Return to Transcripts main page

The Lead with Jake Tapper

Ukraine Denies Involvement In Killing Of Daughter Of Putin Ally; Arkansas Officers Removed From Duty After Man Beaten In Arrest; WSJ: Beef Prices Finally Coming Down; House Veterans Forced To Face Each Other In NY Primary; Study: Advanced-Stage Cervical Cancer Rises In U.S. Women. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired August 22, 2022 - 16:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: All right, two engagements, two weddings. Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, they got married again. They eloped in Las Vegas last month but held a ceremony Sunday, at Affleck's sprawling estate in southeast Georgia. Ben Affleck's brother Casey apparently was not at the celebration this weekend but he posted on Instagram, it looks like a throwback photo showing Ben, Casey, and J. Lo.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: A Putin ally's daughter killed near Moscow in a car bomb attack.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Car bomb mystery hitting close for the Kremlin. The daughter of a spiritual guide to Putin was killed right in front of him. Russia's blaming Ukraine, but might it be more complicated than that.

Plus, violent arrests in Arkansas. Bystander video captures a man being beaten by three law enforcement officers who have since been taken off the beat after the video went viral. What are top cops saying today about this disturbing scene?

And decision time. Will President Biden fulfill a campaign promise and cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans, and if he does that, might that make inflation worse? An announcement could be days away.


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

We're going to start with our world lead and the mystery of who murdered Russian propagandist Darya Dugina, the daughter of influential ultra nationalist Russian writer Alexander Dugin, an imperialist who things Russia should occupy all of Europe, not just Ukraine, extending from Ireland to Serbia.

Dugin watched from a different car as his 29-year-old daughter was exploded look with her Toyota that burst into flames 20 miles west of Moscow on Saturday. The Russian security agency FSB claims a Ukrainian did it. Ukraine insists that's false.

Russia says a woman who was a member of Ukraine's far right Azov regimen plotted the attack. They allege that this assassin brought her 12-year-old daughter with her into Russia and the two then escaped to Estonia after detonating the car bomb remotely. Again, Ukraine denies all of this.

Now Russian media personalities say it's time for further retaliation and even more bombardment of missiles on innocents in Kyiv, Ukraine, just two days before Ukraine's independence day. As Ukrainian cities cancel planned events and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns of particularly ugly attacks.

CNN's senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow for us with more on the explosion that could trigger a major escalation in this war, including new video of the suspect released by Russia, a video that raises more questions than answered about this supposed evidence.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Shortly after the explosion that caused Darya Dugina to crash on a Moscow highway, her car engulfed in flames. Darya Dugina was dead at the scene, police say. Her father, pro-Kremlin ideologue Alexander Dugin looking on in dismay.

Tonight, Vladimir Putin with an angry response. Quote: A vile, cruel crime cut short the life of Darya Dugina. She proved by deed what it means to be a patriot of Russia, the Russian leader said in a condolence letter.

After only a short investigation, the Russians now blaming Ukraine for the murder. The intelligence service releasing this video which CNN cannot independently verify claiming to show a Ukrainian special services operative who allegedly entered Russia together with her young daughter, shadowed Dugina, carried out the car-bombing and then fled to neighboring Estonia.

Alexander Dugin, who some believe may have been the actual target of the plot, lashing out against Ukraine. Our hearts yearn for more than just revenge or retribution. It's too small, not the Russian way. We only need our victory, my daughter laid her maiden life on her altar, so win, please -- Dugin wrote in a statement.

Dugin has long advocated Russian expansionism and some believe laid the ideological groundwork for Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainians deny they had anything to do with his daughter's killing.

Russian propaganda lives in a fictional world, an adviser to Ukraine's presidential administration said, and hinted the Ukrainians believe it may have been an inside job, adding, quote, vipers in Russian special services started an intraspecies fight.

The incident comes as Russia's invasion of Ukraine nears the half-year mark, and Moscow is keen to keep public opinion in favor of the operation, with a massive show of patriotism on Russia's national flag day in a series of events around the country.


