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The Lead with Jake Tapper

U.S. Adds 390,000 New Jobs In May, Unemployment Holds At 3.6 Percent; Ex-Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Appears In Court After Indictment; NYT: Pence Warned Secret Service Of Security Risk Before Jan 6; Calls Mount For Gun Reform After String Of Mass Shootings; Biden: "I Have No Direct Plans" To Meet With Saudi Crown Prince; Queen Elizabeth Will Not Attend Horse Race On Saturday. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 03, 2022 - 16:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: How does she do that? I mean, how does -- what are those? What are those words? How does he even know how to pronounce them? It's all so confusing?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Well, the eighth grader won the competition's first spell-off, a test to see which of the finalists could spell the most words correctly in 90 seconds.

CAMEROTA: Harini got more than 20 words right. She took home a trophy and $50,000.

And THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The Secret Service was warned, Trump would turn on Pence and put Pence's life in danger.

THE LEAD starts right now.

A top Pence aide was reportedly so worried about Trump's fury with Pence for refusing to overturn democracy, he warned Secret Service before January 6th. This as another top Trump White House aide is indicted, arrests, and brought to court.

And President Biden tries to celebrate a strong jobs report while his attention is otherwise consumed with inflation and gas prices and gun massacres and more. The beginning of what could be a long hot summer.

Plus, delicate diplomacy. Biden refuses to confirm a meeting with Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler MBS. To be fair, Biden once vowed to make the country a pariah because of its horrific record on human rights.


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

We start today with our money lead and President Biden heralding a, quote, terrific jobs report while also acknowledging record high prices are causing serious problems for far too many American families. There was good news in the jobs report released this morning. U.S. employers added 390,000 new jobs. Unemployment stayed at a near record low of 3.6 percent, and 96 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic erupted are back.

But none of that will immediately help lower the sky-high costs of everyday goods such as groceries or gasoline. The current rate of inflation in the U.S. is 8.3 percent. President Biden said this week there's not much he can do to lower prices in the near term.

The White House is also struggling to find a legislative way to attempt to curtail gun deaths, a way that Republican legislators would be willing to go along with. One of the key Democratic negotiators on Capitol Hill telling CNN he's preparing for failure.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins starts off our coverage with a closer look at how the White House is trying to get their arms around this slew of problems.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's a sign of a healthy economy.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The number of Americans working or looking for jobs rose last month in a promising sign for the economy and President Biden.

BIDEN: Working-age people have come back into the workforce at a faster rate in this recovery than at any point in the last 40 years.

COLLINS: The Labor Department says U.S. businesses added 390,000 jobs in May, as the unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.6 percent. Despite the better than expected report, the fight against inflation is still far from over, as bigger paychecks aren't keeping up with higher prices.

BIDEN: There's no denying that high prices, particularly around gasoline and food, are a real problem for people.

COLLINS: President Biden warning Americans that much of the fate of the economy is in the hands of the Federal Reserve and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

BIDEN: Putin's war has raised the price of food. I understand that families who are struggling probably don't care why the prices are up. They just want them to go down. Joe, what are you going to do to bring them down?

COLLINS: The president also answering calls to, quote, do something on guns following a series of mass shootings.

BIDEN: They had one message for all of us. Do something. Just do something. For God's sake, do something. COLLINS: After his urgent appeal for tougher restrictions like an

assault-weapons ban, universal background checks and red flag laws, the president says he's being constantly updated on the status of gun talks on Capitol Hill.

BIDEN: My staff is dealing constantly with every member of the House and Senate who has wanted to talk about guns. It's been a constant interchange.

COLLINS: But the president sounding cautious on whether his direct involvement would warrant a deal.

BIDEN: I'll do what I can to try to see that we have some real progress.


COLLINS (on camera): And, Jake, when it comes to the economy, one in the President Biden warned about today were those job numbers slowing in the months ahead as the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to try to tame inflation. The president says that's going to be a good thing if you're not seeing huge numbers we have seen play out over the last several months as the economy is trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, Jake, those have been the numbers you have been looking for almost every month when the report comes out so this has been something the president is saying now is going to be different. They are going to be smaller numbers, but, Jake, he says that's a good thing. It's a sign of a healthy economy.

