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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Trump Ally Steve Bannon Ordered To Prison By July 1; Biden Says He Won't Pardon Son Hunter If He's Convicted; House Dems To Force Contraception Vote, Putting GOP On Record. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 06, 2024 - 21:00   ET



PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: They say they have two or three witnesses. But they still haven't decided if Hunter Biden will take the stand.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Paula Reid, thanks so much.

A quick programming note. President Biden speaks, tomorrow morning, from Normandy. D-Day ceremony's continuing there. And the President, expected to talk about threats to democracy. It should get underway, we're told, at about 10 Eastern Time. And you can see it right here.

Of course, the news continues, tonight. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now. I'll see you, tomorrow.


MAGA flame-thrower, and former Trump aide, Steve Bannon, ordered to surrender to prison, by July 1st. He could be behind bars, until just before Election Day, with no chance of a pardon this time.

Speaking of, would President Biden pardon his son, Hunter, if he's convicted? He just answered that question, about his son's ongoing trial. What he said, in moments.

And too close for comfort. Russia is sending warships and a nuclear- powered submarine to America's doorstep. What is Vladimir Putin up to now?

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

One of the loudest voices, defending Donald Trump, is now on the verge of losing his microphone, tonight, at least for the next four months that is.

Steve Bannon, the former senior White House aide, turned right-wing podcast firebrand, has just been ordered to surrender to prison by July 1st, by none other than a Trump-appointed judge. That means voters may not hear as much, from one of the biggest voices in the MAGA ecosystem, in that crucial stretch before Election Day.

After Bannon learned his fate today, he exited the D.C. courthouse, and went straight for the mics.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST, TRUMP ALLY: All of this is about one thing. This is about shutting down the MAGA movement, shutting down grassroots conservatives, shutting down President Trump.

There's nothing that can shut me up, and nothing that will shut me up. There's not a prison--


BANNON: There's not a prison -- there's not a prison built -- there's not a prison built or a jail built that will ever shut me up.


COLLINS: But that's a real question, tonight, actually. Bannon will not be able to have access to his MAGA microphone in prison, to whip up and influence the Trump base. He won't be able to host his popular far-right podcast from behind bars.

You'll recall, he was sentenced to four months in prison, after he defied that subpoena from the January 6th congressional committee, as did another senior Trump aide, Peter Navarro.

As we've reported, Peter Navarro is currently serving a four-month sentence, at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility, in Miami, for also stonewalling Congress.

But you may not remember why, the committee wanted to hear from Bannon himself, when it was investigating that attack on the Capitol. Here's in part, what he said that sparked that interest on his "War Room" podcast the day before January 6th.


BANNON: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow.

It's all converging. And now, we're on, as they say, the point of attack.

And all I can say is strap in.


COLLINS: More recently, Bannon has been one of the voices, who is urging other Republicans, to use all of the tools available to them, for retribution, as they frame it, following Trump's indictments.


BANNON: We're a group of insurgents. This is insurgency.

They're going to be in prison. Yes, prison. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Of course, as we know, tonight, barring some last-minute reprieve, Bannon is going to be the one reporting to prison.

We have a slew of sources here tonight, to join us.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Elie Honig, is here.

Plus, former Trump White House Communications Director, who famously had some choice words for Steve Bannon once, Anthony Scaramucci, whose new book is "From Wall Street to the White House and Back."

Also here is National Correspondent for Puck, Tina Nguyen. Her book is "The MAGA Diaries: My Surreal Adventures Inside the Right-Wing."

It's so great to have all of you here.

And Elie, Steve Bannon is threatening to essentially try to go to the Supreme Court here, with this, to try to either get the D.C. Court of Appeals to -- the District Court, to weigh on this, or go to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court did not get involved when Peter Navarro asked for that help. What do you expect them to do here?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: They're not going to touch this. And Steve Bannon will be in prison, I believe, as of July 1st. He's just about at options here.

Now, the reason he's been out, he got sentenced to four months, he was given what's called bail pending appeal. And by the way, stash that term away, because Donald Trump will be asking for bail pending appeal after he's sentenced in July. And that means what it sounds like. You get to stay out of prison until your appeal is over.

But to get that, you have to show that you have a substantial likelihood, potentially, of winning your appeal. Well, Bannon has lost his appeal now. So, he's down to the Hail Marys. He can ask the entire D.C. Circuit to rehear the case. They almost never do that. I don't think they're going to do it here. He can go to the Supreme Court. I don't think they're taking it. And then, he's got to surrender.

