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The Lead with Jake Tapper

World Mourns Death Of Queen Elizabeth II; Charles To Be Officially Proclaimed King On Saturday; Biden Says He'll Attend Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral, Detailed TBD; Ohio Dem Rep Ryan Calls For Generational Change In Leaders Ahead Of Biden Visit; Las Vegas Reporter Found Stabbed To Death Outside His Home; Fairview Fire Has Killed At Least 2, Has Burned More Than 27,400 Acres. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 17:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He expressed his love for Harry and Megan. Most powerfully and holding back tears, he addressed his mother directly.

KING CHARLES III: To my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this, thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations. You have served so diligently all these years. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

FOSTER (voice-over): Throughout the day on Friday, bells tolled, flags lowered, and gun saluted, paying respects to the life and the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The U.K.'s newly appointed prime minister, Liz Truss, offered newly anointed King Charles the support of an unusually quiet and somber parliament.

LIZ TRUSS, PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM: The crown and jewels our nation endures. And in that spirit, I say, God save the King.

FOSTER (voice-over): The King greeted well wishes outside Buckingham Palace to a chorus of the national anthem.


FOSTER (voice-over): He retired to Buckingham Palace where he held his first audience with the Prime Minister. And for the first time, the Royal Standard flew above in his name.

The Accession Council will meet on Saturday to formally proclaim Charles as the new sovereign, having declared his loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England. Whether the monarchy will emerge strengthened from the handover, it remains to be seen, but the initial signs appear positive.

(END VIDEO TAPE) FOSTER: One of the big concerns about King Charles was that he would be a meddling king. You'll know, Jake, that there's been accusations that he's been sending letters to ministers getting involved in sensitive issues, something that he can't do as monarch, something that Queen, Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen, never did. But there was -- he touched on that as well to reassure people.

It's quite a complex speech, but he touched on lots of issues. He said, I will no longer -- it will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. So he's going to follow in his mother's line and stay apolitical when many people had feared he'd become this meddling prince.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Max Foster at Buckingham Palace, thank you so much. Very interesting.

Now over to Scotland where her majesty took her final breaths at the Scottish Castle, Balmoral, widely believed to be Queen Elizabeth's favorite getaway. Let's take you there and now with CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson, who's right outside the castle.

And Nic, the Queen's remains are still there, but there will be another stop in Scotland before she heads back to England?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLAMATIC EDITOR: There will be. She will go to Edinburgh over the next couple of days. The precise timing isn't clear at the moment. When she's in Edinburgh, she'll be in Holyrood house also known as Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. She will rest there, her body will rest there for a day or so, then she'll go to St. Giles' Cathedral where there'll be a service, a memorial service for her attended by royals and other dignitaries.

And only after a couple of days in Edinburgh will she actually then traveled down to London where she was expected to lay in state. And as King Charles indicated earlier on today, in a little over a week's time there will be a funeral. And of course, this was a place that she found comfort, that she enjoyed.

The Queen had many larger states, Windsor, Sandringham, but it was here at Balmoral that she had the roar and rugged beauty of the Scottish countryside, enjoyed the walks, enjoyed driving the Land Rover, enjoyed the country pursuits, stalking, fishing. The River Dee (ph) you can hear behind me just now is once one of the great salmon rivers of Scotland. Those salmon have not been as plentiful as they used to be. And the Queen was one of the early adopters of catch and release of salmon fishing and that is something began on the east coast here in Scotland, it's now on the West Coast, and is a big thing for all fishermen here, the Queen an early adopter.


That conservation spirit, the awareness of nature and the countryside around, these were the things that she cherished. And this perhaps is one of the reasons why people understand that she was comfortable here, she liked it here. And perhaps for people around here no surprise that this is where she passed her last days.

TAPPER: All right, Nic Robertson in Scotland, thank you so much.

Let's bring in the British Ambassador to the United States. We're honored to have with us in the studio Dame Karen Pierce. Thank you so much for being here.


TAPPER: It's good to see you again. I'm sorry that it's under the circumstances. Our deepest condolences to you and --

PIERCE: Thank you.

