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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Putin Acknowledges China Has "Questions And Concerns" On Ukraine; Rep. Michael Turner, (R-OH), Is Interviewed About Russia, China, Ukraine War, Bill Richardson; Sources: U.S. Won't Send Longer- Range Systems, For Now; Source: Fmr. Gov. Bill Richardson Held Meetings This Week In Moscow; Fetterman Commits To Debating Oz Two Weeks Before Election Day; Oz Sharpens Attacks On Fetterman As PA Senate Race Tightens; NH GOP Sen. Candidate Don Bolduc Backtracks On Election Lies; Sex Trafficking Victim Forces To Pay $150k In Restitution To Alleged Abuser's Family; After Queen's Death, Pleas Grow In Kenya For Return Of African Tribal Leader's Head; 20-Time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer Says He's Retiring From Professional Tennis. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired September 15, 2022 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Two Russian soldiers shot dead in fighting about five days ago, yet another sign the Kremlin doesn't care what or who it leaves behind.
This is Vovchansk, the closest town to Russia that Ukraine has taken back and whose vital railways began the supply chain for most of Moscow's war. The Russians, everyone says, just packed up and vanished a few days ago. They've always been so close. So part of life here, any joy is not universal.
They were not very good says Andrei. They didn't shoot anyone, though.
The hardest was to see their checkpoints in their Z signs and feel hatred growing in my heart says Tatyana. They can drink their oil and have their golden diamonds for dessert, but just leave us alone here.
Nastya (ph) is sailing ships, she says. Ukraine has been at war all the eight years she's known. I think it'd be better without them, she says, it was uncomfortable having them here. Her parents nearby say fear meant they slept in their clothes all the six months.
(on camera): It's kind of strange here to see how almost unaffected so much of this town has been and how life seems to have slipped comfortably back into normal when the Russian has just picked up and left. And it gives you a feeling of how normality must still rain just a matter of six kilometers away across the border in Russia.
(voice-over): But normal is never coming back, particularly to hear the border line itself. Russia retreated back over it, but must now live with the hatred that has stirred.
(on camera): The fact that Ukrainian forces are able to push right up to here, the beginning of the border buffer zone with Russia. Russia is just a matter of kilometers in that direction. Is it another calamity Moscow has imposed upon itself? Its opponent in this war and it's struggling so deeply to defeat is now so close to Russia's own towns and cities.
(voice-over): A moment long coming says local soldier Anton.
(on camera): How do you feel walking along the Ukraine Russia borders?
(voice-over): Some people have waited this for eight years, he says. It is the start of our victory.
Across the one sleepy field here lives and harvests stalled, wilting if another year will come.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
WALSH: Jake, the abiding impression really from seeing areas reclaimed by the Ukrainians is just the vacuum frankly, is left when Russia disappears. Life almost sliding back to normal six months ago particularly in those areas. And to -- startling to hear from Ukrainian officials, their suggestion that some of the units that fled the area around Kharkiv in fact that being so heavily injured or damaged, they've entirely been disbanded.
Now today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appearing publicly seemingly unscathed from the car crash he was involved in yesterday. Has been talking about the discovery of mass graves in the town of Izium, south of where I'm standing. One of the key logistical points down from Vovchansk that you saw there in that report, more grim discoveries as Ukraine continues to press forwards it hopes in its southern counter offensive as well. Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much. This all comes of course as two major adversaries of the west meet face to face President Xi of China and President Putin of Russia promising to work together and support one another. As CNN's Ivan Watson reports, this is the first time the two strongmen had met in person since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and a lot has changed for both of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two leaders united by their dislike of the U.S., Xi Jinping, making his first trip outside of COVID lockdown China in more than two years, face to face with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin who quickly addresses the elephant in the room.
PRES. VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. We understand your questions and concerns in this regard.
WATSON (voice-over): Questions and concerns about Russia's deadly war in Ukraine, a shift in tone from the last time these two men met. At the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, Xi and Putin announced a friendship with no limits and called for a new world order not dominated by Washington. But only weeks later, Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, and it has not gone according to plan. Russia's military battered, its economy increasingly isolated. Putin now needs China more than ever. But in his public comments the Chinese leader made no mention of Ukraine.
