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THE SITUATION ROOM

"All Available Options"; Biden Sits Down With CNN; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) Minnesota Is Interviewed About Education Plan; Biden Expresses Skepticism About Democrats' Leftward Tilt; 1,200 Aftershocks Follow California Earthquake; Fifteen-Year-Old From U.S. Wins Again At Wimbledon. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired July 5, 2019 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:17]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, all available options, the Trump administration tells a federal judge is looking at all available options for including a citizenship question in the 2020 census. And President Trump says he's considering an executive order. Or did the judge just make that much more difficult.

And Biden sits down with CNN in an exclusive interview. Democratic front-runner Joe Biden talking about his debate run-in with rival Kamala Harris and compares President Trump to a schoolyard bully.

Rolling aftershocks. A day after Southern California is hit by its biggest earthquake in decades the region is still experiencing rolling aftershocks, more than 1,200 of them. When will the shaking stop?

And Coco wins again. The 15-year-old American tennis phenom Coco Gauff Wimbledon's fame Centre Court as she advances to the round of 16 with another stunning upset in the world's oldest and perhaps most prestigious tournament.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. This is a SITUATION ROOM Special Report.

Breaking news. The Trump administration tells a federal judge it is still looking for a way to move ahead with the citizenship question in the 2020 census. As President Trump says he's weighing options including a possible executive order but the judge makes it clear that time is running out.

Celebrating his July 4th extravaganza with a media free-for-all, the president today is also defending the migrant detention facilities on the border which the government watchdog calls dirty and dangerously overcrowded. The president insisting they are clean and good and run beautifully. And he's hitting back at Democratic front-runner Joe Biden who says in an exclusive CNN interview that President Trump is the kind of bully that he smacked in the mouth as a kid.

I'll be speaking with Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar and our correspondents and analysts have full coverage of the days' top stories. We begin with CNN Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta.

Jim, the president is not taking no for an answer when it comes to the citizenship question in the 2020 census.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He's not giving up, Brianna. President Trump says his administration is weighing its options and may actually try to defy a Supreme Court decision and seek a way to insert a citizenship question into the upcoming 2020 census. The president went on to defend the conditions at the detention facilities down at the border and even responded to Vice President Joe Biden calling him a bully but several of his statements today didn't add up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): President Trump is still trying to get his way on inserting a citizenship question in the upcoming census. But after the Supreme Court rejected the president's request, there is still no administration consensus on what to do next as his own Justice Department lawyers have just told a federal judge they'll re-evaluate all available options.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We could add an addition on, so we can start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision. So we're working on a lot of things, including an executive order.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Leaving for his golf club in New Jersey, the president praised his administration's border detention facilities, despite photos out this week showing some holding centers are being pushed to the brink.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And I've seen some of those places and they are run beautifully. They're clean. They're good. They do a great job. Border patrol did not train to be doctors and nurses and janitors. That is not what they train to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: That was in response to the onslaught of criticism from Democrats who say migrants are being subjected to unsafe conditions. Including some detainees saying they were told to drink toilet water.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: Nothing could erase what I saw or any of my other colleagues saw. What we saw was inhumanity. It was immoral. What our country is doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: The president tried to deflect criticism by falsely claiming former President Barack Obama had a family separation policy, a statement repeatedly knocked down by fact checkers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: President Obama had separation. And President Obama in 2014 built the cells that you always show and tell. They were built by President Obama. But he had separation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Obama's Vice President Joe Biden told CNN, Mr. Trump is a bully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENIAL CANDIDATE: He's the bully that I've stood up to. He's the bully used to make fun when I was a kid and I stuttered and smacked him in the mouth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The president's response?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't think I'm a bully at all. I just don't like being taken advantage of by other countries, by pharmaceutical companies, by all of the people that have taken advantage of this country. You look at what Joe Biden has done with China. We've lost our shirts with China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[17:05:01] ACOSTA: Mr. Trump is also defending his salute to the military on the National Mall with the unproven claim that his speech is already leading to a jump in new enlistments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You know it is really a recruitment situation. A lot of people are going to be joining our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The president is also explaining why he mistakenly said George Washington's forces seized airports during the revolutionary war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Our army manned the air. It rammed the ramparts. It took over the airports.

