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Death Toll Now At Nine From The Surfside Building Collapse; CNN Asks GOP Lawmakers About January 6th Conspiracies; Trump Returns To The Rally Stage In Ohio; Wall Street And Investors Await The June Jobs Report; CNN Films Premieres "The Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story." Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 27, 2021 - 17:00   ET



DR. ALA STANFORD, PEDIATRIC SURGEON: Everything we did was for them to make sure they can get the care they deserve.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Get Dr. Stanford's full story and nominate someone you know to be a CNN hero at

You are live in the "CNN Newsroom." I'm Jim Acosta in Washington joined by Wolf Blitzer in Surfside, Florida at the scene of that deadly building collapse. The death toll in Surfside is growing this hour. Overnight, four more bodies were found along with human remains, bringing the total killed to nine with more than 150 still unaccounted for.

The rescue and recovery process is tedious and slow going. Crews have been brought in from Israel and Mexico to help. And a trench has been dug through the rubble for better access. The mayor of Surfside today called what happened here a "third world phenomenon." And my colleague, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, is on this heartbreaking scene for us. Wolf, what are you seeing on your end?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Well, it is heartbreaking indeed, Jim. We have learned just a little while ago that family members -- family members of the victims were actually bused into a site for a private visit, many of them still searching for answers, not knowing if their loved ones are among those lost in the rubble. They're all praying and they're hoping.

Crews there aren't just searching for victims. They're also searching evidence, we're told. Florida's governor now says pieces of debris are being taken to a nearby warehouse so they can be forensically analyzed. CNN's Brian Todd is at the scene of the search and rescue efforts. CNN's Randi Kaye is outside a Hewish community center where a special prayer service is being held.

Brian, first to you. Let's get a better appreciation. I want our viewers to understand what's going on with the search and rescue process. I know it's very tedious and methodical. Help us better appreciate how they're trying to locate survivors.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, tedious and methodical describe it, dangerous also describes it, exhausting also describes that process. We've been getting some information throughout the day on kind of how this is unfolding at the rescue site. We're told by local officials that as many as 200 rescuers at any given moment are on the rubble, inside the rubble, digging, pulling stuff off, tunneling through.

There have been fires that they've had to deal with. One fire that was going on just burning for days that they couldn't even locate for at least a couple of days. We were told this morning that fire has been contained. It's not even clear if that fire is actually out yet. So that's another complication.

And again, that makes the situation all the more dangerous for these rescuers. They have to deal with a fire that they've had trouble locating, which is causing smoke and debris and haze and particles to float around, all of that very dangerous work.

The trench that we've been talking about, that's a key component, because it seems that that trench, Wolf, that has been dug over the last couple of days, which is massive now, that trench has yielded some discoveries. Alan Cominsky, the fire chief for Miami-Dade County talked about the trench. It's about 125 feet long, at least 40 feet deep, and several feet wide. He described that trench and kind of what it's yielded and what it's like to be around that trench. Take a listen.


ALAN COMONSKY, FIRE CHIEF, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: I mean, it's horrific, you know, it that can be a one word that I say on the news. Again, (inaudible) collapsed in one of the most difficult collapses to deal with, the operation of what we're seeing. It's just an extremely difficult situation.

The type of debris, unfortunately, that we're coming across, this is such an -- it's tough to describe. It's just, you know, we don't have the voids that we would be hoping for, things that we're looking for. You know, not that they're -- you know, we're still looking, you know. So, that's what I mean by horrific. It's just --it's a very difficult, difficult situation.


TODD: And that piece of information that they're not finding the voids they had hoped for, that is critical information. That's not good news. If they can't find voids, Wolf, they're going to have a tough time finding people alive.

BLITZER: They certainly will. All right, Brian, we'll get back you very shortly. I want to go over to Randi Kaye. She's over at the Jewish community center here. Randi, so, what are you seeing over there and what are you hearing?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a large prayer service under way, Wolf, here at the synagogue behind me, the Shul of Bal Harbour. The community certainly trying to come together. We spoke with the rabbi, Sholom Lipskar and he really wants this to be a service for the whole community, not just the Jewish people here, which is a very large community. But he wants it to be open to all faiths, it's really to honor victims in this case, their families, so they can come together and bring the whole community together.