The White House argues when it comes to this war, Chinese friendship does have limits.
JOHN KIRBY, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We haven't seen the Chinese do anything overtly to support the effort by Mr. Putin inside Ukraine. Clearly they haven't publicly condemned it. I think the Chinese as they watch what's going on here, they recognize how isolated Moscow is from the rest of the international community, recognize the economic costs and consequences that this war is having on the Russian economy.
WATSON (voice-over): Thanks in large part to the ongoing COVID lock downs of entire Chinese cities. The Chinese economy is also taking a beating, something Xi can't afford to ignore as he prepares to grant himself a third term in office.
The Chinese and Russian navies are conducting joint patrols in the Pacific Ocean. But these types of shows of force have been challenged by the fierce resistance displayed by a much smaller military fighting on the battlefields of Ukraine.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
WATSON: When it comes to the Ukrainian war, Jake, Chinese friendship with no limits, well, it basically amounts to Beijing, accusing the U.S. and NATO of provoking Russia forcing it to invade Ukraine. But the kind of rhetoric and their turn has also provided an economic lifeline to Russia by buying up record amounts of discounted Russian oil and coal. But you got to wonder that Russian military setbacks on the battlefield, the scenes we've seen over and over again of Ukrainian farmers towing captured Russian tanks must have diminished the image of Putin in the eyes of his close friend, Xi Jinping. Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Ivan Watson reporting for Hong Kong for us, thanks so much.
Joining us live to discuss, Republican Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio, who serves as a Ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, thanks so much for being here. So let's start with this meeting between Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin today. How significant do you think it is Putin's acknowledgment that Beijing had questions and concerns about the war in Ukraine?
REP. MICHAEL TURNER (R-OH), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, it's very significant. But you know, this meeting is a far cry from the meeting that they had in February where they declared no limits, because apparently, there were limits because China offered no military assistance to Putin or Russia during their incursion into Ukraine. But also Putin stands with Xi much diminished. When he first stood there, even the United States thought that he would go easily into Ukraine, he did not. He -- that complicates things for President Xi as he looks to what he might want to accomplish militarily with Taiwan.
And also, Putin rallied the entire world around their military incursion, which of course, makes it more difficult for China to then undertake similar incursion toward Taiwan. And the other aspect of this is that you have the reports of the -- just the atrocities that are occurring in Ukraine.
TURNER: It really shows that that Russia, the brutality of what they're doing, and certainly that doesn't play well, anywhere.
TAPPER: Yes. And we're learning more about these atrocities as the Ukrainians recapture territory. The U.S. government has been pretty careful not to call this new part of the war where Ukraine is recapturing territory, they're not calling it a turning point in the war. They're not calling it a critical moment that will determine the outcome.
Here's a here's a quote from a U.S. defense official, quote, "It's more important than ever that we don't appear to be spiking the ball." What do you think, is that a valid concern?
TURNER: Well, it's always a concern whenever there's advances on the part of Ukrainian that Russia has options, and we don't know what options that they might deploy. And certainly that's of a concern. But one thing that we do know is Ukraine is making advances, Russia is losing territory.
This is significant and it's real. It certainly has put Russia in a disadvantaged position. It certainly has shown that their military capability is not what they had believed in in that region. But the other thing, it has put off their ability to have referendum in the area and then claim that they have annexed that territory. Holding off those plans really sets back Putin's agenda.
TAPPER: And sources tell CNN the U.S. is still not likely to provide Ukrainian forces with longer-range missile systems, which Ukraine has been requesting for months. CNN has been told that the Biden administration still believes providing those systems would be seen by Moscow as an escalation and would result in a retaliatory step by Moscow. Do you agree with that reasoning?
TURNER: I think this administration has been very cautious in what they have done taking very, very small steps because they've been worried about provoking Russia. But in this, you know, what Russia has already done is provocative. And the atrocities that are occurring, their open threats to Poland, Romania, to the Balkans, the Baltics themselves, all of that area, I think is a grave concern. And I think that we need to be certainly supporting Ukraine with everything we can give them.
