Return to Transcripts main page

Laura Coates Live

Efforts To Ditch President Biden In Limbo As Democrats Remain Divided; Trump's VP Pick Decision Nears; DNC Delegates Debate Biden's Future; Airbnb Fails To Protect Guests From Hidden Cameras. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired July 09, 2024 - 23:00   ET




ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: And tomorrow right here on "NewsNight," Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will join me. The rising Democrat or Democratic star will talk about the divide over President Biden, Donald Trump, and her brand-new book about the state of American politics. That's tomorrow night, 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, right here only on CNN.

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

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Is the panic in the Democratic Party now turning into a kind of paralysis? Tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

So, after days of now staying low, Donald Trump finally emerged tonight in Florida. He was downright almost giddy that Democrats appear to be divided over President Biden's future as their nominee.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The radical left Democrat Party is divided in chaos and having a full-scale breakdown all because they can't decide which of their candidates is more unfit to be president. Sleepy, crooked Joe Biden or laughing Kamala?


COATES: Well, actually her name is Kamala. But somewhere, deep down inside, I know that former President Trump knows how to pronounce her name. Now, the reason Democrats are divided at the moment is because they desperately want to make sure that the person who was just speaking, Donald Trump, does not win in November. But what, 12 days now since the debate, the party does not seem to be fully and comprehensively convinced that Biden is capable of winning.

Now, there was a bit of a shift today after Democrats met in private. And some who were previously skeptical, they came out and say that they are supporting Biden, and full-throatedly. But there are still some who appear to be on the fence. And according to sources, senators Jon Tester and Sherrod Brown and Michael Bennet told their colleagues today that they doubt that Biden can win. Now, Senator Bennet, well, he expanded on that tonight on CNN.


SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election and maybe win it by a landslide, and take with him the Senate and the House. The White House in the time since that disastrous debate, I think, has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election.


COATES: Now, let's be clear, Bennet did not call for President Biden to step down at the top of this ticket. In fact, no senator has done that. And those public calls, so far, have only come from the House. You've got Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill today became the seventh House Democrat to say that Biden needs to exit the race.

Now, just to put all this into perspective, there are 213 Democrats in the House, 213. So, the number seven doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of a majority or really even make you think it's statistically significant.

But yet, that congresswoman, she cited hearing from voters who said that they want a leader who was -- quote -- "able to turn the nation's attention to the urgent threat that Trump presents to our democracy, to our freedoms, and to our country." She told reporters that she thinks and thinks Vice President Harris would be a fantastic nominee if Biden stepped out. And, in fact, Harris today in Nevada did exactly what she wants the ticket to be doing.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump wants to turn our democracy into a dictatorship. Trump's advisers have created a 900-page blueprint they're calling Project 2025, detailing everything else they plan to do in a second term, including a plan to cut Social Security, to repeal our $35 cap on insulin, to eliminate the Department of Education.


COATES: Well, meanwhile, President Biden, well, he's busy presidenting, delivering a forceful speech at the high stakes NATO summit in defense of democracy and in support of Ukraine.




-- especially with our full collective support. They have our full support. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: And see, this is the part that strikes me and many people as a bit odd. This question of how you un-ring a bell. At this point, by my count, where President Biden has spoken, what, more than 16 times now since the debate, and nothing close to the criticism or concerns that were raised at the debate have even remotely appeared. And yet we are still getting reporting from some Democrats that more is needed by him to prove something. And many are complaining about a double standard whereby Trump's missteps, and there are many, are not judged in the same universe by his own party as Biden's.


Now, the goalpost seems to have moved again for Biden's critics. And the next test is two days away and what the White House says will be some kind of a big boy press conference, a kind of unscripted event. The Democrats have been urging him to hold an effort to maybe put all of this far in the rearview mirror.

Then you had "The New York Times" tonight, and they're reporting that some -- quote -- "party loyalists are now hoping for a serious stumble at that event in order to convince Biden to drop out." And see, call me a skeptic, but if that's true, was the debate performance even a real concern or some convenient pretextual excuse? And how will voters judge all of this in the end?

Well, joining me now, vocal supporter of President Biden and Democratic congresswoman, Jasmine Crockett. She's also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congresswoman, thank you so much for being here this evening.

Look, there are so many issues, and it is very high stakes. We are 118 days away from a presidential election. Voters want to be hearing about immigration. They want to be hearing about Project 2025. They want to hear about the economy. There's a laundry list of things. And yet there is still reporting that is coming out that suggests that at this crucial time, all Democrats are not on the same page about Biden being the messenger to convey all of these things.

