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Biden Fired Up At Wisconsin Rally, Declares He's "Going To Win Again" Amid Pressure To Exit Race; Wash Post: Sen. Mark Warner Seeks To Form Group Of Democratic Senators To Ask Biden To Exit Race; Former Dem Rep. On Call For Harris To Replace Biden As Nominee; Trump Pushes To Use Immunity Ruling In Classified Docs Case; "Potential Historic" Heat Wave Intensifies Along West Coast; U.K. Has A New Prime Minister After Labour Party Landslide. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 17:00   ET


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Palm Springs almost 120, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Oh, that is rough. Chad, appreciate it. Thank you.

Well, ahead here Sunday on State of the Union, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. Be sure to tune in Sunday at 9:00 Eastern and again at noon right here on CNN.

Thanks so much for joining me today on The Lead. You can of course follow the show on X at The Lead CNN. And if you ever miss an episode, you can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts.

The news continues on CNN next. Pamela Brown in for Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. Enjoy your weekend.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news, President Biden takes his fight for political survival to Wisconsin insisting he is staying in the race for the White House and will beat Donald Trump. This as he is facing another political test tonight giving his first high profile interview since this debate fiasco. Also breaking, Senator Mark Warner reportedly is trying to put together a group of Senate Democrats who will ask the president to exit the 2024 race. Will he succeed? And Donald Trump just asked for a pause in the classified documents cases, he tries to use the supreme courts and the attorney decision to his advantage.

We are breaking down this new request and what Judge Aileen Cannon may do next. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Pamela Brown, and you're in the Situation Room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

BROWN: And we'll begin with the breaking news and the race for the White House. President Biden hitting the campaign trail and once again, refusing to bail out of his rematch with Donald Trump despite the pressure, the growing pressure and the panic within his party. CNN's Arlette Saenz is covering the President's trip to Madison, Wisconsin.

Arlette, clearly the President was defiant during his speech in Wisconsin.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela, President Biden was defiant and insistent that he will remain in the 2024 race, even as there are some top Democrats in his own party and donors who are calling for the president to step aside at this moment. The President spoke here in Madison, Wisconsin for about 15 minutes using teleprompters and he insisted that he is the party's nominee and will stay in the race. He addressed those who are trying to push him out, of course, a veiled reference at the Democrats within his own party, the officials who have suggested perhaps he should leave this race. And he also tried to frame the debate around his age in a much more different way and new argument. Take a listen to that.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You voted for me to be your nominee, no one else. You the votes, the voters did that. And despite, despite that some folks don't seem to care who you voted for, well, guess what, they're trying to push me out on the race?


BIDEN: Well, let me say this clearly as I can, I'm staying in a race.


BIDEN: I keep seeing all those stories about I'm being too old. Let me say something. I was too old, I wasn't too old -- I wasn't too old to create over 15 million new jobs. To make sure 21 million Americans are insured under the Affordable Care Act.

What do you think? You think I'm too old to restore Roe v. Wade, the law of the land?


BIDEN: You think I'm too old to ban assault weapons again?


BIDEN: To protect Social Security and Medicare?


BIDEN: You think I'm too old to beat Donald Trump?


BIDEN: Donald Trump is just a convicted criminal. He's a one man crime wave. After what Trump did on January 6, why would anyone ever let him be near the Oval Office again? You can't be pro-insurrectionist and pro-American at the same time.


SAENZ: So some forceful arguments from President Biden there. He is either shortly or already sitting down for that interview with ABC News, his first major television interview since the debate last week. Of course, this is a very different interview for Biden. In the past, a lot of his interviews have focused on foreign policy or domestic issues. But this interview is expected to get at the very core of his -- the viability of his candidacy moving forward.

President Biden has acknowledged privately that he knows these coming days are critical to his campaign as he's trying to convince American voters that he is up for a second term and try to tamp down some of those serious doubts within his own Democratic party among officials and donors about him continuing on in the race.

BROWN: All right, Arlette Saenz, thank you so much for that.

Now, let's bring in CNN, Jeff Zeleny.

