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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Trump Team Tells Former Aides Not To Comply With Subpoenas; Jan. 6 Committee Considering Criminal Contempt Referral; Biden Won't Assert Privilege Over Trump Docs Sought By Jan. 6 Committee; Dems Rush To Reach Spending Bill Compromise By Oct. 31; GOP Candidate Youngkin Pushes For 2020 Audit For "Election Integrity"; Police: Parents OF Petito's Fiancee Refused To Discuss Her Disappearance With Officers; Top U.S. & Mexican Officials Seek Common Ground On Dealing With Migration And Security Issues; New Tensions After Dozens Of Chinese Warplanes Fly Near Taiwan; New Data: Injuries To Children Spiked During The Pandemic; Two Journalists Win For Seeking Facts, Speaking Truth. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 08, 2021 - 17:00   ET



SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Adding, they must accept Trump's direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege. Trump has publicly slammed inquiries into January 6th, comparing it to the earlier Russia investigation.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats they made it up, it was a hoax, and now they're doing it again with the January 6. OK, they're doing it again.

MURRAY (voice-over): And on Thursday, a lawyer for the former president instructed subpoena targets not to comply with congressional requests. According to the letters from Trump's attorney obtained by CNN, Scavino, Patel and Meadows were instructed to withhold documents and testimony concerning their official duties. Bannon was instructed to withhold anything concerning privilege material.

Democrats are fighting back. The White House today telling the National Archives to share relevant documents with the committee and refusing to assert privilege. And the January 6 committee said they will enforce their subpoenas even if that means holding witnesses like Bannon in criminal contempt.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Ultimately, our goal is compliance here. Our goal is to get to the truth and to produce a report that tells the American public exactly what happened on January 5th and January 6th, and the events leading up to that.

MURRAY (voice-over): And while legal experts say Bannon's privilege claims are unlikely to succeed, particularly since he's a private citizen, who was fired from his White House role in 2017, subpoena fights can take time, maybe more time than the committee has.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MURRAY: And when we go back to that fight over documents from the National Archive, we are hearing from former President Trump tonight, he says the Democrats are drunk on power. But more importantly, he says he is going to try to exert executive privilege over at least a handful of these documents, that the National Archives will essentially going to be prepared to hand over to the committee that the Biden White House was not going to go in to try to shield.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Sara Murray, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Let's discuss with my panel. Carrie, let me start with you. The White House is -- the Biden White House, I should note, is refusing to assert executive privilege to protect the Trump documents from not going to the January 6 commission committee. This isn't a blanket waiver, though, right?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. So, what the Biden White House is doing, what the President is doing is he's saying as to certain documents. So they're going to review sets of documents at an -- case by case basis for documents whether or not the President wants to assert executive privilege over them. So there's some set of documents that the archives has. The President is saying I'm not asserting executive privilege over those because executive privilege is the current President's purview to assert.

TAPPER: Yes. And when it comes to the committee, the Select Committee investigating January 6th, issuing these subpoenas to compel testimony and documents, sloppy Steve Bannon, as President Trump used to call him, Steve Bannon, says he's not going to comply. He's going to follow Trump's lead.

This is a new statement from the chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, a Democrat and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Republican. They write, "We will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral." So that could technically have some teeth and actually forced Bannon to decide, will do I really want to go to prison over this?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: He'll go to court to fight it first, I guess --

TAPPER: Right.

KRISTOL: -- to have a sense of how long that could take. I think it's good that the committee needs to be tough. You can't just violate, you know, ignore subpoenas, lawful subpoenas from Congress. But I will say more broadly, this committee needs, in my opinion, not to get too wrapped up in these individual fights over subpoenas. I mean, they do have a certain credibility.

With Liz Cheney audit, I think that will be -- their report will be the most read, watched and listened to report, and they need to make sure they can do that, and not hope that Steve Bannon is going to magically show up and magically say something or tell the truth which you can't count on. But they can't get all the phone records, they can find out who Donald Trump, I think, more or less was talking to you from the White House that day.


KRISTOL: Other records. And they just need to, I think, do as good a job as they can but not obsess too much. You look if Bannon goes to court, he gets tied up in some litigation. That's life, I suppose.

