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The Lead with Jake Tapper

GOP Gears Up For Tense Meetings Ahead Of Leadership Decisions; Katie Hobbs' Lead Over Kari Lake Narrows In High-Stakes Governor Race; MA Governor Baker On Influence Of Social Media On Extremism; Biden Has First Face-To-Face Meeting With Xi Since Taking Office; Biden: Liberation Of Kherson "A Significant Victory For Ukraine"; Student Suspected Of Killing UVA Football Players Now In Custody. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 14, 2022 - 16:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: I don't know. We'll see if these fly off the shelves like hot cakes.

Meanwhile --

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: If -- you want to take it?

CAMEROTA: Yeah. No, I want you to take this.

BLACKWELL: OK, if you really love turkey for Thanksgiving, you can choose to cuddle with one instead of eating it.

CAMEROTA: That's right. An animal rescue facility in California, Tennessee and Missouri, are offering visitors a chance to cuddle with their live turkeys. Here's some pictures of doing that. People who have described it say it's very soft and sweet.

BLACKWELL: I'll take your word.

CAMEROTA: Just like Jake Tapper.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Yes, it's six days after election day, but the term too early to call still very much applies.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Nineteen uncalled congressional races means we still do not know which party will control the House of Representatives, but center stage right now, both Republican leaders McCarthy in the House and McConnell in the Senate are facing rebellions from within their own ranks.

Also, this hour, America's most popular governor, Republican Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, in a CNN exclusive, reacting to his party's midterm failures and talking about where he thinks the GOP needs to go now.

Plus, a horrifying campus tragedy, three University of Virginia football players killed. And now, a former team member is in custody, and apparently police had already been warned about him.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we start in our politics lead where the fight to control the House of Representatives is down to 19 key races. CNN projects 204 seats as of now will go to Democrats, 212 to Republicans. To win control, the party needs to win 218 seats. So odds favor Republicans at this hour, but the larger issue for the Republican Party is their underperformance in these midterm elections with Democrats holding the Senate, perhaps even picking up a seat, and House Republicans falling way short of what the opposition party historically achieves in a midterm election.

Republicans, therefore, are now questioning out loud who is to blame. Is it Trump? Is it the Republican establishment? Is it fringe extremist candidates?

And more pointedly, Republican officeholders are asking right now who should lead them going forward. Should House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy be the next Speaker of the House? Does Mitch McConnell still have enough support to lead his party in the Senate?

CNN's Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill where McCarthy and McConnell are facing rebellions from lawmakers within their own party.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Republicans move closer to secure urging a razor thin House majority, they are confronting this question.

SEN. JIM BANKS (R-IN): Do we have the wrong strategy.

RAJU: Republicans are likely stuck with a narrow House majority, which would make governing difficult and complicate house GOP leader Kevin McCarthy's path to the speakership.

Democrats like Michigan's Hillary Scholten who picked up a GOP seat says voters sent a message.

REP.-ELECT HILLARY SCHOLTEN (D-MI): Across the country, people are tired of the divisiveness and the extremism that today's Republican Party embodies.

RAJU: As the incoming freshman gathered in the Capitol today, McCarthy was behind closed doors trying to lockdown the votes to become speaker and wielding the support of former President Donald Trump.

Also winning the backing of the staunch Trump ally and controversial conservative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): It's very, very risky right now to produce a leadership challenge, especially for speaker of the House.

RAJU: Also backing McCarthy, incoming Republican Mike Lawler who won one of four key GOP races in New York, likely enough to secure the majority.

REP.-ELECT MIKE LAWLER (R-NY): I fully support Kevin McCarthy and will support him for speaker.

RAJU: Yet McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of GOP votes to win the 218 he needs in January to become speaker. And Arizona's Andy Biggs is considering a challenge to deny him the votes.

In the Senate, an even bigger GOP debacle after Democrats retain the majority and could add a seat after next month's runoff in Georgia.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The red wave proved to be a red mirage.

RAJU: Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell facing backlash from some conservatives who want to hit the brakes on this Wednesday's leadership elections.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): It would be insane if we reelect the same leadership two days from now.

RAJU: Trump is blaming McConnell, is that fair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's not fair at all.

RAJU: All as Democrats are prepared for their own shake-up, once Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides whether to step aside.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): So my decision will be rooted in what the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus.

