Return to Transcripts main page
The Lead with Jake Tapper
Soon: Alleged Pelosi Attacker To Be Arraigned On State Charges; Sources: Pelosi Family To Hear 911 Call, See Bodycam Video; Biden, Obama, Pence, Cheney All On Campaign Trail Today; Fetterman Says He's "Fit To Serve" Amid Health Concerns; Netanyahu Eyes Comeback As Israel Votes In 5th Election In 4 Years; Sources: Iran Preparing To Send Russia 1,000 More Drones, Missiles. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired November 01, 2022 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: I like the Heidi Klum one. I mean, do we have the Heidi Klum pictures?
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: As the earthworm?
BLACKWELL: Yeah, as the earthworm. How long does that take and you just got to walk the carpet and then get back in the car, right? You can't party in that.
GOLODRYGA: I know. I think she did. I think she took it up and party.
GOLODRYGA: I'm with Kerry Washington. You can't go wrong with Lionel Ritchie there.
GOLODRYGA: Is it me -- OK. THE LEAD starts right now. I'm not going to do it. Not yet. It's only Tuesday.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Exclusive new insight into the moments Paul Pelosi was viciously assaulted.
THE LEAD starts right now.
We're moments away from the first court appearance for the man accused of attacking Speaker Pelosi's husband. New this hour, what CNN is learning about the call for help from Paul Pelosi and video captured by police.
Plus, Biden, Obama, Pence, and more, the big names making their pitches one week before the midterms.
Also this hour, polls closing in Israel's fifth election in only four years and Netanyahu eyes a comeback.
While in Brazil, supporters of Jair Bolsonaro won't back down as the defeated President breaks his silence just moments ago.
KEILAR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Jake Tapper.
And we start with our national lead. Just moments from now, the man accused of beating and fracturing Paul Pelosi's skull with a hammer will appear in a San Francisco courtroom. David DePape faces a long list of federal and state charges, including attempted murder and kidnapping for what prosecutors call a politically motivated attack.
Now, CNN is learning exclusive details about information the police are planning to share.
Here in a moment, I'll also ask a member of Congress about security now after the man in charge of protecting lawmakers said threats are becoming alarmingly urgent.
First, let's get right to CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel, CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild, and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd as well.
And, Jamie, you have some new exclusive reporting on the Pelosi family.
Tell us what you're learning.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we now know that members of the Pelosi family are expected to be able to hear the 911 call that Paul Pelosi made to police the night of the attack as well as see the body cam footage from the San Francisco police that responded, that were at the front door when Pelosi opened the door. The assailant attacked him, so that is likely to be on the body cam footage. We're told members of the family may hear and see this as soon as tomorrow.
And my -- look, my understanding is for anyone, something like this is going to be very traumatic to listen to, but I'm told that the family really wants to hear and see this.
KEILAR: Might we learn more about what is on this audio or in this video?
GANGEL: So, you know, I assume that as the case goes forward, depending on what happens in court, typically, we do hear in a lot of cases 911 footage and see the body cam footage.
Look, this was -- we don't know what's on that body cam footage. We're told that Paul Pelosi was hit I am told twice by the hammer and that he fell to the ground. So -- but we don't know exactly what was captured. If that is captured, this is going to be traumatic footage to see.
KEILAR: And that he was knocked unconscious. We learned that as well.
KEILAR: Whitney, what are you expecting at this arraignment today?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, we expected it would be assigned, a defense attorney very likely a public defender. We also expected he's going to be advised of the exact charges he's facing. So, this is in state court. He's facing six charges there, and they include attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment, threatening the life or serious bodily harm to a public official.
Just -- to sidestep for a moment, that is in addition to the federal charges. He has not made a federal court appearance as far as we know. Those are assault of an immediate family member, of a U.S. official, and attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official. Of course, that U.S. official being Nancy Pelosi.
We also expect that the San Francisco district attorney's office, their prosecutors are going to say, look, this guy is way too dangerous to be out. We're asking the judge to hold him without bail.
