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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Jan. 6 Committee Pursues Criminal Contempt Referral For Bannon; FDA Vaccine Panel Votes To Recommend Moderna COVID Booster; FDA Vaccines Panel Will Consider J&J Booster On Friday; Biden's Supreme Court Commission Issues First Draft On Court Shake-up; Poll: Fewer People Trust COVID Information From Biden; 5 Dead, 3 Injured In Norway Bow & Arrow Attack; Under New Israeli Leadership, Support Of Iran Nuclear Deal Could Be Possible; Family Says Pharmacy Accidentally Gave Their Young Children An Adult COVID Vaccine Instead OF The Flu Shot. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 14, 2021 - 17:00   ET



ELIE HONIG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So, any executive privilege claim he may raise here is just completely ridiculous.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While the committee is moving quickly on Bannon, they're offering some grace to the other three subpoena targets. The depositions of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former DOJ official Kash Patel have been postponed because they are engaging with the committee, but warning they will only tolerate the delays up to a point. Committee member Adam Schiff taking aim at Patel.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: Patel was a former Nunez staffer who was a demonstration of the principle in the Trump administration that the more willing you were to do anything the president wanted, no matter how unscrupulous.

KARA SWISHER, "SWAY," HOST: It's called the sire (ph) --

SCHIFF: The higher and faster you could rise.


SCHIFF: And he rose phoenix-like through the Trump administration one position after another even being contemplated to take over the CIA or --

SWISHER: Right. So basically remora fish action.

SCHIFF: Well, I kind of view it more like an evil Zelig.

NOBLES (voice-over): The committee is also postponed the deposition of the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, because they were only able to serve him last Friday.

Meanwhile, the White House will not stand in the way of the committee's request to obtain 1000s of documents from the Trump administration from the National Archives that Trump also claims are protected under executive privilege, the move likely triggering another legal battle in a fight to uncover who is responsible for the insurrection.


NOBLES: And this move by the select committee today is incredibly unique. In fact, the last time there was a criminal contempt of Congress that was referred to the Justice Department was way back in the Reagan administration. And by taking this dramatic step, the select committee is hoping to send a message to its other subpoena targets that they will do whatever it takes to get the information they are looking for. Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Ryan Nobles on Capitol Hill, thanks.

Let's talk about this with former Attorney General and former Counsel to President George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales.

General Gonzales, thanks for joining us. So, you just heard Ryan, it's extremely rare for the Department of Justice to charge someone for contempt of Congress. Now that we know the committee's moving forward with this criminal contempt referral for Steve Bannon to the Justice Department, do you think Attorney General Merrick Garland will pursue criminal charges?

ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER U.S. ATTOREY GENERAL: You know, I would hesitate to try to anticipate or even after making a decision, second guessed a decision by the Attorney General in this kind of case. There is a deadly information that he has that I don't have that you don't have, Jake. And so, obviously, we're at very unusual place.

This is a somewhat difficult decision. There are a lot of factors, I think, that if I were in as the Attorney General that I would look at, for example, are there alternative ways to get the information? Have we exhausted all other means to get the information?

I would look at, well, what kind of challenge is going to occur down the road with respect to -- with the tension and possible prosecution of Mr. Bannon? And obviously one of the issues that will be on the table will be the legitimacy of the executive privilege claim. So that'll be something that will undoubtedly get litigated. And so, they --

TAPPER: Oh, he froze up there. This is still not working? OK.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has -- hopefully we'll bring him back in a second.

Coming up next, are you eligible for a booster shot? We've got the results of the vote by a key FDA panel that just happened minutes ago.

Plus, a deadly bow and arrow attack and now police are acknowledging they had prior concerns about the suspect and his radicalization. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


TAPPER: We're back now with former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. We had some technical difficulties.

So, Attorney General Gonzales, you were saying that the decision that Attorney General Merrick Garland faces on whether or not to pursue criminal contempt of Congress charges depend on a whole host of factors that you and I don't know, including has the exhausted possibilities to get the information.

And in either way, Steve Bannon has said that he wants to defer to Donald Trump's invocation of executive privilege until a court settles it. So, he himself is saying that he's not going to participate until a court instructs him what to do.

