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The Lead with Jake Tapper

CNN: U.S. Provided Intel That Helped Ukraine Target Russian Warship; Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, (D-IL), Is Interviewed About War In Ukraine, Military Aid, Title 42, Abortion; Biden Administration Announces $150M Military Aid Package For Ukraine; Texas GOP Gov. Signals Possible Challenge To Ruling On Public Education For Migrant Children; White House Responds To Abortion Protest Plans Near Justices' Homes; Gov. Newsom On Abortion Rights: "Where The Hell Is My Party?"; Vehicle Used In Alabama Jailbreak Discovered In Tennessee. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: At least one Ukrainian soldier was killed, six others injured.

And as CNN's Sara Sidner reports for us now, Ukraine's president is accusing Russia of blocking all international organizations from providing food, water and other supplies to civilians trapped in Mariupol. Doing that as a form of torture by starvation, he says.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Ukrainian soldier in shocked silence, his arm shredded and burned, his vehicle hit by a shoulder fire grenade launcher official say, another victim in the bloody battle from Mariupol.

The video, a terrible reminder for those who have relatives still fighting there. Olga (ph) has a husband and the Ukrainian army in Mariupol. Anna's (ph) brother is there as well.

It's so painful for me. People can't just be silent about the horrors happening there. They don't have days there. They are counting the minutes.

Anna says she fears for her brother who she says is deteriorating physically as he fights the Russians inside the plant. He's very skinny. He's exhausted. His eyes have black bags, she says. He's in horrible condition, but that's just physically. Mentally, he's unbelievably strong. They are all so motivated to tear the Russians apart.

Russia is attacking from the ground and the sky. The devastation immeasurable, the human suffering incalculable. Under heavy fire, hundreds of civilians still stuck cowering in fear under the steel plant. This is the last Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol. But Russia is squeezing in on it, relentlessly bombing the place even after a promise of a ceasefire to allow those trapped civilians to escape.

SVYATOSLAV PALAMAR, DEPUTY COMMANDER, UKRAINE'S AZOV REGIMENT (through translator): Once again, the Russians violated the prominence of the truth and did not allow the evacuation of civilians who continue to hide from shelling in the basement of the plant.

SIDNER (voice-over): Friday, a third rescue attempt got underway at least a dozen civilians rescued, adding to the nearly 500 people free.

Twenty-one-year-old Nicole (ph) was able to escape -- really happy life there now devastate her. This is practically suicide. If I do, my heart shatters. I don't understand why, how at some point.

On the other side of the Battle, a Russian soldier, Noshalantly (ph), says talks are useless for a ceasefire. The war in his mind, has been ongoing for eight years since the Russians invaded and occupied Crimea. Now terror washes over another place and the bombs continue to fall.


SIDNER: We have now heard from Ukrainian officials who say actually 50 people have been finally evacuated from that cavernous area underneath the steel plant. But there are hundreds more still waiting for the time when they can come into the light. It is incredibly dangerous. There are still lots of people in a lot of pain, wondering what their future is. Jake

TAPPER: Sara Sidner reporting live for us from Kyiv Ukraine, thank you so much.

CNN has learned the U.S. provided intelligence that helped the Ukrainians sink the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva you might recall. The Moskva is the ship that Ukrainians on Snake Island told to go f itself at the beginning of the war. The Moskva was struck by Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles on April 14 and soon sunk.

Today, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. did not provide specific targeting information. Let's get right to CNN's Katie Bo Lillis, who broke the story.

Katie Bo, is this just a matter of semantics here?

KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN REPORTER: It's certainly a technical distinction that the Biden administration is trying to draw here. Here's what we know. We know that Ukrainian spotted the Moskva operating off of their coast, they called their American counterparts to ask for confirmation. The Americans were able to say, yes, that is in fact the Moskva and provide some details about the ship's location. And of course, the Ukrainians then go on to fire two cruise missiles that sink the ship.