RAJU: New members of Congress including the first Gen Z member, 25- year-old Maxwell Frost are watching closely.


Do you think that your leadership should reflect this younger -- the younger class of members?

REP.-ELECT MAXWELL FROST (D-FL): Yeah, I think generally, we need younger people in office across this country and in Congress. I do think we should have young people represented in leadership as well.


RAJU (on camera): Just in a matter of minutes, Republicans will be gathering behind me for their first meeting since the midterm elections. They're going to have a candidate forum. We could see the challenge who will emerge to Kevin McCarthy. Just moments ago, Andy Biggs would not confirm he's running, but he did promise there would be a challenger.

Jake, the Republicans in the conservative Freedom Caucus want to have more leverage over the speaker, something that McCarthy has not yet agreed to.

And in the Senate side of the Capitol, Mitch McConnell was just asked if he has the votes to stay as Republican leader and he said, of course -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, thanks so much.

In Arizona, six days after election day, ballots are still being counted in the high profile governor's race. Right now, Democratic candidate, Katie Hobbs, is leading by 24,000 votes over Republican candidate Kari Lake. Nearly 175,000 votes are still outstanding and need to be counted.

CNN's Kyung Lah is inside the Maricopa County election center in Phoenix.

Kyung, when do we expect the next update on vote totals?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In just about four hours, Jake, we're anticipating that Maricopa County will release another batch of votes in that 6:00 p.m. local time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time hour.

And this is a critical batch of votes. The Lake campaign knows they need to over perform at a good clip in order to stay in the game.

Meanwhile, what is happening here at the county is that the counting is still continuing. They're still diligently going through these votes, curing the ballots, adjudicating any questions on these ballots and we are for first time hearing some outward confidence from the Democrat, Katie Hobbs, her campaign. The campaign posted on Twitter last night after those vote tallies from Maricopa County, quote, Katie has led since the first round of ballots were counted, and after tonight, meaning Sunday night's results, it's clear that this will be not change.

We are also hearing from Democrats who are projected to win here in the state of Arizona, and they are urging those Trump-endorsed candidates to accept these election results, even if they don't go their way.

The question is, Jake, are any of them listening?

TAPPER: And, Kyung, Kari Lake, as you know, has been a big election liar. She spreads all the false claims about the results of the 2020 election. She is also reluctant to say whether she would accept the results of her own governor's race if she loses. So given this unstable approach, how is she reacting to the close vote totals?

LAH: Well, we're seeing a slightly different tactic today. After last night really the campaign going completely radio silent, today started posting again and again as well as on multiple campaign support sites that they wanted their followers, their supporters to check their ballots. We're seeing that narrative being picked up by further right agents on social media saying this is leading to questions, Jake, on whether or not this process is legitimate at all -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kyung Lah in Phoenix, thanks so much.

In Massachusetts now, Democrat Maura Healey won the governor's office there with an astounding 64 percent of the vote. A lopsided victory partly attributable to the fact that the Republican nominee had extreme views on any number of issues including his belief in Trump's deranged election lies. Healey will succeed two-term Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Baker is leaving office with the highest approval ratings of any governor in the United States, 73 percent of Massachusetts residents approve of the job Governor Baker did.

And to remind you, Governor Baker is a Republican governing a deep blue state or commonwealth. Baker rarely does national TV interviews, but he invited me to his office in the state house for an exclusive one-on-one because he was seemingly so distressed about where the Republican Party is headed.


TAPPER: I've never really seen a midterm election like this. You have a substantial percentage of the country disapproving of a Democratic president, thinking the country's on the wrong track, and yet, so many people in battleground states rejected Republicans. Democrats are going to hold the Senate if not pick up a seat.

If Kevin McCarthy becomes speaker -- and that's an if -- he'll have the slimmest of majorities. What went wrong for the Republican Party?

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, I think the biggest issue that played out in the midterms is something that I talked about a lot over the course of the past eight years, which is voters generally speaking especially in battleground states aren't interested in extremism.


They just aren't. They want people who they believe are going to be reasonable, who are going to be collaborative, and who represent sort of the fundamental tentative democracy that it's supposed to be a distributed decision-making model, and you're supposed to be okay with that. And I think in the midterms, one of the big lessons that the Republican Party nationally needs to take away from it is voters want collaborative elected officials. They don't want extremes.

