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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Progressives Frustrated With Bipartisan Infrastructure Talks; Biden Starts First Overseas Trip, Meeting With G7 And NATO Before High-Stakes Putin Summit; VP Harris Declares Trip A Success, Despite Criticism; Trump Administration Pursued CNN Reporter's Records For Months In A Secret Court Battle; ADL Reports Anti-Semitic Incidents More Than Doubled In May Compared To Last Year; Sources: Cox Media Group Blackout Was A Cyberattack. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 09, 2021 - 17:00   ET


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The centerpiece of President Joe Biden's economic agenda now hanging by a thread, a massive package to spend trillions on infrastructure and dramatically expand the social safety net at risk of collapsing, along with other items on the Biden agenda.

After ending talks with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Biden has turned his attention to a bipartisan group of senators planning to engage with them through senior advisors as he makes his way through Europe. But today, top GOP senators in the group drew a red line and rejected calls for any tax increases.

RAJU (ON CAMERA): How could you get a deal without raising taxes? That is a red line for a lot of Democrats.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Well, we're not going to raise taxes.

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): As we come out of COVID, we want to actually help to keep the economy moving in the right direction. So, you know, taxes would be a huge mistake.

RAJU: In an effort to bridge the divide, a bipartisan group of 58 House members proposed a $1.25 trillion infrastructure plan with 762 point of that in new spending, but that is to a fraction Biden's $1.8 trillion American families plan on top of his $2.3 trillion American jobs plan.

Democrats say it's time to abandon those bipartisan talks and employ a budget maneuver that would allow them to pass a package along straight party lines, but they need the support of all 50 Senate Democrats, including Joe Manchin.

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): Well, I'm certain that this bipartisan effort will not agree on something that will be what I believe we have to do for the people of Pennsylvania, which means the job's plan plus the family's plan, the combination of the two.

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): If we can get a bipartisan deal, that's a good thing. But no voter that I've talked to in Georgia said to me, what's most important is that we get a bipartisan deal. I think people want to see change in their ordinary lives. And we've got to do infrastructure.

RAJU: Sources tell CNN that at a lunch on Tuesday, Democrats were sharply critical after Democrat Kyrsten Sinema told them she was trying to seek a bipartisan deal and had the blessing of the White House. Today, Sinema would not answer any questions.

Other Democrats in the group acknowledged it will be difficult to convince our colleagues to support any such deal.

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): I don't want to drag this off forever. You know, I remember other issues that have been drugged out until they die.


RAJU: Now Jon Tester also told me that he'd give it about a week for these bipartisan talks to play out and see whether or not a deal can be reached. And at the same time Democratic leaders are making very clear they do plan to move ahead with that budget process as early as July in order to try to move a bill along straight party lines, but they still need to get the support of all 50 Senate Democrats.

Even earlier today, Joe Manchin still would not commit to backing that process, even if those bipartisan talks fail, but also an ominous sign for those bipartisan talks, Jake, Senate Republican leaders are throwing cold water on it and Mitch McConnell has yet to embrace it. Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right. Manu Raju, thank you so much.

Joining us now to discuss, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Mr. Chairman, I want to talk about infrastructure in a moment.

But, first, I'm also very eager to hear your response to this new bombshell report from ProPublica that details how some of America's super wealthiest people avoid paying much in federal income taxes. They do this legally, while most Americans are -- obviously pay between 20 and 30 percent of their incomes.

This is, of course, because of loopholes in the tax code and because the U.S. government focuses on taxing labor income and not wealth.

What did you think when you read this report?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Well, I think, as you can guess, Jake, I was not shocked.

We have a regressive and unfair tax system. We have a corrupt political system, in which the wealthy are able to make huge campaign contributions and have all kinds of lobbyists here on Capitol Hill. And then, if you're rich, unlike an ordinary working person, you have dozens of lawyers and accountants helping you take advantage of every loophole that is out there. So, bottom line is, why should we be surprised that, in a corrupt

system, the very, very richest people, multibillionaires, pay in a given year zero in federal income tax? And it's not just individuals. We have major corporations that make billions in profits. They pay nothing in federal income taxes.

