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The Lead with Jake Tapper

FBI Interviewed Top W.H. Lawyers About Records Taken To Mar-A- Lago; Biden Signs Sweeping Climate, Health Care & Tax Bill; Drought Forces Massive Cuts In Water Consumption In Southwest U.S.; Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin On Ballot To Fill Vacant Seat; Rep. Liz Cheney Fights For Political Survival In Wyoming; Trump Critic Liz Cheney At Risk Of Defeat In Wyoming GOP Primary; Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin On Ballot To Fill Vacant House Seat; More Than Half Of GOP Governor Nominees Have Questioned Or Denied Legitimacy Of 2020 Election; AZ GOP Secretary Of State Nominee Shares Extremist Anti-Government Conspiracies On Social Media; Death Row Inmate Richard Glossip Given A 60-Day Of Execution; Brother Of Marine Killed In 2021 Kabul Attack Dies By Suicide. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired August 16, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: CNN's Evan Perez joins me now. Evan, what do we know about the FBI interviewing these top former Trump White House lawyers?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, we know that earlier this year as this investigation was getting underway, the FBI interviewed Pat Cipollone, who was the White House counsel, and Patrick Philbin, who was his deputy. Now, again, there was a group of former White House aides who came in and talk to the FBI, as the FBI was trying to get get its head around, gets their hands around what exactly happened with these boxes of federal records that made their way from the White House, to the former president's home in Palm Beach.

The question, obviously, for all of these aides is exactly what happened. How did these documents end up in Mar-a-Lago? Obviously, we know that in the intervening several months, the former president's legal team has been talking to the FBI, to the Justice Department, trying to figure out, again, these people trying to get back these documents. And clearly, something went wrong in the intervening period, which led to the search that happened at the former president's home in Palm Beach last week,

TAPPER: And Evan, big picture this for us. Why are these interviews with Trump's former top two lawyers at the White House? Why are they significant?

PEREZ: Well, first of all, these were two of several representatives of the former president named as people to be in touch with the National Archives should anything like this happen. So they would be in the position to be the first to get contacted. The other part of this, Jake, that I think it's important for people to know is, you know, these two men wouldn't know the answer to the big question I think a lot of us are asking, which is, is it true that the former president had some kind of standing order to declassified documents? Was it true that, you know, by simply sending documents from the west wing to the residents that that deemed them declassified?

Those are questions that these two men as top counsels to the former president would have answers to. So again, these men are very key to knowing exactly the sequence of events of how these records were being handled inside the White House.

TAPPER: And as a reminder, of course, lying to the media, lying to the American people --

PEREZ: Big different.

TAPPER: -- not a crime, lying to the FBI, that's a crime. Evan Perez, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Turning to our money lead now, President Biden signed a sweeping $750 billion health care tax and climate bill into law this afternoon. The bill will give billions of dollars to fight climate change. It makes major changes to Medicare as well by giving the Medicare agency the power to negotiate some drug prices for the first time.

As CNN's MJ Lee reports for us now, this is a major victory for Democrats ahead of November's midterm elections.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The soul of America is vibrant. The future of America is bright. And the promise of America is real and just beginning.

MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A major moment for the Joe Biden presidency.

BIDEN: To go on about the side is not just about today, it's about tomorrow. It's about delivering progress and prosperity to American families.

LEE (voice-over): Capping a productive year of legislating on Capitol Hill, President Biden signing into law today, a sweeping $750 billion climate health care and tax bill. Democrats have built the package the Inflation Reduction Act, despite experts concluding there would likely be little to no immediate impact on lowering prices.

TAPPER: The Inflation Reduction Act invest $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever, ever, ever, ever in confronting the climate crisis and strengthening our economic -- our energy security.

LEE (voice-over): It does, however, mark the U.S.'s most significant investment ever to fight climate change. The law would also reduce prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug makers. Extend Affordable Care Act health care subsidies and tax large corporations to reduce the deficit.

BIDEN: Every single Republican in the Congress side with a special interest in this vote, every single one.

LEE (voice-over): And while this package arrived on the President's desk after getting zero Republican votes, Biden has also been growing a list of bipartisan legislative accomplishments. That had been a signature promise from presidential candidate Joe Biden.