TAPPER: But Paul Bannon was fired by the White House a long time ago. So this is all about what he did as a private citizen, right? So Trump is exerting executive privilege because he was president at the time, leading up to the interaction and then in the weeks after, but Bannon wasn't.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it's -- there's no insurrectionist privilege. You know, Mr. Bannon was a private citizen. I believe in executive privilege. Bill and I both worked in White House as presidents have to have the right to communicate in confidence with their closest states about policy.

By the way, it's been eroded too much. We don't subpoena Supreme Court clerks. We don't subpoena legislative aides. So I actually believe in that. I think reporters should have some privileges.

That said, it can't extend to someone who's not on your staff when you're no longer the president. I mean, that is farcical. It is way outside, even a believer in executive privilege, it has got to say no. This guy is a private citizen. There's some certainly no privilege in his case. And he wants to litigate it. You know, I guess he's got a perfect right to do so, but Congress does have the right to enforce -- to set the laws and to enforce those laws and they're going to do it.


TAPPER: And Donald Trump appeared on Fox last night and, you know, I -- we debate whether or not we should share these bites because they're so disgusting and racist. But I think it's important that people hear what Donald Trump is feeding to his base. So here he is disparaging refugees from Haiti seeking asylum, take a listen.


TRUMP: We have hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti. Haiti has a tremendous AIDS problem. AIDS is a step beyond. AIDS is a real bad problem. Many of those people will probably have AIDS and they're coming into our country and we don't do anything about it. We let everybody come in. Sean, it's like a death wish. It's like a death wish for our country.


TAPPER: I mean, that's just like putting a microphone to a -- up to the, you know, the mouth of a bigot in a bar in Queens in 1984. But this is the man controlling the Republican Party. AYESHA RASCOE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NPR: Is the man controlling the Republican Party, it's a man who had control over funding for AIDS and all of these things. So he was dealing with these policies, and he's believing things like you said from 1984, 1991. People with AIDS now can live a very long life. They can -- there have been lots of development since it first came -- since AIDS first came out, but yet you hear him talking like it's 1992. But he does this over and over again.

You had Stephanie Grisham book come out, his former press secretary, she had him talking about Iranian saying they're wired for trouble. He was talking to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, talking about people in India going to the bathroom in the streets. This is who Donald Trump is. And the issue is that he is still around, he is still trying to potentially run for president and he could be back in power again.

KRISTOL: And he can choose the party. That's just the key thing. You could have a president who was turns out to be pretty disgusting human being and still is an ex-president. You're causing trouble, riling people up, but we've never had the situation of someone like him controlling a party, which is very close, has half the Senate and almost half the House.


KRISTOL: And may win one or both bodies in 2020 (ph). And he's the leading candidate for 2024.

TAPPER: Did you see -- and there's a state representative, I think he's the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and Democrat in Virginia. He's Jewish. He's a U.S. veteran. He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the Virginia Republican Party put out a mailer on him with an airbrush to his nose to make it like a hook nose. And they have these piles of gold, and it's like -- it's like from Der Sturmer. I couldn't even believe that.

KRISTOL: And this is where -- this is the impact. I mean, I seen this in so many places. I was at this McAuliffe-Youngkin debate the other day. Younger Republic -- I mean, this is legitimizing and normalizing a whole mode of behavior. A lot of people who in another moment would have -- whatever they might have privately said, late at night, in a bar in Queens, or in Virginia Beach, or anywhere, they wouldn't say publicly. They knew it wasn't right to say that or even to act on this ways.

And now it's all unleashed. And you see it across the country and that is the genuine threat, the threat of such a threat going forward. And I was talking to a law professor the other day, we can strengthen some laws and strengthen some provisions. Carrie and I were talking about this. But if you have a whole party that is -- doesn't believe in democracy, doesn't believe in decency, doesn't believe in tolerance for fellow citizens --

TAPPER: Pluralism.

KRISTOL: -- it's hard to kind of keep straightening little, you know, provisions that really preserve our democracy.

CORDERO: Well, and the incident that you're describing, Jake, because that's my neighborhood in Northern Virginia --


CORDERO: -- and it's not an isolated incident. So this has been a pattern. There have been other examples against also the female and Jewish speaker of the Virginia legislature.