And I guess the rain knocked out the teleprompter so -- but no, it is not that. I knew the speech very well. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The president's comments as he departed the White House overshadowed another strong jobs report, numbers that he insist could have been even better if only the Federal Reserve would follow his instructions and lower interest rates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If we had a Fed that would lower interest rates we'd be like a rocket ship. But we're paying a lot of interest and it is unnecessary. But we don't have a fed that knows what they're doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Now when asked why the citizenship question is important, the president told reporters it is needed in part to help draw congressional districts but that is where the president's critics fear that the citizenship question will be used as a tool to make sure congressional districts are drawn up to favor the Republicans. For now the administration says the census forms are being printed without the citizenship question. Brianna?

KEILAR: Jim Acosta on the North Lawn. Thank you.

And let's get more now on this legal battle over the administration's effort to add that citizenship question to the census. CNN Political Correspondent, Sara Murray is here and this may not be over just yet, Sara.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It may not. You know it turns out President Trump is not ready to let this go. Surprise, surprise. You know one of the options that the Justice Department lawyers laid out to a judge today is that they may go back and they may offer a new rationale for why they want to add this question and this is the Supreme Court issue and why they said the administration couldn't add it in the first place. They didn't appropriately explain their rationale for adding it.

But obviously, we heard President Trump today, he also said an executive order is another possibility and that's going to face immediate legal challenges as you could imagine and they're on a tight timeline. The other option the president laid out and they are considering is doing an addendum to the census. So you send the initial form without the citizenship question and then come up with some kind of addendum that would ask that question.

Again, all of these things are likely to face more legal challenges, all of these needs to be done on a pretty tight timeline. They were trying to you know get these all out of the door already. They said the last possible time they could do it was October. But that it would require you know more money and more resources to make sure that everyone is actually responding to this stuff in time.

KEILAR: Sara Murray, thank you so much for laying out all of that for us. We appreciate it.

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden in 2020 rival Kamala Harris are in the same venue tonight for the first time since their intense exchange at the Democratic debate.

CNN Political Reporter, Arlette Saenz is out on the campaign trail. And Arlette, what is Biden telling CNN about that debate moment?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Brianna, that moment between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on school busing really dominated the debate last week. And Biden is now telling our colleague Chris Cuomo that he was surprised that it was Kamala Harris that leveled that attack against him and Biden put this in personal terms, even bringing up his son Beau who passed away a few years ago and had served as attorney general of Delaware and became friends with Kamala Harris while she was attorney general of California. Take a listen to what Biden had to tell us yesterday about that moment with Kamala Harris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Were you prepared for them to come after you?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was prepared for them to come after me but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came out. She knew Beau. She knows me. I don't - anyway, but here is the deal, what I do know and it's a good and bad news, the American people think they know me and they know me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAENZ: Now the Harris campaign contends that there was nothing personal about this but that it was Biden's record that was under scrutiny. The Harris campaign also today announcing that the senator raised less than $12 million in the second fundraising quarter. That is less than she raised the first fundraising quarter and puts her behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. We're still waiting for other candidates to also reveal their figures.

Now, Brianna, also in that interview, Biden pushed back against this notion that there is a left ward tilt in the Democratic Party. He even brought up Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and called her bright and brilliant but said that he doesn't think that is the direction the party is taking. He branded himself as center left. Saying that is where he thinks most Democrats in this country are. You'll hear more about that coming up shortly. Brianna?

KEILAR: And this event in Houston that has drawn so many 2020 candidates tonight, tell us about it.

SAENZ: Yes, so you've had about 10 of the 2020 candidates who will be there in Houston for the National Education Association forum. And they've been making their pitch to teachers, Joe Biden a short while ago committed to appointing a teacher as education secretary. That is a similar pledge that Elizabeth Warren has made. [17:10:02] And you've also seen some candidates roll out some policy proposals relating to education such as Jay Inslee and Senator Amy Klobuchar. You'll be hearing from her in a short moment but all of these 2020 candidates have really been focusing in on that teacher vote, trying to show that they would be the best president when it comes to education and their concerns. Brianna?

KEILAR: Arlette Saenz in Des Moines, thank you so much.

And stay tune for CNN's exclusive interview with former Vice President Joe Biden. The Democratic frontrunner talks with Chris Cuomo and they cover a lot of ground. You will see that here in the next hour of THE SITUATION ROOM.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is among the Democratic presidential candidates at that NEA forum where you have just unveiled your education plan. You're joining us from Houston. Thanks for being with us, Senator.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Brianna. It is great to be here. My mom actually taught second grade until she was 70 years old and she would go to the union meetings and stand up on back of chairs to hear the speakers and I wish she could be here. She's no longer with us but I was able to tell that story here in Houston and talk about my belief that education should be a right and not a privilege.