TAPPER: So, you think they've been too cautious? Is that what you're suggesting?
TURNER: Well, they've been slow on the uptake, the Congress has been leading in on this both on passing legislation for providing lethal aid and in funding lethal aid. But also it's been slow to get in. I mean, you were putting that certainly in the beginning.
TURNER: But I think at this point, we're -- we really need to see a win by Ukraine, and they're close.
TAPPER: So, what would you say to somebody from the Biden administration who says, hey, look at this you were just acknowledging the Ukrainian victories. That didn't just happen. That happened because the west led by President Biden in the United States has been giving all sorts of aid, weapon systems, probably a lot of stuff we don't know about, probably you know about, but you can't tell me.
TURNER: Well, what we've seen every time we've increased the capabilities and the lethal aid that we've given to the Ukrainians, they have stepped up, been able to deploy those capabilities and they've won ground. That's -- what's exciting is that we're actually seeing successes. And we hope that successes continue. And we certainly think, you know, President Zelenskyy's leadership in rallying that nation and the military capabilities that were watching being deployed are impressive.
TAPPER: CNN has been told that former U.N. ambassador and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson met with leaders of Russia in Moscow this week. He does of course, as you know, historically provide help to families of hostages and detainees, and there are at least two Americans being held prisoner in Russia. But I want you to listen to what White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told me yesterday about Richardson going there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRBY: Our message is that private citizens should not be in Moscow at all right now. And the private citizens cannot negotiate on behalf of the United States government. We share Mr. Richardson's desire to see Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home with their families, and we're working very, very hard at doing that through government channels. That's the appropriate way to do that. And those efforts are ongoing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So is Bill Richardson freelancing? And what do you think, should he leave Russia?
TURNER: Well, I wouldn't know to what extent that he is working with the administration through backchannels or not, but I will tell you this, you know, there certainly are grave concerns as to what the administration might be willing to give up in any of these negotiations. We certainly want, you know, what we would consider to be hostages freed, we certainly want Americans to come home. And I think certainly everybody is very supportive of the administration in those negotiations. But we do have to be very concerned as to what we give in exchange, and that that's something will be born yet to be seen.
TAPPER: Do you have concerns about the Russian arms dealer and a U.S. president whose name has been floated as a possible trade?
TAPPER: You don't think he should be let go?
TURNER: Well, no. And I think that when you start to signal also your willingness to give things that we should not, Russia also ups the ante, they never accept any level of concession as goodwill. They can -- they receive it as a walk back.
TAPPER: All right. Very interesting. Congressman Mike Turner, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
Coming up next, an inside look at what it took to avoid a crippling freight rail strike. Plus, new reports about then President Trump calling up one country's king and offering him a piece of land. That was not Mr. Trump's to give. Stay with us.
TAPPER: We're back with our money lead, a strike that could have had disastrous economic consequences for the United States economy has thankfully been avoided, at least for now. The White House today President Biden celebrated the tentative deal between freight railroad companies and unions representing rail workers. As CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports, this took weeks of intense negotiations and the direct involvement of the White House to get things back on track.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A big win and a big relief for the White House.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a great deal for both sides in my view.
COLLINS (voice-over): President Biden announcing a deal between unions and railroad carriers, averting a strike that could have caused an economic catastrophe.
BIDEN: They're really the backbone of the economy. I mean, literally the backbone of the economy.
COLLINS (voice-over): The negotiations stretching for nearly 20 hours inside the Labor Department with President Biden himself dialing in after the 12-hour mark and a final deal clenched around 2:30 in the morning.
BIDEN: I feel good. These guys did -- by the way, they're still standing, they should be home with bed 20 straight hours.
COLLINS (voice-over): The President bringing the negotiators and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh into the Oval Office to hail the agreement as a win for both workers and the companies.
BIDEN: This is critical, critical. We're keeping the economy moving, we've got a way to go. But I want to thank them all business and labor.