Do you think that you have the right messenger to counterpoint all the things Republicans are saying to try to get him out of the Oval Office?


REP. JASMINE CROCKETT (D-TX): Listen, I think even a schoolchild can do the messaging because the Republicans have not only laid it out in their manifesto known as Project 2025 of what they want to do, but they've actually been doing it.

I've been arguing that Project 2025 has been underway. They have talked about cutting Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare. These are things. They've talked about repealing the Affordable Care Act. It has only been Democrats that have pushed back and highlighted those things. They're talking about things such as making sure that there's a nationwide abortion ban, and you saw that they got a little rattled. So just a couple of days ago, they said, well, let's change the platform. It has been 40 years strong in the Republican platform.

But let's take it out because we already got it in Project 2025 anyway. Right? Like we know that they're now going to go after contraception. We know that everything that they claim that they want to do in Project 2025, a lot of it has already been underway. The problem is that we have colleagues that are scared of their own shadow. Number one, they are not thinking clearly or they have their own specific motives and why they are not standing by the president.

But if -- if Republicans can stand by somebody with 34 felony convictions, who incited an insurrection, and then Republicans said, you know what, don't believe your lying eyes, those were just patriots on a tour, then I'm sorry. We can look at what the president was going through because he was not sitting in a criminal courthouse or chilling at Mar-a-Lago. Instead, he was tired because he had been out in the streets, on the road, taking his message directly to the people.

And honestly, I don't think that any presidential campaign runs just on the person at the top of the ticket. You played a clip of the vice president for everybody that says that they are so in love with the vice president, which I have some questions about some of these people. But nevertheless, she is on the ticket. So, if that's who you want to vote for, vote for, because if anything happens, there is a natural succession plan in the fact that she is the vice president. So, if you don't want to vote for Joe, vote for Kamala, she's on the ticket.

But at the end of the day, we have to win. It's not Joe and Kamala that are the enemy. It's not them that are the threat. It's this Supreme Court that will become worse. It's also MAGA that has proven themselves to be ineffective and ignore the people.

COATES: Well, you know, congresswoman, you make a very compelling case, as you often do. Some of the concerns people have is they want to hear that compelling argument being made universally. And yet, you do have colleagues across the Senate who are not in the same vein that you're speaking of, who are not talking about the laundry list of concerns that you have raised or the reasons that many people are hoping that Trump will not be in office. Now, it's voters' decision to make that call.

But what are you intimating about the motives as to why they're not? Why are they afraid of their own shadow? What is the reason that if 118 days from now and Biden is saying he's not going anywhere, and we'll assume that's true based on the fact that he said he's not, then why aren't they on the same bandwagon?

CROCKETT: Listen, politicians are going to be politicians.

(LAUGHTER) I'm going to start with that. Also, Democrats are consistently looking for perfection. And I've got news for them. It doesn't exist on this earth. They want the absolute perfect candidate.


But they aren't thinking this all the way through. What type of precedents will it set that you have a democratic process, you go through a primary, you have millions of people that vote, and then you say, well, wait a minute, the polling is bad, we need to go ahead and throw this person out? That is not what we do, especially when he has a record to run on.

This isn't just a matter of propping up any old Democrat. We're talking about somebody who has 50 years-worth of a record to run on. And after a 90-minute debate in which he provided more substance for the American people than Donald Trump could ever wish to provide, when people say the number one issue is the economy, and this guy decided that he was going to ignore every economic question.

Yet the president has a plan for those people that are saying, you know what, housing costs are too high. He wants to provide a stimulus, but he can't do it by himself because, at least until the other day, we don't have kings, we have a democracy.

So, you need Team Blue in place, you need a democratic House, you need Hakeem Jeffries as the speaker of the House, you need to have a democratic Senate, and you need a Democratic president if we're going to get anything done for the American people.

COATES: Well, congressman, that -- congresswoman, excuse me. The concern and what I'm hearing from reporting, and like I said, it has been 12 days now, right, since this debate --


COATES: -- and the drumbeat seems to be steady. It's also being, you know, talked about by Republicans. Talking points are clear. They're accusing Democrats of doing some of the things that Democrats accused Republicans of having done in the past. Number one, they're suggesting that democracy be damned, they're in support of one person, that there is gaslighting going on for the American people, that there's not transparency in their medical -- in the medical records, and that somehow you are lying to the American public for political gain.

What do you say to all of these talking points? But frankly, they are out there and voters, you know, are always inherently skeptical about the political process. The couch is always an option for voters, sadly. What do you say to them who are hearing those Republican talking points and saying, what's your response?