KEILAR: In the affidavit in the case of the federal charges, Phil, it clearly states that Pelosi's stated words to the effect and this is on the 911 call of there is a male in the home and that the male is going to wait for Pelosi's wife, the speaker. Pelosi further conveyed that he does not know who the male is.
That part, that he does not know who the male is, that should debunk one of the most widespread conspiracy theories when it comes to this incident that Paul Pelosi actually knew DePape.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Should but wouldn't. I mean, if you look through the process we went through on election deniers, I don't have -- can you count the number of judges and state officials who said that the election was conducted properly and people are still saying I believe those who say the election was false. In this case, you've already got the always information out, and you've got to anticipate the same people who believe conspiracies about elections will believe this.
This is why I'd say not legally but from an FBI or investigative standpoint, it would be better eventually maybe during the trial to have the video and audio out. I would want to corner people, including especially members of Congress who want to put out disinformation and say this is what happened, it's not just words. Do you want to see somebody being hit on the head with a hammer for you to say this can't happen, and maybe God forbid, Congress should do something like censure members who put out disinformation about this.
GANGEL: Brianna, can I make one other point about the audio of that 911 call? His phone line may have been open for a considerable period of time. So we may hear and learn quite a bit from that 911 call audio that would, again, you know, I think we need to stop calling them conspiracy theories.
These are lies. These are just things that people have made up and are spreading. But that 911 audio may be critical to stopping some of it. KEILAR: Yeah, it should stop it, but it won't. It won't stop the
lies, right? And part of that we see is because some of the folks who are trafficking in this also have their suspicions about the FBI. And here we are talking about claims that are very clearly spelled out in a federal affidavit.
MUDD: And this, again, is where leadership comes in, that is political leadership. We went from the raid of Mar-a-Lago, and you have the photos of Mar-a-Lago, and people are still saying you planted the evidence.
KEILAR: It's very good point. Thank you all. Jamie, thank you so much for your exclusive reporting. We appreciate it.
I want to bring in Democratic congresswoman from California, and January 6th committee member, Zoe Lofgren, in her first interview since we learned of the attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband.
Congresswoman, thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
We've heard from the U.S. Capitol Police launching a review of this attack on Paul Pelosi. Chief Tom Manger says, quote, today's political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress. This plan would include an emphasis on adding redundancies to the measures that are already in place for congressional leadership.
Can you take us inside some of the discussions that are happening right now, maybe that you are having is with some of your colleagues, these discussions between lawmakers concerned about their safety and the safety of their families.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): I'll just say, we're not going to get safer until we call out what is the cause of this political violence. I noted that both speaker of -- the head of the RNC, Ronna McDaniels, and also Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, expressed sadness for Paul Pelosi but then went on to say it's really a product of, you know, crime that's the Democrats fault. That's like saying Lee Harvey Oswald was connected with crime in Dallas or John Wilkes-Booth was a result of a crime problem at Ford Theater.
Not only is it ridiculous, it's part of the problem of dismissing what is causing this violence. You know, when the shooting occurred of the baseball players, both Speaker Ryan and then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi convened to condemn it, and both said the rhetoric has to come down. But I would note there was never a campaign of ads to put, you know, Mr. Scalise's picture in a target for target practice and political ads.
Millions of dollars have been spent to demonize Nancy Pelosi and others, and that is part of the problem. You know, voters across this country are normal people for the most part, Republicans and Democrats, they may have different views on how to attract a problem but they are not in favor of our country devolving into a cesspool of political violence. And so, I do think that one day from today, voters need to do a very sober assessment of what kind of country do they want to have in the future. I note that the former president went on the radio and was engaging in, and somehow this was an inside job. This has to be confronted and no levels of security will be sufficient unless we rescue our democracy, our democratic republic from those who are essentially encouraging this violence through their rhetoric.