COLLINS (voice-over): The deal meeting the union's main demand to give workers the ability to take days off for sick leave or medical emergencies, and a win for the companies saying workers will have to take unpaid leave to do so. The agreement coming after weeks of intense efforts by the White House who feared that a strike would paralyze critical elements of the economy and potentially exacerbate inflation.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He pushed them once again to recognize the harm that would hit families, farmers, businesses and entire communities if there was a shutdown.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
COLLINS: And Jake, all of this was a pretty delicate dance for President Biden who has touted himself as the most pro union president to ever hold office. But of course, did not publicly take aside here because what he really wanted was an agreement between these two sides to avert those economic consequences. Now, Jake, they got this agreement, it's up to the workers to ratify it.
TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins, thanks so much.
What made a Republican Senate candidate suddenly go from being an election liar to at least publicly claiming he accepts reality about who won the White House in 2020? Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our politics lead today, campaigning for Pennsylvania Governor yesterday, Republican nominee Doug Mastriano, a full throated spreader of Donald Trump's election lies attacked his rival, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro because of Shapiro's background.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG MASTRIANO, (R) PENNSYLVANIA GOV. CANDIDATE: You grew up in a privileged neighborhood, attended one of the most privileged schools in a nation as a young man, not college, I'm talking about as a kid. Sending his four kids to the same privilege exclusive elite school. We talked about him having disdain for people like us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I happen to know a little bit about the privilege school that Mr. Mastriano was attacking because I went there too. I was four years ahead of Attorney General Josh Shapiro. It was then called Akiba Hebrew Academy. It's a private Jewish parochial school. And I suppose in that sense, it is privileged, but I do not know many people who would describe it the way that Mr. Mastriano did.
More than 60 percent of the student body is currently on some form of tuition assistance the school tells me which was my experiments back when I went there in the 1980s. A lot of kids got financial aid, including a lot of kids who with their parents had escaped antisemitism in the Soviet Union and we're trying to build better lives for themselves in the Philadelphia area.
I don't think I've ever heard Mr. Mastriano describe any other Pennsylvania parochial schools in that way, elite exclusive, privileged, full of disdain for fellow Americans. Philadelphia has a ton of fancy prep schools. But I keep (ph) the Hebrew Academy was not one of them.
The Catholic school down the street seemed more similar to our school, kids of people, some of them wealthy, some middle class, some more humble, many of them from families where both parents worked from all over the area, New Jersey, Delaware, Philly, Pennsylvania, wanting their kids to get an education that included faith and ethics and morals. Is that bad? Or is it only bad when those parochial schools aren't Christian?
We reached out and asked to speak to Mr. Mastriano today on our show, we did not get a response. I have questions for him, though, about his attack on this Jewish school, because Mr. Mastriano also has close ties with Gab, the far right social media platform where Nazi venom is regularly spewed. Gab, you might recall is where the Tree of Life synagogue mass murderer was sharing his plans and his sick bigotry right before he carried out the deadliest act of anti-semitic violence in the history of the United States right on the other side of Pennsylvania.
Mastriano has close ties with openly, proudly, anti-Semitic Gab founder Andrew Torba, who was paid for consulting services by the Mastriano campaign. Torba regularly attacks Jews. He calls Josh Shapiro the antichrist. We should note that after some Jewish Republicans a few months ago criticize Mastriano for this relationship, Mastriano issued a rather wrote paper statement criticizing anti-Semitism in all its forms. And then yesterday he attacked Josh Shapiro's Jewish school and his kids' Jewish school.
I should also note that contrary to what Mr. Mastriano suggested, the Jewish values taught there did not teach disdain. In my experience, they taught community and charity and respect for all faiths and nationalities, races, creeds and colors, love of the United States, love for our fellow Americans. So I'm not sure what Mr. Mastriano means when he refers to people like Josh Shapiro having disdain for people like us. The only disdain I ever felt there was for anti- Semites.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now live.