And that we should respect our teachers. They have become not just our teachers but our social workers. They have a huge burden on their shoulders. And so, there is a lot of discussion today about how we make sure their paid right and how we make sure, which my plan is, to create incentives for the states to do even more.

KEILAR: And we just showed a photo of your mother as a teacher surrounded by children. I want to let you know. I don't know if you could see that. But you're there at this forum and you have unveiled an education plan. Tell us what you want to do.

KLOBUCHAR: Sure. Well, first of all, we need to fully fund education and that means things like paying our teachers right. And one way you could do that by the way is bringing the estate tax exemption down to where it was during the Obama years. That alone would be a huge boost for teacher pay. The second thing we need to do is to incentivize the states to do more.

And that's what my plan is about. To match them for dollars when they do things like prepare our kids for the jobs that are going to be available when they graduate and that is working with community colleges and apprenticeships, when they do things when it comes to pay increases, when they do more when it comes to making sure that they're working with our communities and treat our school districts so we make sure that kids that are in schools like my daughter was in for years, she was in a school that was nearly 90 percent free and reduced lunch.

So I saw the different situations when you have 30 some kids in a classroom, how hard it is to teach when they're speaking different languages that you want to make sure those kids have a chance, too. Because it is the only way we're going to move our economy forward as a country.

KEILAR: Do you want a teacher as secretary of Education?

KLOBUCHAR: Sure. But I would think anyone that has a substantial education background would be very good in that job. Our current Governor Tim Walls was a teacher and he's doing a great job in the State of Minnesota. So I think it is important to have someone with a policy background in education. A teacher is a great idea. But I could tell you what I won't have and that is I won't have Betsy DeVos. You know this is someone that didn't have that kind of background. She's someone that has caused all kinds of issues, including with the disability community.

And one of the stories I told today that picture of my mom, was that my mom's favorite unit she taught was a Monarch Butterfly unit. She dressed up as a teacher with a tunic and antennas and she'd hold a sign that said to Mexico or bust and I found out after she died, that she would always go grocery shopping in that outfit and this mom was crying at her visitation and she said this is my son, he's got severe disabilities and your mom would come every year after he graduated because he loved that unit on butterflies that she taught. And she was his favorite teacher. She would stand in the grocery line and give him a big hug in that Monarch Butterfly outfit.

That was my mom and that's what so many of these teachers do, they are buying supplies out of their own pockets. They're caring about their kids and having to do so much work that we're not doing as a community. So the reason I put this ideas forward today is that I see this really incredible inequity for so many of our kids. Schools that are crumbling, Baltimore schools without heat and we need to be investing more in education.

KEILAR: My mom was a teacher. She would buy reading glasses for kids who couldn't afford it.

KLOBUCHAR: Oh, I know that.

KEILAR: She was - no, that was not the exception. A lot of teachers do that. I do want -- it is just something that they're sort of stuck doing. So we're very interested in your proposal here. I do want to talk to you about your reaction to the former Vice President Joe Biden who says the vast majority of Democrats are with him on the issues. You two are operating in similar sort of moderate lanes. But can any Democrat, you or Joe Biden, make it through the primary process with the message of moderation and talk about working with Republicans?

[17:15:06] KLOBUCHAR: You know, I consider myself a proven progressive and that means I make progress. I passed over 100 bills where I was the lead Democrat in that gridlock of Washington, D.C. And I think people are looking for someone who can unite our party, and I can do that as well as someone that can win. And I'm the one that's won repeatedly in very red counties and congressional districts that Donald Trump won in by over 20 points. And I do that by looking straight with people and telling them the truth. I talked about that at that last debate. And think it is very important that we have someone that can unite people.

Can they win? Look at 2018, Brianna, look at what happened. People like Laura Kelly beat Kris Kobach in the state of Kansas. I always tell people, if you think we can't unite behind the candidate, I'd forward it for you, former Governor Scott Walker in the state of Wisconsin. So Democrats united across the country electing more women, more people of color because we put up candidates that reflected the districts in the states that they serve.

And that is when I talk to people all over our country and in Iowa. We were just in New Hampshire for the parades that is really what matters to them. And I think there is so much more that unites us than divides us and I figure given my history of bringing people together, that is one of my jobs, to take it to Donald Trump, we put a video out on our website today and our Twitter feed showing my moments in the debate.