That is part of the message he's going to be trying to sell to Americans worried about the economy as the White House spins the month of June hyper-focused on this issue, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kaitlan Collins at the White House for us, thanks so much.

Joining us to discuss is Cecelia Rouse.


She's the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Thanks so much for joining us.

So, President Biden said the U.S. can tackle inflation from a position of strength because of the jobs numbers, and the jobs numbers are great, but inflation as you know is out of control. What do you say to Americans out there who listen to the president and say, hey, I can't afford to fill up my car, I'm cutting back when I try to feed my family?

CECELIA ROUSE, CHAIR, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: So what I would say is, you know, the president understands the cost that inflation has on families. But at the same time, what we understand about the American economy, which is in a better position than most other countries, is that we're coming at this from a position of strength. Because of the American Rescue Plan and other efforts of the federal government, we have gotten through this pandemic so far where we have recovered with one of the fastest drops in unemployment in history, a record increase in labor force participation, a record increase in the number of jobs.

What we learned is that last month, the economy created 390,000 jobs, broadly based, and that if we look over the average of the last three month, it's about 400,000 jobs. So the president highlighted in his op-ed at the "Wall Street Journal" that this is -- that we know that we're not going to have the historic job growth that we have had coming out of the recovery, and that that is a welcome transition.

And in fact, if we look at the 400,000 jobs that we have had over the last three months, that does reflect a slight slowdown. So, what we see is we have a labor market that is strong. It is starting to cool, which is what Chair Powell is looking for, and so we believe that the Federal Reserve will be able to manage inflation. Of course, the president is doing what he can as well, but we can address inflation from a position of strength.

TAPPER: Well, today, President Biden listed a series of steps that could be taken to lower the prices for every American. Nearly every single one is something he has proposed but required congressional action that frankly the White House has not been able to deliver.

So, let's just take one of them, allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Why isn't the White House putting the full weight of the White House behind getting that bill passed right now?

ROUSE: The president is absolutely focused on getting this bill passed. It is the foundation of his economic strategy. What the president seeks is an economy that is growing in a stable and steady, sustainable way where the average American is seeing healthy job growth, healthy wage growth, and where our economy is growing in a sustainable way.

So he wants to do that by making it easier for people to go to work, by lowering child care costs. By recognizing that health care and prescription costs have gotten out of control.


TAPPER: Right, you're talking about the whole Build -- you're talking about the whole Build Back Better bill, but that stalled. You could take individual components like lowering prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate, pass it through the House, pass it through the Senate, and get it to the president's desk. It would not be the whole Build Back Better Act, but it would be something.

Why not focus on these smaller things that can be accomplished?

ROUSE: The president has said he is willing to work with Democrats, Republicans, independents to get the pieces that he can get passed. I'm describing the foundations of his economic strategy.

So, of course, the president understands that he has to work with congress. We're a democratic society. He's not a dictator. He has to work with Congress. And he wants to work with anybody, both sides of the aisle, to get what he can get done because he understands just how important this is for the future economic growth of our country.

TAPPER: One of the criticisms we heard from "Washington Post" columnist Catherine Rampell earlier this week is there are other steps the White House could be taking, but you're worried about the potential blowback.

For example, lifting the Trump tariffs on China. That could lower prices, but Republicans might criticize the White House as being soft on China.

Is that a fair criticism?

ROUSE: The president and the administration are looking -- we're looking at the tariffs. The president wants -- if we're going to lower tariffs, we need to do them in a way that makes sense for the American economy, for American workers, for American businesses.

So, all of these options are on the table, and the administration is considering their likely impact on inflation as well as their likely impact on growth and where this puts us in a geopolitical context.

So those options are on the table because the president understands what inflation is doing for families, but he also is really focused on getting us through this transition to an economy that is growing in a sustainable way.

TAPPER: All right. Cecelia Rouse, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

Coming up, CNN is live at the federal courthouse in D.C. where a former Trump adviser now faces contempt of Congress charges.

Plus, a reported warning to the U.S. Secret Service the day before the January 6th insurrection from former Vice President Mike Pence's top aide.

And the gun debate in Congress.


