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CNN Live Event/Special
Judge Says, Trump's Right To Free Speech Is Not Absolute; Special Counsel Named, Hunter Biden Likely Going To Trial; Maui Death Toll At 67, Mayor Says Lahaina All Gone; Republican Presidential Hopefuls State Their Case At The Iowa State Fair; Celebrating 50 Years Of Hip Hop; Teenager Went Viral For Detaining While Taking Out The Trash. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired August 11, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good evening, everyone, I'm Laura Coates, and thank you so much for joining me this Friday evening.
Look, tonight, Donald Trump is on some thin ice. In the first hearing with the judge in his, well, third indictment, the one over election interference, she warned the former president about his rhetoric and his agreement, by the way, not to intimidate witnesses in order to stay a free man. But she also favored some of the arguments by his attorneys, for example, on whether evidence can be discussed publicly. More on that whole dramatic courtroom scene in just a moment.
But, first, Hunter Biden, he's likely going to trial. Attorney General Merrick Garland effectively appointed a special counsel in the guns and taxes investigation of the president's son.
Now, you'll recall there was a plea deal, and it also recently broke down. And we've talked about the questions surrounding how that could have happened, even a judge that questioned the terms of the agreement with the DOJ.
But before we get to all of that analysis, you're probably thinking, wait a second, Laura, another special counsel? Yes. This would be the third all at once for the first time in history.
And I want to remind everyone for a second, what the threshold is, to get to a special counsel. It's not run on the mill. It's not an everyday, even every administration thing. Among the grounds, number one, is it warranted? Is the investigation itself worthy enough to have something so deliberate and extreme? Is there a conflict of interest, the second point of inquiry? And also, does the public have a special interest in knowing, or something more?
So, when those three criteria are all around the collision course, then meet, well, then you have the special counsel.
But the real question that everyone's asking is, why exactly did Merrick Garland decide to do this now? And maybe more importantly, since he was involved in the questionable plea agreement and offer that imploded, why did David Weiss ask for this now? It's a huge question everyone is asking at this moment in time.
I want to go to CNN's Political Correspondent Sara Murray, to walk us through the special counsel now appointed to investigate Hunter Biden. And the face will be familiar because the name is the same. But, Sara, how did it get to this point?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really is that spectacular implosion you were talking about of the hunter Biden plea deal. Remember, he walked into court a few weeks ago ready to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and take a diversion program on a gun charge. But there was this disagreement over what kind of immunity Hunter Biden was actually getting as part of this deal.
And we learned that behind the scenes, that disagreement was not resolved between Hunter Biden's team and David Weiss. And David Weiss decided, look, we're going to move ahead, we are going to go to trial. He went to Attorney General Merrick Garland and sought this special counsel status. So, essentially, he can bring charges in other jurisdictions. He can bring charges in Washington, D.C. or California, something that he would have had to get partners to do as the U.S. attorney in Delaware.
Of course, that doesn't answer all of the questions about why we are in this special counsel situation. Merrick Garland said in his remarks today that these are extraordinary circumstances, as they certainly are when the sitting president's son is being investigated.
But, again, we've heard from whistleblowers who have questioned whether there was political favoritism in this case. And a lot of what we've heard today from Merrick Garland and David Weiss does not answer many of the questions about why it took to this point for Weiss to be named a special counsel and whether this is simply did bringing charges against Hunter Biden and moving to trial in different jurisdictions or whether there's more that David Weiss wants to investigate.
COATES: Sara Murray, thank you so much.
I want to now bring in former federal Prosecutors Joseph Moreno and Ankush Khardori, excuse me. I'm glad that both of you are here tonight.
First of all, if you were Hunter Biden, you're looking at your attorneys and probably saying to yourself, what happened from the time that we thought we had a plea deal, everything signed, sealed, delivered, it was mine, to this point in time, and now you've got the special counsel? The big question everyone is asking, of course, is, why do you think this happened now? Is it appropriate, do you think, that Merrick Garland has appointed David Weiss to now really elevate him to that special counsel status? What do you guys think?