BIDEN: I'm running as a proud Democrat. But I will govern as an American president. I'll work with Democrats and Republicans.

LEE (voice-over): A year and a half into his first term, Biden has signed into law, a gun safety bill.

BIDEN: Lives will be saved.

LEE (voice-over): Legislation to help veterans exposed to burn pits.

BIDEN: This law is long overdue.

LEE (voice-over): A semiconductor bill aimed at making the U.S. more competitive against China.

BIDEN: Those tiny computer chips smaller than a fingertip.

LEE (voice-over): And a major infrastructure investment package, all bills that garnered some support from across the political aisle.


BIDEN: Red states, blue states, you all contacted me, you all said you refer this.


LEE: Now, after President Biden signed this bill into law today, we saw him turn and hand that pen deliberately to Senator Joe Manchin. It is, of course, because of Senator Manchin and Senator Chuck Schumer, coming together in recent weeks with this surprise deal that this legislation ultimately ended up coming together.

And, Jake, that rhetoric that we saw from the President today, expect to hear so much more of that. That message being that the Democratic Party is working to deliver results for the American people. We are told that White House officials and the President himself, they are really going to be hitting the road and really touting the legislative accomplishments from the President's first few years in office. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, MJ Lee at the White House for us, thank you so much.

Let's bring in Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State. Congresswoman, this law is going to accomplish a lot, among other items, billions of dollars to combat climate change. The power for the Medicare agency to negotiate some drug prices, caps for Medicare out of pocket drug costs for seniors. It extends the Affordable Care Act subsidies and imposes a 15 percent minimum tax for large corporations.

I -- first of all, congratulations. But I'm confused about something, Democrats keep calling this the Inflation Reduction Act. Plenty of experts say it's not going to reduce inflation. Why is it being called that?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D), CHAIR, CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS: Well, Jake, first of all, this is a huge accomplishment. And all of the things that you mentioned in and of themselves, each one is a massive transformation, right? We've never taken on climate change, at this scale at this level, bringing down carbon emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030. And investing 60 billion into environmental justice as we do that.

We've never had Medicare negotiating drug prices, despite decades of actually trying to fight for that. And, you know, for the first time, in a long time, these big corporations or wealthiest corporations, billionaire corporations are going to have to pay a minimum tax. So each one massive accomplishment.

I wasn't part of the naming squad, if you will, but I will say that the bill is going to reduce costs for American consumers. And I think that is an important idea that we are going to save the average American family, 1,000 bucks in energy cost reductions. And, of course, with the continuation of the Affordable Care Act subsidies, and the negotiation of prescription drug prices, bringing the cost of insulin down, among other things, capping that --


JAYAPAL: -- at 35 bucks. All of those things are going to reduce costs for the American family and I think that's really the idea behind it.

TAPPER: Yes, that's not what inflation is necessarily, but I take your point. Many of the provisions in this law, we should note, are not going to go into effect until the year 2023, including the drug rebates, a cap on Medicare drug cost, and the insulin co pays, you were just referring to, the Clean Energy Credits for manufacturing, then the new tax and minimum tax for large company is 15 percent.

And yet one of the biggest parts of the bill that allows Medicare to negotiate the price for some drugs, that won't even begin until 2026. So in a lot of ways, voters are not going to feel the benefits of this bill until after the midterms, if not in the cases of the latter issue I just brought up after the next presidential election. Does that concern you at all?

JAYAPAL: Well, of course, I would have liked to see some of those things being addressed more quickly. But I don't think it takes away from the enormity of what we're doing. And we will be able to convey that to voters, I do think voters are looking at what we're doing on climate change.

And they're not expecting to turn this around by tomorrow, they are expecting the United States to take leadership on taking on climate change, fighting for climate justice. And this bill is going to get that done. That's going to energize, you know, millions of young voters in particular, but a lot of voters across the country who feel like this is an issue that has been evaded. And, you know, really obscured predominantly by Republicans who refuse to believe that it's even real.

So I think that while I understand we're not going to get everything right away, people aren't going to see that, they are going to see that we can get things done. And between this bill and the American Rescue Plan, in my mind, those are the two most significant pieces of legislation that I have had the opportunity to work on, that we have had the opportunity to vote on for some time, both of which were done with only Democratic votes. And of course, then we have all the other bipartisan bills as well, that are big accomplishments.

TAPPER: Listen to what Senator Joe Manchin, Democratic West Virginia said about working with President Biden throughout this process.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): When it fell apart, we stayed silent for quite a while and then at the proper time, are you getting what you need? Are we -- you know, just enough. And he knew enough being a former senator, sometimes he's got let us do what we got to do. And I gave him all the credit for that.



TAPPER: So that's how it worked. I know a lot of progressives were very, very frustrated with Senator Manchin throughout this process. Many had quite harsh things to say. At the end of the day, do you give Senator Manchin and President Biden credit, as well as Majority Leader Schumer for getting this done?

JAYAPAL: Absolutely. I've always given the President credit for coming in with a vision that was big, bold, populous, and being willing to fight for it. And I would argue that the Progressive Caucus was probably his best friend on Capitol Hill in terms of selling this to the country, pushing for it, making sure we got legislation drafted and passed in the House. Many of those pieces that are in the Inflation Reduction Act came directly from the piece of legislation we drafted in the House.

And as for Senator Manchin, I think it's a great thing that he was able to get to a place where he could be comfortable with moving some of these critical issues along and that he didn't give up. I give him a lot of credit for that. And I'm happy to have him in the Democratic family. I'm happy we got this done.

I would love to have a couple more Democrats in the Senate so that we can pass the rest of President Biden's economic agenda, which 99 percent of Democrats are on board with and a lot of the population, Democrats, Independents and Republicans want. Universal childcare, universal pre-K, investments in housing, all of that stuff, Jake, still to be done. But we're very close and I feel great about it.

TAPPER: Congresswoman Jayapal of Washington State, good to see you. Thanks so much.

JAYAPAL: Thank you.

TAPPER: Unprecedented water restrictions are about to go into place across the Southwest as a key water source drops to dangerous new lows. then former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin may be returning to elected office, that's ahead.



TAPPER: In our Earth matters series, mandatory steep water cuts are coming for the Southwest. For the first time starting next year, the Colorado River will operate in a two-tier shortage condition. That means places that rely upon the Colorado River will need to significantly cut back on their water consumption with Nevada, Arizona and even the country of Mexico, needing to cut back the most.

But experts say this even though drastic will not be enough to tackle the ongoing mega drought, which is of course, made worse by the climate crisis. CNN's Bill Weir reports now from Lake Mead.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting. That's supposed Mark Twain quote has been a Western slogan since the first settlers. But now the worst drought in 1200 years, as water managers in seven states 30 tribal nations and Mexico fighting over every precious drop.

CAMILE TOUTON, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION COMMISSIONER: But to date, the states collectively have not identified and adopted specific actions of sufficient magnitude that would stabilize the system.

WEIR (voice-over): That was the commissioner in charge of dams and reservoirs, admitting that upper and lower basin states have failed to agree on ways to cut their water use by up to 25 percent.

PAT MULROY, FORMER COMMISSIONER, SOUTHERN NEVADA WATER AUTHORITY: I think ultimately the states are going to realize they're playing Russian roulette, and they're going to have to come to their senses.

WEIR (voice-over): For almost 30 years, Pat Mulroy was in charge of Southern Nevada's water and led an aggressive conservation campaign to tear up lawns, reuse wastewater and scold water wasters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can't water in the middle of the day, ma'I'm. You'll be fine if you don't change your watering clock.

WEIR (voice-over): All measures she'd like to see happen downstream.

MULROY: I think they're kind of kicking the can down the road past the election, if you want me to be very frank about it. I don't think anybody wants to make great public announcements about measures they may have to take --

WEIR (on-camera): Right.

MULROY: -- prior to the election.

WEIR (voice-over): Rather than the force new action, the feds will let the states keep talking while the next round of automatic cuts will lower water delivery by 7 percent to Mexico, 8 percent In Nevada, and 21 percent to Arizona.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can hear this crunching, it's just starting to dry up.

WEIR (voice-over): Here, alfalfa farmers are already being paid to let their fields go fallow. While some are switching to crops like Wioli (ph), a rubber plant that grows in the desert.

KEVIN MORAN, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND: Crop switching. Looking at lower water use crops like Wioli (ph) is one of the solutions we need to be looking at in a drier future to allow communities to sustain themselves.

WEIR (voice-over): Thanks to some creative water accounting, California will not face mandatory cuts next year. But their governor is already warming of a future with a lot more people and a lot less water.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Science and the data leads us to now understand that we will lose 10 percent of our water supply by 2040. If all things are equal, we will lose an additional 10 percent of our supply by 2040.

MULROY: We have the very real possibility this coming year. If we have another lousy winter, all things being equal, that we will drive this lake down to elevation 1,000. That is 100 feet above deadpool, and you're at the bottom of the martini glass. So it doesn't take much to tip that over and get to the point where nothing can go downstream.

And if you don't take it seriously now, if you think that you're going to avoid this, do a rain dance, go pray, do whatever that we have a great winner, you're insane.


WEIR: And we haven't even talked about the loss of hydropower from Hoover Dam, from Glen Canyon Dam that supplies millions of people across the West, Jake. Among the big ideas a lot more desalination plants, may be bringing seawater into the Salton Sea. There are old ideas people and talking about for half a century about piping water from the Mississippi or harvesting glaciers from Alaska.

All of these things are moonshot ideas that would take billions of dollars in many, many years. In the meantime, conservation is the new watchword if you want to live in the American West. TAPPER: Another important report from Bill Weir on the climate beat. Thank you so much, appreciate it.


Coming up, it's Election Day in Wyoming and Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is hoping that some former Democratic voters might help her keep her seat in Congress. Stay with us.


TAPPER: And we're back. In our politics lead, a major primary day for two high profile Republican critics of former President Donald Trump. Right now, Wyoming voters are deciding if January 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney will keep her seat in Congress. She's facing Trump- backed attorney Harriet Hageman for the state's single congressional seat.

And Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment trial is up against a Trump endorsed challenger in one of the most highly anticipated contests of this year Senate midterms. Also on the ballot former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin, who is seeking that state's one House seat.


CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now live from Jackson, Wyoming. Jeff, you're learning new details about Cheney speech this evening.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we are learning that Congresswoman Liz Cheney win or lose is going to frame this as the beginning of the next battle. Of course, the battle that she speaks of is her long running feud with former President Donald Trump, her fight for democracy, for the rule of law. So I am told again, regardless of the outcome, which gives you a sense that they're certainly not expecting a victory tonight that she is going to try and turn the page to the next chapter.

I'm told she's going to stop well short of announcing any of her own personal plans or ambitions. But she is going to begin forming some type of a think tank, perhaps a Super PAC to help other Republican candidates who were like minded. She also is going to just basically amplify some of the themes she's been talking about throughout the January 6 commission.

But before all that, the voting is still going on here in Wyoming. We spent the day talking to voters on both sides, and it is Democrats and Independents who could offer her a lifeline if that's possible. Take a listen to this voter we talked to earlier today.


LIBBE BURCHFIELD, CHANGED PARTIES TO VOTE FOR CHENEY: I've been a Democrat almost all my life. And with Liz Cheney, I decided we're going to get a Republican in Wyoming. I'd rather have her than Hageman. I don't agree with any of her politics, none. But what I've seen her do on the committee I think is very rewarding. I think she's done a hell of a good job.


ZELENY: Of course, that view is not echoed by many Republicans across the state that we've been talking to here for the last week or so. There's deep disappointment in what Congresswoman Cheney has done in terms of the January 6 commission. Of course, Donald Trump carried this state by a wider margin than any in the country back in 2020. So that gives you the sense of the uphill battle that she's facing, Jake.

TAPPER: And Jeff, Alaska is using a top four primary this year for the first time. Is that likely to help or hurt Senator Lisa Murkowski?

ZELENY: It's definitely likely to help her at least today. She's running against some 18 opponents on the ballot. And since there is a rank choice voting for the first time in Alaska, the top four candidates go on to the general election in November. So she certainly will be among them. Her leading opponent who's endorsed by the former President Donald Trump, she will likely be as well.

But having this -- her support split among so many people certainly helps her in the short run. There are a lot of candidates across the country who wish they had rank choice voting top two, top four. Certainly, Senator Murkowski is going to feel that. So she still feels pretty good about her election come November, but the real race will start tomorrow and that against her likely and three other candidates.

TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny in beautiful Jackson, Wyoming, thanks so much.

Let's discuss, Kristen Soltis Anderson, let me start with you because you conducted a focus group of 13 people who plan to vote in today's primary, Republican primary in Wyoming. When you ask the panel, how many of them plan to vote for Liz Cheney, of 13, two Republicans raise their hands, eight others indicating they will not vote for her. What were some of the reasons that they gave you for not supporting Liz Cheney?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: So what's fascinating is that so much of the conversation about this race is about Donald Trump. And frankly, when people talk about what do Republican voters care about, when we have conversations around tables like this, it often comes back to Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump.

And yet for these voters, their biggest criticism of Liz Cheney, is that they feel the last two years of her political career has been too much about Donald Trump. The word vendetta got used in the focus group, that a lot of these voters said, look, I voted for her in the past, but I feel like her focus has shifted from what's best for Wyoming to be more about impeachment, January 6, et cetera. And for them, they thought that was too off mission. And that's why they said in this focus group that they intended to vote for her. TAPPER: So Navin, Cheney had hope to convince many Democrats and Independents in the state to change their party registration to support her. They could vote for her in the Republican primary. This is a state we should point out, Republicans make up three quarters of the electorate, as of today. The total number of registered Republicans in the state is only up about 6,000 from January 1 of last year.

In focus group, the Democrats and Independents that they vote for Cheney, but are there enough Democrats and Independents to help?

NAVIN NAYAK: It's really hard to imagine that. I mean, this is a state Joe Biden got 26 percent. And he did better in West Virginia than he did in Wyoming. So I think that's a real hard thing to imagine. The other thing that that's worth remembering is that this is -- you know, people focused on the last two years and the committee's work and her voice in that effort.

But when she ran in the primary, in the Republican primary in 2016, she only got -- she barely got 40 percent. She was not, you know, there's a change happening in the Republican Party already at that point. And it really has been this transition. You know, the President Biden is fond of saying this is not your father's Republican Party. I think she would also say this is not my father's Republican Party, and it's been going on for a while.


TAPPER: But Margaret, even in Kristen's focus group, Republicans talking about Donald Trump didn't universally even if they supported him, love him. Some of the terms they use to describe him in her focus group, brash out for himself, controversial but effective, unpresidential, bold and unapologetic. These are comments from Republicans who are not planning to vote for Cheney. What do you make of that?

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think we have been talking about Trump's successes and his power in contests so far in the context of the primary election, because that's the season we're in. But things are about to turn, and they are turning state by state to the general election. And what it tells me is that there could be some softness among Republican voters, and that could impact turnout.

Like we can analyze the past six months and say, wow, it's undeniably been very successful for Trump. Look at the number of nominees who are still talking about challenging the 2020 results, are denying, you know, the election or who are rallying around the defund the FBI calls. But when you move those -- that equation into a general election race, it's significantly different.

TAPPER: And then you have the Alaska race. Let's talk about Sarah Palin for a second because I think people are -- there's so much going on with Liz Cheney and then Lisa Murkowski, people are kind of not paying enough attention. She's about to become a member of Congress in all likelihood. There was a fundraiser, however, that was run by the parents of Sarah Palin's ex husband, Todd, for her Republican opponent, Nick Begich, I think is his name. When asked why they were not supporting Sarah Palin, the father-in-law, former father-in-law seems to suggest that because Governor Palin didn't finish her term, that was one of the reasons, but it's hard to think that was the only reason. What do you make of it?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I'm not going to get into the family dynamics there.

TAPPER: Please don't, please don't. Yes.

MCKEND: But I will say this is the first time that this seat is going to be open in 49 years so it makes sense that there's a lot of interests. It makes sense for her who sort of left the governorship in disgrace, she resigned amid scandal to essentially shoot her shot again.

And also Sarah Palin would fit in really well with this House Republican Conference. These are her people, essentially. I would say, though, that she has a tall order ahead of her in terms of convincing Alaskans that she's truly in it for them, and not just trying to advance her own celebrity or revive her political career.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: I think it's an interesting sort of other side of the coin of this sort of code of the real end of the Bush era. With Liz Cheney, likely losing today, you had George P. Bush, unsuccessful of his primary in Texas earlier this year, despite trying to get Trump's endorsement. And I actually think you can look at the Republican Party go all the way back to that moment.

Sarah Palin stands on that stage in Minneapolis in 2008 and fires up that crowd as John McCain's newly announced running mate. As the moment that what we see now with Donald Trump and what we see in the Republican base, as the sort of first hints of that beginning to overtake that Bush era Republican Party.

TAPPER: Yes. For want of a better term, you could call it a populism of some sort. Something else interesting happening, speaking of family fights, former Trump White House Adviser Peter Navarro is going after one of his former West Wing colleagues, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. And Navarro is calling Kushner, quote, The Clown Prince of Pennsylvania Avenue in a new article for the pro-Trump magazine or website American greatness.

And this is really speaks to some other fights that we anticipate seeing as Trump -- as we anticipate he runs for president again.

NAYAK: Yes, I think there's no question that -- I actually think that debate is now over and maybe Liz Cheney is the coda on this transition, and Sarah Palin is sending to the congressional seat. But everyone has sort of aligned this. You know, there's great reporting, even on CNN this week about how governors who are going to be running these race, you know, winning nominations across the country have aligned with overturning elections and they need to, you know, questioning doubt about the 2020 election.

And it really is who the Republican Party is, and I sometimes worry that we lose sight of the fact that Trump is clearly an instigator of it. But there's so much more for -- there's so many more forces around him that are actually going to take this work forward if he's on the ballot or if he's not.

TAPPER: Yes. I mean, Governor Ron DeSantis, who I think a lot of Republicans had told me they were hoping would be ascendant and to end the Trump era because he was kind of the Trump policies and some of the Trump vibe, you know, like anti-news, media, et cetera, without some of Trump's more undisciplined moments. He's out there supporting election deniers, Kari Lake in Arizona, Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and others.

TALEV: And the raising questions about the FBI and the Schedule F is the official term but the idea of toppling the civil service or blowing up American bureaucracy. These are becoming sort of, to some extent, the new litmus test not for Trump -- well, for Trump too -- but for Trump's base, that there are things that you have to say if you want to stay in the good graces of that base or there are things that these candidates or prospective candidates think that they probably have to say.


And it it makes it very hard to break ahead of Trump because, by saying it, you're elevating Trump and that's --

TAPPER: Go ahead.

TALEV: I mean, I was just going to say it's like it's a catch 22 for all of these would be 2024.

TAPPER: And you know who else has co-opted Trump? Benjy Sarlin had a really interesting tweet. So much of what Joe Biden has done in the last year is stuff that Trump campaigned on.


TAPPER: Right? I mean, infrastructure, being tough on China when it comes to some of the -- I mean, it's really remarkable, but that's the policy part of it, that a lot of Republicans don't seem to be all that interested and co-opt that.

MCKEND: Right. He has had some victories just in the last few weeks that Democrats will be able to run on. On Trump, though, I was out in Erie, Pennsylvania last week, at the Fetterman rally speaking to voters there. And I was really surprised that so many were talking about how they were concerned about the health of our democracy. And a retired X-ray technician telling me that that was his number one issue.

So I think that what's going on on the right, the left, those voters are actually paying attention and they're thinking about it, more at some -- more than inflation, more than reproductive rights. Some are actually really motivated by preserving our democracy and against these far-right candidates.

TAPPER: All right. One and all, thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it.

Nazi imagery and a treason watchlist featuring images of Democrats. These are just some of the posts uncovered by CNN from the Trump- backed Arizona Secretary of State candidates. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Politics now, new CNN reporting on Mark Finchem, the Trump endorsed Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Arizona who calls himself a member of the far-right extremist Oath Keepers group. CNN's KFILE team has uncovered several disturbing social media posts from Finchem, including a so-called treason watch list that he created featuring several high profile Democrats and photographs of Barack Obama alongside imagery of a man clad in Nazi attire.

CNN KFILE Senior Editor Andrew Kaczynski broke the story for us. Andrew, take us through what you found.

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE SENIOR EDITOR: Yes. So we come through Finchem's old social media accounts, which led us to this Pinterest account where he posted a lot of this content now. Pinterest is usually for sharing photos of dogs, like fashion, food, maybe. He used it to post about stockpiling ammunition. He had these posts where he compared Obama to Nazi Germany showing as you can see somebody giving a Nazi salute, really, really sort of nutty, outlandish claims like that the Mexican army was going to be invading or was invading the United States.

And that one, he actually posted and commented on himself. He didn't just take that from someone else and put it on his board. Now, he also had this treason watch list where he showed photos of both Democratic politicians and Jesse Jackson. These are presumably people he thought were guilty of treason.

Now he's running for Secretary of State in Arizona. And this race is very, very important. The Arizona Secretary of State administers the elections in the state. They certify the results. And as we saw, you know, in the last election, this is going to be a super important swing state. So it's, obviously, important that the person administering the election is kind of on the level.

TAPPER: Andrew, the several members leaders of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group, were indicted and accused of seditious conspiracy in the January 6 attack. How involved is Finchem with the Oath Keepers?

KACZYNSKI: Yes, so Finchem when he first ran for state office in 2014, he told a local publication that he was a member of the Oath Keepers, an old campaign account that he maintained that since been deleted, told -- asked people to join the Oathkeepers. On -- again, a since deleted Facebook page, he posted several events for the Arizona chapter of the Oath Keepers, of which he was a member.

Now we asked Finchem about this content. He just sent us a message back, he called -- you know, he said CNN wasn't credible. He didn't respond to any of the individual allegations. He did delete one of his Pinterest boards post-publication that had some of this information on there. But we haven't heard him respond to any of the individual allegations in the story.

TAPPER: All right. Andrew Kaczynski, thank you so much. Good to see you again.

For the fourth time, an Oklahoma death row inmate is granted a stay of execution. Coming up next, the case that has Republicans and Democrats agreeing. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, the life of death row inmate Richard Glossip has been temporarily spared yet again. Oklahoma's Governor approved a 60-day stay of execution today citing the need to allow for the state's court of appeals to complete its review of petition for a new hearing. This comes after a report commissioned by a bipartisan group of Oklahoma State lawmakers raising concerns of lost or destroyed evidence in Glossip case.

Glossip was convicted of murder in the death of his boss in 1997. Prosecutors say he was the mastermind behind a murder for hire plot but he has maintained his innocence for more than 20 years.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is following all of this. Brynn, tell us more about the governor's move to issue the 60-day stay of execution for Glossip.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, well, this was unexpected, certainly to the defense team of Richard Glossip who was preparing for a clemency hearing scheduled for next week. And that of course could be just emotionally grueling not only for Glossip but also the victim's family Barry Van Treese. So that's on hold right now.


And as you mentioned, this comes after that independent investigation was released in 62 lawmakers, a majority of Republicans in the state there, asked the governor to say, hey, wait a minute, let's take a beat and take a look at all of this evidence that has been uncovered that point to Richard Glossip being innocent in this case. In fact, they've even uncovered more evidence that was released just last week.

So now it's up to the Oklahoma criminal court of appeals to decide, are they going to take a look at this evidence? But the governor, they're definitely buying some more time for Richard Glossip. He was set to be executed on September 22. Now it's going to be pushed back for now until December 8th. TAPPER: And Brynn, what is the reaction of Richard Glossip to this?

GINGRAS: Yes, I mean, you can imagine, Jake, he's ecstatic. I talked to his defense team earlier today who said they actually had a phone call with Richard behind bars. And he basically just started crying. You have to remember this is a man, as you mentioned, who's been on death row three prior times to this.

Each time he goes on death row, he has to go into different holding cells completely separate from where he is right now. It's a process where it's 24-hour surveillance, the lights are on all the time. All he has is a Bible. He gets his last meal.

Now that process was expected to start tomorrow because his death penalty execution date was set for, you know, just a couple of weeks from now. Now that's not going to happen. So just the emotional sort of feeling that that doesn't have to begin for him. He's ecstatic about it. Of course, now they wait to see how the Court of Appeals is going to decide on this case.

TAPPER: All right, Brynn Gingras, thanks so much for that update.

Back in our world lead, a story of heroism in the face of horror. A Brooklyn father threw himself in front of his family to shield them as a terrorist described as being a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship fired upon a bus in Jerusalem on Sunday. Shia Hersh Glick was shot in the neck, a family friend says it's a miracle the bullet narrowly missed his artery. In total, eight people were injured in the shooting, including five Americans, two of whom are critically wounded right now.

CNN's Hadas Gold reports now for us from Jerusalem where more victims, including a mother and her newborn are on a tough road to recovery.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shia Hersh Glick had come to Jerusalem from New York for a 10-day trip with his family to pray at the Holy sites before his son Barrach's (ph) wedding. But their vacation turned to horror early Sunday morning in what Israeli police are describing as a terror attack. A man coming up to a bus stop just outside Jerusalem's old city walls and began shooting.

(on-camera): This is where the attack took place at the bus stop for King David's Tomb. Shia's family telling me they were actually waiting here for a taxi to take them to their hotel when the attack began. And although Shia was struck in both the face and the neck and he fell down, he got back up despite being wounded to pull his son Borrach (ph) away.

(voice-over): She, his wife, and daughter miraculously were unhurt. Back in New York, family friends like Rabbi David Niederman say they're not surprised by Shia's act.

RABBI DAVID NIERDERMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNITED JEWISH ORGANIZATION OF WILLIAMSBURG: He shielded the most important to him which is his wife and children and sacrificed himself. So it is beyond explanation. The father gave away as a father gives away everything to his children.

GOLD (voice-over): Another family friend Rabbi Moishe Indig, says Shia had already been granted one miracle by surviving cancer years before. Now he has another.

RABBI MOISHE INDIG, BROOKLYN SATMAR COMMUNITY LEADER: Vectus couldn't believe it. It just missed his main artery with just the thickness of a hairline.

GOLD (voice-over): Eight people in total were injured, including a pregnant woman who had to undergo an emergency C-section, as well as 22-year-old New Yorker Menachem Palace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bullets pop up.

GOLD (voice-over): The Glick family's community back in New York are now praying for the victim's recovery and peace.

INDIG: We pray everybody should be in peace and harmony and love with each other. And we pray this shouldn't happen again to anyone.


GOLD: And Jake, I spoke with Shia's wife Getty (ph). She's been shuttling between the two hospitals where her husband is and her son Borrach (ph) was shot in the arm. They've been getting treatment. She said that she believes angels were watching over them that day. She couldn't believe how strong her husband was because he got up wounded.

He said blood was pouring out when he pulled Borrach (ph) out of the way. But they are hopeful because they're seeing some improvements in his conditions. Now they're focused on the long road to recovery, and also how to get home to their six other children. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Hadas Gold in Jerusalem, thank you so much for that report.

Finally from us today, a heartbreaking story. A California mother is grieving the loss of two sons in less than a year in what she called a ripple effect. Her son Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, was one of the 13 U.S. service members killed outside the Kabul airport in a terrorist attack at the end of last August.

And then just last week after struggling with his brother's death, her other son Dakota Halverson died by suicide.


Their mother wrote on Facebook, quote, he'd sneak into the cemetery at night and sleep on Kareem's resting place. He took his life across from a permanent memorial we have here in town for his brother Kareem.

A reminder to anyone watching if you are struggling with any suicidal thoughts, please, please reach out to the suicide and crisis lifeline by calling or texting 988, 988. May Dakota's and Kareem's memories be a blessing. Our deepest condolences to the family.

Thank you for watching The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. 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.

Coming up in The Situation Room, Congressman and January 6 Committee Member Adam Schiff joins Wolf Blitzer that's after a short break. We'll see you tomorrow.