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Trump's Rhetoric Grows More Inflammatory Despite Risk; Special Counsel Says, Trump Wants To Try Case In Media, Not Court; Security Increases For Judge Assigned To Trump Case; Gallup Polling Shows How Stark The Divide Is Between Two Parties; Many Americans Cheering The Loss Of U.S. Women's Soccer Team At The World Cup. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 07, 2023 - 22:00   ET


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: During his sentencing, Thao quoted Bible scriptures. He said his conscience is clear, to which the Judge, in Hennepin County responded with this.



JUDGE PETER CAHILL, MINNESOTA FOURTH DISTRICT COURT: After three years of reflection, I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility and less preaching.


COLLINS: He has now added nearly five years. Of course, as the judge nodded to there, it's been more than three years since Floyd's murder that sparked worldwide protests over police brutality.

That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for joining me. CNN Primetime with Laura Coates starts right now. Hi, Laura. Happy Monday.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Hey, Happy Monday to you. I'm actually perhaps as stunned as the judges that there was not more even advisement by counsel at the very least for that sentencing. If you're calling me a cynic, then it might be true this evening on that point. Nice to see you, Kaitlan. And I'm also jealous that you Katie Ledecky and you are now best friends.

COLLINS: How great was that?

COATES: No, I'm so happy for you. It's wonderful. Thank you so much.

COLLINS: When I hang out with Katie Ledecky, we will obviously invite you to come with us.

COATES: Thank you. Could you invite Simone Biles? We're the same height. I'd appreciate that instead. Thank you so much.

And good evening, everyone. I'm Laura Coates. Thank you for joining me. And tonight, despite a judge warning that Donald Trump that he would be slapped in handcuffs if he violates (INAUDIBLE), his rhetoric is still growing even more inflammatory by the day. In fact, he is railing against the judge and the prosecutors and his successor, and even some key witnesses, including someone he knows quite well. I'm talking about Vice President Mike Pence. He's even telling some critics to, well, go to hell, just days after his third indictment, this one over efforts to overturn the election.

So, now, the big question tonight that everyone is asking and waiting for that judge's ruling on that protective order is just how far can Trump maybe push the line. Just a short time ago, his lawyers say that he was -- look, I'm just talking politics here, when he threatened to go after anyone who comes after him.

Now, in light of this, Trump's team is asking the judge to lighten up when it comes to setting the rules on what evidence their client can discuss at least publicly. And special counsel has just responded saying that Trump, well, he wants to try this case in the media and they want to try it in the court of law.

It all comes as we are hearing a variety of defenses from his attorney. You will see a couple them in that little word chart right there, free speech, technical violations of the Constitution, it really runs the gamut.

So, let's talk with one of Trump's attorneys, he's not a trial member, but he's one of the attorneys, Jesse Binnall. He's not involved the special counsel cases but he is here with me tonight. Jesse, I'm glad to see you thank you.

I'm sure you've been asked a great deal but what the other lawyers are saying about the defenses. And I note, of course, you're not on the trial team but you know these cases quite well. There was one from one of your colleagues, John Lauro, who made the comment that, look, his comments regarding Vice President Pence, the word he used was aspirational. Listen to this.


JOHN LAURO, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: What President Trump did not do is direct Vice President Pence to do anything. He asked him in an aspirational way. Asking is covered by the First Amendment.


COATES: So, this reads as a bit odd to many people, the notion that you would be aspiring essentially to do, what, aspirational in a sense it's a benign request? Do you believe that is the case?

JESSE BINNALL, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: I do believe it's the case. And I think that one thing that we have to remember is that the First Amendment has more than the speech clause, more than the assembly clause. The First Amendment has the petition for redress of grievances clause. And so in this case, that means you can always ask a government actor to do something. That is something that is a key First Amendment right. It's something that's not only mentioned in the First Amendment of the Constitution. It's also mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. It goes right to the heart of what the founders were looking at when they decided to set up the Constitution and our First Amendment rights. So, it doesn't matter if you're the president of the United States or John Q. Public. You can always ask government officials to do X or Y.

COATES: Exactly right. There is the grievances portion of it and the indictments as you can really -- you can consult, you can contest, you can challenge but you can't conspire. And doesn't the redress of grievances end when you're asking an official to do something that is unlawful or outside of their lawful authority?

And I know, of course, I'm a former prosecutor, these are all allegations and they have to be proven. But if what they had said is true, and that would include not just a First Amendment free speech or political statements benign, it would include trying to get someone to do something unlawful. That's beyond the First Amendment.

