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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Trump Lashes Out Amid Bombshell Jan. 6 CMTE Hearings; Jan. 6 CMTE: Trump Lies Drew Violence, Threats To Election Officials; Michigan Ex-GOP Chair Says Fake Trump Electors Plotted To Hide Overnight In State Capitol; Analysis: Ukraine Enduring Worst Week Since Fall Of Mariupol; 30 Million People In 5 States Under Heat Alerts; National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory In New Orleans; Rwandans Reflect On Genocide Which Killed Nearly 800,000 In 1994; Biden Admin To Propose Capping Nicotine Levels In Tobacco Products; First Lady & Tennis Star Billie Jean King Celebrate Title IX. Aired 5- 6p ET

Aired June 22, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: So, smoke them if you got them.

And leading this hour, what is in the video? The January 6 committee now has its hands on never before seen raw documentary footage of Donald Trump and his family members in the days leading up to and after the insurrection. So far, we do know the footage includes an interview with Trump's daughter Ivanka a few weeks after the election. Unlike the recorded deposition Ivanka gave to the committee, she told the documentary filmmaker her father should pursue every avenue to challenge the results of the 2020 election according to a source familiar with the footage.

CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju joins us now live from Capitol Hill. Manu, when are we going to get to see what's on these tapes?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the committee is now just going through this footage which has been subpoenaed by the committee including this British filmmaker Alex Holder will meet with the committee tomorrow as they tried to look into what he is promising, which has never before seen footage including exclusive interviews with Donald Trump before and after the January 6 insurrection, as well as interviews with key members of the Trump inner circle, including his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, who appear to have said something different to this filmmaker than what she had told the January 6 committee. She told this filmmaker Trump showed -- her father should "continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted and that's what he should do."

Now, the committee has released a snippet of her private deposition to them earlier this year in which she had said that she agreed or she accepted what the former Attorney General Bill Barr said that the claims of fraud were essentially BS in Barr's words. She said she accepted that. Now we'll see what else she also said in that deposition and what else that she said among this footage.

Now, this all comes, Jake, as the lawmakers on this committee are planning to delay their next round of hearings, which were expected to be next week. But instead they're going to wait till mid-July because they are now going through what they're saying is a delusion (ph) of new evidence in the word of Jamie Raskin, a member of that committee who told me earlier today, not just this issue, but issues -- but what evidence from the National Archives, tips that are coming in from their tip line have all forced the committee to look into all this new information and reassess how they're going to present their findings.

TAPPER: All right, Manu Raju reporting live on Capitol Hill for us, thanks so much.

As we wait for the committee to dig through all that new evidence, we wanted to get a sense of the impact these hearings are having or not having on real American. CNN's Jeff Zeleny spoke to voters who are tuning in and voters who tuned out long ago to gauge their reactions to the proceedings so far.


FRANK RICHARDS, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: History repeats itself. And so I do think we need to have history record what happens to prevent this from happening again.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Frank Richards has been closely watching the congressional hearings investigating the January 6 attack, hoping all Americans, not just Democrats, like himself, are paying at least some attention.

RICHARDS: From the hearings, and I'm not a big Mike Pence fan, I really respect what Mike Pence did. I think we all need to be patriots and respect the Constitution, which was sworn to defend.

ZELENY (voice-over): Richards is among the millions who have tuned into the fourth televised hearings this month, which have shined and unsparing light on Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election here in Georgia and beyond. That despite new details of the lengths Trump and his allies tried to cling to power,

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY), VICE CHAIR, JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: Mr. Trump was told by his own advisers that he had no basis for his stolen election claims. Yet he continued to pressure state officials to change the election results.

ZELENY (voice-over): The hearings have elicited disinterest and disdain among many in the Republican leaning suburbs of Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really think they're just after Trump, they're not after the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's one sided and I choose not to watch it.

ZELENY (on camera): Is there anything that could come out in the hearing that would change your mind about things? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) so I'm not going to watch the rest of it, you know. I have other things to do with my time.


ZELENY (voice-over): A half century after the Watergate hearings captivated the country and led to Richard Nixon's resignation, the findings of the House Select Committee, so far, at least, are largely seen through the same partisan lens that deeply divides an exhausted nation. Yet there is nuance, as we found talking to Richard Bianco who voted for trump the first time, but not his reelection.

RICHARD BIANCO, GEORGIA REPUBLICAN VOTER: And I'm a Republican and a lot of people need to be held accountable, but we're not going anywhere.