COLLINS: Well, and he already had a bit of a period, where -- I mean, Peter Navarro has been in prison, for some time now.

HONIG: It's now three months (ph), yes.

COLLINS: And Steve Bannon has not. So, I think that was also part of what factored in today.


But what was also interesting is what Bannon's attorney, David Schoen, who our viewers will be familiar with--

HONIG: Right.

COLLINS: --said, after the judge -- he was arguing with the judge, after he said that you do need to report July 1st.

And it got to the point where Judge Nichols said, quote, "One thing I think you need to learn as a lawyer" is when a judge has decided, you don't stand up and yell at them.

Let me just repeat what I said at the beginning. This is a Trump- appointed judge--


COLLINS: --who's deciding all of this.

HONIG: I'm going to defend David Schoen, if I can, for a moment. I've gotten to know him just from his appearances here at CNN.

I looked at what he said. It's -- it was after the whistle. The judge had already decided. You're not supposed to do that. You're not supposed to say anything. But he didn't swear. He didn't launch any personal attacks. He made an impassioned speech, on behalf of his client. He was venting a little bit.

It happens. I've seen people do worse, lawyers do worse, in court. I maybe have done a little worse than that in court once in a while. So, I'm going to give him a pass on this. He was speaking on behalf of his client. He was speaking to the issues. He was passionate.

You know, judges sometimes, it happens, they smack you down. I'm not worried by that.

COLLINS: Anthony Scaramucci, you obviously famously had some, shall I say, colorful language about Bannon, during your brief stint as the White House Communications Director, when he was still there as the Chief Strategist?


COLLINS: What do you make of Bannon being told to show up to jail, in less than a month?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, I said that seven years ago, and just look at, it was like a -- it was like a research report on a stock, or a human being, and look at this guy.

But I'm just going to tell you. He planned this, just so you know. He thinks he's playing four-dimensional chess. He wants to go to jail, so that when he comes out of jail, he can say this is lawfare, all that nonsense, he was spewing in front of the court.

And he wants to have a retribution movement that isn't grounded in due process or isn't grounded in facts. And so, that's right out of a fascist playbook. He has to be called out on that, every step of the way, Kaitlan. But that's really what the game plan is. And he thinks he's playing four-dimensional chess. And hopefully, he ends up in the slammer a lot longer than four months.

COLLINS: I mean, Tina, you know this world. You wrote an entire book on this world. What do you -- is that how you see it? Is that what he's doing here?

TINA NGUYEN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, PUCK: Absolutely. This is a situation, where being in prison, for saying things that are political in nature, but also reflect the atmosphere, and the feelings of a large part of America, that January 6th was a little too overblown and just a bunch of peaceful patriots. For him to be jailed for that just confirms what they believe, like literally it's clout-building at this point.

The question though, for me, is whether Trump is actually going to swoop in and try to help Bannon out here, or at least argue on his behalf.

Like, right now, between now and July, when he goes to prison, Bannon is going to be showing up at a rally, for a congressman, who endorsed Ron DeSantis, and Trump is endorsing his opponent because, he doesn't like Bob Good, at this point.

So, if Bannon shows up to do this, is Trump going to suddenly have a moment, where he thinks, oh, no, I really don't like Steve Bannon today? Is he going to swoop in? I have no idea.

COLLINS: Yes, that's a good question. Bob Good, we've seen him on the show before.

But Tina, in the sense of the MAGA ecosystem, and if you watched Steve Bannon's podcast, you'll see a lot of far-right lawmakers going on it. He targets Speaker Mike Johnson. He's very involved in what's happening just in Republican politics, and on Capitol Hill, generally.

If he is, though, in prison for four months, he wouldn't get out until right before the election. And I wonder, what, Tina, you think of that ecosystem looks like without Steve Bannon's voice?

NGUYEN: I think it still survives. He has a rotating crew of people, who show up on his podcast. I'm sure he could pull a couple of favors and say like, hey, Matt Gaetz, do you want to guest host the pod for this week? I'm sure he'd say yes.

He'll just constantly have that publishing schedule, over and over again, with other voices, who will repeatedly say, hey, Steve Bannon is a martyr now, Steve Bannon is a martyr now. There's not really going to be much of any publication schedule that gets shifted.

As for what Steve Bannon himself can say directly, from jail, I would not know in the first place. I don't think that's been laid out yet. But his message is still going to be out, going to the number of people, who have ascribed to this podcast.

