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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) Is Interviewed About Ukraine-Russia War; "They Will Destroy Everything": Luhansk Governor Says Much-Needed Long-Range Artillery Still Hasn't Arrived; Top U.S. General: Ukraine Invasion Threatens To Undermine European And Global Stability; Draft Opinion: Supreme Court To Strike Down Roe V. Wade; Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Is Interviewed About Roe V. Wade; Biden Defends Abortion Rights After Supreme Court Leak; Draft Opinion: Supreme Court To Strike Down Roe V. Wade; Water-Use Restrictions Going Into Place In Southern CA Due To Drought; Workers Discover Man Sent To Morgue While Still Alive. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 03, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: As CNN's Sam Kiley reports for us now, Ukrainians in the east are all too aware that a Russian bomb could fall on them at any moment. And sometimes that's exactly what happens.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since Russian rockets destroyed her home, killed her brother, all she has left is her mother and her life.

LUDMILLA, INJURED IN RUSSIAN ARTILLARY (through translator): All at once, rods started falling one by one. There were explosions everywhere. Opposite the kitchen in the house, the windows and frame blew to a room. We're standing there.

My brother was making the sign of the cross and I'm shouting. I turned away from him to look at the house and then another rocket hit and I was trapped in the rubble.

I can't see my brother anymore. I fell and I don't even know how I woke up and started pulling myself out. I'm all scratched and battered. I yield, don't really, Vita (ph),Vita, but he was gone.

KILEY (voice-over): Ludmilla's home was flattened in Lysychansk during the battle for Rubizhne, which is now in Russian hands. Putin's forces have been driving southeast along the Donets River and south from Izium. Russia's stated aim is to capture all of the Donbass and that includes Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.

The governor of Luhansk says that Ukraine can hold the Russians back for now. But he says, we need powerful long range artillery. And that unfortunately is not here yet. And it could completely change the whole war. Without the heavy weapons already promised by the U.S. and other Western allies, he says, the Russians will destroy everything with artillery and mortars. They destroy with aircraft, they use helicopters. They're just wiping everything off the face of the earth, so there's nothing left to hang on to.

For Ukraine, this is an existential battle. Reinforcements are being rushed to the front lines. But there's no sign of the heavy weapons needed to block a Russian advance, much less reverse it.

The doctor says Ludmilla will be moved west for more treatment, but of fate and that of a 96-year-old mother is unknown.

We simply cannot physically handle so many wounded with such severe injuries, he says.

This elderly woman, a victim of Russian shelling that morning, joins the ward. And more than 13 million other Ukrainians have fled their homes to escape Ludmilla's fate.

LUDMILLA (through translator): I was brought here naked, I have nothing at all, no money, no documents, nothing.

KILEY (voice-over): Yet a very survival is a small victory over Putin, because she's been neither beggared nor beaten.


KILEY: Now, Jake, on the front line further towards Izium, it's very clear when you get onto a high elevation there, which we did earlier on today, that this is a war without frontlines in many ways. The frontlines are defined not by human beings so much as infantry for human beings, but by artillery. And it shows really how critical it's going to be if those modern artillery systems can be brought in from NATO. They're in a completely different league from what the Russians have, and really would make, I think everybody would agree here, as strategic impact. It's really urgent from the Ukrainian perspective.

But they are holding the Russians back much more effectively than was anticipated. The Russians are advancing but it is a grinding process, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Sam Kiley reporting live from Kramatorsk. Thank you so much.

Joining us now live to discuss, Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York. He's the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He just returned from a congressional delegation trip with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Ukraine and Poland.

Mr. Chairman, this was not your first trip to this warzone, but I'm curious what your biggest takeaways are from this trip.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The focus of President Zelenskyy to make sure that we win this war against Putin's aggression, and the determination of the people of Ukraine, that was tremendously important. And the message of unity that President Zelenskyy was further talking about, and how we got to continue that unity, especially increasing sanctions, but also, of course, just as your report indicated. Getting the weapons that are needed, the long range weapons, particularly, given the new terrain of which this war has now moved to. Getting those to Ukrainians and a quick and timely fashion.


And we visited the 82nd brigade who is -- the speed of which they are getting things out from Poland into Ukraine is, you know, I don't know how you could do it any faster, but you got to cross the terrain to get it in the hands. We know that timing and time is of the essence.