ZELENY (on camera): Is Trump one of those people that needs to be held accountable, do you think?

BIANCO: If we could get the information out, yes.

ZELENY (voice-over): Franzetta Ivy said she is prayed for people to watch with an open mind.

FRANZETTA IVY, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I pray that they will actually tune in and watch this so they can see for themselves.

ZELENY (voice-over): The hearing has shined an even brighter light on Trump's meddling in Georgia. I just want to find


ZELENY (voice-over): Which voters in both parties told us crossed a line.

DAVID ALEXANDER, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I need so many votes, and that's so ridiculous and someone was like, first of all, you really think that like gangster.

ZELENY (voice-over): Harvey (ph) and Patricia Newman, both Democrats, have watched every moment of the proceedings.


PATRICIA NEWMAN, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: This is an attack on our democracy. I do not think the Watergate hearings were rose to that level, even close. Do you?


ZELENY (voice-over): Finding the truth for history is important, they say, but even more for future elections. P. NEWMAN: They get all, then I can't tell you how worried I am about 2024.


ZELENY: And that was the sentiment we heard again and again that voters are worried about the 2024 election. But Jake, take a look at these new numbers we're getting from a Quinnipiac poll about to viewers across the country, six in 10. Americans say they are carefully watching this or watching the hearing, excuse me. You can see the breakdown there, very closely about 26 percent of Americans, somewhat closely 32, it goes down from there.

But there is a significant partisan divide about what voters are learning. Take a look at these numbers, 64 percent of Democrats say they are learning something new. A third of independents say they are only 14 percent of Republicans. That is significant there when you look at the Independents.

So the bottom line of all these, all this conversation, information is seeping out among voters of all stripes, no doubt about it. But it depends what partisan lens they're viewing these hearings through. But in Georgia, at least, one thing I was struck by, even Trump voters they do not believe his Georgia election lies at all.

Perhaps Georgia is a bit of an outlier because it was at the center of all of this. But one thing also in follow up questions. They're not eager to have him run again for president but they're not necessarily watching these hearings, either.

TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much. Really interesting. Vox populi.

Joining us live to discuss the progress of the January 6 committee hearings is Mandy Carpenter. She's a political columnist for the Bulwark and conservative commentator.

Amanda, good to see it. So, your latest column this week argues that former President Trump is reacting to these hearings in a way that proves the committee's points. For instance, here is Trump a few days ago responding to testimony about his pressure on Vice President Pence to overturn the election.


TRUMP: I never called Mike Pence a wimp. I never called him a wimp. Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be frankly historic, but just like Bill Barr and the rest of these weak people, Mike, and I say it sadly because I like them, but Mike did not have the courage to act.


TAPPER: So Amanda, explain. How does this prove the committee's case?

AMANDA CARPENTER, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE BULWARK: Sure. I mean, the central thesis of the January 6 committee is that these investigations are needed not only to review what happened on January 6, but that is urgent because the threat to our elections and election officials are persist. And that was surely proven by Donald Trump's speech that he gave on Friday to the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

And in that speech, as you pointed out, he was still targeting Mike Pence calling him weak saying he didn't have the courage to act. And he was even saying this after the January 6 committee clearly demonstrated that the mob that Trump sent to Capitol Hill that got within 40 feet of Mike Pence that day, that put Mike Pence's life in danger was motivated by that rhetoric. And so while we pay attention to what is happening in that room, and the facts that are being presented, I think we also need to pay close attention to how Trump is reacting to it, because that surely shows how the threat persists.

And also in that same speech, he dangled pardons, and it wasn't the first time he did it. He gave (ph) pardons for the rioters.

TAPPER: Let me interrupt you from there just to run that clip. Here is -- as you know, one of the arguments that the committee is making is that the mob, the insurrectionists that attack the Capitol felt as though they were carrying out Trump's desires. And here is, as you were alluding to, Trump talking before that very same conference of evangelical Christian.


TRUMP: Most people should not be treated the way they're being treated. And if I become president, someday, if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very, very seriously for pardons, very, very seriously. They've been treated very wrongfully. Should I decide to do that?


TAPPER: And listen to the audience applauding?

CARPENTER: Yes, and I think that is just as disturbing, right? I mean, this is a audience of evangelical Christians. Ideally, that would be an audience for Mike Pence to be speaking before as a possible 2024 contender, but he couldn't even appear. He somehow had a scheduling conflict.