TAPPER: You are going to be succeeded by a Democrat. Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, he's also going to be succeeded by a Democrat, both of you popular two-term Republican governors in Democratic states, and yet, the Republican voters picked MAGA extremist candidates that had no chance of winning a general election.

I don't understand what's going on with your party. Is it the influence of Donald Trump? Is it the influence of a movement that doesn't care about winning general elections?

BAKER: Well, I certainly think there's significant influence from the former president, and I think that influence probably hurt the party and hurt the party's chances on election day, not just here in Massachusetts and Maryland, but in many of those other battleground states.

What voters want are candidates and elected officials who are going to reach out, who are going to engage with the so-called other side, and who are going to take seriously this idea that you are supposed to try to represent and hear the voices of all of the people that you serve.

TAPPER: When you talk about the Republican Party needing to heed these lessons, I'm wondering if one of the things you're thinking of is we saw some Republican leaders who are not election liars, at least not explicitly so, Governor Youngkin of Virginia, Governor DeSantis of Florida going and endorsing extremists, Kari Lake in Arizona, Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.

I'm from Pennsylvania. I've never seen a candidate statewide like that.

Do you think that the DeSantises and Youngkins of the world are the kinds of people that need to be thinking about, look, I can't be throwing away my credibility on these extremists?

BAKER: The big message coming out of Tuesday and I would argue the big message voters are going to send going forward is you need to demonstrate in word and deed that you believe this is more -- this is always going to be about more than just your party and your partisans. That was the whole point of the lecture I gave at the Kennedy school a couple of weeks ago where my whole message was that the parties are losing millions of voters every year who are giving up on them and becoming independents.

Massachusetts, 60 percent of the electorate at this point are registered independents or un-enrolled voters depending on what term you like. That's a big statement that people are making about what they think about the narrowness of the vision and the attitude of the parties.

TAPPER: So let's talk about your speech at Harvard because in addition to faulting extremism, you talked about social media having what you called, quote, profoundly negative consequences for nations and for our nation of politics.

You said, quote, finding people who share your love of gardening is just as easy as finding people who share your love of haut speech hate speech. So what can be done?

BAKER: That was -- part of the reason I talked about that was I was so amazed by what David Bowie said in 1999. For those of your viewers who are not old enough to remember, they should just Google "Ziggy Stardust".

David Bowie was a very well-known musical artist and artist generally in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and he gave an interview at the end of the '90s where he said what the Internet was going to be was unimaginable and that it would be exhilarating and terrifying, and that it would completely change everything about the relationship between the content producer and the content user and receiver. And -- and he was right.

And he said because of this, there will be a duality here. There will be certain things the Internet will do that will be wonderful and amazing, and that's absolutely the case. But he also said it would create tremendous disruption in this capacity for a very dark side to find itself and to leverage it, and to make it something where truth would be defined by the users and the producers. And I think in some ways he was right, you know? And he was the only one who was talking about this back then.

I gave him huge credit, and I think the challenge for all of us is to accept and recognize that the internet is there, social media is there, but what does it really stand for and represent? And I've said for a long time that I do not believe the vast majority of the people who get up and go to work every day, get up and go to school every day, worry about their families and their communities and their kids and their neighbors, spend anywhere near as much time on social media caring about politics as people in politics and people in media think they do.


And I view it as a universe. It's a big one. It's loud, it's organized, it's influential, it's noisy, but it's not where most people live. And I think at some point, we as a society need to accept and understand that those folks are going to work really hard to drag as many voices and as many eyeballs onto their platforms as they possibly can, but they aren't where big chunks of the world lives.

TAPPER: I think about social media and I think that we've seen two effects of it in recent years. One, January 6th. That is a president putting out lies on social media, people responding on social media, Twitter, Facebook, all sorts of other.

BAKER: Finding each other, too. You can't underestimate the power of being able to find each other and create, you know, isolated little groups of people who are -- who are bent a certain way with respect to how they think about society and rules and mores and all the rest. As isolated as individuals are out there, that's one thing, but when they all find each other, that's different.