Clearly, one of the things that we have to do -- and President Biden has some ideas on this. I would go further. But he has ideas that does say that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes.

TAPPER: So, let's talk about infrastructure negotiations.

Do you think, Senator, Mr. Chairman, that President Biden is making a mistake by now deferring the infrastructure bill negotiations to this group of -- this bipartisan group of 10 senators?

SANDERS: Well, look, if you could get 10 senators to address the major crises facing working families and this country, in terms of roads and bridges, in terms of climate, in terms of childcare, in terms of health care, in terms of education, if you can find 10 senators who would be willing to come on board a serious proposal that addresses those crises, and, by the way, Jake, in the process of rebuilding America, we create millions of good-paying jobs, if you can find 10 Republican senators who are prepared to do, that's great.


But, between you and me, you don't have 10 Republican senators who are prepared to do that. And that is why, as chairman of the Budget Committee, we have begun work on a major reconciliation bill that will finally, finally, after years of neglect, address the crises facing working families in this country.

You know, real wages for the average American worker have not gone up in 48 years. You got mom and dad working. They got no money in the bank. You got elderly people can't afford dental care, can't afford hearing aids, can't afford eyeglasses. You got half-a-million people sleeping out on the streets.


SANDERS: We have got work to do.

The president has given us a blueprint. We got to take that. We got to refine it. We're ready to go.

TAPPER: How are you going to be able to get the Democrats, like Arizona's Senators Sinema or West Virginia's Senator Manchin, to support what you're doing, given the fact that you need 50 votes, plus Vice President Harris, to pass it even through the reconciliation rules?


TAPPER: And, right now, Sinema and Manchin are signaling they're not there.

SANDERS: Look, we do the best that we can do.

We did it in the American Rescue Plan, which provided $1,400 of desperately needed funds to working families all across this country. We managed to put money into addressing the pandemic, so that we get vaccinations out there. We extended unemployment. We did that with 50 votes, plus the vice president.

I am absolutely confident. And my job, as chairman of the Budget Committee, is to talk to 49 other members to make sure that it is an inclusive process.

But, at the end of the day, I believe that every member of that caucus understands that working people are hurting right now. And, finally, we need a government that represents ordinary people, not just the wealthy campaign contributors and the 1 percent.

TAPPER: The House Problem Solvers Caucus is probably more aligned philosophically with Sinema and Manchin. At least right now, it seems that way.

And that group is proposing $487 billion in new spending for their infrastructure bill. This is a bipartisan group of people who, as their title would suggest, think that they are problem solvers.

I know you think $487 billion is not enough. But, ultimately, isn't something better than nothing?

SANDERS: Well, even in Washington, $487 billion is real money. That's a lot of money.

But, at the end of the day, Jake, I don't know if you have ever done -- bring on the American Society of Civil Engineers. Do you ever talk to those guys?

These are the experts in America who understand what's going on with our roads and our bridges, our water systems, our wastewater plants, not to mention affordable housing. And they will tell you that the needs of America just to bring us up to par, not to lead the world, just to bring us up the par, is far, far greater than that.

So, I think we have got to do what the experts tell us we have to do.

And I could speak as a former mayor. If you allow your roads and bridges to deteriorate, it is a lot more expensive to rebuild them than to maintain them. And that's where we are right now. We need a massive investment in infrastructure.

And, by the way, once again, when we do that, we create good-paying jobs, not minimum wage jobs, not starvation-wage jobs, good-paying union jobs.

TAPPER: So, I hear you.

And for anybody who doesn't know, he was the mayor of the great city of Burlington, Vermont.


TAPPER: One of the things that just seems so amazing to me is, I'm old enough to remember when infrastructure was something that people in Congress loved to spend money on. It was bipartisan.


TAPPER: Everyone got to bring it home.

And here we are in this period. If something like infrastructure, which polls agree has enormous support, if this can't pass with bipartisan support, I mean, is there any hope at all of bipartisanship in the Senate?