TAPPER: OK, I was confused. This is --

CORDERO: And so --

TAPPER: Yes. Right.

CORDERO: -- so there have been multiple incidents of these types of incidents, and this is what the Republican Virginian Party --

TAPPER: The attack her nose, right?

CORDERO: -- has been as well. Yes.

TAPPER: Her Republican opponent criticized her nose, such big --

CORDERO: Yes, and so there have been -- and then Representative Helmer as well. So there have been these a variety of incidents in the Virginia Republican Party. This is an issue with the current governor's race going on there were people who think that the Republican candidate is not aligned with these types of activities, that is the party that he is leading right now --

TAPPER: But Ayesha, does this end up hurting Republicans at all? I mean, I guess that's my question.

RASCOE: It hurt them in the last election, right? Like people in the suburbs and what have you were turned off. They said, this is getting too nasty. This is too much. The question is whether it will continue to hurt as the more you legitimize (ph) them, make these things legitimate.

CORDERO: I can talk.

RASCOE: Make these things legitimate. The more you make these things legitimate, people feel comfortable with it. And some people who may be in the past in the suburbs (ph) would have said this is distasteful, may say, oh I think they're just speaking the truth.

TAPPER: It's Friday evening.



TAPPER: We're all that entire --

RASCOE: Yes, it's a little -- it's been a long week.

TAPPER: Very quick, last word.

BEGALA: Leadership matters. Ronald Reagan disavowed the Klan when they burned across an African-American family's home in Washington -- in Maryland. George W. Bush Sr., George H.W. Bush disavowed David Duke, the former leader of the Klan.



BEGALA: Who you asked Donald Trump about, Trump wouldn't disavow him. So leadership matters and Glenn Youngkin, who's the leader of the Republican Party, that Republican candidate for governor, has to disavow this kind of racism and anti-Semitism? Other Republicans --

CORDERO: He's not so far.

BEGALA: He has not, other Republicans would be disavowing what Mr. Trump said about people from Haiti.

TAPPER: Thanks to all of you. Have a great weekend.

Could a disappointing jobs report be a boost for the President's massive spending bills? The latest haggling on Capitol Hill, next. And more shadiness from Brian Laundrie's parents, their story changing yet again as the search for their son continues. Stay with us.



TAPPER: We're back with our politics lead. And with an economic crisis averted, at least for now, Democrats on Capitol Hill are able to turn their focus back to negotiating that massive social safety net spending bill, which could contain trillions of dollars in programs for the American people such as free preschool or community college, expanded Medicare benefits, paid family leave, as well as funding for alternative energy to combat climate change.

Let's discuss with CNN Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins and CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju. Manu, let me go to the Hill now with you. It seems that the brief moment of kind of unity that we saw in the Senate last night, Democrats coming together on the debt ceiling vote with 11 Republicans, that's already over with Senator Bernie Sanders going after his more moderate colleagues today.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and he made that very clear, his frustration. He and his view says that there are just two democratic senators were holding up the entire democratic agenda. He says these senators essentially to be on the same team here and ultimately get behind an agenda for the President, for the whole party. Of course, it's a little bit more complicated than that.

There are disagreements beyond just Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, but those two are the most prominent. They are the ones who are getting the most attention from the President. They are the ones having one-on-one conversations. It was Bernie Sanders himself has raised concerns that they are not divulging enough information about what exactly they want to the rest of the caucus.

And talking to democratic senators, they don't have any clear idea what Sinema and Manchin want either. They are not talking to the caucus in these private meetings and frustration is bubbling up. Behind the scenes, Jake, I'm told on a conference call earlier this week, the Progressive Democrats in the House, one of them Ro Khanna asked Joe Biden to have Manchin and Bernie Sanders sit down together, hash out their disagreements. And Biden said, jokingly, well, that would be like homicide, but that underscores the actual -- the disagreements between the two men and between the two wings of the party.

And the belief is if those two could get together, perhaps the rest of the factions within the Democratic caucus can. But at the moment, Jake, they are still so far apart. And the President, I'm told himself, sounded exasperated in talking to Democratic members about the lack of progress he's made with Sinema and Manchin so far.

TAPPER: I'm not sure who would be committing the homicide against the other between Bernie and Manchin. It seems a kind of an odd comment.