TAPPER: -- the people of the U.K. So, you were just greeting mourners who had come to the embassy in Washington, D.C., right, on Massachusetts Avenue with your big statue of Winston Churchill outside?

PIERCE: That's right.

TAPPER: What did the mourners have to say? Were they American? Were they British? What did they tell you?

PIERCE: Most of them were American, a couple were British. They came because they said they felt it was a momentous moment. They wanted to pay their respects to someone they also knew as the Queen, and they wanted to do it out of friendship and solidarity with the U.K. All of that we appreciate very much.

TAPPER: It is a period of change, and maybe even some instability. You just had a new prime minister accepted, now you have a new monarchy, the King, how are the people of the U.K. doing during this unsettling time?

PIERCE: I think it may be unprecedented to have a new moniker and a new prime minister in the same week.


PIERCE: But I also think very important that one of the Queen's last official acts was to receive the new prime minister.

TAPPER: Absolutely.

PIERCE: And if you like establish the new prime minister, I think that's continuity.

You broadcast earlier referred to the speech that King Charles gave today, I think if you read that speech, if you listen to it, what it is, is a new statesman coming to the throne with a different persona than he had as Prince of Wales, and pledging to continue the Queen's legacy of service, of duty to the British people and the Commonwealth. So I think in that sense, they are determined, and rightly so in my view, to reassure people of the trend of Britain.

TAPPER: The -- we heard -- we learned today that President Biden does intend to go to the funeral. I can't even imagine the size and pageantry of this funeral. There truly has been no unlike Queen Elizabeth in the last century or so raining for 70 years knowing more than a dozen U.S. presidents, something like 15 prime ministers, seven popes, etc. What will it mean to the people of the U.K. for President Biden, perhaps other former U.S. presidents to come?

PIERCE: People will be very honored to see President Biden and other world leaders. We do expect a large number of world leaders, there are Commonwealth leaders, as well. Of course, the Queen was very proud of how the Commonwealth had developed, very proud that now King Charles will take over as head of the Commonwealth.

President Biden did us the honor of coming to the embassy yesterday to sign the condolence book, that has been greatly appreciated back in the U.K. So people will look forward to welcoming him, even as they know it's a sad occasion.

TAPPER: The -- a lot of critics of the U.K. and the monarchy have seized upon this moment to criticize both the Queen and the U.K.'s past. A Harvard professor who specializes on the British Empire wrote this in the "New York Times," quote, "The Queen helped obscure a bloody history of decolonization whose proportions and legacies have yet to be adequately acknowledged."

What is it like to hear criticisms like that at this time? Is it -- do you think it's unfair? Do you think it's mean? Is it also just an opportunity for the U.K. to turn a page?

PIERCE: I think I'd agree with what Boris Johnson said at the time with Black Lives Matter, you can't pretend to have a different history. The thing to do is to confront the history in all its good things and its bad.

I would like to point out that the Queen did preside over the translation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth. I would say that was a tremendous transition and very much a positive one. She presided over the way countries became independent after II World War and then joined the Commonwealth from choice, I think that's important as well. And she united the Commonwealth together.

She didn't have any executive action. She wasn't a government official. She was a constitutional monarch, she is not directly responsible in that sense --

TAPPER: Right, of course.

PIERCE: -- of what has happened.

TAPPER: It's still the symbol.

PIERCE: Definitely the symbol but much beloved within the Commonwealth. I would point to that. You know, ask the government, ask the people of the countries of the Commonwealth, and I think overwhelmingly the view would be positive.


The last thing I just like to mention, if I may, the Queen did know a lot about forgiveness. And I would point to her visit to Ireland and to Northern Ireland, where she met Martin McGuinness and started a new chapter in that province's relations into communal relations,

TAPPER: Right. And people who don't know the history, maybe they saw it on "The Crown" or whatever, but the late Prince Philip, his father was it?

PIERCE: His uncle.

TAPPER: His uncle was killed by an Irish terrorist and the Queen going to Ireland and accepting forgiveness was a big moment for relations.

PIERCE: Absolutely.

