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The Lead with Jake Tapper

January 6 Committee: Trump Repeatedly Refused to Call Off Capitol Rioters; Steve Bannon Found Guilty of Contempt of Congress; Baldwin Confronts Rubio Over Same-Six Marriage Bill; White House Doctor; Biden "Improving" But Taking More Medications. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 22, 2022 - 16:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: And he finished the breakfast and lunch, apparently. So that's an important detail.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: That was important detail.


CAMEROTA: But more importantly, what is available to him for treatment is available to all Americans. That was the message they wanted to get across, that everyone should get vaccinated. That's why he's doing so well.

Okay, have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

And THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Was anyone at the Justice Department watching that hearing last night? Anyone? Bueller?

THE LEAD starts right now.

A criminal case proven against Donald Trump, according to members of the January 6th committee. They say they exposed the former president's determination to hold on to power and his unwillingness to call off violent rioters at the Capitol whose terrorism scared even Secret Service agents.

Will Attorney General Merrick Garland take any action against the men behind the treason?

Plus, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin shockingly attacked at a campaign rally by a man who tried to stab him. And the very brief stint in custody for the man arrested has Zeldin and others sounding off.

Proceeding with caution. Should -- could the optimism in one American city inspire us all to think big and more positively about our inflated economy right now? (MUSIC)

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

We're going to start with our politics lead and a clear sign from the January 6th House Committee that they believe it is time for Attorney General Merrick Garland to charge Donald Trump with a crime. This morning, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, one of the Republicans on the committee, told CNN that the timeline laid out by the committee is not just damning of the president but leaves Trump with clear criminal culpability.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): We have proven different components of a criminal case against Donald Trump or people around him in every hearing. And I think taken in totality, this represents the greatest effort to overturn the will of the people to conspire against the will of the people, and to conspire against American democracy that we have ever had frankly since the Civil War. So, yeah, I think we've proven that. It's up to justice now to make a decision.


TAPPER: This declaration after the bombshell January 6th committee hearing last night where committee members pointed out former President Trump did not fail to act during the riot, he chose to not act.


REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): From the time when President Trump ended his speech until the moment when he finally told the mob to go home, a span of 187 minutes, more than three hours, President Trump sat in his dining room and watched the attack on television while his senior most staff, closest advisers, and family members begged him to do what is expected of any American president.


TAPPER: The committee played testimony from senior Trump White House officials that showed as the riots escalated on Capitol Hill, President Trump refused to take any action to stop them.

Here are the White House counsel at the time and the vice president's then national security adviser.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the secretary of defense that day?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the attorney general of the United States that day?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the secretary of homeland security that day?

CIPOLLONE: I'm not aware of that, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the vice president or -- excuse me, the president ask for the National Guard?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the president ask for law enforcement response?



TAPPER: No, no, no, no, no.

Committee members saying Trump's lack of action was a clear dereliction of duty. He failed to act. He failed to restore order in the Capitol. He failed to call off the MAGA mob that he beckoned to the Capitol, leaving lawmakers, police officers, Secret Service members scared, and in some cases running for their very lives.

And they weren't the only ones. Even MAGA members were running. Despite his defiant pose earlier that day, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, whose objection to counting the electoral votes based on all those election lies, opened the door for the whole insurrection, Hawley was shown as the mob entered the Capitol scurried like a cockroach after someone turned on the kitchen lights.

And for 3 hours and 7 minutes, Donald Trump let the mob wreak its havoc with lives and American democracy in danger. And one of those people who were putting our democracy in danger along with Donald Trump was Steve Bannon.

This afternoon, a jury found Bannon guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the January 6th committee.


Let's start with that breaking news and bring in Sara Murray whose live outside the courthouse.

And, Sara, we just heard from Steve Bannon and his attorney, Mr. Schoen, what did they have to say?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Steve Bannon said they may have lost this battle, but they are not going to lose the war.

