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The Lead with Jake Tapper

January 6th Committee To Vote Contempt Charge On Mark Meadows; Death Toll In Kentucky Tornado Now At 74; Federal Investigation On Collapsed Amazon Building; KY Gov.: At Least 74 Dead, 109 Unaccounted For From Tornadoes; KY Minister & Wife Survive Tornado While Hiding In Church Closet; Naftali Bennett Becomes First Israeli P.M. To Visit UAE; Medical Examiner Testifies Daunte Wright's Death Was A Homicide; Peloton Shares Plunge After "Sex And The City" Reboot Shocker. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired December 13, 2021 - 17:00   ET



RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the committee will meet to vote on seeking a contempt of Congress charge against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows who initially showed an interest in cooperating before backing away.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): If you believe that he had a privilege to assert, he could have shown up. He could have said with respect to this question, here's why I believe it's privileged. Of course, he didn't do any of that.

NOBLES (voice-over): The committee wants to ask Meadows about the 6,000 documents he's already provided them. In their contempt report they write, "Mr. Meadows received text messages and e-mails regarding apparent efforts to encourage Republican legislators in certain states to send an alternate slate of electors to Congress, a plan which one member of Congress acknowledged was "highly controversial" and to which Mr. Meadows responded, I love it."

The text exchange is just a small sample of the trove of information the committee believes Meadows can provide more insight into. But the former chief of staff still loyal to Donald Trump is resisting. In a letter to the committee ahead of tonight's vote, Meadows' lawyer writes "A referral of a senior presidential aide would also be unwise because it would do great damage to the institution of the presidency as restraint in the application of the statute over time attests."

Meadows believes his conduct and conversations are protected by executive privilege. This despite extensively writing about his White House experience in his new book and willingly handing over all of that information.

The fact that he was working in the executive branch does make his situation more complicated than that of Steve Bannon who now faces contempt of Congress charges or former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark who was in the committee's crosshairs.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm not convinced it's a slam dunk of the Justice Department wins just because of Meadows' more complicated relationship.

NOBLES (voice-over): But the committee remains confident that this is the only option they have left and they are ready to move forward.


NOBLES (on camera): And the full House could vote on this criminal contempt referral of Mark Meadows as soon as tomorrow night. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Clark, that former Department of Justice official who has been voted out of committee when it comes to a criminal contempt referral, he is still waiting for another deposition opportunity. That's expected to happen as soon as Thursday depending on what comes out of that, Jake. He, too, could be voted on by the full House for contempt referral and sent to the Department of Justice. Jake?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right. Ryan Nobles, thank you so much.

Let's discuss. We should note its 7:00 eastern time the committee, the January 6th committee is going to meet to have that vote. And we're also told they're going to provide new information showing the extent of what people in the White House knew at the time.

And David, CNN's Jamie Gangel reports the White House communications director, Alyssa Farrah, who now is a commentator in CNN, she texted Meadows during the attack urging someone from the White House to go to a camera and tell the rioters to stand down. She warned that if they didn't, people are going to die and, of course, she was right.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, she was right, and I think that was a moment in time, depending on who you were and where you were in the administration or people in the Trump orbit of choosing whether you were going to just sort of sit back passively and watch events unfold on January 6th as we all did. I was at home watching it on T.V. Or if you were going to try to despite where you had been moments before, to restore order and restore democracy and do your job as an official or as someone in the inner orbit of the president.

TAPPER: And Brendan, you've known Mark Meadows for a long time from when you worked in the House of Representatives and he was a congressman from North Carolina. The more evidence that comes out about what Meadows knew and did and didn't do, all there in black and white. And one would think that that would make more House Republicans who have supported the big lie reluctant to stay on that train, I would think, no?

BRENDAN BUCK, FORMER ADVISER TO SPEAKERS JOHN BOEHNER AND PAUL RYAN: It's hard to look at what Mark Meadows is doing, his about-face. He went in. He was going to testify and then decided he wasn't. It's hard to look at that in the context of his -- the rollout of his book. The botched rollout of his book, in which he thought he was going to be flattering the president but clearly he created a controversy around when the president had COVID and the president turned on him.