TAPPER: You have always credited your attitude towards politics by how you were raised by a liberal Democrat mom and a conservative Republican dad, and I'm wondering what lessons specifically you learned from that that made you the politician you are in terms of your -- the positions you take but also not -- you're not -- you haven't been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump. You've been critical of him when asked, but you haven't been out there criticizing him, and you are most popular governor in the country in a Democratic commonwealth. BAKER: So my mom and dad were happily married for 60 years before my

mom passed away, and they never voted for the same person, and our dinner table was hilarious, and a lot of my friends would come to watch. But if they got called on, some of them didn't come back for a second time.

But the point here is it wasn't a fight. It wasn't a contest. It wasn't even really a debate. It was a discussion and an inquiry.

And one of the things that was true from the beginning was if my parents really thought you weren't listening to what somebody else was saying and you were just trying to jam home your own point, you would get penalized and told, you know, you got to either answer their question or, you know, we're going to skip you for the next few rounds here. And the biggest message I took from it was, you learn a lot from listening to people you don't always agree with, and that's certainly been true for me in public life. I am so much better as a person and as an elected official because of the conversations I've had with people whose life experiences and whose points of view are different than mine, than I ever would have been if I just talked to people I agree with.

TAPPER: Can you give me an example of that? Because I mean, you come from a very elite background. Your father worked for the secretary of transportation during the Nixon years. You went to Harvard. You went to Harvard graduate school and you also went to Kellogg at Northwestern.

So you come to this job with a set of priors as we all do for everything we do. Who opened your mind?

BAKER: So, I after I lost, I ran three times for governor, I lost the first time in 2010 to former Governor Deval Patrick. I talked to people who covered the race, I talked to one of the chattering class. I talked to a whole bunch of people. I went and talked to my friends.

It was humiliating. Everyone told me what I did wrong and what a horrible candidate I was. One guy particularly said, you spent way too much time with your customers and not enough time with your prospects.

So, when we ran, Lauren, my wife, and I decided to run in '14. I spent a lot of time campaigning in places where there weren't any Republicans, a lot of places where there weren't really even any white people, and a lot of those folks were surprised to see me. They'd never seen anybody running for office before at the state level who was a Republican, and I just listened.

I didn't -- I asked them questions. I didn't really talk very much, and I learned a lot, and a lot of what I learned from those conversations factored into the way we appointed people, to the way we organized a lot of our programming, to where we focused especially during the pandemic on communities that I knew were going to be in more trouble than others if we didn't step up and help them.

And it changed the way I thought about a lot of things, and in a good way and made me, as I said, I think a much better public official than I would have been otherwise. A lot of those conversations were really uncomfortable, okay?


But the biggest thing I took from it is learning, especially learning things that you maybe don't want to hear --

TAPPER: Like what?

BAKER: That's a painful process.

TAPPER: Like what?

BAKER: That this country for a very long time made it really hard through zoning and public housing and mortgage finance policy for Black people or Hispanic people to own a home.

TAPPER: Red lining.

BAKER: And that is, in fact, the number one way people in America have built wealth for decades.

TAPPER: That's fascinating, and that's just something you learned by going there?

BAKER: Yeah.

TAPPER: I'm sure you'd read about it before, but actually seeing it.

BAKER: There's nothing quite like talking to people who bring a real world, real life experience to a conversation. Now, when people yell at each other, right? They're just yelling past each other. Nobody's hearing anything either side is saying, all right?

You got to be willing to go listen and stop walking in there with a point of view or an attitude that you already know the answer to the questions.

TAPPER: That seems like so much of how politicians address these issues is about demonizing the other side on critical race theory, on trans students, I see a lot of people in the Republican Party doing that, and this probably is a very nuanced view that a lot of people in the center have about a lot of these issues.

BAKER: Totally agree with that. I think the whole question about racism generally, I happen to think there's a nuanced conversation to have on that, too. But if you were to ask me if the Democrats and Republicans were having a nuanced conversation on that, my answer would be no.


TAPPER: I also asked Governor Baker his take on why more Republicans were not looking at his success and impressive popularity and think wow, he would be a good 2024 candidate for us. You can hear his response in the next hour here on THE LEAD. Coming up this hour, the growing dissent in the Republican ranks against Minority Party Kevin McCarthy becoming speaker of the House. I'll speak with Republican member of Congress about that.

Plus, a victory for Ukraine. The key city of Kherson no longer under Russia's control. See why there are still difficult and dangerous days ahead.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy may be that much closer to the job. He's never been quiet about wanting. Here he is seven years ago before he blew it and House Republicans rallied instead for Paul Ryan.