The rabbi did go to the rubble site this morning, to that pile. He said it was quite emotional. He's also helping get some of those families there.


He thinks it's very important for them to be there. And he's also in touch with Israel's national rescue unit, which as you know, arrived today. They've brought with them 10 people. And earlier today, we spoke with the minister for Diaspora for the state of Israel, Dr. Nachman Shai, who is heading up that unit. He's actually also here at this prayer service.

And he says that this is really a mission of solidarity because the United States has helped Israel so many times. They would like to return that favor. His team has also been meeting with the families in addition to digging on that site. And I asked him is there hope? Does your team have hope? And this is what he told me.


NACHMAN SHAI, ISRAEL'S MINISTER OF DIASPORA AFFAIRS: No words, you know. I feel so sorry to see that, to me it looks all dark. But I'm not an expert. So I was looking at my friends, my colleagues who came from Israel, and I look at them and said, is there a chance? And they said, Nachman, it always look the same. So, we are experts. We are telling you, let us try and do our best. And we are always trying to be hopeful, you know. We never lose hope. Never.


KAYE: And of course, Wolf, I asked him where does this hope come from? And he said, you know what, 11 years ago they found someone buried in the rubble after 108 hours. So they will never give up hope, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Randi, we're not giving up hope either. Randi Kaye, Brian Todd, guys, thank you very much. Joining us now, the mayor of Surfside, Florida, Charles Burkett. Mayor, thank you so much for joining us. I know you got a lot going on. I understand there's going to be a briefing for the news media coming up fairly soon?

MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: Yes, we've been doing about two a day for the families. We had one this morning that was pretty emotional, but we had -- I wouldn't say good news for them, but we had supportive news for them and that the Israeli search and rescue team had arrived and I think that made a lot of those folks in that room feel a lot better.

We also have the Mexican team arriving I think its tomorrow. So, we have a full complement of very experienced search and rescue people. We have waves of them going over that rubble pile right now. BLITZER: So, it's still nine confirmed dead, right?

BURKETT: I'm not really focusing on that. What I'm focusing on is the fact that we want to keep maximum pressure, maximum staffing, maximum rescue people on that mound looking for people to pull them out alive.

BLITZER: Do you still have hope?

BURKETT: I expect miracles. I'm expecting many miracles.

BLITZER: Because, you know --

BURKETT: As a matter of fact, I want to just remind you that I had sent our county mayor an article from the BBC yesterday, an article that talked about people trapped under rubble, an article that talked about people who have survived up to 17 days under rubble. So given that, we're very early in this process. And we're just -- you know, we need to focus on supporting the families and providing 100 percent attention to the rescue effort.

BLITZER: And what are the rescuers, the search and rescue team members, who are heroes in my perspective, they're risking their own lives to go into that rubble --

BURKETT: I see them every morning and every afternoon.

BLITZER: Yes. What are they telling you about their chances that more will be found alive?

BURKETT: I think we all believe and expect miracles. We all believe and expect miracles just like the Israeli representative said a few minutes ago. We do expect that miracle to happen. And many of them.

BLITZER: And it's going to continue, the search and rescue operation?

BURKETT: There's nothing else. You know, like I said --

BLITZER: Is there anything else you need?

BURKETT: Good point. We've got every resource that we could ever want. We've got the White House, we've got the state government, we've got the governors, our two senators. We've got our mayor. We've got Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We got everything we need and more. We just need some luck, and we had it. You know, we were having the rains, we were having the fire. Those have both subsided and now it's 100 percent focused on getting those people out of there.

BLITZER: I know you've been speaking with some of the family members who are so worried about their missing relatives, their moms and dads, brothers and sisters.


BLITZER: How are those sessions going? What are these folks saying to you? Because we've heard some of them are obviously and understandably frustrated. They want answers. BURKETT: They're saying do more, please do more, please do more.

Please put more people there. And, you know, the answer is, we're doing exactly that. We have armies ready to go, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's not going to stop until we pull everybody out. That's just the way it's going to be.

BLITZER: And when we spoke yesterday, you said you would support family members, if they want --

BURKETT: Exactly.

