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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Uvalde School District Suspends Its Police Department; Thousands Of Russians Flee To Avoid Mandatory Military Service; Poll: Voters Say Economy Top Issue In Battleground Wisconsin; Dem Mandela Barnes Focuses On Abortion In WI Senate Race; Republican Attack Ads Hit Mandela Barnes On Crime; Ron Johnson Says January 6 Was Not Armed Insurrection; Iran Denies Security Forces Killed 16-Year-Old, Says She Fell Off Roof; NYC Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Amid Migrant Busing Crisis; USWNT, England Show Solidarity With Sexual Abuse Survivors. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 07, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The announcement comes after a CNN exclusive reporting that uncovered the school's police department had actually hired a Department of Public Safety Officer who did not go into the school, even though she was one of the first officers to arrive at the school. That's there in the pictures you're seeing on your screen.

She was fired after CNN's report. But the school district police had actually been informed that she was under investigation back in July. They went ahead and hired her anyway to protect Uvalde school children, some of whom had survived this shooting at Robb Elementary adding to the growing outrage from parents who lost their children.

CNN Shimon Prokupecz joins me. Shimon, it was your reporting earlier this week that expose the newly hired officer for the school district had been under investigation. You've been following this story from the very beginning to an incredible reporting. What happened today in Uvalde?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's truly shocking, you know, Jake. Certainly no one expected this. Today the school announced that they were suspending the entire police force there that, as you said, patrols the schools there and they've suspended them all. They're basically going to remove them from the schools and put them on desk duty.

So this was certainly a shocking development, not something anyone expected, but something that family members have been wanting for quite some time, Jake.

TAPPER: And it was not just firing, Shimon. One of the department's administrators resigned today as well. Tell us about that.

PROKUPECZ: Yes, the administrator, it's a man by the name of Ken Miller. He's the number three administrator at the school. What he does is -- this is actually the lieutenant, this is Lieutenant Hernandez on your screen now. So just to be clear. This is the lieutenant who did the vetting, the vetting of the officer that they hired, who eventually got fired from the DPS.

There's documentation that this Lieutenant Miguel Hernandez received a document, received a letter from the DPS saying that he -- that this officer was under investigation, but somehow they still hired him. And this is Ken Miller here on your screen now. This is the man who was put on leave and then now also resigned. This is us outside the school last week trying to ask him questions.

It's not entirely clear why they put him on leave, but it's believed to be connected to the hiring of that officer. So when they put him on leave, he decided that he was going to resign. So he's the number three administrator at the school, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes, that was him refusing to answer any questions, which is just so symbolic of how all of these Uvalde authorities, or many of them, too many of them, have just refused any accountability or transparency just even answer basic questions. What's been the response from the families today?

PROKUPECZ: Tears. I expect -- I spoke to Brett Krause, who's been outside the school administration building for an entire week protesting demanding these changes. They were shocked by this. They did not expect this kind of of a fallout. Certainly, after our story, they're thankful for the information.

But, you know, this is something, Jake, as you said that they've been asking for it really in the days since the shooting. They've been wanting these officers removed from the schools. They don't trust them. They don't trust them to be around their children. They've also been asking for the administrators to be fired, some of them to be removed from the school. So they truly did not expect this.

And when you think about this, this is sort of the way this school has kind of behave, how the administration has behaved really from the first day of -- since the shooting happened, when they refuse to answer questions, kind of sort of hiding, not responding to any of our requests for information. And so, what really led up to this was the fact that they have been hiding all of this.

They knew that she was under investigation. They knew that this officer came from the DPS. The families were asking questions. They refused to answer any of those questions. And now look, you know, when you think about everything that they've been hiding, and when it comes out, this is what happens. They have to fire people, they have to suspend people, they have to force people to resign. And so all of this happening really because of the fight, the fight by the parents, Jake.

TAPPER: So if the school district police force, this four or five officers are no longer on the job, who's in charge of protecting the students in Uvalde on Monday when school is back in sessions?

