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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Patriot Front Members Arrested In Idaho; More Mass Shootings Over The Weekend; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Is Interviewed About Bipartisan Framework On Gun Reform; William Barr Says That Trump Was Detached From Reality; Sen. Cortez Masto Struggling In Nevada's Primary; Vulnerable GOP Reps Battling Trump's "Traveling Revenge Tour"; Nikki Haley Stumps For Mace In S.C. To Cheers Of "President Haley"; Ukraine Asks For More Weapons Ahead Of NATO Meeting; Brazilian Police Search For Two Men Missing In Amazon Rain Forest. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 13, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And leading this hour, new details emerging about a 31-man arrested in Idaho for conspiracy to riot at a small Idaho city's pride parade. Police were alerted to the group after someone called 911 reporting a group dressed like an army getting into a truck.

The men allegedly all have ties to the white nationalist group Patriot Front which pushes racist, fascist, and anti-Semitic beliefs. Let's get right to CNN's Sara Sidner live for us in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. And Sara, more than 30 men were arrested but officials say they did not have any firearms. What was the objective of the group?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it is a question that they are going to have to answer themselves, but authorities say they definitely were going to try and riot. They said they found them in the back of a U-Haul, that they were headed near a pride event that was happening here at this park and in other parts of downtown here in this town.

And they said, you know, they have riot gear with them including shields and smoke bombs and some weapons, although not firearms. The men were apparently standing outside of the truck when someone spotted them. They all had the same clothes on, so someone said they looked like a little bit of an army, according to a witness.

That's how police were alerted that they were in town. And I should mention, this group is familiar to us because they are an offshoot of a group that was at the Charlottesville deadly "Unite the Right" rally that white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that ended in the death of Heather Heyer after she was run over by a man who, by the way, also used to subscribe to this group.

He used to wear some of the insignia if you will. And so, this group was a splinter of that after what happened in 2017, the publicity was so high, they changed their name from American Vanguard to Patriot Front. The leader of American Vanguard became the leader of this section of Patriot Front, and he too was arrested and is a part of the 31 people who were arrested here.

Of course, this has shaken this town. A lot of folks are very, very upset to see this happen in their town. Here is what police said after there were rumors that this was another group or some other type of conspiratorial ideas.


LEE WHITE, COEUR D'ALENE POLICE CHIEF: Let me be very clear here. These were not law enforcement officers that we arrested. These were members of the hate group Patriot Front. These were not Antifa in disguise nor were they FBI members in disguise.


SIDNER: So, you are hearing directly from the police chief who made very clear who this was. They have unmasked all 31 of these men that has caused a lot of issues for them because many of them, people may not know their names or faces, but they will now. They will have to be arraigned as well.

They are only charged with a misdemeanor because nothing happened. Police say they stopped what they think would have been a riot from happening here. Jake?

TAPPER: Sara Sidner in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Thank you so much.

Meanwhile, another wave of mass shootings this weekend across the United States. People sitting on their front porches or driving in cars or walking down the sidewalk or eating in a restaurant now statistics, victims of gun violence. And as CNN's Omar Jimenez reports, at least one victim was only 1 year old.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have instructed our federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents to prioritize prosecutions of those who are responsible for the greatest gun violence.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Department of Justice is announcing measures aimed directly at gun violence and gun trafficking.

GARLAND: We are cracking down on the criminal gun trafficking pipelines that flood our communities with illegal drugs. We have set up strike forces to disrupt those networks.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The effort similar to those in years past comes on the heels of a violent weekend across the country with mass shootings spanning states from Kentucky to Colorado. A Denver house party ended with six people shot. Two of them killed.

UNKNOWN: My biggest concern was just making it out and not getting shot.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): In Gary, Indiana, a mass shooting at a nightclub left two dead and four injured.

UNKNOWN: About 50 shots, 30 to 50 shots. Just ringing, just back to back.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): It was part of a weekend where nearby Chicago, police say at least six were shot and killed and over 30 shot in total throughout the city.

DAVID BROWN, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: There's been communities that have suffered with gun violence for decades.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Shootings and homicides in Chicago are actually down this year, according to the police department. But that's compared to what was a record year last year for homicides. Countrywide, among those shot this weekend, kids.


