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The Morning Rundown™

Biden looks to solidify support from Democrats after debate

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The White House released President Joe Biden’s next plans to reassure concerned Democrats after last week’s debate. And July 4 holiday travelers are expected to break records on the road amid soaring temperatures. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

Biden looks to solidify support from Democrats after debate

President Joe Biden and his team are taking this holiday week to reassure supporters that his decision to remain in the presidential race is the right one after his performance during the June 27 debate left some in his party questioning his candidacy. During a campaign fundraiser event in Virginia Tuesday, July 2, Biden blamed his poor performance on jet lag from back-to-back European trips, telling donors that “he wasn’t very smart” that he “didn’t listen” to his staff. 

Reports also said Biden added that he almost “fell asleep during the debate.” To what extent the president was joking is not clear. 

Previously, Biden’s campaign had said the president had a cold going into the debate. 

On Wednesday, July 3, the president will speak with Democratic governors and party leaders as he looks to calm their fears. The White House reportedly will also be holding an all-staff meeting which the Associated Press describes as a “morale-booster.” 

Biden has also agreed to sit down for an interview ABC News on Friday, July 5. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration really wants to turn the page on this topic with Biden heading to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the coming days, but that didn’t stop reporters from pressing the issue. 

“I think the American people need to get a yes or no answer on this: Does President Biden, at 81 years old, have Alzheimer’s any form of dementia or degenerative illness that would cause these sorts of lapses?” Andrew Feinberg, a reporter with The Independent, said. “And it’s a yes or no question and if you don’t know, why don’t you, as one of his senior staff members, know?” 

Jean-Pierre fired back, “I have an answer for you. Are you ready for it? It’s a ‘no’ and I hope you’re asking the other guy the same exact question.” 

This all comes as some members of the Democratic party are calling for Biden to step aside. 

Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first sitting Democrat in Congress to call on Biden to withdraw from the race. Doggett said the president must make the difficult decision for the Democrats to win in November. 

“I thought it was time for me to speak up, not for any self-gain, but because I think the risk to our country is so great we need to have the strongest candidate possible in order to ensure that the values that we hold for our democracy are not traded for an authoritarian strongman bent on revenge against his opponents,” Doggett told NBC News.

In a Newsweek opinion column, former Ohio congressman and presidential candidate Tim Ryan promoted the idea for Vice President Kamala Harris to replace Biden on their party’s ticket. 

Speaking to CBS News after leaving a fundraiser in California, the vice president confirmed President Biden remains the Democratic nominee. 

“Look, Joe Biden is our nominee,” Harris said. “We beat Trump once and we’re going to beat him again. Period.” 

Harris added, “I am proud to be Joe Biden’s running mate.” 

Judge delays sentencing in Trump criminal case

Former President Donald Trump’s sentencing in his New York criminal trial has been pushed back to at least September. The judge’s decision came out Tuesday, July 2, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court handed the former president a big win, ruling he has some immunity from being criminally prosecuted on charges of attempting to overturn the 2020 election. 

Trump’s sentencing in New York was originally scheduled for next Thursday, July 11. Now, the judge overseeing the trial says Trump will be sentenced on Sept. 18 “if such is still necessary.” 

That’s an “if” because Trump’s lawyers say the Supreme Court ruling should not only delay the sentencing but lead to tossing out his conviction completely. 

Trump took to his social media platform Truth Social after the decision came down, saying the Supreme Court’s decision awarded him “total exoneration” in this and other criminal cases he faces. 

Trump became the first former president to be convicted of a felony in May, when a Manhattan jury found him guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records. 

The Supreme Court’s decision has cast doubt on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump on election subversion charges, and a trial before the November election is highly unlikely now. 

The ruling could also impact Trump’s indictments in the classified documents and Georgia election interference cases, too.

Giuliani disbarred in New York for 2020 election interference efforts

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been disbarred in New York after a Manhattan appeals court found he repeatedly made false statements about former President Trump’s loss in the 2020 election. The court said Giuliani “flagrantly misused” his position. 