KEILAR: Have you --
LOFGREN: I'm not saying they intend for the assassination of Nancy Pelosi, but their rhetoric encouraged it and they refused to disavow it and we are not safe as a consequence.
KEILAR: Have you spoken directly to Republicans about this?
LOFGREN: I have been in communication with some, but really, it comes from the leadership. Their rhetoric doesn't reflect their normal voters. Unfortunately, you know, Republican voters, all of citizens have sent people who are reckless to the Capitol to represent them. There needs to be a course correction.
KEILAR: I do want to shift now to the committee's work, the January 6th committee. The Vice Chair Liz Cheney says that the panel is now in discussions with former president Trump's attorneys about testifying under oath. She also said this isn't a situation where the committee will be at the quote mercy of Donald Trump.
How do you plan to keep this productive and under control?
LOFGREN: Well, right now, there's a discussion. I think it's actually occurring as we speak between the president's lawyers and the committee lawyers. He has a deadline of Friday to produce a bunch of documents, and so, whether they're serious about having him proceed or not, we'll find out. He has an obligation, a legal obligation to come in.
And as Ms. Cheney said, I think a few days ago, we have no intention of letting the former president turn this into some wacko circus. It will be serious, it will be detailed, it will be under oath, and could go on multiple days.
KEILAR: We do want to know of course if you're going to have another hearing, if the committee is going to have another hearing. CNN just learned that the Secret Service spokesman spoke to the committee on Monday.
KEILAR: If you're not going to have another hearing, how are we going to learn about what you found there?
LOFGREN: Well, we have ongoing interviews with Secret Service members. I was present virtually for the one on Monday. We are writing a report as we speak. We haven't ruled out revealing information in a public hearing format, but we're also going to issue a written report as well as a multimedia report. So we'll get all the information out.
KEILAR: Anything pivotal from that interview?
LOFGREN: Well, as you know, we're not permitted to go through all of the issues, but let me just say that we went through more than a million documents from the Secret Service, and some of the public statements that were made don't match up with the documents we received, and so we have questions. You know, we're not alleging anything. We're just saying this doesn't add up.
KEILAR: All right. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, we appreciate your time today. Thank you so much.
LOFGREN: Thank you.
KEILAR: Only one week out from Election Day. Up next, President Biden's pitch to voters, former Vice President Mike Pence also hitting the campaign trail.
Plus, the Senate race becoming the most expensive in the country.
And the new weapons destined for Russia that could leave Ukraine defenseless.
KEILAR: Topping our politics lead, seven days remain until the votes are counted on election day, giving us a better idea of who will control Congress. More than 24.3 million ballots have already been cast in early voting across the country.
The campaign trail sprint features a star-studded lineup today. You have President Biden in Florida, former Vice President Mike Pence shoring up Republican Governor Brian Kemp in Georgia, outgoing Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney stumping for a Democrat in Michigan. Senator Cory Booker is in Wisconsin, and former President Barack Obama holding a rally this evening with Democrats in Nevada.
Our CNN teams are on the ground across the country following every critical race like no one else can.
First to Phil Mattingly, he's live for us in Miami Gardens, Florida, where President Biden just spoke.
And, Phil, the president again claimed that Republicans will cut Social Security and Medicare which, of course, is a charge that the GOP pushes back on. Do Democratic officials you're talking with think Biden's message is going to help them win there?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the short answer is no, according to several Democratic officials that I have spoken to. They acknowledge that neither the governor's race nor the Senate race in Florida, those statewide races are considered top tier races where they believe that they are on the verge or winning or at least in a very real battle. Anything can happen as you know quite well, Brianna.
But the real reason the president is down here, more than anything else, according to White House officials is that argument that you are talking about. White House officials see this as probably the best backdrop to try and elevate an argument. But the president has actually been making for several months and it tied specifically to the plan from Senator Rick Scott. He's a Florida senator, and involved in his local governing plan is the idea of sun setting all federal legislation every five years unless it is reauthorized.
