Return to Transcripts main page

The Lead with Jake Tapper

Police: Tulsa Killer Bought AR-15 Style Rifle Hours Before Shooting; Uvalde Mayor: "Negotiator" Tried To Call Gunman Inside School; Buffalo Suspect Accused Of Killing 10 Pleads Not Guilty; Oil Prices Climb After OPEC Agrees To Boost Supply; More Baby Formula Shipments From Other Countries Expected Next Week; Displaced Ukrainians Stuck In Other Towns Desperate To Go Home; Meadows' January 6 Texts Show Urgent Please From Allies Asking Trump To Tell Mobs To Leave Capitol; First Day Of Historic Celebrations Honoring Queen Elizabeth II. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 02, 2022 - 16:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Two hundred thirty-three mass shootings in the U.S. already this year, and it's only June 2nd.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, becomes one of the latest scenes of tragedy. Four people killed by a gunman, targeting his doctor and anyone who got in his way. His weapon, another AR-15 style rifle, bought the same day as the deadly rampage.

Also today, more baby formula on the way to the U.S. But as even more product reportedly out of stock, where are these new deliveries going?

And the folks who send messages to the White House during the January 6th attack, what many Republicans told CNN exclusively now about their pleas to Donald Trump to stop the violence. Some of them now pretend publicly that Trump did not incite.


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

We start with our national lead, the epidemic of gun violence in America. In just a few hours, President Biden will address the nation about the spate of recent mass shootings and new gun laws he wants to see Congress pass to stop it. The most recent of these horrific attacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where police today laid out a timeline of the rampage at the St. Francis Hospital complex.

They say the gunman bought an AR-15 style rifle yesterday afternoon and opened fire in his surgeon's office just a few hours later, killing his surgeon, another doctor, the receptionist and a patient.

There are also major developments today in Uvalde, Texas, where the mayor now says a negotiator had been trying to reach the shooter inside Robb Elementary School, but the shooter did not respond. It's unclear why officials were trying to negotiate with an active shooter, which goes against protocols.

And in Buffalo, New York, the 18-year-old man who allegedly went on a rampage in that supermarket, killing ten people mid May, just appeared in court and pleaded not guilty.

These are just three of the 233 mass shootings in the United States this year, 233. This is June 2nd. We're only at the 153rd day of the year. That's according to the Gun Violence Archives, which defines a mass shooting as four or more victims in a single incident. 20 of those attacks, 20 of 233 have happened after the Uvalde mass shooting last Tuesday.

CNN reporters are on the ground in all of these cities covering the latest developments. We're going to start with CNN's Gary Tuchman, who is outside the scene of yesterday's shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Gary, police say they found a letter on the gunman's body detailing his motive. What did it say?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the letter provides solid proof as to what his motivation was. In a nutshell, it's a very depressing and sad nutshell, but basically he bought one weapon Sunday, one yesterday and murdered four people because he wasn't content with his medical care.

The letter was found at his body after he committed suicide. Police are not releasing the exact contents of the letter but he says in the letter that he blamed his back surgeon for his ongoing pain. One important thing to tell you is that especially in light of what happened in Texas last week, this medical campus, when they got the 911 calls, the police were on the scene, inside the doctor's office building within three minutes.


CHIEF WENDELL FRANKLIN, TULSA POLICE: Officers entered the building on the first floor and made their way to the second floor based on the information they received. While on the second floor of the vast building, officers began yelling "Tulsa police." This is something we train to do. As officers were calling out Tulsa police, and advancing towards a suspect location, they heard a gunshot. We believe that was the final gunshot with the suspect taking his own life. The gunshot was at 4:58 p.m., approximately 39 seconds after the first officers entered the building.


TUCHMAN: I asked that chief, in his expert opinion, if his people, his men and women did not get in there as quickly as they did, would he have continued to fire? He said, we have no reason to believe he was going to stop -- Jake.

TAPPER: Gary, what do we know about the four victims?