Kaitlan, the White House today is trying to use what is, frankly, a very disappointing jobs report, is proof that this massive spending bill for infrastructure and for the Build Back Better Act that they need to be passed and soon.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, that's not really a way to spin only adding 194,000 jobs to the economy, which of course, is what happened in that September jobs report. But that's what President Biden tried to do today. And in those remarks, we should note he also tried to downplay some of that infighting in the Democratic Party that Manu was talking about. They are saying that there just disagreements, really, though, clearly, we know it's a deep divide among Democrats over how that agenda that the President is pushing should proceed.

And so, when you look at this jobs report, the President spent a lot of today focusing on the unemployment rate, and the fact that it has fallen below 5 percent, which is notable, it went from 5.2 percent in August to 4.8 percent. But, Jake, that does not get away from any of the real issues that are still facing the White House, including the labor shortage and what we're seeing happening to the workforce that's being reflected in these jobs reports. And that's something that President Biden did not take questions on today, though, he did try to tie this back to his agenda on Capitol Hill saying that America has great workers, great employers, but they risk losing their competitive edge if they don't get these bills passed in his view.

TAPPER: So Manu, with the President joking that putting two Democrats in a room would result in one of them killing the other. And there's this October 31st self-imposed deadline, does it seem realistic that there's going to be a deal? RAJU: It seems unrealistic at this point, because they are still so far apart, not just on the price tag, and they are on the price tag. Joe Manchin says he's still at $1.5 trillion, even though he had flirted earlier this week when I was talking to him about going up to $1.9 to $2.2 trillion, which is what Joe Biden's number is at the moment. But the Progressive still wanted closer to $3 trillion.

And then you have all the policy details beneath that, climate change, health care, education, the eligibility of all these different issues, how that works, the tax rates, those are just simply not resolved yet. And October 31st, is a deadline because they have extended highway funding that would expire at the end of the month, until then to try to force members to cut a deal. But Jake, they could potentially be -- they have their backs against the wall, kick the can down the road again, and then run up into those fiscal deadlines.

Now December 3rd, again, to raise the debt ceiling after they punted that for two months, and then that's December 3rd deadline coincides with extending government funding for that time. So once again, Congress could find itself in a situation where they either kick the can down the road, or perhaps the entire agenda stalls.

TAPPER: All right, Manu, Kaitlan, thanks to both you. Appreciate it.

How did police let Brian Laundrie get away? The manhunt is still on as we learn Laundrie had already been under surveillance. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In the politics lead, the same election lies that feel the January 6th attack have seeped into the Virginia gubernatorial race. Republican Glenn Youngkin is unnecessarily calling for an audit of voting machines used in the 2020 election, even though Youngkin himself is acknowledged that President Biden was duly elected. And Virginia's Board of Elections has already found a 0.0 percent chance of inaccurate race results, 0.0.

Meanwhile, as CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports, the Democrat in the race, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, maybe trying to distance himself from the leader of his party, President Joe Biden.



TERRY MCAULIFFE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: You know who's going to help us, Joe Biden.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terry McAuliffe has long been a Joe Biden kind of Democrat.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're not going to find anyone. I mean, anyone who knows how to get more done for Virginia than Terry, that's a fact. ZELENY (voice-over): And in Virginia, where McAuliffe is running for governor again, their association has always been a plus. Considering Biden carried the state by 10 points last year. But today's lackluster September jobs report --

BIDEN: The jobs numbers also remind us that we have an important work ahead of us.

ZELENY (voice-over): And Biden's weakened approval rating are the latest examples of political challenges coming from Washington, a point McAuliffe made explicitly in a virtual meeting with supporters earlier this week, a meeting that he thought was private.

MCAULIFFE: We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington, as you know. The President is unpopular today, unfortunately here in Virginia, so we have got to plow through.

ZELENY (voice-over): Republicans blasted out his comments, which offer a window into McAuliffe's mindset in the final month of a race that suddenly making Democrats nervous about the party standing and its appeal to independent voters.

GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA CANDIDATE: If Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton had a son, it's Terry McAuliffe. I mean, let's just be serious.