BINNALL: Well, in this case and what they've alleged it's not be on the First Amendment. And I'm not saying what they've alleged is true. I'm just saying that even if it was true, there was no conspiracy, an illegal conspiracy to do illegal act.


And so when you're saying Congress is going to meet, I want Congress to do Y actions that have X action or I want the vice president to do A instead of B. That is not a conspiracy to do something illegally.

And to the extent that you would say that it was, that brings a real problem with those statutes, because they could be actually saying, and these prosecutors, I think, may have gotten way over their skis here, that the statute itself could be unconstitutionally vague because it's sweeping up legal conduct and would have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and the right to petition your government for redress of grievances.

COATES: So, conspiracy charges are quite common, obviously not against a former -resident, and some would say not when the actual co- conspirators are not charged in the caption, but that happens from time to time with severance cases, for example, and you're not being tried together. But it's not just the idea of saying, hey, I prefer you to do something, or I'd like this to be the case, or, hey, how about you consider this?

The allegations, if true and must be proven, actually go further than that. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence suggests that the pressure campaign was far more than this benign notion of a preference. It includes also indictment, false slate of electors over various states. It includes the idea of trying to provide fraudulent bases and documents to try to convince the otherwise ceremonial role of taking place. So, again, I'm hooked on this notion of it going beyond. I'm with you on political speech, but this goes, as alleged, far beyond that. BINNALL: No, it really doesn't go beyond that. It actually is just asking a government official to do something. But, really, and I think there are some issues with what the prosecutors talk about Mike Pence saying. If you look at Mike Pence's words and what he said time and time again, it actually supports Donald Trump. It's actually, I think, Mike Pence, if this ever goes to trial and I don't think it should make it to trial, I think it should be dismissed, but if it ever does make it to trial, Mike Pence is going to be a star witness for Donald Trump.

Because what he has basically said time and time again is they may have had disagreements over the best way to act, that there was a conversation that needed to happen. Donald Trump thought that conversation about the propriety of votes belonging in the state legislatures, all on advice of counsel. Remember, Donald Trump is doing this all on advice of counsel, whereas Mike Pence thought that that debate should happen in the halls of Congress. That's perfectly acceptable.

COATES: Let me unpack three points there. One, I think we can agree that you can't just ask a person who's in office to do anything, and it always meets the First Amendment. I couldn't very well say to a member of Congress, I'd like you to be a hit man for someone. That would go beyond the ideas, number one. So there are some foundational issues with that.

Number two, I do want to play for a moment what Vice President Mike Pence has had to say, because I really am stunned at the notion that there would be a thought that he might be a good witness on behalf of Donald Trump.

Listen to what he had to say to kind of clarify the points. I'll play for you why I think he might not be in agreement with you. Listen to this.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The day before January 6th, if memory serves, they came back, his lawyers did, and said, we want you to reject votes outright. They were asking me to overturn the election. I had no right to overturn the election.

What I want the American people to know is that President Trump was wrong then and he's wrong now, that I had no right to overturn the election. I had no right to reject or return votes.


COATES: So, I'm giving you the look like -- Jesse, I'm giving you that look. Like, Jesse, that doesn't sound like a kind of wish I'd put on my fan and say, make me look good.

BINNALL: Well, so, first of all, I think it's important what Vice President Pence said then, and that is what his lawyers came and talked to him about.

COATES: What do you mean by that?

BINNALL: As vice president said that the lawyers came and asked him to do that. Everything that President Trump did was under the advice of counsel. And talking about what the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution actually requires is something that is up to legal debate and has been something that has been debated legally for over -- really, over 125 years, almost 150 years.

And so there certainly are questions about the 12th Amendment in which it's why, in a complicated matter like this, why you take legal advice, and why you ask lawyers, in some cases, very esteemed lawyers from great law schools, law professors, et cetera, what does the law require on this? And President Trump absolutely had a right to rely on what those lawyers told him.

COATES: Which brings me to the third point I wanted to unpack. I mean, it's the idea of the advice of counsel, Jesse. It sets up a really interesting dynamic when it's an advice of counsel defense, which, you know, advice of counsel defense is not something that is generally going to run the day and rule the day.


However, from my perspective, it sets up the notion of you're going to have attorneys who are likely going to have to breach some sort of privilege in order to either confirm what Trump is saying or contradict what he is saying.

And that opens up a different Pandora's Box. And you've already seen, at least in the grand jury, you've got at least one lawyer who's had to have that attorney/client privilege pierced under the crime fraud exception, saying, look, because your lawyer doesn't mean anything.