And so Mark Meadows turned. It's very clear this is a perfect distillation of how Republicans need Donald Trump and Donald Trump needs them. And Mark Meadows personally probably feels like he is very much tethered to this guy. And if this guy is turning on me, I have nothing. And so he's staying with him or imagine most of House Republicans likewise are going to stick with Donald Trump and Mark Meadows in this instance.

JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: And you think the book would be problematic anyway, right, because there's all this information that are exchanges with the president. Things that, in theory, I get would be privileged correspondence, but because he put it in a book, I guess its okay.

I just don't know how you make that argument, legally. I'm not a lawyer, I'm sure someone does. That, you know, if it's in a book and he's profiting from it, then that's perfectly fine, but anything else that might, you know, lend some more information about January 6th, no, that's under lock and key even if it was in between Mark Meadows and the president.

BUCK: Consistency has never been his strong point.

KUCINICH: That's fair.


TAPPER: And Jamal, let's dig into Meadows' e-mail saying the National Guard would be present "to protect pro-Trump people." Not to -- I mean, I guess we have to see all the exchanges and all the context of everything, but the National Guard would be present to protect pro- Trump people not to protect Congress, to protect the execution of our constitutional duties, to protect American citizens, but to protect pro-Trump people.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL ANALYST: Here's the biggest challenge with what's happened on January 6th. We watched it all on television, right? So people have to now not believe what they saw with their own eyes and then not believe -- they would say paper doesn't lie in legal cases, right? Not believe all the paper that's coming out.

And what's happening is we aren't getting a story that is told that it wasn't just a spontaneous eruption that occurred on January 6th. There was pre-planning that took place. It was -- some of it was happening in the White House. Some of it was happening among other members of Congress who saw it playing on television on and now it seems like the people who are guilty are trying to hide their hands and don't want to tell people what it is.

But I think the American people, they thought they knew what happened on January 6th. The committee's job now is to expand that knowledge and to really let them know all the inner workings of what's happening. And I don't know if that's going to help any Republicans running for congress for the rest of the year and it certainly not going to help us as a democracy if we don't figure this out.

TAPPER: Well, I mean, the point you make, and David I'd love you to weigh in on this, we already know that, you know, they were playing with fire. At the very, very least, they were playing with fire. They called for this rally. They got everybody hyped up on lies for months and months and months. And then those people ran and did what they did after Trump told them that, you know, that they had to do the right thing.

The question is, was it a coordinated preplanned assault where Trump and Mark Meadows and others knew what was going on specifically and wanted them to do it. I guess one of the questions I have is does it -- does it matter? I mean, isn't what we know already bad enough? Obviously that would be worse.

SWERDLICK: What we know already is bad enough, Jake. It does matter and that's what this January 6th committee is trying to find out just to spin away from that a little bit for a second. That's what's going on here with Meadows and his unwillingness apparently now to testify claiming privilege.

It's one thing to say, I don't want to incriminate myself or there's certain things I can't discuss, but it's another thing to say, especially as a former member of Congress, I'm not going to appear before Congress as they try to find out if it was worthy.

I am a lawyer and I will just say that even though I haven't read every word of every brief, I would just point out that this is a situation where executive privilege, reasonable minds can debate whether it applies in this or that situation. I don't think reasonable minds, Jake, can debate whether it applies to an attempted or a discussed or, you know, played footsy with self-coup, the overturning of a free and fair election.

TAPPER: Right.

KUCINICH: Well, and it also -- they are looking in not only January 6th but before January 6th. Some of Mark Meadows' correspondence with state officials who were trying to set up a new slate of electors to try and -- to overturn the election. To disenfranchise Americans who had already cast their vote. So that's another aspect of this that the run up and the foundation that was laid that led up to January 6th that he's currently stonewalling them on.