JOSEPH MORENO, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I mean, I think it was the best of a bunch of bad options. [22:05:02]
I mean, frankly, I used to cringe when the White House press secretary would say that David Weiss is independent. Because, look, that might be very well the case, and I have no reason to say it's not, but there's a simple way to indicate that independence, and that's designating him as a special counsel. And one of the criteria you mentioned is, is there a conflict of interest? Well, what more a conflict of interest could you have than when the son of the president is being investigated?
So, I think it is long overdue. I think it's a good move. I think it deflects a little bit of the criticism, but I'm not sure it really makes a difference at this point. It might just be form over substance.
COATES: Ankush, we've all been prosecutors. The notion of independence, people might say, hold on, if you're a U.S. attorney, then aren't you independent? You're the one that's the head honcho, the sort of a buck stops there. But, really, they are answering to the attorney general who is going to not dictate the day-to-day, but certainly the priorities of the department and going on. But they're much more removed than an appointee.
But to his larger point, I mean, look, this would be as a special counsel, now you get to go outside your jurisdiction, right? This is not just the Delaware U.S. attorney any longer. He can bring it other places if he want to. And they've named already maybe California, maybe Washington, D.C. What do you think?
ANKUSH KHARDORI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. You know, the papers that they filed in court today were surprisingly forward and candid about what happened and what they intend to do, right? They said in the tax case, plea deal fell apart, we intend to charge this case out in California with the same charges, maybe more. And we think that this case is going to trial.
And that may not be the last that we hear from the special counsel, right? There are other sort of issues that have been floating around, and it's really not clear still to this day whether this investigation is really over or not and whether we're at the last stage or whether they're still looking at stuff.
COATES: Right. That was probably the judge's moment, right, when this whole thing imploded? To say in the courtroom, wait, you haven't actually realized whether this is going to be a 360, it's going to conclude every investigation? That was part of the holdup. But listen to what Hunter Biden's attorneys had to say earlier on our airwaves about this idea of, I wonder if something else is coming into play. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABBE LOWELL, HUNTER BIDEN'S ATTORNEY: After five years of what has to be one of the most thorough investigations that office has ever done, started by a Republican attorney general, given to a Republican U.S. attorney, using an experienced career set of prosecutors thought that the only charges that were appropriate would be two misdemeanor failure to file charges and a diverted gun charge for the 11 days that Hunter possessed a gun. And that was after five years of painstaking investigation.
So, whatever his title is and whatever happens next, we're confident that that should be the same conclusion. And if it's not, then something other than the facts and the law has come into play.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: I mean, he's more than intimating the potential impact of politics. We've seen many people question Hunter Biden. The term sweetheart deal has come up so often. It's almost become synonymous with the entire conversation. Do you think politics has come into play here in a significant way for his decision to elevate him?
MORENO: Yes. Look, Abbe Lowell is very well respected in the white collar community, and, of course, he's going to advocate for his client.
MORENO: But, I mean, don't take my word for it. I mean, this looked lenient going into that plea agreement meeting. But the judge herself kicked it out. I mean, she actually asked the prosecutor apparently on the spot, have you ever done anything like this before? And the prosecutor had to admit, no, I haven't.
So, I think they went too far and I think they should have been prepared to answer questions that were clearly unprepared to answer.
So, you asked what did Hunter Biden was going through his head. Probably pretty darn frustrated, because, clearly, his lawyers and the prosecutors were not ready to answer the judge's skeptical questions. And that's when she said, I'm not comfortable with this.
KHARDORI: Yes, it was a remarkable hearing, I have to say, because the issues that came up were very predictable, right? And we are all familiar with plea hearings that fall apart. They don't ever, at least in my humble experience, fall apart on legal issues that the lawyers could have anticipated. It's usually because a defendant can't get around to allocuting properly or whatever.
KHARDORI: In terms of whether like politically is at play here, obviously this is a political charged case given the nature of the defendant. I tend to still put a fair amount of faith into Merrick Garland to make these decisions without wanting to influence sort of the national political scene. And I still sort of hold that precept position. I wrote a profile of him for Politico earlier this year where I spend time talking to his former colleagues and clerks and stuff and that really stuck with me.