ZELENY (voice-over): Glenn Youngkin is the Republican candidate for governor. He's more eager to talk about democratic presidents than Republicans, notably former President Trump. He's walking a tightrope with Trump on election integrity, testing whether the lie that the 2020 race was stolen is a litmus test for GOP candidates. Youngkin still calls for an audit even though he now says Biden was the legitimate winner.

YOUNGKIN: I have said that Joe Biden was our President. I still talk about election integrity. I mean, election integrity is not a Republican issue., it's not a Democrat issue.

ZELENY (voice-over): This November election offers the first measure of the climate heading into next year's midterm races that will determine whether Democrats maintain control of Congress.

(on-camera): Is Virginia still a blue state or will your race test at this time?

MCAULIFFE: I always say, Jeff, that Virginia is a blue state and a presidential turnout, high turnout year. Every other year, it's purple. It's purple. We've got to drive voters out.

ZELENY (voice-over): Enthusiasm for the current president and the former one hang heavy over this race as a test for the nation to watch.


ZELENY: As early voting was underway all day long here, Jake, for that November 2nd election, the bottom line is this. Is President Biden a drag on his party, particularly for those independent voters or are Republicans still the party of Trump, which of course, has turned off many of those voters in the middle? That is the dynamic both sides are watching and wondering. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much.

In the national lead, behavior so strikingly bizarre even police are describing it as odd in the search for the fiancee of Gabby Petito. Today marks three weeks since Brian Laundrie's parents reported him missing on that day, September 17th. Police tell CNN that Laundrie's parents would only talk to them about their son's case, would not address questions about Gabby Petito, the son's fiancee, who was missing at the same time.

CNN's Athena Jones has been covering this case. And Athena, that's not the only puzzling behavior of Brian Laundrie's parents that day.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jake. Well, yes. Brian Laundrie's parents were on the phone or had their lawyer on speakerphone on September 17th when police came to their home the same day they reported their son, Brian Laundrie missing. This is similar to what we heard police say about how they were acting on September 11th, which is when Gabby Petito's family said -- reported her missing. Police went to the Laundrie home then and were essentially handed a card or a piece of paper, saying, you know, contact their attorney.

Very early on and all of this, their attorney, Steven Bertolino, has been advising them, you know, not to say very much. And so, if you talk to a lawyer -- to a lay person, it sounds like kind of strange that they're reporting their son missing. They won't answer any questions about Gabby Petito's whereabouts, who, by that point, have been missing -- reported missing for at least six days.

But if you talk to a lawyer, they'll say, you know, this is exactly what I would advise a client to do if I, as the lawyer, can't be present to put me on speakerphone so that I can kind of answer answer and engage with law enforcement for them. So it's interesting some of these details that we're finding out, Jake.

TAPPER: Athena, we also know that the FBI has the phone that Laundrie bought when he returned home to Florida, but what about the older phone he had?

JONES: Well, yes, police are now confirming that they -- authorities do not have either Brian Laundrie's older phone or Gabby Petito's phone. They don't have the phones that that couple was using during this month long, weeks long trip across the Mountain West. That has been a mystery this whole time.

And even when we learned that Brian had bought that new phone on September 4th, and he left that phone behind when he departed his home a little over a week later, we didn't have it clear for sure from the authorities whether they knew what was going on with either of those other phones. But now we know that neither Brian Laundrie's old phone nor Gabby Petito's phone is in the hands of authority, so we have another mystery here.

TAPPER: Yes, indeed. Athena Jones, thanks so much.

Coming up next, a mysterious collision, what did a U.S. submarine hit in the middle of the South China Sea? Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our world lead top, Biden administration officials met with Mexico's president today. Both sides are looking for solutions to the migrant crisis along the border and the deeper security crisis related to Narcoterrorism.

Let's go to CNN National Security Correspondent Kylie Atwood who joins us live from Mexico City. So Kylie, how have the talks gone?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, they were largely positive in tone (ph). And I will say, Jake, Attorney General Garland noted that this was his first time leaving the country since becoming the Attorney General. Underscoring just how important the Biden administration feels, is to work with Mexico on security challenges.