TAPPER: You tweeted that her legacy, the Queen's legacy of one of quote, "charity, and compassion." What do you think, King Charles' legacy will be?

PIERCE: He starts, as he himself has said, in a different place because he is older than obviously his mother was. And he has been --

TAPPER: Right. He's 74 and she was 25, 26.

PIERCE: Exactly. Twenty-five.


PIERCE: And he has been involved in all these issues. So, he comes at this having already been woven in to a lot of things that are happening in Britain. He's already set out how he wants to approach the role. He has been very helpful on the climate agenda. And he has been able to move the dial in certain areas.

The other thing he has really cared about has been how young people are trained. You know, we've had The Prince's Trust in America, we wait to see how those organizations will evolve. But I think you don't lose all that experience of how to make a difference. And I'm sure he will give very wise counsel to the Prime Minister, she will have a regular audience, possibly weekly with the King. And I'm sure there'll be lots of talk about.

TAPPER: Well, you honor us with your presence here today. And we thank you so much. And please extend our condolences to the people of the U.K. from all of us here at CNN. Thank you so much for being here.

PIERCE: Thank you.

TAPPER: And we should note that Ambassador Pierce will be a guest on Sunday on State of the Union along with the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Senator Mark Warner who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. That's Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern live at noon as well here on CNN. Thank you so much again.

PIERCE: Thank you.

TAPPER: Coming up next, what Britons are saying about their new king and what they want to see from him and a new era of the monarchy. Plus, invitations or soon to go out for the Queen's funeral. President Biden is expected to get one. What about some of his predecessors? Stay with us.



TAPPER: A touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth's remarkable life by Sir Elton John, knighted by Her Majesty in 1998, a year after his friend, Princess Diana's tragic death. Take a listen.


SIR ELTON JOHN, BRITISH SINGER: I'm, you know, 75, she's been with me all my life. And I feel very sad that she won't be there with me anymore, but I'm glad she's at peace. I'm glad she's at rest, and she deserves it. She worked bloody hard.


TAPPER: Let's bring in CNN's Scott McLean. He's outside Windsor Castle.

Scott, how is the British public that you've been encountering out there, how are they feeling on King Charles' first full day as king?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jake. I think that the thought of King Charles is finally starting to sink in amongst people, although they are under no illusions about just how big the shoes are that he is trying to fill. He also brings his share of challenges as well. He is not as popular as his mother was, not as popular as his son, Prince William, either. And he also brings to the role some baggage, there's everything that happened with Princess Diana, there's the fact that he's been more politically outspoken than his mother. And there's more recent controversies like the one that bubbled up this summer, where he accepted a million pound donation through his charitable foundation from the family of Osama bin Laden.

But if you ask people here, they say they're willing to put all of that in the past. And they say that Charles will be a good king if you give him time. Here's some of the things that I heard from people earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I withdraw the Queen was still alive, but other than that, I think he'll make a very good king.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charles, I would have preferred William actually to be the king, but it is what it is. MCLEAN: Why do you prefer Will?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I think he's more suitable for the job. But if I had had to choose between the two, I would have gone for William.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that'd be hard to (INAUDIBLE) because he's quite outspoken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we need to get behind him, give him a chance to be the king that he can be. And look forward, don't look back.


MCLEAN: It's after 10:00 here and people are still showing up to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

Jake, I also asked people about their response to King Charles' prerecorded speech today. And the word that I heard more often than anything else is reassuring that this will go a long way toward reassuring the public who might be skeptical about prince -- King Charles' abilities to do the job that he is, in fact fit. They thought that the words seemed heartfelt and the tone seemed just right. Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Scott McLean at Windsor Castle for us, thank you so much.

Coming up next, a humanitarian crisis on an unimaginable scale. One that the whole world needs to see and we will show it to you.