Democrats seized on that, making through they believe that includes Social Security and Medicare. Doesn't mean programs are going to end, just -- it might need to be changed. Biden has elevated the, and hit on it today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A senator from Florida, going after Medicare and Social Security. I tell you what? I don't know where you all have been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Brianna, the dynamics of this state serves as that backdrop White House officials were looking for. I think when you talk to them, they recognize a couple of things politically right now. One, while the president is holding a rally here, here's not barn storming around the country. That lines up with the fact that the president isn't a value add.
However, when it comes to making the argument, this is a choice and not a referendum, that choice is defined by policy decisions Republicans would pursue. And when it comes to Social Security and Medicare, one White House official told me nothing pops in our polling quite like that. The president wants to underscore that today in Florida.
KEILAR: All right. Phil Mattingly in Miami Gardens, thank you for that report.
And we head now to Georgia where former Vice President Mike Pence is stumping with Republican Governor Brian Kemp today. Notably, he is not joining Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker for any campaign stops.
CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live for us in Cumming, Georgia.
Dianne, tell us about Pence's message today.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the former vice president came out today and leaned hard on his personal relationship with Republican governor Brian Kemp, focused on the past four years of Kemp's tenure here talking about his record, but focused almost just as much on Kemp's opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, speaking to people here in Cumming, Georgia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I think there's no better governor in America than Brian Kemp. I can honestly say I was for Brian Kemp before it was cool. Stacey Abrams can never be governor of the state of Georgia or lead an administration anywhere else in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Now, noticeably missing from the state of Georgia has been former President Donald Trump. He has not made it here since he endorsed Kemp's opponent in the primaries.
On CNN this morning, our colleague Kaitlan Collins asked Brian Kemp about the former president and whether or not he would like to see him here in Georgia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R), GEORGIA: I don't know, you'd have to ask him that question. Look, I'm focusing on, you know, getting our vote out. Trump Republicans like the policies that he had and when they look at my record, they like the policies that they're getting from their governor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Now, I will point out that former President Barack Obama did come to Georgia to campaign for Kemp's opponent, Stacey Abrams, as well as incumbent Democratic senator, Raphael Warnock. Trump has endorsed Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, but again, no comment on Kemp at this point.
Pence did say that he would support the whole Republican ticket here, though, in Georgia.
KEILAR: Yeah, I mean, he's really seen as a rue believer when it comes to the abortion issue. So, it's certainly noteworthy that he's not physically appearing with Herschel Walker. It speaks quite loudly.
Dianne, thank you for that report from Georgia for us.
Now to the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania and what has become the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country.
CNN's Jessica Dean in suburban Philadelphia for us.
Jess, both Senate candidates launched dueling ads today, tell us about that.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the ads are flooding the air waves as they are in battleground states, here the most expensive Senate race in the country, millions and millions and millions of dollars in ads, and here we are a week out and we are getting the message now from the two candidates, Democratic nominee John Fetterman, and Republican nominee Mehmet Oz. Take a watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I've spent my career fighting for people. Oz has spent his life taking advantage of people, making himself rich. I have taken on the powerful, been different. Oz will only work for himself in Washington, just like the rest.
DR. MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Politicians point fingers, doctors solve problems. Together we'll stand up to extremism on both sides and bring balance to Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: And we're just outside a get out the vote event for Mehmet Oz. That will be later tonight.
Brianna, worth noting, the biggest surrogates in both parties headed here to Pennsylvania over the weekend. We'll have President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama in Philadelphia, and also in Pittsburgh for Obama, and then former President Donald Trump also coming here. Everybody trying to rally the base in this open Senate seat in Pennsylvania -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yeah, it is a big scene there in Pennsylvania where you are. Jessica Dean, thank you so much.
DEAN: Yes, it is.
KEILAR: And in Wisconsin, Republican Senator Ron Johnson is locked in a hotly contested race against Democratic challenger, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.