SANDERS: Look, the answer is, as I said earlier, I do not believe that there are 10 Republican senators who are prepared to take on the wealthy and the powerful and special interests and do the right thing for the American people.

I know that sounds very partisan, but that just is the reality.

Yesterday, we had a vote, very radical vote, Jake, is whether or not there should be equal pay for equal work in America, whether women should receive the same pay as men, very, very radical, no doubt. We didn't get one Republican to vote for it.

So, we are where we are. The Republican Party has moved over the years to -- away from being what we call a center-right party to rather a right-wing extremist party. There are some exceptions. There are some moderate Republicans, but they are few and far between.


And I think, given that reality, what we have got to do -- the American people voted for a Democratic president, Democratic House, Democratic Senate. Our job now is to do what the American people want.

Everything that I have told you, from childcare, to expanding Medicare, to lowering the age of Medicare eligibility, these are popular ideas, raising the minimum wage, et cetera. It's what the American people want. Let's do it.

TAPPER: Senator Bernie Sanders of the great state of Vermont, thank you so much. Good to see you again, sir.

SANDERS: Thank you, Jake.

Coming up next, President Biden's message to the world and Russian President Vladimir Putin as he kicks off a very high stakes foreign trip. Plus, sources say there was hope that Vice President Harris' own trip abroad would be a success. But now, officials in her own administration are worried that she may have fumbled some of her answers. Stay with us.


TAPPER: We're back with our world lead in just moments ago, President Biden wrapped up his first speech of this crucial high stakes international trip, speaking to U.S. troops stationed in the United Kingdom. Biden also delivered a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin whom Biden plans to confront in one of the most important meetings of his political career as CNN's Phil Mattingly reports.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Please, at ease. I keep forgetting I'm president.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden for decades, a U.S. emissary or envoy across the globe, touching down this evening in England, set to step out onto the world stage for the first time as president.

BIDEN: I've visited well over 100 countries as President or as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee -- or I meant as Vice President or Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. This is my first overseas trip as President of the United States.

MATTINGLY: Biden, now the president ready to lay down the marker on his foreign policy.

BIDEN: At every point along the way, we're going to make it clear that the United States is back. And democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues that matter most to our future.

MATTINGLY: It's one defined by reengagement with long standing allies after four years of confrontation from his predecessor, and countering what Biden views as the rise of authoritarianism across the globe. In short, advisors say, an effort to return the U.S. to a stabilizing and dynamic player in an increasingly unsettled international landscape.

BIDEN: I'm going to make sure there's no doubt as whether the United States will rise in defense of our most deeply held values and our fundamental interest.

MATTINGLY: Biden's week-long European tour includes a stop in Cornwall, England, to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other G7 leaders, a Sunday visit with Queen Elizabeth that Windsor Castle, then to Brussels for a summit with NATO allies, and wrapping up with a stop in Geneva to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The decision to meet with the Russian leader was one that split his advisors officials tell CNN with some wary of what could be gained amid increasingly aggressive cyber attacks, crackdowns on political opposition leaders and troop buildups in Ukraine. But for Biden, who is met with Putin before and has known him for decades, it was a necessity. BIDEN: I've been clear, the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities. We've already demonstrated that, I'm going to communicate that there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies in the United States and Europe and elsewhere.


MATTINGLY: And, Jake, the President's advisors are candid. They don't believe they're going to come out of that meeting with President Putin with any sort of deliverables or not even necessarily a positive outcome, but they do see it as an opportunity to his advisors make very clear, be candid, be straightforward and let president poop know exactly where President Biden stands.

They believe if they want a stable and predictable relationship, which is their overlying goal that is something that has to happen face to face. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Phil Mattingly traveling with the president in England. Thanks so much. Meantime, Vice President Kamala Harris wrapped up her first international trip as Vice President last night. She returned to a swath of criticism from the right from the left and from even some in the White House. Vice President Harris has been charged with the lofty and quite difficult goal of fixing the border and migration crisis.

Joining us now to discuss "New York Times" Correspondent Zolan Kanno- Youngs who just returned from traveling with the Vice President as well as CNN's Priscilla Alvarez, and Maeve Reston.