Are you concerned that an advice of counsel defense, when you pit these two parties against each other, is not going to bode well for Donald Trump?

BINNALL: No, I'm not worried about that at all. Because I think -- and you're right, there's always attorney/client privilege issues in any litigation, and certainly in a very complicated piece of litigation that has huge constitutional ramifications like this litigation does. So, there's always those issues.

But I think in this case, a reliance on council defense is extremely strong. Because not only do you have the unprecedented nature of what was going on in 2020 during the elections, an election taking place during a pandemic, where the rules are changing on a regular basis. Being able to rely on your lawyers, especially in cases like that is especially important. And I think, you know, it will be up to the trial team to decide that, for sure. But I think that President Trump would have a very, very strong reliance at council defense in this case.

COATES: Until maybe the former attorney general of counsel says it's not a good defense or deputy attorney general or the list of people, list of lawyers who were involved who had very contrary notions. But there's a lot more to unpack. We're not going to get it through tonight, but I'm glad to see you and we'll talk again because I have a feeling this might just go to the trial that you think it will avoid. But we'll see.

BINNALL: We'll see what happens. Thank you so much for having me.

COATES: We will see. Nice to see you.

Let's turn more and get some perspective on all of this and analyze it. But, first, everyone, just a short time ago on CNN, Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, and, of course, RNC nominee hopeful, he addressed Trump's legal issues. Listen.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are always limits on free speech. I mean, this is the classic you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. I mean, there are limits on free speech. And, by the way, when you're a criminal defendant out on bail, let's focus on that.

He is now out on bail in three different jurisdictions, New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. We have a front runner in this race who's out on bail in three jurisdictions.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's pretty incredible.

CHRISTIE: And what happens, though, when you're let out, is that there are restrictions placed on you for you to stay out. And one of those restrictions that was placed on him was no contact or intimidation of potential witnesses.

COOPER: He's saying, if you go after me, I'm coming after you. His lawyers are now saying that post was not -- that was generalized political speech, not directed anyone.

CHRISTIE: Well, of course that's what they're going to say, because what they really feel like saying is, oh, my God, I can't believe he did that again.

COOPER: Do you think that's what they said privately?

CHRISTIE: Yes, privately. Their lawyers are like want to jump out the window having to defend some of this stuff.


COATES: Let's bring in Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Vida Johnson, former January 6 Investigative Counsel Marcus Childress and CNN Political Commentator Kristen Soltis Anderson and National Review Editor Ramesh Ponnuru.

So, tell me, who wants to jump out the window now? Anyone? Who? The lawyers? Okay, I'll look over here for you guys, because Christie thinks that you're going to want jumping out of the window when it comes to this defense about -- one of them in particular, that this was an aspirational request, Vida, that was made to Pence, that it was just sort of a, hey, if you feel like it, why don't you do it? What do you think?

VIDA JOHNSON, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Yes. I mean, I think right now, they're just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what will stick, you know? I think Pence really hurts them, particularly his statement that Donald Trump told him, you're too honest, because it certainly seems to suggest that Donald Trump himself wasn't being honest when he was saying that he'd won the 2020 election.

So, I think they're really just testing out their theories right now. They're a little ways away from trial and they're just trying to figure out what works.

COATES: Well, how about the free speech theory here, Marcus? Because, of course, there's lot of conversation against about what the First Amendment entails. It obviously involves a great more than just the free speech and the redress of grievances is one comment that he made. Does that hold water to you? Because, certainly, you could see Trump saying, well, I'm actually doing that right now when I'm criticizing the judge and the prosecution and why stop me now? That's all part of the First Amendment. Does that hold water for you?

MARCUS CHILDRESS, FORMER JAN. 6 INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL: So, accused words are regularly used against them in conspiracy cases and here we have a conspiracy to overturn the election or disenfranchise certain voters, and the former president's words are being used to support those charges.

And I thought it was actually pretty clever in the special counsel's indictment that he had a whole section on the president's mind state or intent of what he should have known about the big lie at the time. And he ended with the former president deliberately disregarded the information or facts that were presented to him and then listed off in information that was actually toned to the president about the election.


And so you see that it's being cabin as support evidence rather than evidence of a crime itself. And so I think that's what the special counsel is trying to do to overcome these First Amendment challenges.

COATES: It does go right into the notion of advice of counsel, right? I mean, you can say advice of counsel but then, I mean, there were Bill Barr and others who said, I have exactly opposite advice for you to have right now.

