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Laura Coates Live

Biden And Trump Face Off In Debate; Laura Coates Interviews Rep. James Clyburn; Laura Coates Interviews Rep. Byron Donalds; Supreme Court Mistakenly Releases Key Abortion Document; Paris Hilton Pushes For Reform. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 26, 2024 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Well, good evening, everyone, and welcome to a special edition of "Laura Coates Live."

This is the stage at CNN's Atlanta headquarters where history will be made tomorrow night. The earliest presidential debate ever. It was also the longest presidential campaign ever for a lot of people feeling that way as well. But only eight feet were going to separate Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But on visions for the country, they would each say they could not be further apart.

Both men have a lot at stake, and I do mean a lot. This election, for months now, has really been a game of inches. The polls, well, they have barely budged. The race essentially deadlocked. It's anyone's to win or lose, for that matter. So, could tomorrow change everything? And are the candidates ready? And most importantly, will it change any voters' minds or just make them up?

Just a few moments, I'll speak to top insiders from Biden and Trump world, Congressman Jim Clyburn, one of President Biden's top allies, and Congressman Byron Donalds, a potential VP contender for Donald Trump.

Now, remember, the last time Trump and Biden shared a stage, the world was a different place, shall we say. Roe v. Wade was still the law of the land. And so, abortion, it might surprise you to know, never even came up in their 2020 debates. Not once. The economy was in a COVID tailspin, and so there was really no talk of inflation. That word never came up either. The attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, that would still be months away. And so, the threat to democracy was not mentioned. Not once.

So, if you're still clinging to your 2020 debate bingo board, you may as well throw that one out because tomorrow, it will be different.

Let's get right to Lauren Tomlinson, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Homeland Security Department in the Trump administration. Paul Begala is also here, a CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist. Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a CNN contributor, a "New York Times" journalist, and podcast host, and Bryan Lanza, former deputy communications director for the Trump 2016 campaign.

Now, all of you are probably going, they really didn't mention abortion or inflation once during that.


Yes, we went back and checked again. It's pretty stunning to think about how much has changed in the past four years. And there is a lot of talk now about the performative aspects, that Biden is going to try to break that fourth wall, look right to camera, create that audience connection.

But the substance is going to be the real important part, whether it's immigration, it's going to be about, you know, how will he actually win this, about the economy and beyond. Is that the right technique or is he -- should he look backwards a little bit at the Trump chaos?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I'm not for looking backwards at all. At all. You know, in fact, both these guys need to obey Clinton's laws. Bill Clinton had two iron laws about politics that he taught me. That still apply today. First, elections are about the future, not the past.


BEGALA: Second, elections are about the voters' lives, not ours. I love Joe Biden. Neither of those guys are obeying his laws right now. Mr. Trump, all he talks about is grievances and he thinks elections are blah, blah. It's all about the past. It's all about himself. And Joe talks too much about his accomplishments, frankly.

I think they've been great, but that's not where voters are. They want to know about tomorrow. So, I want both of these guys to do that. I think it's a good, I hope your sources are right, I'm sure they are, it's a good idea for Biden to look right in the camera, talk directly to the audience. His superpower is empathy.


BEGALA: He's a deeply empathetic guy. And again, maybe I'm not being fair because I don't really like Trump. He strikes me as somewhat self-absorbed. So, I think --


-- if Biden says, look, I'm for you and he's for himself, that's kind of a really good way to frame up the election.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, doesn't it seem a little canned, though? I mean, that thing when people turn to the camera like I am now and say, I'm speaking to you, the people, it can feel --

COATES: What do you mean, Lulu? I don't know what you mean.

BEGALA: Ronald Reagan, he carried 49 states with that strategy.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: It feels a little performative. And I think --

BEGALA: It is performative.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It is performative, but it can -- but I think the problem here is, is that you're not going to have an audience, you don't have that energy going back and forth, so you're trying to manufacture that connection with the voter.


And I think, really, what people are really looking for is what's going to happen between the two men on stage and the dynamic between them. Less, I think, trying to connect with the viewer and more about what's going to happen between the two people.