PROKUPECZ: So it's a DPS, the Department of Public Safety. They've come to an agreement there since school started here in September that they were going to allow these officers, it's troopers there to patrol the schools. But the agreement is based on the fact that none of these officers, these DPS officers who are on scene, 91 of them on scene they're at -- on the day of the shooting, as long as none of those officers who are on scene will be patrolling the schools, the families felt it was OK at least for now for the DPS to be there on the school grounds.

But certainly, the parents are not comfortable with this. They're asking for more change and they're going to keep fighting, Jake, because still, so many unanswered questions certainly with the response by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the other law enforcement officials that were there on scene.


When you think about this, Jake, we're almost five months into this and yet this is all still developing. All of this information is just now coming out. Just think about how much more there is that hasn't come out. And that's what the families are fighting for here.

TAPPER: Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much. Great reporting as always.

Joining us now to discuss, Democratic Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez. Senator, what do you make of the school district's decision to suspend the school districts -- the school's entire police force?

SEN. ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D-TX), STATE SENATOR: Well, thank you, Jake. First off, I will tell you that it's a step in the right direction, probably four months too late. The confidence of these families and of the whole of city of Uvalde has just been ripped apart. You know, there is no confidence in the police department in the school district or the local police are in the sheriff's department, or, for that matter, the Department of Public Safety.

Let's be real clear. This woman -- thanks to Shimon's great reporting -- this woman was a DPS trooper. And yet, we've seen no accountability on their part, no real accountability from the Department of Public Safety. And from the various videos that we've seen on your station before, we know that there was 12 DPS troopers in that hallway. There's still a lot of work to get done here.

TAPPER: So there are 12 DPS troopers in the hallway. You heard Shimon reporting that DPS, the Department of Public Safety is going to continue to be in charge of protecting the students. They've been doing that since the shooting. Do you have a message for parents who are worried about their kid's safety at school?

GUTIERREZ: The parents are very upset. As you know, Jake, they've been upset and they want accountability from DPS. I mean, obviously, in this transitionary period, we're going to have to have somebody secure the schools. Those DPS troopers, they better well be on very high alert and make sure that they're doing their jobs appropriately.

More importantly, I think that this community needs to start retooling, reevaluating, reinventing how we do policing not just at the school district level, but at the city and county level as well. But let's be clear., we still have a governor who has failed to ask for accountability, Jake. Even yesterday, he put it solely on the school district saying, hey, we send them a letter and we told them she was under investigation. That is true.

That letter was very ambiguous. It didn't say she was an under investigation for the incident in Uvalde. Greg Abbott has failed the people in Uvalde. He continues to do so. Steve McCraw, the Director of the Department of Public Safety has failed the people of Uvalde with a constant campaign of misinformation. It's as if we're living in communist Russia. It's very disturbing, Jake.

TAPPER: This comes on the heels of Shimon's report, as you noted, that the school police force had hired one of the officers from DPS who did not go inside Robb Elementary School during the shooting, even though she was one of the first on the scene. Now, she has been fired because of Shimon's report.

But doesn't the decision for her to be hired in the first place suggest that neither the school district and the school itself and the police that none of them are truly understanding how horrifying it is that all these law enforcement officers were at the school doing nothing, while these kids were being massacred?

GUTIERREZ: There is a tremendous disconnect with reality on the ground in Uvalde and anything that's coming out of Austin or anything from government in general, at any level at the local or the state level. You know, I have been there as much as I can. The media certainly has been there. We've seen great investigative reporting, but it shouldn't be that way.

Government is supposed to be able to attempt to solve problems and be transparent with communities. And the biggest thing that has happened in Uvalde, Jake, is the failure in -- to be transparent. And a lot of that transparency, unfortunately, Jake, in my opinion, has begun from the Department of Public Safety and Steve McCraw's miscommunications to this community.

We've got to be able to bring closure to this, but we can't bring closure until we know everything that's out there. I fear that there's more.

TAPPER: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez, thank you so much.

And I just want to remind viewers what the story is really about. This is about 19 children. We're showing you their faces right now, and two adults, teachers, who were gunned down at school. And all of the broken families and parents and siblings and friends after that massacre just looking at those faces. May their memories be a blessing.