And isn't it funny, anytime that the subject of January 6 comes up, Mike Pence has a scheduling conflict. Is it because he's still in danger through this kind of rhetoric that Donald Trump is using? I think it's very possible.

And just listen to what Donald Trump is saying. Should I decide to become president again? I'm seriously considering pardons for the rioters. People facing the extremely serious charges before the Department of Justice right now. That's practically was a campaign promise.

[17:10:01] And not only that, he did issue a long, you know, 12-page statement that use extremely insightful rhetoric. Calling January 6 members guilty of committing treasonous activity. Those are the kinds of words that lead to violence. Those are the kinds of words that motivated the mob to act that day. And so, surely, the threat continues. I think Donald Trump is the best witness against himself at this moment.

TAPPER: Amanda Carpenter, thank you so much. Good to have you on again.

They're on the frontlines of democracy dealing with the very real threat of election interference from proponents of Trump's election lies, we're going to talk to an attorney general on the front lines.

Then, a country already in crisis now dealing with harrowing search and rescue efforts after an earthquake kills more than 1,000 people. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, the clearest sign yet that Trump's big lies about the election fraud could have theoretically ended democracy as we know it in the United States if it had not been for election officials, Republican ones who put country above party and displayed courage in the face of direct threats and harassment. Take a listen.


WANDREA "SHAYE" MOSS, FMR. GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: I went to that icon and it was just a lot of horrible things there.

ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE MEMBER: And those horrible things, do they include threats?

MOSS: Yes, a lot of threats. Wishing death upon me. Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.


TAPPER: Shaye Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia talking about the threat she and her family went through.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joining us now live. Two people who have seen the threat to democracy firsthand. And I've no doubt heard their share of threats themselves.

Attorney General Nessel, let me start with you. The left leaning Brennan Center did a poll in early February asking 600 local election officials, nonpartisan ones, about their jobs, they found nearly one in three election workers know at least one colleague who quit their job in part or entirely because of safety concerns. Are you worried about Michigan having a shortage of election workers in 2022 or 2024? DANA NESSEL, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, we're doing everything we can to try to avoid that. And I know that, you know, all around the state, there's recruiting underway to make sure that we get new poll workers and that they're properly trained.

But the other thing that we're doing is that my department, our hate crimes and domestic terrorism unit is aggressively prosecuting those that threaten election workers and we want people to know that we take that very seriously. And that if you do engage in that kind of conduct, you're going to be held accountable.

TAPPER: Attorney General Weiser, the Justice Department's Election Threats Task Force got its first guilty plea from a Nebraska man who made death threats against Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold online. How is Colorado working with DOJ to catch and prosecute these threats posted on social media?

PHIL WEISER, COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERALS: Like my colleague, Attorney General Nessel said, these threats are serious. And when you target an election official, you're committing a crime. We put out an advisory recently telling people that if you do this, we'll hold you accountable.

This is not OK. It's a threat to democracy. And as Judge Luttig said this week, what we saw on January 6 is not a moment time, it continues with plans to continue to disrupt elections. We can't allow that to happen.

TAPPER: How do you judge the line, Attorney General Nessel, between what's rhetoric and what's an active threat?

NESSEL: Well, we do it the same way that we assess all other threats. It's not really unique to just election workers, right? And, you know, there's certain language that is used. Remember, these aren't public officials, right? I mean, maybe the Secretary of State is, but local elected officials, you know, they certainly didn't sign up for this. And we have to do everything in our power to protect them.

And I will say this, my department is working very closely with, you know, the clerk's association. So, we're meeting with them regularly now. Our chief investigator just met with the clerks at their annual conference. And we're going to be coordinating with them regularly, as well as with state police, local law enforcement and probably the federal authorities as well just to ensure that election workers are kept safe in our state and so that people can volunteer or they can sign up if they're paid positions to work for our democracy, because obviously, these are essential positions, and to know that they are going to be kept safe.

TAPPER: Attorney General Nessel, let me stay with you because former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox told the committee some Republicans were considering hiding out in the Michigan State Capitol overnight to strengthen their bid to overturn the 2020 election. She said there were internal discussions within the Michigan Republican Party about submitting a fake certificate to the National Archives falsely saying that Trump won Michigan. What do you make of that? NESSEL: I think that Laura Cox is going to make a fabulous witness.

TAPPER: Attorney General Weiser, let's listen to a former Georgia election worker Shaye Moss during her testimony again.