CROCKETT: Yeah. Consider the source, is the first thing that I say. You know, listen, Republicans will say and do anything. They will lie, as we know, that Donald Trump lied over 30 times in a 90-minute debate. And so, until they actually provide receipts, I'm going to need them to pipe down. And that's what you need to start requiring because we know that the Republicans are consistently pushing misinformation and disinformation. They just need an opening. Right? The fact that Joe may slip here or may say the wrong thing there.

And if people run the record on Joe, he ain't never necessarily been the guy that didn't make gaps. In fact, I think that that has been part of the problem, that his team is so nervous, and they have tried to keep him in this bubble. But if we think back to when he was vice president, Joe Biden was making gaps back then. Well, you know what?

COATES: Excuse me, I don't want to cut you off, but gaps are not something exclusive to President Joe Biden.

CROCKETT: Oh, absolutely!

COATES: -- statements. And certainly, during the debate and thereafter, and he will in the future again.

CROCKETT: Absolutely.

COATES: Former President Trump will make those same mistakes as well.

CROCKETT: Absolutely.

COATES: But I do wonder, when -- when voters are looking at the different ways in which the parties react to it --


COATES: -- you don't have Republicans coming out, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, talking about their candidates stepping down. You do have some members, your own colleagues, talking about it. What do you say to voters who are hearing this and saying, well, you want me to trust, but you don't -- don't have one united front in front of the cameras?

CROCKETT: Now, I absolutely can understand any voter's level of concern. And at the end of the day, I need voters to just decide, are you going to vote in your best interest? And what is your best interest?

And while we have so many distractions that are going on and so much noise, at the end of the day, there is a real existential threat that exists in the idea that Trump has a Supreme Court that belongs to him, and the idea that Trump plans to put two more Supreme Court justices on that court, in the fact that we have lost so many freedoms. And guess what? They are trying to make sure that we lose even more freedoms. At the end of the day, this never should have been about one individual. It should be about which team is looking out for me.

I can guarantee you that when you look at it, when you look at the fact that we don't have a farm bill because the Republicans have decided they want to cut 30 billion dollars from SNAP benefits when people only get $6 a day to eat from SNAP in the first place, you have a party that has sided with the Supreme Court that said it is okay to criminalize homelessness and it's okay for people to go hungry in the streets of America, if that's the America that you feel like is great, then you do have a candidate and you do have a party that will give you all of that hail.

But I'm telling you right now that that is not what I consider to be greatness, and that's not living up to the promise of America, the beautiful.


So, you have an option. It may not be the perfect options that you were looking for, but I can guarantee you, one is closer to knocking on the doors of heaven, and the other is absolutely going straight to hell.

COATES: Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett, as always, thank you for being here.

CROCKETT: Thank you.

COATES: Look, there is no question that we are in uncharted territory here. So uncharted that basically every Democratic strategist with the platform is throwing ideas against the wall of what they think will happen, what they think should happen, what might happen next.

And some say that President Biden is still the best bet going forward. You heard it from Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett here this evening. Others are calling for him to make room for Vice President Kamala Harris. Some want a group of party leaders to decide who's the best to go against Trump. And then there are those floating something like some kind of a mini-primary.

Now, what exactly would that look like? Surprise, surprise. There's no consensus there either. But since we're in the realm of the total unknown, it's really fantasy land when it comes to proposals for what it could possibly look like. And some are kind of like this.


UNKNOWN: Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.


COATES: Others, maybe more like this.




COATES: But let's get a bit more specific, you know I love a good movie reference, starting with one from veteran Democratic strategist, James Carville. Let's call it the town hall primary. Now, he wants the Democratic Party to hold four townhalls, one in each region of the country. But get this. He wants Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to lead those discussions. And that's not all. So, Carville also suggests the two former presidents of the United States select eight leading contenders to participate. At the convention, delegates will hold a formal vote for the best candidate.

Then there's the plan, well, from Jon Stewart. I'm calling it the sales pitch primary. Here's how he explains it.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: We could get everybody to fly into some Midwestern town, maybe like one adjacent to important swing states. Let's call it Chicago.


And they could spend, I don't know, four days there because nobody works Fridays anymore.


And on Monday, anybody who wants to gives their sales pitch of how they can make democracy more responsive to the people it is supposed to serve.


