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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Oklahoma To Ban Abortion From Moment Of Fertilization; Biden Invokes Defense Production Act To Boost Baby Formula Supply; Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Is Interviewed About Baby Formula Supply; House Passes $28 Million Emergency Funding To Help Formula Shortage; New GA Poll Shows Kemp's Lead Growing Over Trump-Backed Perdue; New Map Could Pit New York House Dems Against Each Other. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired May 19, 2022 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: That's essentially an all-out ban with very few exceptions, it could even potentially outlaw some forms of birth control. It's expected that state's Republican governor will sign the bill into law tomorrow.
CNN's Camila Bernal is following the breaking developments.
Camila, this bill comes even before the Supreme Court has ruled on Roe v. Wade. So walk us through the details of this ban.
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, it does. And here's the thing, the key here is how a pregnancy is defined. And that's why I want to take you right to the wording of the bill because that is key in all of this.
According to this bill, a pregnancy is defined by the female "reproductive condition that, a. begins with the fertilization, b. occurs when the woman is carrying the developing human offspring, and c. is calculated from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period." And so, the definition here is going to be key moving forward. And it's why Planned Parenthood is already preparing for what happens next. They say that abortion scheduled for this week in Oklahoma will likely go on as planned, but they're already making plans to cancel next week.
Now, as you mentioned, the governor is expected to sign it. He has shown his support for these kinds of bans in the past. And so, we anticipate that moving forward, that's what the state is going to focus on.
The governor has said that his state will protect life. He says that churches and nonprofit organizations are going to have to focus on adoptions. And he says they will focus on also protecting the mother.
So of course, this is one of those issues that you have all kinds of opinions on both sides of the aisle, but that will have big implications for women in Oklahoma, Jake.
TAPPER: The legislation has measures in it that would punish doctors who provide any abortion. What does that entail?
BERNAL: Yes, in addition to defining what a pregnancy is, it also states that essentially a private citizen could sue an abortion provider when they knowingly provide an abortion or induce an abortion. And so, what's going to happen here is that these abortion providers will be punished and could be held accountable legally. And that will have huge implications as well, because they're now looking at what they can do in other states. And that's why Planned Parenthood is now looking at the nearby states to see if that's what they're going to be able to do, move those abortions to other states because they will not be able to happen in Oklahoma once this is signed.
TAPPER: The bill does include something of an exception for rape and incest, but there's a little bit of a catch to it, right? Tell us about that.
BERNAL: Yes, you have to report that rape to law enforcement before you can be or essentially be able to qualify for that exception. So, they are making it extremely difficult. And of course, supporters say that this is what you need in order to move forward while opponents of course say it's a dark day. And they say this is not just another ban, but this is a first and a reversal of history. Jake.
TAPPER: Camila Bernal, thank you so much.
Let's bring in Kim Wehle. She's a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at the University of Baltimore.
Kim, again, I think people need to understand even, you know, a banning of abortion at the moment of implantation is considered extreme in terms of laws. But this is the moment of fertilization, the sperm fertilizes the egg before it's even implanted into the uterine wall. From a legal standpoint, how could that be enforced? And wouldn't that ban some forms of birth control?
KIM WEHLE, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE: Well, Jake, this is what happens when the grown up in the room leaves, and that is the grown up is the United States Constitution, right? So we take that out of the picture as kind of the red line that state legislatures can cross. And this is what where we get to, right? Yes.
So, the -- most women don't know they're -- they can't even know they're pregnant till about six weeks. And of course, this would potentially ban IUDs, intrauterine devices, that is the egg is fertilized that cannot implant or it could be a problem with spontaneous miscarriages, right? That you lose the pregnancy, not aware that you lose the pregnancy, and that your neighbor finds out and then files some kind of a civil action against you. This could be a problem for ectopic pregnancies, the fertilized egg plants in the fallopian tube your provider gives you a medication to end the pregnancy because it will kill you, but the provider doesn't want to do that because they don't want to be prosecuted. And if they're -- if they don't do it, they could then be faced with some kind of civil action later for malpractice when mom dies.
[17:05:19] This is not surprising. It -- we shouldn't call it abortion. We should call it a ban on contraception. And I think where we're headed Jake is to the abortion -- antiabortion activist moving towards a treating any fertilized egg as a fuel human life and we see -- we'll see ripple effects across the country. This is when five unelected people tinker with the Constitution this way, this is what we see, it's a hot mess.