Jeff, if President Biden stays in this race as he has pledged to today, how has the campaign changed?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, it certainly has changed in many ways. The President was defiant as Arlette said, but what that did not change is how While the battleground map has gotten worse for Democrats and President Biden since the debate. Look, that is at the root of this entire conversation from Democratic senators, from members of Congress, from governors, and from most all officials we talked to, what is his path to viability? President Biden did not articulate that as much. But he did begin drawing a contrast with Donald Trump. So that's what he believes is his path back to being competitive in this race.


But we should point out he was slightly behind before the debate, and even more so now, according to polls and the research that Democratic officials and strategists are seeing. Pamela, the big question now is, is the battleground map the same or has it changed? And there is a decent amount of information and we'll know more after this holiday weekend as advisors look at the data, the battleground map has changed. Is Minnesota now in play? Most Democrats I speak to now say, yes, it is. So that is certainly a big change.

New Hampshire as well is closer than ever imagine, New Mexico also. So Pamela, the question after this holiday weekend after President Biden saying he's staying in the race, what type of race is it? Is it a different one than it was just about a week and a half ago? And most Democrats believe it is and they worry about his path toward defeating Donald Trump.

BROWN: So then take us inside what these top leaders in the Democrat Party are thinking. Is there more of a consensus among them now?

ZELENY: Pamela, there has always been, you know, an agreement that this is President Biden's decision and his decision alone along with his family. But throughout the week, we've been talking and reporting about these contingency plans that most Democratic officials believe that Vice President Kamala Harris would get the support of the Biden campaign and President Biden if he decided to step aside. And that is certainly still a true. But it is a bigger if tonight than it was even yesterday. But look, she's the sitting vice president.

This is the Biden-Harris campaign. So, there's been a lot of progress this week, if you will, in terms of moving on toward passing the torch to her with the exception of President Biden. So where do we sit tonight as he is locked into this. But should he make a decision at some point to step aside? There's no doubt that time is running short here for Democrats and vice president Harris certainly would be considered the front runner.

As one top Democratic official just told me a couple days ago, how could Democratic delegates stand in the way of this historic nomination? Of course, the nation's first African-American and Asian vice president could be the Democratic nominee for president. The question is, could she win? It's a risk, no doubt in the eyes of Democrats. But in the eyes of many of them, President Biden is a risk as well.


BROWN: Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. That sums it up right there.

We have more political experts. Joining us now to discuss, Alex Thompson, I want to bring you in, you've been doing so much reporting on all of this and how it's been unfolding since the debate. You heard President Biden and full force on that stage and Wisconsin just hours before his maker break ABC interview airs. Seemingly maker break, we'll see. The White House is hoping for a turn around.

Is this going to be enough?

ALEX THOMPSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Absolutely. Well, by itself, it's definitely not going to be enough. But I can tell you Democrats were certainly heartened by the fact that, you know, after really being out of the public eye for four days, which really puzzled people, you know, Joe Biden did that rally in North Carolina last Friday, and then basically was absent for the most part, which further worried these concerns. What you're seeing is the Biden operation finally trying to stop the bleeding. Now, I can tell you, even so this is a White House in crisis right now.

And not just inside the White House, but inside the campaign as well. Because, you know, while we're talking about -- we've obviously talked to donors and reporters that feel like the -- and Democratic officials that feel the White House has not been completely candid about the age, there are people inside the operations, inside the White House, inside the campaign, that do not feel that senior leadership was completely honest with them in terms of Joe Biden's limitations given his age. And there is a trust deficit with the bosses, with the people in charge. And that is contributing to the rolling turmoil. Now, I think there are some people that have been heartened by the moves the last 48 hours, but it's unclear if it's going to be enough. BROWN: And in light of what you just said, Maria, we had Gerry Connolly on and the last hour or so, here on CNN, the Democratic congressman who said he felt like the White House hasn't been reaching out enough to, you know, members on the Hill, especially given the fact this dynamic of you have dozens of close races, right, for Democrats. Should the White House be doing more? Not just putting President Biden out sooner or putting out more now, but in terms of the outreach?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, of course. And my understanding is that is exactly what they're doing, Pam. And you know, maybe they did start late, but they're doing now what they need to be doing in terms of that outreach to members of Congress, to senators, to governors, to donors, to allies, to supporters. But I think the most important thing is, you know, and it's not up to Alex, and it's not up to us, and it's not up to the "New York Times," the most important thing, I believe that will determine the rest of this race and how it looks, is the voters. And President Biden today did exactly what he needed to do.