COLLINS: Anthony Scaramucci, I mean, just looking at this, this is now -- these are now two senior White House aides, who were in the West Wing, on a regular presence, had the ear of the President of the United States at that time, maybe not so much now, that are both in prison and having to have these -- that are going to be in prison, unless Steve Bannon gets a last-minute reprieve, which Elie said, seems unlikely.

And I just wonder, in the world where nothing is normal, what you make of that?


SCARAMUCCI: I know this is like a weird thing to say. But just watch how this plays out. Trump doesn't like this, because this puts attention on Steve Bannon, and Trump likes all the attention on himself.

Now, you may remember, when Steve Bannon left the White House, Trump called him, Sloppy Steve Bannon. They have a truce now. But you never really hear Donald Trump say much about Steve Bannon.

Moreover, there was a book written in 2017. I can't remember the author's name. But it was called the "Devil's Bargain." And the leak was Steve Bannon, basically explaining Donald Trump was his hand puppet, and Steve Bannon was the puppet master.

And so, I'm telling you, Donald Trump's not coming to his aid. Donald Trump lets him have his show. But he really doesn't like the attention that Steve Bannon is getting. And so, I think this is a nightmare for Navarro, and a nightmare for Bannon. And it's not going to end up the way they have originally intended this to end up.

COLLINS: Even though Trump's coming out, and calling this a total and complete American tragedy? I mean, he appointed the judge in this case.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, he has to do that for the base. He's not -- he knows that he has to say things like that. But I don't see him stepping past a few messages, on Truth Social, and doing much more for Steve Bannon than that.

Because I'm just telling I know Trump. He's into two things. He's into attention for himself and money. And it depends on what day of the week he's waking up one has the focus over the other. And that Steve Bannon guy eclipses him sometimes, he does not like it.

COLLINS: Well, and of course, he doesn't have the pardon power anymore, Elie. And this is far from Steve Bannon's only legal issue.


COLLINS: I mean, he's got an upcoming trial, here in New York, on the charges that he defrauded Trump supporters, in this scheme to pretend to be building a wall on the southern border, which they didn't actually do. He was pardoned by Trump, when Trump was about to leave the White House. Those are on federal charges. Trump doesn't have that power anymore.

And also, can I note, the judge in that case, Juan Merchan, the judge that we've just been--

HONIG: It's such a small world.

COLLINS: --talking about for several weeks.

HONIG: He was supposed -- Steve Bannon was supposed to be on trial in that case, last month, but it got bumped for some other trial, I don't remember what it was, some other trial in front of Judge Merchan.

COLLINS: Yes. Didn't get a lot of coverage here.

HONIG: That's a bigger problem for Steve Bannon actually than the four months on contempt that he already has, because he's charged with defrauding his own donors, to this, We Build The Wall fund. He's looking at substantially more time than four months, if and when he's convicted in that theft case. So, he's got bigger problems.

One quick thing, to Tina's point, about Bannon's ongoing media enterprise. You can actually communicate quite a bit from federal penitentiaries now, from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Inmates can communicate over the phones. A lot of them now have email, believe it or not, you are given monitored email. So, I've seen people. Michael Avenatti has been in prison. He's been communicating quite a bit with the outside world.

COLLINS: Yes, but can you host a podcast? I mean, I'm looking at Peter Navarro.

HONIG: That would be hard to do, logistically, yes. You don't have audio.

COLLINS: Yes, but one of those tweets from prison that it says that someone else is tweeting it on his behalf because he's in prison.

HONIG: Right.

COLLINS: There's this huge caveat.

HONIG: Right. Yes, I had -- I don't think they figured out podcasting from the BOP just yet.

COLLINS: Tina, just as someone, who's covered this so extensively, and you know this orbit so well, from before Steve Bannon was the White House Chief Strategist, and to when, as Scaramucci noted, when he was fired to where he is now, I just wonder how you're looking at all of this.

NGUYEN: I think this is a situation, where the idea of who gets to be a quote-unquote, "Martyr," in the era and the time of MAGA, gets put to the test.

Right now, one of the big memes, theories, what have you, going through MAGA voters and the America First movement is, are we being targeted for our political beliefs? Are we being targeted by the FBI for showing up at this rally? That's why you really haven't seen a lot of other Trump rallies, to the scale of January 6th, ever since that happened. It's because they all believe that the FBI is secretly, in the crowd, trying to catch them.

But every time a person gets put in jail for a January-6-related charge, they are suddenly hailed as a martyr. Trump literally throws a big rally with a choir singing, about how persecuted they are. And this also ties into the rhetoric, coming out of the Republican Party now, of, like, we are going to have retribution against Democrats, who are trying to put us in jail.

