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Biden Calls Threat Most Dangerous Since Civil War; New Books Detail Trump's Final Days in Office; Britney Spears Court Hearing Set for Wednesday; Extreme Heat and Drought Fuel Fires in U.S. and Canada; Boeing Down After Cutting Dreamliner Delivery Targets; Federer to Skip Olympics, Ohtani Gets All-Star Game Win. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 14, 2021 - 04:30   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: President Joe Biden is defending the voting rights of all Americans in the face of restrictive new laws in more than a dozen states. He says this ongoing assault on voting rights is the most dangerous threat to American democracy since the U.S. civil war. His remarks came during a speech in Philadelphia the birthplace of American democracy. The president also slammed Donald Trump's big lie claim that the 2020 election was stolen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The big lie is just that, a big lie. 2020 election, it's not hyperbole to suggest the most examined and fullest expression of the will of the people in the history of this nation. This should be celebrated. The example of America at its best. But instead we continue to see an example of human nature at its worst, something darker and more sinister.

In America if you lose, you accept the results. You follow the Constitution. You try again. You don't call facts fake and then try to bring down the American experiment just because you are unhappy. That's not statesmanship. That's not statesmanship. That's selfishness. That's not democracy ...


CHURCH: And while President Biden defends voting rights, the Department of Justice has released a new video showing January 6 rioters trying to disrupt the certification of his election victory. The footage shows Trump supporters pushing their way through the U.S. Capitol building carrying flags and chanting treason.

And this is part of a 3 minute video clip being used in the DOJ's case against 16 members of the Oath Keepers, a right wing extremist group. They face charges for their alleged roles in the insurrection and two members have already pleaded guilty. The footage was released after CNN and other news outlets sued for access.

Well we are learning more about Donald Trump's final days in office including his response to the insurrection. Three new books reveal disturbing details about the former president's state of mind following his election loss. CNN's Brian Todd breaks down the new revelations about Trump and his administration.




BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Chilling new accounts of a president, who in his final days in office, caused concern among his top aides that he was unhinged, obsessive and dangerous. Three new books paint a portrait of Donald Trump desperate to cling to the presidency.

In his book out on Tuesday titled, "Frankly, We Did Win This Election, the Inside Story of How Trump Lost," Wall Street Journal Correspondent Michael Bender, chronicles a sobering moment in the aftermath of Trump defeat in last year's election.

Quote: The crazies have taken over. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned a colleague. He conveyed concern to others that Mr. Trump might be more willing to engage in an international conflict to strengthen his political argument for remaining in office.

MICHAEL BENDER, WALL STREET JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo becomes very concerned about the national security of the country, the domestic unrest and what that could mean internationally. Privately, he sets up a call with a -- a daily call with the chief of staff and Mark Milley, the nation's top general, in order to try to keep temperatures down. Publicly, what does he say? He says that there is going to be a smooth transition to a second Trump term.

TODD (voice-over): CNN reached out to a representative of Pompeo's for a response. He did not comment for the record.

Another new book, "I Alone Can Fix It, Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year," by "Washington Post" Reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker depicts Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on election night pushing Trump to forget that Fox News had called Arizona for Joe Biden.

Quote: Just go declare victory right now, Giuliani told Trump. You've got to go declare victory now. Giuliani's interjection of his just say-you-won strategy infuriated Trump's campaign advisers.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN COMMENTATOR, AUTHOR "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": You know, these two old guys press together, trying to determine what's really going on in the world, and they don't get it. They don't get what's unfolding around them.

TODD (voice-over): Rudy Giuliani did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

Another book by controversial Journalist Michael Wolff portrays a president isolated right after the election. Quote: by the Friday after Election Day, there was not a single White

House aide or Trump campaign official or Trump pollster who believed that the vote count could be reasonably or effectively challenged.

MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, "LANDSLIDE: THE FINAL DAYS OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY": He is a man alone. His lawyers are saying we're not going to -- we're not going to do this. We're not going to fight these cases.

TODD (voice-over): And Wolff writes that as the attack on the Capitol raged on January 6th, quote: The president seemed just not be grasping the facts as they were coming through. These people were protesting the election, he was still repeating as late as 2:30. The protesters wanted Pence to do the right thing. These were good protesters, his protesters.

TODD: The former president responded generally to all three of these new books. Releasing a statement in recent days, saying of the authors, quote: They write whatever they want to write anyway without sources, fact checking or asking whether or not an event is true or false. Frankly, so many stories are made up or pure fiction.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: And one of the authors mentioned in that report spoke earlier with our Anderson Cooper. Michael Wolff has spent time at Mar-a-Lago and in his book he describes the intricacies of the country club and how Donald Trump spends his days.


MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, "LANDSLIDE: THE FINAL DAYS OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY": You go into Mar-a-Lago and there's this big room with sort of hunting lodge, or, you know, Renaissance palazzo. There is a kind of a lot of design themes in violent conflict here. And Trump sits in the middle and at these series of couches, and this is where all day long, Republicans from across the country come to kiss the ring.

Now, if you are a Mar-a-Lago member, you can see this, you can sit in, you can hear this.


WOLFF: It is all on show.

COOPER: That is really --

WOLFF: The weirdest thing in the whole world.

COOPER: Do you think he will run again or just talk about it and hang over everyone's head and then make a dramatic decision one way or another? WOLFF: Yes, I think that it is the thing that you cannot predict what

Trump is going to do because there is no plan, there is no strategy. It will just happen in the moment. Is it possible that at some big rally he thinks that he will get a big response by saying that he will run for president again and that is the decision? Yes, quite perfectly possible.


CHURCH: And that was Michael Wolff author of "landslide, The Final Days of The Trump Presidency."

Britney Spears is expected to phone in for a court hearing later today as she fights to regain legal control of her finances. The pop star is requesting new counsel for her conservatorship case. CNN's Chloe Melas has more on where the legal battle stands right now.



CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: It's been three weeks since Britney Spears' bombshell testimony in which she said that she was forced to perform, take lithium and remain on birth control against her will. Now she faces Judge Brenda Penny at the Los Angeles County superior court once again to ask to retain an attorney of her choice.

For the last nearly 13 years Samuel D. Ingham has been her court appointed attorney. But he just recently put in his resignation. A source close to the case tells CNN that former federal prosecutor, Matthew Rosengart has been in talks with the singer to represent her. But when reached by CNN, Rosengart had no comment. There are some other things on the table. Including the resignation of Bessemer Trust, which has been the co-conservator of Britney Spears' estimated $60 million dollar estate.

There's been other resignations including her longtime manager Larry Rudolph after over 20 years. Resigning just recently. But all we can do is sit back and wait to see. What is Brittney going to say next?


CHURCH: CNN's Chloe Melas with that report.

Well extreme heat and a severe drought are fueling devastating wildfires in the U.S. and Canada. Is any relief in sight? The latest conditions from our meteorologist, that's ahead.

Plus Boeing stock takes a nosedive after the company reveals production problems with some of its new jets. The issue that's keeping the planes grounded. That's coming up.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well throughout the western U.S. and Canada, officials are preparing for this wildfire season to be one of the worst on record. Both countries report scores of large fires burning right now, many of them out of control.


In the U.S., the flames have burned an area nearly five times the size of New York City. And Oregon and Washington are moving to their highest fire readiness level today. To the south, California is especially hard hit, fires in the state have already burned more than double the amount of land scorched in the same period last year.

CNN's Stephanie Elam reports severe drought and human induced climate change is making the fire season even longer.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All of this comes back to the fact that we're dealing with record heat, we're seeing super high temperatures really early in the year in year this year. They were starting in the springtime. And that led to some melt off of the snowpack. And as you know, the snowpack is where we derive our water.

The other issue is that because the ground was so parched, a lot of that water went back into the earth and then didn't make it down and then with the high temperatures we're seeing evaporation being a huge part of the problem for our reservoirs in the state. So that is affecting it. And when you get really dry earth, that leads to more of these high temperatures which then leads to more drought. All of that coming together and everyone I've spoken to making it very clear that what is at play here is climate change.


CHURCH: Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin joins us now. And of course, Tyler, the big question has to be, is there any relief in sight? What are you saying?

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm not seeing any relief in sight anytime soon, Rosemary. At the moment we have 67 large wildfires scorching the west right now. And the west is under a severe drought. Much of the west is under an exceptional drought. In fact 94 percent of the west is under some sort of drought. You combine that with as Stephanie mentioned, the record heat that we've been dealing with for weeks now. Where we had hundreds of all-time record temperatures set.

Well, you combine those two together and you're going to get some fires. I mean, just the ingredients for fire alone are in place. Fuel, heat, and then you get a little wind coming in, allowing to breathe. So, yes, we are definitely seeing a ripe atmosphere at the moment, a ripe environment for wildfires. And today we have a red flag warning up for the areas shaded in pink. That goes from Northern California all the way through the spine of Oregon on into Washington and portions of Idaho as well.

