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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Jan. 6 CMTE. To Reveal New Evidence In Prime-Time Hearing; Rep. Elaine Luria, (D-VA), Is Interviewed About January 6; Betsy DeVos To USA Today: "More Than A Few People" At White House Discussed Invoking 25th Amendment; FBI Arrests Michigan Gov. Candidate On Charges Tied To Jan. 6; McCarthy: "Everybody In the Country Bears Some Responsibility" For Jan. 6; Key Senate Negotiations: Making Progress But Issues Remain; 200 Plus CEOs Demand Action From Senate To Reduce Gun Violence; Estimated 5,000 Migrants Headed To U.S. Through Mexico; Russian Media: 3 Foreign Fighters For Ukraine Sentenced To Death; NYT: Some Students Remained Alive For More Than An Hour Before Police Entered Classroom With Shooter; NASA Launches Team To Study UFOs. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 09, 2022 - 17:00   ET



MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He also would not say whether or not, in fact, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will be those Trump family members who will indeed be featured in today's testimony. But we do expect video depositions, we do -- depositions of some of the testimony of witnesses who testified to be shown, the video of their testimony, Trump family members, former Trump campaign aides, former Trump White House officials.

This is a committee that has spent the past several months interviewing more than 1000 witnesses, 140,000 pages of documents. And what they are promising tonight is a vast array, a vast majority of new information that we have not yet seen, all of which are attempting to put Donald Trump in the center of this effort to overturn the election on January 6, the pressure campaign leading up to it, the violence that happened and Donald Trump's inaction on that day.

Now we do here -- expect to hear from two live witnesses themselves, one of whom was a Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, she was one of the first to respond to the attacks who was injured that day. As well as Nick Quested who is the -- who was the documentarian, who was embedded with the militia group, the Proud Boys. So we will hear their testimony as well.

But Jake, we do expect from what the committee is promising new information. The question, how much does it change public opinion, which is in a lot of ways entrenched over this issue, because it's -- they're -- they've been diving deep into this topic and promising a lot.

TAPPER: Manu, tonight's just the first of several hearings in 2022, what can we expect in the days and weeks to come? RAJU: Yes, we expect this month to be filled with hearings. In fact, two are expected next week and as well as additional ones through the course of this month. All of which leading up to an old report that will come out later this year, probably before the midterm elections detailing exactly what this committee found. So tonight will be the beginning of that effort to detail what they found ultimately leading to that report as they tried to race to complete this investigation in the coming months.

TAPPER: All right, Manu Raju from Capitol Hill, thanks so much.

Joining us now is a member of the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia, she served two decades in the Navy and as vice chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

Congresswoman, you've said it's important that the committee look not just at the events of January 6, but all the things that led up to it. But you hear Republicans saying there are so many issues plaguing American citizens right now where they live, inflation, high gas prices, school shootings, the lingering impact of COVID. What's your response to that? Why does this matter?

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Well, you know, I'm only several yards away from where this violent attack took place. And every American who saw the violence that day, the attempt to stop the functioning of our government, to disrupt the certification of the election results, and really to overthrow the norms of our democracy should be concerned.

I agree there's lots of things going on. There's always lots of things going on, but that is absolutely not an excuse to brush this under the rug and not take a deep look. And, you know, we heard some video or some audio released yesterday of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. And he clearly said a few days after this event happened that we've got to get to the bottom of this, we need a thorough investigation.

And we know that there was a negotiation made between Democrats and Republican leadership in the House. And they, you know, decided the on the terms for independent commission, something like the 911 commission, that could look into this. And even the Chair Bennie Thompson of the Homeland Security Committee and John Katko, the ranking member, they came up with this agreement.


LURIA: But somewhere in there, essentially decided they didn't want the truth to get out. So Republicans essentially, you know, sabotage that at the leadership level. It still passed the House, but it didn't pass the Senate. And, you know, here we are, with the tools we have to perform a very comprehensive investigation.