This is a moment, where a person who is definitively MAGA, and loud about it, is being put in jail. Now, is that going to float among the base if Trump puts his seal of approval on that line? Maybe. I have no idea.

COLLINS: Yes. And Trump was blaming the Biden Justice Department for it, tonight, though. Of course Republican lawmakers, who also defied a subpoena, and nothing happened to them.

Tina Nguyen, it's fascinating, great to have you on the show for the first time.

Anthony Scaramucci, Elie Honig, as always, thank you all.

And speaking, of course, of Democrats that Trump is calling for revenge for, he is now asking to indict the January 6th congressional committee. We're going to speak to a former member of that committee, right after a quick break.


Also, Russia up to something, sending warships and a nuclear-powered submarine, quite close to the United States. The White House says it's watching closely.


COLLINS: The presumptive Republican nominee is now openly identifying the political opponents that he believes should be facing charges.


As Donald Trump fumed over a judge that he appointed, ordering his former aide, Steve Bannon, to report to prison next month, the former President fired off multiple all-caps posts, on social media, demanding that the members of the January 6th congressional committee actually be the ones who are indicted, while also falsely accusing them, in all-caps now, but I'm not going to shout, deleting and destroying all of their findings.

The facts are of course the January 6th committee's work is available, right now, in an 845-page eight-chapter report. You can read it yourself online. The committee also held multiple televised hearings that you saw here, on CNN. And they also released transcripts of the interviews with these witnesses, which you can read online tonight.

Let's get straight to THE SOURCE, on Capitol Hill, tonight, with a member of that committee, Democratic congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

And, Congresswoman, I just -- what's your response to the former President saying that you and the fellow members on that committee, including, he cited specifically, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, should be indicted?

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, I mean, he's really off the deep end. I don't know whether the President -- ex-President has ever actually read the Constitution. If he had, he would know that Article I Section 6 basically provides that members of the House and Senate can't be prosecuted, for doing their legislative job, number one.

Number two, we did a good job. And we referred matters to the Department of Justice, where we found evidence. In some cases, the DOJ has moved on. And all the evidence is out there, as you've just pointed out. The transcripts can be read, right now. And we posted it in a variety of places hoping that it couldn't be suppressed in any way.

That the ex-President is threatening to arrest people shows he does not understand or does not care about our system of justice. I mean, in order to be arrested, a warrant has to be issued upon probable cause. You can't be held to answer for a serious crime, absent a grand jury indicting.

He did say, last December, he intended to terminate parts of the Constitution. On Truth Social, he said that. He didn't say which parts. But maybe it's those parts. Who knows?

COLLINS: When he's saying that the committee, and is accusing the committee of deleting information, can you just clear that up? Was anything that--

LOFGREN: It's not--

COLLINS: Was anything deleted?

LOFGREN: No, it's garbage. He is not that familiar with the truth. We've seen that throughout.

I mean, this whole thing on Bannon. Bannon was held in contempt, because he didn't honor a subpoena. Very simple. He could have come in. He could have pled the Fifth. He just blew us off. And he was found guilty of criminal contempt.

And then he appealed it. And he lost the appeal. And now, a Trump- appointed judge has said it's time to serve your sentence. This isn't about suppressing speech or anything else. It's about contempt of this subpoena.

They are making wild claims. Do they believe it? Who knows? But they're trying to whip up their base, and Americans, to believe something that is not true.

COLLINS: Well, also, what's at the heart of this is he was claiming executive privilege over that, even though he wasn't working for Donald Trump when -- at the end of his time in the White House, and certainly not during January 6th.

LOFGREN: Correct.

COLLINS: When you hear--

LOFGREN: And that's why he was -- he was found guilty of contempt. He had no -- he had no excuse for not coming in to testify. And there were things we wanted to know from him. We still don't know.

COLLINS: What kind of things did you -- what did you want to ask Steve Bannon. If he had come? And he could have pleaded the Fifth, as you noted. But what would you have wanted to be able to ask Steve Bannon?

LOFGREN: The day before, on his podcast, he basically predicted the disorder and the riot that happened the very next day.

We do know that there was, from the telephone records, there was substantial communication, between the White House and Bannon, as well as Roger Stone, the day before. We needed to know what role he played.

Clearly, the riot and the attempt to overturn the election, to overturn the Constitution, was premeditated. It was led by Trump, but also involved many others, and we think, Mr. Bannon, as well, based on his statement in his podcast. But we sure wanted to know more about that.