Now, U.S. officials are not disputing that sequence of events. Where they're drawing the line here is, officials are telling us that the kind of intelligence that they provide to the Ukrainians wasn't real time geo located kind of 10 point grid intelligence of the kind that the U.S. itself might have used in, say, Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, that would have allowed the Ukrainians to immediately take a shot, right? So U.S. officials are saying that they were not involved in the decision to strike the Moskva. And in fact, they didn't even know whether or not Ukraine was intended to take the shot once they had the positive identification in their hands.

But as you say, Jake, is that a bit of a distinction without a difference when at the end of the day, the result is U.S. intelligence assisting with the sinking of the Moskva?


TAPPER: Yes. And I mean, what do they think they were going to do with information? Sent e-mails to the Moskva? I mean.

LILLIS: Right. I mean that's exactly so. And U.S. officials have been frank. I mean they have said, like, we are providing intelligence to the Ukrainians that would allow them to conduct offensive strikes and to allow them to conduct strikes that would be in defense of their homeland from the -- from this Russian invasion. But it's worth listening to what Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby had to say today and how he defines those limitations.

TAPPER: All right, Katie Bo Lillis, thanks so much.


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: The intelligence that we provide to Ukraine is legal, it's lawful, it's legitimate and it's limited. We give them information. Other partners give them information. And oh, by the way, they have terrific intelligence of their own. They corroborate all that together and then they make the decisions they're going to make, and they take the actions they're going to take.


LILLIS: It's an effort to draw a red line around the kind of support they're providing to the Ukrainians. And it's an effort to say, look, you know, we're not directly participating in this conflict. But as you ask, is it rhetorical? Is it a distinction without a difference?

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, they weren't sending them something from Uber Eats.


TAPPER: Katie Bo Lillis, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Here now, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois. He's a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Congressman, let's start with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby's comments. The U.S. appears to be sensitive about this issue, about being seen as playing a direct role in either the sinking of the Moskva or in the killing of Russian generals, as "The New York Times" reported earlier this week. But is it fair to say the U.S. intelligence has contributed to Russian deaths?

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I think that has definitely contributed to the Ukrainians being able to defend themselves. And then combined with their other intelligence capabilities and gathering other insights, I think that they then conduct their own strikes. But I think it's really important to say very clearly that, you know, the U.S. is going to help them to defend themselves. And then what they do with that information from there is really up to them.

TAPPER: Kirby said that the U.S. shared information about the location of the Moskva without knowing Ukraine's intent. I mean, do you buy that? We all know what the intent was. I'm not saying I have an issue with it, but I mean, there seems to be kind of like a little dance going on here that I don't really fully understand. We're giving them arms, we're giving them money, we're giving them intelligence, of course we're helping them kill Russian soldiers.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think that it's a little different than, for instance, what happened in Iraq or Afghanistan where we clearly provided a lot more information to our partners to target and to help them to actually destroy certain facilities or piece of equipment and so forth. Here, it's more, as Mr. Kirby said, providing intelligence so that you know where the next missile is coming from, if it does.

As you know, the Moscow was very involved in shelling the Ukrainians repeatedly. And so, being able to tell them, where it's located so that they can prepare themselves for the next shelling and attack is really important.

TAPPER: Again, I'm not taking issue with what the U.S. is doing. I'm just wondering why there's almost this pretense. Where is the line where the U.S. crosses it? And it is -- you would be considering this to be a proxy war with Russia. I mean, we're giving them arms, we're giving them billions, we're giving them money, we're giving them intelligence. If that's not a proxy war with Russia, what is?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think that the line is -- let me take it a different way. In Afghanistan, the Russians were involved with potentially paying bounties to Afghan warlords and others to kill Americans, to go on the hunt for Americans wherever they were. Here, we are actually giving assistance to the Ukrainians to be able to defend themselves from oncoming attacks.

Now in defending themselves, do they end up killing Russians? That's very possible. And that's just the way it's going to be so long as they are able to defend themselves successfully.

TAPPER: Is there -- is the fear here that Russia would directly retaliate against the United States? Is that why these lines are being drawn and this language is being used?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I think that all along, we've made it very clear that we are going to provide whatever material assistance necessary to defend the Ukrainians not to go on the offense, for instance, in Russia or to locate strategic assets and so forth. I think that's an important distinction that we're trying to maintain.