I think that debate is an opportunity and will be when we have our CNN debates to show the difference between myself and Donald Trump. Because we've got independents watching, we've got moderate Republicans watching. We not only have to make the case for our own party, we need to make the case to the nation that a guy that you know holds a military parade to try to look tough and puts out his tanks when he's the same time getting us dangerously close to war with Iran by getting out of the agreement, all the stuff that he's been saying about cozying up to Vladimir Putin and making jokes about it, that is not what America is. As we look at this 4th of July week. We are about strength as a country.

KEILAR: It was more of an airshow. He wanted the military parade. It was more of an airshow. I just want to be clear about that. I think your objection stands despite that. I want to ask you about the census because the president is vowing to include this citizenship question. Are you worried that the president will defy the Supreme Court? Do you see him as already doing that?

KLOBUCHAR: I am worried about it. The Supreme Court with Justice Roberts on board basically said your rationale here is not correct. It doesn't make any sense. We're sending it back to the lower court. If you want to come up with some different one you do it but time is ticking. That is basically what they said and made it very clear when you read that opinion that they didn't believe this rationale, that they were somehow doing it for voting rights. Give me a break.

This census is so important for America. It is not just about our government, it is about every part of our economy, using the census. It is about where benefits go, and how people vote, where they vote. It is critical to our country. And he is messing around with this right now simply because he wants to make a deal with his base. Ironically, at his own Commerce secretary, and the Department of Justice ready to start issuing that census and getting those papers out and then he rolls it back in a tweet just like he does every day.

But I think in the end it will be just like I said about his economic plans when it comes to the middle class, it is going to be all foam and no beer. You're going to hear a lot of talk about this and in the end they're going to have to issue the census and if they don't the courts are going to have to get involved.

KEILAR: All right, Senator, thank you so much.

KLOBUCHAR: The citizenship question was put on there for bad reasons and we know it. Thank you very much, Brianna.

KEILAR: Thank you, Senator Amy Klobuchar. We really appreciate you joining us from Houston.

KLOBUCHAR: OK.

KEILAR: And coming up, CNN's exclusive interview with former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner talking about his debate run-in with Kamala Harris and explaining why he calls President Trump a bully. This is a SITUATION ROOM Special Report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:24:12] KEILAR: Breaking news, after President Trump told reporters he's considering an executive order to get a citizenship question on the next year's census forums, his administration told a federal judge it is still looking for a new way to justify the move.

Let's ask our political and legal experts about this fight, and Joey Jackson, let's listen to what the president had to say about this earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're finding out everything about everybody. Think of it. $15 to $20 billion and you're not allowed to ask them are you a citizen. So we'll see what happens. We could also add an additional on so we can start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision. So we're working in a lot of things, including an executive order.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Does the president have a path here and also, Joey, when he makes that point of we're spending all this money, why can't we get the answer to this question, is that something that might be considered in court?

[17:25:06] JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No. So let's address this Brianna and here is the issue. The issue number one is this. When you have something that you craft and you want to move forward like a census question it is something that is called a rationale that is that you have to give a justification, a reason as to why it is warranted.

Why is it appropriate? Why is it lawful? When you go to the Supreme Court of the United States and the chief justice says that that reason is contrived, that is problematic. What that means in English, not speaking lawyerly, is that it is a lie. That the basis for which you told this court why you want to do is a lie. And so, you talk about a path and now you're going to after over a

year of litigation, come up with some reason that provided no basis initially and there's been multiple spinning reasons. We call that in a courtroom, a prior inconsistent statement. Were you lying then or are you lying now. So that is a problem.

Number two, as it relates to an executive order, you cannot do by executive order what the Supreme Court say you cannot do by a matter of law. So now in an executive order you're going to come up with another rationale for doing it.

And number three, from a practical perspective, time is the enemy. We know that the Commerce Department said June 30th. Now of course he said well maybe we could do it in October. That is a short time frame as it relates to courts and courts making a decision.

And finally, Brianna, the issue is this too. We know there is a separate case in Maryland predicated upon an entirely different rationale that we don't have to get into that is the equal protection clause and whether it violates that, all people being equal, et cetera. And so that is another court case that would be deemed to block this. So if there is a path, I see the path is very difficult. But my view there is not a path at all.