As Manu said, we've interviewed over 1000 people over 140,000 documents. And we'll be hearing from some of those witnesses and their testimony tonight and then over the course of the next several weeks. We'll really go deep into the facts surrounding the events on January 6. TAPPER: I don't know of any cable or network news channel that is not airing these hearings this evening, except for one, Fox. What's your take on that?

LURIA: Well, you know, just before I came on the air with you, I was actually on Fox News talking about this. So I will say that they're talking about it, they're acknowledging the hearings are happening, I think they're putting on some second or third tier, you know, cable channel. You know, if your remote goes up to 1000, you might be able to find that one. So it's a shame.

I mean, all the American public needs to hear about this. It was truly a threat to our democracy. And it's not, as some of these critics are saying, like something that happened in the past, a year and a half ago. The violent events of that day did, but the thing still persist right now.

You have the former President Trump out in Wyoming, for example, continuing to spread these lies about the election being stolen. And you know, these undercurrents and the different forces that led to the violence on January 6, there's still a threat. And our committee, we're a legislative committee, one of our goals is to provide recommendations to prevent something like this from happening again in the future. And we take that very seriously. So, you know, my hope is that everyone will pause, we'll find one of the 95 percent of the networks that are going to have this and tune it because it's really important for everyone to hear the fact.


TAPPER: Your committee has promised new evidence that the American people have not seen before. Are there going to be new allegations of criminality as well?

LURIA: We're going to cover a lot of information tonight. We're going to tie it to all levels of government that were involved in this. And you know that question about criminality, I think that's something we'll address more thoroughly down the road.

But you know, it was very clear signal that Judge Carter said in the Eastman case about releasing those e-mails, he said that there is clear evidence that a crime might have been committed. That's the reason that e-mails were turned over to the committee. And that's a clear signal. And, you know, we've found some of the same evidence in the work that we're doing.

TAPPER: We just learned that after January 6, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a member of the Trump cabinet, said she spoke with other members of the cabinet about the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. She says, quote, "more than a few people" in the White House considered the move. Will that be a part of the hearings at some point?

LURIA: It is certainly something that we will consider. This is new information that came out from her today but we're all well aware that she resigned right after January 6. So, she amongst many other people who were in the administration were close to the president are familiar with his thought process are exactly the kind of people that we have been hearing from and will continue to hear from throughout this investigation.

TAPPER: After all the hearings are done, what's the best-case scenario? What do you ultimately hoping comes out of all this?

LURIA: Well, as I said, you know, as a legislative committee, I hope that, you know, being able to go through the facts of this dig into why did this happen? What are the things that led to this? And what are the vulnerabilities and our processes and our government agencies and departments, those kinds of things to prevent something like this from happening in the future?

And, you know, then the question is still out there. You know, what was the -- what level did this go to? Will there be things referred further from this? And I think that that's something that we will, you know, get to and develop throughout the process of the hearings.

TAPPER: Virginia Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria, thank you so much for your time today. Appreciate it.

And while lawmakers prepare for the hearings, the FBI is not done making arrests of Republican candidate for governor in Michigan, was led away from his home in handcuffs, just today. And then he was arrested in dramatic fashion after claiming Florida was falsifying its COVID numbers. Now an independent investigation says her numbers do not add up. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Topping our politics lead, the FBI has arrested a Republican candidate for governor in Michigan. Officials have charged Ryan Kelley on misdemeanor charges related to his involvement in the Capitol attack on January 6 last year. The charges include disorderly conduct and knowingly engaging in physical violence.

Court documents say a confidential source worked with law enforcement to, quote, "provide information on domestic terrorism groups in Michigan" and was among the tipsters who identified Kelley in a video taken on January 6. Kelley's campaign has not yet responded to CNN's request for comment.

Let us discuss. Gloria Borger, being arrested for participating in the January 6 insurrection, sure, that can hurt in a general election, absolutely. But hear me out, might that actually help him in a Republican primary in Michigan?



BORGER: And the Republican primary. And on his campaign posted on its Facebook page, I'm quoting here, "political prisoner." So there you go.


