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tv   CNN Tonight  CNN  July 5, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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and i think it's a very important step forward. obviously we have no way of knowing the details of the investigation. but i think it is very significant. >> congresswoman zoe lofgren, appreciate your time tonight, thank you so much. >> you bet, any time. >> take care. the news continues. i want to hand things over to kasie hunt and "cnn tonight." >> anderson, thanks so much. welcome to "cnn tonight." vice president harris just visited the site of yesterday's deadly mass shooting in highland park, illinois. earlier she called on congress to renew the assault weapons ban and protect communities across the nation from what she called the terror of gun violence. it was another semiautomatic weapon, similar this time to an ar-15 used to slaughter more innocent americans. and this time it happened on america's birthday. more than 70 rounds were fired on an independence day parade, according to police.
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[ sounds of gunfire ] >> just terrifying, terrifying. we learned another person died today from wounds suffered in the parade attack. that brings the total number of dead to seven now. and dozens more are injured. we also learned today among the dead are 35 and 37-year-old irina and kevin mccarthy. they are or were aidan's parents. he is a 2-year-old boy. he was found alive after the shooting and was reunited with his grandparents. but now we know that he's an orphan. a gofundme page has been created to raise money to support little aidan. here we are again in america, after uvalde, after buffalo. my god. it goes on and on and on. at least 319 people in the u.s.
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so far this year, according to the gun violence archive. and it is only july. only hours after that crowd went running for their lives in highland park, so did a crowd of july fourth revelers in philadelphia when shots rang out, injuring two police officers. thankfully they're okay. the democratic mayor of that city is so fed up with gun violence, he says he can't wait until he's not in his job anymore. >> this is a gun country. it's crazy. we're the most armed country in world history, and we're one of the least safe. i don't enjoy fourth of july, i don't enjoy the democratic national convention, i didn't enjoy the nfl draft. i'm waiting for something bad to happen all the time, so i'll be happy when i'm not here, when i'm not mayor, and i can enjoy some stuff. >> you're looking forward to not being mayor? >> yeah. >> awful reality. the horror in highland park comes more than two weeks after congress did finally act in bipartisan fashion, they did something about gun violence in america. they passed the first major gun
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safety legislation in decades. and yet here we are again. earlier today mitch mcconnell, the top senate republican, said that he thinks the bill that just passed, quote, targeted the problem, which he labels as mental health, and young men, quote, inspired to commit atrocities. he didn't mention guns. the number two in the senate praises the legislation but says it's nowhere near enough. senate majority whip dick durbin, senior senator from illinois, the latest state now mourning after a mass shooting. senator, thank you for being with us tonight. >> good to be here. >> you went, of course, straight to the shooting as soon as you heard about it. you, like many americans, were on vacation. these are your constituents. how are they doing? how are you doing? how is this community, just the latest community so desperately, sadly, doing in the wake of this?
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>> kasie, they're still in shock. think about it. what an amazing american tradition. fourth of july parade with your kids, in a great little town like highland park that has a reputation for being a lot of good people and the safest place in the world you could imagine. and then what happens? another american tradition, the horrible tradition of mass shooting, descends on the community and the parade route. sadly now seven people have died. the numbers that were injured have gone up dramatically. this was all transpiring in the matter of a few minutes. people are trying to still work their way through the shock. >> senator, pulling out the lens a little bit here, this was the fourth of july, the day that we all celebrate america, that we celebrate our freedom and independence i think a lot of people woke up to this news and just felt completely demoralized, like didn't we just
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do the thing that was supposed to prevent what happened? didn't you and your colleagues in the senate just do that? i mean, why did this happen, why was what you did not enough? >> well, i can tell you, i supported it. i want to thank chris murphy, cornyn, thom tillis, kyrsten sinema, thanks. was it improvement? yes. did it do enough? no, in my estimation it didn't touch the basic issue hire that we are selling firearms and weapons to americans that are military-grade weapons for killing human beings. listen to the doctors carefully describe the patients who lost their lives and say that the average person couldn't stand to even see what happened to them. this is not a bullet hole. many times this is a shredding device which just kills people in a gruesome, awful way. >> right.
