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CNN NEWSROOM

Joe Biden Lays Out Economic Agenda in Pennsylvania Speech; Joe Biden Won't Ignore Essential Workers Who Deserve Higher Pay; Biden Says He Sees a Different American Than Trump; Biden Lays Out Economic Agenda in Pennsylvania Speech; Trump Again Pushes Nonsensical Claim About U.S. Testing; Supreme Court Rules NY Prosecutor Can Seek Trump Tax Returns and Blocks Congress from Getting Financial Records; Black Lives Matter Mural Outside Trump Tower. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 9, 2020 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00]

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: That that increases but we're 58 percent to chance that that child will go all the way through and graduate without having any trouble.

Imagine what a big difference it will make. I think because of this pandemic, everyone has renewed appreciation for just how hard our teachers work. How important their job is. So, let's give them the resources and the support they need. Both to get through this crisis and empower the next generation of American ground breakers. So let's pay them.

These aren't somebody else's children. They're all our children. They're the children, those children are the kite strings that hold our national ambitions aloft, and our teachers, our teachers are critical.

And finally, they see with horrifying clarity the cost of systemic racism. The need for a comprehensive agenda for racial equality in our country. It isn't just about police reform it's about dealing with a deep wound of systemic racism in this nation.

So, we need, we need a dedicated agenda to close the wealth gap, expand affordable housing, invest in brown and black and AAPI, Native American entrepreneurs. Make real the promise of education opportunity.

For too long the battle for racial equality has divided America. It should be used now to unite us. Donald Trump cynically claims he's defending American's heritage by embracing the Confederate flag and public monuments of generals who rebelled against and were treasonous against the United States of America. People who tried to permanently rip this nation apart.

Do you think Donald Trump has any idea that 360,000 Pennsylvanians fought on the side of the Union to defeat the flag? That Confederate flag? Including more black soldiers coming from the state of Pennsylvania than any other state in the nation? Do you think he has any clue that 33,000 Pennsylvanians died in the Civil War fighting against everything that flag stood for?

I see a different America than Trump. One that despite all our flaws and shortcomings and failings is still after more than two centuries dedicated to equality, liberty and human dignity.

The challenges we face are among biggest in our history. We have to come together in this country to solve them. There's no other way. I got criticized during the primaries by saying I was running for three reasons. Restore the soul of America. Number two, to rebuild the backbone of the country, the middle class, and three, unite America. And I was told, you can't unite it. You can't unite America. We're done. I've long said America is at its best when we act at one nation. One America.

That's the tragedy of Donald Trump being president today. He's exactly the wrong person to lead at this moment. He'll not bring this country together. He's determined to drive us apart. To keep his base in place. He'll not be president for all the American people. His base. He believes he's elected president only by his base. He'll not appeal to the best instincts in the rest of us. He's determined to stoke and revive the worst moments from our past.

I have no illusion how tough the road ahead is going to be for our country. But I'm an optimist. For one reason above all others. I know the history and the heart of this country. And given a chance just a chance ordinary Americans can and have done extraordinary things. And they'll never, ever, ever let their country down given half a chance. They won't let it down now.

The only thing that can tear America apart and I mean this sincerely, no foreign country, not the way he coddles up to -- I shouldn't even get into this but coddles up to Putin and others. They can't tear us apart. The only entity, the only thing that can tear America apart is America itself. Period.

So, we just need to remember who we are. This is the United States of America. There is not a single thing, nothing, not a single thing we've ever failed to do when we've decided to do it together. That's what this is about. Doing it together.

[15:35:00]

We have a great opportunity to build back and build back better. God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Former Vice President Joe Biden. You heard him ending with, you know, force on this notion of together, wanting to be the great unifier. Wanting to become the next president. On point of the speech was for Joe Biden to really lay out his economic agenda. So, let's go through some of what he just did.

Jessica Dean is there in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Biden said his dad is actually from and then CNN political director David Chalian is back with us.

And so, Jessica, you are there. You know, Biden's plan, build back better. The line that struck me, he said throughout this crisis Donald Trump has been almost singularly focused on the stock market. I will be laser focused on working families. So, drawing quite a strong contrast today.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, we really heard from him. He was trying to say to people, look, I see you. I'm feeling your pain. Here is the plan that I think can bring us back. That's what Joe Biden who just wrapped up right here behind me was making today.

