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Laura Coates Live

A Jury Has Been Selected For Hunter Biden; Biden Voices New Line Of Attack On Trump; Biden To Announce Border Executive Order; A New Backlash Over The Foul Is Seen Around The World; Laura Coates Interviews CNN's Harry Enten. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 03, 2024 - 23:00   ET



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Years later, he has finally earned the Distinguished Service Cross, and his widow accepted the award on her husband's behalf. She said -- quote -- "Waverly would have felt honored to be recognized for what he knew was his duty. But we all know it was far more than duty; it was his desire to always help people in need."

And thank you for watching "NewsNight." "Laura Coates Live" starts right now.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Tonight, drugs, a gun, a document, and an alleged lie. Another historic trial. This time, the president's son. So just who are the 12 jurors who will decide Hunter Biden's fate?

Plus, President Biden tries out a new, tougher message against Trump, but not to the public. What he just told a group of donors.

And it was the foul seen round the world, but it has now become something a little bit more, hasn't it? The new twist in the Caitlin Clark story, tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

All right, stop me if you've heard any of these statements before. The case is an unusual prosecution that -- quote -- "would not have been filed against anyone else." It's the result of prosecutors having -- quote -- "bowed to political pressure." And the entire thing is -- quote, unquote -- "politically-motivated."

Can you guess which case I'm talking about? No, it's not Donald Trump's conviction in Manhattan, though all of those things have been said about that case as well. I'm talking about Hunter Biden's trial in Wilmington, Delaware which continues just hours from now with opening statements. And all of those things that have been said about the case by Hunter Biden's own attorney, Abbe Lowell, I've just said.

Now, the case, though, it could not be more different than the one involving Trump. Hunter Biden is charged with lying about his drug use when he filled out a form to purchase a gun back in 2018 and possessing the gun illegally. In the form, Hunter apparently or allegedly checked the no box when asked if he is an unlawful user of any controlled substance. And prosecutors, they say that was a lie. Now, Hunter Biden's long history of addiction will be central to this very case, and we actually saw that on full display during jury selection today. They've got six men, six women, who were ultimately seated, but only after several potential jurors were questioned about their views on addiction. At least six of those who were seated have a friend or relative or have themselves dealt with substance or alcohol abuse.

And there's another pretty big difference. Unlike Donald Trump, who has consistently attacked the justice system, President Biden hasn't said anything along those lines for the case against his son, and say he has been expressing support instead, he says, as a father. Now, he went to Wilmington, Delaware this weekend to be with his son ahead of the trial. And he wasn't in the courthouse, let alone the actual courtroom, but Dr. Jill Biden, the first lady, she was there.

And in a statement, the president said this: "As the president, I don't and won't comment on pending federal cases, but as a dad, I have boundless love for my son, confidence in him, and respect for his strength."

Now, this trial will -- will publicize some pretty salacious details about Hunter Biden. And if the other historic trial is any indication, its outcome here could either be a political drag or a buoy on his father in this very critical election year.

Let's get right to Devlin Barrett. He's a law enforcement reporter for "The Washington Post." He was also in court today for Hunter Biden's trial. Just as you got a reprieve from the other trial in Manhattan, there you are now in this one. You got to tell me, what was it like today? What was Hunter's demeanor during the jury selection? They wanted to delay this trial unsuccessfully, of course.

DEVLIN BARRETT, LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right. They had tried for a bunch of delays. They didn't really get them. And, you know, it was a very interesting time to watch Hunter Biden relate with his family, because in each of these breaks, he is chatting with -- with his family. And obviously, this is sort of a human drama that's going to play out in court. And what mostly what you heard from jurors was just how dramatic, you know, the drug issue, the addiction issue has been in many of their own lives.

COATES: That was an interesting point. Just looking through some of the people we're talking about, I mean, they have six men, they have six women, some were gun owners, at least six who've had some family or personal connection to drug or alcohol addiction. That, as a jury composition, it could very well go either way. No one guarantees anything from any juror. But what stood out to you about the composition?

BARRETT: So, I think, one, it is a reminder that Wilmington is a small place.


A number of the people who were called talked about their personal connections with the Biden family. Those people weren't chosen for the jury, obviously. But one, again, the addiction issue, one man talked about his brother, who has an addiction problem with heroin, and another talked about how their childhood best friend died of an overdose.


BARRETT: So, I think, you know, there -- this panel has some understanding and I think some sympathy for the problem of drugs. That doesn't necessarily translate to the charges, though.

COATES: That's a really good point, thinking about the distinction between the two, right? The idea of having -- and frankly, in this country, as for many others, of course, the idea of having contact or experience with exposure to abuse and addiction is a very real thing for so many Americans. So perhaps this is a microcosm of what's going on in the greater world as well. But what are you hearing about how each side is going to approach their opening arguments tomorrow?

