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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Conservative Court Rolls Back Bump Stock Ban; Alex Jones Ordered To Sell Personal Assets To Pay Sandy Hook Debt; Princess Of Wales: Making "Good Progress" In Cancer Battle. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 14, 2024 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: If ketchup is good enough, you don't need more things. You don't need Sauerkraut and -- I'm never that--

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: The more the merrier, Mr. Cooper.


ENTEN: Here have it. Try it. Let's try it together.

How's that for you?

COOPER: I don't see the point.

ENTEN: You don't see the point?

COOPER: I don't see the point.

ENTEN: Oh, get the heck out of here.

COOPER: I don't see the point.

ENTEN: Could you just at least try--

COOPER: Just a little ketchup.

ENTEN: --a little coleslaw?

COOPER: No. I'm not going to. Coleslaw.

ENTEN: Oh, that was my mother's favorite. You're disappointing my mom. You're disappointing Dr. Strasburg.

COOPER: Where I once -- as soon as Kaitlan's show starts here.

ENTEN: All right.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thanks. Have a great weekend.

"THE SOURCE" starts now.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Straight from THE SOURCE tonight. A crisis of confidence at the Supreme Court, as we await several rulings that could hit like an earthquake, including immunity for Donald Trump. A major new decision just released has critics up in arms.

Conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, ordered to liquidate his assets to pay up the $1.5 billion he owes the Sandy Hook families, over a mountain of lies. But he still gets to keep his microphone for now.

Plus, a new photo and a new update from Catherine, Princess of Wales, on her battle with cancer. She says she's not out of the woods yet. But will make her first public appearance since her diagnosis, in just a few hours.

I'm Jim Acosta, in for Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

We have been waiting and waiting, on a slew of major decisions, from the Supreme Court. And one is now in tonight. It's a loss for the gun control movement. A lot more on that in moments.

But all eyes have been on the court for months now. And public trust in the justices is at an all-time low.

Growing ethics scandals only fueling the scrutiny. Justice Alito blaming his wife for an upside-down flag, a symbol of election denialism, displayed outside his home. Justice Thomas failing to disclose even more luxury trips, paid for by a Texas billionaire. The list goes on.

There's also a perception out there that the court may be running out the clock, running it down to the last possible second, on Donald Trump's immunity decision, a decision that we're still waiting on, as clock ticks ever closer to the debate, the conventions, the fall campaign, and the election.

Meantime, the possibility that Democrats might lose both the presidency and the Senate, in November, have some voices, on the left, now publicly nudging liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to retire. Doing so would pave the way, for President Biden, to appoint younger justices now, who could remain on the court, for decades to come.

Biden says he thinks the next president could appoint more than one justice.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Guess what? The next president, they're going to be able to appoint a couple of justices.

If, in fact, we're able to change some of the justices when they retire and put in re- -- really progressive judges, like we've always had, tell me that won't change your life when jus- -- Trump justices are already gutting voting rights, overturning Roe, decimating affirmative action, and so much more.


ACOSTA: Elections have consequences. The future direction of the Supreme Court could be at stake, probably very much is at stake.

Leading us off tonight, known Trump critic and conservative attorney, who has argued in front of the Supreme Court, George Conway; and Republican strategist, Shermichael Singleton.

Gentlemen, great to see you on this Friday night. Thanks as always


ACOSTA: George. I mean, we just went down the list.


ACOSTA: Alito with the flags, and Thomas with the trips. And we saw -- we heard the audio clips, this week that had folks wondering what's going on with these justices. And I mean, we can show poll after poll that shows confidence in the court, it's -- I mean, if it's not in an -- at an all-time low, it's pretty close to it. What the heck's going on?

And do you trust the court, right now, on this immunity decision that's coming down the pike? Everybody thought that might come today. We're still waiting.

CONWAY: I'll start with the last question first.


CONWAY: I do trust the court on this.


CONWAY: I think the court -- I think Donald Trump is going to lose. I think he's going to lose big. There may be a few wrinkles, in the opinion that may add a few steps in the process. But at the end of the day, I don't think his argument is going to fly.

In terms of delay, I wish they had not taken the case. I wish they had decided it months before. But the fact of the matter is I don't think there is some grand conspiracy, or even an effort, by some of the justices, to put this off, to help Trump.

The fact of the matter is, if the decision comes down June 20 -- June 24th, the week of June 24, last week of the term, that could mean that the case goes to trial, in the middle of September -- at the end of September, or beginning of October, which would be--


CONWAY: --highly unfavorable.

ACOSTA: You think it's--

CONWAY: It's possible.

ACOSTA: --it'll happen?

CONWAY: Yes, because well, the reason is, because when the case first went up to the Court of Appeals, there were 81 days -- there was 81 days before trial.

And if you -- and the court has said basically, the District Court has said that it's going to keep that 81-day schedule. And if you add 81 days, to the end of June, you basically get that the middle-of-the- fall campaign. So, it could actually backfire on Trump.

But that said, I mean, I don't think -- I think the Supreme Court's just being the Supreme Court. They -- this is one of the most important decisions that they will render, in a long time. I mean, I think--



CONWAY: --they didn't have to take the case. I think that the D.C. Circuit had it right. But once they took the case, they want to get it right, and they want to make sure every jot and tittle of it is correct. And I mean -- you know, it's like seven -- it's like nine separate law firms there. It's hard to herd them all.