TAPPER: I want to get a reaction to something from the report you just heard a few moments ago from Sam Kiley, the governor of Luhansk Province saying that Ukraine can hold back the Russians if, if, they get powerful long range artillery, which he says still has not arrived. How concerned are you that things aren't moving quickly enough, especially with Congress not yet moving on that supplemental for $33 billion more?

MEEKS: Well, I know that we are moving on it as we speak. There's a process that the President put the request in on Thursday of last week. It is now before the House Appropriations Committee. They are working on the bill itself. And I fully expect for us to pass that bill sometime early next week when we go back into session.

So, it is -- we are expediting that $33 billion on top of the 13.2 we already passed. And as we're speaking, we know that there's weapons that are on their way there that has gotten to the appropriate places over in Poland and other areas and have left there and on their way to the front lines of where the Ukrainian soldiers are.

TAPPER: Earlier today, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatens to undermine stability throughout the entire world, not just in Europe. He also said it could risk the security of future generations. What specifically does that mean for your constituents?

MEEKS: It means a lot. And he's absolutely right. We had that conversation also with President Zelenskyy.

You know, when you think about -- number one, let's just look at food. You know, right now, Putin has the Black Sea blockaded. And the way that you get the wheat, the sunflower oil and other grains out of Ukraine, sunflower, for example, oil is 50% of the world's production comes out of there is through the ports. Putin has the ports closed, which will cause hunger in various places across the globe and higher prices and others.

So, this is indeed, what Putin is doing having an effect across the globe. Which is why, in our conversation with President Zelenskyy, we agreed that there should not be any input from anyone into Russia and no one should be receiving any exports from Russia and let them stay on their own. In that unified way, we need to stick together. And that's what we're looking to do.

TAPPER: Something out there's -- something else that's going to impact your constituents. I want to ask you about this leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, that political obtained indicating that a majority of the court is ready to strike down Roe versus Wade. You told CNN last night, you're on Don Lemon show I think that that this ruling if it ultimately overturns Roe V. Wade, would be a game changer for women and women's rights.

What do you say to people out there who are afraid that this is going to happen? What can Democrats do? You control the House, the Senate and the White House?

MEEKS: Well, I do hope that we could bring a vote back, you know, that we passed in the Senate on a woman's right for reproductive procedures and eight (ph). Hope we have another vote in the Senate. It was a vote that failed again because we did not have the votes, the 60 votes that you need in the Senate.

But I think that is also an issue that shows that we need people to turn out the vote, because that's what's at stake because you take away rights. We have a Supreme Court that is going to get 80 percent of Americans, taking away the rights of women, not given a gaining rights but taking away. We've had a Supreme Court previously that's looking to make sure that we're becoming a more perfect union. This is rolling back in the other way to take rights away, hard fought rights from women. And it's a prelude to what continues what we've seen already in regards to this Supreme Court and other federal appointees that were done by right wing conservatives to take rights away, voting rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, as opposed to granting and making sure that all of us are treated equitably.


TAPPER: Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, thanks for your time today. Good to see you again.

MEEKS: Thank you for having me.

TAPPER: Coming up next, that Supreme Court stunner has some senators defending their decisions to vote in favor of conservative justices. Those lawmakers respond to the leaked draft opinion.

Then, a shocking discovery in Shanghai's COVID lockdown, workers open a body bag at the morgue to discover that an elderly man within it is definitely not dead. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, the nation's highest court appears poised to strike down Roe versus Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in the United States, that's according to a leaked Supreme Court majority draft opinion obtained by Politico. Even though the decision is not final, its revelation is already sending shockwaves throughout the nation.

Here with the reaction from the Supreme Court and from Capitol Hill, our CNN Legal Analyst Joan Biskupic, and CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju.

Manu, let me start with you because Senator Susan Collins voted to confirm both Justice Kavanaugh and justice Gorsuch, who are two of the five in this potential ruling. Collins vigorously defended her votes at the time saying that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch would not vote to overturn Roe versus Wade. Take a listen.


TAPPER: Don't you think, just as an academic matter, Neil Gorsuch, for whom you voted, don't you think he's probably going to vote to overturn Roe versus Wade if given the chance?

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I actually don't. I had a very long discussion with Justice Gorsuch in my office and he pointed out to me that he is coauthor of the whole book on precedent.