And you can make -- question his judgment in this area, and I think it has not been great, the way this has been handled over time. I don't think it's really about helping Joe Biden as a political matter, though.
COATES: The political cynics among us might say, bless your heart, for a moment on that.
Everyone stand by.
Also in D.C. today, a hearing over the special counsel's request for a protective order, this is a different special counsel, by the way, now, in the Trump election interference case. Now, it was -- well, called a mixed bag for team Trump.
Let's go to Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider. Jessica, what's the latest?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Laura. This isn't as broad over protective order as the prosecution wanted but it still does restrict Trump and his team from publicly disclosing sensitive information. This includes details about the grand jury process, also about search warrant, and it also says when Trump views this information, he can't have his phone or any recording device when he's without his lawyer.
So, included in this discovery is 11.6 million pages of documents and even recordings of witness interviews. Now, Trump can't share or post any of it. And the judge here said she will be watching, and she warned that if Trump or his team talked too publicly about this case, she's going to be forced to move even more quickly to a trial to ensure a fair jury pool. And it's a speedy timeline that Trump and his team definitely don't want. Laura?
COATES: Jessica, thank you so much. It's interesting, back at the table right now, the warning was, look, if you want to keep talking about it, you think you can't get a fair trial and you want to kind to air that in the court of public opinion, we're going to have the trial that much sooner. That's kind of the old be careful what you wish for, I might give you precisely what you're asking for. What did you think of that?
MORENO: Laura, I mean, I've been a defense counsel, and I've had difficult clients. But I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have a client like Donald Trump because he cannot be contained. He's his worst enemy. And I actually think the hearing was generally positive for him. I think the judge gave him a lot of latitude and said only highly sensitive topics you can't share. I think it's going to be extremely difficult for him to control himself.
So, you know, look, we've seen defendants awaiting trial who get their liberties revoked because they do things, like say things that could be construed as intimidating witnesses or trying to taint a jury pool. And, usually, they're not a former president running again for president.
COATES: With this platform or with the megaphone that he'll have.
On the other hand, now let's just flip that around, Ankush, because maybe if you're his defense counsel, you want him talking, you want to muddy the waters, you want to be able to try to suggest that this is political speech. And what is a candidate, for the reasons he talk about, what is he going to do besides criticize what he perceives might remove him from the campaign trail? Is that square?
KHARDORI: Yes, I mean look, he is a singular defendant in this regard. Because his ability to speak in a mass way to all of America allows him to do a couple of things, both advance his campaign along this theory, and, of course, if he wins re-election, manages to get the nomination and defeat Joe Biden, he can shut all of this down once his in office.
But it also allows him to speak to prospective jurors, right, which is not sort of as impactful necessarily in D.C. where the composition of the voter pool is much more favorable to Biden than to Trump as in Florida, but I do think that's part of what's going on here. And I have to say, I thought what the judge did was quite clever,
actually, because I think if she has suggested that there would be a gag order coming or that she would revoke or impose harsher conditions on him, that would have caused uproar. Instead she said, you know what, if this is your issue, then we're just going to accelerate the trial. And that actually, I think, is something that will have some effect on him.
COATES: Some kind of reverse judicial psychology, kind of the mind games that are happening right now.
But, you know, it's interesting, given the fact that this is the third indictment, and obviously one at the state level and two federal, but you've got to wonder how precise you'd need to be to be able to connect the dots in such a way that the judge overseeing a particular case would say, aha, you're talking about my case. That statement made on Truth Social, you must be talking about this one.
You almost can imagine the fact-finding mission playing out that way for a judge to have to say, this maybe otherwise vague statement that could apply to all of them applies to this case. So, I wonder if they're going to figure out what to do next.
Gentlemen, always a pleasure seeing you on a Friday night, and I'm glad that you're here. And I'm not going to butcher your name again, Ankush, okay? I promise you I will not. Nice to see you.
Ahead, a showdown brewing tonight as Republican rivals compete for votes at the Iowa State Fair. We'll speak with two of the candidates. Plus, why one candidate suggests, well, he might drop out even before the debate later this month.