Jeff, Doug Mastriano's relationship with Gab's founder plays into larger concerns of anti-Semitism in this race. Tell us about that.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Look, Jake, the Pennsylvania governor's race is very important to the Republican Governors Association and Republicans writ large, that is why they have been worried about Doug Mastriano. That is why many of the establishment Republican leaders here in Washington and beyond did not support him in the primary. But look, he is the nominee.
But yes, there have been concerns hanging over this race, as you said for the last several months about his association with anti-Semitic groups, no question about it. The Republican Jewish Coalition, a very prominent organization here in Washington with donors across the country was very explicit about this earlier this summer, calling out Doug Mastriano to say more about his ties to anti-Semitism. And Doug Mastriano did put out a statement at that time. But look, this is still hanging over this race without question.
Now there is a new ad that's been introduced in this campaign by Josh Shapiro, of course, the Democratic Attorney General running for governor. He is pointing out that Doug Mastriano once was pictured in a Confederate Army uniform when he was an instructor at the Army War College. I think we have a picture of that here that we can show. And he was the only one in the faculty here that decided to use the Confederate uniform here in his picture. So that has been now turned into a digital ad.
So yes, this is all hanging over the race here. And it's a race that at this point Josh Shapiro is leading. A new CBS News poll shows that he is leading Mastriano by 55 percent to 44 percent there. So, eight weeks before the election, this is the state of the gubernatorial campaign, at least in Pennsylvania, Jake.
TAPPER: Yes, in addition to being losers and traders, we should note that the Confederates -- Pennsylvania was not on the side of the Confederates.
TAPPER: We're on the winning side.
Democrat John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor, he's finally agreed to a debate following a wave of criticism, of course, his stroke. What do we know about that?
ZELENY: Look, he has agreed to a debate that's scheduled now tentatively for October 25, two weeks before the election, and he's asked for closed captioning to be used at the debate. Why? He still is having auditory issues. [17:30:00]
His campaign says having a hard time hearing and processing some things because of that stroke he had several months ago. So the Oz campaign, Mehmet Oz campaign has agreed to the closed captioning as long as the moderator announces and explains it to the audience in advance. We'll see if this debate actually happens.
As in many states across the country, there's been a debate over debates. But here in Pennsylvania, it's been different because it's speaking to Fetterman's health issues. But as of now, at least, there should be one debate just shortly before the election, of course, by then many early voting periods already underway.
TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny. Thanks so much.
Let's discuss Gloria, let me start with you. There are, we should note legitimate, questions about John Fetterman's health. He had that strike. Obviously once again, I want to note, we all wish him the best. We all wish him a speedy recovery. He has agreed to a single debate with Oz just before the election following weeks of criticism. Is that enough? Mike voters regard one debate is as insufficient.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well I think the more debates, the merrier. And I think that this is late. October 25th, you have voting already started. And we don't know that Oz is going to agree with this. They could go back and forth and back and forth over this forever. And I think that Fetterman at the outset was not completely forthcoming about his health issues.
And I think that because of that, that has dogged him. And I think he would benefit from a debate. I think he's trying to be forthcoming now and saying, look, I need closed captioning. I have auditory processing issues and stay with me on this. I'm getting better every day.
BORGER: And people applaud that. So I would say that the people of Pennsylvania should hear from candidates as much as they possibly can, particularly earlier on before voting has already started.
TAPPER: So you're former Republican congressman from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Oz is sharpening attacks against Fetterman on this health issue, not just about the lack of transparency early on, but also just saying that whatever health issues he's dealing with might keep him from doing his jobs -- job as a senator. Too much, do you think? Is there a risk there?
CHARLIE DENT (R). FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, there's a risk. I think it's a fair criticism. I do think that John Fetterman, he has an obligation to do three debates in my view, one in the Philadelphia market, one in the Pittsburgh media market and one in the central Pennsylvania market Harrisburg. They have to do this.
You know, I just spoke earlier today with my good friend, Mark Kirk, a senator from Illinois who suffered a massive stroke -- TAPPER: Sure.