And it is clear as you pointed out that they did lose the battle. He was found guilty today on two counts for refusing to appear for his testimony and refusing to provide any documents to the House Select Committee investigating January 6th.

Now, his attorney, David Schoen, says he thinks this is going to be a bulletproof appeal. We'll see about that.

But it was clear throughout the trial what Bannon's attorneys were playing for was this appeal. They did not put on a defense. They didn't put any witnesses forward on Bannon's behalf. Bannon did not take the stand despite all his bluster claiming this was going to be some misdemeanor from hell.

And the prosecution made a very simple case. They said Steve Bannon failed to show up, he needed to show up. He believes he's above the rules and put his allegiance to Donald Trump ahead of the law, Jake.

TAPPER: How did Steve Bannon react when the verdict was read?

MURRAY: He was sort of smirking and smiling in the courtroom as the verdict was handed down. You know, I think what we have seen from Bannon is he has been at times defiant about this prosecution and at times almost nonchalant about it. I think that what you saw is the reaction from someone who knows that he intends to appeal this, even though he faces 30 days behind bars, the sentencing is not going to come until October. You know, 30 days is the minimum he could get.

And if they're planning on appealing it, it's possible he won't have any jail time while that whole appeal is playing out, Jake.

TAPPER: Sara Murray, thanks so much for bringing us that breaking news.

Reactions are pouring in about last night's committee hearing.

CNN's Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill with those takeaways.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump was sitting in the White House for more than three hours, watching TV as the deadly attack on the Capitol unfolded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the secretary of defense that day?

CIPOLLONE: Not that I'm aware of, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the attorney general of the United States that day?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the secretary of homeland security that day?

CIPOLLONE: I'm not aware of that, no.

RAJU: Trump rejecting pleas from members of Congress, his aides, and his family members tell the mob of his supporters to go home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Pence caved, we're going to drag (EXPLETIVE DELETED) through the streets.

RAJU: Instead, inflaming tensions including with a tweet attacking Vice President Mike Pence.

MATTHEW POTTINGER, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The tweet looked to me like the opposite of what we really needed at that moment, which was a de-escalation.

SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It was essentially him giving the green light to these people.

RAJU: Trump was on the phone with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who in turn was pushing senators to slow down the certification of Joe Biden's victory in a last-ditch attempt to stay in power.

As Trump went to the residence that night, he did not express concerns about the attack. Instead --

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): He said only, quote, Mike Pence let me down.

RAJU: But the committee revealing that Trump's actions endangered pence's life.

Radio communications from the VP's secret service detail showing the chaos, with rioters just feet away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're moving, we need to move now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we lose any more time, we may lose the ability to leave. So if we're going to leave, we need to do it now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They gained access to the second floor and I've got public about five feet from me down here below.

RAJU: And this testimony from a White House security official whose identity was kept anonymous for his own safety.

WHITE HOUSE SECURITY OFFICIAL: Members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives. There were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth.

RAJU: Even the day after the attack, outtakes of Trump's speech show he refused to say the election was over.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: But this election is now over, Congress has certified the results. I don't want to say the election is over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results, without saying the election is over, okay?

RAJU: The committee plans witness interviews behind closed doors in August and more public hearings in September, some members believe they have laid out a criminal case against the former president.

KINZINGER: I think the president certainly has criminal exposure.


RAJU (on camera): One of the things the committee plans to be doing during August is to figure out the mystery behind these apparently missing secret service texts from January 5th and January 6th of 2021 that apparently were lost because of some phone migration issue, as one member of the committee, Jamie Raskin, told me last night, a lot of details have come in, leads have come in. We're trying to fill in the details. He said, quote, we're going to figure out the whole mystery of the secret service texts -- Jake.


TAPPER: I hope they do. Manu Raju, thanks so much.

With me to discuss are former January 6 Select Committee investigator John wood and former Trump White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.