BARRETT: Well, I think in the jury selection process, you sort of saw the beginnings of the opening arguments. And on the defense side, what you saw is Abbe Lowell, the defense lawyer, trying to warm up the jurors to the notion that, you know, maybe the government doesn't have proof or at least convincing proof that Hunter Biden was using drugs at the key moment in time when this gun was purchased. So, he's already laying the groundwork for that.

And on the other side, you saw the government sort of preparing the jurors for the argument that, you know, whoever you are and whatever your problems are in life, there are still rules that apply, and even people with addiction problems have to face the truth and the justice system sometimes.

COATES: Devlin Barrett, we'll know we'll rely on you throughout the trial. Thank you so much for joining us this evening.

I want to bring in Gene Rossi, former federal prosecutor. Also, with me, Chris Whipple, author of "The Fight of His Life." Thank you both for being here. Let me begin with you, Gene, on this.


COATES: You've got multiple gun owners --


COATES: -- people who have family members or friends who have battled or suffered with addiction. What is your take on this jury? Because Devlin makes a great point. Having familiarity and understanding of addiction does not necessarily mean that you're going to rule either way in your verdict.

ROSSI: I respectfully disagree.

COATES: Hmm. ROSSI: I did a lot of drug and gun cases. And he's right that in those kinds of cases, when you have somebody selling drugs and possessing firearms and there's violence, having a background of addiction in your family or personally may not translate to being sympathetic to the defendants.

But this one is different. When he filled out the form, the 4473, the ATF form, and when he possessed for 10 days an unloaded Cobra 38, was he using, number one? Number two, are they going to feel sorry for him because there will be evidence that he was trying to get sober? And as I understand it, he was purchasing the gun not to hurt anybody, not to kill any animals, but to just maybe go target shooting --


ROSSI: -- as some way to keep him from off the drugs. If that comes out, I think this jury could be sympathetic. But I'm guessing. I'm guessing.

COATES: It's an important point to raise. I want to go to you, Chris, because, you know, obviously, no one can predict what a jury is going to do. And obviously, the prosecution has got to meet their burden of proof. That is what's required. That's how it ought to be. This is defendant who has a presumption of innocence. And they've got to prove their case. But the notion of how to hone in to a discreet point in time is going to be an uphill battle. We'll see how they climb it.

But the White House press secretary, I want to go to you here, is saying that this trial is absolutely not going to interfere with the president's ability to do his job. And the president is saying this in a statement, I am the president, but I am also a dad. And he talks about his love and pride for his son and the man that he is today. What kind of effect, do you think, this trial is going to have on President Biden?

CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR: Well, look, I think the statement really speaks for itself. The president is not going to comment on the charges, but he is going to continue to express his love and support for his son. I think that this is -- you know, the bond between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden is -- is -- is very strong. It's very hard -- hard to overstate just how close they are. And I think, you know, we've seen that he is holding Hunter Biden very close. He's had him at state dinners. He was riding bikes with him in Rehoboth Beach. The first lady, Jill Biden, was -- was in court. That's going to continue.

And I can tell you that, you know, there aren't very many cardinal rules in presidential campaigns. But one ironclad rule in Joe Biden's campaign is that nobody will tell Joe Biden what to do vis-a-vis Hunter Biden.


They are very close. I think anybody who had -- who had -- who might have the temerity to suggest that he should distance himself from Hunter for political reasons, that person would be looking for another job in short order -- COATES: Hmm.

WHIPPLE: -- because that's how close they are.

COATES: Well, do you foresee a time that President Biden, obviously, in his capacity as a father rather than the head of the executive branch under which the Department of Justice and the feds are belonging, would he go to the court? Would he be in the courtroom next to his wife, Dr. Jill Biden?

WHIPPLE: Well, it's possible. I think it's -- it's absolutely possible. And I think that, you know, we should look at also -- this is, obviously, a real personal trial for Joe Biden. It would be for any father in this situation with a son who is so troubled.

But if you look at this as a -- as a political matter, I think I don't see any anything damaging politically about this trial for a number of reasons. Number one, there's absolutely nothing here that implicates Joe Biden in -- in what Hunter Biden has been doing. Number two, I think there's nothing but upside for Joe Biden to be seen as being supportive as a supportive, loving father. And again, as you've already pointed out, there are there are many Americans across the country who can empathize with the problems of addiction.


WHIPPLE: And finally, number three, I would make this point, which is that the very fact that Hunter Biden is being tried in a court for a crime gives the lie to this notion that Joe Biden is somehow the puppeteer who can weaponize the Department of Justice and punish his enemies and reward his friends, because if that were the case, Hunter Biden would never see the inside of a courtroom.