In St. Louis, a 1-year-old girl was shot during a likely carjacking according to police. She's no longer in critical condition. In Amarillo, Texas, an apparent road rage incident left an 8-year-old boy shot in the head. The boy's father tells CNN he honked at a truck that ran a red light. The truck driver slowed, got behind the father's car, then allegedly fired one shot, hitting his 8-year-old son.

The father told CNN, "All I did was honk. I didn't think nothing of it." His son survived with a hairline fracture on his skull, but the father added, "I want these gun laws to change with the way the world is now."

It's part of why thousands protested in the March for Our Lives rallies urging lawmakers to get beyond a bipartisan start and pass gun violence prevention measures.

DAVID HOGG, CO-FOUNDER, MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: No matter if you are a gun owner or a Republican or not a Republican, we all agree, we must act to stop this.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Attorney General Garland hopes this latest effort at the federal level can make a difference.

GARLAND: If you put illegal guns on our streets or into the hands of violent offenders, the Justice Department will spare no resource to hold you accountable.


JIMENEZ (on camera): And on the current bipartisan framework for gun safety legislation, Attorney General Merrick Garland added it would be meaningful progress in their fight to combat a surge in gun crimes. That's, of course, if it actually passes. And for context, according to the National Gun Violence Archive, this year, the United States is on pace to either meet or surpass the worst year for mass shootings we've seen since at least 2014. Jake?

TAPPER: Alright, Omar Jimenez in Chicago for us. Thank you so much. Here to discuss, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia who is part of that bipartisan group of senators negotiating a bill on gun reform. Senator, thanks for joining us. So, the framework includes --

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Good to be with you.

TAPPER: -- framework includes provisions such as funding to incentivize states to pass red flag laws, mental health and school safety resources, and enhanced background checks for buyers between 18 and 21. So, what do you say to critics who say this doesn't go far enough, it doesn't raise the age limit for the purchase of semiautomatic weapons such AR-15, something you were in favor of, for example?

MANCHIN: Well, Jake, here's the thing. We've been trying. I have been here since 2010. We've been trying every year to do some what we call gun sense, common gun sense. And raised in a state like West Virginia who has a really truly gun culture, we're taught at a very young age basically how to do the guns and everything is about safety.

We're taught we never basically sell our gun to a stranger. We never even loan our gun to a family member or a friend who is irresponsible. That's our responsibility as that gun owner. And with that, I take that very, very seriously. And I think that people have to look at law-abiding gun owners of people that will do the right thing.

Now, you have an awful lot of people that have done the wrong thing, but they're in the minority, but they're getting the majority of all of this. This is wrong. We have to do something and gun owners are standing up. You take polls around the country, and my state too, law- abiding gun owners want something to be done. They don't want people who should never have a gun or is mentally incapacitated or not stable to be able to access everything they want.

We're talking about this doesn't go far enough for many people. It goes too far for some other people. The bottom line is, Jake, for the first time we've been able to come down this path and start with something that's sensible and reasonable. It's all based around common sense. It's based around children. It's based around prevention and intervention. That's what it's based about.


MANCHIN: So, we've got to take what we've got as a positive and work off of this. But this should not -- this piece of legislation as drafted should not be threatening to any law-abiding citizen in the United States of America. Not one. And no law-abiding gun owner should be offended by this.

We take no rights away, no privileges away. We don't basically threaten you're going to lose anything at all.

TAPPER: Right.

MANCHIN: Except maybe if we don't do this, you might lose a child or a grandchild. TAPPER: So, your group of bipartisan negotiators includes 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats. You're going to need all 10 of those Republicans to break the filibuster allowing this to come to a vote. According to "Politico," a Republican aide involved in the negotiations stressed that the agreement was a, quote, "agreement on principles, not an agreement on legislative text."

Do you have any concerns at all that once that becomes legislative text and once gun owners of America and other groups start lobbying against it, that you could lose some of those 10 Republican senators?

MANCHIN: Jake, I truly believe in my heart, our hearts we'll have more than 10 Republicans. I really do. I've been very encouraged by Leader McConnell, the ranking member on the Republican side, Leader McConnell. His leadership team and John Cornyn.