I spoke to some of the voters who attended the rally and they were incredibly satisfied, giddy almost as you can imagine, they were also nervous. We're all nervous. But they were so extremely happy to see the Joe Biden on stage that they have all fell in love with, voted for continue to support now more than ever, because they saw that this is the Joe Biden that beat Donald Trump in 2020, gave them all of the accomplishments that President Biden laid out in that rally. And that with that same vigor and rigor, he can do the same in November and then continue to deliver those accomplishments for the rest of the term. But he does have to demonstrate that.

Today was just one day. I do agree with Alex, he's got to continue to do it in the interview with George Stephanopoulos in the coming events. If this Joe Biden shows up, then I think they will have turned a corner.

BROWN: What do you think, Charlie?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think people in Washington need to stop talking to their friends in the Democratic Party and people who go to rallies. As soon as I get out of this chair, I'm going to a barbecue with Jersey Shore populated by a lot of Pennsylvania. And I can tell you what they're going to tell me, they think he should get out of the race. They're very concerned. Many don't think he's capable.

And many of these people aren't even Trump supporters, by the way, they just don't think he's up for it. The American people see this race right now is a race between a guy who they think is incapable, and one who is unimaginable. Joe Biden had problems with the age question before the debate. Of course, those problems had been significantly magnified since that catastrophic performance a week ago. And frankly, you know, it just seems like we've been gaslit. I mean, they've been hiding Joe Biden from the public, at least in terms of -- in terms of unscripted events. And this is coming back to bite them. And Mark Warner and other, you know, thoughtful Democrats recognize this problem, that for these down ballot candidates in these competitive districts, this is a real issue. So, I can't imagine why anybody thinks, you know, his continuing -- Biden's continuing as a candidate is somehow in the best interest of the country.

He's put himself -- Biden has put himself before country. This is a real act of hubris, as far as I'm concerned. And I think they -- Democrats be smart to go to the next person up.

BROWN: All right, you've mentioned Senator Mark Warner, this is coming from the Washington Post reporting, saying that Warner is trying to get a group of fellow senators together to ask Biden to leave the race as soon as Monday. Senator Warner, as we know, is not an alarmist, by any means. We should note that his spokeswoman, Rachel Cohen, did say like many other people in Washington and across the country, Senator Warner believes these are critical days for the President's campaign. And he has made that clear to the White House.

You know -- so what do you think, Mark, is this?

I mean, sorry, Alex. How is -- I'm thinking -- Mark Warner is on the mind. Alex? Yes.

THOMPSON: Apologies.

BROWN: No, my apologies.

THOMPSON: I mean, this is incredibly -- it's incredibly serious. I mean, you having -- you know, Joe Biden's was in the Senate since 19 -- from 1972 to 2009 to fact that he would have his former peers and colleagues go to him and sort of an intervention, and say, we think you should get out would be personally sort of profound and painful for Joe Biden. That being said, I don't know if Joe Biden's mind would change. In some ways, I think, you know, a lot of people that have worked for Joe Biden for a long time think in some ways that the more people call for him to get out of the race, the more that he's actually going to stay in. Joe Biden is a proud man. He obviously has been thinking about being president for a very, very long time.

And there are no indications on a personal level, despite the feelings that people and the Democratic Party, that Joe Biden is just going to give the -- give it up.

BROWN: Right. I mean, being defiant, is sort of a Joe Biden trademark, right? We saw that today on stage in Wisconsin. And that is really in talking to Democrats they say that, that if we come out and tell him to step aside, he's just going to dig in his heels further.