KEILAR: When you look at the sort of internal politics in the Trump administration, the president, Kaitlan, is very upset with Wilbur Ross.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORREPONDENT: Yes. He caught everyone off guard when he sent out that tweet saying I still want to move forward with this after Ross had just had a statement on the record saying we're not going to move forward with this. We're printing it without the question. In the days since then the president has been complaining to people about Wilbur Ross behind the scenes.

Someone who has agitated him for a while now but this particular matter is something that has really irritated him greatly and he's telling people that he doesn't think Wilbur Ross has handled this properly. He's putting a lot of the blame on him for this. But as of course it was that answer that he gave to the Supreme Court looked at and evaluated in Chief Justice John Roberts that they said was just simply the administration is not making their argument well enough.

KEILAR: Sunlen, the president weighed in on the conditions -- we've seen a lot of reporting about what's been going on at the detention facilities but here is what the president said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I've seen some of those places and they are run beautifully. They are clean. They're good. They do a great job. They do a great job. They're crowded because the Democrats will not give us any relief from these loopholes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: That is not what we heard from congressional delegations and that is not what we've heard from reports.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It doesn't seem to reflect the reality of what is actually going on, on the ground at all. It stands in stark defiance and contrast of that -- the narrative of this week since Congress has been on recess has been Democrat after Democrat going in and visiting there, you know and coming out with these firsthand accounts of what they saw with their own two eyes.

And of course backing up it with some pictures of their time there, a visual representation of the conditions, of not -- people not having access to clean water, clean clothes, overcrowding in general, it's just you could sense it in the desperation from these members of Congress as they were leaving, desperation and anger and outrage at the conditions. Certainly we will hear a lot of this when the members come back to Washington early next week especially the president making such a bold claim there and trying of course to pivot this - all these negative attention to the Democrats. They'll be having a hearing on this next week.

COLLINS: But it is not even just the accounts from the Democrats. It is a report from his own government that published the details of what it is like.

KEILAR: Right. That's a very, very good point, Kaitlan. And Sam, the president was defending the Border Patrol today. He said they're doing a phenomenal job and he repeated his argument that look, they're not trying to be doctors or nurses. That said, they have an obligation to care for the people who are -- they are detaining.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That is exactly right, Brianna. And I work closely with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and I think the CEO Caryl Stern said it best when she tweeted that society is judged by how it treats the children and President Trump's legacy is tolerating abuse against children. You know he said a year ago that traveling through Mexico was like taking a walk through Central Park. We know how gruesome images of a father and his young daughter that drowned on their way here.

And I have a very simple question for President Trump. Would he let his grandchildren go without a shower or a hot meal for days? That is what the DHS report that Kaitlan just mentioned, claims is happening under President Trump's care. And while border patrol agents are not supposed to be doctors or surgeons or anything of that nature, the president's policy has led to an increase in immigration from Central American countries.

[17:30:00] His response has been to ignore the reality that is happening at these detention facilities, and to do everything that really leads to a potential continued increase in migration , like cutting off funding to Central America.

And it really begs the question, Brianna, of whether he considers these gruesome images, these inhumane conditions at these facilities as a deterrent to immigration, to try to scare people in not trying to come here. KEILAR: All right. All of you, stand by with me. We have so much

more to discuss ahead including Joe Biden in an exclusive CNN interview.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:35:13] KEILAR: And we're back now with our correspondents and analysts. And let's talk about this exclusive interview with Joe Biden that Chris Cuomo did. So many topics that they covered, including just sort of what it takes to win and where you can be on the continuum.

Sunlen, he said that -- basically, he made the case that he's someone who can appeal broadly to the country. And he actually brought up Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look who won the races. Look who won last time out. We had -- and by the way, I think -- I think Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant and bright woman, but she, you know, won a primary. The -- in the general election fights, who won? Mainstream Democrats who are very progressive on social issues and very strong on education, healthcare.

Look, my north star is the middle class. When the middle class does well, everybody does well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: One, does he have a point? But, two, he has to win a primary as well.

SERFATY: That's right, he has to win the primary first. A very essential step for the former Vice President.

He does have a point. I mean, we've heard this argument from Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, before, especially in context of the more progressive all-stars like AOC per se. Look, the -- you know, the majority of the House was won on the back of these moderate Democrats, and that, really, is where our party is.

He was kind of echoing the same thing, that people like AOC sure are sucking up a lot of the oxygen, a lot of the attention. They are -- you see them on the news every night. But his argument is he doesn't believe that that's the best general election candidate. Of course, he has to get through that one step of the primary, that big step first.