TAPPER: So, and Brendan, the committee has postponed today's scheduled deposition from Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien according to a CNN source. We're told he's engaging with the committee. The committee said Stepien supervised the conversion of the campaign to "Stop the Steal" efforts. There's a lot that he could provide in terms of information about how the Trump campaign became the Trump attempted coup.

BUCK: Yes. I think you're seeing a lot of Trump officials see if they can't run out the clock on this committee. And I think that's probably why people are asking for more time. But you can't run out DOJ. And that's what Steve Bannon is running into and what Mark Meadows may be running into.

This committee, if Republicans take over, will probably end. And so they'll need to wrap up their business. But if you had a referral to DOJ, that's going to be with you no matter how long the committee lasts. And so I think they need to make sure that they're keeping an eye on the prize that way.

TAPPER: And Jamal, I just want to get you thoughts on the fact there's new CNN reporting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to file and run for re-election in 2022 and sources say she's not ruling out a possibility of staying in leadership, which theoretically would be House Minority Leader I guess if Republicans win. But there are a lot of critics out there who say as great as they think Pelosi is, it is time for new blood even if that's still old blood.

SIMMONS: Well, I like a quote from Nancy Pelosi from earlier which is, "You want to be speaker, then you should beat me." Have at it. If she decides to run, I expect that she will win. I don't know that she will do it. I think she has to file and say that she wants to run because she can't be a lame-duck. She may in fact decide that she still wants to hang around Congress and do some things. Maybe be some kind of ex-officio eminence grise, you know, who can kind of help shepherd the caucus along.


We'll see. But let's just take her at her word today that she's going to run office.

TAPPER: It sounds like to me like you're a little skeptical though. Thanks to one and all. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, the tornado destruction and the stories of survival. How a mother saved her two children in a place where 75 percent of the buildings are simply "gone."

Plus, a first, Israel's prime minister making a historic visit. What we know about the big meeting. That's next.


TAPPER: In our "National Lead," at least 88 people are confirmed dead. And that death toll is unfortunately expected to continue rising after tornadoes ripped through the south and Midwestern United States over the weekend.


Homes have been leveled, families torn apart. The victims are as young as 5 months old. Today we're also hearing more harrowing stories of survival such as one mother who grabbed onto her young children as the tornado launched them hundreds of feet from their home. Though miraculously, they all survived.

CNN's Ed Lavandera spoke to the family. He joins us now live from Dawson Springs, Kentucky. And Ed, this is an unbelievable story. And even the mother you spoke to is not sure how they made it out alive.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She's still trying to figure it all out. Breeana Glisson's survival, terrifying survival story like a scene ripped out of the "Wizard of OZ." But Glisson and hundreds of others here in Dawson Springs, Kentucky are also quickly realizing that the worst is yet to come.



LAVANDERA (voice-over): Brianna still hasn't figured out how she and her two children are alive.

GLISSON: When I opened my eyes and looked around, I had no idea where I was. None. All I could do was stand up and scream for help and try to find someone to help me and my kids.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): She's piecing together the memories of the tornado striking her home in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. The only place to hide was in a bed with her 4 and 2-year-old children clutched under her arms. She says that saved her kids' lives. That's when the windows exploded and the roof collapsed on her, crushing her arms.

GLISSON: And then after that, in a millisecond, we were no longer in the bed or in our house. We were on the ground all the way over there somewhere.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Like on the other side of those cars?

GLISSON: Like over this rubble on the ground in mud with absolutely nothing near us.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So you flew from this spot right here --

GLISSON: All the way over --

LAVANDERA (on camera): Over that rubble over there. So this was the area?


LAVANDERA (on camera): You're probably close to 200 feet away?

LAVANDERA (voice-over): I think being on the mattress saved us because for the most part of flying through the air, we weren't just flying through the air. We were on the bed.

LAVANDERA (on camera): That's one of the most unbelievable things I've ever heard anybody surviving.