You have one Democratic senator telling me the Washington Post, Maria, quote, "I think there is a sense among many that the current path may not be sustainable for him. Not because of the debate alone but how well he performs in the future. He obviously has to show strength right now."


You know, Maria, you were talking earlier about how today matters, tomorrow matters, right? I mean, it's every event he does, every sit down interview he does. But fast forward, you know, a couple of months from now, if he has one of the moments that he'd had before the debate, right, where he couldn't recall his DHS secretary's name or he gets a country mixed up, that's going to be looked at through --


BROWN: -- an entirely different lens than perhaps before where it was like, Oh, he's old, we knew he was older, right? How concerning is that for people in the party?

CARDONA: Yes. No, absolutely. It's very concerning. I think, you know, we're going to be holding our breath every time he goes out in front of voters, the media audiences. But look, you know, this has been historically President Biden's superpower.

There has been so many times in his life, Pamela, where people have thought that he is down and out. And he comes out with a performance like he did today and he blows everybody away. And he and he proves them wrong. The thing is that he's going to have to do this every day that he's in public between now and November. But I also think that we have to keep in mind in terms of balancing out every breathless thing that we report out about President Biden.

Let's look at Donald Trump, and the reason why I brought up the voters at the rally, Charlie and I love you, but they do matter, they're voters. And I've talked to other voters as well who have not gone to any rally and they have said to me, as well as others, groups that have gone door to door, that they will take Joe Biden on his worst day over Donald Trump who wants to instill the -- an imperial presidency and wants to impose Project 2025 where he will deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, fire 50,000 people from the civil service, change the face of America. So many communities are scared about this and do not want to have that choice. And so they are going to be supporting Joe Biden 100 percent.

BROWN: I should note, actually, Donald Trump came out today on Truth Social and said he did not agree with Project 2025. But beyond that, you raise a point that I do hear from a lot of folks, and that is Donald Trump, you know, a lot of times when he's talking, it doesn't make sense, it's an -- it can be incoherent, and so forth. Why is there so much scrutiny on Joe Biden with this? What do you say to that, Charlie Dent?

DENT: Well, I'm not going to make an argument for Donald Trump. I've said many times that I happen to think he's very dangerous and unhinged at times. Absolutely. But really, if you're a Democrat, looking at this race, and you're down with Kennedy, what persuadable voter? Look, most people are in the tank one way or the other, one of these two candidates. But there's a sliver of people, particularly in those battleground states who are undecided. And I just did -- I just can't imagine anybody saying, wow, boy, Joe Biden's performance, that really made me want to vote for him thinking that he's not capable. This is not about his record. This is about the next four years this election. And there are many people out there who just simply don't think he's up to the task, and his own staff have shielded him to a large extent from these unscripted moments have been very few press conferences.

So, I'm just looking at this from hard standpoint. This is not about supporting Donald Trump. I don't support Donald Trump. But if you really want to beat Donald Trump, you need somebody who can make the argument much better than Joe Biden did a week ago. And there are plenty of people on their bench who could do that.

And that's why you're seeing this uprising from within the Democratic ranks, particularly within the Congress.

BROWN: All right, Charlie, Maria, Alex, thanks to you all.

CARDONA: Thanks, Pam.

BROWN: And coming up more reaction to President Biden's defy a message today and whether efforts to save his campaign are working. I'll talk to a prominent former Democratic congressman who thinks Vice President Harris should be the party's nominee. And how will the judge in the Trump classified documents case handle the former president's new push to take up the immunity question?



BROWN: We're following breaking news on President Biden's newest attempt to defuse the firestorm over his debate performance and tamp down calls for him to exit the 2024 race. We are joined now by the former Democratic congressman from Ohio, Tim Ryan.

Thanks for joining us. So, look on stage today in Wisconsin, we saw a vigorous, a defiant President Biden, energetic, you know, there at the podium in Wisconsin. Does that change your view at all about whether he should stay in the 2024 race?