TAPPER: So Manu, what does Senator Collins have to say today?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she says those comments were inconsistent with what she was told by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh at the time of those hearings. And now remember how significant Susan Collins's position was when it came to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. At that time, it was unclear whether or not he would have the votes to get confirmed. But after Collins has spoken with Brett Kavanaugh, after she heard the testimony about allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, which Kavanaugh denied, and after he assured her on the issue of abortion, she came out in support of Kavanaugh and later Joe Manchin supported him as well.

And she said today, "If the leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it will be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office." And I asked her if she -- if he misled her in any way, if Kavanaugh did, she did not respond to that saying she wants to stick to her statement. She did say she wants to move on legislation to codify a right to an abortion. But Jake, there is no path for that being approved in the 50-50 Senate where 60 votes are needed to overcome a filibuster, and not all Democrats are on board with changing the filibuster rules.

TAPPER: All right, Manu.

And Joan, let me ask you, because this is a completely unprecedented leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court of a case about to, actually, have a ruling and still before the court. Justice Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States, he's very unhappy with this. He released a statement and reads in part, quote, "This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is in front of the court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the marshal of the court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak. To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed."

Pretty strong statement, what do you make of it?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST & SUPREME COURT BIOGRAPHER: Extraordinary. Everything in the last 24 hours has been extraordinary. You know, this startling 90 some page opinion that would roll back abortion rights nationwide, the way it was disclosed to the public and then to have the chief coming out like this, think of how disruptive this is in the process right now.

The draft that we've seen through Politico was dated February 10. We know that there have been internal developments since then. And we know that the justices likely were not going to hand down this opinion until late June. So, so much more has to unfold.

And if the Chief Justice was trying to make headway with any of his conservative colleagues, to pull them back from total reversal of Roe, which I believe he did not want, I don't think he's on this opinion. I think that at this point, he would rather have the court uphold the Mississippi law that's in dispute right now that prevents abortion after some 15 weeks of pregnancy, but not this huge earthquake of a change in women's legal rights.

And to try to be negotiating with colleagues in this kind of atmosphere when we already see where Justice Alito wanted to take the court. And at the point he wrote that he thought he had five justices with him. And I'm pretty sure that Justices Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch are still on that opinion. But if there was any chance that any of them would flip over and go a more moderate course as the chief would want, what does this kind of atmosphere do?


BISKUPIC: Now, just one last thing. The chief as you said, Jake, is going to have an investigation but he's delegating it to the martial there. So there's not -- I don't see this to be any really full- fledged truly get to the bottom of things investigation, as you would in any other kind of venue. And whether we'll see any kind of result of who leaked it is quite uncertain at this point.


TAPPER: All right, Joan and Manu, thank you so much to both of you.

Coming up next, we're on the ground in one state already in the process of passing one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The impact of this potential Supreme Court decision. Stay with us.


TAPPER: Sticking with our politics lead as the U.S. Supreme Court is seemingly poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe versus Wade case which granted abortion access nationwide and send the issue back to the states, Republican led states are now enacting a flurry of new restrictions on abortion access. CNN's Lucy Kafanov looks at the state of Oklahoma where the Republican governor and GOP led legislature just passed a near total ban on abortion.



LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some conservative states like Oklahoma are already bracing if the leak draft opinion becomes the final decision.

EMILY VIRGIN, (D) OKLAHOMA STATE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: It signals something devastating for reproductive rights in Oklahoma and across the country.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, has said he would back any legislation that restricts abortion. Last month, he signed a bill into law that makes performing an abortion illegal in a state except in medical emergencies.

JIM OLSEN, (R) OKLAHOMA STATE HOUSE: Criminalizes abortion makes it a felony for the doctor with penalties up to 10 years in prison and up to $100,000fine.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The law bans all abortions unless the life of the mother is at stake. There is no exception for rape or incest.

NATHAN DAHM, (R) OKLAHOMA STATE SENATE: Two wrongs don't make a right. And as horrific as rape and incest are, that innocent child should not lose their life because of that.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The Oklahoma legislature also passed a Texas copycat bill called the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act, which would prohibit abortions as early as six weeks before many women even know they're pregnant. The measure does allow for exceptions in medical emergencies. The bill also allows private citizens to file a civil suit against anyone performing an abortion or knowingly, quote, "aiding and abetting an abortion," including paying for the procedure. Abortion providers have already filed challenges to both bills to try to block them before they take effect.

(on camera): What is the reality when it comes to abortion rights for women here in Oklahoma?