BLITZER: -- to go actually and see the site of that destruction, see the site of the rubble. And today that happened.

BURKETT: And I was -- and I was very pleased that our mayor made that happen.

BLITZER: The mayor of Miami-Dade County?

BURKETT: The mayor of Miami-Dade, Mayor Cava. And you know, to her great credit, those families needed that. They needed to be there. They needed to be close and they needed to say the prayers that they said.

BLITZER: And have you actually spoken to some of them since they visited the site?

BURKETT: I haven't. I'm going back right now.

BLITZER: Oh, you are after this news conference.

BURKETT: I have a car waiting to take me up there right now.

BLITZER: And will you come back and tell us how they're doing?

BURKETT: If you like. If you like.

BLITZER: We'd be grateful, of course.



BLITZER: I know you got a lot going on.

BURKETT: It's busy.

BLITZER: You got a beautiful community here, unfortunately, this has been a disaster.

BURKETT: It has.

BLITZER: We're so worried about the other buildings along the coast.

BURKETT: That's a whole other subject that we probably need to get into at another point. BLITZER: We will.


BLITZER: Mayor, good luck and so we're standing by. The news conference coming up later this hour around 5:30 p.m.

BURKETT: If I get back, I will talk to you.

BLITZER: I appreciate it.

BURKETT: My pleasure.

BLITZER: Good luck.

BURKETT: Bye-bye.

BLITZER: All right. So, we're going to continue our special coverage here. We'll stand by for the live news conference as well. In the meantime, Jim, what can I say, you know Miami, you know this whole area well.


BLITZER: It is so, so heartbreaking to hear these stories, to meet with the families and to wonder and pray to God that some of their relatives will still be alive.

ACOSTA: Absolutely, Wolf. And I know you know the area also well. You have connections down there. It must be just so difficult being on the scene of this. But to see the mayor there talking to you just a few moments ago and seeing just all of the resources being brought to bear to try to, you know, get any sign of a survivor in all of that wreckage, you know, our hats are off to all of them.

And we hope that there is some kind of miracle in that rubble that is found very soon. Wolf Blitzer, thank you so much. We'll get back to you very shortly coming up. In the meantime, I went down to Capitol Hill in search of answers to see if Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks can back up their false conspiracy theories about January 6. Guess what, they can't.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Oh, you guys will lie through your teeth any chance you get.

ACOSTA: Well, give me the chance to come on, if you don't mind.




ACOSTA: Every week I try to ask the Trump Republicans to come on my show. Most decline. So this week I went up to them up on Capitol Hill. How did it go? Well, see for yourself.


ACOSTA: Can you tell us if you regret what you said on January 6th?

BROOKS: I do not trust CNN to be truthful or honest so I do no interviews with CNN.

ACOSTA: Well, I'm just asking you questions. I'm asking you fair questions here, sir. Why can't you answer the question?

BROOKS: I do not trust you all to be truthful or honest with anything CNN does.

ACOSTA: It's on video, if you can just talk to us.

BROOKS: See you.


ACOSTA: And that was it. Congressman Mo Brooks, he pedaled away. One Republican though did agree to speak with me, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. For weeks she has spread the baseless conspiracy theory that the FBI was somehow involved in the Capitol insurrection. I pressed her for evidence repeatedly and unsurprisingly, she just didn't have any.


ACOSTA: When you look at the video, don't you mainly see Trump supporters --


ACOSTA: -- involved in the rioting?

GREENE: There's all kinds of people involved in the rioting. There's people in black clothes. There's people in red hats. There's people in Trump clothes.

ACOSTA: There are Oath Keepers. There are people from the Proud Boys.

GREENE: That's what we've read and seen, yes, and then there's never --

ACOSTA: But they've been arrested. They've been arrested. They've been brought to the court.

GREENE: Right. They're being held, some of them, in solitary confinement, almost 24 hours a day in the jails here.

ACOSTA: Right. But I'm wondering, so if they're being held in jail, if they're in solitary confinement like you said, where does this stuff come from about the FBI and Antifa? Where are you getting that from if I may be curious about that? GREENE: Well, this is a report sort of being coming out if there's,

you know, information that there may have been FBI operatives. We don't know what that means, right? Is that informants? Is that -- where does that go?