So many of my good friends and colleagues on the Republican side have stepped forward, looking at a most reasonable pathway to do something that will protect the children of America. The Democrats, a lot of my Democrat friends and Chris Murphy has done a great job of leading this, bringing people together, understanding that Chris wants a lot more and has always done that.

But basically, Chris has been pragmatic enough to understand that we've got to start and get something done. And don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. That's where the Democrats are. And on the other side, there's going to have the Republicans who know it's time to do something that makes sense.

Let's help the people with mental illnesses. Let's make sure we identify those children or people that need this type of assistance and help. And as you see, a lot of assistance is here in the schools for mental health in schools and supportive services.


MANCHIN: But a lot of good things in here that can help us prevent the next horrible tragedy.

TAPPER: Your governor, Jim Justice, praised the bipartisan agreement, but he reiterated he's still opposed to red flag laws which give officials the authority to take guns away from individuals who might pose a threat to themselves or others.

If states don't pass red flag laws as your legislation tries to incentivize, does that mean that those states will not have the benefit of this measure?

MANCHIN: Oh, I'm hoping -- let me just hope -- my state of West Virginia, when they get a chance to look at this, I get a chance to talk to them, it's basically incentivizes, okay. We're not forcing anybody, but I can assure you if people look at the states that step forward, when you have Florida, and you have the leading senator from Texas, the states as red as our states, that look and this make sense, makes common sense that we can do something to incentivize, that we can identify a person that needs help.

A young person or even a grown-up who basically has changed completely and they're -- they can be of harm to their family and their friends and society as a whole, and someone is allowed to come forward, we're going to make sure due process is there. You just can't make a claim because you're mad at your brother or sister or a family member or a friend, and you want to embarrass them. You can't do that.

And there will be harsh penalties against that to deter that from happening. I'm hoping they look at it with open arms. I can assure you when we're trying to have economic development anywhere in the country, people look at the state itself, the laws that we have, and basically the school system.

Not only do they look at the quality of the school system, how about the security and the safety of a school system? That's just as important.

TAPPER: All right, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, thank you so much. Good luck with the bill.

MACNHIN: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Everyone told Donald Trump not to declare a victory on election night. Everyone except for one person who apparently had had some wine.

Then, access to one of the most popular national parks in the country is cut off as rivers wash out bridges and roads. That's ahead.



TAPPER: Turning to our "Politics Lead," idiotic claims and absolute rubbish. Those are just a couple of the ways former Attorney General Bill Barr described Donald Trump's baseless election fraud allegations and videotaped depositions played during today's January 6th committee hearing.

A primary focus of today's hearing was to show that Trump continued to peddle false election fraud claims even after being personally and repeatedly told those claims were not legitimate. And as CNN's Jessica Schneider reports, the committee revealed how pushing the big lie was quite lucrative for members of the Trump team.

JESSICA SCHNEIRDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The January 6th committee back to spotlight how former President Trump was intent on spreading lies about the 2020 election being stolen, choosing to listen to his allegedly drunk adviser Rudy Giuliani instead of the aides telling Trump he was likely to lose.

BILL STEPIEN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: My recommendation was to say that votes were still being counted, it's too early to tell. The president disagreed with that.

UNKNOWN: Was there anyone in that conversation who in your observation had had too much to drink?

STEPIEN: Mayor Giuliani. The mayor was definitely intoxicated.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Giuliani's lawyer denies Giuliani was drunk. It was Giuliani's advice that the former president ultimately followed that night.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The committee playing taped depositions from former Trump advisers including his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, who was a no-show at the hearing after his wife went into labor. Multiple former officials, including a Trump White House lawyer and the president's own attorney general, Bill Barr, explained that the conspiracy theories Trump was voicing were flat out false, including the one about Dominion voting machines switching votes.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMRE TRUMOP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: I never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain those allegations.

WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): President Trump refused to listen, despite Barr repeatedly shooting down the lies.

BARR: The claims of fraud were bull (BLEEP), completely bogus and silly, based on complete misinformation. I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with -- he's become detached from reality.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Witness testimony portrayed President Trump as grasping at conspiracy theories after he lost the election.

BARR: He said more people voted in Philadelphia than there were voters. And that was absolutely rubbish. There was nothing strange about the Philadelphia turnout.