VIRGIN: Well, they're already severely restricted. You're not ending abortion for people who live in Oklahoma, you're just forcing them to go to another state.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Oklahoma has already felt the effects of the Supreme Court allowing the Texas law to stand.

VIRGIN: We have very few abortion providers in Oklahoma. And those that do still exist are, of course, right now over burdened by folks coming in from Texas. And so, we can't meet the need that we currently have in Oklahoma.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The number of women coming from Texas to get abortions in Oklahoma rising to more than 220 in each of the two months after the Texas law took effect in September, up from about 40 a month. Abortion rights activists saying ultimately, as more red states pass restrictive laws, women will have fewer and fewer choices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the past, we've been able to rely on the court as a backstop to block some of the most egregious laws they've proposed. But we know that's not true anymore.


KAFANOV: And Jake, Republican Governor Kevin Stitt is poised to sign the new restrictions into law at any moment now. And keep in mind, there are just four clinics here in the state of Oklahoma that are offering abortion services. They've been overwhelmed. They've been seeing so many women from out of state including Texas. If they are forced to cease operations, the impact is going to be felt far beyond Oklahoma.


TAPPER: Lucy Kafanov in Oklahoma City for us, thank you so much.

Here to discuss, Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.

Congresswoman, thanks for joining us. So, assuming this draft opinion is ultimately the decision reached by the U.S. Supreme Court, what would your reaction be to what would be a monumental decision?

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Sure, Jake. First of all, let me just say I'm very angry and I'm trying to contain myself, OK, but I'm also heartbroken. Because if, in fact, and it appears that this draft opinion was released, unfortunately, and that it probably more than likely is the position the court will take, I'm heartbroken.

Because you know what this is going to mean, it's going to mean that -- first of all, I'm angry because this first time a constitutional right has been taken away and it's women that they're taking our constitutional rights away from. Secondly, it's my right to do what I want to do with my body. It's me, it's nobody else's business, no policymaker, no lawmaker, no judge, no one, it's a personal decision between a person and whomever.

Thirdly, we have a generation of people who do not know life without Roe. What are these young women and women, middle aged women going to do now? Also, we know that women who have money, they'll be able to travel to states, low income women, black and brown women who are low income, they're going to be impacted, disproportionately. Although it's going to affect all women, it's going to affect everyone in this country.

And so I'm telling you, it's a slippery slope, because next time they'll come -- it appears that they're beginning now to look at birth control. Where are they going with this? I mean, women have rights. We've got to register to vote.


See this as a political defining moment and believe you made (ph) -- we've got to understand that elections matter by electing Donald Trump as president. We have a court now that reflects, turning back the clock to the days of horror that I know so well, the days of black back alley abortions. And so political action is required right now. And we've got to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, which is in the Senate. So I'm urging and taking this moment, I urge everyone to get to their senators and get this passed right away.

TAPPER: You just alluded to something that you disclosed and spoke about publicly for the first time last year. You know, firsthand, what it's like to seek an abortion in a world where Roe v. Wade does not exist, if you could tell us more.

LEE: Jake, you know, I didn't talk about this ever really. I was a young teenager, 15 years old and I got pregnant, and my mother gave me all the options. She was so loving with me. And she said, it's your decision, we'll talk about it. But it's nobody else's decision.

I have a friend who knows a doctor in a back-alley in Mexico, Waris (ph). And if you want to do this, if we decide this is what you want to do, I'll send you to her, and then she will take care of you. So I decided at 15, that was the only option I had. So I flew to El Paso and she took me to an alley. I can still see the light shining down. It was dark, it was about 10:00.

You know, this was -- it was traumatic for me, but this was my decision. And I never talked about it before because as my mother said, that was my decision. Nobody else's business, quite frankly. And so what happened though, last year, when Mississippi and when all the Texas cases and when I began to -- I co-chair the Pro-Choice Caucus with Congresswoman Diana DeGette and we started looking at what was taking place and we saw this coming.

And so I said, you know, now is the time if ever for women who have -- especially women who know what back-alley abortions are about, because then the death -- black women died of septic abortions more than any other reason in the 60s. And so I was one who survived. And I don't want anyone to go through that. And I see what's taking place.

And the reason I talked about it was I'm trying to sound an alarm, not only about what this cord is doing, but why we have to vote and register, pass the John Lewis Voting Advancement Act, because they're trying to take away all of our rights, all of the rights --


LEE: -- of African Americans, people of color -- the disabled. So, you know, it's time to get politically active, Jake.