BORGER: And, you know, it's a complicated race. You've already had a couple of Republicans drop out because they didn't have enough signatures that were legal. So, the Republican side is kind of up in the air, but I guarantee when you hear from him, he's going to say that I was persecuted because I believe that the election was rigged. And the Republican base in a primary is going to say, well, you know, that's what we want. Although, I gather, Trump has not endorsed anybody.

TAPPER: Not yet.

BORGER: Yet. Yes.

TAPPER: Well, this will help?

BORGER: Good. Absolutely good.

TAPPER: This will help get the endorsement.

Vivian, in the courts document, investigators make it clear that they've known about Ryan Kelley and him being at the Capitol. Potentially for more than a year what does this tell you about the ongoing Justice Department investigation and the methods?

VIVIAN SALAMA, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, this is something that the Department of Justice is getting a lot of criticism for, including from Democrats who say that they don't -- they haven't been moving fast enough on these investigations. And so, with the case of Ryan Kelley, he's been a known entity. He's been cited as being involved in armed protests against COVID lockdowns in 2020. And other related activity against the current sitting governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

So, it's an ongoing problem in -- that he has repeatedly been cited in these incidents. And now of course, with his involvement in January 6 and of course, one of the things that came up is that he was wearing similar clothing to what he was wearing in the so called Judgment Day protests in Michigan. Obviously, someone that should have been called out earlier but it remains to be seen what the tactics are and why they hadn't moved any sooner on -- against him.

TAPPER: David Urban, how does the January 6 belief system and false belief system and participation, how does it function in -- I mean, it might help somebody win a primary for instance Mr. Mastriano in Pennsylvania who was here in D.C. in January 6 is now the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Does -- it might help you get the nomination in the Republican Party. But is it ultimately a disqualifier in the general do you think?


DAVID URBAN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN: I think -- listen, I think it's going to be the case. Well, it depends, right? There's a broad spectrum of people who participated on January 6. Did you come to January 6 and stand in the mall and participate your -- exercise your first amendment right? Or did you go breach the barrier, you know, hit people in the head with a fire extinguisher? There's a wide range of people who participated, right?

Those who broke the law are going to get prosecuted and should be disqualified for participation in our system of government from here on out. And those who peacefully protested and stay on the mall and took a bus home and a bus back, you know, shouldn't be -- there should be no consequences. So there's a broad range of things.

And this gentleman in, you know, Michigan --

TAPPER: Michigan.

BORGER: Michigan.

URBAN: -- he's been charged in glories (ph) part, right? Like he hasn't been convicted yet. It made quite may be very beneficial for him. He'll say, I'm exercising my rights. This is a witch hunt.


URBAN: Look at me. And the case is not going to trial for anytime soon, I'm guessing.

BORGER: Well, and he said he was there.

URBAN: Right.

BORGER: I mean, he's talked about being there.

TAPPER: Do you agree?


BORGER: Yes, he is.

CUTTER: Not just being there, but being violent.

BORGER: Inviting people into the Capitol.

CUTTER: Yes. So, here's what I think --

URBAN: That's the one you cross, right? You can't cross that line.

CUTTER: I think that whether you were there and, you know, damaging property, beating on cops, threatening the life of the Vice President, you're part of the system that believes in the big lie. And that does matter in a general election.

Now, it depends what state or what office you're running for, of course, but you know, most Americans don't want to hear about the big line anymore. Most Americans want to move on. Most Americans want our system of democracy to stand on its own two legs and not having people chopping them at the knees.

So, I do think, you know, if I were running a campaign against somebody who believes in the big lie, I wouldn't let it go.

TAPPER: So, in addition to people wanting to move on from what happened that day, that horrible day, some people want to move on from what they said about that day. I'm specifically referring to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. Take a listen to him earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said both publicly and privately after January 6 that you thought Trump for some responsibility for the attack, do you still feel like he was in any way responsible for January 6?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Look, I've answered that many times. I thought everybody in the country bears some responsibility based upon what has been going on, the riots on the streets, the others.


