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The Lead with Jake Tapper

President Biden Sits For Exclusive Interview With CNN's Jake Tapper; Russia Unleashes New Wave Of Missile Strikes On Ukraine; Durbin: "It's Putin And Saudi Arabia Against The United States"; DOJ Urges Supreme Court To Stay Out Of Dispute Over Classified Documents Seized At Mar-A-Lago; McConnell Confronts "Cliffhanger" Midterms, Questions About His Future; Senate Control Hangs In The Balance With 28 Days Until Election Day; IMF: 2023 Will "Feel Like Recession" For Many People; Evidence: Oath Keepers Leader Told Reporter He Won't Recognize Biden Presidency, Will Resist Enforcement Of Any Law He Passes. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired October 11, 2022 - 16:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: If you want to vote for your favorite chunky bear, go to My man Otis got voted out with this election integrity problem. All he needed was 11,780 votes. I don't know what happened to those.

THE LEAD starts right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Moments ago, President Biden told CNN he will hold Vladimir Putin responsible for recent attacks in Ukraine. But how?

THE LEAD starts right now.

A global response as Russia bombards Ukraine with mass missile attacks for a second straight day. What the president just said about the aggression in an exclusive interview with Jake Tapper.

Also this hour, another CNN exclusive, one on one with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. His take on Republicans' chances of winning a majority in the midterms, plus the one question he refused to answer about Donald Trump.

And the worst is yet to come. The new recession warning as top economists also predict exactly when the economic downturn will hit.


BERMAN: Hello and welcome to THE LEAD. I'm John Berman, in for Jake Tapper.

And we begin this hour with world leaders pledging to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin's reign of terror in Ukraine. An emergency debate today at the United Nations and the G7 heads of government including President Joe Biden on an emergency call with Ukraine's president today, vowing to hold Putin to account for the renewed aerial bombardment of Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy pleaded with those leaders for beefed up air defense systems to protect his country as Russia bombs housing, hospitals, schools, energy infrastructure, even a playground. Missile attacks yesterday and today killed at least 19 people and injured more than 100.

My first guest on THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER today is Jake Tapper, who sat down for an exclusive interview with President Biden about the situation on the ground in Ukraine, many other topics.

Jake, what did he have to say about this aerial bombardment?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, THE LEAD: Well, he had a lot of harsh words about Vladimir Putin, and what Putin is doing in Ukraine. But to be frank, one of the most important questions I had was based on something that French President Emmanuel Macron told me several weeks ago, he doesn't think that Putin is acting in a rational way, that he thinks that because of two years of isolation during COVID, something happened.

And so, that's one of the places that I chose to ask President Biden what he thinks.


TAPPER: Do you think Putin is a rational actor?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he is rational actor who miscalculated significantly. I think he thought -- you may recall, I pointed out they were going to invade, all those 100,000 or more troops there and no one believed he was going to invade Ukraine.

You listen to what he says. If you listen to the speech he made after when that decision was being made, he talked about the whole idea of he was -- needed to be a leader of Russia, that united all of Russia speaker -- I mean, it just -- I just think it's irrational.

TAPPER: So if he's not rational, and --

BIDEN: I didn't say he's not rational.

TAPPER: You said the speech is irrational (ph).

BIDEN: I think the speech is --


BIDEN: His objectives were not.

I think he thought, Jake, I think he thought he's going to be welcomed with open arms, that this was -- this has been the home of mother Russia, in Kyiv, and he was going to be welcomed, and I think he just totally miscalculated.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: So it's interesting there, John. You hear President Biden saying that Putin's speech was irrational, but pushing back when I suggested that he thought that Putin was irrational, no, that's not what I said, he said. I guess he's refusing to insult Putin, but at the same time saying that this entire campaign is not rational.

So I thought that was interesting.

BERMAN: It was notable. Specifically didn't seem to want to question Putin's sensibility or mental capacity, I suppose. Jake, this was a pretty wide-ranging interview, a whole range of subjects, right?

TAPPER: Well, we talked about Russia and Ukraine given the fact that President Biden talked about Armageddon and how we're now closer to a world actor using a nuclear weapon at any point since the Cuban missile crisis. So we did talk a lot about that.