TUCHMAN: Listen, one of the victims was a back surgeon, Dr. Preston Phillips, very respected here at St. Francis Hospital system, the largest hospital system in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Also, Dr. Stephanie Husen, doctor of osteopathic medicine, also very well respected here. And Amanda Glenn, she was the receptionist, and also a supervisor in the doctor's office.

And then, a patient, William Love. That patient was critically hurt. He was treated in this hospital and he died shortly after.

One more thing I want to add, Jake. When police got into the office and saw the body of the murderer lying there, just a couple of feet away under a desk, they saw another body. But this was a woman who survived. She hid, and she made it out safely -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Gary Tuchman in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for us -- thank you so much.

South now to Uvalde, Texas, where new questions are being raised about the 911 calls made during the school shooting and who was actually being relayed the information from those trapped inside the classroom.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is on the ground in Uvalde, and he is trying to get answers.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As families mourn, the investigation continues into the delayed response to the mass shooting in Uvalde.

ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D), TEXAS STATE SENATE: I want to know specifically who was receiving the 911 calls.

LAVANDERA: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez is raising questions. He says he was told by the commission on state emergency communications, that 911 calls were directed to the city police, and it's unclear if that crucial information was relayed to the school district's police chief, who was the incident commander.

GUTIERREZ: The Uvalde PD was the one receiving the 911 calls for 45 minutes, while officers were sitting in the hallway for 19 -- 19 officers were sitting in the hallway for 45 minutes. We don't know if it was being communicated to those people or not.

LAVANDERA: The Uvalde Police Department and the commission on emergency communications have not responded to CNN's request for comment. District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee wouldn't speak to CNN this morning. She was escorted to her car by security.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot of information that needs to come out.

LAVANDERA: As we get a look at the first warrants submitted in the hours after the shooting, granting permission to search the suspect's cell phone car and home, where police found more cartridges, high capacity magazines and a laptop.

This as new details emerge about a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary, who was on the phone with her husband, an officer with the school district's police department, before she died.

"The New York Times" is reporting that Eva Mireles was in her classroom with the shooter, speaking to her husband as he was forced to wait outside the building with his unit. She's in the classroom and he's outside. It's terrifying, Uvalde County Judge Bill Mitchell who spoke with deputies, tells the paper. Mitchell told "The Times" he doesn't know what was said or if her husband shared any details about the call to his supervisor in charge of the scene.

But as the communication and decision making by police is called into question, this conversation suggests at least one person had access to real-time information from an adult in the classroom. It took responders 80 minutes to enter the classroom from the time they received the first call.

Uvalde's mayor is also frustrated by the police response. Don McLaughlin says he rushed to the staging site the day of the shooting and placed in a room with someone he referred to as a negotiator who he says tried to call the gunman but did not get through.

MAYOR DON MCLAUGHLIN, UVALDE, TEXAS: I wasn't there at the initial. But at the moment he were in that classroom, they were trying to get numbers and call. They tried every number they could find.

LAVANDERA: McLaughlin does not believe the negotiator was aware of any 911 phone calls from inside the classroom.

MCLAUGHLIN: While I was there, you know, I did not hear the 911 calls. I can assure you, had we been aware of it, or I would have been aware of it, I would have been screaming.


LAVANDERA (on camera): And, Jake, the Texas Department of Public Safety says it's no longer answering questions about this investigation, instead, directing all questions to the local prosecutors here in Uvalde. But as you saw in our story there, they're not talking either.

Texas State Senator Gutierrez says he's expecting or hoping to get an updated report from Texas state investigators on Friday, but it's absolutely not clear if that's going to come through. In fact, he's starting to believe they're trying to delay the information being released in hopes that all of the attention around this case will die down -- Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah, erroneous information from police, and now a stonewall.

Ed Lavandera in Uvalde, Texas, thank you so much.

And in Buffalo today, a court hearing just wrapped up for the 18-year- old accused of killing 18 -- I'm sorry, 10 people at a grocery store in a racially motivated attack.

CNN's Miguel Marquez is live outside the courthouse.