You could bang it out on Tuesday. The winners could move on to the next round and then face Biden. They could face Biden. Biden had a bye. Wednesday would be an off-day bus tour to find the restaurant from the bear. Thursday, the party emerges energized, unified, sanctified. You could televise the entire proceeding for four days. You could call it, I don't know, the apprentice.


COATES: Well, that may sound somewhat organized, really narrowing down a pool of candidates, bracket style, ultimately the final faceoff against Biden. But there is the other end of the spectrum, more like that gladiator battle I showed you. Well, Charlamagne tha God proposing what essentially amounts to a convention free for all. He says any Democrat who wants to should make good on Biden's threat to take him on.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, RADIO HOST (voice-over): All I hear is ego and I hope they take him up on his offer. Every single Democrat who feels like, you know, the Democrats can't win if President Biden is the nominee needs to challenge him at the convention.


COATES: Well, I want to bring in a former senior adviser to the Bernie Sanders 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, Chuck Rocha, with a hat that looks really good. Also, former congressman from Pennsylvania, Charlie Dent, and congressional reporter for "The Hill," Mychael Schnell. Glad to have you all with me.

Chuck, I'm starting with you, I compliment the hat, although you guys look good, too.


COATES: There you go. Chuck, let me ask you about this. First of all, the absurdity of the different throw spaghetti on the wall and see if that might stick. I mean, this is not four years out from a presidential election. It's not even really a full half a year from it. We're talking about 100 plus days away from the election. And I wonder, how will this all play out? Is any of this realistic or are people in La La Land?

CHUCK ROCHA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think a lot of them are in La La Land. We have a process. We have a Democratic nominee unless he decides he doesn't want to because we went through a primary already. I've been to every democratic convention since I was the youngest delegate from the great state of Texas in 1996 when I still had hair and could fit in some tighter jeans. I'm just saying it was a long time ago --


-- but nothing has changed in the process. We pick a nominee and the nominee gets to be the nominee until they decide they don't want to be. And everybody else is out here just trying to figure it out. But to your point, I think they're hurting him.


The more this goes on, the more they're going to damage him. The best thing that's going on for Joe Biden right now is he gets to run against Donald Trump. If he was running against some 80s movie star, back to your movie references from the 90s, with a hairy chest and a great mustache, it'd be different. But he's running against Donald Trump. So, he can still win this. And the longer this goes on, the more damage we're doing to Joe Biden.

COATES: Is Tom Selleck suddenly running?


COATES: Okay, I'm with you.

ROCHA: Thank you. Okay.

COATES: All right. Never mind. I'll move on.

ROCHA: Same, same.

COATES: Mychael, for a second here, you know, you've been in the halls of Congress and you've been covering this. I do wonder about, and I was asking Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett about this, if Democrats themselves are the ones to be putting out there their concerns and they're concerned about the down ballot races as well, what are you hearing in the halls of Congress about how this is impacting those races as well? SCHNELL: It's still an open question. I was -- for example, I was talking to a House Democrat just earlier today who told me that they think Biden should step aside as the nominee, But they're not coming public yet because they first want to look at some of this polling to see if Biden at the top of the ticket is going to drag down some of these lawmakers who are running for reelection and put the House in jeopardy.

Now, I will note that this lawmaker said that, you know, July 4th was sort of a tough time to do some of that post-debate polling because people are off, they're on vacation, but he says that folks are waiting to see what the numbers look like, what the data looks like, to see if President Biden is really an issue for those down ballot candidates.

Now, he said if they are, they are going to come out publicly and say that we need to move on because, look, with the White House possibly going for former President Trump, especially after that debate, the Senate looks like it's in republican hands next year, the House could be the only firewall left to prevent that trifecta in Washington. House lawmakers are very aware of that dynamic and they want to make sure that they're not throwing away their majority -- throwing away a potential majority four months out.

COATES: You know, what's really frustrating for voters and everyone is the idea of this public-private dynamic. We've seen this for years. Republicans are criticized a great deal about this very point, about how in private they were all critical of Trump, and then in public they were all supportive of him.

Now, obviously, I'm being hyperbolic and generalizing on that point, but you get my drift. The same thing is playing out with Democrats, and I wonder which is true. Will the real Slim Shady please stand up on this point? I want to know what Republicans are saying behind the scenes, do you think, knowing how much they were criticized on this front.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Republicans are enjoying their schadenfreude moment right now.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

DENT: They're going to be as quiet as they can because they want Donald -- they want Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee because they see him as extremely damaged. But you're right. Even before this debate, I've said for a long time, behind closed doors, Republicans would tell you, yeah, we don't like Trump, he's terrible, he's crazy, we need a different nominee. Publicly, it's a go team. Democrats, you know, they privately, yeah, Joe Biden is too old, he shouldn't be our nominee. Publicly, go team.