What do you think, if you were attorney general and you were faced with a similar situation, what do you think you would do?

GONZALES: Well, I mean, I would look at the question of privilege. You know, executive privilege is not an absolute privilege, it's a qualified privilege.

And as a general matter, with respect to the current White House, the current president, if there is a request for information related to the actions or communications of like previous president, there is consultation that occurs between a representative of the previous administration and the current occupant of the White House. And based on that information, the current occupant of the White House makes a decision, a balancing of the equities of protecting that information that the former administration may want to protect, and the need to have this information for a legitimate investigation, either by Congress or by law enforcement authority.

So, you know, this is the way these things normally work. And the notion that President Trump on his own can claim executive privilege and as a result of that individuals in the Trump administration or in the Trump orbit, relying upon that, you know, that sounds fine, but I think at the end of the day, it will not be successful.


TAPPER: Yes. And Bannon didn't work for the administration at that point. He was a freelance individual.

Merrick Garland, the attorney general, has said he wants the Justice Department under his leadership to not be political. And I guess one of the questions I have here is how much do you perceive this as a political matter? I get that Republicans, some Republicans think that this committee, which is bipartisan, it has Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it, is out for -- on a witch hunt or whatever. But I mean, there was an insurrection, there was a violent attack on the Capitol. So, what are the political considerations that Garland has to think about? GONZALES: Well, I mean, there are, as you say, Jake, there are very serious legal issues at play here. But let's not kid ourselves, anything with respect to -- any decision with respect to a possible prosecution is going to become politicized. There's just no way around it.

And Merrick Garland, I think, is going to be very careful in the decisions he made, because he doesn't want to embroil the Department of Justice into a political food fight. So, he's going to be -- I think he's probably going to be careful, that will be measured. And he wants to be able to stand up to the American people at some point, and particularly individuals within the Department of Justice, to give them a clear understanding of why.

If in fact he moves forward for the prosecution, and there's an arrest of Bannon, this was the right thing to do. This was the only the proper course of action. Purely according to the rule of law, no political implications whatsoever. But even after all that, Jake, it's going to become politicized. Let's not kid ourselves.

TAPPER: My sixth grade son is taking a test on the constitution today, and he and I have been going over checks and balances and the separation of powers. If the Legislative Branch cites an individual in the Executive Branch or in the orbit of the Executive Branch for contempt of Congress, and there is no consequence, then what kind of check and balance is that?

GONZALES: It's not -- it really isn't much, I suppose you could say it's a stain on someone's reputation. It's it'll be a footnote in the history books going forward. But you're absolutely -- unfortunately, at least for the Congress, certain remedies that it may have in order to enforce subpoenas is dependent upon either the courts or the Executive Branch. And so, that's just the way it is.

And unless there's some changes, either through legislation, I may perhaps legislation may be the only way. You know, I think it really does take a situation like this one where you have an attorney general, based upon the facts, making the decision. This is absolutely the right thing to do, and is absolutely necessary based on the facts presented before the Department of Justice.

TAPPER: So Trump faces in order to provide documents himself to the committee within 30 days, and this is after the Biden White House rejected his attempt to blanketly exert executive privilege, what happens if Trump doesn't comply?

GONZALES: I think we'll find ourselves in this -- somewhat in the same position. You know, if Trump were a sitting president, there would be a great deal of deference given to the president in terms of making himself available for deposition or to provide testimony. Not so with respect to a former president.

So, I think if I were advising President Trump, I would say, be very careful here because you're not president anymore. And the privileges and protections that you enjoyed while in office simply did not exist when you're out of office. So, it remains to be seen. TAPPER: Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, thank you so much. Good to see you.

Coming up next, the vote by a key FDA panel minutes ago on booster shots, will you be eligible?



TAPPER: Onto our health lead this hour, a green light for the Moderna booster shot the FDA advisory panel voting unanimously this afternoon to recommend authorization of a third Moderna vaccine shot. It's a crucial step for people with an increased risk of catching COVID including the elderly.

CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now live.

And Elizabeth, walk us through the panel's decision today and also what will happen next.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, as you said, a unanimous vote by advisors to the FDA, these are outside external vaccine advisors, they gave a green light, they said we think this should happen. Next, the FDA has to meet, then the CDC has to meet.