GLISSON: It's insane. I can't believe that me and my kids are okay. I can't believe there's no broken bones on my children.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): They were all cut and bleeding but she remembers neighbors helping her into a basement.

GLISSON: Thank you so much for helping us. Thank you so much. I'm all right. I'm all right. I have a head injury, though. I have a head injury.


GLISSON: And my face. My arm is broken.

UNKNOWN: I'm glad you're all right.

GLISSON: Thank you. Thank you for helping us.

UNKNOWN: That's what we do.

GLISSON: What you doing?

LAVANDERA (voice-over): With nowhere to live, Breeana Glisson and her family are in a motel room. Glisson says her children both have special needs that require her full-time attention so she isn't working outside of the home. Her mother lives with them and her job pays the bills.

GLISSON: We have been given clothes. We've been given blankets and food. But we have nowhere to go.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): They told us they don't have home insurance and the little savings they have is paying for a few nights in this motel.

GLISSON: I'm not okay. Like one minute I'm sitting here and I'm smiling and one minute I'm balling my eyes out. We are extremely lucky to be alive because we were flown through the air and that our neighbors passed the way right next to us.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Glissons are one of the hundreds of families in Dawson Springs that will struggle to recover. The mayor here says about a third of the city's population of 2,500 lives below the poverty line.

CHRIS SMILEY, MAYOR OF DAWSON SPRINGS: There's going to be a lot that don't have any insurance. They live from month to month on a social security check or whatever they can get.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Getting through this is going to be tough for them.

SMILEY: It'd be very tough. Very tough.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): You can see the bruises and scars from the storm all over Breeana Glisson, but the wounds to her life from this tornado cut much deeper.

(On camera): How are you emotionally?

GLISSON: I'm tore up. I have lost absolutely everything. I've never lost everything in my life.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LAVANDERA (on camera): And so, Jake, now the question becomes for Breeana Glisson and hundreds of neighbors here in Dawson Spring what happens next, the months ahead? And many people that you talk to here are really questioning whether or not people like the Glissons will even be able to return to this neighborhood? How many people here will be able to rebuild even after all the federal assistance comes in and insurance money comes in. The future of this neighborhood very much up in doubt.

TAPPER: All right, Ed Lavandera with a remarkable story. Thank you so much.


Let's talk now to the mayor of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, Mayor Chris Smiley. Mr. Mayor, thanks for joining us. I know this has been a really tough few days for you and your community. Probably the worst any of you have ever seen before. How is your community doing?

SMILEY (via telephone): Well, (inaudible) doing good, but we've had the outburst of volunteers and also of outburst of food trucks. We've had clothes. We've have everything taken to the school. We've got more stuff than we can handle right now. We're asking people to hold back on it, wait a week and if we use all that stuff up and get it dispersed because we're having trouble organizing and a place to organize it.

It's -- (inaudible) on are the ones that's really bothering so much. We can keep people out of town and just looking around. Even in the people on the other side of town. You know, I've seen them over there looking (inaudible). I don't mean to be overlooking. And we want these (inaudible) people that lost houses and the volunteers are there to help them.

I know (inaudible) I mean, that' good. But these people just driving around looking to see what on, this is not (inaudible) -- this is not the time for it. It's --

TAPPER: Governor Beshear says that more than 100 people are still missing across Kentucky. Is everyone in Dawson Springs accounted for?


TAPPER: How many are unaccounted for?

SMILEY: I don't have that number, but I do know there's still some on the list.

TAPPER: So many people in your town lost their homes. Is there enough temporary housing for everyone right now, and after that issue, after you address that, where are people supposed to live while their homes are being rebuilt?

SMILEY: Well, we are hoping that FEMA comes in here and tries to set up something somewhere. We're a small town and also a small area as well. So, it's going to be hard to find a place to put the temporary housing and stuff. We'll just have to make do with what we've got, but there's no place for -- I mean there's no -- we don't have a motel. We don't have any place for them to go in Dawson right now.