Zolan, let me let me start with you, so Vice President Harris said she thought the trip was a success. But even people inside the White House are a little uncomfortable with how she seemed to stumble maybe on some of the answers that you gave about why she wasn't visiting the border itself?

ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I suppose it depends on what you consider to be your measure of success when it comes to the border and immigration. I mean, there's no question that when she arrived in Guatemala, I mean, this administration has been criticized for having a rather inconsistent message to migrants to the Central American governments by both Democrats and Republicans. She did come to Guatemala and say, very clearly, the United States will be turning away asylum seekers for now.

TAPPER: Yeah, don't come here.

KANNO-YOUNGS: Don't come here. And as we know, the Biden ministration, as well as Vice President Harris continues to embrace the Trump era pandemic emergency rule that does result in most migrants being turned away at the border. So she was clear in Guatemala, and she did detail investments into the region.

But the question is, do any of the solutions that she mapped out during this trip is it actually going to have a tangible impact on migration to the southwest border, whether it be if your measure of success is keeping border crossings down will have a tangible effect on that, most data show or rather there is a lack of data that shows government messaging actually has an impact on that. And will it actually create opportunities for those fleeing poverty and persecution?

I will say though, that she was very clear at one point as well with corruption as well.

TAPPER: Yeah, good governance is a huge issue in South America -- I'm Central America.


KANNO-YOUNGS: A huge issue and look she's standing, you know, feet away from a Guatemalan president who was criticized an anti-corruption unit and the local attorney general office. She did pause at one point and say the United States would be assisting in those investigations. You can't look past that.

TAPPER: So Priscilla, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the leaders of the squad, I think it's fair to say a very prominent, progressive voice in this country. She said she was disappointed with Harris saying do not come. She wrote, "The U.S. spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America, we can't help set someone's house on fire, and then blame them for fleeing." What do you think?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: This is a message the United States have been -- has been sending for years. The United States has operated historically on deterrence policy and dissuading migrants from coming here. Now, Harris saying this in Guatemala carries additional weight.

But I've been talking to experts, people on the ground, and is it going to carry any residence? Probably not, in fact, looking at the data, just on the -- here at the border, people are still coming. The Biden administration was ramping up ads. This year over 20,000 in Latin America saying do not come, do not put your kids' lives at risk. And then in March, we saw record number of unaccompanied minors.

So is it important that you said it there? Does it carry weight? Yes. Is it going to resonate with the general population? Probably not.

TAPPER: And Maeve clearly obviously, Vice President Harris is a lightning rod for the right, they like attacking her. She was really criticized for being somewhat -- for seeming, I should say somewhat defensive when asked how can you not go into the border on this trip whether it was Lester Holt or other journalists? Do you think that the attacks on her from the right are because of her positions? Or is there some other reason?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think what we're seeing in this debate, Jake, is that, you know, the right has tried basically to make her their Boogeyman. They're going after her the same way that they went after Nancy Pelosi, the way that they've gone after AOC in the past. And the fact that she's taken on this portfolio with the northern triangle and immigration issues, has sort of fallen right into their -- the political trap that they're trying to set for her. And they're going to criticize her regardless.

But what we did see here when she stumbled on that answer, and seem to kind of flip it in response to Lester Holt when he asked, you know, whether she was going down to the border, and she said, well, I haven't been to Europe yet, which a lot of people just thought that was a perplexing answer, including in the White House.

And, you know, what we're seeing is that she is going to be criticized from all sides. And that will lead people particularly within the right to make a lot of sexist criticisms, because she is a woman and the first woman of color to hold that office. And so that's the narrative that we're seeing play out in conservative media.

And I think in part because of that, you know, because her staff has been laboring to say her portfolio is the northern triangle and diplomacy, not the crisis at the border, to things that are pretty inextricable.

She is really struggling to come through with a with a message here and not sound offensive, and she's going to have to figure that out, because she's going to be working on these issues for years to come and whether she will be a potential contender for the White House again, will hinge on her success in this, Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah, I didn't really understand why she didn't just say absolutely, we're going to go to the border, and then just change the subject to what you wanted to talk about, but OK. Zolan and Maeve and Priscilla, thanks to all of you for being here, I really appreciate it.