ACOSTA: Where is the proof that the FBI was involved? Where is the proof that Antifa was involved? Don't you owe it to people to produce that proof, that evidence?

GREENE: Well, I -- I don't owe it. I didn't cause the riot so, I don't certainly don't owe it.

ACOSTA: If the FBI tells you, congresswoman, we didn't have any involvement in that, would you believe them?

GREENE: I think it would be -- well, I'm sure, yes, of course, if they say they weren't and show proof they weren't. And of course I would.


ACOSTA: So you see, she didn't have any evidence that the FBI was somehow involved. But she said the FBI had to prove that they weren't involved. Just wanted to make sure you were following that. I also asked the congresswoman about how Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement that she will move forward on a select committee to investigate the insurrection. Let's watch.


ACOSTA: Would you like to serve on the committee? Would you like to be on the committee?

GREENE: Sure, she should put me on the committee. That would be great, you know?

ACOSTA: And you would show up and ask questions?

GREENE: Absolutely. Of course I would. I've worked hard all my life and I would work hard there as well.


ACOSTA: CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover and senior political analyst John Avlon, they join me now. Guys, thanks so much for being with us. John, what's your reaction to Marjorie Taylor Greene saying she would like to be on this select committee investigating January 6th?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POILITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's the only committee she should be on. So, but for obvious reasons, she's not going to be, because she's been part of the problem, not remotely part of the solution. There should be Republicans on this committee, but they should be taken from the 35 Republicans who voted to move the bipartisan committee forward.

People who have had the courage to call out the big lie and think bigger than partisanship when it comes to an attack on our Capitol. If you've been party to conspiracy theories, lies, and denialism like Marjorie Taylor Greene has, you got no credibility. So you reap what you sow. No.

ACOSTA: And Margaret, what do you think what John is saying there? Do you think that some of those Republicans who voted for a commission will actually be selected to be placed on that committee or will the Republicans be under pressure from the Trumpists and what not to not let that happen?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Some Republicans will be under pressure from the Trumpists, Jim. But, I mean, so was John Katko when he put 35 Republicans in the House of Representatives together, frankly a number that surprised many of us who were hopeful and quite gratified that that many Republicans decided that this was imperative for the future of democracy and decided to stand up to the forces of Trump within the party. I hope Speaker Pelosi puts Republicans on that committee. John Katko, Liz Cheney, any of those who voted.

AVLON: Adam Kinzinger.

HOOVER: Adam Kinzinger. They're exactly the kind of Republicans who I think are charting what can only be the only course forward for the future of the Republican Party.


ACOSTA: And John, let's switch gears. Former Attorney General Bill Barr is quoted in a new book excerpt saying he suspected President Trump's claims of widespread election fraud were "all bullshit." Those were his words. But that he launched an unofficial inquiries into some of them to appease Trump.

This is not the first time that we've seen Bill Barr push back on these claims. But what do we make of this attempt of Bill Barr here? Is this an image rehab tour? What do you think?

AVLON: In part, yes. It's the beginning of a rehab tour. But I think the larger cautionary tale is that Bill Barr, from the time he lobbied for the job, in effect, through most of his time in the Justice Department, did everything he could to placate, to appease Donald Trump's worst instincts.

And he finally hit something that was too far, a request to ennoble an attempt to overturn an election. That's a pretty low bar to show that you've got courage and cajones and constitutional fidelity. But to his credit, he refused to play ball on that.

We could have used that tough talk and that clear language a little bit earlier, but I'll take it. And so for all the Trumpers out there, you know, the question is, who are you going to believe? You know, the Michigan GOP, Bill Barr, the intelligence community, or only Donald Trump, a person who has lied over 35,000 times in office? And if you do believe only Donald Trump, what does that say about you?

ACOSTA: Yes, and Margaret, we've seen others, from Sean Spicer all the way to Jared and Ivanka try to distance themselves from some of Trump's most heinous behavior. Do you think this is going to work?

HOOVER: I mean, look, everybody's actions, everybody's words, they speak for themselves. People will be judged at the end of their lives, in the context of their legacy and their contribution to history within the full context of their actions.