DENT: -- in 2012 and it took him about a year to come back to work. And he did two debates with Tammy Duckworth as an incumbent. And, you know, I'm sure it wasn't easy for him. He lost that race. But I think as Gloria pointed out, that the Fetterman and has not been very forthcoming, have not been transparent. And many people believe that his health condition is much worse than they have represented up to this point. So I think that the criticisms are fair by Dr. Oz.
TAPPER: What do you think, Ashley?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that they should do a debate, it would be great to have more than one and it is unfortunate to have the first one being after people have started to vote. I will also say though, is that people can recover from strokes and having one of the requests that the Fetterman campaign asked for was closed captioning, because of some auditory processing.
That is a reasonable accommodation, which we want people with disabilities to be able to have access to hold different jobs as long as they're qualified. And I think that I should agree to this. And they should get this done as soon as possible.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, USA TODAY: And I was just speaking to the Oz campaign, right, before we got on air. And the latest volley in this is that they are still pushing for a 90-minute debate. That is one of the disputes the Oz campaign because of the closed captioning says that instead of 60 minutes, they want 90 minutes. So the ball is now back into the Fetterman campaigns court to respond to that.
TAPPER: Well, there's always a tiresome debate over debates, but I mean, at least there is going to be a debate Pennsylvania voters deserve it.
Let me ask you, Francesca. We've seen a slew of people lying about the 2020 election nominated in Republican primaries this year. As CNN analysis found, a majority of the Republican Senate nominees have rejected raise, doubts about or taking steps or took steps to overturn Joe Biden's victory. And now one of these nominees, New Hampshire Senate nominee Don Bolduc who won his primary on Tuesday in New Hampshire. He's changing his tune completely about what he said happened in 2020. This is the new Bolduc.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON BOLDUC (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE CANDIDATE: The election was not stolen. Was there fraud? Yes. President Biden is the legitimate president of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Obviously now he's trying to tack towards the center and win over independence or the biggest party in New Hampshire, the independence, biggest affiliation. Is it going to work? CHAMBERS: This is a broader theme that we've seen with Republican candidates who tack to the right when they wanted the former President Donald Trump's support and their primaries, and now they're heading into general elections. And in many of these states that are either leaning towards their Democratic opponent or a solid Democrat and some of these states are a toss-up still, really trying to put out views they think will attract like you said the senator more independent voters, Jake. And it's not in one single race and that is what has GOP strategists nervous at this point. heading into the midterm elections.
BORGER: This isn't a pivot, though. We talked about pivots and campaigns. This is a reversal.
BORGER: A complete and total reversal for what particular reason. The primary is over.
DENT: This is going straight (ph).
DENT: I mean, it's so simple. I mean, he wants -- look, this is a swing state. You need to get independent voters and Democrats to win as a Republican --
DENT: -- in New Hampshire, just as you do in Pennsylvania.
DENT: And I think these guys are discovering they just can't pander to a base and win a general election. It's very simple. It's very basic math.
CHAMBERS: And meanwhile, Democrats feel really buoyed by the issue of abortion rights. Maggie Hassan in that race has been campaigning really hard on that issue. It's something my colleagues and I wrote about this week really leaning into that, and also talking about the 15-week abortion ban that Lindsey Graham has now introduced in the Senate and using that to say that Republicans will try to pass an abortion ban if they take back the Senate.
ALLISON: It's disingenuous, and it is troubling to think that these people will potentially be in office and passing laws. If they are disingenuous as candidates, they will be disingenuous as politician.
BORGER: That's never happened.
ALLISON: But that's why people are so frustrated with politics in Washington, D.C., and I hope the voters see through it.
TAPPER: So Gloria, CNN got a preview of this explosive new book from veteran journalists as Susan Glasser and Peter Baker, about Trump's presidency. The book claims that the former President's national security team including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Mark Milley feared that Trump would ignite a conflict with Iran in the final days of his presidency, quote, "One administration official told Trump before the 2020 election that if he lost, he should strike Iran's nuclear program, the authors report. "Milley at the time told his staff it was a 'What the f -- are these guys talking about?' moment," they write. Now, it seemed frighteningly possible." What do you make of this?