COATES: Well, there's also the moment, though, when you think about, I want to bring you into this, Lauren, when you think about trying to appeal to the audience that's not really present, but they know that that's who they have to convince and possibly persuade.

And on the issues of focus, I mean, if that's going to keep Biden in line and focused on what he should be focused on, according to strategists and beyond, how about Trump? His focus, they want him focused on kitchen table issues. They don't want him focused on his personal grievances and beyond. Is he going to listen to that, and is that the right strategy for him?

LAUREN TOMLINSON, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT: We've seen a much more disciplined Trump this election cycle, you know, compared to 2020, for example. And he has the benefit of not currently being president, which we know is a little bit more difficult to prepare for debates when you're having to run the country. So, he's had time to think about this, time to prepare.

You've all seen the reports, and CNN has been talking about the policy discussions that he has been having. So, I do think we're going to see a more disciplined Trump, you know, either forced or not because of the Mike situation.

But, you know, going back to your point about if it's performative and if they should be speaking directly to the camera, they should, because so much of the media environment is fractured right now that the main goal for the campaigns here is going to get good sound bites because they're going to be splicing it and sending it out on social media and they're going to be sending it out on paid advertisements, text messages, et cetera, which is going to be vastly more impactful than the current viewership of whatever it ends up being tomorrow night.

Most of the voters, this very small percentage of people who are going to be persuadable, they're not paying attention. It's fourth of July holiday. They've got kids. You know, they're not looking at this and thinking, oh, the election is in November, I'm not going to watch this. So, it's going to be that second round that's really going to make an impact for the campaigns on if they can actually move the needle and make an impact for the election.

COATES: What do you think? Is both true? I mean, the idea of people, I think when Hillary Clinton and Trump debated the first time, it was like 84 million viewers at that moment in time. And, of course, it does have the shelf life you speak about and will be, you know, repackaged in different ways.

But I wonder how you see this idea of -- of the performative aspect, but really the performance that needs to be done by both candidates to get that sort of sound.

BRYAN LANZA, FORMER DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN: I think debates, you know, are similar. I heard one of your guests say it in the past. It's like a boxing match. You know, the big punches are what everybody remembers. And I think you need to see those big punches.

And a lot of them exist on both sides. You know, you have two records. You have one presidential record from President Trump. You have another presidential record from Joe Biden. That has never happened before. So, you could actually have real comparisons between these two's economic record, their inflation record, their immigration record, heck, their war record.

You know, the Biden's watch, Trump could easily say, under your watching, nobody has respect, you know, for boundaries. The world's on fire. We have two wars. A third one about to start between the Philippines and China. You know, you're supposed to be the adults. You're calling me chaos. There are wars under your watch. Or you can say inflation. It has been your number one target for 36 months, and you've never hit it, 2%. You've never hit it. You're zero for 36.

You know, if you're a high school kid, he'd literally fail his first three years of school, of high school. So, there's just now just more than ever before. I think, you know, Trump can hit those blows. I think going backwards is a mistake.

COATES: I mean --

LANZA: I think people want to know inflation, immigration, these wars. They don't care about January 6th. They care a little bit about, you know, I guess you've seen it more an uptick of democracy, federal democracy. But we've learned now is that voters actually trust President Trump more than they trust President Biden with the threat to democracy.

COATES: I did see that new poll about that very point. I wonder if the idea of how both can be true. I think voters do care about the substantive policy issues. I think they also care about who is really the head of the -- of the government and the head of the United States and how it plays for diplomatic reasons and foreign policy and beyond.

And then there's the triggers. Have you thought about the things that could trigger either of them to derail themselves? I mean, you've got Trump who -- it doesn't take much to think about his triggers being personal grievances, the -- the two-tier justice system that he speaks about. If you're Biden, it might be more personal with his son and beyond.

How do both sort of navigate, do you think, those triggering elements and still present in a way that makes them win?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, I think it is clear that one of the things that Biden is going to want to do, apart from speaking to the camera and engaging with the voter, is to try and trigger Trump, because he is very easily triggered, let us not forget.