Sometimes it takes a while for history to work itself out and for legacies to be straightened out, and that's Alexander Hamilton or Harry Truman or frankly, Herbert Hoover. We're still working on that one, by the way.

But I think the people who defended Trump, even after January 6, continued to make excuses and defend and support and associate themselves with him, will never escape that dark mark in our history and nor should they.

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, it is part of all of their legacies. And Republican Senator Mitt Romney made this analogy when he was asked about the former president's chronic push of the big lie. Let's listen.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): But I also think, frankly, Jake, that here in the U.S. there's a growing recognition that this is a bit like WWF, that it's entertaining, but it's not real. And I know people want to say, yes, they believe in the big lie in some cases, but I think people recognize that it's a lot of show and bombast, but it's going nowhere. The election is over. It was fair.


ACOSTA: John, why don't more Republicans sound like Mitt Romney?

AVLON: Well, because Mitt Romney is a person of deep faith who has a life beyond politics, who has shown a willingness not to be cowed by the short term political pressures or fear-driven sort of cohorts that follow Donald Trump. He's impervious to that kind of political pressure where so many other Republicans are willing to fold in the face of partisan pressure and fear.

That said, you know, I think there's something important about what he's saying. The WWF metaphor folks have made before, this is all performance, its bombast. And Implicit in that is that what Romney hears from a lot of his colleagues in the Senate and the House, is that they know this is a lie, but they know that the people eat it up.

And so if you're someone at home who happens to believe the big lie still, understand that your representatives think you're a fool.

ACOSTA: Right.

AVLON: They think you're easily fooled. They think you're a dupe. And that's the disgrace beneath this assault on democracy. We need more folks to call it out clearly so they're alone in an island. But the idea that, oh, they're taking it seriously, not literally, and this is all performative, this is a game, no. It's our democracy. If you can't take that seriously, there are plenty other places for you.

ACOSTA: And Margaret, a final thought from you.

HOOVER: Look, Jim, that analogy would have been fine but for January 6. After January 6, you just can't get away with it because it's not "going nowhere," right? It went to a violent insurrection at the heart of our democracy in the capitol building of the United States of America.

This man ignited a violent insurrection on the country and risks doing it again. He's aggravating those same forces right now. He did it last night in Ohio, and we watched him on television, all right? This is not necessarily going nowhere. And after 1/6, this has to be taken absolutely deadly seriously. This is not hearsay.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And I will tell you, being at the White House all those years, I mean, I remember all of those times when people would say, oh, it's just an act, don't worry, you know, there's nothing serious behind it.


And of course, it all led up to what we saw on January 6. And this notion that if we just wait it out, it's going to go away. I mean, I think that history has shown us that it's just not the case and we need truth tellers like yourselves. Margaret Hoover, John Avlon, the hoovalon segment. As always, great stuff. Thanks so much. Have a great rest of the weekend.

HOOVER: Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: Appreciate it. Coming up, we are standing by for a press conference from Surfside, Florida. Officials set to give an update on the search and rescue efforts, the recovery efforts after announcing earlier today that four more bodies had been pulled from the rubble. We'll keep you posted on all those developments, coming up.



BILTZER: We have the latest information now on the condominium building collapse here in Surfside, Florida. We are now learning that the city of Miami has sent a letter to buildings that are over six stories tall and more than 40 years old, urging them all to get an inspection immediately from a qualified structural engineer and then report back to the city within 45 days.

Meanwhile, crews going through the rubble recovered four bodies overnight, and more human remains, bringing the confirmed death toll now to nine, with more than 150 people still unaccounted for. Earlier today, families of the victims we allowed to go visit the collapsed site. CNN's Ryan Young is over at what's called the reunification center, not very far away from here. Ryan, so tell us about that visit. RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, we think it still continues

at this time. We've seen three different sets of buses go over to that scene. And we -- every time they come back, we see family members either holding hands or hugging each other. People are very upset, but they really wanted to get the chance to go to that site.

We'll show you some of this video of those people getting off the bus, some of them embracing, some of them obviously distraught. We have talked of so many people over the last few days who just physically wanted to get to the site because, A, they wanted to help, but B, they wanted to see it.