And as our CNN's Omar -- as CNN's Omar Jimenez reports, both candidates see their path to victory as resting on high voter turnout.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the time of year when handshakes and cheers.
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Thank you, thank you.
JIMENEZ: -- need to become votes in Wisconsin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want us to vote for Mandela?
JIMENEZ: The hotly contested race between two-term Republican Senator Ron Johnson, and Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
JOHNSON: These people need to be stopped. They need to be defeated. JIMENEZ: The sharp rhetoric, a reflection of the elevated states.
Senator Johnson, you said Mandela Barnes has turned on America, why do you think this race is so close?
JOHNSON: It's Wisconsin, first of all. I don't understand it. I don't know why, you know, he has such grievances against this country. That's what this is all about.
Our nation is at a precipice right now.
JIMENEZ: Barnes on a statewide RV tour says he's campaigning to help save the country.
Ron Johnson is calling you too extreme for Wisconsin. What is your reaction?
LT. GOV. MANDELA BARNES (D), WISCONSIN SENATE CANDIDATE: Ron Johnson has been a hypocrite his entire career. We're talking about things that matter, create great paying jobs, rebuilding the middle class, the same middle class that gave my family an opportunity.
JIMENEZ: With polls showing a tight race, Barnes bringing in former President Barack Obama to fire up Democratic voters and make the case against Johnson.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: He's not the person who's thinking about you and knows you and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin.
JIMENEZ: Both sides believe their path to victory hinges on higher turnout, especially from those who might not typically vote in midterm elections.
ERIKA NELSON, COUNSELOR & AUTHOR, STURGEON BAY RESIDENT: I would almost have called myself apolitical in the past, but since Roe versus Wade got overturned, that completely changed everything for me.
JIMENEZ: Same conversations you're having brought a lot of people to the forefront, you think.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you.
JIMENEZ: She voted for Trump in 2016, then Biden in 2020, and now plans to cast her ballot for Barnes.
Also top of mind for voters is the economy.
JOHN LADER, RON JOHNSON VOTER: People's savings are being eroded by rising inflation rates and things, and we just need to get back to the basics in this country. The Democrats have gone way too far left for the majority of the country. JIMENEZ: It's a perception that's being tested.
JOHNSON: Most Democrats do love this country, and they're concerned about their futures. I'm asking them to join us.
BARNES: We have a chance to bring real opportunity back to Wisconsin. And we can get away from people who try to over turn an election because they don't like the results.
JIMENEZ: Those results aren't usually close in Wisconsin, which politically is as close to the state's identity is cheese curds and beer.
JOHNSON: God bless America, get out there and fight hard. Let's work.
JIMENEZ: Now, in this final week to election day, Mandela Barnes is scheduled to do an event this hour with Senator Cory Booker in Racine, Wisconsin.
I mentioned that Wisconsin politically has made close elections as synonymous with the state as cheese curds and beer. I have a feeling come from a week now, we're going to get a taste of all three.
KEILAR: Omar Jimenez, live for us in Racine, Wisconsin, thank you so much.
So, just days away from election day, how Republican Liz Cheney is bucking her party again today to side with Democrats.
KEILAR: Back now with our politics lead, Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman addressed questions about his health today in an interview with CNN, resisting calls that his doctors should speak publicly, and saying that he's getting better every day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: They believe that I'm fit -- fit to serve, and that's -- that's a point that was compatible -- made in June, and compatible here just in October. And, you know, I choose, you know, my real doctors composed to some of the criticism from like a real Dr. Oz that's just trying to weaponize somebody that just, you know, had a -- had a stroke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: All right. Let's discuss.
Gloria, how confident are Democrats about Pennsylvania actually?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think they're confident about anything actually. I don't think Republican pollsters are confident about anything.
Look, this is a tight race, margin of error race. After the debate, I think they became more worried. Now they say that's evened itself out because they believe that Dr. Oz is so unpopular, his popularity hovers under 40 percent, worse than Joe Biden's. And so, that's a, you know, that's a problem for the Republicans.