Now, what they did today was launched a new framework. And what that framework is going to do is develop ways that they can work together, the U.S. and Mexico to go after the illicit drug trafficking, to go after human trafficking, to go after criminal networks that are operating on both sides, particularly here in Mexico, of course. And the idea here is that this will supplement potentially replace a new -- an old framework, an old initiative that was put into place in 2008. What that did was essentially give the United States the green light to provide Mexico with going after criminals here in Mexico. But the idea here that the Biden administration is rolling out is that they'll be able to go after these issues at a deeper level, right, not just going after the drug trafficking, but also going after why people are addicted to these drugs in general.

Now, one thing to note, Jake, is that there's a tremendous amount of tension between the U.S. and Mexico right now when it comes to Drug Enforcement Agency, the arrest of the former top defense official here who -- that was last year. There's also issues when it comes to, of course, the border crisis. And that was one thing that was not part of the discussions today. We heard from the foreign minister here in Mexico that they didn't discuss that.

And here's what Secretary Blinken said when he was asked about migration.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't have much to add because, as Marcelo said, this is not something that came up today. I would just simply say that U.S. immigration law, of course remains in effect. We continue to work very closely with Mexico to promote a safe, orderly and humane process along the shared border and to address the myriad challenges of irregular migration.


ATWOOD: Now, it's also noteworthy, Jake, that as they didn't discuss immigration today, migration, as there have been tens of thousands of migrants going to that U.S.-Mexico border, many of them, of course, from Haiti in the last month. There's also a group of Democrats that wrote to Secretary Blinken just today, and they were condemning what they have seen as cruel treatment along the U.S. border of those Haitian immigrants. They are calling on the Biden administration to change some of their policies. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Kylie Atwood, thanks so much.

Also in our world lead, a mystery on the high seas in a part of the world where suspicions are frankly easily aroused. The nuclear powered U.S. submarine has arrived in Guam after striking an undersea object in the South China Sea. The Pentagon says some of the sailors aboard, the USS Connecticut were hurt in the collision, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

Let's go to CNN Pentagon Correspondent Oren Liebermann. Oren, do we know what the submarine hit?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Not at this point. I've heard some speculation from defense officials that maybe it was a reef and then that became, perhaps, an underwater shipping container. In the end for right now, it's simply an unknown object. And there will be an investigation by U.S. Pacific fleet to try to figure out what this submarine could possibly have hit. It did sustain some damage the Navy said, but not to the core of the nuclear power plant. And it was able to make its way under its own power to Guam where this investigation to figure out what happened will begin and, of course, to figure out what happened, what went wrong and could this have been avoided.

So all of that is part of the investigation. Crucially, the Navy did not say it happened in the South China Sea that was from defense officials. The Navy simply said it happened in the international waters of the Indo-Pacific Region. Doesn't like to acknowledge where its subs are operating, but that location is crucial with these rising tensions with China right now.

TAPPER: And Oren, this happened in a very tense part of the world, which I don't need to remind you, near China, near Taiwan at a time when the Chinese are directing threats at Taiwan.

LIEBERMANN: Absolutely. The South China Sea, the U.S. considers that international waters for the most part under international law. China says most of the South China Sea is its sovereign territory. So operating there is a way for the U.S. to sort of show the world that it sees these as international waters that can be used.

And on top of this submarine operating there, there's also effectively a multinational show of force led by the U.K. called Carrier Strike Group 21 that was also just operating the South China Sea. In terms of the tension between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan, the same day as this accident, there were more than 30 military aircraft, Chinese military aircraft that entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone, more than 50 military aircraft, a new high just a couple of days later, that led to some very harsh rhetoric between the two countries.

There was Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, meeting a high-ranking Chinese official to try to bridge a gap between the leaders of the two countries to try to ensure stability. But that no way alleviates the friction right now over Taiwan and over the South China Sea between these two superpowers. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon for us, thank you so much.

New evidence that kids have uniquely struggled throughout this pandemic. We're going to talk to a clinical psychologist about what parents need to know. That's next.



TAPPER: In our health lead, alarming new data shows more children have been injured during the pandemic than in past years. This is according to presentations given at a key national pediatrics conference. Now most of these injuries stem from accidents at home, perhaps due to a lack of adult supervision. Some injuries are from intentional abuse. The number of kids age five and up who experienced physical and emotional abuse tripled.

Joining us live to discuss, Clinical Psychologist Andrea Bonior. She's the author of the book, "Detox Your Thoughts" and a favorite of ours here on The Lead. Dr. Bonior, this data is alarming, how surprising is it?


ANDREA BONIOR, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Unfortunately, it's not incredibly surprising to me. I think what we're really looking at is a sustained period of intense stress for so many families, and chaos, quite frankly. Times where there was no childcare that was easy to have, times where the normal sort of physical outlets of being outside or sports teams weren't able to happen, times when adults didn't have the social support to be able to manage their feelings. And so, unfortunately, I think this is going to be a ripple effect. You know, it's going to take some time to come back from this, the disruption that we've had for so long.

TAPPER: Not to mention, I'm sure, the increased alcohol and drug abuse that happened during the pandemic.

BONIOR: That's exactly right. And even a lot of people that were on a good path with sobriety, perhaps were cut off from their usual support systems. Had to go to meetings online, rather than having the camaraderie in person, or people couldn't go to their usual therapist, or they lost their job, and therefore they lost their healthcare. So really, unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons why I think we've seen this.

TAPPER: I also wonder, teachers and caregivers or a friend's parents, they're often the ones who notice when a kid is being abused.


TAPPER: I wonder if these numbers are actually low, because the teachers, caregivers, friends, parents, et cetera weren't necessarily even around as many kids as they usually are.

BONIOR: That's been a matter of some speculation for sure because I think there are a lot of hidden cases, and there are a lot of families that sort of fell off the radar in the school system altogether. I think that was one of the really devastating things we saw about virtual learning, is that for some kids, they truly disappeared from the system. And they had no engagement, no oversight.

And so, an additional problem when we think about it in those cases, is that there was not the pair of eyes looking at them on a daily basis, seeing if they were getting meals, seeing if they looked like they were suffering from neglect. And so, I think you're absolutely right, and we can speculate some of those families are still at disengaged from the system. And those kids might not be counted yet.

TAPPER: One of the things that we often note when we cover this world in which we live, is how much the children of the United States and the world really, but how much the children's just gets -- get the fuzzy end of the lollipop get totally screwed. And we see this with the pandemic, kids facing the brunt of the collateral damage of the pandemic. What should parents know? How do we best protect our kids' emotional and mental health right now?

BONIOR: Yes. Well, first of all, we talked about it. And I think that's something that, you know, your show is really made a point to do. And I think so many parents make assumptions. They assume that their kid is fine, they assume that their kid enjoyed, you know, being home more, not going to school, or whatever it is. And they're scared, maybe to open Pandora's box and actually listen to the feelings that might be there. Because they think by bringing it up, that they'll cause stress.

In reality, if you bring it up, and you make it a safe forum for them to feel like they can express their feelings, that's going to open the lines of communication for you to be able to see if something's truly wrong, and for you to be able to reach out and get help if it's needed. The other thing I think that recently came out from some of the studies, it's just the amount of kids that have lost close family members, including parents, and I think that gets lost in the discussion. We say, oh, kids have emerged, you know, physically well from COVID compared to adults were not as frightened of them getting the actual infection. And yet, if they lost a parent, that could be every bit as devastating as a physical health problem, when you think about the ripple effects throughout their lives.

TAPPER: If we are indeed on the road back to some form of normal after this COVID search ends and, God, I hope it's not followed by another one, what are some ways for parents to ease our kids back into normal social situations?

BONIOR: Yes, don't push it. I think a lot of parents are, you know, oh, they're going to want to do soccer again, and they're going to want to have all these playdates and slumber parties and movie dates. Don't push it. You normalize the sense that even the things that you want to do are maybe a little bit anxiety provoking. And it's OK to take it slow, or it's OK to not immediately, you know, hit the fast- forward button and get to where we were pre-pandemic.

Because I'm seeing that a lot with various kids and teens that they're not quite ready to get back to where they were. And if they did, it actually causes more anxiety, and they want it per se, but then they think that something's wrong with them because it feels anxiety provoking to do the things that they used to. So, we have to let them choose their own pace.

TAPPER: One thing I say to my kids and other members of my family is, give yourself some grace. If you don't do well on a test or you have a little temper tantrum or you're not feeling well, or -- this has been an awful year, year and a half.


TAPPER: It's been incredibly stressful. You know, it's OK to mess up, like we're allowed to have fights for stupid reasons. Just forgive --


TAPPER: -- each other, forgive -- and forgive yourself.