What do Americans want? As lawmakers are trying to find common ground.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Turning to our politics lead, former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro appeared in court this afternoon after being indicted for refusing to answer basic questions about the capitol insurrection. The indictment came from a federal grand jury after a referral from the House Select Committee investigating January 6th.

Navarro faces charges of refusing to provide documents to the committee and for failing to testify before it. The full House voted in April to refer Navarro to the Justice Department for not complying with the committee's subpoena. Navarro tries to argue he could not cooperate because former president Trump had invoked executive privilege in the matter.

CNN's Evan Perez is outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.


Evan, what happened in court today? Could Navarro theoretically be facing jail time?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Jake, he could. And look, this hearing turned into a bit of a performance, as Peter Navarro tends to do. This time, he was before a judge. He was there.

You know, these types of hearings usually are perfunctory, they're very short. But in this case, Peter Navarro had a lot to say. He said he was representing himself, he had a public defender standing next to him, and he used the hearing really to rail against the FBI, rail against the January 6th committee. He called it a sham committee. He railed against prosecutors.

He was arrested, Jake, today before he flew to Nashville. He says that the FBI had a chance to arrest him at home, about 100 yards from the FBI headquarters, but he said they waited until he got onboard his plane before they arrested him today.

So again, today, he used this court case, this court hearing to air some of his grievances that he's already aired in a lawsuit that he has filed against not only the committee but also the Justice Department, claiming that the January 6th Committee was -- is illegal, that their subpoena was illegitimate and he's protected by former President Trump's executive privilege claims.

TAPPER: What might this mean for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino? They both also have been referred to the DOJ for failing to comply with the January 6th Committee subpoena.

PEREZ: That's right, and so, you know, because he and Navarro and Scavino were both referred by the committee on the same day, this raises a lot of questions about why Navarro goes forward, Dan Scavino has not been prosecuted by the Justice Department. Neither has Mark Meadows whose referral was about six months ago, Jake.

And we also know that obviously the Justice Department is still investigating both the Scavino and the Meadows referrals. We also know, of course, that Steve Bannon has already been facing charges here in this same federal court. The best we can figure it out from talking to sources, Jake, is that

the other two, Scavino and Meadows, are considered very close advisers to the former president. So there's a level of protection that they enjoy that Navarro does not enjoy. So that's one reason why you see this case going forward, Jake, and not those others.

TAPPER: All right. Evan Perez, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Also in our politics lead, new details today about what the Secret Service was told ahead of the January 6th insurrection, and, of course, its mob chanting "hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence". According to "The New York Times" Maggie Haberman, the vice president's chief of staff, Marc Short, warned Pence's lead Secret Service agent on January 5th that Donald Trump could turn against the vice president publicly and there could be a security risk to the vice president because of it.

Let's get it from the horse's mouth, "New York Times" reporter Maggie Haberman who has uncovered this for her upcoming book, "Confidence Man", which comes out in October.

Maggie, just to take a step back, I mean, the idea that the vice president's chief of staff told the U.S. Secret Service that the president was going to be responsible for a potential security risk to the vice president -- I mean, that's quite something.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's remarkable, Jake. And it's really not a story about the Secret Service. This is a story about the enormous concern that existed about the growing pressure that Donald Trump was putting on his vice president, this extraordinary dynamic where he was becoming increasingly aggressive in his commentary about a number of officials but as he was trying to force Pence to essentially throw the Electoral College Trump's way or at least back to states on January 6th.

And the fact that people around Pence recognized that there was a potential safety risk because of this, because the former president has this mob of very ardent supporters who follow what he says.

Now, do I think that based on my reporting that Marc Short necessarily envisioned January 6th? I do not, but he envisioned the things Donald Trump could say, could insight, you know, a handful of people, one person, but it could be problematic for the vice president.

TAPPER: Pressuring the vice president to undo a democratic election or there would be a threat to him. What does the Secret Service have to say, if anything?

HABERMAN: I have not had anything on the record from the Secret Service. Again, I don't know that this is, you know, it's not clear to me what if anything the Secret Service agent did with this information, not clear to me that he viewed this as an immediate risk or had to handle this.

I think this was primarily about Marc Short's worry about where things were going and a couple of aides as well around Mike Pence and where this was all headed and could be headed over the following 24 hours.