TAPPER: In our world lead, a number so large it's tough to imagine, 33 million, 33 million people suffering from the flooding disaster in Pakistan. And while the rain has thankfully stopped the floodwaters that have accumulated, well, they have nowhere to go. Main Roads now turned into swollen rivers make it nearly impossible for aid to get to those who need it most desperately. CNN's Clarissa Ward reports from one of the hardest hit provinces in southeast Pakistan.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rains have stopped in Sindh province but the waters are not subsiding. The city of Sichuan had been something of a sanctuary for some of the more than 6 million people displaced by the floods in this region. Now, the main highway has become a waterway. Smaller roads into the city or choked with traffic.

(on camera): So you can see there's just a steady stream of vehicles pouring into this area. These are all people who are desperately trying to escape their villages, which are now completely submerged underwater. (voice-over): Pakistan is responsible for less than 1 percent of the world's emissions, but it is paying a stiff price for global warming. Heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers have left nearly a third of this country underwater, wiping out villages like Seta (ph). When the floods hit, residents carried whatever they could save to a narrow strip of land by the roadside.


(on camera): So this is how you're living now?

(voice-over): Inam Saito (ph) has been living in a makeshift shelter for over a week. There's no gas to cook what little food they have left, outside aid has yet to arrive. And the prospects of returning home anytime soon are dim.

It's very painful to see, but where can we go, he says. This is my ancestral village.

A few miles down the road locals are racing to stay ahead of the relentless waters. The government let them send to make sandbags, but little other assistance overstretched by the unprecedented scale of the crisis.

(on camera): So just so I understand, you are building up these dikes to try to stop that water from completely destroying your village?

(voice-over): There's too much water coming in Imran Otto (ph) tells us, and we're afraid of it.

(on camera): He's showing how deep it is. Can you see how deep that is?

(voice-over): One man plunges into the floodwater to show how high the waters are. The flooding here has now reached its cruelest phase. The days no longer bring rain, but nor do they bring relief. And for the many who have lost everything, there is nothing to do but wait.


WARD: Now the U.N. Secretary General, Jake, has been visiting Pakistan today. And he had some really strong words for the international community, essentially saying that the support that has been given to Pakistan before is only just a drop in the ocean in terms of what they need. And he said that this isn't a matter of solidarity, this is a matter of justice because Pakistan is paying such a high price for the climate crisis.

According to the Pakistani army, some $30 billion has already been spent and counting on relief efforts. And one thing I thought was interesting, Jake, many of the people we spoke to have been displaced say they don't want to go back home even after the waters recede because they don't want to invest more time, more money, more resources into rebuilding their homes only to have this happen all over again the next monsoon season potentially, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Clarissa Ward in Karachi, Pakistan, thank you for that important report.

Coming up, the Bidens, the Obamas, what about the Trumps? Who will be on the official invite list for the Queen's funeral from the United States? Stay with us.



TAPPER: And our politics lead, just 60 days to go until the midterms and President Biden is slamming Republicans who have taken credit for projects made possible by the $1.2 billion bipartisan infrastructure law that those Republicans voted against.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: A lot more Republicans taking credit for that bill than actually voted for it. I see them out there: "And now we're going to build this new bridge here. We're all for it." "And, by the way, there's new road, and we're going have an Internet that's going to be all..."

I love them, man. They ain't got no shame.


TAPPER: Today, President Biden traveled to the key battleground state of Ohio to tout another bipartisan achievement. CNN's Kaitlan Collins is live for us at the White House. Kaitlan, before Biden's visit, Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat running for Senate in Ohio, he made some interesting remarks about whether President Biden should run for re-election.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, he did, Jake. And obviously they were questions or remarks at the White House is paying close attention to, the President was in Ohio today for the opening of a semiconductor facility but obviously there is a political lens to everything, Jake.

And Ohio is a place where there is a big Senate race happening with Tim Ryan running against J.D. Vance for that Senate seat. This is a race of course and a state where Trump won handily in the last two elections. So, it's -- it was seen as a pretty tough battle for Democrats. And so, you've seen Tim Ryan kind of distancing himself not just from his party, but also from President Biden. He did not appear with him at an event in Ohio several months ago. He was there with President Biden today. But it was a comment that he made before President Biden arrived in Ohio that caught everyone's attention where he was asked if he believed that President Biden should run for re- election. And Tim Ryan said, "My hunch is we need new leadership across the board, Democrats, Republicans. I think it's time for a generational move."

And obviously, Jake, you can guess how the White House read that especially given Tim Ryan had distanced himself from Biden earlier this year. Now, appearing with him today at the opening of this facility. He was asked when he was there about those comments and tried to walk them back a bit, Jake, saying, "I don't think this is breaking news. The president said from the very beginning, he was going to be a bridge to the next generation." Which is basically what I was saying.

TAPPER: Sure, it is. All right, Kaitlan Collins at the White House, thanks so much.

Let's discuss, before we get to that, there's something that is just like fascinating me, which is the notion that it's going to be basically left up to President Biden as to whether or not he brings other presidents with him to the Queen's funeral. I mean, the U.K. has made it very clear, that's up to the President. He's invited and he can bring whatever delegation. So obviously, Obama, you know, Carter, Bush, no brainers, what about Trump? Will he invite Trump?


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: We'll see. I mean that is a difficult question of protocol of diplomacy. But I am told by a couple of diplomatic officials that look the Buckingham Palace is leaving it up to every country individually. I mean, imagine the nightmare of trying to, your former presidents and former defense ministers. But in this case, it would be an easy solution if Trump was in the picture. We'll see what they do.

President Obama when he was in office, he invited a President Bush, President Clinton, President Carter to go with him to Nelson Mandela's funeral as part of the delegation. So, there is protocol for having U.S. presidents invite other presidents. Who knows maybe in the spirit of forgiving and giving, President Biden will invite to Donald Trump on the Air Force One. I doubt that'll happen. But I do expect some type of a bipartisan delegation.

But look, they're leaving it to the White House, we're told. The White House is saying we're not going to say anything about this until the Palace makes funeral arrangements. But by Monday, they're going to have to figure this out. Because the funeral time will be announced tomorrow.

TAPPER: See I think, Yasmeen, I think that the clever move, is to invite them --

ZELENY: And then see if he goes?

TAPPER: And see if he goes. I don't think President Trump -- former President Trump would want to be subordinate on Air Force One. And I think probably he prefers his own plane anyway. Well, what do you think?

YASMEEN ABUTALEB, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think that's probably true. I think like Jeff said, it's a really tricky situation for the President. I mean, President Trump still has not acknowledged that President Biden is the right president.

TAPPER: Right. ABUTALEB: So, well, yeah, that's a problem. So, while there's precedent for inviting, you know, presidents from both parties, this is quite a different situation. And these two are likely, you know, more than likely to face each other. And in a few months, I don't know that that would matter so much if the President Trump hadn't insisted that he won the 2020 election and continue to insist and kind of want to die on that hill.

But, you know, this is a president who President Biden believes in protocol and following precedent. So, he might end up inviting President Trump and leave it up to him.

TAPPER: Speaking of dying on the Hill, I mean, this is also a former president who staged -- incited an insurrection in which people lost their lives on Capitol Hill.

JOE WALSH, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, ILLINOIS: Agreed. I still think Biden might invite them and probably will, but Jake, there's no way Trump goes. There is no way.

TAPPER: Because, why?

WALSH: He wouldn't want to sit on Air Force One with a bunch of other former presidents, as you said he'd rather fly his own play.


WALSH: He doesn't want to be there with a big crowd.

TAPPER: What would you do, if you were advising President Biden, what would you tell him to do?

ALENCIA JOHNSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Send him the invitation at the very last minute of the day boarding Air Force One.

TAPPER: Oh, the plane took off. All right. OK.

So, Yasmeen, let me talk about President Biden in Ohio today touting legislative achievements at an event attended by Congressman Tim Ryan, who suggested the president step aside for 2024. Although he's now walking that back. Awkward, what do you think?

ABUTALEB: I think the White House was probably happy that Tim Ryan decided to show up at this event at all, given that they weren't sure and Tim Ryan hadn't showed up to previous events. A lot of these Senate and House candidates have wanted to distance themselves from President Biden. So, I was probably a show of good faith that he showed up. And of course, it's a good thing, they're opening a manufacturing plant in Ohio.

But I think, you know, this Tim Ryan's comments today, highlight, you know, one of the challenges Democrats are going to face in the next couple of months, which is they're going to keep getting asked this question of whether President Biden should run for reelection. President -- the President has signaled he probably will run and intends to run. But, you know, his approval rating is coming back up, it's still not great. So, I think a lot of Democrats are trying to sort of strike this balance of, they don't want to distance themselves entirely, but they also don't want to be too tethered to him.

WALSH: Yeah, with the climate change -- and you're right, Tim Ryan wouldn't go anywhere near Biden, three or four months ago. Biden's on a roll, he's in a much better position now, heading into these midterms. So, I think you're going to see Democrats starting to warm up to him.

TAPPER: You agree with that?

JOHNSON: Oh, absolutely. I agree with that. I mean, between what's happening with Trump and all these investigations, with some of these achievements that we talked about, from the, you know, the Inflation Reduction Act, and him, continuing to campaign on things that we have been able to get done with a slim majority in the House and the Senate. And then, you know, with the Dobbs decision. People are paying attention to what's happening to abortion rights, student loan forgiveness, that's going to actually engage young supporters.

So, I think Democrats and particularly President Biden, you're going to see him campaigning a lot more, and some Senate Democrats or candidates, excuse me, they're going to actually embrace some of what the party is leading with.

Now, I will say I think in some space -- some states, you have to be a little bit careful. The states aren't easy to get around. And so, we saw that in Wisconsin, where Mandela Barnes, a friend of mine who was probably going to win that election, he had to actually go talk to voters as Biden was in the state, which is a strategy, right? You want as many surrogates out there talking to as many voters as possible. So, you're going to see these candidates embracing President Biden and this cabinet and the DNC and so it should be interesting.

ZELENY: We see this dance every midterm election, every president. I mean, look, the reality is you're going to be labeled a Democrat. You get the downside for Biden coming in, so why not get the upside for being there. And look, this was announcement in Ohio of a lot of jobs coming in. So, for Tim Ryan if he's going to -- this is part of his narrative, like he's not -- it fits with his brand.


We've seen a lot of Democrats like Mandela Barnes, say, he's too busy. That works a couple of times. But the reality is, you're labeled a Democrat. So, you might as well get the plus from that, perhaps a picture with Air Force One or the President, as well as the downside, which obviously comes with being, you know, in the President's party.

TAPPER: Explained to me the Mandela Barnes calculation, because he's to the left of President Biden, it's not -- I mean, Tim Ryan is trying to run to Biden's right. He's trying to run as a centrist. But Mandela Barnes is very progressive?

JOHNSON: Oh, absolutely. He is. And so, you know, he is one that has come out and said that he is supportive, getting rid of the filibuster to protect a lot of critical rights that are up for debate right now.

And I think Mandela is one of those candidates who is young, he's progressive. He also knows how to -- not only talk to the progressive base, but he also knows how to talk to rural voters in Wisconsin. I mean, he won lieutenant governor. So, he knows how to kind of like Stacey Abrams, who has a progressive record, but is able to talk in these very like swing districts and these places that might have more moderate Democrats. And so, the Mandela piece, I think he's a really smart guy. I think he's a great campaigner. And I think he knows exactly what he's doing to have support from moderate parties, Democrats, as well as the Elizabeth Warren's and the Bernie Sanders of the world. And so hopefully, he can build this broader coalition because of what he believes.

TAPPER: I think one of the issues here also in -- both in Wisconsin and in Ohio is the relative weakness of the Republican candidate. Not that -- by the way, not that neither of them will is going to win. I have no idea. But I've seen both states put up much stronger Senate candidates in the past.

WALSH: Dereliction deniers, I mean, overwhelmingly around the country Republicans have put up election deniers which play well in primaries, but don't attract people in the general. That's a real problem.

ZELENY: Although Ron Johnson has a tendency of being reelected, despite being down on the polls that happened with Russ Feingold. We saw it in 2010, again in '16. So even though he's been able to probably thread the needle much more than I've seen anyone else be able to do it, his Washington persona and his home state Wisconsin persona, and there is sort of a difference in that. So, you know, he's down a little bit right now, but I don't know that I call him a weak candidate. I mean, he's in --

TAPPER: Relative, I mean.

ZELENY: Yeah, we'll see.

TAPPER: I mean, I've just seen we've seen stronger candidates, and well, but again, I wouldn't put money on the either race, either candidate.

Thanks for one and all, I appreciate it. Have a great weekend to one and all of you.

Coming up next, an arrest in that horrific murder of a Las Vegas investigative reporter, in the DNA evidence that might be key and learning what happened right before the murder. Stay with us.



TAPPER: And our National Lead, Las Vegas investigative journalist who was stabbed to death had his alleged killer's DNA underneath his fingernails. This shocking revelation coming out in the arrest report. Clark County Nevada Public Administrator, Robert Telles has been arrested in charged in the murder of Las Vegas. Review-Journal Reporter Jeff German. German who had written about mobsters, murderers and corrupt government officials for decades shining his light on their malfeasance. He had written about allegations of wrongdoings by Telles as well. CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Las Vegas with a closer look now at what led to German's gruesome killing.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: According to court documents, Las Vegas Review-Journal Reporter Jeff German, had just walked out of his home when investigators allege Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles attacked him.

German's body was found with approximately seven sharp force injuries to his body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a terrible and jarring homicide.

LAVANDERA: The court documents revealed that German also suffered wounds on his arms and that Telles' DNA was found on the reporter's hands suggesting a struggle.

STEVE WOLFSON, CLARK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The DNA from Mr. Telles was found on the hands and perhaps under the fingernails of Mr. German.

LAVANDERA: Robert Telles, the Clark County public administrator has been charged with murder. In May German published an investigative report about the chaotic working environment under Telles' leadership. He reported that the public administrator's office was, "Mired in turmoil and internal dissension over the past two years, with allegations of emotional stress, bullying and favoritism leading to secret videotaping of the boss and a co-worker outside the office."

CAPTAIN DORI KOREN, LVMPD, HOMICIDE AND SEX CRIMES BUREAU: We knew that as investigative reporter he had written several articles, and there were different allegations and statements about potential people that would be upset about it.

LAVANDERA: German's body was found last Saturday, but it wasn't immediately clear that Telles might be the suspect. Then investigators discovered video of a vehicle registered to Telles' wife driving around German's home around the time of the murder and clothing, matching the suspect's description was found inside Telles' home.

KOREN: As you can see there's apparent blood on the shoes and the shoes were cut likely in a manner to try to destroy evidence.

LAVANDERA: Telles had denied the accusations raised in German's reporting, but this summer lost his Democratic primary bid to get reelected. German's colleagues at the Las Vegas Journal Review say they're outraged and helped in the case by identifying on Google Maps, a maroon SUV in Telles' driveway, which matched the description given by authorities. ARTHUR KANE, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL REPORTER: Telles got quite a bit of time in the story. Talk to Jeff, his points of view were represented. And there wasn't any corrections or anything factually wrong with the story. He just didn't like that we were holding him accountable as a public official.



LAVANDERA: And Jake, we understand that Jeff German was working on a follow up story related to Robert Telles' time as the public administrator here in Clark County, Nevada. So, exactly what was in that story? We don't know yet. But we do know that Telles remains in jail where we are told that he will remain there. He's being held without bond. Jake.

TAPPER: You saw the suspect in court today. Tell us what his demeanor was like?

LAVANDERA: Well, his -- the suspect made an initial appearance yesterday afternoon. That is where the judge told him that he was going to be held without bond. And that's where the prosecutor started laying out some of the more of the details that we've learned about this murder. But throughout the entire time Telles was behind a glass plated window, he showed no emotion, seemed very stoic as he stood there and listen to the conversation in the courtroom. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Ed Lavandera in Las Vegas for us, thanks so much.

Intense flames out of control in drought-stricken California, how a tropical storm just off the coast could actually make matters worse. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our Earth Matters series for 10 straight days Californians have been asked to limit their energy usage in order for the state to avoid widespread rolling blackouts, and a sweltering heatwave in that state. This is several wildfires, burning out of control. And now a tropical storm that could bring a year's worth of rain causing dangerous flash floods and strong winds and might make the fires even worse.

Let's bring in CNN's Nick Watt who's near the Fairview fire in Hemet, California and Camila Bernal in Pine Valley, California.

Nick, to you first, is the weather from this tropical storm, is there any way it could help this fire situation?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake, listen, this storm could either be a huge help or a massive problem for the people, for the 2000 personnel fighting this fire. Why? Well, because the storm is going to bring winds, were forecast between now and nightfall to have gusts of up to 70 miles an hour. They of course will whip the flames, spread it and make it harder to fight. But if we get a lot of rain from the storm, that would of course be a help.

One and a half inches forecast between now and Sunday night. We had a bit of a couple of hours of drizzle this morning but nothing much to write, home about nothing much that's going to really help.

I've got to say, this is the weirdest week of weather in Southern California in the 10 years that I have lived here. We had a team out here on Tuesday. It was 106 degrees. Today, it dropped down to 71 this afternoon. That of course is a great help in trying to fight the fire.

There's just one of 14 fires in the state right now. Two dead already 27,000 acres burned. We will see how the storm impacts. Now, the other curveball here, of course is if we get too much rain, then that causes a mudslide potential. They have evacuated some houses here. They have closed schools just in case.

You know, it is an age-old problem. You get too much water falling and burn scars that can be devastating. We saw it back in 2018 in Montecito here in California mudslides and burn scars killed 23 people. So hopefully the storm will help douse these flames. We will see over the next few hours and hopefully fingers crossed none of those mudslides. Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Nick.

Camila, while the rain might help with the wildfires and then the ongoing drought we certainly hope so, there's other risk, of course that it could bring dangerous floods. And what we know is a big problem in California mudslides.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake, the concern here is too much water in a short period of time. And what that causes is the dangerous flooding. The creeks and the rivers they rise very quickly. And then you have the debris flows from the mountains especially in those areas that have been impacted by the fire.

Here throughout the day, what we've been seeing is the wind and the rain picking up sporadically. I want to show you what some of that wind damage looks like. Because there are already crews in the area cleaning up, trying to take care of that debris.

The wind sometimes is so strong that it essentially rips out the trees from the ground. So, we've been seeing a lot of this throughout the area. And then I do want to go back to the rain because as Nick mentioned, we're expecting also between two and four inches of rain in this area in some parts up to eight inches. That's six months to a year's worth of rain. So, there's a huge concern because it's too much too quickly. Of course, that is desperately needed rain but it could be dangerous, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Camila Bernal and Nick Watt in California for us, thank you so much.

And our Sports Lead, the ongoing generational change in professional tennis will be on full display this evening at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. On one side of the court, 24-year-old Francis Tiafoe who smashed his way into everyone's radar and hearts when he beat 22 Time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and his way to tonight's semifinals.

Tiafoe, the son of immigrants who has a child sometimes had to sleep at the tennis center where his father was a custodian is the first American to reach a U.S. Open Men's semifinal since 2006.

And he is the first black American man to make the semi since Arthur Ashe in 1972. Now, Tiafoe is going to face another phenom rising Spanish Star Carlos Alcaraz, who is only 19-years-old, but ranked number four in the world. He reached the semis after winning a five- hour 15-minute quarterfinal match. Man, that ended at nearly 3 a.m. yesterday morning. They have played each other once before that was last year. And Tiafoe was the victor then.

This weekend, join CNN as we note the remarkable career of another tennis icon Serena Williams. Serena Williams on her terms. At Sunday night at eight o'clock p.m. only here on CNN.

You can follow me on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter on the TikTok @JakeTapper. You can tweet the show @theLeadCNN if you ever miss an episode of the show. You can listen to THE LEAD from whence you get your podcast, just sitting there like a juicy peach. Our coverage now continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in a place I'd like to call THE SITUATION ROOM. I will see you next week.