TAPPER: President Biden express concern today that this decision, this getting rid of precedent, if indeed, that's what the court does, it could mean other rights such as same sex marriage or risk, do you agree?

LEE: I agree. And that's why I'm saying labor rights, environmental justice, all of the issues that the Supreme Court could just use this as precedent, right, to start just taking away all have our rights. This is very dangerous because we live in a democracy. And what's left of it, Jake. And we need to sound the alarm because what, they're coming after women today, they're coming after you tomorrow. And so this is a time that everyone has to understand that our rights are at risk. And democracy is at stake.

The survival of our democracy, the survival of the rights that we've been fighting for over the years, people of color, African Americans, labor, unions, women, the disabled, you name it, the courts have taken away these rights. And if this decision comes down the way this leaked document said, and indicated, then we need to really see this as a time to step up and organize and know that the President appoints Supreme Court justices, and had Donald Trump not been -- if people had not voted for Donald Trump, we wouldn't be at this place.

So we have to take this moment also, Jake, to educate the public about why elections matter, and don't allow them to take -- to elect individuals who are just going to continue to erode our basic fundamental rights and our democracy.

TAPPER: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, thank you so much for your time today. Really appreciate it.

LEE: Thank you, Jake. I'm sorry. I'm so upset about this but I really am. It's so bad.

TAPPER: You don't have to apologize for anything. Thanks for coming on. We appreciate it.

What overturning Roe v. Wade could mean at the polls in November is next. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, President Biden weighing in on the draft Supreme Court ruling indicating that the court appears poised to overturn Roe vs. Wade. The President calling it, quote, a radical decision that jeopardizes other basic rights potentially. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the rationale of the decision as release, where it'd be sustained, the whole range of rights are on question, a whole range of rights. And the idea we're letting the states make those decisions localities in those decisions would be a fundamental shift. And what we've done goes far beyond the concern of whether or not there's the right to choose goes the other basis right.


TAPPER: So let's talk about this with my panel. And Laura, you work for Politico, but I know you're not going to tell us who leaked it or maybe you don't even know but it was a big scoop for you guys. Today was the first day of Biden's presidency that he even said the word abortion allowed.

This has been an issue where he used to be much more conservative on this issue. And it's one that he's talked about is difficult it seems, difficult from the outside at least for him to navigate because the Democratic Party has a very different position than his Catholic faith. How do you think he's handling?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, actually, what's interesting here is that -- and you heard the President refer to this, which is that a lot of Biden's philosophy around Roe v. Wade, around how also message to the public on it was really crafted by him when Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and Biden successfully defeated that nomination.


TAPPER: The whole thing about back-alley abortions.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Right. But it was also because he actually consulted with his sister, Valerie Biden and a bunch of legal experts. And they talked about how do we make this digestible to the everyday public. Because if we get into constitutional rights and legalese, about abortion rights, then he thought he would lose the public.

And so they realized, let's make this an issue about privacy. And Valerie Biden actually said, well, this sounds like the government may go into my bedroom. And then Biden immediately said, let's make it about that.

And from there, you heard that also today, he said, this is about privacy. This is about the Ninth Amendment. And he feels as though the court is going to expand beyond just going after abortion, but going after also gay marriage, going after whether or not, you know, the Griswold case which was about the ability to use contraception of your own --


BARRON-LOPEZ: -- free will, in your private, you know, relationships. So this is something that the White House is telling me, you know, expect to see Biden use the same strategy he used during that 1987 confirmation fight moving forward as they really talk about the ramifications of this case.

TAPPER: So polling suggests that most Americans support abortion rights with restrictions. That's what the polling suggests. But in terms of just overturning Roe v. Wade, according to the latest CNN poll, an overwhelming majority 69 percent of Americans say they do not want the court to overturn Roe v. Wade. 35 percent say they would be angry if it was overturned. 14 percent say they'd be happy. 12 percent satisfied, 25 percent dissatisfied, and so on. Is this actually something that will animate Democrats? I mean, I know that that's the common refrain, oh, this is going to motivate Democrats. Do you really think that?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do. I think that this issue could be similar to health care. When health care was passed, there was a backlash to President Obama. I think this will be a backlash for Republicans. I think the thing that the Biden administration and Democrats are going to have to do this midterm, though, is figure out how to message this.

Because you don't want -- if people are concerned about inflation, or gas prices, or grocery store prices, those are real-life issues that are affecting them every single day. So really breaking it down and saying this is an issue that you should care about, but not just this issue, the overall direction of our country, where do you want us to go? And if they can paint that narrative, and really landed, I think that we will, it could have a turn in the midterms and not the shellacking as so many people think Democrats are going to get.

TAPPER: So Senator Rick Scott, Jonah, he chairs the Senate Republican campaign committee was asked by CNN if this would impact the midterms. He said, right now, people are more focused on inflation and crime in the border. What do you think? What will be the political ramification of this, if any?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I'm skeptical that this is going to be a major boon, politically speaking for Democrats, in part because the voters who are most committed to upholding Roe are already very solidly in the Democratic coalition. We're talking about college educated, mostly single women. They're the, in some ways, the backbone of the Democratic coalition already.

So where are the new voters who are going to join the Democratic coalition to actually make a big difference in various midterm races? I'm not sure I see it. Historically, if you talked about looking consultants, the basic argument is that cultural issues, particularly abortion, is really good for Democrats for raising money and really good for Republicans for turning out voters.

Because if you look at single issue voters on the issue of abortion, it breaks in favor of the pro-life cause. This could overturn all of that --

TAPPER: Right.

GOLDBERG: -- all of normal fundraising models, all the normal turnout models, but I am skeptical that you're going to see some sort of tsunami on this, so long as inflation is very high. So long as -- you know, and it's interesting. You know, you're talking about Biden going to the Griswold privacy arguments.

If I were a leader of a pro-abortion rights group, I'd be a little annoyed by that sort of -- those sorts of -- TAPPER: What about us?

GOLDBERG: Yes. So like, we're -- you know, like, we can talk about gay marriage later, but like the thing that's under threat explicitly in the decision isn't gay marriage, there are very exclusive, this is only about abortion. Why are you already trying to expand it to these other talking points and not actually talking about abortion right?

TAPPER: One thing that I thought about today was all of those evangelical conservatives that had been criticized for being hypocrites, by standing by Trump, for standing by Trump who is, let's just say not exactly the moral exemplar of our lives. They're vindicated today.


TAPPER: They're vindicated. They wanted Roe v. Wade overturned, and Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, they delivered it.

HENDERSON: That's right. That's what was his big campaign promise that he would make the Supreme Court, the kind of Supreme Court that would overturn --

TAPPER: He said, you had litmus test.

HENDERSON: Yes, he had a litmus test. Exactly. He was very, very explicit about it in a way that you never really see Democrats talk about abortion, but that is the way that Donald Trump have successfully made this happen of huge assist from Mitch McConnell who of course withheld that seat that should have been Merrick Garland's. So this is a huge day for Republicans.


Interesting that they aren't all sort of celebrating at this point, they want to focus much more on the leak ins, you know, suggest that somehow it was a liberal who leaked this which --

TAPPER: We don't know.

HENDERSON: -- we have no idea.

TAPPER: Maybe.

HENDERSON: They're completely making this up. Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate today just making up the --

TAPPER: And Josh Hawley.

HENDERSON: And Josh Hawley. I think Ted Cruz as well, but Herson (ph) should be arrested and --

ALLISON: Are you surprise if they're making something else?

HENDERSON: Well, no, no, I'm not surprised if they're making something up. I'm just surprised that -- TAPPER: They're not celebrating.

HENDERSON: Yes, this is a big day. I mean, it -- I think foreshadows what's going to happen and what has already been happening, which is the erosion of Roe v. Wade.

GOLDBERG: A lot of people on the right feel like Lucy with football when it comes to Roe v. Wade. So I think a lot of them don't want to get out ahead in case this doesn't go the way they think it's going to go. I will say look, as someone who spent and got a lot of grief for it, five years beating up on Donald Trump for the violence to democratic norms and institutional norms --


GOLDBERG: -- this leak is outrageous, whoever -- whatever the motive is. It is a legitimately outrageous. And when you have abortion rights supporters all over Twitter and elsewhere, calling this person a folk hero, calling this person a hero, it is going to trigger and set off a bunch of right wingers. I think everybody's hypocritical because the people who are complaining about democratic norms under Donald Trump are now have no problem with this violation of norms. And the people who had no problem with the violation of norms under Trump are now all of a sudden talking about the importance of its past.