We're waiting to see what FEMA comes up with. We've got 109 there at the state park. Don't know how long that's going to last. Some of those have medical issues. The school just got a generator hooked up to it, three phase. So, that can come up to a warming shelter and different aspects on that.

We still have the gymnasium up there that I don't think they put anything in it yet as far as goods and things. But I don't know. It's just devastating. You can't ride through town and look at it.

TAPPER: Yes. We're looking at pictures right now. Images of just the utter devastation. President Biden is scheduled to visit Dawson Springs on Wednesday when he comes to Kentucky to tour the storm damage. What's your message to him?

SMILEY: Well, we've had an outpouring of help from different government agencies. I still know that there's more to go and, you know, these guys, they can do stuff, but it's going to take some time. And you just have to stay with them and stay on it, and they will eventually, they will come in here and help. I'm talking maybe a week away, but I don't know what to say to the president. I mean, he's going to see what it is. He'll know. I mean, there's not any words for it.

TAPPER: Mayor Smiley, before I let you go, is everybody in your family okay?

SMILEY: We had -- excuse me -- I had a sister-in-law on the other side of town. Her house is completely gone and we went over there, of course, in the pouring rain and my wife went out there and found her in a closet. And we got her back and brought her over on the south side of town that wasn't hit by the tornado. But other than that, and I have an aunt. I don't know (inaudible). She's all right, but we had nobody -- her house is messed up, but as far as injuries (inaudible) in our family, we had none.

TAPPER: Dawson Springs Mayor Chris Smiley, please stay in touch with us and let us know how we can help. We will continue to send the viewers who want to give money to the various charitable organizations. They can go to for more information on that. God bless you, Mayor Smiley.

SMILEY: Thank you all.

TAPPER: This afternoon, the Biden administration announced today it has opened a federal investigation into the collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. At least six people died when a tornado caused that building to partially collapse.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is outside of that warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. And Polo, what do we know about this investigation and another one being done by the state of Illinois?


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, you're referring to what Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced earlier today that local authorities why should be looking into what happened here on Friday night. The governor here saying that natural disasters, they may not be able to be prevented, but tragedies of this magnitude certainly can. And just for our viewers, here's some background of what took place on Friday.

As you see some of those images from the last several days. It was an EF-3 tornado according to authorities that part of this tornado outbreak from Friday that almost seemed to have zeroed in on this Amazon shipping facility and basically cut through it. That caused these large concrete walls to come crashing down, killing six people inside.

Now, there were some Amazon executives, about two of them, that actually spoke alongside the governor today that maintained that this building, not only was built up to code, but the night of the storms, that they followed all those appropriate procedures to make sure that all 46 people who were inside, all employees who were inside could remain safe.

And that included using bullhorns to make sure those employees can head to what's being described as a shelter in place location in the interior of the building. But those Amazon executives also making it very clear that was not meant to serve as a storm shelter.

In fact, this building, because of flooding concerns, does not have a basement. And technically it's not required to according to building codes. And that's what we heard today from state officials. Perhaps this is certainly an opportunity to revisit those building codes and perhaps make changes in the future.

And then of course you mentioned that federal investigation from OSHA that is also ongoing right now. In fact, OSHA representatives have been on site here since Saturday as the cleanup of the debris continued. And ultimately they are the ones that are going to decide whether or not there could be some citations here or some monetary penalties that could be considered here. That's if any potential workplace violations are discovered.

But in the meantime though, Jake, as we send things back to you, the families of those six people who clocked in here on Friday night and never made it home, they are still trying to make sense of this all.

TAPPER: Polo Sandoval in Edwardsville, Illinois. Thank you so much.