And we are live on the ground in Hawaii, where the devastation is only getting worse. I mean, look at what we're seeing on the screen. The stories of survival, they're chilling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Just getting our first glimpse at this town after hearing these nightmare stories. And it is worse than you can imagine. It looks like a World War II set, like a bomb went off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: On the island of Maui, a historic paradise, it's now decimated. The mayor says the devastating wildfires have burned Lahaina to the ground. At least 67 people are confirmed dead and the loss of life is expected to grow.
It's now the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaii State history. Rescuers are frantically searching for survivors, and families, they are desperately waiting for news, any news, of missing loved ones, loved ones like Tim Williams Sr., a 66-year-old disabled veteran who has been missing since Wednesday. He sent this photo to his family as he was fleeing the flames. It is the last time they've heard from him.
I want to bring in CNN's Bill Weir who is in Maui live. Bill, we are watching the devastation. You have surveyed some of the worst-hit areas. How bad is this damage? And where does the search and rescue operation even stand?
WEIR: Well, Laura, this will rank as one of the worst disasters in American history, not just Hawaiian history. People here are bracing for that fatality count to jump again here. And the damage to Lahaina is just -- it's as bad as you can imagine. It's as bad as Paradise, California, the deadliest fire from a few years back there. That was a mountain community. This is grass.
This is invasive grassland that was fueled by these unbelievably punishing winds, turned into a blow torch, and was so fast on a road like this.
This is the scene now. They've finally opened up the road to Lahaina so people, residents, even tourists who left everything and are going back to get their passports and salvage their things. It is just miles long.
I think we have a drone shot to give you a sense of it now. This is bumper to bumper as Maui County is sort of overwhelmed with this disaster. We've heard dozens of sirens going by. We did check with them. Apparently, there's a fatal accident that happened as all of this stressful chaos is unfolding here. So, one more thing to worry about here, folks.
But just to answer your question, Laura, I mean, I will be haunted by the smell, the sight of walking into what was one of the most well- preserved, historic beach towns anywhere in the world. The ground littered with dead birds that just fell from the sky that was on fire. And people really just going through the five stages of grief, trying to figure out what's next.
This will affect so many people so many people across Maui because the tourist center on the west side employed so many people from other parts of the island, so which is sort of getting our arms around the enormity of it right now.
COATES: I mean, I'm hearing the sirens in the background, a sight and a sound that certainly was not available as people had literally minutes to flee their homes. And as you mentioned, the road being back open to get there. But, I mean, so many homes destroyed.
What are people supposed to do? Are they looking at -- I mean, are there other parts of the island, as you mentioned, that have that flow for employment options and beyond? Is there some center? Are they getting relief some place? What are they doing?
WEIR: There are shelters. Just to start with, there is a sense of sort of community in Hawaii that I've found singular around the world, this Ohana sense of family. And so a lot of people are really sort of crowd-sourcing as they wait for official help from FEMA, which really hasn't arrived in force yet.
There's a lot of frustration sort of bubbling up right now. The governor has mentioned there are hopes to build a plan where they will use sort of Airbnbs, like short-term rentals, to house now displaced, homeless residents and the state will help pay for that. That's good news for people who have nowhere to go right now. But this is massive.
And we saw the fallout from the camp fire in California after Paradise went down, how these sort of climate refugees moved into nearby towns. It affects places there when it comes to social services. So, this will have a ripple effect for years.
I saw one estimate from a company just looking at the satellite photos, well over 1,000 structures burned within the zone around Lahaina, over a $1 billion of property damage just from -- just guessing. And, unfortunately, the reality turns out to be a lot costlier sometimes on these things.
COATES: A paradise gone. Bill Weir, thank you so much. Please stay safe and continue to give us information.
And for those of you who want more information about how you can help the humanitarian efforts in Maui, go to cnn.com/impact.
Well, if the Republican primary wasn't official already, it certainly is now. The race is in full swing as the candidates descend onto the Ohio -- excuse me, Iowa State Fair. I'll speak with two rivals who are live as voters get ready for Donald Trump to arrive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Trump goes to jail, then I'll change my mind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people got their minds already made up on (INAUDIBLE). Like in my area, it's Trump country.