And to that end he really, Brooke, focused in on manufacturing. And the whole point, the Biden campaign says, look, if American tax dollars are going to be spent in buying these items, those tax dollars should be going to American businesses.

And to that end they want to put $400 billion back into the economy and procure various goods, clean energy vehicles, steel, cement, things that are made at this plant right here behind us. Telecommunications, things like that, that they -- medical supplies, to rebuild the stockpile that has been depleted by the pandemic.

So, they want to do that with $400 billion. And then they said they want to put $300 billion into research and development. So, again, going back into American businesses to innovate and propel the economy forward with a special eye towards small businesses and businesses that are owned by women and people of color.

But, again, I think if you zoom out from those particulars, and you listen to what Joe Biden was saying today, you heard him say many iterations of, I understand. I know how hard it is. I know how many people are struggling. And to your point, Brooke, really trying to draw that contrast. He said, in fact, I see a different America than Trump does. That Vice President Biden is seeing a specific America that he wants to help, and that President Trump is working for himself and for wealthy individuals in this country -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: And to that point, David, I know we were talking about this recently on TV with a different speech and you point out just the empathy, the Biden empathy. And I want to hear your thoughts on what we just heard and also, I know there was a line that resonated with you. Where he said, no time for the divisive politics we're hearing more about today.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, I mean, you know, politics 101, Brooke. Lean into your strengths. Joe Biden is widely seen as a very empathetic figure. That's part of his brand. And he uses that advantage in this sharp contrast with the President. So not only sort of the empathy, I hear you. I feel your pain and I understand it, and I have a plan to address this. But also added on to that is this whole other piece of unity over division.

And as you noted, when he came out there and he said, you know, Donald Trump believes he, his path to political success is pitting Americans against Americans. I fundamentally disagree with that, Joe Biden's argument was. He does not believe that he is, as Jessica was saying, the America he sees is one that can't fail at anything when together Americans are trying to accomplish a goal.

It is this notion of uniter versus divider in this particular time that the country finds itself in that is the overarching theme of the Biden campaign and what is sort of what he's talking about when he talks about restoring the soul of the country.

BALDWIN: What about just in terms of meat and potatoes of the speech, David? And this is what I wanted to get to before we heard from him that "Washington Post" piece, Greg Sargent, so he opens this whole piece, he reminds us of the famous Steve Bannon interview back in 2016 when he spoke about how incoming President Trump would build this, quote/unquote, new movement, you know, built on a populous agenda rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing base. And as Greg concludes, instead it's Joe Biden filling that vacuum. What do you think of that?

CHALIAN: Yes, well, you remember back in 2016, Brooke. We talked a lot about this bizarre, perhaps unexpected, overlay of sort of Sanders supporters and Trump supporters and it was on this point, this populism. This economic appeal about, you know, getting stuff made at home. Not being all about sort of free trade.

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And what Joe Biden knows is that, you know, the Trump campaign is trying to frame him, his support of NAFTA, his dealings with China. His initial support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP and the Obama administration as a big free trader.

And what Joe Biden is trying to do here as you're saying the "Washington Post" piece examines this. Sort of flip it. Expose, try and expose Trump as just somebody who gave away tax cuts to his wealthy cronies, which by the way Joe Biden clearly stated he's going to raise the taxes to pay for the proposals Jessica just laid out.

But that it's Joe Biden who's going to put America first by investing all of this federal purchasing power in American products that will also enhance the country's national security and add jobs.

He is trying to sort of dig into the Trump appeal on the economy. I don't think that that means Trump supporters who bought fully into Trump's economic populism are all of a sudden flooding to Joe Biden, but I do think this is Joe Biden's attempt to chip away at some of that advantage Trump has on the economy.

BALDWIN: Most definitely. David Chalian, thank you. Jessica Dean, nice to have you on as well.

Still ahead here on CNN, as coronavirus hospitalizations hit record numbers in 12 states. The President keeps pushing his false claim that the rise in cases is from more testing. Why that makes no sense. That's ahead.

And the U.S. Supreme Court delivering a huge blow to the President and his belief that he is immune from investigation. Why the highest court says New York prosecutors can go after his financial records.

You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We'll be right back.

[15:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Back to the COVID-19 crisis, the struggle to contain the spread. 33 states trending higher with their case counts while just three states are moving lower and yet President Trump continues to dismiss these numbers.