So they're not confident at all. And that's, you know, typical of this election year, which is just gone up and down and up and down, and it's very unpredictable.
KEILAR: What are you hearing from your sources you're talking to?
SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think what you have to look at is what President Biden has done with his schedule as it relates to Pennsylvania. When he heads there with former President Barack Obama on Saturday, that will be the 16th trip to that state of his president and a lot of those visits have been campaign events, at a time when he's avoiding places like Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia, he's all in on Pennsylvania.
So, this is so valuable for the White House right now. They see Pennsylvania, and other Democrats see Pennsylvania as sort of an insurance policy, because remember, as much as we talk about Pennsylvania, it's a Republican held seat right now. If Democrats can flip the seat, it can offset losses in Nevada, Arizona and elsewhere.
BORGER: But they're not optimistic which is why they keep sending Joe Biden there.
KIM: Right, exactly.
MICHAEL LAROSA, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: Speaking of that Republican seat in a similar climate, Pat Toomey won, and he led in every poll the entire time. I don't think he trailed Sestak once, and the reverse is true this year. Fetterman has never lost control of the spread at the top of the polling.
KEILAR: Luckily, we have a polling expert here. What are you thinking? What are you seeing?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, my polling is showing a close race Fetterman is slightly favored. If more and more polls are conducted in the final days, you see the last minute voters. It's hard to imagine who could not have decided yet in this election, but there are some voters who are just saying, like, I'll figure it out when I get closer to election day, and that's coming close.
And in a race that could be decided on razor thin margins, something like Pennsylvania, it wouldn't surprise me if some of those undecided voters -- undecided voters start sorting their way toward the Republican Party as those fundamentals, the state of the economy, disdain with the Biden administration if that all begins to kick in.
[16:35:12] BORGER: You know, they have to decide between the candidate and the president, and you know, if they don't like the candidate, you know, that's a real -- that's a real problem. If they don't like the president but like the candidate, then which way do they go?
LAROSA: And that's a consistent problem across the board with all of the Senate candidates, except maybe like Laxalt. All of them have higher disapprovals and higher unfavorable ratings than their Democratic candidates.
KEILAR: You see all the big names, right? All sort of big guns coming out for Democrats and Republicans right now. Liz Cheney, though, actually campaigning for a moderate Democrat, Michigan's Elissa Slotkin. This is Slotkin earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D), MICHIGAN: We agree on one really big thing and that's that there has to be a Democratic system in order for our system to function, and I look forward to debating her in the future on issues of policy, on democracy. We are in vehement agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: I think this one is so interesting. Liz Cheney said she would vote for Democrat Tim Ryan over the GOP candidate in the Senate race in Ohio, J.D. Vance. Why? Because she considers election denialism the most important issue, right? She considers that to be the most important issue over even the economy at this point in time.
I guess the question is, do voters agree with her?
ANDERSON: It's not the issue I'm seeing at the top of the polls, but what's important there is if you are, say, the small sliver, but nonexistent sliver of the Republican Party that remains, that does not like Donald Trump, that thinks the party has gone in the wrong direction, is this giving you permission to pull that lever for a Democrat? That's the extent to which I think that could be useful in very targeted situations in just a couple of races. Perhaps this is one of them.
KEILAR: Slotkin's opponent thinks this is going to backfire. Does anyone think this could backfire, Liz Cheney there for Slotkin?
LAROSA: I don't think this is going to backfire. Speaking of confidence, this is one state where the down ballot or the House candidates, Democrats feel incredibly good. Hers will be the tightest, but they are pretty confident she's going to win, and then pick up one seat as well.
BORGER: Among Democrats, election denialism is important. More important than it is for Republican voters, and so if it makes a difference, it may maybe motivate Democrats to get out. This is not changing anybody's mind.