John, let me get your reaction to the jury here in D.C. finding Steve Bannon guilty today of two counts of contempt of Congress for not abiding by subpoenas for his participation.

What does this mean for the January 6th committee going forward, and what do you think it means for Bannon?

JOHN WOOD, FORMER JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE INVESTIGATOR: I think it sends a message to other witnesses that they better cooperate. You know, the jury was given a choice between guilty and not guilty, but if they had an option of really, really guilty, they could pick that. I guarantee you this verdict will not be overturned on appeal.

The district court judge, Carl Nichols, was a Trump appointee, a former Supreme Court clerk, a brilliant lawyer. I'm sure he handled everything exactly right to make sure it won't be overturned on appeal. So, it looks to me like Steve Bannon is going to go to prison.

TAPPER: Stephanie, about last night's hearing, we heard testimony that numerous White House aides were pleading with President Trump during the riot, asking him to do something to tell the rioters to go home, and he kept on refusing and refusing.

You were still part of the administration then. Does that accurately describe what you heard from your colleagues at the time? Because I don't think you were in Washington at the time.

STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, I actually was in Washington, but I was working -- I was working remotely. Yes, that sounds right just from what I was hearing from people and also that was something that would happen often.

With COVID, people would be pleading with him, please wear a mask, be an example for the country. So there was always a group of people trying to get him to do the right thing, and you know, watching those outtakes from the video brought back so many memories because again, we would give him a script, the speechwriters would write something and he would rewrite it and do his own thing.

TAPPER: John, you were with the committee from the beginning. You left last month to run for Senate in Missouri as an independent. So Congressman Adam Kinzinger, your fellow -- you're actually a Republican.

WOOD: I am a Republican.

TAPPER: Your fellow Republican Adam Kinzinger said that the committee has laid out a clear criminal case against Donald Trump. Based on your conversations with the committee, do you think it's likely they're going to refer charges to the Justice Department? And what do you think the Justice Department is going to do either way?

WOOD: So, I can't tell you anything about any internal deliberations within the committee, but I will tell you this. The attorney general, whether he brings charges or decides not to bring charges, will be described as having acted politically.

So I think the only option he has, and he should take it right now is to appoint a special counsel, somebody who can be as free of politics as possible, because all of the evidence in the hearings suggests President Trump and those in his immediate orbit need to be investigated.

TAPPER: Okay, so you're not convinced there's a criminal case yet that can be won.

WOOD: I think the investigation is still ongoing and there's only so much that a congressional committee can do. Ultimately, the Justice Department needs to investigate the people in the immediate orbit of President Trump. And in order to take the politics of it, I think there should be a special counsel to do it.

TAPPER: Stephanie, as the chief of staff for Melania Trump on January 6th, you wrote her a text message asking her if she wanted to condemn the violence and tell people they can peacefully protest but nothing worse than that. She wrote back, no. We have all seen that. You put it up on Twitter.

And we have discussed it. Last night, we discussed whether or not there was any way she didn't know that this riot was going on. There's the text message.

She released a statement today insisting she was unaware that there was violence going on on January 6th, because, quote, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House's historic rooms. She said, this is a very significant undertaking that requires great care, attention to detail. And later in the statement, she mentions you and said, had I been

fully informed of all the details, I would have immediately denounced all the violence. She also suggested you were guilty of dereliction of duty, a classic Trump, I'm rubber, you're glue.

What's your response?

GRISHAM: You know, I was flattered she used the fancy station on me today, so that was good. I really wish Melania Trump would be using her stationary and her very big platform to help children rather than harass me.

The facts are the White House curator is who logs the items in the White House. I would say that. To say that she didn't know about January 6th, I would say is a dereliction of duty as FLOTUS and as a wife, to be honest with you.

And then, finally, as I said at the top of the show, I was in D.C. I hadn't abandoned my post, and in fact, I tried to resign twice as her chief of staff and she wouldn't let me.