Once again, tweeting his baseless claim that numbers are only going up because more tests are being offered. So let's go straight to Dr. Megan Ranney. She is an emergency room physician for Life Span Brown University. And so, Dr. Ranney, let's start on that first point. Can you just explain what the positivity rate is and why the President's analysis is just wrong?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN FOR LIFE SPAN BROWN UNIVERSITY: So the President's analysis is what we would call magical thinking. When the tests are going up and the hospital -- and the positive tests going up and the hospitalizations are going up, this disease is real.

We're not finding it because we're testing more. We're finding it because it is spreading more, it is getting more people sick. They're getting into the hospital and then they're dying.

That positivity rate, Brooke, is saying of all tests we're doing what percent are positive. We like to see a percent positivity below 5 percent, which means that we are catching all the cases that are out there and that we're over-testing. That's the goal of doing good testing for this disease. But in some states we're seeing positivity rates of 20, 30 even 40 percent, which means that we simply means are not testing enough and we're missing cases that are then going out and spreading COVID within their community.

BALDWIN: Well, the positivity rate, let's talk about hard-hit Florida. The positivity rate there has surged up four percentage points just in five days, but in reality, could the number be much higher?

RANNEY: Absolutely. We are hearing stories across the country from my colleagues in hospitals as well as from testing centers of people showing up to get tests and there're not being enough. Of testing centers having to shut down because they've run out of tests for the day.

That means we're missing people who are positive but who don't know it yet. And if they don't know they're positive they might not follow those recommendations for staying isolated. Right? And that's what we know we need to do with COVID-19 positive patients to stop the spread of the virus. It's to keep them away from others. So that testing is so important for us. So that we can enforce the isolation and track down and trace all of their contacts so that we can stop the spread. BALDWIN: Also important for us, PPE. I know Dr. Ranney, back in March,

you know, you and a group of medical professionals were warning about the PPE shortages health care workers were facing on the front lines. We are about to start hearing about that again. Tell me how bad it is?

RANNEY: Brooke, it's heartbreaking. It's crazy that we're still in this situation where we don't have enough PPE for health care providers across the country. At #getusppe we've seen a 200 to 400 percent increase in the number of items of protective equipment. Things like gowns, and masks and gloves that health care providers across the country are asking for because they are unable to purchase or get it in other means other than by donations.

So that means that we've got folks out there who are providing care to patients who are not protected, and who are then going to be at higher risk of getting sick.

BALDWIN: I appreciate you making that point. I think folks think, all right, we're a couple months into this. You know, front line workers, they're good. They've got what they need now. Not the case. Dr. Megan Ranney, thank you very much. Good to have you on. We'll talk again, I'm sure.

In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejecting the President's belief that he is immune from investigation. The Court ruling that New York prosecutors can go after his financial records, but it may take a while.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A pair of consequential Supreme Court rulings today now triggering big complaints from a number of people, including, if I can find my spot here, from the President. And confirming this, the American voters will not get to see the President's tax returns before they decide if he deserves four more years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, the rulings were basically starting all over again, sending everything back down to the lower courts and to start all over again. And so, from a certain point I'm satisfied. From another point I'm not satisfied.

Because frankly, this is a political witch hunt, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. It's a pure witch hunt, it's a hoax, just like the Mueller investigation was a hoax that I won, and this is another hoax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That was a short time ago, the President at the White House reacting to today's big ruling. The Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that President Trump does not have absolute immunity from a subpoena and that New York prosecutors can attempt to obtain his financial records.

The decision does kick the case back really though to the lower courts, which means the President does not have to turn over his tax records right now, what his own attorneys consider a gift in the middle of an election year.

We should note that the other case the court decided rejecting a bid by House committees to obtain the President's financial records but Congress affirming -- rather, affirming Congress does not have the authority to investigate the President.

Here now to share their thoughts on today's ruling, investigative reporter for "The New York Times" Sue Craig and CNN contributor and Donald Trump biographer, Michael D'Antonio.

So welcome, welcome to both of you. And Michael, I want to start with the bottom line with you, we will not see the President's tax returns, you know, barring something crazy, unforeseen before November.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that was his goal all along. Actually, we have to go back to 2015 now. We were told back then that he really wanted to release his tax returns and he was just waiting for audits to be finished.

I'm not sure proof that these audits existed has ever been offered. And now we're almost in time for the 2020 election, and he's going to run up and try to get before the voters in November without having to reveal his taxes again. So, it's all about concealing the truth. And his goal all along has been to keep us from knowing the truth.