I thought it was very interesting to see people like Bernie Sanders very quickly come to her defense today on Twitter, not that she needed that, saying how he enjoyed working with her. And certainly, her endorsement in -- of the progressive wing of this party is one of the most coveted in this election.

COLLINS: Well, and obviously the Trump campaign is worried about Joe Biden, but that is what they're going to hope -- that's what they're hoping will happen during this primary process as this plays out, is that he does get pushed to the left by these other candidates in there and that will it hurt him in the general election. That's what they're counting on. And he's very clearly trying to make that distinction --

SERFATY: Distinction, yes.

KEILAR: He's trying to.

COLLINS: -- that's he's going to be that.

KEILAR: He is. He is trying to thread a needle there.

Joey, when you watched his interview, what stood out to you?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I looked at it in context, and I came up with two things. And the first thing is, Joe Biden is saying, number one, you know me. Number two, you can trust me.

And, you know, what I'm surprised about, Brianna, is that he doesn't pivot and deflect more. Not that I'm suggesting politicians should pivot and deflect. We don't ever see that, do we?

(LAUGHTER)

JACKSON: But the reality is, is that, look, this is a guy who served under President Obama who has, what, a 97 percent approval rating amongst Democrats in some poll that I saw recently. And so the fact is, is that this is not about an issue of busing in the '70s. This is an issue about what I've done for the last eight years under a president who has a legacy and let's talk about what that is and let's talk about what seat I had -- a front row one, by the way -- when all of this occurred.

And so he gets into the minutia, which is of concern to me, but I think the essence of the interview, Brianna, is that you know me, you can trust me, everyone knows exactly who I am, and I'll deliver. That's what I got.

KEILAR: Sam, I want to ask you about the NATO part of this because he spoke with particular urgency about this when he was saying what another four years under President Trump would look like. He predicted that NATO would fall apart. Is that -- is that possible?

VINOGRAD: I think it's entirely possible because President Trump thinks that the word ally has a cinema (ph) -- synonym of piggy bag.

I worked with Vice President Biden for four years at the White House. We worked with NATO on shared interest and burden sharing. President Trump most often brings up NATO and our other allies with respect to trying to get more money in his perceived piggy bank back here in the United States.

And the issue is that when it comes to NATO, President Trump's actions, for a change, speak louder than his words. The actions that he is taking to prop up Vladimir Putin really are propping up NATO's biggest enemy.

NATO, right now, is focused on undermining the threat from Russia, and we have a president that is doing everything to make Vladimir Putin stronger. So four more years of President Trump would likely mean a weaker NATO alliance, a stronger Russia, and because of that, weaker national security overall.

KEILAR: And real quick, Kaitlan, the President is responding to this.

COLLINS: Yes. We were asking about that when he was leaving the White House this morning. And instead of saying no -- because Joe Biden said that if Trump is re-elected, there will be no NATO. Instead of saying, no, that's not the case, the President, instead, turned to his usual criticism of NATO, saying essentially that the United States is doing too much, and everyone else needs to do more.

KEILAR: All right, Kaitlan, Sunlen, Samantha, Joey, thank you so much to all of you.

JACKSON: Thanks, Brianna.

KEILAR: And coming up, we're going to get a live update from the community near the epicenter of California's biggest earthquake in decades.

[17:40:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: We have breaking news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM. Police are investigating a possible explosion inside of a dormitory at the University of Nevada Reno. University police are describing this as a utilities accident. City officials are reporting minor injuries. We'll continue to follow this story.

Meanwhile, in California, the U.S. Geological Survey reports that at least 1,200 aftershocks of all magnitudes following yesterday's 6.4 earthquake have been happening. This was the biggest earthquake in decades to hit California.

[17:45:03] We have CNN's Alexandra Field in Ridgecrest. That is near the epicenter of the quake. Tell us the latest, Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, people here are still expecting that they could go through hundreds more aftershocks within the next couple of days, even within the next week. That, as they're trying to assess the damage from this 6.4 magnitude earthquake.

You can see this house that is sort of knocked off of its foundation. There are a few more that is like this, but it is pretty amazing, Brianna, that with an earthquake of that magnitude that the damage was not even more extensive. Really, that's because you're talking about an area that is not as densely populated as it could have been. That, of course, would have been a scenario where you would have a much more sort of devastating circumstance.