SCHIFF: The other election workers shown in that State Farm arena video and their supervisors, how many are still election workers in Fulton County?


MOSS: There is no permanent election worker or supervisor in that video that's still there.

SCHIFF: And did you end up leaving your position as well?

MOSS: Yes, I left.


TAPPER: What is Colorado doing to ensure election workers don't lose faith in their jobs and aren't fleeing because they're worried about becoming targets and voters then don't become disenfranchised?

WEISER: We're telling election workers that we have their back, that we're protecting them. And then we take this with the utmost seriousness.

It is critical that we celebrate and not allowed tormenting about people who are involved in this basic part of our democracy. This is crucial and what happened in Georgia and hearing Shaye Moss in that testimony is just gut wrenching.

TAPPER: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, thanks to both you. Appreciate it and thanks for what you do.

Why Ukraine just had its worst 24 hours since the fall of Mariupol. Don't go anywhere.



TAPPER: In our world lead, more than 1,000 people are dead in Afghanistan after an earthquake rocked the eastern part of the country earlier this morning. Officials with the country's Taliban led government say they expect the number of casualties to rise as search and rescue efforts continue. And as CNN Scott McLean reports, this tragedy is further stressing Afghanistan's already desperate status quo for ordinary citizens.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the sound of help arriving in Afghanistan's Paktika Province. Overnight, the extremely remote area was struck by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake destroyed buildings and killed more than 1,000 people, the deadliest quake in more than two decades.

In one village, a group of men searching for survivors pulled out a lifeless body instead. Elsewhere this man, lists the shrouds of the latest victims.

These people died in the earthquake, he says, and 33 members of one family were killed. The epicenter was a sparsely populated area along the border with Pakistan and an active fault line about 100 miles south of Kabul.

The kids and I screamed, this woman says. One of our rooms was destroyed. We heard our neighbors screaming.

Taliban trucks move bodies out of the area. Some homes were badly damaged. The government says some entire villages were destroyed and that's just what they know about so far.

SAM MORT, CHIEF OF COMMUNICATIONS AT UNICEF AFGHANISTAN: Some communities are not accessible. There's a lot of rain here in Afghanistan at the moment. So we've had landslides and there's a lot of mud. And of course, because these areas that are affected are so rural and remote, there's no sophisticated equipment there.

MCLEAN (voice-over): The man shooting this video says that one of his grandchildren was buried in the rubble, but they managed to pull them out alive.

Foreign aid organizations say they are already on the ground. But the head of one local NGOs says that the Taliban led search and rescue effort is desperately under resourced.

OBAIDULLAH BAHEER, FOUNDER OF SAVE AFGHANISTAN FROM UNGER: There probably weren't more helicopters to send out because when the United States was leaving it disabled most of the aircraft, whether it belonged to a foreign forces or to them. So, it's just that we constantly keep dealing in absolutes in right and wrong and black and white and the world isn't like that.

MCLEAN (voice-over): At a press conference, the Taliban pledged to send more than $500 to those injured and more than 1,000 to the families of those killed. A bold pledge for a cash strapped government in the midst of an economic crisis unable to feed even its own people.


MCLEAN: And Jake, natural disaster is literally the last thing that Afghanistan needed. The country has dealt with recent flooding, drought conditions, not to mention the economic crisis, which has become a food crisis. A U.N. report published just last month found that about half of the country was facing acute hunger, which means they are reading so little that their lives are in danger. TAPPER: Scott, is it possible the U.S. might work with Afghanistan, even with the Taliban led government to help provide relief?

MCLEAN: There are no signs that it will be anything direct. Of course, since the chaotic withdrawal from the country last year, there are no direct relations between Washington and Kabul, and so the U.S. is instead working through a group. So Antony Blinken tweeted just a couple of hours ago saying that the U.S. is grieving for all of the lives lost and that the U.S. will work with our humanitarian partners to send medical teams to help.

But the head of that local Afghan aid agency that you saw in my story there, he says, look, the reality is that it doesn't matter what you think of the Taliban ultimately, in situations like this, it is a reminder that if you want to help people inside Afghanistan, you're going to have to work with the Taliban at some point.

TAPPER: Scott McLean, thanks so much.

Now to Ukraine where new pictures of obliterated buildings right outside the last standing city under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region are seen as Ukraine admits they have lost villages surrounding the city succumbing to weeks of Russian bombardment. The horror is not just isolated to the east, of course. Ukrainian officials say Russia is using cross border kamikaze drones to attack key areas in northern Ukraine.