COATES: Well, Chris, you know, there is the logic behind your statement. Then there's a political spin. I would say, well, maybe this is an attempt to have smoke and mirrors. I'm telling you the way the world works today. You can flip it on the other side and you know that quite well. But I hear your point.

And let me ask you, Gene, on this point --

ROSSI: Sure.

COATES: -- because I got to go back to -- for people -- how we're here.


COATES: Hunter Biden didn't want to be here at all. His attorney doesn't want to be here. They tried to have a plea. It went south. Remind people of how we got to this point and how that went so wrong.

ROSSI: Well, in the summer of 2023, frankly, Hunter Biden got two very good deals. One was the taxes. And I have very strong feelings about the taxes. I work for the tax division of DOJ. That's this trial in September. But the gun charge, it was going to be diversion, and diversion means they -- they have a plea hearing. And if you're good for a year, it goes away.

I have to say this. I agree 100% with Chris. They talk about the weaponization of the Justice Department. Joe Biden has authorized or permitted legally the prosecution of Menendez, Senator Menendez, the congressman from Texas. His own son, I think it's hard to argue --

COATES: But you said -- I don't want to cut you off, but you're saying authorized. You mean --

ROSSI: Well --

COATES: You mean, his department --

ROSSI: He hasn't put his thumb on the scale.

COATES: Exactly.

ROSSI: That's what I mean. Yeah.

COATES: Right.

ROSSI: He hasn't called up Merrick Garland like Trump would do Barr and say, I want you to do this. How did this Hunter Biden case start in 2018 under the Trump Justice Department? And Joe Biden's Justice Department has allowed it to continue. So, Joe Biden, to me, is going to benefit from this for a couple of reasons. One, he's staying above the fray. Number two, he's not attacking the criminal process. And three, he's showing compassion.

COATES: Well, we'll see. I mean, obviously, this is not the president who's the defendant, unlike the prior case when you had a foreign president as the defendant in the action. And I remember a lot was made about the judge not wanting to go forward with the plea because they were viewing it as a -- quote, unquote -- "sweetheart deal." That was not the judge's logic behind her ultimate decision in this issue. And so, we're hearing this now. We'll see how this trial goes.

Gene Rossi, Chris Whipple, thank you both so much.

WHIPPLE: Good to be with you.

COATES: Well, President Biden in full on attack mode after Trump's conviction. His new biting comments at a fundraiser tonight are next.



COATES: The Biden campaign leaning hard into former President Trump's conviction. And tonight, the president himself is attacking Trump at a fundraiser. Here's an excerpt of those remarks released by the campaign. Quote -- "For the first time in American history, a former president that is a convicted felon is now seeking the office of the presidency. This isn't the same Trump who got elected in 2016. He's worse" -- unquote. That's the first Biden labeling and the first time he has used the label convicted felon. And that's not the only thing that got the Biden campaign pretty fired up. They're also going after Trump's comments about what could happen if he were thrown in jail.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know that the public would stand it. You know, I don't -- I'm not sure the public would stand for it with a --

UNKNOWN (voice-over): A house arrest or --

TRUMP: I think -- I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there's a breaking point.


COATES: Biden seems seizing upon those words, accusing Trump of -- quote -- "teeing up political violence," and they're calling him "unhinged."


It's just one of flurry of messages from the Biden campaign that's openly mocking Donald Trump. But on Capitol Hill, Democrats are divided on how Biden should, well, approach this verdict.


REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): I think the president needs to campaign on his record and what he has delivered for the American people.

REP. KWEISI MFUME (D-MD): I think people see it. They feel it. And in their heart, they've internalized it. So, you don't have to go out and beat the drum on that.

REP. RAUL RUIZ (D-CA): I think that's going to be a decision on -- on the president and his campaign team. But I, for one, have no quorums bringing up the fact that -- that a jury of his peers found him guilty.


COATES: Well, joining me now, political commentator for CNN and former Georgia lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan. Remember that he endorsed Joe Biden for president. Geoff, so good to see you again. Listen, President Biden, he is not holding any punches. But, of course, in a closed-door fundraiser, he did that. How about publicly? Should he be out in front talking about this issue publicly?

GEOFF DUNCAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think he's got to call balls and strikes. Donald Trump is, like he said in this fundraiser, the first convicted felon to run for the office of president. That is -- has the added benefit of being true. This whole election is going to come down to Republicans like me. Republicans that are lifelong Republicans, conservative in nature, but just don't think Donald Trump is anywhere near fit to have the office of president. And it's whether or not we're going to stay at home and just let it -- let it happen with the weight of gravity or we're going to show up and do something about it.