TAPPER: And Short's fears were confirmed. President Trump attacked Vice President Pence at that rally. He issued tweets, and the crowd literally chanted "hang Mike Pence" as they tried to break into the Capitol.

HABERMAN: And somebody brought a mock gallows outside of the Capitol. These were not chants that were said just idly. This was not things get written off a lot in the Trump era as not big a deal.

This was a huge deal, and the other piece that is very important to bear in mind is for four years of the Trump presidency, you know, there was a lot of concern about the tweets or about this or about that, and I think that everything was at such a heightened state of alarm over such a long period of time that I think people became numb to where there were major real immediate threats.

And I think January 6th was one of them, it became essentially a failure of imagination on a lot of people's part to see where this could go, which is not anyone's fault. But it was clear that this was heading to a potentially dark place, as you look back at everything in the lead-up to that day.

TAPPER: Well, Maggie, I mean, not to disclose something private, but I remember talking to you in December of 2020, and you were personally very worried about where it was all headed based on what you were hearing.

HABERMAN: Yeah, what I was hearing was dark. I knew that, you know, there was growing pressure on Pence. I knew that the former president was increasingly agitated in the month of December, which is when I think we had this conversation, was right after this infamous December 18th meeting that I broke the story about. In the Oval Office, where Trump had Mike Flynn and Sidney Powell and Patrick Byrne, the Overstock CEO, in giving them a hearing about seizing the voting apparatus and their desire to essentially rerun an election.

TAPPER: Just absolutely insane.

Maggie Haberman, thank you. Can't wait to read the book. It's called "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America." It's not going to be published until October, but I can't wait to read it.

Coming up, today, we learned a child who survived the Uvalde massacre in Texas will appear on Capitol Hill next week along with the police commissioner from Buffalo, New York.

Coming up next, the new push for gun legislation in Congress versus what Americans really want. Is there a meeting of the minds there? We'll talk about it.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, it has been ten days since the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and there remains so many unanswered questions about what happened on the school grounds that day. The police first providing false information, now providing none.

One of the big inquiries, those chilling 911 calls from children in the classroom. Still unclear if the officers inside the school that day knew that students were calling and begging for help from inside that classroom, classroom that 19 officers stood outside of for more than an hour.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Uvalde where we're learning new details about the terrifying moments teachers first realized the gunman was on campus.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, we're getting our first look at the preliminary death certificates of 20 of the victims in the deadly school shooting in Uvalde. The certificates detail that all of the victims died of gunshot wounds and almost all of them were struck multiple times.

Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez says he wants to know more about what was happening at Robb Elementary School on that day, including what information was relayed to first responders on the campus from the 911 calls made inside the school.

ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D), TEXAS STATE SENATE: How in the heck are we ever going to fix schools if we don't know what happened here?

LAVANDERA: The senator says he was told by the Commission on State Emergency Communications that the 911 calls were relayed to the city's police force. What remains unclear is whether or not that information was given to the school district police chief Pete Arredondo.

GUTIERREZ: I have been told this person did not have -- this person being the incident commander, did not have radio communication, and I don't know as to why.

LAVANDERA: Gutierrez says he receives the information from a law enforcement official at the Texas Department of Public Safety. CNN has reached out to the commission, police, and school district for comment on Gutierrez's statements and to Chief Arredondo to confirm if he had a radio. We have not heard back.

Arredondo is facing serious criticism for making the call to not send officers sooner into the adjoining classrooms where the gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.

GUTIERREZ: I don't think any of us need to be rational people or policemen to understand active shooter protocol says you go in. You go in immediately. LAVANDERA: Questions have also been raised over how the gunman got

into the school. Initially investigators said it was through a propped open door.

An attorney for an educator Emilia Marin says she was the one who prop opened the door while helping a coworker carry in items. She shut the door when she heard her coworkers running and heard people yelling he's got a gun.

Marin, who ran to a nearby classroom to hide, survived, but her attorney says in the days that followed, she was overcome with emotions thinking she may not have closed the door after all.

DON FLANARY, ATTORNEY FOR EMILIA "AMY" MARIN: It really shocked her. It hurt her. It scared her. It even made her second guess her own memories. And so she had -- the Rangers had to tell her, no, we looked at the video. You didn't do anything wrong.