Coming up, two Russians now detained in Alaska. They sailed across the Arctic Ocean in a small boat in order to escape the Russian draft. And they're not alone. We're going to go live in Kazakhstan, where thousands of Russian men had been arriving every day for weeks. Then, the head of the National Women's Soccer League says there are new reports of misconduct that have come out in the day since that bombshell independent report. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In Russia, hundreds of thousands of men would be conscript tees are on the run. Putin's new draft has meant abandoning their homes and in some cases their families in order to avoid fighting a war against Ukraine that they do not support.

CNN's Ivan Watson is in Kazakhstan right now where 200,000 Russians have arrived just this week, looking for refuge.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russians abandoning their homeland. Russian President Vladimir Putin's ordered to conscript men to fight in his war in Ukraine has created an exodus of Russian draft dodgers. They lineup daily here in neighboring Kazakhstan to register with the local authorities. The Kazakh government says more than 200,000 Russians fled to this country in less than two weeks.

VADIM, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: Yes, we run away from Russia.

WATSON (voice-over): Vadim and Aleksey fled Moscow last week to escape the draft.

VADIM: We don't want this war and we're not recognize.

ALEKSEY, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: Tradition of our government.

VADIM: Position our government.


WATSON (voice-over): Many of Russia's land borders choked for weeks with long lines as citizens run for the exits. Draft dodgers traveling by land wait days in line, or pay big money for scarce plane tickets to escape. And that's just the first step.

(on-camera): Every day, more Russians arrive at this train station and Almaty with their backpacks. And they all tell you the same thing -- they were afraid they could be sent to fight in Ukraine, and they abandoned their country on very short notice.

(voice-over): This married couple left together.

(on-camera): Did you come because of the mobilization for the war in Ukraine?

SERGEI, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: It was final kick to start our journey, I guess. WATSON (on-camera): Yes.


WATSON (on-camera): Were you afraid that you would have to go fight in the war?

SERGEI: Yes, it's not something I want to participate in.

WATSON (voice-over): The flood of new arrivals surprising local business owners like the operator of a co-working space in the center of Almaty.

(on-camera): This gentleman just walked in. Is this unusual to see --

MADINA ABILPANOVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DM ASSOCIATES: They're usual. Every day is like this. They come in with huge suitcases because they couldn't find a place for living and they come in here for working and sitting and, you know, looking for some, you know, accommodation.

WATSON (on-camera): These are fresh arrivals from Russia.

ABILPANOVA: Yes, yes, yes.

WATSON (on-camera): Arriving with their backpack --


WATSON (on-camera): -- on their back.

(voice-over): In the city, hundreds of miles from the Russian border, I spoke with dozens of newly arrived Russians, ranging from doctors.

ANASTASIA ARSENEVA, RUSSIAN DOCTOR WHO FLED DRAFT: If we refuse to go to this war, we should go to the jail.

WATSON (voice-over): Two engineers, IT specialists and university students.

(on-camera): You ran away from Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, from mobilization, from --

WATSON (on-camera): From military service?


WATSON (voice-over): Most don't want to be identified to protect loved ones still in Russia.

GIORGI, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: How can I take part in the war without a wish to win this war?

WATSON (voice-over): This man says Putin's draft left him no other choice but to flee the country, leaving his wife and child behind.

GIORGI: We do not trust our government. We don't believe in what they say.

WATSON (voice-over): He says the Russian government crackdown on dissent has made protesting futile, leaving hundreds of thousands of men now suddenly adrift, trying to find work and accommodation in foreign countries.

GIORGI: I am the citizen of the country that started that war, I did not support this war. I never did. But somehow, I'm still connected with the state because of my passport. And I am, at the same time, a refugee and the aggressor.

WATSON (voice-over): Russians on the run, sharing a collective sense of hopelessness and guilt over the destruction caused by their government.


WATSON: And Jake, it's not just individuals that are fleeing. I'm hearing from Russians that I'm talking to here in Almaty that they're saying that their bosses have been sending them across border. That, in some cases, this appears to be the corporate policy of some Russian companies to send their employees out to also help them escape the draft. And all of this shows us that there is some serious lack of faith and credibility in the current policies, the war policies of the Kremlin. Jake?