Giuliani, once a legal adviser to Trump, has been banned from practicing law in “any form” in New York. Giuliani’s lawyer said his legal team was disappointed by the court’s decision.  

Giuliani’s legal issues continue as he could also lose his law license in Washington, D.C. after a board recommended in May that he be disbarred. 

He is also facing bankruptcy after being ordered to pay nearly $150 million for defaming two Georgia election workers

Island-wide emergency declared in Jamaica ahead of Beryl

As Hurricane Beryl hurtles toward Jamaica, the country’s prime minister preemptively declared the whole island a disaster area. He’s also instated an island-wide curfew for Wednesday, July 3. 

Beryl has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm now, but it’s already caused at least six deaths in the Caribbean. 

Beryl is forecast to weaken more as it gets closer to Jamaica, but is still expected to be a major hurricane — at least a Category 3 — when it hits, bringing life-threatening winds and storm surge. 

FDA approves new Alzheimer’s drug

The FDA has approved a new drug found to moderately slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the second drug of its kind to be approved.  

Eli Lilly’s drug has been shown in clinical trials to slow a decline in memory and thinking abilities in people in the early stages of the disease. The drug, which will be sold in the coming weeks under the brand name Kisunla, is an infusion given every four weeks that targets a protein buildup in the brain — considered to be the main indicator of Alzheimer’s. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.7 million people in the U.S. 65 and older were living with Alzheimer’s last year. That number’s expected to increase to 13.8 million by 2060.

Watch for heat, rain, busy roads this July 4 holiday

The July 4 holiday is almost here, and while people get set to celebrate America’s independence, they may find themselves having to face two separate issues — the weather and the roads. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the brief break from the heat in the eastern U.S. is over, with heat and humidity pushing through New England. 

In California and portions of the southwest, triple-digit temperatures are expected throughout the holiday week. Meanwhile in the Midwest, NOAA said rain could spoil the cookouts. 

Then there’s the jam-packed roadways. AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will drive over the July 4 week. That’s nearly 3 million more than last year and would surpass 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, when around 55 million traveled by car. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND HIS TEAM ARE TAKING THIS HOLIDAY WEEK TO REASSURE SUPPORTERS THAT HIS DECISION TO REMAIN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE IS THE RIGHT ONE — AFTER HIS PERFORMANCE DURING LAST WEEK’S DEBATE LEFT SOME IN HIS PARTY QUESTIONING HIS CANDIDACY. 

DURING A CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISER EVENT IN VIRGINIA TUESDAY – BIDEN BLAMED HIS POOR PERFORMANCE ON JET LAG FROM BACK-TO-BACK EUROPEAN TRIPS – TELLING DONORS THAT “HE WASN’T VERY SMART” AND “DIDN’T LISTEN” TO HIS STAFF. 

REPORTS SAYING BIDEN ADDED THAT HE ALMOST QUOTE “FELL ASLEEP DURING THE DEBATE” – 

TO WHAT EXTENT THE PRESIDENT WAS JOKING IS NOT CLEAR. 

PREVIOUSLY BIDEN’S CAMPAIGN HAD SAID THE PRESIDENT HAD A COLD GOING INTO THE DEBATE. 

WEDNESDAY – THE PRESIDENT WILL SPEAK WITH DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS AND PARTY LEADERS AS HE LOOKS TO CALM THEIR FEARS. 

THE WHITE HOUSE REPORTEDLY WILL ALSO BE HOLDING AN ALL-STAFF MEETING WHICH THE AP DESCRIBES AS A “MORALE-BOOSTER.”   

BIDEN HAS ALSO AGREED TO SIT DOWN FOR AN INTERVIEW ABC NEWS ON FRIDAY. 

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY KARINE JEAN-PIERRE SAYING THE ADMINISTRATION REALLY WANTS TO TURN THE PAGE ON THIS TOPIC WITH BIDEN HEADING TO WISCONSIN AND PENNSYLVANIA IN THE COMING DAYS. 

BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP REPORTERS FROM PRESSING THE ISSUE. 