LAVANDERA: Authorities clarified last week that the door didn't lock after Marine kicked it shut.


LAVANDERA (on camera): And, Jake, the sad farewells continue here in Uvalde. Two more funerals being held today, and what is striking in this small south Texas town, the funeral processions are so long that it really ties up traffic, brings everything to a standstill, as the processions make their way through the city, to either the funeral homes or to churches or to the graveyards -- Jake.

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

As calls grow for legislation to address the crisis of gun violence in America, let's look at how the American people feel about potential new restrictions on gun ownership.

CNN's Harry Enten joins us from the magic wall.

Harry, so there seems to be a bit of a divide between the polling and the voting. How people vote on something as basic as background checks. What are you finding?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah, look, if you look at polling for support for background checks for all gun buyers, this is a Quinnipiac poll from last year.

Look at this, 89 percent overall said that they were for background checks for all gun buyers, 98 percent of Democrats, 88 percent of independents, 84 percent of Republicans. You basically never see that type of universal support for basically anything, even if the sky is blue.

But here's the thing. Polling is one thing. How people actually vote is something entirely different sometimes.

And so I want to go to the states of Maine and Nevada. Back in 2016, there were ballot measures for expanding background checks in both of those states. Maine and Nevada were within a point of the national presidential vote that year, right in the center of the electorate. What happened in Maine and Nevada?

Look at this, in Maine, the measure to expand background checks got less than 50 percent of the vote. It failed. No one with 52 percent of the vote.

In Nevada, it barely passed with just a little more than 50 percent of the vote. So for me, I look at the polling. It says one thing. I look at the actual voting and it shows a very divided public, even on something as simple as background checks, Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah. And we should remember, the polling reflects the views of the public, not necessarily just the views of people who vote. So, there is a divide there. What happens when you look at gun views overall instead of specific measures?

ENTEN: Yeah, you know, if you look at specific measures, you find this vast amount of array for basically restricting gun rights, but look here. Are you satisfied with the U.S. gun laws?

This is a Gallup poll from last year. Dissatisfied, only 36 percent of Americans say they were dissatisfied and wanted stricter gun laws. Look at this, the vast majority said they were either satisfied or wanted less for gun laws.

I love this question because it covers not only view but the power with which people hold them. Here's the thing that I think really gets at it. Which party do you agree with on guns. Look at this, an even split, 38 percent say they agree more with the Republican Party versus 37 percent who say they agree more with the Democratic Party.

TAPPER: Republicans in the 1990s were much more willing to support gun restrictions. The 1994 item bill, in fact, which contained the ban on some semiautomatic assault weapons, semiautomatic weapons, it included the Brady bill, et cetera, that bill was supported by 46 Senate Republicans. What changed? Forty House Republicans -- what changed?

ENTEN: The voters changed. That's what changed.

So, look at this. More important to protect right to own guns than control gun ownership? Democrats basically the same, right, 21 percent, 20 percent, 2019 versus 2000. But look back in 2000. Less than a majority of Republicans said it was more important to protect the right to own guns than control gun ownership. Now, 80 percent, the vast majority, say it's more important to protect gun rights than to own guns.

The thing I'm looking forward most to in the midterm election, pre- Uvalde gun policy, extremely important for Congress. More Republicans said it than Democrats. We'll see if that switches as the events have unfolded.

TAPPER: Interesting. Harry Enten, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

ENTEN: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado. He's a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Congressman, thanks for joining us. So, you just saw Harry Enten's report showing about as many Americans trust Republicans as much as Democrats and the majority are satisfied with the nation's current gun laws or think they're too strict.

So, you're from Colorado. Your state has seen so many terrible mass shootings, including Columbine in '99. Why do you think that so many Americans don't see this issue the way you do?

REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): Well, good afternoon, Jake. Thank you for having me on.

I have certainly seen polling data that suggests quite the contrary and your correspondent was right on the front end when he talked about the individual policies and proposals -- for example, universal background checks, red flag laws, many others that you have of course covered on your program that are widely popular amongst the American public, including with gun owners.


Now, as you said, there are some studies that suggest on more broad questions around gun violence prevention that perhaps the data isn't as strong. Of course, that I think is in some respects a reflection of having un-adultered views prior to the campaigns and influence of the gun lobby and so much more that I think has shaped the debate, the public debate around gun violence prevention in the United States.