BALDWIN: I know you've written a lot about President Trump or Donald Trump, you know, citizen Trump and his penchant for secrecy.

Sue, we'll get into the particulars and the implications in just a moment, but your reporting is a key part of why we are in this moment.

[15:55:00]

Can you just explain how we got her and why New York is pursuing these records?

SUE CRAIG, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER FOR "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, New York is looking at them because they have got an investigation going on in New York City. Cy Vance is the prosecutor who's looking at it. And he is trying to get information on some payments that were made to two women that Donald Trump has an affair with and then paid them to cover it up.

And the question I think Cy Vance is looking at right now, there could be more that he's looking at. But one of the things he wanted to know, were these payments used as a tax deduction to reduce taxable income? And if they were, it would be a crime. And that's one of the things he wants to see. That may be in the taxes. It may not be. He's asked for broader information on financial records. But at least he can get in there and start to look around and then see where the money takes him.

BALDWIN: But on this New York decision -- and Michael, this is for you -- a conservative legal scholar Jonathan Turley frames it this way.

Quote, there is no spin possible. This is a major and embarrassing defeat for the President.

All right. But this is a slightly different take from law professor Steve Vladeck. He says the presidency lost, but the President won.

But. you know. look at the President's twitter, obviously he's unhappy with this decision. You have chronicled him for so long. What do you think's going through his mind right now? Does it help him that, you know, his tax returns most likely won't be seen until after the election. And we should also point out that the President's claim of immunity disappears the second he becomes citizen Trump, right. Whether that is, you know, 2021 or 2025.

D'ANTONIO: Well, the fascinating thing here is that Donald Trump has spent most of his adult life trying to stay one step ahead of either criminal courts or civil courts. You know, he has, I think, devoted more time to his legal interests than to his real estate interests. So much of what he's done has been about protecting his income.

And I think that Cy Vance is looking at criminal liability where his tax returns are concerned. And I actually think there may be many more women, many more payoffs that he has deducted from his taxes. This is a family that never misses a chance to cut their tax bill. And I can't imagine him foregoing claiming as an expense hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to keep women silent.

BALDWIN: Let me just -- could be many more women that he could have deducted on his taxes. And I think maybe Sue alluded to, you know, Cy Vance can go looking and who knows what he may find.

Sue, the Court decided against compelling the President to turn over his taxes. But even if he eventually does, and that is I realize a massive "if" -- you say that there are obstacles for the Manhattan D.A. that could drag this out for a long, long time. Such as?

CRAIG: Well, first of all, I just want to say, you know, with the President turning over his taxes doesn't mean we're going to see them. In the case of Cy Vance, they're going to go into a grand jury proceeding. It's very secret and anybody that leaks that, it's a go to jail card. So, I mean we may see them eventually if there's charges. So that's one thing just to be really clear on.

But the other thing is, you know, usually when you file your taxes, you tend to put your best foot forward. It could be that these payments are right there. But they could also be buried in a million places on the tax return. For example, it could -- the payments, if, in fact, he made them and used, you know, there's a tax issue there.

They could have been made through a law firm. They could be put into general expenses. And so it's going to be, I think, unless they're just right there, and it says, you know, Stormy Daniels, and, you know, the names of potential women, I think they're just going to be potentially buried in places and he's going to have just to continue to pull thread until he finds it or doesn't. BALDWIN: To be continued. I really appreciate both of you on this. And

again, for people thinking, you know, they're going to see all this information, you will not before November. Thank you both so much, Sue and Michael.

And I just want to close with this. A new addition to a famous New York City street that is getting under the President's skin here.

Fifth Avenue is iconic, dotted with high end shops and home to Trump Tower, now it is also home to a Black Lives Matter mural. Look at this.

The mural is between 56th and 57th Streets. Prompted street closures Thursday morning. An artist got a visit from New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio just a little while ago.

The President said last week that the mural would be, his word, denigrating Fifth Avenue. So far today no comment from the Trump Organization.

And that is it for me. I'm Brooke Baldwin, thank you so much for being here. THE LEAD starts now.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Pamela Brown in for Jake Tapper today.

We begin with health LEAD. States facing surges should seriously look at shutting down again or at least pause reopening. That is the message from Dr. Anthony Fauci.

States across the South and the West continue to break records.