TAPPER: President Biden just announced another $150 million worth of equipment for Ukraine, in addition to asking Congress for another $33 billion. Senate Democrats are considering tying that to COVID relief funding. Republicans say, if that's true, they would want some sort of line to ensure that Title 42 is kept.


That's the Trump era policy that allows them to invoke the coronavirus pandemic to more quickly eject migrants from the country. Would you be OK with that if this is all one big package?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think that we absolutely have to combat COVID not only here in the United States where we're starting to run out of funds to buy treatments and vaccines, but also across the world if we're ever going to end this pandemic, and then helping to lead the fight there. I think that's a totally separate issue from the border, Jake. And I think that we should take those issues separately. I would not want to see it related to border issues. I think that the package should involve Ukraine, and of course, the COVID aid so that we can actually get out of this pandemic.

TAPPER: Well, Title 42 is about COVID. It's an HHS regulation, I believe. Health and Human Services saying because of the COVID pandemic, the authorities at the border can eject migrants more quickly and not let them stay in declare asylum. It's directly related to COVID. If Republicans wanted to attach that, I understand you don't like it. But if Republicans wanted to attach it, I mean, it is germane to COVID.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I think the issue there is it's germane, but it's not directly related to fighting COVID, which is what we absolutely have to do right now. And right now we're seeing a surge in cases. And if we're going to sit here and talk about the border, instead of dealing with those cases, we could see another resurgence of COVID by the fall.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about abortion given the news this week about it. President Biden is calling on Congress to pass laws that would codify Roe versus Wade nationwide before the Supreme Court presumably undermines it. Democrats don't have the votes to do that, I mean, in the Senate, they do in the House. So what can Congress actually do?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I think the main point here is we got to get people on the record if we're going to hold them accountable in the fall and beyond. At this point, obviously we need to defeat the filibuster, in my opinion, to move forward with approval of the Women's Health Protection Act, the WHPA which is being filibustered in the Senate. But if we can't get that, Jake, we got to get on the record everybody's position very clearly on this so we can hold them accountable at the polls in November.

TAPPER: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democratic of Illinois, thanks so much. Good to see you again. Europe is getting ready to sanction more prominent Russians and Vladimir Putin is reputed girlfriend is on the list. We're going to find out more about her in a sec.

Then, after the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion, the Republican governor of Texas is now considering taking aim at another Supreme Court precedent. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Continuing with our world lead, the European Union is getting ready to hit Russia with new economic sanctions because of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. CNN's Jim Bittermann has a closer look now at some of the names on the list, which includes the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as Putin's reputed girlfriend.


JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Putin his punishment for the war hitting his most inner circle, the E.U.'s prime target, Alina Kabaeva, who said to be Putin's girlfriend, and believed to have been given control over much of Putin's wealth and property.

The two have been rumored to be in a romantic relationship ever since Putin appeared to take an unusual interest in Kabaeva, 30 years his junior, after she won a gold Olympic medal for Russia in rhythmic gymnastics in 2004. A few years later, rumors began to circulate that Putin was separating from his wife, where (ph) the Kremlin vehemently denied, but which were confirmed in 2014 when the couple officially divorced after 30 years of marriage.

Meanwhile, Kabaeva rose steadily in Russian political circles, becoming a deputy in parliament from Putin's party, in a post she held for six years before moving on to control a pro Putin Media Group. For some time now, there have been calls from supporters of Ukraine to sanction Kabaeva. But Washington was reported to be reluctant to go after someone so close to the Russian president for fear of taking another step toward escalating the conflict. Late last month, though, the White House appeared to say no change in approach.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one is safe from our sanctions. We've already of course sanction President Putin, but also his daughter, his closest cronies and will continue to review more.