TAPPER: All right. Ivan Watson in Kazakhstan, thank you so much.

Here in the United States, Russians are beginning to seek asylum to avoid Putin's draft. Earlier this week, two Russian men arrived by boat in Alaska. They apparently departed from Egvekinot, Russia. They crossed the Bering Strait, they landed on Alaska, St. Lawrence Island. The men were transported to Anchorage to be processed by U.S. immigration. They are asking to stay here in the United States in hopes of avoiding compulsory military service.

The Russian Embassy in Washington is planning to speak to the two men by phone. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy says he does not anticipate a, quote, continual stream of Russians into Alaska.

Republicans in Wisconsin want the Senate race to be about prime. The Democrats want it to be about abortion rights. But voters told CNN that to them, it's about something else. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, Democrats have targeted Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the Senate. They've tried to hit him on his opposition to abortion in ads.

On the Republican side, more than 60 percent of TV ad spending against the Democrat has been about crime, that's according to Ad-Impact. But as CNN's Omar Jimenez reports, the number one issue of concern for voters in Wisconsin is not abortion, and it's not crime. It's the economy and inflation.



OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At an abortion rights roundtable this week, Wisconsin Democratic Senate Candidate Mandela Barnes says abortion and the economy are connected.

(on-camera): How do you approach the relationship of those two major issues?

BARNES: Well, it's not even about balancing. I mean, the issue of inflation is one that's impacting people every day, everywhere, you know, whether a person decides to start a family or not.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Its effects are also felt in places like Dino's in Portage, Wisconsin. They say they're not too concerned with politics, but know firsthand, how economic issues can make a bad situation worse.


NICK MEHMEDI, CO-OWNER, DINO'S RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE: We've been closed almost for five months.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): Brothers Dino and Nick had to shut down their restaurant in April because of an electrical problem. But then couldn't get the parts they needed because of supply chain issues. So, what they thought would last a few weeks, turned into months.

N. MEHMEDI: The first time we're told, like, oh, maybe in about six weeks, you know, at the longest, every time when the time comes in, well, the parts are not here. They are pushed back another two weeks or another month, and pretty much we've just been waiting.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Meanwhile, prices have gone out.

(on-camera): So you're not reopening into the same environment that you were in (INAUDIBLE)?

D. MEHMEDI: No, no. I mean, you look at the prices, delivery comes in, you should five or six items. You know, it hurts.

N. MEHMEDI: We thought the pandemic was a bad time. But for us this was like, terrible.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): But it's not just them.

STEVE SOBIEK, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN PORTAGE, WISCONSIN: They took a big sigh but he said, you know, guess what it's happening.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Steve Sobiek is director of Business Development in Portage and says this project was supposed to start in February, but couldn't get going until June or July.

SOBIEK: Supply chain issues really have caused the biggest problem along with the cost of supplies.

JIMENEZ (on-camera): It's also hard to find workers.

SOBIEK: That's what keeps me up at night. If I put a new facility here and they can't find employees, they're not going to be able to stay open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four more years.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Portage sits in Columbia County. Trump carried it in 2020 by just about 500 votes. In the hotly contested race for U.S. Senate this year, the economy might just be the ticket. Senator Ron Johnson tweeting, "Wisconsin average gas prices once again have risen above $4." Blaming democratic spending. Barnes says those like Johnson, who can do something about it, aren't and won't.

BARNES: We should be in the driver's seat once again, but not until we have elected officials who will they'll put people here in this state first.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Meanwhile, the stakes are livelihoods.

(on-camera): You know, is it sad walking through there and not seeing people?

D. MEHMEDI: Yes. Late at night I come around, just -- because it's -- I don't know, that's me, you know. No lights, nothing. It's just like mmm.


JIMENEZ: Now, Dino's does plan to finally reopen soon. Meanwhile, here in Milwaukee, we're outside the first of two confirmed debates between Johnson and Barnes. There's been absolutely no daylight between them up to this point in the polls. And it's likely why this race has been one of the top three Senate races when it comes to advertising in the country over the past month. And we'll see if the debate tonight helps move the needle in any way when we're going to hear some of these important issues, like abortion, like crime, but also inflation, the economy, education and more, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Omar Jimenez in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, thanks so much.