CONWAY: And -- and there was--

ACOSTA: Might be a few egos involved, yes.

CONWAY: There might be, yes.


CONWAY: It's going to take till the end of June.

ACOSTA: Well--

CONWAY: It always was.

ACOSTA: And Shermichael, I mean, George, with a very reasonable--


ACOSTA: --rational view on all of this, giving the court the benefit of doubt. A lot of folks don't want to do that these days.

SINGLETON: No. No, no.

ACOSTA: And Justice Thomas, taking these undisclosed lavish trips. We just heard about, more about them, this week--

SINGLETON: Yes. ACOSTA: --flying on private jets.

Justice Alito had an election-denialism symbol hanging outside the house. He was talking about that with this liberal activist, who went in there with a film crew, not too long ago. Folks are -- folks are kind of pissed at these guys.

SINGLETON: No. And look, they're pissed with the Supreme Court. They're pissed with Congress, both at House and Senate.


SINGLETON: There's a lot of anger and angst from the American people with our elected and unelected leaders.

I do think George is right. The Supreme Court is going to make a consequential decision here. And the ramifications of this decision will potentially be felt for decades, for presidential administrations to come. We should not want to rush this regardless of where you may fall on, on the side of this.

I do agree with George. He's a lawyer here. But it was always an uphill battle, this idea of complete immunity. I think most people can understand, some immunity for the executive, to make very tough and consequential decisions, without fear of retribution from Congress or district attorneys, et cetera. But the idea of like a divine right of kings type theory, George--

CONWAY: Right.

SINGLETON: --is just something that's never existed--


CONWAY: And that's going to get shot down.

SINGLETON: --in our country.

CONWAY: That's going to get shot down.

ACOSTA: And that's one of the questions that a lot of people have right now about the Supreme Court--


ACOSTA: --is that, you know, not sure if you heard today. Today is Donald Trump's 78th birthday, George. I don't know if you sent him a card. But we hear a lot about the candidates' ages in this race.

But the ages of several Supreme Court justices. Put this up on screen. Justice Thomas, 75; Justice Alito, 74; Justice Roberts, 69; Justice Sotomayor, 69; Justice Kagan, 64.

George, do you still like the idea that they can have these lifetime appointments that they can just? We're getting justices now appointed in their 40s and 50s, I mean, like, around my age, which is kind of nutty to think somebody my age is on the Supreme Court. Shermichael might feel the same, but.

SINGLETON: I'm 33, Jim. So, I got, you know--

ACOSTA: Oh, oh, sorry, sorry. All right.

SINGLETON: --just saying, OK?

ACOSTA: Sorry.

CONWAY: I'm 60. These are -- these are spring chicken. I'm 60. I mean, Justice Kagan, I mean, she's just a -- she's just a -- she looks like -- she's a teenager.


ACOSTA: What about this pressure that Sotomayor and Kagan should think about stepping down?


ACOSTA: Now, look at the composition of the court.

CONWAY: Look, I mean, I understand why the Democrats feel that way. Because they had Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was 83, in 2016, and previously had pancreatic cancer, and previously had colon cancer--


CONWAY: --and had been in and out of hospitals, for the prior 17 years or so. I understand how they feel they lost a seat, the Democrats lost a seat, because of that.

ACOSTA: Could be a five-four court.


ACOSTA: Could be a five-four court.

CONWAY: I mean, it could have been, right.

ACOSTA: Yes, yes.

CONWAY: I mean, but that's why we have--


CONWAY: --Amy Coney Barrett.


CONWAY: And so, I think that -- but you're not going to get Justice Kagan or Justice Sotomayor. They are much too young to quit at this point. They are. I mean, Kagan, I don't know that she has any health issues. Sotomayor may have some. But they're still young. They still got a few years before they -- anyone would expect them to retire. And you're just not going to -- these are all Type A personalities. These are people, who want to do their job that they've been appointed to. It's a lifetime appointment. And it's hard to get them to resign. And I think it's -- I think it's unrealistic, to be trying to pressure them to quit.

SINGLETON: But George, I think--


SINGLETON: --I think some of the concern from Democrats, though, is what if President Biden--


SINGLETON: --doesn't win in November?

CONWAY: Right.

SINGLETON: And President Trump will more than likely get Justice Thomas--


CONWAY: Right.

SINGLETON: --Justice Alito, and maybe a third justice, which I'm sure scares the heck out of Democrats.

ACOSTA: What if Sotomayor steps down, during a second Trump administration?

SINGLETON: It's possible.

ACOSTA: You get a more--

CONWAY: Yes, no it's basically the Ruth Bader Ginsburg scenario--

ACOSTA: --seven-two. And then--

CONWAY: --all over again. Yes, I get it.

ACOSTA: I mean, and then progressives think, OK, for a generation, you're not really going to get balance in the court unless something--


ACOSTA: --sort of remarkable happened.

CONWAY: Well, again, I think they felt like they got burned by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, unfortunately. But she, I mean, she achieved -- she was amazing. She made it to 87. Incredible.

ACOSTA: Term limits. Should there be term limits?

CONWAY: Well, I mean, yes, I do think -- well, let me be very precise on this. You cannot term limit justices and judges--

ACOSTA: Right.

CONWAY: --Article III judges, and so on.

There, it could be possible to structure a system, whereby each -- you appoint a new justice every couple of years, as this has been talked about. And then, you have the Supreme Court sit in panels, of less than its total complement, which is what happens in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. I don't think that would be a bad system.

I think, you know, and then you can create a system where -- that encourages justices to take what's called senior status, in the way that -- in the way that the Courts of Appeals judges do. And you'd end up with younger people, on the court. And you'd end up with younger panels of nine sitting, and then you'd have a -- you'd have a few more senior justices, who would sit in, when people recuse themselves.


It wouldn't be a bad system. It would -- I think one of the positive effects would be that you'd have confirmation hearings that were probably less contentious.

ACOSTA: And, I mean, and just to throw another -- I mean, it kind of reminds me of the old joke. What's the difference between God and a federal judge? God does not think he's a federal judge. But anyway.

No, but the other flip side of this--

CONWAY: People laugh at God's jokes now?

ACOSTA: I don't know.


ACOSTA: We're going to talk about that later, as a matter of fact. That's in the show. The Pope was talking with some comedians. But anyway. And that's not a joke that they walked into a bar or something like that.

But Shermichael, the flip side of that is if Joe Biden wins reelection--


ACOSTA: --and the Republicans take the Senate, you could have a whole other scenario emerge, where President Biden is unable to put justices, on the Supreme Court, because the Senate just says, You know what? We're not going to do this.

SINGLETON: Well look, I can tell you this.

ACOSTA: We're throwing that tradition out the window too.

CONWAY: I can tell you this. If President Biden wins the election, and let's say there's a justice or two, who decides to step down, or maybe some health or illness takes them off of the court? I would be surprised if Republicans allow an appointment to move forward.


CONWAY: I think they would try to find--

ACOSTA: Isn't that what Mitch McConnell did?

SINGLETON: Yes. I think they'd find any type of Senate Rule possible to say we want to wait until there's a Republican president, even if that means waiting until 2028. George, I don't know what the rules are for this, if there's a -- someone missing from the court.

But I just I don't see the appetite, at least within the Republican base that would thus put pressure on Republican officials, saying we don't want this. And I think those officials would adhere to the vocal critiques of their voters.

ACOSTA: What do you think, George?

CONWAY: Probably so. And it will be terrible -- terrible thing for the courts.


CONWAY: If they basically left the seat open for four years. It will be horrible.

ACOSTA: And could a Supreme Court function with one or two missing justices?

CONWAY: It would.

ACOSTA: I suppose it could?

CONWAY: It could. It could. But it wouldn't be functioning well. And it would, you know, it would further harm the function -- the authority and the functioning of the court. It would be a terrible thing for the court.

ACOSTA: Yes. And Shermichael, last thing before we go, there was this decision that came out of the court today on bump stocks. What was your reaction to that?

SINGLETON: I mean, look, I think the court made the right decision. Justice Thomas authored this ruling, just as he did the Bruen case 2022 versus New York. And essentially said, look, a bump stock is not the same as a full auto weapon. And he's technically right.

I'm a gun owner. I own a gun company. I spend a lot of time shooting guns. There is a very serious distinction between the two in terms of the overall mechanisms. I know for a lot of viewers out there, they're going to say, well, Shermichael, I don't particularly care. But in terms of the law, these classifications do actually matter. And the Obama administration looked at this, Jim. And they decided,

based on those mechanical differences that they were not going to ban bump stocks.


ACOSTA: But shouldn't the federal government be able to regulate?

CONWAY: They do. They can.

SINGLETON: They can.

CONWAY: Or Congress could pass a law tomorrow.




CONWAY: They should pass a law, tomorrow.


CONWAY: Even Justice Alito was saying that--

ACOSTA: But if you're not -- if the law says you're not supposed to have automatic machine guns and those--

CONWAY: But it's not.

SINGLETON: These are not--


CONWAY: These aren't automatic.

ACOSTA: And it functionally turns it into an automatic weapon.

CONWAY: Yes. But see, that's not. See, the problem is that--



CONWAY: --if you look at the actual text of the statute, they did not define--


CONWAY: --machine gun, the term, in terms of the functionality of the weapon. They defined it in terms of the mechanism of actions.

SINGLETON: That's right.

CONWAY: In other words, whether you have to pull the trigger more than once to get more than one shot.


SINGLETON: I mean, bump stock--

ACOSTA: But the rest of the world--


SINGLETON: --it's still a--

ACOSTA: The rest of the world looks at our country, and looks at all the gun laws--

CONWAY: OK. But the answer is--

ACOSTA: --and mass shootings and says. I mean.

CONWAY: That's why -- see those people over there?

SINGLETON: We have Congress.


CONWAY: They need to -- they could pass a--

SINGLETON: We do have Congress.

CONWAY: --two-sentence law that would fix that, tomorrow.

ACOSTA: The guys, who can't even like name--


ACOSTA: --post offices, these days. I mean, you know, yes.

CONWAY: No. But that's -- that's--

ACOSTA: Yes. Yes. Yes.

CONWAY: That's the problem. Congress is the problem.


SINGLETON: I mean, but again, I would just say quickly here. I think owning a firearm is a very serious thing, some serious responsibility. Most gun owners, I spend a lot of time with a lot of them, they take gun ownership very seriously. They train very well. There's a lot of, now people of color, a lot of women, who are now gun owners, entering into this space.

I do understand people worrying about public safety. I lost my father to gun violence. I lost an uncle to gun violence. So I understand personally, the implications of this issue.

ACOSTA: Yes. SINGLETON: And that's not to say that we shouldn't address it. I just don't think banning bump stocks would have necessarily handled that issue. I think we need to look at this a little differently.

ACOSTA: All right guys, thank you very much.

CONWAY: All right.

ACOSTA: Appreciate it. Good to talk to both you.

SINGLETON: Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Coming up in just a few moments, it is debate crunch time. The Trump-Biden rematch is 13 days away, right here on CNN. We have the scoop on what both are doing to prepare That's right. They are preparing.

Plus, a new message to the world from Princess Catherine of Wales, her first update since revealing her cancer diagnosis. Her royal return to the stage happens in just hours from now.



ACOSTA: It has begun. Donald Trump has begun debate preparations, less than two weeks away, from facing off with President Biden, right here on CNN. The former President met with allies, in Washington, yesterday, combing through topics and questions that could come up, at CNN's Presidential Debate, on June 27th.

As for the man, who will be on the other side of that table, CNN has learned President Biden has started his debate prep, as well, tapping his former White House Chief of Staff, to lead the effort.

Joining me, tonight, Democratic strategist, and CNN Political Commentator, Maria Cardona.

And former Senior Adviser to Mitch McConnell, Scott Jennings, now a CNN Senior Political Commentator.

Guys, thanks very much for being with me on a Friday night. Thanks for hanging in there.

Scott, let me go to you first.

Marco Rubio and Eric Schmitt, Republican senators, apparently they were in this quote-unquote, policy session, basically debate prep. And one thing that came up was how to respond to questions about January 6th.

How do you -- how do you tackle that? Because obviously -- you know President Biden is going to bring that up, might even be in the first answer.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, I have no doubt it's going to be the first, second--



JENNINGS: --third, fourth, fifth, sixth, 10th, 20th question in the debate. And Biden is going to go to it, to try to get Trump on in the ground. That's the debating strategy. Try to get your opponent talking about topics that are in for them.

And so, if you're Trump--


JENNINGS: --what's the answer to this question? It's really simple. Pivot. Pivot out to the things that you know, are going to work for you in this election, inflation, immigration.

I mean, look, my view is, this is an amazing opportunity for America. We have two presidents, two presidents that we know them both, debating, articulating the issues for their parties. It really is an incredible opportunity.

And I think most people have decided already, Jim, to fire Joe Biden. They just haven't quite decided yet whether to rehire Donald Trump. That's his opportunity here. Give them a reason to be, to rehire him as president, over a president they've already decided to fire.

ACOSTA: All right, Maria, I'll let you weigh in on that.

And as you also heard, the President is doing his debate prep. He's working with Ron Klain, apparently.


ACOSTA: On all of this. And it sounds like what they want to do is get him to be punchier, probably like that State of the Union address--

CARDONA: That's right.

ACOSTA: --that went over well, with the Democratic base.

What do you think?

CARDONA: That's right. And they're actually really looking forward to this debate. And President Biden is really looking forward to this debate.

Because they believe, and I agree, that once Donald Trump is on that debate stage, with Joe Biden, it's going to be very clear, the stark contrast is going to be highlighted for the American people.

A 34 times convicted felon in Donald Trump, who still believes, that the 2020 election was stolen, and started an insurrection, on January 6th, because of it. And yes, I do think it's going to be a big issue during the debate as it should be. And I hope that Jake Tapper and Dana are going to bring it up.


CARDONA: Because it is, I think, the basis, a big basis as to why Joe Biden ran. Because he knows, the majority of Americans know that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the country.

But it's going to be more than that. It is going to be the economy. It's going to be rights and freedoms, abortion. It's going to be the fact that under another President Trump, another four years of President Trump--


CARDONA: --he's going to take away rights and freedoms.

ACOSTA: Well, I do want to get into this because Scott, earlier this evening, Trump had this rally, and he was saying that he assumes Hunter Biden's laptop will come up at the debate. So, as the Trump team is anticipating January 6th to come up, Trump obviously wants to bring up Hunter Biden.

Let's listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They said the laptop from hell did not come from Russia. It was not Russian disinformation, like the 51 Intel agents said. It was a made-up story for election interference. And I assume that we're going to be talking about that subject at the debate.


ACOSTA: Yes. There are sometimes when I think I need a decoder ring, to figure out what he's saying there. And that might be one of those instances.

But, Scott, what -- do you think it's a good idea, for Donald Trump, to bring up Hunter Biden, at the debate? There has been some--

JENNINGS: I think--

ACOSTA: --conversation about whether or not -- you know, this is a sympathetic thing for President Biden. People sympathize with the President on this. And maybe that's not such a good idea for Donald Trump.

What do you think?

JENNINGS: I think as a debating tactic, it's probably a great idea, because Joe Biden has never been able to keep his wits about him, when having to talk about Hunter Biden.

I mean, in the 2020 election, Joe Biden himself, himself, in a debate, said the laptop was Russian disinformation. He ordered his campaign to say that. He worked with the media to cover it up, and try to keep it from the American people. I mean, he was invested in this story. He's on the record saying his son did nothing wrong.

I mean, look, if you're Donald Trump, and you want to get Joe Biden off of his game, this is what you bring up, because Biden has had a difficult time discussing this, in public. I don't know that it's going to move a ton of voters.

But if you're thinking about debate prep strategy, how to derail your opponent, just like he did with Hillary Clinton in 2016, when they brought the women to the debate, this is Joe Biden's--


JENNINGS: --he gets emotional about it. And that can really throw you off, when you get emotional about things and stop executing your strategy.

ACOSTA: Well, and Scott brings up a good point. I mean, Donald Trump has a track record of hitting below the belt, at these debates. He's going to do it.


ACOSTA: And you have to be ready for it.

CARDONA: Absolutely.


CARDONA: And I guarantee you that that is going to be something, in the prep sessions that President Biden is having, that they are absolutely preparing him for it, as difficult as it is.

Because they will tell him, Sir, Donald Trump is going to try to throw you off, exactly like Scott said, because I do think he'll try to do it. But I believe that he will stand his ground.

He actually has been very, not just -- not just coherent, but emotional in an appropriate way.


CARDONA: President Biden has, in talking about his son.


When the conviction came out, he was very sober, saying that he wasn't just talking as president, he was talking as a father, and how much he loved his son, how much he supported his son, how proud he was of him going through recovery.

And that is so relevant--

ACOSTA: Yes. CARDONA: --for so many families, in the country, Jim, that I think that if Donald Trump brings this up, and tries to use this as a weapon against President Biden, it's going to backfire.


CARDONA: Because so many families understand what the Biden family is going through.

ACOSTA: A lot of people.

CARDONA: And as Hunter Biden has gone through this addiction.


CARDONA: So, I would not suggest that he brings it up. But he probably will, because--


CARDONA: --he'll be desperate, given all the other issues that Biden is going to bring up against Trump.

ACOSTA: And Scott, I do want to ask you about something else. It hasn't gotten a lot of coverage. But Trump had this meeting with top CEOs, yesterday. CNBC is reporting several of them complained he was, quote, "Meandering," and couldn't keep a straight thought.

Let's listen to this.


ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, ANCHOR, CNBC: I spoke to a number of CEOs, who I would say, walked into the meeting being Trump supporter-ish, or thinking that they might be leaning that direction.

These were people, who I think might have been actually predisposed to him, and actually walked out of the room, less predisposed to him.


ROSS SORKIN: Actually predisposed to thinking, this is not necessarily -- as one person said, this may not be any different or better than a Biden thought.


ACOSTA: Scott, what do you think about that?

I mean, lately, I mean, Trump at these rallies, he talks about sharks and electrocution. And I mean, there's some -- Hannibal Lecter, and it's like, what -- what's going on here?

And Andrew Ross Sorkin's very credible business journalist, saying at this roundtable, CEOs were walking out of the room, scratching their heads. JENNINGS: Yes, look, I think that these CEOs are ultimately going to choose to support someone that they think is going to be best for their business.

And I think most of them are going to conclude that it's the Republicans, it would be better for them to have Republican governance, and not have the government bringing down the heavy hand on them, 24 hours a day, like it happens under Joe Biden.

I mean, look, if you're worried about incoherence, I mean -- I mean, look, Joe Biden has claimed his uncle was eaten by cannibals. He has claimed he was arrested with Nelson Mandela. He has claimed his -- all kinds of crazy things that make no sense whatsoever.

And so, I hear people unspooling this about Donald Trump. It's just do you not know who he's running against? This attack on him for this is not -- it's not going to work. And, it's because of Joe Biden, constantly, every day--

ACOSTA: But Biden, I think, gets a lot of coverage for--

JENNINGS: --unspooling crazy claims (ph) about himself.

ACOSTA: Biden gets a lot of coverage for it, particularly on a certain network.

But Scott, Trump talking about sharks, and do they -- do you stay in the boat? Or do you get eaten by the shark? Or do you get electrocuted? I still -- I've watched that one clip, I think, like a 100 times in the last week. I still don't know what the hell that is. I really. Maria, let me--

JENNINGS: I don't -- I don't know. I don't know.

ACOSTA: --let me give you this.

JENNINGS: I guess we'll have to decide--

ACOSTA: Do you know what I'm talking about?


JENNINGS: --we're going to get eaten by sharks or by cannibals.

ACOSTA: That shark thing?

JENNINGS: We'll have to decide we want to be eaten by sharks or cannibals. I don't--

CARDONA: Yes. Look, this--

JENNINGS: I don't know. I don't know what's worse.

CARDONA: This week, I -- this week, I think Donald Trump's, the fact that he's unhinged, and is becoming crazier by the day, was on display for everybody to see. And I think it's going to be a big contrast going into the November election, somebody who is in this for himself, who cannot put a coherent word together, in front of CEOs.

ACOSTA: And I got to think it's not going over well with his team, when he says stuff about Milwaukee, where the--

CARDONA: Exactly. That and it's a horrible city.

ACOSTA: --convention is going to be. And it's in a swing state.

CARDONA: Right. They're about to host them.

ACOSTA: Scott, the Milwaukee thing. I'm sure--

JENNINGS: Yes, what's there? Didn't hear it.

ACOSTA: I'm sure that's--

JENNINGS: Not sure.


JENNINGS: Not sure what you were saying.


ACOSTA: That's one of those things, where you're just like, man I--

JENNINGS: But it's not--

ACOSTA: Yes. Yes.

JENNINGS: It's not -- it's not -- look, it's not unusual for Republican politicians to criticize the policies of governance, in these big urban areas, whether they're in a swing state or not.


JENNINGS: So, if he said that it wouldn't -- it wouldn't shock me, actually, because it's a pretty common Republican refrain that Democrats, who run these cities can't govern for crap. I mean, it's a pretty standard pillar of our--

ACOSTA: Yes. Well I mentioned in my show, earlier today.

JENNINGS: --platform, these days.

CARDONA: It's not going to work for him.

ACOSTA: Crime has been going down in Milwaukee.


ACOSTA: I did point that on my show, earlier.


ACOSTA: I want to point out again, just in case you weren't watching earlier.

Maria and Scott, great conversation.

Good to see you, Scott. Thank you, sir.

CARDONA: Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: Thanks, Maria. Appreciate it. All right.

In the meantime, a day of reckoning, for Alex Jones, who put families of Sandy Hook victims through hell, amid all their pain. What he has to pay, now, what he has to give up in order to pay up? That's next.



ACOSTA: A judge in Texas has ordered conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, to liquidate his personal assets, forcing him to begin paying the roughly $1.5 billion in damages he owes, for claiming that Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

The judge, however, did offer Jones, a partial win, ruling against liquidating the parent company, of Jones' website, Infowars. That means the far-right website will remain online. But its future is unclear, while efforts to collect on the debt are made in state courts.

And joining me now is our friend, a veteran media reporter, Brian Stelter.

Hey, Brian, great to see you. Great to catch up with you.


ACOSTA: Let's talk about this Alex Jones thing. Because I'm a little confused. It sounded as though the fact that he was going to have to sell off his personal assets, that sounded like a huge win for the Sandy Hook families.

But if a judge is leaving his website in place, it seems to me, Brian, that is going to allow Alex Jones, to continue to pump out lies and conspiracy theories, like he has been.

STELTER: In some way, yes, that's right, Jim. This is a complex ruling, by a judge, who has to think about what the creditors are owed, what the creditors deserve.

These are multiple lawsuits, in multiple states, against Alex Jones, that have been going on for years. Appeals are going to keep going on.


But this was a landmark ruling today, taking Alex Jones' personal assets away. That's not nothing. That's millions of dollars that will now be divvied up among these Sandy Hook families. But I do want to acknowledge, as we head into the weekend that includes Father's Day, there's no such thing as winning here.


STELTER: There's no real winning, right? For these families, there's no such thing as winning.

But there had been a divide, among the families. As The New York Times reported, some of the families wanted Alex Jones shut off, right, cut off line, Infowars shut down. Other families had a different approach that might have resulted in more money for each family.

So, there was a divide here. And I think that gets to how ugly and complex this really is, right? What is the right path forward, for accountability, for consequences, for the biggest liars out there?

ACOSTA: Well, and if Infowars is allowed to continue operating, is he really paying a price? I mean, a billion dollars? Sure, that's a lot. If he has to sell his personal assets, that's not going to feel good.

But that Infowars, as you know, Brian, you've looked at this so well, over the years, it is a machine. And it's like a printing press--


ACOSTA: --that prints money.

STELTER: Yes, I've experienced it firsthand. They've made up stories about me. They probably made up stories about you, Jim.


STELTER: These websites, they will continue to exist in some form.

But Alex Jones is clearly on the ropes. He is telling his audience that he's going down, and he's begging them to buy products, on the way out.

What I think is going to happen is Infowars may reemerge in some other form, in some other fashion. And that's where I think there's a deeper story here, Jim.

This is about supply and demand. And you can target Alex Jones, you can go after him, you can pursue him in the courts. And these families have succeeded, at least to some degree, in pursuing him in the courts. But wherever there's a demand for extremism, hate and lies, there's going to be supply. And if it's not Alex Jones--


STELTER: --if it's not Infowars, it's going to be someone else. So, as much as we talk about the supplier, in this case, Alex Jones, who finally is having his day of reckoning in court, we also have to reckon with the demand of all this. ACOSTA: Yes. And Brian, I mean, we also should, and you mentioned this earlier, and you were so right to do so, what the Sandy Hook families have been going through this ordeal. I mean, for the folks at home, who just aren't up to speed fully, on what Alex Jones did to them, I mean, he -- he, as we said in the beginning, put them through hell.

STELTER: And that is where -- that's the part of this that I think, is hard for folks on the outside to fathom or to understand, right?


STELTER: When you're getting death threats, harassment, hate mail, those sorts of things, you are reliving the worst day of your life over and over and over again. And that's what Alex Jones, and others like him, caused for these families.

I think it was very brave, very courageous for these families to file lawsuits. Because when you do that, when you go public, when you file a lawsuit, you're subjecting yourself to even more of that scrutiny, perhaps even more of that harassment. But in doing so, these families have shown that there is a pathway forward for accountability.

We're seeing it in a lot of ways in the wake of January 6th also, big liars, people that promoted The Big Lie being held accountable in court. We all remember the Fox-Dominion case last year. You know Dominion's taking Newsmax to court. And that's supposed to go to trial in just a few months.


STELTER: So, we are seeing that courts are an important method of accountability, in these cases. But it's not perfect. It's complicated. It can be unsatisfying, certainly tonight for these families. This is a mixed decision at best for the Sandy Hook families.

ACOSTA: And it can be a long haul. These things take time.

STELTER: A long haul.

ACOSTA: And I mean, we're talking about the Sandy Hook families, how many years later after that terrible, awful tragedy. It's just unthinkable to imagine what they've been going through.

Brian Stelter, great to see it, as always. Thanks a lot. Really appreciate it.

STELTER: You too. Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, coming up next, a new picture of the Princess of Wales, and an update on her battle with cancer, and big news on where she will be in just a few hours.


[21:43:19] ACOSTA: Catherine, the Princess of Wales is just hours away from being seen in public for the first time, since revealing her cancer diagnosis. Tomorrow, she'll be at King Charles' birthday celebration, at Buckingham Palace.

The Palace releasing this new picture of Kate today, along with her update, on her treatment.

The Princess says she is making, quote, "Good progress" while undergoing chemotherapy. But it's not out of the woods yet, she says. She expects her treatment to continue for a few more months. And we should note, we still don't know what type of cancer she is battling.

My source on this, tonight, Trisha Goddard, a royal expert and Host of "This Week With Trisha Goddard."

Trisha, so nice to see you.

Just before our segment started, I was saying this is a big deal, right? That she's going to be out in public. Tell us about how big of a deal this is.

And it's also, I feel like this is a very positive thing, because a lot of folks, here in the U.S., have just been hoping for the best, hoping that she can get through this with flying colors.

TRISHA GODDARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a big deal, because -- and it's really unusual. But before this statement came out, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet were informed in advance. Now, that's not something that normally takes place. So you're absolutely right. It is a big deal.

And along with the photograph as well in nature, Matt Porteous has done a lovely portrait, I think it speaks volumes, though, against the -- I mean, we all want to be optimistic. But it speaks volumes that I think as someone -- and I've spoken to Anderson about this. As you know, I happen to be going through--


GODDARD: --cancer treatment myself.

ACOSTA: Right.


GODDARD: And you kind of look for the reality in the message.

And I think the big message here is there's all of this optimism. But she's being real. As you say, she's saying she's not out of the woods yet. The Palace has stressed this doesn't mean that Catherine is coming back to work full time. And it's going to be very much on a case-by-case situation.

ACOSTA: Yes. GODDARD: My reading of it -- don't take this as gospel. But again, from personal experience, when one is going through chemotherapy, if it's every three weeks or two weeks, whenever it is, the first week after that treatment is bleh. Then you start feeling a little stronger.

ACOSTA: Right.

GODDARD: My reading of this is that the King's birthday celebration comes at that time, when she's feeling stronger.

And she kind of hints at that. She says good days and bad days. And when there are good days, you want to grab that opportunity. And I think she's grabbing that opportunity. It's said that she spoke with King Charles before she did that. But she's grabbing that opportunity.

And getting back into everyday life. You know, you can become, with any chronic illness, a little bit of a hermit, very understandable.


GODDARD: But these are her first steps back in to being seen by the public.

ACOSTA: And because the Royal Family is so managed and everything is so carefully choreographed, and so on, one would have to think, and I'm just speculating here that she -- that she is doing well enough to do this. And that is why we are seeing this.

And maybe I'm misreading it. But I feel like, as an American, I have just as much experience as anybody else following the Royals.

But in her statement, she said, I'm learning how to be patient, especially with uncertainty. What does that say to you? Because I'm looking at this photograph here. She looks a lot better here than in that -- in the video with the white striped sweater. Your thoughts?

GODDARD: Yes. Yes, look -- look, makeup if you're in the public eye, I'm going to say, makeup and things like that do -- we women--

ACOSTA: True. Yes.

GODDARD: --we're excited. But you--

ACOSTA: Guys do, some cases, yes.

GODDARD: Guys too, so, yes.


GODDARD: But you hit up on a really good point. Being patient with the uncertainty, not knowing what the future holds.

I think we shouldn't forget that Catherine is the patron of -- and involved in many mental health charities. Now, her posts, and this speaks more, I think, to mental health and wellbeing. And yes, the Palace manages everything. But I will say this, I think,

with that video that you touched upon, William and Catherine have made the running of this. I don't think King Charles is under any illusions in saying that this is the new way forward, even with him talking about cancer. This is unprecedented in royal circles.


GODDARD: So, I think Catherine and William are in a really strong position. They've talked about mental health before. So, this is saying, hey, I feel strong enough, to get out there, but not so strong that I'm going to throw myself, fall headlong first, into nonstop (inaudible).

ACOSTA: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Well, Trisha Goddard, thank you so much. And all the best to you in your battle. We're rooting for you as well. Thank you so much for your time, Trisha. We appreciate it.

A programming note. Here's a sneak peek at this Sunday's new episode of the CNN Original Series "Violent Earth."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Look over there, sweetie. How the water is rushing up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw a wake. It was all across the horizon. And Dave (ph) and I were looking at it, and going, what in the world is that?

The closer it got, the louder it got. It sounded like jet engines.

The owner of the resort started screaming in Thai (ph).

But we could tell by the fear in his voice that it was serious.

I just cut the camera, and I started running.

At the very last point, I don't know why I -- I turned, but I did. That's when I saw the wave hit.

It hit the -- the bank and it just went, choo (ph), like that. That -- that -- that wave was not 10 feet anymore. It was 40 feet.

I just thought, that's it, I'm dead.


ACOSTA: Tune in, " Violent Earth with Liev Schreiber," airs Sunday at 9 PM, right here on CNN.

Coming up next, Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and the Pope. That is not a joke. See what happens when their worlds collide. That's coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ACOSTA: In an age of Trump versus Biden, red versus blue, Democrats versus Republicans, bringing the two sides together often means the drawing of battle lines.

So, when a pro-Trump store moved in next to a crystal shop, owned by a self-described staunch liberal, you might be surprised what happened next.

And CNN's Donie O'Sullivan takes us there.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The Republicans, on the right, when they want to paint a picture of a liberal? They'll--

VALERIE BAHR, PEGASUS PIZZAZZ CRYSTALS: They'll probably paint me. I wouldn't love it (ph).

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Well they will hear--

BAHR: Yes. Yes.


O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): This is Valerie Bahr. She owns this crystal shop, here in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

BAHR: I wear a lot of crystals. I am very obsessed with them. So, I wear Tiger's Eye for self-confidence. Malachite for money luck, because who doesn't need that.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Valerie's store has been here for three years. But a few months ago, she got a new neighbor, a store that exclusively sells pro-Trump merch.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You are not a Trump supporter.

BAHR: I am not. I am vehemently not.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): There are MAGA fans that like the metaphysical.

BAHR: Yes. There are. I'm not sure that they're just vocal about it. But yes, I do have people, who go back and forth between the two shops.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Inside, Valerie sells all kinds of crystals, bracelets and other metaphysical objects. And there's even a clairvoyant.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Is there anything in my immediate future that I should know about or care about, or do? BAHR: Stay in the moment.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Paul (ph), the owner of the Trump store, didn't want to go on-camera. But he did introduce us to Valerie, and he spoke very kindly of her.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): So wait. This is--

BAHR: Paul's (ph) a good guy. We have a solid working relationship. And there's been no problems, so.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Is there a lesson that Americans can learn from this strip mall in Minnesota?

BAHR: Yes, I think so. When the shop came here, and I met Paul (ph), some of the anger in my own heart dissipated. And I would love to see that more in America. And I think it's possible.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Really?

BAHR: Yes, we can all be different. We can all have our different opinions. But we're all humans. We all live here. And I think we can coexist.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): That's kind of nice, isn't it?

BAHR: I would like to think so.


ACOSTA: And Donie O'Sullivan joins me now.

Donie, I need some of those crystals, man. I mean, it's been a little tough lately. You talked -- you travel around the country.

O'SULLIVAN: I got some. I got some.

ACOSTA: Or whatever they sell in the back of the store.

O'SULLIVAN: I'm at this (ph).

ACOSTA: Yes. Let me ask you--

O'SULLIVAN: I don't think there's enough crystals in the world to calm you down, Jim. But, you know?

ACOSTA: No, that might be true. That might be true. Maybe more than crystals might be necessary.

I was also wondering, did the lady with the fortune-telling, did she tell you who's going to win the race. But you know? It was nice to hear from this--


ACOSTA: --nice lady that you talked to. And it sounds like it gave you a little bit of hope.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes. It's, obviously we spend a lot of time on the road, as you very well know, Jim, and speaking to people that are very entrenched in -- on either side. We were actually visiting that Trump store for a separate story. And then, there was the owner of the Trump store, a Paul (ph) that mentioned his neighbor.

And yes, I mean, look, that neither of them, they said that they don't talk politics with each other.

But she was nervous, when she heard a store was moving in next door like this. And -- but she said, everything has been OK. Some of the clientele even go pick up some MAGA hats, and then come by to get some crystals, and vice versa.

So yes, a little bit of hope, I think, maybe from that strip mall in Minnesota.

ACOSTA: And people might not realize this. I've seen this. But there are Trump stores like this all over the country. What are they selling? And what--


ACOSTA: --what's in store for somebody if they walk into one of those places?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes. It's just everything Trump, as you can imagine, and a lot of -- some -- some fun things about Biden, some pretty nasty stuff, too.

But it was actually interesting how somebody described the store to me is that there's Trump stores, as you mentioned, they're in different pockets of the country. They're in strip malls. They're open, and you can just go in and buy this merch. They're not affiliated, for the most part, or any that I know of, with the campaign. So, it's not as if you're making a political donation.

But somebody in the store described to me. They said, these stores kind of pop up closer to election time, almost as if--


O'SULLIVAN: --Halloween stores that pop up a few months before Halloween, every year. That's how these Trump stores are starting to pop up.

ACOSTA: Are you telling me that Donald Trump's not getting a nickel out of the product sold in these stores? I won't get into that right now. Let's not go there. Might get some of these folks in trouble.

But Donie O'Sullivan, great stuff from the campaign trail. As always, great to see you. Thanks so much.

O'SULLIVAN: Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right.

In the meantime, Pope Francis making history today, as the first pontiff to attend the G7 summit for world leaders, and meeting with President Biden on the sidelines there.

But he also hosted the Vatican's first ever conclave of comedians. Yes, you heard that right. You're seeing it on your screen right now. Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, were among the dozens of comics gathered around the world. He shook hands with every person there.

Likely why Whoopi Goldberg did not get a chance for this.


REPORTER: Did you convince him to act in 'Sister Act 3'?


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, AMERICAN ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: Well, I didn't think it was the right place to bring it up, but I'll probably send an email.


ACOSTA: And to a group that often cracks jokes about religion, the Pope offered a reassuring and uplifting message that it's OK to laugh at God. We play and joke with the people we love. A nice note to end on.

All right. Thanks very much, for joining us, tonight.

"LAURA COATES LIVE" starts right now.

Have a great night, everybody.