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>> it was designed for war. we now have between 10 million and 20 million of these ar-15s in america. >> what do you say to people -- i mean, i think you can acknowledge -- i have covered capitol hill for long enough to know that there is little, zero to no chance, something big is going to happen any time soon beyond what you already did. how do you look at people and say, when you go to work every day, when the mayor of philadelphia said, i don't even want to be mayor anymore, i don't know what to do, there's nothing to be done. don't you feel frustrated? what do you say to people who just want to turn their backs on everything that you're doing in congress? clearly it doesn't seem like any of these problems can be fixed. >> i believe in this country. i believe that we can solve this problem as we have many others. it's going to take the will of the people. that's what a democracy is all about. there's an election coming. if this is an important issue, the safety of your family, the safety of your kids in schools, at parades, in any number of
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different ways we've seen mass shootings, then it's time for you to look for candidates who agree with you and vote for them. show up in november. that's what a democracy is all about. you want to change america? do it in the ballot. >> so speaking of the ballot box, i want to show you what the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, who of course was willing to support the reforms that you just passed, had to say about this shooting today, take a look. >> i think yesterday's shooting is another example of what the problem is. the problem is mental health. and these young men who seem to be inspired to commit these atrocities. so i think the bill that we pass targeted the problem. >> so he says he thinks what you've done is essentially enough. one of the things that stuck out to me about the fact that he was willing to support it at all is
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exactly what you were talking about, our elections, whether or not people are voting on this issue. clearly his support for it was an acknowledgement that people, especially in suburban america, are willing to change their vote on this issue. do you think he's going to be willing to go farther? do you think this is going to be something that is going to become so animating that it really actually will put control of the united states senate on the line? >> what senator mcconnell said is true. mental illness and counseling and trauma experiences are part of this. they have to be, and they were included in the bill that we passed. but let's get down to the bottom line here. this madman went up on the roof of a building and fired off 70 rounds, in a matter of minutes, killing people in every direction. killing them with lethal ammunition. this is the sort of thing that we've got to take as part of the problem too. yes, i blame the gun. in this case, the military weapon that was used, turned on these people who were just there
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with their kids celebrating the fourth of july. mental illness and those aberrant behaviors, as bad as they are, are not going to kill all of those people and injure so many without that gun. there is no place for military assault weapons in america. they belong in the hands of the military. >> what do you say to mitch mcconnell? >> open your eyes, mitch, it's going to come to your state too if it hadn't already. innocent people are going to die because people demand the right to own military assault weapons. that just isn't consistent with any value in america, and i don't believe it's consistent with the constitution. >> senator dick durbin, thank you very much for your time tonight, sir, really appreciate it. here to discuss with us tonight, former u.s. senator doug jones, former u.s. congresswoman barbara comstock, and editorial writer for "the new york times," michelle cottle. thank you for being with us tonight. senator jones, you heard senator
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durbin tell mitch mcconnell, open your eyes, take a look at what's going on. i've covered congress long enough to know, what's done is done for now. are they going to do anything else? >> no, i don't think there will be anything this time. we're too close to midterms. frankly, the best opportunity was the other day when they did something, and they pulled back. there was a lot of talk. they pulled back on it. and i agree with dick. i mean, i don't want to minimize what passed, because it was historic. >> yes. >> but it could have been more. kasie, you recall, i did my maiden speech on gun violence after parkland, 2018, calling for the same things. red flag laws. boyfriend loophole changes. we've got to do more. but i'm not optimistic. >> the thing is, it's just -- you wake up and you're like,
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again? ssman comstock, you are a republican but you've become a major critic of some elements in your party. you represented a district that was a swing area. do you think that they did enough here? did they do too much? would you have supported it? what are the politics for you? >> i had supported red flag laws when i was in, kind of cracking down on when there are illegal guns and things like that. so hats off that there was actually finally an agreement, the adults in the room, senator cornyn, senator murphy, who they've always worked together well. we did some legislation with them on things like that. but now with the bill they passed, i think states can go to work on improving things. i think particularly the red flag laws that can be approved, because there certainly were a lot of red flags here. >> right. >> i think if those need to be tightened, if it needs to be more aggressive. in this case, he was a threat to his family and to others. yeah, he was then allowed to get a gun.
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i know in virginia after the 2007 virginia tech shooting, when there are mental health issues, it was governor kaine and a republican legislature that -- i think it was republican, i wasn't there -- came together to improve those, to crack down on it beforehand, so you never get the gun. >> right. >> i do think there's going to be more opportunities. i think because those republicans work together, you have the core of a group that hopefully will consider, as they get more information on how this bill is working, where they need to do additional thing tad they can agree on. >> first of all, you've argued like this is all -- we need to go much further. when you listen to dick durbin, and this is the thing that gets me. we've obviously, for privacy reasons, never seen pictures of those children who were slaughtered in uvalde. we haven't seen direct pictures of the wounds these doctors have been describing. but when you hear them talk about it, when it's not as though -- remember the one doctor talking after uvalde saying, it used to be i could sew the holes up when i saw bullet wounds.