BITTERMAN (voice-over): And among the more another close confidant of Putin, the Patriarch Kirill, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church who is said to have wealth far beyond the average church leader. He has strongly supported when he called in a sermon, Putin's special peacekeeping operation, which he added was a religious cleansing operation to liberate Russian speakers in Ukraine. He's so close to Putin, that in a highly unusual comment from the Vatican, Pope Francis said of Kirill, the patriarch cannot become Putin's altar boy, something that threatened to put the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches further at odds.


BITTERMAN: And, Jake, there are a number of other targets in the E.U. saying, including a promise to wean European nations off of Russian gas and oil by the end of this year. However there are already some among the 27 European nations who are demanding an exception to that because they are heavily dependent on Russian energy. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Jim, thanks so much. Good to see you again.

Growing alarm about a mysterious and deadly hepatitis outbreak affecting young kids in the U.S., why some children are going from the doctor's office to the ICU in just a matter of hours. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Trouble (ph) store in our health lead the CDC is sounding the alarm about a growing number of aces nationwide of an unusual disease in young kids, it's not COVID. Public health officials are investigating mysterious cases of acute hepatitis among children ranging from younger than two to older than five. The cause of this outbreak is unclear.


The CDC says more than 100 cases are currently under investigation and 25 states. Nearly all of the children, 94 percent needed to be hospitalized. Fifteen needed liver transplants. Five have died. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now live with more on this.

And Jacqueline, the CDC just held a briefing about this a short while ago. What are we learning from the briefing? And what do we know about the symptoms these kids are experiencing?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, the takeaway here Jake, CDC officials are looking for answers here behind these acute hepatitis cases. Like you said, these are unusual, they are unexplained, we still don't know the cause. But here's the latest that we were told just today, CDC officials told us that 109 children were identified having these unusual acute cases of hepatitis. The children live in 25 states and territories, that's 24 states plus the territory of Puerto Rico. Fifteen of them needed liver transplants, that represents 14 percent of the total number of kids and sadly, five of them died.

And when you think about the symptoms here, Jake, as you said more than 90 percent required hospitalization, which tells us the symptoms were severe and that really has physicians and CDC officials on high alert. When you think about hepatitis, it is inflammation of the liver, and specific signs to look for yellowing of the eyes, dark colored urine, clay colored stool, but some of the children needing liver transplants is what really raises the alarm here. TAPPER: And Jacqueline, CNN spoke with a pediatrician who's treated two of the patients with this unusual condition. What did the doctor say?

HOWARD: That's right. The pediatrician was Dr. Heli Bhatt. She's based in Minneapolis. And she said one of her patients who was two -- who is two years old needed a liver transplant just this week. And what has Dr. Bhatt concerned, she's worried that if more children are identified in this investigation and more of them need liver transplants, then there will be an increased need of donors.

Have a listen.


DR. HELI BHATT, PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGIST: We might have -- we might run out of a lot of, you know, DCs (ph) donors and might have to start -- might have return towards living related. But I think if this becomes, you know, more severe if the numbers keep going up and more kids are requiring transplant, I think that would be our biggest challenge.


HOWARD: So as we saw there, this is if cases get more severe and if we see more. Right now, you know, this is still rare, and only 14 percent of the children needed liver transplants. But still this is of concern, Jake.

TAPPER: And the first U.S. cases were found in Alabama. Now all of the kids they're tested negative for hepatitis A, B and C, but they all tested positive for adenovirus. Explain this for us.

HOWARD: That's right. Those cases that really put this first on CDC official's radar. As you mentioned, there was this connection with adenovirus.

But when you look at the national numbers that were released just today, CDC officials said about more than half of the children nationwide in that 109 number, more than half need or had a past history of adenovirus infection. So yes, that is still part of this investigation looking at a possible connection with adenovirus. But CDC officials say they are looking at other possible connections, other possible causes.

And I thought it was interesting, Jake, when CDC official today said that because this is an evolving situation. Keep in mind there might be more than one cause, some of these cases might have different causes. So we really are just going to stay across this and see what comes out of this investigation at this point.

TAPPER: All right. Adenovirus, I stand corrected.

Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much for that reporting.