And as we've been talking about back and forth, Wolf, seeing that site itself and seeing how massive it is, you understand the undertaking that law enforcement and first responders are having to go through, not only to secure the site but try to move some of that rubble.

Now, people have been watching nonstop as some of the aerials have shown large pieces of debris being moved. But at this point, really the focus here is family members really feeling somewhat despondent at what they've learned today, because they've heard some of the terrible news about other ones being lost.

But there is a sign of hope, because there are new teams that have joined this effort and there are people here who have still not given up their faith that their loved ones will be found even days later. They are holding tight to that.

But today from here, we have seen people in tears based upon some of the information they're learning. We think there will be some new briefings soon with the families and then of course the one that's coming up soon, Wolf.

BILTZER: Yes, of course, we'll have live coverage here on CNN of that as well. Ryan, thank you very much. I'm joined now by Kobi Karp, a noted architect and Florida resident who has been doing a lot of research on what happened here. You know this area well, Kobi.

First of all, I know you're also speaking to some of your colleagues who also fully appreciate potentially what happened. What's the latest information that you're coming up with?

KOBI KARP, ARCHITECT: What I'm seeing is, number one, thank you so much for having me here, it means so much. This is a close building for our friends and our family. And by speaking to the people in the community, specifically other engineers and architects, everybody is looking at this as a one-off, unique situation.

And even though this building is rather young, I mean, I was 18 years old when this building was being designed and built, we see it as a unique opportunity to create a better atmosphere and a better inspection so that people who sleep and live in the rest of the buildings feel safer and more calm at night, that their structures are safe and sound.

BILTZER: What do you think of this requirement now that the city of Miami is asking all buildings above like six, seven stories, to go ahead and have a full inspection and report back to the city within 45 days?

KARO: I think that's a phenomenal step in the right direction. I think those kinds of steps is what gives the people, the individual, a peace of mind, that their structure is safe for them to live in and to continue to sleep in. I think that's very important this time.

BILTZER: So many of the residents here said over recent years in this building that went down, they did hear all sorts of cracking and weird noises and floodings, stuff like that. Could that have played a role?

KARP: It could have. And these structures, as they get older, obviously have looser connections. And just like us, as we get older, we have our weaknesses. It's just that how do these weaknesses continue to be maintained? And we have to maintain and we have to waterproof and we have to keep these structures very strong.

Sometimes, as we see, people don't pay attention, they don't create enough value to that risk and that risk when it comes is sudden. Nobody was working on this structure at 2:00 in the morning. Nobody was cutting anything. Nobody was working on the roof. Whatever happened, happened 24 hours before or 24 months before. It happened over a certain period of time. And it just broke apart in the middle of the night.

BILTZER: Because we've all seen the video, it's only about 11 seconds. One part of the building goes down, then the other part of the building totally collapses. I know you've looked closely at that video as well. Do you get any clues from looking at the video of what might have happened?


KARP: The video was taken from the east/southeast corner, looking to the northwest. And what you see really, what's interesting, is that the western side of the building is still standing. You see today, it's still up. But that northeast --

BILTZER: You can see it right there. You can see what's going down.

KARP: Right. So, the northeast piece is the one that fell down and it looks like it fell at the core. And then the facade facing the ocean, facing east, is the last one standing and then it falls upon itself. And you can see how the gentle breeze from the ocean is blowing the dust away to the west.

I'm not an engineer, I'm just an architect, but I think that you can look at it and start to see the uniqueness of this, how it falls apart, and not the whole building fell apart, thank God, and just this parcel that is connected at the main spine because here in Florida, we have the wind loads of the hurricanes. So our staircases and our elevators are our cores, that's where the reinforced concrete sheer walls are.

BILTZER: All right, Kobi, thank you very much. We always appreciate your expertise.

KARP: Thank you for having me.

BILTZER: Kobi Karp, a noted architect here. Once again, we're standing by for a press conference from Florida officials, the mayor, the governor. We're going to bring that to you as soon as it happens. In the meantime, let's go back to Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, thanks, Wolf. In the meantime, former President Trump is back and so are his old lies. Our Donie O'Sullivan talked to some of the president's -- former president's supporters. Those interviews, still to come.