So, I've said, everything she said, I have proof that she's just deflecting. It's the Trump way. I have been dealing with it for over a year. I would just encourage her to get to work helping children, which is what she says she wants to do.

TAPPER: We know she watches CNN, so be prepared for a response. I'm sure.


John, you're running for Senate as an independent in Missouri. I have to ask you about this photo of your fellow Missourian, Senator Josh Hawley. There he is the day of the insurrection, raising his fist in solidarity with the MAGA mob, and last night, of course, the committee ran this video of him scurrying like a kitty cat being chased by a dog.

What do you make of these drastically different positions from the man who has written a book on what masculinity is?

WOOD: Well, I look forward to serving with Senator Hawley in the U.S. Senate to serve the interests of all Missourians. As you can probably guess, Senator Hawley and I have very different views about what happened in the 2020 election and what happened on January 6th. I think it was an absolute tragedy and we need to make sure it never happens again.

And even more importantly, we need to get to a point as a country where we have a consensus again in support of our Constitution and our democracy. And part of living in a democracy is if you have to accept the results of an election, even if your party doesn't win.

TAPPER: Well, it's not really a view about the 2020 election you disagree with because it's not really a view about whether it was a legitimate election. It was a legitimate election. You know that, and either Senator Hawley believes a lie or he's lying. Is that not a correct assessment?

WOOD: Well, Senator Hawley, I think, was absolutely wrong to challenge the electors from Pennsylvania. There was thorough investigation after the 2020 election. There were 61 lawsuits. The president had his opportunity to challenge the results of the election, and he failed. So we have to respect the outcome of an election. And there should be no dispute about that in a democracy.

TAPPER: Stephanie, there are reports that Trump is eyeing an early announcement that he's running for president in 2024. Do you think he's considering making the announcement sooner rather than later so that he might get in Merrick Garland's head, you can't charge me with a crime, I'm running for president?

GRISHAM: Well, if I know him, yes, he wants to announce more because he wants the attention. But I agree also to send a message to Merrick Garland.

I am hoping, I think the committee has done a masterful job of laying out what the president didn't do and what he also chose not to do. And I'm hoping that that will have an impact on the people who are spreading the big lie in the midterms and if he does run, I hope that that will get independents and left leaning Republicans to go into the booth and understandably vote with their conscience.

TAPPER: All right. Stephanie Grisham, John Wood, thanks to both of you. Really appreciate it.

Coming up next on THE LEAD, the attack at a campaign rally. Shocking. Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin running for governor in New York, he was rushed onstage by a man with a sharp object wrapped around his knuckles, trying to stab Congressman Zeldin. Thankfully, he had not succeeded. The arrest and fallout that has Zeldin outraged.

Plus, a much needed agreement between Ukraine and Russia today, even as Putin's war drags on.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: And we're back with our politics lead.

Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is running to be the next governor of New York, returned to the campaign trail today after being attacked during a speech. Zeldin's campaign says the man you see climbing on the stage attempted to stab Zeldin with what local officials call a sharp plastic object. A source familiar with the incident confirms the reporter this is what the suspect was holding, a plastic self defense key chain.

The congressman who was an Army veteran was able to grab the attacker's wrist and stop him from stabbing him. Forty-three-year-old David Jakubonis has been charged in the attack. He's already been released, however, because of New York's controversial no-cash bail law.

CNN's Erica Hill is live in New York.

Erica, thankfully, the congressman is okay. But we should note this New York law allowing a suspect to be released has become a major focus of the Zeldin campaign today and understandably so.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it has, it's been a major focus. Today, he was back on the campaign trail at an event this morning and frankly a focus for some time for the congressman.

So this goes back to a law that was passed in 2019 that did away with the cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. So the charge that we're talking about for this man who allegedly attacked the congressman on stage last night is a class C felony, the least serious. He's charged with attempted attack in the second degree.