Miguel, tell us about these charges and the suspect's plea today.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, his lawyer on his behalf pleading not guilty to all these charges, extremely serious charges that he is facing.


Everything from domestic terrorism to murder, hate crimes, and a weapons charge, as well.

In all, 25 charges, the most serious of them that domestic terrorist charge, charged as a hate crime, motivated by hate. Ten first-degree murder charges. Ten second-degree murder charges, also as hate crimes. Three attempted murder charges as hate crimes, and one weapons charge.

Thirteen victims in all, 11 of them were African-Americans. The 10 who died were all black, as well.

The mayor here in Buffalo speaking -- you know, this was an 18-year- old here, there was a teenager in Texas that carried out -- is suspected of carrying out that attack there. The mayor here talking about what needs to happen to stop this violence.


MAYOR BYRON BROWN (D), BUFFALO: We will not be silent on this issue. We must demand, as a country, every state in this nation that federal lawmakers, who have been resistant to doing something about sensible gun reform, that they change that stance and we take action that will prevent these kinds of mass shootings and this kind of mass murder from continuing to happen.


MARQUEZ: Now, well, the district attorney here in Erie county was not speaking to the evidence, officials along the way have. And they say that they have no doubt that this heinous, heinous crime was racially motivated. The suspect releasing a 180-page racist screed prior to the shooting, proclaiming that he was a white supremacist and he was an anti-Semite.

Also getting at this notion of replacement theory, this idea that white Americans are being replaced by minorities, something that used to live in the discharge edges of our society and online, and now is mainstream in many parts of America. This is also somebody they say researched where he was going to attack, looking at the zip code where that Tops Supermarket was, 14208, and deciding that that was the place that had the highest percentage of African Americans, and that's where he would go.

They also believe he had more weapons on him and expected that he would survive the shooting in the supermarket and move on to another location to kill more black people -- Jake.

TAPPER: Miguel Marquez in Buffalo, New York, for us. Thank you so much.

As if record gas prices were not enough, now, new warnings that the U.S. could be heading to an energy crisis that rivals the one in the 1970s. And only on CNN, what Republicans say now about their previous pleas, begging Trump to stop the violence on January 6th.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our money lead today, the world could be barreling toward an energy crisis even worse than the one in the 1970s, according to current and former energy officials. A crisis of not just petroleum, but also natural gas and even electricity, partly fueled by Putin's war, as well as years of underinvestment in the energy sector.

And Americans are feeling it at the pump with another record breaking national high today of $4.72 according to AAA. If viewers think almost every day I'm telling you about a new record high for gas prices, your ears are not deceiving you. I am.

Joining us now, CNN business correspondent Rahel Solomon.

Rahel, OPEC has agreed to release more oil than expected over the next two months. How much will that help?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, look, if the price of oil right now is any indication, probably not much. Brent, which is the global benchmark for oil is trading pretty much at the highs of today, $118 per barrel. It's up about 1.7 percent.

So this indication from investors is that they don't think this announcement today will add much to really lower prices at the pump for us consumers. So this announcement from OPEC essentially 648,000 barrels per day of oil, that's about 200,000 more than was scheduled. The issue, however, is that according to "Reuters", globally, we're losing about 1 million barrels of oil because of Russian sanctions. So, you can sort of understand the shortfall there.

A lot of skepticism among energy analysts and folks who watched this space very closely. Raad Alkadiri of the Eurasia Group telling me, he put it this way, Jake: At a time when you need immediate measures, with the market hooking for a significant respite, this OPEC agreement delivered almost the opposite. There was the promise of something significant, but it was actually reached, it was something far more mundane -- Jake.

TAPPER: Rahel, what is this shift from Saudi Arabia mean for the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, massive oil producer? Do you think the U.S., the Biden administration is going to have to go kiss the ring of the Saudi leader Mohammed Bin Salman, MBS, despite his role in the murder of "Washington Post" columnist Jamal Khashoggi?