TAPPER: There's also IVF care for couples that cannot -- that are having trouble conceiving get IVF treatment, how would this legislation impact that?
WEHLE: Well, you know, what happens with IVF is that you as a woman, you will have your eggs harvested or, you know, you take drugs to produce a lot of eggs, those embryos are created by mixing them with sperm, they're frozen. So of course, destroying any of those or not implanting them into a uterus that could carry to term, that would potentially be banned. And it's not even just a ban, we're talking about enforcement. And you mentioned -- OK, the enforcement.
Traditionally, that means prosecutors. So prosecutors make a decision, do we have enough evidence here to show that this miscarriage was actually a decision, knowing decision to terminate a pregnancy when it is just (INAUDIBLE) down the street, that's a different -- they don't have the same metric to make that determination. So there isn't that stop gap.
And think about a child. You know, you talk about calling and letting law enforcement know that you've been raped. What if you're 11 and it's, you know, your mom's boyfriend or something. I mean, that is -- that's the kind of cruelty that we are headed towards with this potential Dobbs decision that is based on 500 years of, you know, U.K., a British history preceding the United States Constitution when it comes to women's rights.
It's triggering a culture of cruelty. And it's going to have ripple effects that are not just for women and girls and for their families, for providers, for CVS, for pharmacies that can't now write prescriptions for legitimate medical care for fear that they're going to be prosecuted. And it's also going to have effects on our economy.
Are women going to want to work in states that have these kinds of draconian laws? Are they're going to want to raise their daughters in these kinds of states? We're moving towards divided States of America, not the United States of America. And again, it's being done by five unelected people who are not accountable at the ballot box. It's a disaster for the Constitution, and it's a disaster for our society, frankly.
TAPPER: Kim Wehle, thank you so much. Appreciate your thoughts.
Meet the Afghan women who must decide between covering their faces or losing their on air jobs. That's next.
Plus, a look at how seaweed and a fisherman in Maine may have a solution to global warming. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our world lead, one Russian soldier is asking for forgiveness in a Ukrainian courtroom after pleading guilty to killing an unarmed man. Now as CNN's Melissa Bell reports, he's recounting in detail why he fired his weapon and apologizing or trying to at least to the man's widow.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the Stars, Russia's invasion of Ukraine stalled. Like here on February 28, these pictures shared exclusively with CNN by Ukrainian Armed Forces show a column of Russia's fourth tank division after it had hit a landmine and its soldiers had fled. One of those soldiers on Thursday facing both justice and grief.
KATERINA SHELIPOVA, CIVILIAN'S WIDOW (through translator): Why did you come here? Did you come to defend us? From whom? Did you defend me for my husband you killed?
VADIM SHISHIMARIN, RUSSIAN SOLDIER ON TRIAL (through translator): Our command gave us an order to move in as a column. I didn't know what would follow.
BELL (voice-over): Vadim Shishimarin is accused of killing Katerina Shelipova's husband Oleksandr, an unarmed civilian in the village of Chupakivka. CNN has geo located this video where Shishimarin's unit hit the mine as being just two miles from Chupakivka. The Ukrainian armed forces say that the Russian soldiers then fled and killed local civilians.
In court, the prosecutor said that Shishimarin and four other soldiers had fled the scene in a stolen car and that Shishimarin was given an order.
SHISHIMARIN (through translator): It was very stressful. It was under great stress. He shouted at me.
BELL (voice-over): A version of events corroborated by another Russian soldier who was traveling in the car that day.
IVAN MALTISOV, RUSSIAN SOLDIER WITNESS: The warrant officer ordered Vadim to shoot with a justification that the man could be reporting on us. Vadim refused to do it and the man ordered him to do it.
BELL (voice-over): A glimpse into the chaos and fear of the early days of the war on the Russian side as well.
SHELIPOVA (through translator): Can you please tell me what did you feel when you killed my husband?
SHISHIMARIN (through translator): Shame. SHELIPOVA (through translator): Do you repent?
SHISHIMARIN (through translator): Yes, I acknowledge my fault. I understand that you will not be able to forgive me, but I am sorry.
BELL (voice-over): Shelipova said she wanted Shishimarin imprisoned for life. The only alternative she said, an exchange for the Azovstal prisoners of war now in Russian hands.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BELL: A reminder there, Jake, that even as this trial takes place here in Kyiv, there are 1,700 evacuated soldiers from the Azovstal steel plants in Mariupol now in Russian hands. Some of them expected to be interrogated with regard, we understand from the Russian side, to alleged crimes they've committed in the east of Ukraine.