When this law was passed, again, it was done so the people weren't sitting in jail if they couldn't pay for that cash bail. But it's been controversial. There's been a lot of pushback since it was passed and it went into effect. And there have been some changes, Jake, since it went into effect in 2020, but you can expect you're going to hear a lot more about this moving forward.

TAPPER: Erica, we just heard from one of the men who helped detain the suspect on stage. What did he have to say?

HILL: That's right. He's also running in New York state. So he described what happened. He saw the man approach the stage. He said something seemed a little off. He wasn't sure if this was somebody who maybe wanted to say something, was unhappy with Congressman Zeldin or perhaps wanted to give him a hug. This is how he described how those moments went down on the stage. Take a listen.


JOE CHENELLY, TACKLED MAN WHO ATTACKED REP. LEE ZELDIN: Then he pulled this weapon out of his pocket or off his right side of his body and swung at the congressman towards his face or throat, and said you're done. And at that time, the congressman blocked his first strike. As he pulled back and tried to strike again the second time, I was able to wrap him up in a bear hug and get him down to the ground.


HILL: There you go, got him down to the ground. He was held for about six hours before he was released on his own recognizance. He does have some travel restrictions as well as a temporary order of protection. He needs to stay away from Congressman Zeldin.

TAPPER: Little known fact, Zeldin has a black belt in taekwondo.

Erica Hill, thank you so much. Appreciate your report.

My next guest, the openly gay Democratic senator who confronted her Republican colleague, Senator Marco Rubio, who had just called the debate over a gay marriage bill a stupid waste of time.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Turning to post-Roe America in our politics lead and the push to codify into law possibly vulnerable rights that the Supreme Court had previously affirmed such as the right of same-sex couples to get married. Shortly after the House passed a bill that would have afforded such protections to LGBTQ couples earlier this week, reporters caught up with Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio as he was getting on an elevator to find out how he was going to vote. Rubio who is up for re-election this year, told journalists the bill was nothing more than a stupid waste of time.

Those remarks as he was getting on an elevator with the first openly gay senator ever elected to Congress, Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

And Senator Baldwin joins us now.

So, Senator, what did you say when he got on the elevator?


SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WI): Well, of course, I had to make an elevator pitch, right? I only had a short time, but I -- he was kind of shocked to see me standing there after talking with your reporter.

And I really did talk about why it's needed at this point in time and why it's not a waste of time to the many gay and interracial couples that live in Florida. And what is -- you know, he's obviously not convinced, but I said, we'll be talking.

But as you know, I am working very hard to identify a 60-vote majority in order to pass this legislation, to safeguard these rights. And I'm going to continue doing that job.

TAPPER: So it sounds as though even though he had just said a vote on whether or not you can legally get married to whoever you want, even though he said that in your presence was a stupid waste of time, it sounds like your approach to him was not one of anger but one of reason. Is that -- am I reading you correctly?

BALDWIN: Yes. So once the Supreme Court decided in the Dobbs case that the constitutional right to privacy no longer exists, and when Justice Clarence Thomas went a bit further in saying this court should revisit all the cases decided under similar constitutional arguments, it put in jeopardy our right to access contraception. It put in jeopardy same-sex marriage, frankly interracial marriage and other rights that have been decided, again, under the same constitutional construct.

And so, it's very important that we pass legislation to safeguard the right of marriage equality and access to contraception, et cetera. The House is doing just that. I want the Senate to join the House in their bold bipartisan action last Tuesday. I want the Senate to do that as soon as possible.

TAPPER: So as you know, we have Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives on THE LEAD, and I just, to tell you what a conservative or a Republican might say in response to what you just said.

They would say, first of all, yes, Clarence Thomas wrote that, but Samuel Alito who wrote the Dobbs opinion, said that basically Clarence Thomas is wrong. We're fought going to revisit all those cases. So that's one. That this issue, Dobbs, is different because it's issues of life as opposed to the other things, contraception, sodomy, and same-sex marriage.