Coming up next, the survivor of the tornadoes will join us live in a city that's been largely leveled by the storms. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Kentucky were the largest tornado is believed to have leveled much of the city. Let's get right to CNN's Boris Sanchez live for us in Mayfield, Kentucky. And Boris today, Governor Beshear said more than 1,000 residents lost their homes in the tornado. Tell us about the cleanup efforts that you're seeing.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, it is a massive effort. Just getting into the town of Mayfield is an endeavor because there are hundreds, if not thousands of workers streaming into this small town of only about 10,000 people. There is heavy machinery and equipment everywhere. You can hear drilling just about in every corner of the city.

And the devastation is so widespread. There is rubble and debris in every direction about as far as the eye can see. It is going to be an onerous and difficult process. But one that the residents of this town tell me that they are committed to. Jake?

TAPPER: The survivors that you've spoken with, tell us what they're telling you.

SANCHEZ: Most of them are -- they have a bittersweet feeling. They are lucky to be alive and they recognize that, but many of them have lost everything. I spoke to one woman named Janet Kemp who told me that she huddled with her son in a hallway as the tornado tore the walls of her home out and threw them into the air. She said that while she was down there with her son, all she could do was pray and hope for the best.

She says that she's heartbroken, not just because she lost everything, but because of what she's seeing around her hometown. Here's more of what she shared with me.


JANET KEMP, MAYFIELD RESIDENT, HOME DESTROYED BY TORNADO: My house is completely destroyed. It's just really hard. I try not to think about it right now. Right now, all I'm thinking about is getting everything out of my house that I can and finding a place to live again. It really hurts. Because I love my family.

It's a wonderful town to live in. I've been here my whole life. Like I said, I was born here, and I wouldn't live anywhere else. So I'm going to stay here and start again.


SANCHEZ: And despite the fact that Janet says she's lost everything that she's worked so hard for, including a car that her dad purchased for her, she says that she believes that the prayers that she was casting into the sky as that tornado was ripping through her home, she feels like those prayers were answered. Jake?

TAPPER: Boris Sanchez, thanks so much.

Another Mayfield survivor is Reverend Joey Reed of the First United Methodist Church in Mayfield, Kentucky. He rode out the storm in the church basement closet only to discover much of the church had been destroyed. Reverend Joey Reed joins us now live. Reverend, you left your house before the storm hit to take shelter at the church. Tell us what happened after that.

REV. JOEY REED, LEAD PASTOR, MAYFIELD FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: We got to the church and found ourselves in the basement. And according to the safety plan, we should have been in a hallway in that basement. And if we had stayed in that hallway, we wouldn't be having this conversation now. We ended up in a classroom and a closet in that classroom actually riding out the storm and waiting for the tornado to go past.

TAPPER: So large parts of your sanctuary are now gone which we can see in photographs were showing. How long do you think it's going to take to rebuild your church?


REED: It will be years. My experience with natural disasters and damage of this magnitude indicates that we're going to be a long time rebuilding. We're going to have to find some temporary normal until we can do that.

TAPPER: So Reverend, you're a great guest for me to have today because one of the things I wonder is what do people like you, faith leaders, religious leaders, what do you tell people when they say why, why, Reverend, days before Christmas, why would this happen?

REED: Well, I told the congregation in a service just yesterday that God's not in the tornado directing business. This wasn't something that God said upon Mayfield. This is something that happened to Mayfield, and what's going to be an indicator of God's presence is what happens afterwards.

We often teach in the church that suffering is sort of a crucible for discipleship. And we're going to be pivoting people from this suffering to servant leadership here in the community. And it's not that hard here in Mayfield because there are so many people who want to help.

And as we move people from their own difficulties, and they start helping other people, they focus less on their own sadness and sorrow, and they focus more on helping their neighbor. And that's what it's all about.

TAPPER: And what do your congregants tell you in response to that? What do you have been hearing from them as you have these conversations?

REED: Well, we had people who are moving into action immediately. When we realized after the storm that our family guard had been buried under the north wall of the sanctuary, I needed a ride. So I reached out to one of my members and John Marshall and Marilyn Marshall came running in the middle of the night after a major tornado to fetch us and bring us back to the parsonage.