I think he wants to remind people who he is and what he's dealing with here. I think the American people really haven't seen Trump in this kind of format. As you've mentioned, they've been distracted. They haven't really been focusing on the election. He has been doing a lot of rallies, but he's really been talking to his base, not to the American people in this huge stage.


And this is, for many people, a man who really struggles with keeping on message. I mean, the amount of times that I've heard, oh, this is going to be a disciplined Trump, this is the man, he's going to pivot to the middle, this is the moment, friends, I mean, I don't know. You know, color me skeptical.

COATES: Well, you've been colored. There you go.


COATES: Thank you for standing by. We have a lot more to talk about. This is going to be a historic moment tomorrow. And don't miss the big debate. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash moderate tomorrow. It is live from the ATL beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern and streaming on Max. And I'll be speaking with undecided voters who were in Warren, Michigan immediately afterwards to get their reaction to the debate.

And if it wasn't for my next guest, many have argued Joe Biden would never have become the president of the United States. Congressman Jim Clyburn is here with his advice for the president, next.



COATES: Tonight, we're less than 24 hours before the first and earliest presidential debate in all of American history. Sources telling CNN that the Biden campaign is closely monitoring what Donald Trump says, including his recent comments, calling Biden a -- quote -- "worthy debater." They say it proves that he is doing debate prep.

You know, both men face one huge question: How their age could factor into tomorrow's debate? I mean, the president is 81. Trump just three years younger at 78. So, whoever wins, they will be the oldest president ever elected.

With me now, a key surrogate for President Biden and co-chair of the Biden-Harris campaign, South Carolina Democratic Congressman James Clyburn. Thank you so much for being here, congressman. How are you?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): I'm fine. Thank you very much for having me.

COATES: There is a big debate tomorrow, as you well know, and one of the things that promises and has frankly been a part of the discussion has been the age of the candidates, only three years apart, frankly. But it has been noted that many believe that Biden somehow is too old to be the president. Why do you think that's resonating for him and not Trump?

CLYBURN: Well, I think that people sort of buy into sound bites these days. And the fact of the matter is, I don't think that people focus enough on things that are ever present. For instance, Joe Biden, as a child, stuttered badly --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CLYBURN: -- worked very hard to overcome stuttering. But you don't overcome that 100%. And very often, when he rushes a word out in order to get said what he wants said, people see that as some sign of -- some gaffe or something of that sort, and that resonates with some people. They don't seem to give people benefit of what may visit their own homes and their own circumstances if the case were on the other -- in the other arena.

Now, there's another problem. Joe Biden has made it very clear that he has a disc problem, one of my legs is shorter than the other from an accident I had as a child. And so, there's a slight limp. Sometimes you don't notice and sometimes you do. These kinds of things, a lot of people assign their own prejudices to it --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CLYBURN: -- and I think that a lot of that is what is weighing heavily in this race.

COATES: You know, one of the things about our democracy, that you have, obviously, voters who can make their decisions based on any number of factors. You hope that they're making them off of substantive policy decisions about how they view the candidates' positions, how they view their ability to get the job done. But there are superficial factors --


COATES: -- that play into all this. You know this as a politician quite well. One thing that was really interesting to me is there is this recent "Washington Post" poll, and it's a battleground state, it actually shows that voters more are likely to trust Trump to protect democracy. I mean, 44% to 33%.

And Biden, meanwhile, has made democracy a cornerstone of his campaign. That's not superficial in some way. That's not a physical characteristic of any kind. It's not an age issue. Is it surprising to you that there are voters who would trust democracy more in the hands of Donald Trump than Biden?

CLYBURN: Well, I don't put a whole lot of stock in a lot of the polling that's taking place now.

COATES: Why is that?

CLYBURN: Well, because I have the experience of knowing what sometimes happens. People tend to look at the snapshots as being a trend, and they aren't trends. And people don't always look at the questions that are being asked and the way they're being asked. And that will dictate the answer.