In these trying times as Russia's military is fighting in Ukraine and the country is under heavy sanctions it's become increasingly important to display patriotism. At this event, the organizers have brought together hundreds of people to create a giant Russian flag.

Flags in public spaces and on Moscow's streets. At this massive nighttime convoy, many of the drivers flashed the Z symbol of Russia's invasion forces fighting in Ukraine.

Our commander in chief and the army are doing everything right, this man says. As the pro-Putin convoy circled Moscow in a display of power, trying to show that Russia won't be deterred from its current course.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And Jake, it really is a charged up atmosphere here in Moscow right now, especially if you look at sort of the upper and top echelons of Russian Kremlin controlled media and also politics as well. There have been some senior sort of leaders especially from the media sphere who have called for strikes on Kyiv and even strikes on decision-makers of -- on decision-making centers of the Ukrainians against all of this as the Ukrainians continue to say that they had nothing to do with this murder, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Moscow, thanks so much.

I want to bring in CNN's David McKenzie who's in Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv. Ukraine's big Independence Day is in two days.

How is this attack and the subsequent Russian calls to bomb Kyiv, how is it affecting what was planned?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, already the high authorities here were very much on alert for possible ratcheting up of direct attacks possibly on the capital here, Kyiv, and also on those decision making centers, as Fred described. The President Zelenskyy saying they were expecting particularly ugly incidents or attacks in the coming days. This was all before this bomb blast in Moscow. So I think it's fair to say there is a level of tension here. How has it affected the celebrations planned?

Well, they have banned all mass gatherings, all celebrations, not just here in Kyiv but several major cities across the country. In the Northeast Kharkiv, they are actually installing a 36-hour curfew because of fears of Russian attacks -- Jake.

TAPPER: David, Russia is claiming that the woman who allegedly carried out the attack was part of the Azov regiment. Remind our viewers about the significance of that regiment.

MCKENZIE: Well, the Azov regiment has a controversial past. It started several years and it drew the support and volunteers who would be considered white nationalists, even white supremacists. It was a right-wing nationalist group. It has mutated I think here in Ukraine, at least, that's the view of the Azov battalion. It was folded into the national guard here in Ukraine, became more mainstream in terms of the way people here look at it.

And just speaking of the streets to people in Kyiv, they view those who fight for the Azov battalion, now that regiment, as heroes because of their defense of Mariupol, their last ditch defense of that city in the east.

Now, because of that history, President Putin has used this in the Nazi propaganda, accusing Ukraine of Nazis, within his own country to accuse them of that in Russia. And the national guard just a short time ago disavowed any linkages with this bomb blast saying that this person that they are accusing in Moscow of carrying out this attack had nothing to do with the Azov battalion or Ukraine in general -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. CNN's David McKenzie in Kyiv, thanks so much.

Let's bring in former deputy director of national intelligence, Beth Sanner, and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor.

Mr. Ambassador, let's start with you. It's been 48 hours and Russia's security agency, the FSB, says Dugina's murder is already an open and shut case. They solved it, it's done.

What do you think?

WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Suspicious, Jake. Awfully fast to have wrapped this investigation up. This sounds like some people may have known in advance. You know, people worry that there's some possibility that the FSB had something to do with this. And some would say, what would Putin do going after Dugina or Dugin?

And he may be worried about his right flank. They have been very hard on him, the right really wants him to crack down even further on Ukrainians and maybe even call up the reserves. So he's putting them in their place.

He's probably going to use this or he could use this as a way to crack down on Russians, more broadly, and as you just indicated, there's a concern that he will use this to escalate in Ukraine.

TAPPER: Beth, do you agree? What people or entities do you think are most likely responsible for this attack?

BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: I guess as a former intel officer, I'm a little bit reluctant to jump too quickly to conclusions.

[16:10:05] I always think, you know, sometimes the most mundane reasoning could be someone has a business dealing that goes bad and in Russia, everybody has enemies. But I do think that it's more likely it's politically motivated.

But I wouldn't rule anyone out at this point. I mean, it could be --

TAPPER: Including Ukraine?

SANNER: Including Ukraine, although I find that much, much, much less likely.

I do think that you could have some Ukrainian or Georgian backed people in Russia, but I think it's much more likely that it's an internal Russian matter, and that somehow the right wing is involved.

But I will say that I think that, you know, no matter who is behind it, Putin's taking advantage of it and just the way Ambassador Taylor said. Doesn't even matter who did it because the narrative has been set.

TAPPER: And I mean, the idea of the Russians staging a false flag attack, meaning they attack themselves and blame it on Ukraine, this is something we have heard from the U.S. and from Ukraine in terms of Russian tactics literally for decades.

TAYLOR: For decades. And we remember that President Putin did something like this in 1999. This brought him to power when the FSB again killed like 300 Russians in an apartment complex, in Chechnya, and that set off the Chechen war. So, he's done this before.

The other person, the other possibility, there's been a small not well known group of anti-Putin Russians that have claimed responsibility for this. So Beth is exactly right. It's too soon to say, but there's a lot of questions.

TAPPER: And what do you make of Russia's very quick nailing down and solving of the case? They say the perpetrator came in with her daughter, a 12-year-old daughter. They set this off, then she escaped to Estonia. A Russian official says Estonia has to extradite her or face consequences of, quote, harboring a terrorist.

We have long wondered, people in the United States and around the world, if Russia is going to plan to attack Estonia also.

SANNER: I mean, I guess that I find it almost farcical how quickly they came up with this. And then the narrative that the 12-year-old helped plant the bomb. I mean, that's not exactly what a professional intelligence service does. That is something that is from some wild completely unbelievable movie that I shut off because I can't take it, it's so crazy.

I have never seen the FSB work so quickly in my life. And I really think it is incredulous to think that -- it really causes major questions about this story line. TAPPER: v What can you tell us, I want to get this from both of you,

what can you tell us about Putin and Alexander Dugin who has been called the spiritual guide of this intervention in Ukraine?

TAYLOR: Jake, probably too strong. He's a right-wing philosopher who does espouse the notion of Eurasianism, which is Russia leading the world against the West, and it is almost mystical, but it's not clear he has very much influence over Putin in any decision making way. That said, Putin's made some statements that sound kind of like what Dugin has said. There's that philosophical influence is probably there.

TAPPER: You agree, it's too much to say he's an adviser to Putin or even a friend?

SANNER: Correct. I don't think he's anywhere close to the inner circle. And I think that we should probably try to blow out of the water this idea of Putin's brain. It's really not accurate as far as everything that I know. I don't think that's how we should think about this person.

But he's a symbol of this nationalism, these ideas that Putin and most of the political elite in Russia have now embraced. And so, he's largely, you know, one of the main people responsible for moving this discourse in Russia to this much, much more far right ideology, beginning in the late 1990s.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks to both of you. Really appreciate it. Ambassador Taylor and Beth Sanner, thanks so much.

Coming up, that violent arrest in Arkansas. Officers seen on camera on a viral video beating a man who had been pinned to the ground. What an attorney for the suspect believes stopped those officers from killing her client, she says.

And the contentious primary race pitting two longtime Democratic lawmakers who are friends and allies against each other. What to watch in their fight that's reshaping New York politics.

Plus, alarming rise. What's behind more women diagnosed with advanced cases of cervical cancer in the United States? CNN is looking into the new numbers ahead. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Some really disturbing video tops today's national lead. This one may be difficult to watch. A bystander captured three law enforcement officers violently arresting a man yesterday in Crawford County, Arkansas, right near the Oklahoma border.

First, let's show you the still images. The man on the ground is 27- year-old Randall Worcester. Police say he was wanted for a threat at a nearby gas station. And that somehow led to this in the video -- Worcester being repeatedly punched and kicked. The officers only appear to stop when they realized someone was filming them. CNN's Nadia Romero is in Crawford County, Arkansas, for us right now,

where state police and the FBI have picked up this investigation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is bad. We got to get out of here.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three Arkansas law enforcement officers have been removed from duty after this disturbing video was posted online, showing them beating a man outside a convenience store. Arkansas state police have opened an investigation into use of force by all three officers. And the FBI is also investigating.

The Crawford County sheriff's office has identified them as Deputy Zack King, Deputy Levi White, and Mulberry Officer Thell Riddle. CNN has reached out to all three but so far hasn't heard back.

SHERIFF JIMMY DAMANTE, CRAWFORD COUNTY, ARKANSAS: They will be punished for what they did if they're found to be in violation of any rights, laws, or anything like that.

ROMERO: This afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the officers' response was not consistent with the training they received.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R), ARKANSAS: That is reprehensible conduct in which a suspect is beat in that fashion. We saw a glimpse of that, it is under investigation.

ROMERO: The incident happened Sunday in Mulberry, Arkansas, about 140 miles northwest of little rock. On the video, you can see at least two officers punching and hitting the man, and kneeing him repeatedly as they try to arrest him. That's when you can hear a woman off camera yelling at the officers, don't beat him. He needs his medicine, to which one of the officers tells her to, quote, back the F up, and points, telling her to get back in her car.

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: We don't know what happened just prior or what caused them to use any level of force. It may justify some level of force being necessary to take him into custody, but it escalated way beyond what it was needed at the time.

ROMERO: Police say the man in the video is 27-year-old Randal Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina. An attorney representing Worcester tells CNN that Worcester was wanted for allegedly threatening a gas station clerk in a nearby town.

The Crawford County sheriff says when officers located him, he was cooperative at first and then got violent and tried to attack the officers. Police say Worcester refused medical treatment but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. He's facing numerous charges, including assault, battery and resisting arrest.

The sheriff's office and the Mulberry Police Department both released statements saying they hold their officers accountable for their actions.

RAMSEY: When you look at the video and you see the punches to the head, you see the lifting of the head and pushing it into the pavement, the kneeing of the individual and so forth, that's where it becomes excessive.


ROMERO (on camera): And there is more video of this incident. Now, the sheriff says none of the officers were wearing body cameras but he's seen dashcam video that has not been released to the public.

Now, the attorneys representing the suspect, Randall Worcester, says that from what they have seen, they believe the officers used excessive force and their actions were not justified. One attorney told me that she believes the woman who took the cell phone video saved her client's life.

And, Jake, the sheriff was asked, do you think you would have even found out about this if it weren't for the cell phone video? His response, probably not.

TAPPER: Well, at least he was honest about it.

Nadia Romero, thank you so much.

Let's bring in Dimitri Roberts. He's a law enforcement analyst and also a veteran Chicago police officer.

So, Dimitri, today, an attorney for the suspect in Arkansas, the one that was underneath that dog pile of police officers, spoke about the bystander who thought to pull out her cell phone during the incident. Take a listen to what she had to say.


CARRIE JERNIGAN, ATTORNEY FOR SUSPECT: We do not know what would happen if that person would not have been videoing. If you -- the fight was escalating with those officers. And you hear that woman on that video yelling. And whoever that is, I think she could have saved his life.


TAPPER: What do you think?

DIMITRI ROBERTS, FORMER CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER: I think this is some bullshit and we keep having the same conversations over and over again. I have been on this network for seven years now almost, and we continue to talk about the same things. But yet, nothing is happening.

So she's exactly right. He probably would have at a minimum been arrested, charged with obstructing, charged with resisting arrest. The report would have said completely different something different than what happened. So it's time for us to really, if we're going to talk about this, have real conversations about what happened and why these things continue to happen, because we have to clean house, Jake.

So at the end of the day, young men and women that look like me are going to continue to be victimized by law enforcement officers who feel that they can.

TAPPER: I was thinking about you saying this, remember that initial press release put out by the Minneapolis police department with the George Floyd incident.

ROBERTS: Again, some bullshit.


ROBERTS: At the end of the day, what are we going to do now? We're at this moment now, and we have an opportunity. This is bigger than black and white. That's not my words. That's the Rapper Lil Baby, but we have to do something about this, and it's not just about the color of my skin or the officer's uniform. At the end of the day, we all bleed the same color.

Those officers are human beings but those that are not doing the right thing, we have to get them out of there, Jake. And so, the rest of the officers, the tens of thousands of officers who are out there doing the right thing every day, serving our community, serving our country, this brings a bad reputation and name to them. And that's not something we can stand for.

TAPPER: Just for the record, I'm not sure what the race is of Mr. Worchester.

ROBERTS: Who cares, Jake? At the end of the day, it's another human being.

TAPPER: No, no, I hear you. I'm just saying, like in terms of the racial component. But, listen, one officer had him pinned to the ground. A second officer was kneeing him. The third appears to be punching him repeatedly in the head.

Now, we don't know what happened before this. It's possible that he was resisting arrest. I have no idea. Maybe he wasn't. I have no idea.

ROBERTS: It does not matter.

TAPPER: That's what I want to ask you as a former police officer in Chicago, is there any circumstance under which this individual in this moment, it's justified to be -- for the officers to be behaving like that?


ROBERTS: Hell no. First of all, those aren't even approved tactics. So the officer had -- the officers had this gentleman on the ground. He's subdued. He doesn't appear to be resisting arrest. They're just being cruel.

And people who are cruel and also wear a badge, we better be very careful because that means that young man wasn't the first that that happened to, and he won't be the last unless we start to take action.

No, absolutely not. I have been in dozens of chases. I have arrested people that were running, fleeing with weapons. None of them did I ever do that to. Ever. Under any circumstance.

TAPPER: So you heard Nadia Romero report these officers were not wearing body cameras. I don't know what the law is in Arkansas or that county. Maybe they're not required to.

But isn't this exactly why people want there to be body cameras to make sure there is complete transparency and officers don't excel what they're allowed to do?

ROBERTS: First of all, body cams don't bring transparency. They just bring another level of perspective. To get full transparency, we need to look at full technological solutions like what my company is building. You know, we have built multiple layers of technologies that have been approved by MIT. We just partnered with Amazon formally and we're ready to take this to the next level.

TAPPER: What is your company?

ROBERTS: It's called Seven Star Inc. We built two products. One is called Protected which is active in Atlanta, in DeKalb County, Georgia, and the second is Leopard. What Leopard does is make sure we know minute by minute, second by second, what's going on on the ground with officers, those officers can communicate to citizens, citizens can communicate back to them, in any circumstance where there's a coordinated response is required. That's what true transparency looks like. It's in the data. It's not in what we see on video.

TAPPER: So, the sheriff's office says Arkansas state police and the FBI will now investigation what was happening during this violent arrest. What do you expect to happen?

ROBERTS: Nothing, because it hasn't happened this far. So, they can only go based on the rules and the boundaries that they have set. Who knows what Arkansas state law is, who knows what their department's law is. So maybe these officers get fired. Cool, but they're not going to jail. We know that much. At the end of the day, they can go find a job in another department, in another agency, no different than the Uvalde police chief did after he had been released from other agencies.

These things are continuing to happen, but until we have a system that can identify those officers and when they put in an application in another law enforcement agency, they're flagged. No different than what happens in TSA or other systems we have to hold ourselves and agencies accountable.

TAPPER: Dimitri Roberts, always good to have you on. Appreciate it.

ROBERTS: Appreciate it.

TAPPER: In the money lead, the cost of a common item likely on your grocery list and what it may tell us about prices on almost everything else. That story next.



TAPPER: In our money lead, something we can all sink our teeth into, lower prices at the meat counter.

Rahel Solomon joins us now from New York along with Phil Mattingly at the White House, where they are hungry at the White House for any good news about the economy.

Rahel, let me start with you. "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that beef prices are finally falling after more than a year of price increases.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake, something that we don't get to say a lot these days, right? That anything is getting cheaper, but beef prices appear to be.

I mean, take a look at the categories. Rib-eye prices falling 10 percent for the four-week period ending August 7th, compared to a year ago. Brisket, 18 percent. Ground beef, however, on the upswing, 7 percent higher than a year ago.

And what's key here, Jake, is it's demand driven. Folks are cutting back on more expensive cuts of meat, more expensive categories at the grocery store, and they're trading down, which by the way, we have heard from corporate America. Last week we heard from Walmart, and Walmart executives say they were seeing the same thing, that some consumers were trading down in the meat category, spending more on canned tuna, hotdogs, and chicken as consumers try to cut back where they can with inflation hovering near 40-year highs.

TAPPER: And, Phil, this news about lower beef prices comes as millions of Americans may get some spending money, some additional spending money because Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says President Biden may finally make a decision on student loan debt forgiveness in the coming days.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and finally is the key word there. Administration officials have been weighing for several months the debate, and it's a debate with significant political and economic repercussions. And it's one that basically has to end by August 31st. That's when the freeze on borrower repayments for federal student loans put in place in March of 2020 is scheduled to come to an end.

The White House has said they will make a decision about either extending that which is unlikely at this point, I'm told, or canceling some level of student loan debt as the president pledged to do in campaign and Democrats have been pressuring him to do by the deadline. I'm told, it's likely at this point, that it could come in the coming days. Not just by the deadline.

However, there is pressure relating to inflation. A critical issue for the American people and one that even some Democratic economists say could be negatively impacted by a decision to cancel student loan debt or extend the repayment.

Larry Summers, the Democratic economist, saying, quote, student debt relief is spending that raises demand and increases inflation, made clear he's opposed to extending the moratorium and any type of cancellation in a large scale beyond just a few thousand dollars.


TAPPER: Rahel, this unease about inflation is reflected in a new survey of leading economists.

SOLOMON: Yeah. So, this is a survey of nearly 200 economists done twice a year, and in this survey, 72 percent of economists surveyed said they expect we will be in a recession by mid-2023 if not sooner. Of course, as the Fed continues to raise rates to try to tame and tackle inflation.

And what I thought was really interesting is when asked by these economists, these panelists what one factor do you expect to have the greatest contribution to lowering inflation, it was supply chain realignment, which is a huge part of this inflation story, too, but it really illustrates that part of solving inflation is not within the control of the Fed. Clearly, though, still not a lot of confidence that the Fed will be able to get it just right so that they can raise interest rates to lower inflation, but not do it so much that it triggers or tips us into a recession.

TAPPER: And, Phil, the Biden administration, they're about to make some noise about the administration's accomplishments. "Washington Monthly" columnist Paul Glastris has been tweeting today about wages and household wealth going up while the number of people in poverty and those without health insurance, those numbers are going down.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, Jake, it gets to a really complex balancing act, and the messaging side of things. The White House has been grappling with this, how do you acknowledge the fact that inflation is, in fact, high, it does in fact affect people? However, you have a broader economy that has particularly compared to the great recession of 2008, 2009, recovered at a scale in a way that there is no comparison to, more than 9.5 million jobs created, unemployment rate under 3.6 percent.

Jake, 22 states right now have an unemployment rate under 3 percent, 14 of those states are at their lowest unemployment rate on record. Wages have been going up. The question is, can they keep pace with the inflation?

Bigger question might be, what are American people paying attention to? The stories and realities in the grocery stores when it comes to price increases or the broader economic factor that the administration says is much better than people recognize.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly and Rahel Solomon, thanks to both of you. Coming up next, the hot race this week that's redefining the political

battle lines in one of the most populated areas of the United States. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, a 15-term member of Congress, that's 30 years in the House of Representatives, may learn tomorrow night whether he or she is out of a job. A newly formed congressional district is pitting veterans and long time colleagues Congressman Jerry Nadler and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney against one another in Tuesday's Democratic primary. And incumbent freshman Democrat Mondaire Jones finds himself running for re-election in an entirely new district where hardly anyone previously knew him.

CNN's Athena Jones now takes a closer look at some Democratic drama.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A rare late summer election in New York.

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): I'm running. I need your vote.

JONES: Candidates in two high stakes congressional primaries on the hunt for votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say hello to Congressman Nadler.

JONES: Political heavyweights and long time allies Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, both in their 15th term in office, now facing off in a redrawn 12th congressional district after a messy redistricting process led to a new court approved map that combines their districts. Both in their 70s with similar ideologies, they have spent the summer trying to draw contrasts with one another.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): I voted against the Iraq war. She voted for it. I voted against the Patriot Act, even though 9/11 occurred in my district, she voted for it.

MALONEY: You cannot send a man to do a woman's job.

JONES: Maloney, chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee, leaning into her history as a champion of equal rights for women, at a time when we battle for abortion rights has reshaped the midterm's landscape.

MALONEY: This is the year of roe where need experienced, talented, hard working women in Congress more than ever, to protect our rights.

JONES: As chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Nadler led historic impeachment proceedings against former President Trump. He's been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Jerry is always leading the big fights.

JONES: And by "The New York Times" editorial board.

Maloney and Nadler's main challenger --

SURAJ PATEL (D), NEW YORK CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: This race couldn't be closer. It's time for the Obama generation.

JONES: Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old lawyer and former Obama aide who argues it's time for generational change.

PATEL: These people have been in office since 1992. The city is significantly different from then. The challenges we face are significantly different, and the underlying diversity and dynamism of New York has dramatically changed but its representation has not.

JONES: In the tenth district, compromising Lower Manhattan and much of the crowded field includes city and state level politicians and a sitting first term congressman who moved to compete for an open seat in a newly drawn district.

REP. MONDAIRE JONES (D-NY): As a member of Congress, I fought to bring real change to a broken system.

JONES: But much of the attention has focused on the former impeachment lawyer Dan Goldman, an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune who has spent millions of dollars on his race.

AD NARRATOR: He has uncommon experience.

DAN GOLDMAN (D), NEW YORK CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump will run again in 2024, and he will try to steal the election. As the lead counsel in his first impeachment, I was in the trenches protecting and defending our democracy.

JONES: The Trump factor --

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDETN: Thank you. Thank you very much.

JONES: Ever present.

HANK SHEINKOPF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Donald Trump dominates social and political discourse in this country right now. If it had not been for him, Dan Goldman would be nowhere.


JONES (on camera): Now, the victors in the primaries here in deep blue New York City are heavily favored to win in November's general election, but voter turnout is the big question here. It's late summer, a lot of folks are on vacation, so absentee voting could be more important than ever.

Those candidates who did the best job of reaching their supporters and getting them to cast their ballot before they split could reap big rewards -- Jake.


TAPPER: Athena, any polling, any indication who might have an edge going into the election?

JONES: It's difficult to say. You know, there's been scant public political polling here in New York that -- not polling that meets CNN's standards. And in the crowded tenth congressional district, it looks as though Dan Goldman and Mondaire Jones are getting the most attention, and we're seeing the most of them with their TV ads on the air.

When it comes to the Nadler/Maloney/Patel race, Nadler's folks say he's feeling pretty good. He got some big endorsements. It's really anybody's guess, but they say they're feeling good about tomorrow -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Maybe we'll even have a result tomorrow. Who knows? Athena Jones in New York, thanks so much.

Coming up next, how researchers explain an alarming rise in women with advanced cases of cervical cancer in the United States.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our health lead, an alarming new study finding a sharp increase in advanced stage cervical cancer among women here in the United States. At that stage, the five-year survival rate is only about 20 percent.

Let's get more details from CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard.

Jacqueline, tell us more about what the study shows?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yeah, Jake, it is alarming to see an increase in advanced stage of cancer, specifically cervical cancer here, can this study also found at the same time, there's been a decline in diagnosing early stage cervical cancer, which suggests we're catching some cases that are far more advanced. And that's what's really concerning.

So what this study did, researchers looked at data from the year 2001 to 2018. And during that 17-year span, they found that there was an annual increase of advanced cervical cancer. We're talking stage 4 here, at a rate of 1.3 percent. During that same time period, the researchers found the demographic that saw the biggest increase overall were white women in the south.

And that demographic there was an annual increase at the rate of 4.5 percent in stage 4 cervical cancers. Now, the researchers did emphasize that overall, when you think of the incidence of getting stage 4 cervical cancer, being diagnosed with it, the researchers did emphasize black women are still more likely to be diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer than white women overall.

So, we're talking about that's at a rate among black women, 1.55 cases for every 100,000 individuals compared with white women, the rate is 0.92 cases per 100,000. Those are the numbers there, Jake, and again, I think what we can take away from this is that we are diagnosing more cervical cancers at a late stage, at stage 4, and that has physicians taking a close eye on what might be happening here.

TAPPER: Rahel, help us understand the factors that might be contributing to this rise in cases?

HOWARD: Right, so the factors are twofold actually. There are two factors the researchers point to. Number one, they do say that there appears to be a trend among young women to not keep up with their cervical cancer screenings. So, most healthy women are recommended to complete their pap test every three years.

And there are some data points to suggest that some women are not doing that. If you don't keep up with your screening, if you do have cervical cancer, you can't identify the case early on.

The second factor here, Jake, researchers did point to low vaccination rates for the HPV vaccine. We know HPV is a virus associated with cervical cancer, so low vaccination rates might be playing a role here. So those are the two factors at play, and researchers say the takeaway for women really is to maintain your cervical cancer screenings, make sure you talk to your doctor, get your pap test, and if you're not vaccinated, and you're eligible for the HPV vaccine, get the vaccine.

TAPPER: On another matter, Pfizer today announced that it has filed with the FDA for authorization of a new updated COVID booster?

HOWARD: That's right. And you know, Jake, we saw this coming. Federal health officials did say there were plans to have an updated booster available in September. So with Pfizer's application to the FDA to have its updated vaccine authorized, that's really the first regulatory step to possibly having an updated booster available in the fall.

And what we mean by updated, this vaccine has been updated to specifically target omicron sub-variants BA.5 and BA.4, which are dominant here in the U.S.

TAPPER: And, finally, we should note Dr. Anthony Fauci announced after decades working for NIH and serving the American people in government, he's retiring from his post in government.

HOWARD: That's right. In his statement, it is interesting, Jake, he says in his statement that while he's leaving this position, he emphasizes, quote, while I'm moving on from my current positions, I'm not retiring. So I think that's a hint that he might be, I don't know, he might have plans to do something else in the health field. So, I'm excited to see what his next phase is, Jake. TAPPER: All right. Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

New video coming in showing the severity of all that rain falling in Texas right now. A summer's worth in less than one day. The dangerous situation that's creating as even more rain moves in. That's ahead.

Stay with us.



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

This hour, drivers trapped in their cars because of rising water. Trucks washed away by raging floods, as Dallas, Texas, gets a summer's worth of rain in less than 24 hours. And the rain is not over.

Plus, a gruesome suitcase mystery involving an auction and children's decomposing remains. Now, the investigation is spreading to multiple countries.

And leading this hour, a CNN investigation you'll see first here on THE LEAD.

How one billionaire's previously secret political donation, the largest ever in U.S. history to a political nonprofit, could help reshape the United States of America for decades.

CNN's Drew Griffin investigated where this money came from and fears it could be used at least in part to fund efforts that would undermine American elections.