Let me ask you this, Kristen, because I'm a little stunned I think that Pence might be an ideal witness. What am I missing here?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm unsure why they think Pence would be positive for them. I think, if anything, they're just hoping that by Mike Pence being out there, Mike Pence has become a very unpopular figure in the Republican Party. And to the extent that their primary objective is to try to win this in the court of public opinion, perhaps this just sort of says, look at the highest levels, Donald Trump's own lieutenants were not being loyal to him or taking seriously his grievances about the election.

But where I think so much of this falls apart again is and why I'm so frustrated every time this gets called the January 6th indictment is because when you go to this argument about free speech, a lot of voters, including a ton of Republican voters, will say, yes, you should be allowed to complain that you feel like the election was stolen from you. That should be fine. But what you can't do and what this indictment is really about is saying you can't call up the secretary of state of Georgia and say, find me 11,780 votes. That's not, hey, will you look into something for me? That's a pretty direct ask. And that goes beyond political speech.

COATES: Ramesh is smirking. I'm intrigued. Why? I'll bite. Why are you smirking?


COATES: Not at her, but just out of delight. What's going on?

Look, I think that one of the things we're seeing, and I think Pence is a great example of this is, how the distinction that we all so carefully guard between law and politics in this case is just melting away before our eyes. Because, so, if Trump attacks Pence, is that witness intimidation or is that fighting a rival for the Republican nomination?

It seems to me that we now have a situation where Trump's race to get back to the White House and Trump's race to stay out of jail are one and the same thing. And so judges are going to be constantly asked to make these incredibly uncomfortable choices because, yes, any other defendant in this position, maybe the judge would have thrown the book at him, but not every defendant is running for president of the United States with a credible shot.

COATES: It's interesting, because to raise that point as well in combination of what you just, I mean, many people who might have thought, well, they think Pence is going to be testifying in favor of Trump. But just the fact that he would be there, and I have a visceral reaction, as maybe a voter to him, somebody might say, oh, well, you know what, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And if you're voting against him or if you are testifying against him, that's enough for me.

But to Ramesh's point, is it one and the same, the court of public opinion and the court of law here? Because that is what special counsel is saying, that he's trying to try the entire thing in this court of public opinion and not want to do it only in the courthouse. What's the danger of that?

JOHNSON: Well, one danger that I see is that a lot of people have taken action based on what they think Donald Trump wants them to do. So, the Buffalo shooter, the shooter in El Paso, Texas, and the thousands of people being prosecuted for January 6, those were all people who took Donald Trump's words and tried to do what he's asking of them to really catastrophic results for our country.

COATES: But just to be clear, some of the people you've mentioned, particularly the El Paso shooter, that horrible anniversary last week and the Walmart shootings that happened, Trump would argue that I did not direct anyone to be involved in a mass shooting. I did not direct anyone to engage in gun violence in this degree. So, how do you thread that course?

JOHNSON: But a lot of his rhetoric, and I absolutely agree that it's, in many instances, political rhetoric, gets taken to these really dangerous places. And so I totally understand why the special counsel here would be so concerned about the Truth Social posts that are going out to millions of Americans.

COATES: Marcus, what's your thought?

CHILDRESS: Look, I think that was a big part of our investigation, was looking at the power of the president's words. We looked at it with the stand back and stand by with the Proud Boys. A lot of our witnesses that were coming before us were tracking what the president was saying on Truth Social or other social media platforms.

And so I think you have to accept the fact that his words have power and they carry weight with those who are going through ongoing proceedings, whether it be with the congressional committee or the Department of Justice. And to ignore so is just to ignore reality.

COATES: So, the hearing that might happen this week will have to be about more than just a protective order, which obviously normally goes to notion of whether they can display and publicly put into the public square the information. It's going to be more about what his intent might be. The plot just thickened, your honor. We'll see what happens.

Stand by, everyone, on this point.


Because as his rhetoric becomes more inflammatory against the judge, we're now learning that she is getting more security.

Plus, two Georgia voters who were in the same suburb but living in two, well, very different political realities, they're going to join me live.

And the Olympics, the World Cup, they're all supposed to unite Americans, right? Well, then why aren't so many conservatives cheering when USA Women's Soccer lost? We'll tell you why and talk about it, next.


COATES: Well, tonight, security is increasing for the federal judge assigned to Donald Trump's case. The uptick comes as his rhetoric against Judge Tanya Chutkan gets more inflammatory. Recall that over the weekend, Trump took to Truth Social writing, there is no way that he could get a fair trial with that judge and we would immediately ask for her to recuse herself.