TIM RYAN, (D) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: No, not really. I mean, we saw what we saw last week. This is something that's going to have to happen day in and day out. There are a few missteps in the speech that I saw on social media. Every time he makes a mistake, it's going to just be highlighted.

And, you know, I just feel like there's too much at stake in this election. And, you know, we have an opportunity to change course with enough time to really have an impact in the election. And I think we need to -- we need to do it. And I think we need to rip the band aid off. And I appreciate the president, I love the president.

He's got a lot to talk about his accomplishments, but I think Kamala could do that and a lot more and help us defeat Donald Trump.

BROWN: We're going to talk a little bit more about Kamala Harris coming up. But what are you hearing from your former colleagues on Capitol Hill about the level of concern around President Biden's candidacy? Do you get a sense that some of them are kind of waiting to see how this plays out over the next few days until they perhaps speak out?

RYAN: I think you know, because I've done so much media in the last week my phone's been blowing up and I will tell you that rank and file members in Congress are absolutely frightened to be able to have to run with Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. They're absolutely frightened in a typical political Washington, D.C. fashion people won't say things publicly that they actually believe privately. But I think it's only going to be a matter of time.

BROWN: Why aren't they?

RYAN: I'm sorry?


BROWN: Why aren't they? For people at home who aren't -- you know, you sit inside the beltway and how it works.

RYAN: Yes.

BROWN: Why aren't they just speaking out?

RYAN: Well, the presidency is a very powerful position. And if you're a member of Congress, you have to ask the President for grant money for, you know, changes in rules or help with businesses or defense contracts or education funding, what do you -- name it. You're always kind of asking for stuff. And so you can't be the first one to cross. But I think it's time for us to put country above party or own political interests.

That's how high the stakes are. We saw the chevron decision last week, we saw the immunity decision would basically creates the presidency is now a king. The constitution has been flipped on its head, like the stakes are so tremendously high for our kids and grandkids. You -- we have to step up. And there's nothing else to say.

I mean, we know what's happening. We just got to muster up the courage to do the right thing.

BROWN: So, if Joe Biden does not step aside, and today, if you take him at his word, he said, I am not going anywhere. I will be Donald Trump in 2024. Do you believe he could actually still defeat Donald Trump?

RYAN: I don't think so. I think it would be extremely difficult. I mean, look, we can't keep playing games, like Charlie Dent was saying, which I agreed with everything that he said, and I love Charlie den. I'm a Democrat, he's Republican, like we're in agreement here, go to the picnic. What are people talking about? They're not talking about the 2025 plan. They're not talking about Trump. They're talking about Joe Biden and his performance. And every gaffe, every misstep in the next four months is going to play into that narrative. And if you don't think that's true, you're being delusional.

And I would like us to get rid of this collective delusion that a lot of people are having, and get focused on what is at stake here in the capacity for the President to be able to push back on Donald Trump. He lied 50 million times in the interview. He shaped shifted his view on the economy, climate change, what happened during COVID. He was able to run roughshod and create a whole new narrative and the President wasn't able to push back. We can't win an election like that.

And that -- everything hangs in the balance if you can't do that.

BROWN: So you wrote this op-ed calling for Kamala Harris to be the Democratic nominee, and we say this about her critics, quote, "Those who say that a Harris candidacy is a greater risk than the Joe Biden we saw the other night and we'll continue to see are not living in reality. It is not just utterly preposterous for the haters to say that, it is insulting." Why do you think some have expressed that skepticism about Harris?

RYAN: Well, look, I mean, you know, she's not perfect. You know, her campaign in 2020 wasn't as good as probably she wanted it to be. Mine wasn't as good as I wanted mine to be either. And -- but here's the thing, she's accomplished, she's brilliant. She's got a tremendous personality.

She's cool. She resonates. She can resonate with working class people in places like Ohio. But here's the thing, the country is dying for an aspirational message around unity, around reconciliation, around healing and coming together and bringing in and ushering in an age of reform that we can find some common ground so we can get to some higher ground. That's the message Kamala Harris can deliver, I think in a very elevated and high minded way to inspire us to do something.