TAPPER: Everybody in the country bears some responsibility. I don't have any responsibility for what happened in January 6. I take that much right now and none. Michael Fanone doesn't bear any responsibility. David Urban doesn't bear any.

URBAN: Well, again, listen, the people who broke the law, right, are being prosecuted by DOJ, those are the people you blame. Those are the people that broke the law. Those are the people who were --

TAPPER: I guess the point is, Kevin McCarthy had said that Donald Trump --


TAPPER: -- bore some responsibility.

URBAN: I understand. Even to that point, Gloria, I just think this, listen, I think trying to assign responsibility for other people's actions to, like, Donald Trump's not responsible for what I do.

TAPPER: You don't think he incited the crowd?

URBAN: I know, I know.

CUTTER: Then why did he assign responsibility five days after January 6 To Donald Trump?

BORGER: And he comes out --

CUTTER: And I just don't know what he is so afraid of now. What happens --

BORGER: His own words. His own words. CUTTER: -- when he went to see Trump and Mar-a-Lago? Why are they so afraid about the truth coming to light?

BORGER: Well, the truth is out there. I mean, he is saying I did not say or I did not believe what I said.

TAPPER: Right.

BORGER: But he said it. He said it multiple times.

URBAN: Well, he said what he said. You know, you can't run away from word (ph).

BORGER: But that's exactly what he's doing.

SALAMA: Larger ammunition of Kevin McCarthy though, and just in terms of him trying to play both sides and trying to save kind of himself politically. I think that these hearings are going to be a huge revelation for him in particular. And something that is going to be very sensitive, because we could really see him trying to dissuade, for more than we already know, trying to dissuade the president and all of his advisers being against it, speaking out against it. Any evidence that they have against him --

CUTTER: You can see some of his own members participating.

SALAMA: -- well then -- any contradictory evidence that they're going to put forward in these hearings are going to be a hard thing for him to try to explain, especially now, when he's come so strongly now in favor of former President Trump and just those who were out there on January 6.

TAPPER: And we've seen Trump cabinet officials who were not in the cabinet at the time, Attorney General Bill Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and others, talking about how they think this is disqualifying, talking about how they don't want Trump to be the nominee.

Today, for the first time, we heard Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was in the cabinet on January 6, who resigned shortly after saying that she had a conversation with individuals, including Vice President Pence, about invoking the 25th Amendment just to get him out of the White House for the remaining, whatever, it was 19 days or so.

BORGER: Yes. I thought that was a stunning revelation. We all know that she resigned immediately after January 6 with Elaine Chao who also did, Mitch McConnell's wife, who was also are in the cabinet. But to go to the vice president, and I know that his staff was trying to keep him away from all of this, but to go to the vice president say, do you think there's you think there's any possibility the 25th amendment because the vice president would have to go along with that?



BORGER: And he said, no. But to hear Betsy DeVos, so conservative, so pro-Trump --


BORGER: -- come out and say this today was remarkable. And I think a taste of what we may be hearing on these hearings tonight and going forward.

TAPPER: Because DeVos, it sounds like she was really upset about this, not just leading up to January 6, but Trump not doing anything to stop it.

BORGER: Anything.

URBAN: Right. And I think, listen, I think that, you know, Stephanie has a good point about new people in America care about January 6, it's so long ago, right? There's so many things that people face every day now. Gas prices are high. There's so many things going on.

I think that, you know, there is a concern -- there should be a concern about what happened that day and I think she reflected that. I think it's, you know, it was very troubling.

TAPPER: All right. Great to have all of you here. Be sure to join me tonight for CNN special coverage of "Attack on Democracy, The January 6 Hearings." Our coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

The top Senate Democrat in the gun reform discussion say he thinks more than 10 Republican senators will eventually get on board. Some Republican senators are saying however, not so fast. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Sad news in our national lead, the U.S. Marine Corps today confirmed five Marines died when the plane they were in crashed yesterday in California. Let's go to CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr.

Barbara, this crash involved in Osprey, it's a military plane that has a history of problems. What do we know about this crash?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was a tilt rotor aircraft that was based in an air station just north of San Diego, flew about 150 miles due east into the California desert as part of a training mission. A good deal of training goes on out there in that very remote desert area.