I walked into the service of worship yesterday morning without a car with no electricity and no water. And I walked out with a pair of car, a set of car keys from one of my members who said, I just cleaned everything out and put a fresh tank of gas in. And I'm going home to a generator. So this is the way that they step up.

And my job is to start pointing them in other directions now, to help them find the neighbors who have the greatest need. I'm very grateful, but I want them to start moving into their own neighborhoods, and helping out.

TAPPER: So local and federal governments are, obviously, working hard to make sure everyone who has been affected by this have the resources they need. What is your biggest need right now?

REED: Our biggest need -- our district Disaster Relief Coordinator, Bill Carr is on site. He's moving through Mayfield and helping people to find the things that they need most. He's a boots on the ground kind of guy and he's moving rubble and debris and helping people to get their household in order at least finding the things that they need to get out of that house.

We also have Reverend Robert Craig, who is our conference director of Disaster Relief, and he interfaces with FEMA. What we're finding out in these early days is that the thing that we need most is cash. There are things that we need to purchase, diesel for the heavy equipment, food for the volunteers. We're trying to make these things happen. And we're trying to make them happen very quickly. And there's been an outpouring.

Our online portal at has received countless gifts, and we are so grateful. It's allowed us to move very quickly into the recovery well into the relief phase. And we're finding out that the recovery is going to take years. It won't start for almost two years, according to the people that I'm talking to.

So as FEMA moves in and they help with the short term, we know that the United Methodist Committee on Relief is going to be here for the long term. They just left the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a few years ago, 2015 or '16, if I remember correctly. We're in this for the long haul and U.M., United Methodist Committee on Relief will be here for that long haul alongside the local United Methodist churches.

TAPPER: Reverend Joey Reed, thank you so much. And please stay in touch with us. Let us know how we can help especially when it comes to shining the light on needs you have if the state and federal government are not meeting them.

REED: Absolutely. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

TAPPER: We have a very sad update to share. Kentucky family confirming to CNN just moments ago that two-month-old Oaklynn Koon died this morning. Her grandmother's home was in the tornadoes path in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. Oaklynn's grandmother telling CNN, quote, we didn't have much time with her. But we loved the time we got to spend with her.

May her memory and the memory of the dozens of other tornado victims be a blessing. For ways that you can help tornado victims, CNN is pulling together resources. You can find them at We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


TAPPER: In our world lead, history being made in the Middle East. For the first time ever, an Israeli Prime Minister made an official visit to the United Arab Emirates. Earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

CNN's Sam Kylie is live for us in Abu Dhabi. Sam, walk us through what happened during Prime Minister Bennett's visit today.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well remarkable idea that 15 months ago would have been inconceivable because Israelis were banned from this country. And indeed, Jake, you couldn't show Israel on a school map. That has all changed. We've seen the Abraham Accord signed under the Trump administration, culminating ultimately in this diplomatic breakthrough where there's a government visit from the head of the Israeli government greeted with an honor guard here in Abu Dhabi.

A four-hour session, including a two-hour lunch two hours extra time effectively with the Crown Prince who is the most powerful figure here in the United Arab Emirates for the Israeli Prime Minister. A very significant move indeed for the Israelis, perhaps a little less important for the Emiratis. But nonetheless, both sides, both parties to this meeting very much aware that this was an historic moment, Jake.


TAPPER: And how did Iran respond today to the meeting of these two leaders?

KILEY: Predictably, with very aggressive condemnation, saying that it was, in a sense, disgusting that the Israeli should be entertained, blaming the Israelis for the instability that has dogged the Middle East for the last 70 years. They're very predictable statement coming from the Iranians with regard to Israel. Less predictable really with their attitude to the Emirates because it's the Emirates who are out of step with Israel and the United States in wanting to reach rapprochement (ph) with Tehran by reaching out diplomatically.