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but now there's nothing to sew. how do we -- i don't want to throw my hands and up say, i'm out. but i'm this close to where the mayor was in saying, what good is any of it? >> look, you do have to fight the impulse to just throw your hands up and surrender. that is always the problem here. the people who are willing to go to the mattresses and fight. even the most sensible gun laws. they're never going to give up, they're always going to be out there fighting the fight. the people who want commonlens safety laws, you have to stay in there. the sad reality of politics, especially in congress, is it tends to be these incremental, baby steps. anything that introduces more friction into the free, crazy flow of guns is a good thing, but also the other reality is that it is going to wind up being the states that have to
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take even more action. because -- >> because florida did this. when rick scott was governor, went further than the bill that was passed. so i think other states, if you're in another state, you can say, look what florida did, let's do more than florida. >> when it came time -- >> now they have -- >> the federal level, both the florida senators -- >> there are state legislators that can get things passed faster on a state basis. >> let's be candid. we don't see a lot of profiles in courage politically. >> a gentle way to put it, sir. >> it is. and i'm talking about state -- look. we focus so much on talking about changing the laws. and that's important. i mean, clearly. i was a prosecutor. i understand. we've got to do something with the laws. but the fact of the matter is, and i think the mayor really captured it. this is a culture. this is something that goes beyond that. if we want to get things changed, it's got to come from people.
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it's got to come from gun owners. gun owners like me who have a number of guns. i hunt, i shoot, i've done it all my life, that say, "enough is enough" and start demanding that these public -- >> i think you could also have -- you know, there's 93 u.s. attorneys' offices around the country. we had a terrorism task force after 9/11. what kind of task forces can we have in each of those offices that now aggressively use this law, this new bill, but then also that the states can then also -- >> and we need to -- >> in changing -- >> we need to confirm the atf director, steve dettelback, and also -- >> seven years without a confirmed leader. >> we need to get senator cotton to release the hold on presidential appointed -- >> it would help if we'd stop having members of congress turn this into a crazy culture war issue, where you have them pose with automatic weapons for christmas -- >> a lot of that is like -- >> things like that. >> they're running for president, right? they're talking about -- this is what i want to ask you, senator. you talk about law-abiding gun owners. and i know many. i completely understand where you're coming from. but there is a culture around these assault weapons that is distinctly different and much darker, much scarier, much more
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driven by the internet. why are republicans in congress so afraid of these people? they are not the majority of voters. >> no, they're not. i agree, they're not. but it has been built up. they're afraid of primaries. that's the thing. you see it all the time. in alabama, you're absolutely -- it was the most disgusting group of commercials i have ever seen with people with their guns. judges with their guns, running for the alabama supreme court, shooting a gun. talking about liberals wanting to -- >> who are they running against in alabama anyway? that aside, i take your point. >> dick durbin made an interesting point. it's not always just the gun. it is the ammunition. that's what's causing a lot of the problems we see here. it is the mega -- you know, the clips that they have. not the bump stock but the clips that have 30 rounds to where that guy could likely round off 30 rounds, pop one out, pot another one in. there's a lot of things you could go without infringing on people's second amendment that
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would save lives. >> please stick around, we have a lot more to talk about. there are big developments in the criminal investigation into donald trump's alleged election meddling in georgia. a u.s. senator, take a guess who, among others in the trump inner circle, were subpoenaed. who, why, and what it all might lead to when "cnn tonight" returns. my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... the tightness, stinging... the pain. emerge tremfyant®.
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the january 6th committee has announced its next hearing. it's set now for next tuesday, july 12th. sources close to the investigation tell cnn that one witness that we could soon hear from is sarah matthews, trump's former deputy press secretary. she resigned in the hours after the january 6th attack. efforts to overturn the 2020 election is also growing at the state level. in georgia, a special grand jury has subpoenaed key members of trump's inner circle.