COLLINS: Based on what we're hearing, tonight, and what has kind of been this emerging theme, where Republicans and Trump's allies are not even really disguising the fact that they would like to use the tools, available to them, the Justice Department maybe, to go after his political opponents and enemies.


I mean, does that give you concern? Does it give you pause? I know you just cited in the Constitution. But how do you feel about that if he is reelected?

LOFGREN: You know what is concerning to me is that some of my colleagues, in the Congress, who know better, are falling into this bizarre rhetoric that somehow they're going to arrest people, who are their enemies.

That's not the way the law provides. They know that. But they are, I think, I guess, afraid to stand up to Trump, and they're undermining the rule of law in America. And that's a very dangerous thing to do. They're undercutting the very principles of our Constitution, and our orderly system of justice.

And today, of all days, when we're remembering the Americans, who saved America, who saved us from Nazism, and on D-Day, that this kind of rhetoric, to undercut our Constitution, and our system of law, should be out there, is it's really disgraceful.

COLLINS: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, thank you for your time tonight.

LOFGREN: Thank you.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, President Biden, who is overseas, was just asked a big question. Would he pardon his son, Hunter, if he's convicted in his ongoing criminal trial? President's answer, next.



COLLINS: Tonight, President Biden is ruling out the possibility that he'd pardon his son, Hunter Biden, if he's convicted in his criminal trial that is underway, right now, in Delaware, on federal gun charges.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Will you accept the jury's outcome, their verdict no matter what it is?


MUIR: And have you ruled out a pardon for your son?



COLLINS: Those two one-word answers there amount to a major commitment, from the President, accepting the outcome of the trial, and also pledging not to pardon his son.

This, of course, is the first time in U.S. history that we've ever seen the child of a sitting president on trial. The second time will be in a few months from now, in September, when Hunter Biden is back on trial for federal tax charges.

I want to talk about all of this with Democratic strategist, Laura Fink.

And also, CNN Political Commentator, S.E. Cupp, who has a brand-new show that we'll talk about in a moment.

But on this statement from President Biden, what did you make of his answer, tonight?

LAURA FINK, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I thought it was smart. And I thought it blended well with all of his previous statements, about the rule of law. He had to toe the line.

It's got to be really painful, because Hunter Biden is his son, he's watching him get dragged through the mud, and his drug addiction be on for all eyes to see. So, the challenge for him is really to continue to live up to his values, when it was really personal. And he did that today.

COLLINS: It seems like a pretty normal, straightforward answer. But it takes new weight, when we see what Trump is saying, about the outcome of his trial.


COLLINS: What we're hearing from other Republicans, who say they don't accept the jury's verdict, here in New York.

CUPP: The contrast is profound. And I did a piece for, just on this today.

For Joe Biden, to sit there and say, well, I'm not going to intervene in the legal process, and I wouldn't pardon my son? I argue, that requires more restraint than if you were talking about himself, which is what Trump does, right? He's talking about himself.

And then contrast that with all the Republicans, calling every trial rigged, and a witch-hunt, attacking judges and their families, dressing up in matching costumes, to go down and to lie for Trump in front of the courthouse.

I mean, it is a very profound contrast. You have one side, Democrats and Joe Biden, protecting the justice system, and on the other, Republicans and Trump protecting Trump.

COLLINS: Yes, it's remarkable to hear that, and also to say you won't pardon him, because I had kind of -- the White House had said that. But we had not heard it from President Biden himself yet.

And the other thing, with Trump, is he's back on the campaign trail, tonight. It's the first time he's been on the campaign trail since he became a convicted felon.

And he did an interview with Dr. Phil, Laura. And he said this part about what we were just talking about, with the Congresswoman there, getting revenge on his political enemies. He said, revenge takes time. I will say that. And sometimes revenge can be justified. But I have to be honest, you know, sometimes it can.

I just, you know, this is a recurring theme that we are now seeing.

FINK: The political consequences of focusing exclusively on his own victimization, it may show up at the ballot box to come back to haunt him, because he knows that this is something that he does by default. But that's not what voters are focused on.

So constantly, to bemoan his plight, when the reality is even with all of the right-wing ecosystem, weighing in, in the same way, we see a majority of voters that trusted the verdict, trusted the jury, thought that the system worked in this case. So, and that was with Democrats largely silent on the matter as well.

COLLINS: Yes. And Biden himself weighed in on this verdict. This is what he had to say.


BIDEN: Stop undermining the rule of law. Stop undermining the institutions. That's what this whole effort is. All the MAGA Republicans are coming out saying this was a fix, this was a jury that -- that -- that this was a judge that set up to get Trump. There is no evidence of any of that. None. He's trying to undermine the -- look, he got a fair trial. The jury spoke, like they speak in all cases, and it should be respected.


CUPP: Listen, Biden's in a tough spot. Trump is leading the story, the narrative, right? He wants to talk about the trials. So, Biden has to talk about the trials.


If Trump were talking about the issues, it would force Biden to talk about the issues. And the issues do not favor Joe Biden, mostly, if you look at crime, immigration and the economy.

So, none of this makes any political sense. But we're in such a warped political environment, where we have such -- so many unprecedented stories. Both of these trials are unprecedented. It's dominating the news.

And Laura's right. This is not what swing-state undecided voters care about.


CUPP: They care about issues.

COLLINS: And at the Turning Point event, tonight, that President -- that former President Trump was at, he did talk about the executive order that President Biden signed this week, on immigration.

And he's pledging to reverse it on day one, if he's reelected, though, which is interesting. Because you're seeing progressives, on the left, criticizing Biden, saying these are Trump policies. And then, Trump's on stage saying, well, I'm going to reverse this, because I don't like what Biden has done here, saying it's not enough, essentially.

FINK: Right. And he was sort of damned if he did, damned if he didn't, because he really was processing the executive order, trying to make sure that it passed legal muster.

And what he said in the interview, tonight, I thought was compelling. He said, look, I wanted the bipartisan deal that I cut with conservative colleagues, from states like Arizona -- like Oklahoma.

So, we want to -- he wanted to see the bipartisan deal. He was holding back on the executive order. We see him releasing it now. Because he -- as he said, something needed to be done, as we move ahead, and as we look at the insecurities that are on that border.

COLLINS: What did you make of that comment?

CUPP: Sorry, which comment? Which one? COLLINS: Trump saying that he'll reverse the executive order?

CUPP: Oh, I mean, listen, it's so absurd. What Republicans were offered was more than they had ever been offered before from Democrats. They made the political calculation to not take it, to save Trump. Now, they got something that would sort of solve a problem. And now, Trump is saying, well, it's no good, and I would reverse it. I mean, it's absurd.

No one's interested in solving problems anymore. It's all for political gain. And people are sick of it.

COLLINS: Indeed.

Laura Fink.

S.E. Cupp, who I should note is the host of the new election show, "Battleground," that starts June 10th, on Fox stations. Be sure to watch. And watch her here on THE SOURCE as well.

Thank you both.

Also tonight, the war over reproductive rights is heating up, on Capitol Hill. Speaking of no solutions, this as the election is drawing closer, Democrats want to put pressure on Republicans to go on the record, this time, when it comes to birth control.

One of the lawmakers leading that charge will join me.



COLLINS: Tonight, Republicans are accusing Democrats, of playing politics, when it comes to reproductive rights.


SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): So here we go again, having another useless, non-productive show vote, this time, on contraception, which is not in doubt.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): This is just a shame that the Democrats are willing to try to politicize whether or not women have access to contraceptions. The bottom line is they absolutely do. And that will continue.


COLLINS: Two Republican senators there, weighing in, after just two Republican senators voted yes, on a bill that would guarantee the access to birth control, nationwide, on Capitol Hill, yesterday.

Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to make Republicans go on the record, on this issue, ahead of the November election. Round two what happened in the Senate could soon happen in the House. My source, tonight, is behind that effort. She is the number two Democrat in the House. Minority Whip, Katherine Clark.

And Congresswoman, it's great to have you here.

Because let's talk about this vote that you're going to try to do. It would be a discharge position, which is for those who don't know, this kind of complicated process. But you would need 218 votes to be able to get it on the floor. Do you think you're going to get there?

REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): That is going to be totally up to the Republicans.

And I did agree with one of the senators comments there. This is a show. This is a show me where you stand. Do you stand with freedom, with American women? Or do you stand with extremism?

And what we're doing in the House, by trying to force this vote, by collecting 218 signatures, to bring it to the floor for a vote, is to show the American people where you stand.

And what we have seen, time and time again, is the Republicans, the House GOP, the Republican Party overall, caters to extremism.

And so, we're saying American people deserve to know, are you going to stand with access to full reproductive health care? Are you going to say no, to what we are witnessing, in states like Texas, where women who have had miscarriages, are being denied care, having their lives threatened, undergoing sepsis, and infections that are life- threatening, and can leave lasting infertility and disability?

And so, we understand exactly where the Republican Party is trying to hide, and say this is just a messaging bill. And my answer to them is it sure is. Show the American people your clear message, that you stand with Democrats, you stand with President Biden, in saying this is a fundamental right, for people to have contraception, and to make these incredibly personal decisions themselves.

COLLINS: There are some House Republicans, who -- this could be a tough vote for. Because House Republicans, who are representing districts that President Biden won in 2020, and find themselves kind of in this situation with other votes, have any of them indicated to you that they would be willing to vote for this?


CLARK: They say lots of things. When they go home, they'll say things in private conversations. What matters is how they're going to vote.

And what we've seen, so far this week, is we've had zero Republicans sign this, this procedural tool, to bring a vote. So, you can say what you want. But when we come to Congress, it's your vote that matters.

And time and time again, they show their fidelity to Donald Trump. They come to New York. They wear matching outfits, to show that they stand with him no matter what.

Where we're seeing American women and families say, we want to make these decisions about if and when and how to have children. Not politicians in Washington. And Americans understand, as I travel the country, this is about fundamental freedom.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, on that point, and what you just said about it being a messaging bill. I mean, there are always messaging bills, whoever's in control. We see it all the time. We've seen it from Speaker Mike Johnson.

But on this issue, Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, who obviously polls very well, in his own state, was on with Jake Tapper, earlier today, and was critical of this effort. And this is what he said.


GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): I don't think Democrats really want a bill. They don't really want to make policy. They just want to have talking points.


COLLINS: He says they just want to have talking points. How do you respond to that?

CLARK: Is that how he views women's health care in this country, that that's merely a talking point?

We are almost two years this month, from the Dobbs decision that set women back 50 years, in their right to access health care, to make their own decisions.

So, you bet, I want to put Republicans on record. The American people deserve to know where they stand. And every day, they march towards a nationwide abortion ban, there won't be safe states, because they have a plan. They are writing it down. They say it. And contraception, fertility treatments are part of this plan. This is about control. It is about extremism.

And to have the Governor of the State of Virginia say that somehow this is just a political stunt is insulting to every single woman in this country.

COLLINS: Well, Katherine Clark, thank you, for joining us here, on set tonight.

CLARK: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Great to have you.

Up next, a warning that we talked about at the beginning of the show, a nuclear-powered submarine and Russian warships are cutting close to America. They're going to Cuba. The question is why?

And also, with all of the beautiful remembrances that we've seen for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, you are not going to want to miss this one, a 101-year-old TikTok star.



COLLINS: We have some breaking news for you, tonight, as the "Infowars" host and known conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, has just moved to liquidate his personal assets, to pay the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. Alex Jones owes those families more than $1.5 billion in damages, over his repeated lies and claims that the shooting was a hoax.

Joining us now is Senior Media Reporter, Oliver Darcy.

And Oliver, I mean, tell us what's happening here, and what this means for Alex Jones.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, for one, the families are going to hopefully see some money. They haven't seen a dime, since these judgments came down, meaning that Alex Jones owes them $1.5 billion, for telling this really heinous lie about the Sandy Hook shooting, back in 2012. It also means that he's no longer eventually going to own "Infowars,"

which is this conspiracy empire that he's used for years and years to pedal all sorts -- all sorts of lies and conspiracy theories. He's eventually going to lose control of that.

It is a little bit confusing, because his company is in bankruptcy court, and he's personally in bankruptcy court. But because he owns the company, it's part of his personal assets, this does mean he will lose control of the company.

COLLINS: Well, and can we just play this? We were all watching this moment of him, on "Infowars," the other day, where he was seeming to cry about this situation that he was in.


ALEX JONES, AMERICAN RADIO HOST: I believe in my parents. I believe in humanity. I just want to (inaudible) stop these people. They got to be stopped. We got to stop them. So, at the end of the day, we're going to beat these people.


COLLINS: Him talking about the future of this company.

DARCY: I think he sees the writing on the wall there, Kaitlan. And he was talking all weekend about how this was likely possible that he was going to get shut down.

And now, he is agreeing, tonight, in court, to liquidate his personal assets, which again will mean that he's not going to own this conspiracy empire he's owned since the 1990s, and really used to poison the public discourse.

COLLINS: Yes. I don't think he inspires much sympathy with those tears.

Oliver Darcy, thank you for joining us, on the breaking news.

Speaking of our other story tonight, a group of Russian Navy ships are now on their way to Cuba, and a nuclear-powered submarine. This comes just one day after the United States gave Ukraine permission, to use American-made weapons, to strike inside parts of Russian territory, as a defense mechanism.

Joining me here tonight, CNN Anchor and Chief National Security Analyst, Jim Sciutto.