A vote for Joe Biden isn't a vote for anything other than a GOP 2.0, if you're a Republican like me. It gives us a chance to purge Donald Trump from our veins as quickly and as efficiently as we can. It allows us to get our party back to where we -- where we can start to solve real problems, show up to the table with Democrats, and work through these big issues.

This court case that we watch play out is, you know, some are gnashing and wailing right now their teeth, talking about whether or not he should have had the charges brought against him or not. You can't deny the facts. He slept with a porn star while his wife was pregnant. He lied about it. He paid people off. He cut secret deals. He continued to lie all the way through the verdict from the jury. And a jury of his peers ruled him guilty.

COATES: Well, they found, obviously, 34 counts of falsified business records. And you are correct that a lot of those details did come out. He has denied the allegations.

But you had an interesting op-ed about this very point where you talk about the support that Trump has enjoyed from women. It improved from 2016, rising, you say, from 39% to 44%. Earlier this year, Biden was winning women 58% to 36%. And there are concerns about why, if this is a guilty verdict, it could be a fork in the road, as you say, for Republicans who are looking for that two point out of a different direction.

Why do you think they're not doing that this time? Why are they not following the left fork in the road?

DUNCAN: Well, I think, you know, as I mentioned a second ago, we can talk about all the different, you know, machinations of whether or not the charges should have been brought forward. But the facts are the facts in the case. It really proved the case and certified that Donald Trump lives his life in the gutter, whether it's his business life, his personal life or even his political life. He lives his life in the gutter. And that certainly is not a magnet for folks that live in the suburbs and specifically women in the suburbs. They're not going to show up and vote for him.

The only risk we run if we want to get Donald Trump out of our way as Republicans is if folks like me stay home and don't cast a vote for Joe Biden. It's a -- it's a painful nuance for us to be stuck in right now, but that's what we have to do. That's the medicine we have to take. That's how bad the Republican Party is right now. Our medicine is going to have to be to vote for somebody on the other side of the aisle. But that's what we have to do to get to the next level here.

COATES: Well, you know, Geoff, many people, obviously, would disagree with the idea of him living his life in the gutter. I'll tell you one person in particular that I can guarantee would disagree, and that is Lara Trump, the co-chair of the RNC, is also his daughter-in-law. The idea that there were others who supported even the rule of law or the idea of supporting a jury verdict generally really seemed to infuriate her politically. Here's what she had to say about Larry Hogan, who is running for Senate in Maryland.


LARA TRUMP, CO-CHAIR OF RNC, WIFE OF ERIC TRUMP: I'll tell you one thing. I don't support what he just said there. I think it's ridiculous. He doesn't deserve the respect of anyone in the Republican Party at this point. And quite frankly, anybody in America, if that's the way you feel, that's very upsetting to hear that.


COATES: And by the way, what he said was, just to be clear, he said, "Regardless of the result, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process. At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders -- regardless of party -- must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship. We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law."

Now, this, by the way, this was posted before the verdict was read. So, it could have gone either way in that capacity.


Do you think that the RNC should commit to supporting Hogan even in spite of what he has said here, which apparently was so off the rails to Lara Trump?

DUNCAN: Lara Trump has no business running the RNC. She was hired by Donald Trump to be a sock puppet, to push his propaganda. And yes, absolutely, the RNC should be behind Larry Hogan, a strong conservative with a great track record. He's a great leader. He certainly put his stripes on display, his conservative stripes on display over his lifelong career.

But that's not where we're at right now. This is all about one person. We'll eventually wake up. My hope is that folks walk into the polling station, not as a Republican, but as an American in November, and do the right thing.

COATES: Well, we'll see how this all plans out because, of course, I mean, the amount of money that has been raised in May till now, I think, $141 million, according to the RNC. Since May alone, $70 million raised 48 hours after the Trump verdict. And questions being raised about whether to support somebody who, frankly, if he were to win, could potentially shift the balance of power in the Senate. There's a lot to unpack.

Geoff Duncan, thanks for joining.

DUNCAN: Absolutely. COATES: Well, President Biden is about to make a big shift and take matters into his own hands on border policy. But does he have the power to do so? And will it upset people in his own party? The debate is next.

But first, a moment to acknowledge Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. She announced that she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The 15-term congresswoman noting that she will likely be occasionally absent from Congress while she undergoes treatment. But she does plan to be present for votes.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said this in a statement -- quote -- "I am confident that my doctors have developed the best possible plan to target my specific disease. The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me."