TAPPER: Do you have the votes? Can -- will you be the next speaker? Have you locked it up?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I feel very good about where I'm at.


TAPPER: At this hour, Republicans are set to meet behind closed doors to determine if McCarthy should be next in line to get that job of House Speaker if Republicans win the majority. He faces a potential challenge from Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs.

One member planning to be in that meeting is Republican Congressman Andy Barr from Kentucky. He joins us now.

Congressman, thanks so much. You and your campaign had a good night in Kentucky. You won re-election by around 30 points. But your overwhelming victory was not really replicated by other Republicans across the country. The red wave that was predicted on Fox never materialized.

What did you make of the results on election night, and why do you think it happened that way?

REP. ANDY BARR (R-KY): Well, Jake, thanks for having me on the program, and obviously Republicans including Republicans in Congress are disappointed that that red wave did not materialize, but no matter how you cut it, Republicans are materially better off today as we head towards what appears to be a Republican, although a small Republican majority in the House because the principle goal of this election was to retire Nancy Pelosi, to take back the House. It appears we're well on the way to doing that.

And that means that we're going to be able to stop this disastrous Biden agenda that continues to wreak havoc on our economy. The inflation crisis, the border crisis, the crime crisis, none of that changes. The president's approval rating is still historically low, and so, the problems facing our country are the same. But what will change will be a change in the leadership of the House of Representatives, and that will provide a much needed check and balance to the federal government, which I think will be good in the long run in terms of solving some of these problems and providing some accountability instead of one party rule in Washington.

TAPPER: In just a few minutes you will be joining the rest of your caucus in a meeting to discuss who's going to lead Republicans in the House. Since Election Day, some in your party have been threatening to not support Kevin McCarthy in husband bid to be speaker. Texas Congressman Chip Roy told reports that no one currently has 218 votes.

Virginia Congressman Bob Good says McCarthy has not done anything to earn my vote. Just a short while ago, Congressman Matt Gaetz told CNN's Melanie Zanona that Kevin McCarthy is not the right man to unify the House Republican caucus.

Do you think McCarthy is at risk of not being picked to lead your party?

BARR: I do not think he is at risk. I think Kevin McCarthy will be not only our leader, but I think he'll be speaker of the House. No one in our conference has done more to pick up these seats that we have.

Look, again, we are disappointed we didn't have the red wave this we wanted, but that certainly wasn't Kevin McCarthy's fault. Kevin McCarthy did more to raise money to recruit candidates, and by the way, candidates who are well-positioned and who did win their districts and beat incumbent Democrats.

If you look at the -- if you look at the places where Republicans fared poorly, a lot of that had to do with primaries that resulted in selecting a candidate that didn't fit the general election electorate. And so, Republicans need to have certainly soul searching about how we -- how we can do better in 2024. We -- after all, we owe it to our philosophy to win.

So, let's look at how we can do better and how we can win. Kevin McCarthy has been dedicated to taking back the House. He's accomplished that objective. And so I think no one -- no one can lay claim to doing more to help our conference than Kevin McCarthy. He deserves to be the next speaker.

TAPPER: So it's interesting that you raise that, the idea of electing or nominating more extreme candidates, more MAGA candidates that absolutely was a hindrance to your party's goals.

The irony is that because voters voted against candidates like, that extremists, the ones who did win re-election like Lauren Boebert in Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia who have demands for Kevin McCarthy, like we get to depose of a speaker on the floor of the house whenever we want. They are going to have more power than ever be ever, and I wonder how much you're afraid that those individuals will distract from the business that you and more mainstream Republicans want to achieve if, in fact, you win the House?

BARR: Well, I think in a very narrow majority, everyone, every single member whether they're moderates, whether they're conservative, whether they're Freedom Caucus, all members have a lot of leverage, right? You can't lose any one vote. What it means is we have to be unified. If we're not unified, then none of these Republicans will get what they want.

The only way to advance our cause, to advance the cause of conservative, to provide that check, that meaningful check and balance on the Biden administration and be the voice that our constituents sent us to Washington to be is to stay united. Otherwise we might as well not even be in the majority. We might as well just turn over control of the House floor to the Democrat majority.