Coming up, how the Republican governor of Texas may try to take advantage of the draft Supreme Court opinion that could overturn Roe v Wade to tackle another legal precedent. Stay with us.



TAPPER: The politics lead now as the U.S. Supreme Court appears prepared it will race in nearly 50-year precedent by undermining Roe v. Wade, the Republican governor of Texas wants a Supreme Court to overturn another precedent, the 1982 ruling on Plyler versus Doe. That decision ensured that undocumented children had a right to public education in the United States.

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott now says times have changed since that ruling almost 40 years ago. As CNN's Paula Reid reports, Abbott now argues that the cost to educate thousands of undocumented students is a financial burden on his state.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision can be overturned, what about other long standing precedents? Conservatives now see an opening after the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision. Texas Governor Greg Abbott now signaling he may challenge a 1982 ruling that granted undocumented children access to public schools.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Plyler is a 40-year-old decision that dealt with immigration in the state of Texas that was extremely different then than it is now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today's Supreme Court decision is historic.

REID (voice-over): Plyler v. Doe was a Supreme Court case that focused on a 1975 Texas law prohibiting the use of state funds for the education of undocumented children and authorizing local school districts to deny those children enrollment.

In 1982, the High Court ruled that the law violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and that migrant children should be allowed to enroll in public schools regardless of their citizenship status. In its opinion, the court wrote, "Education has a fundamental role in maintaining the fabric of our society and provides the basic tools by which individuals might lead economically productive lives to the benefit of us all."


But Abbott, a Republican running for a third term in November, now wants to revisit the issue.

ABBOTT: When the Plyler decision came out, the immigration that we were seeing in the state of Texas was primarily from Mexico. And the only language barrier and issue was Spanish. Now we have people coming from more than 105 different countries across the globe.

REID (voice-over): He says his state should not have to pay to educate migrant children.

ABBOTT: Listen, we are dealing with billions more a year just in educational expenses.

REID (voice-over): The White House already rebuking the idea of Abbott's potential challenge.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, that's Ultra MAGA, denying public education to kids, including immigrants to this country. I mean, that is not the main -- a mainstream point of view.

REID (voice-over): And this is just one of the rights established by the High Court that could be challenged if Roe is overturned.

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: What it reveals is that at least Justice Alito, and the justices who are going to sign on to the final version of that opinion, are willing to take a clean break from long established precedent of the Supreme Court. And so what that does is then opens up the door, I think, potentially for a range of other challenges where this new conservative majority in the Supreme Court will simply say, we're not going to follow precedent, because we think that prior case was wrongly decided.


REID: Since the 1982 Plyler decision, little has changed in the legal landscape concerning the education of undocumented children attempts to chip away at the decision had been unsuccessful. But one thing that has changed in just the past few years is, of course, the composition of the court. So Jake, all eyes continue to be on the justices big decision on abortion rights expected next month.

TAPPER: All right, Paula Reid, thank you so much.

Let's dive into it. So, Ramesh, what's your take on this? I mean, I am old enough to remember Governor Perry, Rick Perry, and not to mention then Governor Huckabee talking about the need to be compassionate and educate the children of undocumented immigrants. Even if you don't think the undocumented immigrants should be here. The kids did nothing wrong.

RAMESH PONNURU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that's right. And I think that's the way most people including a lot of Republicans still think. I think this has a lot more to do with Governor Abbott's re- election campaign than it has to do with anything the Supreme Court is actually doing or is likely to take up. But the fact is, the failure of the federal government to take control of the border creates some fiscal costs for states like Texas.


PONNURU: Abbott can't do a whole lot about that, but what he's doing right now is simply essentially a form of venting about that.

TAPPER: Yes. Hilary, Abbott's suggesting to challenge this Supreme Court decision comes after obviously, that draft memo leaked, and politico got it about Roe vs. Wade. A brand new CNN poll we just released on the show shows 66 percent of Americans do not support undermining or getting rid of Roe v. Wade, 34 percent do take it in the wake of the story this week.