BORGER: I can't understand reading all these books, reading all these stories, why these people -- and this book says they considered it -- didn't all get together and stand up there and tell the public what was going on and quit. I know the rationale was you have to have the guardrails. We have to be there to be the guardrails for the American public. But when this kind of stuff is going on, at a certain point, don't you owe it to the public to say something?
TAPPER: And Congressman Baker and Glasser also report that Trump wants abruptly phone Jordan's King Abdullah II, to inform him he was, quote, going to give you the West Bank, which is of course not his to give. Prompting the monarch to tell a friend he thought he was having a heart attack, quote, I couldn't breathe, I was bent doubled over. What -- is this more evidence that Trump is unfit to serve in your view or what?
DENT: Yes, look, I met the king. I can imagine his reaction. That said, look, we knew that Donald Trump had serious issues from the moment of crowd size to the travel ban. I sat in the meeting with Speaker Ryan, I said who is going to conduct the intervention? Who's going to stage the intervention down at the White House?
This is crazy. This was in week two. And nobody -- no. And here we are. We just had a series of these types of events --
DENT: -- for years on January 6 was the culmination of it all and it's only gotten worse.
TAPPER: Yes, and to your credit, Congressman. You were saying publicly back then while you were in office.
Thanks one and all for being here. Appreciate it.
Coming up, a woman killed her alleged rapist. And now believe it or not, this woman has been ordered to pay his family $150,000. And she's not alone. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our national lead, imagine having to pay tens of thousands of dollars to the family of someone who repeatedly raped you. That's what's happening in Iowa for one teenage sex trafficking victim. 17- year-old Pieper Lewis who killed her alleged rapist when she was 15 years old, is now being ordered to pay his family $150,000 in restitution as well as serving five years probation.
Iowa law requires the court to sentence offenders to pay at least that amount if they kill someone, regardless of the circumstances. A GoFundMe campaign set up by one of Louis's former teachers is almost at $400,000.
CNN's Lucy Kafanov brings us the details and we want to warn you some of this information is rather disturbing.
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outrage is growing in the case of an Iowa teen sentenced to five years probation for killing her alleged rapist ordered to pay the man's family $150,000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The court is cognizant that you, and quite frankly, your supporters may be frustrated even angry with the imposition of the $150,000 in restitution and Mr. Brooks's estate.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Pieper Lewis was just 15 years old when she stabbed 37-year-old Zachary Brooks to death inside his Des Moines apartment in 2020, where she says he raped her multiple times.
PIEPER LEWIS, VICTIM REQUIRED TO PAY RESTITUTION: I wish the events that took place on June 1st, 2020 never occurred. But say there's only one victim to this story is absurd.
MEGAN HOXHALLI, SOCIAL WORKER, LUTHERAN SERVICES IN IOWA: Pieper was being used for money or drugs by adults.
KAFANOV (voice-over): In her plea agreement, Lewis laid out the series of events that led to the killing, saying she was trafficked by an older man who forced her to have sex with other men for money, including Brooks. She described being assaulted repeatedly, including while being unconscious, stating, "I suddenly realized that Mr. Brooks had raped me yet again and was overcome with rage."
Lewis was facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and willful injury.
The judge deferred those sentences on Tuesday, meaning her guilty plea could be expunged if she completes five years probation at a residential correctional facility.
JUDGE DAVID PORTER, POLK COUNTY: This is the second chances you've asked for. You don't get a third, understand that?
LEWIS: Yes, I do.
PORTER: The next five years your life will be full of rules (ph) that you will disagree with. I'm sure of it.
KAFANOV (voice-over): The judge said the restitution was mandatory under Iowa law.
PORTER: This Court has no discretion but to impose the $150,000 in restitution payable to Mr. Brooks's estate.
KELLYMARIE MEEK, IOWA COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT: I don't think that justice was served. I think that justice would have not seen Pieper Lewis spent any time behind bars.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Rights advocates pointed numerous examples of victims of sexual abuse and trafficking facing punishment rather than protection.
MEEK: The women of color who've experienced sexual violence, domestic violence, trafficking any kind of harm, who act in self-defense against their -- the people who harmed them have not been treated well by our legal system historically.