So I hope that's the lesson that all members regardless of where they are in the party ideologically, I hope we come to that consensus. No doubt it's going to be a challenge, but I think we all knead to need to recognize if there's any substantial deflection in a small majority, we might as well not even be in the majority.

And that's I hope the lesson that we will take from this. But at the end of the day, while Republicans are certainly disappointed we didn't have a red wave, they don't give out small, medium or large-sized gavels. They only give out gavels.

TAPPER: Right.

BARR: And the goal is to get the majority. We set the agenda. We will have oversight authority, and we will be able to put the brakes on this Biden agenda. That's why the American people have given us this apparent majority.

TAPPER: Republican Congressman Andy Barr from Kentucky, thank you and congratulations again on your re-election. Appreciate your being here today.

BARR: Thank you.

TAPPER: I'm also going to speak with former Vice President Mike Pence about the future of the Republican Party in a live CNN town hall. You can look for that Wednesday night at 9:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.

President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping -- what Biden says he took away from their conversation. That's next.



TAPPER: In our world lead now, President Biden facing a critical test on multiple fronts in his first in-person meeting since taking office with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. As CNN's Phil Mattingly reports for us, the meeting comes amid rising tensions between the superpowers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I absolutely believe there need not be a new Cold War.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For President Biden, the most consequential meeting of his presidency coming at a moment fierce competition between the U.S. and China has edged closer to outright confrontation.

BIDEN: I believe this is critical, for the sake of our two countries and the international community.

MATTINGLY: A risk reflected not just by Biden but by Xi Jinping.

XI JINPING, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY (through translator): Currently, the China/U.S. relationship is in such a situation that we all care a lot about it because this is not the fundamental interest of our two countries and peoples, and it is not what the international community expects us.

MATTINGLY: Biden's first in-person sit-down with Xi driven by the highest stakes.

BIDEN: I do not think there's any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.

MATTINGLY: Taiwan's future did battles over technology, human rights to economic challenges a wide ranging three-hour meeting to take down the temperature.

BIDEN: We were very blunt with one another about places where we disagreed.

MATTINGLY: An inflection point for two leaders who have known one at for more than a decade.

BIDEN: We're not going to be able to work everything out. I'm not suggesting this is kumbaya, you know? Everybody's going to go away with everything in agreement.

MATTINGLY: Biden and Xi pledging to reopen long-frozen lines of communication between their top deputies. The meeting coming as Xi sits at the apex of his power after securing a norm-breaking third term, something Biden said hadn't shifted the Chinese leader's approach.

BIDEN: I didn't find him more confrontational or more conciliatory. I found him the way he's always been, direct and straightforward.

MATTINGLY: As he touted his own political capital, in the wake of history defying midterm results.

BIDEN: What these elections showed is there's a deep and unwavering commitment in America to preserving and protecting and defending democracy.

MATTINGLY: The two leaders actively engaged on issues of mutual interest including climate change and international aid. Biden pushed Xi to make a more concerted effort to manage North Korea's rapidly escalating actions.

BIDEN: I thought they had an obligation to attempt to make it clear to North Korea that they should not engage in long-range nuclear tests.

MATTINGLY: A bilateral relationship defined by mistrust in opacity, but touching on every corner of the globe.

BIDEN: I want to be clear and be clear with all leaders but particularly with Xi Jinping, that I mean what I say and I say what I mean.

MATTINGLY: Where the risk of miscalculation could bring catastrophic consequences.


BIDEN: That's the biggest concern I have is a misunderstanding about intentions or actions on each of our parts.


MATTINGLY (on camera): And, Jake, U.S. officials trying to move quickly to try and lock in those new lines of communication. In fact, Secretary of State Antony Blinken scheduled to go to Beijing as early as the first half of next year, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly in Bali, Indonesia, thanks so much.

CNN is also in Kherson. That's the Ukrainian city liberated from Russian control. See how Putin's forces created a disaster zone before they got kicked out.

Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our world lead, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the liberated city of Kherson today after it was battered for months by Russia's illegal occupation.

CNN's Nic Robertson was one of the first journalists in Kherson after the Ukrainian's momentous victory.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Flanked by troops who helped liberate the city, President Zelenskyy made a lightning trip to Kherson Monday, the nation's most significant victory in months.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: This is the beginning of the end of the war. You see our strong army, we are step by step coming to our country to all the temporary and occupied territories.