Coming up, the Secret gag order new details about how far the Trump Justice Department went to obtain email records from the CNN Correspondent, it's a crazy and shocking story and it's next.



TAPPER: In the politics lead, a secret pursuit, secret no more, a gag order has been lifted. And we are learning just how aggressively the Trump Justice Department tried to uncover CNN sources, specifically in a quest to get a hold of phone and email records for CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr.

This was a six-month pursuit launched by then Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald Trump. And frankly, as a journalist, it's shocking. I want to bring in CNN, Evan Perez. And Evan, what's stunning here is how far the Justice Department tried to not only obtain Barbara Starr's emails, but to keep this all out of the public eye?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: No, look, the gag order under which the CNN lawyers' legal team were under which they couldn't tell Barbara, they couldn't tell most people, they only can tell, you know, the president and network and a few of the lawyers involved.

And then to continue this over a period of months through two judges begins in July of 2020 when David Vigilante, the CNN lawyer first gets a demand from the Justice Department, signed by a judge that says that they want two months of email records believe belonging to Barbara Starr from back in 2017. It's part of a leak investigation.

Again, we don't know what this investigation is about. It goes over a period of months during which CNN is trying to get them to narrow this, including pointing out that there are 10s of 1000s of internal emails and other things that have nothing to do with the investigation that they're working on.


And, you know, eventually they go to a judge, a judge finally tells the Justice Department that part of the what they're arguing for is speculative and unanchored in any facts. I'll read you just a part of what this transcript says. We just got the transcript released, unsealed by the judge today.

And he says, "The requested information by its nature is too attenuated and not sufficiently connected to any evidence, relevant material or useful to the government's ascribed investigation".

TAPPER: So it's a fishing expedition. They just want to see her e- mail, right?

PEREZ: Right. He points out this, especially when it comes to First Amendment of these journalists. And look, in the end, what happens is, the new administration is coming in, the Biden administration is coming in, Justice Department, finally, six days into the Biden administration comes to an agreement with the CNN legal team under which they narrow the scope of the records request.

They turn over some limited records, which essentially was stuff that the government already had. And then, of course, in May, last month, is when Barbara Starr learns that not only had the government gotten these records through this legal fight, but it also sees multiple phones, her private and work phones as well as her private e-mails, something that the CNN legal team had no idea, had (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: Yes. And by the way, just to remind our viewers, it's not as though Barbara Starr and CNN were reporting like the whereabouts of some top secret --

PEREZ: Right.

TAPPER: -- terrorists that that the U.S. government did not want reported. There was nothing like that. She was doing good reporting, but there was nothing that put the nation security at risk. Even -- I have to ask you, this pursuit ended six months ago, you're saying, they came to an agreement six days into the Biden administration.

PEREZ: Right.

TAPPER: Why are we only learning about it today?

PEREZ: Well, we finally -- today, got the judge to unseal the court records. And we were able to tell this story, finally. And today, Merrick Garland was testifying on Capitol Hill, he talked about how they're going to issue a new memo with new restrictions. But again, they're going to make restrictions on when the Justice Department can try to do something like this. They're going to try to limit those cases. So they don't have something like this happen again.

TAPPER: All right, Evan Perez, thanks so much.

I want to bring in David Vigilante, he's CNN's Executive Vice President, General Counsel, he's the attorney at the center of this court fight the one under the gag order. David, I don't do a lot of media stories, but this is such an egregious violation, attempted violation of the First Amendment.

So I want to explain this to our viewers who are not used to the little -- to the internal machinations of -- and the tug and pull of, you know, reporting versus people in power. How unusual is it for the Justice Department to come to a news organization and say, here's a court order, we demand the records of this journalist?

DAVID VIGILANTE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL COUNSEL FOR CNN: I think the easiest way to answer that is I've been here for 21 years, and it's never happened before. These tools are common tools to get access to sort of phone logs, under law from the 1980s, you know, for wiretap kind of stuff.