COATES: There's -- there's one tactic. I wonder what you think about from President Biden. There are some sources that are telling CNN that Biden is likely to raise the felony convictions specifically with Donald Trump. Not to skirt around the issue, but to go directly at him for that. What do you think about that tactic? Is it time, if the gloves were ever on, to take the gloves off and call those things out?

CLYBURN: Well, you should call those things out if you can relate them back to the candidate. And I think Biden can do that. Will or not, he will or not, no. Remember what Trump said about Hillary Clinton --

COATES: Uh-hmm

CLYBURN: -- and what would be disqualifying for her? Everything he said would be disqualifying for her. He is now guilty of every single thing.


And so, if Joe Biden can just remind the public, here's what Trump said --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CLYBURN: -- in 2016, and now here's what he's saying again. So, when you can tie the candidate to those kinds of things, use it. But just to throw it out there without any context, I'm not too sure it's effective.

COATES: I mean, gratuitous insults lead to provoked, you know, a provocation.


COATES: It's almost -- someone like Donald Trump is someone who would likely invite that sort of conversation, and then maybe derail it. That'll be he has to watch out for.

But I want to go back to polls for a second because the former president has raised the issue of polling, particularly with Black men, that he believes he's making significant gains. Well, you can judge if significant or not. Again, the polling says so. That there is some -- there's a poll out today, for example. It shows that Trump -- 19% of Black voters drifting toward Trump. Now, that's different than, obviously, and much less than what Biden has experienced.

But you've been credited with resurrecting and propelling the Biden campaign in South Carolina and among Black voters. What do you think about the support that seems to be increasing for Trump among Black voters?

CLYBURN: Well, I was in Georgia over the weekend.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CLYBURN: I did five events in a 36-hour period.


CLYBURN: I saw and felt zero support among Black people for Donald Trump. So, I have no idea who is being polled, but I don't believe for one moment that 19% of African-American men are going to vote for Donald Trump. Why would they?

I think that when I hear people talking, some of the people that are being interviewed, and you're asking why you're voting for Trump, it's kind of interesting. They seem to be looking for some favor from Trump rather than freedom.

And that's what this campaign, I think, is going to be about. This campaign is going to be about which candidate is offering freedom for the American people, the freedom to vote, the freedom to make reproductive decisions, the freedom for free public education.

These freedoms, as opposed to the candidate that all he can talk about is the favors he can do for people. No one has ever heard Trump offer one proposal that leads to the betterment of this country or the betterment of people's families and communities. Not a single one.

And so, I think that's what it's going to come down to. So, to the extent that Joe Biden can look into the camera tomorrow night and say to the American people, here's what this proposal of mine will do for you, here's what it will do for your family, and here's what it will do for your community, and then I let the American people make up their minds. Joe Biden has done it and Donald Trump, not so much.

COATES: Those two bookends, freedom and favor. I'll be looking to see how they both address it at the debate. Thank you so much for joining me tonight. Congressman James Clyburn, thank you.

CLYBURN: Thank you.

COATES: Well, we've heard from someone in Biden's camp. So, what's going on with Team Trump? One of his potential VP candidates and fiercest defenders, GOP Congressman Byron Donalds, is in Atlanta, and he joins me next.


[23:27:27] COATES: Well, several of Donald Trump's VP contenders, they are set to be in Atlanta for the first presidential debate. And joining me now is one of them, Florida Republican Congressman Byron Donalds. Congressman, welcome back. And how are you this evening?

REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): I'm doing good, Laura. It's great to be with you this evening.

COATES: Good to see you. I mean, you have said that the former president, as frankly, we're hearing from people who have helped to prep him as well, that he has got to focus on the economy, he's got to focus on immigration, he's got to focus on foreign policy in order to be successful and to appeal to the widest swath of voters in a general election. Do you think that the former president, Donald Trump, will stay on those messages?

DONALDS: I absolutely do. The reason why is because Joe Biden has no defense for what he has done to America. Inflation has destroyed the purchasing power of all Americans. Our open, wide open border, not only has it allowed for tens of millions of people to come into the country illegally, but it has given operational control of our southern border to the drug cartels in Northern Mexico.