One piece of interesting news tonight from Azovstal, we knew that there could be still some fighters inside, one Ukrainian fighter posting tonight a video saying that he is still inside the plant and intending to fight on, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Melissa Bell reporting live for us from Keith, thank you so much.
Now to our other world lead, the Taliban are now asking Afghan women who appear on T.V. to cover their faces or telling them to do so, rather. This comes after a decree earlier this month where women were ordered to cover their faces while out in public. CNN's Christiane Amanpour is in Kabul and spoke with female T.V. anchors worried this could be the end of women on Afghan television.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST (voice-over): For the past five months, Khatera Ahmadi (ph) has been anchoring the morning news on TOLO T.V., but this might be the last time she can show her face on air.
The morning editorial meeting starts with worried discussion about mandatory masking. Station director Khpolwak Sapai says he'd even considered just shutting down and leaving, but then he thought female staff who want to carry on anchoring with a mask can, while those who don't will get other jobs behind the scenes.
KHPOLWAK SAPAI, DIRECTOR, TOLONEWS: We will leave the last decision to them. They will make their own decision.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And it's a tough decision for these women who braved the new Taliban regime to stay on the air who already adjusted their headscarves to hide their hair, and who now fear is steep slide back to the Middle Ages. Khatera says she's so stressed she couldn't even present her program properly.
KHATERA, TOLONEWS ANCHOR (through translator): It's not clear. Even if we appear with the burqa, maybe they will say that women's voices are forbidden. They want women to be removed from the screen. They are afraid of an educated woman.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Across town, the Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was attending a meeting with local journalists to mark the slightly delayed World Press Freedom Day. We stopped him on the way in.
(on camera): You have said they have to wear a facemask if they're on television. Women. Why?
(voice-over): It's advisory from the ministry, he says.
(on camera): But what does that mean? Is it compulsory?
(voice-over): If it is said, they should wear it. It will be implemented as it is in our religion too, says Mujahid. It is good if it's implemented.
(on camera): Afghan women are afraid that this is the beginning of your efforts to erase them from the workspace. They're afraid that if they wear the mask, the next thing you will say is their voice cannot be heard publicly. What is your response to that?
(voice-over): Like during COVID, he says, masks were mandatory. Women would only be wearing hijab or masks and they will continue their work.
He seems to say that if women wear this they can go to work. But the dress code (INAUDIBLE) like saying female university students must now wear black not colored headscarves is an escalating war of nerves and everyone fears where this will lead.
Back at TOLONews, these female anchors are distraught.
What should we do, cries Tahmina. We don't know. We were ready to fight to the last to perform our work but they don't allow us.
We women have been taken hostage says, Hila (ph). Women can't get themselves educated or work, like me, who's worked on screen for years and couldn't leave Afghanistan. Due to the fear of the Taliban, I can't go on screen again.
Since the Taliban takeover the station's employs even more women than before because they need a safe space. And as for the actual journalism, TOLONews is Afghanistan's leading independent news channel. But Direct Sapai says they'll all quit the day the Taliban pressures them to tailor their coverage or lie to a public that's come to trust the truth they've been delivering over 20 years.
He saved the station so far recruiting a whole new staff after most employees fled the Taliban's arrival.
SAPAI: And from management level, I've stood alone. I was only thinking how to keep the screen alive, not to go dark.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The challenge now is keeping it from going dark.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TAPPER: And our thanks to Christiane Amanpour reporting for us from Kabul, Afghanistan.
While parents are searching everywhere for formula to try to feed their hungry babies, the FDA chief is focusing on another aspect of the recall. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our health lead the Biden administration invoking the Defense Production Act in hopes of alleviating the dire shortage of infant formula across the country. A senior administration official telling CNN that there are active and ongoing conversations with companies about how the emergency measure will be deployed. Officials have cautioned this is not a magic wand. As CNN's Manu Raju reports, this all comes as lawmakers share new outrage over the handling of the crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone in Washington is angry about the nationwide shortage of baby formula.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one did well. Nobody responded with adequate urgency
RAJU (voice-over): And lawmakers are getting an earful back home.
SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH (D-NM): I'm hearing concerns that it's hard to find formula. And anybody who's been a parent knows what a, you know, what a panic that puts parents in.
RAJU (voice-over): The shortage stemming from a shutdown and an Abbott plant in Michigan, severely disrupting the supply chain given that Abbott is one of just four companies controlling most of the U.S. market.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): What we should be doing is blaming the system why we love the monopoly to occur why this has happened.
RAJU (voice-over): As the crisis has compounded, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act ordering suppliers to provide resources to manufacturers and allowing the use of Defense Department aircraft to pick up formula produced overseas since 98 percent of baby food consumed by Americans is made in the U.S. It's a move that even some Democrats wished had been employed sooner.
(on camera):Do the Biden have invoked the Defense Production Act sooner?
SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D-NV): Well, they did. Now I will tell you, I sent a letter prior saying they should act because we needed immediate action.
RAJU (on camera): But that wasn't immediate enough?
MASTO: Well, I can tell you I sent a letter for a reason.
RAJU (voice-over): Even loyal allies frustrated.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): I urge repeatedly use of the Defense Production Act I regret that it took a few days and maybe longer to do it.
RAJU (voice-over): Senator Mark Kelly, adamant (ph) to hang on to his seat in Arizona did not mince words.
SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): We've got a major issue here. You know, we've got families across the country that are really struggling. I mean, there is not an alternative to this, so this is a critical. I mean, it's a crisis right now.
RAJU (voice-over): FDA Commissioner Robert Califf grilled by both parties today.
REP. ROSA DELAURO (D-CT), CHAIRWOMAN, APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE: It all begs the question, why did the FDA not sprang into action?
RAJU (voice-over): Califf predicted the problem would soon be fixed.
REP. JULIA LETLOW (R-LA): So I can tell my constituents that within a matter of days they'll be able to find formula on the shelves?
DR. ROBERT CALIFF, FDA COMMISSIONER: Within days it will get better. But it will be a few weeks before it work back to normal.
RAJU (voice-over): For Democrats struggling to keep control of Congress in this fall's midterms, the issue only adding to their problems.
(on camera): Do you worry politically that all these issues could hurt your ability to keep the House?
REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA): Sure. I'm not an idiot. So yes, I mean, you know, people have challenges.
We got to get a stronger better message out, there's no question about it. If you're a Democrat and you're not worried about that, you're not paying attention.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RAJU: Now the Senate just passed a bill that would allow low income individuals to use federal benefits to purchase baby formula. But a separate bill that passed the House that will provide $28 million to FDA to help deal with this crisis, that faces an uncertain future in the Senate as Republicans are skeptical of this measure.
And Jake, this all comes as Democratic senators are calling on the White House to name one point person to oversee this crisis, but it's uncertain if the White House will go that route. Jake.
TAPPER: Manu Raju reporting live for us on Capitol Hill about this crisis. Thanks so much.
Joining us live to discuss, Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. She serves as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and she held today's hearing on Capitol Hill.
Madam Chairwoman, thanks for joining us. So in testimony today, one of your colleagues told the FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, quote, "You guys aren't good at communicating in terms of the ability to explain what went wrong." Do you agree?
DELAURO: Well, I think with it, we have to ask that question. I asked that question as well. And the directors talked about there's investigation that's ongoing, but you can't hide behind an investigation. The fact of the matter is you had in Abbott nutrition, a bad actor. In fact, you put a product on the market knowing it was contaminated.
They violated all kinds of rules of the road with regard to safety, they falsified documents, falsified testing results, the audits are with the FDA. They lied to the FDA. And keep in mind in your report demonstrated this test there are only four major producers of infant formula in the United States. One of the underlying facts here is that why in fact do we have sole source, you know, contracting and that what the consolidation of the industry.
DELAURO: It should be competitive. To answer your question, the FDA dragged its feet. They knew in September, they knew in October through a whistleblowers report that there were serious infractions. They didn't interview the whistleblower until December.
They went back in in January, and they found contamination and the recall only occurred in February. And that was four months. Why four months? There's got to be answers to that question from the FDA. There's got to be accountability with Abbott.
That is happening, that will happen. And I am investigating that. But right now, we have to deal with the shortage. Let's get supply of products onto the shelves because it's heartbreaking. Jake, at least two infants died, two infants.
DELAURO: And four hospitalized or more.