ANDREW FEINBERG | THE INDEPENDENT 

“I think the American people need to get a yes or no answer on this does President Biden at 81 years old have Alzheimer’s any form of Dementia or degenerative illness that would cause these sorts of lapses and it’s a yes or no question and if you don’t know why don’t you as one of his senior staff members know.” 

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE | WHITE HOSUE PRESS SECRETARY 

“I have an answer for you are you ready for it it’s a no and I hope you’re asking the other guy the same exact question.” 

THIS ALL COMES AS SOME MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ARE SPEAKING OUT FOR BIDEN TO STEP ASIDE. 

CONGRESSMAN LLOYD DOGGETT (DOG-IT) OF TEXAS BECAME THE FIRST SITTING DEMOCRAT IN CONGRESS TO CALL ON BIDEN TO WITHDRAW FROM THE RACE – SAYING THE PRESIDENT MUST MAKE THE DIFFICULT DECISION FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO WIN IN NOVEMBER. 

REP. LLOYD DOGGET | D-TX 

“I thought it was time for me to speak up, not for any self-gain, but because I think the risk to our country is so great we need to have the strongest candidate possible in order to ensure that the value that we hold for our democracy are not traded for an authoritarian strongman bent on revenge against his opponents.” 

AND IN A NEWSWEEK OPINION COLUMN – FORMER OHIO CONGRESSMAN AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TIM RYAN PROMOTED THE IDEA FOR VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS TO REPLACE BIDEN ON THEIR PARTY’S TICKET. 

SPEAKING TO CBS NEWS AFTER LEAVING A FUNDRAISER IN CALIFORNIA – THE VICE PRESIDENT CONFIRMING PRESIDENT BIDEN REMAINS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE. 

VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS 

“Look, Joe Biden is our nominee. We beat Trump once and we’re going to beat him again. Period.” 

“Are you ready to lead the country if necessary?” 

“I am proud to be Joe Biden’s running mate. Thank you.” 

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S SENTENCING IN HIS NEW YORK CRIMINAL TRIAL HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK TO AT LEAST SEPTEMBER. 

THE JUDGE’S DECISION COMING A DAY AFTER THE U-S SUPREME COURT HANDED THE FORMER PRESIDENT A BIG WIN — RULING HE HAS SOME IMMUNITY FROM BEING CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED ON CHARGES OF ATTEMPTING TO OVERTURN THE 20-20 ELECTION. 

TRUMP’S SENTENCING IN NEW YORK WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR *NEXT* THURSDAY — JULY 11-TH.  

NOW, THE JUDGE OVERSEEING THE TRIAL — SAYS TRUMP WILL BE NOW SENTENCED ON SEPTEMBER 18-TH QUOTE “IF SUCH IS STILL NECESSARY.” 

THAT’S AN IF” BECAUSE TRUMP’S LAWYERS SAY THE SUPREME COURT RULING SHOULD NOT ONLY DELAY THE SENTENCING — BUT LEAD TO TOSSING OUT HIS CONVICTION COMPLETELY. 

TRUMP TAKING TO HIS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM TRUTH SOCIAL AFTER THE DECISION CAME DOWN… SAYING THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION AWARDED HIM “TOTAL EXONERATION” IN THIS AND OTHER CRIMINAL CASES HE FACES. 

TRUMP BECAME THE FIRST FORMER PRESIDENT TO BE CONVICTED OF A FELONY IN MAY — WHEN THE MANHATTAN JURY FOUND HIM GUILTY OF 34 COUNTS OF FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS. 

THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION *HAS* CAST DOUBT ON SPECIAL COUNSEL JACK SMITH’S INDICTMENT OF TRUMP ON ELECTION SUBVERSION CHARGES… AND A TRIAL BEFORE THE NOVEMBER ELECTION IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY NOW. 

THE RULING COULD ALSO IMPACT TRUMP’S INDICTMENTS IN THE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AND GEORGIA ELECTION INTERFERENCE CASES, TOO. 

FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI HAS BEEN DISBARRED IN NEW YORK AFTER A MANHATTAN APPEALS COURT FOUND HE REPEATEDLY MADE FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S LOSS IN THE 2020 ELECTION… THE COURT SAYING HE QUOTE “FLAGRANTLY MISUSED” HIS POSITION. 

GIULIANI — A ONETIME LEGAL ADVISER TO TRUMP — HAS BEEN BANNED FROM PRACTICING LAW IN “ANY FORM” IN NEW YORK. 

GIULIANI’S LAWYER SAYING HIS LEGAL TEAM WAS DISAPPOINTED BY THE COURT’S DECISION.  

AND GIULIANI’S LEGAL ISSUES CONTINUE AS HE COULD ALSO LOSE HIS LAW LICENSE IN WASHINGTON, D-C — AFTER A BOARD RECOMMENDED IN MAY THAT HE BE DISBARRED. 

HE IS ALSO FACING BANKRUPTCY AFTER BEING ORDERED TO PAY NEARLY 150 MILLION DOLLARS FOR DEFAMING TWO GEORGIA ELECTION WORKERS. 

AS HURRICANE BERYL HURTLES TOWARD JAMAICA — THE COUNTRY’S PRIME MINISTER PREEMPTIVELY DECLARED THE WHOLE ISLAND A DISASTER AREA AND INSTATED AN ISLAND-WIDE CURFEW FOR TODAY. 

BERYL HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED TO A CATEGORY 4 STORM NOW — BUT IT’S ALREADY CAUSED AT LEAST SIX DEATHS IN THE CARIBBEAN. 

BERYL IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN MORE AS IT GETS CLOSER TO JAMAICA, BUT IS STILL EXPECTED TO BE A MAJOR HURRICANE — AT LEAST A CATEGORY 3 — WHEN IT HITS… BRINGING LIFE-THREATENING WINDS AND STORM SURGE. 

THE F-D-A HAS APPROVED A NEW DRUG FOUND TO MODERATELY SLOW THE PROGRESSION OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE — THE SECOND OF ITS KIND TO BE APPROVED.  

ELI LILLY’S DRUG HAS BEEN SHOWN IN CLINICAL TRIALS TO SLOW A DECLINE IN MEMORY AND THINKING ABILITIES IN PEOPLE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE DISEASE. 

THE DRUG — WHICH WILL BE SOLD IN THE COMING WEEKS UNDER THE BRAND NAME KISUNLA — IS AN INFUSION GIVEN EVERY FOUR WEEKS THAT TARGETS A PROTEIN BUILDUP IN THE BRAIN –CONSIDERED TO BE THE MAIN INDICATOR OF ALZHEIMER’S. 

ACCORDING TO THE ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION — AN ESTIMATED 6 POINT 7 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U-S 65 AND OLDER WERE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER’S LAST YEAR. 

THAT NUMBER’S EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO 13 POINT 8 MILLION BY 20-60. 

THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY IS ALMOST HERE – AND WHILE YOU GET SET TO CELEBRATE AMERICA’S INDEPENDENCE – YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF HAVING TO FACE TWO SEPARATE ISSUES – THE WEATHER AND THE ROADS. 

THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION SAYING THE BRIEF BREAK FROM THE HEAT IN THE EASTERN U.S. IS OVER – WITH HEAT AND HUMIDITY PUSHING THROUGH NEW ENGLAND. 

IN CALIFORNIA AND PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST – TRIPLE-DIGIT TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAY WEEK.   

MEANWHILE IN THE MIDWEST — NOAA SAYING RAIN COULD SPOIL THE COOKOUTS. 

THEN THERE’S THE JAM-PACKED ROADWAYS – TRIPLE A PROJECTING A RECORD 60 POINT 6 MILLION PEOPLE WILL DRIVE OVER THE JULY 4TH WEEK – THAT’S NEARLY 3 MILLION MORE THAN LAST YEAR. 

AND THIS YEAR’S NUMBER SURPASSING 2019’S PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS – WHEN AROUND 55 MILLION TRAVELED BY CAR.