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among them, trump's former attorney, rudy giuliani, south carolina senator lindsey graham, and several former legal advisers for the trump campaign, including john eastman who laid the groundwork for a fake elector scheme. jenna ellis, who has previously pushed debunked election fraud claims. and cleta mitchell, who sat in on trump's infamous call with georgia's secretary of state where he asked him to find 11,780 votes so that he could win the state. the other two people subpoenaed are also trump attorneys. doug jones and barbara come stack are back. welcome jim schultz our conversation. you're all lawyers. two of you, republican lawyers. thank you for being here. let me start -- i don't know where to start. senator jones, let me start with you on lindsey graham being subpoenaed here at the state level. i thought that was pretty interesting partly because i had
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a number of conversations with senator graham during this period of time. most of them were off the record. i'm very interested to see what comes out on the record in this. how unusual is this? does he have any special protections as a senator? what do you think they want from him? >> i don't think he has special protections. he's not on the floor. he was making a phone call. there were phone calls, if i recall correctly, made. i think part of this grand jury is simply the district attorney's efforts to get people under oath if she can do that. get them under oath, get them locked in. people tend to change their testimony. people tend to change their stories. >> funny, with a felony charge, it can hangover you. >> i think under oath testimony is important. i think getting the entire story what conversation -- he has no privileges no protections that way. he may challenge the subpoena
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somehow. but i think it's part of the overall getting the bigger picture. >> jim schultz, what's your view on this round of subpoenas and where the georgia investigating stands? kind of running parallel to what we're seeing in washington. >> i think the biggest liability for donald trump is the georgia and fulton county investigations ongoing, this special grand jury investigation. it's now reaching closer and closer to his inner circle. as results to senator graham, i think the conversations he had with former president trump before he made that phone call, they're going to want to know, what else he talked to, what was the purpose for it, a lot of questions for him, and he's going to have to answer under oath unless he fights the subpoena and successfully beats that. i think the same thing of rudy giuliani. clearly they're looking at some type of a conspiracy action racketeering, election fraud case. and they're looking at kind of across state borders, trying to use what happened in other states to build their case in georgia. >> it's real interesting. congresswoman comstock, bringing us back here to washington, we expect to hear from sarah matthews. you've been in republican politics a long time. sarah matthews, if we hear from her, there's an interesting tweet from her i think we can show everyone that she put up about cassidy hutchinson. essentially saying that cassidy hutchinson was brave and that anybody downplaying her role is trying to discredit her because
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they're scared. there are a lot of young women stepping up here. what does it say to you that sarah matthews may be the next witness? >> i think you've seen on this committee, the women are leading. from liz cheney -- adam kinzinger has too, as a republican, people in great threat, he's getting threats against his family. i think cassidy hutchinson's testimony was very impressive. now you're going to have someone who is in the middle of the press office, worked with kayleigh mcenany, was her deputy, in the days leading into that was in the middle of this. we have texts from mark meadows back and forth to fox news when sean hannity saying, hey, the counsel's office is going to quit, you can't do this. sean hannity and kayleigh mcenany were talking and texting during that time. probably i would imagine sarah maxwell, in addition to being able to confirm a lot of the
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information that cassidy hutchinson testified to, is going to be able to give additional information about what was going on and a lot of detail. i think this is coming together very well and very seriously. because i know about when i was in my previous life, i was a counsel on a committee, we did do referrals. and the documentation that we got sometimes was a little ahead of the justice department. but it was sometimes different from what the justice department got. but now you're seeing the justice department also picking up the ball. they're doing things and it's coming together well. and it's not going to just be he said, she said. it's going to be a lot of documentary records. mvp to mark maddows, who in realtime, you see all of those texts that went on that confirm, really what these women are saying. >> mark meadows, like the name of a bad play or something like that. you mentioned liz cheney, we're talking criminal referrals. i want to show everyone what she said over the weekend. the big question is whether the january 6th committee is going