CNN is in the north in Kharkiv, Ukraine second biggest city, where shelling is getting more frequent and more intense with at least 15 people reported dead by Ukrainian officials there on Tuesday


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Preya (ph) is on return to her bombed out home.

PREYA (PH), UKRAINE (through translator): I hope and believe with all my heart that light will conquer darkness that peace will triumph over evil.

KILEY (voice-over): It's a distant prospect because here Ukrainian say that Russian forces are massing for a new assault on their home town. She fled the last Russian attacks in April when this area, Saltivka, bore the brunt.

(on-camera): Thousands of people were driven from their homes in this Northeastern suburb of Kharkiv. Hundreds across the city were killed in missile strikes that did this kind of damage to whole apartment blocks. The remains of some of those missiles are still scattered in the rubble here. And it still smells of death.

(voice-over): Kharkiv is under constant and intensified shelling, ending a lull after Russian forces were driven back several weeks ago. This college dorm was hit on a day when 15 people were killed in and around the city. On the front line, it's easy to see why Russia calls one of its rocket systems grad, it means hail. Many Ukrainian fighters raise private funds to buy civilian drones. It spots a Russian soldier who hears the tiny aircraft and shows potentially fatal curiosity. Less than 100 yards sometimes separates the enemies on the outskirts of Kharkiv's north. Ukrainian forces called conventional trench warfare like this, the meat grinder.

Loki has been fighting in those same dugouts.

LOKI, SPECIAL UNIT ODIN: The main disadvantage, and everyone knows it, and it's the only one that I will tell is the numbers, the raw numbers. There are just too many of the forces and stuff.

KILEY (voice-over): Ukrainian intelligence officers forecast for Kharkiv is a new threat of hail.

ANDRII MOGYLA, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: On this picture, you actually can see well hidden vehicles and they are placing them almost on forests. We have fire in positions of two self-propelled artillery and the fire and control unit right here. They actually tell us that they are going to prepare another invasion of Kharkiv.

KILEY (on-camera): Do you have an estimate when that might happen?

MOGYLA: I can't be 100 percent sure, but I am kind of confident. So in nearest week, I would say.

KILEY (voice-over): This is proving to be a long war. Prayer often the last line of defense.


KILEY: Now, Jake, according to those Ukrainians that I was talking to who've been doing other analysis of satellite imagery, in particular, they show many, many hundreds of tanks and artillery pieces being assembled just inside the border from Russia. And it's from Russian territory that in the last 45 minutes, one hour, I reckon about eight ballistic missiles have been fired, very loud detonations in this city, making it fail for all of us here as they were playing Russian roulette with missiles.

TAPPER: Sam, are you seeing any evidence of the arrival of those highly anticipated new weapons from the west?

KILEY: Relatively little. I've seen the M777 from the United States are being used in the East in the Donetsk's front. I haven't seen any of the multiple rocket launching systems. I haven't seen any real signs of the anti-aircraft material that has supposedly been sent in. And this is because it is not coming in fast enough as far as the Ukrainians are concerned. And there simply isn't enough of it.

And anything that does come in get shipped pretty fast to the front. There is a real urgency as far as the Ukrainians are concerned and that's been borne out on the ground with those advances we've seen in the east and now potential mass attack against Kharkiv. There is an urgency. The Ukrainians do not have an infinity of manpower or weapons or ammunition. They need help and they need it fast, they're saying. TAPPER: Sam Kiley in Kharkiv, Ukraine, thank you so much.

We don't have to tell you in all likelihood that there's dangerous heat affecting millions of Americans, record heat. We're going to go live to a city where it feels like it at least 115 degrees. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, brutal and dangerous heat. About 30 million people in the U.S. are under heat alerts today. The worst of this latest heat wave is expected in the south where triple-digit temperatures are quite possible. Not everyone suffers equally in the heat, of course.

Bill Weir is in New Orleans with a stark example of climate injustice.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. Not all heat is equal these days. And this really struck me recently when NASA put out this satellite image of Las Vegas on the day they hit an all-time record, 106 degree air temperature. But the surface of the streets could be 25 to 30 degrees hotter. The grid there that looks like griddle marks, those are obviously the downtown streets there.