But first, let's take a look at what this panel said. This panel said that they think people should get Moderna doses. And the half the dose of the original shot, half the dose, because Moderna says that's plenty and then they can save on vaccine and send it out to other parts of the world.

And you have to be eligible, meaning you have to have been more than six months or at least six months past your second Moderna shot. So if you just got your Moderna shots last month, this is not for you. And in addition to being at least six months out, you have to be either at least 65 years old or have certain medical conditions or live or work in a risky place. For example a health care worker at risk of getting COVID or perhaps someone who lives in a nursing home.

So, what happens now as the FDA listens to what its advisors says it makes a decision. We have every reason to think the FDA will agree with its advisors than the CDC is scheduled to take a look Thursday of next week. We also have every reason to think that they will agree, which means possibly folks who got Moderna and fit into these categories, they might be able to get a booster as early as the end of next week. Jake.


TAPPER: And then of course, there's the Johnson & Johnson shots tomorrow, the same panel. The FDA advisory panel are going to consider this Johnson & Johnson booster shot.

Tell us about why tomorrow's meeting is being so closely watched. COHEN: It's being closely watched, Jake, because there is -- there are some concerns about folks who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it was not as effective as either Pfizer or Moderna. And some experts have said to me, you know what, it really should have been a two dose vaccine from the start. So now is sort of the chance. You can call it a second dose, you can call it a booster, you can call it whatever you want. But there really is thinking that if any group needs a booster, it is this group.

And so the vaccine advisors will look at that data. And they're going to do something else that's sort of interesting, they're going to hear about a study of more than about 450 people where they looked at mixing and matching. So in other words, there's a group in this study that originally got Johnson & Johnson, but then got a booster from Pfizer and Moderna.

What's interesting is that mixing and matching in this study worked well. But especially well for folks who got J&J to begin with. Those folks, they were actually better off getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster than getting a Johnson & Johnson booster. So, in other words, this is sort of laying the ground for in the future, not tomorrow, but in the future, the FDA may say, not only is it OK to mix and match, but folks, you've got Johnson & Johnson might possibly be better off getting Pfizer or Madonna as a booster rather than another Johnson & Johnson.

TAPPER: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much.

Let's talk about this now with CNN Medical Analyst and Cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Reiner.

Dr. Reiner, good to see you.

How big of a difference could these extra boosters make in the fight in the U.S. against COVID?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think the big difference, Jake, is they will prevent more people from getting sick. They won't probably prevent more people from dying.

The current vaccines have -- seemed to have a very durable benefit in terms of severe illness, hospitalization, or mortality. But these vaccines clearly have a waning efficacy in terms of infection. And it's no joke.

I mean, I've worked with someone whose husband has a public facing job in D.C., and he had a breakthrough infection, and my colleague had a breakthrough infection, and both her children had primary new infections since they are too young to be vaccinated, and my colleague is out of work for the last two weeks taking care of her family, now taking care of herself. So, she'll be great. But the point is, it's a giant burden.

Even if you do well, it could be an economic burden, family burden, and some people will have long COVID symptoms with a breakthrough infection. So, I think there's a lot of reason to want to boost people and prevent people from getting sick, even if they're protected from dying.

TAPPER: Some of the people on the FDA advisory committee today expressed uneasiness with having recommended boosters at all, even though the vote was unanimous.


TAPPER: Dr. Paul Offit, who's on the show quite a bit said it could send the wrong message making people feel like they're not protected unless they've got a booster. Do you agree?

REINER: Well, I think it's similar to what I was just saying. I think that the public needs to know that they are protected, unless they are immunocompromised somehow, they are protected from severe illness, hospitalization or death. But they may be less well protected as time goes on against infection. And people will need to make their own choices about whether, at some point, they feel the need to be boosted.

It looks like the FDA and CDC are going to try and harmonize all of the booster recommendations. Meaning, they're not going to have different booster recommendations for Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson, which is why we saw today that the Moderna recommendations are exactly the same as the Pfizer recommendations. That is, people over the age of 65, 18 to 64 immunocompromised or 18 to 64 if you have an occupational hazard. I think we're going to see that for all three of the vaccines.