We also talked about Saudi Arabia, and obviously the refusal of the Saudis to do anything to help the west when it comes to fuel production, petroleum and gas and oil. And then we also had some questions about other things going on including the economy, the justice department, investigate into his son, Hunter Biden, and also questions about whether or not he's going to run for re-election and whether or not he's up to the job.


BERMAN: Very interesting, looking forward to hearing those answers. Jake, great to have you on THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER today.

TAPPER: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: We're going to be looking forward to your full interview with President Biden tonight, at 9:00 Eastern, right here on "CNN TONIGHT" with Jake Tapper.

CNN also on the ground today in Ukraine, where these Russian attacks on civilian targets are far from new, but as our Nick Paton Walsh reports, they signal a new phase in Vladimir Putin's reaction to recent losses on the battlefield.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: The second day of smoke over the capital, and skies that had been quieter for months. A power plant in Vinnitsa, one of many hit today, here by an Iranian drone attack, officials said, as Russia's cruise missiles try to turn the power off before winter. A smaller wave than Monday with Ukraine saying 33 hit their targets, and 33 were shot down.

Russia's defense spokesman blunt about what it wanted to hit, energy systems and military control. These 48 hours of onslaught, new ferocity, but not in purpose. Russia has been hitting civilian targets in cities like this one, Zaporizhzhia, daily for the past week, where one person died this day. Terror that led the White House to agree to send advanced air defense

systems Monday. But talking to the G7 leaders, Ukraine's president wanted more, declare Russia a state sponsor of terror, too, he said.

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE (through translator): The leader of Russia, feeling the approach of his end, is trying to force the Democratic world to surrender with a terrorist rush, to retreat, to lose. This can only be the desire of an insane person, more than 100 missile strikes in less than two days, against civilians, against civilian infrastructure, sham referenda, a criminal attempt at annexation.

WALSH: Yet, the days of indiscriminate and clumsy blast don't change Russia's main problems, but its army is using force conscription and lacks basic supplies. Its military leadership bought a reprieve from rare internal dissent by Monday's violence perhaps, but still Putin's rhetoric less fiery when he met the U.N. nuclear watchdog head today to discuss the front line at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, even as he blamed everyone else for what he's been doing.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): Of course, we see that today there are elements of excessively dangerous politicization of everything connected, with nuclear activity.

WALSH: Still, he'll meet his Turkish counterpart in Kazakhstan as his leading diplomat insisted they were not against talks with the West if offered.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): This is a lie. I can tell you right away. We did not receive any serious proposals to enter into contact.

WALSH: Again, a sign Russia, for all its violence and bombast, is not in a position of strength.


WALSH (on camera): Now negotiations do seem unlikely, frankly, given the West and Ukraine don't trust Russia at the diplomatic table. We heard from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that 20 of the 28 cruise missiles fired today were in fact intercepted. And that while nearly all of the drones, the kamikaze attack drones fired at Ukraine were Iranian-made, a large number of them were taken out, too.

So, great success in their defense systems, but still, according to Ukraine's energy minister, speaking to CNN earlier, nearly a third of their energy infrastructure has been hit over the past days. That's going to have an impact, something they're working fast to repair, according to their president, but having an impact to the winter ahead.

BERMAN: What about the impact of being under a second straight day of bombardment like this? What is the mood on the ground with people knowing that perhaps a missile or a drone could hit at any minute?

WALSH: I don't want to understate how awful yesterday was, certainly in a place like Kyiv, where there were civilians in the rush hour on their way to work being hit, but it is important to point out that in other cities, particularly near the front, in southern and eastern Ukraine, bombardment has been pretty common over the past months, air raid sirens pretty regular.

And so, it touched cities which hadn't been necessarily hit so hard over the past months, but everyone across Ukraine this morning, about 9:00 a.m., smartphones would have come alive with a message saying be careful. I think there are many Ukrainians deeply angry, a lot of resolve that we're seeing, one small scene that will give you a picture really, we were at a place in Dnipro yesterday, a huge crater was caused by the missile.