We wish her the very best in her fight. I've always appreciated how she has always been so open to have in conversation with me, whether it's on Sirius XM or here on CNN. We're all pulling for you in all walks of life. We'll be back in a moment.



COATES: Well, for months, President Biden has urged Congress to curb the flow of migrant crossings.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm calling on Congress to pass this bill, gets to my desk immediately.

My Republican friends owe to the American people. Get this bill done. We need to act now.



COATES: Well, newsflash, Congress did not act despite a bipartisan effort in the Senate. Cut to as early as tomorrow, President Biden is planning to take matters into his own hands with the power of the pen. The new executive order is expected to be the most aggressive immigration policy put in place by his administration, allowing officials to shut down the southern border when crossings surge. But is it too little too late and will it even work?

Joining us now, former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh and CNN political commentator and former Nationalist Coalition's director for the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign, Ashley Allison. Good to have both of you here. Well, first of all, some may be scratching their heads, Ashley. I remember Biden saying that his hands were tied before. What has changed now?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he was saying he wanted to see if Congress was going to act which, ultimately, they still need to act. The president can only go so far with administrative or executive orders or executive actions. And so, the time has come, even those that were saying that they were going to be like Senator Lankford, who said that they would support the immigration bill, have walked away and said, no, we don't want to do it, it's too close to the election. They don't want to be in the politics. And so, now, he's acting because his constituents are asking him to do something about the border.

Is it too late? No, I don't think so. I think he is walking a very tight rope to make sure that he does enforcement on the border, but also having some of those affirmative things like he talked about in his State of the Union address, whether it be with DACA or other provisions like providing health care for immigrants that are here. So, I think he's doing the best he can do. But ultimately, Congress has to act.



WALSH: And I agree with Ashley, Republicans didn't act and purposely held up that bill. But clearly, he's got the power to do this. Why didn't he do it the day after Republicans walked away from that bill months ago? I think he's doing it --

COATES: Is it in part because of their legal battles ahead? Obviously, every executive action often meets that resistance. Is that him being prudent?

WALSH: No. I think he has always known that he has the power. The president actually does have the power to do this. I think, Laura, he's afraid of the fact because migrant crossings are actually down right now. I think he's afraid about these crossings rising again as we get closer to the election, and this executive order will put a stop to that.

COATES: So, just we're thinking about the threshold, this is really interesting to me, because the threshold to temporarily close the border is after 2,500 illegal crossings. Now, to be clear, you could still request asylum if you go through a valid port of entry.

WALSH: Yeah.

COATES: But this policy has been proposed in the past by, I think, the Trump administration, in part. Will this cause conflict in the democratic caucus for that very reason?

ALLISON: It could. I think that people who are advocates for immigration reform, progressives, might take issue with this policy. And they're allowed --

COATES: Progressives will take issue with this policy.

[23:35:00] ALLISON: And they are allowed to because we are the big tent party, Democrats. We build a robust coalition. I think, though, it's the totality of circumstances. The president has to do something. And again, it's leaning into those affirmative programs like creating pathways of citizenship for people who have come here legally, who have been waiting in the system for so long because, quite honestly, the system has failed them and there is no way for them to get access to citizenship.

But also, the DACA recipients, those dreamers who have been here their whole life, who the Trump administration just ripped it away from them, and they've been living in limbo for years.

WALSH: This is a tough issue for Biden politically because it divides his coalition just like Israel-Gaza does. But this issue is hurting him politically because most Americans have demanded action at the border.

COATES: So, what do you think Trump's response will be to this, given the fact that it sometimes has some echoes in the past of what he has proposed? And as you mentioned with Senator Lankford, some believe he hit his thumb on the scale to tank that particular endeavor. What will Trump say?

WALSH: He'll lie about it.


WALSH: He'll misrepresent it. He won't understand it. It doesn't matter what Trump says.

COATES: What about the kids, though? I mean, I wonder about the minors because they were going to be the exception to this. And I think most people remember about immigration policy. They think, sadly, children in cages, family separation and beyond. Is there a concern that with the minors being an exception, that that will lead to incentivizing children coming alone?

ALLISON: Well, I'm not sure. I don't know what it must feel like to flee unsafe conditions and really looking for asylum in another country. So, I don't know if this will spike unaccompanied minors. But what I will say to Joe's point is that Donald Trump will lie, Donald Trump will invoke fear, and Donald Trump will tell his party not to do anything to solve the problem. That is why Joe Biden is trying to take and action and be a leader, even if it makes some people in his party not extremely happy with him on this one issue.

WALSH: I agree with that. I wish he'd done it months ago. But Ashley is right.