It'll be interesting to see tomorrow whether the FDA allows or recommends not the same booster for folks with J&J because the data does suggest that you can get a much larger boost in folks who have had one J&J shot if you're boosted with either of the mRNA vaccines. That's something to look for tomorrow.

TAPPER: About a month ago, you said you thought everyone will eventually need a booster and it will be recommended for everyone. That's obviously not the case. Do you still think that it will be ultimately the case sometime?

REINER: Absolutely. I think -- you know, it's pretty clear now that the mRNA vaccines were probably three dose of vaccines. The J&J vaccine, very clearly wasn't originally two dose vaccine. So I think at some point, everyone who has -- had a full course will get an additional shot.


TAPPER: For people who initially got the J&J vaccine, there's this new study from the National Institutes for Health showing that a booster for Pfizer or Moderna seem to provide a stronger antibody response. What should J&J recipients do if they want a booster? Should they get a J&J booster if it's approved? Or should they try to get a Pfizer or Moderna booster?

REINER: Well, I think the first thing to say is they should ask their doctor. They should ask their doctor what's right for them. And we'll see what the panel's recommendation is tomorrow.

It's very tempting to allow the J&J folks an mRNA vaccine because the antibody boost was dramatically higher than following a second J&J dose. So, we await their decision tomorrow.

TAPPER: All right. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, thanks so much. Good to see you.

Could the Supreme Court expand? Could it increase the number of justices? A commission set up by President Biden just dropped its first draft materials moments ago. That story next.


TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you in our politics lead just minutes ago, the first recommendations dropped from the commission President Biden forum to investigate the possible shake up of the United States Supreme Court. Joining us now is CNN Supreme Court Analyst Joan Biskupic. Joan, I know it just dropped --


TAPPER: -- but tell us what you have been able to piece together about this.

BISKUPIC: OK, in the last couple minutes, Jake. So here are the headlines for sure. They're not recommendations. They're things that are being put forward by people who were on the various subcommittees that took testimony for the commission that was set up last April, a 36-member commission that President Joe Biden established essentially as a compromise toward people who were saying we need to expand the Supreme Court, pack the court to counterbalance the six justice conservative majority against the three liberals.

And there are some ideas in here that our take on the idea of expanding the number of seats with various ideas for the number, when that would be done. Questions about term limits, looking at 18-year term limits, how those would be rolled out. So it looks like just preliminarily not having been able to really delve into this massive preliminary report yet, that several ideas are on the table that would go to the size of the court. The duration of tenure, as you know, right now, the justices are appointed for life.

TAPPER: Right.

BISKUPIC: And that's how --

TAPPER: That's on the constitution.

BISKUPIC: That's exactly right.


BISKUPIC: And, Jake, I'll be interested to see just how they take on the idea of whether any kind of term limits will require a constitutional amendment, which I think it would. TAPPER: It would absolutely, I think.

BISKUPIC: Yes, yes.

TAPPER: But you sat down with the Senior Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. Let's listen to a portion of that interview.


BISKUPIC: Does it irk you that you still get these kinds of questions from Liberal Democrats from the start they were asking whether you were going to be liberal enough and from the -- and right here we are after 27 years, there are expectations about whether you would want to retire to help out Joe Biden?

JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER, SUPREME COURT: That doesn't irk me. I'll tell you, the truth I think is there's always your -- you know, you can always hope for your more mature self, which is there sometimes. And this is a country in which in every day I see this in this document, but number one, it's called freedom of speech. That means freedom of thought.

BISKUPIC: So you think --

BREYER: That means freedom of expression.

BISKUPIC: -- let them say what they want.

BREYER: I do believe that.

BISKUPIC: But are you really -- but you must be irked somehow. This must drive you nuts a little bit, right?

BREYER: If you can -- I mean, please, was that --

BISKUPIC: There -- I didn't mean to slip into an informal way of asking you a question, Justice Breyer, but --

BREYER: No, that's fine.

BISKUPIC: -- I would think that --

BREYER: I was thinking of (INAUDIBLE) room and if it's too hot, get out of the kitchen or something.