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to make a criminal referral to the department of justice at the conclusion of their hearings, take a look. >> so the committee will or will not make a criminal referral? >> we'll make a decision as a committee about it. >> it's possible there will be a criminal referral? >> yes. the justice department doesn't have to wait for the committee to make a criminal referral. there could be more than one criminal referral. >> so jim, what is your take on this? clearly there's some division in the committee about whether or not to make this referral. quite frankly, i mean, we're going to hear more about the proud boys, the extremist groups, perhaps with connections to the white house. >> i think they're holding back at this point, not show their hand, they're going to present a report and they'll likely make a criminal referral. i think that's very likely. if not 100% that they'll make a criminal referral. i think at this point in time they haven't turned documents over to the justice department. they're going to -- >> why do you think that is? >> because they want to make their own report. they've done their own
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investigation. they want to complete -- they want to turn over a thorough investigation all at one time over to the justice department, give their report to the american people, and then make whatever referrals they feel are appropriate which the justice department can take up or not. it's up to them. >> do you think they should? >> i definitely think they should. both a referral, but i also think there should be -- i think this is -- i mean, there's evidence they are for an indictment. a trial would have republican witnesses, trump republicans testifying against donald trump. with an expansive documentary record and texts in realtime from the election day and before, all the way through to january 20th. >> what do you think? >> i'm going with a different view. one, i don't think they need to. i think the justice department is moving. i think they're looking at every aspect of this right now. there's no real authority to do it. it would just be the committee's feeling compelled to do it. quite frankly, we're already seeing the pushback from republicans across the country. i say pushback. there's a lot of the crickets
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out there too. >> nobody's contradicting her. >> correct. >> their whole defense team is -- >> but if this committee starts making a referral against donald trump in particular, i think they will be accused of being more partisan. when they do not have to -- it's a legislative body. they're going to put the evidence out there. jim's right, they're going to do a report, they're going to connect the dots, put the pieces of the puzzle together. whatever analogy you want to look at it. the justice department is doing their job, and i think they put that report out. they can make conclusions, come to these conclusions. let the justice department do their job. >> there's a lot of potentially politically explosive for them to do something like this. >> no question. >> there's potential risks there. >> no question. >> thanks so much. appreciate your insights. ahead here, dark window into what it is like to be a republican member of the january 6th committee. >> i hope you naturally die as
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quickly as [ bleep ] possible, you [ bleep ] piece of shit. >> congressman adam kinzinger shares a slice, just a slice, of the violent threats he's been getting. they are incredibly hard to listen to, but they are so important to here. we're going to shine a light next.
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the ugly, violent threats against republican members who sit on the january 6th committee seem to only be getting uglier. today, congressman adam kinzinger shared just a few of the recent calls and voicemails that his office received, including one that threatened his wife and his newborn baby. we will not be playing the entire three-minute clip for you. you can find it on twitter. it is important that you hear
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some of the level of vitriol that these members are facing, simply for standing up to donald trump. we want to give you a warning, what you're about to hear is extraordinarily graphic and very disturbing. >> i guess i can't say a whole lot more other than i hope you naturally die as quickly as [ bleep ] possible, you [ bleep ] piece of -- >> you back-stabbing son of a bitch, going against trump, you know you're [ bleep ] -- >> gonna get your wife, your kids, gonna get you, coming to your house, son. gonna get you and liz cheney. gonna get you two little [ bleep ] suckers, ha ha ha! >> this is, of course, not the first time adam kinzinger has received violent threats. last month he received a letter at his home threatening to execute him and his family. the same online platforms that helped fuel the lies that led to the insurrection are also in many instances fueling this dangerous rhetoric. a new analysis shared with cnn by the nonprofit advance democracy showed that many users on these right-wing platforms
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are openly calling for liz cheney to be executed. one post on trump's truth social platform referenced cheney with the hashtag mgga, as in make guillotines great again. that's where we are. if there is any doubt that political violence and threats have become the new normal, consider this. threats against members of congress are up 144%. from five years ago. capitol police investigated nearly 10,000 cases last year alone. this prompting grave warnings like this. >> somebody is going to get hurt, somebody is going to get killed. the kind of garbage that is getting left on adam kinzinger's voicemail is a complete betrayal of generations of people who have fought for the civility and
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the understanding and the fellow feeling, without which our democracy is over. >> whatever happens, we can't say that we weren't warned. mitt romney, another republican who often speaks out on behalf of democracy, has a warning for all of us. he thinks we are a nation in deep denial and we're dismissing threats that could prove cataclysmic. we'll go deep where "cnn tonight" returns. ks naturally we water in your body to unblock your gut. your gut. and your mood will follow.