SARA KRUZAN, SURVIVOR OF SEX TRAFFICKING/ACTIVIST: That means I'm going to die here.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life without parole as a teenager for killing a man who sexually abused and trafficked her in 1994. Pardoned by California's Governor this July.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: State of Wisconsin vs Crystal Kaiser.
KAFANOV (voice-over): In Wisconsin, Crystal Kaiser is facing a life sentence for killing the man she said forced her into trafficking when she was just 16. In Tennessee, Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man she claims paid to rape her when she was a 16-year-old trafficking victim. She was eventually granted clemency and released in 2019, after 15 years behind bars.
CYNTOIA BROWN-LONG, SURVIVOR OF SEX TRAFFICKING/ACTIVIST: You know, it's just a story that has unfortunately become all too familiar.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Reacting to Lewis' sentence in an interview with PBS News Hour.
BROWN-LONG: -- that she was a victim in this situation. Not only is she going to have to serve time in a facility, but over the next five years, anything that she does can trigger her having to serve a 20- year sentence. So she's not truly free and then there's the fact that she was ordered to --
KAFANOV: And here's the thing, Jake, Pieper Lewis avoids prison for now but this is a victim of severe abuse. And like so many of the vulnerable teenagers in her situation, she needs support in healing her trauma and not punitive measures. Rights activists that I spoke to say the justice system should be punishing child sex traffickers, rather than their victims. Jake?
TAPPER: Lucy Kafanov, thanks so much. Coming up, the British monarchy coming face to face with its brutal past including the head of a slain tribal chief, and a 500-carat diamond. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Now, our world lead, the Queen's death has reignited anger over Britain's colonial cruelty. And Kenya, leaders of the Nandi tribe are hoping that King Charles III will agree to return the head of their beloved anti-colonial leader. The severed head was apparently shipped to England as a war trophy after the tribal leader had been invited to a meeting with the British and then killed by a British officer in that meeting in 1905.
CNN's David McKenzie is in Johannesburg. David, is it clear if this head remains in British hands?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's certainly what the Nandi elders are saying. And it speaks to the pain and suffering. So many generations after this incident when the Nandi were fighting against the building of a railways through their ancestral land in Kenya in the turn of the last century, their leader went to negotiate a peace or so. He thought with a British officer was murdered by the British military. And they say his head taken to England as a war trophy.
And the death of the Queen has resurfaced a lot of this pain and anguish and the very real generational impact of the brutality of British colonialism. You recall, Jake, about 10 years ago, there was a group of Kenyans who were suffering from -- in the 1950s, actually the very year that the Queen became queen was a sign of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. Many of them, hundreds and thousands, in fact, were placed in internment camps, tortured.
Some 10 years ago, we reported on how they successfully got money more than $20 million from the British government and apology of sorts, but many feel that the ongoing legacy of colonialism hasn't been dealt with. We spoke to a prominent lawyer who helped defend those Mau Mau liberation heroes. Here's what he had to say about the impact of colonialism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL MUITE, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: The dehumanization of the Kenyan people or the black people, because they're unspoken what was that colonialism treated Africans in Kenya as beings resembling human beings? But subhuman, something that -- and they treated them as such. That dehumanization is what I would plead with the British government now His Majesty's government to accept and atone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well these issues are very much alive. Just a few weeks ago, Jake, another group of Kenyans are suing now the British government in a European court for what they say is being -- where the atrocities of them being pushed off their land. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, David McKenzie in South Africa, thank you so much for that report.
Coming up, another tennis superstar taking a bow and leaving Grand Slam competition. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our sports lead today, another all-time great tennis player taking a significant step back in their professional career. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer who's 41 years old says he's retiring from the ATP tour and Grand Slams once he's done competing in the labor cup next week in London. But he will continue to play tennis in the future. The tennis star posted his announcement on Twitter citing injuries and surgeries that ultimately led to his decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER FEDERER, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I am 41 years old. I've played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt and now must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Federer thanked his family, his competitors and fans for supporting his hugely successful career.
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