TAPPER: You can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.

BISKUPIC: Yes, or step off the bench, something like that. Yes.

TAPPER: What else did he have to say?

BISKUPIC: Yes, well, he actually talked for a long time and covered -- you know, he even talked about some of these expected commission recommendations. He's discouraging court expansion, saying that he thinks that people should think long and hard about making any kind of major changes to the court. He, once upon a time, was in favor of term limits, like 18-year term limits, but he's going on his nearly 28th year. So he certainly isn't in favor of that so much for himself anymore.

But he addressed, you know, court practices, issues of transparency. He also, Jake, really showed how different he is from his other fellow liberals. You know, they're down to just the three of them, him and Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan. And Justice Sotomayor has warned publicly about the kinds of disappointing rulings that might be coming soon for the -- for liberals on the Supreme Court. And Justice Kagan has written about how, you know, public trust could be diminished in what's known as the shadow docket at the Supreme Court.

Justice Stephen Breyer isn't going to go there publicly. He's mainly saying this is a time to have faith in the Supreme Court. And to know that it has always been controversial, and we will survive this period.

TAPPER: All right, Joan Biskupic, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Also in our politics lead today, focus on the positive. That was clearly the President's theme as he spoke on the pandemic this afternoon. President Biden touting, rising vaccination rates, COVID cases going down. But as CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports us for now, despite the progress, there are clear setbacks and the White House scrambling to address them.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in a very critical period, as we work to turn the corner on COVID-19.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Biden attempting to reassure the nation.

BIDEN: Case rates are declining in 39 states and hospital rates are declining in 38 states.

COLLINS (voice-over): Focusing on numbers moving in the right direction, while those going in the wrong one are still plaguing the White House.

BIDEN: We have critical work to do but we can't let up now.

COLLINS (voice-over): Americans confidence in the President's handling of COVID-19 has dropped since he took office as more people now believe a return to normal is further away.


66 million eligible Americans still haven't gotten vaccinated as the President pushes mandates that he wants opposed.

BIDEN: Vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us.

COLLINS (voice-over): The pandemic still gripping the economy as an overcrowded supply chain causes shortages, delays and higher cost for consumers. Adding to the President's problems, his domestic agenda remains at the center of a standoff among Democrats and Congress.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA), CHAIRWOMAN, CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS: We're trying to work as fast as we can, but we're waiting on two people to tell us what they agree on and what they want.

COLLINS (voice-over): One democratic senator is calling on the House to vote on the infrastructure bill, while lawmakers sort out the larger social safety net package.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): We're 19 days away from election in Virginia. The President's got a huge wind sitting out there on a once in 50 years infrastructure plan. Let's make it the law of the land.

COLLINS (voice-over): Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the White House is keeping the focus on both bills.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the President agree with that sentiment?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President wants to get both pieces of legislation passed that requires having the majority of votes in Congress to get that done. And that's what he's working to get across the finish line.


COLLINS: And, Jake, it's not just about this governor's race in Virginia, the President was also hoping to have some climate provisions to take with him when he goes to a major climate summit here at the end of the month after going to Rome for the G20 summit with other world leaders. And his climate envoy John Kerry admitted that the stalemate is hurting and that it's not the best message to send, of course, as Democrats are fighting over how to proceed and whether or not that stalemate is going to be resolved. By the time the President does leave the country at the end of the month, Jake, of course remains to be seen.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins, thanks so much.

Let's bring in the panel. Jackie, let me start with you because President Biden spoke today for exactly six minutes about the administration's progress on COVID. He did not take any questions. This is becoming something of a pattern. They're trying to keep him on message.

He made brief remarks on the supply chain yesterday. No questions, same deal after the jobs report on Friday. Is this beneficial? Does it work well this way because, obviously, there's a lot going on, and people want to hear from the President about a lot of issues?


KUCINICH: Right now, we have lots of questions --

TAPPER: But what about for his perspective, isn't it --

KUCINICH: Keeping the President on message in terms of the White House is probably exactly what Democrats and Hilary could speak to that more than I can, is they want to keep steady, and all those negotiations that are happening behind closed doors, because clearly, there is no resolution yet.