ROBERTSON: A morale boost for the country and president alike.

Zelenskyy pledging peace on Ukraine's, not Russia's terms and vowing to reconnect Kherson's residents to the rest of the country.

ZELENSKYY (through translator): To make them feel that were' not only talking about it, but we're really returning, really raising our flag.

ROBERTSON: Today's flags, a much needed temporary cell phone tower erected, reconnecting residents to loved ones, cut off since the retreating Russians destroyed the phone and Internet services.

And a truck full of humanitarian aid, the fist to arrive since liberation 72 hours ago, candles, bread, water handed out to eager residents who have been without electricity and water since the Russian retreat.

How much is this needed here?

SVEYATOSLAV YRASH, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Desperately, I was thinking about people what was lacking, what they have lost, and basically the supermarkets don't work, shops are crazy expensive or don't work.

ROBERTSON: In the city's neighborhoods, poorly stocked street markets hint at how much more help is needed. Some goods like drinking water nearly impossible to find.

What help do you need from the government now here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Electricity, water, and very cold in the home -- very cold.

ROBERTSON: Within hours of Zelenskyy's visit, Russian artillery destroyed a house in the north of the city, a reminder Russian troops are not far away.

Where they retreated Friday, the pontoon they used to flee across now partially sunk. The once mighty bridge crippled by U.S. made HIMARS that helped trigger the Russian collapse in tatters too.

But the Russians didn't go far. And that's where the danger is for Kherson just on the other side of the bridge, that's where the Russian positions are. They've dug in within easy shelling range of the city.

Zelenskyy's visit perhaps the closest to the front line since the war began. Nic Robertson, CNN, Kherson, Ukraine.


TAPPER: And our thanks to Nic Robertson in Ukraine.

Coming up next, murders on a college campus. In the United States three student athletes killed. What police flow saying about the suspect's arrest. Stay with us.



TAPPER: A University of Virginia student is in custody, accused of killing three football players on campus and injuring two others.

As CNN's Miguel Marquez reports, police say the suspect had been on their radar.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the middle of a press conference, the news everyone was hoping for, after more than 12 hours of lockdown and fear, at another major American university.

CHIEF TIMOTHY LONGO SR., UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA POLICE: We just received information the suspect is in custody.

MARQUEZ: Henrico police said they picked up University of Virginia student Chris Jones about 75 miles outside of the Charlottesville campus. The former UVA football player is accused of opening fire late Sunday.

JAMES E. RYAN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: The shootings occurred on a bus full of students returning from a field trip. Three victims did not survive.

MARQUEZ: The dead all football players, all with their lives ahead -- Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr.

UVA's president says Jones wounded two other students, one in good condition, the other critically injured.

RYAN: My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all of those who knew and loved them.

MARQUEZ: The incident has shocked this community of 27,000 students, especially shaking more than 500 students locked down overnight, as officers desperately searched campus for the suspect.

ROB WEGMUELLER, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: We heard some of the shots and then almost immediately rumors were flying.

PETER LARSEN, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: We were basically turning the lights off, hunkered down, trying to just stay put. I was feeling pretty anxious.

MARQUEZ: This is not the first time Jones has come to the UVA police department's attention. They say he was involved in a threat assessment with the investigation revealing a 2021 concealed weapon violation. This is a third shooting incident tied to a Virginia school this year

alone. In February at Bridgewater College, a former student-athlete was accused of killing two police officers. Days later, near the Virginia Tech campus, a gunman shot five people, killing a teenager.

Jones, for now, faces three counts of murder.


MARQUEZ (on camera): And probably many more charges ahead. Jones was picked up by a Henrico police officer that was paying attention, saw the car, pulled him over and arrested without incident -- Jake.

TAPPER: Miguel Marquez in Charlottesville, Virginia, thank you so much.

Coming up, how Donald Trump could get the last word with the January 6th Committee without ever showing up to testify.


Stay with us.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, one of the world's richest men talks about the state of the economy. CNN's exclusive interview with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Plus, Donald Trump making a new bid to stop the criminal investigation into whoever was responsible for the classified documents ending up at Mar-a-Lago.

And leading this hour, as the country waits to see if the GOP will take control of the House of Representatives, an intra-fight among Republicans over who will lead their likely very narrow majority, is spilling out into the public.