Having some trade, begin to boost to rejecting recent American suggestions of tightening sanctions against Iran in order to get the Iranians back on track with their -- or at least suspending their nuclear program, getting them back to the nuclear agreement that the Trump administration tore up, Jake. So interesting, though, that just the mere presence of an Israeli leader here on the edge of the Persian Gulf so enraged Tehran.

TAPPER: The Abraham Accords, obviously, a significant achievement by the previous administration, can increased cooperation between Israel and the UAE help with more peace in the region between other countries? KILEY: That Sunni the intention of the Israelis indeed. Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister made just that point saying that this would be, he hoped, a prologue to more peace with other nations. Now, of course, this is a country that has never been at war with Israel. A long way to travel say with a country like Lebanon.

TAPPER: All right, Sam Kiley in Abu Dhabi, thank you so much.

Coming up next, the trial of the former officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop with a medical examiner said on the stand today. Stay with us.



TAPPER: And back now with our national lead, testimony continued in the trial of a former Minnesota police officer who shot and killed the Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April. CNN's Adrienne Broaddus is outside the courthouse in Minneapolis. And Adrienne, the medical examiner you say was one of the main witnesses today, what was the focus of his testimony?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, he was significant. The medical examiner here in Hennepin County talked about Daunte Wright's injuries, primarily, the significant damage done to Wright's heart. Listen in.


DR. LORREN JACKSON, HENNEPIN COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Firing away, the gunshot wound to the chest was the most significant injury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was this gunshot wound the injuries that you observed through the heart and the lungs, was that a survivable injury?

JACKSON: As a forensic pathologist, I would say, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long does it take for someone to die after being shot through the lungs and heart like this?

JACKSON: Injuries like this, we refer to survival times in terms of seconds to minutes in these types of injuries.


BROADDUS: He also testified the cause of death was one shot to the chest and the manner of death was homicide. And when he asked -- was asked about what homicide means, he said, death at the hands of another. Jake?

TAPPER: Adrienne, what else did we learn today about the shooting and the former officer's claim that she meant to use her taser not her gun? BROADDUS: We heard a lot about policy and protocol when it comes to taser. We heard from multiple representatives with the BCA and that is the lead investigative arm here in the state of Minnesota. Many of them talked about the differences between a taser and a gun, for example, the color and what happens when a taser is activated and the weight to -- the BCA agent testifying that the weight of a firearm is heavier than the weight of a taser.

And we know, Jake, that's been a big question. How did Officer Potter mistake her taser for the gun? Back to you.

TAPPER: Adrienne Broaddus in Minneapolis, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Turning to our sports lead, USA gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee have reached a $380 million settlement with the hundreds of victims of former team USA Dr. Larry Nassar. A number of those young gymnasts have testified in front of Congress saying their abuse complaints were mishandled by USA gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee as well as by the FBI.

And the gymnast's lead attorney says they are calling for further criminal prosecution. Nassar is currently serving multiple decades long prison sentences for sexual abuse and child pornography charges.

Coming up, Peloton races to reframe the conversation after their exercise but bike made an unfortunate cameo on television. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our money lead, the new "Sex and the City" reboot is shocking fans of the series and Peloton investors. The company experiencing a big drop in its share price after the death of an essential character -- spoiler alert now, spoiler alert, moments after riding one of Peloton stationary bikes, the character Mr. Big suffers a fatal heart attack. That's surprising twist in the very first episode of the reboot sent the company's stock, Peloton stock plunging more than 11 percent Friday after its HBO Max premiere. HBO Max like CNN is part of WarnerMedia we should note.

The good news for Peloton is that it recovered much of that loss today following the release of a new ad in which the company attempts to reclaim the narrative.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel great. Should we take another ride? Life's too short not to.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: A voiceover and the commercial goes on to tell viewers the many health benefits of cycling and implies that Big is still alive. Well, at least in Peloton ads.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. Tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever missed The Lead, you can listen to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer. He's right next door to us in "THE SITUATION ROOM." See you tomorrow.