely healthy for people to be reminded that presidents are people too with private lives and families. So, my first

response to this is to keep in mind the human dimension of the story. Secondly, I agree with Norm that the framing of the two reactions, the

former president's reaction to his own conviction before a different crime to the family that Biden as the head of the family, the family's reaction

to Hunter Biden's -- the verdict in his case, today.

We are living in a toxic political era. It's not the first in our history, I fear it won't be the last. But it is -- we have to recognize an

extraordinarily toxic moment in our history. There are many people who know better, who have been encouraging fellow Americans to believe that our

justice system is corrupt, that it is rigged, that it is not blind.

Today's verdict in Delaware is a reminder that justice is blind and that our jury system works. Delaware is not a place that is unfriendly to the

Bidens. Delaware, the verdict area is not a political payback for what happened to Donald Trump in New York. That kind of world is the world that

many of the former president's supporters believe we live in.

But in fact, that's not what happened. Hunter was found guilty by his peers in a state that reveres the Biden family. So, that is also healthy for the

country. The extent to which Americans who don't particularly like Democrats will see that today's event is a sign of strength for the

country, not a sign of some family corruption on the part of the Bidens, I don't know.


But there are people who are still sitting on the fence in this election. They are independents, and there are others who are perhaps at the left or

the right, but remain open-minded. They may be influenced by the difference between Joe Biden's reaction to a devastating verdict for his family, and

Donald Trump's reaction to a devastating verdict for his own.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, it's notable that the reaction and the response from the Trump camp was not to this specific case, but instead calling it a smoke

screen to cover other crimes, really sort of trying to draw in President Biden himself and implicate him in some of those allegations that obviously

don't have any merit or substantiated to say the least. Tim Naftali, thank you so much.

Well, in just moments from now, President Biden is scheduled to give a speech on gun safety in Washington. It's an annual conference of a group

advocating for tighter gun control. President Biden is expected to highlight his administration's efforts to curb gun violence.

As we're waiting for the president to speak, I want to bring in our senior White House correspondent, Kevin Liptak. Kevin, what are we expecting to

hear from the president? Obviously, it's not lost on anyone given the subject matter at hand, gun violence and as that relates to his presidency

-- his son's conviction today.

Do we know aside from the statement released by the White House, are we expecting the president to comment any further on this jury verdict?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN REPORTER: Yes, I would be surprised if the president used this event to comment on the verdict. For one, it's somewhat awkward

political timing, this is a fluke of scheduling, but the president will be speaking under the event devoted to talking about curbing gun violence, but

he is also just more generally been reluctant to talk about this case in public at all.

It's obviously a very sensitive case for him, very painful moments that unearthed in that trial over the last week. So, I think that the president

is most likely to leave it at the written statement that he put out earlier. We do know that the president has adjusted his schedule for the

rest of the afternoon.

Originally, he was meant to remain here overnight at the White House before leaving for the G7 tomorrow in Italy. But now, he will go to Wilmington,

Delaware, which is of course, where this trial unfolded, but also where his family home is, and he will be there overnight, presumably with Hunter

Biden, with Dr. Jill Biden, the first lady, sort of surrounding them and being around them at this very difficult moment as his son is convicted of

federal gun crimes.

Now, this event that he is going to be speaking at shortly, is for the group, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the president will be wanting to talk

about a major reduction in violent crime that the FBI has just put out over the last couple of days, he will be announcing a number of convictions, 500

convictions under this new law that he signed into law a few years ago.

And so, the president still wants to focus on his policy even if the subject matter is somewhat awkward, somewhat ironic.

GOLODRYGA: All right, we will be waiting to hear from the president, of course, bring you his comments as soon as they begin. Kevin Liptak at the

White House for us, thank you. Meantime, still to come for us, Israel issues a new statement on the U.S.-backed ceasefire plan for Gaza.

This as Secretary of State Antony Blinken tries to enlist support from key regional players. Now, we're hearing from Hamas as well, we'll have that

information after the break.



GOLODRYGA: Welcome back, as noted, we'll bring you back to Washington D.C. when we do hear from the president, but now we want to turn to the Middle

East and tracking new developments there. Hamas has given a response to international mediators about the U.S.-backed ceasefire proposal for Gaza.