COATES: Well, a show down is brewing tonight, everyone, as the two frontrunners so far in the Republican primary are facing off in Iowa. Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis expected at the state fair this weekend to try to shore up support to their campaign along with the entire field, by the way, as some candidates might need more of a boost to get on to that debate stage that's happening later this month in Milwaukee in about two weeks.
I'm joined now by the Republican mayor of Miami and 2024 GOP primary candidate, Mayor Francis Suarez. Nice to see you this evening, Mayor. I know you are in Des Moines, as so many of the hopefuls are, trying to get the word out about your campaigns and shore up support as well.
You were saying today that, look, candidates who don't make this first debate stage should drop out of the race. So far, you have not met the polling threshold. Are you intending, if you are unable to do so, to leave the race at this juncture?
MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel very confident, Laura, that we are going to make the debate stage, that we are going to meet the polling threshold. I'm happy to be in Iowa, the first state that qualified me in terms of the poll.
And what they want to hear is a plan for American prosperity and freedom, which is what I'm delivering to them. Every opportunity that I have to speak to the American people, like right now on your show, is an opportunity for me to convince them that I am the right person to lead that country so that when they get that phone call over the next ten days, they can vote for Francis Suarez, to give me an opportunity to continue to deliver this message nationally, to introduce myself to the country, understanding that I'm probably one of the least known of the top nine candidates who hopefully will be on that debate stage.
COATES: Let me ask you, I mean, the race is widening, as you well know. When you talk about the more exposure you get, that people to understand your message and platform and candidacy, is there a specific candidate that you think you could peel your support from, that somebody who you're looking at in this field in particular that's just not meeting it for you?
SUAREZ: I think what the American people are deciding right now is do they want a repeat of the 2020 election. If the answer to that question is no, then you have to choose someone else on the Republican side. And the question then becomes, who gets volume? Who breaks out?
And I think the Republican Party who's not the former president is now sort of seeing a reshuffling. We're starting to see my governor lose momentum. And we're starting to see other candidates grow. And so my hope is that I can become one of those candidates, that once I'm given the opportunity on the debate stage to tell the story to the nation, that then I'll qualify for the second debate and gradually grow until I get to a point where I grow exponentially and become a real option for the American people.
COATES: Mayor, there's something about Florida. There's three candidates, as you know, who are out of Florida hoping to be the RNC nominee. Are you concerned, given the fact that Governor Ron Candace, who really before his candidacy was actually announced, he was viewed as a prospective frontrunner as you say, the campaign's in decline for a number of issues, I suppose. Are you concerned that there will be an attachment to him with you as also elected official in Florida?
SUAREZ: Not at all. And the reason why is because I've done radically different things. I've been the only candidate to cut a public sector budget by the same amount that we have to cut the federal budget. I'm the only candidate that's actually lowered taxes. We've lowered taxes in Miami to the lowest level in history and seen unprecedented growth, 14 percent last year, 12 percent the year before.
That's four times what the state of Florida has grown. And we've kept our city safe. So many cities that I visited across America as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in this presidential candidacy are concerned about homelessness, about rising crime and they're concerned about fentanyl, which is coming in through our southern border that I was at this week.
COATES: And all those issues are, you know, are part of what your opponents are hoping to tackle as well in their own campaigns and their own candidacy. I do wonder in terms of the distinguishing features in particular, in this notion, as you well know, this RNC pledge that is a part of being able to get on that stage is top of mind for a lot of people as a kind of loyalty test to whoever the Republican nominee will be has become kind of a litmus test.
And I'm wondering, do you intend, knowing that a few of your opponents, including DeSantis and Ramaswamy, they have signed the GOP loyalty pledge to be on the debate stage? Trump, by the way, said that he would not. Does the pledge matter to you if Trump is not even on board in signing it? Every candidate is not signing it.