UNKNOWN: My name is go (BLEEP) yourself.

O'SULLIVAN: Right. And are you from Ohio?





ACOSTA: Donald Trump returning to campaign mode with a vengeance, repeating the same tired old lies and railing against anybody that he thinks is his enemy. The former president was in Ohio yesterday for his first rally since leaving office.

He still won't admit he lost the 2020 election and he still has plenty of support among his followers. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan joins me now from Cleveland. Donie, it sounds like you got an earful out there in Ohio. You spoke to some Trump supporters. What did they tell you? The PG version, that is.

O'SULLIVAN: That's right, Jim. You know -- yes, that's right. Some folks were more polite than others to us yesterday here in Ohio. But look, the big lie lives on. And most importantly, lies about the insurrection are really continuing to circulate and also grow among many Trump supporters. Have a listen.


O'SULLIVAN: And your shirt here says Trump won.

UNKNOWN: Yes, he did.

O'SULLIVAN: Is this about 2016?

UNKNOWN: It's about all of them, and 2020, and the next one.

O'SULLIVAN: But he lost in 2020, right?


O'SULLIVAN: Do you think what happened on the 6th of January was a sort of stain on his presidency?

UNKNOWN: This was all staged, I truly believe that.

O'SULLIVAN: Who do you think did the insurrection then?

UNKNOWN: I think a lot of it comes back with the Democrats, yes.

O'SULLIVAN: So like all the people indicted and jailed now are like all big Trump supporters.

UNKNOWN: Okay. We'll see. Things will come out.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think the insurrection on January 6 was a stain on his presidency?

UNKNOWN: No, I do not. I think the FBI, the corrupt FBI was involved in it.


UNKNOWN: I do. Well, there is some information coming out that there's a possibility.


O'SULLIVAN: So Jim, for folks keeping track there, first they blamed Antifa for the insurrection, then Black Lives Matter, and now apparently it's the fault of the FBI. Of course, that's a conspiracy theory being pushed by the likes of Tucker Carlson on Fox News and also I know you asked Marjorie Taylor Greene about her involvement in pushing that this week, Jim.

ACOSTA: That's right, Donie, and Marjorie Taylor Greene did not have any answers. We pressed her repeatedly for evidence of this and she didn't have any proof to offer us. Let me ask you about the rally last night. You talked to so many of these Trump supporters all the time, what was your sense of the rally?

Does Trump still command a large base of supporters who will show up in droves to see him? I was seeing some reports that people were starting to leave midway to halfway through the rally. What was your assessment of how things went down last night?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, certainly in the lead up to the rally and folks getting there, you know, there was a lot of excitement, but it was a very long day waiting around for a lot of these supporters, folks who showed up eight, nine, 10 hours in advance, waiting in the sun.

As we sometimes see at Trump rallies, you know, Trump tends to go on and on and folks start to dip out as the rally goes on, as it goes into its second hour as such. But look, one thing that was universal and we spoke to more than a dozen people yesterday. Everyone we spoke to was convinced the election was stolen. Everyone we spoke to was convinced that it wasn't really Trump supporters who were actually responsible for the insurrection.

And some, most worryingly I think of all, Jim, and I think this is now causing some concern in Washington, D.C., is that Trump, he didn't do it too hard last on stage but he has been hinting on right wing media and elsewhere that he might be reinstated, which of course is false, Jim.

ACOSTA: Yes, Donie, his supporters are just being misled in such a dangerous and despicable way. You don't want to give too much airtime to it, but I think it's a positive thing to talk about these lies and for you to go out there and talk to folks and reveal what they're hearing. So Donie O'Sullivan, great work as always. Thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

On Wall Street, investors are hoping the June jobs report will show more progress after losses during the pandemic. Here's CNN Christine Romans with your "Before the bell Report."

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. Hiring is picking up but the labor market still has a long way to go. On Friday, the government releases the June jobs report. Economist predicted another 600,000 jobs were added back. The unemployment rate likely ticked down to 5.7 percent. Solid numbers, but they still mean the U.S. economy is down 7 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.