But as you said, here in Colorado, we are no stranger to gun violence. Of course, the tragedy at Columbine 23 years ago, but also as you know, Jake, I was on your program a year ago when in Boulder, my community, we lost 10 members of our community who were gunned down in cold blood at a grocery store in March of 2021.

My constituents have made it clear to me, and my colleagues, that inaction isn't an option. They expect Congress to take this seriously and treat it as the crisis that it is.

I am confident, Jake, while there are some who certainly disagree with different policies or proposals that we have made, that the vast majority of Americans do agree that it's important for Congress to pass commonsense gun violence prevention measures.

TAPPER: So, your committee voted along party lines to advance legislation billed as an emergency response to recent mass shootings, a package that includes restrictions on large capacity magazines, raises the age to purchase certain semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21. It doesn't seem like that is legislation that has much of a chance of getting the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to defeat a Republican filibuster.

NEGUSE: Yeah, I think that your prognosis, Jake, is not wrong. I think obviously to the extent that the House were to calibrate any policies that we take up based off whether or not they would ultimately pass the Senate, the House would never take up any legislation. The Senate is a very lethargic institution and the filibuster a high burden that unfortunately has prevented, I think, the United States Congress from taking decisive action on important issues that face the public, including gun violence prevention.

All that being said, it was important, number one, for the House to show that we're being responsive to the concerns of the public, the policies that you just referenced which are part of the omnibus bill we considered last night, again, are popular commonsense policies, raising the age from 18 to 21, for example, for a purchase of a semiautomatic rifle. The scourge of ghost guns which have killed so many citizens including members of law enforcement, addressing ghost guns in a material substantive way. These policies are popular. It's important for the house to take that step. I'm hopeful that perhaps those who are negotiating a potential deal in the Senate will find some of what we do next week on the floor instructive.

And, by the way, Jake, I think we'll get some Republican votes. We didn't unfortunately last night in the Judiciary Committee, but I think we will get a few colleagues from the other side of the aisle to ultimately do the right thing and step forward and vote for this bill when it hits the floor next week.

TAPPER: So, after the disaster at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott and the Republican led legislature did a whole bunch of things including banning weapon sales of semiautomatic rifles to people younger than 21. They raised it from 18 to 21. They imposed a three-day waiting period. They created a red flag law. They did a whole bunch of other things to make school grounds safer.

Why not just take that legislation, copy it, and offer it up for a vote in the House and Senate? I mean, it's the law in Donald Trump's home state. It was signed by the Republican governor who is now a senator in charge of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Why not just do that?

NEGUSE: That's a great question, Jake. I certainly would support that. I think the legislation that we passed out of the committee last night largely emulates many of the provisions you just mentioned. Of course, we're going to consider red flag laws separately next week, and I imagine those were also attract some bipartisan support in the House.

I'm not part of the negotiating group in the United States Senate. I am hoping against hope that they are successful, and I would certainly think that the Florida template that you just referenced which gardened bipartisan support in that state would be a good place to start. One of the most frustrating parts for me personally and I suspect for so many people across the country is the inability for so many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do the right thing and recognize that these policies can in fact save lives and they're not partisan. And that's deeply frustrating.

TAPPER: Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado, thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

Candidate Joe Biden flat out said Saudi Arabia's crown prince MBS ordered the murder of "Washington Post" journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Next, hear what President Joe Biden said today about a potential meeting with that de facto ruler.



TAPPER: Our world lead now. President Biden is downplaying a possible meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, or MBS, and he has hideous human rights record notwithstanding. He holds a lot of sway with OPEC, which Biden needs to open its spigots to bring gas prices in the U.S. down.

The comments come as CNN's Alex Marquardt learns that the president could meet with the de facto Saudi leader in the coming weeks.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The relationship with Saudi Arabia is one of the most critical the United States has, but it's now one that has never been more troubled. Sources tell CNN the White House is working on patching things up, with a likely meeting in the coming weeks that would see President Biden face-to-face with the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, we're getting way ahead of ourselves here.