Back to the table now, I wonder, we've been following his -- then they were called tweets. Now, they're Truth Socials. And we'll just call him social media more broadly. We've been following him for a long time. And I remember not too long ago, everyone would say, this is hyperbole, pay no mind to it. Are we now passed that? Do you think there might be consequences?

PONNURU: Yes. The line that everybody used was that you should take him seriously, not literally, which is a great way for somebody to avoid accountability for anything that he says.

Look, I think that we have seen from the very beginning of Trump's political rise that words have consequences.


Remember, there was that back in 2015, two of his supporters attacked homeless people in Boston, and Trump was asked about it, he says, well, I have some very passionate supporters, right? That was his response. That was the pattern established right away that there will be violence and then there will be excuses for it.

So, we can't be shocked or surprised when Trump indulges in irresponsible rhetoric. That is essentially -- that's the core of who he is.

COATES: It sounds like a cop out, though, right, when you think, oh, you know what, it's just him. Don't worry about him. It's just how he is. I mean, as a prosecutor or the defense team, they're going to have to guard against this, because if people think that's just him, he's the guy who sort of hears about violent things or incites in some way, there's no consequences, they might be more inclined to say, well, not on my watch.

CHILDRESS: Going back to tweets at the time, look at the 2:25 tweeted, 2:24 tweeted, something that's come up a lot in the indictment where President Trump came at Vice President Pence not having the courage to do what he thought he should have done on January 6.

And if you just look at the timeline of events at 2:25, we see some of the most violent parts of the Capitol attack unfold on the west plaza, the east doors, rioters making their way to the House chamber, in the speaker's lobby. And I think the special counsel included that timeline purposely to show the power of the president's words without actually drawing that connection of his words having the power that they do.

COATES: Is it falling on deaf ears, though? I mean, I don't know why I deflated my whole body when I said that. But, I mean, when you think about the polling and you and I talk about this a lot, I mean, for some of this, it adds up to those who are his most staunchest supporters as a big okay, and what. ANDERSON: I don't suspect that this kind of behavior will make a huge difference in the Republican primary, but that's not necessarily no difference. I do believe that there is a small but not nonexistent slice of Republican voters that like Donald Trump's policies. They probably think that the case against him is unfair and shouldn't have been brought.

But if he keeps bringing pain upon himself through obvious unforced errors, dumb things like these Truth Social posts, things that have to be making his own lawyers pull their hair out, at a certain point, is there slow erosion among, again, an admittedly pretty small slice of the Republican electorate who goes, we've just got to pick someone who doesn't keep trying to bring trouble on himself?

PONNURU: And then there's the general, right?

JOHNSON: And it just doesn't make sense to speak out against the judge who might sentence you. As a defense attorney, that makes me want to cringe, right? Like that's just not a smart move. And so I really can't understand why he's doing it except for that he's hoping that he never gets to trial.

COATES: On that point, I mean, we always hear people say he's being singled out and treated so differently than any other defendant. I mean, you know this quite well as a defense attorney. If one of your clients acted the way that he has just since this indictment and the arraignment, what would be the likely consequence in front of that judge, for that average Joe?

JOHNSON: Well, I've never appeared in front of Judge Chutkan, but it's just not wise to speak out against witnesses, against the judge when you're under that kind of scrutiny. Absolutely, you could get your conditions of release revoked if you say something as intimidating, as I'll come after you if you come after me. In a lot of instances, people have been locked up for much less.

COATES: You know, there's a lot going on. And in the court of public opinion, the court of law, it's all blurring together in one way. I don't know if it's my contacts or just the way we are right now. We'll talk more about this, everyone. Thank you so much. And everyone stick around.

Next, the signs of the political divide in America is growing wider. I'm going talk with two voters in the same Georgia suburbs, but they've got two very different political views and they stand by them. We'll be right back.

Also, plus, a men's soccer legend now saying the women's team is what he calls them unlikable because of their activism. We'll discuss how many are cheering their World Cup loss.



COATES: Well, we hear it more and more that Americans are living in alternate political realities as the 2024 presidential campaign is kicking fast into gear. And there's also brand new Gallup polling that shows just how stark the divide really is.

In 2003, Democrats and Republicans, they were only about seven points apart on whether the federal government has too much power, with more Democrats saying yes, they did. Now the parties, get this, are 42 points apart.