Supreme Court obviously doesn't necessarily have to listen to polls or Congress or anyone. They can do whatever they want. Does it matter, though? Do you think that the U.S. Supreme Court cares that they are doing something that a majority of the American people don't want them to do?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't think the courts have monoliths. So I think these are individuals who, you know, probably independently do care about their personal reputations. And I think that Judge Kavanaugh -- Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch who basically said to the Senate and privately two senators, that they were not going to vote for this, that they thought this was settled law.

You know, ought to pay attention to the fact that the -- for the reason that they did that, why they got those votes, otherwise they wouldn't have gotten those votes. And that's pretty important. So I do think it matters.

I think, you know, there's a difference between being punitive and being thoughtful on policy. Abbott feels punitive here. This Roe decision feels punitive. Not going to help Republicans, not going to help the Supreme Court's reputation.

TAPPER: Nia-Malika, tall fencing has gone up around the U.S. Supreme Court in anticipation of protests and possibly violence. The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about activists who have gone step further and published -- posted online little pins of where the six of the Supreme Court justices live and I was asked about that. Here's part of her answer.


PSAKI: We obviously want people's privacy to be respected. We want people to protest peacefully if they want to protest. That is certainly what the President's view would be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he doesn't care if they're protesting outside the Supreme Court or outside someone's private residence?

PSAKI: I don't have an official U.S. government position. I'm aware people protest. I wanted -- we wanted of course to be peaceful.


TAPPER: Now Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Republican who's running for governor in New York tweeted, "Does anyone in the Biden administration have the courage and decency to speak out in defense of the physical safety of our nine Supreme Court justices? The doxing and intimidation campaign targeting these justice justices is illegal and Jen Psaki just used her platform to green light it." What do you think?


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, listen, I don't think she used her platform to green light it at all. I think she's in a difficult position, because she is representing the American government and American government can't abridge free speech and protest and where people protest, they do have a right to protest, say, on the sidewalk in front of anyone's house. That's just the way the American government in America has worked for decades and that's a good thing.

And, you know, she was mindful to say she wants it to happen peacefully, and that there not be any violence, but she is walking a thin line there because she can't come out and say that the American government's policy is to dictate where people can protest.

ROSEN: Let's talk about this faux outrage, though. I mean, this is -- the majority of protests around these issues have really actually been on the other side on the so called anti-choice pro-life side where they blocked, you know, poor women pregnant, you know, sick trying to get into health care clinics looking for reproductive services, where they wave fetuses around, you know, to make people try and feel shame. I mean, this is just crazy that this is now the thing about, oh, let's attack Democrats for not condemning, you know, protests.

TAPPER: Do you think it's a mock outrage?

PONNURU: I don't think so at all. I think it's real outrage. And I think it's justified outrage. The norm has not been --

TAPPER: I mean, they published in neighborhoods of where the Supreme Court is laid off.

PONNURU: That's right. And there's no reason, there's no free speech principle that would keep the White House Press Secretary from saying we would prefer that groups not target individuals homes. That simple thing to do doesn't violate anybody's first amendment rights to say that, just as it doesn't violate anybody's first amendment rights for her to say other things about protests.

She couldn't do it. And the reason she couldn't do it is because too much of the Democratic base is invested in this kind of extreme tactic.

TAPPER: And so -- well I want to bring Seung Min on something that as a journalist you could talk about, which is Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate is going to take up a bill next week to codify Roe vs. Wade. It clearly doesn't have 60 votes. There aren't 60 people in the Senate who -- senators who support abortion rights. My question is this, does it even have 50 votes?

SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think so at this point. I mean, we do have at least two Republican senators who support abortion rights in theory --

TAPPER: Murkowski, yes. KIM: - Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, but they don't like this draft of the bill. Senator Susan Collins told reporters on the Hill that she believes this doesn't have enough protections for, for example, for Catholic hospitals who may not want to provide abortions. So she says that language does not go far enough.

And you know, Chuck Schumer was asked, well, why don't you try to work with these two Republicans to come up with a compromise? And he made it pretty clear that this is a messaging bill. This is a bill that is to show the public that Democrats are the party that would protect abortion rights, and they want to make that message clear to the public.