But to go to a news organization, commanded to produce this kind of communications, and then completely tie its hands when it tries to evaluate how to respond is something I've never had to deal with.

TAPPER: Yes. And just to be clear, you're talking about the Justice Department getting a court order from AT&T or Verizon or Sprint or something like that, not from a news organization. So Barbara Starr's e-mails from 2017 were at issue here, from both her work and personal phone and e-mail accounts, do we, today, have any idea of what Bill Barr and Donald Trump were looking for?

VIGILANTE: No, I mean, that's what's the most sort of unnerving and bizarre part. Nothing we did, or nothing we requested would prompt them to create -- to provide us any sort of clarity as to what they might be looking for.

And we couldn't even narrow the search as a result of that. Nor do we have any idea of what the stated threat to national security or imminent harm was an issue to justify issuing an order like this, which is really the standards should be met and I'm skeptical that ever was met.

TAPPER: I can't even imagine that it would be. You were told -- you wrote in a piece that you wrote about this for -- you were told multiple times that you were forbidden, forbidden from communicating with the journalist at issue here, CNN's Barbara Starr, but you're the lawyer trying to protect her. That's your job. How can they gag somebody from talking to their own client?

VIGILANTE: Well, that's kind of the dystopian impact of these orders. You know, we went back repeatedly and, you know, once we could demonstrate that we secured the evidence, there's no threat that the evidence could get destroyed or spoiled, which is the legal word.

That should have been enough for me to be able to have a confidential conversation with Barbara. I'm a lawyer. I swore an oath to do my job. I'm duty bound and oath bound to do in a certain way with a certain degree of professionalism.


So the suggestion that I could not respect my duties as a lawyer and respect the duties of confidentiality I had to the court was really frankly offensive. And it was -- it made for a very difficult, you know, 10 or 11 months.

TAPPER: Who were you dealing with at the Justice Department?

VIGILANTE: It was a team of lawyers, principally, a gentleman named Gordon Kromberg, who signed a letter notifying Barbara finally that she was under investigation that I could talk to her. But there were several who appeared and we dealt with them through our outside counsel, were excellent the team at WilmerHale Jamie Gorelick and Aaron Zebley who did a great job, I believe, rather, sorry, you know. But --


VIGILANTE: -- it was a back and forth that was perpetual, but there was never any interest in conferring or reaching any sort of good faith resolution that was -- anything other than complete capitulation.

TAPPER: And to be clear, Bill Barr was supervising this whole thing, but these are career attorneys or are they political appointees?

VIGILANTE: It was a mixture of both, as I understand.


VIGILANTE: One of them was a career lawyer and the other principal involved was a Trump appointee.

TAPPER: I just -- the question I have, it's just a basic one, is this constitutional?

VIGILANTE: You can make an argument that it violates the Fourth Amendment. You know, there's a lot of argument or discussion about whether the third party document apply here and that means when you give data to a third party, have a lesser Fourth Amendment right to protect it.

I think here we maintain our own servers through our parent company, that argument is not nearly as strong. But ultimately, this is -- why this is such an extraordinary remedy for the Department of Justice to have in order to be used lightly and carefully and with a high degree of security at the highest levels of the Justice Department before anything like this can go forward (ph).

And this is supposed to be approved by the Attorney General him or herself, or an appropriate deputy. And I don't know what the process was like. That's one of the things we hope we're going to find out in the next couple of weeks.

TAPPER: I mean, what do you think was motivating this? Obviously, the New York Times and the Washington Post also had similar actions taken to them, including at least we know with "The New York Times," a gag order. Was this Trump and Barr -- and there was this Barr trying to appease Trump, is this career attorney's gone wild? Did this continue under Biden to a degree that you think this is really just a Justice Department problem?

VIGILANTE: You know, it would be speculation for me to answer some of that about motivations, because truly the process is so opaque, that a lot of the things you would typically ask in any sort of adversarial litigation posture, you would get answers, you don't get them here.