KUCINICH: All the things that need to happen within the Democratic Party in order to push, you know, the infrastructure bill, and they're trying to, you know, pressure Pelosi into getting that on the floor and everything going on as reconciliation, there's no consensus yet. So in staying the course elsewhere is probably exactly what they want.

TAPPER: But Asma, the -- there's this new Axios/Ipsos poll showing only 42 percent of Americans, 42 percent have a great deal or fair amount of trust with Biden, when it comes to accurate COVID information is down 7 percentage points from last month. Also, the new CNN poll shows his overall job approval rating has ticked down to 50 percent. That's higher than in other polls that have it in the 40s. Do you think that the communication strategy has right now the short speeches, whatever, is working?

ASMA KHALID, NPR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I don't think it's particularly working. I would say, again, you know, to kind of echo what you were saying, from a reporter perspective, it's enormously frustrating to be a White House correspondent not really recall the last time you were in the room when the President took questions. But beyond that, I think at this point, when the President's numbers are dipping, say, on the economy and COVID, in particular, when you look at those two subject matter areas, that should be a cause for concern for them, because those are issues in which the President was deemed to be competent.

That is why many voters said that they elected this President is that they believed that he could essentially put the pandemic behind us, you know, help strengthen shore up the economy. And some of that is I will acknowledge, not entirely within his control, you know, in terms of some of the economic ups and -- ups and downs. But I think that when voters begin to lose their confidence in his ability to handle specifically, the pandemic, that, you know, we've seen time, again, the pandemic is at the top of every voters concern. We're just not hearing that much about infrastructure reconciliation when you talk to voters. It's COVID and tied to that it's --

KUCINICH: And it's already happening with -- losing confidence in him. We've seen it in several polls.


KUCINICH: When it comes to handling the pandemic.

TAPPER: And Ramesh, the -- his approval rating is in the 40s nationally, in some of these battleground states, it's in the 30s. And people in Pennsylvania, in Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, they're worried. Is there a way for Biden to turn this around or is this just -- I mean, how do you perceive this?

RAMESH PONNURU, SENIOR EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW: So I don't think that the problem is fundamentally one of messaging strategy. I think there's not a good message to sell right now. That doesn't mean that's going to be the case forever, right? Maybe by the time of the midterms next year, we've got good COVID trends, or maybe we're not even thinking about COVID anymore, let's hope, and maybe we've got a good economy.

But right now, people are not happy with the COVID situation, people are not happy with how high prices are. And no matter how gifted Biden and his team is, that's a problem that's going to be impossible to overcome.


TAPPER: And this is a frustration, of course, for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor just a few miles away in Virginia, where Biden is something of a drag on the ticket, even though he won Virginia by 10 percentage points last year.

HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, the news about COVID actually is getting better. Breakthrough infections are decreasing, and we should be clear about that.


ROSEN: And the President has, you know, done these vaccine mandates which seem to be working, except in states where Republican governors are resisting it and making it difficult for local leaders and business leaders that Joe Biden is on the right track --

TAPPER: The Democratic governor of Virginia right now, it's still a problem.

ROSEN: So, you know, I'm going to jump off the conventional wisdom bandwagon about Virginia. I just don't think that the fate of Terry McAuliffe is direct -- that is directly tied to Joe Biden. This is a guy who has been governor before he couldn't have higher name recognition in Virginia. He thought he was going to sort of blaze back to glory on the, you know, the path of hating Donald Trump. And that message isn't working as well.

And so I think there is this, you know, notion that actually voters are keyed into other things besides Donald Trump. And my guess is that if Terry McAuliffe were spending as much time talking about schools and talking about health care and talking about the things that Glenn Youngkin is talking about --

TAPPER: Yes. ROSEN: -- he would be way ahead because he was a good governor, and I'm for him winning. He was a good governor in Virginia prospered under him.

PONNURU: It is so democratic now that from the National Democratic perspective, I think there's only downside in this race. If McAuliffe wins, its Democratic state goes for another Democrat.

TAPPER: Interesting.

PONNURU: If he loses an earthquake for national Democrats, I think whether or not it should be that's the way it will be interpreted.