MARQUARDT: Today, the president told reporters there are no direct plans to visit Saudi Arabia but admitted there's a possibility he'll visit the region, a trip to Israel is also expected.

BIDEN: What I want to do is see to it that we diminish the likelihood that there's a continuation of this some of the senseless wars between Israel and the Arab nations. And that's my focus.

MARQUARDT: These days, Israel is actually moving closer to Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, not warring with them. The Biden team's efforts are complicated by past statements by Biden against Saudi Arabia.

Candidate Biden on the campaign trail vowing to make Saudi Arabia a pariah.

BIDEN: We were not going to in fact sell more weapons to them. We were going to in fact make them pay the price and make them in fact the pariah that they are. MARQUARDT: Once in office, the intelligence community accused the

crown prince, who is known as MBS, of orchestrating the murder and dismemberment of "Washington Post" journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Officials, lawyers, and human rights activists continue to howl about the long list of Saudi human rights abuses.

The White House says Biden still views Saudi Arabia as a pariah. Today, he played that down.

REPORTER: Is the kingdom still a pariah in your eyes?

BIDEN: Look, I'm not going to change my view on human rights, but as president of the United States, my job is to bring peace if I can, peace if I can. And that's what I'm going to try to do.

MARQUARDT: From the time Biden called Saudi Arabia a pariah until now, gas prices have risen over 80 percent, driving up inflation.

Since Biden took office, Russia has started a war in Ukraine, Iran's nuclear program is surging. Saudi forces are fighting Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen currently with a fragile truce. And Saudi Arabia is moving closer to China.

All critical topics that Biden needs to work on with Saudi Arabia and its controversial crown prince, who is likely to rule for decades to come.


MARQUARDT (on camera): And I just heard from the widow of Jamal Khashoggi, Jake. She said the prospect of a meeting between Biden and the crown prince is horribly upsetting. She says if it happens that the president will have lost his moral compass and greatly heightened her grief.

TAPPER: All right. Alex Marquardt, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, a very grand party without the star attraction. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Pomp and drama. Buckingham Palace says 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth will miss another jubilee event. The queen already missed today's Thanksgiving service after feeling some discomfort yesterday.

As CNN's Max Foster reports in our world lead, there was still plenty of royal drama even without her majesty.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bells toll for the queen, as guests arrive at St. Paul's Cathedral in London for the thanksgiving service, including former PMs, the mayor of London and ministers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also in attendance, receiving boos from the crowd.

But perhaps the most notorious guests were Prince Harry and Meghan. Welcomed with cheers in what was their first public appearance as a couple at a royal event in two years, since a very public break from royal life. The duke and duchess of Cambridge make their way to the cathedral next, closely followed by the duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, who was there to represent the queen in this celebration after the monarch felt discomfort after Thursday's events.

As the queen watched from Windsor Castle, Charles took her seat. One that he's ordained to one day take himself as king.

But even in her absence, the queen's public service, her life, and even her love for horseracing were at the heart of this event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your majesty, we are sorry that you're not here with us this morning. But we are so glad that you are still in the saddle.

FOSTER: A touching service enchanted by the cathedral and royal and military choirs and prayers.


FOSTER: And even a reading from the prime minister himself. The ceremony wasn't without its hiccups, including a last-minute change of archbishop after the archbishop of Canterbury contracted COVID-19.

It was a beautiful and cheerful ceremony honoring the longest serving monarch of Great Britain and in the first royal event in St. Paul's cathedral without the queen in 70 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Queen Elizabeth and the duke of Edinburgh.

FOSTER: The BBC is also hosting a party at Buckingham palace later that day. The queen is not expected to attend but to watch on TV. Acts include Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran, and Adam Lambert.


FOSTER (on camera): Preparations are under way.

For the concert behind me, Jake, she won't be there, she's not going to be at the races either tomorrow. She's due to attend the races at Epsom. She's going to watch that on TV as well.

So, we're not going to see her in public on this third day of the jubilee celebrations.


Whether we see her on the final day on Sunday, they're going to make that decision in the morning. But so far, it's gone well for her despite the disappointment that she hasn't been able to go to these landmark occasions.

TAPPER: All right. Max Foster in London, thank you so much.

Discussions among the U.S. and allies as Russia's war in Ukraine reaches 100 days.

Stay with us.


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