RICHARD DONOGHUE, TRUMP-ERA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICIAL: There were so many of these allegations that when you gave him a very direct answer on one of them, he wouldn't fight us on it, but he would move to another allegation.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Stepien said he considered himself part of, quote, "team normal" on the Trump campaign, as opposed to Rudy Giuliani's team, which included former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who were pushing multiple false claims.

ALEX CANNON, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWYER: I mentioned at that time that CISA, Chris Krebs, had recently released a report saying that the election was secure. And I believe Mr. Navarro accused me of being an agent of the deep state working with Chris Krebs against the president. SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The committee alleging Trump raised $250

million from donors based on those lies.

UNKNOWN: On November 9th, 2020, President Trump created a separate entity called the Save America PAC. Most of the money raised went to this newly created PAC, not to election related litigation.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The committee saying $5 million of that money went to the company that put on the January 6th rally at the Ellipse near the White House that morphed into a march to the Capitol and ultimately the insurrection.


(On camera): And Trump's team sent more than 400 e-mails in the month after the election. That's according to our analysis. Donors were told the money would go to fighting election fraud, but of course, that fraud didn't exist, and instead, millions of dollars went for political purposes.

And Jake, day three of this seven-part hearing will be Wednesday morning. Vice Chair Liz Cheney is saying that that hearing will be delving into Trump's quest to corrupt his Justice Department with these election fraud lies. We're also expecting that a few former Justice Department officials will be testifying on Wednesday.

TAPPER: Alright, Jessica Schneider, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Is Joe Biden too old to run for re-election? Well, some Democrats are quietly asking that question, and some not so quietly. Stay with us.



TAPPER: And we're back with our "Politics Lead." A key primary election for a seat in the U.S. Senate takes place in Nevada tomorrow. The outcome could tip the balance of power in Congress.

At stake is the future of the Democratic incumbent, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. She's the first Latina elected to the Senate in 2016. Then there are four Republicans who are trying to challenge her. CNN's Kyung Lah reports now from Las Vegas on how both parties are trying to motivate voters with just hours to go.


UNKNOWN: (Inaudible). Alright, guys. Alright, let's go.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nevada's largest and most effective get out the vote machine for Democrats.

UNKNOWN: We're with the culinary union.

LAH (voice-over): Feels a political headwind in this primary. Ariana Tovar (ph) and her team have walked 10 hours a day since late March, six days a week in the scorching desert heat, to energize registered Democrats.

(On camera): When you talk to people, how are they feeling?

UNKNOWN: They're mad. They're mad at Democrats.

LAH: Are you worried about Senator Cortez Masto this year?

UNKNOWN: Yes. Going to be tough the selections.

LAH (voice-over): Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is one of the country's most vulnerable Democratic senators running this midterm. President Biden won the state by just two percentage points. His approval rating is now down. A razor thin Democratic Senate majority is in danger.

LAH (on camera): What are some of the things that have made you unhappy with the Democrats?

UNKNOWN: God, I'd have to invite you in for that one.

LAH (voice-over): This voter's long list includes inflation, housing, and gas prices. Republican challenger Adam Laxalt calls it opportunity.

ADAM LAXALT, NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: This is our chance to flip Nevada red.

LAH (voice-over): Running on kitchen table economics, culture wars, and former President Trump's lie that the 2020 election was stolen, Laxalt has avoided interviews with non-right wing press.

(On camera): Adam, do you have a second just to answer a few questions?

LAXALT: No. (Inaudible).

LAH (voice-over): Laxalt's message has sunk in.

DICK GEYER, ADAM LAXALT SUPPORTER: The culture has changed in America to hate America, but he's the only chance we have to reverse that. If we don't reverse it, this country is doomed. You understand doomed?

LAH (voice-over): The January 6th commission is holding its hearings as Nevada heads to the polls. But evidence of an attempted coup doesn't seem to matter in this room.

CRISTINA RAMOS, ADAM LAXALT SUPPORTER: -- because they're trying to flip the script. They're trying to say that the American people went in there and President Trump told them to go in there and storm. The doors were open.

LAH (voice-over): The facts may not matter. But the Trump cavalry's final push in Nevada might. Laxalt already won Trump's endorsement.