Well, then the debate happened. And what we've seen is both parties really have not listened to the American people who are telling them that one candidate is too old and one is too dangerous. And so, the parties nominated these two folks. And now, we're in this conundrum where Democrats know that the reason for their party is to actually advance candidates who can get elected. And these down ballot races, they want to win, and they realize that Joe Biden now is an impediment to them winning the House and the Senate and probably the presidency. And that's why they're going through this.

And the members in these frontline districts, these battleground districts, are the ones who are going to have to speak up. You know, so far, it has been guys like Mike Quigley and Lloyd Doggett who are good people, but they're in very safe seats. They're going to win their election no matter what. Jasmine Crockett, she's going to win her election no matter what.

But these -- they need to listen, put more weight into those folks who are really on the cusp, the ones who are really at risk. We'll see if that happens this week.

COATES: You know, I do wonder about it. It was a comment that was made by Congressman -- Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett. You know, about the lack of enthusiasm we've all talked about in terms of maybe prior races. Voters are not having the same, at least outward enthusiasm.

But she was talking about Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been out on the trail. And she seems to be the person who is bringing the not foil to President Biden. But she is distinct and unique in her approach and messaging, and she is out there publicly. Do you think that she is going to be able to carry a lot of the water for now as all of these simmers down?

ROCHA: She's going to have to. And it's not surprising to me that you heard something smart from a great woman from the great state of Texas, back to that theme from Dallas.


That's where Miss Crockett is from. Let's make sure everybody gets that straight. What we're seeing in the House is a little bit different. And what I'm seeing -- I'm actually one of those old school commentators who still work on races every single day. And in polling and folks' groups, folks are separating their House vote from the president. Is the president in some trouble in some places? Absolutely.


ROCHA: But the congressmen themselves, the republican Congress went to the force that we're the biggest Congress who haven't done anything in the history of doing anything in Congress. Congress is not very popular. They're probably the only thing less popular than Donald Trump or President Biden. No disrespect to the former Congress because I'm sure they were very popular.


But this one ain't popular at all. And so, folks are looking for other alternatives.

COATES: Well, we'll have to see what the alternatives may be right now. This is the ticket. And until I hear otherwise, this is the ticket. And we'll see what the voters really think about it when they turn out to vote. Thank you so much, all of you.

Well, the next question I have is, does Marco Rubio's appearance at tonight's Trump rally tell us anything about his VP chances? And how does J.D. Vance's beard play into the veepstakes? I'll bring you out the details on it next.


COATES: Well, the Trump veepstake seems to be nearing its close. The campaign sees Monday as the deadline to make his choice. And so far, we know the short list includes Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. And tonight, Rubio was with Trump at his rally in Doral, Florida. Trump building suspense and saying this about the press to his potential vice president. Listen.


TRUMP: Look at all of them back there. Oh, that's a lot, Marco.


That's a lot, Marco. I think they probably think I'm going to be announcing that Marco is going to be vice president. Because that's a lot of press. That's a lot of press. We had a vicious campaign for a while. And he was tough and he was smart. And I got to really know him well over the years. And he's a fantastic guy, Senator Marco Rubio, Marco.



COATES: Well, I want to bring in Marc Caputo, who is a national political reporter at "The Bulwark," and he was at tonight's Trump rally. I got to ask you, Marc, first of all, with that moment, I mean, what does it tell you that Rubio was with Trump tonight at that rally and actually got some compliments from him?

MARC CAPUTO, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE BULWARK: Well, it's more coincidence than it is sort of stagecraft. That is, this rally was planned a number of months ago for this period of time. And Rubio lives 15, 17-minute drive away from the Doral golf course in the Miami area. So, if Rubio wasn't there, it would really send a message. It would really sort of been a suspicious or eyebrow raising.

But otherwise, you know, this is kind of Donald Trump being Donald Trump. We didn't really expect Donald Trump to name his vice- presidential running mate. He's probably going to wait as long as possible. One of the reasons that Donald Trump doesn't want to do it now, he not only doesn't have to, but Joe Biden and Democrats are engaged in the sort of mutual self-destruction loop right now of just reinforcing negative stories about each other. You know, the Democrats who wanted him to resign, him digging in, causing them to want him to resign more or better said, leave the race.

And Trump doesn't really want to step on those headlines. He prefers to let Joe Biden just sort of catch on fire, Democrats catch on fire, as he sits back and watches.

COATES: Well, certainly, the second he announces who his running mate will be, the scrutiny, the spotlight, perhaps the wrath and the praise, will all come down on that person as a direct comparison will be made between whoever he chooses and Vice President Kamala Harris, and we know that that is probably what he's trying to delay.

And there is somebody who wasn't there tonight, but it's Senator J.D. Vance. And when it comes to him in particular, you have reporting out that there might be one key reason that Trump might not pick him to be the VP. And I can't help but kind of smirk a little bit at this point as I touch my own face for some reason. It has to do with his appearance. What's going on?

CAPUTO: Donald Trump doesn't like facial hair. All the guys that he has working around him are clean-shaven. In fact, John Bolton, his former national security adviser, sort of squeaked in, you know, under the radar with a mustache. I talked to him about my story. So, this is a buzz in Trump world. Look, you know, Trump doesn't like facial hair. J.D. Vance has this beard. And, you know, who knows, maybe it'll be a hang up for Trump. Now, there is a little tongue in cheek, but it's also a little --

COATES: Do we know why he doesn't like it, though? Do we know why he has this aversion to it?

CAPUTO: It's just one of his things.


CAPUTO: He just doesn't like it. In fact, his son, Don Jr., in 2020, had a podcast where he had his dad on, then the president, who talked to him on Father's Day, Donald Trump told his son, like, I don't like the beard, lose the beard. So --

COATES: He still has it.

CAPUTO: -- this is a well-documented thing.


Yeah. It's just -- it's just one of his things. Now, that having been said, I mean, he's -- he's certainly probably going to overcome his aversion to the beard if he does pick J.D. Vance. J.D. Vance doesn't seem like a consensus favorite. It's either him or Doug Burgum. Kind of the insiders and the predictive betting markets are suggesting Rubio in third. But, you know, you never really know what Trump is going to do until he does or who he's going to choose until he announces who he chooses.

One thing about Vance's beard is that it does make him look a little older and a little more rugged. Vance is 39 years old. He turns 40 next month. If chosen, if elected, he would be the third youngest vice president to serve in history. And Trump wants his vice president to at least sort of look the part, be a little more seasoned. Perhaps a bigger knock on Vance is that he has only been in politics, he has only been in the U.S. Senate for two years.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CAPUTO: He doesn't have as much experience as either Burgum or Rubio. And as far as being vetted, no candidate in the republican side except for Trump has been as vetted as Marco Rubio, a three-term senator and also someone who ran against Trump in 2016. What you played there, Trump had pointed out, was a pretty vicious and brutal race.

COATES: And yet Senator J.D. Vance, even with that limited experience compared to Trump, has more in politics than Trump did when he secured his first nomination. Marc Caputo, thank you so much for joining me this evening. We'll see who he picks. We're all waiting to see.


And then, of course, there is the ones who will actually officially pick the Democratic nominee. You know, not all DNC delegates are united in supporting Biden, and two with different views join me next.


COATES: Well, the most symbolic part of next month's Democratic National Convention in Chicago could be filled with political drama, the delegates election process. A presidential candidate needs a majority of the 3,949 delegates to clinch the nomination. Pledged delegates must vote for the nominee on the first ballot.


And President Biden has an insurmountable lead in the delegate count. Just how big is it? Well, CNN estimates that he has captured nearly all of the pledged delegates during the primary. That makes him the only candidate eligible for the nomination. So, if anyone wants to take Biden's place, Biden would have to drop out and release his delegates. Remember, the convention is, what, five weeks away. That's why Biden is telling doubters, bring it on.


BIDEN (voice-over): But if any of these guys don't think I should run, run against me. Go ahead. Announce -- announce for president. Challenge me at the convention.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: With me now, two DNC delegates with different views, Rishi Kumar, who believes Biden should step aside, and Will Jawando, who believes Biden should stay in the race. Well, let me begin with you here. I mean, you've been around Biden throughout his career, even at the White House in the last few weeks, and we know you support Biden. Do you have any concerns?

WILL JAWANDO, BIDEN DELEGATE: Look, I think one thing that was true before the debate was that Americans had concerns about the age of both candidates. Right? And, obviously, one is a criminal, one has done everything right in his presidency. I work for Barack Obama and Vice President Biden. This presidency of President Biden and Vice President Harris has been successful on all accounts. The economy is doing better. We've come out of COVID, infrastructure, gun control. Go down the list.