SUAREZ: Look, I like to follow the rules, and I have said from the beginning that I'm going to follow the rules. I follow the rules on the number of contributions, whether they be statewide or whether they be national. I'll follow the rules with respect to the pledge. Those are the rules set by the Republican Party. I'm not setting those rules, but I will follow them. I hope to be on that debate stage, and I know that I will be if given the chance. I'm going to be a candidate that's going to gain momentum, and it's going to start right here, right now.
COATES: Speaking of the rules, as you can imagine, a big topic among the Republican candidates of the federal government. And as you know, today, a special counsel was appointed now or elevated in David Weiss to now cover the Hunter Biden investigation. That seems to be a very big focus for Republicans, at least on the Hill and beyond. What do you say to this new development? Is this something that you believe should be the focus going into this campaign?
SUAREZ: Score another victory for Washington, dominating the presidential political news cycle for yet another day. The only prosecution that I want to talk about is how we prosecute a plan for American prosperity to benefit the American people. That's what I've been focused on. That's what my campaign is. That's what my legacy as mayor has been, reducing taxes, having the area with the highest wage growth and lowest unemployment and highest tech job growth.
As we enter into a new era in this country where tech, part of the economy is going to be an increasingly part of our GDP. We need a candidate that understands that, that can pivot our country to take advantage of what I consider to be a generational tsunami of opportunity. I'm the only one that's done that in any significant ecosystem and the only one that can do it for our country.
COATES: Mayor Francis Suarez, thank you so much for joining us this evening. Good luck at the state fair. I know there's a lot of things on a stick and fried. Good luck to you.
SUAREZ: 18,000 steps in today, Laura. Thanks a lot.
COATES: 18 -- Well, that'll counter at least one fried dough elephant ear. Good for you. There you go.
SUAREZ: Fried Oreos. Fried Oreos, yeah.
COATES: Fried -- oh, you're talking my language. All right. Thank you, Mayor. Nice to see you.
SUAREZ: Thank you, Laura.
COATES: Well, next, we'll speak live with another candidate, one who's trying to make a name for himself in Iowa. A businessman, a pastor, what he makes of the recent claim that Trump supporters think the teachings of Jesus are too woke?
Plus developing tonight. Have you seen this on social media? It's a black teenager who's placed in handcuffs while taking out the trash. The police chief is responding. Stand by.
COATES: Well, just before the break, I was talking to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, one of the many GOP hopefuls that are campaigning in Iowa today. Well my next guest is a lesser-known candidate, Ryan Binkley. He joined the race back in April, selling a very different message than his opponents.
And also, unlike others in the field, his first shot at politics is his current bid for the White House. The entrepreneur from Texas is the founder and lead pastor of Create Church near Dallas, and he's used his time to invest in his campaign and says that his mission is to unite the country with the love of God.
He also joins me now. Ryan, thank you so much for being here. I'm glad to see you. I know you've got the Iowa State Fair in the background and probably a very long day behind and ahead of you. I wonder for many people who are meeting you for the first time or learning more about you, how do you intend to stand out among this already crowded field?
RYAN BINKLEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thank you, Laura. First of all, thanks for having me here.
You know, I'm a CEO of Generational Group. We're a financial investment bank, about 400 employees, and I'm a pastor, as you mentioned. And this is the way I see our country right now. We've never been in greater need of an economic revival and truly a heartfelt spiritual revival in our country than we do right now.
We are so divided. We've never been more divided in my lifetime. And I'm speaking about four key issues that are really resonating with Iowans, people in New Hampshire (inaudible) solutions.
You know, we've had failed messages out there for so long (inaudible). And America wants to see us come back together to solve our biggest problems, whether that be our budget or whether that be urban America and renewal education or now today the border, all the problems that we're having with immigration and the crisis at the border. We're coming up with real solutions that matter to everyone, whether you're independent, Republican or Democrat, and that's where we're leading today and it's resonating.
COATES: Well, Ryan, let's start with that area. And as you mentioned, you are from Texas and all eyes have been on the border for quite some time. So let's start in unpacking that one area. And in really difficult news, we're learning tonight that a three-year-old migrant died on a bus to Chicago, showing in part just how awful all of the crisis has been and, of course, the journey that many are facing.