By this morning, that was filled in and covered over and the road was functioning normally again as though nothing had happened. Of course devastation around, but still that gives you a sign really about how so many Ukrainians just willing to pick up, clean up and get on the next day undeterred by this extraordinary violence, John.


BERMAN: Extraordinary indeed. Nick Paton Walsh, live from Kryvyi Rih, incidentally, President Zelenskyy's hometown -- thank you very much, Nick.

Next, how strong words from top Democrats likely pushed President Biden to re-evaluate the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia.

We're also standing by to hear from the Justice Department. Prosecutors have less than an hour to reply to the Supreme Court in Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago documents case.

Plus, a sign of the times, the new recommendations to get young children screened for anxiety. That's ahead.


BERMAN: We're back with our world.

Quote, it's Putin and Saudi Arabia against the United States. That stark assessment from Dick Durbin, the number two Senate Democrat who joins a wave of critics demanding the White House take action over Saudi Arabia's decision to team up with Russia and slash oil production.

Now, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby says it is time to rethink the U.S./Saudi relationship.

I want to bring in CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

And, Kaitlan, you asked Kirby to clarify this statement he first made this morning.

[16:15:05] What did he tell you?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, because it's a big question, John, of what does that look like and will it live up to what these Democratic lawmakers say should be the result of OPEC+ making this decision to slash oil production. And right now, we are told that there is no special team inside the administration conducting a formal review of the U.S./Saudi relationship. There's no deadline so far. They haven't really said exactly what they believe the options for this review could look like.

But John Kirby did say this review is being conducted, that President Biden wants to take another look at what the U.S./Saudi relationship is going to be and whether or not it is serving the United States national security interests. Now, those are, of course, still big questions about whether or not that's going to result in any formal change to the U.S./Saudi relationship.

But it is notable that John Kirby is even going that far, and saying that they do believe that there should be a deeper look into how this relationship is between the United States and Saudi Arabia, because it is a big shift for President Biden himself, who took a bet over this summer by going to Saudi personally, meeting with these leaders, fist- bumping the crown prince, of course, over the objections of human rights groups. And so, that in and of itself is notable. But whether or not this review pans out what it looks like, that is still a pretty big question, John.

BERMAN: Yeah, and the White House is being pushed vocally, publicly, by Democrats. This is more of what Senator Durbin told me this morning.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL), MAJORITY WHIP: I think it is time for us to imagine a foreign policy where we do not count on Saudi Arabia. That is just as clear a declaration by the Saudis that they're on the other side of history as we can ask for.


BERMAN: So, how are administration officials engaging with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, if at all?

COLLINS: It doesn't appear the president is directly having these conversations yet, because I asked if he had spoken with Senator Dick Durbin, with Senator Bob Menendez, who's also calling for basically halting almost all arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the meantime.

But the White House says that President Biden does plan to have those conversations, they noted that lawmakers are out of town right now, and Kylie Atwood, our colleague, is reporting that quietly, there are discussions going on between Biden administration officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Of course, still a big question about whether or not they are going to follow through with those options for retaliation, potentially, like what the lawmakers, like Durbin and Menendez and others are calling for because they've talked about, you know, freezing these arms sales to Saudi Arabia, withdrawing what is already there, rethinking the antitrust laws in place that help with OPEC plus right now.

Those are all big questions. So we'll see whether the White House does about this. But they say they are taking a look, a hard look into what the relationship is going to do with Saudi Arabia going forward. Whether or not that actually results in concrete changes or if they're just saying that because of their domestic critics remains to be seen, John.

BERMAN: Yeah, keep us posted. Kaitlan Collins at the White House, thank you very much.

In our politics lead, the Justice Department has just responded to former President Trump's emergency request to the Supreme Court. Trump wants the special master and his own legal team to get access to the more than 100 classified documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago.

I want to bring in CNN's Jessica Schneider.

Jessica, the DOJ must now say how it wants the Supreme Court to decide the issue. What are prosecutors pushing for?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the DOJ filed its response to the Supreme Court on Trump's push and petition, emergency petition for the Supreme Court to step in here. It is a 34- page ruling. Our team is going through it right now.