But those concerns are valid. Right? People see someone that had an issue at the debate. But he's going to beat Donald Trump. He has the delegates. You just showed it. Look at his schedule, the last eight days since the debate. He has been all over the place, Black church in Philadelphia, going all the way, 24-hour schedule. He had a bad night. He has admitted that. He's got the delegates. We need to rally around him.

And they are a team. This is the thing that people forget. Vice President Harris, who you had earlier in the show. It's the Biden- Harris ticket. They are a team. They're going to win together. They're going to govern together. That's the strongest team.

The sycophants that Trump is going to put forward to implement Project 2025 and take away my daughter's rights and your kids rights, that's what we're fighting against, and President Biden has demonstrated that he can do it.

COATES: Well, Rishi, let me turn to you, because you told CNN that you started researching Democratic National Committee rules for replacing a candidate a year ago. You're researching that. Tell us why you think Biden should step aside.

RISHI KUMAR, BIDEN DELEGATE: Well, firstly, I think President Biden had promised that he would run for a single term. And we remember that. And clearly, his health is failing, potential Parkinson's. And --

COATES: Well, just to be clear, I don't want to -- I want you to finish your response, but just to be clear, the White House did put out a statement just last night from a doctor explaining why there had been visits by a neurological specialist to the White House. As part of an annual exam, he had met with one. There is no indication of Parkinson's. But, please, finish your point.

KUMAR: Yes. So, you know, essentially, if Biden ends up running, potentially, the Democrats could lose the Senate, the House, and the White House. And it's going to be a bloodbath. The blue states that we have held for many decades might potentially turn red. Trump is doing well when he runs against Biden in those states. And then the swing states, the battleground states, they are looking terrible.

So, at this point, all the polling indicates that Trump is going to win. So, we need to send the best and the brightest out there to run against Trump. He's -- he's beatable, but we need to send somebody who's got the energy of a commander-in-chief. Here in Silicon Valley, we have had great leaders and companies thrive because of good leaders. At this point, it's debatable if Biden can -- can lead our nation. You know, carrying the nuclear football is -- is -- is a huge deal, and you're not sure right now if Biden is going to be able to do his job.

COATES: Are you concerned, Will, in hearing the concerns that Rishi has raised? I mean, 14 million people did vote for President Biden. They believed that he should be the person at the top of the ticket, that -- and obviously, the presidency, a matter of extraordinary consequence. But are you concerned that having delegates possibly not vote in favor would undermine the democratic process?

JAWANDO: Well, look, I signed a loyalty pledge. I was elected in the state of Maryland to be a Biden delegate. I presented myself as a Biden delegate. I think there is that issue, depending on how the delegates are found in different -- in different states.

But look, I think with all due respect to Rishi, he's in the severe, severe minority. I think most, if not all, of the delegates that are going to show up in a few weeks to Chicago or that are pledged to President Biden are going to vote for President Biden, and he will be the nominee unless he chooses not to be the nominee.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

JAWANDO: It is his decision. As you had previous guests on, he would have to step out.


These -- these scenarios that are put forward, I think are -- we're four months away. The president had a bad night. In some of the polls, in some of the swing states, yes, some of them aren't as good as we'd want to see, but there hasn't been a major change in the top line polls in the margin of -- in the margin of error. And in some, if you look at Wisconsin, the independents, actually, it's doing a little better. So, I think he's going to be the nominee. He should be the nominee.

COATES: Well, we will see. Rishi and Will, thank you so much, both of you, for joining us. I'll be curious to see how this all unfolds at the end of the DNC convention. Thank you so much.

Ahead, horror stories about hidden cameras at Airbnbs. A CNN investigation uncovers how the company fails to protect guests.


COATES: CNN conducting a six-months long investigation into Airbnb. And what has been uncovered will shock you. Horror stories of hidden cameras. The company not only failing to protect guests from being recorded, but working to keep the complaints from getting out to the public. CNN's Kyung Lah has the exclusive reporting.



UNKNOWN: It was just like, holy crap, this is a camera.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But it didn't look like a camera. It was a phone charger. Chloe LeBrument's fiance had grabbed it from the bedroom wall of their Airbnb, thinking it was hers.

CHLOE LEBRUMENT, FOUND CAMERA HIDDEN IN A CHARGER AT AIRBNB RENTAL: The Airbnb host had called us on the phone and told us that we had taken a charger that did not belong to us, and that we needed to return it immediately.

LAH: At what point did you think this isn't really a charger?

LEBRUMENT: He became increasingly paranoid. When am I getting this charger back? I think it was like a light bulb moment that we all just went, oh, my goodness, is this a hidden camera?