SOLOMON: Listen, I mean, the relationship between the countries has been tense, to say the least, for some of the reasons you've cited, Jake. We just got some new reporting actually from CNN, including from CNN's MJ Lee, citing a senior White House official saying that the U.S. sees Saudi Arabia as an important strategic partner, adding that the administration continues, however, to have concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

That said, Biden -- we are also hearing, Jake, that Biden may be eyeing a visit to the country to meet with MBS within the next few weeks. So it's been a tense relationship in the years past. It remains to be seen if that relationship will be warming in the years to come.

TAPPER: All right. Rahel Solomon, thank you so much, and good to have you at CNN.

SOLOMON: Thank you.

TAPPER: To health lead now. Today, the FDA says new shipments of Nestle baby formula will be available in the United States sometime this month.


Germany is sending enough supply to fill more than 6 million eight- ounce bottles. That's on top of the shipments on the way from the U.K. and from Australia. But where is all this baby formula going? What states is it going to? What stores?

The Biden administration has launched a new website,, to track its efforts to answer those questions.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus has been around Chicago today searching for stores that do and do not have this formula.

Adrienne, what did you find?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, like many parents who have struggled to find formula on store shelves, we ran into the same problem. But we did find some formula here at this store on the city's south side. It's Similac Advanced and also Good Start Gentle Nutrition by Gerber.

Turns out, this is a neighborhood grocery store in the Beverly neighborhood. The owner says they've been around 58 years and at one point, they stopped carrying baby formula until recently, after hearing from his customers. Listen in.


TOM BAFFES, OWNER, COUNTY FAIR FOODS: There were some customers asking about it, and we heard that there was a shortage and there was a need. So we checked our warehouse and they did have some. So my brother-in-law, Mike, said let's bring some in and we did. I'm just happy we're able to help the young mothers in our neighborhood and whatever we can do, we're glad to do it.


BROADDUS: That's one person doing his part. However, for families whose babies depend on say specialty formula, this is not going to help them. For those children, for example like a woman I talked to, she says her daughter has a rare genetic disorder, and her daughter cannot tolerate the protein in the cow's milk, so she has to have specialty formula.

You may remember when the Biden administration talked about those imports of formula coming from overseas, that first shipment was expected to be delivered to hospitals and pharmacies, where families needed a prescription for that specialty type formula -- Jake.

TAPPER: Adrienne, what do we know about federal efforts to improve the stock rates nationwide? Have these shipments from other countries made a dent?

BROADDUS: So that's the thing. Instead of getting better, it's slightly worse, especially if you examine product availability when it comes to the formula. So, for example, one estimate from data assembly shared with CNN shows that during the week of May 22nd, about 74 percent of formula was out of stock.

And for comparison, if you look at this year compared to the same time last year, the number was at 6 percent -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Adrienne Broaddus in Chicago, thank you so much.

Today, Ukraine's president said about 20 percent of his country is currently under Russian control, 20 percent. Next, CNN returns to southern Ukraine to see what life is like there as the Russians fight for territory, next.



TAPPER: Our world lead today, as the war rages in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, has a message for Russia. Take a listen.


OLENA ZELENSKA, UKRAINIAN FIRST LADY (through translator): We are not prepared to concede our freedom, our territory. One cannot lose part of one's territory and relax, unfortunately. They will not cease until they destroy us completely.


TAPPER: And as Russian troops retreat or leave some Ukrainian town, CNN's Melissa Bell finds displaced Ukrainians that would do anything to get back home but find themselves stuck in a sea of despair and red tape. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alive and safe, but stuck in Zaporizhzhia. Some of the families that fled the Russian bombings of southern Ukraine. Others have just found themselves on the wrong side of a line that has hardened. Some of these families now living in their cars, have been here for weeks.

Orlena Babak (ph) came from the Black Sea town of Skadonsk (ph) to buy medicine for her elderly parents. She's now living with others in the open air.

Look, he's just had surgery. My husband's without a leg.

This grandmother is recovering from a stroke.

I can hardly sit, she says. My legs are swollen. Can I just get back, or is this some kind of cruel joke? Please, just let me die in Kherson, at home."

Some of the families bringing their anger to Zaporizhzhia's regional administrative building.


BELL: Like Alexis Izmaelov who fled Mariupol with his wife but has had no contact with the rest of his family for three months.

IZMAELOV: In Mariupol, three months no contact. What happened with my father, my sister, I like to come back and help. I like to bring them to Ukrainian.

BELL: Marina Notanova, who is in charge of social services for the greater Zaporizhzhia region, says humanitarian aid has been hard to bring because her teams to the south of the city are now without communication.


She tells us it will also be necessary to tell those trying to return of the dangers they face.

It's very dangerous, she says. So this will be discussed with them at this new filtration camp, to find out why they want to go and whether they understand the risks.

She says that beyond the water already being provided here, there will soon be a medical center, showers and a room for mothers and children. For now, these families wait. Just hungry to get home.


BELL (on camera): Just some of those civilians in Zaporizhzhia, Jake, that are stuck because of that hardening line. It isn't simply, and this is the big concern for Ukraine, that it continues to push forward, and it's hardened with people being stuck on either side of it.

That is 20 percent of Ukraine now in Russian hands. Extremely alarming from the Ukrainian point of view, with that 1,000 kilometer line, as President Zelensky put it today, running from Kharkiv down to Mykolaiv.

What they are trying to do tonight, the Ukrainian armed forces, to prevent that line from standing, as it continues to push forward in the north in Severodonetsk where most of the city has fall on the Russians, even as Russian armed forces have concentrated their efforts there, a counteroffensive is trying to break that line, get some of those Ukrainian cities back. And end this war, at least what Ukraine is hoping tonight -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Melissa Bell in Odesa, thank you so much.

Coming up next, a CNN exclusive, what some Republicans say now about the text messaging they sent on January 6th in which they begged Donald Trump to tell the crowd to stop the violence.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead now, a CNN exclusive. We are learning more about the key Trump allies who were begging the former president to stop Capitol Hill rioters on January 6th.

Let's get right to CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel.

And, Jamie, text messages sent to then White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have turned out to be a treasure trove for the House committee investigating the deadly insurrection.

What did you find when you re-examined all these messages that you've been bringing us these last few weeks?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we went back to see did we miss anything. And the really shocking part was just to look at January 6th. So for the first time, we are releasing, you can go on and see, text messages minute by minute, from late the night of the 5th through January 6th. And what you see is, in real time, the drama, the fear, and you see these Trump allies, former White House officials, Republican members of Congress, pleading with Mark Meadows to get the president to do something.

They clearly believe he can make it stop. That's the critical point. So, let's just go through -- these are just a couple of what you'll see.

From Congressman Jeff Duncan at 3:04 p.m., POTUS needs to calm this, you can read it down, from former Trump HHS Secretary Tom Price at 3:13 p.m. POTUS should go on air and defuse this, extremely important. From North Carolina conservation lobbyist Tom Cors, he's an old

Meadows associate, at 3:42 p.m.: Please have POTUS call this off at the Capitol. Urge rioters to disperse. I pray to you.

We also went and reached out, and I spoke to more than a dozen of the people who wrote these text messages. Most of them wanted to talk on back ground, because they were concerned about their jobs. They were afraid Donald Trump might get re-elected. Or one just said to me, I don't want to be the target of the misery of this.

But what's most notable is, it's hard. It's hard. Seventeen months later, they all stand by their texts, and each said that they believed if Trump had immediately spoken out, he could have stopped the attack.

TAPPER: Which would have saved lives.

GANGEL: Absolutely.


GANGEL: So here is one, quote, two hours is just inexcusable when the safety of the federal government is in question. You have the duty immediately to speak out and Trump was derelict in that duty. That is a Meadows associate.

Second, I think he knew he could stop it, which is why he remained silent.


GANGEL: And that is a very senior Republican, former White House official. And I just want to add this one. This is from one who served in the White House, quote, he failed at being president.

TAPPER: So, you're learning new details about who is going to be among the first witnesses in the public hearings of the January 6th select committee, which are set to begin one week from today. What can you share about that?

GANGEL: So what we know is, we're hearing a lot about Team Pence. Not Mike Pence, we don't think he's going to testify.

But we understand the committee has reached out to Pence's former chief counsel, Greg Jacob. That he has been told that they want him to testify. Former federal judge Michael Luttig has also been asked.


And former Pence chief of staff Marc Short, who was with Pence that whole day, he is expected to be called to testify.

Also, we're hearing and I don't think this will be a surprise that -- to expect a panel of former justice officials. So, this would be former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue. TAPPER: All right. And we're also learning that former Attorney

General Bill Barr has met with the January 6th committee. What is the committee looking to learn from him? He was not attorney general on January 6th, I don't believe, right?

GANGEL: Correct. But he's there at a critical time. So, remember from Watergate, what did the president know and when did he know it? On December 1st, then Attorney General Bill Barr said to the president, said to the public, there is no widespread election fraud.

That is key to the committee, because they are going to lay out the case that Trump continued down this path, having been told there was no widespread election fraud, having been warned that what he was doing could lead to violence, and that it holds him responsible. So Barr is a key witness.

TAPPER: All right. Interesting. Jamie Gangel, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Let's discuss all this with CNN contributor John Dean, who, of course, was also the former White House counsel for President Nixon.

John, so you know a thing or two about the public testimony about the actions of a president. What are you hoping to learn from the January 6th House Select Committee when those hearings start in one week?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I certainly like the witnesses they lined up. I think they can draw the big picture. They'll be able to describe the schemes that were being cooked up, how they tried to -- some reject them. I think it will be an impressive overview, if you will.

And that's what the Senate Watergate committee did not do. They started at the bottom, and almost lost the networks. They said this was so boring, we can't do this many more days.

So I think they have learned that lesson. They're going to attract attention. They're going to explain the big picture. And I think it's going to be a good attraction.

TAPPER: Watergate had the Nixon tapes. This has the Mark Meadows text messages. Those played a central role in learning what those around Trump were saying and doing as the insurrectionists were breaking into the Capitol building.

How significant do you think these text messages are going to be during the hearings?

DEAN: Well, I disagree with you, Jake. They didn't have the tapes until late. And they only got a few of my conversations along the way that they could make probable cause on. I think this -- this array of messages, contemporaneous, are much more telling than the tapes. The tapes were -- Nixon kept himself highly isolated and really didn't have wide exchanges.

This shows his frame of mind, and helps to cast where he was and what he was doing, and why he was doing it. And I think with a few other witnesses, we're going to see a president that was reveling in this disorder, and enjoying it.


You played such a pivotal role in Watergate, participating in a cover- up and exposing it to the world. It's been 50 years this month since that break-in kicked off an infamous chapter in American history. You're telling new details in a series called "Watergate: Blueprint for a Scandal."

Let's show our audience a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Dean is part of this discussion, because he's already aware of investigations associated with the political enemies project. It was always understood that Libby's main job would be spying on Nixon's political opponents. And Liddy has a very dangerous understanding of power.

PEGGIE RAYHAWK-LEWIS, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Some of the people they had hired were of the mindset, whatever he asked them to do, they are going to do it. They went beyond what he could have thought of himself sometimes.

DEAN: Six months before the Watergate break-in, I got a call to come to John Mitchell's office. And Liddy is setting up an easel. I can see he's got big charts. It was a sales pitch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liddy is tasked with coming up with a plan.


TAPPER: Looks great. Can't wait to watch it. What do you want audiences to take away from the series?

DEAN: Well, I think it's -- I think the core story needed to be retold by people who really know that story and can speak with authority about it. I had originally pitched telling untold stories, but I think that is not what is needed right now, particularly with the forthcoming hearings for January 6th.


We really need to understand what was one event, what was the other event, and how they play off each other -- a president abusing power versus a president trying to stay in power. We're going to see Nixon in a sense was nowhere close to Trump when you watch these two realities unfold in the coming weeks.

TAPPER: The series talks about the fact that during Watergate, the system worked. Nixon's abuse of power was ultimately stopped. He resigned. He was kind of told by Republicans that he needed to resign, that he wouldn't necessarily survive an impeachment. Are you optimistic that abuse of power can still be stopped today? Do

you have faith that the system is still working in this modern era with the conservative media network and this Republican Party?

DEAN: I wish I could tell you I have no concerns. I have great concerns. That's why these hearings are so important.

I think there is about 30 percent to 35 percent of the population that is very hard core, authoritarian. They would like to see the government run a little differently. And I think they need to be visited versus the great majority of people who want our democracy to survive. I hope that threat comes to light in these hearings. And using something like this documentary to show how it did work.

TAPPER: All right. John Dean, always good to have you. Thanks so much.

DEAN: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Be sure tune in to all new CNN original series "Watergate: Blueprint for a Scandal" which premiers Sunday at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific, only on CNN.

Coming up next, why Buckingham Palace says the queen will not attend the next part of her jubilee celebrations tomorrow.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our world lead, moments ago, Queen Elizabeth took part in a beacon lighting ceremony at Windsor Castle, part of the platinum jubilee celebration celebrating her 70 years on the throne. The Buckingham Palace announced tonight that the Queen experienced some discomfort during today's celebrations and as CNN's Max Foster reports for us now, the queen will now skip tomorrow's main event.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A monumental moment in history, one we won't see again in our lifetimes. Queen Elizabeth II marked 70 years of service. And just a couple of years away from being the longest reigning monarch in world history.

To the awe and joy of thousands of her supporters who came from all corners of the globe, to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just love the queen. She's served selflessly for the last 70 years, dedicated her life to the country. I'm so grateful to her for that.

FOSTER: Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, and Kate, duchess of Cambridge, are the first royals to arrive, with the queen's great grandchildren, closely followed by Princess Ann, Prince William and Prince Charles. The heir to the throne stepping in to the queen of the parade ground, as he will each time she's unable to attend events, due to her mobility issues, all part of the transition to his monarchy that comes next.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson amongst the guests, nicknaming her Elizabeth the Great.

Indeed, the queen of 15 nations, her jubilee was commemorated across the commonwealth with the lighting of beacons in New Zealand, Fiji, and India.

But the event was also marked by the absence from the symbolic balcony appearance of Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan, no longer working royals. And Prince Andrew, having contracted COVID.

And despite concerns about her state of health, the Queen beams with her loyal subjects cheering her every move.


FOSTER (on camera): Turns out the queen is putting a brave face on things today. She was suffering discomfort throughout the day, we're told by the palace, which is why she had to cancel a key moment in the jubilee commemorations tomorrow. That's a service of commemoration for the queen and that jubilee. It's a big family moment. She's unable to make it, Jake.

But this is the sign of the times. We're going to see more and more of this, pulling out of things, which she can't make it, Prince Charles stepping in.

TAPPER: Yeah. Already, a bittersweet jubilee without her late husband.

Max Foster in London, thank you so much.

Coming up, the missteps, the dysfunction, the struggle inside this White House to simply get stuff done. Stay with us.



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

This hour, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy now says 20 percent of his country, 20 percent is under Russia control. This new assessment of just how expansive the Russian invasion is.

Plus, gun rights activists say the solution to bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. But what if those good guys with guns don't do their jobs? Well, then you get Uvalde. And that's far from the only example.

And leading this hour, tonight, President Biden will address the nation about guns and gun reform in a rare evening address. The speech was not originally on President Biden's schedule. The White House aides say he had been privately weighing a speech on guns for the last few days, but then a gunman bought a semiautomatic rifle and hours later shot and killed four people at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, medical complex, according to police.

The Uvalde school shooting was just nine days ago. Buffalo, 19 days.