The same divide with the climate crisis, yet, nearly nine in ten Democrats saying that they're worried about global warming but only about a third of Republicans say the same. And on the issue of abortion, well, Democrats moving 27 percent in the direction that it should be legal under any circumstances since 2003. While Republicans have dropped in that same period of time to 12 percent.

Now, these big shifts are noticeable, not just nationally, but at the local level, as well. Like in places like Cobb County, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, with a vote for the Republican and Democratic nominees flipped from 55 percent supporting Mitt Romney in 2012 to 56% going for Joe Biden in 2020. So, you have to wonder what it must be like to live in a county where these changes are happening so quickly and in real time and now really little more than a year away from the next presidential election.

To talk about it, I'm joined by two Cobb County residents, Republican voter and House District Chairman, for West Cobb, Jerry Ramsay and Democratic voter and school board candidate for the Cobb County School Board, Laura Judge.

Glad to see both of you here. Thank you for joining. Let me begin with you, Jerry. I'm very intrigued, by the way, by this dynamic of what it must be like to have this happen so quickly and in the same county. But, you know, I know you have said in the past that you don't believe that these indictments are sound, that they are fair, that the investigations are not fair in your mind. There's also a number of other Republican candidates, though, who are running, who don't have maybe the same legal, maybe political baggage as Trump.


Why do you support him nonetheless?

JERRY RAMSEY, REPUBLICAN IN COBB COUNTY, GEORGIA: Well, I'm primarily a businessman. I've owned five corporations. I used to be a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch in Atlanta for five years. And I've been pretty much interested in businesses. And the reason I got on the Trump team in the first place, I supported several other people initially, but I realized that Trump was the only -- this country is a huge multinational corporation.

And I looked at all the other candidates, I looked at the candidates right now, none of them could run the lemonade state. Trump has been running mega corporations his whole life. And that's why I got on his team because he can fix the problems that the Democrats have caused in the past two years. Everything we have, everything we buy, food, gas, it's doubled in two years. Now, that is ridiculous. I don't know how anybody could possibly do

that. And, but when, and I haven't said that, I've talked to a lot of people. I was talking to somebody while I was having my truck detailed today, and they agree that why our price is so high, I said, because you got somebody who doesn't know how to run things. And I never say anything bad about Mr. Biden. I just say, maybe you should take a look who's running things now.

COATES: That's interesting to think about the political aspect and the policy choices you believe in because of the business acumen that you say that he has. Laura, let me turn to you though, because I wonder if you think Biden is a strong enough candidate to beat Trump or really any other Republican candidate?

LAURA JUDGE, DEMOCRAT IN COBB COUNTY, GEORGIA: Yes, I do think he's a strong enough candidate.

COATES: Tell me why you think he is, because there are many who will look at, for example, what Jerry had to say on the notion of this country being a multinational corporation, and people can quibble, of course, with whether Donald Trump, in fact, does have the business abbey that he proclaims to have. But do you think that Biden in the last two years has demonstrated that he can overcome the kind of comments Jerry has just made?

JUDGE: Yes, I do. I believe that we're in an era where voters are now being informed by second and third party opinions than we are by those who are actually involved in the process. So, I think that it's important that each of us learn how to make our own critical decisions about those candidates and importantly seek information from credible sources, not just our friends or social media. And from what I've seen of the Biden administration, I believe that he is a strong enough candidate.

COATES: On the credible sources, you know, you keep, you think about how we have these echo chambers, Jerry and Laura, and that people really are looking at times to preach to their own choir. They want to put on the robe. They want to be able to make sure that, you know, they have that confirmation bias. I agree with you. I want to hear you if you agree with me.

RAMSEY: And one issue in particular that seems to keep coming up when you're talking about these echo chambers or how people get their information is, Jerry, the area of culture wars, the culture war issues as they're known. And I know that you have focused basically on being a business owner, but Republicans are really focusing these days on the so-called culture war issues, and not so much on what you describe as maybe a priority for you in choosing a candidate. Is that a winning argument for you, that emphasis on these culture wars?

RAMSEY: Well, I think most of the people I talked to and like I said, I try not to tell people who to vote for. I just ask them, do you like paying six dollars a gallon for diesel and gasoline because the price of gasoline and fuel controls the price of everything else. It controls the price of hamburger because hamburger is moved three and four times from one point to the other, keeps driving the price up. Now, look at the interest rates. Now, people are going to have a hard

time buying houses. Most people right now that I talk to, they are interested in good schools for their kids. They're interested in lower prices, closing the border, a secure, you know, national defense. Most people I talk to never talk to me about abortion, religion, because I try to avoid those subjects, because everybody has an opinion.

COATES: You know, interesting about that, when you just outline the things that you're most concerned about, I couldn't help but think that these are all the topics that are not being discussed or being heard by the majority of the other RNC hopefuls in the race because there's so much conversation around what's happening with the legal trials and tribulations of one Donald Trump. Does that impact your focus on this race if you cannot hear more about from other candidates, including Donald Trump, who's not having focused on it as much? Does that hurt your views of any of them if you can't really hear the topics like that?

RAMSEY: Yeah, I have been -- I used -- I've been following this campaign.


I didn't even know what politics were until 2015. I didn't know what a precinct was. And then, I finally figured out what that was, and I kept getting elected to that. And then as I started learning more stuff, I started listening to all these debates, and I've heard all of these guys talk before. And like I said, Trump is the only guy who can turn this country around. We're in serious shape.

I'm thinking about now, people may not believe it, but I'm reading the book over here right now. The Chinese are trying to destroy this country. They're honest. They say we want to take over the United States. And so, they're doing things that cause disruption. They're causing me and Laura to have two different points of view. We probably agree on 80 percent of the stuff, but we have a few disagreements. But there are people outside influences and I can -- I'm 100 percent sure it's the Chinese trying to disrupt things in this country and cause this consternation. I'm gonna be honest with you.

COATES: Well, Laura, and I'm not sure the book you're focusing on, but Laura, there certainly have been a lot of conversations surrounding wariness with respect to China, whether it's discussions on TikTok or discussions in terms of the economy or their global leverage and beyond, that certainly has come up. We're not hearing as much about that, as I said to Jerry, because of the conversations rolling around Donald Trump and other areas. But I wonder, Laura, on that point that he said, and let's end it here on this,

You know, you're in the same county, you and Jerry. You're running for the school boards. And you certainly hear a lot of what the people in your community really care about. I'm a parent. I think about what's happening at the school board level in particular. Do you think there is more common ground between you and Republican voters in the community than there are differences? JUDGE: Absolutely. And I think the biggest thing as we talk about the legal implications that you've been talking about on this show is that we want a secure election and we want to trust the election system. I think both Jerry and I can both agree with that. And so, as someone who's on the ticket in the 2024 election is extremely important to me and voters that they feel secure about that process and that they trust the election system.

COATES: I see Jerry nodding, so we're going to end on an agreement. It's nice to have that common ground and hopefully that you will both believe that it's a fair and free election. I know Georgia is under the microscope for a lot of reasons and has been for some time. Jerry Ramsey, Laura Judge, thank you so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you. I appreciate it.

JUDGE: Thank you.

COATES: So, the question now is, is it wrong? Is it wrong for many Americans to root against the United States women's soccer team? The vitriol is intense tonight. Rachel Nichols and S.E. Cupp join me live to discuss. Plus, the brawl that turned racial. You have surely seen this by now. But what's the real story behind this, as social media is lighting up over this chaotic scene?



COATES: So, when American athletes are on the world stage, they -- that used to, well it used to unite Americans I think that everyone would start cheering for. But after the U.S. women's soccer team fell in the World Cup over the weekend, well, many Americans are instead cheering their loss.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, SIRIUSXM RADIO: I'm thrilled they lost. Good. I'm glad you went down. You don't support America. I don't support you.


COATES: The trail doesn't stop there, by the way. Some posts called them entitled, ungrateful, woke pieces of trash. Others ripped Megan Rapinoe. Other criticized their actions during the national anthem. Donald Trump jumped on the hate train, as well, blaming Joe Biden and saying that the country is going to hell.

I want to bring in Rachel Nichols, Host of "Headlines with Rachel Nichols" on Showtime, along with CNN Political Commentator S.E. Cupp. Let me begin with you, Rachel, because there's been lots of vitriol from conservatives around this loss and many people who would be normally talking about America first. Why do you think this is the reaction towards this team in particular?

RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST OF "HEADLINES WITH RACHEL NICHOLS": I think it's kind of two separate buckets here, right? I understand the human nature of, if there's someone you don't like, if there's someone who has angered you or offended you or you just don't care for them and they stumble in some way having a little satisfaction over that, let's be honest, people do that in their daily lives.

Politically, people on the left do that, too. That is not just the province of the right in this country. But that's very different than what we heard in some of these other comments which were, they lost because they were woke. They lost because of their political beliefs. And that's where I just sort of get to.