And green spaces, again, 25 degrees cooler. So it got me thinking what life must be like in what is considered one of the worst heat islands in the United States. Here we are in the desire area of New Orleans, sort of like the Tennessee Williams Streetcar Named Desire, but we're far from the lush trees in the shade right here. It's 96 degrees, but out in the sun, 130. So that's over 32 degree difference.

And you can see this is one of the areas that city planners and activist groups down here are most concerned about because they have virtually no tree cover for the residences here. What's interesting after Hurricane Katrina took down 100,000 trees in New Orleans, a lot of residents were afraid that if they planted new ones, they would be storm hazards and hurricanes of the future.

And as a result, they're sort of 10 years behind the curve on replanting, excuse my tripping over the curb. But this is what climate injustice looks like. You know, neighborhoods again that had the least to do with causing the problem now suffering the most and resiliency.


A lot of city planners are seeing more greenery, more green space, not just for -- not make things pretty, and for property values, but literally for survival on days like this.

TAPPER: And as you note, this part of the country is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes. How worried are they about that this year?

WEIR: Well, they're worried for a couple reasons. For one in the news this week, the seventh insurance company in Louisiana went bankrupt. With four hurricanes in two years, it completely wiped out the smaller insurance companies that are sort of a backstop of last resort for those stuck but hurricane is coming right now. And that, of course, means power outages, which and heat like this.

If this is the new normal, just for perspective, in the long history of New Orleans, one of our most sort of historic cities in this young country, they've seen 100 degree day in June, only four times. We can hit 103 times this week. Jake?

TAPPER: Bill Weir, our Climate Crisis Correspondent in New Orleans, thank you so much.

A royal push for the truth thousands of miles away. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our world lead, remember, that's what survivors of genocide in Rwanda are trying to do as others are trying to, deny that the mass killings ever happened. In 1994, nearly 800,000 people were slaughtered. The victims mainly from the ethnic Tutsi population in Rwanda.

CNN's Max Foster is in Rwanda, where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited a memorial site to help try to counter the growing online threats from genocide deniers.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bloodstain shorts belonging to just one victim of the massacre at Nyamata church. Also found here, tools like machetes use so bluntly by the perpetrators. Before they attacked, they threw grenades, and the holes created by the shrapnel still pepper the roof.

In the basement, the skulls of anonymous Tutsi men, suspended above the coffin of a woman from the same ethnic group who lost her life in an act of barbarous sexual violence. And even now, more bodies are being discovered and brought here as the attackers identify other murder sites as part of the reconciliation process that began in 1999.

(on-camera): Around 10,000 people were killed in this church across two days, and they're buried here behind it, along with around 35,000 other victims of genocide.

(voice-over): A quarter of a million more are buried here at the Genocide Memorial in the capital Kigali. They include Freddy's family.

FREDDY MUTANGUHA, DIRECTOR OF KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL: (INAUDIBLE) and attacked my house and killed my family, my parents and four sisters.

FOSTER (on-camera): Did you see that?

MUTANGUHA: Yes, of course. I heard -- I was in hiding, but I can hear their voices actually, until they finished.

FOSTER (on-camera): And you were the only survivor?

MUTANGUHA: I survived with my sister. But I lost four sisters as well.

FOSTER (voice-over): It's Freddy's mission to keep the memories of his family and hundreds of thousands of other victims alive. He now runs this memorial site. He was keen to welcome Prince Charles to learn more about what happened here and help counter a growing online threat from genocide deniers. Freddy compares it to the Holocaust denial.

MUTANGUHA: More than 1 million of Tutsi lost their lives because of this kind of ideology. If this ideology is given a place, and the ideologies -- the ideology of genocide, those who promote the ideology of genocide, given platforms, and this comes back. We're going to lose people, we're going to lose lives. And I don't want this to happen in Rwanda. And I don't want this to happen anywhere around the world.

FOSTER (voice-over): It's a familiar theme. As memories of tragedy fade, anonymous conspiracy theorists crawl in to rewrite history and prevent much needed reconciliation, healing, and peace.


FOSTER: Jake, there weren't any speeches from Prince Charles or Camilla today. It was very much a process of listening for them. And we did get a statement though, saying how they were struck by how important it is. Never to forget the horrors of the past and how deeply moved they were meeting people who have found ways of living with and even forgiving the most appalling crimes.

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

It was one of the most popular brands of e-cigs among teens. Why it may now be pulled from store shelves permanently? Stay with us.



TAPPER: And our health lead, products that millions of Americans use every day to the detriment of their bodies may soon go up in smoke. The Biden administration is taking steps to limit the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Proponents of the move would say it would further wean Americans from tobacco products and reduce smoking related illnesses and deaths. Experts say this could take at least a year for the FDA to issue a proposed rule.

A report in The Wall Street Journal says the FDA could also soon order jewel e-cigarettes off store shelves. The 2020 survey found jewel one of the most popular brands of e-cigarettes used by young people in the United States.

In our national lead, tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of when Title IX was enacted into law. Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on their sex. To celebrate this landmark legislation, First Lady Jill Biden, along with tennis legend Billie Jean King spoke about its importance today at events in Washington, D.C. For decades, Title IX has afforded women and girls in the U.S. an equal opportunity in education and sports.

Turning to the sports lead, legendary tennis star Arthur Ashe not only made history as a black athlete excelling in a predominantly white sport, he also changed the way the world looked at athletes using their platforms to weigh in on important social issues.


Ashe who contracted HIV from a tainted blood transfusion in 1983 became an outspoken advocate for those with HIV and AIDS.

Now the new CNN film called "Citizen Ashe" takes a fresh look at Arthur Ashe's impact both on and off the court. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arthur decided that he didn't have to say a word, but his racket had to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful serve. Another ace, 14. Ace, slides it over to win the game. Comes back with it. Oh my.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Ashe, Arthur Ashe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 68 was a sensational period because I went two months without losing a match, any place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arthur Ashe wins a tremendous victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You only play as well as your confidence. Let's -- if you are very confident, you can do anything. I can hit the ball backwards if I'm confident.


TAPPER: Joining me now is another outspoken activist and athlete, four-time Olympic gold medalist and author, Greg Louganis. Greg, so great to have you. So you had a moment at the 1988 Summer Olympics where you hit your head during a dive. I remember watching that. It was about seven years before you revealed you had HIV.

We've learned so much since then, about how HIV can and cannot spread. You've been an advocate on this issue yourself for almost 30 years now. What's the biggest change that you've witnessed since those early days? What challenges still lay ahead?

GREG LOUGANIS, FOUR TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Well, I mean, there's still some stigma surrounding HIV AIDS. It's important to know how you can get HIV and how you are not going to get HIV. Also, with the new medications and treatments, it seems to be pretty manageable. So then, you know, at that time, when I was diagnosed, it was thought of as a death sentence. So, you know, many people, individuals were dying. And so now with the new treatments, I mean, you can live a pretty typical normal life.

TAPPER: Still, today, athletes often faced backlash for speaking out on controversial issues. They can lose endorsement deals. Arthur Ashe spoke out against South African apartheid in the early 70s. Here's a moment highlighted in the film "Citizen Ashe." Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fill us in on your intention to play in South Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My contention is you have to start somewhere. And it would at least be a crack and then apartheid wall down there if I did play.

When I formally applied for a visa, I was personally turned down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was one of the people that they despised, most of all over there. They had no intention of bringing an outspoken black tennis player to South Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hate to go to Africa with a vengeance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then for him to say, he would like to drop an H- bomb on Johannesburg. And, of course, the opposition is going to pick it up and say this is why we're keeping him out.


TAPPER: Greg, what kind of responsibility do you think high profile athletes have, if any, to advocate for important issues such as equality?

LOUGANIS: You know, I think all of it. Athletes are people too. I mean, just because we may excel at something, you know, doesn't necessarily mean that, you know, we have right thinking or, you know, it's -- we're an individual. You know, I think that it's also stepping into some of that responsibility, taking on some of that responsibility in speaking up sharing who we are authentically, I think that that is just a part of the process.

I feel that oftentimes, you know, we build forms. You know, the individuals build the platforms, and we just stand on him or don't stand on him. So I don't really view myself as an activist. I view myself as an advocate for who I am. And I, you know, I think that a lot of us are that way, you know, that, you know, whether it's racism, whether it's HIV AIDS, you know, whatever that is, you know, just to share authentically who we are, in order to, you know, that people see us fully.

TAPPER: Olympic gold medalist, advocate, author Greg Louganis, thanks so much.

LOUGANIS: My pleasure.

TAPPER: Be sure to tune in, the all new CNN film, "Citizen Ashe" premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. You know if you ever miss an episode of the show, you can listen to The Lead wherever you get your podcasts, it's all two hours just sitting right there for you like a fresh apple.

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