TAPPER: So I hear everything you're saying. And just to reiterate for our viewers, the whistleblower, the American people first heard about the whistleblower because of you, whistleblower first alerted the FDA of safety lapses, as you noted, at Abbott in October, they didn't interview the whistleblower until December, as you just noted, they didn't visit the facility until January.
That is slow. That is some slow action. So yes, I hear you about Abbott. But the FDA is there to protect us --
DELAURO: That's right.
TAPPER: -- to prevent this from happening.
DELAURO: Right. No, listen. I -- and I said it today's hearing. And we did provide $28 million last night, and I'm happy to explain that. But there needs to be not one person in the White House overseeing this. What there needs to be is destructuring at the agency.
The FDA is a regulatory agency. They ought to be held to that. We don't produce infant formula at the federal level. But there are manufacturers or do, we have to hold them accountable. My question to them is, why did it take you so long to move?
And we didn't get real answers to that today, which is why. We've asked for an inspector general's report. That's why what I wanted to do, because in the short term, we have to bring product in. And I applaud the Defense Production Act, I applaud and Airlift. But I also want to make sure that we have a safe product on our shelves, and that what we ought to be doing is importing from just FDA approved facilities.
There is a standard, and the FDA didn't use that standard with regard to Abbott. But there is a standard, let's make sure we are importing a product, that parents who are frantic at the moment can believe that they can feed their baby and at the same time know that the product is safe. That is what's have to happen in the short term.
Right now, the agency needs to be restructured and actually food safety at the FDA is a second class citizen. I said that in the hearing today.
DELAURO: And we need a separate agency that deals with food safety, at the very least, a person in the agency, in the agency, a deputy commissioner who has absolute authority over food safety and someone who is schooled and have the relevant credentials for that effort. That does not exist at the moment at the FDA.
TAPPER: The Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rosa DeLauro. Thank you so much for your time today, Madam Chairwoman, we appreciate it.
Coming up, why the January 6 committee now wants to talk to one Republican congressman about what he did on the eve of the January 6 insurrection. That's next.
TAPPER: In our politics lead, we learned this afternoon former Attorney General Bill Barr has tentatively agreed to give sworn testimony to the January 6 select committee, that's according to sources who said the testimony will be behind closed doors. Barr has informally met with the committee in the past including a sit down at his home last fall.
CNN has also learned that the January 6 committee is now investigating a tour of the Capitol that had been given by Georgia Republican Congressman Barry Loudermilk on the evening of January 5. Committee members say they want more details about the tour because evidence shows some groups were trying to gather information about the layout of the Capitol before the insurrection the next day.
Congressman Loudermilk just responded to the committee in a statement saying in part, "A constituent family with young children meeting with their member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or reconnaissance tour."
Also today, the FBI announced more than 800 people have been charged for their involvement in the Capitol right. To date, 290 of them have pleaded guilty, 175 had been sentenced for their crimes.
Also in our politics lead today, we are just five days away from yet another round of crucial primaries. And one of the most watched races will be the Republican gubernatorial contest in Georgia. Despite an enthusiastic endorsement from President Trump, there are serious warning signs for former Senator David Perdue, who's trying to unseat incumbent Governor Brian Kemp on a platform entirely made of lies about the 2020 election.
A new Fox poll finds 60 percent of Republican primary voters support incumbent Governor Kemp compared to 28 percent who prefer Senator Perdue. Compare that to March when the race was closer, 50 for Kemp, 39 percent for Perdue.
Let's discuss. Eva McKend, let me start with you. So one former Trump campaign official told CNN, quote, Georgia will be an absolute bloodbath. So what's going on?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I don't know if it will be quite that bad. But listen, we are seeing the power of incumbency on full display. There is nothing like running for the job that you already have. I thought former Senator David Perdue would have been doing a little bit better in the polls. I am, frankly, a little surprised.
But also, Governor Kemp has the benefit of having a Republican controlled legislature in Georgia that helps him deliver on conservative policy priorities many.
[17:40:03] This isn't like here in Washington where it's a bit of a mess where you have some agenda crushing Democrats and President Biden. The Republican controlled state legislature with Governor Kemp is able to get stuff done for the base.
TAPPER: Jackie, this is one of the races Trump has been most vocal about. He's even gone to Georgia to hold a rally for Perdue. He wants revenge against Kemp for upholding the rule of law. What would it say about Trump's influence if Perdue badly loses in this largely conservative state?
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, right, and it says a lot as much about Donald Trump as it does about David Perdue, because we've kind of seen this movie before. When it comes to David Perdue, he started to pull back on campaign events. The money is starting to dry up.
He's not running any TV ads. And you saw some of that same behavior in the run up to his loss to -- now, Senator Ossoff. He just is -- he has not been that viable of a candidate in this race. But it's not just the gubernatorial race. It's the Secretary of State's race where the incumbent, Brad Raffensperger is running against current Congressman Jody Hice, who is who is a big MAGA guy.
And right now that race is a little bit closer. We'll have to see on election day how that shakes out because there hasn't been as much recent polling on that particular race, but Trump certainly has put -- because of his vendetta against Kemp, against the Secretary of State. He really has put a lot of his anger and vengeance into this race.
And it actually seems to be backfiring at this point. Because even voters who like Trump have told our reporters who've been on the ground like Sam Brody that, you know, yes, sure they like Trump, but they're going to vote for Brian Kemp at the end of the day.
TAPPER: So let's go north a little bit to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Eva, Trump has been calling for his pick, his indoorsy for Pennsylvania, Senate, Dr. Oz, to just declare victory. Now Oz is right now slightly ahead but, of course, thousands of ballots in Pennsylvania have yet to be counted.
Now, when I signed off the air Tuesday night, primary night, just before midnight, Dave McCormick was ahead in the primary. It's sure interesting that Trump waited until after us took the lead before he called for the counting to stop.
MCKEND: Right. This is going to be continued to be a nail biter. I don't know if Dr. Oz will do that. I think there is a risk involved that will be embarrassing if he comes out and declares a victory win, if he ends up not in fact being a winner. But I think that this is a wakeup call for Trump endorsed candidates across the country.
That endorsement is -- it's helpful, certainly in a Republican primary, but you can't rely on it alone. I was out with Congressman Ted Budd in North Carolina this week. He was the victor in the Senate Republican primary there. And yes, Trump absolutely helped. But also, he spent his time visiting all 100 counties in that state. So you have to put in the groundwork as well. That old school shoe leather politics, that's also a calculation in all of this.
TAPPER: Jackie, let's shift to the Democrats, the infighting, the brouhaha over the New York congressional map, the most public dispute right now. The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney says he's going to leave his seat and run instead in a newly drawn district because it's where he lives, but this would likely pit him against incumbent Congressman Mondaire Jones, a progressive freshman, who already represents that area.
Jones told Politico, Sean Patrick Maloney did not even give me a heads up before he went on Twitter to make that announcement. And I think that tells you everything you need to know about Sean Patrick Maloney." Is this a big problem?
KUCINICH: It's a huge problem. You had Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez call Congressman Maloney's behavior shameful today. Progressives are angry about this because it also could potentially pit Congressman Jones against fellow Black progressive Jamaal Bowman who's right next door.
And Bowman said today that Maloney's one job is to get Democrats re- elected, and he's not doing his job right now. So I think that this is not a problem that has been solved. We'll find tomorrow is the deadline for this map to be verified. So this is not going away.
But certainly the job of the DCCC chairman, one of the many jobs is to re-elect Democratic incumbents. So when we have one that's potentially challenging another incumbent in a safer district -- redrawn district next door, well that is unprecedented and certainly something you grab your popcorn, this is going to get interesting.
TAPPER: Eva and Jackie, thanks to both of you. It could be a $100 million idea how one fisherman in Maine is using seaweed to fight global warming. Stay with us.
TAPPER: A question worth $100 million in our Earth matters series today. How do you get carbon dioxide the gas responsible for global warming and all of its associated problems out of the air? As CNN's Bill Weir shows us one answer, believe it or not, is seaweed, and it could net a fisherman from Maine among others quite a catch.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To avoid cascading disaster, sign agrees that it won't be enough just to stop using fossil fuels, humanity must remove trillions of tons of planet cooking pollution already in our seas and sky.
[17:50:11] And whoever figures out how to do that, might just get $100 million from Elon Musk.
ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA MOTORS: You know, sometimes people say we'll just plant a bunch of trees and like that, what's so easy, getting a fertilizer. You're going to water them. Where's the water going to come from? What habitat are you potentially destroying with trees used to be.
WEIR (voice-over): With his year old carbon XPRIZE, the controversial billionaire says he wants to lure out the geniuses who will figure out how to capture and store carbon dioxide on massive scales.
MARTY ODLIN, CEO, RUNNING TIDE: It's a Godzilla.
WEIR (on-camera): Yes.
ODLIN: It's burning forests down. It's stealing our fish.
WEIR (voice-over): And among the finalists is a humble fisherman from Maine.
ODLIN: There's this thing out there and it's like ruining everything that we love or hate. All the good stuff is getting ruined.
WEIR (on-camera): Your dream was to have a boat?
ODLIN: Yes, I just wanted to -- I really just wanted a boat. There just aren't any macro. Like they're all, they swim north, they swim east and they're now probably up in Iceland.
WEIR (voice-over): With his beloved Gulf of Maine getting warmer and more acidic by the day, Marty Odlin quick chase and macro, built a team of geniuses and went fishing for carbon dioxide with seaweed. Because kelp grows and gobble CO2 much faster than trees, needs no land or fertilizer. And when it sinks to the deep ocean, the carbon can be locked away for 1,000 years.
(on-camera): But kelp needs sunlight and something to hold on to. So Marty, who is also an engineer, went to the drawing board. And he settled on floating, thousands of high tech buoys in the North Atlantic, each holding a little kelp forest. While the ring of limestone serves as the ant acid for the ocean.
Solar power runs a camera and instruments connected to the cloud. And when a crop is cuts, and falls into the deep, Marty gets a carbon credit from a billion dollar fund set up by Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify.
(on-camera): You have a couple of high profile investors behind you. Do you think that it'd be enough if government can get its act together?
WEIR (on-camera): This has to be -- ODLIN: No, it's just the math. People spend billions of dollars to see
if there's an oilfield, right? And what we're trying to do is build the oil industry in reverse.
WEIR (voice-over): He imagines the Portland docks coming back to life to capture carbon the way they once built ships to beat Hitler.
ODLIN: It's a race that no one loses as long as someone wins. Like I don't care, like, you know, like, as long as somebody wins this race, like cool, right?
WEIR (on-camera): Right, right.
ODLIN: I don't care who moves the most of it.
WEIR (voice-over): So he's thrilled to see competition like Beth Zoeller (ph) among the Silicon Valley startups, betting on big kelp.
(on-camera): So if you ended up being the Henry Ford of carbon seaweed, this is your model A, I guess.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. Yes, this is genuine.
WEIR (voice-over): She envisions massive seaweed farms anchored closer to shore. But since rope entangle sea mammals, her team invented a whale safe scaffolding screwed in place by underwater drones, and fed by upwellers that use wave energy to spin up nutrients and cold water from the deep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amanda and Beth have two offers on the table for their seaweed based Baking Company.
WEIR (voice-over): And before her crops are hauled and dumped, another one of our companies will extract the plant protein and turn it into meat alternatives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll do that deal.
ODLIN: What are we waiting for? We're waiting for all the fish to go away? I've seen enough go away. Do I have to wait for -- this notion have to be completely dead before we get our act together. And so I -- but you see, I think all this anxiety, all this frustration that people have it's just because we haven't been unleashed.
WEIR: So inspiring talking to him just imagining his ideas. And of course, it's not just the private sector, just today, the Department of Energy, Jake, announced they'll be releasing $3.5 billion to develop direct air capture machines. These would be like giant massive machines on land that would filter the air capture that carbon and then have to store it somehow.
Guys like Marty think, we should work with nature, supercharge the natural carbon capture of plants like giant kelp there as well. But if you look at the rate of emissions, it's still going up into the sky and into the sea. We need all of the above ASAP.
TAPPER: Bill Weir, thanks so much as always.
The SUV recall leading four to tell drivers to park their vehicles outside. Stick around.
TAPPER: In our money lead today, Ford is recalling 39,000 large SUVs and is advising owners to park their vehicles outside because they could catch on fire. The recall of some 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs comes after multiple incidents of engines catching fire while parked and off. Ford is still trying to figure out what's causing the fires.
And he was held inside a Russian prison for 985 days. But now, American is back in the United States with his family and sharing his story exclusively with CNN. For the very first time, Reed is talking about his arrest, the trial, life inside a Russian prison and being released after all was three years.
Be sure to join me this Sunday, the CNN special report "Finally Home: The Trevor Reed Interview". It's this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.
You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever missed an episode of the show, you can listen to THE LEAD wherever, whenever you get your podcasts.
Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer in a place I like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM." I'll see you tomorrow.