Make it make sense, because is the implication that Megan Rapinoe had a penalty kick sale a few inches over the goalpost because she was -- I don't know, I'm trying to figure it out. Was she distracted by the fact that four years ago she didn't visit Donald Trump in the White House?

I mean, what are we saying? How does being woke in the way that the criticism is, mean that they were losing a soccer game, a very competitive soccer game against one of the best teams in the world. And the idea of accusing them of being woke or pieces of trash or ungrateful is strange to me in and of itself only in that the number one issue, the biggest issue for this women's soccer team over and over again is they wanted equal pay for equal work.

They, in fact, found it particularly egregious that they were much more successful than the men's team and still were not getting paid, as well as them. So, if that's the chief thing that they have represented over and over again and that's the problem that some of these politicians have with them. What are they saying to the women in their own party?


I just don't understand it.


NICHOLS: Again, make it make sense.

COATES: Well, S.E., I heard you clear your throat. I know you want to interject. Go for it.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMENTATOR: Well, I mean, Rachel's right on the main and schadenfreude is ugly on anyone. But the opposition to Megan Rapinoe and the women's soccer team is not over their demands for parity and equal pay and that is not why Megan Rapinoe kneels during the anthem.

She was real clear about why she does that. She does that in protest of American civil rights abuses, along with Colin Kaepernick. She says she stands with him or rather kneels with him. And she says she does that for people of color and for her LGBTQ community.

Now, agree with that or disagree with that. When you become an activist, that, you know, comes with consequences. And it's sometimes that people won't like you. It's sometimes that you'll lose money or contracts. Just look at Colin Kaepernick. So, the un-American thing kind of cuts both ways. You could see it as un-American to root for a team to lose. And I certainly hope all of our American teams win overseas.

But I think there was a perception that it was pretty un-American in a foreign country to kneel during our anthem. And you know, I can understand that side of it too, putting the politics completely aside. Just the action, I understand that bothered some people. And listen, I've interviewed dozens of athletes who have taken activist stands on all kinds of issues, and they will all tell you it is a risk.

It's one they all made and they were happy to make. And it comes with some great benefits to your community and, you know, you get your message out there, but it comes with risk that people will not like your message and, you know, those are consequences.

COATES: Rachel, what's your reaction to that? Obviously, there are consequences, there are risks to it and I wonder what it looks like on the world stage. Yeah, no I totally agree with that completely. It's just the connection to they lost because of their political beliefs. That's what we've seen a lot of politicians saying today and that's the part I don't understand. It just doesn't make sense to me.

I cover sports for a living. I've never seen anyone lose an athletic contest because of their political beliefs. So, I understand the urge to get your base worked up. I understand the idea of I don't like you and I'm glad you lost. And I definitely understand what S.E. is saying about, hey, if you get into that arena, be prepared to deal with people booing you in the arena. I don't understand that like last part of the equation that we've seen frankly over and over and over again today because that's just not how sports works.

COATES: Why is there that -- why does this have legs, S.E.? Why is that the talking point even though it's illogical?

CUPP: Well, it's lazy and listen, lazy works, right? Especially when it comes to political messaging, right? You got, you make it simple. And so, Rachel's totally right. There's a weird non-connection between losing and being woke. But there is this overarching theme in modern conservatism that your wokeness makes you weak. Wokeness is making our military weak. Weaken, wokeness is making everyone weak.

There's this like anti-feminist, you know, treatise now in modern conservatives circles about hypermasculinity and making men masculine again. So, it's an undercurrent that is part of the political conversation in right-wing circles. So, I'm not surprised to hear it. But surely when you try to parse it apart and make sense of it, there's really, it's a very tenuous connection.

COATES: Well, Rachel Nichols, SC Cup, thank you for both trying to make this make sense. I appreciate it so much, everyone. Also, everyone just in, speaking of things that you might find completely nonsensical, arrest warrants now have been issued in this massive brawl that you see happening in Alabama that eventually then devolved along racial lines. Let's see what happened.



COATES: Well, it's the sad scene all over social media, and tonight, arrest warrants have been issued in this massive brawl in Montgomery on a boat dock. Now, according to video, a black dock worker tried to get a group of boaters to just move their pontoon when the worker and boaters who are white began to fight. It would eventually descend into an all-out brawl. Groups divided along racial lines, a chair was thrown, a woman was pushed into the water, someone swam up to it as well, and there are currently four active warrants and more to come.

Next, the dangers of facial recognition technology. A woman who was eight months pregnant arrested after a faulty match. Well now, she's suing.