This exhausted majority is still out there, those double haters that the pollsters talk a lot about, they don't like Biden, they don't like Trump, they're just dying for somebody new. We have that. And we have a very unique opportunity to change horses in the middle of a race. So, why wouldn't we do that? You've got to -- we've got to be decisive.

We've got to have confidence in her and confidence in the party. And I'm telling you, she will resonate. And her -- that kind of message will resonate with Americans, it'll hit like a lightning bolt in the electorate. And there'll be so much energy behind the campaign. You know, our communities of color, you know, the black folks, brown folks, the young people will be energized.

And I believe she can come to the industrial Midwest with the reindustrialization message around the CHIPS Act, Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure bill, she will resonate with those guys in union halls and Pittsburgh, and Youngstown, Ohio and Milwaukee and Detroit and Flint, Michigan, she'll connect to those folks. And in will put Donald Trump in the age of Trump to bed for good. And that's what I'm looking to do. And I want to be a part of helping her do that.

BROWN: All right, former Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you.

RYAN: Thank you so much.

BROWN: Up next, we are tracking wide reaching implications following the Supreme Court's immunity decision. Now former President Trump's sights are set on pausing the classified documents case. We will walk you through his latest move up next.



BROWN: Well, former President Trump's lawyers are pushing Florida Judge Aileen Cannon to look at his classified documents case again following the Supreme Court's major decision on presidential immunity. CNN's Zack Cohen has been following this. So take us through this latest filings, Zack.

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Pam. Trump's lawyers are asking the judge overseeing his classified documents case. For time, they want to lay out why they think the Supreme Court's decision on presidential immunity applies to declassified documents case in Florida. And obviously that decision was made related to Trump's criminal case in D.C., the federal criminal case related to the 2020 election. But Trump's legal team thinks that it could also help them in the Florida documents case and specifically by honing in on certain pieces of evidence that they believe they can convince the judge or part we're done as part of Trump's official core acts while he was president.

I remember the immunity that the Supreme Court handed down were for things that qualified as core actions as while Trump was President. That is when Trump's attorneys are going to say that Trump packed up those boxes of classified documents that ultimately made their way down to his resort and Mar-a-Lago. So opening another door here for Trump to potentially try to get his case in Florida dismissed and also will likely result in more delays to that case, it's already been hamstrung plenty going forward.


Aileen Cannon, the judge here, will have to accept a pretty broad interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision. But she has shown a willingness to hear arguments that maybe other judges wouldn't swap to see where she lands on this. But their -- Trump lawyers are also seizing on another part of the Supreme Court decision. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurrence that he believes that Jack Smith's appointment may not be valid.

And that's not something that even came up in the D.C. case. But it is something that Trump's attorneys are arguing down in Florida, they're trying to use Clarence Thomas's concurrence to now bolster their argument and get the entire case. There are announced two new opportunities for Trump's team to challenge this classified documents case in Florida. And we expect the Supreme Court decision to impact his other criminal cases as well.

BROWN: Yes. And this judge, of course, we should remind everyone was Trump appointed as well. Zach Cohen, thank you so much.

And joining us now to discuss, former federal prosecutor, Ankush Khardori and CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen. So Ankush, how much merit is there to the Trump team's argument that look, you know, these were classified documents stemming from his presidency, they were boxed up when he was president.

ANKUSH KHARDORI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. Look, I think a week ago, I think that would have been a pretty laughable argument. But in light of the Supreme Court's ruling, which is quite expansive and quite aggressive. You know, I think Trump's lawyers are doing the logical, rational thing from a litigation matter and pushing this argument as far as they can. I think that it is a colorable argument. I think Judge Cannon, you know, may very well decide to accept it, I don't know. I think that would be an unfortunate outcome.

But given the law that the Supreme Court created this week, and they did create this new doctrine of immunity, there are a lot of open and very expansive questions that are going to be available to Judge Cannon to pursue and that could be resolved in Trump's favor. Now, I will say one thing is that even if these immunity argument somehow carries the day, the subsequent obstruction counts, right, because there's half of the cases that are retaining the documents and the other half of the cases about the subsequent obstruction. The immunity argument should not affect the obstruction accounts.