And the answer is because we can, and which is, as you might imagine, pretty unsatisfying when you have an obligation to protect your client. You know, I deeply skeptical based on what the court said at the hearing that they ever met any of the heightened standard they're supposed to meet to get something like these to legitimately issue.

TAPPER: And that's today's Justice Department, not last year's that you're talking about?

VIGILANTE: Well, you know, this is last year's Justice Department.


VIGILANTE: This had to have been approved by, you know -- so it had to approve last July to get to the viewer (ph).



TAPPER: CNN General Counsel David Vigilante, you fight for us in our ability to report the news. Thank you so much. And God, what a horrible year you must have had, unbeknownst to any of us. Thank you so much for coming by.

VIGILANTE: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Coming up next, the horrific act of anti-Semitism that has sadly become part of a trend in the United States as hate crimes against Jews surge.


[17:42:45] TAPPER: In our national lead, police in Tucson, Arizona are investigating after anti-Semitic graffiti including a swastika was painted on a synagogue. Just the latest troubling incident of what the Anti-Defamation League has called a surge in anti-Semitism across the United States. More than double the amount of incidents reported this May compared to May 2020, as CNN's Nick watt reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We feel unsafe.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hole cut in the fence, this dogged on the synagogue door, a swastika and a slur. Three weeks ago, a rock smashed through the window of another synagogue in the same city.

RABBI YEHUDA CEITLIN, CHABAD OF TUCSON: Sadly, it's a new reality we're living and we've seen these -- this rise across America.

WATT (voice-over): In the Bronx, there was a spate of attacks on synagogue stones also reportedly thrown at volunteers trained by a group called CSS to protect temples.

EVAN BERNSTEIN, CEO, COMMUNITY SECURITY SERVICES: We've had at least 15 new synagogues that have reached out in the last month. It's becoming very real for our volunteers and very real for the community. We're trying to give them the best training they possibly can to deal with this.

WATT (voice-over): When this began, mid-May, in Gaza and Israel, anti- Semitic incidents in the U.S. spiked, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Jewish diners attacked in Los Angeles when a pro-Palestinian motorcade stopped, man got out and --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Started running toward the tables and asking indiscriminately who's Jewish.

WATT (voice-over): A Jewish man badly beaten in New York City.

JOSEPH BORGEN, VICTIM OF ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK IN TIMES SQUARE: I thought they're urinating on my face, but it was actually, you know, pepper spray.

WATT (voice-over): A third alleged attacker was just arrested Monday. But since the ceasefire in and around Gaza, anti-Semitic incidents haven't stopped here. Just fallen back to a baseline that's been rising the past few years, along with --

BERNSTEIN: Really the normalization I think of anti-Semitic incidents, the normalization of swastika and the normalization of even physical altercations.

WATT (voice-over): Clearly, this issue runs deeper than knee-jerk reaction to violence in the Middle East. A research paper published in April states that in this country, the epicenter of anti-Semitic attitudes is young adults on the far right. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Jews will not replace us.


WATT (voice-over): But researchers found anti-Semitic attitudes spread far wider. In their polling, 22 percent of people said American Jews are more loyal to Israel than the U.S. 12 percent said Jews in the U.S. have too much power. This morning, Tucson's mayor confirm this most recent vandalism is being investigated as a hate crime,

CEITLIN: People that do such things, they're motivated by a very strong feeling of hate, of obviously, ignorance as well. My question is what happens next? And I'm really concerned about that.


WATT: Now, those who track the numbers say that the incidence of anti- Semitic attacks or slurs have been rising at least the past five years. Why? Well, they say that during times of political polarization, there are often more extreme actions taken by the far- left and the far-right. And also they say, the rise of social media. Jake?

TAPPER: So depressing. Nick Watt, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, a top New York City mayoral candidate showing off his apartment in an attempt to prove, hey, he really does live in New York. Stay with us.



TAPPER: We're back with our politics lead, a leading contender, the leading contender, according to some polls for New York City Mayor Eric Adams has had dozens of different zoom backgrounds, one Politico reporter noticed. While variety, maybe the spice of life, those zoom backgrounds are raising concerns about where Eric Adams actually leads (ph). It's a key question for his candidacy of the Colossal City. CNN's Alexandra Field follows the clues to figure out where in the world is Eric Adams.


ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: This is also my bathroom and downstairs is where my bed is.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democrat Eric Adams, a leading contender New York City's mayoral race today insisting he really does live in New York.

ADAMS: This is our small humble kitchen.

FIELD (voice-over): Adams who currently serves as the Brooklyn Borough President giving an emotional press conference. And then taking reporters on a tour of his Brooklyn pad after a Politico piece raised questions about whether other tenants were really living in the apartment. If Adams is spending his time in a property he owns with his partner in New Jersey, or I his home is actually his office in the city building Borough Hall.

ADAMS: It's been over 40 days and I've been crashing out right here at Borough Hall on my bed.

FIELD (voice-over): Adams touted moving into Borough Hall back in March of 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic, saying at the time the arrangement helped him best manage the crisis besetting New York. But with COVID positivity rates now below 1 percent in New York, Politico reports Adams has still been spotted a number of times, arriving at Borough Hall close to midnight and not leaving until early the next morning.

ADAMS: I've been into a Borough Hall at 1:00 in the morning working until 3:00 to 4:00 with my staffers who come in because they believe and then getting up at 6:37 to go to the train stations. Is that a mystery where I am?

FIELD (voice-over): The man who wants to be a New York City's next mayor renouncing that while he visits his partner in New Jersey, he doesn't spend nights there. The former state senator has focused his campaign on his New York roots. He has 22-year career with the NYPD and a tough on crime approach.

ADAMS: Stop the gun violence.

FIELD (voice-over): He is also tough on other candidates, especially when it comes to time spent in New York, launching repeated attacks on another mayoral front runner, Andrew Yang, who admitted leaving the city during the pandemic.

ADAMS: So why should we trust you now? You may flee again during a difficult time.

FIELF (voice-over): Yang now firing back with his own questions for Adams like, why would anyone vote for a candidate who can't even be honest about where he lives? And these more pointed questions from progressive candidate Maya Wiley, WTF and WTF again.


FIELD: And some of those candidates are now suggesting that Eric Adams is skipping a leader -- a leading contender's debate scheduled for tomorrow night in order to avoid answering any more questions about where he spends his nights. Adams says that instead, he will be attending a vigil for a 10-year-old killed by gun violence. But, Jake, there is one more opportunity to see the full slate of candidates debating in another week, just days before the election. Jake?

TAPPER: So bizarre. Alexander Field in New York, thanks so much.

Coming up next, new details on a cyberattack that is impacting how some of you get your local weather report. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our tech lead, a wave of cyberattacks has been rocking industries from fuel to the food to the news media. The latest Cox Media Group which owns 20 TV stations in 20 cities went dark last week. A source told me it was a cyberattack. CNN's Alex Marquardt has been digging in and joins me now. Alex, was this a ransomware attack?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It does look like that, Jake. Researchers have told me that all indications are that it's a ransomware attack and that because of the fact that a number of their internal systems are still down. We have not been told anything by the Cox Media Group or their parent company.

We do know that federal investigators are looking into this. But a number of employees of Cox Media Group have told our colleague Ryan Young, that their -- a number of their internal systems are not working, including they don't have any access to the digital video library.

They have weather computers at two stations at least that are not working. E-mail has not yet been recovered. They're working on workarounds like Gmail. Stations have asked from their staff not to open e-mail on their phones. And then Jake, today there are new problems, phone lines, not working, software that is used to put shows on the air is also failing.

Now, according to these researchers who I've spoken with, no data has been posted online on the dark web. And that is -- and there's been no claim of responsibility. That is possibly an indication that Cox Media Group is still negotiating with the attackers. But of course, Jake, it's an indication that companies of all sizes across all sectors are getting swept up in this wave of cyberattacks.

TAPPER: Our sympathies to our journalistic brothers and sisters at Cox. It's just absolutely atrocious. Thank you so much, Alex. Appreciate that.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. Our coverage now continues with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM."