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The Lead with Jake Tapper

DOJ & Trump Show Rare Agreement On Possible Special Master Candidate For Mar-A-Lago Docs; Dem Super PAC Runs Ads Attacking Moderate GOP Candidate Running Against Election Liar; 538 Analysis: 118 GOP Election Deniers Have At Least 95 Percent Chance Of Winning House Races; GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham Proposes Nationwide 15-Week Abortion Ban; Royals To Lead Queen's Procession To Westminster Tomorrow; First U.S. Monkeypox Death Confirmed in California. Aired 5- 6p ET

Aired September 13, 2022 - 17:00   ET



PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the big impact here we could see a major economic impact of about $2 billion a day if all of these rail workers go on strike. Freight rail is responsible for moving everything from car parts to grain, fertilizer, a huge impact on farming. In the immediate impact we're seeing Amtrak suspend some of its routes in fear of this rail worker strike impacting its rails.

The rub here is that Amtrak relies 97 percent of its rails on freight rails and other -- the only 3 percent are rails owned by Amtrak itself. These union talks had been going on for a long time between trade groups and rail workers unions. There are two holdouts right now. And if those workers elect to go on strike about a dozen other rail workers unions would also strike in solidarity.

Jake, the impact here could be huge. The Biden administration really burning up the phones to try and avoid this. Friday at midnight is the deadline. Congress could intercede here. This is a last thing to Biden administration wants as the economy is on the bit of an upswing, this could have a big economic impact, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: So obviously, Pete, President Biden is calling rail unions, he's calling a rail companies in an attempt to avert this shutdown. What power does he have to affect the outcome? And is there a role for Congress?

MUNTEAN: We know that many layers of the Biden administration are engaged on this from the Department of Labor to the Department of Transportation. The Biden administration can only influence things a little bit here. If Congress comes into play, it could put into play a 60 day waiting period, renewing or waiting period or it could essentially force a deal on both sides. The Biden administration recommended big changes for these unions, including immediate pay raises, back pay from 2020, and bonus pay, although that is not satisfactory enough for every rail union involved here, Jake.

TAPPER: Pete, tell our viewers what freight trains typically carry. MUNTEAN: We're talking about 30 percent of all the freight in the United States. We're talking about gas, we're talking about cars, the aviation industry relies on it. This would have a huge impact, not only getting things from ports that ship overseas to places more inland, this is going to be really big, Jake, if we come down to the wire here, the 11th hour, we're approaching that right now.

TAPPER: All right. Pete Muntean, reporting live for us from Penn Station, thanks so much.

Industry stakeholders are warning of massive disaster scenarios if a shutdown does in fact happen. CNN Business Correspondent Rahel Solomon joins us again now.

Rahel, what happens to the economy and to consumers if and when workers walk out on Friday?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the estimates are 10s of millions of dollars in damages every single day. In certain industries, Jake, will be more sensitive and more vulnerable to this than others. So, think, for example, the food industry, think spoiled food, loss food, loss crops, so that energy particularly vulnerable to a potential strike here.

The automotive industry, we just heard Pete talked about how important this is for the automotive industry, they've already been dealing with the supply chain issues and disruptions for the last two years. So this is the last thing they would need. In fact, the Anderson Economic Group saying in a statement that uncertainty regarding railroad delivery could even shut down some assembly plants if a strike went beyond a few days.

And the energy industry, and think especially in coal, you think the transport of coal, and, Jake, this couldn't come at a more worst time if you think about the time of year that we are as we head into the cooler months. The National Mining Association already putting out its own warning on that thing that, look, these ongoing rail service issues threatened coal deliveries, impeding the delivery of essential fuel as utilities work to shield consumers from soaring natural gas prices and build up stockpiles to ensure they have the fuel security needed for the winter.

So this is just another issue that not just the business community has to worry about, but consumers, you have inflation that's still hovering at near 14 year highs, and you have potentially another disruption to the already fragile supply chain.

TAPPER: And Rahel, we talked about this earlier in the show, but we got new inflation data today showing the consumer prices remain painfully high for Americans, which led to a really rough day for the stock market.

SOLOMON: Yes, in fact, it was the worst day for the Dow since June of 2020. For the Dow since June of 2020 there are so historically bad day. But it wasn't just the Dow it was all of the major averages, the S&P closed off 4.3 percent, the NASDAQ, the worst among them, close off 5.1 percent. And what's happening here, Jake, is we got that report this morning that showed that inflation -- well, energy was declining. And a lot of other categories, Jake, inflation was still accelerating, categories like shelter, categories like food.

And what this means heading into next week's Fed meeting is that the federal will likely be more aggressive as it tries to cool spending, as it tries to call inflation. And not just perhaps next meeting next week, but perhaps in the meetings to come. And that's what investors were responding to today. It was a really ugly day.


TAPPER: Rahel Solomon, thanks so much.

Even though the new economic data shows inflation remains stubbornly high, President Biden celebrated the passage of his sweeping economic and climate legislation which he calls the Inflation Reduction Act. CNN's Kaitlan Collins now takes a look at the irony of the timing of Biden's victory lap today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Welcome to the White House, everybody.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a $430 billion victory lap at the White House today.

BIDEN: This is what it looks like when the American government works for the people.

COLLINS (voice-over): In front of 1000s, President Biden touted the climate energy and health care bill he signed into law last month as game changing.

BIDEN: This law is going to make a big difference for middle class and working class families.

COLLINS (voice-over): With two months to go before the crucial midterm elections, Biden and top Democrats praise the bill as proof they can get things done while highlighting how Republicans voted against it.

BIDEN: In the end, every single puddle were going to be voted against this historic law.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: What are the MAGA Republicans doing over in the Capitol today? Introducing national bans on abortion.

COLLINS (voice-over): But only hours before James Taylor serenaded the crowd celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act --


COLLINS (voice-over): -- a new inflation report showed consumer prices remain hotter than expected. KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: His number one economic priority is to deal with inflation. Is there more work to be done? Absolutely.

COLLINS (voice-over): In August, prices rose 8.3 percent from a year earlier compared to 8.5 percent in July, meaning that while drivers may be feeling relief at the pump, with gas prices going down, rent, health care, restaurant meals and furniture all remained high. A core inflation index that doesn't include food or fuel also rose sharply, potentially cementing another interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

The state of the economy weighing on Biden's approval ratings as First Lady Jill Biden told NBC News they haven't yet discussed a 2024 run.

JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Not yet. We've been a little bit too busy. Not yet. But I'm hearing there'll be a discussion.

Look at all Joe has done, he has kept true to what he said he would do. And so, I think he just needs to keep going.


COLLINS: Now, Jake, obviously Wall Street was not happy with that new inflation report either today. As President Biden was speaking about the inflation Reduction Act, you saw the Dow dropping 1200 points as markets were closing.

I should note, of course, this is a big concern for Democrats, many of them who were here in attendance today and the effect it's going to have on the midterm elections come November, President Biden was asked by a reporter as he was leaving, Jake, if he is confident that Democrats will be able to hold on to the house, he said yes.

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

Coming up, we'll look at the special master that Donald Trump's lawyers and the Justice Department have said would be acceptable, that special master candidate.

Then, just miles down the road from the site of the Sandy Hook School massacre, some of the families who lost their kids are trying once again to stop conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from spreading lies. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, a rare agreement between the Justice Department and Donald Trump's legal team, the two sides potentially, potentially approving one person to serve as the special master in the federal investigation into Donald Trump's handling of classified documents. Let's bring in CNN's Tom Foreman. Tom, what do we know about the role of the special master? And whom might be picked to serve that role?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the role is to serve as a third party unaffiliated attorney who would oversee part of the case. In this case to consider these documents that are being reviewed by the Department of Justice taken from Mar-a-Lago. What are they looking for? You see, this really something they have a right to or is there possibly privileged material there that the former president had a right to keep to himself?

So. the Department of Justice adhere two good former judges who could help out, Barbara Jones, Thomas Griffith both retired, both familiar with sensitive cases like this, matters of privilege. Team Trump said no, we don't like them. But then they said, what about Raymond Dearie, team Trump said this.

Who is Raymond Dearie? Importantly, he is someone that the Justice Department said they could accept. A New York Federal judge from 1986 to 2011. He was nominated by Ronald Reagan. He's now technically retired but serving as a senior judge on the New York Federal District Court.

He also served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the FISA Court, which is a secret court tasked with approving actions to look into possible spying in this country. In that role, he was one of the judges who approved FBI DOJ request to surveil Carter Page in 2016 in the Russia election interference probe. Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Donald Trump campaign.

In this matter, Donald Trump became very upset about what the FISA Court was up to and is often criticized about the FISA Court. So it's rather surprising that his team is now saying Dearie would be OK in this role, and yet, that's what they've done, Jake.

TAPPER: Odd. So, anyway, the two sides seem to agree on this candidate. Does that mean it's a done deal?

FOREMAN: No, because the judge still has to approve it. And there are other questions, including the calendar, for example. Look, we're right here on the 13th. The Department of Justice says, if you get this person in place, and you launch right into this, we'd like to see about five weeks to have it done. So let's say by October 17, it's all done with the review and we're back on track.

Team Trump is saying no, no, that won't do at all. We are at the 13th here, but we want 90 days. So get rid of the rest of September, all of October all, of November, and maybe be done with a special master somewhere around the 13th of December. That's a big difference, Jake. And it fits very much into one of the complaints for many people in prosecution when dealing with Team Trump that they're always looking for delays, delays, delays. That's a big delay compared to what Justice wants.

TAPPER: Sure. Tom Foreman, thanks so much.

Let's bring in CNN Counterterrorism Analyst and former top FBI official, Phil Mudd.

Phil, are you surprised that the Justice Department and Trump's legal team seem to have been able to come to some sort of an agreement on a potential candidate to serve a special master.


PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Not really because I think DOJ, Department of Justice, has an opportunity to here. Let's put the documents into two categories, and God forgive me, let's make you this special mask.


MUDD: Category one --


MUDD: -- you got information between the president and a legal adviser, maybe Rudy Giuliani. Obviously, that might be privileged. You get a conversation between the president and a member of the family, a president and the Secretary of State, one basket, not hard to figure out. Basket two, in my old term, something that says top secret on the top that has nothing to do with the president or his advisers and that has to do maybe with the intercept of a communication from an Iranian nuclear facility or North Korean nuclear facility.

To me as a national security professional figuring out what's privileged and what's national security is a good debate on T.V., but in terms of differentiating the documents, I don't think it's that hard, Jake.

TAPPER: OK. But the reason I would never be made a special master among many is that I don't have security clearance. I don't have top security clearance. Would Judge Dearie, because he was on the FISA Court, already have that level of approval?

MUDD: Yes. I spoke to the FISA Court multiple times when I was at both the CIA and the FBI, they would have not only the approval to look at those documents, but when I say that it's not that hard to differentiate, they would have experience looking at the documents to determine very quickly. And I'm talking about a matter of minutes, this isn't very complicated to look at the documents and say, this clearly is a personal conversation related to the Oval Office and this clearly is something collected by the CIA.

In my world, I know it's complicated on T.V., in my world, this is not even in the same universe. It's not that hard.

TAPPER: I don't want to dive too much into the minutiae of this, but there was an FBI official who was reprimanded and I believe punished and maybe even legally charged, if memory serves, for not including all the information relevant to that Carter Page FISA warrant.

MUDD: Yes, yes. TAPPER: So, I find it surprising and I wonder if you do that the Trump team would sign off on that or maybe they just think, well, this -- look, the judge was misled by the FBI.

MUDD: Ufa. This is a tough one as a guy who worked with the FBI. The Carter Page FISA process, that is the process to look at Carter Page's e-mails --


MUDD: -- as we learned over the years was fundamentally flawed. So if you're at the -- at -- on Trump team, you might look at that and say, anybody who looked at that process, a judge, for example, knows that was fundamentally flawed, they're going to side with us. Let's go to the other side, the Department of Justice.

TAPPER: They owe us one.

MUDD: Yes.

TAPPER: They owe us one.

MUDD: Or they know that they got worked by the Department of Justice. Department of Justice might look at this, as I would if I were back there and say, look, we didn't handle that well. If we're going to put out everybody who looks at that and says, that was flawed, we're going to eliminate everybody in the legal process because anybody looking at the Carter Page, FISA is going to say that didn't work out well.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about the Justice Department's investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

MUDD: Yes.

TAPPER: Officials have issued more than 30 subpoenas --

MUDD: Yes.

TAPPER: -- in recent days to Trump aides. What do you make of that? That seems a major escalation.

MUDD: Let's do the boring part and then we'll finish with the fun part. The boring part is if you're at the FBI, you want to do timelines. I want to know everything that happened on January 5, January 4, the month before. The only way you could do that is look at what people say, that's interviews, and obviously look at phone records, who called whom, who called Kevin McCarthy, who called the White House. So you're collating all that information to come up with a factual timeline.

Now let's go to the fun part. I walk into an interview with someone who was at the White House who said, I don't really remember any conversations with the Congress at that -- in that timeframe, and you've got their phone that indicates they had 12 conversations that day.

TAPPER: Right. Yes.

MUDD: So there's -- the boring part, I want to put together the facts, in the more interesting part I want to ensure that when I interview somebody they don't lie because I got their phone and I know they talked to Kevin McCarthy.

TAPPER: So you think it's all of it?

MUDD: Yes, yes, absolutely.

TAPPER: Very interesting. Phil Mudd, thanks so much.

MUDD: Thanks.

TAPPER: Good to see you as always.

And join me this weekend for an in depth CNN special report, American Coup, the January 6 Investigation. That's Sunday night at nine Eastern only here on CNN.

Coming up, the top Republican in the Senate just poured a bucket of cold water on Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's new federal abortion ban proposal. Stay with us



TAPPER: In our politics lead, candidates who support and echo Trump's baseless lies about the 2020 election have proven to be quite popular in Republican primary races this year. According to a new analysis from 538, in the House "118 election deniers and eight election doubters have at least a 95 percent chance of winning in November," unquote, which would in all likelihood make them a majority of the House Republican conference in the next Congress. Today, the primary season finally ramps up just eight weeks away from the general election. In New Hampshire, all eyes are on a pair of races there, putting establishment Republican candidates against more Trumpy ones who lie about the 2020 election.

CNN's Athena Jones is following all this for us. Athena, in New Hampshire's first congressional district, two Republicans who both work for Trump are squaring off. Tell us about that one.


So Karoline Leavitt and Matt Mowers are the front runners in what's a kind of crowded field, both worked for Trump, both are running on his agenda, and so the differences here are really more a matter of style. Leavitt is Trumpier, so she embraced being aggressive and abrasive, sort of mimicking some of the traits that have come to define Trump politically. She is an election denier, she's embraced the Trump's lies that the 2020 election was stolen. And recently she was asked if she would vote to impeach Biden and she said unequivocally, yes.

[17:25:15] On the other side, you have Matt Mowers who is considered more measured, more cautious. He has said he has confidence at least in New Hampshire's administration of the election. And when he was asked about impeaching Biden recently, he said he'd want to see hearings first. And he's being backed by the two top House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise.

And polls right now show the race as deadlocked, but this late August polls showed a lot of people were undecided. So more than a quarter, 26 percent were undecided. So the big question with that race is which way will voters go? Will they go with the more establishment type? Or will they go with the candidate more Trumpy, the Trumpier candidate like Leavitt?

My colleague, Dan Merica, spoke with Fergus Cullen who is a former state GOP chair, and he said, if Leavitt wins the nomination he's not going to vote for her because, you know, New Hampshire doesn't need another Marjorie Taylor Greene type, Jake.

TAPPER: Democratic senator, Maggie Hassan, she was elected by just over 1000 votes in 2016. Knowing that she could be vulnerable, Democrats are waiting into the Republican primary. Tell us what they're doing.

JONES: Right. That is -- she's considered one of the most vulnerable seats in the Senate. And this is something we've seen in several races across the country. Democrats spending to try to pick their opponent. They're trying to tamp down support for the more conventional, more centrist, more establishment GOP candidates in hopes of helping the more extreme far right ones win and hoping that if they do so they'll be easier to beat come November. That is of course, the hope.

Some say that they're playing with fire here. So here you here you have the Senate Majority PAC, which is the democratic group, having poured $3 million into an ad attacking Morse, Chuck Morse in this race against Don Bolduc. Bolduc, of course being the Trumpier candidate. Take a listen to that ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell's Washington establishment is going all in for Chuck Morse, and it's no surprise Chuck Morse took more lobbyist money than any other New Hampshire state senator. Lobbyist are even running his campaign. Another sleazy politician.


JONES: Polling is showing Bolduc in the lead here. But again, we just have to wait and see who comes out on top in this race. It's a big establishment versus the Trump candidates. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Athena Jones, thanks so much.

Let's discuss. I want to start with you as a resident pollster. Again, Democrats are playing with fire like the Trumpier candidate is not a guarantee that the Democrat can win in November. KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER & STRATEGIST: And look, politics ain't beanbag, right?


ANDERSON: Yes. You know, the -- if they think that this is going to give them an upper hand in winning a seat, that's the argument the Democrats are making, but I think they are playing with fire in a year where Republicans are so favored. I mean, this is -- I think it's also the case that you have a lot of Democrats that have a very -- they view taking out Republicans as this moral imperative, right, that Republicans are this threat to democracy. And yet, if you are doing things to help get Republicans elected, at least in a primary who hold these contrary views. I don't think you get to have that kind of --

TAPPER: Moral --

ANDERSON:-- some more of self-righteous, yes. Look, I get it, politics is tough, you want to win, you want to do what it takes to get your candidate ahead, but I think they're playing with fire.

TAPPER: You don't think this is playing with fire?

CHRISTY SETZER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I do think it's playing with fire.


SETZER: And the bigger problem is that it's not always effective, right? If you look at the Democrats track record of in trying to bump up the MAGA candidates, they've lost more than they've won in doing so. And the reason isn't really their fault, it's that the base of the Republican Party is pretty Trumpy. So, what's interesting in New Hampshire in particular, is that you have, you know, McConnell's pack, obviously, bumping the establishment candidate, you have the Democrats bumping the MAGA candidate. So, what it seems to me is that they are both agreeing on the fact that MAGA candidates lose in the general election.

TAPPER: Abby, let's look at this analysis from 538 of all the election liars in Republican races show that they could very well make up a majority of the Republican conference in the next Congress, and Republicans could actually, as we know, win the House.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, that's the reality. This is a Republican Party that is defined right now by this fiction invented by former President Trump that he won the election. And don't take my word for it, I mean, you just read the numbers. It's what the House Republican Conference is going to look like, pretty much no matter what, because so many of these districts are gerrymandered to the hilt. It's very easy to just win it if you have an R next to your name.

I also think what's really interesting to me about this debate about, you know, boosting the MAGA candidate so you can win, when you look at the MAGA candidates, they are polling at like 40 something percent, 45 percent. I mean, it's almost like a default number of Republicans are saying, yes to those candidates. So Democrats are creating an environment in which the difference between their candidate and the other candidate is like two or three points.


PHILLIP: It's not like a huge advantage that they're getting. And that is, I mean, it's telling on both sides. It's a huge risk on the Democratic side, but it also is very telling that the Republican Party by and large, Doug Mastriano, for example, in Pennsylvania, you know, he is viewed as a far right candidate, but he is, you know, in the game, proverbially speaking in a very swingy state.

TAPPER: Like you said about Mastriano, the gubernatorial Republican candidate in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, you don't vote for Secretary of State. The governor appoints the person so you could have a liar about the election appointing a liar about the election to be in charge of Pennsylvania.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, WASHINGTON JOURNALIST: And I'm glad you brought that up, because those are the races that really when looking at to the next election, we really should be focused on because as good as this analysis was, we already know that over 100, Republicans voted to sustain objections to the last election in the House.

A lot of this really is a function of redistricting and gerrymandering, but when you look at the state level officials, all it takes is like you said, a Pennsylvania a Doug Mastriano, one position in Michigan or in Arizona. And what we see here, when you drill down to that level, is that a number of these candidates are doing pretty well. For example, Mark Fincham in Arizona is outracing the Democrat there for Secretary of State.

Why did this system hold less time? Because just a few a handful of Republicans said no, Brad Raffensperger and Georgia, Rusty Bowers in Arizona. And then in Michigan, of course, that was a whole another mess there that was for Democrats. But again, all it would take is a few of these positions.

PHILLIP: And of all the talk on the Democratic side about democracy. As you pointed out, Republicans are fired up about these election related positions as secretaries of state and further down even more local than that.

Democrats have to figure out how to energize their supporters actually around these elections around the country. Otherwise, they're going to find themselves in the position that they're in in some states like Arizona, critically important state, where you have a governor potentially a gubernatorial nominee, potential Secretary of State nominee, both election denier.

TAPPER: Today, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks, it's a movement of abortion rights proponents have said was going to come no matter what if the Republicans regained the White House and Congress. Listen to Senator Graham. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): -- had been consistent. I think state should decide the issue of marriage and state should decide the issue of abortion. I have respect for South Carolina. South Carolina voters here I've trusted to find marriage and to deal with the issue of abortion.


TAPPER: Except that was him in August. I did a little switcheroo on you there. That was him in August. Now it's September, and he's introducing a nationwide ban 15 weeks.

CHRISTY SETZER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's politically speaking, I think, unbelievably stupid for somebody who in theory once Republicans to take back the Senate in November. I mean, all you need to look is at the Kansas abortion ballot results, right. And you have to think that majority of states in America are not more conservative than Kansas.

So, there's that. There's a reason why candidates like Blake Masters are spending the last month erasing their abortion records from their websites and putting their wives in ads with them to show that, hey, I'm not such a bad guy. It's because this is not a great issue for Republicans right now. So, Lindsey Graham should know that as well as anybody I'm not really sure what he's doing.

TAPPER: Well, what is he doing?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER AND STRATEGIST: There's a lot of pressure and debate right now within Republican circles of on one hand, those who say, look, inflation is the number one issue. Let's just talk about that. And another big portion of the party that says roe has been overturned, why would we not do something on this.

And so, you're seeing that tension sort of materialize in this piece of legislation where the most polls that I've seen show that a 15-week ban is not terribly unpopular, the problem a lot of Republicans are facing is one, those who would take that kind of a position that is more, you know, closer to the mainstream. They don't want to talk about abortion at all.

TAPPER: Right.

ANDERSON: The Republican candidates who do want to talk about abortion for them 15 weeks actually isn't necessarily where they want to put the line. And so that's the political pickle Republicans was.

PHILLIP: I think it also very problematic for Republicans that they had argued for decades that this shouldn't be a states right rights issue. And now all of a sudden it's a national issue. I think voters are looking at that and they're saying, can we trust you when all of a sudden you make this switcheroo when Roe is gone? I think that's what Democrats are benefiting from is that voters who previously were like this is settled law. We don't need to worry about this. Now they feel a sense of insecurity about this issue.

PRZYBYLA: Right after Roe was overturned. Democrats were in fact pushing this like this is the next step. This is the camel's nose under the tent. They're going to go for a federal abortion ban and many of the Republicans who are most vulnerable said no, this is fundamentally just a state's right issue and we are now releasing this issue back to the states and back to the people to decide that was the talking point.


And you heard that reflected by Lindsey Graham himself now, which is different from Lindsey Graham today. So, while what Kristen says is absolutely true, if you look at the polling, the majority of the people don't want one extreme or the other. They do believe there should be some kind of limits, but they don't want the federal government in their health care decisions.

TAPPER: The one man other than Donald Trump, who's probably more personally responsible for Roe being overturned. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, he's pouring cold water on this proposal. He says no, I think my members, my Republican senators want to leave it up to the states. He's not on board.

ANDERSON: Yeah, for sure. And I think it's because again, he's one of those ones that says I want to talk about inflation.

TAPPER: Correct.

ANDERSON: I want to talk about cost of living. I want to talk about the issues we're winning by a significant margin not an issue like abortion where voters have said we don't know if we trust Republicans right now.

TAPPER: All right, thanks one and all for being here. Appreciate it. A new details about which members of the royal family we'll see you tomorrow accompany in the Queen's casket as the public prepares to say goodbye.



TAPPER: We're back with our world lead, Queen Elizabeth's coffin is back at Buckingham Palace after making the journey from Scotland earlier today. Tomorrow there will be a procession in the streets of London, as the Queen's coffin moves to Westminster Hall where she will lie in state for four days before her funeral. CNN Royals correspondent Max Foster is live right now outside Buckingham Palace. Max, you have some brand new details about what we're going to see tomorrow.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so currently, the whole family, the children, grandchildren of the monarch and their spouses are in Buckingham Palace. You can see or you might be able to see the Royal Standard is flying above the palace signifying the king is in residence.

And the coffin is lying in one of the stately rooms there and there's a vigil. So there was a short service there earlier on when the coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace, and the family are having their time there to pay their respects again, and crucially, the household staff, this is their moment tonight to pay their respects.

And then tomorrow, as I understand it, the procession will leave these gates, and it'll be a long, slow procession with full cavalry with the state hearse. But I've been told that the direct members of the family will be walking behind the coffin. So the children, the grandchildren of the monarch, including Princes William and Harry, and then there'll be followed in cars by the spouses, Meghan, Kate, the Princess of Wales, the Queen Consort as well traveling behind, and there's going to be full cavalry.

So I think this is going to be quite a spectacular scene, but quite a solemn scene as well. Because there's going to be silence, we're used to so much music and sound around these possessions but this one will be will look like that. But it won't sound like that. And I think that's going to be quite poignant.

And we saw today how the hearse was traveling around London we learned today that the hearse was designed by the palace and overseen by the Queen. So that hearse we saw today is exactly how the Queen wanted it. And she wanted as many people as possible to see the coffin which is why you see all that glass and even a light on the roof of the hearse.

And this really speaks, Jake, I think to one of the Queen's mantras that were which was that you had to be seen to be believed why she wore those bright colors whenever she was out in public. But you know the dark side of this is you have to be seen to be believed to be dead as well. And I think that was the message the Queen was giving out when she designed this hearse.

TAPPER: All right, Max Foster outside Buckingham Palace, thank you so much. There are already warnings it could be a bad flu season this year. So should you get your flu shot at the same time as the new COVID booster shot? We'll talk to a doctor, next.



TAPPER: In our health lead, monkeypox has taken the life of one individual here in the United States becoming the first known death from this virus in America. Officials say a Los Angeles County resident had a severely weakened immune system and was hospitalized.

This is us confirmed cases constitute now more than 22,000 with California reporting the most 4,300 According to data from the CDC. Let's bring in Dr. Peter Hotez. Help us understand how this person died from monkeypox, our deaths from this virus rare.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: They're not that rare, Jake. I mean, we have to remember monkeypox is still a serious disease. I mean, it's not like smallpox, that causes 30 percent mortality. But it's still significant. And we saw about 1 percent in Nigeria, it's not been that high, there have been about 20 deaths so far. But especially if you're immunocompromised, and because of the population that monkeypox is affecting, there's a high percentage of those who are HIV positive and therefore could have profound be -- profoundly immunocompromised.

We don't know that was the reason for the death in Los Angeles or the death in Texas as well. But it's a reminder that doctors should be faster on the draw in terms of starting antiviral therapy. It's looking like the tecovirimat, that antiviral drugs working quite well. And so I think we're making it too difficult to -- for patients to get access to it. And they need to step that up.

TAPPER: I know there's a lot of concern about the stigma of monkeypox. And I wonder the name monkeypox is horrible. It's a horrible name. Is there any discussions about renaming it?

HOTEZ: The WHO, as per World Health Organization has proposed us to call it MPX, which is going to be renamed a pronounced Mpox. So, so that's a possibility. It isn't official yet, but that's where we're moving for. And I think you're right, it does conjure up some racist images coming out of the African continent. So if we can avoid that I think that's better.

But the bottom line is people need to seek treatment and people need to get vaccinated. I think the numbers of monkeypox are starting to go down now. But and part of that is changes in behavior, but also we're reaching out several 100,000 people have gotten vaccinated. So the hope is that continues but access among black and brown communities for the vaccine is still not what it needs to be so we've got to work harder on that.

TAPPER: And also behavior, right. The behavioral issues don't if you're having sex with multiple male partners you're the highest risk.


HOTEZ: That's right, the behavior change is a big thing. So cutting down the number of partners, having sex with people, you know, common sense, things like that, I think is also making a big difference.

TAPPER: Let's turn to COVID. There are these new boosters. They've been available for a little over a week. Who should get them?

HOTEZ: Well, anyone who is eligible, so -- and there are three reasons why. The first is that the, boosters the mRNA boosters, in general are not holding up as well as we'd like in terms of preventing hospitalizations once you're more than out four or five months from your last booster. So, now is the time to get a booster if you haven't been boosted in a while.

The second reason is this new booster targets both the original lineage that came out of Central China. And the BA.5 variant which subvariant which is the predominant one, still, it's starting to go down now. But it's still predominant. So that's the second reason. The third reason is we don't know what's coming later this winter. Many of us are expecting another big COVID wave variant to be determined. And by having this new booster, that gives you two shots on goal one against the original lineage, the other against BA.5, that we don't know if the next one coming down the pike is going to look more like BA.5 or the original lineage. And this kind of hedged bets to make it more likely that you'll do better coming this winter.

TAPPER: Who is eligible for this new booster for COVID? And should they get it with the flu shot too?

HOTEZ: So anyone over the age of 12 can get the Pfizer booster and anyone over 18 get the Moderna booster, they're pretty equivalent. I think it's a good idea to get your flu shot at the same time. So if you go to the pharmacy, it's a good idea to get both just because you remember it and you don't forget to get it. And we do think this is going to be a bad flu season.

There are those who think that if you get it too early, the effects start to wear off and the worst part of flu season is December and January. So the Centers for Disease Control goes back and forth about when to get boosted. I just got my booster thinking I'm traveling a lot going to be exposed to flu in the fall. And that's the rationale for doing that now.

TAPPER: All right, Dr. Peter Hotez thanks so much. Good to see you. What will it take to stop conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from spreading his damaging hideous lies about the Sandy Hook massacre? Well, his second trial is underway. And there's already fireworks. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead now just miles from the site of the 2012 school shooting right wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is on trial and will face eight Sandy Hook families. This is Jones second time in court for his hideous money making crusade to spread disinformation about the massacre, which obviously led grieving families to become the target of online harassment and death threats.

Let's bring in CNN Drew Griffin. Drew, during much of the last trial, Alex Jones watched from afar, not in person. Was he there to face the families today?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: He was not there today, Jake, but we're told he will testify in this trial. Like the jury in Texas, this jury is just deciding how much Alex Jones is going to have to pay. The judge already deciding or declaring Jones and his company liable for damages to the plaintiffs for calling that shooting a hoax across his media empire and saying that no one died. The victim's families who were accused by Jones of being crisis actors and faking the entire shooting.

As part of Jones's view a plot to pass gun restrictions actually were revere optimized by Jones followers who harass them, threatened them, one even face death threats. This trial is meant to determine how much in damages Jones should pay for that.

As such, the plaintiffs first must show how much damage was done and their first witness was a hardened FBI agent who has joined the families in this lawsuit against Jones. His name is Bill Aldenberg, and he responded to Sandy Hook Elementary School the morning of that massacre back in December 2012. Nearly 10 years later, Jake, he could barely make it through telling the jury what he saw.


BILL ALDENBERG, FBI AGENT, RESPONDED TO SANDY HOOK MASSACRE: Our senses were that it's like overwhelmed her senses. I don't know. I don't know what I heard. I just know that what I saw. It overwhelms your sense. It's frigging horrible.


GRIFFIN: Jake, the family's attorney repeatedly told jurors how many times and for how long Alex Jones had told his followers the Sandy Hook massacre was fake, which made this next exchange especially poignant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you saw in that school fake?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it synthetic?

ALDENBERG: No, sir. No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See any actors that day, Bill?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those children real?

ALDENBERG: It's awful. It's awful.


GRIFFIN: Had to take several breaks. A second witness, sister of school teacher Vicki Soto, equally emotional. In fact, one juror was even seen crying during her testimony. In his opening statements today, Jones's attorney twice admonished by the judge for trying to bring politics into this trial insinuating the plaintiffs were on a political mission to financially destroy Jones just to silence him. The judge would have none of it but also said Jake, it's going to be difficult to keep Alex Jones in control when he does testify.

Jones already facing $50 million judgment in Texas that he's appealing. That was for one family. This trial as you said Jake represents eight. We are expecting it to go for four weeks. TAPPER: All right, Drew Griffin, thank you so much. Appreciate it.


You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok at Jake Tapper. You can tweet the show at THE LEAD CNN. If you ever miss an episode of THE LEAD, you can listen to THE LEAD from whence you get your podcasts. Our coverage 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 tomorrow.