BROWN: All right. That's, yes, very important.

So Norm, this case has already been bogged down, right? There's been hearing after hearing and different issues. How much do you see this having an impact on an already bogged down case?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's been beyond a bog, Pamela. It's a Florida swap, the case has got swamped with delay. And this gives another plausible excuse. Colorable is the word we lawyers use for like a losing argument. But you won't get sanction for bringing it. If the judge could add months to the life of this case, for completely baseless issues, like whether the Special Counsel is legal or not, I mean, that's one concurring opinion by Clarence Thomas, where he's speculating that that's not even the holding of the case.

She'll use this to drag the case out for additional months. We're not going to see this case, go to trial in 2024. And that's a travesty because I think it is a very clear case, maybe the clearest case for possessing classified documents and the indictment says the crime begins after as soon as Trump leaves office, that's when they charge it. Count after count makes it very clear, but there's enough there more delay.

BROWN: All right. Thanks to you both. Much appreciated.


Just ahead, millions of Americans now in the grip of a potentially historic heat wave. We'll be right back.



BROWN: What's being called a potentially historic heat wave is gripping the west coast as officials across the area brace for deadly conditions and increased wildfire activity. CNN's Natasha Chen reports from California.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The West Coast is racing toward dangerous record breaking heat this weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hot and we have to stay cool.

CHEN (voice-over): It's about 100 degrees at this pool in northern Los Angeles County where people are waiting in line to cool off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got here like at 10:50 and the lines are already really long and so that way to go.

CHEN (voice-over): Government agencies mark this spot as a major heat risk area in red on this map, but several counties slightly more inland are in extreme heat risk, purple, meaning likely significant increases in E.R. visits and power outages. The homeless are among the most vulnerable to heat related injury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've got water here and I'm freezing the other pops. We're literally trying to keep people alive.

CHEN (voice-over): A 69-year-old man living on the streets has died due to extreme heat in San Jose, California.

MAYOR MATT MAHAN (D), SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: I want everybody in our community to be safe. And not all deaths are preventable. This one was.

CHEN (voice-over): In Arizona, a 10-year-old boy died from a heat related emergency while on a hike. The heat is also stoking dangerous wildfires. Near Yosemite National Park, the French fire erupted on July 4th, prompting mandatory evacuations for more than 1,000 residents. Evacuations are also underway in Central Washington State where fire officials say fireworks sparked a Friday morning blaze.

JANELLE KINSKI, OPENED BUSINESS TO EVACUEES: We were extremely anxious that night because we could see the fire out here coming over the ridge.

CHEN (voice-over): The Thompson fire north of Sacramento is now almost half contained.

ASST. CHIEF TIM RICHER, CAL FIRE: Down here in the branch 15, every resident outside of the fire perimeter has been repopulated.

CHEN (voice-over): But the speed of flames initially rushing through was terrifying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We seen the fire coming from the west and it was coming fast.

NANCY CHRISTANSEN, THOMPSON FIRE EVACUEE: It's the most scariest thing in the world. But being right here, this community has come together and it's helped everybody out here unbelievably.



CHEN: And the heat is just going to continue. Authorities are worried about the duration of this heat wave going into next week. And so you've got a lot of people on the west coast trying to cool off this weekend. That's why we're at this aquatic center where more than 1,000 people are expected here today. The first person we saw in line that some of the folks you saw in this piece, they've waited almost four hours to get in here. Pamela?

BROWN: All right, Natasha Chen in Los Angeles, thank you so much for that.

Coming up, hours after a momentous Labour Party victory, the U.K.'s new prime minister is hitting the ground running. We're going to take you to 10 Downing Street up next, as the Keir Starmer fields calls from world leaders and gets his cabinet in order.