When you look at the world abroad, under president Trump, we were actually ending conflicts, winding them down, finishing them, no new wars. There are now two hot conflicts around the globe where if Joe Biden was a true leader, we wouldn't be in this point in the first place. I believe Donald Trump is going to make that case to the American people. It will be a clear distinction between a 45th president and a 46th president.

COATES: Well, President Biden is going to have to address those concerns and also try to convey and persuade to the American voters that he is not responsible for the conflicts in which will be raised in the conversation and address fulsomely what you've just talked about. But there is a potential, as you have described those various things.

Both candidates have been the president of the United States and both will have opportunities to have their records questioned. What do you think is the Achilles heel for Trump that he is going to have to contend with in terms of what Biden could go after him about?

DONALDS: I mean, well, obviously it has been widely reported, Joe Biden is going to go after the travesty that happened in Lower Manhattan about a month ago. Of course, he's going to try to talk about January 6th. But January 6th, 2021, it's almost four years ago. The American people have been suffering under the presidency of Joe Biden.

So, when it comes to the American voter, what does a change in leadership in the White House means? It means a better economy, it means price is under control, it means a secure border. That is all the things that you need for a prosperous country going forward. Those are the kitchen table issues that the American people care about.


COATES: Provided Trump will focus on the issues and be responsive to that. But up till now, we have seen, frankly, a lot of conversation from the former president at rallies and interviews and beyond, where he is focused less on kitchen table issues that you're describing, congressman, and more on personal grievances, particularly as it relates to his own legal troubles.

Do you think that that is going to be something that he will try to continue to convey during the debate? And if he does so, does that undermine his ability to convince the potentially persuadable voters that he is focused on them, not himself?

DONALDS: Well, now, Laura, this is where I'm going to push back, because I've been on the trail with the president. I've listened to his words, whether it was Detroit, whether it was the South Bronx, whether it was Philadelphia. I've seen him make this case to the American people time and time again.

Of course, he talks about what happens in Lower Manhattan, because at the end of the day, his constitutional rights were violated in that courtroom in Manhattan. And every legal commentator, virtually every legal scholar, all agree that that case is going to be overturned at the appellate level because he didn't even know what he was defending himself against.

The Supreme Court just came out the other day and said that if you're going to try to convict somebody, that the jury has to be consistent about the actual crime. That did not occur in Lower Manhattan.

But at the end of the day, Donald Trump, of course, he talks about it, but the overwhelming message is about what his administration, when he comes back as the 47th president, is going to mean for the American people. And I guarantee you this, it will be significantly better for all Americans than the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration.

COATES: Just for the edification of the audience, you're talking about the nuance of the New York jury instruction, where they did not have to agree on the underlying predicate crime that would elevate it from a misdemeanor to a felony, but they had to be unanimous in their overall decision. I'll be very curious to see how that plays out at the appellate level and, of course, with the Supreme Court has to say about a very pressing issue right now.

But to refocus on an issue you talk about and the justice system, certainly he has talked about more than just that. But there was a moment today that has been getting a lot of attention, congressman, and you were leading a roundtable discussion at a barbershop down in Atlanta.

And although there has been a lot made about what Trump has said, I want to play for everyone what a Black voter said when he raised his own concerns about there being a two-tier justice system. Listen to what he said, as the voter, about defendants feeling similarly railroaded, his words, by prosecutors and a part of what Trump had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: What can we do about those Fani Willises and Alvin Braggs that are, you know, right now sending some poor Black person to jail for some crime that they're doing?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): Well, you know, it's an amazing thing when this happened. And as you saw, all the legal scholars say these are not cases. These are not cases that should be brought. The black support has gone through the roof. And I guess they equate it to problems that they've had. But since this has happened, like the mugshot, the mugshot is the best --


COATES: Now, of course, he went on to talk about the mugshot and the popularity of it. But I was interested in the fact that he didn't fully answer the question that was addressed by the voter.

And so, I'm wondering from you and your conversations and in your -- you've been on the campaign trail with him, what specifically is Trump prepared to do to try to address inequality and inequities in our justice system for the average defendant, as the voter was speaking about, and not for himself who is situated quite distinctly as a former president?

DONALDS: Well, first and foremost, in that issue, obviously, we've had issues in the justice system for a long, long time. Now, you're seeing it with a political lens.

I think what the president wants to make sure we do is that your next attorney general, the political appointees at main justice and in working with governors around the country, you want to make sure that you have attorney generals, you want to have district attorneys who are following the law, not trying to, you know, trying to beef up their conviction rate, they want to follow the law and follow the actual evidence, that chain of evidence. That kind of leadership starts at the top.

And I will also add, when you have a situation like we've seen where you have a guy like Matthew Colangelo, who left main justice, the number three spot, to go be a frontline prosecutor, if you allow that kind of behavior to continue within our system of justice, you're not going to be able to achieve what I believe everybody wants, which is a blind justice system, a fair justice system that follows the facts and doesn't want to prosecute people, whether they might be Black, whether they might be of a different race or creed or religion, or whether it might be for a political purpose.

Nobody wants to see that in America. Donald Trump doesn't want to see that in America. And so, it starts with the people you put into main justice and in working with governors around the country, attorney generals around the company -- around the country, excuse me, to make sure that the rule of law is followed and that it is not a respecter of persons. [23:35:06]

COATES: So, you're talking to a former prosecutor who served both in main justice under republican and democratic administrations and as a line attorney. And Merrick Garland has refuted the notions that Colangelo was somehow or that he was somehow put in that position. But your larger point about the way in which political appointments are going to factor in is very important for voters to consider and likely to be addressed this debate.

I know we have very limited time, but I have to ask you because you are often now, you know, the preface for your name, not only congressman, but also is somebody on the short list for the VP candidate. I won't ask you the obvious of whether you would want to take the position. But you have received vetting materials, I understand. I'm really interested on the kinds of information they're seeking from you. Did they -- did it give you any insight into the kind of candidate that they are seeking as a running mate?

DONALDS: Well, Laura, and to be completely direct with you, I don't talk about that. I think it's -- I want to be respectful of the Trump campaign and what they're trying to accomplish. I don't want to get to those particulars.

COATES: But I want to be (INAUDIBLE), and I want you to answer the question, congressman, about that.

DONALDS: I know, I know, I know.

COATES: What did they ask you about?

DONALDS: I know, I know, but I'm not going to do it because, you know, they have a lot of things that they're trying to consider, and I want to respect that. I will say that I believe that what the president is going to do, he's going to make the right choice, number one.

I believe he's going to have a vice presidential nominee who's going to be able to not only hit the campaign trail with him, but then also when the time arises, when the need is there, when you have to crisscross the country, be able to take the president's agenda to all voters through our country.

And then being successful this November, Donald Trump is back at the -- as the 47th president, having a partner who can help get the agenda accomplished, because campaigns are great, they're fun to cover, but at the end of the day, it's getting the business of the American people accomplished on Capitol Hill, very difficult thing, and I know that the president wants a partner with him in the White House to be able to get that done.

COATES: Congressman Byron Donalds, thank you so much for joining me.

DONALDS: Thank you.

COATES: Ahead, a big oops from the Supreme Court, new reporting that they mistakenly posted a key document over the Idaho strict abortion law. What could it mean for women in tomorrow's debate, next.



COATES: The Supreme Court making a pretty big mistake today and revealing what could be a significant ruling on abortion. "Bloomberg News" is reporting the court accidentally posted a document showing a decision that would temporarily allow emergency abortions in Idaho.

It would reverse the court's earlier order that allowed a strict Idaho abortion ban to go into effect. That ban outlawed abortions, except in cases where the woman's life was at stake, but not her overall health.

I want to bring in Tiffany Wright, a former law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and the rest of my panel is also back with us. First of all, pretty significant to have this type of snafu. And the skeptic in me says, who put that up there? The second part about it, though, is what actually this means. They did not really decide this issue yet. Why not?

TIFFANY R. WRIGHT, FORMER LAW CLERK FOR JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR: So, thoughts and prayers first to the poor employee in the publications unit who accidentally released this opinion. It is very unusual. As for the opinion itself, I think it's a John Roberts special, which is trash in a gift box. He's hoping we all pay so much attention to the gift that we don't notice the trash.

This is an opinion that kicks it back to the lower court on procedural, not substantive grounds, which means that the issue is not decided, which means -- and many of the justices wrote roadmaps for how to get it back to the court after the election. Right?

So, this is an opinion that says to the electorate, on the day before the debate, nothing to worry about, we're preserving access to abortion. But that is a lie, and we should pay close attention to what's really happening.

COATES: The timing of it does raise eyebrows and the decision to have to punch it back on procedural grounds. That happens all the time in cases. But this is a particularly big issue on a lot of elections. Do you think that this is an intentional act to allow this to be revisited again? This would be the second case since Dobbs.

WRIGHT: It's the second case and also the second case where they've decided it not on the substance, but on procedure. And in both cases, if this turns out to be the final opinion, there are roadmaps for, hey, not this case, but here's how you can get past those procedural hurdles next time, here is how you should write your brief, here is the exact issue you should raise, which is what many of the separate writings did today.

So, we're going to see this come back to the court, and I don't think that the rulings on the substance are going to be as good as the one that we are getting this term.

COATES: Great point to raise. How does it play politically to think that this is going to be the proverbial can down the road?

LANZA: Listen, I think the more important thing is it shows today that with the Supreme Court decision of the day, the morning after pill in this decision, it's not the extreme court that everybody said it was. It actually showed some moderation because if it didn't have that moderation, it would have -- it would have banned, you know, the day after pill would have actually been --

COATES: The first thing you're talking about.

LANZA: Yeah, absolutely. It would have --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's not true.

LANZA: It's 100% true. I mean, extreme would have done that. If they were extreme, they would have acted today.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, I think what you're seeing is -- is exactly what was being said, which is that they are trying to tamp down the expectation that this is an extreme court, they understand that they're in a political moment, they're kicking the can down the road, and they're waiting for their -- for their moment to actually act. And for anyone to think that -- that -- that these issues are not going to be revisited later on and for those who care about --

LANZA: Every issue is going to be revisited.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, but I mean, but this is -- but this is a court that has been very clear in its agenda when it -- when it comes to reproductive rights. And so, I think people, you know, shouldn't be fooled by what has just happened.


BEGALA: I think the voters who are going to decide this election are not reading this as carefully as Bryan. Okay? Any discussion of abortion, Joe Biden wins. Any discussion of the Supreme Court, Joe Biden wins. Now, that's a sea change. Okay?

For 68 years, Republicans ran against the Supreme Court. Ever since 1954, when they took the radical position that Black people equal to white people in the public schools, Brown versus Board, from Brown versus Board until the day before Dobbs, Republicans ran against the court, and they won.


Hillary tried to warn us in the debate. She said he's going to point justices will overturn Roe. We didn't listen. Republicans, to their credit, many more Republicans who voted for Trump said they -- because the court than those who voted for Hillary, based on the court.

That's all changed. There's a perception of corruption with this court, there's a perception of extremism with this court, and there's a perception of -- of -- of real right-wing bias, of open bias when we have justices, spouses, apparently, flying insurrectionist flags. These are all good for Joe.

COATES: You're an alum. You're nodding.

WRIGHT: I agree. I think it's absolutely right. This is a decision that's going to show to the American people how much is at stake in this election. And the tables have turned on who it matters to.

COATES: As they say, elections certainly matter in the Supreme Court. Yet again, maybe invisible ink on the ballot. Thank you to everyone here.

Up next, Paris Hilton speaking on Capitol Hill and sharing her story about how she was abused at a boarding school for so-called troubled teens. Now, she's fighting for better protections for kids in child welfare programs. And she's here to talk about it in just a moment.



COATES: From the simple life to a life of advocacy, Paris Hilton testifying on Capitol Hill today in an effort to shine a bright light on the abuse that many young people can experience in youth residential treatment programs. And she's here to talk about it with me.