Let's discuss with my guest panel. Kasie, let me start with you. So, Johnson's campaign has been really laser-focused on attacking Mandela Barnes on the issue of crime. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't believe anything Mandela Barnes says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mandela just want to defund the police. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But here's Barnes talking about defunding the police.

BARNES: Defunding isn't necessarily as aggressive as a lot of folks paint it. The minute you talk about reducing a police department's budget, and it's like all hell breaks loose.


TAPPER: So a CNN review by our KFILE investigations department of Barnes' social media and public comments, found that he often signaled support for defunding the police. Is this a vulnerability for him?

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, Democrats, you know, there's a reason why they sort of changed their tune. There were a lot of activists in the wake of the George Floyd protests, who came out with this. Initially, there was some embracing of it. But then there were many in Congress, Jim Clyburn, I think it's chief among them, who said, hey, guys, this is a really bad political plan, like this is not turf that we should be on.

And I think you saw the Democratic Party, at least here in Washington shift its messaging. And you're seeing why in this race in Wisconsin, because it is being used against Mandela Barnes pretty effectively, I think, by Republicans. I mean, it's a close race. I will say every source I talked to thinks Ron Johnson really has an edge here, and I think would be really surprised if he didn't pull it out. But that said, you know, it's important to keep running, you know, the campaigns to tape because you never know.

MARIO PARKER, NATIONAL POLITICS TEAM LEADER, BLOOMBERG: No, I totally agree with Kasie's point. The Democrats knew this was going to be a vulnerability going back to earlier this year. You saw President Biden in the State of the Union, give a full-throated denunciation of defund the police, right?

What they didn't expect was these reams and reams of videos from the 2020 Summer of George Floyd videos that Republicans are turning into campaign ads. And you're seeing that take place in Wisconsin, where Mandela Barnes, his lead has started a deficit. You're also seeing it in Pennsylvania where Fetterman's lead over Oz has been essentially halved as well.


TAPPER: Yes. And on the on the subject of crime. On the Republican side, Senator Johnson was recorded telling an audience this week that the January 6 attack, which was criminal, was really not that big a deal. Take a listen.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Call what happened on January 16, an armed insurrection, I just think is not accurate. You saw the pictures inside the Capitol. I saw that the armed insurrectionists stayed within the rope lines in the Rotunda. (END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: I don't even understand why anybody would be defending this at this point.

NAYYERA HAQ, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE SENIOR DIRECTOR: Oh, well, there's more than 200 Republican candidates running right now who say that they do not believe the last election was legitimate. Some of them even who ran and won in primaries that they refuse to acknowledge as legitimate. So this is clearly something about this is winning with the Republican Party and overall 70 percent of Americans right now have said that they feel America is a democracy and crisis. It is at risk of failure.

Now, Republicans and Democrats get that for different reasons. But that may not be polling as the number one issue, but it is driving a lot of the activism and energy we're seeing around this midterm election.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: People staying inside those rope lines is a flat out lie. OK. I was there that day. I'm sorry that is not what happens.

TAPPER: Of course a lie. And what's interesting, though, Jonah, is the hypocrisy here, because here you have Ron Johnson doing seems like a fair hit on Mandela Barnes on the crime issue. Meanwhile, he's also defending criminals.

JONAH GOLDBERG, CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DISPATCH: Yes, Ron Johnson. So I think both of these examples on both sides are really great cautionary tale, but the dangers of being held captive by the bubble of your base, and the sort of, you know, like Ron Johnson, first of all, he frames it as the armed insurrection. So you can get around the fact that like a lot of these people weren't using guns, they were just using flagpoles or whatever.


TAPPER: Pepper spray, exactly.

GOLDBERG: But Tom Carlson wants to hear that, right? The very online right Twitter wants to hear that nonsense. And in 2020, the very online left wanting to hear defund the police, even though there was zero polling to support that position.

And it was the -- this is the consequence you get of pandering to your echo chambers. And you don't know how to get out of it necessarily, because the feedback you get is from the from the most intense people on the spectrum, not the people in the middle will actually want to hear about inflation.

HAQ: It also though the danger of only letting the other side's set your message, right, like crime, the conversation about crime plays into law enforcement, Republican strategies at this moment. You have Senator Ron Johnson, where President Biden has gone to Wisconsin called him out for saying that. What was it that society is not responsible for taking care of other people's children? This is during discussions about the pandemic funding for children's care and school lunch programs.

He has attacked Social Security, which is a bedrock that typically Republicans and Democrats both agree on for social spending. So that is the advantage that Democrats have if they're able to pivot and talk about what are these economic kitchen table issues.

TAPPER: And then meanwhile, on the subject of learning to speak beyond you're trying to please the people in your bubble. The Republican Senate nominee and Arizona Blake Masters is learning that that bubble was great for getting him the nomination.


TAPPER: But it's problematic for getting him into the U.S. Senate. And here he is in a debate, completely running away from his embrace of Donald Trump's election lies.


BLAKE MASTERS, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I think Trump won in 2020.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Joe Biden, the legitimately elected President of the United States?

MASTERS: Joe Biden is absolutely the president. I mean, my gosh, have you seen the gas prices lately?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Legitimately --

MASTERS: I'm not trying to trick you. He's duly sworn and certified. He's the legitimate president.


TAPPER: I mean, he just said in his ads, he thought Trump won, and now he's like, Oh, no, Biden's legitimate.

GOLDBERG: Yes, he also was for a complete abortion ban. And then he took that back too. I mean, this is -- in some ways I can look at this and say nature is healing, right? You also had Mark Kelly, in the same debate, kind of running away from Joe Biden about the mess on the border. Both of these guys are realizing that simply having a loyal third quarter of the electorate in Arizona, which is historically a state, where independents in the middle decide these elections is not a strategy. And so they're both, you know, I mean, it's more glaring and weird to Blake Masters.

HUNT: Kelly has stuck with I mean, Kelly has known that and run his campaigns and conducted himself in Washington, like all the way along that way. I think --

GOLDBERG: It's message that way. I mean, I think it's a fair hit on him to say he hasn't really voted that way. But my only point is, is that like, Blake Masters, or Brian Bolduc (ph) of New Hampshire, these guys realize, yes, you're right. This is a great -- the conspiracy stuff is a great way to get the nomination in a crowded field. It gets -- it gets trumped to sort of back you. But then all of a sudden, you're like, Holy schnikeys. I need more voters.

HAQ: The officials also want this is -- in states that do not actually border any in our border crossings where is why illegal undocumented immigration polls so high. You look at Wisconsin they're having a debate right now between whether or not ICE should exist about who should get deported and how. You have a sheriff who has literally anytime someone foreign born comes into his prison system, he immediately reports them to ICE. I mean doesn't care --


GOLDBERG: The mayor of New York City also just announced the citywide emergency --

HAQ: But that 5 percent, that 5 percent of immigration or immigrant population, and how the rest of Wisconsin feels about them the identity of that. It's a pivotal 5 percent. And it's a lie.

TAPPER: But I do wonder if embracing conspiracy theories is something that you really can't reverse on in the in the general election?

PARKER: No, absolutely not. What we were saying Blake Masters do here, I mean, that's a hard pivot that he's trying to pull off here. Similar to what we saw Bolduc tried to do a couple of times now, up in New Hampshire --

TAPPER: I think (INAUDIBLE) back a couple times.

PARKER: Yes, this is a proxy battle again of the 2020 presidential election and maybe the 2024 presidential election, right. And so in Arizona, you've got Kelly, who has been publicly able to distance himself in some ways from Biden. He hasn't shied away -- he hasn't necessarily been Sinema or Manchin.

TAPPER: Right.

PARKER: But he's been able to at least criticize his party figure. Right. Blake Masters, that's a lot more difficult to do on the Republican side. And you saw that last night in their debate.

HUNT: Donald Trump lost Arizona, OK.


HUNT: And he lost the general election. I mean, that's the reality.