Five Marines now confirmed to have perished in the crash. Their families, of course, being notified. We will not get the identities or the names of those who fell, those who perished in this crash until all the families are notified. An investigation will be underway, of course.

This is an aircraft that has had a lot of high profile mishaps over the years, Jake. Just in March and several weeks ago, another one crashed in Norway, four Marines losing their lives in that crash. No indication any of these are related, but certainly the Marine Corps investigating. The families getting the worst possible news. Jake.

TAPPER: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon for us, thank you so much.

Back in our politics lead, no deal on guns this week. That's according to Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate's bipartisan discussions to draft legislation addressing the nation's gun violence crisis.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy who's leading the talk for his side of the aisle says he thinks enough Republicans will be on board to reach the 60 vote threshold to beat as filibuster. That would mean 10 Republicans on board. CNN's Lauren Fox joins us now live from Capitol Hill.

And Lauren, the top four Senate gun negotiators just met a short time ago. Where did the talk stand as of now?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a week was always probably an ambitious deadline to even getting a framework, Jake. But emerging from this meeting, Thom Tillis, telling me that they are going to meet virtually again tomorrow. Yes, they have left town, yes, they have left Washington but they are going to continue these discussions.

He said at this point, the broader contours of what they're talking about red flag laws, more background checks on people between the ages of 18 and 21 who want to buy a gun like an AR-15, all of that is still on the table. What they're negotiating is the finer points of how exactly to do that.

And one of the challenges here is that Republicans have been really all over the map within the conference as to what they would be willing to accept. Some of that's because this is a campaign season, people are running for reelection. Some of that is members are retiring and other members are simply fed up with where the country is with this gun violence, and they're ready to try something different. Chris Murphy said there is a reason that this has not happened for decades, because it's hard work as he came out of that meeting earlier today.

So, we're going to keep an eye on it. They're going to continue to work through the weekend, I'm told, but things moving forward, just at a slower pace than many had hoped.

TAPPER: One of the proposals being discussed is raising the age limit to purchase an AR-15 style assault weapon from 18 to 21. You spoke with Senator Mitt Romney about that. What did he have to tell you?

FOX: Well, this is a perfect example of some Republicans who are simply fed up. Senator Mitt Romney telling me earlier today that he would support raising the age that you could buy an AR-15 from 18 to 21 under federal law. Here's what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Having high schoolers have to wait until they're 21 I think reduces the likelihood they're going to buy an assault weapon and be inclined to carry out such an act. I hope that's part of the final bill. If not, well, we'll see what is developed and I hope that I'll be able to support it.


FOX: And Romney is from the state of Utah, a state that prizes the Second Amendment.

And I asked another Republican from out west, Senator Steve Daines of Montana, whether he could get there on raising the age. He told me absolutely not. He does not support that. And it's part of the reason why John Thune, the Majority Whip, told me earlier today that he views that issue is off the table because at the end of the day, he doesn't want to just get 60 Republican votes, he wants members to feel comfortable enough that he can get 70, 75 Republican votes. If that's the goal, something like raising the age when you would buy an AR-15, that just is not going to pass.

TAPPER: All right, Lauren Fox, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Joining us now, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California. She's a member of the House Oversight Committee. Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us. Just to remind our viewers or informing them if they don't know, the gun violence debate is a personal one for you. You were shot five times on the tarmac around the 1978 Jonestown Massacre. Your boss, Congressman Leo Ryan plus three journalists and a Jonestown cult defector, all of them were killed. How does or does that impact how you view this issue?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Of course it does, Jake. Anyone who's been a victim of gun violence has had their body ripped open, has a vested interest in wanting to make sure no one else endures that. Two months in a hospital, 10 surgeries, skin grafts, divots in my leg, holes in my arm.