TAPPER: It's absolutely a breach and absolutely it's impossible to run a Supreme Court if you're going to be having draft opinions leak, there's no question about that. 100 percent agree with you. So who leaked that?

HENDERSON: All right.

BARRON-LOPEZ: I believe (INAUDIBLE), but I can talk about that.

TAPPER: All right, thanks everyone for being here. I really appreciate it.

New restrictions and emergency action up next. The drastic steps being taken to make sure the water can still flow out west. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, imagine turning on your kitchen faucet to get a glass of water and nothing comes out. That is dangerously close to becoming reality in the western part of the United States due to the ongoing mega drought. Today, the Biden administration announced it was taking unusual emergency steps to boost water levels. At the country's second largest reservoir Lake Powell on the border of Arizona and Utah. The government will increase the water flow from northern areas and reduce the output to the south.

As CNN Stephanie Elam explains this comes as additional water use restrictions are about to go into place for 6 million Americans out west. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WADE CROWFOOT, SECRETARY, CALIFORNIA NATURAL RESOURCES: We all walk through neighborhoods where lawns are so over irrigated, that they're creating a small stream on the street. We just have to eliminate that level of waterwaste.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the mega drought drags on in the West --


ELAM (voice-over): Mandatory water restrictions are on the horizon for 6 million people.

HAGEKHALIL: I can't wait until the middle of the summer because it'll be too late. And I don't want anybody to turn the faucet and I have water.

ELAM (voice-over): The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is asking residents to cut their water usage by 35 percent. While also mandating that either water limits are put in place, or outdoor watering be restricted to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties beginning June 1st. The impacted communities don't get their water from the Colorado River Basin, but instead from the State Water Project, which pipes water down from the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta.

HAGEKHALIL: The state has cut the water that comes to us by two- thirds. And that's because of there's no supply.

ELAM (voice-over): Indeed, there isn't.

HAGEKHALIL: There's not very much snow here.

ELAM (voice-over): Marking the end of the wet season, California measured only 4 percent of the April average for its snowpack. Basically a frozen reservoir that accumulates snow over the winter, the main measurement was no snow. As temperatures warm in the spring, that snow melts off runs downstream and ends up providing about 30 percent of the state's water needs. At least that is what should happen.

CROWFOOT: Climate change is accelerating in alarming ways and faster than scientists predicted even 10 or 20 years ago. And that means we have to move very quickly.

ELAM (voice-over): The drought is more broadly apparent at Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, which supplies water to some 40 million people across seven states and Mexico. The waterline has dropped so low in the lake that it's exposed a water intake valve in service since 1971. The Southern Nevada Water Authority activating a newer low lake pumping station to still be able to access water for its customers.

COLBY PELLEGRINO, DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER OF RESOURCES, SOUTHERN NEVADA WATER AUTHORITY: Coming online is also a symbol of how serious the situation is on the Colorado River right now.

ELAM (voice-over): Well, the cuts are frustrating to some --

EDDIE GUERRERO, CHINO HILLS, CALIFORNIA: To kill everything that we've got, it's ridiculous.

ELAM (voice-over): Officials say it's a matter of health and safety.

HAGEKHALIL: We need to right now conserve every draft, make sure it's only used for basic health services, our livelihood, our indoor usage and not what our land.


ELAM: And another grim indication, Jake, of just how low Lake Mead is getting. Earlier this week, officials say a body in a barrel was discovered at Lake Mead and they believe that this was probably under water from either the mid-70s to some point in the 80s but it went undiscovered because it was under all of that water until now. Jake?

TAPPER: Bizarre. Stephanie Elam, thanks so much.

Coming up next, an incredible scene amid the COVID crackdown in China. The moment captured on video of a man thought to be dead who in fact was not quite dead. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Finally in our health lead, a horrifying mistake thankfully discovered before it was too late when workers at Shanghai morgue unzipped a body bag in the back of a hearse and found an elderly man inside the bag who was still very much alive. And you can see them reacting with disbelief double checking to make sure that what they're seeing is actually what they're seeing. The person who shot the video can be heard saying the nursing home where the man lived is, quote, such a mess.

Shanghai has been on lockdown for weeks now as China's government tries to control the coronavirus outbreak in their own inimitable style. The district government reports the man is in stable condition now and four people lost their job -- with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." I'll see you tomorrow.