TAPPER: Thanks one and all. Appreciate it. And tonight in a CNN Special Report, I'm going to talk one on one with key witnesses from the January 6 committee's investigation. American Coup: The January 6 Investigation airs tonight at 11:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

Coming up, a second 16-year-old Iranian girl dead after joining the protests against the regime. This time Iranian officials say she intentionally jumped off the building. Stay with us



TAPPER: Back with our world lead. And Iran, the country's oppressive authoritarian theocracy cannot seem to quell the people's uprising now in its third week. Women are gleefully burning their mandatory hijab incinerating the compulsory cloth that to them symbolizes decades of oppression.

So far, more than 1,000 people at least had been arrested according to a human rights group. And as CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports for us now some girls as young as 16 years old are not making it out of these demonstrations alive.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): With a cheerful Salam or Hello, Sarina Esmaeilzadeh welcomed people into what she called My Whole Universe. The video diaries of a 16-year-old. She could be any teenage girl anywhere in the world. Goofing around, dancing, singing, just having fun. But this isn't anywhere in the world. This is the Islamic Republic of Iran, where life's expressions are anything but free.

Three months after that video, Sarina joined the thousands of Iranian women and girls rising up for their liberties demanding their rights. Sarina was forever silenced on September 23. Amnesty International says based on information it has security forces beat her, striking her on the head with batons severely beating her to death.

Iranian judicial authorities denied she was killed. They say Sarina died by suicide jumping from the roof of her grandmother's home. Their claim just days after they said another 16-year-old protester Nika Shakarami, who was found dead in Tehran also died after falling from a building. Arrests have been made in the investigation of her death.

The family members of both girls have appeared on Iranian state media repeating the government's claim. The UN Human Rights Office told CNN they received reports authorities for struck out on his family to give the interview. Amnesty International says families of victims are being intimidated and harassed into silence.

This comes three weeks after the death of Mahsa Jini Amini while in the custody of the so called morality police. On Friday, the government's forensic report blamed the death of the 22-year-old on an underlying medical condition after the operation of a brain tumor as a child.

Amini's family repeatedly denied those claims. They say she was healthy. It was police brutality that killed her they say doctors told them she suffered trauma to the head.

Anger over Amini's death sparked a women's uprising like no other in Iran. Too many lives already lost in this battle for freedom for change.

Many young lives ended too soon.


KARADSHEH: And Jake, the United Nations and human rights organizations have been calling for an independent and impartial investigation into the deaths of these young women as well as all human rights violations taking place in Iran right now. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to the cousin of Mahsa Jini Amini and he told me the Iranian government investigating her death was essentially the criminal investigating their own crime, Jake.

TAPPER: Indeed. Jomana Karadsheh, thank you so much for that report.


The New York City mayor is taking a drastic step to deal with the influx of migrants from border states being sent into New York City, that's next.


TAPPER: New York City's mayor wants federal and state funding to help take care of the record number of asylum seekers arriving in the Big Apple. Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency for his city today. He claimed the migrant crisis will cost the city $1 billion this year and it's straining the city's already tax shelter system. CNN's Polo Sandoval is in New York City for us right now. Polo, Mayor Adams says more than 17,000 asylum seekers have been bussed in from southern border states such as Texas since April.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Jake, Kevin covered this influx already for months here in New York City, I can tell you that there was certainly this increased sense of urgency coming from New York City Mayor Eric Adams today as he basically updated us on the situation. The latest numbers now showing that at least or at least just over 17,000 asylum seekers have arrived here in New York City since earlier this spring.

Now, they've seen roughly 61,000 individuals seeking shelter in New York City's shelter system that we should point out that is a mix of both homeless New Yorkers, and some of these thousands of asylum seekers. But nonetheless, it is certainly continuing to put pressure on the city's ability to respond.

And that's why what we heard today was perhaps some of the most deliberate language that we have heard from Mayor Eric Adams and directly calling out the federal government calling for more action, including more funding, and also an expedited and expedited path are some of these migrants to secure employment to basically pay their way into a job and into some housing to bring some relief.

But we also do remind viewers that these migrants are coming by many means some are still taking up offers to Republican governors for a free ride, but a vast majority of them continue to come up on their own, and many of them at least 7,700 being bussed here by the city of El Paso. And we heard today Jake was the mayor here sending a message to the mayor of El Paso also a Democrat, that that needs to stop.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D) NEW YORK: Our shelter system is now operating near 100% capacity. And if these trends continue, we will be over 100,000 in the year to come. That's far more than the system was ever designed to handle. This is unsustainable.


SANDOVAL: Now in terms of the efforts that have been led by the city of El Paso, my colleague, Rosa Flores speaking to the city in fact, the city's deputy manager with a statement saying that the migrants are selecting New York City. The city of El Paso is not selecting New York City and then goes on to say that nobody is being forced or enticed to actually choose New York City as their destination.

But we will heard today from the mayor though Jake is he's certainly in a very difficult position here calling on fellow Democrats in other cities, but also in the White House that this is an all hands on board situation. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Polo Sandoval in New York for us. Thank you so much. A bombshell report outlining multiple accusations of sexual emotional and verbal abuse by coaches in the Women's National Soccer League and now the head of the league says there are even new reports of misconduct. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our sports lead, a moment of solidarity you're seeing right there for the National Women's soccer teams for both England and the United States that players wearing teal colored armbands holding up holding up a teal flag, taking a knee right before the match. Teal is the color associated with sexual assault awareness. All of this comes after an investigation found widespread abuse, including sexual misconduct within the U.S. based National Women's Soccer League.

Let's bring in CNN Andy Scholes. Andy, we've heard outrage from some key U.S. players about these revelations of abuse. What's the U.S. Soccer president saying?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Jake, Cindy Parlow Cone, you saying the one good thing to come out of this report is that now more players are speaking up. She said three more players have come forward with stories of things that have happened to them and their stories, you know, finally being heard after just years, where players were just ignored when they brought forth their allegations. But Cone saying that you're they're going to have to make many changes to address all these problems. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CINDY PARLOW CONE, U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION PRESIDENT: This was systemic. And so we have to do the work with all of our membership and all the NWSL on our other professional leagues, to make sure that we put things into place and take immediate actions, as well as actions over the next year to really make sure we can change this dynamic and make sure that no woman or girl, regardless of the level of play, is subjected to this abuse.


TAPPER: And this just the --

SCHOLES: Now NWS -- go ahead, Jake.

TAPPER: I was just this just in. We're hearing from the NFL Players Union, which is pushing for new protocols on how the league handles concussions. The Union wants that change before games this weekend.

SCHOLES: Yes, that's what they're saying. And you know, everyone was kind of wondering, what's the holdup right here. We had heard that these new concussion protocols were going to supposed to come out before week five started. Week five started on Thursday night. Still nothing but the NFL Players Association just released a statement moments ago. I'll read it to you. It says our union has agreed to change the concussion protocols to protect players from returning to play in the case of any similar incident of what we saw on September 25.

Now September 25, is when Tua stumbled but still came back into that game and played against the Bills. The statement goes on to say we would like these changes to go into effect before this weekend's games to immediately protect the players and hope the NFL accepts the change before then, as well.

And you know, Jake, we had heard that the NFL wanted the, you know, the term gross motor instability. That's when we saw to a stumble. We saw Nyheim Hines for the Colts stumble last night leave the game with a concussion. Now, he never came back.

But they want that to be a no go to return to play. That means, you know, even if it is still not deemed a head injury, say it's gross motor instability because of a knee, because of a back like they ended up saying was the case in Tua's condition against the Bills. They want it to be a no-go regardless of whether it's head trauma or anything else. And Jake, I don't think anyone is going to fault the NFL for being overly cautious when it comes to player safety.

TAPPER: No, I agree. Well, some people will but those people are morons. Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Coming up this Sunday on CNN State of the Union. I'm going to talk to Virginia Governor Republican Glenn Youngkin. Plus, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and former governor and former ambassador Bill Richardson in his first interview since his trip to Russia to try to get back American detained Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, that's at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern on Sunday.


Until then you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at Jake Tapper, you can tweet the show at THE LEAD CNN. Starting next week through the midterms, I'll be joining you at 9:00 p.m. Eastern with special guests and the kind of stories you might not be used to seeing here on the lead but THE LEAD will continue. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM". I'll see you Sunday morning.