BROWN: And just like that, the United Kingdom has a new prime minister, the Labour Party's Keir Starmer, already met with King Charles and spoke with President Biden. CNN's Nic Robertson reports on the massive shift in U.K. politics.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Britain's new prime minister, Keir Starmer, and his wife, Victoria, taking their long awaited steps to number 10 Downing Street, 14 years since his Labour Party was lost in power.


KEIR STARMER, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Whether you voted Labour or not, in fact, especially if you did not, I say to you directly, my government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): His party securing a massive landslide majority in parliament, they needed 326, got 412.

STARMER: With respect and humility, I invite you all to join this government of service in the mission of national renewal.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A hard reality though, only around 35 percent of voters supported Labour and turnout was low, less than 60 percent, many in the U.K. losing faith in their politicians. Outgoing PM Rishi Sunak, stepping down as PM and conservative leader.

RISHI SUNAK, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Sunak's conservatives handed along anticipated and humiliating blow, 365 seats, one at the last election shredded to less than half at this time. Significantly, Liz Truss, who served a disastrous 49 days as prime minister in 2022, became the first former British leader in nearly 100 years to lose their seat. This election, not so much an endorsement of the left as a rejection of incumbents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am very sorry.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The pro Independence Scottish National Party cut from 48 seats to nine.

Nigel Farage, a major Brexit advocate and friend of Donald Trump, winning a seat for the first time, along with a record four additional seats for his anti-immigration party and the centrist Liberal Democrats, 71 seats, 63 seats up on the last elections.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a Labour answer.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But nowhere with the celebrations bigger than among Labour supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir Keir Starmer, your majesty.

STARMER: Your majesty.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Keir Starmer known by some as no drama Starmer, a lawyer and former director of Public Prosecutions came late to politics. Now the hard work of governing begins, ministers arriving to be handed their new portfolios. Rachel Reeves, the U.K.'s first female finance minister or Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lammy once very critical of Trump, the new foreign secretary.


ROBERTSON: And I think the big takeaway is despite all those changes, and whatever they may mean for domestic policies, very little is expected to change in the short term, at least in terms of foreign policy. Lammy has retracted what he said about Donald Trump, the Party's position is very clear with the United States, they value the transatlantic relationship. They believe this special relationship between the two countries is very important. They say that they will work with whoever is in the White House and have very similar positions the United States on Ukraine, on NATO, on Gaza and Israel and China as well.

So this is a change within the U.K., but perhaps externally for now at least. And when Keir Starmer, goes to Washington, D.C. next week, and it's meeting with the other NATO leaders, they'll get a chance to make an assessment of him. But don't expect him to make any big international waves on the diplomatic front, other than he says he really wants to help lead the global effort to combat climate change. That's one of the big things he wants to achieve.

BROWN: All right, Nic Robertson, thank you so much for that.

And as the U.K. veers to the left politically, other European countries such as France, are seeing a surge in support for the far right. CNN's Christiane Amanpour got an exclusive interview with the National Rally's Marine Le Pen ahead of this weekend second round of fringe elections.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The fact that your party did so well in the European elections, and so did Giorgia Meloni's party, and so did AFD. I mean, you know, AFD is, you know, a little bit like the former National Front, is very scary. The fact that the far right is becoming a very, very powerful force in Europe and who knows, maybe now with all that's going on in the United States, Donald Trump might win a second term. How do you see Europe changing?


MARINE LE PEN, FRENCH NATIONAL RALLY ASSEMBLY MEMBER (through translator): Madam, first of all, I strongly dispute the term far right, which in your country refers to small groups that are extremely radical and violent? If you like the equivalent --

AMANPOUR: You don't think you're far right?

LE PEN: The equivalent of what we are in the United States is between the center right and a center left with regards to ideas. So I think this --

AMANPOUR: You're kidding me, right?

LE PEN: Yes. Yes. I'm telling you very honestly, I think this use of the term far right, carries a stigma and is very pejorative. It does not correspond to what we are, and not at all to what the far right is in the United States.


BROWN: And you can watch, Christiane's full interview tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

Coming up right here in the Situation Room, more on our top story, a critical day for President Biden as he hits the campaign trail and sits down for his first high profile television interview since his debate debacle.