KEILAR: So President Biden campaigning in Florida, right? And he's trying to frame this midterm election as a choice between extreme MAGA Republicans, which is sort of the catch phrase he uses and Democrats. Privately, though, Democratic officials are actually telling CNN that his visit is not really expected to move the needle there.
Do you think he would be better off someplace else politically speaking?
KIM: It's not moving the needle certainly in those specific races, in the Senate race and the governor's race. We know Republicans in both races are favored to win, but what works for the White House and what they like about the White House is that backdrop of Florida. Obviously very significant senior population that are reliant on Social Security and Medicare. They believe as a back drop, it makes an effective contrast.
President Biden and his aides have loved needling Rick Scott all year after he proposes his plan to sunset every federal program. Obviously, that goes after or that would -- that they say would target Social Security and Medicare. So, it's more of a visual thing. It's more of them allowing to paint that broader contrast. Not necessarily Crist and Demings across the finish line.
ANDERSON: But I think the contrast against -- Biden against Florida is actually a contrast that Republicans would be quite eager for a lot of voters to see, in part because Republicans point to someone like Ron DeSantis as a potential leader of the party in the future. They point to Florida as a place that did better economically. In their view, they didn't shut down during COVID. They kept schools open et cetera, for a lot of Republicans, they want nothing more.
BORGER: Can I ask you a question as a pollster? Like if -- when DeSantis refused to answer the question, I'm going to serve my whole term because everyone knows he's going to run for president, does that affect voters in any way when they think the guy is not going to be there after another year or so?
ANDERSON: I don't think so. I think that voters in Florida are favorable to how Ron DeSantis has run the state that he's safe in the upcoming election.
KEILAR: Thank you all so much for the discussion this evening. I appreciate it.
So, we're also following two high profile elections outside of the U.S., next to Israel where polls just closed in the country's fifth election in four years.
Plus, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, finally breaking his silence after losing Sunday's election.
KEILAR: Our world lead has a familiar ring to it. Supporters of a president who lost an election are staging disruptive protests while the man they're backing hasn't exactly admitted that he lost. Those are today's headlines from Brazil, where supporters of defeated President Jair Bolsonaro are blocking highways to protest the election results.
Bolsonaro who's sometimes called the Trump of the tropics broke his silence a few minutes ago. He gave a speech avoiding conceding but indicated that he will abide by Brazil's constitution. He also said the protests were the fruit of indignation and a sense of injustice over the vote.
And now to another high stakes election, polls just closed in Israel and it looks like Israelis might want their longest serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back.
Let's get right to CNN's Hadas Gold who's live in Jerusalem.
Hadas, tell us about these exit poll projections and also what we know about if Netanyahu would be able to avoid the failure of the past, building a coalition government with the expected number of seats Likud is expected to win here.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Brianna. I'm at Benjamin Netanyahu's election party, and already, we're hearing some of the supporters trying to come in.
They're celebrating as though they have won. And that's because the initial exit polls from the media networks here in Israel do show that the pro-Netanyahu bloc will potentially have the number of votes needed for Benjamin Netanyahu to become prime minister.
Now, keep in mind, these are exit polls. These are not official results and things can change throughout the night as the pollsters are finessing their results. This is not also the official count. That will come in a few days.
But it does seem as though Netanyahu could potentially have those numbers. The magic 61 number is what he needs to become prime minister.
What's also really notable about these results, Brianna, is the rise of the far right party, the religion Zionist Jewish Power Party. One of their leaders was once convicted for inciting racism against Arabs. It's been amazing to really see how this party has grown in popularity.
It's also notable, Brianna, the turnout. The turnout so far for this election is the highest it's been since 1999. Now, we still haven't received the break downs of who came out to vote but it may turn out that the higher the turnout was, the more it helped Benjamin Netanyahu.
Now, again, I have to caution, these numbers can change. What we're also looking at is smaller parts. As some of the numbers get counted from different cities, we may see that some of the smaller parties, especially some of the Arab parties may pass that threshold and sit in the parliament. That could change the numbers, especially when we're talking about one to two seats.