I know you're taking a very different approach than most hard-liner Republicans when it comes to immigration and the border. What is your policy position?
BINKLEY: Well, we have a huge crisis on so many levels. Humanitarian crisis, as you just stated, at many levels with people coming across. Human trafficking is an all-time high on the southern border. And right now, fentanyl. For all the moms out there, fentanyl is the number one killer of youth, people aged 18 to 45. Two to 300 young people are dying a day. And this is what I'm telling America. It's time that Republicans and Democrats get together now and fix this border crisis issue once and for all.
We launched a bipartisan thought process two months ago when we launched and then I found Congresswoman Maria Salazar's Dignity Act which is an incredible act and we are supporting it 100 percent and here's why because it secures the border fully from California to Texas.
It allows us to have so many great things that Republicans and Democrats need but also treats with compassion the people that have come across our border 20 and 30 years ago, people that have been working here and provides a workforce solution that truly meets the work needs of our country and treats them with dignity.
It's not amnesty, but it allows us to meet the needs of our country. It's time that we stop kicking the can. We actually unite our country and solve this big problem together, and that's what I'm supporting right now.
COATES: I want to ask you about a conversation I've recently had. This was with the "Christianity Today" editor Russell Moore, who is the evangelical, and he was warning that Christianity itself is in crisis and saying also that evangelicals at times are viewing Jesus preachiness as quote, "liberal." Listen to this sound bite for a second so you can respond.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSSELL MOORE, EDITOR, CHRISTIANITY TODAY: Multiple pastors tell me essentially the same story about quoting the Sermon on the Mount parenthetically in their preaching. Turn the other cheek to have someone come up after and say where did you get those liberal talking points.
And what was alarming to me is that in most of these scenarios when the pastor would say I'm literally quoting Jesus Christ. The response would not be, I apologize. The response would be, yes, but that doesn't work anymore. That's weak.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COATES: Now you are the founder and lead pastor of Create Church in Texas. Do you agree with what Moore had to say? Are you seeing this among your own congregants or people you're speaking with, that there is this now association with the preachings, the teachings of Jesus?
BINKLEY: Well, I would just say this first and foremost, the teachings of Jesus are accurate and they are not weak. And if they are weak, then count me in that weakness. Jesus had the best truth for us all. He's the way, the truth, and the life. And you know what his main message was? For us to love our neighbor. And this is what we have to do today. We have to end this division that we've been so long.
You know, America has never been at this place like we are in my lifetime where we're so divided to really we want to see the other party fail. And we are at such a place. And it's going to take leadership to speak to that.
And as president, that's what I will do first and foremost. Tell America, let's be Americans first. After all, as Christians, we should believe this. We all come from the same father. So regardless of whether we're right on the left or a Democrat or Republican or independent, which 49 percent of America is independent now, we need to see each other as the same family and treat each other that way. And when we do, we'll have the culture of our country back.
It's time for us to lead again. Lead with integrity, lead with truth, lead with love, to solve our crisis problems, connect to the poor, connect to the young. This is about the next generation and they're tired of seeing us fight like this.
All over Iowa today we're talking to young people and I'm telling them I'm in this race for you. It's for the next generation and they want to see this type of change. So Jesus had the right words and we need to stick by them.
COATES: As you well know of course we have no official religion in this country and this country contains many religions, quite broad. Does your message and will it resonate with those who do not believe in Christianity or do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ?
BINKLEY: Absolutely. You know, I really believe this, that Jesus' main message was to love your neighbor. And regardless if you have faith in Christ or no faith at all or regardless of religion, I love this concept that I think we could all agree when we see the most hurting in society, those that are poor, many times the immigrant, those that are older, elderly, and those that are in the most need, we need to be connecting to them. That's the main message I believe that I want to share. That's the main message I believe Jesus shared.
And so I think regardless of your faith, I think we can all agree this, we need to have more love, we need to love the hurting more in our country, and that, I believe all of us should be able to agree with that.
COATES: Ryan Binkley, nice speaking with you tonight. Thank you so much.
BINKLEY: It's so great to be with you, Laura. Thank you very much. God bless and have a great evening.
COATES: Thank you. Up next, everyone, 50 years. Can you believe it? 50 years of hip hop.
From old school classics to modern hits, how the art form went from the streets of the Bronx to one of the most popular music genres in the entire world.
(VIDEO PLAYING) COATES: Well, it's hip-hop's birthday everyone because 50 years ago today a party in the South Bronx marked the beginning of this now global genre That's become a central part of our culture and CNN Sarah Sidner is here with me now to tease what's coming up on her show later on. Sarah? Hey girl? Hey, it's always so nice to see you. So I have to know I just I have to know first of all, I'm in waiting for your segment to start. But who are your favorite hip-hop artists of all time? This is everyone's conversation today.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR AND SR. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's really hard because I could go on for like two hours, but I'll try to make it short. Queen Latifah, we just heard You and I T.Y. Missy Elliott, is it worth it? Let me work it. LL Cool J is hard as battle anybody, I don't care you tell. Those are my top three. Those are my, I have so many more too, pop, busta, like.
COATES: I mean, first of all, those are all phenomenal. And now every single song will be stuck in my head. And I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna give you my list. And because my husband is from the Bronx. Here is my list. He said, and I'm a quote, we had a discussion. He's like, Laura, there is no right answer to this question. You cannot get this wrong because no one outside the Bronx borough could actually be qualified for this.
Also, do you mean the culture or the actual timeless lyrics? And do you feel like coming home, get the right answer. So there you go. I can't tell you all my (laughs) tonight. But they're all like 2PAC.
SIDNER: We're still looking for that connection man, you know, and he had such poetic, and that's going to hurt your husband though, because he's not from, you know.
COATES: I know, well, I mean, you know, I -- What can you do? You know what I mean? It's happy wife, happy life. I don't know about that.
SIDNER: I have a little fact that is not, that may not make you happy. There's Missy right there.
SIDNER: Just incredible.
COATES: That makes me happy.
SIDNER: So get this, I just learned this. AARP presents a virtual concert with who? Doug E. Fresh. That is how old hip hop is. And that is how old we are I guess because AARP is getting into the game it was my very first record that I ever got six minutes Dougie Fresh your arms the first 45 that I ever purchased.
COATES: Well no that's just people who are young at heart I don't know I'll take that totally differently, okay? That's it, you guys, you know why? Because my son, who's 10 years old, is now finding all these playlists, all my old, remember the old CD collection? I still got my, with the whole zipper, and you flip it through and you're like, cold knit like this, no more of those smudge marks. SIDNER: Tell them on yourself, Laura.
COATES: My son is finding everything. I don't care, they're finding everything now. And so, therefore, it's young and all new again. Sarah Sidner, I do feel old now. Okay.
SIDNER: It's all good season. Can you go away now because now I want to go cry a little bit but I can't wait to see you later because Sarah will be on coming up on "CNN Tonight." Everyone cannot wait to see The Great Therese Eyner and carry on that conversation. I know you've got a lot of great things to say there as well. We'll be back in a moment.
COATES: Now imagine performing this very common chore of taking out the trash and then minutes later, you find yourself in handcuffs. That seems to be what happened in the video that's now gone viral.
Now here's an image from the video. It shows a black teenager being detained outside his own residence by a Lansing, Michigan police officer. A man who claimed to be the teen's father came out of his home to then engage the officer. The boy was eventually uncuffed and released.
The Lansing police department has since put out a statement apologizing, saying the boy was quote, "wearing similar clothing and in the same apartment complex as an accused car thief who fled from officers on foot."
They released this photo showing both the suspect and the boy mistakenly detained. The police chief went on to say, quote, "I want to apologize that this incident had such an effect on this young man and his family." Unquote.
Everyone, thank you for watching "CNN TONIGHT " with Sarah Sidner, starts right now. Hey Sarah, take it away.
SIDNER: TGIF, thank you so much, Laura.
SIDNER: All right, good evening to you. I am Sarah Sidner and this is "CNN TONIGHT." There are significant developments in major legal cases involving former president Donald Trump and Hunter Biden.