And second, you brought up interracial marriage, Loving -- Loving versus Virginia, which Clarence Thomas who is married to a White woman, did not bring up.

So, how would you respond to that? Their basic argument is Democrats are just doing this to scare people, to try to get their voters to the polls. This is not a real threat.

BALDWIN: Well, this isn't a partisan issue at all. And in fact, that's why I feel very hopeful that we will have more than 60 votes in order to codify the respect for marriage act. But I can tell you that a case as significant as the overturning of Roe versus Wade in Dobbs, that overturns 49 years of precedent. Women in America have less freedom today than their mothers and grandmothers had.

And there has been much written already about the vulnerability of other rights that were decided in the same manner as the court approached Dobbs. And so there is a lot of fear. There's a lot of -- there's certainly full understanding that were it not for the Obergefell decision, which created marriage equality in the U.S., that there are many states that wouldn't have that right. And so this is simply a bill to say that the full faith and credit of the United States will be placed in the legal enactments of other states.

And it will require recognition, and it's a very important step forward. And we can't forget, it wasn't so long ago that we were still working to try to legislate marriage equality.

TAPPER: Right.

BALDWIN: And marriage is something that confers hundreds of rights and responsibilities.


BALDWIN: Things like being able to visit your spouse in the hospital if they're ill versus being viewed as a legal stranger.


And so, these are real life things that we need to fight for. TAPPER: I know your fellow Wisconsin senator, Republican Ron Johnson,

just announced la night if the bill comes up, he will vote in support of it, but my understanding is right now, you need ten Republicans. And you only have five. Is that right?

BALDWIN: I think there's a number of folks who are choosing to make their announcement on their own time. I have had some encouraging conversations where we started the conversation, they're going to read the bill. We'll talk either later this weekend or early next week. But I think we're getting really close.

TAPPER: All right. Democrat from Wisconsin, Senator Tammy Baldwin, thank you so much.

We should note, we reached out to Senator Rubio to come on as well. He has an invitation to join us any time to discuss this or anything he wants.

Now, to our health lead, the White House just now briefing reporters on President Biden's health. The president, of course, testing positive for coronavirus yesterday. Mr. Biden is fully vaccinated. He has had two booster shots. We're told he's experiencing mild symptoms.

Let's bring in Jeff Zeleny. He's at the White House.

Jeff, what do we know about how President Biden is feeling today?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the White House is clearly trying to make a point that President Biden is at work. He's just doing so remotely.

Just a short time ago, he had a virtual meeting with several of his advisers trying to highlight gas prices and how they have been falling every day for about a month and a half or so. He said he feels better than he sounds. His voice was a little low, and he sounded like he was experiencing mild symptoms, as we have said.

But there is a briefing going on right now, and Dr. Ashish Jha, the COVID coordinator said the president is in good spirits. He's feeling well, and he had this to say about how the president was doing earlier this morning and how he's eating.


DR. ASHISH JHA, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: And as you all saw, just a few minutes ago, the president is doing better. He slept well last night. He ate his breakfast and lunch, fully.

He actually showed me his plate. Didn't ask about the menu, but I did see an empty plate with crumbs. I have guessed about what was there, but I didn't ask.


ZELENY: So the White House is clearly viewing this with a bit of humor as they are really essentially explaining how the leader of the free world is isolating for the next five days in the residence of the White House, which is on the second floor behind me here in this building.

So the president is really only encountering face-to-face a limited number of advisers. He had his daily presidential brief, of course, that's the threat assessment. That was held virtually. He had a virtual meeting with his national security team. Of course, the White House releasing photos of most of these, trying to make the point he is working.

He, of course, is being treated for Paxlovid as well. This, the antiviral, his temperature rose a bit overnight to 99.4. The White House pointing out that's slightly less than the level of a fever, but he's given Tylenol just as a precaution. He's off his other medicines, blood thinners and cholesterol medicines.

But we also learned 17 people have been identified by the White House medical unit as close contacts of the president. And all of them are following the guidance as well.

Jill Biden for her part, the first lady, is isolating separately. She's tested negative, but she's at their home in Wilmington -- Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah. And the vice president, Kamala Harris, also testing negative today. Thank you so much, Jeff Zeleny. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, the deal struck today between Ukraine and Russia after months of war. This one could help the world's entire food supply.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Topping our world lead, finally a deal between Russia and Ukraine that could benefit millions. Unfortunately, it's not a cease- fire on the raging land war, but it is something, an agreement to unblock ports in the Black Sea. Ports that are critical for distributing grain around the world, an easing and global food crisis. Both Russian and Ukrainian officials agreed to not attack ships carrying grain out of those critical ports.

But as CNN's Nic Robertson reports for us, Ukraine and Russia remain a long way from any true peace.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): In Istanbul, the biggest diplomatic breakthrough in Russia's war against Ukraine, a deal to ease Russia's stranglehold on Ukraine and get its grain 1/5 of the world's supply to market.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: It will bring relief for developing countries on the edge of bankruptcy and the most vulnerable people on the edge of famine. ROBERTSON: Since the war began, Russia has attacked and blockaded Ukraine's ports burnt wheat fields, stolen harvest from farmers. Until now, Russia has been holding the world's grain hostage. The new deal aims to end that by creating safe shipping channels, using Ukrainian pilots to navigate through sea mines. Implementation overseen by Turkey includes inspecting cargoes.

Russia's defense chief and Ukraine's infrastructure minister sign the deal, but not with each other. Separately with the UN.

Tensions remain and the deal fragile with no hard ceasefire at ports, an adviser to President Zelenskyy's chief of staff tweeting: In case of provocations, an immediate military response.

DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Ukraine does not trust Russia. I don't think anyone has reasons to trust Russia. We invest our trust in the United Nations as the driving force of this agreement.

ROBERTSON: Speaking in Istanbul, Russia's defense chief indicating what they got from the deal. The UN lifting restrictions on their food and fertilizer exports, despite their responsibility triggering the current calamity.

Ukrainian officials say 20 million tons of grain has stuck in port and exports could begin in days, likely using ships stuck in port since the war began.



ROBERTSON (on camera): So agriculture experts here are saying the real success, if this deal can work, if there's no return to hostilities at least at sea, will be that these ships that have been stuck in harbor with grain can get out, and that will prove that the route is safe and therefore shipping companies around the world will then be able to or be willing to insure other vessels to go back in and get the rest of the grain.

But I have got to say, Jake, it is really fragile. But it's something. It's certainly more than there was.

TAPPER: Nic Robertson in Ukraine, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, a major American city trying to hold on hope that economic progress is possible.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In today's money lead, a look at real people coping with life amid high inflation, economic uncertainty, and toxic politics. Our latest polling shows a whopping 79 percent of the American people feel things in this country are going badly right now.

But in Lansing, Michigan, CNN's Miguel Marquez found glimmered of something the polls don't measure.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sloppy Joe night at the Dykstra home. Nate and Treya emerging from the pandemic, stronger than ever. They have a new baby, bought their first house three years ago, Nate took a new job with a 50 percent pay increase, and promise he would never have to go to an office again.

NATE DYKSTRA, LANSING RESIDENT: My old employer was going to eventually force everyone back into the office. This new role is permanent remote. So I can work from home forever.

MARQUEZ: Still, it was tough.

How difficult was it to get through the pandemic?

TREYA DYKSTRA-SWORDS, LANSING RESIDENT: Took a huge toll on my mental health.

MARQUEZ: For them, it's still the pandemic, not economic concerns that color their outlook and guide their decisions. Today, saving cash a priority.

DYKSTRA-SWORDS: We stopped traveling for the pandemic. We started investing more in like the house and trying to build equity.

MARQUEZ: Lansing, where they live, is booming. Michigan state capital, GM makes five vehicles here and has announced it will invest $2.6 billion on a new battery plant for electric vehicles.


MARQUEZ: Local companies expanding too. Neogen, specializing in food safety, announced a $70 million expansion, bringing more high income jobs here.

Even downtown Lansing, near the capital, starting to hum.

SCHOR: We're seeing demand for housing like you wouldn't believe in our downtown.

MARQUEZ: Like the rest of the country.

SCHOR: Yes, absolutely. We opened about 200 units right over there. We opened about 150 units over there. We opened a new grocery store with units above it.

MARQUEZ: Shawn Elliott is a Lansing builder, contractor, and commercial real estate owner. Today, he's helping build a new downtown restaurant.

SHAWN ELLIOTT, OWNER, SE GROWTH CORPORATION: This is actually going to be a vegan restaurant that we're bringing to the area.

MARQUEZ: During the pandemic, he went down to three employees. Today, he has nine and would like to add at least two more.

Rhea Van Atta owns a business dedicated to all things Michigan in Lansing's old town. She, too, is hiring, but --

RHEA VAN ATTA, OWNER, OLD TOWN GENERAL STORE: I'm nervously confident and enthusiastic about what's going on. What do you do?

MARQUEZ: You're nervously confident. You're nervous about what?

VAN ATTA: I'm nervous of what might be. Like, what if I have purchased all these things for the holidays and then there's a big recession and no one wants to buy it.


MARQUEZ: Michigan economist Scott Imberman says coming out of the pandemic, businesses and consumers are being hit in ways we have never seen.

IMBERMAN: I'm not sure we have really experienced anything quite like this, where you have an inflationary environment with a really strong labor market.

MARQUEZ: For families like the Dykstras, the worries less about the economy and more about the general direction of the nation.

DYKSTRA: Everything seems to be a controversy these days. And I'm just scared that it's going to be like a civil war coming in eventually because both sides politically are --

DKYSTRA-SWORDS: Darkest place.

DKYSTRA: Pretty angry at the other half of the country.

MARQUEZ: Despite the boon times, worries about where the nation is headed keeping expectations low and some families staying close to home.


MARQUEZ (on camera): So nervously confident seems to be what a lot of us are feeling these days.

But whatever the case, with all of the stuff that people are dealing with, there's one thing that was crystal clear, work from home, both the mayor and business owners we spoke to said it has to be paired back or ended all together, if they want their communities to thrive. That is something whether you're in Lansing or midtown Manhattan, cities across this country are going to have to deal with in the months and years ahead -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Miguel Marquez, thanks so much. Fascinating report. First here on CNN, the Secret Service under scrutiny. What sources are

telling us about the investigation into phones and text messages of ten specific U.S. Secret Service staffers. That's next.



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

This hour, a battle for the soul of the Republican Party in a way with Donald Trump and Mike Pence facing off in Arizona's hotly contested Republican primary. What we heard just this afternoon from Pence, as Trump tied himself to the candidate pushing deranged far right conspiracies.

Plus, beaten by police, now he's leading the very department. CNN is one-on-one with Boston's new top cop and his unique past with his police force.

And leading this hour, first on CNN, Secret Service investigators zero in on the phones of ten Secret Service personnel and messages sent and received around January 6th. This as the January 6th Committee reviews evidence to see whether any Secret Service personnel played any role in helping Donald Trump try to block certification of the 2020 election.

CNN's Whitney Wild joins me now live.

And, Whitney, you have brand-new reporting about the potentially missing text messages from some Secret Service agents. What have investigators, I think it's the department of homeland security inspector general, what have they found?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, these are investigators for the Secret Service because remember, this was the House Select Committee had directed the Secret Service to basically do an investigation of itself.