This isn't about legislating. It's not about policymaking. And again, they don't have a majority just amongst themselves. You know, Joe Manchin, obviously we talk about him a lot on the show, he does not support abortion rights. And he would not support this.

TAPPER: Let me play devil's advocate. Wouldn't a more effective messaging bill, if that's what Schumer is trying to do, be able to get the votes of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski like -- and fail but have 51 votes --

HENDERSON: You would think --

TAPPER: -- and even it's a bipartisan bill.

HENDERSON: Yes, you would think but it's hard to imagine a bill that Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins would get behind on, you know, maybe they can narrowly tailor it. I think Democrats sort of waiting on Susan Collins to vote with them. I've ended up waiting for a long time.

TAPPER: I want to play something for --

ROSEN: Yes, and there's nothing in the Roe v. Wade decision that forces Catholic hospitals to offer abortion services.

TAPPER: Right.

ROSEN: So, you know, this is --

PONNURU: But there is something at the Democrats bill.

ROSEN: This is just a-- again, this is just, you know, a red herring to find an excuse to have the Republicans stay in their corner and Susan Collins to dance on the fence, which is what she has tried to do on this issue for 25 years.

PONNURU: The Democrats bill has language which for the first time you'd have legislation that says the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not apply to this bill. That is in fact going further than Roe v. Wade, that is stripping away conscience rights and Murkowski and Collins have their own legislation.

If the Democrats wanted to do something that could get 51 votes, that certainly -- it is not a mystery what they would have to do.

ROSEN: That's a services issue. That doesn't require anybody to pre- offer the service.

TAPPER: So I want you to take on a different criticism of the Democratic Party coming from California Governor Gavin Newsom --


TAPPER: -- who said the Democrats do not have a comprehensive plan to protect this right, the right to an abortion. Take a listen.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Where the hell's my party? Where's the Democratic Party? This is a concerted, coordinated effort. And yes, they're winning. They are. They have been. Let's acknowledge that. We need to stand up, where's the counter offensive?



TAPPER: I mean, does he have a point?

ROSEN: Yes. I mean this case in particular has been pending before the court for, you know, a long time. I think the women's groups have been anticipating a loss. But I don't know that Democratic leaders have strategize about what they do about a loss. I mean, I'm with Governor Newsom. And the key issue here is, this is going to end up going to the states. And this is going to fall to governors like Gavin Newsom to protect a woman's right to choose, and we are going to be a divided country where if you live in one state, you have certain rights as a human.

And if you live in another state, you have fewer rights as a human. And that is a horrible place to be. But that is where we're ending up because there is this outcome.

TAPPER: I just wanted to say like this made me think and I don't know if President Biden's going to run for re-election or not, but like, this is -- seems like this is a good issue. We're talking about how Abbott is running for re-election with his bill. This seems like something for Newsom where he could really have potential to -- it's very, I think there are a lot of Democrats who want to hear that message like the Democrats in Washington aren't doing anything right.

KIM: Right. And governors in blue states such as Gavin Newsom, they're going to have that platform, particularly if and when this issue does go back to the states and actually, for a weekend story of some of my colleagues and I talked to a lot of democratic activists in the states about sort of the inability for Democrats in Washington to pass their agenda.

And one of their activists told us that we just want to see them fight. We want to see lawmakers going to the mats to fight for what we believe in our policies. And I think Newsom is a good example of what activists really want to hear on the ground.

TAPPER: Final thoughts?

HENDERSON: No, I think this is right. And I've been talking to Democratic strategists who've been talking to focus groups and this is what they want to see.

KIM: Yes.

HENDERSON: They do think that Republicans are going too far but it's like what are Democrats offering and what are Democrats fighting for and where do they stand.

TAPPER: Great panel. Thanks so much to all. Really appreciate it.