But what really stands out to me at first blush reading this response from the justice department is how sweeping their criticism of the district court in this case, remember it was Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida who initially stepped in, appointed a special master, restricted the documents the DOJ could use, a lot of that was overturned at the 11th Circuit. But DOJ goes right for it, criticizing the district court for those actions they had taken -- that the judge had taken several weeks ago.

Then they talked about the fact that the jurisdiction that the 11th Circuit had was okay because remember, Trump's team is going to the Supreme Court on a very narrow, limited basis here. They're basically saying that the 11th circuit did not have the power to restrict those 100 classified documents from the special master, and from Trump's own lawyers. That was the very limited jurisdiction -- the very narrow way they went to the Supreme Court, saying the 11th circuit never had jurisdiction over that.

The Justice Department here saying, yes, the 11th circuit did have the power to act here, and then further more, John, and lastly, they really focused on the fact that there has been no harm to Donald Trump. The Supreme Court should not step in, because Trump himself has not been harmed. They say that just by restricting these 100 classified documents from his view, his lawyer's view, the special master, there really is no harm here.

So, the question is what happens next now that Trump has appealed this to the Supreme Court. And the Justice Department has responded.


Well, now we wait and see. This initially went to Justice Clarence Thomas, he oversees the 11th Circuit. He'll likely refer it to the full court.

Now that this response is in from DOJ, we could see action from the Supreme Court at any minute now, it could be a matter of days before they decide this. Again, this is very limited relief that Trump's team is asking for here. What we have seen previously from this court, it is probably unlikely that they're going to step in at this stage of the game -- John.

BERMAN: Jessica Schneider, you're a fast reader. This filing was, like, four and a half minutes ago and you just digested all of it. We'll let you get back to the reading. Thank you so much.

SCHNEIDER: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Also this hour, CNN's exclusive interview with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, what he thinks about Republican chances of winning in November and one of most talked about candidates, Herschel Walker, possibly coming to Capitol Hill.



BERMAN: All right. Topping our politics lead, Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker is get something much needed help on the stump today in Georgia. Senators Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined the beleaguered candidate at a campaign stop outside Atlanta. This as Walker tries to fend off allegations that he paid for an ex-girlfriend's abortion.

And now in a CNN exclusive interview, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is throwing his own weight behind Walker as well.

CNN's Manu Raju live on Capitol Hill with his exclusive reporting.

And, Manu, McConnell hasn't really always embraced Walker. What's he now saying about Walker's problems and the party's chances in November?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I asked him specifically about that abortion allegation, Walker denies he paid for a girlfriend to have an abortion 13 years ago and he said he plans to, quote, stick with Walker despite the questions. He believes that the election will ultimately turn on other issues, such as Raphael Warnock, the Democrats' ties to Joe Biden.

But McConnell's support is significant because his outside group, the Senate leadership fun and his affiliated group has plans to spend roughly $60 million on the airwaves from now through Election Day, and he said he's been speaking with Walker, quote, fairly often. Now I asked him also about the midterm environment, how he feels about

getting back in the majority and he indicated it is still too early to tell whether or not this would resemble GOP debacles of 2010 and 2012 when flawed Republican candidate cost them the chance at the majority. He said it was clearly a challenge in 2010 and 2012, with Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, referring to those candidates at the time.

So, it was clearly a problem in 2010, in 2012. Whether it is a challenge or whether it is fatal or a big problem this year, we'll find out. So he contends this will be a cliffhanger election, a different tone than some other Republicans who are much more optimistic at this moment, John.

BERMAN: So, you also spoke to McConnell about his own future, maybe prospects as Senate Republican leader and how he would approach President Biden if Republicans do win the majority.

RAJU: Yeah, he put an end to speculation that this might be his last term as a senator. He's -- his term ends in 2027. He said he -- he put an end to speculation he might cut that term short, he said he'll serve out his term. After that, it is still an open question. He said he'll run for leader again in the new Congress majority, minority, he said I have the votes, but when asked him will you continue to serve as leader beyond the next Congress, in which he would get the record of being the longest-serving Senate party leader in history, would he continue to serve after the next two years, he did not want to go that far.

He said I'm not going to go there, I'm confident I'll be re-elected to another two-year term. I think there are plenty of people who could step in and do this job, when I asked him about him about potential successors in the long run. But he also talked about what he would do in the Senate Republican majority. I asked him whether or not he would move on a potential Biden Supreme Court nominee, if a vacancy arose. He was noncommittal.

He offered a broader warning about other potential nominees, judicial or executive branch nominees that may come forward. He said many appointments the president made during the first two years have been quite extreme. He says he's not just talking about judges, he's talking about boards and commissions. He said I think our view would be on appointments that we need to talk about it more and maybe have some recommendations to make ourselves before going down that path.

BERMAN: So, Manu, earlier this month, former President Donald Trump ridiculed McConnell, saying he had a death wish. And he also went after McConnell's wife, the former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao with a personal and racist attack. What did McConnell have to say about that?

RAJU: Well, he said he had no comment, I asked him specifically first about the death wish comment, that McConnell had a death wish for supporting unspecified bills. He said I don't want to comment about that. But then I pressed him about the racist I pressed him about the racist

attack against his wife. I said is it acceptable to have that racist attack against Elaine Chao, who, of course, is a Taiwanese descent, he said, he said I don't have anything to say about that. The only time I responded to the president I think since he left office is when he gave me my favorite nickname, Old Crow, which I considered a compliment and after all it was Henry Clay's favorite bourbon. I said, are you going to leave it at that? He said, I will.

BERMAN: That's how he responded when you asked him about an attack on his wife? Why don't you think he would answer that question?

RAJU: He clearly views this as a distraction, a fight with him and the former president, knowing full well that if he were to engage, it could become a distraction and a crucial moment for his party when he wants to focus on Biden and not Trump and not his fight with Trump. So despite his personal feelings not wanting to weigh in and, as you know, John, Mitch McConnell chooses his words carefully and chooses when not to speak as well -- John.


BERMAN: Manu Raju with exclusive reporting from Capitol Hill -- Manu, thank you very much.

RAJU: Thank you.

BERMAN: Mitch McConnell clearly has his eyes set on trying to reclaim the Senate majority this November.

CNN's Harry Enten is here to break down how that could happen.

Harry, Republicans need to flip just one seat in the 50/50 Senate to take control. How is that looking right now?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Not great. I'm just surprised as anybody else.

Look, I broke it down that Democrats need to win essentially four of the six key races. And where are they right now? They are ahead in four of the six key races that they need to win if we pull the polling average up here, which you'll essentially see is they're up in New Hampshire, they're up in Arizona, they're up in Pennsylvania and Georgia, they're up by four points.

So, even though they're losing in Nevada and Wisconsin, they got the 50 seats right now. They're the ones who have the votes.

BERMAN: Essentially Pennsylvania and Nevada would be a trade there in terms of seats from Democrats to Republicans. As we know, harry, polls undercounted some of Republican support in 2020, and in 2016. Not so much 2018. But what does the map look like and could that happen again?

ENTEN: Yeah, so let's take a look. Let's adjust the polling averages by the errors we saw both in 2020 and 2016. Look at 2020, right here if we adjust the polling average, to have a

2020-like polling error, Democrats are still ahead in the four seats they need to gain control. Yes, the race is a bit tighter, especially in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman would be up just three points with a 2020 polling error, but they would have the votes.

Look at 2016, if we have a 2016-like polling error, again, it is tighter still. But, again, here, look, Democrats have the votes. They have the -- they're leading in four of the six races that they would need to get Senate control, even though in Pennsylvania is tight.

So, it's a tight race at this point, John. But even if we have polling errors like in 2020 or 2016, Democrats would in fact keep control of the United States Senate.

BERMAN: So we put the 2020 filter on, the 2016 filter on. What about the 2018 filter when Democrats won the House?

ENTEN: Yeah, if you put on the 2018 filter, what do we find? In fact, Democrats instead of getting four of those six seats, they would win five of those six seats. Pennsylvania, again, the 50th seat.

But look here, in Nevada, Cortez Masto would in fact be ahead by two points if we had a 2018 polling-like error. So, to sum this all up, if you have a 2016, 2018 polling-like error, or 2020-like polling error, Democrats would in fact still maintain control of the United States Senate.

BERMAN: To sum it up as John King likes to say, we'll have to count the votes.

Harry Enten, thank you very much for that.

I to bring in "The Nation's" Elie Mystal, along with CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp.

And let me start with Manu's discussion Mitch McConnell, S.E., because Mitch McConnell wouldn't answer when Manu asked him about the racist attack that president Trump made on his wife, Elaine Chao. You'll remember, you know, Ted Cruz pushed back on Donald Trump when Donald Trump went after his wife.

So what is Mitch McConnell doing here?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think avoiding as Manu said, the distraction, the confrontation. It goes without saying it should not take any courage to stand up for your wife, and to stand up against racism. That should be rote and easy and something we wish more people would do.

But this is today's Republican Party, politics proceeds and transcends even human decency and kind of personal, you know, personal attacks on your family. Politics seems to be more important.

ELIE MYSTAL, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: I don't want to do the toxic male thing and be, like, if somebody said that about my wife, I would punch them in the mouth, but what I would do is I wouldn't latch my political career to the person who made fun of me and made a racist attack on my wife and did everything I could to ensure that that person could have an opportunity to be president again. I wouldn't do any of that. And then I would punch him in the face.

Like, this is not a difficult thing as S.E. is saying. And yet what we see consistently from the Republican Party right now is debasement. You mentioned Ted Cruz, right? We have seen Donald Trump go after these people's fathers and families, throughout the Republican Party and we see them continually debasing themselves in the service of Donald Trump, and that is -- that is who they are at this point. And I think that's a more kind of existential crisis for their party than any one midterm election.

BERMAN: It is interesting you bring this up. You know who else sees it like you do, Tim Ryan, who is running for Senate in Ohio. In last night's debate in Ohio, he went after JD Vance who is his Republican opponent, for doing the same types of things you were describing right here. Let's listen in.


REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): I think the problem is when you have guys like JD Vance who can't stand up to anybody, like just a few weeks ago in Youngstown, on the stage, Donald Trump said to JD Vance, all you do is kiss my ass to get my support. He said that. That's bad.

Ohio needs an ass kicker, not an ass kisser.


BERMAN: So, I get -- I get that Democrats might in the like it when JD Vance, you know, sucks up, if that's what he's doing, to Donald Trump there.


But Ohio is a Trump plus-eight state. So, why would it necessarily be a winning message for Tim Ryan there?

MYSTAL: Well, this is -- this is the part of the cult problem. You got voters who do not believe that Donald Trump can do anything wrong, and so then attaching himself to Donald Trump is the right political move for JD Vance.

But the issue is, like, you -- any Bush, right, George Bush, Jeb Bush, painting of a burning bush, any bush could hold on to he owe Ohio for the Republicans at this point, right? So, the fact that JD Vance decided the only reason he wants to hold on to Ohio is by crawling up alongside the cult leader Donald Trump, again, that's the troubling existential crisis. He doesn't need to do that to hold on to Ohio. He wants to do that to hold on to Ohio.

CUPP: JD Vance is one among many counted in the great emasculation of the Republican Party by Donald Trump, where you won't even stand up for your wife, you know, unless you would offend Donald Trump. And more importantly, his voters, you don't want to offend or lose his voters.

And let's be clear about who the Republican Party, JD Vance included, is bending over backwards to appease. White nationalists, QAnon crowd, the conspiracy theorists. I mean, this is not the crowd that you should be aiming at. This crowd should be jettisoned and instead, they're jettisoning the good conservatives, the Adam Kinzingers, the Liz Cheneys, the Mitt Romneys. They are the problem with the party.

And, you know, it is obvious for Mitch McConnell's non-answer answer he doesn't want to change that dynamic, not one bit.

BERMAN: You wrote an article that touches on the facet of this which is Republican embrace of Herschel Walker, in some cases, Tommy Tuberville or at least not standing up to Tommy Tuberville when he says racist things. Kanye West, not calling out Kanye West for anti- Semitic comments here.

What's the tension?

CUPP: Just because people like Kanye West occasionally say things that seem adjacent to the right wing political agenda, they are completely willing to exploit him and, yes, even defend rank anti- Semitism. Because Tommy Tuberville is standing at a Trump rally and saying the right things and naming the right enemies, Republicans are fine with his naked racism.

Herschel Walker is an obvious hypocrite, obvious. Whatever you think about abortion and I dent like abortion, he's an obvious hypocrite and that doesn't matter. It is because Republicans have decided politics is more important than decency, honesty, conviction, integrity -- I mean, any of these things. None of it matters, even if you're anti- Semitic, racist or a hypocrite.

MYSTAL: Is this what I get to told you also, like, this has been their party for a long time. At some point Republicans need to look to themselves, look at the kinds of policies they're promoting, look at the kinds of -- look at the way they want the country to be and ask why do our policies attract the worse people possible? But they have to ask that to move forward from what has happened to their party.

CUPP: There used to be -- I'm Republican, I've been and around the conservative moment for a long time, there used to be some shame and embarrassment at this kind of overt racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. There is no shame anymore.

BERMAN: Elie, very quickly. Bernie Sanders says he is alarmed by the idea that Democrats are being told, he says, to focus exclusively on abortion as their final argument here.

MYSTAL: Yeah. That's classic Bernie, you know, like, look, he's probably not wrong that there are some Democrats that probably need to do a better job making the argument about the economy. That abortion isn't going to move everybody forward. But like Bernie Sanders lives in a world where he honestly believes in

his heart that White, non-college educated voters will at some point vote their economic interests over their cult and over their tribe. I want him to be right, and so we'll leave it at that.

BERMAN: Elie Mystal, S.E. Cupp, great to see you both of you, thank you so much for coming in, in person.

Next, startling warnings about a recession not only predicting if there will be a major economic downturn, but now, economists are pinning down exactly when.



BERMAN: In our money lead, a perfect storm of global economic crisis brewing and, quote, the worst is yet to come. That today from the International Monetary Fund which warns many people will feel recession by next year.

I want to bring in CNN's Rahel Solomon and Marc Stewart.

Rahel, it seems each day we get this new recession warning. Is it just inevitable at this point?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It does feel like another day, another recession warning. This warning was pretty dark and yet the IMF said in this report that a global recession is not inevitable. That said, it does expect a third of the globe next year to be in some sort of recession and as you pointed out, many people around the world feeling like they are in a recession next year.

If there is any silver lining in this report, and it was hard to find, it is that the IMF expects global recession, global inflation to peak this year before falling in the years to come. But, look, in a report that warns the worst is yet to come, and stormy waters are ahead, a silver lining is hard to find.

BERMAN: What does that feel like, mark, if there is a recession, because people don't like it when there isn't a recession, maybe now, and there is inflation. So what would be different if there is a recession?

MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Really two words come to mind: tough and tangible. You mentioned inflation. That is something that has been persistent, it will likely remain and could perhaps get even worse. And, of course, there is the threat of job losses.

But above all of that, businesses could face new pressures that could put them out of business so to speak. That could trickle down to local governments where people would be in need of help. That's another financial strain. And then there is the stock market.

And we know from having many discussions the stock market is not the economy, but it is where many of us put our 401(k)s. As we have seen in recent weeks there have been a lot of stock market declines during the down market things can get very turbulent. So for some Americans, that could, and I'll put in bold print, could mean delayed retirement.

BERMAN: And very quickly, Rahel, just remind us why the fed, to an extent, thinks a recession is worth the risk to battle inflation?

SOLOMON: Well, because the risk in not taming inflation now is that inflation remains with us for much longer and it become a harder problem to solve.

But very quickly one thing that I want to point out from this report is that although the IMF is expecting recession for a third of the world next year, it does not expect that for the U.S. and European Union and China, which are the three largest economies. That's an important discussion.

BERMAN: A silver lining. Great to see you in person.

Turning to our health lead for the first time an influential group of medical experts now recommends all children 8 and older be screened for anxiety. On top of that, the same group renewed the 2016 recommendation for children 12 and older to be screened for depression. This is an effort to help primary care doctors support children's mental as well as physical health and provide earlier detection and treatment before problems become obvious. The recommendations are in the latest journal of the American Medical Association.

Next, the Oath Keepers trial and a comment from the leader of the far right group just weeks before January 6th. How prosecutors are now trying to use his own words against him.



BERMAN: Back with our politics lead. Five leaders of the far right militia group the Oath Keepers are in a D.C. federal court room today on trial for a crime only prosecuted a hand full of times, conspiracy to commit sedition for their role in the January 6th insurrection.

CNN's Sara Sidner was in court.

Sara, part of the evidence presentation today, we heard from the leader of the Oath Keepers himself. What did he say?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, prosecutors have been saying, look, we don't just have to tell you this. You will hear it in their own words. And they're talking about the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes and four others, one of whom is just an associate of the Oath Keepers, and basically what they did was play a video from November 14th of 2020, during that million MAGA march that was here as people marched to the Capitol to decry the 2020 election.

We hear from Rhodes himself claiming that the election was stolen and then we hear this.


STEWART RHODES, OATH KEEPERS LEADER: I think about half this country won't recognize Biden as legitimate. They won't accept this election. What that means is that everything that comes out of his mouth will be considered not of any force or effect and anything he signs, you know, supposedly signed into law we won't recognize as being legitimate and very much like the Founding Fathers. We want to nullifying and resisting it.

INTERVIEWER: What does resisting mean?

RHODES: Well, when it comes time to enforce it, we'll defend ourself against the enforcement.


SIDNER: The jury saw that and a slew of messages between members of this group and others who were planning for that November rally and then for the rallies afterwards. We also heard right after that November rally a couple of days after that November rally, the self- described militia member basically talked about what would happen next time.

We heard Thomas Caldwell saying next time and there will be a next time, there will be real violence for all of us. Prosecutors also showed jurors an open letter from Stewart Rhodes to then President Donald Trump and he asked the president to invoke the insurrection act. Here is what he said at the end of the letter, a demand saying know this, millions of Americans, military and law enforcement veterans and many millions more loyal patriotic American gun owners stand ready to answer your call to arms and to obey your orders to get this done.

Now, the defense went through this and said, yes, there was an open letter. Yes, that did happen. But it is asking the president to invoke this Insurrection Act thereby this group said that they would come in as peacekeepers, not as attackers. They also tried to attack some of the evidence saying not anywhere in that evidence was the January 6th date named, nor the plot written out when it comes to January 6th but a lot of evidence to go through, John.

BERMAN: Yeah, very quickly, Sarah, how long could this trial go?

SIDNER: That is a really good question. Initially they said four weeks. Then it was six weeks and now we're thinking it's going to be a little longer just judging from the pace of things right now, but at least six weeks.

BERMAN: All right. Great to have you there. Sara Sidner, thank you very much.

Sad news today in our pop lead. Legendary actress Angela Lansbury has died at the age of 96. Born in London, Lansbury was an iconic stage and television actress, winning five Tony awards and 12 Emmys over her long career. She may be best known for her starring role in the popular CBS show "Murder She Wrote" for 12 seasons.

Younger viewers may remember her as the voice of Mrs. Pots from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

I found her to be the most terrifying villain ever in the "Manchurian Candidate". A family statement says she died just five days shy of her 97th birthday. What a talent. May she rest in peace.

Up next, what NASA says about its abilities to knock an asteroid off track from possibly slamming into earth because we need to know this, right?



BERMAN: In our out of this world lead, NASA says the spacecraft deliberately crashed into an asteroid succeeded in knocking the space rock off its natural orbit. The $325 million DART spacecraft was destroyed when it rammed an asteroid last month. The goal of this real life deep impact was to find out whether slamming into a killer rock could save earth from Armageddon.

This is the first time humanity has ever altered the motion of a celestial body, which is great news for all of us honestly, but also for oil drillers who now won't be asked to travel to space and dig an 800-foot hole to save the planet.

So, tune in tonight for two big interviews. Jake Tapper's full exclusive conversation with President Joe Biden. Also on the show tonight, Dwayne the Rock Johnson. Hear what he said about his new film and any chances of possible political ambitions. That's on Jake's debut time slot 9:00 Eastern, ahead of the November midterms.

I'm John Berman. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer and "THE SITUATION ROOM".