I don't see any rain for these areas over the next five days. And the climate prediction center isn't forecasting any rain for many of these areas on into next week. Below average rainfall chances for them. Down south, a little bit of a different story actually in the four

corners. This is an area that is really dry. So we need the rain, but a lot of rain in very short order which is what we're dealing with now with the monsoon storms here in Arizona, that's led to a flash flood watch for Arizona today. We could see in some areas up to 4 or 5 inches of rain. And again, with the ground so dry and then picking up this much rain in short order, that is the recipe for some flooding.

And also right here, Rosemary, I want to show you that across the Midwest today, we could see a significant severe weather setup later on this afternoon on into this evening, there is a level three out of five risk, and that includes Madison, Wisconsin, Rosemary. We could see very damaging winds later.

CHURCH: All right, thank for keeping a close eye on all of that, Tyler Mauldin with that.

Well if you are feeling pain at the pump or in the pocketbook, inflation is likely to blame. Over the past year, prices have skyrocketed at their fastest pace in 13 years. America's Consumer Price Index or CPI was up more than 5 percent annually last month. And gas is up a whopping 45 percent, which is perhaps not all that surprising after so many months of empty roads and lower demand. But the president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis believes these surges will be temporary.


NEEL KASHKAN, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF MINNEAPOLIS: We know that as the economy goes through this first rapid shutdown, you saw prices drop precipitously and then a rapid reopening, there are a lot of adjustments that are going to take time to work through. You know, a year ago we couldn't get toilet paper. Now toilet paper is everywhere in the grocery store. Lumber prices went to skyrocketing levels are coming back down -- they're still high, but they've come down quite a bit. And so, some of this we know is going to work its way out as the economy reopens and businesses adjust.

But we need to pay attention. Pay attention to what's happening to workers, pay attention to what is happening to wages. Not just to short term moves but over the long term. Our eyes are open, we're on the case, but right now most of the evidence that I see suggests that this will be transitory and short lived.


CHURCH: And the markets didn't slide too much over the big jump in inflation. But did end the day down on Tuesday.


Right now U.S. futures -- we bring them up there -- not a lot of movement going on, but we'll keep an eye on where all of that goes.

Well Boeing is hitting some turbulence with production of its new Dreamliner jet sending the company shares sliding. Boeing was down a little over 4 percent at Tuesday's closing bell. And that shaved more than 60 points off the Dow. The company says that it has to slow production and postpone Dreamliner deliveries after finding a structural flaw with the plane. CNN's Pete Muntean has the story.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: This is the latest pocket of turbulence for the 787. It's wide-body airliner known as the Dreamliner. It's important to note here that these issues were exposed on aircraft before they left the Boeing factory. The FAA, The Federal Aviation Administration, says that there's no risk to flight safety right now, but it could order inspections and fixes of planes that are already in the field if new data comes to light.

These issues Boeing says are with a critical bulkhead in the forward area of the fuselage. That bulkhead in the nose is responsible for keeping the passenger cabin pressurized. These new inspections that Boeing has to do now will take weeks and that slows down the production of this plane that has already been delayed when Boeing had a lot to celebrate. United Airlines just ordered 200 of the once troubled Boeing 737 Max and Boeing just recorded its busiest month for deliveries sense before the pandemic.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: Roger Federer has made a decision on the upcoming Summer Olympics. Will the 39-year-old tennis icon go for gold? We'll take a look next.



CHURCH: One of the greatest tennis players is sitting out the Tokyo Olympics. CNN's Patrick Snell has that and more in our minute in sports.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Rosemary thanks so much. Another famous name to add to the growing list of tennis players who won't be competing in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this month. The Swiss legend Roger Federer withdrawing citing injury, the 39-year-old revealing a recent knee related set back, led to the decision.

And fallout continues from the online racist abuse three England footballers received in the aftermath of their country's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy. Hundreds of people gathering for an anti-racism demonstration at a mural dedicated to one of those players, Marcus Rashford. The very same mural despicably defaced earlier in the week.

After the major-league baseball all-star game, much attention on Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani who was credited for the victory as his American League team beat the National League. Ohtani the first player ever named an All-Star as both a position player and a pitcher.

Meantime, winning MVP honors going to Ohtani's American League teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was born in Canada and grew up in the Dominican Republic. A huge 468 foot homerun for the 22-year-old there. And with that, Rosemary, it is right back to you this Wednesday.


CHURCH: Thank you, Patrick. And thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Be sure to connect with me on Twitter @rosemaryCNN. "EARLY START" is next. You're watching CNN, have a wonderful day.