TAPPER: So Donald Trump called into an event for Glenn Youngkin and had high praise for him. Glenn Youngkin is the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Glenn Youngkin was not at the event. He does not want to talk about this, it seems, from what he says -- when CNN caught up with him today, it took Youngkin more than two minutes to offer this response in return. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This former president spoke about you last night, said Glenn is a great guy. I hope he gets in there, and you don't have any thoughts?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a great guy.

GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: Well, I have to tell you, I mean, humbly, I think I'm a pretty good guy. And work a digital (ph) work for all Virginians. And so -- and I just appreciate those comments, and I appreciate everybody's support.


TAPPER: I appreciate everybody's support. This is -- Donald Trump, he is, like or not, the leader of the Republican Party, and he's, "Oh, I appreciate everybody's support."

KHALID: Sure. Right. And Democrats are really eager to have Donald Trump on the ballot. You saw that in California, right, with the referendum there. But I agree, I mean, I think that to some degree, there are really a lot of nuances to what's happening in Virginia. I think a lot of this is tied into dynamics around schools, Terry McAuliffe, himself as a candidate.

But I don't think as a Republican running anywhere in this country right now, you can escape the idea of Donald Trump as the standard bearer of your party, whether or not you want to. And Democrats are eager, and we've already seen Terry McAuliffe, be very eager to run on.

TAPPER: And one of the other things --

KUCINICH: Go ahead, no. I was just going to say, he doesn't want to do -- TAPPER: Yes.

KUCINICH: -- anything to tamp down the enthusiasm that's going on among Virginia Republicans right now and going against Donald Trump, that is problematic.

TAPPER: It's problematic, also he wants to win -- Youngkin wants to win over a lot of suburbanites in Northern Virginia --


TAPPER: -- who voted for Biden and see Youngkin as moderate. One of the problems is that the Virginia Republican Party is somewhat has been radicalized, not by Trump, it was radicalized years ago by Corey Stewart and others. And I just want you to see this, at the same rally that Trump called into, attendees pledged allegiance to an American flag that the host claimed was part of the, quote, peaceful rally on January 6. Youngkin was asked about that pledge today. Take a listen to his response.


YOUNGKIN: So to be clear, I don't think of -- if that, I wasn't involved and so I don't know. But if that is the case, then we shouldn't pledge allegiance to that flag. And oh, by the way, I've been so clear, there is no place for violence. None. None in America today.

We have our right to assemble and protest protected in this great country and in this great Commonwealth. But there is no room for violence.


TAPPER: I mean, it's a tough line to walk.

PONNURU: Yes, it often seemed to me in his handling of Trump and other elements of the party that are difficult for Youngkin. It's a high- wire act and every once in a while somebody like Trump will reach out and shake that wire.

TAPPER: It's tough to escape, though.

ROSEN: Well, but I think you have to assume that voters in Virginia, I mean, you know, Joe Biden didn't win with Democrats and Donald Trump didn't win -- didn't lose by Republicans. The Independent voters in Virginia --

TAPPER: Independents, yes.

ROSEN: -- is strong and those voters are kind of sick of Donald Trump. And that's why I think there's a, you know, this back and forth of, is he a hindrance, or is he a help, probably isn't going to get those voters.

[17:45:02] TAPPER: Thanks everyone appreciate it.

Coming up, we're live in Norway after a suspect used a bow and arrow to kill five people. Why officials now consider that terrorism. Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our world lead now, an apparent act of terrorism carried out by a man armed with a bow and arrow. It left five people dead in Norway. The attack happened in the small city of Kongsberg, located about 50 miles southwest of Oslo, the capital of Norway.

CNN's Melissa Bell is live for us in Norway. Melissa, the police are revealing new information about the suspect. What are you learning?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. We're learning more about this 37-year-old Danish national who'd grown up here in Norway, and who had a history of radicalization.


He'd had contacts with the peace before, although not over the course of the last year, he was known to police for that radicalization. And so, this is being considered a terror attack. And yet, police chief's being very cautious saying, look, we need to find out more, despite his history of radicalization, about precisely what his motives were.