COATES: We'll leave it on agreement. I love it. Joe Walsh, Ashley Allison, thank you both so much. Up next, it's the foul that blew up the internet. WNBA star Caitlin Clark getting checked during a game over the weekend. You surely have seen this by now. But it's what's happening off the court that's got everyone talking. You know who's here? Jemele Hill in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


COATES: A hard foul on WNBA star Caitlin Clark is turning into a Rorschach test for fans of the league and well beyond. On Saturday, Chicago Sky's Chennedy Carter shoved Caitlin Clark while she waited for her Indiana Fever teammate to inbound the ball. The referee called a foul, but not a flagrant foul, and did not eject Carter. Angel Reese, Carter's teammate, cheered. And the WNBA fined Reese $1,000 and the team $5,000 because Reese did not speak after the game. Now, after the outrage, the WNBA upgraded the foul the very next day. And Clark handled it, well, like a sportswoman, apparently.


CAITLIN CLARK, INDIANA FEVER GUARD: I wasn't expecting it. but I think it's just like, just respond, come down, let your play do the talking. It is what it is. It's a physical game. Go make the free throw and then execute on offense.


COATES: Hmm. Well, the Chicago Sky's coach saying in a statement -- quote -- "Chennedy got caught up in the heat of the moment in an effort to win the game. She and I have discussed what happened and that it was not appropriate, nor is it what we do or who we are."

Now, Carter, she made her own statement today.


CHENNEDY CARTER, CHICAGO SKY GUARD: I don't have any regrets with anything. I'm going to compete and play 100% hard no matter who it is, like I said, or who we're playing. No, no, I don't have any regrets.


COATES: So, this drama is fueling tons of publicity for the WNBA, yes. But the hard foul might be pouring some gasoline onto a conversation that has been simmering for weeks, if not months, Clark stardom and how fellow players treat her.


STEPHEN A. SMITH, ESPN HOST: I believe that there's resentment towards Caitlin Clark. I believe that Black players who have been balling and scratching and clawing to help build this league have a right to be somewhat resentful.

PAT MCAFEE, HOST, "THE PAT MCAFEE SHOW": I would like the media people that continue to say this rookie class, this rookie class, this rookie class, nah, just call it for what it is. There's one white bitch for the Indiana team who is a superstar.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Now, Pat McAfee apologized publicly and directly to Clark. My next guest is all for more coverage, but in a new essay in "The Atlantic," she points to the one downside of gender equality in sports. With me now, Jemele Hill, contributing writer for "The Atlantic." I cannot wait to hear from you. Reading your piece, I was enthralled, as I always am, sis. Your piece in "The Atlantic" could not have been, frankly, timed better. You've been covering women in sports for decades. How do you think -- what do you think of how people like Stephen A. or Pat McAfee are now covering the WNBA right now?

JEMELE HILL, CONTRIBUTING WRITER FOR THE ATLANTIC: Well, you know, it's funny because, as I mentioned in the column for "The Atlantic," I think a lot of us who've covered women's sports, who've been around female athletes, have been waiting for the day where men who have these very large platforms that Pat McAfee and Stephen A. Smith do, that they would one day give the same amount of respect, treatment, conversation, discussion that they often do to men's sports every day. Pretty much 90% of the content on their show is about men's sports.


But as I have seen, not just with everything that went down today, and it was full of drama, but just ever since Caitlin Clark arrived in the WNBA, there has just been a lot of men who have been chiming in, and it's clear that they don't have the institutional knowledge of the league.

That doesn't mean that you need to know everything that happened from its inception in 1997, but you do need to know certain institutional things. You do need to understand how the play in the league goes. You need to understand that Chennedy Carter, for example, who was the one who obviously made that dirty play on Caitlin Clark, she kind of has a reputation, a certain reputation she's bringing to the table.

But instead, a lot of them have just lowered the discourse by resorting to very lazy, stereotypical gender stereotypes by using the word petty, using the word jealousy, resentment, all these things that are commonly associated with women in terms of describing our unsupportive behavior. And if we want to keep it 100% real, a lot of these characteristics that they keep throwing out there that these players supposedly feel -- because my thing is, show me the evidence.

COATES: Right.

HILL: What player are you talking about? Who's hating? Because that's what I want to know. Because you all keep saying, I'm sure there's resentment, and probably. You ain't showing me quotes. That's what I'm saying. And so, my thing is, knowing that Black women make up 70% of this league and Black women are unfortunately stereotyped with being aggressive, confrontational, all those things, they keep throwing these trigger words out there, and people have suddenly reduced this to a "Game of Thrones" with the Black people versus Caitlin Clark.

COATES: Well, you know, what does Jay-Z say? Jealousy is a female trait. Untrue. We know that it actually spans across the genders, number one, two, and three. But thinking about the words you're talking about, the catty, the petty, the resentful, that they would have a problem, it's almost like some people are trying to create "The Real Housewives" franchise out of what's going on, as opposed to watching athletes.

I mean, I remember when it was, you know, the Detroit Pistons, and they tried to make them into the bad boys. And they embraced it in some capacity, but they also had a certain game they would play. And you had those who look back to the Christian Laettner years, and people elevating stars even to the "Dream Team" and wondering whether they deserved it or not, and was race a factor and beyond. And now we have maybe today's iteration where you have others who are saying, well, I'm here, too. In fact, Angel Reese is one of those people. Listen to what she had to say today.


ANGEL REESE, CHICAGO SKY FORWARD: I'll take that role. I'll take the bad guy role. And I'll continue to take that on and be that for my teammates. And if I want to be that, I know I'll go down in history. I'll look back in 20 years and be like, yeah, the reason why we're watching women's basketball is not just because of one person, it's because of me, too, and I want you all to realize that.


COATES: I mean, do people realize that? And do you think that others are getting credit, even in a world where they have to be cast as, in her mind, hero and villain? Is that even necessary for this game?

HILL: So, here's the thing. I mean, this is sports, and a lot of times, things are very binary. And one thing I want to make clear is that Angel Reese, before that comment, she referred to the entire league, the rookie class, other players also adding to the popularity. And she's right, Caitlin Clark certainly was generating a lot of buzz, a lot of popularity with her playing style, the logo threes, all of that, the success that Iowa was having.

But the watershed moment was the moment her and Angel Reese got into it in the championship game, and that's when this conversation about these two took on a different turn. And Angel very much was cast as the villain. Angel, of course, is a competitive player. She's demonstrative. So is Caitlin Clark. And I don't mind that at all.

My thing is, be fair about it, right? And even with some of this commentary now about how women in the WNBA should compete, you said this before you played this clip of Angel Reese, right? We have seen many men in men's sports and basketball have the pettiest grudges. You mentioned the bad boys. Michael Jordan and Isaiah Thomas still hate each other to this day. But those grudges, that beef is celebrated. It's marketed. Fans love it. The number one complaint you hear from a lot of NBA fans today is, oh, the game is too soft, players are too friendly.

But yet when it comes to the women, like, everybody has been building up this rivalry between Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark, which is very reminiscent of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the late 70s, early 80s. They couldn't stand each other. They had the most watched men's college basketball final of all time, and they moved that momentum right into the league. Same thing happened with Angel and Caitlin.

You guys, a lot of people have been saying, oh, we can't wait to see the rivalry, we can't wait to see these two at it. Well, guess what? You saw some of that. That's what happened in the game. It was partly fueled by personal rivalry, partly fueled by the fact that Chennedy Carter and Caitlin Clark have been going back and forth the entire game. That is what showed up.

And I promise you, if these were men, there wouldn't be any of this conversation that we've seen before. They'd be marketing it, they'd be playing all the highlights around the clock, and all the dudes would be hyped and saying, oh, this is what sports is about. But with women, now they want to switch up and say that they should be sitting around holding hands, sitting in a circle and braiding each other's hair.


COATES: I mean, look, I don't know if either one of them can cornrow, but I want to see that clip as well.


Who knows about it? Jemele, let me -- let me talk about this, too. The actual play that got all these people even buzzing. It was -- first of all, it was called a foul first, then it was upgraded to a flagrant foul the next day. For a lot of people, they may say, I've never heard of a foul being changed the next day, but it does actually happen. But was this the right call the next day?

HILL: It was the right call the next day. The problem is it should have been called during the game. And that maybe --

COATES: Why you think it was meant?

HILL: Honestly, look, just like you see again in men's sports, officials mess up. And it was a mistake, is that they should have called it. Angel Reese, for example, she took a foul that was --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

HILL: -- in many ways harsher than this one. Alyssa Thomas pretty much clotheslined her during a game about a week ago --


HILL: -- and that immediately was called a flagrant. I believe Alyssa Thomas may have even been ejected. I thought it was suspension worthy as well. And so, these are things that the official has to police during the game.

Now, listen, Caitlin Clark is still very young in her career. I know everybody is out there looking for this eye spot evidence of them being rougher with Caitlin Clark than they have with other rookies. Go talk to Candace Parker about what happened in her rookie season in the WNBA, where she got into a straight up brawl with the Detroit Shock. Her L.A. Sparks team is that physicality has been a part of the WNBA. Now, I'm not excusing it. I'm just saying that is how the tone of the game is played.

And in the men's game, it's not that way anymore. But it's certainly defined the men in 80s and 90s basketball, for sure. But a lot of this, again, the officials, the best way to police this is that if there is a next time, and let's hope that there's not, let's hope we can talk about basketball and not all this --

COATES: Right.

HILL: -- other stuff from here on out, that they will have a handle on this. But it was their error. It should have been a flagrant right there in the game.

COATES: Jemele Hill, I'm so glad you came. Always great to hear your voice. Thank you so much.

HILL: All right. Appreciate you, Laura. And, you know, I'll go -- I don't have cornrows, but I got braids. So, it's all good.

COATES: What's it called? The new thing is called the braided baldy. I'm going to get that next. You're saying --

HILL: The braid.


COATES: -- hey, look it up. I know some things.

HILL: All right. Thank you.



Okay, ahead, who do you have? Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper. We have the major shakeup in the soda wars for you next. Forget basketball.






COATES: Well, the joy of Pepsi has lost some of its fizz. That's because trade publication Beverage-Digest says that Dr. Pepper is now America's second most popular soda, only behind Coca-Cola. It's an incredible feat for a soda that started off as a small but mighty brand in the South. CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten is here to break down the data behind this David -- oh, my God. He's already drinking.


COATES: The David versus Goliath story. Okay, look, I know that is legit. You had a little sizzle from the throat just now. You're drinking it.

ENTEN: Oh, absolutely, I'm drinking it. Come on. I love a good Dr. Pepper, though I will admit I'm watching my calorie intake. You know, I have to have a beach body this summer. So, this is a diet Dr. Pepper. But nonetheless --

COATES: Fortunately, for you, it tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper.

ENTEN: Very nice. Very nice.

COATES: There you go.


ENTEN: I can't tell the difference. Ah, look, the trend line here is so fascinating to me over the last, you know, more than 25 years, dating back since the mid-1990s. So, what do we see? We see that Dr. Pepper made up just 6% of the -- of the soda market back in 1995. Pepsi made up 15%. Now, they've sort of met in the middle. Dr. Pepper is up a little bit to a little bit more than 8.3%. Pepsi is down significantly. Its share of the market has been cut by nearly half to 8%.

And so, the fact is, my real question going forward is, when I go to My Diners, will they not just offer me either Pepsi or Coke? Maybe they might offer me some Dr. Pepper.

COATES: Oh, my God. I realize that TikTok is also apparently playing some part in this Dr. Pepper rise. What's going on there?

ENTEN: Let me just tell you, the videos that are on there are absolutely bonkers. And the engagement that Dr. Pepper is seeing versus the two other brands, take a look here, likes on TikTok, 8.3 million for Dr. Pepper. That is number one, beating Pepsi and Coke. And, you know, they've been doing all these crazy videos. They've even combined pickles with Dr. Pepper.


ENTEN: Yes. And I have -- I have it right here. I have it in the drink. I'm going to take one for you. I'm going to be --

COATES: Are you going to put pickles in that? Oh, my God.

ENTEN: Yeah. Oh, no, no, no. Oh, God. Hold on. Let me wipe that down with some of this, please.

COATES: Harry, I've heard of putting a peanut in there, but really a pic -- no. Harry, some things you just can't do for love. ENTEN: You know what? I will do whatever it takes to be someone who moves science forward. That's what I believe in. Moving science forward, being a guinea pig for your audience.


I've done so. Guys, stay away from the pickles and Dr. Pepper. Just stick with the Dr. Pepper.

COATES: For those of you who needed to be told no pickles and Dr. Pepper, I have concerns for you right now. But this doesn't mean, by the way, we're talking about Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, though, is still king of the soda hill, right?

ENTEN: Yeah, Coca-Cola is still number one. Look, with 19% of the market blowing away Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, it has been the number one soda for 100 plus years.


You know, anywhere you go in this world, you can get yourself a Coca- Cola.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

ENTEN: At this particular point, there are no real signs that Coca- Cola is not going to be.


In fact, Diet Coke is even in the top five. So, Coca-Cola, look, still number one, but we have some real interesting competition. But the fact is, Coke, number one in your heart, number one in your mind.


Although, I wonder how it would taste with a few pickles. Could it maintain its taste? We'll just have to wait and find out, Laura.

COATES: That just sounds like an awful combination of things. Although, I got to tell you, root beer or a Fanta with a pizza is my cup of tea.


COATES: But that's just me. Harry Enten, I won't get into it. You know what? I've got mine to choose from.

ENTEN: Oh, look at you. I'm so jealous. I got to come down to Washington.

COATES: This is how I stay up at night. I got a show at 11 p.m. at night. I eat all of them. Thank you so much. Harry Enten, thank you.


COATES: And hey, thank you all for watching. "Anderson Cooper 360" is next.