TRUMP: And there's no one more trustworthy in Nevada than Adam Laxalt. LAH (voice-over): But Republican Sam Brown --

SAM BROWN, NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: My name is Sam Brown. I hope you'll consider voting for me.

LAH (voice-over): Also running for the Senate nomination, has seen a grassroots surge while hammering Laxalt as the Republican establishment.

BROWN: I'm a West Point grad, Army vet. Afghanistan, wounded.

LAH (voice-over): Brown's military service and Purple Heart are winning him fans. But he admits he's the underdog. As he walked the street in record-setting 109-degree heat, Donald Trump, Jr. was rallying for Adam Laxalt.


LAH (on camera): How do you compete against that.

BROWN: They can support Donald Trump all day long, at the end of the day, Adam is a known political figure in the state and he's failed Republicans before.


LAH (on camera): Senator Cortez Masto's campaign says that she will remain in D.C. through election day. She is running unchallenged in the primary as a Democrat. As far as the general election, her campaign says that the senator will lean in on abortion rights as a way to motivate the Democratic base, and Jake, with the Roe v. Wade decision still expected any time in the next couple weeks, they anticipate that the senator will be able to make a very potent message to Democrats with that decision. Jake?

TAPPER: Kyung Lah in Las Vegas, thank you so much.


To South Carolina now where two Republican members of Congress are fighting to keep their jobs in primaries after daring to speak out against former President Trump.

Congresswoman Nancy Mace sharply criticized Trump in the wake of the January 6 insurrection. Congressman Tom Rice went so far as to vote to impeach Trump. The former president is now seeking revenge by backing both of their Republican challengers in Tuesday's primary races.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now live from Charleston, South Carolina. Jeff, you are with Congresswoman Mace while she was campaigning this weekend? How does she seem, is she worried?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, there's no doubt that she knows she's in a tough competition here. Certainly, given the environment, certainly the January 6 hearing have revived all of the feelings of January 6. So among Republicans that could certainly play a couple different ways. But she does also believe that she has the argument that she won this district, and she wants it back from Democratic hands. So she believes she has a narrow upper hand.

But Jake, when we asked her if she has any regrets over certifying that election in 2020, she said no, but she did not mention Trump in her answer.


REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Well, I'm a constitutional conservative and I voted with folks like Rand Paul and Mike Lee and Senator Tim Scott to preserve the Constitution because we what couldn't do is allow one person, the Vice President of the United States to single handedly overturn electoral college or the results of a presidential election because then you're setting the precedent that Kamala Harris can do that in 2024.


ZELENY: So calling herself a constitutional conservative, Jake, also she was campaigning at the side of Nikki Haley, of course, a former popular governor from here, who's a member of President Trump's cabinet.

TAPPER: And you spoke today with Congressman Tom Rice who's fighting off a challenge from his -- from the MAGA Right. How has his vote to impeach President Trump played a role in his campaign?

ZELENY: Look, Jake, he is one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach most are not running again. His district is just a bit north here in Charleston. We caught up with him. Most voters wanted to talk about inflation. But one voter said he congratulated him for doing the brave decision for casting that impeachment vote. I asked the congressman about that vote that still hangs over his head.


REP. TOM RICE (R-SC): I don't think it will cost me, my election. Certainly my hope that it does it, but, you know, doing the right thing cost me an election that I'll wear it like a badge.


ZELENY: So he calls it a badge of honor, Jake. He is in a much more competitive race than Nancy Mace is. He's running against a state representative named Russell Fry, also backed by former President Trump. That race is likely to go into a runoff in Election Day here tomorrow in South Carolina. Jake?

TAPPER: All right. Jeff Zeleny reporting live from Charleston, South Carolina. Thanks so much.

Let's discuss with my panel. David Urban, let me start with you. There are a lot of Republicans getting primaried by people in the MAGA Right, who say that, you know, they're not loyal enough to Donald Trump. And, you know, you see, Congressman Rice --


TAPPER: -- directly defied Trump. How far is Trump willing to go to get these non-loyal Republicans who might be great lawmakers out of the party?

URBAN: You see he's willing to go all the way, right, and so you may end up losing the seat, right, and that's the part that Republicans have to understand, right? Nancy Mace isn't, you know, I think she's an R plus one district or a D plus two district, right?

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It's a woman it's challenging her lost --


HUNT: -- the seat to a Democrat.

URBAN: Yes. I mean, so these are incredibly --


HUNT: Yes.

URBAN: -- these are incredibly tough races. This is, you know, the Brian Fitzpatrick seated and Lower Bucks in Pennsylvania, these seats if they're not held by these people, we're going to end up flipping to be democratic seats. And so if the Republicans in their zeal for being, you know, MAGA first above all, want to run that direction, we're going to run right off a cliff.

TAPPER: Yes. Nia-Malika Henderson this weekend, you heard former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley stumping for Nancy Mace in her home state. I want you to listen to this moment from the campaign.

NIKKI HALEY (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: Tuesday is Election Day and I love election days, especially when I'm not in it.

MACE: Thank you and God bless.



TAPPER: Some cheers there for President Haley, President Haley and she -- and, you know, she is somebody that some Republicans hope runs for president in 2024.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. And listen, she is not only active in this campaign in South Carolina, she's been in New Hampshire, she's been in Iowa. She is this unique politician. She at one point was one of the most popular politicians in the country, had an approval rating of 63 percent. And it's because she really was able to thread this line of being in Trump's world but not a Trumpist and you saw some of that after January 6.

She said that Donald Trump never had a future in politics, that he'd fallen so far in terms of his legacy and history judged him harshly. She then regretted that --


HENDERSON: -- and to go down to Mar-a-Lago and Donald Trump said absolutely not. And then she said that she wouldn't run in 2024 if Donald Trump ran. I think some possible 2024 Republicans are looking at this week, right, all of the hearings to see -- listen how strong is Donald Trump going forward in 2024.


Could you, if you're Nikki Haley, credibly make a run for the White House? I think again, her problem is, what is her lane, right? Is she the evangelical choice, is she sort of a chamber of commerce by choice?


HENDERSON: She's not really a Trumpist. She's not in office in the way that somebody like Ron DeSantis is, or Greg Abbott, who have kind of stronger cases to make to that Trump brand. But we'll see. It's going to be interesting to see what happens during 2022.

TAPPER: I'll go farther than that. I'll say a bunch of Republicans who are thinking about running for president in 2024 are hoping that it's devastating for Donald Trump. I think that that there are --


TAPPER: I think that there are a bunch of them who want it to be as bad as possible for Donald Trump.

HUNT: I think so because, you know, they need him out of the way.


HUNT: They're going to have their own political future. I mean, he has tied them up in knots over and over again. And that's why I think, you know, what you showed there with Nikki Haley on stage with Nancy Mace, I mean, the invisible primary always starts early, it's already going on. And the subtext of all of these candidates trying to figure out a way to pressure Donald Trump to go against Donald Trump without actually saying that that's what they're doing.

I mean, she's standing on a stage next to a candidate that he's trying to take out, right? It's a direct confrontation to the former president. But as you know, Nia was outlining, I mean, that's -- it's a tricky place for anyone to be right now. And so I think, to your point, if these hearings this week are what ultimately takes Trump out of the party, I mean, I remember after January 6, you know, obviously, it was a devastating day, but there were a lot of Republicans who were pretty eager to take an opportunity to rid their party of Donald Trump.


HUNT: Then they realized, oh, wait, they had to turn around real quick and fix that after they realized it wasn't the deathblow they thought it would be.

TAPPER: And what Haley's doing with Nancy Mace there going against Trump's endorsement, we saw Chris Christie and Vice President Pence do in Georgia --

HUNT: Yes.

TAPPER: -- backing Brian Kemp. But I want to turn to the Nevada piece that we just did with Kyung Lah's great reporting. That's going to be a tough election for Senator Cortez Masto. It's always a swing state.


TAPPER: Harry Reid bless his soul, has passed away. He had that state wired for Democrats. I would not want to be a Democrat running for re- election in a battleground state this year.

ALLISON: You're right. I think one thing that's interesting is that, you know, she's not really contested in this election, but yet they're on the doors. The largest culinary union in the state, it still states, the third most diverse state in our country. She can't show up in August just because she's not being challenged right now saying, hey, I've been with you vote for me. She's saying I have to hit the doors. I have to excite people.

Because in a state like Nevada, I remember in 2020, canvassing is huge there, like tactically to when you need to hit the doors. So to start early, we weren't able to do that in the pandemic of 2020. And it was challenging, and I think, you know, getting ahead of the ball is good, but it is going to be tough.

TAPPER: And you want to see how tough. So take a look at this, Democratic Senator Patty Murray in Washington State, that is a democratic state. And she is the most powerful democratic woman in the Senate. And she is out with a new TV ad in June --


TAPPER: -- in the Seattle market attacking her Republican challenger. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's at risk voting for Mitch McConnell's handpick candidate for Senate, Tiffany Smiley? Everything.

TIFFANY SMILEY, CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: I met with President Trump and I was so impressed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Risking our democracy since Tiffany Smiley still has serious questions about the 2020 elections, risking women's reproductive health care.

SMILEY: I am 100 percent pro-wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Putting Social Security and Medicare at risk and Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader.


TAPPER: Murray has held this seat for more than 30 years, she's going negative in June.

URBAN: You're not sleep on Tiffany Smiley. This is the sleeper race right here. She's up -- she has this on her website. Look how desperate Patty Murray is. Tiffany Smiley has raised a lot of money. She's got an incredible narrative. And, you know, the things that -- most people in America inflation, gas prices, formula shortage --


URBAN: -- all those things really hitting home in Washington plus you have all the Portland stuff. So it's right, that's a seat. It's you could wake up on election night one --

HUNT: One thing --

URBAN: -- day after and say like, oh, my God, what happened?

HUNT: You could, but the fact that this ad is already up in June tells you that Patty Murray is on top of it.


HUNT: And she talks about, I mean, she calls herself, you know, a mom in --

URBAN: Right.

HUNT: -- in tennis shoes. She has frequently been underestimated as a politician. She's actually very sharp and on top of it, and I think this demonstrates that, but I do think --

URBAN: She hasn't been battle tested. She hasn't been --

HENDERSON: But it is true that -- I think almost every cycle, we've had this same narrative about Patty Murray from Republicans that this could be the year --

URBAN: Listen --

HENDERSON: -- to not Patty Murray (INAUDIBLE).

URBAN: Tiffany Smiley is impressive candidate.

ALLISON: But she's going to where voters care right now and issues of Roe. She's not pulling --


ALLISON: -- punches wasn't important. And I think voters want to see a candidate that's going to fight together.

HUNT: They want to see a fighter.


HUNT: Yes, they want to see somebody that's going to fight. And at the end of the day, I do think too, this -- does underscore the problems that the President has, right?


HUNT: The President's a huge problem for somebody like Patty Murray. But I do think you've seen -- certainly in governor's races, we've seen some Democrats have success distancing themselves from the president. It's going to be interesting to see (INAUDIBLE).


HENDERSON: Yes. His approval rating his 73 percent --



HENDERSON: Yes, I mean, Biden is doing terrible among Democrats and, you know, you see them trying to distance themselves because of those (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: All right, we got a few more months of elections to talk about. There'll be a lot one there.

Coming up, a new weapons wish list, but Ukraine says it needs now to have a chance against Putin's army. Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our world lead, moments ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy taking stock of the battle for the East saying it will, quote, surely go down in military history as one of the most brutal battles in Europe and for Europe. Zelenskyy's comments calm is one of his top advisors tweets are familiar. Wish list of weapons including howitzers, rocket launchers, tanks, armored vehicles and drones ahead of a key NATO meeting later this week.

CNN's Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance is live for us in Kyiv right now. Matthew, Zelenskyy is clearly frustrated that Ukraine is not getting what they're asking for from allies. But even if they did get that full weapons wish list, would Zelenskyy's forces come being able to -- would they come close to matching Russia's concentrated firepower in the east?

[17:45:19] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they could well do certainly if they get the kind of level of weaponry that they're asking for. I mean that list is very long indeed. They're talking about wanting 500 battle tanks, 300 multiple launch, rocket launchers, 1,000 howitzer big field guns and other 2,000 assorted armored vehicles and drones and things like that.

So it would give them what they say, is heavy weapon parity on the battlefield, which would, of course, enable them to, you know, put up a much better fight than they are at the moment in the East, because of the moment that at times, they're outnumbered in terms of artillery pieces, 10 or 15, to one. And so, it's enormously stacked against them the odds and the forces at the moment.

I think the big concern for the Biden administration and other Western allies as well, is it they want to give Ukraine enough weapons to hold off the Russians. They need to push them back a bit. They don't want to give them so much that they're so successful on the battlefield that they push the Russians all the way back to Moscow, for instance, and attempted to strike inside the borders of the Russian Federation or even to take back Crimea from Russia that was illegally annexed from the country back in 2014.

So it's a very difficult and delicate balance in terms of the supply of weapons that the Biden administration and the Western Allies are trying to strike. Jake?

TAPPER: And there were Russia Day celebrations throughout Russia this weekend. Some were in Ukraine, too, though. How were those received?

CHANCE: Oh, yes. I mean, they were received, I think, with skepticism, in the sense that, you know, we all saw the pictures of Ukrainian citizens waving Russian flag, celebrating on television -- on Russian television, those images. It wasn't clear how many of them are involved because the shots were quite tight, you know, you couldn't see the broader area. But, of course, these areas where the celebrations took place are filled with Russian troops with guns. And so it's not clear to what extent these people were under some kind of duress.

Ukrainian officials say that people may have been paid. They will give them food to attend these celebrations and danced for the food, as it were. I think there's also a degree of alarm as well, because these kinds of events show the lengths to which Russia is going or ready to Russify these areas that it has conquered.

They are holding these events, making the Russian ruble, the currency. Doing other things while change the school syllabus. It will very alarming if you're Ukrainian watching your country disintegrate like this.

TAPPER: Matthew Chance in Kyiv for us, thank you so much.

Mystery in the jungle, a journalist and a researcher disappeared deep in the Amazon and now Brazil's President says something bad happened to them. That story next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


TAPPER: Brazilian authorities are scouring the Amazon rainforest for a missing British journalist and a local indigenous expert. The two men went missing last Sunday while on a trip to a remote area in the far western part of Amazon, a stayed home to the largest number of uncontacted indigenous people in the world.

CNN's Matt Rivers joins us now live. And Matt, Brazil's President just gave an update on the search. What does he have to say?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, these are two men, Jake, who disappeared back on June 5th, it would be Indigenous Affairs expert Bruno Araujo Pereira and a veteran News correspondent, a gentleman by the name of Dom Phillips, has worked for a number of different organizations throughout his career based in Brazil. The two of them were working in the part of the Amazon estate that you just mentioned, a place called the Javari Valley, very remote.

They were working on a book about conservation efforts out there when they disappeared. President Jair Bolsonaro gave an update earlier today on their status, saying, quote, the evidence leads us to believe that some malice was done to them because human remains have already been found in the river near where they disappeared. He said DNA testing is already underway in the capital of Brasilia to determine who those remains belong to.

But he said that the evidence points to the opposite, when asked if the odds of finding them alive were any good. And he said personal belongings also belonging to the two men had been found at this point and blood in the boat of a suspect police say is linked to this case.

TAPPER: And Matt, how dangerous can this kind of work be for journalists and activists working to highlight illegal activity in the Brazilian rainforest?

RIVERS: Yes, I call the local journalists that we work with when we go down to Brazil for reporting trips, Jake, and he told us that over the past few years, it has gotten exceedingly more dangerous. The number of activists that have been killed recently have gone up.

Journalists, he said though, have largely been spared. And yet, if it in fact, turns out that these two men are found dead. He said that is going to really rock the journalism community within Brazil and show that not only is it dangerous to be an activist and environmental activists in Brazil these days but even just reporting on that activity can also lead to losing your life.

TAPPER: All right, Matt Rivers, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Roads and bridges washed away at one of the most popular national parks in the U.S. Now communities are cut off and tourists are feeling the impact. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Rockslides and heavy flooding have forces all entrances at Yellowstone National Park to temporarily close for the next few days. Residents of Gardiner Montana took video of flash floods taking part of a home along the Yellowstone River. Parts of the community there are currently without water and power. Park officials say no inbound traffic is allowed until conditions are cleared and roads are assessed for any damage.

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever miss an episode of THE LEAD, you can listen to THE LEAD wherever you get your podcasts all two hours just sitting right there like a fresh peach.

Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer. He's right next door in a place I like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM". I'll see you tomorrow.