But this is, of course, affecting homeowners. They're going to have to repair their houses. There were a number of a handful fires around town, some issues with water mains, and also with gas pipes.

This was felt from Las Vegas all the way to Orange County, so surveyors have been out along with local officials today trying to make sure that buildings that appear to be just fine remain structurally safe. They are, of course, warning people to be prepared for the possibility of more aftershocks in the coming days.

Certainly, the fear of an earthquake is something that people here live with all the time. They wait always for that big one to come. Local officials here are saying that they always have emergency plans in place.

This was a good -- this was an opportunity to see how these emergency plans play out. They felt that the plan worked well in this case. It's important information for people, Brianna.

KEILAR: It certainly is. Alexandra, thank you for that report.

And coming up, breaking news as a rising star from the U.S. posts another upset win at Wimbledon. Stand by for details of Coco's latest victory.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:51:20] KEILAR: We have breaking news in the sports world. Coco Gauff, a 15-year-old from the United States, winning again this afternoon at Wimbledon. Today's come-from-behind win follows her victory over tennis legend Venus Williams this week.

We have "USA Today" columnist and CNN's Sports Analyst, Christine Brennan here with us. I mean, this was a nail biter. This was some grit to press on through this and be a victor.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Yes, I'm smiling because the greatest thing in sports, Brie (ph), is when you've got the new "new thing," the fresh face, someone you've never heard of. No one has any idea who this is, and then she just captures our imagination. When sports is good, it's great. And this is terrific.

And you're right, she had a really, really difficult match. She could have had two match points against her, an opponent who is 29 years old, and she just fought right through it and had the entire reserved Wimbledon crowd rising to its feet when she finally won that third set. It seemed to go on for about three days.

And yet being 15, it's great on one level to be so -- you know, to be so young, but to have the maturity to hang in when the odds are not against you -- are against you and when things are looking bleak, as they were in that second set, it's really extraordinary.

KEILAR: That's normally when people who aren't as experienced make the mistakes. They can't hold on. But when you see these hands just shoot up like this, I mean, it reminds me of something you would see for the Stanley Cup or something. It's -- how different is this, just what this is inspiring in the crowd? BRENNAN: Yes. Well, it's -- they are seeing exactly what we're

talking about, which is the freshness, the newness, the excitement. You know, it's the Fourth of July weekend. She's an American from Florida.

Interestingly, Brie (ph), her mom was an athlete just like her dad. So her mom ran track and field at Florida State, her dad played basketball at Georgia State. So in the past, we've seen athletes come along, and their dads played sports. But now, we are seeing, because of Title IX, this generation of young athletes coming up, they both have -- not only dad playing sports but mom.

And that is, I think, double the experience, the fact that they seem to calm. She seemed so grounded in the interviews. I'm sure some people have seen. She's just delightful, doesn't seem affected, doesn't seem to be rattled. Well, I think that's because you have not only dad as a former athlete but mom as a former athlete.

KEILAR: She moves on to Round -- is that -- what does she move onto?

BRENNAN: She's heading now to the Round of 16.

KEILAR: Round of 16. And I want to talk to you about the World Cup because that -- I mean, this is going to be a weekend ahead. What are we expecting?

BRENNAN: You're right. So the World Cup, of course, is Sunday, U.S. against the Netherlands. United States is trying to win its fourth World Cup overall in soccer and its second in a row. And this really is -- if you love women sports and girl sports and girl power, this is the weekend, right? With Coco and then -- and now with the women's soccer team.

They should win. The U.S. should win this thing. U.S. is the veteran team, but the Netherlands is all-new. They haven't been in any international competition even 10 years ago. This is only their second Women's World Cup, so they're an unknown, and they're great.

And when we're seeing these men soccer power spree now start caring about women's soccer like the Netherlands, like Spain, like France, like England, you're seeing this level of play rise, and that's why the U.S., obviously, is always tested. But I think the Americans will win.

KEILAR: It's -- and it makes it very exciting. Christine Brennan, thank you so much.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

KEILAR: Coming up, former Vice President Joe Biden is sitting down with CNN's Chris Cuomo for an exclusive interview about his debate performance and the state of his campaign for the White House.

[17:54:54] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Happening now, Trump's fireworks still bursting with enthusiasm after his July Fourth celebration. The President unloads on the Federal Reserve, the Democrats, and even a faulty teleprompter while denying that he's a bully.

[18:00:00] Seeking con-census. The Trump administration says it's still figuring out how to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.