Let's be really clear about this. We have a country that is so committed to a gun culture that we won't even consider having 18 to 21-year olds pause before they're allowed to buy an assault weapon. And we've had two 18-year olds that have massacred over 30 people just in a couple of weeks. And if what we're saying is that what we're going to be willing to do is basically have a background check. The background checks of these two gunmen won't show that they have committed a felony, or that they've been a misdemeanor domestic violence abuser, or that they have been deemed to be mentally defective.

So what are we doing? We're doing nothing. Now, I absolutely applaud Senator Chris -- going blank now because I'm just so emotional about it.

TAPPER: Chris Murphy?

SPEIER: I applaud Senator Chris Murphy who I've served with in the House before, and he's going to do whatever he can to get something, because we have to show a pattern of doing something. But I've got to tell you, the American public is scared. I sat in that oversight hearing yesterday and heard Dr. Guerrero talking about how one of the children who had this -- was deceased, was decapitated.

Another child had their whole body in shreds, that you can't even identify these children, but for the clothes they were wearing. An assault weapon is so deadly, and can create such carnage over a short period of time that it is so lethal that we have to at least prevent these youngsters from buying them. Doesn't mean they can't shoot them with their family has them. It doesn't mean that they they can't practice with them.

I mean, not that I want to see assault weapons being used at all, but this is just saying, wait until your frontal lobe has developed to a point where you have some judgment. And that impulse is not going to take hold of you where you go out and buy a gun. And then three hours later, assassinate people.

TAPPER: Yes. Let's talk about red flag laws for a second, because the Buffalo shooting that racist killer in Buffalo who targeted and killed 10 African Americans in that grocery store, he had been flanked by his teachers. He had written an essay in his senior of high school the year before saying that he wanted to commit a murder suicide and he had to talk to cops. And he was under observation for a day. And he later talked about how he had talked his way out of it.

But still, even with that intervention by his teachers and police, no one sought to get a red flag, in other words, the protective order that would adjudicate it so that he could not purchase a firearm in the short term. The teachers didn't do it, the police didn't do it, his parents didn't do it, et cetera.

Even though New York does have a red flag law, does there need to be a public education campaign in states that have these laws? In addition to, I know, you would prefer that there -- I know you would like there to be a national red flag law of some sort. Do people need to know about these things?

SPEIER: Well, I think, obviously, they need to know about these laws that exist, but there's always a real reluctance to label children. You don't want to somehow, you know, put them in a situation where they become, you know, criminals by labeling them in some way. So I know the school teachers are reluctant to do that. And in this case, you had a teacher that identify that through an essay.


So you had something that was tangible, it wasn't just, you know, a demeanor. It was tangible and yet there was an unwillingness of the parties to flag that particular individual. I think that's a lot -- that's a real high bar. And we are just going to save so many more lives if we just prevent them from getting these assault weapons until they're 21. And yet, we're not willing to do that, it appears on the Senate side. TAPPER: The CEOs of more than 200 American companies from Levi's to Dick's Sporting Goods, to Bloomberg send a joint letter to the Senate today demanding, quote, bold, urgent action addressing gun violence in the wake of the recent mass shootings. It reads, in part, "Communities that experienced gun violence struggle to attract investment, create jobs and see economic growth. We urge the Senate to take immediate action. Gun violence can be prevented. Our families, our communities and our places of business are depending on you."

We just saw Utah Republican senator Mitt Romney come out in favor of raising the age limit for the purchase of AR-15 style weapons. Do you think we've reached a critical mass in this country to act or are you skeptical?

SPEIER: So I actually think we are there. I guess I'm imploring the American public to make this their litmus test for anyone they're voting for in November. That will change the hearts and minds of some senators that are reluctant.

Look what happened to Chris Jacobs in New York. He's the Buffalo congressman. He came out in support of assault weapons. All of the local elected Republicans and the Republican Party in his area, withdrew their support for him. And he decided not to run for re- election.

TAPPER: You mean he came out in support of raising the age from 18 to 21 for the purchase of those weapons?

SPEIER: That's correct.


SPEIER: And so that's the lesson for all my colleagues on the House side. Don't do that because you're going to lose your job. Well, how about losing the lives of so many youngsters in our country? What do we stand here for? We have a responsibility.