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how much their accident case is worth.h barnes. t ouour juryry aorneneys hehelpou so all in all, if there is a theme tonight, it's that americans are fed up. tired of mass shootings, more than tired. angry over election lives. worried, in many cases, about their constitutional rights. we showed you the numbers. most americans say that we are on the wrong track. as in 90% of americans. they distrust our institutions. it's a problem. so what are our leaders doing? senator mitt romney says that we're in denial. in his new op-ed in "the atlantic," he bemoans the emotional cataclysmic threats,
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inflation and climate change among other things, and writes, quote, president joe biden is a genuinely good man, but he has yet been unable to break through our national malady of denial, deceit, and distrust. a return of donald trump would feed the sickness, probably rendering it incurable. doug jones, barbara come stack, michelle cottle are with me. a that language is extraordinary, mitt romney in that op said. senator jones, he says joe biden is a good man but everyone's unhappy. the country is going the wrong direction. people are unhappy for a lot of different reasons. but it's a pretty universal feeling. you're very close to joe biden. i know that you are basically an eye term supporter of his. but some of these quotes are pretty tough against him. we had one democrat told cnn
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that the presidency is rudderless. concerns about basic management in the white house. and quite frankly that potentially opens up a path for donald trump to return. >> sure. >> how do you prevent that? >> well, i don't know if you can. but i will tell democrats, i'm tired of listening to that kind of crap. i mean, look -- >> how do we fix it? >> some people need to understand, at least in the democratic party, that if they want to have any success in the midterms, if they want to have any success in 2024, this president has got to have some success. and he has had some success. he has created a lot of jobs. we've got issues with inflation but he's got a plan. the only plan that i have seen to counter that is rick scott's plan to tax people under $50,000, making $50,000 or less. he's got our allies -- >> i think he finally removed that after hearing from mitch mcconnell. >> he has no plan.
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then he has no plan. and the fact that, you know -- it was interesting the other day. i saw a politico article about the abortion issue and republicans, the dog that caught the car. a former member of congress, republican member of congress, was quoted as saying that, you know, we had everything going for us. gasoline was at $5 a gallon. inflation was at a high. it was all going our way. then the abortion. what that tells you is that so many people sitting up there on that hill don't care about the american people, they care about the politics of it. that's frightening. >> barbara comstock, you're a republican. i don't imagine -- >> a former romney staffer, so i'm proud to see the elder statesman actually playing a grownup role, which is what he's talking about. we need more grownups here, which is what they did with the gun bill and a compromise. what we need to do with so many of these issues where people just want to have an issue to run on and the consultants want to spend the money on it but they don't want to have a solution. so i think what he's calling for is to have people who will be more oriented towards solutions instead of this performative --
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i think he's playing the elder statesman role, i do not think that we need or should or will have donald trump or joe biden on the ticket in 2024. i think it's time for a new generation of leadership, to have new voices -- >> sure, but realistically -- >> i think realistically, both of them are very unpopular. and this idea that we're -- i mean, nothing would depress america more, i think, than to have a rerun of the 2020 election. we have plenty of people out there in both parties that could come up with a lot more ideas than these two. their time is up. they need to move on. give them the ring and send them home and give us new leadership. >> michelle cottle, realistically, that's not likely to happen. we likely are going to face joe biden, potentially have -- just a straight-up rematch in 2024. trump is talking about running again already. the president's team seems to spend an awful lot of time, with all due respect, talking about how he is ruining again -- >> he doesn't want to spend his money. ron desantis is already coming
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up -- >> sitting on $111 million. >> jeb bush too, $100 million at this point too. >> everybody's trying to be so careful with trump, you don't want to get him upset. ron desantis is trying to be delicate as he's approaching 2024 because you don't want to draw fire. >> but he's not asking for an endorsement. >> right. >> he hates raising money -- >> trump donors -- >> kind of feeling their way toward desantis. trump's not going to cede the stage gracefully. somebody's going to have to find a way to make clear that his moment is over. but you can't expect him to come to this realization on his own, the man lacks that kind of self-awareness. >> also i think you're not going to have someone in a leader in either party who waits around and is holding someone else's coat. you're going to have to get in there and stand on your own two feet. people want a leader that isn't waiting for approval from donald trump or from some other person but will come in and say, i have a vision for this country, i need to get us out of this morass.
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these two are not the ones to do it. >> maybe in the republican primary. >> that's what i mean in the republican primary. i don't mean in the general election. look, this is a great conversation. stick around, we're going to continue with this conversation. we've got a lot more on the other side with these three when "cnn tonight" continues next.