LAH (voice-over): Across North America, police have seized thousands of images from hidden cameras at Airbnb rentals, including people's most intimate moments.

What happened when you realized that there was a camera in that charger?

LEBRUMENT: It's so eerie and so creepy. Then your brain starts thinking, what did they see? What happened while we were in that room?

LAH (voice-over): In a small town in Maine, a couple found a hidden camera at their Airbnb. Listen to what the host told police.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): They had sex?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yeah.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): And you recorded that?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I took some screenshots.

LAH (voice-over): The host admits he set up a camera, hidden in this clock next to the bed, to record unsuspecting guests.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): So, there are -- there's stuff of a couple of couples playing around or getting changed. So, uh --

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Okay, so there's -- there are pictures of people that are in intimate situations.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yes. UNKNOWN: Okay.

LAH (voice-over): It's more than just a few reported cases, and Airbnb knows it's a problem. In this deposition reviewed by CNN, an Airbnb rep said 35,000 customer support tickets about security cameras or recording devices had been documented over a decade. Airbnb told CNN a single complaint can involve multiple tickets. And a CNN investigation found Airbnb not only fails to protect its guests, it works to keep complaints out of the courts and away from the public.

Why don't we know about this?

BELKIS PLATA, REPRESENTED CLIENTS WITH CLAIMS AGAINST AIRBNB: They are trying to keep it secretive. And if everyone knew what was happening, they would not be using their website.

SHANNON SCHOTT, REPRESENTED CLIENTS WITH CLAIMS AGAINST AIRBNB: Airbnb wants to wash their hands clean when they have a host who does something illegal or suspicious. They want to say we are simply a website, we are not responsible for this host, we are not responsible for this property.

LAH (voice-over): Florida attorneys Belkis Plata and Shannon Schott say trying to sue Airbnb if something goes wrong is extremely difficult. It begins when you sign up on Airbnb's website and click "agree" to its terms of service. You're agreeing to assume all risk.

PLATA: The person going to rent the property agrees that if something happens while they're staying at this accommodation, they're actually prohibited from suing Airbnb. They must go a different route, which is a binding arbitration. It's a way to strong arm someone.

LAH: Is this about controlling publicity?

PLATA: Hundred percent.

SCHOTT: Absolutely.

LAH (voice-over): Once they've settled a claim, Airbnb has required guests to sign confidentiality agreements, which CNN obtained, that keep some details of legal cases private.

PLATA: For you to get the check, you must sign the piece of paper so that no one will know. This will be swept under the rug.

LAH (voice-over): That's exactly what happened to this man.

How did you feel signing that confidentiality agreement?


LAH (voice-over): This man asked us not to show his face and we've masked his voice. He and his wife were recorded during a romantic getaway.

UNKNOWN: They had intimate footage of my wife and I. The sexual union between two people is sacred. It felt like an extreme violation of our marriage. It's devastating. It's a travesty.

LAH (voice-over): In this case and others, CNN found that Airbnb does not contact law enforcement once hidden cameras are discovered, even if children are involved. Recording someone without their consent is illegal in every state.

UNKNOWN: If people are out sharing their stories of how they were victimized through the services of Airbnb, nobody is going to want to trust them.

LAH (voice-over): This man only found out he and his wife were recorded because police called him months later after another guest found the camera.

UNKNOWN: And they explained that every single room in the house had cameras.

LAH: Every room.


UNKNOWN: The cameras were hidden in smoke detectors.

LAH: Part of the challenge is that the technology has gotten so advanced, these cameras so small that you can't even see them. In this one bedroom, we have put multiple cameras all around, and they're hidden in plain sight.

This one is in the smoke alarm, an alarm clock, and even an outlet. And some of them, like this one, I can control remotely on my phone and even live stream.

What would you like to tell Airbnb?

UNKNOWN: By not doing their due diligence, they're harming families. And they're selfishly making a lot of money while doing that.

LAH (voice-over): Airbnb declined an interview for this story, but told CNN, incidents of hidden cameras are exceptionally rare. And when we do receive an allegation, we take appropriate, swift action, which could include removing hosts and listings. Airbnb's trust and safety policies lead the vacation rental industry.

(on camera): After CNN began reporting this story, Airbnb created a new policy that no cameras are allowed inside Airbnbs at all. But it has long been against Airbnb's rules to put cameras in bedrooms, anyway. And as you just saw, it hasn't stopped some hosts from doing it, anyway. Laura?


COATES: Kyung Lah, thank you so much. And thank you for watching. "Anderson Cooper 360" is next.