Now, he was due to appear in court tomorrow morning. We've learned from the prosecutor that that may not be the case, since he's being questioned tonight by police to work out precisely what his psychological profile is, and whether it isn't psychological care that he needs.

But just to give you an idea of what's happening behind me here in Kongsberg. This is the vigil that's been created over the course of the last 24 hours. It is nearly midnight here in Norway. Still people are out here, gathering around those candles, trying to work through exactly what went on just over 24 hours ago in this one of the sleepiest most suburban residential areas that you could possibly imagine.

Things like this simply don't happen here. And yet, over the course of just half an hour, Jake, five people killed, four women, one men, several wounded. And this man on a rampage, armed simply with a bow and arrow. This is a community still very much in shock, a country still very much in shock and trying to come to terms with what happened.

TAPPER: So horrific. Thank you so much, Melissa Bell.

Also on our world lead, a possible shift by Israel on the government's support of an Iran nuclear deal. Since the U.S. pulled out of the agreement under President Trump, Iran has revved up its nuclear capability with no signs of slowing down. President Biden wants the Iran nuclear deal back. And to CNN's Hadas Gold reports for us from Jerusalem now, he may be getting some surprising support from Israel's new government.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Before we run completes the second stage of nuclear --

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu credits himself with convincing former President Donald Trump to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, perhaps most importantly, getting out of the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

GOLD (voice-over): But now, the new Israeli leadership is changing the tone, as the Biden administration hopes to return to a deal, even if the Americans believe it may be a long slog. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warning that in the three years since the U.S. pulled out, Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear bomb.

NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translation): Unfortunately, in the past three years, the Iranians have made a huge jump forward in the uranium enrichment abilities. The Iranian nuclear program is at its most advanced stage ever.

GOLD (voice-over): Iran now enriching uranium up to 60 percent. Its stockpile of enriched uranium going up month by month. What's being seen as a tacit public criticism of what sources in the Prime Minister's Office say out loud, it was a mistake for Netanyahu to press Trump to get out of the deal without a well-thought-out plan for how Israel follows up. Bennett's tone a significant departure from what he sounded like in 2015.

BENNETT: The deal, as we said, is worse than the worst case scenario that we had anticipated.

GOLD (voice-over): Compared to this week.

BENNETT (through translation): The world is sitting and waiting for a decision from Tehran whether to return or not to return to the discussion table in Vienna.

GOLD (voice-over): Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz even more explicit, telling foreign policy magazine, "Israel would be willing to accept a return to a U.S. negotiated deal. Although they would want to see a U.S. Plan B in case talks fail, and will always reserve the right for military action." A message repeated by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Washington this week.

YAIR LAPID, ISRAEL FOREIGN MINISTER: Other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails.

GOLD (voice-over): Get past the saber-rattling though, and the shift in tone from Israel's government on the Iranian nuclear deal seems clear. They feel Trump and Netanyahu got it wrong.

(END VIDEOTAPE) GOLD: So Jake, that reflexive almost automatic opposition to the JCPOA that we've become so accustomed to hear from Israeli leadership over the past few years, seems to have just melted away. Just a few hours ago, a senior Israeli official in Washington briefed reporters that after extensive meetings with Washington leadership, they feel that the Israeli and American approach to Iran is compatible. Jake?

TAPPER: Hadas Gold, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

One family talking about an alarming mistake happening to their children after they showed up to get a flu shot. We'll explain next.



TAPPER: A frightening mix up on our health lead, in Indiana couple says their two young children were mistakenly given the COVID vaccine instead of the flu shot. The Price family took their four and five- year-old kids to a Walgreens where they were accidentally given an adult dose of the wrong vaccine, the COVID vaccine. Right now the vaccine is only approved for those ages 12 and up.

As one medical expert explained, the dose that the kids got is three times higher than what's being tested in clinical trials for young kids. The family says their kids have experienced fevers, body aches, coughs and headaches. They're also being treated by a cardiologist. Walgreens said, it could not comment on a specific event because of privacy laws, but, "Generally speaking, know that such instances are rare and Walgreens takes these matters very seriously."

You can follow me on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, on the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever miss an episode of THE LEAD, you can listen to THE LEAD podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." I'll see you tomorrow.