One to two seats is all it takes for Benjamin Netanyahu to not -- to not to be able to have his seat. Now, I did ask Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today what he said to the international critics who are worried that a government under him will be a far right government. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FORMER ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: You don't want a government where the Muslim brotherhood who support terrorists and deny the existence of Israel and are pretty hostile to the United States, that's what we're going to bring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLD: Brianna, that's one of the biggest stories of the night is really the rise of the far right, and exactly how much power they might have in a Benjamin Netanyahu government -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. Hadas, we know that you will continue to monitor developments there. Thank you so much for that report from Jerusalem.
As if Russia's strikes in Ukraine weren't doing enough damage, next, the weapons Putin could soon get from Iran that could be even worse.
KEILAR: We're back with more of our world lead. Russian President Vladimir Putin desperate for help put in a colossal weapons order with Iran. Sources tell CNN, 1,000 Iranian-made missiles and attack drones will be on their way to the front lines as Ukraine's air force says it has no effective defense against the deadlier Iranian long-range missiles.
CNN's Nic Robertson is in Kramatorsk where Russia is using the weapons it does have in eastern Ukraine.
Nic, what do we know about new Russia targets there?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We know that they've been going after the power grid for the past three weeks effectively. We know that the weapons that they've been using, the drones from Iran, the Shahed-146, Ukrainians got pretty good at shooting them down but what worries the Ukrainians now is if Iran gives to Russia, sells to Russia their more sophisticated drone, their Arash-2.
This has a longer range better on board intelligence it could change the place of attack while it's in the air. The current drones you set off and go where they were planned to go and perhaps most devastatingly, it carries a much bigger payload, maybe five times the amount of explosives.
So it could really breakthrough into the energy system, the power grid on the country in a more devastating way and be used along the front lines here to hold back Russian forces. The town of Bakhmut, not far from here, heavily contested and heavily shelled today as civilians killed there. Town of Kramatorsk where we are, 14 shells came in here, missiles and drones, as well came in here last night.
Russia would have the potential to have a stronger effect, 1,000 is not a huge number in the ark of this war but the way that Russia has been using missiles recently, specific targeting, that could have a big difference.
KEILAR: Yeah, we've seen that with these attacks shutting down water and other infrastructure there in the country.
And, Nic, today, Putin announced the draft which have been plucking unwilling Russian citizens from their homes basically is complete. Are Ukrainians there that you're talking to, are they worried about a possible influx of Russian troops?
ROBERTSON: They think they're seeing it in some places. It is a worry. Kherson, for example, the Russians, they say, brought in at least 1,000 new recruits there and they're forcing civilians out and putting recruits in the houses. Makes them harder to target and take the town.
The Russians are losing ground in this area. There are a few small villages, maybe 15 to 20 miles from here, the Russians lost. The concern is the put in more troops, hold the lines, make the lines more defensible, stronger defensive position through the winter and hold the lines. So what Putin is saying, they're already 41,000 recruits actually in the fight here and another 260,000 in training. They can make a difference even war recruits.
KEILAR: Yeah, those are huge numbers. Nic Robertson live for us in Kramatorsk, Ukraine -- thank you.
Next, the Supreme Court's decision today about Donald J. Trump, House Democrats and ongoing efforts to see his taxes.
KEILAR: In our politics lead, a couple of important Supreme Court decisions. This afternoon, the court rejected Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's attempt to get out of testifying in Georgia's election interference investigation. Graham asked a court to block a subpoena for him to testify in front of a grand jury.
Earlier today, Chief Justice John Roberts put a temporary hold on a lower court ordering requiring the IRS to release Trump's tax information to the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee.
And coming up on "CNN TONIGHT WITH JAKE TAPPER", Republican Senate candidate John O'Dea who is running a tight race trying to unseat Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in Colorado. That's tonight at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.
And if you ever miss an episode of THE LEAD, you can listen wherever you get your podcast.
Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".