Breaking news in the hunt for the Alabama corrections officer and the inmate with whom she disappeared. Where their getaway vehicle was just found? Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead breaking news in the manhunt for the accused killer and that Alabama sheriff's deputy who apparently helped him escape from jail. Authorities have found their getaway vehicle in Tennessee, but they did not find the couple. CNN's Ryan Young is in Florence, Alabama with the latest on the search.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Authorities tracking the Alabama fugitive and corrections officer encountering setbacks. U.S. Marshals have located the vehicle that was used as a getaway car, but have no new leads on where the pair is now.

SHERIFF RICK SINGLETON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA: We're sort of back to square one as far the vehicle description right now. They found the car before we even knew they were gone.

YOUNG (voice-over): The sheriff says a tow truck driver towed the car from a back row to Williamson County, Tennessee last Friday, about two hours north of where the fugitives were last seen at the detention center.

SINGLETON: We're assuming where it was abandoned. And it was abandoned so quickly that they probably had mechanical problems with it. They're working on very searching to see if any vehicle reported stolen in that area.

YOUNG (voice-over): Authorities released images rendering showing how their appearance could have changed since the escape. Here's what it made Casey White may look like with a different facial hair. And here's Officer Vicky White as a brunette with shorter hair. She was blind when she disappeared last week. Other photos show Casey White's distinctive tattoos, including one have a confederate flag on his back.

CHAD HUNT, COMMANDER, U.S. MARSHAL FUGITIVE TASK FORCE: He's got a sleeve tattoo on his right arm. He does have some tattoos on his chest. He does have a tattoo in between his shoulder blades. And something that we learned recently is that he does have two eyeballs tattooed on the back of his head.

YOUNG (voice-over): Vicky and Casey White who are not related to go Friday morning. Surveillance video shows the pair leaving the correction facility and a patrol car under the guise of going to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation. The officials are trying to find out more about the so-called special relationship between the officer and the inmate which allegedly dates back to 2020 when Casey White was serving time in a state prison and was brought to Lauderdale County for an arraignment on murder charges.

SINGLETON: We do know and have confirmed that they were in touch via phone during that two-year period while he was in prison and she was still working here.

YOUNG (voice-over): The scape appears to have been well coordinated. Vicky white stayed at a hotel the night before their escape near to where her getaway car was parked.

SINGLETON: But we do know that she was spotted on video at the Quality Inn directly behind Logan's.

YOUNG (voice-over): The sheriff's office still has concerns for her well-being.

SINGLETON: If you're safe right now, feel safe. Get out while you can and turn yourself in to local authority.


YOUNG: Yes, Jake, so many twists and turns in the story. Just think about this, that getaway car was found in the middle of the road. And in fact, they thought maybe it broken down but no one was on the inside. Also, they talked about the fact that someone tried to spray paint that orange vehicle green in certain places. Very bad job in that case.

And the other thing the sheriff release today is the fact that his former employee was using aliases to kind of hide herself around and even purchased that car under an alias before this whole thing kind of got shattered. But so far they've gotten away that to think about it, it's been a week since they've been on the run. Jake?

TAPPER: That's the remarkable thing about this, they still haven't caught them. Ryan Young, thanks so much. Appreciate it. We'll be right back.

YOUNG: Absolutely.



TAPPER: In our tech lead, Kraft Heinz, the maker of so many everyday food staples from ketchup to Lunchables, says it has found a way to secure its supply chain problems by teaming with Microsoft to create a digital twin of the company's facilities online which Kraft Heinz is calling the industrial metaverse. The food giant says this will allow them to problem solve virtually so its factories will run more efficiently and enable it to get its products more to more grocers and get it to them more quickly.

Kraft is joining a growing number of companies looking to connect with customers in the metaverse. Chipotle recently opened a virtual store where customers can roll their own burritos. Coca-Cola created a limited edition soda for players using the game Fortnites.

Be sure to tune in this Sunday morning for State of the Union. I'm going to be talking to Democratic Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. His state of course is at the center of that Supreme Court draft opinion and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. It's Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and noon.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. Tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. Listen to our podcast. Our coverage continues now with Pamela Brown, who is right next door in a place I like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM."