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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Recession Fears Grow As Dow Falls For Eight Straight Week; Russia Claims Azovstal Plant "Completely Liberated;" First Funeral Held For Victim Of Mass Shooting; Concern Grow As Some Parents Ration Baby Formula Amid Shortage; Oklahoma Poised To Enact Strict Abortion Ban; Texas A&M Coach: "Go Dig Into" Alabama Coach's Past. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 20, 2022 - 16:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Long losing streak that the Dow is on. Looks like the S&P will close out the week just out of bear market territory, up just a fraction of a percent there.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: But how can we not look at our retirement accounts at a time like this?

THE LEAD starts right now.

Record highs for housing and gas, and now Wall Street diving into historic territory. How worried should Americans be as economists warn of a possible recession?

And a backup plan in the works. The U.S. secures its first batch of baby formula from Europe, but it's not just parents of young infants desperate to get their hands on shipments.

And, detained in Russia for nearly three years, unfairly, unjustly, including as punishment in a psych ward full of criminals.


TREVOR REED, DETAINED IN RUSSIA: So I was too worried about, you know, who was in the cell with me to actually sleep.

TAPPER: You thought they might kill you?

REED: Yeah, I thought that was a possibility.


TAPPER: More from my exclusive interview with Trevor Reed, the U.S. marine veteran who is finally thankfully home.

(MUSIC) TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We start with our money lead and renewed fears of an economic recession as the markets closed moments ago. The Dow finishing flat after a day mostly in the red. What's sounding alarm bells now is that this is the eighth straight week of losses for the Dow. That's the longest weekly losing streak since 1923. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also taking hits fueled by investors getting increasingly spooked about how high inflation is, messing with the U.S. economy.

CNN's Matt Egan is live in New York for us.

Matt, viewers are likely to see the words bull and bear market tossed around a lot. What does this mean in terms of our money, our savings?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Jake, the fear factor on Wall Street remains very high. The S&P 500 nearly closed in a bear market today. It was only a late day rally that lifted it out of that territory. A bear market is a big deal because it means a 20 percent decline from previous highs, and bear markets often coincide with recessions, although not always. There are false alarms along the way.

But for what it really means for our money, it means our nest eggs after two years, our nest eggs are getting smaller again -- 401(k) plans, college saving plans, investment portfolios, all taking a hit, and that creates real anxiety for families. It also means that the level of concern about a recession on Wall Street, Jake, is getting higher.

TAPPER: What are you hearing from economists about a possible recession?

EGAN: Well, it's really important to remember, there are a lot of positives in the economy right now. Consumers are spending money. Companies have a lot of cash on their balance sheets.

The unemployment rate is almost back to pre-crisis levels. Payrolls are almost back to pre-COVID levels, but it's all about inflation, right? The fear is that the Federal Reserve was late to raising interest rates, and now they have to catch up to inflation, by raising interest rates so rapidly it could accidentally tip the economy into a recession.

But I think it's important to remember that the real concern is not necessarily about an imminent recession. Economists that I talk to, they're concerned about a recession perhaps in the second half of next year, maybe in 2024.

So it kind of raises the question, do investors know something that economists don't? Maybe. Or are investors overreacting to a recession that might be still a year or two or more away? We'll see -- Jake.

TAPPER: Matt Egan, thanks so much.

Joining us live to discuss is global business columnist and associate editor for "The Financial Times", Rana Foroohar. Rana, today, the S&P 500 slipped more than 20 percent from its record

high. It's considered the most accurate measure of the nation's stock performance. Based on what we know, how much worse do you think this could get?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: It's possible it could get a fair bit worse. It kind of depends on what your inflation story is. It's all about inflation and the fact the Fed needs to hike rates in order to get that under control. Both Jay Powell, chair of the Fed, and President Biden, made it clear that is job number one.

The question is when do they stop? Do you stop and wipe out the gains of the last two years because there's been a lot of inflation during the pandemic? Do you stop when you wipe out some of the easy money we saw following the financial crisis? You take the market down lower? Or do you keep going?

I mean, you know, we've had frankly four decades of very low rates and a lot of money being put into the economy, and the piper is going to have to be paid now, rightfully so, I think.

TAPPER: Are we headed for a recession, and what does that mean to average consumers' wallets?

FOROOHAR: Yes, so that's a trickier question. No doubt that there's going to be market volatility and a correction, I think, probably even a bigger correction than this one, but recession, it depends.


It depends on a lot of different factors. I think we probably will see a slowdown, probably in 2023. It might feel like that sooner. You have to remember, the U.S., as bad as things seem right now, we're still the sort of prettiest house on the ugly block if you want to use a metaphor. Europe is in the middle of a war.

China is still struggling to contain COVID, and they're having a major slowdown of their own. So, you know, it's all relative. I think it's going to be interesting to see with companies like Walmart, Target, saying times are tough, people are not feeling great.

Once inflation is under control, do you start to see companies like that pick back up? I think that will be very telling.

TAPPER: So, the stock market is falling even as gas prices keep rising. Not directly tied to the stock market, of course, but they're not expected to get better anytime soon either, right?

FOROOHAR: No, that's right. And that's really a supply and demand question. Some of it has to do with war in Ukraine. Some of it has to do with supply chain issues. As you say, it's some -- you know, the actual oil prices have been getting a little better, but if refineries don't have the capacity to churn out that oil and get it to where it's needed in the form of gas, then gas prices stay high.

This is always how it is when you have big dips and swings in commodities markets. It's a tight sensitive market and we go through these periods where it just takes a while for gas prices to catch up to where oil already is.

TAPPER: The rising cost to borrow money has hit a lot of Americans hard, particularly people who are house hunting. Take a look at this.

A year ago, if you borrowed $300,000 at a 3 percent interest rate, your monthly payment on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was $1,267 a month. Right now, same loan, now with a 5.25 percent interest rate, that payment jumps up nearly $400 a month, which adds up to nearly 5 grand a year. That's remarkable, especially when you consider that home prices just hit a record high.

So, homebuyers aren't getting nearly as much house for the dollar.

FOROOHAR: Yeah, you know, the housing market is something I am watching super closely right now. There's two things going on.

One the fact that rates are going up. As you point out, that makes things wildly more expensive. I have friends who say, oh, my gosh, we sit on a rate for two weeks and we can't afford the house anymore. So, I think you're going to see some softening of prices in certain markets that reflect the fact those borrowing costs are going up.

On the other hand, America actually has a real supply and demand shortage in housing. We need to build more houses. We need to rezone communities.

I mean, you know, I'm talking to companies that are 3D printing houses because we have such a crisis. So, that may actually keep prices in some very tight markets high even though borrowing costs are also going up.

TAPPER: All right. Rana Foroohar, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Record housing prices are also widening a racial divide. Many Black Americans who already faced past years of housing discrimination now often finding the buying process almost impossible to get in on.

CNN's Gabe Cohen takes a look now on why it's becoming that much harder in a historically Black area of south Phoenix, Arizona.


DANA BURNS, TRYING TO BUY A HOME: Look at this. This is beautiful.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's the joy of a mother touring her dream home in Phoenix.

BURNS: I love it.

COHEN: But for half a million dollars, Dana Burns can't afford it.

BURNS: Five hundred thousand dollars, I don't think so. I know not.

COHEN: With record prices and now rising mortgage rates, the typical monthly payment for a U.S. home is up 42 percent in a year. It's pricing out first-time buyers of all backgrounds, but Black applicants face even steeper hurdles. Studies show they're less likely to come from wealth, more likely to carry debt, and they pay disproportionately high rent, making it more difficult to save for a down payment. They're denied home loans 84 percent more often than white buyers.

That's a big barrier in hot housing markets like Phoenix, where investors with cash are buying up more homes than ever to flip or rent, even more so in this historically Black part of south Phoenix.

NICOSHA JONES, SIDELINED FROM HOUSING MARKET: It's emotional because this is where I wanted to be.

COHEN: Nicosha Jones grew up here and spent eight months trying to buy her first home. With just $6,000 for a down payment, she couldn't compete and quit searching.

JONES: Everything was crushed at that moment.

JESSICA LAUTZ, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: Unfortunately, there home ownership gap has actually widened.

COHEN: New data show less than 45 percent of black families own their home, compared to 74 percent of white families, a gap that's barely changed since the 1960s when the Fair Housing Act outlawed housing discrimination.

Owning property is how most families build wealth. And it's never been more valuable.

ANDRE PERRY, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: When people aren't buying homes, it just makes it more harder for future generations to buy homes.

COHEN: Now, record rent costs may widen the wealth gap and displace more people.


PERRY: The market is definitely speeding up gentrification.

BURNS: What am I going to do? Lord help me.

COHEN: Dana Burns just got this notice that her rent in south Phoenix is rising from $1,050 to nearly $1,500.

BURNS: Oh, my gosh.

COHEN: That's why she's looking to buy. Though where she can is unclear.

BURNS: If I'm going to pay this amount of money, I would rather have it to be my own place.

COHEN: Nicosha's rent is also up $400. That $6,000 she set aside is gone after she lost her job for a few months.

JONES: If only we can get back in a neighborhood, I say I would love that.

COHEN: The dream of moving home.

Do you think you can?

Feeling further and further away.

JONES: Not really.


COHEN: Now, a huge hurdle here is that the U.S.'s short at least a couple million homes. The Biden administration this week unveiled a new development plan especially for low-income housing, but, Jake, it likely won't make much of an impact for at least a few years and in the short term, people are going to keep getting priced out.

TAPPER: All right. Gabe Cohen, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

For weeks now, we've heard survival stories from the steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine. Now, new incredible images as sole soldiers show the world what it was like inside.

Plus, there emotional day in Buffalo, New York, at the funeral of one of the 10 innocent lives lost in the supermarket massacre.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Breaking news in our world lead. Russia claims its forces have, quote, completely liberated the besieged steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense claiming the last group of Ukrainian forces have surrendered after months of nonstop fighting. Although CNN cannot independently confirm this, new video posted online appears to show the remaining Ukrainian fighters walking out of the plant.

CNN's Melissa Bell is live for us in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

And, Melissa, we have seen evacuations at the steel plant all week. Could this really be the end of the battle for Azovstal?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The big question for the families of those involved, but of course, for the whole of Ukraine, such a symbol of Ukrainian resistance had Azovstal become. But as you say, those latest images, the latest announcement from the Russian ministry of defense that we cannot independently verify does suggest the last 531 Azovstal fighters have now been evacuated.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BELL (voice-over): The latest picture of Dmytro Kozatskiy, a soldier with the Azov regiment posting: That's it. Thank you for the shelter, Azovstal, the place of my death and my life.

A steady stream of its haggard and injured defenders has been leaving these last few days, Russian forces and their allies in the Donetsk militia surrounding the plant.

SERGEI SHOIGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): Nationalists are actively surrendering. So far, 1,908 people have laid down their arms.

BELL: The injured taken to hospital. The evacuees now prisoners of war in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic.

Some of their families finally beginning to hear news from their loved ones.

NATALIA ZARYTSKA, WIFE OF AZOV FIGHTER: So, my husband wrote me two days ago and the situation is really hard and horrible. And my husband is on the way from one hell to another hell.

BELL: Russia's promised to treat the fighters according to international law but has said nothing about any exchange of prisoners of war.

According to Ukrainian officials, negotiations are difficult. After weeks of bombardment, the place that symbolized Ukraine's resistance seems at last to be quiet.


BELL (on camera): Jake, we had over the course of the day been trying to find out how many fighters were still inside, how many dead there were. We now know, according to that Russian statement that they have been removed. We simply don't know for the time being how many have been lost.

But I think it's important to remember that one of the reasons Azovstal had become such a symbol is because of the resilience of the men inside. They had no more food. They had no more water, and still they were holding out.

And I think that is a measure of the strategic importance of Mariupol. You need only look at a map of Ukraine and those territories taken by Russia tonight, where things stand to understand why that resistance was key. An enormous swath of Ukraine from the part of Ukraine, Crimea, that had been annexed in 2014, all the way to Donbas now in the hands of Russia, and a part of the country essentially that Russia can claim as its own, Jake.

TAPPER: Melissa, the Russian soldier on trial in Ukraine for killing an unarmed Ukrainian civilian was back in court in Kyiv for a third day. What's happening in that war crimes case?

BELL: Well, we await the verdict now on Monday, but it's been an extraordinary week, Jake, because we heard the widow of the man that he's now admitted to having killed in the first few days of the war confront him. Lots of emotion in the courthouse and also a much clearer picture for the first time from the mouths of the foot soldiers who were involved in Russia's invasion, the chaos of those first few days.

We didn't just hear from 21-year-old Vadim Shishimarin who was on trial, we heard from another prisoner of war who was traveling with him in that car that day. They tried to get away from their tank column as they entered Ukraine after hit a mine and a stolen car. An order had been given to kill a civilian that they feared might report them. Vadim Shishimarin resisted, was ordered to kill him nonetheless, and very poignantly, he told his widow this week that he was sorry. That he sought forgiveness, he had been obeying commands.

And it really spoke to the chaos and fear these very young men, both 21 years old, must have faced, they simply didn't know what they were doing there or why.


Still, the widow wanting him to spend the rest of his life in jail, saying the only alternative she could see is he might be handed over for some of the prisoners of war, some of the Azovstal fighters now in Russian hands. We'll find out on Monday whether or not 21-year-old Vadim Shishimarin will or will not spend the rest of his life in jail -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Melissa Bell in Kyiv, Ukraine, for us, thank you so much.

Coming up next, the baby formula shortage in the U.S. is not just parents of young infants impacted by the crisis. My next guest says formula is liquid gold for her teenage son.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In the national lead, the first funeral was held today for one of the ten victims, all of them black, killed in the mass shooting allegedly motivated by racism in Buffalo, New York. Sixty-seven-year- old Heyward Patterson who was gunned down nearly a week ago was laid to rest at Lincoln Memorial Methodist Church today.

CNN's Brian Todd reports on the emotional good-bye in a community trying to heal.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An outpouring of support at the first funeral in Buffalo in the weak of Saturday's supermarket shooting. One of the 10 victims, Heyward Patterson, a church deacon and jitney driver, was honored by friends, Parishioners and the community.

GERALD SLACK JR., KNEW BUFFALO SHOOTING VICTIM: When Patterson got shot, he was actually loading groceries into the back of a vehicle, helping somebody else.

TODD: Another friend says the community is angry, but --

Can you forgive this gunman?


TODD: Some people would argue you don't have to.

JOHNSON: Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm a Christian. You have to. It's mandatory for us.

TODD: The Buffalo suspect's racism was evident during a previous visit to the store, according to an employee who survived the shooting.

ROSE WYSOCKI, TOPS STORE PRODUCE MANAGER/TALKED TO ALLEGED SHOOTER: He told me I looked like I didn't belong there. I said what do you mean by that? You look like you belong in the suburbs store. Then under his breath I could hear him say just another -- lover. I thought you're just rude.

TODD: Another employee who survived told CNN she called 911 and the operator scolded her for whispering.

LATISHA ROGERS, TOPS STORE ASSISTANT OFFICE MANAGER/CALLED 911: I gave her the address and said please send help. There's a person in the store shooting. She proceeded to tell me, what, I can't hear you? Why are you whispering? You don't have to whisper. They can't hear you.

TODD: She dropped her phone and said she was disconnected.

ROGERS: I laid down flat on the floor and got against the counter praying he didn't see me, and during this whole time, it's just constant just shooting. He won't stop. It's constantly going. And as I hear him getting closer, I just pressed myself like trying to be as flat as I can on the ground and up against the counter praying to God he wouldn't see me.


TODD (on camera): Now, in addition to the profound grief that this community is feeling, as you can see here with this mural, there is also the potential for economic fallout. Several people in this community told us that it took local leaders years to get this Tops Store established in this neighborhood right here. And after it did, other businesses like local banks and other businesses followed right after that.

They're now worried that even after this Tops Store reopens as promised, that the economic viability of this neighborhood could really take a nose dive -- Jake.

TAPPER: Brian Todd in Buffalo, New York, thanks so much.

Turning to our health lead and the growing crisis for families as they hunt for infant formula to feed their children, the Biden administration says it has secured the first batch of baby formula from overseas as part of the newly launched Operation Fly Formula program. An administration official says that desperately needed batch is due to leave Switzerland within days.

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now live.

Elizabeth, how soon will parents get their hands on this formula coming from overseas?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It might take a little bit. We're anticipating that this flight will be very soon, within days, but, of course, it has to get to the U.S., it has to be distributed, 1.5 million bottles is a lot. But when you think about spreading it around to different parts of the United States, we're not necessarily going to see shelves really in one place fill up quickly.

Let's take a look bigger picture at what the government is trying to do to ease this infant formula shortage. First of all, the Biden administration has invoked the defense production act, and they're directing formula ingredients to go to formula manufacturers first rather than other products that might use the same ingredients. Also, as we mentioned, nestle is transferring 1.5 million bottles of formula from Europe to the United States. And FDA and Abbott have agreed on steps to reopen that Michigan plant.

Now, other than these bottles flying in from Europe, hopefully in the next few days, you'll notice that the other ones, the other steps are going to take some time. That factory isn't reopening anytime very soon. It will take a while for them to restart back up. A lot of this is steps put in motion, but nothing that consumers will notice anytime quickly -- Jake.

TAPPER: Elizabeth, you have been talking with countless families trying to figure out how to feed their babies and children. Are they coming up with any solutions?


COHEN: You know, solutions probably isn't the best word to use for this, but they have come up with unfortunate workarounds. So, we have been talking to families who are rationing formula for their children.

So, I want to introduce you, for example, to Claire Holland. She lives outside of New Orleans. She has a genetic disorder where she can't digest protein, so she's really dependent on this special formula that is made so she can digest it, and her parents can't find it and they had to cut the amount they give her in half.

Now, this is a bright, wonderful sixth grader. She just graduated yesterday. She won the science prize, she's on the honor roll, but her parents are really worried about her long-term health.

Let's take a listen to her mother Shannon.

So sorry, we don't have her mother Shannon, but her mother told me they're very worried about what could happen long term.

We also talked to another family outside of Chicago. Their son who is 11 years old, he has also a medical condition that makes it difficult for him to eat regular food. They feed him by a tube into his stomach. They're also having to ration the formula and give him less than what they expected, what they usually give him.

So, this is very difficult times for families like these, Jake.

TAPPER: Really rough. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much.

Joining us live to discuss, Claire Rowan. Her teenage son Will relies on formula because he has fatal food allergies.

Thanks for joining us.

You told the "Wall Street Journal" in February this formula is like liquid gold to families such as yours. How have the last few months been for you and your family trying to feed Will?

CLAIRE ROWAN, TEENAGE SON RELIES ON FORMULA FOR NOURISHMENT: Certainly challenging. We have been very, very grateful for the support of our community and our families, but it is desperate times, most certainly, and hearing about the other families in similar circumstances to ours, it's nerve-racking to not know every day when you're going to run out, if there's going to be an option to feed your child the next day.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about the batch of much needed formula the Biden administration is flying in from Switzerland. They're sending three kinds of hypo-allergenic formulas. Will this shipment theoretically, could this help Will?

ROWAN: It could. And I think that perhaps all parents who have medically fragile children are in the same circumstance, which until you try something new and are approved by your doctor to try something new, you don't know if it's going to work. You might have where your child, it doesn't sit well with them or there's a reaction, there's an allergic reaction.

So one of the types that I know is coming was something we got a prescription and were approved to try, but by the time I was able to get the prescription over to the medical supplier, they were out of it. So we have a lot of things we could have tried, but none of them were available anymore. So I'm optimistic that one of them might work. But at this point, we still don't know.

TAPPER: The FDA commissioner said yesterday that families are going to start to see relief within days. He also said that on Monday, four days ago. Have you seen any relief this week? ROWAN: No. I have not, honestly. And when you say, you know, this

week or four days, in my mind, 90 days is what I have been looking at because this started back in February for us, and so, 90 days is too long for any family to not know if they're going to be able to feed their children.

The number of parents, the people who on the ground are sharing resources and helping each other, has been the only way that we have gotten through this. This has not been a help we have really received from anybody in an industry or government. It has truly been the work of families helping each other.

So, to me, four days sounds great, but who wants to go four days without eating? Is anybody in Congress not eating for 90 days because that's what we're asking of some of these children potentially if we don't come up with a better answer?

TAPPER: Yeah, hardly.

As you note, you have been having trouble finding formula since February. That's when just to bring our viewers up to speed, when certain products were recalled due to a contamination issue that sickened at least four children, two of them died.

As you note, you've relied on the kindness of strangers to get you through this.

Who? Who is helping you?

ROWAN: We are helping each other. Honestly, it all came about from a Facebook post I put out the morning we realized we had tons of recalled formula in our home, and my post was shared so many times that local folks started helping and driving to find what was still available.

At that time, we weren't getting anything off the shelves, but it was more so somebody who might have had ten cans in their home and thinking, well, I can share a can or two. And thus, it's spread and spread, so then nationwide, moms, we were connecting with each other primarily just through Facebook. And we were able to then connect moms to send cans to each other.


We've been driving them all over. My husband and I shipped everything we could. We thought that was a stop gap measure in February. And then we rolled into March. Well now, there's nothing left to share. Everybody has used everything they had.

I actually heard someone the other day speak of now there's pregnant women who are buying what they can for fear of having infants born soon who will not be able to feed them. So people are panicked.

Now we have the idea of hoarding. We have mothers who have been taken advantage of. People who have flown across the country with empty suitcases to get there and be ghosted and find there was no formula to be had. So, this is a problem many have been managing and trying to support each other through for about three months now.

TAPPER: And there's so much finger pointing going on in Washington right now, at the FDA, well deserved, at Abbott, which makes baby formula. Well deserved. The lack of competition in the market, which is obviously an issue.

Who do you blame or do you not even care, you just need it solved?

ROWAN: I would like to say initially I didn't blame anyone, and pointing fingers and blame doesn't get anything done, but I am frustrated. I'm disappointed that any first-world country, we cannot figure out how to feed our children, our infants and our medically fragile community members.

So I'm not sure I want to blame anybody at this point, but action will say a whole lot more to me than the continual talk. I would like to see some things where we have some change-up of the way this market is managed. Four companies should not have 90 percent of the market when one of them goes down, it crashes. We cannot manage that way. We need the government to maybe regulate the way this industry is managed, looking at we have such high tariff rates on bringing formula in that we don't as a country even open our doors to a lot more of what we could be using to support our families and our children.

So I don't really want to worry that much about blame anymore, but I would rather say let's take some action and realize this is not just a want in life. This is a need. This is a necessity for families.

TAPPER: You're a kinder person than I am, Claire Rowan.

ROWAN: I hope that my son then realizes that the goal should always be, look for the helpers, do what you can for others. Be grateful for what you have, but hit the ground and get going. Let's get something done.

TAPPER: Let's get it together, Biden administration, FDA, Congress, everyone else.

Claire Rowan, thank you so much. Our best to you and our best to Will.

Vice President Kamala Harris called Oklahoma's new abortion bill a threat not just to women but all Americans. Just how far will the legislation go? As the U.S. gets closer to the post-Roe era.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In the national lead, Oklahoma is about to have one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. Republican Governor Kevin Stitt is expected to sign the legislation, which prohibits abortions from the moment of fertilization. It also allowed private citizens to sue abortion providers who, quote, knowingly perform or induce an abortion. As CNN's Lucy Kafanov reports for us now, the new Oklahoma law comes as Republican-led states across the country have been introducing strict abortion measures in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade next month.


GOV. KEVIN STITT (R), OKLAHOMA: We believe life begins at conception and we're going to protect life in Oklahoma.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Governor Kevin Stitt not mincing his words, making good on his promise to make Oklahoma the most anti-abortion state in the country. Oklahoma lawmakers passing a bill on Thursday that would ban abortions at fertilization, making it one of the nation's most far-reaching abortion prohibition prohibitions, adding to a growing number of Republican leaning states advancing strict measures in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe versus Wade.

WENDI STEARMAN (R), OKLAHOMA STATE HOUSE: This bill does not preclude any other programs seeking to help women and children in difficult times. What this bill does is protect life.

KAFANOV: The bill sparked immediate pushback from state Democrats.

CYNDI MUNSON (D), OKLAHOMA STATE HOUSE: People will die. Women will die because they cannot access a procedure that they need to save their own life. And it will be on our conscience.

KAFANOV: Vice President Kamala Harris calling it the latest in a series of blatant attacks on women by extremist legislators while on Thursday offering a grim preview of a post-Roe America.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It represents a threat not just to women but all Americans. At its core, this is about our future at a nation. About whether we live in a country where the government can interfere in personal decisions.

KAFANOV: Oklahoma's bill would ban abortions at any stage of pregnancy. Unless it was a result of rape, sexual assault, or incest, but only if those crimes had been reported to law enforcement.

While there are exceptions for medical emergencies, it effectively prohibits almost all abortions in the state. It relies on private citizens for enforcement, allowing them to sue any individual who knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs through insurance or otherwise.

RABIA MUQADCAM, SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: This law was designed to bring frivolous and harassing lawsuits. It's basically an all-access pass to the courthouse to bring a lawsuit against somebody for something that you think may be taking place.

KAFANOV: The bill now heads to Governor Stitt's desk, who has promised to sign any legislation that limits abortion. Just last month, he signed a bill modeled after a Texas legislation that prohibits abortions as early as six weeks, before many women even know they're pregnant.


The measure does allow for exceptions in medical emergencies.

STITT: Other states can do things differently, but we're going to stand for life in the state of Oklahoma.


KAFANOV (on camera): Here in rural Oklahoma, women are already severely limited in terms of their options of access to abortion. There are only four clinics in this entire state that offer abortion services. Two of them stopped provided abortions earlier this month.

Once Governor Stitt signs this bill into law, this near total abortion ban, it goes into effect immediately, and that's when the other two clinics will cease providing abortions, leaving Oklahoma women with no options in the state -- Jake.

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

Coming up next, just how much dues student athletes get paid these days? The question after new rules and a very public spat between two high profile college coaches.

Plus, what a source is telling CNN about an incident involving two Secret Service employees and a night out at bars in South Korea before President Biden arrived.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Our sports lead now. It's the 20th of May, and feels like summer here in D.C. What better time to talk football? Really, there is big news.

College football's governing body just told a couple of high profile coaches to in effect sit down and shut up because they have been talking smack about each other's programs, specifically whether teams are bending the rules to buy the latest players.

Let's hand the ball now to CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even on the field, the hits in college football don't come any harder. Legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban accusing other schools of recruiting amateur athletes with professional level money. NICK SABAN, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA FOOTBALL COACH: Every player on

their team made a deal for name, image, and likeness. We didn't buy one player. Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year. Nobody did anything about it.

FOREMAN: Jackson State coach Deion Sanders said that's a lie. I don't even make a million.

Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher denied the claim, too, and then let Saban have it.

JIMBO FISHER, HEAD COACH, TEXAS A&M: We built him up to be the czar of football, go dig into his past or anybody that's ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out, what he does and how he does it. And it's despicable.

FOREMAN: At the center of the fight is a Supreme Court ruling less than a year ago allowing student athletes to make money by licensing their names, images, and likenesses. Some insiders say that decision was quickly embraced by alumni groups, boosters and others who saw a way to build financial inducement packages to lure athletes.

Those collectives are now believed to be funneling millions into the hunt for top players, according to Andrew Brant, a specialist in sports law at Villanova.

ANDREW BRANDT, MOORAD CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SPORTS LAW: Become a way to induce players to come to campus in a way that was allowed, quote/unquote, and no one is enforcing it. States aren't, the NCAA is not, the schools aren't. So, it's the Wild West.

FOREMAN: He and other sports analysts note the change has upended recruiting strategies, especially for powerful schools that previously seemed to get anyone they wanted.

DAN WETZEL, NATIONAL COLUMNIST, YAHOO! SPORTS: Nick Saban's upset because kids went to Texas A&M instead of Alabama.

FISHER: Some people think they're god.

FOREMAN: The Southeastern Football Conference has reprimanded both Fisher and Saban and the Alabama coach says he's sorry for starting the whole mess.

SABAN: I should have never really singled anybody out. You know, that was a mistake, and I really apologize for that part of it.


FOREMAN (on camera): You'll notice Saban isn't backing down from the issue. We reached out to Saban and to Fisher and the NCAA to see if anybody has anything else to say about it. My bet, Jake, is that they are going to have something to say about it because we're three months from the start of football and this issue is only getting bigger, and people are lawyering about they're getting ready to fight further on this. And the question remains, what do you do? What do you do? These teams are multi-billion dollar interests in terms of college sports, and they want to get the best players, and no coach wants to lose out because they didn't play as hard as they could off the field. And yet what's the result going to be? I don't know, maybe more litigation, more penalty flags. We'll see.

TAPPER: Well, Nick Saban's biggest fan Kaitlan Collins is going to find you and your office to talk about that spot.

FOREMAN: I'll refer her to you.

TAPPER: I hope you're ready.

Arrested, detained, and put on trial. Coming up next, my one-on-one with U.S. Marine veteran Trevor Reed after being locked up in Russian custody for almost three years.


TREVOR REED, DETAINED IN RUSSIA: I was not going to compromise, you know, my morals and plead guilty to a crime that I didn't commit.


TAPPER: The interview you're only going to see here on CNN. We have some big clips for you coming up.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, my exclusive interview with marine veteran Trevor Reed. He's talking for the first time since being released after unjustly spending 985 days in a Russian prison. We're going to talk about everything from the night he got in trouble to his new mission securing the freedom of other Americans still being detained unjustly around the world.

Plus, a warning about sextortion. A look at the growing threat online, not just to teenage girls but teenage boys as well, and the deadly consequences potentially.

And leading this hour, Asia is the future. That's President Biden's message while visiting South Korea, as part of a key diplomatic trip to the region. His visit could have serious economic and geopolitical impacts.

CNN's MJ Lee is in Seoul, South Korea, for us. That's where President Biden kicked off his trip by meeting with the South Korean president and touring a Samsung plant.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're very generous. Thank you very much.