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mitt romney told me a few months ago pretty bluntly that he was not planning on running for president in 2024. but liz cheney is playing it coy. >> i haven't made a decision about that yet, and i'm obviously very focused on my re-election. i'm very focused on the january 6th committee. i'm very focused on my obligations to do the job that i have now. and i'll make a decision about '24 down the road. >> all right. back with me now, doug jones, barbara comstock, and mitchell cottle. barbara, what do you make of that answer? >> i think liz's future is bright. i think she's going to be vindicated and i think if she makes that choice, i'd be happy to support her on that. i think the important thing now is donald trump is getting in the rearview mirror. you already have ron desantis clearly running for president, a
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lot of other people lining up. i think there's going to be enough republicans that just sort of click over a little bit, even if they don't go so far as to support an anti-trump person, but just someone who doesn't talk about trump or bend a knee for trump, i think there's going to be a wide variety of choices, and donald trump will not get the nomination because he lost the house, lost the senate, lost georgia. >> here's the thing. there are too many people in the republican primary, right? this is what happened last time. >> they'll split the trump vote. >> i don't buy that. trump has a chunk of the party, right? it's like 30%. >> and he's not in the rearview mirror in alabama or pennsylvania. >> everybody was just trump, trump, trump in alabama. look at what happened in pennsylvania. i don't think he's in the rearview mirror. >> he's not in the rearview mirror yet. that's wishful thinking at this point. the base is still enamored of him, and trumpism is still strong. so even if you have candidates who aren't trump, you'll have candidates who are running on
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trumpism as well. >> the republicans understand there's enough of them that will never vote for him, right? >> sure. >> if he only had 47%. let's take 5% off that. you're down to 42%. >> if he beats them one at a time in a republican primary -- >> then you pick a loser. he will lose again. >> if he is the republican nominee and say he runs again, who knows who he ends up running against, whether it's joe biden or someone else. doug jones, what does liz cheney do? she told me she'd be willing to do whatever it took to prevent donald trump from getting back into the oval office. there is a very serious risk if he is the republican nominee again that he actually wins despite all of the potential headwinds. what does or should a liz cheney do in that situation? should she run as an independent? >> i think she's got to win. it's going to tell a lot what happens in wyoming. >> i think they think they're
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going to lose. >> that may very well be. she would not go out as a loser. donald trump is a loser, and she could parlay that. i agree. i think she's got a future. i'm just not so sure that it's in 2022 or 2024. i think it's going to take -- frankly, i think it's going to take a lot longer for that maga faction -- >> but the other problem is trump would just be one term. so when you have a damaged joe biden, if he stays on the ticket, why not pick a republican who can be two terms instead of -- >> as you know, barbara, he's going to come in and lift that whole two-term limit. he's not worried about that. >> we're not talking about just donald trump. let me tell you, the maga faction of that party is bigger than donald trump right now. look what happened in pennsylvania. you look what happened around -- in other states. >> what if they lose the governorship in pennsylvania? that's another thing. when trump candidates start losing winnable races, that's also going to be a factor in
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what happens -- >> then what will have happened is that democrats had convinced people, independents and moderate republicans, that this democracy is more important than your party. >> and there's a lot of us who feel that way, which is why donald trump is a sure loser. >> are there enough -- >> he already lost. he's never won the majority. >> there are so many egos in the republican party. what happened in 2016 is the egos could not get out of the way to actually -- scott walker got up there and said, hey, guys, look what's happening. get out of the race and nobody did. >> nobody thought it was possible in 2016. the man was a joke. he's still kind of a joke. he's just a dangerous joke because he was president of the united states. i mean no one thought -- he didn't even think he was going to win in 2016, so everybody sat home and like, oh, i'm not going to get involved. now they know just how ugly and dangerous it can get. so i don't think you run into quite the same problem. >> i think the real risk here is that the people that we need to be voting are tuning out of our political process right now. they are the people who see
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what's gone on. >> nothing would turn them out more for -- donald trump got -- >> i agree. we are about out of time here, but this is going to be one of the key things, i think, going forward. thank you all very much for our conversation tonight. we'll be right back. that's going to do it for us
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that's going to do it for us tonight. thank you for being with us. "don lemon tonight" starts right now with laura coates filling in for don. >> hey, kasie. thank you so much. this is don lemon tonight. i'm in for the great don lemon. it's a night unfortunately when america is reeling, reeling as we have again and again and, sadly, again. we're facing yet again the unthinkable. this time, the mass shooting at the fourth of july parade in highland park, illinois. the death toll has now risen to seven. that's seven people doing just


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