It's an issue she is deeply passionate about because she, unfortunately, experienced it herself. These facilities are meant to help kids dealing with behavioral or substance abuse issues and a number of other issues as well. But listen to what Paris Hilton told lawmakers she actually went through at one of these facilities.


PARIS HILTON, ACTRESS, ACTIVIST: When I was 16 years old, I was ripped from my bed in the middle of the night and transported across state lines to the first of four youth residential treatment facilities.

These programs promised healing, growth and support, but instead did not allow me to speak, move freely or even look out a window for two years. I was force-fed medications and sexually abused by the staff. I was violently restrained and dragged down hallways, stripped naked, and thrown into solitary confinement. My parents were completely deceived, lied to, and manipulated by this for-profit industry about the inhumane treatment I was experiencing.


COATES: Actress and activist Paris Hilton joins me now. Paris, I'm so glad that you are here shining a light on this. I mean, when you hear how you've described what your experience is, it is truly unimaginable. I really am curious as to why you feel so strongly now about speaking up and speaking out about what has happened.

HILTON: This was something that was so traumatizing. It took me 20 years to even speak about it out loud. And the reason that I'm advocating for this is because after finding out there are hundreds of thousands of children that are going through this every single year, and this has now turned into a $23 billion a year industry, and children are dying in the name of treatment, so I knew I needed to use my voice.

COATES: I mean, just thinking about upwards of $200,000 at any given year, there could be people facing this right now. And to have a billion-dollar industry -- I mean, it is a for-profit industry, but I suspect many parents think that they're helping their child, that this is an organization that has only the purest of intentions collectively. But that's not what you've experienced.

HILTON: No. My family, they were told it was an emotional growth boarding school, that I would be riding horses, and they had these advertisements that had rainbows and made it look like this amazing healing place. And I wasn't even a bad kid. I was sneaking out at night, getting bad grades. I had ADHD, which people weren't talking about back then.

And this is where they recommended that I go, these people who get paid commissions for each child to be sent to these places. And my parents were completely deceived. And if this could happen to me, I can't even imagine what's happening to these poor foster children who have no one to support them. They have no one checking in on them. It's just completely heartbreaking just to hear all the horrific things that are happening.

COATES: Do you think it's a matter of -- I mean, obviously, it comes down to power and hiding, and not having transparency around this. But you've been outspoken at the state level in places like Utah and your home state of California. You've now come to Capitol Hill to talk about this issue. I wonder what your experience has been like, Paris, trying to get lawmakers to listen, to try to make some substantive changes.

HILTON: I've been fighting for this cause for the past four years. And four years ago, people were not talking about this. But since then, there has been so much impact made. I've changed nine state laws. And now, I have my bill, the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which will hopefully be passed this year. So, I'm calling on Congress that we need to pass this bill because children are dying in these places.

As recently as February, a 12-year-old just passed away from being locked into a tent and suffocating. And today, in the media, they found out that it was a homicide.

COATES: Oh, my God. I mean, for every story you talk about, I can imagine so many people saying, I've never heard about this. Why am I not hearing more about this? I want to know more about this bill because it's bipartisanly supported. It's bicameral, right? There's a number of people who are looking into it. You testified for hours on the Hill trying to help people understand the issue.


Do you feel like they are understanding and listening, not just given lip service?

HILTON: I feel that they are understanding. This is my sixth time here on the Hill. I've been talking to legislators, to senators, and letting them know what's happening because a lot of them were not aware of all the abuses that were happening in these places because people haven't been believed. You know, they call them troubled kids, so immediately there's a stigma. And people are not listening to their stories.

But ever since I've told my story, it has started this entire movement of survivors, and it has just been incredible for us all coming together and using our voices and making a difference. And I really believe that God maybe made me go through that and gave me a special gift so that I could be the hero that I needed when I was a little girl.

COATES: Thank you so much for joining me and sharing this experience. It's difficult to hear, but you're saving other lives. So, thank you.

HILTON: Thank you so much.

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