And Jim, obviously, this is the big question of that shift in policy, on Ukraine. We've talked about that and what that looks like. We've heard from President Biden, talking about that as well.


COLLINS: But on what we're seeing here, with these Russian naval ships, this nuclear-powered submarine that are going to be going to Cuba, they say, as a sign of the friendly relations, how concerned are U.S. officials about this?

SCIUTTO: Listen, ships have gone there before. It's been some time since a Russian submarine has gone there. It's a nuclear-powered submarine, not nuclear-armed. But that's different.

And I think we should put it together, with other signals and movements Russia has been sending, over the last several months and years, closer encounters to U.S. aircraft, over and around Alaska, for instance, more frequent and closer.

We've seen them in Asia. We've seen Russian ships operating alongside Chinese ships, in the East China Sea, for instance, challenging U.S. ships up close there.

And now, you have similar kind of movements, 90 miles off the coast of Florida. It's not militarily significant in that the U.S. does not expect a strike. But it is certainly signal-sending. And it shows that Russia is willing to stick its thumb in the eye of the U.S., as a case of power projection.

The other piece of this, Kaitlan. Anytime you have Russian forces, in close proximity to U.S. forces, it increases the chances of miscommunication and therefore, at least, some chance of potential escalation. That's not what either side wants in a case like this.

But we have to look at all of these together, as a measure of where this relationship stands today, and where the danger of smaller altercations turning into bigger ones increases, over time.

COLLINS: Are U.S. officials worried about that, that kind of misinterpreted signal? SCIUTTO: Absolutely. And it's one reason why, for instance, when I speak to the CIA Director, Bill Burns, they are frequently talking about the importance of military to military communications, in particular.

We have de-confliction lines with Russia, for instance, given you have U.S. and Russian forces operating over Syria, and they speak to each other, so their aircraft and their forces on the ground don't get too close to each other. But the trouble is, the other side doesn't always pick up the line, right? And that increases the risk.

In this case, they're not expecting an altercation here. But it is -- this is definite signal-sending by Russia.

And one other piece of this, Kaitlan, that doesn't get a lot of coverage right. You have Venezuela with close ties to Russia, in a potential conflict with Guyana, again, right in America's backyard. I mean, it's a measure of where this relationship stands between the U.S. and Russia globally, right now.

COLLINS: Yes. And we've seen how reliant Cuba has become, on Russian oil and gas.

But what about, Jim, what your thoughts were on President Biden's comments, tonight, on President Putin. He was saying he's a dictator. He's not a decent man.


COLLINS: I mean, as we've just -- we know, it's a known quantity, but still to hear what he said.

SCIUTTO: I think that in particular, I heard that as establishing a difference between him and Donald Trump who has, as you know, has often expressed admiration for Putin, or at a minimum said that he can work with him.

Joe Biden saying, particularly on this day as we mark 80 years since the U.S. stood up to a dictator in 1944, with the D-Day landings, it's a through line that President Biden and the administration is making frequently, to say, the U.S. stood up to a dictator then. It needs to stand up to this dictator now, by the way, as it propagates the largest war, we've seen in Europe, since World War II.

COLLINS: Yes. Jim Sciutto, a lot to keep our eyes on, on the next few days. Thank you for that tonight.

SCIUTTO: No question. Thanks.

COLLINS: And finally, before we go tonight, a 101-year-old veteran, who stormed the beach on D-Day is back in France, to mark 80 years, since the Allied invasion.

This is "Papa" Jake Larson, as he is known. He has become a huge star, on social media, thanks to his great grandchildren. And he took his nearly 1 million followers, on TikTok, along with him, for the journey back to Normandy.


"PAPA" JAKE LARSON, VETERAN & TIKTOK STAR: Hi, everybody. This is the big day of my life, going back to France. And this is the start. And I'm blessed.


COLLINS: "Papa" Jake told CNN that like many young men, on that day, he actually lied about his age, when he first enlisted. He was just 15-years-old. He returned to Normandy, to honor those who fought alongside him.


LARSON: I don't think I was a hero. I was just like everybody else. We were all in this together.

Every one of us was prepared to give our life, to kick Hitler's ass out of Europe.



COLLINS: Just a remarkable scene, to see him sitting there, in front of all of those, those young men who did die on that beach that day, holding Christiane's hand, and reflecting on this moment.

You can see here, President Biden met with him, and many of the others, from the greatest generation, in France, today, to thank them for their service, on that historic day.

Of course, their unwavering commitment to freedom and justice will never be forgotten, certainly not by us.

Thank you so much, for joining us.