We've already had 18,000 people die in this country from gun violence. 245 mass shootings. Last year, if you look at the European Union, about the same size actually larger than the United States in population, they had 2,000 deaths.


SPEIER: 2,000 deaths. We are abnormal. And we have got to put some constraints on young people accessing guns. They can't buy a handgun, but they can buy an assault weapon? That's crazy. And it's time for us to speak up as the American people and make this the litmus test in November.

TAPPER: Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.

Three foreign fighters are sentenced to death in Ukraine by a pro- Russian court. What's the crime they're accused of? That's next.



TAPPER: In our world lead right now, President Biden is hosting world leaders in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas. One of the top issues being discussed is immigration and migration. This, as an estimated 5,000 migrants travel through Mexico towards the U.S. border.

CNN's Matt Rivers was with those migrants in Tijuana.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, when leaders at the Summit of the Americas are talking about immigration issues, part of what they're talking about is essentially this. I'm going to overcrowded migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. There's more than 400 migrants staying here right now at a facility that is certainly not designed to house that many people.

I mean, these tents here were put up recently. These tents that were put up just in the last few months to handle some of the overflow. There's people here from all over the world, including from other parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the Biden administration hoped that the presidents of those four countries would attend this summit. But all four of those presidents declined to attend. It makes comprehensively discussing immigration issues at this summit, that much harder for the administration. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Matt Rivers, thanks so much.

Let's go now to CNN's Kaitlan Collins who's in Los Angeles with President Biden. Kaitlan, is the White House addressing at all this migrant caravan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They're not really getting into specifics on it, Jake, or how concerned they are about what it's going to contribute to an already tough situation that's happening. On the U.S. southern border, though, it's obviously a big concern for them, because a migrant caravan like the one that is emerging in southern Mexico right now is precisely the kind of reason why a summit like this can be so critical.

And it's also why it's put those absences of key leaders at the forefront of this. And it's kind of loomed over the agenda that the White House had hoped to promote, while President Biden was here in L.A. hosting this summit. And when you don't have key leaders, who are critical to having discussions about the migrant crisis, like the president of Mexico, the leaders of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, that's why it creates those issues to have real substantive conversations that could amount to progress when it comes to tackling the migration crisis, which White House officials have made no secret that is something that is obviously of high concern to them.

And so, when you talk about what they're talking about when it comes to migration, or today, the focus has really been on climate here, Jake. That has been some initiatives that President Biden he's talking about right now. He's been discussing with world leaders, getting commitments from some of the Caribbean leaders as well. And so when there are those key absences, it does weigh on an agenda like that, that they are trying to promote and have that critical progression.

But when the President was asked just a few moments ago by my colleague, Kevin Liptak, if he's concerned at all about the impact that these absences of these leaders like the president of Mexico is having on this summit, Jake, he offered a pretty firm answer saying no.

TAPPER: Kaitlan Collins in Los Angeles, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Turning to Russia's war on Ukraine now, pro-Russian court in the embattled Donetsk region has sentenced three foreign fighters to death, according to Russian state media. Russia says the three men, two British and one Moroccan, fought for the Ukrainian military in Mariupol and were captured in mid-April by Russian forces.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine. Matthew, did these foreign fighters have any legal recourse here? Can they appeal?


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They can, yes, within a month and the lawyer representing them in the court in DPR, that breakaway region of Ukraine says they're going to do that. But the truth is, is that this isn't a real country. You know, they're self-declared as an independent state. They're only recognized by Russia. No one else in the world recognizes the legitimacy of this court.

And so, you know, it's not clear what that would achieve. What the Ukrainians say is that they want these people to be treated as prisoners of war. They regarded them as people who were legitimately part of their armed forces. And there are Geneva conventions in place to protect people in their position. But the fact is, it's not going to be an illegal appeal, a legal appeal that gets them off there. So gets them out of this situation.