Fear of contracting the virus, a lack of childcare, and breathing space from those enhanced jobless benefits, they might be keeping workers on the sidelines. Fed chief Jerome Powell is optimistic those issues will fade soon.


JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: Job gains should pick up in coming months as vaccinations rise, easing some of the pandemic- related factors currently weighing them down.


ROMANS: Investors are also watching for wage growth. If employers are paying a lot more to attract workers, that could signal inflation and potentially spook markets. For now, investors seem to think the Fed is right, that any inflation is just temporary. Last week, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs. In New York, I'm Christine Romans.



ACOSTA: Romance novelist Jackie Collins is one of the most successful authors of all time, but her best story may be the one she never got a chance to tell, her own. Now, the new CNN film, "Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story" explores the personal life of the 1980's icon who promoted her own particular brand of feminism while building a Hollywood and literary empire. Here's a preview.


UNKNOWN: It took me forever, but I finished it. And then I looked along my bookcase and saw a publisher that I had a lot of their books and I thought, well, if I like what they publish, maybe they'll like what I write.

In those days, you actually have to send a big thick manuscript off. And I think it got picked up by the first publisher that it got sent to.

UNKNOWN: 400 -- 400 pounds she got for that first book. How did I remember that? Anyway --

UNKNOWN: What was that book called?

UNKNOWN: I think, was it "The World is Full of Married Men"?

UNKNOWN: Chapter one, Claudia was in bed. She was a very beautiful girl and she knew it. And David knew it. So everyone was happy.


ACOSTA: With me now is Jackie Collins' daughter, Tracy Lerman. Tracy, thanks so much for being with us. Your mother, Jackie Collins, was a superstar, no question about it. She was glamorous, sophisticated, influential. You must get asked all the time, but what was it like having the Jackie Collins as a mom?

TRACY LERMAN, DAUGHTER OF JACKIE COLLINS: Well, you know what, the three of us, both my sisters and I get asked that all the time, and it was -- she was extraordinary, actually. She was many, many things. She was certainly different, that's for sure. You know, being walking (ph) at school to pick us up in a 1965 Mustang and a long fur coat and, you know, everybody would look at us and think, my goodness, you know, who is that?

Is that your sister picking you up? You know, there was the whole sort of big sister thing. But yes, she was two very different people and you know, we grew up with one side of Jackie Collins and that was mom who went (inaudible) at night, big hair, the whole thing.

And the other was a very down to earth mother who was very much, you know, available for us and actually, I think that's why we wanted to make this film and Laura did an amazing job. He was very down to earth.

ACOSTA: And your mother considered herself a feminist, but her critics often dismissed her and her books. What was that like dealing with that? And what pearls of wisdom did your mother share with you to deal with the criticism that's going to come your way in life? LERMAN: I think, I mean, she was always critiqued by, you know,

particularly men who thought they were on a much higher moral ground than she was. And I think, you know, what I learned from her and certainly, you know, took was her enormous -- she had a great passion for what she did and she really respected her readers.

You know, she had 500 million people read her books and that's no mean feat to do that. And she never ever let them down. They were sort of, you know, those were her fans and she had great respect for them and she wanted to know who they were. She, I guess, learned that in spades, I would say.

ACOSTA: Yes. She was like a character in one of her books. What do you want audiences and all of her fans out there, especially young women who may be learning about Jackie Collins for the first time? What do you want them to take away from this film, which looks amazing by the way?

LERMAN: Oh good. I'm so glad you think so. I would like people to come away and see that actually, you know, how hard it to, you know, as a woman to, you know, hone your craft in the way that she did and to not be recognized for the amount of energy and tenacity that she put into her books, you know, 35 books, and people still didn't, you know, took her too seriously. She didn't take herself too seriously, but she knew a world of people perhaps didn't know. And she wanted to write about it and entertain people and she did that fantastically, I would say.

ACOSTA: Well, it looks wonderful. And Tracy Lerman, thanks so much for joining us and sharing all those memories with us. And also, it looks like a great trip back to the '80s as well. Be sure to tune in the all new CNN film "Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story" premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.


That's the news. Reporting from Washington, I'm Jim Acosta. Pamela brown takes over the "CNN Newsroom" live after a quick break. Good night, everybody.