BONIOR: Yes. We can model that too. It's so important for us to practice that. And I know it's hard for us to practice that, that self-compassion for ourselves as parents.


TAPPER: Andrea Bonior, so good to see you again. Thank you.

BONIOR: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Up next, something the world has not seen in almost a century. Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our world lead, a Nobel Peace Prize that makes journalists around the world proud, real journalists, the kind who report facts and try to speak truth to power. The Nobel Committee awarded the prize to Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. Each runs an independent news organization that is under siege in this world of growing authoritarianism.


Dmitry Muratov, he co-founded the Russian investigative newspaper, Novaya Gazeta in 1993 that has become an irritant at least to Russian authorities, including to President Putin because of the newspapers dedication to facts and to truth. Six of its staff members have been killed since the newspaper was launched.

Appointed particular pride, Maria Ressa is a former CNN Bureau Chief. She founded the Philippine media outlet Rappler in 2012, and has withstood harassment and repeated arrests for focusing critical attention on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his regimes murderous anti-drug campaign. Last January, she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour why she continues to fight.


MARIA RESSA, FILIPINO JOURNALIST: I feel like I'm fighting for my rights, that's only the first part. I feel like we have to hold the line because if we don't, our democracy will fundamentally change. It will -- it's dying in front of our eyes. It's -- the crash happened in plain view. So can we resuscitate it? Can we uphold our rights? And that's a lot of responsibility. And I guess that's part of the reason the fight is worth it.


TAPPER: The Nobel Prize Committee's announcement praises both Ressa and Muratov for their efforts to, quote, safeguard freedom of expression which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Congratulations to both.

In our pop cultural lead today Diana, Princess of Wales is considered an icon by millions around the globe. And now as CNN's Max Foster reports for us, a new CNN series takes a look at the many ways. Diana also blazed the trail in activism.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Diana sons unveiling a statue they commissioned in memory of her for the garden they used to enjoy together as a young family at Kensington Palace. She's portrayed by them here surrounded by other children, and in the later years of life, as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes. The way she engaged with them was nothing short of revolutionary, and it reinvented what we now know as celebrity activism.

Take this image from 1987, where she's seen shaking hands without gloves with a man dying of AIDS, at a time when many incorrectly believed the disease could be transmitted by casual contact.

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug.

FOSTER (voice-over): Two years later, she did it again during a visit to Indonesia, where she shook hands with leprosy patients to dispel the myth that the illness can be spread by touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's asking whether you're alright.

DIANA: Am I alright?

FOSTER (voice-over): May Lloyd worked with the Princess on leprosy awareness.

MAY LLOYD, LEPROSY MISSION: She spoke to people and touch them and not afraid to get down in the dirt and kneel next to someone or speak to someone or sit next to them. She was always on the lookout to help the person who needed the most help at the time.

FOSTER (voice-over): Even in her final year of life, 1997, Diana risked everything to walk for a field in Angola littered with active land mines. The man guiding her was Paul Heslop of the HALO Trust.

PAUL HESLOP, U.N. MINE CLEARANCE CHIE: You know, the first time I went in, I was pretty nervous and I didn't have 2 billion people watching me on TV.

FOSTER (on-camera): But she wanted to do it.

HESLOP: She wanted to do it.

FOSTER (voice-over): Heslop says the publicity that came from that visit was instrumental in creating the momentum for an international treaty to ban landmines signed later that year, though Diana never lived to see it.

DIANA: I'm not a political figure, I am a humanitarian figure. And always have been and always will be.

FOSTER (voice-over): The media was Diana's biggest curse, as well as a greatest asset. By drawing cameras and attention to causes that really needed it, she was able to change perceptions like nobody else living at the time. Celebrities have been following in her footsteps ever since.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


TAPPER: Our thanks to Max. And be sure to tune in the all new CNN Original Series "Diana", premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. On Sunday morning, tune in to State of the Union. Dana Bash will talk the Democratic candidate for Governor, Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Facebook Executive Nick Clegg, that's at 9:00 and noon Eastern.

Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, and the TikTok at Jake Tapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. And if you ever miss an episode of The Lead, you can listen to The Lead wherever you get your podcasts.

Our coverage continues right now. Have a great weekend.