They're probably going to be come chips in some kind of negotiation in a prisoner swap. That's what the expectation, I think, is behind closed doors, both here in Ukraine and in Britain, where of course, there is a lot of focus on these developments.

TAPPER: Today, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is warning that millions may starve if Russia does not allow Ukraine to export grain. Russia has obviously been stealing Ukrainian grain. What would it take to open up these ports and allow Ukrainians to get back to the business of being the breadbasket of the world, according to Russia?

CHANCE: Well, I mean, it's a negotiation that's underway. It hasn't come to anything yet, because there are lots of obstacles in the way of an agreement. First start, the Russians want the port that the grain goes through to be Mariupol, which they recently took over, it's virtually destroyed, but the port facilities are functioning, but of course, it's under Russian control. The Ukrainians reject that saying they needed to be a port like Odesa, which is under Ukrainian government control, and the Russians have rejected that. It would also require a security guarantee in the Black Sea, the seaway, the waterway to, you know, get that grain out. And that's going to involve the Turkish Navy to provide protection. And of course, the Ukrainians are a third party, demining, the seas to allow cargo vessels to pass through without being blown out of the water. And so it is a very complicated deal if it's going to happen, Jake

TAPPER: All right, Matthew Chance in Ukraine for us, thank you so much.

New details just in about that tragic Uvalde shooting. We'll be right back.



TAPPER: We do have some breaking news for you in our national lead. Horrifying new details from the school shooting in Uvalde. According to The New York Times, new documents and video collected as part of the investigation into the police response or lack thereof, that information shows that more than a dozen students in the classroom remained alive for more than an hour before officers entered the classroom. The documents also revealing that the officers were aware that some of the students needed urgent medical attention and still did not go into the classroom.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is in Uvalde for us. Omar, this report says officers were waiting for more protection before breaching the classroom?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. They didn't feel it was safe enough. At points they were bottom line though, aware they were in -- aware there were injured students inside this classroom before making the decision to breach, this is according to a New York Times review of new investigative documents and videos.

I want to read you some of the quotes that were pulled from the reports that were reviewed. One in particular, saying, "People are going to ask why we're taking so long." A man who investigators believe to be Chief Pete Arredondo could be heard saying according to a transcript of this officer's body camera footage.

Another quote from this is, "We're trying to preserve the rest of the life." In here, basically saying that they had cleared other classrooms before making the decision to breach into this one again, according to the Times. Now according to CNN's timeline of events, it was around 11:45 a.m. the officers were on the scene calling for additional resources. But for this reporting, as many as 19 officers had gathered in the hallway, and we're ready to breach but that door is locked.

That came at 12:30 p.m., according to the transcript reviewed by the New York Times. And the final quote I'm going to read for you here is, "If there's kids in there, we need to go in there." That's what one officer could be heard saying, according to these documents. And other responded though, "Whoever is in charge will determine that."

That of course becomes the crux of what was the fallout from the decision making over the course of this, was why didn't officers breach this door sooner? It's of course, what these documents are giving insight to it seems that they felt they were overpowered at points and they chose to prioritize kids that were in other portions of the school before coming back to the decision on whether they were going to breach this classroom again, according to the Times reporting.

It's also the center piece of these multiple investigations playing out not just here at the local level with the county district attorney, but also at the state level. The House Investigative Committee met today to look at some of this new evidence and hear testimony from multiple members of the Texas Department of Public Safety really to get to the bottom of what actually happened in these moments.

And clarity has come bit by bit. But I can tell you, Jake, for many in this community, it's not coming fast enough.


TAPPER: The news is saddening and infuriating at the same time. Omar Jimenez, thank you so much. We'll be right back.


TAPPER: Our out of this world lead now, NASA is putting together a team of scientists to study UFOs in a way they never have before. NASA says that scientists want to learn more about UFOs for science and for security reasons. NASA did note that, quote, there is no evidence UAPs -- that's unidentified aerial phenomena aka UFOs -- no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin, unquote. This appears to be part of the latest public push by the government to make the study of UFOs more mainstream.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. I'll see you in an hour for special coverage of the January 6 committee hearing. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."