This is according to a Qatari official. We're expecting a statement from Qatar soon. Now, this news follows a meeting between Qatar's Prime Minister

and the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Let's get more now from Paula Hancocks in Jerusalem, Ben Wedeman is joining us from


Paula, first to you, as we were hearing and reporting earlier today, it does appear that Prime Minister Netanyahu was more open to this deal, now,

we're hearing from Hamas directly. What are they saying?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so, Bianna, what we're hearing from Hamas at this point, this is according to a Qatari

official, saying Hamas has given a response to the latest Gaza ceasefire proposal to mediators, Qatar and Egypt being those mediators.

More discussions are needed though, according to this official, but they do say that it was a positive response. We are expecting more details from a

Qatari statement shortly. Now, what we have heard from the Israeli side, I mean, recently, the Biden administration has been pointing out that they

were waiting for a Hamas response because Israel had already agreed to this proposal, this three-stage proposal that was on the table.

We have not definitively heard that from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but we have heard today with a government statement

saying that they would only agree to a ceasefire if certain conditions were met, saying that hostages have to be released, saying that Hamas'

government and/or military capabilities have to be destroyed, and that Gaza cannot suppose a threat in the future to Israel.

So, on the face of it, it's not exactly the same as that proposal that we have heard really pushed now by the U.S. President Joe Biden, but it's

potentially the closest Israel has got at this point to agreeing to this proposal in public. Worth pointing out though, this still isn't from the

Prime Minister himself, Benjamin Netanyahu, he's been given some conflicting statements as to whether or not this proposal is one that they

would agree to.

But certainly, this is why the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been here over recent days, he's still in the region really trying to push

this proposal, this ceasefire deal, this hostage deal over the line, because it has been stuttering significantly over recent months. Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: All right, Paula Hancocks for us. Let's turn to Ben Wedeman. And Ben, this comes not only as the Secretary of State obviously is in the

region meeting with partners there.

But we were also responding today, continuing the aftermath of the report on -- in the "Wall Street Journal" on Hamas as leader there in Gaza, Yahya

Sinwar and some of the text messages that the "Wall Street Journal" says that they have seen personally and his take on where the war stands and the

possibility of a ceasefire war on the horizon, quoting just one time from him, he says "we have the Israelis right where we want them", giving the

indication that he's in no rush for a deal at this point. What more are you hearing?


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a story published in the "Wall Street Journal", obviously, CNN has not actually

seen these messages that were passed from Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, to mediators, other Hamas leaders outside of Gaza and others.

Basically, this gives an interesting insight if these messages are correct into his mindset, that basically that line you just read would indicate

that Hamas is not displeased that Israel is basically bogged down in a quagmire in Gaza.

Now for eight months, and they don't really seem to have a way out short of agreeing to a ceasefire. Sinwar also apparently said -- described civilian

casualties, which are now -- well, we don't know civilian, but the total number of casualties in Gaza according to the authorities in Gaza is more

than 37,000.

He said that was a necessary sacrifice. Now, he said this in reference to, for instance, other national liberation struggles, referring specifically

to Algeria, where in an eight-year war against the French, as many as 1.5 million people were killed. So, clearly, he sees the struggle of Hamas and

the Palestinian people writ-large within the context of that.

And now, Blinken today of course, did comment on this story in the "Wall Street Journal", and he did say that he doesn't know where Sinwar is,

Blinken said he could be ten stories below ground as the people he purports to protect are caught in the crossfire. But he did say want something that

I don't think anybody would disagree on, is that the final word on Hamas' position regarding a ceasefire does lie with Yahya Sinwar. Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: This, as the Secretary of State in Israel met with families of eight American-Israeli hostages still being -- some of them still being

held there in Gaza. Paula, if I can get you to respond to another ongoing conflict and concern, and that is where Ben is in Lebanon, an additional

firing of rockets from Hezbollah today, the IDF says 15 rockets were fired into the northern part of the country, the IDF saying that they're now

striking Hezbollah targets.

What more did the Secretary of State say about concern on that simmering front becoming and turning into perhaps another hot war?

HANCOCKS: Well, this is something we consistently heard from the Biden administration really since October 7th, since this war in Gaza as well

started. That they were concerned that this was going to become a more regional conflict. And when you consider, you have a number of different

countries, of different groups that are involved in this at this point.

So, this has been something that the U.S. President Joe Biden has been at pains to publicly declare he wants to prevent, and that's certainly one of

the messages that Blinken brought today as well. There have been statements from Israeli officials saying that a decision on what to do when it comes

to the northern border, meaning the border with Lebanon, time for decision is close from Israel's point of view.

They have tens of thousands of residents that they have evacuated for the past eight months to try and keep them out of the range of rockets, it's

certainly the same situation on the other side of the border as well with evacuations. And so, there does appear to be this sense, or at least, a

public message from the Israeli side, that the decision day is very close as to what they would do when it comes to that northern border.

Obviously, the Biden administration has been very clear that they do not want an increase in military activity when it comes to what Israel could do

on that border, because that would certainly widen this conflict. So, at the same time as you say, he was talking to hostage families, he's talking

about getting more humanitarian aid into Gaza. He is also looking to that border, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, tens of thousands of Israelis and Lebanese displaced there in southern Lebanon and northern Israel. Israeli Defense Minister saying

that if those 60,000 residents in the north are not able to return by September 1st when school starts, perhaps that in itself will lead to

opening another front there fully, and Israeli response.

Paula Hancocks, Ben Wedeman, thank you so much for joining us, appreciate it. We'll be right back.




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: We're going to take you to Washington, D.C. where President Biden is expected to speak just

shortly after his son was convicted on three counts of gun charges. A speech on gun safety. Let's listen in.

JOE BIDEN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Please have a seat. Giovanni (ph), I know from experience it takes extraordinary courage for

you to stand up here and retell your son's story. Many of you who have lost someone to gun violence.

It's been a passion of mine for a long, long time. It's a reason way back, a long time ago, I authored the Violence Against Women Act, which no one

thought made any sense at the time. Had a lot of trouble getting people to think we could make a difference. But the fact of the matter is, I remember

well when you first started it with me, this extraordinary courage.

You know, through your words, you help ensure that your son and all the victims of gun violence are not forgotten. They didn't die in vain. Through

your love, you help prevent the next tragedy. It saves lives. And through your actions, you remember us will never let go of one thing, that we must

never, never lose. And I mean this. I know it's hard. Because I've gotten those phone calls too saying I lost a son, a daughter, a wife. I know what

it's like. But guess what? Never give up on hope. Hope. Hope. Hope.

I give you my word, I know what that feels, that black hole when you receive that phone call, it seems like you're -- a black hole in your

chest, you're being sucked into it. Just showing up here and all the work you've done take some courage because it reminds you of the moment you got

that phone call. It reminds you matter how long it goes. And it just -- it's hard, but you're so -- you're making such a difference.

The main reason I'm here to say -- and I mean this in the bottom of my heart.


BIDEN: No, no, no.

CROWD: Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years.

BIDEN: Folks --

CROWD: Four more years. Four more years.

BIDEN: Folks, it's OK. Look, they care. Innocent children have been lost. They make a point. Come on now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for all you gun violence survivors.

BIDEN: Folks, to every town and all the leaders and advocates here today, I want to thank you for the dedication to this vital issue you've shown.

And all the survivors, veterans, families, moms who have turned their pain and your purpose into the loss you did -- and you're determined to not

focus on your anger, but on what you can do.

Look, folks, you've held power movement that is turning this cause into reality, especially young people who demanded our nation do better to

protect us all, who protested, who organized, who voted, who ran for office, and yes, who marched for their lives.


From my perspective, today is about celebrating you. You're the reason I'm so optimistic about the future of our country, and I mean that. In two

weeks, we'll mark the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

And it's the most significant gun legislation in nearly 30 years. We pass it, only because you went out and worked like hell to get it done. We may

have the idea, but you got it made. You made it happen. It was designed to reduce gun violence and save lives. And I'm so proud of the tremendous

progress we've made since then.

You know, the year before I came to the presidency, murder rate was the highest increase on record. Last year, we saw the largest decrease of

murder in the history of America. And those rates are continuing to fall faster than ever.

Last year, we also saw one of the lowest rates of all violent crime in nearly 50 years. Murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, all dropped

sharply along with burglary and properties were gone. This matters. So much of this progress is because -- and I'm not just trying to be solicitous,

it's because of you. Don't underestimate what you've done. It's amazing what you've done. You've changed people's minds, your neighbors, your

friends, the folks down at the restaurant, the folks at the grocery store.

Through the American Rescue Plan, I was able to invest $15 billion, the largest investment ever to reduce crime. And we build on that progress with

your help. Through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. And here's how.

First, that's helping reduce community violence and domestic violence. It invests $250 million in violence intervention programs all across the

country. People are now -- my daughter is a social worker working on violence against women. What people don't realize is these things matter.

They change. They change attitudes. We've already funded nearly 80 programs and counting.

We also make gun trafficking and straw purchasing a federal crime for the first time, giving prosecutors the legal tools to charge traffickers and

hold them accountable for the more severe penalties that are available.

Additionally, the law strengthens background checks for 21 trying to purchase a firearm. And it's about time. There's more we have to do there.

It's a big deal. Since the law was passed and implemented, the FBI stopped more than 700 sales of firearms for individuals under the age of 21. And

about 20,000 unlicensed firearm dealers are now required to become licensed to run background checks, which will keep guns out of dangerous hands.

Second, the act help stops mass shootings. Provide $750 million of state -- to states to implement the crisis interventions, like red flag laws, a

temporary remove firearms from those who are endangered themselves with others. It also gives $1.3 billion to thousands of schools across the

country to build safer learning environments, including updating safety plans, installing security equipment, hiring mental health professionals

and school resource officers.

I'm married to a full-time teacher. I get it. As well as violent intervention teams.

Folks, look, third, the act invest over $1 billion. The largest one-time investment ever in mental health -- youth mental health in our schools.

Help them deal with grief and trauma resulting in gun violence.

I've attended too many mass shootings. I've gone to too many schools across America and stood there and looked at the faces of those young children who

were -- made it (ph), and look at all the families that lost somebody. It's tragic, but it needs help. They need help to get through it. It includes an

additional 14,000 mental health professionals to be hired and trained in our schools, to work in our schools full-time. That's 14,000 more.

And over 170,000 Americans across the country have been trained to identify when someone is having a mental health crisis to connect them to the help

they need. By the way, one of the reasons I wrote the latest veterans bill was because more veterans and more active duties personnel are dying of

suicide than any combat zone. It matters.


Folks, this historic law is already saving lives, but there's still so much more to do to maximize the benefits of the Bipartisan Safer Communities

Act. That's why last September I established the first ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. I made it.

We got first rate professionals there and overseen by my incredible vice president. Who's a pretty fierce prosecutor as well, to drive and

coordinate government and a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence in America. That's why we did it, to send a clear, a clear message about how

important this issue is to me, to you, and to the entire country.

Folks, you're changing the nation. You really are. You're changing the nation. It builds upon the dozen of executive actions my administration has

taken to reduce gun violence, more than any of my predecessors, and I suspect more than all of them combined. Everything from cracking down on

ghost guns, gun trafficking, so much more.

Folks, we're not stopping there. It's time, once again, to do what I did when I was a senator, ban assault weapons. I mean it.

CROWD: Four more years. Four more years.

BIDEN: Thank you.

CROWD: Four more years.

BIDEN: Who in God's name needs a magazine that can hold 200 shells?


BIDEN: Nobody, that's right. I remember when I was campaigning when I was a senator, going through the wetlands of Delaware, read all the people who

are the most upset with me, the fishermen and the hunters. And I came across a guy who was fishing and he said, you want to take my gun? And I

looked at him. I said, I don't want to take your gun. You're allowed to have a gun, but I want to take away your ability to use an assault weapon.

And it was -- no, no. This is how the conversation went. He said, what do you mean? I need that gun. I said, guess what? If you need 12 to 100

bullets in a gun, in a magazine, you're the lousiest shot I've ever heard. I'm serious. And for his credit, he looked at me and said, you have a good


But think about it. They're weapons of war. And by the way, it's time we established universal background checks. And by the way, and require the

safe storage of firearms. We should hold families responsible if they don't provide those locks on those guns.

In fact, because three of these major crime scenes I've visited were ones where the mother or father left open, left the stuff out on the desk, left

it out on the table, and the kid came and used it.

And by the way, this is most important, the only industry in America that has immunity are gun deals. We got to end it. End it now. No, I mean it.

Imagine if we gave tobacco an exception, they could not be prosecuted. Wait, what would happen? We'd still have a thousand more people be dying of

cancer because of the smoking relation. It's time to increase funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives and other law

enforcement agencies as well to solve the crimes faster.

Look, unfortunately, it's the only partisan thing I'm going to say. The congressional Republicans oppose all of these, every one of these. Instead

of trying to stop our ban on ghost gun kits that contain these -- that can commit crimes, they're working like hell to stop it. They want to abolish

the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives, which are responsible for fighting gun crimes.

You can't be pro-law enforcement and say you are pro-law enforcement and be pro-abolishing the AFT. You can't do it. It's outrageous.


I disagree with my -- some of my own party and on the other side on a lot of things, but at least there's some rational argument they have as part of

their argument. What in God's name is the rationale for taking away the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

After a school shooting in Iowa that killed a student and a teacher, my predecessor was asked about it. You remember what he said, he says have to

get over it. Hell no we don't have to get over it. We got to stop it. We got to stop it and stop it now.

More children are killed in America by guns than cancer and car accidents combined. My predecessor told the NRA convention recently he's proud that

"I did nothing on guns when I was president." And by doing nothing, he made the situation considerably worse. That's why every town, why this summit,

why all of you here today are so damn important.

We need you. We need you to overcome the unrelenting opposition of the gun lobby, gun manufacturers, and so many politicians when they oppose common

sense gun legislation. I used to be a law -- when I was no longer the vice president, I became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and

before that, I taught a constitutional law class. And so, I'll talk to the Second Amendment.

There's never been a time that says you can own anything you want. Never. You couldn't own a cannon during the Civil War. No, I'm serious. Think

about it. How much have heard this phrase? The blood of liberty (INAUDIBLE). Give me a break. No, I mean it, seriously.

And by the way, if they want to think that it's to take on government, if we get out of line, which they're talking again about, well, guess what?

They need F-15s. They don't need a rifle.

Folks, look, this is crazy what we're talking about. Because whether we're Democrats or Republicans, we want all of our families to be safe. We all

want to drop them off at a house of worship, a mall, a movie theater, a school, without worrying it's the last time I'm going to get to see them.

We all want our kids to have the freedom to learn how to read and write in schools instead of learn how to duck and cover for God's sake. And above

all, we all agree, we are not finished.

Look, no single action can solve the entirety of the gun violence epidemic. But together, our efforts, your efforts are saving lives. You can help

rally a nation with a sense of urgency and seriousness of purpose. You're changing the culture. We have proven we can do more than just thoughts and

prayers, just more than thoughts and prayers. You're changing politics. You're proving that you're powerful and you're relentless. And I mean that.

Let me close with this. I know many people here have been impacted by gun violence and are tired and frustrated. No. No. And I know. I've been to too

many. I've literally spoken with well over a thousand families at these events that I've attended, mass shootings. And the look in their eyes, you

can almost feel that black hole they feel in the center of their chest, like they're being sucked in. There's no way out.

If they have remaining children, you look at the children and they wonder, Mommy, Daddy, how about me? And I know you may wonder, are we ever going to

make full progress that we need to make? I'm here to tell you, we had no choice. We cannot give up trying for all the lives lost and all those who

are still there to save, we're going to get there. I have no illusions about how difficult it may be, but I also have no illusions about the

people in this room.

You're changing the attitude of the public. I really mean it. I'm going back to why I got here in the first place, and it's to say thank you. We

can come up, I can come up with all these ideas about the laws we can change to make it easier, but you're changing people's lives. You're

convincing your neighbors and people this is necessary. It's beginning to move.


Look what we've already done around the community. Look at the movement you've built, the elected officials standing with you. Look at all the

mothers' organizations across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you are (INAUDIBLE). I love you so much and God bless you.

BIDEN: Look, when there's a crisis, half what people affected by a crisis have to know is anybody listening? Do you hear me? Do you hear what we're

saying? Listen to the young people who are speaking out. That's the power of the memory of your loved ones. That's the power of this movement. That's

the power of America.

We just have to keep going and keep the faith. Remember who we are. We are the United States of America, and there's nothing beyond our capacity when

we act and do it together. So, God bless you all and may God protect your troops. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

GOLODRYGA: All right. You've been listening to President Biden speaking for the last 20 minutes or so to a group of gun safety advocates on the

topic of gun safety. Those in the audience responding with enthusiastic support of the president and his administration and what he has done to

help address the gun epidemic in this country.

Those in the audience are not only gun safety advocates, but also those that have been affected by gun violence in this country. The president

comparing at times his record in addressing this issue and gun safety to that of his predecessor. Also pushing, once again, to ban assault weapons.

I want to bring in our senior White House correspondent, Kevin Liptak. So, Kevin as expected, no mention from the president on what had happened just

hours ago. Also, in a way, tangentially related, two guns, and that is his son, Hunter Biden, being found guilty, convicted on three counts related to

the possession, the illegal possession of a gun. No comments there.

Early on in the speech there were a couple of protesters regarding the United States position on the war in Gaza, but that was quickly responded

to by a lot of enthusiasm and a fulsome support from the audience there. What more did we hear from him?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. And the president really not belying any of the concern that we know that he's

been feeling behind the scenes about his son's conviction. The president very enthusiastic in that speech, very energized.

I really think the one moment in that speech that really perhaps came closest and perhaps touched the Hunter Biden case, most was when he talked

about the death of his own son, at least alluded to it in a vague way, talking about how he identified with parents who had lost their children to

gun violence. He said, never give up on hope. And he acknowledged, of course, that that is such a hard thing to go through.

And we do know that the addiction that Hunter Biden suffered that was at the center of this case really did start with the death of Beau Biden back

in 2015. So, I think if there was any point during that speech, when President Biden would have been thinking about what has occurred in

Wilmington, Delaware over the last week and this morning, that was probably it.

But otherwise, this speech very energized, very enthusiastic. And certainly, the crowd -- we did see protesters related to the war in Gaza at

the very beginning. And President Biden said that there have been innocent children killed, and he tried to tamp down any reaction from within the

crowd. But we also saw very supportive interruptions throughout the speech, including at the very end, which, frankly, is not something you see much

out of President Biden's speech. Usually, his speeches are fairly stayed -- fairly straightforward. So, this was sort of a setting for him and an

environment for him that was, I think, very energizing, I would think.

Now, after the speech he is scheduled to head directly back to Wilmington, Delaware. This was a change in his schedule earlier today. He is expected

to be with his son, Hunter Biden, along with his wife, Jill Biden, and that large collection of family members who had been attending that trial over

the last week or so.

President Biden certainly very away that this is a moment to hold his close, to show the world that he supports his son at this very, very

difficult moment. But certainly, this speech, the president, a little bit of an awkward timing. It was a fluke of scheduling that had occurred on the

very day that his son was convicted of federal firearm charges.

But the president keeping with the schedule and keeping with that very clear message that he and his aides really do believe is a political

winner, certainly for younger voters, for women voters, they think that this is one of the clearest contrasts that they can paint with Former

President Trump and with Republicans. And you did see the president doing that in his speech today.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. The president also noting that a really horrific statistic in this country, in the United States, more children die from gun violence

than cancer or car accidents.


As you note, the president will be heading to Wilmington to spend some time with Hunter Biden and his family before he travels back to Europe for the

G7. And once again, in the closing moments of our show, I'm just going to read to the audience, again, the only statement that we have heard from the

president in response to Hunter Biden's conviction today on those three counts, he said, as I said last week, I'm the president. I'm also a dad.

Jill and I love our son, and we're proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of

pride seeing someone you love come out on the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery. As I also said last week, I will accept the

outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter continues an appeal.

And that is exactly what is expected to happen from Hunter Biden and his legal team as they're facing now another trial that's set to begin on tax

related issues in the State of California. Obviously, the sentencing for this case in Delaware will happen in about 120 days. So, these two cases

likely will be overlapping with each other as the president isn't going to be in the final months of campaigning before a crucial presidential

election here in the United States.

For the first time ever, the president has a son who is a convicted felon, will be running against a former president who is also now a convicted


That is it for a very busy evening for us today. Thank you so much for watching. Stay with CNN. "Newsroom with Jim Sciutto" is up next.